Drill, baby, drill
Keystone Politics isn’t surprised by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s “damning” report on the Department of Environmental Protection’s handling of gas-well inspections. Mr. DePasquale said “the DEP was underfunded, understaffed and inconsistent” in its regulation of Marcellus Shale activity.
Keystone says “you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist” to believe that the Corbett administration was doing a bad job on purpose: “The less DEP enforcement there is, the more polluters get to offload the costs of their filth and garbage onto the public and make more money. That is what being a Republican is all about. This is what they do when you elect them. Doesn’t anyone remember former Corbett DEP head Michael Krancer? That guy’s priors on natural gas regulation were interchangeable with a gas lobbyist’s.”
Amy Davidson of The New Yorker thinks Republican officeholders are getting carried away when it comes to kids coming over the border, with some “suggesting that the surge of immigrants is part of a plot.”
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, for instance, “who has been using the crisis to reassert himself as a national figure … said, ‘We either have an incredibly inept administration or they’re in on this somehow,’ invoking a theory that children were being lured into the country so that they would grow up to be Democratic voters …
“Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said, ‘Our continued existence is at risk with what’s going on at the southern border … And this administration wants to talk about other people having a war on women when they will not defend the women that are being sexually assaulted by illegal aliens in this country.’
“Republican congressmen and county sheriffs have referred to the children as possible predators, gang members and bearers of the sorts of diseases that might have been found in the holds of 19th-century ships — as anything, really, but children.”
Free to overdose
From a New York Times story on Missouri being the only state that doesn’t keep a prescription drug database to prevent people from buying drugs at different pharmacies and abusing them: “Welcome to Missouri — America’s Drugstore,” said Dr. Douglas Char, an emergency room physician in St. Louis. “We aren’t just allowing abuse, we’ve created a business model for dealers.”
The vast majority of legislators support a proposal to create one but it has been blocked by a small group of lawmakers led by state Sen. Rob Schaaf, a physician who argues that allowing the government to keep prescription records violates personal privacy. Mr. Schaaf said of drug abusers, “If they overdose and kill themselves, it just removes them from the gene pool. There’s some people who say you are causing people to die — but I’m not causing people to die. I’m protecting other people’s liberty.”
Hillary the resume
Andrew Sullivan at The Dish, under the headline “The Worrying Vacuity of Hillary Clinton,” said he tried to ignore the Hillary Clinton book tour but that, when he did pay attention, he found that “the Clintons are still self-pitying money-grubbers — $12 million in speaking fees since she left the State Department? — and now their offspring, exploiting her nepotistic advantage with all the scrupulous ethics of her parents, is continuing the grift.
“If you ask of Clinton what she’s fighting for, what she believes in, if you want to get her to disagree with you on something, good luck. Any actual politics right now would tarnish the inevitability of a resume-led coronation. That the resume has little of any substance in her four years as secretary of state does not concern her. She was making ‘hard choices,’ and if we cannot appreciate that, tant pis.
“I’d like to find a reason to believe she’s a political force who stands for something in an era when there is a real appetite for serious change. She could, after all, decide to campaign vociferously in favor of the [Affordable Care Act] this summer and fall (universal health care is, after all, one of her positions), but that might siphon money away from her foundation and candidacy. She could get out there and start framing a foreign policy vision. But, again, too risky. I see nothing that suggests a real passion for getting on with the fight — just the usual presumptions of a super-elite, super-rich and super-cocooned politician of the gilded age.”
Compiled by Greg Victor (firstname.lastname@example.org).