“We don’t do [ Iraqi ] body counts.”
— General Tommy Franks, US Central Command

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Bush Flash

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u.s. dead

the coffins

iraqi casualties
Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

1.  "To live to see George W. Bush tried for crimes against humanity."
— Stephen King, author, re: Three Top Wishes. Newsweek, 1/22/07

"He's President George Bush, not King George Bush. This is not the system of government we have and that we fought for."
— Sen. Russell Feingold (D), on Bush's authorization of spying on U.S. Citizens without a warrant

"The president wants to make sure that people who become American citizens have a command of the English language. It's as simple as that."
— Press Secretary Tony Snow

Emperor George Bush
King George Bush
Moral Idiot

king george borg
queen barbara bush
hillary vs giuliani
why they do it
the road to oil
chertoff & katrina
face of the enemy
not in my name
guantánamo & abu graib
bush's bitch
dinner satire
karl rove piggie
who's in charge?
face of the dead
born again dubya
the evil twins
nude emperor
time warp again
lynndie & rumsfie
the ventriloquist
the liberators
old enemies
condi & bushie
swatting flies
war ends
forever war
annie fuehrer
nietzsche's boy
cheney mummy
dr. lovebomb
bush's poodle
turkey & the prez
spider queen
david duke

"He wore the look of certain fanatics who think of themselves as leaders without once having gained the respect of a single human being."
— Jane Bowles

Stupidity is the devil. Look in the eye of a chicken and you'll know. It's the most horrifying, cannibalistic, and nightmarish creature in this world.
— Werner Herzog

"He's an asshole. He can smile at you while cutting off your balls."
— Tom Delaney, who worked on Bush's 2nd gubernatorial campaign.

"Bush has a cruel, sadistic streak that goes back to his childhood when he gleefully bragged about vivissecting cats." "To directly confront him, and really see the bully, you would also see the fear."
Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President by Dr. Justin Frank, MD

Mr. Bush acknowledged for the first time that he made a "miscalculation of what conditions would be" in postwar Iraq. But he insisted that the 17-month-long insurgency that has upended the administration's plans for the country was the unintended by-product of a "swift victory" against Saddam Hussein's military, which fled and then disappeared into the cities, enabling them to mount a rebellion against the American forces far faster than Mr. Bush and his aides had anticipated.
New York Times 8/25/04

"Had we to do it [Iraqi War] over again, we would look at the consequences of catastrophic success – being so successful, so fast, that an enemy that should have surrendered or been done in, escaped and lived to fight another day."
— George W. Bush, Time Magazine  8/04

"Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB-GYN's aren't able to practice their, their love with women all across this country."
— George W. Bush, about frivolous lawsuits  9/6/04

"Bush doesn't represent the heart of America. He represents another part of the anatomy, but not the heart."
— Carlos Santana

"Interrogators say that Saddam is arrogant. He's defiant. He thinks he's still popular and that people love him and he thinks he's still president — no, wait that's Bush."
— David Letterman

The little town of Crawford, Texas agonizes because the village idiot is missing.
The rest of the world agonizes because we know exactly where he is.

"The difference between intelligence and stupidity is that intelligence has its limits." —Anonymous

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."
— Herman Göring, Nazi leader

"I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have."
— George W. Bush   4/13/04

"A new poll says that if the election were held today, both John Kerry and John Edwards would beat President Bush by double digit margins. The White House is so worried, they're thinking of moving up the capture of Osama Bin Laden to next month."
—Jay Leno

"President Bush addressed the nation tonight and as always he was hilarious... Does it scare anyone else that the president has strokes in between syllables?"
— Jimmy Kimmel

President Bush still says Iraq has weapons of mass destruction we never found. It sounds like he is back on those drugs he never did."
— Craig Kilborn

"With Iraq plunging into chaos and gas prices at record highs President Bush took time out this weekend for a ride on his bicycle, but unfortunately he fell off and sustained cuts to his face and hands. Apparently Bush was distracted by the enormous responsibilities of the presidency...   I'm just kidding. He hit some gravel or something."
— Craig Kilborn

"A White House spokesmen said President Bush fell of his bike because it's been raining a lot and the top soil is loose. We looked up rain fall amounts in Crawford, Texas. May 15th, 0.0 inches of rain. May 16th, 0.0 inches of rain. 17th no rain. 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, and 23rd no rain. First he chokes on a pretzel; now he fell off his bike. Mr. President, when are you going to admit that Laura is abusing you? There is no shame in being a battered husband."
— Jimmy Kimmel


"The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants."
New York Times, 1/14/01

"I'm hopeful. I know there is a lot of ambition in Washington, obviously. But I hope the ambitious realize that they are more likely to succeed with success as opposed to failure."
Associated Press, 1/18/01

"If he's—the inference is that somehow he thinks slavery is a—is a noble institution I would—I would strongly reject that assumption—that John Ashcroft is a open-minded, inclusive person."
NBC News 1/14/01

"She's just trying to make sure Anthony gets a good meal—Antonio." (On Laura Bush inviting Justice Antonin Scalia to dinner at the White House. )
NBC News, 1/1401

"I want it to be said that the Bush administration was a results-oriented administration, because I believe the results of focusing our attention and energy on teaching children to read and having an education system that's responsive to the child and to the parents, as opposed to mired in a system that refuses to change, will make America what we want it to be—a literate country and a hopefuller country."
Washington, D.C., 1/11/01

"I would have to ask the questioner. I haven't had a chance to ask the questioners the question they've been questioning. On the other hand, I firmly believe she'll be a fine secretary of labor. And I've got confidence in Linda Chavez. She is a—she'll bring an interesting perspective to the Labor Department."
Austin, Texas,1/8/01

"I do remain confident in Linda. She'll make a fine labor secretary. From what I've read in the press accounts, she's perfectly qualified."
Austin, Texas, 1/8/01

