LA Governor Bobby Jindal is looking dumber by the day:
Thanks to “something called volcano monitoring,” to use the denigrating language of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, passenger jets did not fly into ash clouds when Alaska’s Mount Redoubt erupted earlier this week.
Volcanic ash creates conditions akin to flying into a sand blaster. A KLM flight lost power in all four engines after it flew into the cloud created by a 1989 eruption of Redoubt.
The plane dropped by more than two vertical miles before its crew could restart the engines and land in Anchorage. No wonder Alaska Airlines canceled 19 in-state flights on Monday week after Redoubt sent an ash plume 60,000 feet into the sky.
The eruptions of Redoubt carry a lesson that Jindal did not learn back when he was a Rhodes Scholar: Don’t sneer at science.
The lesson applies equally to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a potential Jindal rival for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. “Sarah Barracuda” spent last fall lampooning federal money spent on fruit fly research, ignoring that it is essential to the study of human genetics.
Jindal’s remarks give pause, not only about this would-be president but the Republican Party to which he tossed red meat in response to President Obama’s address to Congress. “Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.,” said the governor.
Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, tried to talk sense in a letter to Jindal.
“Volcano monitoring is a matter of life and death in Alaska,” wrote Begich. “The science of volcano monitoring and the money needed to fund it is incredibly important in our state and could affect the economic well-being of other states and countries because of Alaska’s key role in international commerce.”