Vice President Cheney To Dedicate Grand Teton Visitor Center

Sen. Craig Thomas long was an advocate for the national park system.

If you're planning to be in Grand Teton National Park on Saturday, you'll be sharing the park with the vice president of the United States, the Department of Interior secretary, and the National Park Service director. All will be at Moose to dedicate the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.

It's hard to say whether Dick Cheney, Dirk Kempthorne and Mary Bomar would have turned out for the dedication had the visitor center not been named after U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas, who died suddenly earlier this summer from complications in his fight with leukemia. That the three are crossing the country to honor the Republican from Wyoming is truly a tribute to the senator, who was a staunch advocate of the national park system and long campaigned for greater funding for the National Park Service.

Also expected to speak at the dedication are the senator's widow, Susan; Grand Teton Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott, and; U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, also a Wyoming Republican.

The 22,000-square-foot visitor center has long been needed at Grand Teton, as the Moose location is the main entry into the park. As a result, the visitor center there attracts large crowds of visitors searching for information on the park, books and gifts, campsites, and backcountry permits.

Dedication of the $18.5 million center is scheduled for 10 a.m., and if you're planning to attend it's recommended that you arrive between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and carpool if at all possible.

Comments

The irony of Tricky Dick Cheney, lackey to any business interest who can even slightly smell cash in the air, taking a photo op at the Grand Tetons - as if he gives a moose's butt about land if you can't drill, mine or blast a road through it... well, the bitter irony is not lost on most of us.

That the memory of this august Senator (one who advocated for public lands in a state that often fights against such a stand) will be shamelessly used for such a cynical posture makes my skin crawl.

Shame on you, Dick Cheney. Stay in your cave and leave the parks alone.

I'd like to quote you from a previous post, Glenn...."There's certainly nothing wrong with passion (see my original post). But when passion and outspokenness becomes personal, it can change the debate from something constructive and problem-solving to something merely mean." I looked really hard at this post, and couldn't find the constructive part, or the problem-solving part.

Obviously you don't respect Dick Cheney..I'm always disgusted by people that can't respect the office, however.

Snowbird06
Dennis, in all due respect, why should we respect Mr. Cheney and his administration when they make back room deals with the oil, gas and utility companies without public oversight.
It's quite obvious that Mr. Cheney could careless how majestic the Grand Tetons look...it's about rape and pillage that concerns many Americans about the Bush & Cheney public land grab. In regards to Sen. Craig Thomas, perhaps one of the better republicans who had some sympathy for the NPS.

You misunderstand my past post, Dennis. I'm referring to attacking the personalities of the debaters. For instance, your saying that I disgust you. I disagree with your stance on Dick Cheney, but you don't disgust me. I think you're wrong about what I'm saying, but I'm not attacking you directly. I'm simply disagreeing with you.

As for those in public office, we as free Americans should always critique them and call them into question (read your Thomas Jefferson, your Thomas Paine or your John Adams for details). There isn't a thing I said in my Cheney post that doesn't point to that man's immoral and money-centric public stance. I don't know the man personally. I can only judge his position based on his actions. And man, his actions blow.

You also misunderstand my position on the office of the Vice Presidency. I have great respect for the office. It's Mr. Cheney that does not. He has done everything he can to abuse the public trust and his power in office and deserves immediate impeachment. In fact, impeachment isn't enough for a man who has committed treason during war time. There was a time when that called for more dire punishment.

Here's what's constructive in my post: People, don't believe in sound bites. A dragon showing up in front of the sheep's pen doesn't make him pro-sheep.

Here's what's problem-solving about my post: Let's actually start calling our public servants to account for their illegal and immoral actions and stop handing our public lands over to the highest bidders.

(PS. It is extremely ironic that those with historically the strongest vitriolic diatribes against the "other side" are always the ones who leap to the "you-have-no-respect" wagon when the other side argues back. It's an old tired political tactic and I'm here to tell ya the "other side" ain't gonna take it anymore.)

Snowbird06
Very well put Glenn, very well put...you couldn't of express it better!

There does seem to be a double standard here.

A previous comment ("or the protection/management of national parks should somehow be pried from the talons of vultures who circle Capitol Hill, and the reigns transfered to a non-governmental organization.") got the response: ("This serves my point exactly, though. By putting the commentary outside civility, by making the argument about the arguer and by using tones that beg for irrational, emotional response, you cease the flow of creative ideas altogether.")

Does saying "shame on you" to the veep and telling him "stay in your cave" encourage the flow of creative ideas?

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Reform the National Park Service!
http://NPS-reform.blogspot.com

Yes, Frank, it does. When speaking to a public servant who no longer serves the public and is acting vampiric the best language to use is vampire-speak. I would never use that language with you or other commentators. In this case the issue IS the VP and his immoral, illegal actions and I am attacking the issue here... not you or any other commentator.

