When will the madness end? When the Republicans dry up and blow away, of course.

In the Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union 2.0 address, by Bobby Jindal, governer of Louisiana, we heard this:

“Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.,”

The reason why volcanoes have been picked out of some speech writer’s anal sphincter zone is because they erupt and they wanted the metaphor. Or because Jindal believes he has no volcanoes in his state (but he would be wrong) or because of some other rhetorical reason. This is the same exact device as the bear paternity test complaint we heard spewing forth from the Hypocrite McCain and the Moron Palin during the campaign.

Maria Brumm is talking about it: “Something Called Volcano Monitoring”: Bobby Jindal Needs a Geology Lesson

Do Republicans (or moderates who don’t have a kneejerk anti-Republican reflex) also feel like he’s talking to the nation as though we were all kindergarteners? I was flabbergasted, but I don’t know how to properly account for my rather strong political biases here.

Scientific American is talking about it: Bobby Jindal and volcano monitoring: What was he talking about?

“Why does Bobby Jindal think monitoring volcanoes is a bad thing for the government to be doing?” Nick Baumann writes in Mother Jones. “There doesn’t seem to be any immediate way for private enterprise to profit from monitoring volcanoes (maybe selling volcano insurance?), but there is obviously a huge public benefit from making sure volcanoes are monitored: warning people if a volcano is going to erupt. Isn’t that obvious?”

OK, so clearly the Republicans are mean spirited knowledge-free hypocrites and Jindal is therefore a great spokesperson (or should I say spokesman) for them. And Maria and Sciam are right. But everyone is missing the true irony here.

The true irony is this: Remember New Orleans? Remember Katrina? Scientific research on disaster prediction predicted Katrina and its effects on New Orleans perfectly. PERFECTLY I SAY!!!! But those predictions were ignored (and continue to be ingnored).

But scientific monitoring does not always get ignored. The roads are laid out in many places with consideration for evacuation in the case of certain events. As Maria pointed out, large numbers of lives and dollars were saved from the effects of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo … which was a (say it with me now) a volcano … Because. Of. Scientific. Monitoring. And so on. Katrina is seen as an immeasurably large disaster of public policy because the clear warnings from the scientific research were ignored. Had they not been ignored, we would not be talking about this.

Teh Irony, then, is that the biggest disaster happened in the most third world of the states because of the boobs that run that place, and Bobby Jindal is Head Boob. And he is telling us what we need to do regarding scientific monitoring of potential natural disasters.

The metaphors! They are everywhere!

The fox is giving us a lesson on how to close the chicken coop. The farmer who left the barn door open is telling us about how to take care of your horses. The pot is explaining to the kettle how to clean off the soot. Chicken little is giving us a lesson on framing. The little Dutch boy is taking piano lessons. The Republican is telling us how to manage scientific priorities.

Oh, no, wait, that last one is not a metaphor. It is a TRAGEDY!!!!


  1. #1 Joshua Zelinsky
    February 25, 2009

    The problem isn’t the Republican party so much as it is anti-science elements of the party and the apparent unwillingness of the sane members of the party to stand up and say “no.” Until that changes, there won’t be much question whom I vote for.

  2. #2 Coturnix
    February 25, 2009

    The sane members have left the party by now, or were kicked out (some may not know it yet). What is left is boobs.

  3. #3 jake
    February 25, 2009

    Everyone knows that the demoncrats are in the pocket of Big Volcano.

  4. #4 Spiv
    February 25, 2009

    More evidence that the republican party simply doesn’t get it. They’re quite certain they lost so badly in the last election because they didn’t facebook enough, or because they didn’t fire up the base enough, or some other thing that circumstance wrought upon them.

    I may be giving the average Joe too much credit, but I suspect it’s because they were tired of the party f’king up the country, and positioning whackaloons to get elected who have no idea what actions result in good things vs bad.

    Bobby Jindal, the whackaloon who the republicans now think is the next to run for pres in 2012. Fantastic.

  5. #5 TechSkeptic
    February 25, 2009

    “Scientific research on disaster prediction predicted Katrina and its effects on New Orleans perfectly”

    A link right there would have been nice. The only prediction I heard was from one engineer who warned about the levees breaking.

