While the progs are jumping up and down over Obama’s Q&A, this is what I’m looking at.
Mike Isikoff and Dan Klaidman put up a post about an hour ago letting the first blood for the Obama Administration’s intentional tanking of the OPR (Office of Professional Responsibility) Report. In light of Obama’s focused determination to sweep the acts of the Bush Administration, no matter how malevolent, under the rug and “move forward” the report is not unexpected. However, digesting the first leak in what would appear to be a staged rollout is painful:
…an upcoming Justice Department report from its ethics-watchdog unit, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), clears the Bush administration lawyers who authored the “torture” memos of professional-misconduct allegations.
Oh, I know, it’s awfully early in the morning to post this, but this has been one of life’s little mysteries to me of late. Why so much Cheney and ZERO Bush? This picture reminds me all over again why I don’t miss him. At All. Does he look smashed to you too?
From the New York Times:
Former President Bill Clinton really misses the presidency. “All of a sudden nobody plays a song,” he told an audience here on Friday, referring to “Hail to the Chief,” the anthem played at presidential events.
Former President George W. Bush hardly misses it at all. “Free at last,” he proclaimed before the same crowd at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. “I like being in Texas, and I do not miss the spotlight.”
Sounds like there were very few sparks at the event. And this is interesting:
Indeed, though rarely reported upon, relations between the two men had begun to thaw significantly midway through Mr. Bush’s second term, after Mr. Bush teamed up Mr. Clinton and his father, the first President George Bush, on relief efforts after the tsunami in Asia and then, Hurricane Katrina.
Aides to Mr. Bush said he warmed to Mr. Clinton as his predecessor formed an affectionate bond with his father.
Mr. Clinton, meanwhile, offered frequent advice, sneaking into the White House for a secret lunch as early as 2007 to discuss Mr. Bush’s postpresidential plans.
Rummy played GW like a violin. (PZ Myers)
President George W. Bush was a god-fearing child given control of our military apparatus…or perhaps he was a child manipulated by a military that found religion a convenient hook. Frank Rich describes the internal propaganda used during the war. What I find shocking is that Bush received regular intelligence briefings with covers that invoked a combination of G.I. Joe war imagery and militaristic bible verses.
What do you think the odds are that the Center for American Progress is going to do one of these pieces for the Obama inaugural?
I was appalled in 2005, and I am appalled in 2009.
Inauguration: Lifestyles of the Rich and Heartless
January 20, 2005
A look at this week’s festivities by the numbers:
$40 million: Cost of Bush inaugural ball festivities, not counting security costs.
$2,000: Amount FDR spent on the inaugural in 1945…about $20,000 in today’s dollars.
$20,000: Cost of yellow roses purchased for inaugural festivities by D.C.’s Ritz Carlton.
200: Number of Humvees outfitted with top-of-the-line armor for troops in Iraq that could have been purchased with the amount of money blown on the inauguration.
$10,000: Price of an inaugural package at the Fairmont Hotel, which includes a Beluga caviar and Dom Perignon reception, a chauffeured Rolls Royce and two actors posing as “faux” Secret Service agents, complete with black sunglasses and cufflink walkie-talkies.
400: Pounds of lobster provided for “inaugural feeding frenzy” at the exclusive Mandarin Oriental hotel.
3,000: Number of “Laura Bush Cowboy cookies” provided for “inaugural feeding frenzy” at the Mandarin hotel.
$1: Amount per guest President Carter spent on snacks for guests at his inaugural parties. To stick to a tight budget, he served pretzels, peanuts, crackers and cheese and had cash bars.
22 million: Number of children in regions devastated by the tsunami who could have received vaccinations and preventive health care with the amount of money spent on the inauguration.
1,160,000: Number of girls who could be sent to school for a year in Afghanistan with the amount of money lavished on the inauguration.
$15,000: The down payment to rent a fur coat paid by one gala attendee who didn’t want the hassle of schlepping her own through the airport.
$200,500: Price of a room package at D.C.’s Mandarin Oriental, including presidential suite, chauffeured Mercedes limo and outfits from Neiman Marcus.
2,500: Number of U.S. troops used to stand guard as President Bush takes his oath of office
26,000: Number of Kevlar vests for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that could be purchased for $40 million.
$290: Bonus that could go to each American solider serving in Iraq, if inauguration funds were used for that purpose.
