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I've been writing a book for the past year or so on the Bush years called "Fear & Fraud: A Reconciliation of the Bush Years." Since I've been blogging since before Bush became president, I have a journal of my thoughts over that time.

So far, my theme is that the original sin was the non-Constitutional way in which the so called "Constitutional Crisis" of the 2000 election was resolved. It showed there were no limits, no fetters.

I want to know from you where you thought the turning points were. The election, 9/11, Katrina are important, but there are other events like the plane crash that took Paul Wellstone's life, the passage of the Medicare prescription benefit, and so on had subtle effects that still play out today. What about the New York Times's decision to hold one of its first stories about NSA surveillance until after the 2004 election?

What were your key moments of the dreadful Bush years?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

    by Attorney at Arms on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 02:53:13 PM PDT

  •  Mission Accomplished, all right. (8+ / 0-)

    Mission Accomplished, all right.

  •  Either you're with us or with the terrorists (12+ / 0-)

    That is when I realized we were in big trouble and the goofy guy at the White House was either a clueless puppet or was evil himself.

    I didn't learn anything about the whole "only good this once" SCOTUS travesty regarding the 2000 non election until a government class in 2008. In 2000 I was a stay at home mom of little children and spent very little time on current events.

    "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

    by Deja on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 03:16:43 PM PDT

  •  Bush being unable (11+ / 0-)

    to come up with something he did wrong, when asked in 2004.

    Rumsfeld saying those opposed to the Iraq war were aiding the terrorists.

    Cheney insinuating that if Kerry wins we'll get attacked again.

    Blaming 9/11 on Clinton.

    Condi Rice's testimony before the 9/11 commission about the "Bin Laden determined to strike in the United States" memo.

    The commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence.

    Those are a few.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 03:17:01 PM PDT

  •  Whatever happens is justification (9+ / 0-)

    for more tax cuts.

    Bush ran saying that surpluses indicated that we were overtaxed (despite the fact that we still had a sizable debt to pay down).

    Then he used the bursting of the dot-com bubble to justify his tax cuts.

    Then he used 9/11 to justify them.

    Economy good? Tax cuts. Economy bad? Same tax cuts. The man was shameless.

  •  Joe and Valerie Wilson (16+ / 0-)

    When the Cheney cabal vilified a true American hero, and then used the outing of his CIA-operative wife in retribution for his negative findings on the yellow cake in Niger, I knew there was no bar too low for them.

    Second would be Henry Paulson's three page ransom note to the U.S. congress on 9/20/2008.  This was the "tell" that John McCain was going lose the election in November - the Bush cabal and their Wall Street patrons were going to steal everything that wasn't nailed down on their way out the back door of the White House, including the U.S. Treasury.

    The biggest financial heist in world history still hasn't been, and probably won't ever be, prosecuted.

  •  The darkest eight years of my life...So I'll have (8+ / 0-)

    to go back to the beginning with the stopping of the recount because if only they had finished...this may have been a different world.  

    Arrogance is ignorance matured.

    by jennyp on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 03:47:36 PM PDT

  •  the saturation of oil (7+ / 0-)

    executives in his administration.
    Every damn decision he ever made was with oil interests over of the country.

  •  I knew I shouldn’t have clicked on this one. (4+ / 0-)

    First, may I suggest tinkering with the title?

    Reconciliation: noun, the restoration of friendly relations, reuniting, bringing together (again).

    No. Fucking. Way.

    The moments? Where to start?

    The election campaign. It was the first time i remember all the media cathing on to the idea of splitting the nation into reds and blues. Made it even more obvious how asinine the “electoral college” system is, and I still felt like the lonely voice in the wilderness bitching about it. Then SCOTUS did their thing. Disgusting.

    How the whole nation would’ve followed a strong leader anywhere in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. So what we saw was the “deer in headlights” look for a few seconds, then he went back to reading the story to the children. And his message to us? Duct-tape our windows, and then just go about our business, otherwise the the terrorists would think they won.

    Yellow cake uranium (see Valery Plame & Joe Wilson), WMDs, and Saddam as the trumped-up reasons for going where we knew al Quida wasn’t instead of going where we knew they were.

    Rumsfeld saying, “You go to war with the army you’ve got” to deflect criticism for failing to make sure the army we had was properly equipped.

