A new chance for America and the world.
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Will criminal activity of the Bush Administration go unpunished?

Jan. 11, 2009. Obama doesn’t rule out a special prosecutor. From a USA Today blog.
Jan. 13, 2009. Democrats seek criminal probe of Bush ‘abuses’. USA Today.
Jan. 16, 2009. Poll Finds Disapproval of Bush Unwavering. By Megan Thee-Brenan. New York Times.
Jan. 17, 2009. Forgive and Forget? By Paul Krugman. New York Times.
Jan. 18, 2009. Pelosi Open to Prosecution of Bush Administration Officials By Bill Sammon. FOX News

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

129 Responses to Thanksgiving Day was Jan. 20

  1. avatar Wolfy says:

    Indeed, eight long years and we’ve rolled back our environmental protection back over 30 years. What a sad legacy? Yes, we will be able to move forward; the changes are already happening, even in the lame duck session. However, it may be some time before we can repair the damages to our economy, environment, and social structure and move forward. The corrupt and damaging stalwarts of this administration need to be flushed from the system. The federal codes, manuals, and handbooks need to be corrected and improved. New systems for sustainable agriculture, economics, energy use, and consumption need to be put in place. Above all, there needs to be a major shift in the attitude of Americans toward our government and natural resources.

    We need to be able to trust our leaders, again. We need to see all the values of our natural resources, not just their consumptive values. We need to regain the sole of America; the same sole that has been sold to the highest bidder for the paltry amount of cheap consumer goods.

    Wake up, people. The last eight years was not just a terrible dream. We have long, hard road ahead of us. Lets work together and value each other. And yes, give thanks for all the wonderful things that we have, especially each other. Yes, WE can!

  2. avatar Salle says:

    I think that Bush and most of his administration and cronies are a waste of good air (and other valuable resources) that could’ve been put to better use by endangered species!

  3. avatar Nathan says:

    Its almost over. Lets just hope that Obama gives environmental issues there due consideration. In times of hard economy environmental concerns seem to go out the window as everyone finds way to utilize resources more efficiently to jump start the system again.

  4. avatar william huard says:

    I have watched the Bush administration’s assault on the environment with increased apprehension. Their total disregard for Endangered Species, Julie Mcdonald and her manipulation of scientific evidence, i could go on and on. A good article appeared in Audubon I think the mar april issue entitled “the feds and developers cozy up”. The article explains how the Bush administration told the U.s Fish and Wildlife service to stop doing the biological impact statement which explains how development in a project impacts wildlife. I was horrified to find out that the statement was to be completed by the developers of the projects!!!!See how easy it is to develop golf courses in Prime Florida Panther habitat if the right protections afforded Endangered Species are ignored. What do you expect from a President whose home state of Texas is the home of the canned hunt, where exotic animals like jaguars and cougars are killed for sport in pens. I hope the Obama administration tries to clean up the hunting industry that has gone way to far.

  5. avatar Virginia says:

    I am not sure where to post this information, but in today’s Billings Gazette, Brian Schweitzer is quoted as saying that “he still has no interest in a cabinet position under President-elect Barack Obama. He stated, “I like being outside too much to be an Interior secretary.” He doesn’t like taking orders from someone else. Good news!

  6. avatar Maska says:

    He stated, “I like being outside too much to be an Interior secretary.”

    What a delicious quotation!

    Maybe we ought to require that the Interior Secretary spend at least three weeks per year hiking, horseback riding, camping, fishing, etc., on public lands–in a different area every year. Not that it would ensure better decision making (Schweitzer, Palin, etc., being cases in point.), but it’s hard to imagine that good decisions are made by people spending all their time inside rooms.

  7. avatar JEFF E says:

    Overheard at work today
    the repugnants got whuped black and blue.

  8. avatar Virginia says:

    Today’s Billings Gazette is full of stories regarding the bush administration’s attempt to “usurp wildlife management authority from Western states through an end-of-term move on bighorn sheep;” also 19 organizations “have joined across the country in support of removing gray wolves from the endangered species list;” and, of course, the bush administration “making it tougher for Congress to block mining and oil and gas drilling on public lands.” Will these horrific attacks on our wildlife and environment end on January 20 or not? Please tell me they will! Will it be too late?

  9. Thanks Virginia,

    The bighorn sheep matter has been extensively discussed in this blog. The fact that this has become a state’s rights issue is most curious because the reality the policy was adopted to appease the Idaho Woolgrowers Assn. and a handful of politically powerful Idaho woolgrowers who are inconvenienced by bighorn sheep. This policy will be quickly overturned.

    More bothersome is seeing the more progressive hunting organizations come out against the wolf.

    I think this is the product of economic desperation due to declining memberships, and that due to the economic deterioration of the country.

    A lot of non-profits are going to shut their doors

  10. More on the new bighorn rules.

    Sheep v. sheep, redux. High Country News.

  11. avatar Jon Way says:

    The Republicans want minimal rules/ Gov’t interference only when it is good for their purposes but then advocate small Gov’t when Democrats have other ideas. They are very inconsistent in their views, to say the least.

  12. avatar Virginia says:

    Well, it is now official. Effective January 2009, you can take your loaded, concealed weapons into our national parks. The bush DOI has overturned the 25-year old federal rule that restricts loaded guns in national parks, and the NRA is delighted! This will take place before Obama becomes president and will evidently be very difficult to overturn. I can’t wait to go to Yellowstone and wonder who camping next to me has a loaded weapon!

  13. avatar Salle says:

    And it’s just a matter of time when poaching will again take place in the Park.

    And, it’s just a mater of time for the first idiot feeding a bear or other wildlife to shoot the animal to “protect” themselves from the animal that was suddenly scary when they change their minds and think it got “too close” and was, suddenly and after all, a danger to them.

  14. avatar Salle says:

    Gives a new meaning to “Lame” and this, of course, from our least intelligent president ever.

    Thanks W, for being the prime example of what this needs to avoid at all costs!

    And for being the prime example of the worst of the worst this country has to offer.

  15. avatar John d. says:

    Best not to count the chickens before they have hatched.

  16. avatar TC says:

    Wow, I can’t believe more of you are not up in arms about the overturned ban on concealed weapons in national parks. Even to me (fairly moderate compared to more than a few here) that seems lunacy at best. And what’s more scary, there’s a fair bit of support for this action from folks here in Wyoming. Including those that believe that they need weapons in NATIONAL PARKS to protect themselves from WILDLIFE. I mean seriously, that is so absurd that it’s almost funny. Almost.

  17. avatar Save bears says:

    Virginia,

    You should have been wondering for years, there have been many who have carried for a long time now…

    This new rule has so many holes and inconsistencies in it, it is not even funny, you will have to make sure the state you are going to honors your concealed permit, because not all states have reciprocal agreements, which means, just because your state issued the permit, does not mean the state you are going to will honor the permit, it is not a cut and dry case of the wild west and carrying a gun..

    Remember not all states issue carry permits, and not all states honor those permits that have been issued by other states…

    There was no law changed, there was an administrative rule changed, and then the superintendents don’t have to allow it to happen in the parks they run, then can use their power to not allow guns in their parks..

    This is far from over…

    The one thing that everyone needs to remember there was bi-partisan support for this rule change request, both the Democrats and the Republicans signed onto this, it was not a Bush thing, it has been brewing for many years now, I heard the first rumors of it, the second year Clinton was in office..

    In the long run, I don’t think anyone will see much change, and of course, somebody could file a lawsuit and a Judge could issue an injunction so the rule change could be reviewed…

  18. avatar TC says:

    Yes, yes, interesting, but Wyoming (and I imagine the parks most of you are concerned about are YNP and GTNP) currently recognizes concealed weapons permits from: Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. And I think you’re overestmating the power (or will) of many park superintendants if you think they’ll buck direct marching orders from DC – it does not happen often and people keep their jobs.

  19. avatar frank says:

    Why, for the love of God, would you need a gun in a Natl. Park?

  20. avatar Virginia says:

    Save Bears – I guess I know deep down that those people camping next to me possibly had a gun with them – but this administrative rule change – sorry I spoke incorrectly of it as a law – in my opinion, will embolden those people who might have kept it tucked away out of sight. To me, it is just another example of the disregard for the American people in general – whether or not there was bi-partisan support for the change. Those people in Congress who supported this mistakenly think that everyone wants to have access to guns at all times. Also, they support what they think will get them more votes, particularly the senators and reps from Wyoming, Montana and other “independent-minded” states . I am hopeful that it IS far from over, but to me it is another depressing example of the policies of the last eight years.

