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March 2006

The Assassins' Gate - Book Reviews - Books - Entertainment - theage.com.au
The Age (Melbourne, Australia)
Book Reviews
The Assassins' Gate
By Richard King
March 29, 2006
First-hand account of the events in Iraq brings clarity to recent history.
Author: George Packer

Between Wolfowitz's messianic convictions ("He had been pursuing this white whale for years") and Bush's criminal incuriosity, no sensible middle way emerges.

By Peter Fredson
March 24, 2006

Bush prefers to live in a world of fantasy, in which all his dreams of glory and grandeur come true, in preference to the cold reality of making a living on his own, serving his country like a trooper, and feeling some empathy for other creatures not in his circle of wealth and power.

He is know [sic] to possess little true curiosity, but seems to be amenable to indoctrination by several dozen advisors. Once he has fixated on an opinion it would take dynamite to move him from it. His staying the course is an artifact of his absolutist belief system.

The Daily Curmudgeon: Bush family values
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Incurious Neil Bush

So mommy [Barbara] Bush "donates" money for Hurrican Katrina victims but demands the money be spent buying software from son Neil Bush's company. Inside deals, family ties, foreign interests giving millions to make a Bush rich, incuriousness -- in this case about women showing up in your hotel room to have sex with you and then leave all part of the pattern for this family.

AP Wire | 03/23/2006 | Mike Wallace wants to interview Bush
Associated Press

Wallace's desire to speak to Bush was plain in his memoir, "Between You and Me," published last fall. The book's last line was a request: "So how about it, Mr. President, isn't it time you gave this old man a break?"

Wallace might not have helped his cause by describing the White House as "secretive" and "stonewalling" in an interview with National Public Radio last fall, or by saying Bush is "obviously an incurious man" while talking to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Brad Warthen's Blog: Flashback: Bush crosses the Rubicon
March 22, 2006
Brad Warthen's blog is on the website of The State (Columbia, SC). He argues in support of Bush's invasion of Iraq. A reader responds.

We see the results now of President Bush's stubbornness, disinclination to listen to opposing viewpoints, and general intellectual incuriousness. . . .

Posted by: Phillip | Mar 23, 2006 8:55:30 AM

The Doubters | TPMCafe
On March 20, 2006 - 12:30pm fasteddie said:

Bush's stupidity and incuriousness are legendary. . . .

The Frederick News-Post
The Frederick (MD) News-Post
After more than 40 years, this priest and teacher still tilts at windmills
Published on March 16, 2006
Incurious electorate deserves Incurious George?

The Rev. Fortkamp sees an overall erosion in education standards and, especially, in teaching people to think for themselves. He expresses deep skepticism about the current administration (as he did in the late 1960s and early 1970s). He doesn't blame the leaders, but rather an incurious and uninvolved electorate. With a wry smile, he says, "We've got exactly the president we deserve."

Michael Winship: Bush Visits My Hometown -- You Got Trouble, My Friends!
A BuzzFlash Guest Contribution
March 16, 2006
Michael Winship, Writers Guild of America Award winner and former writer with Bill Moyers, writes a weekly column for the Messenger Post Newspapers in upstate New York.

9:45: I imagine the president on Air Force One, flying over the Finger Lakes on his way to landing in Rochester. I hope he looked out a window and was able to see something through the clouds. That he suspended his purported incuriosity and was taken with the green, rolling hills, even on a blustery Tuesday in March.

Whiskey Bar: Soul Brothers

But Bush doesn't have any horses and no cows either--so why is called a ranch? . . .

Some guy in Texas was being interviewed by a couple a days ago by NPR. In the interview he mentions that those awful Democrats are always trying to harass poor decent, honest Bush. And that he wanted Bush to know that he thought of Bush often as Bush rode his horses on his ranch.

Incuriousness must be common disease in certain parts of Texas.

