It's Even Worse Than You Think
The Trump administration is remaking the government. It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America tells readers exactly how it is making America worse again.Bestselling author and longtime Trump observer David Cay Johnston shines a light on the political termites who have infested our government under the Trump Administration, destroying it from within and compromising our jobs, safety, finances, and more.No journalist knows Donald Trump better than David Cay Johnston, who has been following him since 1988. It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America goes inside the administration to show how the federal agencies that touch the lives of all Americans are being undermined. Here is just some of what you will learn:The Wall. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto told President Trump that Mexico will never pay for the border wall. So, Trump is proposing putting a tariff on Mexican imports. But a tariff will simply raise the price of Mexican goods in the US, meaning American consumers will end up paying for the wall—if it ever gets built.Climate Change. Welcome to the new EPA, run by Scott Pruitt, a lawyer who has spent much of his career trying to destroy the agency he now heads. Secrecy reigns at the new EPA because Pruitt meets with industry executives to find out which clean air and clean water provisions they most want to roll back, and keeps staffers in the dark to make sure these pro-pollution plans don’t leak prematurely.Stocking the Swamp. Contrary to his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, DC, Trump has filled his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires, from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs and hedge fund veteran who made much of his fortune foreclosing on homeowners to billionaire heiress Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has already put the interests of bankers ahead of debt-burdened students and their families.The Kleptocracy. Under Donald Trump conflict of interest is passé. When Trump isn’t in Washington, he stays at one of his properties, where the taxpayers pick up the tab for staffers, Secret Service, and so on, all at full price. And back in Washington, everyone now knows that the Trump International Hotel is the only place to stay if you want to do business with the administration. Meanwhile sons Donald Jr. and Eric run an eyes-wide-open blind trust of Trump holdings to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest—but not the reality.

It's Even Worse Than You Think Details

TitleIt's Even Worse Than You Think
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 16th, 2018
PublisherSimon & Schuster
ISBN-139781501174179
Rating
GenrePolitics, Nonfiction, History

It's Even Worse Than You Think Review

  • Peter Mcloughlin
    January 1, 1970
    The author strikes me as a worried good government centrist appalled at Donald Trump who is a corrupt incompetent narcissist racist sleaze who now occupies the White House. This is, of course, pretty damning stuff but unprecedented only in the magnitude of the disease. I suppose it might convince a few suburban moderate Republicans that Trump is a problem. The stuff presented in the book is well known and I think centrists who are against Trump are appreciated for having a little more discernmen The author strikes me as a worried good government centrist appalled at Donald Trump who is a corrupt incompetent narcissist racist sleaze who now occupies the White House. This is, of course, pretty damning stuff but unprecedented only in the magnitude of the disease. I suppose it might convince a few suburban moderate Republicans that Trump is a problem. The stuff presented in the book is well known and I think centrists who are against Trump are appreciated for having a little more discernment than the MAGA CHUDS. I think, however, a better book could be written by someone further to the left who understands the authoritarian right. Trump is the logical conclusion of the Republican southern strategy. He is the culmination of the Reagan revolution. He fits squarely at Republican ideology is racist, anti-democratic, authoritarian, plutocratic, sexist. He is the fulfillment, the very apogee of their worldview. He is Republican redux. The author treats Trump as some corrupt oligarch from outer space. Half the country has been marinating in Trumpism for forty years. To merely focus on his current misdeeds is the miss the forest for the trees.
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  • Bill Kerwin
    January 1, 1970
    David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer-winning journalist specializing in economics and taxes, dives deep into the weeds in this sequel to his bestseller The Making of Donald Trump, and reveals how the Trump administration—issue by issue, government department by government department—is dismantling government as we know it, Unfortunately, though, he dives too deep in the weeds for me.I’m sure this is partially my fault. Johnston has a fine head for numbers, a gift I do not share, and, although he expla David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer-winning journalist specializing in economics and taxes, dives deep into the weeds in this sequel to his bestseller The Making of Donald Trump, and reveals how the Trump administration—issue by issue, government department by government department—is dismantling government as we know it, Unfortunately, though, he dives too deep in the weeds for me.I’m sure this is partially my fault. Johnston has a fine head for numbers, a gift I do not share, and, although he explains himself clearly, I find his occasional trips through The Donald in Mathmagic Land to be both exhaustive and exhausting. Left-brainers, though, will probably enjoy these parts more than I do. Besides, economics is what Johnston does best, and his chapters on taxes and tariffs are illuminating, arguably some of the best in the book.But the problem with the book is greater than this. Although Johston’s subjects are well chosen, and his points well argued, he often includes too much material, either by presenting unnecessary background, belaboring an obvious point, or discoursing on a tangential matter better dealt with in a footnote. I read every page of Johnston’s book, but by the time I was halfway through, I was intermittently skimming.Nonetheless, It’s Even Worse Than You Think is a conscientious and reliable piece of journalism which demonstrates that what I most fear is indeed true: beyond the daily buffooneries and brutalities of our chief executive, below the surface events and out of sight, our government agencies are being neutered, underfunded, the very mechanisms of governance halted, our national wealth gleefully ceded to the richest few.I will conclude with two representative passages. (Each of which shows what David Cay Johnston can do well when he gets “deep in the weeds”.) The first passage presents a small eloquent example of the sort of thing a good government grants do well, the kind of thing increasingly impossible in Trump’s America: The American Association of the Advancement of Science gives an annual Golden Goose Award to encourage public understanding of basice research and how it can have big economic benefits. The 2016 Award honored scientists who spend years studying the sexual activity of the screwworm fly. Now, there’s an easy area of science for know-nothing politicians and pundits to mock, and many did. The research results got a lot less attention. The scientists learned how to eradicate the pests, which can otherwise kill an otherwise healthy cow in two weeks. Today the price of beef is about 5 percent lower than if the little parasites were still infesting the cattle herds. The second passage has to do with the true meaning of Donald Trump’s phrase “drain the swamp”. It is an insight of Joel Clement, a former senior policy analyst at the Department of the Interior, once responsible for dealing with climate change and Native American displacement near the North Bering Sea. Trump issued an executive order cutting his budget to zero, and Clement soon found himself reassigned, disbursing oil and gas royalty checks for federal and tribal lands. Clement says he and others misunderstood what Trump meant when he spoke of draining the swamp in Washington. “When they were talking about draining the swamp in Washington, we thought they were talking about lobbyists, but they meant civil servants . . . the civl servants were the swamp.“When your entire workforce is described as the swamp, morale is done,” he said. “People are walking around feeling devalued, targeted, like a group of people with Stockholm Syndrome. Trump’s cabinet and high-level office nominartions demonstrate the desire to tear down the executive branch. They are making it impossible to implement the laws of Congress. Theyll be swimming in litigation. They won’t get much else done. They have tossed every guildeline from ethics to personnel management.“When,” Clement asked, “will they be held accountable?”
