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Category Archives: Bush

You know how the GOP religiously courts the white evangelical? You know how Dubya prided himself at “connecting” with this group? Well if this chart is to be believed, white evangelicals are less entrenched in the world of politics than we have been led to think. Black Protestants and white Catholics are another story.

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Matt Latimer‘s new book shares with the world what the former Fratboy-In-Chief had to say about other politicians. None of it very nice. For instance, Sarah Palin:

“I’m trying to remember if I’ve met her before. I’m sure I must have.” His eyes twinkled, then he asked, “What is she, the governor of Guam?” …
“This woman is being put into a position she is not even remotely prepared for,” he said. “She hasn’t spent one day on the national level. Neither has her family. Let’s wait and see how she looks five days out.”

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George W. Bush never liked being second-guessed for his decisions. He preferred to leave things to the “long view of history.” Well, economically, the long view isn’t exactly shaping up to exonerate the Dubster. The Atlantic reports on the latest census report:
That leaves Bush with the dubious distinction of becoming the only president in recent history to preside over an income decline through two presidential terms, notes Lawrence Mishel, president of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. The median household income increased during the two terms of Clinton (by 14 per cent, as we’ll see in more detail below), Ronald Reagan (8.1 per cent), and Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford (3.9 per cent). As Mishel notes, although the global recession decidedly deepened the hole-the percentage decline in the median income from 2007 to 2008 is the largest single year fall on record-average families were already worse off in 2007 than they were in 2000, a remarkable result through an entire business expansion. “What is phenomenal about the years under Bush is that through the entire business cycle from 2000 through 2007, even before this recession…working families were worse off at the end of the recovery, in the best of times during that period, than they were in 2000 before he took office,” Mishel says. Bush’s record on poverty is equally bleak. When Clinton left office in 2000, the Census counted almost 31.6 million Americans living in poverty. When Bush left office in 2008, the number of poor Americans had jumped to 39.8 million (the largest number in absolute terms since 1960.) Under Bush, the number of people in poverty increased by over 8.2 million, or 26.1 per cent. Over two-thirds of that increase occurred before the economic collapse of 2008.

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The New Republic has an interesting take on the Cairo speech:

Obama’s Cairo speech had a misleading quality to it. The president was speaking the rhetoric of Reagan, while intending to execute the policy of George H. W. Bush. Conveying the image of an emotional, forthcoming, and understanding bridge-builder, he is actually a cautious and calculated leader, wanting to scale down America’s foreign policy–back to the days when “interests” were king, not “ideologies.” Obama is a new type of the old “realist.” He is a realist with feelings–one that can naturally combine a call for halting Iran’s nuclear weapons because of “America’s interests” (and others’) with his personal story of “an African-American with the name Barack Hussein Obama.”

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Remember when this guy was supposed to be a conservative? Right, that worked out nicely for the right wing activists, huh? Now Supreme Court Justice David Souter is making his most liberal move yet. He is retiring. It’s the perfect opportunity for Obama to nominate a liberal who turns out to be a pro-life conservative. It could happen.

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I can’t help but wonder if the Yale hazing rituals made our former Fratboy President a little clueless about what constitutes inhumane treatment of unsentenced detainees:

Here are details of the methods described in the memos: WATERBOARDING :: This technique induced a sensation of drowning. The detainee would lie face-up and strapped down with his head inclined down. A cloth was placed over his face on which cold water was poured for periods of at most 40 seconds. “This creates a barrier through which it is either difficult or impossible to breathe,” one memo said. Each session could last no more than two hours. “Water may be applied for a total of no more than 12 minutes during any 24-hour period,” the memo said. :: Former US President George W. Bush authorised the CIA to use waterboarding in interrogations of senior al Qaeda suspects after the September 11 attacks. It was used against the suspected planner of the attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, and two others – senior al Qaeda members Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the government memos said. :: Human Rights Watch says waterboarding dates at least to the Spanish Inquisition and was also used in Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s. OTHER METHODS :: Placing an insect into a “confinement box” was sought as a tactic on Zubaydah. He could be kept in a larger box in which he could both stand and sit for up to 18 hours, but would not spend more than an hour at a time in the “smaller” box. Interrogators planned to tell Zubaydah they were putting a stinging insect into the box but it would actually be harmless “such as a caterpillar.” :: In “walling,” the interrogator would pull a detainee toward him, then slam him against a “flexible false wall” in a technique designed to create a loud sound and shock the prisoner. A detainee may be walled once to make a point or 20 to 30 times when interrogation requires “a more significant response to a question.” :: Sleep deprivation, in which detainees were shackled in a standing position, was used on more than a dozen detainees for more than 48 hours, on three detainees for more than 96 hours and on one detainee for the maximum allowed of 180 hours. :: Three interrogation techniques are typically used as a starting point to show the detainee has no control over basic human needs. They are “nudity, sleep deprivation (with shackling and, at least at times with use of a diaper), and dietary manipulation,” according to one memo.

