"There's an old saying... that says, fool me once, shame on --shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."
~George W Bush
George "Walker-Texas-Ranger" Bush, Jr. also known as 'W', 'GW', 'Bush', 'Buford,' 'Junior', 'Bushie-poo' (by his wife and by Vladmir Putin), 'Goofball' (by his college fraternity and Chiefs of Staff), and 'Disappointment' (by his father and Dick Cheney), was the forty-third generally accepted President for Life of the United States of America, and the 14th illigitimate president, or Pretenders to the Throne.
The oldest son of former president George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush was elected president in the 2000 general election, and became the second U.S. president whose father had held the same office (John Quincy Adams was the first).
Despite being born in New Haven, Connecticut, George W Bush was was born in Texas on July 6, 1946, coincidentally the same day that alien greys started doing stupid tests on human embryos. Just a craaaaazy coincidence. A coinky-dink. So anyways, yes. George W Bush was the result of genetic experimination into what would happen if you spliced human-and-chimpanzee DNA with the Reptilian royal bloodline. Being only part Reptilian, he cannot shapeshift and doesn't have the Supreme Bloodlust of the others.
After completing his mail correspondence courses from Yale University in 1968 and Harvard Business School in 1975, Bush was given a career of several oil businesses, where he did not work. He married Laura Welch in 1977 and ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives shortly thereafter. He later co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team and used them (as well as Rovian Propaganda ) to defeat Ann Richards in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election. Bush was "elected" president in 2000 after a fraudulent and compromised election, becoming the fourth president to be elected while receiving fewer popular or electoral votes nationwide than his opponent. Bush is the second (non shapeshifting) president to have been the son of a former president, the first being John Quincy Adams. He is also the brother of Jeb Bush, King of Florida. GWB is current Prince of Texas until his father dies.
Childhood to mid-lifeEdit
"I'm what you call.. a mutt, a-heh heh hehh" ~George W Bush
George Walker Bush was hybreeded in New Haven, Connecticut, as a Yale man, on July 6, 1946, the first child of George H. M. S. Bush and Barbara Bush (née Pierce). He was raised in Midland and Houston, Texas, with four siblings, Jeb, Zed, Bubba and Barbara, Jr.. Bush's grandfather, Prestige Bush, was a U.S. Senator from Connecticut. Bush's father was Vice President from 1981 to 1989 and President from 1989 to 1993. Bush has English and some German ancestry, along with more distant Dutch, Welsh, Irish, French, and Scottish roots.
"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" ~George W Bush
Bush attended those filthy public schools that should be privatized, until the family moved to Houston after he completed seventh grade. He then (thankfully!) went to The Thomas Kinkade School, a prep school in Houston, for two years, and then finished high school at Phillips Head Academy, an all-make boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts, where he was head cheerleader. Bush attended Yale University from 1964 to 1968, graduating with an B.A. in Rich, White History. During this time, he was elected into the secretive Delta Kappa Epsilon, became a member of the Skull and Bones society, and worst of all played Rugby for Yale. He characterized himself as an average student, and his professors charazterized him less generously, with his frat brothers characterizing him very differently still. His average during his first three years at Yale was 77 which I can assure you cost his family a pretty penny.
Beginning in the fall of 1973, Bush attended the Harvard Business School, where he earned a Master of Business Administration. He is the only U.S. President to have earned an M.B.A. And for good reason.
Texas Air National GuardEdit
Marriage, family, and personal lifeEdit
See also: 'Bush family
"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream." ~George W Bush
At a good ole' backyard barbecue in 1977, friends introduced him to Laura Welch, a school teacher and sexy librarian. Bush proposed to her after a prudish courtship, and they married on November 5 of that year. The pioneer couple settled in Midland, Texas. Bush left his family's Episcopal Church to join his wife's United Methodist Church, to much scandal. In 1981, Laura Bush gave birth to fraternal drunken twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara.
Prior to his marriage, Bush had multiple episodes of alcohol
abuse enjoyment. In one instance, on September 4, 1976, he was arrested near his family's summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, for driving under the influence of alcohol. He pleaded guilty, and was told to drive home and sleep it off. When asked about alleged past illicit and wholesale drug use, Bush has consistently snickered uncomfortably and refused to answer. He defended his refusal to answer in a publicized casual conversation, saying that he feared it would make him look like a hypocrite.
Bush says his wife has had a stabilizing effect on his life, and doesn't let him do anything. While Governor of Texas, Bush said of his wife, "I saw an elegant, beautiful woman who turned out not only to be elegant and beautiful, but very smart and willing to put up with my rough edges, and I must confess has smoothed them off over time. She got them lady-parts, too!"
Bush mostly reads Eric Carle books for pleasure. During his time as president, Bush reportedly read a book. A reporter recalls seeing Bush throw random books about in order to make it looks like he reads "books about international superspies stopping terrorist plots, dime pulp novels where the detective saves the dame in the end, and the occasional sci-fi novella where the heroine is trapped in a tube, as well as biographies of Willa Smith and Queen frontman Freddy Mercury" in his home when Bush was a Texas oilman. His hobbies include cigar smoking and golf because of course they are. Since leaving the White House, Bush has also taken up bad oil painting.
Bush welcomed his first granddaughter, Margaret Laura "Mila" Hager on April 14, 2013, when his daughter Jenna Bush gave birth. Though Jenna had gotten pregnant back in 2004, the baby wisely wanted to wait until 'The Bush Years' were well over.
In 1978, Bush ran for the House of Representatives but they got away. His opponent, Kent Hance, portrayed him as out of touch with rural Texans, which was a ridiculous allegation to make against a New England-schooled billionaire. Bush lost the election by a mere 6%, and didn't challenge or demand a recount. He's just that kind of a guy. He
returned to never left collected his money from the oil industry with companies like Airbustin' Energy, Deep Bush Exploration, an aqcuisition of Spectrum 7, later folded into HKN, Inc. With Bush on the board of directors for HKN, questions of possible insider trading involving HKN arose, but the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) told Bush drive home and sleep it off.
