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August 17, 2002
5:57 AM   Subscribe

Room for rent. Similar to the Clinton administration that they heavily criticized, the Bush folks have opened a bed and breakfast up in that big White House with the cee-ment pond. Rates are steep but one thing many guests share is a membership in the exclusive Pioneer Club.

One of my favorites is Edward Rose, Mr. Rose is a staunch Bush supporter having donated more than 42,000 dollars in the past along with $2,000[1] directly. Then there is the Betts family, patriarch Roland was Dubyas frat brother and besides selling him the Texas Rangers has donated $19,000 along with another 4K[1] directly. For outright generosity it's tough to beat Brad Freeman, who opened his pockets to the tune of some 190,000 dollars.There's Joe O'Donnell ($9,250)and James Simmons ($27,550)... the list goes on but you get the idea. Aside from the Pioneer Club the only other thing these people share is great wealth and successful business careers, considering his choice in houseguests is this the right person to hold corporate America accountable?
posted by cedar (32 comments total)

 
Gee, what a surprise! Bush is just as corrupt as Clinton. Next thing you know, representatives will be posting riders onto well-meaning bills for their own special interests.

Oh wait! They are already doing it! I am clearly shocked!

Can you just smell the sarcasm dripping off this post?
posted by jasonbondshow at 6:07 AM on August 17, 2002


Yep, it stinks alright.

Sorry you find a post about hypocrisy and catering to special interests so distasteful. On second thought, your probably right. Since it's all happened before and we all know every politician is corrupt, we'd probably all be better served by not discussing it all.
posted by cedar at 6:16 AM on August 17, 2002


I hate to sound paranoid, as some of the ultra-right-wingers sounded during the Clinton administration ("the liberal media is biased! they're covering up for him!"), but Bush doesn't get 1/10th of the harsh press that Clinton got. And even when the Bush administration does get some negative coverage, there story goes away quickly and quietly.

I'm not sure if it's that there aren't ultra-liberals out there with big pockets, investigating every aspect of Bush's life. Or if there really *is* something to be said for the media being liberal. Perhaps liberal reporters felt completely confident in attacking Clinton because there wasn't any possibility of bias. Now that those liberals are covering a Republican administration, they're erring on the side of restraint because of their personal feelings about Bush.

I don't know. Any other theories as to why Bush gets away with so much crap? (Or Cheney for that matter!!)
posted by jennak at 6:19 AM on August 17, 2002


Bush doesn't get 1/10th of the harsh press that Clinton got.
Jenn, how true. That's the main reason why the attacks on the allegedly "liberal media" are really funny. Clinton -- with all his many, many, many huge flaws, political and personal, got the most savage press one can imagine. Bush does get a free pass most of the time, and it's not only because "there's a war going on" -- maybe Republicans get some sort of free pass because they at least talk of family values and morality all the time, and talk is all that matters, who knows

And even when the Bush administration does get some negative coverage, there story goes away quickly and quietly.
They're better at spinning, and at faking outrage for "the politics of personal destruction" (like, Clinton's opponents were so civil and unwilling to use personal attacks)

jasonbond,
first day on Mefi and you already pat yourself on the back for how sarcastic you are? Not bad
posted by matteo at 7:51 AM on August 17, 2002


Jennak, I think reporters are afraid of losing access to the white house too--Ari and Karl and W have all threatened or restricted reporters who asked questions they didn't like.

I've really noticed it on CNN--they are not at all as investigative as they used to be, and are really quick to dismiss everything negative towards Bush as a partisan spin attempt.
posted by amberglow at 7:56 AM on August 17, 2002


Re: why Bush gets away with more...

My theory (which I've heard espoused by others, so I don't claim it's original) is that one big difference between liberals and conservatives is that basic liberal philosophy espouses the idea that everyone has the right to their opinion (connected to that moral relativism thing), while conservatives have no qualms about saying what they think is right and wrong. I'm a liberal, so I'm not trying to slam libs here.

Not that members of the Democratic party stick to this philosophy out of principle, but I do think it colors each camp's approach to criticism of the other. If not with politicians themselves, then at least with journalists perhaps.
posted by tippiedog at 8:50 AM on August 17, 2002


FWIW, I think outside America Clinton got pretty good press. He seemed like a smart man, with a good understanding of diplomacy and the need to work cooperatively with other nations.

