Obama Administration wants to lift protections for wolf and grizzly

When will this Administration represent the people who put them in office?

How many votes do you think this will bring them? And who do they want to do this for? It is turning out that those who are yelling the loudest are poachers and welfare ranchers?  Will they ever vote for him?

U.S. wants to lift protections for wolf and grizzly.
By Laura Zuckerman – Reuters

122 Responses to “Obama Administration wants to lift protections for wolf and grizzly”

  1. Mike Says:

    What a sad, sad joke. I’m embarrassed I voted for this guy.

    • Bob Stevenson Says:

      I didn’t vote for him either, and I think he is the greatest threat we in this country face to our freedom and our system of government. However, in this case, which I’m sure he could care less about, (most Chicago politicians are not too well informed on wildlife issues) the idea has a lot of merit. Don’t listen to the demagoguery, learn about the facts of the case before passing judgement.

      • SAP Says:

        Wow, I would love to see your detailed and documented explanation of how Barak Obama is “the greatest threat we in this country face to our freedom and our system of government.” Actually, if your explanation consists of bunch of blather about socialism, birth certificates, and how Obama is secretly a gay Muslim secret agent, I’d rather not see it . . .

        I think un-restrained corporate money — especially from foreign or multi-national corporations — is by far the greatest threat to our freedom and our system of government. You can thank the Supreme Court for that:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Bob Stevenson,

        This weak man we elected President isn’t a threat to anyone, unfortunately.

        The thing that is destroying America is right wing billionaires like the Koch Brothers and the international corporations plus the hedge fund investment bankers.

  2. JimT Says:

    What a bunch of pandering, spineless, kowtowing, bend over backwards and hold the ankles bureaucrats and politicians we have supposedly representing us. Time for Dems to make a choice…enviro vote or not? I mean, they always say Republicans will be worse, but how much longer is that kind of tripe going to hold water? We need a national campaign on this one…stories, videos, interviews, etc…I am hoping the Green Group is going to earn its keep on this..

  3. Hilljack Says:

    Maybe its time to realize those species should not be listed. If the states fail in management they will be relisted but until then it is time for CHANGE.

    • JimT Says:

      Can’t support any decision based on politics and campaign money, and in an environment where you are just releasing the animals into a situation that will result in a rapid decline in their numbers due to hunting, poaching, and “varmint” shooting…

    • Bob Stevenson Says:

      Maybe if JimT had a little background relative to this issue, before he started decrying the unethical treatment of the gray wolf, his post might be a “wee bit” more credible. First of all there isn’t a rapid decline in numbers, the fact is that the populations are burgeoning, to the point that the wolves are killing horses, cattle, pets, as well as devastating game animal populations in several regions outside the Park. The management plan that the government (USFWS), the Game and Fish Commissions of Mt., Wy., and Id. , and the Wolf Recovery Team from Yellowstone had formulated, was repealed by some Clinton appointee to the federal judiciary up in Montana. The management plan had been formulated over a three year period of intense and extensive negotiations, realistic assumptions about the prognosis for sustainability, numerous meetings amongst the relevant agencies, and compromises made on behalf of all the parties involved. We in the West have come to the conclusion that you never want to confuse some of these environmental/animal rights wackos with common sense, reason, or logic, because those traits have no relevance and are incongruous in their “warm and fuzzy” little worlds. The fact is that any animal, be it the whitetail deer on the east coast, the feral hogs in Texas, or the wolves outside Yellowstone National Park, can become a problem if and when they overpopulate. That is exactly what has happened in this case involving the gray wolves. Instead of the 150 wolves in ten packs that would breed consecutively over a three year period to be considered a successful reintroduction, as was told to us by the Park Service, we now have roughly 100 wolves in Yellowstone. Although that number varies from year to year, and has been as high as 175 at times, we now have roughly 1500 surrounding states, most of which obviously are not in the Park. I suggest JimT read something written by an independent, unbiased source, rather than something from the Fund For Animals, or PETA. None of us want to see the populations decimated, but we want to see a healthy viable population which doesn’t have a negative impact on those living around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

      • william huard Says:

        Where are you hearing the devastation of game animal populations? From Outfitters? I was waiting for the cheap shot against PETA. You didn’t mention HSUS. Cleveland Amory’s Fund For Animals has been advocating against animal abuses since the early 70’s. Your arbitrary wolf numbers show how much you really know about wolves- not much!

      • STG Says:

        Bob:
        Your rhetoric gets in the way of your argument. You could defend your last statement with data (documented research) and engage in rational discourse. Instead, you attack people (insulted Jim T’s knowledge) and make emotionally charged statements (e.g., environmental/animal rights wacko). Also you make blanket statements-“We in the West.” I live in the West (since 1978) and I don’t think there is one voice. Do you really want people to listen and evaluate what you say, or are you just interested in ranting?

      • Rita K.Sharpe Says:

        STG,There is enough rhetoric coming from both sides.

  4. WM Says:

    Ken,

    The question we should also be asking is how many votes do they think it will keep them from losing?

    Maybe I am too optimistic, but seems like FWS/Administration is going to want more than 300 wolves and 500 griz, as well as state assurance that goals will be met over the long term, before delisting would occur. The negotiations are just beginning . So, I kind of think it would be good to know what the proposal is before yelling fire in a crowded theatre.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      WM,

      They have never negotiated before. They announce their plans and try to do them. Now if we owned some sheep or called Obama a Nazi born in Singapore, maybe they would.😉

      • WM Says:

        As a former Colorado Attorney General (and a fairly decent one at that) and legislator Salazar knows what negotiation is all about (dynamics, when to give or get concessions)in the different forums he and his staff must deal. I would tend to agree that FWS is kind of stupid in how it has gone about things, and has been for a long time. As for the folks in the West Wing and the D strategists who they are no doubt consulting, I would not begin to venture a guess.

        And, JimT is right about things often being done behind the scenes before they are ever announced as “proposals.” I am not sure about this one. Things have been moving fast since the “slap to the D’s” from the election, the rightous indignation from the Governors, the legislative proposals of changes to the ESA, etc., so they might just be winging it.

        So where is the intell on this from groups who are supposedly in the know, like Defenders, HSUS and NRDC?

      • SAP Says:

        There is no “proposal,” at least for grizzlies. Folks who have been at recent IGBC meetings can tell you what they saw firsthand: the agencies are incensed and dumbfounded that Judge Molloy “ruled on science;” they act like he has either totally overstepped his authority or that the wily rascals at Earthjustice totally confused him on the issue of whitebark pine.

        So, they’re appealing Molloy’s decision, regardless of how long that might take. They’re not changing anything about the past de-listing except beefing up their arguments: whitebark isn’t really in trouble; even if it were, grizzlies don’t need it.

        I am still amazed that people think judges should not rule on “science.” Of course they do — they have to weigh evidence, and the best evidence comes from . . . SCIENCE.

      • howlcolorado Says:

        WM,

        I disagree with you only on one thing…

        “As a former Colorado Attorney General (and a fairly decent one at that)”

        He wasn’t “bad”… but you might be stretching to say he was decent.

        At least you didn’t apply “decent” to your description of his legislative career.

        Salazar was NOT who we wanted for Secretary of the Interior. It truly was pick your poison voting for the seats Salazar ran for. His brother isn’t much better, but at least he is stuck in a part of Colorado that no one ever hears about.

      • JB Says:

        FYI: Recently, a saw a call for review of a policy statement to be issued by the Wildlife Society concerning grizzly bears. It currently reads like a defense of the GYA delisting. Reviews are due in Feb. so expect the statement some time in March.

      • WM Says:

        howl,

        ++His brother isn’t much better, but at least he is stuck in a part of Colorado that no one ever hears about.++

        John Salazar (Ken’s brother) represents the 3rd District, which includes most of the Western Slope the full west boundary of the state(WY to UT to NM), and Pueblo along the Front Range. Where do you think wolves are most likely to be in larger numbers when they do show up from wherever, snacking on the largest migratory muledeer and largest elk populations in the entire country. (Recall the stories of presence of wolves on the High Lonesome Ranch by Christina Eisenberg which turned out to be false)?

