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Archive for the 'Administrative Arrogance' Category

IT’S CHRISTMAS IN NOVEMBER FOR BUSH LOYALISTS

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Eco Thugs, Global Warming, News Brief on November 5th, 2008

ON THE WAY OUT THE DOOR, THE BUSH ADMINISTRTION LAUNCHES ANOTHER BROADSIDE AGAINST THE ENVIRONMENT

Not content to shuffle gently into retirement, the Bush administration has announced that it is putting the finishing touches on a series of environmental policy changes intended to reward Corporate America for their loyalty by relaxing numerous critical environmental restrictions that Bush loyalists have identified as standing in the way of their plundering what remains of our precious natural resources.

The so-called “midnight regulations,” named for the way that they are enacted by an administration as it scurries out the door include: rolling back protections under the Endangered Species Act; allowing power plants to operate near national parks; loosening regulations for factory farm waste, and making it easier for mountaintop coal-mining operations to destroy mountains and pollute nearby lakes and streams.

What sucks about the new restrictions is that if the Bush administration passes them in a timely fashion – - and there is no indication that they will do otherwise – - it will be hard for President Obama to do anything about them without a major investment of time and political capitol.

Now you would think in light of the way things turned out on Election Day that George Bush would be too concerned about his own potential for criminal prosecution on a wide range of issues to fuck with the American people any further.

But this is not the case. Perhaps this is a suicidal wish? Or maybe the son of a bitch has such total disregard for the American people that he just doesn’t give a damn and by these actions is challenging the American people to go after his ass?

Either way the bad news is that we have not yet seen the end of George Bush.

Now if only I could blink my eyes and it be the afternoon of January 20th, 2009.

- Denis

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COMMENTARY: GEORGE BUSH’S ENVIRONMENTAL LEGACY

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Eco Thugs, Government Shenanigans, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors on August 8th, 2008

CAN AMERICA AND THE WORLD WITHSTAND FOUR MORE YEARS?

oil_well1.jpgAs election time rolls around again, it is important to pause for a moment and savor George Bush and the Republican Party’s environmental legacy.

The question then becomes, can America and the world stand another four years of…

ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION

CONTINUED PETROLEUM DEPENDENCE

CLIMATE CHANGE

GEOPOLITICAL INSTABILITY

Please consider the above when making your decision for president this fall.

-Denis

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NEWS WATCH! CHENEY REPORTEDLY TAKES KNIFE TO CLIMATE TESTIMONY

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Polluters, Corruption Watch, Eco Thugs, Government Shenanigans on July 8th, 2008

ALLEGEDLY SHREDS THE SECTION LINKING CLIMATE CHANGE AND PUBLIC HEALTH

cheneycowboyhat.jpgEver the oilman, Vice President Dick Cheney stands accused, today, of pushing for major deletions in congressional testimony linking the health of the general public to climate change. Per a former EPA official quoted by the Associated Press in their posting on the matter, earlier today, the ‘Dark Lord’ was concerned that the presentation of the data “might make it harder to avoid regulating greenhouse gases”.

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COMMENTARY: WHEN PROTECTED IS LITTLE MORE THAN A WORD

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Eco Thugs, Endangered Species, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors on June 18th, 2008

BUSH ADMINISTRATION DECLARES WAR ON POLAR BEARS. PERMITS OIL COMPANIES TO “ANNOY AND POTENTIALLY HARM” THE NEWLY PROTECTED SPECIES WHILE DRILLING FOR OIL AND GAS

polar_bear_2004-11-15.jpgQUESTION: When is it ok to kill or maim a protected species?

ANSWER: When species interferes with GEORGE BUSH’s friends making money.

Regular readers of libsearthwatch.com will probably remember that it was just about this time last month that the Bush administration, after years of foot dragging, caved to the will of the people – and the threat of numerous well funded lawsuits – and granted protected status under the Endangered Species Act to the Alaskan Polar Bear.

While I praised the administration at the time for their courageous action, regardless of motive, I maintained that I intended to retain a healthy skepticism that this would be different from previous Bush environmental initiatives (Think: the Clear Sky and Clean Water Initiatives) and not weighed down with paragraph after paragraph of loopholes and concessions to Big Oil and other corporate polluters.

In ending that posting, I quoted Natural Resources Defense Council President, Frances Beinecke’s statement that it would “be years and a number of successful court battles before the legislation offered any real protection” to the polar bear.

Sad to say, both Ms. Beinecke and your humble scribe called this one accurately. Now I can’t speak for Ms. Beinecke on the matter, but I was not at all surprised with the recent Fish and Wildlife Service announcement that the Bush administration has given the go ahead to oil and gas exploration companies to “annoy and potentially harm” the newly protected species as they pursue oil and natural gas deposits in and around the bear’s Alaskan Wilderness habitat. This was, after all, the Bush administration we were talking about.

