and now she's dead

Betty Ford, America’s Rehab Queen, Dies At 93 Years Young


Pretty much everybody loved Betty Ford, who was the nice first lady between Nixon and Carter. She has gone to Heaven now, with Gerald Ford, who died at some point in the recent past.

As a video tribute, we found this weird foreign videotape of some crappy American soap opera, from maybe the 1980s, when a character did the stereotypical thing of being a drunk/drug addict sent to the Betty Ford Center. Betty Ford, everybody! Here are some random quotes from other old rich people about Betty Ford, and here’s George Carlin remembering Betty Ford, America’s Queen of Second Chances (for rich people):

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294 comments

  1. GhostBuggy

    I live in Grand Rapids, and the local teevee stations suddenly broke into Prime Time with this very important news, with a video obit that was suspiciously well-prepared.

    1. bumfug

      Well, that is suspicious – why the fuck would they have a prepared obituary for a 93 year old woman?

      1. GhostBuggy

        Yes, obviously, but the "Sudden Breaking News watch us talk in these serious, urgent voices" feel immediately turning into a video they clearly made years ago was still jarring. Plus, it was local news, which always totally inept at everything.

    2. bflrtsplk

      As a former journalist, I can tell you newspapers and other media keep prepared obits on files often years in advance, leaving out only the date and cause death until the – uh – appropriate moment.

        1. Negropolis

          Grand Rapids isn't bad, at all. Contrary to popular belief, it's one of the more interesting cities of this region of the country. Peroria she is not.

    1. Troubledog

      I weep daily about this world class waste of talent. Have you seen pics of her before she turned into a junkie? Damn. Hand biting.
      http://i.imgur.com/Skkfy.jpg

      BTW, I've been busy! What kind of shit has been going on around here?

        1. Troubledog

          Yeah wtf? And Layne is off doing his retarded neo hippie thing. So what now, is it for sale or what?

          1. BarackMyWorld

            No…he just hired new talent and everything keeps rolling along like gravy.

          2. horsedreamer_1

            The Hangover, Pt. 3?

            Pareene in the stunt-casting/serious-actor part made by Paul Giamatti? Anonymous Lobbyist as the hooker with an heart of gold?

        2. Pres[EXTERMINATE!!]

          Yeah and Steuf wrote something about Trig that pissed off the Baggers and Breitbarters, so he "quit" shortly thereafter, but not before epically trolling the Breitbarters to make them think Ken was shutting the site down. Good times, man, good times.

        1. Troubledog

          Although sadly I have no hot pics of Betty Ford, she has some hot pics of me. Don't miss the estate sale.

  2. noodlesalad

    93? That's a good aspirational target for us liver picklers. When do we have to quit drinking to make it that long, she was like what, 60? I can quit drinking at 60, if I make it to 60.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      I don't know about the boozing, but there was that 118-year-old woman in France who gave up smoking at 80. That's my target for backing off on my favorite vices.

    2. Doktor Zoom

      Old birthday card slogan: Here's how to live to 100: Whoop it up until you're 99, then be very careful for a year.

  3. memzilla

    Betty Ford and Lady Bird Johnson get top honors in the Most Supportive Wife category.

    I'll overdrink to that.

  4. user-of-owls

    Well, fuck all. This certainly comes at an apt time for some of us. The woman had more balls than a whole fucking load of the men around her, then and now. Snark on if you will, but know that people like me, and dear friends here too, will take pause and perhaps shed some tears as i am right now, to admire the courage that Betty had and the social good that was spawned from it. No, there's no funny here. And once and a while, that's ok here. It's …it's just ok to cry.

    1. SpurningBeer

      The purpose of life, according to some, is to overcome fear and to share love. When I see that happen, I can have a lacrimal movement, too.

      Sincerity, altruism, and admiration make good targets for snarcasm. I haven't seen us turn on our own, really, though. I think we are all idealistic mushballs here, under the crust of retard- and boob-jokes. That's why I think of you and the rest of the worthly scum here as friends. And old Betty, too.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        "Sincerity, altruism, and admiration make good targets for snarcasm"

        Well, I dunno, maybe, but there has to be an element of hypocrisy or abrasiveness in there, too. I don't see any of us mocking many prominent figures solely because they're sincerely dedicated to a cause, for instance. I mean, sure, Bryan Fissure is sincere about his warped version of Christianity, but we mock him because he's so committed to a perverse twisting of that faith.

        By contrast, local hero DustBowlBlues has several times mentioned her faith, and while many of us don't share her belief, she doesn't get snarked upon, largely because she appears to use her Christianity as a motivation to be decent to other human beings, not to bludgeon them with a repressive political agenda.

        Then again, maybe we non-theists are the hypocrites, since we snark relentlessly on all that's holy and good and patriotic, but we make an exception for DBB because she shares our agenda of sapping and impurifying America's precious bodily fluids.

        1. SpurningBeer

          I think you misunderstand me, Herr Doktor. I agree that sincerity, altruism, and admiration are good targets for sarcasm. Making fun of Trig, Justin Bieber, or Sara Boyle is just plain fun in a transcendental, meta sort of way. It's like Salvador Dali kicking the crutches out from under cripples.

          "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him! Then dress the corpse up in an 'I'm with Stupid' tee-shirt and take pictures."

          1. user-of-owls

            Shit! I did it wrong! I dressed the him up in a 'My Parents Went to Lhasa & All I Got Was My Stupid DNA Sample on Buddha's Corpse" tee-shirt.

            Crap.