  21. avatar Salle says:

    It appears that what people want and what is right are not entirely consistent. The mainstream American society has a problem with individual self importance and the concept of “the commons”. We give little attention as to what the “greater good” for the people would be. Self appointed importance and selfish interests trump anything else at all cost, “…to hell with everyone else if they think I should do something other than what I want to do…”

    This mindset is one of the root problems in our society, it’s a blatant lack of respect for others and therefore, ourselves. If you can’t offer respect to others, including wildlife, how can you honestly look at yourself in the mirror, look yourself in eye, and tell yourself that you respect yourself? Give it a try, it’s very revealing.

    I think that those who feel they need to carry a loaded gun in the parks are so afraid of everything that they might actually need some kind of therapy that involves some deep self examination. If you think you need to “protect yourself from the wildlife,” you probably don’t need to go into the park in the first place. Just stay in the house, that would be the appropriate way to “protect” yourself.

    It’s amazing that we have devolved into a culture that relies on the gun to keep ourselves from harm, it seems to be the only thing that we feel we can depend on. (I mean that as a collective. I do understand that this is not true of everyone, per se, but it does come to the fore in many ways in the general public’s views on the things they fear.)

    That’s my educated opinion as a cultural anthropologist.

  22. avatar timz says:

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/opinion/story/615260.html

    nice op-ed on Kempthorne’s failure at Interior

  23. avatar JEFF E says:

    re the Kempthorne op-ed:
    “………..an honest politician and an independent thinker ………….”
    Now there’s an oxymoron

  24. avatar kt says:

    Jeff e – I have noticed that in the past 6 months, Statesman reporter Barker and some others in Idaho seem to be almost trying to make a saint out of oily Dirk. That may explain the odd editorial at that link – some folks are trying to lay a basis for a re-writing of history that Idaho Homeboy Dirk was somehow an unknowing victim. I woudn’t be surprised if he showed up , a year or 2 from now, on the Board of The Andrus Center for Nonsense, or TNC, or something, there HAS to be a reason for writing that Kempthorne was anything but a Bush crony/lackey who just sat back and let industry gut all.

    Ya’ know – Kempthorne – the Independent Thinker – was just a victim of circumstance, and had no way of knowing about the energy industry orgies at Interior. Kempthorne has been nothing but a pretty face plastered on the cover of awful efforts by industry to gut public lands regs and the ESA, ever since he was elected to the Senate.

  25. avatar JEFF E says:

    kt,
    here is another one. pay attention to who one of the co-sponsors are. who is this group? want to bet it is a front for livestock/developer interests?

  26. avatar kt says:

    Jeff E – Just 2 hours ago, I saw that too. Then some Googling, and it all came together.

    Forum chairs: Dick Gardner and Will Whelan
    Forum moderator: Marcia Franklin
    Forum underwriter: United Heritage Financial Group

    The underwriter United Heritage:. I recognized the United Heritage eagle Logo when I saw if while Googling. It is the Logo that is on the very swank building by I-84 where Stewards of the Range is located!

    Stewards of the Range is the sagebrush rebel group founded and ostensibly run by Wayne Hage’s daughter. The departed Hage was of course the last husband of Helen Chenoweth) and like Helen (Our Lady of the Canned Salmon) Hage was a virulently anti-federal government Nevada rancher whose cows actually got booted off public lands he was so abusive. He then filed a lawsuit claiming that ditch rights gave him rights to the public lands. Stewards of the Range legal person is Fred Kelly Grant, architect of the Owyhee Initiative.
    As confirmation, I found this:

    http://www.idahobusiness.net/archive.htm/2001/06/08/Insurance-co-faces-possible-restructuring-move

    Check the end – STEWARDS OF THE RANGE.

    Basically, Stewards is an anti-public lands, anti-public anything group virulently opposed to the ESA and any protection for anything except welfare ranchers and other industries that destroy anything public. Their goal is privatization of public lands. They are who is behind the Owyhee Initiative.

    if you read the old accounts (we are talking like late 1970s and 1980s here) of groups like the Heritage Foundation and how they hoped to achieve their ends- I am betting that United Heritage who is sponsoring the Boise City Club Dirk -athon is the same kind of thing — and that not just swank building space gets commingled with Stewards of the Range.

    Will Whelan, a “forum chair” is a long-time Idaho TNC (Nature Conservancy) person who promotes ranching at times. TNC licked all kind of boots to promote the Owyhee Initiative and ingratiate itself to the Stewards of the Range crowd.
    I don’t know Dick Gardner. Does anyone? I think TNC wants to “partner” in getting all kinds of government grants – like for Weed stuff that ends up doing nothing – and so is deeply into stroking ranchers as an inroad to do this. Plus land deals, of course wiht them as an intermediary. Anyway – this is my speculation.

  27. avatar JEFF E says:

    kt,
    I believe this is the same person
    http://www.ruraleship.org/content/pdf/dickbio.pdf

  28. avatar kt says:

    Hey Jeff E – At that Link you found:

    It says Gardner worked closely with the Idaho Leg for 10 years, and was given a Governor’s award in 2005.

    And we know who that Governor was – one Dirk Kempthorne -who was not yet spirited off to the Interior Department – where sequestered in his mahoganied Secretary’s office doing some Deep Thinking he would have no inkling about what all was going on at Minerals Management, Office of Sub-Surface Leasing, or whatever. Dirk did not become Interior Sec until May 2006.

    How do you say Gool ‘ol Boys? One and all.

    I wonder what Interior funds may have been flitered in one way or the other to projects the Gardner Bootstraps group has been involved in, or TNC? by/through Kempthorne’s Interior?

  29. avatar JEFF E says:

    kt said
    “I wonder what Interior funds may have been filtered in one way or the other to projects the Gardner Bootstraps group has been involved in, or TNC? by/through Kempthorne’s Interior?”
    So if 2+2 still =4 this looks more like a get together to move on the “whats next plan” for Idaho as far as the livestock/public lands privatization/ boys of Boise crowd. The talk is just to answer questions on why Dick is in Idaho.IMO

  30. avatar kt says:

    Yes I think you are very right.

    And Dirk is in Idaho too to get that last minute Wish List of regulation tweaking from folks like Woolgowers and Stan Boyd, Senator Bert Brackett, the Simplot phosphate folks, and industry in general.

    What are they willing to give in return, I wonder? We will know some of the rewards when we see what Boards Dirk pops up on.

  31. avatar JEFF E says:

    plus the lobbying groups that he will act in behalf of back in good old Washington. He is at the point where it will be all about the money(that he can get)

  32. avatar kt says:

    I also think this effort to clean up Dirk Kempthorne’s image and make him into an Idaho Icon is so that a Political Future remains.

    You know – VP material in that Mitt Romney 2012 run. Or as the Idaho Republican annointed recipient of Crapo’s Senate seat if Crapo does not run again, or his prostate cancer resurfaces.

  33. avatar Salle says:

    On the main page of this blog in this segment, Ralph wonders if a war crimes tribunal is an option. I would say that there should be but I think it will have to happen in The Hague or at least begin there.

  34. avatar kt says:

    Salle

    When I finally saw the question about a war crimes tribunal (for some reason did not notice it at first) , I thought that Ralph was asking about an environmental War Crimes tribunal. I think it would be good for folks here to put together a List of Bush War-on-the-Environment Crimes. And ask the Obama admin. that they be investigated. Perhaps a litmus test for Mr. Salazar … What are you going to do – let bygones be bygones, or ferret out the rot, and act expeditiously to change things. Name names, especially of the Bush appointees – that are responsible.

    And you know, it seems to me somehow fitting that under Cooked Geese/”War Crimes”, the conversation last night turned to that long-time environmental charlatan Dirk Kempthorne.

  35. avatar salle says:

    And you know, I’m all for that too. The environmental crimes that have been committed certainly beg for inquiry in that context. It also needs to be taken from a point in time that extends back a ways, like into the Reagan administration. The associates of that era need to be rooted out of the system as well.

    I always say: Corporate shills cannot become public servants, it just doesn’t work to the advantage of the biosphere.

  36. avatar Chris H says:

    NPR’s Fresh Air program today features an interview with Phillipe Sand, Director of the Centre for International Courts and Tribunals, regarding the possibility of a war crimes tribunal for the outgoing shrub and weeds. Given the teflon nature of those people I’m not optonistic about that happening. Nonetheless, it is an interesting interview with some other links to the subject as well. Hope springs eternal!!
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99061358

  37. avatar timz says:

    “What are you going to do – let bygones be bygones, or ferret out the rot, and act expeditiously to change things. Name names, especially of the Bush appointees – that are responsible”

    Does the rot include the all but about half a dozen Democrats who voted to approve Kempthorn’s nomination to Interior?

  38. avatar Jim Z says:

    With Apologies to Clement Clarke Moore

    ‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the Service,
    Employees were hopeful but still somewhat nervous;
    A cabinet near full and a new Secretary,
    But last minute rule changes were keeping them wary.

