Water You Up To, Obama?

President Obama is set to release new clean water rules today, in a move that will drive Republicans crazy, because the concept of clean drinking water is clearly Marxist dogma.

The Obama administration is expected in the coming days to announce a major clean water regulation that would restore the federal government’s authority to limit pollution in the nation’s rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands.

Environmentalists have praised the new rule, calling it an important step that would lead to significantly cleaner natural bodies of water and healthier drinking water.

But it has attracted fierce opposition from several business interests, including farmers, property developers, fertilizer and pesticide makers, oil and gas producers and a national association of golf course owners. Opponents contend that the rule would stifle economic growth and intrude on property owners’ rights.

Republicans in Congress point to the rule as another example of what they call executive overreach by the Obama administration. Already, they are advancing legislation on Capitol Hill meant to block or delay the rule.

Republicans are at this point so utterly ridiculous that they are relegated to screaming about how the federal government supplying safe drinking water (when multiple states are suffering from the worst drought in centuries, mind you) is worthy of a Second American Revolution.

“Under this outrageously broad new rule, Washington bureaucrats would now have a say in how farmers, and ranchers, and families use their own property,” said Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming and the chief author of the Senate bill.

“It would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate private property just based on things like whether it’s used by animals or birds, or even insects,” he said.

“This rule,” he added, “is not designed to protect the traditional waters of the United States. It is designed to expand the power of Washington bureaucrats.”

Barrasso is full of nonsense, like every other Republican opposed to this. When American corporations are polluting our streams, lakes and rivers and leaving hundreds of thousands without potable water for weeks at a time, maybe the concept of tougher regulations is an idea well overdue.

Meanwhile, Republicans are screaming about how anyone who owns land is going to have to have EPA permits for puddles on their properties. The idiocy is insulting.

Makes a guy want to go have a drink or two.  Of course, you need clean water for that, too.

83 replies
  1. 1
    Elizabelle says:

    Glad to see Obama out front on this.

    Clean and adequate water supply is def on the public radar screen.

    Let the GOP and special interests look like the troglodytes they are.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    The idiocy is insulting.

    So you’re saying the rule will be thrown out by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision?

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    The traditional waters, wtf, does that even mean?

  4. 4
    Ryan says:

    @JPL: Precious Bodily Fluids? I think that traditional waters is what it means.

  5. 5
    debbie says:

    I hope he’ll say that his next task will be to clean up regulation of pipelines. The spokesperson for the company dealing with the current spill stated that the number of citations received (175) is “the norm” for the industry. That needs to change.

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    @Ryan: Traditional seems to be the new code word.
    I assumed that he meant that a union between rivers and streams or something.

  7. 7
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Elizabelle: Unfortunately, Republicans can block anything President Obama proposes. That’s why we can’t have good things.

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    The Vox article about nonpotable water was troubling. Water that you cannot even boil to make safe. That can cause liver damage and other toxicity, and toxins slipping past modern water systems.

    Fixing the (recurring) problem will take money, infrastructure spending, and getting farmers to reduce phosphorus runoff through better practices. All methods beloved of conservative politicians.

  9. 9
    srv says:

    including farmers, property developers

    Driving small farmers and developers who can’t afford the price of regulatory capture out of business. Great job, liberals.

    @debbie: Expanding the federale quota system will no doubt create more jobs.

  10. 10
    Elizabelle says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Yup. But make them pay a price. The oldsters parked in front of Fox News might not notice, but I think younger voters will. Which group does climate change and sustainable environmental practices register with?

  11. 11
    Xantar says:

    But it has attracted fierce opposition from several business interests, including farmers, property developers, fertilizer and pesticide makers, oil and gas producers and a national association of golf course owners.

    So real salt of the earth types, then.

  12. 12
    Elizabelle says:

    Last paragraph of the NY Times story:

    In its protest of the rule, the American Farm Bureau Federation started a social media campaign, using the Twitter hashtag #DitchTheRule, to urge farmers and others to push the E.P.A. to abandon or revamp the rule. The E.P.A., in response, created a campaign with the hashtag #DitchTheMyth, urging people to speak out in favor of the rule. But some legal experts contend that campaign might have tested the limits of federal lobbying laws, which prohibit a government agency from engaging in grass-roots lobbying for proposed policies or legislation.

    I like the #Ditch the Myth idea. Could apply that to a LOT of issues.

  13. 13
    PurpleGirl says:

    I’ve inadvertently watched an episode or two of Boomtowners (on the Smithsonian Channel). It’s about the boomtowns of Wyoming because of oil production from fracking. They are using up a huge amount of water. I wonder how the good congresscritter will feel, if one day he and everyone else in Wyoming can’t drink or use water due to contamination.

  14. 14
    Alex says:

    @Ryan Yes, whatever happened to conservatives who wanted to protect our precious fluids?

  15. 15

    “Under this outrageously broad new rule, Washington bureaucrats would now have a say in how farmers, and ranchers, and families use their own property,” said Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming and the chief author of the Senate bill.

    You take the King’s money to subsidize your crops and provide farm insurance, you use the King’s land at low subsidized cost to graze your cattle, you have a costly hand out bill renewed by the government every fucking year giving you more money, you can kindly shut the fuck up when you start complaining about how the King’s new rules are an infringement on your freedum.

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    anyone who owns land is going to have to have EPA permits for puddles on their properties.

    Welp, there goes the water garden I’ve been planning. Thanx, Obama.

  17. 17
    Elizabelle says:

    “It’s going to cause a nightmare for farmers,” said Don Parrish, the senior director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation.

    “Our members own the majority of the landscape that’s going to be impacted by this,” he said. “It’s going to make their land, the most valuable thing they possess, less valuable. It could reduce the value of some farmland by as much as 40 percent. If you want to build a home, if you want to grow food, if you want a job to go with that clean water, you have to ask E.P.A. for it.”

    I have little sympathy for Parrish or his members. Look what a nightmare farmers in California’s central valley are facing.

    Short-term profit (or cost avoidance) making longterm problems more extreme.

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    Senator/Physician/Blowhard John Barasso of Wyoming:

    “Under this outrageously broad new rule, Washington bureaucrats would now have a say in how farmers, and ranchers, and families [not stated: “and corporations”] use their own property,” said Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming and the chief author of the Senate bill.

    “It would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate private property just based on things like whether it’s used by animals or birds, or even insects,” he said.

    “This rule,” he added, “is not designed to protect the traditional waters of the United States. It is designed to expand the power of Washington bureaucrats.”

    The EPA is being sensible, actually. Protect the water quality before it flows into the larger bodies of water, making them tougher and more expensive to clean up.

    And aren’t we talking major agribusiness here?

    Animals, birds and insects are very good environmental indicators, too.

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    Barasso’s whingeing:

    “Washington bureaucrats would now have a say in how farmers, and ranchers, and families use their own property…”

    Notice he did not say “corporations.” Not in there, at all. It’s the little guys, and families.

  20. 20
    boatboy_srq says:

    @JPL: That, obviously, refers to such critical bodies as the Gulf of Mexico and Ohio River. The GOTea must think that all water for human consumption has to be purchased from Nestle.

  21. 21
    Patrick says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    You take the King’s money to subsidize your crops and provide farm insurance, you use the King’s land at low subsidized cost to graze your cattle, you have a costly hand out bill renewed by the government every fucking year giving you more money, you can kindly shut the fuck up when you start complaining about how the King’s new rules are an infringement on your freedum.

    Amen!

  22. 22
    boatboy_srq says:

    Could someone unmoderate me (comment #19)? Three links. FYWP.

  23. 23
    Betty Cracker says:

    Here’s a key quote from the NYT report:

    “We could spend a lot of money to massively treat the water that we drink, but it makes a lot more sense to protect the source,” Ms. Ouzts said.

    In issue after issue, Republicans have demonstrated that their “party of fiscal responsibility” branding is a steaming crock of shit. They don’t give a shit how much we have to spend downstream to clean up the mess as long as they can deliver the goodies to wealthy individuals and corporate interests upstream.

