Category Archives: President Bush

Apparently NOW Is The Time To Play The Blame Game

With Jeb!’s presidential campaign swirling the drain, I think it’s really cute how Papa Bush is now blaming the Cheney family and Donald Rumsfeld for the giant turd that is the Bush family legacy:

In interviews with his biographer, Mr. Bush said that Mr. Cheney had built “his own empire” and asserted too much “hard-line” influence within George W. Bush’s White House in pushing for the use of force around the world. Mr. Rumsfeld, the elder Mr. Bush said, was an “arrogant fellow” who could not see how others thought and “served the president badly.”

Mr. Bush’s sharp assessments, contained in a biography by Jon Meacham to be published by Random House next week, gave voice to sentiments that many long suspected he had harbored but kept private until now. While he continued to praise his son, he did tell Mr. Meacham that the younger Mr. Bush was responsible for empowering Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld and was at times too bellicose in his language

[…]

He speculated that Mr. Cheney was influenced by his wife, Lynne, and his daughter Liz, both strong conservatives. “I’ve concluded that Lynne Cheney is a lot of the éminence grise here – iron-ass, tough as nails, driving,” he said.

Talk about passing the buck. Not only does he blame Cheney and Rummy, he actually blames Cheney’s wife and daughter, too. Meanwhile W, his own demon spawn, is simply to blame for “letting” Cheney have too much power and using some impolite words.

What utter bullshit. W is the one who went to great lengths to make Cheney his veep in the first place. Many people have forgotten (or didn’t know to begin with) the court challenges to Cheney’s eligibility to be VP, which violated the 12th Amendment of the Constitution. An Appeals court stacked with Reagan appointees disagreed, but the fact remains, the Cheneys were residents of Dallas:

Cheney, a former Wyoming congressman, lived in Dallas while he was chairman of Halliburton Co. until he changed his voting registration to Teton County, Wyo., on July 21 — four days before becoming Bush’s running mate.

The campaign fought hard to keep Cheney on the ticket. This wasn’t W being a little too lenient with his veep. This was the GOP backing Darth Cheney’s agenda. I’ve always thought that there was some kind of coup within the Republican Party, a takeover by the oil interests who were hell bent on getting their hands on Iraq’s oil.

There were so many ways the Bush disaster could have been avoided. But it happened. W picked Cheney to be his vice president. W picked Rumsfeld. Jeb! did everything in his power to give his brother Florida’s electoral votes and the Supreme Court sealed the deal. Mistakes were made, sure, but the biggest ones seem to have been made by members of the Bush family itself. So don’t tell me the Iraq War and torture and our ruined economy and all the rest were really Liz Cheney’s fault. That’s fucking stupid.

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Filed under President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney

Just Folks

Right-wingers have called for the fainting couches because President Obama used the word “folks” when discussing post-9/11 torture. Specifically, he said,

“We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks.”

It apepars Obama’s use of the word “folks” has right-wingers more upset than the actual torture. Last night on Real Time With Bill Maher the Token Conservative™ derided Obama’s use of the word as “glib,” while Dan Froomkin Tweeted that it was a “malapropism” and inappropriate:

That’s just a sampling of the outrage, you can ask the Great Gazoogle for more.

Meanwhile, let’s take a trip into the Memory Hole and go back to Sept. 11, 2001 and President Bush’s very first comments about the tragedy while he was still at Booker Elementary School reading My Pet Goat:

I have spoken to the Vice President, to the Governor of New York, to the Director of the FBI, and have ordered that the full resources of the federal government go to help the victims and their families, and — and to conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act.

This was just minutes after the attacks. But the attackers were “folks.” I wonder if Dan Froomkin and the rest called for the fainting couches back then?

But by all means, let’s continue to attack Obama for using the word “folks,” not the Bush Administration for their actual torture policy. Our discourse in this country is so stupid.

