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July 06, 2005

First Fred: Bush samples the pavement in Scotland

CNN.com | Bush collides with police officer during bike ride

US President George Bush suffered scrapes when he ran into a British police officer while riding his mountain bike near the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland.

The president, who was wearing a helmet, slid on the pavement, suffering scrapes on his hands and arms that were bandaged by Tubb.

McClellan declined to speculate about whether anyone was at fault in the crash.

Translating McClellan: It was all the president's fault.

It's always tough when the training wheels first come off.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 6, 2005 in Links | Permalink


Translating McClellan: It was all the president's fault.

It's always tough when the training wheels first come off.

Seems to me you're applying a bit of a double standard in making that statement. I mean, after all Zabriskie just fell under circumstances that weren't very clear, and Greg Lemond once did an "Artie Johnson" when he was unable to unclip as he came to a stop. You'd think the mere fact that George was cycling might have bought him a break.

You're reminding me why I don't like racing poseurs very much.

Posted by: Demosophist at Jul 6, 2005 8:55:41 PM

I hope you're kidding.

There's a big difference between the embarrassing "vertical trackstand" we've all done and riding into a STATIONARY (hell, probably trying like crazy to get out of the way) POLICE OFFICER!

As for Zabriskie, I'm pretty sure Bush wasn't riding to keep the yellow jersey; maybe he should keep the pace down where he can keep from hitting stuff.

And I'm no racing poseur, just a tourist who likes to watch.

Posted by: Frank at Jul 6, 2005 9:07:05 PM

racing posuer? How did you get that from the tdfblog? The dude is a posting machine not a poseur.

Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 6, 2005 9:08:47 PM

He should be careful. He's got a creep to nominate.

Posted by: Jarrett at Jul 6, 2005 11:04:28 PM

Of course it was the President's fault....I'm talking about the Iraq mess. I know less about his cycling skills.

Posted by: Jim at Jul 6, 2005 11:31:03 PM

Honestly, you guys are a riot. It wouldn't make much difference if a truck had run over him as he sat at a red light. If it was George Bush he was, by definition, at fault. (Strictly speaking there simply isn't enough information to conclude much of anything about fault or cause, which is a little ironic when you think of it.)

And apparently he's also to blame for the shark attacks in Florida recently.

I mean, I'm sure you're quite rational and level-headed about a lot of stuff, but the politics of the war seems to have turned otherwise sensible people into... well, people not so sensible. Poseurs, more obsessed with seeming than being, treating their sensibilities and preferences with more respect that they reserve for reality.

Try this one on for size:

"The President of the United States is a buffoon, an idiot, a man barely able to speak the English language. His vice president is a little-seen, widely despised enigma and his chief military advisor a wild-eyed warmonger. Only his Secretary of State offers any hope of redemption, for he at least is a reasonable, well-educated man, a man most thought would have made a far, far better choice for Chief Executive.

We must face the fact that we had no business forcing this unjust war on a people who simply want to be left alone. It has damaged our international relationships beyond any measure, and has proven to be illegal, immoral and nothing less than a monumental mistake that will take generations to rectify. We can never hope to subdue and remake an entire nation of millions. All we will do is alienate them further. So we must bring this war to an immediate end, and make a solemn promise to history that we will never launch another war of aggression and preemption again, so help us God."

This was the condensed opinion of the "Copperhead Press" during the summer of 1864.

Same as it ever was.

Posted by: Demosophist at Jul 6, 2005 11:58:05 PM


Get a freaking sense of humor, a sense of perspective, and a life.

The guy ran into a POLICEMAN! While being tailed by a Secret Service SUV. If that doesn't tickle your funny bone, see your doctor.

I've spent more than my share of time riding on bike paths; many of them full of clueless (i.e. not law-enforcement) pedestrians. Even when there are lots of them, veering the wrong way, if I were to hit one of them, it's my fault. The fact that you like the guy doesn't change that (and suggests it's not me with the rationality gap).

