|Reviews for Patriot Acts|
| thorteso chapter 17 . 3/13/2013
I just read through this story and it was just wonderful. From the mental health issues discussed to the politics involved, it was so well done I may read it again!
I do prefer the second ending, but loved the part with Grampy Jed in the first. Thanks so much for this story!
| Arpad Hrunta chapter 17 . 3/12/2013
I enjoyed this story a lot. For sentimental reasons I like the second ending, but I think the first is more likely in the circumstances.
I've said this elsewhere, but it bears repeating, that both endings, while tragic, involve Josh being a hero. The beginning, where Josh in his despair tries to end his own life is far sadder to me, which makes his recovery that much more enjoyable to read, and his fate far more tragic and heroic than if he had never been in that dark place.
Josh returning home after his release at the beginning was a nice touch, as was Bingo Bob: part-time president, full time jackass.
| Kathryn Merlin chapter 17 . 2/23/2013
Wonderful! I love how in character everyone was. I could totally see everyone reacting the way they did to that unfortunate situation.
| sassie69 chapter 17 . 11/21/2012
I love epilogue version one, the part where Jed says they were patriots, just like your father brings tears to my eyes everytime, however I can understand the attraction of seeing Josh reunited with Donna and their son. I admire the way you link the ending of epilogue 2 to the beginning of the story.
| itskindafuntodotheimpossible chapter 17 . 11/19/2012
I love both endings more than I love cookie dough ice cream (which is a lot). I figured the first one would sort of be like that yet I still got teary eyed, especially during the Jed part. And then the second part with Arnie winning and Mike being the one to bring Josh home and Toby being so hopeful was just amazing. You are an incredible writer and I love all your West Wing fics. Thank you for making exam study procrastination so much better!
| alix33 chapter 17 . 11/19/2012
"And to anyone who shares my dislike of Harold Porter, feel free to imagine the worst happening to him after this is done." - OK, here I am, imagining multiple lethal injection needles breaking off in his arms before one actually doing the job...
"You're gonna have to have Porter and Russell struck by lightening and surviving to be hanged, drawn and quartered before crowds of people throwing rotten produce, as the Voice of God speaks the words 'You bastards! What are you doing to this country?'" I couldn't possibly top that. . . ." - Though being hung, drawn and quartered, with or without the rotten produce being thrown, is their just deserts too, IMO.
"You're gonna have to have Porter and Russell struck by lightening and surviving to be hanged," - "struck by lightning".
"You'll need police protection," one of the men from the New York Times said in her ear. "Whether I'm protected or not will depend on who the police work for, won't it?" she answered. "You'll be safe if the press is with you," he answered. "I can have guys outside your door twenty-four hours a day." "Thank you," she said, and thought how ironic it was that she would turn to the press for protection when she and Josh had lived in fear of them for so long." - This whole bit of dialogue but especially the first two lines creeped me out profoundly, considering what the South African Police Service did to Mzilikazi wa Afrika, a journalist colleague of mine, fairly recently in supposedly democratic and post-apartheid South Africa.
"Josh's mother and Toby both reminded her that a Jewish child wasn't named after a living person," - I did not know that Judaism had a thing like that, so now your fic has taught me something.
"especially as the press became bolder and began to print more stories about the N.S.A. and their surveillance of U.S. citizens, or the C.I.A.'s prisons in Eastern Europe, where terror suspects were held in secret and terrible things were sometimes done." - Yay! for the press rediscovering their backbones.
"When the next election came, Arnold Vinick ran again and won by a landslide. He had campaigned on his plans to withdraw from Qari'stan and dismantle the surveillance programs and the C.I.A. prisons, insisting that the U.S. would be most secure when it was known throughout the world as a truly law-abiding country that could be trusted to act in accord with its own Constitution and with international law. Donna voted for him. Although they never admitted it, so did every one of Josh's old friends, even Leo and the Bartlets." - I would have voted for Arnold Vinick too.
"Noah was a late talker. Some people worried about it, but since he could put together fifty-piece puzzles before he was two, Donna wasn't one of them. He said his first full sentence the same day Donna got a call from Mike Caspar at the F.B.I. She burst into tears, and Noah said, "Don't cry, Mommy; it's all right." It seemed typical Lyman overachievement that his first sentence should be a compound one. He hadn't said anything but single words before that, but she'd always known he was just being stubborn, like his father." - AW!
