Friday, September 23, 2005

Bush's Petulance: Appointing Incompetents

Mollie Ivins sees some common threads reaching from "Brownie" to Bush's pick for OSHA, Ed Foulke:

There’s a doctoral dissertation to be written about Bush appointees named during the administration’s frequent fits of Petulant Pique. These PP appointments are made in the immortal childhood spirit of “nanny-nanny boo-boo, I’ll show you.”


The PP appointments are less for reasons of ideology or even rewarding the politically faithful than just in the old nyeh-nyeh spirit.

You could, for example, put any number of people at the Department of Labor who are wholly unsympathetic to the labor movement — Bush has installed shoals of them already. But there is a certain arch, flippant malice to making Edwin Foulke assistant secretary in charge of the health and safety of workers.

Republican appointees who oppose the agencies to which they are assigned are a dime a dozen, but Foulke is a partner from the most notorious union-busting law firm in the country. What he does for a living is destroy the only organizations that care about workers’ health and safety.

Here’s another PP pick: put a timber industry lobbyist in as head of the Forest Service. How about a mining industry lobbyist who believes public lands are unconstitutional in charge of the public lands? Nice shot. A utility lobbyist who represented the worst air polluters in the country as head of the clean air division at the EPA? A laff riot. As head of the Superfund, a woman whose last job was teaching corporate polluters how to evade Superfund regulations? Cute, cute, cute. A Monsanto lobbyist as No. 2 at the EPA.

A lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute at the Council on Environmental Quality. And so on. And so forth.

The Federal Trade Commission was finally embarrassed enough by demands from Democratic governors to start an investigation into recent price gouging by oil companies. But a former lawyer for ChevronTexaco will head the investigation. Is this fun or what?

Is anyone surprised who'se been paying attention for the past five years?