Democrat From Kentucky

Democrat from Kentucky
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Bush &Co.: Dirtiest Players In The Game Friday, October 14, 2005

Some things DailyKos put together and my pal Cynicus brought to my attention.

David Sirota writes about a story broken in Manufacturing & Technology News:

Manufacturing & Technology News, a well-respected trade publication, has just released an exclusive story about how the Bush administration buried a report on outsourcing before the 2004 election despite congressional legislation demanding it well before then. Worse, now that the government has been forced to release the report, Manufacturing & Technology News also found that the report's analysis by expert analysts was doctored by Bush political appointees in the Commerce Department. [...]

[A]fter the election, an undoctored draft of the report by the government's technical experts "went into a vetting process among political appointees at the Commerce Department and White House" and the original report "never resurfaced." Instead, what did finally resurface was a "12-page version" that "focuses on the allegedly positive impacts for the U.S. economy of the offshore outsourcing." Instead of original data, the report "quotes research conducted by organizations and individuals that have been funded by corporations that benefit from shifting jobs overseas."

WaPo, via AMERICAblog

The Environmental Protection Agency issued draft regulations yesterday that would ease long-standing pollution controls on older, dirtier power plants by judging these plants by the hourly rate of emissions rather than the total annual output. [...]

But environmentalists and some of EPA's own lawyers said the move will undermine one of the agency's most effective means of forcing aging utilities to install new anti-pollution technology when they expand or modernize. Under the current law, a plant must put in new controls if a modification increases its annual emissions; the new rules would require such controls only if the hourly emissions increase. Under the new scenario, a plant could legally emit more pollution if it operated for longer hours. [...]

Some officials fear the rule change will undermine at least a dozen lawsuits against 50 utilities that are still in court.

But this from PEER is the most troubling, from diarist Maccabee, yesterday. It bears repeating:

Washington, DC -- The National Park Service has started using a political loyalty test for picking all its top civil service positions, according to an agency directive released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Under the new order, all mid-level managers and above must also be approved by a Bush administration political appointee.

The October 11, 2005 order issued by NPS Director Fran Mainella requires that the selection criteria for all civil service management slots (Government Service grades or GS-13, 14 and 15) include the "ability to lead employees in achieving the ... Secretary's 4Cs and the President's Management Agenda." In addition, candidates must be screened by Park Service headquarters and "the Assistant Secretary [of Interior] for Fish, and Wildlife, and Parks," the number three political appointee in the agency. [...]

The President's Management Agenda includes controversial policies and proposals such as aggressive use of outsourcing to replace civil servants, reliance on "faith-based initiatives" and rollbacks of civil service rights. [...]

"Presidents come and go but the civil service is designed to serve whoever occupies the swivel chair in the Oval Office," Ruch added. "It is downright creepy that now every museum curator, supervising scientist and chief ranger must be okayed by a high-level political appointee."

My pal Cynicus suggests it's always worse than he thinks. The cynical side of me tells me both sides do it but this seems a but much. It's not so difficult to see the problems in Kentucky's own administration when Washington Republicans behave in much the same manner. Reports like this surface constantly. It is time for Democrats to fight back because while I think the Democrats have done it some, they, at the very least don't do as much or as brazenly. I think the brazeness of it all is perhaps the most maddening.

posted by Stithmeister @ 7:44 PM

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Location: Harrodsburg, Kentucky, United States

I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.

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