        I would expect if there are REASONABLE ESA proposed changes, or wolves excluded from ESA protection, moderate CO will give a 5/2 or a 4/3 vote in the House (if proposed/supported by the Administration), and, a 1/1 or even a 2/0 in the Senate, if it gets that far.

      • JimT Says:

        Basically, while there is more access than under the Bush Administration, there has been a surprisingly tight hold on access to environmental decision makers by the major environmental groups. Remember, when the original continuation of the delisting was announced by Salazar, he had met with the Green Group–coalition of the major enviro groups in DC– the Friday before and never mentioned word one to the group about the impending announcement that Monday. So, this is nothing new. Advocates got shut out of the appointments, and it appears as if they are still not being listened to. So, what it means is litigation and more litigation. If Obama thinks the enviro groups are going to back off because of the pending 2012 election, he is wrong. If anything, the performance and decisions of his Administration on land and animal issues shows us clearly how little he cares to pay attention to these issues. As such, he demonstrates he reallyh doesn’t get what the West is about.

  5. JimT Says:

    Sorry, in some ways I agree to wait, but having worked in DC for too long, I know that by the time the “proposal” comes out, it will be all but a done deal, and that is just the way it operates there. True, it won’t happen tomorrow, and we will fight any delisting decision that can’t be scientifically or legally justified, but the hold trend seems to be business as usual in the West. To be blunt, it sucks.

  6. timz Says:

    JimT from yesterday “As for Bush…c’mon, you really are going to assert that Obama is WORSE than that incompetent?”

    This news should help you answer your own question. I don’t recall Bush trying to gut the ESA.

    • howlcolorado Says:

      Special interests are always trying to gut the ESA. Wyoming is just stupid and stubborn enough to make wolves an issue around which the special interests can flock in order to get their dream come true.

      Logging interests, land development interests, and more, have plenty of good reasons to want the ESA stripped of it’s power, and they have no problem joining up with ranchers and hunters to lobby against wolves, which they actually don’t care about.

      Bush and Cheney are much more in the pockets of the Oil Industry, so you may recall that they were far more interested in ripping away the protections which surround ANWR so they could get their companies drilling up there.

      Salazar is a rancher by trade, it’s interesting how it’s special interests surrounding that which are now getting to play.

      • Steve C Says:

        At least Bush was open about it (what he did environmentally was despicable but somehow “honest” compared to what Obama is doing). I will not be voting for Obama again. I will throw my vote at a third party but not to him.

    • JimT Says:

      Really? You have a short memory about folks like Pombo who did what they did with the blessings of Cheney and the White House to try and dismantle the ESA listings and evaluations so oil and gas permits would go through unexamined. Remember Gayle Norton?

      You should go back and read some archives..

      • Salle Says:

        And to back JimT a little further down the path…

        I was in a graduate seminar on the ESA at 30 in 2004 when Pombo and others were hell-bent on deleting the ESA entirely saying it was “broken” and “bad law” that inhibited those who should be inhibited from destroying critical habitat for endangered species for the sake of acquiring copious amounts of the almighty dollar. One of Pombo’s arguments was that developers couldn’t continue to build on every inch of shore line along the California coast producing trophy housing for the gentrified American aristocracy.

        My professors went to a meeting held by the second in command to Gayle Norton and when they returned they were saddened, sickened and furious. I recall the class session held after their return… they told us that this is “just the beginning” and that thing were bound to get really ugly for endangered species and their critical habitat and subsequently, the rest of all life forms on the planet as we know them. They said that if the Act survives the Bu$h/Cheney league, it would be close to miraculous. Somehow it did and I am thankful but am still nervous about the governing entities actually seeing and acting out of honesty regarding the nightmare environment we are creating each day that we ignore the truth.

        It’s not the economy, stupid… it’s the biosphere. Without it, we’re toast.

  7. Ann Says:

    So, it would appear that Obama seeks to garner love from the “Tea Party” crowd at the expense of wolves and grizzly bears, and pretty much anything else? We all should have seen this coming when he appointed Ken Salazar Secretary of the Interior. We have now seen Obama and Salazar devastate the remaining wild horses on public lands at the behest of welfare cattle barons….and do so without allowing the taxpaying public to see their actions. Their contempt for the public was surpassed only by the barbaric nature of their actions. Now they are going to allow the trio of states to inevitably wipe out the wolves and grizzlies and, apparently, eviscerate the ESA so that there is nothing anyone can do about it. And given just an inch of space, they will take our constitutional right to try and stop them away, too. It would garner Obama not one vote from the cattle baron crowd, of course, but apparently that does not matter. Thus we are left with the inevitable conclusion that Obama really just doesn’t give a damn. Now all is clear, which means that those of us that do care about our wildlife heritage, one that has been all but destroyed, have a lot of work to do. And the bar has just been set a bit higher, too. All that is at stake now is the Endangered Species Act itself, and the very notion that everything of relevance should not be decided by, or for, the wealthy few that care about nothing but lining their own pockets and who would leave this world with nothing but barren lands to do so.

    • jon Says:

      Obama needs all the help he needs. He is will have a hard time being elected again in 2012. Obama and Salazar are no friends to the environment. What would you expect from a president that thinks and acts like a celebrity from Hollywood? Hi Ann btw.🙂

  8. Larry Thorngren Says:

    Watching Obama and the Democrats battle the Republicans is like watching a pro-wrestling match. The whole thing is scripted with someone else calling the shots. Obama has been instructed to take the fall.
    Most of his advisors are Israeli/U.S. dual citzens just like Bush’s were.

    • Larry Thorngren Says:

      I forgot to add that most pro-wrestlers are better actors than Obama. He doesn’t even do a good job of acting like he is trying. He just lays down and gets pinned.

      • jon Says:

        One thing I do not like about Obama is that he is a celebrity president and that he seems to take a lot of lavish vacations and who has time to be playing basketball with his buddies with this country is the way it is? Obama should be working 24/7/ Let him earn his outrageous salary for once and this asshole makes 400,000 k a year for doing such a shitty job in my opinion. This has nothing to do with him being a democrat. He’s just a terrible president imo. He cares nothing for the environment.

      • SAP Says:

        Oh, my. You need to chill.
        I am not happy with the way Obama’s presidency has gone. But getting mad because he takes a little time out for exercise and being with his family is ridiculous. He’s already making bad decisions; he’d get worse if he stopped taking care of himself.
        Obama took office during a grave, GOP-created crisis (de-regulation, tax cuts, trillion dollar invasion of Iraq on false pretenses), and immediately faced insane opposition to anything and everything he has tried to do. He has responded poorly to this situation — should’ve staked out clear positions and kept his base mobilized. Instead, he has wandered around in a daze, trying to please people who would only be happy if he went on TV to kill himself.

      • Save bears Says:

        Unfortunately, I have seen few presidents that really cared about the environment, and especially the western environment, and what is really sad, the major population centers in this country don’t care for the most part, they have far to many other items on their plate to worry about bears and wolves..

      • jon Says:

        SAP, him taking lavish vacations often does not sit well with me. Others have also complained of all the vacations he takes. It sends the wrong message to the american people, the people he is supposed to be working for, but alright, you make a good point. I really find him to be really arrogant. i don’t know if anyone else on here gets this vibe. From what i have seen, not a lot of people like him anymore and even liberals are turning on him. When you know liberals are turning on him, you know he isn’t doing a good job even in their eyes.

      • Save bears Says:

        I have had that vibe since before he won his first primary!

    • Mandy Stark Says:

      Larry,

      Can you please explain what you mean by your statement, “Most of his advisors are Israeli/U.S. dual citzens just like Bush’s were.”? I’m not sure I agree with the implied anti-Semitism there, unless I’m completely reading this wrong.

