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Our absent leader

Brattleboro Reformer (Vermont)

Last week was the deadliest for U.S. forces in Iraq since the war began.
The scene in Iraq remains unsettled and chaotic.

And where was our president?

On vacation, again.

George W. Bush, who has frequently spoke about how hard it is to be a "wartime president," is on his 49th vacation since taking office in 2001.

He is on a five-week vacation on his ranch in Crawford, Texas, the longest presidential vacation in nearly four decades.

As of today, our president has spent 325 days of his presidency on vacation -- more than 20 percent of his time in office.

While Bush did act concerned and mouthed the appropriate words of sorrow and resolve over last week's deaths, he didn't let it interrupt his vacation.

While he reiterated his tough talk about staying the course in Iraq and defeating the insurgency, he didn't let it interrupt his vacation.

And while the flag-draped coffins come home, one-by-one, to the suburbs of Cleveland where many of the dead Marine reservists left their families and their jobs and their comfortable lives behind to fight in Iraq, our president will still be at his ranch, resting from the hard work of sending other people off to fight for in a war he created.

It's no wonder that public approval of Bush's handling of the war has dropped to 38 percent, according to a recent Associated Press poll.

That's the lowest point so far.

But all this doesn't seem to faze our president. After all, he has another four weeks of vacation to enjoy.


Speaking Events


War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Book Tour

May 19, Sarasota, FL, 7:00 p.m. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota, FL

May 20, Jacksonville, FL, 7:00 p.m., Florida Christian Center Auditorium, 1115 Edgewood Ave S, Jacksonville, FL 32205, (904) 381-4800.

May 21, Gainesville, FL
7:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, Florida
4225 NW 34th St, Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 377-1669
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May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
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May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
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May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
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May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
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May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event
Community United Church of Christ
5550 N. Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93710

June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
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June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
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