Bush’s 60th birthday celebration gets "Foiled"

President Bush today held one of his extremely rare press conferences. Hey, lay off. If you were going to get asked a bunch of depressing questions about Iraq, Iran, and North Korea you wouldn’t want to be up in front of the press either. Later on in the evening he even went a step further and gave an interview to someone named Larry King. What is the occasion? It’s his 60th birthday of course! Birthday or not, if you were a hard-nosed reporter and had a deadline on your story, you’d go for the jugular…wouldn’t you? To avoid any uncomfortable questions Bush decided to have a photo-op with any of the White House correspondants who “happend” to share his July 6th birthday. Anyone? Yes good readers. You know where this is going already don’t you? Even the President knows that when you want to dodge tough questions it is time to go to Raghubir “The Foil” Goyal. “Coincidentally” July 6th is his birthday as well. Yeah right (tip via my Mom).

Bush celebrated his birthday with friends on Tuesday at a White House party on Independence Day and there weren’t supposed to be any festivities on Thursday. Still, the occasion was noted in a long day of meetings and public appearances, including a press conference with Harper.

The president received birthday greetings from Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin who talked with Bush on the phone Thursday morning about North Korea’s missile tests.

As Bush closed his news conference, a reporter in the audience, Raghubir Goyal, called out that it was his birthday, too. Bush invited him to the podium for a picture. The president asked if anyone else had a birthday and invited them to come up. Two others, reporter Richard Benedetto and State Department employee Todd Mizis joined the birthday celebration. [Link]

I think this is like when you pretend that it is your birthday so that you can get free cake at the restaurant.

See related posts: A wtf? moment at the Whitehouse press briefing, Goyal’s toils, One-Track Uncle, Scott McClellan feels the heat, Who let brown folks aboard Air Force One?

26 thoughts on “Bush’s 60th birthday celebration gets "Foiled"

  1. Bush celebrated his birthday with friends on Tuesday at a White House party on Independence Day and there werenÂ’t supposed to be any festivities on Thursday. Still, the occasion was noted in a long day of meetings and public appearances, including a press conference with Harper. The president received birthday greetings from Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin who talked with Bush on the phone Thursday morning about North KoreaÂ’s missile tests.

    That’s funny — when the UN turned 60 last year, the Bush Administration didn’t even bother to show up for the party. I’ll bet the Foil would’ve been there….

  2. I saw this….the joint press conference b/w Canadian PM Stephen Harper and President Bush. Bush reffered to the two heads of state as “me and Steve”. chi, chi, chi! My Prime Minister is Bush’s buddy “Steve”! :-(

    Ewwww. Or as my moms would say: chi’kay!

  3. he can’t answer any questions ..because he doesn’t know anything. not about foreign policy, not about domestic policy, nothing.

  4. he can’t answer any questions ..because he doesn’t know anything. not about foreign policy, not about domestic policy, nothing.

    Yeah, that may be true, but give the man a break, it’s his birthday for cryin’ out loud, ;) .

  5. he can’t answer any questions ..because he doesn’t know anything. not about foreign policy, not about domestic policy, nothing.

    It is difficult to win with this crowd. One minute he is dumb as a door knob and the next he is this sinister genius who wants to dominate the world and build an empire. Can you please make up your minds.

  6. Happy B’day to him!

    It was Fifty-Cent’s birthday too. No, I didnt mark it on my calender just heard it on the radio

  7. I concur, let the old man enjoy his special day.

    “it is the my birdhay and i vill cry if i vant to, cryyy if i vant to…”

  8. For a guy who spent the first 20 years of his adulthood drinking himself into oblivion, he is in excellent shape. He’s only 4 years younger than my dad – but my dad, like many Bengali dads, avoids exercise like the plague. So, his body is probably 10 years older than he is.

    I agree with Nara – Bush’s critics want us to believe he’s as dumb as rocks and yet brilliant enough to advance the neoconservative agenda.

    It was nice to see Bush celebrating in my backyard – Chicago. Too much time in DC skews one’s perceptions. Not to mention Chicago is simply a better dining town than Washington.

  9. “One minute he is dumb as a door knob and the next he is this sinister genius who wants to dominate the world and build an empire.”

    He’s dumb as a doorknob, and he’s the head of an administration made up of sinister geniuses who want to dominate the world and build an empire.

