Posts Tagged ‘Bush’
Earlier this week, America watched the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Present at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, were the four living former presidents, as well as the current president. It was the second time all five men have been together. It was first time the differences between them were so obvious.
Bush 43 spoke with warmth, humor, and class – three words that describe him perfectly. At the end of his speech, he was so moved by his love for this nation that he could barely get out his last two words, “God bless.” He spoke them with tears in his eyes, and obvious love in his heart.
Bush 41 spoke from his wheelchair, his health not being what it once was. After receiving a standing ovation, he stood for a few moments with the help of his son and wife – a huge smile of gratitude on his face.
Honorary member of the Bush family, Bill Clinton, expressed his genuine affection for 41, 43, and Barbara Bush. He also joked about 43 painting him in the nude (I guess he still can’t keep his pants on – sorry, I couldn’t help it), and in a moment that seemed off-script, exclaimed “I LIKE President Bush!” It’s no secret that Clinton’s two favorite ex-presidents aren’t the ones from his political party.
Carter spoke briefly, in his uniquely uncomfortable way, starting by mentioning the disputed 2000 election that propelled Bush into office. He spent the rest of his speech praising Bush’s humanitarian work.
Obama, as usual, spent a large portion of his speech talking about himself. On a day meant to honor the man he’s spent years blaming for his own failures, Obama focused on his membership in the “Presidents’ Club,” and how hard his job is. Ironically, though, he spoke one of the most apt lines of the day when he said, “He takes his job seriously, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously.” Too bad Obama doesn’t realize that the opposite is true in his case. It was an amazing contrast. Three friends filled with love for their country, flanked by an awkward old man in sunglasses and a selfish narcissist.
Overall, it was a great day for a great man. I’m grateful to President George W. Bush for his service to this nation and I look forward to visiting his library in the near future.
The cover of the February 2013 issue of Vanity Fair (I was in the waiting room, ok?) has a headline that screams “SEX SCANDAL IN BUSH’S BACKYARD!” The headline is in all caps, has two words italicized, and uses three colors.
The clear intent is to make anyone who sees the cover think that either the 41st or 43rd president engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior, or that is somehow connected to it.
Knowing that neither of these can be true, I read the article and, sure enough, the scandal has nothing to do with either President Bush or any member of the Bush family. As far as their backyard, the Bush family’s yard apparently encompasses a large portion of Maine.
You see, the story was about Alexis Wright, the Zumba Madam of Kennebunk. The Bush family owns a compound in nearby Kennebunkport. No member of the Bush family is involved in any way. In fact, “Bush” appears only three times in the article: once in the teaser paragraph, “Many in the picturesque Maine town of Kennebunk—a short trip from the Bush-family compound—knew that the sweet, friendly Zumba teacher was leading a double life”; once in the fourth paragraph, “Wright’s choice of a locale in which to conduct her affairs was either inspired or twisted or both, depending on your point of view: the lovely, quaint seaside town of Kennebunk, Maine, population 10,798, home of Tom’s of Maine toothpaste, the heart of the land originally settled by the Puritans, just a hop, skip, and jump from Kennebunkport, where the Bush family has its Walker’s Point summer compound”; and one last time toward the middle of the article. It is the third and final mention that is most irritating. The entire paragraph is below.
“But what really made the story of the ‘Zumba Madam’ go viral was Wright’s meticulous recordkeeping. Thanks to that, prosecutors can do something they often can’t in this type of case: figure out who the alleged johns were and charge them with crimes, too. The record of who did what has become known simply as “The List”—at one point, it was rumored to include 174 names—and the tantalizing prospect of finding out who is on it caused a feeding frenzy among the national media, from the Today show to Good Morning America to CNN. ‘The town was literally under siege,’ says Laura Dolce, the editor of the local paper, the York County Coast Star. ‘You couldn’t walk down Main Street without being hounded by media. You couldn’t go into a coffee shop without reporters’ trying to overhear what people were talking about.’ Who might be on the list? A member of the Bush family? Someone from the Secret Service? General Petraeus? Dolce says that she was asked about all three. The answers were no, no, and no. But, really, it could have been—and could still be—anyone.”
Translation: Bush didn’t do it . . .but, I mean, he’s so awful he could have! And remember, that General Petraeus guy had an affair!
