Fear, Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward’s latest Presidential book, Fear, takes a look at, not only Trump, but life in the current White House and West Wing. 

First off, Trump needs to give big nod to Hurricane Florence. This weather occurrence while horrible for the Carolina’s and people on the east coast, could not have come at a better time for Trump. Only a hurricane could have out “news-ed” this book, and it did.  

This book had a chance to make a “come back” soon after the hurricane, but no we moved on to the Kavanaugh hearings. Knowing the attention span of most people today that was the final chance for Fear. Making the CNN, MSNBC, BBC, Cable News, pick one, talking head list is now impossible.  

That doesn’t make it any less revealing, providing a behind the scenes look at Trump and the White House. That this book comes from a trusted, unimpeachable author, Bob Woodward, makes it a worthwhile read. It would have been fun to watch the political sides try to attack Bob Woodward, an impossible task that even “Fake News” couldn’t handle. 

The opening segment in Fear is as advertised, hellacious, no spoilers here, but does show that Trump never forgets a “wrong” or perceived “slight”. It is very apparent that Trump hates Barak and Michelle Obama. What is described here goes far beyond personal dislike, political dislike in fact any dislike category I am aware of. 

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Dislike aside, the events recounted do indicate that Russia, Vladimir Putin, have enough video material on Trump to compromise. How this fact isn’t front page news is beyond me. Forget collusion, compromise is far worse. Today it is far more important to know much beer Kavanaugh drinks. 

Equally disturbing is Fear documents report after report of Trump taking no interest, or lacking the attention span to read the PDR, President’s Daily Brief report. Try to imagine the President’s Daily Brief, a summarized, daily, report by the NSC from sources FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, etc, all the important agencies, had to be scaled down to one page and even then, Trump won’t read it. Trump, according to Woodward’s sources gets the more information from Fox News and shockingly his memory reach his perception of events.  

For the person that is responsible for the safety of United States citizens, NATO allies support, World Security this is scary. 

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Trump’s lack of understanding in trade has the potential to do real harm to the USA and World economies. He has a lack of understanding between trade deficits, surpluses and the effects of both. In meetings and review, when presented with clear factual charts on white boards, again Trump won’t read the reports, his response to all is “that’s not true”. In the face of his Trade Wars having a lack understanding is dangerous for all. What “deal” are you negotiating for when you don’t understand the system. 

Trump lacks the intelligent ability to see and understand ramifications.

Ramifications, for the benefit of others, ramifications are events that result from a decision made. There is an excerpt from the book on Penicillin. In a Trump meeting on the Trade War with China.  

The exchange begins with Trump not knowing the US does not produce the majority of pharmaceuticals. China provides them among others, Penicillin.  

Paraphrase 

“Well, we’ll buy it from Germany” 

“But Germany buys it from China, they will sell to us with an upcharge making it more expensive for your “base”. 

“Ok, we’ll not buy it from Germany we’ll buy it from someone else” 

“You’re just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic” (this in itself is a great quote) 

Huh??? What a childish and scary exchange. 

The only option for the advisors around him is to, also reported, remove documents before Trump can sign them.  What is not reported is that the “removal of documents from the resolute desk” is a frequent occurrence, not a one-off thing.  

What!!! 

Reading through it is also apparent Trump has a real issue with being liked. It is front and center in a majority of comments and actions, it is a problem. At a basic level you can’t be an effective Manager if you are concerned with being liked. Respected is required to be effective, but liked and respected contain key differences, one is needed one is not. 

Despite the distractions in the media and the world’s attention span deficit, this book should be read. It is an easy read, I used Wikipedia to make sure I knew all the players and sources. Not that it is confusing but I like to put faces to names and positions. The information Woodward provides is unbiased, direct from sources despite denials after the fact and clear in it delivery. 

Read, especially in the US before voting. 

Thanks

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