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Sunday Roundup

* Quick note to readers, apropos of nothing: I have been absolutely loving your comment threads, which are among the best on the Internets. Thanks so much for your contributions.

* Coast Guard admiral Thad Allen, who's overseeing the response to the Gulf spill, says he's ordered "unhibited access" for the media.

* Allen adds that the containment dome collected up to 10,000 barrels yesterday.

* Is Joe Biden's role merely to feel Israel's pain in public?

* Unions are backing Bill Halter for the deeply controversial reason that he's better on labor's issues than Blanche Lincoln:

She opposed a public option in the health care bill; helped block the confirmation of Craig Becker, a union-backed nominee to the National Labor Relations Board; and, in what they viewed as a reversal, opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would make it easier to unionize workers.

Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and chairman of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s political panel, criticized Mrs. Lincoln for supporting President George W. Bush's tax cuts, including an end to the estate tax; for opposing a "windfall profits" tax on oil companies; and for backing the North American and Central American Free Trade Agreements.

So, yes, labor wants to "make an example" out of Lincoln. But no matter what you read to the contrary, this is far more than just a naked power play.

* But Lincoln keeps tarring Halter as a tool of organized labor, and says Arkansans should vote for her to prove they can't be "bought."

* Frank Rich adds his voice to those urging Obama to dispel the "Obama's Katrina" meme by seizing on the spill to rally for genuine energy reform. That's what we've been sayin'!

* Public opinion is certainly ripe for that: A new CBS poll finds a majority now opposes increased offshore drilling.

* Modest proposal of the day, from Tony Collings: The media should take advantage of the enormous interest in the spill to focus more on energy policy.

* Senate Dems plan to crank up efforts to push for reform and to hold the oil industry liable, raising a question: Is one of the largest environmental calamities in U.S. history enough to spur Congressional action? It hasn't yet.

* And Glenn Greenwald congratulates Rush Limbaugh for "his fourth traditional marriage."

What else is going on?

UPDATE, 11:56 a.m.: Israel is rejecting an international inquiry into the flotilla raid, and says it is in discussions with the Obama administration on how to probe the incident.

UPDATE, 12:18 p.m.: Looks like Mark Kirk's errors and/or embellishments extend to tales about foreign policy.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 6, 2010; 11:42 AM ET
Categories:  Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Political media , Senate Dems  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Saturday Roundup: Hearst won't say whether Helen Thomas will keep job
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Greg: Just missed you on the MP so I'll re-port form the previous thread:

My final comment about the Helen Thomas "scandal." I have no idea what her politics are and I care about them even less. The last time I've seen her ask Obama a question it was something like this: You ant to tell me why we're still in Afghanistan ... and don't give any of that crap like Bush did about [something or other]. Helen Thomas' position in the press corps is largely ceremonial because, and the Right Wing may not have noticed this, she is REALLY OLD AND KIND OF OUT OF IT. Why then does the GOP insist on making this old woman its latest scalping victim? Here's why: the GOP and the Right Wing are dung beetles. They thrive in sh*t so they insist on turning everything into sh*t. The Left Wing and Democrats have ideas; they want to improve things; they want to do things for the country. The Right simply opposes everything. The Right has nothing to offer the country; all they want to do is destroy Obama and the Dems. Unfortunately for the GOP (politically speaking), the entire country is well aware that there are grave problems confronting the nation and, since the GOP has nothing to offer, it must constantly cough up rotten red herrings to distract everyone from the fact that they don't have anything constructive to offer. Sestak. Thomas. Blumenthal. It's all part of the Whitewater Game and it will continue indefinitely so long as Obama is president (and god forbid they get the subpoena power in the House). Vilify. Us against them. Hate. Anger. Attack.

So Helen Thomas is nothing for the GOP but an excuse to attack someone and distract from the real problems. In this instance, that Israel is becoming an international pariah due, in part, to the hyper-aggression that the GOP advocates in lieu of rational thought. If it sounds good, say it. If it feels good, do it. That is the GOP today. Dung beetles, trying to turn the whole world to sh*t. And if an old lady is the newest scalp, that's just fine and dandy.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 6, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

thx, wbgonne. relatedly check out Think Progress' post asking why Huckabee isn't facing similar attacks for advoctaing "religious cleansing"

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 6, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Haley Barbour is an oil spill denialist

http://www.bobcesca.com/blog-archives/2010/06/amazingly_there.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

So now we have birthers and truthers, what the hell is he? An oiler?

And what happens when the same goop that Rachel Maddow has been showing every night reaches the shores of Mississippi? What happens when the stench of oil starts making the people of Mississippi and their tourists sick?

They outta impeach Foghorn Leghorn on the spot!!!

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 6, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Modest proposal of the day, from Tony Collings: The media should take advantage of the enormous interest in the spill to focus more on energy policy."


But that would require thought, and effort, and there wouldn't be any horse race perspective to cover!

