The not ready for primetime Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, who volunteered to offer the Republican response to President Obama's recent address to congress must be feeling mighty silly this morning with miles and miles of Alaska located near Anchorage covered in volcanic ash after Mt. Redoubt blew up in a violent eruption. Jindal foolishly chose to condemn volcano monitoring as a main issue in his response to President Obama's serious address on the economy.
Volcanic ash is a very hazardous substance because it is actually fine glass and not normal ash. Air flights in parts of Alaska are now grounded or diverted because this fine glass can cause engine failure in aviation. Automobiles and many other forms of machinery can suffer significant damage or problems as well. And paint of all sorts can suffer abrasion damage including homes and automobiles, bridges, etc. And volcanic ash can present a substantial health hazard to humans as lungs are not likely to be able to cough up such glass material. Volcanic ash may present serious respiratory or cancer hazards similar to fiberglass or even asbestos. Asbestos is especially bad because it stays in the lungs, rusts, and sets up a cancer potential. In a similar way, volcanic ash can settle in the lungs, and not be really leave, creating a similar potential for permanent or even fatal respiratory problems. But of course, Jindal doesn't seem to have any understanding of this as a problem.
Amazingly, you would think that Jindal should be understanding of the sheer amount of damage that natural disasters can cause and understand the need for monitoring volcanoes. It was Jindal's own state of Louisiana that suffered huge economic damage when the Hurricane Katrina broke levees and flooded New Orleans, creating a massive humanitarian crisis. For his part, after spending a few years in congress, Jindal just never seemed to get around to supporting more funds to upgrade the levee system around New Orleans despite ongoing complaint's that this system was crumbling and badly needed repairs and upgrades.
Incredibly, the clueless Bobby Jindal had hoped that his antivolcano monitoring address response to the serious economic address by the President would give him a launching pad to run for president in 2012. But Jindal's message was widely panned by critics at the time. Jindal further cemented his image as a political lightweight when he agreed to accept all of the economic stimulus funds for his state, yet opposed the small amount of funds intended to expand unemployment insurance benefits because the guy is too much of a political coward to ask employers in his state to continue to pay the unemployment taxes in the state to continue to fund this expansion of unemployment benefits after the federal funds run out in three years time. With the spine of a jelly fish and the political insights of the clueless, Jindal has probably pretty much written himself out of any GOP nomination script for 2012 by his own hand.
Some Republican governors such as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger openly appreciate the serious help to his state that the Obama supported economic stimulus funds are providing. On the other hand, there's a governor like Jindal who is accepting all of stimulus funds, minus the unemployment insurance expansion funds, but does nothing but petty bellyache, all for his own short-term political ambitions, damn the unemployed and suffering workers in his state.
Jindal has gone from being a crappy little congressman to being a crappy little governor. That's hardly a very good reason to elect him to be a crappy little president.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!