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Thursday News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians!!! As usual these days, there isn’t a whole lot of positive news out there.

After watching Anderson Cooper last night, I wondered if anything the President said was more than “just words.”

I learned that many in New Orleans still think Obama is completely out of touch with events on the ground. The clean-up effort is still completely disorganized and ineffective, and parish leaders are still calling for the President to cut the red tape. And this is day 58 of this crisis. Why doesn’t Obama see that it is, in fact, a national emergency?

I learned that Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser thinks Thad Allen should be removed as point man in charge of supervising BP’s efforts to stop the leak as well as the clean up effort. From an AP story at NOLA.com:

“He’s not the right man for the job,” said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. “If the president of the United States does not make some drastic changes it’s going to give him a bad rap that he doesn’t deserve.”

Nungesser’s comments came Wednesday after workers under his direction resorted to sucking up oil from delicate marshes with ordinary shop vacuums.

He was furious after he said the Coast Guard shut down oil-vacuum barges while paperwork was being processed.

“Not only is the leadership not there, they’re standing in our way. They’re crippling us,” Nungesser said.

I also learned that $20 billion probably is only a down-payment on what the true cost of the BP gusher will be. I saw BP CEO Tony Hayward smirking as he walked out of the WH with President Obama. And I saw Hayward and the other BP execs practically high-five-ing each other as they walked away from the question and answer session. They apparently think they rolled Obama pretty good. And to back up that conclusion, BP’s shares surged after the agreement was announced.

This morning, I decided to go to the horse’s mouth so to speak, and see what they are saying at NOLA.com. Here are the latest updates from ground zero. I’m sure Dakinikat will have more to add later on. It seems that the $100 million that Obama has said he’ll set aside to help oil workers who have lost their jobs is woefully inadequate. On that amount, the lead editorial says:

The $100 million fund is a drop in the bucket. The losses for laid-off rig workers alone could range from $150 million to $300 million a month.

More significantly, the president’s statement fails to acknowledge the moratorium’s wider damage. To be sure, rig workers are the first in line to lose their livelihoods while exploratory rigs shut down in compliance with Mr. Obama’s moratorium. But the devastation to the economies of Gulf Coast states will be broader than the loss of rig worker jobs. The boat operators, contractors, caterers and myriad others who service the drilling platforms will also lose out, with an estimated loss of 20,000 jobs in Louisiana alone. This narrowly targeted fund doesn’t begin to address the true impact of the drilling shutdown, which could result in idled rigs quitting the Gulf long term.

President Obama surely realizes that this money doesn’t solve the problem. Instead of pushing forward with a broad moratorium he should listen to those pressing for a more nuanced approach that addresses safety concerns without threatening a vital industry that affects the lives of so many people.

Another op-ed, by Stephanie Grace: “Another president, another set of promises,” compares the responses of George W. Bush and Barack Obama to Katrina and the BP gusher, respectively:

Here was Bush in September 2005, 17 days after Katrina: “Throughout the area hit by the hurricane, we will do what it takes. We will stay as long as it takes to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives.”

And here was Obama Tuesday night, 57 days after the Deepwater Horizon exploded: “We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.”

There’s one more similarity: In addition to offering hope to a besieged region, each president tried to use his speech to recast his own role in the tragedy — to hit the restart button, to get ahead of the story, to finally appear in control of the situation, not at its mercy.

Grace goes on to say that she is willing to give President Obama a chance to fulfill his promises, but cautions:

The problem is that the longer the oil gushes, the more gunk creeps into the marshes, the more loudly local officials vent their frustration over poorly deployed resources, the larger the gap between the Obama administration’s ambitions and reality grows.

When you raise expectations, it’s always harder to live up to them.

Both James Carville and Paul Begala are now praising Obama in the wake of the Best Oval Office Speech Evah!

Carville: Oil response critic concedes Obama’s getting it right

Obviously, I was not in the meeting that President Obama had with the BP officials. I suspect I’m even less welcome at the White House these days than Tony Hayward, given my heartfelt and vocal criticism of how Obama was handling the Gulf crisis.

