Tuesday, January 25, 2011

She Turned Me Into A Newt!

This is my first foray into a style that several places, such as Gin And Tacos and World O'Crap, do way better than I ever will. But it looks like fun, so I'll give it a try. Those sites are always funny in their commentary. I might be funny, maybe even intentionally (?!?), but mainly I'll just share my reactions. 

Right-wing idea man Newt Gingrich spoke today in Iowa about his belief that the EPA needs to be eliminated and replaced. Don't ask me why it is necessary to eliminate it before fixing it, because I'm not as smart as Newt.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called Tuesday for the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency, which he wants to replace with a new organization that would work more closely with businesses and be more aggressive in using science and technology.
For starters, I think the word "Disgraced" should always precede the words "Former House Speaker" when referring to the man.  His is a solid idea, because Lord knows the Federal Government doesn't work closely enough with business these days. I'm not sure what aggressive use of science and technology looks like, but it brings this to mind:

In an interview with The Associated Press, Gingrich said the EPA was rarely innovative and focused only on issuing regulations and litigation.
In other words, doing its job. The EPA is there to administer the environmental laws passed by Congress. It isn't Livermore Lab. Innovation is the province of the private sector. The EPA is there to help make and enforce rules that curb the damage that the "innovation" of things like factory farming lead to. 
"What you have is a very expensive bureaucracy that across the board makes it harder to solve problems, slows down the development of new innovations," Gingrich said.
The EPA's requested budget for all of 2010 is $10.5 billion. I was unable to find the requests for hamstringing problem solving or ball-and-chaining innovations in the budget. I'm not sure how he defines "expensive," but that ain't much, given the size of this country and the broad range of issues the EPA is charged with addressing. I'll also point out that if slowing innovation means not destroying the environment, then I'm willing to take that trade. And so were a majority of Americans until the recent economic down-turn.
Gingrich, who has acknowledged that he's mulling a run for the Republican presidential nomination, was in Iowa to talk to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. He also met privately with Republican legislators, often a sign in Iowa that people are laying the groundwork for a campaign. The state has the nation's first presidential caucuses.
Meeting with Republican legislators is also often a sign that you are one of Satan's minions. Speaking of signs in Iowa, this:

Gingrich, who has made several visits to Iowa recently, said the EPA was founded on sound ideas but has become a traditional Washington bureaucracy. Gingrich had previously mentioned his desire to change the EPA, but Tuesday's explanation was the first time he made a specific proposal for replacing the agency, Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said.

I thought Newt, being a conservative, liked traditional things. Also, Newt is famous for having the desire to change things. Like wives.

"We need to have an agency that is first of all limited, but cooperates with the 50 states," Gingrich said.

Methinks Newt has the whole "Federalism" thing backwards. The States, where the Federal Government has authority, cooperate with the Feds. It is that whole "supreme law of the land" thing. And what in the FSM's name is the significance of calling for the agency to be "limited?" Is he suggesting it is now some kind of unrestrained Godzilla-like Tokyo-smashing monster? Oh, yes, that's right. Buzzwords. Where would modern politics be without empty phrases and dog whistles? Oh, and speaking of empty phrases...
"The EPA is based on bureaucrats...
Bureaucrats, one of my personal favorites. Goodness knows you won't find any of THEM in the private sector.
...centered in Washington...
They are centered in Washington because that is where the Federal Government is. Did he not notice this during his time in that town?
...issuing regulations and litigation...
An agency issuing regulations and following up on them with the law? The horror!
and basically opposing things."
Opposing things: The stock-in-trade of the Republican Party since someone, hmmm, I should know this, was (now Disgraced Former) Speaker.
EPA spokesman Brenden Gilfillan in Washington declined to comment on Gingrich's statements.
 Brenden was too busy ruining our prosperity and coddling hippies to come up with a response.
Gingrich denied his proposal would result in environmental damage, saying he would replace the EPA with what he called the Environmental Solution Agency.
Oh, his proposal won't cause environmental damage. Proposals don't cause environmental damage. Businesses who would control the proposed Agency, well, that's a different matter. Incidentally, Gingrich's first stab at a name, the "Environmental Destruction Agency" didn't test so well in focus groups. Nor did the second try, the "Environmental Final Solution Agency." Third time's a charm, though.
"I think you have an agency which would get up every morning, very much like the National Institutes for Health or the National Science Foundation, and try to figure out what do we need to do today to get a better environment that also gets us a better economy," he said.
After taking a leak and having a nice breakfast, of course. Maybe even make the bed first. I believe a charge account at the D.C. Starbucks would help.
Gingrich also said his proposed agency would pursue the development of a clean coal and rewrite regulations governing the development of small nuclear plants.
What about a proposed agency for pursuing unicorns and fairies? Because they are about as real as clean coal. And much more important to children. Think of the children!
"There's a whole new emerging technology that allows you to build smaller nuclear plants, but all of our rules were designed for very complex, very expensive systems," he said.
Because we all know size is the determining factor in the complexity and expense of nuclear power plants. And goodness knows the EPA is too busy battling Mothra and Hedorah The Smog Monster to re-write the rules. Actually, the Smog Monster thing makes sense...
Gingrich's anti-Washington, pro-business theme was designed to appeal to the conservatives who dominate Republican precinct caucuses, which traditionally launch the presidential nominating process. Iowa's next presidential caucus is Feb. 6, 2012.
Gingrich also used a "Red Dawn" theme, sporting a shotgun, wearing a fur hat, and randomly shouting "Wolverines," because this too appeals to conservatives.
"The level of control that Washington bureaucrats want to extend over topics they don't understand and communities they don't live in is wrong," he said.
I too prefer local bureaucrats who don't understand things. It is also obvious to anyone who thinks about it that any non-locally residing government is wrong. That's why Newt is an anarchist.
"Having an attitude of getting up every morning and trying to stop the economy is just a very destructive attitude."
Newt's off-topic attack on current Republican Congressional members remains unexplained.

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