    The old team, unwilling to give up the ghost,
    Continued rewarding those they owed the most;
    Polluters and drillers and corporate bamboozlers,
    Suppressors of science and other such losers.

    With reckless abandon they sold off the farm,
    Regardless of environmental or cultural harm;
    Leasing off nearly all of our waters and lands,
    Despite public outcry and court reprimands.

    Likewise, no science could change their positions,
    They never would regulate greenhouse emissions;
    Their purpose was singular, their vision refined,
    No hydrocarbon must be left behind.

    It seems they were hell-bent on one final push,
    To weaken our laws and make lobbyists gush;
    With their backers they’d made an insidious pact,
    To eviscerate the Endangered Species Act.

    On soot and on logging they offered no curbs,
    Despite “Healthy Forests” and “Clear Skies” blurbs;
    And unheeding complete lack of public approval,
    They continued allowing mountaintop removal.

    On wetlands a resolute unwavering conviction,
    Navigable or not, they’d claim no jurisdiction;
    Folks in New Orleans were just left to sob,
    Mission accomplished – a heckuva job!

    But just when it seemed that it couldn’t get worse,
    An election has signaled an end to the curse;
    Yes, just when it felt like it might never end,
    The President-elect a new message did send:

    Enough bashing of science, enough twisting of facts,
    Enough climate denying and ignoring impacts;
    Enough paying lip service to alternative fuels,
    While subsidizing destruction of our national jewels.

    No more crony appointments for campaign paybacks,
    No more policies written by industry hacks;
    No more ideologues thinking “outside the boxes,”
    No more public henhouses guarded by foxes.

    No more wingnut advisors with fake resumes,
    Telling renowned scientists what they can and can’t say;
    No more partisan grinches making unfounded revisions,
    To critical habitats and listing decisions.

    On, Mark Rey! Phil Cooney! And On, James Connaughton!
    Your legacies soon will be all but forgotten;
    On, Johnson! On, Griles! On, Julie MacD!
    Away to a “think tank” or a jail cell with thee.

    The President-elect has assembled a team,
    Of bright scientists held in the highest esteem;
    Their task’s monumental or so it appears,
    To undo the damage of the past eight long years.

    But with hope and with joy (and perhaps some defiance),
    They’ll hold these misdeeds up to the bright light of science;
    For a new day is dawning, a new era’s in sight,
    When again we will do for our planet what’s right.

    So, Service Biologists rejoice and count blessings,
    About our mandate there will be no more guessing;
    With our spirits renewed we recognize with a sigh,
    That our real Christmas gift is George W’s good bye!

    Merry Christmas and to all a good night!

  39. avatar Salle says:

    Listening to Bu$h’$ LAST NEWS CONFERENCE, he claims that he came into office in a recession!! Really?

    And that all the problems we have now were in effect when he came into office and that he has “fixed” them!!! WOW, how lost in space can a person be? And he “won’t discuss pardons at his news conference”.

    He can only say that the “Mission Accomplished” was a mistake… but that’s all. Yikes.

  40. avatar JimT says:

    JimZ…Thanks for the poetry and the grins…

    This is all about legacy myth-making. Frank Rich wrote about this last week and very eloquently said it was bunk, BS, narcissism run amok. And Cheney is busy blaming Bush for all the decisions…LOL.

    We will never get justice for all the stuff they did in whatever area you can pick. Obama really doesn’t want to put the country through a bloodbath, and it would be, as much as it is substantively justified. The Republican witch hunt of Clinton for something that should have been between him and his family (Hillary should have whacked him up side the head with a frying pan) was so awful and so blatantly politica I doubt we will ever see anyone willing to touch that process again on the Federal level absent proof of active treason, or murder. More’s the pity; Bush and Cheney, among others, deserve to at least have impeachment proceedings, but even the underlings will escape prosecution.

    I should know this but I don’t. So…

    If someone like an AG resigns under a cloud of suspicion, or someone hides in academia for a memo justifying torture, do they escape all liability for their actions by the act of resignation if the charges are not criminal? Is there a way under civil law provisions, Federal or state, to reach them? I am thinking not…but I would love someone more knowledgable to weigh in…

  41. avatar Salle says:

    I think that NOT prosecuting those chumps is also a travesty of justice and I, for one, don’t give a hoot as to how ugly it will look, I want justice and the only way to get it is through the judicial process. It will serve to show those associated with B&C that they, and their raping of the constitution in plain sight, is NOT ACCEPTABLE in any way, shape or form and that just because they were successful in making a mockery of the process, it is still necessary and should be conducted.

    I watched an interview online where the interviewee said that if we don’t go after them, the rest of the world has an obligation to, then we will be forced to do something or the rest of the world will. Actually, I think the rest of the world should do it, they aren’t likely to get off so easily if that is the case. I want to see the perp-walk all the way to The Hague, thank you very much.

    After all they have cost me and the rest of the world, the least they should face is the world for their crimes against everybody and every living thing.

  42. avatar kt says:

    Ralph – Can you make a place in association with this Countdown where folks can list (one entry per comment/visit? to maximize participation) all the Public Lands/ESA Crimes Obama and the incoming Interior Secretary with the Big Hat need to address. Brunhilda’s List — or something. Then ship it off to ’em.

  43. avatar Virginia says:

    Jim Z – great poem!

    Bush had the nerve to mention the Constitution this a.m. on his LAST (finally!) news conference. Why is it so difficult to make people accountable and responsible for their actions?

    I always find myself apologizing for even being from the same state as dick cheney.

  44. avatar Save bears says:

    All I can, is after 26 years in the Military(Federal Employment) and 10 years of State Government employment….

    Good luck at prosecuting anything that has happened in the last 8 years..

    Hell it cost Millions to investigate Clinton’s BJ and what did it get us?

    You folks are being funny to say the least!

    Now you might be able to get away with a Civil suit, but I sure hope your pockets are deep, because not only will you have to pay your own fee’s, you will be paying the fee’s to defend against you…

  45. avatar Salle says:

    Actually, it warrant civil action via the government, like a prosecutor sort of thing. It’s our right and it sure as heck ain’t too costly if it only costs millions… these thieves have cost the world untold amounts -and not just that which can be evaluated by a dollar sign. It’s 1.3 Trillion off the top right now, not counting the abundance that was depleted prior to the negative side of the tally. And that’s just us, they have cost trillions to the rest of the world and human damage of inestimable amounts. It’s our right as well as everyone else’s. Why do you think the rest of the planet’s human population was holding their breath in hopes of Obama’s victory in November? And, as you may have noticed by reading this blog at least, that the environemental damage and potential damage through wasting time is not measurable either.

  46. avatar Save bears says:

    All I can say is Good Luck Salle, I wish you well, at last count, didn’t cost the American Public about 70 Million dollars to investigate a BJ….

    And now I am reading articles that says Obama might not be the president that was elected and his claim to change, might have to wait a while!

    If you want to file suit, then more power to you, but I can assure you, it won’t go anywhere..

    If we are going to win the battles, we HAVE To get realistic and work on what we can change, Bush is going to retire to his ranch as are most of his cronies….

    It may be your right, but it is certainly not your goal, lets keep our eye on the ball folk’s

  47. avatar kim kaiser says:

    let her go ahead and waste her time and push stupid things like that, which in the end will get no where. Maybe she can sue hillary for lying about “dodging sniper bullets in when she was first lady” now thats a documented bold face lie, and everyone wants to forget that whopper, and she did it to get elected!!! yall go head and waste your time on that stuff or nagging bob landis about his music score, Bob stands out there EVERY SINGLE DAY FROM BEFORE SUN UP AND AFTER SUNDOWN to bring you the visions of the wild and then bitch about the music score making an unfavorable impression,, I highly recommend pursueing the small stuff and then one day wonder why you havent gotten anything else done with other items that seem important. Who will be to blame then?

  48. avatar chuck parker says:

    Save Bears–Clinton getting a BJ wasn’t a crime, lying about it was, but neither is a big deal compared to the way King George and his royal court have trashed of the law and made a travesty of the constitution. Bush should have been impeached years ago.

  49. avatar Salle says:

    FYI guys,

    I didn’t I was going to do it… You read way too much into that one. It SHOULD be the government who conducts this practice that is SUPPOSED to be guaranteed in the rules of law that we are SUPPOSED to be living by. Okay? (probably not but it seems that I can’t make suggestions or remind folks of our rights that seem to be dangling on the edge of extinction without reprimand. And some wonder why I don’t like to write letters to the editor of “podunk daily blues”…)

    And, as for the Landis concerns, I happen to have a good repoire with Mr. Landis and we see each other in the park often. I have great respect for him and his work. AND I KNOW WHAT HE DOES AND HOW HE DOES IT AND WHY, thank you very much. My point was that I wanted to know how that poor impression of wolves and the connectedness of the music to the “BAD Indians” concept that is over-played in such documentaries that help to maintain the “GREAT MYTH OF THE WEST AND OF THE ROMANTICISM OF THE NONREAL COWBOY MYTH that goes with it – became the soundtrack for that documentary. He was the only one there at the time of whom I could ask such a thing.

