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Mentions of George Bush as uncurious, without explanation

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September 2006

A caustic Maher bashes Bush, religion -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY
By  STEVE BARNES, Senior writer
First published: Saturday, September 30, 2006

Maher, it seems, is anti-Bush mostly because he believes the President to be intellectually challenged, uncurious about the world and baselessly confident in the moral rightnes of his positions.

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News
Keillor keeps it cordial
While in Bush's church, humorist shelves partisan book and plays to the pews
September 28, 2006
Also published on WFAA.com September 27, 2006.

On two pages in the book's [Homegrown Democrat] preface, Mr. Keillor variously describes George W. Bush – a member of Highland Park United Methodist since his family came to Dallas in the 1980s – as "incompetent," "inarticulate," "dishonest," "petulant," "rigid," "incurious" and "a man who is intellectually and temperamentally unequipped to rise to the challenges of his office."

President Hologram - The Smirking Chimp
by Mike Whitney | Sep 26 2006

It’s widely known that Bush is an incurious poseur who doesn’t read the newspapers and has no interest in the grueling task of managing the government.

The Sun Herald | 09/24/2006 | 'Greatest Story Ever Sold'
(Biloxi, Mississipp) Sun Herald
Sun, Sep. 24, 2006
'Greatest Story Ever Sold'
Politics, media compared
This has yet to appear in the Los Angeles Times.Review of Frank Rich's The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth From 9/11 to Katrina.

Dick Cheney, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Paul D. Wolfowitz and the rest of the neo-conservatives, who came to Washington as intellectual props for a stunningly ill-prepared and "incurious" president, brought with them an ideological belief that the Middle East, starting with Iraq, needed to be remade.

Reality Watch: Facts About Bush And His Failure (Worst President Ever)!!!
September 16 9:13 PM

We were attacked under Bush’s leadership and he was warned by the Clinton White House and warned by his own staff concerning the terror threat. He IGNORED the WARNINGS! . . .

Indeed, when the CIA sent a briefer to Crawford, Texas, to go over the ominously-titled August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." -- which talked about N.Y. buildings being cased, preparations for hijacking of planes, terrorists in the U.S. with explosives, etc. -- Bush barely listened and then insultingly dismissed the briefer, saying "All right. You've covered your ass, now." . . .

It's Faith Over Science, Myth Over Reality. We know that this attitude -- "my mind is made up, don't bother me with the facts" -- shows up most openly in how science is disregarded by the Bush Administration (good example: global warming) in favor of faith-based thinking. Some of this non-curiosity about reality may be based in fundamentalist religious, even Apocalyptic, beliefs. Much of Bush's bashing of science is designed as payback to his fundamentalist base, but the scary part is that a good share of the time he actually seems to believe what he's saying, about evolution vs. intelligent-design, stem-cell research, abstinence education, censoring the rewriting of government scientific reports that differ from the Bush party line, cutbacks in research & development grants for the National Science Foundation, etc., ad nauseum. This closed-mind attitude helps explain, on a deeper level, why things aren't working out in Iraq, or anywhere else for that matter.

Paradise Post - The War on Terror: would brains help?
Paradise [California] Post
September 16, 2006
By Jaime O'Neill

I would like to blame cruel fate for putting the nation in the hands of such a profoundly ignorant and incurious man at such a critical time in our history, but it's hard to blame fate when we elected such a man to office, twice.

calendarlive.com: BOOK REVIEW - How 'truthy' replaced truth following 9/11
Los Angeles Times
September 13, 2006
The Greatest Story Ever Sold The Decline and Fall of Truth From 9/11 to Katrina Frank Rich Penguin Press: 344 pp., $25.95
By Tim Rutten, Times Staff Writer

Dick Cheney, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Paul D. Wolfowitz and the rest of the neoconservatives who came to Washington as intellectual props for a stunningly ill-prepared and "incurious" president brought with them an ideological belief that the Middle East, starting with Iraq, needed to be remade.

The Public's Power Base: 9/11/01 - The Day Bush Failed to Do His Job
posted by Steve Magruder @ 9/11/2006 12:43:00 AM
This blog was renamed The Counterelite Rebellion.

Bush "got lucky" (politically) off of 9/11 because of his ineptness and/or incuriousness to examine details in front of his face before 9/11.

