25 March 2006

Mrs. Bush wanted to do something specifically for education and specifically for the thousands of students flooding into the Houston schools

An episode in Bush clan philanthropy.
Former first lady Barbara Bush gave relief money to a hurricane relief fund on the condition that it be spent to buy educational software from her son Neil's company.

The chief of staff of former President George H.W. Bush would not disclose the amount earmarked for purchases from Ignite Learning.

Since Barbara Bush's gift, the Ignite Learning program has been given to eight public schools with high numbers of Hurricane Katrina evacuees, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Just another audacious example of greed.

Of course, Mrs. Bush did say those people displaced by Katrina were better off anyways

1 March 2006

Comparing Past Presidential Performance

In lieu of the recent abysmal presidential approval poll numbers, here is an interesting historical breakdown of past president approval highs and lows.
Bush G.W. 92% 10/01 34% 11/05
Clinton 73% 1/98,12/98 36% 5/93
Bush G.H.W. 89% 2/91 29% 8/92
Reagan 68% 5/81,5/86 35% 1/83
Carter 75% 3/77 28% 7/79
Ford 74% 8/74 37% 1/75,3/75
Nixon 67% 11/69,1/73 23% 1/74
Johnson 80% 3/64 35% 8/68
Kennedy 80% 3/62 56% 9/63
Eisenhower 79% 12/56 48% 4/58
Truman 87% 6/45 22% 2/52
Roosevelt 84% 1/42 48% 8/39

Some quick takes from this data.

  • A lot can change in a little over a year. Poppy Bush went from the top of the chart after the post Gulf War euphoria to lower depths than his son has thus far encountered, 18 months later.

  • Clintons's numbers climbed even amidst the Lewinsky scandal and he encountered low marks almost immediately after taking office. Despite a well financed and organized right wing jihad in opposition to him, the public still warmed up to Clinton.

  • An obvious conclusion - presidents are immensely popular during wartime. The numbers for Bush 43, Bush 41, and Roosevelt bear this out.

  • Though Roosevelt's low mark in 1939 indicates Americans weren't gung ho to embrace WWII voluntarily.

  • Since Kennedy, all our Presidents have had bouts of terrible approval numbers.