Posted by: akaoddjob | June 6, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"But Lincoln keeps tarring Halter as a tool of organized labor, and says Arkansans should vote for her to prove they can't be "bought.""

Beyond cynical. Craven. GOP-esque. Bye bye Blanche.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 6, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"So now we have birthers and truthers, what the hell is he? An oiler?"

Haley Barbour is a sold soul, and has been from way, way back.

Posted by: akaoddjob | June 6, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhhh and Arianna Huffington went off about Haliburton and its role in the oil spill which of course nobody is talking about and when Liz Cheney tried to defend dear old dad Arianna reminded everybody that Politifact will be fact checking after the show.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/06/cheney-huffington-spar-on-bp.html

I bet you Liz Cheney declines This Week's invite from here on until they stop fact checking the guests LMAOOOOOOO

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 6, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"Allen adds that the containment dome collected up to 10,000 barrels yesterday."

I imagine this should make it a lot easier to determine with some accuracy just how much oil is NOT being captured and how much has already been released. I think the GOM will be dead for 10 years before this thing is done.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 6, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"Public opinion is certainly ripe for that: A new CBS poll finds a majority now opposes increased offshore drilling."

A 22% decrease in support for drilling in less that 2 years. I hope Democrats can read polls.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 6, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

You might wish to add a live link to this: It is actually hilarious. Kirk appears to just make up stuff, off the cuff, all the time.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/2358138,CST-NWS-kirk06.article


" More mistakes in Kirk remarks
ERRORS ON FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES | Got stories wrong on pirates, Iranian oil imports "

Posted by: Liam-still | June 6, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Israel is rejecting an international inquiry into the flotilla raid, and says it is in discussions with the Obama administration on how to probe the incident."

Is it really the US's job to assist Israel's suicide?

Posted by: wbgonne | June 6, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

One thing nobody can deny is that Israel is the only country that could get away with saying no to an international investigation after something like this. Others would have been bombed by now

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 6, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

This sounds almost too good to be true.

From The Chicago Tribune.


"chicagotribune.com
Bulb cleans as it greens
New CFL bulb removes pollutants, pet dander, smoke and odors from the air with ions

By Heidi Stevens, Tribune newspapers

June 5, 2010

If you still haven't made the switch from standard light bulbs, a new product promises a tempting new feature that may get you to toss — er, recycle those old incandescents once and for all.

The Ionic Bulb is a compact fluorescent bulb with a built-in air-purifying microchip designed to remove dust, pet dander, smoke, odors and bacteria from the air. Sounds Earth-friendly. But how on earth does it do all that?

"The purifier is activated by the energy from the bulb when the light is switched on," Annette Hunter, spokeswoman for Ionic Bulb, told us. "The microchip in the bulb emits negative ions that attach themselves to pollutants in the air. It works similarly to the effect of waterfalls and rain in cleaning the air — it's not the water that washes away dirty air particles, it's the negative ions that stabilize and clean the air."

Posted by: Liam-still | June 6, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Sarah and Todd Palin attended The Belmont race yesterday, because a horse named "First Dude" was entered in the race.

The fourteen foot privacy fence they had wrapped around their grandstand box, made it very difficult for them to witness the races. However; Quitter Palin did strap Todd on her back, during an intermission, and went out and mowed the infield grass.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 6, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Liam, I was wondering when the Trib would become indistinguishable from the Sharper Image (or Skymall) catalog.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 6, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Slavegwhiteinfla:
"One thing nobody can deny is that Israel is the only country that could get away with saying no to an international investigation after something like this. Others would have been bombed by now"

Really?
Like Iran has been bombed for it's nuclear program that they refuse to let the IAEA inspect?

Even after Ahmedinedjad threatens to nuke Israel with?

How about the NorKs...remember THEM? They breach their agreements and throw international inspectors/observers out all the time.

They haven't been bombed yet either.

If you want to start bombing countries that flout your precious "international community policing", there are regimes that deserve it FAR more than Israel.

Or is it that you would just WANT to see Israel bombed?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 6, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Greg, thanks for the Halter/Lincoln post. It really does need to be said that Lincoln is unabashed about her disdain for the working people of AR. Corporate Dems all need this kind of primary pressure, and there is absolutely no reason why organized labor shouldn't get involved.

I'm only sorry the WH hasn't had more courage on this issue. How does "change we can believe in" square with Lincoln?

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 6, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Everything WB says is true except he has the parties reversed, as he proves on a regular basis.

His claimed ignorance of Helen Thomas is typical. She has always been a mouthpiece for the left and a vile anti-semite. To people who pay any attention her comments are no surprise and they represent widely held views of the left. Sorry WB but the right didn't invent her or the ugliness of your ideological party. Obama's own contempt for Israel is barely disguised. Hate rhetoric from people like WB wont change any of that.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 6, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse


Liam, I was wondering when the Trib would become indistinguishable from the Sharper Image (or Skymall) catalog.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 6, 2010 12:35 PM
.................

