ABSURDISTAN

I keep trying to decide whether to recommend this book. On the one hand, it’s a dazzling novel, hugely fun to listen to as read by Arte Johnson. On the other hand, to call it earthy would barely begin to raise the red flags. Oh, my. (And not, ‘oh, my, hot,’ oh, my, gross!) But this thing about Halliburton hieing to Dubai tipped me over the edge. Not to spoil the plot, but ‘Gollyburton’ (as Misha, our overweight protagonist, calls it) plays an important role among the Absurdstvanis.

CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY

Rolling Stone pulled together a roundtable to discuss scenarios for Iraq. It’s all worth reading, but in case you don’t have time, let me ruin your day with just a few snippets:

Former Senator Bob Graham: ‘If you’re looking for an analogy, it’s going to be a heightened version of the civil war that ravaged Lebanon for fifteen years.’

Gen. Tony McPeak (retired), Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War: ‘Iran’s influence will have been increased geometrically. We’re already the losers in this, and now we become the big-time losers.’

Michael Scheuer, former chief of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit; author of Imperial Hubris: ‘The neoconservatives and their war in Iraq have made Israeli security worse than at any time since 1967.’

McPeak (again): ‘This is a dark chapter in our history. Whatever else happens, our country’s international standing has been frittered away by people who don’t have the foggiest understanding of how the hell the world works. America has been conducting an experiment for the past six years, trying to validate the proposition that it really doesn’t make any difference who you elect president. Now we know the result of that experiment [laughs]. If a guy is stupid, it makes a big difference.’

Tomorrow (which you can read today): Cash Versus Stocks and George’s Retirement Money

 

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