The Bush Failboat Sets Sail

Jeb continues the proud family tradition by publishing emails from his time as governor without redaction:

“In the spirit of transparency, I am posting the emails of my governorship here,” a note on Bush’s website says. “Some are funny; some are serious; some I wrote in frustration.” Some also contain the email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, and social security numbers of Florida residents. The emails are available in Outlook format, and can be searched on the web at Bush’s website. […]

Other emails include potentially sensitive details about government operations. One email reviewed by The Verge discussed termination of a Florida Lottery employee; the email revealed the reasons for his termination, including “conduct unbecoming a public employee, insubordination, and neglect of duty.” The employee had emailed then-governor Bush to appeal for reinstatement. Bush followed up with a lottery official to see if his request could be granted.

Some include personal appeals from citizens with medical or employment issues. Some of these people included their social security numbers in the clear, as in the email shown below. [The Verge, unlike the Bush campaign, redacted the personal info.]


In another example, this email sent on behalf of a healthcare representative contains information about a child with a life-threatening medical condition. The email exposes the child and mother’s name, the mother’s home state and phone number, her social security number, and her healthcare identification number: [again, redacted by The Verge,not the Bush campaign.]

This is made all the more interesting by the fact that Bush’s Chief Technology Officer was able to remove slut-shaming and homophobic tweets from his Twitter feed after he was hired. Apparently his talent for self-protection doesn’t extend to the protection of the Floridians who wrote emails to Jeb.

93 replies
  1. 1
    chopper says:

    heckuva job there, jebbie.

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    Ah, the Bush brothers have elevated incompetence to an art form. They don’t just represent FAIL, they represent FAIL in its purest form.

  3. 3
    Smiling Mortician says:

    Bush: Incompetence you can rely on.

    ETA: Dammit, beltane.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    blueskies says:

    Apparently his talent for self-protection doesn’t extend to the protection of the Floridians who wrote emails to Jeb.

    I am sure that it never even occurred to JEB! to protect the Proles. Just not what he thinks about.

  6. 6
    Belafon says:

    Daily Kos has even more wisdom from Bush’s technology person:

    Martin Luther King, Jr. was a well-dressed, extremely well-spoken man; he didn’t have his pants sagged to his ankles, and he wasn’t delivering his speech in “jibberish” or “slang” (ie. he wasn’t speaking like a rapper). He understood that looking respectable and speaking clearly and concisely isn’t a trait of white men — it’s a trait of intelligent men.

  7. 7
    Betty Cracker says:

    I hope the people his email dump has exposed sue the rotten bastard.

  8. 8
    Zinsky says:

    And don’t forget Grandpappy Prescott collaborated with the Nazis even after WWII had started! Truly bad genes here, folks…,

  9. 9
    jnfr says:

    He’s not really ready for the Internet.

  10. 10
    WereBear says:

    So they are cursed? Even when they try to do the “right” thing, they will screw it up?

  11. 11
    sharl says:

    Fake Jeff Jarvis approves!

    ಠ_ಠ ‏MikeIsaac 3h3 hours ago

    radical transparency cc ProfJeffJarvis …

    Prof. Jeff Jarvis ‏ProfJeffJarvis

    Exciting. Could @JebBush be the first post-privacy president? “MikeIsaac: radical transparency ProfJeffJarvis …

  12. 12
    boatboy_srq says:


    And JEB expects to be taken seriously, especially in this age of cybercrime and cyberwarfare and FISA overreach, as a candidate for the office charged with the overall protection of all 330-odd-million US residents? This one act should reveal him as conspicuously unfit for the office. Never mind that it’s his CTO’s fault for not scrubbing the data; the decision was his, the hiring decision that brought his self-centred CTO was his, and the responsibility stops at his desk.

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    @Zinsky: Hey, if Prescott Bush hadn’t collaborated with the Nazis, Germany might have won the war. Better that the Bush family fights for the other team.

