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Gene C. Gerard has taught history, religion, and ethics for 14 years at several colleges in the Southwest and is a contributing author to the book "Home Front Heroes: Americans during Wartime," by Greenwood Press. He writes a political blog for the world news website OrbStandard at http://www.orbstandard.com/GGerard.
SHARE Friday, February 10, 2006 Bush Administration Ignored Coal Mine Safety Issues
In the last month 16 coal miners have died in West Virginia. Although the public has only recently become aware of problems with mine safety, the Bush administration has known for three years that there were significant safety issues.
SHARE Sunday, August 6, 2006 The Political Corruption of Science
Unions representing scientists at the EPA have complained that agency officials are ignoring science. This comes on the heels of a survey of FDA scientists which found that the agency is no longer protecting public safety. It's increasingly clear that the Bush administration is using politics to corrupt science.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 15, 2006 Subverting the Constitution by Supporting the Flag
The Senate will vote within the next two weeks on a constitutional amendment to ban desecrating the flag. If approved, the Senate will erode our Constitutional right to free speech and expression in the name of the flag.
SHARE Thursday, January 26, 2006 Tax Breaks for the Wealthy
Congress recently allowed two tax breaks that benefit the wealthy to become effective. Over the course of the next five years the tax cuts will cost approximately $27 billion. At the same time, Congress cut programs affecting the poor and the middle class by $39 billion.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, October 1, 2006 "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Endangers us All
Last month the Bush administration announced that Marine Corps Reservists are being recalled to duty, due to a shortage of soldiers. Yet the Armed Forces saw an 11 percent increase last year in the number of soldiers who were discharged simply because they were gay. Perhaps never since the inception of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has there been a more glaring reason to abandon this misguided military policy.
SHARE Thursday, December 28, 2006 Bush's Use of Pardons Isn't Very Compassionate
The White House recently announced that President Bush issued pardons to 16 individuals. To date he's issued 113 pardons and three commutations. That's less than any two-term president in the modern era. In fact, you have to go back to George Washington to find a president who served two-terms and made fewer acts of clemency. This doesn't seem very compassionate for a so-called "Compassionate Conservative."
SHARE Wednesday, November 30, 2005 Pharmacists Cant Say No to Contraception
There is an ongoing struggle between pharmacists who refuse to fill emergency contraception prescriptions and state governments who support or oppose these actions. But granting pharmacists the right to decline one medication opens the door to decline any drug due to religious convictions.
SHARE Monday, April 24, 2006 Iraq Can't be Compared to Post-World War II
In the past three years the Bush administration has vigorously made comparisons between reconstruction in Iraq and post-World War II Germany and Japan. But a new report by the Congressional Research Service has essentially demolished the administrations analogies.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 12, 2006 Failing Soldiers on the Home Front
It's well known that Secretary Rumsfeld failed to protect the nation's soldiers during the invasion of Iraq. But a multi-million dollar settlement last week between the federal government and American Amicable Life Insurance Company glaringly demonstrates that Secretary Rumsfeld failed to protect soldiers on the home front, too.
SHARE Friday, May 26, 2006 Abstaining from Sex Education Politics
The Centers for Disease Control held a conference on sexually transmitted diseases. The conference included a panel discussion entitled Are Abstinence-Only Until Marriage Programs a Threat to Public Health? After a Republican Congressman complained, the title was changed to Public Health Strategies of Abstinence Programs for Youth, and advocates of abstinence-only sex education replaced two members of the panel.
SHARE Thursday, July 27, 2006 Backpedaling at the IRS
The Bush administration is eliminating almost half of the lawyers at the Internal Revenue Service who audit the tax returns of the wealthiest Americans. The Bush administration has now decided to force the IRS to backpedal and circumvent the tax laws.
SHARE Sunday, September 25, 2005 Health Insurance for Immigrants Only
Congress is considering an immigration reform bill requiring employers to provide health insurance to all workers who are registered immigrants. Yet employers are not required to provide health insurance to citizens. This will result in an increase in American workers without insurance.
