Thursday, August 18, 2011

Obama Needs to Dress Down Vilsack [and IL Governor]

Obama sometimes seems not to understand the government of which he's head. The "shovel-ready" projects is one instance.  Another came up on his Midwest tour, and Politico nails Vilsack's scalp to the post. They couldn't find anyone who could discuss possible regulations on dust and noise.

[Update: After blowing up, I reread the story.  I suspect the truth is the Illiinois EPA is responsible for any dust and noise regulations applicable to farmers, as mentioned in the story.  What probably happened was the IEPA person got the buck slip late in the day (either 3:57 or 4:57, it's not clear in the story, or was away on leave.  IEPA should have gotten back to the reporter the next morning.

What I do ding most of the phone responses is not knowing which agency is responsible.  I'd also ding USDA for their ham-fisted response to Politico (last paragraph). Presumably the USDA PR type realizes they're on the wrong end of the stick for this story but their approach is wrong.  You call IEPA to nail down the person who can answer, you get the answer from them so you can handle future inquiries, and you call the Politico to apologize (after all, the problem started with Obama and Vilsack) and offer the answer and the IEPA's name and number.

I'd also ding USDA offices and the Farm Bureau for not being current with the issues and rumors floating in the fine fresh air of Illinois.

Finally, I owe an apology for a too-quick reaction to the story. ]

[Further update: in Obama's defense, he may have been briefed on the Agenda 21 rumors, see Kevin Drum here.]

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