Needless to say, when the announcement broke, the proverbial shit hit the fan with the more extreme green’s among us claiming that the announcement was merely to pave the way for mass genocide against the offending creatures, whom, I might add, have called the wilderness area home for centuries and know nothing about oil exploration, or that, for their own safety, they needed to stay clear of it.

From their reaction, it is apparent that the administration did not expect such an outburst of support for the bears, probably figuring that with gas approaching five dollars a gallon, manufacturing sector unemployment at an all time high, and people struggling frantically to hold on to their homes, that they would not have time to notice the Fish and Wildlife Service announcement, let alone the mental stamina to raise hell over it.

Well my friends, once again the Bushies were wrong, as they are wrong about so much in America today. So the Shitpublicans did what they normally do whenever they miscalculate the will of the American people, they sent in the damage control wizards.

No way was this blanket immunity, the men and women who lie for a living told us. Moreover, it covered only a small number of polar bears and Pacific walruses that may be harmed or killed in the course of the companies doing business in the area. Trust us, they said; No way was this open season on polar bears. No way! Of course, with the Bush administrations history with telling the truth, the chance of that happening is not too likely.

But let’s talk specifics here. For instance: How do we know how many bears are killed and injured? Will the oil and gas exploration companies be required to maintain not only accurate records but also transparency in making them available? Then there is the little matter of whether the oil companies will be legally required to chase the animals away from areas where they may be at risk? Lastly, will the oil and gas companies accord the bears the sort of treatment one would expect to be afforded to a protected species, such as will injured bears receive proper medical help or just be left to die at the scene of the accident? Because after all, Polar Bears don’t vote, nor do they have the type of assets, which would make them a candidate for one of the Prez’s life affirming tax breaks. So, no cash, no vote: no access. Is it any wonder these critters are being screwed?

In summation, in the earlier posting I noticed that several environmental groups had already filed notice that they intended to sue the federal government for not imposing harsher regulations for oil development in the polar bear habitat.

While these people are well meaning and the litigation may some day make things better for the polar bear, the only problem is, legislation is a slow drawn-out process and the polar bears are in a race against time. The administration knows this, as they most certainly know that they will eventually loose. Bit is almost as if this maneuver was never intended to win, but merely to stall things long enough for the Prez and his enablers to award all the available leases in the area. Brendan Cummings, oceans program director for the Center for Biological Diversity says it best, “The only thing keeping pace with the drastic melting of the Arctic sea ice is the breakneck speed with which the Department of the Interior is rushing to sell off polar bear habitat for fossil fuel development.”

It is news like this that keeps me humming the words and melody of that prophetic 1960’s folk song immortalized by Barry McGuire during that long ago Summer of Love, “And you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.” Never were a song’s lyrics as true for today as this tale of environmental and political apocalypse. The only thing wrong was it’s timing.

-Denis

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NEWS WATCH: WHITE HOUSE PLEDGES TO VETO CONTESTED CLIMATE BILL

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Clean Energy, Global Warming, Health Watch on June 4th, 2008

PRESIDENT CLAIMS HE IS DOING SO FOR THE CHILDREN.

coalplant2.jpgThe fucking hubris of George W. Bush thinking that the you and I are so damn stupid that we will suspend our disbelief and accept, without any real question, anything he has to say, let alone on a topic as important as the climate bill.

Reality check time, my friends: George W. Bush does not give a damn for the electorate in this country, a fact that his job performance these past seven years makes irrefutably clear. Would a leader who cared have burdened future generations with as much debt as this administration has to finance a war that has succeeded in little other than to smooth the way for his and sidekick, Dick Cheney’s, oil buddies to tie up Iraq’s oil reserves?

Could a caring man have sat back and done nothing to help restore New Orleans, one of our greatest cities, recover from the devastation wreaked on it by Hurricane Katrina; devastation that it’s important to add, could have been avoided had Mr. Bush heeded the warnings of the Army Corps of Engineers and retro -fitted the levies when it was first proposed.

I could go on and on recounting the sins of the Bush Bunch, but to be honest, what good would that do? Either you know these things or you don’t. If you don’t, it is doubtful that anything I could say here will change that fact. Moreover, if this is new information to you, chances are your problems are far worse than anything that the “decider” and his creepy band of loyalists could or would have done to you.

In summation, let’s just say, I am tired of elected officials who lie. Saying that you cannot sign a climate bill because it is an “unfair burden on future generations” is a lie. OUR ADVICE, SHOW SOME BALLS MR. BUSH! TELL THE NATION THE TRUTH, THAT YOU WILL NOT SIGN THE CLIMATE BILL BECAUSE THE PEOPLE IN THE MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS WHO PULL YOUR STRINGS WILL NOT ALLOW IT. This type of candor I could respect. Chances are, I would still hate everything that you stand for, but I would respect you and at least listen seriously to what you had to say.

