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behind the scenes with the bastards who make this world a dirtier, meaner place. The Republicans just come right out and give the bastards a corner office in the West Wing. That’s the difference. There’s an argument, of course, that it’s more evil to tell someone you’re going to protect them and then rob them than to just go ahead and stick them up. Evil that’s out in the open, not hiding in a liberal sheep’s clothing, can be much easier to confront and eradicate. Which would you rather have, that roach you see running across the floor, or a house full of invisible termites buried in the wall? The roach may carry disease, but at least you know it’s there and can take the appropriate action. The termites let you go on thinking you have the most beautiful living roomuntil the whole foundation collapses and you wake up in a pile of termite-harvested sawdust. Bill Clinton waited until the final days of his presidency to sign a raft of presidential decrees and regulations, many of which promised to improve our environment and create safer working conditions. It was the ultimate cynical move. Wait till the last 48 hours of your term to do the right thing, so that everyone will look back and think, now he was a good president. But Clinton knew these last-minute orders would all fall under the hand of the new administration coming to power. He knew none of the these orders would stand. It was all about image. Do you still believe Clinton removed arsenic from our water? Not only had he done nothing to protect us from drinking arsenic-laced water for the last eight yearsbut the order he signed stipulated that the arsenic was not to be removed from the water “until 2004.” That’s right. Look it up. Clinton’s big environmental gesture in the last minutes of his term guaranteed that we’d be drinking the same levels of arsenic we’ve been drinking since 1942the last time a REAL Democrat had the guts to stand up to the mining interests and reduce the levels of this poison. The Canadians and Europeans did it long ago. But Clinton ignored the law that required the EPA to reduce arsenic levels. That resulted in a lawsuit against the Clinton administration by the Natural Resource Defense Council. In his last week Clinton finally caved inbut only after inserting language that would put off the change for four years. Thus Clinton made it official that we would all be drinking this poison during the entire Bush administration. Maybe he was doing us a favor. And how about those carbon dioxide emission regulations Bush II overturned? Did I say “overturned”? Overturned what? All Bush did was maintain the Clinton status quo. He said, in essence,”I’m going to pollute the air at the very same levels Clinton did during his entire eight years, just as you’re going to drink the same arsenic in the water under my watch as you did under Clinton’s.” And, like the built-in four-year delay in his arsenic reductions, Clinton’s orders on the toxic emissions in his last days specified that they were not to be reduced immediately either. In mid-November, sensing the fate of the election, he called for strict regulations on four greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide. Again, his words sounded nice, but if you looked past them you found the new levels wouldn’t be in place until 2010. And then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, no new regulation could be implemented for another ten to 15 years. The list goes on and on. For eight years Clinton did NOTHING about carpal tunnel syndrome as it relates to OSHA regulations. Then, in the middle of pardoning some rich guys during his all-night Agonistes on January 19, he finally decided to do some good for all those women who sit at keyboards all day and who, with their crippled hands, went to the polls TWICE to make him their President. Friends, you are being misled and hoodwinked by a bunch of professional “liberals” who did NOTHING themselves for eight years to clean up these messesand who now can’t stop themselves from attacking people like Ralph Nader, who has devoted his entire life to every single one of these 4/12/02 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5