I am reminded of the phrase, “I’m not a real doctor, I just play one on TV”.  We once had a President like that. The second worst President of all time, George W. Bush, was so poorly equipped to be the leader of the free world that his handlers should all be prosecuted for product fraud.

At least Ronald Reagan’s handlers had gone to the trouble to secure a candidate that could act. Regan’s handlers promoted a candidate that could deliver a line with the appropriate facial expressions and body language to convince the audience that he believed what he was saying. Not so with W. W was at a complete and utter loss as to how to erase the look of confusion on his face when asked a question by the press. That look of confusion was probably the reason that Bush gave the least number of press conferences of any President ever, by far. Out of sight, out of mind, was W’s handlers’ philosophy.

In spite of being kept behind the curtain while in Washington, and on a perpetual vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, W occasionally got trapped by a question that he had not been prepped for. The depth and width of his intellect was revealed when W was confronted with a topic he had not been prepped for. In fact, W gave so many interesting answers, there have been books detailing them. They are called “Bushisms”. There are millions of them, but I’ll just list a few:

 “They misunderestimated me.”

“I’m the commander, see. I don’t need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.”

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on…shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.'”

“Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.”

“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”

“I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.”

“I’m telling you there’s an enemy that would like to attack America, Americans, again. There just is. That’s the reality of the world. And I wish him all the very best.”

“Well, I mean that a defeat in Iraq will embolden the enemy and will provide the enemy – more opportunity to train, plan, to attack us. That’s what I mean. There – it’s – you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.”

“I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.”

“See, free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don’t attack each other. Free nations don’t develop weapons of mass destruction.”

“You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.”

“You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.”

Like I said, there are millions of them on the internet. I may keep looking harder to find the one where Bush is complimenting an Iraqi war veteran that had had both legs blown off in the war. The veteran had his legs replaced by those prosthetic blades that the South African runner used. Bush was gushing that the amputee should feel lucky for getting the bionic legs. The veteran was confused by his good fortune at the loss of both of his legs. Classic W.

So, if the bar for intellect is set incredibly low for the office of President, is it possible that we could elect another candidate as unprepared, as incapable as W again?

It didn’t take long for the Republicans to give us the new worst president, the Donald.


We’ll use a “subtle shift” as a watchword for our discussion of America’s second worst President, George W. Bush. If it is the purpose of the government to spend the people’s money, and we eliminate the somewhat subjective viewpoint of who the money should come from, we are left with the subjective viewpoint of how the money is spent. When W took office, President Clinton had left a $237 billion dollar surplus in the Treasury. W and his advisors’ felt like the budget surplus was the people’s money and they embarked on a campaign to reform the tax code to make sure that there would never be a surplus again. W went into hard sell mode, even holding town hall meetings, to have Congress sign into law a $1.35 trillion tax cut program. Now, as math challenged as I am, I can see that the program is giving breaks that are five times greater than what was deemed as “surplus” in the Treasury. I wonder why W’s accountants didn’t see the discrepancy?

Perhaps it was because of who would benefit from the bulk of the tax breaks. I’m betting you’re guessing the middle class and the poor, right? I mean who actually needs their money more, a minimum wage worker or a billionaire? Well, at the Bush household, they’re tired of carrying all of those poor folks on their backs. I’m guessing that all of the talk at the country club was about how awful the death tax was and how awful it was to have to pay taxes at the regular rate from money earned from investments. It just doesn’t seem fair to have to pay the same rate of taxes on something you inherited as someone who gets up and goes to work each morning has to pay, does it?

Now, we have previously discussed the widespread belief that W is severely dyslexic. So, he could have read $1.35 trillion as $1.35 billion and felt like he’d still have money in the bank to invade Iraq, Afghanistan, or anyone else he felt like going after. In fact, in W’s mind, he would have plenty in surplus to invest heavily in America’s new cottage industry, surveillance. “The Patriot Act”, which no patriot would have voted for, opened up the Treasury doors to every Tom, Dick and Harry who could pitch W’s administration on a surveillance device. It didn’t hurt if some of the pitchers were insiders, like former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff. Chertoff seemed to think that the only way American fliers would be safe is for all of them to be subjected to a full body scan before boarding an airplane. Surprise! Chertoff had an interest in the company that manufactured the scanners. No reason why a little public service shouldn’t bring a little private reward, right?

