Friday, December 12, 2008

Louisville plays Austin Peay tomorrow

The ninth-ranked Cardinals play the OVC champion Austin Peay Governors tomorrow. In case you're not familiar, Peay is pronounced like the letter. Or the vegetable. Or...

Now they're weakening the Endangered Species Act

Yet another "midnight regulation" from the lame duck Bush administration removes "a provision that requires Fish and Wildlife Service scientists to make sure that endangered species won't be harmed by federally approved logging, mining and road-building projects," according to public-interest journalism site ProPublica.

"Now those reviews will be conducted by other federal agencies, like the Army Corps of Engineers or the Federal Highway Administration."

ProPublica also explains why it will be difficult for Obama to reverse the rule changes. They also have a page that tracks a great many more Bush League midnight regulations. It is truly amazing how many things these criminals are putting in place to gut environmental protections and civil rights. It's as if they were intent on destroying as much as they can on their way out - contaminating our drinking water, mining uranium on the brink of the Grand Canyon, loosening endangered species protections, stripping protections from wilderness areas, lowering air quality standards... allowing federally-funded institutions to deny abortion requests for religious reasons, expanding police surveillance authority, limiting employee access to medical and family leave time... the list goes on and on.

Fortunately, the site also shows which rule changes are still open for public comment and which are closed, finalized, or already in effect. If you can find a few minutes, take a look. Send in your comments on the ones that are still open, and write your representatives about the ones that are under OMB or Congressional review. Once these things go into effect, it can take years to reverse them.

UPDATE: I've also added ProPublica to the blogroll. For some reason, the blogroll is working intermittently on the main page; however, it still works consistently on individual post pages. So if you don't see the blog list, just click on the title of any post and they should appear.

County Fair: NYT's lame effort to hype the Blagobama meme

The MediaMatters County Fair blog summarizes how the media seem to be trying to promote the idea that Rod Blagojevich's "pay for play" scandal has somehow tainted Barack Obama: order for the Beltway press to gin up the Blago story this week, basic journalism guidelines had to be set aside and in some cases brazenly ignored. That's the only way this story worked because simply reporting the facts as presented by the prosecutors would have made it painfully clear that, in terms of Obama's involvement, there was none. In fact, Obama had thwarted Blago's money-making scheme.

But that wasn't the story the press wanted to tell. (i.e. Obama the reformer rebukes corrupt local pol.) So lots of reporters and pundits consciously, and often systematically, took it upon themselves to make the story more appealing.

Of course the sources used in all the stories implying Obama's career is tarnished because he happens to be from Illinois are... drum roll please... Republican leaders. But that fact is always buried several paragraphs deep in stories that breathlessly report that "questions are being raised by some" about what Blago's problems mean about the president-elect.

Your liberal press in action.