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The business of running the federal government

July 09, 2006

Re "Why politics isn't business as usual," Opinion, July 3

Charles R. Kesler makes some good points, especially regarding President Bush's lack of rhetorical skills. But his reference to "recalcitrant bureaucracies" involves a popular stereotype that might fit Bush's bureaucratic arm of government, but it fails to mention Bush's fraud-ridden "shadow government."

The bureaucratic arm of Bush's executive branch, whose recalcitrance is enabled by appointed loyalist cronies, is almost staged to fail by neocon ideological mistrust of big government.

On the other hand, the shadow government is cheating taxpayers with overcharges, fraudulent bookkeeping and secrecy, with little oversight by its irresponsible leaders. Kesler perceives the scholastic version of corporate business, while the Bush administration and Congress are dealing with the exploitive version of unsupervised, unfettered business given privileged contracts like manna from self-righteous government leadership.

JIM HOOVER

Huntington Beach

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Kesler laments that Bush's Harvard MBA has not produced high-quality management in the government. Unfortunately, much like a chief executive anticipating the next quarterly report, Bush has no sense of the long view. He does not try to learn from the past or plan for a very uncertain future.

As to federal failures that Kesler points out, chief executives have been saying for years that government can't work. The difference is, this administration has been intent on proving it.

The poor Hurricane Katrina disaster response was the result of tearing down the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That's not a businesslike approach, but Bush may actually believe that is a success.

MARK SMITH

Bakersfield

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