Category Archives: George W. Bush

My Night In George W. Bush’s Presidential Library

Man, I’m just glad I didn’t get caught!

Then again, what can they do to me for breaking into the new, and as yet unveiled, George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum?George-Bush-center

I’m a blogger! I get paid (practically nothing) to go where others fear to tread.

Besides, whatever they do to me, it couldn’t be worse than what I experienced in the Bush Library’s Enhanced Interrogation Pavilion (a/k/a/ “The House of Pain”).

Though it was late at night, and not open to visitors, all the exhibits were furiously getting ready for opening day.

Okay, let me say this just once: This place is a treat! I never expected Bush’s Library to be so interactive, so true to the Bush legacy, or so compelling.

Visitors to The House of Pain feel like they’re actually being tortured in a black site prison. As a souvenir, when you eventually escape, you’re given a copy of your signed confession. The Bush Library’s “Easy Money” Wind Booth lets you know how it feels to be a bank CEO grabbing for free U.S. Treasury bucks during America’s financial free fall; and once you take two steps into the Cheneyville exhibit you feel like you’re out on the prairie hunting with Dick Cheney, which means any moment you could get shot in the face.

Speaking of Cheneyville, it might interest you to know that even though it wasn’t the largest exhibit, or the most complex, it did end up being the most costly exhibit in the entire Bush Center. Not surprisingly, it was designed and constructed in a no-bid contract awarded to the Halliburton Company.

George W.’s impish side comes out in many ironic touches added to the exhibits, such as the empty desk in Cheneyville supposedly awaiting the return of Scooter Libby from prison. You can recognize the desk by the photo of Valerie Plame that sits on top.

Then there’s this great exhibit room that doesn’t even exist. I’m not sure how they do it, perhaps with holograms or stealth technology, but it looks like a normal room when you look at it from the outside. As soon as you step through the door, however, you’re also stepping back outside the room through a different door, as though you had stepped through a time warp curtain rather than a room. The sign above both entrances, smugly declares this to be the “W.M.D. STORAGE ROOM AND WAREHOUSE.”

Simply put, you have never experienced a presidential library—or even an amusement park—to rival the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. It’s non-stop action, non-stop machismo sabre rattling and, to a discerning mind, non-stop destruction of America’s civil liberties, moral authority and international leadership.

For the kids, the Library has a Bicycle Center with indoor stationary bikes that let you race against the former president on some of his favorite runs around the hills of Camp David. One of the videotaped runs is the actual course George W. rode the morning he barely skimmed the CIA’s briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S.”

There’s also a room toward the back of the vast library complex called “The Educational President” that features video interviews with the millions of children who were inadvertently left behind during his presidency. “Sorry, kids!” George W. is quoted as saying. “I’ll get you next time!”

As I learned, from running around like an idiot in the middle of the night, the Library can exhaust you. By the time I was waterboarded for the sixth time I barely had the strength to play “Whack-A-Wimp” in the Alberto Gonzales Pavilion. “Whack-A-Wimp” is weirdly like “Whack-A-Mole,” except you whack Bush Administration U.S. Attorneys instead of moles, but only those who were fired by Alberto Gonzales for not prosecuting Democrats or voter fraud cases.

Centerpiece exhibit of the Bush Library is the Hurricane Katrina Hall, which has a replica of the basement White House conference room from which George W. held his videoconferences with Michael Brown (a/k/a “Brownie”) during the crisis. Also, featured is a diorama recreating President Bush’s meaningless speech from Jackson Square. The speech was given at night, you’ll remember, so that spotlights could light up the president and make him look super presidential or, perhaps, super human. The exhibit also features photographs of the California fundraiser President Bush was flying to when he made his in-depth flyover inspection of the death and destruction in New Orleans.

The new George W. Bush Presidential Library, sitting on the campus of Southern Methodist University, on a 23-acre parcel curiously named The Green Zone, is scheduled to formally open later this week. The Center boasts many exhibits besides those mentioned in this report, most of which are listed as classified and not open to the public. Which is why you might also find it prudent to pay your visit at night.

As a curious side note—I have no memory of how it got there, but when I left the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum I held in my hand a copy of a confession, signed by me, stating that I had been living in this country illegally for 15 years and cheating on my tax returns that entire time. Neither of which was true, as far as I recall.


Where Have All The Victors Gone?

Bang the drum slowly, America. The war in Iraq is finished. Finished for us, at least. For the Iraqis…well, in keeping with the previous nine years of American policy the Iraqis who haven’t been killed off will be left holding the proverbial bag. The tornado George W. Bush and Dick Cheney sowed with all the bluster of an administration with God on its side has been left behind in a far distant desert land, its unspent winds no longer a killing force for American men and women.

