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G W Bush showed little interest in policy discussions in his first 2 years in th [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2004-1-10 15:17:35 |Display all floors
O'Neill Depicts a Disengaged President

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 10, 2004; Page A01

President Bush showed little interest in policy discussions in his first two years in the White House, leading Cabinet meetings "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people," former Treasury secretary Paul H. O'Neill says in an upcoming book on the Bush White House.

  

O'Neill, who was forced out of his post in late 2002, spoke extensively to former Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind and offered up 19,000 documents, including private White House transcripts and personal notes for the book "The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill."

The book will be released next week and was not available yesterday. The only on-the-record details to be had were selected quotes released by CBS from the book and from an interview with O'Neill to be aired Sunday on "60 Minutes."

The book is meant to be a chronicle of the first two years of the Bush administration and the process that shaped the president's policymaking, mostly seen through O'Neill's eyes.

According to the CBS material, O'Neill told Suskind that Bush was so inscrutable that administration officials had to devise White House policy on "little more than hunches about what the president might think."

In the "60 Minutes" interview, O'Neill described his first Cabinet meeting with the president: "I went in with a long list of things to talk about and, I thought, to engage [him] on. And as the book said, I was surprised that it turned out to be me talking and the president just listening. . . . As I recall it was mostly a monologue."

This is not the first time Suskind has coaxed unflattering descriptions out of former White House officials. In the January 2003 issue of Esquire, John J. DiIulio Jr., the former head of Bush's faith-based policy office, told Suskind, "There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. . . . What you've got is everything -- and I mean everything -- being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."

DiIulio quickly apologized and said he was "deeply remorseful." White House officials dismissed the significance of the University of Pennsylvania professor, a Democrat in a modest position who worked in the White House less than eight months.

O'Neill, in contrast, occupied the administration's most prominent and important economic post for two years, and helped usher through the 10-year, $1.35 trillion tax cut in 2001 that remains one of Bush's most important legislative feats. He was named to the post at the insistence of Vice President Cheney, an old friend, and he had close ties to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

But O'Neill's tenure at Treasury was marked by verbal gaffes and impolitic comments, some of them in direct contradiction of White House policy. He publicly disparaged Bush's 2002 imposition of steep tariffs on steel, roiled currency markets with his blunt talk, enraged a Brazilian president, and ultimately split with Bush in late 2002 over the president's push to end taxation of corporate dividends.

That December, Bush forced an unsuspecting O'Neill out of office in a purge of his economic team that also sent packing his National Economic Council director, Lawrence B. Lindsey.

White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan would not comment on the substance of O'Neill's statements.

"The White House isn't in the business of doing book reviews," she said. "The president appreciated Mr. O'Neill's service, and he is now focused on the future and our nation's highest priorities."

O'Neill did not return phone calls yesterday, and Suskind declined to provide the book's contents in advance of its release.

O'Neill, a former chief executive of aluminum giant Alcoa Inc., frequently complained that the media oversimplified his comments and took them out of context. He told his hometown Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, "If the 'red meat,' taken out of context, is all that people get out of this [Suskind] book, it will be a huge disappointment to me. Ideally, this book will cause people to stop and think about the current state of our political process and raise our expectations of what is possible."



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Post time 2004-7-24 23:52:59 |Display all floors

GWB 91

Excerpts:

According to statements in the report, there have been twelve presidents over the past 50 years, from F. D. Roosevelt to G. W. Bush who were all rated based on scholarly achievements, writings that they alone produced without aid of staff, their ability to speak with clarity, and several other psychological factors which were then scored in the Swanson/Crain system of intelligence ranking.

