Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Left SO wants the Cow Tax

We've been loosely following South Dakota Senator John Thune's efforts at putting the so-called "cow tax" to sleep (file under John Thune News). The tax has always been a theoretical possibility the left scoffs at and the right fears, because it's so something the Left could get into (It's like an island full of lesbian dwarves who build bombs for the Venezuelans -- it doesn't really exist, but Sean Penn has vernal pool dreams about it).

Well, turns out Talking Points Memo is afraid -- afraid of the "agribusiness interests" who "skew the debate over methane regulation". You know what that's code for? Our country is a MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! That's what everything they argue for really comes down to. See those hungry people on the street? Product of the Military Industrial Complex. Britney Spears' latest album? The Complex. Walmart's $1.99 flip-flops? The MIC.

In its initial notice for proposed rulemaking, the EPA mentioned the need to control methane--a highly potent greenhouse gas. While CO2 is the major contributor to our total greenhouse gas emissions inventory, methane (CH4) is a serious problem and livestock enteric fermentation and manure management are among the biggest sources of methane. The EPA's initial notice speculated about ways to manage these emissions and suggested that we look to regulating certain high-GHG agricultural practices.

This set off alarm bells in the highly-organized agribusiness community who are now interpreting any attempts at EPA regulation of livestock operations as tantamount to a "cow tax." There hasn't been much coverage of this in the big metropolitan papers. But there are scores of outraged op-eds in smaller regional papers throughout the country.....

The fear-mongering seems to have had some impact on politicians with influential Senators such as Chuck Schumer explicitly inveighing against a "cow tax" and Republican John Thune introducing a bill to exempt livestock operations from EPA regulations.

If Chuck Schumer and John Thune agree on something, it's probably either harmless enough it wouldn't hurt mice cells or giant enough it could destroy our planet -- like an asteroid the size of Kim Kardashian's ass... on HGH.

The right should milk the cow tax thing until those teats are bone dry. This is not the national debate a Dem wants to have. At the same time, Thune can't really overplay it. You don't want to run a national primary with a record of "I'm that guy who stopped the cow tax".