Ever since the November election, the mainstream media has tended to focus its one-tracked mind on presidential-elect Barack Obama--second guessing his every move, and wondering why he hasn’t already ended the war in Iraq, made peace in the Mid-East and fixed the economy. One MSNBC commentator (referring to Obama’s reaction to some international crisis) actually said, “This could be the defining moment of the Obama presidency”.
NEWS FLASH!!!---Barack Obama is not the president. I know many Americans and most of the rest of the world wishes he was, but he is not. George W. Bush is still President, and his administration is working overtime to do as much damage as possible before they leave.
· “George Bush is behaving like a furious defaulter whose home is about to be repossessed. Smashing the porcelain, ripping the doors off their hinges, he is determined that there will be nothing worth owning by the time the bastards kick him out.”--George Monbiot, The Guardian, 11/25/08
In its waning days, the Bush Administration has enacted or is working to implement rules and regulations that will...
· ...allow states to charge premiums and higher co-payments for medical care and prescription drugs provided to low-income people under Medicaid. (The New York Times, 11/27/08)
· ...change the Family and Medical Leave Act to “make it more difficult for employees to use paid vacation or personal days when they take leave for medical or family emergencies.” (The Wall Street Journal, 11/20/08)
· ...allow authorities to spy on organizations and individuals that exhibit “suspicious” behavior--even if there is no suspicion of criminal activities. This would be things like protesting a war or disagreeing with the president.
· ... reverse the FDA recommendation that women of childbearing years, pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants and children restrict their consumption of fish because of widespread mercury contamination. The new recommendation is that they eat more fish, in spite of the mercury contamination.
· ... set a “safe” level of consumption for melamine (the chemical that has poisoned cats and dogs in American and thousands of babies in China)--even though there has been no scientific testing done to determine what a “safe” level of consumption might be--if there is one.
· ...claim there is no need to rid drinking water of perchlorate, a toxic rocket fuel ingredient found in at least 395 sites in 35 states at levels some scientists say could interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental health risks, particularly for babies and fetuses.
· ...allow medical facilities, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, janitors and maintenance personnel who work in healthcare facilities to refuse to provide any services or procedures they find morally objectionable. This may include abortion, artificial insemination, birth control, touching members of the opposite sex, shunning menstruating women; touching untouchables; and if your pharmacist happens to be a Christian Scientist--too bad--no medicine for you.
· ...allow truckers to drive 11 consecutive hours and work up to 14 hours each day. (OMB Watch, 11/18/08) This is nearly identical to rules struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last year.
· ...“make it harder to regulate toxic substances and hazardous chemicals to which workers are exposed on the job.”--New York Times, 11/30/08
· ... withdraw a EPA regulation that mandated that truck manufacturers install pollution monitoring equipment on new vehicles.
· ... accelerate judicial review for death sentences--thus speeding up executions and making errors more likely--even though DNA evidence has proved we are often wrong.