The Oily Obama Press Conference

Update VIII: Big Pink favorite Craig Crawford agrees with us:

“A defensive, un-authoritative, and equivocal Barack Obama did nothing today to show he’s in charge of what appears to be our biggest oil spill in history. He couldn’t even answer whether or not he had fired someone.

Today’s press conference — his first since July — was a time for the President to demonstrate he is on top of the crisis. Despite repeated assertions of control, Obama’s awkward demeanor suggested just the opposite. He came across as a beleaguered bureaucrat on damage control.

Perhaps the most stunning missed opportunity to show some authority was his non-answer to a question about whether US Minerals Management Service Director Elizabeth Birnbaum was fired. “I found out about her resignation today,” he obliquely said.

While Birnbaum’s departure is hardly at the top of the list of concerns in this disaster, Obama’s detachment was indicative of the impression he has allowed of a president on the sidelines.”

Before the publicity stunt Crawford had some wise things to say as well.

Tom Bevan on Obama’s failed, oily publicity stunt:

“If Obama had given today’s press conference four weeks ago, he might be in far less hot water than he’s currently in. But stepping up to the teleprompter 38 days after the initial spill, with all the intervening time and press coverage of the event, and asserting that he’s been on top of it like white on rice since Day One comes across very much like historical revisionism from the department of C.Y.A.

The press, to the extent they do their jobs, should be able to easily go back through the chronology of the last five weeks and find plenty of gaping holes in Obama’s claim of instant, constant, and urgent engagement on behalf of the White House and his administration. Obama said he’d leave the Katrina comparisons to the media which, given the skepticism expressed by some of the questions by reporters, is something he might live to regret.

Two other problems with the press conference, one factual and one stylistic. The first: it came across as contradictory for Obama – again, for a man who claims to be waking up and going to bed thinking about nothing else – to be so uninformed about the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of Elizabeth Birnbaum, the director of MMS.”

It appears “daddy” did not plug the hole he dug for himself. “Daddy” also has a Sestak hole to fill. We expect that hole will be covered tomorrow with a brand new stonewall.

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Update VII: What is ultimately terrifying is if we believe Barack Obama, which we don’t. Imagine for a moment, if Barack Obama is telling the truth, which he is not. If Obama is to be believed, he really did do the best he can, he really did exert himself – that is scary. If that is the best he can do the oceans will rise, the planet will keel.

Here’s Politico’s sympathetic version of today’s silly publicity stunt:

“Those who think that we were either slow in our responses or lacked urgency don’t know the facts. This has been our highest priority since this crisis occurred,” Obama said during a rare news conference in the White House East Room. “We understood from day one the potential enormity of this crisis and acted accordingly.” [snip]

“There shouldn’t be any confusion here: the federal government is fully engaged and I’m fully engaged,” he said.

Obama also tried to address critics of the government’s role by making an unequivocal declaration: the federal government is heading up the relief and cleanup response.

The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began the federal government has been in charge of the response effort,” he said. “Make no mistake: BP is operating at our direction.”

The past month is supposed to assure Americans? This is the best the Boob can do?

At today’s publicity stunt Obama also stated he did not know whether Liz Birnbaum quit or was fired. Imagine that. We are supposed to believe that on the matter of a major quit/firing – a few hours before a nationally televised press conference, a person who says he is deeply involved in the details and “in charge”, “fully engaged” does not know what happened on a simple bureaucratic question. Obama says he is in charge but does not know anything and we are supposed to believe and be satisfied.

No doubt the Hopium guzzler Big Boy blogs will accept Obama’s version of reality. But even if you accept the Sergeant Schultz “I know nothing, nothing….” excuses along with the “I am the President” ego fluffery – this is a worrisome reality we are in.

On the Sestak matter Obama likewise appears to know nothing but assures us there will be a “response” soon. No doubt the response will come late on a Friday of a holiday weekend busy with news. Hey, what about tomorrow on Memorial Day weekend Friday?

Expect the “response” tomorrow after additional publicity stunts from the Chicago clown.

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Update VI: Major Garrett asks “are you comfortable with boots on the neck” type rhetoric. What about Sestak?

Obama: Very shortly, we will put out a “response” on the Sestak matter. As to Salazar who came up with the “boots’ language, he was upset. Salazar can speak for himself.

Obama ends with more homey references, from the TelePrompTer, about how the ocean is sacred and his little girl asks him if the “hole is plugged” (a vulgarity in tone) while he shaves in the bathroom. He is really, really, really, concerned. No doubt the concern is about his political well being.

Press conference ends with Obama taking responsibility and then just as quickly letting go of it.

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Update V: Latin America correspondent has a question on the troops sent to the Mexican border.

Obama repeats he is the president. He does not like the Arizona law but won’t explicitly call for a boycott (an oily way to call for a boycott).

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Update IV: Jackie Calmes: Following up on Chip Reid, weeks before the disaster you approved the drilling even though you say you knew the mess the Minerals agency was in.

Obama: We need oil. Where I was wrong was in believing the oil companies. They said there were safety provisions. But this was unprecedented and my assumptions proved to be incorrect.

Another from Calmes: What in blazes was Salazar doing? Was Birnbaum fired?

Obama: I don’t know if Birnbaum was fired, I’m too busy. Salazar is doing a heckava job.

Obama takes a shot at Sarah Palin by saying he never said “Drill Baby Drill”. He follows that shot by saying how he has tried to work with Republicans.

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Update III: Steve Thomas: You said you were ready on Day 1 so why then are things still developing and equipment still being sent?

Obama says the same things again. Even sort of sheepishly admits that by citing his answer(?) to Tapper.

Chip Reid: Was Elizabeth Birnbaum fired, why? Should other heads role? Salazar has blamed Bush for the cozy relationship with regulators and oil companies. Reid says who knew all that so why didn’t things change.

Obama’s Oily Answer: We changed things. But… But… the “culture” of the agency did not change fast enough and I can’t do anything about that. Oh, and Birnbaum quit.

Julianna is next: Can BP information be trusted? Obama says BP’s interests align with the public interest!!!! After some running around Obama admits – The interest of BP might be to minimize the damage. This is where we might have fallen short, but this does not contradict my previous oily answer. Obama also throws HOPE under the bus and further admits we should have prepared for the worst.

Helen Thomas: When are we getting out of Afghanistan and don’t give us the Bushism that we have to go there so they don’t come here? Obama immediately proceeded to say we went there because they came here. “They are a threat to us.” Obama does his Harry Belafonte impression by using that politically correct pronunciation of “Tal eee ban”.

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Update II: Jake Tapper of ABC quotes Obama saying “everything is being done” but Tapper says that is not true. Tapper cites examples of things not done – barrier island idea by Governor Jindal, tankers sent to collect oil, foreign help, etc. Tapper: How can you say everything is being done when it is not? You’re a liar OilBama! is the point of Jake Tapper.

Obama’s answer is a long-winded one which asserts “decisions were made”.

Chuck Todd has the third: The role of Allen and authority. Also – What about the Katrina comparisons?

Obama: This administration was “on top” of the crisis, Obama says regarding Katrina comparisons. “We’ve got to get it right” is the confused response to the responsibility question and why BP is not doing what should be done. Obama relies on the use of lots of “unprecedented” type arguments, “I am really concerned” types of expressions, and “we did everything right because our advice comes from the best scientists and lots of experts.” Forget that things are totally FUBAR according to your eyes, and instead “trust me”. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

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Update: Obama started off by blaming someone other than himself. Earlier in the morning, the head of the U.S. Minerals Management Service was fired – oil spigot barn door closed after the oil horses have left the well barn.

Obama closes the opening remarks with TelePrompTer expressions of concern.

The first question from Jennifer Loven was about BP or the government in control and about his own personal involvement. Obama began with the usual ‘we were on the job on day one’ rubbish. As usual the answer to “who’s running things?” Obama gave an oily answer which can be reduced to ‘the government’s in charge but BP has the expertise’.

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It will be on momentarily. We’ll comment on it soon.

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150 thoughts on “The Oily Obama Press Conference

  1. Our first update:

    Update: Obama started off by blaming someone other than himself. Earlier in the morning, the head of the U.S. Minerals Management Service was fired – oil spigot barn door closed after the oil horses have left the well barn.

    Obama closes the opening remarks with TelePrompTer expressions of concern.

    The first question from Jennifer Loven was about BP or the government in control and about his own personal involvement. Obama began with the usual ‘we were on the job on day one’ rubbish. As usual the answer to “who’s running things?” Obama gave an oily answer which can be reduced to ‘the government’s in charge but BP has the expertise’.

  2. Obama is looked on as a dishonest broker. Therefore, the consensus is moving around him and he is being told about it after the fact. He loses more stature with every passing day.
    ——————————————————-
    Netanyahu: Time for Direct Peace Talks

    PARIS — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday it’s time to move to direct talks with the Palestinians and that he will raise the issue with President Barack Obama in Washington next week.

    Mr. Netanyahu, after talks in Paris with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, said he wants to move beyond indirect “proximity talks” that are being mediated by the United States.

    “We want to move as speedily as possible to direct talks because the kind of problem that we have with the Palestinians can be resolved in peace and can be arranged only if we sit down together,” Mr. Netanyahu told reporters at the French presidential palace.

    Indirect talks began early this month and have raised hopes direct negotiations could begin soon.

    Mr. Netanyahu said Thursday he will discuss the peace efforts with President Barack Obama in Washington next week. Mr. Netanyahu said, “I think there is a broad consensus that we should move on to direct talks.”

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he hoped indirect talks will yield results in four months, as envisaged.

    “Of course we are committed to peace and to achieving peace through negotiations,” Mr. Abbas said during a visit to Malaysia. “We will see what will happen. Anyhow, we are hopeful.”

    In Paris, Mr. Netanyahu said Mr. Sarkozy “discussed ways that France could help to expedite this process of negotiations.”

    Mr. Sarkozy’s office did not elaborate. The French president has encouraged peace efforts in the past, and offered Thursday to help revive peace efforts between Israel and Syria, according to the French president’s office.

    Mr. Netanyahu praised Mr. Sarkozy’s efforts toward tough new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear activities, which western powers and Israel fear is aimed at making weapons but which Tehran says is aimed at producing nuclear energy.

    Mr. Netanyahu is in Paris for a ceremony welcoming Israel into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of leading world economies. Palestinian officials opposed OECD membership for Israel, citing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and discrimination against its own Arab minority.

    Mr. Netanyahu said in an interview with French daily Le Figaro, “one of the current challenges is to develop the economic situation of the Palestinians,” which he says “could greatly help” peace efforts.

    He did not lay out any proposals for boosting the Palestinian economy, which suffers from high poverty and unemployment.

  3. Update II: Jake Tapper of ABC quotes Obama saying “everything is being done” but Tapper says that is not true. Tapper cites examples of things not done – barrier island idea by Governor Jindal, tankers sent to collect oil, foreign help, etc. Tapper: How can you say everything is being done when it is not? You’re a liar OilBama! is the point of Jake Tapper.

    Obama’s answer is a long-winded one which asserts “decisions were made”.

    Chuck Todd has the third: The role of Allen and authority. Also – What about the Katrina comparisons?

    Obama: This administration was “on top” of the crisis, Obama says regarding Katrina comparisons. “We’ve got to get it right” is the confused response to the responsibility question and why BP is not doing what should be done. Obama relies on the use of lots of “unprecedented” type arguments, “I am really concerned” types of expressions, and “we did everything right because our advice comes from the best scientists and lots of experts.” Forget that things are totally FUBAR according to your eyes, and instead “trust me”. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  4. we did everything right

    ************

    He is so use to being told what to do he can not lead…he hasn’t a clue…poor LA…whoa is us

  5. Succinct response to Obama presser at comment section to link posted by admin above:

    1:00pm Eastern Summary of Obama’s oil spill remarks: Bush at fault. Cozy regulators at fault. Solution: More government, no more drilling.

    Obama defends his sluggish response by criticizing dumb Americans. Bottom line: You all are too stupid and uninformed to realize that this has been his “highest priority” and that the White House has been “singularly focused” on the oil spill.

    Obama: “Those who think we were slow in our response or lacked urgency don’t know the facts.”

    That’s always his excuse.

    Obama writes his own self-aggrandizing history: “I’m confident that people are going to look back and say that this administration was on top of what was an unprecedented crisis.”

  6. I thought the fraud used “drill baby drill” once or twice……he just said he never used it!!!!!

  7. Update IV: Jackie Calmes: Following up on Chip Reid, weeks before the disaster you approved the drilling even though you say you knew the mess the Minerals agency was in.

    Obama: We need oil. Where I was wrong was in believing the oil companies. They said there were safety provisions. But this was unprecedented and my assumptions proved to be incorrect.

    Another from Calmes: What in blazes was Salazar doing? Was Birnbaum fired?

    Obama: I don’t know if Birnbaum was fired, I’m too busy. Salazar is doing a heckava job.

    Obama takes a shot at Sarah Palin by saying he never said “Drill Baby Drill”. He follows that shot by saying how he has tried to work with Republicans.

    —————————————————————————————-

    Update III: Steve Thomas: You said you were ready on Day 1 so why then are things still developing and equipment still being sent?

    Obama says the same things again. Even sort of sheepishly admits that by citing his answer(?) to Tapper.

    Chip Reid: Was Elizabeth Birnbaum fired, why? Should other heads role? Salazar has blamed Bush for the cozy relationship with regulators and oil companies. Reid says who knew all that so why didn’t things change.

    Obama’s Oily Answer: We changed things. But… But… the “culture” of the agency did not change fast enough and I can’t do anything about that. Oh, and Birnbaum quit.

    Julianna is next: Can BP information be trusted? Obama says BP’s interests align with the public interest!!!! After some running around Obama admits – The interest of BP might be to minimize the damage. This is where we might have fallen short, but this does not contradict my previous oily answer. Obama also throws HOPE under the bus and further admits we should have prepared for the worst.

    Helen Thomas: When are we getting out of Afghanistan and don’t give us the Bushism that we have to go there so they don’t come here? Obama immediately proceeded to say we went there because they came here. “They are a threat to us.” Obama does his Harry Belafonte impression by using that politically correct pronunciation of “Tal eee ban”.

  8. “I’m confident that people are going to look back and say that this administration was on top of what was an unprecedented crisis.”
    ********************

    Because by then only “approved” history books will be printed

  9. Update V: Latin America correspondent has a question on the troops sent to the Mexican border.

    Obama repeats he is the president. He does not like the Arizona law but won’t explicitly call for a boycott (an oily way to call for a boycott).

  10. Update VI: Major Garrett asks “are you comfortable with boots on the neck” type rhetoric. What about Sestak?

    Obama: Very shortly, we will put out a “response” on the Sestak matter. As to Salazar who came up with the “boots’ language, he was upset. Salazar can speak for himself.

    Obama ends with more homey references, from the TelePrompTer, about how the ocean is sacred and his little girl asks him if the “hole is plugged” (a vulgarity in tone) while he shaves in the bathroom. He is really, really, really, concerned. No doubt the concern is about his political well being.

