Next-level GW Bush diss: http://t.co/VXNfA4hWHj pic.twitter.com/0j96nYbAx2
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) December 2, 2014
Now that is how one commits The Review Direct. Christian Lorentzen, at the London Review of Books, on “Dad & Jr.”:
… Reviewers have welcomed 41: A Portrait of My Father like they miss father and son. Or maybe it’s ‘the soft bigotry of low expectations’…‘A helluva good read,’ Douglas Brinkley writes in the Financial Times. ‘Bush Jr’s new memoir doesn’t feel ghostwritten: his low-key Texas swagger permeates every page.’ Actually it gives every indication of being ghostwritten, and there was never much ‘low-key’ about George W. Bush. As with Decision Points (2010), the ghost is Chris Michel, who came by his folksiness via California and Yale, where he was a friend of Bush’s daughter Barbara before joining the White House speechwriting team in 2003 and rising through the ranks during the lame duck years. This time around the intended audience seems to be 11-year-olds of all ages….
The ‘yo, Blair’ voice is gone, but there’s something of the Bush style of saying you’re doing the opposite of what you’re really doing. ‘He never complained. Self-pity is not in George Bush’s DNA,’ we read on the first page. We’re also told that Dad never brags. What follows is a litany of boasts and grievances…
The grievances take in Nixon, for the ‘putrid swamp’ of Watergate; Reagan, for his theatrical upstaging of Bush in a 1980 debate in New Hampshire; Dan Rather, the presenter who pursued a vendetta against both Dad and Jr (and lost his job the second time around); Patrick Buchanan, whose demagoguery in the 1992 primaries distracted the homophobic, sexist and racist elements of the GOP base; Ross Perot, an old friend whose conspiracy theories caused him to turn on Bush and tilted the 1992 election to Clinton; Saddam Hussein; and Nancy Reagan, who never in eight years invited Mother for a proper tour of the White House…
Channeling my inner VDE:
I nominate Shrub to be first against the wall when the revolution comes.
i tried to read Decision Points (it was a Christmas gift) while going through a political memoir phase. that might have been the book that killed my interest in political memoirs. absolutely no insight, just “this is what happened, and this is what we did.”
@KG: When I interviewed for my last job at the beginning of 2011, I met with the principal of gym office, and he mentioned that he was reading Decision Points. I knew then that he would be a bastard, and when I quit a few months ago, I realized that my first impression was righter than I had known.
Maybe shrub is so incompetent because he is so smug. Doesn’t think he has to do anything or try at all. Born 6 inches from home plate and thinks he already won the game.
I have found that first impressions can be wrong. But never when the person struck me as a complete and utter asshole. That’s a hard act to fake.
A few days ago I mentioned a weekend show on NPR that talked about electrification of cities and changes in sleep patterns that resulted.
The show was an episode of “Backstory”. It’s produced by 3 history professors from UVA and the University of Richmond. The full episode was On the Clock.
The segment on electric lights was Friday Night Lights (6:21 audio).
The segment on sleep was ‘Til Morning is Nigh (7:40 audio).
It’s well worth a listen.
Going completely off topic because I hate the Bush family anyway:
big shout out of thanks to WaterGirl, who brought some examples of my craft to her local market, and they have just ordered soap to carry locally in their store. Is she a great virtual friend or what?
Now back to our regular program.
Why was this published (by anyone but Regnery)?
I dread having to go back to work* for the publishing industry. I’d rather drink myself into oblivion.**
*4 months before WarriorGirl was born, I did my last gig with a publisher. While coding educational software can be a blast, working — even as a subcontractor — for the publishing industry sucks puppies.
** really not an option when you’re the primary caregiver for a seven-year-old. And the only person in a household competent at laundry.
Bush remains a four-letter word.
@Suzanne: No, I’d put both Cheney and Scalia ahead of Shrub for that particular honor.
@satby: Excellent! Congratulations! And 3 cheers for WaterGirl!
As it is an Open Thread shall repeat something from below (should anyone care to chime in) which was peripherally related to what was being discussed in that thread.
Just musing on flags in general. What’s the ugliest national flag?
Hard to say, but the one from the short-lived free state of Counani leaps immediately to mind.
@Geoduck: Maybe we could resurrect Raygun just to execute him.
@NotMax: and always will be.
41. How veddy, veddy droll (Not!).
Now imagining J. Q. Adams having penned 2: Being An Account of My Sire.
Without the shrub we wouldn’t have had to endure darth. And without his incompetence darth wouldn’t have been such an influence. So shrub should be first and darth second.
