The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, June 01, 2007

Regrets? I've had a few.

The biggest regret being flags. Or tags. Or labels. You know, when someone puts little categories with each post. I really wish I'd done that from the start using the maxims of GOP behavior. Or maybe I'd literally lose my mind given the terrible dichotomy of their consistency and the consistency of the press in overlooking so much of it.

Anyway, here's another example of "If they say one thing, they're doing the opposite." One of the most egregious examples being the administration's pitiful insistence in the wake of Katrina that no one could've possibly predicted such a devastating outcome. The reality, of course, is that everyone knew it would happen-- it was just a question of when. Combine that with the fact that Fearless Leader was actually slashing the budget for levee maintenance, and you've got-- tragically enough-- business as usual under Republican rule.

Just add 'potential pandemic' to the list of things they've ignored-- or actually helped bring about-- to the detriment of the nation. And an international (or even global) pandemic, not unlike Katrina, is much more a matter of 'when' than 'if.'

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been instrumental in dealing with this recent [rare and drug-resistant] TB case. President Bush has repeatedly lauded their work in public health. From 2001:

I believe — firmly believe that because of the good folks who work in this building and other buildings throughout Atlanta, Georgia, and throughout the country for CDC, that we’ve saved a lot of lives in America. … I’m going to talk about public health officials as part of being the new heroes of America. And that’s why I’ve come by today, to thank them.

Yet despite his rhetoric, Bush has repeatedly proposed slashing the CDC’s budget:

– 2002: Proposed a $174 million cut.

– 2003: Proposed a $1 billion cut, with no new funding for preventive health divisions working on TB.

– 2004: Proposed an increase of “less than 1 per cent.”

– 2005: Proposed a $263 million cut, while simultaneously proposing a $270 million increase in abstinence education.

– 2006: Proposed a $500 million cut which would have slashed grants to state and local health departments like the Fulton County Health and Wellness Department involved in this week’s TB-scare.

– 2007: Proposed a $179 million cut, in addition to unspecified plans for more CDC “savings.”

– 2008: Proposed a $37 million cut, including “massive funding cuts in proven health protection programs.”

In a report submitted to the House Appropriations Committee earlier this year, CDC Director Julie Gerberding warned that a TB outbreak could result from the administration’s proposed cuts. She noted that “emerging plagues such as drug-resistant tuberculosis represent ‘urgent threats that have become more prominent in the dawn of the 21st century.’”