November 20, 2008

"As far I know, Barack Obama is a reader, hopefully we will have a president who reads history and hopefully is not condemned to repeat it."

Snooted writer-actor Eric Bogosian, hosting the National Book Awards ceremony.

Well, gee, doesn't that make Bogosian look ignorant. Bush is famous for reading history books. He and Karl Rove supposedly had a book-reading contest, and Bush read 99 books in one year.

Look for a new theory, Eric. Maybe the President shouldn't be whiling away precious hours with his nose in a book.

89 comments:

SteveR said...

Those who can write and act, write and act, those who can't host National Book Awards ceremonies.

ricpic said...

What we need now is a Coolidge, a minimalist, and we're getting an FDR. Reading has nothing to do with it.

Bissage said...

"Give a hoot, read a book."

-- Krusty the Clown

Balfegor said...

What we need now is a Coolidge, a minimalist, and we're getting an FDR.

Are we? We're getting a president who was a legislator who barely legislated, a Senate committee chairman who never held any hearings (until Clinton started criticising him for slacking off this year, at least), a law professor who never published or did any original research, a community organizer whose attempts at organizing do not seem to have been notably successful, a president of an education foundation that failed to improve students' test scores . . . whether he's a minimalist or just a chronic underachiever, the effect is the same. I'm not expecting him to originate bold new policies.

My worry is that he's not going to stand up to Congress or members of his administration when they do.

Michael said...

If Barack Obama is as addicted to his Blackberry as people have suggested this last week in their articles bemoaning his coming email-fast I doubt he's finished a book in 5 years with enough attention to retain more than he got from the dust jacket.

downtownlad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
downtownlad said...

Does anyone really believe Bush has read even one book since he was elected?

MadisonMan said...

I will point out that the quoted sentence says nothing about how much George Bush reads. Perhaps there were sentences framing that quote, though, that made it more clearly a slam on GWB.

I am hopeful that Eric Bogosian learns words other than hopefully in the future.

Sang Penyamun said...

obama obama obama........ anywhere obama

Trooper York said...

Obama might be a reader but he will never be a reader_iam.

There can only be one.

Joan said...

The only book I want Obama to read right now is Amity Shlaes' The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression.

Richard Dolan said...

It's only a matter of time before Team O becomes the object of counterfactual snarkiness like this. Bush (the Yale-Harvard guy) as the untutored, semi-literate idiot became the preferred caricature for all who wanted to sneer in his direction. When the same snark comes around to bite Obama, what will be the preferred caricature? I suspect it will be an equally noxious stew -- maybe a little Rev. Wright, with some "Hussein" thrown in, seasoned with a bit of Dohrn-Ayres and Acorn salt.

As for O's not being condemned to repeat the past because he supposedly reads history, Bogosian seems not to have noticed that O is reassembling Team Clinton, '90s version, with only a few changes. That was the team that cheered as the two big economic bubbles started to grow, with the dot-com one bursting at the end of Clinton time and the real estate/mortgage bubble bursting this year. And on the international front, there was a bit too much "vacation from history," and we all know what happened when the vacation ended. Even more oddly, the things that Team Clinton got right back then -- welfare reform comes to mind -- are the parts of that legacy that O rejects.

If avoiding a repeat of those economic problems (in this case, a three-peat) is the object, perhaps assembling a different team would be a good place to start.

So much for change. But there's always still hope.

Ann Althouse said...

MadisonMan said..."I will point out that the quoted sentence says nothing about how much George Bush reads. Perhaps there were sentences framing that quote, though, that made it more clearly a slam on GWB."

Nothing explicit, but implicit as hell.

Big Mike said...

The longer I keep surfing the Internet, the more counterfactual everything we "know" about George W. Bush turns out to be.

Which individual owns the more eco-friendly house, Al Gore or Dubya? The answer at http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/house.asp might surprise you.

Who got better grades at Yale, John Kerry or Dubya? (Note that their undergraduate careers overlapped by 3 years.) Kerry got more D's and his overall GPA is a tick lower (though, to be more fair to Kerry than anyone is to Dubya, GPAs of 77 and 76, respectively, are essentially identical).

