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> > Senator John Thune, Republican - South Dakota, is an idiot.

TroutnutFebruary 6th, 2009, 1:08 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
In fact, that goes for most of the hypocritical Republican demagogues who are cherrypicking tiny parts of the stimulus bill to whine about. But John Thune earns himself a special mention on this site for singling out and making fun of $20 million for the removal of small- to medium-sized fish passage barriers as "wasteful spending." He seems to be echoing Republican representative Mike Pence from the 6th district of Indiana. These lowly creatures join Sarah Palin at the top of the idiot list for making fun of science-related spending, perhaps because they weren't smart enough to pass high school science and chose to pursue a career kissing rich asses instead. What useless things they are.

Anyway, the funding they're ridiculing seems to be for the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Fish Passage Program. From that program's website,

Based on estimates from the Economic Policy Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, each $1 million of fish passage improvement projects creates between 20 to 54 new jobs in the areas which the barriers exist, most of which can be initiated within 3-6 months. And this doesnít include secondary job creation!

The US FWS responded to the criticism:

The Fish and Wildlife Service said the work to remove fish barriers is "shovel ready" and includes projects like building bypasses around large dams and demolishing obsolete mill runs that date back to colonial times.

"There's going to be a lot of work for local contractors," said Fish and Wildlife spokesman Chris Tollefson. "We're talking about restoring native fish runs all over the country."

So it's just the kind of stimulus spending we need -- money that directly and quickly creates jobs that serve a good purpose for society. It's reminiscent of work done by the civilian conservation corps in the 1930s, part of FDR's solution to the Great Depression. Nearly all of us have probably taken advantage of stream accesses and other opportunities created by those projects almost 80 years ago.

The value of removing passage barriers is probably obvious to most readers of this site, but I'll spell it out for any doubters. Medium to large barriers, like dams, completely cut salmon off from spawning/rearing habitat and force populations to be maintained by stocking.

Even smaller barriers are very important, though. Many species of stream fish, including trout and salmon, have to migrate at several points in their life cycle. Adults migrate upstream to spawn--not just lake-run fish, but riverine populations too. They move up to seek thermal refuge in the summer. Juveniles spawned downstream move even farther up into the headwaters to avoid the predators found in bigger water. Healthy headwater populations help repopulate systems that get damaged by overharvest or temporary pollution, and immigration from downstream helps keep headwaters healthy, both in terms of numbers and genetic diversity. This doesn't just affect the little trickling streams that culverts often block. Sure, we don't fish there, but access to those headwaters serves a critical role for the health of the larger systems downstream.

Those systems support not only our sport but all of the fly shops and guides that depend on it, and the restaurants, gas stations, hotels, and other beneficiaries of fishing-related tourism. Good fishing is good business. Aren't Republicans supposed to care about that? Naaahhhh, not where there's partisan posturing to be done!

All that said, it is extremely refreshing to finally see these idiots whining on the sidelines while the smart people run the country.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
MartinlfFebruary 6th, 2009, 7:03 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
RleePFebruary 6th, 2009, 8:34 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
Well, I have a theory that Thune wanted to be a senator so badly for so long that he ran against everybody in sight, got his ass kicked repeatedly until finally, he got in. I don't thing the delirium all that effort precipitated in him has ever passed and he isn't thinking rationally.

Maybe if he were to be sedated for a while or, alternately, taught to hyperventilate, he might make some progress...:)
EricStroupFebruary 8th, 2009, 8:04 am
Spruce Creek Pa

Posts: 11
I'm sorry to see such a great site get turned into a political forum. I'm not going to mention the fact that this Stimulus package could possibly be the single most damaging thing our government has ever implemented into our economy. Whether you're a democrate or a republican, do your homework and look at whats included in this thing, rather than listen to the BS rants that both sides feel the need to spew. I hear inteligent people start using language like this in there arguement and it destroys any credibility they had.
I am a small business owner with a few employees. My perspective on this 'Stimulus Package' is not from either side of the political isle. I am so tired of hearing from idealogues (from both sides),that don't live in the real world and have to make a payroll. I urge everyone to take a look at this Stimulus Bill for what it really is, and make your mind up based on the facts, not rhetoric. Sorry Jason, no offense intended, just a bad way to start my Sunday morning. Please don't turn this site into this.
Eric Stroup
JADFebruary 8th, 2009, 8:45 am
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
I have a lot of fishing friends here, and I'm not opposed to saying what I think. Here it comes---But- They say that you should never talk about politics or religion at the dinner table. I think we should also add forums. Options are like as*^$holes every one has one. I'm of the opinion wrong place wrong topic.

John A Dunn---JAD

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cockís wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
TroutnutFebruary 8th, 2009, 10:44 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Generally I try to keep politics off this forum, but when politicians are essentially attacking trout streams I think fly fishermen absolutely should be made aware of it. It's wrong to stay silent just because speaking up might make a few people uncomfortable. If you don't want to read about politics in the forum, don't click an overtly political title -- problem solved. Now, everyone has their own style for speaking up, but personally I'm not one to sugarcoat my points: I think the politicians who attack science they don't understand as "wasteful" are useless idiots, and I'm not afraid to say it.

Also, Eric struck right on one of my pet peeves -- I get really annoyed by the condescending view that anyone who doesn't own a small business doesn't live in the "real world," and is speaking only from ideology. In my real world, I'm losing hundreds of dollars in website revenue per month because the fly fishing industry is hurting and their ad spending is down, and because nobody has spare change for the t-shirts, mugs, and bumper stickers I sell through this site. I'm also watching potential future jobs evaporate as these Republican demagogues nix spending for the US Fish & Wildlife Service, NOAA, and other organizations I could end up working for in the future. There's nothing ideological about seeing that this stimulus package will benefit me. It looks like it will benefit most Americans. As a small business owner it's probably got some tax cuts for you.

