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The Morning Plum

* The climate is just right to begin the climate debate: John Kerry and Joe Lieberman are set to introduce their big climate change bill today, and will acknowledge the reality of the Gulf spill by giving states the right to veto off-shore drilling in neighboring states.

* Lindsey Graham will not be at today's presser, and the instant wisdom is that without a Republican co-sponsor, the initiative is a non-starter in the Senate for now. But make no mistake: Whatever its prospects, Dems should do their best to ensure that debate over energy reform looms large over our politics this year.

* More proof Dems should keep banging the energy drum: A new CBS News poll finds that the Gulf spill has caused a massive drop in support for offshore drilling, underscoring yet again how absurd it is that it has made energy reform less likely to pass the Senate.

* With Obama set to hold a presser with Hamid Karzai today, Fred Kaplan raises the curtain on what to expect.

* The Arlen Specter- Joe Sestak showdown, once a foregone conclusion, is now attracting serious attention from national political reporters.

* To wit: today it gets the full Adam Nagourney treatment, complete with panicked establishment Dems insisting (despite evidence otherwise) that Specter is far and away the stronger general election candidate.

* Also don't miss this overview of the race by The Washington Post's Paul Kane; note Specter's acknowledgment that he's "running scared."

* And: Two new public polls show Sestak closing strong.

* Here's hoping that Elena Kagan will live by her own professed desire to see potential SCOTUS picks fully air their views at confirmation hearings.

* No-nonsense reporting from McClatchy on Republicans' newfound insistence that lack of judicial experience is a liability in a SCOTUS pick.

* Head-spinner of the day: John Cornyn hits Kagan for lacking the sort of experience that could lead her to empathize with ordinary people, says she's less qualified than Harriet Miers.

* Glenn Thrush gets it right: All the opposition to Kagan is just noise for the sake of making noise, and she will be easily confirmed.

* But this could drive more discussion on the left: Kagan may have been a triangulator during the Clinton years.

* Wow: Utah GOPers who jettisoned Robert Bennett may now be set to purge Orrin Hatch, a new Salt Lake Tribune poll finds.

* And America's Sheriff John McCain is having trouble finding a real live border cop who agrees with him.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  May 12, 2010; 8:25 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Immigration , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Comments

"Here's hoping that Elena Kagan will live by her own professed desire to see potential SCOTUS picks fully air their views at confirmation hearings."

I have had happy fantasies running through my noggin on this, some including the more aggressive form of the copulative verb a la Cheney to Leahy. What a pity it won't happen.

But it will be interesting to see how she deals with this quotation as, surely, every Republican will quote it.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

RE Elena Kagan

Its important to note that "the left" is not just Jane Hamsher/Glenn Greenwald/Rachel Maddow. More than just a few people on "the left" either endorse Kagan or don't see the big deal. Markos over at dailykos was on twitter yesterday saying he wasn't moved in either direction. Matty Yglesias isn't up in arms. Neither is Steve Benen, neither is Josh Marshall, neither is MediaMatters. I haven't heard any serious concerns from MoveOn either. Just because a small segment of "the left" is loud doesn't mean they are representative. And as we all know you are more likely to get on TV and radio if you are a liberal or progressive if you are criticizing the President rather than praising him. I hope that as time goes on that the media stops making it seem like one or two voices on "the left" speak for "the left".

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 12, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

@sg - Yes, I think that's accurate re range of views and the media propensity to often do the cartoon treatment of those views.

Re the wonderful McClatchy piece, real history and actual facts don't much matter anyone when Republicans/conservatives speak or write. They clearly have come to believe that they DO have a right to their own facts AND an over-riding moral responsibility to ensure that as many people as possible are appraised regularly and repeatedly as to those non-facts. It's a patriotic necessity and may be the only way to save the nation from non-threats.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"any longer" somehow became "anyone"

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

sg -- agree with you that "the left" is an oversimplification and that the media wants to write the story about the left opening fire on Obama daily...

Bernie...re that dynamic you're talking about, isn't it odd that Cornyn sees no contradiction between deriding the empathy standard and hitting Kagan for not identifying with ordinary people?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 12, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

@Greg - So far, I've been unable to locate that Norquist statement. It's certainly possible that I conflated something from Norquist with something another (Jonathan Alter?) had said or written. I'll keep looking but we'd better presume at this point that I was full of it.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Morning All:

Re: Kagan. I think she will be a fine Justice but I have no problem with the more strident part of the Left complaining and pushing for a more Progressive nominee. That's how the needle moves on the dial.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Re: McClathchey. The best news outfit today (sorry, Greg). Though I'm pleased to see improvement recently in the Associated Press.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Re: the energy/climate change bill. As far as I am concerned this is whistling past the graveyard right now. Until the leak is capped in the Gulf of Mexico all of our focus should be there. Until the volume of oil is known (after the leak is stopped) we have NO IDEA how much damage the Louisiana Coast will suffer (not to mention other Gulf states AND Mexico). All of our efforts should be aimed at stanching the flow of oil. We MUST get that leak plugged ASAP! As to the politics, nothing will bring home the dangers of oil more than focusing on the possibly imminent destruction of the Louisiana wetlands. This, especially with hurricane season starting in a month, could be a death knell for New Orleans. PLUG THE LEAK!!!

