Bald eagles have made such a comeback in recent years that there’s a good chance they’ll be taken off the endangered species list by the end of the year, reports the New York Times. Also of note: Only two states lack a nesting pair of the birds. One of them is Rhode Island, which is so small it’s easy to overlook if you’re an eagle. The other is Howard Dean’s home state. I can’t help but think the eagles are trying to make a political statement. Also, the eagle’s success is part of a long-term trend, so the Bush administration doesn’t deserve any special praise for the good news. But imagine if the reverse were true, and eagles were suddenly placed on the endangered list after a steady decline. The story would be on front pages everywhere and leading the TV news as another example of Republican hostility to conservation.