Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 15, 2010

TUESDAY'S MINI-REPORT.... Today's edition of quick hits:

* It's been that kind of disaster: "A drill ship resumed siphoning off oil gushing from a blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday after a bolt of lightning struck the vessel and ignited a fire that halted containment efforts, the company said."

* Rumor has it that former Justice Department inspector general Michael Bromwich will, any minute now, be named the new director of the Minerals Management Service -- the Interior Department agency severely corrupted during the Bush/Cheney administration.

* The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a tense hearing today, during which lawmakers demanded the CEOs of the world's largest oil companies "justify offshore drilling and explain how their safety practices differed from BP's."

* The executives' answers were not exactly well received.

* Just six days before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded: "BP took measures to cut costs in the weeks before the catastrophic blowout in the Gulf of Mexico as it dealt with one problem after another, prompting a BP engineer to describe the doomed rig as a 'nightmare well,' according to internal documents released Monday."

* During his trip to the Gulf Coast, President Obama spoke at a rally with U.S. troops in Pensacola: "This is an assault on our shores, and we're going to fight back with everything we've got," the president told a fired-up crowd of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard troops this morning, to cheers. "And that includes mobilizing our resources with the greatest military in the world."

* I guess old habits die hard: "Nearly two dozen members of the House GOP from the Gulf Coast region, joined by Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.), called Tuesday for President Obama to reverse the post-BP disaster moratorium on offshore drilling in deep water."

* At first blush, preemptive relief well drilling seems entirely reasonable.

* Minor drug offenses will no longer trigger automatic deportation for documented immigrants.

* James Rubin offers a very compelling defense of U.S. foreign policy in the Obama era.

* Yes, it really does seem like we're introduced to another Republican "nutjob" every week.

* The New York Times' Jim Risen does not seem to respond to criticism well.

* The U.S. education system still needs to catch up to economic realities.

* And finally, it appears that Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) really is on a roll this week. Last night, he took to the floor of the House to argue that Arizona law enforcement can also target undocumented immigrants by considering "what kind of shoes people wear" and through utilizing "a sixth sense."

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (20)

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Yes I have something to add that has been bothering me for awhile. On MSNBC yesterday there was a story with a headline that read "Obama gets cool reception during Mississippi visit."

Oh really. So the people of Mississippi gave the president a cool reception.

The nerve of those goddamn hicks down there. These idiots are indirectly responsible for their own misery by voting with republicans and against their own interests, based on their ignorance and stupidity, for decades. This ecological disaster is a DIRECT result of the Bush/Cheney energy policy, the same administration people from all over the south marched in lockstep with and didn't question for 8 years.

Now they have the audacity to act with such indignation to a man who is only trying to help.

These people are the curse of America, and the world for that matter. Only until they die off naturally, or are finally broken from their cycle of stupidity, will this country be able to move forward and evolve to face the challenges of this new millennium.

Posted by: citizen_pain on June 15, 2010 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

NYT's Jim Risen just told me bloggers criticizing his Afghan minerals story are "jerking off in their pajamas."

Tsk. Where's the civility?

Posted by: kc on June 15, 2010 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

* It's been that kind of disaster: "A drill ship resumed siphoning off oil gushing from a blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday after a bolt of lightning struck the vessel and ignited a fire that halted containment efforts, the company said."

And just last night, Big Butter / Touchdown Jesus in southern Ohio got torched by lightning, too.

Zeus 2
Jesus 0


Posted by: sue on June 15, 2010 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

N Korea scored a goad against Brazil. WTF

Posted by: RolloTomasi on June 15, 2010 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Is Steve King on medication? I knew he was crazy, but sheesh. Or do republicans just draw straws on who gets to go out in public and act bug shit crazy each week?

Seriously. Do they not know they sound like crazy people?

Posted by: fourlegsgood on June 15, 2010 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

"preemptive relief well drilling seems entirely reasonable"

That'll make 'em think twice about how expensive a working blowout preventer costs them.

Posted by: hby on June 15, 2010 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

I thought I could not detest Palin any more that I do, now I am disgusted, depressed and angry.
I am a British ex-pat and I just heard that Palin is going to travel to the UK to get a photo op with Baroness Thatcher - that it would raise her credibility.
For some time Baroness Thatcher has been suffering from dementia, she does not always know who people are. Anyone who uses a special needs child for political purposes would not hesitate using a sad old lady with dementia!

Posted by: jJS on June 15, 2010 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

"sad old lady with dementia" meet sad young lady with dementia.

Posted by: hby on June 15, 2010 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding candidate Angle's plan to privatize Social Security: I know it isn't going to happen because she is only going to give interviews with very friendly outlets, but miracles have been known to happen. Here are some key questions that should be asked when the subject comes up: Where are you going to get several hundred billion dollars needed to transition to a privatized Social Security system? More borrowing or higher taxes? Or perhaps cuts in current benefits?