Posted by: Cheryl at November 14, 2003 04:15 PM

The Calgary Sun - Dare to debate
News Columnists
Mon, March 13, 2006
Dare to debate
Canada's role in Aghanistan warrants serious discussion
By Bill Kaufmann
Questions Canada's role in Afghanistan; apparently Mr. Bush's incuriosity was contagious and spread to the Canadian government.

While they strive to distance themselves from all things George W. Bush, our supposedly transparent and accountable federal government apes him; debating matters of war is unpatriotic while it undermines the troops, we're told.

Bombings, air strikes and assassinations three years on in Iraq are daily reminders of the wages of incuriosity.

George III - Can Virginia Senator George Allen Use His Red-Meat Appeal to Replace a Certain Sitting President? -- New York Magazine
Virginia senator George Allen has the charm and red-meat appeal of a certain sitting president. Can he win the throne by running away from him?
By John Heilemann
March 13, 2006 issue of New York Magazine
We face the possibility of moving from Incurious George W. Bush to Incurious George Allen!

It’s still a long way until 2008, and any number of scenarios might yet unfold. Before Allen can turn his attention fully to the presidential contest, he must stand for reelection this November, and with the entry of former Navy secretary James Webb into the Democratic field, that may prove tougher than expected. Guided by Karl Rove, Bush may tack sharply back to the right and regain his footing with conservatives. And no one should underestimate the star power of McCain, or the role that primogeniture plays in the GOP. In the end, it may simply be McCain’s turn.

But weirder things have happened than a charming, incurious, pseudo-southern pol filling a Republican vacuum and becoming the consensus candidate. It would be ironic if someone so Bush-like emerged triumphant by fashioning himself as the anti-Bush. Ironic, but not unthinkable.

The conservative bubble
Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Nevermind that his [Paul O'Neill's] description of Bush as incurious and insular, not to mention incompetent, played out before the nation during the Katrina disaster.

One Thousand Reasons
One Thousand Reasons
Monday March 6, 2006
Documenting the Failures of the Bush Administration
OTR Editorials
Bush Can Be Stopped by Gerald Rellick
Gerald S. Rellick, Ph.D., worked in aerospace industry for 22 years. He now teaches in the California Community College system.

The truth is that George Bush has no leadership skills whatsoever. He is completely incurious and has made it clear to his staff that he doesn’t care to be bothered with details of governance. But worse — much worse -- like his comrade in vileness, Dick Cheney, Bush’s only concern is power and some vague idea of a neoconservative revolution in America with the Republican Party at the helm for decades to come.

Charlotte Observer | 03/06/2006 | Farewell, Barney Fife
Mon, Mar. 06, 2006
A limerick smorgasbord: Olympics flop, stripper's quest, Veep's mishap
Editor of the Editorial Pages
This week's best entries in The Observer's Politics & Public Policy Limerick Contest. This is the oldest known Uncurious George or Incurious George usage in poetry of any kind, let alone a limerick.

Avis O. Gachet of Hickory fears the president may be too isolated for his own (and our) good:

Incurious George is in trouble.
The critical digits are double.
His advice -- only Rovian.
(Karl thinks George is Jovian.)
So the White House is thus in a bubble!

San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, March 5, 2006

Bush: Katrina tapes expose Uncurious George.

george f. will - Wonkette
Monday 03 06 2006
Ana Marie Cox

This Week
Podcast; Stephen Colbert interview (video) . . .

Panel time: George Will, Bill Sammon and Robert Reich. . . .

Will talks about “uncurious George,” and “it's what's not on this tape that's alarming — the absence of vigorous interrogation from the man at the top of the pyramid.“

Waas: Bush Received Reports Doubting WMDs - TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
Posted by Sailor
March 4, 2006 04:09 PM

then you have this from uncurious george:

"What's the difference?"
~ George W. Bush, 2003-12-16 in an interview with Diane Sawyer, excusing his lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, by claiming that there was no difference between having weapons and wanting to have them.