The fact that the president's press secretary didn't want to explain how the accident happened suggests the policeman didn't suddenly develop "jump-to-the-side-itis" or suffer an epileptic seizure that Bush tried to cure through a sudden impact.

I laughed at Carter's killer rabbit, too, if that helps you get over it.

Posted by: Frank at Jul 7, 2005 12:18:03 AM

Look, I just want to be clear that I like your blog, and have recommended it to other TdF nuts, but I'm really pretty weary of being able to identify the ideological convictions of people by the way they talk about George Bush. I prefer the mystery, if you know what I mean.

I really wouldn't have thought to denigrate him with the "Fred" epithet, and it's certainly pretty harmless. I mean, by brother-in-law is pretty much a "Fred," although he's looking forward to riding his yellow beach cruiser as soon as his chemotherapy is over. He's also intensely interested in this race, for reasons that would be understandable to everyone, no matter what their half-baked advice happens to be on war or foreign policy.

I assume Armstrong is probably anti-Bush, because his girlfriend is... but I don't really know that, and I appreciate the fact that I can't tell. Now *that's class*!

Posted by: Demosophist at Jul 7, 2005 12:24:08 AM

If we can't laugh at klutzy things our presidents do, then the terrorists have already won. Hell, that's all anybody remembers about Ford, unless they golf.

When somebody does something dumb on a bike ride, he gets needled for it. That's just how it is. I have Fredly tendencies myself, and don't think it's quite a strong enough word to qualify for "epithet."

Anyway, glad to have you around.

Posted by: Frank at Jul 7, 2005 12:32:51 AM

Regarding the "training wheels" -- Bush is reportedly a pretty aggressive mountain biker. He may have fallen for the same reason many competetive bicyclists fall -- because he was pushing his limits. Who here hasn't run into a newbie who doesn't know what he was doing (e.g. the policeman)?

Posted by: Richard at Jul 7, 2005 12:34:04 AM


I appreciate your taking the trouble to clue me in, but there were ways to present the same information and even the same "Fred" reference and joke in a way that wasn't a dead giveaway to the blogger's political leanings.

If you're telling me this was just an even-handed exploitation of a humorous incident you're jerking yourself around, without knowing it. It'd be like saying that Robbie McKewen was just trying to see around the right side of his handlebar assembly yesterday. I guess it's a matter of your angle of reference.


Posted by: Demosophist at Jul 7, 2005 12:38:05 AM

"Who here hasn't run into a newbie who doesn't know what he was doing (e.g. the policeman)?"

You come up behind the pair of Japanese tourists out sightseeing near the mall and softly, so as not to spook them because they're clearly oblivious, you say in a firm and clearly audible voice "On the right!"

So, of course, their English being impeccable they dart to the right at the very last possible instant.

It's the freakin' training wheels, alright.

Posted by: Demosophist at Jul 7, 2005 12:46:07 AM

What you've just seen from this "demosophist" guy is the same behavior demonstrated by cult members when their cult behavior is challenged.... just like Tom Cruise freaking out publically about Brooke Shields about her anti-depressants. Anyone having beliefs that veer far away from obvious real world evidence (like Scientologists and their belief that people being possessed by space aliens are responsible for all mental illness) generally react defensively when such outlandish beliefs are challenged. They enter the denial-mode cult members use as a defense mechanism to protect their unusual belief system.

The same thing is now true with right wing neo-conservative activists and the cult of George W. Bush. There's so much evidence of Bush doing so much wrong in the world (Iraq and WoMD lies, Bin Laden still free, the trashed economy, the deficit, the theft of billions in Iraq reconstrution money) that if you suggest Bush is to blame for anything (even a bike wreck into a police officer) they enter that cult member denial-mode behavior pattern.

Posted by: rebellingboxer at Jul 7, 2005 10:17:40 AM

Rebelling boxer, let's examine your claims.

Iraq and WoMD lies: Hmmm, the French, Germans, British and the rest of the world publicly agreed with the UNSCOM report, which detailed hundreds of litres of WMDs like Anthrax and an underground atomic program. So EVERYONE, inlcuding the UN, was lying?

