Archive for George Bush

GW Bush: "I'm not a great artist." He left out "con."

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gw bush paintings nudes via Gawker

GW Bush and his band of (alleged) war criminals conned gullible Americans into believing that Iraq had something to do with the September 11, 2001 attacks, and that the torture they swore they didn't practice was nothing more than "enhanced interrogation." Well, they didn't con everyone, but they still got away with murder, literally:

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Now GW Bush is diverting attention from his horrific time in office to his newest passion, painting. Here's George Bush and his daughter Jenna Heh heh heh-ing through a tour of some of his newly unveiled work. Pay no attention to his former swaggery warmonger persona. Apparently it's been replaced with Mr. Stepford:

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What, no finger painting? No dried macaroni and glitter pasted onto paper plates? Who knows, maybe he ate the paste.

At about 1:03 he admits to painting one self-portrait that resembles Alfred E. Newman. Hey, he said it, we didn't. Okay, we did:

george w. bush what me worry The NationThen he and Jenna discussed Daddy Dearest's relationship with Vladimir Putin. Ironically, this is what Bush said at about 3:00 in response to Vlad's bragging about his own "bigger, stronger and faster" pet (via The Hill):

"Wow. Anybody who thinks, 'My dog is bigger than your dog' is an interesting character."

Wow. Anybody who thinks, "My country is bigger than your country so let's invade, kill, and torture" is an interesting character.

He also said that painting "opened my mind." He must have meant, "opened what's left of my mind," assuming, of course, that he ever had one.

And soon after that comment, he admitted, "I'm not a great artist." He left out "con." See, despite his best efforts to pull one over on America, he and the rest of BushCo were exposed for who they are. Plus, with the revelations of the soon-to-be-declassified CIA Torture Report making their way into the headlines, the paint will really hit the fan.

He followed his "I'm not a great artist" with, "As you know, I'm a driven person" (at 4:07). Not only was he was driven to invade countries that never attacked us, but also to draw "stick figure characters," per Mrs. GW Bush, describing Artist George's early app-inspired creative efforts. Stick figures. How typically simple. How ap(p)t.

Jenna: "His man cave was transformed into an art studio."

Again, how ironic: Jenna used the "cave" word. CNN, August 24, 2002:

AMANPOUR: And, of course, as we've been saying, the focus is on finding Osama bin Laden.

BUSH: In terms of Mr. bin Laden himself, we'll get him running. We'll smoke him out of his cave and we'll get him eventually.

Now it's our turn.

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Don't let Paul Ryan near your money

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Paul Ryan ugh this guy

He's ba-a-ack. Yes, Paul Ryan and his "budget" (quotes required, because it's not a budget, it's a redundantly cruel joke) have returned to make the 99% miserable as it caters to the top 1%.

In his Los Angeles Times column, the brilliant Michael Hiltzik takes Paul Ryan and his Very Serious Plan apart. He rips into Privatize Ryan's latest attempt to screw the middle class and the poor by cutting government programs, killing Medicare and Social Security, and thumbing his nose at everyone who knew better than to vote for him and his "severely conservative" running mate.

Read our lips, Paul: Austerity doesn't work.

Via AusterityNut.com

What's the definition of insanity again? Oh yeah:

insanity doing same thing over different results

Hiltzik also manages to get a word or two in about GW Bush's squandering of the Clinton surpluses on tax breaks for the wealthy and how he spent borrowed funds on wars without bothering to raise income taxes.

Take it away, Michael:

There should be a rule--or even a law--that politicians who propose "fixes" to Social Security should at least show they know something about the program. By that standard, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., would flunk. [...]

But the trust fund is still growing, because Social Security's income streams--the payroll tax, interest on its bonds, and revenues from income taxation of benefits--still are sufficient to cover current benefits, and then some. [...]

As I've written before, when you hear people like Paul Ryan talk as though the country can't afford to pay back the money by redeeming the bonds in the trust fund, what you're hearing is the sound of the wealthy preparing to stiff the working class. [...]

[I]f Ryan has his way, yes, the money will be stolen. It's up to you and me to make sure that doesn't happen. So, to put all these pieces together, there's no "dubious government accounting" involved here--the dubious accounting is all Ryan's. [...]

The most important factor is the one that people like Ryan want you to forget: The money in the Social Security trust fund came directly or indirectly from the payroll taxes paid by millions of American workers--100% of it. It was paid by workers in the trust that the government would pay it back. Paul Ryan is hinting, pretty strongly, that he doesn't want to pay it back. 

