31 October 2008

Bush Legacy 2.0

Al Qaeda in Iraq? No Child Left Behind? Politicization of the Justice Dept? The current economic crisis?

If you thought you knew the Bush legacy by now, just wait. There's more coming, in the form of a late-term effort to deregulate just about everything. Literally from the ocean depths to the mountain tops, George W. Bush and his crew of liquidators are working feverishly for faster development, greater exploitation, and less oversight. The administration is putting the finishing touches "as many as 90" deregulatory efforts.

Those and other regulations would help clear obstacles to some commercial ocean-fishing activities, ease controls on emissions of pollutants that contribute to global warming, relax drinking-water standards and lift a key restriction on mountaintop coal mining.
Meanwhile, it sounds like a veritable who's who list over at the OMB.
According to the Office of Management and Budget's regulatory calendar, the commercial scallop-fishing industry came in two weeks ago to urge that proposed catch limits be eased, nearly bumping into National Mining Association officials making the case for easing rules meant to keep coal slurry waste out of Appalachian streams. A few days earlier, lawyers for kidney dialysis and biotechnology companies registered their complaints at the OMB about new Medicare reimbursement rules. Lobbyists for customs brokers complained about proposed counterterrorism rules that require the advance reporting of shipping data.
Makes perfect sense to deregulate our Homeland Security rules because they're inconvenient for shippers. Will this at least mean that I can finally quit taking off my shoes and belt at the airport? Because that's really inconvenient and not worth a damn, whereas inspecting shipping manifests is just inconvenient.

Anyone taking odds on whether Jack Abramoff gets a pardon, while we're at it?