Whoopee! President appoints a pesticide lobbyist!

Feeling his oats at last, Obama has named 15 top officials as recess appointments,
thereby “end-running GOP obstruction,” as Dan Froomkin puts it on HuffPost
(see below).

It’s surely nice to see the president no longer kowtowing to the ultra-rightist fringe
in Congress. But before we start high-fiving each other, we ought to ask ourselves
exactly who will now be working in Obama’s government–because certain of
his picks are actually bad news, even if the trogs obstructed their appointment.

Take Islam A. Siddiqui, who was no doubt blocked because of his “terroristic”-
sounding name. That he will serve as the nation’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator
is, to say the least, unfortunate, as he’s a veteran of the pesticide lobby.

I quote myself:

Obama has now named, as Chief Agricultural
Negotiator, Islam A. Siddiqui, who is VP
for “Science and Regulatory Affairs” at CropLife
America-formerly the American Crop
Protection Association, whose mission is to push
the use of pesticides (or, as they put it,
“ensuring safe and responsible use of crop
protection products to improve food supplies”).

It’s no surprise that CropLife America’s PAC
supported Bush/Cheney in the last election:

And, considering their mission, it’s no surprise
that CropLife objected to Michelle Obama’s
garden, since she (or somebody) decided against
using pesticides in that protected patch.
They sent her husband an indignant letter which
included this great line: “Fresh foods grown
conventionally are wholesome and flavorful yet
more economical.” (“Conventionally” means
“using chemical pesticides.”) (

If that’s the kind of move Obama makes when he “end-runs GOP obstruction,”
what’s to cheer about (unless, as in this case, you’re into pesticides)? So he’s
taking a page out of BushCo’s book (as Bush, of course, made quite a few recess
appointments). If he does so in furtherance of policies that BushCo also would
have pushed, forgive me if I don’t burst into tears of joy.

I welcome any further observations on these 15 new recess appointments.


Obama Recess Appoints 15 Top Officials, End-Running GOP Obstruction

Dan Froomkin
HuffPost Reporting

President Obama on Saturday announced the recess appointment of 15 political appointees whose nominations had been stalled by Republicans.

They are:

* Jeffrey Goldstein: Nominee for Under Secretary for Domestic Finance, Department of the Treasury
* Michael F. Mundaca: Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, Department of the Treasury
* Eric L. Hirschhorn: Nominee for Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration and head of the Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce
* Michael Punke: Nominee for Deputy Trade Representative – Geneva, Office of the United States Trade Representative
* Francisco “Frank” J. S├ínchez: Nominee for Under Secretary for International Trade, Department of Commerce
* Islam A. Siddiqui: Nominee for Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
* Alan D. Bersin: Nominee for Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security
* Jill Long Thompson: Nominee for Member, Farm Credit Administration Board
* Rafael Borras: Nominee for Under Secretary for Management , Department of Homeland Security
* Craig Becker: Nominee for Board Member, National Labor Relations Board
* Mark Pearce: Nominee for Board Member, National Labor Relations Board
* Jacqueline A. Berrien, Nominee for Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
* Chai R. Feldblum: Nominee for Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
* Victoria A. Lipnic: Nominee for Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
* P. David Lopez: Nominee for General Counsel, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

“The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees. But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis,” Obama said in a statement.

Read more.

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