George W. Bush
|God, guns, and freedom|
|Starting arguments over Thanksgiving dinner|
|Persons of interest|
“”I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.
|—George W. Bush[note 1]|
|—President Bush describing the Republican Party in a nutshell. |
“”Russian elections are rigged. Political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated from participating in the electoral process. The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq - I mean Ukraine... Iraq too, anyway.
|—George W. Bush accidentally admitting he's a war criminal.|
“”The devil is at home. The devil was here yesterday, in this very place. It still smells like sulfur.
|— Hugo Chávez|
George Walker Bush (a.k.a. Bush 43, "Dubya", "Bush II", "Junior", or "Shrub" to distinguish from his Father) (1946–) is a painter, baseball fan, warmonger,
Ellen Degeneres's BFF, and a former athlete (cheerleading is technically a sport) who served as President of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He was the first President to win the endorsement of God, and the first to be depicted in cinema wiping his ass. He's also famous for having the largest number of people worldwide ever in history to protest against him (~10–15 million); not even Trump can beat that (yet) with only a mere estimate of 4.2 million protesters –itself still an American record. At least he's good at Twitter, whereas Dubya was good at literally nothing. He "caused the War on Terror."
A believer in free markets, Bush took strides to effectively ignore remarkable warnings foretelling the Subprime Crisis, discounting any need for government intervention in the economy.[note 2] A candidate of the party which detests growing the government or debt, Bush did better than any U.S. president in history to do both. An "opponent" of "nation-building", he oversaw what he literally termed a crusade in Iraq and Afghanistan. ("It's funny," wrote Al Franken back when he was a comedian, "During the 2000 campaign, when Bush said he was against national building, I didn't realize he meant only this nation.":381) A champion of small business who told the American people that "by far the vast majority [of my tax cuts] . . . goes to the people at the bottom":2, the only ones getting tax breaks under his watch were the ultra-rich multinationals and foreign oil companies. The soul of compassionate conservatism, his only goal was to hasten Earth's destruction so that select boomers could leech a bit more wealth out of future generations. In 2005, he said to a divorced mother of three, "You work three jobs? Uniquely American, isn't it?" while taking a record-breaking number of vacations, et cetera.
It would be no exaggeration to say that W. ravaged and tainted the Republican brand, leaving its carcass so disfigured that the incompetent joke known as Donald Trump was able to sail into the presidency, who'd subsequently ravage the carcass even further. Coincidentally, a surge of Libertarianism occurred at around the same time. Looks like he needs a new god. (The many-faced god, perhaps.)
The Boy King
“”There is a higher Father that I appeal to.
|—When asked if he ever sought advice from his father.|
Bush's lackluster resume speaks not just to ineptitude, but also hubris. He knew his resume, and yet he still thought himself capable of running the nation. An honest evaluation of his life leading up to the presidency is remarkably devoid of accomplishments for a future president. There is a very consistent narrative of someone who was just given one free pass after another for far too long.
Ironically, the first time the training wheels came off in his life was his presidency. Bush had to lean far too much on people like Cheney and Rumsfeld—petty bureaucrats but master manipulators he was simply no match for. This was yet another example of his family failing him by helping him too much: they were among the first to recommended Cheney as consigliere. That's not exactly flattering to Bush, and it shows that the failure of his WH was long in the making.
Even his campaign was filthy, as John McCain can testify. Bush's victories can be partly attributed to the GOP's willingness to tarnish the service record of veterans. Ironically, he killed McCain's presidential hopes twice. (McCain represented a third term of Bush.)
“”I'm getting more of a 'Nam vibe. You know, unwinnable wars, inescapable downward spiral, chaos in the streets. That sort of thing.
|—Psychic Stephen T. Colbert on November 7, 2000|
Bush was initially elected in 2000, running against then-Vice President Al Gore. The vote was very close, with the election hanging on a very few votes in Florida; due to this, the election eventually had to be resolved in the Supreme Court in the debacle known as Bush v. Gore.
“”When you were a candidate, I called you a corporation running for the Presidency masquerading as a human being. In time you turned a metaphor into a reality. As a corporation, you express no remorse, no shame, no compassion and a resistance to admit anything other than that you have done nothing wrong.
There was a significant "wait and see" and "the parties are the same" sentiment, combined with a hefty "tax refund checks for everyone!" deal he'd arranged. Certainly, it was peanuts for working-class families. Americans had always sold themselves cheaply when it came to that. In '04, Bush was re-elected based on some stupid phrase about horses. Hunter S. Thompson checked out after that. His friends low-key believe that this election result is what drove him to suicide.
The fundamental difference between Bush and just about any Republican president, except perhaps Coolidge, was that Bush liked being President, but he really didn't like doing the job of being president. By that, we mean he wasn't steering the ship. Sure, he went to all the correspondents' dinners and reacted to everyone piling on him with a dopey smile. But if you really look at the conversations reported to have occurred during the financial crisis, he was more or less oblivious to what was happening while Hank Paulson was left in the driver's seat. He actually showed some self-awareness by taking experienced people like Cheney and Rumsfeld and handing them unprecedented power, and yet that turned out to be the biggest mistake of his presidency. Like Rove himself in effect once said, they're doers, not thinkers.
- The economy struggled: while the Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered the "numbers" lost in the post-dot-com crash, the dollar dropped by a similar amount against the euro — meaning that in euros, the U.S. economy was stagnant for six years. The U.S. as a whole experienced zero net job creation.
- He ignored science on every major issue, exerting political pressure to hide facts about climate change, or pushing abstinence-only sex education. This even hampered what may objectively be his only positive legacy to the world, a spike in AIDS funding to Africa.
- When Bush got elected, he needed to throw anti-abortion advocates who supported him a bone. He didn't want to start a knockdown drag-out fight with Congress and the courts he couldn't win, so he issued an executive order freezing human embryonic stem cell research with government funds. The pro-choice side wasn't happy with it, but since it didn't stop women from getting abortions, they didn't fight it too hard. Also, the political points he scored off of the ban was worth more to him politically than the benefits of stem cell research. The ban was lifted once Bush left office, but railing against stem cell research is still a cheap way to curry favor with anti-abortion supporters.
- Two potentially useful contributions, "No Child Left Behind" and immigration reform, failed because of lack of funding and lack of support, respectively.
- NCLB required schools to improve all student test scores by 2014. Let's face it, there is no way to accomplish this except by setting incredibly low standards. Even the GAO noted in a 2009 report that multiple-choice tests have limited what goes on in schools. Under so much pressure to "teach to the test", schools retooled their curriculum to maximize the amount of time spent on testing, which mostly profited the testing companies. And who does this law blame for any problems? Why, the teachers.
- The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act. From the Wikipedia page: "It prohibits the federal government from negotiating discounts with drug companies." In countries with universal health care, drug companies are not allowed to make a huge profit margin. This keeps the cost of health care down. However, in the US, we don't restrict how much money companies can make off you, so they fuck you up. This law's lead architect left the government right after this bill passed and took a job with the pharmaceutical lobby for $2m/year. And which small-government advocate was the champion of this? Dennis Hastert and George W. Bush.
- At the time, there was a lot of talk of replacing Sandra Day O'Connor with a woman. Harriet Miers was the Bush administration's middle finger to that idea. The most important thing in a SCOTUS nominee is expertise on Constitutional Law; even the Republican Senate members that interviewed her agreed that she lacked this. There was no shortage of conservative judicial candidates. He could have just nominated Alito or Sutton or Kavanaugh or Pryor or whoever else. He nominated Miers because he thought he could get away with putting his family lawyer on the Supreme Court.
- Bush is also the creator of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, an office of the White House that focuses on tearing down the wall of separation of church and state through the use of so-called faith-based initiatives, which include teaching school children that prayer will magically solve all of their problems, and spreading blatant propaganda. In many ways, the New Atheist resurgence in the United States can be seen as a backlash against his rhetoric and focus at the time.
- Both sides banned earmarks towards the end of Bush's/beginning of Obama's term. Pork-barrel spending was pretty common in Congress since, unfortunately, it's often the only way to get bills to pass. It was really a fart in the wind from a federal budget standpoint. Moreover, states like Mississippi and Rhode Island would have even fewer infrastructure projects than they do. Perhaps most importantly, getting funding for local projects important to the community was a great way for incumbent Congressmen to show their worth. Now they have no way of doing that except for pushing racism, culture war crap, and mindless warmongering.
