Monday, April 30, 2007

Do as I say, not ...

The "DC madam" prostitution story, which has now led to the resignation of Deputy Secretary of State, Randall Tobias, is unimportant in the grand scheme of things but further serves as a reminder of the Republican ethos permeating the administration. Though frankly, I don't need anymore reminders of this. And I'm sure many have grown just a little weary of the constant stream of reminders of Republican sanctimony and hypocrisy this White House keeps hosing us with.

As Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance, Tobias was to coordinate Bush's 2003 AIDS initiative and came to the Bush administration from Big Pharma; he is chairman emeritus at Eli Lilly. But undermining the Global Fund to fight AIDS by refusing lowered drug prices for Africa was only one of Tobias' functions. He also insisted on prerequisites that countries receiving foreign aid not distribute condoms to prostitutes, denounce prostitution, and encourage abstinence-only education. In fact, under Tobias and his previous repellent incarnation, Andrew Natsios*, the US government has cut funding for condom distribution across the continent, which led to the expected rises in infection rates. Some countries that have seen dramatic reductions in HIV infection rates under condom distribution programs have actually refused US aid that comes attached with Bush's Victorian prescriptions of chastity and virtue, qualities that the Bush administration obviously and wholly lacks itself.

As an administration as vastly perverted as this one and considering all the other federal investigations this White House has sought to obstruct through the attorney purge, one would think they might at least have had the wherewithal to keep the Feds off the back of the woman who runs a prostitution ring of which their own staff have availed themselves. But then sanctimony is like that.

* Interestingly, Natsios was appointed Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development with little or no experience for the post. Perhaps it was reasoned by the Bush administration that US Aid would require someone who could run big projects; Natsios was previously "in charge" of Boston's Big Dig project, which may help to explain the incompetence witnessed at that project.

But no, that is probably not the thinking. Natsios was buddies with Andrew Card, who was then White House chief of staff. That's the one and only job requirement at the Bush administration. Once you're in with that crowd, then it's party time and all the hookers you can handle.


Anonymous PeteyR said...

..rrrrrrrgh (continued from previous post).

Once again, I hadn't read about any of this elsewhere. Thanks.

6:06 AM  

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