    Same thing with healthcare. In Florida, the Republicans want the feds to continue funding indigent care in the ER to the tune of billions each year instead of enrolling the working poor in health plans via Medicaid expansion and saving money over the long haul by bending the cost curve. It doesn’t make sense from a cost perspective — let alone the reduction in human suffering — but they don’t give a shit.

  24. 24
    Mike in NC says:

    When will the media ask Cliven Bundy what he thinks?

  25. 25
    Face says:

    At this point, the typical GOP response to anything Obama does is so full of bullshit and hyperbole, I’m just impressed that Barr-asshole’s response did not have Hitler, Nazi, or “worse than slavery” mentions. That qualifies as an improvement.

  26. 26
    Valdivia says:

    @Ryan:

    you got there before I did. Exactly my thought when I read that.

  27. 27
    Big ole hound says:

    Any farmer or business who takes any money whatsoever from any government branch must live by these new rules. Money talks and bullshit walks. Just make em all drink the water from their streams or maybe eat the fish if there are any.

  28. 28
    waspuppet says:

    Never forget that the number of people who voted for John Barasso to be in the U.S. Senate would have placed him a distant third in a race for mayor of New York.

    Yet somehow Barasso is a very important voice that deserves to be listened to on this issue. I wonder why that is. (Just kidding; I know why that is.)

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    “party of fiscal responsibility”

    I give you the Governors of Fiscal Responsibility ™ running for President. Of course, a complete list would have to include Rick Snyder and Brownback and more.

  30. 30
    Cervantes says:

    the concept of clean drinking water is clearly Marxist dogma.

    And yet there’s truth in the joke!

    When Friedrich Engels was in London and Manchester in 1844, writing (about) The Condition of the Working Class in England, among the many things he deplored was the disgusting state of the slums. Not only was there no clean drinking water, there was hardly any water available for any human purpose. So obvious was the neglect and cruelty that Engels was even able to quote an 1843 editorial from the (London) Times — the Times, I say! — to the effect that people in “the most courtly precincts of the richest city on GOD’S earth” were left “ROTTING FROM FAMINE, FILTH, AND DISEASE.” (Capitals appear as they did in the Times editorial.)

    Now Engels was no historian — more of an angry young man, and some of his methods and conclusions are questionable — but there’s no doubt his book influenced Marx a great deal, and by the time The Communist Manifesto was published a few years later, the two had even become co-authors.

    Communism — the idea — did not come from nowhere on a caprice. It arose because Greed (or historical capitalism, if you prefer) was a merciless tyrant, and real people actually had to stand up, and fight, and die, even for such basic things as “the concept of clean drinking water.”

  31. 31
    ruemara says:

    I truly cannot stand today’s Republican Party.

  32. 32
    Cervantes says:

    @ruemara:

    Small consolation: tomorrow’s is going to be even worse.

  33. 33
    philpm says:

    @PurpleGirl: Won’t matter to Barasso since he’ll be able to afford to move somewhere else.

  34. 34
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    But it has attracted fierce opposition from several business interests, including farmers, property developers, fertilizer and pesticide makers, oil and gas producers and a national association of golf course owners.

    The same people who have also fucked us in the ass for decades running with the twice yearly metabolism-shattering daylight saving time?

    Peewee, get mah gun. I got a mess to clean up.

  35. 35
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    In issue after issue, Republicans have demonstrated that their “party of fiscal responsibility” branding is a steaming crock of shit.

    You mean … they’re not really conservative? And branding is important? False advertising matters? Who knew?!

    Anyhow, joking aside, I agree that Republicans have been the party of fiscal irresponsibility for an entire generation now. One hardly expects them to shock us with prudential behavior, not any time soon.

  36. 36
    Mike in NC says:

    Barasso pops up a lot on TV to parrot FOX News talking points about foreign policy: “our enemies don’t fear us and our allies don’t trust us” since Obama came to town. Complete dickhead.

