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Obama told BP exec: It's all about Gulf residents

Does this count as emoting yet?

President Obama, in the Rose Garden now, just delivered a brief statement announcing that BP had agreed to set up a $20 billion escrow fund for people and businesses impacted by the Gulf disaster.

But in an interesting twist, Obama appears to have departed from the legalistic prepared remarks to ad lib details of a private conversation with BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, in which he urged the exec to remember the victims of the tragedy when he's in his boardrooms and talking to shareholders:

One last point. During a private conversation with Chairman Svanberg, I emphasized to him that for the families that I met with down in the Gulf, for the small business owners, for the fisherman, for the shrimpers, this is not just a matter of dollars and cents. That a lot of these folks don't have a cushion.

They were coming off of Rita and Katrina, coming off the worst economy that the country's seen since the Great Depression. And this was going to be the season where they were going to be bouncing back. This happened from their perspective at the worst possible time...

So I emphasized to the chairman that when he's talking to shareholders, when he's in meetings in his boardroom, to keep in mind those individuals. That they are desperate. And some of them, if they don't get relief quickly, may lose businesses that have been in their families for two or three generations. And the chairman assured me that he would keep them in mind. And that's going to be the standard by which I measure BP's responsiveness.

This was all apparently ad-libbed. Obviously the main work of stopping the spill remains far from finished, and there's plenty to criticize in the Federal government's handling of the whole mess. But it's hard to deny that Obama is now using the full force of the White House to get BP to start giving something back to the victims of this disaster.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 16, 2010; 3:29 PM ET
Categories:  Climate change  
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Comments

"That a lot of these folks don't have a cushion."

Gotta admit that I like this. Not only BP but the admin needs to keep the folks who live paycheck to paycheck in mind all the time. I've never really felt all that much empathy for the middle class coming from Obama but I feel it when reading these words.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 16, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Slave Sargent:
"Obviously the main goal is stopping the spill, and there's plenty to criticize in the Federal government's handling of the whole mess."

There is?

What would those be? Have you any examples?

This is the first time I've heard of this here at the Slum Line.

So far you;ve been more critical of the Alleged Hawaiian's "tone" and with him not advancing whatever legislative axe that you and your masters wish to grind.
(Not to mention advocating for an extra-legal moneary "shakedown").

Are you now admitting that there have been failures of omission and commission by the Odministration?

Heaven Above! Will your moonbat livestock herd be able to cope with the shock?

"Does this count as emoting yet?"

No.
It's more of his hogwash posturing, like his nauseating "God Talk" last night.

Shorter the Alleged Hawaiian:
"They were coming off of Rita and Katrina, coming off the worst economy that the country's seen since the Great Depression. And this was going to be the season where they were going to be bouncing back. This happened from their perspective at the worst possible time...

So I emphasized to the chairman that when he's talking to shareholders, when he's in meetings in his boardroom, to keep in mind those individuals. That they are desperate. And some of them, if they don't get relief quickly, may lose businesses that have been in their families for two or three generations."

If he CARED so much, he'd lift his stupid, unfair and unnecessary moratorium on deepwater drilling.

Delta Airlines has a plane crash, does he ground ALL the airlines?

No, Obama only "emotes" when he can be compassionate at someone ELSE'S expense.

Truly, the Moonbat-in-Chief.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 16, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I posted a comment from Balloon Juice at the end of the last thread that sums up the approach here: quiet, steady, and determined. In this volatile situation the WH isn't going to panic or overreact. They are playing chess while everyone else is playing pinball.

And if these results don't satisfy the knee-jerk reaction of a portion (large) of the media and redirect the discourse back to the substance of drilling, deregulation, economies that can't exist as they have, and so on, then I just don't know what to say except we're all Mayans now.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 16, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Nice comment SBJ.

I think the $100M fund to support unemployed oil rig workers also will go a long way towards helping those who need it most.