  14. 14
    beltane says:

    Now I understand why Cokie Roberts used to gush effusively over the Bush family “mystique”. Maybe “mystique” is a polite way of saying “Wow, these people break everything they touch. How do they do it!”

  15. 15
    boatboy_srq says:

    @sharl: “Post-privacy” certainly applies. He should be held accountable for every security breach tied to any and every personal token revealed in those emails. I will be (somewhat) surprised if he manages to hold onto his Wall St. support, now that he’s shown that some of the most sensitive individual identifiers available to US citizens are fodder for his “transparency:” imagine what fraud could be perpetrated on FL residents, their banks, their lenders, and their investment brokerages from this single publication. We should all be writing our congresscritters right NOW to demand secure identifiers alternate to our SSNs/TINs to be used for financial transactions, medical histories, employment verification etc etc because it’s obvious that the SSN is now fodder for momentary political gain (never mind all the other reasons the SSN is a far-from-ideal credential already too compromised to be effective).

  16. 16
    Central Planning says:

    Is that data even his to share? Shouldn’t that come from the state of FL?

  17. 17
    boatboy_srq says:

    @beltane: Can we nominate JEB for ISIL commander? Or maybe for Russian PM…

  18. 18
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @beltane: Now I understand why Cokie Roberts used to gush effusively over the Bush family “mystique”.

    Good lord. The old man was a stumble-bum whose only talent was for dumbing down the electorate through nasty demagoguery (“card-carrying member of the ACLU”, the pledge of allegiance, “read my lips”), and he was probably the best of the lot

  19. 19
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Central Planning: The linked article has this quote from Jeb’s spox. “This is an exact replica of the public records on file with the Florida Department of State and are available at anyone’s request under Chapter 119 sunshine laws.”

  20. 20
    geg6 says:

    Seems to me, he should never had such personal information in his private records to begin with. Is this normal, that a governor just walks off with these things? Isn’t this a breach of privacy law to not have vetted the sensitive stuff before he walked off with it? If not, it should be. I’d be suing the shit out of that asshole.

  21. 21
    jayboat says:

    Incredible. And these fools are gonna lead us?

    I don’t wanna go.

  22. 22
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Belafon: Martin Luther King, Jr. was a well-dressed, extremely well-spoken man;

    Good lord. Isn’t that what we all remember about MLK? his elegant Windsor knot and the crease in his trousers!

  23. 23
    Tree With Water says:

    My first reaction is to think it’s all a smokescreen to somehow divert attention from Bush’s reprehensible behavior during the Schiavo episode, but that doesn’t make much sense. Beats me why his campaign did this. I’d like to see any odd e-mails lying around pertaining to the electoral theft of the 2000 presidential theft. But the world will never so much as catch a glimpse of those e-mails, will it?

    When a story like this comes along, I tend to think about America’s greatest super villain, Dick Cheney. Does anyone else recall those couple of weeks circa 2008 when he methodically went about destroying people’s evidence and historical documents by the score? Remember that the street was cordoned off, with vans designed for the purpose of such destruction parked day and night outside the VP residence? I do. The Washington press corp treated it like a big joke, like “there’s goes the old rascal up to his usual tricks”. As though that’s all there was to it.

  24. 24
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:


    Maybe “mystique” is a polite way of saying “Wow, these people break everything they touch. How do they do it!”

    I suspect it means more like “Wow, these people break everything they touch! How do they manage to keep doing it without any negative consequences?”

    Of course what his “transparency” might mean in terms of having an effect on the proles never occurred to JEB as a concern. They are who we thought they were. Shocking that their staff thinks science girls are just as slutty as art students, only uglier. What a shame it would be if somebody doxxed this douchecanoe.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    LOL. I wonder if all those people who were worried about the “White House email list” will chime in now.

  26. 26
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’d be shocked if a public records request would get you unredacted data that sensitive.

    On the other hand, this kind of unforced error might slow down the JEBmentum.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    This is an exact replica of the public records on file with the Florida Department of State and are available at anyone’s request under Chapter 119 sunshine laws.”