Really doesn’t matter that much as long as between the two of them, they get the first two spots. A shame to have to argue about which is the most vile. But as someone once said the buck stops at the top.
The rains in California is great news with the potential to end the drought out there. But we should not think that it’s all sweetness and light – there is the potential for disaster as well, like an ARkStorm:
The Great Flood of 1862 has more, with some pictures.
@NotMax: The reading level of that book would have been significantly higher than W’s.
@NotMax: During the Bush years I actually taught myself to mutter ‘B***sh’ instead of ‘Sh***t’ when I stubbed my toe, dropped something, broke something or the like, and now I can’t shake the habit.
Per your comment down below, here’s some toothsome movie music (Fellini, not Bergman).
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Christ, I’d forgotten all about “Yo, Blair!” Somebody tell me again about restoring dignity to the Oval Office, and Obama putting his feet on the desk.
That sentence would cause genuine confusion on the set of Morning Joe, and in the Politico lunchroom.
She is fantastic! I’m going to send her an email and tell her so!!!
Our yet to be named adopted cat is a secret ninja. He did a full hour of kitty parkour which included climbing up the living room curtains, trying to hang from the curtain rod and finally doing a back dive in the pike position to the armchair before leaping from table to table to floor to couch and then tearing up the stairs. At that point we just heard incredibly loud running and crashing sounds until he ran back downstairs and got under the covers with my sleeping 11 year old. He is sound asleep finally.
Tree With Water
If black cops in this country had a sense of humor they’d begin executing young white males/thugs.
@Tree With Water: Yeah, because killing people without cause is funny. Ha ha.
What is wrong with you? Seriously.
Thanks for cheering me up. My hometown(s) in Central Valley will all be underwater when the next ArkStorm arrives.
From your Wikipedia link:
“Heavy rainfall began falling in California as the longwave trough moved down over the state, remaining there until the end of January 1862 and causing precipitation everywhere in the state for nearly 40 days.”
It was truly a Biblical flood.
Alright, I think it’s time for me to take a break from this space.
ETA: Before I go though, just wanted to share the video from Jon Stewart tonight on the Daily Show. The show was taped right after the Eric Garner grand jury decision was announced.
Jon Stewart goes off on serious Garner case rant: ‘We’re definitely not living in a post-racial society’
@MomSense: Your unnamed parkour star could be named in honor of one of the first parkour practitioners: David Belle, there’s also Sebastin Foucan, and Daniel Ilabaca… /additional names from Wikipedia
That review is Molly Ivins on Camille Paglia good.
lowkell at BlueVirginia summaries some reactions to the non-indictment in the Eric Garner choking case.
Obama said (in other links):
Obama and Holder, and the rest of the federal government involved in law enforcement, writing the laws, administering justice, and funding these organizations, need to take the breakdown in the “serve and protect” function of law enforcement seriously. This is a dangerous time and we need to finally change course from treating police killings of people as normal, and beat cops treating interactions with the public as if they’re prison guards (as someone here called it so well a while ago). We can’t continue to tolerate this.
Finally, as someone said in the BlueVirginia linky, “Body cameras won’t help if cops aren’t being indicted for strangling a man to death on camera.” This problem isn’t technological, it’s systemic. Cameras can help provide evidence to change the system, but video won’t change it on its own.
Nice. When my son got a colostomy, the nurse told us to give it a nickname, so we could refer to it without grossing anyone out. We looked at each other & both of us said “George”. And so it remains.
Main difference is that the c.bag, while frequently full of sh*t, serves a useful function.
@jl: Glad to help! ;-)
Seriously, knowing the history of the state is important. I don’t expect flooding like that anytime soon, but one shouldn’t ignore the possibility.
There’s a good article at Scientific American on the 1862 flood, but it’s mostly behind a paywall now. The text is here.
Stay safe, and be prepared!
The primetime SNL is on and I didn’t expect to see “Dick In A Box.” Who wouldn’t be cheered up by that?
‘night all. Illegitimi non carborundum.
If you can work this up into a three-page treatment, preferably with some scantily clad female scientists, I think I can get you funding for a SyFy movie by Monday.
I wonder if this has been remarked upon here yet: Officer Tim Loehmann, who shot and killed Tamir Rice, was a police officer in the suburb of Independence. Essentially, Loehmann was let go for poor performance in firearms training.