- He looked for all the world like an arrogant moron. Oddly enough, that hurts your image on the global stage. So now, instead of Americans being those "interesting but kinda large people who go to all the museums and talk loudly", we're "those obnoxious fuckholes who think they're better than everybody." How the hell did we steal that title from the French? (What’s great about that is that we accepted that role years ago, and really lean into it now.) In the end, the U.S. lost its moral authority to—wait for it—Germany.
- Also, he made being stupid fashionable. Because hey, learning isn't that important, I mean look at our president, he can't pronounce "nuclear", but he does everything by instinct and faith. (Quayle was universally ridiculed for such gaffes.) Reagan made being selfish and greedy fashionable so that, a generation later, we had the resurgence of Ayn Rand, the Enron scandal (courtesy of Bush's friend "Kenny Boy"), the failure of the financial system, and the rise of the Tea Party.
- A generation from now, it will be the rise of the Idiocracy. It started with the Bush administration's attack on education: Dumbing-down everything, firing teachers, advocating intelligent design, rewriting textbooks, and the like. Levels of discourse have plummeted everywhere, from Reddit to Congress. Reagan made Bush possible. Bush made Trump inevitable.
- All in all, his end-of-term approval ratings were so low they fell down to numbers reminiscent of Richard Nixon after Watergate.
In fact, almost everything his administration touched turned to dust. The American Dream Downpayment Act 2003 was crafted as a laudable attempt to create 5.5 million new homeowners by 2010. In reality, it encouraged private lenders to reduce their lending standards (like, for instance, not being too fussed about the documentation of income and assets), thus triggering the boom in so-called "subprime" mortgages in the first decade of the 21st century. The result was tens of millions of dollars of debt for people who couldn't be expected to repay them. "Ownership Society" is a buzzphrase that deserves a place alongside "The Great Moderation" and "Iraqi Freedom" as the pinnacle of Bush-era delusion.
This debt was taken to rating agencies, slapped "AAA" ratings on them, and sold on to businesses, pensioners and even entire countries, also thanks to financial reforms pushed through by Reagan and Bush I. This worked fine, so long as interest rates stayed low (so their debts didn't increase), everyone kept their jobs, and house prices kept rising. As everyone knows, none of these things happened. It was clear the Bush administration (with some allies in the Fed) were trying to keep the economy propped up until after the election, as though they knew they were going to lose and wanted to be able to pin it on the Democrats. Of course, it all blew up too soon. Not that Obama was able to exploit it to any lasting effect.
The housing bust in the US (2006) contributed to a global recession (2008), which is an underlying cause of these phenomena: stagnant or declining standards of living, unrest and forced migration on Europe's borders, unease at bailing out Greece and Spain, the economic crisis in Ukraine and Crimea, and economic anxiety in the U.S. giving us President Trump, who is acting belligerent towards Rocket Man. It'll be fine, just lock up all the failing Austrian artists so the plot can't continue.
“”I know that half the world right now thinks our leader is the Devil...and, most of us would agree. I don't have to make fun of the president - he does it by himself, okay? He does it by himself! Every time he comes on TV, I can't wait to hear what he has to say, espcially during press conferences, right? "Mr. President, question: it's been over a year. What is your plan for Katrina?" "We're gonna find her. That's right. And we're gonna bring Katrina to justice. We have every reason to believe Katrina is connected to Al-Qaeda. Qaeda, Katrina - they both start with a 'K'".
|—Gabriel Iglesias doing an accurate summary of the Dubya presidency during his 2007 special Hot and Fluffy.|
The Bush family's indifference to the plight of Louisiana is a shameful moment in American history. Europeans were appalled at the casualness with which the government went about saving those clinging to life on top of buildings. The "Brownie" debacle was the point at which Bush realized the fence he'd built around himself was made of rotten wood. Michael Brown was a family friend, by all accounts, who had almost zero experience. It also seemed like he got no coaching on how to be in front of cameras or deal with the pressure of a large-scale disaster. GWB went on national TV to say "heckuva job, Brownie"—before throwing him to the wolves. A lot of the worst shit FEMA did took months and years to be felt, like massively delaying payments and sticking people who lost their homes in trailers made of carcinogens. Oh, and that standoff at the bridge into Gretna when all those wet and starving refugees got turned away at gunpoint.
Brown, who resigned in disgrace over his handling of the cleanup, later admitted that the White House only wanted to federalize Louisiana's response, where the governor was a Democrat, and not in Republican-led Mississippi to embarrass Louisiana officials. Brown added that the White House saw a chance to “rub [Kathleen Blanco’s] nose in it.” Blanco declined to seek re-election and was replaced with Bobby
Singer Jindal, who defeated then-Democrat contender Walter Boasso.
Much like Detroit/Flint and their "emergency management", the clearing of New Orleans and dismantling of its public education system should be understood as experimentation of new policies to deal with the crises of American society and may be applied closer to home in the not-so-far future.
War on Terror
“”All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations.
|—Osama bin Laden in 2004|
When Bush became President, he read history books and biographies voraciously. His studies led him to believe that it was important to focus on history's judgment rather than on contemporary criticism. The specific example was how Lincoln took all sorts of extreme measures to safeguard the Homeland (like suspending Habeus Corpus). The problem, of course, with this analogy is that Lincoln was facing the greatest threat America has ever faced to its existence, and Bush was facing Al-Qaeda.
His administration disregarded intelligence estimates, and instead manufactured its own intelligence to support political goals. CIA case officer Michael Scheuer, former head of the Bin Laden unit, had warned the Clinton administration about a need to take action. This was in 1999. It was hardly classified intelligence: GWB received a briefing memo compiled by all the US intelligence agencies, which stated Bin Laden determined to strike in the US. The Bush team began referring to Richard Clarke, the anti-terrorism czar, as "chicken little" because he wouldn't shut up about an impending attack. They all had a good laugh.
In any event, we were off to war. Bin Laden was reportedly stunned by the initial US incursion into Afghanistan. Before long, the American military had managed to kill or capture some two-thirds of the al-Qaida leadership, and Bin Laden was reportedly seriously wounded. The US could have ended it right then and there, but instead...they stopped. The focus of the military and CIA turned to Iraq, and Afghanistan was quietly forgotten. That gave al-Qaida time to disappear into Pakistan (where they were essentially invulnerable), where they regrouped and spread out like a franchise.
As for us, we're still waiting for the boats, planes, public transportation, taxis, jitneys, mules, goats, and all the other conveyances that the GWB repeatedly warned us that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban would use to reach us if we didn't eradicate them...in Iraq?
“”Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East… The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled… This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.
|—George W. Bush to the former President of France, Jacques Chirac, in 2003.|
Bush's first Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, admitted that 10 days after taking office, Bush was looking for ways to topple Saddam. A family friend, Mickey Herskowitz, told Russ Baker that they were planning on invading as far back in 1999, before he was even elected. There was the Manning Memo, which showed that Bush planned to invade Iraq in March 2003, overriding the U.N. inspectors, and more shockingly, that he proposed sending a U-2 over Iraq to get shot down and provoke a war.
John Bolton set up a rogue operation within the State Department when he was undersecretary. The planners were feeding manipulated intel to the press, citing that press in interviews/press conferences and trying to sneak in as much cherry-picked raw intelligence (sent over from Bolton's crew) into NSA meetings with Bush to confuse him into ceding decision-making to them on security issues. Cheney would leak the intel to NYT (via Judith Miller) and then use her reporting to drum up public support to further pressure Bush admin into war.
In his book, Rumsfeld tries to make it look like he wasn't in on this, but five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq, even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks. Rumsfeld was a member of "The Crazies", a term Bush Sr. coined for Rumsfeld, Cheney, and other advisers who recommended he take over all of Iraq after the liberation of Kuwait. Rumsfeld was also a signatory (along with Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Libby) to the statement of principles of Project for the New American Century, a Billy Kristol "think tank" which advocated for the military overthrow of Saddam before Bush became President. This group opined that transforming America's defenses would require a "new Pearl Harbor" to justify those increased expenditures to the public. That was in 2000. Note also that all three of these men were gone by the 2nd term when Poppy came to the rescue and sent his man Robert Gates to try and salvage the fiasco.