What Does it Take? | TPMCafe
Ian MacLeod
September 10th, 2006

After all, can you think of ANY OTHER WAY a crude, stupid, ignorant (yes George, there is a difference), compassionless, amoral, lying, greedy, incurious and probably clinically mentally retarded fool like George W. Bush could end up President of the United States?

Columns: Our old sense of Americanness is lost
St. Petersburg Times
Published September 10, 2006

Osama bin Laden could not have devised a better plan than to attack when he did, when the incurious Bush and his neoconservative mentors were waiting for an excuse to attack Iraq.

Cumberland Times-News - Bush isn’t an idiot, just an ‘average Joe’ in way over his head
Published: September 10, 2006 12:04 pm
Richard W. and Toni Jones, Cumberland

In a recent segment on his cable news show, Joe Scarborough discussed an interesting question: “Is Bush an Idiot?” Democrats have been raising this issue for some time, but what makes Scarborough’s segment remarkable is that he is a conservative talk show host, and a former Republican Congressman from Florida.

While Scarborough didn’t exactly conclude that Bush is an idiot, he noted that some former administration officials have said that Bush embraces a narrow world view and is intellectually incurious. . . .

Anyone who runs for the highest office in our country . . . should know a lot more about the political, economical and social environment of the world in which we live, both at home and abroad, than the average person on the street. He or she should be a student of history, and be fully abreast of current events around the world.

These attributes do not describe George Bush. College and post graduate degrees are not enough. The President of the United States should to [sic] be intellectually curious, not intellectually lazy.

24 Hours Vancouver - News: Layton, NDP off target on Afghanistan conflict

The consequences of Bush sidetracking the fight against al-Qaida can be seen in the world news section of any paper. Now, Jack Layton's joined him.

Sounds like an odd pairing: An incurious rock-ribbed conservative and a socialist university professor committing the same sins. Just like Bush, though, Layton is taking his eye off the ball by calling for a Canadian pullout from Afghanistan.

American Prospect Online - The Brains Thing
Three years of watching Bush makes the point: Intelligence matters more than “character.”
By Matthew Yglesias
Issue Date: 09.01.04

The job of the president of the United States is . . . to manage a wide range of complicated issues. That . . . requires intelligence. It requires intellectual curiosity, an ability to familiarize oneself with a broad range of views, the capacity -- yes -- to grasp nuances, to foresee the potential ramifications of one’s decisions, and, simply, to think things through. Four years ago, these were not considered necessary pieces of presidential equipment. Today, they have to be.

The most egregious consequences of Bush’s lack of intellectual curiosity have come in regard to foreign policy. But domestic policy making has suffered, too. Indeed, Bush’s disengagement has arguably been more severe in this arena. Abroad, one can at least say that Bush made some choices he believed at the time to be the right ones. But on the home front, the president’s lack of commitment to any idea (beyond a blind faith in the power of tax cuts to cure all) has turned the policy process into a joke and consistently marginalized serious analysts in favor of the entirely political counsel proffered by Karl Rove and other hacks. . . .

But no one tries to assert that Bush is a deeply engaged decision-maker. In fact, the known record suggests that he takes the advice of the last person he listened to, whether that person was making sense or not, and his advisers understand it as their responsibility to jockey to be that person. . . .

Serious policy advocates simply have no chance of winning over a man who can’t be bothered to listen closely to what they’re saying. Instead, hacks and flim-flam men rule the roost.

August 2006

Letters: It's a wonder he has time to lead the country - Salon
Also Not Buyin' It
by MAV in Florida
Wednesday, August 30, 2006 1:40:51 PM

I think the only way Incurious George would have read, as he calls it, "Three Shakespeares" would be if the Classics Illustrated comics were still in print (I loved those things when I was in grade school, by the way).

Boise Weekly - Not Your Everyday Newspaper: Opinion: Bill Cope: How To Not Lose
AUGUST 30, 2006
How To Not Lose
Aid to dependent Republicans
This editorialist has some unusual advice for Republicans (not excerpted here) that might help them win in November 2006. Worth a look!

Joe Scarborough has openly called the president "intellectually incurious"--a tactful way of saying "dumber than a dust mite"--and even George Will and William Buckley, those reliable slabs of unbuttered toast on the conservative plate, have acknowledged Iraq is a neo-con-induced catastrophe.