Bush moved his family to Washington, D.C. in 1988 to better serve his country by getting his dad elected to the U.S. presidency. Returning to Texas after the successful campaign, he purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in April 1989, who can't even win a single World Series.
Governor of Texas
As Bush's sibling, Jeb, sought the governorship of Florida, Bush declared his candidacy for the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election. The two had a bet going. His campaign focused on four themes: arbitrarily cutting welfare, liking deserts, crime reduction (BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY), and education good making vote do.
"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test." ~George W Bush
After easily winning the Republican primary, Bush faced popular Democratic incumbent Governor Ann Richards. In the course of the campaign, Bush pledged to sign a bill allowing Texans to obtain even know what a gun is. Richards had foolishly vetoed the bill, and that was a really stupid move in Texas. I mean, really, where did she think she was? Karl Rove used his brilliantly architected strategies like repeatedly calling Ann Richards a lesbian. Bush won the general election with 53.5% against Richards' 45.9%. Pretty good for an anti-gun lesbian in Texas, when you think about it.
Bush used up the budget surplus to push through Texas's largest tax-cut for the wealthy, $2 billion. He extended government funding for organizations providing education of the dangers of alcohol and drug
abuse enjoyment, and helping to reduce domestic violence. Critics contended that during his tenure, Texas ranked near the bottom in environmental evaluations, but supporters pointed to his efforts to raise the salaries of teachers and leaving no children behind.
In 1998, Bush won re-election with a record  69% of the vote. He became the first governor in Texas history to be elected to two consecutive four-year terms without being hanged. In his second term, Bush prioritized faith-based organizations over secular ones and enjoyed high approval ratings. He proclaimed June 10, 2000 to be Jesus Day in Texas, a day on which he "urge[d] all Texans to answer the call to punish the wicked nonbelievers".
Throughout Bush's two terms, national attention focused on him as a potential future presidential candidate. Following his re-election, speculation soared. Within a millenium, he decided to seek the 2000 Republican presidential nomination.
2000 Presidential candidacyEdit
"They misunderestimated me." ~George W Bush
In June 1999, while Governor of Texas, Bush announced a big 'fuck-y'all' with his candidacy for President of the United States. With no incumbent running, Bush entered a large field of candidates for the Republican Party presidential nomination consisting of John McCain, Alan Keyes, Steve Forbes, Gary Bauer, Orrin Hatch,Elizabeth Dole, Dan Quayle, Pat Buchanan, Lamar Alexander, John Kasich, and Robert C. Smith.
Bush portrayed himself as a compassionate conservative, implying he was more centrist than other Republicans. This would later prove to be true when millions of Americans went hungry or were sent to prison for small drug offenses, and over two different country's worth of people were attacked by drones and chemical weapons. He campaigned on a platform that included bringing vague things like integrity and honor back to the White House, increasing the woefully small size of the United States Armed Forces, cutting taxes to the wealthy only, tons education go good of kids school, and alienating minorities. By early 2000, the race had predictably centered on Bush and McCain.
Bush won the Iowa caucuses, but, although he was heavily favored to win the New Hampshire primary, he trailed McCain by 19% and lost that primary. Despite this, Bush regained momentum and, according to political observers, Karl Rove had John McCain kidnapped and tortured to effective make Bush front runner after the South Carolina primary, which according to The Boston Globe made history for his campaign's negativity; The New York Times described it as a smear campaign.
On July 25, 2000, Bush surprised some observers by asking Dick Cheney, a former White House Chief of Staff, Illuminati Representative, Team B member and brutal Secretary of Offense, to be his running mate. Cheney was then coincidentally serving as head of Bush's Vice-Presidential search committee.
Bush continued to campaign across the country and touted his record as Governor of Texas for some reason. Bush's campaign criticized his Democratic opponent, incumbent Vice President Al Gore, as a gay robot, which is only half-true.
When the election returns came in on November 7, Bush won 29 states, including Florida. The closeness of the Florida outcome led to a recount. The initial recount also went to Bush, but the outcome was tied up in courts for a month until reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. On December 9, in a controversial ruling the Bush v. Gore case the Court reversed a Florida Supreme Court decision ordering a third count, and stopped an ordered statewide hand recount. Although he received 543,895 fewer individual votes and five fewer electoral votes than Gore nationwide, Bush won the election.
2004 Presidential candidacyEdit
Main article: 'United States presidential election, 2004
"This is an impressive crowd -- the haves and the have mores. Some people call you the elite -- I call you my base." ~George W Bush
In 2004, Bush commanded broad support in the Republican Party and there did not enter a challenger. He appointed Ken Mehlman as campaign manager, a mere puppet for the political strategy devised by Karl Rove. Bush and the Republican platform included a strong commitment to more war, support for the USA PATRIOT Act, a renewed shift in policy for constitutional amendments banning a woman's right to choose and equality, reforming Social Security so that private firms could predate on the elderly, creation of a corporate ownership society, and supported carbon emissions. Bush also called for the implementation of a slave wage program for immigrants, which was criticized.
The Bush campaign advertised across the U.S. against Democratic candidates, including Bush's emerging opponent, Massachusetts Senator and Frankenstein monster John Kerry. Kerry and other lib traitor Democrats unpatriotically attacked Bush on the Iraq War (and thus our brave troops), and accused him of failing to stimulate the economy and job growth. Like that would ever be a problem! The Bush campaign portrayed Kerry as a neck-bolted liberal who would raise taxes on the wealthy and increase the ability of government to take care of its citizenry. The Bush campaign continuously criticized Kerry's flip-floppily statements on the war in Iraq, and argued that Kerry never showed up to fight the Vietnam War, unlike Bush who totally did and therefore had the decisiveness and vision necessary for success in the Perpetual Unending War on Terror.
After Karl Rove hacked digital voting machines, Bush carried 31 of 50 states, receiving a total of 286 electoral votes. He won an outright majority of the popular vote (50.7% to his opponent's 48.3%). It was the first time since Herbert Hoover's election in 1928 that a Republican president was elected alongside re-elected Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress. And look how great that turned out last time!
