Saturday, June 17, 2006

An Exciting Example of Assertive Action

Bushoniraq_2"God help me, before I assert again!" The Washington Post has just fallen all over itself, praising the most environmentally abusive administration since—since?—well, since no other, because none in our history has done so much to deface, destroy, defame and deregulate this nation’s ecological laws.


WapologoIn what they call ‘an exciting example of assertive action,’ the Post continues to gush,

“What's impressive is not just the designation itself but the fine print of President Bush's order. Despite tenacious pressure from regional fisheries managers, Mr. Bush decided not to permit any commercial fishing in the area. The small amount that goes on now will be phased out; a coalition of private donors will buy out the fishing permits of the eight fishermen who currently work those waters. What's more, in a happy surprise, Mr. Bush used his power under the National Antiquities Act to designate national monuments, not the more cumbersome federal marine sanctuaries law. As a result the plan goes into effect immediately, bypassing months of additional bureaucratic wrangling.”

Months of bureaucratic wrangling hardly suits the timeline for the November mid-terms.


In another ‘happy surprise,’ designating the area a National Monument avoids any Congressional actions that might illuminate just how much George bought and how little he paid. In the payment department, he bravely stomped all over eight native Hawaiian fishermen whose catch was in serious decline. The man's just full of happy surprises, according to WaPo.


“Bring ‘em on.”


In the buying area, he got to affix his name to the largest protected marine area in the world and scrape the mud off his environmental shoes at the same time. Some sycophant in the Congress (before the Republicans lose control of it) is bound to suggest the area be named for Bush. Pardon me while I vomit.


NytimeslogoNot to be outdone in the editorial feeding frenzy, the New York Times effused, (my parentheticals)

“An unfamiliar but highly appealing (gag) side of President Bush showed itself at the White House yesterday. It was Mr. Bush the compassionate conservationist (choke), friend of green sea turtles, seabirds and Hawaiian monk seals (oh, come now), savior of coral reefs and spiny lobsters, creator (read that co-opter) of the largest ocean sanctuary on the planet.”

I have a long-time acquaintance who is both cheap and grumpy about his cheapness, to the point that it embarrasses all who know him. He’s rich, to boot, which doesn’t make the whole scene any more appealing. Once every year or two, he’ll take his wife to dinner and a movie and she out-gushes both the Washington Post and the New York Times combined, raving over how generous he is. There should be a word for that characteristic he shares with his president. In the absence of one, I will coin such a term.


Disingenuous already exists, a delightful and accurate word that means ‘not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness.' My term is disingenerous and my personal definition is ‘not generous; buying the appearance of generosity, only when the price is low enough to be meaningless.’


HawaiianmonksealThere is no oil in the area of the Bush designation. He wouldn’t know a Monk seal if it swam into his bathtub, but he knows a cheap legacy when he sees one and that is the most sickening aspect of his opportunism. The Times prostrates itself, raving that the designation is

“an act of wilderness preservation that, acre for acre, instantly put him into the same league as the conservation-minded presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.”

In some ways, Mr. Bush's decision was supremely easy — the end of commercial fishing will affect only eight fishermen. But even so, the mind reels a little at what Mr. Bush has done. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are a vast place few Americans have ever visited or ever will. But they are being protected anyway — not for divers, fishermen or cruise ships, but for their own sake, for science and forever. Mr. Bush made exemplary use of presidential power yesterday. We hope he does more of it.”

Yep, the mind reels all right. In a single Karl-Rove instant, the most destructive, undoing, privatizing president in the nation’s history has been voted a place on Mount Rushmore, compliments of the New York Times and Washington Post.


Assertive (inclined to the bold and confident, aggressively self-assured) action is this president’s long suit. Among the prior Bush assertions,


  • Victory in Afghanistan (then a mysterious loss of interest)

  • Weapons and relationships that did not exist in Iraq, in order to take us to the war of his choice

  • The worthlessness of global efforts to curb air and water pollution

  • A critical and immediate need to stop taxing the rich

  • A similarly high priority to cut back programs for the poor

  • "We do not torture" (famous, along with "Bring 'em on.").

  • A love of God that somehow misinterprets all His better instincts

  • Victories where there are none, progress through regression and a conservatism of waste through deficit spending

Bushrove_2Karl Rove is as much a political genius as the NYT and WaPo are dupes and suckers. Unfettered by any worry over indictment, Karl is likely to pull-off or outright steal another Republican victory in November. The country, behind the strong leadership and editorial insight of The New York Times and The Washington Post, those paragons of the public trust, will once again be delivered.


Signed, sealed and delivered.
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More environmental issues muddying the waters on my personal web site.