SHARE Sunday, October 8, 2006 Lawsuit Intends to Force the Bush Administration to Recognize the Constitution
A lawsuit filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State against the Department of Health and Human Services aims to force the Bush administration to cease violating the Constitution by funding marriage programs with an overtly religious slant. If successful, this lawsuit would have a profound impact on the ability of the Bush administration to continue funding religious organizations with taxpayer dollars.
SHARE Sunday, February 19, 2006 The U.S. and Iran: Birds of a Feather
Given the Bush administrations rhetoric regarding the Iranian government you wouldnt think the two have much, if anything, in common. Yet the Bush administration recently went out of its way to support an Iranian initiative to deny access to gay rights organizations within the United Nations.
SHARE Friday, May 5, 2006 A Very Questionable Judicial Nomination
The Senate will soon vote on the nomination of Terrence Boyle to the U.S. Court of Appeals. President Bush nominated Judger Boyle in 2001, but Democrats have blocked his nomination since that time, owing to his poor judicial record. A new report revealed that Judge Boyle has repeatedly ruled on litigation in which he had a financial interest.
SHARE Monday, February 6, 2006 Tax Shelters Disguised as Health Care Reform
In his State of the Union address President Bush finally acknowledged that we must confront the rising cost of [health] care. But his proposal to strengthen health savings accounts will have little if any impact on the poor and middle class who lack coverage. Instead, it will help the wealthy protect their assets, and actually increase the ranks of the uninsured.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, June 2, 2006 Conservatives Favor Purity over Cancer Vaccine
Late last month a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of a vaccine for the human papilloma virus. Conservative organizations oppose it on the grounds that it might encourage promiscuity among adolescent girls. Conservatives are now working to discourage its use.
SHARE Tuesday, November 21, 2006 Limiting Family Planning for the Poor
Last week President Bush appointed Dr. Eric Keroack to manage the Office of Family Planning, which provides access to contraceptive information and supplies. Yet Dr. Keroack has a long-standing opposition to contraception and abortion. This will severely limit contraceptive information and choices to many of America's poorest women.
SHARE Saturday, July 22, 2006 Prescription Politics
Two recent studies have shown that prescription drug prices rose significantly during the first quarter of the year. Given the vast sums that the pharmaceutical industry has spent lobbying against price controls, the dramatic increase in the cost of drugs isn't surprising.
SHARE Saturday, January 14, 2006 Bush Doesnt Play Fair at Recess
Earlier this month President Bush took advantage of Congress winter recess to circumvent the Senate and appoint 17 individuals to various government positions. By circumventing the Senate Mr. Bush is abusing his power. And he is putting the country at risk by appointing individuals to critical positions who are not qualified.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 7, 2006 Another Brownie in the Making
President Bush took advantage of Congress holiday recess to appoint Ellen Sauerbrey as the Assistant Secretary of State. The Senate had stalled on approving her nomination because Ms. Sauerbrey has no experience. Given the importance of this position, and the nominees total lack of experience, Mr. Bush abused his authority by circumventing the Senate.
SHARE Saturday, April 29, 2006 The Decider Nominates Chief Polluter for the EPA
President Bush has nominated William Wehrum to serve as Assistant Administrator for the office of air quality at the EPA. Mr. Wehrum has consistently worked to weaken the nations air pollution laws and regulations. And his actions have resulted in a revolt within the EPA and serious criticism by the federal courts.
SHARE Saturday, October 1, 2005 Soldiers Shouldn't Serve as Police Officers
In the aftermath of recent hurricanes President Bush has asked the Pentagon to reconsider its longstanding compliance with a nineteenth century law. The law prevents the military from playing a role in law enforcement activities. But asking the military to serve as a police force is dangerous.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 15, 2005 VA Seeks to Punish Iraq War Veterans
The VA is revoking disability benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The VA believes it was too lenient in deciding who was eligible for PTSD benefits. This is the final insult to soldiers who were asked to fight a war in Iraq on false premises.
