With the Bush administration asleep at the wheel, states have been forced to take the lead in combating global warming. Last year California adopted rules which “will require a 30 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions from cars and light trucks by 2016, a target that will most likely be met by big increases in fuel efficiency.”
The approach is gaining popularity. The New York Times reported last Sunday:
The Bush administration hates the California plan, and industry has challenged it in court. But George Pataki of New York and other Eastern governors have pledged to emulate it — which means the states may end up carrying a ball that Congress dropped. That would not be a bad thing at all.
Yesterday, the Bush administration released new federal fuel efficiency standards. (Not surprisingly, the standards will do little to increase fuel efficiency and may actually encourage automakers to produce bigger, more inefficient vehicles.)
Buried on page 150 of the draft rule is a provision that would totally undermine state efforts to curb CO2 emissions:
[A] state may not impose a legal requirement relating to fuel economy, whether by statute, regulation or otherwise, that conflicts with this rule. A state law that seeks to reduce motor vehicle carbon dioxide emissions is both expressly and impliedly preempted.
In other words, no state can have a fuel efficiency rule any different than the federal government. So much for state’s rights.
Speaking in Idaho a few minutes ago, Bush argued that moms like Cindy Sheehan are a threat to freedom:
There are few things more difficult in life than seeing a loved one go off to war, and here in Idaho, a mom named Tammy Pruitt…knows that feeling six times over.
Tammy has four sons serving in Iraq right now with the Idaho National Guard — Eric, Evan, Greg, and Jeff. Last year, her husband Leon and another son Aaron returned from Iraq where they helped train Iraqi firefighters in Mosul.
Tammy says this — and I want you to hear this — “I know that if something happens to one of the boys, they would leave this world doing what they believe, what they think is right for our country. And I guess you couldn’t ask for a better way of life than giving it for something you believe in.”
America lives in freedom because of families like the Pruitts.
For more on the administration’s efforts to demonize its war critics, check out today’s Progress Report.
“‘Take him out’ can be a number of things, including kidnapping. … I didn’t say ‘assassination.’” Actually, you did.
Yesterday on CBS’s “Early Show,” senior presidential advisor Dan Bartlett took the “opportunity to clarify what President Bush is saying” about the war on terrorism:
BARTLETT: Not only after 9/11 do we have to go after Osama bin Laden and the people who perpetrated the act on 9/11, but also we had to change our policy in the Middle East.
The policies of stability in tolerating dictatorships got us 9/11 in the first place. The status quo has to change.
SMITH: So you’re talking about Saudi Arabia then?
I guess this means that, deep down, President Bush was secretly not tolerating Saudi King Abdullah when they held hands and strolled through the wild flowers together in Crawford.
President Bush has faced intense criticism for his insensitivity in taking a leisurely, 5-week vacation while the country is locked in an increasingly violent war in Iraq. His initial response was to defensively defend his right to relax, stating indignantly, “I’ve got a life to live.”
That didn’t go over so well with the American public, so the White House spin machine game up with a new line: Despite what it looks like, President Bush isn’t actually on vacation.
According to the San Bernardino Sun, White House spokesperson David Almacy “said the reason that Bush is in Crawford, Texas, is due to the renovation of the West Wing of the White House.” Almacy stated:
He’s operating on a full schedule; he’s just doing it from the ranch instead of from the White House. The only week he had officially off was this last week.
Keep in mind, President Bush has spent the entire month of August at his ranch every year of his presidency. It’s time this White House stopped renovating the truth.
68 U.S. troops have died in Iraq since President Bush went on the longest presidential vacation in 36 years on August 2nd.
The AP reported on August 2nd that at least 1,806 members of the U.S. military had died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003. As of this morning, at least 1,874 members of the U.S. military have died.
President Bush believes it’s time to “get on with his life,” but U.S. soldiers continue to make the ultimate sacrifice on a daily basis.
Fresh analysis from Gallup:
The latest quarterly average for Iraq shows that 50% say it was a mistake to send troops (the most recent single measure on this indicator, from an Aug. 5-7 Gallup Poll, shows 54% saying the war was a mistake).
In the comparable quarter for the Vietnam War (the third quarter of the war’s third year — that is, the third quarter of 1967), Gallup found 41% saying the conflict was a mistake. It was not until the third quarter of the fourth year of the Vietnam War (August-September 1968) that a majority of Americans said the war was a mistake. In short, it took longer for a majority of Americans to view the Vietnam War as a mistake than has been the case for Iraq.
A President less popular than Nixon and a war less popular than Vietnam. That’s quite a combo.
Whatever happened to the Supreme Court nominee John Roberts’ file on affirmative action, it can be definitively stated that this is all President Bush’s fault. Sound a little extreme? Not really.
Back in 1978, Congress passed the Presidential Records Act out of fear that “President Richard Nixon would never allow public access to his papers.” The Act states that “a former president’s papers belong to the American people” and it is the duty of the National Archives to make the papers available to the public. The law also allowed “former presidents to prevent access to some records for up to 12 years.”
In his last two days in office, Reagan issued an executive order requiring “that both the current and former president be given 30 days’ notice before the release of any presidential papers. During that time, the current or former administration could demand further delays to check for any documents that might fall under executive privilege.” Reagan claimed the full 12 years before his papers were to be released.
In 2001, the deadline on the Reagan papers was up. The Archivist gave notice to the White House as well as the Office of President Reagan. According to the Stanford Law Review, the papers were ready and President Reagan’s representative gave the okay for release, stating “that Reagan’s Administration did not desire to claim privilege on any of the withheld records, and that it had no problem with all of them being released to the public.”
But the papers weren’t released. President Bush wouldn’t allow it. Read more