Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sneak is the word for the Bush administration

Democracy Now aired a program on how the Bush administration was pushing last minute regulations on November 13, 2008. It was titled "Bush Admin Pushes Through Last-Minute Deregulation that May Be Hard to Undo."

This is all no surprise. What has been the pattern all along is not going to change now.


Bush sneaks through host of laws to undermine Obama

by Paul Harris
The Observer, Sunday 14 December 2008

The lame-duck Republican team is rushing through radical measures, from coal waste dumping to power stations in national parks, that will take months to overturn, reports Paul Harris in New York

After spending eight years at the helm of one of the most ideologically driven administrations in American history, George W. Bush is ending his presidency in characteristically aggressive fashion, with a swath of controversial measures designed to reward supporters and enrage opponents.

By the time he vacates the White House, he will have issued a record number of so-called 'midnight regulations' - so called because of the stealthy way they appear on the rule books - to undermine the administration of Barack Obama, many of which could take years to undo.

Dozens of new rules have already been introduced which critics say will diminish worker safety, pollute the environment, promote gun use and curtail abortion rights. Many rules promote the interests of large industries, such as coal mining or energy, which have energetically supported Bush during his two terms as president. More are expected this week.

America's attention is focused on the fate of the beleaguered car industry, still seeking backing in Washington for a multi-billion-dollar bail-out. But behind the scenes, the 'midnight' rules are being rushed through with little fanfare and minimal media attention. None of them would be likely to appeal to the incoming Obama team.

The regulations cover a vast policy area, ranging from healthcare to car safety to civil liberties. Many are focused on the environment and seek to ease regulations that limit pollution or restrict harmful industrial practices, such as dumping strip-mining waste.

The Bush moves have outraged many watchdog groups. 'The regulations we have seen so far have been pretty bad,' said Matt Madia, a regulatory policy analyst at OMB Watch. 'The effects of all this are going to be severe...'...more

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