Patterico's Pontifications


A Personal Diplomacy

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:36 pm

[guest post by Dana]

On Friday, former president George W. Bush was interviewed by his daughter Jenna Bush Hager on the Today Show about his new art exhibit, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy” — which goes on display this weekend at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. The exhibit includes portraits of 24 current and former world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair, the Dalai Lama, and his father, George H.W. Bush. The interview reflects Bush’s commitment to growing as an artist and the joy he derives from this new-found passion. It is heartening to see how wonderfully relaxed and happy he and Mrs. Bush are. The interview is well worth watching.

Bush also shared a story about their family dog Barney…and Putin.

“As you know, our dear dog Barney, who had a special place in my heart — Putin dissed him and said, ‘You call it a dog?’” Bush recalled.

“A year later, your mom and I go to visit and Vladimir says, ‘Would you like to meet my dog?’ Out bounds this huge hound, obviously much bigger than a Scottish terrier, and Putin looks at me and says, ‘Bigger, stronger and faster than Barney.’

“I just took it in. I didn’t react,” Bush continued. “I just said, ‘Wow. Anybody who thinks ‘my dog is bigger than your dog’ is an interesting character.’ And that painting kind of reflects that.”



Final Four Open Thread

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:48 pm

This Kentucky game just changed drastically, huh?

Congress at Work

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:50 am

[guest post by Dana]

Retiring veteran Virginia *Democrat Senator Congressman Jim Moran wants to reinstate a per diem for members of Congress who are currently being forced to sleep in their offices because of the high cost of living in the Capitol.

As such, Moran plans to propose an amendment be added to the 2015 legislative branch spending bill, given the proposed bill seeks to continue a freeze on lawmaker salaries. The freeze has been in place since 2010, thus current annual salaries remain fixed at $174,000.

Not yet having lost all of his senses, Moran understands that given Americans current **disapproval of Congress, they would be less than supportive of any salary hikes at this time.

According to Moran,

I understand that is widely felt that [members] underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world and a lot of members can even afford to live decently when they are at their job in Washington.

Bringing the commonsense, South Carolina Republican congressman Trey Gowdy reprimanded Democrat Moran for suggesting lawmakers on Capitol Hill are underpaid. He believes Moran should be “embarrassed,” and that the House of Representatives is “grossly overcompensated.”

He further added,

I know a lot of people in the world that are underpaid — in fact I live with one, who’s a schoolteacher. But members of Congress are incredibly blessed and well-fortunate to have the jobs that we have. Nobody makes us run! Every two years we offer for public office, and if you don’t want to do it then don’t run.

But the notion that you can make $174,000 in this country and be underpaid is laughable. We are better off than 99.9 percent of the people we claim to work for. And I would be embarrassed to say that — given our job performance and our salary — that we are anything other than grossly overcompensated.

*It should be noted that Democrat Moran has been accused of using his position in Congress for his own financial gain.

**Current approval rating of Congress remains stagnant.


Correction noted re Jim Moran’s title.

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