Thursday Mashup 10/18/12

October 18, 2012
  • I give you The Daily Tucker (here)…

    Thursday marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. No doubt, the billions spent on the act have improved overall water quality. Yet as someone who regularly rowed on Washington, D.C.’s Potomac River during college, I know that the Clean Water Act and the EPA are still in murky water.

    The author then goes on to lament the fact that storm runoff (i.e., trash) ends up in the Potomac, which he encounters while rowing. So, for that reason, he considers the Clean Water Act “40 years of inefficient solutions.”

    Seriously.

    Now I don’t know how culpable the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (DCWSA) is for this circumstance (that is where the author squarely lays the blame). However, the author also tells us that he’s a member of the Property and Environment Research Center (note the order of “property” and “environment,” by the way) which, as noted here, “(is linked) to a long list of the country’s most powerful right-wing foundations and organizations committed to deregulation of industry and to the privatization of public assets” (David Currie, the author of this piece, keeps harking back to “market-based solutions,” which for our purposes here is wingnut code for letting business do whatever it wants).

    However, I think it’s still idiotic to consider the Clean Water Act to be a “failure” focus solely on the ongoing pollutions challenges not addressed by the Clean Water Act (here); Obama Administration EPA head Lisa Jackson, citing the Act’s accomplishments here, said it “has kept tens of billions of pounds of sewage, chemicals and trash out of the nation’s waterways during the past 40 years. The federal law, which includes regulations governing drinking water and requiring improvements in the environmental health of rivers, lakes and seas, has dramatically improved both human health and the environment.”

    Also concerning the Act, this tells us that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has encouraged Congress to reauthorize the CWA; I guess Boehner, Cantor, Mikey the Beloved and their pals won’t do it because they consider it to be an unwarranted regulatory intrusion, or something. In addition, the National Clean Water Network tells us here what new assaults the life forms running the U.S. House are planning against the Act and the environment overall (with this Romney advisor telling us he, and by extension, his party’s presidential nominee, wants to “reverse this trend of ownership of public lands,” as if that’s supposedly so awful).

    I guess this is par for the Repug course when you consider that the law was originally vetoed here by then-president Richard Nixon because it was supposedly too expensive, which prompted a statesman-like response from Sen. Ed Muskie, asking what the “cost” was for our health and a safe environment.

    And while I wish Number 44 would distance himself from his electoral opponent on this issue, this tells us that “stim” funds were committed to cleanup of our waterways, and here, Dem Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, introduced H.R. 6249 – the Water Protection and Reinvestment Act in the House of Representatives, legislation to “establish a Clean Water Trust Fund, which is revenue neutral, does not add to the federal debt, (and raises) approximately $9 billion a year for the Trust Fund.”

    However, given this, do you honestly believe “Orange Man” and his pals will budge one inch in favor of doing the right thing?

  • Also, did you know that Mr. “Binders Full of Women” is supposedly better on LGBT Issues than Obama? The author of this piece says so anyway (sticking with The Daily Tucker)…

    While we applaud President Obama for supporting the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — a failed policy that Governor Romney and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan have said they will not reinstate — and while we give President Obama credit for coming to the Dick Cheney position on marriage equality, the truth is that Obama’s administration has been devastating for average gay people and their families.

    Really? Why, just stick a rainbow decal from that Toyota Sienna minivan on my forehead and Color Me Shocked!

    How can that be, given that Romney and his running mate, Mr. Puppy-Dog-Eyes-With-The-Shiv, both support the ridiculous Defense of Marriage Act, as noted here (well, Mitt was better on this in 1994, as noted here, opposing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and supporting the Employee Non-Discrimination Act – I guess he “shook that Etch-a-Sketch” and came up with a new answer…and isn’t this interesting concerning DOMA?).

    This takes us to a Think Progress post asking Romney six questions on LGBT issues that he should answer (and answering in the affirmative would definitely go against his party’s platform, such as it is). But until Romney does answer them (and holds to that answer without changing his mind for at least five minutes), there’s no reason to take him seriously on this subject.