Too many of our leaders have spoken up this last week to declare that the sacrifice made by our soldiers hasn’t been wasted. That lives given were not given in vain. That fortunes spent haven’t been billions poured down the pisshole of history. That this very special and totally unnecessary war launched under false premises by an American president was not the military, financial and moral debacle that it was.

And now the lies continue. We lied our way into war so of course we need to lie ourselves out of it. Unlike Viet Nam we no longer lie about casualties. We prefer to lie about war’s causes. Its raison d’etre. No two voices can agree on why we went to war, why we rained killing waves of bombs down on Baghdad. Or why, given our expressed concern about weapons of mass destruction, we forced out the UN inspectors who could have unearthed such evil devices without taking a single human life?

Was it all for nothing? Was it because Saddam Hussein tried to kill George W. Bush’s father after the first Iraq war? Or was it for the oil? We not only have the right to know, we have an obligation to find out the truth. How else can we prevent another unmitigated disaster? How else can we face the wives, children and family of those who died and honestly tell them their sacrifice had some value, some reason, some purpose behind it other than the lies perpetrated by a band of American adventurers who had captured the reins of our government?

The human costs have been enormous —4,500 American dead, 32,000 American wounded, more than 122,000 Iraqi civilians who died violently from insurgent attacks, suicide bombings, and our own made-in-America bombs. This was an expensive, brutal war that should have never been launched. It was a war we never could win. Like Viet Nam, whatever victory we claimed came from our solemn departure.

President Obama and Leon Panetta have told our returning soldiers that the lives, treasure and national honor we left behind in that scarred desert wasteland haven’t been sacrificed in vain.

But nobody will say what they were sacrificed for?

The Ballad of the Republicans

For those who’ve been watching with wide-eyed shock as the Fox News/Sarah Palin/Glen Beck juggernaut convinces normally sane voting Americans that the Democrats are responsible for all their struggles, pains, fears and unhappiness, I offer a brief stroll down memory lane. See how many Bush-era scandals, blunders and constitutional crimes you can recall. Then marvel at how many additional screw-ups were left out. I’m not saying the Democrats or Obama deserve your vote, but I am arguing (through the lens of history) that the Republicans deserve nothing more than disgrace, censure and ridicule. Please forgive me if my droll foolery offends you.

The Ballad Of The Republicans

Hear the bombs bursting all through the night
Bush is bombing Baghdad, says he has the right
Thousands will die like many thousands before
Only problem is they’ll never know what for…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
Where men like Lincoln once took a stand
But now they took all that they could
Pretending it was for our good
In eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

The stealing starts on election night
Bush flies to victory on a Florida flight
Though exit polls say in fact he lost to Gore
Supremes give him the crown and so much more…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
Eight years of plunder down in Washington
And now they hope that you’ll forget
All the blunders, crimes and debt…
That for eight long years nearly brought this country down!

The CIA says Bin Laden will strike
But Bush is out that day riding his bike
Not till 9/11 does he figure out the score
Sees thousands lying dead, Twin Towers no more…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
Rumsfeld, Rice and Cheney take a stand
Take us to Iraq thru Afghanistan
Can’t take our asses back out again
In eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

Did you see the scowl on Dick Cheney’s face
When someone said torture is a human disgrace
That’s no longer torture, he tells Fox news
Those Amnesty wimps are just singing the blues…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
They read our mail and tapped our phones
Said they could send anyone to jail
Then erased all White House email…
That showed eight long years of bringing this country down!

They never find any W.M.D.’s
They even search Abu Ghraib detainees
Turns out Saddam had run out of gas
And we’re just bullies kicking his sorry ass…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
Acting like the ugliest Americans
Paul Wolfowitz lusting at The Bank
Larry Craig tapping at toilet tanks
In eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

By now the middle class is feeling poor
Can’t afford college or doctors anymore
Wages shrink but the rich keep getting fat
They even try to take social security back…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
They told us lies, rewarded their friends
Like Halliburton, Goldman Sachs and more
Then sent ill-equipped soldiers off to war
In eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

Back in New Orleans the wind starts to howl,
Water is a-rising, Brownie’s on the prowl,
Bush is on a plane heading west for the coast
Flies over the waters just to see if blacks can float…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
They ran our country like a Christian scam
Tried to keep Terry Schiavo undead
Pulled the plug on stem cell research instead
For eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

Where are you when Wall Street gets the bends?
They’re in the vault handing billions to their friends
Some of those billions simply disappear
The rest go to bonuses for needy millionaires
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
The ones who told us not to lie or sin
And then were caught with pants askew
Ensign, Foley, Vitter to name a few who…
In eight long years nearly brought this country down!

