You're listening to the audit on the lever. Lever lever. We want to say it both ways I want to with Dave Anthony and Josh Olson and of course what what
our study buddies yes say
eight study buddy Kate Willis
you see those tools as a back pain or upgrades or if they fail fast they're just here to take your home good wow. You got this agent Jamshed David this is a yacht This podcast is brought to you by the lever a reader supported investigative news outlet, you can go to lever news.com to find all of their reporting.
You can also subscribe to lever news weekly news podcast lever time, which is available on all major podcast players. If you'd like to support this show, head over to levered news.com/audit To become a paid supporter. Basically, the lever built its own version of Patreon, and they even cut out the middleman. And this is how it works. When you become a paid supporter, part of that money goes to the creative team at the audit and part of that money goes to the lever. So not only are you supporting this show, but you'll be directly supporting the levers independent journalism.
As an added bonus, every audit supporter will also get access to the levers premium content, including their exclusive newsletters, private podcast feed ebooks, and live events. If you'd like to make a one time contribution, you can also find the audits Tip Jar at lever news.com/audit And leave us a tip. And we are of course still still slogging our way through the George W. Bush masterclass in leadership. Have you guys in the since we last recorded Have you had a chance to exercise anything you've learned from the first couple of episodes in leadership? Kick you're a CEO of a massive company with?
Yeah, I mean, I'm still
grappling with what you said about how I'm not going to be the President of the United States. I've been coming to a sort of slow acceptance of that. And just going from there, and I've been trying to think, pretend that I like people, that seems to be sort of a key point he made. Yes, it's going fine. I wouldn't say getting extraordinary results. But
I wouldn't take that too far. I think Yeah, cuz you went, Yeah, you can end up married to some. Oh, god. Yeah,
I know. I will. That's the thing too is this. It's like, I mean, this is a bit of a tangent. But you know, some of this stuff about how pretending you like people, if you're a lady, and you do that with guys, they're like, you know, they don't think that you're just networking. They think that
you? Yeah, yeah. Unless you're my son and a girl hits on you for six months, and you still can't figure it out. Right?
That's the there's only two extremes. There's like, there's like people who you can just be like, Hey, I like you. I would like to go on a date. And there'll be like, what does she mean by that? And then there'll be like people that are like, you know, oh, hey, excuse me. Do you know what time it is? And it's like, oh, she's down you know? Nothing there's nothing in between.
God this is cringe inducing. told me the story it's I found myself after some some event with a group of people at the old Cafe when I was in Hollywood at one o'clock in the morning to slowly winnow down to just me and and a very famous actress who everybody in my cohort that is my age or so has been in love with for many decades and we're just sitting having coffee and I'm sitting there and I'm like, literally no, and I was single I was like at no point is it occurring to me to even like like what does have a conversation I mean, it's It would be absurd to me sounded really talked about like well, but Vedic or Western for like an hour and a half and had coffee on until the morning was really nice even made plans to go to some Western film festival because he liked old 50s westerns. I'm like, I'm completely I'm like putting nothing out. I'm not. I'm just trying to do that. Like I'm safe vibe that us. Yeah, I do. And I go home. And it turns out we have a mutual friend who will come like a week later called her friend and goes What's with your friend Josh? I was just like throwing vibes at him all night and he just was not interested. Oh, wow.
It's hard. It's hard to read be married.
Good job, Josh.
Thank you. That was that was? I'm probably better off.
That's why, by the way, that's why I asked my wife.
Where's that cafe when one Cafe went on? Yeah. Yeah. The late limited cafe 101. Well, let's, before we get into Bush, I wanted to talk about something that happened recently that is making me insane because it's such a perfect example. I think, you know, he's gonna go Yeah, we all know this. But I feel like you could discuss for like hours to get to really what it means to what's going on in politics today. And not just like that's happening. This was from a meeting. Our buddy, buddy never met him. Unusual Wales. You guys follow this? Yeah. Twitter. It's a I shouldn't say I shouldn't say dude, because I don't know. Do you know, Dave?
Is that person or different? Okay.
Yeah, it's a they're a great Twitter account. And they follow like, economics and stock mostly like stock market stuff. And they're the ones who broke the story about Nancy Pelosi is just astonishing record as or I guess her as as an investor, just like, his his success rate is just way beyond
it's just astonishing. And these were he they put out this video last week of just these, you know, financial hearings at the House Financial Services Committee last week. And if you haven't heard this, you need to be sitting down.
The gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Hollingsworth, is now recognized for five minutes.
Well, good afternoon. I'm excited to be here with each of you. Before I get started on my questions, Mr. Moynahan, I wanted to let you know so Ruthie, raise your hands her thing. She has been my team member for a couple of years now. But on Monday, she becomes a Bank of America team member, about which she is very, very excited. So I hope you'll take good care of her and know and recognize the talent that she has shown already in our office, I'm sure she'll do the same at Bank of America. We will do that and her father already works for so he'll take care of you should have told us. We could well I appreciate the opportunity to chat about some of these issues today. What I'm really interested in is the state of
so just sitting there openly cracking up about the revolving door between politics. And obviously, this is not surprising. There's a little a little surprising. It's so open but not even that surprising, but it just really hit me because we're constantly being told over and over again, at least from folks or you know, the Democratic sector that we're living in The Handmaid's Tale. And we want to see where things are going with The Handmaid's Tale or watch The Handmaid's Tale. And I guess there's some truth in that, but the thing that really hit me the most is, I think the book that we're really living in is the emperor's new clothes. Because everything is happening right in front of you on national TV. And the people who live the people who control the discourse, the media, the pundits, all those folks, the paid Twitter, people, and so forth, all talk about this shit as though you don't know it, they talk about shit that doesn't actually exist or doesn't really matter. And they talk about politics in a way that isn't real outside of their world. And I always go back to stuff like this, or you go back to those, you know, you're always being told the numbers are good, the unemployment is down, and the GDP is up, and they throw all these numbers at you and everyone then they have guests on. And they all talk about how the President is doing a great job because the economy is looking great. And it never occurs to any of these people. Because we live in a country where it's been going on for a while a majority of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, that emitted but if you're in that situation, and you turn on the TV, and everyone you know is in that situation. And every time you turn on the TV, it's stuff like this that I just played, or it's somebody telling you that the numbers are good, or it's people talking about an economy that bears no resemblance to your life whatsoever. And then they think like we have to do messaging better. It's like, No, you don't people are not they're not dropping out and they're not running away from you and they're not going fuck all the parties are all the same, because of some message that are being sold. They're seeing that because everything they turn on the TV, they're watching bullshit like this, and they're not as mired as these People are in any kind of partisan loyalty and any kind of ideological loyalty. So they're just looking at the world they live in. They're seeing the people in charge Absolutely, and utterly corrupt and laughing about it. They're seeing the numbers that are told by which everything is measured are absolute bullshit. And they're going fucking I'm out of here. And the conversation still revolves around people who live in this tiny little beltway who think they live in something that vaguely resembles reality, who understand why people are checking out. And it just, it makes me fucking insane.
And, and people are treated like, you know, there's,
there's just kind of an open contempt among politicians, for people who say things like, yeah, you know, you should just, we should just have health care for everybody. It's like, Ah, you little juvenile had it, you just do you don't understand you clearly possess, you know, like a child, like, you know, vision or whatever fairy tale. So what I was looking for, and it's like,
I don't know. Yeah, I mean, it's like, I'm sure the thing is, is if you're like, if you're doing well, let's say you're like a guy that makes you know, 200k a year, I'm sure that incremental change does feel fine, too. But I don't think that people who are struggling with basic needs really feel particularly good about hearing politicians say that solving the most basic issues that a government is supposed to solve is like, you know, a pony, as Hillary Clinton put it,
you know, yeah.