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  • Melki
    January 1, 1970
    This seems to be the book we should be reading instead of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
  • Barry
    January 1, 1970
    Just when you thought you couldn't feel any worse about the direction the United States is taking, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston delivers a hard and deeply reported dose of reality. Looking beyond the daily sideshow of presidential tweets and racist dog whistles, Johnston takes us into the agencies where Donald Trump's army of "termites" is hollowing out the federal government, and quietly instituting policies that will make the vast majority of Americans poorer, sicker an Just when you thought you couldn't feel any worse about the direction the United States is taking, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston delivers a hard and deeply reported dose of reality. Looking beyond the daily sideshow of presidential tweets and racist dog whistles, Johnston takes us into the agencies where Donald Trump's army of "termites" is hollowing out the federal government, and quietly instituting policies that will make the vast majority of Americans poorer, sicker and less well educated, and leave the nation less influential and competitive internationally.Johnston lays bare the false promises Trump made in his campaign, and continues to make, while his administration systematically enriches billionaires -- including members of his cabinet -- and huge corporations and billionaires at the expense of Americans' health, careers, education and financial security.In public policy, details matter, and from the EPA to the VA, Johnston provides details of intentional mismanagement, blatant self-dealing, direct corporate welfare, and willful ignorance that will, and should, infuriate anyone who doesn't keep their assets in an overseas tax haven, or their children in an exclusive private school. If you ever found Donald Trump's volatility and outspokenness even a little bit refreshing or amusing, if you thought he might be just the uninhibited outsider to drain the swamp of Washington politics, reading "It's Even Worse Than You Think" will make you realize how destructive and terrifying this presidency really is.
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  • Mal Warwick
    January 1, 1970
    Most of the books I've read about Donald Trump focus squarely on the man himself, his relations with the people surrounding him in the White House, and his outrageous behavior. David Cay Johnston's book is somewhat different. Trump's erratic actions and insults are acknowledged throughout. He is unquestionably the star of the story. But It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America spotlights the policies Trump has promoted and the people he's named to senior Most of the books I've read about Donald Trump focus squarely on the man himself, his relations with the people surrounding him in the White House, and his outrageous behavior. David Cay Johnston's book is somewhat different. Trump's erratic actions and insults are acknowledged throughout. He is unquestionably the star of the story. But It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America spotlights the policies Trump has promoted and the people he's named to senior positions in government.  The picture is devastating. As Johnston notes at the outset, "the Trump presidency is unlike anything that came before, a presidency built on open public contempt for Constitutional principles."Item: kleptocracy is the new normalIn a blatant violation of the law and the US Constitution, Trump is brazenly promoting his own businesses, most notably the Trump International Hotel in Washington and Mar-a-Lago in Florida. He is personally raking in many millions of dollars as a result. (Johnston's detailed description about how the scheme works is eye-opening.) And Trump is not alone in self-dealing. Key appointees are promoting the industries and the individual companies where they previously worked, and in some cases they're directly profiting from the policies they promulgate or the regulations they eliminate. Others, including at least one billionaire, are routinely traveling on the government's dime although their predecessors carefully paid for their own travel when on personal business.Donald Trump frequently spoke about "draining the swamp" in his campaign. As one former official put it, "we thought they were talking about lobbyists, but they meant civil servants . . . the civil servants were the swamp." Instead, Trump has appointed industry allies, including many lobbyists, to run the agencies they have sued, lobbied, or otherwise weakened in the past. And the damage they are doing is little reported in the news media. I'll cite just two examples.Item: Trump's "political termites" are undermining our governmentTrump is attempting to defund a long list of government agencies, including not just such long-time Republican candidates for oblivion such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting but less-well-known agencies including the Trade and Development Agency (TDA). The TDA encourages exports of high-value American goods and assists domestic companies that require assistance to operate successfully overseas, thus helping create jobs for American workers; its elimination would run counter to Trump's repeated insistence that he will create "job growth the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time." (That's just one of many ways in which the Trump Administration is discouraging rather than encouraging job growth, a subject to which Johnston devotes a chapter of its own.) To ensure that these agencies are crippled even if Congress declines to defund them, Trump has appointed men and women like Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruitt, Rex Tillerson, and others with lower profiles who will make it difficult or impossible for their employees to perform their duties effectively. And they're doing a very good job of that—by failing to appoint the high-level officials needed to approve their work, by instituting policies and procedures designed to frustrate them, or simply by creating an environment within the agency that discourages aggressive action on behalf of the public.Item: Trump's "forgotten man" is forgotten by his AdministrationOn the campaign trail, in his inaugural address, and in myriad ways since, Donald Trump has continued to emphasize that he is in office to protect the "forgotten man." He continually proclaims his concern for workers. But the actions he and his appointees have taken, and insist they will continue taking, are anything but supportive of middle-class working families. (Poor people are not just forgotten—they're not even mentioned among the forgotten.)For example, by moving to emasculate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Trump Administration is subjecting millions of us once again to the unrestrained predations of predatory lenders. By eliminating environmental regulations, they are exposing us all to foul air and polluted water and eroding one of our country's proudest accomplishments, our National Parks. By opening up our coastal waters for oil and gas exploration, they are endangering the livelihood and the quality of life of millions of Americans who live near the shore. By eviscerating OSHA, they are ensuring that "'workers will pay the price for rolling back these hard-earned protections—in injury, illness, and death,'" in the words of one critic quoted by Johnston. And "[s]pending less on scientific research is not a policy to make or keep America great and it certainly is not a policy to put American workers first." As Johnston notes, "research shows that at least half of American economic growth since World War II stems from advances in science and technology"—and a disproportionate share of those advances have come from government labs or work financed by government grants.The damage will last for decadesYes, even if you faithfully follow the political news, you may conclude, as I did, that "it's even worse than you think." It's profoundly disturbing to read, chapter after chapter, the evidence of the damage Donald Trump and his appointees has already done to our country. Johnston ranges far afield, detailing the devastation at State, Education, the EPA, the VA, and other critical agencies. Even if Trump is forced out of office before his term is up, or the Democrats win control of both houses of Congress in the 2018 election and the presidency in 2020, cleaning up the mess may take decades. Simply recruiting and training replacements for all the experienced foreign service officers, scientists, and regulators fired or forced to resign will take many years. Restoring the morale of the departments they led won't be easy, either. Nor will the tedious work of recovering or rewriting the hard-fought regulations that protected our health and our financial wellbeing. And who knows how long the Federal courts will remain under the sway of Neil Gorsuch and like-minded "strict constructionists?" (Johnston's portrait of Gorsuch is unflattering to say the least. Yes, the newest Supreme Court Justice is even worse than I thought.)David Cay Johnston is an investigative reporter specializing in economic and tax issues, to which he gives a great deal of attention in It's Even Worse Than You Think. He has won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting and is the author of six previous nonfiction books.
