James Watt has been extremely deregulated

Most of you probably don’t remember James Watt. No, not that James Watt, famous 18th century Scottish engineer — you all know about him. I’m talking about James Watt, interior secretary under Reagan in the 1980s, notorious poltroon and anti-environmentalist. Those of us who lived through that era despised him.

Well, he’s dead now, so you don’t need to bother to look him up.


  1. StevoR says

    Watt. A. Douche.

    Good riddance. He made the world a much worse place by his life in it.

    Him, Pat Robertson and.. Hmm.. Dick Cheney still lives, Kissinger is still alive. Howard wobbles on.. Sigh.

  2. Le Chifforobe says

    I remember James Watt. It’s funny how his betrayal of the public trust, Xtian lunacy, and personal corruption were unusual even for Republican appointees, at that time.

  3. geezer septuagenarian says

    I remember Watt. He was still alive? They couldn’t get rid of him selling of federal land but he told a dirty joke and he was gone. Welcome to our world.

  4. Alverant says

    I remember two things about him. One is how he felt that Jesus was coming back soon so we had the divine obligation to use up fossil fuels. Two is a line from Mad Magazine, in one of their movie parodies, about how the Reagan Administration said deforestation was OK and a little sign reading “So Watt?” put among an area covered in tree stumps.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    I am Swedish but even I recall James Watt, along with Ed Meese and the other Reagan goons.

    I am not certain, but is he the fool who thought the end times would come soon, so we need not worry about the environment? Or am I confusing him with another of Reagan’s toadies?

  6. chigau (違う) says

    I did look him up.
    “I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple. And we have talent.”
    Watt a guy!

  7. StevoR says

    If only Glenn had become POTUS in 1985 for the Democratic party instead of Reagun. How different history might’ve been..


    Plus Al Gore by a fraction even more votes than he actually won by in 2000 instead of Bush II the Lesser Iraq War Criminal & obvs Hillary by even more again instead of Trump in 2016 and .. yeah.. So many alternative histories. Almost certainly better than ours* Can’t be changed in this one now.. Access to time machines & parallel cosmii (plual form?) aside..

    .* But we have to live in this one – & do our best with it whilst we’re here..

  8. raven says

    Most of you probably don’t remember James Watt.

    As it turns out, most of us do.
    He was memorable as a horrible human being.

    James Watt:

    “After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.” …
    “We don’t have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand.”.

    I also note that most people remember his now failed prediction.

    James Watt is dead (good) and…jesus still hasn’t shown up. He is 2,000 years late after all, so what is a few centuries more.

  9. says

    I remember a joke from that time:
    How much power does it take to destroy the environment? One Watt.

    Reagan. What a mess. The things he did that hurt this country and its people…

  10. says

    Wasn’t Watt the guy who flipped the image of the seal of the Dept. of the Interior because it had a bison facing to the (gasp) left?

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    It’s obvious, sheeple – James Watt was really Pat Robertson in disguise!

  12. says

    Who can forget James “a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple” Watt? Certainly no one who wants to. What a worthless, stupid, arrogant, self-inflating twit.

    Favorite slogan from that time: “Conserve energy — waste one Watt!”

  13. wzrd1 says

    All I have to say is, it’s always good to start one’s day off by reading good news.
    If only more of them would drop dead, we lower global warming appreciably, courtesy of their no longer spewing all of that hot air.

  14. nomaduk says

    Fortunately, I’m not one of those people who feels any compunction about speaking ill of the dead or celebrating the death of scumbags, so I’m doing both: three cheers that the stupid motherfucking arsehole is dead. Wish more of his ilk would join him. Wish I could help hurry them along. Fuck them all.

  15. moonslicer says

    The James Watt story I remember (and I looked into this and found I’d remembered it more or less right) was when he banned rock music on the Mall in D.C., saying it brought in “the wrong element”. The band banned by the ban was the Beach Boys. It raised an outcry, made worse for Watt when good-old Nancy Reagan declared that she liked the Beach Boys.

  16. imback says

    @moonslicer #17, yes that ban was specifically for Independence Day on the Mall, and up to that time the Beach Boys had played Indepedence Day on the Mall for several years in a row. It’s hard think of a better example of summertime celebratory music than the Beach Boys.

