Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chao and Leavitt Boogie at Beijing Closing Ceremonies

Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor, and Mike Leavitt, Secretary of Health & Human Services, closed down the Beijing Olympics on behalf of the Bush White House. They celebrated China's unique contributions to gamesmanship.

Elaine Chao knows about labor. What does she think of the two elderly women assigned to one month's labor re-education for simply applying multiple times for the right to protest the loss of their homes to new Olympic venues?

Mike Leavitt knows about health. Did he stop off at any of those hundreds of heparin ingredient labs while in China? Did he visit any of the Chinese plants providing tainted heparin ingredients?

It seems Chinese managers learned substitution from their American counterparts. Over the last decade U.S. leaders replaced American labor with cheaper Chinese workers, boosting executive compensation packages. In a mean game of imitation, entrepreneurial Chinese managers used cheaper ingredients in their products, from toothpaste to tires to heparin to children's toys. Many people died from this practice.

Elaine and Mike's attendance at the Closing Ceremonies punctuates that the Olympics are but a sports and media spectacle, opened and closed with dazzling displays.

"We have come to the end of 16 days which we will cherish forever," said IOC head Rogge. "New stars were born and stars from previous Games continued to amaze us. We shared their joys and their tears and marvelled at their abilities, and will long remember their achievements here. These were a truly exceptional Games."

Now, if we could only get some exceptional leadership. The unnecessary losses are growing.