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The Morning Plum

* Question o' the day: Can the Obama administration really succeed in convincingly distancing itself from BP, more than a month after the spill erupted?

* Eric Holder is now heading to the Gulf, suggesting the spill could soon be the focus of a criminal investigation. Put this one in the we'll-believe-it-when-we-see-it file.

* Also in that link: Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen will no longer share the stage with BP execs when briefing the public on the disaster, another move designed to persuade the public that the Obama administration is in charge.

* What to watch today: Whether members of Congress weigh in on the Obama administration's response to the Israeli flotilla attack, which is far more tepid than much of the rest of the world's reaction.

* To wit: The State Department issues yet another statement on the attack that acknowledges the "suffering" of Palestinians but still stops short of condemning Israel for the attack.

* And yet: Expect Republicans and right-wing media figures (and even the occasional Dem) to call on Obama to be more supportive of Israel in the face of international condemnation.

* Joe Klein, on the political choice Obama faces on whether to veto any U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the attack:

If Obama doesn't veto the resolution, there will be hell to pay among the Israelophilic leaders of the American Jewish Community. If he does veto the resolution, his outreach to the Islamic world is kaput. If he abstains, everyone is offended.

* The New York Times, citing Reuters, reports that Israel is "refusing to permit journalists access to witnesses who might contradict Israel's version of events."

* But: A senior adminstration official suggests to Jake Tapper that the U.S. won't condemn Israel, on the theory that "it will be much easier for Israel to make peace if it feels secure."

* And: Another official is already leaking that Israel's account is "true."

* Al Qaeda's number three is reportedly killed in a drone strike. Quick -- hurry up and book Liz Cheney for another round of network interviews about Obama's weakness on terror!

* Chuck Schumer joins the push to repeal Big Oil disaster liability caps.

* From the beating-a-dead-horse department: Howard Kurtz rightly says The New York Times botched its Vietnam story on Richard Blumenthal by not including key context and failing to post the full video.

* While you weren't looking: A new 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll finds a plurality doesn't want repeal of health reform.

* And remember Rand Paul, that dude who said something about the Civil Rights Act before placing himself off limits to the national press? A new Kentucky poll finds he's leading Jack Conway by only six points.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  June 1, 2010; 8:25 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Health reform , Political media , Senate Dems  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Memorial Day Open Thread
Next: No amount of 'emoting' from Obama will suffice

Comments

@Greg

Here's an interesting dynamic. Our media has largely remained passive on the flotilla attack or actually been defending Israel. Our "liberal" NY Times said it gave a "propaganda victory" for Hamas. CNN practically said it was all Turkey's fault all day yesterday.

But the Israeli media are actually the ones calling out their own government!

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/seven-idiots-in-the-cabinet-1.293418

Kinda shines a light on the level absurdity we have reached in this country when it comes to our deference to Israel doesn't it? If they can truly never do anything wrong enough for us to denounce it what does that say about us? And what kind of future does that portend for us, especially with our standing in the region?

Notice that not only haven't we heard anything of import from the White House, neither have any Congressional leaders had a damn thing to say. Mostly because if they say anything in the least bit critical it will be seen by our media as a politically suicidal move. BTW, at least Egypt is seeing the sunlight and will open up their end of the blockade so aid can get into Gaza. Hmmm wonder what that will do for stability in the region.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 1, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

OT perhaps, but the perfect example of the mindless types that the liberal/progressive base includes in droves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMK9zxb5HyE&feature=email

Posted by: actuator | June 1, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

As I mentioned at the tail end of yesterday's discussion, the WP editorial this morning on the flotilla attack might as well have been written by Netanyahu's staff. That is, of course, absolutely typical for this editorial page (and many more). This bias has not happened by accident. It has been institutionalized to create the precise results we see - a one-sided narrative pushed along with the implication that criticism of Israeli government policy is just a slightly weaker version of that which produced the Holocaust. Beinart's recent piece, for those who haven't gotten to it yet... http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/jun/10/failure-american-jewish-establishment/

This incident puts Obama in a very difficult position, as Greg's links above describe. It lays him open to further attacks from the right and threatens either a negative response from the American jewish community (it's vocal and powerful and organized rightwing portion) or a negative response from the Islamic world (and international community and America's left).

