Sunday, May 16, 2010

"cheney’s chernobyl"

Ann Laurie: Best Gulf-Spill Cleanup Suggestion Yet

My personal suspicion is that Halliburton’s got way more incriminating stuff buried in its file cabinets, just because we haven’t had Darth Cheney all over the Media Village telling the DFHs and other sane people to go fvck ourselves.

John Cole: And Then Obama Blew Up That Oil Rig And Tried to Get Away Blame Free

Chip Reid knows who is to blame for the oil spill in the gulf:

Angry Obama Seeks to Deflect Blame for Gulf Oil Spill Crisis

The president seemed genuinely angry today, on a beautiful spring afternoon in the Rose Garden. Having watched him on a daily basis for about a year and a half, I’m confident he wasn’t faking it.

He seems deeply upset about the growing calamity in the Gulf, about the environmental damage, about the irresponsibility of the companies involved, and about their efforts to shift the blame.

“I did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle during the congressional hearings into this matter,” he intoned. “You had executives of BP and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else.”

President Obama may have decried finger-pointing today, but he also did a fair amount of it himself. Not only at the three companies, but at previous administrations.

Yeah. I can’t imagine why the White House doesn’t want you assholes anywhere near Supreme Court nominees or why they view you all with sheer contempt.

  • from the comments:


    assholes. deflect? this is cheney’s chernobyl (someone here coined it) and Reid says Obama is deflecting. Fucking jerk.


    Didn’t you hear? Obama dug the well himself, using slave labor supplied by ACORN, under direct orders from Fat Al Gore, whose diabolical plan to discredit the worlds’ oil companies is proceeding nicely.

    The really sad thing is that parts of that above paragraph have been advanced in all seriousness by various members of the conservative media establishment.

Lately, there seems to be a pattern in developments surrounding the BP oil spill disaster: the news is always bad.

Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.

"There's a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water," said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. "There's a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column."

The plumes are depleting the oxygen dissolved in the gulf, worrying scientists, who fear that the oxygen level could eventually fall so low as to kill off much of the sea life near the plumes.

Dr. Joye said the oxygen had already dropped 30 percent near some of the plumes in the month that the broken oil well had been flowing. "If you keep those kinds of rates up, you could draw the oxygen down to very low levels that are dangerous to animals in a couple of months," she said Saturday. "That is alarming."

The AP, meanwhile, reports that BP launched a new effort to use a mile-long pipe to capture much of the oil flowing into the Gulf, "but engineers failed to connect two pieces of equipment a mile below the water's surface."

Officials from BP said they're confident the pipe can be adjusted and that this effort may prove to be effective, but then again, officials from BP say a lot of things.

Matt Yglesias: Jack Bauer Republicans

Here’s a frightening piece from Benjy Sarlin in the Daily Beast:

Call them the Jack Bauer Republicans.

Two Iraq veterans who left the military after surviving charges of crimes against detainees are running credible campaigns for Congress. And far from minimizing the incidents, both candidates have put the accusations front and center in their campaigns, attracting rock-star adulation from conservatives nationwide in the process. But critics, including human-rights activists, veterans, and now even defeated primary opponents, warn that their records should disqualify them from office.

Love of violence and brutality is deeply ingrained in the conservative worldview, which I think is what you can see here.


Just three weeks ago, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank had a perfectly reasonable column on the Republican Party's shift to the hard-right. It was premised on Florida Gov. Charlie Crist "being drummed out" of the GOP, but it captured nicely the larger context of the party's increasingly radical transition.

But Milbank couldn't leave well enough alone. In a column devoted to highlighting Republican extremism, the Post writer just had to say, "Both parties have been undergoing ideological cleansing." The observation was both wrong and superfluous.