    Movies and TV are great population conditioning tools and the misrepresentation of fact is one way that many people formulate wrong-headed opinions based on what they gleaned from such misrepresentations through this media… The representation of “bad” in such a subtle manner is pretty telling, to those who have the capacity to notice. Unfortunately, many folks just don’t have the ability to sort that kind of thing out and understand that it is propgandist at best.

  50. avatar jburnham says:

    Any serious investigation into Bush Administration lawlessness would necessarily lead to a curtailing of executive power (which has expanded more than ever under this “conservative” mob). No president will unleash a process that will put more limits on his power. If there is any kind of investigation it will be limited in scope and no high ranking officials will be held accountable. After all, lack of accountability is the real legacy of this administration.

  51. Obama would do well to take explicit steps to reduce the power of the office. Even if he is great, something I hope he will be because of the magnitude of the problems, the office is too strong.

    I think the past Presidency has nearly destroyed the country in the hands of someone so inept, but arrogant.

    Trying the past President in a court of law, coupled with a renunciation of the current President’s powers, could save us.

    Most people don’t know what Thomas Jefferson did as President other than the Louisiana Purchase. He used the office to greatly reduce the power of the office. It had already grown too much by the end of the Adams Presidency.

    Adams was already curtailing freedom of speech and press, and people were being jailed.

    The Presidents that followed Jefferson’s lead, IMO, put the office in its proper role.

    The Presidency might be necessary, but it is also the most dangerous branch of government.

  52. avatar timz says:

    At the same time let’s try Clinton for bombing civilians in Bosnia to take the focus of his “cigar” habit. And while were at it arrest Janet Reno for ordering the slaughter in Waco.

  53. avatar Salle says:

    timz,

    that stuff is pretty small potatoes compared to what has been done over the past eight years.

    I suspect that the Clinton debacle was orchestrated to purposely leave a bad taste in the mouth of Americans in order to make it harder for this administration to be held accountable for their grievous, world-wide sacking of human rights, just for starters… And that’s what I thought the day the SC decided that Bu$hCo would be ‘resident of the Oval Office and nothing that has taken place since then has convinced me otherwise.

  54. avatar timz says:

    Small potatoes unless it was your house that was bombed or your children burned alive in that compound.

  55. avatar JimT says:

    Ralph,

    Not sure I agree with you that exec is THE most dangerous. I think they are ALL dangerous depending on the folks inhabiting them. The Supremes are possibly the most potentially damaging because of the very right leaning majority, and the ages of the conservative judges, giving us another 20 years of Scalia attending seances to hear from the Founding Fathers and what they thought should happen in the 21st century…no voting rights for women, anyone?

    Congress is dangerous mostly because of one thing. MONEY, and its absolute necessity to run for office, Senate or House. The House was supposed to be the branch that responded to cultural changes with a two year term giving the polity a way to elect folks sensitive to the current culture. Instead, due to gerrymandering, we now have over 90% safe districting for both parties. So much for the balance the House was supposed to give to the more deliberative…responsibility-avoiding?….nature of the Senate. Theory is good; money screws it up. And the way it is looking, McCain Feingold is under attack in the courts again, so limits on soft money may be gone..again. I hate to say it, but it may take amending the First Amendment free speech to address the money flow into campaigns and keep it transparent and limited.

    The present Executive Branch is dangerous because of the maniacal l devotion of the neocons to restore the power lost after Nixon to a point that resembles a monarchy. The most chilling statement I think I have heard from any politician was Nixon’s assertion that when the President does it, the law doesn’t matter. I am not sure if Obama will actively revoke all of the EOs addressing civil rights, the conduct of the military and intelligence branches, and so on. I don’t think the man is interested in the kind of power that motivated Cheney and his ilk, but there will be little folks on his shoulder whispering in his ear..”wouldn’t it be nice to HAVE that power in case we need it..”… I am hoping I am wrong; I am hoping he rolls back the attacks on our civil rights, and that he bans torture..again…simply and for all military and intelligence personnel.

    TimZ, Clinton’s decision to bomb had very unfortunate effects, but I doubt very much that the briefing papers told him it WOULD result, and he callously went ahead anyway. I suspect he knew there was a risk, just like with any action motivated by a desire to stop that kind of genocide. The Republicans, led by Cheney and the neocons, deliberately set out to seize power by abusing the Constitution, manipulating in some cases, and ignoring it in many others. They are, by international law standards, meeting the bare bone pleading requirements for war crimes due to the rendition and torture of prisoners during this so called Iraq war for freedom.

    I do agree, however, that it won’t be addressed for mostly realpolitik reasons rather than legal. I think Salle is right; the Clinton witch hunt left such a bad taste in the public’s mouth that it is likely it won’t happen again, except maybe for compelling evidence of treason or murder. Unfortunately, the message it sends echoes Nixon’s assertion, and makes a mockery of the notion of accountability by our highest elected officials. The lesson for the future..do what you want, hide it the best way you can, make sure it isn’t small stuff, and then get out of office. TOTN on NPR had a “debate” between Turley of GW law school and a proponent of prosecution, and Freed (Harvard conservative) who takes the view that even these crimes are not always required to be prosecuted because of the damage to the country. He thinks the pardon of Nixon was a patriotic act. Sigh.

  56. avatar Virginia says:

    It is very interesting that people (not only on this blog, but everywhere) are still trying to blame the Clintons for everything that goes wrong. Excuse me, but let’s try to move on from that story. “No one died when Clinton lied.” Remember that one? Take a good, hard look at what your most recent president has done to this country, and his lack of taking any responsibility for it. At least Clinton went on national television and apologized for his actions. George Bush has never admitted a mistake, other than putting a banner on a ship saying “Mission Accomplished.” He made an absolute fool of himself in has “last news conference” yesterday.

    In my opinion, he has destroyed this country ethically, financially, politically, morally and environmentally. I don’t think anyone can argue with that and Salle- I agree with you completely – there needs to be accountability and Obama must show the world that he is not an accomplice to this behavior by letting it go. Yes, we must move forward, but if you allow these travesties to go – you are just as guilty as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Libby, Wolfowitz, and everyone else involved in this disastrous administration.

  57. avatar timz says:

    I for one am not trying to blame the Clintons for anything, just trying to make the point that all this talk of trials and tribunals is silly, it ain’t going to happen because they are all in it together, Republicans and Democrats. Our government has neen corrupted from top to bottom by the almighty dollar and it happened long before the Bush’s and Clinton’s arrived.

  58. avatar Salle says:

    Fixing the problem of “corporate personhood” is a BIG first step. I had mentioned to Ralph that I should, maybe, write an essay on this topic but after ten minutes of research, I found that there is something of a movement that addresses this issue:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood

    http://www.thomhartmann.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=183

    I think it’s one place to start taking back our government and making it work or US again, along with ridding the election process of the dollar-daze syndrome.

  59. avatar JimT says:

    I think TimZ is correct in his assertion that we don’t have the government we want, and both sides have enough dirt on their side of the aisles to warrant getting the best vacuums on the market..wait they do..K Street lobbyists and PR firms…VBG…

    Seriously, though, the thing that bothers me about my own realpolitik, isn’t going to happen attitude about prosecution is it signals a giving up on principles, integrity and rule of law. If we don’t implement notions of accountability, no matter how discomforting to witness, for THESE kinds of actions, then the whole notion of being held responsible for acts committed while in office is a joke, and who knows what kinds of travesties await us in the future.

    Salle, there are now efforts underway in various state legislatures to enact legislation to “pierce the corporate veil” as they say in law school. Began to happen with Enron, and hopefully it will continue at the state levels. I have less hope for it being addressed federally. I will content for now if Obama’s folks instituted some balance of regulation and oversight for financial institutions; that question should be answered, or at least hinted at, with the restrictions put on the remainder of the TARP funds. Talk about NO accountability for the first 350…the bank CEOS made it sound like 4-6 billion for them from the fund was chump change, and how dare anyone, much less the taxpayers whose pockets it came from, expect them to keep track of such a trifle? SNIFF…~S~

    I am going to fill my bird feeders; at least I can make a positive contribution to someone’s universe today..;*)

  60. avatar JimT says:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99253486

    This is a link to the Turley-Fried interchange on NPR Talk of the Nation yesterday, in case you wanted to hear both sides of the debate…

  61. avatar kt says:

    We need to remember this: When Obama shafted environmentalists by picking Cowboy Salazar for Interior over the much more qualified and visionary Raul Grijalva, Nancy Pelosi tried to further clear the public lands protection playing field by trying to lure Grijalva away from his position at the helm of the House Resources Committee. Pelosi (smarting from her own pick for Interior and darling of the Big Greens going down in flames) dangled a Ways and Means Committee seat (the Plum post to funnel big pork to the Homestate) in front of Grijalva. He did not budge, and gracefully turned her down.