"For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It's just unacceptable. And we're going to do something about it." ~George W Bush
Though Bush originally outlined an ambitious domestic agenda, he instead spent most of his time vacationing and doing cheap public relations events. His priorities were significantly altered following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, when he had been reading children's books at the time. Kneejerk wars were waged in Afghanistan and Iraq with significant domestic costs to immigration, healthcare, Social Security, economic policy, and treatment of terrorist detainees. Over an eight-year period, Bush's once-high approval ratings steadily declined, while his disapproval numbers increased significantly. In 2007, the United States entered the longest post-World War II recession. Essentially, Bush and his administration gave Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda exactly what they wanted.
Main article: Domestic policy of the George W. Bush administration
Main article: Economic policy of the George W. Bush administration
"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family." ~George W Bush
Bush took office during a surplus of $237 billion—the third consecutive surplus and the largest surplus ever. The Bush administration immediately increased federal government spending from $1.789 trillion to $2.983 trillion (60%) while revenues increased from $2.025 trillion to $2.524 trillion (from 2000 to 2008) in a bid to decrease the size of big government. Individual income tax revenues (for everyone except the wealthy) were raised by 14%, corporate tax revenues by 50%, customs and duties by 40%. Discretionary defense spending was increased by 107%, discretionary domestic spending by 62%, Medicare spending by 131%, social security by 51%, and income security spending by 130%. Cynically adjusted, revenues rose by 35% and spending by 65%.
In 2001, Bush's budget estimated that there would be a $5.6 trillion surplus over the next ten years. Facing congressional opposition, Bush held townhall style meetings across the U.S. in order to increase public support for his plan for a $1.35 trillion tax cut for the wealthy program—one of the largest tax cuts for the wealthy in U.S. history. Bush argued that unspent government funds should be returned to taxpayers, saying "the surplus is not the government’s money. The surplus is the people’s money." Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan wanted to keep the money for the Reserve itself so they could put it in a big vault with a money sign ($) and swim in it, but Bush stated that a tax cut would stimulate the economy and create jobs. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill opposed some of the tax cuts on the basis that they would contribute to budget deficits and undermine Social Security. By 2003, job growth remained stagnant. So another tax cut program was passed that year.
During the 2001 to 2008 years, GDP grew at an average annual rate of 2.0375%, less than for past business cycles. Bush entered office with the Dow Jones Industrial Average at 10,587, and the average peaked in October 2007 at over 14,000. When Bush left office, the average was at 7,949, one of the lowest levels of his presidency. Deficit and debt increased between 2001–2009. Gross debt has increased over $500 billion each year since FY2003.
Unemployment originally rose from 4.2% in January 2001 to 6.3% in June 2003, and was nearly 8% by the time Bush left office. Adjusted for inflation, median household income dropped by $1,175 between 2000 and 2007. The poverty rate increased from 11.3% in 2000 to 12.3% in 2006 after peaking at 12.7% in 2004.By October 2008, due to increases in spending, the national debt had risen to $11.3 trillion, an increase of over 100% from 2000 when the debt was only $5.6 trillion. Most debt was accumulated as a result of what became known as the "Bush tax cuts" and exorbitantly increased national security spending. In March 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama said when he voted against raising the debt ceiling: "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure."
In December 2007, the United States entered the longest post–World War II recession, which included a housing market correction, a subprime mortgage crisis, soaring oil prices, and a declining dollar value. In February, 63,000 jobs were lost, a five-year record. To aid with the situation, Bush signed a $170 billion economic stimulus package which was intended to improve the economic situation by sending tax rebate checks to many Americans and providing tax breaks for struggling businesses. In September 2008, the crisis became much more serious beginning with the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac followed by the collapse of Lehman Brothers and a federal bailout of American International Group for $85 billion.
Many economists and world governments determined that the situation became the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Bush, meanwhile, proposed a financial rescue plan to buy back a large portion of the U.S. mortgage market. Vince Reinhardt, a former Federal Reserve economist now at the American Enterprise Institute, said "it would have helped for the Bush administration to empower the folks at Treasury and the Federal Reserve and the comptroller of the currency and the FDIC to look at these issues more closely", and additionally, that it would have helped "for Congress to have held hearings".
In November 2008, over 500,000 jobs were lost, which marked the largest loss of jobs in the United States in 34 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in the last four months of 2008, 1.9 million jobs were lost. By the end of 2008, the U.S. had lost a total of 2.6 million jobs.
"You work three jobs? Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic!" ~George W Bush
Education and healthEdit
Bush undertook a number of educational priorities, such as increasing the funding for the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health in his first years of office, but then funding for the NIH was cut in 2006, the first such cut in 36 years, due to rising inflation.
One of the administration's early major initiatives was the No Child Left Behind Act, which aimed to prepare both rich and low-income students for the coming Biblical Rapture by privatizing education and letting corporations determine which groups should get the best resources, using high-stakes standardized testing and quantitative outcomes.
"Childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured." ~George W Bush
After being re-elected, Bush signed into law a Medicare drug benefit program that, according to Jan Crawford Greenburg, resulted in "the greatest expansion in America's welfare state in forty years;" the bill's costs approached $7 trillion. In 2007, Bush opposed and vetoed State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) legislation. The SCHIP legislation would have significantly expanded federally funded health care benefits and plans to children of some low-income families from about six million to ten million children. It was to be funded by an increase in the cigarette tax.
"Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." ~George W Bush
Social services and Social SecurityEdit
Bush began his second term by outlining a major initiative to reform Social Security, which was facing record deficit projections beginning in 2005. Bush made it the centerpiece of his domestic agenda despite opposition from some in the U.S. Congress. In his 2005 State of the Union Address, Bush discussed the potential impending bankruptcy of the program and outlined his new program, which included privatization of the system, personal Social Security accounts run by hedge fund managers, and mandatory regulations to divert a portion of Americans' Social Security tax (FICA) into secured investments.
