I'm Sure You Get The Reference

[Amazon Link, See Disclaimer] Bill Barr makes some of that good old common sense: Trump Will Burn Down the GOP. Time for New Leadership.. Skipping down to the bottom line:

It seems to me that Trump isn’t really interested in broadening his appeal. Instead he is content to focus on intensifying his personal hold over a faction within the party—a group that is probably no larger than a quarter of the GOP, but which allows Trump to use it as leverage to extort and bully the rest of the party into submission. The threat is simple: unless the rest of the party goes along with him, he will burn the whole house down by leading “his people” out of the GOP. Trump’s willingness to destroy the party if he does not get his way is not based on principle, but on his own supreme narcissism. His egoism makes him unable to think of a political party as anything but an extension of himself—a cult of personality.

Trump is due credit for stopping progressives’ momentum and achieving important policy successes during his administration. But he does not have the qualities required to win the kind of broad, durable victory I see as necessary to restore America. It is time for the 45th president to step aside.


Last Modified 2023-05-30 7:47 PM EDT

Gathering Five Storms

A Dangerous Clique Novel

[Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

This is the third novel in Jim Geraghty's series about a small cadre of CIA employees who are assigned the riskiest and most covert of assignments, ones that often result in considerable violence and wisecrackery. I recommend that you read the first two in the series (my reports are here and here) before attempting this one.

Here, the Dangerous Clique seems to be the target of an insidious plot, apparently based on a long-standing grudge someone's held from the group's early days in 2003. But who? Especially since just about all their adversaries from those first missions are pushing up daisies? The flashbacks to those early days describe the group's initial chemistry and motivations, set against the days when we were about to invade Iraq.

Problems abound, especially when the group strenuously objects to actions demanded by an (unnamed) Joe Biden, carried out by the (fictional) CIA director. Things get pretty rowdy, and imperil the Clique's continued existence. This sets up for (yet another) showdown with the bad guys at Nakatomi Plaza One World Trade Center, with what is described as a "luxurious and ludicrously overpriced observation deck".

The book's right about that: as I type, tickets go for $58

The flaws here are the same ones I noticed in the previous books: clunky/didactic dialog, a ludicrous plot, some minor typos, too many pop culture shout-outs. But Jim (I call him Jim) is clearly having a lot of fun writing these novels, and I've had a lot of fun reading them.

Oh yeah, the ending is kind of a setup for the next book. And (small spoiler) the identity of the long-discussed CIA "mole" is revealed, and … well, it's the character who's basically been sporting an "Hey, I'm the Mole" button all along.

Last Modified 2023-05-30 7:47 PM EDT