    • JimT Says:

      Jon, it is a matter of record that Bush II spent the largest amount of his Presidency in vacation mode in the history of the country. Just because it was in some backwater like Crawford doesn’t matter. I would rather Obama go to Hawaii or the Maine coast (btw, don’t the Bushies have a family compound there?” a few weeks a year than disappear several times a year like BushII did.

      • Salle Says:

        Bush was able to take all those vacations because he really wasn’t driving anyway. I think he was “sent” on vacations to get him out of Cheney and Rove’s hair while they “did their business on America” at our expense. They raped and pillaged this nation and nobody seems to be able to call them out on it. Although, other nations aren’t willing to give them the benefit of the doubt: http://www.commondreams.org/further/2010/12/02-2

        I suspect that Obama is doing what he does out of fear for his life, and I do mean that. How many folks in real power would be willing to have something nasty happen to him?

        It’s not our founding fathers’ America anymore… And how long do most democracies last…?

  9. PointsWest Says:

    I can’t believe Obama did this for votes. He would never win Idaho or Wyoming electoral votes. Montana is a long shot. It is more likely the result of political horse trading and/or arm twisting with/by the all-wise, all-knowing, and all-powerful Republicans.

    • howlcolorado Says:

      It’s not for votes. It’s not even Obama. I won’t say that Obama is disinterested, but he passed these reins to Salazar (with a known track record). Obama has chosen other things to focus on, and perhaps in the grand scheme of things, he’s politically astute to do so (economy, unemployment, healthcare, recent election disaster).

      In short, you are much closer to the truth with your political horse-trading I suspect, but I don’t think it’s Obama who is gaining from it, I think you will find it’s Salazar who is benefiting from the backroom deals being made.

      • JimT Says:

        I agree. This is Interior with the tacit blessing of the White House in the form of no objections. So much for the rumors several weeks ago that Obama was displeased with Salazar and had him on a short leash.

  10. howlcolorado Says:

    Being a Coloradoan with unique access to the Democratic National Convention, and all the coverage which surrounded it, and the prior and subsequent events, I can tell you that the Department of Interior job appeared to be payment to Salazar for favors paid during the campaign.

    However, the day that Barack Obama named Ken Salazar (rancher, cowboy-hat wearing, conservative democrat) to the position, my immediate reaction – having had to deal with Mr. Salazar in this state previously – was:

    “Uh oh, Obama’s picked the devil there”

    • WM Says:

      Assistant Sec. Interior Strickland, who seems to be point guy on this is a former US Attorney, former big law firm heavy breather, and knows his way around the political machine as a former legislative analyst and two time D nominee for a CO Senate seat losing to R Wayne Allard. That is the seat that Mark Udall now fills.

      So, thinking this thru there is a pretty big CO brain trust running Interior and Agriculture – Salazar and Strickland, as well as Harris Sherman an Under Secretary over the Forest Service. These are all very smart, street savvy and experienced people. And, I would wager a beer there are conversations going on with CO Senators Udall and Bennett, if this ESA legislation goes forward. Negotiated settlement and/or ESA changes. Something is going to happen, and it probably won’t be to the liking of some here.

      • howlcolorado Says:

        Nice analysis there.

        Bennet is probably not going to be directly involved. He’s a little too left for that group.

        There are deals being made here, and it’s with some irony and distaste that I suspect it’s Colorado that may well benefit the most from the negotiations, just because of the relationships you are observing there.

        I wouldn’t lump in Bennet though, perhaps Udall, but Bennet has other fights he wants to fight and he likely won’t get much support from Salazar for those.

      • JimT Says:

        I agree. Bennet is too junior to get involved in this. What will severely disappoint Colorado voters who carried Udall to victory..Denver and Boulder primarily..will be a wimpy effort on this; to sit by and offer platitudes while the delisting goes forward. Senator Udall will be surprised on how his reelection is treated if he acts like some fence sitter on an issue like ESA modification and a trumped up delisting process.

      • JimT Says:

        I hope you are wrong about the Senators agreeing to some back room deal to water down ESA protections for wolves and grizzlies immediately, and set a dangerous precedent for listing and delisting in the future.

        One more name..Michael Bean, dean of the ESA. Last I knew he was serving as a special adviser.to the Administration. Where is his voice on all of this? Will he be an academic or will he be an advocate?

      • JimT Says:

        You are right on about Strickland…reputation as a fixer and a solution maker. Harrison Sherman comes from the fence sitting political school of Salazar.

        Hmmm..I wonder if, back when, Udall had run for that seat instead of Salazar, and he, in turn, ran for the Governship of Colorado. Wonder how that scenario would have changed this dynamic.

        I know Tom Udall is and has been a strong advocate of wolf reintroduction efforts in New Mexico, and has been frustrated by the lack of success. And he sits on the right committee to look at this. Encouraging emails and phones calls, even from non residents, telling him we approve of his stance on wolves, and hope he will stand firm against the Secretary’s efforts to delist wolves and grizzlies. Since he is not from Colorado, he may be able to oppose Salazar more successfully and with less cost than Mark Udall and Michael Bennet. BTW, Senator Bennet’s wife is a woman named Susan Dagget, who is now not practicing, but at one time was one of the best environmental attorneys in the country while working for the old Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund aka Earthjustice. Susan was a great asset and spokesperson for the Colorado environment during the campaign this fall, and I am hoping she is whispering in Senator Bennet’s ear on this issue…

  11. Jim Says:

    The bottom line is there is no “change” politicians always end up keeping everything about the same so that they can continue to get rich and stay in power. I have said it countless times that anyone that expected anything different was just dreaming.

    • jon Says:

      You nailed it Jim! Obama kept preaching change and his message is what got him elected. The people fell for his message of change. I noticed that people like Obama and past presidents before him and even people who run for state gov. and positions like that will tell you one thing, something that the people want to hear and than turn around and do something totally different that the people won’t like once they get into office. A lot of people will say anything and know what to say that will get them elected, but once elected, they end up not fulfilling any promises they made to the people who got them elected. People buy into a lot of bullshit these days. Imo, even Bill Clinton was more environmental friendly than Obama.

      • Rita K. Sharpe Says:

        Jon,Obama was a good speaker and alot of people fell for it.He kept saying “change” but how he was going to make”the change”was the real issue,for me at least.

      • jon Says:

        Most of them are Rita. very few actually do what they tell the american people what they were going to do before they get elected. Tell the people what they want to hear so it gets you in and than do whatever you want.

  12. william huard Says:

    I called both Udall brothers. Mark CO 2022245941 and Tom 2022246621. What would their father do? Probably protect animals from the special interests that find them an inconvenience. What a dangerous precedent this would set.

  13. Kayla Says:

    Now if this is true, what an interesting piece of news then with all I can say then is Freaking Jeminy Crickets!. This just shows how much this administration is like every other administration including Bush with mainly just being the minions of and loyal to the Bankers, Wall Street, and the Military Industrial Complex Bigtime. At least we freaking knew where Bush stood. This adminstration waffles back and forth and no one knows what they will do next. How much people are deceived in thinking they are favorable for the environment just because they are Democrats. Anymore one cannot trust either party it seems. Now I said this yesterday but again will say that it was this Democratic Congress that refused to consider the two bills that would have designated how much roadless country as wilderness in both the Northern Rockies and Southern Utah. I lost any hope of something happening from this spineless and cowardly administration a long time ago in my opinion.

    But in the long run do think it will be us Human Two Leggeds that will be the endangered species someday for we have become so so so divorced from the Earth just for economic reasons. Do think that whatever happens, that the Wolf and the Grizzly will long remain!!! Personally I have had experiences in the back wilds where have looked into their eyes and what what intelligence! Personally I trust the Wolf and the Grizzly far far far more then any freaking political nitwit in D.C. of either of the two land raping parties. In My Opinion! Wishing Everyone the Best!

    “At The End of the Road Where the Trails and Life Begin”

    • Kayla Says:

      Also will add, I was born in Colorado and the first years of my hiking was all over the mountains in Colorado. I loved the San Juans. But have seen thru the years just how biased politically the state of Colorado is against both Wolves and Grizzlies. The Grizzly and the Wolf deserve to be brought back Bigtime to the wilds of Colorado!!!