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I think it's rather interesting that Orin Hatch may be suffering a little trepidation re his own re-election prospects. Isn't he the one who turned himself into a pretzel yesterday when discussing Bennet's loss? Also, did anyone see the revamping of the Republican platform in Maine over the weekend via The Tea Party? I'll go search for a few quotes.

Re Kagan, she's our pick now so I don't see any reason not to support her. The time to debate the choice was prior to Obama's announcement, IMO.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 12, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

@Greg - Indeed. Some of us were speaking about this clear contradiction yesterday. There's no longer even any serious attempt at consistency or honesty. They are just attacking/obstructing every thing at every turn hoping to sew doubts and to "wound with a thousand cuts". It is a party/movement which is now concerned almost entirely with ascension to power or maintenance of power. Deeply scuzzy and dangerous.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"rather interesting that Orin Hatch may be suffering a little trepidation re his own re-election prospects"

Imsinca: Between Hatch's polling, Bennett's loss and Maine coup d'etat, the GOP is being overrun by the Teabaggers. Dr. Frankenstein's monster is coming home!

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Well the site has eaten on of my posts or sent it to the moderation bin...perhaps because of length...at any rate let me try to sneak through this point about the Gulf spill.

There has been a lot of comparison to the Exxon Valdez spill with most of it centering around the AMOUNT of oil spilled and the resulting ecological damage to Prince William Sound versus the the current spill's effect on the Gulf Coast.

This is the wrong paradigm. If you focus on the human catastrophe the BP spill has already exceeded the Exxon spill. The number of jobs lost has already impacted the Gulf Coast as far away as Florida. Here on St. Pete Beach hotels are already reporting an uptick in cancellations for hotel rooms. This is occurring not just in Florida but all over the Gulf Coast..Miss. Ala. La...and this pales in comparison to the poor fishing families in LA who have watched work that has been handed down through the generations disappear. THIS IS A DISASTER!!! Rush Limbaugh and others can make light of it...but it HAS ALREADY FAR AND AWAY SURPASSED THE HUMAN SUFFERING CAUSED BY THE EXXON VALDEZ SPILL!

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 12, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Maybe someone already linked this earlier, but there's a copy of the entire Maine GOP platform in this piece. Below are just a few highlights. The Tea Partiers are definitely influencing some GOP races.

"The under-the-radar takeover of local GOP organizations by tea partyers has not been limited to Utah. The Republican Party of Maine, home to the GOP's two most moderate senators, has adopted a new platform with planks and rhetoric ripped from the tea party movement and the Ron Paul revolution. Read it below the fold. Among the planks are:"

- Return to the principles of Austrian Economics, and redirect the economy back to one of incentives to save and invest.

- Discard political correctness, make public the declaration of war (Jihad), made against the U.S. on 23 Feb 1998, and fight the war against the United States by radical Islam to win.

- Defeat Cap and Trade, investigate collusion between government and industry in the global-warming myth, and prosecute any illegal collusion.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/05/maines_new_republican_party_pl.html

Posted by: lmsinca | May 12, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

@wb - I confess I hadn't even thought of the coming hurricane season.

@Ims - Hatch's remarks yesterday were a think of schizoid beauty, were they not.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"Between Hatch's polling, Bennett's loss and Maine coup d'etat, the GOP is being overrun by the Teabaggers. Dr. Frankenstein's monster is coming home!"

Yes wbgonne! Imagine what it must be like right now to be a sane R...if that's not any oxymoron! Any R who tries to be an effective, sincere, legislator who tries to ACTUALLY GOVERN...now not only must consider facing a Dem in a general election but also be haunted by an assault from the know nothings in the tea party in a Primary.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 12, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Re Elena Kagan and the left. While it is true that many liberal/left wing bloggers aren't up in arms about the nomination, it is really a case of those who speak loudest get heard. So, in the context of the Kagan nomination the "left position" CAN be fairly summarised by looking at those on the left who have a strong view (in my view desparately incorrectly).

On the piece about nominations I just read the whole thing and I have to say three things: (a) It is fantastically written, easy to read, full of good humour and nuanced insight [exactly what I would look for in a Justice], (b) relying on the piece as a justification for getting her to answer more substantive questions is a bit too "gotcha" for me since it is abundantly clear that although she wishes the system were different, she understands why it is not (and sympathises with Breyer and Ginsburg who chose to answer in an anodyne way), (c) those who say her writing is sparse and not enough to show that she is sufficiently liberal or that she has remained deliberately silent so as not to leave a track record should hold their tongues after reading this and (d)that in terms of the power of the executive and the vapours the left has on this issue, she makes a (little noticed) point that the senate and the president have equal power on determining whether a nominee is sufficiently qualified and/or appropriate (that is, she doesn't buy the line that it's the President's prerogative and the Senate merely advises/consent - she views both as having equal say).

Sorry, that was four things but I think they're all important.

Posted by: homeruk | May 12, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

The BP Leak has the potential to be far worse than the Exxon Valdez. The Valdez was a ship with a finite amount of oil (a lot of oil, to be sure, but still limited). The BP Leak is spewing at least 210,000 gallons per day into the Gulf; there have already been more than 4,000,000 gallons of oil released (the Valdez accident was 11,000,000). Right now, there appears no likely way to stop the leak other than the relief wells that will take MONTHS to complete. I have read articles suggesting that the amount of oil has the capacity to "suffocate" the LA wetlands which would mean there is NOTHING separating New Orleans from the Gulf of Mexico.

