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Surely This...

Controversial artist George W. Bush, whose paintings of dogs, cats, and portions of his own nude body were "hacked" and swept the Twitterverse by storm, has opened a new one-man show of paintings, consisting of portraits of world leaders, in a library in Texas. Though political content has not usually been a part of his work in previous years, his interest in the subject matter may stem from his brief stint in public service a few years back.
posted by Cookiebastard on Apr 4, 2014 - 127 comments

 

AUMF

60 Words And A War Without End: The Untold Story Of The Most Dangerous Sentence In U.S. History. "Written in the frenzied, emotional days after 9/11, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was intended to give President Bush the ability to retaliate against whoever orchestrated the attacks. But more than 12 years later, this sentence remains the primary legal justification for nearly every covert operation around the world. Here’s how it came to be, and what it’s since come to mean." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 17, 2014 - 23 comments

Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States

"Untold History of the United States challenges the basic narrative of the U.S. history that most Americans have been taught.... [Such history] is consoling; it is comforting. But it only tells a small part of the story." Instead of clips of modern people pondering the past, Oliver Stone's ten-part series relies heavily on archival footage and clips from old Hollywood films, with narration by Stone. Towards the end, he gets into the assassination of JFK, "but that should not detract from a series that sets out to be a counterweight to the patriotic cheerleading and myth-making." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 23, 2013 - 66 comments

Such outcries overlook the close quarters in which [they] work

A recent great pull from White House photographer Pete Souza shows Bush and Obama seeming to not just tolerate but actually enjoy each other's company. This is nothing new, however. Not only have Presidents always still been just as human as anyone else, but they occasionally cross the aisle to have close relationships that can be not only shocking, but endearing - including Barbara Bush referring to Bill Clinton as their "adopted son." Ridiculous conspiracy theories abound, but a simpler explanation may serve: that even the most partisan of politicans have more in common with each other than they would like us to believe - a common background, and often, common professions.
posted by corb on Dec 12, 2013 - 103 comments

An explicit and revealing look at one woman's body

Growing Out My Bush is a fascinating Tumblr where one woman explores the perception of the female body by first shaving and then photographing the re-growth of her pubic hair. Especially interesting are "The Reality of Nude Photos" and "How Breasts Can Look."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 22, 2013 - 123 comments

Go To Bed, Scum

GWAR's Oderus Urungus Reads 'Goodnight Moon' [NSFW]
posted by mannequito on Oct 23, 2013 - 11 comments

Iraq: 10 Years After Invasion

Iraq: 10 Years After Invasion. "The United States invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003 on the false pretext that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. The mass destruction of the invasion, occupation, and civil war followed, and amplified the societal and health disintegration caused by the previous decade of sanctions. Iraqi lives and communities remain war-devastated ten years on. American military and contractor families struggle with the loss of loved ones as well as the emotional and economic burdens of living with long-term injuries and illnesses. Total US federal spending associated with the Iraq war has been $1.7 trillion through FY2013. In addition, future health and disability payments for veterans will total $590 billion and interest accrued to pay for the war will add up to $3.9 trillion." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Mar 19, 2013 - 223 comments

How the Bush administration sold the Iraq war

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” Zinni, sitting right next to Cheney’s lectern, says he “literally bolted” when he heard the vice president’s comments. “In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD [weapons of mass destruction], through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program.” Rachel Maddow hosts Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War, a documentary special, based on the eponymous book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, that will air Monday, February 18 on MSNBC at 9 p.m.
posted by shivohum on Feb 18, 2013 - 218 comments

People full of shit, both liberal and conservative, most of the time.

False memories of fabricated political events [ABSTRACT]. In the largest false memory study to date, 5,269 participants were asked about their memories for three true and one of five fabricated political events. Each fabricated event was accompanied by a photographic image purportedly depicting that event. Approximately half the participants falsely remembered that the false event happened, with 27% remembering that they saw the events happen on the news. Political orientation appeared to influence the formation of false memories, with conservatives more likely to falsely remember seeing Barack Obama shaking hands with the president of Iran, and liberals more likely to remember George W. Bush vacationing with a baseball celebrity during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. A follow-up study supported the explanation that events are more easily implanted in memory when they are congruent with a person's preexisting attitudes and evaluations, in part because attitude-congruent false events promote feelings of recognition and familiarity, which in turn interfere with source attributions. [FULL TEXT PDF AVAILABLE HERE] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 13, 2013 - 78 comments

"the political soap opera that is today's Republican Party"

