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Neil Livingstone worked with Oliver North during the Iran/contra period and is now a beltway security consultant and terrorism pundit who publicly advocated for the war in Iraq and then made money advising companies doing business there. His controversial clients have included the powerful daughter of the dictator of Uzbekistan and he once helped a hired gun representing “a post Soviet entrepreneur indicted on 45 counts by the Feds” broker high-level meetings at the Justice Department. “Think of us as a McKinsey & Company with muscle, a private CIA and Defense Department available to address your most intractable problems and difficult challenges,” he said when his current firm, Executive Action, opened for business.
Livingstone is also mulling over a run for governor in Montana. Current governor Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, cannot seek reelection in 2012 due to term limits.
Last July, Livingstone reserved the domain name livingstoneforgovernor.com. He told my colleague Ted Trautman that he’s “in the early stages” of a potential run because he’s “been approached” by people suggesting it. He said he wouldn’t make any formal decision until after the 2010 mid-term election, but “presumably” he’d be running under the banner of the Republican party.
Livingstone is originally from Montana and says he maintains close ties there. “I feel I can make a difference,” he said, “and if other people feel I can, too, I’d like to give it a try.” His platform is necessarily vague, but he said that Montana had “not prospered in the way that other Rocky Mountain states have” in terms of business development. He mentioned an interest in “helping the state move forward in pragmatic ways,” such as coal mining, energy drilling and tourism.
Should be an interesting race if Livingstone throws his hat in the ring.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”