After eight long, tiresome years, President Al Gore won’t be missed. Even if he did save the planet
No one thought Al Gore would be a loveable president, but, after eight years in the White House, he has gotten truly tiresome. The droning voice, the purchase of an eco-friendly robot dog, the campaign for carbon-free diamonds – all these things were hard to take, and he has been way too smug about reversing global warming. I think we’ve gone too far in the opposite direction, especially in light of the glacier that recently crushed Wasilla.
I think I started to dislike Gore when he stirred up a media storm after the Feds broke up the terrorist ring conspiring to fly airplanes into buildings back in 2001. He could have let it pass quietly, as Bill Clinton did with the millennium plot arrests in 2000. Instead, Gore held a press conference to milk it for political gain and scare us into a 15 cent per gallon gas tax. But who can afford to pay over a dollar and a half per gallon? No wonder we’re resorting to electric cars these days.
And why did he pressure the universally admired Fed chairman Alan Greenspan to step down early in 2002? Replacing him with that old warhorse Paul Volcker was a nasty surprise, especially when Volcker choked off a promising housing boom in 2002 and imposed old, outdated regulations on lenders. Some properties lost as much as 8% of their value that year. Now housing prices are rising really slowly, and GDP barely grew by 3% this year.
On Thursday, British MPs are voting to change the law to keep their expenses secret after all, exempting themselves from Freedom of Information legislation. The information has already been compiled, at a cost of a million pounds to the taxpayer, and was due to be published shortly. The Order was snuck in quietly last Thursday (under the Heathrow Runway announcement).
A team of nine specially trained handlers have successfully lured outgoing vice president Dick Cheney into a reinforced steel traveling crate in order to transport him back to his permanent enclosure in Casper, WY, official sources reported Monday. “He’s a smart one. Once he sees the crate, he gets pretty nippy, but we’ve learned a few tricks over the years,” chief VP wrangler Ted Irving breathlessly said while applying pressure to a deep gash on his forearm. “If we break a rabbit’s legs and throw it in there, he will eventually go in to finish it off. Doesn’t work with dead rabbits, though. Cheney only eats what he kills.”
Let’s face it: When George W. Bush claims he’s “kept us safe,” it’s kind of like the babysitter who lets the toddler wander into traffic the first hour she’s on the job, then herds all the remaining kids into the basement and locks them in to compensate. So when the parents get home, she says: “See, I kept them all safe after the toddler got run over.”
A federal law that will soon go into effect could have some startling consequences, including the possible banning of children from libraries unless certain books are pulled from the shelves.
The law is called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and it is designed to protect children all over the country from the dangers of lead.
Experts said there could be trace amounts of lead in books because of the ink. That’s why the government wants all books, old and new, tested for lead.
Reading is a favorite activity for Jennifer Malice and her family, but a new law aimed at keeping lead out of toys may also keep some books out of libraries.
“Books are a very important thing and when you’re reading it expands everything. It opens your eyes to the world,” Malice said.
The law goes into effect on Feb. 10. After that day, all products for children under 12, including books, games, toys and even clothing, must be tested for lead.
Critics argue lead testing is expensive. For a book it could between $300 and $600.
“We just can’t afford to do that, and most of the tests would destroy the books. So, we just think this is crazy,” said Emily Sheketoff, of the American Libraries Association.