Saturday, May 16, 2009

Obama Picks Superfund Polluter Lawyer To Run DOJ Environment Division ... WTF? (Updated)

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced that he intends to appoint Ignacia Moreno to head up the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division... you know, the division responsible for enforcing the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Superfund.

That division.

Now, Ms. Moreno is a woman, and is Hispanic.

So naturally, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) applauds President Obama's decision to nominate Ms. Moreno.

Other than corporations that find laws protecting the environment an annoying waste of money and time, the HNBA may be the only ones cheering.

Ms. Moreno has, for most of her career, focused on the environment alright. Defending those who pollute.

In an unrelated story, President Obama announced this morning that he has appointed a fox with many years of experience in the poultry business to guard the henhouse.

Film at 11:00.
h/t to Think Progress

Update (further thoughts):

Yesterday, GE began clean up of the PCB's in the Hudson River, in a settlement that Moreno helped negotiate. Since rumor has it GE is planning to fight the next stage of the cleanup, maybe Obama's plan is to take Moreno out of the game.

She'd have to recuse herself in the GE case, due to an obvious conflict of interest.

In fact, she'd have to recuse herself from every major case where her firm represented the polluter... so her "un-involvement" as a litigator might actually be beneficial to the DOJ's prosecution.

It begs the question, though:

Why would Moreno accept the job (and a major pay cut), if the DOJ gig would be little more than titular?

The mind is boggled.

Friday, May 15, 2009

When Media's "Talking Heads" Fail To Question Political Hype and Falsehood, It's No Wonder Americans Stay Misinformed

This morning, on the Today Show, Matt Lauer proved once again why he is far better suited to be an entertainment/talk show host than to try to pass himself off as a journalist.

The latest GOP tactic is to try to make Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) complicit in the harsh interrogation techniques torture tactics "suggested" employed by the Bush administration... and the mainstream media is aiding them in that effort.

Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) stated that could have called for a "closed hearing" when she became aware the Bush administration's use of harsh interrogation techniques, and that she could have passed a bill to cut the funding, and thus prevent the administration from engaging in harsh interrogation methods.

Sounds great, except for one small, annoying fact: It was a lie.

Pelosi was a member of the Democratic Minority at the time.

She had no power to do what Bond is suggesting, so his claim is pure, unadulterated crap.

Lauer, like a good little puppy dog, not only didn't call him on it, he agreed with Bond!

I don't know about you, but frankly, I'm tired of this crap.

Give me a feckin' break.

h/t to Media Matters

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What If The Conservative Argument Used To Justify Torture Were Used To Justify Other Things?

Jon Stewart and John Oliver do just that in this clip.

This brilliant piece of comedy makes the argument to justify torture seem really stupid, or the conservative media's attacks on Wanda Sykes seem really stupid... or both:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Wanda Sykes' Jokes
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

I think I'm going to borrow this idea when dispelling other crazy conservative talking points brought up by Stupid People™ I encounter.

It'll be fun.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

For Your Amusement: What Will Be the Title of Sarah Palin's Book?

It's old news by now. Every other progressive blog in Alaska has commented on the fact that Sarah Palin has signed a book deal with Harper Collins publishing house, with the book due out in spring of 2010. Rumors of her advance range from $7 to $11 million.

So, rather than repeat what Progressive Alaska, Shannyn Moore or others have already said, I decided to have some fun with this:

Let's give this book a title!

Submit your suggestions, and I, being in Total Control™ of the judging, will select a winner.

Contest closes when I feel like it, and there is no prize other than my congratulations.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Comedy Duo of Obama & Sykes

The annual White House Correspondent's Dinner took place last night. This event, staged by the White House Correspondent's Association (WHCA), raises money to provide scholarships (16 this year I believe) to students majoring in journalism.

Additionally, this year the WHCA is donating $10,000 to SOME, an organization that helps provide meals, job training and mental health and addiction treatment to the poor.

So it's a worthy endeavor.

Traditionally, the President of the United States attends (since 1924, when Calvin Coolidge was the first to show up, every president has) and he makes what are hopefully humorous remarks (George The Lesser™ wasn't all that funny a few years back, with his slide show about looking for WMD under White House furniture - but that's a dead horse I won't beat).

President Obama, as expected, took the dais and gave a few remarks. He roasted the press, the GOP, his staff, his administration... and even himself.

While I'm not suggesting (for the sake of America and the world) that he give up his day job, he was damned funny!

The president was followed by the featured entertainer for the evening, comedian Wanda Sykes. She killed!

In the interest of brevity, I'm only including the highlights (which also show audience reaction) from her comments.

And for those of you out there that think Wanda may have been a little over the top: If you've ever caught Wanda's stand-up act, you know she toned it down for this event.

I'm sure right-wing heads have been exploding over this since last night... but get a grip, folks.
It's comedy.

h/t to The Daily Kos and C-Span.