Tuesday, June 12, 2012

THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT. This Bloomberg article is mostly -- like, about two-thirds -- about a famous inspirational quote ("Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not...") traditionally attributed to Calvin Coolidge, and how it probably isn't Coolidge's, but history's funny that way and "the only sure thing one can say at this point about Coolidge and 'persistence' is that our article is not definitive. It is an update. More to come."

Now what sort of lede can you put on that, besides "only read if you're really bored"? Here's the one that appeared:
The White House messed up its history. That’s the contention of critics who pointed to references recently appended to the biography pages of past presidents on the White House website.
Turns out the "messed up" bit of history wasn't the "persistence" thing, but a "Did You Know?" that asserts Coolidge was "the first president to make a public radio address to the American people." No, says the author, it was actually Warren Harding. Which leads naturally (at least in the mind of longtime conservative columnist and How That Bastard FDR Sank America into The Great Depression author Amity Shlaes) to the following:
What the Barack Obama White House did was introduce its own comments and facts to the extant biographies of the presidents on the White House pages. Some commentators such as Seth Mandel at Contentions, the Commentary magazine blog, interpret the effort to draw such parallels as an intrusion on past presidents. Mandel sees the Obama administration comments as evidence that the president, like many of his young devotees, doesn’t “have much memory of the political world before the arrival of The One.” You can agree or disagree with this criticism.
It's like a form of ideological Tourette's: You can't complete a pop history thumbsucker, or a movie review, or a grocery list without spitting up an attack on Obama. Thank God for wingnut welfare, which keeps people thus afflicted from having to beg in the streets.

Oh, by the way:
On this day in 1922, President Warren G. Harding, while addressing a crowd at the dedication of a memorial site for the composer of the "Star Spangled Banner," Francis Scott Key, becomes the first president to have his voice transmitted by radio. The broadcast heralded a revolutionary shift in how presidents addressed the American public. It was not until three years later, however, that a president would deliver a radio-specific address. That honor went to President Calvin Coolidge.
But that's from the History Channel -- what do they know?

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