Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dark Ages Bush

By Michael J.W. Stickings

From the Times:

Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional committee [yesterday] that top officials in the Bush administration repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.

Dr. Carmona, who served as surgeon general from 2002 to 2006, said White House officials would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues because of political concerns. Top administration officials delayed for years and attempted to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand tobacco smoke, he said in sworn testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

He was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of every speech he gave, Dr. Carmona said. He was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings, at least one of which included Karl Rove, the president’s senior political adviser, he said.

And administration officials even discouraged him from attending the Special Olympics because, he said, of that charitable organization’s longtime ties to the Kennedy family.

So, to summarize: Bush (and his White House, and his administration) is against stem-cell research, against contraception, against sex education, for second-hand smoke, and against the Special Olympics. Among other flat-earth policies and beliefs.

Fantastic. Finally a presidency in full anti-enlightenment mode. I'm surprised they haven't taken the logical next steps and come out against, say, gravity. An apple fell on Newton's head? No, we can't talk about that.

For more, see Steve Benen, who is as good at tracking Bush's theocratic and anti-science tendencies as anyone out there in the blogosphere, or anywhere: "I started drawing up an informal list of non-partisan offices and federal agencies that the Bush gang have politicized to an unprecedented extent, but quickly gave up — the list was too long and it became too depressing."

And see Think Progress, which has the video of Carmona's testimony.

And see also Digby, Universal Health (with a lot of video), and The Democratic Daily.

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