But it looks as if President Obama applied a little old- school Chicago persuasion to the oil executives, because BP’s chairman not only agreed to the full $20 billion that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu asked for, he also pledged to suspend quarterly dividends immediately. Paying victims before shareholders — what a concept.

Look, we have a long way to go before this Cajun stops ragin’. But just as I hammered the White House when I thought they were too lackadaisical, honesty compels me to praise the president for his concrete, significant — and eloquent — action today.

Begala is more enthused than Carville: Nothing But Net

His high school teammates called the future president “Barry O’Bomber” for his proclivity for launching long-range jump shots, and tonight he took yet one more high-pressure shot from downtown. Nothing but net.

The timing of when you shoot a tre is important: the later they come in a game, the more they matter. Three-pointers are the dagger that can put the game away or bring a team back from the dead. Tonight’s speech was the latter.

If Marshall McLuhan was right, then for this presidential address the setting was the message. For the first time in his presidency, Barack Obama sat behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office and addressed his fellow Americans. From that room presidents have sent millions of Americans to war. They have sought to heal broken hearts, to remake our government and revive our economy. Barack Obama has, at turns, done all those things — but never from the Oval Office. Even before he opened his mouth he communicated the most important message: dealing with the Gulf oil disaster is, as Joe Biden would say, a BFD.

‘Scuse me, I think I’m going to be sick.

OK, Begala really laid it on thick there. Maybe he’s trying to encourage Obama with excessive flattery? I don’t quite know what was going on in Begala’s head when he wrote that column.

At CNN, a “language guru” claims that Obama’s speech bombed because it was “too professorial.”

President Obama’s speech on the gulf oil disaster may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday.

Tuesday night’s speech from the Oval Office of the White House was written to a 9.8 grade level, said Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor. The Austin, Texas-based company analyzes and catalogues trends in word usage and word choice and their impact on culture.

Though the president used slightly less than four sentences per paragraph, his 19.8 words per sentence “added some difficulty for his target audience,” Payack said.

You know how slow-witted we “small people” are. We just can’t understand that when the President speaks in vague generalities, he really means something very specific–if only we were smart enough to read between the lines….or something.

I suppose everyone has already seen this “worst case scenario” that was posted at The Oil Drum, but it’s worth repeating. If this is true, we could be facing a much worse disaster than anyone thinks, and let’s hope the Villagers are aware of how bad it could really get. The gist is that there is probably damage down below the ocean floor which could cause the well structure to collapse and leave us with a great big hole gushing vast amounts of oil at a rapid rate…and it would be unstoppable.

Here is a summary with commentary at Mother Jones and another one at Science Blogs.

In other news,

Bill To Help Unemployed Fails In Senate

A beleaguered bill to extend benefits for the long term unemployed stalled on Capitol Hill Tuesday, when the Senate voted 45-52 to block the $140 billion catchall bill that also would delay a Medicare fee cut, extend a hodgepodge of expiring tax cuts, and other provisions that Democrats say will help stimulate job growth.

Although the bill also included tax increases on investment managers and oil companies to help offset the cost, it has run into opposition from Republicans as well as many Democrats who are worried about adding to the burgeoning budget deficit.

All this worry about the deficit is going to lead us into Great Depression 2.0.

Administering Fund, a Master Mediator

Kenneth R. Feinberg bristled when reporters dubbed him the compensation czar for his Treasury Department job monitoring executive pay at companies that received government bailouts. The term, he lamented to ABC News last year, “makes it sound like I’m going to issue some imperial decree.”


Mr. Feinberg, named Wednesday by President Obama as the independent administrator of a $20 billion fund set up by BP to compensate victims of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, may not have the powers of a king. But he does seem to specialize in Solomon-like decisions.

Over the course of his long career as a mediator, he has helped settle a variety of thorny disputes, including a class-action suit by Vietnam veterans protesting the use of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange, and a determination of the fair market value of the Zapruder film of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

He also oversaw the compensation fund for survivors of 9/11 victims. Those victims who accepted payments had to sign away their rights to sue for damages later. I imagine that will also be the case for BP’s victims.

