Bad Deeds for 10-17-2007

Mitt Romney’s New National Security Adviser Said He’d Torture “In A Heartbeat” – Retired General James “Spider” Marks, who has just been named a new national security adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign, asserted in a 2005 interview that he would readily torture prisoners to save a soldier’s life or stop a terror bomb, saying: “I’d stick a knife in somebody’s thigh in a heartbeat.”

How Ironic: Bush taps birth control critic to head family planning programming – President Bush’s choice for heading family planning programming within the Department of Health and Human Services is a critic of birth control. Susan Orr, most recently an associate commissioner in the Administration for Children and Families, was appointed Monday to be acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs,” reports the Washington Post. “She will oversee $283 million in annual grants to provide low-income families and others with contraceptive services, counseling and preventive screenings.”

More Irony: Bush Exhorts Congress to Work Harder – President Bush on Wednesday accused Congress of dragging its feet on key pieces of legislation, urging quick action on budget and children’s health measures.

Yeah, that’s right, Bush says Congress isn’t working hard enough. His proof? That they haven’t passed legislation on children’s health care…except, of course, they have, with bipartisan support, and he vetoed it, so now Congress has to waste valuable time trying to override his veto of very popular legislation wanted by almost everyone outside the GOP’s base.

Speaking of work: Bush on Track to Become the #1 Vacation President of All Times – The current presidential vacation-time record holder is the late Ronald Reagan, who tallied 436 days in his two terms. But, at 418 days, and with 17 months to go in his presidency, Bush is going to beat that easily. Hey, did I just read that Bush said Congress should work harder? Hello Pot, meet Kettle!

Verizon provided data to Feds 720 times without court order or determining its legality – Verizon has provided data to federal authorities on an emergency basis without a court order — and without determining the requests’ legality — 720 times between January 2005 and September of this year.

Republican Smears Sick Toddler’s Parents – Mark Hemingway at the National Review says the parents of a sick toddler are irresponsible for having a child when they can’t afford health insurance. So he is pro-life only if you have money.

Fox News Uses Not-So-Expert-on Global-Warming Expert to Try to Discredit Al Gore – Dr. William Gray, who argues that humans are not responsible for the warming of the earth, and says that salinity determines the temperature of the oceans’ waters, was cited on the Fox and Friends show as proof that Al Gore is all wrong. However, The Washington Post reports:

Gray’s crusade against global warming “hysteria” began in the early 1990s, when he saw enormous sums of federal research money going toward computer modeling rather than his kind of science, the old-fashioned stuff based on direct observation. Gray often cites the ascendancy of Gore to the vice presidency as the start of his own problems with federal funding. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stopped giving him research grants. So did NASA. All the money was going to computer models. The field was going off on this wild tangent.

Someone like Bill Gray seems to be a fully credentialed authority figure. But when you press him on his theory of how thermohaline circulation has caused recent warming of the planet and will soon cause cooling, he concedes that he hasn’t published the idea in any peer-reviewed journal. He’s working on it, he says.

The Web site Real Climate run by a loose group of climate scientists, recently published a detailed refutation of Gray’s theory, saying his claims about the ocean circulation lack evidence. The Web site criticized Gray for not adapting to the modern era of meteorology, “which demands hypotheses soundly grounded in quantitative and consistent physical formulations, not seat-of-the-pants flying.”

The field has fully embraced numerical modeling, and Gray is increasingly on the fringe. His cranky skepticism has become a tired act among younger scientists. “It’s sad,” says Emanuel,(Kerry Emanuel, an atmospheric scientist at MIT).

Former Telcom CEO Says Bush’s Illegal Spying Began Months Before 9/11 Attacks – A former Qwest Communications International executive, appealing a conviction for insider trading, has alleged that the government withdrew opportunities for contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars after Qwest refused to participate in an unidentified National Security Agency program that the company thought might be illegal. Former chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio, convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading, said the NSA approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to court documents unsealed in Denver this week.

Hard-Line Anti-Illegal Immigrant Mayor Hires Two Illegal Immigrants – Bogota, New Jersey Mayor Steve Lonegan, whose hard line against illegal immigration has at times attracted national attention, this week hired two workers whom police later found to be undocumented immigrants. Lonegan, perhaps best known for taking McDonald’s to task for placing a Spanish-language billboard in town, said he enlisted the men to help assemble political signs in the garage of a vacant home he owns in the borough.

Bush Administration to Slash Protected Habitat for Endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep – On October 10, 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in line with the Bush administration’s status quo for species non-protection, proposed severely restricting critical habitat for the Peninsular Ranges desert bighorn sheep. The new critical habitat proposal would reduce by nearly 55 percent the area that the agency determined in 2001 was crucial for the survival and recovery of this highly endangered animal. Joan Taylor of the Coachella Valley Sierra Club put it this way: “Nothing is different about bighorn biology since the original critical habitat determination, but the politics have changed. What the administration has basically done is to cave to special development interests, and the bighorn have taken the shaft in the process.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comments on the new proposal until December 10, 2007. You can submit your comments regarding the severe restriction of Peninsular Ranges bighorn sheep critical habitat by sending an email to





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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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