Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Mashup (11/18/09)

(And I also posted here.)

  • This story tells us the following…

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Senate committee passed legislation on Wednesday that would increase government oversight of the U.S. food supply, which has been battered by a series of high-profile recalls that have soured consumer confidence in the food safety system.

    The bill would expand U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversight of the food supply by giving it the power to order recalls, increase inspection rates and require all facilities to have a food safety plan in place.

    The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the legislation unanimously by a voice vote.

    "There are very few things that are as important as ensuring that the food we eat and the food we serve our families is safe for consumption," said Sen. Christopher Dodd.
    So in addition to fighting for reasonable credit card rates and the public option in health care legislation (here), Chris Dodd is also doing his best to ensure the safety of our food supply (And tell me why he’s losing to this Rob Simmons guy again? Oh, yeah…he supposedly scored a point higher on a preferred mortgage than anybody else – riiiiight.)

    Well, in case anyone needs a history lesson as to how much the FDA treated like a “poor stepchild” by our prior ruling cabal, click here (and to find out more on what the FDA is doing on this score, click here – I must confess to some concerns on Michael Taylor, however, who was named as “food czar” last July, based on this.)

  • Also, consider this a case study of the right-wing echo chamber at work, people; as TPM noted here…

    Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) has strong words for the Republicans opposing Attorney General Eric Holder's plan to bring five 9/11 suspects to New York City to face trial.

    "They see this as an opportunity to demagogue," he said. "They will seize on any opportunity to do that, and that means they'll even take a stand that's un-American."

    "It's un-American to hold anyone indefinitely without trial," Moran added. "It's against our principles as a nation."
    And now, that quote was used to concoct the following, as Think Progress tells us here…

    Former Bush attorney general Michael Mukasey is one of the Republicans who has been speaking out against Holder. Last week at a Federalist Society conference, Mukasey said that holding the trial in Manhattan increased the risk of a terrorist attack on the city.

    In an interview with Washington Times radio this morning, the hosts asked Mukasey about Moran’s comments. Mukasey responded by suggesting that the congressman “get professional help” from Maj. Nidal Hasan:

    Q: Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia says anybody that questions KSM coming to New York City for a civilian trial — that they’re un-American. What is your reaction to that?

    MUKASEY: I think he’s lost touch with reality. He ought to get professional help, perhaps from Maj. Nidal.
    Ha and ha (typical for the Moonie Times, of course; also, I always wondered on what basis Mukasey was given this “cred” as AG aside from the fact that he wasn’t the hopelessly compromised hack that Alberto Gonzales was, since Mukasey was every bit as political as anybody else in that regime).

    So, Moran’s statement that it’s “un-American to hold anyone indefinitely without trial,” morphs into it’s “un-American for anyone to question whether KSM should be tried in New York City.”

    It would be amazing if it weren’t so disgusting (though, to be fair, Moran has been known to shoot his mouth off from time to time, as noted here).

    However, do you know where else it is stated that, under our legal system, defendants are entitled to a speedy trial?

    Right here, in the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, that’s where.

    Of course, I would understand why Mukasey would be ignorant of anything pertaining to the Constitution, since, as noted here, he supported Section 215 of The Patriot Act (and as noted here in an updated link to the '07 post, Section 215 basically makes a mockery of the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments also).

    Oh, and for good measure, Bill Kristol criticizes Holder’s “tinny bravado” for choosing to try KSM in New York City here.

    And in response, I give you The Rude Pundit (here)…

    Still, no one out-wrongs or out-pussies Bill Kristol, and The Weekly Standard editor, who, one should always be reminded, was Alan Keyes's presidential campaign manager, didn't disappoint. Also on Fox, he repeated what is becoming a mantra of the right on Mohammed: "There are huge problems with this. These guys were not given their Miranda warnings...[W]here was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed arrested? In Pakistan in a pre-dawn raid. He wasn't read his rights."

    Oh, calm down, Nancy. Mohammed was captured in Pakistan. The most stomach-churningly charitable reading of his torture and treatment for years at Gitmo is that he was like a detained suspect in a crime who is questioned before being formally arrested. That's the whole "enemy combatant" status thing. You can pretty much bet that he'll be Mirandized once he's officially under arrest, if he hasn't already. But, no, don't let that stop another talking point that sounds like it's from an episode of Law and Order: STFU.
    I couldn’t have said it better.

  • Finally, former Laura Bush employee Andrew Malcolm was apparently looking forward to Oprah’s interview with Sarah Palin (her again!) yesterday, but was upset by the appearance of porn actress Jenna Jameson instead (here)…

    Oprah's guest clearly rejected the idea of wearing a confining pantsuit in public. Her short skirt went right up there around Nebraska. The hair hung down to the Dakotas. And Oprah's questioning seemed a little off-target too for a political interview.

    The two women got along well, though. Then, they hit on some puzzlingly explicit topics that you don't normally hear much of in interviews of unindicted politicians.

    The guest had written a book a while back called "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star," which wasn't exactly the title we had expected based on the advance publicity for the former Republican VP candidate.
    (You’d truly have to be a curmudgeon to claim disappointment with “only” having to settle for Jameson, I believe, who at least is a subject matter expert in her chosen field.)

    And “How To Make Love Like A Porn Star” – now why does that sound familiar?

    Oh, I know why! It’s because, as Frank Rich noted here in a New York Times column from about five years ago, it was published by News Corp.

    And you know who owns News Corp, don’t you? Rupert The Pirate (aaaarrrggh, me hearties!), that’s who.

    Just remember that the next time you hear about “family values” from Fix Noise (another Murdoch creation, of course), as in this example.
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