Those of us old enough to remember the invasion know that the Bush administration was desperately clutching at any straw they could find to confirm the existence of WMDs. Every few days, they'd raid some high school or veterinarian's office and proudly display the test tubes and Erlenmeyer flasks they found as proof they'd busted a bio-warfare lab, only to withdraw the claim a few days later. You even had the Secretary of State going in front of the UN with artist's impressions of what a mobile germ warfare factory would look like (should they ever bump into one) backed up by dissidents with barely-concealed agendas of their own who hadn't lived in Iraq for over a decade. Granted, they did find some useless warheads that the US government gave Saddam in the eighties.
Anybody would have seen right through Bush's clumsy justifications. It honestly wasn't difficult. Indeed, the French and Germans did; both got vilified by America for their efforts. The Congressional cafeteria renamed French fries to "freedom fries" because a sitting congressman couldn't even handle seeing the name of a country which was mildly critical of the war. Ollie North (yes, that one) suggested on Fox News that France helped provide Hussein with chemical and biological agents and that the French consulate was "destroying records" of their involvement. In 2004, Republicans were still saying, ridiculously, that "John Kerry looks French" as part of the serious campaign commentary. Al Gore did briefly raise objections in 2004, but was quickly drowned in the popular public opinion which was still high on cordite.
Bush himself has said there were no WMDs and that Iraq was a mistake, why is Fox still trying to insist otherwise? Because it's the only way to maintain the narrative that the Democrats are big spenders. By pretending the huge deficit created by that war during a period of massive tax cuts was worth it.
In blatant violation of both the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva Conventions, Bush authorized torture—or as they like to call it, systematic sleep deprivation and controlled drowning, "enhanced interrogation." The more optimistic take is that the torture program was accompanied by a massive campaign of disinformation, propaganda (with the complicity of pop culture), and information suppression. If the people writ large were as ghoulish as the political elite, they never would have destroyed the tapes.
Since the release of his book, Amnesty International has been calling for his arrest every time he's left or attempted to leave the country, asserting it holds sufficient evidence that he had criminal knowledge of US torture. This caused him to cancel a trip to Geneva, Switzerland in February 2011; they repeated their demands on his trips to Canada in October 2011 and Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zambia in December 2011, but those countries were not so lucky.
Perhaps in an ideal world, someone would drag him and his buddies to The Hague before he pops his clogs. Sorry, mate, we already thought of that and passed the "Hague Invasion Act" (introduced by Jesse Helms), which effectively allows the invasion of the Netherlands to ensure “the release of any U.S. or Allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court". Both Ron Paul and Paul Ryan voted against this, which is a bit of a surprise.
And since the US has not ratified the Rome Statute, it is almost certain they will not consider any case against him. The ICC has considered cases against signatories that have not ratified the Statute in the past (e.g. Sudan); however, they were all guilty of ethnic genocide. We'll probably get some truth commission decades after the fact.
Interestingly, the lack of evidence or prima facie existence of a case to be answered for has not been cited as a reason against prosecution, leaving open a window if the US ever changes its mind on "only looking forwards, not backwards." In Malaysia, Bush and Tony Blair have been convicted in absentia partially based on this book; however, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (which found the conviction) is not recognized by any official body as a legitimate court.
Sock and Awe
“”I don't think that you can take one guy throwing his shoe as representative of the people of Iraq.
|—Dana Perino, White House Press Secretary (This quote aged well.)|
During a surprise visit to Iraq in 2008, an angry Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, hurled his size 10 shoes at him during a news conference, shouting, "This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog!" Bush ducked twice (like it was '68 and those shoes were the draft for Vietnam), but it inspired similar attacks.
Right after he did this, Maliki's men caught and tortured him with steel pipes and electric cables. He was paroled after 1 year, and the shoes were destroyed, never to be hurled again. The shoes were destroyed by US and Iraqi security forces. That's right, it took a coalition to defeat the shoes.[No, not The Onion] Probably one of our finest victories in the war.
The Bush Administration also:
“”We fuck the world. We fuck the children. We fuck the world, the forest and the sea so let us doing.
There are people dying, and we don't care about.We try to make a better world for me and me.
|—Les guignols de l'Info - Song about the USA|
- Responded to a recession by passing tax cuts,[WTF?!] along with a bailout for banks.
- Inherited the biggest projected surplus in American history and turned it into the biggest deficit ever, doubling US debt.
- Borrowed a trillion dollars from China, more than all the previous presidents combined.
- Spent a billion dollars on a "virtual fence", which does not work.
- Wiped out half of black wealth in America.
- Misplaced $12 billion that was air-delivered to Iraq on shrinkwrapped pallets of $100 bills. "Many of the funds appear to have been lost to corruption and waste.... Some of the funds could have enriched both criminals and insurgents...."
- Killed the Kyoto treaty on greenhouse gases.
- Exempted oil and gas companies from the Clean Water Act.
- Shut down the anti-trust case against Microsoft.
- Withheld information that the 9/11 site contained life-threatening amounts of carcinogenic substances in the air. Years later, not only responders but also people who just happened to live nearby are diagnosed with cancer due to asbestos exposure. The death count of 9/11 is still rising, and we can't blame the Arabs for it anymore.
- Personally paraded Terri Schiavo around to show his anti-abortion bona fides, even attempting to override the judicial branch.
- Made gays the replacement scapegoat after he left the Southern Strategy behind. Karl Rove used gay marriage as a wedge issue in 2004 by encouraging states with Republican legislatures to hold referenda on it to coincide with the election and increase voter turnout.
- Deliberately hid the facts of Pat Tillman's death to score re-election. Not only was Tillman killed by friendly fire, but he was also likely murdered by some dipshit grunt from the flyovers whom he had just criticized. Tillman was also a leftist who despised the war and his family was shocked at the idea of being used as a martyr or a hero figure for it.
- Won more votes in Ohio than there were registered voters in those counties. For more, see John Conyers' report on election fraud, which everyone forgot about. Ballot boxes in the back of a pickup truck.
- Used the NYT and a ton of other publications to push Iraq war propaganda. Just in case you think you changed, rather than NPR, when you listen to it now, and it's shit.
- Called the NYT executive editor into the Oval Office and told him he'd personally have the blood of Americans on his hands to squash a damning story about NSA illegal wiretapping.
- Intentionally outed an undercover CIA operative.
- Brought an Iranian spy into his administration as an advisor (Ahmed Chalabi).
- Added James Guckert a.k.a. "Jeff Gannon" to the White House visitor's list.
- Praised Berlusconi as a model of honesty and stability.
- Saw into the eyes of Putin to find a great man. (Didn't he also urge Bush to invade Iraq?)
- Imprisoned a guy for reading a satirical article about how to build a nuclear weapon in your kitchen. Others were held for owning a particular type of Casio watch.[note 3]
- Sabotaged a deal North Korea made with Clinton, which is why they restarted their nuclear program. In the past, Bolton has pushed/cheered for talks to fall apart to prove diplomacy doesn't work.
- Abducted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and exiled him to Africa, which included a US/UN occupation and the murder or disappearance of 8,000 of Aristide’s supporters. Aristide championed the poor and called for France to pay $21 billion for their colonial crimes.
- Allowed detainees to be sent to state interrogation centers in Guantanamo, Bagram, Saudi Arabia, Abu Ghraib, and Syria. We still have forty guys in Guantanamo; only one of them was convicted, but most of them are still uncharged with anything nearly twenty years later.
- Tried to privatize Social Security. All that patriotism turned out to be hollow, unless it's about blowing up someone different than you. When taking care of your fellow citizens, it ain't worth dick.
- Used an obscure law to obstruct free speech around anyone protected by the Secret Service.
- Fired U.S. Attorneys who a) wouldn't prosecute bogus fraud charges against Democrats, or b) pursued fraud charges against Republicans. (See Regent University.)
- Used private email servers to skirt FOIA.
- Defied Congressional subpoenas, destroyed documents that should not, by law, be destroyed, and violated its own rules on document declassification.
- Went around JSCOC and the CIA and created some kind of creepy parallel department which does pretty much the same stuff, but with (at the time) much more direct control from the executive, e.g., the "Terror Alert" system and the way it was used right before the '04 election. It serves no purpose other than a way of getting around posse comitatus, and is just a giant GOP jobs program; it was pretty clear when they gave the RapiScan contracts to the former DHS chief. The Democrats support it because they are the only government jobs they will get out of the GOP.
