politics as usual
by PAT MURPHY
news TV is obsessed with war coverage during November Nielsen rating
"sweeps" and most Americans are distracted by talk of terrorism,
the Bush White House is busy as worker bees with its domestic political
agenda that’s receiving only scant attention and comment.
Although President Bush posed as a stalwart of states’ rights in his
election campaign, Attorney General John Ashcroft last week made a mockery
of Bush’s words: he rebuked Oregon voters by ordering penalties against
any physician who assists a suicide allowed under Oregon’s
assisted-suicide law, which was approved twice by voters — by 60 to 40
percent the last time. Contradicting Bush’s campaign rhetoric,
right-to-lifer Ashcroft believes Washington knows better than Oregon
voters. A federal judge has temporarily blocked Ashcroft’s order.
his confirmation hearings, Ashcroft took pains to assure senators that his
rigid conservative views wouldn’t color his judgment. But without any
change in federal law or a court hearing, Ashcroft last week preemptively
ordered the Justice Department to ignore attorney-client confidences and
bug conversations between attorneys and their clients being held in
President Bush lectured the United Nations about the responsibility of
nations to join the war on terrorism, the president instructed the United
States not to join 165 other nations in Morocco in approving the Kyoto
Treaty on global warming. Bush’s declaration that "every nation has
a stake" in fighting terrorism doesn’t apply to the United States
in the war on climate change, as Bush says, because it would add expense
to U.S. industry.
on by oil shortage scare talk from the likes of Idaho Sen. Larry Craig,
the Bush White House presses ahead to open the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge for drilling, but ignores energy conservation, rationing or
requiring better mileage from vehicles. ANWR reportedly has 10 billion
barrels of oil. But Alaska’s other big field — Prudhoe Bay — already
has drained 11 billion of its 13 billion barrel reserve in 20 years,
according to Randy Udall, of the Community Office of Resource Efficiency.
The President doesn’t believe in saving for rainy days: he wiped out the
$1.6 trillion budget surplus and now plans to pump out another oil field
to satisfy unrestrained gas guzzling consumption.
gasoline and oil: Idaho continues to have the reputation of the highest or
among the nation’s highest average fuel prices.
interested in comparing Wood River Valley fuel prices with other cities
around the nation, the American Automobile Association provides an updated
daily Internet report (http://www.tuelgaugereport.com) of prices from