    I don’t know about Florida, but a lot of that information would be redacted if it were a federal FOIA request.

  28. 28
    boatboy_srq says:

    @geg6: It’s not uncommon for an executive who leaves office in good standing to take a copy of his/her mailbox. It’s also not uncommon for that mailbox to contain sensitive information: after all, this is the last stop for many high-stakes discussions of various sorts, from tax relief to healthcare assistance to pardon for some legal action, and qualifiers would be required for the proper resolution to be meted out. That information could come from residents, some lower official requesting assistance from that person’s office, or from his/her own staff researching such a request, to name some avenues. What is horrifyingly unusual here is the release of this information by a now-private person: confidentiality constraints ought to apply here, and any release of data should come as official data from the office of the current officeholder – which office would presumably redact the material properly.

  29. 29
    Baud says:


    So everyone needs to be just like MLK, Jr.?

    it’s a trait of intelligent men.

    So is not invading Iraq.

  30. 30
    srv says:

    You people want your sunshine cake and eat it too.

    Your emails to your Governor are not private.

  31. 31
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Key words here:

    on file with the Florida Department of State and are available at anyone’s request

    As in, “not publicly dumped en masse and unfiltered direct to the public domain.” Naturally the entirety of the data is on file with FL DoS: that’s standard procedure. But DoS records in their entirety are secure and private unless requested, and then specific to the request submitted. It’s that “available on request” portion that boggles the mind: the request has to be made, processed, and the data reviewed and (hopefully following redaction of sensitive information) then released. So not only is there no respect for privacy, and no clue the potential legal/financial/medical/whatever consequences, there’s no respect for the process, either. This just keeps getting worse.

  32. 32
    gogol's wife says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I believe Bates was his valet.

  33. 33
    SatanicPanic says:


    he didn’t have his pants sagged to his ankles, and he wasn’t delivering his speech in “jibberish” or “slang” (ie. he wasn’t speaking like a rapper)

    would’ve been awesome if he were, that would mean MLK Jr had a time machine

  34. 34
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: it’s a trait of intelligent men.

    I didn’t even get that far. Ima bet 50000 internet bucks that Ethan’s mom bought his clothes, at Brooks Brothers, until he was well in to his twenties.

  35. 35
    trollhattan says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    Also, too, his hotelier. (or is that motelier?)

  36. 36
    Schlemazel says:

    Apparently the reverse midas touch (everything he touches turns to shit) id not limited to Neal and W. Good to know. It almost makes me want him to get the gooper nod if he can run a campaign as badly as this. But lard help us if this douche gets elected.

  37. 37
    craigie says:

    Best headline ever.

  38. 38

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    On the other hand, this kind of unforced error might slow down the JEBmentum.

    It makes me think that the candidate who makes the fewest unforced errors is going to win the nomination. Unfortunately, Calvin Coolidge is no longer available, or he’d win in a cakewalk.

  39. 39
    Hal says:


    Martin Luther King, Jr. was a well-dressed, extremely well-spoken man; he didn’t have his pants sagged to his ankles, and he wasn’t delivering his speech in “jibberish” or “slang”

    Conservatives love to use MLK to shame other black people. That really is the only use they have for the man. Also, I said before, I’ll say again; despite being well dressed, and well spoken, he still had his head blown off in Memphis. A nice suit and good vocabulary doesn’t mean anything if people see you as sub human. Drooping pants is not the cause of racism, and a suit and tie is not the solution.

  40. 40
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    I used to believe that if you filed something in Federal Court using the unredacted SSN of anyone you would get stomped on by the Federal Clerks but Oily Titz disabused me of that notion seeing as she does it on a daily basis.

  41. 41
    Turgidson says:


    If there’s one thing I learned during his brother’s fail parade, it’s that the buck never, ever, ever stops at Bush’s desk. Never. Ever. If Jeb is anything like his spectacular failure of brother, he’ll have thrown a couple people under the bus by noon tomorrow – only after saying someone did a heckuva job immediately prior, while also making a nonsensical argument about how this episodes shows he’s a strong leader.

