Monday, December 1
Talking Turkey About The Bush Bros.
by Harley Sorensen, San Francisco Chronicle, December 1, 2003

Eat your heart out, Ronald Reagan!

George W. Bush has made you look like a rank amateur. His Thanksgiving Day publicity stunt in Baghdad was the stuff of true genius.

Take a back seat, Mr. Great Communicator. "Win one for the Gipper" just doesn't cut it any more. This is the new millennium. Bush rules!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, readers of all ages, it may surprise you to learn that I'm sincere. Do I still detest Bush?
Most assuredly. What person who loves his country would not detest a man dedicated to ruining it?

But one must give credit where credit is due, and the advantage our current president took of a slow news day was absolutely brilliant. He must be commended for his audacity, which rivals his mendacity.

And, as much as I dislike Bush, even I had to fight back a tear as he emerged from behind the mess hall curtain and the room erupted in cheers on the television replay. Had I been there, I would have cheered, too.

It was great showmanship.

Now, I don't want to appear churlish about this (even if I am), but I do feel obligated to point out that the trip to the Baghdad airport, for all its grandeur, was slightly less dangerous than the three hours I spent on Highway 101 Thanksgiving Day.

(Please, please, no applause. One risks Highway 101 only because one must. I'm no hero. Aw, shucks, I'm just a regular guy, more or less like Dubya. And although our president is now legally entitled to a campaign ribbon for his two and a half hours in Iraq, I honestly don't feel I should be given a comparable ribbon for Highway 101 combat.)

Pulling outrageous stunts and getting away with them seems to be in the Bush family genes. My heart still bursts with admiration for Papa Bush, who, when the Iran-Contra mess started closing in on him, used his presidential pardon powers to pardon all five of the guys who might have fingered him.

That took chutzpah. But it worked. The compliant liberal press said, "Oh, my," and Papa Bush went on to start a new career as a war profiteer ... which, one might argue, takes chutzpah to the max, considering the son started the war that now profits the father and his loyal moneymaking sidekicks.

One of my favorite Bushes is our brave president's younger brother, Neil. He is best known as a director of Silverado Savings & Loan in Denver, which went belly up in the 1980s and left the taxpayers with a $1 billion bailout tab.

Neil Bush profitted mightily from Silverado's shenanigans, but he was let off the hook with a $50,000 fine, just a fraction of his ill-gotten gains. It was kind of like robbing a bank of $1,000 and being punished with a $50 fine.

Neil made news recently when some of his heretofore unreported activities came out in divorce proceedings. A Nov. 25 Reuters article by Jeff Franks pretty well sums up the main points.

The most fascinating part, perhaps, is Neil's associations with certain women during business trips to Thailand and Hong Kong. As luck would have it, these women knocked on Neil's hotel room doors, and, after he let them in, proceeded to have sex with him, no questions asked.

Neil said he didn't know if these women were prostitutes because they didn't ask for money and he didn't give them any.

In a deposition, Neil was asked: "Mr. Bush, you have to admit it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her."

"It was very unusual," Neil replied.

Some guys are just unusually lucky. [...more]

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