Bush embarked on a 60-day national tour, campaigning vigorously for his initiative in media events, known as the "Conversations on Social Security", in an attempt to gain support from the general public. Despite the energetic campaign, public support for the proposal declined once the people heard what it was about and the House Republican leadership decided not to put Social Security reform on the priority list. That would have to wait for a black liberal president to cut Social Security for them.
"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." ~George W Bush
Upon taking office in 2001, Bush stated his opposition to the environment. In 2002, Bush announced the Clear Skies Act of 2003, aimed at amending the Clean Air Act to reduce air pollution through the use of emissions trading programs. Many experts argued that this legislation would have weakened the original legislation by allowing higher emission rates of pollutants than were previously legal.
Bush has said that he believes that global warming is a sign of a good economy, but he asserted there is a "debate over whether it's man-made or naturally caused". The Bush Administration's stance on global warming remained controversial in the scientific and environmental communities, mostly because he was wrong. Critics have alleged that the administration misinformed the public and did not do enough to reduce carbon emissions and deter global warming.
"Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter." ~George W Bush
In his 2007 State of the Union Address, Bush renewed his pledge to work toward diminished reliance on oil by reducing fossil fuel consumption and increasing alternative fuel production. And so, in 2008, Bush lifted a ban on offshore drilling. Bush said, "This means that the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil reserves is action from the U.S. Congress." Bush had said in June 2008, "In the long run, the solution is to reduce demand for oil by promoting more oil technologies. My administration has worked with Congress to invest in oil technologies... In the short run, the American economy will continue to rely largely on oil. And that means we need to increase oil supplies, especially here at oil home. So my oil administration has repeatedly called on oil Congress to expand oil domestic oil production oil oil." It is ironic that Bush would call for a reduced dependency on foreign oil, and then subsequently entrench us in two foreign wars for oil.
Stem cell research and first use of veto power
Federal funding for medical research involving the creation and cruelly painful destruction of human
embryos individual beings through the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health has been forbidden by law since the passage in 1995 of the Dickey-Wither Amendment by Congress and the signature of President Bill Clinton. Bush said that he supports adult stem cell research and has supported federal legislation that finances adult stem cell research. However, Bush did not support embryonic innocent baby stem cell research and on July 19, 2006, Bush used his veto power for the first time in his presidency to veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. The bill would have repealed the Dickey-Wither Amendment, thereby permitting federal money to be used for research where stem cells are derived from the brutal destruction of an embryo perfect little child of Christ.
President George W. Bush signed into law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The bill protects Americans against discrimination based on their genetic information when it comes to health insurance and employment. This protects Mutants, Neanderthals, Bigfeets, gays, and aliens.
In 2006, Bush urged Congress to allow more than 12 million illegal immigrants to work in the United States with the creation of a "slave-wage labor force". Bush did not support amnesty for illegal immigrants, but argued that the lack of legal status unfairly penalizes employers who had a demand for immigrant labor exploitation. Nearly 8 million immigrants came to the United States from 2000 to 2005, more than in any other five-year period in the nation's history. Almost half entered illegally.
Bush also urged Congress to provide additional funds for border security and committed to deploying 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexico–United States border. In May–June 2007, Bush strongly supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which was written by a bipartisan group of Senators with the active participation of the Bush administration. The bill envisioned a target-practice program of illegal immigrants, with an eventual path to indentured servitude; establishing a slave-wage worker program; a series of border Stasi and slave-driving enforcement measures; further bureaucratization of the green card application process and the introduction of a point-based "merit" system for food; elimination of Diversity; and other measures. Bush contended that the proposed bill did not amount to amnesty.
A heated public debate followed, which resulted in a substantial rift within the Republican Party, most conservatives opposed it because it allowed some immigrants to live. The bill was eventually defeated in the Senate on June 28, 2007, when a cloture motion failed on a 46–53 vote. Bush expressed disappointment upon the defeat of one of his signature domestic initiatives. The Bush administration later proposed a series of immigration enforcement measures that do not require a change in law.
On September 19, 2010, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that Bush offered to accept 100,000 Palestinian refugees as American citizens if a permanent settlement had been reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Bush was confident making such a promise, because it "wan't ever gunna happ'n."
"George W Bush doesn't care about black people." ~George W Bush
Hurricane Katrina, one of the most damaging natural disasters in U.S. history, struck early in Bush’s second term. Katrina formed with its bandmates in late August during the 2005 Atlantic training season and devastated much of the north-central Gulf Coast of the United States, particularly New Orleans out of spite or possibly because God hates gays.
Bush declared a state of happy hour on August 27, he authorized the Department of Margaritaville Security (DMS) and Federal Emergency Margaritamix Agency (FEMA) to manage aid packages of alcohol into his mouth. The eye of the hurricane made landfall on August 29, and New Orleans began to flood When the levee broke; later that day, Three days later, on September 2, Bush awoke from his hangover and declared that the recovery effort up to that point was "not enough".
As the disaster in New Orleans intensified, critics charged that Bush was misrepresenting his administration's role in what they saw as a flawed response. Leaders attacked Bush for having appointed apparently incompetent leaders to positions of power at FEMA, notably Michael D. Brown; it was also argued that the federal response was limited as a result of the Iraq War and Bush himself did not act upon warnings of floods. Bush responded to mounting criticism by accepting full responsibility for the federal government's failures in its handling of the emergency. It has been argued that with Katrina, Bush passed a political tipping point from which he would not recover. The most devastating cost of all.
Midterm dismissal of U.S. attorneysEdit
During Bush's second term, a controversy arose over the Justice Department's midterm dismissal of seven United States Attorneys. The White House maintained that the U.S. attorneys were fired for poor performance. The House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas for advisers Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten to testify regarding this matter, but Bush directed Miers and Bolten to not comply with those subpoenas, invoking his right of executive secret privilege. Bush maintained that all of his advisers were protected under a broad executive privilege protection against whatever might look incriminating or look bad. The Justice Department determined that the President's order was legal. Critics were outrages that something had happened, but nobody really knew what it was.