TomPaine.com - The Bush-Is-An-Idiot Camp Grows
David Corn
August 30, 2006
David Corn writes The Loyal Opposition twice a month for TomPaine.com. Corn is also the Washington editor of The Nation and is the co-author along with Michael Isikoff of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War.
Also published same day at David Corn.

The other day I crossed paths with a conservative talk show host. We chatted about current events. He noted that he was quite pissed off at the neocons for suggesting that American blood should be spilled to benefit the Iraqis. Let the Iraqis take care of themselves, he huffed. I asked, “Are you in the Bush-is-an-idiot camp?”

This was a reference to a recent segment on Joe Scarborough’s MSNBC show during which Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, posed the question, “Is our president an idiot?”  After playing a montage of video clips showing Bush at his tongue-tied worst (“Fool me once, shame on you—fool me—you can’t get fooled again”), Scarborough said that an former close aide to President Bush had recently told him that Bush is “intellectually shallow and one of the most incurious public figures this man has ever met.” Scarborough claimed that Bush is “getting worse instead of better” and that when it comes to presidential stupidity Bush is “in a league by himself.” He added, “I don’t think he has the intellectual depth.”

It Shines For All: Gore Calls Bush 'Incurious' Archives
Posted by Daniel Freedman at August 28, 2006 09:43 AM

Questioned as to whether he thought US President George W. Bush, who defeated him [sic] in the 2000 presidential elections, was stupid, Gore replied: "I don't think he's unintelligent at all. He's incurious ... there's a puzzling lack of curiosity."

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Gore: Democracy is under attack
Posted by Melissa McEwan at 11:32 AM on August 28, 2006
Also posted at Shakespeare's Sister, same day, same title.

Also, when Gore was asked the recently popular question of whether Bush is stupid, he replied, "I don't think he's unintelligent at all. He's incurious ... [ellipsis in original] there's a puzzling lack of curiosity," proving once again that he is not only a scholar, but a gentleman. Because if I had been subjected to repeated charges that I was "too brainy" and "too wonky" and "too professorial" etc. like he was by the media in 2000, only to have them ask six long years later whether Bush is stupid, I would have screamed, "Fuck youuuuuuuu, assholes!" just before my head exploded.

An example of incompetence
Jon Talton
Aug. 27, 2006

For President Bush, the bungled response was a political disaster made worse by his seeming callous disinterest. The empathy and decisiveness Bush had shown after 9/11 deserted him. The incurious part of his nature worked against him, as aides finally showed him a DVD of the destruction to spur him to action.

Bush's Disdainful Presidency
By Robert Parry
August 26, 2006
Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek.

Bush is “impatient and quick to anger; sometimes glib, even dogmatic; often uncurious and as a result ill informed,” Frum wrote.

McGavick Regrets Past as Drunk Driver | TPMCafe
Pants on Fire: The Burning Bush
By Duncan Ives Lewis
Aug 25, 2006 -- 05:16:20 PM EST

You have to wonder how many people are still in prison from snorting from the same batch of cocaine that incurious George tooted himself.

Leiter Reports: A Group Blog: All the Options Are On the Table (Edmundson)
Posted by wedmundson on August 24, 2006 at 09:53 AM in Guest Blogger: William Edmundson

Or is Bush's incuriosity and belligerence simply a tactic?

The Stakeholder:: NM-01: WashingtonWilsonWatch
Posted by: Peter Rosenberg | August 23, 2006 01:17 PM

Explain how Bush enabled and exacerbated the horrendous problem we now have in Iran by removing Iran's biggest obstacle to increasing its sphere of influence – The only one against which they were afraid - Iraq under Saddam, and should have saved our resources to bring the downfall of Iran first, before Iraq, because Iran is a far greater threat to us and our allies than Iraq ever was or could have been. Bush 41 knew that! Why didn't the incurious Bush 43 pay any attention? . . .

Why isn't the self-admitted fact that the President is incurious and doesn't read newspapers constantly publicized? (and he admitted he doesn't read the President's Daily Report either, which would have warned him about Al Qaida's plans and the fact that planes might be used as weapons – Condi Rice's job was to read excerpts for him)

President on Another Planet
The Washington Post
Eugene Robinson
Op-Ed Columnist
Tuesday, August 22, 2006; Page A15
Appeared same day in the San Francisco Chronicle as Seein' is not believin' and in the Seattle Times as Deciphering the Decider.