    We’ll see how Jeb does with this test of mettle.

  42. 42
    Turgidson says:


    I think it depends which judge you’re before. Some of them run very strict shops and would drop the hammer good and hard for that if it was anything but an innocent oversight and quickly remedied. Others are too busy or distracted to really care (or their clerks don’t catch it), I think.

  43. 43
    Calouste says:

    the email revealed the reasons for his termination, including “conduct unbecoming a public employee, insubordination, and neglect of duty.”

    I guess Judge Roy Moore is glad he is in Alabama and not in Florida.

  44. 44
    Keith G says:

    Tangentially related is Wonketts harpooning of Rep Aaron Schock and his traveling companion/personal photographer guy.

    My, o my.

  45. 45
    Howard Beale IV says:

    BREAKING: Jon Stewart to retire from “The Daily Show” After 15 years.

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    I haven’t watched him in a long time, but he made his mark and will be missed.

  47. 47
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Howard Beale IV: free advice to any pols reading: any news you wanna dump, do it now, because Hollywood-for-ugly-people will be star-fucking this for the rest of the week

    and I’d like to nominate Jason Jones to replace him.

  48. 48
    chopper says:

    jesus, at the rate this is going, in the future TV biopic jebbie’s gonna end up being played by dr. zoidberg.

  49. 49
    Poopyman says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Five years too late, IMO.

  50. 50
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Turgidson: JEB does have one single instance of “TheBuckStopsHere” in his favor: the 2004 hurricane recovery after Charlie/Frances/Ivan/Jeannie. JEB kept that entire effort in-state, and managed the recovery from Tallahassee. Granted, odds are he did that because he was aware what a FUBAR’d mess Shrub had already made of FEMA (something the rest of the nation didn’t learn until the next year when Katrina hit New Orleans), and keeping the recovery state-level rather than national saved his brother the pResident major re-election-denying disgrace in an election year, but it was one time when he stood up and took charge.

  51. 51
    Elizabelle says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Stewart’s retirement worries me.

    Larry Wilmore’s show is a bit of a snooze, and we rely on satirists to be more truthful than our corporate-owned media.

    I worry about 2016 with all that (Gazillionaire) Citizens United money flowing, and no trusted source of political news.

    ETA: I think Stewart should take one for the team and stay through November 2016. Who knows how muzzled Colbert may be at his CBS perch?

  52. 52
  53. 53
    AnonPhenom says:

    Any emails with “Terri Schiavo” in the subject header?

  54. 54
    ellennellee says:


    fwiw, the world has ALWAYS relied on satirists to be more truthful than anyone, so that part is not news.

    but, i have to imagine colbert drove a hard bargain to allow him artistic latitude. things are not as bad as they were in the days of the smothers brothers.

    i’m with you on the election vacuum. though there is always john oliver. what a genius that guy is.

    i honestly dream of being in the same room with jon, stephen, and oliver. my idea of porn.

  55. 55
    Another Holocene Human says:

    I thought it was a violation of Florida records law (“Sunshine Law”) to make records available for inspection WITHOUT removing SSN’s and any other protected information by law.


    (Not that I’m a huge fan of these laws as implemented–why is it that hiring/firing manager’s addresses may not be revealed, IOW, the public has no “need to know” that say some city’s top managers all live high on the hog in another city because omg maybe a disgruntled employee will come looking for them, BUT front line employees that deal with disgruntled members of the public or who knows, maybe just predators, their addresses MUST be available by law. Have a scary ex? Freaky client keeps stalking you at your public-facing job? Too bad, your ass is grass. (Note, and this almost goes without saying: unless you’re a cop. Cops are special, the rest of you peons are moochers and takers.) These are rhetorical questions of course. The reason is that it makes it harder for public employees to negotiate wages and benefits.)

