This post brought to you by the Patty Dumpling Endowed Chair for Coalmine Explosions, Oil Spills, and Dick Jokes. Don Blankenship is the kind of capitalist who gives robber barons a bad name, and the sort of guy you can point to when Fox News wonders why Hollywood could ever get the idea that Big Business is the bad guy. He's also the former CEO of Massey Energy, the coal mining company whose lax safety practices led to the deaths of 29 miners when the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia exploded in 2010.

Blankenship, of course, denies that the company did anything wrong, and even made his own shitty documentary blaming the the Mine Safety and Health Administration for the explosion -- hey, why not -- which he insists (against all evidence) was caused by a freak natural gas influx, not coal dust.

And Blankenship is a wonder to watch. Here's an amoral bastard who is so dedicated to vindicating himself and his industry that he singlemindedly meets every question with a preprogrammed talking point or a pitch for one of his Coal-Is-Great websites -- at one point, MSNBC host Chris Hayes can't stop from giggling at Blankenship's devotion to getting that URL out there, no matter what.

It's really kind of an astonishing performance, the plucky newsnerd trying to get the CEO-bot off-balance even once. We especially like Hayes's willingness to simply dismiss Blankenship's canned answers mid-sentence, moving on to another question. Even a disgusting toad like Blankenship can still surprise now and then, like when he insists that the single greatest factor in the decline of American heavy industry and manufacturing was the 1970 Clear Air Act -- not outsourcing or unions or foreign competition or greed or anything else, he says. No, it was that damned law restricting pollution.

Watch this guy -- he's just unbelievable, quite literally.

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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