I'm constantly wondering, I mean, I realized the other day, it really hit me that I have spent half of my working life being okay. But I still go about the world. I mean, literally, just like night and day, I'm a screenwriter and work in a stupid business where this can happen if you're incredibly lucky, which I live, which I was, where you could literally go from living in like a one room flop house, to, you know, making an ungodly amount of money overnight. And most people don't live in that world. And most people can't live in that world. And for all that, I steal the fact that I spent half my working adult life living paycheck to paycheck or worse. still haunts I still wake up at four o'clock in the morning. It's so stressful. These people, how they're so disconnected from that reality, how they don't get it. That's like, that's it, man.
They don't care. I mean, what do you mean disconnected there? When they say messaging, their messaging is to how to talk you into staying the same way. They're, they're just rich people fucking over. They don't they don't give a shit at all. They just don't care. And I know people want to think the Democrats care. The Democrats, they don't like we would have health care if they cared,
they don't care. There's a way to stay in power. And eventually, yeah, but they don't care
about that. Because they know they will get back into power. And when they're not in power, they profit like there's no non, there's no point where they're not profiting all of the Democratic consultants who are terrible at their job. They're terrible. They just keep profiting because they just keep doing elections. And then when they're out of office, they send out the fundraising emails, and they make their money and they just keep making money. It's so they can send the kids to nice schools and have their nice houses. And that's all it is. Yeah, of course, they're gonna say, of course, they're gonna say this in the hearing now that
why wouldn't they? Because he doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter. Everybody knows what the game is. But I've never
it's become more and more fascinating. The last decade or so just so out of the open everything from we've talked about this. I mean, the fact I still people have forgotten the memory hold it. Joe Biden's I exploded in blood during a debate.
Oh, my God. Remember that? Yeah, no.
And we never discussed it. It was like 30 seconds or like, oh, yeah, that was wild. Whereas, you know, if it had been trumped, rightly so people were like, See, see, see, he's falling apart. And it's just like, each team completely. You know, I mean, Trump's fucking insane. You have to be out of your fucking mind to look at that guy and go, yeah, he's my man. But you can get so lost and having contempt for the people who do that you lose sight of the fact that you're doing the exact same thing for your guys. Biden could shoot a guy on Fifth Avenue, and Democrats would line up to like, excuse it away. And,
I mean, they kind of did in a way. I mean, not to get us into things. So
people are gonna be too mad about but, you know, I mean, Biden was accused of sexual assault and harassment. And, you know, I'm not going to opine on you know, if it happened or not, I wasn't there, but there was certainly no investigation into it whatsoever.
That was the crazy yeah. And you got put into a situation where if your position was simply, you know, all these things should be treated with with equanimity and should be investigated, especially when it's somebody like say the president, you're like, oh, you know, I By the way here, if you want a version where it's not even about right and wrong, I want to know this didn't happen before we get to a point that it explodes on this and Alexa Trump about that. Yeah, exactly. Why aren't you interested in getting to the bottom of this? Yeah.
Well, you know, I mean, speaking of that, Italy had their Italy had their Trump years ago. Yeah. And and now they have their, their competent fascist. Yes. You know, it's it's, uh, you watch it all. You watch it all come into place, and you just think, if Neo liberals cannot see that they're the problem at this point, then it's astounding. Like, every single country in which you have neoliberalism is fucking falling to fascism. Get you out of your ass. It's very, very obvious what's going on.
I don't know if either of you guys are allowed to think this is funny, but I can I thought someone called her post Salini made me laugh. Yeah. In Did you see that Hillary Clinton like, praised her. She was like, it's you know, it's a great thing. Whenever. Whenever we elect a woman, it's always a step forward. Oh, my God.
Even Yeah, that was a pinnacle. That was like a parody.
Yeah, that was like, that's like, what? Like, that's like, what people would make fun of about like the girl boss thing. Like, that's like the exaggerated version of it. It's like, no, she really just did praise a girl boss. Fascist.
Yeah, well, yeah. Yeah, just straight up. And I don't I don't know what to do with the fact that there is a tribe. I feel like it's dwindling. In her case of people who are not only cheering her for that, you know, the people not only were like Fuck, yeah, strong, strong girl boss and Italy. Those same people were outraged when the backlash to those stupid fucking comments came was like, by the way, she's a fascist like, Why do you hate women? Just eat some women's they're not allowed. Can we just acknowledge your woman? Come on, you know, some women who are fucking awful, right? Oh,
yeah, definitely. Definitely. I mean.
Yeah, I mean, it's, you know, it's
it's so cynical. I think it's good to elect women. But I mean, it like definitely matters what that woman believes. And does. It's fully ridiculous to claim that it doesn't. And I don't even know if I think anyone believes that anymore. Like, I think that even like, among your average, you know, average Liberal Democrat here. They would very few people. Were saying, for example, that like Kellyanne Conway was, you know, a positive step for women. But I mean, I guess at the at the outer edge, you do get some people who will literally say anything.
Yeah. It's funny, cuz we're gonna get to both of these in a minute or two of the masterclass. Do something and you want to just jump into
it. Oh, yeah. So there's a pretty cool car going on.
Oh, the podcast.
We want to we want to Well, by the time this hits a little bit, for what, in fact, we're the that's weird. Yeah, they came out before us, but we've been at it longer. We do want to welcome our new brothers in podcast or the CIA. This wonderful medium. We'd love to have their hosts on our show. We'd love to go on their show. Fun, right.
So you know, obviously everyone's been watching what's happening in Iran, which is, you know, been building for literally generations being led by women because obviously most depressed I mean, they're, they're living The Handmaid's Tale, right. And, and so the liberal media needs to find someone who did this. Much like when when Georgia elected two Democratic senators, they decided that was all Stacey Abrams that did it as opposed to hundreds and hundreds of people on the ground, working like driving fucking school buses around to get people registered, like the work well, they know it's all Stacey Abrams. So they, this woman, Massey, Alina jawed pops up. And they did a big article about her in the New Yorker. It basically says, I ran has been brought to this point by her and credits her claim that she single handedly is leading the feminism uprising, or they incorrectly I guess credited her. So they're pushing this woman out there, then she's on CNN, and she's on Fox. And you know, by the way, if someone is on CNN and Fox that means that something Not right is happening. If there she's being treated the same way on those two networks, that means something very wrong is going on. So they're pushing her out there, and which is just morally heinous because of what's going on there. And, you know, you're really talking about a woman led revolution that's trying to get going. And you take this one woman who used to you still that Iran is now in New York, and you throw her out there, which is what they do, which is what they did with what's his name, Chalabi during Iraq, like, Oh, this guy is the voice of No, he's not he's a grifter. So then people start, you know, looking into it and look at because she's being interviewed and talked about, and she is aligned with John Bolton and Pompeo as far as what to do with Iran, which is, she goes on all these shows, and she starts talking about sanctions. You're not going to find a fucking woman and Iran that thinks that sanctions should exist, because they're all fucking dying and can't get medicine and their kids are dying, doing the women of Iran, it also makes it harder for you to have any kind of revolution, when you can't get stuff. The government can have all they want, the people can't get what they want, you're actually hindering any opportunity for these things to actually happen. And so she's going on and she's doing all this and then someone's like, this woman works for the American government. Oh my god, she's on Voice of America. She's got a fucking CIA operation propaganda channel. to fucking put out propaganda all across the red. She is a fucking CIA worker, she makes like 100 US Dollars working for boys fucking America.