Clinton called himself the education president, but can anyone point to anything he did that is nearly the equivalent of No Child Left Behind in its effect on education?

Now that Barack Obama has been elected president we are suddenly discovering that: signing Kyoto would have been a huge mistake and the European nations that did so are much regretting it, Guantanamo probably can't be closed after all, and most -- if not all -- of the remaining terrorists cannot be released after all because they are open in their raw desire to kill Americans.

Anybody besides me remember the Two Minutes of Hate in 1984? Seems to me we've just gone through 8 years of hate.

The Deacon said...

Seems to me we're experiencing revision of history.

William said...

I am currently reading Christopher Clark's book, Iron Kingdom, The Rise and Downfall of Prussia. In this book he details how Hegel sacralized the Prussian state. Hegel claimed that the Prussian state as personified by the King was the agent of divine change in history. Marx was exhilarated by this idea. He went on to further refine Hegel's ideas to mean that the (Prussian) proleteriat under the guidance of the intelligentsia was the force of progress in human history....Blessed by hindsight, we can see how monumentally stupid these two learned men were. Perhaps Henry Ford's comment that history is bunk is the only appropriate lesson to learn from the study of history.

JAL said...

downtownlad said...
Does anyone really believe Bush has read even one book since he was elected?

9:46 AM


I do.

The point your post makes is not about George Bush, if you were under the mistaken idea that you could get another shot in, quick, before January 20.

The result, however, is you demonstrate (again) a truly bizarre intense dislike of a man such that it includes his habits about which no one would be able to convince you differently.

You reconfirm an inability or unwillingness to critically evaluate your own biases.

What a truly stupid thing to say.

Henry said...

If Bogosian reflected a minute, he might notice that Bush didn't repeat history. He supported the surge. He won the war.

It was the Democratic establishment, exemplified by Barack Obama, that rushed to repeat history. They were the ones that tried to follow the Vietnam script of dishonorable and tragic retreat.

JAL said...

Nice summary, what Balfegor (9:41 AM)said...

Hoosier Daddy said...

The longer I keep surfing the Internet, the more counterfactual everything we "know" about George W. Bush turns out to be.

It's called the Big Lie. Tell it often enough and people start to believe it.

Henry Buck said...

Is there any evidence that Obama is a student of history? He thought that the United States liberated Auschwitz!

Now, that may seem like a minor detail, but for a "student of history" it would be a grave error. Anyone with a basic, let alone sophisticated grasp of history knows that Auschwitz is in Poland. If the U.S. had liberated Auschwitz, our military would have been far, far deeper into Europe than it was, and the Soviet military would not have made it very far beyond its own borders. There would have been no de facto "Iron Curtain" across Eastern Europe, and the entire history of Post-War Europe would have been different.

It is the equivalent of someone claiming to be a student of constitutional law (or even a professor, cough, Biden) placing the executive branch in Article I.

jdeeripper said...

People who don't read history don't know what to repeat. It's people who read history who are compelled to repeat it and to try to do it better.

Hannibal knew about Alexander and wanted to out do him.

Beethoven's dad wanted him to be better than Mozart.

Saddam knew about Saladin and Stalin and wanted to be as accomplished as them.

Bush Jr want to out do his daddy in Iraq. To take care of unfinished business.

When powerful people obsess on history they often cherry pick the scenarios that serve their ambitions. They think "I can learn from that and do it better".

What we need now is not so much an historian in the White House but a numbers obsessed accountant.

Even if you can put a problem in historical context or see historical analogies that doesn't mean the answers to current problems will magically appear.

madawaskan said...

Wurly-

That would have meant that Patton got his way.

jdeeripper-

Hitler wanted to out do Napolean....

That Eastern Front-itsa doozy...

Joe said...

What is this weird assumption that someone who reads history will not repeat it. If anything, I would think the tendency would be the opposite--that there would be the tendency to think "I understand that person's mistake, I won't make it" and make it anyway not realizing that that person thought exactly the same thing.

Joe said...

Oh, I said what jdeeripper said, only not as good. Regardless, we must be geniuses!

knox said...

