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US Gov't collapses:
Bush mental lapses

Bush's Increasing Mental Lapses and Temper Tantrums Worry White House Aides
By Doug Thompson
From: http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7606.shtml
November 02, 2005 _
The Rant__By DOUG THOMPSON_Nov 2, 2005, 05:26

An uncivil war rages inside the walls of the West Wing of the White House, a bitter, acrimonious war driven by a failed agenda, destroyed credibility, dwindling public support and a President who lapses into Alzheimer-like periods of incoherent babbling.
On one side are the dwindling numbers of die-hard loyalists to President George W. Bush, those who support his actions and decisions without question and remain committed to both Bush and scandal-scarred political advisor Karl Rove.
On the other side are the increasing numbers of those who say Rove must go and who worry about the President's declining mental state and his ability to restore credibility with Congress, our foreign allies and the American people.
The war erupted into full-blown shout fests at Camp David this past weekend where decorum broke down in staff meetings and longtime aides threatened to quit unless Rove goes. Insiders say Chief of Staff Andrew Card now leads the anti-Rove legions and has told Bush that he wants out of the high-pressure job.
White House staff members say the White House is “like a wartime bunker” where shell-shocked aides hide from those who disagree with their actions and office pools speculate on how long certain senior aides will last.
Bush, whose obscenity-laced temper tantrums increase with each new setback and scandal, abruptly ended one Camp David meeting by telling everyone in the room to “go fuck yourselves” before he stalked out of the room.
Senior aides describe Bush as increasingly “edgy” or “nervous” or “unfocused.” They say the President goes from apparent coherent thought one moment to aimless rambles about political enemies and those who are “out to get me.”
“It’s worse than the days when Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s began setting in,” one longtime GOP operative told me privately this week. “You don’t know if he’s going to be coherent from one moment to the next. What scares me is if he lapses into one of those fogs during a public appearance.”
Aides say Bush, who has always had trouble focusing during times of stress, is increasingly distant during meetings, often staring off into space during discussions on the nation’s security and other issues.
Card has responded to the crisis by cutting back on the number of staff members with direct access to the President and jumping in to answer questions when Bush’s mind wanders.
“Some people say Karl Rove is ‘Bush’s brain,’” says one increasingly-concerned West Winger. “Well Andy has become the President’s voice. He’s there to speak when the President seems unable to find form an answer.”
Bush’s mental state is a hot topic on Internet blogs and has increased since this web site disclosed last year that the White House physician had placed the President on anti-depressant medication – a story the administration never denied. Others, including prominent psychiatrists like Dr. Justin Frank of George Washington University, wonder if Bush, an admitted heavy drinker who claims he quit without any professional help, is hitting the bottle again.
An increasing number of mainstream media outlets, including Newsweek, The Washington Post and the New York Daily News recently confirmed our earlier reports about Bush’s temper tantrums.
“Bush usually reserves his celebrated temper for senior aides because he knows they can take it,” the Daily News reported. “Lately, however, some junior staffers also have faced the boss’s wrath.”
“This is not some manager at McDonald’s chewing out the help," a source with close ties to the White House told the paper. “This is the president of the United States, and it’s not a pleasant sight.”
Bush loyalists claim the President can survive his current spate of political troubles and emerge stronger than ever but an increasing number of White House aides express increasing doubt. Some even go so far as to speculate if the President’s deteriorating mental condition can survive another three years in office.
“The President has lost his focus, his ability to govern and the trust of the American people,” says one longtime GOP operative. “Those are things that are difficult to recapture when you’re on top of your game and this President has taken one too many blows to the head.”
© Copyright 2005 Capitol Hill Blue

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Death Watch at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
By Doug Thompson
From: http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/printer_7560.shtml
Oct 21, 2005, 08:12

For all practical purposes, governing the nation has stopped at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as aides deal with an increasingly despondent President, mounting scandals and defecting dissidents from the Ship of State.
White House insiders say George W. Bush’s mood swings have increased to the point where meetings with the President must be cancelled, schedules shifted and plans changed to keep a bitter, distracted leader from the public eye.
“He’s like a zombie some days, walking around in a trance,” says one aide who, for obvious reasons, asks not to be identified. “Other times he launches into angry outbursts, cussing out anybody who gets near him.”
Aides say gallows humor has descended on the White House, where the West Wing is now referred to as “death row” and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, along with Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, are known as “dead men walking,” a reference to the last walk death row inmates take to the execution chamber.
With indictments expected against Libby or Rove or both any day now from the Valerie Plame scandal, the White House mood has a “Final Days” aura (“Final Days” was the title of Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s book about the last days of the Nixon administration). Although no one expects President Bush to be impeached or resign, Internet blogs buzzed this week with talk of a possible resignation by Vice President Dick Cheney.
“That’s bullshit,” says one longtime Republican consultant. “They’ll have to carry Dick Cheney out of here on a stretcher.” But Rove and Libby will be gone if they are indicted and some wonder if the President, whose ability to govern is already limited by despair and detraction, can function without Rove, often referred to as “Bush’s brain.”
“Rove’s role is diminished already,” says one White House aide. “He still meets with The President daily but all this has taken its toll. He looks terrible.”
So does White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, who has served longer in the job than anyone in modern times. Card works 16 and 17-hour days and, in the words of one Republican member of Congress, looks “completely burned out.”
But holding the White House together behind what has been one of the better Presidential propaganda machines is proving next to impossible as the American public and even members of Bush’s own party desert him over the war in Iraq, the nomination of White House counsel Harriett Miers to the Supreme Court, the Hurricane Katrina debacle, rising gas prices and the Valerie Plame scandal.
“The façade is gone and we are now seeing the Bush White House in all its incompetent glory,” says retired political science professor George Harleigh. “They’ve ignored reality for too long.”
With Congress distracted by growing scandals swirling around former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Washington has become a daily killing field for anyone involved in the GOP leadership.
This week, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s right-hand man unloaded on the Bush Administration during a speech to the New American Foundation, saying American foreign policy had been hijacked by “a Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal” that has destroyed this country’s credibility with its allies.
“I’m not sure the State Department even exists anymore,” Col. Larry Wilkerson, Powell’s chief of staff, told the audience of journalists and scholars. “It, like so many others things, have been destroyed by George W. Bush’s ‘cowboyism.’”
Wilkerson dismisses the Administration’s attempts to improve America’s image abroad.
“You can’t sell shit,” he said.
Wilkerson isn’t the only high-profile Republican operative bailing on Bush. Bruce Bartlett, who served as a Senior Policy Advisor in Bush’s father’s administration, is about to release a book: Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Destroyed the Reagan Legacy. Bartlett lost his job at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative Texas think tank, when word of his book project leaked out.
Republicans, the last to finally acknowledge the lies and duplicity of the Bush White House, no longer trust the Administration. When current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testified before Congress this week and claimed “significant progress” in Iraq, Republican Senator Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island fired back: “Well, we all wish that were true, but we can't kid ourselves, either.”
But Wilkerson, a veteran with 31 years in the Marines and a former director of the Marine War College, sums up what, sadly, will be the legacy of George W. Bush:
“If there is a nuclear terrorist attack or a major pandemic you are going to see the ineptitude of this government in a way that'll take you back to the Declaration of Independence.”
© Copyright 2005 Capitol Hill Blue

Fair Use Notice_This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.