June 27, 2007

One Industry's Got to Go, Cheney. Which?

This from WashingtonPost.com:
Leaving No Tracks -- Jo Becker and Barton Gellman
Washington Post Staff Writers -- Wednesday, June 27, 2007

In Oregon, a battleground state that the Bush-Cheney ticket had lost by less than half of 1 percent, drought-stricken farmers and ranchers were about to be cut off from the irrigation water that kept their cropland and pastures green. Federal biologists said the Endangered Species Act left the government no choice: The survival of two imperiled species of fish was at stake.

Law and science seemed to be on the side of the fish. Then the vice president stepped in.

First Cheney looked for a way around the law, aides said. Next he set in motion a process to challenge the science protecting the fish, according to a former Oregon congressman who lobbied for the farmers.

Because of Cheney's intervention, the government reversed itself and let the water flow in time to save the 2002 growing season, declaring that there was no threat to the fish. What followed was the largest fish kill the West had ever seen, with tens of thousands of salmon rotting on the banks of the Klamath River.

Characteristically, Cheney left no tracks.
There was, as it happened, an established exemption to the Endangered Species Act.

A rarely invoked panel of seven Cabinet officials, known informally as the "God Squad," is empowered by the statute to determine that economic hardship outweighs the benefit of protecting threatened wildlife. But after discussing the option with Smith, Cheney rejected that course. He had another idea, one that would not put the administration on record as advocating the extinction of endangered or threatened species.

The thing to do, Cheney told Smith, was to get science on the side of the farmers. And the way to do that was to ask the National Academy of Sciences to scrutinize the work of the federal biologists who wanted to protect the fish.
Months later, the first of an estimated 77,000 dead salmon began washing up on the banks of the warm, slow-moving river. Not only were threatened coho dying -- so were chinook salmon, the staple of commercial fishing in Oregon and Northern California. State and federal biologists soon concluded that the diversion of water to farms was at least partly responsible.
Last summer, the federal government declared a "commercial fishery failure" on the West Coast after several years of poor chinook returns virtually shut down the industry, opening the way for Congress to approve more than $60 million in disaster aid to help fishermen recover their losses. That came on top of the $15 million that the government has paid Klamath farmers since 2002 not to farm, in order to reduce demand.
Click here for the entire text.
So, Cheney did something to help one industry thereby dooming another and insuring an expensive bailout of both.
Meanwhile, he made sure his fingerprints weren't on either measure.


PoliShifter said...

It's total bullshit. I just wish more people read this article and got outraged by it.

Cheney and Bush need to go NOW

I'm not sure what it's going to take to convince Congress.

They're just moving too slow. But they did issue subpoenas for White House docs today.

My guess is Bush will cite "executive privelage", oh, but wait...he's not part of the executive branch.

I have a sick feeling in my stomach that we'll just continue down this political masturbation circle with the White House until they leave office.

two crows said...

hey, Poli--
I agree wholeheartedly that this bunch has got to go. but, the more I learn about the impeachment process, the more I conclude that Congress' hands may be tied.

the House might be able to pass a vote to impeach but I think too many senators are goose-stepping to Bush and Cheney's drum to give any hope of conviction.

I don't understand the ins and outs of Congress enough to know for sure, but I think the House may be keeping a hands-off approach simply in order to insure being able to do what they CAN do rather than throw themselves against the rocks of what they can't.

if anyone understands the process better than I do, please speak up.

PoliShifter said...

When it came to impeaching Clinton, they got the ball rolling just fine.

Basically they need to gather evidence and build the case for impeachment and then use that evidence to convince other Reps to support impeachment.

True, the votes are short in the Senate, but Congress can still impeach.

They have enough to impeach them already in my view but there is no will in Congress to do so. They believe the crap spewed by the DLC and Republicans, that the countr doesn't want impeachment, that it will take too long, that it doesn't matter because they will be out of office in 18 months.

Well it does matter. We need for the purpose of history and posterity send a message to future Presidents and Vice Presidents that they are not above the law and they cannot violate The Constitution.

Where certain individual Reps hands are tied is the fact that Bush/Cheney do not comply with the law.

Waxman, Conyers, and Kucinich are all pursuing impeachment. They are investigating, holding hearings, and suboenaing documents. They need those documents to help convince other Reps to go along.

But Bush and Cheney routinely do not give up the documents. White House staffers routinely refuse to testify.

And we know the Bush/Cheney team are destroying documents, be they emails on RNC servers or classified documents that outline our march to war, Bush and Cheny are in charge and have made it clear that they will not comply with the law.

I really do think that if we had a Congress that was composed of minds like Conyers, Waxman, and Kucinich, Bush & Cheney would be long gone.

But for every Conyers there's a Steny Hoyer, a Nancy Pelosi, a Rahm Emmanuel, and other DLC tools that believe they need to move to the center-right and not rock the boat.

These assholes that were in charge of the DNC before Dean like Terry Mcauliffe, Paul Begala, James Carville, Rahm Emmanuel, etc have not won an election since Bill Clinton in 92 and 96.

There job seems to be to get more Republicans elected. They lost the Congress in the first place and they'll undermine us again if they get the chance.

Forturnately Dean is doing a heckuvajob.

TomCat said...

Living in Oregon, where it took place, I was aware of the issue as it happened, but until I read this, I had no idea of Cheney's involvement.

PoliShifter said...

Here's a link that goes over the Impeachment Process.

You're right, there may be a HUGE road block


"The process begins when formal charges are brought against the official in question. These are examined by an independent prosecutor designated by a House judiciary committee and the Attorney General of the United States. They are then presented to the House of Representatives in a report. If the impeachment process continues to a hearing then this evidence is then called "The Articles of Impeachment". "
This may be why Bush is so adament in keeping Gonzales as Attorney General

two crows said...

yeah, TC--
he kept his hands superficially clean while pulling the strings behind the scenes.
typical Cheney.

and Poli--
they managed to impeach Clinton for something that should have been handled privately because there were so many Republicans in Congress.
they were out for blood and working day and night to keep Clinton from effectively governing. when one charge wouldn't stick they just tried another till they stooped to his personal life.

I wonder where we'd be today [much better off, I'm sure] if they hadn't impeded him at every turn for 6 years.

Larry said...

Should we be surprised. If Rove isn't involved, then Cheney is.

two crows said...

you got that right, Larry.
or, we might even get the double-whammy-- two for the price of one, on occasion.

TomCat said...

That the Democratic presidential candidates are unanimous, save Kucinich, in opposing impeachment just baffles me.