Thursday, December 28, 2006

What Bush really said: I don't know where he is

Just as kind of reminder for us to keep our eyes on the ball - and I know it's hard work since Bush doesn't really care about bin Laden, being too busy surging in Iraq, I thought I'd re-reun Bush's exact words on why he's not looking for the architect of 9/11.

This is from a White House press conference that took place in The James S. Brady Briefing Room (hotcha!) in March of 2002, and lifted verbatum from the transcript on the White House web site.

So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. I'm more worried about making sure that our soldiers are well-supplied; that the strategy is clear; that the coalition is strong; that when we find enemy bunched up like we did in Shahikot Mountains, that the military has all the support it needs to go in and do the job, which they did.


Q But don't you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.

Source: White House web site

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The laughs are on me

A reader responds to the accusation that Bush might need a new brain:

"*Actually, send to me by my buddy Terence Lyons, a reporter for The Santa Monica Mirror. Thanks Ter. Oh, in case you were wondering, when I joined Mensa some years back, they tested my IQ at 165."
Rich, absolutely rich. Lovenstein is a hoax.

Claim: According to a study by the Lovenstein Institute, President Bush has the lowest IQ of all presidents of past 50 years.
Status: False. Origins: No, this isn't a real news report, nor does it describe a real study. There isn't a "Lovenstein Institute" in Scranton, Pennsylvania (or anywhere else in the USA), nor do any of the people quoted in the story exist, because this is just another spoof that was taken too seriously. The article quoted above began circulating on the Internet during the summer of 2001. In furtherance of the hoax, later that year pranksters thought to register and erect a web site around it in an attempt to fool people into thinking there really was such an institute.
Well, hell, that sucks. An April Fool’s joke 4 months early. But I see from the first link provided that I’m not the only one to be suckered in by this hoax (The London Guardian and Gary Trudeau also bit). Perhaps this hoax’s appeal lies in its scary, near-reality ring of truth. One does ask oneself, how can this guy (Bush) act so fucking stupid? Answer: he must be fucking stupid, and along comes this old prank to bolster one’s opinion.

However, this Lovenstein report does not take away one iota from the fact that Bush really is an idiot, and yes, very stupid. This last is my personal opinion, based on watching this guy in action for the last several years, including trying to translate his speech from Bushism to English; a difficult and thankless task.

Speaking of IQ's, an ACTUAL study shows that Bush's IQ is higher than John Kerry's:
OK, so I followed that link to the "actual study" guy, and lo, more quesswork. Well, maybe a “study” like I “study” bikini-clad babes, but not as scientific as, say, an ABC news poll. Further, the subject of that article guesses people’s IQs from things like their reputed SAT scores and such. Bush is claimed to have tested at 1200. Like I believe that. Do you have any idea how easy it was then to have somebody take your test for you? I should know, I made a few bucks doing that very thing myself, back when I was a broke college freshman.

But, just for laughs, let's say Bush actually took the test himself. Since the SAT score is a combination of two scores, verbal and math, and assuming he’s got both halves of his brain working roughly in synch (which I doubt) he would have a math score of 600 (barely conceivable, but possible) and a verbal score of 600, to which I say, bullshit. You have to be able to read to take a SAT test, and Bush is dyslexic, which is sad, but it poses a huge burdle for taking tests that require heavy reading ability. But since we're splitting hairs, that "SAT" score that everyone keeps pointing to in the upper left corner of Bush's Yale transcript is actually a C.E.E.D. score (Common Entrance Examination for Design). Why is that on a Yale transcript, do you know? I thought Bush's major was cheerleading.

Some examples of Bushisms:

"It's bad in Iraq. Does that help?" --George W. Bush, after being asked by a reporter whether he's in denial about Iraq, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006

"This business about graceful exit just simply has no realism to it at all." --George W. Bush, on speculation that U.S. troops could be withdrawn from Iraq, Amman, Jordan, Nov. 30, 2006

"The only way we can win is to leave before the job is done." --George W. Bush, Greeley, Colo., Nov. 4, 2006

"One has a stronger hand when there's more people playing your same cards." --George W. Bush, on holding six-party talks with North Korea, Washington, D.C., Oct. 11, 2006

"Update: Amost forgot: if you were wondering about Bush's emotional stability, you might want to check out Dr Justin Frank's book, Bush On the Couch (Harper-Collins, 2004). Bush is not just dumb, he's looney tunes big time." What a steaming pile of you know what! This creep psychoanalyzes President Bush without ever having met him. Well then, I will analyze this jerk. He became a therapist because he is so screwed up he is trying to fix himself. No "Dr.", psychiatric or otherwise, who is worth a cr@p would ever make a diagnosis without a direct examination of the patient. The author needs a few more days of rehab.