    2. Nothingisamiss

      Amen, user-of-owls. I was saddened to hear of her passing. Some people do good in this world, and she was someone who could've-maybe should've-been a country club, Nancy Reagan brittle shrew. This woman talked about the seventies as if she'd lived throught he sixties (premariatal sex, drugs, abortion) in a way that no first lady would now dare do. Going through her own private hell, she made hell public…breast cancer, mastectomy, alcohol, drugs. She didn't write like Molly Ivins, or become a (good, wonderful) ball buster like Ann Richards, but she was in the mold of those women…tough and able to fight for "the least of these." If there's a republican in heaven, she's the gal.

    3. not that Dewey

      I second the motion (which you're much better at stating, anyway. My writing skillz are for shit these days.)

  5. Doktor Zoom

    Hey, remember when there were pro-choice Republicans?

    I sort of do, dimly.

    Of course, both Fords, today, would be nothing but goddamned RINOS who the Tea Party would target for destruction.

    1. GhostBuggy

      Fuck, NIXON would be a RINO to that crowd. Ford would be downright Muslim Socialist. I caught some footage of him tonight giving a speech that included a line about him not belonging to any man, to any ideology. Imagine the Tea Party freakout if a Republican uttered those words today.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        Damn me, I should know better than to ever go to Freepland, but, hey, here's some dialogue on the former First Lady's passing:

        Starwise: May she rest in peace in God’s loving arms.
        Wideawake: I hope she repented of her steadfast support of abortion too. That would likely be the only way she's resting there.

        Elsewhere, this:

        She probably did everything in her power, which is considerable for a First Lady, to help the Roe v. wade case. People used whatever leverage they had back then in order for this horrific law to get passed. I will not revere someone who has helped this nation’s demise.

        What I will say is my God have Mercy on her Soul.

        by "Outlaw Woman (Palin/Perry 2012)"

        Ah! Credit where credit is due: "Reformation Fan" replies to "Outlaw Woman" thusly:

        Just a question: the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down by U.S. Supreme Court in January, 1973. Gerald Ford did not become president until August 9, 1974. Mrs. Ford wasn’t even Second Lady, let alone First Lady yet when the SCOTUS invalidated all 50 states’ abortion laws. I remember reading that she supported it and said something along the lines of “it was a great decision”(which I completely disagree with her about, of course) but I never read that she actually had anything to do with the actual assisting of the Roe v. Wade case. Do you have any information on this?

        (Clearly, in insisting on facts, "Reformation Fan" is a RINO)

        And finally, "P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)" –seriously, that's their signature– brings us back to the truly important thing:

        "The liberal media is singing her praises today because she advocated the killing of unborn children.

        That is their way of honoring her life."

        EDIT: All in all, I think we have far better usernames here.

        1. BarackMyWorld

          You read that much Freeper nonsense and didn't lose your shit?

          Doktor, apparently your degree is tolerance to pain.

          1. joemac1114

            Well me too and I went to Catholic Colleges (undergraduate and graduate), on top of that. Those philosophy and religion classes were interesting. And I know exactly what you are saying no more.

        2. Nothingisamiss

          I applaud this ability to endure destructive stupidity. According to these horrible people, Betty and Gerald would've been traitors to Amurika, and "surveyors marks" would've been printed over their heads.

          Interesting that the only thing they remember is her stance on abortion, and not, say, divorce, drug use, alcohol abuse, etc. Some of these fat freepers have her to thank for their early breast cancer screening and semi-effective cancer treatments as well.

          Wow. I've just reminded myself of what piles of shit I think they are and I'm not even the one that went over there.

          I'll work on the snark later.

          1. Doktor Zoom

            Oh, hey, the very first comment on that thread was "She was a classless drunken cow." A few notches down,"another loudmouth drunk assumes room temperature."

            And again, credit where credit is due–for the most part, other freepers were condemning such remarks (albeit often by saying stuff like "Those comments are the ones you might see on the DailyKos or Moveon." Because only conservatives are decent human beings, ya know).

            And there was even one comment that struck me as Straight Outta Wonkette:

            a classless drunken cow.
            Aren't we all?!

            EDIT: Also worth noting that this appears to be a secondary thread, posted by a user (not sure how things work there, thread-initiating-wise), and that the "official" obituary thread is being pretty aggressively moderated.

        3. GhostBuggy

          I'd never been to the Freeper, but had obviously heard of it before. So I just went and had a look around; never again.

          1. Doktor Zoom

            Now, now–that's not fair. Stormfront is proudly, openly racist and committed to race war, while Freeplandia is proudly dog-whistling and committed to plausible deniability.

          2. glamourdammerung

            Actually, it is harder to be banned on StormFront for having a different opinion than Free Republic.

          3. glamourdammerung

            Maybe.

            Though one could always look at Big Failure, and see how many racist comments get shouted down versus something like "Sarah Palin has too much baggage to be a credible candidate" for more illustrations of this principle.

      2. BarackMyWorld

        Well, Reagan did almost take the nomination away from him in '76, after all.

    2. user-of-owls

      Not just pro-choice, but just plain reasonable. As GhostBuggy says, Nixon, Ford and Eisenhower before them would be flayed alive by the malevolent miscreants that drive the so-called Republican party today.

      The only solace one can take at this point is the certainty that said party will tear itself asunder in a bloody circular firing squad at some point. The thing we have to fear, though, is whether they survive long enough to burn us all down to the ground before they immolate themselves.

      1. Nothingisamiss

        I add my hope that they will destrpy themselves before the rest of us, but they are ignorant and evil with a goose-step mentality.