    Hope that clears things up! :)

  10. He’s dumb as a doorknob, and he’s the head of an administration made up of sinister geniuses who want to dominate the world and build an empire.

    Hope that clears things up! :)

    While it certainly clears up the accusation, it hardly makes the accusation credible. Such verbal volleys were leveled at the U.S. during the Cold War – so the players have changed, but the arguments have not.

    For men trying to dominate the world, they ignore the entire region of Latin America, and insist on multi-party approaches to Iran and North Korea. Plus, given Bush’s attempts to promote realistic non-proliferation efforts by acknowledging India’s nuclear status (in contrast to 30 years of American lectures on the joys of uniltareral disarmament), the closest relationship we have had with Japan – these are hardly the actions of a man trying to keep people down.

    Of course – I still would have liked it if Rumsfeld were canned.

  11. It was Fifty-Cent’s birthday too.

    note to self: induce labor or do whatever it takes, at all costs, to avoid having a child with the same birthday as Dubya and Fiddy. Should investigate the bearings said birthday has on impeded brain function…

  12. they ignore the entire region of Latin America,

    They do?

    Did you forget about the CIA’s involvement in the coup that tried to overthrow Hugo Chavez a few years ago?

  13. Bush is a fantastic President. I don’t buy the liberal green hippy leftist maily rich anti-Bush brigade.

  14. note to self: induce labor or do whatever it takes, at all costs, to avoid having a child with the same birthday as Dubya and Fiddy. Should investigate the bearings said birthday has on impeded brain function…

    If you get pregnant now, the baby should be born 3 months before their next birthday ;)

  15. He’s dumb as a doorknob, and he’s the head of an administration made up of sinister geniuses who want to dominate the world and build an empire.

    But at least he saved us from the likes of Socialists like Gore and Kerry!

    With regards to geniuses and empire building…

    You don’t have to be a genius to plan and build an empire. The British were not particularly smart – in fact, the few thousand or so Brit civil servants who ruled over India were also not really intelligent. One could even make the case that they were dumber than the subjects they ruled. However, they had other empire building qualities…

    1. Patience: They waited for years, sometimes decades to make a move against a recalcitrant Raja. They were patient with alliances, and took their time to understand how things work. They did not declare victory even after being victorious, because they understood the transient nature of things.

    2. Loyal: They were subservient and loyal to the Queen. If she sent them to their death, they went without questioning. They protested nothing, and did not suggest anything that would go against the empire. If the Queen wanted soldiers to shave twice a day, they complied right away. Individualism was non-existent to the point of monitoring even the spousal choices of Civil Servants.

    3. Incorruptible: This was the most important trait. The civil-services brigade came from the finest English schools where the highest standards of personal integrity were honed into them from an early age. The classic English upturned nose came not from power, but from the knowledge that their personal committment to the Empire was uncorruptible. A Raja or a Sultan could not tempt an Englishman with bribes. Even if bribes were taken to confuse allies, all of it was sent to the queen, down to the last coin being documented and accounted for. British Civil Servants did not have any other income apart from their salary, and many of them died in poverty and obscurity in their old age, despite having controlled millions of square miles of India in their prime.

    Despite my love for America, let’s see how Americans fare in these qualities…

    Americans have the patience of a child in a candy store. Coming from a remote-control world, they want things right away, and are easily deceived by appearances of an objective being fulfilled. They don’t take time to study people and cultures in detail before embarking on misadventures like Vietnam or Mid-East. Victories are declared hastily, and then backpedalling happens the very next day.

    They have the same loyalty as of a Hollywood celebrity towards the spouse. They switch causes and sides without compunction. They are a collection of individuals (as the founding fathers envisaged) and change direction randomly to achieve their personal goals in life. They are educated in the lowliest of American public schools, where bathrooms have the highest standards of obscene graffiti in the world.

    And since they are individuals (who are usually looking to retire early), they are corrupt. If a mid-east Shah-Ibn-Bin-Mulla offers a CIA operative the right amount in a Swiss Bank, the agent will quickly become a mole or a double-agent, and soon disappear and assume another identity to enjoy his wealth. Years of intelligence will go down the drain.

    Can an empire be built and sustained with such people? Not a chance!! And if the policy makers, neocons are really intelligent, they should know this.