Prop. 8 trial: Closing arguments end as judge presses both sides

Closing arguments concluded Wednesday afternoon in the Proposition 8 trial with more pointed questions from U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who is presiding over the landmark proceedings to determine the constitutionality of California’s ban on gay marriage.

More Than 90 Banks Miss TARP Payments

More than 90 U.S. banks and thrifts missed making a May 17 payment to the U.S. government under its main bank bailout program, signaling a rising number of lenders are struggling to meet their obligations….

The number of banks missing their TARP payments rose for the third straight quarter. In February, 74 banks deferred their payments; 55 deferred last November.

That’s all I’ve got. Please post your links in comments–good news would be greatly appreciated if you can find it. Have a terrific Thursday, everyone!!!

92 Responses

  1. BP $20 billion fund may not cover spill costs

    Oil giant will suspend dividend until 2011, cut investments, sell assets
    Glee’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with Oil Spill Images

    • Ok, but here’s my question:

      Just like corporations (all of them) get to deduct any fines from their corporate tax returns, will BP be allowed to deduct any of these payments each year?

      Will they continue to receive subsidies/tax breaks from the American taxpayer?

      • I think they do on both accounts and Dandy Tiger pointed out that they only have to pay out 5 Billion a year… to legitimate claims. In other words, they are going to make some folks jump through hoops is my guess to prove they are ‘legitimate’.

        • Well ok…….those “small people” can’t afford the attorney costs needed to jump through those hoops. Many will just give up trying.

        • They took the dividends, most of which is in pension funds, and funded the slush fund. Dividends for one year are 10 billion yet BP is only funding 5 billion. In addition, BP will receive insurance money and get tax deductions. I don’t think BP will have to scrape up any money for their criminal behavior. So the pensioners will really be the ones to fund the slush fund and they won’t even get a deduction for “contributing 10 billion a year for BP obligation of 5 billion. How did Obama get the authority to make this deal. Poor pensioner get screwed, the gulf gets screwed and BP gets to smirk. And Oprecious gets to pretend he did something good. And anyone who dares question this shakedown will be excoriated by the paid offMSM.

  2. Has anybody mentioned that the Emperor has no clothes lately?

  3. Begala is a partisan D hack.

    • Even before he opened his mouth he communicated the most important message: dealing with the Gulf oil disaster is, as Joe Biden would say, a BFD.

      What does that even mean? “Even before he opened his mouth” ? Honestly, before he opened his mouth, when we first saw the camera pan to him sitting as his large desk, the only thing he was communicating was smallness.

  4. Good news for you, BB, as requested:

    Cheetoville has offended Keith Olbermann. He says he will no longer post on DKos.

    Gotta find humor anywhere you can, nowadays.

  5. I did read the worst case scenario 2 days ago when it was first posted. I didn’t dare spread, think of it, for fear of giving it power.
    I am bringing the tabloids from downstairs

  6. BB, I just read oil drum. At this point? Who cares about $$$$$.
    In my opinion the world needs to work on this, because it is going to affect the whole world.

    I almost can’t stand looking. TV journos need to be Cronkite right now if what oil drum says is true. Gore and Clinton should be on this — the public needs assurance right now.

    Our government can’t try and get out of this by blame — because we have had since the 70’s to put other things in place. And they know it, and they fought it. They allowed this to happen.

    All of the things we thought were in place like the EPA or the FDA?
    Seem to work with corporations elsewhere and not for the people here.

    They had better come clean and focus on this problem.
    That is what Americans NEED to see. No amount of $$$ is going to matter if oil drum is right.

    Dak please be okay down there. God. Greed. Corporate Greed and our Gov let it happen. It isn’t just the company’s fault.

    Last night I watched news tingly style on “rise of right” — this is the splitting I was so concerned about. In a tragedy like this BP is right now it is not okay to allow the country to split and what Palin wreaked cannot be tolerated. This is a time when the psyche of this country needs to hold together.