    Press conference ends with Obama taking responsibility and then just as quickly letting go of it.

  11. As far as I am concerned the only recent unprecendted crisis was sep 11….how dare he compare the gulf crisis in that capacity…..even Bush II reacted better (which was not so good in the first few days) than BO has reacted on the gulf….

  12. POLLING DEATH SPIRAL: OBAMA LIMBOING DOWNWARD TOWARD CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL NUMBERS

    Here’s one of those mainstream (USA Today) acknowledgements that “this is his Katrina”. Sorry for the length.

    usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-05-27-Spill-poll_N.htm

    Is oil spill becoming Obama’s Katrina?
    =========================

    By Mimi Hall, Rick Jervis and Alan Levin,

    USA TODAY
    The hurricane that drowned New Orleans and cast George W. Bush as out of touch swept across the Gulf Coast nearly five years ago. Now, as oil laps ashore in the very same region, local officials are asking: Is there another government-Gulf Coast disconnect? Is BP’s oil spill becoming this president’s Katrina?
    President Obama will face questions today at his first news conference since oil started gushing five weeks ago.

    Frustrated Gulf Coast residents say they understand that only BP can plug the leak. But they want to know why the federal government didn’t act faster to stop the oil from reaching shore, why BP hasn’t been forced to skim more oil from the surface and why their request hasn’t been approved to build new barrier islands to help keep the oil at bay.

    Q&A: How does the ‘top kill’ work?
    ‘NO GUARANTEES’: BP’s effort to plug leak uproven

    The Obama administration’s response is “dysfunctional, there’s no chain of command, no one’s in charge,” says Parish President Billy Nungesser in Plaquemines, La.

    The public isn’t impressed either.

    A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds that six out of 10 adults say the federal government is doing a “poor” or “very poor” job handling the spill. A majority — 53% — say the same about Obama.

    And 50% of those polled say protecting the environment now should be a higher priority than promoting economic growth. Those choosing the economy: 43%.

    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the administration has been waging an “all-out, all-hands-on-deck battle to protect the Gulf Coast” and ensure that the British energy giant responsible for the spill cleans it up.

    Senior White House adviser David Axelrod says the government is “doing everything conceivable” to limit the damage. “The Katrina analogy suggests that we didn’t or haven’t recognized from the beginning the profound nature of this problem, and that is just flat out wrong,” he says. “Can we do better? You should always strive to do better.”

    BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward, however, conceded Wednesday on NBC’s Today show that his company has “let people down” by allowing the oil to reach delicate marshland and shoreline. “We are going to redouble our efforts,” he promised.

    A range of critics is demanding to know why the federal government hasn’t already forced BP to do better — or just taken over. “The response to the oil coming ashore should be federalized and put in the hands of professional emergency managers and not oil companies,” says Deano Bonano, homeland security chief in Jefferson Parish, La.

    Comparisons to Katrina are limited: More than 1,800 people died when the storm hit and flooded the Gulf Coast in August 2005; 11 men died on the Deepwater Horizon rig when an explosion ruptured the well on April 20.

    In both cases, however, local residents complained about what they say is an anemic response from Washington. “The response to this,” Nungesser says, “has been worse than Katrina.”

    The White House, citing a 1990 law that requires oil companies to clean up their messes, says the government is offering help and overseeing the effort — but they’re insistent that the cleanup is BP’s responsibility.

    The oil company is taking the brunt of the blame. The new poll of 1,049 adults, taken Monday and Tuesday, finds more than seven in 10 people say BP is doing a poor job. The survey has a margin of error of +/–4 percentage points.

    Democratic strategist James Carville, who lives in New Orleans, and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., are among the critics who acknowledge that the government doesn’t have the technological know-how to plug the well and stop the gusher. They contend, however, that the administration has resources — oil-catching booms, manpower, planes and boats, barges and skimmers — that can collect and clean up the oil. Such moves would limit the damage to a fragile ecosystem that supports a way of life for many, including those working in the $2.4 billion seafood industry.

    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says the government is limited by the Oil Pollution Act, passed in the aftermath of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill off the Alaskan coast. Peppered with questions at a recent news briefing about whether the government couldn’t simply “federalize” the response and take over from BP, Gibbs said, “No.”

    Mindful of the frustration, however, the White House is taking a more aggressive approach. On Wednesday, Obama spoke about the spill during an event on the economy in Fremont, Calif. “Let me reiterate,” he said. “We will not rest until this well is shut, the environment is repaired and the cleanup is complete.”

    Today for the first time in 10 months, he will hold a full-fledged news conference. On Friday, he will head back to Louisiana, his second trip this month to inspect the damaged area.

    Scalise says Obama’s increased engagement is overdue. “We don’t need a finger-pointer-in-chief,” he says. “We need a quarterback on the field.”

    Angry residents push back

    The White House has sent out memos to the news media outlining the government-wide response to the spill from the start. Lengthy e-mails outlining everything from the number of Small Business Administration loans approved for Gulf Coast businesses hurt by the spill to the phone number to report “oiled wildlife” have been issued daily, detailing all the steps federal agencies and BP have taken to try to mitigate the ecological damage.

    Wednesday’s memo says about 1,300 vessels and dozens of aircraft have been shipped to the Gulf Coast, along with more than 1.85 million feet of the containment boom that helps stop oil from getting to shore and about 840,000 gallons of dispersant used to break up the slicks.

    Angry Gulf Coast residents are pushing back, much as they did post-Katrina, when Washington officials said they had the situation in hand. Now those in the region say there’s a disconnect between what the White House says is happening on the ground and what they see.

    In Louisiana, officials say the response has been bogged down in bureaucracy, hobbled by rules and procedures that hamper decision-making. Responders also have lacked equipment, they say, even as oil has invaded marshes and beaches.

    Just getting enough oil-stopping boom has been a problem, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says.

    State officials three weeks ago requested 5 million feet of boom from the Coast Guard, he says. As of Monday, only 815,000 feet of it had been delivered and 680,000 feet set up in the water, he says. Requests for more boom or other oil-fighting equipment are often routed to a BP subcontractor for approval, then sent through two command centers, which Jindal says delays Coast Guard approval for up to two days.

    “We don’t have 24 to 48 hours,” the governor says. “This oil is moving too quickly.”

    Another Jindal complaint: a slow government response to his state’s proposal to build a 94-mile-long string of sand berms across Louisiana’s coast to keep the oil at bay.

    The $350 million barrier plan was hatched by Plaquemines Parish officials shortly after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as a way to keep out future storm surges and could work equally well to block out the oil, says P.J. Hahn, director of coastal management for the parish.

    The plan would take four to six months to complete, but 12 dredges working simultaneously on the project would bring relief to coastal marshes almost immediately, says Nungesser, the Plaquemines president.

    On May 11, Louisiana requested an emergency permit for the plan from the Army Corps of Engineers that would bypass lengthy environmental impact reviews. Corps and Coast Guard officials have voiced concerns, and the matter is still under review.

    “We understand the importance and significance of this emergency permit request, and it is a top priority,” the Army Corps said in a statement.

    Last week, Nungesser says, he and his staff discovered globs of black oil seeping into marshes near Venice. He says they alerted officials at the BP/Coast Guard command center, who dispatched a team to fight off the oil — five days later.

    “There’s definitely some confusion about who’s in charge,” says G. Paul Kemp, a coastal ecologist with the National Audubon Society. “We hear from shrimpers that they’re under contract (to help) but they’re not, they don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing or whether they’re going to be doing anything, and this is at a time when it would seem we need pretty much everybody working round the clock on this.”

    In other instances, locals have taken matters into their own hands.

    On Saturday, after two days of begging BP for help in fending off an approaching tentacle of oil, officials in Jefferson Parish commandeered about 50 idle boats that had been hired by the oil giant and began cleaning a local bay themselves, Bonano says.

    “Numerous times we told them we had oil in a certain location and they said they had skimmers in that location,” Bonano says. “We sent up a helicopter and there was nothing there.”

    A ‘significant’ PR problem

    Those kinds of stories have prompted calls by environmentalists such as David Pettit of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) for the government to take over the response from BP.

    Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, who served in the Bush administration but had left office before Katrina hit, says the White House ought to give the Coast Guard “carte blanche” to run the show along the Gulf Coast and summon whatever it needs to get the cleanup done — from the private sector, from the Navy, from anywhere it can. “It’s better to overextend yourself,” he says, when it’s not clear just how bad the damage will be in a crisis.

    Instead, the Obama administration “has been slow off the mark,” Ridge says, and now the White House is facing a “significant” public relations problem.

    Gibbs says the government has provided considerable expertise and other assistance; named Thad Allen, who retired as commandant of the Coast Guard on Tuesday, as the government’s incident commander; and “pushed relentlessly for BP to do what is necessary to contain what is leaking.”

    Pettit, an NRDC lawyer, says another law trumps the 1990 oil pollution law and gives the government sweeping authority to respond. He says that under the Clean Water Act, the nation’s primary law dealing with polluted water, the president “shall direct” efforts to clean up if a discharge of oil “poses a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United states.”

    “The Coast Guard has the right to run the entire operation,” Pettit says. “They haven’t chosen to. Why not?”

    Allen, the administration’s point person in the Gulf, says that’s just what he’s doing as he directs BP’s clean-up efforts. “If I need to, I call Tony Hayward myself,” Allen says of the company’s CEO. “They’re the responsible party, but we have the authority to direct.”

    He says it wouldn’t make sense to push BP aside and take over completely. “Well, to push BP out of the way would raise the question: to replace them with what?”

    ‘An absolute outrage’ any oil has come ashore

    Tom Copeland, who helped lead an impromptu effort by Alaskan fishermen in 1989 to attack the Exxon Valdez spill, has an idea.

    Copeland says an effective oil-skimming armada is expensive and requires a huge infrastructure of barges to haul away the toxic goo but can make a significant dent in even a giant slick.

    “With a spill like this and the good weather that we’ve had, it’s an absolute outrage that any oil has been allowed to come ashore,” he says .

    Copeland says he equipped his fishing boat with a vacuum pump from a sewage hauling truck, which sucked up thousands of gallons of oil a day. Hundreds of boats could be similarly outfitted and on the Gulf within days, he says. Yet Copeland contends that it’s not BP’s interest to collect large quantities of oil after a spill, since that would require expensive disposal as a toxic waste.

    BP has hired about 275 boats to clean up the oil since last month’s explosion, says company spokesman Graham MacEwen. He called the dispute over the idle boats in Jefferson Parish a “misunderstanding” and says the company is committed to doing everything possible to pick up oil.

    Some people give BP credit — though not for its cleanup efforts. A.J. Fabre, president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association, praises the company for covering industry losses. Last week, Fabre says, the company gave shrimpers $5,000 checks.

    As of Tuesday, BP said 25,227 economic claims had been opened and it had paid out $29.4 million to those affected by the spill. The company said no claims have been denied.

    “BP is the only oil company that’s ever stepped forward and opened their checkbooks,” says Fabre, a shrimper for 40 years. “You just come in with your tax statements and your trip tickets and they cut you a check. That’s unheard of.”

    Other business owners, however, are feeling the sting. Floyd Lasseigne, a fourth-generation Grand Isle, La., oyster fisherman and shrimper, is worried about how he’s going to pay his annual $5,000 house insurance payment in late June now that he’s out of work.

    He puts most of the blame on BP but says the government should do more. “It’s way too slow of a response,” he says. “That oil is still pouring in.”

    Besides fishing, Grand Isle survives on revenue from the tourists that pour into town for each of the 23 fishing rodeos held throughout the year. The first one, the Speckled Trout Rodeo, kicks off this Memorial Day weekend. But with the fishing grounds closed, it’s unclear whether people will come just for the party.

    Arthur Bradberry, owner of Artie’s Sports Bar, says his business has dropped more than half since the spill began.

    “They’re all running around here and no one seems to know what’s going on,” he says of the federal and BP officials. “They should’ve done more from the start. They waited too late. Now, of course, they all want to blame each other.”

  13. gonzotx
    May 27th, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    “I’m confident that people are going to look back and say that this administration was on top of what was an unprecedented crisis.”
    ———

    When pigs fly…

    Oilbama may want to be confident, but he is the only one that believes in himself. Same shit, different day.

  14. From the above article is this:

    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says the government is limited by the Oil Pollution Act, passed in the aftermath of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill off the Alaskan coast. Peppered with questions at a recent news briefing about whether the government couldn’t simply “federalize” the response and take over from BP, Gibbs said, “No.”
    &&&&&&&&&&&&&

    So let me get this straight. Obama is willing to have government take-overs and bailouts of the financial companies, automobile makers, health care industry, pharmaceutical industry, sticking their noses where it is highly debatable it belongs.

    Yet in the clear cut case of an emergency where the oil company is slow to act and covering up, they claim “this is a matter for private industry”???? They choose a tough spot to back out of???

  15. #
    gonzotx
    May 27th, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    “WHOSE RUNNING THINGS”

    “I’LL LET YOU KNOW AFTER LUNCH WITH BILL!”
    ——-

    😆 No kidding…

  16. Again, not ready from day 1, and when in doubt at a press conference, just put down the reporter who ask the question. He uses that technique all the time. If they were doing from day one, why was it not visible. Surely they would have had photo ops and things, so they could use the information to brag about what they were doing.

    THEY WERE DOING NOTHING.

  17. Big Pink favorite Craig Crawford on Obama’s Katrina (before the presser) – NOT READY On DAY 400+:

    http://blogs.cqpolitics.com/trailmix/2010/05/obamas-katrina.html

    He blew it. Obama faces a meltdown akin to the unraveling of his predecessor, George W. Bush. A press conference and a visit to the region are simply too little too late. It doesn’t matter whether government could do any better than the oil companies. The political fallout has taken hold. Obama failed to manage a massive crisis. There’s no fixing this failure. His only hope now is changing the subject. Good Luck.

  18. All they asked of BP was tp pay for the disaster without quantifying the real issues on the crisis/tragedy. It is all about money not the real issues like quality etc….

  19. JERUSALEM (AP) – Two ultranationalist Israeli activists have been arrested for shouting insults at White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

    The two men approached Emanuel Thursday as he was touring Jerusalem’s Old City with his family under heavy security.

    The protesters began shouting insults and slogans from afar, yelling, “Jerusalem is not for sale.” They were referring to the White House pressure for Israel to halt construction in disputed east Jerusalem.

    Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says they were quickly detained and taken for questioning.

    Emanuel is in Israel to celebrate his son’s bar mitzvah, a coming-of-age ceremony for 13-year-old Jewish boys. Emanuel has also taken time out of his private visit to meet with Israeli leaders.

  20. salazar is talking bullshit about laws passed in the 80’s and 90’s….
    —————

    Executive orders could have been issused or expedited laws passed thru congress…after all they have the majority and near veto proof in the congress on this issue….

  21. AND NOW, BACK TO OTHER OBAMA FAILURES…

    While he flailing and failing in Spillgate, let us not forget other areas.