I am going to hold off making a purchase, until they come out with the next generation of the bulb, which will eliminate the need for the use of soap and water, and toilet paper.

Think of all the trees that will be spared. I hope they name the next generation of the bulb: The Sheryl Crow.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 6, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I wonder whether that majority understands that we are doing deep ocean drilling instead of relatively easy drilling in shallow waters close to shore or drilling in anwar because of environmental extremism.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 6, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

slavebgone:
""Public opinion is certainly ripe for that: A new CBS poll finds a majority now opposes increased offshore drilling."

A 22% decrease in support for drilling in less that 2 years. I hope Democrats can read polls."

Oh, most certainly, they CAN! That's why your fantasy where all drilling is halted won't happen.

DemocRats know very well what the polls WILL say when the price of gasoline, (and more significantly, diesel), hits $10 a gallon in less than two years.

No-one will GAS about oily pelicans or unleaded oysters.

Why do you think the Alleged Hawaiian moved to expand the allowed drilling areas in the FIRST place?

And BTW, the East Coast's oil-fields may not lie as deep as the ones in the GoM are.

A big reason we have to go "deep" is because we haven't been able to go "wide".


Posted by: Bilgeman | June 6, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Right you are Toon Town Lawyer:

If one Big Oil Company were allowed to drill in Alaska, then all their competitors would be so satisfied, that they would stop drilling off shore, everywhere.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 6, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder whether that majority understands that we are doing deep ocean drilling instead of relatively easy drilling in shallow waters close to shore or drilling in anwar because of environmental extremism."

"environmental extremism"?

You mean people in states other than backward, desperate, oil-addicted Louisiana saying Thanks But No Thanks to a Gulf Oil Disaster in their own waters? What is WRONG with those people? D*mn hippies.

Oh, and did you know that trees cause global warming? Ask St. Ronnie's ghost.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 6, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"Quick note to readers, apropos of nothing: I have been absolutely loving your comment threads, which are among the best on the Internets. Thanks so much for your contributions."

We love you, too, Greg. (And where is Tena when you really need some fulsome emoting?)

Posted by: wbgonne | June 6, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"More than half of the federal judges in districts where the bulk of Gulf oil spill-related lawsuits are pending have financial connections to the oil and gas industry, complicating the task of finding judges without conflicts to hear the cases, an Associated Press analysis of judicial financial disclosure reports shows."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100606/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gulf_oil_spill_judge_conflicts

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 6, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

This thing about GOPers saying Helen Thomas was advocating "ethnic cleansing" is just laughable (surprise). It's what I call a category response and you see it often in dementia sufferers. Mention a topic and the person struggling with dementia latches onto anything related no matter how farfetched or tangential or factually wrong.

Thomas's ill-advised comment about Jews needing to go back to Germany and Poland from Palestine, had a pretty clear subtext. She wasn't saying they should go back to be gassed to death. She was implying that things haven't worked out all that well in the decades since they've tried living with the Palestinians and maybe it's time for them to leave. It was a thoughtless remark, but it hardly carried an advocacy of ethnic cleansing either in Palestine or in Europe. That's when you don't just send people somewhere else. You kill them.

Posted by: AllButCertain | June 6, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

slave-b-gone:
"You mean people in states other than backward, desperate, oil-addicted Louisiana saying Thanks But No Thanks to a Gulf Oil Disaster in their own waters?"

You forgot Texas, Mississippi and Alabama, (as well as California...they have offshore rigs too!).

"What is WRONG with those people? D*mn hippies"

What is wrong with these damn hippies is that they are immature little whining crybabies.

They want the oil for their VW minibus and the gas for keeping their squat at the commune warm, but they're not willing to shoulder their fair share of the liability that comes with producing the energy.

Commie pinko hair-heads!

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 6, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat:

I've seen that article. LA is owned lock, stock & barrel by Big Oil. They keep the people uneducated and desperate for oil jobs. I see no signs that LA politicians will change. The people of LA will have to do it themselves and I wouldn't count on that right away, either. Luckily, we have other states and the federal government to protect us from oil-junkie LA's reckless actions.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 6, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Greg, some of the commenters in the threads pitching grenades at each other are what drove me away from the site a few months ago. I do like your analysis and most of the comments, but when commenters attack and disparage you or other commenters, I leave. I feel more welcome now that Tena seems to have departed, but it would be great if your moderators would simply delete ad hominem attacks on other commenters (e.g., bilgeman for one). I learn from commenters, but I learn nothing from grenades lobbed back and forth.

Posted by: msmollyg | June 6, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Check out this video of Cenk of TYT destroying Chris Matthews and Barney Frank over the flotilla incident

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTcGmyIGKHY

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 6, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Check out this video of Cenk of TYT destroying Chris Matthews and Barney Frank over the flotilla incident

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTcGmyIGKHY

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 6, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

msmolly, I for one hope you stick around. And I would add that no matter what bilgey and qb have to say they are as mis-informed as they claim we are. I'm hoping clearer heads will prevail and use the BP Oil Disaster as a wake up call for both conservation of our resources and better regulation of an industry we obviously need but has run away with both our politicians and our better judgement.