$6.3 million: Amount contributed by the finance and investment industry, which works out to be 25 percent of all the money collected.
$17 million: Amount of money the White House is forcing the cash-strapped city of Washington, D.C., to pony up for inauguration security.
9: Percentage of D.C. residents who voted for Bush in 2004.
66: Percentage of Americans who think this over-the-top inauguration should have been scaled back.
I’ve been pondering a “don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out” post about Bush, but why? Just go, Junior.
Susie at Suburban Guerilla sums it up for me:
I’m weary. I’m weary not only about what’s been done, but about how willing so many Americans were to go along with it. And frankly, I don’t think people have learned much. I’m not all that optimistic about anything right now (although I’m happy that a new level of competence will be present in what’s left of our decimated government agencies) but I’m also worried we will see what amounts to a shell game, switching Iraq for Afghanistan. I hope I’m wrong, but we’ll see. Obama does give a nice speech, and at least some of that will translate into positive action.
A Must Read.
In this manner, the Establishment informs us that, in terms of every fundamental principle, it will be business as usual. All will essentially go on as before, another point I recently discussed.
And at the end of his article, Krauthammer says:
The very continuation by Democrats of Bush’s policies will be grudging, if silent, acknowledgment of how much he got right.
From the monster’s lips, to the ears of those liberals and progressives who will nonetheless expend untold energy and write countless articles and blog posts to defend the indefensible, to justify the unjustifiable, to attempt to eradicate the growing pools of blood that flood the world.
For certain people, no matter what Obama does, the refrain will be unchanging: “But he’s Obama! He’s a Democrat, and a progressive! He doesn’t mean it (aggressive war, torture, pauperizing all “ordinary” Americans to keep the ruling class fat, rich and powerful, etc.)! If he could do what he really wants to do, everything would be great!”
Seriously, go read the whole post.
It’s just not good for my mental health or my blood pressure.
President-elect Barack Obama signaled in an interview broadcast Sunday that he was unlikely to authorize a broad inquiry into Bush administration programs like domestic eavesdropping or the treatment of terrorism suspects.
But Mr. Obama also said prosecutions would proceed if the Justice Department found evidence that laws had been broken.
Um. How do you prosecute based on evidence you have no intention of looking for?
In the clearest indication so far of his thinking on the issue, Mr. Obama said on the ABC News program “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” that there should be prosecutions if “somebody has blatantly broken the law” but that his legal team was still evaluating interrogation and detention issues and would examine “past practices.”
Mr. Obama added that he also had “a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”
Good Gawd. This reminds me of Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon.
Oversight? Will there be any at all? Doesn’t sound like it. Speaking of the intelligence departments Obama said:
“And part of my job,” he continued, “is to make sure that, for example, at the C.I.A., you’ve got extraordinarily talented people who are working very hard to keep Americans safe. I don’t want them to suddenly feel like they’ve got spend their all their time looking over their shoulders.”
Guess who’s not relocating to Crawford?
She said the president has yet to step foot in their new house in Dallas.
“I’ve been to it. I’ve looked at it. He hasn’t seen it,” she said during an interview at the White House. “I’ve shown him the pictures.”
The Bushes recently bought a home among business leaders and prominent Republican donors in the affluent North Dallas neighborhood of Preston Hollow, where they will live after the president leaves office in January.
Well then. I hope he doesn’t forget me. I’m with the commenter who wrote:
I hope he names names, then I’ll know whose hands I would like to shake and to whom to send donations for their next campaign.
Wow….that is simply unbelievable. This guy will do whatever it takes to stay relevant. Mr. Rove, America voted on November 4th, and clearly rejected you, and everything you stand for. So write your book if it makes you feel better, but being an angry texan “outsider” is a card that has been way over played. Bush failed, you failed, and the dynasty you tried to create will be judged by history as the worst administration ever.
And finally, this:
Karl Rove the man widely credited with Bush’s two presidential victories says his new book will include an accounting of those in Washington who never accepted the president as a legitimate commander-in-chief.
Well surprise Karl, could it be that they never accepted him because he was never elected the 1st time around but, had to be appointed by the Supreme Court judges appointed to their jobs by senior Bush.
Name those names because we should give them medals of courage.
Of course, I’d really like to know who all these people were who didn’t “accept” Bush as president. I think they did a damn fine job of faking it.