    Ani at NoQuarter dishes on Miss HuffandPuff’s ranting about the Financiial Reform bill, where Arianna complains about “leaders”, but the article does not contain the word “Obama” or “president”.

    noquarterusa.net/blog/2010/05/27/look-who%e2%80%99s-complaining-about-the-financial-reform-bill%e2%80%a6/#more-46266

    Having long ago been chased away from the Huffington Post, disgusted by their ceaseless Hillary bashing during the 2008 primaries, I have ventured back a little bit of late, if for no other reason than to see if their messiah-worship is as strong as ever. Imagine my surprise to discover the blog’s owner, Arianna Huffington, had penned an article entitled Financial Reform: A Win for Wall Street, A Cold Shoulder for Main Street.

    In attitude and methodology, Ms. Huffington most closely resembles Bill Maher. She does her best, as he does, to get ahead of a change in the political currents, so as to ride the wave in an effort to stay relevant. That can be the only explanation for the populist tone in her article, condemning Washington for a financial reform bill that does little to help the American people and pays no more than lip service to reforming the destructive mechanisms of those inflicting their ponzi schemes on the rest of us. She never mentions, though that Dems have been in control of Congress since 2006, and Obama has had a super majority, or near it, since his election. Odd, eh? Who does she think is passing this legislation? The tooth fairy?

    [snip]

    But Ms. Huffington saves this damning bit for last:

    Huffington: We’ve been told time and time again over the last two years that right after Washington deals with what’s on its plate, “jobs is next.” Well, it’s been “next” for quite some time now, but it never seems to come to the floor. And now that a financial reform bill has passed, the talk on the Hill is that climate control or immigration will be tackled next. Or that members will just go off for the summer and campaign, flush with all the donations many of them just pocketed from the banks in this latest effort.”

    “I often have a nightmare — a common sort — in which I’m stuck in a forest and I can’t find my way out. I have a friend whose version is that her feet are stuck to the ground and she can’t move. Not a bad description of our leaders’ approach to the massive suffering that’s going on across America.”
    &&&&&&& end quote &&&&&&&&&&

    Our leader? Doesn’t he have a name, Ms. Huffington? Why be so dainty about it? She never pussyfooted around when she trashed anyone else.

    I did a word search in Arianna’s lengthy article and nowhere were the words “President” or “Obama” mentioned. The man who Huffington touted as great and gifted now has his feet stuck in the mud and cannot move – or are his feet stuck in miles of BP oil sludge that has washed ashore? Hard to tell.

    Since Mr. Obama received more money from Wall Street than any other candidate and has done nothing but compromise, make back room deals and talk about change without offering up much that is effective thus far, it can be no surprise to Ms. Huffington that this legislation is more of the same. He gets to check the “done” box and those of us out here on the ground get laughed at by those in power while we continue to struggle. She has suddenly noticed that the President along with Pelosi and Reid could give a fig about putting Americans back to work? Where has she been?

    My sense is that she is seeing the writing on the wall and fears an upcoming bloodbath and sea change in November and wants to get ahead of it. I am not convinced she has had a sudden attack of conscience. Still, I was glad to see Ms. Huffington point out the facts of the situation – even though she seems to have had a memory lapse when it comes to naming those in charge.

  22. I was waiting for one of those reporters to say “Mr Prez, you say this is what you wake up and go to sleep thinking about this oil spill?

    well, how is that in the last 37 days, you have met with baseball teams, basketball teams, had a fancy smancy state dinner, parties at WH, gone golfing at least twice, gone to CA to fundraise for Boxer…

    …and while you were at it, a fundraiser at that famous Oil family, the Getty’s, no less…and are taking off for a vacation this weekend, while blowing off Arlington Cemetary…

    Sir, you have only been to the Gulf once and Mr Gibbs and your admin have been lecturing reporters for asking too many questions about the oil spill, along with the Governor of LA and fisherman complaining that their requests are getting lost in government red tape and delays…

    so, how is it that this is your primary concern all day long?

  23. rgb44hrc
    May 27th, 2010 at 2:14 pm
    From the above article is this:

    So let me get this straight. Obama is willing to have government take-overs and bailouts of the financial companies, automobile makers, health care industry, pharmaceutical industry, sticking their noses where it is highly debatable it belongs.

    Yet in the clear cut case of an emergency where the oil company is slow to act and covering up, they claim “this is a matter for private industry”???? They choose a tough spot to back out of???
    _____________________________________________________

    He certainly has a keen sense of the proper sphere of government activity.

  24. after watching this ‘top kill’ drilling thing, all i can say is I hope all this screwing around with nature does not set off a chain of earthquakes…

    …having lived in Los Angeles and gone thru many of them, the truth is many of them start in the ocean…and all this pressure being jammed backwards just worries a novice like me that there is a big imbalance and alot of pressure being forced with all these gases and oil …

  25. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says the government is limited by the Oil Pollution Act, passed in the aftermath of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill off the Alaskan coast. Peppered with questions at a recent news briefing about whether the government couldn’t simply “federalize” the response and take over from BP, Gibbs said, “No.”
    ————————–
    For God sake Man. Kill all the White House lawyers and save the Gulf.

    Word has it that after that press conference Obama rushed off to do a Mitchum deodorant commercial.

    Director: are you ready Mr. President?

    Obama: to solve the gulf problem and the illegal immigration problem, no. To do this commercial, absolutely.

    Director: I agree Mr. President. Lets stick to what you are qualified for.

    Obama: as I said in the debates I believe in hiring good people to run the country and my job is to inspire them.

    Director: okay now Mr. President, smile, look into the teleprompter as you have done a thousand times before.

    Obama: you got that right bro.

    Director: lights, camera, action!

    Obama: “Even though I just got out of a tense presser with some of the dumbest and most seditious people on earth, did you notice my little edge. Their deodorant failed. Mind didn’t. I never let them see me sweat.

    How do I do it? Easy (no not Big Easy)

    I take control perspiration with this fine product–Mitchum deodorant. Never leave home without it.

    I have another secret as well. I learned it from my friends in the Taleeeeeeeeeeban. They know how to stay cool as a cucumber in their underground caves laced with explosives there the temperature never gets below 120%. And because it is a secret I cannot tell you. You are just going to have to trust me on this one– and on the conversation with Sestak.

    And just so you know, I use Mitchum from head to toe. That way, I never mus a crease in my blue suede pants”.

    Director: applause. rising orchestra. fade to black.

  26. S
    May 27th, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    after watching this ‘top kill’ drilling thing, all i can say is I hope all this screwing around with nature does not set off a chain of earthquakes…

    ———-
    I hear ya. Problem is, we may never know if this cause is the effect.

    I wish a huge retaliatory gusher would spring up in the oval office when he meets with Pelosi, Reid, Axelnuts and Timmy.
    Blast them all to Kingdom Come.

  27. As if things with the oil gusher weren’t bad enough, now clean up crews are getting sick.
    If these fumes and toxins hurt humans, think of the freakin’ destruction that is going on under the surface of the water. How long before dead animals rise to the top in huge numbers?

    —–

    Venice, Louisiana (CNN) — Seven oil spill recovery workers who complained of feeling ill remained hospitalized in a New Orleans suburb Thursday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

    All seven were at West Jefferson Medical Center, said spokeswoman Taslin Alfonzo. The symptoms they had complained of — dizziness, nausea and headaches — have somewhat subsided, and they are in good spirits and under observation, she said.

    About 10 workers complained of feeling ill Wednesday, prompting officials to recall more than 100 boats from an area adjacent to the Mississippi River delta. Lisa Faust with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said she believes as many as five were treated at the scene.

    Six of the seven were brought to the Marrero, Louisiana, hospital Wednesday night by ambulance, and the seventh was flown in. No additional patients have been admitted, Alfonzo said.

    An investigation is under way, and the patients are being interviewed, Faust said. Findings will be submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    The Unified Command — a coalition of agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of the Interior and the National Parks Service — said Wednesday it recalled 125 vessels from Breton Sound, which lies about 50 miles southeast of New Orleans.

    “No other personnel are reporting symptoms, but we are taking this action as an extreme safeguard,” said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Robinson Cox.

    The vessels were involved in cleaning up oil that has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico since April, when an oil rig sank about 40 miles south of Louisiana, opening up a leak that has been gushing crude oil into the water.

    U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Louisiana, again called on the federal government to deploy temporary clinics to south Louisiana to screen workers and relatives possibly affected by the oil.

    “As I first alerted the federal government over a week ago, our workers and residents in the oil-affected areas of south Louisiana are facing a looming health crisis,” Melancon said in a written statement. “People are being exposed to hazardous oil fumes and potentially dangerous dispersants every day, and there is no health care infrastructure in place to treat them and monitor the situation.”

    Melancon said he will personally ask President Barack Obama to take action when Obama visits south Louisiana on Friday.

  28. Update VII: What is ultimately terrifying is if we believe Barack Obama, which we don’t. Imagine for a moment, if Barack Obama is telling the truth, which he is not. If Obama is to be believed, he really did do the best he can, he really did exert himself – that is scary. If that is the best he can do the oceans will rise, the planet will keel.

    Here’s Politico’s sympathetic version of today’s silly publicity stunt:

    “Those who think that we were either slow in our responses or lacked urgency don’t know the facts. This has been our highest priority since this crisis occurred,” Obama said during a rare news conference in the White House East Room. “We understood from day one the potential enormity of this crisis and acted accordingly.” [snip]

    “There shouldn’t be any confusion here: the federal government is fully engaged and I’m fully engaged,” he said.

    Obama also tried to address critics of the government’s role by making an unequivocal declaration: the federal government is heading up the relief and cleanup response.

    The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began the federal government has been in charge of the response effort,” he said. “Make no mistake: BP is operating at our direction.”

    The past month is supposed to assure Americans? This is the best the Boob can do?

    At today’s publicity stunt Obama also stated he did not know whether Liz Birnbaum quit or was fired. Imagine that. We are supposed to believe that on the matter of a major quit/firing – a few hours before a nationally televised press conference, a person who says he is deeply involved in the details and “in charge”, “fully engaged” does not know what happened on a simple bureaucratic question. Obama says he is in charge but does not know anything and we are supposed to believe and be satisfied.

    No doubt the Hopium guzzler Big Boy blogs will accept Obama’s version of reality. But even if you accept the Sergeant Schultz “I know nothing, nothing….” excuses along with the “I am the President” ego fluffery – this is a worrisome reality we are in.

    On the Sestak matter Obama likewise appears to know nothing but assures us there will be a “response” soon. No doubt the response will come late on a Friday of a holiday weekend busy with news. Hey, what about tomorrow on Memorial Day weekend Friday?

    Expect the “response” tomorrow after additional publicity stunts from the Chicago clown.

  29. Unfreakin’believable the Dems come a begging for money to destroy a Dem woman!!!!

    The second email I have received from this A-hole at MoveOnDotBullshit:

    This is a note from MoveOn member Steve E. in xxx xxx:

    Hi,

    I live nearby in xxxx, and I’m writing to ask you to join me in helping to defeat Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, one of the worst Democrats in Congress.

    I’m tired of watching conservative Democrats try to block President Obama’s agenda. Remember how they killed the public option—and then didn’t face any consequences for it?

    That’s why I’ve donated to Bill Halter, her primary opponent. If he can win the runoff election in two weeks, it’ll show Democrats once and for all that they’ll pay a price for siding with big corporations!

    Sen. Lincoln’s got a flood of corporate money behind her, but I really believe Bill Halter can win with our help.

    To meet our goal, we need donations from 5 more people in xxxx today. Will you join me and chip in?

    https://pol.moveon.org/give/halter_runoff.html?aa=5&id=20710-6782064-ek9q8Rx&t=1

    Thanks,

    Steve E.

    ——-
    FU Steve and the Fraud you work for!

  30. Admin-
    Any literate person that still believes that Oilbama is going to make things better is as delusional as he is.

    He has gotten by his whole life by shuckin’ and jivin’ others, free ride to college, free ride on the big purple unicorn…and still thinks he has the ‘power’ to hoodwink Americans.

    He is gonna have a big migraine after the Nov election…God willing…and if that isn’t an eye opener for him, then 2012 will be a shock when he has to pack his bags and drag his sorry ass back to the hoodlands of Chicago.

  31. Obama: Go to Gulf beaches; most still open, clean
    Obama urges Americans to vacation at Gulf beaches; almost all clean, open despite oil spill

    On Thursday May 27, 2010, 2:52 pm EDT
    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is encouraging Americans to visit the Gulf Coast despite the huge offshore oil spill.

    At a White House news conference Thursday, Obama said while three beaches in Louisiana have been fouled by oil, the rest of the region’s beaches are clean and safe. He says Gulf state governors have asked him “to remind everybody” the beaches are open.

    The spill has economic as well as environmental costs for the Gulf states — Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. With the summer tourist season about to start, Obama says Americans can help people along the Gulf by continuing to visit their communities and beaches.

  32. rgb44hrc
    May 27th, 2010 at 2:14 pm
    From the above article is this:

    So let me get this straight. Obama is willing to have government take-overs and bailouts of the financial companies, automobile makers, health care industry, pharmaceutical industry, sticking their noses where it is highly debatable it belongs.

    Yet in the clear cut case of an emergency where the oil company is slow to act and covering up, they claim “this is a matter for private industry”???? They choose a tough spot to back out of???
    _________________________________________________

    Since he repeatedly made sure we understood that “cleanup is BP’s responsibility”, I don’t put it past him to purposely do nothing to contain the spill and hold up Jindal’s effort to build a berm so as to allow the oil to soak the marshes and promote his CAP AND TAX BS. Apparently, he believe’s “BP’s responsibility” absolves him of any duty to mitigate damage. “Never let a crisis go to waste”.

    Anyone think the above scenario is beneath Oilbama?

  33. wbboei
    May 27th, 2010 at 4:05 pm
    Obama: Go to Gulf beaches; most still open, clean
    Obama urges Americans to vacation at Gulf beaches; almost all clean, open despite oil spill
    &&&&&&&&&&&

    The RGB Times caught this on tape as well, what the major news outlets refuse to air:

    Obama: “Not only are the beaches safe, the water is safe to swim in, and to fish in, and to drink from.”

  34. blowme0bama
    May 27th, 2010 at 4:12 pm
    &&&&&&&&

    I believe you are onto something. His trying to lay this at the feet of BP can be taken to mean:

    a) I have an obligation to ensure that I won’t let BP off the hook.

    But the wiggle room interpretation can be stretched to:

    b) They are responsible, ergo, I am absolved.

    He does a lot of this vague-speak. He did it repeatedly on the campaign trail, in the debates, and once THEY SEIZED POWER.

  35. So a foreign company can operate in and around America and do so in what ever manner it chooses and the governments hands are tied? Highly doubt that?

  36. That makes no sense, whatsoever. BP hasn’t done anything, CAN’T do anything without O’s ever-watchful and diligent eye and approval, but O can’t do anything to mitigate the spill prior to destroying the marsh, that’s up to BP.

    Can’t have it both ways.