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  • Scott Rhee
    January 1, 1970
    I, like many Americans, wake up every morning dreading what new Hell is in store for us and the world thanks to the Dumpster Fire that currently sits in the Oval Office as our commander-in-chief. That Trump is a liar, a tax cheat, a douchebag, an asshole, a narcissist, a compassionless moron, a seven-year-old wearing old men’s clothes, a sack of shit, a mouth-breather, a racist, a misogynist, a potential sociopath, quite possibly mentally ill, and a fuckwad isn’t really in dispute. Hell, even hi I, like many Americans, wake up every morning dreading what new Hell is in store for us and the world thanks to the Dumpster Fire that currently sits in the Oval Office as our commander-in-chief. That Trump is a liar, a tax cheat, a douchebag, an asshole, a narcissist, a compassionless moron, a seven-year-old wearing old men’s clothes, a sack of shit, a mouth-breather, a racist, a misogynist, a potential sociopath, quite possibly mentally ill, and a fuckwad isn’t really in dispute. Hell, even his supporters think most of this is true. They just don’t care, for some reason, because “Hey, Trump got a lot of people $200 bonuses” and “Well, because her e-mails...” Today, Trump announced that he wants to have a giant military parade through Washington, D.C. Never mind the ridiculous cost in money, time, and security this will cost taxpayers: Trump supporters don’t seem to care. They’ve let the millions we---the taxpayers---have already spent on his golf weekends and vacations and Secret Service manpower it involved slide, so why the fuck not have a military parade? North Korea, China, and Russia do it all the time, and those are three of his favorite countries, so there’s that...The question has stopped being “When is enough enough?” because we have all, sadly, discovered the answer to that, which is, “Never”. Trump is apparently going to ride this all the way through to its inevitable end of dictatorial totalitarianism, and his supporters are along for the ride. Mark my word, if there isn’t a violent uprising in the next year or two, Trump will have concentration camps set up all across the country, run by Joe Arpaio. It’s there he will send all the CNN, MSNBC, and New York Times journalists. He’ll also send every single late-night TV talk show host there (except for Jimmy Fallon: Trump likes when Fallon rubs his hair.), including the entire cast of Saturday Night Live (Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy will, of course, be at the head of the line). Then he’ll go after everybody who has ever said a mean word about him on Facebook and Twitter. Then, of course, he’ll go after everybody who has ever written a book about him that isn’t Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter. (Granted, he will have to go on the word of people who have actually read the books, because Trump doesn’t read...)One of those authors is David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author of seven books whose latest book “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America” pretty much says it all in the title.Johnston’s book is probably the book everyone should be reading instead of Michael Wolf’s “Fire and Fury” but isn’t because there are no sex scenes. Don’t get me wrong: I look forward to reading Wolf’s book. I have it on hold at my local library (I’m not dishing out $15 at Target for that piece of shit), but I couldn’t wait. In the wait time, I’ve discovered other scathing anti-Trump books out there. Johnston’s book may be relatively golden shower-free, but it’s still pretty damn riveting, if you like a shitload of facts and data and statements that can actually be supported by lots of evidence. The nearly 30 pages of endnotes is impressive in itself, but it’s also impressive that Johnston got all of his information by simply digging deeper into the morass of bullshit surrounding Trump and his lackeys. If anyone is “draining the swamp”, it’s actually Johnston.Johnston covers everything in the (my God has it only been) one year that Trump has been President, which is actually a hell of a lot. Some of it---especially the transcripts, speeches, and memos that Johnston was privy to that never made it into mainstream media outlets or to the public at all---is both horribly frightening and strangely hilarious at the same time. Case in point: Trump’s conversation with Mexican President Enrique Peno Nieto, the full transcript of which was obtained and published by the Washington Post several months later: (https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphi...), in which Trump whined, “If you’re not going to say that Mexico is going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.” So much for the Great Negotiator.There’s also Trump’s history of basic science denial and his commitment to considering global warming a “Chinese hoax”: it would almost be funny if Trump’s EPA, under Scott Pruitt, hasn’t overturned nearly eight years of policy under Obama---including exiting the Paris Agreement---that was moving in the right direction. Trump’s choice of Pruitt to run the EPA was a direct slap in the face to environmentalist and scientists. It may even be causing needless deaths.Recently, a study was released that showed an unprecedented increase in black lung disease cases among coal miners in Appalachian states. While more studies need to be done, it strongly suggests a connection between Pruitt’s EPA’s attempts to roll back and eliminate regulations on industries such as coal mining and coal mining-related disease and death. (https://www.npr.org/2018/02/06/583456...)I could give more examples, but frankly I’m sick and tired of Trump. I’m sick and tired of everything about him, his family, his wealth, his wormy ability to get out of paying taxes, his brilliant ability to manipulate and maneuver people’s attentions away from the real problems facing this country by creating non-issues, his child-like inability to hear or accept anything critical or negative about himself by claiming that anything he disagrees with is “fake news”, his supporters, his hair, his orange face, his tiny hands, his tiny dick, and his stupid brain.
