You don’t have to be Kreskin the Magnificent to figure out that Bush will do as much damage as he can as the sun sets on the Worst Administration Evah, the only question is when and how.
Look to the border:
The Bush administration will waive more than 30 environmental and land-management laws in order to finish building 470 miles of border fence in the Southwest by the end of the year, officials said yesterday.
The move, permitted under an exemption granted by Congress, will be the most sweeping use of the administration’s waiver authority since it started building the fence to curb illegal immigration. It will affect environmentally sensitive areas in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
In a statement, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said the agency has no choice but to bypass the standard environment reviews required of the federal government.
"Criminal activity at the border does not stop for endless debate or protracted litigation," Chertoff said. "Congress and the American public have been adamant that they want and expect border security. We’re serious about delivering it, and these waivers will enable important security projects to keep moving forward. At the same time, we value the need for public input on any potential impact of our border infrastructure plans on the environment — and we will continue to solicit it."
During the Bush Administration, the "homeland security" business rose up from nothing and is now, according to Naomi Klein, worth more than Hollywood. The corporate cons that got fat on contracts nobody could examine because they hid behind the cloak of "national security" (see Wade, Mitchell) are looking for new profit centers now that Iraq might not be so lucrative, and the border is where they’ve set their sights.
With an assist from Democrats like Rahm Emanuel and Heath Shuler, Bush is moving quickly to lay the groundwork for a disastrous, expensive border boondoggle. As Avi Lewis says in the accompanying YouTube on the subject, we’ve got "the same private contractors from Iraq now building a high tech fortress America."
It’s bad enough the Democrats are so cowed on immigration that they won’t put up a fight, but the story of Bush’s border grab does not exist in isolation. The Shuler SAVE Act is part and parcel of the same effort.