  37. The RGB Times caught this on tape as well, what the major news outlets refuse to air:

    Obama: “Not only are the beaches safe, the water is safe to swim in, and to fish in, and to drink from.”
    ————————————————-
    New article for the RGB Times:

    Media Matters declares that stories decrying the loss of tourism are politically motivated and factually untrue. Media Matters points out that the oil spill is in fact a boon to tourism because it will open up the bayou waters which were previously haven and home to alligators and coral snakes, and are now dead from crude oil ingestation. Tourist can now swim in such areas without worry if they do not mind a little oil in the lungs.

  38. I suppose its up to BP, on BP’s schedule and subject to BP’s resources, as to whether, when and what manner of cleanup is performed as well. “It’s BP’s responsibility”. Just so long as whatever they propose to do is approved by Oilbama the vigiliant.

  39. Update VIII: Big Pink favorite Craig Crawford agrees with us:

    “A defensive, un-authoritative, and equivocal Barack Obama did nothing today to show he’s in charge of what appears to be our biggest oil spill in history. He couldn’t even answer whether or not he had fired someone.

    Today’s press conference — his first since July — was a time for the President to demonstrate he is on top of the crisis. Despite repeated assertions of control, Obama’s awkward demeanor suggested just the opposite. He came across as a beleaguered bureaucrat on damage control.

    Perhaps the most stunning missed opportunity to show some authority was his non-answer to a question about whether US Minerals Management Service Director Elizabeth Birnbaum was fired. “I found out about her resignation today,” he obliquely said.

    While Birnbaum’s departure is hardly at the top of the list of concerns in this disaster, Obama’s detachment was indicative of the impression he has allowed of a president on the sidelines.”

    Before the publicity stunt Crawford had some wise things to say as well.

    Tom Bevan on Obama’s failed, oily publicity stunt:

    “If Obama had given today’s press conference four weeks ago, he might be in far less hot water than he’s currently in. But stepping up to the teleprompter 38 days after the initial spill, with all the intervening time and press coverage of the event, and asserting that he’s been on top of it like white on rice since Day One comes across very much like historical revisionism from the department of C.Y.A.

    The press, to the extent they do their jobs, should be able to easily go back through the chronology of the last five weeks and find plenty of gaping holes in Obama’s claim of instant, constant, and urgent engagement on behalf of the White House and his administration. Obama said he’d leave the Katrina comparisons to the media which, given the skepticism expressed by some of the questions by reporters, is something he might live to regret.

    Two other problems with the press conference, one factual and one stylistic. The first: it came across as contradictory for Obama – again, for a man who claims to be waking up and going to bed thinking about nothing else – to be so uninformed about the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of Elizabeth Birnbaum, the director of MMS.”

    It appears “daddy” did not plug the hole he dug for himself. “Daddy” also has a Sestak hole to fill. We expect that hole will be covered tomorrow with a brand new stonewall.

  40. Red State says they have found out who is paying that creepy Will Folks to smear Haley (female SC gubernatorial candidate) with the affair rumors.

    They are not saying yet – claim they want the media to sweat. But claim they know for certain.

  41. THIS from Legal Insurrection just cracked me up. A perfect snarky take on His Awesome Wonderfulness and his press releases about his own Awesomeness:

    I am glad to be living in a nation where we have visionary thinkers, who think up things that never have been thought up before in the history of our nation:

    “Military superiority is not enough to maintain U.S. strength and influence in the world, and the United States must build global institutions and expand international partnerships beyond its traditional allies, according to a new national security strategy prepared by the Obama administration.”

    Why didn’t anyone try this before?

    The history of the world started on January 20, 2009.

    LMAO! Look! Junior wiped himself and tied his shoes! Call the press!

  42. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37878.html

    Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) says President Barack Obama will pay a political price for his lack of visibility in the Gulf region during the catastrophic BP oil spill.

    “The president has not been as visible as he should have been on this, and he’s going to pay a political price for it, unfortunately,” Landrieu told POLITICO. “But he’s going down tomorrow, he’s made some good announcements today, and if he personally steps up his activity, I think that would be very helpful.”

  43. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100527/ap_on_re_us/us_oil_spill_new_plume_1

    NEW ORLEANS – Marine scientists have discovered a massive new plume of what they believe to be oil deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico, stretching 22 miles from the leaking wellhead northeast toward Mobile Bay, Alabama.

    The discovery by researchers on the University of South Florida College of Marine Science’s Weatherbird II vessel is the second significant undersea plume recorded since the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20.

    David Hollander, associate professor of chemical oceanography at the school, says the thick plume was detected just beneath the surface down to about 3,300 feet. He says it’s more than 6 miles wide.

    Scientists say they are worried the undersea plumes may be from chemical dispersants used to break up the oil a mile under the surface.

  44. HE’S MORE TO BE PITIED THAN CENSURED
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqH-OumlRLY

    In the press room downstairs in the White House,
    ‘Round the podium were seated one night,
    The whores of the Washington Press Corps
    With them life seemed cheerful and bright.

    To the front of the room strode their Hero
    And they stood to applaud at the sight
    The beaches of Louisana are blackened
    Said he as he grinned in delight

    I want you to know I’ve been working
    And Bush is to blame for this plight
    Since the very first day of disaster
    I’ve worried about this day and night

    But I could not find the answer
    And BP lined my pockets alright
    So I let them take over the project
    And I disappeared in the night.

    Well now as the oil kills the wildlife
    The wreckage appears in my sight
    And I know now that I was mistaken
    To my contributor BP fly a kite

    Chorus: Oh poor Bambi.
    Oh poor poor Bambi
    Oh poor poor little Bambino

    He is more to be pitied than censured,
    He is more to be helped than despised.
    He is weak and knows not that he’s doing
    On life’s stormy path, ill-advised;
    Do not scorn him with words fierce and bitter
    Do not laugh at him shame and downfall.
    For a moment, just stop and consider
    That an environmental disaster was the cause of it all.

    (Q: But how will he respond if there another 9/11?)

  45. …Tell it like it is, Craig Crawford…so glad to hear your voice speaking out clearly and truthfully again…

    *****************************************************

    and ADMIN…not enough can be said for your strong daily voice…I think many here will agree when I say “You make our day”…

  46. How About A Moratorium on Inexperienced Harard Educated Lawyers In High Office

    Posted by Vladimir (Profile)
    Thursday, May 27th at 5:31PM EDT

    President Obama, quick to criticize George W. Bush for his appointment of a lightly-qualified Michael Brown as FEMA director, apparently learned little from his predecessor’s mistake.

    In today’s press conference, President Obama claimed to know nothing of MMS Director Liz Birnbaum’s sudden departure. Whatever. Let’s consider Liz’s qualifications to be the head of the agency charged with regulating rigs like the Deepwater Horizon and 30% of domestic oil production.

    Brown/Harvard Law? Check. Environmental lawyer? Check. Environmental policy wonk? Check. Experienced with oil and gas technology?

    … …

    Liz’s bio (below the fold) is chock-full of counseling, coordinating, legislating and advocating, but very little doing. I posit that Ms. Birnbaum would not know an oil well if she fell into one.

    Under Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the Minerals Management Service became an instrument by which the Administration advances its Green Energy/Green Jobs vision. The MMS Cape Wind and other renewable projects were the way to really get noticed within the agency. Oil and gas were so … so, over.

    Other MMS top management resumes can be found here. Note that the emphasis is heavy on environmental activism, light on oil and gas experience.

    Ex-industry hands tend to develop ‘cozy relationships’, don’t you know?
    MMS Director S. Elizabeth Birnbaum Biography

    S. Elizabeth (Liz) Birnbaum assumed duties as Director of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) on July 15, 2009.

    As MMS Director, Birnbaum administers programs that ensure the effective management of renewable energy, such as wind, wave, and ocean current energy; and traditional energy and mineral resources on the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf, including the environmentally safe exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas, as well as the collection and distribution of revenues for minerals developed on federal and American Indian lands.

    Before her appointment, she was staff director for the Committee on House Administration, where she oversaw strategy development, budget management and staff activities for the committee that manages legislative branch agencies. From 2001-2007, she was Vice President for Government Affairs and General Counsel for American Rivers, where she directed advocacy programs for the nation’s leading river conservation organization.

    At the Department of the Interior, Birnbaum was Associate Solicitor for Mineral Resources from 2000 to 2001, supervising and managing a staff of attorneys that provided legal advice, developed regulations and conducted litigation on minerals issues for the Minerals Management Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation.

    In addition, she was a special assistant to the Interior Solicitor, from 1999 to 2000, overseeing legal policy on a range of natural resource issues, including mining law, public land management and hydropower licensing. From 1991 to 1999 she was counsel to the House Committee on Natural Resources, where she handled legislative and oversight activities for the Department of the Interior, U.S. Forest Service, and electric power marketing administrations. From 1987 to 1991 she was counsel for the Water Resources Program of the National Wildlife Federation.

    Birnbaum has been an officer and member of numerous boards and commissions, including the National Capital Section of the American Water Resources Association; Arlington County Environment and Energy Conservation Commission; and the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section of the District of Columbia Bar.

    Birnbaum received her Juris Doctor from Harvard University in 1984 and her A.B. degree, magna cum laude, from Brown University in 1979. She was Editor in Chief of the Harvard Environmental Law Review, Vol. 8.

  47. Was Elizabeth Birnbaum Fired? Don’t Ask Obama
    Posted by Sharyl Attkisson 1 comments
    Share

    ShareE-mailPrintFont
    (Credit: http://www.mms.gov)
    When President Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar promised to root out the “bad apples” yesterday at a House hearing, the head of Minerals Management Service was at the same hearing — about to be plucked from the tree.

    Elizabeth Birnbaum’s departure was first reported as a “firing.” Later, a “resignation.” When asked for clarity, President Obama told the press corps today he had no idea.

    “Did she resign,” asked CBS White House Correspondent Chip Reid. “Was she fired? Was she forced out? And if so, why?”

    “I found out about her resignation today,” the president answered, “so I don’t know the circumstances in which this occurred.”

    An incredulous press corps followed up.

    “How is it that you didn’t know about Ms. Birnbaum’s resignation/firing before?” asked another reporter.

    Mr. Obama: “Well, you’re assuming it was a firing. If it was a resignation, then she would have submitted a letter to Mr. Salazar this morning at a time when I had a whole bunch of other stuff going on… Come on, I don’t know. I’m telling you I found out about it this morning. So I don’t yet know the circumstances, and Ken Salazar has been in testimony on the Hill.”

    The testimony today on the Hill from Interior Secretary Salazar only seemed to add to the mixed message. He called Birnbaum a “strong leader” and added “we have done tremendous work.”

    In light of her resignation, Birnbaum understandably didn’t join Salazar as once expected. In prepared testimony, she planned to tell the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment: “The Secretary has expressed his appreciation and full support of the Inspector General’s strong work to root out the bad apples in MMS and we will follow through on her recommendations, including taking any and all appropriate personnel actions including termination, discipline, and referrals of any wrongdoing for criminal prosecution.”

    Birnbaum resigned before she could deliver her prepared remarks. She hadn’t even been at MMS for a full year. But today she nonetheless became the highest-level casualty of MMS’s lax oversight and cozy ties to oil.

  48. Boy, watching the federal government demonstrate it’s ability to protect the marshes with a HUGE government bureacracy to oversee things to PROTECT US, it sure inspires confidence in a HUGE GOVERNMENT BUREACRACY to oversee and protect my healthcare.

    Incomptence. Federal.Government.Incompetence.In.Every.Matter.

  49. This guy Salazar who is secretary of the interior and the boss of the lady who resigned or was fired will probably be facing a subpoena to appear before Congress soon as well. He is making alot of noise and blaming Bush. He was pretty cozy with the Bush Administration before and sat beside Cabana Al Gonzales at his confirmation hearings. Also he supports a number of Bush policies even though he is a democrat. Prior to this crisis he was considering resigning to run for Governor of Colorado. Strange.

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

  50. One of the biggest reasons I supported Hillary for president is because I have complete trust in her ability to handle a crisis. Of course, when she tried to legitimately raise that issue during the campaign, she was attacked for “dirty tactics.”

    And now this country is paying a huge price for electing the wrong Democrat.

  51. 1. I hope Elizabeth Birnbaum doesn’t take this lying down.

    2. Poor bambi. I guess his self-egotiscal praise regarding passing health care and finance reform has lost all it’s oomph. Wiped out by the destruction of amazing ecosystems of life and nature.

    3. Can we say…sink..bambi…sink???

  52. On a positive note, here’s a great column about Hillary.

    csmonitor.com/Commentary/Walter-Rodgers/2010/0527/MVP-of-Obama-s-security-team-Hillary-the-hammer-Rodham-Clinton

  53. Clinton spotlights U.S. debt as diplomatic threat

    By Andrew Quinn

    WASHINGTON, May 27 (Reuters) – The United States’ huge national debt — now topping $13 trillion — is becoming a major threat to U.S. security and leadership in the world, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.

    “The United States must be strong at home in order to be strong abroad,” Clinton said in remarks on the Obama administration’s new national security doctrine, which was made public on Thursday.

    “We cannot sustain this level of deficit financing and debt without losing our influence, without being constrained in the tough decisions we have to make,” Clinton said, adding that it was time to “make the national security case about reducing the deficit and getting the debt under control.”

    The new Obama security strategy joins diplomatic engagement with economic discipline and military power to boost America’s standing, and pledges expanded partnerships with rising powers like India and China to share the global burden.

    Clinton emphasized controlling the budget deficit, saying it was “personally painful” for her to see the yawning U.S. spending gap after her husband, former President Bill Clinton, ended his second term in 2001 with budget surpluses.

    “That was not just an exercise in budgeteering. It was linked to a very clear understanding of what the United States needed to do to get positioned to lead for the foreseeable future, far into the 21st century,” she said.

    Clinton said that as a Democratic U.S. senator from New York during the administration of former President George W. Bush, she had voted against “tax cuts that were never sustainable, wars that were never paid for” — but without success.

    “Now we’re paying the piper,” she said.

    Clinton in February blamed “outrageous” advice from Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan in part for the grim U.S. deficit picture.

    POLITICALLY TOUGH

    President Barack Obama, who pushed through his own huge stimulus spending plan last year amid the global financial crisis, was committed to taking the politically difficult steps needed to put government finances back in order, Clinton said.

    “We are in a much stronger economic position than we were. And that matters. That matters when we go to China. That matters when we try to influence Russia. That matters when we talk to our allies in Europe,” Clinton said.

    Obama has formed an 18-member bipartisan commission to study ways to reduce the U.S. deficit projected at about $1.5 trillion this year and bring long-term debt to manageable levels. It aims to find $229 billion in savings in 2015 to bring the deficit down to 3 percent of the overall economy from about 10 percent now.

    The U.S. debt this week topped $13 trillion, according to USDebtClock.org, a website that tracks real-time growth in U.S. debt. That amounts to about 90 percent of annual gross domestic product, a level that could start impacting the economy.

    Big budget deficits and rising U.S. debt are becoming major issues in the run-up to November’s congressional elections, and the European debt crisis that has unnerved financial markets has fueled these voter concerns.

