This story from Washington Monthly probably belongs on Deadspin's version of Crosstalk (or on Deadspin itself), but it's interesting for a couple of reasons. It's the story of how the Bush administration made a deal to allow the owner of the Washington NFL team to damage trees on national parkland so he could have a better view from his house, and then how the career of a highly-respected park ranger was ruined by people trying to hide that deal at all costs. The saddest thing is, all the people who made the deal and ruined the ranger's career they're all fine and either still have their jobs with the government or they've gotten even better jobs. But the Obama administration not only did nothing to root out the rats, they actually allowed those rats to continue actively working to destroy the ranger's reputation and life with trumped-up criminal and administrative charges that were all ultimately shown to be false. And no one has suffered any consequence from those various totally unwarranted serial prosecutions.
A brief excerpt from a very good article:
Two recent events further highlight [NFL team owner] Dan Snyder's imperiousness. The first is a renewed chorus of demands by everyone from Native American activists to the D.C. city council that the team change its inherently offensive name—to which Snyder last year responded, "NEVER—you can use caps."
The second is the settling last fall by the National Park Service (NPS) of a whistleblower complaint over a secret sweetheart deal Snyder extracted nine years ago to give his Maryland home an unobstructed view of the Potomac River. It was a small concession in the grand scheme of things, the kind that the rich and powerful frequently wheedle out of government, especially back then, during the presidency of George W Bush, when such favors were flowing like booze in a skybox. But its discovery set off a decade-long campaign of bureaucratic retribution over two administrations that nearly sent an innocent man to prison. The story of that little favor wonderfully (if depressingly) encapsulates the essential character of our times, in which average people who play by the rules are made to suffer by the blithe manipulation of those rules by the people at the top.
[photo via Washington City Paper online]