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Pressure on Boehner pays off?

As I've been noting here, Dems have been pressuring John Boehner to say what, specifically, he'd willing to support in order to hold BP liable for the cleanup and damages associated with the Gulf disaster. Now he's finally clarified: He supports lifting the liability cap on BP.

Last week, after taking good deal of criticism, Boehner's office finally made it clear that he supports holding BP responsible for the costs of not just the cleanup, but damages, too. But his office wouldn't endorse any particular legislative means to make this happen.

On ABC News this morning, he revealed his new position:

"The American people want this oil leak stopped now. They want to know what happened. They want the Gulf cleaned up. And they want it all done now," the minority leader said. "I just think that BP ought to be held responsible for all of the costs that are involved in this."

Boehner explained he wanted to change to current law so that BP would be responsible not just for the cost of cleanup but also for more economic damages than current law allows. "I think lifting the liability cap on BP and for this spill is appropriate."

Host Jake Tapper asked, "so lift it entirely for BP?"

"Absolutely," Boehner replied. "They should be held responsible for every dime of this cost."

It's still unclear how this will play out in practice. How much much Republican support there will be for the specific Dem proposal in the House that would actually accomplish what Boehner wants by lifting the cap completely and hold BP liable retroactively? What about in the Senate, where Republicans have repeatedly blocked efforts to lift the cap?

But Boehner did flatly endorse holding BP responsible for "every dime," putting him generally in the right place on the issue. His announcement amounts to a tacit acknowledgment that public rage at BP, and the public's desire that lawmakers hold the company accountable, have left Republicans little maneuvering room. In other words, the insistence on holding BP fully accountable is, and will continue to be, a very potent political issue for Dems.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 13, 2010; 11:41 AM ET
Categories:  Climate change , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Comments

American People 1

Republicans 0

if we started keeping score right now.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 13, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting, Greg. Does this mean the GOP will support unlimited liability for oil companies? I find that hard to believe.

Continuing my legal research from the previous thread:

1. The OPA was passed in 1990.

2. In 2005 Congress enacted the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The bill was introduced by Rep. Barton (R-TX). One section of the large bill made the federal government act within 30 days on oil company appeals of drilling denials. My reading indicates that 30 days is grossly insufficient and, therefore, the government adopted a policy of automatically granting the leases and permits.

3. In 2006 Congress enacted the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. This law opened large portions of the Gulf to oil drilling.

Putting this together, the effect (if not the intention) was to hamstring MMS by basically making drilling permits automatic beginning in 2005. The next year, the Gulf of Mexico was declared open for oil drilling.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 13, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

When are the Democrats gone to learn how to play the: Frame The Debate, game, and capture each news cycle?

Let me give you a prime example of where they are missing the boat once more.

Tort Reform. Limiting Liability. They should now be hanging that around every Republican candidate's neck.

The Oil Spill Liability Cap has now come back to haunt the American people. A cap amount set two decades ago, and never adjusted for annual inflation rates, is now shown to be almost worthless, compared to the actual damage costs.

If Republicans had gotten their way, and capped medical malpractice liability, in a similar manner.

down the road, just like this BP massive oil spill, there would arise a case, where some medical facility allowed some member of their staff to kill several patients, after they had been warned about the way the person was conduction their self, or a hospital had killed many patients by ignoring warnings about procedures not being followed to prevent the spread of infections.


Democrats:

KISS.

Republicans want to limit negligent damage costs for the medical profession, just like the limited damage costs put in place for the Big Oil companies.

Use it against them. It is the truth. Start telling it to the voters, for cripes sake, when are you going to learn how to fight.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 13, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Liam: You are correct that $75 liability cap per Responsible Party per incident has never been increased. However, I think the bigger problem is that the system was designed so that, once the RP's liability was exhausted, additional damages would be paid from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund: the amount per incident from that source, however, was capped at $1B in 1990. And THAT has never been increased either. The damages from the Gulf Oil Disaster have obviously dwarfed the $75M BP liability cap. If they haven't yet, the damages will vastly exceed the $1B available from the backup source (OSLTF). The first question, then, is where will the compensation money come from once the OSLTF is exhausted?

Posted by: wbgonne | June 13, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

If the Celtics win tonight the teams go back to L.A. for games 6 and 7 with the Celts up 3-2. If the Lakers win tonight they go home for 2 games up 3-2, meaning the series is basically over. That being so, I think we can ALL agree to root root root for the Celtics tonight!