"The person who runs FEMA is someone who must have the trust of the president. Because the person who runs FEMA is the first voice, often times, of someone whose life has been turned upside down hears from."
Austin, Texas, 1/4/01

"She is a member of a labor union at one point." (Announcing his nomination of Linda Chavez as secretary of labor.)
Austin, Texas, 1/2/01

"Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods."
Austin, Texas, 12/20/00

"I also have picked a secretary for Housing and Human Development. Mel Martinez from the state of Florida."
Austin, Texas, 12/20/00

"Let me put it to you this way, I am not a revengeful person."
 Time  12/25/00

"I am mindful of the difference between the executive branch and the legislative branch. I assured all four of these leaders that I know the difference, and that difference is they pass the laws and I execute them."
Washington, DC 12/18/00

"The great thing about America is everybody should vote."
Austin, Texas, 12/8/00

"Dick Cheney and I do not want this nation to be in a recession. We want anybody who can find work to be able to find work."
60 Minutes II, 12/5/00

"I knew it might put him in an awkward position that we had a discussion before finality has finally happened in this presidential race." (Describing a phone call to Sen. John Breaux.) Crawford, Texas, 12/2/00

"As far as the legal hassling and wrangling and posturing in Florida, I would suggest you talk to our team in Florida led by Jim Baker."
Crawford, Texas, 1230/00

"The legislature's job is to write law. It's the executive branch's job to interpret law."
Austin, Texas, 12/22/00

"They misunderestimated me."
Bentonville, Ark. 11/6/00

"Think about that. Two hundred and eighty-five new or expanded programs, $2 trillion more in new spending, and not one new bureaucrat to file out the forms or the phones?"
Minneapolis, 12/1/00

"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program."

"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is 'to be prepared'."

"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."

"When I was growing up, it was a dangerous world, and you knew exactly who they were. It was us versus them, and it was clear who them was. Today we are not sure who they are, but we know they're there." Iowa Community College. 1.21.00

St. Charles, Mo. 12/2/00

"They said, 'You know, this issue doesn't seem to resignate with the people.' And I said, you know something? Whether it resignates or not doesn't matter to me, because I stand for doing what's the right thing, and what the right thing is hearing the voices of people who work."
Portland, OR, 10/31/00

"Anyway, after we go out and work our hearts out, after you go out and help us turn out the vote, after we've convinced the good Americans to vote, and while they're at it, pull that old George W. lever, if I'm the one, when I put my hand on the Bible, when I put my hand on the Bible, that day when they swear us in, when I put my hand on the Bible, I will swear to not—to uphold the laws of the land."
Toledo, OH, 10/27/00

"It's your money. You paid for it."
LaCrosse, WI 10/18/00

 "That's a chapter, the last chapter of the 20th, 20th, the 21st century that most of us would rather forget. The last chapter of the 20th century. This is the first chapter of the 21st century. "  (On the Lewinsky scandal)
 Arlington Heights, IL 10/24/00

"It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet."
Arlington Heights, IL 10/24/00

"I don't want nations feeling like that they can bully ourselves and our allies. I want to have a ballistic defense system so that we can make the world more peaceful, and at the same time I want to reduce our own nuclear capacities to the level commiserate with keeping the peace."
Des Moines, Iowa, 10/23/00

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."
Lacrosse, WI. 10/18/00

"If I'm the president, we're going to have emergency-room care, we're going to have gag orders."

"Drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicines as we used to know it."

"It's one thing about insurance, that's a Washington term."

"I think we ought to raise the age at which juveniles can have a gun."

"Mr. Vice President, in all due respect, it is—I'm not sure 80 percent of the people get the death tax. I know this: 100 percent will get it if I'm the president."

"Quotas are bad for America. It's not the way America is all about."

"If affirmative action means what I just described, what I'm for, then I'm for it."
St. Louis, MO 10/18/00

"Our priorities is our faith."
Greensboro, NC 10/10/00

"I mean, there needs to be a wholesale effort against racial profiling, which is illiterate children."
Second presidential debate, 10/11/00

"It's going to require numerous IRA agents."  (On Gore's tax plan)
Greensboro, NC 10/10/00

"I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question." (In response to a question about whether he wished he could take back any of his answers in the first debate.)
Reynoldsburg, OH 10/ 4/00

"I would have my secretary of treasury be in touch with the financial centers, not only here but at home."

"This is Preservation Month. I appreciate preservation. It's what you do when you run for president. You gotta preserve."
Los Angeles Times,  1/28/00

"I think we need not only to eliminate the tollbooth to the middle class, I think we should knock down the tollbooth."
New York Times, 2/1/00

"Keep good relations with the Grecians."
Economist, 6/12/99

"Kosovians can move back in."
CNN Inside Politics, 4/9/99

"It was just inebriating what Midland was all about then."
1994 interview, as quoted in First Son, by Bill Minutaglio

"The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country."

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."

"The future will be better tomorrow."

"We're going to have the best educated American people in the world."

"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made."

"Public speaking is very easy."

"I mean, these good folks are revolutionizing how businesses conduct their business. And, like them, I am very optimistic about our position in the world and about its influence on the United States. We're concerned about the short-term economic news, but long-term I'm optimistic. And so, I hope investors, you know—secondly, I hope investors hold investments for periods of time—that I've always found the best investments are those that you salt away based on economics."
Austin, Texas, 1/4/01

"Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness."