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Bush tax cuts added about $1.6 trillion to the debt between 2001 and 2011. That number doesn’t include the interest. So the gift of tax relief for the wealthy has saddled the middle class and the poor with the largest deficit ever recorded. Is it true, like Cheney said, “that deficit’s don’t matter”? Well, it looks like they matter in the terms of income inequality. Between the years of 1993 and 2011, the top 1 percent’s incomes escalated by 57.5 percent, while incomes of the bottom 99 percent rose by a paltry 5.8 percent. We’ll call it a “subtle shift” of income from the have nots to the haves. Even if we make allowances for the 1% receiving the monthly BushCheney stock pick list; you know, which stock’s to invest in because we’re about to invade another country, or we’re about to pass legislation that will have us spying on every man, woman and child, or countries where foreign trade will be encouraged, the transfer of wealth came largely from the top 1% being relieved of their tax burden.

There is a popular phrase in Texas that simplistically reveals W’s devotion to pandering to the well-heeled. The phrase is, “You got to dance with them what brung you”. W didn’t care what tune, what physical machinations were required, he just wanted to please the ones that brought him to the dance. His shameless loss of any dignity he might have had in being his own man, forging his own path, writing his own legacy, were all thrown out of the window in the interest of carrying the water for “them what brought him”.

More another time.


George W. Bush took his one talent and parlayed it into something much greater than he deserved. The second worst President ever was able to parlay his reputation for being “someone you’d like to drink a beer with”, into a second term as President. To be fair, he did have that whole “war thing” going for him, and he was a personable rascal.

Now, W was not someone that I would “buy a used car from”, but apparently there were millions of Americans who bought what he was selling. So much so that they gave him a majority in the House and Senate. The Supreme Court was already in the bag, so now you had all branches of government in the hands of the folks who don’t like government. It was the first time since Herbert Hoover was elected in 1928 that a Republican president was elected along with Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress. Who says history doesn’t repeat itself?

Before W could start his work driving the economy into the ground, he was given the opportunity to show the world what a compassionate conservative was really all about. On August 29th, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast killing at least 1,245 people and creating billions in damage. Thousands were displaced, and the area has still not recovered to this day. Where we had billions to give to private companies like Halliburton and others to support our invasion of Iraq, W had very little will to make the Gulf Coast whole again. Cheney is widely reported as having said, “F*ck them, they don’t vote for us anyway”.

W’s Momma was less explicit, but every bit as damning in her assessment of the situation. “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway,” she said, “so this is working very well for them.” The arena in question being the Superdome, where 30,000 people sheltered with little power and resources and no plumbing. Why, the Superdome must have seemed like the Bush compound at Kennebunkport compared to their normal lives. Or so Barbara Bush in her jaded worldview would have one believe.

If W’s Momma is telling him that the folks in the area are better off than before the hurricane, why would W be inclined to put the full support of the government into helping the people get back on their feet? Besides, W had a war to wage with reduced resources. Since W had given all of his class a tax cut, the Clinton surplus had been completely blown. Now the country was headed back into deficit land at a rate even bigger than the Reagan years. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill had tried to warn Cheney that growing deficits posed a threat to the economy. Cheney is quoted as saying, “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” So, everybody remember, deficits are not bad if a Republican made them.

In W’s second term he spent a lot of capital trying to get Social Security privatized. Social Security is like the Mount Mordor of The Trilogy to Republicans. It exists to be destroyed. W proposed siphoning part of the money in Social Security directly into the stock market and establishing “private accounts” where taxpayers could elect to put their money into the market rather than in the government secured plan. Like any good hustler, W hoped that the promise of “greater riches” would entice the public to part with their secure savings and place them in the hands of the greed heads of Wall Street. What could go wrong?

Did I mention earlier than W had the same conditions as Herbert Hoover had when he was elected? Do we remember that nine months after taking office, Hoover presided over an unprecedented stock market crash that resulted in the Great Depression? W did his best as a shill to get Wall Street all of the money in the Social Security system. It is only the unwillingness of the Democrats to participate in the scam that saved us all. I’m having a hard time juxtaposing the concepts of compassionate conservative over an evil policy that would place hundreds of thousands of our most fragile citizens in the street. But, there it is.

But wait, there’s more!!


Today we’ll continue the story of the second worst President of the United States, George W. Bush.