Then there’s forgetful Alberto Gonzales
In all of Bush’s gang none needs more solace
‘Cept Harriet Miers in her Supreme Court mess
Or Scooter Libby lying for his V.P.-ness
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
Said global warming would improve our tans
Their senior drug plan was so nice
‘Cept they made the U.S. pay list price
In eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

Their biggest crime isn’t Katrina or Iraq
Or turning U.S. Attorneys into G.O.P. hacks
Or leaving Afghanistan with the enemy still intact
It’s torturing the truth till they break its damn back…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
Eight years of plunder down in Washington
They turned our surplus into debts
Gave shoddy care to wounded vets…
In eight long years they nearly brought this country down!

Now look at this mess the Bush gang leaves behind
Two wars in limbo, Wall Street flying blind
An economy gasping, the states in default
Obama tries to clean up and they claim it’s all his fault…!
Here comes the ballad of the Republicans
They pray that you can just forgive their sins
And vote them back in power again
Forgetting all the lies, the graft and pain…
That for eight long years…
eight god-forsaken years…
nearly brought this country down!

The above lyrics pretty much speak for themselves. I wrote them to be sung to the tune of Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane”. With any luck, I’ll soon make a video featuring photos and footage of the events and people mentioned in the song. I am sorry if my brash lyrics disturb your peace of mind. I do not claim they represent the Truth as much as they do MY Truth. All these events happened just a few short years ago, yet so many appear to have conveniently forgotten them. Hence the need for someone to write “The Ballad of The Republicans”. I’m pleased it was me.


He was one of my more sober and saner friends. So it was surprising to see him so worked up, so inexpressively frustrated by his inability to remember most of what happened during the last ten years.

“I get flashes,” he admitted, “sometimes full blown images that bring back those events. But mostly they’re gone.”

“For instance…” I prodded.

“Like this budget mess,” he explained. “I get so worked up by Obama spending so much money. But then I get one of these flashes and I remember, oh yeah, Republicans were in charge for the last ten years. It’s like I totally forgot they spent incredible sums on a small war that was totally unnecessary! Shelled out billions to Halliburton, Blackwater and other Republican-supporting friends, with no accounting, no auditing, no…”

“Okay,” I said, trying to calm him down. “Anybody could forget a trillion-dollar mistake like the Iraq War.”

“Yes, but I forget it all. You hear me screaming about the cost of healthcare reform, but then…sort of hazily…it comes back to me that Republicans voted in prescription drug coverage for seniors that forbade the government from using its buying power to negotiate lower prices with the drug companies.

“How could I forget something so egregiously wasteful as forcing the government to pay list price!”

“Do you remember Terry Schiavo…?” I asked tentatively.

“Only when I find myself arguing against ‘death panels’ or some other leftist intrusion into people’s lives.”

“How about the fact we Americans tortured our prisoners?”

“I still don’t believe Americans in the employ of their government would commit acts of torture. Of course that depends on how you define torture…”


“One man’s torture is another man’s enhanced interrogation!”

“You do remember a number of people died from those enhanced interrogation sessions?”

“Not really. At most, I remember some Fox TV commentator offering to get waterboarded to show what pussies the liberals were.”

“Well this is pretty bad,” I sadly acknowledged. “If what you say is true, you probably have no memory of the Great Financial Collapse that occurred the last year of Bush’s term?”

“Is that why we’re suffering 10% unemployment? And here I was thinking Obama had ruined our economy in merely a year’s time.”

“Do you recall Dick Cheney outing a CIA spy to get back at her husband for writing a New York Times Op Ed piece?”

“I vaguely recall something.”

“Or that we had advance information about Al Quaeda’s plans to attack us, and that the CIA titled its August 6, 2001 Presidential Briefing: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”?

“No, I don’t.”

“How about tax cuts?” I pursued. “Do you recall Bush and his Republican majority cutting taxes twice at the same time he was borrowing money from the Chinese to pay for two wars?”

“Is that where we got the money?”

“Or that President Bush violated our constitution any number of ways—by reading our emails, intercepting our phone calls, telling lies to lead us into war, using the Justice Department to go after political enemies, using the levers of government to create a permanent Republican majority…?

“You protest about Obama bankrupting the country,” I concluded, “and yet you forget that Republicans practically picked clean the Treasury’s pockets.”

“Wait, before you go on, just tell me,” he shouted, almost in despair. “Was there anything that George W. Bush and his Republican majority in Congress did right during the last ten years?”

“Do you remember Hurricane Katrina?”

“Sure,” he said, almost smiling. “Wasn’t she an exotic dancer…?”