"I don't know whether I'm going to win or not. I think I am. I do know I'm ready for the job. And, if not, that's just the way it goes."
Des Moines, IW 8/21/00

"You might want to comment on that, Honorable."--To New Jersey's secretary of state, the Hon. DeForest Soaries Jr.
Washington Post, 7/15/00

"The important question is, How many hands have I shaked?" (Answering why he hasn't spent more time in New Hampshire)
New York Times, 10/23/99

"I don't remember debates. I don't think we spent a lot of time debating it. Maybe we did, but I don't remember." (On discussions of the Vietnam War when he was an undergraduate at Yale)
Washington Post, 7/27/99

"The students at Yale came from all different backgrounds and all parts of the country. Within months, I knew many of them."
From A Charge To Keep, by George W. Bush 11/99

"It is incredibly presumptive for somebody who has not yet earned his party's nomination to start speculating about vice presidents."
Keene, NH 10/22/99 

"I think it's important for those of us in a position of responsibility to be firm in sharing our experiences, to understand that the babies out of wedlock is a very difficult chore for mom and baby alike. ... I believe we ought to say there is a different alternative than the culture that is proposed by people like Miss Wolf in society. ... And, you know, hopefully, condoms will work, but it hasn't worked."
Meet the Press, 11/21/99

"That's Washington. That's the place where you find people getting ready to jump out of the foxholes before the first shot is fired."
Westland, MI 9/8/00

"Listen, Al Gore is a very tough opponent. He is the incumbent. He represents the incumbency. And a challenger is somebody who generally comes from the pack and wins, if you're going to win. And that's where I'm coming from."
Detroit, MI 9/7/00

"We'll let our friends be the peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers."
Houston, TX  9/6/00

"We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans."
Scranton, PA,  9/6/00

 "I regret that a private comment I made to the vice presidential candidate made it through the public airways."
Allentown, PA  9/500.

"The point is, this is a way to help inoculate me about what has come and is coming." (On his anti-Gore ad.)
New York Times, 9/5/00

"As governor of Texas, I have set high standards for our public schools, and I have met those standards."
"I've got a reason for running. I talk about a larger goal, which is to call upon the best of America. It's part of the renewal. It's reform and renewal. Part of the renewal is a set of high standards and to remind people that the greatness of America really does depend on neighbors helping neighbors and children finding mentors. I worry. I'm very worried about, you know, the kid who just wonders whether America is meant for him. I really worry about that. And uh, so, I'm running for a reason. I'm answering this question here and the answer is, you cannot lead America to a positive tomorrow with revenge on one's mind. Revenge is so incredibly negative. And so to answer your question, I'm going to win because people sense my heart, know my sense of optimism and know where I want to lead the country. And I tease people by saying, 'A leader, you can't say, follow me the world is going to be worse.' I'm an optimistic person. I'm an inherently content person. I've got a great sense of where I want to lead and I'm comfortable with why I'm running. And, you know, the call on that speech was, beware. This is going to be a tough campaign."
Washington Post,  3/23/00

"Because the picture on the newspaper. It just seems so un-American to me, the picture of the guy storming the house with a scared little boy there. I talked to my little brother, Jeb—I haven't told this to many people. But he's the governor of—I shouldn't call him my little brother--my brother, Jeb, the great governor of Texas.
Jim Lehrer: Florida.
Bush: Florida. The state of the Florida.
The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, 4/27/00

"I hope we get to the bottom of the answer. It's what I'm interested to know."  (On what happened in negotiations between the Justice Department and Elián González's Miami relatives.)
Associated Press,  4/26/00

"Laura and I really don't realize how bright our children is sometimes until we get an objective analysis."
CNBC, 4/15/00

"You subscribe politics to it. I subscribe freedom to it." (Responding to whether he and Al Gore were making the Elián González case a political issue.)
Associated Press, 4/6/00

"I was raised in the West. The west of Texas. It's pretty close to California. In more ways than Washington, DC, is close to California."
Los Angeles Times,  4/8/00

"Reading is the basics for all learning."  (Announcing his "Reading First" initiative)
Reston, VA  3/28/00

"We want our teachers to be trained so they can meet the obligations, their obligations as teachers. We want them to know how to teach the science of reading. In order to make sure there's not this kind of federal—federal cufflink."
Milwaukee,  WI  3/30/00

"Other Republican candidates may retort to personal attacks and negative ads." (Fundraising letter from George W. Bush.)
Washington Post, 3/24/00

"People make suggestions on what to say all the time. I'll give you an example; I don't read what's handed to me. People say, 'Here, here's your speech, or here's an idea for a speech.' They're changed. Trust me."
New York Times,  3/15/00

"It's evolutionary, going from governor to president, and this is a significant step, to be able to vote for yourself on the ballot, and I'll be able to do so next fall, I hope."
 Associated Press,  3/800

"It is not Reaganesque to support a tax plan that is Clinton in nature.''
Los Angeles, 2/23/00

"I don't have to accept their tenants. I was trying to convince those college students to accept my tenants. And I reject any labeling me because I happened to go to the university."
Today, 2/23/00

"I understand small business growth. I was one."
New York Daily News, 2/19/00

"The senator has got to understand if he's going to have—he can't have it both ways. He can't take the high horse and then claim the low road."
Florence, SC  2/17/00

"Really proud of it. A great campaign. And I'm really pleased with the organization and the thousands of South Carolinians that worked on my behalf. And I'm very gracious and humbled."
To Cokie Roberts,  2/20/00

"I don't want to win? If that were the case why the heck am I on the bus 16 hours a day, shaking thousands of hands, giving hundreds of speeches, getting pillared in the press and cartoons and still staying on message to win?"
Newsweek, 2/28/00

"I thought how proud I am to be standing up beside my dad. Never did it occur to me that he would become the gist for cartoonists."