    There’s lots more, but, I’m sorry. I have to stop now. No reconciliation.

    Fred Upton, Chairman, House Energy Committee: Stop pushing dirty energy, stop blocking clean-energy initiatives. Help lead the transition or retire.

    by Bruce Brown on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 04:16:29 PM PDT

    •  More (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jennyp, 6ZONite, Deja, allie4fairness

      "Compassionate Conservatism." Deregulation. The "tax cuts" that did nothing for you unless you were rich. The VA's unpreparedness. (Did they think no one was coming back?)

      Fred Upton, Chairman, House Energy Committee: Stop pushing dirty energy, stop blocking clean-energy initiatives. Help lead the transition or retire.

      by Bruce Brown on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 04:23:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Did they think no one was coming back?" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bruce Brown

        I too wonder. . .

        Deregulation.
        These are things I see now, and it makes me sick to my stomach!

        "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

        by Deja on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 06:05:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Context (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6ZONite, allie4fairness, Bruce Brown

      The context of the term reconciliation is as in a "truth & reconciliation" commission, something we never had in this country, and, to my mind, until we honestly reckon with these years, we will be held back.

      The economy crashing in 2008 created the kinds of emergency situation that forced us to triage.

      GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

      by Attorney at Arms on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 05:54:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The reconciliation (0+ / 0-)

        accomplished by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission started with Truth: mutual admissions, confessions, the open expression of true remorse.

        Fred Upton, Chairman, House Energy Committee: Stop pushing dirty energy, stop blocking clean-energy initiatives. Help lead the transition or retire.

        by Bruce Brown on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:26:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Okay. My bad. I apologize. (0+ / 0-)

        A reconciliation of the Bush YEARS.

        I can never reconcile with George W. Bush, in the sense of two people or two groups settling their differences with each other and finding a way to come to some sort of agreement with each other.

        Taking the word “reconciliation” in its accounting sense—as in reconciling debits and credits on a balance sheet—and taking the Bush years as the period of time in our nation’s history that includes the 1999 Presidential election campaign up until the 2008 Obama inauguration, the book’s title doesn’t propose a reconciliation with Bush but with a period of time on our nation’s history.

        We may be too close to that time to reach a clear recognition of who we were as a nation. We would need to look not just at our government and the Bush administration but also at ourselves—“we the people”— and at the changes we went through, the forces that changed us, how we reacted, the reasons and causes and effects of our own and our nation’s and our government’s actions, and reach an understanding of how to redeem ourselves and move forward, and then actually do it.

        If your book, Attorney at Arms, can do all that, wow! That would be powerful! What an ambitious project! I hope like hell you do it!

        To continue my list of moments:
        The Patriot Act, The NSA, FISA
        Halliburton
        No Child Left Behind

        Fred Upton, Chairman, House Energy Committee: Stop pushing dirty energy, stop blocking clean-energy initiatives. Help lead the transition or retire.

        by Bruce Brown on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 05:32:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Point of info: One definition of "reconciliation" (0+ / 0-)

      There is a completely different definition of "reconciliation" that you may be over looking.  There is a legal/accounting/business definition.

      It means something like an accounting.  For example, at the end of the year, or end of the quarter, a business "reconciles" the assets (positive property value) and liabilities (debts) on its balance sheet.  There are other similar uses of the term reconciliation that have nothing to do with forgiveness.

      The use of the term, "truth and reconciliation" in South Africa was a double entendre -- to both reconcile the accusations and evidence as a way of reconciling the various groups who were in conflict during the apartheid years.

      So I think a "reconciliation" of the Bush years is perfectly acceptable if it means finally figuring out what happened and reconciling the facts with all the allegations and suspicions about what actually happened.

  •  The turning point for me (8+ / 0-)

    was SCOTUS interfering with Florida's recount to give Bush the election.  That was unprecedented as far as I can tell.

    Close second is the Project for the New American Century's September 2000 neocon wetdream, Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century, with its explicit recognition that  another Pearl Harbor would be needed to get the public behind it.  Hmmm.

    Not to mention the 9/11 fiasco.  I'm not a conspiracy theorist but the official analysis and conclusions about what happened and how are total BS.  And the mystery of  Bush "winning" reelection in 2004, having been the decider-in-chief during (one of?) the most serious attacks on US soil in our nation's history.

