29 April 2014

 AUSTIN, Texas -- You've got to hand it to those clever little
problem-solvers at the White House. What a bunch of brainiacs. They have
resolved the entire problem of global warming: They cut it out of the

            This is genius. Everybody else is maundering on about the oceans
rising and the polar icecaps melting and monster storms and hideous
droughts, and these guys just ... edit it out.

            "The editing eliminated references to many studies concluding
that warming is at least partly caused by rising concentrations of
smokestack and tailpipe emissions, and could threaten health and
ecosystems," reports The New York Times. Presto -- poof!

            What do they care about health and ecosystems? Think of the
possibilities presented by this ingenious solution. Let's edit out AIDS and
all problems with drugs both legal and illegal. We could get rid of Libya
and Syria this way -- take 'em off the maps. We can do away with
unemployment, the uninsured, heart disease, obesity and the coming Social
Security crunch. We could try editing out death and taxes, but I don't think
we should overreach right away. Just start with something simple, like years
of scientific research on global warming, and blue pencil that sucker out of
existence. Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

            Inspiring as the remarkable Bush approach to resolving global
warming is -- the simplicity of it, the beauty of it, I cannot get over
it -- does it not suggest a certain cavalier je ne sais quoi about the future? What I mean is, is anybody there concerned about
what happens to people?

            I realize the energy industry and auto industry and other major
campaign contributors would prefer to think global warming does not exist,
but how long do you think it will take before reality catches up with all of
us? The White House editors (hi, Karl) instead chose to insert a new study
on global non-warming funded by ... ta-da! ... the American
Petroleum Institute.

            Dear old API, author of innumerable ringing editorials on the
desperate need to leave the oil depletion allowance at 27 percent (certain
Texas newspapers that shall remain nameless used to run those editorials
without changing a single comma), is really swell at representing the oil
bidness. Fond as I am of many of API lobbyists I have known over the years,
I am not (SET ITAL) quite (END ITAL) sure I want those bozos calling the
shots on global warming. I have watched them buy law and bend regulations
for decades now, and while I admire their chutzpah, I am impelled to warn
you: They have no scruples, they have no decency, and they have no shame.
(See 50 years worth of reporting on the industry by The Texas Observer.)
Also, they lie.

            Well now, danged if that doesn't bring us to the subject of
lying and the White House. Let us set aside the vexing case of the missing
weapons of mass destruction and focus on a few items closer to home. Anyone
remember President Bush's 2002 State of the Union Address? No, no, not the
one where he said Iraq had a nuclear weapons program. The one where he said
he was going to expand AmeriCorps by 50 percent, from 50,000 up to 75,000,
because giving all those young people a chance to work their way through
college by doing good for the community is so noble and effective.

            "USA Freedom Corps will expand and improve the good efforts of
AmeriCorps and Senior Corps to recruit more than 200,000 new volunteers," he

            Last week, Bush and Republicans in Congress cut AmeriCorps by 80
percent. According to Jonathan Alter in Newsweek, Congress, under pressure,
restored some of it, but it still leaves Americorps with a 58 percent cut
and tens of thousands of fewer participants out there teaching poor kids to
read, helping old folks in nursing homes, setting up community gardens, and
a thousand other good and useful tasks -- many of which get the young people
started on careers in that kind of work.

            Alter notes that restoring AmeriCorps to its current level would
take $185 million, about one-half of one percent of the president's latest
tax cut for the rich. The radical Republicans in Congress, apparently egged
on by a Heritage Foundation study from April 2003, have decided AmeriCorps
is (gasp, shudder) a jobs program.

            What have these people got against national service?

            Speaking of said same tax cut, too bad about the children of the
working poor. Congress just announced it's too busy to get around to the
restoring the child tax credit to 6.5 million low-income families (known to
The Wall Street Journal as "lucky duckies" because, you see, they pay little
or no income tax. They only pay 19 percent of their meager incomes in other taxes.).

            FYI: If you put "George W. Bush" and "lies" into the Google
search engine, you get 250,000 references in nine-tenths of a second.

            To find out more about Molly Ivins and read features by other
Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web
page at www.creators.com.