Sunday, April 02, 2006

Schieffer: Gov't "doesn't really know what it is doing"

I just gotta chuckle.

At the end of today's Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer skewered the government on the "mission to Mars", the response to Katrina, the ports deal and pre-Iraq war lies (ok so he called it "wrong intelligence" but still....)

The topper was his wondering if the federal bureaucracy has gotten so out of hand that no one seems to know what it's doing.

Schieffer's weekly opinion piece started with his being reminded of Bush's promise to put humans on Mars and it quickly evolved into his wondering if this Administration's priorities are out of whack and then essentially called them incompetent:

That leads me to the harder question: If we really had to go to the moon, could we still find a way to get there?

As Nelson Muntz would say, "HA...ha".  

Although (and on a more serious note), it is ultimately sad that (1) we get excited when the dangerous incompetence is finally called what it is by those in the SCLM and (2) this dangerous incompetence has cost us thousands and thousands of lives, billions, no make that trillions of dollars as well as environmental and health hazards for generations to come.

But Scheiffer, who is about as good as we can expect from someone who has been around for as long as he has, lays it all out in a few short sentences:

We can't figure out how to get those thousands of trailers standing empty in Arkansas down to New Orleans down to house the people who lost their homes during Katrina, but we're designing housing for the moon?

We can't seem to make those levies that broke the last time strong enough to withstand the next really bad hurricane, but, according to that story in The Washington Post, our scientists are now deep into studies on the effect of moon dust on the humans who will draw that lunar duty?

It's more than a matter of priorities, it seems to me. When you think back on how the government bungled the original response to Katrina, or the wrong intelligence that took us to Iraq, and even that crazy deal, safe or not, that had all of us unaware an Arab company was about to take control of our key ports, you have to ask, has the federal bureaucracy grown so big and so cumbersome that no one really knows what it's doing at any particular point in time?

Thumbs up to Schieffer for calling it like it is.  It's nice to see someone that has seen it all finally being bold enough to issue a general indictment of this administration's competence, as opposed to the typical qualified and specific watered down comment (if at all) we have come to expect.

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