Until George W. Bush was sworn in as president January 20, 2001, there were several U.S. Presidents who were regarded as the worst in American History. Warren G. Harding (1921-1923) was always the leading candidate for the worst president in American History. Harding is now a very distant runner up behind George W. Bush as the worst president in U.S. history. The list of qualifying facts for this position is too long to print here. But at the top of the list, is, of course, Iraq. It is, after all, a war which the Bush administration justified by telling multiple, deliberate and substantial lies to the American people, the United Nations and the world at large. However, also high on the lBush_cheneyist, along  with packing the courts with politically biased judges, is the abuse of executive power and the corruption of regulatory agencies by this president. The appointment of rubber stamp administrators to agencies, whose role is to supervise industry, resulted in watch dog agencies being in conspiracy with the industry they were supposed to watch.

One example of the corruption  of regulatory agencies which is now in the news is the EPA. I’ve written before about Bush’s appointment of Stephen Johnson as head of the EPA. I pointed out that Johnson, following the Bush administration directive, refused to impose federal standards on greenhouse gas and automobile gas emissions claiming the EPA lacked authority. In addition, Johnson opposed any attempt by a state to adopt state standards. His refusal and objections were challenged in a case that was decided by the U.S. Supreme court against the EPA. The Bush administration’s EPA appointee was ordered to draft standards. His response was the same as the Bush administration’s when it is legally obligated to do something it doesn’t want to do – it just ignores the law. The EPA’s foot dragging, after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered it to move forward. was so blatant that public pressure forced his agency to adopt air quality standards. So, Johnson’s EPA adopted a report so grossly inadequate that an advisory panel of scientists protested and expressed total frustration, The committee’s unanimous recommendation was to adopt appropriate stronger standards. The Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee was created by Congress to advise the EPA, but the EPA ignores it’s recommendations in order to protect the industries it is supposed to be watching. The public health suffers as a result.

Another example now in the news involves the abuse of "executive privilege." The Bush administration has consistently abused the concept of executive privilege. President Bush and Vice President Cheney apply sweeping interpretations of the doctrine of executive privilege as an excuse for refusing to provide any information about what they have done. They just refuse to be accountable to Congress or the American people. I’ve written about the most outrageous example was Dick Cheney’s refusal to turn over documents and information about his role in the Libby prosecution because he insisted the office of Vice President wasn’t part of the executive branch of government. It didn’t bother him that the claim is totally frivolous and constitutionally without merit.

Now in the news is the most publicized example of George’s Bush abuse of executive privilege -his refusal to provide Congress information or allow testimony about the firing of U.S. Attorney’s by claiming executive privilege. In spite of public protest, Bush refused to allow two key members of his staff testify: chief of staff Jeff Bolten (the "bull in the china shop" Bush appointed as our UN representative) and White House counsel Harriet Miers. The Democratic Congress filed suit.

Executive privilege is a doctrine applying to presidential communications and which asserts they are confidential. But, constitutional scholars point out that it is not spelled out in the constitution and has been the subject of debate. The concept normally involves a power struggle between two branches of government, Executive and Legislative. The White House has defied the Congressional committee which subpoenaed the two. As a result a lawsuit was filed and the matter argued before a federal judge who will make a ruling. The decision will have important consequences in defining the boundaries of executive privilege.

The vote is in. President Bush receives the Oscar for being the worst president in history and a  second one to Vice President Cheney for his performance as vice president.

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