Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ask Dr. Bush

Was anybody surprised to hear that the White House cut out testimony about the anticipated health effects of global warming testimony given Tuesday by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? According to the Associated Press, the government removed details on health risks from the presentation by Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC, to the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. Her testimony, as given, was substantially different from draft testimony submitted in advance and circulated through government agencies. One official called the changes "heavy-handed" and said Gerberding's testimony was "eviscerated." Of course, this is nothing more than business as usual for the Bush administration, which has consistently placed opinion above fact in advancing its military and social agenda. Have you noticed how President Bush and Vice President Cheney never give a speech unless it's in front of a hand-picked audience of enthusiastic supporters? This is their way of managing the news, just like they are trying to manage the facts and the science. Some officials in the government, including the Democratic leadership in the Congress, are, thankfully, beginning to tire of this as much as large segments of the public, which is why there is a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. But let's try not to be too vindictive next year, when the Republicans are sent home for good.

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