Bush: Not just a Coward and Liar, but also a Lazy Ass

Discussion in 'Politics' started by TigerO, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. TigerO



    AWOL from Vietnam, AWOL from the White House.

    George W. Bush: The War President is Missing in Action

    Also see extensive list of supporting articles at George W. Bush: The War President is Missing in Action (External Links).

    George W. Bush: The War President is [Continues to be] Missing in Action.

    In his February 8, 2004, hour-long Oval Office interview with Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press, President Bush declared himself as the "War President" 31 times. [1]

    Bush: "I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign-policy matters with war on my mind. Again, I wish it wasn't true, but it is true. And the American people need to know they got a president who sees the world the way it is. And I see dangers that exist, and it's important for us to deal with them."

    However, . . .

    Joshua Micah Marshall, in his April 9, 2004, Talking Points Memo, points to a "Washington Post story on the degenerating situation in Iraq ...

    "This is Bush's 33rd visit to his ranch since becoming president. He has spent all or part of 233 days on his Texas ranch since taking office, according to a tally by CBS News. Adding his 78 visits to Camp David and his five visits to Kennebunkport, Maine, Bush has spent all or part of 500 days in office at one of his three retreats, or more than 40 percent of his presidency.

    and this ...

    "Bush spent the morning watching national security adviser Condoleezza Rice's televised testimony to the commission investigating the September 11, 2001, attacks, then toured his ranch with Wayne LaPierre Jr., chief executive of the National Rifle Association, and other leaders of hunting groups and gave an interview to Ladies' Home Journal. He is not scheduled to appear in public until Sunday, when he will visit nearby Fort Hood, the home base for seven soldiers recently killed in Baghdad.

    Marshall: "Vacation gibes are usually unfair. But with the situation in Iraq so critical, shouldn't the president be at the White House? It's a full-time job, comes with a decent salary." [2]

    Bush really is on vacation. Reuters reports April, 9, 2004, that "Hunters, Conservationists Get Tour of Bush Ranch":

    "President Bush on Thursday opened his expansive central Texas ranch to sporting aficionados and conservation groups, including the National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever.

    "Bush showed off the scenic canyons, streams and trails of his 1,600-acre Prairie Chapel ranch property to 23 representatives of the organizations, a spokeswoman said."

    "During the private tour, Bush spokeswoman Claire Buchan said he wanted to discuss his clean air, wetlands and healthy forests initiatives in addition to showing off the energy conservation features of his home and the native grasses that have been replanted."

    Meanwhile, in late March 2004, there began a Shiite Muslim uprising in Iraq and steadily deteriorating situation marked by the development of a unification of Shiites and Sunnis in resistance.

    On April 10, 2004, the Washington Post's Dan Balz and Jim VandeHei call attention to the fact that "Bush's Low Profile Questioned as Violence Flares in Iraq":

    "In the face of these challenges, Bush has yielded the stage, remaining largely out of sight at his Texas ranch as others in his administration explain his policies. Bush's silence in the face of mounting U.S. casualties in Iraq and concerns about the administration's timetable for transferring power to the Iraqis has brought criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike."

    On April 11, 2004, Thomas L. Friedman, writing for the New York Times, says that "The U.S. operation in Iraq is hanging by a thread. If it has any hope of surviving this Hobbesian moment, we need three conversations to happen fast: George Bush needs to talk to his father, the Arab leaders need to talk to their sons — and daughters — and we need to talk to the Iraqi Governing Council.

    "President Bush, please call home. You need some of your father's wisdom right now." [3]

    Two days earlier, on April 9th, Bob Herbert stated things quite clearly in his New York Times Op-Ed "The Empty Room,":

    "Condi Rice was in Washington trying to pass her oral exam before the 9-11 Commission yesterday, and the president was on vacation in Texas. As usual, they were in close agreement, this time on the fact that neither they nor anyone else in this remarkably aloof and arrogant administration is responsible for the tragic mess unfolding in Iraq, and its implications for the worldwide war on terror.

    "The president called Ms. Rice from his pickup truck on the ranch to tell her she had done a great job before the panel.

    "It doesn't get more surreal than that.

    "Mr. [War] President, there's a war on. You might consider hopping a plane to Washington."