Whether or not it's helpful for our leaders to have read and absorbed the lessons of history is an interesting discussion, but in this case, beside the point. Bogosian, like millions of others, simply cannot fail to exploit any opportunity to insult Bush. He likely doesn't even care whether or not Obama reads; he didn't bother to find out that Bush actually is an avid reader. Anyway, move along, there's nothing to see here--just more lies and BDS.

Bissage said...

THIS sounds like a job for
Nonsense Rhyme Cheerleader Man
(a copyrighted feature of this broadcast):

Santayana, Bic banana, Yogi’s pic-a-nic.
Bend ‘em over, four leaf clover, swing a mighty pick.

Goooooooooooo TEAM!!!

paul a'barge said...

Just wow. If my last name were Bogosian, I don't think I'd be bashing anyone else over their authenticity, would you?

Crimso said...

"he didn't bother to find out that Bush actually is an avid reader"

He didn't need to. He heard Rob Reiner tell Bush to try reading a book some time, and assumed Meathead knew what he was talking about. Meathead should stick to making mockumentaries (and Bogosian to writing plays) and stop acting like they know what the fuck they're talking about when it comes to politics.

Alex said...

But you must know that the "Bush is a dummy, he doesn't read books" goes over great at the NYC cocktail parties...

John Stodder said...

If Bogosian reflected a minute, he might notice that Bush didn't repeat history. He supported the surge. He won the war.

I second that.

Bush created his own counterfactual, answering the question "What if Hitler had been assassinated?" or "What if Britain and France had opposed Hitler's remilitarization of the Rhineland?" with an invasion and decapitation of a leader he believed (and was not alone in believing) had similar potential to wreak apocalyptic havoc.

The Iraq war was an act of historical imagination, unlike anything any president has ever done. Bush wasn't trying to merely preempt Hussein; he was trying to preempt a whole chain of events of which he imagined Hussein would play a central part.

The thing is, because Bush acted (unlike England and France), we'll never know if the war was worth it. Iraq looks like a success now, although Andrew Sullivan is rooting hard for a civil war in the next few years. But let's say Beagle Boy is wrong, and Iraq becomes a stable country, a moderating influence on political Islam, and an ally. Who's to say that wouldn't have happened anyway?

Bush thinks his reputation will be redeemed. I think so too. Bush thinks it will take 50 years. I think it will take a lot longer.

John Stodder said...

However, I hate picking on Eric Bogosian. He's in my favorite TV show, "Law and Order: Criminal Intent." He has been a big improvement over the previous captain, portrayed by the bland Jamey Sheridan. I love it that Bogosian's tough-Jew character is so lovelorn all the time, but tries to conceal it. He actually took the coroner to the opera. And he almost let another murderer get away because they'd once dated.

El Presidente said...

Obama learned Hitler and Napoleon's historical lessons from the Princess Bride:

Never get involved in a land war in Asia.
--Vizini

Doesn't Bill Ayers have that in a tattoo somewhere on his body?

Christy said...

How has that conducting-a-war-in-Afganistan-with-ground-troops concept worked out in the past?

Henry said...

How has that conducting-a-war-in-Afganistan-with-ground-troops concept worked out in the past?

Does Obama read Kipling?

LarsPorsena said...

"How has that conducting-a-war-in-Afganistan-with-ground-troops concept worked out in the past?"

For Alexander, Jhinghis Khan, and Tamerlane, not bad at all.

Brute force applied with sufficient ruthlessness works miracles.

Patm said...

That Moron Bush Is Reading My Book

Revenant said...

I wonder what the "history" is that Bush is supposedly "repeating"? A few years ago you could possibly have argued that we were re-living the Vietnam era, but today there's a general consensus that we've succeeded in Iraq, even if most people think it wasn't worth the money we spent doing it.

Michael said...

National Security Network reports on the upshot of the tape in which No. 2 Al Qaeda Ayman al-Zawarhri calls Barack Obama a "house negro":

Experts agree that the release of a new tape by Al Qaeda's second in command Ayman al-Zawahri indicates that Al Qaeda feels threatened and is on its heels after Obama's resounding victory. President-elect Obama's diverse background, along with his pledge to reverse many of the policies and approaches of the Bush administration on issues such as detentions at Guantanamo, torture and the war in Iraq has served to dramatically improve America's image, especially in the Muslim world.


Counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke explained, "Most of all, by returning to American values the world admires, Obama sets al Qaeda back enormously in the battle of ideas, the ideological struggle which determines whether al Qaeda will continue to have significant support in the Islamic world." Having thrived on the decline in America's world image, the impact of Obama's victory provides a direct challenge to Al Qaeda's negative depiction of the United States. Additionally, Obama's emphasis on shifting US attention from Iraq to Afghanistan represents a direct physical threat to Al Qaeda's leadership. America's improved global image and the new administration's focus on Afghanistan threatens Al Qaeda and has led to what experts see as a confused, racist, and off-kilter response reflective of an organization on the defensive.

Meanwhile, experts tell CNN that Obama is poised to restore America's image in the international community.

Michael said...

Rev: "...today there's a general consensus that we've succeeded in Iraq, even if most people think it wasn't worth the money we spent doing it."

Are you drunk?

Show me any articles, books or commentary expressing any "general consensus" of what you describe.

Other than Hannity or Rush.

Doyle said...

So daffy, Ann. Bush isn't famous for reading history books, he's famous for claiming to have read history books, and of course for getting himself in the history books as the worst president ever.

Jeff Gee said...

"Snooted" writer-actor Eric Bogosian? Shouldn't it be "Snooty?" Or at least "Snooter." He snoots, Ann gets snooted.

Stephen Snell said...

Bissage said...
"Give a hoot, read a book."

-- Krusty the Clown

Well done, Bissage.

It takes a special kind of stupidity to think that "improving our image in the Muslim world" counts for anything. They respect strength, not weakness. I've spent time there, I'm not regurgitating masturbatory talking points like the chief troll, who clearly hasn't been there. They will smile at Obama while positioning the knife at his back. They respect Bush like they'd never dream of respecting Obama.

And of course, Dick Clarke doesn't have an agenda.

Obama probably read a history of world war 2 written by some poor soul educated under the auspices of the Obama-Ayers collaboration. Obama's relative was there to liberate Auschwitz, but as part of a diverse coalition of unarmed geopolitical organizers under the banner of the League of Nation's Meteorologists Sub Terra.

Cedarford said...

jdeerripper had a pretty good post.

Santayana should have had a corollary that any who study history must realize that there are a multiplicity of possible outcomes if only a few, even a few minor things are changed in events leading to the historical result.

And of the danger of people reading history thinking it is some magic ironclad roadmap to repeat history by starting out to do the same thing - or a means achieving the exact opposite to the historical result and stopping it by doing the exact opposite.

History is also, as Ford said, bunk if it leads to construction of cultural beliefs of "best practices" of the past that end up crippling present-day society to be bound to acting as if we lived in the past. Witness the present weak response to the "Somali pirate" phenomenon:

Pirates were wiped out in the 18th and 19th Century, and in earlier eras of strong Japanese, Roman, Hellenic, Chinese governments by killing them w/o mercy. By raiding their shoreside nests and destroying anything of value.

But after a few total wars, we came up with a moral code for war and dealing with enemies that pirates and terrorists can thrive in. The US Admiral in charge of 128 billion in naval and air assets in the region warns that Western Navies cannot be everywhere and chase off "suspected pirates" and that all merchant ships will have to either protect themselves or declare the Suez Canal now useless and go all the way around Africa - further crippling the global economy. The shooting of pirates on sight, we are told, would be a war crime - because like all pirates from time immemorial they wear civilian clothes. And the 128 billion fleet is useless to raid and destroy the 8 Somali villages used as logistical centers for pirate raids because "countries cannot just violate the sovereignity of the struggling Somali Government" and any raids destroying pirate nests would VIOLATE GENEVA by killing innocent pirate wives and children and deprive poor villages of boats and ships that besides being used for piracy, are vital for fishing and commerce when not used to board supertankers.

Meanwhile, teams of lawyers and human rights advocates are working the issue from Port Said to the Hague.

All while the entire piracy threat could be ended in a week if the lawyers, pirate rights advocates, and Geneva (killing pirates without trial and killing innocent pirate civilian families would make us worse than the Nazis!!) - all got tossed overboard.

