Monday, May 25, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: The Bush Compound

Made it into an overnighter:

"New ‘cottage’ at Maine compound for Jeb Bush; Forging identity but also joining the family line" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  May 23, 2015

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — Jeb Bush, who has a longtime relationship with this seaside town where generations of Bushes have vacationed, is having a house built for him at the family compound on Walker’s Point, with a wraparound porch and expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean.

The home, on a 1.3-acre site assessed by the town at $1.4 million, was initiated for him by his mother and father, who have tried to preserve the family ties to the picturesque property.

But as he tries to appeal to middle-class Americans in his likely Republican presidential campaign — and distinguish himself as his own man, distinct from the legacies of his father and brother — having a vacation home erected on a spit of land in coastal Maine could be a vivid reminder of the complications facing his campaign.

Already, his opponents are emphasizing his last name — and the old-money New England clan that helped build the Republican Party establishment — as a way to highlight a brand that has fallen out of favor with the newly empowered, anti-elite activists who may have an outsized voice in choosing the next Republican nominee.

Money stole it last time; I see no reason why it will be any different this time around.


Kennebunkport for decades has offered a respite for Jeb Bush, a place where he retreats for early morning rounds on the golf course, intensely competitive games of horseshoes, and jaunts to local stores and lobster houses.

The former Florida governor has had limited input on the design and construction of the new house, according to those involved. Much of that was done by his mother.

“Barbara dictated most things,” said Kristi Kenney, the architect of both Jeb’s home and another nearby built about two years ago for Bush’s youngest brother, Marvin.

Is that why George turned out the way he did, and as for Marvin.... 

The wives of Jeb Bush’s two sons are helping pick some of the interior options, such as tiles, light fixtures, paint colors, and the kitchen layout.

Leave that to the ladies, right?

The aide said the new house was being built using a limited partnership that owns the other homes on Walker’s Point; Jeb Bush is not a partner and doesn’t have any ownership stake in it, the aide said.

“The truth is Barbara has long felt like she ran the busiest bed and breakfast in Maine,” President George H.W. Bush told the Globe. “But the blessed arrival of great-grandkids and everything that comes with that made us realize we needed to expand our accommodations in order for me to preserve something called ‘domestic tranquility’ — and so our entire family could be here without exception.”

Wow, the Globe actually got to talk to that war-criminal fossil.

The “Jeb Bush House,’’ as it is referred to in renderings on file with the town planning office, is being completed amid a cluster of eight buildings on Walker’s Point, which has been in family hands for more than a century. 

Better than the White House.

The largest house is a six-bedroom, 7,100-square foot home built in 1920. The others have been added over the years.

The property also contains a building for Secret Service agents, a gym, a tennis court, and several guard shacks. 

I hope they fixed the video problems.

The new house will be highly visible when guests arrive for Barbara Bush’s 90th birthday in two weeks. There are plans for a big two-day celebration, with events to raise money for literacy causes dear to Barbara Bush.

Jeb Bush and his sister Doro are cochairing the event, which has raised more than $10 million and will also be attended by former President George W. Bush.

Jeb Bush’s attendance has been a topic of conversation around the town, which is accustomed to having two presidents as neighbors and is wondering whether they will have a third after 2016. One souvenir store already is selling hats, buttons, and bumper stickers emblazoned with “Bush 2016.”

Local residents speak of the Bushes like extended members of their own family, and say the Bushes treat them that way, too....

Yeah, they are such good people, and from what I understand Jeb qualifies for president because he's a “very good, better than average golfer.”


Before moving on after the fawning over that family of S&L looters (Neil got a house?), and war-criminal liars and tortures, I just want to say how offensive I find it that those involved in Iran-Contra up to their eyeballs, and those that told lies about Iraq (incubators and WMD) that led to the murder of millions (to name a couple of things), being described as good people makes me absolutely ill.

And what do they talk about up there? Why, WAR, of course!

"GOP hopefuls tread carefully on ways to fight Islamic State" by Patrick Healy and Ashley Parker New York Times  May 24, 2015

NEW YORK — Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum want to deploy 10,000 US troops in Iraq as part of a coalition with Arab nations against Islamic State militants, and will settle for nothing less than “destroying the caliphate,” in Graham’s words.

Because of Ramadi?

Jeb Bush believes those additional US soldiers would have prevented the Islamic State from gathering strength in recent years. But a US-led force now? “I don’t think that will work,” he said in an interview Friday, his latest sign of wariness at the prospect of becoming the third President Bush to dispatch ground troops to the Middle East.

Marco Rubio describes his strategy against the Islamic State with a line from the action movie “Taken” — “we will look for you, we will find you, and we will kill you” — yet he is more inclined to provide “the most devastating air support possible” rather than send in US troops. 

