Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hey Rep. Taylor, How's That Evaporation Thing Workin' Out For Ya?

A novel but risky attempt to use a 100-ton steel-and-concrete box to cover a deepwater oil well gushing toxic crude into the Gulf of Mexico was aborted Saturday after ice crystals encased it, an ominous development as thick blobs of tar began washing up on Alabama's white sand beaches.
The setback left the mission to cap the ruptured well in doubt. It had taken about two weeks to build the box and three days to cart it 50 miles out then slowly lower it to the well a mile below the surface, but the frozen depths were too much for it to handle.
Last week, Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) had the bright idea of letting nature take its course. After all, he thought that if we left it alone, it would all naturally "evaporate within a week." Of course, Taylor ignored the fact that the BP spill wasn't over and still leaking 5,000 barrels of oil a day, but hey, leave it alone and all will be well, right? I even received comments from one Brian Martin (a Taylor aide who didn't disclose his affiliation with Taylor) who ridiculed me - called me a moron - and actually accused me of wanting this oil spill for political purposes because I said the issue wasn't over since the leak was and is still active.
"You are both morons... You should be mocking all the Chicken Littles who predicted that the coastal areas of 4 states would be covered with heavy crude by now... You... are cheering for the oil spill because you want this to end very badly for the coastal environment for political reasons."
Hey, Brian?  How's that evaporation thing workin' out for ya? You can contact Brian Martin at 202-225-5772 and ask him the same question.  Maybe he'll be a little more contrite, but I highly doubt it.

Must Reads

Gail Collins: Congress, Up In Arms

Paul Krugman: A Money Too Far

Ezra Klein: When Bad Economic News Is Good News

Timothy Karr: Net Neutrality's Weird Week

Danny Schechter: Was The Market Pushed?

Charles M. Blow: Trying To Outrun Race

Mahablog: Why Are Righties So Obsessed With Labels?

How Much Bullshit Do You Have To Spew For Fox News To Call You Out?

Karl Rove knows. Turdblossom, architect of the "Permanent Republican Majority" while "not laying the blame at the foot of the White House" for the BP spill, conveniently has a timeline showing their allegedly slow response. He doesn't want to call it "Obama's Katrina" but in essence is making a timeline comparison, with his cute little dry erase boards, to, oh I don't know, some other horrific disaster.

Well, Fox News host Jane Skinner isn't buying it. Yes, a Fox News host. Watch Rove as he says he's not playing the blame game while playing the blame game. Unfortunately for Rove, Skinner has actual facts to rebut the bullshit.

Once again, Karl, under who's direction does the Coast Guard act? Uh, the US government? I love Rove's use of the phrase, "rewriting history." You'd think he'd get this right considering he's a master at rewriting history.

(H/T Think Progress)

President Obama's Weekly Address - May 8, 2010

Health Reform Starts to Kick In

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Whatever Happened to Ann Coulter?

Ann Coulter. Remember her? It seems like only yesterday I watched as Coulter made the rounds and was front and center on seemingly every cable news show, magazine cover and conservative circle jerk. But for the most part, she burned out her popularity because she was even too nutty for the run of the mill neocons to hold her in any esteem. Besides, they now have Glenn Beck to adore. The only time we ever see Coulter anymore is on her annual CPAC fellatiofest and even then, we have to search for it. Well, leave it to the Rude Pundit to remind me of the ghastly existence of Ann Coulter.

Coulter's latest article (and if by "article" you mean the jibbering, nonsensical rant of an increasingly insignificant has-been who knows it) goes to great lengths to blame the Obama administration for a myriad of things related to the failed SUV Times Square bombing attempt. There are sooooo many things wrong with this article that even rational anti-Obama factions may cringe while reading it. It's almost not worth it to go point by point and debunk the latest turd crapped out of Coulter's syphllitic brain. But just the same, here are some of the highlights.

