Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, May 06, 2003  

Leave for a week and you have a pile of work. Which interferes with one's blogging. So, lacking time to reflect thoughtfully on issues (I had wanted to discuss this train wreck of the Democratic candidates), I offer mere news, culled from a single source (the New York Times), a nugget here and a nugget there. Democrats will have to wait...

From the Raping the Environment Division:

"The Environmental Protection Agency has been privately negotiating with large industrial livestock farms to offer them amnesty from the Clean Air Act and existing Superfund laws, people involved in the talks say.

"Instead of enforcing these environmental laws, the agency would monitor pollution levels at 30 or so large hog and chicken operations, under a plan circulated between agency officials and the industry."

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From the Raping the Worker Division:

"A bill pending in the House of Representatives would allow businesses with union workers to reduce their company pension obligations by billions of dollars, because statistics show that most blue-collar workers do not live as long as other Americans.

"The provision, which has gone largely unnoticed in a broad pension bill, is being supported by the United Auto Workers and manufacturing companies whose pension funds now have assets far short of what they are projected to need under previous assumptions about worker longevity.

"The measure would allow companies to assume that their blue-collar workers will on average die sooner than pension plans now assume they will. So companies, not having to plan to pay future blue-collar pensions as long as they now do, would not be required to put aside as much pension money as government regulations now require them to do."
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From the Presidential Mendacity Division:

"When I raised the Mystery of the Missing W.M.D. recently, hawks fired barrages of reproachful e-mail at me. The gist was: 'You *&#*! Who cares if we never find weapons of mass destruction, because we've liberated the Iraqi people from a murderous tyrant.'

"But it does matter, enormously, for American credibility. After all, as Ari Fleischer said on April 10 about W.M.D.: 'That is what this war was about.'

"I rejoice in the newfound freedoms in Iraq. But there are indications that the U.S. government souped up intelligence, leaned on spooks to change their conclusions and concealed contrary information to deceive people at home and around the world.

"Let's fervently hope that tomorrow we find an Iraqi superdome filled with 500 tons of mustard gas and nerve gas, 25,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 29,984 prohibited munitions capable of delivering chemical agents, several dozen Scud missiles, gas centrifuges to enrich uranium, 18 mobile biological warfare factories, long-range unmanned aerial vehicles to dispense anthrax, and proof of close ties with Al Qaeda. Those are the things that President Bush or his aides suggested Iraq might have, and I don't want to believe that top administration officials tried to win support for the war with a campaign of wholesale deceit."
--Nicholas Kristoff, today

From the Emperor-Has-no-Clothes Division:

"Mind you, it was funny. At first the White House claimed the dramatic tail-hook landing was necessary because the carrier was too far out to use a helicopter. In fact, the ship was so close to shore that, according to The Associated Press, administration officials 'acknowledged positioning the massive ship to provide the best TV angle for Bush's speech, with the sea as his background instead of the San Diego coastline.'

"A U.S.-based British journalist told me that he and his colleagues had laughed through the whole scene. If Tony Blair had tried such a stunt, he said, the press would have demanded to know how many hospital beds could have been provided for the cost of the jet fuel.

"But U.S. television coverage ranged from respectful to gushing. Nobody pointed out that Mr. Bush was breaking an important tradition. And nobody seemed bothered that Mr. Bush, who appears to have skipped more than a year of the National Guard service that kept him out of Vietnam, is now emphasizing his flying experience. (Spare me the hate mail. An exhaustive study by The Boston Globe found no evidence that Mr. Bush fulfilled any of his duties during that missing year. And since Mr. Bush has chosen to play up his National Guard career, this can't be shrugged off as old news.)"
--Paul Krugman, today

posted by Jeff | 1:29 PM |
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