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  • Lis Carey
    January 1, 1970
    David Cay Johnston is a working journalist who has covered Donald Trump for decades, and has written two previous books about him. In this book, he looks not at Trump's personal life and all the possible, ah, colorful details, which at this writing are much in the news, but strictly at his actions as President, and his business dealings that explain and illuminate those actions.This is very much a fact-based book, examining what Trump has actually done, and the practical effects, as well as the David Cay Johnston is a working journalist who has covered Donald Trump for decades, and has written two previous books about him. In this book, he looks not at Trump's personal life and all the possible, ah, colorful details, which at this writing are much in the news, but strictly at his actions as President, and his business dealings that explain and illuminate those actions.This is very much a fact-based book, examining what Trump has actually done, and the practical effects, as well as the direct contrast between Trump's specific and oft-repeated campaign promises to help, for instance, students struggling under student loans or workers who aren't finding jobs because companies have moved those jobs overseas, or to help small businesses, and what his policies really are. Trump has appointed Betsy DeVos to head the Dept. of Education. She has no real education experience, but is deeply involved in for-profit education companies. Under Trump and DeVos, President Obama's progress toward protecting students from predatory loan practices by for-profit schools are being reversed, not improved. This is just one easily summarized example. To fully understand this example and others, Johnston's careful detailing of the actions, their background, and their effects are necessary.He lays out Trump's many conflicts of interest, and the extent to which Trump's approach to the Presidency is truly different not just from our most respected Presidents, but even from the ones we've considered incompetent or corrupt. We see how tangled, contradictory, and profoundly unhelpful his immigration actions and policies are to the American workers he has promised he will help with those immigration policies are. Again, another example, one better understood with Johnston's detail and context than in a short review.This is an important book. It is fact-based, not ideology-driven. You will learn by reading or listening to it.Highly recommended.I bought this audiobook.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    The title says it best: it is even worse than you think. It's a shame this book hasn't received the same kind of attention that Fire and Fury has, as it covers some very important, and disturbing, things that have been happening while we were all looking the other way, distracted by tweets, sh*tholes, or any of a number of other things. And that was the overriding, macro-view takeaway of this book for me. I watch a lot of news, and much of it seems to be reporting on drama rather than policy. So The title says it best: it is even worse than you think. It's a shame this book hasn't received the same kind of attention that Fire and Fury has, as it covers some very important, and disturbing, things that have been happening while we were all looking the other way, distracted by tweets, sh*tholes, or any of a number of other things. And that was the overriding, macro-view takeaway of this book for me. I watch a lot of news, and much of it seems to be reporting on drama rather than policy. So there is a whole bunch of stuff happening that most people aren't aware of (and that goes for all governments). I guess this book isn't going to change anyone's mind - we're all so set in our mindsets these days - but it's still an important book. If you read this and you're okay with what's going on, then fine, good. But if you're not, well, I believe there are some elections coming up soon...
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  • Andy
    January 1, 1970
    I've enjoyed this author's previous works of investigative reporting and thought this might be the smart choice in the pile of Trump books, but I was disappointed. True, Trump is even worse than I thought, but so what? I already thought he was a shameless crook. It's not like we get to vote on a scale of 1-10. Maybe we ought to, but we don't. Johnston's conclusion is that Trump is the symptom, not the disease. I agree, but then what we need is a book about the disease, i.e. what made millions of I've enjoyed this author's previous works of investigative reporting and thought this might be the smart choice in the pile of Trump books, but I was disappointed. True, Trump is even worse than I thought, but so what? I already thought he was a shameless crook. It's not like we get to vote on a scale of 1-10. Maybe we ought to, but we don't. Johnston's conclusion is that Trump is the symptom, not the disease. I agree, but then what we need is a book about the disease, i.e. what made millions of Americans vote for such a worthless, lying, giant bipedal turd. I recommend:
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  • Kinksrock
    January 1, 1970
    "Trump lacks the emotional stability, knowledge, critical-thinking skills, and judgment to be commander in chief. Emotionally he remains the thirteen-year-old troublemaker his father sent off to a military academy .... Being stuck in the awkward year between childhood and maturity for nearly six decades is a terrible fate, one that has twisted Trump's personality and explains much of his narcissism, immature attitudes about women, disregard for others, and his imagined intellectual gifts shown b "Trump lacks the emotional stability, knowledge, critical-thinking skills, and judgment to be commander in chief. Emotionally he remains the thirteen-year-old troublemaker his father sent off to a military academy .... Being stuck in the awkward year between childhood and maturity for nearly six decades is a terrible fate, one that has twisted Trump's personality and explains much of his narcissism, immature attitudes about women, disregard for others, and his imagined intellectual gifts shown by his frequent declaration that 'I'm like a smart person.'" (page 253)Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House was a fun book to read. It provided anecdotes that demonstrated how unfit Trump is for the presidency, what a buffoon, what a joke, and how dysfunctional his administration is. Mr. Johnston's book is not amusing. It is not fun to read. It lays out plainly that, while we are slapping our heads at what a buffoon this a--hole is, he is actually doing real damage to our country through his incredible combination of greed, incompetence, and -- yes -- racism. (If you are not ready to admit that Trump is a racist, you are willfully blind.)The damage that this evil narcissist is doing to our country and how we are perceived abroad may take many years to fix, if they can be fixed. This book shows you what that damage is. And it's not funny.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    This is a very well written catalog of the damage that the current administration is doing to our country. I consider myself reasonable well informed; I read the Washington Post and New York Times daily, as well as following links from Twitter posts to the Atlantic, the New Yorker and other on-line news aggregators. Even after all that reading Johnston has uncovered things that I didn't know about before reading this book. It's well worth the time I spent on it, and I'll be reading more of Johns This is a very well written catalog of the damage that the current administration is doing to our country. I consider myself reasonable well informed; I read the Washington Post and New York Times daily, as well as following links from Twitter posts to the Atlantic, the New Yorker and other on-line news aggregators. Even after all that reading Johnston has uncovered things that I didn't know about before reading this book. It's well worth the time I spent on it, and I'll be reading more of Johnston's work.
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  • kari
    January 1, 1970
    Well researched and well written. Not politically slanted.Read Fire and Fury to understand the personalities at work and this one for the policies.
  • Scott
    January 1, 1970
    Nothing super-new in here, if you’ve been watching the news. It focuses on the Trump Administration’s ineptitude/malfeasance when it comes to staffing government positions, undermining governmental norms, etc. It’s well-researched.The author, however, has a somewhat patronizing, let-me-explain-this-to-you-so-you’ll-understand it style that rubbed me the wrong way and ultimately made the book a tedious experience for me. I would NOT want to sit next to this guy on a long plane flight.