This is beyond the pale. There are prostitutes in Washington, D.C. Are they in Obama’s backyard? There are prostitutes in New York, where Vanity Fair is headquartered. Is there a SEX SCANDAL IN VANITY FAIR’S LOBBY?! (actually, there probably is…)
The vileness of the article doesn’t stop at Bush-bashing. These words actually appear in the article “And there may be some stereotypical, yet satisfying, hypocrisy: one of the men billed his house-building business as ‘A Christian Family Owned Company.’ ”
Really? Does author Bethany McLean dislike Christians so much that she’s “satisfied” when one falls so far from grace? That man may have children, his family may be torn apart. But hey, at least Ms. McLean is satisfied.
Do yourself a favor next time you see Vanity Fair in a waiting room: just stare at the wall.
This tweet from Democrat Congressman Jose Serrano is disgusting.
To have a Member of the United States Congress celebrating Chavez, a communist dictator, is beyond the pale.
Just a reminder, here is the oath that Serrano swore as a United States Congressman:
“I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God” (5 U.S.C. §3331).
Here are a few quotes from Chavez to remind you of how evil this guy was.
“Let’s save the human race; let’s finish off the U.S. empire.”
“Ahmadinejad and I are going into the … basement now to set our sights on Washington and launch cannons and missiles.” — Chávez, referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in 2012.
“Yesterday the devil came here. Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today.” — Chávez in 2006, on George W. Bush, who appeared before the U.N. General Assembly at the same podium a day earlier.
So Serrano celebrates Chavez. Seems to me that he has broken his oath and should resign from Congress.
Oh, and it’s Chavez who is smelling sulfur now.
The Obama campaign released a web ad today featuring former President Bill Clinton talking about how impressive it was that Obama made the decision to give the green light to an operation that led to Osama Bin Laden’s death.
President Obama is the Commander in Chief and deserves our gratitude for his willingness to make that call.
However, Obama’s ad then questions whether Mitt Romney would have made that same call. The argument is beyond absurd. That’s like questioning whether Al Gore would have approved the operation to capture Saddam Hussein – of course he would have.
Here is the Romney campaign response:
“The killing of Osama bin Laden was a momentous day for all Americans and the world, and Governor Romney congratulated the military, our intelligence agencies, and the President. It’s now sad to see the Obama campaign seek to use an event that unified our country to once again divide us, in order to try to distract voters’ attention from the failures of his administration. With 23 million Americans struggling for work, our national debt soaring, and household budgets being squeezed like never before, Mitt Romney is focused on strengthening America at home and abroad.”
Aside from questioning whether Romney would have made the same call, The Weekly Standard makes a great point:
This latest ad contradicts President Obama’s own pledge after he took out bin Laden. “You know, we don’t trot out this stuff as trophies,” Obama told CBS soon after the terrorist mastermind had been taken out. He added: “Americans and people around the world are glad that he’s gone. But we don’t need to spike the football.”
Part of the problem for Obama is that he can’t help giving himself credit for things that don’t only rely on him.
For example, this is an analysis about the difference in the speeches given by President Bush announcing the capture of Saddam Hussein and President Obama announcing the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Here is a synopsis of Obama’s speech on Osama bin Laden:
“Tonight, I can report . . . And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta . . . I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden . . . I met repeatedly with my national security team . . . I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction . . . I’ve made clear . . . Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear . . . Tonight, I called President Zardari . . . and my team has also spoken. . .These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief . . . Finally, let me say to the families . .. I know that it has, at times, frayed. . . ..”
Compare that with the speech given by George W. Bush on December 14, 2003:
“Good afternoon. Yesterday, December the 13th, at around 8:30 p.m. Baghdad time, United States military forces captured Saddam Hussein alive.
He was found near a farmhouse outside the city of Tikrit, in a swift raid conducted without casualties. And now the former dictator of Iraq will face the justice he denied to millions. The capture of this man was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq…
And this afternoon, I have a message for the Iraqi people: You will not have to fear the rule of Saddam Hussein ever again.
All Iraqis who take the side of freedom have taken the winning side.
The goals of our coalition are the same as your goals — sovereignty for your country, dignity for your great culture, and for every Iraqi citizen, the opportunity for a better life…
The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people.
Their work continues, and so do the risks.
Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate ’em. I also have a message for all Americans: The capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the end of violence in Iraq.
