Saturday, May 1, 2010

Last Call

On a day where America is facing what very well could be the worst environmental catastrophe in our history, on a day where millions nationwide are letting America and the world know that Latinos are Americans too, on a day where the President is trying to defuse a rhetorical ticking time bomb with a plea for sanity in an insane world, what's the big news story today?

The White House Correspondents Dinner, of course...aka #nerdprom.

What, you thought massive May Day immigration protests on the heels of Arizona starting a veritable race war or an oil slick that could destroy the coastal economies of millions of people, or even Obama's speech at the University of Michigan practically begging the haters of government to tone it down before someone gets hurt was news to the Village?

Have you been paying attention?  Kim Kardashian's at nerdprom.

God we deserve this.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

The phrase "Obama's Katrina" has been thrown around a lot prior to this point, irresponsibly.

The government response to Lake Palin however being this President's Hurricane Katrina moment is absolutely incorrect.  Obama has the opportunity to prove that government can be the solution when it is needed to be the solution.  Steve Benen:

In 2005, Bush failed to take seriously warnings of an imminent natural disaster, and was slow to act after the devastation had begun. The storm killed more 1,500, left hundreds of thousands homeless, and destroyed much of an American coastline.

In 2010, BP was responsible for a disaster that wasn't natural at all. The company didn't warn government officials of an imminent threat; it did the opposite, assuring agencies that this was a manageable problem that BP was equipped to deal with.

Nevertheless, within one day of the explosion at the rig, the Obama administration had dispatched officials and the Coast Guard to the scene. When the problem became more acute, the president dispatched Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to the area to help oversee efforts with federal, state, and local officials. President Obama will himself visit the coast tomorrow.

Everything that can be expected of government officials is being done. Media Matters published a timeline of events, and if there's evidence of the administration taking a misstep, it's hiding well.
The magnitude of this disaster is proof that government is sometimes necessary to help.  This is one of those seminal moments when only government can step in and mobilize resources.  And Obama has done so.  Sunday's visit is going to be vitally important, and you're going to see the difference between a Democratic administration and a Republican one.

Obama's got this.

Tweet O' The Day

From @politicalbaron:
They are calling the oil spill Lake Palin. How appropriate.
And lo, Lake Palin it became.  Drill baby drill.

By The Time I Get To Arizona, Part 3

Bob Cesca on the State of Insanity:
Don't you dare suggest this is racially motivated, even though it really is.
Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Arizona Department of Education “recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English.”
So any teacher with a foreign accent (read that: brown accent), and thus an insight into learning English as a second language, is now banned from teaching people to speak English in Arizona. Meanwhile, they're insisting everyone with brown heritage learn English -- or else.
Yeah, and don't you dare mention the Klan or Nazis when talking about the continuing ethnic cleansing efforts in Arizona, because if you do you're orders of magnitude more horrible than the people trying to purify the state's race and culture.

Remember, it's not a knee-jerk reactionary racist effort because the knee-jerk reactionary racists say it isn't.

You know what?  I hope you guys do vote Joe Arpaio in as Governor of Arizona.  I hope he gets a big ol' statewide posse and raids every home, every business, every school, every building in Arizona and rounds up folks who employ illegal immigrants in businesses and in their homes.  I hope he targets business owners and the rich especially.  I hope he locks down the entire goddamn state with his fascist police state crap.

People might learn what a real tyrant who ignores the Constitution looks like instead of fantasizing about Obama.

A Mayday Call For May Day

Today in 80 plus cities around the US, massive pro-immigrant rallies will be held.  The rally in LA by itself is expected to draw a hundred thousand people.
Organizers of the May Day march, scheduled for Saturday morning in downtown Los Angeles, say that the outcry over the Arizona law and the slow pace of congressional action on immigration reform have prompted renewed activism. The law, set to take effect in midsummer, makes it a state crime for illegal migrants to be in Arizona, requires police to check for legal status and prohibits people from hiring day laborers off the street.

Meanwhile, many immigrant-rights activists say they are losing patience with the Obama administration and Congress for not pressing comprehensive legislation that would legalize the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants and allow more family visas in addition to beefing up border enforcement. Although Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) unveiled a 26-page "conceptual proposal" for a bill Thursday, activists remain dismayed that he continues to postpone introducing actual legislation.

The combination of those events — along with fear that several immigrant-friendly Democrats will suffer political defeat in November — has pushed the alarm button for many activists. For the first time since 2006, several immigrant rights coalitions have put aside their differences and are unifying behind a single march this year.

"Absent our unity, immigration reform will always be put off to another day," said Angelica Salas of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. "We need to show a powerful force that we won't give up on immigration reform in 2010."

Salas said the Spanish-language media, which helped fuel a massive turnout of more than 500,000 marchers in 2006, have closely covered the Arizona law and are helping publicize Saturday's march.
So odds a really good that these rallies will greatly exceed the April 15th Tea Party ones.  Think anyone in the Tea Party or the media gives a damn?  I'm sure more coverage will be given to the angry racist counter protests, frankly.

But hey, they're not "Real Americans" like Moose Lady, so they don't count.

