Open Thread

I can’t believe our politics is so fucking stupid that the President has to bow to political pressure and give a big address from the WH about the oil spill. And then we can all wank about whether he was “tough enough on BP” or if he “showed enough emotion” or “took charge” or showed he was “hands on and in control.” None of which stops the fucking leak.

Of course, if anything positive was going to happen, Obama would have to stand up there and say “Those penguins pelicans coated with oil and shrimp that taste like wd-40? You stupid motherfuckers can expect more of that until you stop voting for assholes who oppose alternative energy sources and any move away from fossil fuels. Until then, I hear dental floss works ok removing tarballs from your teeth, you dumbasses. Also, this response IS big government, you teabagging shitheels.”

That would probably be deemed partisan, though. Just shoot me.

And no, I’m not watching.

278 replies
  1. 1
    Paula says:

    Oh god who cares, where’s the whirled cup thread?

    EDIT: Firsties!

    Srsly, though, I’m having a hard time caring about this bit of kabuki. I bet Obeezy could make some inroads with Kim Jong-Il by complimenting Korea DPR’s brave stand-off with Brazil.

  2. 2
    Mike Kay says:

    He’s stabbing the netroots in the back by not listening to Robert Reich’s plan to round up all the Brits and placing them in FEMA detention camps.

  3. 3
    lamh32 says:

    I’m just glad he addressed the stupid Obama’s katrina shit.

    over 1000 people (mostly Afr American) die cause of Bush handling of Katrina, including my grandmother, but yeah this oil spill is soo like that. I would love someone to poll the ACTUAL katrina residents and victims, the majority of which was Afr American, I bet the poll results would be way different.

    But who cares right, Afr Americans are O-bots anyway, so their opinions don’t really amount to much.

    BTW, it’s Louisiana, and Dems keep voting for conservaDem Mary Landrieu, so there is nothing so shocking about this pol.

  4. 4
    Comrade Tank Hueco says:

    Because our press class and a good portion of the electorate don’t want a president but a pharaoh. “So let it be written. So let it be done.”

  5. 5
    Mike Kay says:

    Did Obama go tooo far?

    Did Obama go faar enough?

  6. 6
    demkat620 says:

    I predict Tony Hayward crying on Oprah’s couch next week.

  7. 7
    Mike Kay says:

    This is Obama’s Genifier Flowers moment!

  8. 8
    Davis X. Machina says:

    If he’s sold out to the oil companies and the health insurance companies, and the too-big-to-fail banks, hasn’t he sold more than 100% of himself? If I remember The Producers right, that can cause some problems.

    The way I figure it, he’d better be a one-termer. A long run is the last thing he needs — when Springtime for Hitler turned out to be a hit, Bialystock & Bloom wound up in jail.

  9. 9
    demkat620 says:

    How much you want to bet the GOP response is “He wants too much, too fast. We need to slow down”

  10. 10
    stuckinred says:

    They are killin him over at hanoi jane’s/

  11. 11
    Tom says:

    I like your anger

  12. 12
    Seanly says:

    I would enjoy that speech very much. However, since he won’t say anything as refreshing as that, I will continue to watch the Tuesday reruns of Star Trek Next Gen with the wife.

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:

    There are few things more annoying than wrenching your back the day before your birthday.

    I guess doing it ON my birthday would have been worse. At least I was able to rest it last night and can enjoy a mojito with dinner tonight with the help of a handful of Advil.

  14. 14
    Mike Kay says:

    This is Obama’s New Orleans Saints superbowl onside kick moment.

  15. 15
    demkat620 says:

    Very good closer.

  16. 16
    Mike Kay says:

    @stuckinred:

    They are killin him over at hanoi jane’s/

    This is OBama’s Dien Bien Phu moment.

  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The way I figure it, he’d better be a one-termer. A long run is the last thing he needs—when Springtime for Hitler turned out to be a hit, Bialystock & Bloom wound up in jail.

    Well, people have been wondering on what grounds the Republicans would impeach Obama if they got back into power. Selling 10,000% of a musical might count as a high crime and/or misdemeanor. More than a blowjob, anyway.

  18. 18
    Keith G says:

    Whatever the reasons for the speech, the speech itself was not well written. Too many cliches and platitudes. Too predictable, too flat.

  19. 19
    beltane says:

    Don’t most Lousiana residents want more offshore drilling with all the filth it entails? Maybe we should make them happy by sending them our household trash too. Being the nation’s officially designated landfill and toxic waste dump would make these people jump for joy.

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    Who else pictured the teabagger head explosion when he used the word “reparations”?

  21. 21

    Personally I thought it was an excellent address. But I am an Obot. So whatever.

  22. 22
    robertdsc says:

    He put the wood to the GOP-non regulation regime pretty good, albeit in his own way. I liked that. The blessing of the fleet was nice.

  23. 23
    Polar Bear Squares says:

    And he should end it by saying, “Getcho hand out my pocket!”

    Too militant?

  24. 24
    Mike Kay says:

    @stuckinred: if she had been born a few years earlier, she would been a charter member of the SLA.

  25. 25
    slag says:

    Those penguins coated with oil and shrimp that taste like wd-40? You stupid motherfuckers can expect more of that until you stop voting for assholes who oppose alternative energy sources and any move away from fossil fuels. Until then, I hear dental floss works ok removing tarballs from your teeth, you dumbasses. Also, this response IS big government, you teabagging shitheels.

    That would be nice. Instead, however, I’m watching black Mr. Rogers rambling something to me about praying for stuff. To which I can only respond: Ummm….OK? WTF was that?

  26. 26
    beltane says:

    @Keith G: He should have brought Lady Gaga in to liven things up a bit. Some background singers might have been enough to do the trick.

  27. 27
    demkat620 says:

    God I hate Tweety.

    Told you he should have had the kleenex.

  28. 28
    Harry Kawasaki says:

    Jesus Christ, there is such a thing as a vuvuzela app.

  29. 29
    mr. whipple says:

    Obama failed, like he always does.

  30. 30
    stuckinred says:

    @Mike Kay: Mizz Moon.

  31. 31
    Anachronym says:

    Missing from the speech: Nuclear power.

    In 20 years it could completely eliminate fossil fuels.

    We need to get over our fear of nuclear energy.

  32. 32
    demkat620 says:

    Oh god, first he doesn’t cry enough, not he wasn’t war preznit enough. Do these people have a clue?

  33. 33
    Josh says:

    It definitely wasn’t President Obama at his best, but I am glad he called for a new push into clean energy.

  34. 34
    CaseyL says:

    This is one time I’m glad to hear the analysis, in the desperate hope they heard something I didn’t.

    But… no; Olbermann and Fineman are just as disappointed as I am.

    “I don’t think he aimed low; I don’t think he aimed at all.”

    Yes. This. Exactly.

  35. 35
    LD50 says:

    “Those penguins coated with oil and shrimp that taste like wd-40?

    Penguins??

  36. 36
    Mike Kay says:

    @slag:

    Instead, however, I’m watching black Mr. Rogers

    He’s more brown than black. I mean, he’s not midnight black like alan keyes, he more rich carmel brown sugar brown.

  37. 37

    @Anachronym:

    What you said. Twice.

  38. 38
    slag says:

    @mr. whipple: Not true. He’s usually good at stuff like this. Today? Not so much. But then, I’m probably not his intended audience. Not sure who is, though.

  39. 39
    Josh says:

    @CaseyL:

    If I was President Obama, I’d be too pissed off that I had to deliver an address like that in response to the three-ring circus that is our media/political system to aim anything other than my foot up someone’s ass.

    But…you know, President Obama can’t do that or he breaks some stupid narrative and hurts everyone’s fee-fees.

  40. 40
    Biscuits says:

    Righteous rant Mr. Cole.

  41. 41
    Violet says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:
    Yeah, me too. But I’m an Obot, also, too.

  42. 42
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Those penguins coated with oil </

    OMG, now we're polluting Anartica?!

  43. 43
    stuckinred says:

    It’s really fucking important to have a discussion about what shade Obama is.

  44. 44
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Blockquote AND spelling fail. Sigh.

  45. 45
    Jeffro says:

    Maybe the transcript will be inspirational?

    Maybe not.

  46. 46
    thejoz says:

    John you didn’t miss shit.

    That was the shortest, most contrite, broad-strokey bunch of crap I’ve heard from him.

    I expected something better than that.

    Olbermann and Matthews are ready to crucify him. I’m not quite that mad, but good Lord that was…pretty pathetic, really.

    From the Oval Fucking Office too of all places.

    Only thing missing was the “Mission Accomplished” banner.

  47. 47
    Violet says:

    Does the Federal Government have a special website where they outline what’s being done about the oil disaster? Seems like that might be useful.

  48. 48
    lamh32 says:

    @CaseyL:

    Olbermann tweeted right b4 the speech began that the speech was disappointing and not enough. So shock of all shocks, Olbermann, Tweety, and Fineman all agree, it was disappointing.

    Let’s be real here, if you have problems with the handling, this speech was gonna be enough for you anyway. This speech was obviously not for you then. Keith O, Tweety, and Fineman have already been on record as being disappointed in Obama’s response. So fresh eyes ain’t what these guys had.

    Is it too much to expect them to at least acknowledge their bias?

  49. 49
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @CaseyL: Keith Olbermann AND Howard Fineman disappointed? No way! Did Jonathan Turley find it “disturbing”?

  50. 50
    Mike Kay says:

    Seriously, I was SHOCKED when he announced a federal bailout of the Lakers.

  51. 51

    Obama would have to stand up there and say “Those penguins coated with oil and shrimp that taste like wd-40? You stupid motherfuckers can expect more of that until you stop voting for assholes who oppose alternative energy sources and any move away from fossil fuels.

    I think he pretty much said this, though much nicer of course. We are idiots, well enough of us are to run our national train off a cliff. We don’t need a 6 month moratorium on deep water drilling, what we need is an immediate requirement to start drilling relief wells for every single deep water wellhead, and require it for all the new ones.

    This was a righteous rant Obama gave, but I fear it is whistling past the graveyard falling on dead ears. It was good while it lasted, America. Now it’s time to launch the investigations into where Obama was born, and why Joe Biden throws nicer barbecues, so Modo and the Village idiots will not have to shitcan the Mup’s presnitzy for stealing their cookies.

  52. 52
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Or as Dick Gregory used to say … bittersweet chocolate.

  53. 53
    FlipYrWhig says:

    AND Chris Matthews? Oh, no! That’s all the leaders of the large-skulled media lunkhead community!

  54. 54
    Elizabelle says:

    Well I thought Obama did fine.

    Even though on PBS Totebagger David Brooks compared him unfavorably to FDR, who apparently at some point laid out a map and discussed country by country what we were going to do.

    Lessee, Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939; we got bombed by Japanese in December 1941 … FDR had some time to observe and plan, did he not?

    And the spill under discussion happened April 20 (OK, it’s 57 days ago), five thousand feet under the ocean surface?

    Good analogy there, Mr. Brooks.

  55. 55
    mr. whipple says:

    Olbermann and Matthews are ready to crucify him. I’m not quite that mad, but good Lord that was…pretty pathetic, really.

    Olberman, who has been running a daily tab of days since the blowout, like he did with Bush and Iraq, and like Kopple did with Jimmy Carter and the Iranian hostages is…..disappointed?

    Color me shocked.

  56. 56
    mr. whipple says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Did Jonathan Turley find it “disturbing”?

    Turley is very concerned, as usual, and cocking his head concerningly.

  57. 57
    JMY says:

    @mr. whipple:

    LOL, no matter what he (Obama does) no one will be satisfied. What the fuck do they want him to do?

  58. 58
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Violet:

    Yes. Google is your friend here.

    http://www.deepwaterhorizonres.....site/2931/

  59. 59
    Mike Kay says:

    See I told you Obama is worst than Bush.

  60. 60

    What else was Obama to say? It is true we have frittered away decades to develop alternate energy. This shouldn’t be about BP, it was bound to happen sooner or later, if not by them, then some other company. The problem is us as a voting nation, worrying about who’s a soshulist, and how big our flag lapel pins are, and too damn lazy to spend the time figuring out that GWB was full of shit before reelecting him, or ever electing the plutocrat lackey wingnuts into power. And that doesn’t even get into our fruit loop press.