I know you're in FL, RUK, and the oil is mainly on the LA coast right now. But unless the leak is stopped the oil will just keep pouring into the Gulf, which as you know is really like a bowl. That oil will go somewhere eventually, and FL will probably get whacked too. There must be some way to stop that d*mn leak!.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Morning Slaves!
From CBS' polling unit .pdf:

"This poll was conducted among a random sample of 855 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone May 6-9, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus"

Uh-huh. the number of booger-eaters worried more about an isolated environmental disaster than the nationwide economic catastrophe of gasoline and diesel prices northwards of $5 a gallon goes from 400 to 475, and this is spun as indicating the opinions of 300 million Americans?

How quickly you moonbat livestock forget what $4.00 and $5.00 a gallon gasoline did to us a few years ago.

And before you all go rushing down to Dauphin Island, Abalama to cradle an oil-soaked pelican in your arms to howl your indignation, remember also that over 1500 oil wells were drilled offshore in the GoM since 2006:

http://www.offshore-mag.com/index/article-display/8790478032/articles/offshore/volume-70/issue-1/gulf-of_mexico/gom-drilling_forecast.html

...and this one has a horrific blowout, and you want to shut it all down?

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, I think it was Collins who made another pretzelish comment over the weekend regarding the Maine platform. It cracks me up. They're trying so hard to appease the Tea Partiers while at the same time you just know they think they're a bit on the wacky side. But, they do need their votes and don't relish running against one of their candidates.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 12, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

"an isolated environmental disaster"

... that may destroy the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks, Rush.

One of many problems with current GOP "reasoning" is that it seems incapable of recognizing that there are two components to assessing risk: 1) the likelihood of a problem; and 2) the magnitude of the problem if it is realized.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Nice post, homeruk.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Moonbatbgone slobbers,in addition to his exhortations to PLUG THE LEAK, (as though ANYONE needed his counsel on this):

"One of many problems with current GOP "reasoning" is that it seems incapable of recognizing that there are two components to assessing risk: 1) the likelihood of a problem; and 2) the magnitude of the problem if it is realized."

Which is peculiar when one considers that moonbatbgone would not likely call for shutting down our entire civil aviation industry when there's an airplane crash.

The fact of the matter is that this IS an isolated incident, and while no-one is down-playing it's effects, your moonbat Masters are certainly playing them up to serve as a hob-goblin to bedevil your already weakened minds and stampede you like the cattle that you are, into the particular eco-greenie pens that would be advantageous to them...and not you.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Ims - It's rather delicious, ain't it? We'll be seeing lots more. The disparity between conservative anti-establishment rhetoric and pro-establishment reality is disguisable only via blizzards of poop and a sort of Rube Goldberg choreography. It is something to see.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Hey BilgeSlave: Why don't you have the sense (and the decency) to wait until the BP oil leak is plugged before you start mocking it as insignificant? Idiot.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- So, Senator, how much does judicial experience matter when considering a Supreme Court nominee?

It depends on when you're asking.

Republicans now criticizing President Barack Obama's nominee, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, for her lack of judicial experience welcomed that same lack of credentials a few years ago, when a president of their own party nominated a non-judge for the high court.

In 2005, when then-President George W. Bush nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, plenty of Republicans said they found it refreshing that Miers' experience amounted primarily to her time as a corporate lawyer and Bush aide.

That included Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who noted then that "40 percent of the men and women who have served as Supreme Court justices" had no judicial experience.

"One reason I felt so strongly about Harriet Miers' qualifications is I thought she would fill some very important gaps in the Supreme Court," Cornyn said in 2005. "Because right now you have people who've been federal judges, circuit judges most of their lives or academicians."

Now, with a Democrat in the White House, what Cornyn once considered refreshing in a high court nominee is in Kagan's case "surprising."

"Ms. Kagan is ... a surprising choice because she lacks judicial experience," Cornyn said Monday. "Most Americans believe that prior judicial experience is a necessary credential for a Supreme Court Justice."

A former Clinton administration aide and dean of the Harvard Law School, Kagan once was nominated for the federal bench, but her bid was stonewalled by a Republican Senate majority.

The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, likewise found Miers' qualifications suitable five years ago: "It is not necessary that she have previous experience as a judge in order to serve on the Supreme Court," Sessions said. "It's perfectly acceptable to nominate outstanding lawyers to that position."

But on Monday, Sessions was seeing things differently. Kagan, he said, "warrants great scrutiny" because of her lack of time as a judge. "Ms. Kagan's lack of judicial experience and short time as solicitor general ... is troubling," he said.

And the list goes on. Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas thought Miers was a "wonderful choice" in 2005, but today she "has some concerns over Elena Kagan's lack of judicial experience."

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Monday that Kagan's lack of judicial record raises questions - though he said in 2005 that he was not troubled by Miers' lack of judicial experience.

Another Republican, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, likewise didn't see Miers' lack of time on the bench as a holdup. On Monday, he said the same factor is a cause for further scrutiny of Kagan."

Posted by: Liam-still | May 12, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol is not a happy fellow these days. As I've noted before, the tone of his pieces at WS are becoming increasingly sour and shrill. Today he's quite unhappy that Kagan was defended in the WSJ of all places.

