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Super Panic of the Last Half Century

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Hit & Run : Reason.com

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Correction of the Decade: NY Times

The New York Times' editorial page is not exactly beloved by staffers, according to a New York Observer report. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey notes the NYT’s institutional reluctance and predictable delay:

the Mark Landler article included this curious sentence: “Unlike Mr. Bush in the Iraq war, Mr. Obama has sought to surround the United States with partners.” Two days later, the Gray Lady issued a correction on a photo credit, but it took the layers of fact-checkers and editors another ten days to issue this correction(read more)

nyt-correction

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] WARNING GRAPHIC: Visualizing the Growth of Federal Regulation Since 1950

Senior Research Fellow Patrick McLaughlin demonstrates the growth of federal regulation in the United States since 1950 by stacking books from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

The red and black colors do not signify anything relevant to this demonstration. The federal government releases partial updates to the CFR on a quarterly basis and changes the color from one year to the next.

Book stacks for 1950, 1970, and 1990 are represented using the average size volume in 2013, which is roughly 750 pages long. Stack size is calculated by dividing the page count in those years by 750 pages. The data for page counts in the CFR comes from here.

 


[VIDEO] REWIND: George W. Bush’s ‘Frighteningly Accurate’ 2007 Warning on Iraq

Fox News host Megyn Kelly aired a warning issued by former President George W. Bush on Iraq Thursday night, calling it “frighteningly accurate.”

“To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready…would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al Qaeda. It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale.”

The clip was taken from a 2007 press conference and features Bush warn that if the U.S. withdrew too early from Iraq, troops would eventually have to return to face a stronger enemy.

president-Bush

“It would mean we’d allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan.”

Here at punditfromanotherplanet, a similar reference, with video, was posted three months ago. [Bush’s Prediction Comes True: Warned This Would Happen in Iraq if Troops Are Withdrawn Too Soon – 

“It would mean increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.”

Kelly aired the video ahead of a segment focusing on the growing threat from the Islamic State terror group. Read the rest of this entry »


Rockin’ the Art World: George Bush’s Portrait Exhibition Opens in Dallas

Portraits of (clockwise from bottom left) former  President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, and the former president of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak. All were painted by former President George W. Bush. Credit - Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times

Portraits of (clockwise from bottom left) former  President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, and the former president of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak. All were painted by former President George W. Bush. Credit – Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times

Don’t let Peter Baker‘s pretentious, dreadful first sentence in this NYT article dissuade you (enjoy it, I know I did, ever so frostily) it’s a good subject. Former President Bush is a fine amateur painter!

Peter Baker writes:  A dour Vladimir Putin glares ever so frostily, full of menace, free of mirth, ready to annex any passer-by unwise enough to get too close.

Tony Blair stares ahead, sober and resolute. Hamid Karzai, in traditional green cap and cape, glances off to the side, almost as if checking over his shoulder for the Taliban — or perhaps for the United States. The Dalai Lama looks serene, Stephen Harper jovial, Jiang Zemin grim.

“…Putin has certainly put himself on display for the world. I don’t think there’s much more we can say about Putin that Putin hasn’t already revealed to the world in living color.”

— Stephen J. Hadley, Bush’s national security adviser

The world’s most distinctive gallery of international leaders opens in Dallas on Saturday, famous faces as seen through the eyes of the former president of the United States and noted amateur painter, George W. Bush. Graduating from dogs and cats and landscapes, Mr. Bush has produced a collection of more than two dozen portraits of foreign figures he encountered while in office and put them on display at his presidential library.

“I spent a lot of time on personal diplomacy and I befriended leaders. I learned about their families and their likes and dislikes, to the point where I felt comfortable painting them.”

— Artist and former President G.W.Bush

The official debut of the artist known as W. peels back the curtain on the hobby that has consumed him, and intrigued many others, over the last couple of years. Although some of his early works, including vaguely unsettling self portraits in the bath and shower, were posted on the Internet after his family’s email accounts were hacked, this is the first time the former president has staged an exhibit of his art. And his choices are as revealing about the artist as the subjects.

A self-portrait by Mr. Bush, left, and a portrait of his father, the former President George Bush. Credit Kim Leeson for the George W. Bush Presidential Center..

A self-portrait by Mr. Bush, left, and a portrait of his father, the former President George Bush. Credit – Kim Leeson for the George W. Bush Presidential Center..

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[VIDEO] Terry McAuliffe: ‘Bush Family Should Be Thrown in Jail’

Note: I’ve seen Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, and really enjoyed it. If you get a chance to catch it on Netflix, or via Amazon, or the public library, I recommend it.

Jim Swift writes:  A 2008 documentary reveals that Terry McAuliffe, who is being sworn in today as governor of Virginia, thinks that members of the Bush family “should all have been put away in jail.”

The documentary, Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, features a clip of President George H.W. Bush’s 1989 Inaugural Address, where Bush discusses the need to “make kinder the face of the nation” with regard to “those who cannot free themselves of enslavement to whatever addiction—drugs, welfare, the demoralization that rules the slums.”