      • Mtn Mamma Says:

        Kayla,I couldnt agree more. I live in CO and preach wolf to anyone who listens (even if they dont want to hear it). I need to preach more grizzly.

  14. william huard Says:

    If the Obama Administration caves on this issue and the Tax Cut issue I think he will be history in the minds of the left wing base of the Democratic party. I know I won’t vote for him again!

    • Save bears Says:

      William, unfortunately I don’t think it will be “If” it is just a matter of “When”

      • william huard Says:

        These backroom deals are what frustrate people more than anything. I remember when the Health Care Bill started to lose support when the special deals with Florida, Louisiana, and Florida materialized. I wonder what influence Sportsmen for Sportsmen and SCI are having on these backroom deals- it makes me sick to think about it. Talk about feeling powerless

      • william huard Says:

        I talked to Testers chief of staff- he says this plan to slip his bill into a spending bill is just a rumour. Every Senator that I called said they are receiving quite a few calls on this issue- Keep it up!!!!!!!

      • Save bears Says:

        William,

        Did they say they were getting calls from people who support congressional action, or are against?

  15. PointsWest Says:

    I am not so troubled that the Grey Wolf come off the endangered species list. They are very prolific and there are many in Canada. I think they should remain in Yellowstone and in Central Idaho and in other wild places. I am more concerned for the Yellowstone Grizzly. 600 animals in one small area around Yellowstone is not enough. I believe the Yellowstone Grizzly is probably significantly different from those in BC or Alaska and should be protected.

    I am very concerned about the Mexican Wolf. This is truly an endangered species and it is unique. If we do not move to protect it, what is the point of the ESA…that we preserve species until it is politcally feasible to snuff one out? I hope they do not intend to delist the Mexican Wolf. That would be sick.

    • JimT Says:

      No, no delisting effort. But advocates are having a hard time getting access to some prime potential habitat because of some trumped up national security concerns. And, in the meantime. existing wolves get killed or die off. The Defenders Tucson office is leading efforts down there..you should call them or contact them for more info.

      • PointsWest Says:

        My understanding of the situation is that Mexican wolves are not listed separately. There was an effort to list them separtely but I do not believe it has succeeded…not yet anyway.

        So the delisting effort will be geographical? They will only delist wolves in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming? What about Washington State and Utah were there are also a few wolves?

        If the Mexican wolf is not designated as a separate species, how will it remain protected?

      • WM Says:

        PW,

        Eastern WA & OR, and tiny bit of NE Utah are part of the NRM geographically defined DPS (and they were delisted there temporarily until Molloy’s last ruling). So, one would expect they would be part of whatever happens in ID, MT and WY, with the terms of the respective state plans controlling there. That is the way the current delisting rules have been crafted, if I recall correctly.

        As for the Mexican wolf, it is a separately acknowledged sub-species and has its own DPS designation, and thus separate controlling rules. There is quite a bit of stuff on the FWS Southwest website that you might find of interest (Thanks to Maska for pointing me to it a few months back).

        http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/

        and, particularly the timely 2010 Conservation Assessment (a very good read):

        http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/pdf/Mexican_Wolf_Conservation_Assessment.pdf

      • PointsWest Says:

        WM,

        I know disagreeing with you can be dangerous but in the following link is an article that states that the Mexican gray wolf may qualify for listing as an endangered species separate from other wolves. This article also says, “In 1976, the Fish and Wildlife Service first listed the Mexican wolf as endangered separate from other subspecies of the gray wolf, but in 1978 the agency consolidated the various wolf subspecies listings into a single listing for gray wolves throughout the conterminous United States, regardless of subspecies.”

        http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2010/mexican-gray-wolf-08-03-2010.html

        So I am still worried that whatever laws are changed might affect the Mexican Wolf.

        I know I originally used the word subspecies and what is being considered is treating the Mexican Wolf as a separate species. But as of now, the Mexican Wolf is considered a Gray Wolf in the eyes of the law and my I am still concerned. I would like to know how they intend to treat the Mexican Wolf in their political dealings.

      • WM Says:

        PW,

        Sorry, I didn’ t catch the subtlety of your question. I am pretty sure they share a common listing, but are managed differently under DPS policy. The article that started this thread was speaking to the Northern Rockies wolves only as a negotiated settlement or a law change. You raise a really good question. I am sure others know alot more about what is going on, and it would be nice if knowledgeable people would speak up. I couldn’t get to the FWS response to the CBD petition entertaining a separate listing for the Mexican gray wolf that you referenced in their Aug. 10, 2010 news release (link above).

        My response to you was mostly directed at the NRM DPS and the Mexican wolf (aka Southwestern gray wolf) DPS, and the way each is treated separately for reintroduction and management purposes under the regulations, notwithstanding their common status as ESA endangered “gray wolves” under the law. Maybe CBD is on to something there. Also, recall they have a petition pending before FWS for a national wolf management plan, which I don’t think has received a response.

        In the past, I raised the issue of why not just take some excess NRM gray wolves (ID, MT and maybe WY would surely offer them up, and it would be a temporary alternative to killing some off) and reintroduce them to the Southwest, to any state who wanted them. I think you were even part of that conversation.

        I was promptly chastised by mikarooni, and urged by a very helpful Maska to look at the Conservation Assessment mentioned above.

        Huge problem with so very few Mexican wolves in the US. Talk about lack of genetic diversity – these wolves have that problem big time. But, as I understand it, the purist conservation biologists want to keep them separate as a sub-species, and that is why all of these very small captive breeding operations all across the US (think there is some in Mexico, too), and the CBD petition for separate listing. They don’t want genetic contamination from the NRM wolves, even though that would likely occur over time as the fringes of range if enough wolves get on the landscape across the West.

        What this all means to any negotiated settlement for the NRM or changes to the ESA – distinguishing between NRM gray wolves and whatever Mexican wolves (sub-species) may be up in the air to most of us. Surely they would flesh that out in any proposal. Guess we will have to see what the politicians want in NM and AZ, OK, southern CO, maybe TX and wherever else these wolves would go, if these yahoos would quit shooting what few there are in the Blue Range wolf recovery Area in NM.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        WM,

        It would seem to be nice of knowledgeable people would speak up, but when they do no one with political power listens or cares.

        A friend who is a tremendous expert in Yellowstone wildlife has been writing letters to Max Baucus for weeks giving him detailed information about these issues. All he gets back are form letters.

    • Bob Stevenson Says:

      You know it’s kind of funny how things get misrepresented in the media. I’m not an Obama fan, and he’s about as concerned about the environment as he is about WikiLeaks, which isn’t much. However, the innuendo here that once the “endangered” species listing is removed the grizzly bear will be wantonly slaughtered is a ludicrous and unjustified assumption. The animal’s classification has more to do with management of their habitat than anything else. They are not going to open a season on grizzlies in the lower forty-eight in our life times.

      My wife and I own a tours company which offers interpretive/scenic private tours of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, as well as wildlife tours. We see grizzlies quite often on our tours, and those sightings can be the high point of a tour for many of our guests. However you have to realize that Yellowstone is 3472 sq. miles in size, and Grand Teton, which is right next door, is another 484 square miles. There is no bear hunting or wolf hunting for that matter in either Park. That’s not a bad sized safe area to begin with. Yet we all realize the animals don’t recognize Park perimeters or boundary lines, so the game and fish commissions of the surrounding states should have jurisdiction to manage the animals once they leave the Park regions. Such is not the case. In steps the USFWS to do the job, and they are way understaffed to begin with. They’re analogous to the life guard who sits outside the pool and simply comes in and recovers the drowning victims at the end of the day, rather than sitting on his perch and trying to prevent such occurrences.