It is situations like the above, which make me so glad that Barrack Obama is our party’s nominee for President. Imagine the concept, a president who stares you in the eye and tells you the truth. There may be hope for this crazy planet, yet?

Kudos also to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which earlier today announced that it was coming in line with the policies of it’s candidate and rejecting financial contributions from lobbyists.

-Denis

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HEALTH WATCH! ASTHMA AND OTHER BREATHING DISORDERS PLAGUE KATRINA SURVIVORS

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Polluters, Corporate Responsibility, Eco Thugs, Government Shenanigans, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Living, Toxin Alert! on May 27th, 2008

FORMALDEHYDE FUMES IN LEVELS UP TO FIVE TIMES ABOVE THAT WHICH IS CONSIDERED SAFE FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, DETECTED IN MANY OF THE 143,000 FEMA TRAILERS SENT TO THE GULF COAST
fematrailer.jpgAs if the trauma, indignity and economic hard times that the residents of New Orleans have suffered since Hurricane Katrina was not sufficient aggravation for one lifetime, many area residents are now being diagnosed with cases of asthma and other breathing disorders, at numbers and levels higher than what is considered normal for the area.

According to an AP wire story published earlier today, formaldehyde fumes, many times at levels up to five times above what is considered safe for humans to breathe, have, as early as 2006, been found to be present in many of the 143,000 trailers sent to the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. But for some reason, this news is only now being shared with those affected.

This is particularly upsetting because it is just the latest example of what can happen to innocent people when the government to whom they turn for aid in emergencies such as this – and who is supposed to be looking our for their well-being – doesn’t care enough to inspect the trailers before declaring them safe for habitation

But then, much of the devastation present in New Orleans and the surrounding areas could have been avoided if only the Bush administration had heeded the warnings of the Army Corps of Engineers and fortified New Orleans’s levees when the need first became apparent.

But then, this is the Bush administration we are talking about and the money that should have been used to protect the citizens of New Orleans apparently was needed elsewhere, perhaps to finance tax breaks for the wealthy or maybe it was to continue Mr. Bush’s ridiculous little war.

But this is just my opinion, What do you think? Please share in the comments section.

-LIB

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NEWS WATCH! BUSH VETO’S FARM BILL

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, News Brief on May 21st, 2008

PASSED EARLIER THIS MONTH WITH VETO-PROOF MAJORITIES, THE BILL INCLUDES INCREASED SUBSIDIES FOR FARMERS AND FOOD STAMPS FOR THE POOR

farmers_mkt_02_o_large.jpgPresident Bush exercised his veto pen, again today, when he rejected Congress’s $300 billion farm bill, calling it bloated and a “tax increase on regular Americans at a time of high food prices.”

Thankfully, this latest veto is almost certain to be overturned by Congress who, when the bill was initially submitted to them, passed it with veto proof majorities.

The bill includes increased subsidies for farmers and food stamps for the poor.

Read More about this…

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BUSH ADMIN BUCKLES AND GRANTS PROTECTED SPECIES STATUS TO THE ALASKAN POLAR BEAR

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Polluters, Corruption Watch, Eco Thugs, Endangered Species, Government Shenanigans, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors on May 20th, 2008

BUT DID THE RULING COME IN TIME TO SAVE THE POLAR BEAR?

polarbearice_djc.jpgWell, the good news, if you can call it that, is that the polar bear got finally some protection from the Bush Administration last week. The bad news is that in typical George Bush fashion, the ruling granting endangered species protection to the polar bear is chocked so full of loopholes favoring the oil companies and other corporate polluters that many, including Natural Resources Defense Council President, Frances Beinecke, believe that it will be years and a number of successful court battles before the legislation “offers any real protections”.

Sadly this should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the workings of the Bush administration, particularly when it comes to protecting the environment. Specifically speaking, one can only wonder if the polar bears, already living on borrowed time, will even be around by the time the Bush Administration’s ruling works its way through our court system, and is challenged by every two-bit polluter and oil company despot who ever bribed a congressman, or funneled undeclared money to a lobbyist?

The facts in this matter are indisputable; as I write this, the polar bears natural habitat is melting out from underneath them far more rapidly than even the most aggressive predictions had foreseen. Now I might be paranoid in making this observation, but as I see it, the only reason that the Bush administration finally went ahead and granted endangered species protection to the polar bears, after years of stonewalling, was because they knew that by the time that the ruling had withstood all challenges, Global Warming would have destroyed most of the Polar bears remaining habitat and the matter would become moot. Either way, with less than a year remaining on George Bush’s term, this matter would be someone else’s problem.