Oil's Well That Doesn't End Well For This Oil Well, Part 3

As bad as the Deepwater Horizon disaster is, some estimates are that the existing spill is far worse than originally thought, meaning that the flow rate is much higher than BP is willing to say.  And that means we may already be approaching Exxon Valdez-level in the disaster column and still have a long cleanup ahead.  Think Progress:
The catastrophic gusher of oil unleashed by the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig last week is on track to quickly exceed the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, an independent expert warns. An explosive burst of oil destroyed the exploratory rig 41 miles off the Louisiana coast on the eve of Earth Day, killing 11 workers. After the shattered hulk of the rig sank to the ocean floor a mile down, the pipeline continues to spew oil that has now reached shore, with an end weeks or months away. John Amos, the president and founder of the nonprofit firm SkyTruth, “which specializes in gathering and analyzing satellite and aerial data to promote environmental conservation,” estimated from satellite photos that the calamity is increasing at a rate of 850,000 gallons (20,000 barrels) a day:
That’s right: more than 6 million gallons spilled into the Gulf of Mexico so far. This, and other radar images that SkyTruth is getting, confirm what we’ve seen on the NASA/MODIS images so far, and support our conservative calculations showing that in the first week of this spill at least 6 million gallons have entered the Gulf. That’s a spill rate of at least 850,000 gallons (20,000 barrels) per day, 20 times larger than the official Goast Guard estimate of 42,000 gallons per day.
By today, about 7 million gallons will have been spilled, taking the Deepwater Horizon disaster more than halfway to the 1989 wreck of the Exxon Valdez, which dumped 11 million gallons into Alaska’s Prince William Sound — one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters. This catastrophe — which occured as Halliburton was cementing the wellwill exceed the scale of the Exxon Valdez within a week.
And the best part is that it may take weeks or longer to cap the well, because nobody seems to have any idea how to fix this problem.   If this thing really is that bad, to the point where it's spewing near a million gallons a day into the Gulf, it may cause untold damage to the Gulf coastline, to shipping, to wildlife, to people, to the economy, and cause all kinds of havoc down the road.

Finally, a big "screw you" to every Republican out there now screaming for Obama and the government to "do something about this" and to "save us".  Yes, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, I'm looking at you.  For the last sixteen months the GOP has been screaming that government is evil, that it is the problem, that we need less regulation in order to be more productive, more profitable, and that rules and oversight aren't needed because the free market will take care of things.

Well folks, the hand of the free market just ripped a wellhead to pieces and is completely screwing over the Gulf.  It's going to cost several billion dollars to fix.  I'm sick of people saying that the magical free market will be responsible and keep anything bad from happening.  Well guess what?  The Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, this oil rig nightmare, and our economy back in 2008, they all got "fixed by the magical free market" where deregulation caused untold damage to our economy and hey, even killed people.

And now the Republicans are demanding that the government "fix the problem"?  Screw you guys.  Government is a lumbering vampiric dinosaur to you morons until you need the government to solve your problems for you.  Then it's "I demand the government does something about this!"  And it's the same Teabagger assclowns doing the loudest yelling and screaming.

Hypocritical assholes.  Jindal, get your ass in gear and a mop and bucket and clean up your own mess.  State's rights!  Tenth Amendment!  Don't Tread On Me!  Hey Teabaggers?  Get out there on the coast and help him since you hate the federal government intruding in a state matter so dearly, you hate Washington's beltway interference.  Start scrubbing.

Government is the "greatest evil of all" until a real evil pops up, an environmental disaster caused by corporate greed.  Suddenly for you guys it's nanny state time.

Assholes.  All of you.  Next time you chuckleheads want to drill baby drill, head down to a library and drill into a couple of books, educate yourselves, and stop being such ignorant morons.

Happy Free Comic Book Day!

May 1 is Free Comic Book Day, so support your local gaming/comics store by dropping on by and picking up your free comic book, and maybe you'll find a couple other things to boot.  CNN's Geek Out Blog has your guide to this year's FCBD:
Every year, many comic book stores make Free Comic Book Day a big deal, and with so many major and independent publishers out there, there's a lot to choose from. There's literally something for everyone, from Archie and the Simpsons to a sampling of comics from small publisher Oni Press to a comic book about Lady Gaga. Here are a few suggested titles to check out:

- War of the Supermen #0 is the beginning of what is promised to be one of the biggest Superman events ever, the culmination of a years-long story arc, involving the arrival of 100,000 super-powered Kryptonians living on Earth. The idea behind these free comics is usually to make them accessible to new readers, so if they can pull this off, that will be quite the feat. Younger readers might want to check out the DC Kids Mega Sampler instead. (DC is owned by Time Warner, which also owns CNN.)

- This year, Seth Rogen will star as the Green Hornet in a major motion picture. However, this is hardly the first time Hollywood has tried to bring the Hornet to the big screen. At one point, writer/director Kevin Smith had a script for a big-budget treatment of the classic radio character before dropping out, reportedly due to getting cold feet about such a big undertaking. As Smith told, he was approached to try a new take on the Hornet and ended up putting his script to the comic page. The Green Hornet #1 is the first part of that effort, and having read it, I can say it's definitely an intriguing story so far, about a Hornet for a new generation.

- For G.I. Joe fans, it doesn't get much better than Larry Hama's treatment of the characters, which started in 1982 for Marvel Comics. After Joe fever died down, the series ended with the 155th issue (now highly sought-after by collectors). G.I. Joe #155 1/2 is Hama's attempt to continue that story after the G.I. Joe team has shut down and Cobra runs rampant. Should be very interesting reading.

- And now for one of the classics. If you watched the Fox Saturday morning lineup back in the 1990s, you should be very familiar with the Tick. You may have even seen the short-lived, critically acclaimed prime-time series in 2001. Now readers can see where it all began with a special reprint of The Tick #1, especially for Free Comic Book Day. Spoon!

- Invariably, Free Comic Book Day is timed to coincide with a major comic book-based motion picture release. This time, it's "Iron Man 2." Marvel has a possible sneak preview of the upcoming "Avengers" movie with Iron Man/Thor, as the two heroes team up for a special free story, promising a "bold new direction" for both characters. Younger readers are encouraged to read old Shellhead's adventures in Iron Man: Supernova.
The Hama G.I. Joe #155 1/2 and the Tick #1 are definitely on my list today.  Check out your own local comics shop and give Free Comic Book Day a spin.

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