There something otherworldly about our national condition. In the past year the Republican minority in the Senate has forced every major legislative exercise into a filibuster-threatened dead-end. And a public-relations feeding frenzy in the right-wing media and by irresponsible politicians has crowded out reason and ignored the needs of the country in favor of propaganda-filled partisanship.

Even now in the face of an oil spill that threatens the economy of the Gulf Coast states and is a looming environmental disaster, there is something odd about the response of political leaders in the area. Concerned about their dependence on the oil industry for economic sustenance members of Congress and Governors like Mississippi’s Haley Barbour and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal protest the president’s six-month moratorium on deep-sea drilling. Understandably the loss of jobs during this period would be a blow to workers but what is to be done about a lax regulatory system and the possibility that other disasters could occur if government doesn’t step in and redefine safety parameters?