"If you're sick and tired of the politics of cynicism and polls and principles, come and join this campaign."
Hilton Head, SC 2/16/00

"How do you know if you don't measure if you have a system that simply suckles kids through?" (Explaining the need for educational accountability.)
Beaufort, SC  2/16/00

"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
Greater Nashua, NH  1/27/00

"I am a person who recognizes the fallacy of humans."
Oprah, 9/19/00

"Will the highways on the Internet become more few?"
Concord, NH  1/29/00

"Well, that's going to be up to the pundits and the people to make up their mind. I'll tell you what is a president for him, for example, talking about my record in the state of Texas. I mean, he's willing to say anything in order to convince people that I haven't had a good record in Texas."
MSNBC, 9/20/00

"One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected."
Los Angeles, CA  9/27/00

"I will have a foreign-handed foreign policy."
Redwood, CA 9/27/00

"The most important job is not to be governor, or first lady, in my case." Pella, Iowa. 1.30.00

"It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of Internet." Arlington Heights, Illinois. 12.24.00

"It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it." Reuters. 5.5.00

"One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures." US News World Report. 1.3.00

"The fundamental question is, 'Will I be a successful president when it comes to foreign policy?' I will be, but until I'm the president, it's going to be hard for me to verify that I think I'll be more effective." 
New York Times, 6/28/00

"The only things that I can tell you is that every case I have reviewed I have been comfortable with the innocence or guilt of the person that I've looked at. I do not believe we've put a guilty ... I mean innocent person to death in the state of Texas."
All Things Considered, NPR  6/16/00

"I'm gonna talk about the ideal world, Chris. I've read—I understand reality. If you're asking me as the president, would I understand reality, I do."  (On abortion)
Hardball, MSNBC; 5/31/00

"There's not going to be enough people in the system to take advantage of people like me." (On the coming Social Security crisis)
Wilton, CN,  6/9/00

"I think anybody who doesn't think I'm smart enough to handle the job is underestimating."
U.S. News & World Report, 4/3/00

Bush: "First of all, Cinco de Mayo is not the independence day. That's dieciséis de Septiembre, and ..."
Matthews: "What's that in English?" Bush: "Fifteenth of September."
(Dieciséis de Septiembre = Sept. 16)
Hardball, MSNBC, 5/ 31/00

"Actually, I—this may sound a little West Texan to you, but I like it. When I'm talking about—when I'm talking about myself, and when he's talking about myself, all of us are talking about me." 

''This campaign not only hears the voices of the entrepreneurs and the farmers and the entrepreneurs, we hear the voices of those struggling to get ahead."  

"We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile.''  

"I have a different vision of leadership. A leadership is someone who brings people together."
Bartlett, TN, 8/18/00

"I think he needs to stand up and say if he thought the president were wrong on policy and issues, he ought to say where."
Associated Press, 8/11/00

"This case has had full analyzation and has been looked at a lot. I understand the emotionality of death penalty cases."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer,  6/23/00

"States should have the right to enact reasonable laws and restrictions particularly to end the inhumane practice of ending a life that otherwise could live."
Cleveland, 6/29/00

"Unfairly but truthfully, our party has been tagged as being against things. Anti-immigrant, for example. And we're not a party of anti-immigrants. Quite the opposite. We're a party that welcomes people."
Cleveland, 7/1/00

"I want you to know that farmers are not going to be secondary thoughts to a Bush administration. They will be in the forethought of our thinking."
Salinas, CA  8/10/00

"And if he continues that, I'm going to tell the nation what I think about him as a human being and a person."
 Today show,  8/1/00

"The only thing I know about Slovakia is what I learned firsthand from your foreign minister, who came to Texas." (To a Slovak journalist. Bush's meeting was with Janez Drnovsek, the prime minister of Slovenia. )
Knight Ridder News 6/22/99

"This is a world that is much more uncertain than the past. In the past we were certain, we were certain it was us versus the Russians in the past. We were certain, and therefore we had huge nuclear arsenals aimed at each other to keep the peace. That's what we were certain of. ... You see, even though it's an uncertain world, we're certain of some things. We're certain that even though the 'evil empire' may have passed, evil still remains. We're certain there are people that can't stand what America stands for. ... We're certain there are madmen in this world, and there's terror, and there's missiles and I'm certain of this, too: I'm certain to maintain the peace, we better have a military of high morale, and I'm certain that under this administration, morale in the military is dangerously low."
Washington Post,  5/31/00

"He has certainly earned a reputation as a fantastic mayor, because the results speak for themselves. I mean, New York's a safer place for him to be." (On Rudy Giuliani)
The Edge 5/18/00

"The fact that he relies on facts—says things that are not factual—are going to undermine his campaign."
New York Times, 3/4/00

"I think we agree, the past is over." (On his meeting with John McCain.)
Dallas Morning News  5/10/00

"It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it."
Reuters, 5/ 5/00

"We must all hear the universal call to like your neighbor just like you like to be liked yourself."

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"
Florence, SC  1/11/00

"Gov. Bush will not stand for the subsidation of failure."

"There needs to be debates, like we're going through. There needs to be town-hall meetings. There needs to be travel. This is a huge country."
Larry King Live,  12/1699

"What I am against is quotas. I am against hard quotas, quotas they basically delineate based upon whatever. However they delineate, quotas, I think vulcanize society. So I don't know how that fits into what everybody else is saying, their relative positions, but that's my position.''
San Francisco Chronicle, 1/21/00

"When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world, and you knew exactly who they were," he said. "It was us vs. them, and it was clear who them was. Today, we are not so sure who the they are, but we know they're there."
Iowa Western Community College, 1/21/00

"The administration I'll bring is a group of men and women who are focused on what's best for America, honest men and women, decent men and women, women who will see service to our country as a great privilege and who will not stain the house."
Des Moines Register debate,  1/15/00

"This is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mential losses."
Financial Times, 1/14/00

"The woman who knew that I had dyslexia—I never interviewed her."
Orange, CA  9/15/00

"The best way to relieve families from time is to let them keep some of their own money."
Westminster, CA  9/13/00

"They have miscalculated me as a leader."

