Quote of the Day

. . . And you can hear the lament – how did we let Bush and these conservative idiots take control of the beautiful [governmental] machine we built? My answer is that you shouldn’t have built the machine in the first place – it always falls into the wrong hands. Maybe its time for me to again invite the left to reconsider school choice.

Today, via Instapundit, comes this story about the GAO audit of the decision by the FDA to not allow the plan B morning after pill to be sold over the counter. And, knock me over with a feather, it appears that the decision was political, based on a conservative administration’s opposition to abortion. And again the technocrats on the left are freaked. Well, what did you expect? You applauded the Clinton FDA’s politically motivated ban on breast implants as a sop to NOW and the trial lawyers. In establishing the FDA, it was you on the left that established the principal, contradictory to the left’s own stand on abortion, that the government does indeed trump the individual on decision making for their own body (other thoughts here). Again we hear the lament that the game was great until these conservative yahoos took over. No, it wasn’t. It was unjust to scheme to control other people’s lives, and just plain stupid to expect that the machinery of control you created would never fall into your political enemy’s hands.

Warren Meyer

5 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. “Oh, so now you would even give The Devil benefit of law!”

    “And what would you do, Roper, cut down every law to get after The Devil?”

    “Yes. To get The Devil, I’d cut down every law in England!”

    “And when The Devil turned ‘round on you, Roper, where would you hide, all the laws being flat? This country is sown coast to coast, with laws— men’s laws, not God’s. And if you cut them down — oh, and you’re JUST the man to do it do you really think you could stand in the winds that would blow then? No, Roper, I would give The Devil benefit of law for my own safety’s sake. “

    (Sir Thomas More, in “A Man For All Seasons”)

    So many people seem to get caught up in a specific issue that they don’t understand the importance of the governmental machinery whose power extends beyond that issue, and the dangerous ways in which the machinery can be misused.

  2. Thanks David Foster – Scotus has been after me for weeks to put up just that passage relating to an earlier discussion. It is lovely – A Man for All Seasons ages well.

  3. I haven’t read the full GAO report, but it does look like a lot of audit teams are being foolish enough to critique policy decisions of Executive branch entities on the grounds that said policies are politically motivated. Someone at the GAO has messed up very badly, and the Comptroller General should move very quickly to address the problem.

    The GAO is rushing out reports of dubious merit, and frankly, the entire GAO looks compromised as a result. At least four reports released in the last couple of weeks that I’ve read contain overt and demonstrably false information. Auditors that print lies should be fired at once. Auditors that cover up for other auditors that lie should be fired at once. All Audit staff within two degrees above and below those responsible for publishing demonstrably false, unqualified claims in reports… EVERY single person, should be fired at once.

    This isn’t really about the FDA, it’s about the GAO. The GAO underwent a massive reorganization in 2000, with mixed results.

    Most of the domestic departments of the GAO, especially those that work on serious audits, investigations, and oversight, improved dramatically. They adopted an Operations Engineering and PM style of assesment and metrology, and have worked WITH the Executive departmental leaders on improvements… basically, they became the Government Accountablity Office, and reinvented themselves as consultants. This has been a great success.

    The downside is that the need for the General Accounting Office has never been greater. The accounting and auditing professions have gone rotten. The big Eleven became the big Seven became the Big four and are now the Big three. The General Motors Board of Directors audit committee has publically stated that the submitted financial statements from 2001 (to the present) AND the associated audits, cannot be trusted. Rather than sending a hundred GAO agents to Detroit to find out how the second largest company in the US cooked it’s books for 4 years, the GAO is picking a political fight AGAINST the Majority Party over POLICY. This is a very bad problem.

    Next. The 2000 reorganization was overtly political. The GAO field offices that handle almost all of the International oversight tasks are located in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In fact, the SF office seems to have a political staffer who works for the House MINORITY leader. This wing of the GAO is responsible for UN oversight, IMF oversight, WB audits, and etc. How did it manage to miss the Oil for Food corruption? Easy, part of the GAO improved (the majority), and other parts became brutally corrupt or unsound or incompetent (as we’re seeing in the recent batch of dubious publications). The reorganization was a way for the Clintons to keep the Republicans and the majority of the GAO from looking too closely at areas where they hid their dirty laundry. Look at WHERE the GAO changed and into WHICH districts and cities in 2000, and the trend should be glaringly obvious. If one is a journalist, look into the International GAO, as well as any West Coast staff hired post-2000, and within a week you will find political dirt related to the Clinton administration (maybe even outright corruption if you’re good).

    Why is the GAO recruiting at the University of Berekley Sociology Department? (Not exactly famous for it’s CPA’s). Why are GAO directors tasking requests from THE MINORITY ahead of their bosses in the Majority? Read over the GAO guidelines for International “best practice”, and then look over INTOSAI, the international accounting communities newsletters and publications. Why are GAO investigators working in foreign Countries disclosing information about US citizens overseas to foreign civil servants, WITHOUT the express permission of the Consular staff or State Dept? Why is the GAO not following it’s own guidelines (sorry, Walker, but you’ve let an entire department become rancid).

    I’m a Libertarian, and wouldn’t trust any West Coast GAO agents because I don’t know which are sound. I wouldn’t trust a GAO agent with sensitive information in a foreign Country. And I won’t consider west coast GAO audit reports trustworthy post 2000… in fact, I believe they should all be checked against their original files and documents, and pulled off the GAO website until they’re reviewed. I also believe that security audits should NOT be on-line for any terrorist or smuggler to download, and should instead require a written request for a printed and numbered copy (US citizens don’t need to know which nuclear or port facitlities have security weaknesses BEFORE those weakness have been fixed!)

    (There’s a solution, but I’m too annoyed to outline it…. )

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