National Weather Service to be gagged?

This ranks right up there with tobacco subsidies for “most selfish, asinine government”.

Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) wants to prohibit the National Weather Service from releasing their weather data to the public. Note that the National Weather Service is paid for by public tax monies — that is, paid for by the people whose access Sen. Santorum wants to block.

So, why does Sen. Santorum want to ban the public release of taxpayer-funded weather data? Quoting the senator (as seen in, among other places, an article on the issue), he says:

NOAA's actions threaten the continued success of the commercial weather industry,” Santorum said in a Senate session last week. “It's not an easy prospect for a business to attract advertisers, subscribers, or investors when the government is providing similar products and services for free.

Of course, some of those companies are headquartered in his state, Pennsylvania. I heard on a TV news report the senator saying something along the lines of “these companies employ thousands of people”. Geez, should the government outlaw cars because of their threat to the horse-and-buggy industry? Considering the number of Amish in Pennsylvania, a call by Sen. Santorum to ban cars might not be unexpected.

What a moron.

Wikipedia entry on this subject

Update: Thankfully, the bill never made it beyond committee.

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