Category Archives: George W. Bush

“awesome speech!”

For pity’s sake, will someone please teach our President how to speak, and when/how to say things that are appropriate? Pope Benedict XVI concluded his speech at the White House a little while ago, and when he finished, Bush shook his hand and said, “Thank you, Your Holiness, awesome speech!”

And by the way, Dude, I’m totally, like, into your whole white-robe look, you know?

Watch it here on the Huffington Post.

how about $3 trillion in economic stimulus?

Suppose for a minute that we had the $3 trillion* or so that the United States is spending on the Iraq war, and we could instead do something reasonable with all that wasted money. The first thing to immediately pop into my mind is, “Hey — instead of sending certain adults a piddly $600 tax rebate as a way to supposedly provide economic stimulus, plus $300 for kids under 17, the government could send every single person in America $10,000!”

Instead of the $1,800 my family is due to receive next month, we’d get $40,000. It would be like a “Get Out of Debt (Almost) Free” card for us. And although I’m feeling financially stressed right now, my family is in good shape compared to a large segment of our population — imagine what $10,000 per person would do for people who are losing their homes or trying to decide between putting a few gallons in the gas tank or putting food on the table.

Of course, Mr. Bush’s government would never dream of spending $3 trillion on helping Americans financially. No, that would somehow qualify as a Big Government Program that Must Be Avoided, kind of like spending a few billion on health care for poor children, or funding national Head Start or full-day kindergarten (or, for that matter, paying teachers a reasonable salary). Somehow it’s OK to throw away an unimaginable amount of money on a war we shouldn’t even be in, but spending that same money to benefit American citizens would be wasteful and wrong. enough ranting about what our government would or would not do with $3 trillion. Now, you can make your own choice about how to spend that pile of dough! Check out the $3 Trillion Shopping Spree. Go ahead: buy for $514,710,000.00; put up your own billboard in Times Square ($2,000,000.00); provide food, shelter, spay and neuter services, and vet care for all homeless, neglected, and unwanted pets in America for a year ($15,000,000,000.00); rehabilitate a water well and help provide safe drinking water for a family or town ($170.00); provide universal preschool — half days for 3 year olds and full days for 4 year olds — for all the children in America ($35,000,000,000.00); reduce class size in grades pre-K to 3rd grade to 10/per teacher, 4th-8th grade to 15/teacher, and 9th-12th grade to 20/teacher ($100,000,000,000.00); pay 1,000 teachers’ salaries ($39,274,000.00); or choose from thousands of other options. Add them to your virtual shopping cart, and then send the resulting list to your friends. Go on, knock yourself out: spending that much is easy! Just ask George W. Bush and his “Smaller Government, Less Wasteful Spending” friends.

* Here’s where the $3 trillion comes from:

  • $526 billion — borrowed money poured into Iraq so far
  • $615 billion — total interest costs for taxpayers
  • $280 billion — to rebuild our military
  • $590 billion — disability benefits and health care for Iraq veterans
  • $1.5 trillion — estimated costs through 2017

that’s what I like to see

Courtesy of the fine folks at Gallup, a graph depicting a president who is totally tanking in the popularity and effectiveness departments:

Oooh, wait, this one’s even better!

Here’s Gallup’s bottom line on their poll results (bold mine):

President Bush has maintained a relatively high degree of support among members of his own party, but among the large group comprising the almost two-thirds of Americans who disapprove of his performance as president, attitudes are intensely negative. Half of all Americans, and 78% of those who disapprove of Bush’s performance as president, say they “strongly” disapprove.

I heard him on the radio yesterday talking about Pakistan, and I swear he sounded like a second-grader trying to imitate a grown-up. No words of more than two syllables, spoken in his squeaky, no-ending-consonants, I-skipped-the-Toastmasters-course-and anyway-I’m-confused-because-nobody-likes-me-any-more style.

Pardon me while I shake my head in disgust and say “I told you so…”

interesting, edgy new anti-war video

This just in from Brave New Foundation, an offshoot of Brave New Films, which brought us Outfoxed, Iraq for Sale, and more:

It’s almost May 1st. Who can forget the so-called “Mission Accomplished” from four years ago? Who can forget the pomp and circumstance, the primping and posturing in a staged photo-op built on the backs of those destroyed by the war. The mission has not been accomplished.

1. Watch the film
2. Sign the petition
3. Enter the contest

In honor of all those who have been killed, whose lives have been destroyed in this terrible war of choice, we have been working hard on a short film that will not let that horrific day go unnoticed.

Watch the film and spread it far and wide:

We’ve also got a contest looking for what SHOULD have been on the “mission accomplished” banner. Submit your banner and the winning one will be on car bumpers all over the country! (You’ll get some cool stuff too) For more details, and to enter:

The spoken word performance in the video was done by a wonderfully talented young man, Steven Connell, who’s been in feature films on HBO, Showtime and MTV. He is a strong, creative, and articulate voice in reaching a young and diverse audience. We are grateful for his time and effort, and to Norman Lear who first found and called Steven to the attention of a wider audience.

Just days before video and webset were to go online, an American soldier serving in Afghanistan wrote an op-ed which has since stirred up a national debate. The soldier questioned why we do not lower the flag to half-staff when a soldier dies at war. We at Brave New Foundation were so inspired by his question that we decided to begin a petition to amend the US Flag Code.

Sign the petition to have flags lowered for a day each time an American service member dies at war:

Please forward this on far and wide — to your friends, schools, churches, to any local television or radio. We must not let this day go unnoticed. We must make our voices and passions heard.


My mother was recently in Key West and picked me up two new pieces of political bling for my car (otherwise known as the Democratmobile).

