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President Obama's March 31 speech expanding offshore drilling bluntly warned that "There will be those who strongly disagree with this decision, including those who say we should not open any new areas to drilling."  Almost immediately, advocacy groups flooded the internet with petitions for the President to reconsider his position.  I must confess that I ignored most of them, believing that he would not change his mind no matter what public pressure.  Instead, I focused my online opposition on the third branch of government, by asking people to comment on the Minerals Management Service's public scoping (agenda-setting) website; creation of a strong public record opposing the plan will aid environmental litigation down the road.

With Oilpocalypse unfolding, Obama may be signaling a shift in his previous announcement: not a 180 degree turnaround, but a willingness to listen.  We need to speak up.

  1. From "Meh" to "A Process"

The White House's first comments about the incident came on April 23, when the sheen was 16 square miles and Robert Gibbs told reporters:

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president still believes increasing domestic oil production can be done safely, securely and without harming the environment.

"I don't honestly think it opens up a whole new series of questions, because, you know, in all honesty I doubt this is the first accident that has happened and I doubt it will be the last," Gibbs said.

Compare that to EPA chief Carol Browner's statement at the senior level briefing on April 29:

MS. BROWNER:  The announcement that was made of Secretary Salazar about a new five-year drilling plan is the beginning of a process, and... there will be ample opportunity for public input, there will be ample opportunity for congressional and governor input.  That is the beginning of a process, not the end of a process.

Obviously, what’s occurring now will also be taken into consideration as the administration looks to how to advance that plan and what makes sense and what might need to be adjusted.

Q    Might it be expected to have an adverse impact on expanding offshore oil drilling?

MS. BROWNER:  ...We need to learn from the incident.  We need to take that information.  And as the process for the five-year OCS plan -- public hearings, et cetera -- unfolds, that all needs to be folded in.

That plan doesn’t automatically open up an area to drilling.  It starts a process, and an area may or may not become open to drilling.

MR. GIBBS:  ...the President renewed his concern about the incident this morning, in ensuring that -- how that impacts any future decision that’s made, again, based on a plan that designates the possible areas to be opened.

White House, shorter: We will listen to and respect public comments made online at the MMS website.  This blogger, again: please comment on that website!

  1.  Temporary Moratorium?

On April 30, senior adviser David Axelrod signaled what sounded like a moratorium on drilling: "No additional drilling has been authorized and none will until we find out what happened here and whether there was something unique and preventable here."  

Later that day in the Rose Garden, the President announced a review, with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar ordered to "report back to me in 30 days on what, if any, additional precautions and technologies should be required to prevent accidents like this from happening again."  Further, "we're going to make sure that any leases going forward have those safeguards.  We've also dispatched teams to the Gulf to inspect all deepwater rigs and platforms to address safety concerns."  

Together, they might not add up to as much as been previously proclaimed. Rigs will be inspected.  Reports will be issued within 30 days or so.  Tweaks may be made in the name of safety.  Any moratorium will most likely end long before the next scheduled sale on August 18 and before drilling begins on the last round of leases offshore Louisiana on March 17.  Obama's Rose Garden remarks repeat his belief that "domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security."

  1.  A Pivot on a Minor Issue

On Friday, Obama had no plans to visit the Gulf soon.  That changed within 24 hours.  

Obama has visited clean energy producers such as wind turbine manufacturers, biofuel plants, and solar farms.  He'll have an opportunity to see devastation up close, personal, and firsthand. He's also shown that he's far more flexible than his immediate predecessor. Perhaps today's visit will affect his views.

  1.  But Won't an About-Face on the Moratorium Kill the Climate Bill?

Very briefly (a longer post will follow), the bill as written may be dead anyway, and liberals have nothing to lose by calling for removal of offshore drilling.  Even after Lindsey Graham drops his unreasonable demand for the Senate to put off immigration reform entirely until after November 2010 (Reid has called his bluff on the first point, telling Graham that "it's up to you"), he still supports expanded offshore drilling.  Bill Nelson (D-FL) has recently declared a climate bill with expanded offshore drilling dead on arrival.  Meanwhile, another moderate Republican worried about oil moving east to Florida's beaches and into the Gulf Stream might lend support to a BP-free bill.  Hello, George LeMieux?  Susan Collins?

  1.  Don't Waste a Crisis

A return to the Presidential moratorium, first enacted by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 restricting federal offshore leasing to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and parts of Alaska, is smart politics.  Public opinion is shifting against an expansion of drilling.  A poll at the flaming liberal Wall Street Journal is running 2 to 1 against expanding offshore drilling.  More importantly, as the oilpocalypse has shown, it's smart policy.

Our job is clear.  First, petitions are now circulating at sites as diverse as the Sierra Club, 350, and FireDogLake.  Sign one, sign them all, and update my list with additional petitions and online actions here.

Second, comment online at the MMS website.  

Third, call the White House and tell President Obama to return to the Presidential moratorium on offshore drilling in place from 1990 to 2008.  

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

Obama has an opportunity to lead.  Will he reexamine the connection between failed fossil fuel policies and his March 31 decision?  He can seize the moment or waste the crisis.

Originally posted to RLMiller on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:33 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  To paraphrase the apocrpyhal FDR quote, (116+ / 0-)

    Obama might not yet believe us or want to stop drilling, but we have to make him stop it.  The health of the Gulf of Mexico and our planet requires no less.

    Finally broke down, joined the twittering classes: RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:32:19 AM PDT

    •  you really think (6+ / 0-)

      they'll have completed the review and investigation of this accident before august?  there will be no more drilling until at least that is done.  quasi-moratorium.

      People are upset Obama hasn't solved all the problems yet. C'mon, he's only been in office one year...the man went to Harvard, not Hogwarts. - Wanda Sykes

      by Cedwyn on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:38:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  absolutely. n/t (8+ / 0-)

          "ya know, sometimes JUST when I think you're the shallowest man I've ever met, you manage to drain a little more outta the pool" Elaine Benes

          by FORUS50 on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:44:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Each is necessary -- improve safety on (35+ / 0-)

          existing drill rigs, and no more drilling.  Some additional ideas include:
          --ramp up wind, solar energy as fast as possible--I am told that engineers outside to the beltway CW and corporate media say 35% by 2025 and 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050 is totally doable
          --with electric cars, put transportation on the grid as fast as the RE can ramp up.
          --shut down off-shore production platforms as fast as renewable-powered electric cars come on line.
          --end all U.S. off-shore drilling and imports from the middle east by 2035-2040(?)
          --get off oil completely by 2060-2070.

          Finally broke down, joined the twittering classes: RL_Miller

          by RLMiller on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:45:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The bottom line is (24+ / 0-)

            that we can't go on living our energy guzzling life styles and have sustainable energy self sufficiency.

          •  Telling the public the truth might help, too (32+ / 0-)

            On 4/28, NOAA issued a secret report warning of a looming catastrophe.   On 4/30, the NOAA report was leaked to the Mobile paper.  According to that paper:

            A confidential government report on the unfolding spill disaster in the Gulf makes clear the Coast Guard now fears the well could become an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf.

            "The following is not public," reads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Emergency Response document dated April 28. "Two additional release points were found today in the tangled riser. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought."

            Asked Friday to comment on the document, NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen said that the additional leaks described were reported to the public late Wednesday night. Regarding the possibility of the spill becoming an order of magnitude larger, Smullen said, "I'm letting the document you have speak for itself."

            IOW, Napolitano wasn't telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in her 4/29 briefing.  To make matters worse, Obama was still calling for expanded offshore drilling on 4/30.  Either the NOAA report was kept from him, or he chose to ignore its dire implications.

            Given how the massive netroots groundswell for the PO never even got us a floor vote on it, I'm skeptical about public pressure moving this WH to the left.  Given how this WH hasn't leveled w/ us on this literal life and death issue, I'm even more skeptical.  Plus, at this point, if this catastrophe doesn't open their eyes, nothing that we can do will open them, either.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:16:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

              •  Doing nothing is not an option. Otherwise, (11+ / 0-)

                we need to stop complaining.

                Write the LTE's, sign the petitions, call the WH.

              •  Go ahead and try (15+ / 0-)

                God knows how hard I tried on the PO.  Do so, however, w/ the understanding that this WH has basically made it clear that it's immune to pressure from its left.  They really don't seem to care what we think, which is a painful truth it took me a long time to accept.

                Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

                by RFK Lives on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:37:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  PTFH. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Ben Franklin

                  by IndieGuy on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:56:37 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  We need a coalition. (8+ / 0-)

                  People still upset over being locked out by this Administration on the PO.

                  People and environmental groups who won't stand for drilling on the Easter seaboard.

                  People who are disgusted with the imprisonment, torture and mock trial by military commission of children.

                  People who believe the Afghan escalation is at odds with our national interests.

                  These are 4 groups and if they can all be combined for a show of force, we can make this Administration listen to us.

                  Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

                  by maxschell on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:40:34 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Please tip this comment if you agree! Very imp't (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mattman, maxschell, blueoasis, allenjo

                    "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

                    by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:03:13 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Rahmbo had it right. (0+ / 0-)

                    These are 4 groups and if they can all be combined for a show of force, we can make this Administration listen to us.

                    All four of those groups are composed of people who will vote Democratic no matter what, because there's no reasonable alternative. So there's no incentive whatsoever for them to listen to us.

                    If he had any doubts, the HIR outcome proved him right beyond a shadow of a doubt.

                    The insurance companies get 30 million new customers who are mandated to buy insurance. Change I can believe in?

                    by DixieDishrag on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:55:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The "party line" is how they screw people (0+ / 0-)
                      People have to realize, that Democrats are no longer that much different than GOP, they just pretend to be.

                      FAKE STATE "SINGLE PAYER" THAT ISN'T SINGLE PAYER!
                      WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT THEY CAN'T CUT COSTS

                      by Andiamo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:22:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I am a member of these groups. (0+ / 0-)

                      And am ready to say I will actively work against Obama if he does not reinstate the moratorium.