      As far as removal of the Gray Wolf from protected status I think it is a good idea. To do so utilizing a specific management plan with the necessary oversight is a wonderful management tool. Most folks aren’t aware of the fact that the Wolf Recovery Program in Yellowstone, along with the USFWS, and the Game and Fish Departments of the states of Wy., Id., and Mt. all had worked out a wolf management plan acceptable to the states and the Federal government. This little endeavor was three years in the making. Two months after the plan went into effect some Clinton appointee to the Fed. courts sys. in the state of Montana ruled that the program was inappropriate and should be shut down. This was irregardless of all the time, money, and dedication on behalf of the agencies involved in drafting an acceptable plan. Maybe some of these “bleeding hearts should recognize the fact that any animal, if and when it becomes over populated, then becomes a problem. They aren’t a problem in the Parks, where they are obviously protected, but in the outlying areas they are killing horses, cattle, and pets, plus they are wreaking havoc on elk and moose populations in many different regions they are found in. Something has to be done, but instead of letting the professional game managers come up with an intelligent, well thought out, and effective management plan, the environmental “nut cases” start their impassioned appeals to the emotions and misplaced sympathies of the uninformed, as well as by misrepresenting the facts involved, to the point that in this instance they eventually accomplished having the plan shut down.

      If these bleeding hearts knew half as much as they profess to know about the animals, and understood what the concept of management entailed, it would be one thing, however that’s not the case here. Try telling a rancher he has to sit idly by, and watch his saddle horse or his cattle being killed by wolves, and that there is nothing he can do, or even better yet, try telling the hunting outfitter that just because the wolves have devastated the game animals in his hunt area there is no justification for his/her becoming upset. So what is the end result, the outfitter, or the rancher either ends up going out of business, or their operation is severely impacted simply because the government lacked the foresight necessary to implement a comprehensive management plan and then defend it. While you’re at it tell the hunter who enjoys time in the field pursuing his favorite past time with friends and/or family that he no longer will be able to enjoy the quality of hunting he once experienced because the animals have been “run off” or devastated by wolves. The ranchers, the outfitters, the hunters simply seem to have no rights whatsoever, but PETA and the Fund for Animals, and any number of environmental and animal rights groups get immediate media attention. Why not, it makes great “copy”, and it’s been made to be highly controversial. Sorry, but I think just maybe a lot of people ought to do a little background research on this issue before they open their mouths condemning a proposal to delist certain animals. Our endangered species act no longer is centered around preserving or protecting the animals as much as it is with usurping control of more and more private land in the name of animal or plant habitat protection. When do the rights of the American people, and the land owners have the same protections, and get the same attention. Oh, and by the way, just for the information of those who don’t know, the grizzly bear is not listed as an endangered species, but rather a threatened species. Just a little fact that I’m sure went unnoticed by many.

      I love seeing the wildlife, and I am a firm believer in the principle that man and animal can coexist in nature, it doesn’t have to end up being one or the other. Let the professional game managers do their job, and let the demagoguery subside for a change. Of course I guess you don’t want to confuse some of these tree hugging granola heads, that professed to be so worried about the animals, with actual facts, nor common sense, reason, and logic, those are qualities not characteristic of their ilk.

      • PointsWest Says:

        Bob,

        Some of your points are valid but the the legal wrangling was done mostly over technical points of law. Just because Defenders of Wildlife gained relisting on a point of law should not be justification for anti-wolf and anti-wildlife people to step in and undermine the ESA. Many of the points you make about Gray Wolves I agree with. But you remain largely silent about the Mexican Wolf and about the Grizzly. These changes in law will affect them too and you conveniently ignor them.

    • Maska Says:

      Just received an e-mail with some details of a proposed bill by eight Western members of the House. This bill explicitly states that “any wolf classified as ‘experimental-non essential’ is included.”

      Two out of three NM Congressmen (Heinrich and Lujan) will probably oppose this. Teague, whose district includes the Mexican wolf recovery area, is a lame duck, but would probably either support it or take a walk, if it came up before the end of the session. My guess is that it won’t.

      As for Arizona, Grijalva will strongly oppose it. Several others with support it, but I have no names or numbers.

      Here’s the link:
      http://brianallmerradionetwork.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/12-02-10-western-members-introduce-bill-to-delist-gray-wolf/

      • PointsWest Says:

        Thanks for the link Maska.

        In the article, Western Caucus Chairman Rob Bishop says. “The federal government needs to get out of the way and allow the knowledgeable experts to begin implementation of programs designed to meet the unique and individual needs of their state’s wildlife.”

        The problem with this statement is that the wildlife does not necesarily belong to the individual states. The ESA was not written to for people of any certain state. The Yellowstone Grizzly belongs to all Americans and not only to those few living in a couple of states. The Mexican Wolf does not belong only to New Mexicans and Arizonan’s.

        The very premise of any such bill is messed up IMHO.

        If we Americans are not going to protect the Grizzly and Mexican Wolf, maybe it is time to start appealing to the international community for help. This is just getting crazy.

      • Save bears Says:

        Appealing to the international community? Heck the people in the part of Montana I live in already think the UN is taking over!

        Yikes!

      • PointsWest Says:

        White people in Alabama thought the civil rights movment was a communist plot. But after France and Great Brittain threatened to cut off trade with the US, we passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Now we have a black President and so, in the end, it really didn’t matter what white people in Alabama thought, did it?

      • Save bears Says:

        PW,

        I care for wolves and I really care about bears, but I think comparing it to a human suffering issue it a bit out there, I am simply stating what I see going on, and the people in the area I live in already think he UN is taking over, you ought to see them duck when a helicopter cruises overhead!

  16. DB Says:

    I used to hug trees when I threw a diameter tape around them just before marking to cut. I also have a degree in wildlife management. I also think that the Endangered Species Act should be allowed to work, not legislatively manipualted, to reach simple, politically-motivated solution to complex biological problems.

  17. skyrim Says:

    I will commend you on a few things Mr. Stevenson, and that would be identifying yourself, your company and your political agenda. Rarely do those things come packaged together. I once made the mistake of spending a grand in an Art Gallery in West. After the piece was loaded, the owner went on to tell me what a mistake it was to allow wolves back. That was April 1995 and I was on my way back from the “expected” release of the first animals from the aclimation pens. Now I chat first, spend later.
    You see sir, tree hugging granola heads spend money too….

  18. JimT Says:

    Bob, your views are certainly welcome, but to imply that folks here are not aware of certain issues regarding wolves and the struggle to get them re-established in a sustainable, protected manner is just plain wrong. I suggest you visit the archives of the past several months…you can make it your “winter fireside reading”. :*)

    If you really stand by your statement that man and animal (even a hated predator, I assume) then your ire should be vented at the so called professional game managers and the politicians who bend over for the so called sportsmen, whatever that means, and ranchers who wouldn’t have jobs without public welfare subsidies.It is the states who are busy trying to deny the true history and meanings of past agreements; it is the states and their craven politicians like Baucus that want to change the ESA as if it was some local matter of spot zoning. THOSE are facts. Your condescending attitude is misplaced here where most folks know more than the so called decision makers.

  19. Nancy Says:

    Bob Stevenson – first off, I live in Montana and while I can appreciate your thoughts, concerns and feelings, I’ve spent years watching the planes fly in my area killing first coyotes and now, coyotes AND wolves in the name of ranchers.

    There are a few theories out there (and a qualified study or two I believe) that suggest this kind of “management” does nothing but double and triple birthrates for coyotes. And with the millions spent each year by WS, shooting coyotes? They still seem to be top dog when it comes to livestock depredations.

    Questions have been raised here and elsewhere about “taking out” packs of wolves (which has also happened in my area) and the negative impact that has on those packs.

    An established pack defends their territory from other packs moving in, so why is it no effort is being spent working with these packs and livestock raisers in those areas? Why is it ranchers can’t take just alittle more responsibility if they want to raise livestock?

    Is there an unwritten law I’m not aware of or a good reason why taxpayers should continue to foot the bill for their lifestyles and the hell with wildlife in what little is left of wilderness areas in this country?

    A headline in my local paper this week – Southwest Montana elk harvest well above last year and six-year average.

    I’m much more concerned about the local outfitter and his impact (clients) and stress on the elk that have been in my valley, heading for their wintering grounds, then I am about wolves.