Also, if anyone missed it in my comment on the previous thread:

BP Board of Directors has also voted to suspend dividend payments until at least 2011

http://fieldnotes.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/06/16/4517655-bp-suspends-dividends

And, in case you missed this too, here is the full deal outlined (must-read):

http://www.c-span.org/PDF/WH061610_factsheet.pdf

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 16, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

@sbj

"I've never really felt all that much empathy for the middle class coming from Obama but I feel it when reading these words."

Curious, because I'm sure Obama has used this term before. Also, he's used terms like it dozens of times since taking office, in reference to things like Health Care Reform, Financial Reform, and the Stimulus Package.

That's what most people would call a "track record". A track record of thinking about the effect of things on the middle class, I guess you could say.

I guess you weren't listening...

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 16, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Bilgeman, his "nauseating "God talk""??? Why do you hate the baby jesus?

Posted by: lcrider1 | June 16, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

@BBQ - There's just no pleasing some people, is there?

A track record does not consist of a lot of talk. I think the $100 million for unemployed platform workers is an admission that these folks are unemployed due to the actions of the administration. Obama is lucky to have gotten BP to buy in to something they probably did not have legal obligation to do, and BP is smart to do it.

But if you want to talk about help for the employed middle class - there just hasn't been a whole helluva lot. Cash for clunkers? I already had a fuel efficient car? Mortgage bailout? Many middle class/paycheck to paycheck rent. Heath care reform? I already had good insurance.

Many other liberal commentors here have noted before that Obama needed some action to help the middle class, not just words.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 16, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

sbj: "But if you want to talk about help for the employed middle class - there just hasn't been a whole helluva lot. Cash for clunkers? I already had a fuel efficient car? Mortgage bailout? Many middle class/paycheck to paycheck rent. Heath care reform? I already had good insurance."

Have to tell ya, that sounds very "all about me."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 16, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Delta Airlines has a plane crash, does he ground ALL the airlines?

Well, if it appears to be an aircraft problem, then yes, you ground ALL of those model of airplanes until you figure out the problem.

Question to the rest of you, why can't wingers do logic?

Posted by: lcrider1 | June 16, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

lcrider1:
"Bilgeman, his "nauseating "God talk""??? Why do you hate the baby jesus? "

LOL...yeah. I want to hear some oleaginous pimp who sat in a "church" for over twenty years where the pastor's sermons included the invocation:

"God DAMN America!"

tell me about the Blessing of the Fleet and God being with us.

His Odministration's bumbling and dilatory containment and clean-up response to this disaster, which has largely consisted of getting in the way of those trying to mitigate the damage, coupled with his moratorium, is his way of carrying out his Pastor's dictum towards the entire Gulf Coast.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 16, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

@sue: "Have to tell ya, that sounds very "all about me."

And literally millions of others just like me. I'm not ashamed to think of myself.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 16, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

But if you want to talk about help for the employed middle class - there just hasn't been a whole helluva lot.

DIdn't you get a tax cut last year? the rest of us did. And just because certain programs didn't help you (or me) personally, it doesn't mean they didn't help the middle class in general. Oh, and health care reform will help everyone in the long run, even those of use who were already insured.

Sometimes things are about the group.

Posted by: lcrider1 | June 16, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

slave lcrider:
"Well, if it appears to be an aircraft problem, then yes, you ground ALL of those model of airplanes until you figure out the problem. "

This isn't a problem of a specific model of drill ship, and you know it.

This was a problem with ONE company's Company Man on ONE rig's deliberate failure to comply with good and sound engineering practice.

"Question to the rest of you, why can't wingers do logic?"

Why can't moonbats do honesty?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 16, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"LOL...yeah. I want to hear some oleaginous pimp who sat in a "church" for over twenty years where the pastor's sermons included the invocation:"

Careful there Bilgeman, your white hood is showing.

Posted by: lcrider1 | June 16, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"Didn't you get a tax cut last year?"

yes - and that extra $15 per paycheck made a BIG difference!

"Oh, and health care reform will help everyone in the long run, even those of use who were already insured."