    3. Terry

      Yeah, I remember when I knew Republicans with whom I disagreed on some things, agreed on others, and could hold a conversation. Now I seem to know Independents rather than Republicans.

      1. AJWjr.

        Here in Nevada the right-wingers call themselves Independents, but they all vote in lockstep with the GoOpers. And every damned one of them goes straight into my spam filter.

        1. GunToting[Redacted]

          It's tough, because I've been an independent since about 2000, but hate calling myself one because I'm lumped in with the loons. Fucking Karl Rove.

          1. AJWjr.

            I went indy in '02, but came back down off the fence for the '04 elections. It was the least I could do for Kerry, though he himself did considerably less.

          2. Swampgas_Man

            It's like Libertarians; once upon a time it could mean a gun-owning leftist, now it almost exclusively means a wingnut who thinks the Republicans don't go far ENOUGH.

          3. MissusBarry

            I feel ya. Been an independent since I first registered to vote at 18. I did it then because I just didn't fully identify with either party and didn't want to label myself incorrectly. The party pendulum has swung far since then and, while I think my fundamental beliefs really haven't changed much, I now find myself left-of-democrat and diametrically opposed to the rethugs and their reprehensible social positions, idiotic fiscal policy, and general disrespect for truth and decency. Snark fail.

    4. arihaya

      we should initiate "Gerard and Betty Ford Remembrance Day" (aka "We Miss Sane Republicans Day")

  6. fuflans

    this made me sad in a history marching on kind of way.

    cheers! lady i didn't really know… you did good.

      1. OneDollarJuana

        The last shuttle didn't bother me. Time's past to move on. Where's our space elevator?

        1. HistoriCat

          Sorry, we're too busy blowing up Afghanistan wedding parties and Libyan civilians to work on a space elevator. Maybe the Chinese will get that going …

    1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

      Don't worry. Palin will start her bus tour again in the same town on the same day Betty is buried.

      1. PsycWench

        And in some way Betty's life, or death, will either honor or victimize Palin. Possibly both.
        My husband is gone all morning to play music at a wedding, leaving me with the kid with Down syndrome. I will call Sarah and ask how I should proceed.

          1. PsycWench

            Hmm…if I asked myself "What Would Sarah Do?", that might be the answer. However, Noah has decided to continuously parrot this line from Sesame Street's Super Grover "Ow, that hurts!" in a serious Southern accent, despite having no idea what it means. This could definitely impede my public moral superiority claims.

          2. Nothingisamiss

            If you're not able to make yourself a rich victim of poor sick people you're just not trying. Have you even LOOKED for a bus to ride around in? (Son does not need to come with you, just media.)

          3. HistoriCat

            You should have had a slightly older child to look after the kid. Pull a combined Bachmann/Palin – get a foster kid, then foist off the child care on her.

          4. PsycWench

            I have an older child who does help a lot, but I naively thought that she also needed to have her own life. If only I had taken inspiration from Sarah earlier.

          5. Geminisunmars

            (Wow, McFisty-Ugler was already here.) Clearly you don't know how to exploit your god-given children.

      2. Biel_ze_Bubba

        "Palin will start her bus tour again in the same town on the same day Betty is buried."

        That reminds me — someone better slash the tires on the Westboro Baptist shortbus.

        1. flamingpdog

          Oh, come on, Gemini, she's not that old. I have the oldz, but I'm not at the Depends stage yet, and she's a few years younger than me!

    1. Terry

      Interesting factoid. Steven Ford, son of Gerald and Betty, as an actor on The Young and the Restless. We used to call him the First Fox back in the day.

    1. flamingpdog

      Shooot, Ronald Raygun was so "wunderful" that he saved the whole US of A from Commonism, at least until the Soshulist [*spits out coffee*] O'Bomber took over, and he's been dead for a long time.

      Or at least until they resurrect him to run in 2012. Raygun/generic Imperial Stormtrooper 2012.

      Downfist this tribute to Reagan, Nomind/Dogass, I dare you!

    2. DashboardBuddha

      She looked out at the political landscape too often and saw what was happening to her beloved Republican Party. Things like that will wear a body down.

  7. arihaya

    everyone will miss the time when the silliest thing a Republican said is that there are no Soviet domination in Eastern Europe.

    Heck, even Ford apologize after he misspeak, unlike Sarah Palin® .

    RIP Mr and Mrs Ford

    1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

      The Poles are an independent and autonomous people, and I don't believe they consider themselves to be under Soviet domination.

    1. flamingpdog

      Chevy Chase disappeared off the face of the Earth.

      Oh wait, he did that before Jerry died?

    1. Barb

      They are slated for death in about 8 weeks, followed by One Life to Live. I watched when I was younger.

  8. starfanglednut

    I actually cried when I read she died. When I was growing up with a mother whose severe alcoholism was just about ruining my life, and people just did not talk about these things, she went public with what at the time was an extremely shameful secret, opened up a public dialogue, and made this miserable child feel like she just might not be alone in the world.

    RIP Betty!

    We now return to our regularly scheduled snark.

    1. Barb

      That is sad about your mom. Neither of my parents drank. My mom practiced a "better living through pharmaceuticals" lifestyle. Drinking is bad, mmmkay? Then my brother took a child bride, Tanya Proctor and their kids got wiped out in a drunk driving accident on Christmas morning. Mom went to every Mothers Against Drunk Drivers meeting whacked out of her skull on Valium. Nothing exceeds like excess.

      (hugs)

          1. Doktor Zoom

            When I said trollboy doesn't read these threads, just downfists everything using a script, he came back and denied it, insisting "I read most if not all posts." I doubt that, but even if he is reading, he also believes that sneering at the commies here at Wonkette is justified–after all, "It is you libunatics who treat your opposition as inhuman."

