Sunday, May 16, 2010

Last Call

Steven D has some interesting predictions for the rest of the year...or what won't happen this year, anyway.

Just Beneath The Surface

Massive deep sea oil geysers are like icebergs.  It ain't the 10% on the surface that's going to kill you...
Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.

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

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

Dr. Joye said the oxygen had already dropped 30 percent near some of the plumes in the month that the broken oil well had been flowing. “If you keep those kinds of rates up, you could draw the oxygen down to very low levels that are dangerous to animals in a couple of months,” she said Saturday. “That is alarming.” 
Goodbye fishing industry.  Now, here's my question.  If you're a Teapublican, once again, why aren't you screaming at the Republicans and the free market solutions that created this and will end up putting thousands of hard working real Americans out of work for good?

I mean you can blame Obama for this all you want to, but the fact of the matter is he's not the one running the oil well, not the one who decided to cut safety measures to cust costs, not the one who subcontracted the rig out to Transocean and Halliburton, and not the ont that screwed up the plans for the blowout preventer and failed to maintain the piece of vital safety equipment.

And if your Republican buddies have anything to say about it, you're the ones who will be stuck with the bill, too.  This is a disaster caused by the corporations who are funding this movement.  Just like the banks, this isn't a conservative or liberal issue, or a black or white issue, or a red state vs blue state issue, or a religious vs secular issue, this is a greed issue.

And you're being played for fools by the same people who are literally wrecking this country.

[UPDATEBP has managed to get that siphon tube on the oil riser pipe, but the "percentage reduction of the oil flow is unknown" at this point.  So who knows if it's even working at all.

The Play Continues On Script

Remember my call last week on how the Kagan nomination process would play out?  It's proceeding exactly according to my theory, and we've now officially reached step 5:
There will be no need for the Senate to waste their time interviewing President Barack Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court if Newt Gingrich has his way. Fox News' Chris Wallace asked Gingrich Sunday what he thought of the nomination of Elena Kagan.

"I think the president should withdraw it," said Gingrich. "You don't need a whole lot of hearings. The very fact that she led the effort -- which was repudiated unanimously by the Supreme Court -- to block the American military from Harvard Law School...."
Expect the next month or so to be filled with pointless speculation now over whether or not Obama will withdraw the nomination or Kagan will ask her name be withdrawn.   It will continue until it becomes clear that Kagan will not only get her hearings, but passes them easily.  We'll be in this phase of the mess unfortunately until July or August.

Keep in mind however I did call this a week ago.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

When it comes to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, the only things at this point stopping a massive march on Washington by the Teabaggers (with thousands of rabid El Rushbo and Glennsanity fans screaming for Obama's blood, literally) are:
  • The complete incompetence of the response of the companies involved in the spill, BP, Transocean, and Halliburton.
  • BP being able to get away with lowballing the oil geyser numbers for three weeks.
That's it.  If BP's public relations guys weren't horrible, and BP hadn't tried to buy off thousands of Gulf residents in the first days of the spill, if they had actually come clean and said "Yeah we think it's three million gallons of oil a day, easy" you'd have Teabagger primary candidates being asked if they would support impeaching Obama over this oil spill.

You still may.  After all, factor two there is no longer in play, so the only thing saving Obama's ass right now is because BP is a bunch of complete tools and publicly demonstrates the fact they have no clue what they are doing on a daily basis.

So as long as BP continues to screw up, Obama's in the clear.  Of course, the longer it takes to cap, the worse off it's going to be for all of us, so maybe Obama should tell BP to get the hell out of the way and get the military down there.  If Obama can prove that the government can resolve this and not the "free markets" then it'll go a long way to restore confidence in the government.

If he can't however, he's in real, real trouble.  We all will.

Gates At The Barbarians Again

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has served past his usefulness according to BooMan.
It's time to be realistic about Afghanistan. And it's time for some clean hands at the Pentagon. Bob Gates has served his purpose. He's actually done a pretty good job of cleaning up Rumsfeld's mess and of being a team player in the Obama administration. But there is just too much rot in the Pentagon from the Bush years for someone who served during the Bush years to be credible enough to clean it up. If Gates remains, bad things will happen. He should stay no later than the end of the year. 
BooMan's talking about this story in the NY Times this morning:
Top military officials have continued to rely on a secret network of private spies who have produced hundreds of reports from deep inside Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to American officials and businessmen, despite concerns among some in the military about the legality of the operation.