I have never believed that and I have no reason to think that is true. Haven't you been paying attention? Promise I can keep my plan? Broken. HCR will reduce the deficit? Nope.

If you think this congress has done much to help the middle class then you are in the minority.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 16, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

From one of Andrew Sullivan's readers, about the Oval Office Speech:

"For whatever it's worth, I'm a native of and currently live in Louisiana, about 20 miles outside of New Orleans. My dad is a Cajun river rat in the truest sense, born and raised in Southeastern Louisiana. His father's native language is Cajun French -- literally, he had to learn English as a boy. My dad has never fished commercially, but it defines his out-of-work, weekend persona -- it dominates his spare time. He often talks about a dream life living in a shack somewhere out in the marsh, fishing all day. He's a product of the cultural fabric of southeastern Louisiana.

My dad comes home from work these days depressed about the oil spill. He thinks about it all damn day, and, like many here, he has no shortage of outrage at everyone involved in this mess.


When Obama pivoted to his remarks about "The Blessing of the Fleet," my dad started crying.


He's not someone who is going to give you a nuanced opinion about politics or policy -- in fact, he's relatively apolitical -- but he knows what he knows.

Maureen Dowd can talk all she wants about these amorphous, nebulous standards like a "Clint Eastwood moment" or whatever, and Anderson Cooper is free to think he knows the people here better than anyone because he's been here for a few weeks, but Obama connected with my dad last night -- of that I can be sure. And trust me, my dad isn't exactly a pushover."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 16, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"But if you want to talk about help for the employed middle class - there just hasn't been a whole helluva lot"

That's just idiotic. The economy is better for the middle class on virtually EVERY SINGLE FRONT thanks to this President's actions.

For someone who is so into politics that you blog here every day, you sure don't pay ANY attention whatsoever to what this administration is doing. Sad.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 16, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Slave Ethan the Ignorant:
"I think the $100M fund to support unemployed oil rig workers also will go a long way towards helping those who need it most."

You do, huh?

Say ace, do you know how much it costs you to charter my admittedly esoteric vessel?

Try around $250,000 a day, (fuel not included).

A drill ship can run you half a million a day.

Even a run-of-the-mill 200' supply/mud boat OSV will average 15 grand a day.

http://www.workboat.com/day-rates.aspx

100 million will be gone in less than a week.

But you think that that sop is going to keep the Oil Patch workers happy?

Did you take your medication today, moonbeam?


Posted by: Bilgeman | June 16, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

This isn't a problem of a specific model of drill ship, and you know it.

My point is that your example was retarded.

Do try to keep up.

Posted by: lcrider1 | June 16, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

moonbatrider:
"Careful there Bilgeman, your white hood is showing."

Didn't take you long at all to lose the argument, did it?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 16, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"The economy is better for the middle class on virtually EVERY SINGLE FRONT thanks to this President's actions."

Good luck selling that one to the unemployed and those living paycheck to paycheck! Get back to me when I get a raise, we start hiring more people, and my bonuses come back. Talk to me when my 401k recovers. Sell me that BS when I've got a cushion.

And I'm curious about what others think: When you write a comment to a post, that's not "blogging" is it? I thought Greg was the one who was blogging and we were just commenting on HIS posts.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 16, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@sbj

It's not about pleasing anything. You're wrapping a slight compliment inside an attack. It's essentially a "congrats on not beating your wife anymore" line.

You already had a fuel efficient car? Congrats - many didn't. You don't like the mortage bailout? It was Bush that put them into recievership. You already had good insurance? Awesome, and in a few years it will cost you less.

Oh, and he also passed the largest middle-class tax cut in American history. That's a "bit" more than talk.

What you're attempting to give him props for right now, is the same thing he's been doing the whole time since taking office. I'm merely pointing out that up until now, you've not noticed.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 16, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

sue, thanks for posting that. Moving. I come from just those kind of people and I'll tell you, they aren't buying the Fox news crap for the most part.

