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October 20, 2005

Your Turn: They Don’t Mug Like They Used To



When your mandate is to keep tabs on the political images of the day, people come to expect you’ll snag the more prominent ones.

Maybe this shot is showing up "left and right" (or, at least, "left and far left") today.  Putting it up on the BAG, however, means it must automatically be subjected to a semiotic "once (or twice) over" by a growing community of insightful visual/political/cultural interpreters.  So it’s "just" a portrait, you say?  Well, there’s no such thing around here.

…Of course, it’s a mug shot.  And that’s where the whole can of worms gets opened up.  ( starts off the analysis here.)


UPDATE 10/21/05 1:40 pm PST:  With all the great commentary so far, it seems only fitting to toss in the other classic photo this week.  Because we don’t often get them this good, why not?  Feel free to analyze the two shots separately, or comparatively.


(click here to inspect the full size/full resolution version at

(I’m still leaving the interpreting in your able hands, but I had to say a couple things.  Of course, as already mentioned in the thread, the body language is wonderful — as is the unusually generous use of space at top and bottom, and the positioning of the human stars relative to the emblem.  …I’m not sure, but I think those flowers are fake.  If not, they have quite a supply, because I’ve been looking at that exact arrangement for years now.  Keep in mind, by the way, that we’re looking through a fish eye.)

(image 1: Harris County Sheriff’s Office/Handout/Reuters. October 20, 2005. Via YahooNews.  Caption: Former House Majority leader Tom DeLay in his Harris County Sheriff’s Office booking photograph. DeLay, who posted a $10,000 bond and was released near midday, evaded the press corps that had gathered at the courthouse in his home district outside Houston.  image 2:  AFP/HO October 20, 2005. Via YahooNews. Caption: In this photo released by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas, US Representative Tom Delay, Republican of Texas, is shown in a booking photo taken in Houston, Texas. The former Republican head of the House of Representatives spent less than 30 minutes at the sheriff’s office, in the Houston suburbs, during which he posted a 10,000 USD bail bond, was fingerprinted and photographed, officials said.) image 3:  Eric Draper/White House. Oct. 19, 2005. White House. Caption: President George W. Bush and Bono discuss global AIDS and Africa policy in the Oval Office … following lunch in the White House.)

  • Johnny B

    Clearly that was an astute move on DeLay’s (and his handlers’) part. However, while DeLay’s mug shot does not provide the immediate retributory satisfaction that, for example, this other image would have provided:
    I believe that, in the hands of a skilled political communicator, DeLay’s “smiling” mug shot could be used to raise all sorts of troubling questions — specially if the “smiling” mug shot is paired with less flattering images and, too, is coupled with the many scandals that DeLay is associated with.

  • tuffy

    Now THAT’S a narcissist.

  • Si

    He looks like hes on mescaline.

  • ummabdulla

    What’s that pin he’s wearing?

  • eva gushes over how “bright, personable and confident” DeLay looks here. Well, darling, it reminds me of another mug shot that was taken of the minor racketeer Basil Cervone. Who says you have to be a slimy politician to pull off a jolly mug shot. These two boys have a lot in common…but of courses, only photogenically.

  • lemondloulou54

    Baggy, Can’t you get some of the outtakes?

  • mugatea

    His eyes are so red. Wonder if it’s from the polution in Houston or crying his wee little head to sleep.
    His name is so appropriate for his place in history, Delay. To delay is to cause to be late or behind in movement or progress.
    How can this country move forward with numskulls like this running things?
    The anger and agresion in red-site comments areas is telling.
    And disturbing.

  • Molly

    Right on, eva.. also checked out John Gotti’s mugshots over the years on that same site.. In his younger years, he seems afraid in his mug shots. But near the end, Gotti looks downright amused.
    But DeLay is different… despite his cheesy smile, you can see the fear in his eyes.
    Here’s an interesting site: Spot the Fake Smile

  • Stephen McArthur

    This has got to be the happiest mug in a mugshot ever taken. Or at least, the intention is to make it look happy. To my mind, there is a hint, in those eyes of his, of roiling anger and revenge. The smile feels practiced and set in stone.