Bush, on the other hand, gets no respect in the international media. He's a classless chimpanzee with little social grace, no wit, and a fatal lack of diplomacy.

If I were American, I'd rather have Clinton representing the nation to the world, than Bush. Rather have Colin Powell than either of them, though...
posted by five fresh fish at 8:56 AM on August 17, 2002


"Aside from the Pioneer Club the only other thing these people share is great wealth and successful business careers"

YEAH, THEY WERENT COMMUNIST CHINESE.

"If I were American" I'm glad your not. Clintons foreighn policy did more to harm this country. If i could try and execute clinton i would. I think the powers that be have keep a few things from the public (concerning clinton...either so clinton doesnt get whacked (i think he will at some point) or just to save the fall out. I loathe the man and his familiy more and more each day.
posted by clavdivs at 9:10 AM on August 17, 2002


Once Joe Conservative realizes that their party has no interest what-so-ever in their well-being, or anyone else's for that matter, that is when change will occur.

Joe Conservative was shocked and outraged that Clinton would sully the Lincoln bedroom with (gasp!) "outsiders" who donated money to his party. But, Bush does it, and there is no outrage, no gasps, and I think basically confusion.

Joe Conservative may think to himself "hmm.. when Clinton did it, it was bad, but when Bush does it, it's fine.. I wonder why?" but he won't have to wonder why long because Rush will spend his 3 hours per day of broadcast brainwashing and reassure Joe Conservative that everything is fine, and the only reason the liberal press even brought it up is they are still sore about the election in 2000. And Clinton is still even. Damn that Clinton. DAMN HIM!!!!! (I still get tickled at how often Clinton's name gets mentioned by the conservatives... the man's been out of office for 2 years)

The Bush camp has OVERTLY shown they are completely beholden to the super-wealthy and the corporate elite. They don't even try to hide it. I think they wear it as a badge of sorts.

Joe Conservative is getting his 401k decimated by runaway corporate greed with no accountability. Joe Conservative got back $600 at the cost of his country having a complete economic reversal. Joe Conservative is signing away all of his rights so that Bush can get "the bad guys".

Congratulations Joe Conservative. You must be very proud. Vote that party line!
posted by Ynoxas at 9:17 AM on August 17, 2002


clavdivs: If i could try and execute clinton i would...I loathe the man and his familiy more and more each day.

Now this is interesting. Can rabies be trasmitted over the internet? Should I be looking for the latest sig file for Norton Antivirus? Or is this a illustration of the origin of the anti-Clinton press?
posted by srboisvert at 9:20 AM on August 17, 2002


Clavdivs: Bro, you need to turn off the Rush and Liddy radio shows and quit sharpening your knives all day. If you go around talking about how you want to execute people don't be surprised if the "jack booted thugs" show up at your house. Except this time, they will be the "anti-terrorism police" and your beloved conservatives will be their overlords.

If you think that there was ANY dirt on Clinton that the House members didn't pull out and parade around to try to get him removed from office you are simply delusional.

Clinton was the target of 6 years and 10's of millions of dollars worth of investigations.

His investigation cost 3 times as much and took twice as long as Iran-Contra. Give me a freakin break.

Oh, except it didn't get the felony convictions that Iran-Contra did. Oops.

If there is anything to know about William Jefferson Clinton, my friend, we know it.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:25 AM on August 17, 2002


Here's is what, for me, is a critical difference if it is there (and I haven't looked enough to know):

Are the Bush guests friends who are also fund raisers (it seems to me that most presidents will have had most of their friends do at least some fundraising for them).

From another article I saw that one was a former frat brother, one was a former co-owner of the Rangers, another was a longtime family friend who introduced George to Laura.

These are people who are friends of the family regardless of their fundraising.

But then I had no problem with what Clinton did, either. If we're going to have the president living at the White Hosue, I have no problem with who he chooses to have as guests, or what criteria is used to choose those guests.
posted by obfusciatrist at 9:30 AM on August 17, 2002


I don't get it. It isn't a crime to have your donors and political supporters in for a sleepover, and reasonable people never thought it was.

