Progressive Writers Bloc

How Many Chickens Do We Have Left?

Uncle Bill Warner

Looking at the number of appointees and nominees under the Bush administration, one wonders if there is ANYONE left guarding the national chicken coops from the foxes. If you thought the Reagan Administration was characterized by corruption and greed (or maybe you've forgotten what happened when Reagan "deregulated" the S& L's and let them police themselves), you ain't seen nothin' yet! Your grandchildren will still be paying for that one.

Bush nominees usually have one thing in common: they seem to be put there to destroy whatever it is they are supposed to be protecting in the public interest.

We have media networks parroting the Bush line à la Joseph Goebbels. Just watch the aptly-named "Fox News" Network. Even the once-objective Corporation for Public Broadcasting is now under the control of Republican partisan, Ken Tomlinson.

Can you even imagine the chutzpah it took to nominate Jerry Hacker, (an extreme right-wing Christian who calls AIDS the "Gay Plague") to the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS?

Guess who appointed W.David Hager (who believes that prayer can cure women's illnesses) to the Federal Drug Administration's committee that deals with birth control measures?

And there is our Attorney General Gonzales, our top cop, with his pro-torture positions in defiance of International Law.

Why was Gale Norton (who came to the job from an anti-environmental law firm) appointed Secretary of the Interior? The shrieks of our chickens mingle with those of the spotted owl and the polar bear.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth (who says that women are no longer affected by discrimination in the workplace, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary) got an appointment to the Council of Economic Advisors.

Nominating an anti-UN guy like John Bolton as Ambassador to the U.N. was a stroke of evil genius!

Tommy Thompson, a welfare foe, gets to be chair of our welfare department (Health and Human Services).

Another great Bush choice was multimillionaire Sam Bodman to serve as Secretary of Energy. This is a guy who for a dozen years ran a Texas-based chemical company that spent years on the top five lists of the country's worst polluters.

Then there is Leon Holmes, a Bush nominee to the U.S, District Court in Arkansas who favors a Constitutional Amendment banning abortion, even in the case of rape.

Our Vice President, Dick Cheney, former CEO of Halliburton got a $40 million dollar retirement package from that company which incidentally got billions of dollars in no-bid contracts in Iraq. Halliburton has already been involved in scandals involving kickbacks, overcharging for fuel and food for our military.

Condoleeza Rice, our oil-industry Secretary of State is out there in the world trying to convince other countries that we are in Iraq, not for the oil, but to bring them freedom and democracy. Surely they will listen to her! Right.

And would he appoint a guy from the logging industry and who is all for more cutting in the national forests to oversee our national forests? Yep, he would and he did. Undersecretary Mark Rey.

I could go on for a week...

The next appointments coming up are really scary. Supreme Court justices O'Connor and Rehnquist are going to need replacements. The Court is already controlled by the Right Wing and with two more doctrinaire far-right Justices (do you expect Bush to start appointing moderates, given his record?) you can kiss the Court goodbye for the next 35 years.

Perhaps the most frightening of Bush's choices for important jobs has to do with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) , which has already left the door halfway open to the foxes due to lax SEC enforcement in the case of corporate criminals like Enron, Adelphi, and World Com that stole their employees jobs and retirement. The stock market is a scary place, and the Great Depression of the 30's was largely caused by an unregulated investment market that got out of hand. The SEC was created to be a watchdog agency in 1934 and protect investors. Even considering someone like Congressman Chris Cox for Chairman of the SEC by the Senate Banking Committee (Chaired by a Republican) is ludicrous. Cox has stood up for legislation that would have made it almost impossible for investors who had been defrauded by outfits like Enron to get their money back is sacrilege. He has taken huge campaign contributions ($2 million bucks since 1989) from the very corporate criminals he would be responsible for regulating!

How many chicken coops full of your chickens, my friends, are still guarded in your interest? The Bush Administration seems to prefers a foxes to watchdogs.

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