is that they are thinning forests in Northern California, where the fires weren't and not in Southern California where the fires were. He's just using a tragedy to do something he's been wanting to to all along. I think the word I'm looking for is 'opportunism.'
This is from the Long-Beach Press Telegram back in October 2003. Unfortunately, the url is no longer valid:
The so-called Healthy Forests initiative is being fast-tracked though Congress while the Southern California fires are still raging out of control, as houses are still burning and people are being killed, hurt and left homeless. Since the initiative doesn't even attempt to address what is happening in Southern California, there is no reason (other than shameless political motives) for it to be passed now.
The Healthy Forests bill would allow the thinning of federal forests in a manner that logging interests have been wanting for years, and would do nothing to address the problems of wildfire in suburban areas. The House passed the bill earlier this year, but it stalled in the Senate. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is pushing for a compromise that would at least add some funding to Southern California prevention efforts, but she, too, is using the wildfires to pressure a reluctant Senate. Sen. Barbara Boxer's competing proposal weights much more heavily on the side of protecting homes and people.
Healthy Forests, in the form that passed the House, would simply thin federal forests, not stage controlled burns or clear the brush and the chaparral that act like tinder boxes in suburban hillside areas. In case Washington hasn't been paying attention, Southern California wildfires don't start with trees they start with dry brush and spread to trees and houses with help from the Santa Ana winds.
I guess a good analogy would be say, if America were attacked by terrorists in one country, and then the President used that as an excuse to attack another country (which he had been looking for an excuse to attack all along) that had nothing to do with the attacks. But something like that would never happen, I don't think.