The Clean Air Don't Bother To Act

« September 2011 »


All the GOP debates are, really. He should be hoping for as many of those as he can, because they're the only thing shoring up his fucking base right now. Of course, when you know exactly how bad even the best of your opponents are going to be, and know that the frontrunner's much, much, worse, that also gives you leeway to be a shitty president.

Which is how we end up with bullshit like the smog regulations.

The entire Republican party is currently running on a platform of eliminating federal regulations entirely. They phrase it in different ways based on their Perceived craziness Value, of course. Mitt Romney just says he's going to override all of Obama's regulations. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure Ron Paul has pledged to overturn every regulation, and replace it with a system wherein if someone is found to have broken a deal, they'll be forced to spin a wheel.

But those are the details. Across the board, Republicans speak with one, spiteful, stupid voice. REGULATIONS BAD! Regulations SMASH puny jobs! Regulations summon forth the angry god Uncertainty, whose powers are vast yet unknowable! This is because they are proud corporate whores, and their corporate johns want to set your drinking water on fire and take away your mountains so they can quadruple the size of their California houses.

If Democrats were the opposite of Republicans in all ways, they would be pointing out that regulations provide broader societal benefits, are a necessary check on free-market malfeasance, and can actually create jobs by forcing companies to spend money on new, safer, cleaner equipment. But Democrats are only different from Republicans in one way - they're not proud.

Here's the deal. Every five years, the EPA sets ground-level ozone standards. In 2008, the EPA recommended 60-70 parts per billion as a reasonable threshold for public safety, i.e. coughing your fucking lungs out from smog. The Bush administration, being proud whores, decided that ozone was tangy, and possibly a vitamin, and set it at 75.

So when Obama got into office, his new EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, said fuck the five years, the science says 60-70, the standard will be 60-70. They'll go into effect in July, but there'll be a two-decade window for implementation. Total cost to businesses nationwide? Less than $20 billion. Which, by the way, made it one of the most expensive regulations out there, and it's still a drop in the bucket compared to the overall size of even our shitty economy.

But Republicans have been hitting the "regulations kill jobs" talking point for a long time now, to take the focus away from the fact that it was actually eight years of Bush-era financial wildcatting that actually killed all the jobs. And since the jobs are still dead, Obama did what any reasonable, evidence-based, science-believing Democrat would do. He agreed with the Republicans.

So now you get to breathe what George W. Bush thought it was OK to breathe. But take heart in the knowledge that the increased uncertainty over whether the oxygen hitting your lungs is life-giving O2 or life-taking O3 is all in service of making sure corporate lobbyists are breathing easier.

And it's a good thing the Alamoron said any number of stupid-ass things tonight, while, by the way, his entire fucking state is ON FIRE, because here's how Cass Sunstein, Obama's regulatory chief, tried to justify this cave to not only business, which is understandable, but GOP framing on the role of government, which is completely fucking nonsensical. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"My view is that the Republican claim that ‘job-killing regulation’ is a redundancy is as ridiculous as the left-wing view that ‘job-killing regulation’ is an oxymoron. Both are silly political claims that have no place in a serious discussion."

Which is almost true. The Republican view is a silly claim that has no place in a serious discussion. The view that there's no such thing as a job-killing regulation, or a bad regulation, is also a silly claim. The difference is, every single Republican is making the first claim, and nobody is making that second claim because it's just some bullshit Cass Sunstein pulled out of his ass to try and pretend that continuing Dubya's pollution standards isn't a fundamentally Republican thing. Which it is.

But it's all OK, because the 2012 Republican frontrunner doesn't understand Social Security, Ponzi schemes, or, more likely, both. Plus, he's fast on track to presiding over the crispiest state in the Union. If Rick Perry makes George W. Bush look good, then he's gonna make Obama's version of George W. Bush look fabulous.