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Bush receives hero's welcome…in Albania

Dear Leader had to travel a loooong way to receive some love from the crowds. And the Albanian president clearly hasn’t had too many dignitaries visit his country if “W” is at the top of the heap of heralded guests.

At home, Bush’s job approval rating stands at its all-time low. But here, Prime Minister Sali Berisha said Bush was Albania’s “greatest and most distinguished guest we have ever had in all times.”

Throngs of people grasped Bush’s hands, arms and fingers on the streets of Fushe Kruje, a small town near the airport where he stopped to chat in a cafe with business owners. Unused to such adoring crowds in America, Bush reveled in the attention. He kissed women on the cheek, posed for pictures and signed autographs. Someone reached out and rubbed his gray hair.

“Bushie, Bushie,” people shouted. Some of the business people have received small loans under U.S. government programs.

The AP reported that cannons boomed salutes for Dumbya, and banners were unfurled proclaiming “Proud to be Partners,” along with billboards reading “President Bush in Albania Making History.”


But you should have seen what the frat-boy-in-chief did when he visited the Pope at  the Vatican. It’s below the fold.Bush: you can’t take him anywhere

Whenever Dear Leader goes abroad, it’s guaranteed that we’ll see a major etiquette issue because the man is just a dressed up crude frat boy. Witness the latest embarrassment.

US President George W Bush drew gasps at the Vatican on Saturday by referring to Pope Benedict XVI as “sir” instead of the expected “His Holiness”, pool reporters said.

They could clearly hear the US leader say “Yes, sir” when the pope asked him if he was going to meet with officials of the lay Catholic Sant’Egidio community at the US embassy later during his visit.

…On his way to see the 80-year-old pontiff, the US leader apparently recognised someone he knew, and could be heard greeting the person with a casual “How ya doin’?”

The pool reporters also noted Bush’s relaxed posture, crossing his legs “Texan style” while facing the pope across his desk in the private study of the apostolic palace.

Don’t they have anyone in that White House to brief the President on social protocol? Jeebus H. Christ, he’s a head of state; this behavior isn’t “charming” or folksy, it’s foolish.

The running series of embarrassments…

“Joking” with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. There’s video as well.

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* A touch of class part 73

* We can’t send him abroad

* Bush’s dome-rubbing fetish

* Bush using a woman’s shirt to wipe his glasses (video)

And this:

The man who last year proclaimed “I’m the decider,” in response to a question about whether he would fire Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary, came up with this latest moniker in explaining why he vetoed an Iraq war spending bill that dictated a timeline for troops to withdraw from Iraq.

“The question is, ‘Who ought to make that decision, the Congress or the commanders?,” Mr. Bush said. “As you know, my position is clear – I’m the commander guy.”

And don’t forget this one:

British newspapers were scathing on Tuesday about US President George W Bush’s blundering welcome for Queen Elizabeth II, labelling him “Dumb Dubya” and saying he has the “gift for the gaffe“.

Bush messed up at a ceremonial welcome for the queen at the White House Monday when he spoke of a visit paid by Elizabeth to mark the 200th anniversary of the US Declaration of Independence from Britain “in 17 – in 1976“.

After the queen looked up at him from beneath her wide-brimmed black hat, he winked at her, before turning to the laughing audience and telling them: “She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding