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I heard this on Rush at the top of the hour and found it at Fox News when I returned:
On his last full day in office, President Bush commuted the sentences of two former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a Mexican drug runner in 2005.
The imprisonment of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean had sparked outcry from critics who said the two were just doing their jobs. They had been sentenced to 11- and 12-year sentences, respectively.
Their prison sentences will now expire on March 20 of this year.
More as I find it.
Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet I’ve always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some of the tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.
It has always been my observation that President Bush was a man who was willing to act on his beliefs and courageous enough to stand behind what he thought was right even when others, more politically expedient in their approach, were less than willing to stick to their guns.
Even when I thought he was making a wrong decision or poor policy choice I never believed that he was making his decision from anything other than the strong belief in what he was doing, and that he was right. More importantly, I believe that his guiding influence was always what he thought to be best for the country.
It is my sincere hope that the new president takes part of President Bush’s remarks to heart.
The decades ahead will bring more hard choices for our country, and there are some guiding principles that should shape our course.
While our nation is safer than it was seven years ago, the gravest threat to our people remains another terrorist attack. Our enemies are patient, and determined to strike again. America did nothing to seek or deserve this conflict. But we have been given solemn responsibilities, and we must meet them. We must resist complacency. We must keep our resolve. And we must never let down our guard.
At the same time, we must continue to engage the world with confidence and clear purpose. In the face of threats from abroad, it can be tempting to seek comfort by turning inward. But we must reject isolationism and its companion, protectionism. Retreating behind our borders would only invite danger. In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led.
As we address these challenges — and others we cannot foresee tonight — America must maintain our moral clarity. I’ve often spoken to you about good and evil, and this has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two of them there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right. This nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense — and to advance the cause of peace.
Let’s be encouraged by his closing words.
We have faced danger and trial, and there’s more ahead. But with the courage of our people and confidence in our ideals, this great nation will never tire, never falter, and never fail.
It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your President. There have been good days and tough days. But every day I have been inspired by the greatness of our country, and uplifted by the goodness of our people. I have been blessed to represent this nation we love. And I will always be honored to carry a title that means more to me than any other – citizen of the United States of America.
And so, my fellow Americans, for the final time: Good night. May God bless this house and our next President. And may God bless you and our wonderful country. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. President. We are honored by your service and your dedication. God bless you for what you have done and the for the many ways you have protected our country and promoted liberty over the past eight years.
The BDS crowd reminds me of a phrase I’ve often heard, “If I gave you a pot of gold it would be in the wrong color pot.” Karl Rove writes about the three year reading competition he has had with President Bush in The Wall Street Journal.
With only five days left, my lead is insurmountable. The competition can’t catch up. And for the third year in a row, I’ll triumph. In second place will be the president of the United States. Our contest is not about sports or politics. It’s about books.
It all started on New Year’s Eve in 2005. President Bush asked what my New Year’s resolutions were. I told him that as a regular reader who’d gotten out of the habit, my goal was to read a book a week in 2006. Three days later, we were in the Oval Office when he fixed me in his sights and said, “I’m on my second. Where are you?” Mr. Bush had turned my resolution into a contest.
The books Rove mentions are a mix of histories, biographies, current events and some good fiction by authors like John D. MacDonald, Michael Crichton, and Vince Flynn as well.
And the left can’t stand it.
Richard Cohen writes in the San Jose Mercury News:
The list Rove provides is long, but it is narrow. It lacks whole shelves of books on how and why the Iraq war was a mistake, one that metastasized into a debacle. Absent is Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s “Imperial Life in the Emerald City,” Tom Ricks’ “Fiasco,” George Packer’s “The Assassins’ Gate” or, on a related topic, Jane Mayer’s “The Dark Side” about “extraordinary rendition” and other riffs on the Constitution.
In the NYT Jennifer Schuessler asks, “Is it possible for a president to spend too much time reading? I’m beginning to wonder.”
And in The Atlantic?
Anyone who actually reads books knows that reading the words off the page is half the job, at best. The hard part is digesting the book, getting to its essential themes and then weighing them against your own body of knowledge. Look I love books, was raised in the business of publishing books and printing books. But watching a pundit–or president–brag about reading a book a week, is like watching a freshly-minted 21-year old get smashed at a wine-tasting. Only a rookie would set that sort of goal–and then brag about it. Either that or, you know, someone who doesn’t really read…
The comments to the posts above are about what you would expect from the BDS’ers, mostly along the flavor of, “I didn’t know Bush could read”, and My Pet Goat references. Interspersed with the negative Bush comments are Rove-deranged who think you can’t believe anything he says anyhow. Go read a few for a laugh at the unstable.
A friend used to have a a tee shirt with this printed on it:
Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend — Karl Marx
Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read — Groucho Marx
Read on, Mr. President.
Ok, the title is for the tin-foil brigades, but it is true. President Bush’s stay in the White House will be extended.
The world’s official timekeepers have added a “leap second” to the last day of the year on Wednesday, to help match clocks to the Earth’s slowing spin on its axis, which takes place at ever-changing rates affected by tides and other factors.
The U.S. Naval Observatory, keeper of the Pentagon’s master clock, said it would add the extra second on Wednesday in coordination with the world’s atomic clocks at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC.
That corresponds to 6:59:59 p.m. EST (23:59:59 GMT), when an extra second will tick by — the 24th to be added to UTC since 1972, when the practice began.