In the absence of history and law and the civil liberties for terrorist crowd fighting for pirate rights so "the lessons of WWII" are remembered - common sense would prevail.

1. Anything that floats off the Somali Coast would be sunk on sight, no prisoners taken.

2. Only exceptions would be ships entering or leaving two Somali ports that Navies of law-abiding countries would monitor, inspect, fit with transponders allowing safe passage.

3. Poor Somalis would suffer as
fishing fleets and commerce outside 2 ports would be grounded and destroyed if going out on the ocean. Tough cookies.

***********************
William 10:56
Very interesting read on how Marx, an avid history reader, took the wrong lessons from Hegel. Marx and his collaborator Engles are great examples of men who knew history well and gave us a great critique of Capitalism, but a highly flawed alternative based on what they called the "inerrancy and inevitability of history showing the path of human progress."

*************
I'd point too that Bush was done in in large part - by being strongly influenced by a history book written by a Right-Wing Israeli Zionist and human rights advocate (Palestinians, of course, excepted).
Reading and acting on Anatoly Sharansky's "The Case For Democracy" lead to 3 years of Iraqi morass, the corrupt democratically elected and dysfunctional Iraq and Afghan "noble elected leaders", pissed off most countries in the region, and alienated Russia with our Kosovo, Orange and Rose revolutions such that they cut off our alternative logistics into Afghanistan, and ended US-Russian cooperation on energy development, China matters, and most importantly - on Iran and it's bomb program.

Justin said...

LuckyOldSon said...

Are you drunk?

Maybe if those scientists hurry up and make that neanderthal, we can ask him if he had any pets. Then we can finally put that whole Palin/Dinosaur thing to rest.

Duscany said...

"He and Karl Rove supposedly had a book-reading contest, and Bush read 99 books in one year."

Man, I had no idea Zane Grey wrote that many books.

Balfegor said...

Show me any articles, books or commentary expressing any "general consensus" of what you describe.

Washington Post, June 2008, editorial subtitled "Don't look now, but the U.S.-backed government and army may be winning the war."

Washington Post, September 2008, editorial subtitled "one result of the war is in: a defeat for Al-Qaeda in the Sunni heartland" (i.e. Anbar province).

Washington Post, editorial concluding "it's now clear that the political progress that the Bush administration hoped would follow the surge of U.S. forces in Iraq has finally begun."

Washington Post, November 2008, article reporting on early withdrawals of combat brigades due to a reduction in the level of violence there.

They may not call it "Victory" (at least not most of the time -- one of the WaPo editorials is called "Victory in Anbar"), but the writing is on the wall.

Trooper York said...

Hey douche bag, Zane Grey is a great writer for his time and his stories are still very enjoyable. In particular his baseball stories are fun to read aloud to young kids as it gives a window into what life was like in the early part of the twentieth century.

Make fun of George Bush all you want but don't diss the great Zane Grey.

Cedarford said...

I think part of the problem with Bush was that he was smart but intellectually incurious from youth until about age 50. Thus his recent love of history books did not come with the generations of thinking and reflecting on present or past events that hopefully create some wisdom - But more of a man trying to read hard to find "solutions" to his present problems. Or reading the histories to justify a course of action he was already on and reinforce his stubborness.

And Bush was quite vulnerable to better-educated Neocons and Club for Growth members leading the poor guy like a horse to water - Knowing which histories about "democracies never fight other democracies", how past war can lower oil prices, TDR, "What Reagan Would Do", and history of JFK and Coolidge tax cuts to steer him to, that would cause Bush to grab on what he thought was a salient fact, and act on it. And the more cunning people's objective of manipulation. Nothing works better in a con than baiting the fish to rise to the hook as a great idea the fish thinks it came up with on it's own....

Lawgiver said...

Yeah,

What Trooper said. Zane Grey wrote about the Cowboys so piss off.

Jeff Gee said...

Zane Grey would not have written "snooted." I'm just sayin'.

Patm said...

Doyle, don't you get tired of all that hate?

John Stodder said...

I think part of the problem with Bush was that he was smart but intellectually incurious from youth until about age 50.

Oh, God, not the "intellectually incurious" cliche again!

