Sunday, May 30, 2010

Last Call

More than 50,000 protested against Arizona's Papers Please law this weekend.  But nobody cared.
Critics and supporters of Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants held separate rallies in the state on Saturday, highlighting the deep rift over immigration ahead of congressional elections this November.

Thousands of civil rights and labor activists from across the United States -- carrying banners that read: "Obama Keep Your Promise" -- rallied in Phoenix to protest the law, which requires state and local police to investigate the immigration status of people they suspect are in the country illegally.

The Most Dangerous Game

I remarked earlier this week about how the Republicans will, if given control of Congress in 2010, immediately try to impeach Obama.  We've got the where, and when, now we just need why and the by whom.

Digby provides those clues this evening.
Here's the best example I've seen of how the noise machine is framing this Sestak non-scandal:

This morning on Fox News Sunday, Liz Cheney offered her thoughts on why the White House tapped former president Bill Clinton to try and persuade Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) to drop out of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary. After saying Clinton doesn't have "an impeccable record of integrity," Cheney argued: "You know, there's a lot here that just smells funny. If the White House in fact thought that what they were doing was above board, why did they go to Bill Clinton? Why did they need a cut out for whatever they were doing?"

It's all there, even down to the "it just smells funny" routine. Earlier this week on the Mclaughlin Report, the increasingly agitated Monica Crowley accused the administration of a cover-up and they were all shrieking for an "independent counsel." (That's right, they're talking about bringing it back. I take that as a strong indication that they know they can't win the presidency in 2012, so they simply hope to wreak destruction upon this one.)

Media Matters has the full explanation of the non-scandal here, if you haven't ben following it. But none of that really matters. This has taken on a life of its own. Whether they can make anything of this specific charge is unknown. But what it signals is a return to the Clinton Rules and the scandal politics of the past. Regardless of whether or not any particular scandal takes hold, the way this works is by the cut of a thousand deaths.
Indeed.  Sestak, Obamacare, Deepwater Horizon, hey I even expect a few shots at Eric Holder.  That's the why.  The "by whom" is the most interesting part:  our old friend Liz Cheney.
I can't help but wonder whether or not the likes of Liz Cheney would so arrogantly shoot her mouth off if the Democrats hadn't decided that there was no need to look in the rearview mirror at the mayhem created by her father's bloodthirsty, corrupt regime. It might make these people think twice if they were held to the same standard they hold others. And until that happens, I'm afraid we are going to continue to see this dynamic play itself out in our politics.

BTW: You can see the ambition rolling off of Cheney in waves. She's going to run at some point, I have no doubt. And she makes Palin look like a frisky little kitten by comparison. She is the most dangerous woman in America.
Digby does have a point.  With the economy getting worse in 2011, no matter who's running the House, the Republicans will demand Obama be impeached.  And yes, Liz Cheney will make her bones off the drive to send Obama to prison for the crime of not being a Republican.

They will go all in on Obama Derangement Syndrome.  The bad part is there's a fair chance of it working.

Palmetto State Player

I haven't dived into the whole Nikki Haley thing in South Carolina yet (Betty Cracker has the story here) but I will say TPM's David Kurtz and his take on the whole sordid affair is fascinating.
I hadn't seen South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley on camera until we found this video of her today addressing a hungry pack of reporters eager for any morsel about her alleged affair with political consultant turned blogger Will Folks. As a result, I didn't realize what a consummate pro she is. She's something to watch. Collected, sharp-witted, and always a smile, but not plastic. She's got the makings of a national politician, were it not for the current messiness.

She has quite the personal story, too. She was born Nimrata Randhaw in South Carolina to Sikh immigrant parents. She became an accountant, married, and had two children. In 2004, she knocked off the longest serving member of the South Carolina House to win her seat, becoming the first South Asian elected to public office in the state.

She denies the affair, and he hasn't produced proof of it yet. So I'm withholding judgment. But if it is true and the attractive first generation overachiever ended up in an affair with a scraggly blogger then decided to run for governor, doesn't that make her pretty much a badass? I don't condone it, but I kind of admire it
This one's raising my Moose Lady alarm bells.  I always said that if a smarter version of Sarah Palin ever came along, the Democrats were in a whole hell of a lot of trouble.  If Nikki Haley manages to come away the winner in the June 8 primary, she'll be South Carolina's next governor.  Her politics are straight Palmetto State GOP, the Tea Party loves her, Club For Growth loves her, the NRA loves her, and she's an Indian-American woman who pushes the Palin talking points...and a hell of a lot smarter.