It’s a conspiracy I tell you!
The 2pm public advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE NORTHERN GULF COAST
FROM CAMERON LOUISIANA EASTWARD TO THE ALABAMA-FLORIDA BORDER…
INCLUDING THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS AND LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN. A
HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED
WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. PREPARATIONS TO
PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.
AT 100 PM CDT…1800Z…THE CENTER OF HURRICANE GUSTAV WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 25.9 NORTH…LONGITUDE 86.6 WEST OR ABOUT 270 MILES…
520 KM…SOUTHEAST OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.
GUSTAV IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 17 MPH…28 KM/HR. THIS
GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE WITH A DECREASE IN FORWARD
SPEED DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. ON FORECAST TRACK…GUSTAV
SHOULD MAKE LANDFALL ON THE NORTHERN GULF COAST ON MONDAY.
REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE TO DECREASED TO NEAR 115 MPH…185
KM/HR…WITH HIGHER GUSTS. GUSTAV IS A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE ON
THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME RE-INTENSIFICATION IS FORECAST
DURING THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS…AND GUSTAV COULD REGAIN CATEGORY
FOUR STRENGTH LATER TODAY OR TONIGHT. FLUCTUATIONS IN STRENGTH ARE
LIKELY THEREAFTER…BUT GUSTAV IS FORECAST TO REMAIN A MAJOR
HURRICANE UNTIL LANDFALL.
GUSTAV IS A LARGE TROPICAL CYCLONE. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND
OUTWARD UP TO 50 MILES…85 KM…FROM THE CENTER…AND TROPICAL
STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 200 MILES…325 KM. NOAA
BUOY 42003 RECENTLY REPORTED 8-MINUTE AVERAGE WINDS OF 60 MPH…
97 KM/HR…WITH A GUST TO 78 MPH…126 KM/HR.
Neither President Bush nor Vice President Cheney will attend the Republican Convention on Monday. Instead the president will be monitoring the Hurricane as it impacts the U.S. gulf coast.
The GOP is weighing changes to the length and tone of the convention in light of the approaching storm. Details have not been released.
At today’s press conference President Bush gave an absolutely great answer to this question:
Mr. President, understanding what you say about energy supplies being tight and the debate over energy, which has gone on for years and will continue long through the campaign and into the next administration — one thing nobody debates is that if Americans use less energy the current supply/demand equation would improve. Why have you not sort of called on Americans to drive less and to turn down the thermostat?
Sorry about that, just had a Jimmy Carter flashback. Here’s how the president answered:
They’re smart enough to figure out whether they’re going to drive less or not. I mean, you know, it’s interesting what the price of gasoline has done, is it caused people to drive less. That’s why they want smaller cars, they want to conserve. But the consumer is plenty bright, Mark. The marketplace works.
That’s a really good answer, but it gets even better. The follow up question:
But you don’t see the need to ask — you don’t see the value of your calling for a campaign –
I wish we had been hearing a lot more answers like this one.
I think people ought to conserve and be wise about how they use gasoline and energy. Absolutely. And there’s some easy steps people can take. You know, if they’re not in their home, they don’t keep their air-conditioning running. There’s a lot of things people can do.
But my point to you, Mark, is that, you know, it’s a little presumptuous on my part to dictate to consumers how they live their lives. The American people are plenty capable and plenty smart people and they’ll make adjustments to their own pocketbooks. That’s why I was so much in favor of letting them keep more of their own money. It’s a philosophical difference: Should the government spend their money, or should they spend their own money? And I’ve got faith in the American people.
Not only is it a really, really good answer to the question at hand, but it is also a lesson in clearest difference between conservatives and the left. The liberal answer is for the government to act; Mandate, legislate, impose, and control. On the other hand, the conservative answer that should be expressed (and too seldom is) is that the people of this country are smart enough and informed enough to direct their own lives.
Beyond the trust that the people deserve is the idea that our economic system works, and it works best when government interferes the least.
Wouldn’t it be great to hear more answers like this?
Here they are:
5th Place – Elliot – Dang, I coulda had a G8.
4th Place – Rodney Dill – “Dang, I liked the Arby’s hat a lot better.”
3rd Place – Steveegg – When I heard “G8″, I thought I was getting a new car from Pontiac, not this stupid Gorebal logo.
2nd Place – DMick – “Would ‘ya hurry up and take the gosh-durn picture? I can only balance this thing for so long…”
1st Place – RT – “No wonder dad hates broccoli. The green stuff just weighs ya down.”
It’s time once again for all of you to improve this original caption:
U.S. President George W. Bush meets with Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev at the Group of Eight (G8) Summit in Toyako, July 7, 2008.
REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin (JAPAN)
Have at it, then tell your friends.
Yes, it’s a day late. I was watching the Phillies beat the Red Sox last night. You still have most of a week to improve on the original caption: President Bush attempts to spin a ball on one finger as he plays basketball with students at the Lough View Integrated Primary School in Belfast, Northern Ireland, June 16, 2008. The school has integrated Catholic and Protestant children into one learning environment.
I have a feeling you are going to have fun with this one. I’ll stick this in the Featured Post position tomorrow, but want to leave the Liberty Pundit post there for another day. Have you helped Brian out yet?