Saturday, June 18, 2005

ANOTHER EXAMPLE of the Bush administration's "standard editorial and review process":

The Bush administration altered critical portions of a scientific analysis of the environmental impact of cattle grazing on public lands before announcing Thursday that it would relax regulations limiting grazing on those lands, according to scientists involved in the study.

A government biologist and a hydrologist, who both retired this year from the Bureau of Land Management, said their conclusions that the proposed new rules might adversely affect water quality and wildlife, including endangered species, were excised and replaced with language justifying less stringent regulations favored by cattle ranchers.

Grazing regulations, which affect 160 million acres of public land in the Western U.S., set the conditions under which ranchers may use that land, and guide government managers in determining how many cattle may graze, where and for how long without harming natural resources.

The original draft of the environmental analysis warned that the new rules would have a "significant adverse impact" on wildlife, but that phrase was removed. The bureau now concludes that the grazing regulations are "beneficial to animals."

Eliminated from the final draft was another conclusion that read: "The Proposed Action will have a slow, long-term adverse impact on wildlife and biological diversity in general."

Also removed was language saying how a number of the rule changes could adversely affect endangered species.

Kevin Drum thinks that scientists should quit bellyaching about the Bush administration's sincere efforts to make the language of these environmental reports easier to understand.

The fact is, "beneficial" is just a whole lot easier to understand than bureaucratic mumbo jumbo like "significant adverse impact." If the science community would take more care with their language in the first place, none of this would happen.

Absolutely true. Plus, these secular humanist scientific types should stop and think for a moment about Pres. Bush's responsibility as a devout Christian to make sure everyone in his administration practices the Christian virtues of integrity and honesty. It's important.

In fact, the entire Bush family feels that way. Down in Florida, Pres. Bush's brother, Jeb, is trying to infuse his governorship with arguably the central virtue every committed Christian must cultivate: forgiveness.

Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday that a prosecutor has agreed to investigate why Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago, citing an alleged time gap between when her husband found her and when he called 911.

Bush said his request for the probe was not meant to suggest wrongdoing by Michael Schiavo. ''It's a significant question that during this ordeal was never brought up,'' Bush told reporters.
In a letter faxed to Pinellas-Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe, the governor said Michael Schiavo testified in a 1992 medical malpractice trial that he found his wife collapsed at 5 a.m. on Feb. 25, 1990, and he said in a 2003 television interview that he found her about 4:30 a.m. He called 911 at 5:40 a.m.

''Between 40 and 70 minutes elapsed before the call was made, and I am aware of no explanation for the delay,'' Bush wrote. ''In light of this new information, I urge you to take a fresh look at this case without any preconceptions as to the outcome.''

Kevin remarks that we have come to expect such things from this particular Texas family:

The Bush children have always been distinguished by a fiery unwillingness to back down combined with an almost bestial pursuit of revenge against anyone who has ever crossed them. They don't want to beat their opponents, they want to destroy them.

This, though, simply beggars the imagination. What kind of human being would keep a vendetta like this alive at this point?

A deeply religious Christian human being, Kevin.

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