When we left off our story, the neocons had decided that they should invade Iraq as retribution for Iraq’s lack of involvement in the World Trade Center. You couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing one of the “chicken hawks” blasting the airwaves with their justifications for attacking Iraq. Before long we had toppled Baghdad, hunted down Saddam’s sons and killed them, and brought Saddam to trial. He got the death penalty, by the way, which was carried out swiftly and without appeal. This, too, was televised. I guess these events needed to be televised as a warning to other dictators who had once been our friends. Do not make death threats against W’s poppy.

Unfortunately for the neocons, the TV didn’t just cover what the administration wanted us to see. American viewers were treated to the horrors of the Abu Ghraib prison fiasco. American military personnel took complete leave of their senses and violated several treaties and the Geneva Convention to act out on Iraqi prisoners. To this day we don’t know if all of the tortured were even combatants. All we know is that the tortured were at the wrong place at the wrong time, and were in the custody of a group of borderline psychotics. Before you condemn my characterization of the U.S. military involved, let me point out that the Military Code of Justice allows our military the right to refuse an order that violates their conscious. If the personnel at Abu Ghraib were given the orders to do what they did, they had the responsibility to refuse. If they acted on their own, they are even more clearly defined as psychotics. Either way, the Abu Ghraib prison fiasco  could do nothing other than fuel the fire of Islamic fundamentalists.

As distasteful as the Abu Ghraib prison fiasco was, the Bush administration was also having to defend the concept of torture as an interrogation technique. Even the real hawk, John McCain, had to disagree with the U.S.’s unprecedented wholesale use of torture to try to gain information. Was the extraordinary violation of human rights being weighed against the desperate need to find Bin Laden? Previous to this war, torture, and specifically waterboarding, was wrong, evil, and against everything America stood for. W’s administration changed all of the rules. W needed to feel “justified”.

What’s odd is that W didn’t seem to care where Bin Laden was hiding, or feel that big of an imperative to hunt him down. W is quoted on March 13, 2002 as saying, ‘I truly am not that concerned about him’. True to his word, W did not find the alleged perpetrator of the 9-11 attacks. W left the job for President Obama to clean up. Finding Bin Laden was just one of a long laundry list of things W left for President Obama to clean up, but we’ll get more to that later. First, we need to talk a little bit more about how the war was being waged now that it had become a private industry. What was once an exercise conducted by U.S. military personnel handling all phases of an operation, from washing dishes to security for VIP’s, the neocons had morphed war into a hybrid of private businesses and traditional military.

Cheney’s Halliburton received no bid contracts for supplying all of the support services to the military from housing to meals. Blackwater Security was a para-military grouped operating under contract to provide “security” in a country filled with 150,000 American soldiers. I guess because there just weren’t enough Marines on the ground. Blackwater is involved in one of the other tragedies of Iraq, the battle of Fallujah. Another black eye for the Americans in the court of world opinion.

Having private contractors without the oversight of the American Congress, and therefore, the American people, is a diagram of a disaster. As a practical matter, all of the privateers could not operate without blanket immunity for the war crimes they were inevitably going to perpetuate. W’s administration was happy to prop up, or actually provide, the Iraqi officials who would give that immunity. W’s administration was ready to provide whatever was needed to setup Halliburton, Dresser and Kellog Brown Root in the heart of Iraq’s oil fields. After all, it’s just business.

Believe it or not, there’s more.


When we left the story of the second worst President in history, George W. Bush, he and a group of Reagan-Bush retreads had regained control of the political process in America. Can anyone say they earned the right to govern fairly and squarely? I think not. But, there we are, it’s the process in America. The real people who are controlling the people we see, were holding the reins again. W was happy to jog, bike, play video games, and just generally stay out of the way. Cheney was pushing forward the advances that the oligarchy wanted, and Rove shaped public opinion.

It was hard for Rove to spin the fact that W was more known for going on vacations to his ranch in Texas than actually getting any work done. It was harder still to mask the reality that the most important leader in the world, had never been outside of the United States prior to becoming President. When W did go international, he visited Mexico first, as opposed to the traditional trip to Canada. In his defense, W did speak a pidgin Spanish. I’m guessing he didn’t want to get embarrassed by not being able to speak Canadian. W’s intellectual curiosity has long been suspect, many speculate a severe form of dyslexia. Whatever the cause, W seemed to gravitate to the simple answer to even the most complex problems. It was his comfort zone. And then it got complicated.

While reading “The Pet Goat” to some school children, W was notified of the attacks on the World Trade Center. To satisfy his intellectual curiosity, W kept reading for the next seven minutes. I think he just wanted to know how the book turned out. It does seem like W was less concerned with how the attacks on America were fairing, than the outcome of the book.