  • Chris

    mugatea – it’s the @$!*$@! Houston air. I wish my eyes looked so good.
    ummabdullah – The pin is apparently an official house of representatives thing. Wouldn’t want us to forget who he is!
    Every time I look at these, I think of a simpleton who thinks it’s all a game. Of course, he could just be someone who knows it’s all a game….

  • momly

    Don’t make any sudden movements and keep your hands away from his mouth.

  • CK

    Psychopath. From Wikipedia…
    Arrogant/Deceitful Interpersonal Style
    Glibness/superficial charm
    Egocentricity/Grandiose sense of self-worth
    Pathological lying
    Deficient Affective Experience
    Lack of remorse or guilt
    Callous/Lack of empathy
    Shallow affect
    Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
    Impulsive/Irresponsible Behavioral Style
    Need for stimulation/Proneness to boredom
    Parasitic lifestyle
    Lack of realistic, long-term goals
    For more…

  • David Flores

    I got a whole slew of alternate DeLay mugshots for you here:

  • MaxCat

    Its that used car salesman smile.
    Seen is many times.
    The first rule of thumb is don’t trust a word that comes out of his mouth and just by coincidence…………………..

  • Doctor Biobrain

    I would just like to say that I once got arrested for a minor offense (due to no real fault of my own, of course), and I too went for the smiley mugshot. I figured (hoped) this was my only mugshot picture, and I really wanted it to be a good one.
    I’m not sure, but I think it might be why the guard threatened to knock the wind out of me five minutes later. He probably thought I was some punk-ass criminal smirking at the crime that I’d eventually get away with. And he was probably right.

  • MaxCat

    and………..if his lips are moving….hey wait a minute I think I just saw his lips moving.

  • Keir

    I don’t see what others see: fear, red eyes, etc. The guy has no idea what would be in store for him if he couldn’t easily post ten grand bail. What’s in that criminal head of his? Finish the photo-op, and hit the country club for lunch.
    Most people who get hauled in don’t have all that much warning; in their mugshots they appear as they did when they were captured by the police. On the other end of the photographic equipment are the people who will remove items like shoes, belts–and oh yes, decorative pins–from their person and lock them in a cold cell. They know that images of the feelings their mugshot captures–fear, injustice, guilt, remorse, anger (or bright, capped-tooth confidence)–are not likely to suddenly flash via internet across the globe.
    So, so, so out of touch is this man.

  • Purple

    The lapel pin says “I’m a politician.” It underlines his continuing defensive scheme of charging that he is a political victim of prosecutor Ronnie Earle. {Never mind that Earle has prosecuted more Democrats than Republicans, of course. But DeLays argument is for his base.)
    He could have tied his tie a bit better.
    I wonder if he wore any makeup.

  • MaxCat

    Hey know what you get if you rearrange the letters in the name “TOM DELAY”?
    Who’d a thunk it?

  • zatopa

    The guy’s a professional smiler: I don’t see even a trace of anxiety, malice or even impatience here. By making this image the one that sails through the infosphere, he’s advertising that it’s all still easy for him: the cops are in his pocket everywhere he goes. Who else could get away with it?

  • tuffy

    I know this is digressing a bit, but I can’t help but think about it when looking at any photo of DeLay: What is it about a certain kind of fundamentalist or Evangelical Christianity that actually physically manifests in the faces of bodies of a particular breed of Christian?
    To me, DeLay is just undeniably recognizable as a fundamentalist Christian, and it’s not just the conservative manner of dress or that godawful toupee-looking haircut–it’s something that completely saturates his face and posture. He’s like a textbook example. I’d think you could almost smell it on him.
    (To be specific: I do not mean Christians in general, but that particular breed of the Jesus-obsessed)
    I come from a part of the US (Nebraska/Kansas) where fundamentalists are common enough (or far too common, to be candid), and I’ve grown up with more than just a couple in my own family, so I’m speaking not from a distance, but from lifelong experience. I couldn’t tell you offhand if an individual was Catholic or Lutheran just by looking at them, but I can spot a fundamentalist Christian from fifty feet away (as I duck and cover).
    In this regard fundamentalism seems to me similar to schizophrenia or autism, where you also very often get subtle physical telltale signs that one with a little experience can easily learn ot recognize.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    arrogance of power.
    …got to be the most crony-corporate corrupt city on earth! beginning with Enron/Reliant holding the powerless state of California for ransom with their contrived “energy crisis”, now Exxon / Saudi et al. doing the same thing to the entire country (world?)
    the other, weirdly inappropriate smile in the news : that of Judith Miller, fwiw.
    Delay… well, so much for the appetizer. I’d just as soon skip the Frist salad and get on to this month’s prix fixe main course, cooked cabal : chef Fitzgerald will be serving WHIG = White House Iraq Group, “stewed in its own juices, until tender

