9/13/08

For Republicans, Anything Goes, Apparently.....


As I've pointed out to my friends at Lucianne.com many many times, the ideology of the Republican Party does not predispose it to be of value to any American actually seeking to elect public officials to effectively run the government.
If the Party believes, as it has from the days of Ronald Reagan, that government (you know, the government by-and-for-the-people established by the Liberal American Constitution) IS THE PROBLEM, why would any citizen actually vote for a Republican, who is almost assuredly going to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. The government fails because they want it to fail in order to prove their point.....
Is their incompetence accidental? Or do they really believe that the only function of government is to act as a conduit to move public monies into the profit margins of large corporations.
I say it is the latter. The perception of incompetence stems directly from the fact that Republican ideology does not believe government should be the stewards of the American People, seeing to it that the laws of the land are obeyed, the environment is protected, the people are protected from predatory business practices and that the more intangible qualities associated with the common good, but not necessarily attainable by the profit motive are attended to.

There is plenty evidence of this over the last eight years...... here is merely another example recently editorialized in the New York Times.......
You will notice that the Repubican team of candidates in this Presidential election cycle seldom speak of George W. Bush or his performance in the course of his two terms in office.....
There is very good reason for that..... Think for yourself if you really want to vote for Republicans.

September 12, 2008
New York Times Editorial
Anything Goes, Apparently

It seemed inevitable that bad things would happen when President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney packed the top posts at the Department of the Interior with lobbyists who had spent their careers representing the very industries they were now being asked to regulate. But it was left to Earl Devaney, the department’s inspector general — and the busiest gumshoe inside the federal bureaucracy — to demonstrate just how bad things could be.

In three extraordinary reports delivered to Congress this week, Mr. Devaney found that officials at the Minerals Management Service — the division responsible for granting offshore oil leases and collecting royalties — accepted gifts, steered contracts to favored clients and engaged in drugs and sex with oil company employees as part of what he described as a broader “culture of substance abuse and promiscuity.”

At the center of the scandal is the royalty-in-kind program, under which the service takes delivery of oil and gas in lieu of cash payments from energy companies, then sells it to refiners. The program is vulnerable to manipulation at either end of the transaction, by overvaluing the oil and gas when it is received or undervaluing it when it is sold.

The program obviously needs a complete overhaul. It has already been the subject of multiple investigations — by Mr. Devaney; Dirk Kempthorne, the interior secretary; the Justice Department; and Congress — for mismanagement and conflicts of interest. In an earlier report in 2007, Mr. Devaney found that the agency had failed — through negligence and possible ethical lapses — to collect billions of dollars in royalties from oil companies for leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

His new reports add more shameful details, including allegations that agency employees accepted gratuities and other favors — meals, ski trips, sports tickets and golf outings with industry representatives — “with prodigious frequency.”

Mr. Kempthorne, who has already transferred some employees and almost certainly will fire more, can take some comfort from the fact that nearly all of the misbehavior occurred before he arrived in Washington in 2006 to replace Gale Norton as interior secretary.

The White House can take no comfort at all. The people it brought to Washington to run the department had no interest in policing the oil, mining and agricultural interests they were sworn to regulate and every interest in promoting industry’s (and their own) good fortune. The most notorious of these was J. Steven Griles, a mining industry lobbyist who really ran the agency for four years and who later pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the Jack Abramoff scandal.

The fruit of these terrible appointments was aptly described by Mr. Devaney two years ago when he appeared before a House subcommittee. “Short of a crime,” he said, “anything goes at the Department of the Interior.”

It now appears that crime could be part of the mix.