Tag Archives: George W. Bush

Today in Texas History – December 12

From the Annals of the Supreme Court –   In 2000, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Bush v. Gore, holding that the use of different standards of counting in different counties violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and that no alternative method could be established within the time limit under federal law to determine controversies as to appointment of electors – which was the same day. The Court voted 7-2 on the violation of the Equal Protection Clause with a proviso that it was more or less a one-time only decision.  However, the Court was split 5–4 as to whether an alternate recount method was feasible. The widely-criticized decision had the effect of awarding all of Florida’s electoral college votes to Texas Gov. George W. Bush which gave him a total of 271 or one more than needed.  U.S. Vice President Al Gore conceded the election the next day.

Bush’s presidency proved disastrous on several counts with Bush leading the U.S. into the war in Iraq on spurious grounds, the inability to conclude the war in Afghanistan, and the near complete financial collapse of 2008.

Jeb!!!!$$$$? Throws Eminent Domain Stone

Jeb!!!!$$$$? attacked Donald Trump at the latest GOP slugfest in New Hampshire for using eminent domain to take an elderly woman’s house in Atlantic City for a parking lot.  Trump, however, was a piker compared to Jeb!!!!$$$$?’s big brother W when it comes to enriching yourself through the power of ED mixed with excellent family connections.

W had pretty much been a failure at every possible enterprise until he stumbled into an ownership position of the Texas Rangers.  His $600,000 investment somehow turned into over $14 million allowing him the financial security to make his first run for Governor.  But exactly how did that happen.  First, through some slick political maneuvering, he and his partners (primarily business genius Richard Rainwater) persuaded Arlington and Texas to directly subsidize the construction of a new stadium for the Rangers.  That taxpayers should foot the bill to make a billionaire like Rainwater and his cronies even richer was offensive enough.  But it did not end there.  In order to build the magnificent temple of baseball, W and his fellow owners successfully used the power of government to take land from other private citizens so it could be used for their own private purposes.

The details are complicated, but here is what happened. W and his partners in the Rangers convinced Arlington officials to: pass a half-cent sales tax to pay for 70% of the stadium; use the government’s powers of eminent domain to seized land the Rangers either could not or would not buy in a fair market transaction; give the Rangers near complete control over the stadium and environs; and allow the Rangers to buy the $191 million stadium for just $60 million. After 12 years as the sole occupant and primary beneficiary of the stadium project, the Rangers, a privately owned business, will receive title to the stadium for the $60 million worth of rent and expenses that they will have already paid.  Has Trump ever put together a deal that lined his personal pockets at the expense of the taxpayer that compares to this one?  Red doubts it.

So poor old Jeb!!!!$$$$? picks exactly the wrong stone to throw at Trump – a stone that will likely bounce of the billionaire’s Teflon and crash right back into the Bush family’s glass house.  Someone that politically inept doesn’t deserve to be President.

Today in Texas History – February 3

From the Annals of Incompetence – In 2005, former Texas State Supreme Court Justice Alberto Gonzales won Senate confirmation as the nation’s first Hispanic attorney general. The 60-36 vote was largely along party-lines, reflecting a divide between Republicans and Democrats over whether Gonzales’ role in propping up George W. Bush’s illegal counterterrorism policies had led to the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere.  In his post as White House Counsel, Gonzales had written several memos that supported use of torture in the so-called War on Terror.  Gonzales provided cover for CIA agents who were already engaging in universally condemned acts of torture.

After taking office, controversy over Gonzales’ actions quickly surfaced.  He fired several prominent and well-respected U.S. attorneys and defended Bush’s domestic surveillance measures which were in fact a program of wide-scale unauthorized eavesdropping.  The unsupportable firings became the subject of a Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007.  Gonzales was caught in several lies in his Senate testimony and it had become all too apparent that he was in way over his head as attorney general.  He was almost completely ignorant about the right of habeas corpus claiming that it was not in the constitution and his  Senate testimony was widely viewed as a public embarrassment.  Democrats and Republicans began calling for his resignation and for more investigations, but President Bush defended his appointee, saying that Gonzales was “an honest, honorable man in whom I have confidence.” That was the kiss of death and Gonzales resigned in September of 2007.  Gonzales now teaches at the Belmont University School of Law in Nashville.

Greg Abbott to Terrorists – “You Win.”

