Re: Next

1

He is going to be bumming around his house in Dallas; Laura purportedly doesn't care for the ranch. [Alternately, she's just securing a place to live after she divorces his sorry ass.]

I don't think he truly gives a damn about anyone else. And he's still under the delusion that he was a good president, but misunderstood. He'll probably take that to his grave.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 01- 7-09 11:45 PM
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Paraguay.

Or hosting an annual Halloween-themed variety show special, like Paul Lynde.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 7-09 11:46 PM
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Drink himself to death.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 01- 7-09 11:48 PM
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Doesn't he aspire to be the next Commisioner of the NFL (that might be Condi) or MLB, or some shit?

Emerson's got a nice agriculture plan involving hogs, failing that.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 7-09 11:52 PM
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I could see him trying to fuck up baseball, or getting a TV show.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 7-09 11:53 PM
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trying to fuck up baseball

By not eliminating the Red Sox and Yankees? I could see that. He's a dickhead's dickhead.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 7-09 11:56 PM
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getting a TV show

Premise?

And seriously, he'll be like Nixon: he'll lie low for awhile, giving the occasional $500k/pop speech. And then, once the Broders of the world have decided that they really miss him, he'll head up some international initiative to do something innocuous. In which capacity, he'll probably accidentally kill a few hundred thousand people.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 01- 7-09 11:57 PM
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6: the yankees are going to bankrupt themselves soon enough and the red sox are the very face of god on earth, so that's sort of irrelevant.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 12:00 AM
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What could he possibly do to salvage his reputation?

Seppuku.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 12:00 AM
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The disquieting answer, of course, is that he could work to get an even shittier republican elected in his lifetime, so people remember him fondly by comparison.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 12:01 AM
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10 - Worked for his dad!


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 12:02 AM
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11: and if only Nixon had lived a few more years he could have been there, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 12:04 AM
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10: No, the really disquieting answer is that approximately half the country will remember him fondly soon enough. Or if not soon enough (whenever that is), shortly after he dies. Still more disquieting than that? 3 in 10 people think he's just ducky right fucking now. Must. Kill. Self.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 12:04 AM
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Belatedly start learning about Iraq in the unfulfilled hope that he'll eventually be at least as popular there as Clinton and Albright are among non-Serbs in the Balkans. In Bush's own head, he staked his presidency on bringing democracy! whiskey! sexy! to Iraq, and he will inflict himself on the Iraqis until they fake gratitude to his satisfaction.


Posted by: PGofHSM (better? worse?) | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 12:06 AM
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Marine preservation isn't going to cut it.

Though it's fitting to think of him as the Aquaman of U.S. Presidents.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 12:10 AM
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Look at the quote near the top!!!!


Posted by: Aquaman | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 12:16 AM
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I think of him as the Choda Boy of US presidents.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 12:17 AM
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His daddy's rich friends will buy him a company for him to be the Decider of. He will be a non-voting shareholder with a token post on the board, who sits in his office all day and drinks.

After early-onset Alzheimers (alcoholism is reckoned to be a contributory factor) sets in, he will believe he is still the President, and will be upset when he no longer has Secret Service agents guarding him.

He will choke to death on his own vomit some time in the 2020s, and receive a magnificent state funeral. Assuming that the Republicans are still a viable party then, all sorts of them will say how he was the best President since Lincoln.

Since the Secret Service will continue to defend him till 2019, none of this should be taken as so much as a wish that he will come to any harm.

...but I have a tiny wish that he ends his days in a cell at the Hague trying to convince the judge that he's mentally unfit to stand trial.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:11 AM
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If When things start getting really bad, GWB wil be Hoover II, despised for a century. By. Everyone. Of. Both. Parties. His disgrace has barely begun.

I can't help but wondering where in Dallas Bush will be living, probably Highland Park, near SMU. I don't travel around that area.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:15 AM
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will be upset when he no longer has Secret Service agents guarding him

Huh, I hadn't realized they changed that law. Early-onset alzheimers? Could be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:19 AM
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I don't travel around that area.

You guys probably wouldn't have all that much to talk about anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:22 AM
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I can't help saying it, I don't want to hurt him or stalk him, but I don't know if I'll be able to resist driving by his house or gated community, thinking Bush is over there, a few hundred yards away.

I have seen planes flying overhead, the flight path is unusual and something the SS might do, and wondered if he was aboard.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:22 AM
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I rebooted to look up a movie, and I see four rockets have been launched from Lebanon.

Cheers.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:27 AM
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That movie sucks.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:28 AM
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21: Actually, I would pay far, far more to see McManus/Bush than I would to see Frost/Nixon.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:30 AM
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Not that I wish the Tyne I'll will but he should suffer such a horrible fate so his mother can learn to control her children


Posted by: Thomas jefferson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:46 AM
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Not that I wish the Tyne I'll will but he should suffer such a horrible fate so his mother can learn to control her children


Posted by: Thomas jefferson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:46 AM
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Paxman/Bush would be worth a watch.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 4:07 AM
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"Congress changed the law in the 1990s so that any president elected after Jan. 1, 1997, and his or her spouse will receive the federal protection for only 10 years." cite

There should be a comma after spouse. According to this, Bush intends to spend at least the first 4 years of his retirement fundraising for a planned $300 million "structure" at Southern Methodist University, to be named after him, which will include a library, museum and policy institute. Once he's raised enough in private funds to pay for the construction, the National Archives and Records Administration will take over the operation of the library and museum at federal expense. It's supposed to be finished by 2013.

At least that's when Bush probably plans to spread a "Mission Accomplished" banner over the building site, declare that "major contruction is finished", and go back to the office space acquired for him by the General Services Administration, which, under the Former Presidents Act, will pay for the office suite and staff to assist him for the rest of his life.

Nice.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 4:34 AM
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The only spiteful thing I really wish toward Bush is that he doesn't get to be MLB commissioner, which is what I understand he really wants. Other than that, as long as he's doing something I don't need to pay attention to, I don't give a damn.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 5:37 AM
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19: Preston Hollow, apparently.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/1204082bush1.html


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 5:57 AM
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Actually, I would pay far, far more to see McManus/Bush than I would to see Frost/Nixon.

If I woke up one morning and discovered I was George Soros, I would fucking pay to make McManus/Bush: I see Depp as ThompsonMcManus and probably Gibson as Bush, since he's the only box office star who's personally vile enough to get into the character. Bob could write his own lines.

