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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Neocon Roundup

The below three articles are all from the NYT Op/Ed page, showing the Neocons and their priorities, not the priorities of real Americans. They would rather gerrymander states, destroy the environment, and protect drug companies from liabilities, than to allow competition, fund medicare and help the poor, or help those that have been injured by these drug companies.

Redistricting Tom Delay:

"The Supreme Court agreed this week to review Texas' 2003 Congressional redistricting, which added five Republicans to the state's delegation. The plan, engineered by the former House majority leader Tom DeLay, is rightly being challenged as partisan and discriminatory against minority voters. It is encouraging that the court has decided to step in. Mr. DeLay's 2003 redrawing of Texas' Congressional district lines threw aside the longstanding tradition that new lines are drawn only every 10 years, after the census. The purpose of this heavy-handed line-drawing was purely to increase the number of Republican districts. It worked. The number of Republicans in the delegation went to 21 from 16, helping to entrench Mr. DeLay as majority leader."

The Senator Who Cried Wolf:

"Strange things are afoot as Congress presses to end this year's woefully inadequate session by the weekend: coverage of impotence drugs has been restored in a Medicare budget proposal, while an emergency subsidy to help poor people pay their heating bills this winter is getting only anemic financing. But the biggest money issue being haggled over - the House and Senate dispute over cutting up to $50 billion in spending from assorted vital programs - is somehow tangled up in the Bush administration's insistence on drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The House has already rejected this perennial chestnut on the anti-environmental agenda, but Senator Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican, is making tooth-and-claw vows to prevail in the final negotiations. He will be one of the chief bargainers on the final compromise, and he insists that he won't sign off on any deal that omits Alaskan drilling. So what if important issues are on the table - like proposed harmful cuts in food stamps for the poor?"

"They should keep in mind the senator's earlier melodramatic vow to resign from public office if pork money was rescinded for Alaska's notorious bridges to nowhere. An embarrassed Congress nevertheless scuttled the requirement to build the bridges. Alas, Senator Stevens remains at work."

The Stealth Liability Provision:

"Republicans are using the last days of this Congressional session to try to grant extraordinary liability protection to the drug companies that will make the vaccines and other medicines to combat a possible influenza pandemic. But they have been slow to mount a comparable effort to help the people who may be harmed by adverse side effects. Although liability protection is being portrayed as a vital step in carrying out the president's $7 billion flu pandemic plan, it serves a political purpose as well. The insulation against liability looks suspiciously like an effort to reward the drug companies, which help bankroll Republicans, and punish the trial lawyers, who help bankroll Democrats."

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