    So – Can we ask the Interior committee to consider a Special Investigator, or series of Investigators, to look into all that has occurred? Does anyone know the best way to get the facts to essentially prosecute wrongdoing (like at Kempthorne’s Interior), and to get not only Rollbacks, but also real Change in place.

    I saw an article this morning spearheaded by a bunch of the establishment Big Green groups – one of the things it calls for is going through the Western Governors Association. THAT is not change we can believe in! That is more Token action, happy talk and $$$ thrown at plans to plan to plan – as habitats continue to be ripped apart.
    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2009/jan/13/environmental-groups-appeal-to-obama-for-shift/

  62. avatar kt says:

    I meant House Natural Resources committee, not Interior Committee. Sorry.

  63. avatar JimT says:

    From what I know, there will be some hearing by the House on some of the more egregious examples of corruption by the Interior officials, but I doubt it will go any further than that in terms of actual sanctions. It may be, KT, that the Inspector Generals offices will be the more likely source to look into sanctions if any are possible under the current laws. It really does seem to me that when you leave before the crap hits the fan..Norton, MacDonald,etc…you seem to be unreachable. Without the prospect of your actions following you out of the office you held..there is little incentive to follow law and ethics while you are there unless you implement your own values system. Same old story…do the right thing regardless of who is looking.

  64. avatar jdubya says:

    Kt,I think you timing is off.

    The offer from Pelosi to Grijalva to the Ways and Means was before the Obama transition team had settled on Salazar. It looked at the time (and still does) that Pelosi was trying to clear the ground for Thompson. When Obama turned away from both Thompson and Grijalva, the post for Grijalva to Ways and Means or Natural Resources became moot.

    I don’t see anything in the tea leaves that with Salazar as Interior, that Pelosi cares one way or the other what committee Grijalva is on. Maybe she actually prefers him on Natural Resources ’cause she can use the more powerful post on Ways and Means as a chit to get some blue dog democrat (i.e. a republican in democratic clothing) in line.

  65. avatar kt says:

    JDubya – My point was that the Reources committee should be a focus for the equivalent of an evironemental war crimes tribunal. Pelosi I think wanted Grijalva out of the way because there is a LOT that can be done there.

  66. avatar jdubya says:

    kt, i see your point but I don’t follow the logic that Pelosi wants to muzzle Grijalva. It seems to me the opposite is more likely. Other than wanting to promote Thompson over Grijalva (which is what Speakers end up having to do) for the interior job, what evidence do you have that Pelosi wants Grijalva out of the way at this time?

  67. avatar JimT says:

    I understand KT’s anger, but doubt very much Grijalva is going to employ a scorched earth policy in his committee. I think he will be focusing on the positive things he can do to begin healing the West from the last 8 years. That said, I don’t think he will turn a blind eye either. As for Pelosi, I didn’t like the way she was..is? playing power politics during the transition process and the Interior battle. That fact that it came down to Grijalva and Salazar means to me she didn’t have as much say inside the transition as she thought she might. I think Pelosi has eyes for a higher office, so I doubt she will go after Grijalva and make enemies with someone very well regarded in the Hispanic and environmental communities. I think Raul is happy to be right where he is, dealing with the subject matter closest to his own values and agenda

  68. avatar kt says:

    Pelosi wanted Thompson, a meek and mild Blue dog type, for Interior. He was her boy, and the darling of the Big Green groups too. You know, he had supported some Wilderness Bill, posed in big waders with a big fish in hand, or something – so that suddenly made him as Green as Crapo and Risch, or — er— something like that.

    Then I think when the full details were rolled out on how very poor his credentials were and some of his Safari Club and other leanings, they flailed about and came up with Salazar and his hat. Slazar made the gold mines, hedge fund speculators on uranium and other mining happy. And anything that makes miners happy makes Harry Reid happy, too.

    See http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/blog/view/940 The Pound Salt Opinion piece, was I think linked or featured on this Blog before.

    Pelosi and Reid have enabled so much of what has gone on over the past 8 years. Pelosi has not acted like a “Liberal” as the rightwing media constantly screams. Reid’s spinelessness and inability to do much at all except capitulate was just perfectly highlighted as he was maneuvered into a corner by Blago on Burris.

    So you all don’t think the Resources Committee should investigate anything – just play nicey nice and let Bygones be Bygones???

  69. avatar kt says:

    In the Text of this Blog Post is a link to the new 400 page Report on the Bush-Cheney lies and assault on liberties, and running this country inti the ground. http://firedoglake.com/2009/01/13/house-judiciary-issues-scathing-report-on-bushcheney-imperial-presidency/#more-36037

    The 400 page report is accesed at a PDF Link in that article.
    Why should anyone oppose seeing the same kind of detailed investigation and report, including the Naming of Names – like Griles, Kempthorne ,Luthi, Paul Hoffman, Allred, etc. – about what has gone on at Interior, EPA, etc.?

    I think if we don’t demand as much for the Natural World, we are complicit in the Crimes Against Nature that have occurred.

    If we say – Oh, Move on, let by bygones be bygones the gulity will polish their image -Like the recent Kempthorne PR Image Polishing moves, and skate away to re-appear another day – doing the exact same thing.

  70. avatar jdubya says:

    kt, like i asked before, what evidence do you have that that Pelosi wants Grijalva out of the way (on Resources) at this time? Not before Interior was decided but now?

    Pelosi sure seems to stir some people up. I don’t quite get it. If she has not done crap in 2 years from now then I’ll be happy to cast the first stone, but with what she has had to work with the past two years, I just don’t get what people have expect of her. Maybe it is the “her” problem…..

  71. avatar Salle says:

    I don’t know about all of Pelosi’s dealings but I do know that if the federal government wants to reclaim any credible authority among “we the people” they better do something and soon after the transition has taken place officially.

    And as for the costs, I think there might actually be some out there with the appropriate credentials who might offer to do it for free because it’s the right thing to do. Needs to happen.

  72. avatar kt says:

    JDubya:

    No, it’s not the “her” problem any more than Harry Reid is the “him” problem.

    It is reported that Pelosi wanted to move Thompson up in seniority- towards Grijalva’s current position as Chair, which is why she tried to entice him with Ways and Means. Thompson is on the same committee.

    Again, this is described in this Tucson Link:

    http://tucsoncitizen.com/blog/view/940

  73. avatar Virginia says:

    kt – I love the fact that you mentioned Paul Hoffman in your last message – he is from Cody and did everything he could to put “God” in the national park system and every other place he could think of (never end a sentence with a preposition!). Everyone probably already knows this – but he wanted to place copies of the Ten Commandments in each national park! I was happy to see him leave Cody for Washington, and I hope we don’t get him back. He was the head of our Chamber of Commerce for several years and it was ugly. I am sure he has gone on to bigger and better things. I never was sure how he got hooked up with Dick Cheney.

  74. avatar JimT says:

    KT,

    I didn’t say I didn’t want the House Resources Committee to investigate anything. I said there would be a hearing at least, and that there already is an investigative arm..the Inspector Generals office..that is charged for that kind of task. They did a good job over in Justice exposing the illegal conservative litmus test for hiring, releasing the final report of 4 yesterday. They can’t help it if a judge declined to go further despite evidence of lying to Congress.

    It may not be a popular decision with you, and I can empathize because I think some of them should be doing jail time, but it is pretty clear that the Congress and the Obama administration are focusing on the economy first and foremost, and then the tragedy going on in Gaza. To them, right now…environmental misdoings at Interior are small potatoes.

    BTW, from what I understand, Kemmis is conducting a full out campaign for some position at Interior or the FS at Ag, flying in and out of DC, grabbing a pol or a staff member whenever he can….which would be too bad, since it would be more of the same culture at FS. Kemmis is a HUGE advocate of collaboration..and we all know how this group feels…LOL. I also understand that his nonprofit lost its funding and it is essentially done due to the economy. That is an under-reported story..the numbers of small non profits that have and will go under this year due to the Bush mishandling of the economy.

    And Ralph, it is looking more and more like the Rocky Mountain News is going to close its doors, and that the Denver Post is running millions of dollars of debt each month. Guess the end of the daily isn’t too far away, and online sources like Grist, Slate, and blogs like this one will take on even more importance. I am a big fan of the daily paper..I will miss it.

  75. avatar Salle says:

    I have seen several articles and opinions calling for Kemmis’ placement in AG or Interior, seems he has a media campaign in full scream ahead mode lately. I can’t recall all the places I’ve seen them but most notably in Denver, NM, and MT papers.

