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Bush League

A Modest Roundup of (Im)pertinent Media about the Current Administration



"The Right Wing's Drive for 'Tort Reform.'" Texas under George W. Bush became the nation's standard-bearer for so-called tort reform, making it harder for plaintiffs to recover damages in civil-justice cases. Bush pushes the same line from the White House -- but, as Dan Zegart explains in The Nation (Oct. 25), "the lawsuit-abuse crisis is a hoax," perpetuated by well-bankrolled right-wing ideologues and their corporate partners. Zegart explores what would happen if we follow W's prescription for treating medical-liability litigation and other forms of consumer-driven recourse. www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041025&s=zegart



"The Tax-Cut Pendulum and the Pit." On average nowadays, the federal government has to borrow more than $1.1 billion daily to pay its bills; annual interest payments on the federal debt outpace spending on education, homeland security, justice and law enforcement, veterans, international aid and space exploration ... combined. According to Jonathan Weisman in The Washington Post (Oct. 8), at least half the reason we sped from Surplusland in 2001 to Deficitville today can be attributed to W's tax-cutting schemes and spending binges -- all of which could mean bad news for the U.S. economy. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16134-2004Oct7.html?referrer=email


"Coalition Sues Administration for Illegal Change to Pesticide Reviews." When Bushies use words like "streamline," be wary; if they're talking about environmental regs, they usually mean something more like "gut." Fishing and conservation groups are suing the administration over a rule change they say violated the Endangered Species Act by switching responsibility for scientific opinions on pesticide impacts from the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to the EPA, which is responsible for reviewing and approving pesticides. That would be an apparent conflict of interest even if the EPA didn't have lower standards for approving pesticides. BushGreenWatch (Oct. 5) reports. www.bushgreenwatch.org


 "To Quit Iraq Now Would Be as Shocking as the Invasion." Attacking Iraq? Dumb idea. Tying Iraq to al-Qaeda? Possibly dumber still. But maybe worst of all is the prospect of an intensified U.S. counter-insurgency offensive after the American national elections, followed by a pull-back after Iraq's own January elections. With civil violence on the rise, and many Iraqis unconvinced their lives are improving, Max Hastings attempts in The Guardian (Oct. 4) to plum "the depths of George Bush's capacity for folly and the abuse of force." www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1318981,00.html



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