Archive for the ‘president bush’ tag
“Simply put, as the clock runs out of on the administration’s term in office, would-be Cinderellas—including the president, cabinet officers, and agency heads—work assiduously to promulgate regulations before they turn back into ordinary citizens at the stroke of midnight.” — former Mercatus Center scholar Jay Cochran
As if the blunders of Katrina weren’t enough. If illegally invading a country without provocation wasn’t enough, Bush, as seems to be the trend among outgoing presidentsawakened to the reality that their party no longer has control (at least for four years), seems to be doing his darndest to make a mess of things with his 12th-hour regulations. Here are a fewgems from OMB Watch. I recommend following the link for a large list. My remarks in parenthesis.
Mountaintop mining, Office of Surface Mining (Interior) — The rule would allow mining companies to dump the waste (i.e. excess rock and dirt) from mountaintop mining into rivers and streams. …
Endangered species consultation, Department of the Interior — The rule would alter implementation of the Endangered Species Act by allowing federal land-use managers to approve projects like infrastructure creation, minerals extraction, or logging without consulting federal habitat managers and biological health experts responsible for species protection. Currently, consultation is required. …
Air pollution near national parks, Environmental Protection Agency — The rule would ease current restrictions that make it difficult for power plants to operate near national parks and wilderness areas. … (The Bush Administration said this rule was withdrawn and would not finalized. Thank goodness!)
Runoff from factory farms,Environmental Protection Agency — Under the rule, concentrated animal feeding operations, i.e. factory farms, could allow farm runoff to pollute waterways without a permit. The rule circumvents the Clean Water Act, instead allowing for self-regulation. (Nice!) …
Drug and alcohol testing for miners, Mine Safety and Health Administration — The rule would require mine operators to test employees in “safety-sensitive” positions for drug and alcohol use. (This is a good one, I suppose.) …
Actually, the rule lifts the ban on carrying, not just loaded, but concealed weapons. Hunters, of course, pack heat in national forests all the time, but not in national parks. In its continual show of ignorant, rabble-rousing, gun-clutching mentality, the NRA made this statement: “‘We are pleased that the Interior Department recognizes the right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families while enjoying America’s national parks and wildlife refuges,’” said Chris Cox, the National Rifle Association’s chief lobbyist.” and this statement: “Gun rights advocates, notably the National Rifle Assn., have said the ban infringes on their 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms and their ability to defend themselves from predators, both human and animal. (the Los Angeles Times) The Second Amendment seems to me to be more a reference to military usage of arms, rather than civilian, as the newly formed country had just dispatched the British and were debating how best to protect the rights and freedoms of its citizenry from invading governments (as in the British). The Oxford English Dictionary defines “to bear arms” as “to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight.” But I won’t have the time to flesh this argument out at the moment. In either case, perhaps the Founders should have been more explicit.
But that debate rages on. Bush, in his last days in office, is dining with $499 bottles of wine on summits supposedly about the troubled economy, kissing veterans and doing more harm than good in handing down these midnight “rules” that, at the stroke of midnight, while Bush has turned back into a regular Joe (OK, he will never be a regular Joe, but you get the metaphor), will remain, leaving Barack Obama to pick up the pieces.
Bush greets 2 Marines, gives them kisses
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush stopped on the White House South Lawn to pose for a photograph with two Marines who served in Iraq — and planted a kiss on the head of each.
After climbing down from his Marine One helicopter, Bush walked toward the White House, then stopped and approached the Marines, one of whom was in a wheelchair. The president greeted Lance Cpl. Patrick Pittman Jr., of Savannah, Ga., and Lance Cpl. Marc Olson, of Coal City, Ill.
Bush directed aides to turn Pittman’s wheelchair around. Instead, Pittman stood next to the president for the photograph. They were joined by Olson’s mother, Pinky Kloski.
Bush had a few words for the two Marines as they stood on either side, then kissed each on the top of the head.
Kloski said the two were injured while serving in Ramadi.
Earlier in the day, the president had traveled to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to speak about the military and strategy during his tenure as commander in chief. — The Associated Press
Democratic pundits and WordPressers may have a field day with this picture, but I think it’s quite extraordinary. When was the last time an American president actually kissed a soldier, or anyone, as a sign of deep gratitude and compassion? Say what you will: Bush is trying to salve his bruised legacy of sending thousands into harm’s way and death to fight a war that shouldn’t have been waged or authorized. He, by a level of dishonesty, got us into the current mess in the Middle East and will leave it to the next president to lick the wounds and repair our tattered PR with the rest of the world. He’s simply making a last push, a final claim to his legacy.
But discard the conjecture for a second. What male in American society kisses another male, unless, perhaps they are related, as in a father to son, or homosexual? I may hug my closest, lifelong male friend, but kissing them goes a step too far, and we both know it. While it may be commonplace in other European or Asian societies, it is not commonplace here, and to take it a step further would be taboo. For Bush to kiss a veteran as in this picture speaks to something else.
Many would disagree with me (Many, in fact, think he’s one of those most heartless presidents we have ever had.), but I think, a) he is aware that he has made mistakes, b) that he is human (and this pretty well assumes that he will make mistakes) and c) that he is sincere on many levels. I think he sincerely loves his country, loves freedom and is truly grateful for the service of the men and women he has sent into battle. I think he mourns (and probably holds a level of guilt) for those who have suffered death or physical maladies on his watch. And this kiss finds its impetus here. Again, believe what you will, that he isn’t the smartest cracker in the cabinet, that he is actually a terrorist himself or even that’s he’s calculatingly headstrong on policies that have proved to be errant, but at the core, for all his miscomings, I think he’s sincere, and I think that is evident in this photo.
First, I’m not too crazy on the media and everyone else dissecting the private lives of our public officials, celebrities, etc ad nauseum. While I’m sure John Edwards will be rung through the meat grinder for his actions, I will say this: it is commendable on some level that he confessed publically, although he had already told his wife and a portion of the story was published by the National Enquirer. Here is a portion of his statement on it:
I was and am ashamed of my conduct and choices, and I had hoped that it would never become public. With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006 and today I take full responsibility publicly. … It is inadequate to say to the people who believed in me that I am sorry, as it is inadequate to say to the people who love me that I am sorry. In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up – feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help.
As I was reading this, it occurred to me that we make fun of and mock the “guests” on the daytime talk shows like Maury Povich and Jerry Springer, but honestly, no one is above personal turmoil: not the president, not presidential candidates, not the Pope, not pastors … no one. I was a little surprised by the response of Edwards’ campaign manager David Benior, who said to the AP:
“Thousands of friends of the senators and his supporters have put their faith and confidence in him and he’s let him down,” said Bonior. “They’ve been betrayed by his action.”
He then was quoted as saying:
“You can’t lie in politics and expect to have people’s confidence.”
Actually, you can. It happens everyday. John McCain said he wanted he and Barack Obama to conduct positive campaigns. Sure. And while President Bush’s current abysmal approval rating may say otherwise, many
flag-toting Americans here in the South still believe he will go down as a great president, despite invading a country illegally, an eerily slow response to the New Orleans disaster and overseeing a $2-plus increase on a gallon a gas on his clock. But I digress …