Actually, you got it wrong. You're supposed to call people "intellectually uncurious" if they don't agree with you.

Matt said...

So you are defending Bush?

Steve said...

You would have to be ignorant to believe that Bush actually read the books he and Rove said he did.

Crimso said...

"and of course for getting himself in the history books as the worst president ever."

History books should never be written while the events they purport to describe are ongoing.

Crimso said...

"You would have to be ignorant to believe that Bush actually read the books he and Rove said he did."

You were there, were you? Say, is your last name Hadley?

AJ Lynch said...

Michael the German Valise said:

"Meanwhile, experts tell CNN that Obama is poised to restore America's image in the international community."

You are too funny. Who are these experts and where did they get the crystal ball? Obama may be poised once in a while to make a gimme layup in his daily pickup game but to fix the world view of the USA?

dbp said...

Steve said...
You would have to be ignorant to believe that Bush actually read the books he and Rove said he did.

True. It is inconceivable that a grad of both Harvard & Yale could do such an awesome thing as read a book...

The Exalted said...

Well, gee, doesn't that make Bogosian look ignorant. Bush is famous for reading history books. He and Karl Rove supposedly had a book-reading contest, and Bush read 99 books in one year.


ahahahaha.

you're serious, which is the best part.

putting aside that this is bush we are talking about, even purely from a time allocation perspective, that is not possible for a busy person, much less one with the most stressful job in the world, who devotes several hours a day to exercise and has a famously early bedtime.

you sure are a gullible one

Jack said...

Obviously whether you believe that Bush reads books is a litmus test for whether you have an emotional need to think well of the man.

But I'll say this: Much as Bob Schieffer made McCain look young in the 3rd debate, Sarah Palin made George W. Bush seem serious, smart, and even-tempered.

Bissage said...

(1) I finally got to watch the YouTube clip and I’m glad to see that, despite her treachery, that’s a very clean young lady.

(2) I’ve given this much thought and I’ve come to the conclusion that this boy would be happy just to love you but (oh my) that boy won't be happy until he's seen you cry.

(3) Speaking of very clean young ladies, Mrs. Bissage tells me she saw a teaser for the upcoming interview with Ashley Dupré who claims she didn’t do it for the money.

The mind boggles.

LINK.

Ha!

Jack said...

you sure are a gullible one

Ann is perfectly well aware that any information like "George read 99 books" is potential propaganda released by campaign or political staff to boost the image of the subject.

NB: When the candidates released the songs they have in their iPods earlier in the year, Ann mocked and belittled anyone who suggested that the songs were true representations of the candidates' tastes and NOT carefully selected by campaign staff to send a political message.

Given her awareness of reality in case of the iPod, we cannot doubt she has awareness of reality in the case of Bush's books.

So what does this mean? It means Ann is willingly functioning as a propagandist by credulously repeating the claim that Bush read 99 books. Ann has, for a long, long time, had an emotional need to think well of Bush -- and to have others think well of him, too. That's why she almost never posts about him: it's hard to think of Bush and think well of Bush at the same time.

So, the conclusion is that Ann is not stupid, but she thinks her readers are.

Host with the Most said...

Jack,

Nice try at armchair psychology. Sorry, but you need to get a life.

Here's my question: if a so many of these comedians today are supposed to "cutting edge" - you, know, persons sticking it to authority, persons of such courage - why aren't there any ready to take on Obama? What's so courageous about going after Bush? Especially now?

Revenant said...

even purely from a time allocation perspective, that is not possible for a busy person, much less one with the most stressful job in the world, who devotes several hours a day to exercise

It is not only possible, but easy. A hundred books a year is only fifty to a hundred pages a day -- ninety minutes, tops. He probably reads while he exercises; that's what I do. Another way to think of it is that the time Clinton spent banging interns, Bush spends reading. You could squeeze 200 books a year into that time. :)

and has a famously early bedtime.

He's also a famously early riser. He has as many waking hours to read in as anyone else.

Michael said...

Baffllled:

Washington Post, June 2008: "may be winning the war."

MAY BE.

Washington Post, September 2008: "defeat for Al-Qaeda in the Sunni heartland"

THER WAS NO AL-QAEDA IN IRAQ BEFORE WE WENT IN.

