Revealing look
February 11, 2001 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Revealing look at Bush's policy and cabinet. Scary.
posted by skallas (14 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

This story includes a good bushism - "We're concerned about AIDS inside our White House, make no mistake about it."
posted by rmw at 9:50 PM on February 11, 2001

I thought they cleaned the carpets.
posted by dhartung at 10:20 PM on February 11, 2001

I don't recall Bush running on a "screw the truckers" platform, yet lo and behold...
posted by xtrmntr at 2:34 AM on February 12, 2001

"Mexican drivers make one quarter as much as American drivers, which makes unions fear the loss of jobs. In addition, questions have been raised about the safety of Mexican trucks. More than 40 percent of the rigs have failed U.S. inspections at the border."

The US could try to detect and stop most unsafe trucks at the border. Still, the drivers will eventually get through in trucks that are safe enough to pass inspection.

Then the average US trucker will have to take a big cut in his or her standard of living, or have to move to Mexico to live with and like the rest of the underpaid drivers in Mexico. Either way, the US trucking market will become considerably more cutthroat, and the trucking company that gets away with the least truck maintenance and the longest (i.e., most dangerous) driver hours will win.

The typical tractor-trailer rig that zooms past your family car now, before any such deregulation, is said to weigh 80,000 pounds and to take the length of an entire football field to stop, and that's when it's going just 55.

posted by pracowity at 3:55 AM on February 12, 2001

I happen to know a little something about the trucking business, most of the larger corporations (P&G, Colgate, etc.) willingly pay more for clean (disinfected after every load), safe trucks.

If trucks go without maintenance for too long then there will be unexpected downtime. You can't have that when every minute that a shipment is late costs the carrier big bucks.

There is a shortage of qualified drivers in the US, a larger pool of drivers is a good thing, open markets are good for everyone except those to incompetent compete
posted by Mick at 6:09 AM on February 12, 2001

And everyone knows the Village Voice is the place to go for unbiased reporting.
posted by CRS at 6:39 AM on February 12, 2001

Dear CRS: the VV is biased, no doubt, as are just about every paper or tv show you can name. Ridgeway, a decent enough journalist (a lefty) nonetheless is reporting what has been done thus far and he is not taking a position. He is mostly listing what has been said and done. Now, this may be in some ways slanted but the core reporting is not.
I have no position for or against what has thus far been done and await results rather than ideas being put into play.
posted by Postroad at 6:46 AM on February 12, 2001

I am not sure how this trucking deregulation is going to play with the American people overall. Irregardless of pay disparity and other real issues involved in this, I know a lot of people who are just plain scared of sharing the roads with a lot of trucks, and will be even more frightened of driving with less regulated and (in their minds) less qualified trucks and truck drivers. Just a thought...
posted by donkeymon at 6:55 AM on February 12, 2001

Good point, Postroad. The whole tax thing got my shorts in a bunch, but the article was fairly straightforward. I'm relaxing now. Ohmmmm. . .

A question: Don't the Mexican trucks have to follow the same laws & regulations applied to U.S. trucks? I'm sure the Texas DPS isn't going to let unsafe trucks drive up and down the road just because they're Mexican.
posted by CRS at 7:12 AM on February 12, 2001

I don't know, the discussion seems to say a lot about truck safety, I've read a study for 1999, which found that 82% of all truck and car accidents were car's fault, and less than 9 percent of the Truckers at fault at those times, also 'fatal accidents in the last 2 years involving trucks declined 30 percent while the actual miles driven increased 43 percent'.

Hmm.. how is that nafta thing going? Seems like a really bad decision on part of W. If there's anything we don't need is more competition in the trucking arena. Well, I thought they would just reach the next open/available weight station and if the truck's unsafe then it'd be turned away? Ofcourse there are most than a few ways to avoid those... soo...
posted by tiaka at 7:22 AM on February 12, 2001

Ashcroft also said Clinton in part was responsible for the increase in pot smoking during the 1990s because, although he first claimed not to have inhaled, he later told MTV he would take a drag "if I could. I tried before." About which Ashcroft said, "I think that sends the wrong signal."Um, so by that logic, if drunk driving increases in the next four years, do we get to blame Dubya?(Oh wait, I forget, it was a "youthful indiscretion" and he's over it now, and anyway smoking weed is a helluva lot more deadly than driving under the influence, right? Right.)
posted by lia at 7:36 AM on February 12, 2001

> open markets are good for everyone except those
> to[o] incompetent [to] compete

If Mexican drivers will do exactly the same job (drive tomatos from point A to point B, for example) for a quarter of the pay US drivers get, the open market will certainly not be good for US truckers currently living on four times what they're worth on the market.
posted by pracowity at 9:11 AM on February 12, 2001

> tomatos

should be tomatoes. Sorry. I hate misspellings.
posted by pracowity at 9:13 AM on February 12, 2001

As far as the Village Voice is concerned, I had stopped reading it for years but with the coming of the (s)election, I went back and I have to say, for a freebie it's certainly an excellent publication. I was reading The Unintended Consequences of Failing to Stop Ashcroft by Richard Goldstein in this week's edition and was impressed by the following line:
"... the Republican party's liberal wing has ceased to exist, except on the local level. But what's made it possible for the right to dominate American politics is the retreat of Democrats, who have come to regard their activist core as little more than a vote cow. This empty embrace is what drove many progressives to abandon Al Gore in the last election, and one can hardly fault their logic—only their sense of consequences."

Great stuff.
posted by leo at 8:38 PM on February 12, 2001

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