Sunday, January 14, 2007

George Bush, the Mailman who Can’t Deliver

President George Bush is on a mission and doesn’t need Congress’ approval to take that first step. It is reminiscent of that old saying, “neither ice nor snow nor freezing rain can keep the postman from delivering the mail.”

Postman George envisions himself as a barrier buster. The only problem is once our nation’s CEO busts through the snow bank to accomplish his mission, one sees him fumbling with the map.

The latest case is Iraq where his troop surge (really a slowly rising tide over 5 months) will happen hell or high water. Congress is threatening to pass a resolution of non-support but few are currently calling for money to be withheld.

"I fully understand they could try to stop me from doing it. But I've made my decision. And we're going forward."

This brings to mind other Bush “full speed ahead” charges. Do you recall his flying back from Crawford early to manage the federal government’s Hurricane Katrina response? Did you see the film clip of him asking about hospital patients then sitting back while the Louisiana Hospital Association, a trade group coordinated their evacuation after as long as 5 days without power?

Did you read his White House "Lessons Learned" report on the disaster that was Katrina? If failed to mention the hospital with largest number of patient deaths, LifeCare Hospitals. Why would 24 patient deaths warrant not one word in the President’s post-mortem? Did it have anything to do with The Carlyle Group’s purchase of LifeCare just weeks before Katrina’s landfall? Carlyle shares a Pennsylvania Avenue address with the White House.

Do you recall the President promising no senior will have to choose between food, rent and medicines with the new Medicare Prescription Drug program? Yet, government studies showed some 2 million poor and disabled persons covered under Medicare/Medicaid would face significantly higher out of pocket costs.

During the Bush years the number of people without health insurance has grown by some 6 million people. With this as a backdrop he encourages employers to switch to high deductible health plans, shifting greater responsibility for health care payments to the individual. With legions of uninsureds already, President Bush ads premium sharing, higher deductibles and co-payments to Medicaid, government sponsored health insurance for the poor. This will only add to the total.

Add “I’ll spy on and torture anyone I ___ damn well want to” and Bush’s take charge attitude comes into clear focus. When anyone tries to exercise oversight or challenge the legal basis of Bush’s unitary executive, they get a snappy Cheney retort. As for Congressional feedback on our President’s New Way Forward:

Vice President Dick Cheney asserted that lawmakers' criticism will not influence Bush's plans and he dismissed any effort to "run a war by committee." "The president is the commander in chief. He's the one who has to make these tough decisions," Cheney said.

Well, how did our “emergency manager in chief” do with his Katrina assignment? How did his tough decisions impact patients in dead hospitals in New Orleans? Bush couldn’t run an emergency response on his own and his failure to make tough decisions costs lives. His Lessons Learned report is a committee dance to be sure.

Bush loads the letters, n..e..w…w..a..y…f..o..r..w..a..r..d… but is incapable of delivering

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