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February 24, 2017     Post-Gazette
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February 24, 2017

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POST-GAZETtE, FEBRUARY 24, 2017 PAGE 3 Pamela Donnaruma, Publisher and Editor 5 Prince Street, P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 617-227-8929 617-227-8928 FAX 617-227-5307 e-mail: Website: www.BostonPostGazette .corn Subscriptions in the United States $35.00 yearly Published weekly by Post-Gazette, 5 Prince St., P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 USPS 1538 - Second-Class Postage paid at Boston, MA POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the POST-GAZETTE - P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 James V. Donnaruma Caesar L. Donnaruma Phyllis F. Donnaruma 1896 to 1953 1953 to 1971 1971 to 1990 Vol. 121 - No. 8 Friday, February 24, 2017 OUR POLICY: To help preserve the ideals and sacred traditions of this our adopted country the United States of America: To revere its laws and inspire others to respect and obey thenu To strive unceasingly to quicken the public's sense of civic duty: In all ways to aid in making this country greater and better than we found it. GUEST EDITORIAL Rating the Presidents -- and Obama Editor's Spectator. by Dr. Paul Kengor note: This artide first appeared at The American been getting emails from bewildered colleagues asking about a survey of presidential scholars that determined that Barack Obama is the 12th best president in the history of the United States, putting him near the top quartile of our presidents. How can this be? I, too, was mystified, especially given that I participated in the survey. The survey was conducted by the impeccably fair C-SPAN. Few sources do their job like C-SPAN does. If you want truly unfiltered news, C-SPAN is unrivaled for its ability to simply place a camera in a room and let reality speak for itself. When it comes to surveys of presidents, C-SPAN likewise has no peer. I remember the nauseating presidential surveys in the 1980s and 1990s. They were mere measurements of the liberalism of the academy -- that is, liberal historians and liberal political scientists expressing their liberalism by their liberal rankings of presidents. It was a farce. C-SPAN, fortunately, has endeavored to provide a valuable corrective. In 2000, 2009, and 2017, C-SPAN set out to do its own survey and has indeed assembled a more rounded group of scholars. (I was among those surveyed for the 2009 rank- ing, as welL) To be sure, most (if not the vast majority} of the scholars surveyed are clearly on the left, but there are a decent rlumber of conservatives: By my estimate, over a dozen, pos- sibly as many as 20. Of course, that's still far out of proportion with the population at large; where self-identified conservatives have outnumbered liberals for decades (usually in the range of 35-40 percent self-identified conservatives vs. 20-25 percent self-identified liberals). C-SPAN needs to do better next time around. A field of 10-20 conservatives among 91 participants isn't good, albeit better than the nonsense we used to see in biased surveys. Likewise befitting C-SPAN's fairness, the ranking criteria for the presidents are commendably nonpartisan. The criteria are obviously intended to remove ideology from those do- ing the judging. Here are the 10 criteria: Public Persuasion, Crisis Leadership, Economic Management, Moral Authority, International Relations, Administrative Skills, Relations with Congress, Vision / Setting an Agenda, Pursued Equal Justice For All, and Performance Within Context of Times For each of the 10 criteria, a president received a score ranging from one ("not effective') to 10 (~ery effective'). I'd like readers to pause and look at those criteria carefully. Imagine if you were doing the judging. Given these criteria -- again, essentially non-ideological criteria -- I personally had no choice but to score very highly presidents like FOR and Woodrow Wilson and LBJ, all of whose presidencies I either did not approve of or outright despised or found destructive. But facts are facts: These presidents were extremely effective. No, I personally didn't like how they were effective, but they were effective nonetheless. Did Wilson have an agenda and vision and get it through? Oh, yes. You bet he did. So did FOR and LBJ. And yet, those same criteria prompted me to rank Washing- ton, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Reagan, and Eisenhower very high. I will not here share exactly how I tallied each, but I will say that those presidents in my top 10 were very similar to those in the overall top 10. Here's the top 10 that C-SPAN compiled: Lincoln, Washington, FOR, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Tru- man, Jefferson, Kennedy, Reagan, and LBJ Following at 11 and 12, respectively, were Woodrow Wilson and Obama. (For the record, I gave Kennedy a decent rating, but to place him in the top 10, and ahead of Reagan, is just plain stupid. Gee, the guy wasn't even president three fi.ill years.