Here's my very favorite sentence from Bill this morning...

"Furthermore: Did it occur to no one at Harvard Law School, especially after 9/11, how offensive this exercise in moral preening and posturing might be to other Americans?"

From Bill, you gotta love that one.

I think the boy understands that the Straussian edifice he's been so influential in establishing in the US is now on very shaky ground. That's been his life's work and it is all in jeopardy because of what it has itself wrought in the country and because a very unusual President is now in office and in opposition to so much of what Kristol believes and has done.

But, to once again quote Bill's father Irving, "A progressive is just a conservative who has been mugged by another conservative. And then another. And then another."

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Slaves:

How to create and attract private-sector jobs:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Why-Northrop-chose-Virginia-93437894.html

DON'T be like California.

DO be like Virginia.

Los Angeles' loss is Fairfax/Loudoun's gain.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

moonbatbgone:
"Hey BilgeSlave: Why don't you have the sense (and the decency) to wait until the BP oil leak is plugged before you start mocking it as insignificant? Idiot"

And where did I do that?

Here is what I said:

"The fact of the matter is that this IS an isolated incident, and while no-one is down-playing it's effects..."

Unless your idea of debate and discussion is outright lying, you would do well to argue what I actually said, rather than what your moonbat slogan receptor of a mentality THINKS and WISHES what I'd said.

Liar.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Cause bildge doesn't care what happens down there. He doesn't live there. As far as he's concerned, the redneck riviera could be Sudan. If it gets covered in oil and crushes the fishing and tourist industry, so what, according to him. See, he thinks drilling off our coasts and drilling on our shores will have a dramatic affect on the price of oil when in reality, its a global market dominated by OPEC and the commodities speculators who can create bubbles like the one prior to the crash.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 12, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne...thanks for your compassion re the DISASTER continuing to unfold in the Gulf of Mexico. I've stated in earlier threads that we on the West Coast of Florida are simply stuck waiting out the result of this disaster like the Aussies in Nevil Shute's 50's Novel..."On The Beach"

This thing literally has the possibility of destroying our economy...both statewide and on a very personal level for my wife and I just a couple years away from retirement. It could literally wreck our largest industry...tourism...which in Pinellas County...where we currently suffer 12% unemployment thanks to 8 years of R economic mismanagement..could truly be catastrophic! We'd be reduced to Social Security as all of our assets would be upside down with the loss of value...our office building...business..home!

As for Bilgey...wbgonne...you simply need to ignore him. I never read his rants anymore...I mean really...imagine the kind of human (I use the term loosely) who would select the name BILGEman.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilge

"Depending on the ship's design and function, bilge water may contain water, oil, urine, detergents, solvents, chemicals, pitch, particles, and so forth."

Personally when I view that list I think bilgey probably has more urine than anything else. How could you expect a BILGE to think of a simple oil spill as a disaster when he's composed of those ingredients.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 12, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

With any luck we'll have a miserably hot summer to drive this climate debate home since the deniers seem so quick to look our their window and see snow or step out of 7-11, down a slurpy and get brain freeze and deem climate change a hoax.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 12, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

How 'bout that West-ByGawd- Virginia DemocRat primary?

Mollohan got tagged as a Pelosi Crony by his DemocRat opponent Oliverio, and all of Jay Rockefeller's money couldn't save his bacon.

Along with Bennet getting his hat handed to him in Utah, it seems that incumbents, even nominally conservative ones, are in trouble.

The elected "Go-Along to Get-Along" crowd may have played out their string.

And just when the appetite for smaller government is cresting with the public.

Or are some of you cattle still singing that Pelosi song from last summer:

"Astroturfing"?

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

(note the caps) THIS IS A MUST-SEE!
http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/05/jon-stewart-kagans-exactly-like-harriet-miers----except-for-the-dumb-part-video.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I asked bilge a serious non-political question one time and got a fine answer.

And, I think it is certain that as he's a sea-going fellow he'll be better able than the rest of us to expalin (if we need it explained) the techniques and joys of "docking".

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Mayonnaise Mike from "Vanilla" Aryanton:
"Cause bildge doesn't care what happens down there. He doesn't live there. As far as he's concerned, the redneck riviera could be Sudan. If it gets covered in oil and crushes the fishing and tourist industry, so what, according to him."

And there's your ALinskyite tactics, right from the playbook.

Personalize the opposition as the enemy.

But like nearly all of what the White Separatist Booger-eater writes, it's a also a classic case of his own projection...note the pejorative "redneck Riviera" term he uses.

The FACT of the matter is that the Gulf Coast is where I work. I, unlike the Federal slave from the most Caucasian of DC's 'burbs, have spent more time than I'd care to in Lafourche Parish and Cameron LA, and Mobile, Abalama, and even over in Pensacola.

It's Mayonnaise Michael who wouldn't be caught dead down there,(too many people of color for his taste, most likely).

And he could therefore care less about the place, other than it being a bugbear that he can use to try getting his fellow moonbats to wet their nappies over.

Way to relay the moonbat mem o' the day, Mikey...and remember: Keep Arlington "Aryan" by accusing whites outside of your honkie homeland of being RACIST!