- Went over the heads of Robert Mueller and James Comey to initiate the Stellar Wind program, after the Attorney General was felled by a kidney stone.
- Unleashed Ron DeSantis upon prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.
- Launched ICE in the same breath as the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, and the AUMF. Back in the before times, it was called Immigration and Naturalization Services. Then some Bush Apparatchik was all, "What if we name this after a branch of Cobra Command", and it became US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, because the government didn't want to pretend it was possible to legally naturalize anymore.
- Had a spate of bribery and sex scandals in the GOP-controlled Congress.
- You know what, screw it. Go on his Wikipedia page, and you won't make it past the first few paragraphs.
- PEPFAR, which drastically reduced HIV transmission in Africa and remains a highly effective program.
- The National Do Not Call Registry.
- Stood in front of a mosque and said Islam is not our enemy. That was nice of him.
- Gave us lots of black and brown officials in high positions. Probably a comparison to be made with overseers.
- The wind farms were OK...even if it was W. who pushed for drilling in ANWAR in the first place.
- Put in place a Guest Worker Program for illegal immigrants......Of course, it was a futile attempt, as the people in his own camp blasted it as just another "pathway to amnesty."
- Gave the green light for a human mission to Mars.........but it has since been canceled after Congress neutered NASA.
- You could argue that, while Medicare Part Donuthole was a vote-getting scam (uber-expensive, no discounts on prescription drugs), it got peoples' minds on health care reform............though Medicare Part D was paid for on credit.[note 4]
- Stopped listening to Cheney after 2004 and fired Rumsfeld in 2006, which enabled him to salvage... something... maybe... from Iraq.
- The "Obamaphone" thing is hilarious because it has absolutely nothing to do with Obama. They're referring to the Lifeline program, which started under the Reagan administration and expanded to include cell phones under the Bush II administration.
- The light bulb ban was his idea, so at this point, they're just harping about some imagined grievance from 20 years ago. Republicans will not rest until their light bulb is as inefficient as possible and inconveniences everyone connected to the same power grid as them. (Trump later reversed the ban.)
- He never really snapped at people, even though there was so much bad press directed at him, not to mention multiple impeachment attempts by the Democrats. That is the best anyone can say about Bush. He seemed to take an "above the fray" attitude towards all of the negativity. He even sat holding a children's book, waiting for his handlers to tell him what to do. Now that's poise!
"History will vindicate me."
“”I think the lens of history is not changing. A lot of us used to say President Bush will look good and he'll be vindicated in the public eye. But realistically speaking, I don't see a lot of the people who write history all of a sudden changing their mind about George W. Bush.
|—Former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleisher|
Mr. Bush is currently engaged in two part-time jobs, one as a paid speaker and the other as scapegoat for various elected officials' misconduct.
“”George Bush has fucked up so bad, he made it hard for a white man to run for president! People are like, "give me a black man, a white woman, a giraffe, a zebra...ANYTHING but another white man! That last one fucked up my roof!"
|—Chris Rock, Kill the Messenger|
Bush finished at 36th place in a poll of 65 historians conducted by C-SPAN. He beat out luminary presidents such as Warren G. Harding, Millard Fillmore, and James Buchanan. The overall ranking was averaged from scores given in ten areas. Some examples:
- 40th in economic management. He beat out the father of the Great Depression, Herbert Hoover, but couldn't quite get past the guy who died after only a month in office (William Henry Harrison). This is unfair to Hoover since he came into office seven months before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, while Bush had nearly eight years before his disaster. Hoover simply bungled the management of the Depression, while Bush played an active role in triggering the Great Recession.
- 41st in international relations. He's dead last here unless you count his beating W.H. Harrison (see above).
- 37th in administrative skills. So much for that MBA.
Burning his bridges
“”The conservative think tank that fired me for criticizing George W. Bush has gone out of business. No loss to anyone
|—Bruce Bartlett, former economic advisor to Ronald Reagan|
Bush campaigned as an outsider (how the son of a former President pulled that off remains a mystery) in 2000. He campaigned on fear of terrorists and gays in '04 and won with moderates, evangelicals, and neo-cons.
The GOP post-Bush saw the near-collapse of their neoconservative wing in terms of influence: they were foreign policy wonks, and the war was all their idea. The 2008 financial crisis badly damaged their libertarian/neoliberal wing. That's two of Reagan's three wings of conservatism gone. Trump campaigned heavily on driving the neocons out of 'his' party: See him trashing the Bush family in the primaries, and even attacking Hillary for voting "Yes" on Iraq. Not to mention that counties with a high percentage of war deaths voted for Trump. (Maybe nominating a warmonger was not a good look for the Dems.) Trump stood out from the free-market conservatives by pushing for protectionist trade policies. He even attacked hedge fund managers (in the primaries) and Wall Street (in the GE) for their role in the mortgage crisis.
The xenophobia really ramped up after GWB's immigration reform bill died in the Senate. Before 9/11 and Bush's presidency, a lot of immigrants were starting to vote Republican. If you were watching the debates on Univision, abortion was a top issue for Latinos watching. The U.S. funds conservative churches in Central America and other parts of Latin America, and they follow the same playbook to a "T".
- Bush tried 3 times to give immigrants amnesty. The Republican Party wouldn't hear of it. Under Bush II, 3 million illegals were allowed in, benefiting the Administration's corporate friends, but not the Republican base. And the establishment wonders why Trump supporters hate them when they insist on lying about this and other issues.
- Conventional wisdom also over-estimated how reliable the Cuban demo was.
- Muslims had long skewed conservative, mainly on religious grounds, but fled to the Democratic side when the right started treating them all as terrorists: Stuff like the fact that there was an America’s Most Wanted 9/11 edition, and that it aired at the behest of W. has been disappeared from our collective conscious. Or the racial profiling in the wake of the attacks. Or that psycho Michelle Malkin calling for internment camps.
This is yet another fit of wingnut negationism post-recession, spanning from Herbert Hoover's supposed crypto-socialism to Saint Reagan's spectacular efforts at fiscal restraint. Each time their ideas fail, they see the problem as being one of branding, rather than the ideas themselves being flawed. (Many of these people, by the way, declared they were "Tea Partiers" and "Taxed Enough Already" when their man lost again.) They are the German soldiers fleeing Berlin as the Allies approach, stopping only long enough to burn their uniforms.
In 2010, Bush published his memoirs, Decision Points, in which he defended using torture as an interrogation method (really pushing it there, are ya!) and described a bizarre moment when his mother showed him the fetus she'd miscarried. Also, of all the low points of his presidency, being called a racist by Kanye West was apparently the absolute worst because it made him feel really sad inside.
However, in living up to his reputation that he'd never read a book in much depth, let alone written one, it turned out whole passages of his "memoir" were lifted wholesale from other books, including those written by former aides.
Irony, guilt or change-of-heart?
“”04/17/2014 - George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings of Dogs, Friends, Ghost of Iraqi Child That Follows Him Everywhere
He also paints pictures of wounded soldiers (his bad), the White House dog
Checkers Tony Barney, and other assorted crap. Fittingly, it appears that they were also mostly copied off of The Google. The ones of himself in the shower are especially disturbing.
- Dick Cheney — Cyborg. Currently rocking the J.R. Ewing look (as expected). His daughter, Liz Cheney, attacked her sister for being gay on national television in an opportunistic bid to win a congressional seat in Wyoming
- Karl Rove — Criminal who has avoided summons to appear before Congress.
- Paul Wolfowitz — Architect of the Iraq War and the man who brought much of the Bush staff together. When an Army General asked for more troops, Wolfie and Rumsfeld laughed in his face. Right before they demoted him.
- Donald Rumsfeld — Torturing POWs? There's an app for that! Forget the Iraqis; he was a more significant threat to U.S. soldiers. He actually had to resign after a long while.
- David Frum — Did you know that Iran was co-operating with the US in Afghanistan and improving relations until Bush called them a part of the "Axis of Evil" in a speech Frum wrote?
- John Ashcroft — Ultra-religious Attorney General who was busy covering up nude statues in the Justice Department. Also prosecuted Martha Stewart, sings, and authored the PATRIOT Act.
- Alberto Gonzales — You thought Ashcroft was bad? This guy ensured, by any means he knew how, that the United States would use torture.