  61. 61
    stuckinred says:

    @JMY: What “they” wanted him to do was make some stupid fucking statement about something that he couldn’t deliver so the crybaby motherfuckers have something else to whine about.

  62. 62
    Josh says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    Communism was only a red herring.

    I miss Tim Curry when he acted to fuel his coke addiction.

  63. 63
    John Cole says:

    I expected something better than that.

    Then you are a moron. Seriously- what did you expect- “AFTER I PLUG THIS BITCH WITH MY MASSIVE KENYAN SCHLONG, WE’LL HAVE SHIT BACK TO NORMAL IN NO TIME.”

    This is an unprecedented disaster and no one fucking knows how to stop it. No speech changes that. And no legislation that can do any amount of good with any of the fallout can get through our teabagging congress.

    Fer fucks sake.

  64. 64
    Elisabeth says:

    @lamh32:

    I was disappointed as well and I am nowhere near where Olbermann and Fineman in this regard. I thought the recitation of the early response was severely lacking and I thought he was flat.

    I did enjoy Obama taking responsibility for MMS and the push for alternative fuels but most of what he said about the boom and the rest doesn’t stand up to the reporting that I’ve seen.

  65. 65
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JMY:

    Kang Obama [running for President]: Abortions Offshore drilling for all! [crowd boos]
    Very well, Abortions Offshore drilling for none! [crowd boos]
    Abortions Offshore drilling for some, miniature American flags for others! [crowd cheers]

  66. 66
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I’m disappointed. I wanted him to say “Property is theft, and the Celtics in six!”

    EPIC FAIL.

  67. 67
    Mike Kay says:

    This wouldn’t be happening if the DemoRATS nominated netroots icon, John Edwards, but noooooooooooooooooooooo!

  68. 68
    Perfect Tommy says:

    @Anachronym: Half of a barrel of oil is used for fuel, the other half goes into every other thing you have in your house. Plastic is made from oil – look around you. How can nuclear energy replace oil?

  69. 69
    stuckinred says:

    @John Cole: That’s what I meant!

  70. 70
    Admiral_Komack says:

    I didn’t watch the speech.
    I guess the media still won’t be happy because the President didn’t emote enough.
    Stupid morons.

  71. 71
    CaseyL says:

    Look, I’m an O-Bot; I love the guy.

    I don’t look to a President to be our Emoter in Chief, and the whole he’s-not-crying-enough bullsh*t pisses me off.

    But this is a major crisis, and it should have been – could have been – a huge call to action. There should have been an announcement of a Manhattan-project type R&D to come up with a concerted, focused conversion to clean energy within a decade. There should have been a warning to Congress to pass energy legislation, or see the Oval Office initiate one on its own. There should have been an absolute ban on offshore drilling. There should have been an announcement that BP will immediately cease banning use of protective gear by the people who are trying to clean up the oil. There should have been more mention of how, exactly, the Gulf Coast will be restored, how long it will take, how much it will cost – and an exhortation that we will do the job. You know, “Pay any price, bear any burden” sort of thing.

    There should absolutely have been an indictment of the GOP and the Blue Dogs for bottling up the energy bill, the cap & trade bill, and also for holding up his appointments and thus preventing the damn government from doing its damn job. There should have been an honest accounting of the utter uselessness of the GOP and Blue Dogs, a calling out of them on national TV.

    I’m not angry he didn’t yell or cry or wave his arms.

    I’m angry he didn’t use the rhetorical gift we know he has, that he didn’t use the moral authority we know he can summon, that he didn’t use the power of the office we know it has, to address this massive, massive desecration.

  72. 72
    JMY says:

    @stuckinred:

    I know, and the sad part is it’s coming from the left. Would they be satisfied if he beat the living shit out of the CEO of BP and mushed his face into some oil? I’m fine with the Oval Office speech, even though I don’t think he should have had to do it, but I’m glad he did. I don’t need him to fucking inspire me with every single speech he gives.

  73. 73
    stuckinred says:

    BP just issued a statement saying they were on board and look forward to meeting with him tomorrow. If anyone thinks this wasn’t all worked out ahead of time. . .well.

  74. 74
    slag says:

    @John Cole: In which case, I would argue that he shouldn’t have done it. There was no significant upside to the speech that he made. So why do it? To give people yet another thing to bitch about?

    Although I will add that I appreciated his recognition that supporting new oil drilling wasn’t such a great idea, in retrospect. That was nice.

  75. 75
    Mark S. says:

    All right, I haven’t watched Olberman in months. What does he think the president should be doing?

  76. 76
    stuckinred says:

    @JMY: I wish I were surprised.

  77. 77
    Josh says:

    @John Cole:

    “AFTER I PLUG THIS BITCH WITH MY MASSIVE KENYAN SCHLONG, WE’LL HAVE SHIT BACK TO NORMAL IN NO TIME.”

    The force is strong with you, Mr. Cole.

    Actually, he did better than I expected, because I was expecting a steaming pile of shit. I knew he wouldn’t really put any time into because it’s bullshit he had to do it in the first place.

    Now I get to watch, with anger, as a bunch of asshole morons whine and bitch and moan that it wasn’t good enough and that Obama isn’t doing anything about this.

    I have to ask myself, are people really this stupid?

    And then I think back to when I was 16, when the country re-elected Bush, and I have my answer.

    Old people are destroying the country!

  78. 78
    SIA says:

    Then you are a moron. Seriously- what did you expect- “AFTER I PLUG THIS BITCH WITH MY MASSIVE KENYAN SCHLONG, WE’LL HAVE SHIT BACK TO NORMAL IN NO TIME.”

    This made my day.

  79. 79
    frankdawg says:

    @lamh32:
    They had the transcript before the speech so they knew how empty it was before he gave it.

    That does not forgive the cheer leading that all these pundits do but lets ding them for their real crimes.

  80. 80
    lamh32 says:

    @Elisabeth:

    Here’s the thing Elisabeth. How often to you read the blog or watch political news and the like? I ask this, because I bet you like alot of people on the blogosphere are political junkies. Ya gotta be if you are frequenting places like BJ and the like. I’m one too, but the rest of my family; who lives in New Orleans, I might add; are not.

    I posted this in the last open thread, but I spoke to my family this weekend, specifically my aunts. Asked them how they felt about the oil spill and the President’s response.
    And you know what, they were, not suprisingly, upset about the spill and the affect on NOLA, but she did not blame President Obama nor did she say the oil spill was just like Katrina all over again.

    This speech was for her and the other people I know who are just gonna watch the address and turn off the commentary afterwards to watch the game or some other show. They are not listening to Olbermann and the like (to be honest, I would bet you they dont’ even know who Olbermann is, they are liable to recognize Bill O and Fox News b4 Tweety or Olbermann actually.

    I didn’t’ have the heart to tell her that based on what I’m reading on the blogosphere, she is obviously misinformed, cause this oil spill is soooo “Obama’s Katrina”.

  81. 81
    kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    They want him to start a civilian conservation corps and send “thousands” of young people to the Gulf, to clean up.

    That’s what pundits want.

    I don’t think that makes any sense. I don’t know where they’re going to be housed, or why you wouldn’t just hire people from the area, or why anyone would take a 12 dollar an hour temp job that requires relocating, but it will “make us feel better”.

    It wouldn’t actually make me feel better, but maybe I’m the odd one out.

    Keith Olberman and Matthews were screaming. Literally. They’re beside themselves with anger.

  82. 82
    mr. whipple says:

    @JMY:

    What the fuck do they want him to do?

    Dive from a helicopter into the water and swim down a mile, plug the leak by ramming his massive member into the pipe while administering CPR to oily dolphins and confiscating BP and all other ownership and forms of energy production and focusing efforts on renewable, sustainable, totally free and cheap harmless fusionable moonbeams of love.

    It would also help if he wept tears of agony and joy while doing so.

  83. 83
    Hiram Taine says:

    @Anachronym:’

    Yep, the electricity will be too cheap to meter..

    Oh.. Wait..

  84. 84
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Seanly:

    Thank you.

    I was doing the same thing (Star Trek: TNG) …and now I’m back.

    My blood pressure thanks you. :-)

  85. 85
    Boston Yankee says:

    Obama cannot say magical words and stop the oil flow. This is either going to end quickly, then I will believe in miracles, or take the rest of the year while two or three relief wells are drilled. Meanwhile, you have a Alabama congressional candidate, talking to GW about overthrowing the government. All because 50 per cent of whites in the South cannot fathom how a black man got to be president.

    This independence from black gold will not be easy to achieve while our beloved Wall St. mavens rake in oil profits from a manipulated energy market. Remember the supposed electric shortage ten years ago, a lot of money was made.

    Getting to the moon was easier then taking on the masters of the universe. The Senate is only looking for stuffed envelopes, not clean air.

  86. 86
    snowbird42 says:

    @Davis X. Machina: who do you have in mind to do the job Obama is doing?

  87. 87
    stuckinred says:

    @Josh: Watch it dawg, when I was 16 LBJ was prez and THOSE old people elected Nixon!

  88. 88
    JMY says:

    Oh and if the actual crisis is not an indictment of the GOP, Blue Dogs, oil drilling, Big Oil, etc. then I don’t know what is. He shouldn’t even have to point things like this out.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @CaseyL:

    Here’s the thing, though: Obama can make that kind of speech right now, but until the leak is plugged and the oil stops flowing, there is approximately zero chance that anyone — Congress, the media, the governments of the affected states — are going to pay attention.

    Until he can finally point to the aftermath and not the continuing crisis, that kind of speech is just useless posturing.

  90. 90
    Wildweasels says:

    @mr. whipple: well, this is cool

  91. 91
    slag says:

    @kay:

    Keith Olberman and Matthews were screaming. Literally. They’re beside themselves with anger.

    I’m just glad nobody listens to them.

  92. 92
    lamh32 says:

    @frankdawg:

    Please see my response to Elisabeth

    @lamh32:

  93. 93
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @CaseyL:

    But this is a major crisis, and it should have been – could have been – a huge call to action. There should have been an announcement of a Manhattan-project type R&D to come up with a concerted, focused conversion to clean energy within a decade. There should have been a warning to Congress to pass energy legislation, or see the Oval Office initiate one on its own. There should have been an absolute ban on offshore drilling. There should have been an announcement that BP will immediately cease banning use of protective gear by the people who are trying to clean up the oil. There should have been more mention of how, exactly, the Gulf Coast will be restored, how long it will take, how much it will cost – and an exhortation that we will do the job. You know, “Pay any price, bear any burden” sort of thing.

    Imagine ~ 10 “centrist”/Blue Dog Democrats saying “The country’s already in debt. How can we pay for it?” All big plans are dead on arrival. If you announce a big project and don’t have the support for it, it turns into Bush talking about sending a manned mission to Mars. I don’t think the Democrats have support for anything dramatic anymore. They’re burned out after health care and financial reform. They’re digging in further. It’s stupid and counter-Keynesian, but that’s where we are. IMHO I think the point is to continue to focus on the leak and to deal with policymaking afterwards, because the ongoing crisis and the ongoing scuffling and the ongoing political mood are not lined up for the (good, necessary) long-term solutions we need.

  94. 94
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @snowbird42: Why KUCINICH!, of course…or Rajon Rondo. Either one, doesn’t matter — would be so cool either way.

    And coolness is the criterion I use to make all my political decisions.

  95. 95
    Violet says:

    @Comrade Jake:
    Thanks for the link. The President should have mentioned the website, then. I haven’t heard a lot of talk about it as a resource, although perhaps I haven’t been paying as close attention as I should. Seems like making sure the American public knows what’s happening and how they can find out that information is important.

  96. 96
    Keith G says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    Actually, General, you have made the point precisely. *That* is what needed to be said, but those ideas can not be expressed in an Oval Office speech.

    We are the problem. And leaders who sell us the wonderful lies about endless American bounty as a birth-right feed the beast. That is what need to be said, again.