  37. 37
    boatboy_srq says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Who knew that requiring clean water was class warfare against Monsanto-shareholding, golf-playing oil barons. /snark

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    It could reduce the value of some farmland by as much as 40 percent.

    Um, yup. Documenting ongoing pollution, sloppy, lazy or disinterested management, laissez-faire runoff mitigation, shady practices, etc. and factoring in clean-up would do that, you betcha.

    Tough ta-tas.

  39. 39
    cahuenga says:

    Hope aquifers are added to that list as it looks like that’s becoming a popular place to sweep mistakes under the rug.

  40. 40
    Culture of Truth says:

    I wonder how the good congresscritter will feel, if one day he and everyone else in Wyoming can’t drink or use water due to contamination.

    Blame Obama.

  41. 41
    NotMax says:

    Snark version.

    It could reduce the value of some farmland by as much as 40 percent.

    Freeing all those (mostly fictitious) “family farms” the GOP harps about from the claws of the so-called “death tax.”

    Freedom!

  42. 42
    SFAW says:

    @ruemara:

    I truly cannot stand today’s Republican Party.

    More and more, I find myself wishing for a plague which targets only Rethugs and their idiot supporters. The meteor would take out too many innocents. I still say my proposal of moving them all to Texas, renaming it Dumbfuckistan, and walling it off, is the best alternative, given current technology. [Disclaimer: Austin residents and other non-insane Texans would be able to leave before the walling-off.] It’s so fucking depressing.

  43. 43
    Elizabelle says:

    @SFAW: With apologies to Soonergrunt: I’d suggest locating Dumbfuckistan in Oklahoma. Suggest they could do less damage there, and what has Mexico done to deserve a northern border with DFK? No major waterways or gulfs to f*ck with, either. No major airports.

    Takes out Inhofe as a US senator in one fell swoop too.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:

    SFAW

    renaming it Dumbfuckistan

    Alternatively, name it Reaganland.

    (Or is that redundant?)

  45. 45
    Kathleen says:

    @Mike in NC: I’m sure at some point they will. Story at 11.

  46. 46
    Elizabelle says:

    @NotMax: Reaganland works for me.

    It won’t work for them, but up to them to learn that.

  47. 47
    Betty Cracker says:

    @cahuenga: True about the aquifers. I grew up in fresh water spring country in FL, and the changes I’ve seen over the past couple of decades are appalling. Of course, the voters keep electing Republican morons as governors and legislators, so the response ranges from inadequate to nonexistent….

  48. 48

    @ruemara:
    Racism. Ever listen to country music? Rural and small-town whites, which are deep red voting demographics, think of themselves as farmers or cowboys even though they’re not.

    “Under this outrageously broad new rule, Washington bureaucrats would now have a say in how farmers, and ranchers, and families use their own property,”

    And they will, by God, never bow their head to a negro and let him tell them what to do.

  49. 49
    NotMax says:

    @Elizabelle

    Welcome to Reaganland.

    All left turns illegal.

  50. 50
    Amir Khalid says:

    @boatboy_srq:
    Correction: four links, including the reply.

  51. 51
    Paul in KY says:

    @JPL: Sounds like something that vile POS Luntz came up with.

  52. 52
    redshirt says:

    Not MY precious bodily fluids.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    @JPL:
    Sounds kind of Biblical.

  54. 54
    Paul in KY says:

    @Elizabelle: ‘Reaganland’ might get the idiots to agree to moving there.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: New Jersey?

  56. 56
    Kropadope says:

    “Under this outrageously broad new rule, Washington bureaucrats would now have a say in how farmers, and ranchers, and families use their own property,” said Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming and the chief author of the Senate bill.

    When one dumps chemicals into rivers, lakes, et c., it doesn’t remain on one’s property, does it?

  57. 57
    WereBear says:

    @philpm: Won’t matter to Barasso since he’ll be able to afford to move somewhere else.

    The only harsh amusement I have over these courtiers is that as the bar for survival keeps being raised, lesser hirelings won’t be able to afford to live, either.