} But what about Barack Obama at 127 I~I say this as nicely (Continued on Page 9) The 2017 oston lower Garden Show Look/It's a bulb ... it's a plant.., it's the "Superheroes of the Garden'" at March 22-26, 2017 The Boston Flower & Garden Show will once again transform the Seaport World Trade Cen- ter into New England's largest greenhouse from March 22-26, 2017, at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. This year's theme, "Superheroes of the Garden," will celebrate the most powerful forces of Gar- dening Good ever assembled. The extravagant five-day event features over 15 garden displays created by professional landscape designers and nurs- eries that incorporate plants, materials, and techniques, all representing this year's theme. These intrepid landscapers honor the horticultural cru- saders' innovative tools, con- cepts, and plants to empower us all in the Battle for Garden Supremacy. Marvel at their powers and abilitiesl the Boston Flower & Garden Show/ at the Seaport World Trade Center Heimlich Nurseries SHOW HIGHLIGHTS Gardens & Disp/ays: Expe- rience lush landscaped garden designs, innovative plantings and eco-design concepts from premier landscapers, nurser- ies and horticulturalist orga- nizations, all competing for prestigious honors awarded by credentialed judges. The Garden Marketplace: The ultimate shopping experi- ence for garden-related prod- ucts and services! Shop 200 vendors. Featured products and services include garden tools and furnishings, lahdscape services, botanical d6cor, and floral themed gifts, garden and floral accessories ... as well as thousands of plants, seeds, bulbs, cut flowers, herbs and trees[ Floral Invitaflanals: Gaze at grand, elegant designs created by the region's top professional florists for the Window Box Invitational, the Florists Invita- tional, and the Urban Garden Invitational. Amateur Competitions: Competitions set to the "Superheroes of the Garden" theme, amongst the region's top amateur floral arrangers and horticulturists. Coordinated by the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts and the Massach~/setts Horticultural Society. FREE Lectures & Demon- strations: Sharpen your super- powers and skiUs at hourly lec- tures from noted professionals on landscaping, edible garden- ing, plants and flowers. From master gardeners to master chefs, daily how-to classes and cooking demonstrations will be at the GEICO Demo Stage. A complete schedule will be posted on www.BostonFlower- Show.tom. A floral display from the 2016 Amateur Competition. Offered in partnership with the Boston Society of Landscape Architects. Ask the Experts: Vexing garden issues? From soil typing to insect treatments, master gardeners will be on hand to share their expertise. Little Sprouts Activity Center: Children's activities center features arts & crafts, face painting and garden fun. FLOWER SHOW AFTER DARK: When the sun goes SPECIAL PROGRAMMING: Hort in a Hurry -- Quick 20-minute demonstrations on popular topics such as "Suc- culent Garden Success" and "Flowering Bulb Container Gar- dens" offer quick useful tips for short attention spans! Garden Photography Work- shops -- Learn to make your photos bloom at garden photography workshops. Your snapshots from the show can be reviewed by an expert with a "green eye." Boston in Boston down, so does the admission price, Wednesday-Saturday after 5:00 pm. Begin your evening by exploring landscapes and floral designs. On Thurs- day or Friday evening Flower Show After Dark hosts "The Daily Plant-It" with hands-on succulent container workshops. After Dark tickets must be purchased onsite at the box office. PREVIEW PARTY: On Tues- day, March 21st, enjoy an ex- clusive and intimate first look at the 2017 Boston Flower & Garden Show. Heavy hors d'oeuvres, beer, and wine will be served. Live surprise musical entertainment provided by Mix 104.1. Past acts have included Haiey Reinhart, Matt Nathan- son, and The Plain White T's. Receive a ticket to return to the show (March 22-26, 2017), a $20 value. All proceeds benefit The Genesis Foundation for Children. The Seaport World Trade Center is located at 200 Seaport Boulevard, Boston. Group discount tickets are available for advance purchase in quantities of 15 or more. Visit www.BostonFlower- Show.tom for more information and to purchase tickets. Outdoor Living