September 23, 2004

Daddy what if the sun stop shinin' what would happen then

* Russ Baker on why Bush's left Texas for Alabama. excerpt:

"Even more significantly, in a July interview, Linda Allison, the widow of Jimmy Allison, the Alabama campaign manager and a close friend of Bush's father, revealed to me for the first time that Bush had come to Alabama not because the job had appeal or because his presence was required but because he needed to get out of Texas. 'Well, you have to know Georgie,' Allison said. 'He really was a totally irresponsible person. Big George [George H.W. Bush] called Jimmy, and said, he's killing us in Houston, take him down there and let him work on that campaign.... The tenor of that was, Georgie is in and out of trouble seven days a week down here, and would you take him up there with you.'

"Allison said that the younger Bush's drinking problem was apparent. She also said that her husband, a circumspect man who did not gossip and held his cards closely, indicated to her that some use of drugs was involved. 'I had the impression that he knew that Georgie was using pot, certainly, and perhaps cocaine,' she said.

"Now-prominent, established Texas figures in the military, arts, business and political worlds, some of them Republicans and Bush supporters, talk about Bush's alleged use of marijuana and cocaine based on what they say they have heard from trusted friends. One middle-aged woman whose general veracity could be confirmed told me that she met Bush in 1968 at Hemisfair 68, a fair in San Antonio, at which he tried to pick her up and offered her a white powder he was inhaling. She was then a teenager; Bush would have just graduated from Yale and have been starting the National Guard then. 'He was getting really aggressive with me,' she said. 'I told him I'd call a policeman, and he laughed, and asked who would believe me.'

* Rolling Stone weighs in on Bush's Alabama Getaway. excerpt:

"Bush had a regular group of drinking buddies he hung out with, and during his stay in Alabama he was said to have dated an array of local young women, among them Emily Marks - 'One of the most beautiful women you have ever seen,' McLennan says - and Baba Groom, the estranged wife of writer Winston Groom, who years later would write Forrest Gump.

"Throughout the summer, Bush maintained his heavy social life. By September his behavior had become a problem. "Here's the thing that stood out," says Murphy Archibald, who arrived to work on his wife's uncle's campaign in September. 'People were glad to have me there. They said, to a person, 'You are going to like Jimmy Allison, but why did he bring this young guy with him?' The general feeling was that it was strange that someone of Allison's competence would have someone who didn't seem very interested in the campaign.'

"According to Archibald, Bush regularly didn't show until noon or later, and then would leave four or five hours after that. He'd spend most of those few hours in his office with the door closed. When he did talk to the staff - and he made the rounds each day as soon as he came in before he locked himself away - his conversation was often disconcerting. 'I found it so strange that in that position - in a United States Senate campaign - this guy who was twenty-six years old would come in and good-naturedly talk about how plastered he had gotten the night before. It was usually in the context of saying, 'I'm sorry to be coming in so late, but last night I really knocked them back.' He was very comfortable about talking about how drunk he got.'
"'George had one story he told a lot,' Archibald says, 'and the story was about how he was always getting picked up by the police in New Haven during his time at Yale, and how they would always let him go when they found out his grandfather was Prescott Bush. When he told this story, George would always laugh as if it was the funniest joke. The first time I heard it, I said, 'Who's Prescott Bush?' And he said, 'My grandfather - the United States senator from Connecticut.' I thought it was stunning. He knew he was bulletproof because of his family. I had never seen someone with such a well-defined sense of being 'above it.' And it was not so much because of his money as his family.'"

* What if the United States were Iraq. excerpt:

"What if the grounds of the White House and the government buildings near the Mall were constantly taking mortar fire? What if almost nobody in the State Department at Foggy Bottom, the White House, or the Pentagon dared venture out of their buildings, and considered it dangerous to go over to Crystal City or Alexandria?

"What if all the reporters for all the major television and print media were trapped in five-star hotels in Washington, DC and New York, unable to move more than a few blocks safely, and dependent on stringers to know what was happening in Oklahoma City and St. Louis? What if the only time they ventured into the Midwest was if they could be embedded in Army or National Guard units?
"What if there were virtually no commercial air traffic in the country? What if many roads were highly dangerous, especially Interstate 95 from Richmond to Washington, DC, and I-95 and I-91 up to Boston? If you got on I-95 anywhere along that over 500-mile stretch, you would risk being carjacked, kidnapped, or having your car sprayed with machine gun fire.

"What if no one had electricity for much more than 10 hours a day, and often less? What if it went off at unpredictable times, causing factories to grind to a halt and air conditioning to fail in the middle of the summer in Houston and Miami? What if the Alaska pipeline were bombed and disabled at least monthly? What if unemployment hovered around 40%?"


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