There would be sub plot featuring various Tx Unfoggedarians as themselves trying to have a meet up in the same hotel, but Bush steals all their whiskey.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 6:13 AM
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I'm hoping Bush will spend most of his time decorating his cell in The Hague.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 6:21 AM
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re: 30

I genuinely hope he ends up in the dock at the Hague. But it won't happen. Blair, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 6:22 AM
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And yet, he has a terrible legacy and I can see him wanting to find a way to rehabilitate it...Marine preservation isn't going to cut it.

Given he got several hundred of them killed for no good reason, no, it probably won't.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 6:32 AM
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I fervently hope he becomes such a bizarre self-parody, a la 70's Elvis, that no one can think of his previous reincarnation without a footnote and headshake.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 6:39 AM
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The US isn't a monarchy? Then how come you have King George?


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:03 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:04 AM
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Dammit. I was responding to a comment that isn't there any more. Now it looks as if I'm commenting at random, senselessly, without referent to any earlier comment.

*le sigh*


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:04 AM
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What could he possibly do to salvage his reputation?

Write a guilty, confessional, weepy memoir. or just get Errol Morris to make a movie about him.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:05 AM
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Here's one thing I bet he doesn't do: attend church. The whole "I'm a humble sinner redeemed by the blood of the lamb" charade will finally have outlived its usefulness.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:05 AM
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My first instinct is that he'd be like his dad, just bumming around his ranch living the rich life

Not that I pay close attention to this, but I had the vague notion that George H.W. had been involved in a fair number of quasi-charitable activities, partnering with Clinton etc. Didn't they do something overseas, or maybe Katrina relief? Or am I hallucinating?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:06 AM
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37: I thought Emerson was the king of the trolls, not some guy named George.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:06 AM
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Unfogged is infected with a persistent but not life-threatening fungus. Do not be alarmed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:07 AM
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The deleted comment was right, though. Congress should hang, too.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:09 AM
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36: Seventies Elvis had a non-humiliating prior incarnation to contrast with.

My guess: he'll retire to manage the Texas Rangers and bring previously untold strife and disgrace to the world of baseball. A disaffected Texan fan will shoot him and get off on the "he needed killin'" defence, thereby indirectly leading to a liberalization of Texan legal standards.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:09 AM
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42: HW and Bill worked together on Asian tsunami relief.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:10 AM
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Contra Becks, I think GWB could non-hypocritically become an advocate for immigration reform. But I don't think he will, because there's nothing in it for him, and it would detract from his reputation among the 20% of crazies who still admire him.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:10 AM
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41: But George W. already doesn't attend church. How will not going to church when he retires be any different for him?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:12 AM
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49 was me, once.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:13 AM
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45: And it's precisely that congressional complicity in Bush's many crimes - to say nothing of presidential reluctance to see fellow presidents prosecuted for war crimes - that's going to ensure that no one does anything to seriously investigate them. Remember, for instance, the House and Senate leaders who were notified of torture back around 2002, and did nothing.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:15 AM
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49: I thought he went to church a couple times; the knock was that he didn't attend church regularly.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:16 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:22 AM
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"What kind of ex-president do you think Bush will be? "

Mostly drunk.


Posted by: ed | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:27 AM
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Bush 1 helped Clinton with tsunami relief and post-Katrina fundraising but they were more like one-off events. It's not like he was passionate about either and followed through. GWB will do the same thing - make some PSAs if asked but only because that's your duty as an ex-president, not because he gives a shit.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:32 AM
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We can all agree that while George Bush, Jr. has been a horrible president, it's open to debate whether or not he was the worst. But he'll definitely be the worst Former President ever. Definitely.


Posted by: ed | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:33 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:37 AM
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it's open to debate whether or not he was the worst.

Not really.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:38 AM
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Nixon:Hunter S. Thompson::Bush:Who?

Maybe Thompson was inextricably a product of his times. Those must have been some weird years. Or maybe Thompson and/or Nixon were simply unique.

I hope not, though, because I want Bush to get the same treatment in writing as Nixon got from Thompson. The problem is, it doesn't seem like there's anyone out there doing it. There are plenty of critics, of course, but nothing from Jon Stewart's sardonic exasperation to Glenn Greenwald's exhaustive indignation is quite the same as this.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:40 AM
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59. Too late. Thompson was going after Nixon while he was still president. What would be the point now?

(I've seen people suggest that Taibbi was Bush's Thompson, but that is to compare a very large jack hammer to a gloved fist.)


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:46 AM
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Mr. Fungus, the issue is you. Whether we agree with you or not on a given topic is no longer a factor. We have the same warm feeling for you that you have for us.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 7:46 AM
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You Surface people. Always so excited.

Fungus

("Not to reason why... not ask questions... just keep bogling away".)


Posted by: Fungus the Bogeyman | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:05 AM
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60: Yeah, exactly. Like I said, that's the problem.

61: What was the offending comment, anyway? I mean, if it was deleted I guess there's no point asking, but I'm just confused here.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:06 AM
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it's open to debate whether or not he was the worst.

Last time the Big-Shot Historians publicly debated the ranking, Hoover and Buchanan were the arguable Worst Presidents Ever. Now that we're teetering on Depression II, Bush has fairly clearly edged up to Hoover. I don't know exactly the extent of Buchanan's perfidy, but damn, I would say Bush has done an extraordinary job making his case.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:15 AM
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The comment wasn't offending. Mr. Fungus just said that Democrats in Congress should be prosecuted along with Bush. I can accept that, and I suspect that many others here can, but Mr. Fungus thinks that, since we're all Jews here, we all love Dianne Feinstein, and Fungus's intent was to annoy us by insulting our Zionist slavemaster.

By now, Fungus can annoy us just by breathing air and occupying space, so we automatically delete his very recognizable comments without regard for content.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:22 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:22 AM
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63: The guy whose comments we've been deleting is nuts; abusive, obscene, and racist, and he changes his IP all the time so we can't ban it. We're deleting his comments, and asking that people keep discussion of the topic to a minimum -- if something about it bothers you, please email and ask.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:23 AM
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66: Honestly? If that's what it takes, please don't comment here anymore.

Thanks!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:24 AM
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President James Buchanan (1857-1861): presided over the descent of the US into the Civil War.

President Herbert Hoover (1929-1933): presided over the descent of the US into the Great Depression.

President George W. Bush: presided over the descent of the US military into Bagram Airbase, Guantanamo Bay, and Abu Ghraib: also over the descent of the US into the second Great Depression.

