Pubdate: Mon, 05 Sep 2005
Source: Aspen Times (CO)
Copyright: 2005 Aspen Times
Author: Paul Andersen
Bookmark: (Drug Test)


They make high school football players take drug tests. They make 
government workers take drug tests. They make railroad engineers, bus 
drivers, airline pilots and factory workers take drug tests. So why not the 

"One thing's for sure," said my knowing friend Dave. "With Bush doing all 
that mountain biking, he's probably smoking pot, too. Clearly, he's living 
in an unreal world."

There's nothing wrong with mountain biking, but when you are president of 
the United States and you are engaged in a war where people are dying every 
day because of your decisions, mountain biking is not where your energies 
should go.

Now is simply not a good time for the commander-in-chief to take a 
month-long vacation, bouncing from his bucolic Texas ranch to the forest 
trails of Idaho. The president is evidently more concerned with recreation 
than reconciliation for the costly blunders of his administration.

Bush seems to be heavily narcotized given his lackadaisical role in this 
volatile, often tragic, world. His recent speech about the devastation of 
Katrina was almost glib, and there's got to be a chemical rationale for the 
"What, me worry?" Alfred E. Newman caricature presiding in the Oval Office.

Consider the administration's spin on Iraq. The Bush team claims that 
freedom and democracy are just around the corner, that the war is on a 
sound course. Meanwhile, the draft Iraq constitution is exacerbating 
divisions among warring factions that could spur a bloody civil war.

While the Bush team basks in self-delusion, Sunni insurgents are gaining 
strength against the faltering American military, knowing full well that 
American troops lack the stomach for a prolonged fight. Our boys may win 
some of the battles, but not a protracted war.

A buddy of mine who served in the U.S. infantry, walking point in the 
jungles of Vietnam, explains that guerilla warfare was so deeply motivated 
by the personal convictions of Vietcong troops that no measure of force was 
strong enough to defeat them. It's the same in Iraq.

The U.S. economy is another maelstrom for the Bush administration as it 
perpetuates our oil-based vulnerability. Because of a fatal lack of vision 
for energy independence and a shameless collusion with Big Oil profits, the 
Bush team has ransomed the average American for a barrel of crude.

It was reported last week that the U.S. poverty rate rose in 2004 for the 
fourth year in a row, driven by increased poverty among poor whites. The 
so-called economic recovery of the Bush tax cuts has bypassed most Americans.

"The economy looks pretty snappy from 30,000 feet," commented Jared 
Bernstein, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, "but when you 
get down and look at how actual working families are doing, they're falling 
behind year after year."

Smaller paychecks are being eaten up by soaring gas prices and health care 
costs, making for a steady drop in real income for struggling families. 
Still, Bush pedals blithely down Idaho's trails during a four-week vacation 
that few Americans can even consider.

And now comes an insane proposal to open our national parks to resource 
extraction, motorized recreational mayhem and a malicious lack of 
stewardship. It makes you wonder who is at the helm of national policy, and 
whether all these people are on acid.

America is stumbling along like a drunken frat boy, bouncing from wall to 
wall in the corridor of short-sighted, narrow-minded inebriation. That's 
why the president should have to pee in a cup as a safeguard against 
idiotic policies that promote global instability and national folly.

My strong suspicion is that the Bush team has taken a few too many hits on 
Dubya's bong. Either that or they're still plumbing with lead pipes on 
Capitol Hill.
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MAP posted-by: Elizabeth Wehrman