As angry as this sort of political gamesmanship makes me, I have to keep reminding myself that we are talking about a species of animal here, and in the Bush administration and corporate America’s worldview – an all too prevalent worldview in America today – the plight of animals means little when weighed against the potential for profit.

It is no secret that the oil companies have been maneuvering for some time now to get the right to drill in the Alaskan Wilderness preserve. Millions of dollars have been spent to sell this to the American people as the only viable way to end our nation’s dependence on middle eastern oil, and by extension the problems that come along with doing business in that region

The only problem with this contention is that it is not true. Granted it sounds plausible and to a nation of people concerned for their and their family’s future, sounding plausible is often all that it takes.

For the record, the only way to break our dependence on foreign oil is for this country to get behind cleaner, more modern power technologies such as wind, solar, hydrogen and cellulosic ethanol. Corn based ethanol, the standard in this country, is a fine example of what happens when corporations are allowed to dictate policy to politicians. Not only has this movement created worldwide food shortages, but the little publicized fact is that it takes more than a gallon of fossil fuels to make a gallon of corn based ethanol. More importantly, a gallon of corn based ethanol is only about 70% as effective as a gallon of the fossil fuels that it aims to replace.

So who benefits from this exercise, other than the corporations making the ethanol and receiving generous federal subsidies to do so? Certainly not you and me, that’s for sure! But this is a matter for another posting, so we won’t dwell on it here.

Returning to the protected species ruling, the oil companies’ official position is that it will prevent them from drilling in much of the wilderness. They further note that the ruling will force the establishment of buffer zones to protect nursing mother bears and their cubs from the deafening seismic testing, frequent spills, and other distractions so much a part of modern energy exploration.

Now in a better world, this ruling would be a catalyst for change, a reason to begin aggressively developing new sources of energy. But not here! Here it is just a cause for law suits pitting well heeled hired guns against an already overworked and underpaid infrastructure, bled to the bone by a president concerned for little other than that which benefits his rich friends. Sharing the blame for this is a corporate structure that would rather exploit existing technologies regardless of their potential harm to mankind then to spend the money required to make any of the newer technologies commercially viable.

To change this will take leadership the likes of which this country has not seen in seventy years, not since the days of Franklyn Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal. To change this will take great courage, courage of the sort exemplified by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and the previously noted FDR, but which we have not seen lately in this country.

One thing is certain, we cannot continue for much longer on the path on which we are heading, not and retain the essence of what is great about this country.

So my friends, it is up to each and every one of us to make this happen. The alternative is just too horrible to consider.

-LIB

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NEWS WATCH! BUSH EASES CLEAN-AIR PROTECTIONS FOR NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDERNESS AREAS

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Polluters, Eco Thugs, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, Health Watch, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors, Toxin Alert! on May 17th, 2008

THIS LATEST GIFT TO POLLUTERS WILL MAKE IT EASIER TO BUILD POLLUTING POWER PLANTS NEAR PROTECTED AREAS

coalfiredpowerplant.jpgThe administration’s war against clean air and water scored another victory today with the announcement that Corporate America’s man in the White House is putting the finishing touches on a plan, which would make it easier to build power plants near national parks and wilderness areas.

The new regulations, expected to be finalized this summer, rewrite a key provision of the Clean Air Act as it applies to “Class 1 areas,”, Beltway shorthand for these precious natural resources.

This initiative is the latest in a series of administration efforts to weaken air quality protections at national parks.

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NEWS WATCH! BUSHIES TAILOR SCIENCE TO POLICY

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Eco Thugs, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, Health Watch, News Brief, Public Service Announcement, Toxic Living on April 24th, 2008

NEARLY 900 EPA SCIENTISTS REPORT EXPERIENCING “SIGNIFICANT ADMINISTRATION MANIPULATION” OF THEIR FINDINGS

bush_dunce2.jpgNearly 900 of our nation’s best and brightest scientists and climatologists working for the Environmental Protection Agency have reported experiencing firsthand meddling by Bush administration political operatives as the Bush flunkies fought to make the scientist’s findings fit administration policy.

This is according to a report issued earlier today by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit environmental organization.

While this latest data is not particularly surprising, the sad thing is that these findings are in keeping with what was found in other government agencies.

Per the report, nearly 900 of the aforementioned scientists claim to have “personally experienced at least one instance of political interference in the last five years”, while 394 scientists reported experiencing “frequent or occasional statements by EPA officials that misrepresent scientists’ findings.”

But the bad news does not end there. An additional fifth, or 285, reported “selective or incomplete use of their data to justify a ‘specific regulatory outcome’”.

As might be expected, an EPA spokesman, Jonathan Shradar, denied all allegations.

-LIB

READ MORE…

Union of Concerned Scientists Web Site

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