Looks like Bush is as bad as the two of them put together...


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:25 AM
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I think that "worst President" requires a.) a major problem and b.) the problem being blamable on the President. Harding and Grant ran corrupt administrations, but there were no massive consequences. The Depression was a major disaster, but Hoover wasn't primarily responsible for it.

In my opinion Bush's only competition comes from Pierce and Buchanan, the inept pre-Civil War Presidents. And even they were dealing with a long-term intractable situation, whereas Bush made a lot of gratuitous, unforced errors in dealing with a formerly good economy and a medium-sized military problem.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:31 AM
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Besides all being Jews here, we're all Nazis. I forgot to mention that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:33 AM
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Hoover was blinded by an outdated ideology. If he had never been president, he'd be remembered as an American hero.

Pierce had extenuating circumstances, so I'm inclined to cut him a little bit of slack.

http://edgeofthewest.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/train-wreck/

It really is down to Bush and Buchanan. Buchanan has the edge for now, but Bush still has almost two weeks left.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:34 AM
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Speak for yourself -- I'm apparently Catholic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:34 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:37 AM
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73: no reason you can't be all three.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:39 AM
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Catholic Jew Nazis are the worst, LB. We you like you personally, though. We don't think of you the same way we think of the other Catholic Jew Nazis.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:39 AM
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I understand, per 70, the tendency to rank worst presidents by their failure to adequately respond to major catastrophes. But ranking them by active crimes against humanity and the Constitution, Bush might better be compared with Andrew Jackson. Probably worse there too.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:40 AM
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Buchanan was faced with some genuinely difficult choices. What exactly would you have had him do differently?

(Good lord, someone's going to write those same sentences about Bush a hundred years from now, aren't they?)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:41 AM
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77: Jackson was my thought, too. I think he's got Bush beat.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:42 AM
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77: Alas, failure is also required. On his own terms, Jackson succeeded.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:43 AM
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Bush 41 was 68 when he left office -- it's never bothered me that he hasn't become a high-proile peace envoy a la Jimmy Carter. He had a long enough career in the public sector starting with WWII. 41 has been fairly active in Save The Children and various regional charities, so it hasn't all been skydiving and fishing for him. He's done the big-bucks speaking gigs, but hasn't been writing for cash/influence a la Carter and the Clintons.

Forget Frost/Nixon - McManus/Emerson would be a show.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:43 AM
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78: Not ignore all the difficult choices?

Buchanan didn't do anything, so it's hard to say what "other" paths he could have gone down.

77: And Bush managed to do it without actually being a white supremacist, which is amazing. That free-market ideology is powerful stuff.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:43 AM
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80: Really? Incompetence outweighs evil?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:43 AM
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I think 74 should be left up because it made me laugh out loud. The threat to subpoena the web servers! Comedy gold.

Brock Lander's comment (the new 74 now the old 74 has been deleted) is also quite funny, and lacks the racism which tarnishes the otherwise fine humour.



Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:45 AM
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78: Not ignore all the difficult choices?

This strikes me as preferable to making the wrong choice at every turn, which is Bush's specialty.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:45 AM
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I've never been sure whether Peirce and Buchanan could have done better than they did. As I understand, though, what little they did was usually wrong.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:45 AM
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Canadian Catholic Jew Nazis are the worst of all, IYKWIMAITYD.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:47 AM
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83. Yes. Evil and competent gets you labelled as "The Great" in popular history (Alexander, Peter Romanov, etc.)


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:48 AM
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78: I think there are probably worse things that Buchanan could have done, but he was both incompetent and immoral, which does make him most resemble George W. Bush.

I'm not clear why anyone would think Buchanan was worse than Bush, though. Buchanan's sins seem to have been more omission than commission. Bush did actively evil things, and did them very badly.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:48 AM
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If I woke up one morning and discovered I was George Soros, I would fucking pay to make McManus/Bush

Forget Frost/Nixon - McManus/Emerson would be a show

some people have the weirdest tastes in slash fiction.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:50 AM
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88: True.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:54 AM
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I may be wrong, but I think that McManus and I would get along if we met personally.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:54 AM
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ToS, if what you want is a direct request not to comment here, then consider this it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:55 AM
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I think a lot of the "worst president ever" talk accepts too much of a false Great Man view of history. Bush didn't cause the housing bubble and subsequent collapse by himself; hell, he was largely incidental to it. The seeds for the Second Great Depression, if that's what it is, were planted back in the mid-to-late nineties (at the very least), by the likes of Larry Summers, Bob Rubin, Phil Graham, Alan Greenspan, etc., who were largely acting in the predictable interests of Wall Street at the time. Given the vast numbers of professional economists in both parties who appeared to be blindsided by this slow-motion trainwreck, I'm unconvinced that economic collapse wasn't coming, Bush or no Bush.

Iraq you can put on Bush, but bodycount-wise, that still doesn't put him anywhere near Nixon and Johnson, or even (I think) Woodrow Wilson, a man who's seriously underrated among shitty presidents. His policies on climate change, though, stalled serious action on global warming for at least eight years, which could arguably make him not only the worst president ever, but the worst human being, at least from a consequentialist standpoint.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:56 AM
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Of course, we focus on Hoover partly because that was a moment of political transition - in the depressions in the 1890's etc., "everyone" knew it wasn't the government's role to do anything to help people (except maybe via tariffs), so we don't vilify, say, Cleveland.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:58 AM
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i think ToS is doing some progress, he's trying to make a conversation and said even bye
let's see how he keeps his word, i mean the power of his willpower
i don't know what he said before that, maybe it was something especially abusive if LB responded to him


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:59 AM
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94: I don't think anyone here blames Bush for the housing collapse. There are different ways to think of the "worst president": you could mean the verdict of historians or you could mean popular memories. Most of this discussion seems centered on the first use, but when Emerson said "I think that "worst President" requires a.) a major problem and b.) the problem being blamable on the President", he was talking more about popular opinion. And I think he's probably right about that.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:03 AM
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94: Yes, and the great man theory connects to the cockamamie "election of a president constitutes mandate from the masses" plebiscitarian theory unique (in America) to the 20th century, which I suspect was the forerunner to modern unitary executive theories.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:04 AM
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about Bush, i don't have any warm or especially otherwise feelings for him
and think one way or the other Iraqis would have been suffering, Bush occupation or Saddam Hussein, not much difference maybe


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:04 AM
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one way or the other Iraqis would have been suffering, Bush occupation or Saddam Hussein, not much difference maybe

According to the Lancet study, quite a difference, actually.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:09 AM
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Frank Rich did a good piece on W. this weekend. Best line: "He's the reckless Yalie Tom Buchanan, not Gatsby. He is smaller than life."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:09 AM
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Specifically on W.'s legacy, that is.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:09 AM
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103

I don't think anyone here blames Bush for the housing collapse.