"It took Faisal Shahzad trying to set a car bomb in Times Square to get President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to finally use the word 'terrorism.'"
Wrong. Wrong. Absolutely wrong. And everyone knows it, but she insists on using debunked accusations.
"...having the Transportation Security Administration wanding infants, taking applesauce away from 93-year-old dementia patients, and forcing all Americans to produce their shoes, computers and containers with up to 3 ounces of liquid in Ziploc bags for special screening pretty much blows that "not intimidated" look Obama wants America to adopt."
While I happen to agree with Coulter (gulp) in the use of some of the ridiculous procedures she lists above, she seems to be blaming Obama for TSA guidelines created by the previous Bush administration. I wonder who on the right, pray tell, would be the first to criticize the current administration if it were to tamp down TSA procedures?
" would be a little easier for the rest of us not to live in fear if the president's entire national security strategy didn't depend on average citizens happening to notice a smoldering SUV in Times Square or smoke coming from a fellow airline passenger's crotch."
And it would be a little easier for the reality-based public to accept her critique had it not been for the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 overtaking the 9/11 hijackers or the passengers subduing shoe bomber Richard Reid during his failed attempt to blow up his tootsies. You see, Ann, we all have a responsibility to do something. And you, as well as everyone else critical of Obama for the reason du jour, seem to have forgotten that the worst terrorist attack on this country happened during a Republican administration, you know, because the GOP keeps us so safe while the Democratic Party is soft on terrorism.
"If only Dr. Hasan's gun had jammed at Fort Hood, that could have been another huge foreign policy success for Obama."
Foreign policy success? Is Fort Hood not in Texas anymore? Or has Coulter just pre-emptively decided that secession is the right move for them? She unfortunately goes on.
"In the case of the Times Square car bomber, the Department of Homeland Security failed, the Immigration and Naturalization Service failed, the CIA failed and the TSA failed."
If capturing a suspected terrorist within 53 hours of a failed attempt is considered a failure, what would the definition of success be? I would also remind Coulter that the Immigration and Naturalization Service ceased to exist in 2003, since it was swallowed up by Homeland Security, the largest bureaucratic clusterfuck known to the history of American government created by... wait for it... the Bush administration. But still, let's break this down for a minute.

Any one of us can go to a few different Home Depot or Lowe's stores and buy three barbecue style propane tanks. While I'm there, I can buy fertilizer for my lawn. Any one of us can fill two 5-gallon containers with gasoline at any gas station. Any one of us buy a couple of alarm clocks at a Wal-Mart. Any one of us can drive across the Queensborough Bridge (no toll booths) and end up on 45th Street and Broadway.

I don't know the last time Coulter was in Times Square (since it was cleaned up of XXX venues, whores and drug dealers) but it is riddled with cops. Had Mr. T-shrt Vendor not notified a police officer when he did, chances are authorities would have detected the SUV emitting smoke within seconds and the same procedure would have taken place.

But hey, why am I giving Coulter the satisfaction of an explanation? It's not like she'll change her feeble mind. The point is that the system worked like it was supposed to. Local law enforcement did it's job, coordinated with federal law enforcement and the suspect was caught in two days.

As far as Shahzad going as far as getting on the airplane, reports I've read and interviews I've heard confirm that the No Fly List is updated every 12 hours. On this particular day, it was updated at 4:30pm. Shahzad made his reservation at 5:30pm, before whatever desk he stood in front of had an updated list. No worries, because after the flight is completely boarded, the passenger manifest is sent to the FAA before takeoff for one final list check. This is when they realized Shahzad was on the flight and hence put him in custody.

Coulter's rambling about how 100,000 passengers at JFK were made to take off their shoes, belts and coats while Shahzad waltzed on to his flight makes absolutely no sense, since he didn't have any contraband on his person.
"The federal government didn't stop the diaper bomber from nearly detonating a bomb over Detroit. It didn't stop a guy on the 'No Fly' list from boarding a plane and coming minutes away from getting out of the country."
Diaper bomber? Uh, maybe you'd want to ask the government of Amsterdam, where the underpants bomber boarded his flight that question. And Shahzad did indeed get on that plane, but if this was a failure, would be talking about how he was in hiding somewhere in Pakistan now instead of under arrest in the US.
"Both of the attempted bombers who sailed through airport security, I note, were young males of the Islamic faith. I wonder if we could develop a security plan based on that information?"
Coulter is pro-racial profiling apparently. That wouldn't have stopped Richard Poplawski. Or the Hutaree Militia. Or Scott Roeder. Or James Von Brunn. Or Ted Kaczynski. Or Timothy McVeigh.
And speaking of a "highly trained federal force," who's working at the INS these days?
No one since 2003, you idiot.