Still, I think the comment tells us more about how this is affecting an entire way of life more than it says anything about Obama and political theater. There's no effective way to explain to the majority that voting for Republicans gets you better odds of bad stuff happening without anyone there to help out.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 16, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

sbj: "And literally millions of others just like me. I'm not ashamed to think of myself."

Well, I could not take advantage of cash for clunkers, but I'm glad there was that program, because I know several family members kept working in the auto industry because of it.

I have health insurance, too, but I know some people who can't get insurance because of pre-existing conditions. They will be helped, and I am happy for them.

I have a land contract on my house from a well-off family member, so I will not ever need mortgage help. But if some of my neighbors can keep ahead of foreclosure, GREAT! Foreclosures near me will hurt my property value, too.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 16, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

slavezkoo1:
shorter a Sullybat reader:
"My dad has never fished commercially, but it defines his out-of-work, weekend persona -- it dominates his spare time...When Obama pivoted to his remarks about "The Blessing of the Fleet," my dad started crying.""

How nice for him that he can afford to cry.
If he fished for a living, he wouldn;t have that luxury.

Or maybe they should take your advice to me last night and "embrace the change" and not be "stuck in the old ways", huh?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 16, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

BBQ:

Kudos on this:

"Citing a dramatic and unfolding crisis as an example of what needs to change isn't playing politics, it's facing reality."

Posted by: wbgonne | June 16, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"Get back to me when I get a raise, we start hiring more people, and my bonuses come back"

Me, I, we, my.

I was talking about the Middle Class of the United States of America.

You are talking about YOU.

EARTH TO SBJ: The point of governing a COUNTRY is not to solve all of SBJ's problems, it's to lead the entire country of +300 million.

AGAIN, if you actually follow the economic news, the Middle Class is doing better under Obama by virtually every single metric.

I care about that. Anyone interested in improving the state of affairs in the USA should care about that... But you DON'T care. You SHOULD care, but you don't. And that is just pathetic and sad.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 16, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Sue, I loved that. I was thinking this morning when I heard the speech for the first time that he may have connected with more people than he was given credit for. I know a little about the grief process and many of these people are grieving and I think he realizes that sometimes a few words of recognition and solace are just what the doctor ordered. If it falls on deaf ears, so be it.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 16, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

It's amusing watch sbj devolve back to the reality-ignoring angry anti-democrat, er, I mean republican, er, I mean libertarian.

I don't care about others!
Things aren't back to normal yet, so he's done nothing!
I speak for BAZILLIONS!
Good luck selling that "reality" BS!

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 16, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

June 15, 2010: "The middle class is abandoning President Barack Obama, according to data released by the Gallup Poll. The only income bracket among which a majority still says they approve of the job he is doing as president are those earning $2,000 per month or less."

Posted by: sbj3 | June 16, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Bilge, your comment at 4:19 has nothing to do with the $100 million to help pay out of work rig workers. The cash to hire your ship/barge/leaky canoe or whatever isn't coming from there.

However, I am skeptical on how far that $100,000,000 actually goes, because I've worked as the drillsite geologist at mineral exploration sites, and most of the drillers were making more than I was. Drillers and rig workers aren't exactly pulling $40,000 a year...

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | June 16, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca: "Sue, I loved that. I was thinking this morning when I heard the speech for the first time that he may have connected with more people than he was given credit for."

Yeah, me, too. I sit in an office surrounded by several Tea Party types. The "blessing of the fleet" part was what they liked.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 16, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"Talk to me when my 401k recovers"

At the low point of the Bush Recession, the Dow was 6,626.

It closed today at 10,409.

If not for the Euro/Greece crisis it would be at 12,000.

Your 401K has improved DRAMATICALLY.

Like I said, by virtually EVERY metric the middle class -- INCLUDING YOU -- is better off than we were at the start of the Obama Admin.

You're just too ignorant and blinded by partisanship to realize it.