    Dailies are/have always been a staple in my news diet, it figures that they are being sidelined with the excuse of the poor economic scene of late. Too much information provided to the public isn’t good for the secretive corporatocracy…

  76. avatar kt says:

    Paul Hoffman did all kinds of evil in Interior. He has slunk (slinked?) away before the very end – perhaps to make himself less visible.

    For awhile, you would go to the Interior Board of Land Appeals site, and there would be a picture of him in a Cowboy Hat smirking. THIS was on the kind of portal page where you accessed BLM Appeals decisions that went to the IBLA. THAT is where Oil and Gas, Mining, Bush Healthy forests-style tree and sagebrush Killing/logging Appeals went. And it is the second “tier” of BLM grazing Appeals, It was always very difficult for a non-rancher, miner, driller to win anything there – as the Bush years progressed – it was impossible. I think political influence over the Bush-era IBLA administrative law judges that decide Appeals had to be in play.

    Paul Hoffman did all kinds of evil in Interior. He may have slunk (slinked?) away before the very end – perhaps to make himself less visible.

    For awhile, you would go to the Interior Board of Land Appeals site, and there would be a picture of him in a Cowboy Hat smirking. THIS was on the kind of portal page where you accessed BLM Appeals decisions that went to the IBLA. THAT is where Oil and Gas, Mining, Bush Healthy forests-style tree and sagebrush Killing/logging Appeals went. And it is the second “tier” of BLM grazing Appeals, It was always very difficult for a non-rancher, miner, driller to win anything there – as the Bush years progressed – it was impossible. I think political influence over the Bush-era IBLA administrative law judges that decide Appeals had to be in play.

    http://www.commondreams.org/news2008/0812-02.htm

    AND the influence of Hoffman and others there needs to be investigated. These are not like “regular” Court judges but a separate BLM system, kind of civil service .

    Jim T: The House Resources Committee can request and layout WHAT needs to be investigated. I don’t understand what your hang-up is with that. It can hold hearings, too – which is also what needs to happen.

  77. avatar timz says:

    To change the subject a here is a little story about wolf hysteria. I got a call last night from a neighbor asking me if I had lost my black dog. The reason being some “weekenders” had been in the area snowshoeing and said they found a black dog that had been killed by wolves in the woods near my house. The condition of the dog and large tracks all around it were the basis for their theory. There was also a second carcass that was so raveged it was impossible to tell what it was. The neighbor further stated he was going to call and warn everybody that there were marauding wolves about. The wife and I bundled up, grabbed a couple flashlights and went to investigate. I found the first dog but so no tracks and no sign on the dog of being attacked other than blood in the snow. I turned it over looking for what may have killed it only to discover it had been shot. I never found the second carcass. Possibbilies are — the dog looked like a wolf-hybred, could have been mistaken as a wolf, shot and dumped,Somebody putting their pet down due to illness, I don’t want to think about the other reasons this dog was killed.

  78. avatar JimT says:

    Which may or may not be what happens as a result of the hearing(s), kt. I really don’t think this is a matter of not being do it;I think it is a question of priority and pecking order based on Obama’s perception of what the most important problems are, and how that message gets filtered to Congress. Let’s get through all the confirmation hearings first, and get the agency appointments….

  79. avatar Salle says:

    Today is Vilsak’s confirmation hearing and tomorrow is Salazar’s.

  80. avatar JimT says:

    I will be watching Salazars if at all possible and if it is on CSPAN or CNN

  81. avatar timz says:

    Confirmation hearings, AKA rubber stamp sessions.

  82. avatar Virginia says:

    Regarding the death of newspapers – I love the newspapers and cannot imagine not being able to read them. The only comment I have heard about it being a positive thing is that it may save a lot of trees.

    KT – I hope you are right and that Paul gets some of what he deserves for his evil behavior.

  83. avatar Salle says:

    Congress now has a youtube site.

    You may find it there, I have tog o run some errands….

  84. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    I just received this news release from USFWS via e-mail:
    Service Removes Western Great Lakes, Portion of Northern Rocky Mountain
    Gray Wolf Populations from Endangered Species List

    Wolves in Wyoming to Remain Protected by Endangered Species Act

    Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett announced today the removal
    of the western Great Lakes population and portions of the northern Rocky
    Mountain population of gray wolves from protection under the Endangered
    Species Act. The success of gray wolf recovery efforts in these areas has
    contributed to expanding populations of wolves that no longer require the
    protection of the Act. However, gray wolves found within the borders of
    Wyoming will continue to be protected by the Act due to a lack of adequate
    regulatory mechanisms ensuring their protection under state law.

    “Wolves have recovered in the Great Lakes and the northern Rocky Mountains
    because of the hard work, cooperation and flexibility shown by States,
    tribes, conservation groups, federal agencies and citizens of both
    regions,” said Scarlett. “We can all be proud of our various roles in
    saving this icon of the American wilderness.”

    Today’s decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is
    scheduled to take effect 30 days after the publication of two separate
    rules, one for each population, in the Federal Register. The two rules
    address concerns raised during two separate federal court actions last
    summer requiring the Service to reinstate Endangered Species Act
    protections for the two populations. The western Great Lakes population was
    originally removed from the federal list of endangered and threatened
    wildlife and plants in March 2007, while the northern Rocky Mountain
    population was first delisted in February 2008.

    Gray wolves were previously listed as endangered in the lower 48 states,
    except in Minnesota where they were listed as threatened. The Service
    oversees three separate recovery programs for the gray wolf; each has its
    own recovery plan and recovery goals based on the unique characteristics of
    wolf populations in each geographic area. Wolves in other parts of the 48
    states, including the Southwest wolf population, remain endangered and are
    not affected by the actions taken today.

    Northern Rocky Mountain wolves

    The northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment includes all of
    Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon,
    and a small part of north-central Utah. The minimum recovery goal for
    wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains is at least 30 breeding pairs and at
    least 300 wolves for at least three consecutive years, a goal that was
    attained in 2002 and has been exceeded every year since. There are
    currently about 100 breeding pairs and 1,500 wolves in Montana, Idaho, and
    Wyoming. The Service believes that with approved state management plans in
    place in Montana and Idaho, all threats to the wolf population will be
    sufficiently reduced or eliminated in those states. Montana and Idaho will
    always manage for over 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves per State and their
    target population level is about 400 wolves in Montana and 500 in Idaho.

    As a result of a Montana United States District Court decision on July 18,
    2008, the Service reexamined Wyoming law, its management plans and
    implementing regulations. While the Service has approved wolf management
    plans in Montana and Idaho, it has determined that Wyoming’s state law and
    wolf management plan are not sufficient to conserve Wyoming’s portion of a
    recovered northern Rocky Mountain wolf population. Therefore, even though
    Wyoming is included in the northern Rocky Mountain DPS, the subpopulation
    of gray wolves in Wyoming is not being removed from protection of the
    Endangered Species Act. Continued management under the Endangered Species
    Act by the Service will ensure that the recovery goal of 300 wolves in
    Wyoming is sustained.

    Acting U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Rowan Gould said the Service
    will continue to work with the State of Wyoming in developing its state
    regulatory framework so that the state can continue to maintain and share a
    recovered northern Rocky Mountain population. Once adequate regulatory
    mechanisms are in place, the Service could propose removing the Act’s
    protections for wolves in Wyoming. National parks and the Wind River
    Reservation in Wyoming already have adequate regulatory mechanisms in place
    to conserve wolves. However, at this time, wolves will remain protected as
    a nonessential, experimental population under the ESA throughout the state,
    including within the boundaries of the Wind River Reservation and national
    park units.

    Western Great Lakes

    The Service’s delisting of the gray wolf also applies to gray wolves in the
    Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment. As the result of another
    legal ruling from the Washington D.C. United States District Court on
    September 29, 2008, the Service reexamined its legal authorization to
    simultaneously identify and delist a population of wolves in the western
    Great Lakes. The Service today reissued the delisting decision in order to
    comply with the Court’s concerns.

    The area included in the DPS boundary includes the states of Minnesota,
    Wisconsin and Michigan as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota,
    Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. The DPS includes all the areas currently
    occupied by wolf packs in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, as well as
    nearby areas in these states in which wolf packs may become established in
    the future. The DPS also includes surrounding areas into which wolves may
    disperse but are not likely to establish packs.

