We are all Ed Henry now…

I am seriously worried for the United States. I’m beginning to think that the predictive qualities of Idiocracy will outstrip Nostradamus, the Bible and the Mayans.

Look, I know that we face many difficult challenges. A lot of things have gone wrong and more will go wrong. This is to be expected because Republicans have been in charge for most of the last four decades.

Do you really think that you could have Anti-Government Republicans in charge for 30 plus years and actively working to destroy the infrastructure of government without causing system failures? If you do, then you are living in candy land (or a tea infused lotus dream).

The oil spill in the gulf is is just another result of snorting deregulation fairy dust with a Markets-Are-God hi-ball chaser night after night for decades. When you let industry capture regulators and dismantle effective governance, you guarantee a catastrophic failure. The spill is evidence of this, so was that mining disaster in West Virginia, same thing when it comes to that financial meltdown and the same thing will be true when the next system fails.

And when it does, like idiots, we will not blame the failed philosophy of the modern Conservative movement. Nope, we will blame President Obama, liberals and Democrats–because that is what we are used to doing. More than that, we will ignore facts and worry whether or not the optics of the response are right. We will all ask: is we yelling loud enough yet?

We are all Ed Henry now.

Who is Ed Henry? Oh, he is one of the biggest numbnuts in the Washington press corps. He works for CNN (which may help explain why the network is useless as a source of news). Back in March of 2009 President Obama held a press conference and Henry asked the predictable dumb question about why Obama wasn’t sufficiently outraged about the issue of the day. Henry’s smackdown by Obama was delightful:

ED HENRY: On AIG, why did you wait — why did you wait days to come out and express that outrage? It seems like the action is coming out of New York and the Attorney General’s Office. It took you days to come public with Secretary Geithner and say, look, we’re outraged. Why did it take so long?

THE PRESIDENT: It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak, you know? (Laughter.)

I am still fine with a President that seeks to work in the reality base world and one that seeks to understand complex situations before sprouting off. I know this will disappoint those who think we can send frogmen a mile below the surface of the ocean to seal the leak with Popeye-like ingenuity and cartoon magic. I also know that this lack of Cross-Fire urgency and hyperbole from President Obama has given Mr. Matlin (and many of his DC beltway pals) the vapors. Poor babies and poor us because these wankers are framing the debate.

I listen to the things these so-called “smart” pundit people say and I am amazed. Hypocrisy, spin, bullshit and deep magical thinking are all that is offered–and of course people buy into it.

Without the spill, does anybody think that the effort to reform the way the oil industry was regulated would have gotten any support? I don’t think so, but now everybody seems to think that in hindsight it should have been job one. At the very least they think that Obama should live down to their idea about what an angry negro President should look like.

Dumbfuckinstan. We are living in Dumbfuckinstan and we are all Ed Henry now.

I’m sure this is what the founding fathers had in mind.

Cheers

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44 replies
  1. 1
    Cat Lady says:

    gr33n ball00ns

  2. 2
    Dannie22 says:

    Thank you for writing that Dennis.

  3. 3
    daveNYC says:

    I’m beginning to think that the predictive qualities of Idiocracy will outstrip Nostradamus, the Bible and the Mayans.

    Damning with faint praise.

  4. 4
    Royce says:

    I agree, thanks Dennis.

  5. 5
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Anyway, I don’t wanna sound like a dick or nothing, but I looked at Obama’s charts and it seems like he’s fucked up, he talks like a fag, and his shit may be retarded.

    That’s OK though. My first wife was retarded and she’s a pilot, or something.

  6. 6
    Violet says:

    Without the spill, does anybody think that the effort to reform the way the oil industry was regulated would have gotten any support? I don’t think so, but now everybody seems to think that in hindsight it should have been job one.

    No, but to be fair it seems like regulations frequently are in the ‘closing the barn door after the horse has gone’ category. People don’t like regulations that are going to increase costs, make something harder to get, lower profits, etc. when the risk in just keeping on doing what we’ve always done isn’t seen to be very large. It takes some big disaster to get people to recognize risk.

    There were people screaming about the housing bubble, the banking industry and Madoff and his Ponzi scheme, but no one paid any attention. Things were just too good. People didn’t want to hear about it.

    I think it’s just human nature. Even Adam and Eve didn’t listen to the warning.

  7. 7
    Dennis G. says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    You have have the mad skills to run for Congress. Give Michael Steele a call and he will hook you up.

    He may even let you stand on the tracks with him. That would be sweet.

    Cheers

  8. 8
    eastriver says:

    Obama isn’t a liberal. As has been pointed out, and proven. His corporatist response over-proves this.

