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Bush Ducks! AGAIN!!!

15 December 2008


It seemed emblematic to me of what we have seen by our present Administration when I saw the video footage of President Bush successfully ducking a couple of size-ten shoes thrown by an Iraqi journalist in Baghdad over the weekend.  Our brave leader moved quickly to avoid getting hit right shoesin the head by the two shoes.  And while that seems a peculiar thing to do – lobbing shoes at a politician – come to find out it is a cultural thing.  In Iraq, it is a way to show contempt for someone.  However, the poor journalist is likely to spend some time in an Iraqi prison – two to seven years according to accounts this morning – for his “protest.”  To his credit, President Bush said that it was okay, and used the incident to give his hosts a lesson in how free speech works in a democracy.  I just hope some international human rights group keeps an eye on this guy’s treatment so that he doesn’t pay a higher price than he should for speaking out.

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Abu Ghraib: National Scandal

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The Bush administration sanctioned this! Never again!

hurricane-katrina-victims-03

Hurricane Katrina: Waiting for aid...and waiting, waiting....

Hurricane Katrina Survivors - No Help For a Week

Hurricane Katrina Survivors - No Help For a Week

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Too poor and too old to get out of town

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Above it all!

The whole thing actually served as the perfect metaphor for what we have seen for eight long years coming from the White House.  President Bush has been ducking everything thrown at him by reporters for his entire presidency.  He ducked any responsibility for falsely leading us into the Iraq War.  He ducked any responsibility for Abu Ghraib and abuses at Guantanamo.  He has ducked any responsibility for the throngs of parched, wretched poor people stranded without basic necessities in New Orleans as he flew over peering down on them from the window of Air Force One.  He has ducked any responsibility for the leaking of a CIA agent’s name because he was angry at her husband for exposing the lies behind his claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and a connection with al-Qaeda.  He has denied for several years that there has been any problem whatsoever with the economy, ducking behind the statement, “The fundamentals of the economy are sound.”  He has ducked any responsibility for his Administration’s failure to enforce the laws regulating banking and mortgage loans.  He has ducked any responsibility for all the jobs lost to his tax breaks allowing his buddies to outsource American jobs to India and China and other third-world countries around the globe.  He has ducked any responsibility for anything whatsoever that has gone wrong under his watch.  He has proven to be a man without conscience.

"Quack, quack..."

"Quack, quack..."

So is it any wonder that he was able to grin like a child engaged in a pillow fight as he ducked a couple of well-aimed shoes?  Of course not.  This guy is a world-class ducker, dodger and spinner.  He definitely quacks like a duck because he is a duck.  Thank God, he’s a lame duck!  And perhaps the brave Iraqi reporter has given us the cue we need as to how to bid a fond farewell to our 43rd President.  Perhaps as he descends the steps in front of the Capitol on Inauguration Day, the gathered throng should “send him a farewell kiss” Iraqi style.  No, don’t try to hit Gilligan in the head, just throw them at the base of the podium to let him know exactly how you feel.  What’s the harm?  It’s a shame we can’t give him a farewell parade where we could throw the shoes out into the street.  That would be very satisfying fun to many of us.

Bernard Madoff, former chairman of NASDAQ

Bernard Madoff, former chairman of NASDAQ

Of course, the insanity coming out of Wall Street just keeps on keepin’ on as now we learn that former NASDAQ Chairman Bernard Madoff stiffed a bunch of powerful and rich people as well as some banks and charities out of $50 billion in a ponzi scheme.  A ponzi scheme is a pyramid investment vehicle where you pay dividends to the original investors with money obtained from later investors.  Of course, like all pyramid schemes, it fell down when he only had $17 billion dollars to cover $50 billion of owed investments that people needed back because of the decline in the stock market.  And where was our government while all this was going on for 17 some-odd years?  Ducking its responsibilities and asleep at the wheel.  The Securities and Exchange Commission has been investigating Madoff’s operation for quite some time now, but hasn’t found anything wrong.  I guess they didn’t catch on to the fact that there weren’t any investments made by Madoff in any stocks whatsoever.  Gee, who was doing the investigating?

Securities and Exchange Commission

Securities and Exchange Commission

I had the privilege of being a court reporter at the Securities and Exchange Commission back in the mid-1970’s, and believe me, back then, they had some teeth and knew how to use them.  One of my first trips over there was to report a deposition in a case they were pursuing against The Suma Corporation over their misuse of monies in the Howard Hughes estate.  There were 14 high-powered lawyers in the room besides the plucky lawyer for the SEC, and nobody was taking him lightly.  He was one of a number of great young lawyers I met who took on big corporate America and its CEOs to protect their investors and the

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Verbatim Reporter

American people’s economy.  And this was during the Gerald R. Ford Administration – Republicans!  What happened to the SEC?  Has it been systematically starved to death by the Bush Administration and Republican-led Congresses so that it cannot do the job it was set up to do?  Is it just another government agency like FEMA that isn’t up to the job because it has been flooded with political appointees who sit at desks but can’t do the job they were hired to do?  Who knows exactly what’s going on.  But the one thing we can be sure of is that while the SEC slept, Wall Street and the big banks literally stole billions of dollars from the American people unchecked.  That’s right, the Bush Administration ducked any responsibility it had to enforce the laws against these robbers.