And if you're blaming President Obama for not getting the Dow back above 14,000 in the middle of the worst economic crisis in two generations then you are not just ignorant, you are insane.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 16, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

O/T:

"8 House members investigated over fundraisers held near financial reform vote

The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating eight lawmakers who held fundraisers within 48 hours of a major House vote on a Wall Street reform bill or received substantial donations from business people with a financial stake in the bill, according to congressional sources and letters.

The probe is focused on whether the timing of accepting the campaign checks created an unacceptable appearance of a conflict, according to sources familiar with the investigation and letters sent by the OCE to lobbyists requesting information. The OCE's spokesman declined to comment for this article, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

The office is scrutinizing five Republicans and three Democrats, a diverse group that includes a conservative, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.), and a liberal member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.)."

More of this please. Only get the Department of Justice Criminal Division involved. This is extortion or bribery of kickbacks or whatever you want to call it. It is why our political system doesn't work anymore.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 16, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The $100mm for unemployed oil workers goes a whole lot farther than $0. Getting BP to make any commitment at all for this was an amazing get and well-done.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 16, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

oh, suekzoo, I agree completely, I just wonder how far it will actually go, or if we'll be going through these same theatrics again before the end of the moratorium

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | June 16, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

holyhandslave:
"Bilge, your comment at 4:19 has nothing to do with the $100 million to help pay out of work rig workers. The cash to hire your ship/barge/leaky canoe or whatever isn't coming from there."

It demonstrates that the Emoter in Chief is talking out of his behind.

The fcat of the matter is that rig-rats will be the LEAST affected, because the rigs will move elsewhere. North Sea, Brazil, West Africa, South China Sea.

Do a little research fella, there ain;t many deepwater drill ships or rigs tied up idle, and Transocean and Frontier, to name but two companies, are pumping 'em out as fast as they can build 'em.

What WILL be hurt are the support industries that count on those rigs being there drilling.
The Mudboat and Crewboat fleets, Diesel fuel sales, Catering, Hotels, Airlines, Rental Car agencies, Spare parts and services.

Once the rigs steam over the horizon, say bye-bye, because it's going to YEARS before they come back...even if the moratorium is lifted the month afterwards.

"However, I am skeptical on how far that $100,000,000 actually goes, because I've worked as the drillsite geologist at mineral exploration sites, and most of the drillers were making more than I was. Drillers and rig workers aren't exactly pulling $40,000 a year.."

Like I said last night, y'all are being chumped by this guy.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 16, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

@ethan: Are you calling a majority of the middle class insane for disapproving of the job Obama is doing?

"June 15, 2010: "The middle class is abandoning President Barack Obama, according to data released by the Gallup Poll. The only income bracket among which a majority still says they approve of the job he is doing as president are those earning $2,000 per month or less."

If you think that the general population out there is happy with the economy then you might be certifiable.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"The middle class is abandoning"

First of all, your source is CNS News, a far-right conservative outlet. Not Gallup. And that's why you didn't post the link.

Second, nobody is "abandoning" Obama. His numbers are holding steady in all income groups.

Third, he's in the mid-to-high 40s in all groups including the well-to-do, except the lowest bracket where he is over 50. Much of the variation is actually within the margin of error.

Fourth, the fact that he is doing SO WELL amongst all these income brackets during a period of MULTIPLE crises (the most recent poll period was June 7-13) is pretty remarkable and just speaks to his effectiveness as President of ALL the people.

Fifth, you are being fooled by your partisan news sources into believing things that are simply untrue. I'd try to avoid that from now on if I were you. It just makes you look like an idiot.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 16, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"how far that $100,000,000 actually goes"

Not very far. There must be some longer term relief beyond the 6-month moratorium. The obvious fact is that deepwater drilling in he Gulf of Mexico is unacceptably dangerous. As we see, there are no effective remedial measures. None. If nothing else, there will soon be intensive regulation and any future drilling will require safety measures unheard of before in the Gulf, which will greatly increase the costs of drilling (and coincidentally make oil extraction bear its proper cost). Since the U.S. will no longer be seen as Nigeria East to Big Oil, there is a very high likelihood that there will be much less Gulf drilling activity. So the current oil workers will face a work shortage regardless of whether the moratorium is extended. Fact is as LA transitions its economy away from Big Oil there will be economic dislocations short-term. The effort should be to ameliorate the harm to the current oil workers.

