CONGRESSIONAL CHAIN-SAW MASSACRE

IF SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH GETS HIS WAY, THE LAWS PROTECTING AIR, WATER AND WILDLIFE MAY BE ENDANGERED

"Give them all [endangered species] a designated area and then blow it up. It sounds insane, but that's how insane the endangered-species people are."

--Sonny Bono, newly elected U.S. Representative from California

WHEN BONO TOSSED OFF THAT LINE during the fall campaign, he may have been merely poking fun at the save-the-planet folks, just as he used to trade put-downs with his old partner, Cher. But underneath the comic exaggeration was a serious message. The noises coming from Bono and many of his fellow Republican signers of House Speaker Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America" signal a radical shift in Congress's attitude...

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