    It that moronic?

  97. 97
    Josh says:

    @stuckinred:

    The fun thing about blaming old people is that there is always a ready supply of them.

    I think for the next decade or so I will be able to blame old people for fucking up the country, and then after that I will blame kids for the sad shape of society.

    It’s a natural transition, and I’ll be proud of the day I elected Jenna Bush to be President of the United States of Southern North America.

  98. 98
    Mike Kay says:

    This ALL Rahm’s fault.

  99. 99

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I also thought it was a good speech.

    1. He said “BP” and not “British Petroleum” all the way through. That should make the Brits happy.

    2. He did touch on the fact that oil is finite and that is why we are undertaking the risks of drilling deep, deep, deep to try to find the stuff.

    3. He is correct in that the real way to prevent this from happening again is to turn away from oil.

    4. And a refurbished Gulf of Mexico would be grand. It has been a bit grubby for a long time.

    But like you, I’m an Obot so what do I know?

  100. 100
    kay says:

    @CaseyL:

    I think that’s a problem though, Casey. The reality is, the people there want those jobs. Louisiana isn’t abandoning oil. They haven’t had any conversion. Are you listening to them? They want it cleaned up, and then they want those rigs back up.
    Obama can tell them all he wants that he’s starting a Manhattan Project. If I were them, and wholly dependent on that industry, I’d think he was cutting off my lifeline right when I’m on my knees. They’re panicking. All he needs to do is start telling them he’s imposing a national clean energy project by executive decree. That’ll go over well.

  101. 101
    Jeffro says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    This was a righteous rant Obama gave, but I fear it is whistling past the graveyard falling on dead ears.

    Yup. This, definitely.

    He has missed and missed and missed his chances to get ahead of the issues, all in the name of…I dunno…always trying to seem above it all? For all his smarts, the dithering and tepid responses to the big issues of our time are getting old.

    Speeches are nice (and his are better than most, obviously), but BE. A. LEADER.

  102. 102
    lamh32 says:

    so if I got this kinda right, those who are disappointed by the speech wanted Obama to use the speech as an opportunity to politicize the spill to his advantage, kinda like Bush did after 9-11. But it would be okay if Obama did it, cause he’s on our side?

    Even though the majority of the people in Louisiana clames to want to continue offshore drilling?

  103. 103

    @kay: This is going to go on for another two months, at least. And there is a decent chance, much longer than that. I don’t think we can even imagine yet the enormity of what a cleanup will entail until the well is capped. When it hits the loop current, and it will, almost all of the models have it not only fouling the east coast, but eventually and very possibly with oil washing up on BP’s home island of England. We are all small humans with just enuf brain power to cause such a catastrophe, but not near enough on how to stop it. We can do some of the cleanup, but mother nature will have to do the heavy lifting over a long period of time.

  104. 104
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @litlebritdifrnt: OK, did I miss the announcement and photos, or has nothing happened yet? Please tell us what happened when you arose at first sparrowfart to take pix of a newly-emerging butterfly.

  105. 105
    Violet says:

    @lamh32:

    This speech was for her and the other people I know who are just gonna watch the address and turn off the commentary afterwards to watch the game or some other show.

    Yep. The large majority of the country aren’t political junkies. They just want to feel like the government is “doing something” and is “in charge,” whatever those things mean.

  106. 106
    JMY says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Kudos to you. I wonder what Olbermann would say if Obama did all that tough talk just so the left would be happy, but the leak isn’t plugged. “Well, he atleast screamed and yelled and was mad about it.” That doesn’t mean shit until the leak is fixed.

  107. 107
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Oh no! Infotainment specialists Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews are disappointed in President Obama’s performance!

    This is about as expected as people grumbling all over the United States the next few weeks about how annoying it is to hear soccer called football.

    New trite grievances. Please.

  108. 108
    kay says:

    @slag:

    I haven’t listened to Olberman since health care. We were reading two different bills, apparently. He was just wrong about a lot of what’s in it.
    I always thought Chris Matthews was a joke, so that’s not new.
    I was driving and I happened to catch them screaming on the radio.

  109. 109
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jeffro: Help me out here. Be specific. What issue did he not “get ahead of” in this case?

  110. 110
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @kay:

    “Keith Olberman and Matthews were screaming. Literally. They’re beside themselves with anger.”

    -Oh, fuck these two overpaid toads with a rusty chainsaw.
    They won’t be a part of any CCC; they’ll just whine and bitch.

  111. 111
    Mike Kay says:

    Can we get Ned Lamont or Bill Halter to primary Obama?

  112. 112
    mr. whipple says:

    I think for the next decade or so I will be able to blame old people for fucking up the country, and then after that I will blame kids for the sad shape of society.

    I’m middle age, so I get to blame both. Although as a friend says, if 50 is ‘middle age’, where are all the 100 year olds?

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    They’re digging in further.

    Both Democrats and Republicans are still convinced that the Republicans are going to make big gains this fall. Why, I have no idea, because the polling is not showing that now that the primaries are done and people actually know who the candidates are, but they’re convinced. So of course the Blue Dogs are going to hunker down and prepare themselves for the coming apocalypse instead of standing and fighting. That’s what they do.

    If the Democrats retain control of both houses of Congress in the fall, or even make (fingers crossed) some gains, then it’s a whole new ballgame. Until then, you’re not going to get the goddamned Blue Dogs to budge an inch on anything even slightly risky.

  114. 114
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Response over at Daily Kos: “OBAMA SUCKS!”

    Response here: “CLAP LOUDER!”

  115. 115
    JMY says:

    @Jeffro:

    Be a leader? He just went on his fourth trip to the Gulf.

  116. 116
    R-Jud says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    He said “BP” and not “British Petroleum” all the way through. That should make the Brits happy.

    Oh, thank God. I won’t have to deal with my arsey neighbor tomorrow, then. It’s been, “You, American lady! Why does your president hate us?” for like a week now. Most of them shut up when I point out that they’re agreeing with Boris Johnson about something, but not this neighbor: she thinks BoJo should be PM someday.

  117. 117

    @lamh32:

    I would like to know if your family in NO felt comforted by the speech. Or some other emotion? Can you talk to them about feelings?

  118. 118

    @Jeffro: You missed my point. Obama is not to blame for this, and does not have the power to make it stop. The politics of it he has understandably, imo, botched some early on, but there is not much he can do other than give pep speeches and muster meager resources that are dwarfed by the size of the disaster. And ALL the polls show no decline in his job approval numbers, as I think the public realizes there is only so much he can do. Or any of us. As a species, other than try to not repeat it.

  119. 119
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Jeffro:

    -What do you want, Aquaman?

  120. 120
    demimondian says:

    @Anachronym: You’re absolutely right. We need nukes, and, more than that, breeders. Problem is, it’s going to take a decade and a half to start getting nuclear plants on line. What do we do in the meantime?

    We need to pursue two goals: conservation and transition off oil and coal. We can have off-shore wind farms up in three to five years. They may not pay for themselves quickly, but they can provide a less-than-trivial amount of electricity. We can start conserving…tomorrow.

    And that’s what we need to do now.

  121. 121
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Does anyone remember anyone assigning blame to GHW Bush after the Exxon Valdez wreck?

  122. 122
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: oh, never mind, I just read your blog post. Too bad to miss the excitement, but they do these things on their own clocks.

  123. 123
    frankdawg says:

    I can’t speak for the entire left but this, tired, old, pinko, lefty, socialist, commie lover would have preferred if the Prez had used this opportunity to challenge America to do great things. People here have joked about a carbon moon shot, but why not? Why not a program like Apollo to free us from our oil addiction? Why not a constant drumbeat of “this is why we need government regulation.” “this is why we need government response ready – after the fact is too late to develop the ability.” How about a CCC program to decontaminate the marshes and beaches? Jobs that are badly needed and a job that needs to be done?

    The tired, milquetoast, half measure crap this guy keeps coming up with is not inspiring and it really isn’t moving the country in the direction it needs to go. Even though it is better than what President McCain would have given us it is not good enough. Thats not unicorn wishing, thats not he always disappoints me. Those are concrete complaints that have a very simple solution.

    And that lame excuse that Congress would never go along? How do we know he made no effort to propose anything? When he starts with a half measure & then makes compromises to get Lincoln and Snowe to vote for it it is not going to get better only more empty.

  124. 124
    Josh says:

    @mr. whipple:

    I figure I’ll make the transition when I’m 32 because I’ll have completely fried the last good synapse in my brain with all of the frustration and anger over the bullshit that our country is drowning in.

    I mean, I just watched a friend go over to the dark side and take up Ayn Rand as a she-goddess. Half of my brain just…died. My soul ate itself out of sheer shock.

    A decade, at the most, before I become an absolute vegetable and believe and think what the radio tells me to think and believe.

  125. 125
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @lamh32:

    But it would be okay if Obama did it, cause he’s on our side?

    Yes. This.

    Too many people left the polling booth last election saying to themselves “Now that’s done. It’s our turn. We have our Bush. Son-of-a-bitch better start breaking shit.”

    I don’t know why this bit of arcane knowledge wasn’t more widely known at the time, but con-law professors generally don’t break shit.

    We’ve got the Black Dukakis. I know Mike Dukakis, and that’s not a bad thing.

  126. 126
    Violet says:

    @ Admiral_Komack @ post number 118: Did you use the unattached dash or hyphen? If so, can you please EDIT and remove it? It effs up the rest of the page.

    If you used the strikethrough on purpose, please disregard.

  127. 127
    Mike Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig: don’t be cruel. the firebaggers don’t respond well to pop quizzes.

  128. 128
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    The island of “England” has already had a big oil spill thanks to an American oil company (Union) letting the ship’s cook drive a supertanker onto rocks off the SW coast back in the 60s. Oiled birds, frantic Government announcements and promises, detergent spraying, attempts to fix the problem by recovering the single-bottomed tanker (shades of Exxon Valdez) off the rocks and eventually we did what a lot of folks in the US are calling for, we sent in the Navy and bombed the fucker with napalm and iron bombs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torrey_Canyon

    The yellow press might have called for lynching Union Oil executives but I don’t recall.

  129. 129
    Jibeaux says:

    Well, I thought it was fine. I heard what I wanted to hear: calling on our dysfunctional Senate to do something. Tomorrow I will call my useless awful Republican Senator and let him know, again, that some people are paying attention. I am doing what I can to reduce my energy use. Sharing tips with people on facebook. It’s not much, but it’s all I can do. Our democracy may be broken, but dammit that’s not Obama’s fault. I’m going to adopt the motto of anothe friend in all this: less bitching, more doing,

  130. 130
    CaseyL says:

    @kay:

    The reality is, the people there want those jobs. Louisiana isn’t abandoning oil. They haven’t had any conversion. Are you listening to them? They want it cleaned up, and then they want those rigs back up.
    Obama can tell them all he wants that he’s starting a Manhattan Project. If I were them, and wholly dependent on that industry, I’d think he was cutting off my lifeline right when I’m on my knees.

    Then you put the Giant Energy Repurposing Project right there on the Gulf Coast, and you hire the people who work(ed) on oil rigs and in the oil industry to work building the facility, and you shovel money into the local schools to train the engineers and scientists and designers and chemists and lab techs and office workers and everyone else the Giant Energy Repurposing Project will need just to get up and running, just to get started. You combine the need for a focused energy R&D with the need for better education and employment prospects. You take some of that $1 trillion Barney Frank says can get cut from the Pentagon budget and you put it right there, on the Gulf Coast.

    It’s not impossible. Hard, yes; but not impossible. All it takes is courage, commitment, and vision.

  131. 131
    The Dangerman says:

    What the fuck do they want him to do?

    I’d start by indicting the fucking pricks who managed the MMS through coke and blow affairs. Perp walk the fuckers in front of the cameras, then literally tar and feather them (the tar and feathers flown up from the gulf specifically for the occasion).

