Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Storm in a Teacup

So the most talked about government agency today is probably The National Weather Service thanks to Obama's shout out during his *screed* yesterday.

Bride of Rove got charged up about it in a hilariously ranting post:

Holy shit! The weather doesn’t just screw up our lives here in the Keys, it’s a freaking WEAPON in the infowars. HIDE THE DECLINE!!! HIDE THE DECLINE!!! That Obama shout out was a strafing of the foot soldiers of the revolution. They were put on notice to get out the AGW message double quick and in spectacular disaster blaster frequency to … is this defcon orange we’re talking here? Is there no disaster to take advantage of to get the Obama budget through so we need that distraction on the Weather Channel (Which I watch during hurricane season religiously, btw … with Drambuie)...

And over at NRO's The Corner, Andrew Stiles points out just how important the NWS really is:

Ah yes, the National Weather Service, an agency that consumes roughly $1 billion in taxpayers funds every year. Obviously, every penny of that goes toward essential programs, right? Here’s a look at just a few of the things you have been paying for at the NWS:
  • A $220,000 grant to the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Development to "educate the Arab region on climate change.” 
  • A $50,000 grant to the Ocean Conservancy for the purpose of “enhancing the capacity to inform effective management decisions” at the East End Marine Park in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • A $15,000 grant to the Oregon TsuTube channel to create tsunamai awareness clips on YouTube.
  • A $193,000 grant to the International Environmental Data Rescue Organization for “hydrometeorological services” in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, Dominican Republic, Chile, and Uruguay.
  • A $300 annual gym membership reimbursement program, a benefit that few private sector employees enjoy, at a total cost of up to $1.3 million in taxpayer dollars per year.
We're educating the Arab region on climate change?  Seriously?  Paying for gym memberships?

CNBC reports:

A bill in the House of Representatives is proposing to cut the National Weather Service's 2011 budget by reportedly 30 percent or about $126 million. The proposal is part of the Full Year Continuing Resolution Act.

The potential for budget cuts has the forecasters in a tizzy worrying about radar maintenance systems and so on.  There's even a Facebook page:

Just four days ago, a movement to fight the cuts was mobilized on Facebook. A page called "Protect the National Weather Service" was started by a National Hurricane Center employee. It has since been taken over by the National Weather Service's union. It already has about 2200 "likes." 

I've got nothing against the NWS, to be sure; but, if Obama is going to screech about taking on the "sacred cow," if everybody's got to have "some skin in the game," maybe we can start with gym memberships for the National Weather Service.

1 comment:

Bride Of Rove said...

Gracias for the link. I still haven't gotten the absurdity of that speech out of my head ...