18 Jun 2009

Congestion Politics

A truck crashed into a convoy of farmers. Why?
Ryan Ferguson says the convoy was organized by farmers to protest the lack of water being allotted to the west side of the valley.


"Farmers out there are being denied by the state water to their farms, because of a little minnow," Sean Hannity said.


Hannity's guest was actor and comedian Paul Rodriguez, who has been active in water issues.

Rodriguez told Hannity he's confused by recent legal decisions keeping pumps off to protect delta smelt, while farmland and jobs, dry up.

"This is ridiculous, I don't know who's running this. I used to be a big supporter of President Obama but now I don't know what to think," he said.
This story has multiple, silly dimensions.
  1. Farmers are using political protests to try to get their way. Forget science or economics, they want the gommint to delivery THEIR water.
  2. Sean Hannity (a guy who never misses an opportunity to attack democrats) blames "the little fish" instead of the policies that brought these farmers subsidized water.
  3. Rodriguez thinks that his vote will make Obama "change his mind" about Delta exports when Obama has NOTHING to do with the policy. If he wants to blame someone, he should blame all of the special interests putting the Delta under strain.
Bottom Line: Protests may seem like a short-cut to a solution, but they neither fix the problem (overstressed Delta) nor resolve the issue for farmers (unsustainable farming).

Addendum: Rodriguez got in a fight with a guy. More importantly, the guy was saying "you have betrayed the people." Which people? I don't know, but Rodriguez owns farm land. That implies non-farm land owners (workers?) to me...


  1. For how much political commentators obsess over the economy, it's regrettable that they generally have a poor understanding of economics. What is more distressing to me, however, is that the listenership/viewership for these shows is huge and people get fed simplistic partisan analysis of complex issues, such that a large political base is misinformed (and polarized).

    Policymakers face an uphill battle implementing sound economic policy when their electorate espouses a contradictory view.

  2. Sean Hannity remains one of my least favorite people.

  3. A man has to take a Lifeflight to the hospital where he is in serious condition due to a dangerous and illegal protest by farmers upset about losing money, and Foxnews uses it as a chance to plug Hannity.


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