O&O.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 13, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if Boehner is supporting this figuring that long-term, the conservatives on the Supreme Court are likely to rule any retroactive lifting of the liability cap as unconstitutional.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 13, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

KISS.

Republicans want to Cap Medical Liability Amounts, just like Big Oil Liability amounts were capped. How has that worked out for the American People now?!!!!

Posted by: Liam-still | June 13, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Evidently, Obama sees the same problem I do.

"Obama will demand BP establish escrow account to handle oil spill claims"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/13/AR2010061302197.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: wbgonne | June 13, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

As I predicted, as soon as it became clear we were talking not about the clean-up costs or any civil and criminal penalties imposed by a court or settlement (for which BP is onviously liable), but on third-party economic damages, it would become clear that the GOP had to stick someone--BP, the taxpayers or the victims of the spill--with the costs. And the least attractive choice was the victims, despite the GOP's true beliefs. So predictably as between the taxpayers (which means taxes) or BP, guess who gets the GOP's nod?

This just shows that there are limits to bamboozlement when the issues are sufficiently clarified. Thanks Greg for keeping on this one.

Posted by: Mimikatz | June 13, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Remove all caps, and let all future cases be settled, based on the amount of damages that are done.

As for the current mess, BP violated the terms of the Oil Spill rules, they did not have proper contain and clean up procedures in place, so they are criminally negligent, and therefore the caps figure no longer covers them.

You can not violate the requirements of the law, and still be covered by the liability caps portion of it.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 13, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Moonbat Slave Liamility:
"Republicans want to Cap Medical Liability Amounts, just like Big Oil Liability amounts were capped. How has that worked out for the American People now?!!!!"

Ahh, you're back. Someone yesterday was using your monniker for a sock-puppet.

As to your challenge, for the Texican people, not so good:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7009807.html

"Two years after a survey found nearly half of Texas doctors weren't taking some new Medicare patients, new data shows 100 to 200 a year are now ending all involvement with the program. Before 2007, the number of doctors opting out averaged less than a handful a year."

Before 2007, the Congress was in GOP hands. Then the Piglosi/GReid cabal got ahold of the joint, and everything went to poop.

"The growth in Texas Medicare opt-outs began in earnest in 2007, when 70 doctors notified Trailblazer Health Enterprises, the state's Medicare carrier, they would no longer participate, up from seven in 2006. The numbers jumped to 151 in 2008, fell back to 135 in 2009 and are on pace for 200 in 2010. From 1998 to 2002, by contrast, no more than three a year opted out.

Now, according to a Texas Medical Association new poll, more than four in 10 doctors are considering the move."

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 13, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Liamility-slave:
"Remove all caps, and let all future cases be settled, based on the amount of damages that are done."

There won't BE any future cases, because there won't BE any offshore oil wells.

BTW, are you this absolutist and would you agree to lift liability caps against other industries?

Nuclear, mass-transit, chemicals, consumer products, (as in OTC drugs)?

Or is it just the oil industry that turns your crank?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 13, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey Separatist longing, Birther Bilgey.

When are you going to formally renounce your American Citizenship?

Put up or shut up, you American Traitor. Get out of our country, and mind your own business about how Americans run their country.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 13, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Great, so at long last,

American Traitor, Birther Bilgey admits that the BP massive oil spill has killed future off shore oil drilling.

It was always just the 21st century version of killing whales for "the oil lamps of China".

Posted by: Liam-still | June 13, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

More than four in ten Doctors hand out drug prescriptions to patients who come in and ask for them, based on some TV commercials they saw.

"Ask your Doctor", says the TV spots, and the Doctors say; well, if your TV set diagnosed what is best for you, then who am I to practice proper medicine on you. Here is the prescription that your TV set ordered.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 13, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Liamility-slave:
"Birther Bilgey admits that the BP massive oil spill has killed future off shore oil drilling."

No, moonbeam, BP's spill didn;t kill offshore drilling, but kooky, poo-flinging monkeys like you are trying very hard to.

"it was always just the 21st century version of killing whales for "the oil lamps of China"."

Nice to see you admit that you;re a neo-Luddite.

I know that you howl and shriek like a pig with it's 'nads stuck ina sausage-grinder raher than answer pointed questions, but I gotta try:

Do you personally own and operate an automobile?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 13, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Notice how the guy who says he wants to secede from the Union, does not have the guts to actually formally renounce his American Citizenship.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 13, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Liamility:

Do. You. Personally. Own and Operate. An. Automobile?