  • MonsieurGonzo

    What is it about a certain kind of fundamentalist …that actually physically manifests in the faces … bodies …
    it’s the Houston Look !
    the men there have this Pillsbury Dough-Boy look about them (Houston is THE most obese city in the country, fwiw)
    Don’t Crush That Dwarf – Hand Me The Pliers !

  • donna

    It’s a very fake smile – the lips are pulled up, but not the corners of the eyes as in a real smile. I’ve faked smiles like that when told to smile for the camera – he was obviously told to smile to make it look less like a “real” mug shot.
    I find it a disturbing image to look at. I think it is real enough to fool the Republicans, which is why they like it, but to someone who can actually read people well, it is an image that would be very disturbing.

  • Jed

    That’s a sociopathic smile if ever I seen one. Would’ve been nice to have a Nolte, or a Jacko, or even a Noelle Bush, but in a twisted way, this also serves the purpose of painting him as either full of arrogance, or full of the crazy bone.

  • Dennis Quaranta

    Tom DeLay, a professional politician, knows how to put on a smile. This is a well-practiced skill among guys who raise money for a living. They might be bored out of their minds at some function but they still look engaged.
    However, this is not entirely a PR exercise. Prosecutor Ronnie Earle knows you don’t shoot a tiger to wound him. Tom’s nonchalance won’t do him any good in front of a judge. He certainly won’t be smiling when he’s found guilty.

  • Shaun Cohen

    Whoever puts that on a line of punching bags is gonna get rich

  • Richard S.

    Looks like a cockroach in an Edgar suit.

  • readytoblowagasket

    My immediate reaction when I saw the mugshot was, WHAT AN ASSHOLE! (Not that I didn’t already think that; this just confirms it once again.) It’s a smug, arrogant, overconfident, inappropriate, contemptuous and taunting above-the-law attitude shining through his pearly whites. The smile is too big, too irreverent for the occasion of being booked and fingerprinted for any offense, let alone a federal offense. It’s a go-fuck-yourself-Ronnie smile, only DeLay doesn’t seem to realize that his smirk isn’t private, it’s public. He’s telling the American people to fuck themselves. What an asshole.

  • Richard S.

    I think it is informative to consider what Delay’s mug shot is not. It is not the face of some innocent who believes they have been wrongly accused. It is not the expression of a victim of injustice. It is the face of someone who has an antiperspirant ad’s punchline playing in his head: ‘Never Let’em See You Sweat’.

  • George Myers

    A few years ago it came to the world’s attention that the key to the Bastille used to hang on George Washington’s wall when it was stolen on tour (in Australia?). I hope our election wasn’t in Ohio, stolen that is. I don’t like the stories and reports I hear from there. I hope we get the key back, and then the White House.

  • laloca

    re: the second photo:
    bono is short. the foliage behind his head makes him look like he just got out of bed. and what is he bracing himself for?

  • Asta

    I was away for a week and had no internet access (we should all try that sometime…it can be therapeutic). Then again,…
    Oh man, this site is such a feel-good fix. To log in and see the mug shot of DeLay right off the bat after hearing all the radio buzz (AirAmerica/Thom Hartmann) did my heart good.
    Wow, DeLay is a freaking jerk. He does so love the camera, does he not? Tuffy, an earlier poster, commented on narcissism. Right on target with that.
    But you know, all these Neo-Cons love being photographed. I am not surprised DeLay was grinning like a ‘possum. So will be Rove and Scooter.
    And hopefully, in the near future, add in Bushie. A ‘possum in a bright orange jumpsuit.

