Dick Morris is without question one of the most gifted observers of the US scene. He is also one of the laziest.
I no longer pay for his books, having learned that he is the intellectual equivalent of a chef that serves his food in a trash can, but a friend had it, I borrowed it, and with the sense of discomfort that comes from eating out of a trash can, here are a few thoughts.
1) This is another formula book in which 1,000 news items are lined up, darts are thrown, and rhetorical diarrhea comes out. Individually, the items are both well-known to those that read a lot, and very fine for those that do not.
2) This is also a book that puts stuff out in an unbalanced manner, ranting and railing on one thing without noting that we are equally guilty of “the other thing” that is not mentioned. See my chapter notes below.
3) This is an online-source book, the equivalent of a comic book, drawing exclusively from online sources and using so many “ibids” in the notes (not that people who buy such a book would need or both with the notes) as to be irritating.
Here are the chapters with one line comments. I end with an outline of the book I would enjoy helping Dick Morris write–he is capable of it, he just needs structure, disciple, and a bit more seriousness in his life.
1 President Obama: What Would He Do? Extreme left scary story
* Misses the point: NEITHER of the two clowns have a strategy, a policy matrix (Agriculture, Energy, and Water need to be planned together) or a balanced budget to back up their lies.
2 How the Liberal Media Downplays Terrorism. Absolutely correct–Madeline Albright started the deal.
* Ignores the 25 high crimes by Dick Cheney and the 935 documented lies told to the public to falsely connect terrorism to elective war on Iraq
3 Liberal's Secret Plan to Muzzle Talk Radio. Yawn
* Misses corruption of mainstream media, lobbying to close down Internet Radio, and breach between conservatives with a philosophical grounding and brains, and talk radio idiots that give all of us a bad name
4 The Do-Nothing Congress. Tars the Democrats.
* Ignores the reality that both parties are evil, corrupt, and lazy.
5 Foreign Companies, American Pensions, and Iranian Bomb. All true.
* Ignores fact that US sells 5 times more proliferation than Russia, 3 times more than UK, we provided Iraq with bio-chem, and “our” government loves 42 of the 44 dictators.
6 The New Lobbyists (for Foreign Interests). Duh.
* Ignores the vastly more corrosive effect of our own lobbyists.
7 The Du-baing of America. Money talks, but the authors exaggerate in their continuing anti-Clinton angst. Dick Cheney, not Bill Clinton, is the main man here.
8 The Plastic Fleece: Credit Card Company Abuse. Duh. 29.9%
* This is only possible because Congress got bought off and eliminated caps. The Bible calls it usury. Advanta, Citi-Bank, Chase, are all under investigation while smart people pay off the principal and tell them to go fish for the usurious interest.
9 Teachers. Duh. You get what you pay for, but this is much much worse–the extreme right is going for charter and church schools to create little me's, the left is accepting substandard schools, and the smartest kids know that schools are so out of date as to be worthless.
10 Released from Guantanamo, They Kill Again. Please. Try looking at our own prison population, and then be serious about the role of morality in domestic and international standing and efficacy.
11 How Hedge Fund Billionaires Live Off Tax Breaks
*which they paid for because we let them
12 How the Teachers' Union Rips off its Members
* All Unions are a disgrace and rip off their members.
13 Re-Building Luxury Second Homes in Flood Area at Our Expense. Right on.
* Now try to understand and explain why we continue t o legitimize paving over nature
14 The Subprime Loan Crisis: Why the Greedy are Going Free
* Please. We all know the Feds settle white collar crime at a penny on the dollar. This is news?
15 How Halliburton Rips Off the Pentagon
* Please. 9-11 missile allegedly destroyed the computers with the forensic evidence of the 2.3 trillion Rumsfeld could not account for; Dick Cheney ordered to sole source for Halliburton and sent Paul Bremer in to stop a “premature” withdrawal of US forces until Halliburton was done looting
16 Blocking Toys that Poison Children from China. Duh.
* What about fair trade versus free trade, end of Big Box Swindle stores like Wal-Mart, etcetera?
17 How Company Bill Clinton Works for Fleeces the Vulnerable Elderly. More angst, need therapy.
* Reality is that the federal government is ripping everybody off, to the point that Buffet, Bogle, and Soros are actually worried that Wall Street corruption has gone too far
18 From Movie Lights to Lighting Up: How Films Induce Teens to Smoke. So tired its dead.
* What about success of abstinence and safe sex, the actual REDUCTION of teen smoking, the new-found teen appreciation for body building?
Dick Morris is gifted, and he sells his gifts in ways that bring in money from the light weight minds. Here's the book he could write before November:
Part I: Strategy for Restoring the Republic
Part II: How Wall Street and Government Profit from Each of the Ten High-Level Threats to Humanity
Part III: How We the People Can Restore Public Interest Across the Twelve Policy Domains
Part IV: How We the People Can Build and Play the EarthGame and Operate Spaceship Earth Without Government and Corporate Corruption
Learn more at Earth Intelligence Network. Dick, you know where to find me. Try being a grown-up.
Better books on the details:
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq
Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism
The Closing of the American Mind
High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health
Run, Dick, Run! See Dick Go.