    While arguing for tighter overall economic discipline, Clinton said it was no time for the United States to roll back spending on international diplomatic and development programs, particularly as civilian agencies take up more of the work in Iraq and Afghanistan formerly done by the military.

    “In order for us to meet the obligations that are now being asked of our civilian personnel, it costs money,” Clinton said, adding that it was time to look at an overall “national security budget” that would encompass funding for diplomatic, development and military operations.

    “You cannot look at a defense budget, a State Department budget and a USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) budget without defense overwhelming the combined efforts of the other two and without us falling back into the old stovepipes that I think are no longer relevant for the challenges of today,” Clinton said.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2714967820100527?type=marketsNews

  54. Clinton Presents New National Security Strategy

    May 27, 2010
    By Miles Wolf Tamboli

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered an address on the Obama administration’s new National Security Strategy Thursday at the Brookings Institute, expounding on details inherent in the policy, which focuses on developing U.S. capacity to protect the nation without the military emphasis that has been exhibited in the past.

    “We have to balance and integrate all of the elements of our power, starting with the so-called “three D’s” – defense, diplomacy, and development – but also including our economic power and the power of our example; we need to have strategic patience and persistence because indirect applications of power and influence take time.”

    Clinton stated that the administration’s strategy is to enhance international cooperation and build global alliances to dissuade attacks, and strengthen U.S. relations with other nations. This methodology parts with the Bush administration’s rogue nation policy.

    Central to Clinton’s security strategy is the idea that the U.S. should provide incentives, “for states who are part of the solution … enabling them and encouraging them … and disincentives for those who [are] not.” Clinton said that the U.S. also needs to focus on, “reaching beyond states to build partnerships with the private sector,” including non-governmental organizations and academia.

    The Obama administration refined the motives behind the “War on Terror,” clarifying that the war in Afghanistan is not a war against Islamic extremists or against “terrorism,” which is simply a tactic and not an entity, but against al-Qaeda, specifically, as the belligerent party.

    In response to the critique that some believe the administration’s plan will undercut America’s power, Clinton declared that she, “could not disagree more,” stating the the U.S. is simply, “trying to use every single tool in our toolkit.”

    In addition, the new Strategy aspires to ensure U.S. security by rebuilding and fortifying the country’s economic prowess.

    In light of recent changes in the global economy, Clinton asserted that the U.S. will strive to reform global institutions like the G-20 with the aim of strengthening “our engagement with regional institutions [like] NATO … [and the Organization for American States].”

    http://talkradionews.com/2010/05/clinton-presents-new-national-security-strategy/

  55. You have got to sympathize with Obama. It is hard for a Harvard educated elitist who surrounds himself with other Harvard educated elitists in an ivory tower and has never ran so much as a hotdog stand to wrap his giant brain around a tiny problem like the murder of a rancher who has the misfortune of living in a part of Arizona which his family homesteaded in 1907 but has since become a corridor for drug traffic, while Obama plays politics to secure amnesty.
    ————————————————————-

    Idea for a November video:

    1. first, illegals pouring over the border fence

    2. then congressional dims leaping to their feet and applauding

    3. second, intelligence reports showing terrorists are among their ranks

    4. then dimocrats leaping to their feet and applauding

    5. third, the death certificate of this rancher murdered by illegals

    6. then dimocrats applauding–camera pans their faces so we know who they are

    7. then map showing how terrorist fan out in all directions after entering country

    8. then dimocrats applauding

    9. then Calderone making his firey speech condemning the Arizona Law

    10.then dimocrats shouting and applauding

    Closing caption to read:

    a. what is wrong with this picture?

    b. are you willing to do something about it in November?

    c. moral to dims: when you make love to a bear, the bear decides when you stop.
    ——————————————————-
    Obama’s Border Security Plan Falls Short, Ranchers Say
    By Joshua Rhett Miller

    Published May 27, 2010
    | FOXNews.com

    Print Email Share Comments (168) Text Size

    Arizona Farming & Ranching Hall of Fame

    Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, pictured here in 2008, was killed in March on his own property 35 miles outside of the border town of Douglas, Ariz.

    Arizona ranchers – still reeling from the recent murder of a fellow farmer – tell FoxNews.com that President Obama’s plan to send 1,200 unarmed National Guard troops to the U.S./Mexico border won’t provide maximum border security.

    National Guards will help with intelligence, reconnaissance and drug and human trafficking along the borders, but won’t be on the front lines with Border Patrol and local law enforcement detaining illegal immigrants.

    Rancher Wendy Glenn, whose Malpai Ranch just east of Douglas, Arizona, has roughly 4 miles of border fence, says having guardsmen review statistics isn’t enough. While she has noticed an increase in overall border security since the murder of fellow rancher Robert Krentz in March, Glenn says the latest strategy by the Obama administration doesn’t address the key issue – stopping illegals from entering the U.S. through Mexico.

    “We need more people on the border,” she told FoxNews.com. “We don’t need people sitting at desks. We would rather see more people on a border road.”

    Ranchers’ fears have grown since the March 27 murder of Krentz, 58, who cops say was gunned down by an illegal immigrant as the farmer – whose family has been ranching in southern Arizona since 1907 – was tending to fences and water lines on his 34,000-acre cattle ranch. Investigators believe Krentz encountered a drug smuggler who was likely heading back to Mexico.

    Glenn said Krentz’s killing, which remains unsolved, has brought “international attention” to illegal immigration and drug smuggling in southeastern Arizona’s Cochise County. But that hasn’t translated to increased presence where it matters most, she said.

    “We’re getting the attention, but we’re not getting extra people on the border,” Glenn said. “It would make more sense to us to get more people on the border and stop people from coming in.”

    A White House official declined to indicate whether the National Guard troops will assist in securing the border near Glenn’s and Krentz’s ranches.

    “The National Guard will determine the units with the appropriate skills to carry out the missions in support of border protection and law enforcement activities,” the official wrote in an e-mail. “As for where, when the decisions are made, they will be made with intel and operational considerations in mind.”

    Glenn Spencer, founder of American Border Patrol, a nonprofit organization that monitors the border by plane, said he regularly surveys the border and the “major smuggling corridor” where Krentz was killed. Spencer said he flew along a 28-mile stretch of land on Wednesday morning and saw just one Customs and Border Protection vehicle during his trip.

    “It isn’t enough,” he said. “[The border] is not secure.”

    Spencer said utilizing the National Guard troops as Obama proposes is a “waste of resources” and says U.S. officials should put their energy into focusing on securing a border fence.

    According to Customs and Border Protection figures, 646 of roughly 670 miles of pedestrian and vehicle border fencing has been constructed as of March. Just 6 miles of fencing infrastructure is left to be completed along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border. The roughly 1,350 miles that will not be protected by a border fence of any kind will be patrolled by border agents or technology — or a combination of both.

    Meanwhile, Roger Barnett, another rancher in the area who knew Krentz, said he has noticed no increase in surveillance near his cattle ranch in Douglas. He doubts that 1,200 troops — on or off the border — will make a significant difference.

    “What a shell game, you might say,” Barnett said. “To effectively close the border, I think they need 100,000 troops. I don’t think it’s going to help. It’s just like putting a Band-Aid on that oil well in the Gulf.”

    T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing 17,000 agents, agreed with Barnett’s assessment.

    “People shouldn’t be surprised if the violence continues,” Bonner told the Associated Press. “They shouldn’t expect that the announcement of up to 1,200 National Guard members will send a shock wave of fear in the cartels and they will start playing nice.”

  56. 3. Can we say…sink..bambi…sink???
    ———————————
    We could Jan.

    But he is too full of hot air to sink.

    Hot sulfurous air.

  57. Hillary’s strategy is sound on paper. The problem is Obama is viewed in the same way Neville Chamberlain was. If my interpretation of Bibi’s call is accurate, and it represents an end run around Obama who is trying to broker this, then that is further evidence that friends and foes alike see Obama as a paper tiger or better yet a party going pussycat, as well they should.

  58. admin
    May 27th, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Even “tingles” is cranky:
    ———-
    Ooooooooo, the mancrushee must be soooooooooo disappointed in the bro that gave him such a thrill.

    Funny, (not hahaha) that the epic oil spill is the ONLY thing that these idiots think their bro did wrong so far.

  59. admin: I’m not sure if you can find this, but Gov. Jindal was giving a press conference today, just a little while ago, and Carville was there blasting the WH at that same conference given by Jindal.

    a stunning thing to watch.

  60. If you think about it two states are suffering grievously now as a result of Obama’s benign neglect. One is being invaded and the other is being despoiled, while Obama is busy very busy very vewey busy playing the role of WalMart greeter to basket ball teams. Would it be too seditious to question his priorities?

  61. Tim we found this from yesterday with Carville mentioning BP lobbyists in the White House. Then he starts to make some excuses for Obama but Mary Matalin shuts that down:

  62. The cameras in the Gulf have been shut down because of “mud” according to BP. The gusher has not been shut down as indicated earlier:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/28/us/28spill.html?hp

    HOUSTON — BP on Thursday night restarted its most ambitious effort yet to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, trying to revive hopes that it might cap the well with a “top kill” technique that involved pumping heavy drilling liquids to counteract the pressure of the gushing oil.

    BP officials, who along with government officials created the impression early in the day that the strategy was working, disclosed later that they had stopped pumping the night before when engineers saw that too much of the drilling fluid was escaping along with the oil.

    It was the latest setback in the effort to shut off the leaking oil, which federal officials said was pouring into the gulf at a far higher rate than original estimates suggested.

    If the new estimates are accurate, the spill would be far bigger than the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989 and the worst in United States history.

    Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer for exploration and production, struggled to offer guidance on whether the latest effort was likely to succeed.

    “It’s quite a roller-coaster,” Mr. Suttles said. “It’s difficult to be optimistic or pessimistic. We have not stopped the flow.” [snip]

    It was not until late afternoon that BP acknowledged that the operation was not succeeding and that pumping had halted at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

    We have not yet stopped the flow, so the operation has not achieved its objective,” Mr. Suttles said, adding that “nothing has gone wrong or has been unanticipated.”

  63. oh my! The man is a stalker. I had no idea that the houses were so close together. And there is another picture with the creep with binoculars. What a Creep! Looks like Sarah is correct, he can look into her daughter’s rooms.

    I cannot stand that fool in the WH, but his kids are off limit.

    This writer/pervert is sick, and twisted. I hope they make that fence at least 20 feet. This is disgusting!

  64. Admin:

    the WH is so out of touch its amazing. People want rules enforced, this is not about race, its about rules and American and legal residents first. When resources are stretched, of course legal residents come first.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/05/mass_senate_pas.html

    “Democrats had resisted such a sweeping proposal, but spent last evening negotiating today’s measure, shortly after a new polled showed 84 percent of the liberal-leaning state’s voters supported tough immigration rules barring state services to illegal immigrants.”

  65. Well, it really should be a stake in the “Obama is a socialist” coffin. It would be nice to not hear that idiocy anymore.

    As for McGinniss, Palin shouldn’t put up a fence. What he is there for isn’t going to be gleaned by watching the family. He’s an investigative reporter and a world class one – he’s there to find out what she did as mayor and as governor. He is, no doubt, looking for corruption and consumer manipulation.

    He’s a serious guy who, at the age of 27, wrote The Selling Of The Presidency – one of the most important books in our nation’s history on politics and he should be treated as such. She should just ignore him and go about her life. This will be over soon enough. Not putting up a fence says a lot about the courage of her convictions.

  66. The Boston “racists”:

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/05/mass_senate_pas.html

    With one lawmaker citing President Lincoln’s respect for the rule of law, the Massachusetts Senate passed a far-reaching crackdown this afternoon on illegal immigrants and those who would hire them, going further, senators said, than any immigration bill proposed over the past five years.

    In a surprising turn of events, the legislation replaced a narrower bill that was passed Wednesday over the objections of Republicans.

    The measure, which passed on a 28-10 vote as an amendment to the budget, would bar the state from doing business with any company found to break federal laws barring illegal immigrant hiring. It would also toughen penalties for creating or using fake identification documents, and explicitly deny in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants.

    The amendment would also require the state’s public health insurance program to verify residency through the Department of Homeland Security, and would require the state to give legal residents priority for subsidized housing.

    The amendment will now be part of negotiations with the House as part of the entire state budget.[snip]

    Senator Frederick E. Berry, a Peabody Democrat, complained that one of the Republican sponsors acted like the “Patriots had just won the Super Bowl. … I am going to vote for it, but I don’t think we ought to rejoice.”

    Democrats had resisted such a sweeping proposal, but spent last evening negotiating today’s measure, shortly after a new polled showed 84 percent of the liberal-leaning state’s voters supported tough immigration rules barring state services to illegal immigrants.[snip]

    It would also crate a toll-free hot line for anonymous reporting of companies that employ illegal immigrants.[snip]

    Thursday’s Senate amendment would also authorize the state attorney general’s office to broker an agreement with federal authorities to help enforce immigration law. That would be a stark departure for Attorney General Martha Coakley, who has increased outreach to immigrants, encouraging them to file employment complaints, regardless of their legal status. Scores of immigrants whose bosses allegedly failed to pay their wages have turned to her for help in recent years.

    The legislation also would increase penalties for driving without a license, one of the main problems facing illegal immigrants in Massachusetts. In November, a panel commissioned by Governor Deval Patrick urged him to push to grant driver’s licenses and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, among many other recommendations. Patrick sent the recommendations to his cabinet for study and pledged to return with a proposal in 90 days, but the results have not been made public.

    Most immigrants in Massachusetts are here legally, but an estimated 190,000, or 20 percent, are here illegally, according to the census.

  67. As for McGinniss, Palin shouldn’t put up a fence. What he is there for isn’t going to be gleaned by watching the family.

    =====================

    Then why is he next door to them instead of downtown where the official records and knowledgeable people are?

  68. oh my! The man is a stalker. I had no idea that the houses were so close together. And there is another picture with the creep with binoculars. What a Creep! Looks like Sarah is correct, he can look into her daughter’s rooms.

    I cannot stand that fool in the WH, but his kids are off limit.

    This writer/pervert is sick, and twisted. I hope they make that fence at least 20 feet. This is disgusting!

    tim
    —————————————
    He is a prime suspect for the vice squad. Lock him up and throw away the key.

    oh my! The man is a stalker
    ————————-
    He is a stalker and probably far worse.

