Like Rockets Tied to Apollo’s Butt

Junior gets socially promoted despite flunking charm school.

Fortunate Son: The Untold History of George W. Bush
Social promotion to president
By Jerry Mazza

If social promotion is a perverse gift to poor and disenfranchised youth, that is, to push them while failing through America’s school systems to get them out the door, just imagine what social promotion could do for a poor little rich kid whose father, connected to power and politics like rockets to Apollo’s rear, could promote George W. through Andover, Yale and Harvard upwards to the presidency.

In 1989, the young oilman, George W. Bush, was reported in Fortunate Son by J. H. Hatfield to have said “You know I could run for governor but I’m basically a media creation. I’ve never done anything. I’ve worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business. But that’s not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office.” It’s true, especially when you tack on finking out of Texas Air National Guard duty and being remembered as a boozer and a cokehead. But then with a name like George Bush, things could be, well, overlooked, socially promoted.

And how strange that Hatfield’s book, packed with young Bush’s frauds, failures, and effronteries, was burned by its original publisher St. Martin’s Press, before release, and subsequently revived by Soft Skull Press. This would seem like a triumph for the free press if not for Hatfield’s tragic suicide that followed. This was the result of Bush harassment and false accusations of faulty reporting. Well, maybe social promotion needs some socialization as well — for the whole Bush family.

Help for Harken

As the late Hatfield pointed out, 1989 was the year that brought us George W’s Harken Energy Corporation. It “suffered losses of more than $12 million against revenues of $1 billion. That same year, Bush received $120,000 for consulting services to the company and stock options worth $131,250. He also was on the company payroll as a director and served on the exploration advisory board.” He’d started socially promoting himself.

Yet “although Harken was a small oil company it paid big dividends to its top brass. In 1989, other executives in the firm drew six-figure salaries and five-figure bonuses. The following year, Harken’s board of directors lavishly awarded three more executives with six figure ‘incentives and performance’ compensation packages, even though the company lost $40 million and shareholder equity plunged to $3 million, down from more than $70 million in 1988 . . .”

In fact, “Harken’s largest creditors were threatening to foreclose on the struggling Texas company when suddenly, in January 1990, it acquired the exclusive and potentially lucrative rights to drill for oil and gas in Bahrain, a small Arab island emirate off the east coast of Saudi Arabia, about 200 miles southeast of Kuwait. Energy analysts marveled at how Harken, a small unknown company with operations primarily in Texas and Louisiana and Oklahoma, was able to beat out the more experienced conglomerate, Amoco, especially since Harken had never drilled a single well overseas or offshore.

“‘This is an incredible deal, unbelievable for this small company,’ Charles Strain, a Houston-based energy analyst, told Forbes magazine. Under the terms of the agreement, Harken was award the exclusive right to explore for, develop, product, transport and market oil and gas through most of Bahrain’s offshore territories.”

Could this have been a little more social promotion by Papa, seeing how he was a former oil biz honcho and now US president? His purported 98 IQ seems largely irrelevant given his real-world fangs.

Read the rest here.

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