She's a CIA podcaster
CIA. And so they've all so all these all these liberal establishments, these news, they've all decided she's the one and they're throwing her out there and you're just like, what if you looked at the past and saw what the CIA has already done to Iran and didn't have that happening again? Why the fuck are you talking to this woman? But it's all they know. They all they know as I put up one face one hero one. They already have that we there's already a a dead woman in Iran who was beaten to death. There's your fucking hero. There's your fucking person who sparked it all. There's the person who stood up. You don't need some woman living in America. It's crazy to watch and all these people fall for all these people. Look at her. She's so strong. She's talking back. The fucking women around are on the fucking streets fighting for their fucking lives. What the fuck you talking about? It's really crazy to watch our media is just our media is just hell it's just absolute nightmare.
It's really bad and there's
so much consensus between liberal and conservative foreign policy policing I mean there's there's almost no daylight anymore.
There is none there used to be you know for a while there was a difference and then it switched to whoever was in charge they would back the opposite. And then now it's just they're all on board for all this stuff. They're good to go. Yeah.
Yeah, it's really wild. I mean, like a police officer shot a 15 year old girl yesterday and Democrats are still out there talking about oh, we need to give the police more funding I mean, after you've all day all the shape It's so wild that there's no
after how do you how do you have if you're if you're a liberal woman and you are pro abortion? How do you want more cops exactly know what that means.
Yeah, it's like people just think that it's never gonna affect them and I don't know I think that's that's I think that's what liberals are people think it's never gonna affect them you know?
Yeah, I mean it's it's it's hard to it's hard to watch
Well, it's also and it goes it goes beyond just politics too. It's like that thing where they just so lost sight of what their mandate is supposed to be and it's about creating entertainment you need you need a star you know you need you need someone that the audience can hang their hopes and expectations on a year's is attractive character and fits the bill let's let's turn them into something with no regard for what that does to the actual world you live in.
Yeah, not at all.
Well, fine. I'm in a good mood, not even a good mood. Let's talk about building a stronger team guys.
Yes, let's build a stronger team.
I just just listen to this cavalcade us wine. This is The opening of the first, the first chapter we're going to get into the first lesson, today's first lesson
Good afternoon I'm pleased to announce my nomination of Dr. Condoleezza Rice to be America's Secretary of State. I'm submitting the name of Donald Rumsfeld to be Secretary of Defense. I'm proud to announce that Dick Cheney, a man of great integrity, sound judgment, and experience is my choice to be the next Vice President of the United States.
Yeah, doesn't seem like that's what
it was like, I don't remember this.
It seems really wow. I can't believe they put that in there. But yeah, yeah, it's uh, well, you
know, kudos to masterclass.
Yeah. Very description of Dick Cheney very opposite day vibes.
Yeah, well, let's let's let's get to W today in his class explaining how he came to pick his amazing team,
the chief executive as the tone setter. You can't expect your vice president if you're running a company to set the tone for the company is the chief executive who goes to stockbrokers and the public is the chief executive who sends signals throughout an organization. Same with the President, when you set up a team? You want to make sure that there is a general agreement about the philosophy of the policies that you intend to implement.
So I mean, they're all Neo cons.
No, they are Neo cons. They're all highly connected to oil. Did Cheney Halliburton Condoleezza Rice Chevron, like, I think card is also Oh, my God, they're all oil guys. It's an oil based administration.
Thus, thus, why it was so slimy.
Yeah, I mean, it's, it's, it's pretty incredible. Like Love, which is a Wolfowitz was part of a group you met the Vulcans? The Vulcans? Yeah, the Balkans there. Yeah, yeah. No, they're actually the opposite of Balkans? Kind of because they're incredibly actually volken. God of War, I believe is we're gonna fight
that's very different.
Yeah. But both boys, Cheney, rice, Rumsfeld, a bunch of others were vigorous proponents of, you know, the, the most warlike, possible response to 911. There's
a book to anything. And, yeah, there's a book called Rise
of the Vulcans, the history of Bush's war cabinets. That kind of breaks their ideology down to four parts. They all had early, profound experience in the Pentagon that focus their attention on military power, rather than diplomacy. A strong reluctance to accommodate other countries
to accommodate other countries. That's a great.
Yeah, yeah. That's Lee Harvey has a strong reluctance to accompany JFK is not saying that he did it, folks, just the belief that America is a force for good and should seek to foster democracy and American ideals throughout the world. And a tendency to think that the United States was not declining, but that it had greater capabilities and were generally recognized and they were all supporters of enemy of Trump and beloved liberal icon. We have crystals Project for the New American Century.
I mean, we and and let's not forget Dick Cheney. Lead as Secretary defense led the invasion of Panama, which was a grotesque violation of everything like just horrendous and then also Operation Desert Storm, which was based on lies,
then, yes, yeah. Yes.
These were these were wonderful people. I think one of the things that it's fun having What are you born came like 2005 or something? It's,
It's lovely. younger folks on because you know, we're but
I'm actually way older than that, but I'm not gonna I'm not gonna name a number. I'm as old as the part needs me to be.
What people forget to is that when Bush was running, we knew that the first order of business was going to be to come up with an excuse to go into a rack. It was just no name. Was he was it was it was a holdover from his father's experience with Saddam Saddam wanting to kill his father. So for this one, but it was like it was just simply a given when you discuss this thing was like, you know, if we like Bush were going to war in Iraq. People don't talk about that as much. Yeah. Interesting. Then that was a thing. Yeah. And it.
And he went out of his way to combat that by saying we don't do nation building and all that stuff during debates.
Right. Right. Right. And, I mean, it was just so bizarre that you could see how this was gonna go. Absent one big event that was used to kick it off, but But yeah, we'll get to that too, in a minute. But here's interesting thing too, about Rumsfeld. That I don't think I had known it. But before 911, Rumsfeld was considered a spectacular failure. Yeah, it's really obnoxious. He alienate everyone. At a time when the administration was, you know, looking for tax cuts, he seems like a dick appropriations for the military. One General said within six months, Donald Rumsfeld directed the Department of Defense, he refused to talk to the military. Nobody on the Hill took him seriously. No one in the Pentagon took him seriously. He was perceived as being on the way out, in fact, until tomorrow, I guess what happened?
His his, his buddy Dick Cheney got named vice president. No until 911. And then that night changed things for all these guys. Yeah. And we're gonna Yeah, because they had already written their, their attack policy for all those countries. So Rumsfeld and Cheney were buddies. Yeah.
Which is weird, because it's very hard to imagine anyone being friends with either of those guys. Yeah.
Buy like, really good point. But I'm always fascinated by something like that. What do these guys talk about when they're like hanging out together? I think it's just all policy all the time. No, I
think they probably talked about strippers and stuff.
Yeah. And just learn what it's like to kill animals.
I would love to know, I would really love to know.
But I don't think he would love to know, though. I think it would really depressing.
It'd be fascinating to see them see them without the masks just being human being Yeah, that's one of these guys do what do they think?
George W. Bush, it's just like, you know, he's just like,
yeah, you bring up 911 911 kind of happened because of Cheney, because Cheney was the guy who talked to Saudi Arabia into allowing troops in Saudi Arabia, and that was Osama bin Laden, his greatest recruiting tool. And all the 911 guys came from Saudi Arabia. So if you want to connect dots, but I'm gonna say it Dick Cheney was responsible for 911. I'm taking liberty but well, there's
he also took liberty. Was this one of the main goals? Yeah,
I mean, there's a lot going into that, too. I mean, there is the fact that they just simply will get into this to, you know, ignored warnings that this was coming. But But before we get to that tiny little thing, I want to get something really much more important. That's diversity. Because people forget what a Webster George W. Bush was.