    We need straight news, non-sensationalizing, non-posturing journalists. They know how. They should do it.

    hugs Conf & Co.

    • Hi VB … I’m like every one else down here. We’re frustrated, we’re angry, we’re tired, and we don’t know what our future will look like. This is going to have an endless trickle down. People don’t have income, they don’t pay taxes, and the next group laid off will be the police, the state troopers, the teachers, the fire fighters … it’s been bad enough down here since Katrina. I still drive by empty lots and devastated houses every day. I feel like I’m at a funeral and some one forgot the second line.

      • (((hugs)))

      • I know, or think I know, Dakini. The whole country knows. Katrina was unbearable. Unbearable and now this. BP will go bankrupt is my sense? So these arguments mean nothing on the news. Nothing.
        The country is splitting and that cannot happen.

        Not right now. I’m thinking about you every day, Dak. Every day.

        much love, and you be safe with plans in a time like you described above given those layoffs.

    • To be clear, that was from a commenter on The Oil Drum. It wasn’t endorsed by the blog writers. However, they did highlight it.

      • The news needs Geologists and Oil people in long slow programs discussing truthful outcomes. I read this morning elsewhere that it can’t really be stopped. So, let’s go from there. Best the news can do now post the failure of empathy is to put experts on?

        Slow and calm.

        Half the country has seen the failure of empathy. BB, we know why as clinicians. It’s okay, but, what we need is a slow calm style out of a Clinton like Bill. Other politicians. And newscasters. Down there.

        The way the news is being framed is not fair to the American public.
        His presenting style is anger, not sadness. He can’t access that?
        Listening to the escalation on the news is not going to help the public. The best that can happen is to contain public psyche with empathic politicians. Real scientists and geologic experts.

        BB, the splitting is biggest danger — the non-empathy is what they don’t understand. Right now politicians need to work together and show that they are leading the country. This is not about O’s anger. This is about containment of the public’s escalating psyche.

        I’m listening to the news now on Hayward. The public may be interested in him, but take the focus off that company and into what is real and actually happening. They are framing the footage of the gusher much like 9/11 was shown. It’s the same, watching, over and over and over.
        This is not helping.

        You can hear the anxiety in the newscaster’s voices. Slow down.
        Imperative. CRONKITE! watch how he handled 3 Mile Island in youtube. CALM is the ticket. My feeling anyway.

        Today LAT political cartoon is directed at Gov — well they fought for years to not do the right thing. They fool no one in Calif on that. Believe me. This goes back to era of Carter and they all know it.
        They do. There is no faking it now to the public.

        • That’s what the common take is on Obama though–that he’s very calm and cool about pretty much everything except for when he’s not being lavished by praise.

          I think what we need is really just someone who will level with us and help us focus on what we can do, since there is a whole lot of helplessness right now and a feeling that we can’t do anything about our situation. A good leader knows how to access that–that sense of what we can do in the face of so much that people cannot ultimately control. Someone who will galvanize the country around our common humanity and sense of community to get through the other side of this. Not through anger or “emotion” necessarily but through the gravitas and *depth* of the way he answers the American cry for leadership right now. Lay out what the stakes are, what we as Americans can do to help one another through this crisis, what we need to do about our safety and our way of life moving forward…. But, that’s not what he did. He just summarized the state of affairs (that we were already acutely aware of from the pictures of the oily/dead birds we see everyday), announced an escrow account, and then asked us to pray. He lied to our faces and said that the Gulf coast will come out of this better than they started out or some other such nonsense. WTF? That’s deeply terrifying for most Americans who are looking for a leader right now.

          • Yes. This is what is needed Wonk.

            “our common humanity and sense of community to get through the other side of this. Not through anger or “emotion” necessarily but through the gravitas and *depth* of the way he answers the American cry for leadership right now. Lay out what the stakes are, what we as Americans can do to help one another through this crisis, what we need to do about our safety and our way of life moving forward…”

            He may not be able to do that at this point. However, it is time for other politicians on the right and left to step in. CALM.
            Leadership. Deeply Terrifying.

