Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Let the Pardons Begin!

Bush has started pardoning his loathsome friends.

The media narrative around this first round of pardons is that there were no high-profile pardons. Scooter Libby, Duke Cunningham, etc., were all left out. True enough, but we'll see how that goes. Those seem like January 19 pardons because of the criticism they will bring down.

But looking at the recently pardoned reveals some real scumbags. Particularly striking were the people pardoned for environmental crimes. These people aren't as sexy as Michael Milken so the media isn't talking about it.

But why would you pardon Leslie Collier, a man convicted in 1995 of widespread slaying of wildlife, including bald eagles, by laying out tainted meat? Or Milton Cordes of South Dakota, who violated the Lacey Act by smuggling wildlife into the country? Or Daniel Pue of Texas who was convicted of dumping toxic waste without a permit?

If you are George W. Bush, you pardon these people because you oppose any kind of environmental laws. You think it's OK to smuggle animals, kill bald eagles, and dump toxic waste. You oppose even early 20th century conservationist legislation. You are the worst environmental president ever. That's why you do this.

It's not as if these people served hard time for these crimes. Collier got 2 years probation. Pue got 3 years probation. Cordes got 18 months probation and a loss of hunting privileges for one year.