I was always looking for balance amongst gender, and, and race and religion. It was important to me that people from all walks of life were included in my administration. That may actually be
that's why he had that's why he had a seek as the Department of Transportation head and a Muslim, the Department of Housing head.
Pretty sure Dave's making that up, folks.
Yeah, I was trying to think but that seems made up. Yeah.
Yeah. Don't do that.
What are you talking about?
But it is interesting. In fact, Brian, our free floating agent of chaos and amazing research guide dug up a fun study, which was an analysis of diversity in presidential hires. And until Biden Bush held the record for placing the most women and ethnic minorities in high ranking slots.
And it tells me just say, Trump,
until Biden, and then Kate, Kate brought up Kate brought up what's her name? Kellyanne Conway, one of the things that was cracking me up about that was you know, we need to stop assuming people understand exactly where we're coming from. We do not like Donald Trump
Wait, hold on, I'm sorry. reevaluate my position on this book.
I just feel like I don't really Every week but as you know, we're gonna do list or some people come to us from our previous exit over here, but some people don't. And yeah, if I woke up tomorrow found that through some miracle, Donald Trump was now going to spend the rest of his life rotting in a jail cell. I would be happy about that.
Can you imagine how funny so good? It would be amazing. Yeah.
Imagine him then mounting his next presidential campaign from jail.
Oh, I all I heard was Trump and mounting. And I had a whole different.
Oh, God. Oh, God. That's horrible.
Yes. But then prison. He's not the mount mount. He's mounted.
But if you're wondering about like, why some of us have gotten a little bit cynical about about representation. And by the way, in government, I work in Hollywood, I work in movies, I think representation in film and art is insanely important. And I have I've put my cell phone on the line many times and worked towards that. I'm very proud of that. I think politics are not an entertainment. And it's a whole different thing. And yes, I think it's important that we have diversity in politics. But that's not the end goal. If you're giving more parts to black actors, I don't give a shit of those black actors are nice. People are not just care if they're any good and apart. But when it comes to politics, it's like we need to dig deeper, as Kay was saying earlier, because nobody ever talked about this. But Trump's communication team, Trump had the very first all woman communications team in the White House. Did he? Yes. Under Kellyanne Conway. Yep. And, and weirdly, none of the people who love that stuff when, you know, Biden has the first first first black bisexual press secretary that that got a lot of news when Biden did that. Or she lesbian. I can't remember. It's like, Great, terrific. That's wonderful. You do know that Trump had an old woman? No, that's
I mean, that's why the the the eventual fascist that takes over America will be a woman.
A hot one, too, I think. Yeah. Partly.
100% convinced to my soul, that the firstborn president is going to be a Republican. Oh, I
definitely think so.
Absolutely. No question. And they will ramble. And by the way, I think that's that's why Trump one of the reasons Trump nominated. My god, what's her name that the last person he put on the Supreme Court? That horrible
Amy Coney Barrett
made me comment? Yeah, I mean, that that was him having a laugh at the expense. Yeah, Democrats.
Just like Clarence Thomas, they're having a laugh with that, too.
It also it both of them succeeded. It was harder for Democrats to go after them. Yes. Because of that shit. It's terrible. So. But let's get to the first big presidential decision, the first thing any president does? In fact, he doesn't before he's president, and you should judge them by it.
The selection of Vice President Dick Cheney. It's the first presidential decision. It's the first chance the people get to see what kind of decision maker you'll be. Is the process thorough? have you consulted other people? Have you thought of all options? And and looking for the vice president? I wanted the following. I wanted someone who would not be running for president immediately upon being sworn in. Because that creates enormous difficulties inside the White House. I wanted someone who knew Washington because I didn't know Washington. I thought it sent a signal that I'm self aware. I want to send a message that I took the pic seriously and understood what the pic needed to address. I think it reflected well, but the main thing is he could be president could be
was yeah, why is the President?
You know, it's weird. I mean, on so many levels, this was such a weird and bad. Like, the Vice President's primary job is to be there to take over if something happens to the president health or he dies. Do you ever do you have any heart attacks Cheney had head before he took office? No, not only had he had three fucking heart attacks by the time Bush picked them. He had his fourth during the Florida recount.
This is the surprising thing about that is that Cheney has a hard
time. It's I mean, it was such it was such an overtly bad choice. But it worked clearly in January, the so fun thing. So everything Bush is saying here about leadership. I mean, we talked about Dick Cheney for a minute. Yeah. Because it seems to me that if you're talking about leadership, and you're trying to be the leader, picking a guy who's basically going to spend the next eight years telling you what to do is seems like it might not be a good example for your leaders. So it's because vice was gonna allude to boasts about Dick Cheney. The President's staff was no match for the disciplined operation Dick Cheney deployed to take care of business and to bureaucratically emasculate George W. Bush. Within the largest vice presidential staff in the history of the office, Cheney set his own shadow National Security Council staff, something no VP had ever done before. In this unprecedented arrangement was another glaring peculiarity, the VPS national security staffers read all the meal traffic, email traffic, in out and in between the the President's staffers, get the President's staff wasn't allowed to read the communications of Cheney staffers. Wow,
this this is a little not there's a little shade of not truth to this. George Bush, the first George Bush was running, essentially a CIA operation out of the White House as vice president and sort of same, you know, during the Reagan doing, he was getting all of the foreign policy through but he had a, you know, he had a whole operation setup, and that's where addiction he learned it.
Oh, interesting point. Yeah, that makes complete sense, right?
This is so crazy that it just sounds made on like it. It sounds like if you're like, Oh, yeah. Dick Cheney, the Shadow Cabinet, like people will be like, You need to stop smoking that but it's true.
Yeah. And we're the were the as we knew it at the time, it was not it was not well hidden, you know, right. Which is kind of amazing. Let's see, normally current White House is willing to shut down Cheney if someone did Cheney staff would devour that person person, which is
seven people that are
not widely known.
Donner Party vibes there
was just I was terrified of Chinese people said a former White House staffer to maintain tight control of the national security portfolio, Cheney brought in his loyal test loyalists to fill positions on his staff, and on the President's staff. It was a gathering of intellectual ideological firepower that Texans could never equal if you're called Bush Brennan, a whole bunch of his buddies from Texas. I mean, it's just crazy. The degree to which Cheney ran things Cheney had George Bush surrounded not only was the president outsmarted by the man he calls vice, he was out staffed.
You know, he was creating jobs. But he was a job creator.
He didn't care. I mean, he just wants to be president the same way. He just wanted to be in charge to the Rangers. That's what he wanted. And so he didn't care. Once he got in there. He just like wanted to give speeches and do his shit. This guy didn't give a shit. He didn't give a shit. So yeah, of course, he's happy to let someone else take over like delegate let let let the other people run with it. And that's why Cheney was picked because he's the fucking operations. Man.