Wait, why on earth shouldn't we? Yes, the policies that made the housing bubble were enacted during the 90s, but the bubble was visible early in Bush's presidency and became absolutely nuts over the course of it; far from addressing it, Bush's team preferred to cut taxes, push consumption, and wrack up a crippling deficit in the interest of war and upper-class profits. I mean, Bush didn't personally build New Orleans's levees, but we still blame him for Katrina's devastating impact.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:15 AM
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Just remember, Tom and Daisy always win. And Gatzes end up laid out on a slab and then shipped back to North Dakota. And aren't we all, in the end, Gatzes? -- except for Tom and Daisy, I mean?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:15 AM
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i meant if he's blamed for the war specifically,
the war would have happened even if the president was another person, Clinton and ogged! voted for the war
the recession would have happened without him too maybe, well, what i do know about all that though
just being the most powerful man on the Earth in his terms he could have done a bit more good maybe, but maybe it all does not depend on someone alone however powerful the person is


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:17 AM
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This is the hysterical "legacy booklet" the White House created. It'll make a handy list of charges at the Hague.

Has such a thing ever been done by a president before?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:17 AM
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According to the Lancet study, quite a difference, actually.

Also according to the ORB survey, which independently confirmed both the Lancet studies.

I found it bitter and ironic, like salt but not in a good way, that Hilzoy had to use meiosis ("hundreds of thousands") to avoid being accused of politicising the anniversary thread of a friend's death.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:21 AM
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This is more Great Man shit, but the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board is in some ways more powerful than the President.

Presidents are usually named as a metonymy or whatever for the administrations they headed, and in my opinion quite rightly so. As far as I can tell, Bush and Rove and Cheney and Rumsfeld (and their staffs) ran the whole show, and I call them collectively "Bush". Congress went along, but couldn't have initiated anything. Their might be shadowy individuals behind them, but they worked through "Bush", and I call them "Bush" too.

"Bush" and "Jackson" did make initiatives that wouldn't have been made without them.

The Great Man theory was the kind of idea that Napoleon or Caesar embodied the Spirit of the Age and was responsible for everything good that happened during their era.

I still prefer agency theories, however complex, to objective forces theories, blind chance theories, and occult influences theories. Probably a composite theory would be best, if not very satisfyingly reductive.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:25 AM
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106: I don't find that hysterical at all.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:25 AM
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77: Alas, failure is also required. On his own terms, Jackson succeeded.

If Bush had been in Jackson's position, we'd all be speaking Cherokee right now.

77 is pretty good, tho. But Buchanan was actively bad - as a small example, in his waning days in office, he ordered munitions relocated from the North to the South (and note that he was a Pennsylvanian - no excuse of regional attachment, just pure assholery).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:27 AM
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77 makes a good point. - response to a crisis (or opportunity, e.g. Louisiana Purchase) seems to be the usual measure of presidential success or failure, probably because values change over time. Pre-Civil War times were pretty rough-and-tumble. Human slavery wasn't moral. Displacing/wiping out the Native Americans, ditto. Women's rights nonexistent. And there were "radicals" who were pointing out these problems at the time. But that was the state of the country from Washington through Lincoln (and beyond). Letting the country slide into a war that cost 600,000 lives (which Buchanan has gotten tagged with - fairly or unfairly), looks bad on a presidential resume. He certainly seemed to have been at the mercy of events. Even there, the huge question is whether ultimately there was any other way to eliminate slavery and at what cost.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:28 AM
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Bush didn't cause the housing bubble and subsequent collapse by himself; hell, he was largely incidental to it.

I don't think anyone here blames Bush for the housing collapse.

JM's 103 is good, but I want to add that he was more directly culpable as well, gutting the SEC and appoint a malefactor to lead it; certainly a case like Madoff* shows Bushian incompetence at its finest:

"Officer, that man is a murderer!"
[searches] "Well, no knife on him"
"What about that gun?"
[searches further] "No poison, either. You're free to go, sir."

IIR is right to point the finger at Rubin/Summers as stacking the firewood, but Bush is the one who fiddled while it burned (to complete the analogy, Greenspan doused the pile with gasoline, and Wall Streeters struck the match).

* Not housing, obvs., but illustrative


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:35 AM
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What makes Bush the worst President, worse then Buchanan, is the degree to which he had a good time fuckig over everything. Giggling or grinning, this is not a man I picture really despondent ot dejected.

Not just a lack of empathy, the man is an actual sadist.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:36 AM
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I find the booklet in 106 pretty damn hilarious. It's so shriekingly desperate. "100 THINGS AMERICANS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION RECORD" is just an outline of the rest of the book in even-more simplistic terms with bullet points. Oh, so Bush kept America safe? I did not know that! Thank you, Bush!

That's what I find so absurd about the Bush Administration. Unlike Nixon, who left office knowing everyone hated him and only trying to defend himself where he thought he could maybe score a point or make a little money, Bush's whole administration seems obsessed with this idea that they worked rilly rilly hard, OK, and times are tough and they were dealt a bad hand, and shit happens, OK, but they were so so diligent. To be fair, I'm sure Bush has never worked so many days in a year in his life. It's just a rather pathetic standard.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:38 AM
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Hey, since we're talking Presidential history - yesterday someone (I think elsewhere) made reference to Aaron Burr as a proto-feminist (I think anti-racist as well). Is there any evidence for this? All I know about Burr is that he shot Hamilton and then tried to set up his own empire in Mexico/Louisiana.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:39 AM
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Anyone who shoots Hamilton is a hero to me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:39 AM
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As usual, I'm asking myself whether financial trends 1992-2008 were the result of knee-jerk ideology exacerbated by massive short term profit-taking (looting), or whether there's a master plan which is going about as expected. Some people do well during depressions. A bigger share of a smaller pie gives you more power, and when the pie grows higher, you'll be better off yet.

I have no information or analysis. I'm just treating this stuff as a black box, and watching it work from the outside.

