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Bush official: sorry 'bout that pro-environment (pro-Japanese) newsletter

Remember that email sent out in August by a Bush administration official that urged government employees to buy fuel-efficient vehicles? And do you recall how that list of proposed vehicles happened to not include many built by American automakers? The official. Joe Ellis, the Department of Health and Human Services' assistant secretary for administration and management, has now apologized, according to the AP.

Ellis' apology letter says that, "I deeply regret that our newsletter offended anyone, especially those Americans working in the automobile industry and the millions of people who make American automobile manufacturers successful."

Politicians, especially those from Michigan, made some hay over the email. Michigan Republican Congressman Dave Camp, for example, said the e-mail was "way out of line."

C'mon, people. What's more out of line - not making fuel-efficient vehicles of bitching and moaning when someone draws up a list of fuel-efficient vehicles that, because your cars suck gas, doesn't list your company's wares? And anyway, Ellis' original email - unless it's been changed online - does include mention of the "Ford Ranger pickup truck, Dodge Caravan 2WD minivan, and Ford Escape hybrid SUV." Still, that email does focus on foreign cars because, by and large, they're more fuel efficient. I guess killing the messenger will never go out of style.

Earlier in the story:
[Source: Ken Thomas / Associated Press]

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