  132. 132
    lamh32 says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I’ll ask them and report back to ya’ll tomorrow. My family are still rebuilding (yep 4 years later, still rebuilding), so many of them work 2 jobs to keep afloat. I do have one aunt though who really tries to pay attention to these things. My other aunts and fam like I said don’t get into politics much, but they read the Time Picayune religiously. So I’m gonna ask them about it when i talk to them tomorrow.

  133. 133
    Davis X. Machina says:

    It’s not impossible. Hard, yes; but not impossible. All it takes is courage, commitment, and vision.

    It’s not impossible. Hard, yes; but not impossible. All it takes is courage, commitment, and vision, and sixty votes in the Senate.

    Fixed.

  134. 134
    Elisabeth says:

    @lamh32:

    Well, crap. I had a lengthy response but it got eaten by wordpress (my personal information went missing on this crappy computer).

    I’ll provide a summation:

    I think I was most disappointed in the first part because, based largely on Rachel’s reporting, oil has gotten ashore in places where it didn’t need to. The dispersent has its own issues aside from making the boom nearly useless, apparently. That’s ignoring the fact that portions of the boom didn’t stay in place. So it seemed a bit disengenuous to mention the boom and the dispersent when signs point to their ineffectiveness.

    I also wasn’t sure where the Iraq and Afghanistan mentions at the top came in. I guess there was a corollary between the wars abroad and the wars at home but I was like, “huh?”

    I did like the part about the MMS and the real need to pursue alternative energy.

    I’ll be interested to see what, if anything, my co-workers say about the speech. Most have only a passing knowledge of the disaster and might be better gauges.

  135. 135
    Yara says:

    I was at the Daily Kos, and one of the commentators literally said:

    to all the Hillary Voters: I apologize! I wish I could take back my vote and give it to Hillary.

    We need someone ruthless and intelligent and we don’t have that right now.

    unbelievable….

  136. 136
    Anachronym says:

    @Perfect Tommy #68:
    There are alternative methods of making plastics from bio-products. Pretty much any chemical can be produced synthetically, given an energy input to the process.

    Aside from that, your figure of 50% seems to be wildly incorrect: http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/ga.....l_oil.html

    It’s contained in the ‘Other Refined Products’ part of that chart, totalling 1.5%. But even if it WERE 50%, a reduction by half in our consumption of oil would be huge. In truth, it will be much more than that.

  137. 137

    @Robert Sneddon:

    Well then. we are sorry, again. Though at least it is a British Company along with our deregulating wingnuts who are to blame. Maybe this will draw us closer as allies, on the other hand////////

  138. 138

    @Elisabeth: This is happening to me too, after I clear my cache and cookies. Just hit the refresh button after it eats your post and it should appear.

  139. 139
    Paula says:

    @lamh32: Right in one.

  140. 140
    CaseyL says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    It’s not impossible. Hard, yes; but not impossible. All it takes is courage, commitment, and vision, and sixty votes in the Senate.

    If the President announced he was going to spend a trillion dollars on this, and the lion’s share of that trillion dollars would be spent in the very areas hardest hit, he could probably make a case for those 60 votes – esp. if he has the brains to appeal directly to the people (the voters) who would benefit from the project.

    Or he could declare it a matter of national security (which it is, BTW) and “ram it down their throats” on that basis.

  141. 141
    Mike Kay says:

    @The Dangerman: you’re a sissy. I’d start with summary executions (hanging them with piano wire from meat hooks) and “evacuating” their families to siberia.

  142. 142
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @CaseyL:

    Then you put the Giant Energy Repurposing Project right there on the Gulf Coast, and you hire the people who work(ed) on oil rigs and in the oil industry to work building the facility, and you shovel money into the local schools to train the engineers and scientists and designers and chemists and lab techs and office workers and everyone else the Giant Energy Repurposing Project will need just to get up and running, just to get started. You combine the need for a focused energy R&D with the need for better education and employment prospects. You take some of that $1 trillion Barney Frank says can get cut from the Pentagon budget and you put it right there, on the Gulf Coast.

    I think that’s a great idea. My guess is that Obama would think it was a great idea. Now run it past the same bunch of deficit hawks who habitually fuck up every great idea liberals ever tried to run through Congress and figure out a way for them not to fuck it up. I don’t think it can be done. They’ll just say that we can’t afford it. Fund it by cutting defense spending and you aggravate a whole new set of concerns among your Blue Dog constituencies. Add to that the fact that the affected states are run by Republicans who won’t back your plan because they want to make Obama’s life difficult.

    That’s the problem. Not a shortage of vision or leadership. A shortage of legislative branchers willing to help rather than bitch.

  143. 143
    cleek says:

    i thought it was pretty good. a bit late, but still good.

  144. 144
    jwb says:

    @Mnemosyne: You should know by now that the results don’t matter—it’s still always good news for conservatives.

  145. 145
    mr. whipple says:

    Here’s what I learned today on the internets:

    We should put land mines along the border with Mexico.

    If Harry Reid and the democrats keep control of congress, they should be ‘taken out’.

    Obama sucks.

    OTOH, if you find a lost dog, take it home and do your best to find its owner or a new home for it.

    This country is fucking insane, yet some individual acts give me hope.

  146. 146
    Elisabeth says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    Thanks!

    (For a minute I thought I was somehow responsible for the strikethrough issue but, apparently, that wasn’t me.)

  147. 147
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Elisabeth:

    I also wasn’t sure where the Iraq and Afghanistan mentions at the top came in.

    A lot of soldiers dying in Afghanistan lately. Kind of significant for a President to mention.

  148. 148
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @CaseyL: A trillion dollars from where, pray tell.

    Remember President Collins and President Nelson decided that the stimulus package could not exceed $800 billion, total…..

  149. 149
    zattarra says:

    If the far left blogs and the far right blogs are both complaining I consider this speech a success.

  150. 150
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @stuckinred, Josh, mr. whipple:

    Sigh. When I was 16, Ike was president.

    That means I am now old.

  151. 151
    CaseyL says:

    How about if Obama told the people of the Gulf Coast that the only things standing between them and a trillion dollar reclamation/retraining project were their GOP/Blue Dog Senators and Reps. You don’t think that would get peoples’ attention? I think it would.

  152. 152
    mr. whipple says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    “That means I am now old.”

    Yes, and I can blame you for fucking things up. :)

  153. 153
    Mike Kay says:

    Can’t Obama just hire The A-Team?

  154. 154
    Nellcote says:

    @Violet:

    Does the Federal Government have a special website where they outline what’s being done about the oil disaster? Seems like that might be useful.

    Start here. With updates here.

  155. 155
    burnspbesq says:

    @Harry Kawasaki:

    Jesus Christ, there is such a thing as a vuvuzela app.

    Can it be reconfigured to always drown out Mitch McCurdled and Johnny Boner?

  156. 156
    kay says:

    @CaseyL:

    The poll asked: “Do you support or oppose drilling for oil off the shore of Louisiana?” The answer was support 77%, oppose 12%. In addition, only 31% said that the spill made them less supportive of drilling, to 28% who said it made them more supportive, and 42% for whom it made no difference

    I don’t even agree that any new money to do research on alternatives should go there, Casey.

    Louisiana backs this industry. Put the money somewhere else, in some state that wants and needs a new sector, where they don’t have oil to pull from a hole in the ground.

  157. 157
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @CaseyL:

    esp. if he has the brains to appeal directly to the people (the voters) who would benefit from the project.

    I haven’t checked this, but aren’t the Gulf states some of the places where Obama is viewed most negatively? Those are also the states where people want to see drilling continuing, and announcing a big Energy Reboot will get turned into “Obama wants to kill our jobs!” I don’t think the people who would benefit from the project would back it. Just like health care reform. Sad but true. It’s like telling loggers that if they log less they’ll keep their industry running longer. It’s true in the long run, but there are massive here-and-now issues.

    Obama may be a low-risk type himself, but he has to deal with a legislative branch that is absolutely petrified by risk, which distorts and warps every good policy idea. Rolling out a combined Gulf-and-climate-and-energy plan would be awesome. Would it pass? I thought conventional wisdom was that the spill would kill the energy bill by ruining the intricate balance of tradeoffs. And today Kerry seemed to suggest that was still the case.

  158. 158
    Mike Kay says:

    can’t obama spend a trillion on a new manhattan project for better online porn?

  159. 159
    lamh32 says:

    This is kinda OT, but if you looking at some of the commentary over at DKOS, then it won’t be far behind.

    Personally, I’m really getting mighty sick of people throwing out the “primary Obama” bomb all willy nilly. First of all, if you are gonna primary the President, then damnit, you better do it to win it. Not just because you wanna “force” the President to move more to the left. If you are not in it to win, then why weaken the President’s position?

    Maybe someome could tell me how good a sell is it for the party, when your own members are so unhappy with you, that they primary you. This is the real tragedy of Teddy Kennedy vs Carter. How does that make the Dem candidate (in this case, the President) appealing to people outside your party, who are truly independent. I’m sure the first thing Independent are thinking is that this guy own people would rather have someone else, why should I vote for him?

    Specifically relating to Obama, let be clear, primarying Obama is a no-win situation for the Dem party. First of all, if you primary Obama and win, then guess what, you can almost certainly kiss the Af Am vote goodbye.

    I already know what some are going to say, Af Am don’t “vote in large numbers”. Well, recent elections would beg to differ, the Af Am vote in a good number of Dem districts are still the key to winning those districts. I know Labor and the progressive blogs have the money, so they may be the Dem party’s “base”, but make no mistake, Obama’s “base” is Af Am.

    No Obama on the ballet, even lower number of Af Am voting, how’s that gonna work out for Dem in Philly, most of the South, DC, etc. I’m not saying this as some sort of Obot, I just telling you what I see and hear in my neighborhood, from family, friends, co-workers, etc.

    Like I said with Arhtur Davis loss, Dem’s underestimate Af Am voters at there peril now, the Af Am community are more engaged than ever, thanks in part to Obama’s election.

    I mean, by all means, challenge the WH, challenge Congress, hold them accountable, but just saying, we should “primary Obama” is just an easy way to vent frustrations, with no regards to some of the adverse consequences of doing so.

  160. 160
    CaseyL says:

    kay, the reason Louisiana backs the oil industry is that the oil industry has been pretty much its only source of high-paying jobs. Give Louisianans the chance to make good money doing something that doesn’t threaten to ruin their land, air and sea, and they might just go for it.

  161. 161
    JMY says:

    @mr. whipple:

    This country is bi-polar. People want the government to control the deficit, cut spending, and not raise taxes, but still want the government to spend.

    And who came up with the idea to put land mines along the Mexican border and nuke the oil spill?

  162. 162
    Elisabeth says:

    @CaseyL:

    Uh, who do you think keeps electing those GOP/Blue Dog Dems? They don’t seem to understand the irony that the very Southern states that abhor reliance on the federal government are the very states who take the most.

  163. 163
    Davis X. Machina says:

    You don’t think that would get peoples’ attention? I think it would.

    Self-interest doesn’t motivate voters. There’d never be a Republican elected if it did.

    I predict the net loss of seats by incumbents in the Congressional districts abutting the Gulf to be somewhere between zero and two, and between zero and one in the Senate, including open seats changing parties.

  164. 164
    Allison W. says:

    1. this speech was not for us, we are not his audience.

    2. Get over the Jesus thing folks. The man is religious, he knows his audience and he has recognized atheists before so lets not act like he’s playing favorites.

    3. call to action? what do you think OFA is for? Every other day I get a call to action from them.

    4. call to action II? uhm, before you start telling people to do stuff or to go here and call there, ya kinda gotta have stuff set up first. Ya kinda need approval.

    5. this speech was not for us – i think that needs to be said 100 times.

    6. I’m a little giddy that he pissed some people off. That will teach them to hype up his speeches every single time. I’m tired of the “what Obama should say tonight” articles. That’s part of the reason why some are disappointed. They get a checklist before they hear the speech.

  165. 165
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Violet:

    @ Admiral_Komack @ post number 118: Did you use the unattached dash or hyphen? If so, can you please EDIT and remove it? It effs up the rest of the page.

    If you used the strikethrough on purpose, please disregard.

    -Sorry, Violet.

