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January 23, 2018

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Bush is on his way, so beat it or else …

George Bush arrives

President George W. Bush arrives on Air Force One at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, January 30, 2008. Launch slideshow »

After seven years, it’s come to this.

When the president of the United States — the leader of the free world, the guy with the nuclear football doohickey and therefore the power to end human if not cockroach civilization — comes to town today to update Las Vegas on the war on terrorism, he will not be standing in a stadium, behind a church pulpit or in a rugged pose in front of Red Rock. Not even in a high school auditorium.

No, the president will be at the back of an office park overlooking a rock quarry and snake habitat disguised as an expensive golf course named Badlands. He’ll be giving his speech on The Global War on Terror to a conservative education think tank that was last in the news because it announced the results of a poll in which people said teachers were overpaid.

He’ll be just outside of Queensridge, a gated subdivision described by its makers as “an elegant country club neighborhood bordering Southwest and Northwest Las Vegas” (West Las Vegas is not mentioned). He’ll be in a hall usually rented out for weddings and corporate events, a building with a Miami Beach-chic-meets-Orange County-pretentious architecture. It’s called the Emerald at Queensridge and is surrounded by brown grass.

We’re sure it’s very nice inside.

They wouldn’t let us inside.

We tried politely and all. We went into its front office with all the ads for its photo studio’s work: mainly toothy brides, but dog portraits, too. We shook hands and said that since the president was coming to this lovely building and the public isn’t invited, could we maybe look around and tell people what it’s like?

The smiling blond woman smiled bigger and brighter, tilted her head and said, “Absolutely not.”

Uh, no?

“No,” she said.

We stepped outside, and she threw us out of the parking lot, too. It is apparently also top secret.

“Please leave,” she said, still using that cruise-ship-director-of-mandatory-fun smile. “I would hate to get the man in the white car involved.”

We don’t know who that is, but it carried an air of menace. We left.

Anyhow, the top-secret parking lot was full of cars and trucks and vans, out of which men were taking chairs and awnings and tables (and putting them back in).

In case you want to try to get a glimpse of the president’s caravan, get close, it’s on the west side of Rampart Boulevard, north of Charleston Avenue and just south of the Suncoast.

There’s a Longs Drugs across the street in case you get a headache.

Brendan Buhler can be reached at 259-8817 or at [email protected]

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