  20. howlcolorado Says:

    See, the problem I have with Bob’s post is that, as per the playbook, he looks to devalue possible opposition to his position by pre-labeling all such people as “bleeding hearts.”

    I also spotted “environmental ‘nut cases'”

    Therefore, it isn’t even worth providing a reasoned and well-written response because you will have entered “environmental nut case bleeding heart” territory, and by applying that label to you, he doesn’t have to even acknowledge your points.

    One day, I will post here my thesis I wrote on why the media should not now be, and never was intended to be, “balanced.”

    The media is lazy, and it’s their unwillingness to do their jobs which allows for such a playbook to exist and worse, to work.

    • Brian Ertz Says:

      journalism is supposed to be about objectivity ~ not balance

      • howlcolorado Says:

        I agree Brian.

        The modus operandi of today’s media is.

        1) Find a controversial story
        2) Find person with viewpoint a
        3) Find person with viewpoint b
        4) stand back, count ratings, sell advertising.

        This isn’t all the mistake/fault of media of course. It’s also the fault of a hyper-litigious world where enough money in the hands of possible opponents means that even if you are right, you will still lose in a court of law.

        The way media is supposed to work:

        1) Do dozens of hours of research and interviews and then report the facts as you have found them, citing sources as necessary.

        You don’t need to give “the other side” equal and fair coverage – if your due diligence and reporting has found that there is no factual basis for “another side,” then that’s what you find. You don’t have to manufacture balance, you just don’t. And if you report what the “other side” said, and you have FACTUAL evidence contradicting them, it’s not “editorializing” to print said facts directly contradicting them. It will make them look stupid, I don’t doubt, but you (reporter) didn’t ask them to make stuff up.

        I am sick and tired of these cowardly reporters and news networks just giving airtime to two different views of the same issue and calling it good. ONE OF THE SIDES WILL LIE – and the reporter/talking head doesn’t call them on it because then they are “taking sides.”

        It’s not fair to say all media fall under this sad state. Some reporters and some talking heads will call BS and push a guest/source/interviewee on a statement they make, but it’s rare.

        But it’s crap like this that allows political parties during a some controversy, to send out an army of talking heads with specific bullet points that they repeat ad nauseum and without factual support because they know the media doesn’t actually care and won’t fact check them anyway.

        And then people who have been absorbing the “facts” from these talking heads just go to blogs like this and spew them as facts – because they certainly wouldn’t research it – and low and behold. Lies are now facts and have equal weight with facts learned from years of scientific research.

  21. Virginia Says:

    To skyrim, JimT, Nancy and howlcolorado: thank you very much for your responses to Bob Stevenson, obviously someone who has to date never written on this blog, and who in his arrogant and superior writing, assumes ignorance in other readers/writers on this blog. His name-calling and attitude certainly do not interest me and if I only knew which tour operator he owned, I would make every attempt to make sure I never crossed his palm with a dime of my money. I find it interesting that a tour operator who obviously depends on people having wildlife experiences would refer to those of us who defend wildlife as “environmental nut cases” and “bleeding hearts.”

      • jon Says:

        All of YGT’s guides are certified professional guides, and have been issued guide cards by the National Park Service. “Cowboy” Bob and his wife Sherrie have been offering Park and Wildlife Tours since 2003. Bob has lived in Wyoming for the last thirty three years, and has guided tours in both Yellowstone and Grand Teton Park National Parks since 1992. Neither Bob nor Sherrie consider guiding in the Parks as a job, but rather see it as a way of life. One of our biggest assets is our in-depth knowledge of the many and varied aspects of the surrounding areas, and is what sets us apart from many other tour companies. Sherrie’s background as a Native American, along with her understanding of the culture, history and traditions of the indigenous Native Americans tribes in Yellowstone is another added benefit we offer the Park visitors.

      • Virginia Says:

        Thanks, Jon – I will make a note of that. And, to the description of this great tour operator I say “BFD.”

      • Nancy Says:

        http://www.ygtcustomparktours.com/6901.html

        Jon and I were probably googling at the same time.

        Virginia – I’d be willing to bet those “nut cases & bleeding hearts” make up a big part of ole Bob’s business. Do you think he gives this kind of lecture on his tour bus when they run across wolves?

      • jon Says:

        I bet you are right. I would like to see cowboy Bob call them bleeding hearts and environmental nutcases to their faces while he takes their money to give them a tour. He exploits animals like wolves that he probably hates for money. He should be kissing those “bleeding hearts” and “environmental nutcases” asses for bringing their money to him.

  22. jdubya Says:

    From Paul Krugman’s col today on NYT

    “Whatever is going on inside the White House, from the outside it looks like moral collapse — a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction. “

    • PointsWest Says:

      Krugman is being pretty hard on Obama for not listening to Krugman. Krugman wanted the economic stimulus to be about twice as big as it was. He was critical of Obama for Obama’s compromising on the stimulus with our friendly neo-conservative Republican Party and settling with a $700 billion stimulus (the Iraq War cost over $800 billion and the Bush Tax cuts were even more). Krugman was very clear that this was a half measure and that compromise with the very people who created our economic mess would spell disaster.

      The economy, thus far, has continued to play out as Krugman predicted and the election last month, Krugman believes, is all the fault of Obama not listening carefully to Krugman. Krugman may be right, but he has definitely been bashing Obama and seems to have turned on him for compromising with neo-cons and not taking the hard Krugman stance against them.

      The real question is how bad will things get. I heard a Fixed News Business Channel commentator say that Krugman is irrelevant now after the recent election. I think that statement is more neo-con fantasizing that faith in Jesus, Reganomics, and low taxes will save us from evil. Why would an election change the validity of Krugman’s predictions? How bad things get will depend on how much damage the neo-cons and now, the teabagger congress do. With gridlock, probably not much will change for the next two years…a slow climb in the unemployment rate. What happens after the 2012 election I hate to even think about, but Krugman is laying this liberal failure at the feet of Obama and Obama’s willingness to try and reason with the unreasonable. Stay tuned for the next exciting episode.

      • Daniel Berg Says:

        It’s true that most of the republicans have no good ideas for economic recovery in this country. Most of them make vague comments about austerity because they want to play on the public’s fear of an increasing deficit. Other than opposing any bills that democrats support that involve increasing the defict, there is nada.

        That being said, even if Krugman got his additional $800 billion, there is no garauntee that it would have been spent in an appropriate way to spur the economy. Judging by how the first $800 billion has and is being spent, it still wouldn’t have worked. Maybe if these dithering fools had $6 trillion to spend on stimulus, $1.5 trillion would have accidentily found itself to the right areas.

      • PointsWest Says:

        I think Rupublicans cling to their ideology of religion, Reagan, and low taxes. They’ve turned to it the way that a family turns to their church and to God and to heaven when someone dies. They want certainty and structure in their world to respond to a crisis with. A world without eternal laws, without authority figures, and without structure is very threatening to many people. They want a structured world even if they have to make one up in their heads with gods, angles, demons, spirits, Reagan, etc. The current belief among Republicans is that lowest members of society must be ritually punished with austerity measures. The highest members must be rewarded with low taxes. Order must be restored to a disorderly society. It does not mater if it worsens the economy or not.

        You know, the Great Depression did not end until WWII. It is said that the mood was celebratory when the UK finally declared war on Germany. Young men would finally have direction in their lives again

    • WM Says:

      jdubya,

      You take Krugman’s comment out of context, for the most part. The article was referring about the proposal to freeze federal employee wages, and the minor impact on the federal budget and the huge deficit. He fails to address the symbolic aspect of doing this.

      It is not so much about the money (except to the employees who wouldn’t get raises). It is about signalling that this economic debacle we are in is not over by a long shot, AND the federal government, is trying to tighten its belt a little ($5B over two years, but I don’t think Krugman addressed the pension benefit impact of that at all). There are, by the way millions of people without jobs who want to work, and doing business in the federal government while many other sectors of the economy have cut benefits, frozen wages and continued to downsize as their business sales are flat or downtrending. Smart as Krugman is he put this other spin on the matter for an entirely different purpose – not sure what it is. Maybe he would prefer to have G Dubya back in the Whitehouse, where all this economy crap started.

