A tribute to Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush who, despite voluminious evidence to the contrary, said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," adding that "even in retrospect" there was "nothing" to suggest that" and "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," respectively.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Secretary of Veteran Affairs: Jim Nicholson 

Anyone who's followed Bush's appointments to critical positions is accutely aware that job qualifications are often overlooked in favor of partisan cronies such as Michael Brown of FEMA infamy. Now, with the scandal at Walter Reed and the deplorable conditions that wounded vets were forced to endure, perhaps it's time to review the qualifications of Jim Nicholson who Bush appointed to as Secretary of Veteran Affairs in 1994.

ABC has a short bio of Nicholson at the time of the appointment and subsequent unanimous confirmation by the Senate. It's important to note that the Department of Veteran Affairs is the second largest department in the federal government with 220,000 employees and provides various levels of health care services to 25 million veterans. One would assume then that anyone slated to head such a department would have significant experience and background in managing such an agency possibly with some medical background as well.

Jim Nicholson has an impressive resume. He graduated from West Point in 1961 and went to Vietnam where as an Army Ranger he was highly decorated. He was on active duty for 8 years and in the reserve for 22 years finally retiring as a full colonel. He received his masters degree in Public Policy and a law degree from the University of Denver. It is unknown to this author whether he ever took or passed a bar exam or practiced law. When it comes to government service, other than in the military, his job experience seems to be limited to being Ambassador to the Vatican. But, he held one position that would seem to make him abundantly qualified for a position in the Bush administration; Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

This resume, while impressive, does not seem to this author to suggest any experience in managing such a large and critically important department. But hey, I could be wrong.

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