So the guest list demonstrates that in 466 nights between Jan 20 2001, and May 1, 2002, roughly 108 distinct sets of guests stayed over at the WH (there may have been repeat visits, overlapping stays, etc). Something like 20 of those sets were relatives; roughly ten were politicians state or local politicans; there's a smattering of entertainers. It leaves a lot of room for political contributors but if a $9,250 donor is the fifth largest on the list, then ... where's the smoking gun?

The criticism about Clinton, made clear in the AP story provided, is that he crossed the line by ordering up federal resources (probably just an Access database, but you never know) and using, presumably, federal staffers to track the names of 200,000 donors, and explicitly matching those donors to the "perks," including sleepovers and trips on Air Force One in the Presidential Presence, and by sharing that information with the DNC, all for the purposes of filling his campaign coffers.

The AP story makes clear that the Clinton White House set this thing up in the first year they took office, and that they lied and stonewalled about this system for months until the facts contradicted them. The "Lincoln Bedroom" story had legs because by the time it came up in his second term, reporters knew exactly what the pattern of their reaction would be.

It may be true that overall, one administration is about as corrupt as another one; people from another country have a right to weigh in with the idea that the current president is even more of a "classless chimpanzee." But I've read the source material and in this case neither of those assertions is supported.
posted by coelecanth at 9:52 AM on August 17, 2002


Or if there really *is* something to be said for the media being liberal. Perhaps liberal reporters felt completely confident in attacking Clinton because there wasn't any possibility of bias.

jannak, I suppose that's a possibility, but I tend to think instead that the whole idea of the mainstream media being liberal now isn't particularly accurate - especially for CNN. I think this an idea Republicans tend to promote, so they can dismiss occasional criticism as liberal bias, while on the balance the media ends up giving them a soft ride.
posted by slipperywhenwet at 10:04 AM on August 17, 2002


Once again, GWB gets away with murder - aided and abetted by the "free" press. I suppose all the anchors and reporters get their directives straight from Rove/Fleischer nowadays.
posted by owillis at 10:08 AM on August 17, 2002


If we're going to have the president living at the White Hosue, I have no problem with who he chooses to have as guests, or what criteria is used to choose those guests.

Who gets billed for these private stopovers? The President himself? After all, it's not like laying out the sofabed when a friend's visiting.
posted by riviera at 10:39 AM on August 17, 2002


I would seriously consider paying $19,000 for a VIP evening at the Whitehouse and Lincoln bedroom. However, it would never happen because Im not part of the inside circle. So in my mind, its not just the money, its the fact these are old friends of Bush.. of course they donated money its a matter of course. Maybe we should have a program for normal Americans to stay at the Whitehouse.
posted by stbalbach at 11:15 AM on August 17, 2002


If we're going to have the president living at the White Hosue, I have no problem with who he chooses to have as guests, or what criteria is used to choose those guests.

The problem here is the same as it's been under all Presidents, it's not his house. The White House belongs to the people of the United States and guests are wined and dined at taxpayer expense.

Overlooked in all this is the little detail of *who* these friends are. They are, nearly without exception, multi-millionaire business people... the very same people Bush is running around promising to hold accountable. I'm not so much concerned about him using his job perks to entertain, he certainly isn't the first, as I am about the people he hangs out with.

stbalbach: Donate 19K and I'm pretty sure you'll be considered a friend.
posted by cedar at 11:23 AM on August 17, 2002


This piece is a little old, but it gives one reporter's opinion on why the press coverage of Bush is softer than that of Clinton.
posted by pitchblende at 11:40 AM on August 17, 2002


I think we should replace the president with a Madame Tussaud style wax figurine and turn the White House into a museum, titled "A Comedy of Errors"... or maybe "A Comedy of Eros". They both seem appropriate. Who's with me?
posted by insomnyuk at 11:49 AM on August 17, 2002