 "I don't think we need to be subliminable about the differences between our views on prescription drugs."
Orlando, Fl  9/12/00

"This is what I'm good at. I like meeting people, my fellow citizens, I like interfacing with them."
Pittsburgh, PA 9/8/00
CNN online chat,  8/30/00

"We ought to make the pie higher."
South Carolina Republican Debate, 2/15/00

"I do not agree with this notion that somehow if I go to try to attract votes and to lead people toward a better tomorrow somehow I get subscribed to some—some doctrine gets subscribed to me."
Meet The Press,  2/13/00

"I've changed my style somewhat, as you know. I'm less—I pontificate less, although it may be hard to tell it from this show. And I'm more interacting with people."

"It is clear our nation is reliant upon big foreign oil. More and more of our imports come from overseas."
Beaverton, OR 9/25/00

"A tax cut is really one of the anecdotes to coming out of an economic illness."
The Edge 9/18/00

"The most important job is not to be governor, or first lady in my case."
San Antonio Express-News, 1/30/00

"If the East Timorians decide to revolt, I'm sure I'll have a statement."
New York Times, 6/16/99

"I read the newspaper."  (Answer to a question about his reading habits.)
NH Republican Debate, 12/2/99 "A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls."

"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur."

"For NASA, space is still a high priority."

"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children."

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."

"It's time for the human race to enter the solar system."

Compiled by
Jacob Weisberg


His former Harvard Business School professor recalls George W. Bush not just as a terrible student but as spoiled, loutish and a pathological liar.
By Mary Jacoby Sept. 16, 2004

For 25 years, Yoshi Tsurumi, one of George W. Bush's professors at Harvard Business School, was content with his green-card status as a permanent legal resident of the United States. But Bush's ascension to the presidency in 2001 prompted the Japanese native to secure his American citizenship. The reason: to be able to speak out with the full authority of citizenship about why he believes Bush lacks the character and intellect to lead the world's oldest and most powerful democracy.

"I don't remember all the students in detail unless I'm prompted by something," Tsurumi said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "But I always remember two types of students. One is the very excellent student, the type as a professor you feel honored to be working with. Someone with strong social values, compassion and intellect -- the very rare person you never forget. And then you remember students like George Bush, those who are totally the opposite."

The future president was one of 85 first-year MBA students in Tsurumi's macroeconomic policies and international business class in the fall of 1973 and spring of 1974. Tsurumi was a visiting associate professor at Harvard Business School from January 1972 to August 1976; today, he is a professor of international business at Baruch College in New York.

Trading as usual on his father's connections, Bush entered Harvard in 1973 for a two-year program. He'd just come off what George H.W. Bush had once called his eldest son's "nomadic years" -- partying, drifting from job to job, working on political campaigns in Florida and Alabama and, most famously, apparently not showing up for duty in the Alabama National Guard.

Harvard Business School's rigorous teaching methods, in which the professor interacts aggressively with students, and students are encouraged to challenge each other sharply, offered important insights into Bush, Tsurumi said. In observing students' in-class performances, "you develop pretty good ideas about what are their weaknesses and strengths in terms of thinking, analysis, their prejudices, their backgrounds and other things that students reveal," he said.

One of Tsurumi's standout students was Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif., now the seventh-ranking member of the House Republican leadership. "I typed him as a conservative Republican with a conscience," Tsurumi said. "He never confused his own ideology with economics, and he didn't try to hide his ignorance of a subject in mumbo jumbo. He was what I call a principled conservative."

(Though clearly a partisan one. On Wednesday, Cox called for a congressional investigation of the validity of documents that CBS News obtained for a story questioning Bush's attendance at Guard duty in Alabama.) Bush, by contrast, "was totally the opposite of Chris Cox," Tsurumi said. "He showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago. He was famous for that. Students jumped on him; I challenged him." When asked to explain a particular comment, said Tsurumi, Bush would respond, "Oh, I never said that."

A White House spokeswoman did not return a phone call seeking comment.

In 1973, as the oil and energy crisis raged, Tsurumi led a discussion on whether government should assist retirees and other people on fixed incomes with heating costs. Bush, he recalled, "made this ridiculous statement and when I asked him to explain, he said, 'The government doesn't have to help poor people -- because they are lazy.' I said, 'Well, could you explain that assumption?' Not only could he not explain it, he started backtracking on it, saying, 'No, I didn't say that.'"

If Cox had been in the same class, Tsurumi said, "I could have asked him to challenge that and he would have demolished it. Not personally or emotionally, but intellectually." Bush once sneered at Tsurumi for showing the film "The Grapes of Wrath," based on John Steinbeck's novel of the Depression. "We were in a discussion of the New Deal, and he called Franklin Roosevelt's policies 'socialism.' He denounced labor unions, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Medicare, Social Security, you name it. He denounced the civil rights movement as socialism. To him, socialism and communism were the same thing. And when challenged to explain his prejudice, he could not defend his argument, either ideologically, polemically or academically."

Students who challenged and embarrassed Bush in class would then become the subject of a whispering campaign by him, Tsurumi said. "In class, he couldn't challenge them. But after class, he sometimes came up to me in the hallway and started bad-mouthing those students who had challenged him. He would complain that someone was drinking too much. It was innuendo and lies. So that's how I knew, behind his smile and his smirk, that he was a very insecure, cunning and vengeful guy."

Many of Tsurumi's students came from well-connected or wealthy families, but good manners prevented them from boasting about it, the professor said. But Bush seemed unabashed about the connections that had brought him to Harvard. "The other children of the rich and famous were at least well bred to the point of realizing universal values and standards of behavior," Tsurumi said. But Bush sometimes came late to class and often sat in the back row of the theater-like classroom, wearing a bomber jacket from the Texas Air National Guard and spitting chewing tobacco into a cup.

"At first, I wondered, 'Who is this George Bush?' It's a very common name and I didn't know his background. And he was such a bad student that I asked him once how he got in. He said, 'My dad has good friends.'" Bush scored in the lowest 10 percent of the class.

The Vietnam War was still roiling campuses and Harvard was no exception. Bush expressed strong support for the war but admitted to Tsurumi that he'd gotten a coveted spot in the Texas Air National Guard through his father's connections.