That's what they are, too! A f***ing covert crew running around with a goddamn camera wherever AmeriKan war planners want to attack or send troops. 

Scott Walker and Rick Perry are more open to a combat mission, while Rand Paul wants boots on the ground — as long as they are “Arab boots on the ground.”

As President Obama grapples with the unnerving territorial gains of the Islamic State last week, Republicans investigating a White House run are struggling with strategies of their own.

The most detailed ideas have come from Graham, a US senator from South Carolina who is on the Armed Service Committee, yet he ranks so low in polls that it is unclear whether he will qualify to participate in the candidate debates.

Bush, a former Florida governor, and Walker, Wisconsin’s governor, draw more support from voters at this point, yet seem less sure of their war footing, saying they would rely on guidance from military advisers.

Based on recent interviews with several declared and probable candidates, as well as their foreign policy speeches and off-the-cuff remarks, a picture emerges of a Republican field that sounds both hawkish and hesitant about fighting the Islamic State — especially before its warriors find ways to bring the fight to American soil, a threat that Bush, Walker, and Graham foresee.


Those three men, as well as Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, and Perry, a former governor of Texas, plan to announce their presidential intentions soon.

Yet most of the Republicans are reluctant and even evasive when it on laying out plans.

The fallout from the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 has cast a specter over Republicans as they contemplate new deployments there, restraining some of them while tripping up others.

Yup, gotta go fight an enemy that the U.S. and its Arab allies are arming and creating. Sure is a good way to keep a war going! The other guy never quits!

Several say they favor some muscular policies, such as intensifying airstrikes (Rubio, Graham, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas) and providing arms to Kurdish fighters (Graham, Cruz, Huckabee, and Carly Fiorina, an ex-CEO of Hewlett-Packard).

Putting forward a plan of attack carries sizable risks for the Republicans. While the hopefuls might win votes in the 2016 primaries with aggressive postures against Islamic State, they could also turn off some independent and war-weary voters whose support will be needed in the 2016 general election.

We are not war-weary, we hate the things and the endless lies that come with them, 'kay? The weariness was passed a long time ago.

At the same time, no one wants to get ahead of events in the Middle East during the next eight months, before the first ballots are cast in Iowa and New Hampshire.

May not have a choice. ISIS could force their hand.

Publicly committing to a US ground presence in advance poses hazards: Such a candidate, if elected, would become a war president immediately upon taking office in January 2017 and be obliged to face the challenges of Islamic State (assuming the fight is still underway) even if other pressing matters emerged, such as the economy or a nuclear Iran.

They are going to be anyway because we have been told there is no end in sight.

Bush is among the most elusive. At times he sounds bellicose: “Restrain them, tighten the noose, and then taking them out is the strategy” against Islamic State, he said in February.

That's hate speech, but it's better than chopping off heads.

The next month he endorsed creating “a protected zone in northeast Syria where you could allow for an army to be built, both a Syrian free army and international soldiers with air power from the United States.”

Yet Bush has not laid out substantive details for such aggressive actions. I don't want to bushwhack his idea, but done. Already there.

As for the role of US ground troops in the Middle East, Bush was more ambiguous than adamant last week.

“Whether we need more than 3,000 — which is what we have now — I would base that on what the military advisers say,” Bush said Wednesday in New Hampshire. On Friday, after a speech in Oklahoma City, he said former military officials had told him that US forces “should embed in the Iraqi military.”

Actually, it is more than 4,000 US troops, but let's not quibble over a few thousand. 

Good thing the war is over, huh?

“The Canadians and French do,” he added, “but we’re prohibited. That’s just remarkable.”

Rubio said he would consider sending US special forces to work with Iraqi troops.

Get a clue. Obama already sent some!


So how do the vets feel about the return to Iraq order they got?

"Veterans irked by debate on Iraq; Political discord personal to some" by Rebecca Santana Associated Press  May 23, 2015

Veterans of the Iraq War have been watching in frustration as Republican presidential contenders distance themselves from the decision their party enthusiastically supported to invade that country.

Some veterans say they long ago concluded their sacrifice was in vain, and are annoyed that a party that lobbied so hard for the war is now running from it. Others say they still believe their mission was vital, regardless of what the politicians say. And some find the gotcha question being posed to the politicians — Knowing what we know now, would you have invaded? — an insult in itself.

I find the question insulting because it is NOT a "if you knew know." THEY KNEW THEN THEY WERE LYING, and PEOPLE OUT HERE KNEW IT because I WAS ONE OF THEM! That is what started this whole search for truth. 9/11 was the first stop after Iraq as we made our way back through time.