- Ken Lay — Californians had to fork out an extra $420 a month for his fake "rolling blackouts", which was never paid back. The governor kept asking for help and being blown off by the Bush administration. (Gray Davis was a contender for the 2004 Presidential election. After your $700 utility bill, Mr. Bush didn't have to worry about him anymore.)
- Hank Paulson — The funny thing is that Paulson was Goldman CEO when most of the subprime securities and risky CDs were being written. In 2008, he became Secretary of Treasury, who was also instrumental in handing out the bailouts. While letting other equally-dependent banks fail for doing exactly the same thing. Pretty funny. If you're a member of the 0.01%, that is.
- John "I Don't Do Carrots" Bolton —
A strange little fucker Definitely one of Bush's sketchier picks. The oh-so-diplomatic Bolton believes that the UN is illegal; in fact, he said that it didn't exist right before Bush named him ambassador to the UN, where he only served for a short time because the senate would not approve him. Trump was supposed to move us away from the blood-thirsty, neocon warmongers, and now he's floating Bolton's name for a position. Bolton, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rice... Funny how old names keep popping back up lately.
- Reaganism — He just seems like a guy you could take to the bar
and smash a glass over his headya know?
- Mission accomplished
- Bush Derangement Syndrome
- REAL ID Act
- Guantanamo Bay
- Rick Perry — Lieutenant Governor (and successor) in Texas, who is in many ways Bush on steroids.
- Stephen Harper — If America has rednecks, Canada has slednecks.
- Tony Abbott — And in Australia, they have bogans.
- Ronald Reagan — The prototype.
- Donald Trump — The somehow worse next model.
- "Great Moments in Presidential Speeches" (Late Show with David Letterman) - In case any of us ever forget.
- You're Welcome, America.
- Sadly, this may be less satire than you would think.
- Bush reflects on his time in office near the end of his term
- Some news articles and blog posts on how Dubya let his belief in Gawd influence his presidency:
- The context is that Dubya finished an interview about shutting off a dam to save endangered fish. He didn't want to, surprise. After that, he oddly went back to the podium and said the quote, and ended on that note. Still makes no sense.
- What you're now witnessing is the farcical marionetting of its jury-rigged corpse, à la Weekend at Bernie's.
- Also, "material support for terrorists" has now expanded beyond all reason, thanks, Obama.
- It's worth remembering that Paul Ryan, the so-called "deficit hawk", voted for this unfunded expansion of big government.
- "Bushisms" like this were some of the first political memes of modern times.
- The most incredible Freudian slip of all time
- Steven Waldman, "Heaven Sent: Does God endorse George Bush?", Slate.
- Reviews of Oliver Stone's W.
- Viewpoint: Why Was the Biggest Protest in World History Ignored? Time
- The Women's Marches may have been the largest demonstration in US history Vox
- Bush's Ten Flip-Flops, CBS News
- Transcript, State of the Union with Candy Crowley, aired 14 November 2010, 20:00 ETC.
- "Bush Administration Ignored Clear Warnings", CNN via Associated Press (updated 1 December 2008, 5:43 PM ET).
- Here, have a sound bite
- "President: Today We Mourned, Tomorrow We Work". Georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. 2001-09-17. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
- Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right by Al Franken (Dutton Books, 2003) ISBN 0-525-94764-7
- Salaant, Jonathan D., "Bush's Cabinet Mostly Millionaires", WaPo (23 January 2001, 2:23 p.m. EST).
- Bauman, Nick, "Bush Leaves Legacy of Fraud and Abuse At Small Business Administration", Mother Jones (27 March 2009, 4:42 PM).
- Will, George F., "Bush's revealing interview", Baltimore Sun 12 August 1999. You could tell he cared. He definitely wasn't a miserable sociopath like the rest of them.
- Burbank, Luke, "Bush Views Shift on Climate Change", NPR (1 February 2007, 1:00 PM ET).
- Remarks made by Mary Mornin and George Bush on his "
DestroyingStrengthening Social Security" Tour ("Get any sleep? LOL!")
- Lauren Victoria Burke, "Obama's Vacations? Of Any President, Bush Racked Up the Most", Politic365
- Michael Hirsh, "George W. Bush: He Gave Rise to the Tea Party", National journal.
- Hamilton, William, "Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11", WaPo 17 April 2004; Page A01.
- Richard A. Oppel, Jr. and Jim Yardley, "THE 2000 CAMPAIGN: THE TEXAS GOVERNOR; Bush Calls Himself Reformer; the Record Shows the Label May Be a Stretch", NYT 20 March 2000.
- Mintz, John, "George W. Bush: The Record in Texas", NYT 21 April 2000.
- Carney, James, "George W's Love-Hate Affair with Yale", TIME 23 May 2001.
- George Lardner, Jr. and Lois Romano, "At Height of Vietnam, Bush Picks Guard", WaPo July 28, 1999; Page A1.
- George Lardner, Jr. and Lois Romano, "Bush Name Helps Fuel Oil Dealings", WaPo July 30, 1999; Page A1. Harkan energy was actual insider trading. He should have gone to prison.
- Verhovek, Sam Howe, "THE 1994 ELECTIONS: THE NATION THE BUSHES; Texas Elects George W. While Florida Rejects Jeb", NYT 9 November 1994.
- Berlow, Alan, "The Texas Clemency Memos", The Atlantic July/August 2003.
- Josh Roglin and Eli Lake, "CIA Torture Report: Bush Was Kept in the Dark for Years", Bloomberg 9.9.14.
- Bouie, Jamelle, "Fool Me Once", Slate 6.6.14. Bouie: "If we lived in a reasonable world, [Douglas] Feith would be barred from talking on the subject of Iraq. As it stands, he’s making the rounds of commentary."
- Baker Peter, "The Final Insult in the Bush-Cheney Marriage", New York Times 10.10.13.
- Farney, Dennis, "Bush Picks Cheney as Running Mate; A Move That May Present a Gamble", WSJ (Updated 7/26/00 1:30 a.m. ET).
- Fallows, James, "John McCain: 'You Should Be Ashamed'", Atlantic 12.2.10.
- Indecision 2000
- Belle, Nicole, "Ralph Nader Sends Open Letter To President Bush: 'The Country You Destroyed'", Crooks and Liars (1/05/14 at 2:25 am).
- Prante, Gerald, "Did the 2001 Tax Rebate Checks Stimulate Consumption? The Economic Evidence", Tax Foundation 1.21.08.
- Hunter S. Thompson and Jann Wenner, "His Last Bow", Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson, Simon and Schuster 25 October 2011.
- Thomas, Helen, "No wonder Bush doesn't connect with the rest of the country", Seattle Post-Intelligencer 14 October 2003.
- "O'Neill lashes 'blind man' Bush", BBC (10 January, 2004, 05:55 GMT).
- Woodward, Bob, "Greenspan Is Critical Of Bush in Memoir", WaPo 15 September 2007.
- Bedard, Paul, "Michael Brown: 'Fratboy' Bush 'Didn't Get' Katrina", U.S. News (10 June 2011, 12:11 p.m.).
- Sheryl Gay Goldberg and Jim Rutenberg, "As G.O.P. Mopes, Bush Adds the Duties of Optimist in Chief", NYT 23 October 2006.
- Robert Parry, Sam Parry, and Nat Parry, "Journalists 'humbled' but unrepentant", FAIR November 2007.
- Andrews, Edmund J. "A ‘Disappointed’ Greenspan Lashes Out at Bush’s Economic Policies", 17 September 2007.
- Jo Becker, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and Stephen Labaton, "White House Philosophy Stoked Mortgage Bonfire", NYT 12.20.08.
- Hagan, Joe, "Bush in the Wilderness - Jeb Bush's Complicated Legacy", New York Magazine 10.22.12.
- Richard Kogan and Matt Fiedler, "From Surplus to Deficit", Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 12.13.06.
- Vikas Bajaj and Ian Austen, "Dollar Falls to New Low Against the Euro", NYT 9.21.07.
- Irwin, Neil, "Aughts were a lost decade for U.S. economy, workers", WaPo 2 January 2010.
- Dickinson, Tim, "Six Years of Deceit", Rolling Stone 6.28.07.
- Stein, Rob, "Health bill restores $250 million in abstinence-education funds", WaPo 3.27.10.
- In Global Battle on AIDS, Bush Creates Legacy, The New York Times
- Jeremy Mainer and Judith Graham, "Experts rip Rove stem cell remark", Chicago Tribune 19 July 2006.