Posted by: meander on June 15, 2010 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe James Rubin's article is as good as you say, and I'd love to see someone say a good word for Obama in the heart of wingnut territory. But you have to subscribe to the WSJ in order to read it, and I won't put money in Murdoch's pocket.

Posted by: T-Rex on June 15, 2010 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

U.K. Leader Apologizes For 'Bloody Sunday' Slaughter

LONDON - British Prime Minister David Cameron apologized on behalf of his country Tuesday for the 1972 slaughter of 13 Catholic demonstrators in the Northern Ireland town of Londonderry, an outrage that became known as "Bloody Sunday."

"What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong," Cameron said, as a crowd watching him from Londonderry burst into cheers and applause.

On the infamous Bloody Sunday, British troops shot dead 13 protesters on the spot and wounded another 14, one of whom died weeks later. The soldiers said they shot at people who were armed with guns or nail bombs, which was strongly denied by witnesses and by relatives of the victims.

The Bloody Sunday killings galvanized nationalist sentiment in Northern Ireland and led to a surge in support for the Irish Republican Army, which fought for decades to forcibly remove the province from the United Kingdom. An earlier investigation into the killings chided soldiers for gunfire that "bordered on the reckless," but accepted soldiers' claims that they had been responding to IRA attacks.

The report published Tuesday said none of the dead had posed any serious threat to the troops, but the inquiry did not specifically accuse any of the soldiers of unlawful killing. It found that, in almost all cases, troops were unjustified in opening fire, that they ignored their rules of engagement, failed to give appropriate warning and in some cases appeared not to care or consider the consequences. In one incident, a soldier is thought to have fired on a dead man as he lay on the ground.

Posted by: Joe Friday on June 15, 2010 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen: I guess old habits die hard: "Nearly two dozen members of the House GOP from the Gulf Coast region, joined by Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.), called Tuesday for President Obama to reverse the post-BP disaster moratorium on offshore drilling in deep water."

Well, indeed, old habits die hard. And it's an uncomfortable fact that the oil industry is a mainstay of the Gulf economy.

I want to encourage alternative energy sources as much as the next liberal, and I'd love to shut down offshore drilling forever, but it's also true that a moratorium on offshore drilling is costing jobs and income for zillions of Gulfers.

If we are able to transition to a cleaner economy, the transition costs are going to be huge.

Posted by: Iron Knee on June 15, 2010 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

As far as losing jobs in the gulf over the moratorium, it makes as much sense as insisting on the continued manufacture and sale of DDT (for you older posters) because otherwise jobs would be lost in the pesticide industry. That people and animals will get sick and die from exposure seems not to factor into the importance of keeping people employed. Granted it is a huge transition, but continuing to pollute the atmosphere and destroy ecosystems to save a few jobs, or even many jobs, seems a very high cost to pay. Where is the call for employing the millions out of work right now in the development and production of renewable and sustainable energy solutions? The issue is way bigger than employment and corporate survival. It is about lifestyle and our global community. We must think bigger than we are, now.

I am committed to Oneness through Justice and Transformation
st john

Posted by: st john on June 15, 2010 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Steve King has a sixth sense to detect illegals, huh?

I know what he's really looking at- brown skin. Let's cut the fat off the hog here....

Posted by: agentX on June 15, 2010 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

a bolt of lightning struck the vessel and ignited a fire that halted containment efforts

Once again, Obama fails to plan ahead for a tragedy everyone could see coming.

Posted by: qwerty on June 15, 2010 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

WOW I hope Citizen _pain was trying to be funny and wasn't serious with that bigoted diatribe.

Posted by: johnnj on June 15, 2010 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Is Steve King on medication?

He just spent a weekend with Russell Pearce in Arizona, & Pearce brings out the beast in people.

Look at the video from today's floor speech. It's jaw-dropping that he would think that the fact that he, as "a [white] guy in a suit," has an easy time getting a taxi to stop for him is a good example of why racial profiling is desirable.

When SB1070 first passed, King argued that racial profiling is justified. (He wasn't alone. This was a standard response on the right.) Then he (& they) spent the next month accusing the Administration of anti-white race-baiting because it raised the prospect of profiling. And now he's back to his original position.

Posted by: K on June 15, 2010 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

BP. I didn't know that Bees Peed. And so much crude oil, at that. I knew about Bees Stinging (BS), but Bees Peeing (BP), and so much crude, that's news to me.

And it is obvious after 59 days that Bees Peeing on President Obama, the White House, and the American people...with at least President Obama and the White House apparently liking Bees Peeing on them...or at least not stopping it.

