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Happy Hour Roundup

* Schumer spox walks back claim climate bill will be scaled down:

Chuck Schumer caused a big stir today by telling MSNBC that Senate Dems were poised to move forward with a weaker, scaled down climate change proposal in the form of an amendment to a larger bill, rather than a comprehensive approach.

But Schumer spokesman Brian Fallon is walking back his comments, saying he only floated a possible option and that no decisions have been made. Fallon emails me this:

"To the senator's knowledge, no decisions have been made yet on the floor strategy for legislation addressing the nation's urgent energy challenges, nor is it his decision to make. Senator Schumer speculated on one procedural option, but make no mistake: he believes climate change legislation is vital to our nation's energy security. He is working with his colleagues to get the strongest, most comprehensive bill possible."

* Is the White House resigned to a Bill Hatler win over Blanche Lincoln?

* Dan Amira: Give Helen Thomas's White House press room seat to Chuck Todd.

* Headline of the day, from TPM, on the implosion of Sue Lowden's campaign: "Totally plucked."

* At risk of repeating myself, it remains completely baffling that one of the worst environmental calamities in our history may not be enough to compel Congress to act on energy reform -- and that this may be our last chance to get it done for quite some time.

* The big networks appear to understand that the Gulf spill is a "seminal moment" for them.

* The Gulf spill numbers may be worse than Katrina because Republicans weren't willing to fault the handling of Bush's Katrina, while Dems are willing to fault the handling of today's crisis.

* Rand Paul, who is reportedly still running for Senate, edges out of his cocoon, sort of.

* Modest proposal of the day: Byron Dorgan wants BP to be legally bound to pay for the spill. By the way, still no Congressional action yet on efforts to lift the liability cap on Big Oil.

* Anti-war activists hope to draw attention by pointing out that the Afghanistan war has now dragged on longer than Vietnam.

* And Abe Foxman explains to Dave Weigel why Helen Thomas' retirement still isn't enough (he wants an award named after her changed), even as he maintains that uber-GOP-donor Fred Malek's apology for his Jew-counting is sufficient.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  June 7, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , Political media  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Yes, people fault the response to the spill. But why?
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Would be funny if it wasn't so damn sad:

http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/06/04/4463600-bp-demotivator-for-the-win

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 7, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Robert Reich's idea that the gov't should put BP into receivership is going to look really good in 6 months. Wait till they try to wiggle out from under their responsibilities and get their legal team on this.

Congress needs to get this right now.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 7, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Greg, you should note that Schumer is in charge of the other big legislation, Immigration reform, and with rumblings that the Dream Act and AGjobs bills (two popular bills) would be separate legislation if Energy was brought up with a carbon cap in it, then Schumer has a vested interest in what he's saying.

Posted by: calchala | June 7, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

@BGinCHI - Robert Reich is an idiot. Politically, practically and legally, BP shouldn't be held in receivership.

Remember, we don't have the know-how, we don't have the expertise. This is NOTHING like AIG. How do smart people keep throwing that analogy out there? AIG was a government investment over years of funding going their way, to the point where we have 80% control.

BP is a fully independent company. We have zero money flowing to them. Further, isn't the problem with AIG now, we CAN'T take them over? That's why we're getting the new receivership powers in FinReg.

If the well is taken over, BP will take us to the Supreme Court and they WILL WIN. Remember the steel industry case in the 50s? That's still precedent. Not to mention the fact that Obama will be bloodied in the battle and Republicans will use that Obama taking over industry on the way to victory in november.

Legally, Practically and Politically this decision makes ABSOLUTELY ZERO SENSE. Reich needs to get of his ivory tower and figure this out on his own.

Posted by: calchala | June 7, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Little Green Footballs catches Reuters at it again?

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=177749

Posted by: sbj3 | June 7, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I think it's pretty amazing that while the Right is trying to savage Obama on drilling, our national security apparatus just did a GREAT job in apprehending two terrorist-wannabes:

* Two Arrested at Kennedy Airport on Terror Charges *

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/nyregion/07terror.html

Is that issue not important? They were influenced by Anwar al-Awlaki, and one terrorist suspect said he could do much "better" than Nidal Hassan.

