October 14, 2005

Smorgasbord of Sleaze, Part 19

While this really isn't Part 19 (I think I have done only a handful of these Smorgasbords of Sleaze pieces), it seems like 19. It could be Part 457 if I had been paying attention, if I had written one every time I had a small list of sleazy actions by Bush and his cronies. In any event, here's another list of the sleaze that emanates from this crowd on a regular basis. If you don't want to read through all of it, here is a concise summary:

We have President Bush putting on a dog and pony show using American soldiers as props for his dirty war, in the midst of record Iraqi civilian deaths which never get mentioned, while he proposes vetoing a bill to pay those soldiers because it contains a stricture on torture that really irritates him because it would prevent him from torturing more detainees, all while his administration seeks to limit environmental protection laws on coal-burning power plants so more Americans can die of lung cancer, concurrent with minions in his government emailing New York's aristocracy to warn them of a possible terror attack, and while Bush's corporate executive buddies seek to enrich themselves while stealing from the workers. That all sounds like the Bush world we know, doesn't it?


There is now an investigation underway to determine who in the government sent emails to wealthy fat cats in New York City in advance of the terror alert warning that turned out, in the end, to be merely a puffed up diversion for Bush. Nevertheless, the fact that rich individuals received advance warning of the terror threat is reprehensible.


In an Orwellian setting if there ever was one, President Bush teleconferenced with soldiers in Iraq, talking with them about a highly controlled, limited list of subjects, all orchestrated by Defense Department and White House propaganda hacks.


Molly Ivins writes about Bush's reaction to the Senate's legislating against him on the issue of torture. Bush has not used his veto power even once since coming to power, but he now threatens its use on a bill that contains a provision which had 90% support from Republicans and Democrats alike. The outrage is that it is a bill which authorizes payment to our soldiers. Here's how Molly describes it:

"Think about it: Five years of stupefying pork, ideological nonsense, dumb administrative ideas, fiscal idiocy, misbegotten energy programs -- and the first thing the man vetoes is a bill to pay our soldiers because it carries an amendment saying, once again, that this country does not torture prisoners."

How much proof do we need that this President cares about one thing, and one thing only -- getting his way, period?


The dead in Iraq (not American) continues to mount, but it might as well be a secret for all the US news media cares about it. Here's a piece from The Independent (UK) by Robert Fisk, describing his visit to the Baghdad morgue about just July's body count. He says:

"July was the bloodiest month in Baghdad's modern history - in all, 1,100 bodies were brought to the city's mortuary; executed for the most part, eviscerated, stabbed, bludgeoned, tortured to death. The figure is secret. We are not supposed to know that the Iraqi capital's death toll last month was only 700 short of the total American fatalities in Iraq since April of 2003. Of the dead, 963 were men - many with their hands bound, their eyes taped and bullets in their heads - and 137 women. The statistics are as shameful as they are horrifying. For these are the men and women we supposedly came to "liberate" - and about whose fate we do not care."


While Delphi Corporation, the nation's largest auto parts manufacturer settles into its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it has proposed, to the court, as part of its reorganization plan, doing two things:

1. cutting the wages and benefits of the average worker by as much as 50%;
2. giving the top 400 executives raises and bonuses for staying on with the company during the re-organization.

In light of the fact that the 400 executives are probably responsible for Delphi's failure, the court should actually force the Delphi reorganization plan to fire them, and replace them with competent managers. Instead, we have the opposite, the workers get shafted, and the executives get raises. Sleaze triumphs again.


The Bush administration has proposed loosening air quality controls yet again. Here's the lead sentence from Reuters (UK):

"The Bush administration on Thursday proposed changing environmental rules to give U.S. coal-fired power plants more leeway to expand aging facilities without installing expensive equipment to cut air pollution."


1 comment:

Hume's Ghost said...

Dammit. America must have one of the worst environmental presses in the world.

Good god, wouldn't the people be outraged if they realized that its quickly becoming the case its not safe to eat fish anymore? How many states now have advisories against eating tuna, swordfish, etc. How many more kids are being diagnosed with mercury poisoning now than there were 5 years ago. Wouldn't they be outraged if they realized their health wasn't as important as protecting the coal industries bottom line profit.

I can't even keep up with it all. I saw somewhere something saying that park service workers would now have to pass some sort of political allegiance test to get a promotion.

And everything else you mentioned is outrageous, too. Where is our nation's conscience?