Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Dec. 13, 2002 / 8 Teves, 5763

Robert L. Haught

Robert L. Haught
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

It's Snow time at White House -- WASHINGTON Who says President Bush doesn't have a sense of humor? He really got into the spirit of the winter holiday season when he picked a man named Snow to shovel out of an economic drift.

The new Treasury secretary, CSX chairman John Snow, became an instant target for wisecracks. Kansas City Star columnist Bill Tammeus said Bush should have chosen Apple computer CEO Steve Jobs as the new White House economic adviser. "Fiscal policy then could be officially Snow-Jobs," he quipped.

Bush probably did a smart thing by choosing a railroad man to put the economy back on track. At least Snow ought to be more popular on Wall Street and Capitol Hill than Paul O'Neill, who was pink-slipped along with chief economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey.

The blunt-speaking O'Neill once characterized currency traders as "not the sort of people you would want to help you think about complex questions." He termed the House Republican economic stimulus package "show business" and publicly pooh-poohed the president's tax policies.

Still, it seemed a rather cruel deed to kick out the economic teammates right before Christmas. To show there were no hard feelings, Bush probably should have given them a pleasure trip on the newest Disney cruise ship, the Nausea.

O'Neill must have naively assumed that what came out of his mouth didn't matter all that much, considering some of the utterances of his boss. There was that time last August, for instance, when the president said in Waco, Texas: "There may be some tough times here in America. But this country has gone through tough times before, and we're going to do it again." How's that for creating optimism?

The difference is that the market didn't go crazy when Bush made remarks like this one in Boston last Oct. 4: "Let me tell you my thoughts about tax relief. When your economy is kind of ooching along, it's important to let people have more of their own money."

So his marching orders to his new team are apt to be something like: "I want you to take this ooching economy and get it to mooching -- or moving, or whatever it takes to see us through the tough times."

Bush's grammatical gaffes may be helping one segment of the economy -- the Christmas toy industry. The "talking President Bush doll" is a hot selling item among Internet shoppers, according to its creator, John Warnock. The foot-high Bush miniature, which sells for $29.99, is programmed with "17 powerful and patriotic phrases," Warnock's Web site explains. Press a button on the back and the doll says, "I will not hold this nation hostile," or "I will put food on your family."

The Dubya doll is not the product of a devilish Democrat. Warnock is a California Republican and says he's a big fan of Bush. That should be a big thrill for the president.

Bush was not at a loss for words when country artist Roy Clark had an embarrassing moment at the White House tree-lighting ceremony. Clark, who was this year's Santa Claus, was in the spotlight and while the president and first lady and thousands of viewers watched, his red pants slowly slipped to below his knees. Washington TV station WJLA reported Clark was wearing sweatpants under his suit. Bush told the audience: "I appreciate Santa coming. It looks like he needs a belt for Christmas."

And we thought pants-dropping at the White House went out when Bill Clinton left.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Robert L. Haught is a columnist for The Oklohoman. Comment by clicking here.


11/15/02: Who's Congress' lamest duck?
10/18/02: Bush can blame woes on bad 'chi'
09/27/02: Enemy list too good to be true
07/19/02: Party animals are inviting targets
07/12/02: Beat the Bush
06/21/02: Dubya and Dick; Elvis and Ozzie!?
04/30/02: Donkeys and elephants: Is it really art or is it politics?
02/22/02: Warm-up time for political spoof
01/29/02: Tax dollars working wonders
01/09/02: While Congress is away, look at the laws it has made
12/28/01: 2001: A year of achievements, but some are disputable
12/21/01: Gifts for many public officials came a bit early this year
11/29/01: Animal rights group would like to tan Osama's hide
11/20/01: Are Americans too spaced out?
10/12/01: There's something fishy going on in the U.S. Congress
10/05/01: Lincoln had some memorable things to say about war
09/21/01: Washington's guidelines on how to tickle a terrorist
08/31/01: Two Garys, going the same road
08/24/01: Dog days are laughing matter, stories set tails wagging

© 2002, Robert L. Haught