Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kick the gas can over

Your soundtrack for this is on the right. It's James McMurtry's "Cheney's Toy," about a man who brings about great disaster and destruction, tries to shred everything about this Nation that's been good for humanity... and it won't be over in January.

This lame duck is not going to go out gracefully. He's setting up bureaucratic land mines and fast-tracking them -- lots of these changes might even go unnoticed until they are discovered down the line and will need to be dismantled and/or repaired. Anti-science, anti-healthcare, pro-religion, pro-corporate, and generally fascistic policies are getting sneaked by while the list of American terror suspects gets longer.
Evolution Major Vanishes From Approved Federal List
[...] Evolutionary biology has vanished from the list of acceptable fields of study for recipients of a federal education grant for low-income college students.

The omission is inadvertent, said Katherine McLane, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education, which administers the grants. “There is no explanation for it being left off the list,” Ms. McLane said. “It has always been an eligible major.”

Another spokeswoman, Samara Yudof, said evolutionary biology would be restored to the list, but as of last night it was still missing.

If a major is not on the list, students in that major cannot get grants unless they declare another major, said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. Mr. Nassirian said students seeking the grants went first to their college registrar, who determined whether they were full-time students majoring in an eligible field.

“If a field is missing, that student would not even get into the process,” he said.[...]

U.S. Rushes to Change Workplace Toxin Rules
Political appointees at the Department of Labor are moving with unusual speed to push through in the final months of the Bush administration a rule making it tougher to regulate workers' on-the-job exposure to chemicals and toxins.

[...] Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, said: "The fact that the Department of Labor seems to be engaged in secret rulemaking makes me highly suspicious that some high-level political appointees are up to no good. This Congress will not stand for the gutting of health and safety protections as the Bush administration heads out the door."

[...] "This is flat-out secrecy," said Peg Seminario, director of health and safety policy at the AFL-CIO. "They are trying to essentially change the job safety and health laws and reduce required workplace protections through a midnight regulation."

[...] David Michaels, an epidemiologist and workplace safety professor at George Washington University's School of Public Health, said the rule would add another barrier to creating safety standards, in the name of improving them.

"This is a guarantee to keep any more worker safety regulation from ever coming out of OSHA," Michaels said. "This is being done in secrecy, to be sprung before President Bush leaves office, to cripple the next administration."

A Government Threat to Birth Control
The legislation, a draft of which was leaked last week to the New York Times, stokes the debate over when human life begins by taking the position that birth control that prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg actually results in abortion. It would prohibit federally funded medical facilities—including teaching hospitals and Planned Parenthood clinics—from refusing to hire doctors who don't want to dispense birth control pills and other types of contraception that may cause the expulsion of a fertilized egg. (It's already illegal to discriminate against doctors who refuse to perform abortions.) The new laws would also override state laws that require hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape victims and those that require employers to provide contraceptives along with other prescriptions.

Then there's the war on Iran, the one that isn't quite started yet. If we attack Iran before Bush leaves office, it will please McCain and make one more hell for Obama to have to deal with - so it's win-win for Bush and his neocons.

"light a match, get back and watch that sucker burn"


Mariamariacuchita said...

This is a really important post.

And these are just the mines we know about. Slick work on the evolutionary biology study, birth control has been an agenda item for a long time, but workplace toxins?? How many people will be sick before they realize it so the company can save money? These are all disgustingly familiar and so so wrong.

Ghost Dansing said...

Republicans are very sneaky people..... they know they could never win if they told everybody what they were really up to!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Oh how I hate them.