About that War on Science….

Roll Call reports  on the persistent efforts by the House GOP to discredit sound science and cripple environmental regulation:

House leaders have decided that one of the most important things they can do during the lame duck session is to vote on two bills that would cripple good, science-based policy.

The bills’ backers are pitching the legislation as an effort to create transparency at the Environmental Protection Agency. But the science the EPA and other agencies base their rules on is already an open book. These bills are about trying to stop the EPA from doing its job.

The first bill, sponsored by Rep. Schweickert of Arizona, sounds innocuous enough; it requires the EPA to post all raw data on its website. The problem is, its definition of “raw data” includes information (about identifiable hospital patients, for example) that privacy laws prohibit the agency from disclosing. By requiring the EPA to do the impossible, the bill effectively prevents the agency from doing anything.

The second bill is even worse.

The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, sponsored by vocal EPA adversary Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, would similarly erect pointless roadblocks for the agency. The Science Advisory Board, composed of some of our nation’s best independent scientists, exists not to advocate any particular policy, but to evaluate whether the best science was used in agency decisions.

This bill would make it easier for experts with ties to corporations affected by new rules to serve on the SAB while excluding independent scientists from talking about their own research. In other words, academic scientists who know the most about a subject can’t weigh in, but experts paid by corporations who want to block regulations can.

These bills can’t be excused as the product of good-faith disagreements. From their disingenuous drafting to the sneaky timing of their introduction, they are quite clearly efforts to keep policies from being based on the best available science.

There should be a special place in hell for people who are willing to jeopardize the health and well-being of millions of humans who inhabit this planet if that’s what it takes to protect their bottom lines.There should be an even hotter place for the political pawns willing to do their bidding.

I seem to recall that Dante’s 9th Circle of Hell was reserved for those guilty of Treachery–defined as those who betray a trust.


  1. If all elected officials were REQUIRED to know and understand the Bill of Rights, Constitution and all Amendments and all current laws; they would know what they are doing…or should be doing. As it stands now; they appear to have little knowledge of applicable requirements to pass the bills they putting before the Legislature. They are probably among those who have never been taught Civics in public or private schools and we are all paying for their (and our own) lack of education and knowledge today.

  2. VETO this nonsense if it gets past. Anyd what ever happened to the Signing Statement where the Pres signs a law and then issues a signing statement that he will not enfore the crap he does not like. Bush was SUPER fond of that practive. Is that still an option?

  3. I like to think these mentioned politicians and their lobbyists have pledged fealty to a large number of overlords, so many different overlords they can’t keep track of whose man they are or what they promised to which man. We’re now back to living in a feudal system, and I agree the 9th Circle of Hell seems appropriate where they’ll be frozen in ice up to their chins for eternity, left only to see their surroundings but unable to move about or flex their influence.

    As an afterthought, I wonder if even 25% of Congress ever bothered to at least skim Dante’s Inferno? I have my doubts.

  4. I’m glad you’re bringing these GOP immoral practices back into sight. Last month when Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Chris Matthews reported this story I was sickened and then frightened that theses evil-doers would win when it was lost among the important pop news of the day.

    We’re too polite. Between now and hell, we need to fight fire with fire. It seems there should be some success with winning at least part of the right-to-life voters to help fight this immoral GOP proposal. But, I’m afraid we have lost those potential allies to a really successful marketing machine that’s villainized the EPA. We’re too polite.

  5. We didn’t know when we were laughing at Archie Bunker that he was the prototype that the Army of the Oligarchy proposed for Americans.

    Then there was Archie without the laugh track, Rush Limbaugh. Then Rupert Murdoch came right behind releasing the Foxes at our doorstep. Then Grover Norquist, buying up Republicans and showing how easy it was.

    Now the Great Oligarchy Plot is in full bloom. The Kochs and Adelson and Trump and LaPierre showing us the power of their purses. Archie morphed into the Duck Dynasty.

    They conquered our minds by revealing the enemies of oligarchy. Non whites, non Christians, those not yet American citizens and the educated. They armed their Army. They dismantled our government. They bought our minds through their big media.