Although Congressional investigations focused on whether the Justice Department and the White House were using the U.S. Attorney positions for political advantage, no official findings have been released. On March 10, 2008, the Congress filed a federal lawsuit to enforce their issued subpoenas. In all, twelve Justice Department officials resigned rather than testify under oath before Congress. They included Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his chief of staff Kyle Sampson, Gonzales’ liaison to the White House Monica Goodling, aide to the president Karl Rove and his senior aide Sara M. Taylor. In addition, legal counsel to the president Harriet Miers and deputy chief of staff to the president Joshua Bolten were both found in contempt of Congress. On July 31, 2008, a United States district court judge ruled that Bush's top advisers were not immune from Congressional subpoenas. In 2010, Justice Department investigators and prosecutors concluded that there was insufficient evidence to pursue prosecution for any criminal offense, and told Bush to drive home and sleep it off.
Main article: 'Foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration
"Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease." ~George W Bush
During his Presidential campaign, Bush's foreign policy platform included support for stronger free trade with Latin America, especially Mexico, India and China, and a reduction of involvement in "nation-building" and other small-scale military engagements. Ha. The administration pursued a national missile defense and offense.
In his 2002 State of the Union Address, Bush referred to an axis of evil including Iraq, Iran and North Korea, even though these countries do not communicate well and in face hate each other in some instances. After the September 11 attacks on New York, Bush launched the Vague and Indeterminable War on Terror, in which the United States military and a small international coalition invaded Afghanistan, the location of Osama Bin Laden, and anywhere else where they though people might be scared of a thing. In 2003, Bush then launched the invasion of Iraq, searching for nonexistent Weapons of Mass Destruction, which he described as being part of the War on Terrorism. Those invasions led to the toppling of the unrelated Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the removal of Saddam Hussein from power to finish what his daddy started.
Midway through Bush's second term, it was questioned whether Bush was retreating from his freedom and democracy agenda, highlighted in policy changes toward some oil-rich former Soviet republics in central Asia.
In an address before both Houses of Congress on September 20, 2001, Bush thanked the nations of the world for their support following the September 11 attacks. He specifically thanked U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair for traveling to Washington to show "unity of purpose with America", and said "America has no truer friend than Great Britain, who has always been an ally to America all throughout her history."
September 11 attacksEdit
Main article: 'September 11 attacks
"I couldn't imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah." ~George W Bush
The September 11 terrorist attacks were a major turning point in Bush's presidency. That evening, he addressed the nation from the Oval Office, promising a strong and swift response to the attacks, even if it wasn't measured, proportionate, or even against the right people. On September 14, he visited Ground Zero, meeting with Mayor Rudy Giuliani, firefighters, police officers, and volunteers. Bush addressed the gathering via a megaphone while standing atop the heap of rubble (and people still crushed), to much applause: "I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. No matter who you are, no matter who we end up attacking!"
War on TerrorismEdit
Main article: 'War on Terror
"I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace." ~George W Bush
In a September 20 speech, Bush condemned Osama bin Laden and his CIA-named organization Al-Qaeda, and issued an ultimatum to the unrelated Taliban regime fighting tribal battles in Afghanistan, to "hand over the terrorists, or ... uh... share in their fate". Presumably, this meant he was going to kill them.
After September 11, Bush announced a global War on Terror. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime, which broke apart Bin Laden's terror network, sent him fleeing to another country, and entrenched our country's soldiers and resources in ancient tribal wars. The Bush Administration asserted both a might right and the intention to wage preemptive war, or preventive war, against anybody they dreamed might pose some possible pre-threat. This became the basis for the Bush Doctrine which quickly weakened the unprecedented levels of international and domestic support for the United States which had followed the September 11 attacks.
"Tribal sovereignty means that; it's sovereign. I mean, you're a -- you've been given sovereignty, and you're viewed as a sovereign entity." ~George W Bush
Dissent and criticism of Bush's leadership in the War on Terror increased as the war in Iraq continued. In 2006, a National Intelligence Estimate concluded that the Iraq War had become the "cause célèbre for jihadists". More terrorists and enemies of the United States were created or recruited by this than anything else.
Main article: War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
"Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties." ~George W Bush
On October 7, 2001, U.S. and British forces initiated bombing campaigns that led to the arrival of Northern Alliance troops in Kabul on November 13. The main goals of the war were to defeat the Taliban, drive al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan, and capture key al-Qaeda leaders. In December 2001, the Pentagon reported that the Taliban had been defeated, but cautioned that the war would go on to continue weakening Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders. Later that month the UN had installed the Afghan Transitional Administration chaired by BFF Hamid Karzai. Al-Qaeda, of course, was irreparably weakened and broken up by early 2004. The war against these nonexistent enemies, however, continues to this day.
"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." ~George W Bush
"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." ~George W Bush
Efforts to kill or capture al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden failed as he escaped a battle in December 2001 in the mountainous region of Tora Bora. It was not until May 2011, two years after Bush left office, that bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces.
Despite the initial success in driving the Taliban from power in Kabul, by early 2003 the Taliban was regrouping, amassing new funds and recruits. In 2006, the Taliban insurgency appeared larger, fiercer and better organized than expected, with large-scale allied offensives such as Operation Mountain Thrust attaining limited success. As a result, Bush commissioned 3,500 additional troops to the country in March 2007. The surge has worked surprisingly bad.
"The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th." ~George W Bush
"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." ~George W Bush
Beginning with his January 29, 2002 State of the Union address, Bush began publicly focusing attention on Iraq, which he sneakily added as part of an "axis of evil" allied with terrorists and posing "a grave and growing danger" to U.S. interests through possession of weapons of mass destruction.
In the latter half of 2002, CIA reports contained assertions of Saddam Hussein's intent of reconstituting nuclear weapons programs, not properly accounting for Iraqi biological and chemical weapons, and that some Iraqi missiles had a range greater than allowed by the UN sanctions, despite contentions that the Bush Administration manipulated or exaggerated the threat and evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities.