"I've just realized that this site won't let me include the links. I find that disturbing" - There are ways around that, for example, type each word or phrase and (what I would call) the full name of the punctuation mark following it in the link on a line, the next phrase and punctuation mark on the following, for example: http colon double slash
nytimes dot com.
| alix33 chapter 16 . 11/19/2012
Way to go, Donna!
"The investigation into his death was still ongoing when the Senate Majority Leader brought the Patriot Act to a vote, where it was resoundingly defeated. The next day a measure was introduced in the House to impeach the President. It failed, but later, as more was learned about Josh's death and as the war in Qari'stan grew increasingly unpopular, it was reintroduced and succeeded. To avoid becoming the first American President to be forced from office by impeachment, Bingo Bob Russell resigned." - Yay! for the resounding defeat of the Patriot Act. Bingo Bob got off scot-free, I reckon.
| Veridissima chapter 17 . 11/19/2012
Amazing both epilogues
| alix33 chapter 14 . 11/19/2012
After that phone call from Bingo Bob, I am scared for Josh.
"it looked different, and not in a way he liked. There seemed to be a lot more gold everywhere—on the walls, on the carpet—and a lot of mirrors and shiny crystal lamps and sconces. The Russells had redecorated, of course. It reminded him a bit of some baroque European palace like Versailles, and made him wonder if Bob Russell really saw himself as a kind of king. But if he did, he was an absent king: the chair behind the Presidential desk stood empty." - EW!
"That lovely little blonde who used to work for you—I've heard you had a thing for her; would you like her to know? Not that you'd have a chance with her anyway; she doesn't have a brain in her head, but she knew enough to get out of that job and sleep her way into this one. What, you're surprised? Wouldn't she put out for you? I guess you didn't offer her enough; Will Bailey had to make her Press Secretary, after all. But do you want her to know about you? Or anyone else? Everyone else. Every person you've ever met, every person you ever will meet, to know in exquisite detail just what a crazy fuck-up you really are?" - EW! GR!
| alix33 chapter 13 . 11/19/2012
Gracious good Lord, who put that in Donna's folder?
Porter is that power-hungry, that he would have helped draft legislation like that?
| alix33 chapter 12 . 11/19/2012
"Porter had stepped in smoothly: "You'll have to do without it, Donna. We won't be finished until the wee hours, and I'm sure you like to get your beauty sleep to look your prettiest for the press." Donna had glared at him, Will had cleared his throat, but Porter had settled back in his chair and crossed his hands over his considerable stomach, smiling. Will frowned, but said nothing, and Donna's heart had sunk." - EW! I would have gotten a lawyer specialising in sexual harassment cases on retainer right then, if I were Donna.
| alix33 chapter 11 . 11/19/2012
"Congress hastily passed a War Measures Act, ceding its right to declare war to the White House, increasing the speed with which the F.B.I. and other security agencies could get warrants to conduct surveillance against suspected terrorists, and allowing them to hold suspects for up to four weeks without charge." - Understandable, and yet I hope to God with the current White House that there are at least some better and cooler heads in the Joint Chiefs of Staff who can stop Bingo Bob sending in troops half-cocked.
"The Secretary of Defense was notable by his absence, and stories were beginning to circulate in the pressroom that he was being shut out of discussions about Qari'stan. More rumors were circulating about dissention between the Joint Chiefs." - Oh crap!
Is Bingo Bob on too much medication of some sort? (after the way he looked before shutting the door in Donna's face)
That patriotic press and press secretary rant Bingo Bob and deputy chief of staff went on scared the crap out of me and made me incandescent with rage simultaneously.
| alix33 chapter 10 . 11/19/2012
"She wanted to think that Will was mature enough to see past his differences with Josh and not hold them against him, or her. She wanted to think that about Porter and the President, too. She wasn't at all certain of any of them, but she'd have placed more money on Will to be reasonable about things than she would on either of the other men. And that was a deeply disturbing thought, since one of those men was President of the United States." - Sadly, I doubt any of the three men are that mature.