I got to see a presentation by Dr. Lucy Jones over the summer and she talked about all kinds of potential natural disasters, not just earthquakes. She did discuss the possibility of an ARkStorm and showed images from the last big flood in the Sacramento area.
@lamh36: The Daily Show also ran quite a bit short, based on the extended theme music at the end. I’m guessing John Stewart’s serous monologue replaced some segment that they decided they couldn’t do after the Garner news.
@satby: WaterGirl is a living angel. Don’t tell her I told you.
@Mnemosyne: They also had the “Twin Bed” video. I love that one too.
@MomSense: How about calling him Parkour? You might end up pronouncing it “Parker,” which would sound more like a name. Maybe “Parkie” for short, if it isn’t too precious.
@satby: That’s really excellent! Good for WaterGirl and good for you!
Ahhh. Alec Baldwin and his Schwedde balls.
Some folk wisdom for the Bush dynasty: If you stirr a turd, it only stinks anew.
I bet Jeb is mighty pleases about the timing of DoubleYou’s latest book adventure.
Will see your James Brown and raise you an Eartha Kitt.
All good. And let’s not forget the topless Martha Stewart holiday show. Ana Gasteyer is one of my favorites ever.
One of the articles of faith on the right: every Perot vote was a lost Bush vote.
Over in this world, everyone who, y’know, asked the Perot voters found they were evenly split between Bush and Clinton, and so ultimately did not affect the result of the election.
What I found myself imagining I would rather not describe.
@Thlayli: Exactly. I went door to door in that election and there were a lot of moderates, even liberals that liked Perot. I personally never understood it, but something I saw. Maybe how here in what most people think is “liberal” Illinois we elected a Republican, billionaire, governor last election. It is my experience “soccer moms” (and others of course) like voting for successful business people.
Want to read about the “River of Booze” in Athens?
@Ruckus: Ah yup.
Somewhere between Ann Richard’s “Poor George. He can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.” and Daisy Fay Buchanan’s “You’re so stupid you don’t know you’re alive.”
Out, damned spot.
a friend of mine here (I live in the DC ‘burbs) who retried from the State Dept used to complain to me about having to make travel arrangements for Bush 41’s mistress on official state trips overseas. And then the repubs would brag about how faithful Bush 1 was to his wife compared to Clinton.
Paul in KY
Mrs. Reagan just went up several notches, in my estimation. No way would I have let that evil harradin Barbara Bush into my house. Bet she had secret service watch her anytime she was in, to make sure small valuables didn’t disappear.
Paul in KY
@Suzanne: Only assuming Cheney is in Hell by then.
Paul in KY
@Amir Khalid: also for being extremely weird.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Thanks for linking to that. I”m experimenting (two days now) with moving my laptop and my iphone out of the bedroom around 8:00 pm. Then I watch tv and sew, or read, until bedtime. TV is supposed to be awful for you but its about half the mental/visual noise as reading and rsponding to blogs or checking your email or thinking you’ll just look something up. I had been watching tv, reading the internet, and checking my phone for texts and emails simultaneously for years. I am definitely sleeping better now that I’ve eliminated the computer/internet and I was positively giddy last night as I realized the hour was approaching when I could stop considering myself “in contact” for my online and real world friends.
@Paul in KY:
best comment of the thread…..
All evidence is that the Village does miss father and son. It says a great deal about them.
I assume everyone in a position of wealth or power is fooling around, men and women alike. History suggests it.
Paul in KY
@Woodrowfan: Thank you, sir!
@aimai: :-) Glad to help.
What I enjoyed about the show was that it made me think some more about all the things we take for granted as being “natural” these days really aren’t. Who says that we’re supposed to sleep straight through for 8 hours a night? Where’s the evidence? Maybe waking up in the middle of the night isn’t “unnatural” and maybe there are things we can do that work for us even if they don’t fit into little boxes that we’re all “supposed” to be in…
I, for one, commend Pres. Shrub for releasing his tome just in time for the traditional Festivus Airing of Grievances! Can’t wait to gather the family around the pole and read a couple chapters aloud to them.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: “Backstory” is a great program. My local NPR station buries it on Sunday afternoons, but it deserves a better time slot and following.
Another Holocene Human
@Omnes Omnibus: Dorner did it but I don’t think he was laughing.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Yeah, I would imagine that”
episodes for middle age and up men has been natural since caveman days
Why I don’t need a thermostat with a timer: when I wake up around 4AM in the winter, I turn up the heat in the kitchen/living room before going back to bed. It helps that I have electric baseboard heating and only heat the rooms we’re in.