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Book Review: Thanks for the Memories, George 

Thanks For the Memories, George

By Mike Loew

Three Rivers Press

Reading through to the end of Thanks For the Memories, George is not unlike sitting down with friends for breakfast in a seedy diner the morning after a brutal all-night bender on the town. Somewhere deep down, you know exactly what happened, but you need to have it all recounted to you - even the embarrassingly awful parts - just to make sure that it really happened.

Mike Loew, a contributor to the hilariously satirical Onion, uses this look back at the Bush presidency to remind us that the last eight years were really not too far off from a long and especially brutal bender. And now Loew is here to sit us down in that diner and tell us what the hell just happened.

The book might not be what some expect from a writer from The Onion. Yes, the book is funny, but the writing is rooted in fact. When, for example, Loew uses mountains of evidence to illustrate the painfully questionable election procedures that put Bush in office to begin with, the details can be almost nauseating. He also dives into the events that led up to Bush dragging us into Iraq and Afghanistan, information that was probably blocked from your memory by this point. But there are also more lighthearted and humorous passages, including a chapter on Bush's many vacations to the Crawford ranch. When discussing Bush's vacation as Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Loew writes, "After fitting in a guitar lesson and dropping off a birthday cake for John McCain in Arizona while New Orleans went all Mad Max, Bush finally did leave vacation early to deal with Katrina."

In addition to Loew's hard-nosed insights, the book is also plugged full of charts, photos and graphics. One of these is a comparative, side-by-side "Tale of the Tape" of Bush versus Jesus Christ. Here's a sample...Jesus Christ: Raised Lazarus from the dead. George W. Bush: Raised Cheney and Rumsfeld from the Nixon Administration. There's also a list of jobs Bush can consider now that the whole President thing is over. Suggestions include Wal-Mart greeter and alcoholic.

Again, it's never fun to recall those dark, awful nights, but again, sometimes you have to listen, lest you let yourself repeat this behavior. So, if you're still suffering from a Bush administration hangover, this book might serve as some refreshing hair of the dog.

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