Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Read memos, not Macdonald

Make of this what you will:
Instead of spending the sixth year of his presidency globe-trotting to solve the mess in Iraq or poring over options memos on how to address middle-class families' economic concerns, Bush seems to have dedicated every waking, nontreadmill moment to one cause: reading books.

Two months ago, Ken Walsh of U.S. News reported that Bush had already read a staggering 60 books in 2006. Quick reads like Albert Camus's The Stranger and three plays by Shakespeare drew most of the scorn, but plenty of weighty doorstoppers made the list as well.

Admittedly, the list itself is suspect. The same U.S. News article suggesting that Bush was on a two-book-a-week pace marveled that "the commander in chief delved into three volumes in August alone."

But if the list is for real, it's evidence of presidential dereliction of duty and perhaps an outright threat to national security. Two books a week is an uphill battle for a graduate student whose responsibilities don't even include showering. For a president, who lives at work, reading and comprehending two serious books a month takes a Herculean effort.
60 books so far this year? George W. Bush?


All governments lie -- at this point I take this for granted -- and yet every so often, I'm stunned afresh at the things they ask us to believe...

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