We ought to consider the possibility - given the inexplicable Israeli decision to act as they've done - that one motivation behind Netanyahu's move here is to do damage to Obama at home (he's not the sort of person they want in the presidency and certainly not for long) and to put him in the position where he will be forced to move further towards a Likud-preferred position of vocal alliance with Israel and away from any position which seems supportive of or sympathy towards those who Israel's rightwing sees as it's implacable enemies.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 1, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

@sg - Good post (as usual). It is commonly the case, as you suggest here, that Ha'aretz has FAR more coverage of viewpoints and information sympathetic to the plight of Gazans and others under Israeli domination than do the media here. And as I said, that's no accident.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 1, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Greenwald gets it right on how laughable is any suggestion that Israel is presently operating like any sort of "democracy" worthy of that term... http://www.salon.com/news/israel/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/06/01/israel

Posted by: bernielatham | June 1, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

SG -- fascinating point, thanks. might be worth a post methinks.

And Bernie -- you're right -- it's very possible that there's a real desire to undercut Obama at home...no way we should rule that out. I'm very eager to see how Obama handles this.

Posted by: sargegreg | June 1, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

In case others had not seen it, Josh yesterday linked a Statfor piece on the flotilla attack. It's very good for context and history (eg Israel did something very like this itself when under Brit dominion)...
http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20100531_flotillas_and_wars_public_opinion?utm_source=GWeekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=100531&utm_content=readmore&elq=ec0dbb5abd264ff39b3645c5d73e93b4

Posted by: bernielatham | June 1, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Morning, All:

"Question o' the day: Can the Obama administration really succeed in convincingly distancing itself from BP, more than a month after the spill erupted?"

Yes, but ONLY if Obama elevates the discussion and makes it about the proper role of government and government regulation. Otherwise, the WHite House is just sitting there like a punching bag. And punching bags WILL get punched.

"Eric Holder is now heading to the Gulf, suggesting the spill could soon be the focus of a criminal investigation. Put this one in the we'll-believe-it-when-we-see-it file."

Greg: I GUARANTEE there will be criminal prosecutions. How high they go we'll see.

"Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen will no longer share the stage with BP execs when briefing the public on the disaster, another move designed to persuade the public that the Obama administration is in charge."

About f-ing time.

BTW: I still hear little but crickets from the GOP re: the Gulf Oil Disaster. I would guess that's because of the shame they must feel from their Drill Baby Drill nonsense. But the GOP left shame behind long ago.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"And remember Rand Paul, that dude who said something about the Civil Rights Act before placing himself off limits to the national press? A new Kentucky poll finds he's leading Jack Conway by only six points."

SWEEEEEET!!!!! Can you say Jack Conway, Democratic Senator from Kentucky? Yes you can.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

And the building of Fortress Caucasia continues apace... http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/new-conservative-uk-government-begins-textb

Posted by: bernielatham | June 1, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Good work over at TPM. I know it isn't sexy but the revolving door between government and industry is really a large part of why this country is a mess.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/06/shadow_congress_former_lawmakers_become_lobbyists.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Greg, call this what it is.

The BP Gulf Spill ™

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 1, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

As usual Obama is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Wouldn't we all like to hear what he really thinks? It's a fine line he has to walk re Israel/Palestine and he will always leave one side or the other unhappy. Let's see how he does it. The ultimate in diplomacy.