"I used to chat up a number of students when we were walking back to class," Tsurumi said. "Here was Bush, wearing a Texas Guard bomber jacket, and the draft was the No. 1 topic in those days. And I said, 'George, what did you do with the draft?' He said, 'Well, I got into the Texas Air National Guard.' And I said, 'Lucky you. I understand there is a long waiting list for it. How'd you get in?' When he told me, he didn't seem ashamed or embarrassed. He thought he was entitled to all kinds of privileges and special deals. He was not the only one trying to twist all their connections to avoid Vietnam. But then, he was fanatically for the war."

Tsurumi told Bush that someone who avoided a draft while supporting a war in which others were dying was a hypocrite. "He realized he was caught, showed his famous smirk and huffed off."

Tsurumi's conclusion: Bush is not as dumb as his detractors allege. "He was just badly brought up, with no discipline, and no compassion," he said.

In recent days, Tsurumi has told his story to various print and television outlets and appears in Kitty Kelley's expose "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty." He said other professors and students at the business school from that time share his recollections but are afraid to come forward, fearing ostracism or retribution.

And why is Tsurumi speaking up now? Because with the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq and Osama bin Laden still on the loose -- not to mention a federal deficit ballooning out of control -- the stakes are too high to remain silent. "Obviously, I don't think he is the best person" to be running the country, he said. "I wanted to explain why."


Adapted from the introduction to:
The Deluxe Election-Edition Bushisms
Fireside Books/Simon & Schuster.
Reprinted with permission; © 2004 Jacob Weisberg.

The question I am most frequently asked about Bushisms is, "Do you really think the president of the United States is dumb?"
The short answer is yes.
The long answer is yes and no.

Quotations collected over the years in Slate may leave the impression that George W. Bush is a dimwit. Let's face it: A man who cannot talk about education without making a humiliating grammatical mistake ("The illiteracy level of our children are appalling"); who cannot keep straight the three branches of government ("It's the executive branch's job to interpret law"); who coins ridiculous words ("Hispanos," "arbolist," "subliminable," "resignate," "transformationed"); who habitually says the opposite of what he intends ("the death tax is good for people from all walks of life!") sounds like a grade-A imbecile.

And if you don't care to pursue the matter any further, that view will suffice. George W. Bush has governed, for the most part, the way any airhead might, undermining the fiscal condition of the nation, squandering the goodwill of the world after Sept. 11, and allowing huge problems (global warming, entitlement spending, AIDS) to metastasize toward catastrophe through a combination of ideology, incomprehension, and indifference. If Bush isn't exactly the moron he sounds, his synaptic misfirings offer a plausible proxy for the idiocy of his presidency.

In reality, however, there's more to it. Bush's assorted malapropisms, solecisms, gaffes, spoonerisms, and truisms tend to imply that his lack of fluency in English is tantamount to an absence of intelligence. But as we all know, the inarticulate can be shrewd, the fluent fatuous. In Bush's case, the symptoms point to a specific malady—some kind of linguistic deficit akin to dyslexia—that does not indicate a lack of mental capacity per se.

Bush also compensates with his non-verbal acumen. As he notes, "Smart comes in all kinds of different ways." The president's way is an aptitude for connecting to people through banter and physicality. He has a powerful memory for names, details, and figures that truly matter to him, such as batting averages from the 1950s. Bush also has a keen political sense, sharpened under the tutelage of Karl Rove. 

What's more, calling the president a cretin absolves him of responsibility. Like Reagan, Bush avoids blame for all manner of contradictions, implausible assertions, and outright lies by appearing an amiable dunce. If he knows not what he does, blame goes to the three puppeteers, Cheney, Rove, and Rumsfeld. It also breeds sympathy. We wouldn't laugh at FDR because he couldn't walk. Is it less cruel to laugh at GWB because he can't talk? The soft bigotry of low expectations means Bush is seen to outperform by merely getting by. Finally, elitist condescension, however merited, helps cement Bush's bond to the masses.

But if "numskull" is an imprecise description of the president, it is not altogether inaccurate. Bush may not have been born stupid, but he has achieved stupidity, and now he wears it as a badge of honor. What makes mocking this president fair as well as funny is that Bush is, or at least once was, capable of learning, reading, and thinking. We know he has discipline and can work hard (at least when the goal is reducing his time for a three-mile run). Instead he chose to coast, for most of his life, on name, charm, good looks, and the easy access to capital afforded by family connections.

The most obvious expression of Bush's choice of ignorance is that, at the age of 57, he knows nothing about policy or history. After years of working as his dad's spear-chucker in Washington, he didn't understand the difference between Medicare and Medicaid, the second- and third-largest federal programs. Well into his plans for invading Iraq, Bush still couldn't get down the distinction between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, the key religious divide in a country he was about to occupy.

Though he sometimes carries books for show, he either does not read them or doesn't absorb anything from them. Bush's ignorance is so transparent that many of his intimates do not bother to dispute it even in public. Consider the testimony of several who know him well.

Richard Perle, foreign policy adviser: "The first time I met Bush 43... two things became clear. One, he didn't know very much. The other was that he had the confidence to ask questions that revealed he didn't know very much."

David Frum, former speechwriter: "Bush had a poor memory for facts and figures... Fire a question at him about the specifics of his administration's policies, and he often appeared uncertain. Nobody would ever enroll him in a quiz show."

Laura Bush, spouse: "George is not an overly introspective person. He has good instincts, and he goes with them. He doesn't need to evaluate and reevaluate a decision. He doesn't try to overthink. He likes action."

Paul O'Neill, former treasury secretary: "The only way I can describe it is that, well, the President is like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection."

A second, more damning aspect of Bush's mind-set is that he doesn't want to know anything in detail, however important. Since college, he has spilled with contempt for knowledge, equating learning with snobbery and making a joke of his own anti-intellectualism. ("[William F. Buckley] wrote a book at Yale; I read one," he quipped at a black-tie event.)