"CAMBRIDGE – As the damaged BP oil well continues to spew millions of gallons of crude from the depths of the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, the immediate challenge is how to mitigate an ever-magnifying environmental catastrophe. One can only hope that the spill will be contained soon, and that the ever-darkening worst-case scenarios will not materialize.

"The disaster, however, poses a much deeper challenge to how modern societies deal with regulating complex technologies. The accelerating speed of innovation seems to be outstripping government regulators’ capacity to deal with risks, much less anticipate them."

"The parallels between the oil spill and the recent financial crisis are all too painful: the promise of innovation, unfathomable complexity, and lack of transparency (scientists estimate that we know only a very small fraction of what goes on at the oceans’ depths.) Wealthy and politically powerful lobbies put enormous pressure on even the most robust governance structures. It is a huge embarrassment for US President Barack Obama that he proposed – admittedly under pressure from the Republican opposition – to expand offshore oil drilling greatly just before the BP catastrophe struck."

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/rogoff69/English

Posted by: lmsinca | June 6, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe I missed Ariana-Liz death match on This Week.

Greg, did Tena migrate from the old site? I'm bummed to never read her comments anymore.

Bilgewater is so OTT I'm beginning to think he's a Lib. You know, like hard core homophobes turning out to be repressed homosexuals.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | June 6, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Now Now Now folks.

I see no reason to ban Birther Bilgey.

Sure he is outrageous, but I get a kick out of his comments.

He often goes after me, but I am not bothered by it.


Posted by: Liam-still | June 6, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

UPDATE, 12:18 p.m.: Looks like Mark Kirk's errors and/or embellishments extend to tales about foreign policy.
........................

Greg,

Kirk is a prime example of why "Military Intelligence" is actually an oxymoron.

This guy was on an award winning Intel Team, and I doubt that his intel work was any more accurate, or fact based, than his political claims turn out to be.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 6, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

slave msmoonbatg:
"I feel more welcome now that Tena seems to have departed, but it would be great if your moderators would simply delete ad hominem attacks on other commenters (e.g., bilgeman for one). I learn from commenters, but I learn nothing from grenades lobbed back and forth."

I'll call you a "Waaaaaaah!mbulance".

There, you now have the attention that you so obviously crave.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 6, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

KathleentheSlaveinMoonbatMaine:
"Bilgewater is so OTT I'm beginning to think he's a Lib. You know, like hard core homophobes turning out to be repressed homosexuals."

Y'know, at one time I may have harbored Liberal ideas, but I "took the cure" once I grew up and learned that I had to work to make a living.

All the adolescent wailing about how "unfair" and "unjust" it all is that the world doesn;t owe me a living didn't put food on my table or wheels under my behind.

Likewise, I learned that if you just WANT to be pissed off at something all the time, you;ll likely find a reason to be.
And any old reason will do...

That's why I'm now a conservative. I have a healthy mind in a clean body and sleep soundly, knowing that whatever life has in store for me, it's fundamentally in the arms of the Almighty.

It's the inner seenity I get from acceptance of those facts that makes it possible for me to tolerate the likes of miserable whiny livestock like yourselves...

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 6, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"Israel ... is in discussions with the Obama administration on how to probe the incident."

How to proceed? How about first making public all the video seized from those aboard the flotilla?

Not too hardly foxtrotting likely, huh?

Posted by: jzap | June 6, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"They want the oil for their VW minibus and the gas for keeping their squat at the commune warm, but they're not willing to shoulder their fair share of the liability that comes with producing the energy."

BP BilgeSlave:

Like most of the GOP you have convinced yourself that Americans desperately want oil and plastic bags. We don't. We will be happy to find suitable alternatives, conserve and even sacrifice a bit to protect the planet. Stop listening to Rush so much; you've become addled.

Though, like Liam, I got no real beef with you. I think that you really do have heart and maybe even a brain capable of independent thought. Stick around and you may get it together. I'm rooting for you!

Posted by: wbgonne | June 6, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Helen Thomas proves that ugliness is more than skin deep.

Send the old windbag to a retirement home and let her screech in a padded cell.

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | June 6, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"I learned that if you just WANT to be pissed off at something all the time, you;ll likely find a reason to be. And any old reason will do... That's why I'm now a conservative."

Umm, you may want to re-think your conversion since it is now the Conservatives who are consumed by anger and hate and self-pity.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 6, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Doesn't Haley Barbour look a lot like Lou Dobbs? Just sayin'...

Posted by: jzap | June 6, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

To me, Haley looks more like Jerry Falwell.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 6, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"slave msmoonbatg:"

"KathleentheSlaveinMoonbatMaine:"

Fourth-grade name calling. How amusing. No real substance, so slings nastiness instead, for effect, I assume. Go back to grade school, bilgey.

