South Carolina’s Governor, Henry McMaster, has joined Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott, in asking Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, for an exemption from Zinke’s plan to open all waters to offshore drilling. It’s likely that the relatively unremarked rollback of EPA regulations gave Zinke confidence that his ‘drill everywhere’ initiative would be greeted with approval by Trump’s MAGA zealots and the Republicans in general.

He was wrong.

It’s one thing to sully the backyards of poor people forced to live near mines, factories, and other polluting industries. But offshore drilling threatens the well-being of the beachfront-house and yacht-owning classes. No doubt they made their feelings known to the state powers-that-be.

Zinke has already been granted Florida relief from his drilling edict. His reasoning? Florida is too reliant on tourism to risk oil washing up on the beach. However, any state that has a coastline relies on tourist dollars — except Alaska. Which explains why it is the lone coastal supporter of Zinke’s announcement.

McMaster summed up the feeling of coastal governors and ocean-front Representatives when he said:

“We cannot afford to take a chance with the beauty, the majesty and the economic value and vitality of our wonderful coastline in South Carolina,”

As long as Florida was the sole exception Zinke had some justification as Florida is third only to Nevada, and less obviously Wyoming, in reliance on tourism. And it is the number one coastal state. But if Zinke allows South Carolina to escape his drilling edict he would find it hard to justify keeping any other state obligated.

He may be willing to take his political chances, but I imagine his action will give California and all the other blue coastal states — and they are mostly blue — solid grounds for legal action. And what if Georgia follows suit?

North Carolina also presents Zinke with a problem. Like Florida, it is a state that voted for Trump but has also recently voted for a Democrat. It already has a Democratic Governor. It is being forced to redraw its race-based congregational districts. And Republicans can ill afford to lose the coastal vote.

I believe that Zinke thought the red states would welcome the economic boon — no matter how small or illusory — and who cared about the blue states. But he doesn’t seem to have asked the Republican Governors how they would feel about it. Showing yet again that the Trump administration is generally terrible at everything except looking incompetent, rushed and weak.


Really? – 8.18.15 Deportation follies; the EPA pollutes a river; Trump unintentionally encourages more immigration.

August 18, 2015

The GOP’s deportation fantasy. On immigration, the Republicans play a duplicitous game. On the one hand, extravagant promises of mass deportations and shiny new border walls – now paid for by Mexico – rile the base straight to the ballot box. On the other hand, business conservatives – from the US Chamber of Commerce on […]

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The Bible Has no Place in American Jurisprudence.

June 10, 2015

“The Bible has noble poetry in it… and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies” ― Mark Twain. The Christian Reformation in the 16th century was, in large part, a dispute between the traditionalists (Catholics) who believed in the authority of the Pope and the Church hierarchy to […]

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Really? 4.4.15 – Earthquakes in Oklahoma; Carly Fiorina Picks Fights She’ll Lose; Anti-Gay Florists for Jesus In Georgia; Walmart Shoppers Addicted to Cheap Crappy Food.

April 4, 2015

“A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything” ― Friedrich Nietzsche. Oklahoma has been having earthquakes. More than before. And the oil and gas industry’s love of fracking is being held up as the culprit. The reaction will be predictable. The science will be denied and ‘radical environmentalists’ will […]

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Just How Dumb Is it to Pay for Something that Can Be Had for Free?

March 18, 2015

“You can fool yourself, you know. You’d think it’s impossible, but it turns out it’s the easiest thing of all.” ― Jodi Picoult People used to drink water from a tap. But now they hand over $12 billion to the bottled water cartels every year. Why? It started with ‘mineral’ waters. These exotic waters from […]

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Really? – 3.6.15 – Carson thinks about prison sex; Still crazy in Kansas; Fossil fuel’s animal rights activists.

March 6, 2015

Ben Carson is a really dumb smart guy. Ben Carson was by all accounts a brilliant surgeon. He also espouses some quite liberal positions on universal health care. And has some interesting thoughts about gun-control in the inner-cities. Otherwise, he is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative. Not just in the policies he cleaves to, but in the […]

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Are We Mom, the Flag, and Apple Pie – Or More Like the Guy at Applebee’s in the Wife Beater.

December 11, 2014

“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville. We consider ourselves to be a decent people. Our heroes are stalwart sorts – who can be relied upon to the right thing. Cary Cooper, John Wayne and the Marlboro Man. We […]

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Tear It Down – The Republican Plan for America

October 28, 2014

The GOP hates the Affordable Care Act (aka the ACA, aka Obamacare). It’s hate is hypocritical, as it mirrors a health initiative proposed by the GOP in 1994 to forestall talk of a possible Democraticsingle payer plan. But as it is today closely identified with its eponymous promoter – the President, whose name is now mud […]

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The Ferguson Affair is no Reason to Abolish the EPA.

August 15, 2014

“If men were angels no government would be necessary” – James Madison The Ferguson PD deployed armored vehicles and heavily armed, camouflaged officers to counter the protests over the Michael Brown killing. Libertarians are leaping on that overreaction to decry a government grown too large; too authoritarian; too fascist. Their solution? Dispense with the whole […]

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