    And as long as we’re discussing the Repug presidential nominee, I think this column asks a very good question (and one that definitely should be discussed in the debates – maybe for the last one I hope), and that is how Willard Mitt feels about torture (he can even call it “enhanced interrogation” if he wants – I have to tell you, though, that I think the answer is here, and it’s not a good one).

    Related to that item, I give you this, telling us about some of the “war heads” who would likely comprise a Romney foreign policy team, including PNAC’s Eliot Cohen, “Baghdad” Dan Senor, and Cofer Black of the aptly-named (but no longer – currently “XE”) Blackwater, along with former Bushie John Lehman and someone named Pierre Prosper.

    But as far as Romney and foreign policy goes (and tied to his utter debate flameout on Libya), this tells us about more of Willard Mitt’s “do as I say, not as I do” BS.

  • Further, I give you “Pastor” Gerson of the WaPo, lecturing the Dems (Biden in particular) on “civility” here (a bit behind in the news cycle on this, I’ll admit)…

    At the height of a close election, it is worth a reminder that civility is the essential democratic virtue. Civility is not the same thing as niceness. The high stakes of politics can produce intense disagreements. But manners — even cold, formal ones — communicate a modicum of mutual respect and preserve the possibility of cooperation. John Stuart Mill called democracy “government by discussion.” Biden has left our discussion more toxic — and Obama’s task more difficult.

    Of course, this was written before the Tuesday debate, it should be noted.

    This is the same Michael Gerson, by the way, who once said here that President Obama was “delusional” and the reconciliation process (used by both parties and embraced by that fine, upstanding Roman Catholic Repug VP nominee) was “dirty.” Also, the same Gerson held up “Straight Talk” McCain as a supposed model of civility here, even though McCain once asked “how do we beat the bitch?” in reference to Hillary Clinton (when “Senator Honor and Virtue” thought she would be the ’08 Dem presidential nominee), and said that Chelsea Clinton was “ugly” because “her father was Janet Reno.”

    I give you another lesson in wingnut code; when Gerson and his ilk talk about “civility,” what that means is a Democrat is supposed to sit down, shut up, and let a Repug take charge.

  • Finally, turning to sports, this tells us that Spencer Hawes, who I believe is still with the Sixers (haven’t found evidence to the contrary), has taken to the Twitter thingie to endorse Romney.

    Which I would care less about, were it not for the fact that he did it like this:

    Hawes made it clear earlier this year that he is not a supporter of noted basketball fan President Obama, or of the president’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. When the Supreme Court handed down its ruling that the healthcare reform legislation is constitutional in June, Hawes tweeted: “Ronald Reagan is spinning in his grave. We might as well be in Russia in 1983.”

    He went on to refer to the Obama administration as communist in several tweets, and added:

    Just drove by a bald eagle who appeared to be crying. Coincidence @BarackObama?

    Ha and ha, wingnut.

    Oh yes, Hawes is so “established” that they traded for Andrew Bynum and his questionable knees and signed the human punch line that is Kwame Brown (here).

    When it comes to playing center for the Sixers, if Hawes is the answer, then the question is too scary to contemplate (just add him to the list of failed centers for that team – Matt Geiger, Jeff Ruland coming off injury, etc.).

    In the meantime, tells Hawes to try driving the lane against Dwight Howard the next time he opposes the Lakers.

    And then let me know when I should call 911.


  • Wednesday Mashup (5/13/09)

    May 13, 2009


    Nothing really in particular to note here except the following…

  • I got a kick out of this Onion News Network story, dancing on that razor’s edge between news and satire again; My favorite line? “For the first time in my life I know who the secretary of the treasury is…(and) I don’t like it.”
  • Health_Care_xfMVTPCRkFutFv-325

  • Please click here to access an online petition urging Congress to support President Obama’s health care initiative.
  • EARTH_CC_GW
    Also, I was intrigued by this story in today’s New York Times, which tells us…

    WASHINGTON — An internal government memorandum that came to light on Tuesday challenged the scientific and economic basis of a proposed Environmental Protection Agency finding that climate-altering gases are a threat to human health and welfare.

