Monday, October 13, 2003

Why? Because They're Evil

Teach Your Children Well

I have three teenage children. They're good kids, all relatively free of drugs and sex (as far as we know -- ha, ha.) But my wife and I have clearly made a serious mistake in their upbringing. We seem to have raised them to actually think for themselves, and sometimes even to challenge the unassailable wisdom of their parents -- even when it comes to political issues. Where have we gone wrong?

I have fond memories of sitting my tiny children on my lap every four years to watch the political conventions. I would objectively and dispassionately point out to them how much uglier the Republicans were than the Democrats.

As they soon learned that ugliness is only skin deep, they've also been indoctrinated instructed with never-ceasing waves of well documented and logical arguments about why Republicans are full of sh%#, even if the D's aren't exactly always saints.

And now this! My eldest recently accused me of being unpersuasive in these matters because I'm so biased against Republicans. (And some are her best friends' parents are Republicans -- and they're actually very nice people -- I've met and socialized with them on occasion.)

In fact, I've even received letters from a few Confined Space readers arguing that if I was more "objective" and less biased and partisan, I might be more persuasive. Well, I admit that I may not be "evenhanded," in the sense that our "objective" media seems to think is necessary, but that's not the same as not being "objective." As economist and NY Times columnist Paul Krugman said
"There's a confusion between objectivity and even-handedness, they are not the same thing," Krugman said. "If Bush said the earth was flat, the reports in the mainstream media would say, 'Shape of the Earth: Views Differ."'
(Anyway, I don't spend all of this time writing this thing so I can be "evenhanded." You've got the so-called "liberal media" for that.)

But I ask you (and my children): Check out the greatest hits from the articles below and ask yourselves: is there not good and evil in the world? And do we not objectively know which is which?

For example, this is from yesterday's Washington Post :

Provisions Benefiting Energy Industry Are Folded into Bill

  • For several years the Environmental Protection Agency has been studying whether an increasingly popular -- but environmentally controversial -- drilling technique used by Halliburton Co. and other big oil and gas operators pollutes underground drinking water supplies.

    Now Republicans drafting broad energy legislation have decided not to wait for EPA to issue its final report. Instead, the House-Senate compromise on the energy bill exempts the technique, known as "hydraulic fracturing," from some of the controls of the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act.

    Hydraulic fracturing "involves injecting a mixture of fluids and sand under very high pressure to crack rock and coal seams, aiding the escape of trapped oil and gas. The technique is spreading because of a boom in drilling for methane gas in coal beds. Most of the richest lodes are adjacent to vast underground drinking water reservoirs."

  • Language agreed to by House-Senate negotiators would, for the first time, end a requirement that construction activities related to oil and gas exploration operate with a permit under the Clean Water Act.
Yeah, I'm sure when Congress passed the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act , they really didn't seriously intend for them to apply to the oil industry. Of course not.

And note the reference to "House - Senate negotiators." They're all Republicans. So who's negotiating with whom?

And, wait a minute... Haliburton. Haliburton. Where have I heard that name before?
  • House Republicans are pushing for revisions in underground gasoline storage regulations that could make it easier for companies to get federal aid to clean up leaks and spills even if the companies are financially able to pay, congressional sources said.
All the more money available to put back into Republican campaign coffers. Did someone say "corporate welfare?"

  • Meanwhile House GOP officials, led by Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), have insisted that the legislation limit the liability of manufacturers and refiners of the gasoline additive MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether), which has been blamed for polluting water supplies in California, New Hampshire and other states.

    Lyondell Chemical Co., based in [House Majority Leader Tom] DeLay's home state, is the largest manufacturer of MTBE, industry officials say.

    The provision would prevent communities from collecting damages resulting from MTBE infiltration into water supplies unless there is proof the product was handled negligently. Manufacturers and refiners could not be sued merely because their products contain MTBE.
You might think they were just trying to save their money for their friends. That's part of it, but there's another motive at work here: "It would strike at trial lawyers, a thorn in the side of the GOP's big business backers and a key source of campaign funds for Democrats."


The second example of evil has to do with the battle raging in Texas over the unprecedented mid-term redistricting plan that Texas Republicans, lead House Majority Leader Tom Delay, are trying to push through the Texas Legislature that would eliminate 7 Democratic House seats.

You've all heard about the ongoing battles, boycotts, walkouts, and involvement by the Department of Homeland Security. Now a report by Republican operatives has leaked out, illuminating the motives in all of their most disgusting detail.

For those wishful thinkers who think that the Democrats may be able to take the House of Representatives back sometime in their lifetimes, the success of this plan will make that all but impossible.

The author of the report, Joby Fortson:
appeared to take special delight in writing about what he predicted would be the fate of two Texas Democrats, Frost and Rep. Lloyd Doggett. "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha . . .," he wrote before describing how the plan would affect their districts.

Discussing Frost's district, which runs between Fort Worth and Dallas, Fortson said, "It simply disappears." He said black voters in Fort Worth would be shifted into a Republican-dominated district, black voters in Dallas would be sent to a nearby district that is already heavily black, and Hispanic voters would be moved into another GOP district.
This one's good too:
In another section, Fortson described how the GOP plan would shift Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Tex.) into new, unfriendly territory.

"Chet loses his Killeen-Fort Hood base in exchange for conservative Johnson County," he wrote. "They will not like the fact he kills babies, prevents kids from praying and wants to take their guns. State Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth (R), come on down, you are the next congressman from Texas."
And then there's the inevitable racist angle of this plot, as described in another Washington Post article
A Republican official did not dispute the purpose of the new redistricting plan. "We're not going to get them all, but it puts a number of them behind the eight ball," he said of the Democrats. "Virtually every Anglo Democrat is going to have a rough time."

All of the most endangered Democrats are white. State Rep. Garnet Coleman, a black Democrat from Houston, called the Republican plan "racist" and said that its central purpose is the elimination of elected white Democrats.

"That is the target, because they want to change the face of the Democratic Party to black and brown so they can continue to run racist innuendo in their campaigns," he said. "It is the elimination of [Texas] Anglo Democrats in the U.S. Congress."
Children, come here. Daddy has something to talk to you about......