"he read very little, and took a kind of perverse pride in getting other people to do his reading for him. Donna had never seen him do more than glance at a newspaper; he expected his staff to keep him briefed on whatever they thought he needed to know. He was singularly lacking in curiosity, tended to be dismissive of academics and intellectuals, and was fond of saying that he trusted common sense more than uncommon learning." - EW! Come back, Arnie Vinick, I (and loads of even the US Democrat voters) will even eventually forgive you approving that nuclear power plant that very nearly blew up!
"Donna didn't get home until almost midnight. Josh had been and gone, leaving a note on her kitchen counter: "Leo's had a heart attack. I'm going to G.W., to wait with Annabeth and Mal." A little while later her Blackberry buzzed. The White House had just been informed that former President Bartlet had had another attack of M.S., and was in the hospital, paralyzed, in New Hampshire. For both men it must have been the stress of the last two days, she thought sadly, of watching and not being able to do anything anymore," - AW, poor president Bartlet and Leo.
| alix33 chapter 9 . 11/19/2012
That not working around the clock thing is IMO inconsiderate of the people who voted them in, and that flying around the country thing to avoid being a target is IMO cowardly in the extreme.
Considering Bingo Bob was doing the cowardly in the extreme flying around the country thing, maybe greater and greater numbers of even his supporters do not want to see his cowardly personage ever again anywhere, never mind on TV (or that would have been MY feeling, were I a hapless US Democrat at that time).
LOVE the sparseness of Donna's house. I frequently wish MY studio apartment was a bit sparse and did not have books and magazines on every horizontal surface including the floor.
"Oh Josh," she said, "I'm sorry. I thought you understood." "I understand that you're a beautiful woman on her own in a city full of gomers," he said, trying to make light of it, "being stared at by the entire White House press corps every day." "It's only Helen Thomas you've got to watch out for," Donna said, picking up his tone, even though she still felt stricken. "I've got a thing for her, you know." "Everybody's got a thing for Helen Thomas," Josh said. "The question is, does she have a thing for you?" "You're supposed to pretend that everybody has a thing for me." "Every straight man has a thing for you, and probably every gay woman, but I've always had the impression that Helen prefers men." - Those paragraphs were very funny, and a little sweet and sad, considering.
| alix33 chapter 8 . 11/19/2012
"Now he knew he wanted those things and could even feel that perhaps he had a right to them. That was something else that had taken him by surprise—discovering how deeply he'd allowed himself to feel unentitled to the ordinary pleasures and supports of life. He'd had no idea: in fact, when Sue Thornton first suggested it, he'd laughed at her. Now he knew she'd been right. He wondered, on this Monday morning, if he should have tried to explain all that to Donna that last afternoon, when they'd been talking about why he hadn't tried to make something happen with her during all those years they'd worked together, but he'd exposed himself so much that weekend and was so unsure of what the consequences were going to be that he couldn't have taken it then. Everything he'd said to her had been true, it just hadn't been all of the truth as he understood himself now." - I totally understand why Josh kept some things back.
"She'd called him the night before and said she was going to talk to Will in the morning—today. She thought Will had had time to get over his pique with Josh for the things Josh had said in that last t.v. appearance, and was pleased at the ease with which their education bill had passed the House and the reception it seemed likely to get next month in the Senate. He even seemed pleased with her for catching that ambiguous language that might have held things up, although Deputy Chief of Staff Porter seemed rather less pleased, and had been making more than his usual share of sneering remarks about assistants. Josh burned with indignation when she told him that, but his desire to go and smash Harold Porter into a wall was offset by relief that Donna was going to bring the issue of her relationship with Josh to Will at last." - Stuff Porter and his sneers and if Josh needs nay help with that smashing he wants to do, I hereby volunteer mine, though I am petrified on Donna's behalf over that talk with Will.
"and yelling at the announcer when he mentioned anything particularly inane that Tom Cruise or Jennifer Lopez had done." - My TV is a screen for me to watch DVDs on, since I no longer have South African satellite TV (blame the dimwits on my co-op board) nor can I receive the three state-run TV channels even though I live a block away from the state-run TV's HQ. However, I yell at things the hosts on my favourite talk radio station, Talk Radio 702, say in a very similar manner that Josh yells at that announcer.