Actually, Dr Frank doesn’t “psychoanalyze” Bush; that would be slamming Bush onto a couch and treating him. Dr Frank delivers a diagnosis, much as the FBI profiles serial killers, and the Pentagon profiled world leaders back in WWII and for pretty much the same reason. This is a self-defense reaction, you understand, since anyone (even you, I daresay) is entitled to diagnosis a bully, especially when he’s holding the codes to the nuclear football.

Considering the APA’s rather odd response to prisoner torture in Guantanamo ([During our visit to Guantanamo]...We did not interview any detainees, speak to any detainees' lawyers, or witness any interrogations. We left Guantanamo by 5 p.m.), the so-called ethical position mandated by the Goldwater Rule leaves me indifferent.

For true believers, any opposition to the Left qualifies as mental illness. "Doctors" like this one flourished in the good old Soviet Union, providing a veneer of medical authority to justify sending dissenters to the gulags and reeducation camps. "Bush on the Couch" is politically-driven hate masquerading as professional analysis. The doctor in question should perhaps face professional charges for issuing a false and nonexistent diagnosis of a man he has never met or examined. The people who read this and take it seriously are merely mini-Michael Moores. They are hard-wired political bigots who will believe anything they hear that reinforces their bigotry (like the Lovenstein institute).

“True believers”? “Hard-wired?” "Bigotry"? WTF is that? I think I’ve made it more than clear that this blog is the forum of a politically non-aligned civil libertarian, American citizen, Navy veteran, and ex-big-rig truck driver. We hate Democrats, too when necessary. And what the hell does Michael Moore have to do with anything? Did I mention his name? Did I go to his movies, or read his books, or vote for him for governor of Michigan? Hell yes, to all the above. But you didn’t read it here, because Moore ain’t got shit to do with George Bush.

And as for “politically motivated,” of course it’s politically motivated. He’s the president of the United States, for Christ’s sake: that’s a political office last time I checked. And anybody that wants to be president deserves anything that comes his way, IMHO.

But thanks for the tip.

Here's an article about the Goldwater flap. Note how many psychiatrists signed up to hammer Barry. Shows what shrinks care about ethics committees' rules.

Oct. 9, 1964

"IS BARRY GOLDWATER PSYCHOLOGICALLY FIT TO BE PRESIDENT? asked the full-page ads in the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and San Francisco News-Call Bulletin. Readers who went beyond that provocative question discovered that a magazine called Fact, which paid for the ads, had sought answers from the 12,356 psychiatrists listed by the American Medical Association.

Last week Fact published the results.

Why any psychiatrist would respond at all to such an appeal, from such a quarter, is of itself fit subject for analysis. The simplest inquiry could have informed the doctors that Fact is the by-blow of Publisher Ralph Ginzburg, 35, whose first venture, Eros, was put out of business by the U.S. Post Office on 28 obscenity counts. Yet Ginzburg got 2,417 responses. And of these, two out of three were willing to have their names printed; all but 571 saw nothing wrong in judging Goldwater's mental balance without ever having examined the "patient."

By a vote of 1,189 to 657, the psychiatrists declared the Republican presidential candidate unfit for the office he seeks. Sample diagnoses: "His public utterances strongly suggest the megalomania of a paranoid personality" (Dr. Randolph Leigh Jr., Cincinnati); "a very mature person, mature enough to be a realist, and to adapt to the world as it is" (Dr. John P. McKenney, Imola, Calif.). Ginzburg could not help adding his own conclusions, along with a clutch of malevolent cartoons.

Fact's poll invoked a prompt protest from the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association as a vicious example of "yellow journalism." But the A.P.A. did not totally absolve its members either. Those who responded, said the A.P.A. in effect, were practicing personal politics and not medicine. Which scarcely explained how and why so many psychiatrists confused the analytical couch with the political stump.

(Maybe they don't care for megalomaniacs with access to nuclear weapons. -ed.)