Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Conversation with President George W. Bush in Kansas City!!

The best word to describe last night's event is that it was AMAZING!! Rainy Day Books sponsored an interview with President George W. Bush at Unity Temple on the Plaza about his memoirs, Decision Points. Tickets for the event sold out last Monday, and the extra autographed copies sold out last Tuesday. Unity Temple was filled to capacity with over 1200 people. My friends and I arrived at 4:00 and were in the doors by 5:00. So, I missed the lame protesters, according to news media outlets, there were 18 of them.

As I was listening to Bush talk, and taking notes, I was struck by how he was even more real, down to earth, likable, charming and funny in person. He also exuded confidence, but was not arrogant, and the way he described his faith was inspiring! It was a very memorable experience. It is hard to imagine why anyone would hate him.

Below is a summary of my notes and observations of the event:
He was interviewed by Vivien Jennings, Founder & President of Rainy Day Books. He started off with some self-deprecating humor, by saying that most people didn't think he could read a book, let alone write one. He also said that Laura and Jenna had been invited by Rainy Day Books first, and now he finally got invited.

Jennings asked him what question would he liked to have been asked, that had not been asked so far. He joked that it would be, "Why did you trade Sammy Sosa?" He then went on to say, "Why did you spend tax money to help the people of Africa?" His answer was:
1) The enemy can only recruit when it has hopeless people
2) It is in the moral interests of a nation. He quoted the old adage, of whom much is given, much is required.

He talked about how important it is to have genuine friends. Harry Truman said, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." According to Bush, a friend in Washington is one that you had, before, you came to Washington.

He gave a passionate monologue on how life is full of risks. He took a big risk to run for president. He risked either being called "a pathetic candidate" or if he got elected, "a pathetic president." Yet, he didn't want to be sitting in a corner as an old man drooling, saying he could've been a great president, but he never ran. He got huge applause after this, as he did after many of his lines.

He described himself as a "half-glass full guy" and someone who has a passion for history. As someone who would describe myself exactly the same way, it was music to my ears. He said it was fascinating to be making history and reading it, at the same time.

He talked about a time that he bragged about how Laura was the greatest first lady ever, and then realized he was mentioning this in front of his mother. That would be a unique problem no one has had to deal with, since John Quincy Adams. He also mentioned Laura being the first, first lady to give the Radio Address, where she spoke to the women of Afghanistan. I would have to imagine that meant something to quite a few women in Afghanistan, who had virtually no rights before the war.

He mentioned that he was upset with Jenna and her husband, because there are no grandchildren yet. She says she is young, but Bush says he isn't. There was another nice round of applause after this too.

He defended his pick of Dick Cheney as Vice-President. He said he wanted someone who was capable of becoming president and who had Washington and Foreign policy experience. He also didn't want someone who wanted to be his successor. I remember when I first heard that Cheney was his pick for VP, I was like who is Dick Cheney? Yet, I couldn't have been happier with Cheney as VP. I'm with Bush in that I think he was the perfect choice.

One thing Bush didn't understand was the endless, childish name calling, and he refused to engage in it. Many of us wished he would've defended himself more against those attacks, but he didn't want to lower the office of the presidency. He reminded us of the names that Lincoln was called. I remember being struck by that when I visited the Lincoln Museum. He was called a tyrant, a hick and a stupid baboon and yet, today he is regarded by most as our greatest president.

When asked about his faith, I was struck by how genuine and humble Bush was as he responded. He said prayer is key and success in your Christian walk is accepting your place with the risen Lord by surrendering, which is a continual process. The White House was joyous because of his relationship with the Lord. One of his favorite verses is Matthew 7:5-"...first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." He said its a good verse for all politicians.

Yet, he was quick to reiterate that what makes the United States great is the fact that we have freedom of religion. The contrast is that we face an enemy that kills you, if you don't believe in the right religion.

As I mentioned, it was so much more amazing to see him in person than on TV. I came away with even more admiration for him.

The media was only allowed to stay for a short amount of time. Below are links to their short coverage:
--Fox 4
--KC Star

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

George W. Bush Coming to KC on November 22nd!

While at the Condi Event, they announced that Bush was coming on November 22nd:
What: Former President George W. Bush will be in conversation with Vivien Jennings, Founder & President of Rainy Day Books, and discuss his new Book and his life. The program will last approximately one Hour.

When: Monday, November 22, 2010, 7:00 PM

Where: A Rainy Day Books Author Event at Unity Temple on The Plaza, Sanctuary, 707 W 47th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64112
It was a good thing I bought my tickets right away, because it sold out yesterday. I purposely waited to buy a copy of his book hoping that he would come to KC, and the event includes an autographed copy of his book! Stay tuned for a post on the event!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lunch with Condoleezza Rice!