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@bm:nationwide economic catastrophe of gasoline and diesel prices northwards of $5 a gallon

This is not a catastrophe, it is the future. Do you really think that $5/gallon gas is never going to happen? High gas prices will drive down demand. Somehow those cheese eating surrender monkeys in Europe are able to have an industrial economy with gas prices about 3x what we pay in the US.

Gas should have stayed at $4 a gallon. As the price of gas went down, the govt should have taken the difference in tax so that some of the negative externalities of burning oil, like air pollution, OIL SPILLS, climate change, etc., could be paid for by those who are burning the oil, instead of having that money come out of general revenue.

If you think that losing or significantly damaging the gulf coast fishery is a smaller thing than $4 a gallon gas in the US (Remember, it is already more than that in most of the world), you don't know what the word disaster means. The oil spill is or soon will be an international, if not global environmental disaster. 70% of all commercial fish in the gulf and Atlantic spawn in the gulf. The tourism industry could be devastated for a generation if they can't turn off the well.

..and this one has a horrific blowout, and you want to shut it all down?

There have been major oil spills from wells, tankers or other ships starting in Santa Barbara, going through to the present day.

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

All, this is potentially important re Specter:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/dscc_funding_specters_ads.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 12, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Just Wondering:

How many other off shore Oil Platforms are currently operating with the very same set-up and equipment as the one that is spewing oil into the gulf waters?

What I am getting at: Since no one has yet been able to stop BP's Oil Tsunami, what happens if one or more of the other platforms also start doing the same thing.

If that happens, will that not destroy President Obama's reelection chances.

Shouldn't he order all those platforms to be shut down, and closed off, until it has been determined how to prevent them from doing the same thing, as the BP Oil Tsunami is currently doing.

If The President does not, and another one blows, he will be toast.

It is clear by now that BP, Haliburton, etc are more interested in finding a way to stop the oil tsunami, that will still allow them to continue to get oil from it in the future, than they are in saving the gulf waters from having any more oil spewed into it.

I think the President needs to call all parties, BP, The Navy, etc in for an immediate crisis summit. BP is not going to stop the leak, so the White House must treat it like they would any other enormous catastrophe.

When one finds one self in a hole; the first thing to do is stop the digging. That means that the first thing that has to be done, is stop the oil leak. What the hell is the point in trying to clean up the surface oil slick, while another 200,000 gallons are being added to it, on a daily basis.

The President must take charge, and order an all out effort now, to seal of and entomb the leak site. To hell with trying to do it in a manner that will still allow BP to extract more oil from it.

Treat it like Chernobyl.
Seal it off and entomb the damn thing. Call on the military branches to come up with ways to bombard the site until it is full blocked off. Then find ways to entomb it for ever.

In the mean time; all similar platforms should be shut down. Until a way is found to make sure that they can not repeat what is now happening at the BP Oil Tsunami operation. It is too risky to allow those other platforms to continue to operate until we have made sure that they can do so safely, and with many redundant shut off features.

Believe me; if President Obama does not order them shut down, and another one blows, then he will have failed to lead, and will pay the price.

Time is not on the President's side. The longer the oil continues to spew, the more it will become an existential threat to his presidency.

This is a growing disaster, with no end in sight, while BP is allowed to call the shots on what has to be done.

The White House better go into to crisis mode now, and plug the leak ASAP.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 12, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"The FACT of the matter is that the Gulf Coast is where I work."

Well, my friend, you better start looking for another job.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Liam: I completely agree. The White House has to go into crisis mode until this d*mn thing is plugged. I don't know much about the Gulf oil drilling already underway but one thing is for certain: every deepwater drilling operation must be shut down immediately because it is clear that the industry does not know how to deal with problems at such depths. This is recklessness.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

give it up bilge, rednecks have ZERO problem with it being called the redneck riviera. rednecks are proud to be called rednecks. they wear it on their sleeve.

I suppose you being an out of state'er wouldn't know.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 12, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@bm: The fact of the matter is that this IS an isolated incident

A very selective reading of history

http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/historys-10-most-famous-oil-spills/

And this is just a list of the most famous spills.

For a sea farer, bm has a very short memory.

Extracting and transporting oil is a very dirty business and "accidents" happen frequently. Governments and coastal residents end up suffering the consequences of oil spills, not the big oil companies, even if they pay for some of the cleanup and compensate some of the losses from business. Who pays the lost tax revenue? Who pays the fisherpeople that go out of business when the spawning grounds for the north atlantic is degraded for a generation?

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

slave srw3:
"This is not a catastrophe, it is the future. Do you really think that $5/gallon gas is never going to happen?"

Leave it to the moonbats, and >$5.00 a gallon fuels would today have been the "good old days".

And no, I don't think it's necessarily the future. The future is what we make of it.

"Somehow those cheese eating surrender monkeys in Europe are able to have an industrial economy with gas prices about 3x what we pay in the US."

And this means what?
I've been to Europe. I just returned from Norway, where they pay the equivalent of $6.27 a gallon, despite offshore oil rigs right off their coasts.

Europe sucks, buddy. You want Europe, move there. (And good luck finding work).

"There have been major oil spills from wells, tankers or other ships starting in Santa Barbara, going through to the present day."

Yep, and we still use oil and it's products.

In fact, if memory serves, the worst spill EVER was from the Amoco Cadiz shipwreck off France back in the 1970's, and yet even the Euroweenies still use the stuff.