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  • Lennongirl
    January 1, 1970
    I have yet to read a book on Trump and/or his administration that doesn't make me think "But how is any of this even possible"? Lastly, with Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, this question was mainly focussed on the acting persons and their, uh, sort of working relationships with each other; within this book, the question is directed more towards the politics of said administration. Basically, Johnston compares Trump's plans and promises during his campaign to what happened after he g I have yet to read a book on Trump and/or his administration that doesn't make me think "But how is any of this even possible"? Lastly, with Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, this question was mainly focussed on the acting persons and their, uh, sort of working relationships with each other; within this book, the question is directed more towards the politics of said administration. Basically, Johnston compares Trump's plans and promises during his campaign to what happened after he got elected and during the first months of his term. The book is well structured and tackles pretty much every issue, from jobs, taxes, climate denial, global affairs, education, law and order, to race, guns and immigration. Johnston reminds the reader what Trump said about these topics during his campaigns, the plans he had, the promises he made - and what's left of all of that after the first months of his administration (a non spoilerish spoiler: pretty much nothing). Of course most of this is known, there have been many examples I remember, thinking "But how and why does he get away with it?". Seeing all these issues combined makes an even more powerful impact. It's scary. And makes me wonder even more.People who voted for Trump based on a certain promise should read this book and use it for a serious reality check. I'm thinking about, for example, all those veterans who'd hoped to get better medical care, more support, less bureaucracy and a 24-hour-emergency-support-hotline supervised by Trump himself (a non spoilerish spoiler: nothing of this happened). There are countless other groups like those veterans who should feel fooled by now - and still, I wonder how Trump and his administration get away with all of this. And if all these broken promises and their mostly, well, not really helpful results aren't enough, Johnston also chronicals how Trump and the Alt-Right grow closer. And this should be the final sign to get everybody's alarm bells ringing. Again, I know, all of this is known. But it doesn't hurt one bit to be reminded of it again and again.Extra mention for the very powerful afterword, which makes a great closing argument. In general, Johnston does take this book on a certain emotional level - his helplessness and anger shine through (and I hear him!) - yet the book is still factual and an unbiased read (because facts are facts, there is no alternative version). However, the book lives from its all overshadowing conclusion: Trump is by no means fit for the job, way less than any president before him. And Johnston does a really good job showing why.
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  • Jacqueline Kawate
    January 1, 1970
    This is the best book written so far on the Trump administration. It is everything that Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury book is not. This book is short on gossip and heavy on fact. It details how Trump and his Cabinet members have acted during his Presidency. It focuses on what they do rather than what they say. Most frightening to me is the long lasting damage that is being done, especially in the judiciary, the EPA, the Department of Education, health care, and the State Department. The actions This is the best book written so far on the Trump administration. It is everything that Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury book is not. This book is short on gossip and heavy on fact. It details how Trump and his Cabinet members have acted during his Presidency. It focuses on what they do rather than what they say. Most frightening to me is the long lasting damage that is being done, especially in the judiciary, the EPA, the Department of Education, health care, and the State Department. The actions taken by this administration will not only lower our quality of life, it will cost lives. The author is a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist who has been reporting on Trump for 30 years. He is also an expert on tax policy.
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    David Cay Johnston is a journalist of many years and the author of The Making Of Donald Trump. He doesn’t share new information that hasn’t been widely told elsewhere. What Johnston has is the ability to communicate in clear language what the trouble with President Trump is and tells us in no uncertain terms that we are in trouble. While he offers some advice, he doesn’t mince words, it is worse than we think and might have to run its course before it he’s better. Scary. Johnston also has deep k David Cay Johnston is a journalist of many years and the author of The Making Of Donald Trump. He doesn’t share new information that hasn’t been widely told elsewhere. What Johnston has is the ability to communicate in clear language what the trouble with President Trump is and tells us in no uncertain terms that we are in trouble. While he offers some advice, he doesn’t mince words, it is worse than we think and might have to run its course before it he’s better. Scary. Johnston also has deep knowledge of Trump as a person and public figure because of his previous book about him. Scary.
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  • Dick Reynolds
    January 1, 1970
    The author has been a long time observer of Donald Trump so he brings to this book a rich background of facts about our president long before he was elected. He covers a multitude of subjects such as “The Wall” that Trump has been talking about for some time. If this wall is ever built, you can rest assured that the U. S. will be paying for it and not Mexico. Our State Department is woefully understaffed and Trump seems to be in no hurry to replace those who have departed. In Trump’s view, nobo The author has been a long time observer of Donald Trump so he brings to this book a rich background of facts about our president long before he was elected. He covers a multitude of subjects such as “The Wall” that Trump has been talking about for some time. If this wall is ever built, you can rest assured that the U. S. will be paying for it and not Mexico. Our State Department is woefully understaffed and Trump seems to be in no hurry to replace those who have departed. In Trump’s view, nobody would be able to conduct diplomatic activities better than himself. Our Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is putting the interests of bankers ahead of students and their families. Scott Pruitt, the fellow who is head of the EPA and the lawyer who has been trying to destroy the agency he now heads, is rolling back all the regulations intended to keep our planet’s air and water free of pollution. What about our infrastructure? Trump made a major point during his campaign about devoting great attention and money to our crumbling infrastructure, promising a comprehensive plan immediately after his inauguration. However, such a plan has not yet appeared. The Defense Department is clearly that part of the Federal Government receiving the largest increase in its budget. It seems rather ironic that our military will be defending a country that, in the long run, will no longer be as well off as it is today. Reading this relevant book was riveting but, after a couple of chapters, I found it depressing and had to put it aside for another day. I continued in this start-stop fashion until I eventually finished it. I hope that the coming mid-term elections will change the composition of our Congress so that this national self-defeating trend can be reversed.
