24 July 2008

Iraq and the Olympics

Iraq Team Banned From Olympics

I'm not sure how this is going to play out, but it seems to me to be a damn shame.

The IOC suspended Iraq's national Olympic committee in June after Baghdad dismissed elected officials and installed its own people who are not recognized by the IOC.


The IOC says the Iraqi government did not accept an invitation to come to its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, to try to end the dispute.

Granted they were sending all of 4 people, but there is symbolism in sending people to the Olympics. It sends a message of stability (though sometimes its the stability of a dictatorship) and stability is something Iraq has been sorely lacking in. And I'm sure the athletes are very disapointed, I can't imagine what it would be like to not be able to go to the olympics because of government interference.

23 July 2008

We've seen this before

Ex-EPA Official Says White House Pulled Rank
This is the sort of thing that has become so common under this administration that I don't know if I really have anything more to say on the topic.
Yesterday, however, former EPA deputy associate administrator Jason K. Burnett -- who resigned last month and has since divulged key details about how President Bush and his deputies have influenced the agency's decisions on climate policy -- testified before the committee that Johnson had concluded that California's request was legally justified -- until White House officials ordered him to reverse the decision.
What's that line from that little shit Grover Norquist? Ah yes,
“My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” – The Nation, 10/12/2004
I'm not sure its small enough to be drowned in a bathtub, but I'm pretty sure that its starved and beaten enough that it can't do its job properly. The EPA knuckles under the White House, the FDA can't figure out where the salmonella in the salsa is coming from, and the VA won't (can't?) cover the medical bills for returning vets.

Bureaucracies get a bad rap. When they are good, they are very very good, but when they are bad, they are horrid. And you only remember the time it took 8 hours at the DMV and forget all the times things run smoothly. The EPA needs to be able to do its job without the politicos mucking things up. Sure the politicos are needed so that it can get paid, but its job requires an objective view. And you can't get an objective view with the White House breathing down your neck or choking you with the purse strings.

Thank goodness the 20th of January is approaching (I'm not too worried about the 4th of November.)