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What happens to the bees if Paul succeeds?
What will we tell the bees when there's no EPA?

At the risk of disagreeing with my learned husband, I cannot let his editorial “Rand Paul and Destiny..” pass without comment of my own. I edited that piece, as I do all of his writing. It is a habit we have developed over the twenty five plus years we have written together. Ivan Potter is a brilliant man, but he will be the first to say that he never got hooked on phonics.

Those who know us well know we are a long way from being Kentucky versions of Matelin and Carville. Both of us tend to lean to the left politically. On some subjects, one or the other leans farther over. We also tend to view the same subjects from different perspectives. Senator Rand Paul is one of those subjects.

First let me say that I personally like the junior senator from Kentucky. He has been unfailingly polite and seems almost shy until he gets in front of a podium or a nerve is touched that sets him off on a favorite subject. My observation is that he listens thoughtfully and carefully. At this writing, he has not fallen victim to Washington Disease, a malady that afflicts victims of all political persuasions with chest expanding senses of their own importance. Only a resounding defeat at the ballot box cures the sufferer and brings back equilibrium. (In the case of Newt Gingrich, even that seems to be not enough.)

I like that Paul seems genuinely concerned with constituent services. I like that he has been in the Purchase often, not just for big political things, but small things like town hall meetings and church picnics. I like that he expresses frustration that there is no give and take between the two sides of the aisle in the Senate.  I like that he says he has tried to work with President Obama and that he has not expressed the sneering disdain I hear from other politicians in his party.

I liked that as a primary candidate, he had the courage to take on both political parties and their profligate spending habits. Alas, that was the last time it happened.

I even like his frequent press releases and his comments on national and international issues.

I like his staff. They have been ever gracious to us, despite our skewering their friends and allies. I know that without their help that some local issues would have been left unsolved.

What I do not like – and what drives me to head banging distraction – is Paul’s unrelenting opposition to most, if not all, agencies of the federal government. I sometimes feel that he would be most content with the early colonial version of federalism, the Articles of Confederation. The Articles that were so bad that the Convention called to fix them just scrapped them and wrote the US Constitution we live with today.

Paul delights in finding examples of federal agencies gone bad. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a special target of his. At the public meeting in Hickman to discuss the woes of the Port of Hickman, Paul asked every speaker if the problems were somehow related to actions of the EPA. Each speaker denied there was any snail darter or yellow bellied mollusk keeping the Corps of Engineers from dredging the Mississippi River around the Port. 

Paul released a press release this week chortling over the defeat of the EPA in a 9-0 decision of the US Supreme Court in Sackett vs. EPA. Regarding the decision, Paul said, “I will continue to fight to rein in the EPA, and today’s decision is heartening that we will succeed.”

The EPA, charged with protecting the environment, certainly has and will step on private landowner’s rights and privileges. Reading the Sackett case, the high court clarified that now the Sacketts can go to court and have the EPA’s decision regarding them reviewed. The Sacketts will be able to ask a judge to decide if the agency went over the top when it declared the land they built their house on a wetland. If it did, then the EPA will, like other government agencies, get slapped and we taxpayers will owe the Sacketts some dough. 

Whenever nine justices of THIS Supreme Court agree, then it is an easy bet that the losing side did something really, really stupid. At least two of the justices were appointed by Barack Obama and they agreed with the majority.

But who would stop the Sacketts if they wanted to drop mercury in the Mississippi or Colorado River? The market? State governments?

I remember the bad old days of rivers catching fire and of driving into a Louisville obscured with pollution. Those days are gone and my children and Senator Paul’s children hopefully will never see them again. Because of the EPA.

Yes, the EPA is forty and as we all know, getting to middle age means making some adjustments in our lifestyle. We just aren’t as nimble as we once were and we get a tiny bit settled in our ways.

And, what, Senator Paul, will you tell the beekeepers if you succeed in dismantling the EPA?  They have asked the EPA to ban a pesticide that they say kills honeybees. The EPA in 2003, under the administration of You-Know-Who, approved clothianidin which was known to kill bees. Beekeepers and some scientists have linked the substance to hive die off.  Now beekeepers want the EPA to take a second look.

Honeybees pollinate about a third of US crops. We need them and we need an EPA that is focused on the environment.

American government has always been a balancing act between the power of government and the rights of the individual. Without government, there is anarchy. Without personal rights, there is dictatorship.

I will like Senator Paul even better when he can say that he sat down with the EPA and the other government agencies and had a heart to heart.

Sadly, I don’t see that happening any time soon. He’s putting too many points on the board with his present game plan.

He’s even converting my husband.

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