In a tape released prior to the 2004 election, Osama Bin Laden said, “But because it seemed to him that occupying himself by talking to the little girl about the goat and its butting was more important than occupying himself with the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers, we were given three times the period required to execute the operations – all praise is due to Allah.” With friends like that, it’s a wonder that the Bush administration let Bin Laden survive. W had no trouble extracting vengeance on others who had crossed him. W had no problem wiping out the bloodline of Saddam Hussein. After all, Saddam had tried to kill “poppy” and more importantly, dead men tell no tales. The fact that the Bushes were personal friends of the Bin Ladens might have also played a part. I suspect that Cheney saw that Osama was worth more to Halliburton alive than dead. But we’re jumping ahead a little.

After a series of lies, subterfuges and just downright stupid conclusions, the U.S. invaded Iraq. Now at the time, the whole world was blaming Iran for fostering terrorism. W and company ignored Iran, and, also ignored the fact that the overwhelming majority of suspected 9-11 terrorists were Saudi Arabian. W had unfinished business in Iraq apparently, or his dyslexia led him away from Iran to Iraq. Cheney was happy to go anywhere. Maybe the previous Iraq excursion pointed out how weak Iraq was as an opponent, and Iran was an unknown. Who knows. In any event, Cheney was able to attend cocktail parties with Halliburton investors again, with his head held high. Cheney was in the process of delivering a 39 billion dollar golden egg to Halliburton from the golden goose disguised as the American taxpayer. The golden egg described as the Iraqi war would cost the American taxpayer over 1.7 trillion dollars, and it’s still ongoing.

Measuring wars primarily in financial terms is wrong. But we do it. Sometimes it’s the only way to point out the folly of war to people who are ok with killing other people. That sounds horrific, I know, but the reports of hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq were pooh poohed. Only until some of the folks in Congress started screaming that the U.S. was taking on a huge debt to finance W’s retribution, and Cheney’s payback to Halliburton, did the public start to question how long we wanted to be in Iraq.

Now, lest you consider me superficial in my analysis, I don’t want to leave Karl Rove out of the equation. He is certainly a founding member of the unholy trinity. History tells us that no sitting President has ever not been re-elected in time of war. I’m pretty sure Karl Rove knew this historical truism. “Mission Accomplished”, Karl. Despite all that is right and holy, W was re-elected in 2004. 

We’ll continue on later.


Somebody that knows everything there is to know about misdirection is Karl Rove. Karl, who, you ask? Karl Rove was affectionately referred to as “Bush’s Brain” by the press, and as “Turd Blossom” by Bush. I’m guessing Bush knew him better, so maybe his nickname was more appropriate. Karl Rove was responsible for directing all of Bush’s political campaigns, and as a result, put spin on who the public saw as a candidate. Rove was a modern day Machiavelli, if you will. Like Machiavelli, Rove had little use for morality or ethics, it was all about winning.

Rove’s ethics seem to only appear when confronted by legal action. Rove represented the tobacco industry at the same time as he was advising then Texas governor, George Bush. Rove testified in court that he quit his consulting with the tobacco people because he felt awkward “about balancing that responsibility with his role as Bush’s top political advisor”. You see, the state of Texas was suing the tobacco industry at the time. Turns out, Rove was right to ditch big tobacco. Rove knew where the ultimate big money was. I suggest reading Rove’s wiki for a look at a lifetime of despicable campaigns run by a despicable man.

Another despicable “Bushie” who knew where the big money was Dick Cheney. Cheney had served as “poppy’s” Secretary of Defense and was part of the inner circle of ultra conservative Republicans fomenting “Pax Americana”. When the Clinton administration came in and swept out the Republican riff raff, Cheney became the Chairman and CEO of the Halliburton Company. Now, the Halliburton Company has its fingers in a lot of pies, maybe all of the pies. One pie that had eluded Halliburton’s grasp was the oil field giant, Dresser Industries. 

In 1998, Dresser chose to merge with its main rival Halliburton, and became known thereafter as Halliburton Company. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton at the time, and he negotiated the purchase of Dresser. Rumor has it that Cheney had been convinced that Dresser’s asbestos liability suits were going to go away. In 2001, Halliburton was enjoined to settle the asbestos lawsuits against Dresser. The legal liability caused Halliburton’s stock price to free fall by eighty percent in a little over a year. It must have been very awkward for Cheney at cocktail parties filled with his investor friends. What’s an unscrupulous lifetime politician to do? Why nominate himself to be the vice presidential candidate, of course.