    Here goes nothing…

  166. 166
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @CaseyL:

    How about if Obama told the people of the Gulf Coast that the only things standing between them and a trillion dollar reclamation/retraining project were their GOP/Blue Dog Senators and Reps.

    Ideology kills even naked self-interest these days. We saw that with the health care bill and climate/energy already. It would just turn into, “Sounds good at first, but where is that trillion dollars coming from? We have too much debt already.” It’s depressing, but I’m pretty sure that’s how it would play. Just look at the angst over suspending offshore drilling temporarily.

  167. 167
    burnspbesq says:

    @R-Jud:

    this neighbor … thinks BoJo should be PM someday.

    Now, that is some scary shit. Who does she see as Foreign Minister in the BoJo government, Gerry Adams?

  168. 168
    Elisabeth says:

    @lamh32:

    Surely it isn’t a primary Obama moment over the speech. It wasn’t his best but, Christ on a cracker, it wasn’t that bad.

    (I’m even beginning to believe I’m the problem with the speech, not Obama.) :)

  169. 169
    JMY says:

    @lamh32:

    If Dems had a primary challenger and he won, I don’t know if I would vote and that’s sad for me to say. I’m Afr. Amer. by the way.

  170. 170
    Allison W. says:

    @lamh32:

    Agree.

    I’d like to see the Left “base” discount the AA vote. Anyone who thinks Dems can do without the AA vote has completely lost their minds.

  171. 171
    slag says:

    @kay: I know. Although now I’m slightly disturbed to hear they’re on the radio. Trying to decide if my not knowing that means I need to get out more or if my now knowing that means I need to get out less.

  172. 172
    henqiguai says:

    @Elisabeth (#143):

    (For a minute I thought I was somehow responsible for the strikethrough issue but, apparently, that wasn’t me.)

    Nope. You closed the &#060del>. Sumpin’ else is doin’ that pooch…

  173. 173
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @CaseyL:

    kay, the reason Louisiana backs the oil industry is that the oil industry has been pretty much its only source of high-paying jobs. Give Louisianans the chance to make good money doing something that doesn’t threaten to ruin their land, air and sea, and they might just go for it.

    Again, you are talking about a region that is pretty adamantly opposed to President Obama and any of his grand ambitions for remaking the United States into a 21st century nation. There are innumberable vested interests at ALL levels–from senators like David Vitter to intellectually dishonest rubes like Bobby Jindal to the citizenry itself that continues to vote against its own self-interests–who would stop at nothing to oppose such a plan. And as unfortunate as it is, they have some rather large numbers on their side.

    President Obama cannot just waltz down to the Gulf and say “Hey, fuck your jobs.” That might work for Bill Maher, but that’s not the way you go about enacting transformative energy and climate legislation in this extremely toxic political environment.

  174. 174

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    LOL I rose at 6AM and she had beat me to it dammnit

    http://crittersbybritty.blogstream.com

    I guess I am going to have to arise at 5:30am for the next one (ouch)

  175. 175
    RinaX says:

    I haven’t gone over to the Daily Kos to get their take yet, but from your responses it ought to provide me with a lot of lolz. I ended up watching the address at the beauty parlor, and it seemed to go over well with those there.

    It was also interesting to see a poll earlier that 77% of those in the oil regions want to go right back to drilling oil, so somehow I doubt that senators from those states in either party will be all that willing to push anything that might involve hurting the oil industry as a whole TOO much. But that’s me acknowledging painful reality, I guess.

  176. 176
    Mike Kay says:

    can Obama spend a trillion on manhattan project producing Bionic men/women?

  177. 177
    lamh32 says:

    @Elisabeth:

    Naw, it’s not from the speech, I’ve been reading and it’s slowly building up since the beginning of the spill, and the flames were fanned right around the time of the Blanche Lincoln’s/WH vs Labor thing.

    It may be going over alot of people’s heads, but it’s been noticed by many of the AA blogs I frequent, who are not “beholden” to KOS, FDL and the like.

  178. 178
    RinaX says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    President Obama cannot just waltz down to the Gulf and say “Hey, fuck your jobs.” That might work for Bill Maher, but that’s not the way you go about enacting transformative energy and climate legislation in this extremely toxic political environment.

    He would if he were being a “real” leader! Maher 2012!

  179. 179
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    President Obama cannot just waltz down to the Gulf and say “Hey, fuck your jobs.”

    In theory, he could, if the point was to say that everyone could immediately trade up to a better, safer, more consistent job: fuck your _present_ jobs.

    But it doesn’t play that way to people who have been primed for decades not to trust it when Democrats say they have a better plan for them, especially when it involves “the environment.”

  180. 180
    Mike Kay says:

    can obama spend a trillion of refurbishing old DeLoreans into time machines?

  181. 181
    ellaesther says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Well, yes, I suppose it does, sorta… but then, as far as I can tell, you’ve got that whole wisdom thing goin’ on. Surely that counts for something!

  182. 182
    Davis X. Machina says:

    But it doesn’t play that way to people who have been primed for decades not to trust it when Democrats say they have a better plan for them, especially when it involves “the environment.” colored people

    .

    Fixed.

  183. 183
    Mike Kay says:

    @lamh32:

    This is kinda OT, but if you looking at some of the commentary over at DKOS, then it won’t be far behind.

    far behind what?

  184. 184
    The Dangerman says:

    @Mike Kay:

    you’re a sissy. I’d start with summary executions (hanging them with piano wire from meat hooks) and “evacuating” their families to siberia.

    I can’t help it, I’m a pacifist; I can’t go any further than cutting off their important parts so they can’t procreate.

  185. 185
    Elisabeth says:

    @lamh32:

    Luckily, DailyKos isn’t nearly as powerful as it’s members seem to think. Unfortunately, many of those same members seem to want a Bush-like Obama when it comes to unitary action. They simply were not paying attention during the election cycle. And, frankly, one act first/think second president in my lifetime was enough.

  186. 186
    kay says:

    @CaseyL:

    kay, the reason Louisiana backs the oil industry is that the oil industry has been pretty much its only source of high-paying jobs. Give Louisianans the chance to make good money doing something that doesn’t threaten to ruin their land, air and sea, and they might just go for it.

    It’s bigger than that, Casey. The Louisiana fisherman, to me, sound like farmers here. They rely on this vast natural resource, but they aren’t willing to think about protecting it. They think it’s theirs. Not yours. Not mine.

    I’m not even judging it. Farmers here claim to “love the land” and I believe them. It’s just that the “lifestyle” they want to protect includes their economic interests. They’re very difficult to convince. They’re borne and bred traditionalists, and that’s why vote conservative. They want things to stay the same.

    I wouldn’t put the money in Louisiana. Put it in some state with no natural resources. No fallback.

    Louisiana can drill, and some other state can benefit from research on some competitive, sensible form of energy.

  187. 187
    Elisabeth says:

    Any reaction from Sarah, yet? Inquiring minds need to know what real Americans think.

  188. 188
    The Dangerman says:

    @Mike Kay:

    can Obama spend a trillion on manhattan project producing Bionic men/women?

    can Obama spend a trillion on manhattan project producing Bionic men/women sex toys (though there is some that the ultimate sex doll has already been created, but the inventor is just too damned busy to market it).

  189. 189
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    “You stupid motherfuckers can expect more of that until you stop voting for assholes who oppose alternative energy sources”

    I’d be all for that, even if he got branded an “angry black man” as a result. Problem is, Nate Silver tells us that Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln are the best we can possibly hope for out of the Confederacy. And as we’ve all seen, Mary Landrieu would rather be swallowed by an Arrakis sandworm than give up deepwater drilling. I honestly think our country is doomed in regard to energy policy. Hope I’m wrong.

  190. 190
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Elisabeth: I can’t fault people for wanting to see bigger plans and faster results. I _can_ fault them for refusing to accept that there are significant reasons why the plans aren’t bigger and the results aren’t faster, including spending fatigue (stupid but real) and general center-right trepidation about doing anything that can be used in a November campaign (stupider and probably even realer).

  191. 191
    cleek says:

    Personally, I’m really getting mighty sick of people throwing out the “primary Obama” bomb all willy nilly.

    the election is more than two years away. his term isn’t half over yet.

    talking about the 2012 election is quasi-intellectual masturbation. it’s astrology. it’s planning to spend your lottery winnings.

  192. 192
    Mike Kay says:

    @The Dangerman:

    ultimate sex doll has already been created

    Oh, I agree, Megan Fox is fucking hwat.

  193. 193
    eemom says:

    @Elisabeth:

    no, no…..the knocked-up bitch was the topic of the OTHER thread…..

  194. 194
    JMY says:

    @cleek:

    If you let Kos or FDL tell it…his term ends tomorrow and he hasnt done shit.

  195. 195
    Mike Kay says:

    @Elisabeth: she’s waiting for her neo-con leeches to tell her what to say.

  196. 196
    kay says:

    @lamh32:

    Blanche Lincoln’s/WH vs Labor thing.

    I went to a Democratic-labor event tonight. The place was packed, and “labor” were in fine spirits. Daily Kos should stop fretting about “labor” leaders getting their feelings hurt. They negotiate. They don’t take things personally.

  197. 197
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I can’t fault people for wanting to see bigger plans and faster results. I can fault them for refusing to accept that there are significant reasons why the plans aren’t bigger and the results aren’t faster, including spending fatigue (stupid but real) and general center-right trepidation about doing anything that can be used in a November campaign (stupider and probably even realer).

    Superb piece by Michael Tomasky on this very topic, in the new Democracy.

    If we insist on thinking of Obama–and in our personality-driven political culture, it’s so hard not to do this–as liberalism’s redeemer, he will always disappoint, as redeemers usually do. But if we think of him as one piece on a vexing historical chess board in a match that will take years to play out, we can exhale, and see the true shape of the tasks ahead of us. I don’t mean to say here that people should just be quiet. Quite the opposite: Progressive pressure is a better guarantor of progressive governance than hoping that governors will follow their most compassionate instincts. And liberals shouldn’t declare themselves entirely satisfied with an outcome unless they actually are (something that probably won’t happen too often). But I do very much mean to say that liberals should avoid the seductive temptation of wallowing in disappointment, and letting that turn into fury and then resignation–branding decisions one disagrees with as “betrayals” and “sell-outs,” retiring inward, pushing away from civic life. Those responses only help conservatism, which has quite enough power as it is.

  198. 198
    Mike Kay says:

    @eemom: Win.

  199. 199
    slag says:

    @Comrade Kevin: It occurs to me that you may not be reading the same thread I am reading. Weird.

  200. 200
    gpleigh says:

    @Violet:

    LOTS of information available from the Unified Command every day. Admiral Allen gives a detailed briefing just about every day and there is more info posted here:

    http://www.deepwaterhorizonres.....site/2931/

    EXTENSIVE fact sheets available here:

    http://www.deepwaterhorizonres.....931/53023/

    Fish and Wildlife Report issued each day:

    http://www.deepwaterhorizonres.....8;offset=0

  201. 201
    lamh32 says:

    Somedays, I really believe that Americans will be stupid enough to fall for Sarah Palin’s schidt (sp?), but then I see something like this:

    Palin slams Obama for not enlisting help of Dutch, who are known for their “dykes” and their cleaning up of

    Don’t miss Sarah Palin’s take: She faults the Obama administration for not soliciting the help of “the Dutch,” who are “known for dikes and for cleaning up water and for dealing with spills”…

    Seriously, this woman is an idiot, who might become President something.

  202. 202
    Elisabeth says:

    @eemom:

    Must.not.laugh.out.loud.

    Too late!

  203. 203
    kay says:

    @CaseyL:

    Casey, you watched the freaking health care nuclear war. It’s expensive and a lot of people are going bankrupt paying for it. It’s essential. Most people wanted it reformed. STILL, it was like pulling fucking teeth.

    Imagine if health care were cheap, like oil. Obama can’t drag them kicking and screaming to an energy policy. The Gulf spill was profound to you, and that is great, but what about everyone else? 77% of them want to keep drilling.

    He can do this with a speech? That better be some speech.