But I guess we don't care? Where is Boenher's comment praising the policework and praising the President for making sure the intel community improves info-sharing?

Oh right, they only care when they can benefit from taking a political angle. They don't ACTUALLY care about events.

Republicans are simply the worst.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 7, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Is it worth it?


"KABUL, Afghanistan – Ten NATO service members, seven of them American, were killed in separate attacks Monday on the deadliest day of the year for foreign forces in Afghanistan. A U.S. civilian contractor who trains Afghan police also died in a suicide attack."

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

On a lighter note:

I have been looking into why Al and Tipper ended their marriage after forty years.

It turns out that the reason for it is;

A Reduced Sentence For Time Served.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

RE: Abe Foxman forgiving Malek but wanting to further degrade Thomas: I used to be a big supporter of ADL, for nearly 50 years--since my Bar Mitzvah! ADL was my choice for Bar Mitzvah charity gifts. My family has supported the ADL even longer. Foxman has partisanized what was once a great organization, respected far beyond the Jewish community because it stood tall for the human and civil rights of all. Now the ADL has all the standing of the Catholic Defense League's Donahue--merely another predictable knee-jerk hackery in the culture wars. Malek, a conservative can be forgiven; Thomas, a liberal, will never be. It took our family a couple of year's of Foxman's "leadership" to understand the ADL's new direction--our support ended several years ago.

Posted by: northlite | June 7, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Your "Republicans wouldn't blame Bush" argument of course just begs the question of who deserves blame for what.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 7, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

I noticed that you somehow forgot to mention that two aspiring terrorists had been under FBI surveillance since 2006. Of course, that would require your crediting Bush and Cheney.

Where is Obama or Holder's statement praising the prior admin?

I guess it is Dems who are "the worst."

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 7, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Public Policy Polling: "We'd never done a public poll in California before last week and the thing I found most remarkable was how much voters in the state hate all of their politicians."

I'm sure there are other readers here - on both left and right - who would agree that PPP's polling appears to be spot on!

http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2010/06/californias-unpopular-politicians.html

Posted by: sbj3 | June 7, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"The Citizens United Effect: Some of the first exploiters of the campaign finance free-for-all aren't corporations, but labor unions."

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2zwPW3/motherjones.com/politics/2010/06/citizens-united-effect

via The Corner

Posted by: sbj3 | June 7, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"The Citizens United Effect: Some of the first exploiters of the campaign finance free-for-all aren't corporations, but labor unions."

Unions, corporations, whatever - Citizens United was still a terrible decision.

I personally feel that campaigns should be publicly financed. Since that's not going to happen - Roberts, Scalia, Alito, and Thomas can suck on it.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 7, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Bennen took the words right out of my...errr...blog response this afternoon.. :P

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Re spill and today's polls, from Drum...

"...during Katrina, Republicans largely rallied around the federal response because they wanted to defend George Bush from lefty criticism. In the case of the BP spill, Democrats have been much less willing to do the same for Barack Obama. And sure enough, the poll results suggest this is exactly what's happened." http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/06/bp-vs-katrina

I'm sure there are some exceptions but this is largely accurate, not to mention typical.

When Obama took office (the Limbaugh "I hope he fails" period) I argued here that the Republicans, to have any chance in 2012, would have to create a narrative that Obama had failed. That's rather obvious, isn't it? To the degree that their propaganda is effective, polls will reflect such a notion.

Aside from that, the economic worries and travails most people are experiencing produces an over-arching sense of system failure and betrayal. The simplest target for that is government quite regardless of whether this target is the correct one.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Teabagging, The Father And Son Way.


http://www.freep.com/article/20100607/NEWS15/100607049/1319/2-men-charged-with-threat-to-Stupak-over-health-care


"WASHINGTON – A 73-year-old Michigan man and his son who lives in Colorado have been accused of sending U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak a letter threatening to spill the blood of the congressman and his family for his vote in favor of the health care reform legislation in March.

Barbara McQuade, the U.S. attorney in Detroit, said today that both Russell Hesch, a frequent critic of Stupak’s who lives in West Branch in the northern Lower Peninsula, and his son, David Hesch, 50, of Loveland, Colo., have been arrested and charged in criminal complaint with conspiring to threaten to assault, kidnap or murder a U.S. official in connection with his duties."

