Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July 30: Sniglets on Ehud Olmert and Bob Butterworth

By Sylvia Gurinsky

*What an utter disappointment Ehud Olmert has been as the prime minister of Israel. Olmert, whom so many had counted on when he took over after Ariel Sharon's incapacitating stroke in 2006, wound up essentially being Israel's version of George W. Bush.
He wound up in a fiasco in Lebanon that only gave muscle to the terrorist group Hezbollah. He didn't do enough to stop the Palestinian terrorists in Gaza who continue to lob missiles into the Negev. And he wound up the latest Israeli politician to be caught up in a scandal.
At least, unlike Bush, Olmert has an exit strategy: He will step down in September. If foreign minister Tzipi Livni succeeds him, hopefully she'll do a lot better. It's hard to do much worse.

*On the other hand, Floridians who value good government are very unhappy to see Bob Butterworth leaving his job as the head of the Department of Children and Family Services. The department, formerly the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, has seen so much scandal and just plain incompetence for more than two decades that when someone comes along who knows how to get the job done, that person should be encouraged to stay.
More than a decade ago, Jim Towey, appointed by Gov. Lawton Chiles, was forced to leave by a state Senate that badgered him. This time, Butterworth ran up against a Florida Legislature in a mood to cut any budget item not directly convenient to their reelection hopes.
It will be difficult for Gov. Charlie Crist, whose mind has been on becoming John McCain's running mate, to find someone as good as Butterworth, but he'd better try and try hard. DCF has had enough problems.

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