Caveat: I believe that some conspiracy theories are true, and am not friendly to knee-jerk incompetence theories.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:42 AM
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Burr also tried to conquer Quebec.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:43 AM
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115: Take it up with the commenters at EotAW. This blog is for cock jokes.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:43 AM
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There is a difference between the "great man" view of history and the weaker "horrible person" view. I don't believe that a single great individual can build great things, but I do think a single horrible person can wreck great things.

I'm tired of comparing Bush to previous bad presidents. I want to compare him to previous bad leaders in all of history, people like the Dowager Empress Cixi or Nero.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:44 AM
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115: This book (which you can search inside) seems to be the one making the argument. For one thing, he praised the Vindication of the Rights of Woman.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:44 AM
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113: Yeah, the buffoonery, deliberate meanness, and absolute lack of dignity or class. If an African leader did some of those things (e.g. goosing Merkel) he would be regarded as having disgraced his nation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:46 AM
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Anyone who shoots Hamilton is a hero to me.

I highly recommend Chernow's biography of Hamilton.

Hamilton generated an incredible amount of work. Simply amazing. Much of it at a tremendously high level.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:48 AM
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It's so shriekingly desperate. "100 THINGS AMERICANS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION RECORD" is just an outline of the rest of the book in even-more simplistic terms with bullet points. Oh, so Bush kept America safe? I did not know that! Thank you, Bush!

Not to mention the fact that the "Keeping America Safe" section features pictures of Bush standing at Ground Zero. Desperate is right.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:55 AM
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94: Bush was an undeniable part of the equation in making the housing bubble and consequent economic crisis as severe as they were/are. The bubble was a clear attempt to keep consumer spending high in a situation where massive war spending was being undertaken without any rise in taxes, indeed while cutting taxes to the rich. It's one of the many, many unforced errors Emerson alludes to.

The Bush era can also, arguably, be credited with taking mendacity, maleficence and incompetence in government to a whole other level. Simultaneously degrading American military capability while politicizing the American officer corps even further and spending obscene amounts of money on mercenaries (since employed on domestic soil to basically deleterious effect, cf. Hurricane Katrina) is just one of countless example. The Bush White House has pretty much full-spectrum dominance in this regard as far as I can tell.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:57 AM
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"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." - GWB
Washington DC, 12 May, 2008


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:59 AM
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125: I'd like to thank the black Canadian Catholic Jew Nazi for agreeing with me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:00 AM
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126: context? I'm confused.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:01 AM
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126: context? I'm confused.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:01 AM
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126: context? I'm confused.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:01 AM
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115: I read the Vidal novel when I was in high school, and remember nothing at all about it. I read Myra Breckinridge, too, and remember precisely one thing about it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:02 AM
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Anyone who shoots Hamilton is a hero to me.

Why? What exactly did Hamilton do to merit such a fate, and why was it an act of heroism to shoot him?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:03 AM
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Torture, habeas corpus, and illegal surveillance. Yes, I know that his predecessors were no great shakes on some of these either, but they didn't pursue them as doggedly or with such apparent glee.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:03 AM
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133 to 132?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:07 AM
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The only spiteful thing I really wish toward Bush is that he doesn't get to be MLB commissioner

It's trivial, weighed against W's genuine evils, but his former colleagues should not let him anywhere near the commissioner's office. If it actually comes to a vote, I hope they remember that he was alone among team owners in opposing the wild-card system. Red Sox fans especially should despise him for that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:08 AM
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132-133: Torture, habeas corpus, and illegal surveillance.

Hamilton did all that? Why is he on the $10 bill?

(on preview, pwned by Brock)


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:12 AM
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What about ruining reconstruction. Talk about wasted opportunity.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:14 AM
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Perhaps my favorite part of Hamilton's biography was how he published a lengthy pamphlet to answer relatively unsupported allegations that he speculated with government money.

I think the pamphlet was approximately 100 pages of detailed information about his affair to explain his actions during the time.

Essentially, "No I wasnt speculating with government money! I was very busy banging a woman who was not my wife!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:19 AM
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138: I have held in my hands and read a first printing of that very pamphlet!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:20 AM
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While we are hating on Bush, here is the latest installment in The Onion's series where random painful and humilitating things happen to our Dear Leader. This time "Single-Engine Cessna Crashes Into Bush"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:22 AM
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139:

NO!! How can you not love Hamilton after that pamphlet?!?!?!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:24 AM
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127: We're a small but vocal section of the Canadian electorate.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:25 AM
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Hamilton did all that? Why is he on the $10 bill?

Geez, not Alexander Hamilton, people. Hamilton Lovecraft, history's greatest monster.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:26 AM
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139 is awesome. But I can't agree with

Anyone who shoots Hamilton is a hero to me.

I understand the liberal objections to Hamilton, and I think the best you can say for him, as a whole, is that he's a complicated/ambiguous figure. But the more I've learned about his enemies - specifically Jefferson - the more I respect Hamilton. The bottom line for me is that his opponents were, for the most part, slaveholders worried that Hamilton's innovations would threaten their system. Complaints about the financial system he put in place sound to my ears suspiciously like DFHs wondering why we need money, when we could just share or, if absolutely necessary, barter.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:27 AM
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There was every reason to believe I was heading for trouble, that I'd pushed my luck a bit far. I'd abused every rule America lived by--burning the citizens, abusing the Middle East, terrifying our allies. The only hope now, I felt, was the possibility that we'd gone to such excess, with our gig, that nobody in a position to bring the hammer down on us could possibly believe it . . . When you bring an act into Washington, you want to bring it in heavy. Don't waste any time with cheap shucks and misdemeanors. Go straight for the jugular. Get right into felonies. The mentality of America is so grossly atavistic that a really massive crime often slips by unrecognized.


Posted by: George W. Bush from his forthcoming memoir, "Fear and Loathing in the White House: The Gonzo Preside | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:29 AM
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||

Will - on the radio the other day I heard an ad for a firm of divorce lawyers for men - it was all about securing the rights of fathers WRT their children... which of course entails securing their rights to their $$$, since you can't be a good father without cash. What was interesting was that some of the language made me think of your consensus-building process (can't recall the term), yet I couldn't get away from the sense that these guys are just sexist bastards.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:29 AM
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I was very busy banging a woman who was not my wife!"

Well of course this would be your favorite part, will.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:31 AM
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142: And if I'm not mistaken, our lady Canadian Catholic Jew Nazi has just arrived! Let's give her a big hand!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:33 AM
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While we are fondly remembering Bush's Greatest Hits, don't forget the wonderful shenanigans we've had going on at the Justice Department. Liberty University grads firing government prosecutors for not going after Democrats. That was some fine scandal action, that was.