"Why Obama Is Giving Up on Right-Leaning Whites: For decades, Democrats shaped their policies around fears of the culturally conservative white voters to the GOP. But Obama’s winning coalition has altered that calculus."
"Original Sin: Why the GOP is and will continue to be the party of white people"
"The Future Of The Republican Party Is By The Pool At The Biltmore: The talk at the Miami hotel where Jeb Bush works, and Marco Rubio works out, is of the next president. But can the young senator get out from under Jeb’s shadow?"
posted by andoatnp on Feb 12, 2013 - 191 comments

Bush family data breach exposes GWB's artistic chops

The apparent hack of several e-mail accounts has exposed personal photos and sensitive correspondence from members of the Bush family, including both former U.S. presidents, The Smoking Gun has learned. Among this leak are some of George W.'s self-portraits.
posted by porn in the woods on Feb 8, 2013 - 156 comments

TIE Fighter: A Post 9/11 Parable

TIE Fighter: A Post 9/11 Parable
posted by Drinky Die on Jan 31, 2013 - 36 comments

The New York Times - Complaints Aside, Most Face Lower Tax Burden Than in 1980

The New York Times examines how American taxes have changed since 1980
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 30, 2012 - 105 comments

Rationality and the Mob

Good Fighter, Can’t Cheerlead Worth A Damn. The War Nerd writes an insightful piece on why Obama doesn't get much credit for military successes.
posted by jaduncan on Sep 13, 2012 - 117 comments

Bush Knew More About Bin Laden's Plans Than We Realized

NYT Op/Ed on 9/11: 'The Deafness Before the Storm' "goes into teeth-grinding detail about how the Bush administration had even more advance notice about Osama Bin Laden's attack than we previously realized." Summary: significantly more negligence than has been disclosed.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 11, 2012 - 113 comments

"...the 2012 campaign still looks like a titanic collision between the economy and demography."

In 2008, the National Journal released The Hidden History of the American Electorate, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
posted by zarq on Sep 3, 2012 - 54 comments

It was a good war. (For some.)

Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., repeatedly lobbied Tony Blair to invade Iraq. In the days leading up to the invasion, Tony Blair's Director of Communications wrote that "(Blair) took a call from Murdoch who was pressing on timings, saying how News International would support us, etc. Both TB and I felt it was prompted by Washington, and another example of their over-crude diplomacy. Murdoch was pushing all the Republican buttons, how the longer we waited the harder it got." The phone call in question took place just days before a crucial vote on Iraq, and was one of three personal calls from Murdoch that Blair received in that week alone. Blair recently testified, admitting an "unhealthy" level of closeness with Murdoch, oftentimes communicating more with him than with his own ministers. In the first 19 days following the invasion of Iraq, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News averaged 3.3 million viewers, a 236% increase from the weeks preceding the war. Huge increases in newspaper sales were seen throughout his global media empire, with advertising revenue soaring to record levels. That empire now faces serious calls for it to be broken up.
posted by markkraft on Jun 16, 2012 - 62 comments

U.S. and Israel confirmed as the authors of Stuxnet virus

U.S. and Israel have been confirmed as the authors behind the Stuxnet virus. The program — codenamed "Olympic Games" — was started under Bush and accelerated under Obama. The virus was never meant to expand beyond the Iranian nuclear facility it targeted. (non-NYTimes link)
posted by nobody on Jun 1, 2012 - 212 comments

John Kiriakou

An ex-CIA officer John Kiriakou has been indicted under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information to journalists. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 6, 2012 - 122 comments

WFKATGWOT

Andrew Bacevich on the war: "So what tentative judgments can we offer regarding the ongoing [war formerly known as the global war on terrorism]? Operationally, a war launched by the conventionally minded has progressively fallen under the purview of those who inhabit what Dick Cheney once called “the dark side,” with implications that few seem willing to explore. Strategically, a war informed at the outset by utopian expectations continues today with no concretely stated expectations whatsoever, the forward momentum of events displacing serious consideration of purpose. Politically, a war that once occupied center stage in national politics has now slipped to the periphery, the American people moving on to other concerns and entertainments, with legal and moral questions raised by the war left dangling in midair."
posted by crayz on Feb 20, 2012 - 20 comments

Guantanamo: An Oral History

Guantanamo: An Oral History
posted by reenum on Jan 12, 2012 - 8 comments

Dubya and Me, profile of George H. W. Bush

Walt Harrington's profile of the 43rd POTUS, Dubya and Me.
posted by Silo004 on Sep 22, 2011 - 48 comments

That’s when I lost my country

Three days late, The War Nerd looks back on 9/11 and mourns.
posted by clarknova on Sep 14, 2011 - 79 comments

The GOP War on Voting

The GOP War on Voting [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 3, 2011 - 263 comments

George W. Obama

In a 32 page report to Congress [pdf] President Obama concludes:
...the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization, because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of “hostilities” contemplated by the Resolution’s 60 day termination provision.
Now, the New York Times reports that this legal opinion was reached by rejecting the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department. It is instructive to compare President Obama's actions with those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. [more inside]
posted by ennui.bz on Jun 20, 2011 - 240 comments

Cannabis culture

Cannabis Culture
posted by twoleftfeet on Apr 3, 2011 - 59 comments

“I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up … I finally wanted to speak the truth.”

Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas, spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously) Her replies: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," and that the Jews "can go home" to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else," sparked media outrage, prompted her to issue an apology and retire. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by zarq on Mar 22, 2011 - 224 comments

Debt is Dumb, Cash is King

Dave Ramsey - a syndicated radio host, author and revival-style seminar leader leads a Christian-themed, tough love crusade to convince Americans to cut up their credit cards and renounce debt forever. His detractors say our impulses, not our debt, are the problem.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Mar 15, 2011 - 84 comments

I mentally seceded from the US in 2004

Cartoonist Tim Kreider (previously, previously) of The Pain talks about the last decade, our "disastrous decline" and his latest book of cartoons and essays, Twilight Of The Assholes. Part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
posted by The Whelk on Mar 5, 2011 - 6 comments

"The Package"

Inside the Secret Service. Sidebars: Radio Chatter and The Presidential Motorcade (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 8, 2011 - 48 comments

You cannot wash blood with blood.

George Bush cancels a trip to Switzerland citing “threat of demonstrations” . However two victims of torture in U.S. detention have prepared a criminal complaint against Bush backed by a coalition of international human rights groups, two former United Nations rapporteurs, and two Nobel Peace Prize laureates. His legacy continues with the death in Guantanamo of Abdul Gul held without trial for 9 years. The official cause of Mr Gul's death is "Heart attack during exercise". The Obama administration has decided to continue to imprison without trial nearly 50 detainees at Guantanamo.
posted by adamvasco on Feb 7, 2011 - 85 comments

Al Qaeda doesn't care who's in the White House

Five (sometime) novelists imagine what the Gore administration would have been.
posted by Sticherbeast on Dec 9, 2010 - 41 comments

satire didn't bring down Hitler

In his unedited, fifty-minute interview with Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart explains what's wrong with MSNBC, why you shouldn't say Bush is a war criminal even if it's "technically true," why the real political fight in the U.S. is not Republican vs. Democrat or left vs. right but corruption vs. non-corruption, and how the real point of the Rally to Restore Sanity (previously, previously) was to show that he has no actual influence, credibility, or power.
posted by gerryblog on Nov 12, 2010 - 223 comments

"Look, im not going to debate the issue, man."

"Look, I'm not going to debate the issue, man." - George W. Bush [Press play for the quite embarrassing interview] "I said some stupid things... Here's one of the worst. So I'm drunk at the dinner table at Mother and Dad's house in Maine. And I said to her, what is sex like after fifty?"" - George W. Bush
posted by malapropist on Nov 9, 2010 - 172 comments

The Iraq War: the path to war

The Iraq War: was there even a decision? "Perhaps most revealing ... is what is missing--any indication whatsoever from the declassified record to date that top Bush administration officials seriously considered an alternative to war. In contrast there is an extensive record of efforts to energize military planning, revise existing contingency plans, and create a new, streamlined war plan." The National Security Archive at George Washington University has released a set of documents from the US and British archives related to the Iraq war: Part I, Part II, Part III. Political scientist Russell Burgos (who served in Iraq):
... there is indeed a kind of inevitability about the confrontation, but it was an inevitability created by domestic politics rather than 9/11. In my estimation, the origins of the "path to war" are found in the Republican Revolution of 1994; I will suggest that from 1996 to 2000, Iraq policy was not about Iraq - it was about an increasingly strident partisan attack on President Bill Clinton in which "Iraq" was not a subject of deliberate policy but was a synecdoche for "Clinton's failure."
Historian Robert Jervis also comments. Via H-DIPLO.
posted by russilwvong on Oct 19, 2010 - 42 comments

Oval and Out

A New Look for the Oval Office Obama makes his mark on the First Office. It is a different look than the office of George W. Bush and the presidents before him. And yes, the rug is gone (previously).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Aug 31, 2010 - 168 comments

Ken Mehlman comes out.

