Sunday, June 12, 2005

Story? What Story? 

We don't even know why you're bothering to read the following items, since administration sources have taken such pains to assure us that none of the three is in any way newsworthy. From the Washington Post (via Zemblan patriot K.Z.):
A former oil industry lobbyist who changed government reports on global warming has resigned in a long-planned departure, the White House said Saturday . . . .

His departure was "completely unrelated" to the disclosure, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said . . . .

Based on documents provided to the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit group that helps whistle-blowers, The New York Times first reported Wednesday that Cooney made changes in several federal environmental reports. The changes tended to emphasize the uncertainty of evidence that greenhouse-gas emissions are causing global temperatures to rise. Cooney, a lawyer without a background in science, once headed the oil industry's lobbying on climate change.

The White House defended the changes, saying they were part of the normal, wide-ranging review process and did not violate an administration pledge to rely on sound science.
Also from the WaPo:
A second American animal has tested positive for mad cow disease, Agriculture Department officials said last night. The sample, from a downer cow in Texas that died last November, was retested earlier this week at the request of the USDA inspector general's office . . . .

[USDA director Mike] Johanns said repeatedly last night that the new result did not mean that people face any greater health risk from eating beef because meat from the animal did not enter the human food chain, or the beef feed chain. He also said the result should not have an impact on long and difficult negotiations underway to resume the exporting U.S. beef to Japan and Korea, or the re-opening of the Canadian border to live cattle . . . .

Although Johanns said the new finding should not affect efforts to normalize the international beef trade, others may disagree. Japan, which used to buy more U.S. beef than any other nation, closed its market to American beef after the first mad cow case and has resisted strong pressure to reopen it. Japan, where more than 15 cows have tested positive for mad cow disease, now tests every cow slaughtered. Its government has asked U.S. producers to do the same, but the U.S. government has said the universal testing was not necessary.
And, from the Denver Post:
Three Democratic lawmakers say the refusal of the White House and the Secret Service to disclose the identity of the man who booted three Denverites out of one of President Bush's town-hall meetings smacks of "disinterest or a cover up."

"The American people have an interest and deserve to know what transpired at the president's March 21, 2005, event in Denver and if someone impersonated a law-enforcement official," U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar and U.S. Reps. Mark Udall and Diana DeGette wrote in a letter Thursday to Secret Service Director M. Ralph Basham . . . .

The White House has said the man - whom it refuses to name - was a volunteer who rightly kicked out the "Denver Three" to avoid disruption. Likewise, the Secret Service won't comment on its investigation or say who booted the three from the event.

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