            This was all in the 4th of July weekend Romney thread, when trollboy was downfisting every post in the Not That Dewey subthread–which was also, coincidentally, about the challenges of dealing with substance abuse. Remember, however, that it's not personal–Trollboy is Fighting To Save America, and part of that mission is driving us libunatics crazy through his brilliant psychological warfare. As he also said, he thinks it's OK to be a douche, since "a douche is a jet of water which cleans out bacteria and other undesirables."

            Frankly, I'm so in awe of his moral grandeur that I'm on the verge of leaving Wonkette forever and giving all my money to the Cato Institute.

            Edit: Apparently he's been banned again: "The Gimp was banned from Wonkette by incontinent, insecure, intolerant, ignorant, impotent, apoetic, fearful & delusional libunatics." He's whining about his maltreatment at Breitbart now. Poor baby. We are SO intolerant.

          2. not that Dewey

            And his anecdotal, sample-of-one study of "the Left" has led him to the conclusion that the reason he's disliked around here is that he has a "dissenting point of view", not that he's an ignorant pus-blister.

          3. berkeleyfarm

            Always someone else's fault. Way to take personal responsibility, there, Mr. "Conservative".

          4. berkeleyfarm

            Annnnnnnd now I'm being followed by the latest incarnation, "The Gimp".

            His Description: The Gimp was banned from Wonkette by incontinent, insecure, intolerant, ignorant, impotent, apoetic, fearful & delusional libunatics

            Reality: The Gimp was banned because he was a whiny stalking jerk.

          5. PsycWench

            I clicked on his profile after he started following me to see if he was the troll in question…apparently he liked the "you know who else…" meme and is wielding it on Breitbart. Hmm.
            Seriously, it is really pathetic for someone to spend that much time and attention for so long trying to troll a website.

          6. berkeleyfarm

            Heh. I tend to downfist the "you know who else …" these days. As a meme, it's about as played out as Bristol Palin. Let's try to keep the humor and snark fresh, people!

          7. Doktor Zoom

            Odd. I just found myself saying "Oh boy! You NOTICED me!" in a Dr. Zoidberg voice.

      1. Beowoof

        I am sorry for both of you. I grew up with a drunk Dad, who would beat the shit out of everybody when intoxicated. And he was intoxicated most of the time.

        1. Barb

          Dude, I am so sorry for you. I am glad we all survived and can recognize the bad behavior as not our fault.

        2. Beowoof

          Thanks guys, it taught me what I shouldn't do when I became a Dad. And I didn't do that, both my kids have thanked me for being a Dad that cared, and for me nothing has ever meant more.

        3. tribbzthesquidz

          My Dad didn't need the booze to beat the snot out of us. He may have been a "dry drunk." There's an old family story about before I came along there was a household meeting and a ritual pouring of the beer down the sink. Ashay! I do wish he smoked the pawt sometimes. Might be different. FREE THE WEED! SMAWK THE GANJ BRAH!

      2. flamingpdog

        Bless all of you – living with abusive parents and still you ended up compassionate. I wonder what Nomind/Dogass's excuse is.

    2. berkeleyfarm

      Since I wasn't clear in my response to Barb – I am so sorry that you had to live with that, and bless the late Mrs. Ford and anyone else who was able to show you light in the darkness.

    3. fuflans

      space FUCKING pac!

      where is our space FUCKING pac. i am not snarking here. i have said this over and over again sometimes at huffpo.

      i need to have a spacepac before i die.

  9. neiltheblaze

    It's so easy to forget that there were once sane – and even "nice" – Republicans in public life.

    Betty Ford was classy, smart, and compassionate. She's such a contrast to the shrieking lunatics who infest the Republican Party now.

    1. DahBoner

      "She's such a contrast to the shrieking lunatics who infest the Republican Party now."

      That reminds me, did you know "gilipollas" means asshole in Basque?

  10. ttommyunger

    Warren Commission, Nixon's cleanup man, the Nixon Pardon, married to the consummate company man, she did nothing to earn the baggage but had to shoulder it with her "Go along to get along" husband. I'd head for the bottom of the nearest bottle too. RIP.

    1. DahBoner

      Good point!

      If you had to sleep with a Law and Order Republican who was "soft on crime" like Ford was with Nixon, you'd down a bottle of tranquilizers washed down with vodka, too….

  11. FakaktaSouth

    I admire her ability to do what she did – both to herself and for others. Good on her for making yet another place for Elizabeth Taylor to find a husband and for giving me hope that I can keep up the "better living thru chemistry lifestyle" for another couple of decades and STILL outlive my old man. Respect.

  12. Pragmatist2

    Today Republicans look to women like Palin and Bachmann for leadership. That shows how much the GOP has declined since the days of a brave and gracious woman like Betty Ford.

  13. Hurricane Ali

    Can we please not glorify this woman like she's Princess Di? She may have been nice, but so are a lot of people. The poor woman was stuck in a marriage with Gerald (ew) and found solace in drinking and drugging it up. Hey, but they named a rehab hospital after her, though! Nice legacy. Is it that slow a news weekend, media types?

    1. Rotundo_

      I think it's just nostalgia for a time when political personalities tried to present a face to the public that wasn't screaming, ugly and loud. There have always been nutters on both sides, but now the inmates have taken over the asylum. No republican politician before W could pass the current standards for mean, stupid, and greedy behavior demonstrated by that party now. All of the shit from 50's on has boiled up and been distilled into a spirit that is really nasty. With the current crew, I really do not see democracy lasting much longer. The coming dictatorship will not be a benign one either. Jeebus Uber Alles Y'All.