  204. 204
    Jeffro says:

    @Mike Kay:

    This is all quite funny: I think the Prez is a day late and a couple million spilled gallons short on his understanding and response to the spill, not on what can be done (I get that he’s not Aquaman, thanks Admiral Komack for the lulz). I think he has missed multiple chances (since you asked, FlipYrWhig) to beat on/”get ahead of” the corporate irresponsibility in Wall Street, Big Oil, etc, that ties so many of our recent problems together, and in turn have

    – JMY pointing out that Obama’s made 4 trips to the Gulf (woo)
    – FlipYrWhig asking what Obama’s not gotten ahead of (addressed above)
    – Mike Kay throwing ‘firebagger’ around like he has a clue

    This is a major Obot speaking here, peeps – I want him and our country to do well and begin to repair the damage done not just by 8 years of the C+ Augustus, but nearly 30 years of deregulation and worship of the (supposedly) free market. Obama is tinkering around the edges, but the argument needs to be made, forcefully and repeatedly, that capitalism works…not works best, but ONLY works, period, when it is well regulated, instead of turned over to the greedheads to regulate themselves.

    I think the Prez is not pressing this nearly hard enough in general, and has missed multiple specific opportunities to do so. This makes me a firebagger, eh? =)

  205. 205
    AxelFoley says:

    Fuck, I hate DKos sometimes. Whiny-ass pussy muthafuckas over there now, epitomized by this diary:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....e-w-video)

    Swear to God, Dems/libs/progressives/whatever the fuck they call themselves are their own worst enemies. Crabs in a fuckin’ barrel. Icebergslim used to be a big supporter of Obama, but damn if she hasn’t sounded like a FDLer ever since before Obama was even inaugurated. Every diary from her is a bitch-fest on what Obama has done right.

  206. 206
    kay says:

    @CaseyL:

    I was convinced when I realized we were going to war for oil. That’s all it took. I was 100% on board for energy policy. I don’t even know anything about it, but I don’t have to know. “Too expensive!”. That was my attitude. Whatever you come up with, I’ll try.

    War is a prohibitive cost, all by itself.

    But I’m apparently 30% of the country.

  207. 207
    lenn23 says:

    @Jeffro: Yes….it does.

  208. 208
    cleek says:

    @JMY:
    i’m pretty disappointed in Obama for all kinds of reasons. but i’m pretty sure he’s the best the Dem party has to offer.

    and srsly, if this place turns into another PUMA-fest, come mid-2012, i’m outta here. i will have no tolerance at all left for newscycle politics (i barely have any left now)

  209. 209
    fucen tarmal says:

    @lamh32:

    yeah, too bad the death panel got to “rosie, the quicker, picker upper, first”

    she was a pit bull waitress in lip stick.

  210. 210
    Jeffro says:

    @lenn23:
    Ah well, then at least I tried. =)

  211. 211
    Neutron Flux says:

    @Jeffro:

    This makes me a firebagger, eh? =)

    Yes.

    Or a Dreamer, a silly little dreamer.

  212. 212

    @kay:

    They’re borne and bred traditionalists, and that’s why vote conservative.

    Tradition for them is old south agri based economy. It goes along with and is part and parcel for continued reminiscing all their other ativistic impulses from days gone by, and continued rebellion against the northern industrial aggressors. Now known as liberals and tree hugging hippies, out to slay all the taking from mother nature.

    This extended to extracting fossil fuels when the combustion engine was invented and the clock started ticking until the conundrum of dredging up poison from below would get away from them and take out the exploitation of natures bounty with it. They brought up the devil from too deep and too reckless this time and now it all will all die, for the time being.

    They will have to build and get jobs in factories and hopefully put down their rebellious nature and fill those factories with green jobs. It will cause them great pain and rage to make the transition, but empty bellies motivate even the hardest of wingnuts, The deep southern kind. WTF else they gonna do.

  213. 213
    gwangung says:

    i will have no tolerance at all left for newscycle politics (i barely have any left now)

    Newscycle politics has a lot to do with feelings that Obama’s not gotten ahead of this.

  214. 214
    lamh32 says:

    @Jeffro: @Jeffro:

    I don’t consider anyone who take issue with the process of the government response to the spill as firebaggers, but as you said the problems come from

    “the damage done not just by 8 years of the C+ Augustus, but nearly 30 years of deregulation and worship of the (supposedly) free market.”

    Is it that you (by you, I’m not singling you out personally, I mean universal “you”) expect Obama to radically change 30+ years of bad policay in what 4 years (8 once he wins re-election)?

    I’m not dismissing anything you said BTW, it just I don’t think it’s realisitic to expect ANY President to “overcome” all the wrong decision, alone, in the amount of time he has.

  215. 215
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @kay:

    Imagine if health care were cheap, like oil. Obama can’t drag them kicking and screaming to an energy policy. The Gulf spill was profound to you, and that is great, but what about everyone else? 77% of them want to keep drilling.
    __
    He can do this with a speech? That better be some speech.

    “We’re gonna need a bigger speech.” — President Barack Obama, June 15, 2010.

  216. 216
    Elisabeth says:

    @lamh32:

    Does Palin get bonus patriot points for having a honkin’ rhinestone flag pin?

    (She even comes close to becoming president I’m leaving the continent.)

  217. 217
    Admiral_Komack says:

    OK, Violet, I’m going to try to fix this.

  218. 218
    cleek says:

    @gwangung:
    newscycle politics is what drives every political blog i know of.

  219. 219
    dreamweaver says:

    @Violet: Hell yes it is called whitehouse.gov.

  220. 220
    Mike Kay says:

    @Yara: that person probably voted for Edwards.

  221. 221
    And Another Thing... says:

    I think Obama’s biggest mistake was in believing BP for too long. They have clearly significantly underestimated the flow volume, which means that lots of people, including the Admin, and local governors, were slow to realize how bad the situation is. Putting live video – thank you Rep Markey – on the nets made credible push back possible. IIRC BP said the spill volume in the beginning was 1,000 – 5,000 bbl/day. If politicians had known 2 months ago that the number was closer to 50,000 they would all have gone to general quarters in the beginning.
    I also don’t think Sec Salazar is either smart or tough enough for his job.

  222. 222
    Montysano says:

    Watching Obama tonight, I felt like his internal dialogue was “Fuck this nation of hopeless morons. How long til 2012?” And who can blame him?

    After hearing Rep. Poe of Texas bawling about the moratorium today, I did some math. If, as he claims, offshore production is 17% of our total domestic output, then it’s about 6.8% of our total consumption. Is it such a radical idea to suggest that we cut our consumption by 6.8% and then not fucking make this mistake again?

  223. 223
    Jeffro says:

    @lamh32:

    No, I absolutely don’t expect him to turn it all around in one term or even two. (Look at how Neutron Flux, for example, just embarrassed himself by assuming that I was expecting that).

    But there’s an easy argument to be made about this specific spill, and then one to be made about the larger (strategic?) set of assumptions that’ve been the CW here for decades: corporations do not have our best interests at heart. They channel greed and innovation at the same time, and if we want to reap the benefits of that innovation, we need to make sure that the greed doesn’t end up causing catastrophes like this one.

    Since some folks have a problem with me – supposedly – hanging this on Obama, let’s just be clear: it would also help if our House and Senate weren’t so obviously paid-and-bought-for in favor of corporations. I am open to any and all attempts to end that nonsense.

    “Firebagger” Jeffro…lol

  224. 224
    eemom says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I think that’s the same piece Joe Conason is praising over at Salon.

    Salon is a weird place. On the one hand they have real talk-sense people like Conason and Andrew Leonard…….and on the other, a fucking useless toad like Camille Paglia.

    And that ‘Zilla guy. He’s there too.

  225. 225
    JMY says:

    @Jeffro:

    You can chill with the “Obot” talk. I want the president to do good too. You said he should be a leader, well he’s been on four trips to the Gulf, is in constant talks with the the people who are down there. The administration has made steps in the direction of new energy solutions. Because he hasn’t done the things that you think he should do or others think he should do, people think he is not doing anything.

  226. 226
    mr. whipple says:

    @Montysano:

    “After hearing Rep. Poe of Texas bawling about the moratorium today, I did some math. If, as he claims, offshore production is 17% of our total domestic output, then it’s about 6.8% of our total consumption. Is it such a radical idea to suggest that we cut our consumption by 6.8% and then not fucking make this mistake again?”

    I had the same thought when the execs and some pols were saying there are so many jobs involved. How many people are in fishing, or tourism, or other jobs that will be ruined by this?

    I just can’t believe this is worth it.

  227. 227
    cleek says:

    @Jeffro:
    agree with all of what you’ve said here.

    but that message is not well-liked here. as you’ve seen.

  228. 228
    MJ says:

    @lamh32

    Like I said with Arhtur Davis loss, Dem’s underestimate Af Am voters at there peril now, the Af Am community are more engaged than ever, thanks in part to Obama’s election.

    Preach it girl! I keep trying to tell progressives in the poutrage crew that Black folks are following national politics quite closely now that Obama is in the White house. And it would be serious folly to underestimate how keenly aware we are of the constant attempts to delegitimize his presidency that are coming in from all sides these days.

  229. 229
    magurakurin says:

    The really weird and twisted thing about this whole thing is that it has already happened before. The ’79 gusher in the Gulf still tops this one in oil released(but that will probably change) and was a disaster of huge proportions. And there was president calling for sweeping energy change(although it was in response to the Oil Embargo and not the Mexican oil spill disaster). And what came of it?

    Not a fucking thing. And now the people in LA have just been polled at something like 78% in favor of offshore drilling in spite of the damage. Nobody really gave a shit in ’79 and they don’t give a shit now. And Democrats and the political left in America are still just as stupid and inept as they were then. They have no concept of protecting their flanks and advancing from the center. Many of them are whiny, petulant and tiring and spend all their time involved in protest rallies and activism and not actually getting their hands on the levers of power. And when someone who is 85% on their side gets his hands on those levers, they tear that person down because of the final %15.

    The left will lose political power in both houses of Congress and, who knows, maybe even the Whitehouse in 2012. And then the States will be well and truly fucked.

  230. 230
    SIA says:

    I’m watching the speech now. I don’t get what problems people are having with it, except for their own expectations that were projected on to the president. The first few minutes he briefly describes the problem and what they’re doing about it. He doesn’t minimize the damage that’s coming. And he is showing true empathy for the people on the gulf, the group to whom I believe this speech is directed. He says, regarding their “wrenching anxiety” that their way of life will be lost, “I will not let that happen”, ie, um, leadership.

    I dunno. Seems good to me. But I am deeply sorry Tweety and Hot-Head Olbermann are disappointed.

    /Obot also connected with reality

  231. 231
    Anachronym says:

    Just to rant a little more about oil and nuclear power… tldr at the bottom.

    The Three Mile Island reactor incident more or less put an end to new investment in nuclear energy in our country. I’ve seen numerous comparisons between TMI and this oil spill, in the sense that the Deepwater Horizon disaster should bring an end to ocean oil drilling in the same way. But frankly, these comparisons are deeply unfair… to Three Mile Island.

    In the TMI incident, none of the nuclear fuel escaped from the reactor vessel. The automatic reactor shutdown processes operated exactly as designed, and brought the critical reaction to a halt as soon as the problem started. A small amount of contaminated gasses did escape, but at a level that was undetectable in the surrounding environment. The total area contaminated by the accident was limited to the footprint of reactor unit 2 itself. No property outside of the reactor grounds required either decontamination or abandonment. Reactor unit 1, immediately adjacent, is still in operation today. No deaths occurred during the accident. The total health impact of the accident was summarized as follows (from wikipedia):

    According to the American Nuclear Society, using the official radiation emission figures, “The average radiation dose to people living within ten miles of the plant was eight millirem, and no more than 100 millirem to any single individual. Eight millirem is about equal to a chest X-ray, and 100 millirem is about a third of the average background level of radiation received by US residents in a year.”
    Based on these low emission figures, early scientific publications on the health effects of the fallout estimated one or two additional cancer deaths in the 10-mile area around TMI.