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama talking about the oil spill and trying to find out "whose ass to kick".


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/ns/nightly_news/#37561786

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 7, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

The one thing that puzzles the hell out of me is, why this White House does not understand yet, how to play the PR game.

You have to frame the terms of the national debate,each and every day, and capture every news cycle, or you will end up getting framed.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Lol. Obama talks to experts so he knows "Whose ?#C to kick. That should drive the PC tightwads nuts.

Show me the faux outrage.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

"The one thing that puzzles the hell out of me is, why this White House does not understand yet, how to play the PR game."

It is not simply a matter of not knowing how to (though as Weston and other argue, that's part of it) it's also a matter of different priorities from the Rove crowd and a completely different level of cynicism.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I tried to report Bilgeman's comment in an earlier thread that incorporated "slave" as he usually does, and it bounced because the mailbox is full.

This is unacceptable.

Posted by: msmollyg | June 7, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

"Natural" now means something than it did before. Freedom Works CEO refers to BP spill as a "natural disaster".

Makes a sort of sense if one considers humans as part of nature, of course. Humans like Hitler or Charlie Manson, for example. Pearl Harbor, your uncle killed by a drunk driver, a building collapsing because the inspectors were corrupt and didn't check...all just natural disasters.

A person could begin to have negative thoughts about these lying, corrupt bast*ards at Freedom Works.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Liam, here's a link to a group I've been working with and am campaigning for two CA reps who support their efforts. Just thought I'd pass it along in case your're interested.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 7, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Liam, forgot the link. I know you hate FDL but this is their Afghanistan guy and he's working hard.

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/53425

Posted by: lmsinca | June 7, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh, of course, Bush's focus on PR explains why he maintained such great popularity and was never blamed for anything.

Bush notoriously ignored PR and his image and popularity. Obama not so much. And the public is seeing it. Rasmussen polling shows a majority thinks he is partisan and an even larger majority thinks the Dems in Congress are.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 7, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

"Dissent in Very Serious People Land" is Digby's post at the top of her page now dealing with Finreg and defict mania. If you can take it the links are good and some serious people are beginning to get nervous about what's going on.

"Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Fed, has long been a proponent of serious financial sector reform. As a former commercial banker, he sees quite clearly that the legislation now headed into "reconciliation" between House and Senate versions amounts to very little. He also knows that pounding away repeatedly on this theme is the best way to influence his colleagues within the Fed and across the policy community more broadly."

"He is now taking his game to a new, higher level. Couched in the diplomatic language of senior officials, his speech on June 3 to the SW Graduate School of Banking was both a carefully calibrated assault on the administration's general "softly, softly" approach to the big banks and a direct refutation of arguments put forward by Larry Summers in particular."

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/

Posted by: lmsinca | June 7, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

calchala, if you don't like Reich's plan -- and I'll admit I don't think it's at all perfect -- then please pose an alternative that would get BP on the hook for this down the line. Is it going to take an act of Congress to get them to take all the responsibility for the shutdown and cleanup?

I guarantee you once this fades as a story, they are going to go to court and fight the government, both at the state and federal level, for every penny.

You're already seeing signs of this and the oil is still spilling.

I'd like to hear about a smart way the WH and/or congress could get really tough with a multinational in a substantive way.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 7, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

qb, I bet you think the Gov did a good job during Katrina right?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Liam, forgot the link. I know you hate FDL but this is their Afghanistan guy and he's working hard.

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/53425

Posted by: lmsinca | June 7, 2010 8:36 PM |

I took a break from this site back when Tena was flinging poo at FDL. Is it still going on? I don't understand it at all.

Posted by: msmollyg | June 7, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I think the administration should coordinate with local Gov's, Parrish presidents, Mayors, etc, to hire out locals to assist with the spill looking for work and give the bill to BP if that isn't already happening.

As far as how the Govn't should be involved in capping the well...I'm not sure the Govn't has the technology at the moment. If they did, I'm sure it would be capped by now.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

From self-hating Jew (Eric Alterman - [probably Israel-hating and his-own-mother-hating too)...