Anyone interested in how the next phase of plugging the gusher is going, here's a great explanation of the cutting they're preparing for and the forces working against them.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6541#comments_top

Posted by: lmsinca | June 1, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca: Thanks for that oildrum link. I check it periodically. Sometimes I can't understand what's being said but I think those guys are on the level at least. Sounds like the new procedure is a long-shot but must be tried, I suppose. Louisiana (and the wntire Gulf) is due for some good luck.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"I know it isn't sexy but the revolving door between government and industry is really a large part of why this country is a mess."

Exactly, exactly, exactly and I think finally, at least I hope, more and more people are beginning to wake up to the fact that we have a revolving door government that works against the middle class. The only ones who have a shot at stopping it are the Dems, although many of them are part of it as well. Certainly no Republican will honestly be interested in this cause.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 1, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca:

I really think there must be far stricter laws keeping government and industry separate. You can't have the regulators beholden to the regulated. It must be an adversarial, though not necessarily nasty, relationship.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

From Foreign Policy:

"...Ha'aretz columnists are saying no -- and based on Israel's foreign policy and approach towards the occupied territories, I can't say I disagree with them. Indeed, the parallels between Israel and -- gulp -- North Korea are becoming pretty eerie. True, Israel's economy is thriving and North Korea's is not. That said, both countries are diplomatically isolated except for their ties to a great power benefactor. Both countries are pursuing autarkic policies that immiserate millions of people. The majority of the population in both countries seem blithely unaware of what the rest of the world thinks. Both countries face hostile regional environments. Both countries keep getting referred to the United Nations. And, in the past month, the great power benefactor is finding it more and more difficult to defend their behavior to the rest of the world.

The Obama administration has reacted to this incident in remarkably similar ways to China's reaction to the Cheonan incident -- with a call for more information. Rachman wonders if there will be a quid pro quo on Iran and Israel at the Security Council. I wonder if the quid pro quo will involve Jerusalem and Pyongyang.

Developing.... in a ridiculously bad way for Israel. " http://drezner.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/05/31/israels_increasingly_untenable_situation (h/t Andrew Sullivan)

Posted by: bernielatham | June 1, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Tony Hayward, BP CEO in lamentation.

Where's the sympathy for MY plight in all of this? Try to imagine the inconvenience that this is causing to me and my household, for goodness sakes.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/05/31/hayward-wants-life-back/

Posted by: bernielatham | June 1, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The state of Israel has become evil. Only the Israeli people can make that stop.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Quoted in full:


"Accidentally Telling The Truth

by digby

Oooops:
President Horst Köhler of Germany resigned on Monday amid a barrage of criticism for remarks he made a week ago during a surprise visit to Afghanistan.
It is the first time that a German president has ever resigned.

[...]
Mr. Köhler, a former director of the International Monetary Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, shocked Germans earlier this month when he said that the country’s soldiers serving in Afghanistan or other peacekeeping missions were deployed to protect German economic interests.
Usually, German leaders justify their soldiers’ presence in the American-led coalition by saying they are needed to thwart would-be terrorists who might use Afghanistan as a base for attacks in Europe.

But, in his contentious remarks, Mr. Köhler said: “A country of our size, with its focus on exports and thus reliance on foreign trade, must be aware that military deployments are necessary in an emergency to protect our interests, for example, when it comes to trade routes, for example, when it comes to preventing regional instabilities that could negatively influence our trade, jobs and incomes.”

Or, as Greenspan wrote in The Age of Turbulence:

"I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

The hate us for our freedoms. Particularly that freedom we demand to dominate them so as to extract their minerals or to use their land for bases and other functions which facilitate the extraction of minerals. It's particularly that freedom that they might be hating us for.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 1, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Have a fine day, all, if possible.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 1, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

The STRATFOR link posted above deserves a read by anyone concerned about the flotilla attack, as does Josh Marshall's correspondent on Turkey's role in all this.

