King George's latest decree

January 30, 2007 by barbara

by barbara

Dammit, he's at it again. George W. Bush has found one more way to disregard checks and balances and drive another stake into the heart of democracy. Hyperbole? Read on and you tell me.

The New York Times tells us today that Bush "signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy.

"In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president's priorities."

A White House gatekeeper in each agency. Oh. My. Dog.
Would it surprise you to know that, generally speaking, business supports the directive, since it may help them bypass federal regulating? And that businesses also tend to give Bush big bucks to protect them? I thought not.

What follows is my personally cherry-picked text out of the NY Times piece. I'm leaving out much of what Big Bidness has to say. They always have a venue for being heard. The people do not.

Consumer, labor and environmental groups denounced the executive order, saying it gave too much control to the White House and would hinder agencies' efforts to protect the public.

Pay close attention. This administration is not now, nor has it ever been, about protecting the public. It is about feathering their own fouled nest and looking out for cronies and toadies. Common folks and liberals need not apply.

Peter L. Strauss, a professor at Columbia Law School, said the executive order "achieves a major increase in White House control over domestic government."

"Having lost control of Congress," Mr. Strauss said, "the president is doing what he can to increase his control of the executive branch."

Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said: "The executive order allows the political staff at the White House to dictate decisions on health and safety issues, even if the government's own impartial experts disagree. This is a terrible way to govern, but great news for special interests." [ . . . ]

Wesley P. Warren, program director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, who worked at the White House for seven years under President Bill Clinton, said, "The executive order is a backdoor attempt to prevent E.P.A. from being able to enforce environmental safeguards that keep cancer-causing chemicals and other pollutants out of the air and water." [ . . . ]

The executive order was issued as White House aides were preparing for a battle over the nomination of Susan E. Dudley to be administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget.

President Bush first nominated Ms. Dudley last August. The nomination died in the Senate, under a barrage of criticism from environmental and consumer groups, which said she had been hostile to government regulation. Mr. Bush nominated her again on Jan. 9.

With Democrats in control, the Senate appears unlikely to confirm Ms. Dudley. But under the Constitution, the president could appoint her while the Senate is in recess, allowing her to serve through next year.

Somewhere today, I saw a rant by someone howling that Democrats just don't give Bush a chance. That before he even opens his mouth (or unsheathes his terrible, swift pen under cover of darkness), we are already positioned to disbelieve.

Hunh! Can you say "cause and effect," sweetie? Conditioned response? Most of George's blather over the past six years has been either blatant lies or decorator truths. George W. Bush has taken the trust of the American people and stomped that sucker flat. Day by day, he end-runs Congress, and, with a little help from his friends, steals our rights and races off to wherever it is he and Cheney go to cackle maniacally about having pulled off another heist.

These are dangerous times and, as the bumper sticker proclaims, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention!"

"I would suggest respectfully to the president that he is not the sole decider. The decider is a shared and joint responsibility."
~ Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) on the war powers of Congress

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