WTF? I swear I was just going to ignore the guy, but really.
When Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal delivered the official Republican response to President Obama’s speech last night, he blasted elements of the economic stimulus package as “wasteful spending”– among them, “$140 million for something called ‘volcano monitoring.’”
“Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.,” Jindal said.
What was that all about? Well, Congress authorized some of that $140 million to be spent on volcano monitoring, but not all of it, ProPublica notes in a blow-by-blow of the economic recovery package. That line, ProPublica says, is directed to “U.S. Geological Survey facilities and equipment, including stream gages, seismic and volcano monitoring systems and national map activities.”
Just another Republican idiot. You don’t hear Democrats calling NOAA “wasteful spending.” See, here’s the thing–Louisiana is full of our fellow American citizens, and I’m happy the federal government funds research and prediction efforts regarding tropical storms and hurricanes. It’s a necessary and rational function of the government, just like having the USGS monitor volcanoes.
Good lord. Guess Jindal never heard of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, some 45 miles or so as the crow flies from my location. It was in the news and everything at the time.
UPDATE 11:15 PM PST– Now Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard, a retired military officer and no shrinking violet, has weighed in (via CNN. com:)
“Does the governor have a volcano in his backyard?” Royce Pollard, the mayor of Vancouver, Washington, said on Wednesday. “We have one that’s very active, and it still rumbles and spits and coughs very frequently.”
Pollard, a former Army officer who has served as Vancouver’s mayor for 14 years, said USGS equipment used to keep tabs on volcanoes is frequently damaged or destroyed. He said he wasn’t sure how many jobs the money could produce, but, “For us and the people who live closer to it than Vancouver, it’s important.”
“We lost lives the last time, and we could lose them again,” he said.