Israel committed a real blunder here, in fact they may well have walked into a trap. The operation was ill-conceived and even more poorly executed, with the special forces evidently caught out expecting to be greeted as liberators when in fact they were clubbed and separated as they landed, resulting in shootings nand deaths. The Turkish government had given a great deal of support to the convoy, and the attacks were mainly on Turkish nationals. This has given the civilian government the excuse to dump Israel as an ally or, at the very least, to put the entire burden of the relationship off on the military. And Turkey is now vowing that its navy will escort the next flotilla. Israel is in real danger od being isolated here.

Part of Obama's dilemma is that the US needs Turkey, maybe more than Israel, in a strategic sense. While Israel is looking more like North Korea, Turkey is dealing with Iran. And there is of course their role vis a vis Iraq.

To the extent that Netanyahu may have allowed or ordered excessive force, he played into the hands of the forces that do not support Israel. To the extent he wanted to embarrass Obama, he did so at a very poor time from Obama's perspective. I think the Israeli government is going seriously off the rails here as a result of excessive arrogance and blindness. It no longer has a clear sense of what is in Israel's interests and is acting in a very dangerous manner. Not good at all.

Posted by: Mimikatz | June 1, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

wb, some of these posts regarding Obama's lack of enthusiasm in tackling the corporate interests are difficult to read but there is more than a grain of truth to them. I'm being patient but history making changes keep slipping through our fingers and I don't quite understand why.

"If ever there were a moment to make clear that our energy future cannot be left to the energy industry, and to rally the public on behalf of a long term shift away from carbon fuels to renewable sources, it is now. Will we ever have a better, more graphic villain than BP? Will we ever have the public more on our side? Will we ever have Republicans with dirtier hands?"

"In the late sixties and early 1970s, the environmental movement burst on the national stage because the environmental assaults of that era were immediate and undeniable -- from oil spills to smog to the Cuyahoga River catching fire. Thanks to the victories of that era, environmental damage has become less palpable and pyrotechnic."

"Global climate change, the ultimate menace, is gradual, insidious, ineluctable, contested, and seldom vividly symbolized. By contrast the BP blowout is immediate, tangible, and terrifying. Even the Limbaughs and the Becks cannot deny what is dominating TV week after week, and the right is making a fool of itself by lurching from attacking the president's daughter to blurting out that "accidents happen."

Then after comparing the challenges we have faced so far to Davis vs. Goliath he says this:

"But imagine how much more reform we could get if the President of the United States clearly weighed in on behalf of David rather than Goliath."

"This could also be a defining moment in the fight for a clean energy future if President Obama used it as such."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-kuttner/bp-and-the-bankers_b_595381.html

Posted by: lmsinca | June 1, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

* And: Another official is already leaking that Israel's account is "true."

..........................

Greg,

Even if it is true, it still has armed people from Israel storming a civilian ship, far out in international waters,and some of the passengers, or crew members resisting the invaders.

No one would accept the same excuse that Israel is offering up, if it were being given by Somali Pirates who killed that many passengers in an attempt to capture a civilian cargo ship.


In recent times, The actions of the Israeli leadership have more resembled the behavior of North Korea, than that of rational democracy.

Up until this bizarre assault on a civilian cargo ship, I never felt that the Israeli government would be reckless enough to actually launch strikes on Iran.

Now, I feel that they are just as out of control and reckless as those in Charge in N. Korea, and are very capable of any stupid reckless assault.

The bottom line is:

The Government of Israel launched a military assault on civilian cargo ships, in international waters, and not the other way around.

No one on those ships attacked Israel. Israel attacked them, so no matter how they try to spin it, it was the State of Israel that was the illegal aggressor against those who tried to fight off the assault.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 1, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

* Chuck Schumer joins the push to repeal Big Oil disaster liability caps.

.......................

Greg,

It would be great if you could uncover the originators of those liability caps.

Who were the politicians who inserted them into the legislation?

Time to name those who put the fix in for big oil.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 1, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

In regards to Israel. This really makes you wonder.


