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    George W. Bush Tag

    When he withdrew troops from Iraq, Obama himself proclaimed, "we are leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq."  That was in 2011.  Flash forward to now, and Iraq is none of those things; indeed, Iraq is now an ISIS strong-hold, part of their declared caliphate. Throughout Obama's presidency, we've heard him blame President Bush for everything from the still-flailing economy to the rise of ISIS.  His supporters within the media have ensured that this message is the one that Americans hear most often, and for (too many) years, (far too many) Americans have believed what they were told. No longer. A CNN poll found that, for the first time, more Americans blame Obama than President Bush for the instability in Iraq:

    [N]early the same percent of people blame President Barack Obama's policies for the current situation in Iraq as those who hold President George W. Bush responsible, the survey showed.

    Overall, 44% say they blame Obama's policies for the problems in Iraq and 43% blame Bush; 11% say both are equally responsible.

    President George W. Bush gave the commencement speech at Southern Methodist University this weekend. His speech was humorous at times but drew a major amount of applause when Bush touched on the subject of religious liberty. David McCabe of The Hill:
    George W. Bush defends religious liberty Former President George W. Bush offered a defense of religious liberty and faith more broadly while speaking at Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) commencement ceremony Saturday. He spent some of his speech talking about why graduates should be hopeful as they move on from their college years. Towards the end, he offered one more. “And finally, you can be hopeful because there is a loving god,” he said. “Whether you agree with that statement is your choice, it is not your government’s choice.” “It is essential to this nation’s future that we remember that the freedom to worship who we want, and how we want — or not to worship at all — is a core belief of our founding.”
    This video has that segment of the speech:

    President George W. Bush has been quiet about politics since leaving office but has remained active in his dedication to members of our armed forces. This weekend, Bush joined a group of wounded warriors for his annual W100K, a 100 kilometer bike ride meant to honor their service and remind others of their bravery. The Fox News Insider reports:
    Hear From President Bush as He Starts His Bike Ride With Wounded Warriors President George W. Bush is hosting his fifth annual bike ride for Wounded Warriors in Texas. Fox News' own Dr. Marc Siegel is riding along with the former commander-in-chief and our nation's heroes on the three-day journey. "They're injured and yet they refuse to allow their injury to consign them to a dull, meaningless life," Bush told Siegel. The W100K ride involves about 20 injured service members on a 100-kilometer mountain bike ride near the Bush family's Crawford ranch. Siegel noted that for injured soldiers, it's important for them to successfully transition back to normal life, something many veterans struggle with.

    Former President George H.W. Bush spent Christmas this year in the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath. From the Associated Press:
    Family spokesman Jim McGrath said Thursday evening that the 90-year-old Bush remained at Houston Methodist Hospital. McGrath said Bush "had another terrific day and is in great spirits." He said Bush was visited by his wife, Barbara Bush, as well as son Neil Bush. Bush was hospitalized Tuesday night in what was reported as a precaution.
    President Bush spent two months in the hospital over Christmas two years ago after a nasty bout with Bronchitis, but aides are emphasizing that this stay is just a precaution:
    "The Bush family certainly appreciates all your prayers, love and concern. This is not two years ago. It's a hiccup. He should come home in a few days," Jean Becker, Bush's chief of staff, said in a statement in reaction to the outpouring of concern for him.
    A Parkinson's diagnosis has made him dependent on a wheelchair or scooter to get around, but that hasn't stopped him from living an active an interesting life since leaving the White House. He went skydiving at 85...

    Wow. It's not often that I can say it but this new video from the GOP is really powerful. Whoever made this video deserves a promotion. The ad uses an audio track of Hillary Clinton criticizing George W. Bush's so-called "imperial presidency." Via the Washington Free Beacon:
    An Imperial Presidency A new video released by the GOP on Friday calls out former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton for her hypocrisy on the issue of executive action. In 2008, Clinton said the George W. Bush administration was transforming the executive branch into an “imperial presidency.” In 2014, Clinton said she supported President Obama’s decision to grant citizenship to more than four million illegal immigrants. Clinton unknowingly provided the narration for the GOP’s newest video. “Unfortunately our current president does not seem to understand the basic character of the office he holds,” Clinton said of Bush in April 2008. “Rather than faithfully execute the laws, he has rewritten them through signing statements, ignored them through secret legal opinions, undermined them by elevating ideology over facts. Rather than defending the constitution, he has defied its principles and traditions.”
    Check it out:
    “This administration’s unbridled ambition to transform the executive into an imperial presidency in an attempt to strengthen the office has weakened our nation.”
    But that was then. This is now:

    When it comes to the (former?) War on Terror, the media has already been caught furiously spinning legitimate news stories in order to set Obama apart from his predecessor. While the revisionism of the New York Times was remarkable, Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast deserves an honorable mention:
    Obama’s Iraq Is Not Bush’s Iraq Last week, a Politico reporter phoned me to ascertain my thoughts on the new war. Among the questions: Was there concern among liberals that Barack Obama was in some sense now becoming George Bush, and did I see similarities between the current war and Bush’s Iraq war that, come on, be honest, made me squirm in my seat ever so slightly? My answer ended up on the cutting-room floor, as many answers given to reporters do. But since I’m fortunate enough to have a column, I’d like to broadcast it now, because the answer is a reverberating no. In fact it’s hard for me to imagine how the differences between the two actions could be starker. This is not to say that they might not end up in the same place—creating more problems than they solve. But in moral terms, this war is nothing like that war, and if this war doesn’t end up like Bush’s and somehow actually solves more problems than it creates, that will happen precisely because of the moral differences.