Also, members of the administration not bothering to answer to congressional subpoenas was cute.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:34 AM
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he was alone among team owners in opposing the wild-card system

I didn't know that - why did it take so long to happen, then?

AB - no fan of the sport - often laments, "It's all he really wanted - why couldn't they just have let him be Commissioner?"

Given that Selig's been as bad a Commissioner as Bush would have been, does that mean Selig would have been as bad a President?

Discuss.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:34 AM
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Collaborative practice, JRoth.

Custody cases are very easy until you start talking money. It is somewhat disingenuous to say that men want the kids simply to avoid paying money and not say that women want the kids simply to get the money.

I still see a perception that a man is a selfish, cruel bastard if he gets the kids AND actually wants the mother to pay child support whereas if the mother has custody and the father doesnt joyfully pay her money, then he is a selfish bastard.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:36 AM
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Given that Selig's been as bad a Commissioner as Bush would have been, does that mean Selig would have been as bad a President?

Has Selig really done enough to deserve the comparison? It seems like he's been more hapless than anything else.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:39 AM
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There is a difference between the "great man" view of history and the weaker "horrible person" view. I don't believe that a single great individual can build great things, but I do think a single horrible person can wreck great things.

Very true. Although I suppose that the persistence of the Roman Empire in the face of an astonishing string of sub-Bush Emperors (and in an age that lacked any sort of civil service framework) is counter-evidence. Although, if you average competence/leader-year, it may all come out about even - Augustus ruled brilliantly for decades, and his successor Tiberius was, while personally venal, above-competent for a similar period. A lot of the baddies only lasted a few years or months.

It'll be interesting to see whether Obama can really pull us out of the death spiral Bush put us into. I don't think it's physically possible to undo all the damage, but he might be able to get us trending solidly back towards where Clinton left us.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:40 AM
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151: I'd guess there's probably a fair amount of making assumptions about relative pay levels baked into that sort of perception. Not necessarily accurate in any given individual situation, but you can see how that would play in -- if you start with the belief that divorced couples are most likely a significantly higher income man and a lower income woman, then child support flowing uphill is going to seem inequitable. (Still might not be inequitable, depending, but you can see how it would look that way.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:40 AM
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Selig tried to abolish the Minnesota Twins. 5 years or so ago, but we remember.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:41 AM
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If an African leader did some of those things (e.g. goosing Merkel) he would be regarded as having disgraced his nation.

He was so regarded by the 6.2 billion people who happen to live outside the United States.

Hamilton did all that? Why is he on the $10 bill?

Probably for the same reason Jackson's on the other one (see above, re. evil + competent = great). Who would you replace them with?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:42 AM
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151: The gist that I got was that the father wanted to be able to keep his own money while getting plenty of visitation. But, as I said, the ad copy was clearly working on at least 2 levels, so the ultimate intention was unclear. I suppose the target audiences were each supposed to hear their own particular message.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:42 AM
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Who would you replace them with?

P.T. Barnum and Oderus Urungus.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:44 AM
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You do have to wonder (I say, from the basis of almost no actual knowledge), why dividing custodial time 50-50, and minimizing cash transfers on that basis isn't a more significant custody solution. There's probably some very good reason.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:46 AM
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Has Selig really done enough to deserve the comparison? It seems like he's been more hapless than anything else.

I would say that, at every juncture, he has chosen the worse path. Probably not as malign a force as Bush, worse than merely hapless. The disposition of the Expos counts as malign, I think. The PED situation predated him, but exploded under his watch, and he only reacted long after it had become a crisis.

Also, his transition from acting commish to commish was nauseating.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:47 AM
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156: There was some talk of putting Regan on the $10.

I'd actually prefer to keep Hamilton. For all his faults, he was a pretty awesome first Secretary of the Treasury.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:47 AM
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yahoo news says man who donated kidney to his wife wants it back in divorce


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:48 AM
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There's probably some very good reason.

Stability for kids? Geographic flexibility for parents? Schools?

I think the consensus (right or wrong) is that kids should have a single, defined, home.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:48 AM
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The "At what moment did you hate bush the most?" thread was good, but I always had the nagging feeling that I couldn't remember the correct answer. Here it is.

Also, why is Selig a bad commissioner? And especially, why would you call him "hapless"? What has he done that was bad? What has he tried to do but failed?

Interleague play is the only criticism I have. It sucks.

If you're talking about the tie in the All-Star Game, who cares?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:49 AM
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Also, Selig is most definitely the Bush of the MLB. Canceling the World Series is unforgivable.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:50 AM
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159: Our family tries that. Just as messy as anything else.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:52 AM
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160 are all good points. I retract my statement. Have spent too much time on baseball message board dominated by people who are derided as "liberal" by the resident Republican idiots but who are basically Tyler Cowen clones.

But "hapless", I can't agree with. He had a Bushian desire to increase revenue by many means, all of which have succeeded.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:53 AM
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Custody cases are very easy

What if one parent wants to move out of state and both want custody?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:54 AM
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The Twins owner volunteered to have them contracted, as did the Expos owner, who is now the Marlins owner. For baseball in general it was part of the scheme to increase revenue sharing.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:55 AM
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why did it take so long to happen, then?

There were three divisions in each league after expansion, so they needed a new playoff system. More about it here. Money quote:

"I made my arguments and went down in flames. History will prove me right." -- Texas Rangers owner George W. Bush after voting against realignment and a new wild-card system during a Major League Baseball owners meeting in September 1993.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:58 AM
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No more masturbating to the Twins owner, by the way.

Back to Bush! Want some wood?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:58 AM
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164: Someone else (or my younger self) could do this better, but:

Selig has basically erased the distinctions between AL & NL, closing the league offices; ostensibly benign, but he has shown a willingness to blow up the leagues entirely.

He has overseen the ongoing decline of the league in terms of national profile, at best responding with ineffectual BS like Interleague.

He has completely bought into the BosNY/Chicago-centrism of the media, reinforcing it with various moves.

Clashed with the Player's Union over stupid issues (and lost), rolled over for the Union on important issues (like PEDs).

Basically could fuck up a one car funeral.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:58 AM
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We hated the Twins owner too. In general fan loyalty is not to the owner and his financial planning goals.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:58 AM
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Selig sucks, but his body count is way too low to merit comparison to Bush.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:00 AM
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Selig sucks, but his body count is way too low to merit comparison to Bush.