Or are you not allowed to own a car while you;re incarcerated?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 13, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

It's very simple question, Liamility:

Do you personally own and operate an automobile?

Check one:

YES

or

NO

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 13, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

You DO know what an automobile IS, right Liam-slave?

It's like a horse and buggy without the horse, and louder, faster and shinier.

And doesn't pollute as much,(no horse, no mountains of horse-manure on city streets.

Automobile, m-fer!

Do you own one?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 13, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Birther Bilgey,

You are the Secessionist Clown, who recently said; that people on plumline wondered why you wanted to leave the Union.

No; people do not wonder why. They wonder why you are all talk, but do nothing about it.

You can leave the Union any time you have the guts to do so. Just send in a formal written statement to the government, renouncing your American Citizenship. No one has put an Anchor on your Treasonous Arse. You just do not have the guts to actually do it.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 13, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't know how to break it to Bilgeman, but here in Texas, the legislature passed "tort reform" years ago, and, last I checked, it has NOT lowered costs for patients and policy holders, those alleged savings have not been passed along to the consumers, but they have resulted in patients, policy-holders and consumers getting royally screwed by severely limiting their access to the courts, policies which result in corporate "get out of jail free" and "avoid all legal responsibility for your immoral behavior" cards that industry is so quick to play.

I'm guessing that those who argue for government deregulation are not fine with that idea when it comes to the medications they take or the vehicles they drive.

Nor are they fine with limiting corporate access to the courts, including the corporations trial lawyers, but as long as it's only consumers, patients, policy-holders and investors getting royally screwed, then, apparently, there's no problems.

Don't look for the GOP to ride to the rescue of those people whose livelihoods have been ruined by the obsessive govt. deregulation and industry self-regulation which led to the easily preventable Gulf oil cataclysm, namely, those who shrimp and fish in the Gulf, and those dependent on tourism, as the interests of those workers don't matter in the least to the Republicans or the industries they so fervently bootlick for.

Posted by: kingcranky | June 13, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Bone head left himself a trap door for opposing any cap lifting legislation by repeatedly saying, "In this case etc..." This means he now supports lifting the cap on BP but will clearly not support any legislation that does anything to the CAP at large.

Someone said earlier and I agree with them, the Democrats need to steal this discussion and toss in TORT to demonstrate how CAPS are purely industry friendly but is something the American people should be fearful of.

Posted by: soapm | June 13, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Liamility:

Do you own one like this?

http://www.automotto.org/images/amc_pacer.jpg

Maybe like this:

http://www.decodesystems.com/gremlin-premier.jpg

One of these?

http://users.chartertn.net/jseabolt/yugo3.jpg

Or maybe you "roll it like you extoll it" and you get around town like this:

http://skateboardequipment.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/skateboard1.jpg

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 13, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse


Birther Bilgey,

You are the Secessionist Clown, who recently said; that people on plumline wondered why you wanted to leave the Union.

No; people do not wonder why. They wonder why you are all talk, but do nothing about it.

You can leave the Union any time you have the guts to do so. Just send in a formal written statement to the government, renouncing your American Citizenship. No one has put an Anchor on your Treasonous Arse. You just do not have the guts to actually do it.

I see that you do not even have the guts to answer why a Benedict Arnold like you, has not renounced your Citizenship in The USA.

You can keep trying to duck my question, with the old trick of replying with other questions ,all you want to; but I asked you first, so explain why you have not submitted your renouncement of American Citizenship, loud mouthed, Slave owning states lover, and gutless wonder.

You hate the American Union, so show some guts just this once in your miserable existence , and surrender your citizenship, you pathetic traitor.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 13, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Now we are getting somewhere. If you recall, I suggested, several days ago, that the exact same amount be put in escrow, by BP, and that they have no hand in how it was disbursed, and that it should be administered by an appointed independent adjudicator:


"Senators call on BP to set up $20B special account


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic senators want BP to set aside $20 billion to pay for cleanup and other costs from the Gulf oil spill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to send BP a letter on Monday proposing the account. That's two days before BP executives meet with President Barack Obama and three days before chief executive Tony Hayward testifies at a House hearing.

A copy of the letter was released Sunday by Reid's office.

BP has promised to pay for damages. But Obama also wants BP to create a special escrow account, though he hasn't suggested an initial amount."

Posted by: Liam-still | June 13, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

slave Liamility the Alleged Pedestrian:

"BP has promised to pay for damages. But Obama also wants BP to create a special escrow account, though he hasn't suggested an initial amount.""

