For my coverage of GW’s generous gift giving, I am drawing on the article by Tim Dickinson, “Bush’s Final F.U.,” from Rolling Stone. (Read the full piece here.) As Dickinson details, Bush is leaving a plethora of parting gifts to “screw America for years to come.”
What are some of these gifts?
Well, if you make your bucks in the oil industry, Bushy has a special treat, 2 million acres of land in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming for you to pillage! If you are more of a coal tycoon, you no longer need worry about pesky air-pollution standards. If you’re a factory farmer, guess what? All that icky waste can be dumped right into local waterways thanks to GW’s generosity.
What does Bush have under the tree for those who make their ka-ching from polluting? Well, rules about emissions of lead have been lessened and, as a bonus gift, hazardous waste can now be recycled or burned as fuel. Never mind that this will increase cancer-causing air pollution, it’s the thought that counts.
If you do actual work for a living, sorry, but Bush ran out of gifts before he got to you. In fact, he found it necessary to take away the ability to take time of for medical conditions. He also took away more of those annoying rules that help to protect workers form toxic chemical exposure. But, it you drive a big rig for a living, you can now drive for 11 hours a day and up the number of big truck crashes and driver death tolls. How festive!
If you are on Medicaid, sorry, but your vision and dental care had to be taken out from under the tree. Co-payments have been raised. You all must have been naughty this year.
Got a vagina? Well, Bush has a big old lump of coal for you. Under new “conscious laws” (discussed further in this post), healthcare workers can now refuse to supply you with birth control prescriptions, to participate in abortions (even participating in making appointments for them!), and can determine whether or not they feel like giving you any services related to reproductive health and family planning. So, if you have a vagina, an STI, or are a non-heterosexual, plan to have your reproductive justice go up even further in smoke in 2009.
However, if you like the idea of an Orwellian state, Bush has got a special treat for you this year. More domestic spying! Joy to the world!
Unfortunately, as Dickinson’s article details, most of these gifts will be very difficult to return.
Oh, if only the Who’s down in Whoville could make Bush’s heart grow as they did for the Grinch. Alas, seems like GW’s heart may not be two sizes too small, but rather, non-existent.
(With thanks to Feministe for alerting me to the Dickinson piece!)
*As a non-religious person who loves the holidays nonetheless, I always write Xmas in this way – for me, it is not about “Christ” and thus I avoid this way of spelling the holiday… BTW, for an interesting take in how the birth of Christ narrative is hardly unique, see Zeitgeist.