In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, President Obama made the case that excessive regulation is a key factor holding back the U.S. economy. The president may have been seeking to burnish his bipartisan credentials with the piece; it made me groan.

Echoing this classic right-wing talking point seems an odd move in the wake of Wall Street meltdown, the Upper Big Branch mining disaster, and the BP oil spill — all directly related to excessive de-regulation. And let’s not forget the sad saga of the EPA’s attempts to reckon with clothianidin, the agrichemical giant Bayer’s blockbuster pesticide that the EPA’s own scientists think may be harming our extremely fragile honeybee population. It’s only through the dogged efforts of Colorado beekeeper Tom Theobald that we even know of these concerns among the agency’s scientists.

In the video below, Theobald tells the long, sad story of how the agency came to permit this pesticide to be sprayed on millions of acres. Are you listening, Mr. President?

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