    M. Nam

  16. And since they are individuals (who are usually looking to retire early), they are corrupt. If a mid-east Shah-Ibn-Bin-Mulla offers a CIA operative the right amount in a Swiss Bank, the agent will quickly become a mole or a double-agent, and soon disappear and assume another identity to enjoy his wealth. Years of intelligence will go down the drain

    Uh, the intelligence business is far more murky and complicated than this. Nice job in shitting on all CIA/intelligence personnel. This scenario goes both ways and in reality we’ve probably bribed more guys on the other side of the fence than the other way around. Only reason WE (the public) finds out is because this is a somewhat of an open society. Other countries simply kill the dudes without a word. What we suck at is keeping secrets for too long. Again, a side effect of being a relatively open state with a large government. But we’ve used this to our advantage, especially in the cold war when poor designs were fed to Russians who replicated/copied it even poorly.

    I agree that we aren’t patient or tend to loose commitment once we take action, but that delves into how our leaders manage public opinion and use the appropriate psychological tools/triggers to maintain a positive opinion. Even in WWII everything wasn’t kumbaya. The isolationists had a pretty strong grip pre war. War bond drives not only raised money, but also kept public opinion and morale up.

    “Selling” something in the information age will take more skill and effort than the past. Leaders of the world and people in general are still coming to grips with this. Truth has far more value today and how to disseminate it quickly and efficiently taking the initiative away from the opposite side, getting into their OODA loop, is something we do VERY POORLY.

    By the way, the American concepts of individuality is what really does seperate us from the masses. It has pros and cons, but I’d take this system anyday over others.

    YMMV

  17. American concepts of individuality is what really does seperate us from the masses. It has pros and cons, but I’d take this system anyday over others.

    Me too.

    What I was trying to say was that it was on purpose that the Founding Fathers left us a society/country with values which were not compatible with Empire-building, simply because they themselves were victims of an Empire. They did not want Americans to make the same mistakes as the British. They wanted Americans to be individuals with self-gratifying goals who would not easily submit to authority.

    Let’s see who wins: Founding Fathers or NeoCons.

    M. Nam

  18. If aliens took a snapshop of popular culture and caught glimpses of Hollywood, the answer would be super clear.

    Founding fathers win hands down.

  19. Moornam, Given your past views on the Bill of Rights I consider it laughable that you are now coming to the defense of the founding fathers.

    They would be rolling over in their graves. :)

  20. But at least he saved us from the likes of Socialists like Gore and Kerry!

    how much longer can we keep on growing as an imbalanced global society? as we progress towards critical mass, some would argue that socialism is the way of tomorrow… one that may be far, but inevitable. either that or we will keep on drawing blood as we have in history.

  21. Given your past views on the Bill of Rights I consider it laughable that you are now coming to the defense of the founding fathers.

    Considering that I’ve laughed your humour many times, I’m glad to be of service this once, even though your laughter may have been in derision.

    Founding Fathers were correct in many human aspects which do not change with time and technology. They were short-sighted in aspects which change with time and technology.

    Empire building is a useless exercise which cause misery to everyone involved. It was true during Ceasar, true for the British, true today and it will be true ten thousand years from now when we will have Star Wars technology. So the founding fathers were right on that one.

    Money for nothing, unfair taxation etc, are bad for everyone. It was true during Roman times, true during the Founding Fathers’ time, true today and will be true a million years from now. The impending collapse of Social Security, Welfare, Medicare etc vindicates the stand of Founding Fathers.

    Now where they lacked vision (not necessarily faulting them), was the method of warfare and the technological changes which would make some of their assumptions obsolete. They lived in a time where an enemy had to ride for weeks on horseback or travel for months in a ship to attack. They lived in a time where almost everyone raised their own chicken, farmed their own products and drew their own water. Hence, economy and resources were largely de-centralised. Everyone knew everyone else and privacy was non-existent beyond the doorstep of the house.

    Hence, they did not foresee an enemy who could sit ten-thousand miles away and with the click of a remote kill millions of people. They could not foresee an enemy who could cripple the world’s financial systems, poison large dams or bomb trains and planes. Hence, they did not foresee any reason for a pre-emptive war unless the attack took place. In fact, “war” in their dictionary meant engagement with a country, with a king/queen and an army. They did not foresee an ideological war, where the enemy had no country, no place and was willing to sacrifice self for a nebulous cause.