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  • Mary Sisney
    January 1, 1970
    Because he's a money man, Johnston's discussion of Trump's business deals, his taxes, the cost to taxpayers of his trips to his own properties, and the effects of his budget proposals on ordinary Americans is most informative. His "fact check" of what's really happening with veterans under the Trump administration is also very interesting. However, he's less sure of himself when discussing racism. A chapter on Charlottesville begins promisingly with a too brief discussion of "white privilege" bu Because he's a money man, Johnston's discussion of Trump's business deals, his taxes, the cost to taxpayers of his trips to his own properties, and the effects of his budget proposals on ordinary Americans is most informative. His "fact check" of what's really happening with veterans under the Trump administration is also very interesting. However, he's less sure of himself when discussing racism. A chapter on Charlottesville begins promisingly with a too brief discussion of "white privilege" but then quickly morphs into a discussion of guns, proving that even white liberals hate to talk or write about race/racism. Still, I appreciated the information about the crazy black man who kept popping up on camera at Trump rallies. Maurice, aka Michael the Black Man, was part of a brutal cult that tortured and mutilated people. He was determined to be too crazy to prosecute during his trial. I guess crazy Maurice found a new brutal, sadistic cult to join and an even crazier leader to follow.
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  • Sheila
    January 1, 1970
    The title is pretty self expanatory, and while it is NOT worse that I personally think (I have my eyes open and I see what is happening to our country) I am sure there are many things in this book that would surprise those that try to stay out of politics, those that think what is happening in Washington DC really doesn't affect them, and of course those that support Trump will probably just say this is all "fake news". I prefer to stay educated, to be aware of what is happening, and to be part The title is pretty self expanatory, and while it is NOT worse that I personally think (I have my eyes open and I see what is happening to our country) I am sure there are many things in this book that would surprise those that try to stay out of politics, those that think what is happening in Washington DC really doesn't affect them, and of course those that support Trump will probably just say this is all "fake news". I prefer to stay educated, to be aware of what is happening, and to be part of the resistance that will keep speaking out, and will work to make sure this administration is voted out of office if they are not removed and convicted by the special council first.
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  • Tara Brabazon
    January 1, 1970
    Oh yes. This is the book that captures the triage unit in which we are currently living. The selfishness, the self absorption, the ego, the money. If you thought things were going badly - then read this. Yes. It is even worse than you think.This book nails down how Trump's business interests have colonized the presidency. Yep we are are in trouble. What happens when real estate capitalism takes over other modalities of power? Here we go ...
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  • Grace
    January 1, 1970
    I almost returned this book to the library without reading it once I realized the author also wrote "The Making of Donald Trump," which was a short book that turned into a long haul of a read due to the author's unwillingness to stay out of the narrative, inability to appear unbiased (I get it, Trump threatened to sue him), and the oddness of the book's structure and narrative. I decided to give this book a chance because it looked meatier than the other David Cay Johnston book I had read and th I almost returned this book to the library without reading it once I realized the author also wrote "The Making of Donald Trump," which was a short book that turned into a long haul of a read due to the author's unwillingness to stay out of the narrative, inability to appear unbiased (I get it, Trump threatened to sue him), and the oddness of the book's structure and narrative. I decided to give this book a chance because it looked meatier than the other David Cay Johnston book I had read and there were almost 30 pages of "Notes" or citations of sources. I'm glad that I did. The author thoroughly covered most of the highlights (or lowlights. depending on your views) of Donald Trump's first year in the White House. David Cay Johnston methodically broke down Trump's campaign promises to reveal how he did or did not live up to the words he used to garner the votes of the "Forgotten Americans." I appreciated his efforts to make complex topics (e.g., economics, trade, diplomacy) easily accessible to the average person without advanced studies in these areas of government administration. I was surprised by the writing itself though. I expected better sentence structure and copy/line edits in a book written by a Pulitzer Prize winner and published by such a reputable publisher as Simon & Schuster. Spell check only catches words that are misspelled - not when you correctly spell "murders" but meant to write "murderers," which happened two or three times that I can easily recall. There were extra words in sentences that made them awkward to read or downright incomprehensible. The author's insistence on injecting himself into the narrative (although not nearly as often as in "The Making of Donald Trump") was jarring from the narrative and didn't help the author's credibility.
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  • Trish
    January 1, 1970
    A good breakdown of how Trump and his appointees are destroying our government from the inside. Johnston, who is a Pulitizer Prize-winning investigative journalist, has been covering Trump for about three decades and describes many appointees as termites because they have been sent to various government agencies in order to break them down, to work against the very thing the agencies/departments are charged with doing. A prime example is Pruitt at the EPA.Johnston showcases how in a variety of a A good breakdown of how Trump and his appointees are destroying our government from the inside. Johnston, who is a Pulitizer Prize-winning investigative journalist, has been covering Trump for about three decades and describes many appointees as termites because they have been sent to various government agencies in order to break them down, to work against the very thing the agencies/departments are charged with doing. A prime example is Pruitt at the EPA.Johnston showcases how in a variety of areas what Trump said as a candidate does not match what he did as president. He shines a light on the outright lies, the deflections, the way Trump has conned a big portion of the American public -- the very people who can least afford to be conned by a man like Trump, who despite what he claims cares not one bit for the people who elected him and probably actually detests them because they are not rich.
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  • Ramiro Guerra
    January 1, 1970
    Learned of this book during a podcast (Kick Ass News, if I recall correctly) featuring the author. Definitely interesting as it focuses on the concrete, policy-based reasons why Donald Trump absolutely sucks. It’s a sobering read but definitely a good eye opener because behind every dumb ass tweet by Donald there’s are countless sinister actions that just don’t get enough attention. This book is a good place to start if you’re trying to make sense of how horrible it is to have Donald Trump as co Learned of this book during a podcast (Kick Ass News, if I recall correctly) featuring the author. Definitely interesting as it focuses on the concrete, policy-based reasons why Donald Trump absolutely sucks. It’s a sobering read but definitely a good eye opener because behind every dumb ass tweet by Donald there’s are countless sinister actions that just don’t get enough attention. This book is a good place to start if you’re trying to make sense of how horrible it is to have Donald Trump as commander in Chief.
