Your Government Under Republicans

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

Ash Spill Shows How Watchdog Was Defanged

RALEIGH, N.C. — Last June, state employees in charge of stopping water pollution were given updated marching orders on behalf of North Carolina’s new Republican governor and conservative lawmakers.

“The General Assembly doesn’t like you,” an official in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources told supervisors called to a drab meeting room here. “They cut your budget, but you didn’t get the message. And they cut your budget again, and you still didn’t get the message.”

From now on, regulators were told, they must focus on customer service, meaning issuing environmental permits for businesses as quickly as possible. Big changes are coming, the official said, according to three people in the meeting, two of whom took notes. “If you don’t like change, you’ll be gone.”

But when the nation’s largest utility, Duke Energy, spilled 39,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River in early February, those big changes were suddenly playing out in a different light. Federal prosecutors have begun a criminal investigation into the spill and the relations between Duke and regulators at the environmental agency.

This is how Republicans “govern.” We see it here in Tennessee and everywhere Republicans are put in charge. This is what they do. Defang the regulators and those charged with oversight under the guise of “creating jobs,” then when the inevitable happens and and families are forced to truck in their drinking at personal expense, Republican throw up their hands and say, “See! We told you so! We told you government can’t do anything right!”

It’s hard to feel sorry for the very people who keep voting for this nonsense in the first place because they buy into those ridiculous free market fairy tales. Except the sad thing is, we all end up paying.

Privatize gains, socialize losses. It’s the Republican way.


Filed under ash spill, environment, Republican Party

8 responses to “Your Government Under Republicans

  1. “It’s hard to feel sorry for the very people who keep voting for this nonsense in the first place because they buy into those ridiculous free market fairy tales. ”

    It’s impossilbe for me to feel sorry for them. I think that they are irresponsible assholes in an area where resposnsibilty costs NOTHING but the time taken to find out that lies they’re applauding on their way to the voting booth are coming out of the same box as ALEC’s. Fuck ’em. They want their gunz, their freedumb and their Wholly Babble but when the shit hits the fan they SCREAM for help from the gummint.

    I wonder how they’d react if they found out that all of the potable water carriers had affirmative action and hirin’ teh GAY as parts of their corporate policy

  2. greennotGreen

    Recently, John Cole at Balloon-Juice was writing about how much energy it takes to hate, and how much better life is when you let go of fear and envy – something along that order. But i’ts really hard for me not to fucking hate Republicans! What are the goals of progressives? To make life better for everyone, to take care of the planet and the people on it. What are Republicans’ goals? To accumulate more wealth for themselves and their friends. Can they really, really truly believe that cutting support systems out from under struggling families is going to help them in the long run? That companies run by boards of directors who don’t live in your communities will care about the health of your communities more than (or even as much as) their profits?

    No, these are bad, bad people, and we have to do everything we can to deny them the power to keep hurting us and the rest of the world.

  3. Mary Wilson

    Indeed. YOU guys are on to it. On Dec. 28, 2008, the TVA spilled millions of gallons into two of our East TN Rivers. TVA handled this huge man-made disaster almost the same as Duke…BUT we had a super group of young activists who showed up on site to help the victims get emergency medical care because TVA refused to help them at all. our TDEC was useless, and even the EPA came here set up a powerless ‘team’ to monitor the clean up. There were 2 Federal hearings HERE, But after promising to follow up…the clean up dragged out over 3 years, people lost their homes, some are STILL sick, and finally, about a year ago, it was decided by the ‘powerful, i.e. TVA, decided to leave the rest of the toxic sludge IN the bottom of these rivers…stating that it would be too ‘cumbersome to dredge because it would SPREAD this toxic waste.

  4. Pingback: You Can’t Make This Stuff Up | From Pine View Farm

  5. I believe that this may be related to the last article that I read in a printed copy of the Los Angeles Times February 13th. The article that I read was talking about a river. The most significant levels were very near the spill, amounting to several feet of sludge on the river bottom. Even several miles downstream, the sludge covered the bottom up to five or six inches. That’s a lot of sludge.

    I will never forget when you posted the video of the two men canoeing through the horrible sludge in some kind of lake or estuary in Tennessee some years ago. You should link to it again. It’s the best, most accurate video that exists.

    By their callous and criminally conspiratorial response to the latest incident, I do not believe that any thinking individual can honestly believe that the republican party, at the very least as expressed in Tennessee, is not the very party of the devil himself, diametrically opposed to all that is good, wholesome and holy.

    • It was probably this one. The Emory River outside the Kingston Fossil Plant. In December 2008 over one billion gallons of coal ash sludge busted through a damn and flowed into the Emory River in East Tennessee. We’ve been paying for it ever since. It was worse than the Exxon Valdez, worse than the BP oil spill, and got a fraction of the coverage.

      I covered the event extensively when it happened and in the months following.