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8:18 PM Sat, Dec. 15th

Get A Grip: Bush a disappointment

In case you haven't heard the news, Bush II's first 100 days have been a success.

His low expectations have been met!

In the past few days I've read articles and watched news reports marking the 100-day presidential milestone and they all say pretty much the same thing: Bush's low expectations are being met.

I think we're supposed to be happy about that.

I'm not.

Bush snowed me good.

During the presidential campaign Georgie wasn't much to brag about but then neither was Gore.

When the debates approached, Bush's strategy was brilliant.

Everyone, including Bush I, told us that Bush II wasn't the best debater but Gore, boy he knows how to debate.

So when Bush II made it through the debates without drooling on himself, his performance was hailed as a success.

I'll admit it, I bought the act.

"Maybe he's not so bad," thought I.

Maybe it won't be too embarrassing having a president can't make verbal sense.

And when the ballot counting became a tangled mess (coincidentally or conveniently in Florida, run by brother Bush) when the Supreme Court handed the presidency to Bush II, I thought, "Maybe it's a good thing.

Let's get on with it."




I was wrong and now I'm feeling cheated.

In his first 100 days, Bush II, true to his rich white male brethren, first set his sights on women's rights and then the environment.

Bush II's first 100 days have left me longing for better days when all I was worried about was a sordid presidential sex scandal.

Clinton may have been a philandering fool but he presided over unparalleled economic growth and made sure to look out for the little guy in this country.

Bush is looking out for the big guy and that leaves me out.

Bush II is in full attack mode on the environment.

He wants you to drink more arsenic in your water, breathe more pollutants in your air and fry in an atmosphere unprotected by ozone.

He can't wait to drill for fossil fuel in our country's last great frontier and conveniently has an energy crisis to help his cause – not to mention help line the pockets of his oil baron buddies.

The "we need oil" mantra is wearing away at my patience and I have yet to hear anyone talk seriously about conservation and renewable energy resources.

Since we Americans consume far more energy per person than any other country, this might be a logical discussion to have.

Do we really need so much power?

However, as is the case with mass transit, the oil barons (of which, make no mistake, Bush is a card-carrying member) have the clout to effectively block any progress.

The result? They get richer and we get dirty air, dirty water, higher bills and rolling blackouts.

They'll sell us bigger SUV's so we can guzzle even more gas and in exchange for our purchases, they'll pave more roads through what little wilderness we have left.

Our cookie-cutter culture will take on an even more uniform appearance.

Already the country has been paved from sea to shining sea and decorated at every crossroads with the horrifying homogeny of McDonalds et al.

Franchises and chain stores rule and everyone strives to look exactly like everybody else.

TV ads bear this out with skeletal models in matching outfits marching around like mindless clones rendering reality difficult to distinguish from a bad sci-fi movie.

While they sell us Big Macs and matching chinos, we'll be too distracted to care that our future is being sold to the highest bidder.

Forgive me if I don't think this is a good thing.

I think it's time to invoke the Endangered Species Act before it too is scrapped.

The species I'd like to apply for a listing is the Homo sapiens.

Thanks to environmental degradation spearheaded by greedy corporations that were allowed to act without curb from the industrial revolution until the first serious environmental laws were put on the books in the 1970s, we Homo sapiens are in danger.

We've fouled our own nest, so to speak.

For 30 years we seemed to be making some small progress toward protecting our habitat but Bush II seems determined to turn back time.

Species come and go but I have a selfish fondness for the human animal.

We are endangered as surely as the pygmy owl and snail darter.

Therefore, I propose that we list ourselves as endangered.

Maybe then, we'll have chance.

Or would that be setting expectations too high?