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  • Leanne Ellis
    January 1, 1970
    A lot of the details were known from many other media reports, but the section about how the Trump administration is concealing reports and litigation options to undermine worker safety is awful and not well known. Far from making American Great, this administration is making it worse for everyone except the wealthy pigs. And making everyone else pay for it. Whether by stripping away health care protections, student loan forgiveness, financial aid, environmental regulations, worker safety, and p A lot of the details were known from many other media reports, but the section about how the Trump administration is concealing reports and litigation options to undermine worker safety is awful and not well known. Far from making American Great, this administration is making it worse for everyone except the wealthy pigs. And making everyone else pay for it. Whether by stripping away health care protections, student loan forgiveness, financial aid, environmental regulations, worker safety, and predatory loan and financial recourse - workers are losing ground! Add to that, a tax plan to benefit the rich, regulation stripping to increase company profits, and the dismissal of government workers in droves and most people in this country will rue the day the orange menace took office. Then end result is America's decline in the world as we are sacked with unfair childcare costs, skewed energy prices, and the de-investment in science research leading to a loss of breakthroughs and industry leadership. Consumer spending will drop (or the public will get hit in the next recession since saving is at record lows) and job opportunities will decline as people are saddled with unfair debt and low-wage jobs. China is taking the lead, as we withdraw from the world into the delusional reality of a narcissistic child!
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  • carol
    January 1, 1970
    Taking a break - I'm on fire!
  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    A true tell all based on facts and heavily documented information not hearsay, not third party info, not opinions and having zero cherry coating. It's not about party lines, it's not about politics, it's about the danger we all are now facing and the need to create change for the betterment of our society . You cannot have someone in office who cannot deal with the basics and who lacks trust, empathy, discipline, critical thinking skills, self acknowledgement and awareness.David Cay Johnston sta A true tell all based on facts and heavily documented information not hearsay, not third party info, not opinions and having zero cherry coating. It's not about party lines, it's not about politics, it's about the danger we all are now facing and the need to create change for the betterment of our society . You cannot have someone in office who cannot deal with the basics and who lacks trust, empathy, discipline, critical thinking skills, self acknowledgement and awareness.David Cay Johnston states what I wish everyone would and that's that we are in deep trouble as a nation, as a country, as fellow human beings and it's blatantly obvious for the casual observer. First let me remind others: Goldwater Rule," a guideline adopted by the APA after a 1964 survey of psychiatrists found that nearly half of those polled felt that GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater was psychologically unfit to be president. Now let me note my background: 13 yr relationship and 11 yr marriage to malignant narcissist with 3 kids ( and 2 half siblings to my 3 that I'm aware of after divorcing). Let me next note: We as a family were devalued and discarded and my narcissist tried to all but destroy us. After giving up my career and MPA degree to raise kids( wo payment for years lost) I was left bankrupt, homeless, lt unemployed, without income , no assets , no savings, and having to fight city hall on poor man's wages.Sadly narcissist children are mere extensions of themselves to be molded and manipulated to their benefit. Family is not a priority to a narcissist. They are secondary. Narcissist in general are obnoxious, arrogant, moody, cold, calculating, emotionally distant, and in some cases abusive ( as in my case involving all forms). They have one purpose to acquire supply while receiving and needing constant attention, adulation, admiration, praise and spotlight. Anything completed is for the benefit of one.Allow me to further enlighten you about narcissists in general as this ties in well with the entire book. Narcissists lie, cheat, demean, degrade, humiliate, berate, chastise, condemn, and will use whatever means necessary to see your demise. If that means blackmail, threats, intimidation, coercion, force, retaliation, smear campaigns to ruin your reputation it's all good to them. Narcissists will seek fault in others, blame others, as they have no ability to communicate nor love in a healthy way. You cannot have a relationship with one as everything must be done their way to their satisfaction and don't dare express an opinion or ask any questions. If the going is good it's because of their work (ride coattails) but if it's bad you'll find them in hiding or unable to comment. In other words they are not responsible, they are not accountable, they are not apologetic for ruining so many countless lives. They move on like the wind without a care for what's left behind.Look our country is in the same fear of fight or flight responses that I as a survivor of NPD have had to endure . I was a prisoner in my own home and was seen as a kept woman and business partner after 11 yr marriage. So let me inform others that no matter how friendly you are to a narcissist or how you bow down to demands they will keep those 'lists of loyalty' coming your way as we've seen noted in the White House. Loyalty is paramount. "Trump's narcissism has so far helped him get to where he has for decades said he belonged in the White House." So for him it's a win and for narcs in general winning is all they want. Narcissists are chameleons able to alter and change just enough to adapt to any environment. They operate using projection, mirroring, gaslighting ergo the reason while they feel ghostlike and alter their statements as they are trying to appear likeable, believable, credible. What they accuse others of doing is what they are actually doing. Jekyll and Hyde persona with a full on facade based on a false sense of self is the general modus operandi to fit their complex persona.A life with a narcissists is one sided with a bottomless black pit of emptiness that is never fulfilled. The more you give the more they take and the more you deplete yourself to the point of losing yourself in the process. When the mask falls you will see the real person as they present themselves with a public and private image.What we have now is " a presidency built on open public contempt for constitutional principles.""His entire life Trump has been a con artist" . Much like the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme the only one getting rich is those at the top. Much like Scrooge McDuck the rest of us are waiting for the return of investments. Never argue with a narc and never try to explain it as you cannot. Playing detective is not meant to be your new lifestyle (trust me).What you see I assure you is only the tip of the iceberg with the entire fog.Lets talk finances: Using aliases, Double Dipping , tax evasion, tax loopholes while depreciating values of all assets, overspending, with secretive and hidden nature of finances, relocating finances off shore accounts, using private or po boxes to hide incoming and outgoing information is all just some of what you might uncover. We see this evidenced in the failure to sign tax documents for public release and the failure to produce a single tax document.Remember narcissists feel they are above the law the rules don't apply to them as they are superior, egotistical, grandiose yet terribly immature at a childlike state with temper tantrums .Financial abuse is also used against survivors but here I'd note that, " Trump is the first president to pose numerous questions about whether he is receiving income from foreign governments...He is also the first to present the issue of profiting from spending by federal , state, and local governments with payments that the Framers denied to the president." All the security detail , the golf outings, the Trump hotel stays are financed by taxpayers.Remember the slogan we'll be sick of winning well I'm still waiting to see us winning as I see unemployment all time high if you count those who gave up looking , the working poor, the low salaried on grant funded or temp positions , those no longer counted after 6 months of unemployment or longer, and I see jobs constantly leaving never coming