One is a sticker that celebrates W’s last day in office; it’s available from, along with keychains, buttons, and lots of other date-imprinted miscellany.

The other is a magnet that makes my political affiliation abundently clear — as if it wasn’t already. You can find it at Blue Q. And by the way: I like the idea of the bumper magnet, which is easily removable. I do worry that a scandal-crazed Republican will pull it off my car and shred it to pieces with his or her teeth in a frenzy of longing for the good old days of the Grand Old Party; but hey, someone stole my Darwin fish once, and I just ordered another one.

I was pleased (and a little surprised) that on vacation in the land of Jeb Bush, no one made any obscene gestures at us while we were driving. On the contrary: An airport limo driver honked his horn and gave us a thumbs-up, and another guy pulled up beside us in traffic and told us that he and his wife had been greatly enjoying our display of messages as we inched our way through Ft. Myers. But maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised — after all, as a friend pointed out, half of Florida voted for Kerry. Politically speaking, we were probably more at home there than we are here in the bright red state of Indiana, where I tend to think of myself as one of the few; the proud; the Democrats. At least, until Nov. 4, 2008; maybe by then my state’s Republicans will have had enough of what they wrought…

irony, pt. 2

The president came, my husband saw him, and he lived up to our low expectations. My husband subsequently wrote a letter to the editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal, and numerous people have thanked him for writing it.

The morning of the presidential appearance, my husband and I had a lengthy discussion of whether he should wear any of his numerous peace-related buttons or pins, or whether doing so would cause the Secret Service to reflexively deny him admittance. We settled on a relatively subtle bar-shaped pin with a peace sign over an American flag background. However, he later decided not to wear it, after further conversation with co-workers who felt he would be seriously jeopardizing his chances of getting in for the speech.

I watched the event on local TV news. The school gym was done up like every other political stop, draped in “No Child Left Behind” banners and a huge backdrop. The place was crammed with cameras and chairs, and every political figure representing anyone within 200 miles was in attendance. W spent the first several minutes of his time thanking and praising all of these assorted politicians, along with the school principal and superintendent. He was then — as he was, according to my husband, the entire time before and after his speech — a consummate good ol’ boy, grinning and joking.

The speech itself was run-of-the-mill crap about NCLB, what a great law it is, and how it should be continued without substantive changes.

Keep in mind, this speech was at a school. Part of the point was to praise this elementary school, the children, and teachers, and the principal for achieving “adequate yearly progress” under NCLB. Thus, you might expect that children and teachers would be prominently on display before or during the speech, and/or that the president would spend a fair amount of time visiting classrooms. After all, the build-up to the visit was huge: The school was shined up to a fare-thee-well, and all the kids were hugely excited.

Well, guess what? Almost no kids laid eyes on the President of the United States, who was right there in their building. He didn’t stop in any classrooms. His handlers made no effort to stage a situation with all the children in one place, where W could say hello for a few minutes. All the visitors behaved as though the children and teachers — the people who did the teaching and studying and test-passing — didn’t exist. Later reports were that the students were hugely disappointed, and who can blame them?

Hey, kids, welcome to the world of politics, Bush style. You aren’t old enough to vote; you’re only a set of numbers to be talked about in the abstract — test scores to be held up as supposed evidence of the success of a failing education policy.

After his speech, W took plenty of time to shake hands with practically everyone in the room. My husband was not among them. He took some pictures of the president from a few feet away, but he felt no need for a personal photo with this laughing goofball who has failed at every venture he’s ever touched and is now monumentally failing the American people.


You may have noticed that I’m a Democrat. So is my husband. Our cars are plastered with stickers promoting liberal causes. What we think of President Bush, his war, and his policies is mostly unprintable. Among other things, my husband, who is president of the local teachers’ association, despises W’s “No Child Left Behind” education plan.

Now, guess who’s coming to town on Friday and speaking at one of the elementary schools in our school system, to promote NCLB? And guess who’s been invited to attend the event, to represent local teachers?

I wish I respected W even slightly, so I could be excited about the prospect of being married to someone who may very well be personally introduced to the POTUS. I wish I wanted to be there and wanted to take my kids to maybe see W enter or leave the building. Instead, I feel only the irony that my husband, who disagrees completely with NCLB’s approach to public education, is being asked to represent 600+ teachers, most of whom also disagree with NCLB, at an event that promotes the plan’s supposed success.

Of all the presidents… why does he have to be the one to come to town?

track the words used in the State of the Union speech

The New York Times has a fascinating tool you can use to search the State of the Union speech for the number of times the president said any particular word. It gives you the number of times he said that word this year and in each of his previous SOTU speeches, and also compares the count to his use of assorted other words. And, it shows you exactly where the word appears in the speech, and will give you the text of the paragraph. Very nifty stuff.

For example, this year he mentioned terror and terrorists 22 times and Iraq 34 times. In contrast, he mentioned the economy 8 times and schools only 5 times. word-counter claims that he said “nuclear” 3 times last night. But we all know what he really said.

to listen or not?’m currently debating whether to listen to the State of the Union address tonight. As I’ve mentioned before, I can’t bear the sound of W’s voice. Particularly when combined with his smirks and odd gestures, his words just about send me over the edge. So, given that I’ll disagree with probably 99.782% of what he says tonight, and that the cumulative effect of being subjected to watching and listening to him for that length of time will be akin to having my skin flayed by tiny, laughing imps wielding red-hot irons, I may skip it and read the analyses.

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war-criminal-in-chief Thompson of Capitol Hill Blue has written an intensely powerful column about the hanging of Saddam Hussein. Here are parts of it; I highly recommend reading the entire piece. I agree with it completely.

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