Saturday, January 31, 2009

The George W. Bush Freedom Institute

Now that everyone is fixated on Obama, I'd like to take a nostalgic look back on a forward looking view of our former president.

Since old habits die hard, we just KNOW he's gotta be spreadin' freedom and democracy.

So, what the heck is our hero up to now that he's no longer the decider? He's not talking to the press very much these days, so I dug up an old post about his retirement plans.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The George W. Bush Freedom Institute

As Congress returns from vacation to resume its duties of subservient ineptitude, there is nothing like a new book about our Fearless Leader and Decider to cheer us up. You just know there would be a few nuggets of truth revealed that would embarrass the administration. Journalist Robert Draper interviewed Rove, Cheney, Laura Bush, and many senior White House and administration officials. He was even granted six interviews with Bush.

In "Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush," Draper writes that Karl Rove told his boss that he knew nothing about CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson. This was after Rove and others leaked her identity. An indignant George even told us he would investigate and “take care” of the leaker. Draper writes, "When Bush learned otherwise, he hit the roof." Amazing. They even lie to each other.

We also learn what Bush is planning on doing after he leaves office. It’s uplifting to know that, besides his wish to "replenish the ol' coffers" by giving paid speeches, he wants to build a “Freedom Institute.” Yup, that should do quite nicely to reflect his glorious legacy. A grateful nation (or shall I say planet?) will be blessed with the George W. Bush Freedom Institute.

I can picture it all now. We approach the magnificent structure, perched like a shining city on a hill. We tingle in anticipation of beholding the many gifts of the eight-year George W. Bush Presidency. Out in front is the beautiful Fountain of Conservative Justices, reminding us that democracy needn’t be all about having more votes than the other guy.

As we first solemnly pass through the Twin Portals of Shock and Awe, we are almost overcome by our own insignificance. Then we move into the foyer where we wipe the mud from our shoes into the Bill of Rights Doormat. We check our coats at the Closet of Conservative Compassion. Be sure to notice the sign saying, “Not responsible for lost or stolen liberties.”

Fittingly, we then climb to greater heights on the Staircase of Stolen Elections. We now enter the Corridors of Unchecked Power.

As we pass through the Photo Op Gallery we see the Mission Accomplished Flight Suit Display. Gosh, it still swells us with the power of pride.

Take a hard turn to the right and we peer down the long Hall of Surveillance, ending with the Wall of Secrecy.

Moving on, we find the Permanent War Pavilion, with its two seemingly endless wings. Enter the Operation Enduring Freedom Wing or the Operation Iraqi Freedom Wing. Either way, you’ll find nothing but the fruits of freedom. Don’t get lost or mired on the way, we need to advance past the Office of Unaccountability to the largest room in the building. We gasp in astonishment as we gaze at the cavernous Library of Lies.

I’m sure by now we have gained quite an appetite, so we head over to the Cooked Intelligence Café for a taste of whatever they want to feed us.

Our tour now takes us past the Scooter Libby Monument to Obstructed Justice, and down into the lower levels.

Be careful not to fall into the Al Gonzales Memory Hole as we approach the Cheney Bunker of Undisclosed Locations. Unfortunately we are locked out of this exhibit.As we venture deeper into the darkest recesses, we see that the Saddam Hussein Torture Chamber is closed, too.

And since we’ve just eaten, maybe we will forego the Dungeon Diorama of Alternative Interrogation Techniques. Oh, well. It’s better left a secret. We don’t want to embolden the enemy, do we?

Not to worry, the Abu Ghraib and Gitmo Welcome Centers are still accepting visitors. And if you’re curious, the Texas Execution Chamber is always busy.

As we prepare to leave the George W. Bush Freedom Institute, some of you may want to stop and browse at the Millionaire Donors’ Tax Free Gift Shop. Maybe you can pick up a couple souvenirs for your friends. Don’t worry if you don’t see any price tags on the gift items. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

This Inauguration Day is the closest thing to an international holiday I’ve ever seen. Once again the world cheers with us instead of against us.

It is difficult not to feel hopeful today. I have said I distrust the Democrats as much as I despise the Republicans, so it’s a relief for me to return to my former skeptical self.

The fear and loathing have once again subsided to a tolerable level because...


At long last Bush is gone from the White House. His iron fist will no longer clench the levers of power in our government. If only we could see the ruinous effects of his misrule disappear like his last helicopter flight over the Washington DC horizon. I admit to feeling the urge to sing along with the massive crowd as they sent the arrogant decider off with rousing choruses of “Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye”.

Yes he’s gone, but as Shakespeare wrote, “the evil that men do lives after them.” If, and I’ve seen no bigger if, he is a good man, then his good intentions did more to pave our nation’s road to hell than a million enemies could have done in a hundred years.

We have entered the final American era of hope. If we can’t get it right this time, I fear it will be too late to ever shackle the inner beast of extremism in American government. The radical right wingers and their Neocon cabal have had their chance to prove themselves as the utter failures we predicted they would be.

I hope the corporate media will finally stop giving them the credibility to further pontificate their failed ideology.

We all hope Obama can stop the destruction that continues from the Bush Doctrine. We hope Obama can reverse the cruel policies of Bush/Cheney.

I hope I live to see justice return to the Department of Justice. I hope to never again hear how only Right Thinking Americans can get a job there.

I hope perpetrators of war crimes like torture, rendition, and violations of Habeas Corpus are punished.

I hope that those who committed treasonous acts of deception to provoke war are brought to justice.

I hope to never again hear the corporate media give voice to the Reich Wing ideologues spouting their hateful crap about “real Americans”.

I hope the gutless Democratic Party has a new leader who will do the right thing, instead of their usual capitulation to the radical right’s agenda.

I hope to see truly patriotic Republicans respect the Constitution enough to cooperate with the new administration’s efforts at investigating past crimes by the Bush Administration.

I hope Americans can unite for truth and justice.

I hope the Bill of Rights will be taught in every school.

I hope Fox News goes bankrupt.

I hope Obama has the sense to not escalate the war in Afghanistan.

I hope Obama keeps his oath to protect and defend the Constitution.I hope he really means what he said in today’s Inaugural Address:

“The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.

Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's knowledge will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”

And I hope these words are not as empty as those about someone being a “compassionate conservative”:

“Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.

But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.

The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.”

Wow! When’s the last time you heard a president even mention the common good? Next came the other words I have been longing to hear from a president:

“As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.

Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.

And above all I hope Mr. Obama’s efforts will match his rhetoric in these lofty words:

“And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.

They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy, guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort, even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We'll begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard- earned peace in Afghanistan.

With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.”

And finally, I couldn’t help thinking this message could have been appropriate for both the Islamist terrorist extremists and the authoritarian extremists here in the US:

“And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that, ‘Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you’.”

The bottom line for me is I thought this was a great day for the United States of America. And with it being a Tuesday and all, I did what the country finally figuratively got around to.

I took out the garbage.