    2. Nothingisamiss

      Ummm…it wasn't 'cause she was "nice." Not to play the age/wisdom card here, but how old are you, anyway? There's a lot of life experience that'll teach you not to shit-snark about people who did things with their life. This woman went through all kinds of hell and then stayed at the mouth of the volcano to help others get the fuck out as well.

      Nothing wrong with posting generous words about people we're sorry to see die. It's sad, you see, that's why it takes a bit of snark out of most of us. Hardly glorification. Many of us here are human.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        Many of us here are human.

        Are you sure? I thought we were part of the Culture of Death, a bunch of ants, robots programmed by George Soros to do his nefarious bidding, and the like.

        And frankly, judging by our avatars, one might easily assume that a great number of us are kittycats in amusing poses.

      2. berkeleyfarm

        A-fucking-men.

        If the commenter is young, she (?) probably wasn't around or doesn't remember a time when Some Things Just Weren't Talked About.

        Betty talked. She was straight-up, no chaser, and people listened. And a lot of people got better, or at least got help, as a result.

    3. mavenmaven

      Read the new york times obit, she was apparently a pretty cool and tough woman her whole life who took very little $%$t from anyone. Even the line about how she handled the press regarding her previous divorce was impressive given the times. And having the balls to deal with her issues was particularly ground breaking.

      1. berkeleyfarm

        It's hard to remember now in the era of Newt, but divorce used to be the political kiss of death. It wasn't Jerry's divorce, but still. There was a lot of pearl-clutching when he picked Rockefeller as his Veep, as Rockefeller had been divorced.

        When I entered college a few years later, I had some older friends whose great-aunts wouldn't speak to them because they were divorced and remarried. Old school.

    4. Limeylizzie

      No, we should praise her, not like Di, who did very for which to be praised until fairly late in her celebrity, but because she actually made a great deal of difference to people's lives, so calm down and maybe read about her life before denigrating it.

    5. Hurricane Ali

      Okay, will take a step or two back and read about her first – I still think that we go gaga over folks too often after they die and we don't stop and think about all the people who do way more but are never recognized because they weren't married to the POTUS or whatever. She may have made drug and alcohol rehab socially acceptable which opened the doors of recovery for a lot of suffering folks, and working to help others is only expected of each of us in this world.

      I also got spanked over this once before – when my mama spanked me good for laughing when I heard Ford was put in place after Nixon was removed from office (I was three). HISTORY WILL VINDICATE ME AGAIN!

      1. PsycWench

        That's true for some people (Michael Jackson) but for others it reminds us of good things that we have long since taken for granted.

        1. Hurricane Ali

          True. I think I'm just out of the loop here, generationally-speaking, so I'm not making the same connections, here.

          Also I have upfisted everyone on this sub thread because I am not a troll even though everyone else has treated me like one for my supposedly untoward comments about the wife of a president who was in place for 2.5 years. Butthurt!

          1. Nothingisamiss

            Didn't at all think you were a troll, just that you didn't know her legacy. There's no way a first lady would be as straight talking now as then. Put a little ice on your chair and have a drink.

    6. glamourdammerung

      Do I personally care that she died? No, as I did not know her. We were not chums or anything. But she did do a lot of legitimate good for others and I really do not see an issue in acknowledging that.

  14. PsycWench

    I was a little surprised at the NPR story that made a point of saying she was more popular than her husband. I seem to remember that the majority of first ladies were more popular than their husbands. Certainly Laura Bush was.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      As is Michelle Obama, to the consternation of freepers, who call her a Wookiee (but they're absolutely not being racist).

    2. Rotundo_

      I think the only two first ladies that were (or are) less popular than their presidents might be Rosalynn Carter and Babs Bush, Rosalynn was not as much a people person as Jimmy, and Babs has managed to shit the former first lady bed with some of her comments (like the ones after Katrina about how lucky the people living in Texas shelters were) and her generally nasty demeanor.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        See also Al Franken's chapter "I Meet Former First Lady Barbara Bush And It Doesn't Go Well" in Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, a partly-gutted version of which you can find pretty easily on Google Books by searching the chapter title, but which I can't directly link to here because Google is afraid of Big Publishing.

      2. tymberwolf817

        And then there's Hillary who half the country was/is convinced was/is a lesbian (not that there's anything wrong with that), and that despite liking the ladies she decided to have an affair with Vince Foster.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          Who she then ordered killed, although his death "was ruled a suicide."

          She also had Ron Brown killed, and covered it up by making his plane crash in a snowstorm.

      3. MrFizzy

        I once read a column about Babs that said in effect "all you need to know about W is right there in in that statement his mom made about the Katrina victims".

  15. ProgressiveInga

    Mrs Ford lived her recovery out loud way before it was cool. RIP, courageous lady.

  16. weejee

    Bottoms up Betty. Oh, and while our bottoms are up how about a quick mooning for Michele Bachmann, the sober and shrieky AntiBetty?

    1. Radiotherapy®

      Worse than Anti-Betty, her and Marcus run rehab for the ghey — whatever that is.

      1. user-of-owls

        whatever that is.

        A swindle, rook, goldbrick, nobble, diddle, bunco, scam, gyp, hornswoggle or mulct.

        Take your pick.

    2. Rotundo_

      It really does surprise me that Minnesota, which seemed somewhat rational about things doesn't regulate psychological counseling in some sense. That some yahoo like Marcus can hang up a shingle and call it therapy and get paid for it is amazing. I would have expected it in South Carolina or Georgia or Texas, but Minnesota?

