Tuesday, November 9, 2010

He's Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

After 2 years of silence, W makes his way back into the spotlight with his book entitled "Decision Points" where he touches on quite a few topics.  Among them, interestingly enough, was the time during Hurrican Katrina when Kanye West made the infamous ad lib about Bush not caring about Black people (Video Below).  Believe it or not, Bush actually said that was a low point in his presidency and that he didn't appreciate being called a racist by Kanye.  Who knew Presidents actually listen to hip-hop artists?

In addition to Hurricane Katrina, the book covers other parts of Bush's presidency, including the War in Iraq.  When asked by NBC's Matt Lauer during a recent interview about whether or not he apologizes for the decision to go into Iraq now knowing that there never were any weapons of mass destruction, Bush, without flinching says:
“I mean, apologizing would basically say the decision was a wrong decision.  And I don't believe it was the wrong decision."

One other interesting point, Bush said that he believed that the Bank Bailout (aka TARP) was necessary and "helped save the economy," which is blasphemy by today's Republican/Tea Party crowd.

Other highlights from the book after the jump:

  • Bush says he attempted but failed to mediate debates between Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, who Bush characterized as “a pair of old duelers who kept their own pistols in their holsters, but let their seconds and thirds fire away.”
  • Leon Kass, a physician, philosophy professor at the University of Chicago and later the chair of Bush’s presidential bioethics council, was ultimately responsible for solidifying Bush’s position on stem cell research. Bush details the myriad advice he received about the decision but ultimately relied on Kass’s guidance to take his final stance.
  • The president believed he could have avoided some of the legal setbacks and controversy surrounding his efforts to monitor terrorists and close the prison at Guantanamo Bay by seeking legislation on military tribunals, the Terrorist Surveillance Program and CIA interrogation techniques as they were created rather than relying on executive authority.
  • According to the book, the infamous “Mission Accomplished” banner aboard the USS Lincoln when Bush gave his speech about the end of combat operations in Iraq was not his doing, but was rather meant for the crew of the aircraft carrier. He maintains he didn’t even notice the banner during his speech. Bush famously landed on the carrier in a jet wearing a flightsuit.
  • Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had ordered the killing of Bush's daughters, Barbara and Jenna Bush, as revenge for the death of his own two sons during the U.S. invasion.
  • Bush writes that he believed his Social Security and immigration reform legislation would have been more successful if he had pursued them in the opposite order; he thinks the intense opposition to Social Security privatization colored the later immigration debate.
  • A way to make government more productive, the former president suggests, would be to have nonpartisan elders draw congressional districts instead of state legislatures.
  • Then-Republican Senate Whip Mitch McConnell asked Bush to bring some troops home from Iraq in advance of the 2006 midterm elections in order to increase the popularity of the Republican Party. Rather than withdraw troops Bush added additional forces in what came to be known as the surge.
And as promised, the infamous Kanye video. The best part of this video is Mike Meyer's reaction and then the cut to Chris Tucker who is like "uhhh, did that just happen?":

What do you make of Bush's "Decision Points?"
With all the evidence to the contrary, why not just admit that he got Iraq wrong?
Did Kanye get it right?
Bush said the TARP helped to save the economy...If Bush ran for office in November, would he have lost to the Tea Party?

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