                      Yes I am one voter.  But that's where you have to start.

                      Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

                      by maxschell on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:22:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Have we become such a small group that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoasis

                  we are totally without any power? I write, email, call, fax, sign petitions and I feel like little is all that better than other a Republican controlled WH and congress.

                  "Teh economy will surge when teh Stoopid recedes. But teh Stoopid show no sign of recedin' yet." Horsefeathers psychic cat, SEER of ALL!

                  by allenjo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:31:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I don't agree with defeatism (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RLMiller

                  This calamity is an issue that goes well beyond the left. Furthermore, while the public option was popular in opinion polls, it wasn't rated that high in importance by most people. I don't expect there are going to be large numbers of people screaming that more offshore drilling is needed, after this calamity. I believe that people can recognize a disaster when they see one of this size.

                  •  When you say "PO" do you mean (0+ / 0-)
                    "private-insurance centric" public-interest optional market rate insurance at any cost"?

                    Its okay if older people each have to pay $2500 a month, and nobody can afford it, and hundreds of thousands of people die each year, as long as we avoid even discussing single payer?

                    FAKE STATE "SINGLE PAYER" THAT ISN'T SINGLE PAYER!
                    WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT THEY CAN'T CUT COSTS

                    by Andiamo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 07:53:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I consider your repetitious posts rude (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RLMiller

                      So I questioned whether there was much value in replying, but I will, this once.

                      From "A Few Final Thoughts on the Ublicpay Optionway" on FiveThirtyEight.com:

                      Yes, as public option proponents are fond of pointing out, the measure polls well in the isolate. But that's true of a lot of the individual components of the bill -- and the public option is not one of the most popular components, nor one of the ones that ordinary voters consider to be the most "important".

                      Following one of his links:

                      What Do Americans Want In Health Reform?

                      You can see a chart with the following heading:

                      Ranking Elements Of Reform: Among All Americans and Those Conflicted

                      "Creating a government administered public health insurance option to compete with private plans" was considered "extremely important" by only 18% of all adult respondents.

                      I'm a single-payer supporter, like you, but if you want to argue with the accuracy of opinion polling, I hope you'll contact the polling firm and yell at them.

                      Meanwhile, I don't plan to entertain more "discussion" from you, especially while you troll about hundreds of thousands of deaths from a very imperfect health insurance law that nevertheless provides substantial subsidies and is certainly better than the status quo in various important ways that I will not argue with you, because you have proven yourself to be a brick wall.

            •  Geez, what a fresh idea! :) n/t (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mattman, corvo, Battle4Seattle
            •  Yeah, if he's going to adopt conservative... (12+ / 0-)

              policies, at least be a "compassionate" conservative.

              Really doesnt seem to have hit his heart very deeply. Fish gotta swim, fishermen gotta fish...

              Just heard from reporter on Washington Journal today how this will kill off generational mom n pop family fishing businesses in LA, etc.

              One more hurtful piece of news...

              This thing hurts. It is like watching a nightmare you cant wake up from.

              Obama's much lauded coolness seems rather COLD sometimes.

              Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

              by NYCee on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:29:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Re your point on public option fail... (7+ / 0-)

              Yeah, makes me mad whenever I think of that as I hear Obama talking up how our democracy makes our govt great (as in his gentle scolds to the tea partiers re No, wrong, govt, our govt, is GOOD for us because it is of, by, for us). The very democratic power he touts manifested as squat when it came to the public option. Majority wanted it, said so, got screwed. Same with drug company price reduction thru reimportatin, renegotiation.

              One thing though, re progressives failing despite a big effort to get Obama/Dems to do the PO, is that progressives never had a bottom line. Case in point - the very same people who wrote endless diaries here flogging the petitions that said must vote no if no PO, once the signers had abandoned their pledge, turned right around and began flogging 5 alarm diaries screaming how we MUST support this bill!  

              See?

              More than just a little bizarre to expect the progressive congress not to fold if those who hold this expectation fold right along with them.

              Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

              by NYCee on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:43:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  before this, (13+ / 0-)

                the pro-climate bill lobby was even more depressed, not willing to draw a line in the sand at all.  I hate that this has happened, but it has given us a line in the sand (or on the shore) for the bill.  We may go the same way as the public option...but we have to try.

                Finally broke down, joined the twittering classes: RL_Miller

                by RLMiller on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:56:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  thanks RL, (5+ / 0-)

                  ...this is a very well done, motivating diary, and the conclusion in that comment is the line in the sand as I see it.

                  Good odds or no, we all need to suck it up and find the energy once again.

                  wherin we share a community blog for common goals for humanity. http://www.worldforallpeople.org

                  by worldforallpeopleorg on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:05:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Oh sure, I signed the petition... (9+ / 0-)

                  as I did for the public option, no Iraq war, an end to our aiding and abetting of Israeli colonization of Palestinians and bombing of Lebanon, no tax cuts for wealthy, no bankruptcy bill (also sending my message thru marches, phone calls, emails, faxes) and I lost. And the Dems didnt help. They aided the forces against me and those like me.

                  Locally, I fought for no private money to remake our
                  PUBLIC historic Washington Square Park (Bloomberg has no fucking soul, believe me) in a way that sucked the special right out of it, made it suburbanized and sanitized... I fought to get Tasini, not Hillary, as our senator. I join marches for better rent regulations and lose.

                  I (and likeminded folks) fight and lose. Time and again.

                  I really think a major issue to fight for must be publicly financed campaigns. I think we are fast getting sucked down a drain, the force is too great to pull ourselves out of... if we dont get the money out. Even then, there will be establishment forces aligned against us, with corporate and MIC interests swaying politicians, but at least we'd have a much better chance to make progress.

                  Progress. Progressives. For progress. Failing time and again.

                  The cycle must be broken or I am afraid we stand no chance. Obama's and the Dems nip and tuck is not reform. These crumbs are more diversion from the runaway train than anything else.

                  Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

                  by NYCee on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:35:51 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think it is possible on this drilling issue. (7+ / 0-)

                    This is a glaring problem for Obama.  And we have to take it to him and the Administration on this.  

                    No quarter, and a clear line in the sand:

                    Reinstate the moratorium against drilling off the American coasts or we will use all our effort to defeat you in 2012.

                    It's that simple and I think there are a lot of people who are fed up with Obama's total rejection of our voting bloc.

                    Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

                    by maxschell on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:44:28 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I like the part about no vote... (4+ / 0-)

                      However, folks have to mean it. Not that they will vote for a GOPper instead, but that they will hold firm, even though they will hear all the big sell about bad SCOTUS nominees, etc.

                      If there is no bottom line (and NOT just on this) there is no bottom to how low we will continue to sink.

                      Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

                      by NYCee on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:01:09 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Or they have to pledge to vote "I" or "G" or (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mattman, maxschell

                        "W" or, yes, even the dreded "S." It sucks to turn on your party, but sometimes, damnit, you have to stand for principle first. I hope the president is writing like mad and working on a killer speech. Then I can "D" or (little d--dream again).

                        "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

                        by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:10:04 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh, should add I fought 4 impeachment.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RLMiller

                    Hahahahahaha HA!

                    Talk about Don Quixote!

                    But I do believe (and am often frustrated that many others dont) that a movement must be viewed as a pointilist painting (think Seurat), ie, there is STRENGTH in NUMBERS.

                    As pointilism, every person who shows up, with voice, message, is one more dot in the painting - the more dots the bigger and clearer and STRONGER the message. The more likely pols cannot sidestep it - at least be forced to reckon with the forces they are facing.

                    This means persistence in showing up ... dont let the tea baggers be the only visual in protest. Show up as often and as forcefully as necessary.

                    Online petitions are one thing. Law suits are nice too. But on the ground, face to face is essential. Taking the Washington Square Park fight I referenced in last post - the Preserve Washington Square Park group, which was the nucleus of the movement to save it, drew from locals, mostly those who habituated/lived near the park, frequent users  - some would gather to play music and sing in its peculiar sunken plaza's 9 nifty rounded niches every chance they got (now leveled and GONE - think counter culture past, beat, folk, yippies, hippies, Dylan, all manner of plein air performances there and in the famous fountain, which actually has audience seating built into its periphery). This group was so fixated on their 2 or 3 lawsuits as the way to win, that they wasted countless months not getting petitions signed, even though they spent all their free time, it seemed, right there in the park ...

                    I finally got one of the leading people in this group to give me revamped petitions to pass around one sluggish midweek summer afternoon and got over a hundred signatures in an hour. Imagine what that would mean, had it been done consistently, over 2 years, and how one could publicize it, had they, those who spearheaded this in the neighborhood, been more PR savvy, just on a basic level, and utilized more than one prong (lawsuits, meetings as group, w/lawmakers, at city hall) as their main method to save the park.

                    Alas, they had lost too much time by the time they started getting excited about petitions and spreading face to face awareness/involvement in those who use or just pass thru this park (millions over a year's time, not to mention NYU students, who use it like a campus, and who were seemingly on board with us, in the main).

                    I dont know if it would have staved off the eventual renovation, but  such relentless on the ground activism, at the source of the problem, wasnt really done to any great extent.

                    Again, strength in numbers. Consistent, visible, vocal numbers.

                    Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

                    by NYCee on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:05:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Obama was never a progressive (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      NYCee
                      Only the most naive Americans think of Obama as a progressive.

                      The right doesn't believe it, they just say it because he they have to do that to make people think Obama's right wing agenda is a "liberal" one..

                      Hell, they crossed over in the primaries to get him elected.

                      This is all about money. He's good for 'business as usual'.

                      On health control, he's a Godsend for the drug and insurance companies.

                      They couldn't have made a better choice.

                      FAKE STATE "SINGLE PAYER" THAT ISN'T SINGLE PAYER!
                      WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT THEY CAN'T CUT COSTS

                      by Andiamo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 07:27:51 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  I love your comment. But please don't call this a (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mattman, RFK Lives

              leak; the proper term is WHISTLEBLOWER!!!