So why would you trust him? 

Exactly. Why would anyone trust this guy? Especially after the abysmal response to his previous Kill Medicare/Social Security proposals.

paul ryan really really bad screen grab

Please read Hiltzik's entire piece here.

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Torture worse than waterboarding: Inside the Senate report on CIA interrogations

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Did you know that waterboarding was the "least worst" method of torture used on high-value detainees by the CIA under the Bush administration's watch?

My dear friend and one of the best investigative reporters out there, Jason Leopold, went on Nicole Sandler's radio show just before my weekly spot. He's a tough act to follow, especially when he reveals what the corporate "news" media won't touch with a ten-foot ad buy. Which is why you haven't heard about the "not legally authorized" torture "techniques" that will likely turn many American stomachs once details are finally (if ever) made public.

Now, because Jason has made such good and plentiful use of the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), he is being called a "FOIA terrorist" and has had to deal with considerable blowback from some very powerful people in very powerful places. IMHO, the reason they feel so "terrorized" is that they're scared to death of Jason's reporting and the truths he brings to light.

Here are a few excerpts from Jason's Al Jazeera America piece:

A still-classified report on the CIA's interrogation program established in the wake of 9/11 sparked a furious row last week between the agency and Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein. Al Jazeera has learned from sources familiar with its contents that the committee's report alleges that at least one high-value detainee was subjected to torture techniques that went beyond those authorized by George W. Bush's Justice Department.

Two Senate staffers and a U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information they disclosed remains classified, told Al Jazeera that the committee's analysis of 6 million pages of classified records also found that some of the harsh measures authorized by the Department of Justice had been applied to at least one detainee before such legal authorization was received. They said the report suggests that the CIA knowingly misled the White House, Congress and the Justice Department about the intelligence value of detainee Zain Abidin Mohammed Husain Abu Zubaydah when using his case to argue in favor of harsher interrogation techniques. [...]

Even before accessing the documents, committee staffers received crucial information in a briefing from former FBI agent Ali Soufan in early 2008, according to Al Jazeera’s sources. Soufan — who now runs a private security and intelligence consultancy — told the staffers that he had kept meticulous notes about the methods used by a psychologist under CIA contract to interrogate Abu Zubaydah at a CIA black site in Thailand after his capture in Pakistan in March of 2002. Soufan's account, the staffers say, shows that torture techniques were used on Abu Zubaydah even before some had been sanctioned as permissible by the Bush administration. [...]

Two Senate staffers told Al Jazeera that the Panetta documents question the Bush administration claims about the efficacy of Abu Zubaydah’s torture, and the staffers noted that some of the techniques to which he was subjected early in his captivity had not yet been authorized.

Jason explained that the previously undisclosed torture methods made waterboarding seem like the least ghastly practice by comparison... and perhaps that's why the public focus was (intentionally) on waterboarding. See the shiny, inhumane keys? Now move along.

You can hear Jason talk about these revelations in his own words here (podcast). And please read his entire Al Jazeera post here. Where you will not read, hear, or see any references to Jason Leopold's reporting is in the corporate "mainstream" media. Maybe we can all use our social media skills to force the press into covering his work. Wouldn't that be novel?

torture

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"Well, Senator Feinstein, how does it feel?"

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Senator Feinstein Dianne Feinstein CIA

Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, Senator Feinstein Hypocrisy Edition, because our voices matter:

Re "CIA denies Senate spying claim," March 12

Anyone who fails to appreciate the supreme irony of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) righteous indignation over the CIA's alleged spying on and undermining of the Senate Intelligence Committee (of which Feinstein is chair) has not been paying attention.

For years, she has been one of the intelligence community's most steadfast champions, deflecting criticism of the surveillance state, attacking whistle-blowers and justifying nearly every abuse. Her tenure at the spy community's ultimate oversight body, tasked with safeguarding the public interest, has seen that institution perform as something between a star chamber and a cheerleading squad.

Only when the monster she helped create might have turned against her does she seem to remember something called the Constitution. Is it any wonder that Congress is held in utter contempt by the people?

Mark McCormick

Los Angeles

***

In January, a Times news article described Feinstein as "a key defender of the National Security Agency's data tracking program." Now, just two months later, Feinstein is riled up about the national security apparatus, but only because she believes it turned a jaundiced eye on Senate staffers.

Well, Senator Feinstein, how does it feel?

Frankly, I believe she and her supporters should be ashamed of her hypocrisy. Of course, this includes The Times, which endorsed Feinstein in 2012, stating clearly that "endorsing her for another term is an easy call."

