Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Washington Burning: The Fire This Time

Much of the nation’s attention was on the wildfires around Lake Tahoe on Monday, but there was an even bigger conflagration in Washington as Americans continue to reap the whirlwind of six-plus years of Bush administration extremism.

A Supreme Court packed with Bush-appointed right-winger zealots and doctrinaire conservatives handed down four decisions.
One favored developers over endangered species. One gutted a key provision of campaign finance reform. One was a slap in the face of Americans concerned about their tax dollars going to faith-based charities. And in a real humdinger, one significantly limited Constitutionally-guaranteed free speech rights.
* Up on Capitol Hill, former EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman lied through her sparkling ivories as she told a House subcommittee that she did not mislead Ground Zero rescue and clean-up workers when she asserted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks that the air was safe to breath and the water safe to drink.
And if there was any misleading, she disingenuously added, it was because the experts had given her bad information. Wink wink. Nod nod.
* Over in the Senate, one of President Bush’s staunchest supporters became the latest Republican to acknowledge the obvious: The Iraq war is a disaster and it is time to bring the troops home. Said Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, the ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
"Our course in Iraq has lost contact with our vital national security interests in the Middle East and beyond. Our continuing absorption with military activities in Iraq is limiting our diplomatic assertiveness there and elsewhere in the world."
* Down Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House, administration mouthpieces continued to defend Vice President Cheney’s bizarre view that he is his own planet and can orbit the presidential sun in any damned way he wants when he wants.
I don't know which is more frightening: The prospect of surviving the remaining 18 months of the Bush presidency or the spectre of a man who is an irregular heartbeat from the presidency taking over should anything happen to the president.

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