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George W. Bush is a Hipster Icon now and Vanity Fair is Angry about it

President George W. Bush embraces firefighter Bob Beckwith while standing in front of the collapsed World Trade Center

President George W. Bush embraces firefighter Bob Beckwith while standing in front of the collapsed World Trade Center

Emily  writes:  Apparently, the kids these days just think George W. Bush is the bee’s knees. He paints, he loves cats, he’s awesome at the Internet, he writes consoling letters to football kickers who lose important match-ups for their teams and he takes selfies with Bono at major world leaders’ memorial services. And the hipsters are falling as hard for GWB as they did for PBR and Beats by Dre.

Vanity Fair, the sophisticated glossy tome of old Hollywood whose most recent achievement was a near-defamatory observation of Gwyneth Paltrow’s lack of reality in selecting cooking utensils, is old enough to remember when you young whipper-snappers were all “Bush sucks!” and showing up at high school anti-Bush rallies with all manner of creative slogan apparel and diagnosing his apparently impaired cognitive ability in Huffington Post puff pieces. But now that he’s stumbled into something of an image revival, they would like you to please get your George W. Bush limited edition self-portrait lithograph off their front lawn.

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South Africans Are Indoctrinated to Hate Bush, Republicans: Bush’s Africa Legacy Stands

Upon arrival to the Gabane Community Home in Gabane, Botswana, President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush watch a performance by Gabane Village traditional dancers on Thursday, July 5, 2012. One of the most respected home-based care programs in Botswana, the Community Home is a pre-school program with a mission to provide quality care and support to the sick, orphaned and vulnerable children while empowering people to live positively with HIV and AIDS.  The long-term vision is to one day eradicating HIV/AIDS from the community of Gabane.  Photo by Shealah Craighead/The Bush Center

Upon arrival to the Gabane Community Home in Gabane, Botswana, President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush watch a performance by Gabane Village traditional dancers on Thursday, July 5, 2012.

Though I agree with Joel’s main point here — and today’s shameful booing of the former president is regrettable — I don’t agree with his suggestion that George W. Bush is uniformly hated in Africa. To the contrary, there are many in Africa who benefited from their partnership with the former president, and remember him fondly.

This article by Eugene Robinson, in the Washington Post, honors the former president’s efforts in Africa:

“…credit and praise must be given where they are due, and Bush’s accomplishment — the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR — deserves accolades. It is a reminder that the United States can still be both great and good…if Africa is gaining ground against AIDS, history will note that it was Bush, more than any other individual, who turned the tide…”

Recall that Bush’s decision to direct enormous financial support to combat AIDs in Africa–though ignored in recent history–was admired, and contributed to saving millions of lives. Read the whole thing.

To the uninformed, this is probably considered uncharacteristic of a Republican president. They don’t know Republicans, and they didn’t know Bush. Bush’s habit of deficit spending, not just on unpopular military campaigns, but also on controversial health and education programs and foreign aid, remains a divisive one among conservatives. Bush saw the AIDs initiative as a matter of national security (though as Robinson points out, the validity of that argument is questionable) as well as an altruistic imperative, and medical necessity, for a nation confronting a serious health crisis.

Why are South Africans taught to hate Republicans? Keep in mind, not all do. As we’ll see, Bush’s is legacy in Africa is more complicated than the global chorus of Republican-bashing Bush-haters would have us believe. But sadly, Joel does have a point.

Joel B. Pollak writes: Former President George W. Bush, as the American left gleefully observed, was booed by some in the audience at the memorial for Nelson Mandela at the First National Bank in Soweto, Johannesburg on Tuesday. President Barack Obama, in contrast, received a standing ovation–in which, Twitchy notes, Bush joined enthusiastically. Read the rest of this entry »


Free Fall: Five years in, Obama and Bush poll numbers nearly identical (But guess who’s is lower)

Don't let it get to you buddy. And be careful what you say, there might be a hot mic.

Don’t let it get to you buddy. And be careful what you say, there might be a hot mic.

 reports: When President Obama first ran for the White House in 2008, it was with the promise to turn the page on the presidency of George W. Bush. But for all their political differences, it turns out the American public pretty much view the two men in the same light, according to new polling data.

In the first week of November in the fifth year of their presidencies, Obama and Bush have nearly identical approval numbers, according to the latest Gallup polling.

In fact, Bush comes out one point ahead, 40 percent to 30 percent, respectively.

Read the rest of this entry »


Low-information Voter Intelligence in Full Glory: The 2013 Government Shutdown isn’t Obama’s Fault, it’s George Bush’s Fault

MRCTV’s Dan Joseph had a question on his mind that he couldn’t shake: who bears the brunt of the blame for the government shutdown? Who really is responsible for the mess we’re in right now? Is it President Obama or former President George W. Bush? He decided to take these questions to the heart of our misery: Washington D.C.