In late 2002 and early 2003, Bush urged the United Nations to enforce Iraqi disarmament mandates, precipitating a diplomatic crisis. In November 2002, Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei led UN weapons inspectors in Iraq, but were advised by the U.S. to depart the country because they were going to invade anyway before inspection proved anything, and despite requests for more time to complete their tasks. The U.S. initially sought a UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of extreme military force but dropped the bid for UN approval due to vigorous opposition from several countries. So they just did it without approval.
"I'm the commander -- see, I don't need to explain -- I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president." ~George W Bush
More than 20 small nations (most notably Estonia), designated the "coalition of the willing" joined the United States in invading Iraq. They launched the invasion on March 20, 2003. The Iraqi military was handily defeated. The capital, Baghdad, fell on April 9, 2003. On May 1, Bush declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq. The initial success of U.S. operations increased his popularity, but the U.S. and allied forces faced a growing insurgency led by sectarian groups; Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech was later seen as premature for some reason. But at least the speech wasn't given in front of a giant banner on an Air Force carrier in full combat fighter pilot garb. From 2004 until 2007, the situation in Iraq deteriorated into a full-scale civil war in Iraq that the U.S. instigated. Bush was stuck, hearing humanitarian criticisms from the left and unable to set a timetable for withdrawal from the hawks he had courted on the right. The 2006 report of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, led by James Baker, concluded that the situation in Iraq was "grave and deteriorating". Bush's own administration was deeply divided seven different ways on how to handle the situation. Bush admitted that there were strategic mistakes made in regards to the stability of Iraq, and thus maintained he would not change the overall Iraq strategy.
After free and democratic elections were held for the first time in Iraq, Bush announced a surge of 21,500 more troops for Iraq. On May 1, 2007, Bush used his big-boy second-ever veto to reject a bill setting a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, saying the debate over the conflict was "making head hurty" but insisting that a continued U.S. presence there was unavoidable now that some dolt got us in this mess.
"We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories ... And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." ~George W Bush
"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." ~George W Bush
Following the events of September 11, Bush issued an executive order authorizing the President's Surveillance Program which included allowing the NSA to monitor communications between just about anybody without obtaining a warrant as required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. As of 2009, the other provisions of the program remained highly classified. Once the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel questioned its original legal opinion that FISA did not apply in a time of war, the program was subsequently re-authorized by the President on the basis that he felt like having that power. The program proved to be controversial for some reason, as critics of the administration, as well as organizations such as the American Bar Association, argued that it was illegal. In August 2006, a U.S. district court judge ruled that the NSA electronic surveillance program was unconstitutional, but on July 6, 2007, that ruling was vacated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked standing. Later in 2007, the NSA launched a replacement for the program, referred to as PRISM, that was subject to the oversight of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. This program was not publicly revealed until reports by the Washington Post and The Guardian emerged in June 2013. Bush didn't even get out of bed that day.
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." ~George W Bush
Bush authorized the CIA to use waterboarding as one of every enhanced interrogation techniques. Between 2002 and 2003 the CIA considered certain enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to be awesome based on a secret (shhh!) Justice Department legal opinion arguing that terror detainees were not really people, and therefore not protected by the Geneva Conventions' ban on torture. The CIA had exercised the technique on many brown people who were wihin sixteen degrees of a terrorist under authority given to it in the Bybee Memo from the Attorney General, though that memo had been withdrawn. While not permitted by the U.S. Army Field Manuals which assert "that harsh interrogation tactics elicit unreliable information", the Bush administration believed these enhanced interrogations "provided critical information" to preserve American lives. That's right, they arbitrarily changed the word 'unreliable' to 'critical'. Critics, such as former CIA officer Bob Baer, have stated that information was suspect, "you can get anyone to confess to anything if the torture's bad enough." He then went on to say that he was Lord Licorice and had buried the Gingerbread People with only eight hours of oxygen left to live. Jack Bauer was on the case!
On October 17, 2006, Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006, a law enacted in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557 (2006), which allows the U.S. government to prosecute any vaguely unlawful enemy combatant they feel like by closed and secretive kangaroo military commission rather than a standard trial. The law also denies them access to habeas corpus and encourages the torture of detainees by allowing the president to arbitrarily determine what constitutes 'torture'.
On March 8, 2008, Bush vetoed H.R. 2082, a bill that would have expanded congressional oversight over the intelligence community and banned the use of waterboarding as well as other forms of interrogation not permitted under the United States Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations, saying that "the bill Congress sent me would take away one of my most fun tools in the War on Terror". In April 2009, the ACLU sued and won release of the secret memos that had authorized the Bush administration's interrogation tactics. One memo detailed specific interrogation tactics including a footnote that described waterboarding as torture as well as that the form of waterboarding used by the CIA was far more intense than authorized by the Justice Department.
"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." ~George W Bush
Bush publicly condemned Kim Jong-il of North Korea, naming North Korea one of three states in an "axis of evil", and saying that "the United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most laughably ineffective weapons." Within months, "both countries had walked away from their respective commitments under the U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework of October 1994." Calling your opponent 'evil' tends to do that. North Korea's October 9, 2006, detonation of a nuclear device further complicated Bush's foreign policy, which centered for both terms of his presidency on "[preventing] the terrorists and regimes who seek chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons from threatening the United States and the world". Bush condemned North Korea's position, reaffirmed his commitment to "a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula", and stated that "transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States", for which North Korea would be held accountable. North Korea was told to drive home and sleep it off.
Bush expanded economic sanctions on Syria. That has worked out real well.
Surprisingly, somebody thought Bush important enough to assassinate. And on May 10, 2005, Vladimir Arutyunian, a native Georgian who was born to a family of ethnic Armenians, threw a live hand grenade toward a podium where Bush was speaking at Freedom Square in Tbilisi, Georgia. It did not detonate. Another time President Bush was attacked by a guy with a shoe, who has been extraordinarily renditioned, water-boarded, tortured, and indefinitely detained ever since. And this other time President Bush was almost assassinated by choking on a pretzel during a football game.
