Well, somebody had to say it —

Sen. Tom Harkin takes issue with Cheney’s “sensitive war” mockery: “When I hear this coming from Dick Cheney, who was a coward, who would not serve during the Vietnam War, it makes my blood boil,” said Harkin. “He’ll be tough, but he’ll be tough with someone else’s kid’s blood.”

Bush’s War on The Enlightenment —

Last year I read a terrific Lewis Lapham column on Bush that included this spot-on characterization:

President Bush speaks for an earlier period in American history, from a pulpit in the Puritan forest before it received the gift of books. If his biographers can be trusted, we now have in the White House a president so secure in his belief that the course of human events rests in “the hand of a just and faithful God” that he counts his ignorance as a virtue and regards his lack of curiosity as a sign of moral strength.

That is the intellectual nature of the man currently dictating your nation’s science policies. Actual scientists have protested mightily, to little avail. Bush stacks advisory committees with ideologues, rules by arbitrary regulation (because legislation would surely fail), and always, always favors business over humanity. The Washington Post has a three-part series very worth reading, which details this administration’s assaults on OSHA and the EPA — assaults which merely hogtie the agencies, but ultimately endanger our lives. Go here, here, and here. Coincidentally?, the New York Times has a feature on the same topic. Rep Henry Waxman has been on the case; check his web site from time to time to see what the administration is trying to undo and what you can do to fight.

Meanwhile, here is a great cartoon that encapsulates the situation nicely; I keep it taped up in my cubicle. (The site has an irritating feature to keep you from illegally reproducing the cartoon; when the big red “no copy” circle comes up, just move your mouse to the side so that you can see the cartoon again.)

Oh, and did you hear Laura Bush speaking out on stem cell research? If this was her idea, someone shoulda just said no:

But I know that embryonic stem cell research is very preliminary right now and the implication that cures for Alzheimer’s are around the corner is just not right and it’s really not fair to people who are watching a loved one suffer with this disease.

OK, see, the fact that the answers are not “around the corner” and that the research is “very preliminary” would be a very good reason to facilitate the research, rather than obstruct it. As Charles Pierce observed, “Where in hell is the President’s Council On Bioethics? (Probably either bleeding people with leeches or booking tours to Lourdes.) I mean, would I ask Gregor Mendel where the biography section is?” Mrs. Bush was also upbraided here.


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