Monday, December 8, 2008

Going to Yellowstone? Don't forget your bulletproof vest!

It's common for administrations to issue a spate of regulations just before leaving office. Among the new rules Bush is cramming down the nation's throat before he leaves is a new rule that allowing loaded, concealed weapons in national parks.

Also, any nutjob fundamentalist "christian" healthcare worker who objects to any medical procedure or service can now legally refuse to perform it or take part in any way. Unlike older "provider conscience" laws, which deal largely with the behavior of physicians and nurses, the new rule would apply to any employee who has a hand in the healthcare delivery process, including menial tasks such as washing medical instruments. Such workers could legally object to performing their duties if the utensils were to be used in a way the worker deemed morally objectionable. The far-reaching proposed rule has the potential to interfere with every aspect of patient care, according to Anne Davis, M.D., an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York.

Bush's White House issued another executive order that bars workers at five federal departments from joining a union because they are engaged in intelligence gathering, investigations and other national security work. Colleen M. Kelley, president of the NTEU, said ATF workers were stripped of labor rights for no justifiable reason, including bargaining agreements reached in April. ATF employees "have had collective bargaining rights for more than 30 years and there is no indication that having those rights interfered with their mission before," Kelley said in a statement, vowing to work with President-elect Barack Obama's administration to overturn Bush's order.

In the next few weeks, the Bush administration is expected to relax environmental-protection rules on power plants near national parks, uranium mining near the Grand Canyon and more mountaintop-removal coal mining in Appalachia.

Heckuva job, Bushie!!

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