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Very helpful comments Mark. I actually have a good deal of empathy for the Commissioners of the big federal agencies. Mr. Smith just seems to be laying the groundwork for a written decision. From my experience, agency heads love nothing better than to to make it appear as if they've accomodated everyones interests by meeting everyone half-way. I guess the ability to mentally remove oneself from the playing field is critical to maintaining the requisite air of impartiality. As you say, however, it's a strange way to get through the day.


Smith has resigned, effective August 21, 2005.


I thought this was helpful. I always check the first blog, however, and came across this:

"The voting public long ago lost most of its faith in Bush; to reinforce that loss of faith it is necessary to tell a story about the Bush presidency, one that rings true, makes sense, and gives people an explanation for their personal and economic anxiety. The basic premise of that story must involve a failure of leadership, and that failure is a story of incompetence."

I'm puzzled that you seemed to think the voting public was so incompetent that they needed some assistance in understanding what they didn't seem to understand. Doesn't show much confidence in us ordinary folk. And isn't that why you guys lost?


Norma, you're shadow boxing. Nowhere does Mark suggest that "ordinary folk" are incompetent. The incompetence Mark speaks of in your quote is the incompetence and naivete of Bush and his chosen style of leadership. Though Bush got re-elected to a second term, Bush continues to be incompetent and continues to defend the indefensible (What exactly are we doing in Iraq right now and how are we going to finish the job? Why is torture now an accepted American practice). Ordinary folks, including myself and my circle of friends and family, understand this just fine.


I don't think they will get regulated

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