Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bill Clinton is a Scumbag!

A Dirty Trick?
The Lowering of Arsenic Standards and more obvious media bias.

In early 2001 in his first months in office, Bush was bedeviled by hundreds of regulations the Clinton administration had issued in its final days. The most famous of the Clinton last-minute rule changes was the new rule lowering the amount of arsenic permissible in drinking water. During eight years of Clinton’s presidency, his administration considered 50 parts per billion of arsenic in drinking water an acceptable standard – the standard since 1942. But just days before Clinton left office, the Environmental Protection Agency suddenly issued a new rule that would lower the standard to 10 parts per billion over a five-year period, knowing it would be madness for the Bush administration to implement the rule.

In order to comply with the new rule, small towns in western states, where arsenic naturally occurs, would be forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy new water plants. The liberal Brookings Institution and the conservative American Enterprise Institute produced a joint study showing that rather than saving lives, the new standard would actually cost about ten lives annually. Money spent on new water-treatment plants is money that is not being spent on ambulances, cancer research, and healthy food. So obviously this rule was a joke, the equivalent of Clinton staffers removing all of the Ws from the White House typewriters before leaving. To paraphrase Will Rogers, every time the Clinton administration made a joke, it was a law, and every time they made a law, it was a joke.

But facts were irrelevant when the word “arsenic” allowed liberals to scream that Bush was poisoning us. In a typical doomsday editorial, the San Francisco Chronicle intoned, “Arsenic and Water don’t Mix.” Other apocalyptic editorials were titled “A Powerful Poison” (News and Observer [Raleigh, NC]). “Serve Up a Tasty Glass of Arsenic (Detroit Free Press), and “Arsenic, Ozone, and Lead are Poison, not Politics” (South Bend Tribune [Indiana]). Letter to the editor reached a fever pitch. Noe Coopersmith wrote a letter to the editor of the Chronicle saying that Bush “seems determined to poison us all with arsenic in our water.” James F. Gerrits wrote to the Times Herald (Port Huron, Michigan), “The new administration in Washington seems to be bent on poisoning the general population.” Kurt Weldon wrote to the Los Angeles Times that Bush was “getting ready to… poison our children with arsenic-laden water.”

These letters were impressively panic-stricken. But excited liberals firing off letters to newspapers could not hold a candle to the professional hysterics at the New York Times. (There must be something in the water over there.) The Times ran three separate editorials and more than a dozen op-ed columns attacking Bush for not immediately adopting the new arsenic standard that was so urgent, it had not been implemented throughout eight years of the Clinton administration. America’s most easily fooled journalist, Bob Hebert, raged that “Mr. Bush is presiding over a right-wing juggernaut that has… withdrawn new regulations requiring a substantial reduction in the permissible levels of arsenic, a known carcinogen, in drinking water.” Paul Krugman wrote, “And about those who thought Mr. Bush meant something kinder and gentler by ‘compassionate conservatism’ all I can say is, let them eat cake. And drink arsenic.” NOTE: The day where soon the New York Times finally goes under due to readers disinterest should become a national holiday. Guest columnists Paul Begala and James Carville wrote a column saying Bush’s environmental agenda would put more arsenic in the water and more pollutants in the air.” I guess that depends on what your definition of the word “more” is. In Carville and Begala’s sentence, it meant “the same as it was for the past six decades, including during the Clinton administration.

But the winner of the prestigious Lombardi Award for Best Beating of a Dead Horse was Maureen Dowd, something of a nag herself, with a grand total of seven op-eds denouncing the Bush administration’s decision to delay implementation of a new arsenic rule dumped on them by the departing Clinton administration. These columns are considered to contain considerably more than 10 parts per billion of pure bull shit, also a known carcinogen. Sample: “As W. and Uncle Dick went about strip-mining the nation, allowing arsenic in the water and turning Alaska into a gas station…” (We started drilling for oil in Alaska under Carter, incidentally.)

By August of Bush’s first year in office, the Democratic National Committee was running an ad with Senate minority leader Tom Daschle saying, “Under FDR, all we had to fear was fear itself. Now we have to fear arsenic in our drinking water. The late Washington Post columnist Michael Kelly ruefully remarked, “The charges are manifestly false and they stick anyway.”

In the end, the Bush administration adopted the rule, requiring vast amounts of money that could no longer be spent on other things, like heart disease research, lifesaving vaccines, or… I don’t know… how about shoring up some levees in Louisiana? A stupid regulation was adopted because of a prank pulled by the Clinton administration and then elevated to an emergency lifesaving measure by a ferociously anti-Bush press. Bush didn’t even get credit for finally adopting the idiotic rule hysterically demanded by liberals. The article reporting Bush had adopted the new arsenic rule ran on page A18 of the Times.

From Ann Coulter’s Book Guilty – Liberal “Victims” and their Assault on America. 2008. Pages 205-207.

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