              "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

              by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:55:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Please write a diary on this. (0+ / 0-)

              "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

              by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:56:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Add to your list public transportation increase (10+ / 0-)

            rapid rail, extended bus service...

            We like to say one of Eisenhower's great acts was the interstate highway, but we also sealed a deal on cars, cars, cars... above and beyond what is necessary.

            Living in NYC, I never once miss having a car. Should be like that for a lot more folks, nationwide. Other developed countries do it. Again, why not us?

            Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

            by NYCee on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:22:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  2% per year. forever. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            maxschell, corvo, Nulwee, RLMiller, damfino

            Politicians need a measurable target within their term.  The US needs to reduce its use of coal and oil by 2% per year, every year, forever. Every candidate needs to be asked this question: do you support 2% per year?

            Consumption will be down 50% by 2047.  

            "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

            by oregonj on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:24:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay--careful with the flames, but should we try (0+ / 0-)

              to put together a list of principles for candidates like the Tea Party did?

              "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

              by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:51:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Reduction isn't an option. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Catte Nappe

              Replacement might work. Replacing 2% of our energy from other sources is doable.

              But you simply aren't going to get people to reduce their consumption levels by that much.

              Especially when we don't appear to be willing to take the tough steps necessary to stop the flow of misinformation and downright lies that makes a large chunk of the public believe this is not a crisis.

              Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

              by Whimsical on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:15:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Replacements and efficiency exist - in abundance. (0+ / 0-)

                There are many pathways that have been demonstrated to reduce US coal and oil consumption.  All we lack is political leadership and public will.  And a massively corrupt campaign system stands in the way.

                "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

                by oregonj on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:22:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Catte Nappe

                  We can REPLACE 2% or so of our energy usage a year.

                  The idea that we can get people to REDUCE their consumption just isn't going to fly.

                  Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

                  by Whimsical on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:44:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Coal and Oil. These are the targets. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RLMiller

                    We can reduce the consumption of coal and oil by 2% per year. Forever.

                    Yes we can.

                    "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

                    by oregonj on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:52:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  As long as you're not talking about reducing (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      oregonj
                      overall consumption of POWER by 2% a year, cause that just aint gonna happen, I agree with you.

                      Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

                      by Whimsical on Sun May 02, 2010 at 01:14:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Agreed. But........ (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Whimsical, RLMiller

                        locally (Oregon) we are recommending a per capita electricity reduction of 1% per year until 2020. And we have the energy efficiency resources and programs to achieve that. That can be done.  People love energy efficiency - they will have the same lifestyle but use less power.  The problem is not technological, it is purely a consumer market failure - and the right programs do fix that.

                        "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

                        by oregonj on Sun May 02, 2010 at 01:30:49 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with everything except big time (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko, Tyto Alba

            pushing of electric cars. They run on lithium you know? That's destroying and will destroy Bolivia, the largest lithium reserves in the world, for now.

            We can do better--biodiesel, algae-technology, responsible development of biofuels such as non-GMO switchgrass(global).

            "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

            by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:50:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Without mass-transit (0+ / 0-)

            The amount of additional generating capacity required will be so costly the US will still come out of this an economic cripple.

            It's actually quite simple; with virtually every major developed (save the US) and a majority of developing economies building mass-transit, the US will continue to spend disproportinately on transportation making it econmically ineffcient and non-competitive, particularly against it's main economic competitors, Europe, China and Japan.

            If you insist to hand that advantage to us we probably won't complain, and possibly, turn a deaf ear to your complaints about flat playing fields.

            One person per vehicle is not efficient, regardless of the energy source.

            Wed April 21 07:49 - a moment of silence for Qinghai Earthquake Victims

            by koNko on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:24:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I am fairly amazed. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          svboston

          I know that our President doesn't like making quick decisions until he feels that he knows all of the facts.  But, he now knows that BP has been lying about their clean, safe, new technology methods. It's rather apparent that they allowed Halliburton (Dick Cheney) to do a sub-standard cementing procedure (capping) and cheap-skated by not having a safety valve that's used in other nations (Dick Cheney and his secret energy meetings, again) for if the shearing mechanism failed.    

          Our Florida Governor Crist has always been against off-shoring drilling but took a similar stance as our President just recently. (Charlie is out on his boat most week-ends docked at his parent's home in St.Pete) He stated that he would only consider off-shore drilling if it was found safe enough, clean enough and far enough from our Florida beaches.  

          After choppering over the developing mess last week, Gov. Crist went right back to his original position and stated that this proves it has not become safe enough, clean enough or far enough from our shores and he is opposed to off-shore drilling.  How could anyone ever trust these oil honchos again when they were even willing to lie about the severity of the leak and needed the U.S. Coast to expose them?

          It should be easy enough for our President to come to the same conclusion as Gov. Crist.  Hope the chopper trip changes his mind.              

          To Congress: "GO BIG" or go home

          by mjd in florida on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:41:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  U.S. Coast "Guard". (0+ / 0-)

            ...that was there from "day one" with the rescue mission and had to eventually expose the BP downplaying of events while the Gov't. has been hampered with bad weather to even attempt to defuse the irresponsible clusterfuck.  (we've all seen the boats looking like needles in a haystack of oil slick)

            To Congress: "GO BIG" or go home

            by mjd in florida on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:20:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Obama's oil exploration triangulation fail, (13+ / 0-)

        just say I was wrong Mr. President and be done with it.

        www.yesweSTILLcan.org

        by divineorder on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:32:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  For the Big Oil Boys it's Never having to say (6+ / 0-)

      Your Sorry, Never..! It's faulty equipment or a drun captain..Never mind that there is a fail safe mechanisim avaiable and in use that will prevent these unfloding ecological disasters..But gee, golly it add an additional Million dollars to the cost of the drilling..Them Big Oil Boys cant afford that..Many cultures, the heads of the companies or even heads of the countries will say Their Sorry and maybe even bow or maybe even Resign..WTF, they werent even Sorry about Bophal or Love Canal..I say Fire the miserable SOB and anyone else involved in this monumental lapse in judgement and proper proceedure..I hope they fukin get sued into bankruptcy and maybe the next time they will do it Properly. I dont think we need off shore drilling and Obama is a major disappointment on this one..he been fukin around with the HCR when he should of been setting up Job Programs..They unemployment rate is gonns destroy all the time and effort "We" put into getting these dems elected and now they are pisssing it all away..WTF Rant over and I dont feel any better..No nuclear plants until we decide how to get rid of the wastes..We heard that one tooo

      "Course I'm respectable. I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough." Noah Cross - Chinatown

      by LakePipes on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:50:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly, we've got to force him (5+ / 0-)

      It doesn't matter if we support him or not as a president or a person, it's not about that.  It's about counteracting the other pressures on him.  I remember some quote about how presidents always try to make history but history ends up making them...we've got to be what "makes" them.

    •  I'm fairly sure (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, Nulwee, VA Breeze

      as bad as this is shaping up to be, Obama's freedom of action has vanished.  If Gulf fishing and tourism has become extinct, then off-shore drilling has just become an ex-activity.  Unfortunately, with his current stance, Obama is not going to reap the benefits.

    •  RLM: It's difficult when there is no evidence (11+ / 0-)

      that the president seeks out advice from well-known environmentalists. His administration always puts energy before the environment.

      This will be a real test of grass roots organizing. The pictures of the dead and dying animals and the devastated landscape will be coming in and that should sway any human being.

      Thank you for your excellent contribution to this site.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:14:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let us hope that the President will go back to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, RLMiller

      being against it, as in the days on the campaign trail when he was against it, and pledged to keep supporting the moratorium. It is for the good of the planet, and all the creatures being harmed.

      As I heard on TV today, if he does, "a flip-flop I can believe in...."

      A return to the Presidential moratorium, first enacted by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 restricting federal offshore leasing to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and parts of Alaska, is smart politics.  Public opinion is shifting against an expansion of drilling.  A poll at the flaming liberal Wall Street Journal is running 2 to 1 against expanding offshore drilling.  More importantly, as the oilpocalypse has shown, it's smart policy.

      I don't think the White House can side step on this issue. They must come out and proclaim that the moratorium is back in place.

      "Teh economy will surge when teh Stoopid recedes. But teh Stoopid show no sign of recedin' yet." Horsefeathers psychic cat, SEER of ALL!

      by allenjo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:29:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If this doesn't prompt him (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Lyon, svboston, RLMiller
      To seriously reconsider offshoe drilling, then it wiil be his Katrina.

      If this disaster turns out at least half as bad as I expect, disater relief to those affected byt it will suck-up billions in Federal spending that could have been put into clean energy considering it will take years to settle the civil lawsuits.

      Let me give the fair-minded and often vacillating Obama the way out:

      :: Step 1 - Moratorium until an invetigation can be completed and environmental impact criteria revised.

      :: Step 2 - Legislation requiring offshor projects to be taxed to create a Superfund to deal with potential consequences

      :: Step 3 - Finish second term before Steps 1 & 2 are completed.

      I draw attention to the fact BP's envisronmental study claimed the company could deal with a far larger oil spill in a worst-case scenario; givent the fact they are grasping at straws and have run out of ideas to deal with the present crisis, whatever criteria was applied to the original hypotheticals was complete nonsense and not worth the paper it was written on.

      And yes, as much as the world and the US needs the US Congress to pass an energy bill, the bill as presently written should be scrapped to produce a bill that actually commits to clean energy goals.

      Indeed, do not waste the crisis.

      Crisis is opportunity for change, change is what you make of it.

      Wed April 21 07:49 - a moment of silence for Qinghai Earthquake Victims

      by koNko on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:02:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Katrina? Really? Sounds like wingnuttery to me (15+ / 0-)

        Obama's, "Katrina"? That is an insult to the Americans who lost their lives because they were let down by government officials.

        This is a Bush-Cheney mess pure a freaking simple. The other side is already trying to spin this mess so that it lands on President Obama rather than the previous administration. We gain nothing by joining in and helping them in that effort.

