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Weekend Open Thread

So what's happening? Who won the dawn?

By Greg Sargent  |  July 31, 2010; 10:20 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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House votes to end offshore drilling moratorium

(Reuters) - The House of Representatives on Friday voted to end the federal moratorium on deepwater drilling for oil companies that meet new federal safety requirements.

The proposal to end the moratorium was an amendment to a pending energy bill the House was poised to vote on.

The moratorium will not end unless the Senate also votes to terminate it and President Barack Obama signs the legislation into law. The fate of the proposal in the Senate is uncertain.

The Obama administration imposed the six-month moratorium on exploratory drilling in waters more than 500 feet deep in response to the BP oil spill. The moratorium runs through the end of November.

"An indiscriminate blanket moratorium punishes the innocent along with the guilty for the actions of the poor judgment of one reckless company," said Rep. Charlie Melancon, a Louisiana Democrat who co-sponsored the amendment.

"If a rig meets all the tough new safety requirements issued by the Department of Interior, if it has been fully inspected and deemed safe, why should it sit idle? And the workers of that rig, why should they go jobless until the arbitrary six-month period is over?" he said.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 31, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Greg, if you talk to Ezra, tell him for me he totally carried water for Peterson yesterday. He's going to be on the wrong side of this debate it looks like. I wonder if he read the comments.

Now I'm out for the day.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 31, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

A Modest Proposal:

Since we have now learned what it takes to actually plug a deep water oil spill;

Each new well being drilled should be required to drill double relief lines; at the same time as they are drilling the main well line. We have seen how long it takes to drill those relief lines, in order to seal of the well, after a spill occurs; so we must now require that those relief lines be already drilled; before the main well line drilling is completed.

Also; each platform must have one of those caps, that appears to be working; stored at a site that will allow it to be installed within a day or two after a spill starts.

Make those firm requirements that must be met, before any new deep water drilling is approved of.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 31, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Liam, I agree that relief wells should be drilled simultaneously, and it's what most other countries who allow deep water drilling already require. We are behind the rest of the world in drilling safely.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 31, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

This might be something that will stir up a storm in a TeaBagger's Cup; or it might come to nothing.

"Obama Administration Considers Bypassing Congress on Immigration Reform"

" The Obama administration, anticipating that Congress might not pass comprehensive immigration reform this year, is considering ways it could act without congressional approval to achieve many of the objectives of the initiative, including giving permanent resident status, or green cards, to large numbers of people in the country illegally.

The ideas were outlined in an unusually frank draft memo [1] prepared for Alejandro N. Mayorkas, director of the federal agency that handles immigration benefits, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). The memo lists ways the government could grant permanent resident status to tens of thousands of people and delay the deportation of others, potentially indefinitely.

"In the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, CIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations," said the memo, which was prepared by four senior officials from different branches of USCIS.

The 11-page document was made public Thursday by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who with six other senators wrote to Obama [2] more than a month ago, asking for his assurance that rumors that some sort of reprieve was in the works for millions of illegal immigrants weren't true.

"The administration has failed to reassure us that the information we were hearing was inaccurate," Grassley said in a statement to ProPublica Thursday night. "This memo gives credence to our concerns that the administration will go to great lengths to circumvent Congress and unilaterally execute a back door amnesty plan.""


Posted by: Liam-still | July 31, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Liam, Grassley and the rest of the GOBP had no problem with the Unitary Executive idea just a couple of years ago. IOKIYAR.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 31, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

What is up with Dana Milbank lately? More of this, please.

Glenn Beck and the Oakland shooter
By Dana Milbank
Sunday, August 1, 2010

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 31, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse


From that column:

"Beck has at times spoken against violence, but he more often forecasts it, warning that "it is only a matter of time before an actual crazy person really does something stupid.""

That reads like Beck is providing a diagnosis of his own mental health status.

He is the crazy person on camera.

How many of Beck's dimwitted Christian viewers know that Beck became a Mormon? Not many, I would wager, and he appears to try and pass as Christian, so that his Far Right Wing Christian viewers will not abandon him.

He chose to become a Mormon, but he is acting like he is ashamed of being one.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 31, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

lms, what did Ezra do?

Missed that, and not sure what your link points out about it.


