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Mother Bush takes care of her brood
by David Rossie
Entered into the database on Sunday, April 02nd, 2006 @ 20:27:43 MST


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It's been said that a dog is man's best friend, but don't try to sell that argument to Neil Bush. The odd Bangkok prostitute aside, no one's taken better care of Neil than his dear old mom.

Neil's run over more than his share of road bumps as he's made his way down life's highway, including his involvement in the Silverado Savings and Loan scam that cost the taxpayer of this country an estimated $1 billion, a few other shady dealings and a messy divorce. But through it all, Mama Bush has stood by sonny boy, just as she has his older, disaster-prone brother.

Bar's most recent manifestation of mother love came in the form of a "charitable" donation to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, a donation with more strings attached to it than the ones connecting Number One son to Dick Cheney.

The gift, described in news accounts as "at least $30,000," was to the Bush-Clinton Huston Hurricane Relief Fund. So far so good. But with a stipulation: That the money be used to buy educational software from a company called Ignite Learning of Austin, Texas.

And who owns Ignite Learning? Brenda?

"Neil Bush?"

Very good.

Bar's donation not only helps children displaced by the flood waters that ravaged New Orleans, but it helps Neil and it is tax deductible. Truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Eight schools in the Houston City School District have reportedly benefited from Bar's gift so far. And the district is no stranger to Ignite Learning. Two years ago, according to the Associated Press, the Houston school district "wrestled with conflict of interest concerns over the Ignite program."

It appears that Neil, in a fit of generosity had helped raise $115,000 for the district's philanthropic fund. And how was he to know that the donors he hit up would insist that the money would be spent on what? Let's not see the same hands now. Yes, Martin.

"Ignite Learning software?"

Good for you, Martin.

Neil won that wrestling match and the school board bought the Ignite software.

This is not meant to imply that everything the Bushes do has a price tag on it. Keep in mind that our beloved president is the self-anointed high priest of compassionate conservatism, as evidenced by his compassionate tax breaks for the richest conservatives among us and his equally compassionate Medicare drug plan to help the neediest insurance and pharmaceutical companies. And who's to say he didn't get that compassion gene from dear old Mom?

After all, who can forget her heartfelt embrace of orphans of the storm huddled in the Houston Astrodome last August after Katrina ravaged New Orleans. And I quote:

"They were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

That impassioned cry from the heart vaulted Bar into an early lead for the annual Lady Bountiful Award sponsored jointly by the Wall Street Journal editorial board and the Heritage Foundation.

The award is in the form of a platinum statuette of Marie Antoinette engraved with the words: "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche," which she probably didn't utter but got blamed for anyway by the liberal French media jackals.

David Rossie is associate editor; his column is published on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.