Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Reducing the size of government, Part II

Recently I pointed out the not so subtle ways W and his capos have controlled government. Among the "best of" or 'greatest hits" have been how religious and Victorian era social standards were used at the F.D.A. when top officials there "decided to reject an application to allow over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill [called Plan B] months before a government scientific review of the application was completed." The decision was described as "very, very rare" and "unprecedented" since the decision ignored the recommendation "of an independent advisory committee as well as the agency's own scientific review staff." "From 1994 to 2004, F.D.A. advisory committees reviewed 23 applications to switch drugs from prescription to over-the-counter status. Plan B was the only one of those 23 in which the agency went against the committee's advice."

Then there was this story that "[a] team of Justice Department lawyers and analysts who reviewed a Georgia voter-identification law recommended rejecting it because it was likely to discriminate against black voters, but they were overruled the next day by higher-ranking officials at Justice, according to department documents."

Then the story that "Justice Department lawyers concluded that the landmark Texas congressional redistricting plan spearheaded by Rep. Tom DeLay (R) violated the Voting Rights Act, according to a previously undisclosed memo obtained by The Washington Post. But senior officials overruled them and approved the plan."

Hmmmmm. Any theme here? How about career staff or independent panel recommendations overruled by senior Bush Administration officials. While election tampering by the "legal" manipulation of re-districting, between a census, or requiring a voter ID card that some won't get or can't afford is as the New York Times says is fixing the game, the Plan B rejecting is just as despicable.

And in the first tremors after the initial NSA domestic spying earthquake story it appears the secrecy and law evading were done because many in the administration were uncomfortable or clueless about spying on Americans without a warrant. Time magazines reports, "the 'lawyers' group,' an organization of fewer than half a dozen government attorneys the National Security Council convenes to review top-secret intelligence programs, was bypassed. Instead, the legal vetting was given to Alberto Gonzales, then White House counsel." How convenient. And then the New York Times describes a Tom Clancy-like series of events when in early 2004, Attorney General John Ashcroft's top deputy, James B. Comey, who was acting as attorney general in his absence, had indicated he was unwilling to give his approval to certifying central aspects of the NSA domestic spying on Americans without a warrant program, as required under the White House procedures set up to oversee it. With Mr. Comey unwilling to sign off on the program, the White House dispatched Chief of Staff Andrew Card and Alberto R. Gonzales, then White House counsel and now attorney general - to make an emergency visit to a Washington hospital in March 2004 to get the needed approval from Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was hospitalized for gallbladder surgery. Mr. Ashcroft was in the intensive care unit at George Washington University Hospital with pancreatitis and was housed under unusually tight security. Ashcroft was said to be reluctant to sign off on antoher 45 days of spying. He may have even refused. Since everything else is secret in this story who approved what when is also secret.

So basically you have a couple of guys running and ruining the entire country. First it was "give me liberty or give me death!" now its "take my liberties to prevent my death!" The rule of law is going, going, gone. Its now a nation of men. A nation of very few, very powerful, very corrupt, very incompetent, very secretive, very rich, very religious, and very crafty, crooked, deceitful, devious, dishonorable, double-dealing, duplicitous, errant, evasive, guileful, insidious, insincere, obliquitous, scheming, shady, shifty, shrewd, sly, sneaky, treacherous, tricky, underhanded, wily very devious men. Machiavelli would be proud. Patrick Henry would not be. Personally I get sick to my stomach reading about them.


Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

It really gets more and more sickening each day.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

When they tell you who they are, believe them. And by the way, these are only the stories we know about. Can you imagine how bad the unknown ones probably are?

10:29 PM  
Blogger Reign of Reason said...

Sick to your stomach is an understatement.

This bunch of cronies doesn't even understand what it means to live in a free, democratic society.

12:24 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Three in the morning? You post at three in the morning?

No wonder you're cranky!

9:08 AM  
Blogger phinky said...

This administration is keeping you up at night, isn't it? I think nausea is the least of your problems. You need something for insomnia.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Trey said...

Sad. That's how I feel. I'm a veteran. These are the people I'm supposed to feel loyalty to? When is it going to stop?

8:36 AM  
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