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Filed under 9/11, conservatives, President Barack Obama, President Bush, torture

>Funny Things To Get Upset About

>I have to point out something about the right’s snickering over Obama’s use of a teleprompter. The point seems to be that Obama is a two-dimensional media star, someone who needs to be coached or scripted and is somehow something less than genuine and extemporaneous.

Alarmingly, this has been picked up as some kind of inside joke among reporters within the mainstream press, even creating the oft-repeated lie that “he used a teleprompter at a school!” (he didn’t). The hypocrisy is not just that every other politician of the modern era uses a teleprompter. The hypocrisy–and I’m talking to our illustrious mainstream media here–is that for eight years the Bush Administration created all sorts of made-for-prime-time phony media moments, which the MSM gobbled up like a starving man at the all-you-can-eat buffet.

The obvious, most notorious example of this was President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” moment, a staged piece of political theater the media gleefully celebrated, from the manly flight-suit landing to the banner to the speech declaring

“In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”

Only months later, when Iraq spiraled into chaos, did the media start to question this stunt, and they saved most of their criticism for the actual banner. Yet they were present on the USS Abraham Lincoln. They saw that the aircraft carrier was close to shore, that it had been turned so land would not appear within camera range. They knew the President could have helicoptered to the vessel, that a jet landing wasn’t needed, that it was just theater staged for them. Yet they said nothing at the time. They were complicit. Hey, they must have thought; it’s good TV!

There are dozens and dozens of examples of this kind of theater staged for the media during the Bush Administration. Using a teleprompter during a speech kinda pales by comparison.

Over at the Swash Zone today I was reminded of Shoshana Johnson. For those who don’t remember:

One of them was Specialist Shoshana Johnson, who would spend her 22 days in captivity with gunshot wounds to both legs. While the media frenzy was focused on the rescue of Lynch, the eventual rescue of the others by the Marines went largely unnoticed.

Ms Johnson, the first black female POW, came home but her troubles were far from over. While her physical wounds would eventually heal, her mental health was more precarious. To add insult to injury she not only suffered from PTSD but also had to endure being misaligned as being greedy for challenging her disability rating so that she could get better benefits.

The whole “Saving Jessica Lynch” storyline was even more embarassing for America’s media elites than their failure to adequately cover the Mission Accomplished incident.

The story was a highly packaged piece of Pentagon propaganda which our media again swallowed whole, sometimes even embellished on their own. Who can forget the exaggerations and outright fabrications of her story, the glowing NBC made-for-TV movie, the way the media completely ignored Shoshana Johnson and other members of Lynch’s unit? Even Lynch found this disparity upsetting.

There are tons of examples, Bush fielding softballs like “can I pray for you,” and “will you pray for Oregon,” and on and on and on. Funny how all of that has been forgotten amid snickers over Obama’s use of a Teleprompter.

You know, I expect the righties to try to make political hay out of anything they can get their hands on; a teleprompter seems kinda stupid, but whatever. But why is our media finding this funny?

The White House Press Corpse likes to be in on the joke, but what they don’t get is that they are the joke.

This really shows there are two sets of rules, one for Democrats and one for Republicans. For Democrats, even using a Teleprompter shows what a phony someone is. For Republicans, expensive and highly staged theatrical productions are no big deal, because it’s good TV.

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Filed under media, politics, President Barack Obama, President Bush

Flag Flap, Chinese Edition

Proving yet again that there’s nothing President Obama can do that won’t freak out the right wing nut jobs, I thought I’d call people’s attention to this fauxtroversy about flying the Chinese flag to honor the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Apparently it has occupied the right wingers for the past two weeks, though I just heard about it today.

It started, as these things often do, with Drudge and rapidly ricocheted around the right wing nuttosphere. Here’s fear-porn peddler Chuck Baldwin at News With Views:

Lest anyone doubt the communist leanings of President Barack Obama, look no further than to his decision to hoist the Red Chinese flag (for the first time in history) over the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, September 20.

ZOMG WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE!!!!1!!!11!!!ELEVEN!!!