SHARE Sunday, June 11, 2006 Bush Administration Failing Americas AIDS Crisis
In 2001 the Bush administration joined 188 other governments in adopting the United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. This committed each government to improving their response to its domestic AIDS epidemic and establishing targets for financing, policy and programming. But a new report suggests that the Bush administration is failing to adequately combat the crisis in America.
SHARE Friday, March 31, 2006 Housing Cuts for the Poor, Tax Cuts for the Rich
President Bushs 2007 budget includes significant cuts in housing assistance. Although the Republican Congress has debated the cuts affecting the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), it appears unlikely that Mr. Bushs cuts will be opposed. Ironically, Congress is also considering yet another tax cut for the wealthy.
SHARE Sunday, September 18, 2005 Poverty Increases as Incomes Decline
The day after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, the U.S. Census Bureau quietly released a report indicating that poverty is on the rise while incomes decline.
SHARE Sunday, October 30, 2005 Bush's Kind of Guy
Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline isnt a household name yet, but he may be soon. He has a penchant for promoting a right-wing, evangelical Christian judicial philosophy. And thats exactly the type of judicial nominee President Bush and conservative Republicans are seeking.
SHARE Sunday, January 21, 2007 Paying for Protection
Two prominent labor organizations have sued the Bush administration for failing to protect nearly 20 million workers from job injuries.
SHARE Friday, April 14, 2006 The Politics of Foreign Aid
Last week the Senate confirmed Randall Tobias as the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. This agency has operated independently from the State Departments political and military concerns for more than 40 years. But with the confirmation of Mr. Tobias, foreign aid will almost certainly become victim to the whims of the Bush administration.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 6, 2005 The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 is Here Again
Last week President Bush put forward a program to prepare for the eventuality of a bird flu pandemic. The influenza pandemic of 1918 is a model for what we are likely to face with the bird flu. And unless the Bush administration responds more boldly we will relive the 1918 pandemic, only worse.
SHARE Friday, February 24, 2006 Out of Touch with the Military's Reality
For the last two years the Bush administration has insisted that the war in Iraq has not handicapped the military. But a Congressional report on military equipment and supplies indicates that the administration is seriously mistaken.
SHARE Sunday, March 5, 2006 Another Unsavory Judicial Nomination
President Bush has re-nominated Brent Kavanaugh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Democrats originally rejected his nomination in 2003, and for good reasons. He has less legal experience than all but one previous nominee in the last 35 years. And his judicial integrity and ethics are questionable at best.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 1, 2006 The We the (Evangelical) People Act
In the wake of the Senate's failure to approve a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, conservatives are now coalescing around an act that would prohibit the federal courts from ruling on the constitutionality of state laws, especially those concerning sexual orientation. The act would severely limit some of the most basic legal principles of the Constitution.
SHARE Sunday, March 19, 2006 True to its History, FBI is Still Violating Civil Liberties
According to a report, the F.B.I. violated procedures for wiretapping more than 100 times in the last two years. Given the bureaus history, this shouldnt be surprising. The F.B.I. was created for partisan political purposes, and has blatantly violated civil liberties since its inception.
SHARE Wednesday, November 9, 2005 Any Soldier Will do For the Pentagon
The Army now faces its largest recruitment shortage in 25 years. As a result of the shortage, a Congressional report indicates that the Pentagon has been calling up reserve soldiers who are ill or medically unfit to serve.
SHARE Friday, January 20, 2006 Bush Chose Iraq Over Americas Homeless
According to a report on the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the agency made $1.4 billion in improper payments in 2003. Although the Bush administration in 2001 was advised that HUDs rental assistance programs were at high risk, the administration failed to take action. As President Bush focused increasingly on the war in Iraq, Americas homeless suffered.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, April 9, 2006 The Air Force Soars to the Right
The Air Force recently released new guidelines on religious expression that pander to the religious right. If the military isn't free from coercion at home, why should Muslim nations believe the American military will respect their faith?