- "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT: Enhancements in the Department of Education's Review Process Could Improve State Academic Assessments", Government Accountability Office 9.24.09.
- David, Owen, "No Test Left Behind", TPM.
- Pear, Robert, "Education Chief Calls Union Terrorists, Then Recants", NYT 2.25.05.
- Katherine Skiba and Angela Caputo, "Dennis Hastert had multiple sources of income after leaving Congress", Chicago Tribune 21 September 2017.
- Silverstein, Stuart, "This Is Why Your Drug Prescriptions Cost So Damn Much", Mother Jones (21 October 2016, 10:00am).
- Michael A. Fletcher and Charles Babington, "Miers, Under Fire From Right, Withdrawn as Court Nominee", WaPO 28 October 2005.
- Allen, Mike, "Dobson: What Rove Said About Miers", TIME 11 October 2005.
- Kane, Paul, "West Wing Aides Cited for Contempt", WaPo 15 February 2008.
- Fletcher, Michael A., "Few Black Churches Get Funds" WaPo 9.19.06.
- Coan, Andrew B., "A license to preach", L.A. Times 2.22.07.
- Pear, Robert, "From Bush, Foe of Earmarks, Similar Items", NYT 10 February 2008.
- Mercia, Dan, "Longing for pork: Could earmarks help Congress get things done?", CNN (updated 17 October 2013, 4:57 PM ET.
- Hudak, John, "Lessons from the Shutdown: Pork and Earmarks Help Break Gridlock", Brookings Institute 30 October 2013.
- Kevin Bogardus and Manu Raju, "Bush earmarks plan roils Dems, fractures GOP", The Hill (15 January 2008, 6:38 PM EST).
- "Global Public Opinion in the Bush Years (2001-2008)", Pew Research 12.18.08.
- "Attitudes toward the United States", Pew Research 7.18.13.
- Whitlock, Craig, "Warm Welcome Awaits Germany's New Leader", WaPo 1.13.06.
- George W. Bush: Hey C Students, You Can Be President
- "Bush and Enron's collapse", 11 January 2002.
- Ferguson, Niall. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (New York: Allan Lane, 2009), p.267.
- Jo Becker, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and Stephen Labatondec, "Bush drive for home ownership fueled housing bubble", NYT 21 December 2008.
- Bull, Alister, "Timothy Geithner Accused Of Alerting Banks To 2007 Interest Rate Cut For 2nd Time", HuffPo (19 January 2013, 11:59 pm ET).
- Cassidy, John, "Bailing Out", New Yorker 29 September 2008.
- David Cho, Lori Montgomery, and Shailagh Murray, "Obama Picks N.Y. Fed President Geithner as Treasury Secretary", WaPo 22 November 2008.
- "Barbara Bush Calls Evacuees Better Off", NYT 9.7.05.
- "Bush tour a 'photo op': Louisiana senator", SMH (4 September 2005, 11:35AM).
- Cornwell, Rupert, "'Hurricane Katrina: The storm that shamed America", Independent 8.19.10.
- Daren Fonda and Rita Healey, "How Reliable Is Brown's Resume?", TIME 8 September 2005.
- Dickerson, John, "Dangling Man: Michael Brown twists slowly in the wind", Slate (8 September 2005, 7:16 PM_.
- Hsu, Spencer S., "FEMA Knew Of Toxic Gas In Trailers", WaPo 20 July 2007.
- Witt, Howard, "Katrina aftermath still roils Greta", Chicago Tribune (4 September 2008, 6:21 AM)
- "Louisiana governor seeks Katrina probe after comments", Reuters (1/23/07 7:35pm EST). Blanco: "They were trying to get at me, but they hurt our people. They were playing politics while our people were dying."
- Roth, Zachary, "Jindal Admits Katrina Story Was False", TPM (2/27/09, 4:39 PM EST).
- "Gov. Bobby Jindal's writing on 'exorcism' gets new attention", Times-Picayune via Associated Press (3 August 2012, 7:30 PM).
- Ydtie, John, "No Title? No Easy Access to Post-Katrina Aid", NPR (28 April 2008, 1:55 PM ET).
- Filosa, Gwen, "Post-Hurricane Katrina housing costs put many on the edge", Times-Picayune (14 September 2010, 9:00 AM ).
- Brown, Emma, "Katrina swept away New Orleans’ school system, ushering in new era", WaPo 3 September 2015.
- Flavelle, Christopher, "Trump FEMA Chief Supports Cutting Coverage for Flood-Prone Homes", Bloomberg (23 August 2017, 1:00 AM PDT).
- "Bin Laden: Goal is to bankrupt U.S.", CNN via Al-Jazeera (1 November 2004, 8:07 PM EST).
- Harrington, Walt, "Dubya and Me", American Scholar 25 August 2011.
- Vendantam, Shankar, "Bush and Counterfactual Confidence", WaPo 30 July 2007.
- Sniffen, Michael J. "Ex-Cheney Aide Details Media Tactics", WaPo via Associated Press (27 January 2007, 10:05 PM).
- Schmitt, Eric, "THREATS AND RESPONSES: MILITARY SPENDING; Pentagon Contradicts General On Iraq Occupation Force's Size", NYT 28 February 2003.
- Anderson, Jake, "Ex-CIA Chief: Bush and Cheney Knew 9/11 Was Imminent, Concealed Intelligence", Antimedia 11.18.15.
- Hassan, Mehdi, "Bin Laden should have been dead long ago": Mehdi Hasan on the CIA hunt", New Statesman 5.9.11.
- Eichenwald, Kurt, "The Deafness Before the Storm", New York Times 9.10.12.
- "They Had A Plan", CNN (5 August 2002, 11:01 )
- Coera, Gordon, "Bin Laden's Tora Bora escape, just months after 9/11", BBC 21 July 2011.
- Gall, Carlotta, "What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden", NYT 19 March 2014.
- Reynolds, Mara, "Bush 'Not Concerned' About Bin Laden in '02", L.A. Times 14 October 2004.
- Craig, Tim, "An offshoot of al-Qaeda is regrouping in Pakistan", WaPO 3 June 2016.
- Milbank, Dana, "Bush Defends Assertions of Iraq-Al Qaeda Relationship" WaPo 6.18.04.
- Newell, Jim, "George W. Bush Asked Jacques Chirac To Invade Iraq With Him Because Of Biblical Alien Space Monsters", Wonkette (8/6/09 at 2:57pm).
- "Bush Sought 'Way' To Invade Iraq?", 60 Minutes1.09.04.
- "Two Years Before 9/11, Candidate Bush was Already Talking Privately About Attacking Iraq, According to His Former Ghost Writer", Common Dreams 10.28.04.
- Dickinson, Tim, "Memo: Bush Determined to Attack Iraq", Rolling Stone 26 March 2007.
- Hersh, Seymour M., "The Stovepipe", New Yorker October 27, 2003 issue.
- Corn, David, "The Jeb Bush Advisor Who Should scare You", Mother Jones (13 May 2015, 10:05 AM).
- Corn, David, "GOPers Probing Iran Deal Turn to Cheney Aide Who Was Involved With Bogus Iraq Intel", Mother Jones (16 May 2016, 10:47 AM).
- Baker, Russ, "Two Years Before 9/11, Candidate Bush was Already Talking Privately About Attacking Iraq, According to His Former Ghost Writer", Common Dreams 10.28.04.
- Heilbrun, Jacob, "What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been", WaPo 2.3.08; Page BW08.
- Shane, Scott, "Robert Gates, a Cautious Player From a Past Bush Team", NYT 11.9.06.
- Warrick, Joby, "Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War", WaPo 4.12.06.
- Martin Chulov and Helen Pidd, "Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war", The Guardian (2/15/11 07:58 EST).
- Mikkelson, David, "Have Your Yellowcake", Snopes.
- Firestone, David, "THREATS AND RESPONSES: FEUDING ALLIES; 3 Countries' U.S. Criticism Brings Anger In Congress", NYT 2.13.03. With enemies, you know where you stand. But with neutrals, who knows?
- Loughlin, Sean, "House cafeterias change names for 'french' fries and 'french' toast - Move reflects anger over France's stance on Iraq", CNN (12 March 2003, 10:52 AM EST).
