If you’ve been paying attention to national news lately you might have noticed that the Bush Administration is taking a massive strap-on dildo to our collective ass. Just right there where you poop. First Bush has pardoned the Telecommunication companies that are allowing the government TO SPY ON ITS CIVILIANS, now he’s cutting funding to the forestry service. If you’re like me and am unsure of who is representing you in decisions like these, you can find out here. After reading the articles after the jump, I hope you are agitated enough to do so.
Bush forest budget called disastrous
By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press Writer 17 minutes ago
A Bush administration spending plan that would slash money for the Forest Service could lead to massive layoffs at the agency charged with managing 193 million acres of national forests, Democratic lawmakers said Wednesday.
Spending for the Forest Service would be cut by nearly 8 percent next year, to $4.1 billion, in a budget plan submitted by President Bush.
The plan could mean the loss of more than 2,700 jobs â€” nearly 10 percent of the agency’s work force â€” as well as reductions in dozens of non-fire related programs, from road and trail maintenance to state assistance, land acquisition and recreation, lawmakers said.
Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., chairman of the House Appropriations Interior subcommittee, called the budget plan “an unmitigated disaster” that “would cause real harm to our 193-million acre national forest system.”
The only bright spot in the budget was a request to increase spending to fight wildfires by about $148 million to just under $1 billion, Dicks said.
The figure based on the 10-year average of firefighting costs and responds to a frequent complaint by lawmakers that firefighting costs typically exceed the amount budgeted. The Forest Service spent $1.4 billion fighting fires nationwide last year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The Interior Department spent an additional $450 million.
Even the increase for firefighting comes with a catch, Dick said. The plan would cut spending for fire prevention and preparedness â€” an approach Dicks said “would guarantee large, expensive wildfires again next year.
Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell acknowledged the budget request was “challenging,” but told Dicks, “I can report to you the state of the Forest Service is sound.”
The president’s budget reflects his priorities, including support for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, strengthening homeland security and promoting economic growth, Kimbell said.
Within that framework, spending for the Forest Service is focused on core responsibilities â€” most especially fighting wildfires, Kimbell said. Wildfire-related spending accounts for 48 percent of the proposed budget, she said, a sharp increase that reflects the agency’s actual spending in recent years.
“The responsibility to protect people and property from wildfire is one the Forest Service performs professionally and honorably,” Kimbell said. Kimbell did not challenge Dicks’ prediction of as many as 2,700 jobs lost in the spending plan, but said most or all of the reduction could take place through attrition and retirement.
“We are not using the word ‘layoff’,” said Forest Service spokeswoman Allison Stewart.
Last October, nearly 2,200 homes in California were destroyed in simultaneous wind-driven blazes that charred about 800 square miles from north of Los Angeles south to the Mexican border. The fires caused more than $2.2 billion in private insurance claims and killed 10 people.
Crucifixion: Our Dying Constitution
Published by Fred Sotoâ€¢ February 12th, 2008 RSS News Feed the American spirit is dead thanks to disgraceful congressional leadership
I can fairly say now, that I’ve never been more ashamed to be an American. In addition to being subject to the leadership of the worst presidential administration in American history, Congress just voted to grant immunity to telecommunications companies that were complicit in illegal surveillance activity against Americans. Of course, because this criminal activity occurred over the tenure of the Bush Administration, Congress will gladly give them a pass because they were acting based on a sense of â€œpatriotic dutyâ€.
In his closing speech on the Senate floor, Chris Dodd brought up September 28, 2007, what he calls the darkest day in the Congressional chamber. If the date doesn’t ring a bell, it was the day that the not-so-honorable Senators voted to deny Habeas Corpus and allow torture to take place at the hands of our agents. Senator Dodd argued that today, February 12, 2008, is a close second, as the action taken today further serves to deny the constitutional safeguards that our founders intended to protect our citizens.
What Chris Dodd’s entire argument revolved around was simply allowing lawsuits to go forward and be decided by the appropriate branch, the judiciary. President Bush insisted that he would veto any FISA legislation that didn’t include telecommunications immunity for his top secret surveillance activity. Instead, what the legislature is doing is denying Americans the right to know what is going on in our government. Today, government secrecy emerged victorious.
America’s Shame and why I’m proud to be â€œun-Americanâ€
Americans no longer have an understanding of what it means to be free, we’ve become so accustomed to big brother’s hand that torture, spying without warrants, and engaging in illegal wars of aggression are to be expected. Many of the candidates running for president campaigned hard on these issues, insisting that we would â€œremain on offenseâ€ in the propaganda-ridden war on terror. What Americans need now is a miracle, we need a hero or group of heroes to stand up in our legislature and fight for them. We don’t need more government parenting and rules that cater to corporations and fear.
Terrorism should be a tool that only the enemy is allowed to use. Illegal government activity should not be tolerated in its current form. Soon, we will lose a part of ourselves, the American spirit will die. This country is no longer FDR’s America, it isn’t JFK’s or Reagan’s America. It most definitely is not Bill Clinton’s America, yet his wife was curiously absent from the Senate floor on this most important matter. Unless our voters and elected officials stand up and fight for freedom, we’re going to lose this fight for our country. If you feel even a modicum of pride and love left for this nation that people the world over once admired, equip yourself with knowledge and do your part so that our country won’t slip away into the dark abyss of fascism.
I’m afraid we’re already there, but there may be hope and that hope begins with you.