    They never remember that some of them are riding in the sleigh only because their masters need bodies to throw out to distract the following wolves.

  58. 58
    patrick II says:

    @JPL:

    The traditional waters, wtf, does that even mean?

    It means traditionally anyone can throw whatever crap they want to into the water. Probably on the theory that the crap just magically goes away — or that no one will know who did it.

  59. 59
    Elizabelle says:

    @JPL:

    The traditional waters.

    See “waters that used to be there, but are no longer present.”

    See “waters that are toxic for animals, birds, insects AND HUMANS.”

  60. 60
    Patrick says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Barasso pops up a lot on TV to parrot FOX News talking points about foreign policy: “our enemies don’t fear us and our allies don’t trust us” since Obama came to town.

    Which anybody who actually lives on this planet knows is a bunch of made-up garbage. Unlike the Republican president, Obama actually eliminated bin Laden. As for our allies, they now actually have a much greater respect for the US than they did under bush. I know, because unlike Barasso i actually spend time travelling in Europe.

  61. 61
    Elizabelle says:

    Barasso is a physician as well.

    He was out in full-throated lie about Obamacare.

    It’s not enough for Wyoming that they gave us Richard Bruce Cheney.

  62. 62
    Cervantes says:

    @JPL:

    The traditional waters, wtf, does that even mean?

    It’s actually quite simple, just a matter of punctuation.

    The Clean Water Act contains the key phrase “waters of the United States.” Words matter, even if we think it’s “just semantics,” and laws can have narrow or wide scope. In light of several recent Supreme Court cases, the EPA is proposing a rule change that would (and I quote) “make the process of identifying ‘waters of the United States’ less complicated and more efficient.” Barrasso opposes the rule change.

    What Barrasso is reported to have said:

    This rule is not designed to protect the traditional waters of the United States. It is designed to expand the power of Washington bureaucrats.

    What he perhaps should have said — or how his remarks on the Senate floor perhaps ought to have been transcribed:

    This rule is not designed to protect the traditional “waters of the United States.” It is designed to expand the power of Washington bureaucrats.

    Pedantry to the rescue — yet again.

  63. 63
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    “Under this outrageously broad new rule, Washington bureaucrats would now have a say in how farmers, and ranchers, and families use their own property,” Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming

    …a state that would basically have no fucking economy were it not for Washington bureaucrats.

  64. 64
    SFAW says:

    @Paul in KY:

    ‘Reaganland’ might get the idiots to agree to moving there.

    Although that’s a very persuasive argument, one would think it need not be named until after they get inside the wall.

    And, as much as I think Reagan started the country down its path of self-destructive insanity, he would be considered a raving liberal by today’s Rethug standards. (Of course, we could argue Reagan vs. Nixon vs. Goldwater re: who was the first Great Destroyer, but that’s for another day.)

    Freedumbia? Sorta like Fredonia, but without the intelligence.

  65. 65
    SFAW says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Coburn, too, I think.

  66. 66

    @Alex:

    Yes, whatever happened to conservatives who wanted to protect our precious fluids?

    They wanted to protect our precious bodily fluids from communists. They never said anything about protecting them from good, honest American capitalists.

  67. 67
    Rommie says:

    “Traditional waters” also means the right to shoot the Poors Cattle Rustlers stealin’ water from your pond.
    “Property” rights is an entire rage machine, like gun rights, but currently on a slow boil and a card in hand to play at the right time to go for Gin on outrage.

  68. 68
    Betty Cracker says:

    @SFAW: That’s what I recall as well. I think Coburn even blamed the ACA for losing his oncologist in the middle of treatment for prostate cancer. Coburn and Obama were allegedly pals in the Senate. There probably actually were and are.

    Sometimes the bluster and bombast in Congress reminds me of WrestleMania, where the participants denounce each other as evil-doers on camera and laugh about it over drinks later. I’m not saying that there aren’t genuine and deep-seated differences between the various players — there are for sure. But they play to the rubes too, all of them.

  69. 69
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cervantes: I think you’re right about the “waters.”