 But it never really mattered for Coulter to be fact free and fascist before, so why should she start caring now?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gibbs Calls Out Fox

I don't care what anyone says, challenging Fox News should happen more often.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs took a question from Fox "reporter" Wendell Goler. Unfortunately for Goler, he led with the Republican/conservative/anti-Obama administration/Fox News "Obama's Katrina" meme, which Gibbs was all too happy to respond to, and talk about the "Heckuva job, Brownie" appearance.

 Result: Goler/Fox News bitchslap.

"You can get on a conference call and maybe do some work." ...BOOOOM!

Some days, I just ♥ Robert Gibbs.

(H/T Crooks & Liars)

Idiot Alert

Exxon Mobil, an American company... was involved in the Exxon Valdez spill.

And as Jason Linkins notes, the untrustworthy foreign company British Petroleum was, for eighteen years, the employer of one Todd Palin.

SARAH 2012!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Domestic Enemy

Faisal Shahzad?  No.  Barack Obama.

...[A Heritage Foundation] audience member claimed Obama had put us at greater risk, and asked [Rep. Eric] Cantor: “What would he have to do differently to be defined as a domestic enemy?” That prompted loud, approving laughter from the crowd.
Cantor replied, in part: “No one thinks that the president is a domestic enemy,” prompting audible grumbling from the crowd...
Seriously. The inmates have taken over the asylum.

(H/T Greg Sargent)

When Did They Stop Believing In The Constitution?

These have to be the saddest quotes in the ever evolving debate on Mirandizing criminals.

Rep. Pete King (R-NY): “Did they Mirandize him? I know he’s an American citizen but still.”
Within 36 hours of the failed SUV Times Square bombing attempt, a suspect is in custody, found at Kennedy Airport. A US citizen. And they're asking if he was Mirandized. Why? Because he's of Pakistani descent?
"Obviously that would be a serious least until we find out as much information we have," McCain said during an appearance on "Imus in the Morning" when asked whether the suspect, 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen from Pakistan.

"Don't give this guy his Miranda rights until we find out what it's all about," McCain added.
Fuck habeas corpus, right Maverick? First it was enemy combatants and because they were foreigners, why should they get the same rights as US citizens? Now it's brown-skinned US citizens, but hey, he's not a "real American," right?

 Who's next?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rep. Gene Taylor Aide Calls Concerned Citizens "Morons"

Earlier today, I blogged about Rep. Gene Taylor (R-MS), his comment about the BP oil spill looking like rainbows and chocolate milk and mocked it for it's flippancy. A silly thing to say because at the very least it sounds juvenile and dismisses the seriousness of the situation in the Gulf, and at worst it's a deliberate attempt to mislead his constituency and downplay the event. Frequent reader Wolfe Tone added that we were on the same wavelength in the comments section.

I soon thereafter received this comment:

Brian Martin said...
You are both morons. Rainbow sheen = broken down to the point of evaporation and degradation.
Chocolate milk = emulsified oil-water mix being broken down by waves and sun.
So those are useful descriptions from a 13-year Coast Guard veteran.
You should be mocking all the Chicken Littles who predicted that the coastal areas of 4 states would be covered with heavy crude by now.
Not thinking anything of it except that it was some random wingnut, I responded with the fact that he failed to address the spill being far from over with a conservative estimate of 200,000 gallons leaking per day, destruction of the local fishing industry, the wildlife and environmental repercussions, and other assorted things that right wingers don't care about. I also hoped he'd come back to apologize when the inevitable coastal areas actually would be "covered in crude."

My friend, Wolfe Tone however, was a little more curious and in a matter of a few mouse clicks was able to obtain a Washington DC internet service provider, Google the names and VOILÁ! Brian Martin works for Rep. Gene Taylor. And he called us morons because we understand the gravity of the situation, unlike his boss.

The next time Brian Martin decides to respond to blogs criticizing the Representative who employs him, he should have the sense to either A) use a pseudonym or B) have the professional courtesy of full disclosure. It kind of puts your credibility in question. ...Moron.

Obama's Katrina -UPDATED

The Rude Pundit is spot on.