Just out of curiosity, what should the Alleged Hawaiian and his DemocRat cronies do if BeePee tells him to go urinate up a rope?

"Democratic senators want BP to set aside $20 billion to pay for cleanup and other costs from the Gulf oil spill."

I have no earthly idea what BeePee's total capitalization is, but I kinda doubt that they have 20 billion sitting around in somebody's filing cabinet at their World Headquarters.

So, funding an eco-slush fund may...MAY, but them out.

And then who is going to pay for the clean-up if BeePee is made skint?

I know you find his hard to get through your armor-plated moonbat skull, but BeePee is ALREADY on the hook for the clean-up costs, as those of you who FINALLY read OPA'90 realized.

This is another DemocRat shakedown attempt.

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

slave soapm:
"Someone said earlier and I agree with them, the Democrats need to steal this discussion and toss in TORT to demonstrate how CAPS are purely industry friendly but is something the American people should be fearful of."

Uh-huh...until you realize that you can get sued too.

That's when limited liability starts to look pretty good.

Just out of curiosity also, is there any issue that you don;t think you can hang on BeePee's spill?

There IS such a thing as over-playing your hand, and the Odministartion has already done that by imposing the moratorium on everyone else.

Keep trying to hang more stuff on this one hook, and you clowns are going to make people start sympathizing with BeePee.

You moonbats are quite good at that, y'know.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 13, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I know some of you know of the relation ship Koch has with everything that goes on in this country regarding oil regulation or deregulation for that matter and their early organizing of the tea parties.

Once again, The Exiled Online group puts another great article tying everything that is going on now to them and asking where are the teapartiers now?

http://exiledonline.com/teagagged-tea-party-protest-silenced-over-organizers-links-to-2008-drill-here-drill-now-astroturf-campaign/

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 13, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Has Obama announced unequivocal support for retroactive repeal of the cap?

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 13, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

When Steny Hoyer and John Boehner agree you can bet there's something fishy going on. I think it's a dumb move personally. If they want to raise the cap for future events since the current one seems inadequate, fine, but I think an unlimited cap is a really bad idea. I believe they are setting the stage for bankruptcy, and we know how that usually turns out for the taxpayer. With the negligence/gross negligence clause in the current legislation, the cap becomes moot anyway.

Obama and a few others are talking about using public pressure to set up some sort of escrow type account to cover more of the civil damages, which makes more sense to me if it can be done.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 13, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

QB1:
"Has Obama announced unequivocal support for retroactive repeal of the cap?"

Heh...apparently, the Meme=master here has plum forgotten to ask him.

That's okay, I reckon that the Alleged Hawaiian will defer to Congressman Coppertone's leadership on this one.

Look how long it took Obama to decide to increase Afghanistan troop levels.

Hey...Holder's DoJ took until 02 June to announce a criminal investigation of BeePee.

Wouldn't want to RUSH things, right?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 13, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

"Uh-huh...until you realize that you can get sued too."

@Bilge... I have no double standard, it is right that I pay my way through life. I don't expect the government to clean up my mess.

That is also why I and these companies have insurance. Legislation like TORT don't protect us or the corporations, that legislation protects the insurance companies...

In the end, BP has insurance and their insurance company will have to pay for this mess. The $75 Million cap made insurance cheaper since the max they'd have to pay was $75 Million. Eliminating the cap will mean these oil companies will get insurance rate hikes but I'm ok with that because the savings are not always passed down to the consumer...

Example, like TORT, even if we max the liability it means cheaper insurance rates for doctors. Doctors could lower rates but if they are like the rest of this greedy economy, they will take home more profits and not one rate will come down... See TX if you don't believe me...

Posted by: soapm | June 13, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Sharron Angle, the all-grassrootsy tea party anti-Washington-establishment girl from Nevada hunkers down with the Washington Republican establishment...
http://www.lvrj.com/news/angle-to-meet-this-week-with-gop-leaders-and-fundraisers-96240134.html

Posted by: bernielatham | June 13, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

What on earth does it take to drive home the axiom that if you feed the trolls then they will stay and that if you do not, they lose all reason to attend? This is VERY simple.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 13, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

soapm: "In the end, BP has insurance and their insurance company will have to pay for this mess."

I'm not so sure this will be the case if gross or criminal negligence is determined to be the cause of the explosion and spill.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 13, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

"If they want to raise the cap for future events since the current one seems inadequate, fine, but I think an unlimited cap is a really bad idea."

