Obama signs budget bill into law.

Wolves will be removed from the Endangered Species List in Idaho, Montana, and parts of Oregon, Washington, and Utah within 60 days.

Wolves to come off endangered list within 60 days
Associated Press

The Spill, The Scandal and the President

The inside story of how Obama failed to crack down on the corruption of the Bush years – and let the world’s most dangerous oil company get away with murder

A revealing article in Rolling Stone points out how Obama and Salazar did nothing to reform the well known corruption at MMS. It is expected that industry will try to cut as many corners as possible but the culture at the Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service did nothing to curb the corruption of gas and oil companies and instead facilitated the current destruction of the Gulf of Mexico.

“Bush owns eight years of the mess,” says Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California. “But after more than a year on the job, Salazar owns it too.”

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Oil gusher. Lost opportunity to redefine America’s political debate?

My opinion is the “spill” could be a gift to bring down the Cheneys, oil companies, “drill baby drill”-

With a huge natural disaster there is political danger, but also political opportunity. For the people living on the Gulf, and the fish and wildlife, it is all downside.  For the President there is a mighty political opportunity, but so far he has baubled the basketball while standing right next to the basket. He’d better recover and slam dunk it or the other team will soon have the ball. They are already calling it “Obama’s Katrina” now that it looks like the oil will gush until August, well into the hurricane season.

Let me explain.

In politics and government, there is what is actually happening, but for the average American who does not follow politics or current events much, it is what they think is happening.

What the public thinks is happening is the most important thing.

Most now understand the “oil spill” is a big disaster. They want it stopped and cleaned up, but they also want it explained. How could this happen after all the oil company ads saying how careful they are and all the political support for drilling.  The average person wants reassurance, and when angry they want justice. For there to be justice, there needs to be blame placed. A convincing story (a “narrative”) explaining all these things is what the public craves. Obama needs one quickly, a narrative before an alternative one about his aloofness is put firmly in place. Maureen Dowd’s latest column in the NYT certainly understands this. “Once More, With Feeling.” NYT. May 29, 2010.  The President has got to get angry and point the finger of blame. . . none of that “no drama, Obama.”  He needs drama, and a good melodrama requires a hero going after the villains.

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Feds: No major changes for Columbia Basin salmon

Judge Redden said the Bush Plan for salmon wasn’t good enough, Obama thinks it is.

Well, here is another example of how the Obama Administration has followed the lead of the Bush Administration on environmental issues. As we can see from the Gulf Oil Spill those policies are literally a disaster. While salmon returns have been good the last few years and numbers are high for returning Chinook this year, it should be pointed out that the bulk of these fish are hatchery fish and not those protected under the ESA. It should also be noted that the return of jacks, or male Chinook that spend only one year in the ocean as compared to two or three, is about 72% of the 10-year average which is an indication that next year’s run will likely be lower.

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WildEarth Guardians Seeks End of Aerial Gunning, Poisoning of Wildlife on Public Lands

Obama asked for executive order-

This is clearly something the President could do quickly to rehabilitate his tarnished image on wildlife. Ironically, it was President Richard Nixon who in 1972 issued Executive Order 11643 banning the use of poisons to control predators on Federal land. Reagan later weakened this. In addition, there is plenty of poison available. Much of it is left over from the 1970s.

While in the Senate, now Interior Secretary Salazar was one of those who opposed efforts to ban the use of compound 1080, an extremely poisonous, colorless, tasteless, odorless, substance that creates an agonizing death, and which would be an ideal poison for use by terrorists to put in a municipal water supply.

Meanwhile, as far as aerial gunning goes, USFA’s Wildlife Services killed off a famous Idaho wolf pack this week (more on this later). They used one or more of their aerial gunships.

Update 11-28.2009. A lot of newspapers picked up the AP story by John Miller on the petition.

Petition from WildEarth Guardians-

WildEarth Guardians Seeks End of Aerial Gunning & Poisoning of Wildlife on Public Lands

Denver, CO. The U.S. Department of Agriculture should stop sending its agents up in aircraft to shoot coyotes and planting lethal cyanide booby traps on the nation’s forests and other federal lands, according to a formal request filed today by WildEarth Guardians with the Obama administration.

“Federal wildlife-killing programs are unsafe, illegal, and reckless,” said Wendy Keefover-Ring, Director of Carnivore Protection for WildEarth Guardians. “We call upon the Obama administration to protect our native carnivores on the Nation’s public lands.” Read the rest of this entry »

Islam Siddiqui, Obama Nominee, Under Fire From Environmentalists

Friend of pesticides and hormones for livestock nominated to be Chief Agriculture Negotiator-

He even criticized Michelle Obama’s organic garden, but still got the nod.  And the Republicans say Obama is some kind of anti-corporate socialist!

Islam Siddiqui, Obama Nominee, Under Fire From Environmentalists. The Huffington Post. Jenna Staul

Questions for a Trade Official. New York Times editorial saying this is a bad nomination.

Obama represents big business first and foremost. Orange County Populist Examiner. By Joe Sabet

Obama’s Environmental Policies Reflect Bush

Obama’s environmental policies reflect Bush’s. By John H. Weis. Op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune

My opinion. Ralph Maughan. Obama is interesting in abating climate change and some high profile issues, but as we have complained many times he doesn’t seem to have any feeling for the public lands of the West, except maybe for the national parks. In that, he is a typical American who doesn’t live in the West. He might not even understand what the BLM is. I think he’s a smart man, but with a big hole in his knowledge.