By O'Neill's account, Bush could sit through an hourlong presentation about the state of the economy without asking a single question. ("I was bored as hell," the president shot back, ostensibly in jest.)

Closely related to this aggressive ignorance is a third feature of Bush's mentality: laziness. Again, this is a lifelong trait. Bush's college grades were mostly C's (including a 73 in Introduction to the American Political System). At the start of one term, the star of the Yale football team spotted him in the back row during the shopping period for courses. "Hey! George Bush is in this class!" Calvin Hill shouted to his teammates. "This is the one for us!" As governor of Texas, Bush would take a long break in the middle of his short workday for a run followed by a stretch of video golf or computer solitaire.

A fourth and final quality of Bush's mind is that it does not think. The president can't tolerate debate about issues. Offered an option, he makes up his mind quickly and never reconsiders. At an elementary school, a child once asked him whether it was hard to make decisions as president. "Most of the decisions come pretty easily for me, to be frank with you." By leaping to conclusions based on what he "believes," Bush avoids contemplating even the most obvious basic contradictions: between his policy of tax cuts and reducing the deficit; between his call for a humble foreign policy based on alliances and his unilateral assertion of American power; between his support for in-vitro fertilization (which destroys embryos) and his opposition to fetal stem-cell research (because it destroys embryos).

Why would someone capable of being smart choose to be stupid? To understand, you have to look at W.'s relationship with father. This filial bond involves more tension than meets the eye. Dad was away for much of his oldest son's childhood. Little George grew up closer to his acid-tongued mother and acted out against the absent parent through adolescent misbehavior, academic failure, dissipation, and basically not accomplishing anything at all until well into his 40s.

Dubya's youthful screw-ups and smart-aleck attitude reflect some combination of protest, plea for attention, and flailing attempt to compete. Until a decade ago, his resume read like a send-up of his dad's. Bush senior was a star student at Andover and Phi Beta Kappa at Yale, where he was also captain of the baseball team; Junior struggled through with gentleman's C's and, though he loved baseball, couldn't make the college lineup.

Pere was a bomber pilot in the Pacific; fils sat out 'Nam in the Texas Air National Guard, where he lost flying privileges by not showing up. Dad drove to Texas in 1947 to get rich in the oil business and actually did; Son tried the same in 1975 and drilled dry holes for a decade. Bush the elder got elected to Congress in 1966; Shrub ran in 1978, didn't know what he was talking about, and got clobbered.

Through all this incompetent emulation runs an undercurrent of hostility. In an oft-told anecdote circa 1973, GWB— after getting wasted at a party and driving over a neighbor's trash can in Houston— challenged his dad. "I hear you're lookin' for me," W. told the chairman of the Republican National Committee. "You want to go mano a mano right here?" Some years later at a state dinner, he told the Queen of England he was being seated far away because he was the black sheep of the family.

After half a lifetime of this kind of frustration, Bush decided to straighten up. Nursing a hangover at a 40th-birthday weekend, he gave up Wild Turkey, cold turkey. With the help of Billy Graham, he put himself in the hands of a higher power and began going to church. He became obsessed with punctuality and developed a rigid routine. Thus did Prince Hal molt into an evangelical King Henry. And it worked! Putting together a deal to buy the Texas Rangers, the ne'er-do-well finally tasted success. With success, he grew closer to his father, taking on the role of family avenger. This culminated in his 1994 challenge to Texas Gov. Ann Richards, who had twitted dad at the 1988 Democratic convention.

Curiously, this late arrival at adulthood did not involve Bush becoming in any way thoughtful. Having chosen stupidity as rebellion, he stuck with it out of conformity. The promise-keeper, reformed-alkie path he chose not only drastically curtailed personal choices he no longer wanted, it also supplied an all-encompassing order, offered guidance on policy, and prevented the need for much actual information. Bush's old answer to hard questions was, "I don't know and, who cares." His new answer was, "Wait a second while I check with Jesus."

A remaining bit of poignancy was his unresolved struggle with his father. "All I ask," he implored a reporter while running for governor in 1994, "is that for once you guys stop seeing me as the son of George Bush." In his campaigns, W. has kept his dad offstage. (In an exceptional appearance on the eve of the 2000 New Hampshire primary, 41 came onstage and called his son "this boy.") While some describe the second Bush presidency as a restoration, it is in at least equal measure a repudiation. The son's harder-edged conservatism explicitly rejects the old man's approach to such issues as abortion, taxes, and relations with Israel.

This Oedipally induced ignorance expresses itself most dangerously in Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. Dubya polished off his old man's greatest enemy, Saddam, but only by lampooning 41's accomplishment of coalition-building in the first Gulf War. Bush led the country to war on false pretenses and neglected to plan the occupation that would inevitably follow. A more knowledgeable and engaged president might have questioned the quality of the evidence about Iraq's supposed weapons programs.

One who preferred to be intelligent might have asked about the possibility of an unfriendly reception. Instead, Bush rolled the dice. His budget-busting tax cuts exemplify a similar phenomenon, driven by an alternate set of ideologues.

As the president says, we misunderestimate him. He was not born stupid. He chose stupidity. Bush may look like a well-meaning dolt. On consideration, he's something far more dangerous: a dedicated fool.

Michael Moore Asks George W. Bush:

1. Is it true that the Bin Ladens have had business relations with you and your family off and on for the past 25 years?

2. What is the 'special relationship' between the Bushes and the Saudi royal family?

3. Who attacked the US on September 11 - a guy on dialysis from a cave in Afghanistan, or your friend, Saudi Arabia?

4. Why did you allow a private Saudi jet to fly around the US in the days after September 11 and pick up members of the Bin Laden family and fly them out of the country without a proper investigation by the FBI?

5. Why are you protecting the Second Amendment rights of potential terrorists?

6. Were you aware that, while you were governor of Texas, the Taliban travelled to Texas to meet with your oil and gas company friends?