Posted by: BGinCHI | July 31, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"We are behind the rest of the world in drilling safely. "

But in profits for executive of drilling companies, WE'RE NUMBER 1! And that's all that really matters right? Screw the rest of us and the environment.

Posted by: SDJeff | July 31, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Broken Oil pipe line in Michigan could harm Lake Michigan waters.

City of Chicago and surrounding suburbs get their drinking water from the lake, as does Milwaukee, etc;

If you read the comments from the operators of the broken pipe line; it reads just like the very same BS that BP kept tossing out to the media.

A modest proposal: Why not drag those two Drill Baby Banshees, Bachmann and Palin, to the spill site, and dunk their big hair heads into the spill to help mop it up.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 31, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

This should prove to be very interesting:

If you have some time to killlater on, check in on TPM. They will be providing updates; with video clips, from the scene;

"Andrew Breitbart, the man who helped get Shirley Sherrod fired from the Department of Agriculture, will be among the voices tea party leaders rely on to reach out to minorities at a special rally in Philadelphia today. "Uni-Tea" kicks off this afternoon with speeches from several prominent African American conservatives as well as the trouble-making founder of and BigGovernment."

Posted by: Liam-still | July 31, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Chelsea won the dawn and wins the day. Enjoy the weekend.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | July 31, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

This morning I had occasion to visit upon one of my old teacher’s planbooks from way back when. My classes were spending a wonderfully educational, entertaining week on pirates. One of my favorite – how ironic, now – portraits is the classic by artist, Howard Pyle, entitled “Marooned.” Legend (and history) shares that a pirate who was disgraced might well be ‘marooned’ on a small treeless atoll or spit of sand that would disappear with the tide. He was given water for one day and a pistol, with enough powder and lead to take his own life. Burn up with equatorial sun or chance sharks for a swim of who-knows-how-many sea miles to civilization. Or….as expected (you would think), he would accept the inevitable and blow his brains out. But pirates were loathe to take their own lives. It brought even more sin in the afterlife and cursed his entire family, past, present, and future. What was a pirate to do? All options were fatal and torturous to one’s soul.

I found Pyle’s masterpiece (Google it) and it brought back memories of teaching and the kids. But it also smacked me hard to look at it now and realize that my government has marooned me. But, mine was no disgrace. Forty-plus years of work, all taxes paid. 99 weeks of unemployment benefits is 1/22 of my career in the private and public workplaces. So as I head to SS in a few years, 4.5% of my labors were “returned” to me. If my country was a baseball player, it’s batting average is .045.
I’m sure with all the enterprising and talented cartoonists there are in America someone will (if they haven’t already) draw a cartoon based on Pyle’s theme as the 99ers are left marooned while the ship sails away over the horizon.

Posted by: kickoradell | July 31, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

So, taking the day off to attend Chelsea's wedding?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 31, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"So, taking the day off to attend Chelsea's wedding?"

I was hoping to park the cars or maybe move the chairs after they eat but no one called me. I know how Obama feels now for not being asked to this historic event...

I thought me and Bill was closer than that. The first black president forgot us brotha's...

Posted by: soapm | July 31, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting to me that the Sen. Ensign scandal has received almost no coverage over the last several months. It's full of hush money and sex -- all the goodies that usually would put the media into a frenzy.

Now, and I may just be giving Democrats too much credit here, but I wonder if they are daring Republicans to go over Rangel and/or Waters.

Imagine the optics. Republicans (who want to actually win elections) are very sensitive to being, fairly or not, perceived as having any racial bias. Republicans attacking two black politicians, again fairly or not, can look bad especially if some right-wing candidate says something racially insensitive.

Now, along with that now you have Democrats attacking Ensign for his scandal, running ads, etc. Rangel's and Water's "scandal" are boring compared to Ensign's. Hell, the recent news that another sitting Senator turned over emails related to the investigation. That's good stuff.

I hope the Democrats are daring the Republicans to attack and aren't going to let a potential opportunity slip away.

Posted by: Quick2822 | July 31, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Medicare - mentum.

The RNC "we love Medicare" announcement yesterday would have been funny if their rank hypocrisy didn't have such serious consequences.

Posted by: michael_conrad | July 31, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

"I hope the Democrats are daring the Republicans to attack and aren't going to let a potential opportunity slip away."