According to some of your friends here, this makes you a tool of rapacious Big Oil and hater of America and hard-working Americans.

"I believe they are setting the stage for bankruptcy, and we know how that usually turns out for the taxpayer. With the negligence/gross negligence clause in the current legislation, the cap becomes moot anyway."

Removal of the cap, or application of the exception clause, would of course result in bankruptcy, too, if the liability renders BP insolvent.

There would be serious legal problems raised by any type of "voluntary" agreement by BP to pay in the absence of liability, including any agreement to set up an escrow, if BP were even to consider such a thing.

One problem would be BP shareholders. BP's management can't just give away their money, even if it should want to. And if bankruptcy is in the cards, the bankruptcy law would likely complicate things. (I'm not a bankrupcty lawyer, though.)

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 13, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Bilgey,

"Heh...apparently, the Meme=master here has plum forgotten to ask him."

All these posts by Greg bashing Boehner, and yet as far as I know Obama has yet to take a firm position.

Unbelievable.

"Hey...Holder's DoJ took until 02 June to announce a criminal investigation of BeePee."

I actually think Holder's bellicose announcement was a big mistake by the Admin, as well as quite irregular.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 13, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"What on earth does it take to drive home the axiom that if you feed the trolls then they will stay and that if you do not, they lose all reason to attend? This is VERY simple."

That's ironic. The "trolls" have often wondered themselves what on earth it takes to drive home the simplest of points to Bernie and his fellow travelers here on the Plum Line.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 13, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

"What on earth does it take to drive home the axiom that if you feed the trolls then they will stay and that if you do not, they lose all reason to attend? This is VERY simple."

Agreed.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 13, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

"What on earth does it take to drive home the axiom that if you feed the trolls then they will stay and that if you do not, they lose all reason to attend? This is VERY simple."


On the contrary, as Scott and I both recently told you, your responses aren't necessary. Our reasons to "attend" are our own and don't depend on you. Besides, who made you boss nanny?

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 13, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Whatever qb. Until all of us give up our cars, trucks, red meat, fruits and vegetable transported across the country, plastic, etc. etc. we need to be logical about transition from reliance on oil. Don't mistake my effort to be practical with a love for oil companies in general or BP in particular. The right likes to over inflate the amount of oil reserves we have in this country compared to our usage. It's time to get serious.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 13, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I should have added BP's creditors to the list of problems as well.

The only relatively sure bet is that it will be a multilateral litigation armageddon.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 13, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

The young Barbara Bush, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage and now this. Do we have a new generation of Republicans coming up? We can only hope.

"Barbara Bush, daughter of president George W. Bush, appeared as a guest on "Fox News Sunday" this week to discuss her non-profit Global Health Corps, whose mission is to bring health equity to the U.S. and Africa, and she made some comments that surprised host Chris Wallace."

"Why do, basically, people with money have good health care and why do people who live on lower salaries not have good health care?" Bush asked. "Health should be a right for everyone."

"What do you think about Obama health care reform?" Wallace asked.

"Obviously the health care reform bill was highly debated by a lot of people," Bush responded., "and I'm glad the bill was passed."

Posted by: lmsinca | June 13, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

"Whatever qb."

Hey, I was just pointing out some of the complexities involved in your comments, not fighting with you about them.

I was called lots of names last week for saying less than you did. Doesn't hurt my feelings but makes a lot of commenters here look rather silly.

I actually would have no problem with "unlimited" liability in theory, so long as is was not a threat to national security or economic stability. But run-away juries and courts make it problematic today.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 13, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

"The young Barbara Bush, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage and now this. Do we have a new generation of Republicans coming up? We can only hope."

No, her mom is just as misguided.

No one cares what Barbara thinks. Really.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 13, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

It's a complex situation with a lot riding on how we deal with it. I was objecting to this:

"According to some of your friends here, this makes you a tool of rapacious Big Oil and hater of America and hard-working Americans."

I think we can do better than that in light of the situation we're facing. Another 3-5 months of oil gushing into the Gulf, at a minimum, deserves honest damage control debate. I'm trying to have a legitimate conversation but I can't control the thoughts or words of anyone else here.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 13, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

lms, quoting Barbara Bush:

"Health should be a right for everyone."

Apparently Barbara is as dumb as her father is accused of being. Health care is not and cannot logically be a "right", the wishful thinking of liberals to the contrary notwithstanding.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 13, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Do we really want the trolls to leave? Their idiotic arguments are quite entertaining.