            Politicians are unethical if they try and exploit this at this time.
            Right now this whole gov and journos better be working together.
            After watching Matthew’s show last night I looked at the collective emotion across spectrum. Americans can transcend what the media is trying to do. We can.

            Our nation can. They have to. We have to.

            He wasn’t our choice but that no longer matters. Even Hillary ought to make an appearance at this point. The country is splitting along far right and far left lines. But the middle of us? It’s stronger.

          • VB–Far left? Since when has there been a far left worth mentioning in the USA?

          • today’s “far left” is really the “far Obama left”

          • What right-wingers call the “far left” today used to be “moderate Republicans.”

          • agreed but the rightwingers were handed that opportunity by the activist left that fervently backed the moderate Republican during a Democratic primary.

        • To ivory Bill W. — To tell you the truth I don’t even know what the Far Left is in terms of Dems. I know what the far right looks like as a regular old Dem post JFK, I think.

          Anyway, I feel because of this disaster right now the middle is stronger?
          Confy types representing middle, I think?

          Research I did today — all of this comes from reading book Shock Doctrine.

          I keep going back to that comment of Biden’s on intl crisis from 2008. Powell said same thing and we could expect in Jan 21 2009. In watching youtubes on all this O did campaign against McC on oil — and public believed. But?

          This is area where he has let down his base?
          Lost all credibility. So?
          interesting take is here from “American” Co.
          from the above:
          “…In the past 60 years in the Gulf of Mexico, 42,000 wells have been drilled, including more than 2,200 deepwater wells. Until the Deepwater Horizon accident, these wells were largely unnoticed. Yet today they produce 30 percent of the nation’s domestic oil and 13 percent of its natural gas to fuel the economy and provide personal mobility for American consumers…”



          just watched Beck on news about Soros/Brazil/Oil and we are giving billions to help fund down there? Soros was one of O’s biggest backers and he has a huge investment in Brazil oil Co.
          Something is very wrong. Someplace. But what worries me is that these Deepwater wells are a big problem. For the world’s oceans.

          Whatever Soros is? I think that is what far left might be but you can correct me if I’m wrong on that.

          Up until this year I thought Iknew my own political party after 25+ years? But now. I don’t. Anymore.

          Isn’t it funny to blame BP, but?
          wondering if this is an example of Klein’s thesis?
          “disaster capitalism”

          that would be almost too horrible to contemplate, no?
          best to watch journos on both sides in the mo —

          Anyway, I’m a Calif Dem who believes in as much green energy as possible since our own SB oil spill you had to be here to know and that was nothing compared to where Dak is. I’m an environmentalist Dem — most Californian’s are? Some call us liberals in disgust but we care about our parks and trees and all of that stuff — especially coastal dems.

    • I left comment but fell into mods — links!
      about O plus oil.

      Wonk is right? O far left or something different? Not sure. Synarchism is a new word I just learned from wiki yesterday

      It gives new meaning to ?

      I’m still not sure what to call it? It isn’t Dem though. Like us Conflucians…..

  7. ps: Suggestions from Depth Psych on framing:

    1. Slow the news down.

    2. Report on some positive human interest out of the gulf.

    3. Do not use your polarized left/right positions to cause the country to “split” psychically further. Do not advance yoour political agendas on the news.

    4. Have some interviews with scientists and oil people discussing what is going on.

    5. Stop focusing on the $$$$ and trying to blame BP — this isn’t doing any good.

  8. Inside Story – Is Obama using the BP oil crisis?

    • Interesting round table and interesting points that you don’t see in the media here, like Obama’s Drill Baby Drill stance before it all went to pot.

  9. Tom in Paine (http://tominpaine.blogspot.com/) has a spot-on article about Obama’s credibility gap in confronting the Gulf crisis, and how Obama’s oval office speech was nothing more than Obama doing “what he always does when he is heavily criticized for things he’s done or hasn’t done — he tried to talk his way out of it.”

