Under a somewhat misleading headline - "A Last Push To Deregulate" - WaPo writer R Jeffrey Smith chronicles the Bush Administration's last ditch effort to make lots of business-friendly regulation changes before time at last runs out on the most corrupt president since Grant.
The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January.
The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms.
But deregulating industries wholesale for ideological reasons is clearly NOT what this is about. Not when this is going on:
The burst of activity has made this a busy period for lobbyists who fear that industry views will hold less sway after the elections. The doors at the New Executive Office Building have been whirling with corporate officials and advisers pleading for relief or, in many cases, for hastened decision making.
According to the Office of Management and Budget's regulatory calendar, the commercial scallop-fishing industry came in two weeks ago to urge that proposed catch limits be eased, nearly bumping into National Mining Association officials making the case for easing rules meant to keep coal slurry waste out of Appalachian streams. A few days earlier, lawyers for kidney dialysis and biotechnology companies registered their complaints at the OMB about new Medicare reimbursement rules. Lobbyists for customs brokers complained about proposed counterterrorism rules that require the advance reporting of shipping data.
This last "burst of activity" is being driven by lobbyists, not ideologues, and that makes this not really about dereg as about making the most of your last weeks as head of the Free (Sort Of) World by having a gigantic
GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE!!!!
What else would you expect from the man who sees everything through a filter of dollar signs?