During down economic times, most private companies put a freeze on hiring and defer major capitol projects. This is considered to be a normal business practice. So...Why is it considered to be the end of the world when public sector organizations are forced to do the same thing?
Did the MMS do all they could to regulate offshore drilling? the answer to that is no. But not all of the "accidents" that one sees in this story are ones that could, or should, generate a fine. Just a bad article all around.
Now that the environmentalists seem to have the upper hand on "air quality" issues (mainly due to a friendly EPA and the high-profile Gulf spill) is Houston ready for the potential damage to it's economy? Think tens of thousands of jobs lost or sent overseas if the Gulf drilling ban is allowed to stand. Take the 80's, and double them. (Houston's much touted economic diversity isn't going to mean much if the biggest generator of wealth pulls out and relocates to China.)
The wheels on the bus go round and.....Bam?
Meet the G(OP)ang that couldn't shoot straight. Any effect a Green ballot presence would have is likely to be negligible. Fighting to get them included smacks of desperation.
A billion here...A billion there... The follow-up question would be why a non-specific budget short-fall requires such specific, and draconian, action to bridge? (Unfortunately, this is Texas, and our news media lacks the creativity to ask said questions.)
First it was Rasmussen and now it's Tom Delay that's responsible for the Democrats misfortunes. That is, if you ignore a party platform that's punitive toward much of the State's (and voters) economic interest, disorganization within the party for much of the early aughts and a host of not-ready-for-prime-time candidates. (Do I think Texas would have been better today if there was a strong opposition party? You bet. Do I blame Tom Delay for the Democrats mailing it in all those years? No way.)
On a National Level:
$125 Million to sell the regulation of the medical insurance industry to the American people. That's how much Democrats are going to spend to try and convince us that events like this didn't really happen. (If you have to "sell" a law, odds are it's not the best law. Explain? OK, but sell? Nope.)
About those jobs....(Hint: It's not good.)
It's Ranchers vs. Environmentalists in a water balloon fight. The problem with removing the word "navigable" from the statute means that it could technically become illegal for a rancher to dump animal waste into a holding pond. This only makes sense if your ultimate goal is to bring down the American food industry. (Which, for many ecomentalists, IS the primary goal.)