    Salud y amor y tiempo para disfrutarlo

  9. 9
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Violet:

    Even Adam and Eve didn’t listen to the warning.

    At a press conference the day after ‘AppleGate’, the couple proceded to lay the blame for the scandal at the feet of a talking snake and the liberal media. Calls the the Office of the Almighty were not returned.

  10. 10
    Strawmanmuuny says:

    Once again, the very people that mocked Obama backers with their “Messiah” BS (unfairly, I might add) are now the ones that complain the most when he can’t just snap his fingers and make everything better.

    There are some many strawmen running around in the MSM that it’s like it’s a Scarecrow on every channel.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Dennis G.:

    You have have the mad skills to run for Congress

    I am contemplating a run for the House of Representin’ as we speak.

  13. 13
    Nick says:

    Like we say often in our industry;

    It is irresponsible not to speculate.

  14. 14
    RalfW says:

    This blog is one of the few things out there that helps me know that I am not insane. My nation, yes, its full up with crazy.

    A country crammed full of unendurably childish twaddle needs these doses of juice!

  15. 15
    West of the Cascades says:

    Dennis illustrates what is priceless about this blog: the undaunted, unashamed commitment to being part of the reality-based community and willing to be patient with leaders who can’t wave a fucking magic wand and in a mere 16 months undo 30 years of Reaganism (or its more unsavory spawn in the second Bush administration).

    But patience only goes so far. When the revolution comes, it will be people wearing “Feed” and “Obey” t-shirts lining the Ed Henries and Wall Street bankers up against the wall.

    WotC + 4

  16. 16
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I am glad you are back, dengre. You have stated pretty concisely many of the things I have been thinking. My best friend and I were having an alcoholic beverage the other night, and she said, “You know, I was thinking today about how much stuff Obama has accomplished in 18 months.” We talked about how he’s done pretty much what he’s said he’s done, and he’s dealing with eight years of truly horrific fuckups that W. and his cronies left behind. It would be comforting to think that everything can be fixed in under a year, but the cold hard facts are, we are going to be in the middle of this shit for many more years to come. Pessimism? No. Reality. Obama got healthcare passed. No Dem president has done that. Obama got banking regulation through. He is working to repeal DADT. And, let’s not forget who gave us DADT and who had healthcare as his biggest platform issue. I know all the qualifiers people want to add to above statements. That’s their prerogative, of course, but it disheartens me to have people on the left say that Obama is as bad if not worse than W., that he’s not a true liberal, that he’s sold out.

    I am NOT an Obot. I disagree with the initial way he handled the repeal of DADT (not because I thought he should have signed an EO), and I am not at all happy about the way the war crimes have been handled, but let’s not forget just how badly W. fucked things up, and he had eight years in which to do it. I appreciate posts in which people ask questions such as why media has had their access restricted to the BP Spill Zone and as to the wisdom of Obama recently coming out in approval of more off-shore drilling, but I am weary of the ‘he’s the most evil/incompetent/inept/horrible president ever’…from the left!

  17. 17
    Uloborus says:

    @asiangrrlMN:
    Yeah, that’s kind of the big theme of this blog lately – shelter from the ‘Waaaugh, he’s not liberal enough!’ crowd. I’ve dropped several blogs I used to like because of it.

    I don’t think he’s terribly liberal. I think he’s a moderate, but he’s able to *accomplish* things that are on the liberal side of his moderate stance, like reforming health care.

    But then we get the above ‘He’s proved he’s a corporate shill with his response!’ and I’m like ‘Uh… what now?’ and I feel like our side has wandered off the tracks of sanity too.

    I’m not even convinced he didn’t act fast enough beforehand to reform MMS. In hindsight we can say that, but I’m going to guess that with an entire government full of Bush’s garbage to clean up, he figured the reformation process he put into place would take effect *before* something like this happened. I doubt that even he knew just how godawfully badly safety procedures were being followed. Now that he knows, he’s banned more until the reformation is done. Under the understanding that he has no psychic ability to predict the future or solve every single problem simultaneously, I’m willing to cut him some slack.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    But patience only goes so far. When the revolution comes, it will be people wearing “Feed” and “Obey” t-shirts lining the Ed Henries and Wall Street bankers up against the wall.

    You are out of your danged mind. This is so demonstrably offbase as to be…way offbase.

  19. 19
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Corner Stone: Stop harshing the long-weekend mellow, dude. I know it’s your favorite sport, but the rest of us deserve a respite occasionally, too. Also.

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anne Laurie: Sigh.

  21. 21
    tonyatlas says:

    Where’s President Camacho when you need him.

