Three More Lies From Tumbleweed and His Campaign Stooges

As I’m certain you’ve heard by now, Tumbleweed is being touted in the press and on the airwaves as a “green” presidential candidate. The reports talk about how Tumbelweed has left the state of Texas with the cleanest air imaginable and describe how this little dweeb cowboy “got tough” on polluters.

It’s also pronounced often, both by his campaign staff and in his speeches, that Tumbleweed has been able to pass a true “Patient’s Bill of Rights”, one of the first in the nation.

Finally, our boy Tumbleweed has been accounted for as the driving force behind a “tort reform” law that shows just how committed to “reforming” the system he truly is and how he will carry that drive to “reform” all the way to the White House.

Yes sir, that sounds exactly the Tumbleweed we’ve all grown to know and love, now doesn’t it? Good guy? White hat? Wouldn’t harm a fly?

As usual in politics (and advertising and the War on Americans Who Use the Wrong Drugs and on the floor of Congress, etc., etc.) the truth is a shade different from the dreams of Tumbleweed’s PR people. In fact, these little bon mots are pretty much nothing but bull patties and smoke and mirrors, as you’ll soon see.

Let’s begin with the incredulous reports that Tumbleweed would even recognize the color “green” unless there were pictures of dead presidents on it.

Texas, according to the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation set up by NAFTA (yes, some small good came out of that anti-human treaty), produces more pollution than any other state or Canadian province. According to the EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency and scourge of Republican fibbers) Texas ranks #1 in overall toxic releases, recognized carcinogens in the air, suspected carcinogens in the air, developmental toxins in the air, cancer risk and ten other rather sad categories.

While this filth was in the air and in the lungs of Texans long before Tumbleweed even snorted his first line of coke, we can’t lay the whole thing on him. What we can do, and what we are about to do, is to look at exactly what Tumbleweed has done as governor to alleviate those distressing circumstances.

When Texas enacted the legislation known as the Texas Clean Air Act in 1971, the law exempted 850 of the heaviest polluting coal-fired power plants in the state by “grandfathering” them. The intention, at the time, was to allow these truly dirty plants to clean up their emissions more slowly and to spread the cost out over a longer period.

Well, here it is, twenty-nine years later and the method that these plants chose for spreading out that cost was to simply do nothing whatsoever about cleaning up their emissions, meaning that they were able to spread out exactly zero dollars over the last twenty-nine years. Fairly cost effective, wouldn’t you agree?

Now down to 800 plants and change (some plants closed due to age or other “natural” causes), these plants are still responsible for almost a full one third of the pollution generated by the entire state of Texas. That’s 905,669 TONS of filth poured into the air each year out of a total 2.75 million tons.

By 1997, this pollution was so severe that even the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission, the silly little excuse for an environmental agency that Texas claimed as their environmental protector (but staffed always with morons with far more political clout that intelligence) began making noises about doing something to clear the air.

Tumbleweed, leaping into action, asked two of the heaviest polluters to schedule a meeting in which a “voluntary” program to clean the air could be designed by the executives of the coal-fired industry. What emerged was a bill written entirely by the general counsel for the Texas Chemical Council and lobbyist for energy and utility industries. Even though the act was roundly attacked by nearly every major newspaper in the state, the law was passed.

The result of this law? 760 of the plants are covered by the voluntary structure of the law but have offered nothing but silence, 73 have agreed to write a plan but have not been heard from since, three have actually reduced their emissions and five have permits or enforcement issues to deal with regarding their emissions.

Happily, 299 were later judged to be located in what has been termed “non-attainment areas” and are now covered by the EPA, which sets and enforces far more stringent regulations.

Even of those, 68 of the plants not covered by the EPA have been put under separate state regulations that are even stronger than the EPA’s. How did that get by Tumbleweed? Through some very shrewd manipulations of the system by one Rep. Steve Wolens, Democrat from Dallas. When the legislation reached Tumbleweed’s desk, he was advised that he must sign the act as there was the possibility of even stronger action coming from Washington if he vetoed it.

What Tumbleweed is now doing is claiming that the fact that he signed this bill shows his roots in the conservation movement. What it shows, instead, is that he allowed 760 power plants to continue spewing filth into the air of Texas, causing untold numbers of cancer cases and breathing related deaths that will now continue into the far reaches of the future. He had no choice in signing the bill but he has no conscience either so he now tries to claim credit for it, instead. What a moron!

Okay, now let’s peek into the reality about his “support” for a “Patient’s Bill of Rights”.

His campaign is trying to convince the voting public (both of us) that Tumbleweed was somehow responsible for the act that did, indeed, eventually pass. An ad that his campaign produced and aired around the country states, “While Washington was deadlocked, he passed a patient’s bill of rights. Under Gov. Bush, Texas enacted some of the most comprehensive patient protection laws in the nation.”

Okay, so it’s only a little tiny, hard to even notice without nit-picking type lie. What really happened was that he vetoed the first “rights” bill in 1995 and, when the legislature passed it again, this time with a veto proof majority, he again threatened to veto it but, acknowledging the fact that his veto would be over ridden, allowed it to become law without his signature.

What actually passed, without his support or signature, included:

A. A report card of all HMOs allowing consumers to make intelligent, informed choices.

B. A repeal of the “gag rule” that kept physicians from honestly discussing treatment options and the like.

C. A stronger set of privacy controls over the records of patients.

D. Required that those who have the final say in treatment options within the HMOs be actual physicians or physician assistants or nurses.

E. Protection from retaliation or punishment for doctors who make reasonable treatment requests or file reasonable claims.

F. Protections for the patient so that they were not held responsible for covered services even if the HMO refused to pay.

Now, gentle readers, exactly what part of veto and not signing adds up to any credit for this little smirking buffoon?

Which leads us to the next item on the agenda, his claim of enacting “tort reform”.

One of the most controversial parts of the rights bill would have been to allow patients to sue HMOs for various legal reasons. While this section was not a part of the final bill, Tumbleweed and his ilk decided to create a wall of protection around his owners and devised “tort reform” as the answer.

What Tumbleweed defines as “reform” would be defined by intelligent humans as “vast restrictions”. He initially tried to force onto the citizens exactly what the HMOs demanded, which was an “independent review panel” for all patient complaints. Naturally, the “independent review panel” was to be a group completely employed by the HMOs themselves. When that definition of “independent” failed to satisfy anyone else, it was decided that “truly independent” panels would be used. The only limitation would be that the HMO had the sole right to choose which “independent” panel the case would be brought before.

Finally, sensing that there was nothing left but defeat on the issue, the HMOs backed off and allowed not only truly (without the conditioning quotations) independent panels to judge these cases but also allowed the patients the right to sue if they felt that the review wasn’t satisfactory. So far, two lawsuits have been filed.

Even though the HMOs, themselves, have admitted defeat on this issue, Tumbleweed hasn’t quite acquired the sense to know when to quit. His staff is stating that Tumbleweed has not yet determined whether or not to veto the final bill. And this bozo claims to have “passed” the bill of rights?

So, gentle readers, what we have are three big-time boasts, not one of which has even a grain of truth to it. His every action as a governor is a prime indicator of exactly what kind of evil, lying little man he will be if America is foolish enough to elect him as our next president. In other words, he will be almost as evil as Ronald Reagan but without the excuse of being all together dumb as dirt in the first place. ( 1, 2 )

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