This week's news has held plenty of grease for my crank:
1. The USDA Forest Service effectively strips the heart and soul out of the National Forest Management Act this week by passing a new set of rules for forest planning that basically read like there won't be any anymore. Don't despair: the are usual going to sue, tie the rules up in court, and hopefully stall it long enough to put the planners out of business until 2009. Unless, of course, Congress suddenly gives the Secretary of Ag ultimate authority to override all laws in order to, "Git 'er done." Which leads me to the next news item...
2. Though I posted about this particular doozy last week, it's worth repeating: Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff gave democracy a big "F*ck you!" when he applied the REAL ID waivers to the entirety of existing border infrastructure projects. Defenders and Sierra Club got a boost when 14 members of Congress announced their intent to file an amicus brief to the Supreme Court on the waiver case. Have we told you lately that we love you, Grijalva?
3. And while we still love Grijalva for his leadership on steering America's newest conservation system through the House this week, we hate New Mexico's Representative Pearce for tacking on a bullshit amendment to the NLCS legislation.
4. And speaking of livestock, bighorn in Montana have suffered a massive die-off from livestock-induced diseases after contact with sheep and goats. The rancher is reportedly free of responsibility for this because he was there first. Huh?
The beauty of this sequence of news stories is it basically sums up the Bush Administration: weakened public participation, industry hand-outs, and an abject failure to acknowledge the inherent rights of living creatures.
Capitalismo, baby. Love it or leave it.