- Stanley, Alessandra, "THREATS AND RESPONSES: THE TV WATCH; After a Lengthy Buildup, An Anticlimactic Strike", NYT 20 March 2003.
- Cohen, Roger, "The Republicans' barb: John Kerry 'looks French'", NYT 4.3.04.
- Seelye, Katherine Q. "Gore Says Bush Betrayed the U.S. by Using 9/11 as a Reason for War in Iraq", NYT 2.9.04.
- Goldenberg, Suzanne, "Iraq war my biggest regret, Bush admits", The Guardian (12/1/08 19.01 EST).
- Cassino, Dan, "Ignorance, Partisanship Drive False Beliefs about Obama, Iraq."
- Peralta, Eyder, "'Torture Report': A Closer Look At When And What President Bush Knew", NPR (16 December 2014, 1:58 PM ET).
- Angster, Daniel, "Union Leader Suggests Those Who Released CIA Torture Report Are "Wusses," Cites Jack Bauer From 24", Media Matters (12 December 2014, 12:41 PM EST).
- Dugan, Andrew, "A Retrospective Look at How Americans View Torture", Gallup 10 December 2014.
- Mak Tim, "Amnesty International: Arrest Bush", Politico (Updated 10/13/11 08:27 AM EDT).
- Marquant, Robert, "Dutch still wincing at Bush-era 'Invasion of The Hague Act'", Christian Science Monitor 13 February 2009.
- Ridley, Yvonne, "Bush Convicted of War Crimes in Absentia", Foreign Policy Journal 5.12.12.
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Dana Perino, James S. Brady Press Briefing Room (16 December 2008, 10:26 A.M. EST
- "Iraqi journalist who threw shoes at Bush stands for parliament", Reuters (1 May 2018, 6:46 AM).
- "Monument to Bush shoe-throwing shines at Iraqi orphanage", CNN.
- "Bush 'shoe thrower' claims he was tortured in prison", NY Daily News (15 September 2009, 8:40 p.m. EDT).
- "Zaidi shoes destroyed after Bush attack ", PressTV (12/18/08 at 6:24 PM GMT).
- Les Guignols De L'Info We fuck the world (c. 2015) Daily Mtion.
- Thoma, Mark, "Did the Bush Tax Cuts Lead to Economic Growth?", CBS (30m November 2010, 2:43 PM).
- Glass, Andrew, "Bush signs bank bailout", Politico 3 October 2008.
- The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2002-2011 , Congressional Budget Office 1 January 2000.
- Owen, Sue, "Paul Sadler says national debt doubled under George W. Bush", PolitiFact (19 July 2012, 5:36 p.m.).
- Thompson, Mark, "The $1 Trillion Bill for Bush's War on Terror", TIME 26 December 2008. Merry Christmas.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E., "The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush", Vanity Fair (7 November 2007, 12:00 am).
- Preston, Julia, "Homeland Security Cancels ‘Virtual Fence’ After $1 Billion Is Spent", NYT 6.14.11.
- "Report Shows African Americans Lost Half Their Wealth Due to Housing Crisis and Unemployment", National Low Incoming Housing Coalition 30 August 2013.
- Ackerman, Spencer, "Over $8B of the Money You Spent Rebuilding Iraq Was Wasted Outright", Wired 8 March 2013.
- Pallister, David, "How the US sent $12bn in cash to Iraq. And watched it vanish", Guardian.7 Febuary 2007.
- Sanger, David E., "Bush Will Continue to Oppose Kyoto Pact on Global Warming", NYT 21 June 2001.
- Lustgarten, Abrahm, "Former Bush EPA Official Says Fracking Exemption Went Too Far; Congress Should Revisit", ProPublica (9 March 2011, 12:21 p.m. EST).
- Brinkley, Joel, "U.S. VS. MICROSOFT: THE LOBBYING; A Huge 4-Year Crusade Gets Credit for a Coup", WaPo 9.7.01.
- Klatell, James M., "Insider: EPA Lied About WTC Air", CBS News 10 September 2009.
- Klatell, James M., "Insider: EPA Lied About WTC Air", CBS News (10 September 2016, 6:30 AM EDT).
- Richard A. Serrano and John-Thor Dahlburg , "Bush Approves Schiavo Review in U.S. Court", L.A. Times 21 March 2005.
- Carl Huse and David D. Kirkpatrick, "Congress Passes and Bush Signs Legislation on Schiavo Case", NYT 3.21.05.
- Burger, Timothy M., "Inside George W. Bush’s Closet", Politico July/August 2014.
- Alan Cooperman and Thomas B. Edsall, "Evangelicals Say They Led Charge For the GOP", NYT November 8, 2004; Page A01.
- Armbinder, Marc, "Bush Campaign Chief and Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman: I'm Gay", Atlantic 25 August 2010.
- Mendoza, Martha, "AP: New Details on Tillman's Death", WaPo via Associated Press (27 July 2007, 1:48 AM).
- Redford, Patrick, "Stop Using Pat Tillman", Deadspin (25 September 2017, 2:33pm).
- Hertzgaard, Mark, "Recounting Ohio", Mother Jones November 2005 issue.
- Foer, Franklin, "The Source of the Trouble", NY Mag.
- Don Van Natta, Jr., Adam Liptak, and Clifford J. Levy, "The Miller Case: A Notebook, a Cause, a Jail Cell and a Deal", NYT 16 October 2005.
- MacAskill, Ewen, "Former Bush press secretary claims Iraq war fuelled by propaganda", Guardian (28 May 2008, 1:51 EDT).
- Bill Moyers Journal transcript from 27 April 2007, "Buying the War"
- Labaton, Stephen, "A Battle Over Programming at National Public Radio", NYT 16 May 2005.
- The New York Times NSA Wiretapping Story: Interview with Bill Keller, Frontline.
- "Key Players in the CIA Leak Investigation", WaPo (6/3/07 at 11:53 a.m.).
- "Berlusconi, major war ally, visits Washington", NBC via Associated Press (updated 28 February 2006, 3:49 PM ET).
- Loven, Jennifer, "Putin Comes to Maine Sunday to See Bush", WaPo via Associated Press (6/30/07 at 5:53 PM).
- Pincus, Walter, "Russia Warned U.S. About Iraq, Putin Says", WaPo 19 June 2004, Page A11.
- Ehrenreich, Barbara, "My unwitting role in acts of torture", Guardian (20 Feb 2009, 7:01 PM EST).
- Ball, James, "Guantánamo Bay files: Casio wristwatch 'the sign of al-Qaida'", Guardian (24 April 2011, 11:21 PM EDT).
- Sanger, David E., "U.S. to withdraw from arms accord with North Korea", NYT 20 October 2002.
- "'We want them to be nervous' (That means you Ali, Bashar, and Kim)", Telegraph (13 April 2003, 12:01 AM BST).
- Lydia Polgreen and Tim Weiner, "Haiti’s President Forced Out; Marines Sent to Keep Order", NYT 29 Febuary 2004.
- Kim Ives and Ansel Herz, "WikiLeaks Haiti: The Aristide Files", The Nation 5 August 2011.
- Beeton, Dan, "Soldiers Without a Cause: Why Are Thousands of UN Troops Still in Haiti?", Center for Economic Policy and Research via NACLA Report on the Americas, Spring 2012.
- Kolbe, Athena R., "Human rights abuse and other criminal violations in Port-au-Prince, Haiti: a random survey of households", Lancet 31 August 2006.
- Mayer, Jane, "Outsourcing Torture" New Yorker 14 February 2004 issue.
- Bazelon, Emily, "From Bagram to Abu Ghraib", Mother Jones March/April 2005 issue.
- "US man guilty of Bush death plot", BBC (22 November 2005, 11:37 PM GMT ).
- "Maher Arar: My Rendition & Torture in Syrian Prison Highlights U.S. Reliance on Syria as an Ally", Democracy Now! 13 June 2011
- "Who's still being held at Guantanamo", Miami Herald (24 August 2016. at 1:47 AM).
- Weisman, Jonathan, "Skepticism of Bush's Social Security Plan Is Growing", WaPo 3.15.05; Page A01.
- Bovard, James "Quarantining dissent / How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech", San Francisco Chronicle (4 January 2004, 4:00am). Calling it a "Free Speech Zone" is pretty Orwellian.
- Dan Eggen and Paul Kane, "Justice Dept. Would Have Kept 'Loyal' Prosecutors", WaPo 16 March 2007.