Bin Laden still free: I'm not sure what you mean...Adolf Eichmann hid in S. America for 10+ years until the Israelis got him. Was the Nazi cause any less defeated?

Trashed economy: Do you read the paper? Last quarter's GDP was a robust 3.8%

Deficit: Agreed on this one: Bush's discretionary spending is as high as LBJ's, adjusted for GDP and inflation. This is a problem.

Theft of Iraq reconstruction $$: Are you suggesting people working for Bush stole it?? If the Iraqi government has some dishonest people within it, that should be exposed and dealt with. Of course, going back to Ancient Rome until now, there have NEVER been corrupt or dishonest public officials.

So that's one out of five...a .200 batting average doesn't cut it.
I don't belong to a cult: My informed prediction of how Bush would run the executive branch caused me to vote for him vs. Gore or Kerry.

Posted by: Jason O. at Jul 7, 2005 11:47:25 AM

See what I mean about cult members and denial mode?

Iraq and WoMD: The French, Germans, UN Security Council, etc. thought there was enough of a threat of WoMD in Iraq that they voted to SEND UN INSPECTORS TO LOOK FOR MORE EVIDENCE OF WoMD. The Inspectors found no WoMD. The French, Germans, UN Security Council did not and would not support an invasion of Iraq without the UN inspectors finding evidence of WoMD in Iraq. Bush discarded what the inspectors said and invaded anyway though the inspectors told him there was no evidence of WoMD. The inspectors were proven right.

Bin Laden: Eichmann stayed hidden. Bin Laden is dragging a kidney dialysis machine around behind him to TV studios all over the Middle East to film videos for broadcast throught the world. How hard is it to find a 6'8" Arab dragging a kidney dialysis machine back and forth to TV studios?

Trashed Economy: The US economy is hemorrhaging jobs. The only people benefitting from the current economic conditions are the ultra-rich. The percentage of the population that is considered middle class is the lowest since Eisenhower. US GDP is being held afloat by the insane levels of deficit spending. That's money that has to be paid back.

Theft of billions of Iraq reconstuction money: $8.8 billion missing from a $20 billion dollar cash shipment to Iraq. The cash was shipped to Iraq in duffle bags.

"...A report by Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record) of California, said in the week before the hand-over on June 28, 2004, the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority ordered the urgent delivery of more than $4 billion in Iraqi funds from the U.S.
Federal Reserve in New York.

One single shipment amounted to $2.4 billion -- the largest movement of cash in the bank's history, said Waxman.

Most of these funds came from frozen and seized assets and from the Development Fund for Iraq, which succeeded the U.N.'s oil-for-food program. After the U.S. invasion, the U.N. directed this money should be used by the CPA for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

Cash was loaded onto giant pallets for shipment by plane to Iraq, and paid out to contractors who carried it away in duffel bags.

The report, released at a House of Representatives committee hearing, said despite the huge amount of money, there was little U.S. scrutiny in how these assets were managed.

"The disbursement of these funds was characterized by significant waste, fraud and abuse," said Waxman.

An audit by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction said U.S. auditors could not account for nearly $8.8 billion in Iraqi funds and the United States had not provided adequate controls for this money.

"The CPA's management of Iraqi money was an important responsibility that, in my view, required more diligent accountability, pursuant to its assigned mandate, than we found," said chief inspector Stuart Bowen in testimony...."

"...Contractors were told to turn up with big duffel bags to pick up their payments and some were paid from the back of pick-up trucks.

One picture shows grinning CPA officials standing in front of a pile of cash said to be worth $2 million to be paid to a security contractor.

Rep. Christopher Shays (news, bio, voting record) of Connecticut, a Republican, said the photograph disturbed him. "It looks a little loose to me," he said, of the smiling officials.

"I share your concern," said Bowen.

Citing documents from the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in New York, Waxman said the United States flew in nearly $12 billion overall in U.S. currency to Iraq from the United States between May 2003 and June 2004...."


