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April 23, 2005

Cheap as well as nasty

By now we've all heard about Rick Santorum's bill seeking to prevent the National Weather Service from actually sharing weather forecasts with Americans. You see, that "socialized weather" business has got to stop. It's taking the bread right out of the mouths of private web-based forecast providers who work so hard to make a profit by repackaging that information the NWS just want to give away for free. One such firm is Accuweather, which just so happens to be based in Pennsylvania, just like the good senator. Fancy that.

[T]hroughout 2003 and 2004, both Joel and Barry Myers have donated nearly $2,750 to Santorum's 2006 re-election efforts. Public records also showed that since 1999, the Senator received nearly $5,000 in contributions from AccuWeather executives, raising questions of whether the company attempted to court favor with the Senator through campaign contributions.

Count it up...$2,750+$5,000=$7,750. For a blatant gimme bill introduced in congress? That's what I call value!

-- Battlepanda

April 23, 2005 | Permalink

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Comments

"One such firm is Accuweather, which just so happens to be based in Pennsylvania, just like the good senator."

So, Santorum has decided to move back to Pennsylvania?

Posted by: urizon | Apr 23, 2005 11:33:15 AM

Hmmm. Can't seem to post an html link, for some reason. Here's the web address:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04324/414066.stm

Posted by: urizon | Apr 23, 2005 11:35:56 AM

Santorum does seem to be the cheap ticket on Capitol Hill.

Posted by: Bryan | Apr 23, 2005 12:02:59 PM

Apparently, Santorum doesn't want people to know if it's going to rain cats and dogs, lest they, well, you know...

Posted by: Jon | Apr 23, 2005 1:19:32 PM

This travesty goes hand-in-hand with the various proposals to prohibit cities from constructing public WiFi networks. Apparently it's now part of the libertarian orthodoxy that, in the "free market", private firms ought to be shielded from competition from the public sector.

In other words, according to this reasoning, government should not offer services if a business might have a mind to charge for a similar service. That would mean, among about 1000 similar examples, goodbye to the postal service and public libraries. It's an utterly insane notion, but that won't stop it from being the coin of the realm.

Posted by: ktheintz | Apr 23, 2005 1:25:47 PM

Yeah. Matt Yglesias had some good posts on WiFi and how the U.S. is getting left behind because of business interests (e.g. Telecom companies have no interest in making WiFi universally available because they would start losing too many telephone customers to voice over IP).

Does anybody know, by the way, whether this batshit weather bill have any chance of actually becoming law?

Posted by: Battlepanda | Apr 23, 2005 2:09:28 PM

It's not so much that democracy is for sale, we all realise that.
It's just that it's so cheap. If I quit buying dope and booze for three months, presumably, I could get "man-on-dog" boy to go to bat for my personal issue, to wit: the deep rooted need that this country has for an all-topless episode of Gilmore Girls.

Posted by: Grotesqueticle | Apr 23, 2005 2:23:20 PM

Hmmm, maybe this is his way of getting back at us for making him pay tuition for [what he thinks should be free] cyberschooling his kids?

Posted by: Ol Cranky | Apr 23, 2005 3:29:42 PM

Of course it beyond mention that the information from the weather service is paid for by tax money. But it's okay to sell what the corporations got basically for free.

Posted by: Nora L. Ingram | Apr 23, 2005 6:08:14 PM

I don't know, sounds as though he's got both the law and reason on his side. He is legally a resident of the area, and is out of town so much only because he works in Washington.

Still, it does make him look churlish -- which is a good thing, since he is a churl.

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