03 November 2008


Book touring has not been quite as frantic as for previous books. Time and budgetary constraints have seen to that. It's still tiring though. And I still enjoy it. More pictures of those who have bought my books and had me sign them at events can now be found at my Flickr page if you click here.

Here's a random preview:

Tomorrow is the end of what seems like the world's longest election campaign. I've been complaining about it, but even I can change my mind sometimes. The current issue of The Economist has a column by Lexington that makes a pretty good case for why a long, expensive presidential campaign might be a good thing. I don't think you need to subscribe to the Economist's website to read it by clicking on this sentence. I could have summarized it for you, but I'm lazy this morning.

Speaking of which, here's some random thoughts that have been popping into my head lately:

BAILOUT MONEY - More like takeover dollars. A bunch of banks that are receiving our tax dollars are using them to buy other banks. It's easier to make money that looks good on your books, quicker, that way than by loaning the money out - which is what they were supposed to do with it. There oughta be a law. That's sleazy and will make matters worse in the long run. I was in favor of some sort of bailout. I figured it was necessary. But strangely enough, maybe it should have been regulated.

SMART REPUBLICANS WANT MCCAIN TO LOSE - The next president is going to be fucked. They'll be expected to put the country back together again and fast. But it isn't going to be fast. It is going to take at least a couple of years for the economy to even begin to balance out. Withdrawal from Iraq is likely to be a lot messier than expected. A comprehensive healthcare plan isn't going to get through Congress any time soon. Americans have short memories and expect miracles. The next president is going to get blamed for a whole hell of a lot that isn't really his fault, no matter who he is. If McCain loses and the Democrats take a much bigger majority in Congress, two years from now the Republicans will gain back a whole lot of Congress, four years from now they'll have a better shot at the presidency - and without having to deal with Sarah Palin in a strong position to be their candidate - having been vice-president. My guess is that the savvier Republican strategists are hoping Obama wins this time out.

I've been reading Beijing Coma by Ma Jian. It's extraordinary. He's one of the very best contemporary Chinese writers. Read it.

Thursday I'm hitting the road again. Off to Las Vegas for an event at Cheesecake and Crime in Henderson, then a drive up "America's Loneliest Highway" to Boise for an event at Rediscovered Books, then off to Portland, Salem, Olympia and Seattle before returning home in mid-November. I shall send dispatches from the road. I promise.

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