Beast of the Month - May 2001
Christine Todd Whitman, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
"I yam an anti-Christ..."
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"
After 100 days of Sodomy under "president" Bush, one has to ask how many ways he has screwed the American public so far with his narrow and self-serving agenda. We could count them all, but there are space constraints. Still, the highlights are pretty telling: his cynical talk-up of a recession (along with his disastrous handling of the economy) has been a self-fulfilling prophecy which has fueled massive layoffs; his botched foreign policy has manufactured a crisis with China over a spy plane accident and backed a push for even more bloated "defense" spending; his impersonation of Nero as a fiddler while California suffers a bogus "energy crisis" (which coincidentally benefits his top backers); and his barely concealed glee as the oil industry slowly rapes the American consumer.
And yet, as disastrous all his administration's policies have been, none have more far-reaching ramifications as his administration's destructive environmental policy, a policy that will affect American's (and non-American's) for years to come even following his non-elected residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. At the center of his radical agenda is Christine Todd Whitman, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator and The Konformist Beast of the Month.
Whitman is known as a "moderate" Republican, a label that is quite relative in the GOP party and means very little. In her case, the label was mainly earned for her pro-choice stance on abortion. Because of this, her appointment as head of the EPA was viewed as cover for the more controversial pick of John Ashcroft as Attorney General, which was announced at the same time as hers.
Still, while Whitman could hardly be classified as an environmentalist (she has publicly doubted if global warming is a serious problem), her career of catering to both the business community and the upwardly mobile seemed like an ideal balance for a potential Republican EPA head. Some even suspected that this signaled some actual sincerity by Shrub to show concern for environmental issues.
The suspicion, of course, was totally false, and the suckers who gave the Bushwhackers the benefit of the doubt are now flat on their ass like Charlie Brown after attempting to kick a field goal behind Lucy Van Pelt. It turns out that the BushMob have aggressively implemented the most reactionary environmental policy this country has ever known, even surpassing the Reagan years in its trashing of the earth with its reckless policies.
Here are some of the worst outrages:
* After promising to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Bush proved himself to be a liar by reversing his pledge. The move would have saved an estimated 30,000 lives a year of those who die due to respiratory illness.
* In a widely unpopular move, the EPA decided to postpone new limits on arsenic in drinking water.
* Using the bogus excuse of "national security", the EPA under Whitman rescinded a Klinton administration proposal to increase public access to information about the potential consequences of chemical plant accidents.
* The Interior Department has issued a proposal to gut updated environmental mining regulations, and backed increased logging in national forests.
* Bush has gone forward with plans for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is being done despite the fact that it will take at least 10 years before any of the oil in the Refuge becomes available to American consumers, and at current level of national demand, the Refuge will produce only 6 months worth of oil. The oil will also be distributed on the world market, meaning the change in U.S. supply from the move will be minimal.
* The supposed "energy plan" formulated behind close doors by Richard "Donkey Dick" Cheney is reputed to propose more nuclear power plants and the opening of more public lands to drilling, including national monuments.
And then of course, there is the big one: the reversal and withdrawl of the U.S. from the Kyoto treaty on global warming. The action has created a solid worldwide view of the United States as a rogue pariah state.
Of course, in perfect Orwellian doublespeak, Team Bush always declares its opposition to sensible environmental laws with the excuse that they "cost jobs." Strangely, the same logic doesn't apply to the California electricity swindle. The truth is, their opposition to these laws begins and ends with the fact that they hurt korporate power, the shrine of mammon which the Bush leaguers serve.
It is perfectly in line with the Bush Administration's contemptuous view of the American public that this all coincides closely with the 32nd annual celebration of Earth Day. Or that their policies which serve the chemical industry's interests so blatantly coincides with the release of Bill Moyers' PBS special Trade Secrets on television, which exposes the death and deceit caused by commercial poisoners. Perhaps what is telling is the repulsive arrogance accompanying their actions, an arrogance that is underscored by their surprise at the mass outrage against their policies. Imagine their shock to uncover that their plan to ending testing for salmonella in beef sold to the federal school lunch program (at a time when diseases such as Mad Cow and Foot-and-Mouth are creating more awareness through the Western world on meat safety) was an unpopular move.
In retrospect, all of this should have been expected, and was by those who were paying attention while Shrub Inc. swindled democracy. Here are the links that made it clear where this administration was heading, merely by following the money:
* Our Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton, has led efforts to rollback endangered species protection and allowed mining company polluters to escape clean up requirements and liability. She believes that corporations have a constitutional right to pollute.
* The Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham, recently campaigned on eliminating the Department of Energy, the very program he now runs, while also leading efforts to prevent increased fuel efficiency in vehicles.
* The choice for the No. 3 spot at the Department of Energy is Robert G. Card, who until recently was CEO and president of a nuclear cleanup contractor that has been fined or penalized more than $725,000 for numerous worker safety, procurement and other violations since 1996.
* National security adviser Condoleezza Rice was a Chevron board member until January 15. They've named an oil tanker in her honor.
* John Ashcroft has a history of blocking enforcement of environmental laws. He was the top recipient of Monsanto contributions during his losing reelection campaign for the U.S. Senate.
* Donald Rumsfeld, the new secretary of defense, was president of Searle Pharmaceuticals, now owned by Monsanto, and Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman was on the board of directors of Calgene Pharmaceuticals, another Monsanto affiliate.
* The HHS secretary Tommy Thompson was a good friend to Monsanto and other biotech firms. He received $50,000 from biotech companies in his election campaign.
* Perhaps most telling of all, energy interests gave $2.9 million to Bush for his political campaign, and then kicked in an additional $2.2 million for his inauguration fund. Both Bush and Cheney, of course, have heavy ties to the oil industry.
Given all this, should anyone really be surprised?
The one person who seems genuinely perplexed is Whitman herself, who appears to have become the fall girl for the Bush Administration's reign of terror. No doubt she took the job of EPA head to position herself as a leader of the "moderate" Republican faction: instead, she is left holding the bag.
Maybe so, but she deserves no sympathy. For one, she hardly deserves applauds for her environmental stands. When the EPA reversed its plans to release more information to the public on potential chemical plant accidents, Rick Hind, legislative director of the Greenpeace toxics campaign, stated: "It is quite ominous coming from an EPA head who slashed two-thirds of the chemicals that New Jersey right-to-know regulates." In a memo from Whitman to Bush, she wrote that he needed to "appear" to be engaged in addressing global warming, proving any pro-environmental moves she takes is mere PR.
And besides, Whitman has already proven her own pathological disdain for the American public. After the Votescam 2000 was officially certified, Whitman proposed that Florida's sunshine law be amended and that the ballots be impounded for a period of ten years to prevent any unofficial recounts. Her reasons for this were to hide what has come quite apparent, even despite the dishonest attempts by the korporate media to spin otherwise: that in any honest analysis of the votes in Florida, the man at war with the Earth right now has no legitimacy whatsoever in holding office. It seems, then, this is a case of karma biting the ass of Whitman, and it couldn't happen to a better person. What goes around, comes around.
In any case, we salute Christine Todd Whitman as Beast of the Month. Congratulations, and keep up the great work, Christine!!!
80 Failures in 100 Shrub Daze
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
Bill Moyers, PBS Television
Post Office Box 24825
Los Angeles, California 90024-0825
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