Ex Isle Forums > Videos show Bush knew about the severity of Katrina

Mar 4 2006, 05:28 AM
While "Brownie" still has a lot to answer for, he now seems a lot less culpable for the post-hurricane screw-ups than his bosses Michael Chertoff and the terminally incurious Bush.

The Aquidneck Inquirer
March 03, 2006

UNCURIOUS GEORGE: The Prez seems in a daze moving further toward authoritarian style governance. . . . Right now George II seems less than curious about what disasters he has presided over - and more interested in lining the pockets of his corporate buddies (CFX, U.A.E., Dubai Inc., Halliburton, Carlyle Group et al.).

News-Record.com - Greensboro, North Carolina: Opinion: Rosemary Roberts: The best way to see N.Y.
Friday, March 3, 2006

The Times story said, "Mr. Bush has never been a sightseer, and his planned two days in India and one in Pakistan are typical of a president who visited the Great Wall of China in 30 minutes flat."

When President Nixon and later President Clinton visited China's Great Wall, the presidents understandably spent much time there. I've been to The Great Wall, too, and I can't imagine anybody doing it "in 30 minutes flat."

So when I rode down Fifth Avenue, sightseeing to my heart's content, I thought about non-sightseers (such as our a incurious president) and what they're missing.

Majority Report Radio: BUSH'S FREE FALL

Bush Administration Summary

A man of average intelligence without curiosity and indifferent to learning allows a man of lower intelligence and no ethical standards to follow a plan by ambitious men with a belief that they have been chosen to rule the world.

Posted by: Dr. Zimmerman Robert at March 2, 2006 11:12 AM

Salon.com- Letters: Impeach Bush
What is the High Crime?
Thursday, March 02, 2006 7:04:25 AM

But besides the high stupidity, incompetence, insensitivity, incuriosity, and the bludeoningly ignorant management override of every working group that ever knew anything about anything that has faced us in the last 5 years...

-- Dano

Republic columnists - Jon Talton - Clueless in Washington
(Phoenix) Arizona Republic
02/22/2006 10:16:39

The fait-based [sic] president was unaware that his administration was giving a secret contract to a Dubai state-owned company to operate U.S. ports, including two that handle Army shipments. What else is unknown to the man Maureen Dowd has christened Incurious George? . . .

Global warming -- the issue that will most affect the lives of Americans in the future. The administration has consistently tried to suppress the objective science, preferring to get its scientific advice from a novelist.

The Peking Duck: Paul Krugman: George Unready
March 02, 2006
Paul Krugman: George Unready
Baked by Richard TPD at 09:24 PM
Because this blog comes from China, it comments on a piece in the following day's New York Times.

A simple request from Paul: Let's just look at what happened and determine whether Uncurious George was on top of things.

[Paul Krugman's New York Times column "George the Unready" of March 3, 2006, follows in full. It is cited on this website under Explained.]

RightWinged.com: Media Goes Nuts With New "Bush Knew About Katrina/Levees" Video... Distorting All The Way

I don't think that George Bush lied. I think that he is merely an extremely simple person, profoundly uncurious, and this foundation leads him to say things in honesty, that appear to be lies. He is a gifted politician, and a leader in ideas of a portion of the populace; but as a government official his qualifications are largely absent.

Posted by: Lyle Zymer | March 2, 2006 01:22 PM

Does Bush ask enough questions? - By John Dickerson - Slate Magazine
The Silence of BushThe president didn't ask a single question during the leaked Katrina briefing. Should that worry us?
By John Dickerson
Posted Thursday, March 2, 2006, at 4:21 PM ET

Bush has long been criticized for being incurious. . . .

Those in the room with him during other briefings also say he didn't ask very sharp questions then, either. Former anti-terrorism official Richard Clarke and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill both wrote about Bush's lack of curiosity. L. Paul Bremer's account of his 14 months in Iraq as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority inadvertently paints a similar picture. In briefings, Bush offered a pep talk—"pace yourself, Jerry"—and questions about tangential issues like whether the new Iraqi leaders would thank the Americans for their sacrifice. George Packer didn't work for Bush, but his book The Assassin's Gate paints a grim portrait of what happens when the president doesn't ask the right questions: Factions within his administration take over and pursue their own agendas.