  • Susan

    Everyone above has done such a great job of nailing Good ol’ Boy Tom in his latest Role that I really can’t do any better – I think “CK” might have nailed him best tho with his great list of Antisocial Personality Disorder “traits”…but then shrub (as in bush) seems to fit them too – ah, what can ya say about these men we have in power in our beloved country, at the present time? I just pray to God we all live through this and the rest of the citizens of the world do too. Or as many of them as possible. I fear The Gang has started to salivate for real over Syria now that there appears to be a WMD-like excuse looming on the horizon in the form of Syria’s maybe “involvement” in the Lebanese assassination. I hear their collective neo-con bellies rumbling…but I digress.
    For today, I thought the photo of shrub and Bono was far more interesting. Someone wrote that Bono was short. Gads – that’s what struck me too. After my eyes wandered all over and caught the BULLY look on shrub’s face – even sideways – I noticed Bono’s very thickly padded soled shoes. WOW I thought – that’s what I need – I’m only 5′. It must be FATIGUE from EVERYTHING.
    But all “merriment” aside, (that part is true, I did notice that) – I also noticed that Bono actually went there to have lunch with him – the shrub. I really didn’t think he’d do it. After I got over that shock, I realized Bono didn’t look at all happy and was hunched for WHAT?
    Was he gonna give shrub an unanticipated Irish pop in the mouth and forever seal his fate or was he just going to keep glaring at the BULLY look on shrub’s face – a SHOWDOWN – “Fighting Frisky Irishman” vs “Hallow Cowboy”? Shrub has his arms out ready for a fast draw…Bono has his fists in his pockets – semi-hiding his intent for a quick brawl…am I way off?
    Bono hunching for his own version of bullying back or was that rumpled look of his a version of INSULT enough? Is that a “Bono Smirk” of sorts – steely look through pink sunglasses?
    The surliness is oozing out of bush but then I don’t LIKE him either, Bono…so I might go to lunch looking like I just took a nap in my clothes too and to heck or hell with the scenery.
    I did notice all that (the props) were deliberately “balanced” but nothing will ever balance those two men so it didn’t work on fooling the public. I love this photo, it’s a gas!

  • tuffy
  • Deep Dark

    The Fundie Christian Look.
    Fascist Shaver. Hairless, perfumed, sexless. Noli Me Tangere all over it.

  • lytom

    Uncovering the plant life in the White House.
    The photo of bush and bono is more interesting than delay’s.
    The instant moment caught the face of bush in silly expression. Bono’s face, on the other hand, shows some defiance, stressed further with both hands in the pockets, balanced posture, and looking straight into bushes face in search for a trace of intelligence…..Bono’s feelings seem almost to come to life; Incredulous, bit funny, incongruous, and defiant to the plant life in front of him (same as the plant behind him).
    Bush’s dress up underlines rigidness and goes well with the idea of the plant life. His arms and hands, show quality of a puppet, only the strings are hidden.
    Is the neocon propaganda machine grasping at straws with bono?

  • readytoblowagasket

    Re the Bush vs. Bono face-off: This is one weird picture. Both men are frowning and have their head jutted forward in a stance of mutual disrespect, like two people about to argue or just barely able to hold it in. (Bush looks like he could be saying, “Well, if you don’t like it, you can just leave!” Bono looks like he’s thinking Bush is a slimier bastard than he ever thought possible — especially in the version on Bush is stiff, especially his arms, like a model for an old-fashioned ad for men’s suits. Bono’s clothing is outrageously irreverent, as is his posture. This is what a meeting between two stubborn people looks like. I hope Bono smells fragrantly of b.o. and patchouli.
    But what is WITH the room? The perspective looks askew, almost fishbowl, and like the entire room is listing to the left. (Uh-oh! Bono’s mere presence makes the White House lean to the Left.) If you look at their feet and bodies in relation to each other, they look like they are standing on an invisible seesaw, Bono up, Bush down. George Washington seems to be siding with Bono.
    P.S.: Thanks, tuffy! Hysterical.

  • ummabdulla

    This second one is a really strange picture. If I didn’t know it came from the White House, I wouldn’t have believed these two were actually in the same room at the same time; I’d think that somebody stuck in Bono as a joke, because he just doesn’t fit into the scene at all.
    Whatever Bush is saying, Bono isn’t buying it. And what is with Bush’s arms? Does he ever relax them at his sides?