The study determined the following IQs of each president as accurate to within five percentage points :


147 Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
132 Harry Truman (D)
122 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
174 John F. Kennedy (D)
126 Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
155 Richard M. Nixon (R)
121 Gerald Ford (R)
175 James E. Carter (D)
105 Ronald Reagan (R)
99 George HW Bush (R)
182 William J. Clinton (D)
91 George W. Bush (R)


The non-partisan researchers who evaluated the twelve presidents determined that the six Republican presidents for the past 50 years had an average IQ of 115.5, with President Nixon having the highest IQ, at 155. President G. W. Bush was rated the lowest of all the Republicans with an IQ of 91.

The six Democrat presidents had IQs with an average of 156, with Bill Clinton having the highest at 182. President Johnson was rated the lowest of all the Democrats with an IQ of 126.

No president other than Carter (D) has released his actual IQ, 176.

Among comments made concerning the specific testing of President GW Bush, his low ratings were due to his apparent difficulty to command the English language in public statements, his limited use of vocabulary (6,500 words for Bush versus an average of 11,000 words for other presidents), his lack of scholarly achievements other than a basic MBA, and an absence of any body of work which could be studied on an intellectual basis. The complete report documents the methods and procedures used to arrive at these ratings, including depth of sentence structure and voice stress confidence analysis.

"All the Presidents prior to George W. Bush had a least one book under their belt, and most had written several white papers during their education or early careers. Not so with President Bush," Dr. Lovenstein said. "He has no published works or writings, so in many ways that made it more difficult to arrive at an assessment. We had to rely more heavily on transcripts of his unscripted public speaking."

The Lovenstein Institute of Scranton Pennsylvania think tank includes high caliber historians, psychiatrists, sociologists, scientists in human behavior, and psychologists. Among their ranks are Dr. Werner R. Lovenstein, world-renowned sociologist, and Professor Patricia F. Dilliams, a world-respected psychiatrist.

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Post time 2004-7-25 05:57:27 |Display all floors

High IQ no guarantee of desirable behaviour: The Case of Robert McNamara

IMHO, high IQ in a leadership figure, without other important moral qualities, does not lead to  good results anyway. Robert McNamara was a brilliant Harvard student who at an early age rose to become the president-elect of the Ford Motor Corporation. He was considered a genius. Yet, this charming old man was in part responsible for the death and mutilation of hundreds of thousands of his fellow human beings.

He was appointed Secretary of Defence by President John F Kennedy and was credited with introducing business-like efficiency and the science of statistics to warfare: the body-count ratios, for example. His knowledge of regional politics was not so good. He admits in the recent documentary ‘The Fog of War’ that he only found out after the war, is a casual conversation with a former senior North Vietnamese politician, that the Vietnamese and Chinese were not historic allies, for example.

When pressed in the movie to admit some responsibility for the mistakes of the Vietnam war, he said none of it was his responsibility: It was all the responsibility of the presidents he served under: Kennedy then Johnson. To me, this was an amazing thing to say. However, I think it reflects more on the nature of the US constitution, the role it assigns to the President, and the traditions surrounding the presidency, than on the personal moral failure of a single individual.

So McNamara’s great intellect failed him, his country and humanity.

(Apparently he redeemed himself as head of the World Bank - unfortunately I have not been able to find a book about his time there: only oblique references in other books. Does anyone know of one?)

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Post time 2004-7-25 08:11:44 |Display all floors

To: thestud - Bush

Think about it:

If the dummest man in the wolrd is the most powerful man in the world and directly affects your life.

What does that make the rest of us?  - specially you.

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Post time 2004-7-25 12:16:08 |Display all floors

The world is going down the drain, and tens of thousands of innocent lives die.

Everyone can see it but you, odon

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Post time 2004-7-26 09:06:37 |Display all floors

To thestud - down the drain

hey dude stick to the subject, don't let your emotions eviscerate your rationale. Think critically and logically.

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Post time 2004-7-26 09:13:37 |Display all floors

crap

on thestud and his hate and racism, just looking to trash any westerner that comes along. He waits to crap on any attempt to understand and he craps on any attempt to achieve a world of peace, his a crapper!

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