My comment "this serves my point exactly" was not in reference to that quoted comment of yours, but in your insistence to personally attack other commentators rather than attacking the issue. Somehow you are not seeing the distinction. Attack the issue, not other commentators.

My "insistence to personally attack other commentators": I apologize if anyone has felt personally attacked by me. Often, I feel that I am mostly under fire (if you look at the record, you'll see others personally attacking me and telling me they'll pay for my move to Canada). Under attack, I feel the urge to defend myself. I apologize for falling for the bait. However, I think some confuse attacking an individual's logic and experience (or lack thereof) and challenging an individual's bias with attacking the individual. Look through the last few weeks of comments and you won't find me calling other people names or otherwise attacking the individual.

I look forward to more constructive debate on the issues and hope we can all thicken our skins a little because debate sometimes get a bit heated.

Disgust with government and the corrupt politicians of every political leaning is understandable. As for the VP's trip, if we don't want the executive branch using the parks for political gain (photo op), we must separate government/politics and park management.

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Reform the National Park Service!
http://NPS-reform.blogspot.com

Hang in there Frank. I think you're being more than civil.

Glen,

You're not really suggesting what I think you're suggesting with this comment about the Vice President, are you? "In fact, impeachment isn't enough for a man who has committed treason during war time. There was a time when that called for more dire punishment."

And you're insinuating my post was "vitriolic"? That's rich.

Dennis Patrick

To update you, anti-war protesters plan on being at the Visitor's Center ceremony in Grand Teton to protest Cheney and the war. They have some art to display but promise that it's not phallic, as had apparently been rumored.

You can read about it in the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World

More stories now that this has happened:

8/12/07 Cheney leads dignitaries in dedication of Teton Center (by Whitney Royster Casper Star-Tribune)
8/12/07 War protesters march on Cheney's home in Wyoming (by Gil Brady New West)--no word on whether protests waited for Cheney to return to his home; Wolfowitz and Negroponte especially hate that
8/12/07 Thomas center opens up to acclaim (AP sotry in Billings Gazette)
8/11/07 Vice President Dick Cheney dedicates new visitor center (by Kristy Kircher KIFI--ID)

Here is a transcript of Cheney's remarks

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World

"Protesters march on Cheney's home"...
"You leftists are truly disgusting...get a frickin' job and maybe YOU can afford a home!!! Maybe the VEEP can hold target practice...LOL!!
Oh, and moderator...please get a handle on the leftists here spewing hate...this blog is descending into great depths....

Right on, Rachel.
The leftists in this blog don't even deserve our parks! They really need to move to Canada or some third-world hell-hole, and maybe they'll be more grateful.

A couple more stories out today:

8/13/07 Protesters challenge vice president, war in Iraq (by Amanda H. Miller Jackson Hole News & Guide)--effigy of Cheney toppled
8/13/07 Cheney lauds Thomas, center (by Cory Hatch Jackson Hole News & Guide)

one opinion piece also mentions this:

8/12/07 What an eventful weekend (by State Rep. Keith Gingery in Planet Jackson Hole blogs)--Gingery is a Republican from Jackson, WY

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World

One more story lagged in on this today. As a grassroots organizer, 200 is no insignificant number for an impromptu protest; we would be very happy with that number for a local protest here (even though more people live inside just the city of Washington than in all of Wyoming); given the summer population of Jackson, this represents about 1 in a 100 people there; in DC, that translates to about 6,000 people (and actually more than twice that given the metro area and visitation - which I took into the Jackson figures). Only once did we as local anti-war organizers (as opposed to national organizers) get that kind of percentage, and that was at the counter-inaugural in 2005. This is something else altogether. There are a lot of advantages organizing outside of Washington - too many to go into right now - but on Cheney's home turf in front of his home, that's not an insignificant barometer of how upset people are in the Jackson area.

It's interesting that there was an anti-war theme to this as well; you don't see an environmentalist theme. One of the problems in the various movements opposed to the Administration is an inability to communicate and organize across issues. Even so, if I were on the ground, I bet I would have seen an interesting cross-section of interests. Yet, at the organizing level, something else is at work. Whoever these organizers are, they have money we never had to be able to put full page ads in two Jackson newspapers.

There are a lot of interesting subtexts; I wish I could have been on the ground to experience the ins and outs of it because it's a whole world of intrigue and politics unto itself. One paper said that one of the co-organizers is in fact a Republican. But, you can get little sense of the organizing process from a newspaper and whoever served as group spokesperson. These groups can have all kinds of organizing means and ways of dealing with the media. Given the speakers and the march process, it seems like it lended itself to a more mainstream approach (an effigy of Cheney may seem radical, but the same event had Democratic office holders speaking) - anyhow, I could speculate and comment on and on. It makes me excited to get involved at some level either with a group like this (if it is viable and open) or with a different affinity group working in solidarity.

8/14/07 Protesters show up in force near Cheney home (by Whitney Royster Casper Star-Tribune)

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World