      • WM Says:

        Sorry, my brain got ahead of my typing:

        ….and doing business in the federal government AS USUAL while many other sectors of the economy have cut benefits, frozen wages and continued to downsize as their business sales are flat or downtrending, IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

      • Brian Ertz Says:

        seems like a broad quote that could be fairly generalized … seems like the quote equally applies to the wolf/wildlife situation … could probably apply to any number of issues with this administration …

      • Daniel Berg Says:

        WM,

        It is my opinion that Clinton has a fair amount of economic blood on his hands. He signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act into law and was very complacent when it came to the Banking/investment industry.

        So does Bush Sr………He signed the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992. From Wikipedia:

        “The Act amended the charter of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reflect Congress’ view that the GSEs “have an affirmative obligation to facilitate the financing of affordable housing for low-income and moderate-income families.”

        This was one of the beginning seeds that led to the massive facilitation of reckless lending in a greed fueled frenzy. Late in Clinton’s presidency, around the time of the repeal of Glass-Steagall, he pressured Fannie/Freddie into substantially increasing their loan portfolios as part of a social experiment that really started back in 1992.

        I mean really you could go back and look at a lot of different things that could have/probably fueled the housing bust.

      • WM Says:

        Daniel,

        I agree with you completely about others who are responsible. My quick closing comment was to emphasize just the most recent history -8 years of no regulation. There were alot of D’s who helped set the stage, Barney Frank and couple others ought to be taken out back the barn and shot (figuratively anyway) for the crap the pulled with Fannie Mae and Freddie. And Clinton did his share of damage to the economy during the party-on administration while he was seasoning his cigars and doing other things in the White house instead of taking care of the people’s business.

        Obama is in office for what 20 months or so, and the self-righteous are already to bail on the guy, with no offers of a superior replacement. Whiners all – you haven’t dealt with my issue yet, Waaaaaaaaaah! You’re just a fraud. I’m gonna find somebody else to be my champion. Waaaaaaah! Brian, you reading this?

      • timz Says:

        bama is in office for what 20 months or so, and the self-“righteous are already to bail on the guy, with no offers of a superior replacement. Whiners all – you haven’t dealt with my issue yet, Waaaaaaaaaah! You’re just a fraud. I’m gonna find somebody else to be my champion. Waaaaaaah! Brian, you reading this?”

        WM I would suggest you do some reaearch on Obozo’s finacial team and their past ties to wall street, the banking industry and past administrations before you go making stupid comments like the one I quoted.

      • WM Says:

        timz,

        Wait a minute sport. How is it that I somehow support the revolving door of Wall St./Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan/Bear-Stearns, or the other schlocks that make US monetary policy? Yeah I saw all those familiar names on the chart you linked to. If you review my posts I have been a critic of that self-dealing small group of incestuous sleezeballs. My favorite today is Lloyd Blankfein current head of Goldman and what he and his credit default swap guys did. I have ranted before about a name you won’t see but is a player and has been for decades, Hank Greenberg who headed AIG (who did all the off the books underwriting of those credit default swaps), and who had a seat on the NY stock exchange as well as the NY Fed bank.

        The problem is, and the article notes, US monetary policy is largely made by these few players. Get outside that circle and there is no power. That is why every Administration gets their guys from the same small group. Goldman has been in some pretty shady things going back thru American history, if I recall, yet they keep bouncing right back. I don’t know how many head Treasury guys came from there, but it is LOTS.

        You don’t like my suggestion to give Obama a little more time. Tell us. What is your sure fire solution to fix the economy, healthcare, social security, the wars and the looming environmental problems that seem to get pushed aside. You have two years to implement before you’re out. Come on timz, fix it. You are up to bat, and don’t forget you have to work with Congress, a bunch of pissy states, and fickle voters (many of whom can’t find their ass with either hand).

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        WM wrote

        + “Obama is in office for what 20 months or so, and the self-righteous are already to bail on the guy, with no offers of a superior replacement. Whiners all – you haven’t dealt with my issue yet, Waaaaaaaaaah! You’re just a fraud. I’m gonna find somebody else to be my champion. Waaaaaaah! Brian, you reading this?”

        WM, with all respect, no one has had enough time to bail us out of the mistakes of the last 10 to 30 years (depending on your view), but it is clear Obama is not going to learn. Paul Krugman sadly, but accurately wrote in his latest column

        Freezing Out Hope. By PAUL KRUGMAN. NYT. Dec. 2

        Democrats need time to build an organization to challenge his reelection or step in if he doesn’t go for a second term. That needs to be realized right now. I don’t have any particular replacement in mind right now.

      • timz Says:

        The bottom line is that our system of government has been corrupted with the almighty $$ beyond hope. The democracy of by the people for the people is forever lost.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Timz,

        Don’t give up! An patriotic and ethical life is to keep fighting the bastards!

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Timz,

        Don’t give up! A patriotic and ethical life is to keep fighting the bastards!

      • SAP Says:

        Ralph wrote

        “Democrats need time to build an organization to challenge his reelection or step in if he doesn’t go for a second term. That needs to be realized right now. I don’t have any particular replacement in mind right now.”

        Captain Morgan says: Hillary will leave State mid-year, gear up for a run at the nomination in 2012. No way the Big Dog is finished, no way he’ll sit this out.

      • JB Says:

        Personally, I have no problem with criticizing governmental actions that you don’t agree with–that’s one of the benefits of living in a democratic society. However, I think a presidency should be judged in its totality–20 mos, especially under the duress of a failing economy–does not a presidency make.

        ——

        Republicans in Congress have shown that they will not compromise…period. They have spent the past week trying to ensure that the democrats can not extend Bush-era TAX CUTS to 99% of our society–they want tax cuts for the richest 1% too. This, of course, is a political ploy to force an all-or-nothing outcome: republicans are betting that democrats will cave and give tax breaks to everybody (and they are probably right). [ And of course, this outcome becomes more likely outside of the lame-duck session.] What I find disingenuous about this approach is the rhetoric of republicans during the election was all about the “massive” and “ballooning” deficit and how we need to get this under control. Meanwhile, they want to a give tax cut to the richest 1% of the people that equates to ~700 billion in revenue for the government–making fixing the the deficit “problem” that much more difficult.

        The hypocrisy of the republican party knows no bounds.

      • jdubya Says:

        Actually that quote, as others have mentioned and I would presuppose Krugman would agree, fits for many aspects of the Obama administration not just the economically insignificant freezing of federal salaries.

        I despise Bush and the way he bankrupted the moral and economic capital of this country. I worked hard for Obama and was quite pleased when he was elected. But whether we are describing the absence of backbone (witnessed over and over again by this administration), the abdication of previously stated positions (where is the single payer for health care, where will be the tax payments be for those making in excess of $250,000 a year, where is the protection of the environment that he so vociferously defended during the election season, where are gay rights including the repeal of DADT), or the future fully anticipated crawling of his administration into the arms of the ultra-partisan right in the next two years, Obama has been a huge, huge failure.

        Or, as some else put it, Obama had better hope that Palin wins the nomination because against a strong and principled republican, Obama will not have a chance.

      • SAP Says:

        JB – yes, I think the GOP program is very clear: they intend to fix the federal budget on the backs of the poor and middle classes by slashing programs, by making the poor work longer (if there are jobs for them!) into their old age by raising Social Security and Medicare eligibility age, by slashing Medicare (so poor people in Arizona won’t get life-saving organ transplants they’d been promised). Anything but increase revenue by taxes those who have plenty! I doubt they’ll want to cut Defense, either: too many defense contractors as campaign donors. They’ll cut any spending that doesn’t have a powerful lobby attached to it, ie, the poor.