Let's see how this news gets spun to slam the administration:

"Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Sun, June 13, 2010 -- 9:22 PM ET
-----

U.S. Discovers Nearly $1 Trillion in Afghan Mineral Deposits

The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in
untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any
previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter
the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself,
according to senior American government officials.

The previously unknown deposits -- including huge veins of
iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals
like lithium -- are so big and include so many minerals that
are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could
eventually be transformed into one of the most important
mining centers in the world, the United States officials
believe."

Posted by: Andy94 | June 13, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Ken, definitely it is very true that major brands always give out free samples on health products get yours from http://bit.ly/bhhLUy tell your friends also

Posted by: shannonjo1 | June 14, 2010 2:43 AM | Report abuse

Ross Douthat has a column today on the female conservative candidates. I recommend it. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/opinion/14douthat.html?hp

He's arguing that what we are seeing is the consequence of the women's movement now being seen even in the conservative movement and even where they are pretty - tht is, not de-sexualized (he contrasts Thatcher). That, so far as it goes, is surely right. That it represents a social good isn't in question except to the junior-taliban sector of the movement.

But Douthat misses some important parts of this story or gets rather blinkered on some others. For example...

"Yes, female public servants still face a thicket of sex-specific challenges while running for office. (Fiorina walked into one last week, when a live microphone caught her making fun of the hairstyle of her general-election opponent, Barbara Boxer.)"

I don't get how this can be conceived as a political danger that is sex-specific unless he is suggesting that the sort of fashion cattiness captured is singular to females.

But there are two more important points to make here re the column. Here's the first.

"The question of whether conservative women get to be feminists is an interesting and important one."

And the answer is that they do or they don't, depending on how you define "feminism". For example, do you get to be a "conservative" if you stand for broad access to abortion? Do you get to be a "liberal" if you deny the rights of gays to marry and wish to incarcerate pot smokers for years? It's rather difficult to imagine that the term "feminist" could be rationally applied to a woman who signs on to the tenet of the Southern Baptist Federation that, in the final analysis, the wife must accede to the wishes of the husband even where that woman holds that males and females ought to be paid the same for the same work.

A related criticism of Douthat's piece here is the omission of any apparent recognition that the woman's movement, like the civil rights movement, arose and was supported from out of a liberal political vision and that both were opposed and inhibited by those holding a conservative political vision.

I'll put the second point to address in the next post.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 14, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse


Are you tired of BP Oil Spill? What is going on in Gulf of Mexico is horrible, Some photos make you sick of this oil spill. What are they still doing? Voice your opinion on the BP oil spill at http://bit.ly/dk74tm hopefully this will help to find what people really think of this historic oil spill.

Posted by: chrisjerico | June 14, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

The second point relates to reality versus "image" where the reality doesn't actually change very much, if at all, but the pretense of change - a new image - is forwarded. The clear example available to us right now is "Beyond Petroleum" where BP continued as before, even reducing expenditures and R and D on non-petroleum energy production, while running a massive image-makeover PR campaign designed to - let's be honest - trick Americans into believing BP was aligned with Americans' wishes and values (established by polls, focus groups, etc) while not being so aligned at all. There was a great New Yorker cartoon some years ago which portrayed a bank where a large man in a suit loomed over his large desk and a young couple, somewhat frighted, who sat there. The caption read, "Do you know how much it costs us to run those friendly ads?!"

Another example was the WH website not long after Bush took office. As some folks pointed out, the photographs on the site had black people at ratios near one half whereas the administration (and the party) in reality was nothing remotely close to that.

And as I've been arguing, the Republicans are presently mounting a PR campaign which is an image-makeover that puts women (particularly mothers) up front. And better if they are attractive. This doesn't represent a shift in the party's reasoned approach to womens' rights (though as Douthat suggests, they have been culturally forced to move in that direction) so much as a cynical attempt to present a certain face more likely to produce electoral gains. As I pointed out here about six months ago, Mary Matalin pretty explicitly laid out this strategy.

I'll note again as well that this strategy was first put into gear during the Dem primaries with PUMA, Clintons4McCain, etc and much of the organizational system being used now was built and developed then.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 14, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Quick reminder...ClintonsForMcCain was registered by the RNC, that was outed by Wired, two days (if I recall correctly) later Clintons4McCain was registered anonymously and activity of that first domain ceased (their Facebook page remained up for a while showing Obama with a bone through his nose). Further, though this pretend grassroots campaign portrayed itself as support for Hillary (as a woman against the "mens' club" of Washington) it actually supported none of Hillary's political policies...only conservative policies.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 14, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

"Do we really want the trolls to leave?"