Washington Post, editorial: "it's now clear that the political progress that the Bush administration hoped would follow the surge of U.S. forces in Iraq has finally begun."

BEGUN. NOT ACCOMPLISHED...BEGUN.

Washington Post, November 2008: "withdrawals of combat brigades due to a reduction in the level of violence there."

AND THEY'RE BEING SENT TO AFGHANISTAN.

They may not call it "Victory" (at least not most of the time -- one of the WaPo editorials is called "Victory in Anbar"), but the writing is on the wall.

THE WRITING IS FAR FROM BEING ON THE WALL. WE HAVE ALMOST NO LONG-TERM DEALS IN PLACE AND PEOPLE ARE STILL DYING THERE EVERY DAY.

AND AFGHANISTAN IS ROILING.

Michael said...

Rev: "It is not only possible, but easy. A hundred books a year is only fifty to a hundred pages a day -- ninety minutes, tops."

*Based on your calculation, a 500 page book would take 5 days a week, at 100 pages a day. 365 days divided by 5 = 73 books.

And if you believe Bush, while serving as President (and I use the term "serving" loosely) was handling 73 books a year...you probably believe there's an Easter Bunny, too.

Michael said...

Anybody happen to see the video of Bush today, with world leaders on stage not shaking his hand or even making eye contact?

The man is a disgrace.

Michael said...

Host With Small Brain: "if a so many of these comedians today are supposed to "cutting edge" - you, know, persons sticking it to authority, persons of such courage - why aren't there any ready to take on Obama?"

Who says they won't?

Ever watch SNL?

mccullough said...

Michael,

What will you do when W. is no longer President? Are you going to call him up and ask him to play Misty for you?

John Stodder said...

So you are defending Bush?

I'm defending anyone who is tarred by the lazy cliche "intellectually uncurious" when it is applied by people who don't know him or her personally.

Because MSNBC has a White House reporter and the White House reporter calls Bush "intellectually uncurious" doesn't make it true.

Generally, the only people who say that are those who wish Bush (or whoever they're talking about) would change his or her views 180 degrees, and thinks the only reason they don't do that is they're stupid -- a hard case to make for a Harvard Biz School grad -- or haven't read enough of whatever writers they're slavishly devoted to.

I'll admit it. I'm "intellectually uncurious" about what Keith Olbermann has to say, because I think he's a clown. I'm also "intellectually uncurious" about the writings of the ideologue Thomas Frank, because he's got an obvious agenda, and it's pretty clear after reading just a few samples. On the other hand, I'm "intellectually uncurious" about Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity because they are shills for a narrow take on the conservative ideology. I will listen for about five minutes, then switch to sports.

You see what I'm saying: One man's "intellectually uncurious" is another man's well-founded rejection of boring, bad, predictable or intellectually dishonest writers and commentators.

Jeremy said...

Just to point out the obvious - Bush has quite a lot of time to read while he travels. Not to mention, doesn't have to do things like shop or cook meals.

Also, by any historical standard, I don't see how Iraq or Afghanistan can be considered as anything but a victory. People make any claims otherwise haven't read any history.

Soviet Invasion - 9 years, 15000 soldiers killed. Current one - 7 years, 1000 killed (half US, half allies)

Peter said...

I met Bush during his first campaign for Governor. I still smoked at the time and was a delegate to the Senatorial District Convention. Bush spoke and followint his speech there was a batch of running for judgeships that my Precinct couldn't vote for. So I was outside smokin' and jokin' with some three to five other delegates when Bush came out and spent the next three quarters of an hour talking with us and, more importantly, listening.
To call Dubya intellectually uncurious is a mistake. The mistake is compounded when such is said by someone who probably has never spoken with him.

JAL said...

Iraq

Michael Yon

J.D. Johannes

google

etc.

Rob said...

"I think part of the problem with Bush was that he was smart but intellectually incurious from youth until about age 50. Thus his recent love of history books did not come with the generations of thinking and reflecting on present or past events that hopefully create some wisdom - But more of a man trying to read hard to find "solutions" to his present problems. Or reading the histories to justify a course of action he was already on and reinforce his stubborness."

You just made this up as you wrote it.

