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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Rewards and punishment in the Bush administration

By HAL BROWN It may be a part of human nature to try to reward your friends and punish your enemies. This happens in government when administrations change. It comes with the job and it's expected. There is a point, however, when this is taken too far. This is when those elected by the people to serve them use their power to reward and punish to hire less than the best person for a job and fire highly competent officials. Here are two examples.


It may be a part of human nature to try to reward your friends and punish your enemies. This happens in government when administrations change. It comes with the job and it’s expected. There is a point, however, when this is taken too far. This is when those elected by the people to serve them use their power to reward and punish to hire less than the best person for a job and fire highly competent officials.

Here are two examples.

“I didn’t give them what they wanted. That was probably a political problem that caused them to go to the White House or whomever and complain that I wasn’t a team player.” fired New Mexico U.S. attorney David C. Iglesias who is alleging that political pressure from Republicans related to a criminal investigation played a role in his dismissal.


Sam Fox has been nominated to be the new U.S. ambassador to Belgium. He’s a wealthy businessman who donates heavily to Republican causes and gave $50,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign of lies which were instrumental in the defeat of John Kerry.

This is but a small part of what he said under intense questioning by Senator Kerry:

Kerry: So, again, I ask you the question, do you think now that you and others bear responsibility for thinking about where we put money in American politics? What we’re saying, what we present to the American people — is truth important or isn’t it?

Fox: Senator, if I had reason to believe and if I were convinced that the money was going to be used to, in any untruthful or false way, knowingly, I would not give.


This isn’t to say that Democrats don’t do the same thing. Some of the House appointments by Nancy Pelosi come to mind. But she a virtual amateur compared to Bush and his administration.

The Bushites have run amok tossing rewards and punishments with abandon.

The Bush White House runs the government like Mayor Richard J. Daley ran Chicago and its Democratic machine, although hardly as efficiently. They have given out so many political plums to unqualified people that it’s a testament to career civil servants that our government hasn’t fallen totally apart.

Administration punishments range from firing officials like Mr. Iglesias to this unbelievable piece of news as reported in The Army Times:

Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.

“Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media,” one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

It is unusual for soldiers to have daily inspections after Basic Training. LINK

I think that many people can overlook a lawyer making a fairly good salary getting dismissed for not playing footsie with the politicians.

But hopefully this latest news about trying to punish wounded veterans because some of them have talked to reporters just may be the straw that breaks the back of the Bush camel. I hope it is.

(Hal Brown is a clinical social worker and former mental health center director who is mostly retired from his private psychotherapy practice. He writes on the psychopathology of public figures and other topics that pique his interest. He can be found online at

27 thoughts on “Rewards and punishment in the Bush administration”

  1. Whose surprised by any of this? This is the same bunch of fucking hypocrites that had the unmitigated balls to lecture America about character 6 yrs. ago!! Character!! What kind of character has this admin. been shown to have? NONE!! Or maybe LOW is more like it. These people have been compared to the Mafia but I find that insulting to the Mafia. The Mafia would have already won the War in Iraq and BL would be long dead. No Bu$h’s crowd is more like Frat Boys gone Crazy.

  2. It’s hard to believe how people are blinded by this man crying treason about with anyone who don’t like what they do.Well if you want real treason just watch in the internet how This President sat in a Florida classroom for who knows how long When we were attaked on 9/11/01

  3. Like a child the prince used to say ” I am a leader, I am a war president, I am a decider” What ever catches his fancy. It is all a game to him, he only needs to go to photo ops and make empty speeches and leave the chopper waving every day. He never has to do an honest days work, and truly believes the nation has to serve him and his friends.That is the way he was brought up, no responsibility for that boy.

  4. Prescott Bush: made millions trading with the Hitler Regime, financing. Paid a million dollar fine.

    GHW Bush: CIA involvement in JFK assaination. FOIA document found, he says it was another george bush, excused.

    GHW Bush: CIA involvement Afganistan heroine production, cocaine, guns, sandanistas. Saudi business partners.

    Announcer of the NWO. Sponsor of NAFTA.

    Neal Bush: Security of WTC up untill 911. Security Dulles Airport untill 911.

    Jeb Bush: Florida Governor, voting scandel, fraud, excused.

    Barbara Bush: Allester Crowleys daughter. too scary to go there.

    Other Bushes: One son is paroled, others, don’t know.

    GHW Bush quote” If Americans knew what us Bushes have done to them, they would run us down and hang us” un-quote.

    Yes Boots, they will burn if there is a Hell.

    Oh, almost forgot GW.

    Worst Gov. Texas ever had.

    Shirked Nat. Guard Service.

    Failed at all business adventures.

    Cocaine, Alcohol Addict

    Knocked up a colored gal, she sued,then died.