    In other words, even in failure, the engineering design of the TMI reactor was a success, and reactor designs since then have taken into account the failures that occurred at TMI to become more passively safe, ie designed to automatically shut down safely in the event of any system failures, and specifically engineered to be unable to melt down.

    Not one of these points apply to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Almost two months later, it is still out of control. It has contaminated (or will) THOUSANDS OF MILES of coastline. It is in the process of completely destroying the ecology in the greater part of the entire gulf of mexico. There is no chance that the long term health effects of this spill will be within two orders of magnitude of ‘one or two deaths’. It will take years to clean up the contamination, and some areas will never recover. BP does not even possess the amount of money that will ultimately be required to restore the gulf coast, even assuming they can be induced to part with said money.

    TL;DR: The Deepwater Horizon disaster is THOUSANDS of times worse, at a minimum, in terms of actual consequences to public health and the environment, than Three Mile Island. It should trigger a major reevaluation of our societal rejection of nuclear energy, at least if anyone is serious about getting rid of the oil economy and avoiding endless repetitions of this disaster.

  232. 232
    Jeffro says:

    @JMY:
    JMY: I was using “Obot” in reference to myself, and I meant it – I was there way before it was him vs. Hillary, and I still support him. I appreciate that he’s in talks with the people down there, and he’s certainly more ‘new energy’ than any previous president, bar none.

    And I am not at all saying he’s doing nothing. I was hoping he’d help people see the larger connection – that big corporations have too much control & influence, and too little checks on what they do.

    Maybe Neutron Flux was right in calling me a dreamer (although for different, and probably insulting, reasons =)

    Don’t get too worked up (I don’t and won’t) – we are on the same side here. That’s why that instant “firebagger” nonsense from Mike Kay really rankled – what a low info knucklehead. He’s funny most times, but still…

  233. 233
    lamh32 says:

    Also,

    I like Rachel Maddow, but she brought up the fact that Obama asked for prayers or blessing or whatever for the region, and now people are complaining about that part of the speech too.

    Seriously, is this really worth any mention at all.

    1st of all, take it from someone who’s from that region and who has family there. The prayers and blessings will be appreciated by the majority of Gulf coast residents.

    2nd, I get it, not all of us are “religious” people are “people of faith”, but Obama has written about the importance of his faith, always has and probably always will. So why is it so surprising that he would do it now. Unlike Bush, Palin, et al, Obama doesn’t wear his faith on his sleeve, and he doesn’t seem to use his faith as reasoning for his policy decisions, unlike Bushie and the like. Also, just cause he asked for prayers doesn’t mean he gonna put together “prayer circles”. Way to be condescending to people of faith. Not all of them are crazed conservs. Some of us are flaming liberals as well.

    For my money, if you are complaining about that part of the speech, then you were probably not gonna be satisfied with any part of the speech anyway.

  234. 234
    JMY says:

    @magurakurin:

    Nothing will change until the citizens vote for what’s in their best interest, which they often don’t. The fact that everything the government does to help the public is labeled as socialism or communism doesn’t do any favors either.

  235. 235
    TuiMel says:

    @Josh:
    Josh, my math (albeit “old people” math) tells me that you are WAY to young to have half your brain die and your soul eat itself! Friends, acquaintances, family members are going to hold political opinions that will shock and disappoint you. My brother-in-law, whom I have known for almost 45 years and who is no dummy, highlights (approvingly) the musings of Ann Coulter. And yes, finding this out was almost like I had found kiddie porn on his computer. I could not believe it. I did not want to believe it. But, it let me know what I was up against in the few political discussions I now dare have with him.

  236. 236
    SIA says:

    @lamh32:

    Way to be condescending to people of faith. Not all of them are crazed conservs. Some of us are flaming liberals as well.

    This. I haven’t been in a church in years except for funerals and weddings, but I can respect any person’s beliefs as long as they don’t try to force them on others or use them as a basis to judge (which unfortunately many of them do). The crazed right has tried to hijack religion and the flag but it’s not theirs to take.

    I have offered more than one prayer for the animals and people of the gulf region in the last two months. I have no idea if it goes anywhere, but it calms my heart. In the meantime, I’m weaning myself off as much plastic as possible, recycling, turning off lights, etc etc.

  237. 237
    TuiMel says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Apropos of your comment, Michael Tomasky also is thinking along those lines:

    http://www.prospect.org/csnc/b....._impossibl

  238. 238
    JMY says:

    @Jeffro:

    My apologies about the Obot thing. My response to your original comment has more to do when people say “he’s not being a leader” or “he’s not mad enough.” I could see if he actually just sat in the Oval Office and didn’t even make as much as a phone call, but that’s not the case. How does one determine whether he’s being or leader or is mad about the situation? Your concerns and ideas are definitely warranted and substantial, so I didn’t mean to brush it off as if it was nothing.

  239. 239
    jaleh says:

    I love this site. This is exactly how I felt.

    BTW, Frontline is having a special on, guess who, OBAMA!!!

  240. 240
    JMY says:

    @lamh32:

    You know he’s pandering to the religious right? So he’s obviously moving to the right himself…

  241. 241
    Jeffro says:

    @cleek:
    Well, Cleek, we go with the blog we have, not the blog we choose to have…=)

    No, seriously, I have read BJ for the past few years and the commenters have some good insight on a lot of topics. (I am biased – I like to cook and have been getting into soccer for a while now, so BJ’s pretty high on my radar these days =)

    If someone misinterprets my critique of Obama’s BP speech, or his inability to help people connect that dot with so many other problems we’ve been having with unregulated capitalism, it’s pretty easy to try again and explain a little further.

    Although I have to admit, it will be funny tomorrow at the office, explaining to some of my more liberal friends and fellow Obama supporters that I got called a “firebagger”. Say whut?!? =)

  242. 242
    Montysano says:

    If someone has already done this, my apologies, but:

    Now I understand that everyone’s shit is emotional right now…

  243. 243
    Jeffro says:

    @lamh32:
    Total props here. While not being religious myself, I always tell my (very) devout relatives, whenever they’re in a crisis, “my thoughts and prayers are with you”.

    What does it hurt, to reassure others and respect their beliefs, right?

  244. 244
    kdaug says:

    @Anachronym: Sigh, you are an idiot.

    We get electric power from nuclear plants, solar, wind, natgas generators, etc.

    There’s no such thing as an electric 787. Probably won’t ever be, certainly not in 20 years.

    Electric personal transport? Sure. Electric delivery fleets? Absolutely. Trains and trucks? Probably.

    But unless you think we’re going to start packing portable nuclear generators onto planes in 20 years for passenger and cargo transport, forget it.

    Please, people, understand the difference between electrical generation, and what it can be used for, and petrochemical combustion.

    There is strong motivation for the oil and gas industry to simply label both “energy”. They’re NOT the same, they have wildly different applications, and one can be clean (electricity), but we can’t do without the other (oil) yet.

  245. 245
    TuiMel says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Mary Landrieu would rather be swallowed by an Arrakis sandworm

    Oh, that this were possible.

  246. 246
    Jeffro says:

    @JMY:
    Not a worry at all!

  247. 247
    robertdsc says:

    @Anachronym:
    The reason people fear nuclear power is not because of TMI, but Chernobyl. Never mind that the RBMK reactor design was crap, never mind that the safety test that precipitated the event was totally wrong, but that’s what people think when folks scaremonger nuclear power.

    There’s no way around that save some Luntzian wordsmithery that pro-nuke people could use. Even then, the operational record for nukes in this country isn’t very sharp, though no TMI-level accidents have occured.

    there’s also the problem about waste. Sure, Obama could undo Jimmy Carter’s executive order banning reprocessing, but there are thousands of tons of materials that can’t be reprocessed. What are we going to do with those materials? Yucca Mountain isn’t an option and how long did that process take? 20+ years?

    I don’t mind nuclear power, but the obstacles involved are insurmountable, especially in this toxic political environment.

  248. 248
    Emma says:

    I was going to rant, but what the hell. It’s not important anymore. All our liberal “allies” who are so disappointed that this President, unlike the previous one, actually has some respect for the Constitution and some grasp of reality, will form behind some moron challenger in three years and when the Democratic party gets handed its arse and Obama is out of a job and we have President Romney or President Pawlenty, they will all go back to their preferred role of whiny victim.

    In the past year, I have come to admire one thing about the Republicans. They dance with the one what brung ’em. No matter how stupid, how idiotic, how self-centered, they know better than to throw stones at the man at the top if he is theirs.

    No wonder they succeed.

  249. 249
    Anachronym says:

    @kdaug:

    Sigh, you are an idiot.

    Gee, thanks. I had no idea that nuclear reactors produce electric power, or that combustion engines burn petrochemicals! I’m glad you could enlighten me.

    You cite one example, aircraft, which are unlikely to stop using fossil fuels soon. And then you gloss over the vast majority of uses of petrochemicals for which we already have decades of research into workable alternatives, such as hydrogen fuel cells, that can convert electrical power into a dependable fuel source for most forms of ground-based transport. Not to mention replacing oil as a source for heating. Not to mention the majority of our current electrical generation capacity is based on the burning of either oil or coal.

    But yes, air travel is going to continue to require jet fuel for a long time to come, which amounts to around 8-12% of a barrel of oil. Apparently you think that invalidates trying to replace the other ~90% with a clean source? I was expecting a debate about waste disposal issues, not a specious complaint that electrical power isn’t appropriate for some applications. Well, at least you did better than the guy who tried to insist that 50% of a barrel of oil is used for plastics.

  250. 250
    Anachronym says:

    @robertdsc:
    I agree about Chernobyl. It is a far better comparison for the Deepwater Horizon spill than TMI. Unfortunately, the two tend to get lumped together despite having very little in common. The Chernobyl reactor was an idiotic design, operated by idiots and supervised by idiots. But there is very little awareness of the differences in modern reactor technology.

    There actually is no need for Obama to rescind the order on reprocessing — it was rescinded in 1981.

    As far as the nuclear waste issue goes, reinvestment in newer reactor technology would actually have the effect of reducing the amount of waste requiring storage. There are several designs for breeder reactors which not only burn up most of the fission byproducts, but also consume the uranium-238 — what most people know as ‘depleted uranium’ — which constitutes most of the waste from uranium mining. Current reactors only rely on the 0.7% of natural uranium-235, leaving the U-238 as massive stockpiles of unused material. A shift to breeder reactors would both reduce the amount of this excess uranium, and decrease the amount of uranium mining needed.

    No question about the problems in the political environment, unfortunately. I do find it odd that the republicans have not latched on to nuclear power, even as they handcuff themselves to the oil drilling industry. Seems very inconsistent, but then, they’re republicans.

  251. 251
    kdaug says:

    @Anachronym: OK, I’ll cop to being a bit rude.

    You want to talk disposal issues? Molten salt reactor. Safe alternative to nuclear reactors. Destroys plutonium and uranium, rendering it completely non-radioactive and inert. The U.S. Air Force had a couple working prototypes back in the 1950s. Dropped in favor of nuclear reactors because we wanted the enriched uranium for weapons.

    As re: safe nuclear power? Try pebble bed reactors – individual beads of enriched uranium in a ceramic coating, which prevents them from hitting “melt-down” temperatures. The ceramic allows enough heat for power, but not enough for cascading failures.

    But until we can come up with a way to transport troops, bombs, material, and goods globally as quickly as we can by air, oil ain’t going away.

    It’s a national security issue in the end.

  252. 252
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @kdaug:

    Please, people, understand the difference between electrical generation, and what it can be used for, and petrochemical combustion.

    Not to mention lubricating all those machines and paving all those roads, among other things.

  253. 253
    AxelFoley says:

    @Emma:

    In the past year, I have come to admire one thing about the Republicans. They dance with the one what brung ‘em. No matter how stupid, how idiotic, how self-centered, they know better than to throw stones at the man at the top if he is theirs.
    No wonder they succeed.

    Bingo. I said virtually the same thing the other day.

  254. 254
    Mr Furious says:

    “Keith Olberman and Matthews were screaming. Literally. They’re beside themselves with anger.”