February 2006

Drudge Retort: Bush Appeal Wanes for Some Republican Faithful
Posted by tonyroma at 2006-02-27 07:08 PM

But as much as you'd like to assign credit to Bush's own personna, you have to admit that his personal admissions of not liking to read is not a thing usually assigned to intellects. He admits that he isn't curious about things. . . .

Left I on the News
Here a blog entry

Curious George

. . .

// posted @ 2/23/2006 01:00:00 PM

The New York Times
GOP to W.: You're Nuts!
Maureen Dowd
February 22, 2006
The New York Times hides editorial columnists behind a payment wall, so no link, but it is posted at Liberty Post February 22 and the Toronto Star February 26.

It's mind-boggling that President Bush ever agreed to let an alliance of seven emirs be in charge of six of our ports. Although, as usual, Incurious George didn't even know about it until after the fact.

Journalists went overboard on the Cheney story. Good for them
Shot Selection
by Michelle Cottle
Only at TNR Online | Post date 02.17.06
The Ryan Lizza piece is listed under Citations Explained.

But the inestimable Ryan Lizza makes a compelling case that W.'s incuriosity and cluelessness are the defining characteristics highlighted by this little episode, and I'm inclined to agree. One can only assume that W. was too busy on the Stairmaster or out looking for some brush to clear in Rock Creek Park to be bothered with whatever trouble Cheney might be getting into out on the ranch.

The New York Times
Smoking Dutch Cleanser
Maureen Dowd
February 11, 2006
The New York Times hides editorial columnists behind a payment wall, so no link, but it is posted at Liberty Post.

The White House says it has done everything possible to protect the homeland. Unless, of course, it hasn't. Then it can lie to hide the callous portrait of Incurious George in Crawford as New Orleans drowned. . . .

In the new Foreign Affairs, Paul Pillar, who was a senior C.I.A. official overseeing Middle East intelligence assessments until October, says the obvious conclusion that should have been drawn from the intelligence on Iraq was that war was unnecessary. He says the White House "went to war without requesting — and evidently without being influenced by — any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq."

Gasbag deluxe (Metro Times Detroit)
by News Hits staff

What had us close to blowing a vascular gasket was the line "America is addicted to oil." Now there's a revelation. We know the Bushmaster is old enough to have been around during the early 1970s, when Americans were left sitting in gas lines for hours like so many junkies desperate for a fix. Uncurious George hit the sauce hard back in those days, so maybe he was in some extended blackout for a decade or so and really doesn't recall all that. But he's supposed to have been sober for some time now, which means there's no legitimate excuse for not remembering as far back as, say, last October, when he signed a horrendous energy bill into law. Did it not occur to our president as recently as five months ago that our nation had a severe gas-guzzling problem? Apparently not.

Salon.com | The little man
The little man
History will remember Bush as an incompetent and incurious man overwhelmed by a world too big for him.
By Garrison Keillor
Feb. 8, 2006
Incurious Bush administration. This column was picked up by at least eight papers, including Korea Herald, Chicago Tribune, San Antonio Express-News, Duluth News Tribune, Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas), Pantagraph (Central Illinois), Quad City Times (Davenport,IA) and Pahrump Valley Times (Nev.) as Join the government and go see the world. This column also introduces a new Bush nickname, "Old Brush Cutter." And, this column was cited in OpEdNews.com in Incurious AND Incompetent by Thomas L. Walsh, March 15, 2006.

Most of us sense that when, decades from now, the story of this administration comes out, it will be one of ordinary incompetence, of rigid and incurious people overwhelmed by events in a world they don't dare look around and see.

