Monday, May 22, 2006

The porcine threat to national security

George Bush today in Chicago:

The question then is, how do we -- do we have enough feedstock into the ethanol business to be able to really get major penetration? And that's where we're spending some money. Because we got corn, but sometimes you got to eat corn. And sometimes your pigs and cows have got to eat corn.

At the same event: nothing like a closed mind to simplify the agenda:

Q .... And the second part of that question is, will you see Al Gore's new movie? (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Doubt it. (Laughter and applause.)

and note that Bush's planning for what to do in case of an epidemic or biological attack seems inordinantly focused not on relief operations, but on how much extra power he'd get:

THE PRESIDENT: Good question. We are working to be prepared. His question is, if there is a catastrophic event that is beyond the magnitude of a natural event, such as a biological attack and/or a attack of pandemic flu, would we be prepared.

Well, first step is to recognize that it's a possibility and start preparing, which we're doing at the federal level. Yes, we've got a good strategy -- now, whether or not it would work to perfection, you hope you never have to find out.

One of the classic cases -- one of the classic dilemmas we're trying to resolve is that most -- it's against the law to put federal troops in to enforce the law. It's posse comitatus, you know? I'm not a lawyer, but nevertheless, that's what the lawyers tell me. However, states can use their Guard to do law enforcement activities. And the fundamental question is, if there's an event big enough, should the federal government be able to prevent state authority -- should there be an automatic declaration of a state of emergency that will enable me to rally federal troops to keep the law?

We haven't resolved that issue yet, but that's one of the dilemmas on a catastrophic event that ends up exceeding the boundaries of -- that would make it not a local event.

[previous oil-related buffoonery]

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