  • bkny

    sorry for the long post, but i thought this might be of interest. cnn had a body language expert on to discuss chimpy’s unfortunate encounter with matt lauer.
    KAGAN: Got to challenge you on the whole body language thing, first off, because one person’s fidget is just — as I fidget in the chair — perhaps that’s just how people are. Do we not — as a body- language expert, do you not bring your own bias to what you’re seeing?
    WOOD: Actually we interpret body languages as experts, get a baseline, and I teach interviews and interrogation techniques. Just like a polygraph test needs a baseline, a body-language reader needs a baseline. So when we’re looking at the body language we’re noticing a change from the way he usually is.
    KAGAN: OK, I see what you’re saying here. So let’s look at some recent tape. Again, this was from earlier this week.
    WOOD: Okay.
    KAGAN: He was asked about hurricane Katrina, and we’re looking for blinks.
    WOOD: Yes, the blink rate, like a polygraph test for arousal, the blink rate. KAGAN: Let’s listen in. Do we have that tape? All right, we don’t — let me ask the front end, do we have any of the tapes? Here we go.
    WOOD: OK. All right, this is actually he’s being asked during the debates about the war in Iraq and what he’s going to do in this particular tape, I believe.
    KAGAN: Right.
    WOOD: And what you want to look at here is, before he answers the question, there is a long pause, longer than normal, so longer than normal pause is an indication he’s trying to make up an answer. He also looks away a lot. His head goes down. And the other thing I want to you notice is a slight turning up on the one corner of his right corner of his mouth.
    KAGAN: Some people call that a smirk.
    WOOD: Smirk, yes, talking out of the side of your mouth. And body language is highly symbolic language. When you’re trying to show one thing and you’re really feeling another, it makes part of your face respond, because of the way the hemispheres of the brain work.
    KAGAN: OK, we’re a little at the mercy of whatever tape we have here. Roll a tape and we’ll figure it out. The next, oh — so this is a gesture that it’s almost become, like if you watch “Saturday Night Live,” any time he’s imitated.
    WOOD: Yes, that is a choppy motion. Sometimes for Bush, he’s coached to do that. Here he’s talking about a candidate that was kind of controversial. So the choppy motion, he was very aggressive. She’s great. She’s wonderful. So aggressively attacking the interviewer in this case.
    KAGAN: And another kind of Bush standard is how when he stands his arms are a little bit out away from his body when he walks.
    WOOD: Yes, and that is symbolically making him look bigger, making sure his guns in the holster can be quickly fired at any moment. So he does that in this particular thing, in the Matt Lauer interview. You can see how he’s holding them, and it’s almost defensive because they’re so stiff. But it’s interesting that Matt Lauer is uncharacteristically attacking. He’s actually pushing against the president, pushing him for an honest answer to his questions, which I think is making Bush do a little bit more of the rapid blinking. Normal blink rate, when you’re talking, is about 20 beats per minute. His, as you mentioned, went beyond 30, really unusual.
    KAGAN: So could that be something as simple as I’m not comfortable with the person I’m talking to you, not that I’m lying, whatever?
    WOOD: It can be nervousness. What you look for, deception is the timing of that cue? What was he asked when he did the rapid blinking, and does he show it anywhere else? If he doesn’t show it anywhere else, that’s deception.
    KAGAN: Then he’s uncomfortable on that particular topic.
    WOOD: With that particular question. That’s the critical piece there.
    KAGAN: Very good. Do we have the video of President Bush slapping people on the back? And I hope we have that.
    WOOD: Yes, he was…
    KAGAN: This was also a part of the same NBC interview where he was going around the Habitat — there it is. Now you hear from people who meet the president in person. They say this is a totally different interaction, that one on one he’s very comfortable, very personable, and a very likable guy.
    WOOD: He gets nervous when he gets on the air, which can happen to a lot of people. We would hope by this time he would show a little bit more leadership and be a little bit calmer on the air, and here, he is slapping people on the back. I wish he had a little bit more eye contact here to be a little more present with people, but again, you can — your eye-blink rate can go up on the air. It’s just by now we want him to be a little bit more sure of himself when we’re going through such trying times. I think that’s why people are aware.
    KAGAN: Right. So, Patti Ann, let me ask you this. In these politically charged times, because there’s people who feel very strongly about the president both ways, either that he’s being attacked, or that they think he’s a caricature. You hear both. Looking at body language, how does that advance the conversation?
    WOOD: Well, I think why we are looking at it, because we can’t trust the words anymore, and in truth, body language is a much more accurate detector of what’s truly going on.

