Saturday, March 25, 2017
Letter from Maureen Dowd to Mr. Trump 25 March 2017
WASHINGTON — Dear Donald,
We’ve known each other a long time, so I think I can be blunt.
You know how you said at campaign rallies that you did not like being identified as a politician?
Don’t worry. No one will ever mistake you for a politician.
After this past week, they won’t even mistake you for a top-notch negotiator.
I was born here. The first image in my memory bank is the Capitol, all lit up at night. And my primary observation about Washington is this: Unless you’re careful, you end up turning into what you started out scorning.
And you, Donald, are getting a reputation as a sucker. And worse, a sucker who is a tool of the D.C. establishment.
Your whole campaign was mocking your rivals and the D.C. elite, jawing about how Americans had turned into losers, with our bad deals and open borders and the Obamacare “disaster.”
And you were going to fly in on your gilded plane and fix all that in a snap.
You mused that a good role model would be Ronald Reagan. As you saw it, Reagan was a big, good-looking guy with a famous pompadour; he had also been a Democrat and an entertainer. But Reagan had one key quality that you don’t have: He knew what he didn’t know.
You both resembled Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloons, floating above the nitty-gritty and focusing on a few big thoughts. But President Reagan was confident enough to accept that he needed experts below, deftly maneuvering the strings.
You’re just careering around on your own, crashing into buildings and losing altitude, growling at the cameras and spewing nasty conspiracy theories, instead of offering a sunny smile, bipartisanship, optimism and professionalism.
You promised to get the best people around you in the White House, the best of the best. In fact, “best” is one of your favorite words.
Instead, you dragged that motley skeleton crew into the White House and let them create a feuding, leaking, belligerent, conspiratorial, sycophantic atmosphere. Instead of a smooth, classy operator like James Baker, you have a Manichaean anarchist in Steve Bannon.
You knew the Republicans were full of hot air. They haven’t had to pass anything in a long time, and they have no aptitude for governing. To paraphrase an old Barney Frank line, asking the Republicans to govern is like asking Frank to judge the Miss America contest — “If your heart’s not in it, you don’t do a very good job.”
You knew that Paul Ryan’s vaunted reputation as a policy wonk was fake news. Republicans have been running on repealing and replacing Obamacare for years and they never even bothered to come up with a valid alternative.
And neither did you, despite all your promises to replace Obamacare with “something terrific” because you wanted everyone to be covered.
Instead, you sold the D.O.A. bill the Irish undertaker gave you as though it were a luxury condo, ignoring the fact that it was a cruel flimflam, a huge tax cut for the rich disguised as a health care bill. You were so concerned with the “win” that you forgot your “forgotten” Americans, the older, poorer people in rural areas who would be hurt by the bill.
As The Times’s chief Washington correspondent Carl Hulse put it, the G.O.P. falls into clover with a lock on the White House and both houses of Congress, and what’s the first thing it does? Slip on a banana peel. Incompetence Inc.
“They tried to sweeten the deal at the end by offering a more expensive bill with fewer health benefits, but alas, it wasn’t enough!” former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau slyly tweeted.
Despite the best efforts of Bannon to act as though the whole fiasco was a clever way to bury Ryan — a man he disdains as “the embodiment of the ‘globalist-corporatist’ Republican elite,” as Gabriel Sherman put it in New York magazine — it won’t work.
And you can jump on the phone with The Times’s Maggie Haberman and The Washington Post’s Robert Costa — ignoring that you’ve labeled them the “fake media” — and act like you’re in control. You can say that people should have waited for “Phase 2” and “Phase 3” — whatever they would have been — and that Obamacare is going to explode and that the Democrats are going to get the blame. But it doesn’t work that way. You own it now.
You’re all about flashy marketing so you didn’t notice that the bill was junk, so lame that even Republicans skittered away.
You were humiliated right out of the chute by the establishment guys who hooked you into their agenda — a massive transfer of wealth to rich people — and drew you away from your own.
You sold yourself as the businessman who could shake things up and make Washington work again. Instead, you got worked over by the Republican leadership and the business community, who set you up to do their bidding.
That’s why they’re putting up with all your craziness about Russia and wiretapping and unending lies and rattling our allies.
They’re counting on you being a delusional dupe who didn’t even know what was in the bill because you’re sitting around in a bathrobe getting your information from wackadoodles on Fox News and then, as The Post reported, peppering aides with the query, “Is this really a good bill?”
You got played.
It took W. years to smash everything. You’re way ahead of schedule.
And I can say you’re doing badly, because I’m a columnist, and you’re not. Say hello to everybody, O.K.?
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Please join us!!
Let Kids Be Kids, Inc. fully supports incremental restoration of Grizzlies back into the North Cascades. (You can support this project no matter where you presently live.) Using the following link you can look at sample comments and follow links to the National Parks Service comment page. northcascadesgrizzly.org/comment
"The National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have released options for restoring a healthy grizzly bear population in Washington’s North Cascades.
