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October 30, 2007

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Silly EW. You think this is all about money and protecting big business....
The beauty of lead in bibs is that it will ensure an abundance of Republican voters for years to come.

Bush is to the President of the US, as John Bolton is to the UN, as Nancy Nord is to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. All are devoted to destroying the segment of government that they lead and all are incompetent. I understand that Osama has emailed Cheney to allow Egypt to become a nuclear nation in the Middle East and he said he would take it under advisement. It is amazing to me that we can spent over $50 billion on intelligence in the US in 2007 and we have none.

I saw this last night and almost keeled over. When was the last time a department head, a bureaucrat, actively and aggressively lobbied against getting more money and resources for their little bureaucracy? I have heard of the White House, or congressional factions, or other factions, arguing that a certain department doesn't need what is being contemplated, but never the actual head of that department. After all this time, I can still be surprised and shocked almost every day with how bad this Presidency is.

Last week I attended a seminar by Mark Shapiro who's new book Exposed (http://centerforinvestigativereporting.org/) discusses different policies between the EU and the US on toxic chemicals. In short he explained how the EU has replaced the US as the driving force behind environmental and product safety laws, motivated primarily by their need to keep costs low for their universal health care programs. He futher went on to describe that at the moment we have a dual system for consumer products where safer products are sold in Europe while their more toxic counterparts are sold here. The question then becomes will we join the EU and require improved product safety or will we maintain the dual system we have now?

One other thing Shapiro discussed, when the EU Parliament was considering their more stringent requirements on toxic chemicals in cosmetics, K Street pretty much moved en masse to Brussels to try to talk them out of it. As you might imagine, they didn't much appreciate American interference in their affairs...

I sure hope this makes more of an impression on people than past GOP anti-government actions. (Some campaigning from the Dems blaming lead in toys on the Bush Administration instead of cheap attacks on China might help.)

One of the most infuriating aspects of the conservative movement (starting with Reagan, at least) has been the shift from campaigning on promises to eliminate agencies they didn't like (and losing, because voters didn't agree) to just appointing people who would undermine the mission of the agency without ever admitting what they're doing.

I know this is very serious stuff, but I got a big laugh out of your post's title.

I know this is very serious stuff, but I got a big laugh out of your post's title.

I know this is very serious stuff, but I got a big laugh out of your post's title.

dipper

I was pretty proud of it myself. Thanks.

On a hearing I saw, Nord would not answer repeated questions from the female Senator (sorry, can't think of her name at the moment)about whether she agreed she needed more people and money. Nelson of Florida at last told the frustrated questioner that the White House does not allow Nord to say she needs more resources. Honest!

The no/reduced lead in toys program is an indirect assault on imports from China, as well as an attempt to improve public health by reducing preventable exposure to harmful substances.

US manufacturers and distributors - the vast majority of the world's toys, including Disney's, come from China - won't want to revise their manufacturing standards and inspection processes or incur higher costs from enforcing such changed regulations. Ms. Nord is carrying BushCo's water in fighting for their interests and against US consumers and public health. SOP for Dubya and Big Dick.

China is the great dumping ground for lead, a staple in manufacturing for centuries. Among other things, it's where tens of millions of US, European and Asian computers, CRT's, televisions, and other products containing large amounts of lead end up for "recycling". Its environmental regulations and manufacturing processes, in practice, deal poorly with lead contamination. (Though as the source of many electronic products complying with EU lead-free manufacturing standards, its best manufacturers are capable of meeting or exceeding worldwide standards.)

Of course, those umpteen hundreds of billions of dollars in US government debt (which only higher taxes will ever repay) held by the Chinese government has nothing to do with US foreign or economic or public health policies. Nothing at all.

Ref my 1331, the female senator questioning Nord was Clair McCaskill.

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