Just how deep does the rot run in Dick Cheney's Bushitler administration? The Voldemort of American politics has even taken to silencing the Surgeon General, that costumed crypt-keeper of all that is good and decent and kind and wise and knowing in these troubled times. Says former SG Richard Carmona:
"Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is often ignored, marginalized or simply buried," he said. "The problem with this approach is that in public health, as in a democracy, there is nothing worse than ignoring science or marginalizing the voice of science for reasons driven by changing political winds."
Carmona says he was told to shaddup about stem cell research and the morning-after pill Plan B. He was talking to a committee convened by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and joined by two other ex-surgeons general, David Satcher, who served under (cough, cough) Bill Clinton, and C. Everett Koop (who served under Reagan and is now a PFC in the Kiss Army). Satcher told a tale of political buttinskyism too. The Wash Post reports:
Satcher, Carmona's predecessor, who served from 1998 to 2002, said that under President Bill Clinton he could not release a report on sexuality and public health, in part because of sensitivities triggered by the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Clinton also forced out Joycelyn Elders as surgeon general in 1994 after her controversial remarks that public schools should consider teaching about masturbation.
On that last point, just think what would have happened had schools actually started teaching masturbation. Talk about federal overreach! If there's one thing you don't even need vouchers for, much less a centralized curriculum, it's probably masturbation. I imagine that within a few years, American students' standing in international rankings would have dropped through the floor.
And speaking of jerking off, here's a quote from C. Everett Koop's autobiography about why he made the decision to put the uniform on:
"Once confirmed, I was entitled to wear a uniform….I put it on immediately….There is something about a uniform…. There were a couple of times on airplanes when elderly women mistook me for a steward, handed me their luggage, and confidently assumed that I would put it in the overhead compartment. I always complied immediately."
In any case, more on Carmona blah blah here.
Odd Surgeon General fact: The first Bush's SG, Antonia Novello, is the sister-in-law of Don "Fr. Guido Sarducci" Novello, of old Saturday Night Live fame.
Dogmatic libertarian thought of the day: Just abolish the post of Surgeon General already. Who would know?