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She wants to put you in a headlock and make you feel PAIN


EPA spokesperson Liz Bowman, apparently noticing all the squeaking as staffers grab life vests and depart the House That Pruitt Remodeled at Double The Projected Cost, will also be leaving the agency for a brand new job as spokeswoman for Senator Joni Ernst. There, instead of being abusive to reporters on environmental issues, she can be abusive to reporters about a wide range of things, like hog castration. Should be a fun change of pace for Bowman, who came to the EPA, like many of Pruitt's Little Helpers, from the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry's lobbying group.

Bowman's tenure as top EPA spokesperson was marked by her choice to adapt rightwing Twitter troll style as the official voice of government communication, as in this reply to a request for comment from a New York Times reporter:

No matter how much information we give you, you would never write a fair piece. The only thing inappropriate and biased is your continued fixation on writing elitist clickbait trying to attack qualified professionals committed to serving their country.

What provoked Bowman to that little fit? Some questions about how the EPA makes decisions on regulating chemicals, and about the influence of people from the chemical industry who had taken positions within the agency. No way was Bowman about to let those NYT monsters slander her pals from the lobby group, American Chemistry Council, where she worked.

Bowman also memorably slammed an Associated Press report on flooding of Superfund sites during Hurricane Harvey, accusing an AP reporter of having written the whole thing from the comfort of his desk in Washington instead of finding out what was REALLY happening on the ground (which was under five feet of water) in Houston. It was a hell of a zinger until everyone pointed out that the Washington-based reporter was one of three who contributed to the story -- the other two were actually going out to flooded EPA sites, which might have occurred to Bowman from, like, the photos and on-site details in the article.

Bowman also had the thankless task of trying to coordinate communication about Scott Pruitt's endless series of travel and spending scandals, which certainly gave her valuable experience in stonewalling, prevaricating, and deflection. As the Pruitt Daily Follies unfolded, she started sounding a bit less like a troll, a bit more like what you'd expect from a defensive federal agency hack -- still hostile and sanctimonious, but in a more Washingtonesque vein of hostility. Take for instance, her early defense of Pruitt's first-class travel, before "he had to fly first class to survive!" became the go-to response:

“He’s trying to further positive environmental outcomes and achieve tangible environmental results” through his travel, she said, adding that in the case of the New York trip, “He’s communicating the message about his agenda and the president’s agenda.”

On other domestic trips, Bowman added: “He’s hearing directly from people affected by EPA’s regulatory overreach.”

Avoids the first-class thing, emphasizes how important the man's work is, underscores the emphasis that the agency she works for is out of control and must be burned to the ground to be saved. Evil, but reasonably well-constructed bafflegab.

It's worth noting that, unlike a number of others who have jumped ship from the EPA, Bowman doesn't appear to have personally been up to anything nasty in the burn-down-the-woods shed. Apart from the day to day lying and justification of policies that are the exact opposite of environmental protection, that is.

Bowman's farewell statement to the press was a model of proper Washington bullshitting, especially given the EPA's focus on abandoning its original mission for the important work of rolling over for polluters:

Bowman said she was leaving the EPA “extremely thankful for the opportunity to serve the Trump administration and Administrator Pruitt.”

“Being a member of the EPA team has allowed me to further my skills, learn from my mistakes and make lifelong friendships,” Bowman said. “It has also provided me the opportunity to develop a new, and deep, respect for the public servants who serve the American people, day in and day out, to ensure that we all have access to clean air, land, and water.”

Well bullshat, Ms. Bowman. We're glad you're sticking around Washington for a while to lie on behalf of another rightwing flake. At this rate, you'll have a New York Times or Wall Street Journal column of your own in no time. Start building up your stock of anecdotes about ordinary people you've never met now!

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[Bloomberg]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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