It's fine if they stay and write whatever they wish. The problems arise where others engage them and the site gets held hostage to spitting contests. Everything gets degraded and less useful. The simple reality here is that if they are engaged, they stick around and if they don't get engaged, their purposes for attending diminish to near zero.

The one complexity here relates to who might be labelled with this pejorative. And it can't be political posture but style of argument or posting.

But that's all I'm going to write on this as I'm sick of watching this crap go on for years.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 14, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

ScottC said: "Health care is not and cannot logically be a "right", the wishful thinking of liberals to the contrary notwithstanding."

Scott and I (and others) have contended on this earlier and I'm not going to repeat that here. But Scott's claim that his preferred understanding of the notion of "rights" is somehow clear or settled is simply false...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights

Posted by: bernielatham | June 14, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Canadian Man-bag:

Hey, you're the proprietor of a public store, are you not?

Just out of curiosity, do YOU have limited liability from getting sued should some "Slip and Fall Artist" decide to target you an your insurance company for a shakedown lawsuit?

How would you fancy paying premiums on a policy with unlimited liability, (assuming you could get a policy)?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 14, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

For those who might have missed BP's ties to an establishment Democrat PR firm. Ha.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Top-PR-firm-for-BP-tied-to-White-House-Chief-of-Staff-Rahm-Emanuel-95223369.html

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

We'll keep seeing more and more just like this... http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/us/politics/14haley.html?hp

Posted by: bernielatham | June 14, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Bernie said:

"That it represents a social good isn't in question except to the junior-taliban sector of the movement."

and said of "trolls":

"The one complexity here relates to who might be labelled with this pejorative. And it can't be political posture but style of argument or posting."

Really, "junior Taliban"?

Last week the Taliban executed a 7-year-old boy because his grandfather sympathized with the government.

Once again, Bernie's hypocrisy is profound.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Serious hat tip to Ted Olson on this one...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/13/AR2010061305057.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: bernielatham | June 14, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Saw Bill Gates in interview yesterday (just part of it). The fool actually believes global warming is real and must be addressed. Even more of a fool, he believes the stimulus package was both necessary and effective. He really ought to go back to whatever commie country he came from.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 14, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas.

"One of the world's leading authorities on oil well management has warned it could take until Christmas to cap the Gulf of Mexico spill that is devastating the southern coast of America – and BP's reputation.

Nansen Saleri, a Gulf drilling expert, said he hoped BP would meet its August timetable for capping the blown-out well, but made it clear success was not certain."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/13/bp-oil-spill-timetable

Drill, Jesus, drill.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 14, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Another "republican women" piece lands in the media... http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/opinion/13ponnuru.html?ref=opinion

Posted by: bernielatham | June 14, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Spaketh the Canadian, (who DOES have his own blog, despite slumming here and sniffing about "trolls"):

" He really ought to go back to whatever commie country he came from."

Lotta that going around.

"The fool actually believes global warming is real and must be addressed."

No-one claims that Global Warming/Climate Change isn't real...the issue is whether Anthropogenic, (Man-Made), Global Warming is real.

"Even more of a fool, he believes the stimulus package was both necessary and effective"

Yeah, what a maroon! The Stimulus was a great success if you were on a civil service payroll.

Other than that...not so good.

As even the Odministration had to tacitly admit with their uber-lame, and quite transparently dishonest, "jobs saved" metric.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 14, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

The nature and content of "human rights" or "natural rights" as indeed been contested.

What really can't be contested are two things about so-called "positive rights."

First, it is an incoherent concept. Everyone cannot have the "right" to X, to be provided from everyone else.

Moreover, how can the proponents of such "rights" explain the rest of the world, including countries and regions where people live in a backward state without even the basics of modern life? How is it that all those billions do not have the same "right" to health care, to be provided by these same liberals who stand here demanding it for themselves?

Second, positive rights are wholly alien to America's constitutional and political heritage. Indeed, they are antithetical to it.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I expect most folks bumped into the NYT piece on the mineral find in Afghanistan. Josh says most everything I can think of there is to say at this point on it...
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/06/karzai_as_ibn_saud.php#more?ref=fpblg

Posted by: bernielatham | June 14, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/the_morning_plum_30.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 14, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

It is seldom that I would make a categorical statement like this based on one incident, but anyone who doesn't recognize that Ted Olson cannot, by definition, be considered any sort of conservative does not understand the first things about conservatism.