Tell you what, motherfuckers, when dead people are left to rot in the sun because of the incompetence of the federal government, when corpses are floating in the streets, when the President passively ignores the pleas of the governors of Gulf Coast states, when entire neighborhoods have been physically destroyed, when the federal government strands tens of thousands of people without food or water, when the federal government starts to blame the local governments, when the President praises the work of a failed, incompetent bureaucrat while a major city rots, then you can say that this is Barack Obama's "Katrina."
It only took a couple of days before I started hearing the conservative pundits and assholes in general tried to dub the BP accident and subsequent oil spill clusterfuck "Obama's Katrina." Even Alex Witt-less on the "Obama News Network," also known as MSNBC, was asking if the federal response to the oil leak disaster was fast enough.

Question to Witt: Does the US Coast Guard work for British Petroleum or are they under the direction of the federal government and Commander in Chief, President Obama? Because the Coast Guard was there during the accident looking for survivors and leading in the rescue effort, you stupid twit. And coordinated efforts have been overseen by the government from the beginning. Yes, BP is in the middle of that, but are under government oversight to make sure the response has been cohesive.

I'm willing to bet that states' rights proponents were the first to run to the federal level for help or blame the feds for a lack of response, neither reaction being rational for their ideology. See Jindal, Bobby.

Adding... Stay tuned for the sabotage conspiracy to take wing, right wing that is. Of course, the President had said just recently that we need to expand oil drilling while we begin a transitional phase to other sources of energy in order to ween ourselves off of the Middle East teet, so why would this be sabotage? Wouldn't he have said the opposite so he can have an "I told you so" moment? Fucking wingnuts...

UPDATE (7:30pm): See what I mean? CONSPIRACY!!!

Great job, Neil Cavuto! But I wouldn't expect anything different. Seriously, does "Heckuva Job, Brownie" really have any credibility? It's not like we're talking about Arabian horses.

Rainbows and Chocolate Milk

Really, folks. What's the big deal? Doesn't everyone like pretty rainbows and yummy chocolate milk?

"This isn’t Katrina. It’s not Armageddon,” [Republican Missisippi Rep. Gene] Taylor said. “A lot of people are scared and I don’t think they should be."
He described the spill as a light, rainbow sheen with patches that look like chocolate milk.
Mmmm... chocolate milk. Delicious. And his remedy is to let nature take its course and let the oil "break up naturally." Trust Taylor. He said it'll "evaporate within a week."

This is an elected official, folks.

CORRECTION: Rep. Taylor is a Democrat. Sad, huh?

Fuck You, BP

Thanks for taking responsibility for the clean up since it is your mess. But this is just outrageous.

Over the weekend, news emerged that BP was circulating settlement agreements among coastal residents of Alabama and possibly other states, essentially requiring that "people give up the right to sue in exchange for payment of up to $5,000," the Alabama Press-Register reported. Alabama's Attorney General Troy King protested and asked BP to stop distribution of the letters.
How about trying to get this shit cleaned up and concentrating on stopping the continuous leak of oil instead of financial damage control and screwing the citizens twice?  The practice has since stopped, but the fact that it began at all is just sickening.

Lynn Redgrave Dies at 67

People: Lynn Redgrave, a vital and popular member of Britain's Redgrave dynasty, died Sunday night. She was 67 and had waged a lengthy battle with breast cancer.

Speaking on behalf of her children – Ben, Pema and Annabel, who were with her – Redgrave's publicist Rick Miramontez, confirmed to The Associated Press that Redgrave died peacefully at her home in Connecticut.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Quote of the Day

Frank Rich: "So how does that profiling work without race or ethnicity, exactly? Brian Bilbray, a Republican Congressman from California and another supporter of the [Arizona "Paper's Please"] law, rode to the rescue by suggesting 'they will look at the kind of dress you wear.' Wise Latinas better start shopping at Talbots!"

White House Correspondents' Dinner 2010

Just Another Day In The Big City

NY TIMES: Federal authorities have joined the search for a suspect who planted a crude car bomb of propane, gasoline and fireworks in a smoking Nissan Pathfinder in the heart of Times Square on Saturday evening, prompting the evacuation of thousands of tourists and theatergoers on a warm and busy night.
Although the device had apparently started to detonate, there was no explosion, and early on Sunday the authorities were reviewing surveillance tapes and forensic evidence as they sought out a motive.
And then the very next day, there is a No Nukes Peace rally happening just three block south of the incident.