"The awful symbolism of the Israeli military attacking an unarmed humanitarian mission at sea—a mission not unlike the Zionist humanitarian missions to Palestine of 1947–48—provides a particularly painful reminder of just how far Israel has strayed from the ideals of its founding. Among the raid's countless counterproductive consequences is that it will further alienate the Jewish state from the liberal Zionists abroad who wish to support Israel but struggle to locate their values amid its increasingly right-wing and decreasingly democratic political culture."
continue here: http://www.thenation.com/article/israel-agonistes

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

molly, they're relentless, but I managed to stick around and link over there whenever possible. Lots of misinformation and pooh flinging but I survived. And I actually miss my big debates with Tena. Hey, another good site is progressiveblue.com, very low key and smart people.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 7, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"I argued here that the Republicans, to have any chance in 2012, would have to create a narrative that Obama had failed."

Or, alternatively, they could simply point it out when he actually does fail.

"To the degree that their propaganda is effective, polls will reflect such a notion."

And to the degree that Obama's propaganda that he has been a monumental success is effective, that too will be reflected in the polls, no?

"The simplest target for that is government quite regardless of whether this target is the correct one."

Yes. This is precisely the point I made earlier (can't remember to whom). People will naturally tend to give undue credit to the government in good times, and undue blame during bad times. Given liberals' inclination to hold out government as a, and perhaps the, primary force for good and justice in society, that aforementioned tendency might well redound more to both their benefit and detriment than that of conservatives. At the moment, they are experiencing the detriment part of that equation.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

FOX ratings decline:

"Nothing is simple when it comes to stats or cable news, but consider: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Greta Van Susteren have each hit their lowest point in a year or more with the key 25- to 54-year-old demo, according to the latest Nielsens...

And, by any measure, if you look at total viewership for all of Fox News, some audience-shedding is also evident. “In total day total viewers, FNC was down 6% year-to-year (while MSNBC was up 3% and CNN was down 16%),” writes Mediaite. "

As the piece notes, FOX is still the leader in cable but maybe there's a fresh wind ablowin'.
http://www.thenation.com/blog/are-fox-ratings-fading-tea-party-stumbles

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

qb:

"Bush notoriously ignored PR and his image and popularity. "

Good point. This notion that somehow the Obama machine and Rahm "never let a good crisis go to waste" Emmanuel are somehow less cynical and image conscious than Bush/Rove strikes me as patently absurd.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

B(ig) P(olluter) strikes again.

BP: 500,000 pounds of emissions released

TEXAS CITY — At BP’s Texas City refinery, more than 400 pounds a day of benzene — 40 times the state reportable levels — was released during a 40-day period while a subunit of the refinery’s ultracracker unit was offline, according to a company filing with the state’s environmental agency Friday.

In all, BP officials said more than 500,000 pounds of pollutants and nonpollutants were released while the company increased flaring as they tried to repair a compressor on the faulty unit.

Refinery spokesman Michael Marr said in its follow up reporting with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, BP estimated 36,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides and 17,000 pounds of benzene were released in the 40 days. State law requires 10 pounds or more of benzene and 200 pounds or more of nitrogen oxide during a 24-hour period must be reported through the commission’s air emissions database.

http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=98cf5a2c858437b5

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 7, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

This is good news for NBC and TV investigative journalism:

"Michael Isikoff will join NBC News as National Investigative Correspondent. Isikoff has been an MSNBC contributor since 2009, but will now contribute across all NBC News platforms."

(via HuffPo)

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 7, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

ScottC said; "Or, alternatively, they could simply point it out when he actually does fail."

"Could", indeed. But that implies might do something else but Limbaugh's lead right from Obama's taking office has been followed without relent. But do feel free to quote senior Republicans congratulating Obama for successes. I expect their websites and speeches are awash in such.

"And to the degree that Obama's propaganda that he has been a monumental success is effective, that too will be reflected in the polls, no?"

"Monumental"? An unnecessary level of success requirement, don't you think? Again, feel free to find him or his staff using that adjective. But you are not trying to be careful here, merely to forward a talking point/narrative implying grandiosity on Obama's part (Limbaugh's use of "the one"). But one could point to the administration's achievement of initiatives which prior Dem governments had not managed. That would be accurate.

Your more valid point, re competing narratives, is fair enough, of course.

