Is George Bush Russian?
Actor Morgan Freeman was among the winners of the Kennedy Center honors this year. Among his many roles, he played a president who sat in the Oval Office as a comet threatened to smash the earth to smithereens.
The Kennedy Center honorees were feted at the White House this week -- President George Bush even bussed Barbra Streisand on the cheek -- and I wonder whether it occurred to him that a killer comet is just about the only disaster that hasn't happened on his watch?
So why, with barely a month left in office, would he put ''paid'' to any hope that he'd go out with class -- and decide to create yet more disasters?
For his big ''midnight madness'' farewell, he's ''burrowed'' political pals into safe civil service jobs -- safe for them, devastating for the departments that have to endure them.
He's working to set up regulations for what the administration outrageously labels a ``right of conscience,'' which lets any medical professionals refuse to take part in any medical procedure they object to. They wouldn't even have to discuss legal and accepted medical procedures like abortion or birth control or artificial insemination. Even people whose job is to ''clean the instruments'' could refuse to do so. Can you say ''septicemia''?
And just today, the Bush administration gave its blessing to rules which could kill more of America's wild creatures than ''Deadeye'' Dick Cheney ever dreamed of gunning down.
For 35 years -- since the Nixon administration -- the feds have required that such projects as dams, power plants, timber projects and the like also get the input from government scientists, to assess how any project could affect endangered species and the habitat they depend on to survive.
Not any more. From the time the new rule takes effect -- in about 30 days, in other words only about a week before the Bush administration ends -- until the Obama administration can hurry up and undo Bush's nasty Gordian policy knots, it's Katie-bar-the-door for developers, and R.I.P., endangered species. Bulldozer versus snowy egret nest? Not remotely a fair fight.
So, is George Bush Russian? Because the last time I remember hearing of scorched-earth on this scale, it was 1812, and the Russians did it to beggar and starve the invading French Army.
But in this case, Bush is doing it to his own country, his own people, his own earth.
Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images