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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
In his bestselling Eat the Rich, smart-mouthed Republican commentator P. J. O'Rourke gave a slap in the face to the American economy. In Parliament of Whores, he took a long, hard look at our government, wagging his finger at its inadequacies. Now fans and foes alike can find out what it's like to live with a self-proclaimed "political nut," in his latest, The CEO of the Sofa.
Readers inclined to the political left, beware. With a sharp supporting cast of characters featuring his assistant, Max; his teenage godson, Nick; his wife, two kids, and their teenage babysitter, O'Rourke is at the top of his game, rambling and ranting on every topic from the United Nations to childcare, from Social Security to India -- all the while attempting not to offend his Democrat neighbors, especially "when they own a snow blower that I'm going to need to borrow." From the living room to the bedroom, the garage to the kitchen, O'Rourke explains why managers should refer to baby books in dealing with everyone from the regional sales director to the president of the United States (" 'You control him,' says Your One-Year-Old, 'by controlling the surroundings and by just not having too many things around that will get him into difficulty...' Interns for one."); and spreads the truth about how Social Security works ("There is no money in the Social Security trust fund, and there never was. Money is a government IOU. Government can't create a trust fund by saving its own IOUs anymore than I could create a trust fund by writing 'I get a chunk of cash when I turn 21' on a piece of paper").
With hallmark acidity, O'Rourke spares no rancor for Hillary Clinton, whom he calls a "she-ape from New York State," analyzing the arguments for why she may or may not be a dunce (Argument Contra Stupidity: "Partner in most prestigious law firm in Arkansas" / Argument Pro: "Examine phrase 'Most prestigious law firm in Arkansas' "); and tearing into her book, It Takes a Village ("Nearly everything about It Takes a Village is objectionable, from the title -- an ancient African proverb which seems to have its origins in the ancient African kingdom of Hallmarkcardia -- to the acknowledgements page where Mrs. Clinton fails to acknowledge that some poor journalism professor named Barbara Feinman did most of the work").
In a section divided into months from September 2000 to August 2001, readers are treated to a look at the humble home life of a political nut -- with glimpses of wine tasting with Chris Buckley, driving lessons with his godson, and his assistant Max's itemized update on current celebrities ("Just Between Max and PJ: [Will] Smith is talented, has a sense of humor, and you would, in fact, even like his music. Do not let this get out or it will ruin his career"). But while The CEO of the Sofa will give even the liberal a belly laugh at times, O'Rourke is not for the faint of heart, advising his readers, "It's important to remember that Democrats aren't just crazy, they're evil." In other words, if you can't take the heat, stay out of P. J. O'Rourke's kitchen. (Elise Vogel)