  69. Bambi is not going to tell BP I am your daddy. Sorry James, ain’t gonna happen. And here is why. This it Wolin at Yale but it could just as easily be Bacevich at Boston University–except for him the paragidigm is the the old republic vs. the national security state.
    ————————————————
    Inverted totalitarianism and managed democracy

    Given the transformations that Superpower has undergone during the military mobilization required to fight the Axis powers, and during the subsequent campaign of containing the Soviet Union during the Cold War, does Superpower continue to resemble a liberal democracy domestically, or is it itself taking on totalitarian tendencies? Wolin suggests that the latter possibility is closer to the truth:

    While the versions of totalitarianism represented by Nazism and Fascism consolidated power by suppressing liberal political practices that had sunk only shallow cultural roots, Superpower represents a drive towards totality that draws from the setting where liberalism and democracy have been established for more than two centuries. It is Nazism turned upside-down, “inverted totalitarianism.” While it is a system that aspires to totality, it is driven by an ideology of the cost-effective rather than of a “master race” (Herrenvolk), by the material rather than the “ideal.”[4]

    There are three main ways in which inverted totalitarianism is the inverted form of classical totalitarianism. First, whereas in Nazi Germany the state dominated economic actors, corporations and their lobbying dominate the Superpower, with the government acting as the servant of large corporations. This isn’t considered corruption, but “normal”.[5] Second, while the Nazi regime aimed at the constant political mobilization of the population, with its Nurembuberg rallies, Hitler Youth, and so on, inverted totalitarianism aims for the mass of the population to be in a persistent state of political apathy. The only type of political activity expected or desired from the citizenry is voting. Low electoral turnouts are favorably received as an indication that the bulk of the population has given up hope that the government will ever help them.[6] Third, while the Nazis openly mocked democracy, Superpower maintains the conceit that it is the model of democracy for the whole world:[7]

    Inverted totalitarianism reverses things. It is all politics all of the time but a politics largely untempered by the political. Party squabbles are occasionally on public display, and there is a frantic and continuous politics among factions of the party, interest groups, competing corporate powers, and rival media concerns. And there is, of course, the culminating moment of national elections when the attention of the nation is required to make a choice of personalities rather than a choice between alternatives. What is absent is the political, the commitment to finding where the common good lies amidst the welter of well-financed, highly organized, single-minded interests rabidly seeking governmental favors and overwhelming the practices of representative government and public administration by a sea of cash.[8]

    Wolin calls this form of democracy, which is sanitized of the political, managed democracy. Managed democracy is “a political form in which governments are legitimated by elections that they have learned to control”.[9] Under managed democracy, the electorate is prevented from having a significant impact on policies adopted by the state through the continuous employment of public relations techniques.[10]

    This brings us to one major respect in which Superpower resembles Nazi Germany without an inversion: the essential role that propaganda plays in the system. Whereas the production of propaganda was crudely centralized in Nazi Germany, in Superpower it is left to highly concentrated media corporations, thus maintaining the illusion of a “free press”. Dissent is allowed, although the corporate media serves as a filter, allowing most people, with limited time available to keep themselves apprised of current events, only to hear points of view which the corporate media deems to be “serious”.[11]

    Superpower has two main totalizing dynamics. The first, directed outward, finds its expression in the Global War on Terror and in the Bush Doctrine that Superpower has the right to launch preemptive wars. This amounts to Superpower seeing as illegitimate the attempt by any state to resist its domination.[12] The second dynamic, directed inward, involves the subjection of the mass of the population to economic “rationalization”, with continual “downsizing” and “outsourcing” of jobs abroad and dismantling of what remains of the welfare state created by FDR’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.[13] (Thus, neoliberalism is an integral component of inverted totalitarianism.) The state of insecurity in which this places the public serves the useful function of making people feel helpless, thus making it less likely that they will become politically active, and thus helping to maintain the first dynamic.[14]

  70. Inverted totalitarianism and managed democracy

    Given the transformations that Superpower has undergone during the military mobilization required to fight the Axis powers, and during the subsequent campaign of containing the Soviet Union during the Cold War, does Superpower continue to resemble a liberal democracy domestically, or is it itself taking on totalitarian tendencies? Wolin suggests that the latter possibility is closer to the truth:

    While the versions of totalitarianism represented by Nazism and Fascism consolidated power by suppressing liberal political practices that had sunk only shallow cultural roots, Superpower represents a drive towards totality that draws from the setting where liberalism and democracy have been established for more than two centuries. It is Nazism turned upside-down, “inverted totalitarianism.” While it is a system that aspires to totality, it is driven by an ideology of the cost-effective rather than of a “master race” (Herrenvolk), by the material rather than the “ideal.”[4]

    There are three main ways in which inverted totalitarianism is the inverted form of classical totalitarianism. First, whereas in Nazi Germany the state dominated economic actors, corporations and their lobbying dominate the Superpower, with the government acting as the servant of large corporations. This isn’t considered corruption, but “normal”.[5] Second, while the Nazi regime aimed at the constant political mobilization of the population, with its Nurembuberg rallies, Hitler Youth, and so on, inverted totalitarianism aims for the mass of the population to be in a persistent state of political apathy. The only type of political activity expected or desired from the citizenry is voting. Low electoral turnouts are favorably received as an indication that the bulk of the population has given up hope that the government will ever help them.[6] Third, while the Nazis openly mocked democracy, Superpower maintains the conceit that it is the model of democracy for the whole world:[7]

    Inverted totalitarianism reverses things. It is all politics all of the time but a politics largely untempered by the political. Party squabbles are occasionally on public display, and there is a frantic and continuous politics among factions of the party, interest groups, competing corporate powers, and rival media concerns. And there is, of course, the culminating moment of national elections when the attention of the nation is required to make a choice of personalities rather than a choice between alternatives. What is absent is the political, the commitment to finding where the common good lies amidst the welter of well-financed, highly organized, single-minded interests rabidly seeking governmental favors and overwhelming the practices of representative government and public administration by a sea of cash.[8]

    Wolin calls this form of democracy, which is sanitized of the political, managed democracy. Managed democracy is “a political form in which governments are legitimated by elections that they have learned to control”.[9] Under managed democracy, the electorate is prevented from having a significant impact on policies adopted by the state through the continuous employment of public relations techniques.[10]

    This brings us to one major respect in which Superpower resembles Nazi Germany without an inversion: the essential role that propaganda plays in the system. Whereas the production of propaganda was crudely centralized in Nazi Germany, in Superpower it is left to highly concentrated media corporations, thus maintaining the illusion of a “free press”. Dissent is allowed, although the corporate media serves as a filter, allowing most people, with limited time available to keep themselves apprised of current events, only to hear points of view which the corporate media deems to be “serious”.[11]

    Superpower has two main totalizing dynamics. The first, directed outward, finds its expression in the Global War on Terror and in the Bush Doctrine that Superpower has the right to launch preemptive wars. This amounts to Superpower seeing as illegitimate the attempt by any state to resist its domination.[12] The second dynamic, directed inward, involves the subjection of the mass of the population to economic “rationalization”, with continual “downsizing” and “outsourcing” of jobs abroad and dismantling of what remains of the welfare state created by FDR’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.[13] (Thus, neoliberalism is an integral component of inverted totalitarianism.) The state of insecurity in which this places the public serves the useful function of making people feel helpless, thus making it less likely that they will become politically active, and thus helping to maintain the first dynamic.[14]

  71. I’m wondering if you guys object to the book that McGinniss on Teddy Kennedy, that utterly eviscerated him. Palin isn’t Kennedy and McGinniss doesn’t think she is. He is way too smart for that. And yes, he’ll spend plenty of time downtown with the records, but mostly, he’ll talk to people because that’s what McGinniss does best. And he’ll sort out who she really is and what’s she’s really up to. It may or may not be flattering, but he’ll clear away a lot of the caricatures that both the right and the left have created about her.

  72. I’ve been up since 3 am and started watching the morning shows at 5 am today…the media has changed back to giving Obama an out on his indecisiveness.
    Mika on MSNBC was talking about Ed Rendell saying BC would be out there in a wet suit trying to get down in the middle of the blowout…she said he would be in a Speedo…OMG…when will they ever quit with BC bullcrap. That was so uncalled for.

    CNN says now that BP might affect the stock market so they are going to limit information about the blow out so as to not cause a panic with its investors…so inotherwards don’t expect any new information. Of coarse they are totally changed today and giving Obama the benefit of the doubt saying his personality is different than Bush’s or Clinton’s and doesn’t mean he doesn’t care…OMG!

    Fox is just on how Obama is blaming Bush!

    SO the media is back to normal today…hopefully we will get the ragin cajun back on today.

    I heard there is another bigger leak that BP is covering up, don’t know if its true.

  73. A disaster with many fathers

    By Charles Krauthammer
    Friday, May 28, 2010

    Here’s my question: Why were we drilling in 5,000 feet of water in the first place?

    Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned:

    Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. (President Obama’s tentative, selective opening of some Atlantic and offshore Alaska sites is now dead.) And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we’ve had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    So we go deep, ultra deep — to such a technological frontier that no precedent exists for the April 20 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

    There will always be catastrophic oil spills. You make them as rare as humanly possible, but where would you rather have one: in the Gulf of Mexico, upon which thousands depend for their livelihood, or in the Arctic, where there are practically no people? All spills seriously damage wildlife. That’s a given. But why have we pushed the drilling from the barren to the populated, from the remote wilderness to a center of fishing, shipping, tourism and recreation?

    Not that the environmentalists are the only ones to blame. Not by far. But it is odd that they’ve escaped any mention at all.

    The other culprits are pretty obvious. It starts with BP, which seems not only to have had an amazing string of perfect-storm engineering lapses but no contingencies to deal with a catastrophic system failure.

    However, the railing against BP for its performance since the accident is harder to understand. I attribute no virtue to BP, just self-interest. What possible interest can it have to do anything but cap the well as quickly as possible? Every day that oil is spilled means millions more in losses, cleanup and restitution.

    Federal officials who rage against BP would like to deflect attention from their own role in this disaster. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose department’s laxity in environmental permitting and safety oversight renders it among the many bearing responsibility, expresses outrage at BP’s inability to stop the leak, and even threatens to “push them out of the way.”

    “To replace them with what?” asked the estimable, admirably candid Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander. No one has the assets and expertise of BP. The federal government can fight wars, conduct a census and hand out billions in earmarks, but it has not a clue how to cap a one-mile-deep out-of-control oil well.

    Obama didn’t help much with his finger-pointing Rose Garden speech in which he denounced finger-pointing, then proceeded to blame everyone but himself. Even the grace note of admitting some federal responsibility turned sour when he reflexively added that these problems have been going on “for a decade or more” — translation: Bush did it — while, in contrast, his own interior secretary had worked diligently to solve the problem “from the day he took office.”

    Really? Why hadn’t we heard a thing about this? What about the September 2009 letter from Obama’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration accusing Interior’s Minerals Management Service of understating the “risk and impacts” of a major oil spill? When you get a blowout 15 months into your administration, and your own Interior Department had given BP a “categorical” environmental exemption in April 2009, the buck stops.

    In the end, speeches will make no difference. If BP can cap the well in time to prevent an absolute calamity in the gulf, the president will escape politically. If it doesn’t — if the gusher isn’t stopped before the relief wells are completed in August — it will become Obama’s Katrina.

    That will be unfair, because Obama is no more responsible for the damage caused by this than Bush was for the damage caused by Katrina. But that’s the nature of American politics and its presidential cult of personality: We expect our presidents to play Superman. Helplessness, however undeniable, is no defense.

    Moreover, Obama has never been overly modest about his own powers. Two years ago next week, he declared that history will mark his ascent to the presidency as the moment when “our planet began to heal” and “the rise of the oceans began to slow.”

    Well, when you anoint yourself King Canute, you mustn’t be surprised when your subjects expect you to command the tides.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/27/AR2010052702988.html?sub=AR

  74. MAY 29, 2010

    He Was Supposed to Be Competent

    The spill is a disaster for the president and his political philosophy.

    By PEGGY NOONAN

    I don’t see how the president’s position and popularity can survive the oil spill. This is his third political disaster in his first 18 months in office. And they were all, as they say, unforced errors, meaning they were shaped by the president’s political judgment and instincts.

    There was the tearing and unnecessary war over his health-care proposal and its cost. There was his day-to-day indifference to the views and hopes of the majority of voters regarding illegal immigration. And now the past almost 40 days of dodging and dithering in the face of an environmental calamity. I don’t see how you politically survive this.

    The president, in my view, continues to govern in a way that suggests he is chronically detached from the central and immediate concerns of his countrymen. This is a terrible thing to see in a political figure, and a startling thing in one who won so handily and shrewdly in 2008. But he has not, almost from the day he was inaugurated, been in sync with the center. The heart of the country is thinking each day about A, B and C, and he is thinking about X, Y and Z. They’re in one reality, he’s in another.

    The American people have spent at least two years worrying that high government spending would, in the end, undo the republic. They saw the dollars gushing night and day, and worried that while everything looked the same on the surface, our position was eroding. They have worried about a border that is in some places functionally and of course illegally open, that it too is gushing night and day with problems that states, cities and towns there cannot solve.

    And now we have a videotape metaphor for all the public’s fears: that clip we see every day, on every news show, of the well gushing black oil into the Gulf of Mexico and toward our shore. You actually don’t get deadlier as a metaphor for the moment than that, the monster that lives deep beneath the sea.

    In his news conference Thursday, President Obama made his position no better. He attempted to act out passionate engagement through the use of heightened language—”catastrophe,” etc.—but repeatedly took refuge in factual minutiae. His staff probably thought this demonstrated his command of even the most obscure facts. Instead it made him seem like someone who won’t see the big picture. The unspoken mantra in his head must have been, “I will not be defensive, I will not give them a resentful soundbite.” But his strategic problem was that he’d already lost the battle. If the well was plugged tomorrow, the damage will already have been done.

    The original sin in my view is that as soon as the oil rig accident happened the president tried to maintain distance between the gusher and his presidency. He wanted people to associate the disaster with BP and not him. When your most creative thoughts in the middle of a disaster revolve around protecting your position, you are summoning trouble. When you try to dodge ownership of a problem, when you try to hide from responsibility, life will give you ownership and responsibility the hard way. In any case, the strategy was always a little mad. Americans would never think an international petroleum company based in London would worry as much about American shores and wildlife as, say, Americans would. They were never going to blame only BP, or trust it.

    I wonder if the president knows what a disaster this is not only for him but for his political assumptions. His philosophy is that it is appropriate for the federal government to occupy a more burly, significant and powerful place in America—confronting its problems of need, injustice, inequality. But in a way, and inevitably, this is always boiled down to a promise: “Trust us here in Washington, we will prove worthy of your trust.” Then the oil spill came and government could not do the job, could not meet need, in fact seemed faraway and incapable: “We pay so much for the government and it can’t cap an undersea oil well!”

    This is what happened with Katrina, and Katrina did at least two big things politically. The first was draw together everything people didn’t like about the Bush administration, everything it didn’t like about two wars and high spending and illegal immigration, and brought those strands into a heavy knot that just sat there, soggily, and came to symbolize Bushism. The second was illustrate that even though the federal government in our time has continually taken on new missions and responsibilities, the more it took on, the less it seemed capable of performing even its most essential jobs. Conservatives got this point—they know it without being told—but liberals and progressives did not. They thought Katrina was the result only of George W. Bush’s incompetence and conservatives’ failure to “believe in government.” But Mr. Obama was supposed to be competent.

    Remarkable too is the way both BP and the government, 40 days in, continue to act shocked, shocked that an accident like this could have happened. If you’re drilling for oil in the deep sea, of course something terrible can happen, so you have a plan on what to do when it does.

    How could there not have been a plan? How could it all be so ad hoc, so inadequate, so embarrassing? We’re plugging it now with tires, mud and golf balls?