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

  22. 22
    deadrody says:

    Ah, nothing says “deregulation” like banning drilling in ANWR and about 85% of the coast of the US and therefore forcing BP into mile deep water where they would make the deepest drill in the history of the industry.

    In much the same way grounding all domestic flights would be considered “deregulation” of the airlines.

    The only thing I can think of that is worse than “anti-government Republicans” is “pro-government liberals”.

  23. 23
    slapperina says:

    This disaster is the direct result of the deregulation and general incompetence of the last administration. The shut-off valve obviously wasn’t tested. If government regulators had been holding BP’s feet to the fire, we wouldn’t be in the middle of this ongoing tragedy. Period.

  24. 24
    TenguPhule says:

    Ah, nothing says “deregulation” like banning drilling in ANWR and about 85% of the coast of the US and therefore forcing BP into mile deep water where they would make the deepest drill in the history of the industry.

    Did you miss the bit where BP fucked up piping in Alaska too? Nothing says Teabagger stupid like not getting that BP will fuck up whenever and wherever they are, mile deep or not.

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    @deadrody:

    Ah, nothing says “deregulation” like banning drilling in ANWR and about 85% of the coast of the US and therefore forcing BP into mile deep water where they would make the deepest drill in the history of the industry.

    Poor, innocent BP. The government just forced them to rush production of the well and go against the advice of their own engineers.

    I cry an emo tear for them. What miracles could they have wrought even closer to shore? Something like this, perhaps?

    The best part is, it’s still leaking 40 years later. Thank you, oil industry! How could we ever have thought it was a good idea to put restrictions on you when you’re delivering free crude oil to our very beaches?

  26. 26
    peanut says:

    oh yea things are great on the fstan farm..lets not forget the bridge that collapsed in Minnesota, or the cat food that killed our cats…love that deregulation.

  27. 27
    Matthew Reid Krell says:

    an angry negro President

    I am tired of these motherfucking oil plumes in my motherfucking Gulf!

  28. 28
    gocart mozart says:

    If last year Obama had called for a moratorium on all offshore drilling and a bottom up review of all offshore drilling safety standards, by how many votes would he have fallen short of a Republican filibuster?

    Bonus question: If he had fired all or most of the MMS employees last year, how many republicans would have called for impeachment?

  29. 29
    gocart mozart says:

    How’s that “Drill Baby Drill” thingy workin’ out for ya Sarah?

  30. 30
    PaulW says:

    @gocart mozart:

    Bonus question: If he had fired all or most of the MMS employees last year, how many republicans would have called for impeachment?

    This is the thing that the MSM so blindly ignores… mostly because they would have been – and still are – a major part of the problem. Even if Obama was in any position to act faster to take control of the BP Oil Spill disaster response, it would have meant at some point seizing control of BP itself. And considering we’ve been through almost 2 years of the Teabagger Wingnut Bullsh-t about Obama and the Democrats being goddamn SOCIALISTS ZOMG, the Teabaggers and the MSM (except for MSNBC and Comedy Central) would have all jumped up and screamed “AHA HE IS A SOCIALIST ZOMG HE’S TAKING OVER OUR SACRED OIL CORPORATIONS IMPEACH HIM NOW IMPEACH IMPEACH IMPEACH!”
    So we are screwed no matter what.

  31. 31
    PaulW says:

    @gocart mozart:

    How’s that “Drill Baby Drill” thingy workin’ out for ya Sarah?

    It’s workin’ out great for her: she’s still campaigning on that platform.

    Sarah Palin has a script and is sticking to it (because any time she goes off the script she’s more horrifying than ever). Sarah Palin would stick to a script of “Eat More Beef!” even after a Mad Cow Disease outbreak turns most of the country into Zombies.

  32. 32
    Honus says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Historically, Obma’s firs 18 months have been extremely successful. Most presidents for the past 60 years have had disastrous first years.
    Robert Kennedy famously called 1961 “…a very mean year.” Reagan’s popularity in 1982 had sagged badly he had to raise taxes. And GW Bush’s first 12 months included losing the republican majority in the senate by heavy handedly insulting Jim Jeffords, and of course, being asleep at the switch and allowing the worst terrorist attack in the country’s history. By comparison, Obama’s early tenure had been a resounding success.
    As Ulobrus and GoCart point out, the BP spill can hardly be laid at Obama’s feet. To suggest as much defies political reality. There is no way serious reforms on existing offshore wells would have gotten through Congress.

  33. 33
    Dennis G. says:

    @gocart mozart:

    Exactly.

  34. 34
    Neutron Flux says:

    @Nick: IIRC, you predicted this response by the MSM.

    Well done.

    As time unfolds you look more and more correct, unfortunately.