Paul Marsden

Garden Grove

***

Feinstein's committee found documents showing that President Bush's torture program was far more barbaric than previously revealed and far less effective than claimed. This controversy is really about the CIA hiding potential crimes from Feinstein's committee.

CIA Director John Brennan endorsed torture and rendition under Bush. As director, he has kept the lid on the truth. He should be fired.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report needs to be declassified, and if the U.S. won't pursue possible war criminals, the International Criminal Court should.

But under Bush, the U.S. refused to be under the court's jurisdiction. The Obama administration has since renewed a relationship with the court, but Senate ratification is needed for the ICC to do what no one in this country has the stomach to do.

It is the president's job to ask the Senate for ratification. Shame on us all if he does not.

Richard Green

San Clemente

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Partisanship

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partisanshipVia

Partisanship is alive and well these days. Did I say "these days"? I meant to say "these years." Did I say "these years"? I meant to say "these decades." But ever since President Obama was sworn in-- literally-- the bitter divide has gotten bitterer and dividier. By the way, commentators, it's not "Congress" that's the problem, it's the GOP.

Lately on the Tee Vee Machine, Republican talking heads have been reveling in the president's sagging poll numbers, and have demanded-- demanded!-- that he stop blaming George Bush for the nation's problems. That's been part of their prebuttal for tomorrow's State of the Union address, because that's what they do. How typically unoriginal, flawed, and redundant.

Actually, BushCo is to blame for much of the country's woes, because we are still trying to recover from the Bush Recession. The one Bush's policies brought on. The one that lost us hundreds of thousands of jobs every month. The one that President Obama is pulling us out of.

And one of the main reasons we aren't recovering quickly enough is because the GOP doesn't want us to. They have obstructed just about anything that has even a faint whiff of Eau d'Obama. That way, when the economy remains weak, when immigration reform stalls, when income inequality persists, when the number of massacres at the point of a gun increases, when more children starve, when more Americans are denied the assistance they need to sign up for health care, they can point fingers at the person who they themselves obstructed. And many Americans are buying into their b.s.

Good plan, guys. Or should I say, white guys?

So what's President Obama's response? To soften the language he's going to use in the SOTU, per reports. Yes indeed, according to MSNBC, he will replace them fightin' words "income inequality" with them weaker words "equal opportunity for all," which, by the way, they say, is Republican language. Instead of coming out punching, the president will soften his approach. Because this is an election year. Heavy sigh.

How's that reaching out and trying to compromise with Republicans workin' for ya, Mr. President? The same way all that GOP "outreach" is working for them? Heavier sigh.

Meanwhile, on the Chris Christie front, if those on the right side of the aisle who sit on the big new joint investigative committee decide that they're underrepresented (there are 8 Democrats and 4 Republicans, which is proportional to their numbers in both state chambers), they may pull a fast one. They may very well swivel from their so-far "let's work together to get to the bottom of all this scandalous Christie mess" to gumming up the works and claiming that it's all one big partisan witch hunt by Dems who don't like big bad GOP Governor "Heartbroken." To hell with digging for truth, justice, and the American Way and finally challenging corruption in a state known for corruption.

All of this paints the usual "politicians are more interested in their own careers and their pursuit of special interest money and influence" than they are in protecting the people who voted for them, who provided them with their damned jobs. Finding out who decided (and why) to put lives in danger by closing off access to the busiest bridge in the world is less of a priority than playing politics. Uncovering the truth about whether Chris Christie denied Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer Sandy relief funds doesn't matter as much as playing the blame game.

So there you have it. Instead of coming together to find solutions to truly pressing issues, we the frustrated spectators pay tax money admission to watch two parties needlessly butt heads and self-destruct, crushing all of us in their idiotic wake.

Partisanship: America's Scripted Reality Show.

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2004 Flashback: Things you have to believe to be a Republican today

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Republican BS smaller

I was cleaning out a pile of old papers and ran across this email from July 23, 2004. The more things change, the more they stay the same:

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

The U.S. should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

Jesus loves you and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness, and you need our prayers for your recovery.

You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

Friends don't let friends vote Republican.

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Video- Meet The Press: David Gregory- ACA Problems "Comparable To Iraq"

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The NBC embed is confusing so if I didn't get it started in the right place the psycho babble is at 6:58.

ADDED-
Have to put up this wonderful comment by Baud at BJ-

Obama lied to us about weapons of mass uninsured.

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