Textbook behavior on the part of the Bush administration:
1. Put an industry shill in charge of wildlife concerns and watch the fun.
2. Ignore, and do its best to gag, its own scientists.
3. If Congress has repeatedly thwarted a given effort before, f*ck ’em — try to get things done while no one is looking.
The George W. Bush and too many others, the Endangered Species Act is nothing but a nuisance — an unwieldy and pointless obstacle to god old-fashioned American progress.
It’s bad enough that Bush doesn’t care about the environment at all. But if everyone got a fair say in things, there would at least be room for Fish and Wildlife Service scientists to maintain morale and perhaps do their jobs as if they aren’t reporting to an flat-out farce every day.
No, far worse is how the President and his henchmen go about business — acting unilaterally wherever possible, hoping to snow the press and opposing political voices alike, with a hopefully uncritical public at the end of the chain. They treat the country like a corporation.
Worse, they behave as if they’re trying to turn the whole place into Florida. They could at least aim for Bangladesh.
Gale Norton was bad enough as Secretary of the Interior, and Dirk Kempthorne is, as predicted, worse. Calling for his ouster is probably only inviting Bush to replace him with a giant ball of uranium-encrusted mercury soaked in trans fats.
It’s been difficult spending time on wonderful retreats like the Blue Ridge Parkway (where I’m hoping to do a long charity run this fall) in recent years and watching the results of persistent federal neglect. President Bush’s attitude toward the National Park Service and related entities is maybe the main reason I’ll be glad to see him and his oily, bullying cronies with strip-mined heads leave government.