What's interesting, because one of the thesis, I would say the primary thesis we're looking at here is we're trying to counter the current narrative that Trump is the worst president we've ever had, by reminding people of George W. Bush. And I would say that this might be the only argument you could possibly make in Bush's favor, because it's very, very clear that bush was not actually in charge. Right? Yeah. And that he was not the person that Dick Cheney was. So here's, I mean, people forget this and it's not like, you know, look, I despise Bush, I was not gonna vote for him. I'm certainly not making a case for him. But before the election, beat you remember the stage he was he was a centrist in the same sense as like a lot of central Democrats are now which is one of my problems with him. He learned Spanish he taught diversity all the time. He supported amnesty for undocumented immigrants he was focused on education, you know, he stopped supporting school vouchers early on. You know, and
compassionate conservative compassionate,
exactly compassionate conservatism. And there were a lot of Democrats who were less concerned they're concerned not about his politics remember they were concerned that George W was stupid. Yeah, and he was big coke Fein party man and that Dick Cheney worked to calm down I scoured I remember this happening I've read it up reference Valley I could not find video which is a goddamn shame but if one of our listeners ever finds it and send it to us, that'd be great. Bill Maher on politically incorrect said with Bush and Cheney you feel But the adults are in charge.
Man, that guy's had some really bad kicks for a while now.
I think always that's always been doing. Yeah, I mean, the whole thing was, it's okay to vote for Bush because he's gonna He's surrounding himself with smart people. That's all that, you know, that's what they just everyone was saying. And that's what people said about Biden
when he cared about the I bleed thing, or like, whatever, just run a corpse.
It's so and we keep we keep doing that we keep I mean, yeah, at the same time. Yeah, we understand that, you know, one person isn't behind all this and that they are going to be, in essence run by people around them. But sometimes it's so blatant. It's ridiculous. There was a fun story here. I don't even know if there's much to be learned by it. But I really kind of loved it. The Johnson news story.
Oh, yeah, that's a great story.
This is great. So Bush is talking about. And this is the mentality among a lot of CEOs and bosses, too. It's not just it's not just him. But this is a story about something he did with his dad, he was president
at one point during my dad's administration, he asked me to analyze the White House. It was a moment of great pride for me, because here's my dad, seeking my expertise, I guess you'd say on figuring out what people were thinking about and as involved with the Rangers, but it was more than happy to help. I went up and interviewed everybody on his team. And it became clear to me there was great frustration, because people in his administration were able to get to him and tell their opinions. I said that I think that in order to create a better culture, it's really important that you change your leadership in the White House. And he thought about it. And he said, Well, who's going to tell in this case, John Sununu had done a wonderful job for dead by the way. It's just that sometimes organizations creep over time. And I'm saying to myself, well, you don't have anybody to tell him. A lesson I learned there is, if you're in a leadership role, you better do it yourself, if you need to make a change, or have somebody do it for you, there's credible. At any rate, I was the one and so I went in to see John who gracefully listened to my suggestion that he gave Dad the opportunity to change leaders, which he eventually did. And I learned something very profound then. And that is that change can be hard, and therefore you better be ready to make change. That's effective. Sometimes it is a painful experience. I'm sure people listening who've had to do that will tell you it can be very painful. And nerve wracking for the person doing the firing. You know, you're just not sure how somebody's gonna react.
So his dad, his. So his dad, his dad was head of the CIA in charge of what may have been the most heinous operation in the history of the CIA was Operation Condor. You know, there's there's that that classic sort of thing that happens in movies, right you you're gonna have a guy join the gang. So how do you do that? Well, you make him make him kill some show that he could kill So
are you saying Bush was jumped in? Well, no. Yes. I
want to see if he is dad want to see if he fucking have what it took. This is a crazy, gross, weird dad story. That's what this is. Oh my god. Yeah, this is bad dad shit. And this family. My sister, my sister My wife has read all about. They'll cut. Yeah, my wife has been all about like the psychology because she's a psychologist, but the psychology the bush families. And she says they are a brutal, heinous family. They are terrible to each other. They are really, really done really, really psychologically scarring terrible things. And this is a great example of that. Like this is how you learn to be a bush. And it's fucking gnarly. It's weird.
Oh my god.
I cannot imagine being and you know, fuck John Sununu. On the other hand, I'm sitting here laughing at that miserable cricket. Yeah, fuck this humiliation. At the same time. I'm you know, a high ranking White House staff member candidate and the president sends what was then believed to be his moron, drug addicted alcoholic son, right? Fire me.
Don't dare me to like him. You know?
It's it's just So turn on this.
Well, it's it's it's a it's a double right because it's it's kid my son take this guy out. Right exactly how badly do I want to humiliate this guy? It's a double. It is such a CIA way to fire someone.
Yeah, it's already so it's killing it. It's
It's It's astonishing. I mean, that was a story I had not heard before. What what's interesting about it is that unlike a lot of this stuff, I mean, we've just been watching George W just whitewash his entire career. He's telling you this horrifying story that even if he's not, I mean, imagine what the version of this is where you know that he's cleaning up what is he leaving out that makes it worse?
I like how he phrases like John's response you know, like he agreed that my dad should have the opportunity to make
FUCKING GOD and then of course the classic my all time favorite. The sympathy he feels for people who've had to do this before and, and how hard it is. You know? When when you have to fire someone.
Because you're paying you know as the bonuses.
That's thing Where's Yeah, it's hard. No, Josh,
have you ever had to fire someone? Almost never. It's hard. It's harder than getting fired. But it's like the pain of firing someone. These people have to go to therapy after the
fire somebody Yeah, yeah.
I don't think I've ever fired someone.
Well, you get PTSD case. That's what happens. Right.
I like to abdicate responsibility
I know I don't know that I have I did on one thing when I was directing my little movie at one point it became incumbent upon me to drive someone to quit. Oh, my my producer was like, we can't fire them. But he had to do it to get them to quit. No, I was just I was just I was kind of an asshole to them. Ah, yeah. In front of the whole crew but
yeah, I don't know it's it's Wow. Wow.
Yeah, I wonder if anything else in this is as straight up and honest as this one.
I don't know.
Yeah, I don't know if there is anything else that's because the rest of it's just just lies like it said, this one's just straight up. Weird. And, and the fact that he can twist it around to make it seem like a positive in his head is really mind boggling.
Yeah, I'm just imagining like the corporate Boomer who's like watching this being like, good advice. Well, this applies to my business. Yeah, yeah. Oh,
he feels my pain. Yeah,
you know, some advice something
a landlord. What I took away was to have my 13 year old fire people. So from now on, all my employees would be fired by my young teenage son. That's right.
I'm just gonna have my cat do it. Let's put a little sign around his neck that says you don't want to work here in cinnamon.
Let's get back into whitewashing because He then tells another story about a firing that or he does leave out some stuff and shades the story of it. We have Harriet Miers,
ladies and gentlemen. I mean, I think of my friend Harriet Meyer, who are nominated for the Supreme Court and was one of the most difficult periods for me in Washington because I love Harriet, she had been a great Supreme Court judge, we needed a woman on the Supreme Court, because she had been solid and her philosophical beliefs, and yet didn't pass muster, primarily because she wasn't glib and nor did she go to an Ivy League law school. And, you know, she got out there and some show my supporters are supposed to supporters got after early, and then the other side piled on. And as time went on, it became apparent that she couldn't get nominated. And so Andy Card called me and said, You know, I think we're gonna have to pull down herring.
Yes. So glib. Ivy League wasn't the issue
but he's giving it away. He's basically saying like, we picked an Ivy League educated woman he's saying the thing that like liberals should have liked her that's what he's saying there. Yeah,
but he's also he tried to blame it on the Liberals which you know, they they had some issues with it. But what's it's interesting that he does that though, rather than address the people who did torpedo or do you ever do remember this? Because the thing with Myers especially as it went on, you know, you looked at played 48 Other people he put on the court who were just like nightmares, compared to, you know, his other appointees she was she was not terrible. I mean, for you could almost see, you know, Obama or Biden or Clinton nominee, because she was she was pro choice. She appeared school prayer. She was more along the lines of Bush before Cheney came along centrist. My favorite I realized that she not only didn't belong to the Federalist Society, and I think she's the last Republican nominee who didn't actually made disparaging comments about them publicly. Oh, Ichigo heard of the problem. Yes, that's contingent. Did not want this at all. They had put this guy in place to do this thing. And for some reason, he had managed to, you know, miss the morning meeting or something and nominate somebody who wasn't one of their Well, yeah, working mad lunatics.
