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February 09, 2010


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The locks and the unnaturally-linked connections between Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, the Des Plaines and Calumet Rivers and even the Fox River system are all under the control and supervision of the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and the EPA, among a smattering of other federal agencies. Those are all Article II-empowered agencies; all under the direct control of none other than the President of the United States.

President Barack Obama has the clear Constitutional power to take decisive action in this case; he has chosen not to.

For someone like Jack Lessenberry to hint that just maybe the U.S. Supreme Court should have acted to save the Great Lakes from the President's inaction is an insult to the intelligence of anyone who passed high school civics. President Obama didn't merely look to the Supreme Court for a decision; he had his Solicitor General Elena Kagan actively fight with the Attorneys General from Wisconsin and Michigan over the matter.

And to read the Solicitor General's brief, she states, on the President's behalf, that the Supreme Court had no power to insert itself in the matter via a motion to reopen an 80 year-old case on the operation of the locks. (A new lawsuit might ultimately succeed, though not through lack of opposition coming from the Obama Administration. The Supreme Court, in the case arcanely known as "Matters No. 1, 2 and 3," simply did not reopen an old case for the purposes sought. The Supreme Court, very much unlike Obama, did not reach the merits; those merits have not yet been tried in a trial court.

(Newsflash for Jack Lessenberry; the U.S. Supreme Court does not act as a super legislature. It does not function to cure stupid acts or omissions on the part of the President or Congress. The Court accepts appeals from the states and lower federal courts. It intervenes in legislation, occasionally, via judicial review, when the legislation offends Constitutional principles. The situation with the Asian carp requires a smart, tough Executive, and a Congress that cares about the Great Lakes. Not a court.)

Michiganians and all of the Great Lakes population, in the U.S. and Canada, can safely and accurately blame the current standoff on Barack Obama. No one else. He leads the agencies that control the waterways in question.

And the next time that anyone, like Jack Lessenberry, tries to shift blame to the U.S. Supreme Court, you can point them to the Constitution of the United States, and the briefs recently filed in the Supreme Court, and say, "Nice try; you might think it fashionable to blame the Court, but this one is all on Obama."

Mr Lessenberry,

I don't know much about politics but I have a suggestion if anybody thinks it might be worthwhile. Just about the best way to make anything endangered is to give it value. In the Asian carp case, market value. We use thousands of tons of fish meal every year for animal feed and fertilizer. Asian countries use thousands of tons of fish meal for human consumption too. Why couldn't we overfish this population of Asian carp into extinction? Wouldn't the domestic animal, farm animal and poultry industry be interested in this resource? Isn't fish meal something we could export to cash rich China? May be this is too simple a solution and there is something wrong in my thinking, but it seems logical.

Carpus Obamus?

I’ve been thinking that since our President refuses to take steps that would absolutely prevent the spread of silver/big head carp into the great lakes, the very least the State of Michigan can do is to commemorate this soon to arrive species by naming it after the administration that made its Great Lakes appearance possible. This would probably get a lot of publicity and is something that should be kept right in the admin’s face as well as the voters (all great lakes states). How would this Carp’s appearance in the great lakes affect his chance of re-election? I’d bet no WI, MI, OH, NY?, IN … He’d be toast! I have a hunch they'd be super sensitive on anything like this. Maybe you can launch a contest to come up with a suitable name?

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