Re your last graph, we seem to agree on how general well-being or lack will color how people think of their political leaders and institutions, fairly or not. As to this...

"Given liberals' inclination to hold out government as a, and perhaps the, primary force for good and justice in society, that aforementioned tendency might well redound more to both their benefit and detriment than that of conservatives."

First, sure, in the same manner as a party platform built on claims to the benefits accruing from unrestricted and minimally regulated corporate operations will be negatively affected by the Gulf or Bhopal or your elder relatives dying from lung cancer, or a world-wide depression etc might do damage to Republican electoral hopes.

But it would be interesting to hear what other societal elements, besides government and its institutions, have been dependable sources for the advancement of justice and personal safety. Blackwater? Proctor and Gamble? The Lions Club?

But you've got me thinking about differences between 9/11 and the Gulf Spill as regards actual responsibility and popular judgements on responsibility. Which will go in the next post so I'm not beheaded again.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

qb"Bush notoriously ignored PR and his image and popularity. "

Good point. This notion that somehow the Obama machine and Rahm "never let a good crisis go to waste" Emmanuel are somehow less cynical and image conscious than Bush/Rove strikes me as patently absurd.

No, that's not a good point. It's utter foolishness. The PR claim was forwarded regularly that Bush didn't read or care about polls. Doubtful, but irrelevant. His WH operation was steeped in polling data. Read conservative Republican DiIulio talking about Bush WH operations, for gods sakes. http://www.ronsuskind.com/newsite/articles/archives/000032.html

To the degree that you guys just avoid evidence that doesn't validate your preferred positions, to that degree your posts are without worth. It's not merely maddening, it's a real pity.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

sbj3:
"Little Green Footballs catches Reuters at it again?

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=177749"

How 'bout THAT?

I'm shocked, SHOCKED, I tells ya!

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 7, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Liam-slave:
"I have been looking into why Al and Tipper ended their marriage after forty years.

It turns out that the reason for it is;

A Reduced Sentence For Time Served."

For WHICH party though?

Truth be told, I always thought that they made a particularly attractive couple.

Their politics were middle-of-the-road whack, but that doesn't mean they both weren't lookers, (before Algore went manbearpig eco-nuts, grew the beard, and let himself get blofulously bulbous).

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 7, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

slave moonbatmollyg:
"I tried to report Bilgeman's comment in an earlier thread that incorporated "slave" as he usually does, and it bounced because the mailbox is full.

This is unacceptable."

Awww, how flattering! The Moonbat Geheim Polizei has assigned me very own Politeness Enforcement Agent!

It's okay, cud-chewer, I understand that your cow-like loins perceive my alpha-male status, and you seek me out for my essence.

Alas, I must deny it to you, and not just because I am a married man, but mainly for the reason that you, as a moonbat mare, are almost by definition, on your best day, a theta-female.

And nothing good could come from our co-mingling, (from MY POV).

I mean, let's face it...at the "Miss America Pageant"....you're the Janeane Garofalo.

So don't bother shaving your legs, toots...t'ain't no-one wants to see YOU in a swimsuit.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 7, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

slavesuezkoo1
"At BP’s Texas City refinery, more than 400 pounds a day of benzene — 40 times the state reportable levels — was released during a 40-day period while a subunit of the refinery’s ultracracker unit was offline, according to a company filing with the state’s environmental agency Friday."

Oops.

You may not recall, but the Texas City refinery is the one that blew up a few years ago.

It was in part a response to that disaster that BP started its "Beyond Petroleum" PR ad campaign initiative, showing you moonbats pictures of windmills and ponies and solar cells and children to make you smile and say:

"Awwwwww!"

Things ain't looking too good for Limey Awl/Oy-ull/Url nowadays, though.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 7, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

There are 2 issues with the spill.
1. The inability to plug the leak. I haven't seen any indication that there's something he could do that he isn't doing actually to plug the leak. He's being blamed unjustly for that.
2. The spread ofteh leak and the cleanup. Here he has been completely out to lunch. he talks about being in charge but all they seem to be doing is watching BP and kibitzing - and belaboring the obvious point that BP will have to pay the bill. (They know they'll have to pay and everyone knows that all sides will be dickering over how much they have to pay long after Obama leaves office.) There is no sign that Obama is marshalling the immense resources of the federal government to do the things that the federal government actually can do. In that he's actually worse than Bush, because he still doesn't get it after 7 weeks.