Look, if you can come up with a safer and cheaper energy source that can knock off oil, I'm all for it.

But you'll have to doit without subsidies, since the act of subsidizing something at the expense of something else skews the market.

I know moonbats are programmed to approve of centrally planned economies, (and the tyranny that is needed to make them centrally-directed), but the market, in the end, always wins.

That's why Renaults and Peugots and Opels and Fiats are no longer sold in the US market...because they suck.

And they suck because they aren't made to please the consumer exercising free choice with his own money, but rather to please a bureaucrat's whims spending someone elses' dough.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday in our discussion about Kagan, Mr. Sock Puppet, Esq. alleged that it was liberals who started the “Kagan has no judicial experience” meme and that no GOPers had actually said such a thing. Sessions already had, and now at least two more have said so as well. Sens. McConnell and the GOP’s most prodigious intellect, James Inhofe.

McConnell: If a nominee doesn’t have judicial experience, “they should have substantial litigation experience,” he said. “Ms. Kagan has neither.”

Inhofe: Said he'll oppose Kagan's nomination, citing her "lack of judicial experience and her interpretation of the Constitution."

The GOP is clearly doubling down on this attack. It seems the easiest way to swat this one down is to look to the records of justices who came to the Supreme Court with no prior judicial experience. This list includes many well known names including:

John Jay
John Marshall
Louis Brandeis
Harlan Fiske Stone
Felix Frankfurter
William O. Douglas
Earl Warren
Abe Fortas
Lewis Powell
William Rehnquist

Full list here:
http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/supreme_court/justices/nopriorexp.html

In fact, 40 former justices had no prior judicial experience prior to their time on the SCOTUS. Except for the last 38 years, it was not uncommon to name individuals with no judicial experience. This push toward nominating sitting judges is a very recent phenomenon. The ENTIRE SCOTUS for the Brown v. Board of Education decision was made up of such “inexperienced” judges.

The GOP argument is easily rebutted. One of the most prominent GOP nominees who failed to make the cut - Robert Bork - also lacked judicial experience before being nominated. To continue the “must have experience” mantra would be to admit that it was right for the Dems to stop Bork and that Rehnquist should also never have been nominated nor confirmed. I predict that the GOP will drop this meme before the hearings.

I am wondering if this whole thing is really a GOP surrogate attack on Kagan’s sexuality? They know they can’t play the lesbian card, so they push the “judicial experience” argument hoping that someone, anyone will broach the subject and thus allow the topic to enter into their criticism of Kagan. They certainly have not raised this argument based upon the records of previous justices who had no prior judicial experience.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 12, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Spooked Slave Liam:
"How many other off shore Oil Platforms are currently operating with the very same set-up and equipment as the one that is spewing oil into the gulf waters?"

Very few. You are displaying absolute ignorance about what was going on on the Deepwater Horizon, and frankly, you should keep your sloganeering repeater organ shut until you get some edumacation.

The well in question was being cemented, which is a very tricky process explained in some detail here:

http://rigzone.com/training/insight.asp?insight_id=317&c_id=23&hmp=1

"It is clear by now that BP, Haliburton, etc are more interested in finding a way to stop the oil tsunami, that will still allow them to continue to get oil from it in the future, than they are in saving the gulf waters from having any more oil spewed into it."

Liam-slave...there's a hole, (apparently several, since there is oil seeping out fracture lines around the well-bore), that goes all the ay down to the pressurized pay zone. That's not going to go away.

The safest and most ecologically sound thing to do IS to extract the oil anmd gas that is in that pay zone. Letting it de-pressurize in a controlled manner will LOWER the likelihood of any more hydrocarbons leaking out, see?

A rig my ship serviced last summer was in a zone where oil NATURALLY came to the surface...that's one way the oil companies know where to survey for drill sites, y'know.

"I think the President needs to call all parties, BP, The Navy, etc in for an immediate crisis summit. BP is not going to stop the leak, so the White House must treat it like they would any other enormous catastrophe."

I know this runs absolutely counter to your moonbat instincts about always looking to government for answers to your little ignorant anxiety attacks, but the Navy knows aboslutely NOTHING about oil wells and oil spill response.
That's NOT what the Navy is FOR...can you understand that?

"Treat it like Chernobyl.
Seal it off and entomb the damn thing. Call on the military branches to come up with ways to bombard the site until it is full blocked off. Then find ways to entomb it for ever."

My God, but Rahm Emmanuel was right about you people...effing re-tards!

Yeah...THAT'S an intelligent response:

Drop Bombs on the thing.

How 'bout we use a mid-yield nuke with a sub-sea burst?

At least then the White Cong rukidding can stop worrying about the oil on his beaches and START worrying about the radioctive iodine isotopes in his thyroid from the fallout!


Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

moonbatbgone gets b"tchy:
"Well, my friend, you better start looking for another job."

Actually, I have an offer from a competitor starting at $650 a day.

But thanks for the thought...

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@bm:This Leave it to the moonbats, and >$5.00 a gallon fuels would today have been the "good old days".

And no, I don't think it's necessarily the future. The future is what we make of it.

Talk about living in la la land. Gas prices are going nowhere but up until we run out.

"But you'll have to doit without subsidies, since the act of subsidizing something at the expense of something else skews the market."