We still face terrorists who would rather go on killing the innocent than accept the rise of liberty in the heart of the Middle East…
Two different approaches. It will be interesting if Obama’s approach works as the political message he has made it.
It is an unfailing truth that kids will focus in on one toy from Christmas and that it will generally be one of the cheapest of the bunch. It makes me wonder why I don’t just do the dollar store for everything.
I did not tell my kids what I wanted for Christmas this year, so they were left to truly think on their own. I got a variety of Dodger paraphernalia, four ties and two shirts. They know me well: fun and practical.
I understand the appeal of a white Christmas, but you just can’t beat sunny and 70 degrees.
Speaking of sunny December weather, President Obama played his 90th round of golf as President this week. Not only is that nearly double what Bush played in eight years, it is more rounds than I’ve played in my lifetime. (Which is more a commentary on me than Obama.)
Apparently the NBA season is now underway.
I always enjoy the year-end specials about the top stories of the year, the year in pictures, best sports moments of the year and the like. There were some interesting things that happened, but I’m guessing most people will be glad to see 2011 end.
I really feel for people who have a birthday on or near Christmas. Speaking of which, Happy Birthday Nicole!
What does it say about me that I think of PF Changs as comfort food?
Another year, another decade.
I’ve been thinking about my memories of 1980, 1990, 2000 and wondering what will standout in 2010.
In 1980, the most vivid memory I have was witnessing the greatest sports moment in American history – when the USA Olympic hockey team beat the Soviet Union (“Do you believe in miracles?”). It was the symbolic turning point of West triumphing over the East, with the actual turning point happening 10 months later with the election of Ronald Reagan as President of the United States.
By 1990 the Berlin wall had come down and the Soviet Union was headed to the dustbin of history, as predicted by Reagan. The United States went through incredibly prosperous times even as it went through some interesting political shifts. The 1992 campaign saw Ross Perot as the spoiler for George Bush (who had famously broken his “no new taxes” pledge) and the election of the boy from Hope. 1994 was the “revolution” with the sweeping election of Republicans to the House and Senate. The decade ended with an impeachment of the President in the House, but no conviction in the Senate.
2000 was the year that divided the country in half, with the razor thin margin of victory of George W. Bush over Al Gore. And then Sept. 11, 2001 the country came back together, at least for a little while.
Bush actually did a lot to strive for bipartisanship. Not one of his major legislative initiatives was passed on a party-line vote. Bush’s two biggest legislative initiatives, No Child Left Behind and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, were opposed by conservatives in the House and Senate. But the war in Iraq and his push for big government initiatives had the dual affect of motivating the left against him and suppressing his base of support. The result was Republicans taking a beating at the polls in 2006 and 2008.
Looking at President Obama’s first year, bipartisan is not what comes to mind. In fact, there is a more partisan tone than I have ever witnessed myself. Is that a bad thing? Probably not. Big fights over policy are important. If everything big was just passed without strong debate we’d have a much more intrusive government. Partisanship puts a check on government, at least to some degree.
So 2010 will likely be the most partisan year in memory. There are going to be some big policy fights (health care will be the first) and this year will be fascinating to watch from an electoral standpoint. It could be a repeat of 1994. Time will tell.
One thing for certain is that time does not stand still. How will the decade of 2010-2019 be remembered? I don’t have any idea, but anticipation is half the fun.
Happy New Year and Happy New Decade!
Most people will expect me to be very critical of Obama for golfing more in 9 months than George Bush did in more than 2 years. I’m not. Bush had a ranch to go to in order to get some down time – Obama has the streets of Chicago. I’d go golfing too.
So Bush was vilified by the left every time he went golfing. Will the same happen to The One?
This from the Politico blog which is covering the moment-by-moment movements of Obama:
Obama is back in Phoenix, sooner than expected, and while no explanation has been offered to the press, rumors of a golf game have been circulating.
Iran is in meltdown. Iran is the new frontlines of democracy and expanding freedom.
Which is it? For days after the latest election in which Ahmadinejad claimed victory, the Western press largely ignored the budding protests in Iran. These protests are essentially demonstrations by what we could call the grassroots of Iran saying that their voices have been stifled by an unfair election process.
It’s also kind of a big deal that the U.S. is officially not recognizing the election of Ahmdinejad.
Here is a link to a youtube video of thousands of people marching through the streets of Tehran. Here is a series of photos from flickr. Amazing stuff. Can you imagine this happening even ten years ago?
