While grocery shopping, I often chuckle at (for instance) the myriad varieties of vegetable oil lining the shelves, proclaiming “No Cholesterol!” It’s vegetable oil, for crying out loud. Damn well better not have cholesterol. This sort of nonsense often sets me off on another tongue-in-cheek rant, remarking for the umpteenth time that Crisco ought to tout their product as caffeine-free and sugar-free while they’re at it. Why, they oughtta introduce a whole new line of “fill-in-the-blank-free” oils and shortenings (at a premium price, naturally) and even beat the competition to market with an ultra premium line Certified Free of Death Crystals. After all, why would one worry about saturated fats or trans fats now that we’re all threatened by Death Crystals? You don’t want your family eating Death Crystals, now, do you? Of course you don’t! And so on….
Eventually I find my wife again, hiding in frozen foods, pretending not to know me. I promise to be good, but then I notice that the frozen peas have no preservatives and I’m off on another rant.
Such misleading puffery is to be expected in the grocery store, and no less so in Washington, the very factory floor of crackpot ideas and political bullshit. Enter Kristi Noem, shameless asshat Republican Representative from South Dakota, who recently introduced a bill to protect farmers from the imaginary threat of an EPA crackdown on farm dust. Admittedly, EPA has tended in the past to be a bit a fussy about such minutiae as arsenic, lead, and asbestos, often over the wailing protests of ardent congressional supporters of such toxic pollutants. However, “coarse particulate matter” (less wonkily referred to as “dust”) was regulated without much controversy by EPA for more than twenty years until the technocratic quasi-Bolshevist liberal moonbats at the Bush EPA proposed regulating rural areas as well as urban areas. Farmers sent a posse of attorneys to shoot it out in court, losing in an appellate ruling a month after Obama was inaugurated. Clearly, it was all a Kenyan Colonialist Muslim Socialist conspiracy come to horrifying fruition.
Unaccountably, Obama blew his golden opportunity to destroy America, failing to unleash EPA storm troopers on unsuspecting farmers, and EPA was forced to resort to other as yet unspecified methods of destroying jobs. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson emphatically disavowed any intention to apply longstanding coarse particulate matter regulations to farms, adding that “we hope this action finally puts to rest the misinformation regarding dust regulation and eases the minds of farmers and ranchers across the country.” Laugh? I thought I’d die! Put misinformation to rest? That’s a good one, Lisa!
Needless to say, that’s when the fertilizer really hit the fan. Texas Rep. Ted Poe courted the credulous hayseed vote with comically histrionic conjectures: “Say Bessie the cow kicks up too much dust running over to your pickup truck at feeding time,” hypothesized Poe. “The EPA is going to fine you for Bessie’s misconduct.” Rep. Blake Farenthold, another dimwitted Texas blowhard, chimed in with “Where’s the EPA going to be next, checking under my bed for dust bunnies?”
Despite EPA’s sneaky tactic of making concrete, unqualified statements on the record in public forums, clearly they were secretly planning another imaginary job-killing initiative, this time to quell the scourge of dust bunnies and frisky livestock. Noem’s idiotic Farm Dust Regulation Prevention bill started picking up co-sponsors and supporters faster than her male cohorts in Congress could pick up hookers. Eventually, in a mostly party-line vote, the measure passed in the House, advancing to the Senate Inconsequential Nonsense Committee for further review and eventual shredding. Not to be outdone, President Obama has vowed to veto the doomed legislation if it ever reaches his desk, which it won’t.
Just when the symbolic victory hoedowns were getting under way, though, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said his organization was “disappointed” with the bill’s passage, describing it as “meaningless” and “unnecessary.” He said, “As EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has repeatedly said, both verbally and in writing to members of Congress, the EPA is not proposing to revise farm dust regulations. Despite this assurance, misinformation regarding potential dust regulation continues to spread across the country, creating unnecessary concern for farmers and ranchers. Congress should stop politicizing this issue and move on to passing meaningful legislation to help farmers, ranchers and rural communities.”
Come on, Roger! Who pissed in your wheat fields? Everyone knows that farm dust creates jobs, and House Republicans (and a few dumbass Democrats) have bravely fought to protect us from the imaginary threat of job-killing, farm-dust-stopping regulations (for a year, anyway. After that, Bessie can kick up all the dust she wants!). Not only that, they took it a step further and protected our God-given right to breathe coarse particulate matter from open-pit mining, lead smelters, and chemical and industrial facilities. Smell the freedom, Roger!
Despite the utter stupidity of the whole affair, it’s hard not to admire the audacity of Rep. Kristi Noem and her addled Congressional compatriots. Be honest, now. You would have thought Democrats were crazy if they had introduced the President Can’t Just Go And Invade Any Damn Country He Feels Like Act of 2000, but think how much grief it would have saved us later. Would it have been so hard to introduce a Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Prevention bill, to prevent the prevention?
By the way, anyone care for a smoke? Cholesterol-free, of course!
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