Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's A Small World After All...

Sometimes I like to play the "What Do They Have In Common" game.  Like, it's cool to know that the members of Steely Dan and Larry Hagman all went to Bard College.  Or that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826, 50 years to the day after they signed the Declaration of Independence.  Or that Carol Channing and Joe Namath were both on Richard Nixon's enemies list (and, presumably) both wore pantyhose.  But every so often, something new pops up that amuses and amazes in the same breath.

This past week, former President George Bush (the two term one, who started two unnecessary wars, not the one term one who only started one and a half unnecessary wars--remember Panama?) was making the rounds of tv shows to flog his upcoming new book.  In a conversation with NBC "news" host Matt Lauer, Forty-three described some of the most pivotal moments in his time in the White House.  According to the former POTUS, Hurricane Katrina marked a new low; well, not exactly the hurricane...


About a week after the storm hit NBC aired a telethon asking for help for the victims of Katrina. We had celebrities coming in to ask for money. And I remember it vividly because I hosted it. And at one part of the evening I introduced Kanye West. Were you watching?


You remember what he said?

Yes, I do. He called me a racist.

Well, what he said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

That’s — “he’s a racist.” And I didn’t appreciate it then. I don’t appreciate it now. It’s one thing to say, “I don’t appreciate the way he’s handled his business.” It’s another thing to say, “This man’s a racist.” I resent it, it’s not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my Presidency.

This from the book. “Five years later I can barely write those words without feeling disgust.” You go on. “I faced a lot of criticism as President. I didn’t like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all time low.”

Yeah. I still feel that way as you read those words. I felt ‘em when I heard ‘em, felt ‘em when I wrote ‘em and I felt ‘em when I’m listening to ‘em.

You say you told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your Presidency?

Yes. My record was strong I felt when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And– it was a disgusting moment.

I wonder if some people are going to read that, now that you’ve written it, and they might give you some heat for that. And the reason is this–

Don’t care.

In other words, in an interview in which he describes his DUI arrest, the decision to go to war in Iraq and other key moments of his life, George Bush says that the "worst moment of his Presidency" was when a rap star who 60% of Americans (and 124% of Republicans) wouldn't recognize if they saw on the street said he "didn't like black people".  Wondering what else was in contention among the low moments of Bush's time in office I put my crack research staff (a/k/a my memory) to thinking of a few other options.  Here is what we found:

  1. the economy tanking in his final months as President including oil rising to $100/bbl; the US going from a surplus to six trillion dollars in debt, and entering the worst recession since the 1930's.
  2. rising unemployment
    unemployment rising from less than 4% to over 8% and the loss of millions of jobs. 
    • not finding the WMOD
    • not finding Osama Bin Laden
    • Hurricane Katrina (the part where people drowned and a city was destroyed, not the tv show)
    • oh yeah, and September 11, 2001
      Another noteworthy part of the interview (airing on your GE or Comcast owned network Monday, November 9th) was when Mr. Bush described topic number 3, above:

      Your words. “No one was more sickened or angry than I was when we didn’t find weapons of mass destruction.” You still have a sickening feeling when you think about it.

      I do.

      This Bush guy sure feels sick a lot, doesn't he?  Hopefully the $7 million advance he received for the book can buy all the Pepto-Bismol he needs.

      Speaking of advance sales, and finally getting to the point of this post, singer-songwriter ingenue Taylor Swift is coming out with a new album at the same time as President Bush's book.  Among the songs on the nation's number one selling record is "Innocent" which details Ms. Swift's upstaging on the MTV Music Video Awards show by none other than Kanye West.  Young Taylor Swift seems mature beyond her (20) years when she sings:

      Thirty two and still growing up now
      Who you are is not what you did
      You're still an innocent

      Time turns flames to embers
      You'll have new Septembers
      Every one of us has messed up too
      Minds change like the weather 
      I hope you remember
      Today is never too late to.. be brand new.

       So yes--I'm sure this still hurts Taylor Swift, but she is able to forgive and move on.  Hopefully George Bush will download a copy to listen to on his iPod when he goes back to the ranch to clear brush.  But deep down, I wonder if, when SHE is old and washed up, if Taylor Swift will one day be asked to name the low point in HER career.  And wonder if she'll say: "that time that Kanye shoved me on tv and said Beyonce should have won for "Single Ladies"...

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