You haven't been watching Fox, there is a full frontal attack on the two Democrats.

Posted by: soapm | August 1, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

This should prove to be very interesting:

If you have some time to kill later on, check in on TPM. They will be providing updates; with video clips, from the scene;

"Andrew Breitbart, the man who helped get Shirley Sherrod fired from the Department of Agriculture, will be among the voices tea party leaders rely on to reach out to minorities at a special rally in Philadelphia today. "Uni-Tea" kicks off this afternoon with speeches from several prominent African American conservatives as well as the trouble-making founder of and BigGovernment."

Posted by: Liam-still | July 31, 2010 1:14 PM |

Update posted on TPM

It turned out to be a complete attendance dud. Not only did few minorities attend the event, very few white Teabaggers attended also.

Gee; could it be; that all that talk about the event being held to attract people of color, scared off a lot of white teabaggers? Hmmmm!

Posted by: Liam-still | August 1, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Re: Glenn Beck and the attempted attack on the Tides Foundation: let's not focus solely on Beck.

Beck does what he does because Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch pay him millions of dollars per year to do so.

They have no shame.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 1, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm up and looking at the news finally. Looks like there was quite a bit of contrast on the Sunday morning shows earlier.

"In an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Greenspan expressed his disagreement with the conservative argument that tax cuts essentially pay for themselves by generating revenue and productivity among recipients.

"They do not," said Greenspan."

But according to the smartest person in the world he's wrong about that.

"Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Palin criticized the Obama administration's plan to let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year.

"[Obama's] commitment to let previous tax cuts expire are going to lead to even fewer job opportunities for Americans," Palin said. "It's idiotic to think about increasing taxes at a time like this."

Posted by: lmsinca | August 1, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

FOX LOST OUT ON GETTING HELEN THOMAS' SEAT IN THE PRESS BREIFING ROOM. WHILE THEY STILL MOVED UP TO THE FIRST ROW, IT WAS ONLY BECAUE THE AP GOT THAT SEAT AND FOX MOVED UP. HA HA HA! I know it's childish but, I don't care. I think that Breitbart and fox's cozy relationship to him made it impossible for them to get that seat.

Posted by: roxsteady | August 1, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Let the games begin!

"Target Faces Backlash For Supporting Tom Emmer In Post-Citizens United World"

The Citizens United case opened the door for corporations to directly spend big money on political campaigns -- and now the Target company is finding that actually doing so is posing a risk in its home state of Minnesota, where the company is supporting Republican Tom Emmer for governor and facing a backlash from the LGBT community.

Target donated $150,000 to a group called MN Forward, a pro-business group backed by the state Chamber of Commerce, and which is actively supporting the very conservative Emmer. As a result, they've come under fire from gay rights organizations, due to Emmer's support for a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and his close associations with the religious right.

"This is inconsistent with their values to support the only candidate for governor who stands up for discrimination and divisiveness in Minnesota," said Monica Meyer, interim executive director of OutFront Minnesota.

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel has explained that the company's support for Emmer is based purely on economic issues. "Target has a history of supporting organizations and candidates, on both sides of the aisle, who seek to advance policies aligned with our business objectives, such as job creation and economic growth," wrote Steinhafel. "It is also important to note that we rarely endorse all advocated positions of organizations or candidates we support, and we do not have a political or social agenda."

One Minnesota consumer, the pro-gay rights Randi Reitan of Eden Prairie, made a YouTube video of her personal protest. Reitan returned $226.32 worth of items to a Target store, and cut up her store credit card, explaining that she wanted equality for her gay son -- equality which she says Emmer won't support. As of this writing, the video has received over 130,000 views.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 1, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

David Stockman takes the GOP to the woodshed in a NYT op-ed! Just read the whole thing.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 1, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 2, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Last week, I made an argument holding that the modern right had moved towards an extreme and dangerous level of tribalism in worldview and political rhetoric.

A review in the NYT this weekend has provided me with a bit of history which greatly illuminates how this state of affairs has come about in the US.

I'm still in the process of moving (I would rather kiss Rush Limbaugh than move a house) and I'll make this argument more clearly later. But if you are interested in this aspect of the modern right, do read this review. And if you do, please consider how this sort of worldview forwarded meshes with the profit-making goals of military/industrial complex corporations.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 2, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

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