This is a direct result of policies of George W. Bush and his vision of spreading democracy across the world. You can’t tell me that the protests in Tehran and other parts of Iran aren’t part of a growing freedom movement there. And this will not be the last time we see these kinds of events in countries that have been less than free.
Hopefully, this will provide some clarity to the Obama administration on foreign policy posturing.
One of the best analysis of the situation in Iran is here, on CBS News, by a friend of mine, Ben Domenech. Here are some excerpts:
There is only one conflict in Iran today, to paraphrase Viktor Yushchenko — and it is between the regime and the people.
You wouldn’t know that from watching the news channels on TV in America today, or from reading sites like CNN World, featuring lonely wire service stories on what’s going on in Tehran. But news and images streamed in all day from Facebook and Twitter with reports from individuals on the ground — reports of students standing up to the onrushing military and police forces, of rocks and fire and tear gas, and even of clerics protesting the election’s result. Taken together, the scene appears to be the most violent protests in Iran in decades.
Many of these reports are unverified, as everything from within the fog of war tends to be. But the images and videos coming through are not. And Agence France Press has reported that at least ten leaders of two Iranian reformist political groups have been arrested. And throughout the day, access to means of communication were restricted.
Unfortunately, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, is not exactly the paradigm-shifting reformist the Western press has made him out to be. The reason neoconservatives like Daniel Pipes have professed support for the current president is that Ahmadinejad’s extremist statements exposed the blatant radicalism of the Iranian regime, ruled by Spiritual Leader Ali Hoseini Khameini (the president is merely his flunky in Iran’s system of rule). Even if given the presidency, the reform-minded Mousavi will not have any real impact on nuclear policy or other areas that threaten America’s interests in the Middle East.
Yet this does not make him any less important. At the moment, Mousavi has become a symbolic expression of the disenfranchisement of the populace, his victimhood the fuel for a social uprising that resembles in so many ways the Tiananmen student movement whose anniversary the world marked just days ago. Supreme Leader Khameini has officially endorsed the Ahmedinejad victory, meaning that the revolt going on in Iran at this moment is not a revolt within the system, but against it. Mousavi is no longer just another politician, but he has by his actions become an enemy of the Islamic Republic — a republic in name only — and the protesters today have joined with him in this action. This is not the sort of thing that the ruling authorities will forget or forgive. There will be consequences, and they will almost assuredly be bloody.
Secretary of State Clinton has voiced her concerns about the election result, while the White House reiterated its offers of dialogue with the Iranian regime. It is a strikingly disturbing thought that President Obama would do such a thing, in the wake of the events of the past few days — granting legitimacy to the Mad Hatter of Tehran — but this is obviously his decision. Let us hope someone will call the president’s mind to a higher purpose, to catch hold of a moment when his support for freedom has the potential to have a very real impact.
“Any system is inherently unstable that has no peaceful means to legitimize its leaders. In such cases, the very repressiveness of the state ultimately drives people to resist it, if necessary, by force. While we must be cautious about forcing the pace of change, we must not hesitate to declare our ultimate objectives and to take concrete actions to move toward them. We must be staunch in our conviction that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few but the inalienable and universal right of all human beings.”
Ronald Reagan said it nearly 27 years ago. The world needs to say it today.
I am no fan of former Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. This is the man who brought us the “bridge to nowhere,” the granddaddy of earmarks and was an unabashed big-spending Republican.
Last year he was indicted and then later convicted for abuse of office related to business associates in Alaska providing free goods and services to Stevens, who was having his home remodeled.
On Tuesday a federal judge tossed out Steven’s conviction saying, “In nearly 25 years on the bench I have never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct in this case.” He also said the prosecutor’s actions were “shocking and disturbing.”
As a result of the investigation, indictment and conviction, Ted Stevens lost his Senate race last year. Can you imagine the screaming that we’d be hearing if it were a Democrat Senator who had lost a race and then had his conviction thrown out?
Keep in mind that the prosecution was carried out by George W. Bush’s Justice Department. So much for the claims that Bush’s Justice Department was “partisan.”
The bad news is that the Obama/Holder Justice Department is likely to scale back public corruption probes in the future. We will have to wait and see what happens with current investigations into Democrat Congressmen Jack Murtha (PA) and Allen Mollahan (W. VA). My guess is that they are toasting the decision.