Posted by: androcles | June 7, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Email going round that I received today:

"We have been lied to so often that after a period of time, people believe the lies.

How often have you heard that there could be as many as 12MILLION Illegals.?

What would you say if it was more like 22MILLION??

How about the LIE that ILLEGALS actually pay for themselves and basically do not cost the Government money.

The cost is into BILLIONS and BILLIONS.

Check the following out.

It is all about VOTES and POWER.!!"


http://immigrationcounters.com/

Posted by: actuator | June 7, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

bernie:

"To the degree that you guys just avoid evidence (yadda yadda yadda)..."

Again, you deflect in order to avoid my point, which was that your claims about the lack of cynicism and care for PR awareness within the Obama admin are pretty ridiculous.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Rather a timely story:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timcollard/100042402/china-cracks-in-the-three-gorges-dam-so-300000-people-can-wave-goodbye-to-their-homes/

Private enterprise screws up, and it splooges the coastline for several weeks.

Government screws up, and nigh two million people are made homeless.

What was that moonbat mantra?

"Government is the greatest force for good in the modern world....?"

Not necessarily.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 7, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

"You may not recall, but the Texas City refinery is the one that blew up a few years ago."

Uh, yeah. I know. The company I work for had application engineers on site at Texas City the day it blew. BP is a client. So is the Cherry Point refinery in WA, and BP Exploration in AK. I am very familiar with Big Polluter.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 7, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

There's no deflection. There's a comparison made and there's an address to evidence on the matter (just one bit of it, from a conservative Republican who worked in the Bush WH and who spoke very specifically on how that WH put PR concerns at the center of "every" issue. Those are his observations and not mine. He was there).

Find a comparable evidence-based claim.

Obviously, any WH involves themselves in PR. Now if you want to head off into "everyone does it and it is all the same" territory, then that's fine. But it's hard to imagine the value in a conservation if you refuse to make discernments.

QB's claim that Bush famously didn't care about polling is based on what? Serious question. How on earth does he claim to know this is so? What we do know is that Bush's PR department said it was so and it got repeated. Obviously it was seen to have PR value if people thought it so. And you two look to be rather perfect examples of the easily convinced.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Bildge, explain to everyone how all the oil is just going to wash back out to sea when the tide goes out.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

See, but Bush is a good Christian.

That's all that has to be said.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Bildgeman think when people speak of a working Govn't they mean any Govn't, even Somalia.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Bildgeman think when people speak of a working Govn't they mean any Govn't, even Somalia.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

slavezkoo1:
"So is the Cherry Point refinery in WA, and BP Exploration in AK. I am very familiar with Big Polluter."

Huh...I did not know they had the Cherry Point refinery, (it's been YEARS since I've sailed Puget Sound).

Did they ever get that set up to handle the sour crude out of Valdez?

In case you're not familiar with that end of the upstream, a lot of Alaska's crude goes to Panama, and is piped across the Isthmus to a LOOP facility, where East Coast tankers take it over to Amerada Hess on St. Croix, which is apparently the only refinery this side that can deal with the sulfur.

Product then comes out of St. Croix up the coasts to fuel Texicans' pick-up trucks and heat moonbat communal squats in winter-time.

Anyway, being able to refine it closer to the source and pipeline the product, would be a significant savings over hauling it from Valdez to New Jersey via Panama and the US Virgin Islands.

Maybe Shell or Unocal or someone else will buy the joint off of Bee-Pee.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 7, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Mayonnaise Mike, the White Separatist from Aryanton:
"Bildge, explain to everyone how all the oil is just going to wash back out to sea when the tide goes out."

Give it a while, honky. All that nasty, stinky, colored stuff WILL get washed away.

Just like what happened in YOUR hometown. It doesn;t take place overnight, though, y'know.

"Bildgeman think when people speak of a working Govn't they mean any Govn't, even Somalia." (x2)

So sor-sor-sorry to hee-hee-hear that your stut-stut-stutter is buh-buh-buh-back.