I say this not merely because gay marriage itself is an afront to conservative values but most particularly because the effort to impose it nationwide through a lawsuit in a courtroom in California as as radically "unconservative" as anything could possibly be, both as a matter of constitutional law and practice and even more importantly as a matter of prudence and politics.

Do you really believe that whether one of human society's fundamental institutions should be redefined in such a profound way should be determined through a lawsuit, based on the "evidence" that these particular parties bring to court, for one judge to decide, for all and for all time?

Regardless, can you imagine a real conservative's not being appalled by this sort of radical "change"? Would an Edmund Burke or Russell Kirk not find Olson's legal crusade to be anathema to everything that is prudent and just and good?

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Bernie says:

"The second point relates to reality versus "image" where the reality doesn't actually change very much, if at all, but the pretense of change - a new image - is forwarded. The clear example available to us right now is..."

...the Obama administration, which cynically sold itself as an agent of change in Washington, promising a new politics, including more transparency and post-partisanship. Insead the reality (as any fool should have known) is more of the same, including obfuscation instead of transparency and hyper-partisanship in which nearly every speech Obama gives includes attacking and/or blaming his political opposition for something.

Naturally, Bernie ignores this obvious example in favor or focusing on the marketing efforts of Republicans. Dems, he pretends to believe, just don't do politics.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 14, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Bernie says:

"But Scott's claim that his preferred understanding of the notion of "rights" is somehow clear or settled is simply false..."

Heh. Wikipedia is apparently some kind of authority on what "rights" can be to Bernie. Good one.

Bernie speaks of my "preferred" understanding of rights, but the term means something in particular, not whatever Bernie wants it to mean. What is particularly notable is that the term "rights" cannot be coherently understood outside a framework which assumes the existence of an objective morality, which Bernie himself claims to reject. Go ahead and ask Bernie what he means by the term "rights" and see if you get a coherent answer that reconciles with his very own stated beliefs. In particular, ask him to reconcile his understanding of rights with the notion, say, that the rights of a black slave in 1850 Mississippi were being violated. My prediction...crickets.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 14, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Bilge:

"No-one claims that Global Warming/Climate Change isn't real...the issue is whether Anthropogenic, (Man-Made), Global Warming is real."

Of course Bernie knows this, but focusing on the real issue doesn't make for good propaganda.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 14, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

An interesting aspect of Bernie's subjectivist philosophy is that it effectively leads back to a positivist view of rights, which I am sure he would deny but is nonetheless true.

In his philosophical world, we have the rights we all "agree" and declare we have.

And those "positive" rights turn out to have no meaning. He owes me health care, and I owe him healthcare. But he would say, "we" collectively owe ourselves health care, which is an equally meaningless statement.

Imagine those societies that don't have MRI's and $5,000 drugs. They are all failing to respect their fellow citizens' rights. They had better get cracking on some modern medicine.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

ScottC said: "Heh. Wikipedia is apparently some kind of authority on what "rights" can be to Bernie. Good one."

The link was to demonstrate that the philosophical literature shows nothing like the sort of consensus of opinion that your "is" declaration implies.

But let's put to you the question of "authority" here. Who do you hold to be the authority which has carved out such certainty as you insist exists or ought to?

Posted by: bernielatham | June 14, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Bernie asks:

"Who do you hold to be the authority which has carved out such certainty as you insist exists or ought to?"

I don't hold anyone out as an authority, and I don't know what "certainty" you are talking about. I have simply examined your understanding of the term and determined it to be incoherent and at odds with your own beliefs. Which is what I pointed out above, and what qb has ably demonstrated with an example...and is the point you've always evaded every time this issue comes up.

Like I said...crickets.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 14, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of what is causing the global climate change, the USA still has to convert to clean energy, and has to wean itself from depending on imported oil.

All the energy change steps that are being called for, to offset the effects of global warming, would still need to be taken, even if global warming was not being accelerated by humans.

We have to make the energy conversation,anyway, and only Far Right Wing Luddites, and big polluters, are standing in the way of getting the job done.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 14, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Justin Coussoule (Boehner's opponent in the fall) would certainly take a more active position on this spill than John Boehner would. Check him out at http://www.coussouleforcongress.com/
Because we need to get someone who is not willing to act swiftly on obvious bipartisan issues like the oil spill like Johnny B. out of Congress.

Posted by: kost1 | June 15, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

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