  23. WM Says:

    Daniel,

    Let’s not forget Franklin Raines who ran Fannie Mae into the ground, while making tens if not hundreds of millions $$. Another finance a$$hole who bilked the public, and cost FM something like $400M in fines, in addition. Look up wikipedia on him.

    Not to divert too much further off topic but just to let some of our rural friends have more information about what is really happening in the true driving engines of our economy. I think overall WA state and Seattle has weathered this reasonably well, but its not over yet. Locally the downtown Seattle/Bellvue commercial building vacancy rates are in excess of 18-24% and have risen substantially since last year as businesses scale back, consolidate through buy-outs or relocate out of the area. Even community retail shopping areas (malls too) seem to have more and more boarded up businesses, some of which have been going for the last twenty years or longer. We see more every day. The state of WA is trying to close a $4B budget gap that will hit mostly those in need of direct financial assistance, and those state workers who help them. Prisons will be letting some people out who shouldn’t be. What are these people going to do on the street, because there sure as hell aren’t any jobs for them?

    Late last week I received my last issue of US News & World Report magazine. They stopped publishing. I have to think about renewing a CD at my credit union, next week – lock my money up three years at 1.51% return. I simply cannot believe this, since health care costs are going up15X that rate higher.

    Not to sound too pessimistic about what is happening, but this whole economic thing is far from over and some folks in the private and government sectors will be without jobs late in life, good people with previously solid credit backgrounds losing homes to foreclosure, saving/investments gone down the tube in an unpredictable market situation, and little chance to recover in the short term.

    There will be brighter days, but it is gonna be a few years out. And, those who are impatient, in my view, because they don’t get what they want right now are going to be the ones who really screw this up, as they don’t want to stay the course. The Tea Party and disgruntled D’s are two big groups who will be a cause for stringing this out and prolonging the agony as they seek something new – what it is I bet most of them cannot say.

    Sorry for getting off track, but it seemed some of this needed saying.

  24. william huard Says:

    I watched on C span the two votes on the tax cut issue. They both failed, and senate republicans on both voted unanimous against them. Sen Dorgan commented after the votes that 100 years from now people will look back and ask” what were they thinking”. He noted the distinction between reality and invention, how people with their own set of facts and cable outlets like Fox News question the reality which has been played out in the last ten years. The Tax Cuts in 2001 and 2003, passed through reconciliation, triggered massive debt, and the Bush Administration had the lowest job creation figures since the 1940’s. The most surreal aspect is when if ever will the Republican Party pay a political price for these irresponsible votes!

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      Dismal,

      What should be done is the Democrats should keep holding votes and the President should highlight every one of them until the continual news reports begin to overcome the shouting of Fox News.

      • william huard Says:

        And I guarantee you if the republicans were in the majority with a 53-47 majority they would pass their agenda through reconciliation! It was interesting how Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson voted against both measures. I remember when Scott brown was elected he kept talking about the people’s seat! Ted kennedy is rolling over in his grave!

      • Wyo Native Says:

        Ralph,

        Sorry but you give Fox News way too much credit. They only average around 2 million viewers on any of their given broadcasts. That 2 million does not do much when you have an electorate of 100 million plus. There are more people combined that watch the Broadcast news channels, and the Cable news channels that are either moderate or lean to the left with their news presentation. Maybe it is the message?

        I am a rather hard core Libertarian, hate the industrial military complex, hate the present day Corporatism that exists in our government and is welcomed and courted by BOTH political parties, I don’t want my taxes raised without some sort of balanced budget amendment to the Constition (this country has a spending problem, not a revenue problem), I don’t want government to supply my healthcare or force me to supply someone elses under penalty of imprisonment via tax collection, etc, etc. And guess what I have NEVER watched a single episode of any Fox News broadcast. I don’t even have my television hooked up othe than the DVD player. And to top it off I have never listened to a single minute of Rush, Hannity or any other so called Right Wing talk radio, there isn’t even a radio station in Southwest Wyoming that even carries that programming.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Wyo Native,

        It’s as you say, Fox News has a message. The others really don’t. Many opinion surveys show the watchers are almost all Republicans. As time goes by they develop a world view that is strong and much different than the average person.

    • PointsWest Says:

      Conservatives are putting all of our eggs in the tax-cut basket. It worked under Reagan…right? Reagan stayed the course with his tax cuts, the economy turned around, and Reagan the professional-actor-turned-president is the greatest conservative hero to this very day. So what is the problem?

      Well, the problems with the economy in the eighties were very different from what they are today. We had no public debt and private debt was small. The great economic crisis that swept Reagan into power was the formation of OPEC and the quadrupling of oil and gas prices after the Arab Oil Embargo. We had inflation of 14% one year and the discount rate was 20%. Reagan simply blamed all of this onto Carter and the Dems. I also believe he made the deal with the Iranians to hold the American hostages until after the 1980 election.

      The great Reaganomic policy was actually a big accident. Reagan’s clear intent originally was to cut federal spending along with his huge tax cuts but the second part of cutting spending never materialized and the huge Reagan tax cuts created huge budget deficits. This failure of cutting spending started the Reaganomic cycle of running huge budget deficits and borrowing from the future as sound fiscal policy. David Stockman, Reagan’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, quit Reagan over the matter. However, this accidental policy worked…sort of. We ran up the debt all though the Reagan years and the economy did stabilize by borrowing from the future. By good luck, during the Clinton years, America ended up in the midst of a computer boom and a smoking hot economy when we began paying down the huge Reagan debt. However, with deregulation of our financial system and the development of a culture of borrowing and debt, private debt in America began to sore.

      The computer boom began to wane, moving to Asia, by the Bush II years and so Bush II applied the Reaganomic miracle of cutting taxes. However, private debt, especially though mortgages, had reached an entirely new level in America. Everyone was in debt up to their eyeballs. Private debt dwarfed public debt by 2004 and the Bush II tax cuts could not offset the decline in the American computer industry. We continued living on borrowed time until the house of cards collapsed in 2007.

      Now here we are trying to decide which way to go. Democrats advocate borrowing and using government programs to get the economy going…what was done during the Great Depression. Republicans advocate cutting taxes to get the economy going. We already know the Bush II tax cuts did not work. But Republicans have so much faith in the fiscal policy accident of Reaganomics, they remain convinced that tax cuts are the way to go. There is some bias by Republicans, of course, since Republican tend to be wealthy and are the main beneficiary of the tax cuts.

      Reagan’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, David Stockman was in the news last night saying that he believes the tax cuts are a mistake. He said the government credit card is becoming maxed out and that, by not making payments, we are heading for the cliff. I believe he has been saying something like this since he quit Reagan. I think the computer boom came along, the economy got hot, tax revenues increased, and David Stockman had to eat crow during the late 80’s and 90’s for his comments and for quitting Reagan. I think he will not eat crow this time around. This religious believe in Reaganomics probably will send us over the cliff.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        It’s a one tool fix for all economic problems!

      • PointsWest Says:

        …and the Republicans have the very same gleeful confidence in their special tax-cut tool that they had in their special military tool in Iraq. The Republicans expect that the tough application of these tax cuts will win for them the adulation of the American people the very same way they thought the tough application of Desert Storm would win for them the adulation of the Iraqi people. They are all giggles and smiles. If you watch their eyes closely, however, you will occasionally glimpse the signs of dread that they are really feeling now that they have us marching down the path again.

      • PointsWest Says:

        Whoops…that should read, “tax cuts will win for them the adulation of the American people the very same they thought the tough application of Operation Iraqi Freedom would win for them the adulation of the Iraqi people.”

  25. Phil Says:

    The funniest thing about this story is that the people who the administration are trying to satisfy in this story, most of these individuals did not vote for him, and are strongly critical of him being president. But, then again, Obama did put in a national “Hunter’s Day” for these people last year. Does he know that these were probably the most opposing group of people to his presidency and wants to brown nose to them?

  26. Phil Says:

    The problem with the next election is that it looks like it will be Obama vs Palin. Who to vote for? A person who proposes the wiping out of wildlife, or a person who actually works physical actions to wipe out wildlife? Tough one there.


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