We've had midnight appointments in American history. And midnight pardons, too. Yes, many presidents have taken these liberties. Of course, Bill Clinton was among them, and he took the liberties lavishly. Cutting small corners was not his way in the world. So if he did something that more scrupulous people might have hesitated to do he did it big-time.

And so it is also with George Bush. Which is why the article by Robert Pear in the Sunday New York Times about Bush pushing through rules and regulations that make it more difficult to curb toxic substances and hazardous substances in the workplace riled me up so.

Of course, it's true that Bush is a very blithe man. But he must grasp that the election was nothing if not a rejection of Bush's coziness with big business and his indifference to how ordinary people live and how public policy tends to ignore their ordinary needs.

One could say, "shame on Bush." But he has no shame, no shame at all.