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February 13, 2004
Trash Day

For those of us who watch West Wing, it's Take Out the Trash Day, so I'm checking the major news sites to find whatever it was They wanted us to ignore this week.

There are giant headlines around the interminable internment of innocent-because-not-proven-guilty men at Guantanamo, but that news was actually released a day or two ago, so it's not really 'new' news.

The next batch are about Bush ordering the release of his military files but from what I understood, he said he was going to do that quite a while ago so I'm not excited by it today. Besides, I'm (a) fairly certain there's nothing in there to embarrass him or his Administration by this point; and (b) now wondering if they were generating an artificial flurry of fuss around the topic to distract from something else. (No, there are no limits to my paranoia.)

I see the story is suitably embellished with a photo of young Dubya. I wonder if the Administration would have handed it out if he didn't appear to be in a uniform? (Okay, now I'm just being rude.)

Ahhh. Here's our first bit o'trash.

Last two members join WMD panel says the headline. (Two minutes later I'm still waiting for the page to open and realize that there are, in fact, limits to my paranoia. I suspect nothing more sinister than that some selfish pig in this office is sucking up all the bandwidth.)

They are Charles M. Vest, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Henry S. Rowen, an emeritus professor of public policy and management at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

I don't know anything about these guys. I mean, looking at the data, I can see the Rowen is a serious geezer, but that's not really grounds for objecting to him.

I doubt if this surprises anyone, either:

The chairman of the commission reviewing the Sept. 11 attacks says it will be forced to pare down inquiries into intelligence failures if Congress doesn't give it more time.

If he wanted anyone to pay attention, he should have said it on Monday, but whatever.

How about the VA story?

Panel OKs Bush Plan to Shut VA Hospitals
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Veterans hospitals in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Mississippi should be shut down, but the administration should scrap plans to close facilities in New York, Kentucky and California, an advisory commission said Friday.

The 16-member panel appointed to review the Department of Veterans Affairs projected realignment of its health care system also agreed with the Bush administration that a new hospital was needed in Orlando, Fla. It disagreed with the recommendation for one in Las Vegas.

VA Secretary Anthony Principi promised to decide in about a month which hospitals to close or reduce in size. Democrats were skeptical that final decisions to close any of them would come in an election year.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said the importance of Ohio and Pennsylvania in the presidential campaign could outweigh arguments in favor of closing hospitals in those two states.

And look at this:

The VA advisory panel rejected administration proposals to close hospitals in Canandaigua, N.Y.; Lexington, Ky.; and Livermore, Calif. It agreed with the administration on the closure of hospitals in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Gulfport, Miss., and transferring large portions of care away from the hospital in Waco, Texas.

Election year or not, veterans' benefits continue to come under the Bush Administration axe, don't they?

And let's take a moment out to marvel over rampant stupidity.

NASA Bumps Up Data Rate From Mars Rovers

NASA Upgrades Data Rate From Mars Rovers to Allow Faster Transmission of Pictures

NASA upgraded the bandwidth connection to its pokey twin Mars rovers, a boost that will allow scientists to send and receive data like pictures more quickly, a mission manager said Friday.

We spent billions to send the rovers to Mars but we didn't want to pay for the bandwidth to talk to them?

Seriously. There has to come a moment when even the Bush Administration is wondering if those tax cuts might not have gone just a little too far.

I give up.

I'm going home.

Posted by AnneZook at 05:04 PM