Thursday, April 25, 2013

13 Reasons To Be Glad Bush Is No Longer President

The five living presidents will meet in Texas on Thursday to dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. And while Bush and his aides are using the occasion to soften the 43 president’s image and solidify his legacy, a recounting of Bush-era policies — from his deregulation of Wall Street to the invasion of Iraq — greatly undermine the new rosy narrative of the Bush years:

Authorized the use of torture

Though the US Code bans torture, Bush personally issued a memorandum six days after the September 11th attacks instructing the CIA that it could use “enhanced interrogation techniques” against suspected terrorists. The methods included waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and “stress positions.” A recently-released bipartisan committee concluded it was “indisputable” that these techniques constituted torture, and that the highest authorities in the country bore responsibility for the creation of a torture programs at Guantanamo Bay and CIA “black sites” around the world.

Politicized climate science

Bush’s “do-nothing” approach to climate change prevented the U.S. from pursuing meaningful action. Though he claimed that global warming was a serious problem that was either a natural phenomenon or caused by humans, the administration routinely edited scientific reports to downplay the threat of climate change, censored CDC testimony that climate change was a public health threat, and promoted climate denying studies financed by ExxonMobil. At the end of the Bush presidency, a top intelligence adviser warned the incoming president that climate change was a massive destabilizing national security threat that would lead to “Dust Bowl” conditions in the Southwest.

Ignored Afghanistan to launch a war in Iraq

Rather than consolidating gains after the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Bush and his neoconservative allies pushed for removing Saddam Hussein from power, kicking off a war that led to one mistake after another. Ten years later, the war is estimated to have cost cost up to $6 trillion and resulted in the death of more than 100,000 Iraqis, 4,000 Americans and another 31,000 wounded. Meanwhile, Afghanistan saw a resurgence of the Taliban after Bush shifted resources to Iraq.

Botched the response to Hurricane Katrina

Bush appointed Michael Brown — a man whose only real qualifications were political connections and a sting at the International Arabian Horse Association — to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2003 and he preceded to undo everything the Clinton Administration had done to make FEMA functional, botching the response to 2004′s Hurricane Frances so badly as to prompt calls for his firing. But Bush kept Brown on board and, as a detailed timeline of the response to Hurricane Katrina demonstrates, neither man took the storm seriously until it was too late. Bush, who famously said “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” midway through the crisis, thus presided over the most deaths due to a single natural disaster in the United States since 1900. Plus, Kanye West was right!

Defunded stem cell research

At the turn of the century there was perhaps no greater hope for finding cures to illnesses ranging from Alzheimer’s to diabetes than ongoing stem cell research. But months after taking office, Bush eliminated all federal funding for any new research involving stem cells, citing a religious objection to the use of embryos — even though the embryos in question were byproducts from couples undergoing in vitro fertilization and would have been destroyed by IVF clinics regardless. Twice more during his presidency, Bush vetoed legislation that would have restored funding.

Required Muslim men to register with the government

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Bush’s Attorney General, John Ashcroft, instituted an anti-terrorism program to register all male immigrants between 18 and 40 years old from 20 Arab and South Asian countries. Thousands of innocent men came forward to register, only to be rounded up for minor visa violations. Roughly 1,000 men and boys in the process of applying for permanent residence were arrested and confined in standing-room-only centers, enduring invasive strip searches and beatings by guards. Many were deported, while others were held for months after their immigration cases were resolved, without a shred of evidence they had any links to terrorism.

Reinstated the global gag rule

On Bush’s first day in office he reinstated a rule that prevented any non-profit doing work overseas from using any of their own, private money to fund family planning services. This so-called “Global Gag Rule” posed a serious threat to international maternal health, but it also cut off funding for HIV/AIDS initiatives, child health programs, and water and sanitation efforts.

Supported anti-gay discrimination

In 2004, President Bush endorsed the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), which would have banned same-sex couples from marrying in the U.S. Constitution. The Massachusetts Supreme Court had just ruled in favor of marriage equality, and Bush hoped to block the ruling from taking effect because “a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization.” Though the FMA failed numerous times in Congress during Bush’s tenure, he exploited the issue of same-sex marriage to turn out conservative voters for the 2004 election. That year, 11 states added constitutional amendments outlawing same-sex marriage.

Further deregulated Wall Street

Under Bush, federal agencies eliminated regulations on predatory lending, capital requirements, and other Wall Street practices, allowing banks to engage in riskier and more destructive practices that contributed to the financial crisis that started on his watch. Bush’s Treasury Department also pushed for even further deregulation that would have given Wall Street more oversight over its own practices even after the housing collapse had begun.

Widened income inequality

The per-person benefits of Bush’s tax cuts accrued to the top one percent of Americans, as the rate for capital gains dropped to 15 percent. The CBO found that federal income taxes dropped far more as a percentage of the one percent’s income than for any other group after 2000.

Undermined worker protections

Under Bush, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, whose mission is to protect safe working conditions, issued 86 percent fewer rules or regulations and pulled 22 items from its agenda of proposed safety and health rules. The office’s funding and staff were also consistently reduced. Meanwhile, funding for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency charged with helping workers who claim discrimination against their employers, was similarly low and staffing fell even as the number of complaints increased, leading to a rising backlog of cases.