"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same."~~Condi Rice

I mentioned last week that I was going to the KMBZ Business Forum to hear Condi Rice speak. It was pouring down rain, and my friend and I narrowly avoided an 8 car pile up, but we arrived in time. I had to laugh when I saw 2 loony protesters standing in the rain, across the street, with their signs. So, I made their day by taking their picture.

The place was packed as you can see by my pictures. The interview was amazing and I was struck by the similarity between Rice and Antonin Scalia. Rice and Scalia are both such experts in their fields and extremely intelligent that you are surprised at how witty they are too. Rice told several, great stories that had everyone either laughing or clapping.

She began by saying that it was nice for her to start off her day by not having to read terrorist reports with her morning coffee anymore. Below are some of the questions she was asked and summaries of her answers. Neither the questions nor the answers are direct quotes.

How has race been an issue?
~~She said it hadn't been an issue as Secretary of State because no one wanted to make her mad :-). Yet, she did share a story from her school years of a counselor not expecting much of her. She quoted her former boss, Bush's phrase, "the soft bigotry of low expectations".

What was her response to the Bush/Kanye West incident?
~~She said that Bush cared deeply about minority children and that the incident was hurtful. She said that we have to be very careful how we talk about race because the conversation ends once you call someone a racist.

How do you stay so optimistic?
~~She mentioned that she is a minister's daughter and that her faith plays a big part in her optimism. She also makes sure she exercises and tries to take some time to rest.

How has religion played a role in your life?
~~She talked about how you can't really separate religion from her life, its just a part of who she is. Prayer is a huge part of it, her prayers and then she was often overwhelmed at how many people would tell her that they were praying for her.

Why have you decided not to criticize the current administration?
~~She said she figured they have enough people chirping at them and besides if she wants to give them advice she can call them instead of telling the NY Times (that got a lot of applause).

She talked about 9/11, Iran and Iraq and about encouraging young people to pursue what they are passionate about and love to do.

We also got autographed copies of her book, Extraordinary People, Ordinary People as part of the ticket price. It was a great time!

Friday, November 12, 2010

George W. Bush talks to Oprah and O'Reilly!

To see the rest of the interview with Oprah, go here!

I love that Bush chose to use his book as a time to defend all the decisions he made. I'm also glad that while he seems to take most criticism in stride, he admits that being called a racist was beyond the pale. So many people seem so willing to play the "race card" and I find it disgusting.

As Bush says, this shows how awful the political discourse has gotten that if you don't agree with someone you think its okay to say some of the most hurtful and evil things.

Politik Ditto has the video of Kanye West apologizing to Bush over his hurtful comments about him regarding race. As GG says, it might be more impressive had it come much earlier.

Bush often didn't defend himself while President (when many of us wish he would've) and he hasn't criticized the current President (when many of us wish he would). Yet, he is a better man for it, and the chasm between him and Obama is deep. Since, Obama hasn't stopped blaming Bush for all the country's ills.

To see the rest of the interview with O'Reilly, go here!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

George W. Bush talks to Rush, Hannity and Lauer about his book, "Decision Points"!

For more of the Hannity interview, go here!
Democracy is a beautiful thing!~~George W. Bush's response to last Tuesday's election results
I love this man!!! What an awesome response in the above quote. I am thoroughly enjoying all of the interviews Bush is doing for his book, Decision Points. It reminds me how much I miss having a real man in the White House.

I am hoping he comes to KC on his book tour. I am looking forward to getting my copy of Decision Points soon.

For more of the Lauer interview, go here!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A Review of "Attack on Darfur"!

Darfur is an issue that I continue to care about. I watched the movie, Attack on Darfur over the weekend. It was a difficult, but important movie to see.

As I watched the Janjaweed rape and murder the innocent villagers, I could hardly comprehend how there could be such evil people in the world. People need to have their eyes opened to the genocide that is going on over there.

While, I wouldn't recommend this movie for children, I think its important that people watch it, so more can be done for the people of Darfur! Yet, I would caution that many of the scenes are obviously pretty disturbing

To learn more about what is going on in Darfur and how you can help, go here!

Genocide in Darfur
President Bush Fed Up With UN's Lack of Action on Darfur
Against Darfur Genocide

Other Links:
Save Darfur Coalition

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Condi Rice Comes to Kansas City!

KMBZ Business Forum 2010 Featuring Condoleezza Rice
November 12th 2010 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Marriott Muehlebach Tower

If you still want tickets, go here!
A friend and I are going, and I'm looking forward to it. Stay tuned for a complete report on the event!!