There was that prostitute in Montreal, the two teenagers in St. Louis, and Pete Rose, right?


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:02 AM
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Hey Lizard, I just emailed you. Do you still like your EEE? We are thinking of getting a new smal cheap computer.

Anyone else there have any opinions about this


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:04 AM
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There were three divisions in each league after expansion, so they needed a new playoff system.

Right! How quickly we forget.

Oh, add this to the list: putting the Pirates in the NL Central, not East. I realize we're across the Alleghenies, but the only Central team with which the Pirates had/have anything resembling a traditional rivalry is Cinci (and that was really just the 70s), whereas they had much more recent history against the Mets and Expos, and obviously the Pgh-Philly rivalry (which is minor, but a great deal bigger than Pgh-Houston). We probably have better odds in the Central, but longtime fans often complain about this, and I'll side with them.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:04 AM
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The PED issue is an interesting one. Why is it that neither normal human beings nor sportswriters care a single, solitary damn about the rampant PED use in the NFL, but in baseball it has inspired nonstop handwringing from coast to coast for over a decade? I guess it has to do with how baseball used to have a "golden age" to which everything nowadays is compared negatively, whereas football didn't. In fact, that seems obvious.

So why didn't Selig realize this? Because as a person fixated on financial goals, he didn't understand how his sport differed from others, or how it depended on public opinion.

The previous sentence also applies to the NHL commissioner Bettman, who had previously worked in basketball, and didn't know why trying to drag the NHL into a new age by making it more like the NBA would ever be a bad idea.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:04 AM
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and Pete Rose

That was a righteous shoot, yo.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:05 AM
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The annoying thing about Interleague Play from the Pgh perspective is that in one of the minority of cities that actually has sort of a rivalry with a city in the other league (Cleveland), they didn't even make Pirates-Indians into one of the regular interleague rivalries.

Philly plays Baltimore every year (I think). Pgh-Cleveland would make more sense than that. Plus, a way for Cleveland fans to get some solace after the monstrous beatdowns doled out by the Steelers to the Browns every year.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:07 AM
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148: DS is a lady Canadian Catholic Jew Nazi?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:11 AM
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Philly plays Baltimore every year (I think).

Philly now plays in Toronto. Baltimore plays Washington.

Kinda sucks for both Philly and Toronto.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:14 AM
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181: Don't get all superior just because he doesn't conform to your norms of femininity. Doctor Slack is a lady and should be treated as such.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:15 AM
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180: Help for the Pirates should be part of the stimulus package. Dire straits.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:15 AM
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Fungus showed up at my website as "Trollbot", being ever so comical aside from a bit of personal abuse which I deleted.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:17 AM
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184: The American people can only be asked to subsidize so much failure. Enough is enough.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:22 AM
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Why is it that neither normal human beings nor sportswriters care a single, solitary damn about the rampant PED use in the NFL, but in baseball it has inspired nonstop handwringing from coast to coast for over a decade? I guess it has to do with how baseball used to have a "golden age" to which everything nowadays is compared negatively, whereas football didn't. In fact, that seems obvious.

Relatedly, the NFL didn't have the equivalent of the Aaron and Maris records.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:25 AM
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GWB will be given his own show on TBN, "The Strategery Hour" in which he will explain the current world situation in simple terms and raise billions of dollars for the Republican party. He will not be indicted when it is found that very few dollars actually make it to the Republican party.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:47 AM
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183: Thank you, Rob. You have no idea how long I've waited for someone to say that!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:50 AM
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Rob @ 176:

I got a teenytinypc in November and it is great.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 11:51 AM
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Every time I see this post title I think of the horrible movie of the same name. Don't see that movie, folks.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 12:05 PM
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re: 191

I think of the Sensational Alex Harvey* song ...

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zqx5j-FuqeI

Which is ... sensational.

* I think it's a Brel song, originally ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 12:41 PM
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159: That's why my parents did, and my brother and I shuffled back and forth every week for about two years. Kind of a hassle (two sets of many personal items), but probably beat seeing very little of one or the other of them. Only logistically feasible since they stayed in the same school district.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:36 PM
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193: It's how my ex and I have handled Keegan. But then we only live one street apart, so there's your logistic feasibility.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:38 PM
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Yeah, I don't really know what I'm talking about, but it just seems more humane in terms of the parenting relationships. The kids I know who lived with one parent and had visitation with the other, the non-primary parent really seemed to drift out of the picture in most cases, which struck me as sad.

But I can see the logistic problems being maddening for most people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:43 PM
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I can't remember if it was here or where, but recently I saw someone describe a custody arrangement where the kids stayed put, and the parents alternated weeks in the house.

That strikes me as hard to deal with, if the divorce was messy at all. Like all the messes and problems of joint living, with someone who is always just out of sight and unavailable who you're already angry at.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:45 PM
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195: It can work really,really well too (given that you live pretty close).

Like most of these situations, I suspect it depends a lot on the grownups being able to act like grownups, and also making the best of things.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:48 PM
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196: That was what my parents did before my dad found a new place (they rented a room from someone for the off weeks). It didn't work as well, and was clearly going to be temporary.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:51 PM
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198: Did you mention this recently? I can't remember where I saw it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:51 PM
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it depends a lot on the grownups being able to act like grownups

This, exactly. We had a friendly, lawyerless divorce, which helps immeasurably. I'm not sure we'd have remained friends, though, if we hadn't had a kid to make us both feel that it was necessary. I've watched a lot of bitterly angry divorces and have felt both lucky and proud of how we've handled ours.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:54 PM
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196/198:

This whole schemes seems crazy if tried long term. Kids can be perfectly happy with their own space in two homes. Swapping in and out of a house with your ex would be far more difficult for pretty much any adult, I suspect.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:54 PM
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I used to babysit for kids who stayed in the family house, with the parents alternating weeks (months?) there or in their own bedsits. The kids seemed happy, the house was horribly shabby; seems like a fair trade.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 1:57 PM
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Whoa, sideslip, I hadn't seen 196 &ff. when I posted.

I don't know how amiable the divorce in question was, of course, but the parents seemed to interact well when trading out; very matter-of-fact. The house was big enough for them to have separate bedrooms in it, and the system lasted at least a couple of years while I was sitting, and that's all I remember.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:00 PM
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Whose house is it? It seems like you'd either have to have an adult non-owner spending half the time in the house (and paying rent?), or still share joint title to the house with your ex. Both of which seem highly probematic.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:01 PM
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204: Or rent jointly I guess. Sounds like some people can make it work though. Everyone is different.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:02 PM
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Sharing joint title seems most likely -- isn't that a common sticking point in divorces, that the family house is by far the largest asset, and the person who wants to remain in it has trouble buying the other out? Just remaining joint owners would solve that. (Now, it'd involve a whole lot of dealing with your ex, but so would the moving in and out of the house bit however you handled it financially.)