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Funny enough, all the secret documents of the Bush administration have a new caretaker: the Obama White House. So when are they going to reveal all Bush’s dirty little secrets? Umm, they aren’t.

Meanwhile, the administration clings to its bizarre decision to hold fast to the Bush administration’s all-encompassing view of the “state secrets” privilege, and the Nixonian view of executive power deployed to justify it. The Obama administration has also been quick to embrace the Bush view of secrecy in cases involving the disclosure of Bush era e-mails and has dragged its feet in various other cases seeking Bush-era records. If there is a coherent disclosure principle at work here, I have yet to discern it.

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Political cartoons with presidents and chimpanzees aren’t necesarily racist.

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A survey of historians has ranked Abraham Lincoln as the best President in US history. They have ranked George W. Bush as 36th. Just below Herbert Hoover. Dubya is still waiting on the long view of history rather than the short view of historians. After all, Lincoln wasn’t doing all that well a hundred years ago.

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Andrew Sullivan contrasts Obama and Bush:

One impression from Obama’s interactions with the Republicans and Democrats in Congress: Obama clearly sees the presidency as a different institution than his immediate predecessor. This is a good thing, it seems to me. Bush had imbibed a monarchical sense of the office from his father and his godfather (Cheney). The monarch decided. If you were lucky, you’d get an explanation later, usually dolled up in propaganda. But the president had one accountability moment – the election of 2004 – and the rest of the time he saw the presidency as a form of power that should be used with total boldness and declarative clarity…If Bush was about the presidency as power, Obama is about the presidency as authority. It’s fascinating to watch this deep difference in understanding slowly but unmistakably realize itself in public actions. Somewhere the Founders are smiling.

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Bush’s Farewell Address. Or Ferrell Address. Kinda the same thing.

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If Reagan was the Great Communicator, Dubya has been the Great Mangler of the English language. In his final press conference he made this statement concerning Iraq: “Not having weapons of mass destruction was a significant disappointment.” 23/6 couldn’t allow that one to pass:

Wait, what? Iraq’s failure to be in possession with weapons of mass destruction was disappointing to you? Has anyone ever said such a thing out loud? Forget presidents. Has any American ever said they were disappointed that a hostile country did not possess the power to destroy America?

The president followed that with, “I don’t know if you want to call those mistakes or not…”

Yes, we do. We REALLY want to call that a mistake. Not only was invading a country for possession of WMDs when they didn’t have them an enormous mistake, but you may be the first man on the planet who was “disappointed” that Saddam Hussein never got around to that whole nuclear capability thing.

Our little Dubya. Gotta love him!

It’s nice to be getting my weekly e-mail video from the President-elect. But not to be outdone, Dubya and the gang are sending out their Christmas Card digitally this year. And it appears we are all on the list. Enjoy. Rin Tin Tin, you’ve met your match.

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Well, clearly George W. Bush learned one thing from Ronald Reagan: to duck. Today in Iraq, the outgoing U.S. presdient was assailed by a shoe-wielding Iraqi reporter. While some pundits have interpreted the attack as a pointed critique on the Bush Doctrine, White House officials have assured us that it is simply another example of America being greeted as liberators. “When they can’t throw confetti,” a spokesman explained, “They improvise.” God bless you, Mr. Bush.