Road to Nowhere
"There's a city in my mind
Come along and take that ride"
"Road to Nowhere," Talking Heads
We all know the Senate is out of control when it comes to (not) confirming nominees, but here's a great example — one of special interest to Environmental Action members.
We've been eagerly waiting the arrival of a new Interior Secretary in the hopes that the Obama administration will revisit its disastrous policy on wolf hunting (amongst other issues). President Obama has nominated Sally Jewell, but her nomination, like so many others, suddenly faces the prospect of being held up over an outrageous issue.
Why, you might ask? Is it over her past ties to the oil industry? Sadly no, it is over a road. Actually, it's a road that doesn't exist, yet. And not a superhighway through a city either but another fantastic Alaskan "Road to Nowhere!"
Yup, according to Politico's Alex Guillen, Sen. Lisa Murkowski is considering using that most Senatorial of prerogatives the hold up a nomination over a road narrow road between a village and an airport in a part of Alaska that even Murkowski admits "most Alaskans will never visit."
Jewell somehow managed to accept the nomination without formulating a position on this crucial issue!
As frustrating as these stories are, they indicate how overused and outrageous the filibuster has become as a Senate tool. Overturning that arcane rule would make it a lot easier for nominees like Jewell, and the Senators who approve tier nominations, to hear the voice environmental activists like us who want the government to be active in creating a world where humans can live side by side with wolves and the wilderness they need to survive.
PS. Full disclosure: I was born in an Alaskan village that indeed lacked roads. So I'm biased. And I still want her to be confirmed.