Everybody in the Federalist Society has been working to become a US Supreme Court Justice since they joined. So 10 to do something outside of that is really bad. You're not allowed to do that. Yeah, they, they don't like it.
Yeah, and she was not she was not of that world. Worth noting, again, we keep bringing up all these sort of great liberal icons. Beloved Americans in the post Trump World World, one of the Conservatives behind the campaign to completely torpedo her nomination was David Frum. Our beloved David Frum.
Yeah, I did not know that.
Yeah, yeah. But we all love him now. Right? Because no, I don't like Donald Trump. Therefore, he gets to still go to all the parties. He's
no different than Baghdad Bob.
That's right. Who's Baghdad bomb.
Remember the guy during the war who would go on and just lie he was there. You remember back that pub that we call the Dornan was It was no he was an Iraqi, and he would just go on and just the craziest shit during the war. And everyone just started calling him Baghdad Bob, because of how much he lied. And now absurd. It was
like, I don't know, I don't remember this guy. chromatically erased so much in that experience. But anyway, I thought that was kind of interesting, because because going back and going through this, again, it was interesting to be reminded that there was a politician inside George W. Bush, who would be almost at home in the Republic of the Democratic party today, before Dick Cheney and the Neo cons got a hold of them. But let's go on to our next lesson, because it sort of ties into this when making tough decisions. You guys have to make some tough decisions.
He says some stuff in this,
this one's gonna be fun. But let's start with a small thing. He goes out. We're going to start with when he goes out on he talks a little bit about stem cells.
embryonic stem cell research was brought to my attention by Margaret Spellings domestic policy chief, and she explained it to me. And I said, try it again. Because if I had to deal with this issue, I knew I was going to have to explain it. And if I didn't know what it meant, the vast majority of Americans had never heard of the issue. The fundamental question involved with embryonic stem cell research was do you destroy life to save life. And other words, you destroy an embryo that could become life to create a tool for science, to maybe develop cures for diseases. Everybody in my administration knew, I believe that all life is precious. I mean, it can't paint on it. It just so happened that there were some embryonic stem cell lines, I think there were 100 of them were available for research. And I decided that since life had already been destroyed, we should move forward. For the sake of science.
Remember this? Yeah,
I remember the debate about it. But I don't remember all of it. It was pretty wild. Yeah.
And he then went on. While he claims that he met with a lot of different people to come, like scientists and ethicists, and, again, this was one of those things at the time, where you're like, why are we even doing this, we know where this is going to come down. And really, the the only possible outcome to be wished for that that was plausible in this situation is that he didn't have doing what he did, which was allowing the ones that already existed to be used.
I made decisions on what I thought was right, based upon sound evidence, and based upon principles. Never did I make a decision on trying to figure out the mood of the people, or whether or not I would be personally popular. You know, during my presidency, I was popular and I was unpopular. And you know what, I'd rather the former rather than the latter. Yes. But that's not the way life works when you're on the big stage.
Yeah, man. And that's kind of true. He did not make a decision based on being popular with the electorate because the electorate was overwhelmingly supportive using stem cells. That's right. He did it completely and utterly to appeal to his right wing fundamental base. People like Jerry Falwell, this is all Carl rose idea got him in bed with these people had nothing to do with integrity or care. After he was literally just pure politics with let's let's say with people's lives because stem cell research vital stuff being done there people you know he was he was making it harder to do medical research for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of sanity or rationality goes just
well I liked him he says like you know I don't want these these embryos destroyed like it's not like they're walking around they fucking going jobs like their embryos like what are you talking about? It's not No there's not an embryo harvesting service where there go women are going in and just getting getting embryos made so they can take them out for stem cell research. It's their fucking they were they were taken out already. They're not a thing. They're no longer
I don't know yet what happens to the you know, they were literally gonna get thrown out, I guess. Yeah, I mean, we maybe save people's lives. I don't know. Tough let me call it some ethics ethicist. That happened, God
what God would have wanted in the garbage.
Yeah. dumpster dived embryos love
to know that. Yeah, exactly. I mean, do we do we think was it the Dilbert guy? Did he call the Dilbert guy to come in and working out with him or something? Got Christ. Anyway. That was that was the big part of this chapter. The big one.
Well, this is interesting. Let's start here.
If one's goal is to be well liked, that may mean that one's goal is either unrealistic, or the behavior is unseemly. In other words, I'm going to go around getting people to like me, for a politician, that makes sense, only on election day. For a leader, you've got to make decisions. And if you do so, based upon the Gallup poll, then you're a lousy leader.
I mean, he's right. But, you know, leadership and not saying that. Look, to be leader. You just got to do what people tell you to do.
Never says, yeah,
yeah. Do it polls till you do all the
time. I mean, for the most part, you are supposed to do what people want. I mean, your democracy? Yeah.
You put it that way day.
Like he's making it sound like his whole job is to tell people to fuck off like, No, you're supposed to, like you go with the flow, you make decisions that are right. In this case, you know, we just talked about he made a decision that made a very small, small group of people happy and fucked over science and everybody else. It's just an excuse.
Yeah. But still, what else would he say? But now get young See, now it gets juicy. Now we're getting some,
it's important to develop a framework that allows you to make decisions based on a set of values and principles.
Yeah. Right. I mean, you walk in with some sort of set rules, some set ideas, when things happen that you don't expect with chaotic crazy, which is going nuts around you, and you have a framework. You guys look at me, like you're waiting for a punch line, there's no punch line. What am I going to do when the shit hits the fan? I need to be prepared, I need to have some idea so that when I'm going nuts with all this, I go oh, right, I set a framework for this. So I would know what to do when it is too chaotic. To make a rational decision on my own. I agree with this. 100%. You Me? So far, so good. Yet, Dave, though you've set up a framework before you go into a thing. So you know what to do when something
happens, have principles exists,
hey, there you go. Now this
with foreign policy, for example, after 911, my administration laid out a set of principles to deal with threats before they fully materialized after 911, after 911, after 911, after 911 911.
So, join, here's my chapter on why you need to set a framework before anything happens that after 911 I set a framework
well, not only that, but he's he just given this big, you know, lecture about how you take in information, you listen to your people, and then you evaluate you do this thing. Well, in August on August 6, a month before 911 He was given an Intelligence document that Al Qaeda is preparing to hijack airplanes. And they totally ignored it. Like it was
just determined to attack within the United States. I'm going off fucking memory. Am I right? Is that the
I believe that was the name of the thing. But it was basically like they're going to they're going to hijack airplanes.
Yeah, I think. Yeah, reading like the title of the document was like we're going to do of 911 or something like that. Title.
And they totally they totally ignored it because they didn't have a plan as he's just saying they had nothing in place to deal with there was nothing and also the big key the big key. He was on vacation.
Oh, my God, I forgot that.
He was on vacation. Yeah, when that when when he got the report, he was okay. To deal with it. Right.
I hate when my boss emails when I'm on vacation. You know, that's a bummer. It's the worst. Yeah. Physically do something heavy like we're going to do 911
It's just amazing. The degree to which again, this is one of those things where something happened in broad daylight, that we all watched happen, and then they just lie about it for years. You're like, yeah, okay, fine. He, we set a framework in foreign policies to deal with shit. Like 911 After 911 happens. That's not leadership. That is literally not leadership leadership would be doing it before and I left. Yeah, this is aftership.