    Installed President by Supreme Court.

    Stole second Term. Diebold, vote manipulation.

    Involvement in 911. Fought official investigation, cut funding investigation. Refused to testify under oath and record. Told 6,004 lies. Gutted the US Constitution, ordered wire taps, mail scanning, rescinded all rights to fair trial, enabled military in police duty, torture ok, warrantless arrests ok, eternal incarceration ok, allows uncontrolled illegal immigration, screwed victims of Katrina,

    waived all laws with signing orders, told another 2,000 lies, plans to start ww3, decides who lives and who dies,gives the rich tax breaks, cuts education and health care, bans photos of soldier caskets / bags unloading from

    the undeclared illegal war on terrorism,

    gives importasnt positions to unqualified toadies, fires anyone who disagrees, lies about being a christian,

    lies to the people,embarassed the nation, weakened the nation, bankrupt the nation, sold out the nation, and more.

    Other than that, he is a great guy!

  5. The Bush family has more blood on their hands than the Mafia. May they all burn in hell for eternity. Every damn one of them, along with all of their friends and their families.

  6. Just in case it has not been said before, George W. Bush is a chicken-shit. He won’t go or send those he is close to, but he has no trouble whatsoever in sending your child to die in Iraq.

    BTW I am a Vietnam veteran if you have any doubts.

  7. When the head of the VA openly, on television states firmly that “there are only 600 or so amputees” being cared for by the VA, and NOT ONE FUCKING REPORTER makes an issue of that claim, what other result is to be expected?

    And I say, here again, only 100,000 or so folks attended the Jan. 2th March on the Capitol, so what other result is to be expected?

    The same people go out into the streets, and the same people sit at their computers, so what other result is to be expected?

    I will say it is becoming far easier for my wife and I to be out there protesting, because we have very few other social obligations. Our nearly-former friends and relatives are uneasy around us, so we are not often invited to other events.

    Maybe everyone else has more friends remaining? Friends who, you know, don’t do nuance?

  8. Most citizens of the USA know that this administration has been leading us down the road to ruin in the fast lane. The amazing thing is that no matter how many of us knw this..we cannot seem to get it to stop. We screemed loud and clear last Nov. to be heard and there were changes in Congress. But Bush/Cheney are still the president (Dictator) thus the deadly expensive crimes, lies, deceptions continue on

    seemingly unabated.

    I have reached the point that until the

    real axis of evil(Bush/Cheney/Rove and henchemen)is out of the White House there is NOTHING that we can do. So….if any of you have the answers of an actual yet legal way we can change things before then..please let us hear from you.

  9. Wayne, the following is from the TPM Muckraker site:


    … as the Senate Judiciary Committee moves towards issuing subpoenas for the ousted prosecutors, the House seems to be moving faster.


    The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law will vote tomorrow on whether to issue subpoenas to four of the fired U.S. attorneys:


    California’s Southern District’s CAROL LAM,


    Nevada’s David Iglesias,


    Arkansas’ Eastern District’s H.E. “Bud” Cummins,


    and Washington’s Western District’s John McKay.


    If the committee did issue subpoenas, the attorneys would testify next Thursday, according to the press release from Chairwoman Linda Sánchez (D-CA).

  10. Remember the Bush/Cheney CIA Director that got the pre-Iraq war intelligence so wrong and was forced to resign. A month or so later old slam dunk was given the nations higest civilian award, the Medal of Freedom by the president. Ouch!

  11. Another victim of the Bush Administration is more than a few Federal U.S. Attorneys who got their pink slips from the Bush Administration’s minions. One such case was my own U.S. Attorney of San Diego, Ms. Carol Lam. Ms. Lam brought Duke Cunningham (Congressman), Wilkes (Govt Contractor) and Dusty Foggo (CIA) to trial.

    Her reward? She got fired. They’re trying hard in Washington to turn America into a Third World Country.

  12. The bush administration contains nothing but tokens, trinkets and toadies, each one of itself, ineffectual, and all three put together a tried and true recipe for disaster.

  13. Let’s add Veterans Administration Secretary Jim Nicholson to the list- who’s only qualification appears to be he was Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Unless you want to include his experience as a home developer. After the recent revelations of deficient VA care for vets, lets all say “Heck-of-a-job Jim!”

  14. One of the ways to measure how corrupt a government is to look at its commitment to good governance. Generally speaking, Republicans, because of their anti-governement ideology, fall short on governance. The Bush administration, however, has taken this tendency to new heights. It’s never a question of trying to get a job done for the good of the country. It’s always a question of how to reward loyal Republicans. What Bush has done is reveal the fatal flaw of democracy, where mob rule rules without any regard to achieving desired results.

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