    “the apparent unwillingness of the sane members of the party to stand up and say “no.” ”

    Yeesh, the exact same thing can be said of Dems.

    OK, I’m done pissing on the parade. I’m just sick of politicians pretending they understand science in the least. I can’t beleive the palin fiasco wasn’t enough for these idiots to realize that acting the zealot fool will get you no where.

    Bunch of racists (The reps)… “Look at us! We aren’t all old rich white guys, lets trot out this ignorant kid as our leader!”

  6. #6 iRobot
    February 25, 2009

    National Geographic had an issue on the levies, New Orleans and hurricanes years ago.
    As far as the Dems being the same, ever hear of the blue dogs? They go on and on about how they disagree with us DFH’s all the time.

  7. #7 D. C. Sessions
    February 25, 2009

    I can’t beleive the palin fiasco wasn’t enough for these idiots to realize that acting the zealot fool will get you no where.

    It got her onto the ticket. Anyone who can’t manage that much doesn’t matter anyway.

  8. #8 Sully
    February 25, 2009

    Uh, it was Democratic Party politicians who ignored the warnings about hurricanes and levies. Jindal is governor of Louisiania in large part because of that fact.

  9. #10 Greg Laden
    February 25, 2009

    Techskeptic, check this out:


    Sully, I did not say that Republicans ignored the levee issue. It was the absurd third world “government” that Louisiana has been engineered by the military industrial complex to maintain in order for the gulf oil resources to be extracted. And of course the republicans are largely behind that.

    The part about not getting the science … that is pretty much a Republican War on Science thing.

  10. #11 Silver Fox
    February 25, 2009

    Besides those few volcano links that didn’t go through, just see Chris’ new post at Highly Allochthonous for other geoblog links to the Jindal mess.

  11. #12 Crystal D.
    February 25, 2009

    What I say to people who feel the president is talking down to the country is to look to their left and right at the people around them. Enough said. 🙂

  12. #13 Joshua Zelinsky
    February 25, 2009

    Greg, the extremely screwed-up nature of the Louisiana government is due to many things and has been an issue for a well before New Orleans was a major oil port. That’s one you can’t blame on the Republicans.

  13. #14 Greg Laden
    February 25, 2009

    Yes, it dates to well back in time. But governments are for governing.

  14. #15 Jim Thomerson
    February 25, 2009

    I find facticity to be a powerful persuasive tool. Why do Republicans not use facticity? Is it that it is not available to them, or that it does not support thier arguments? If the first case is true, they are ignorant, If the second case is true, they are dishonest. Perhaps some mix of the two.

  15. #16 Rowan
    February 25, 2009

    not to excuse jindal, but i read further on his statements regarding the volcano monitoring as he was dissing it as not providing jobs. um, jindal, i would rather not have dead people if it can be prevented.

    as someone who looks out her bedroom window at three volcanoes, one of which killed 57 people in 1980 and still quakes daily, i would like to see monitoring continue with newer equipment and technology. but, hey, that’s just me!

  16. #17 george.w
    February 26, 2009

    The flooding of New Orleans was predicted in detail by National Geographic, Scientific American, and the New Orleans Times’ Picayune. And by Mister Bill. Since none of those are original research organizations I must assume they were aggregating scientific wisdom from somewhere else. Ergo, scientists and engineers.

    I kept the relevant NG and SA issues. Gripping reading.

  17. #18 Sully
    February 26, 2009

    Greg – “It was the absurd third world “government” that Louisiana has been engineered by the military industrial complex to maintain in order for the gulf oil resources to be extracted. And of course the republicans are largely behind that.”

    So – the military industrial complex, created by Republicans is responsible for engineering New Orleans in a way vulnerable to hurricanes, thus risking the primary port where this “complex” lands the oil!

    Before you comment further on levies and New Orleans I suggest you google Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Civilian Conservation Corps and New Deal, plus Huey Long, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton – all Democrats. You may also want to google Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican who coined the phrase “military industrial complex.” I haven’t checked those on facticity because, unlike many here, I’ve read a little about history before George W. Bush became president in what most of you obviously consider to be Year One.