Posted by: msmollyg | June 6, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Likewise, I learned that if you just WANT to be pissed off at something all the time, you;ll likely find a reason to be.
And any old reason will do..."

Bilgewater, whining and being pissed off is your natural state, your default position. You steep in hate and disdain. Serenity, indeed. Serenity pads, more like.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | June 6, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

How Can You Tell When A Lawyer's Lying to the American People on the Anniversary of D-Day ?

NY Times today-

"In his weekly radio address broadcast Saturday, President Obama emphasized that the federal government had “mobilized on every front” to contain and clean up the oil spill, and called attention to the plight of some of the shrimpers and oystermen he met while visiting the Louisiana coast on Friday."

AP Today-
"With no oil response workers on Louisiana's Queen Bess Island, Plaquemines Parish coastal zone management director P.J. Hahn decided he could wait no longer, pulling an exhausted brown pelican from the oil, slime dripping from its wings.

"We're in the sixth week, you'd think there would be a flotilla of people out here," Hahn said. "As you can see, we're so far behind the curve in this thing."
At the mouth of Alabama's Mobile Bay, hundreds of seagulls squawked on a beach dotted with countless small tar balls but not a cleanup crew in sight.

Posted by: thecannula | June 6, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

SlaveHusseininMoonbatMaine:
"Bilgewater, whining and being pissed off is your natural state, your default position. You steep in hate and disdain."

Yep...I'm a "PEOPLE person!".

And I guess, technically speaking, y'all are "people" too.

But only in a hypothetical sense, since you just seem to prefer behaving like herd animals.

That's okay though...there's room in Creation for all of God's critters.
But that doesn't mean we give them all voting rights, y'know.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 6, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Haley Barbour is the perfect example of the GOP politician in the year 2010.

Discuss.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 6, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

slave-b-gone:
"I think that you really do have heart and maybe even a brain capable of independent thought. Stick around and you may get it together. I'm rooting for you!"

Awww, how sweet of you.

You'll pardon me if I take a pass on the Great Big Moonbat Group-Hug, though.

"Independent thinking"? You mean like, that done around the Slum Line?

This is a joke, yes?

You know the Moonbat Sweat-Lodge salutation?

"OMG, Greg, like I TOTALLY AGREE!....".

Frankly, I find it nauseating.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 6, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Well worth a read:

http://www.davidwarrenonline.com/index.php?id=1145

Like, I almost TOTALLY AGREE with what Warren has to say here.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 6, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Israel admits doctoring the flotilla tapes to make it seem like activists were shouting anti semetic slurs.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/06/06/gaza.flotilla.recordings/index.html

And we are supposed to trust them to investigate themselves?! Gtfoh

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

I know it's fun for some commenters here to accuse those of us who question Netanyahu and the military answer to the flotilla and the loss of life, actual people living in Israel, in the military, are asking some questions as well.

"A group of top Israel Navy reserves officers on Sunday publicly called on Israel to allow an external probe into its commando raid of a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid flotilla last week, which left nine people dead and several more wounded."

"In a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, the Navy officers denounced the commando raid as having "ended in tragedy both at the military and diplomatic levels."

"First and foremost, we protest the fact that responsibility for the tragic results was immediately thrust onto the organizers of the flotilla," wrote the officers. "This demonstrates contempt for the responsibility that belongs principally to the hierarchy of commanders and those who approved the mission. This shows contempt for the values of professionalism, the purity of weapons and for human lives."

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-navy-reserves-officers-allow-external-gaza-flotilla-probe-1.294536

Posted by: lmsinca | June 6, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for that poor sentence structure, should have previewed it. You get my drift though I hope.

Bilgey your caricature of the left is amusing sometimes, but overall it's beginning to fall flat. I think you need a new shtick. And for an oil guy, you sure don't seems to want to talk about the spill very much. You'd be a wealth of information for all of us so I don't get it. I'm forced to go the theoildrum to get all my tech info.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 6, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

lmslaveinca:
shorter Haaretz' reporting of Israeli Navy Reservist Moonbats' letter:

""This demonstrates contempt for the responsibility that belongs principally to the hierarchy of commanders and those who approved the mission. This shows contempt for the values of professionalism, the purity of weapons and for human lives.""

Can someone explain just what "contempt for...the purity of weapons" is supposed to be?

This sounds like you're using the Israeli Navy's version of the "General Jack Ripper Fan Club" as some kind of model...for something.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 6, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Bilgey, maybe I'm wrong but I took it to mean, they were killing unarmed activists. I've read some reports that they began shooting before they boarded the boat, I'll contribute the fact that it is unconfirmed. It is however based on statements from survivors. I know you joked about the kid who got shot in the head four times and how the second boat surrendered easily rather than face the same fate, but honestly it just wasn't that funny. Whether you believe in the blockade or not, I think it might be worth questioning if the killings served anyone's best interest. I think these Naval retirees are questioning the decision making that went into the raid.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 6, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

So Greg when do you plan to do this ?