    The "War President"'s MIA habit should come as no surprise. When Bush received the August 6, 2001, President's Daily Briefing Memo relating to al Qaeda's reported terrorism plans, he was likewise vacationing on his ranch at Crawford, Texas:

    * Terry Moran, reporting for ABC World News Tonight on August 3, 2001, headlined with the announcement that "President Bush [Was] to Spend Much of His Month-Long Vacation Enjoying Peace and Quiet of His 1600-acre Texas Ranch." Bush's vacation was to be "the longest of any president since Richard Nixon." [4]

    Moran's report included the facts that Bush:

    * "... described his time off as an escape from the cloistered world of Washington."
    * "... [was] headed home to the heartland to listen to the American people and to talk about the values that unite and sustain our country."
    * "... [would] be spending most of his time on his 1600-acre ranch near Crawford, Texas, where it's very hot, very dry, and very, very quiet. And that's the way George W. Bush likes it."
    * "... [would be doing] a little fishing on the ranch. I'm sure he'll have friends and family over to the ranch. He'll do a little policy. He'll keep up with events." (according to White House spokesman Ari Fleischer).
    * "... is no workaholic [like other Baby Boomers]. Reporters who covered him when he was governor of Texas grew familiar with his laid-back approach."
    * "... was religious about wanting to take time off." (according to Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News).

    According to Moran, "In Texas, the president will get a daily intelligence briefing, and he's planning one or two side trips a week just to keep in the public eye, but mostly, it seems, he'll do what most Americans do on vacation: nothing much."

    * Eric Lichtblau and David E. Sanger write for the April 10, 2004, New York Times that "Bush Was Warned of Possible Attack in U.S., Official Says" and that "The warning came in a secret briefing that Mr. Bush received at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., on Aug. 6, 2001. A report by a joint Congressional committee last year alluded to a 'closely held intelligence report' that month about the threat of an attack by Al Qaeda, and the official confirmed an account by The Associated Press on Friday saying that the report was in fact part of the president's briefing in Crawford."

    * Also see President Bush's "Remarks" to the Press Pool at Ridgewood Country Club in Waco, Texas, August 7, 2001, the day following his receipt of the PDB Memo.

    * Moe Blues at Bad Attitudes writes on April 9, 2004, that Condi provided no defense in her April 8, 2004, testimony before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States for the Bush administration's decisions on counterterrorism prior to September 11, 2001:

    "Here’s the real problem with Condi’s defense: that PDB [i.e., the August 6, 2001, President's Daily Briefing Memo] was not issued in a vacuum. Warnings of some 'spectacular' terrorist attack had been building since May of 2001. Those warnings reached a crescendo in late July. It was against that background that the PDB was issued.

    "Rice would have everyone believe that the PDB was an isolated document; that, taken alone, it indicated nothing. But reasonably intelligent people can see that the sum total of what was going on that summer pointed to the need for more vigorous action. Yet, the administration did nothing.

    "If Condi Rice and the rest of the administration are incapable of seeing such obvious patterns as those preceding 9/11, they are incapable of defending this country. If they did see those patterns yet chose to ignore them in favor of taking month-long vacations, they are guilty of criminal negligence."


  2. TigerO


    Bush, Missing In Action, vs normal Americans:



    When George W. Bush left the White House yesterday, he was beginning an absence from the White House that will last for 25 days.

    His spokesman, Ari Fleischer, calls the trip “a vacation”, but the President will host an economic forum on August 13, and he’ll visit a dozen cities raising money for Republicans around the country.

    The White House has used the term “vacation” very gingerly, telling reporters to describe the 25-day absence from the nation’s power centers however they choose.

    I don’t blame them for playing the working vacation down. With the economy in the toilet, and more people feeling the pinch, it’s easy to envy a president who has a job perk that few other Americans have.

    Notwithstanding what Maryland governor Parris Glendening told USA Today last week: “In times of financial crisis and international crisis, the public looks for hands-on, confident leadership. What we're going to see is every-other-day photo ops from the ranch,” at issue here is the concept of the overworked American, a topic that folks as varied as Arlie Hoschschild and Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders have addressed in recent years.

    The United States, with an average of 13 annual vacation days, follows Japan, which offers employees 25 days of vacation annually and Italy, which offers an almost unfathomable 42 days of vacation to its citizens. In fact, most of Western Europe gets a month off of work, give or take a week depending on the country.