Well, it's like the you know, the the way. Oh, it's same thing with like pandemic stuff. If you're doing your job, right. No one gets sick and everyone gets annoyed with what you're doing. But nobody gets sick. Well, it's the same fucking thing. If you're doing your job, right. There is no terrorist attack. People are annoyed. It was something you did, right. But there was no terrorist attack like you stopped something, is what you want to do in these kinds of situations you stop death from happening. But in this case, he is now considered this awesome fighter of terrorism because he allowed the worst terrorist attack in the history of America to happen.
Yeah. Which, by the way,
the moment and I camera if I mentioned on this show or not before, but it dug up the clip. This is the moment that I knew that Donald Trump was a serious, serious, serious threat. And 2016. This is from the Republican debate, what you're about to listen to, if you missed it, when it happened, just want to warn more sensitive viewers. This is a straight up murder on national TV. And I'm sitting there and let's set the table a little bit. As somebody who had been a aware of Donald Trump, since at least the 80s through the mid 80s. Thought he had commented many times that he literally said this on ironically, literally the worst American this man embodies every single solitary negative aspect of the American character without a single solitary, good one. The idea of Donald Trump running for president was so absurd and obscene. The idea of him becoming president was so disgusting watching this happen and watching him not get laughed off the stage. The first time was startling enough. But the minute I knew we were in trouble, you're about to hear this.
While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe. And I'm proud of what he did. And he's had the gall to go World Trade Center came dad had the gall to go after my mother. It's not keeping I won the lottery. When I was born 63 years ago and looked up and I saw my mom, mom, my mom is the strongest woman I know. She should have thought about my family or his family should be running.
He said yeah,
but I'm watching that. I love cheering. I couldn't even help myself was like, there was a moment of like, what the fuck am I doing? Because people forget this, but they used to all the time Republicans bushes, everything that would come out and they go Bush kept us safe from terrorism. And he'd be like, he'd watched us on national TV and you'd watch them like on some panel with a bunch of fucking Democrats, a bunch of liberals on MSNBC. And you'd wait is one of you motherfuckers gonna say the thing? Because yeah, he kept us safe from terrorism, except for the one time no one would ever fucking say it. And it got to the point where you'd be screaming at the What about 911 and then the worst person in the fucking world the worst person you're the person who genuinely believes the worst American says Is it to his fucking face?
It's like that meme. The the worst guy, you know, as a grateful
it is the epitome of that it was the moment I knew they were in trouble and we were in trouble. It's just incredible, just absolutely incredible. And to listen to Bush talk about like, leadership. Yeah, we came up with a great plan after 911.
Well, they came up with a plan after 911. But it was,
boy, did they? Let's get back into it, shall we shall we talk about this is a fun bit
after 911. My administration laid out a set of principles to deal with threats before they fully materialized. And those principles became known as the Bush Doctrine. A doctrine is simply a set of principles by which decisions will be made. The War on Terror will not be one on the defensive. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge. In the case, the Bush Doctrine developed right after 911. I thought long and hard about it. And I meant it. And by the way, the Bush Doctrine, I didn't concoct this on the back of an envelope on Air Force One. I mean, I sat down with some very serious thinking people, all throughout our government. And I said, I want to address this issue. And here's some I've got strong thoughts on this, but I'd like to hear yours. And Condoleezza Rice and Steve Hadley, national security adviser and deputy national security adviser. When I said we got to develop a strategy to deal with this. They understood exactly what I meant. And they went around collected opinions from various Cabinet Secretaries and or deputies. I didn't need to say much more than that.
Yeah, didn't write it on the back of a napkin, preemptive war, regime change, rendition, torture, surveillance of Americans. Endless fucking war. Oh, yeah. I'm so glad to hear that. You guys. Give it some thought?
Yeah, I'm not Yeah, I'm not sure anyone's issue with it is where you wrote it down. And, you know, I don't care if it was in at Lisa Frank binder. It was bad.
Yeah, well, they didn't have a plan already. They'd already put it in their Cheney Rumsfeld report. They wrote in the fucking 90s.
The crazy thing is they did have a framework for all this. They were on top of it. They were ahead
of it. Yeah, absolutely.
It's crazy live masterclass. So, let him like, come on and talk. Well, they know Pete, yeah.
People are gonna buy it. I mean, this is just, you know, it's salvaging the legacy. Right. Yeah. It's like, I wouldn't be surprised if they had Kissinger on.
Yeah. I mean, it's just surprising, because I think that there's a fair amount of consensus now, even among Republicans that the Iraq war was a fucking disaster. You know, and it's Yeah, weird to just the extent to which they're very much glossing over that here. Well, yeah.
And you really need to gloss over it now because of Ukraine? Because I mean, essentially, it's the exact same thing. But now we're going to pretend like we, we didn't do that. Yes. Like, if you want to, if you want to be mad at Putin, you know, absolutely have at it. But also you should ask, he's a good person, that Bush and Cheney be put in prison at the same time, like those those are your solutions, if you want to be consistent.
There was even that, like he accidentally. I mean, that clip of him giving a speech where he talks about the we're just talking about Putin uses the invasion of Iraq, I mean, Ukraine,
the result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia. And the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq. I mean, Ukraine. Correct. Anyway. 75 Yeah, so
I mean, do we even need to, and then he goes into a wreck. And I don't even know where to begin with this stuff.
Neither to be fair.
I mean, I would love to know who wrote this for him. Because it is so fantastically insane. The stuff he's saying is not real. And he's just saying it, and you're like, there's no Reporter there's no one just asking questions. He just gets to tell it and there's no blowback it's the perfect thing to do your propaganda
yeah yeah I mean that's that's the crazy thing and I will say I mean masterclass has got some classes where people actually teach you shit are there at least interesting, you know? Verner Hertzog teaches a course and I don't even know what but like Jesus Christ is right or Hertzog teaching about life, man. But there are there is this, this cache of these classes where these people are just using these things? And who's listening to them who's watching them? You know, it's almost for the record, I would like to say, for the record, this is this is my testimony. You know,
I mean, the normal deal for one of these is $100,000, and 30% 30%, of what you bring in, or my I don't know how the 3% works, because you don't do individual classes use the whole thing. So it's, it's 100,000. And then that, so I'm assuming they get that, but I genuinely don't think it's about the money for you know, the president.
No, it's not, it can't be a lot of money. I mean, that's not $100,000. It's not a lot of money to him, you know, so
I'll probably pay more. But it's also because it's certainly prestigious for them to have all these people on, but it's more important for him, obviously, the opportunity to yes, this forum.
And the audience. The audience has not seen that. This is not for conservatives. I think conservatives will watch it just to feel good. But this is this is him trying to reach liberals. So it feels to me
Yeah, yeah. God, Amen.
I mean, shall I play a couple of clips of this stuff? This is,
after I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, I was faced with another hard decision, when the war in Iraq was not going well, once in Iraq, and objective was to help a new government, stabilize the country, and give people a say, in the future of their country. And it was going pretty well for a while.
Was it going pretty? Well, for one,
okay. It wasn't going well, immediately, it was never going well. And one of the main reasons it wasn't going well is because we have this thing called the State Department, which their job is essentially to help rebuild and reorganize and help fix a country that has been demolished through war. And George Bush and Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld iced out Powell in the State Department, so they went in essentially blind, with no idea how to change the country and fix it and turn everything around. When they got there. They went in completely blind. So everything that he has said, in these two episodes leading up to this point about him listening to different people and taking in what people say and wanting to hear opposing points, is the exact opposite of what he did when I came to Iraq.