    Yep. Tweety is still looking for that leg tingle, and Olbermann is upset with the lack of “SIR!” in the speech.

  255. 255
    Mr Furious says:

    @Anachronym:

    re: Three Mile Island vs Deepwater Horizon

    Yeah, your correct in the scientific term paper sense, but that’s not reality. Not even close. On it’s worst day, this oil spill is a heartbreaking, tragic mess of unimaginable proportion, but for everyone not living on the Gulf it has zero real impact on their daily life. They can’t see it, and it can’t hurt them.

    Oil spills kill pelicans and sea turtles. (And penguins).

    Reactor meltdowns have a kill radius. Evacuation plans.

    It doesn’t matter that there hasn’t been a major nuclear disaster that “went all the way.” The potential is enough. If you live near one, it is a constant towering reminder that an accident there could kill everyone in town in an instant, or slowly over years.

    I’m with you on supporting a nuclear renaissance in the U.S., but it ain’t happenin. Not before the oil runs out.

    There’s a fucking NIMBY effect for fucking windmills in this country. See how far you get proposing dozens of small nuclear power plants…

    And politically? There is even less will for this, if that’s possible.

  256. 256
    Mr Furious says:

    To be clear: Not trying to be a dick. You don’t need to sell me on nuclear. Pebble bed…breeder…whatever. I’m in.

    No one else will be.

    Logistically the waste is the biggest problem? You will barely ever even need to get to that part of the discussion with most people…

    And now paranoid 1% Doctrine-types will hype the terrorism threat on top of the rest

  257. 257
    mclaren says:

    @John Cole:

    Obama would have to stand up there and say “Those pelicans coated with oil and shrimp that taste like wd-40? You stupid motherfuckers can expect more of that until you stop voting for assholes who oppose alternative energy sources and any move away from fossil fuels. Until then, I hear dental floss works ok removing tarballs from your teeth, you dumbasses…”

    Four words:

    Jimmy Carter malaise speech.

    Obama isn’t stupid. He knows the landslide Reagan won by in 1980 because Jimmy Carter told the American people some unpleasant truths they didn’t want to hear about themselves.

  258. 258
    Daddy-O says:

    God bless ya, John Cole. Damn glad to be here…

    Best Open Thread in a while. Short while.

  259. 259

    […] John Cole: “Those penguins pelicans coated with oil and shrimp that taste like wd-40? You stupid motherfuckers can expect more of that until you stop voting for assholes who oppose alternative energy sources and any move away from fossil fuels. Until then, I hear dental floss works ok removing tarballs from your teeth, you dumbasses. Also, this response IS big government, you teabagging shitheels.” […]

  260. 260
    D-Chance. says:

    @Anachronym:

    Yes. Greedy, cost-cutting corporations regulated by corrupt US agencies jacking up hundreds of nuclear plants coast-to-coast… WHAT could possibly go WRONG?

  261. 261
    Anachronym says:

    @Mr Furious:
    I think you overstate the level of opposition to nuclear power. It’s actually become reasonably acceptable over the last decade. Not hugely so, but it’s not as politically toxic as you make it out. 62% support is a long way from an untouchable topic.

    Of course, general polls about nuclear energy are going to differ from ones about whether you want one in your backyard. But there’s enough support there for at least a modest national initiative.

    And if the last 18 months has carried any lessons, it’s that public opinion is not immutable. Judging by the number of so-called independents running around screaming their heads off about how they feel betrayed by Obama, a stiff breeze can push it 20 points in any direction. This fiasco in the gulf has got to have some potential to change opinions.

    Which is the main point I am trying to express — the huge disparity in environmental, health and economic damage risks between one form of power (nuclear) that we’ve collectively turned our backs on, and another (oil drilling) which one major political party has wedded itself to and all the other Serious People insist is unquestionable as a national energy policy.

    We need someone out there (among the Serious Persons) making these points and trying to get a little momentum behind what is, in the long term, the only energy policy that makes sense at the scales we require as a civilization.

  262. 262
    D-Chance. says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    U can haz FAIL today, too… it’s been common around here.

    :)

  263. 263
    D-Chance. says:

    @SIA:

    Didn’t they already try the Junk Shot?

  264. 264
    D-Chance. says:

    I don’t know where they’re going to be housed, or why you wouldn’t just hire people from the area, or why anyone would take a 12 dollar an hour temp job that requires relocating, but it will “make us feel better”.

    Where will we find anyone wanting a temporary government job that pays little and yet puts its workers at great risk?

    Let me check last month’s jobs report, where over 400K of the 430K new jobs were census workers…

  265. 265
    Anachronym says:

    @D-Chance:
    You realize that 20% of our current electricity generation capacity in the US is already from nuclear reactors? Despite the fact that we haven’t built a new one in 30 years? It’s not like there’s no track record here.

    Although I’d be in favor of a law stating that Halliburton is not allowed within twenty miles of one.

  266. 266
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Emma:

    In the past year, I have come to admire one thing about the Republicans. They dance with the one what brung ‘em. No matter how stupid, how idiotic, how self-centered, they know better than to throw stones at the man at the top if he is theirs.

    That’s actually not true, though, as we’ve seen first with the Christian right and now with the “tea party.” They’ve been taking down Republican moderates for decades. They managed to shut up and get behind Reagan and Bush II, and they bitched and moaned about Bush I and McCain. And that’s the source of all the DKos/FDL angst: why can’t _our_ true believers ever get any traction? Why don’t politicians fear _us_? I get it, it’s frustrating. But I don’t think it’s a tractable problem.

    People said all the same shit about Clinton — why wasn’t he more of a liberal, etc., etc. They had legitimate concerns and legitimate frustrations. And then people decided that they were so deflated by those concerns and frustrations that they could barely see the difference between Gore and Bush. So in 2012 get ready to hear people saying that they see no difference between Obama and Romney, and smirk when Romney wins that if Obama had been a better president they wouldn’t have been forced to vote for the Medea Benjamin/Cindy Sheehan ticket, which, now that they’ve “heightened the contradictions,” is the first step in undermining corporate oligarchy. And then they’ll wonder why no one really takes their white-papers seriously, but they’ll be much happier making jokes about magic underwear and dogs strapped to the roof of the car.

    Or, to put it another way, this is why we can’t have nice things.

  267. 267
    Anachronym says:

    @kdaug:
    Thanks.

    The molten salt reactor is one possibility. It does still have radioactive end-products, but much less problematic ones. There’s also the GFR which is basically a pebble-bed-style breeder reactor, and I think will prove to be inherently more safe than the sodium-cooled designs. Sodium is a ridiculously volatile substance to be using in this sort of application.

    Yeah, I can’t see an easy substitute for jet fuel for air travel. Current battery technology has nowhere near the necessary energy density. Biodiesel or something like it might be an answer; there’s been serious research into aviation applications lately. But jet fuel is a small part of our overall oil usage. (lubricants and asphalt, for the record, are an even tinier part.) If all we can do is replace the petrochemical applications that do not require that kind of high energy density, that alone would get us 90% of the way there. In fact, it would get us all the way to no longer being dependent on foreign sources of oil.

    Not to mention replacing coal, so that we don’t have to dig up EVERY mountain in Appalachia. Or the fact that it would cut our collective greenhouse gas emissions by an enormous amount.

  268. 268
    Johnny Pez says:

    I think John Cole is right. As President of the United States of America, Barack Obama is practically powerless. There’s really not much he can do. About anything.

  269. 269
    bob h says:

    “You stupid motherfuckers can start using BP salad oil”?

  270. 270

    […] left and very angry John Cole: I can’t believe our politics is so fucking stupid that the President has to bow to political […]

  271. 271
    Remember November says:

    @John Cole:

    Touchdown Jesus says “It is up, and it is good”.

    You win the day, sir.

  272. 272
    singe says:

    He did say something valuable;

    Put this paraphrase on a bumper sticker;
    “Regulators are not Partners”

    If we could stay with this one simple point we would make light years of progress in protecting our planet. Back in the Reagan years the right introduced the idea that the job of government was to ‘partner’ with commerce and help it succeed. Suddenly in agencies at the federal, state and local levels folks who used to make sure day care centers were safe, food preparation was properly tested and on and on were subject to supervisory and political critique for not helping these profit making entities realize their dreams. The ultimate end game of this ideological prostitution is regulators of oil companies letting them inspect their own rigs.

    If Obama can infuse a new respectability to rigorous regulation he will accomplish an enormous service for the nation and it’s future. We may not even notice it as we are so overwhelmed with the disaster but long term this would be very important.

  273. 273
    toujoursdan says:

    @kdaug:

    This this this… It will still take oil to mine the uranium needed for nuclear plants, manufacture the parts needed to build nuclear plants and power the equipment needed to construct nuclear power plants, build and maintain the greater infrastructure needed to operate nuclear power plants, deliver the electric output from nuclear power plants, transport the waste from nuclear power plants and build and maintain the dumping sites for waste.

    Beyond that, in no way, shape or form can nuclear power plants take the place of oil in the manufacture and transport of food (it takes 10 ounces of oil to produce 1 ounce of food today) or act as a substitute for oil in plastics, electronics, medical equipment, etc.

    We are in a civilization that is utterly dependent on oil. We cannot function without it. You probably don’t have one thing in your entire house that wasn’t made with oil, and that even includes organic food.

    Even if Obama instituted a “Manhattan Project” initiative to try to take the U.S. off oil, in a nation of 300 million people without unlimited resources, that would take decades and never be complete. And even if the U.S. could do it, our economy would still be vulnerable to economic chaos because we are globalized and connected to nations that will not or cannot do this.

    Alternative fuels may lessen our dependence on oil, but this utopian “green” future based on “emerging technology” is a pipedream. It’s fantasy. It’s the secular “Star Trek” version of Christian heaven or the communist workers’ paradise. Our whole economy is based on increasing levels of population growth and economic “growth” via unsustainable consumption, but we live on a planet of finite resources and limited places to store waste. The moving rock and that hard place are going to collide sometime.

    Those who sited The Oil Drum’s excellent coverage of the BP disaster should bookmark it and read it for the discussions on peak oil and alternative energy. You’ll find that when you dig a little deeper, you’ll realize that alternative energy isn’t going to save us and that the transition to a post-oil future is going to be quite painful.

  274. 274
    Emma says:

    FlipYrWhig: True, they have internal battles, but have you noticed that it has all gone in one direction? For thirty years the message has been consistent and even the messengers are the same. In the meantime, the new generation is even more conservative than the one before. It’s a movement, and people on my side of the aisle think that throwing stones is enough.

    And at no time did they diss Bush. Now, there were people there that in unguarded moment did speak their mind. But when push came to shove, they rallied around their president.

    My first professor of political science, ye many years ago, said it best: Republicans eat other people’s children, Democrats eat their own.

  275. 275
    AxelFoley says:

    @Johnny Pez:

    I think John Cole is right. As President of the United States of America, Barack Obama is practically powerless. There’s really not much he can do. About anything

    Pretty much a fail statement there, son.

  276. 276
    Sheila says:

    John, why can’t you believe our politics “is so fucking stupid” when it’s been proven to be the case for untold years?

  277. 277
    Manly Awesome says:

    These guys ripped into the speech pretty well, I thought.

    http://greatbiglies.org/2010/0.....vuvuzelas/

  278. 278

    Obama missed his GOLDEN Oval Office Speech MOMENT.

    Instead of Praying,
    He should have ended with a
    RODNEY DANGERFIELD IMPERSONATION:
    “I’m tellin ‘ya… I don’t get NO RESPECT…
    No Respect at ALL!!!”

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  1. […] left and very angry John Cole: I can’t believe our politics is so fucking stupid that the President has to bow to political […]

  2. […] John Cole: “Those penguins pelicans coated with oil and shrimp that taste like wd-40? You stupid motherfuckers can expect more of that until you stop voting for assholes who oppose alternative energy sources and any move away from fossil fuels. Until then, I hear dental floss works ok removing tarballs from your teeth, you dumbasses. Also, this response IS big government, you teabagging shitheels.” […]

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