Gov. Greg Abbott (TP-Texas) continues to posture on the issue of allowing Syrian refugees into Texas.  Abbott must know that he is powerless to stop legitimately admitted refugees into the State, but that message would not play well with his Tea Party base.  So instead, Abbott grandstands making spurious claims about his authority.  But under the Refugee Act of 1980, a state governor cannot legally block refugees. Each state has a refugee coordinator, which is funded by the federal government.  The coordinator works with relief agencies and directs federal funds for refugees. So while Abbott may be able to throw a wrench or two into the works, there is absolutely nothing he can do to prevent Syrian refugees from coming to Texas.

What our poor idiot governor is really doing is playing into the hands of ISIS.  ISIS and the ongoing civil war in Syria have resulted in a flood of refugees overwhelming Europe.  ISIS has seemed essentially powerless to stop this incredible population drain.  That is until now.  It seems clear to Red that ISIS intended the latest attacks in Paris to provoke the exact response we are seeing.  Cut off the willingness of Europe, the US and others to accept refugees out of the fear that a few jihadists might slip through, and you will begin to see the end of people fleeing from ISIS because there is nowhere to go.  ISIS wins.   And that is to say nothing of the moral bankruptcy of abandoning thousands of families who are suffering because of the aftermath of W. Bush’s foolish Iraq warmongering.

Maybe the rise of ISIS was not exactly foreseeable, but that Iraq would descend into chaos unless we kept a major, major military presence there was inevitable.  If Red hears, “The Surge worked and Obama lost the war,” one more time his head might explode.  The Surge working only because, the die-hard Iraqis were smart enough to realize that they could wait us out and that there was no way the US was ready for a decades long occupation of Iraq.  What has happened was more or less inevitable, but was also  greatly aided by the civil war in Syria.  And as much as we might like to, we cannot simply wash our hands of this mess.  Taking legitimate refugees is a part of American tradition and responsibility that we cannot now turn our backs on.  Unless, of course, you want ISIS to win.

The Sinking Ship that is JEB!!!!$$$$?

Red never likes to predict the demise of a particular political campaign, but a strong stench of failure is starting to emanate from the halls of the JEB!!!!$$$$? campaign.   First, JEB!!!!$$$$? announces that he is cutting back on staff, taking some campaign workers off of payroll, and cutting spending by almost half.  Then JEB!!!!$$$$? futilely lashes out again at an apparently Teflon-encrusted Trump making himself even more of punching bag for The Donald.  Then he dashes back to Texas to consult with Mom and Dad and big Bubba – the same Mom who said the country had had enough of the Bushes – or words to that effect, and the same big Bubba whose presidency set a new standard for failure that few could aspire to match.  Words of advice – always listen to Mom and ignore big Bubba.  And now the latest polls show that JEB!!!!$$$$? is in 4th place in Florida – his adopted home state where he was actually Governor for two terms – behind Trump, Carson and Rubio.  Apparently the good voters of the Sunshine State know a bad thing when they see one and the JEB!!!!$$$$? campaign cannot be characterized as anything other than incompetent and awful at this point.  But Red remembers 2008 when a battered and bruised John McCain limped into the New Year and then destroyed the competition – before the utter incompetency of the W. Bush administration ended any chance he had to win the general election.  Red doesn’t think JEB!!!!$$$$? has McCain’s fighting chops, but it’s too early to write anyone off that is still polling above a dead man or Rick Perry.

As They Say – Will Rogers Never Met Ted Cruz

The Texas Tribune reports that former President George W. Bush has little use for Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) and has no reluctance to let that be known.   At a fundraiser JEB!!!!$$$$?, Bush did not hold back about his feelings for the Tea Party firebrand and GOP presidential hopeful.  Bush joins a growing class of GOP stalwarts whose animosity for Cruz is thinly veiled at best.

“I just don’t like the guy,” Bush said at the Denver fundraiser, as reported by Politico. One unnamed donor told the news organization, “I was like, ‘Holy sh-t, did he just say that?’ I remember looking around and seeing that other people were also looking around surprised.”

Another donor told Politico, “He sort of looks at this like Cruz is doing it all for his own personal gain, and that’s juxtaposed against a family that’s been all about public service and doing it for the right reasons. He’s frustrated to have watched Cruz basically hijack the Republican Party of Texas and the Republican Party in Washington.”

Cruz has criticized Bush’s record as president but his stint on Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign figures prominently in the candidate’s political biography.

Cruz gave a statement to Politico that simultaneously called on those happier associations while pushing back against Bush’s assertions. “I have great respect for George W. Bush, and was proud to work on his 2000 campaign and in his administration,” Cruz told Politico. “It’s no surprise that President Bush is supporting his brother and attacking the candidates he believes pose a threat to his campaign. I have no intention of reciprocating. I met my wife Heidi working on his campaign, and so I will always be grateful to him.”

Well, Red and W had to agree on something someday.