And you granted the point on the deficit.

Posted by: rebellingboxer at Jul 7, 2005 12:36:51 PM

Your reiteration of the anti-war canard of "more inspections" is risible: Hussein's regime had stalled, stymied and finally ejected UN inspectors for 8+ years. The regime never accounted for the primary UNSCOM report's findings of anthrax, VX and other agents, and also the report's suspicions of an atomic weapons program.

Once again, you claimed WoMD "lies..." Every nation that signed on to the UNSCOM report about WMD must have therefore been lying. In other words, your "lies" claim is unsupportable.

Moving on: Let's assume that (the reflexively anti-Bush partisan) Waxman report is true:

Where's the beef? There were large shipments of cash to Iraq and there should have been better accounting. Until you can tell me who stole what from whom and where the $$ is....fire/discpline/prosecute ex-CPA officials by all means, but I'm underwhelmed as to the relevance of this to the White House.

Your trashed economy retort: Losing jobs? We're in an expansion, somthing like 2+ million jobs have been created in the last 24 months. GDP is being "held afloat" by deficit spending? Do you know what the GDP is? and that deficit spending has little or no relationship to it? Re: the economy, go back to your copy of Mother Jones, and remember Twain's quote that it's better to be thought an idiot than to open your mouth, thus removing all doubt.

Posted by: Jason O. at Jul 7, 2005 1:38:44 PM

More recitation of dogma from a cult member

Iraq and WoMD: The neo-con cult completely rejects reality. They keep on quoting studies that were done BEFORE the UN Inspectors went back to Iraq. The UN weapons inspectors were on the ground in Iraq after all these studies Jason quotes were done and did a full and complete accounting of every one of the items on Jason's list. Jason tries to pretend the UN Inspectors never went back to Iraq prior to the the order to invade. The facts show the UN inspectors did show there were no WoMD in Iraq prior to the invasion, and obviously, those UN Inspectors reports were proven correct.

Jason and his neo-con cult members deny the UN Inspectors went back to Iraq just like the creationists deny that fossils prove the Earth is older than 6,000 years old.

Bin Laden: Jason and his fellow cult members run from Bin Laden as fast as their feet can carry them away from the subject. Bin Laden to a Republican is like garlic to a vampire. BIN LADEN IS THE ONE WHO ATTACKED THE US ON 9/11. Iraq did not have a damn thing to do with 9/11, and London was bombed this morning because Bush pulled all our troops away from chasing Bin Laden to instead invade Iraq after the UN Inspectors had proven there were no WoMD in Iraq.

Bush orders $20 Billion in cash sent to Iraq. $8.8 billion turns up missing, and Jason and his fellow cult members say no Republican is to blame for send billions in cash to Iraq to be easily stolen. Right, Jason. You and your cult members are headed into beliefs as ridiclous and unlikely as the UFO cults now.

Economy: 2 million new jobs? Who told you that crap? "Father" Rush Limbaugh? "Pastor" Bill O'Reilly?

"...The nation's economy has nearly 79,000 fewer private-sector jobs than when President George W. Bush took office.

During the last full month before Bush took office in January 2001, the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent. In March 2005, the official U.S. unemployment rate was 5.2 percent—representing 7.7 million unemployed workers. The manufacturing sector has lost nearly 2.8 million manufacturing jobs since January 2001.

What’s more, the 7.7 million officially unemployed represents only about 57 percent of all U.S. workers—approximately 13.6 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—who are either unemployed, underemployed in part-time jobs out of economic necessity or who have become so discouraged that they have given up looking for work...."


