WASHINGTON, D.C. (CAP) - Boxed into a corner by the courts and its own scientists, the Bush administration agreed last week to place the polar bear under the protection of the Secret Service. In making the announcement, President Bush said he was sensitive to the concerns of environmentalists and wants to see a thriving polar bear population as much as anyone.
"Believe me, I don't want anything to happen that would keep America's polar bears from being able to share their little bottles of Coca-Cola with the penguins, or anyone else they come across up there in Alaska, or wherever they are," he said.
"The experts say the polar bears need protection," continued Bush, "and nobody gives protection like these Secret Service guys, lemme tell ya. For one thing, they always make sure to take your keys away if you're tanked."
But Mike Dalfin, conservation director for the National Audubon Society, says garnering Secret Service protection is not much of a victory for the endangered polar bear.
"Most studies show that the polar bears are being threatened by dangerously shrinking ice floes, not assassination attempts," said Dalfin. "There's even less of a likelihood of polar bears being affected by counterfeiting or forgery of government checks or bonds."
Dalfin noted that his group wasn't in much of a position to complain, however, since any day that the EPA isn't knocking the National Audubon Society down and taking its lunch money has to be considered a pretty good one, he said.
Meanwhile, one Secret Service agent - who declined to be named, citing security reasons - said the bears have not taken well to the protection details assigned to them. "Frankly, whenever we get close to them they try to maul us," he said. "It's almost as bad as being assigned to President Clinton."
"Also, we've lost three agents when the ice floes they were standing on melted out from under them," he lamented. "It's ridiculous - my roommate at the academy got to work Jenna Bush's wedding, and I'm out here freezing my ass off." Then he was run over by a walrus.
The move has also caught the attention of former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, who explained, through a 90-minute PowerPoint presentation that he displayed through a projector powered by foot pedals, why providing secret service protection would be much less effective than regulating greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, power plants and other sources.
"About a million billion times less effective, in fact," he said. "And yes, I know a million billion is not really a number."
Gore also added that if he had been awarded the presidency when he won the popular vote in 2000, by now every single polar bear would be living in his or her very own Fortress of Solitude.
Still, President Bush declared the use of the Secret Service in this situation to be a step in the right direction for the polar bears. "We've also told Dick Cheney that he can't hunt them anymore," he noted, "especially the ones he has drugged and hobbled and released wearing blindfolds."
- CAP News Staff