George W. Bush, the most resolutely incurious and inflexible of presidents, was reported last week to have been surprised at seeing Iraqi citizens -- who ought to be grateful beneficiaries of the American occupation, I mean "liberation" -- demonstrating in support of Hezbollah and against Israel.

SFist: SFist Rants: Our Poor, Poor Favorite Book
SFist is a website about San Francisco.
August 16, 2006
Apropos of news that George W. Bush has been reading The Stranger by Albert Camus. This comment describes Meursault, the protagonist of The Stranger as "a callow, incurious man"; this description applies at least as much to George W. Bush as to Meursault.

After all, Camus' take on the absurdity of the universe and the meaning in its meaningless is pretty much the complete opposite of the world view espoused by President "You're Either With Us or Against Us." Not to mention the whole doing it for Jesus pose. Then again, maybe he is seeing something in the tale of a callow, incurious man who realizes the true nature of the universe after doing something that damns him. That act? Well, as any fan of the Cure would know, Killing an Arab.

The Blog | Joe Scarborough: Is Bush an idiot? | The Huffington Post
This was excerpted in Even Republicans now wonder if Bush is an idiot Aug. 17, 2006, in Capitol Hill Blue. Scarborough (R-FL) served in the House 1995–2001.

The biggest knock on Bush’s brain is his lack of intellectual curiosity. Former administration officials still close to the White House will tell you Mr. Bush detests dissent, embraces a narrow world view and is intellectually incurious.

YouTube - Is Bush an "Idiot"?
posted August 15, 2006. [Actual broadcast date unknown.]
Video of MSNBC's Joe Scarborough discussing George Bush's mental abilities or the lack thereof, discussing video clips of Bushisms. He interviews John Fund from the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.com. This transcript excerpt courtesy uncuriousgeorge.org. Scarborough (R-FL) served in the House 1995–2001.

Joe Scarborough: John, one of the president's former aides who worked with the president in foreign policy and has been with him for a long time told me recently that he's intellectually shallow and one of the most incurious public figures this man had ever met. I hear that from congressmen, I hear it from senators, I hear it from staff members — shouldn't that concern us?

John Fund: Yes. Let me tell you two things that do concern me. Someone once told me a long time ago that George Bush is a great guy, but the smirk is real. There's a smart-aleck nature to him, and I would say while he's intelligent he is not always imaginative. And I wish there were a little bit more imagination and curiosity. . . .

Joe Scarborough: We do need a president who, I think, is intellectually curious. and that's the big question: whether George W. Bush has the intellectual curiousness — if that's the word — to continue leading this country for the next couple years.

edmontonsun.com - Music - Linda still lookin' left
Edmonton Sun
Thu, August 10, 2006
Ronstadt makes no apologies for her politics mainstage lineup

"George Bush is intellectually incurious, which is a nice way of saying it. He is not well educated, not well travelled. He'd never even been outside of the country. Can you imagine? His father was president, vice-president and head of the CIA, and it had never occurred to him to travel outside of the United States. So people like Jackson Browne or Bruce Springsteen, who travel the world, are very knowledgeable people and support other cultures, they're not entitled to make a political statement more than George Bush?" [Said Ronstadt]

Ambassador: Bush Didn’t Know There Were Two Sects of Islam » Outside The Beltway | OTB
Saturday, August 5, 2006
By James Joyner

While I don’t doubt the central thesis that Bush is not particularly intellectually curious, it’s almost inconceivable that anyone–let alone a man whose father was CIA Director, Vice President, and President–would not at least be aware of something so basic [as that Muslims are divided into Sunni and Shia sects].

Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque - High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium - The Fifty-Percent Solution: Catastrophe by the Numbers
Monday, 07 August 2006
Also appears at under Incurious Media

The truth is too glaringly obvious to ignore, even for a pathologically incurious, spoon-fed twit like Bush.

July 2006

Look Ma, No Script: What That Says About Me - New York Times
Published: July 23, 2006

Or does his bread-muffled voice confirm the view of him as a base and incurious cowboy with all the diplomatic finesse — and eating habits — of a Cossack, as others say?

The American Thinker
Who's Stupid Here?
Matt May
July 21st, 2006
This piece criticizes those who call Bush uncurious, but the author makes a number of whoppers, errors, and malaprops, including disinterested for uninterested, and confusing the baboon (a monkey, with a tail) for the chimpanzee (an ape, without a tail — our closest animal relative). Alternatively, he confused baboon for buffoon.