As bizarre as it sounds, an old friend of the Bush family, Dick Cheney, was charged with finding the perfect vice-presidential candidate to complement W’s run for the White House. After an exhaustive search of thousands of qualified candidates, Cheney spun the bottle and it pointed directly at him. Information is not available as to how many times the bottle was spun. After a contentious campaign that led to the party that received the least votes being given the election by the Supreme Court, Bush and Cheney were anointed as the leaders of the free world. Now Cheney was only a heartbeat away from the most powerful job on earth. More importantly, Cheney was given a key to the treasury.

First thing Cheney did was build a bunker for himself that was twice as secure as the White House. His movements were like something out of “24”. He traveled in motorcades of a dozen cars, he slept in multiple locations, and kept his movements separate from the President as much as he could. I question who he feared the most, Presidential assassins, or Halliburton stockholders. Wherever the paranoia was based, it was clear that the man with a mechanical heart, planned on keeping that heart beating for as long as he could. It’s also clear that Cheney was not stepping in front of the President to stop a bullet. Loyalty has its limits.

Ok, I’ve spent today’s missive describing two of W’s influences, and not W. In my defense, I will say that I think that the man that shaped W’s public persona, and the man who shaped W’s political persona, are equally as important as describing W. We’ll dig deeper into W tomorrow.


From a rock flipped over somewhere in Texas, George W. Bush has slithered out to state his opinions on the current state of affairs and to stump for the daughter of his former VP. Liz Cheney needs help from the old guard to maintain her seat in Congress. George W is there to lend whatever energy he can to her campaign and to continue the Vader line in politics.

If we’re being truthful, W’s skin color does not look as hardy and robust as it did when he was in the White House. It looks like “pursuing his muse” has not exposed W to as much sun as he received while holding down the job of, “most important man in the world”.

Now that W is a common citizen, his handlers are not guiding him to outdoor activities as they did while he was President. I suspected all along that someone was keeping W busy during the day while they did the real work behind the scenes. While President, Bush would come home from a hundred mile bike ride feeling tired, and think that he’d put in a hard day at the office. I’m sure it was much easier for Dick Cheney and Karl Rove to run the country by insisting that W keep up with his fitness.

When talking about W, there are so many periods of his life that you could start with, to point out the true nature of his character. The “Texan” was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the home of Yale University. He would later attend Yale. One suspects the fact that his daddy was a legacy played an important part in W’s admission. Although W attended public schools in Texas as a youth, which typically rank in the bottom third nationally, he was able to secure an opening to the exclusive Phillips Academy. It seems there was some “prep” work needed before his matriculation at Yale. While at Yale, W was president of his fraternity, and a member of “Skull and Bones”. It kind of puts me in mind of Otter from Animal House being a CIA agent. Maybe it’s more like Jethro from the “Beverly Hillbillies” being a “double naught” spy.

W’s fine education didn’t seem to prepare him for real life, unless you consider what “real life” was for W. There was always big money available to bail him out of his assorted business failures. Even money to buy into the Texas Rangers baseball team. Money to merge his failed oil company to a bigger player, who then made W chairman of the board. An oil company who would later get almost exclusive offshore drilling rights in Behrain, although W’s company had never done any offshore drilling. The year was 1990, and one George Herbert Walker Bush was President. Coincidence? Please, there are no coincidences.

There are however, people like W, who have had the road paved with gold for them since birth. As Ann Richards once said, “Poor George Bush, he was born on third base, and thinks he hit a triple”. In what appears to be the only “real” job that Bush has had, Air Force pilot, he repeatedly chose to follow his own path, rather than the prescribed military procedures. It is hard to over look the fact that there were a few hundred thousand American GI’s during this period, who would have traded their souls for W’s “gift” military assignment. These GI’s would have given anything to swap their place in the jungles of South East Asia for a cushy Air National Guard job protecting the U.S. from invasion from Mexico.

As good as W had it, he was oblivious to his good fortune. In 1972, W was suspended from flying for failing to take a required physical exam. There is talk that W’s blood work would not have been favorable to a combat pilot, much less to the son of the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and a former congressman. W was honorably discharged from the Air Force Reserve in 1974, in spite of his spotty record for attendance. Apparently honorable discharges are easy to get if your daddy and granddaddy know the right people.