The joys of watching the President's final year will be enormous:
Over the past few months, Mr. Bush has sounded more like the national Mr. Fix-It than the man who began his second term with a sweeping domestic policy agenda of overhauling Social Security, remaking the tax code and revamping immigration law. Now, with little political capital left, Mr. Bush, like President Bill Clinton before him, is using his executive powers — and his presidential platform — to make little plans sound big.Well, apart from the opening up of military airspace to passenger flights to help ease congestion in the peak periods --and credit where credit is due, this was a novel suggestion --what's wrong with this picture?
He traveled to the shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland to announce federal protection for two coveted species of game fish, the striped bass and the red drum. He appeared in the Rose Garden to call on lenders to help struggling homeowners refinance. He came out in favor of giving the Food and Drug Administration new authority to recall unsafe foods.
Just this weekend, thanks to an executive order by Mr. Bush, the military is opening up additional air space — the White House calls it a “Thanksgiving express lane” — to lessen congestion in the skies. And Mr. Bush’s aides say more announcements are in the works, including another initiative, likely to be announced soon, intended to ease the mortgage lending crisis.
He traveled to the shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland to announce federal protection for two coveted species of game fish, the striped bass and the red drum...instead of gutting the EPA and Department of Interior budgets, meaning he could have done this years ago.
He appeared in the Rose Garden to call on lenders to help struggling homeowners refinance....instead of artificially keeping the prime lending rate low, thus igniting the sub-prime debacle in the first place, or hell, even listening to his first Secretary of the Treasury!
He came out in favor of giving the Food and Drug Administration new authority to recall unsafe foods....instead of not turning the agency over to the lobbyists, particularly from the cattle industry, so it's no surprise that beef has been a killer in this country over the past seven years.
Starting to see a pattern? Now that he's allowed his cronies (puns intended) free range to gut and scale back on oversight and regulation in their own interests, suddenly in the last year of his administration, when it will be his name in the ledger books, he's decided to become the Lord High Protector.
Bush wouldn't even make a good pocket protector.
Yet some of Mr. Bush’s new initiatives have had little practical effect. Fishing for red drum and striped bass, for instance, is already prohibited in federal waters; Mr. Bush’s action will take effect only if the existing ban is lifted. And the Federal Aviation Administration can already open military airspace on its own, without presidential action.You have to think the policy shop in the White House is scraping hard at the bottom of the barrel in order to come up with some of these.
Democrats, like Senator Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota, who runs the Senate’s Democratic Policy Committee, dismiss the actions as window dressing. “It’s more words than substance,” said Mr. Dorgan said, adding he was surprised to see a president who has often seemed averse to federal regulation using his regulatory authority.
“He’s kind of a late bloomer,” Mr. Dorgan said.
I have a list of things Mr. Bush can fix, so long as he's interested in making a difference to the common folk.
1) Get American Idol off the air.Other suggestions are welcome in comments. What should Bush do while he waits for the inevitable escort off the grand stage, with a large hook?
2) Mediate the writer's strike in Hollywood.
3) While you're at it, the Broadway stagehands' strike seems to be at an impasse.
4) The filtration system in the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial needs to be cleaned out.
5) You could reglaze the windows in the Capitol. My sources tell me some of the Congressmen have to actually wear sweaters for the drafts.
6) My car could use a waxing.
7) Take out the garbage.
8) Clean ThumbPer's litterbox.
9) There's a pothole at the intersection of Union Turnpike and Francis Lewis. Senator D'Amato used to be really good at getting those filled. Are you saying you're not as good as a Senator?
10) I need someone to climb down into the septic system and scrape the solids out.
11) You could just resign, and admit you're a fuck up.