Ken Mehlman, the former Republican Party chairman who ran George W. Bush's gay-bashing 2004 presidential campaign, has come out of the closet. He does not apologize, but says he will now work to legalize gay marriage.
posted by CunningLinguist on Aug 25, 2010 - 233 comments

Bob's On The Job

The eccentric independent Australian MP Bob Katter brings bush poetry to campaigning. SYLT.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Aug 3, 2010 - 32 comments

Talking Points Memo: Bush prevented Paulson from briefing Congress

September 18, 2008 - Lehman Brothers had filed for bankruptcy four days earlier and the Federal Reserve had authorized the New York Fed to lend up to $85 billion to insurance giant AIG. That afternoon, Nancy Pelosi called Henry Paulson to ask for a full briefing the next morning. "They said, 'That will be too late. That will be too late. Tomorrow morning, 9 o'clock will be too late.' ... 'We were not allowed to tell Congress, but since you called, we're going to answer your questions.'" The Bush administration prohibited its own top officials from briefing Congress on the financial crisis.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 3, 2010 - 29 comments

If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it.

"George W. Bush Knew Guantanamo Prisoners Were Innocent." In a signed declaration filed as part of a pending lawsuit on behalf of former Guantanamo Bay detainees and obtained by The Times, Lawrence Wilkerson, a high ranking aide to former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell, makes the stunning claim that: "George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror." (via)
posted by saulgoodman on Apr 9, 2010 - 101 comments

* Note: This post is not an endorsement of Tucker Carlson.

'You could wind up with a page only about porn, executions, and Sarah Palin every day.' A New Republic profile of no-longer-bowtied Tucker Carlson as he launches The Daily Caller, a 'right-leaning Huffington Post.'

It may be hard to remember now, staring back through the thick haze of cable-news smackdowns, but, before Carlson embarked on a TV career--and, at various points, even during that TV career--he was a great writer and reporter. His 1999 profile* of George W. Bush for Tina Brown’s short-lived Talk painted a portrait of the then-Texas governor--stubborn, profane, callow--that should have told voters everything they needed to know about why he would be such a terrible president. The piece he wrote for Esquire about traveling to Africa with Sharpton, Cornel West, and other civil rights activists was at once viciously hilarious and bracingly humane, like David Foster Wallace’s or Michael Lewis’s best reportage. At The Weekly Standard, where he worked for much of the 1990s, he was one of the rare writers less consumed with scoring political points than producing quality journalism. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Feb 18, 2010 - 72 comments

The Wyoming Mystery Billboard

Miss me yet? A mysterious billboard has cropped up on I-35 in Wyoming. Nobody knows who paid for it, and the media has picked up the story. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Feb 10, 2010 - 99 comments

Retrospect: 10 Long Years

From Juan Cole: Informed Comment "Top Ten Worst Things about the Bush Decade; Or, the Rise of the New Oligarchs".
posted by adamvasco on Dec 22, 2009 - 24 comments

We Don't Need No Steekin Manual

For your perusal: The New FBI Operations Manual. "Agents may begin such assessments against a target without a particular factual justification. The basis for such an inquiry “cannot be arbitrary or groundless speculation,” the manual says, but the standard is “difficult to define.”
posted by Xurando on Oct 29, 2009 - 16 comments

Sick money

The same billionaires for Bush are baaaaack, and now they want to profit from health care.
posted by twoleftfeet on Sep 26, 2009 - 15 comments

"Man has an invincible inclination to allow himself to be deceived..."

Inside the financial crisis, from a speechwriter's point of view. And from a different vantage.
posted by peachfuzz on Sep 15, 2009 - 53 comments

Dear President Bush,

Demanding that you alone be held accountable and no one else be scapegoated would itself be an act of honor. It would draw a line between the past and the future in the same way that Lincoln’s defense of his brief suspensions of habeas corpus conceded Congress’s sole right to remove this core constitutional provision, but defended his action as a necessary emergency measure because a mass rebellion “had subverted the whole of the laws.” You do not deserve to go down in history as the president who brought torture into the American system and refused to take responsibility for it..
An Open Letter to George W Bush
posted by empath on Sep 14, 2009 - 113 comments

Federal prosecutors to investigate abusive interrogation cases

Big Newsfilter: US Attorney General Holder appoints a prosecutor to investigate abusive CIA interrogations in the War on Terror. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Aug 24, 2009 - 134 comments

Threat Level Elevated

US News reports that in a new tell-all book, Tom Ridge admits manipulating terror threat levels for political motives. In the forthcoming book, Ridge reportedly acknowledges for the first time that he was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he "saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over." But as The Atlantic points out, Ridge apparently gave in to the White House demands anyway, resigning only after the election. Huffington Post also provides additional discussion on this developing story.
posted by saulgoodman on Aug 20, 2009 - 139 comments

The GOP's Misplaced Rage

A conservative blogger talks about what the Republicans are really (should really be) mad about - Bush's terrible economic and fiscal legacy.
posted by glaucon on Aug 18, 2009 - 71 comments

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