Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, on February 24, 2009:
While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a "magnetic levitation" line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called "volcano monitoring." Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.
For something called "volcano monitoring"? Has Governor Jindal forgotten the 57 Americans who died when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980? Are all monitoring services that keep track of potential natural disasters "lard" in his mind? How much worse would hurricane Katrina have been had there been no warning? Or does he honestly believe that services which monitor potential natural disasters are only justified when they benefit his state?
Or is it more likely that his Republican Party handlers decided to try for a cheap shot, thinking that most Americans don't live near volcanos? Or that volcanic eruptions are so infrequent that they could get in a cheap shot and not make too many waves? Either way, if volcanic eruptions can be considered acts of God, then perhaps the Republican Party has now learned what the Almighty thinks of its recent behavior?
The irony of the Mt. Redoubt situtation is that it's happening Republican Barbie's home state.
This is what happens when a political party develops an unhealthy contempt for science, combined with an unhealthy contempt for the citizenry.