        We need to stop being lazy and looking for a political savior. We are our own saviors. We need to turn public opinion because that is the only sure path to meaningful change. One way or the other, people have got to change the way we think about and use energy. That is an enormous undertaking and cannot be done by one guy no matter how powerful.

        To me, it's hard to point fingers at others if we aren't willing to get out an organize and do sustained public contact work that galvanizes the public and prompts change from the bottom up which is what we use to claim be all about.

        "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

        by sebastianguy99 on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:45:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They won Katrina.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko
          They transformed a city, and not in a good way. And showed millions of Americans not only that they didn't matter. They treated New Orleans like an occupied country.

          Something like a quarter of the people who lived through Katrina have serious, lasting health difficulties, and they completely covered that up.

          Miraculously, 99% of we Americans still live blissfully unaware that so profits can be extracted for a few more years, there are almst certainly going to be many, many more Katrinas.

          FAKE STATE "SINGLE PAYER" THAT ISN'T SINGLE PAYER!
          WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT THEY CAN'T CUT COSTS

          by Andiamo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 07:44:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Excuse me .. (0+ / 0-)

          But:

          :: It is totally reasonable to question if the governments response to this could have been faster and better and it will be done whether you or Mr. Obama like it or not. The WH is already in damage control mode on this. we do not have all the facts yet but some information emerging does not look good - specifically, at a time when the administration was downplaying the spill they already had information that it was greater than BP claimed and getting worse, which is the fact we see.

          :: Mr. Obama is on the record supporting off-shore drilling, juat as Mr Bush and Mr Cheney. What you see is the result of that.

          :: I certianly respect and sympathize with the victims (human/others) of this disaster and the consequences may end up far worse than Katrina in terms on long term damage to the envisonment and the economies of these areas. What people are facing now is not 2 or 3 years of rebuilding, but possibly a decade or more, depending on the extent of distruction.

          :: As of this day, Mr. Obama still seems to be straddling the fence to protect the option of off-shore drilling. WTF? If he continues to go down that road thene there will no lesson learned, and in such case, it will be a idiotic and foolish as anything Bush/Cheney did.

          If anyone is a "nut" living in denial here, it may be you, so I suggest you reign-in the ad homens, they don't make a credible argument in light of the facts.

          We shall see. Let the facts speak for themselves.

          Right now, those facts look pretty grim, today the Andimistration estimated 3 months to stop the leak.

          Wed April 21 07:49 - a moment of silence for Qinghai Earthquake Victims

          by koNko on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:48:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No drilling is great (0+ / 0-)

      Don't know how the president will reformulate his thinking on Middle East oil. Be great to see what he comes up with.

  •  The risks outweigh the rewards (19+ / 0-)

    the amount of oil we are likely to find is a drop in the ocean compared to our needs.

    There are other ways to energy security.

    Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

    by LaFeminista on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:38:25 AM PDT

    •  That is true... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, historys mysteries, RLMiller

      Well, the "other ways" is.  

      We know how to get ourselves off fossil fuel.  Time to get cracking.

      Transitioning off fossil fuels to renewables will create millions of US jobs.  And cut our outflow of money to countries that don't like us by billions and billions of dollars every year.

      That "hopey-changey thing"? Takes a Magic Hawaiian to pull it off...

      by BobTrips on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:58:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stopping the flow of this monster is job one... (0+ / 0-)

    and making sure that there are no others out there like it would probably be job two....the rest should take care of itself.

  •  Clearly they had no plan for this (18+ / 0-)

    Robots, untried deep water disperents, untested giant domes, the military, help from anybody who has any idea, "hopefully something will happen"...  In other words, no plan.

    What a disgrace.  We look like the Soviet Union's frantic response at Chernobyl reactor, where they finally sent pilots on suicide missions to drop concrete on it.

    At some point after this particular Gulf leak is capped, we'll hear that they now have a plan; this can not happen again; and that they want to resume drilling.

    When are we going to have an energy policy that is not BigOil as usual?

  •  I can't believe how devastaing this is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, historys mysteries, RLMiller

    It's so depressing.  And they build a well without any means to cap it in a situation like this?  Unbelievable. It's too awful to comprehend.  

    "ya know, sometimes JUST when I think you're the shallowest man I've ever met, you manage to drain a little more outta the pool" Elaine Benes

    by FORUS50 on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:43:01 AM PDT

  •  Oh dear (28+ / 0-)

    This diary should put the true believers on the war path.

    This is yet another example of Obama trying to play King Solomon. The problem is that his so called bipartisan tactics, instead of forcing a functional compromise, wind up actually sawing the baby in half.

    You can't just sort of save the environment.

  •  We shouldn't be "trading" away the oceans and (15+ / 0-)

    coasts for a weak climate bill. Stand firm. Now is the time to kill offshore drilling. NOW is the TIME. We'll work on the climate/energy bill with a new kind of coalition.

  •  I don't understand "stop drilling" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, VClib, sam storm

    Are you saying that we should stop all domestic drilling?  Shut down the 3500 or so wells operating offshore as well speak?  What will happen to gasoline prices if we do that, and do you think the country's ok with that?

    Or are you saying that we should keep operating the wells in the Gulf of Mexico but not open up  offshore areas in other parts of the country?  In other words, is it ok for us here in Louisiana to keep bearing this risk as long as the rest of the country is safe from these kinds of disaster?  

    •  I'm not proposing that all existing drilling (17+ / 0-)

      should stop, but that drilling should not be expanded per Obama's March 31 announcement.

      Finally broke down, joined the twittering classes: RL_Miller

      by RLMiller on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:53:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, are you saying it's ok for us here in (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, VClib, moosely2006, Youffraita

        Louisiana to keep bearing the risk of this kind of thing, as long as the rest of the country doesn't have to?  

        That's what I don't understand.  Why is it ok for us to have this risk, but nobody else should?

        And if that's going to be the official policy of the country -- that it's ok for the Gulf Coast to bear this risk, but not other areas of the country, then I ABSOLUTELY think that the country owes it to us to make sure we are made absolutely whole for this disaster.  Yes, BP is responsible for clean up.  But what about the people who are going to lose a year of income, maybe their businesses, because of this?  What about the hotels and restaurants who support those who go to coastal Louisiana to fish?  What about the restauarants here in New Orleans who are going to be seriously hurt because they can't get seafood from Breton Sound? I could go on and on. The ripple effects of this will be overwhelming.  And if the country, as a national policy, thinks we should bear that risk but nobody else should, then shouldn't the country bear some of the responsibility for the disaster when it happens?

        We'll see how "whole" we are made.  It didn't happen after Katrina, when the 40 year failure by the Army Corps of Engineers caused not only deaths and flooded houses, but also financial devastation from which many people and businesses have never recovered.  

        •  Louisiana gets what it votes for (11+ / 0-)

          Maybe if LA hadn't sent people like Mary Landrieu (who defended off-shore drilling as safe in Senate hearings), and before her John Breaux, and of course, Vitter, to the Senate and cleaned up its state government, it wouldn't have to clean up its coast line now.

          Its not like Louisiana elected officials have been fighting this for the last 50 years. The same people (like BP) who pay those politicians can pay for the cleanup and its consequences.

          We are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,

          by badger on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:43:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good horrors, no! I want to move away from (5+ / 0-)

          oil completely, which takes time.  Salazar was on the Sunday talk show circuit talking about the economic devastation that would result from shutting down drilling completely.  At the same time, I want to make sure the Gulf Coast isn't harmed, or at least its harms are compensated.  I have confidence that Obama cares about the region far more than Bush ever did.

          Finally broke down, joined the twittering classes: RL_Miller

          by RLMiller on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:01:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You have much more confidence than I do (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            quagmiremonkey, svboston, RLMiller

            I have confidence that Obama cares about the region far more than Bush ever did.

            Despite promises, we here in New Orleans saw no sea change in our Katrina recovery when Obama took office.  

            We'll see how the Obama administration deals with this.  I am very very afraid that it will be in the news for a few days, and then fade away for the rest of the country.  

        •  Ah, so you're advocating we shut down all (0+ / 0-)

          existing wells?

          You tried to foist that decision off on the diarist, but apparently that's what you personally are advocating.

          And I can respect that advocacy, if not the attempt to act as if the diarist had to make that choice.  Will gas go up, a lot?  Yes.  Will that push alternative fuel source vehicles along much faster?  Yes.

          I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. - Oliver Cromwell

          by Ezekial 23 20 on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:04:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, my point was made by badger (4+ / 0-)

            who basically said this is Louisiana's problem to work out with BP.  

            That's the attitude that frustrates me.  This was a FEDERAL decision to open leases on FEDERAL lands and the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT got all the money -- through lease sales and royalties -- from these operations.  Then, when a catastrophic event occurs on FEDERAL property pursuant to operations that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT authorized and contracted for, some will say, "Louisiana, you deserved it. Get BP to pay for it."  

            I get the sense that the rest of the country thinks we are expendable.  That became clear in 2005, when a catastrophic engineering failure by the federal government -- not a hurricane -- flooded 80% of this city.  I had hoped that the attitude of "well, you live there, you deal with it" had changed.  

            While BP is going to pay for clean up, this will ALSO be a devastating blow to the economy of South Louisiana.  I suppose that's just what we get for living near federal property . . .

            What I expect, actually, is for the country to act like the country as a whole bears some responsibility for this.  

        •  You wil never be whole (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mattman, RLMiller

          Prince William sound the site of the Exxon Valdez is still fucked up and that's 20 years after the spill..

          That is the problem with coastal drilling.

          Here is what we are calling for:

          1. Reinstatement of the ban on new exploration or any other drilling off the American coastal waters

          That's the minimum.

          1. Implementation of new rules on drilling operations to make existing drill rigs less risky.
          1. Winding down of coastal drilling operations.

          Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

          by maxschell on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:51:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  How 'bout stopping the drilling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga, addisnana

      from wells that are past the threshold of human
      capacity to deal with an accident?  