Posted by: The Oracle on June 15, 2010 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

KING: Some claim that the Arizona law will bring about racial discrimination profiling. First let me say, Mr. Speaker, that profiling has always been an important component of legitimate law enforcement. If you can't profile someone, you can't use those common sense indicators that are before your very eyes. Now, I think it's wrong to use racial profiling for the reasons of discriminating against people, but it's not wrong to use race or other indicators for the sake of identifying that are violating the law. [...]

It's just a common sense thing. Law enforcement needs to use common sense indicators. Those common sense indicators are all kinds of things, from what kind of clothes people wear - my suit in my case - what kind of shoes people wear, what kind of accident [sic] they have, um, the, the type of grooming they might have, there're, there're all kinds of indicators there and sometimes it's just a sixth sense and they can't put their finger on it. But these law enforcement officers, if they were going to be discriminating against people on the sole basis of race, singling people out, that'd be going on already.

King is absolutely correct when he states that racial profiling is not currently "going on already" regarding illegal immigrants and will not happen when the AZ law takes effect. What is currently taking place is ethnic profiling, since being Hispanic or Latino is not a race but rather an ethnicity.

I guess he would like them to grow unkempt beards, wear coveralls, flannel or western shirts, have one tooth, and look like all the other real Americans so they do not get profiled when perhaps wearing a serape while doing the Mexican hat dance. So what types of shoes "violate the law"?

Posted by: flyonthewall on June 16, 2010 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

The Tea Bag Party are just haters not debaters or as others have dubbed them screamers not dreamers, with their failed attempts at stopping Healthcare reform, they say they respect the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence but they do not mind passing laws, through weak Governors (no one voted for this crazy) who only cares about getting elected Governor, on the backs of undocumented workers, that will not pass Constitution muster.

Brewer signed into law;

1. S.B. 1070,
2. No permit conceal weapons law,
3. The famous Birthers law,
4. Banning Ethic studies law,

5. Could she be behind the Mural in Prescott, Arizona, ordered to be whiten,
6. On deck to pass, no citizenship to babies born to undocumented workers,

7. If she can read she should look up Arizonas House Bill 2779 from two years ago (which was un-constitution and failed when legally challenged),
8. The boycotted Martin Luther King Day, what idiots dont want another holiday? Yes, you guessed it Arizona.

Well Arizona, you can boycott new holidays and keep passing crazy laws and the rest of us will continue to challenged them in a court of law and continue to add cities to our Boycott of your state.

I real cannot believe anything that comes out of Brewers mouth, in an interview she first said her father had died in Germany fighting the Nazi in World War II (war ended 1945) but of course we find out the truth that father was never in Germany and died in California in 1955. But we are suppose to believe everything else she says, right!

As for the Tea Bag Party, their phony patriotism is sickening; they are just racists going by another name. We all know you are just itching to put a sheet on their head? Lets face it the Republicans had eight years to deal with health care, immigration, energy (remember Cheneys secret meetings with oil companies where loosening regulation and oversight were sealed), climate change and financial oversight and governance and they failed. It appears that the Republican Party is only good at starting wars (two in eight years, with fat contracts to friends of Cheney/Bush) but not at winning wars as seen by the continuing line of body bags that keep coming home. The Republicans party will continue turned inward to their old fashion obstructionist party (and their Confederacy appreciation roots) because they continue to allow a small portions (but very loud portion) of their party of birthers, baggers and blowhards to rule their party. I will admit that this fringe is very good at playing Follow the Leader by listening to their dullard leaders, Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, OReilly, Rush, Savage, Sarah Bailin, Orly Taitz, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Blowhards and acting as ill programmed robots (they have already acted against doctors that perform abortions).

The Birthers and the Tea Bag party crowd think they can scare, intimidate and force others to go along with them by comments like This time we came unarmed, let me tell you something not all ex-military join the fringe militia crazies who dont pay taxes and run around with face paint in the parks playing commando, the majority are mature and understand that the world is more complicated and grey than the black and white that these simpleton make it out to be and that my friend is the point. The world is complicated and people like Hamilton, Lincoln, and Roosevelt believed that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now its about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. For a party that gave us Abraham Lincoln, it is tragic that the ranks are filled with too many empty suits and the crazy Birthers who have not learned that the way our courts work is that you get a competent lawyer, verifiable facts and present them to a judge, if the facts are real and not half baked internet lies, then, and only then, do you proceed to trial. The Birthers seem to be having a problem with their so called Internet facts. Lets face it no one will take the Birthers seriously until they win a case, but until then, you will continue to appear dumb, crazy or racist, or maybe all three. I heard that Orly Taitz now wants to investigate the Republican 2009 Summer of Love list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC), she wants to re-establish a family values party, that is like saying that the Catholic Church cares about the welling being of children in their care, too late for that. Yee Haw!

Posted by: Montana on June 16, 2010 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK
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