- Savage, Charlie, "Scandal puts spotlight on Christian law school", Boston News via Boston Globe, 4.8.07.
- Burleigh, Nina, "The George W. Bush White House 'Lost' 22 Million Emails", Newsweek (9/12/16 at 7:31 AM).
- Judge Rules Bush Advisers Can’t Ignore Subpoenas, The New York Times
- Justice Says CIA Destroyed 92 Tapes, Wall Street Journal
- "Ridge Says He Was Pressured to Raise Terror Alert", NBC via Associated Press (20 August 2009, 9:55 PM ET).
- Kindy, Kimberly, "Ex-Homeland Security chief head said to abuse public trust by touting body scanners", WaPo 1.1.10. There are too many CEOs or contracting firms making mint from the profligate waste of taxpayer money.
- Savage, Charlie, "George W. Bush Made Retroactive N.S.A. ‘Fix’ After Hospital Room Showdown", NYT 20 September 2015.
- Wade, Peter, "Canceled Documentary Details DeSantis’ Time at Gitmo, Including Allegedly Overseeing Forced Feedings", Rolling Stone 23 July 2023.
- Preston, Julia. "No Need for a Warrant, You’re an Immigrant", NYT 14 October 2007.
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- Flynt, Larry, "John R. Bolton Court Divorce Records Show His First Wife Fled Home When He Was Traveling Abroad", via Scoop 13 May 2005.
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- Nizza, Mike, "The Story Ends for the ‘D.C. Madam’", WaPo 5.1.08. at 5:25 PM.
- Savage, Charlie, "Sex, Drug Use and Graft Cited in Interior Department", NYT 9.10.08.
- Bush Visits the Islamic Centre, 2001.
- Cohen, Andrew, "The Torture Memos, 10 Years Later", The Atlantic February 2012.
- Michael Rubinkam and Chelsea J. Carter, "Senate Plans Hearing on Mine Collapse", WaPo via Associated Press (8/23/07 at 9:42 PM).
- DeYoung, Karen, "Falling on His Sword", excepted from Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell, WaPo 1 October 2006.
- Reilly, Michael, "George W. Bush Helped Make Texas a Clean-Energy Powerhouse", MIT Technology Review 29 August 2016.Reuters
- Doggett, Tom, "Bush drilling plan wouldn't have eased pump prices" Reuters (29 April 2008, 10:21 AM).
- Trujillo, Mario, "GOP: NASA on 'journey to nowhere'", The Hill (10 October 2015, 9:32 AM EDT).
- Bartlett, Bruce, "Medicare Part D: Republican Budget-Busting", NYT 19 November 2013, 12:11pm).
- Silverstein, Stuart, "This Is Why Your Drug Prescriptions Cost So Damn Much", Mother Jones (21 October 2016, 10:00 AM).
- Bartlett, Bruce, "Medicare Part D: Republican Budget-Busting", NYT (11/19/13 at 12:01 am).
- Sasso, Ben "FCC chief: Reagan could be proud of 'Obamaphone' program", The Hill (12 September 2013, 9:58 PM EDT).
- Restuccia, Andrew, "Lights out for the light bulb battle?", Politico (3 January 2014, 5:15 PM EST). Paying huge utility bills to own the libs!
- Edelman, Adam, "Trump administration rolls back Obama-era lightbulb energy regulations", NBC (4 September 2019, 1:15 PM CDT).
- Glass, Andrew, "Bush reads ‘The Pet Goat’ to schoolchildren, Sept. 11, 2001", Politico (09/11/15 at 1:30 AM EDT).
- Was George W. Bush the worst president ever?, The Week
- List of presidential rankings, NBC News
- Bartlett, 2:22 PM - 7 Jul 2017 Tweet, @BRuceBArtlett.
- Nagourney, Adam, "'Moral Values' Carried Bush, Rove Says", NYT 10 November 2004.
- Byrnes, Jesse, "Trump on Bush going into Iraq: 'They lied'", The Hill (13 February 2016, 9:47 PM EST)
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- Weiss, Phillip, "Clinton lost because PA, WI, and MI have high casualty rates and saw her as pro-war, study says", Mondoweiss 7.6.17.
- Schroeder, Peter, "Trump keeps Wall Street guessing", The Hill (7 July 2016, 6:00 AM EDT.)
- Lynch, Sarah N. "Trump says tax code is letting hedge funds 'get away with murder'", Reuters (23 August 2015, 8:59 AM).
- DeFrancesco Soto, Victoria, "Remember When The GOP Actually Courted Latinos?", TPM (9/4/15, 6:00 AM).
- "Karl Rove Says GOP Is ‘Doomed’ Without Embracing Hispanic Vote", CBS (10/16/12 10:58 PM).
- Michael Hoefer, Nancy Rytina, and Bryan C. Baker, "Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2008", Department of Homeland Security Feb 2009.
- Melissa del Bosque and Patrick Michels, "Homeland Insecurity", Texas Observer 12.7.15.
- Noah Bierman and Brian Bennett, "Elite Republicans tried to ignore them. Now they're shaping Donald Trump's immigration policy", LA Times (4 July 2016, 3:00am).
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- Jazayerli, Rany, "How the Republican Party alienated the once reliable Muslim voting bloc"', WaPo 11.16.02.
- "A Very Special Most Wanted", Wired via Associated Press (12 October 2001, 10:43 am).
- Factsheet: ThE NYPD Muslim Surveillance Program, ACLU.
- Gongloff, Mark, "Bush says he inherited recession", CNN 8.7.02.
- Baragona, Justin, "Of Course! Rush Limbaugh Blames George W. Bush’s Great Recession On President Obama ", PoliticusUSA 8.28.14.
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- Boyd, Sam, "AT LEAST HE'S HONEST.", American Prospect 8.23.07.
- Rose, David, "Neo Culpa - The Neoconservative Blame Game", Vanity Fair December 2006 issue.
- Threlkeld, Jon, "Handmaids in the Destruction of America", American Thinker 6 January 2012.
- "Wait, Bush is okay now?", The Economist 4.17.10.
- Rich, Frank, "Journal; And the Winner Is . . . George W. Bush", NYT 28 August 1999.
- Charles, Ron, "Bush’s 9/11 school visit pushed ‘Pet Goat’ into spotlight", 9.9.11.
- George Bush accused of borrowing from other books in his memoirs, The Guardian
- Allen, Mike, George and Laura Bush open clinic in Africa, Politico (Updated 07/04/12 01:09 PM EDT.
- Schultz, Colin, "How to Get a Solo Show as an Amateur Artist: First, Serve Two Terms As President…" Smithsonian Mag 4.9.14.
- Mills, Nicholaus, "Punished for telling truth about Iraq war", CNN (Updated 20 March 2013, 7:53 AM ET).
- I’ve done business, politics, and war. Now I’m trying my hand at mobile gaming! The devs have managed to string along Rumsfeld through 172 builds and the better part of 2 years...for a Solitaire game. For once, the workers are exploiting the lack of knowledge of the capitalist.
- Filkins, Dexter, "The Shadow Commander", New Yorker 8.30.13 issue.
- Ashcroft protects the boobies.
- Oppel Jr., Richard A., "Word for Word/Energy Hogs; Enron Traders on Grandma Millie And Making Out Like Bandits", NYT 13 June 2004.
- "Bush: No electricity price caps", Wired (29 May 2001, 3:09 PM).
- Gardner, Michael, "Now, he's just Davis the delegate", San Diego Union-Tribune 30 July 2004.
- Gordon, Greg, "How Hank Paulson's inaction helped Goldman Sachs", McClatchy (10, October 201, 12:01 AM).
- Wolff, Michael, "Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Be President", New York Magazine (3 January, 2018 at 11:53 am).
- Nahal Toosi and Madeline Conway, "Trump's flirtation with Bolton sends shivers through Senate", Politico (14 December 2016, 5:10 AM EST).
- Glasser, Susan B., " Why Paul Wolfowitz Is Optimistic About Trump", Politico 24 April 24, 2017.
- Johnson, Eliana, "Cheney emerges as surprise Trump surrogate", Politico (12/16/16 at 01:44 PM EST).
- Jagannathan, Meera, "Condoleezza Rice argues tearing down slave owners’ statues is ‘sanitizing’ history", NY Daily News (8 May 2017, 1:58 PM).