7. What exactly was that look on your face in the Florida classroom on the morning of September 11 when your chief of staff told you, 'America is under attack'?

A short poem made up entirely of actual quotations from George W. Bush.
Arranged, only for aesthetic purposes, by Washington Post writer, Richard Thompson.

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
And potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet
Become more few?

How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.

I know that the human being
And the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope,
Where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher!
Make the pie higher!

...With worker opposition liquidated, the Polyergus queen grabs the Formica queen and bites her head, thorax and abdomen for an unrelenting 25 minutes... Within seconds of the host queen's death, the nest undergoes a most remarkable transformation. The Formica workers behave as if sedated. They calmly approach the Polyergus queen and start grooming her-- just as they did their own queen... At this point, colony takeover is a done deal...

From an article about predator ants: Slave-Making Queens, Scientific American 11/99

Gary Trudeau (Doonesbury) remarking on the Bush election in The New Yorker:
"It's as if Quayle had won. Plus you have the wonderful narrative of how he got where he now is. It took his brother, his father, his father's friends, the Florida secretary of state, and the Supreme Court to pull it off. His entire life gives fresh meaning to the phrase assisted living."

Justice John Paul Stevens:
"Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law."

From an article quoting a Zimbabwe politician saying that children should study the U.S. presidential election 2000 closely for it shows that election fraud is not only a Third World phenomena.
  1. Imagine that we read of an election occuring anywhere in the Third World in which the self-declared winner was the son of the former prime minister and that former prime minister was himself the former head of that nation's secret police (CIA ).
  2. Imagine that the self-declared winner lost the popular vote but won based on some old colonial holdover (electoral college) from the nation's pre-democracy past.
  3. Imagine that the self-declared winner's "victory" turned on disputed votes cast in a province governed by his brother!
  4. Imagine that the poorly drafted ballots of one district, a district heavily favoring the self-declared winner's opponent, led thousands of voters to vote for the wrong candidate.
  5. Imagine that the members of that nation's most despised caste, fearing for their lives/livelihoods, turned out in record numbers to vote in near-universal opposition to the self-declared winner's candidacy.
  6. Imagine that hundreds of members of that most-despised caste were intercepted on their way to the polls by state police operating under the authority of the self-declared winner's brother.
  7. Imagine that six million people voted in the disputed province and that the self-declared winner's 'lead' was only 327 votes. Fewer, certainly, than the vote counting machines' margin of error.
  8. Imagine that the self-declared winner and his political party opposed a more careful by-hand inspection and re-counting of the ballots in the disputed province or in its most hotly disputed district.

  9. Imagine that the self-declared winner, himself a governor of a major province, had the worst human rights record of any province in his nation and actually led the nation in executions.
 10. Imagine that a major campaign promise of the self-declared winner was to appoint like-minded human rights violators to lifetime positions on the high court of that nation. None of us would deem such an election to be representative of anything other than the self-declared winner's will-to-power. All of us, I imagine, would wearily turn the page thinking that it was another sad tale of pitiful pre- or anti-democracy peoples in some strange elsewhere.

by Brad Schreiber:

To citizens of the United States of America:
We note with amusement the recent offer of Cuba to help monitor the vote counting of your presidential election.

We would also be more than happy to offer our services. Admittedly, we are a different species. But our civilization makes yours look like a group of Zapharidian mudhogs foraging for krimpuscule roots. Also in our favor: we are not Communists.

Yes, we have laughed until our cortical air flaps are numb, not only at your inability to tabulate votes in the utterly inept and corrupt state of Florida but at your choice of candidates.

You are cursed with one sterling representative who promises anything to anyone and claims to have invented your laughably antiquated Internet. And another exceptional statesman who executes criminals without benefit of your simplistic DNA testing and cannot speak your own language properly.

We have numerous political parties and public funding for all of them. Our coalition governments never fight with each other. No “soft money” or corporate lobbying or PACs. Candidates are never locked out of debates. No electoral college, invented when your dark-skinned citizens were slaves and your women could not vote.

And we don’t use different ballots for each area. By the cerebrum of the Great Frunobulax, you people are savages! You argue over such things as hanging chads, swinging chads, and dimpled and pregnant ballots. No wonder you still haven’t colonized any other planets. (The rest of the universe is thankful.)

We are tempted to offer you our own transipient notification subsystem, which instantly records our voters’ touch-screen preferences in a memory bank backed up by physical copies for the government and the voter. Probably, you’d break it. May we suggest you all go back to putting a big “X” next to the candidates’ names?

As we entertain ourselves by watching your coverage of the election stalemate, via our mentholithium quadrangle cable, we puzzle over another bizarre facet of your sophomoric society: Pundits.

Any rational sentient being can tell you, pundits are talk show hosts, former government employees and columnists who are hired by individual networks to shout their opinions at each other and take wild guesses at what might happen in the future. We expect it will only be a matter of time before you issue trading cards with their images.

It has come to our attention that there may be Congressional hearings on televised coverage of your elections. Apparently, some of your citizenry found it annoying that all your networks relied on one source of information, Voter News Service, which led to Florida being prematurely awarded — twice.

And if you are so intent on knowing the winner of an election immediately, why do you allow absentee ballots to be postmarked via your ancient postal system on election day? Helpful hint: insist the ballots arrive so they may be counted by election day. It’s either that or figure out how to build one of our global conductive proclivity dispensers. (And how likely is that?)

In essence, we wonder why you Americans must know all the results ten minutes after polls close in your Eastern time zone. Why do you announce any national results when other states are voting? We thought you liked suspense. You have plenty of it now.

Disgustedly yours,
Xerophobe Kranmatter, Media Spokesunit
Office of Martian Annoyances

From Development Hell
11/24/00 Entertainment Today
Brad Schreiber
StoryTech literary consulting service