Presidential Privy Power

For years it seems, people have heard reports like the recent one by the Justice Department inspector general and the Office of Professional Responsibility, which found the Department of Justice hiring practices had discriminated against lawyers who were "leftist", identified by those who were members of Greenpeace, the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, or the American Constitutional Society. Others have felt helpless in the face of leadership on science, democracy, and the environment. Like when the Bush Administration refused to comply with the Supreme Court's order that the EPA must act to regulate emissions. And today the bad news continued on this matter when the D.C. Circuit Court refused to set a deadline for the EPA that the states had petitioned the court for -- leading us to wonder -- are the two connected?

With some end in sight perhaps, a few citizens are making it their mission to strike back, albeit symbolically (and perhaps emboldened by the imminent term end). There's the Bush Legacy Bus -- I'm sure you've heard -- which is touring 150 cities this summer, first stop yesterday in Dayton, Ohio. The group promises not to let memories of the presidency fade into the twilight of his last term and hopes to influence the outcome of the elections. Less bombastically, and no doubt by mistake, The New York Review of Books advertising arm has sent out a leaflet for "$80 SAVINGS" off the price of a year's subscription, and a "FREE GIFT", the book "The Consequences to Come: American Power After Busch"[sic].

As well, a San Francisco group launched a petition drive to put an initiative on the ballot that would rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant the George W. Bush Sewage Plant. Some find it fitting, but not everyone thinks it's funny. Howard Epstein, chair of the San Francisco Republican Party promised to do everything in his power to stop the measure from going through, calling it "loony bin direct democracy." The spokesman for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission was also not too keen on the idea, because the the plant is highly efficient and award-winning: "If you are looking for a place to make a negative statement about the Bush administration's impact on the environment, this would be the last place to do it", he said.

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