SOTU and reasoning | TPMCafe
The Coffee House
By Reed Hundt

On February 5, 2006 - 9:20am jackrussell said: . . .

As for Bush, he might as well be this student's uncle, since he apparently pioneered disengagement & incuriosity as a young man, raising it to the level of an art as he grew into the man he is today.

Alternative News & Information
The Pestilent Presidency
Posted: 2006/02/02
By Manuel Valenzuela

Thus came to pass that George W. Bush, weak in character and in mind, failure in life and born to privilege, unlearned, unwise and incurious, corrupt and incompetent beyond repair, was thrust upon a paradigm shift of time, where differing dimensions crashed into each other, creating parallel universes and alternate realities, transforming America into a nation whose past would never again be allowed to thrive. . . .

George W. Bush is a corporatist without intelligence, an unknowing, incurious, detached and ignorant human beings, a puppet to much brighter individuals, a tool for the corporate world.

January 2006

USATODAY.com - Lawmakers adjust to the 'battered Congress syndrome'
Posted 1/30/2006 10:22 PM
By Luke Frazza, AP
Not incurious Bush but incurious [Republican] Congress.

Bush is hardly the first president to grab for more power. Most do. But he is the first in a long time to have had such a compliant, even incurious Congress. For abdicating their constitutional responsibility, the clapping members you'll see tonight certainly don't deserve any applause for themselves.

Sunday, January 29, 2006
Words of a cartoon American soldier in Iraq


A Service of The Repository, Canton OH
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
This pro-Bush opinion is unusual in that letter writer Ben Eberhart considers curiosity to be a negative trait and lack of curiosity to be a positive trait, and also because he limits the object of curiosity to public opinion. Very likely, Eberhart hasn't considered the disastrous results of Bush's lack of curiosity about things that matter — such as global warming or whether attacking Iraq would be a proper response to the events of 9/11/2001.

Story: Gergen's insight
Name: Ben Eberhart
Hometown: Wadsworth
Comment: Very interesting insight. Clinton is an immoral person, devoid of character and completely dependent on curiosity, as evidenced by his total reliance on opinion polls. . . . Bush is highly moral, with a strength of character that leaves him free to lead without curiosity of what others think. . . . Lincoln didn't poll the public to help decide whether it was worth a fight to keep the Union together. He uncuriously took action and led. . . . Today, George Bush isn't the least bit curious of what others think of him. He's doing his job and leading the very fight against terrorism in which Curious Bill, the follower, refused to engage.
Email: beber@linuxmail.org

Gergen’s insight
Monday, January 23, 2006

Adviser-to-presidents David Gergen made an interesting observation in his speech at Mount Union College last week. He said that George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are virtually polar opposites. Clinton’s huge appetites include intellectual curiosity, but he comes up short in the morality department, while Bush is incurious but of strong character, Gergen said.

Gergen: Supreme court will be Bush’s legacy
Friday, January 20, 2006
Also listed under Uncurious Media. Uncuriousgeorge.org would not necessarily agree with Mr. Gergen on Mr. Bush's moral compass. Uncuriousgeorge sees Mr. Bush, like most so-called conservatives, as an extreme moral relativist.

Gergen noted that George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are almost polar opposites in how they approached the presidency. Although Clinton had an “enormously curious mind,” a gift for listening and what Gergen calls “360-degree” leadership, he frequently lacked a moral compass.

“In some dramatic ways, George W. Bush is the flip side,” he said. “His moral compass is set. He’s a man of great character. He is nowhere near as curious as Clinton. He doesn’t ask the tough questions needed in the Oval Office ... . There were no long, serious, probing conversations about Iraq, or how to win the peace once we got there. That’s not a model of how we teach decision making in college. We were not prepared for the worst-case scenario. Now that we’re there, we must succeed.”

On Iraq, Gergen continued, “The people who told us that it would be a cakewalk were flat wrong. For the country’s sake, let’s hope the soldiers who died there, didn’t die in vain.”

