the blecch files
Entities from The Washington Post to Arianna Huffington have wondered just who was behing the sleazy inclusion of an unrelated passage in the so-called Homeland Security bill that shields pharmaceutical companies from liability over a mercury-based preservative that may be linked to autism. (The meager payments--capped at $250 large--are shelled out by the taxpayers, not the pharmcos.) I declare that, while such last-minute inclusions are certainly not unprecedented, I find it telling indeed that no one will own up to it--c'mon, where's the Republican prepared to defend his actions as right and proper...?
Tapped points out that the political site TomPaine.com has offered a ten-grand reward to anyone who can identify the culprit, and thinks that Counterspin Central may have the goods.
Meanwhile, P.L.A. speculates that the fallout from the firestorm over Trent Lott may include the GOP reneging on promises--necessary to win the votes of skeptical moderate Republicans--to "revisit" the offending provisions, on the grounds that they were made by Lott, and may not be binding on his replacement--especially if it's Bill Frist, who authored the bill that originally included the shields...