Today, Milbank has an even more compelling column, which is just devastating for the GOP. It laments the "crackup of the Republican Party," chronicling Bob Bennett's purge in Utah, and the truly ridiculous new platform adopted by the Maine Republican Party. He proceeded to make note of the larger trend, which also includes the GOP gubernatorial candidate in Alabama who's under fire for only being a partial Biblical literalist, and Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) literally laughable new anti-immigration campaign ad.

The Republican Party, Milbank observed, "is turning into this One-World-Government, Obama-worships-Satan, Jesus-opposes-climate-bill melange."

It's a really strong, persuasive, well-argued piece, raising an important point that many observers at major media outlets deliberately avoid.

But once again, Milbank just had to go there.

Democrats are having purity putsches, too, in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Colorado.

[bangs head against desk]

First, Democratic primaries are not necessarily evidence of "purity putsches." We've been through this. Taking the Pennsylvania case, for example, we see Arlen Specter facing a Democratic challenger in large part because Specter was a Republican for the last three decades, and he endorsed Bush/Cheney and McCain/Palin. Subjecting him to a primary is hardly an example of the Democratic base imposing some kind of rigid ideological test, or moving too far to the hard-left.

Second, there's really no comparison between a handful of Senate primaries and a Republican Party that, by Milbank's own admission, appears to have gone stark raving mad.

And third, reporters at major outlets have to realize one of these days that there's nothing wrong with a publishing a piece critical of the GOP -- and leaving it at that. I'm well aware of the unwritten rule -- all criticism of Republicans has to include related criticism of Democrats, whether it makes sense or not -- but it's wildly unnecessary, and at a certain level, misleads the public into thinking "both sides" are equally guilty of the same transgressions. They're not.

There's no need to put a pox on both houses, when only one deserves it.

  • from the comments:

    Milbank is right. The Republican party is a serial killer - hacking co-eds and children to pieces and burying them in the backyard. B-b-but the Democrats are really bad too - they have an overdue library book.

    Posted by: ckelly on May 16, 2010 at 9:07 AM


I've made a conscious effort to avoid coverage of a certain former half-term governor lately, but Sarah Palin's recent remarks demanding more coastal drilling seem pretty important under the circumstances.

It's not just the topical nature of her misguided comments -- there is, in case she hasn't heard, a devastating oil spill in the Gulf, that gets worse every day -- but Palin's demands are also evidence of a larger problem with the far-right approach to public policy.

"After inheriting a good pro-development GOP plan that opened up both coasts for drilling, the Obama administration halted development ... and now we're gonna study, more study of the South Atlantic and parts of the Gulf of Mexico ... my goodness, folks, these areas have been studied to death ... I have seen so many, many studies!

"I say, let's send the White House this message: that, you know, we can save taxpayer time, save money and announce: there is oil and gas down there, and we can produce it safely and responsibly! We don't need more studies, we need more action! Because energy produced in America is security for America, and it is jobs for American workers, jobs that can't be outsourced. Let's drill baby, drill, not stall, baby, stall!"

It's hard not to chuckle at the notion that the conspicuously unintelligent former half-term governor has actually "seen so many, many studies" -- as if she spends her free time digging through reports from the Department of Interior.

But the larger point Palin is trying to make here is pretty straightforward: stop being methodical, stop worrying about consequences, stop getting the facts together, and just do stuff. Evidence and research are fine for eggheads and East coast intellectuals, but who needs thinking when there are oil rigs to erect along the nation's coastline? Everything will probably work out for the best, right? We can obviously count on oil companies to do the right thing and deal with any problems that arise.

The right-wing media personality couldn't possibly understand this, but her approach is exactly what helped create this nightmare in the first place. Federal officials cleared drilling in the Gulf "without first getting required permits from another agency that assesses threats to endangered species -- and despite strong warnings from that agency about the impact the drilling was likely to have on the gulf." Officials could have also required remote acoustic shutoff switches, but was more concerned with getting the process underway -- without "stalling" -- with minimal burdens on the industry.

In other words, we already tried the "act first, think second" approach Palin recommends. We'll be dealing with the costs for a very long time.

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