    The undated and unsigned government document, marked “Deliberative — Attorney Client Privilege,” was compiled by the White House Office of Management and Budget from comments offered by various agencies. A White House official said that many of the criticisms and suggestions came from holdovers from the administration of President George W. Bush and had been rejected by Obama appointees.

    Some of the objections mirror longstanding criticism of the proposed E.P.A. action (to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act) from Republicans and business lobbies who say that the Clean Air Act is the wrong instrument for combating global warming and that such regulation will have devastating effects on the economy.

    Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, waved the document at Lisa P. Jackson, the E.P.A. administrator, at a hearing of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Mr. Barrasso called it a “smoking gun” that proved that the proposed finding was based on politics, not science.

    “This misuse of the Clean Air Act will be a trigger for overwhelming regulation and lawsuits based on gases emitted from cars, schools, hospitals and small business,” Mr. Barrasso said. “This will affect any number of other sources, including lawn mowers, snowmobiles and farms. This will be a disaster for the small businesses that drive America.”

    Ms. Jackson replied that the E.P.A. was obligated by the Supreme Court to decide whether heat-trapping gases pose a danger to human health and the environment. She said much of the analysis behind the proposed finding had been completed before she assumed office in January. She added that the comments reflected “people’s opinions” and were not binding on the agency.

    Well, well, I would call that some well-orchestrated political theater by a puppet of some of this country’s most notorious energy interests (and I say that based on this article, which tells us the following about Barrasso)…

    John Barrasso has received $136,400 in oil contributions during the 110th congress. $110,500 of those dollars were from industry PACS.[5] These numbers make Barrasso one of the top recipients of oil and coal money in the Senate. In addition to oil money, Barrasso has accepted $82,250 in coal contributions during the 110th congress. $70,000 of those dollars were from industry PACS [6].

    Oh, and by the way, John, who exactly is it that’s in charge of your party again (here)?

    Update 5/14/09: So NOW we know who wrote that supposed “smoking gun” memo, according to Barrasso (here – yeah, way to look legitimate by appearing with Glenn Beck…but you STILL won’t say Flush Limbore runs your party, will you?).

    Crime_Scene_cri0613_s

  • I have to admit that I’m truly puzzled by this story, which indicates more maneuvers by the pro-gun lobby in this country, specifically the following…

    The 10th Amendment (to the Constitution) declares that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” It inspired the so-called “Sagebrush Rebellion” three decades ago that swept the West, preventing the federal takeover of public lands pushed by the Carter Administration and propelling the self-proclaimed Sagebrush Rebel, Ronald Reagan, to the Presidency. Now it is being invoked by pro-gun advocates to press for state rather than federal regulation of gun manufacturers. (See pictures of America’s gun culture.)

    (Now) Montana has passed a law allowing local gun manufacturers to sidestep federal regulations as long as the weapons they make are sold within the territory of the state. “It’s a gun bill, but it’s another way of demonstrating the sovereignty of the state of Montana,” Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer said, according to AP, as he signed the bill into law in mid-April. “I like big guns, I like little guns, I like pistols, I like rifles, and I would like to buy a gun that’s made in Montana.”

    And yes, the support of this bill by Schweitzer, who was and may yet be again a rising star in the Democratic Party, was most definitely NOT a shining moment for him.

    However, the real “gotcha” part of the story for me comes near the end…

    The irony is that most of the major gun manufacturers are located in blue states – Smith and Wesson in Massachusetts, Colt in Connecticut. Other large manufacturers, like Browning located in Utah, are engaged in global commerce. Montana’s bill will apply to boutique gun manufacturers who make expensive, custom-made hunting rifles, usually purchased by affluent hunters and collectors.

    Putting aside the utterly farcical notion that any weapon manufactured in a state that passes one of these laws such as Montana would NEVER, under any circumstance, travel outside the borders of that state, possibly to be used in the commission of a crime (with Paul Helmke of Handgun Control saying that such a law wouldn’t hold up because “there are rules when you’re part of the Union”) am I to understand, then, that this law would mandate that these guns could only be purchased and used in the state in which they were manufactured? What the hell kind of business sense (or lack thereof) does THAT show?

    Guess that kind of explains why this state has a region known as “the flathead” (the jokes write themselves sometimes, people).


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