    From Tom in Paine’s post:

    Obama cannot show he is in charge because he isnt. He has shown he doesnt know what to do next or what he should have done. He cant show he is angry because he isn’t. He is just used to being able to talk his way out of anything and now he can’t.

    There is no point in waiting for Obama to take charge. He is not and has never been a take charge person. This is the person who joked to a Chicago Tribune reporter covering one of his book signings when he was in the senate,that “maybe I ought to go back to the senate and actually do something”. He never did. Instead he voted “present” over 100 times in the Illinois state senate voting neither for or against something because he either couldnt make a decision or didnt want to have a record an opponent could run against. Or both.

  10. Thanks for checking the local headlines, BB. I posted this on the previous thread, but if you haven’t checked out Jon Stewart/Glenn Greenwald on Obama’s extension of Bush abuse, you should.


    At the heart of everything, we’re also losing our identity as a society that respects the rule of law.

    The Fascism, It hurts.

    • There’s also a new Jon Stewart video at Mediate discussing O’s speech, using words like “assault on our beaches,” and “battle plan.”

      Next shot: Obama on Bush’s batteship with a banner above:


      Too funny. Go see it.

    • I also liked Corrente’s take on Stewart

      Stewart says that Obama “is not a bad person” (apparently ordering assassinations, renditions, and indefinite imprisonment void of all due process doesn’t count against him)… and besides — for the non-sequitur clincher — he’s being “stalked” by the “strange and twisted” Sarah Palin.

      See, our tribe is just fine! Nothing to see here folks, move along.

  11. Now for some more fun news to help balance all the crap that’s going on…

    Beer Pong Champs Take $25K Home From AC, Nationwide Competition Was Held In Atlantic City http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/Copy_of_USBeer-Pong_90170405

    World Cup officials: Women were dressed to shill
    More than 30 women showed up at the Netherlands-Denmark match wearing orange mini-dresses emblazoned with the name of a Dutch brewery — earning them a red card from World Cup officials who acted to quash what they called an ambush marketing scam. … In ambush marketing, non-sponsors try to sneak their logos or associate their brand names with a major sports event to reap free advertising. Imagine a pack of Bud Girls showing up at an event where Miller was the official beer sponsor.

    Free Vasectomies Being Paid For By Feds http://www.wftv.com/news/23924406/detail.html?cxntlid=cmg_cntnt_rss
    “They actually cut prices on getting your cats and dogs neutered and spayed, so that falls in line with Marion County, we’re progressive,” resident Henry Galyen said.

  12. For the first time ever my post is in moderation… is there a “bad word” in those links somewhere?

    • nope, just the number of links … it flags a lot of links as spam

      • Thanks dakinikat! Since this is the morning links post, encouraging links to be added, I have to admit I find it suprising that 3 links would set it off. However I am willing to follow whatever spammy’s rules are… so should I limit to one or two links at a time?

  13. BP=Big People

    • Good one!

    • Gosh, you are so insightful since they call us the ‘SP=small People’. 😯

    • On the ‘small people’ which has the US outraged…as far as I understand BP’s Swedish chairman Svanberg said that.

      I dont speak Swedish, but a language which is very similiar to Swedish. If you want to say you care about ‘ordinary’ people (i guess Obama would say folks) you would use an expression which if translated 1-to-1 into English is: small people, however, has the meaning of ‘ordinary’ people.

      I guess the meaning got lost in translation.

      • That’s a fair point, but it’s one of those things. Lost in translation or not, BP is talking about “small people” but they really don’t really get it. This is a case of Show-not-tell: BP’s management needs to show us instead of tell us. They don’t need to talk about “the little guy,” they need to stop lying to the American people as a whole and start leveling with them. Of course they won’t do that, they’ll just keep talking about little people instead of actually treating them like real people.

  14. When will the Koskids wake to the fact that they’ve been given the Old Okie-Dokie, have been Hoodwinked and Bamboozled by The One?
    With all that is going on around them you would think they have a clue by now. But then basement walls make an effective reality filter.

