Friday, October 28, 2005


Bush Environmental Plan: Spend As Little as Possible

Notice how the Bush plan requires that the entire energy industry spend less on pollution controls than they do now on CEO salary/benefit packages alone:
Using the impact of various proposals by 2010 as an example, the E.P.A. estimated that the administration plan would cost $2.8 billion in spending for new emission controls and generate up to $78 billion in reduced health care costs. The Carper bill would cost industry $10.5 billion and create health care savings of up to $128 billion, and the Jeffords bill would cost industry $41.1 billion with projected health care savings of up to $162 billion.

The health benefits might even be higher because they reflect only estimated decreases in sulfur dioxide, which is soot, and nitrogen oxides, which form smog.
(Source: New York Times E.P.A. Backs Bush Plan to Cut Air Pollution by Power Plants

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Another Immoral Moralizer

Seems like El Busho's biggest problem in new nominations will be finding folks that:
a) Want to mandate moral standards for everyone else;

b) Hold themselves to those same high moral standards; and,

c) Will decline to hold Bush, DeLay, Frist and their respective gangs to any moral and/or legal standards.

Harriet Miers' nomination failed test "a" and was withdrawn:
But the nomination of Miers to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was already in deep trouble, with little support in the Senate, open criticism from many senators of both parties and an outpouring of opposition from conservative activists and intellectuals.
(Source: Washington Post Harriet Miers Withdraws Nomination Oct. 27, 2005)

One recent rule "b" violator was the FDA's Dr. Crawford, who just couldn't morally allow women access to RU486 yet had no problems with trading stocks in industries he was responsible for regulating:
Ex-Head of F.D.A. or Wife Sold Stock in Regulated Area

Dr. Lester M. Crawford, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, or his wife sold shares in companies regulated by the agency in 2004, according to financial disclosure forms.

The sales may have played a role in Dr. Crawford's sudden resignation from the agency last month after only two months as its leader.
(Source: New York Times, Oct. 27, 2005)

It's easy to find people eager to regulate other people's personal lives while considering morality "more of a guideline than a rule" in their own lives. It is harder, but not impossible, to find folks holding themselves to the same standards they demand of others.

What is particularly hard, though, is finding folks that meet the first two criteria that won't hold Bush and his cronies to those same standards. It'll be interesting to see what kind of right-wing looney they drag out as the next nominee - maybe Bork again? Ann Coulter, perhaps?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


The Truth Gets Out

About time somebody came out and said this:
CIA leak illustrates selective use of intelligence on Iraq

By Jonathan S. Landay

Knight Ridder Newspapers

(Oct. 25, 2005)

WASHINGTON - The grand jury probe into the leak of a covert CIA officer's name has opened a new window into how the Bush administration used intelligence from dubious sources to make a case for a pre-emptive war and discarded information that undercut its rationale for attacking Iraq.

CIA officer Valerie Plame was outed in an apparent attempt to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, after he challenged President Bush's allegation in his 2003 State of the Union speech that Iraq had tried to buy uranium for nuclear weapons from the African nation of Niger.

A Knight Ridder review of the administration's arguments, its own reporting at the time and the Senate Intelligence Committee's 2004 report shows that the White House followed a pattern of using questionable intelligence, even documents that turned out to be forgeries, to support its case - often leaking classified information to receptive journalists - and dismissing information that undermined the case for war.
(Emphasis added)
I wonder whether Judy Miller considers herself a "receptivejournalist."

Monday, October 24, 2005


Frist's Lame Excuses About His Blind Trust

Seems Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's "blind" trust had some holes in the blindfold:
Since 2001, the trustees have written to Frist and the Senate 15 times detailing the sale of assets from or the contribution of assets to trusts of Frist and his family. The letters included notice of the addition of HCA shares worth $500,000 to $1 million in 2001 and HCA stock worth $750,000 to $1.5 million in 2002. The trust agreements require the trustees to inform Frist and the Senate whenever assets are added or sold.

The letters seem to undermine one of the major arguments the senator has used throughout his political career to rebut criticism of his ownership in HCA: that the stock was held in blind trusts beyond his control and that he had little idea of the extent of those holdings.
(Source: Washington Post Letters Show Frist Notified Of Stocks in 'Blind' Trusts, Oct. 24, 2005.
If you know what's in the trust, it isn't very "blind."

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