  • foxklub

    Bono and Bush both look like “do I really want to be seen with this guy?”

  • CK

    Bush to Bono…
    “You know, Sonny, you are a lot shorter than that ex wife of yours. Anyway, I really don’t care for that Sunday Bloody Sunday song but there are a couple lyrics I’d like to use as a slogan. How does this grab ya…The Global War on Terror – The real battle just begun. To claim the victory Jesus won.”
    We were just lucky to catch the look of shock and confusion on Bono’s face.

  • smasher

    Bono’s look reminds me of Bob Dylan in “Don’t Look Back.” He looks totally alien to his surroundings.
    Bono’s got a very standoffish pose–not so much protective (he’s on Bush’s turf here) as skeptical and defiant.

  • bg

    Nixon and Elvis just did not have the same T E N S I O N.

  • fotonique

    Bush-Bono vs. Bono-Bush.
    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. — Mark Twain

  • eniarku99

    I can tell you why DeLay is smiling:
    “I’ve never had such a clear shot at cut since Jeffy Gannon!”
    More likely candidates:
    “Ah, for the memory of old Ed Wilson! ‘I ain’t sayin’ I’m _innocent_; I’m just sayin’ I don’t think anyone will _convict_ me.’”
    “I just rode in on a corporate jet, and the American public will buy that I’m not corrupt!”
    “Corruption is the privilege of those in power. The Bible says so. Beating this rap is a cinch.”
    “Ah, back in Texas! I wonder if they reopened the Chicken Ranch yet?”
    “I’m gonna so taint this jury pool so bad they’re gonna have to draft the White House staff out in Crawford to get a juror.”
    “Nobody ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American Public.”
    “Won’t mean nothin’ nohow once the Preznit hands out those pardons.”
    “Hell, if I can rig an election, I can DAMN sure rig a jury!”

  • PTate in MN

    I have got to hand it to DeLay: He looks great! He’s like the portrait of Dorian Gray–healthy, clean, ageless, unruffled. He totally believes he is innocent. Which is pretty scary.
    The picture of Bush and Bono. Bono is puffed up like a tomcat in a squabble, his face doesn’t conceal his contempt for GWB. Bush is gulping, trying to act calm and leader-ly, hoping Bono will play nice.

  • Little Fish

    Although the presidential seal on the floor creates a vortex, the scene rotates around the dark center, around Bono rather Bush. Bono’s and Bush’s heads are at almost the same height, giving Bono a stature equal to Bush, even though Bush is clearly taller. Bush is forced to turn toward an apparently immoveable Bono.

  • gleex

    Bush stands on the arrows of war, Bono on the side of peace. To me Bono looks more comfortable, more intellegent, and a bit tired with Bush and his antics. Also the eagle on the rug is facing the wrong way, I had thought the eagle was supposed to face the arrows during wartime (of course this could be only in one room in the white house…the oval office?).
    Bush is also rockin the red tie. (Red shades on Bono? Likely a good idea if you are meeting bush)
    I like the symmetry of the photo. Both are split on the painting of George. I, being a fan (of the real person in the photo), give the historical nod to Bono. Now Bush is a bigger figure in American history, but to me Bono is vastly more noble, worldly, and saintly, and has done a hell of a lot more for me. They tie in ego.
    I assume that Bono just struck a pose naturally/unplanned. I like how he stuffs his hands in his pockets so he does not have to pull an Elvis with Nixon (the punk protege of Pappy Poppy Bush, aka Prescott). Since Bush can’t go to a town hall meeting, a conversation with troops, a natural disaster area, or an air craft carrier without a brigade of psy-ops one assumes this is contrived as well, to bad for him Bono did not play along. I assume they were planning a big smile, lean in to Bono’s ear, and place your left hand on his arm during the handshake.
    Bono is very short, but with Bush putting his head down a bit he needs every inch that is is closer to us in perspective in this frame to look an inch taller than Bono.
    As for Delay, bah. I’d like to see him smile when he is granted his change of judge, change of venue, delays the trial a few months, buys himself some justice with RJ Renolds cancer stick cigarrete money, and the delay winds up costing him his leadership position. I hope his pimps cut off his funds at that point and he can crawl back under whatever piece of brimstone he came out from under. Politically it was a great move to research the different proceedures in Texas and go to a spot that does great photos with no height chart, and ID board. Best picture I have seen of him. As an aside the apologists that say he should not have had a warrent issued for him…come back to reality – white collar crime is just as bad, important people have no right to be excused from the usual legal process that is imposed upon the poor and powerless. I bet he won’t be smiling when they book him for this Ambramoff crimes (assuming he is not already in jail for the perjury he is sure to commit).

