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Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Doing my part to irritate Republicans, fundamentalists, bigots and other lower life forms.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Is there anything this guy won't lie about?

American author and humorist Mark Twain once observed, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

Twain's quip, it seems, has become outdated. Because he died in 1910, Twain wasn't around to meet George W. Bush, a man he would certainly have added as a whole new category of liar.

This isn't going to be one of those blogs about how Bush lied and misrepresented intelligence data to get us involved in an unwinnable war in Iraq. Nor even about the myriad other issue in which Bush stands accused of bending the truth into a pretzel. Instead, it's a blog about how Bush can't even seem to tell the truth on inconsequential matters on which the fate of the free world doesn't turn.

When as during an interview with a German magazine about his best moment as president, Bush said this:

U.S. President George W. Bush told a German newspaper his best moment in more than five years in office was catching a big perch in his own lake.

"You know, I've experienced many great moments and it's hard to name the best," Bush told weekly Bild am Sonntag when asked about his high point since becoming president in January 2001.

"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound (3.402 kilos) perch in my lake," he told the newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.

When you think about it, it actually seems sort of human ... George W. Bush as the common man, bearing the weight of the world on his slumping shoulders but still finding time to cast a line into the farm pond on his Texas ranch. It's a rather bucolic portrait of a man who wants to show he hasn't lost his common touch.

But dig a little deeper and you find that, like Bush, his fvorite memory is a steaming pile of bullshit.

Check out the web site Catch Photo Release and you'll find a listing of record-setting catches. Here's what it said about the record for perch, the type of fish Bush claims to have caught in his farm pond:

This species lives in schools in deeper water during the day and is known to move into shallower water at dusk to feed. It is also often harvested commercially in the US and Canada. Yellow perch spawn when the water is between 45 and 52 degrees and don't build nests or guard their young. They have also been known to go into water that contains little or no oxygen for short periods of time to feed on bloodworms.

Yellow Perch World Record is 4lbs 3oz - Bordentown, NJ

White Perch World Record is 4lbs 12oz - Messalonskee Lake, ME

So here are the possible explanations. Either Bush is such a humble man that he fails to report that he caught a perch almost twice the size of the world's record or he can't event tell the truth about a fishing trip.

I'll leave it for the reader to decide which explanation is the most plausible; but for me I would update Twain's adage to read: "There are four types of liars in this world: liars, damned liars, statisticians and George W. Bush."