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RE: E-M:/ Vilsack appointment - good for CAFOs

I suspect Obama is picking people he thinks are competent because they happen to best reflect his own views.  These people are not the best or most competent by a long shot, IMO.  Almost every appointment spells disaster for our environment, for our chances of having sane energy policy, or even wholesome food. 
I understand the desire to hope, and don't like being the bearer of bad tidings.  Until the environmental community makes it clear we find such pro-corporate folks unacceptable, however, we'll just keep getting more of the same.
Linda Cree
Michigan's Upper Peninsula

From: esteinma@umich.edu
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Vilsack appointment - good for CAFOs
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2008 13:11:20 -0500

Although having sent the links below I share Cynthia's and Andrew's read and hope on this and other controversial appointments by Obama. And vigilance--yes.


On Dec 19, 2008, at 12:43 PM, Andrew Mutch wrote:

My attitude on all of Obama's appointments is that the appointees ultimately respond to the President. That's why I try not to read too much into the personal views of the appointees. Obama isn't going to allow Vilsack to go in policy directions which Obama doesn't support. 

In the Bush administration, I often had the impression that appointees were selected more for their idealogical views than anything else. Obama appears to be going in the opposite direction. He's been selecting people who display competence and experience in the areas they have been selected even when their personal beliefs don't exactly match Obama's. Unlike the current President, I expect Obama to be fairly hands-on in guiding policy so I'm less concerned about loose cannons then I would be with the current President.

Andrew Mutch

From: Cynthia Price <skyprice@gmail.com>
To: Ed Steinman <esteinma@umich.edu>
Cc: enviro-mich <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Sent: Friday, December 19, 2008 12:22:33 PM
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Vilsack appointment - good for CAFOs

This has come under much lengthy, detailed discussion on the food-systems-advocates list serves. It is certainly true that it bodes ill, and is a bad choice considering all the other possible choices.

However, someone I know who ran for Secretary of Ag in Iowa (apparently it's an elected office there) when Vilsack was governor has posted that she thinks there is some hope for budging him, and I believe there's a degree of hope that Pres. Obama can be made to listen to reason on CAFOs and GMOs as well.

Constant vigilance is required! And a lot of long-term, difficult work.

Cynthia Price

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