April 5, 2015

Martha Raddatz is very, very concerned about how unfair California's new emergency water restrictions are to people who like long showers and green lawns. No, really.

While interviewing Governor Jerry Brown on This Week, Raddatz raised the issue of agriculture versus everyone else, saying, "Governor, one of the criticisms of this executive order has been that you did not make the same demands on the agricultural industry, which certainly has enormous political clout in the state."

Translation: Governor, aren't you just a corrupt SOB like everyone else?

On its face, that would be a fair question to ask, if only to clear up the misunderstanding. Brown explained to her that yes, Californians will have to take shorter showers and water their lawns less, but that farmers in this state are already suffering and have been for quite some time. And yes, it is also true that Californians who opt for longer showers and greener lawns will face stiff monetary fines.

Raddatz pressed on, dissatisfied about the response she received. Three times she pressed him, each time demonstrating her own cluelessness about how California's economy works.

"Should using that much water for almond production -- let me read you something else from "The Economist." "If water were priced properly, it is a safe bet that they would waste far less of it and the effect of California's drought would not be so severe."

So this is all a market thing? Water is regulated in California and considered a public utility, as it should be. Evidently The Economist thinks there should be a free market on water so the billionaires can gouge poor people for the right not to be dehydrated all the time.

Governor Brown pointed out that farmers in California receive no federal water allocation, so it is entirely California's problem to see that they have enough to irrigate their crops, but that didn't seem to satisfy Raddatz either, so he finally got a bit exasperated.

"Now, of course we can shut it off." Brown continued, "If you don't want to produce any food and import it from some other place, theoretically, you could do that. But that would displace hundreds of thousands of people and I don't think it's needed."

Then he swooped in to show Raddatz how asinine her line of questioning was altogether, when he reminded her, "the weather that's happening in California, that weather will be reflect and show up in other parts of the world. And I can tell you, from California, climate change is not a hoax. We're dealing with it and it's damn serious."

You bet it's damn serious. When California is one year away from having NO water reserves, it's downright scary-serious, and that's what Raddatz should have been paying attention to instead of whether almond growers get irrigation water while people have to shorten their showers and watch their lawns turn brown.

Did viewers get anything from this? Maybe, if they watched to the end and heard what Governor Brown said without getting distracted by issues which aren't important. No one out here is crying about short showers. We're just grateful to get to take showers. It would be nice to have someone who actually understands these things conducting the interview, instead of an entitled Beltway free market shill like Raddatz.

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