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Bush’s Econ Summer Camp: Liveblogging The Sad, Sober and Already Over Event

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President George Bush has hunkered down with people who are not in charge or war or foreign policy for a couple of days. They’re meeting at Camp David because, well, probably because no-one wants to go to Texas in August. We weren’t invited to the event but we’ll be covering it anyway.
11:00. It’s Friday in August. Why is George Bush making any sort of appearance at all today, much less comment on economic policy? We’re pretty sure we’re the only ones watching this thing right now.
11:17. Running behind schedule. Bush was supposed to step up to the podium already. This is getting weird. Bush is usually pretty punctual. Is he running on Clinton time these days?
11:22. Hey. It’s inching toward noon. Doesn’t Bush know people have places to go? It’s going to rain in New York on Sunday. We’ve got to get to the beach tonight or the whole weekend is going to be a bust.
11:32. There he is. No tie. Crisp shirt and pale grey suit. Hair is looking a bit shaggy. George Bush is an ordinary guy. Like the rest of us, he lets things like haircuts go by the wayside during the summer.
11: 35. We’re paranoid today so we are having trouble listening to George talk. Instead we’re thinking about the start time of this thing. What’s significant about 11:32. Well, 1+1=2. So let’s say he began at 232. Now reshuffle those numbers and notice that they are 322. These numbers are famously code for Skull & Bones, the secret society at Yale feared by conspiracy theorists everywhere. Is George sending a secret message to the kids at Deer Island? Hello, boys. I haven’t forgotten you!
11:38. Bush looks very unhappy. Furrowed brow. Frown. What has the econ team been doing to him this morning?
11: 40. Time for questions. First up: Lebanon. George seems very subdued. He wanted to talk about the economy but all anyone wants to talk about is the Middle East and terrorism.

Bush keeps using the word ‘sober.’ What’s that all about? Did someone show up at Camp Econ smelling like last night’s party?

We’re on to Syria and Iran. Someone shouts a questions about whether France will send troops to Lebanon. Bush responds: “France is a friend. France is an ally. France has got a great steak.” Who knew Bush had a taste for Freedom cuisine?
11:43. Wait. He said a “great stake.” As in France has a stake in what happens to Lebanon.
11:45. It’s all war and foreign policy now. That’s all the press corp is asking about? No taxes, no entitlements, no trade or immigration policy? What’s that about?
11:46. What happened to George’s eyes? We swear he used to have them. Now it’s just tiny slits.
11:47. Over already. Fourteen minutes and done. George seems annoyed that the reporters kept asking about the middle east. Clearly Bush wanted to talk about the economy and the press corp couldn't care less. As he walks away he’s flanked on his left by Dick Cheney and on his right by Hank Paulson. Hank, by the way, is wearing a snazzy blue blazer and khaki pants. You can take the banker out of the bank, but you can’t take the bank out of the banker.