THE BLOG

20 More Questions for President Bush

Yesterday, hoping to take advantage of George Bush's current question-answering state of mind, I put forth 20 questions about Iraq for him. I haven't heard back. But that's okay, I actually have some more questions for him. Because while Iraq is clearly the defining issue of his presidency, it is far from the only debacle he's overseen.

Here then, with a nod to Paul Harvey, are the... rest of the questions:

1.) Is the limit of your imagination replacing Andy Card with Josh Bolten?

2.) Why, during your 2004 campaign did you assure voters, "any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires... a court order" when you had been specifically authorizing wiretapping without court orders for nearly two years?

3.) Why was your attorney general unable to provide a response beyond "Um, none come to mind, Senator" to back up your 2006 State of the Union claim regarding warrantless wiretaps that "previous presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have and federal courts have approved the use of that authority"?

4.) The GOP crowd that was going to "restore honor and integrity" to Washington has instead given us Abramoff, DeLay, Libby, Frist, Santorum, Safavian, and Claude Allen. If this is what integrity looks like, can you blame those who'd like to bring back Oval Office blow jobs?

5.) Speaking of Claude Allen, your top domestic policy advisor, he abruptly resigned on Feb. 9 and was arrested a month later over a petty shoplifting scam (despite being in the highest White House pay bracket). In 2003 you nominated him as a judge to the 4th Circuit US Court of Appeals - a nomination that the Democrats scuttled. Knowing what you know now, was this the right decision?

6.) In 2003, when you said "I want to know the truth" about who leaked Valerie Plame's identity, did you ask your staff what they knew? If you didn't ask them, why not?

7.) Do you consider Dick Cheney to be a successful vice president? Why do you think so few Americans approve of the job he's doing?

8.) Why did it take less than two weeks after the unveiling of Janet Jackson's right boob at the Super Bowl before the GOP Congress held hearings on the matter, but 14 months before you caved to public pressure and allowed the 9/11 Commission to be formed? Had the 9/11 widows not pressured you to form the commission, would you ever have done it?

9.) Why wasn't your testimony to the 9/11 commission under oath? Why did you insist on having Dick Cheney in the room with you?

10.) With the domestic war on terror underfunded and understaffed, do you consider it a smart allocation of resources to have the FBI form a squad exclusively devoted to cracking down on sexually explicit material involving consenting adults?

11.) After Katrina, you said "I take responsibility" for the failure of the government. Is this the only disaster during your five years in office for which you take responsibility?

12.) In its post-Katrina rebuilding efforts, your administration, according to the Wall Street Journal, "is importing many of the contract practices blamed for spending abuses in Iraq," including contracts awarded without competitive bidding and cost-plus provisions "that guarantee contractors a certain profit regardless of how much they spend." So what's the thinking on this one, Mr. President -- 'If at first you don't succeed...'?

13.) You came into office pledging to be "a uniter, not a divider." What grade would you give yourself on that?

14.) Given your public pronouncements about your extensive Bible reading, what are your thoughts on Jesus' teachings about the poor?

15.) Why did Vice President Cheney fight tooth and nail to keep the records of his energy task force secret? What is he hiding?

16.) Given that we now know the heads of oil companies attended the vice president's energy task force meetings, and given that they denied it when they appeared before Congress, would you say they lied to Congress? Is this why Senator Ted Stevens was so adamant that they not be sworn in before their testimony?

17.) Would you have sent your daughters to a school whose science department taught that the earth is 10,000 years old?

18.) You appointed Karen Hughes, a woman who speaks no Arabic or Farsi, and who has no education in Middle East matters, to be our goodwill ambassador to the Muslim world. If another country appointed a goodwill ambassador to the United States who spoke no English and knew nothing about our country, how do you think that person would do?

19.) Why do you think the United States is so much more unpopular in virtually every country in the world since you took office? Are being respected and being "strong" mutually exclusive?

20.) Would you say you are someone who is able learn from his mistakes?