You also know nothing about economics, Jason

Therefore the standard GDP formula is expressed as:

GDP = private consumption + government + investment + net exports
(or simply GDP = C + G + I + NX)

Definition of the components of GDP

The breakdown of GDP into the variables C, I, G, and NX helps economists define each part more exactly:

* C is private consumption (or Consumer expenditures) in the economy. This is sometimes clarified as: consumer expenditures on final goods and services. All the variables in the GDP equation measure final goods & services expenditures rather than total expenditures; the distinction removes from total expenditure those items which are primarily assets. For instance, buying a Renoir doesn't boost GDP by $20m. (If it did, buying and selling the same painting repeatedly to a gallery would imply great wealth rather than penury.) Note that the Renoir purchase would effect the GDP figure, but not as a $20m receipt, the auctioneer's fees would appear in GDP under Consumer expenditure, because this is a final service.
* I is defined as business investments in infrastructure, or any other spending intended to generate a subsequent return through business activities. Examples of investment are: training, R&D, marketing, and recruitment. The word 'investment' here is meant very specifically as non-financial product purchases. Buying financial products is classed as saving in macroeconomics, as opposed to investment (which, in the GDP formula is a form of spending). The distinction is (in theory) clear: if money is converted into goods or services, without a repayment liability it is investment. For example, if you buy a bond or share the ownership of the money has only nominally changed hands, and this transfer payment is excluded from the GDP sum. Although such purchases would be called investments in normal speech, from the total-economy point of view, this is simply swapping of deeds, and not part of the real economy or the GDP formula.
* G is the sum of all government expenditures. The ratio of this to GDP as a whole is critical in the theory of crowding out, and the Keynesian cross.
* NX are "net exports" in the economy (gross exports - gross imports). GDP captures the amount a country produces, including goods and services produced for overseas consumption, therefore exports are added. Imports are subtracted since imported goods will be included in the terms G, I, or C, and must be deducted to avoid counting foreign supply as domestic. This is the concept of Gross value added.


See that big G in the Jason? That G is for Government expenditures. That includes all those expenditures that Bush has no money to pay for which is creating insane record deficits going into the GDP and boosting the GDP number.

Jason, go back to your neo-con cult meeting and say your Hail Mary's, or A-Mens, or Hari Krishna Hari haris, or whatever you chant. Go back into denial mode. Close your eyes to ffacts. It will all go away soon.

Posted by: rebellingboxer at Jul 7, 2005 2:21:10 PM

"London was bombed this morning because Bush pulled all our troops away from chasing Bin Laden to instead invade Iraq after the UN Inspectors had proven there were no WoMD in Iraq."

I rest my case. Thank for behaving as predictably as I knew you would.

Posted by: Jason O. at Jul 7, 2005 3:07:47 PM

I think as a some time biker and motorcyclist I'm generally loathe to partake in schadenfreude when someone crashes a bike. Usually my thoughts of seeing someone crash is to think of when I've been tossed from a bike or lost traction, usually, my response is to cringe and wonder how I could avoid doing that mistake.

Bush may have fixated (have none of us ever done that?) The police officer may have thought Bush was one of the G8 protesters sneaking through and stepped out into his way to intercept an unknown cyclist. Perhaps Bush or the officer (or both) lost their situational awareness and cause the minor accident. We honestly don't have enough info. The lack of information from the President's staff may be indicative of some sheepish guilt or it could be out of kindness for the officer who made a mistake. As it stands, I'm not out for blood because as a many year rider of things 2 wheeled, I just don't think it does any good unless you're really trying to lay blame for blood that was spilled.

I will point out that President Bush is coordinated enough to have never crashed a single seat, single engine F102 when he was training on the platform and it's weapons systems. Things happen awful fast in those. He had 600 hours of stick time, he can't be all that bad.

Read Dusty's comments in that link. He's an Ex USAF fighter pilot. His point of the primitive nature of the F102 being an engine with delta wings attached is important. Those aircraft don't glide worth a damn with out power.

Remember, there are two types of bikers, those who have fallen and will again AND those who will fall. To take pleasure in someone that has fallen would seem to be a serious invitation for similar mishaps on one's own part.

Posted by: Ryan Gill at Jul 7, 2005 5:00:00 PM

Frank wrote:

"I laughed at Carter's killer rabbit, too, if that helps you get over it."

Frank, that's no ordinary rabbit ... That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on! That rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer!

Posted by: EWM at Jul 7, 2005 5:26:11 PM