Wyden closes Cheney's loophole

Daily Astorian:

In a disquieting echo of Gen. Colin Powell's "you break it, you own it" caution about Iraq, the oozing destruction of the Gulf can be laid directly at the feet of devil-may-care Bush-Cheney officials. Sloppy decision making, lax agency management and a relentless focus on turning government policies into corporate profits created the conditions for this latest catastrophe. Like Iraq, no real effort was put into preplanning what the response would be if things went wrong in the Gulf.

... It is this appalling misuse of government connections that Wyden seeks to curtail, or at least delay, with new ethics rules for the Department of the Interior, which includes the MMS. Part of this aims to slow down the revolving door between agencies and industry. Wyden cited the example of recent MMS director Randall Luthi, who approved the Gulf drilling permits before immediately finding himself a lucrative job a trade group that lobbies on behalf of drillers. "The rest of the story," as broadcaster Paul Harvey used to say, is that Luthi also has deep personal and professional links with Cheney.

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    I am damned proud of our senior senator. This is only a small example of Ron's good work. He's doing a great job under unimaginably difficult circumstances. I am glad that as the years have passed Ron and I can call each other, "friend."

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