Maybe if you tried puh-puh-puh posting with the muh-muh-muh marbles in your muh-muh-muh mouth again you'd overcuh-cuh-cuh come your affliction!

(Perhaps not, but the mental image of you tapping away down in the basement with your cheeks stuffed full of marbles, like a 300 pound chipmunk is rather amusing to me).

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 7, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who this guy is, but it's not pretty is it?

"WASHINGTON — BP's runaway Deepwater Horizon well may be spewing what the company once-called its worst case scenario — 100,000 barrels a day, a member of the government panel told McClatchy Monday.

"In the data I've seen, there's nothing inconsistent with BP's worst case scenario," Ira Leifer, an associate researcher at the Marine Science Institute of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a member of the government's Flow Rate Technical Group, told McClatchy.

Leifer said that based on satellite data he's examined, the rate of flow from the well has been increasing over time, especially since BP's "top kill" effort failed last month to stanch the flow. The decision last week to sever the well's damaged riser pipe from the its blowout preventer in order to install a "top hat" containment device has increased the flow still more _ far more, Leifer said, than the 20 percent that BP and the Obama administration predicted."

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/06/07/95467/bp-well-may-be-spewing.html#ixzz0qEBsTZvM

Posted by: lmsinca | June 7, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Your more valid point..."

It was the entire point. The "monumental" was really just a rhetorical flourish and nod towards his starry-eyed followers who seem to think his wonderfulness knows few bounds.

"But it would be interesting to hear what other societal elements, besides government and its institutions, have been dependable sources for the advancement of justice and personal safety."

Knowing your politics, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at such a lack of imagination on your part, but the inability for liberals to see the world beyond that commanded by the government never ceases to amaze me. Let's see...personal safety. Did the government invent seatbelts? How about indoor plumbing? What about locks for your doors to keep out burglars? How about fire alarms? Does the government develop and produce medicine? I could go on (and on and on and on) but I think you get the point. Yes, yes, I know...government has passed laws requiring seatbelts and setting standards for plumbing and mandating the use of fire alarms and regulating the production of medicine, all of which would amount to a bunch of nothing without the non-governmental institutions that do the actual inventing and producing of things that help keep people safe.

As for justice, well, that sort of depends upon a mutual understanding and acceptance of what is and is not just, which, given our previous discussions about just that topic, might be difficult to come by (what with your claimed rejection of the existence of an objective morality).

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"And you two look to be rather perfect examples of the easily convinced. "

So says the guy who exhibits such great skepticism of that which emanates from the Obama White House.

Your question about how we could know about Bush's (lack of) concern for his popularity is a fair one. But it also makes one wonder how it is that you are so familiar with the relative levels of cynicism and PR priorities of the Obama White House.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

imspilledinca:
"BP's runaway Deepwater Horizon well may be spewing what the company once-called its worst case scenario — 100,000 barrels a day, a member of the government panel told McClatchy Monday."

No that doesn't. now 100k BPOE a day WOULD economically justify a deepwater well.

The Perdido I worked on, (for Shell), is expected to produce 150k BPOE a day.

Somewhere in BeePee's earlier PR statements, (pre-blowout), they will have given a ball-park guess as to how much oil a day they expected to come up from Macondo.

I haven't been able to source it properly, but that Mississippi Canyon block was expected to hold 100 million barrels of oil.

On a better note, i finally learned the name of the OSV that headed into the flames of the Horizon Deepwater wreck to rescue its' crewmwmbers in the water.

It was Tidewater's PSV Damon Bankston, under the command of Captain Alwin Landry.

You can read Tidewater's press release here:

http://media.nola.com/news_impact/other/bankston.pdf

In World War II, US merchant ships that had a hard voyage of it, yet fought the cargo through the U-boat Wolfpacks and the Luftwaffe, were often recognized with what the "Gallant Ship Award".

All too often, this was the ONLY recognition whatsoever of their service to their nation.

In my (admittedly biased)opinion, the Officers and Crew of the PSV Damon Bankston, braving the flames that night to rescue 115 souls from the water and from melting lifeboats, at the very least deserve such recognition.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 8, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I don't have means to type a very good reply to Bernie's typically log/speck attack, but it of course completely ignores my main point, which was that he illogically attributes what he perceives to be Obama's falling approval ratings to a supposed absence of priority. on PR and a lack of cynicism as compared to Bush.