which is what David mentioned as our kids leave college with mounting debt but no good paying jobs with benefits.Sneaky, corruption, riding coattails, taking credit for others work, using others for personal gain, late or no payments to services rendered, and the famous reimbursements or promises of payments never obtained nor received. Remember all those shiny new campaign promises. I do too, especially about helping our vets and the recognition for service. My own father didn't get his medal for service in Cold War till just recently so I ask this while our president dodged the draft 5 times and then cut funding to our vets and criticized those who served and were taken as prisoner of war like McCain? http://citizensvoice.com/news/nepa-ve...For those who have dealt with toxicity of this nature it's like a hamster on a wheel. You'll feel exhausted, depleted, ignored, and isolated as if on cloud nine. It's so unbelievable and far fetched and yes dare I say bizarre that who would believe you and this my friends is what our country is now facing. Those who were seniors in service in highly intelligent positions of honor and valor are now forced to resign to save themselves and are being replaced with low level individuals who lack the qualifications and expertise to do the job proficiently and securely.For some of us it's obvious for those in denial, those who are nieve, those who haven't been exposed to this new form of Kool Aid it might seem like he's a man of his word, his charismatic, he's intelligent , he's enter whatever ... but it's all smoke and mirrors, a figment of the imagination, a wolf is sheep's clothing. We my friends are now the laughing stock of the world and are not respected from other nations.Blame, shame, guilt trips are how these dictators keep the masses in line. Constant threats of cease and desist , threats of litigation, threats of a take down is all part of the bullying nature of it all and it's disturbing and dangerous. The brand is what people bought into along with the tough nosed hard guy image and belief that he's the one our savior. The problem is it's empty promises and broken dreams full of a trail of destruction and failed past relationships in all regards be it personal , business, or otherwise.There's no remorse, no apology, no hope for change, no amount of obedience that can change it.Much like all those who have been let go, removed, resigned, or forced out have learned you cannot reason with an unreasonable toxic person. All anyone can do is walk away, maintain no contact, surround self with strong supportive individuals.However, in this case our country is at stake . Our very own democracy and our constitution is at risk.David Cay addressed many topics here and I'm so appreciative he has as they are all vitally important. Profiteering, Control Fraud, Education, Immigration, The Wall, Climate Change, De - funding, Lack of Jobs, Taxes, Global Affairs , Race , Veterans, Guns, and closing statements.Folks budget cuts to all facets that many need for survival are now underway. Every area of interest is a target and we must get involved as concerned citizens. In order to seek change we need to be the change. We cannot sit by and hope. We must act in a professional , dignified, courteous manner.One thing I know from dealing with toxicity is that you cannot fight fire with fire. But you can outsmart, outrun, and outplay them.Mind over matter . We need transparency. We need checks and balances. We need journalism to keep us informed. We need a government that runs effectively and efficiently.Many are afraid to speak out against the insanity. Many feel they'll be labeled crazy much like I was for speaking out ( with dual degree masters and all honor roll kids) but folks documents don't lie. Keep recording, keep documenting, keep writing and keep records. Eventually that day will come when the masses cannot ignore the obvious need for impeachment. Stockholm syndrome is real. The constant panic attacks, anxiety, tiredness, ptsd, for many who've been in this spot know it's all real. Don't ignore this as we must hold those accountable because as David noted draining the swamp was meant to be lobbyists not civil servants. We cannot plan for the future when we are currently on the defensive. We cannot allow the hatred, the abuse of power, the need for control to overrun our democracy.Please find a way to get actively involved in government and stay involved. Do not ignore it or turn the other cheek as that prolongs the agony and doesn't offer a solution to the problem.Separation and distance to stay focused and not sucked into the tirades is also advisable.David my favorite quote and it's something I've noted in my own relationship with a narcissist is how can others not see through the con man? What I've come to find is people often want to find out on their own and no amount of information can change that until they learn for themselves and must face reality not fantasy. Rainbows and roses will not last forever. The dream like state will end and when that time comes you'll find that "I told you so" is an accurate assessment.Lord help us all and God Bless The USA!I also will note I borrowed this book from a nearby library however, it was so good I plan to make two purchases one for my own library and one for my parents who I feel this will be a great educational tool for them to utilize. I've read many other books on this topic and on DT in general and none were as thorough , as thoughtful, as descriptive, and as accurate as this one . I'd highly recommend this above even the other more recent books that came out ...hint,hint.Thank you for calling fool's gold what it is and for not beating around the bush to be politically correct. We need people to stand up and speak out and call it as it's and I thank you for that as narcissism and narcissistic abuse is pure hell to have to endure.
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  • Kathy James
    January 1, 1970
    A “thinking person’s” FIRE AND FURY. More about what is happening in the country than in the White House. And it’s not good ....
  • Bill and LaDonna
    January 1, 1970
    RoutineAnyone who pays close attention to the national news would have already known most of the information in the book.
  • Sally Sugarman
    January 1, 1970
    The title of this book is appropriate. Although we have been living through the events that Johnston examines, the organization of the book and the details and analysis Johnston provides clarifies a great deal. Each significant topic has its own chapter so that the reader can focus on the particular issue such as taxes, education, global affairs among others. The lies and the promises and the realities are carefully chronicled. What becomes clear is not only do we have a criminal as president of The title of this book is appropriate. Although we have been living through the events that Johnston examines, the organization of the book and the details and analysis Johnston provides clarifies a great deal. Each significant topic has its own chapter so that the reader can focus on the particular issue such as taxes, education, global affairs among others. The lies and the promises and the realities are carefully chronicled. What becomes clear is not only do we have a criminal as president of the United States, but he is a stupid criminal. Among the ideas that emerge from this well written book is that the president’s anti-science and anti-education stance not only has an impact on his stance towards climate change, but also affects his primitive actions in terms of the economy. He plans to pour money into an outdated military. The description of him on an aircraft carrier unable to grasp the idea of digital technology and insisting on steam as the way to propel the planes off the ship is a vivid example of this. He does not seem to understand cyber warfare which the Russians are using most effectively. He understands coal, but not electricity. He is a man of the past, trying to resurrect an economy that is outmoded. What also comes clear is that unregulated capitalism is corrupt beyond belief. The people the president has appointed to his swamp are on a deregulation mission that will cause harm for generations. They are as short sighted as he is. Power and wealth does really seem to make people stupid and cruel if this administration is an example. The chapter on veterans is sad. The book is not a polemic. The author believes in evidence which he presents clearly. As depressing as the facts are, it is important that we face them.
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    Much more interesting than Fire and Fury. This is filled with nuggets, like the style of meetings conducted in the EPA or the Mexico trip lacking coordination with the hosts on an outline or a joint statement at the conclusion.
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