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site.

Checking in after a long time and still seeing the same old rw trolls doing exactly the same thing your site professes to 'remove'.

Posted by: amkeew | June 6, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

lmslaveinca:
"Bilgey your caricature of the left is amusing sometimes, but overall it's beginning to fall flat. I think you need a new shtick."

I'll change when you change.

"And for an oil guy, you sure don't seems to want to talk about the spill very much. You'd be a wealth of information for all of us so I don't get it. I'm forced to go the theoildrum to get all my tech info."

You've been around here long enough, but maybe you've forgotten. I'm a ship guy who works vessels that happen to be an adjunct to oil and gas exploration and extraction.
I know more or less about the process than a layman, but the lads over at the oildrum seem to have the specific expertise that drilling supervisors and tool-pushers would.

Look, I've also run containerships from South Africa to Houston full of seafood and pears, but I don't claim to be a farmer...just to have a unique insight on how to import their fruit,(and kill the Medfly larvae they may harbor during the transit).

And so there's not that much to tell. I'm on a ship pulling into Port Fourchon, LA as I type this. We dont have TeeVee, don't have daily newspapers, and I can't even stream internet video, thanks to the net-nanny software and bandwidth restrictions on the satellite.

My vessel isn't on a BP charter, but my company has ships that are, and have been directly involved in the efforts to plug the damned hole, so any info I divulge towards that end is sensitive and privileged.

The fact of the matter is though, that people are really moving heaven and earth, (in Guv'nah Jindal's case, literally), to stop the leak and/or minimize its' impact.

You DO understand that every 42 gallon barrel that splooges out into the ocean is $70.91,(today's spot), that someone isn't making, right?

This stuff is VALUABLE, and not in the abstract way that a placid mountain meadow is to a moonbat, but in the cold hard cash way.

FWIW, I can flick a cigarette butt over the side without causing a conflagration.
There just ain't that much oil over here to the west.


Posted by: Bilgeman | June 6, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Bilge, thanks for a better explanation of your job. And they don't call it liquid gold for nothin'. It's pretty clear they have lots of smart and hard working folks trying to contain the damn thing, no argument from me there.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 6, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"Quick note to readers, apropos of nothing: I have been absolutely loving your comment threads, which are among the best on the Internets. Thanks so much for your contributions."

Greg, the bar you set must be awfully low. You have frequent commenters who don't follow this rule, but we still have to read their nonsense, despite:
"User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site."

The best on the internets? Not by a mile.

Posted by: msmollyg | June 6, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

@Bilgeman

I get that seeing your screeds comes with the reading the comment thread territory, but I do have a request.

Can you come up with something better than "DemocRats"? Please. Do it for the children.

I mean, come on. This is just pathetic. It makes you look like another Frank Luntz zombie... and we all know there's nooooooooooooo way you're one of those.

"Demoncraps" perhaps? At least that is kind of funny.

Also...

Needz Moar Moonbat

Posted by: michael_conrad | June 6, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"We love you, too, Greg."

Drop this "we" stuff and speak for yourself, bub. I for one definitely do not.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 6, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

"Whatever they are denying, denial movements have much in common with one another, not least the use of similar tactics (see "How to be a denialist"). All set themselves up as courageous underdogs fighting a corrupt elite engaged in a conspiracy to suppress the truth or foist a malicious lie on ordinary people. This conspiracy is usually claimed to be promoting a sinister agenda: the nanny state, takeover of the world economy, government power over individuals, financial gain, atheism."

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627606.100-living-in-denial-why-sensible-people-reject-the-truth.html?page=1

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 6, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca:

"Whether you believe in the blockade or not, I think it might be worth questioning if the killings served anyone's best interest."

Do you think it is worth questioning whether the attempts to run the blockade served anyone's best interests?

I wonder why so many people here focus on Israel's culpability in the deaths of these "activists", but so little is said about the culpability of the "activists" themselves.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 6, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3 -- The Israeli commandos shot people in the head multiple times. If that isn't overkill, what is?

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | June 6, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Plumline's comments threads are themselves all the proof one should need that it is the left and Democrats who are mired in anger and self pity and constant partisan attacks. It really would be hard to top some of these folks like wbgonne and sg.

But even better are the liberals now showing up to complain about ad hominem attacks and insulting names for Dems. The bias and hypocrisy are staggering given the abusiveness of most of Greg's liberal regulars.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 6, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I don't know Scott, maybe because only activists died. Sure, they were trying to make an issue of the blockade but at what point does it become overkill on the part of the Israeli's? It's a complicated issue as we all know, is Israel at war with Gaza, Hamas or Palestine? Now that we're all at war with terrorists where do we draw the line with innocent victims of a country or strip of land in the Middle East? It's not just a question for Israel, it's a question for us as well. I don't claim to have the answers but I think the questions are important and deserve an honest debate. I know you probably don't think some of us are capable of that but maybe we'll surprise you.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 6, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I for one don't like the idea of being censored by the WaPo or the PlumLine. This is an open forum AFAIC and we're sort of used to wading through the name calling from both sides. Every now and then we get some good discussions (arguments) going so I personally appreciate the chance to participate.