  • gleex

    In my above post:
    Bush antics = Bush destruction

  • Miles Archer
  • gleex

    Note on why Bono meets with Bush:
    Politically Bono cowtows(?) to Bush in the interest of transcending politics in order to assist the poor of the world, particularly poor Africans.
    It looks like that might be coming to an end, I hope its because Bono has cultivated dialog with many Senators of both parties, and he realizes that Bush does not care, and is losing power anyway. Bush has not provided very much headway in African debt relief, or in his stance to provide nearly abstinence only AIDS preventing relief to Africa. Teachy the condoms, and no getty the money.
    I imagine Bono is saying if Frist and Lott are bailing on this guy then forget about him. Or this could have been his last run at Bush to offer a larger % of GDP to “aid” Africa, one that may have just failed when all Bush wanted was a picture from the meeting.
    I know for a “fact” that Bono is thinking of the 6,500 Africans a day that die from Aids (about 1,300 children per day globally), and the 3,000 per day that die of Malaria. He might even be thinking of the 33,000 orphans per day due to Aids, I wonder how many sisters that turns into prostitutes per day in order to feed their brothers (and with the lack of education condoms are mocked, and the prostitutes will get more money if they do not use one…feed the family your dead parents left you and get Aids, or starve).
    In both cases generic drugs would help a great deal, but our aid to Africa stipulates that the name brand drugs must be used (thus reducing the effect of the aid greatly). It is rather ironic that if Bird Flu struck this winter as a pandemic it would be the foreign pharmaceutical company Roche that would be disallowing the production of generics, and 1,000’s of Americans would be dying every day because they refuse to relax their patent. An even more “funny” irony is that for Bush to finally come out and speak about Bird Flu (after other countries such as Japan have ordered all the Tamaflu treatment doses and we are now at the back of the line for a year or two) is that the Bird Flu would have to
    in order to be transmitted from human to human. Good thing we have been teaching intelligent design, outsourcing our engineering, preventing all the required research we need, and explicitly neglecting such things for years.
    So tell your Ted Kennedy jokes, but he’s the guy demanding Bush send his Bird Flu pandemic plan to congress… its only three months overdue.
    Luckily we are rich enough that if we are granted a few years we will be much safer, since we are having Roche build a manufacturing plant in the US.
    Anyway, that’s why Bono hangs with Bush, or anyone else who has the power to save 5,000 human lives a day without that much of an effort (you don’t sell name brand or generics to a dead person). To bad he won’t do anything about it, and people like Senator Rick Santorum claim Bono is doing a concert with them (not) and sell $1000 a ticket seats in their stadium box to raise funds for their “religious/moral” campaigns. Condoms are pretty cheap, and the malaria drug costs about a dime a day. Nobody should die of malaria.

  • momly

    In fotonique’s transposition of Bush/Bono, Bush (wearing Bono’s body) looks like he’s scoping the room for something more interesting than standing around talking with the stiff in the suit. Maybe he’s looking for the keg? Whatever he’s thinking, he won’t be there much longer because he is bored. Bored, bored, bored, checked out, ready to go on to the party.
    Now, Bono (wearing Bush’s body) is more unsettling to me. I think because with the jutting chin and gunslinger’s arms, he looks like a huge bully. He strikes me as being just as ready to punch someone as make a totally insulting remark that he will later claim to be “a joke”. He looks like he is just enduring the experience because it is good press. Interesting how the combination of Bono’s “huh – uh, I don’t buy that” expression and Bush’s macho stance make me think that…
    I don’t get too much of a read on Bono, interestingly enough; it’s all about Bush. But then, he’d probably want it that way!