    Billions of workers labored over hundreds of years to build America and create our great wealth. Did we build too enticing a treasure? Why weren’t we more diligent in protecting it? Now it has been stolen and is being used by the few to conquer its creators. We, the people.

    Let us not rest in peace. Our forefathers wouldn’t have and in fact didn’t. Now we have to shoulder the load as they did for us.

  6. By the way, at our next opportunity chatting with folks who didn’t vote in the midterm, and who also pledge their allegiance to the idea of healthy humans, and a healthy planet, remind them that by not voting, this is what they voted for.

  7. Pete; I watch “All In The Family” at 6:00 and 6:30 p.m., Monday – Friday on Antenna TV. The arguments between Archie and the Meathead are as appropriate today as they were then; only the names have changed.

  8. There is much to be said in Phil’s post. Many are unaware that we are faced with true evil. Romney stems from a faith which was run out of the East long ago. Then they were expelled from the Midwest. It wasn’t because they wanted more than one wife. It was much, much more. Mormons were evil and they couldn’t burn them at the stake anymore. Why today will make that statement? Romney did, when he dissed the 47% but it was downplayed. I won’t downplay it! All he did was reveal the true thinking of his fellow followers. The history of Utah is abominable. On par with Mississippi etal. And they plan to bring their philosophy to a state near you.

    Who would deny the evil of the Spanish Inquisition? Still, it was justified in the name of ‘True Faith’. To denounce their evil was to denounce your God. Cheney plays the same card on Gitmo. Old ploy but an ace is an ace. “Don’t like what we did? You don’t like America!”.

    Well I do like America and evidently a lot more than he did. I chose to serve. Therefore I think I have more of an investment and deserve more reward. I earned MORE free speech than a Cheney because for ten years I relinquished it in order that he retain it. He would return us to the thrilling days of yesteryear when men were white and protestant and women were. If so, let it be kicking and screaming and calling a spade a spade. ( NPI)

  9. It’s perfectly consistent with the junk-science-based policies Indiana Republican legislators and 2 successive governors have enacted in Indiana to enable their regime of so-called reforms of public education. So now your tax dollars can be spent at a parochial school that teach children that men rode around on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago and that there is no scientific basis for the “theory” of evolution. All of this under the watchful eyes of Arne Duncan and President Obama (Repubs can claim no monopoly on hypocrisy).
    I’d prefer that we get junk science out of own back yard before we take on Washington.

  10. During one of her first interviews after appointment to the Court, Sotomayor, a veteran trier of fact, replied to a question of weather she believed in evil. The lady paused for a considerable time and then measurably replied: “Yes. Evil does exist.”

    Our mistake, and this is what they depend on, is that some actually believe that “It doesn’t apply to me.” Both ways: ‘ It looked good at the time’, if they’re doing the evil. Or ‘They’re not after me’, if they’re witnessing it. But they are after you. Right after me.

  11. Ask yourself, if you were brand marketing oligarchy how hard a sell would be a nation of Archie Bunkers? Like shooting fish in a barrel.

    The only defense is education be it formal or informal. That’s why it is the enemy of oligarchy.

  12. “Religion cannot exist without Science”

    British Maritime Board of Trade, Second Class Certificate of
    Competency for Marine Engineers.

    Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic
    (absorbs heat)?

    First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. We
    need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they
    are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to
    hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

    As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different
    religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state
    that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.
    Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not
    belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to

    With birth and death rates as they are; we can expect the number of
    souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

    Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s
    Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to
    stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls
    are added.

    This gives two possibilities: 1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate
    than the rate at which souls enter Hell. Then, the temperature and
    pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose. 2. Of
    course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls
    in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes

    So which is it?

    If we accept the postulate given by most Female Passengers during the
    first couple of days of the Cruise; that “it will be a cold day in Hell before
    I sleep with you” and take into account the fact that you still have not succeeded
    in having intercourse with any of them, then #2 cannot be true, and thus Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.

Comments are closed.