Who's really in charge over there? It seems every time Bibi is meeting or is about ready to meet with the President, someone pulls this crap.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 1, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"The hate us for our freedoms. Particularly that freedom we demand to dominate them so as to extract their minerals or to use their land for bases and other functions which facilitate the extraction of minerals. It's particularly that freedom that they might be hating us for."

Yes, boy, Western countries have gotten so rich by "extracting" Arab oil. It's a good thing they don't charge us for it, or have a cartel to restrict output or anything.

More seriousness please.


Posted by: quarterback1 | June 1, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"Chuck Schumer joins the push to repeal Big Oil disaster liability caps."

If only he'd show the same "courage" on things that are politically sensitive for him, like Israel or Wall Street regulation.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Oh great. Cheney's spokesperson is going to be BP's spokesperson now.

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0601/bp-hires-cheney-spokeswoman-lead-pr-effort/

Expect more of a push to shift blame from BP on the The BP Gulf Spill ™ to the administration, of which Fox Propaganda network is already working full time to do as we speak.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 1, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"In regards to Israel. This really makes you wonder. Who's really in charge over there? It seems every time Bibi is meeting or is about ready to meet with the President, someone pulls this crap."

Good point. Netanyahu seems genuinely surprised when these things happen but it's hard to believe he's not in on it.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

A Real Grizzly Mamma speaks out.

"That Wasilla Banshee is nothing like me. I would never have let Levi Johnson get within a mile of one of my cubs."

Posted by: Liam-still | June 1, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"Oh great. Cheney's spokesperson is going to be BP's spokesperson now.

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0601/bp-hires-cheney-spokeswoman-lead-pr-effort/

Expect more of a push to shift blame from BP on the The BP Gulf Spill ™ to the administration, of which Fox Propaganda network is already working full time to do as we speak."

Ha! I was wondering why this was taking so long. They were probably hoping that, if the leak were plugged, it wouldn't be necessary. Anyway, whether Obama likes it or not the battle is underway. All the more reason for Obama to take a FORCEFUL stand on behalf of the people. Some people must have greatness thrust upon them.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

If that isn't all the evidence someone needs that Cheney is behind the cozy relationships between Govn't and the oil industry, I'm not sure what more evidence would be needed.

I sure hope that story gets around.

Cheney's Spokesperson Now Working for in the BP PR Department!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 1, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

If I could pick up on something in the last thread vis a vis Liz Cheney. It made me google to find something I wrote here a year ago: "Like I said last week, she’s confident, she has experience, she doesn’t get lost in a sentence, she’s from the right, she has five kids. Miss Almost Alaska was just the stalking horse. Liz Cheney is the real Sarah Palin."

I think this even more now, and it fits in with Bernie's Mary Matalin watch and her effort to set the stage for aggrieved mothers to vote Republican. They're putting Palin out there to garner attention and parrot the right talking points and advance new, outrageous memes. Then as 2012 gets closer, Liz Cheney takes the mantle and nobody can say she isn't smart and knife-savvy. She's exactly what you get when you cross Dick and Lynn Cheney.

Posted by: AllButCertain | June 1, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I predict;

that within the next year ors so, BP will change it's name. They will not change their reckless ways; they will just hide behind a new name, and launch a massive PR ad campaign, under their new name, about being the most environmentally friendly green energy enterprise on the planet.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 1, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, and others, have you seen this? And from a fellow WaPo Voices writer. I'm aghast. Everything is Obama's fault, Israel section:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/06/obama_netanyahu_and_the_free_g.html#more

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 1, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"If that isn't all the evidence someone needs that Cheney is behind the cozy relationships between Govn't and the oil industry, I'm not sure what more evidence would be needed."

You might start with some evidence of what you assert.

This is no evidence at all of it.

Or you can feel free to explain exactly how the fact that BP hired Anne Kolton proves . . . whatever it is you claim it proves.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 1, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I really hate it when Liz Cheney comes out from under whatever rock she's hiding. And I agree with digby, she really is the most dangerous woman in America.

