The Education of George W. Bush
Wednesday, January 24, 2001
- President Bush - I believe that's the first time I've written those two words in the context of THIS President Bush - announced his education initiative yesterday. As Ron Brownstein wrote in his L.A. Times piece, "[W]ith the new initiative, Bush will propose that those troubled schools receive additional aid for two years before the voucher requirement would be triggered, officials said. That shift could eliminate one of the main arguments critics have raised against Bush's voucher plan. During the campaign, Gore and other Democrats argued that Bush set up struggling schools for failure by not offering them any additional assistance before the vouchers would be imposed."
- The President said, "When schools do not teach and will not change, parents and students must have other meaningful options" which is approximately what he said during the campaign.
- But the words he spoke next are the ones which, I believe, will define his Presidency: "If somebody's got a better idea, I hope they bring it forward."
- Karen Hosler, writing in the Baltimore Sun about the Bush tax cut plan introduced by Republican Senator Phil Gramm of Texas and Democratic Senator Zell Miller of Georgia: "Miller, appointed to his seat last year, said he became the first Democrat to endorse the Bush tax cut after watching Congress dip so deeply into the budget surplus last year that he feared there would be nothing left to give back to the taxpayers."
- Last Saturday the Senate confirmed seven Cabinet nominees, all by voice vote. They had been scheduled to take up only three by voice vote - Colin Powell for State, Paul O'Neill for Treasury, and Donald Rumsfeld for Defense. However, it appears Majority Leader Trent Lott held Minority Leader Tom Daschle's feet to the fire in demanding an additional four confirmations.
- The reason? If Daschle hadn't acceded to Lott's wishes Lott would have demanded the additional four be confirmed by the first four roll call votes of the new Congress, all of which Most Special Senator (MSS) Hillary would have missed. Neat, huh?
- Speaking of neat. Vice President Dick Cheney's staffers trying to move into the Office of the Vice President space in the Old Executive Office Building right next to the White House found the offices had been left in complete shambles by the Gore staff on its way out on Friday and Saturday.
- Every cord and wire, in many offices - telephone, power, computer and lamp - was slashed. Furniture was tossed, and trash was, literally, everywhere. One person reported to Mullings that it was his understanding that Mrs. Gore had to phone Mrs. Cheney to apologize.
- Mitch Daniels was confirmed as Director of the Office of Management and Budget yesterday. Reporters have called to ask me why Daniels, not noted as a numbers guy, should have gotten that job. My answer? "the word 'Management' is in the title ahead of the word 'Budget'."
- Going with a gifted manager to run that office gives the Administration a different perspective on the process. Deciding first on the policy and then building a budget to accomplish that goal rather than building a budget and then fitting programs to live within the fiscal guidelines is a significant difference in approach.
- ABC had the following headline on its website yesterday: "Bush, McCain Butt Heads in Congress." I know this is a standard idiom, but the notion of "butting heads" seemed amusingly oxymoronic when I read it yesterday. Like "footing the bill."
- A woman whose name was, I think, Monica or Marcia, called me the other day saying, "This is Marcia from Politically Incorrect," to which I responded, instantly, "Hi, honey." To which she did not respond at all, but invited me to a party next week. Maybe she wasn't listening. Maybe she hears it all the time.
- This is true: Mullings will be in Roswell, New Mexico on February 16th to deliver a Lincoln Day speech. I am hoping that Mr. Lincoln, himself, will attend and do the introductions. Or Klaatu.
- From the Associated Press: "USDA OKs Smaller Cheese Holes." Even though President Bush issued an order forbidding last-minute regulations by the Clinton Administration from taking effect until they could be reviewed by Bush staff, "USDA officials decided the cheese standard was technically a notice and not a new regulation."
- Krafty, those USDA bureaucrats.
-- END --
Copyright © 2001 Richard A. Galen
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