*Grizzly bears have lived in our region for thousands of years, but despite quality habitat, today fewer than 10 remain. Without our help, they will soon be gone."
* The plan is to introduce five (5) bears a year for four years. The goal, 100 year projection, is to have 200 plus bears in the 10,000 square mile area far from public interaction.
Grizzly bears are native to the Cascade Mountains, but overhunting pushed them to the brink of local extinction by the mid-1900’s. Fewer than 10 remain, and reproduction hasn’t been documented since 1996.
* The North Cascades has some of the best grizzly bear habitat in the world, and the recovery area spans more than 10,000 square miles of wild land anchored by North Cascades National Park.
* Without active restoration, grizzly bears will not recover on their own. The North Cascades are too isolated.
* Full grizzly bear recovery will take decades, if not the better part of a century. Grizzlies reproduce very slowly, which is part of the reason the North Cascades population requires active restoration.
• A functioning ecosystem that can support megafuana like grizzly bears is a strong draw for park visitors, tourists and prospective wildlife viewers, thereby boosting local and regional economies."
Now is the time to take action for grizzly bears! The agencies are accepting public comments through March 14, 2017.
See an incredible video-click the following.
See an incredible video-click the following.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
|Three Bears Approach photo by Jim Lawrence|
VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - March 07, 2017) - A report issued today by the Board of Inquiry appointed by the recently formed Grizzly Bear Foundation states that the long-term survival of grizzly bears in British Columbia is threatened from a loss of habitat and food sources, as well as the government-sanctioned trophy hunt.
The three person Board of Inquiry's members include Michael Audain, Stuart McLaughlin of West Vancouver and Suzanne Veit of Victoria. In September 2016 they launched public hearings held in Cranbrook, Prince George, Fort Nelson, Prince Rupert, Vancouver and Victoria, as well as receiving advice from many biologists and bear specialists. The Board of Inquiry's 88-page report contains 19 recommendations directed to all levels of government as well as program priorities for the Grizzly Bear Foundation.
"Grizzly bears have lived in our province for at least 50,000 years," says Inquiry Chairman Michael Audain. "But unless we take serious steps now to secure their wilderness home from encroachment by human activities and protect their food sources from the impact of climate change, in a few decades the bears may disappear."
Audain advised that the Inquiry was impressed that British Columbians really seem to care about their grizzly bears. They recognize that these magnificent creatures now only have sustainable populations in the mountains of British Columbia and Alaska, whereas at one time they roamed all over the western and central areas of North America. Biologists call the grizzly bear a keystone species as where the bears thrive the environment is also healthy.
While grizzly hunting is still practiced by a small minority of the British Columbia population, as well as a number of foreign hunters, the vast majority of urban and rural British Columbians would prefer to see the trophy hunt terminated, especially as grizzly bear watching activities are flourishing and attracting a great many international tourists.
The abolition of the trophy hunt is also supported by most of British Columbia's First Nations who have shared deep cultural and spiritual relationships with the bears for thousands of years. As the First Nations gain control of their ancestral lands, the Inquiry anticipates that they will become more active in bear-viewing tourism given the potential this can have for employment opportunities.
The provincial government takes the position that the trophy hunt is sustainable in maintaining a population of around 15,000 grizzly bears, but the Inquiry's members wonder whether the pain and suffering that the bears experience is worth it, especially in terms of the relatively modest revenue that the hunt generates when compared to the growing interest in grizzly-viewing tourism.
The interactions between grizzly bears and human settlements was of particular interest to the Inquiry, since the bears invariably end up the losers. But, as there is now much experience about how bears and people can peacefully co-exist in rural areas, this is something that the Inquiry recommends be broadly disseminated.
"When we embarked on this Inquiry, I was under the impression that the main threat to the survival of the grizzly bears was the annual trophy hunt," says Audain. "While termination of the hunt is clearly essential, grizzly bears face even greater threats from burgeoning human encroachment into their habitat, as well as the loss of essential foods including wild salmon and huckleberries. There are dark days ahead for the province's grizzly bears if British Columbians are unwilling to address these issues and ensure that the bears have a secure home in our province."
"There is nothing wrong with hunting wildlife for food on a sustainable basis and, indeed, hunters have played an important role in conservation activities to maintain this opportunity, but it seems that the great majority of British Columbians will no longer countenance hunters shooting grizzly bears just to mount their heads or pelts on a trophy wall. As a society, I believe that we have grown beyond that," comments Stuart McLaughlin.Suzanne Veit adds: "The cumulative impacts of habitat loss, insecure food sources, inadequate enforcement of wildlife laws, legal hunting, and the as-yet uncertain impacts of climate change combine to present major challenges to the survival of the grizzly bears. Strong action is needed now to secure their future. How we achieve this will be judged by the world."
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