Originally posted on Iowa Environmental Focus:
For Halloween, Environment Iowa released a list of ten discouraging facts about how Iowa’s waterways are being harmed.
The list includes the increasing number of fish kills in Iowa, the large amounts of phosphorous and nitrogen entering the waterways and the small percentage of animal feeding operations with the required environmental permits.
Living in Iowa, a swing state with the first in the nation caucus, we’re used to getting the full court political press. Our mailbox is frequently near to overflowing with glossy print ads about one candidate or another, our doorbell rings with the arrival of hordes of volunteers, and our phone rings more than any other time of the year.
As active engaged voters, the effort is wasted on us as we’ll be voting for Democratic slate regardless. What does add the slightest bit of levity during this barrage of attention are the few misdirected mailings and robocalls.
For example, we got a call earlier today from Bill Clinton. Nice to hear from Bill–if it wasn’t a recording I would have thanked him for bringing up global warming in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. The thing is, he was urging us to get out and vote for Tammy Baldwin, the senate candidate from Wisconsin. Um, we have a 319 area code, I’m pretty sure there aren’t that many Wisconsin voters with out of state area codes.
Also got a call from Paul Ryan today. He went on and on and on about how he and Mitt Romney wouldn’t kick the can down the road, they would do their damnedest to destroy Medicare just as soon as possible. Okay, I might have read that last part into what he was saying. We have also gotten a number of mailings from the Romney campaign, all addressed to my wife… Should I be worried that there is something she isn’t telling me?
Clinton had Rwanda, Obama has the drones. Bill’s was a failure of inaction, Barack’s is an ongoing affront to thousands of innocents and our collective moral rectitude as Americans.
Good short piece in Slate today pointing out the hypocrisy in Gov. Chris Christie’s comments on people ignoring his orders to evacuate given his comments on the individual mandate at the center of Obamacare.
Sandy Socialists by William Saletan for Slate, Oct. 30, 2012
Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, was angry. Monday afternoon, as Hurricane Sandy bore down on his coastline, he berated people living on the state’s barrier islands “who refused to adhere to my mandatory evacuation order and said they were going to ride it out. … We’re putting other people in harm’s way now, too—the first responders—to get them out. So these decisions were both stupid and selfish.” The governor went on:
I asked you please to get off the barrier islands. But there are some towns in Atlantic and Ocean Counties that are only 50 percent evacuated … For those folks on the barriers: You’re putting other people in harm’s way as well. We already have rescues ongoing on the barrier islands. This is putting first responders in significant, significant danger, and it is not fair to their families for you to be putting them in that danger because you decided that you wanted to be hardheaded.
What’s odd about Christie and other Republican governors is that they recognize this principle only when a hurricane hits. When it comes to injury or disease, which we know will strike everyone on this planet, the Republican governors defend your right to ride it out. They oppose any requirement to buy health insurance. If you get sick, the rest of us will shell out to rescue you.
Romney had it right when he touted the mandate not as a government takeover but rather as individuals taking responsibility for themselves.
Here is the weather channel’s live stream of coverage of Hurricane Sandy:
I tried to get my coverage from CNN, but since I don’t subscribe to cable, I couldn’t stream their content.
While we look forward to the clean-up from this gargantuan storm, let’s all keep in mind what Mitt Romney has to say about FEMA:
Fun fact: the federal involvement in disaster recovery began with then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover taking charge of the response to the Mississippi River flood of 1927. From a piece by Kevin Kosar from the Congressional Research:
In short, the federal response was an executive branch response. President Calvin Coolidge created a quasi-governmental commission that included members of his Cabinet and the American National Red Cross. This commission encouraged the public to donate funds to the relief effort. It also gave Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover near-absolute authority to organize and oversee its response. Hoover used this authority to weave together federal resources, American National Red Cross volunteers, and the private sector to carry out the relief and recovery program.
Arlen Grossman with The Big Picture Report has a great piece here about the choice that we will make in November. Please click through, it’s well worth the read.