Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Politicalization of Everything

Our former Surgeon General just testified in front of Congress yesterday and in his testimony we find that the Bush administration made deliberate efforts to both stifle reports and prohibited the Surgeon General from talking about certain subjects:
Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional panel Tuesday that top Bush administration officials repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.

The administration, Dr. Carmona said, would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues. Top officials delayed for years and tried to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand smoke, he said. Released last year, the report concluded that even brief exposure to cigarette smoke could cause immediate harm.

Sadly, this should not come as any surprise. The Bush administration is fervently anti-science and routinely puts politics before policy. Yet, we also get a glimpse at the cult-like devotion this administration demands from the folks who work for it:
Dr. Carmona said he was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of his speeches. He also said he was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings.

You read that right, public officials, working for the White House, MUST say the President's name three times. I am not sure if the official is then supposed to genuflect or look skyward, but the idea that there is a rule about how often his name is mentioned scares the hell out of me. That bit of news, however, is not the most shocking/sad/anger inducing nugget included in his testimony:

And administration officials even discouraged him from attending the Special Olympics because, he said, of that charitable organization’s longtime ties to a “prominent family” that he refused to name.

“I was specifically told by a senior person, ‘Why would you want to help those people?’ ” Dr. Carmona said.

The Special Olympics is one of the nation’s premier charitable organizations to benefit disabled people, and the Kennedys have long been deeply involved in it.

Forget the fact that almost nobody associates the Kennedy family with the Special Olympics or that the Kennedy family is no longer a dominant political force in this country. In perhaps the sickest display of this administration's pettiness, these heartless SOBs running the White House thought it okay to play politics with an event that is designed solely to help disabled children and adults. This level of outright villainy is typically reserved for Ernst Blofeld or Lex Luther not the President of the United States. I half expect to read in the news tomorrow that President Bush has ordered all kittens be put to death because Garfield's owner is a registered Democrat.


Pork Rinds said...

This reminds me of my greatest fear. It's one that I've mentioned before and sadly I'll probably bring it up again. Basically it's my belief that the sinister things the Bush administration has managed to do are both overtly harmful (Iraq) and covertly harmful (suppression of scientific fact for political gain). One of the long-standing legacies of the Reagan white house was the rather covertly harmful beginnings of media deregulation by overturning the fairness doctrine. Sure, plenty of people at the time could see where it might lead, but few could imagine the result in the form of aforementioned war that we've been living for 4 years.

Sorry, didn't mean to get all negative. On the bright side Reagan also brought us, uh, well, uh...he totally kicked Gorbachev's ass!

Broca said...

that Russian sissy never had a chance