Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bush Reads Very Fast

Hat tip to Crooks And Liars.

A Humbled Presidency
After a series of setbacks, Bush tries a more thoughtful approach
By Kenneth T. Walsh

Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006

Maybe it was the influence of his wife, Laura, a former librarian, or his mother, Barbara, a longtime promoter of literacy. Or perhaps he was just eager to dispel his image as an intellectual lightweight. But President Bush now wants it known that he is a man of letters. In fact, Bush has entered a book-reading competition with Karl Rove, his political adviser. White House aides say the president has read 60 books so far this year (while the brainy Rove, to Bush's competitive delight, has racked up only 50). The commander in chief delved into three volumes in August alone-two on Abraham Lincoln and, more surprising for a man of unambiguous convictions, The Stranger, Albert Camus's existential tale of murder and alienation (story, Page 38).

Bush's critics aren't buying. A man who so regularly mangles the English language and seems to disdain complexity couldn't possibly be so cerebral, they argue. But portraying Bush as a voracious reader is part of an ongoing White House campaign to restore what a senior adviser calls "gravitas" to the Bush persona. He certainly needs something. Only about 34 percent of Americans approve of his job performance-and 58 percent say Bush "seems in over his head," according to Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg. If nothing changes, the president could be a major liability for Republicans in November's congressional elections.

Here's a partial list of books he's read so far.

I figure that's about one book every four days. Supposedly he's working for a living. So if he reads two hours an evening, and eight hours on Saturday and eight hours on Sunday, he's reading a book in about four hours.

Or maybe he's not working and he reads full time? I could read at that rate, but I probably wouldn't get much value out of it. The last book I read was Richard Heinberg's, "Running on Empty". I read it in about two weeks, while riding on the train. Had it been a sci-fi it would've lasted just a few days, but I skipped back now and then in case I missed something. I know out of Bush's reading list I'd be going about that slow, just because the content would be important to me. Some of those books interest me.

I believe he could've gone at that rate if he looked at each page, but not if he read them. This story is designed to paint him as some sort of supercomputer genius. I don't buy it.

I think this is a reading list suggested by citizens, and republished as Bush's reading list. Bush probably never even touched many of these books, if any.


Update: On another forum someone pointed out that these selections are in two book of the month clubs that the commentator subscribes to. So it's probably just a list taken from their offerings.


At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he wants to read something he should try The Constitution of the United States of America. I highly recommend it.

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Mike said...


Mort shoots . . . and he scores!!!

At 5:51 PM, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

I thought Laura said he read the bible every day for "guidance".

Maybe he gets the abridged (with comic form pictures) versions produced for him, like the Mormons? hand out at airports and train stations.

Who needs all those words anyway?

At 1:49 PM, Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

Perhaps someone should explain to him that if he opens the books up there are more words on the inside.

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 6:22 PM, Blogger 1988dylan said...

Wease, I see your comments on Kunstlerfuck and I think that you are brilliant. OEO said something about UN resolutions and is apparently of the mind that the US has honorably adhered to UN resolutions. This is not the case. Not only did the US defy the UN in the iraq debacle, the US defied the UN in the Nicaragua/Sandinista/Contra fiasco. Nicaragua appealed to the UN Sec council and the General assembly for protection against the US. The only nay votes were cast by the US, Israel and El Salvador (whose former lefty government we had already overthrown and replaced with right wing puppets). I thought you might have missed an opportunity to bash One Eye. A typical neocon, he believes that the US is always good honorable and right. He is sadly mistaken. Keep up the good work

At 7:02 AM, Blogger Ellie said...

many of the books on bush's list do not impress me like the pop culture murder mysteries. And Hamlet/Macbeth? Doesn't everyone read those in highschool? Not that there's anything wrong with reading them again, but I know over the course of my (yet unfinished) education I've had to read Macbeth about 4 times. And I really really doubt he got anything out of the Stranger ... anyway your point is a good one wease. Being the president ought to be a full time job. Where the hell is he getting all that time to read? Maybe from all his vacation time. And they wonder why we're so cycnical about the Bush admin.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

There's really no debate with OEO. That's not why he participates on JHK's blog. He's there solely as a disruptive influence.

I doubt he even expresses what he actually thinks.

I don't know that it's so much brilliance as that I've always been a voracious reader. And I remember a lot of what I read.

Often as not, I feel like I'm just stating the obvious.

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous JungleWoods said...

I'm not familar with Heinberg's "Running on Empty". I've read "The Party's Over" and "Powerdown" and recommend them over JHK's "Long Emergency" because Heinberg is not as prone to ranting as Kunstler.

As far as George Bush reading that list of books over the summer? Yeah right.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

I made a mistake there. It was, "The Party's Over".

I just looked at Amazon and recognized the cover...


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