Here’s the report from WingNut Daily:

The administration of President Barack Obama, whose official blogger while Obama was a candidate came under attack for hanging a Communist Party flag in his Harvard apartment, apparently has given permission to raise the emblem of Communist China over the south lawn of the White House.

The plan, reported by several English-language Chinese media outlets, has raised concern among those who are working to guard the United States from outside influences that could be threats.

According to the Global Times English-language edition, the national flag of the communist People’s Republic of China on Sept. 20 will be raised for the first time on the White House’s south lawn – a secured area seldom available for public events – in recognition of the Chinese anniversary.

ZOMG! The South Lawn is HALLOWED GROUND! Watered with the blood of PATRIOTS! There goes the Republic!!

WOLVERINES!

This just proves what a big fat Commie Obama is!

The story has since been picked up by right wing news outlets all around the country; one columnist even wondered:

Where is Senator “Tail Gunner” Joe Mcarthy when you need him?

Where indeed?

Of course Houston, we have a problem. This would not, in fact, be the first time the Chinese flag was flown over the South Lawn ever! Indeed, the Chinese flag flew on the South Lawn and all over the White House when George W. Bush welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao in April 2006. The Associated Press took a lot of real purty pitchers from the welcoming ceremony. Lots of flags:

So, where were all these nut jobs when their beloved George W. Bush was flying Chinese flags (and even playing the Chinese national anthem) over the sacred White House grounds?

*Crickets*

Adding even more insanity to this story is the fact that President Obama has not, in fact, ordered the Chinese flag to fly on the White House South Lawn tomorrow. The story was debunked by, of all people, Fox News:

The White House on Friday dismissed as inaccurate reports from China that the administration will mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic by flying the Chinese flag on the South Lawn.

China Daily, citing other media reports, claimed the president of the Fujian Association of the United States had been granted permission to hoist the flag “in a ceremony in front of the President’s residence.”

A ceremony, indeed, will take place. But it won’t happen on the White House grounds — rather, on the Ellipse, on the other side of E Street from the presidential residence.

China Daily’s report — which said the flag would represent strong U.S.-Chinese relations and recognition of China’s success in hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics — set off howls of protest on the Internet and among conservative talk show hosts despite failing to receive confirmation from the White House.

Of course it set off howls of protest: even though Bush did it too (and probably other presidents as well).

What a bunch of hysterical phonies. These are the folks we’re going to listen to on healthcare reform? I don’t think so.

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Filed under China, President Barack Obama, President Bush, right wing

>Ingrates

>It seems a few members of Bush’s entourage had an extra helping of sour grapes on the flight from Andrews AFB to Texas:

The Bush team had worked assiduously to make the transition smooth for incoming President Obama and stayed out of the way as he used the post-election period to take leadership of the economy even before being sworn in. And now, as far as some of them were concerned, the new president had used his inaugural lectern to give the back of the hand to a predecessor who had been nothing but gracious to him.

Yes it was particularly gracious how the White House accommodated the Obamas two weeks before the inauguration, ensuring Blair House was available to them instead of housing a partner in war crimes in town to receive a Presidential Medal.

Oh, wait. Never mind.

I guess they can’t believe Obama isn’t more grateful for the extra huge helping of turd stew Bush left for the incoming administration to clean up.

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Filed under President Barack Obama, President Bush

>Maybe Not Always So Peaceful

>
At War Room, we get a comparison of this peaceful transfer of power and the last one:

In 2001, protesters at the site took over risers intended for ticket-holders there to support the new president; the ticket-holders themselves mostly went elsewhere. And when Bush drove down Pennsylvania Ave. after he was sworn in, the motorcade had to spend much of the route at full speed to avoid a hail of boos. Today, I saw no protesters at the site, and the risers looked well-used. And everyone along the parade route was happy, celebrating. I heard one woman say to her child, “We did overcome.”