  17. NorthStarSpanx

    Betty managed to turn a pretty nasty vice into a pretty acceptable mainstream legacy. Are you a sloppy and poorly managed drunk? Go to Betty Ford, it's as good as a Get Out of Jail for Free card.

    If Anthony Weiner has any hope to rehabilitate his image, he and Tiger Woods should create a new Weiner Institute on Woods.

  18. MozakiBlocks

    She was rather outspoken, helped a lot of people, and had a pretty good sense of humor. Are we sure she was a Republican?

    RIP Mrs. Ford and thanks for what you did.

  19. LionHeartSoyDog

    OT and seriously:
    Kudos to the Wonkets for the ACLU ad, "No to Torture."
    Many Thanks and Best Wishes.

    (shame on us if those bloody war criminals are never held accountable)

    1. riverside68

      If I am not mistaken, Wonkett is just taking the money as it cums

      IMHO Kudos should be to ACLU for paying Wonkett, as well as continuing the fight for accountablity, as well as their war on Christ-mass (snark alert). (yes, I have their card, why do you ask?)

  20. orygoon

    She po'd the nascent frothy republicans by being pro-choice and openminded about kids and pot and stuff, and some accused HER of costing the GOP the close 1976 election. And she grew up pretty much a Democrat, and admitted to "splitting the ticket" with her vote long after her husband was in politics. She was pretty cool. Wonder whom(s) she voted for in the last 20 years or so?

    1. berkeleyfarm

      That election was pretty close. I would apply Occam's Razor and point to the pardon that Ford signed for Nixon, though. It's not like Jimmy Carter didn't have relatives who spoke their minds.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        Hell, I'd simply say Carter mostly won because people wanted to vote against Nixon, who was no longer available to kick.

        1. berkeleyfarm

          The F-U factor was strong in that election, to be sure.

          The popular vote was close, and with a shift in a couple of big EV states that Carter won (Texas! was that the last time it went Dem?), Ford could have done it. I will maintain to my dying day that the pardon pissed enough voters off to make the difference. He'd been brought in as Mr. Clean, but the pardon really connected him with Watergate in a lot of people's minds.

          1. not that Dewey

            Don't forget — in a classic move of "bipartisanship", he also pardoned the draft-dodgers who had fled to Canuckistan. But that probably didn't win him many votes. That should probably be a lesson to Barry, or something.

          2. berkeleyfarm

            I had forgotten. I think it was the right move, although it probably hurt him in the primary (Reagan primaried him). It took me years to recognize that the Nixon pardon was probably the right move, too, but tempers were still high in '76.

          3. not that Dewey

            It was rather deft, politically. And probably the right move (to the extent that "preserving the Union" is a noble goal). He simultaneously played to opposing bases. And he found a way to rationalize the Nixon pardon:

            From wiki:After Ford left the White House in 1977, intimates said that the former President privately justified his pardon of Nixon by carrying in his wallet a portion of the text of Burdick v. United States, a 1915 U.S. Supreme Court decision which stated that a pardon indicated a presumption of guilt, and that acceptance of a pardon was tantamount to a confession of that guilt.

          4. riverside68

            Sorry, but as a draft resistor from those days, Ford's pardon of the Canuckistanie's was conditional upon community service, unlike Nixon's unconditional pardon. (Carter was the one who made it unconditional.)

            My position was "I spit on your pardon. I want restitution." But then again I was not a Canuckistanie, but a Veteran of Domestic Wars, and thus not eligible anyway.

          5. not that Dewey

            A fair point. See, that's how far "bipartisanship" will get you. Nobody wins (except the scumbag who caused the problem in the first place).

            I am a fourth-generation pacifist. My father went to extraordinary lengths to remain enrolled in grad school/have babies in order to avoid the War.

  21. Nothingisamiss

    As I said upthread, many of our fat freepers and morans owe their early detection and hopefully successful brest cancer treatment to this woman. She didn't only talk openly about it, her husband did, too, and they helped to fund research when people thought science was a good thing.

    She was for the ERA when Phyllis Schafley screamed her insanity, and she talked about sex, divorce, her kids and her drinking/drug abuse like she was a human that had some wisdom.

    I kinda need Obama to have the balls of Betty Ford.

    1. PsycWench

      All this was conveniently forgotten by the "I'm not a feminist" female lawyers, executives and politicians. Feminists of the 1960's and 70's must sometimes feel as though they cleaned a bathtub for someone who then proceeded to piss in it.

      1. Papa_Uniform

        Roger that, PsycWench. I am continually amazed at how young women so easily accept the privileges desperately fought for by women like Betty Ford, then assure all within hearing range that they are not a "feminist".

        Rest in peace sweet Lady. You fought the good fight.

      2. Geminisunmars

        Apparently to many of these "girls" feminist = man-hater, and they have no sense of history (or herstory). But I have to admit I was perhaps equally oblivious about the history of the Suffrage movement, and the feminists of the 1800s until I was older and interested in learning. We can only remind others of where we've been and what it might mean to the present.

  22. Callyson

    There is a gay gift shop in San Diego that used to sell "Betty Ford Center" T – shirts (maybe they still do: anyone here been to Babette Schwartz recently?) I had one for years and loved seeing the double takes people would do when they noticed it. (No, I never went to rehab, though my mom probably would have liked it if I did.)
    Rest in peace, Betty…you were and are an inspiration.