  56. 56
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Belafon: So this fool is saying that he, unlike MLK jr, IS an unintelligent man, as his twitter feed attests to.

    “Letter from a Los Angeles gym.”

  57. 57
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Zinsky: Bush crime family is one of those things that sounds like hyperbole but isn’t.

  58. 58
    raven says:

    Jon Stewart will step down as host of ‘The Daily Show,’ he announced during Tuesday night’s taping. Comedy Central confirmed the news in a tweet.

  59. 59
    srv says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Why not a serious journalist like Brian Williams?

  60. 60
    PsiFighter37 says:

    God, losing Stewart and Colbert before the 2016 election. Who the hell is supposed to make fun of the fail parade that will be the GOP primary?

    Although he’s been frustrating at times, Stewart fought the good fight a hell of a lot more frequently than most people have. Not sure who follows him next, but I can’t really think of anyone right off.

  61. 61
    JPL says:

    Will we ever find Mr. Puddles?

  62. 62
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beltane: The mystique of old school powerful WASP Yanks who hustle down to Texas and affect cowboy hats and goofy accents to chase oil profits. The chameleon act (not to mention the all too obvious lust for more) is very un-WASP. Old-ish money that acts like upstarts.

    It is sort of mysterious, not so mysterious if you just look at them as a bunch of spoiled fratty trash, but if you look at GBI, the military service, the CIA (how much WASPier can we get here), GOP politics, the education, these are the kind of people who direct their trust managers to invest in oil, they don’t run down to Texas and turn native. It is weird.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Baud says:


    Colbert actually has a better platform for reaching swing voters. Not sure what he’ll choose to do in his new role, however.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    Baud says:


    I saw that. Hilarious story.

  67. 67
    raven says:

    @Baud: Look out now. . . .!

  68. 68
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @boatboy_srq: SSN/TINs are used for financial and employment paperwork BECAUSE there are tax consequences. But you’re absolutely right that some other form of identification is needed. Maybe the credit bureaus need to be required to be less sloppy about identifying individuals. Those nine digits were all too, too easy for them to use to organize records. Well we have better computers and database software now. They should be required to try harder.

    The other big problem is that interest rates are allowed to be super high which means that credit at super high rates will be lent too loosely. IDK, maybe someone will jump in and say legalized loan sharking beats the alternative. But it seems like legalized loansharking creates the environment where all kinds of lenders are all too eager to extend credit with minimal documentation which is what enables someone to eff up someone else’s credit with just a name and SSN. I mean think about that shit, they shouldn’t be able to do that.

  69. 69
    Mike J says:

    @AnonPhenom: Just finished downloading, but I need to get them into a sane format like mbox.

  70. 70
    JPL says:

    @raven: Not the same guy cuz mr. puddles was just a little guy

    funny though

  71. 71
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Why not a serious journalist like Brian Williams?

    Missed it by that much, I think

    After NBC decided to move on from Jay Leno again a few years ago, according to two NBC insiders, Williams lobbied NBC executives to give him the host’s chair. “Brian wants to be a late-night comedian,” one former colleague explained. “He traded on being Nightly News anchorman-war-reporter to ingratiate himself with Jimmy, Lorne Michaels, and Jon Stewart.”

  72. 72
    Buddy H says:

    @raven: I love the comments on the Onion’s American Voices:

    “Why are all the good corpses either gay, taken, or immortal?”

    “Name one woman who isn’t trying to profit off her husband’s corpse.”

    “Does this mean his corpse is still up for grabs?”

  73. 73
    Amir Khalid says:

    Those two should get married. Could any couple deserve each other more?

  74. 74
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yeah, that’s a lie, the state is REQUIRED to redact SSNs for one thing. At least according to some attorneys who were providing advice on the records law to me.

    That’s PART of the reason municipal employees get in fights with the public over public records, they are trained to run all records requests through a single office which will take care of redactions (if necessary) but the Florida Constitution requires that the public be allowed to inspect and photograph records in some cases immediately.