    What continues to fascinate me is Mr. Obama’s standing with Democrats. They don’t love him. Half the party voted for Hillary Clinton, and her people have never fully reconciled themselves to him. But he is what they have. They are invested in him. In time—after the 2010 elections go badly—they are going to start to peel off. The political operative James Carville, the most vocal and influential of the president’s Gulf critics, signaled to Democrats this week that they can start to peel off. He did it through the passion of his denunciations.

    The disaster in the Gulf may well spell the political end of the president and his administration, and that is no cause for joy. It’s not good to have a president in this position—weakened, polarizing and lacking broad public support—less than halfway through his term. That it is his fault is no comfort. It is not good for the stability of the world, or its safety, that the leader of “the indispensble nation” be so weakened. I never until the past 10 years understood the almost moral imperative that an American president maintain a high standing in the eyes of his countrymen.

    Mr. Obama himself, when running for president, made much of Bush administration distraction and detachment during Katrina. Now the Republican Party will, understandably, go to town on Mr. Obama’s having gone only once to the gulf, and the fund-raiser in San Francisco that seemed to take precedence, and the EPA chief who went to a New York fund-raiser in the middle of the disaster.

    But Republicans should beware, and even mute their mischief. We’re in the middle of an actual disaster. When they win back the presidency, they’ll probably get the big California earthquake. And they’ll probably blow it. Because, ironically enough, of a hard core of truth within their own philosophy: when you ask a government far away in Washington to handle everything, it will handle nothing well.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704269204575270950789108846.html?mod=rss_Today%27s_Most_Popular

  75. The thing that pisses me off about the McGinness thing is that Palin has young children and as a result her home should be off limits. The press is already indecently all over them and they deserve the respite which is their home. His actions are immature and unforgivable.

  76. Clinton: ‘The rich are not paying their fair share’

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a rare foray into domestic politics today, offering her view that — given America’s high unemployment — wealthy Americans don’t pay enough taxes.

    ***Video***

    Navigate:

    * POLITICO
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    Clinton: ‘The rich are not paying their fair share’ – Ben Smith: Clinton: ‘The rich are not paying their fair share’
    May 27, 2010
    Categories:

    * Hillary Clinton

    Clinton: ‘The rich are not paying their fair share’

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a rare foray into domestic politics today, offering her view that — given America’s high unemployment — wealthy Americans don’t pay enough taxes.

    “The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues [America currently does] — whether it’s individual, corporate or whatever [form of] taxation forms,” Clinton told an audience at the Brookings Institution, where she was discussing the Administration’s new National Security Strategy.

    Clinton said the comment was her personal opinion alone. “I’m not speaking for the administration, so I’ll preface that with a very clear caveat,” she said.

    Clinton went on to cite Brazil as a model.

    “Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere and guess what — they’re growing like crazy,” Clinton said. “And the rich are getting richer, but they’re pulling people out of poverty.”

    Both Clinton and Obama campaigned for president on promises to allow the Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans expire this year, a plan that is now part of Obama’s budget. The move will effectively raise taxes sharply on people earning more than $250,000.

    The Administration’s new formal strategy document makes the case that domestic economic strength is crucial to influence abroad.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0510/Clinton_The_rich_are_not_paying_their_fair_share.html

  77. So, James, the President does not know the gravity of the situation. Just like with Bush, all you have to do is watch CNN. Give us a break, the congress has more sense on how to figure out how bad the situation is by asking for the below water feeds. Are you really so Nieve? Oh I forgot, you were a community organizer, and there were no oil leaks there.

    As to who is in charge, I think the President has not made a mistake. He has said they are directing the recovery and have been, and the buck stops there. Now the successes or failures are his. Even those that have gone before.

    My hopes and prayers are wit the people in the Gulf. The other unanswered question is what is being done about the other platfore, which 90 minutes said might be ready to blow. I would like for the press to ask about that situation. But then the President probably does not know about it. Too bad he does not watch TV more, as he would be better informed.

  78. So MA passes the bill on no state services to illegal immigrants…of course they would after the fraud’s aunt gets a pass on being considered leagl; she got state housing help!!!!

  79. Interesting to see Hillary foray into domestic politics. Wonder what she is up to….

  80. During a presser the other day, Obama made this statement:

    My daughter Malia poked her head into the bathroom while I was shaving; She asked me: “Did you plug-up the hole yet?”

    I thought, good, now his children are not only going to pester him everyday about the oil spill, they are going to figure out their father is as reported in the news– A WEAK and INCOMPETENT president who is incapable of doing anything worthwhile in a crisis. He is an organizer not a Leader. Organizing a string of disasters with credit going to himself because it’s the only thing he knows how to do.

  81. BTW, Peggy Noonan’s article was spot on. Thanks Jan.

    It’s one disaster after another with this president. Noonan is the first journalist (I think(?)) unequivocally assigning blame, laying blame directly at Obama’s feet.

    If this is so, the trickle down has begun until it explodes like a torrent of many loud voices in the political environment.

  82. I tried to post this before…lol…but I will try again.

    ———————-
    A disaster with many fathers

    By Charles Krauthammer
    Friday, May 28, 2010

    Here’s my question: Why were we drilling in 5,000 feet of water in the first place?

    Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. (President Obama’s tentative, selective opening of some Atlantic and offshore Alaska sites is now dead.) And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we’ve had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    So we go deep, ultra deep — to such a technological frontier that no precedent exists for the April 20 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

    There will always be catastrophic oil spills. You make them as rare as humanly possible, but where would you rather have one: in the Gulf of Mexico, upon which thousands depend for their livelihood, or in the Arctic, where there are practically no people? All spills seriously damage wildlife. That’s a given. But why have we pushed the drilling from the barren to the populated, from the remote wilderness to a center of fishing, shipping, tourism and recreation?

    Not that the environmentalists are the only ones to blame. Not by far. But it is odd that they’ve escaped any mention at all.

    The other culprits are pretty obvious. It starts with BP, which seems not only to have had an amazing string of perfect-storm engineering lapses but no contingencies to deal with a catastrophic system failure.

    However, the railing against BP for its performance since the accident is harder to understand. I attribute no virtue to BP, just self-interest. What possible interest can it have to do anything but cap the well as quickly as possible? Every day that oil is spilled means millions more in losses, cleanup and restitution.

    Federal officials who rage against BP would like to deflect attention from their own role in this disaster. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose department’s laxity in environmental permitting and safety oversight renders it among the many bearing responsibility, expresses outrage at BP’s inability to stop the leak, and even threatens to “push them out of the way.”

    “To replace them with what?” asked the estimable, admirably candid Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander. No one has the assets and expertise of BP. The federal government can fight wars, conduct a census and hand out billions in earmarks, but it has not a clue how to cap a one-mile-deep out-of-control oil well.

    Obama didn’t help much with his finger-pointing Rose Garden speech in which he denounced finger-pointing, then proceeded to blame everyone but himself. Even the grace note of admitting some federal responsibility turned sour when he reflexively added that these problems have been going on “for a decade or more” — translation: Bush did it — while, in contrast, his own interior secretary had worked diligently to solve the problem “from the day he took office.”

    Really? Why hadn’t we heard a thing about this? What about the September 2009 letter from Obama’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration accusing Interior’s Minerals Management Service of understating the “risk and impacts” of a major oil spill? When you get a blowout 15 months into your administration, and your own Interior Department had given BP a “categorical” environmental exemption in April 2009, the buck stops.

    In the end, speeches will make no difference. If BP can cap the well in time to prevent an absolute calamity in the gulf, the president will escape politically. If it doesn’t — if the gusher isn’t stopped before the relief wells are completed in August — it will become Obama’s Katrina.

    That will be unfair, because Obama is no more responsible for the damage caused by this than Bush was for the damage caused by Katrina. But that’s the nature of American politics and its presidential cult of personality: We expect our presidents to play Superman. Helplessness, however undeniable, is no defense.

    Moreover, Obama has never been overly modest about his own powers. Two years ago next week, he declared that history will mark his ascent to the presidency as the moment when “our planet began to heal” and “the rise of the oceans began to slow.”

    Well, when you anoint yourself King Canute, you mustn’t be surprised when your subjects expect you to command the tides.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/27/AR2010052702988.html

  83. A congressman from LA tried to read statements about the oil spill, and got too choked up to continue. He ended up asking that his written remarks be put in the record, as he couldn’t go on.

    America’s wetlands:

  84. “Clinton said the comment was her personal opinion alone. “I’m not speaking for the administration, so I’ll preface that with a very clear caveat,” she said.”

    —————–
    As if that will stop the media savages from twisting her words and accusing her of trying to sabatoge their annoited idiot.

  85. HillaryforTexas
    May 28th, 2010 at 11:03 am
    A congressman from LA tried to read statements about the oil spill, and got too choked up to continue. He ended up asking that his written remarks be put in the record, as he couldn’t go on.

    America’s wetlands:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jtr7xMiAsU&

    ————————–
    That just broke my heart. What the hell is obama doing?

  86. bill c. and sestakhave good relations…..just hope this does notbounce back on bill….anyway I thinkit is about time Bill stopped the fraud’s work!!!!

  87. I’m beyond furious, let him drown, Bill needs to move on continue with his foundation and forget about what’s going on in the white house for now!

  88. So Bill was to the go between Rahm and Sestak…yeah right….just like the oil spill was going to have a minute effect on the Gulf of Mexico. This was engineered to save Rahm and the fraud’s ass.

    I just can’t believe this crap!!

  89. I’m wondering if you guys object to the book that McGinniss on Teddy Kennedy, that utterly eviscerated him. Palin isn’t Kennedy and McGinniss doesn’t think she is. He is way too smart for that. And yes, he’ll spend plenty of time downtown with the records, but mostly, he’ll talk to people because that’s what McGinniss does best. And he’ll sort out who she really is and what’s she’s really up to. It may or may not be flattering, but he’ll clear away a lot of the caricatures that both the right and the left have created about her.
    ——————————-
    I do not object to a candid assessment of political figures. On the contrary, I welcome it.

    But that is not what is going on here.

    True investigative journalism does not announce to the world that it is moving in next door to the target for the ostensible purpose of surveillance and watching their every move and writing a tell all book about it. People like this are bottom feeders, they rummage through the garbage of their target and they get their intel from sewer rats.

    This is the Saul Alinsky school of journalism. It is a clear manifestation of the inverted totalitarian model described above. It is reminicent of the 23 so called investigative reporters which the corrupt young Athrur Schlossberg (NYT) sent to Alaska to dig up dirt. It calls to mind the corruption of John Meecham (Newsweek)who had his reporters demand and then pour over the White House diaries to find out where Hillary was at the time of the Lewinsky business.

    This guy is a schlockmeister. Make no mistake about that. The question is who is paying him. Someone gave him the seed money to start this project and will be cut in for a piece of the action–if there is any. My guess is it is a neolib. I do not believe he is action on his own and there is a political bias behind this.

    I have a friend whose father was President of the Association of Newspaper Publishers during the 1970s. He knew Ben Bradley who was in charge of the old Washington Post during the Watergate Affair. Ben told how difficult it is to control Woodward and Bernstein. He came close to firing them. He insisted that every critical piece of information be verified by three different sources.

    That will not happen with this muckraker, and that is the problem.

  90. I don’t believe Bill Clinton Sestack story…If it was so benign why didn’t it come out earlier????? This is a scam!!! Sestack was not the only candidate asked to move aside…that is Chicago style politics at hand.

    Just like they spun the Blagoiavitch story, they are spinning this one. They know that once Clinto’s name comes out…no one will want to push prosecution.

  91. #
    basement angel
    May 27th, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Well, it really should be a stake in the “Obama is a socialist” coffin. It would be nice to not hear that idiocy anymore.

    As for McGinniss, Palin shouldn’t put up a fence. What he is there for isn’t going to be gleaned by watching the family. He’s an investigative reporter and a world class one – he’s there to find out what she did as mayor and as governor. He is, no doubt, looking for corruption and consumer manipulation.

    He’s a serious guy who, at the age of 27, wrote The Selling Of The Presidency – one of the most important books in our nation’s history on politics and he should be treated as such. She should just ignore him and go about her life. This will be over soon enough. Not putting up a fence says a lot about the courage of her convictions.
    ——–

    I just couldn’t let this comment pass without stating that I couldn’t disagree with you more.

    This guy shouldn’t be given the peepers free pass for anything he has written and I don’t consider him a world class anything other than a public stalker.

    If I were in Sarah’s shoes, that would be a cement block fence that goes up 20 not 15 feet in the air.

    I am a mom that would not permit a reporter free visual access to my family’s life either.

  92. What a scam!!! Bill Clinton Sustack Bull! He is just a front for the real story. Other politicians have been offered positions to move aside! If Bill was the man…what is the big deal about letting that out??? and Sustack being offered a “Non-paying position”??????? is that supposed to be what we believe a person would drop out of a senate race for? PLEASE!!!!!!

  93. #
    JanH
    May 28th, 2010 at 11:21 am

    May 28, 2010

    White House Used Bill Clinton to Ask Sestak to Drop Out of Race

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/28/white-house-used-bill-clinton-to-ask-sestak-to-drop-out-of-race/

    ———–

    More of the Chicago way of doing business, try to get the Big Dawg involved to hurt the Clinton’s and try and tarnish Hillary’s chance of running against the A-hole?

    I know this isn’t fact at this point, so I will not take it seriously at this time, but when did the Rahm – that same guy that bullies men in the shower while being nude, need the Big Dawg to do his bidding???

  94. Another scumbag who false in the same school of faux investigative journalism is Todd Purham husband of deede myers who wrote the hit piece on Bill Clinton which was released at the end of the primary to force Hillary out of the race. It was all inuendo for a political purpose, and the strong suspicion by many was that Axelrod was behind it.

    The guy I know would contrast this sort of crap with what he did with his own newspaper which was rated the best small town newspaper in the country. He had an editor who was a brilliant man and was dedicated to the truth and protecting the community which his newspaper served. He told me that the editor used his share of investigative journalists to cover stories which had the potential to reveal hidden problems. He would turn those reporters loose at times for months only to discard their work when it could not be identified.

    The other problem we see today is that these reporters are keen to become more than just reporters. They aspire to become media celebrities. If you pan the audience when Obama delivered his oil spill speech whose message was I am in charge, I am not responsible, and I know nothing–not exactly vini vini viche (I came, I saw. I conquered) you could see ratboy Chuck Todd in one of the front chairs, and at the White House Parties he is always on the guest list. And all he had to do to get there was to sell his soul. And now of course he is a celebrity.

    He is a chess piece in the game of inverted totalitarianism and managed democracy wherein “governments are legitimated by elections that they have learned to control”.[9] Under managed democracy, the electorate is prevented from having a significant impact on policies adopted by the state through the continuous employment of public relations techniques.”

  95. I hope this is true, if so, it is one of the ONLY things this Fruad has done that I like:

    [snip]

    President Obama, who planned to visit the gulf on Friday, ordered a suspension of virtually all current and new offshore oil drilling activity pending a comprehensive safety review, acknowledging that oversight until now had been seriously deficient.