Earlier this year, government officials admitted that the military had sent a group of former Central Intelligence Agency officers and retired Special Operations troops into the region to collect information — some of which was used to track and kill people suspected of being militants. Many portrayed it as a rogue operation that had been hastily shut down once an investigation began.

But interviews with more than a dozen current and former government officials and businessmen, and an examination of government documents, tell a different a story. Not only are the networks still operating, their detailed reports on subjects like the workings of the Taliban leadership in Pakistan and the movements of enemy fighters in southern Afghanistan are also submitted almost daily to top commanders and have become an important source of intelligence. 

The American military is largely prohibited from operating inside Pakistan. And under Pentagon rules, the army is not allowed to hire contractors for spying. 
Gates in other words is breaking his own rules in order to help us "win" in Afghanistan...and we're not even winning in Afghanistan.  By our own admission we're not winning in Afghanistan.  I agree that Obama absolutely needs to find a replacement for Gates, and I'll add this to the myriad of good reasons he needs to go:  Gates is stonewalling on DADT.
CNN is reporting that tonight, during an interview on John King USA, Defense Secretary Robert Gates will reiterate his support for repealing the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy (DADT) and argue that lawmakers should wait for the Pentagon to complete its review before rescinding the policy. Gates has expressed a similar sentiment in a letter to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO), and his tone has drastically chilled any chance of ending the policy before the end of the year. But during tonight’s interview, he will go one step further, suggesting that a quick repeal would be “a stupid way to do change.”
Obama wants it gone.  Congress wants it gone.  Gates is dragging his feet on purpose, against the President's orders, and if he's not going to implement the President's orders as Defense Secretary, he needs to resign.  Period.  That's the way a chain of command works, Mr. Defense Secretary.  Perhaps you're familiar with the concept.

Racists Don't Make Very Good Grifters

After all, the point of being a grifter is to get the mark to like you and to talk them up to get them to trust you.  Besides, Moose Lady the Griftebrity's modus operandi is to play the gender card, not the race one.  To her credit, she's left the issue of race very much alone and gone with her Christian Dominionist Girl Powah thing instead.

That was the case until she stepped into Arizona's immigration law like a moose patty and stumped for Gov. Jan Brewer, and went hard core racist on us.
As calls spread for an economic boycott of Arizona, the state's governor enlisted the help of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Saturday to defend a new law cracking down on illegal immigration.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Palin blamed President Obama for the state law, saying the measure is Arizona's attempt to enforce immigration laws because the federal government won't do it.

"It's time for Americans across this great country to stand up and say, 'We're all Arizonans now,'" Palin said. "And in clear unison we say, 'Mr. President: Do your job. Secure our border.'"

The former Alaska governor appeared with Brewer at a brief news conference on Saturday. Palin defended the controversial legislation Brewer recently signed, calling Arizona "ground zero for our nation's border security issues." 
Now, I figure she's left Arizona alone until now due to that soft spot she has (in her head) for Johnny Volcano.  This is McCain's state, and coming in here to make a mess complaining about Mexican border issues when being a half-term governor of a state like Alaska makes her the second least-qualified person in the GOP to talk about it (number one being Hawaii's GOP governor, Linda Lingle.)  Even better, after McCain's embarrassingly bad border fence ad (one so awful that Republicans are laughing at him at this point) you'd figure she'd steer clear of the state for a while.

But she can't help herself.  She's even using McCain's avenue of attack:  "The federal government won't seal the border!"

Well now, Sarah, dear?  You may not remember this, but about five years ago a guy named John McCain put forth one of those Congress bill thingies that would have improved this whole Mexican border doohickey, and that plan got shot down by the Republican party.

It's not Obama's fault here.  It's the GOP's fault.  And this really is a losing argument for you guys long-term.  And judging by the reaction by Arizona to the threat of boycott, it's a real big loser short-term too.  You can't call for action on immigration reform and then block immigration reform.

So now Sarah's weighed in as Arizona's white knight...emphasis on the white.  Not a good move for a grifter...
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