Maybe you’ve seen this video already. If not, welcome to the age of “it’s not my fault” leadership. Every day Obama’s been in the White House, or perhaps every day of his entire political career, his willingness to pass the buck, avoid accountability, and blame his opponents and predecessor for anything and everything, shocked many people, but satisfied many, many others. It’s successfully provided steady cover for a breathtaking series of policy failures. Meanwhile taking (often undue) credit anything remotely positive, invoking “me” and “I” at every opportunity. Blaming Bush (and assigning blame anywhere but his own desk) is such a routine, it’s not surprising that he doesn’t even have to invoke it anymore, he can let others do it for him, it’s almost like quoting scripture.

Obama’s a smart guy. After a while, observant people realized, his habit of blaming Bush wasn’t sincere, Obama never believed it. Bush-blaming was insincere from day one. Obama knew that supporters wanted to believe it (after all, they hated Bush) and the press (hates Bush) would amplify the message to protect him. And he understood that even if the Democratic party’s domestic policies did more lasting damage the lives of low-income, minorities, working people, and middle-class people than any president in half a century, he would never have to accept responsibility for any of it. After all, he’s ‘trying’, and that’s what counts.

And if it’s not working? It’s those damed Republicans, it’s their fault. Even though Obama had no meaningful legislative opposition. The Democrats enjoyed a Super-majority, controlling the legislative agenda for his first two years, and has enjoyed Democrat control of two of the three branches of government, for a full five years. Republicans are in the minority. Things are going bad? Blame the minority. Blame the powerless. And play the role of victim at every opportunity.

George Bush is a private citizen, has no role in government whatsoever. And best of all, Bush doesn’t complain. He never did. Unlike Obama, he endured hatred and criticism, didn’t expect the press to defend him, didn’t take it personally, and didn’t blame his predecessors. He’s the perfect fall-guy. Like I said, Obama’s a bright guy. He doesn’t believe the “it’s Bush’s fault” avoidance tactic, it’s not sincere. It’s a political convenience. He knows it’s an easy escape, The low-intelligence-average voter, and the compliant, conservative-hating mainstream press, will always have his back.

–The Butcher

Dan Joseph continues: Despite the fact that George W. Bush has been out of office for the past five years, most of the respondents said former President George W. Bush is to blame for the shutdown.

Why?  Well, he apparently did a lot of bad stuff! And had policies that only Barack Obama can reverse, which is why the current president has added twice as much debt than economic output over the past two years.

As for health care, which is at the heart of the shutdown, one respondent said that, if Bush had proposed some sort of health care reform, all of this could’ve been avoided.  Well, he did.  In fact, there’s a long history of Republican policy proposals to fix American health care.

The irony is that Bush’s 2007 health care proposal is actually “superior” to Obamacare concerning universal coverage. As Chris Conover of Forbes noted last August:

“[T]he Bush plan actually was superior to Obamacare when it comes to providing universal coverage. Remember, Obamacare actually does not provide universal coverage. The latest figures from CBO says that when it is fully implemented in 2016, Obamacare will cut the number of uninsured by only 45%, covering 89% of the non-elderly. Even if illegal immigrants are excluded, this percentage rises to only 92%. In contrast, the Bush plan (without a mandate!) would have cut the number of uninsured by 65%.”

CNS News


Firefighter tells story behind iconic moment with George W. Bush

President George W. Bush embraces firefighter Bob Beckwith while standing in front of the collapsed World Trade Center

President George W. Bush embraces firefighter Bob Beckwith while standing in front of the collapsed World Trade Center

Bob Beckwith, a retired New York City firefighter, is one of the best-known faces of the rescue efforts in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.

The photo of him wearing his old fire helmet, standing alongside then President George W. Bush atop the ash-covered remains of a fire truck, became legendary. It graced the cover of the next day’s New York Post and, later, Time magazine.

It also catapulted the retiree into the nation’s spotlight. Read the rest of this entry »


Drunkblogging the President’s Speech on Syria

martiniPosted By Stephen Green On September 10, 2013

I’m the guy who invented live drunkblogging of political events, so far as I know, sometime in 2003 if memory serves. It happened quite accidentally because Andrew Sullivan had posted a State of the Union drinking game, where if Bush says this you take a shot, or if Congress stands up you take a shot, or if Cheney has a heart attack you take two shots. And I read the rules and I thought they were cute and all, but something dawned on me. I’d been watching SOTU addresses for 20-plus years, and if I were going to make it through another one, then screw playing games — just pour me a drink and keep them coming. Read the rest of this entry »


NY Post: Bam’s policies leave longing for decisive W.

President Bush speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 29, 2008.  (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

President Bush speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

My old boss George W. Bush will never say it for himself, so I’ll say it for him: With President Obama’s foreign policy in tatters across the Middle East, maybe we’ve finally arrived at a moment where we can look at what we threw out when we replaced the Bush Doctrine with the Obama Doctrine.

Even calling the 44th president’s policy a doctrine is being generous. From the start, it had two chief components. One was the idea that you make your foreign-policy decisions based on domestic politics. The second was the new president’s apparent faith that the mere fact of his person would so dazzle the world that the lions would lie down with the lambs. Read the rest of this entry »