Rush Limbaugh may think it's a disaster, but he's not my source of "fact." I prefer to get facts from the vast majority of economists who think this package is necessary, and from FDR's historic success putting people back to work with well-targeted spending that gives the government a good return on its investment.

This 778-page bill is certainly not perfect, but all the allegedly "wasteful" spending the Republicans have cherrypicked totals only 1-2% of the bill. And much of that -- like the fish habitat restoration -- is not at all wasteful. I notice you didn't argue with the facts about that, which I described above... you just dismissed them as ideological rhetoric. Exactly what wasn't factual about my assertion that those projects help the economy and our sport?
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
HellgramiteFebruary 8th, 2009, 1:22 pm
Southern calif.

Posts: 45
All I have to say is our country has and is being taken away from us by this bunch of power hungry DIC-S.This is exactly what they want is for people to argue over politics so we miss what they are doing in Congress.If you look at the poles over 60% of the American people do not want this {spending package}.By the way didn't Obama win by 52% of the vote.So why should this pass when only 32% of the people want it.Also I live in California where about 10 years ago all the tree huggers wanted to go out and wander in the forest and bird watch,hike,and just be one with nature.They found that people like us who by the way are the first and true ecologist have paid for the up keep of our wild lands though fishing lic.,hunting lic,taxes on sporting gear and so on.All of a sudden we were the ones disrupting the lands and killing the fish and animals.They were able to use the money that we paid to buy land to be set aside for public use to sue us in order to have control over these lands.So what came out of it was you had to pay to use the public land to the toon of $5.00 a day or $30.00 a year.So for $30.00 a year plus the cost of a fishing lic.$37.00 or so it goes up every year you can go fishing and be told by people in birkenstocks how were screwing up the public lands.It's not about us any more It's about the haves and the have not's.
EricStroupFebruary 9th, 2009, 4:16 am
Spruce Creek Pa

Posts: 11
Since you asked, I'll respond to this, and then i'm done with it. I don't wish to offend anyone, I'll say my piece, and then I'm going to look at bug pictures on the site from now on!

"The hypocritical Republican demagogues who are cherry picking tiny parts of this bill to whine about"

First of all Jason, the system is set up that way. It's supposed to work that way to prevent something like this from occuring. If you want to be pissed about 'cherry picking', look at your own party! Last time I checked, you were the Majority. The "problem" for this Bill is from within the ranks of the Democratic Party.

The so called "Idiot List"
These so called "stupid people that weren't smart enough to pass high school science class, that do nothing but kiss rich asses." Really Jason? Because they don't think that $20 million dollars for the removal of small to medium sized fish passage barriers, falls within the guide lines of economic stimulus?
Good fishing is good business. No one knows that better than you and I. Like you, I make my living off of the fishing business, and I'll be the first to acknowlege, THE FISHING COMMUNITY IS NEVER GOING TO HAVE ANY IMPACT ON THE ECONOMY. It's too small. That's not to say that the $20 million dollar investment is a bad idea, it's just not part of the stimulus package.
There was nothing condescending about my 'real world, small business' comment. If you took it that way, I apologize. If you're offended by an opposing view, then there is not much I can do about that. I'm not on here calling people useless idiots because I disaggree with them, and if you think 'not sugarcoating' your arguements is equivilent to name calling, then this isn't even a debate. The purpose of debate is to arrive at the truth, the absence of debate is rhetoric.
There were no facts to argue with Jason. I just don't believe these issues address the Stimulus problem. My information doesn't come from Rush, and anyone who wants to look at how much garbage and waste is in the Bill can find it on line in a second. As i said before, the only reason this Bill didn't fly thru the first time was because of the Democrates that bailed on it. If you want to whine about something, whine about the "smart people", not the idiots.
Peace, now i'm going to look at bugs.

TroutnutFebruary 9th, 2009, 12:25 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Like you, I make my living off of the fishing business, and I'll be the first to acknowlege, THE FISHING COMMUNITY IS NEVER GOING TO HAVE ANY IMPACT ON THE ECONOMY.

There is no single $60 million piece of the stimulus package that can have a major impact on the economy. It's the collection of thousands of those pieces that adds up to something very meaningful. On a fine level the economy has to be bolstered job by job, community by community.

These so called "stupid people that weren't smart enough to pass high school science class, that do nothing but kiss rich asses." Really Jason? Because they don't think that $20 million dollars for the removal of small to medium sized fish passage barriers, falls within the guide lines of economic stimulus?

These were exactly the kind of shovel-ready infrastructure jobs that can put people to work within a couple months of passage. Furthermore, these projects pay off even after the initial job creation, by keeping the fishing industry and local tourism healthy.

I guarantee that John Thune didn't bother to look into how many jobs this would create, or how much good it would do environmentally, before he attacked it on the floor. He just thought it "sounded" wasteful, and that's good enough for his pea-brain. He's the same guy who complained of wasteful spending on honeybee research while farmers lost untold millions to poor pollination during a mysterious honeybee die-off. This isn't just an isolated incident but an escalating pattern of ignorant Republicans taking advantage of their voters' ignorance about science to generate opposition to research or environmental funding. Scientific projects can easily sound frivolous to people who don't understand their applications, and Republicans shamelessly exploit that to further their personal reputations as budget hawks. If a project makes good rhetoric, they'll stomp all over the public's best interest in a heartbeat.

I absolutely detest people who treat their position of power so irresponsibly. Thune either didn't bother to look at the actual implications of the fish passage funding, or didn't care because trashing it sounded good. I don't know which is worse. Neither could be done by an intelligent person with a conscience. Either way, he's not doing his job as a U.S. Senator.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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