    It's amazing what you can miss if you don't attend fundraisers for the Democratic Party. Daniel Halper of the Weekly Standard tells a fascinating story about Obama at such an event in Rhode Island this weekend:
    Obama: Bush-Cheney 'Security Apparatus' Makes Us 'Pretty Safe' President Barack Obama said last night at a Democratic fundraiser in Rhode Island that the terrorism from ISIS "doesn’t immediately threaten the homeland." The reason? The security measures taken by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to Obama. First the president said the situation in the Middle East is "scary," according to a transcript of the event released by the White House. "I don’t have to tell you, anybody who has been watching TV this summer, it seems like it is just wave after wave ofupheaval, most of it surrounding the Middle East. You’re seeing a change in the order in the Middle East. But the old order is having a tough time holding together and the new order has yet to be born, and in the interim, it’s scary."

    A Quinnipiac University National Poll released today confirms what conservatives across the country have known since 2008: that Barack Obama is a dreadful president. Via Quinnipiac University:
    President Barack Obama is the worst president since World War II, 33 percent of American voters say in a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. Another 28 percent pick President George W. Bush. Ronald Reagan is the best president since WWII, 35 percent of voters say, with 18 percent for Bill Clinton, 15 percent for John F. Kennedy and 8 percent for Obama, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Among Democrats, 34 percent say Clinton is the best president, with 18 percent each for Obama and Kennedy.
    Meanwhile, just under half of voters polled believe that America would be better off with Mitt Romney at the helm:
    America would be better off if Republican Mitt Romney had won the 2012 presidential election, 45 percent of voters say, while 38 percent say the country would be worse off.
    There are two takeaways from this poll, and only one of them has to do with the fact that the majority of Americans are experiencing some serious buyer's remorse over all the "hope and change" happening down on the border/in Benghazi/at our VA hospitals.

    A reader called to my attention this sentence  in a Washington Post report about the Obama administration outing the identity of the CIA Station Chief in Afghanistan (emphasis added):
    The disclosure marked a rare instance in which a CIA officer working overseas had his cover — the secrecy meant to protect his actual identity — pierced by his own government. The only other recent case came under significantly different circumstances, when former CIA operative Valerie Plame was exposed as officials of the George W. Bush administration sought to discredit her husband, a former ambassador and fierce critic of the decision to invade Iraq.
    Scooter Libby was convicted for lying to prosecutors and obstruction of justice in the Special Prosecutor's investigation, under a contorted theory that nonetheless prevailed with a jury.  He was sentenced to jail, but the sentence was commuted by George W. Bush. Libby, a close confidant of Dick Cheney, however, was not the leaker. The leaker was an Iraq War critic in the State Department, Richard Armitage. Christopher Hitchens reported at the time:
    As most of us have long suspected, the man who told Novak about Valerie Plame was Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's deputy at the State Department and, with his boss, an assiduous underminer of the president's war policy.
    The prosecutors knew from the start who the leaker was, but went after those closest to the White House not for leaking, but for covering up a leaker the identity of whom already was known to the investigators.  It was a perjury trap.

    Nancy Pelosi gave Harry Reid the weekend off from raving about the Koch Brothers but was unable to come up with a new villain to blame for the VA scandal. Old habits die hard. Joel Gehrke of The Washington Examiner...
    Nancy Pelosi blames George W. Bush for Veterans Affairs scandal House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., repeatedly put the blame for the Veterans Affairs scandal on former President George W. Bush, while arguing that her party has worked hard for veterans in recent years. Pelosi took a shot at Bush while saying that the scandal is a high priority for Obama. "He sees the ramifications of some seeds that were sown a long time ago, when you have two wars over a long period of time and many, many more, millions more veterans," she told reporters during her Thursday press briefing. "And so, I know that he is upset about it." The Democratic leader never mentioned Bush by name, but she alluded to him early and often in the press briefing.

    Stop the presses: the percentage of people without health insurance has dropped in the first quarter of 2014. But if a decline in the uninsured rate hadn't occurred when Obamacare began, now that would have been a shock. After all, if you give Medicaid to a whole new group of people, offer subsidies to a huge number of other lower-income people, and stick everyone else with penalties for not getting insurance, it could be expected that the rate of those without health insurance would go down. And I don't recall (although I could be missing something) that anyone on the right was suggesting that the total rate of the medically uninsured would fail to go down as a result of Obamacare. The real questions were and are (a) how much of a dent it would actually make in the uninsured (a figure that was probably somewhat elusive to begin with); (b) at what cost, both in money and disruption; (c) what quality of insurance would be the result; (d) what the effect on our health care system would be over time; and (e) the effect on our liberty. But anyway, here are the stats are from Gallup. Unfortunately, I can't find a link to the actual study, and I always prefer to look at the more complete picture, but let's look at the chart from the summary version:
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