Yeah, and and it was not going well.
It just, it's so it's just so weird watching this and and realizing that here's the thing, it's not like if you were doing this in a forum, if you went on CNN into this with a bunch of people, a bunch of pundits and reporters, and so far, there's not like he'd be getting any more pushback than he is here. Talking by himself. You know, right.
And then, you know, all hell broke loose inside Iraq. The American people were becoming restless members of Congress, you know, said enough's enough, let's get out. And I was confronted with a choice. Do I accept failure? By maybe pulling troops around but letting everybody fight it out inside the country? Or do we strive for success, which is a ally in the war on terror, and a relatively stable country. In the meantime, there were a group of people inside my administration led by Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser and some very young smart people who said, we'd like to develop an alternative strategy to withdraw or surround keep troops around. It's a strategy that we think will achieve objectives that hadn't been stated before. And I said I showed it to me. And in fact, they came up with what's now called the surge, which rather than than withdrawing is moving 30,000 troops back into Iraq. This is a very delicate issue. Of course, we developed a clear plan with goals. I mean, the goal wasn't putting 30,000 troops then that was the means to achieve the goal. And it worked well. Sunni tribes throughout Anbar Province, for example, given the boost of confidence because of US personnel by their side, whipped al Qaeda. And the country changed pretty dramatically at that point in time, in terms of security and confidence by the Iraqi people that the Constitution that they had approved would prevail. So we worked on
kind of cool. So we'll be back next week.
So hold on. I have a
hard question. Yeah. You in the back row? Yeah, yeah.
So everything we know about Iraq is that al Qaeda wasn't there.
I'm sorry. Please, please restate your question.
Yeah. Everything you know about Iraq, is that kinda was not in Iraq at all. It had nothing to do with that. They were not there. So how are the Sunnis with the Sunnis going to Afghanistan? But Saudi Arabia, Lebanon from was was no that was Saudi Arabia, where they did 911
from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, whatever.
No, it's actually they're different countries. What?
No. Sorry, I'm having a hard time looking at one of them. We don't prep this very well focus on this part. But what?
Yeah, it's like if I'm, if I'm running masterclass, I'm like, Hey, thing, because that's just like, that's insane. Like, that's crazy that he can't do that. That's really just bananas. That's why I have the word bananas. It's for the way he just said, it's not real. It's not real. What you just said, it's not real. Yeah. And also, he fired all the Sunnis. And that's what created the then the insurgents, because he had taken a bunch of military guys, and just cut them loose, which doesn't work in a society, especially one that's coming out of an invasion and total chaos. Oh, I can't remember everything up. Yeah. He fucked everything up.
Someone just needed to send him but we live in a society meme. Yeah.
Was this was this? Remember, it's also, you know, blurs together as this when he came out into the mission, mission accomplished bit?
I think he did Mission accomplished, you know, right around now, I believe. So. I mean, it's, you know, you have the looting in which Rumsfeld thought was untidy. And, you know, that stuff happens, I think, was his quote.
Oh, yeah, things get broken us. Things get
broken. So you're, you know, but essentially, we went in with no, no State Department up. So we, you just essentially have soldiers roll in, but you didn't have anybody with them to deal with maybe helping out so there isn't writing, you know, or trying to talk to the leaders who could maybe stop the writing, like that sort of thing wasn't happening at all. And then when it was sort of chaos, and Saddam was clearly gone, then he did mission accomplished. And it was far far, far from over. Yeah, it was at least a few it's like, just like when Biden Biden said COVID is over in February 2010. You can take off your masks that also wasn't that was naughty. Really? It's still going on that people? Yeah.
You know, it's pretty amazing. I mean, that that I knew we get to a rack, I knew it would be startling. There's something about I'm always in awe of these guys. Like, if I'm certain that you're never going to be able to know that you'll never find out. I'm just capable of anybody is lying to you to your face. I mean, we all we all have that is to some degree. The thing that you are if there is the the excuse me,
when you say David, continue.
It's the part where you can look people in the eye, straight up lie to them about something they all know, that they've all seen with our eyes to be untrue. And keep on about your business. I'm in awe of it's fucking amazing. I mean, it's isn't that
isn't that a skill? You need to be president?
I guess to a degree, but I always thought like, to me, it'd be like what you spin things to make them look better. You can't just go out and go, Hey, we just want a war that you didn't win. You can't just go out and say, Hey, this pandemic that we're still in the middle of that is still killing, by the way, a nine elevens worth of Americans every week. You can't just say, oh, yeah, the pandemic is over. So good. It's fine. I don't know how you do that. And I don't understand how you can do that as a human being. I also don't understand how we live in a culture what you can get away with it. Is it simply that people just have? No. We have no tools for how to deal with
that. Yeah, I don't think I don't think there's anybody who was raised in this country with the education, you get that. That has an easy time accepting that your leaders don't care about you at all. Like, that's a hard thing to come to grips. And would just lie to you.
Yeah, yeah. It just still it's astonishing. It's like my, I'm always overwhelmed by it. I was just,
I mean, I think it's not just education. It's like, it's it's terrifying to grapple with that, but like, truly, there's no one that's steering the ship. You know? I think people feel a lot safer, believe it like oh, you know, they're trying and it's just really difficult and takes compromise versus like, no, these people do not give a shit.
Yeah, it's just not within it's very, it's very much not within human capacity to just say I'm on a rudderless ship like he just your brain. A lot of people's brains just can't they fry. Yeah.
Oh, well, we're not on a rudderless ship.
I would I would
listen in this podcast on this podcast where we're sailing right towards the episode of the George W. Bush masterclass, we still have, by the way, we still have 911 and Katrina and other good stuff to look forward to. So see what kind of valuable life lessons Yeah, dub dub is gonna give us he learned from these incredible triumphs from his career as presidents his worst worst president ever, I would say still standing by Yeah, and let me before somebody called me in a contradiction being a worst American does not make you the worst president. I'm sorry. Two separate things.
Although I you know, looking at looking at what has happened since there presidencies I think I would still argue with Reagan, but
okay, I can I can see Reagan as one most
transformative president as far as how people thought and continue to think and it's yes, it's it's anti society. It's completely destructive. And it's put in power all these people who want to dismantle government and now look, we did it. Yes. Yeah, we did it. Yay.
It was very good point. Sadly, he died before he could get around to recording his masterclass.
Oh, god, yeah.
Which is our loss. But anyway, we will be back next week with more of this stuff. Thank you for joining us subscribe to the lever.
Thank you so much.
Talking to me or to them? Either one. Yeah.
Hey, this is Kate Willett. I'm here to make a special announcement, which is that on October 30, in San Francisco at the rickshaw stop. I and a bunch of other really funny comedians will be doing a fundraiser for John Hamasaki, who is the reformed DEA candidate in San Francisco. As you know, a bunch of right wingers were successful in recalling cesta butene. And we want to get the incumbent out of office and hopefully get someone in office who is going to continue with justice policies prosecuting bad cops treating unhoused people like human beings. We really want to get this war on drugs person out and Hamas Sakis campaign really could use some help. So if you're around in San Francisco, please come to the fundraiser on October 30. You can get email@example.com Dash comedy Hamasaki and that's H A M ASAK. I hope to see you there thank you so much.
back brace the fan Oh, pass this here but you gotta keep around this is Izzy We want to thank our incredible support team. Brian siano, our free floating agent of chaos aka research guy
and also Colin McCoy who does all of our music. You can also find him he out there and music world He is known as diesel boots.