But I'm with soup, it seems really psychologically improbable that many people would keep that up for long.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:05 PM
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Clew's plan seems ideal to me. You'd get your "with" time and your "away" time, and check in with the ex every two weeks but not more.

It wouldn't survive a remarriage or even a serious relationship though. Bu I'm against those.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:08 PM
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206: All these title issues are tricky. I know one couple who fought about this for a while, one wanted to sell the house and split it, the other to keep the house (but couldn't quite afford to buy out). The latter finally managed to get a new mortgage together a year ago -- and was subsequently left holding the bag for a 40% loss of value.

They've two kids, and 50/50 custody, so I'm really hoping there isn't too much bitterness about this misdirected. Hopefully not long term, anyway.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:08 PM
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You'd get your "with" time and your "away" time

Isn't this how many manage 50/50 custody but in their own spaces?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:09 PM
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That seems to me to be something that would require such a high level of mutual amicability that I'd be surprised the divorced couple wasn't just temporarily living in the same house together as roommates.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:10 PM
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210: That also happens, but it's a pretty fragile peace in most cases I suspect.

I did know one couple who did this for years, including live in boy/girl friends of both involved later on (I mean, years after the divorce). They were unusual in a lot of ways though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:12 PM
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211: right, I know that happens. I'm just saying that seems to require very little less in the way of amicability, and saves significant housing costs and logistical headaches. Rotating in and out of the same house seems comparatively crazy.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:15 PM
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208
The latter finally managed to get a new mortgage together a year ago -- and was subsequently left holding the bag for a 40% loss of value.

Ouch. Not like there's ever a good time for a divorce or an economic depression, but having them coincide would be insane.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:19 PM
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213: Yeah, In theory they will be ok if they hold out, but it's got to be difficult to take that on the chin and keep smiling, while your ex has a pile of cash for it (they haven't bought a new place yet)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:24 PM
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If Roberta or I died, it's pretty likely that my ex and the one of us that survived would buy a duplex in order to keep the kids together.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:25 PM
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209: You'd really have your own place not shared with your kids, and you'd only be hauling your stuff around and not theirs. And they wouldn't always be forgetting their violin at Mom's house six miles away and remembering it 30 minutes before curtain time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:37 PM
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216: If you can swing three houses, I guess. Still seems pretty fraught.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:38 PM
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Without kids you don't need a house.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:46 PM
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right, i should have said "place". still.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 2:46 PM
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re gore vidal's burr, if you remember nothing else, remember this:
"oh burr! burr! what hast thou done?"
Thou hast shooted dead great Hamilton!
You hid behind a bunch of thistle,
and shooted him dead with a great hoss pistol"

(pistol pronounced to rhyme with thistle)

i like the book a lot (i also like 1876, which shares a couple of the characters): vidal definitely makes the argument that women liked burr because he treated women as intellectual equals (GV is a slyboots but i think on the whole he bases ideas he has about historical characters on real stuff, albeit arguable stuff)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 3:09 PM
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that's to oudemia at 131: forgot to say, burr is lots better than myra breckinridge, i think, even though the latter is famously (probably because of the "one thing" oudemia remembers, which was way-out fun in 1967 but seems very tame and ho-hum today)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 3:12 PM
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I have a friend who's in the midst of a divorce and they're planning to keep the two kids in the house, and rent a small apartment nearby, with each parent alternating between house and apt. This seems like a very good short- to medium-term solution, but probably not so manageable if/when one or other parent gets seriously involved with someone else (which will almost certainly happen eventually).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:15 PM
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222: I've heard people talk about such an arrangement -- I can't even imagine continuing to share living space with the ex, even if at separate times. Like, he could go through my underwear drawer anytime he wanted!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:20 PM
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If you're going to share housing, irritate each other, and have no sex life, it's probably easier to just stay married.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:23 PM
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223: You know, it would have helped if you hadn't married a perv.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:29 PM
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Tell me about it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:33 PM
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it's probably easier to just stay married.

Well, it's certainly cheaper!

Di, they're still in the talking phase, so I dunno. You raise a good point: let the underwear drawer stand in for the casual everyday intimacy of shared domestic space, and the whole arrangement does seem rather fraught with potential perils and pitfalls.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:36 PM
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227: Seriously, I'd be less concerned about him looking at my panties than looking through my bank statements or whatever.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:41 PM
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Bush has a long future as a punchline.
Errol Morris fans take note.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:45 PM
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222: I've heard people talk about such an arrangement -- I can't even imagine continuing to share living space with the ex, even if at separate times. Like, he could go through my underwear drawer anytime he wanted!

Yes, not so good for cases where you really dislike and distrust your ex! I do have friends who are splitting up because while they still like and trust each other a lot, they just can't make themselves want to be in a romantic relationship anymore. It's sad, but a very different situation.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 8:48 PM
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228: Yeah, bank statements, browser bookmarks, voicemail messages, appointments scrawled onto little squares on the kitchen calendar, and even, if the couple are still fighting over finances, the contents of the refrigerator (why'd you buy the imported Emmanthal when you could have saved money on the Kraft Swiss-like cheese?).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:25 PM
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231: It sort of sounds like going to the shared beach house, only you go every week, two weeks, or month. I mean, if it works.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:31 PM
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It sort of sounds like going to the shared beach house

Those timeshares in the Florida Panhandle are a total scam, Stanley. Just take the blender (or the ice crusher, or whatever other small kitchen appliance they offer in exchange for listening to their 2-hour sales pitch) and run.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 9:57 PM
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233: I've never been approached for a timeshare (suprisingly?), but eekbeat and recently rented a weekend cottage in the Virginia mountains. The fridge was full of leftover condiments from past guests.

I mean, I guess the cottage owner might have had a ketchup fetish or something.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:20 PM
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I've never been approached for a timeshare

Well, as it's said, some people just aren't timeshare material.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:28 PM
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some people just aren't timeshare material.

It's an elite group, for sure, and it's not every holidaymaker who can aspire to be a diamond of the first water.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:38 PM
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Actually, I rather like sharing time.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01- 8-09 10:40 PM
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