Notes: George W. Bush is widely known to see the world in black and white -- e.g., your either with us or against us. Subtle thinking is not his strength. Good managers do see a simplified picture and make decisions quickly and firmly and without regard to anything but the bottom line -- no big picture outlook there. But a the position of president of the United States demands more than a good manager. I'd prefer a philosopher-king type as president.

Regardless, Bush's black and white outlook caught up with him while defending his role as a director of Harken Energy a decade ago. While Bush was a director, Harken sold its subsidiary Aloha Petroleum in 1989 "through a seller-financed loan that it declared as a cash gain, masking huge losses" according to a report in the Washington Post on July 9, 2002 by Mike Allen and Dana Milbank. The Security and Exchange Commission investigated the deal and determined that Harken had counted future income prematurely forcing Harken to then announce larger losses. Seems corporations haven't changed accounting practices much since then.

The Post story reported on a testy July 8th news conference replete with Bush glares that Bush attempted to explain the Aloha accounting by saying "All I can tell you is that in the corporate world, sometimes things aren't exactly black and white when it comes to accounting procedures." Now, if W. would just carry over seeing shades of gray in a complex situations over to his domestic and world vision and not just to defend his own situations.
07.14.02