ABC, you nailed it.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 1, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

You people actually think Liz Cheney is running for President.

And on top of that you think this is a great threat to the republic.

LMAO

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 1, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"Speak for yourself. I love it when that vile woman crawls out from under me. I always feel cleaner, when she is gone." The Rock That Liz Hides Under.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 1, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

All, new thread:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 1, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Attention Mr. Neten-Yahoo.

Get all your best assault teams armed to the teeth. They will soon have to face the ferocity of a Nobel Peace Prize winner. You might want to use torpedo strikes this time around.


http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0601/breaking33.html


"'Rachel Corrie' aims to reach Gaza

PAMELA NEWENHAM

Tue, Jun 01, 2010

The MV Rachel Corrie is ploughing ahead with its attempt to deliver aid to Gaza despite yesterday’s attack by the Israeli navy on Gaza-bound ship the Mavi Marmara.

The cargo ship, which has five Irish nationals and five Malaysians aboard, is due to arrive in Gazan waters tomorrow, a spokeswoman for the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign said.

The vessel became separated from the main aid flotilla after being delayed for 48 hours in Cyprus due to logistical reasons.

Nobel laureate Maireád Corrigan-Maguire, former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday, film maker Fiona Thompson and husband and wife Derek and Jenny Graham are the Irish nationals on board.

Speaking from the ship today, Mr Graham said the vessel was carrying educational materials, construction materials, medical equipment and some toys. “Everything aboard has been inspected in Ireland,” he said. “We would hope to have safe passage through.”

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Pat Kenny , Ms Maguire said none of the aid ships carry arms and are "purely humanitarian". She said it was necessary for the vessel to complete its mission to assure the people of Gaza the world does care.

“Their port has been closed for over 40 years . . . 1.5 million people, it’s like the population of Northern Ireland, totally cut off from the world by this inhumane illegal siege of Gaza . . . their borders are closed . . . there is a shortage of medicines,” she said.

“Could you imagine if that happened to the 1.5 million people in Northern Ireland, the world would be absolutely crying out that this stop immediately.""

Posted by: Liam-still | June 1, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting that both Liz and qb keep focusing on Sestak as the real story vs. the BP gusher and environmental disaster. Wonder why that is?

Posted by: lmsinca | June 1, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Don't count on Liz Cheney showing up anywhere in public until the oil leak is plugged and the spill is cleaned up (as much as it can be). The Cheneys don't want to damage their franchise by appearing in public right now and reminding everyone who is the sole individual most responsible for the disaster.

Think about it: have you seen any Cheney appear in public since the rig explosion?

Posted by: JennOfArk | June 1, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@qb: Yes, boy, Western countries have gotten so rich by "extracting" Arab oil. It's a good thing they don't charge us for it, or have a cartel to restrict output or anything.

More seriousness please.

US and multinational corporations like Halliburton, BP, Shell, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, etc. have gotten so rich by "extracting" Arab oil. The fact that corrupt monarchies like the gulf oil states take a cut too just shows that they have learned their lessons well from their corporate "partners".

See makes perfect sense...

More thought please.

Posted by:

Posted by: srw3 | June 1, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Greg, isn't the question of the day whether the leak gets plugged and/or the Israeli attack on the flotilla? I thought we had gotten away from regarding the issues of image and perception to be the major issues of the day.

I couldn't give two craps whether Obama distances himself from BP or not, so long as they are doing all things that they can to stop the leak.

Posted by: homeruk | June 1, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"It's interesting that both Liz and qb keep focusing on Sestak as the real story vs. the BP gusher and environmental disaster. Wonder why that is?"

I didn't realize there was a rule that there can only be one "story" at a time. I've commented a lot about the Gulf.

Greg keeps posting about Sestak -- claiming it is a nonstory.

And you want to ignore it and accept the WH whitewash.