There will be cleanup in the Gulf for years to come and perhaps the oil workers can be trained for that work (if they want it and NOT at minimum wage, either). To be paid by BP, of course. There should also be re-training to help oil workers move into other occupations.

Bigger picture: the LA economy must start moving away from oil ASAP. There should be incentives for new industries. Most important, LA must upgrade its schools. Uneducated workers are largely suited only for (good-paying) jobs like oil and (poor-paying) jobs in the service industry. LA needs a far better-educated population to attract information-based industries: the jobs of the present and the future.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 16, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

File this under OOPS:

"The BP chairman's comment that the oil giant cares about "the small people" received an icy reception today from residents along the Gulf Coast impacted by the massive oil spill.

The Associated Press BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, left, poses for photographs with CEO Tony Hayward in London in this file photo.
BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg told reporters in Washington: "I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don't care, but that is not the case with BP. We care about the small people."

Justin Taffinder of New Orleans was not amused.

"We're not small people. We're human beings. They're no greater than us. We don't bow down to them. We don't pray to them," Taffinder said.

Svanberg is Swedish, and his comments may have been an unintentional slight. But coastal residents are angry over the oil spill disaster and at BP CEO Tony Hayward's comments that he "wants his life back."

Terry Hanners, who is retired from state and federal law enforcement and has a small construction company in Gulf Shores, Ala., said the "small people" remark revealed something about BP's frame of mind.

"These BP people I've met are good folks. I've got a good rapport with them," said Hanners, 74. "But BP does not care about us. They are so far above us. We are the nickel-and-dime folks of this world."

Asked about the BP chairman's remark, BP spokesman Toby Odone told The Associated Press in an e-mail that "it is clear that what he means is that he cares about local businesses and local people. This was a slip in translation."

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/06/bp_comment_about_small_people.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 16, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

stooge-b-gonne:
"Bigger picture: the LA economy must start moving away from oil ASAP. There should be incentives for new industries."

Yeah? So why the tears about the Gulf fishermen?

Aren't THEY supposed to transition to these new industries TOO?

This just gives them a head start, doesn't it?

Anyway, nice to hear from the Voice of Venezuela,(Hugo Chavez, Proprietor).

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 16, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

@ethan: "Third, he's in the mid-to-high 40s in all groups including the well-to-do, except the lowest bracket where he is over 50."

err, isn't that what I just wrote?

"Are you calling a majority of the middle class insane for disapproving of the job Obama is doing? ...The only income bracket among which a majority still says they approve of the job he is doing as president are those earning $2,000 per month or less."

Posted by: sbj3 | June 16, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bilge you stupid ignorant racist.

How's it going today? I see you're up to more of your hillbilly heroin rants. Still on the stuff eh?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 16, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

wbg, I don't believe the 6 month moratorium will last. It will be lifted. The fact of the matter is although deepwater drilling is risky, we don't have the planks in place to transition, and just simply won't that quickly.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 16, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Errrr, didn't you drop your bullsh*t comment, straight from conservative wingnut news, that "The middle class is abandoning President Barack Obama"?

Yes.

Yes you did.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 16, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

SBJ, errrr, didn't you also ignore my post about your 401K? Didn't you also ignore reporting of every other economic metric that effects the Middle Class?

Yes.

Yes you did.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 16, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

@sbj: Do you deny that the majority of the middle class disapproves of Obama's performance? Do you think that they are insane?

