Thursday, November 8, 2007

Freakonomics meets Anything for a Vote

Thanks to the New York Times Freakonomics site for featuring a Q&A yesterday with yours truly concerning presidential election matters foul and fair (well, mostly foul). Had the usual trail of posted comments following the interview, some quite interesting, some just...weird, like the guy who apparently felt that Lyndon Johnson's sending a CIA agent to infiltrate Barry Goldwater's campaign and steal his policy speeches was not an egregious abuse of presidential power.
Oh well, that's what makes the world such an interesting place. And speaking of Presidential power, I have been meaning for some time to remember to place a link here to one of my favorite sites, which is
Here you can find private recordings of presidents from Roosevelt to Nixon, from back in the days when these boys were foolish enough to keep tape running while they went about their daily business. The interface on the site is great -- you can listen to Lyndon Johnson, for instance, browbeating a representative of the Haggar pants company into sending him five new pairs of pants for free, or hear JFK call up his doctor and ask for "one of those little blue pills." It was helpful in my research for Anything for a Vote. More than that, it is simply fascinating to hear our presidents, live and in person, making decisions big and small.

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