TALK ABOUT THE FORTUNATE SON GEORGE BUSH means talking baseball. His magical mystery tour through the NATIONAL GUARD and his COKE USE AND DENIAL can be canned for later. George Bush made money for nothing. No word about chicks for free. (Chicks for free is the story of his brother Neil. Brother Neil made money in China. And brother Marvin too. Remember Dad had a few jobs. One of them was as an ambassador . . . to China.) But George W. doesn’t like to travel.
SO GEORGE W. BUSH GOT HIS MONEY CLOSER TO HOME. In Texas, in baseball. George Bush made a mint for relative nothing due to relative connections. Somewhat reminiscent of his magical mystery Guard tour, where he did relative nothing compared to boys who are dying in Iraq, whose funerals he will not go to. Somebody else always pays the TAB.
THIS IS AN EIGHTIES STORY. George Bush took $600,000 dollars he got in a hand out from a failed HARKEN energy company and got millions in return on his hand out as “owner” of the Texas Rangers. Bush wasn’t actually the owner. He just played one on TV. Just like he plays a president on TV. And has this mysterious need to clear brush when the cameras are around. A CLEAR PICTURE ABOUT THE FORTUNATE SON who his fortune in baseball can be found by anyone wanting to know the story. Swing away for a google grand slam. Or not. Try as he might, Bush cannot change the facts. Nor can he change growing opinion that he connects less than he used to down in Texas. When one more fortunate than most cannot answer a few questions about Iraq or from a mother about how, or why or when, more and more people think the President has struck out
RECOMMENDED READING [COMMON DREAMS] Kevin Phillips, a long-time Republican strategist turned apostate, describes the deal in his book, American Dynasty. "In 1988, George W. also began angling for a role in the acquisition of the Texas Rangers baseball team, which was being sold by oil man Eddie Chiles, an old friend of his father's. The deal did not go through easily, despite Bush's love of the sport, but it finally concluded in 1989 on three pivots of cronyism. The first was the help in arranging meetings and financing given to Bush by baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, a family friend. Number two was the investment participation of Texas billionaire Richard Rainwater, a major Reagan-Bush contributor. "Last but not least was the arrangement by which the city of Arlington agreed to finance a new $191 million stadium for the Rangers with a bond issue paid for by a small sales tax increase. The stadium was to be deeded over to the baseball consortium in 12 years, after the Rangers group had paid $60 million in annual payments of $5 million. "What sold investors was the highly rewarding stadium deal, which depended on the city of Arlington pushing the sales tax increase through in a special election and then stretching its power of eminent domain to seize the necessary land for what was mostly a private purpose." Bush and his cronies bought the team for $63 million. Bush's contribution was a paltry $640,000, which got him 2 percent of the franchise. But the family name was his real contribution. His main function was not unlike that of retired baseball players who hire on as greeters at casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. In their book, Shrub, columnist Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose note that, "Not satisfied with the taxpayers picking up the tab on the construction of the (new) stadium, the ball team used its quasi-government sports authority to 'take' the 13 acres needed for the stadium complex at a price so low a state court had to step in on behalf of the unwilling 'sellers.' " In 1998, by then Gov. G.W. Bush, who had campaigned as a strong advocate of private property rights, cashed in his interest in the baseball team for $15.4 million.
[TEXAS OBSERVER] STEALING HOME . . . Yes, baseball has been very good to Bush. Moreover, the biggest deal Bush has ever done, the career-shaping transaction he boasted of on the campaign trail—the planning, funding and construction of the Texas Rangers’ Ballpark at Arlington—has been largely ignored by the national media. [LEGAL DECISION: KELO v NEW LONDON] [MARK A.R. KLEIMAN] [HAT TIP: MAJIKTHISE]