  23. weejee

    While on this drunken meme, how about the Rethugs spending like drunken sailors on the beach during the 8 Raygun and 12 Bushie years when most all of the current debt was incurred. Thom Hartmann takes them to task on their pulling all the equity out of the national house and now telling Obamar he's a spendtrift to pay the mortgage.

    Assholey, assholes.

    1. DahBoner

      Basically, the Republican strategy all along was to run up the debt and then cry about how big the debt has become and how we need to cut programs to poor and middle class people.

      Sorta like a automobile window repair shop paying some kids to go out and break car windows…

  24. pinkocommi

    Ironically, heaven is all you can drink. And you never throw up or get a hangover. Welcome, Betty. Make yourself at home.

  25. El Pinche

    Last week , I time-traveled with Jagermeister and threw up in the backseat of my friend's car. Where's my god damn clinic??

  26. MinAgain

    I raise a glass in her memory. However, in light of my own personal addiction, it's a glass of diet Coke.

  27. Walkinwiddaking

    Why do the first ladies inevitably have so much more class than the first dudes? Not in all cases, I'm just talkin" overall.

  28. Beowoof

    RIP Betty, with your passing apparently the lest vestige of a rational republican party passes.

  29. Negropolis

    A modern dance student, a divorcee, an womens rights advocate, a cancer advocate, a recovering alcoholic…that woman lived life, to say the least. She's from the time when we still had actual thinking Republicans left. She and her husband would be labeled heretics in their party, today. In fact, they'd been increasingly marginalized in their ridiculously conservative West Michigan powerbase in the last decade or so.

    BTW, kind of off topic, but Grand Rapids is dealing with other loses, today. I'm sure you guys heard that the city had its worst mass killing in its history with the senseless massacre of seven of its residents the other day, and the injuring of many others. This senseless gun violence has got to stop.

    1. MrFizzy

      Don't know if you are from there, but my sympathy if you are. Mass killings with automatic weapons seem to be getting normalized at this point, another definite sign of our decline as a civilized country, if we ever were. I particularly feel sorry for Mexicans, who also get to enjoy the many benefits of American-made assault weapons and bullets, as part of their ongoing drug war, also funded by the US. It may be in our constitution that we're allowed to own guns and shoot each other, but it's just pitiful that we are effectively exporting the problem as well.

  30. Negropolis

    BTW, here is what Gerald Ford had to say in an interview that was to be released only after his death:

    Ford attacks Bush over Iraq invasion in message from beyond the grave

    President George Bush, accustomed to criticism from Republicans of his father's generation, suffered a rebuke from beyond the grave from the late president Gerald Ford yesterday in published comments calling the war on Iraq a mistake.

    In an interview with the Washington Post's Bob Woodward, granted on condition that it be published only after Mr Ford's death, the late president said he strongly disagreed with Mr Bush's stated justification for the war – that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. He also suggested Mr Bush had departed from his overriding duty as president to act in America's national interest.

    "I don't think I would have gone to war," Mr Ford told Woodward in an interview at his Colorado home in July 2004. "I would have maximised our effort through sanctions, through restrictions, whatever to find another answer."

    The criticism from Mr Ford extended to the architects of the war – the former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld and the vice-president, Dick Cheney – an inclusion that must have been especially wounding for both men, who served in the Ford administration and considered the former president a lifelong friend.

    "Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction," Mr Ford said. "And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do."

    Mr Ford went on to say he understood Mr Bush's often-stated desire to bring democracy to the Middle East, but added: "I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people unless it is directly related to our own national security."

    God bless that clutz.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      See? Total RINO, and an America-hater to boot!

      Actually, I'm sort of annoyed by the "don't publish this until I'm dead" proviso–rather like Barry Goldwater's waiting until he was retired before he disagreed with the Right. If you want to be credible, go on the record when you see a problem, rather than taking potshots from retirement / the grave.

      1. Negropolis

        This was the man that pardoned Nixon, after all. No one ever called him brave or courageous, let's just say. He was a "go along to get along type guy" which is fine if your the Speaker of the House, but quite the vice when you're president of the United States.

        All that said, he was a classy, old-fashioned guy who didn't spend his life trying to be a jerk everyone, and that is something of an accomplishment. Because he didn't spend his entire adult life trying to chase the presidency as so many future presidents do, he brought something interesting to the office in terms of character and personality.

      2. flamingpdog

        Other thing to keep in mind is that he was part and parcel of the Kennedy assassination investigation committee. He probably knew what happens to people that buck the powers that be, and probably wanted to die peacefully in bed.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          Yeah, yeah, you're only saying that because the HAARP chemtrail mind-control rays are making you say that.

  31. imissopus

    Slightly but not totally OT, since we're mourning the loss of a reasonable Republican: Boehner tonight officially abandoned a "Grand Bargain" in the debt ceiling talks over the WH insisting on some sort of tax increases. He's now saying they should go for something like Biden's been negotiating, which would be all cuts and entitlement reform, and apparently not even closing any loopholes. I guess he stuck his orange thumb up and felt which way the wind was blowing, and bowed to the screaming fuckheads on the right. Great leadership, Orange Julius. It's gonna be a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong 2012.

    1. Negropolis

      I dare that duplicitous MF to raise hell to earth. This is what he gets for trying to ride a tornado. I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but Eric Cantor has been trying to bury Boehner since before Day #1. It's only a matter of time before the angry mob reaches the Republican gates…

    2. FlipOffResearch

      I'll see your OT and raise it by one. You mentioned addressing the deficit by closing the loopholes. I believe this is a misnomer.