    [snip]

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/28/us/28spill.html?hp

  96. two things:

    can Bill please focus on his own projects and let this WH take care of itself…pleeease! does he always have to be the one to rescue them out of their messes?

    ******************************************
    doesn’t Alaska have any ‘peeping tom’ laws? – there is a photo of McGinnis using a telescope to spy on SP…this is simply demented…Palin supporters should make his life miserable…or perhaps some of the dims – like sick and clueless Andrew Sullivan – would like the same kind of incessant spy treatment…

    goes without saying that now that O has injected his daughter Malia into the oil mess, if people started harassing his family the dims would go nuts…such a bunch of hypocrites…and you can bet SNL will exploit this…

  97. [McGinniss will] spend plenty of time downtown with the records, but mostly, he’ll talk to people

    =====================

    Which people will he find next door to Palin’s secluded house? The video shows the two houses fronting on a lake, thus no one across the street to talk to.

    The relevant people to talk to are also downtown, or in the Capitol.

  98. If he is going to spend most of his time downtown searching records et al, then why did he have to move right next door to Palin?

  99. So it was NOT the Fraud or the WH’s fault…never…they are all lilly white and clean…it was the dirty Bill Clinton.

    Will they try to re-impeach Clinton for this? The Repubs, FOX News et al are licking their chops at the thought! Nope, they won’t check into BO’s background and actions…but tht racial Bill Clinton..you betcha!

    Disgusting!!!!

  100. #
    JanH
    May 28th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    If he is going to spend most of his time downtown searching records et al, then why did he have to move right next door to Palin?
    ——

    Exactly. No need to move in next store for any other reason than to peep. How about using electronic gear to hear actual conversations?

  101. #
    Southern Born
    May 28th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    So it was NOT the Fraud or the WH’s fault…never…they are all lilly white and clean…it was the dirty Bill Clinton.

    Will they try to re-impeach Clinton for this? The Repubs, FOX News et al are licking their chops at the thought! Nope, they won’t check into BO’s background and actions…but tht racial Bill Clinton..you betcha!

    Disgusting!!!!
    ———–
    If the Fraud is trying to stick this to Bill, the only good thing is Bill is so brilliant and knows when he is being used.

    People that go after the Clinton’s always get smacked with a shit load of Karma…

    Fox is scared to death of the Clinton’s…they don’t have one candidate that measures up to the hard work these two people do for their and other countries.

  102. I am often amazed at what is legal and what is not. In a town where progress is achieved by trading favors, and lobbyists stroll through the Oval Office with impunity telling presidents what they want and making political contributions off site to convey their detached and disinterested love of representative democracy, talking to a candidate about other possibilities does not shock my conscience. And when you are in politics, you proceed must trade favors or get out of the business. The problem here is Sestak. This was a careless, artless thing for him to say, and I am sure he regrets it now.

  103. So, none of you, including Wbboei, actually know who McGinniss is and what he has done in his life. That’s what this comes down to. He’s moved in next door to someone you admire so he’s a bottom feeder and a stalker.

    And right here, this is what’s wrong with America’s dialogue. This rhetoric is infantile. You admire Palin so you now hate McGinniss. How do you think the Obots would react if an investigative journalist bought the house next to the Obama’s that was for sale last year? Do you think they’d sound any different than you? No, they wouldn’t.

    Just buckle up. Jeez. Sarah’s a celebrity now, and invasions of privacy come with that territory. She’s making a lot of money. She and her children are safe. Whatever McGinniss’s book is, it will be a damn sight more informative and interesting than anything the press dishes up about her. He thinks for himself.

    Who’s funding it? A publishing company! Duh! A publishing company who will make a mint on it however it goes.

    Common sense, people.

  104. The Big Dawg made it clear that he was speaking for the shower bully in this statement:
    —–

    The following is a statement from Rep. Joe Sestak elaborating on the job offer the White House indirectly offered him last summer:

    “Last summer, I received a phone call
    from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background.

    He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former President said he knew I’d say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/05/28/raw-data-sestaks-statement-white-house-report-job-offer/

  105. Assuming this story is true, I would like to know who in the West Wing leaked this story to Greg Sergeant. That was not the way it was supposed to come out. And it is done in a way that is damaging to Bill.

    What does this tell us about Obama that we do not already know?

    To me, it signifies the depth of his depravity. If you ask a former president to do something to help you and when it does not go right you set them up for a fall, then you are lower than a snakes belly.

    Obama is a man of low moral character. It is not the sanitized version we will see later today which is the tell. It is that leak to Greg Sergeant, which would have never occurred without Obama’s approval.

  106. basement angel

    Common sense, people.

    ———

    You sure jump to a lot of conclusions with people that disagree with you.
    Too bad.

  107. Whatever McGinnis’s actions in the past may have been, his current action is questionable to say the least.

    The Palins have small children. Nasty rumours were circulated about those children, including accusations of incest between the father and daughters. Is it unreasonable for the mother to fear that McGinnis might stir up those rumors, either by questioning the children or the neighbors? If you were the mother, would you want him able to photograph your family in their back yard or their bedrooms? To record their conversations?

    Imagine what a tabloid could do with family photos?

    This is the sort of accusation that is damaging just to hear — by daughters.

    YOu say that celebrities are used to attempted invasions of privacy. Such celebrities also live in gated compounds, for that reason. Putting up a fence is mild. I hope it’s not too little too late.

  108. Did Rahm discuss this with BO before asking Bill to do the discussion with Sestak?
    Either way Rahm has to resign….the liberals will get their own liberal cheiff of staff !!!!!!

    Bill needs to get out of these things….unfortunately this will not do Hillary any good for a future run….

  109. Turndown,

    I have literally not jumped to a single conclusion. it’s what people are actually typing in here that I find problematic. And i don’t believe that any of you would object to an investigative journalist of McGinniss’ background setting up next to Obama in Chicago.

    Nothing that Palin or her children do in that backyard is fodder for tabloids. And he doesn’t sell his stuff to tabloids. He’s there to research the oil deal, and to find the truth out about who Palin is – because, like it or not, due to her short term in office as governor, it’s a bit hard to tell her politics. For my money, I’m betting she’s more liberal than she lets on. Most of my fellow lefties, suspect she’s more conservative. But I wasn’t hoodwinked by Obama or Bush, and most of them were hoodwinked.

    Her kids are well-behaved and they’re physically safe. She has a good marriage. She’s going to go through the process that someone should have put Obama through. Whatever it is, it will be okay in the end. It’s time for her to keep a stiff upper lip and have the courage of her convictions. If she’s a straight arrow, as I suspect she is, she’ll be fine.

  110. Drudge is loading the page with links of the Big Dawg and the Fraud’s controversy…

    I hope Bill gets really pist and speaks out if they are setting him up for another fall from grace……

    TAG TEAM: CLINTON, OBAMA LUNCH UNDER SESTAK CLOUD

    BLAME BUBBA: White House asked Clinton to talk to Sestak about Senate run…

    LIMBAUGH: ‘I guess we know why Obama and Clinton had lunch yesterday, to get their stories straight’…

  111. Shadowfax
    May 28th, 2010 at 1:30 pm
    The Big Dawg made it clear that he was speaking for the shower bully in this statement:

    ———-
    Excellent!

  112. At this moment, even I feel like limbaugh…that executive WH lunch to get their stories straight….

    Today I am not happy with Bill!!!

    And i hope Sestak loses….he should have come out with story straight long time ago!!!!

  113. basement angel
    May 28th, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    ——————
    I understand where you are coming from, but (and speaking only for myself), I would be upset if he moved in next door to obama. When children are involved, I see this as crossing the line.

  114. Anyone else wonder why ALL the news stations are reporting the Sestak scandle before the White House releases their statement? Today everyone ‘knows’ Bill was involved, so where did this leak start? In the White house, to float the trial balloon to see what happens first?

    Even HuffPuff has their story, and at the bottom of the pay they have:

    HERE IS THE FULL WHITE HOUSE MEMO ON THE MATTER:

    (Below that is a huge blank space to put the ‘memo’ when it arrives.)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/28/joe-sestak-bill-clinton-s_n_593299.html

  115. I wish Bill has said upfront that he would support Sestak in the primary…..when he talked with sestak.

  116. turndownobama
    May 28th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    ————-
    Palin nails it on the head! I hope her statement goes viral.

  117. How did McGinnis’s presence become known? Setting up for surveillance (whether for tabloid material or for serious political investigation) should have been, yanno, undercover. That’s how you get good evidence: don’t let people know you’re watching and/or recording them.

    Being so visible, means either McGinnis fouled up — or that he’s generating early publicity for his book. Which doesn’t bode well.

  118. JanH
    May 28th, 2010 at 2:25 pm
    I would be upset if he moved in next door to obama. When children are involved, I see this as crossing the line.

    ==========================

    Especially when the children have been the targets of rumours so nasty that you don’t want the children asking what they mean!

  119. This sums up my view of the current situation rather nicely. It like in baseball-three strikes and you are out. Form todays Wall Street Journal.
    ————————————————-

    He Was Supposed to Be Competent
    The spill is a disaster for the president and his political philosophy.
    By PEGGY NOONAN

    Article

    I don’t see how the president’s position and popularity can survive the oil spill. This is his third political disaster in his first 18 months in office. And they were all, as they say, unforced errors, meaning they were shaped by the president’s political judgment and instincts.

    There was the tearing and unnecessary war over his health-care proposal and its cost. There was his day-to-day indifference to the views and hopes of the majority of voters regarding illegal immigration. And now the past almost 40 days of dodging and dithering in the face of an environmental calamity. I don’t see how you politically survive this.

    The president, in my view, continues to govern in a way that suggests he is chronically detached from the central and immediate concerns of his countrymen. This is a terrible thing to see in a political figure, and a startling thing in one who won so handily and shrewdly in 2008. But he has not, almost from the day he was inaugurated, been in sync with the center. The heart of the country is thinking each day about A, B and C, and he is thinking about X, Y and Z. They’re in one reality, he’s in another.

    View Full Image

    Reuters
    President Obama promised on Thursday to hold BP accountable in the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill and said his administration would do everything necessary to protect and restore the coast.

    The American people have spent at least two years worrying that high government spending would, in the end, undo the republic. They saw the dollars gushing night and day, and worried that while everything looked the same on the surface, our position was eroding. They have worried about a border that is in some places functionally and of course illegally open, that it too is gushing night and day with problems that states, cities and towns there cannot solve.

    And now we have a videotape metaphor for all the public’s fears: that clip we see every day, on every news show, of the well gushing black oil into the Gulf of Mexico and toward our shore. You actually don’t get deadlier as a metaphor for the moment than that, the monster that lives deep beneath the sea.

    In his news conference Thursday, President Obama made his position no better. He attempted to act out passionate engagement through the use of heightened language—”catastrophe,” etc.—but repeatedly took refuge in factual minutiae. His staff probably thought this demonstrated his command of even the most obscure facts. Instead it made him seem like someone who won’t see the big picture. The unspoken mantra in his head must have been, “I will not be defensive, I will not give them a resentful soundbite.” But his strategic problem was that he’d already lost the battle. If the well was plugged tomorrow, the damage will already have been done.

    More Peggy Noonan

    Read Peggy Noonan’s previous columns

    click here to order her new book, Patriotic Grace

    The original sin in my view is that as soon as the oil rig accident happened the president tried to maintain distance between the gusher and his presidency. He wanted people to associate the disaster with BP and not him. When your most creative thoughts in the middle of a disaster revolve around protecting your position, you are summoning trouble. When you try to dodge ownership of a problem, when you try to hide from responsibility, life will give you ownership and responsibility the hard way. In any case, the strategy was always a little mad. Americans would never think an international petroleum company based in London would worry as much about American shores and wildlife as, say, Americans would. They were never going to blame only BP, or trust it.

    I wonder if the president knows what a disaster this is not only for him but for his political assumptions. His philosophy is that it is appropriate for the federal government to occupy a more burly, significant and powerful place in America—confronting its problems of need, injustice, inequality. But in a way, and inevitably, this is always boiled down to a promise: “Trust us here in Washington, we will prove worthy of your trust.” Then the oil spill came and government could not do the job, could not meet the need, in fact seemed faraway and incapable: “We pay so much for the government and it can’t cap an undersea oil well!”

    This is what happened with Katrina, and Katrina did at least two big things politically. The first was draw together everything people didn’t like about the Bush administration, everything it didn’t like about two wars and high spending and illegal immigration, and brought those strands into a heavy knot that just sat there, soggily, and came to symbolize Bushism. The second was illustrate that even though the federal government in our time has continually taken on new missions and responsibilities, the more it took on, the less it seemed capable of performing even its most essential jobs. Conservatives got this point—they know it without being told—but liberals and progressives did not. They thought Katrina was the result only of George W. Bush’s incompetence and conservatives’ failure to “believe in government.” But Mr. Obama was supposed to be competent.

    Remarkable too is the way both BP and the government, 40 days in, continue to act shocked, shocked that an accident like this could have happened. If you’re drilling for oil in the deep sea, of course something terrible can happen, so you have a plan on what to do when it does.

    How could there not have been a plan? How could it all be so ad hoc, so inadequate, so embarrassing? We’re plugging it now with tires, mud and golf balls?

    More on The Gulf Oil Spill

    Opinion: Obama’s Blowout Preventer
    On Doomed Rig, ‘Nobody in Charge’
    BP’s Decisions Set Stage for Disaster
    BP Assesses ‘Top Kill’ Effectiveness
    Spill Tops Valdez Disaster
    Interactive: Victims: Faces and Profiles
    What continues to fascinate me is Mr. Obama’s standing with Democrats. They don’t love him. Half the party voted for Hillary Clinton, and her people have never fully reconciled themselves to him. But he is what they have. They are invested in him. In time—after the 2010 elections go badly—they are going to start to peel off. The political operative James Carville, the most vocal and influential of the president’s Gulf critics, signaled to Democrats this week that they can start to peel off. He did it through the passion of his denunciations.

    The disaster in the Gulf may well spell the political end of the president and his administration, and that is no cause for joy. It’s not good to have a president in this position—weakened, polarizing and lacking broad public support—less than halfway through his term. That it is his fault is no comfort. It is not good for the stability of the world, or its safety, that the leader of “the indispensable nation” be so weakened. I never until the past 10 years understood the almost moral imperative that an American president maintain a high standing in the eyes of his countrymen.

    Mr. Obama himself, when running for president, made much of Bush administration distraction and detachment during Katrina. Now the Republican Party will, understandably, go to town on Mr. Obama’s having gone before this week only once to the gulf, and the fund-raiser in San Francisco that seemed to take precedence, and the EPA chief who decided to cancel a New York fund-raiser only after the press reported that she planned to attend.

    But Republicans should beware, and even mute their mischief. We’re in the middle of an actual disaster. When they win back the presidency, they’ll probably get the big California earthquake. And they’ll probably blow it. Because, ironically enough, of a hard core of truth within their own philosophy: When you ask a government far away in Washington to handle everything, it will handle nothing well.

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