Gergen chided the media for being “cheerleaders” at the war’s beginning, rather than asking tough questions.

alt press online - The Imperial Presidency; Constitutional Crisis
Buffalo, New York
January 18, 2006
By Grady Hawkins
The Madness of King George

Vice President noted that the president “needs to have his constitutional powers unimpaired, if you will, in terms of the conduct of national security policy.” This is curious statement about a proven uncurious George Bush who doesn’t appear to read books, newspapers or his own daily briefings. It’s a curious statement about a president who seems to trust in God to dictate his foreign policy.

A delusion of monumental proportions by Steve Horowitz
Political Gateway
Posted Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:18 AM
Also appeared Jan 19 at Counterbias

Watching the three-hour profile of Abraham Lincoln on the History Channel last night, I realized how it is that George Bush can sleep at night.

It's not just a lack of conscience, or that an incurious mind is also an untroubled one. . . .

Doris Kearns Goodwin recently devoted an entire book ("Team of Rivals") to the fact that Lincoln was confident enough in his intellect and beliefs to staff his Cabinet with men who had opposed his election; Bush makes sure to appoint only yes-men, from whom he can be sure of hearing nary a discouraging word.

LA Daily News - Their Opinion
Hearings all pomp, no circumstance
By Jonathan Dobrer, Guest Columnist
Not incurious Bush, but incurious Alito and Incurious Supreme Court nominees.

Confirmation hearings have become a terrible ordeal, an exercise in knowing nothing and a passionate assertion that one qualifies for the court only by never having thought about anything of substance. Thoughts, ideas, beliefs are to be denied and narrow incuriosity to be celebrated. This is arrant nonsense.

We have begun treating our nominees for the Supreme Court like jurors in our own local courts. We have the idea that in order to be selected as a juror, you must never have read about the case, never have experienced anything like either the plaintiff or the defendant, and have no knowledge or expertise at all. Friends assure us that if we want to avoid being selected, all we have to do is confess either to an opinion or knowledge. We believe that ignorance and incuriosity equate with being a good juror and apparently, we have come to believe they also qualify one to be a good jurist or justice.

Scotland on Sunday - The Review - America at the gate of despair
Gordon Brewer
The Assassin's Gate: America in Iraq
George Packer
Faber and Faber, £14.99
Sun 15 Jan 2006

According to Packer: "No one at the top level of the administration was less interested in the future of Iraq than Donald Rumsfeld. Yet he would demand and receive control over the postwar, and he would entrust it to his more ideologically fervent aides, in whom he placed the same incurious confidence that the president placed in Rumsfeld."

The Bard Observer
Thu, Jan 5, 2006 - Issue 13
US Torture Policy
As deciphered by Professor Mark Danner
In this interview, MD is Mark Danner and SW is Sasha Winters

MD: . . . But there are many people who support the administration and want to believe that the US doesn’t torture, and I think he’s talking to them.

SW: Does President Bush believe this?

MD: [laughing] It’s hard to say what President Bush believes. It’s possible. He may believe that stuff is necessary, that it’s humane, and that people who say that we torture are just human rights zealots—that’s possible, but I just don’t know. At times he seems very incurious. I think it’s hard to make a judgment on that.

Podhoretz's Bad Faith Distorts Iraq's Prewar al Qaeda Links :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - ch
Walter C. Uhler
January 2, 2006
Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).

The question of "first loyalty to Israel" has been raised again, some nineteen years later, by both James Bamford (in A Pretext for War) and George Packer (in The Assassins' Gate). Both have decried the official machinations of two younger unregistered lobbyists for Israel, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser. Both were obsessed with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein -- in order to secure the realm for Israel -- long before they accepted employment in the administration of the malevolent Dick Cheney and the incurious, insouciant George W. Bush.

The Blog | Sherman Yellen: Bush as Bad Theatre | The Huffington Post

Like most incurious people Bush starts with a belief and then searches desperately for the evidence to support it.

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