We provide amazing subsidies to oil and other fossil fuels by not putting the costs of air pollution, spill cleanups, etc. into the price of gasoline. We charge the lowest royalties on oil extraction of any oil producer.

"That's why Renaults and Peugots and Opels and Fiats are no longer sold in the US market...because they suck."

Somehow they still drive them in Europe. Maybe its because in Europe, some of the costs of burning oil is included in the price of gas and that makes smaller cars more attractive.

"Somehow those cheese eating surrender monkeys in Europe are able to have an industrial economy with gas prices about 3x what we pay in the US."

bm: And this means what?

It means that artificially cheap gas is not necessary to have a stable industrial economy. It means when you said " nationwide economic catastrophe of gasoline and diesel prices northwards of $5 a gallon" you were just engaging in false fear mongering.

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

slaverw3:
"It means that artificially cheap gas is not necessary to have a stable industrial economy."

So artificially inflated energy prices is your solution?

And BTW, does it not strike you as odd that your precious Fed.gov hasn't created an oil spill fund ALREADY? They tak gasoline and diesel for everything ELSE don't they?

Funny how THAT seems to have slipped right under their radars.

"It means when you said " nationwide economic catastrophe of gasoline and diesel prices northwards of $5 a gallon" you were just engaging in false fear mongering."

No, I'm not falsely fear-mongering. Right now, this disaster is most immediately affecting the Eastern GoM coast.

Hiking gasoline and diesel prices will affect EVERYBODY nationwide.

Do you recall a few years ago when a heat-wave hit France, and tens of thousands of elderly French people died from not having air-conditioning?

That's what hiked energy prices can do.

Remember the rolling blackouts in California?
Californians got to pay the price for having her surrounding states bear the burden of producing electricity for them.

How many Californians gakked it from that?

I lived through a few High Desert Mojave summers, y'know.

Or let's go northwards...fancy a Minnesota winter without heat? Can Granny cut and split enough firewood to keep her warm through the winter?

And let's not even go into the effects on foodstuffs prices of hiking fuels costs.

Becuase bread rioters aren't going to be very NICE to eco-moonbat Europhiles...

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

".there's a hole, (apparently several, since there is oil seeping out fracture lines around the well-bore), that goes all the ay down to the pressurized pay zone. That's not going to go away. The safest and most ecologically sound thing to do IS to extract the oil anmd gas that is in that pay zone. Letting it de-pressurize in a controlled manner will LOWER the likelihood of any more hydrocarbons leaking out, "

What does this mean? How does it stop the leak?

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

More on the subsidies for oil extraction. Who is paying for the long term environmental damage?

"Even if oil exposure isn't immediately lethal, it can cause long-term harm.

Bottom-dwelling fish exposed to compounds released after oil spills may develop liver disease and reproductive and growth problems.

Smithsonian Institution scientists monitored effects of this 1986 spill, one of the largest in tropical North America. Five years later, mangrove sediments still held fairly fresh, toxic oil. It may take the mangroves fifty years to recover fully.

http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/peril_oil_pollution.html

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

moonbatbgone:
"".there's a hole, (apparently several, since there is oil seeping out fracture lines around the well-bore), that goes all the ay down to the pressurized pay zone. That's not going to go away. The safest and most ecologically sound thing to do IS to extract the oil anmd gas that is in that pay zone. Letting it de-pressurize in a controlled manner will LOWER the likelihood of any more hydrocarbons leaking out, "

What does this mean? How does it stop the leak?"

You're kidding me, right?

If you really are this abysmally ignorant of simple physics, then you honestly have no business whatsoever commenting on a blog...especially on this subject.

You are apparently in DIRE need of some remedial elementary-level science education...and from an institution that actually makes you LEARN the subject matter, rather than grading you on how the subject matter impacts your self-esteem.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

slaverw3:
"More on the subsidies for oil extraction. Who is paying for the long term environmental damage?

"Even if oil exposure isn't immediately lethal, it can cause long-term harm.

Bottom-dwelling fish exposed to compounds released after oil spills may develop liver disease and reproductive and growth problems. "

What does flounder and mangrove toxicity have to do with alleged oil extraction subsidies?

Are you arguing for taxing fish and trees to pay for the spill clean-ups that save them?

Sure...why not?

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@bm:Do you recall a few years ago when a heat-wave hit France, and tens of thousands of elderly French people died from not having air-conditioning?

Actually, france gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear, so gas prices have nothing to do that situation. In fact, climate change from burning fossil fuels will make these kind of record breaking heat waves even more common.

"Remember the rolling blackouts in California?"

Yes, they were caused by blatant price and supply manipulation by Enron and other energy companies, an argument for public, non-profit utilities. Don't you remember?

"Artificial supply shortage was created by gratuitously taking power plants offline for (unnecessary) "maintenance" on hot summer days of peak demand[4][5]...This demand supply gap was further exploited by energy companies, mainly Enron. Enron traders were thus able to sell power at premium prices, sometimes up to a factor of 20x its normal peak value...The financial crisis was possible because of deregulation legislation instituted in 1996 by Governor Pete Wilson (Republican). Enron took advantage of this deregulation and was involved in economic withholding and inflated price bidding in California's spot markets.[7]. The crisis cost $40bn to $45bn.[8]"

Energy prices are going up no matter what we do. Do we want to destroy the environment trying to squeeze out the last few drops before making the clean fuels transition?