    •  at the risk of inflaming (5+ / 0-)

      those who don't want any compromise, it would seem possible to use this moment to stop some of the deep wells until some insight to what happened and what further can be done, if anything, based on unbiased science input, not just oil company engineers.

      This well is one a a few that have gone so deep if I understand what I have been reading.  This may spell the end of attempts to drill in this deep of water to such depths until we learn from this.  We can try to influence that decision.

      I don't think its legally or practically possible to shut down every existing rig.  But we can be tougher with the environmental and safety enforcement.

      •  They should stop wells they couldn't fix (0+ / 0-)
        in any situation like this.. until they have figured out how to fix them, and proven this beyond a shadow of a doubt...

        Remember the huge fires in Iraq? This could happen on land too.. but it would not be as difficult to fix it.

        Otherwise, we could permanently screw up the global ecology.. The oceans are where we get most of our oxygen, more so than trees..

        Not a good thing to mess with!  Plus, a huge area depends on tourism. fishing, etc.

        Imagine the millions of people who would lose their jobs if the whole Gulf Coast was fouled.

        FAKE STATE "SINGLE PAYER" THAT ISN'T SINGLE PAYER!
        WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT THEY CAN'T CUT COSTS

        by Andiamo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:06:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If we did, gas would be more expensive. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue in NC, RLMiller

      But not expensive enough.

      And yeah, I think that would be a good thing. Whether the country is okay with it or not is another matter. Eventually someone with a backbone is going to have to just impose a heavy tax on transportation fuels and be done with it, outcry or not.

      •  Gas Not Expensive Enough???!!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sviscusi

        Let's see, over the past decade, median wages have stagnated.

        And some of you believe that our working and middle-class should pay higher gas taxes??!!!

        A regressive tax?

        Those of you who favor a larger gas tax are the same who want the GOP to rout us this fall.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

        by PatriciaVa on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:12:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It sure isn't. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe, blue in NC, RLMiller

          I'm one of 'our' working class, and yes. I should pay a lot more for gas.

          I should not be able to afford the trip I'm about to take to the NC coast to see it before it perhaps gets destroyed this summer due to cheap gas.

          I should have to make vehicle decisions based on efficiency instead of vanity. I should have to have a damn good reason to buy an SUV or a truck.

          I should have to make transportation decisions based on the cost alone. Driving should not be as casual as it is.

          I should be forced to live within a reasonable distance of my workplace. Gas should be so expensive that it would ruin me if I live 25 miles from work.

          The American people haven't changed their destructive, pointless, disgusting lifestyle voluntarily in 30 years. If it isn't changed for them, we'll destroy the world.

          I honestly wonder that if we didn't have nukes, if the rest of the world wouldn't wise up and remove our government from power. It's obviously incapable of managing this place.

          •  Hey fellow tar heel, (0+ / 0-)

            I never noticed you before but I like your User Name, so I had to stalk you and rec your last few comments.

            Good to see there's another sane person in NC. ;-)

            •  Hail! (0+ / 0-)

              Ah, there's plenty! Buncombe is a nice place (for the moment), Carrboro, bits of Dare, etc. In my family alone, we have but one conservative (and even then, only fiscally, but that's probably because of raking in millions a year from banking...). Then again, we're first generation yankee migrants, so... :)

              I sincerely hope the bad reports about the Gulf Stream are wrong. I grew up on Ocracoke and Manteo, and I so desperately want them to survive.

  •  Intervening in the public hearing process (7+ / 0-)

    It depends on how "public" those "public hearings" will be.  If they are held outside of DC, and actually involve an opportunity for genuine members of the public, and not just elected officials and vested special interests, the opportunity to go on record, to speak directly to would-be regulators and departmental officials, then organizing for action/participation in the hearings makes sense.  However, for a long time "public hearings" have been both "public" and "hearings" in name only.  

    We who have been nothing shall be all. This is the final struggle. ~E. Pottier

    by ActivistGuy on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:47:24 AM PDT

    •  One was held in Virginia last week (5+ / 0-)

      regarding leases known as "220," and the rest will be around the country in June, dates/times tba.

      I'm paraphrasing an article I skimmed late last night and don't have a link, but it sounded to me like the public showed up to express concerns about the spill even though the MMS folks wanted to keep the discussion limited to the 220 lease area.

      Finally broke down, joined the twittering classes: RL_Miller

      by RLMiller on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:51:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Funny Stuff (6+ / 0-)

    We can't even "Make Him" keep his campaign promises. But go ahead, knock yourself out.

    God gave you free will to define God, use it to make the best God that you can.

    by Dotty Gale on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:48:06 AM PDT

  •  This is beyond ugly (5+ / 0-)

    this could very well be a disaster that really changes
    how we view our environment.  Moving beyond fossil fuels
    for energy will require commitment to other sources and
    time to make the change.  As ugly as this disaster is,
    maybe it will be the catalyst that gets us off the dime
    and moves us to new sustainable energy sources that do
    not compromise the earth.  One can only hope.

  •  Are you a "globalist" or a "localist"? (7+ / 0-)

    Let me suggest that it is unreasonable to think that we are going to quit pumping oil for a number of years.  

    Not because I want it that way, but because enough people want oil to keep things from rapidly changing.  It's like meth and coke - ruining northern Mexico - but that doesn't stop people in the US from continuing to buy.

    Until we greatly improve public transportation and electrify our personal vehicles people are going to burn oil.  And politicians who try to stop them from doing so, without giving them reasonable alternatives, are going to get kicked out of office.

    So, IMO, we are going to drill.  And since on shore fields are drying out we are going to drill off shore.

    Now, where should we drill?

    If you're a "localist", them "over there".  It matters not where over there is, as long as it isn't off our personal  beach.  Even "up there" in Alaska is held to be better by some.

    If you're a "globalist" where is it most likely that regulations will be written and enforced.  And cleanup equipment/crews be readily available?

    (Switzerland, of course.  But they're a bit short of salt water beach.)

    I spend part of the year in the US and part in Asia.  I tend to think more globally than locally on some issues.

    Thinking globally, it seems to me that since we are the ones who burn the oil we should take the chances that accompany extracting it.

    And, thinking globally, had this disaster happened somewhere like the coast of Somalia it might have been months before it was halted and the cleanup might never had been done.

    That "hopey-changey thing"? Takes a Magic Hawaiian to pull it off...

    by BobTrips on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:56:33 AM PDT

    •  I agree with you in part (4+ / 0-)

      had a spill the magnitude I fear be in some exotic
      coast (note Exxon Valdez) it would be easy to dismiss.
      It won't be so easy here.  And, let's face it, it is
      going to take time to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.
      If I'm an optimist I say this will be our wake up call.
      If I'm a pessimist I say it will be business as usual.
      And who knows?  It may take months to halt this spill,
      as smart as we think we are.  Cleanup will be done, but
      the cost will be high and the damage incalculable.

      •  Let me first acknowledge that there is... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattman, Catte Nappe, pstoller78

        ... no evil "I'm going to create an oil spill somewhere" gnome.  

        But, given that a oil disaster happened somewhere this might be the best place for it to happen.  Again, in a global sense.

        Right in the "Drill, Baby, Drill" homeland.  Baggers all through the Eastern US as changing their summer vacation plans.

        It's going to make it easier to convince people that we need to quit using oil.

        That "hopey-changey thing"? Takes a Magic Hawaiian to pull it off...

        by BobTrips on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:22:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  unless you're a through-and-through atheist (0+ / 0-)

          meaning you believe in no higher intelligence than man, be careful. The president said the same thing after healthcare passed:

          You know, a couple of days after the health care bill had been signed into law Obama ran around all over the country saying, "Hey, you know, I’m looking around. The earth hadn’t opened up. There’s no Armageddon out there. The birds are still chirping." I think the earth has opened up. God may have replied. This volcano in Iceland has grounded more airplanes — airspace has more affected — than even after 9/11 because of this plume, because of this ash cloud over Northern and Western Europe. At the Paris airport they’re telling people to head to the train station to catch trains out of France, and when people get to the train station they’re telling people, "There aren’t any seats until at least April 22nd," basically a week from now. It’s got everybody in a shutdown. Earth has opened up. I don’t know whether it’s a rebirth or Armageddon. Hopefully it’s a rebirth, God speaking.

          The guy above might not be your friend, but be very careful with toying with these things.

          Belief can be very powerful. My Great Grandmother said to my Grandmother, "If I ever step foot in this house again, let my feet fall off."

          A few years later, her diabetes was so bad, they had to amputate her feet. This is a real story. Flame me at your own risk.

          "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

          by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:19:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oy vey. (0+ / 0-)

            I have a bridge over a roiling sea of snake-oil that will take you to a land where UFOs cause Catholic saints to weep healing tears of Ayurveda. Amen.

            Like to buy it? The rainbow unicorn tram comes free of charge.

            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:38:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  aoeu (6+ / 0-)

      Let me suggest that it is unreasonable to think that we are going to quit pumping oil for a number of years.

      If we expand production, investing new money in new fossil fuel production instead of new renewable production, and future spills cost $12.5 billion to clean up, the question is, is this a good use of our money? Should we be investing our money in new offshore oil production, and future cleanups?

      Or imagine if we invest $12.5 billion building offshore wind turbines? Assume the Cape Wind project costs $2 billion--this would pay for six more of those. This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalently with taking more than a million cars off the road.

      You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

      by Opakapaka on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:48:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it is not a good use of our money... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RLMiller

        But it's likely that the US population, in general, is going to be more receptive to renewables and EVs.

        That's not celebrating this disaster.

        It's looking for a bit of lemonade from this very sour fruit....

        That "hopey-changey thing"? Takes a Magic Hawaiian to pull it off...

        by BobTrips on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:25:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rarely (8+ / 0-)

    does Barack Obama pass up an advantageous opportunity.

    RL,  you are FAR more informed than I regarding environmental issues, and it is just my gut feeling, but I don't have the feeling that Barack Obama was enthusiastic about the idea of drilling for oil in water.  