Palm Beach townhouse

Palm Beach townhouse

I’m sad to say that I did take pleasure in hearing that some of the victims included the uber-rich living the high life in places like Palm Beach, Florida. They had to sell their million-dollar-plus condos on the beach and pawn jewelry and other valuables – reportedly even a Ferrari and a yacht.  Maybe now they will know what the rest of us have known for quite some time: that the economy is in the crapper and even they are not immune to the consequences of that reality.  Merry Bleeping Christmas, rich people!  See ya at Wal-Mart.

King George

King George

So the guy threw a shoe at the Master of the Duck, George W. Bush, and caused Iraq’s puppet government a little embarrassment.  It may not be nice, but is it such a bad thing that he should go to prison?  I think not.  A shoe thrown in frustration and contempt hardly adds up to all the harm done by our President to the guy’s country and our country, too.  Instead, I see it as the perfect visual metaphorical representation of what we have seen Mr. Bush do at his bully pulpit for eight long years: duck responsibility and the truth.  So I, too, have a farewell kiss for our exiting king.  Here’s a shoe for you, sir, and if the shoe fits, wear it.

KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. 15 December 2008 5:34 pm

    Jack,

    As I have been rummaging around the blogosphere all day, I am amazed at the conversations going on out there about this. There have been arguments about the right of a person throwing anything at the POTUS, to the symbolism, to people railing about how he deserve it. If nothing else, maybe this small action by this small foreign man may be the catalyst that we need to make our own proverbial shoe throwing protests around this country from now until January 20. Anybody got a few pair of old shoes that you would like to throw in a big pile somewhere?

    • Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
      16 December 2008 9:48 am

      To: Willpen,

      Ooh! A counter-fascist shoe burning party! How much fun would that be? Of course it wouldn’t be complete without an effigy of Bush hanging over the pile.

      Thank God these neo-cons are leaving, or we would have to fly barefoot. Oh, what the hell, why don’t we just become a barefoot nation to keep violence against our leaders under control? That whole barefoot thing would probably really appeal to a lot of Palin supporters down south. Now, if we could just keep all the women pregnant at the same time, what a better world it would be!

  2. morelightthanheat permalink
    15 December 2008 10:17 pm

    And then says, “So what?”

    Clearly, the journalist was angry at the death and destruction we have caused in his country — a country that had no connection to 9/11 and no alQaeda presence there before we invaded. There will be blowback from this whole sorry war. The blowback from the immediate event has already begun.

    • Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
      16 December 2008 9:42 am

      To: More Light Than Heat,

      Isn’t our President just unbelievable? I wish we could shoe him the door today!

      KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT!

  3. morelightthanheat permalink
    16 December 2008 11:16 am

    Jack,
    For those people who would like a further education in the contemporary Middle East from an American academic who reads Arabic, Persian (Farsi), Urdu, and some Turkish, I recommend Juan Cole’s blog “Informed Comment.” http://www.juancole.com/ I’ll also recommend a periodic visit to the Al Jazeera English website. My Arabic is nowhere near good enough to read the Arabic version, but the English-language one is not the bogey man the administration paints it to be. It’s unfortunate that our cable and satellite providers aren’t willing to carry its TV channel. The documentary Control Room would surprise a lot of people!

    • Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
      17 December 2008 4:10 pm

      To: More Light Than Heat,

      Thanks for the link. Of course, ever since 9/11, our government has done everything it can to make sure that its take on things is the only one that we get. Didn’t we used to criticize the USSR for this kind of government censorship? Of course we did! So what cable or satellite provider would DARE to carry Al Jazeera? Their management or owners might disappear into Guantanamo or one of those rendition camps that we run around the world.

      It is sad that my country, “the land of the free,” is now the land of the gulag. Who could have ever seen this coming? Those crazy liberal teachers of my childhood just didn’t prepare me for the government that we have today.

      I sincerely hope that the Obama Administration will restore our freedoms and allow us to make up our own minds about what to read.

  4. 1superdave permalink
    20 December 2008 12:21 pm

    I supose we could get along with a few less skyscapers, as well as thousands of our own country men and women.

  5. The Revolution permalink
    20 February 2009 12:10 pm

    Know you all know the truth about our government.while people in Katrina waited 4 weeks while they got sick and died the government did nothing.its time for us to stand up to our unfaithful government.our founding fathers said that when our government can no longer provide or protect us then we as free people can overthrow our government.i don’t know about u guys but i want change.no more fighting for oil and a government that acts faster on events like Katrina.call me a ring leader of a revolution or a fool thats fine but I’m tired of the lies from our government!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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