  17. says

    @17: Yes, Watt’s preferred alternative was Wayne Newton. Which was the first, and last, time I ever heard of Wayne Newton.

  18. flange says

    @ #10 jimf
    Yes, we must remember it was cheerful St. Ronnie that unleashed all these turds on us.

  19. silvrhalide says

    It’s like Christmas came early this week.Roberson dead, Watt dead, Dolt 45 impeached AGAIN… is it too much to hope for that Dolt 45 will finally code from a massive myocardial infarction while snorkeling through a bag of Bic Macs?

  20. says

    James Watt has a seat in the pantheon of “great” Republicans, right next to Earl Butz. The pre-warmed chairs next to them are reserved for Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke.

    As my father used to say at the time, “Butz is nuts and so is Tricky Dicky”.

  21. wzrd1 says

    silvrhalide, Trump hasn’t been impeached and cannot be impeached – he’s out of office. Indicted on some heavy weight charges and from the indictment’s list of documents and possession of him bragging on recorded audio to uncleared persons about a document he was showing them that was classified, as well as surveillance video that was submitted, he’s completely and utterly screwed, both on obstruction of justice and divulging of classified information to uncleared persons who had absolutely no need to know.
    And I don’t see the judge he appointed cutting him loose, thereby ending their own career and potentially getting their own charges.
    I’m hoping that they issue him Manning’s old solitary confinement cell.

  22. hemidactylus says

    Again the Iron Shiek has died too. He was a notorious heel who drummed up anti-Iranian sentiment in the crowd and alongside “Russian” Nikolai Volkoff knew how to do antagonistic anti-Americanisms. At his worst he seems far better a person than Pat Robertson and James Watt on their best days.

    RIP Shiek. Give American imperialist dogs Pat Robertson and James Watt piledrivers or whatever your finishing move was if you run across them in the great beyond. Classic rabble-rousing heel stuff:

  23. hemidactylus says

    Aha the Iron Sheik (i before e rule got me in @24 but it’s transliterated anyway so…) used the “Camel Clutch” because of course he did. Looks uncomfortable.

    Picture Pat Robertson or James Watt in the place of Hulk Hogan. Hogan was able to break the hold without Peter Thiel’s aid.

  24. hemidactylus says

    Going back to the Reagan era Watt and Robertson seem silly side shows. I vaguely recall Watt. Robertson latched on heavily to the New World Order conspiracy theory in his book on that, which marched out all the bogeyman tropes.

    Sheik and Volkoff seem far more relevant given Reagan coming in after the midst of the Carter tarnishing hostage crisis and then Iran-Contra and the whole Evil Empire and SDI thing. Volkoff personifies the Cold War. Iran was so reviled Iraq seemed a step up.

    The manager Slick of Sheik and Volkoff seems also to be doing a trope considering how black men were viewed stereotypically by conservatives (see the Public Enemy early catalogue).

  25. silvrhalide says

    @23 You’re right, I can only plead Friday fatigue. I mean indicted–AGAIN. The last indictment being the E Jean case, which she won.

  26. says

    …Trump hasn’t been impeached and cannot be impeached – he’s out of office.

    Actually, the Constitution says that punishment in cases of impeachment shall not extend beyond removal from office and loss of eligibility to hold office. So, IMO at least, it seems he can be impeached when out of office, and if the Senate vote to convict him, that could strip him of eligibility to run for office again. So by my reading at least, it could be done, and it would matter. Not that it will be, of course…

  27. wzrd1 says

    hemidactylus @ 26, want an older rerun?
    The Great Replacement Theory bullshit was trotted out in the 1960’s, claiming MLK was telling Blacks to out-reproduce whites, thereby becoming a majority before the turn of the next century.
    Of course, such nonsense was ever uttered, it itself was a rinse and repeat from a century before and likely even farther back than that.

    Raging Bee, why bother? A felony conviction does the same thing.

  28. wzrd1 says

    On a lighter note, there is a Great Replacement Law.
    “The Kids will surely replace us!”