Monday, June 20, 2005

You Can't HANDLE the Truth!

Or at least the Bush Administration thinks you can't. Or maybe it's just that THEY can't. Whatever the case, they've decided to change some information in yet another scientific report, this one about cows and grazing and such. The list of withheld or altered information, and the history of pressuring people to lie by this administration is truly horrifying, and it just keeps on growing. So, here's the tally in just the last few months:

Of Cows and Grazing:

The Bush administration altered critical portions of a scientific analysis of the environmental impact of cattle grazing on public lands before announcing Thursday that it would relax regulations limiting grazing on those lands, according to scientists involved in the study.

A government biologist and a hydrologist, who both retired this year from the Bureau of Land Management, said their conclusions that the proposed new rules might adversely affect water quality and wildlife, including endangered species, were excised and replaced with language justifying less stringent regulations favored by cattle ranchers.


The original draft of the environmental analysis warned that the new rules would have a "significant adverse impact" on wildlife, but that phrase was removed. The bureau now concludes that the grazing regulations are "beneficial to animals."

The Tobacco Settlement:
A top Justice Department official threatened to remove a government expert from its witness list if he did not water down his recommended penalties for the tobacco industry, the witness said in an interview yesterday.


In the six-year lawsuit, the Justice Department has argued that the United States' six largest tobacco companies lied about the dangers of smoking. The Justice Department stunned anti-smoking activists and members of Congress two weeks ago by announcing in the closing days of the eight-month trial that the government would cut its demand for an industry-funded smoking-cessation program from $130 billion to $10 billion.

The Global Warming Thing:
A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.

In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved. In many cases, the changes appeared in the final reports.

On Liberal Bias at PBS:
[The Bush-appointed head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting conducted a poll to find out about the perceived liberal bias on PBS. Then they took a second poll.]
Why "re-measure"? Because, according to public television insiders, the first batch of polling done in 2002 produced unsatisfactory results from the CPB board's perspective; it showed little viewer concern about bias. "Tomlinson commissioned two polls. The first results were too good, and he didn't believe them," says one source. "After the Iraq war, the board commissioned another round of polling, and they thought they'd get worse results." But the board didn't. Asked specifically about PBS's war coverage, only 7 percent of respondents thought it was "slanted." "They couldn't use any of it" to bolster any claims of bias, says the source. Overall, just 21 percent of respondents thought PBS was too liberal.

Of course, if Tomlinson and his colleagues were looking for good news about PBS instead of bad, the wider poll results -- a healthy 80 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of public broadcasting -- would have been trumpeted as a triumph.

About those documents pertaining to John Bolton:
Democrats said they objected to the Bush administration's refusal to release two sets of classified documents that they say are relevant to the Bolton nomination.

Bolton is still on track to gain confirmation since Democrats made clear that they will drop their stalling tactic as soon as the Bush administration allows lawmakers to review the material.

I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more I’m not remembering. Anyone want to volunteer their favorite? It makes you wonder, if they have to keep changing or hiding their own findings just to jibe with their policies (and they keep getting caught doing it!), how long is it going to take before people realize that their policies are bullshit and are wrong for this country?

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