  70. 70
    RaflW says:

    Here’s the thing about water, you Republican jackasses. It is never really “your property” because it moves. Once it has flowed over or under the ground to your neighbors, it’s not yours any more.

    So if it has PCBs in it, or g*d knows what fracking fluid, or nitrates even just salt from overfarming, you’ve ruined someone else’s access to water.

    So f*k you, GOP.

  71. 71
    Paul in KY says:

    @SFAW: I thought ‘Reaganland’ might get them in there. After they are all in there & corralled, we can change it to Yahooistan.

  72. 72
    Kay says:

    @JPL:

    Traditional waters is a jurisdiction issue- what waters can the federal government reach under the Commerce Clause or under a federal law based on the reach of the Commerce Clause.

    Water law is complicated and I don’t pretend to understand it but my husband is interested in Great Lakes environmental issues and he attends water law conferences, reads on it, etc.

    Liberals try to extend the reach and conservatives try to restrict it. Generally. There are exceptions.

  73. 73
    Kay says:

    Here’s some basics on the definitions/ jurisdiction issue.

    http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/.....idesum.cfm

  74. 74
    jl says:

    Well, being able to go to a bottomless well of limited liability to escape costs you impose on others is a property right of corporations. See, it all makes sense. And, corporations are people too, my friend.

  75. 75
    Soprano2 says:

    @Cervantes:
    Yes, I believe you’re correct. I work for a sewer department so we deal with this issue a lot, and the definition of “waters of the United States” has always been controversial and open to interpretation. It tells you whether or not, for example, a sewer overflow is reportable to your state DNR. It defines a lot of things. We’ve been whipsawed the past few years trying to comply with the reporting requirements – we gone all the way from reporting every basement backup and cleanout overflow on private property to reporting only those overflows that actually reach a stream or storm sewer. Our lawyers had to get involved to try to figure out how we can best comply with the law, so it’s not as easy as you might think. However, believing that every puddle and rivulet is going to be regulated is silly nonsense. I, for one, would welcome simplification and clarification of this issue.

  76. 76
    J R in WV says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    What HE said!!

    If you’re going to accept the Ag handouts, then you gotta shut up about the water protection. Actually, whether you take handouts of not, you gotta shut up about water protection. Water is essential for life, and it needs to be clean if we intend to use it that way, which we must eventually.

    I can’t understand people who don’t understand the moral evil in pollution! I must suppose they have evil in their heart, and actually believe that money is more important than clean water, and air, and food! Which is an evil belief.

  77. 77
    Cervantes says:

    @J R in WV:

    I can’t understand people who don’t understand the moral evil in pollution!

    My pollution costs me nothing; for me to clean up would cost me money; ergo my pollution is profitable.

    The Earth is big, my pollution is small: it won’t harm anything.

    If it does cause harm, God will fix it.

    If God does not fix it, then that is His Will, and who am I to question it?

  78. 78
    David Koch says:

    Clean water?

    but, but..,,, tELpON3 mTAD dA┴∀

    and, and…. TPP has DEATH PANELS!

  79. 79
    BillB says:

    When I lived in DC I watched the sundae morn polito-shows, and the big showdown each and every week was Jack Germond [lib] and Bob Novak [nazi], man they would go at it on TV.

    One time I went to a G-town BBall game at the Cap Center, and right in front of me were two ol buds having fun, charting the game on their clipboards, and laughing their arses off. They were Germond and Novak. The DC Press is playing the whole country, Suckers.

  80. 80
    Cervantes says:

    @BillB:

    Yes, that show in particular — McLaughlin — was pure bombast. All an act, feigned outrage, no meaningful content, nor any reason to watch it.

  81. 81
    LBZ says:

    @srv:
    I keep hearing this line from some movie…. “The good of the many outweighs the good of the one.” Remember that one? The one concept that is the antithesis of republican think.

    Sorry, but the need clean drinking water outweighs the need of profit.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    LBZ says:

    @Kropadope:
    I can’t recall when or where I learned it, but I’ve always known not to shit where I eat. How is it so many people never managed to figure that out?

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