    Rebounding from a few hundred wolves in Minnesota in the 1970s when listed
    as endangered, the region’s gray wolf population now numbers about 4,000
    and occupies large portions of Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. Wolf
    numbers in the three states have exceeded the numerical recovery criteria
    established in the species’ recovery plan for several years. In Minnesota,
    the population is estimated at 2,922. The estimated wolf population in
    Wisconsin is a minimum of 537, and about 520 wolves are believed to inhabit
    Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

    The Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources
    have developed plans to guide wolf management actions in the future. The
    Service has determined that these plans establish a sufficient basis for
    long-term wolf management. They address issues such as protective
    regulations, control of problem animals, possible hunting and trapping
    seasons, and the long-term health of the wolf population, and will be
    governed by the appropriate state or tribe.

    “The Service is committed to ensuring wolves thrive in the Great Lakes and
    the northern Rocky Mountains and will continue to work with the states to
    ensure this successful recovery is maintained,” said Gould.

    The Service will monitor the delisted wolf populations for a minimum of
    five years to ensure that they continue to sustain their recovery. At the
    end of the monitoring period, the Service will decide if relisting,
    continued monitoring, or ending Service monitoring is appropriate.

    The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to
    conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for
    the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and
    trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific
    excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated
    professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our
    work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov.

    Final Rule – Northern Rocky Mountain Population (
    http://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2008/pdf/FRNRM.pdf)

    Final Rule – Western Great Lakes Population (
    http://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2008/pdf/FRWGL.pdf) *************************************************************************** News releases are also available on the World Wide Web at http://news.fws.gov Questions concerning a particular news release or item of information should be directed to the person listed as the contact. General comments or observations concerning the content of the information should be directed to Malcomb Barsella (malcomb_barsella@fws.gov) in the Office of Public Affairs. To unsubscribe from the fws-news listserver, send e-mail to fws-news-request@lists.fws.gov. Enter “unsubscribe” in the subject field. . ***************************************************************************

  85. avatar timz says:

    With the Nation (and perhaps the world) in the crapper I was thrilled to hear the Senate took time from the all important confirmation hearings to pass anall important bill, introduced by Diane Feinstein, to make it illegal to scalp tickets to Obama’s inauguration

  86. avatar timz says:

    Also in the news before Bush “escapes”.
    “The Bush Administration will remove wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes from the endangered species list only days before it leaves office but leave them protected in Wyoming.”
    http://www.idahostatesman.com/newsupdates/story/632705.html

  87. Well, sue the bastards again!

  88. avatar timz says:

    I hope someone brings this up during Salazar’s confirmation hearing.

  89. avatar Salle says:

    Probably why it came out today, so that it wouldn’t be on the list of questions to be addressed. Only time will tell…

    Guess it’s back to court again, they didn’t address the current situation of the population decline in any of the three states or the migration corridors or the WS killing machine’s activities of late. I think they are hoping that their recent midnight rule changes are going to stick and that’s what they base the new delisting on, illegal changes in the ESA!!

    Deja vu all over again.

  90. avatar Save bears says:

    Well, not de-listing in Wyoming sets up an interesting situation, I can already see, that they use the natural wolves in Northern Idaho and Northern Montana to cover the genetic exchange question..

    It will indeed be interesting to see how this one goes, I bet Wyoming already has the paper work drawn up to file in court..

  91. avatar timz says:

    Ralph or someone who knows for sure,

    Isn’t this partial delisting directly in violation of the ESA??
    – – – –
    Timz, No, partial delisting is sometimes legal. However, I don’t think this one is for a variety of reasons. We will win in court again. Ralph Maughan

  92. avatar Save bears says:

    timz,

    I don’t believe so, as it was classified a “non-essential, experimental population”

    But to be sure, I would have to do some more in-depth reading, I can almost bet you, they are working on the same premise as they did, when they de-listed the grizzly in the Yellowstone area also…and I know, there are groups working on that one as well

  93. avatar kt says:

    This was all of course being planned when Dirk Kempthorne made his Swansong Public appearance at the Boise City Club last week, and an appearance on Dialogue, a local TV show. The local Republicans, the Statesman paper and others seem to be trying to polish his filthy image. Now more wildlife blood is on his hands. Just like Cheney and the rest of the Bush Death Cult.

    What else does he have up his sleeve? What Cattlemen, Woolgrowers, miners, etc. did he meet with while in Idaho? THIS is why we need the equivalent of an environmental War Crimes Tribunal for all of these Bush lackeys.

  94. avatar Salle says:

    I agree with kt.

    Aside from that, I do believe that this is a vast deviation from the ESA in that they have no scientific data to make a claim that the “natural” populations of wolves satisfy the genetic exchange issues. And, they have yet to satisfy another point that was made in the preliminary injunction ruling that Idaho’s plan wasn’t really mush better than Wyoming’s. And it is in direct violation of the tri-state DPS directive from the beginning of the 10(j) rules, any of them ~ there have been many changes. And they certainly didn’t cunduct anything resembling “due process” when they called for a very small comment period and no humanly possible amount of time to review and address the comments received, if they actually received them. I think a call for proof should be made. And then there is that ugly set of midnight regs that go beyond the ESA, some are designed to be outside the ESA so that they are hard to associate with the law but are clearly known to them but not necessarily the by the public until it is too late.

    Haste makes waste and in this case, I hope it bites them hard on their faces and sticks like glue.

    If the midnight regs are somehow discarded by Obama’s administration, then the re-listing should not follow too shortly behind. I hope.

    What a disgrace to the public and the concept of “for the people and by the people”.

  95. avatar Save bears says:

    Salle,

    You might be right, but it will come down to the fact if the biologists as well as lawyers on this, do have information or data to back up their reasons for de-listing…

    Hey, I know how these people work, and it is amazing, what they can make you believe..

    Time will tell, but I can say, this is probably going to be very low on the new administrations priority list!

    In other words, they got bigger fish to fry right now, and I believe it has been manipulated to ensure that..

  96. avatar kt says:

    The Fish and Wildlife Press release says:

    Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett announced today the removal
    of the western Great Lakes population and portions of the northern Rocky
    Mountain population of gray wolves from protection under the Endangered
    Species Act”.

    So this too seems like they are somehow trying to keep Dirk “above the fray”. Disgusting. Well, he ain’t escaping – especially after his boasting n Boise how he was Sec up until the end.

    Ms. Scarlett has been in Interior throughout the Gale Norton and Kempthorne years. She is a Libertarian, who doesn’t like gov regulations, and is likely much more the brains behind things than someone like Kempthorne. Unfortunately, Obama has picked someone to oversee all Regs – Cass Sunstein – who also seems to not like regulations, is considered by some to be a Libertarian, and who doesn’t like the precautionary principle. See

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=721562

    Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle

    Cass R. Sunstein
    Harvard University – Harvard Law School

    “Cass Sunstein, LAWS OF FEAR, BEYOND THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE, Cambridge University Press, March 2005

    Abstract:
    What is the relationship among fear, danger, and the law? There are serious problems with the increasingly influential Precautionary Principle – the idea that regulators should take steps to protect against potential harms, even if causal chains are uncertain and even if we do not know that harms are likely to come to fruition. An investigation of such problems as global warming, terrorism, DDT, and genetic engineering shows that the Precautionary Principle is incoherent”.

    With folks like this overseeing all new Regs, and Harry Reid in charge of the Senate, we are in deep trouble.

  97. avatar JimT says:

    Ralph is correct in his assertion the delisting will be overturned. The question is can we get a TRO to stop Montana and Wyoming from trying to kill off the wolves in one big push while the lawsuit is going? That will be key.

    With regards to the certainty vs. precautionary principle, again, we see the certainty principle, coupled with the reluctance of scientists to wade into political frays, used to continue the status quo. If this country’s climate change policy continues to be predicated on the 100% scientific agreement on all fronts before action can be taken to halt and reverse the damage, for example, we are literally toast.

  98. avatar Salle says:

    I kind of like the idea that the states won’t have the funds to handle management as hey see fit…

    This could actually backfire with amazing aplomb. Once again, a TRO would be good for starters. I hope Salazar gets questioned on this tomorrow. If not, he’ll be hearing about it anyway. Guess I’ll be calling good ol’ Walt and see what he has to say for himself on this one, and a couple other things…

  99. avatar Save bears says:

    Salle,

    As I said in the other thread, if they don’t have the funds to manage, they will kill, plain and simple..

  100. avatar Salle says:

    Then relisting will be the order of the day when that happens. And, I almost forgot, the ranchers in Wyoming were going to fight this in court this time. They’ve got all that welfare cash lying around to pay for those pick-up trucks and ATV’s… I hope they’re good for their that they would take it to court. You never know until it happens.

  101. avatar Save bears says:

    Salle,

    Right now what I do know, is the final rule has been issued, and in 30 days it will be law, there is no way, Obama is going to be able to change a damn thing on this issue in the next 30 days, to many other things going on that most of the world and the US find more important, last time they de-listed it took 6 months to get anything done, and it could take longer this time, face it, Wolves in Idaho and Montana are no longer on the endangered species list and won’t be for at least 6 months, there has been no emergency injunction filed….it will stand until such time as things calm down around the world and we come out of this financial situation..