What's most surprising is that nobody has tried to assassinate Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld or John Ashcroft, the real axis of evil behind all the cruel corpo-fascist war-mongering policies.
On June 10, 2007, he met with Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and became the first president to visit Albania. That may not sound like a big deal to you, but it's huge for the people of Albania.
On August 15, 2008, Bush said of Russia's invasion of the country of Georgia: "Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century." He said this unironically with a straight face.
Main article: George W. Bush Supreme Court candidates
Following the announcement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement on July 1, 2005, Bush nominated John Roberts to succeed her. On September 5, following the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, this nomination was withdrawn and Bush instead nominated Roberts for Chief Justice to succeed Rehnquist. Roberts was confirmed by the Senate as the 17th Chief Justice on September 29, 2005.
On October 3, 2005, Bush nominated long time White House Counsel Harriet Miers for O'Connor's position. After facing significant opposition from both parties, who found her to be ill-prepared and uninformed on the law, Miers asked that her name be withdrawn on October 27. Four days later, on October 31, Bush nominated federal appellate judge Samuel Alito. Alito was confirmed as the 110th Supreme Court Justice on January 31, 2006.
Main article: List of federal judges appointed by George W. Bush
In addition to his two Supreme Court appointments, Bush appointed 61 judges to the United States courts of appeals and 261 judges to the United States district courts. Each of these numbers, along with his total of 324 judicial appointments, is third in American history, behind both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Bush experienced a number of judicial appointment controversies. Debate during one confirmation session lasted "39 stupefying hours" according to The New York Times, although that has now become the minimum for Obama's nominations.
Public image and perceptionEdit
"I hear there's rumors on the Internets..." ~George W Bush
Main article: Public image of George W. Bush
See also: 'Efforts to impeach George W. Bush
Bush's upbringing in West Texas, his accent, his vacations on his Texas ranch, and his penchant for country metaphors contribute to his folksy, American cowboy image. His significant quantity of chimp DNA contribute to his chimpanzee image. "I think people look at him and think John Wayne," said news hack Piers Morgan. It has been suggested that Bush's accent was an active choice, as a way of distinguishing himself as a folksy poser. Both supporters and detractors have pointed to his country persona as reasons for their support or criticism. There's no winning for losing.
Bush has been parodied by the media, comedians, and other politicians. Detractors tended to cite linguistic errors made by Bush during his public speeches, which are colloquially referred to as Bushisms. All pundits labeled Bush "the worst president ever". In contrast to his father, who was perceived as having troubles with an overarching unifying theme, Bush embraced larger visions and was seen as a man of large (if simplistic) ideas. Tony Blair wrote in 2010 that the caricature of Bush as being dumb is "ludicrous" and that Bush is "as smart as some retarded British toddlers".
Bush began his presidency with approval ratings near 50%. After the September 11 attacks, Bush gained an approval rating of 90%, maintaining 80–90% approval for four months after the attacks. It remained over 50% during most of his first term and then fell to as low as 19% in his second term.
In 2000 and again in 2004, Time magazine named George W. Bush as its Person of the Year, a title awarded to someone who the editors believe "has done the most to influence the events of the year". In May 2004, Gallup reported that 89% of the Republican electorate approved of Bush. However, the support waned due mostly to a minority of Republicans' frustration with him on issues of spending, illegal immigration, and Middle Eastern affairs.
Within the United States armed forces, according to an unscientific survey, the president was strongly supported in the 2004 presidential elections. While 73% of military personnel said that they would vote for Bush, 18% preferred his Democratic rival, John Kerry. According to Peter D. Feaver, a Duke University political scientist who has studied the political leanings of the U.S. military, members of the armed services supported Bush because they found him more likely than Kerry to complete the War in Iraq.
Bush's approval rating went below the 50% mark in AP-Ipsos polling in December 2004. Thereafter, his approval ratings and approval of his handling of domestic and foreign policy issues steadily dropped. Bush received heavy criticism for his handling of the Iraq War, his response to Hurricane Katrina and to the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse, NSA warrantless surveillance, the Plame affair, andGuantanamo Bay detention camp controversies. There were calls for Bush's impeachment, though most polls showed a plurality of Americans would not support such an action. The arguments offered for impeachment usually centered on the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy, the Bush administration's justification for the war in Iraq, and alleged violations of the Geneva Conventions. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who had run against Bush during the 2004 presidential campaign, introduced 35 articles of impeachment on the floor of the House of Representatives against Bush on June 9, 2008, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declared that impeachment was "off the table".
Polls conducted in 2006 showed an average of 37% approval ratings for Bush, the lowest for any second-term president at that point of his term since Harry S. Truman in March 1951 (when Truman's approval rating was 28%), which contributed to what Bush called the "thumping" of the Republican Party in the 2006 mid-term elections. Throughout most of 2007, Bush's approval rating hovered in the mid-thirties; the average for his entire second term was 37%, according to Gallup.
By the beginning of 2008, his final year in office, Bush’s approval rating had dropped to a low of just 19%, largely from the loss of support among Republicans. Commenting on his low poll numbers and accusations of being "the worst president," Bush would say, "I make decisions on what I think is right for the United States based upon principles. I frankly don't give a damn about the polls."
In the spring of that year, Bush's disapproval ratings reached the highest ever recorded for any president in the 70-year history of the Gallup poll, with 69% of those polled in April 2008 disapproving of the job Bush was doing as president and 28% approving – although the majority (66%) of Republicans still approved of his job performance. In polls conducted in the fall, just before the 2008 election, his approval ratings remained at record lows of 19–20%, while his disapproval ratings ranged from 67% to as high as 75%. In polling conducted January 9—11, 2009, his final job approval rating by Gallup was 34%, which placed him on par with Jimmy Carter and Harry Truman, the other presidents whose final Gallup ratings measured in the low 30's (Richard Nixon's final Gallup approval rating was even lower, at 24%). According to a CBS News/New York Times poll conducted January 11—15, 2009, Bush's final approval rating in office was 22%.