Contrary to Bilgey's characterization those of us on the left here don't necessarily agree with each other all the time and we get some great debates going along those lines. If we get drudged occasionally so be it. And qb, sbj, bilge, actuator, tao and scott keep us on our toes and sharpen our skills, sort of. And sometimes it's just downright funny. When Bilgey called me lmstonedinca yesterday I cracked up.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 6, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Every Arkansan should know, you can take all the corporate money you want but touch one union dollar... They are voodoo and want card check...

The day will come when those foreign care factories in the south will see the benefit's of organizing.

Posted by: soapm | June 6, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

RE: comment moderation

I think imsinca has it right.

As long as it's not physical threats or vile slurs, it's not a big deal to me. Those two things are a completely different story.

Some kind of recommend/hide function on the comments may be useful, but I'm not sure how that would work logistically.

I'd bet that I'm not alone in expecting the annoying stuff as par for the course.

Posted by: michael_conrad | June 6, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

All -- I don't know what's going on with Tena. I emailed her a couple of weeks ago and she never answered.

Posted by: sargegreg | June 7, 2010 5:33 AM | Report abuse

Vileness is in the pre-frontal cortex of the beholder. We, as a community, are perfectly capable of moderating ourselves. I don't want voices shut out (exception probably for threats and for inarguable bigotry) not merely as a guard against the slippery slope but because I want to have a view of what is going on in lots of minds. As always, posts which lack intellectual value can be ignored.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Haley Barbour's statements on the spill are predictable. He's high level Republican establishment and (redundancy here) a corporate/industry rep. The touch I loved was his declaration that the spill's effects would be minimal as a consequence of "God's grace". Which immediately begs the question why God would have chosen to take a dump in the Gulf in any case.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/the_morning_plum_25.html

...and Bernie, did you see my response to you in the other thread re the comment in moderation?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 7, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Re Halter/Lincoln...

"While it is true that Halter has received support from outside groups, such as the AFL-CIO labor union, it should be noted that during the 2009-2010 campaign cycle, 93 percent of his funds come from individual contributions, and only 5 percent come from PACs and other interest groups.

And while Lincoln boasts of being “out there with the people,” a review of her campaign contributions shows that she has received far more money from PACs, corporate front groups, and other outside interest organizations than Halter has. During the 2009-2010 campaign cycle, 38 percent of Lincoln’s funding has come from PACs." http://thinkprogress.org/2010/06/06/lincoln-complains-other-people/

We've all likely noticed the common charge that liberal/progressive candidates and policies are backed by "special interests". The term, in this context, stands for gays, women, minorities, professors and unions. In other words, "special interests" are what people and groups who are relatively without power or effective representation in our system. Professors have how many lobbyists on the Hill? The lesbian community pays for how many congressmen and senators to fly off for golf junkets in Scotland?

It isn't news to suggest a correlation between wealth and power and young black men in prison for marijuana possession probably don't have the economic resources to ramp up a bunch of Madison Avenue front groups so as to manufacture consensus or put pressure on politicians.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Barbour's ties to (and funding from) the energy industries...

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/07/06/dirty-energy-barbour/

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca:

"Sure, they were trying to make an issue of the blockade but at what point does it become overkill on the part of the Israeli's?"

It seems to me that once the "activists" began attacking the soldiers attempting to turn back the ships, and the decision was made by the IDF to defend themselves with deadly force, then you can't expect them to use anything other than overwhelming force. I would turn the question around and ask you at what point does it become irresponsible on the part of the "activists" to challenge the blockade? It makes no sense to me to pick a fight with someone and then complain when they beat the hell out of you.

"It's a complicated issue..."

Yes, the bigger picture is. But this whole flotilla incident is less so, I think. It's a pretty straight forward principle that if you challenge and indeed attack a military presence, you can't be surprised when violent consequences occur.

"I know you probably don't think some of us are capable..."

No, I'm sure some of you are. Some.

"I for one don't like the idea of being censored by the WaPo or the PlumLine."

I don't mind so much them enforcing some minimum standard, but I do wish they were more explicit about the rules and informed you of why the post is in moderation. I had a post go into moderation for some unknown reason, but when I split the post in 2 and re-posted it as 2 separate posts, it was accepted. Is length a moderation problem? It all seems so arbitrary. And Greg told Bernie this weeked that his posts in particular would never deliberately be put into moderation. Does that mean that a decision to withhold a post is based on who the poster is rather than what is written in it? That doesn't seem quite right to me.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

"It seems to me that once the "activists" began attacking the soldiers attempting to turn back the ships, and the decision was made by the IDF to defend themselves with deadly force"

Scott, I don't believe this has been determined yet, there are reports being investigated that the IDF began shooting before boarding. I think it's best to withhold judgment until all the facts are known, if they ever are. There are clearly people in Israel itself who have objected to the use of force. I would prefer to support Israel but in this case I don't think I'll personally be able to, but we'll see.

