Environmentalism

Welfare Pearls

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Want to subsidize a local industry without making it obvious that you're subsidizing a local industry? Sen. Barbara Mikulski and other friends of the Maryland oystermen have found a way:

The mood was celebratory at January's annual meeting of the Oyster Recovery Partnership. Yet the government-financed nonprofit has made little progress toward its stated mission of restoring oysters to the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland officials set up the group more than a decade ago in what was envisioned as a groundbreaking attempt to revive a species all but destroyed by overharvesting and disease. Since 2002 alone, the partnership has received $10 million in federal funds to lead Maryland's efforts to make oysters an abundant, self-sustaining species again.

The way to do that, leading scientists say, is to leave the shellfish in the water so they can reproduce and propagate the species. But the partnership puts most of its oysters in places where watermen can take them out—and sell them for roughly $30 a bushel….

Though the partnership gets millions in federal funds, it operates with virtually no governmental oversight. The group gets the money as the result of a budget "earmark" arranged by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, and the grant is distributed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The complete report, by Rona Kobell and Greg Garland of the Baltimore Sun, is here. (Full disclosure: Rona's my wife.)

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  1. Why isn’t the “Reason” Institute complaining about the subsidies Blackwater “USA” is getting from the government? Talk about a total waste of money! Since when are “private” mercenaries actually “private” if they are receiving government financing?

  2. Man I forgot how fucking hot Barbara Mikulski is.

  3. Thanks, jf. You’ve ruined sex for the next few months.

  4. You’re an asshole, jf. Excuse me now, while I go and attempt to gouge my eyes out.

  5. Is post #1 worth a drink?

  6. Mikulski is Maryland’s attempt to up the ante on Californian Boxer’s better known liberalism.

    An unrelated quickie on Maryland’s status as “The Free State”

    http://www.hodakvalue.com/blog/2007/04/what_happened_to_the_free_stat.html

  7. Contracts = subsidies now?

  8. Full disclosure: Rona’s my wife.

    Whoa dude. I wouldn’t pass a law against it, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for journalists to inbreed. And why did I think you were gay? NTTAWWT

    Re:Barbara Mikulski,
    The woman is over 70 years old. So unless you are a septuagenarian yourself, why do you even care what she looks like. Seriously WTF? Why make fun of the way an old woman looks.

  9. Okay. Who ordered the Converse Heel Hook Special?

    You? Iron? Oh, hi Warren. Use your house charge again?

    okay. You know the drill…

  10. Warren,

    Because a cheap shot like that is the best I can do against a woman who has spent the last 40 years siphoning off the public tit while passing out favors to her contributors like Halloween candy.

    Also, I’d love for someone on her staff to Google the combo of “Mikulski” and “fucking hot” and come across this post. I can dream…

  11. Jesse,

    Wasn’t there a post about an article by your wife a few months ago about an innovative bay-floor leasing program as a property rights approach to oyster fisheries management and aquaculture in MD? This article didn’t seem to refer to the earlier one (though it seems Rona is on the oyster fisheries beat), and it’s not clear from the article if these leased bay floor plots directly receive subsidized oyster seeds, or are in a different area entirely. Any relation, or separate zones of the chesapeake?

  12. Mikulshi doesn’t know oysters grow in the mountains or what?

  13. …and the local taxpayers get the pearl necklace.

  14. Keith: That post was here. It was mostly about clams, not oysters. (She’s on the Chesapeake Bay beat, so she write about all kinds of fisheries.) At an rate, there’s no relation to this program at all.

  15. “The Virtue of Shellfishness”

  16. Why make fun of the way an old woman looks.

    I agree. Totally uncalled for, and beneath the level of discourse I would expect on a forum that isn’t populated entirely by 14-year-old boys.

  17. I see that was more a VA story before… Thanks Jesse!

  18. jf,
    Hmmm OK. I agree, no shot is too cheap for a sitting Senator. Especially if they have a record of “passing out favors to her contributors like Halloween candy”.

    Still, I think you’re overreaching with that dream.

  19. Though the partnership gets millions in federal funds, it operates with virtually no governmental oversight.

    I am not sure that governmental oversight would help in any meaningful way, except maybe opening up a couple more GS-14 salaried slots.

  20. I agree. Totally uncalled for, and beneath the level of discourse I would expect on a forum that isn’t populated entirely by 14-year-old boys.

    Since this level of discourse is seen quite regularly on forums dominated by adult posters, I’d say you comment is a cheap shot at 14-year-old boys.

  21. Did someone say “cheap shot at 14-year-old boys”?

  22. and mark foley FTW.

    yeah, the whole “she’s not hot enough” thing whenever any woman ever is mentioned keeps reminding me that the libertoid position is a sausage party (in a bad way) and super lame.

  23. the libertoid position is a sausage party (in a bad way)
    There’s a good way?!

  24. Is post #1 worth a drink?

    Yup.

  25. How do you do the grey bar quote thingy?

  26. Geek,

    It’s [blockquote][/blockquote] but with the >< brackets.

  27. WTH? Maybe I only hit “Preview.” I hardly think this comment was worth deleting:

    Now that it’s been brought up, what happens next?

    My guess is: nothing.

  28. Mmmm, sausage…. Oh.

  29. UNreasonable has a point. I pay taxes to the government, so I’m not even a private citizen.

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