Posted by: sbj3 | June 16, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"I don't believe the 6 month moratorium will last. It will be lifted. The fact of the matter is although deepwater drilling is risky, we don't have the planks in place to transition"

Maybe you're right but are we really going to let another catastrophe occur even before we've absorbed the current one? Is Obama going to authorize more deepwater drilling even though there are no effective containment measures, which is what I'm sure his commission will conclude? Why? If it is mainly to support the LA economy then, I agree, there will be dislocation, which is why I am focusing on providing income to the displaced workers through other employment while the economic transition and educational upgrades are happening. In a decade, LA's dependence on oil could be weakened significantly. And there will be plenty of cleanup and restoration work to tide over the current oil workers.

As for the transition, if we don't start now, when will we? If LA goes right back into Drill Baby Drill the state will only get more dependent on Big Oil since fishing is dead. The time to initiate structural change is now.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 16, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Are you talking to yourself now?

"Do you deny that the majority of the middle class disapproves of Obama's performance?"

Yes, I deny it because I can't see the full cross-tabs. Show me the cross-tabs where his disapproval is over 50% and then I'll comment. If his disapproval is below 50% then it's not a majority.

"Do you think that they are insane?"

Here is what I said:

"And if you're blaming President Obama for not getting the Dow back above 14,000 in the middle of the worst economic crisis in two generations then you are not just ignorant, you are insane."

I stand bye that comment.

I noticed how you continue to ignore the improvement in your 401K and a variety of economic metrics while continually flacking for the wingnut news. THAT is insane.

So, has your 401K improved since the first quarter of 2009, SBJ?

Yes or No.

Hint: there's only one right answer.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 16, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

@bm:If he CARED so much, he'd lift his stupid, unfair and unnecessary moratorium on deepwater drilling.

Given the testimony from the oil co execs yesterday, it seems like a moratorium is in order. After all, they said that they didn't have the equipment or expertise to deal with this kind of problem. In fact, their disaster plans are just copies of the Exxon spill mitigation. So halting drilling to make sure that it can be done without gushing oil into the gulf seems like a good idea.

Posted by: srw3 | June 16, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

@ethan: I'd suggest you take a moment to acquaint yourself with reality before it slaps you upside your head.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 16, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"halting drilling to make sure that it can be done without gushing oil into the gulf seems like a good idea"

The fact that we even have to debate this shows just how irrational this country has become. Do you know that there are ongoing deepwater operations in the Gulf, many in greater depths than BP's Deepwater that blew out? Now, they aren't drilling operations they are existing production wells. But so what? If one of them blows up -- and it COULD happen -- we would still get another underwater oil geyser. Oh, and one the ongoing deepwater operations is owned by, you guessed it, BP. Why aren't ALL deepwater operations in the Gulf shut down until we can be certain that effective containment techniques exist if there is a catastrophic event?

Posted by: wbgonne | June 16, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

SBJ,

So you have NO answer to my comments?

You've lost the debate so now you're picking up your toys and going home?

Has your 401K improved since the first quarter of 2009?

The answer is yes.

Pathetic.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 16, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/happy_hour_roundup_30.html

Bring the debate over!!!

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 16, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

stooge-b-gonne:
"Why aren't ALL deepwater operations in the Gulf shut down until we can be certain that effective containment techniques exist if there is a catastrophic event?"

Because we all know very well that absolutely nothing would satisfy your irrational insecurity...or you socialist Master Chavez's rapaciousness...I notice that no other region in the world is babbling the eco-extremist rot that American moonbats are about shutting down THEIR deepwater projects.

"The fact that we even have to debate this shows just how irrational this country has become."

Talk that way about shutting down their offshore in Norway and they'll look at you like you have a penis growing out of the middle of your forehead.

You want irrational? Look in the mirror, comrade.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 16, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

No one has mentioned here, so, I ask the question. Approximately 50% of the BP stockholders are Americans, most of whom are not wealthy people. What about elderly families who have saved and invested in companies like BP? Many of these people depend on the dividends. The stockmarket hasn't treated them very well in the last year and now BP is freezing dividends until 2011.

Posted by: bethg1841 | June 16, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

This one looks delicious. Thanks!

Posted by: andeeaa | June 17, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

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