The Daily Muck


With Senate on Break, Bush Appoints Officials
“President Bush on Wednesday appointed as his top regulatory official a conservative academic who has written that markets do a better job of regulating than the government does and that it is more cost-effective for people who are sensitive to pollution to stay indoors on smoggy days than for government to order polluters to clean up their emissions. As director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House Office of Management and Budget, Susan E. Dudley will have an opportunity to change or block all regulations proposed by government agencies.” (LA Times)Bush Team Built on Foundation of Loyalty
“As Attorney General Alberto Gonzales prepares to face Congress this month, his role in the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys isn’t the only issue under scrutiny. There is also loyalty as defined by the Bush administration. Loyalty with roots stretching back to Texas helps explain why Bush is standing behind Gonzales.” (USA TODAY)

A Turncoat in Team Bush’s Midst
“Inside George W. Bush’s inner circle, there are a couple of cardinal rules. Be discreet. Be loyal to the boss, regardless of whether the boss is loyal to you. For more than a month now, Matthew Dowd—Bush’s pollster in 2000 and his chief strategist in 2004—hasn’t just been breaking the rules; he’s been shattering them to pieces.” (Newsweek)

Personal Data at Risk in Lost IRS Laptops
“At least 490 IRS computers have been stolen or lost since 2003 in security breaches that potentially jeopardized the personal information of more than 2,000 taxpayers, a government audit reported Wednesday. The computers were lost in 387 incidents, most of which were not reported to the IRS computer security office as required, according to the report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.” (USA TODAY)

Wal-Mart Defends Security Measures
“Wal-Mart’s normally low-profile security efforts were thrust into the limelight Wednesday when a fired technician alleged he had been part of a large surveillance operation that spied on company workers, critics, vendors and consultants. The company defended its security practices.” (Associated Press)

White House Posts Earmarks on Website
“In a direct challenge to Congress and the way it does business, the White House on Wednesday unveiled an online list of all the pet spending projects lawmakers tucked in the federal budget for the 2004-05 fiscal year. The Internet database details spending known as earmarks, funds that lawmakers funnel to projects, programs and sometimes even specific recipients without going through the normal budget review — such as the $25 million provided to California spinach farmers in the recent Iraq spending bill.” (LA Times)