    However, whatever the calculus was behind his announcement earlier this year, I'd be willing to bet my eyeteeth (as my mom used to say), that after this catastrophic event, there will be no forward movement on off shore drilling during his administration.

    Master's degreed tri-lingual professional looking for work. Email in profile.

    by pvlb on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:57:29 AM PDT

  •  RL, just a question (4+ / 0-)

    Since there is a lot of drilling in the North Sea, I've just noodled around looking for information on possible spills in Norway's NS oil fields.

    I've found information on some industrial accidents which hurt and killed some workers, an oil spill during loading of a tanker, but nothing which indicates that there have been any spills directly related to the operations of a rig.

    Norway also has an independent oil spill control association.

    Norway's one of the only oil producing countries which actually seems to have managed its oil revenues in a socially positive way.

    I came across some information, that Norway's NS rigs are anchored (due to the NS being shallower than the Gulf), but, what do you think accounts for the 'safety' of Norway's NS oil operations.  Is this just another case of US government-corporate incompetence?

    Master's degreed tri-lingual professional looking for work. Email in profile.

    by pvlb on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:02:33 AM PDT

  •  More credibility (10+ / 0-)

    If Obama decides (as I hope he will) to act decisively to stop offshore drilling, I think he will have more credibility, rather than less, because he endorsed it before.  It sets him up to reflect many other Americans, who were sort of for it, but (hopefully) will now rethink their support.  

    http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=Benjamin%20Gross berg&page=1

    by claytonben on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:03:24 AM PDT

  •  He'll change it as long we keep (4+ / 0-)

    bringing up the facts.  Very sorry, but the technology does not always exist.  Also, everyone was fussing about BP not having an acoustic switch.....which would not have closed a broken BOP but whatever....and yesterday I discovered that not one single well in the Gulf has one.  Not one single one, so his talk about things being very safe was total BUNK too in that respect.  Sadly, because of his recent decision to drill baby drill, when this happened and it looked like a problem it appeared to me that he was trying to distance himself.  That meant ignoring this, and he can't because he is the only person who can muster the resources needed to deal with this.  This is his baby, he bought it with his decision and the defense of his decision to open up offshore drilling as if it were some fine and wonderful thing.  As long as he is held accountable for his part in all this, I don't see how he can continue with his planned policy on offshore drilling.  The economy where I live is going to be devastated.

    I'm the Left that Rahm's mother warned him about

    by Militarytracy on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:08:42 AM PDT

    •  We have a spill here in Seattle right now (0+ / 0-)

      too. Nothing to compare to what you're going through, but I really do feel it should have been there day one talking to you guys.

      Peace.

      "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

      by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:06:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  oops, I mean the president should have been there (0+ / 0-)

        on day one. I know it's tough, and he has advisors, and blah blah blah, but come on. He should have been there on day 1 (not the day of the fire, maybe, but as soon as they knew it was leaking). He knows this thing is big. Look at the barrels "Thunderhorse" is pulling up.

        I need to hear my President speak.

        "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

        by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:08:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wish someone would have filled (25+ / 0-)

    the drink glasses of the attendees of the WH Correspondent's Dinner last night with oil, and put dead, oily ducks on their dinner plates.

    Now that would have been funny.  I can see them all shrieking in outrage and horror.  LOL

  •  He has lost his base (8+ / 0-)

    if he doesn't come around quickly.  And that is a disaster, because if the Democrats lose congress to the Republicans this time:  Game Over, IMO.  We will never get the things we need done in time to stop climate change.

  •  A Tipping Point (6+ / 0-)

    For every person and every society there comes an intellectual tipping point that forces them to re-think the reality in which they live. I cannot say if the current Gulf of Mexico disaster is it but I think you'll find a far greater number of people re-thinking our dependence on oil from here on in. I don't really know what Obama's thinking is on this point but I have no doubt that he's far closer to the thinking of many on the Left than is the GOP who are poised to take yet one more hit from history.

    And as the song and dance begins/The children play at home with needles/Needles and pins

    by The Lone Apple on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:23:21 AM PDT

  •  The magnitude of this (8+ / 0-)

    is so terrible that I think the policy will change. I do. But at what a horrible price.That said,  I think we have to do our work to make sure it changes.

    •  Three Mile Island keeps coming to mind (7+ / 0-)

      The public realization that whole decision-making structure lacks the competence to understand the real risks of our industrial policy. The public doesn't do that very often.

      •  As I just said in (6+ / 0-)

        another post., currently ,they are trying to tell us again that nuclear power is safe again.  And do we trust this?  

         Here is what is clear to me - its up to all of us to read and understand as much as we can about these industries as we can, because we can't trust the experts to tell us the truth. Once economic incentive is part of the equation - then there is bound to be rosy distortion.

        •  At this point, several people here are experts, (0+ / 0-)

          and some are the right kind. They might be the only ones, too.

          "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

          by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:49:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  There's one thing I read that revolves in my mind (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RLMiller

        like a spinning top:

        "The pipe could disintegrate. You've got sand getting into the pipe, it's eroding the pipe all the time, like a sandblaster," said Ron Gouget, a former oil spill response coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

        . . .

        The oil originated from a leaking pipeline after last week's explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon."When the oil is removed normally, it comes out at a controlled rate. You can still have abrasive particles in that. Well, now, at this well, its coming out at fairly high velocity," Gouget continued. "Any erosive grains are abrading the inside of the pipe and all the steel that comes in contact with the liquid. It's essentially sanding away the pipe."

        Gouget said the loss of a wellhead is totally unprecedented.

        http://blog.al.com/...

        "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

        by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:37:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And now for some humor (8+ / 0-)

    I forgot who posted this yesterday, but bookmarked it.  Sometimes we all need a good laugh.  This is definitely one of these times.

    "Only when the last ocean been poisoned and the last fish has been caught, will we realize we cannot eat either oil or money."

    by Tyto Alba on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:29:00 AM PDT

  •  Not only is expanding offshore drilling poor (7+ / 0-)

    policy, but it makes it difficult to argue for strong climate change legislation/regulation. It's hard for Democrats to make the argument that CO2 emissions will have devastating effects on the world and must be curtailed when at the same time they are proposing becoming more reliant on oil through offshore drilling.

  •  AS long as Crisis Capitalism (5+ / 0-)

    is what our economy is about and the government is owned by entities whose very purpose is to make profit any solution will only be aimed at keeping the same players and industries profitable. Our government is nothing more then an ATM for the various 'squids on humanities face' the ones that own the place.  Obama is not the problem or the solution, we the people are. This is our land let's take it back.

    'I'm taking my country back the vehicle I'm using is the Democratic party' Howard Dean

       

     

    •  Thanks so much for this. Music rocks! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, shaharazade, RLMiller

      "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

      by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:58:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My biggest hope since this tragedy started-- (3+ / 0-)

      that it stays RIGHT here as much as possible.

      If the winds shift, and it goes off course and suffocates the shores of Mexico, Cuba, or Central America--well, I don't know what I'll do, but it would be unfair.

      We need to suck this up, literally. These giant mosquito vampires are our responsibiity and ours alone!

      "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

      by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:06:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You can just hear those pumps. It's not a nice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RLMiller

      heartbeat in my opinion. Metal M-O-S-Q-U-I-T-O-S. That's what those things are, nothing more, nothing less. Just like mosquitos can be "good" because they're food, they can also disappear and at least 97% of species would thrive. You can save a spider; you can save a moth; you can save a rat; a mosquito--it must be killed, no mercy.

      "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

      by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:44:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Epic Environmental Fail (6+ / 0-)

    policy, triangulation, messaging, compromise. ALL Fail. Standard stuff for this right-wing administration.

    I did campaign on the public option, and I'm proud of it! Corporat Democrats will not get my vote, hence I will not vote.

    by Jazzenterprises on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:41:31 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for your continued leadership on this (5+ / 0-)

    FLMiller.

    We should do as you say for the people of New Orleans

    www.yesweSTILLcan.org

    by divineorder on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:42:10 AM PDT

  •  the bigger question (13+ / 0-)

    will this make obama reconsider the wisdom of co-opting failed republican ideas in the name of bipartisanship?

  •  How many more disasters will it take? (4+ / 0-)

    Photobucket

    And how big will those disasters have to be, to also prove that there is no such thing as "safe" nukes, or "clean" (or safe) coal?

    People need to remember that whatever Obama is able or willing to do, it will prove grossly inadequate, unless and until we have a substantially greater Progressive plurality in Congress, which is the Only way to "make" him do Anything.

    Right now, the Blue Dogs and Republicans retain sufficient plurality (just BARELY, people!) to block, delay and sabotage motion, on any given topic.

    That is not going to be changed by wishful thinking, heartfelt appeals, nor angst filled protests and demonstrations.  I'm not saying such efforts are necessarily absolutely futile...but just saying...unless and until it leads to increasing Democratic voter turnout, to more substantially seize the power in this country, the actual situation we now face is NOT going to change significantly enough.

    The present deplorable, unacceptable real politik will be substantially changed ONLY by electing more progressives, and fewer Blue Dogs and Republicans.

    Bring the Better Democrats!

    All Out for 2010 and 2012!

    "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

    by Radical def on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:50:56 AM PDT

  •  Oilpocalypse or oilmageddon? nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, Battle4Seattle, RLMiller

    I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. - Oliver Cromwell

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:55:55 AM PDT

    •  I posted a snarky diary on Thursday morning: (5+ / 0-)

      two Hollywood types contemplating science fiction solutions to shut off the oil, but realizing that there is no easy answer and thus they can't make "Oilpocalyse Now."  #oilpocalypse got picked up on Twitter and now is on Joe Romm's blog.  If I'd known it would go viral and if it would be this bad, I might have used "Oilmageddon."  Let's hope it doesn't come to that?

      Finally broke down, joined the twittering classes: RL_Miller

      by RLMiller on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:09:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The president doesn't seem too concerned. What (0+ / 0-)

        does he know that we don't?

