It's Monday and I'm sure all you working stiffs would really prefer something light and fluffy to kick off your week, but given the import of events that will be unfolding all across this great land of ours beginning tomorrow morning, light and fluffy just ain't happening. Actually, I'm not really going to talk about the election at all or try to sway any of my already like-minded readers with a pointless last-minute endorsement. You guys already know what to do; now you just need to make sure to go out tomorrow and do it.
Today let's forget about Ohio and Pennsylvania and Florida and Nevada and any other random place that's been identified as a "battleground," and turn our attention back to a little forgotten backwater called Washington D.C. Remember it? Yeah, that's the little hamlet on the Potomac where we're going to be sending one of those two dudes with our votes in another 24 hours or so.
It's a little known fact, but there's actually this other dude who is still there and still very much in control, and you better believe, with a few months remaining until he's out of the job, he's pulling every string in sight. If you didn't know any better, you might even say he's scuttling the ship. Sure looks that way.
Yup, every president spying the light at the end of the tunnel of their administration has gone to great lengths to make sure that their big fat ideological fingerprint is as indelible as possible when it comes time to back the U-haul up to the White House portico, and this one is no different. It's the bottom of the ninth, there's a minute left in the fourth quarter, the shot clock is ticking down; whatever your sports analogy, this is when el presidente pulls out all the stops and starts squeezing through every last bit of legislation he couldn't get anybody to swallow the first time around, and he's got to do it fast while there's still time and nobody's looking.
This time around, though, the president's to-do list reads like a rundown of pure malicious evil, to me at least. To wit:
- An attempt is under way to ease many restrictions intended to protect air and water quality. One rule being pursued would relax the standards that limit the emissions of power generating plants. That's bad enough, right, but a similar rule change is also being put forth that would specifically increase allowable emissions in coal fired plants near national parks! So, at a time when it has long since become clear that we must seriously curtail our emissions of greenhouse gases, which power plants are the primary source of, we are instead going to try to emit even more, and the closer we can do it to our national parks, the better.
- Further deregulation of the environmental restrictions governing mountaintop removal mining are also under way. It's bad enough that we allow coal companies to shear entire mountains off the map and dump everything that isn't coal into surrounding valleys and watersheds, but now the B(ullshit) administration is trying to do away with what pansy-ass rules we actually do have in place.
- They're even trying to relax drinking water standards. I can't imagine any reasonable rationale for this, but sarcasm hasn't failed me yet, so... Yeah! Why not?! Clean water sucks! Lately I've been thinking that the water coming out of my tap is way too clear anyway. As long as I'm paying for it, I may as well get something with some color to it, right?
- And just for shits (and because the commercial fishing industry is telling them to) they also want to ease catch limits and relax a rule that requires environmental impact statements to be prepared for all fisheries management decisions. Apparently causing our ocean ecosystems to collapse wasn't bad enough. We're going to go for complete annihilation.
So yeah, this is your government at work. While we've been busy worrying about a certain Alaskan's wardrobe expenditures, the *cough* administration has been busy trying, through the deregulation tactics that have worked so wonderfully on our economy, to set us back decades. Then again, that's what they've been doing all along. One of B[redacted]'s first orders of business when he took office eight(!) years ago was to ignore or rollback any and all advances the Clinton administration made regarding environmental protections, specifically the Roadless Initiative. Nothing has changed except, perhaps, the ____ administration's determination now that they are under deadline.
And it could take months and years, if ever, for whichever dude takes over in January to undo the damage.