I have friends who were at the 2001 inauguration for the protests, and so I heard first-hand about what happened, long before the rest of the world got clued in via Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” three and a half years later.

What really struck me about 2001 wasn’t the fact that there were protests–after the contentious, challenged election, that was expected. But the fact that our media didn’t cover them at all shocked me.

I still to this day do not understand why the media failed to do its job on that January day. Maybe they were afraid that coverage would spark nationwide protests (and I’m not sure why that is supposed to be a bad thing). Maybe they thought it was more “patriotic” to try to “bring the country together.” I don’t know. I do know that it is not the job of the media to be patriotic, spark protests, be unifiers, make the president legitimate or illegitimate or any of those things.

Their job is to cover the news. News was made in 2001. They ignored it.

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Filed under 2000 election, media, President Bush

>Cold As Ice

>President Bush never took advice, and I knew some day he’d pay the price. And that happened in 2006 when Stephen Colbert appeared at the White House Correspondents Assn. Dinner.

I believe that moment galvanized us on the left like no other. Finally, after all the lies, the torture, the Katrina-sized fuck-ups, someone finally had the balls to call Bush and his Beltway media enablers on their shit. To their faces. With humor.

It was a moment I will never forget. Mr. Beale and I just stared at the television and said “oh. my. God.” over and over again.

Bush closed the door and left the world behind. It took a comedian to bust it wide open again. I think this was the first time Beltway insiders and White House sycophants saw the depth of the anger we on the left had toward the President and the media that failed to do their jobs. They couldn’t hide from it and even though they later claimed Colbert’s act bombed, he started a movement which can’t be underestimated.

Things started to turn around after that. Democrats won the November mid-terms, and the left was able to push back in a way we’d been unable to do before. Thank you, Stephen Colbert.

April, 2006: President Bush sits in stunned silence as he’s roasted by Stephen Colbert:

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Filed under President Bush, Stephen Colbert, White House correspondents

>Another Bush Accomplishment

>A nuclear North Korea:

North Korea Says It Has ‘Weaponized’ Plutonium

SEOUL, South Korea — The North Korean military declared an “all-out confrontational posture” against South Korea on Saturday as an American scholar said North Korean officials told him they had “weaponized” enough plutonium for roughly four or five nuclear bombs.

American intelligence officials have previously estimated that the North had harvested enough fuel for six or more bombs, although it has never been clear whether the North constructed the weapons. The scholar, Selig S. Harrison, said the officials had not defined what “weaponized” meant, but the implication was that they had built nuclear arms.

And this:

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea placed more soldiers at frontier guard posts and told its fishermen to refrain from sailing near North Korean waters on Sunday, a day after the North Korean military declared an “all-out confrontational posture” against the South and threatened a naval clash.

Oh goodie. Let’s just give everyone and I do mean everyone a nuclear bomb. From peaceful Costa Rica, which doesn’t even have a military, to saber-rattling Iran. Maybe if everyone had a nuclear bomb, we’d all be too afraid to use them and they’d lose their power.

I’m not serious, of course, but look at the world in 2009 compared to 2000: we have the same unrest between Israel and Palestine. We have wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now tensions in Asia marked by weapons of mass destruction in the hands of the North Korean dictator. We have Russia waging a resource war on its neighbors. We have the United States failing in a plot to overthrow the Iranian government. We have Western nations joining energy-starved developing economies in China and India to wage resource wars in Africa.

The world is truly a mess.

Heckuva job, Bushie.

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Filed under North Korea, President Bush

>No Way Out

>Everywhere he turned, he hurt someone. And nothing he could say would change the things he’s done.

We trusted him, and he let us down.

November 2005: A flaw in Bush’s exit strategy in China:

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Filed under President Bush

>The Joker

>People talked about him, said he was doing wrong. But he didn’t worry, no, no. He was right here at home.

He sure didn’t want to hurt no one.

March 26, 2004: Bush jokes about not finding WMD’s in Iraq:

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