        Obama, Leno Compete For Laughs Over Dinner
        by The Associated Press

        President Barack Obama offered a bit of wisdom to a ballroom filled with celebrities, political insiders and journalists: There are a few things in life harder to find and more important to keep than love.

        "Well, love and a birth certificate," he quipped at Saturday's black-tie White House Correspondents' Association dinner, poking fun at the so-called birther movement, which questions whether the president was born in the United States.

        "I happen to know that my approval ratings are still very high in the country of my birth," Obama joked.

        http://www.npr.org/...

        "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

        by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:28:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No really (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe

          He made a joke in a dinner for jokes What a crass man. Let's pile against him immediately

          Arizona is the meth lab of democracy

          by Iberian on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:27:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I really do respect this president in many ways. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm just suffering a real disconnect right now. This just doesn't work for me. From the above, thankfully not quoted, except the jab at Palin (which I don't actually resent--that's politics):

            But Republicans were the butt of many presidential punch lines . . . [who? In general or politicians?]

            Leno later picked up on the same theme, saying the president isn't as aloof as some critics claim.

            "He loves to socialize — health care, car companies," Leno said, naming industries where the Obama administration has intervened.

            If you can show me he didn't poke fun at the ordinary Republican citizen in the South, we can talk. I don't care if they voted for John McCain, damnit--that's their right as Americans.

            Causing others to laugh at the little guy (3/4 of the currently threatened states are majority Republicans--and I'm talking about the fishermen/oil drillers who died too), how do you think that feels?

            G.W. Bush might have gone over the top with some of his showmanship on September 11, 2001, maybe, but he was there on the rubble with the bullhorn in N.Y. pretty damn quick. He wasn't taking trips to the Midwest, kissing babies, talking to students, and entertaining the media. Yes, he failed during Katrina.

            I just don't think laughing at people and talking about how popular you are or aren't at this moment is appropriate.

            Yeah, I'm a little outraged that our waters are slicked with sludge. Sorry. But see my comment downthread--I am praying (and that means loving) this president each and every day. There aren't many piling on. Where are my minions?

            "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

            by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:47:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where did he do that? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Iberian

              What words?

              Causing others to laugh at the little guy (3/4 of the currently threatened states are majority Republicans--and I'm talking about the fishermen/oil drillers who died too), how do you think that feels?

              Legalism: strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit

              by Catte Nappe on Sun May 02, 2010 at 01:06:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Unfortunately, this journalist didn't share the (0+ / 0-)

                details.

                From above:

                But Republicans were the butt of many presidential punch lines . . . [who? In general or politicians?]

                "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

                by Battle4Seattle on Mon May 03, 2010 at 10:15:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Obama talks Oil Regulation (8+ / 0-)

    Rather than banning oil rigs - the Obama admin seems to be talking about REGULATING oil rigs to ensure their safety!

    Regulation is a good thing. If the rigs can't meet safety requirements, they can't be built, must be shut down.

    BP keeps being quoted as not having considered the possibility of a rig failure. Imagine that - no fail-safe, no cleanup plans.

    THAT may be the outcome of all this.

  •  Not as long as americans are addicted to the oil. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iberian

    Between birthers, deathers and mouth-breathers, the gop has got 'teh crazy' and 'teh stoopid' covered.

    by amk for obama on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:09:49 AM PDT

  •  Agree, but also need to add requirements (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iberian, RLMiller

    for existing leases, not just oppose new offshore drilling leases.  Need to have laws in place that are enforceable, require companies presently drilling in US waters to demonstrate that they have redundandant safety systems that will prevent and mitigate the consequences of such a accident or else.  IMO, if all emphasis is placed on preventing any new drilling and nothing to really enforce spill prevention requriements on existing leases, we will still be greatly at risk to another one of these without any new drilling.
    Just a thought.

  •  I feel like Obama is in the bubble. (5+ / 0-)

    The Goldman, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup bubble.

    The Exxon, BP, Dutch Royal Shell bubble.

    The UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Pfizer bubble.

    The Lockheed Marten, Boeing, Bechtel bubble.

    Good luck piercing it with a phone call to the VOLUNTEER white house phone line. Most of the time you can't even get through.

    •  Yes--we must understand this bubble. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman

      My first question to the president capped a trip full of firsts. The journey felt like a campaign swing. Obama toured a factory, kissed babies, rallied crowds and visited a family restaurant in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, for a slice of rhubarb pie.

      When the white-haired waitress at the restaurant offered to brew him a fresh pot of coffee, the president declined. "You can give me the old, gnarly piece of coffee," he told her.

      Traveling with the president is known as being in the "bubble." To me, it felt more like dominoes. People spend weeks meticulously placing each domino in the right spot. Once the first domino falls, the president, his staff and the media zoom from the airplane to the helicopters to motorcade to the rally to the town hall meeting.

      For all the sh*t people give journalists, including me, praise journalists! And I'm deadly serious. It gives you a seat in the bubble sometimes.

      http://www.npr.org/...

      "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

      by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:35:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bubble refers to security.. how they handle (0+ / 0-)
        the President's immediate environment.

        I would think.. Thats how security experts, bodyguards, etc. do it.. they have zones of increasing security..

        They have to check everything..

        FAKE STATE "SINGLE PAYER" THAT ISN'T SINGLE PAYER!
        WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT THEY CAN'T CUT COSTS

        by Andiamo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:26:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, if you are in the bubble, you are inside the (0+ / 0-)
          zone.. you are not an unknown outsider.. unknown should be seen as a potential threat.

          Its a simple, basic, important security concept..

          FAKE STATE "SINGLE PAYER" THAT ISN'T SINGLE PAYER!
          WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT THEY CAN'T CUT COSTS

          by Andiamo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:29:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I fell you are in the bubble (0+ / 0-)

      Hating on Obama no matter what bubble. Int he let's do nothing bubble.  

      Arizona is the meth lab of democracy

      by Iberian on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:24:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do I think he'll change his mind? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, Battle4Seattle, RLMiller

    I really don't know. Bad answer, but I can't really give any more detail. Reason is, because I'm not so sure why he opened it in the first place. Some say politics, and that it was to get conservatives on board with the climate change bill. I have serious doubts about that. Does he truly believe in it? That too strikes me as hard to believe as the overwhelming consensus is that the oil we have at our disposal is barely anything in terms of what we use. Not to even mention the fact of the EPA quote posted in the diarists diary above.

    So then what was the reason he opened it back up? Why is Mr. Gibbs seemingly defending it and pushing it forward? I really don't know. I see no good reason for it, and no reason that makes any sense.

    So will he change his mind, and can we make him? Until we can figure that reason out, I don't think anyone can give a good answer to either question.

    "I don't mean to sound vile, bitter or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out." - Bill Hicks

    by Moon Mop on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:15:52 AM PDT

  •  Obama's tone deafness on this issue is (6+ / 0-)

    Simply amazing. Watch the president's approval rating crater if he doesn't change his mind on off shore drilling quickly.

    •  Who's tone deaf (0+ / 0-)

      He has already changed his policy establishing a moratorium

      Arizona is the meth lab of democracy

      by Iberian on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:23:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They've explicitly kept drilling on the table (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Lyon, RLMiller

        Only promising to insure that it is safe, whatever that means.

        •  Without a moratorium on new drilling (0+ / 0-)
          until they figure out to stop this, it will happen again.

          I think they should not drill new ones until they KNOW they can prevent this happening again.

          The problem with corporate kleptocracy is that it is completeky amoral. They will say anything but if they can continue to rake in money until the next accident, they will.

          Obama should put an immediate freeze on all BP's assets in the United States and proceed on turning them into cash to reimburse the people affected if the spill results in the destruction of the Gulf Coast.

          Not give it to "friends" to steal in fake cleanup contracts..

          FAKE STATE "SINGLE PAYER" THAT ISN'T SINGLE PAYER!
          WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT THEY CAN'T CUT COSTS

          by Andiamo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:17:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Moratorium is temporary: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quagmiremonkey

        only long enough to inspect rigs and write a report (officially, 30 days, although it may take longer), then back to business as usual.  And, more importantly, he's not -- yet -- revoking his March 31 policy of a huge drilling expansion.

        Finally broke down, joined the twittering classes: RL_Miller

        by RLMiller on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:42:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  People have to put more pressure on him (0+ / 0-)
          He's basically in the corporate pocket, isn't it obvious?

          He is just a smart lawyer who pretends to be your friend.

          Its the way lawyers work.

          FAKE STATE "SINGLE PAYER" THAT ISN'T SINGLE PAYER!
          WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT THEY CAN'T CUT COSTS

          by Andiamo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:31:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  As an early Obama campaign supporter (8+ / 0-)

    going all the way back to late December of 2007 (I think), I strongly support President Obama's decision to stop offshore drilling, particularly in light of the tragic oil spill that seemed presciently timed. I've signed the Sierra Club and 350 petitions, written to the MMS, signed the other Sierra Club petition to my Governor as well from a previous diary, and believe Barack Obama is a good, smart, and ethical man who can only benefit from remembering the will of the people who elected him into office -- something he made no hay reminding us to do while on the campaign trail.

    He asked me to hold his feet to the fire and I can think of no matter more important to do that over than ecological concerns like this offshore drilling fiasco.

    America must simply reduce it's oil dependence. That is where our federal monies should be focused: on green alternatives and solutions.

    As an early supporter, I have the greatest admiration for the President and believe in his heart he wants to help this planet, not harm it. And thus I feel no compunction sending him clear signals about my support for his following the most just, ethical path for us all. I don't want him to hear only from lobbyists and spin doctors who exist to confuse and deceive him: I want him to also hear from those who truly respect and support him.

    Thanks for this diary. Tipped & Rec'd.

    I'm not so interested in the FDL petition, however, considering Jane Hamsher called me a pharmaceutical lobbyist once; that was really embarrassing for her and it's too bad she has never publicly admitted that, instead taking me for a tiny, expendable dupe in some sort of vast political game that I have no patience for. Her credibility is nill to me and signing her petition, I'd only worry about having my email information sold to someone unsavory in my book.

