John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:

Here's to you, Anne Burford

Here is an old Bloom County strip:

Bloom County

Anne Gorsuch Burford was President Reagan's first Environmental Protection Agency administrator, and she was as devoted to protecting the environment as you would expect from someone who was appointed by a guy who said pollution was caused by trees. She resigned in 1983, after coming under criticism for the way the agency had handled the Superfund toxic waste cleanup program (and after being cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over certain documents to Congressional investigators). In 1984, Reagan appointed her to be chair of the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere, which made environmentalists unhappy, not that the Reagan administration gave a rat's patoot about environmentalists, but she also angered her supporters by saying publicly that the position to which she had been appointed was a "nothing-burger" and a "joke" that met three time a year and didn't do anything. (Which was probably true.) Both the House of Representatives and the Senate (which was controlled by Republicans at the time) passed resolutions calling on Reagan to withdraw the appointment, and ultimately she decided not to accept the appointment.

You may not have ever heard of Anne Burford before now, and even if you have you probably haven't thought about her recently. That's true of me as well, but I honor her legacy pretty regularly, because I use the word nothing-burger a lot, and it's due almost entirely to her having used it back in 1984. ("Almost" because it was actually Paul Slansky who introduced it to me, by quoting Burford in his brilliant and hilarious look back at the Reagan years, The Clothes Have No Emperor.) So here's to you, Anne Burford, for enlivening my personal lexicon by your inability to keep your mouth shut.
Tags: comic strips: bloom county, history, politics

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