Ideological court appointments

Bush filled the federal bench with ideologues, including two lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court. These conservatives believe that corporations should be able to buy and sell elections, ruled against equal pay for equal work, and have sought to undermine a woman’s right to choose.

Presided over a dysfunctional executive branch

A 2008 analysis by the Center for Public Integrity documented more than 125 executive branch failures over Bush’s two terms. These included government breakdowns on “education, energy, the environment, justice and security, the military and veterans affairs, health care, transportation, financial management, consumer and worker safety,” and others. “I think we’ll look back on this period as one of the most destructive periods in American public life . . . both in terms of policy and process,” Thomas E. Mann, senior fellow at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution observed, noting “genuine distortion in the constitutional system, an exaggerated sense of presidential power and prerogative and acquiescence by a Republican Congress in the face of the first unified Republican government since Dwight Eisenhower.”


With all the boot-licking coverage of last week's rewriting of history, this photo was nowhere in sight. Yes, it's real: Melissa Stockwell, the first female U.S. soldier to lose a limb in Iraq, reading the Pledge of Allegiance.


  1. He will go down as a better President than Barack Obama! Better leader, stronger, more confident and more presidential.

    1. The mind is a terrible thing to waste, specially over 8 years! In your case it's never mind!

    2. Zing!! Wow, now I have been put in my place. All I need now is Obama phone, get on welfare, and take in all the bullshit. Sure adding six trillion in deficit is cool! Hey its hip! Cover up in Benghazi? No matter its just as well there are more important things like allowing for gay marriage. Heck I think I will just go propose to the mail man! Why not? He brings me the welfare check! We can all hold hands and sing Kumbaya as millions of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS flood our borders and take our jobs. That is ok. Its hip its cool. Word! Hell, I love a president that won't even allow us to see his transcripts. That is cool, that is hip. You know what? Let us declare anyone who isn't a yellow dog democrat a war criminal? We can have them deported even if they are 8th generation Americans. Go back to England you right wingers!! This is American, the Union of Soviet Socialist American States. Wait we can't say America, that is offensive to people from the other Americas down south. Lets just say nothing! Heck it works for Barry!

    3. Didn't you know Bush and Reagan were the ones who started the free cell phone program, I guess the guy tim made his point.

  2. Seriously, those who claim to have a lot to say but chose to post anonymously are really saying nothing. Anyone reading these comments of sound mind can see it!

  3. Once again, you have won this debate. lol! I say we give you the Nobel Peace Prize, heck its been given out before for no good reason!

  4. That shut you up! Hahahahaha Jeb Bush in 2016. Deal with it.

  5. Hey Anon........are you GWB in AKA certainly sound like him!

  6. Clever, deciding to use insults to steer away from the facts!

  7. "A recently-released bipartisan committee concluded it was “indisputable” that these techniques constituted torture, and that the highest authorities in the country bore responsibility for the creation of a torture programs at Guantanamo Bay and CIA “black sites” around the world."

    It would be nice if your link to the "indisputable evidence" actually worked...if it did work, then I could go there and potentially have my mind changed about Reason #1 for why I should be glad that Obama is the President rather than Bush. At this point, I know that those enhanced interrogation techniques stopped even ONE terror attack from being carried out on our shores and eventually led to the killing of Osama Bin Ladin. I also know that since Obama took office and Bush left office, we've had the Christmas Bomber (underwear), Fort Hood, the Boston Bombing, and the killing of two young GI"s in Texas that the Administration refuses to call a terror attack even though the father of the terrorist KNEW his son had been radicalized.

  8. So far, I've clicked on five of your links that appear to be sourcing your information - NONE of them WORK. Why should I take anything you have written here seriously when I cannot - unlike other folks who will simply believe your every word because it is about George W. Bush - research to see if what you say has any basis in something other than the spin of the Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Hollywood Anti War Peace Niks (who are all strangely silent now about Syria!)?

    And here's what we now know about those Climate Scientists....a) they're all liberal progressive Democrat Academics who live in a world far removed from the one the rest of us do b) they have doctored evidence, used graduate students and false photographs of polar bears on melting ice shelves - which by the way we just learned have actually INCREASED 60%. c) horrible unable to predict where the next hurricane will land or the next tornado will touch down or even get the daily weather correct, and now it turns out, unable to read their own data because guess what? We are actually in a mini ice age rather than a global warming trend...but hey, that's why they decided they'd call it Climate Change instead of warming or they could cover their own butts when we all found out they have NO clue.

    And most of those who go about proclaiming the "end is nigh" about Global Warming/Mini Ice Ages/Climate Change are getting RICH off it aren't they? Like Al Gore....what his electric bill and his water bill every month? How about the cost of fueling his private jets....oh but, hey he purchases "Carbon Offsets" (which is nothing more than a donation to a researcher of guessed it....Climate Change.

    Now Bush, who did nothing according to you...built his homes completely green...with solar energy and everything that can possibly be used to actually lower his carbon footprint.....but hey, in the Liberal/Progressive/Democrat/Enviro Faith group, it is always the intention that Al Gore can assuage his conscience by purchasing ( donating money to ) those carbon offsets (research group out to tax the rest of us to lower class status or move us into the cities and take away our single home houses and our vehiclesj!).

    1. Thank you for commenting. All links on this site work, I guess your have to just see what's presented to you that's all, or should I say want to see what's presented to you. Anyhow, thanks for your comments. Again, please don't discount what you seem to not understand.