    Now that they USFWS has severed Montana, and Idaho, Wyoming becomes a whole new ballgame…

  102. avatar JimT says:

    Save Bears,

    One, I wouldn’t take the counts by the state officials in Idaho and Montana as necessarily accurate..inflation of numbers is in their favor, so there are grounds for enviros to at least demand a new census before proceeding to any “hunting season”. Two, and I am looking for help here…can’t Obama theoretically suspend the rule before it goes final ala Bush?

    Just goes to show…we need to focus on getting the permits revoked and bought out to the maximum extent possible in traditional wolf habitat; the rest of it is just delaying actions.

    We were at dinner the other night with a long time litigator from Montana, and were musing about just how much good could be done for the West if we had 10 Billion to work with. These days, it is a pittance.

    One can dream…

  103. avatar Salle says:

    This looks hopeful:

    http://www.trib.com/articles/2009/01/15/news/wyoming/6abc1890153e02308725753f0006733c.txt

    Like I said, ya never know until it happens.

    If I were Obama, I’d be a little tight-lipped about some “clean-up” moves to be made Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning just so that the perps don’t get overly exuberant and more reprehensible than they have already been…

  104. Save Bears,

    Suspension of this rule — not ever making it final in the Federal Register, takes no effort at all, unlike writing the rule which takes effort.

    Obama’s people will have plenty of time to suspend this rule and many more that are at this stage if they want to.

    When George W. Bush came in, he immediately issued an order suspending all Clinton rules in all agencies that were at this stage of finality. The ones that give Bush trouble where those that had been completely adopted, like Clinton’s roadless area rule.

  105. avatar Save bears says:

    Ralph,

    Come next Tuesday, we will know more and all of the speculation will be over…unfortunately, I don’t think it will be high on his priority list, and with the Middle east exploding all the time right now, it will indeed be interesting to see what happens.

  106. avatar JimT says:

    There will be action to undo the damage done to the ESA….here is the press release…

    Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-WV) today introduced a joint resolution – with the support of 12 co-sponsors – invoking the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the highly controversial gutting of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) pushed through by the Bush Administration during its waning days in office.

    “The Bush Administration has had a long – though one could hardly say proud – history of trying to undermine the ESA and the protection it provides to America’s most imperiled species,” Rahall said. “Today, I introduce legislation, using the authority granted to the Congress under the CRA, to overturn a rule that served as the Bush Administration’s final assault on, and insult to, one of the Nation’s landmark conservation laws.”

    H.J. Res. 18 seeks to overturn the last-minute, ill-advised action by the Administration to do away with the ESA’s cornerstone Section 7 consultation process, a move that essentially gives federal agencies an unacceptable degree of discretion to decide on their own whether or not to comply with the law. As a result, federal agencies would be allowed to undertake or permit thousands of federal activities – such as logging or building a dam – on federal lands and other areas without obtaining review or comment from federal wildlife biologists at the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    First proposed in late August 2008, the Administration rushed a public comment period and environmental assessment of the proposed regulation. Rahall, along with 80 Members of Congress, led efforts in the House urging the Administration to halt the changes; yet, the Administration defied public opinion and proceeded to review more than 300,000 public comments at a rate of more than 6,000 per hour.

    “As the Bush Administration fades off into the sunset, once and for all, they leave behind a devastating trail of last-minute regulatory changes that represent the worst in public policy. I look forward to working with the Obama Administration to correct course and promote a positive resources conservation agenda. Passage of this joint resolution will be step one in restoring the vigor of America’s natural heritage through this landmark conservation law,” Rahall said.

    The joint resolution is co-sponsored by Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA), George Miller (D-CA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Lois Capps (D-CA), Jay Inslee (D-WA), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), John Dingell (D-MI), Norm Dicks (D-WA), Sam Farr (D-CA), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

  107. avatar kt says:

    Hey JimT – Rahall’s statements are really good news about the ESA.

  108. avatar Salle says:

    It’s looking more and more like a “Ding Dong, the witch is dead…!” moment!

  109. Thanks for the news JimT.

    There are more recent rules that haven’t been published in the Federal Register that don’t require any congressional action to halt — just a stroke of the pen by Obama.

    Here is a story from 2001, telling what Bush did with Clinton rules. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-10620892_ITM

  110. avatar Salle says:

    Here’s a link to (formerly Bill Moyers’ now David Brancaccio hosts) NOW program on PBS that will air tonight. They have been covering climate change and other environmental topics the past few weeks with some awesome reporting on these topics.

    http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/503/index.html

    This week’s show is on the struggle over solar farms and where to put them.

    You can watch it online or on TV or podcast. There are also numerous other info-source links on the page, if you scroll down and look. A very good info-source and reporting portal. There is also an interview with Paul Krugman on Obama’s infrastructure plans.

  111. avatar John d. says:

    Have a happy 20th.

    Hope certain tides will turn later on for the better of the nation and its ecosystem. Many grand messes were made prior to the departure of the Whitehouse’s previous tenants.

    Though its hard to say if anything will turn out right, because a nation can only rearrange itself if the citizens want to.

  112. avatar outsider says:

    Just saw the Presidental limo and kinda woundering why its not a hybrid? This would have been a perfect chance to make a statment and I think it was missed.

  113. avatar Salle says:

    Perhaps it’ a timing issue… In order to carry the weight of the armament on that vehicle it has to be like a small truck. And the construction of it was probably complete before the “bail-a-thon” got into full swing.

  114. avatar outsider says:

    So do you think we will see one in the next 4 years?

  115. avatar Salle says:

    I’d like to think we might. They say this is the time of change… I hope that we will witness significant change in all things from the way we, as individuals as well as a nation, go about our daily lives and how we “do business”.

  116. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Leaving work for home now, not to miss the live TV coverage. It´s thrilling to live to actually see a piece of history. To me, the last time was the night, the Berlin wall fell.

  117. avatar jimbob says:

    This may be a bit off the last couple of threads, but here’s hoping the New York Times article about “forgiving and forgetting” the Bush Admin.’s actions over last eight years ends up being a sweeping call to action. Let’s not only hold all of the criminals accountable so that it doesn’t happen again, but also hold those currently in power accountable for going after every political appointee who abused their office and power. It would be a sick thing to sweep those eight years under the rug. There was a lot more to worry about than just torture and gitmo. There was a ruination of our government and our country by systematically dismantling and usurping due process in everything from contract awarding, to environmental laws, to politicization of the government hiring process, to even politicizing media access. Sick! If I remember correctly, the same type of things happened during the Reagan years and most of it was swept under the rug as the country prospered again.

  118. avatar jdubya says:

    Peter, Obama taking the oath and the wall coming down are two bookends aren’t they? Thanks for the image.

  119. avatar kt says:

    Yes Peter thank you for that observation on the significance of this all.

    Talk of wind and solar and transmission in Obama’s speech. We need to make sure it is not “manifest destiny”-style wind and solar – the final blow to what’s left of big wild deserts in this country. Has anyone read what is in the House version of the stimulus Bill yet?

  120. avatar JEFF E says:

    FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST. GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY WE ARE FREE AT LAST.

  121. avatar Salle says:

    YEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

    One of the documents signed directly after the swearing in was: An EO to STOP ALL orders pending until they can be reviewed!!!!!

    Thank You, Mr. President.

  122. avatar Save bears says:

    Salle,

    Please provide a link to the information, I would be interested in reading it, as I have not been able to find how it went today on the pending orders..

    Thanks.

  123. avatar April Clauson says:

    Looks like Obama is on the ball already! He is halting all the garbage Bush tried to shove through! Hopefully he will stop or change all of it!

    WASHINGTON – One of President Barack Obama’s first acts as president was to order federal agencies to halt all pending regulations until his administration can review them.

    The order went out Tuesday afternoon, shortly after Obama was inaugurated president, in a memorandum signed by new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The notice of the action was contained in the first press release sent out by Obama’s White House, and it came from deputy press secretary Bill Burton.

    The waning days of former President Bush’s administration featured much debate over what rules and regulations he would seek to enact before he left office.

  124. avatar kt says:

    Here is an MSNBC Link to a story on Obama halting Regulations

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28758810/

  125. avatar Salle says:

    Thanks, I couldn’t find documentation, I did hear it on NPR just before I posted it.

    I suggest reading the agenda on whitehouse.gov. There are some alarming proposals and I found nothing that said anything about public land or conservation of it anywhere other than a paragraph or three praising hunters and the like. The “Rural” portion is interesting in that it seems to be leaning toward localized and organic farming and family farms. That’s a plus… Salazar and Vilsack have been confirmed today as well. They’re not wasting any time.

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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