  15. The banks that we bailed out can’t make their payments? Can we foreclose on them?!

    Something I don’t understand – the only booming business in our town is banks. They are opening everywhere – on one corner there are 4 different banks!

  16. http://biggovernment.com/publius/2010/06/14/u-s-pays-400-million-in-bonuses-to-federal-employees/

    No help for the long-term unemployed, but bonuses for the highly paid gov’t employees. Nice.

  17. Have you heard? Olbermann is the new Riverda\ughter:

    “Olbermann wrote a blog post, presumably his last for awhile, headlined “Check, Please”


  18. For you Hill & Bill fans out there 🙂

    Hillary and Bill dine together at Colombian steakhouse http://hillary.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/06/10/hillary_and_bill_dine_together_at_colombian_steakhouse
    Uribe said the dining experience was great PR for his country, which is trying to overcome a reputation of being filled with drug violence: “The best PR for confidence in Colombia is that last night Madame Secretary of State of the United States and President Bill Clinton were in a restaurant enjoying complete piece of mind, enjoying this beautiful city.”

  19. Twitter – West Wing Report: Rachel Maddow and Eugene Robinson were spotted leaving the White House.

    Maybe Obama (or Gibbs) offered her a job as a speech writer.

    • UPDATE – Gail Collins and some guy from the WSJ were also present. They had lunch with the President.

      That should get Rachel back on message.

      • Eugene Robinson, the biggest Obama suck up of them all, and this week Gail Collins was one of the very very few who made excuses for Obama’s speech. Pathetic.

  20. This NYT article is so unsettling about the oil spills in Nigeria for many years.


    “The oil spews from rusted and aging pipes, unchecked by what analysts say is ineffectual or collusive regulation, and abetted by deficient maintenance and sabotage. In the face of this black tide is an infrequent protest — soldiers guarding an Exxon Mobil site beat women who were demonstrating last month, according to witnesses — but mostly resentful resignation.”

    • I was just talking to people who have seen the Delta in Nigeria- it is much worth than what is happening in the Gulf. Difference is that it is not in the US and the media does not care.

  21. Saw a few minutes of ‘Morning Joe’ today. Apparently Mika was arguing about how good Bambi’s response has been and she suddenly gets a message from the WH which she reads out loud. This just makes me sick—-the biggest suck ups around.

    • KC, I caught that. They had quite a show this morning as Mika and a couple of others were having a hard time defending their adoration of Obama. She has to for her pa of course. If she wants to keep being invited to all the big parties too.
      Hearing Maddow and Robinson were at the WH today tells me they’ll be writing some glowing reports soon.
      Too bad. I’d like to see just one true expert on one of these shows. Say someone like we’re hearing from on Theoildrum site.
      I try and try to think of other things but the oil catastrophe is all I think about. I feel helpless as long as I see the ineptness of our gov’t. Even Thad Allen seems to be working for BP. Whats that Nobel Prize winner, Chu doing with his brain? And what does a physicist have to do with oil anyway. Sorry, I have no confidence in this administration and I think we are screwed. If we’d had other countries involved I’d feel better.

      • I hope no one thinks I am off my rocker but – I think chances are good that Obama was an intelligence asset brought into the system or handled by Mika’s daddy. In fact, I think that is why/how Obama transferred to Columbia where Ziggy was on the faculty.

        If someone could show me how Obama traveled to Pakistan in 1981 on a U.S. passport I would really appreciate it. At that time he would have needed a little help from someone. Why did Obama never mention this trip until his campaign. I think because he knew his passport files had been breached and it would reveal dual citizenship and trip to Pakistan and he was trying to get ahead of the story. Yes, I think at one time he had dual citizenship and may have used his Indonesian passport for the trip.

        Let me make it clear – I believe that Obama is a U.S. citizen.

  22. “I hope no one thinks I am off my rocker…”

    Hey, ever since the stolen election of 2000, if not earlier–“If you’re not paranoid, you’re not paying attention.” 😈

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