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The Weed Agency: A Comic Tale of Federal Bureaucracy Without Limits [Kindle Edition]

Jim Geraghty

Kindle-Preis: EUR 7,42 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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"Jim Geraghty is smart, funny, compelling, entertaining…and his book does real damage to liberals if thrown hard enough.” - Governor Bobby Jindal

“A conservative comic romp through the toughest corridors of federal bureaucracy….a fun glimpse into the fake-but-accurate world of bureaucratic infighting.” - Jake Tapper, Author of The Outpost

The Weed Agency brilliantly captures the absurdity of the real Washington. It is, as they say, funny because it's true.” – Jonah Goldberg, Author of The Tyranny of Clichés

"Geraghty captures the hilarious realities of Washington waste brilliantly. And we all need to laugh at Washington to stop from crying." –S.E.Cupp, author of Losing Our Religion and CNN Host

"Jim Geraghty absolutely nails it. You’ll want to believe this book is fiction, but in your heart you know so much of it – too much of it – is all too hilariously real."  - Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Order



The spellbinding mock history of the Department of Agriculture's most secretive and vital agency

The little-known USDA Agency of Invasive Species -- founded by President and humble peanut farmer Jimmy Carter -- would like to reassure you that they rank among the most effective and cost-efficient offices within the sprawling federal bureaucracy.  For decades, under Administrative Director Adam Humphrey and his “strategic disengagement” approach, the Agency has epitomized vigilance against the clear and present danger of noxious weeds. Humphrey’s record of triumphant inertia faces only two obstacles. The first is reality; the second is the loud critic who dares to question the magic behind the Agency’s success: Nicholas Bader. Formerly known as President Reagan’s “bloody right hand,” Bader is on an obsessive quest to trim the fat from the federal budget.

Full of oddball characters who shed light on the daily operations of Beltway minions, THE WEED AGENCY showcases a world in which federal budgets balloon every year, where a career can be built upon the skill of rationalizing astronomical expenses, and where the word ‘accountability’ sends roars of laughter through DC office buildings. That’s life inside the federal Agency of Invasive Species… and it may sound suspiciously similar to your reality.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 4196 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 272 Seiten
  • Verlag: Crown Forum (3. Juni 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
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  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #592.070 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  118 Rezensionen
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Delightful, Hilarious Despair 29. Juni 2014
Von M. Shapiro - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
If P. J. O'Rourke's Parliament of Whores is an introductory course to government waste and inefficiency, Jim Geraghty's Weed Agency is an advanced lesson. O'Rourke comes to the topic as an outsider, exposing with a cynical incredulity the outrageous cost of government and how much it really buys. Geraghty reframes the view to explore waste from the inside and offers us a granular view into the why and how of agency inefficiency and corruption.

Weed Agency explores life and careers inside the fictional US Department of Agriculture Agency of Invasive Species. That name is a mouthful and you might assume it has been made so for comedic effect. But, in fact, it is a shorter and more reasonable name than its real-life counterpart the Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds.

And this sums up Geraghty's approach. Some of the things that seem the most outrageous are actually toned down versions of real life. Geraghty explores life inside a government agency through 30 years marked with political turmoil, the Reagan landslide, Clinton's election, the Republican revolution of the 90's (and the subsequent dismissal), the Bush presidency and 9/11 era politics, the Democrat revolution… The political oceans rocks with the winds of change and the promises of better, smaller government but the weed agency slides smoothly beneath the waves.

What we see is a monstrous organization whose primary objective is its own self-survival. Outsiders are worn down until the will to reform is drained from them, hostile politicians are manipulated to see their own pet projects in the face of the agency, and every job is a lifetime appointment.

When I began the book, I saw Geraghty's presentation of agency rhetoric as a bit corny, a little over the top. But I had the benefit of finishing the book during a hearing over the IRS's lost email fiasco. And there, with a straight face and all earnestness, the IRS commissioner blamed all the agency failings on a lack of funding. The solution to every problem was more funding. The IRS needs to manage Obamacare enforcement? The IRS lost a suspiciously timed set of emails? More funding. The IRS is inappropriately attacking non-profit groups? More funding. Geraghty's presentation of the sly agency director is actually substantially more subtle & less corny than the real life agency rhetoric I saw unfolding in front of me. Geraghty's characters have a sense of self-awareness, cunning, and irony entirely missing from their real-world counterparts.

If I were to fault the book, it would be that I wanted to see more lines drawn between the fiction in front of me and the real-life absurdities. Geraghty makes use of footnotes throughout, but they point mainly to events and small parallels. It would have been fun to see which events and hearings inspired the book.

It's difficult to really like the book because there is no ray of hope shining through. I got the feeling from reading it that this is a huge problem to which no solution can be proposed. By the end of the book, the weed agency had grown to have so much inertia that there was no solution. It couldn't be abolished, couldn't be meaningfully steered, couldn't be held accountable. It just lumbered along, soaking up money and lives, providing just enough benefit to make dismissing an untenable political move.

