Sunday, July 29, 2007

Another Loyal Bushie

Yeah, we're shocked too. Washington Post (07.29.07):
"A surgeon general's report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackle global health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush political appointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health, chiefly because the report did not promote the administration's policy accomplishments, according to current and former public health officials.

The report described the link between poverty and poor health, urged the U.S. government to help combat widespread diseases as a key aim of its foreign policy, and called on corporations to help improve health conditions in the countries where they operate.

Bush Aide Blocked Report

"Three people directly involved in its preparation said its publication was blocked by William R. Steiger, a specialist in education and a scholar of Latin American history whose family has long ties to President Bush and Vice President Cheney."

Believe it or not, Bill said "that 'political considerations' did not delay the report; 'sloppy work, poor analysis, and lack of scientific rigor did.'"

On the other hand, back in June, 2006, one of Bill's aides "sent an e-mail saying that the report should not be cleared for public distribution: 'While we believe the subject matter of the draft is important, we disagree with the style, tone and messaging,' wrote the aide, Mark A. Abdoo, according to a copy of the e-mail. 'We believe this document should be focused tightly on the Administration's major priorities in global health so the American public can understand better why these issues should be important to them. As such, the draft should be a policy statement, albeit one that is evidence based and draws on the best available science.'"

Bill is extraordinarily well-connected. He's "a godson of former president George H.W. Bush and the son of a moderate Republican who represented Wisconsin in the House and hired a young Dick Cheney as an intern. The elder Bush appointed Steiger's mother to the Federal Trade Commission in 1989. A biographical sketch of her on the American Bar Association's Web site states that Steiger's parents, now deceased, were 'lifelong friends' of many members of the same congressional class, including the Rumsfelds and the Bushes.'"



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