This is nonsensical given that it equates PR success with PR effort or focus, and on top of that ignores that the Bush WH was a PR disaster in almost every way, so that by Bernie's logic one would have to reach the conclusion opposite the one he does.

As for relying on Suskind and Dilulio, a few points. Dilulio is an Ivy League professor and not really a conservative Republican at all, so let's not as Bernie does try to claim he is the latter. Is anyone shocked that he was disillioned at the inner workings of a whitehouse?

The objective evidence -- what we see and hear every day -- tells us Bush was relatively indifferent to PR and image. He virtually never responded or let anyone respond to the vicious attacks on himself. He met with families of troops in secret. There are a million examples. And Bernie confuses a lack of an ambitious domestic agenda with a focus instead on PR. Bush certainly never had an ambitious domestic agenda, which is one reason he had sun weak conservative support. He was a middle o the roader. Many insiders have criticized him for exactly he opposite of what Dilulio said -- paying so little attention to popularity and defending himself that he was unable to achieve more of a conservative agenda. After 911 this was more pronounced because Bush saw the national security threat as the overriding priority. And note that Dilulio is criticized for bailing out too quickly and leaving exactly the void he criticized.

But more than anything Bernie's argument t is illogical and ignores the daily mountain la evidence that Obama is PR and image obsessed. His faltering popularity isn't proof otherwise.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 8, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted;

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/the_morning_plum_26.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 8, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Bilge

It's always the boots on the ground and in the trenches who save everyone's bacon isn't it? It's always been thus and when faced with life or death most people jump into the fray regardless of politics, race, wealth, or any other factor that normally colors our perception of each other.

I think this disaster in the Gulf is going to be just such a defining American moment, but I don't know if people are paying attention yet, they're still playing politics instead of coming together.

Doesn't, if my math is correct, 3800 gallons a minute seem high in my reference above? I think he said this was based on BP's worst case scenario and he doesn't see anything other than the bit they're capturing to mitigate that. Uggghhh.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 8, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Scott said: "So says the guy who exhibits such great skepticism of that which emanates from the Obama White House."

In but a year and a half, criticism and skepticism of this WH has been voiced by myself and most other liberals here at a level which is not to be found on the other side of the comparison. Serious criticism of Bush/Cheney remains rare on the right even now though it did become more allowable after six or seven years. And after that administration had damaged the Republican/conservative brand so seriously that distancing became electorally mandatory.

"But it also makes one wonder how it is that you are so familiar with the relative levels of cynicism and PR priorities of the Obama White House."

Because there is much evidence for the one and scant for the other.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 8, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Lack of conservative and Republican criticism of Bush? Bernie clearly does inhabit a different reality than the one that is real. Since you do at least read a few sources from the "dark side" like NRO -- unlike the other liberals here who prefer to stay in the leftist cocoon -- you ought to know much better, since Bush was and is strongly criticized there. Hence we can only conclude that you have blinded yourself to evidence not fitting your preconceptions and prejudices.

Similarly, the evidence of Obama's PR and political focus is manifest on a daily basis. His clumsy photo ops and fumbling responses to criticism over his Gulf response are obvious to those not blinded by ideology as purely PR driven. He maintains an unprecedented political operation that echoes his propoganda and partisan attacks through perpetual email and internet campaigning. Surely many Plumbers are part of it. He stages political theater where as President he can mock and upstage Republicans.

And he wages a neverending war against media who are less than fawning -- a war that goes farther in the direction of censorship than any in memory and certainly makes Bush look thick skinned by comparison. In fact, the WH press generally says he and his political operation complain and attack the press more than anyone since Nixon. And his is a press that was gaga over him.

This is all a direct carryover from his scorched earth campaign that used everything from phone jamming to law enforcement threats to stifle any criticism.

The best evidence of who is more focused on PR and political maneuvering is not who is successful at it or what Bernie Latham claims he knows from insiders but what we see with our own eyes. And on that basis it is absurd for anyone to claim that Obama is less PR driven or cynically political than Bush was. Simply absurd.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 8, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

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