    Mediocrities, entrusted with power over their fellow- creatures, invariably develop into tyrants. All history proves it. - Frederick Baron Corvo

    by penelope pnortney on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 04:19:20 PM PDT

  •  9:30 a.m.,Sept. 11, 2008, Booker Elementary School (8+ / 0-)

    Sarasota, Florida.

    Appointed and anointed President George W. Bush sat in a classroom for about 30 minutes as the hijackers crashed 4 aircraft around the Mid-Atlantic states.

    When I knew that Bush did nothing, did not respond at all, sat like an ignorant and catatonic simian for 7 mindless minutes, it was clear that this dimwitted fool would not ever and could not ever function as a Commander-in-Chief or Executive in charge of the US government.

    Almost every subsequent decision and action by this besotted jackass proved his absolute inability to make even simple and simple-minded decisions.

    The Pet Goat

    You Tube video

    We're all just working for Pharaoh.

    by whl on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 04:26:37 PM PDT

  •  I knew we were truly fucked (6+ / 0-)

    The moment John Ashcroft covered up the Spirit of Justice statue for showing too much boob.

  •  the 2000 selection was huge.. (3+ / 0-)

    From that point on, my head never stopped spinning, and I never stopped learning. I remember saying every day I wake up and turn on the news to make sure all the states are still there. What a sea change of reality.  

  •  When Bush was on his post re-election trips (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pitbullgirl65, Bruce Brown

    he was planning on "spending his capital" on the push to privatize Social Security. The events were easily spiraling downhill, but I distinctly remember someone in one of the Q and A sessions asking if he had seen that just released movie "Brokeback Mountain." You really ought to see it, said the young dude from far up in the rafters. Shortly after that, New Yorker printed their cover with Cheney and Bush in their cowboy hats, imitating the movie poster. The folksy tour with the Q and A wound down quickly after that. I think there was the goal to get out every day to another part of the country and promote his get rid of SS agenda. Bush learned he didn't have votes in Congress. But the public spectacle of that question, with Cheney at the time differing from Bush on the acceptance of gay marriage was the beginning of the end.

    •  Also: saying that Iraq surge was a success. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bruce Brown

      The Iraq study group deliberately withheld their findings till after 2004 election (remember, that mid November was Fallujah), and then the big thing Bush took from the Iraq Study group was JUST the surge. None of the other suggestions were apparently worth the listening to, yet it was a comprehensive plan, including some solutions regarding Golan Heights. ...

  •  I have documented on a CD in 2003 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6ZONite, Bruce Brown

    EVERYTHING he destroyed prior to his re election.  I got emails and letters from many people doing the same thing you are doing here.  
    There is so much, it would literally take uploading that CD and listing it here... It was a GOTV..
    This was before his Wall street has a hangover speech.

    I think Bring it On was the most unpatriotic thing a Commander in Chief could say but he was a Commander in Thief.  
    I lived a dream of many when I slid uder the radar and said this to Katherine Harris speaking for disencranchised voters everywhere......  The defining moment was his theft of a presidency... and the downfall of this country.  I did this in 03 October and slammed her on CNN.  Here...for your enjoyment.

    Just how much Koch do Right Wingers want in their life? . United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:28:50 PM PDT

  •  Signing statements. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  A couple of things (0+ / 0-)

    First, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.  The first version of the modern "Just Asking Questions" smear campaign.

    Second, I would include Greenspan's management of fiscal policy - deliberately keeping interest rates suppressed to fuel the housing boom, and then panicking and raising rates like mad to try to put the genie back in the bottle.

    Third - The 2008 Bush stimulus.  By this point, they realized they'd planted the seeds for an economic crisis, but even they had no idea how bad things would get.

  •  "That goddamn piece of paper" (0+ / 0-)

    Of course, I did not know about this at the time it happened. I'm not sure that it ever hit mainstream media.

    If only they had just taken "that goddamn piece of paper" and instead of throwing it in his face as he claimed while he and his robots of evil were drafting the Patriot Act, they'd have wadded it up and stuffed it down his throat. Oh wait, I can't say that can I? Sigh. . .

    "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

    by Deja on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 03:29:21 PM PDT

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