I wonder why that is.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 1, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"I've commented a lot about the Gulf."

Really? And I'm not implying we aren't allowed to discuss more than one topic. I haven't accepted or rejected the WH or Sestak's claims re "the job", it doesn't matter to me either way. It's a media and right wing induced story IMO, and I don't really care one way or another, it's just politics as usual.

You however, following the lead of other conservatives have overplayed your "Sestak hand", you and the "benign" Liz Cheney.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 1, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"It's a media and right wing induced story IMO, and I don't really care one way or another, it's just politics as usual."

I know, you don't care whether any crimes were committed. Not when a D is in the WH.

"Really?"

Yes, including predicting that it would be a short time before D's began blaming Bush (not that I had to be too prescient to see that absurdity coming).

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 1, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Did you here that BP just hired Dick Cheney's former spokeswoman to be its Gulf Disaster PR flack (H/T Mike)? What a remarkable coincidence. Do you think maybe this is a way for Cheney to, um, ensure that his interests are protected? Dick Cheney should be put in prison for treason.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"hear"

D*man homynyms.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"D*mn"

D*mn typos.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

qb, if I thought it was a crime, I would say so, hence I don't. And predicting we would blame Bush for the BP Gulf disaster isn't really commenting on the disaster itself or the efforts underway to mitigate the environmental effect or plugging the damn hole. Do you have an opinion on BP, or anything to say about Peak Oil, or the fact that this gusher says something about our reliance on oil rather than transitioning to alternative fuel sources? Anything about all the efforts by BP to minimize the size of the spill, denying the oil plumes, or suggesting that workers may have food poisoning? Anything?

Posted by: lmsinca | June 1, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Most of the commentary here has been about assigning blame -- to BP and Bush and Cheney, and free market capitalism as a whole.

Almost all the rest is nothing more than speculation, because no one here has any real knowledge or expertise qualifying them to do more than speculate, except perhaps for Bilgeman, who does have some knowledge.

What does the gusher say about our reliance on oil? I'm not sure what that question means. The world relies heavily on oil, which costs us a lot of money.

There are enormous economic incentives for anyone who can to create "alternative fuel sources" to replace it. So far, nothing has appeared on the scene except perhaps for nuclear, which the anti-oil people also reject. I take this to mean that we remain stuck drilling for oil for now.

The Gulf disaster doesn't tell us anything new about this dependency. We already knew we were dependent. Perhaps the billions it will cost BP might tip the economic scales a bit, but billions and billions in investment and potential profits haven't produced the magic alternative yet, and I doubt that this will either. But I'm no engineer or scientist.

There is always going back to pre-industrial living.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 1, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"no one here has any real knowledge or expertise qualifying them to do more than speculate, except perhaps for Bilgeman, who does have some knowledge."

The very same Bilgeman who has assured us the "the tides" will flush all the oil out of the LA marshes? And he knows that because ... Rush Limbaugh said so? Here's the thing, QB. Solving problems is hard even when people are acting in good faith. When people like you and FOX News care nothing about the truth and are only intent upon propagandizing, solving problems becomes impossible. If -- that is -- we are fools enough to listen to you.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 1, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@wb - Yes, I saw that piece by D. But I was getting too angry about that time to dare typing any longer.

@ABC - I think so too. A benefit here for Cheney is that she stands in stark contrast to Palin re intelligence/knowledge/credibility. Palin makes others look like thoughtful geniuses, even your garden variety spoiled kid sadist.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 1, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

wb,

You are in no position to talk about people not caring for the truth and practicing propoganda. Just look at your comments on recent threads. Like this one:

"Dick Cheney should be put in prison for treason."

Yeah, you are some serious and nuanced thinker.

Bilgeman as I understand it actually works in oil drilling and thus indeed has some reelvant knowledge, while you and the rest of the keyboard geniuses here know what you here on MSNBC or read on TPM.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 1, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

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