    But the Sierra Club? I think I've been a member since I was like 11. Great one! And I will write and call the White House tomorrow as well. Thanks for the action item :)

    "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

    by mahakali overdrive on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:25:53 AM PDT

    •  What decision to stop drilling? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      He merely promised that new drilling will be safe.

      It sounds as if you are saying that you trust him to to the right thing and that you will support him for that wisdom. It seems to be a circular path of logic that is incapable of observing or reacting to incompetence or corruption, which are quite humanly possible, given the stakes for industry and the President.

      He had 1.5 years to improve drilling safety and, despite being warned by his own scientists of the danger that we are now forced to witness, he only action was to start the process towards new wells. His response since the disaster (again, that he was warned could happen) has been to minimize and stay on course.

      Praise seems an odd response to this development.

  •  Maybe the visit to the Gulf and seeing the (6+ / 0-)

    disaster up close will make him change his mind.

    If not, then I don't know what hope there is.

    Join Our Countdown To Health Reform! Project I work with Progressive Congress Action Fund, a 501(c)4.

    by slinkerwink on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:28:30 AM PDT

  •  Slightly as an aside (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iberian

    Do you think there would be interest in some Kossacks going out there, meeting up and doing some work on clean-up?

    There are a lot of organizations now that are working on it

    http://www.tonic.com/...

  •  Thank you rlmiller for the link to MMS. I have (5+ / 0-)

    submitted my comment.  Imho, the security of America depends upon ending our addiction to oil, not increasing oil production.  If we do not stop this destruction of our environment, we are dooming future generations to the perils of a planet that can not support life as we know it.

  •  No, and No. (0+ / 0-)

    Obama knows if he changes his mind on oil, he'll lose the election AND the oil will come out anyway.

    The oil's coming out one way or another. I'd much rather it'd be while we're in charge and can attempt to regulate it then when they're in charge and get a "Drill baby drill. We'll take away ALL those pesky regulations!"

    Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

    by Whimsical on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:17:47 AM PDT

    •  Unintentional irony? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NC Blue, Battle4Seattle, RLMiller

      The oil's coming out one way or another

      Deep wells in deep water are at high risk of blowouts.

      look for my DK Greenroots diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:26:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Irrelevant. (0+ / 0-)

        The American public isn't going to stand for the oil being left in the ground. The higher gas prices rise, the more pressure will build until someone drills everywhere there's even a drop of oil.

        And yes, I know, that drilling does little to nothing to reduce gas prices; but I'm not your average voter.

        The oil is coming out whether we do it carefully or they do it recklessly.

        I'd prefer the former.

        Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

        by Whimsical on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:53:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •   Recession delays gentrification (0+ / 0-)
          Recession represents a reprieve for many folks..

          It lowers oil prices..so MILLIONS of people are probably getting a chance to stay in their cheap in-city apartments that they will lose in a moment if the economy was better and oil prices a bit higher.

          Its temporary, though, I hope they realize it.

          Save every penny..

          FAKE STATE "SINGLE PAYER" THAT ISN'T SINGLE PAYER!
          WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT THEY CAN'T CUT COSTS

          by Andiamo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 07:58:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Just curious--how many people posting (0+ / 0-)

    here are within 5 years of age of the president? Is he representative of what you own as your generation (in terms only of age)?

    "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

    by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:26:19 AM PDT

  •  Anyone have O's daily schedule handy? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm wondering when he's going to arrive and speak. I cannot turn on T.V. or radio. Please help.

    "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

    by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:30:07 AM PDT

  •  Presidnet Obama will likely change his mind... (4+ / 0-)

    ...the problem is that he is between a rock and a hard place. In fact, we are all between a rock and a hard place.  Climate Change is the rock, Peak Oil is the hard place.

    I strongly suspect that the Pentagon's report re: the rapidly approching Peak Oil crisis pushed Obama towards allowing the exploration of expanded offshore drilling.

    Switching to 100% renewables is technically and financially feasible, yet it gets harder and harder to do as the price of fossil fuels go up.  Once you reach the point where renewables become the main source of energy, it gets much easier, but if peak oil hits hard before then, then we are going to have some serious problems.

    I sincerely hope that the President accepts this oil spill crisis as an opportunity to push much harder for the implementation of renewables...a huge Public Works program for renewables would be good, financed by immediately reinstating the top marginal income tax rate that existed prior to the Reagan era.

    I'm pretty sure that this is our last chance to get it all done on time.  It would have been a much better chance if we had had a Gore Presidency instead of a Bush/Cheney/Oilmen Presidency, but that's history now and we better make the best of our current chance or the future will be harsh and unforgiving.

    •  I'm sorry, but, to me, these are all excuses. We (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue in NC, NC Blue

      do not need to be in two wars. The military uses 80% of the government's energy. End the wars, end the issue.

      "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

      by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:46:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We don't need to be in any. n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue in NC, Battle4Seattle
      •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

        Where did I say anything about wars??

        You sure you addressed the right comment?

        •  I agree with much of your comment in a way. (0+ / 0-)

          But you brought up this:

          I strongly suspect that the Pentagon's report re: the rapidly approching Peak Oil crisis pushed Obama towards allowing the exploration of expanded offshore drilling.

          "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

          by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:24:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and what... (0+ / 0-)

            ...does that have to do with wars in this context?

            That report commissioned by the Pentagon is actually one of the best assessments of the looming peak oil crisis and likely also plays a big role in the Pentagon's ever-increasing drive for renewables.

            •  Its all about control of the resource (0+ / 0-)
              You can't control the sun, yet. So, they aren't enthusiastic about the world becoming independent of oil. If that happens, all this work controlling Iraq and the Middle East will have been in a very great sense, a waste to them in terms of it not being sustainable control.

              I think this is really about control.

              (just like healthcare is really about control, controlling the people, controlling health, and preserving their lack of accountability.)

              FAKE STATE "SINGLE PAYER" THAT ISN'T SINGLE PAYER!
              WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT THEY CAN'T CUT COSTS

              by Andiamo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 07:18:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The genie is out of the bottle (0+ / 0-)

                in regards to solar the genie is out of the bottle. It does not require the amount of investment that centralized power from coal, bnukes, etc. does.

                But it is not the Pentagon that is scared of solar, it is the big power companies.

                And btw, the oil men are no longer in the Whitehouse, thus the Iraq withdrawal proceeding on schedule.

  •  This is all good.. but the oil is still flowing (0+ / 0-)

    R- Great diary, and i see you posted a comment in Innereye's diary about the size of the spill..

    And that's about where i am now, seeing that there is NO END IN SIGHT to this, i'm less concerned about the farther politics just now than the sick feeling in my stomach every second that oil is spewing out, and in the flying F--- we humans can stop this.

    I have to feel that the same holds to a degree for PresO and any decent person inside (and outside) our govt as well, right now.

  •  I'm sorry, do you want some attention from Obama? (0+ / 0-)

    Because he's a busy man you know. Those stand up routines for press and hollywood aren't going to deliver themselves.

    •  I have more sympathy for the president than you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, sebastianguy99

      can imagine. This is 100x more difficult to deal with than September 11, 2001. However, hopefully, he is not reading this blog right now. This information is to be used to move forward, regardless of what he says today.

      If you are reading, President Obama, I am praying for you, our country, and everything in it. Thank you for your service.

      "[K]now that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." -Barack Obama. As of 4/20/10: What does this quote mean?

      by Battle4Seattle on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:28:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Look to Norway (0+ / 0-)

    They have much tougher standards for oil wells, including requiring backup cutoff systems that can be activated remotely.  The BP oil well didn't have this kind of safety system.

    This should be required, and if it's expensive and makes the price of oil go up, tough cookies.  Free-market economics doesn't work when there are externalities, which is a fancy way of saying that a third party gets stuck with the bill.

  •  Comment sent to MMS - tipped & rec'd n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller

    Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students. - Berlioz

    by cwsmoke on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:33:20 PM PDT

  •  Offshore drilling isn't going away (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    This is an opportunity to better regulate offshore drilling, it will not kill it.

    People still envision, rightly or wrongly, that offshore drilling is part of a path to energy dependence and it's hard to say  we cannot pull safer drilling off when other nations can do so.

    As horrible as this spill is turning out to be, I don't see it causing our nation to take a sharp turn leftward in terms of energy policy without us out and making the case in a sustained and persuasive campaign. I know we absolutely will not see much change with the other side running things again.

    This spill is another Bush mess. It is a horrible example of what happens when the Republican are in charge. This election cycle should no longer be viewed as optional by Progressives.

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

    by sebastianguy99 on Sun May 02, 2010 at 01:02:46 PM PDT

  •  My letter to the MSS website (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller

    The unprecedented calamity resulting from the uncontrolled gush of oil from an offshore rig into the Gulf of Mexico; the previous record of less calamitous but still quite serious spills; the likelihood of further disasters; the lack of a countervailing compelling reason to engage in more offshore exploration, granted that the reserves that could be made available would not make a serious dent in U.S. energy demand; and the severe health and environmental effects of continued dependence on the polluting, greenhouse-gas-producing fuels derived from petroleum demonstrate the need to stop granting any more permits for offshore exploration and to phase out and safely cap current offshore rigs as soon as practicable.

    In place of further offshore drilling, more conservation, investment in non-polluting energy sources, and production of energy from unrecyclable solid and liquid waste are urgently needed.

  •  Bet he regrets it now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RLMiller

    And he should.

  •  This was probably a pre-condition of his (0+ / 0-)
    nomination, like fake health control.

    Maybe Cheney is still in there, running things?

    FAKE STATE "SINGLE PAYER" THAT ISN'T SINGLE PAYER!
    WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN, NOBODY OUT THEY CAN'T CUT COSTS

    by Andiamo on Sun May 02, 2010 at 07:04:36 PM PDT

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