Now we know: Karl Rove "is the co-president of the United States." (And you thought it was Dick Cheney.) "Karl Rove thinks it, and George W. Bush does it," write James Moore and Wayne Slater in Rove Exposed: How Bush's Brain Fooled America (Wiley; paperback, $12.95), an update of their bestselling Bush's Brain. In the latest attempt to understand the political mastermind who gives liberals the vapors, Moore (a TV news correspondent) and Slater (Austin, Tex., bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News) go through a laundry list of Rove's alleged wrongdoing: that while running a Texas gubernatorial campaign, he may have planted a bug in his own office to cast suspicion on the opposing candidate; that he had a pet FBI agent open investigations of top Democratic officials in Texas at key moments in elections; that he held "dirty trick seminars" on campaign espionage for fellow College Republicans; that he told Robert Novak that Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA. (Oh wait, that was Official A.) Rove, they conclude, is one bad dude: "If Karl Rove were not sitting in his office in the White House, there might have been no war in Iraq; there would be underprivileged children still attending Head Start programs . . . there would be low income families getting health care . . . there would be competitive bidding on contracts to rebuild Iraq instead of delivery of deals to Halliburton . . . there would have been no California recall . . . there would be a complete and honest report from the 9/11 Commission . . . there would be real funding for Homeland Security's First Responders [and] there would even be more people with jobs." And every night, the Tooth Fairy would fill your pillow with gold doubloons.

-- Rachel Hartigan Shea