‘‘Do-overs don’t happen in real life,’’ said Gregory Diacogiannis, 30, who served as an Army sniper in Baghdad trying to spot militants laying roadside bombs and chased high-value targets in the city of Baqubah. ‘‘I have trouble with the question itself just because it lends itself to disregarding the sacrifices that have been made.’’

Was he part of the Asymmetrical Warfare Group or in the movie?

Diacogiannis left the Army in 2008, but says even now he feels such a strong attachment to Iraq that he’s thought about going back to fight as the country has plunged into chaos since US troops left. 

Fine. You guys want war, go have at it. I'm done wasting my time trying to save your lives.

The war became a campaign issue when likely presidential contender Jeb Bush was asked about the invasion ordered by his brother, former President George W. Bush. After days of questioning, Jeb Bush said that in light of what’s now known — that Saddam Hussein did not have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction — he would not have invaded.

What was known then was known know. Protesters in the streets before Shock and Awe proved that.

Other possible Republican hopefuls including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz, and Ohio Governor John Kasich all later gave similar responses.

Aaron Hinde, 33, is appalled at what he feels the US invasion did to Iraq. He served there in 2003, mostly in the volatile city of Mosul and became active in the antiwar movement after leaving the Army in 2004.

He’s glad Republicans are being held accountable for the invasion.

Democrats are culpable, too.

Marla Keown, who drove trucks in Iraq for a year during her time in the Army Reserve, said it’s taken too long for politicians to admit the mistake of a war that killed 4,491 US troops and left countless Iraqis dead.

It's in the millions, at least, that was what was reported by the lancet and Johns Hopkins back in 2007.

‘‘It’s hard to see the good in war in general, let alone a war that everyone just now is realizing we shouldn’t have done,’’ said Keown, 34, who is a photographer in Denver.

Oh, everyone is just realizing it now, huh? Pfffffft!

But many veterans, regardless of whether WMD were found, saw legitimate reasons for being in Iraq.

It's hard to admit you committed atrocities so some greedy cla$$ of people of people could get rich.

John Kriesel lost both his legs when a 200-pound bomb went off under his Humvee outside Fallujah. He says he is proud of what he and his unit did to make Iraq safer, and said he would do it again.

Not everyone feels that way, and 22 a day are no longer around to tell it -- and that is not including the ladies.

The discussion comes at a particularly fraught time for veterans, who have watched Iraq steadily descend into chaos.

In recent days, Islamic State militants routed Iraqi government troops to take control of the city of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, despite American airstrikes designed to help the Iraqi forces.


Then why are they helping ISIS?

Kevin McCulley, a former Army medic, said Iraqis told him about their struggles under Hussein and he feels there were good reasons to get rid of the longtime dictator. He feels the emphasis really shouldn’t be on the decision to invade but on whether the United States should have stayed past its 2011 departure date to secure the gains made.

Not only is the revisionism disgusting, the shifting of debate is the same.

Many veterans say President Obama was in too much of a hurry to withdraw.

On Friday, Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton said despite the militants’ gains, US ground forces should not be sent back to Iraq. Clinton has previously called her support for the invasion a mistake.


Yeah, speaking of her:

"HUD secretary dismisses ‘witch hunt’ over Hillary Clinton" Bloomberg News  May 25, 2015

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro on Sunday defended former secretary of state Hillary Clinton against scrutiny of her Benghazi e-mails, calling it a “witch hunt” against the Democratic presidential front-runner.

“This thing has been studied to death by Republicans and Democrats, several committees including in Congress that have all said, ‘Yes, of course what happened was tragic, but Secretary Clinton was not in any way at fault,’ and what you have here with these e-mails is basically a witch hunt,” Castro said on CNN’s “State of the Union.’’

Castro added that House Select Committee on Benghazi chairman Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, “is very intentionally trying to manipulate this witch hunt to play politics.”

Nothing but political games will be played here. The emails have been destroyed, and neither side will admit to a false flag gone wrong because it would expose the lying rot of the entire system. The emails have been destroyed, and we will never know the truth of Benghazi. What we do know is government lied from the start with a fake video.

Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio who is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, dismissed speculation that Clinton is considering him as her running mate. 

If his cops haven't blown anyone away he might be.

Henry Cisneros, another former HUD secretary and San Antonio mayor, recently said Castro tops the Clinton campaign’s list. 

Clinton-Castro is kind of catchy, and it provides a rational for the theft of the Hispanic vote.

In a separate development, Republican campaign donor David Koch said Saturday that the roughly $900 million that he and his brother, Charles, plan to lavish on the 2016 presidential race could find its way into the hands of more than one GOP contender.  "We are thinking of supporting several Republicans," David Koch said in an interview.

Don't worry; there is no one to vote for on that side, either.


NDUMartin O’Malley plans upcoming Iowa trip

UPDATEBush family shows how to build cottages, WASP-style