    The other reason is that public employees working for pols or semi-independent agencies, etc, seem to see the public as hostile forces and their job is to keep them away. (They could be terrorists trying to get the building plans to blow the place up! Who does this guy think he is trying to get access to the mayor’s calendar?)

  75. 75
    srv says:

    A real leader, not just another bush:

    Madison — In just another day for Wisconsin’s governor and his rising profile, Scott Walker met with the elected leader of Great Britain and opened an Iowa office for his potential presidential campaign in a suburban Des Moines strip mall.

  76. 76
    raven says:

    @JPL: He was in the Food Network show about White Tiger.

  77. 77
    Mike E says:

    @raven: Mebbe she thought she’d get the rights to some Beatles songs, too.

  78. 78
    Turgidson says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    I nominate Bloody Bill WRONG Kristol as Stewart’s replacement.

    Basically, he’d be sold on the project thinking it’s a straight news and opinion show. When he inevitably starts saying stupid, wrong and incoherent nonsense, the audience would laugh heartily. Kristol will get a confused “why the fuck did they just laugh about that?” look on his face, and continue on. He’d be sort of a new Colbert, except not in on the joke.

    Edit: Given how clueless Kristol is, this setup could last years.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Howard Beale IV says:

    BREAKING: NBC suspends Brian Willams for six months without pay, effective immediately.

  81. 81
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Keith G: wow, Schock keeps bringing new layers to “how will it play in Peoria.”

  82. 82
  83. 83
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Samantha Bee is funnier. Not to mention crazier.

  84. 84
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: So that’s why he was on TDS a couple of times, stiff as a board, I might add.

  85. 85
    Botsplainer says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    He just needs to resign in shame.

    He’s not Murrow, Cronkite, Huntley, Brinkley, Sevareid or the like.

  86. 86
    kdaug says:


    Also, too, his hotelier. (or is that motelier?)

    Holiday Innier. If your girl start acting up…

  87. 87
    Jack the Second says:

    @Another Holocene Human: The problem is well known in security: identification versus authentication. Your social security number identifies you — it’s like your email address or your Facebook user name, but is often incorrectly used to authenticate — like your password to those systems.

    Since your SSN must be used to identify you in several places, using it to authenticate you is like requiring that your user name and password be the same.

    So the problem isn’t that we need a “new” universal ID number to replace our SSN, it’s that we need a universal authentication system to replace the bone-headed uses of your SSN as authentication.

  88. 88
    Eric S. says:

    @Calouste: And Bush went to bat for the ex-employee terminated for misconduct and insubordination. I don’t know the details. It may be valid. It does have some unpleasant stink around it.

  89. 89

    @Jack the Second:
    Excellent point about identification vs. authentication. And, of course, once you’ve supposedly been authenticated, the financial institutions are perfectly willing to assume authorization to do whatever, even if it makes no sense outside of fraud.

  90. 90
    Chris says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    The mystique of old school powerful WASP Yanks who hustle down to Texas and affect cowboy hats and goofy accents to chase oil profits. The chameleon act (not to mention the all too obvious lust for more) is very un-WASP. Old-ish money that acts like upstarts.

    Is it really that odd? Rich boys wandering down from their social class in search of a thrill aren’t unusual.

    In George W. Bush’s case, factor in the daddy issues, and you’ve got a guy who adopted a Texas cowboy persona as an act of rebellion against his uptight square New England father.

  91. 91
    catclub says:

    I am surprised – perhaps I missed it. Did anyone mention the Romney approach to this problem?

    The Romney approach to this when he turned into the ex-governor. Steal the computers – or pretend to excess them, and never return the data to the state.

  92. 92
    Roy G. says:

    @Hal: Well, you know he stopped slavery, according to Tucker Carlson, so there you go.

  93. 93
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Belafon: Yet during the Martin Luther King years, Black men were hung from trees and burned like wood for looking at White women, or otherwise pissing off White folks.

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