  35. 35
    Mumphrey says:

    @Matthew Reid Krell:

    Yes, yes, that’s what we need! Why doesn’t Obama get that? Why are we stuck with this dead fish president? If Obama would only go on television and scream and rant and say “motherfucker” a lot, everything liberals hold dear would come to be.

    I can’t really believe sometimes that we’re now a country where our press thinks that whether Obama shows us that he really feels angry or sad or however they think he should feel means more than what he does. It never seems to dawn on these idiots that not everybody is the same. Some people are reserved. They don’t show their feelings in public much; doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings, only that they keep them more to themselves. And, either way, what the hell? I didn’t vote for Obama because I thought he’d cry on cue, I voted for him to clean up the mess the Republicans made. I don’t really care how he feels about shit, I care what he does.

    Then again, these are the same geniuses who thought Bush was the greatest thing ever since he was so authentic. David Broder wrote a piece of trash in 2007 saying Bush was on the verge of a big comeback, for Lord’s sake. These are the most worthless idiots ever…

  36. 36
    Mumphrey says:

    @Mumphrey:

    I have no clue why each paragraph in the last thing I wrote is one one line, by the way…

  37. 37
    debbie says:

    I am weary of the ‘he’s the most evil/incompetent/inept/horrible president ever’…from the left!

    I know! I’ve got friends who now insist that because Obama didn’t demand a single payer option, they’ll vote Republican next time. Like that’ll help. It seems to me that if Obama acts as they’d like, then he’ll just be the mirror-image of Bush, and any view of the Devil is still just another view of the Devil.

    I must admit, I did send him an e-mail over the weekend, asking him to please stop trying to find a happy middle-ground and speak up for what it is he believes in. I would like him to say that BP’s attitude is criminal and we must legislate to see that this kind of thing never happens again. I’d also like him to point out very clearly just what a disaster the legacy of Ronald Reagan has been for this country.

    I don’t want him to start issuing edicts, but I would like Obama to remind the country that he embodies some very worthy principles.

  38. 38
    Wilson Heath says:

    Palin is mentioned above, and she is a rational response to the media disconnect. The press understands good campaigning. It doesn’t understand good governance. So why bother to govern?

    Mr. Matlin, whose spawning grounds are now covered in crude, is one of the campaigning schmucks who pretends to understand governance, but no one who gets governance gets a pundit spot. Why not? Not as easy to call the winners and the losers in governance. And much easier to claim credit in campaigning for just recognizing a winner in advance.

  39. 39
    tatere says:

    And when it does, like idiots, we will not blame the failed philosophy of the modern Conservative movement. Nope, we will blame President Obama, liberals and Democrats—because that is what we are used to doing.

    and because – just possibly – we voted for them in order to turn away from that philosophy, not just pursue it more intelligently. crazy, i know.

    “The Department of the Interior desperately needs a strong, forward looking, reform-minded Secretary,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity. “Unfortunately, Ken Salazar is not that man. He endorsed George Bush’s selection of Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior, the very woman who initiated and encouraged the scandals that have rocked the Department of the Interior. Virtually all of the misdeeds described in yesterday’s Inspector General expose occurred during the tenure of the person Ken Salazar advocated for the position he is now seeking.”

    ClimateScienceWatch, December, 2008 (just sayin)

    when you say

    Without the spill, does anybody think that the effort to reform the way the oil industry was regulated would have gotten any support?

    support from who? whose support would have been required? i wouldn’t think any legislation would be involved but i could be wrong, and i can see that would be a problem. (though it’s still a problem with the spill, hi Mary, so in a way it doesn’t matter.)

  40. 40
    AxelFoley says:

    @eastriver:

    His corporatist response over-proves this.

    You post at DKos, don’t you?

  41. 41
    Hugh says:

    You hopelessly cool kids.

  42. 42
    Kathy Cooper says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    So funny!!

    Government ( any government) is not proactive but reactive. When a politician makes a proactive move, watch out. There’s a plan afoot and it’s not gonna’ be in your best interest.

  43. 43
    peej says:

    I guess it is always easiest to play the “Blame Game!” Holding politicians accountable would be best, however, because our country is so split politically, it will be impossible!

  44. 44
    John Bird says:

    Wait, when were we supposed to abandon our support for guaranteed health care again? Last I checked, that was a basic human right.

    You can support the good and helpful parts of the health care bill without using weasel words like “he passed healthcare” to cover up the lack of universal health care in the U.S. You can agree that some needed reforms were passed without accepting the argument that the Democrats did all they could to guarantee the basic right underlying them.

    If you instead just chalk it up in the victory column and then go about your merry way, you’re part of the problem.

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