      The definition of the first thing that popped up when I Googled loophole was: " an ambiguity, omission, etc., as in a law, by which one can avoid a penalty or responsibility".

      This would seem to imply that these are accidental oversights in the laws that shifty lawyers are exploiting.

      It is my contention that these are specific tax dodges intentionally written into the law at the behest of lobbyists in exchange for money. A search of synonyms for loophole provides no satisfactory word for this case. So may I propose a new word to describe this horrendous rending of our democracy?

      bribehole : an intentionally written tax dodge made in exchange for money.

      Hello Webster!

    1. x111e7thst

      Clearly the city could reduce crime and save money by just shutting the P.D. down. It worked in Texas!

    2. Doktor Zoom

      I gotta say, I did like the idea somebody mentioned in the comments to the linked article: Superglue replica rifles to the trunks of police cruisers, for the lulz.

    3. starfanglednut

      "Ryan enjoyed two bottles of this fancy Pinor Noir while dining the other night with a pair of conservative economists "

      I could not make this shit up if I tried.

    4. horsedreamer_1

      I see a monster throw-down at The Atlantic between Green & Mc Cardle. & you know that second one fights dirty. So, get your diapers on, Joshua Green — Meghan Mc Cardle wants to see you. & she knows which Josh Green you are; the deadbeat liberal Josh Green. You're not dealing with morons, here.

  32. VinnyThePooh

    How do you honor a President? Why, put his name on an aircraft carrier of course. I imagine the George H W Bush carrier produced a guffaw from Admiral Vysotskiy, but I'm sure he went into laughing hysterics upon hearing of this class of carriers.

      1. VinnyThePooh

        I worry more about the future USS John McCain. The entire air wing will crash into the fantail.

  33. AJWjr.

    In honor of Betty, 22 years ago last night I took my last drink. How's that for commitment?

      1. AJWjr.

        Of course, us congratulating each other for not drinking is about like congratulating someone for not putting their hand on a hot stovetop, but way to go!

    1. BlueStateLibel

      Good for you. As the saying goes, there's no problem that alcohol (and cops) can't make worse.

  34. Doktor Zoom

    Completely OT, but here's a fun factoid: A survey of people who benefit from various government social investment programs (including tax deductions for home mortgages, child care, the EITC, etc.) found that large percentages of them believe that they "have not used a government social program."
    http://www.boingboing.net/2011/07/08/half-of-us-s

    Of course, in the comments, there's a lot of libertard insistence that targeted tax deductions are NOT social programs, since they simply "allow me to keep more of my money." Bullshit. If it's a financial incentive to have kids or buy a house, and not everyone benefits, it's a social program, you parasites.

      1. user-of-owls

        You know who else (Palin) has parasites (Hookworm), according (Conjecture) to some?

        1. Doktor Zoom

          Oh, sure. Libunatics are sooooo tolerant, except when it comes to snowbilly grifters with hookworms. You hypocrites make me sick.

          1. Radiotherapy®

            Hookworms, hookworms, hookworms. That's all I ever hear about here. It's enough to make you sick.
            It's not like the Repubs will ever budge on taxes job killing. or the Demorats will agree with the 65-70% of Americans who clearly say tax the Koch's a 3% 35 ÷ 3 = 8%. How can you raise taxes job killing measures when we're facing the threat of terrorism?
            You Libunatics just don't get that the tenth, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is just two months away.
            And if you're a real Doktor, don't you know Obamacare is going to destroy this country all the while keeping it from ever having a sensible health care system that costs 1/3 of what we pay now?

      2. Doktor Zoom

        Creeping socialism? Depends on the parasite…some creep, some burrow, others propagate in the bloodstream…I suppose some even wriggle around in excrement…

  35. AJWjr.

    As I alluded in the previous post about Perry, because these things always run in threes, my vote for next is Nancy, because the math just ain't that hard here. This is where you all get to vote for your own favorite next victim, not counting Mamie Eisenhower, because I think she might still be dead.

    1. flamingpdog

      There's always a chance a former boyfriend of Laura Bush will run a stop sign and kill her. Sometimes those things even out. I'd vote for Babs Bush, but I think she's been dead for decades.

      1. Radiotherapy®

        Memorialized like the Interstate Highway System I always see in those lame, apocalyptic Cormac McCarthy stories?
        Breezewood , Who, who. who was behind the greatest scam of the 1950's, i.e. Breezewood?

  36. proudgrampa

    I don't remember much about her drug / alcohol abuse (maybe I was too drunk / stoned). But as the husband of a breast cancer survivor, Betty Ford was an inspiration: she openly talked about it and, I think, helped encourage a lot of brave women to get mammograms and checked out. She survived a long time after her cancer and I think that was further inspiration.

    Rest in Peace.

  37. Negropolis

    And the only fair thing about you being able to keep up that stupid meme is that you've been dead inside for years.

  38. tribbzthesquidz

    "keep that teh stupid meme"-"self-absorption as cocksuredness"

    Threats. Also.

    Fuckstick.

  39. flamingpdog

    Which means that Nomind/Dogass/The Chimp downfisted both of N_R's posts. Why does he hate America?

  40. Neilist_Returns

    I'm not "Neilist."

    I'm a simulation of the idea of the concept that you thought was "Neilist."

    Brought to you by News Corp., the Integrity People.

    P.S. "Humor"? What "humor"? (Save for, perhaps, the vaporous kind.)

  41. Doktor Zoom

    On the other hand, "Eleanor" was relentlessly unfunny. If all three were the same person (and only their hairdresser knows for sure), then Neilist v3 is a marked improvement over Release 2.0

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