My inner Karl Rove says "What better way for the GOP to win than by playing the race card AND the gender card against those mean old racist, sexist liberals?"

The Democrats had better keep a very, very close eye on her.  More than anyone else on the 2016 radar (and maybe even 2012) this woman is a bonafide threat.

Sunday Funnies: Great Minds Think Alike Edition

Bobblespeaks are particularly hysterical this week.  Best line from BP's Bob Dudley:
Dudley: uh I think we subcontracted that out to Acme and some coyote.
Great minds really do think alike.

The New Israel-ity

Now that the jig is up on Israel's nukes, the Obama administration wants Israel to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.  Israel on the other hand intends no such action.
Israel on Saturday rejected as "flawed and hypocritical" a declaration by signatories of a global anti-nuclear arms treaty that urged it to sign the pact and make its atomic facilities subject to U.N. inspections.

All 189 parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, including the United States, called on Friday in a declaration that singled out Israel for a conference in 2012 to discuss banning weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

"As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this conference, which has no authority over Israel," the Israeli government said in an emailed statement.

"Given the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation," it said.
Kind of makes it hard to demand Iranian nuclear inspections when Israel refuses to do the same, does it not?  Israel refuses to join the NPT because Iran keeps playing inspection games.  Iran won't honor the NPT because Israel won't.  And Israel doesn't have to because America keeps giving Israel cover.
The Israeli statement said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would discuss the NPT declaration with President Barack Obama when the two leaders meet on Tuesday at the White House.

Obama welcomed agreements on a range of non-proliferation issues at the NPT meeting but said he would oppose efforts to isolate Israel and any actions to jeopardize its security.
Right.  Iran signs the NPT and admittedly is violating the terms.  As a result, Iran has been hit with sanctions.  Israel simply refuses to sign the damn thing at all...makes it easier to violate the terms that way.  Which one's the rogue nation, again?

Oil's Well That Doesn't End Well For This Oil Well, Part 16

So with Top Kill(tm) the latest Wile E. Coyote plan to go bad for BP, what's next?
The most ambitious bid yet for a temporary fix ended in failure Saturday when BP said it was unable to overwhelm the broken well with heavy fluids and junk. The company determined the "top kill" had failed after it spent three days pumping heavy drilling mud into the crippled well 5,000 feet underwater.

Now, BP hopes to saw through a pipe leading out from the well and cap it with a funnel-like device using the same remotely guided undersea robots that have failed in other tries to stop the gusher. 
The odds of each successive plan working are less and less, folks.  I agree with Bob Cesca.
It's becoming increasingly clear that this oil will continue to gush until the relief well is finished.

Speaking of which, Canada requires mandatory relief wells to be drilled with every main well as an obvious safety mechanism. And BP is lobbying the Canadian government to drop that rule. Yes. Really.

Yesterday on MSNBC, which has a penchant for hosting lobbyists on their various shows for some reason, the senior economic adviser for the American Petroleum Institute, Rayola Dougher, scoffed at such an idea -- basically suggesting preemptive relief wells were out of the question.

The cost of drilling a relief well: $100 million. The cost of mitigating the BP oil spill so far: $930 million.

She said, "That would be -- that would really make it unviable [sic]. I couldn't even imagine such a suggestion."

Corporate criminals.
Indeed.  You'd better start imagining that suggestion, lady.  On the other hand, I fully expect the Democrats to screw up offshore drilling reform as badly as they have health care and financial regulation reform, by passing reforms that aren't reforms at all.

Meanwhile, when this latest plan fails, there's always nuking the damn thing. We may not have a choice.
As the latest effort to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico meets with failure, the idea of nuking the immediate area to seal the oil underground is gaining steam among some energy experts and researchers.

One prominent energy expert known for predicting the oil price spike of 2008 says sending a small nuclear bomb down the leaking well is "probably the only thing we can do" to stop the leak.

Matt Simmons, founder of energy investment bank Simmons & Company, also says that there is evidence of a second oil leak about five to seven miles from the initial leak that BP has focused on fixing. That second leak, he says, is so large that the initial one is "minor" in comparison.
The worst case scenario I keep talking about, the one that will cripple the Eastern seaboard for a decade and cost half a trillion dollars in economic damage or more, is looking not only likely, but too tame.  The real damage could in fact be a full blown national economic depression.
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