Don Williams
Photo by Justin Williams

Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email

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Bush and Frist try, without DeLay, to rescue themselves
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   09/30/2005)

If God is still on George W. Bush's side, as some decree, He has a funny way of showing it. Two “acts of God” spun through the Gulf of Mexico, smashing oil refineries, washing away towns, on the way to swallowing New Orleans in one gulp, and then another.

And while Bush grabs his coat and grabs his hat and zips around the country making public appearances like some self-appointed national TV weatherman, the wheels are flying off his second term. Oh, he's trying mightily to pull off a rescue—of himself, that is, too late for New Orleans. But the wheels are coming off all right. Big movers of the Bush Administration are spinning away. There goes one now.

Bill Frist, Tennessee's senior senator, the incredible shrinking candidate for president--the man who steered so many bad ideas through the U.S. Senate--came out for stem cell research about seven weeks ago and bingo! Rep. Tom DeLay slams him in public on behalf of the Christian Right. Now the feds are after Frist. Seems the Securities Exchange Commission is investigating insider-trading allegations regarding HCA, the giant hospital firm founded by the Frist family.

Oh the wheels, the wheels, they're wobbling and bouncing and spinning off the big, figurative, oil-guzzling Hummer that put Neo-cons, oilmen, fundamentalists, Iran-Contra leftovers and Big Business in the drivers' seat of the new world order. And as the wheels spin off that patchwork monster machine, watch Bush plug away without DeLay.

You know who I mean. The man who steered so many bad Republican ideas through the U.S. House. Tom DeLay is his name and campaign corruption could be his game. We'll see how deep the corruption runs as DeLay tries to salvage his career from that good ole boy with two first names, Ronnie Earle.

Ronnie Earle, a Texas district-attorney, is prosecuting DeLay for allegedly laundering campaign contributions from big Texas corporations--making that money clean as driven snow, dontcha know, for use in Texas congressional races. If DeLay spins his way out of this one it won't be with the blessing of the Wall Street Journal, which has slammed DeLay on its editorial pages. With Wall Street working against him, one has to wonder how much longer DeLay will have the president's blessing.

Did I say blessing? It's a mixed one for sure, now that Bush's approval rating has plummeted down an embankment to 39 percent, according to a new CNN poll. Even conservatives are sniping at his spending policies, mismanagement of the war in Iraq, failure to protect the homeland from that angry ballerina, Katrina, who spun Bush's world around.

The prez tries mightily to appear interested in damage on the ground, yet he's distracted by so many scandals they make former President Bill Clinton look like a Boy Scout—O.K., a naughty Boy Scout, given his reputation. Watch Bush try to salvage what's left of HIS without delay.

Everywhere you look, Bush cronies and friends are under fire. Bush helps when he can. After Katrina spun through, Bush called out, “You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie,” to his old pal, Michael Brown, tossing the former head of FEMA a lifeline in front of the cameras. Oh how Brown must cling to those words at night. And oh what Dubya wouldn't give to take those words back, one wonders, given that he's since fired Brown, and the whole world's all but called Brown an incompetent fool for his handling of emergency aid to New Orleans. But charges of corruption reach closer to the President even than ole “Good Job Brownie.” There's the continuing investigation of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who might've swindled Native Americans out of millions, and the recent arrest of David H. Safavian, a former White House budget official. Other investigations reach right into White House inner sanctums. Karl Rove could yet be handed an indictment in the Valerie Plame affair, along with Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby. I don't need to remind you what that scandal's all about. It only goes to the heart of why people are still dying in Iraq--false claims of Iraqi nuclear prowess. Some dare call it treason. Of course, Rove's main job is spinning, and he'll be spinning mightily I predict, in coming weeks—spinning like one more wheel coming off.

One has to wonder just how close to Bush the corruption runs--or does one? Cronyism, environmental sell-outs, big deals for fat cats, lies about Iraq, about torture, the energy bill, the true costs of the prescription drug benefit, as well as undermined treaties, planted reporters in the media, dead reporters in Iraq, new allegations about 9/11 and the shoddy search for Osama bin Laden, all still need more investigating, in the opinion of many. The only reason Bush himself is not facing several criminal investigations, in my opinion, is because congressional Democrats—remorseful for unleashing Ken Starr on Clinton--joined newly elected Republicans several years ago in revoking the Special Prosecutor law. Still, things are bad for Bush, 11 months after winning re-selection. Watch him flail about as he tries to get a grip on his wheel-less presidency, without delay. Tom DeLay that is.