    In the United States though, even were workers to get more vacation time, it would likely not accrue until year two or later of their tenure with a particular company. Workers who have held jobs for less than 2 years in the United States customarily only get 2 weeks of vacation time, according to Hewitt Associates.

    In addition, according to a 2001 study by Oxford Health Plans in New York, 18 percent of workers say they are unable to use their annual vacation time due to job demands—this despite the fact that their vacation time is most certainly less than two measly weeks.

    And when workers do get a chance to escape, some of them go away burdened with cell phones and pagers, “on call” whether they’re on vacation or not. Low-wage workers may get even less time, and may be forced, by economic circumstances, to work temporary or part time jobs during their “vacation” period. Part-time workers who piece together a living from two or three jobs may get no vacation. Still others get a forced vacation in the forms of layoffs.

    The fact that so many workers lack vacation time or lack the ability to take vacation time afforded them should be a serious concern. Employee retention and productivity both would no doubt climb were employers and the government to realize the necessity of time off.

    Even sadder than the fact that folks don’t get two weeks at the beach during the work year is that some folks don’t get two minutes to themselves during the workday: according to the Oxford Health Plans study, 32 percent of workers eat lunch while they are working—and they’re probably the same 32 percent who never leave their building once they arrive at work.

    Rising unemployment rates increase the pressure. Those who were afraid to take time off before rates started rising are petrified now. When their coworkers are laid off, they willingly shoulder extra work, extending their workday and their workoad. In the short run, costs are cut, but in the long run they, and their families suffer. Thus, wihle Mr. Bush is spending quality leisure time home on the range, millions of Americans don’t know the meaning of leisure. While the President is “kicking back”, millions are ramping up their wor and their job search efforts.

    President Bush may well be entitled to time off, but so are millions of other hardworking Americans who don’t have the perks he does. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says that those who raise valid questions about the Presiden’ts long break are taking “potshots” at our leader’s well-deserved vacation.

    The potshots should be put in some context. It is not just that the President has such a long break, but also that some Americans have none. In some ways , we look at the President's vacation as a way of examining the benefits packages that so many other Americans have.

    If we think all Americans should be paid fairly, we have to pay attention both to pay and to the terms and conditions of work, the hours, the benefits, and the time off. Too many people don’t gett a break from work, and both their productivity and famly life suffers for it."



    Essayist and cultural critic Barbara Ehrenreich has always specialized in turning received wisdom on its head with intelligence, clarity, and verve. With some 12 million women being pushed into the labor market by welfare reform, she decided to do some good old-fashioned journalism and find out just how they were going to survive on the wages of the unskilled--at $6 to $7 an hour, only half of what is considered a living wage. So she did what millions of Americans do, she looked for a job and a place to live, worked that job, and tried to make ends meet.

    As a waitress in Florida, where her name is suddenly transposed to "girl," trailer trash becomes a demographic category to aspire to with rent at $675 per month. In Maine, where she ends up working as both a cleaning woman and a nursing home assistant, she must first fill out endless pre-employment tests with trick questions such as "Some people work better when they're a little bit high." In Minnesota, she works at Wal-Mart under the repressive surveillance of men and women whose job it is to monitor her behavior for signs of sloth, theft, drug abuse, or worse. She even gets to experience the humiliation of the urine test.

    So, do the poor have survival strategies unknown to the middle class? And did Ehrenreich feel the "bracing psychological effects of getting out of the house, as promised by the wonks who brought us welfare reform?" Nah. Even in her best-case scenario, with all the advantages of education, health, a car, and money for first month's rent, she has to work two jobs, seven days a week, and still almost winds up in a shelter. As Ehrenreich points out with her potent combination of humor and outrage, the laws of supply and demand have been reversed. Rental prices skyrocket, but wages never rise. Rather, jobs are so cheap as measured by the pay that workers are encouraged to take as many as they can. Behind those trademark Wal-Mart vests, it turns out, are the borderline homeless. With her characteristic wry wit and her unabashedly liberal bent, Ehrenreich brings the invisible poor out of hiding and, in the process, the world they inhabit--where civil liberties are often ignored and hard work fails to live up to its reputation as the ticket out of poverty.