It is a book of despair. Delightful, hilarious despair.
9 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Decent read, but wanted to like it more 14. Juni 2014
Von Coiler - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
As a conservative and avid reader of Geraghty's columns, I eagerly looked forward to his first fictional book. When I finally read it, I wanted to like it more than I did. First, the book's strengths need to be stated. Much of it is indeed funny, and it's also somewhat even-handed despite its unashamedly conservative bent. The biggest private-sector employer seen in the book isn't a heroic capitalist company standing in contrast to the exhausted government, but rather a typically bizarre internet bubble company that never stood a chance of making a cent. Republicans are seen as frequently duped by the agency and less than wholly committed to limited government.

But, and this is understandable for a first novel, the book stumbles often. Many of the pop-culture and political references fall into the trap of only appealing to a few readers, with the majority either not getting them or not caring that they're there. The agency itself also isn't the best-handled. The director's ability to convince multiple administrations that his weed-fighting program is vital to the fight against communism, global warming, and terrorism is handled less than subtly, and the characters themselves are not exactly the best developed. Geraghty also shoves too much incompetence into the agency-while his footnoted examples of real waste are believable, putting them all into one group is overdoing it, as the point could be made with fewer examples. Finally, some scenes, like the slapstick fight at the end, are just too out of place.

A very rough and imperfect first novel, Geraghty's book is nonetheless still readable.
8 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Wee-eed 4. Juni 2014
Von H. P. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
The Weed Agency, a satire of a federal bureaucracy that grows like, well, weeds, tells the story of an obscure (and fake) federal agency tasks with monitoring, well, weeds and the people that populate it over the course of a few decades. The agency: The Agency of Invasive Species, an agency within the Department of Agriculture. The characters: Jack Wilkins, assistant administrative director, our straight man and cypher. Adam Humphrey, administrative director and bureaucratic in-fighter extraordinaire. Ava Summers, IT pro and wearer of fishnets. Lisa Bloom and Jaime Caro, PR and event coordinators, respectively. Nicholas Bader, Reagan Whitehouse budget hawk turned Congressional representative budget hawk.

The Agency of Invasive Species is charged with combating regular weeds, not the wacky sort (something I didn’t realize until metaphorically opening the book).

Jim Geraghty is a very good conservative political pundit and his book his aimed at that audience. They should love it, but there is something for liberals too. Republicans like Tom Delay and especially Newt Gingrich don’t escape Geraghty’s cutting pen. And the problems of the federal bureaucracy, regulatory capture in particular, are a concern on the left. Geraghty falls victim to the conservative habit of not understanding the merit of the subject of government spending. Invasive species, including weeds, can indeed cause very serious issues. This country, after all, has a great region (and I a yard) damn near choked with a damned dirty weed. It’s not that invasive weeds aren’t a problem. It’s that our leviathan federal government can’t do anything about it. Geraghty well shows why. (And it makes for great imagery.)

The story of an unimportant corner of a very large government over decades threatens to be a dull affair, and unfortunately characters are not Geraghty’s strength. Wilkins is a cypher. A useful one, but a cypher. Lisa and Jamie never amount to much. Humphrey and Bader are good characters but never really pop out of their two-dimensional shell. Ava is the strongest character, perhaps because she solo stars in perhaps the book’s best segment, a break from satirizing the federal government to satirize the bubble, complete with a bizarre Super Bowl ad (albeit one that tells far more about the product than the average ad—sometimes truth is stranger than fiction).

The characters don’t do much to hold back the book. Geraghty may rather obviously be a non-fiction writer first and novelist second, but he knows government and where to aim the skewers. Early clunky prose notwithstanding, by the end of the book Geraghty shows an easy hand at the delayed punch line, delivered dry as toast.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Weed Agency courtesy of NetGalley.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Amateurish homage to Britcom "Yes, Minister" 22. September 2014
Von William C. Swett - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Finally finished reading "The Weed Agency", at 2 am. I give it an "ok", with just a few laugh out loud moments. I really wanted to like this book more, but just couldn't, in spite of giving the final third my best effort by covering it in a single sitting. While the settings were accurate and believable, the characters were all either too over the top or impossible to empathize with. Also, in the course of my read I spent 255 pages of the 260 page book with a nagging feeling that author Jim Geraghty was such a fan of the Britcom "Yes, Minister" that he would name his main bureaucrat character "Humphrey" as an homage. Did he? The answer is "yes"... see page 255. Since "Yes, Minister" ran from 1980-1988, I guess it took a while for this inspiration to percolate into a book. Unfortunately for Geraghty, the wit and wisdom imparted by the British TV series leaves "The Weed Agency" looking like amateurish parallel universe fan fiction by comparison.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen You'll laugh until you cry, and cry until you laugh. 12. Juni 2014
Von J. Fellows - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
A wonderful look at the inner workings of the bureaucracy. It's an American version of Yes, Minister, with Office Space
and House of Cards mixed in.
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