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January 15, 2009

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Marcus

The Economist has a tough but fair assessment of the Bush legacy out this week: http://tinyurl.com/a7grzq

There's a lot about how politics always trumped policy and how Bush 2 was perfectly content to govern for the benefit of just half the country. But there's also an acknowledgment that the 2nd administration was much more conciliatory than the first, and that Bush was reasonable on immigration reform (albeit not successful with conservatives in the GOP.)

But this sentence stuck me most--it's saddening but not surprising: "Karen Hughes, one of his closest advisers, 'rarely read books and distrusted people who did.'" And that's how we got The Decider, who goes with his gut even when the facts obviously point in another direction. Why bother reading when deciding is more satisfying?

Tom Easley

Changing strategy and policy is so much more critical and important than prosecuting crimes and potential crimes that we can't afford the distraction of what would devolve into partisan politics, regardless of whether the evidence justifies the prosecution. To Marcus' point, it's ironic (to those of us who still read books) that one of the most popular books during the Bush 2 era was Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, which explored the virtues of "thin slicing" and making decisions quickly based on how you first process information. (Gladwell likes to call it "rapid cognition" rather than what it is -- intuition or going with your gut.)

I'm glad the new guy prefers a more disciplined approach to complex problems.

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