Ok, back to Political blogging…

Although we’d been waiting, until the Democratic race was over so we’d have factually interesting material to cover, this last week and the polemicists in us, gave us some stuff to share with you all.

First off, the Bush Administration‘s long-standing ties with Saudi Arabia didn’t do much to move Riyadh to action…

Last Friday marked the President’s 2nd appeal to the Saudi government to increase oil production in an effort to alleviate soaring gas prices in the U.S. The Saudi government rejected the petition (for the 2nd time) asserting that Saudi oil production is meeting current demand and did not see a need to increase its output. 

ZANG! Ahhh, remember the days when the U.S. had the influence and the political leverage to get whatever we wanted, like that canal in Panama and Kosovo’s free cable? Ahh, those were the days. 

No worries, though… On Saturday, we assume that the Saudi Government grew weary of Bush’s kicking, screaming and covering palace walls with crayon doodles and promised a 300,000 barrel-a-day pickup.

President Bush said Saturday that the Saudis’ modest increase in oil production is “something but it doesn’t solve our problem” of soaring gas prices. “I was pleased they increased production by 300,000, but I’m also realistic to say to the American people, we’ve got to do more at home, the president said.

Interesting comment, especially after considering how well the scientific community and the Bush Administration get along. 

An excerpt from a telling U.S. News article:

“Science and politics have always been at odds to some extent, but the relationship between the scientific community and the Bush administration has been particularly contentious. Disputes over issues such as funding, the appointment of scientific advisers, and data interpretation have been raging for years…

The battle between scientists and the Bush administration first came to a head in early 2004 when the environmental advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists launched a petition drive aimed at publicizing perceived abuses in the administration’s use and oversight of science. To date, more than 6,000 scientists—including 49 Nobel laureates and 154 members of the U.S. National Academies of Science—have signed the UCS statement [“Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policymaking“]. They charge, among other things, that the Bush administration has manipulated scientific advisory committees, altered and suppressed reports by government scientists, and misrepresented scientific knowledge in contentious areas such as global warming, air pollution, and reproductive health” (Hayden, 2005). 

A New York Times technology article,

“The nation’s largest general science group, the American Association for the Advancement of Science said Thursday that the Bush administration‘s proposed budget for the next five years could cut research financing at 21 of the 24 federal agencies that engage in it.

Among fields that would most likely be hurt, the organization said, are physics, medicine, oceanography, astronomy, geology, chemistry, psychology, biology, climatology, anthropology, ecology, mathematics, archaeology, meteorology, sociology and ENERGY RESEARCH” (Broad, 2004).

So much for building strong constituencies and support systems in the Middle East and here at home. Where the Bush Administration would rather funnel our hard-earned dollars-is discussed in our next post.

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