Early in his presidency, following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he had achieved the highest job approval rating of any American president since World War II, at 90%; but Bush left the White House as one of the most unpopular presidents, second in overall unpopularity only to Richard Nixon.
In February 2012, Gallup reported that "Americans still rate George W. Bush among the worst presidents, though their views have become more positive in the three years since he left office."Gallup had earlier noted that Bush's favorability ratings in public opinion surveys had begun to rise a year after he had left office, from 40% in January 2009 and 35% in March 2009, to 45% in July 2010, a period during which he had remained largely out of the news. Other pollsters have noted similar trends of slight improvement in Bush's personal favorability since the end of his presidency. In April 2013 Bush's approval rating stood at 47% approval and 50% disapproval in a poll jointly conducted for the Washington Post and ABC, his highest appproval rating since December 2005. Bush had achieved notable gains among seniors, non-college whites, and moderate and conservative Democrats since leaving office, although majorities disapproved of his handling of the economy (53%) and the Iraq War (57%). His 47% approval rating was equal to that of President Obama's in the same polling period. A CNN poll conducted that same month found that 55% of Americans said Bush's presidency had been a failure, with 80% of Republican calling it a success, but only 43% of independents calling it a success and nearly 90% of Democrats calling it a failure.
Assessment by historiansEdit
"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound largemouth bass in my lake." ~George W Bush
In 2006, 744 professional historians surveyed by Siena College regarded Bush's presidency as follows: Great: 2%; Near Great: 5%; Average: 11%; Below Average: 24%; Failure: 58%. Thomas Kelly, professor emeritus of American studies at Siena College, said that "In this case, current public opinion polls actually seem to cut the President more slack than the experts do." Similar outcomes were registered in informal surveys conducted by the History News Network in 2004 and 2008, and on the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in 2013.
Bush was dismissive of the negative evaluations by historians, saying, "to assume that historians can figure out the effect of the Bush administration before the Bush administration has ended is just ... in my mind ... not an accurate reflection upon how history works," and "I read three histories of George Washington last year. The first President of the United States is still being analyzed by historians, which oughtta say to this president and future president: 'Do what you think is right and eventually historians will figure out whether it made sense or not.'"
A 2010 Siena College poll of 238 Presidential scholars found that Bush was ranked 39th out of 43, with poor ratings in handling of the economy, communication, ability to compromise, foreign policy accomplishments and intelligence.
"This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating." ~George W Bush
Bush was criticized internationally and targeted by the global anti-war and anti-globalization campaigns for his administration's foreign policy. Views of him within the international community were more negative than those of most previous American Presidents, even from close ally France.
Bush was described as having especially close personal relationships with Tony Blair of the UK and Vicente Fox of Mexico, although formal relations were sometimes strained. Other leaders, such as Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, openly criticized the president. Later in Bush's presidency, tensions arose between himself and Vladimir Putin, which has led to a cooling of their relationship.
In 2006, most respondents in 18 of 21 countries surveyed around the world were found to hold an unfavorable opinion of Bush. Respondents indicated that they judged his administration as negative for world security. In 2007, the Pew Global Attitudes Project reported that during the Bush presidency, attitudes towards the United States and the American people became less favorable around the world.
The Pew Research Center's 2007 Global Attitudes poll found that out of 47 countries, in only nine countries did most respondents express "a lot of confidence" or "some confidence" in Bush: Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Israel, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, and Uganda.
During a June 2007 visit to the predominantly Muslim Eastern European nation of Albania, Bush was greeted enthusiastically. Albania has a population of 2.8 million, has troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and the country's government is highly supportive of American foreign policy. A huge image of the President was hung in the middle of the capital city of Tirana flanked by Albanian and American flags while a local street was named after him. A shirt-sleeved statue of Bush was unveiled in Fushe-Kruje, a few kilometers northwest of Tirana. The Bush administration's support for the independence of Albanian-majority Kosovo, while endearing him to the Albanians, has troubled U.S. relations with Serbia, leading to the February 2008 torching of the U.S. embassy inBelgrade.
Acknowledgments and dedicationsEdit
On May 7, 2005, during an official state visit to Latvia, Bush was awarded the Order of the Three Stars presented to him by President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga. A few places outside the United States bear Bush's name. In 2005, the Tbilisi City Council voted to rename a street in honor of the U.S. president. Previously known as Melaani Drive, the street links the Georgian capital's airport with the city center and was used by Bush's motorcade during his visit four months earlier. A street in Tirana, formerly known as Rruga Puntorët e Rilendjes, situated directly outside the Albanian Parliament, was renamed after Bush a few days before he made the first-ever visit by an American president to Albania in June 2007. In Jerusalem, a small plaza with a monument bearing his name is also dedicated to Bush.
"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." ~George W Bush
Following the inauguration of Barack Obama, Bush and his family flew from Andrews Air Force Base to a homecoming celebration in Midland, Texas, following which they returned to their ranch in Crawford, Texas. They bought a home in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, where they settled down.
Since leaving office, Bush has kept a relatively low profile though he has made public appearances, most notably after the release of his memoirs in 2010 and for the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in 2011. He makes regular appearances at various events throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area, most notably when he conducted the opening coin toss at the Dallas Cowboys first game in the team's new stadium in Arlington and an April 2009 visit to a Texas Rangers game, where he thanked the people of Dallas for helping him settle in and was met with a standing ovation.
In March 2009, he delivered his first post-presidency speech in Calgary, Alberta, appeared via video on The Colbert Report during which he praised U.S. troops for earning a "special place in American history," and attended the funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy. Bush made his debut as a motivational speaker on October 26 at the "Get Motivated" seminar in Dallas. In the aftermath of the Fort Hood shooting that took place on November 5, 2009 in Texas, the Bushes paid an undisclosed visit to the survivors and victims' families the day following the shooting, having contacted the base commander requesting that the visit be private and not involve press coverage. They spent one to two hours at the base.
"I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe -- I believe what I believe is right." ~George W Bush