  • PTate in MN

    little fish and momly: I appreciated both of your analyses. Thanks!
    tuffy:“In this regard fundamentalism seems to me similar to schizophrenia or autism, where you also very often get subtle physical telltale signs that one with a little experience can easily learn ot recognize.”
    Fascinating observation! I think you’re on to something.

  • The BAG

    Thanks to bkny for the “body language” transcript. This is very reflective of my take (and that of most of my colleagues): 90% of the time, what you get out of Bush is either defensiveness or anxiety.
    Fotonique, I loved the Bush-Bono transposition — as well as the analysis it inspired.

  • tuffy

    The body language in the photo of Bono and Bush makes me think two people who’ve been set up on a blind date, both instantly realizing upon meeting that it’s just not going to happen. So they’re stuck in an awkward situation where neither one wants to continue with the date at all, and both are trying to feel out the least hurtful way to escape the situation, feigning interest and poliltesse when they would much rather simply flee.

  • Victor F

    Tom Delay, all grins for his mugshot. All I see when I look at that fake smile is a man who has nothing but contempt for the law. “Guys, you can’t be serious. Arresting me? C’mon!” But he does look a little worried, as others have mentioned. Just not very, to me.
    Both Bono and Bush look short on account of the wide angle lens. Bush looks like he’s already turning away from Bono, and Bono looks like he’s had just about enough pretending to listen to Bush. A photo op that I don’t think serves any purpose to either of them. They’re obviously not getting anything done with each other.

  • fotonique

    Gleex said:

    Also the eagle on the rug is facing the wrong way, I had thought the eagle was supposed to face the arrows during wartime

    Apparently it did prior to 1946, when the eagle’s arrow-ward gaze on the Great Seal of the United States was reversed by Truman’s executive order: see the White House Interactive post (July 23 2004, 11:10 a.m.), Snopes and Google Answers.
    The reversal inspired a notable (and possibly apocryphal) quip from Winston Churchill:

    Pointing to the President’s seal on the wall of the [train] car, Truman explained that he had had the eagle’s head turned to face the olive branch. Churchill said he thought the eagle’s head should be on a swivel.

    The rug under Bush-Bono’s feet was installed by the Bush administration in the Oval Office in 2001. Here’s a White House press release and photo.
    Symbolism abounds…

  • ummabdulla

    I was just reading this article Bush’s Foreign-Aid Fraud, and it said:
    “But Bush cleverly disarmed critics by promising to greatly increase U.S. foreign-aid spending. He arranged to have the Irish rock star Bono present for his March 14, 2002, announcement; the Washington Post noted that the White House ‘clearly craved’ Bono’s support and that ‘Bono looked on approvingly’ as Bush promised four days before the UN conference to boost foreign aid by $5 billion over a three-year period.”
    Here are photos of Bush and Bono together in March 2002: White House, Shaking Hands, and Bush Speech
    Obviously things have changed since then.

  • jt from B.C.

    The scrub in the background provides George with a cute ponytail ! and Bono with that shocked look ! or maybe having a bad hair day. For me this was a hilarious touch to a sterile symmetrical setting, complete with a floating table. Is Carl Rove into interior decorating these days.?
    Georges flat facial affect coolly says “you don’t say” which receives the silent treatment from Bono… an excellent tactic. This is reinforced by not showing his hand(s) planting himself like a experienced sailor or a confident street fighter, peering forward indicating I’m ready whenever you are. Georges mandarin stance indicates time to high tail it after the photo op with his right foot already ready for a bee line. I’m not a fan of Bono but he’s won this face off encounter unanimously. I wonder if The Commander In Chief mechanically saluted the photographer on his way out.? Did the prop people take up a collection for Bono.?

  • joan

    Apocalypse will come anyways, butt they don´t have too much in common I guess, so if they are good friends Bono will be able to call him in the middle of a concert, and say “hello! fancy a shot of gin? you better stay home and drink and the rest of the world have some peace”

  • marc sobel


    Bush: “Boner, can I call you Boner, heh heh. I can’t get over your hair.”
    Bono: “Yes, Mr President, if I can call you Bush, Man”

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