Diary of a Mad County

Jan. 17-Jan. 23

Monday, Jan. 22
It's been a rough couple of weeks for Richard Nixon. The death of Gerald Ford brought up a lot of bad memories and now Nixon's name is coming up again as the yardstick by which unpopular presidents are judged. Polls released today show that George W. Bush has the lowest approval ratings for any president the day before a State of the Union speech since Richard Nixon in 1974 (Nixon had the lowest numbers since James Buchanan's ill-advised comment that he'd "fancy doing a bit of saber rattling" with General John C. Fremont). A Washington Post-ABC poll says only 33 percent of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing which is low, but not nearly as low as a CBS poll that found that only 28 percent of Americans approve. Nixon's unpopularity was, of course, mainly due to the Watergate scandal, while Bush's unpopularity is mainly due to his domestic and foreign policy, a disastrous war, numerous scandals and being a pompous ass. About the only people that have a positive view of Bush these days are those on the short list for inclusion on the Anaheim/O.C. Walk of Stars and the descendents of Buchanan and Warren G. Harding.

Tuesday, Jan. 23
Art Linkletter appears at the Richard Nixon Library as part of the library's "In Conversation" program with more than a few people assuming the library is now hosting sťances and "In Conversation" is short for "In Conversation with the Dead" since Art Linkletter was born during the Taft administration—seriously, 1912. Art Linkletter was old when I was a kid and I'm old. Linkletter, whose Kids Say The Darndest Things is one of the bestselling books in history, will be discussing his friendship with Richard Nixon and will sign his latest book How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life.The book includes the chapters "Outliving Your Enemies, Suck on That Albert Schweitzer" and "Kids Say the Darndest Things as You are Draining Them of Their Sweet, Nourishing Blood."

SLOWERY@OCWEEKLY.COM

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