    This is where we need to revise some of Founding Fathers assumptions. Nothing can be frozen in time – especially things that change with technology.

    M. Nam

  22. Sumiti:

    how much longer can we keep on growing as an imbalanced global society? as we progress towards critical mass, some would argue that socialism is the way of tomorrow

    We are adressing this imbalance thru free trade and globalization. for example, US maufacturing pay rates have beeen forced down to international norms, to the great benefit of poorer nations.

    But if by “critical mass” you mean natural resources becoming scare, this is a big if. The Malthusian disaster was supposeed to happen a long time ago, but technological developments have made the use of existing resources more efficient or replaced them w/ resources cheaper and more plentiful.

    Julian simon argued that population is a benefit, not a cost…ie, the more people the greater likelihood for a scientific developemnt. This is why he won his famous bet w/ Paul Ehrlich. (they bet on the price of 5 metals. if theses resources were to become scarce their prices would increase. They went down)

  23. We are adressing this imbalance thru free trade and globalization. for example, US maufacturing pay rates have beeen forced down to international norms, to the great benefit of poorer nations.

    that is part of what i was referring to… it is true that we are stepping in that direction, but it is a needle in a haystack… there is a lot to be debated here and your example is very broad… anyway, that is beside the point of this thread and i need to focus on my deadline! :)

  24. Bush’s critics want us to believe he’s as dumb as rocks and yet brilliant enough to advance the neoconservative agenda.

    How’s this–he has slightly above-average intelligence (higher SAT scores than Gore) but a mentality ill-suited for making strategic and/or weight decisions. He also has too much faith in loyalty, and as a result has surrounded himself with vicarious megalomaniacs, fantasists, and incompetents who have, among other things, set back several areas (Iraq, New Orleans, the earth) decades. While doing so, his administration has managed to push out many of the well qualified bureaucrats who were maintaining the state machinery for decades, thereby losing a hell of a lot of human capital and furthering this process along.

    Enjoy your day.

  25. How’s this–he has slightly above-average intelligence (higher SAT scores than Gore) but a mentality ill-suited for making strategic and/or weight decisions. He also has too much faith in loyalty, and as a result has surrounded himself with vicarious megalomaniacs, fantasists, and incompetents who have, among other things, set back several areas (Iraq, New Orleans, the earth) decades. While doing so, his administration has managed to push out many of the well qualified bureaucrats who were maintaining the state machinery for decades, thereby losing a hell of a lot of human capital and furthering this process along.

    Enjoy your day.

    While the current state of Iraq is nothing to boast about – the idea that it is set back several decades would hold true if you made the case it was advancing under Hussein. What you had, to borrow from Christopher Hitchens, was a Mafia enterprise masquerading as a state. An enterprise that destabilized the region for over 20 years, and having worn out its welcome, was efficiently toppled. But the same military which is so good at eliminating enemies is ill-suited to forming consensual government in the Arab world.

    New Orleans – since Katrina hit several states, why didn’t we similar levels of chaos in other states? Did the feds do a better job in Mississippi? Hardly, but other levels of government did not atrophy in neighboring states as they did in Louisiana. Blaming Bush for decades of corruption in New Orleans is a stretch.

    The earth – whoa – now we are ascribing God-like powers to a man who holds office for 4 years in a term. For all the paranoia about global warming, more children will die from insect-borne infectious diseases, because DDT has been banned due to environmentalist pressure. So nations in Africa, which could save their kids lives with modest spraying of DDT, instead have to yield to the orthodoxy of environmentalists safely living in Western countries. They now seems to set their sights on China and India, which are lowering poverty levels at a rapid clip, but that advancement keeps environmentalists in the West awake at night. All those Indians and Chinese people driving cars – why can’t they be content with walking and bicycles like generations before?

    As for the bureaucrats – when did they have a right to lifetime employment? India is full of bureacrats, some of whom probably pre-date independence. Did India’s condition improve because of the quality of its bureaucrats, or due to the quality of its entrepreneurs? The Great Society ballooned the number of bureaucrats, and many social conditions worsened.

    Of course, this all started out with a discussion about one man’s birthday. Apparently, even a birthday is no reason to skip a Festivus-style Airing of Grievances.