Rob said...

" ... why aren't there any ready to take on Obama?"

'Who says they won't?'

I do, until they prove me wrong.

'Ever watch SNL?'

Yes. They are completely in the tank for Obama.

Nora said...

IIRC, Bush majored in History. So even if he was not a particularily studious type he would know his history better than average person, or politician.

cowens1 said...

Cmon, people actually believe Rove , or Bush and his advisers, that he was a reader and had a contest. Do you people fall for everything? I bet he couldn't identify 10 of those books, nor answer any questions about them.

You have been snookered for years by Rove. You are obviously searching for any reason to make Bush less stupid than he is. The world has ruled, Bush is an idiot.

Tantor said...

While I support Bush, it strains credulity to believe a busy president with enormous demands on his time read 99 books in a year, two a week.

peterike said...

Obama no doubt reads history, as written by the likes of Howard Zinn. Which is ten times worse than reading no history at all.

What concerns me is that Obama has never shown a shred of evidence of having ever even considered an idea that wasn't from the Left side of the aisle. Does he have the slightest idea of how Conservatives view the world and the role of government? Or Libertarians?

I think his depth goes about as far as "Conservative bad, racist, hateful."

Shanna said...

While I support Bush, it strains credulity to believe a busy president with enormous demands on his time read 99 books in a year, two a week.

Two books a week is average, maybe he reads more on vacation. And, as someone mentioned, he does a lot of traveling. I read on books all the time. I know I don't have as many constraints on my time, but Bush doesn't have to do the everyday tasks, like cooking and cleaning, so it probably evens out.

If you like to read, you find the time. It's as simple as that. If people want to believe, for no other reason than that they hate the man, that he doesn't read, well I can't say anything about that. But if someone tells me they read a book, I would believe them until there was a reason not to. Bush isn't my favorite president, but some people are just so completely insane and irrational about him!

rdasher said...

Support Victory in Iraq day Nov 22, 2008 -- http://www.zombietime.com/vi_day/

ElcubanitoKC said...

How do we know Barack Obama is a reader?

Aren't they assuming a lot?

Aren't they projecting their own image on him?

These people are living in a huge fantasy bubble, and all bubbles will burst, sooner than later.

Orolo said...

cowens1,

"Cmon, people actually believe Rove , or Bush and his advisers, that he was a reader and had a contest. Do you people fall for everything? I bet he couldn't identify 10 of those books, nor answer any questions about them."

How much? I'm game.

Maddad said...

Spaulding Gray was better

Juba Doobai! said...

Michael, you're a moron.

A person wants to read, he'll have books all over, in the bathroom and all. If you doubters had ever bothered to listen to President Bush talking (without scoffing at his occasional mangled words), you all would discover a man who is not only widely read but has thought much on what he's read; moreover, he's demonstrated that he analogizes from history to various present and past situations.

As for Obama, he's already demonstrated that he's ignorant as hell of history. What Obama knows—besides Marx, Alinsky, and Ayers—can be written on the head of a pin in the space left by a host of dancing angels.

Many of you who disdain President Bush as a reader appear to be enamored of a man whose rhetoric is so shallow that he'd be hard put to get the soles of his feet wet in it. If Obama had actually read any history or anything at all, he'd see parallels between himself and some of history's most dangerous demagogues, and he'd throttle back on the faux-messianism. If he had read the Federalist Papers, he could not hold to the asinine view that the Constitution is "fundamentally flawed."

Me, I'd take a man with a long historical view (don't ever doubt that President Bush has that) over a shyster with a vapid mantra of hope and change.

Cincinnatus said...

What is this weird assumption that someone who reads history will not repeat it. If anything, I would think the tendency would be the opposite--that there would be the tendency to think "I understand that person's mistake, I won't make it" and make it anyway not realizing that that person thought exactly the same thing.

Kerry was much more likely to turn Iraq into "Another Vietnam" then Bush was.

RR Ryan said...

Well, one more reason not to watch Criminal Intent. First they lose Jamey Sheridan, Chris Noth and Alicia Witt. At least they still have Julianne Nicholson. And I'm looking forward to Jeff Goldblum. But really, lose the scary guy. He's seriously creepy.

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