Regarding the moderation, your guess is as good as mine. It seems sort of arbitrary at this point and I think it may have something to do with length. It's happened to pretty much all of us at one point or another. I was mostly commenting on moderating out people like Bilgey who use colorful and oftentimes demeaning language. I don't think it's a good idea to censor unless, as others have stated, it's outright threatening. Most of the really vile language already gets moderated out.

There have been numerous comments of a racist or anti-Semite nature I thought should have disappeared and didn't but I got over it. Sometimes I just disappear myself instead. LOL

Posted by: lmsinca | June 7, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - Length may now be a problem. It was the only conceivable factor in the last instance where my post got beheaded. If length is a problem, that wouldn't make me happy. There are far, far too many contributor sites where one or two sentence posts perform the function of raspberry or cheer.

As to what you wrote above...

"It's a pretty straight forward principle that if you challenge and indeed attack a military presence, you can't be surprised when violent consequences occur."

What you've left out are the two hard parts. Is that military presence justified in its operations, and even if it is, what of proportionality of response?

If the US occupies a sacred Muslim site (SA) then the US can hardly be surprised by 9/11 or even a suitcase nuke on some US city. Same "prudence" argument.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"I’m Seeing a Pattern
by mistermix (Balloon Juice)

At least there was one place in American life where government isn’t intruding:

'And yet, in their investigations of nearly 400 offshore incidents, Minerals Management Service officials failed to travel to one-third of the accident scenes, collected only 16 fines and did not investigate every blowout as their own rules require.'

Also, too, that’s yet another solid piece from the Houston Chronicle, which is beating the national press on a daily basis."
(link to HC piece... http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/deepwaterhorizon/7039960.html )

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

And from DougJ at Ballon Juice...

"In the course of trying to prove that its “enhanced” interrogation program was legal, the Bush administration may have broken the law, according to a new report (PDF) by Physicians for Human Rights. The watchdog group claims that in an attempt to establish that brutal interrogation tactics did not constitute torture, the administration ended up effectively experimenting on terrorism detainees. This research, PHR alleges, violated an array of regulations and treaties, including international guidelines on human testing put in place after the Holocaust."

As DougJ says: "This is nowhere near as bad as what Paul McCartney did, obviously"
http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/07/american-mengele/

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, just checking, did you see my response to your comment being put into moderation?

Posted by: sargegreg | June 7, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Stephen Walt's 21 handy talking-points when you need to apply the white-wash (a must-read)
http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/06/02/defending_the_indefensible_a_how_to_guide

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@Greg - Yes. I had no thought that there was a content-censoring in place (other than naughty words). On reflection, it seemed length might be the only relevant cause.

But I have to tell you that the naughty word thing has no reasonable justification in a world of adults. And if there is a word limit in place though I can understand some rationale for that, it's not one I think ought to trump. I imagine that you, as a participant of the WP enterprise, are obligated to follow whatever protocols are put in place by somebody up the line so there's no blame attached to you here. But whoever sits up the line deserves a boot in the ass.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca:

"What you've left out are the two hard parts. Is that military presence justified in its operations, and even if it is, what of proportionality of response?"

Proportionality is conceivably relevant, but although I am no military guy, I believe it is fairly sound military doctrine that, if military force is going to be used, it should be overwhelming force. It's not the point of military action to have a "fair fight".

As for whether the larger Israeli policy towards Gaza is justified, I don't find that relevant at all. Clearly the Israelis think it is justified, and knowing that one has to fully expect them to defend their position.

I don't think it is remotely justified that non-Muslims are barred from entering the city of Mecca, but knowing that they are, it wouldn't be very sensible of me to be outraged at being arrested should I be caught trying to sneak in.

Again, as I said the other day, one might reasonably object to the Israeli presence in Gaza or the blockade itself. But given the fact of the blockade, it hardly makes sense to expect the Israelis not to resist attempts to break it.

"If the US occupies a sacred Muslim site (SA) then the US can hardly be surprised by 9/11 or even a suitcase nuke on some US city. Same "prudence" argument. "

I agree, although Iraq, is a better example since we have invaded Iraq and have never invaded/occupied SA. It would have been complete folly for us to have invaded Iraq and been shocked and outraged when Saddam and his forces had the temerity to actually fight back.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Sorry..that last should be addressed to Bernie, not lmsinca.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie

You hit the nail on the head as far as what I meant by "vile" (slurs based on ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation).

Your comment about Halter, progressives, and "special interests" was dead on as well.

Posted by: michael_conrad | June 7, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

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