Within a group never known for its consistency, it has been the one thing upon which the left agrees: George W. Bush is an intellectually incurious baboon.

What was revealed by that open mike
San Francisco Chronicle
Robert Scheer, Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bush had started the exchange by noting, absurdly, that, "This is your neighborhood, doesn't take you long to get home." Uh, yeah, incurious George, sure thing. Never mind that St. Petersburg is in Europe, on Russia's northwestern corner, due north of Turkey, and Beijing is on the eastern edge of mainland Asia. "You, eight hours? Me, too. Russia's a big country and you're a big country," he said when corrected, sounding for all the world like an earnest kindergartner, processing new information. "Russia's big and so is China."

Evoca - Al Gore says Bush is uncurious
Jul 16, 2006
2 minute recording of Al Gore, but he doesn't say that Bush is uncurious.

A Chicken Is Not Pillage: Tough Choice For Incurious George
A Chicken Is Not Pillage (Weblog name)
Tough Choice For Incurious George
July 14, 2006

So, what does incurious George do? He has parlayed war into electoral gains, and that appears to be his playbook ... control through manipulated fear.

Giving the devil hell and his due--Bush at 60
July 14, 2006 at 07:25:41
by Don Williams
This piece points out that despite his faults, Bush has recently done seven specific good things. Read it!

Mostly I've belonged to the growing chorus of Americans outraged by Bush's unprecedented mix of cronyism, cynicism, arrogance, dishonesty, lack of curiosity and general incompetence.

The American Prospect - Doctrinal Errors
TAP talks to journalist Ron Suskind, author of The One Percent Doctrine, about power, secrecy, and the Bush administration's radical approach to fighting terror.
By Benjamin Weyl
Web Exclusive: 07.12.06

[TAP:] The book seems to bolster the impression, partly supported by your previous book, The Price of Loyalty, that the president is an incurious person, easily influenced by others who understand his affinity for bravado and instinctive action. . . .

[Suskind:] He is quite engaged operationally in how we fight the war on terror, though he is not particularly curious. He often will not read briefings. In many cases, policy debates end at the vice president’s desk.

Small d democrat: It's OK if you're Chris Hitchens
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Small d democrat cites Sullivan to contrast his condemnation of calling Bush stupid by "the left" and his endorsement of it by Christopher Hitchens.

Andrew Sullivan, earlier today, responding to a John Derbyshire piece on Bush's incuriousness. . . .

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: Piety and Politics
Thursday, July 6, 2006
cited by Small d democrat July 6, 2006 as It's OK if you're Chris Hitchens.

The Derb [NRO columnist John Derbyshire, excerpted in next entry] speaks:

[excerpt omitted.]
This is the Tory version of the left's obsession with Bush's "stupidity." He's not stupid. Just unwise and incurious about his unwisdom.

John Derbyshire on June Diary on National Review Online
July 5, 2006 6:30 AM
Gone, but Not Forgotten
This is published in The National Review, the house organ of the American conservative movement. Different excerpts appear in a citation under Uncurious Media. This piece was also cited by Andrew Sullivan July 6, 2006.

It is there, in the judgment area, that GWB falls down as a president. He trusts his own instincts too much, is too sure of his own spiritual convictions, and has too little understanding of the lives of un-rich people. He’s not stupid, but has no curiosity, and is short on intellectual humility.

By Georgie Anne Geyer
Mon Jul 3, 8:06 PM ET

President George H.W. Bush was cut from the Buffett cloth: courtly, modest, prudent about the use of power, curious about the world, sure of himself but always thoughtful of others. He was our last president of the longevous Eastern Protestant Establishment.

His son, President George W. Bush, illustrates exactly the opposite of those qualities: abrasive, immodest, reckless in the use of power, incurious about the world, utterly sure he is a king of a court that he rules ("The Decider") rather than the president of a republic that he serves. His administration, with its irresponsible wars and palpable lies, comes down as the political apotheosis of the economic Enron scandal.

The Carpetbagger Report » Blog Archive » Taking a weed whacker to the Bushes
July 01, 2006
Posted 9:16 am
Guest Post by Morbo

. . . one of the things that makes W such a dud is his uncurious nature and willingness to be led by others (who are always evil).

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