"Most of the easy-to-extract oil has been found.[40] Recent price increases have led to oil exploration in areas where extraction is much more expensive, such as in extremely deep wells, extreme downhole temperatures, and environmentally sensitive areas or where high [read very costly] technology will be required to extract the oil."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

slaverw3:
"Actually, france gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear, so gas prices have nothing to do that situation. In fact, climate change from burning fossil fuels will make these kind of record breaking heat waves even more common."

Ahh, another eco-moonbat True Believer in "Climate Change/ Global Warmening".

At this point, you're slipping right into the category of moonbatbgone, (who has never quite figured out why he cannot open a soda can without having it spray all over him), over there in the dunce corner.

So in any event, you're in favor of nuclear power then? Since it's groovy in France and everything?

And what will you say to the next nuclear accident?

Remember, poor ole White Cong rukidding down there in Florida is covered in oil right now, but having him glow in the dark is hunky-dory?
Very...chic...no doubt.

Y'know what both of your retorts in the above post here indicate is a not-so-unconscious desire of the moonbat mentality to find a bogeyman in everything.

Behind every event there apparently HAS to be a hobgoblin actively plotting against you.

My God, no wonder you people are such a miserable pack of cattle that you even alienate each other.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 12, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@bm: You said that the consequences of the heat wave would be worse with higher oil prices. That is just false because France gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear. I am not advocating for nuclear just refuting your false statements with facts.

Of course, you don't respond when your lies about the CA energy crisis are pointed out.

I seem to remember you doing the old run away during our last discussion of peak oil. Still running....

"What does flounder and mangrove toxicity have to do with alleged oil extraction subsidies? Are you arguing for taxing fish and trees to pay for the spill clean-ups that save them?"

I am arguing for oil companies to pay for the damage they do to the environment when extracting oil from the gulf. Taking away the subsidies and raising taxes on oil extraction would give govt more resources to deal with the environmental consequences of the oil spills, since the oil companies are not paying for the long term cleanup costs. Another example of private industry foisting off costs onto others for their own malfeasance while keeping the profits.

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"Most experts agree that pretty much all of the cheaply and easily extractable oil has already been found, but according to the IEA’s chief economist, Dr Fatih Birol, we need to find the equivalent of four new Saudi Arabias by 2030."
http://peakoil.com/geology/the-end-of-oil-7/
The end of the oil based economy is coming. We can get ahead of the curve by aggressively developing alternative energy sources or just sit on our hands and wait for the economic disaster to overtake the US by vainly trying to extract a diminishing supply of oil from expensive, difficult to extract, and environmentally critical areas like the gulf of mexico.

We did have a 30 year heads up courtesy of OPEC. Republicans and most democrats, esp Reagan, bush, and bush the younger chose to abandon all of Carter's efforts at energy independence and so we squandered our 30 year heads up. The future will be more painful because we didn't start when we first figured out the problem. The longer we wait, the worse the problem becomes...

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I should have known better than attempting to BP BilgeSlave a serious question. Based upon his evasion I suspect the answer is that BP BilgeSlave is telling us we will just have to wait until the relief wells are drilled, which will be a matter of months, by which time the amount of oil in the Gulf will far exceed the amount that leaked from the Valdez. This is truly a slow-motion calamity.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"o we squandered our 30 year heads up"

So correct and so often overlooked: the opportunities the U.S. has squandered under 40 years of Conservative domination. Those lost opportunities will have very high costs as we finally start doing what we should have been doing for decades.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne I try and try not to feed the trolls, but sometimes I just can't resist. I need more discipline.

Yes, the "failed" carter presidency started us on the path to energy independence until Reagan reverted to the old, discredited, ignore the problem and I won't have to deal with it, theory of govt that successive administrations also adopted.

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"the "failed" carter presidency"

It's about time someone wrote a revisionist history of Carter's presidency.The fact is on the most important things Carter was correct. but the country didn't want to hear it so we swooned for Morning in America and imagined all the problems away.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 12, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

shorter Bilgeman: run away, run away

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama and his comrades are shamefully using the Gulf spill to force us to swallow another job-killing, economy-killing, freedom-killing SCAM!

Obama and his billionaire comrades are now ready for "the kill." Their corrupt scientists and media have been busy helping them brainwash us with ridiculous man-made global warming fairy tales.

To increase their power and wealth at our expense, Obama and his billionaire fraudulent friends (Gore, Soros, Obama’s Chicago Climate Exchange friends, GE, the United Nations, etc.) have been busy brainwashing us.

GE, for example, has bombarded us with daily propaganda -- through its NBC networks, that includes MSNBC and CNBC -- to make us swallow the scam. Why? Because they stand to make BILLIONS from the scam at our expense. Not only is GE the largest wind turbine generator maker, but it may benefit as the sole “secondary market” trader of the cap and trade credits.

We must stop Obama and his comrades from forcing us to swallow another job-killing, economy-killing, freedom-killing SCAM!

Posted by: AntonioSosa | May 13, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Elena Kagan was unhappy because she thought the U.S. was not socialist enough! No wonder Obama selected her! She will make an excellent comrade to Obama and will be willing and able to help the dictator fundamentally transform the U.S. from a prosperous, FREE capitalist country into another failed, ENSLAVED socialist/Marxist country.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | May 13, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

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