    Amusing, but somewhat sad, when the fact based community gets to spouting “facts” without context.

  18. #19 Greg Laden
    February 26, 2009

    Republican who coined the phrase “military industrial complex.”


  19. #20 Sully
    February 26, 2009

    Eisenhower coined the phrase as a warning; but why did I expect you to understand that?

    Somehow the “fact based community” never seems to let the facts get in the way of its preconceptions. Life and politics are a bit more complex than they seem on the surface.

  20. #21 chris
    February 26, 2009

    not to excuse jindal, but i read further on his statements regarding the volcano monitoring as he was dissing it as not providing jobs.

    But he’s even wrong about that. The money is to be used by the USGS for a bunch of things, most of which involve either construction and maintenance projects, which provide jobs to the construction and maintenance workers who would do the work, or the purchase of upgraded equipment and materials for ongoing projects, including volcano monitoring. This provides jobs for the employees of those companies from which the equipment is purchased.

  21. #22 Greg Laden
    February 26, 2009

    Sully … by now you should understand that we factoids are pulling your leg. (I hate when I have to point that out).

  22. #23 Joshua Zelinsky
    February 26, 2009

    Sully, minor bit of advice: Greg is not ERV. If he puts something in all caps it probably is a joke.

  23. #24 Sully
    February 26, 2009

    I understand perfectly now. Everything you wrote in the original post and all of your comments were leg pulls. I commend you on your ability to maintain utter consistency of message.

  24. #25 Greg Laden
    February 26, 2009

    Actually you still don’t get it, but that’s OK.

    Love your web site, by the way. Put more spam on this site and you’ll be deleted.

  25. #26 Scarlett
    February 26, 2009

    But HOW is Volcano Monitoring part of the freaking stimulus???? This is absolutely insane that it was included in the STIMULUS BILL…..DUH… most of just don’t seem to understand that. It is not that is it not needed, it’s that it was in the freaking stimulus bill. Ya’ll need to turn off the “auto” button when it come to dissin the republicans and listen to wtf someone is saying regardless of R or D. This is why I’m an Independent. Ya’ll are just bickering idiots.

  26. #27 Stephanie Z
    February 26, 2009

    Scarlett, did you read Chris’s comment above? What makes you think anyone is on “auto”?

  27. #28 Sully
    February 26, 2009

    A censorious threat; and here I was enjoying our interchange. Did I perhaps drill too close to a nerve?

    Incidently, according to spamhouse.org “A message is Spam only if it is both Unsolicited and Bulk.”

    Thanks for the compliment re my blog. I’ll flatter myself that you have good taste as well as an interesting blog.

  28. #29 Greg Laden
    February 26, 2009

    well, perhaps you can explain why you use that blog address. Because it is kinda creepy

  29. #30 Sully
    February 26, 2009

    My first name is Sullivan. You know my last name because it’s in my email address. Back in the 90’s I wrote a column for a while for the local newspaper. The editor had Jim’s side, so he named my column “Sully’s Side.” I was occasionally concerned about “Sully” as a nickname until I realized that very few people have vocabularies beyond Dick and Jane. I expect you found it “kinda creepy” because you know “sully” as a verb.

    Your profile has me remembering the resume I got from a fellow who earned his B.A. at “Havard.” I posted it on the HR Dept bulletin board along with that of an Exec Secy whose resume extolled her “attention to detale,” after scissoring out his ID info. Sometime later I got a resume from a young lady who graduated “Magna Cum Lade” from Bryn Mawr. When I posted her resume on the board I learned that my boss, a Bryn Mawr grad, was not amused; which amused me no end.

  30. #31 the real fack checker
    March 1, 2009

    Sully, light’n up, y’all. Greg is a friendly, and well aware of facks. Rlax, njoy th bantr, and study up on pronoun agreement, re; first second and thid person pronouns. Here is an xample of what NOT to say:

    “Sully’s Side contains musings about anything that strikes my fancy…”

  31. #32 Sully
    March 3, 2009

    fack checker – thanks for sharing your valid error catch; but I have to think you have a lot of time on your hands.