Does anybody know where these guest bedrooms are? Are they in the residence or in the "public" portion of the White House?
posted by obfusciatrist at 12:28 PM on August 17, 2002


well, i strongly dislike him. and vitriol is as common place in american politics as betsy ross. when i read that people wanted to drag Geo. Washington out of his home because of neutrality with France, i get ticked off. So in heated anger i feel the way those people did about washington, except i focus it on the living. I cant stand Rush, he's a blowhard. of course, when the tin pale of water of thrown across my face, i realize we do not execute our leaders (unless they done sumtin real bad). And i think Bush and his father are moderates at best...not far enough right for my taste, not far enough left to do the economy a vast deal of good. And I don't like the iran-contra stuff either. It damages the office of the presidency. But i admire the brevity of it and the 'force of will' it demonstrated.
posted by clavdivs at 1:53 PM on August 17, 2002


I, for one, am glad Clinton did something in both Bosnia and Kosovo, half-assed as they were, and ashamed he matched Bush's Balkans nothing in Rwanda.

And i think Bush and his father are moderates at best...

Here's a concept: Start Making Sense.
posted by y2karl at 7:52 PM on August 17, 2002


This is from the Left:
I couldn't care less who the President has in for a sleepover. I didn't care who Bush I had for guests and I didn't care who Clinton had in for a night and I sure as hell don't care who Shrub invites in for a stay.

So what if it's the 'people's house'. What kind of criteria should be used to determine who sleeps over? Should the President submit his guest list to a Congresional Comittee for approval?

Get real people! It's a non-issue.

Worry instead, about who John Ashcroft is getting ready to invite for a permanent stay at his campground.
posted by TCMITS at 9:36 PM on August 17, 2002


I would seriously consider paying $19,000 for a VIP evening at the Whitehouse and Lincoln bedroom. However, it would never happen because Im not part of the inside circle. So in my mind, its not just the money, its the fact these are old friends of Bush..

Please. If you think these are long-time friends of Bush's (and that it's not at all about the money), then I have a bridge in New York I'd like to sell you...
posted by jennak at 11:58 PM on August 17, 2002


It's not about having your buddies in for a sleep over, it's about being able to buy access to the president. In this country we are supposed to have an equal voice. But I doubt John Q. Public would be able to voice his opinions and solicit help that carried the same weight through a well worded letter to his congress person or the president. But Buddy Big Contributor would be able to get his point across over a midnight snack in the Residence.
posted by bas67 at 6:39 AM on August 18, 2002


hey karl, what part of moderate do you not understand. and being glad of half-assed policy really wants me to buy you a book karl. your crap has been shot down so many times it is a joke in this communty. Your esoteric posts are sub standard as is your intellect Karl. you wanna debate sweetheart, bring it on and the topic cause I'll mop your MP3 ass across this blue big guns. heres your concept Karl right.f-ing.here.
posted by clavdivs at 9:01 AM on August 18, 2002


"and ashamed he matched Bush's Balkans nothing in Rwanda."

whba-bah-bah-babah..what is that, a stanza from your latest prose/poem Karl huh. I'm tired of you jack. I tried to e-mail your sorry ass but i cant and i wont go to too much effort. you have been warned. fuck with me again man, DO IT...I fuckin dare you. I dont mind being attacked when im an ass or out of line. but i think you better back off of me son. I thought of meta for this but ive said all i need to say to you. do you inderstand me?
posted by clavdivs at 9:14 AM on August 18, 2002


I suppose I can't reconcile the word tolerant with a man who appointed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, nor with a man who thinks Clarence Thomas is the incarnation of the ideal Supreme Court candidate, clavdivs. I can think of more examples but that will suffice for the nonce. So, mop up my ass with that, if you will.
posted by y2karl at 2:32 PM on August 18, 2002


I could phrase it more incoherently if that would help. ;)
posted by y2karl at 2:35 PM on August 18, 2002


I did my ethel merman for your b-day. MY ETHEL. I'm hurt Karl hurt...I'll send you my Clarence Thomas dartboard next year.
posted by clavdivs at 4:20 PM on August 18, 2002


No 1 is huffin' the same gas U R, pal, plus when you have a gun loving 2nd Amendnment wackadvocate talkin' whack about whackin' ex-Presidents and gettin' all whacked off, don't expect it not to get someone else all whacked off is what I'm sayin'...& it's not like you come with a Rosetta Stone, Mr. Delphic Oracle--if ya wanna be understood, be understandable...
posted by y2karl at 8:08 AM on August 19, 2002


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