Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Sunday | August 03, 2003

Bush goes on vacation

By Steve Gilliard

Bush Aces Physical, Begins a Month at Ranch

By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 3, 2003; Page A05

CRAWFORD, Tex., Aug. 2 -- President Bush landed at his ranch this afternoon for a month of fun and fundraising after undergoing a three-hour physical that found him in top shape.

In what has become an annual tradition, Bush stopped at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda for the exams on his way to a month-long stay at his 1,600-acre Prairie Chapel Ranch, which he will use as a base for traveling to political and official events.

A CBS News tally shows this is Bush's 26th presidential trip to Crawford. He has spent all or part of 166 days at the ranch or en route -- the equivalent of 51/2 months. When Bush's trips to Camp David and Kennebunkport, Maine, are added, according to the CBS figures, Bush has spent 250 full or partial days at his getaway spots -- 27 percent of his presidency so far

Meanwhile other Americans are getting no time off from their job.

Stripped of his uniform and laid flat on his back in a first-aid tent, a wounded Army engineer fixed his wide, unblinking eyes on a flimsy overhead tarp that shielded him from the desert sun.

Just minutes before, four shards of shrapnel had pierced the patient's right knee, groin, chest, and neck only 1 1/2 inches from a vital carotid artery. Now, 13 soldiers led by Lieutenant Timothy Coffman buzzed around the patient as they cleaned his wounds, washed his body, bandaged his neck, placed his leg in a splint, and injected 10 milligrams of morphine into his left thigh

Of course, some understand the responsibilities of their job, despite a lack of free time. After all, we all can't be the president.

''This isn't what we signed up for,'' Werkheiser, 28, of Jackson, Miss., said of his tank-trained battalion. ''But it's the job that will set us up for success in the future. If we fail at this, it will all have been for nothing.''

While still others have to deal with the occasional misshap.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military on Sunday closed the main road joining Baghdad International Airport to the capital, to investigate a civilian car explosion that badly wounded an Iraqi driver.

It was unclear what caused the blast, but military officials suggested the explosion may have been a land mine or an "improvised explosive device" that could have been intended for U.S. troops by the Iraqi resistance.

So let's all hope the President has a great August. After all, not everyone is as lucky as he is. Some of us have to work.

TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. soldiers raided homes and farmhouses in the hostile Sunni heartland around Baghdad on Sunday, detaining dozens of suspected Saddam Hussein loyalists and saying the net was closing on the deposed dictator himself.

Posted August 03, 2003 01:06 PM


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