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Friday, May 28, 2010


Donald Pay

When you inherit a federal government broken by 8 years of relentless Republican misrule, you can't expect miracles. The damage was done when offshore drilling was approved. Scientists had warned this spill was going to happen sooner or later, but the Republicans, and an unfortunate number of Democrats, just didn't have the ability to see beyond the petro dollars. When Cheney's energy bill failed in 2001, he went to work to "streamline" (corrupt) energy permitting process. Minerals Management Service and the permitting process was geared to shut out scientists in government and out who were raising questions about offshore oil. When you have yahoos in the Republican Party chanting "Drill, Baby, Drill!!!" you can't have a rational discussion. They're totally corrupt. Obama was making some progress on cleaning up this mess, but we now have the people responsible for this pointing fingers in the exact wrong direction.


Donald - I'm a little confused. Didn't Mr Obama just extend the rights to drill oil in the gulf a few weeks before this event? And didn't he and his cronies in the Democratic Party take an obscene amunt of money from big oil in the last campaign? Are politicians a slimy bunch of corrupt bottom feeders? Yes. Do the Republicans have a lock on that description while Democrats trod exclusively on high and hallowed moral ground? Don't be a fool.

I'm having a hard time understanding the rules when it comes to what constitutes an "environmental catastrophe". A hole breaks open in the ground at the hand of God sending nasty stuff ozzing to the surface killing lots of animals and we call it a natural wonder and create a museum where we can all gawk in awe at nature known as the La Brea Tar Pits.

man pokes a hole in the ground sending very similar nasty stuff to the surface and putting some animals in danger and that is a catastrophe. What is the difference? Is it the fact that the purpose for the hole was a profit motive? Does that create the distinction between wonders and catastrophes?


Donald: Just out of curiosity, how long does Obama have to be President before he has to take some responsibility for what is happening? As BillW points out, Obama wasn't "cleaning up this mess" before the oil spill. He was, quite sensibly in my view, talking about expanding offshore drilling.

But all that aside, there is no excuse for his not knowing what his own administration was doing, especially when it came to a top personnel decision like firing the head of the MMS.

Donald Pay

Once again, scientists have been saying that this sort of spill was going to happen, and that it would be impossible to clean up. That is why intelligent people supported no offshore drilling, and a turn toward alternatives. But we had the oil industry, nearly all Republican politicians (including all Republican administrations since Reagan) and a few Democrats resisting commonsense solutions to our energy problems since 1980. Obama has not led on energy policy,and his efforts are far too moderate. He kowtows to oil, coal and nuclear energy industries, but why does that make Republicans upset if it isn't that you're afraid he's eating into your money pot. You won't get me to argue that Obama has been out-front in solving these issues. He's been pitiful, but Republicans are totally corrupt and so, so much worse.


"Republicans are totally corrupt and so, so much worse"; "That is why intelligent people supported no offshore drilling"; "resisting commonsense solutions to our energy problems"

Oh to have the superior intelligence and common sense of a liberal; to see everything as simple; to believe that caring is more important than reality; to advocate solutions without having to deal with the realities of economics and world affairs; and to label everyone with a different opinion as ignorant, evil, or both.

Wuddya say, Donald, lets shut down the offshore rigs, join hands and all sing together ...

Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
Oh Lord, kumbaya ...

Donald Pay

Republican response to this spill is illustrative. There was very little concern by Republicans about the spill until about May 26. Before then you had the leader of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, pooh-poohing the spill in the manner of BillW above. (BillW, you need to read the latest Republican talking points.) C-Streeter Thunytoons didn't voice concerns about the spill or the government's response to the spill for over a month. Hmmm, I wonder what happened to spur all this new concern.

Oh, I happen to know what happened. In late May, it was becoming pretty clear that polling was showing the spill was having an effect on the Florida Senate race. Crist, an independent who has opposed offshore drilling, had pulled ahead of Rubio, the Republican who supports offshore oil drilling. Republicans, after saying for one month that the spill was no big deal and that it would be cleaned up by nature have finally come around to realizing it is a big deal.

Did the Republicans base their changing position on the well-establish science? Certainly not!!!! That would be totally out of character for the intellectually challenged Republican Party. No, they have taken their new stand based solely on polls and politics, and the realization that they had better tweak the decades-long slavery to the oil industry to make it look like Obama is responsible for this crisis.


Donald: you and I live in two different worlds. In your world, one side is totally corrupt. The other, flawed perhaps, but generally well-intentioned. In the world I live in, both sides are made up of pretty much the same kind of people with pretty much the same virtues and vices.

To be sure, the Republicans are looking to make political gains in this crisis. It has less to do with the Florida race, I think, than with the fact that the President is clearly vulnerable. See the post above. Likewise, the Obama Administration is trying very hard to limit the political damage. That was the point of the President's press conference. He told us nothing we didn't know. He was trying to look responsible and in charge to avoid a Katrina-like hit to his party at this point in the election cycle. He is every bit as much concerned with "polls and politics" as the opposition.

I don't believe that the Republican Party is, in general, "enslaved" by the oil industry. I do believe that the Democratic Party is certainly in indentured servitude to the Unions. But that is a matter of the arrangement of forces, not a sign of the moral superiority or inferiority of either party.


You say the "Republican response is illustrative"??? Isn't Mr Obama going on vacation this weekend - while the oil is still gushing? What exactly would you say that response illustrative of?
Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have yet to make an appearance or initate much of anything in the way of leadership on the issue.

Does that make them "intellectually challenged?, devoid of "common sense", not among the "intelligent people", a "slave to the oil industry", "totally corrupt", a "yahoo"? Oh yeah - you only hurl your childish insults at Republicans - and the harshest you can say about Obama is that he "has not been out front" in leading the effort.

Prett sad, I think when the best you can do is haul the ghost of Dick Cheney out of mothballs and beat him up for events a year and a half into the Democrat's watch.


Donald: I am very interested in knowing what it is that the Republicans are guilty of that makes them so much more corrupt than the Democrats.

What counts as corruption? Every immoral act, or just a certain kind? Do we count sex scandals or only financial crimes? How does one go about measuring such corruption? Is every kind of crime equally corrupt or is there a scale by which we measure each? Do we count up each scandal or do we base our judgments solely on feelings and vague perceptions?

Donald Pay

One need only scroll back the 40 days or so on this blog to understand how little the oil spill in the gulf figured in your set of priorities. Really, the only mention comes in a May 14 piece on energy policy generally, and then it all but pooh-poohs concerns about the oil spill and environmental impacts of fossil fuels in general. In fact, it criticizes the Kerry-Lieberman bill with language typical of decades of Republican obfuscation--that the bill doesn't provide enough subsidies to the coal, oil, gas and nuclear industries. It's great to have Republicans now understanding exactly what scientists have been warning about for decades, but I expect your concern will last about as long as you think you can generate some political gain. Then it will be back to supporting the people that pay ya'.

By the way, the Kerry-Lieberman bill is awful, but for the exact opposite reasons you give.

Donald Pay

Pardon me. There is another posting on the spill. Buried within a rather disjointed May 3 piece of general Obama-bashing there is this: "Likewise it isn't easy for the President to respond within hours to this kind of event. It was days before anyone knew how bad it was." Certainly that's a fair assessment, given that it is now known BP was providing wrong information for weeks regarding the rate of leaking oil.


Donald: your participation on this blog is welcome. I admire your spirit, if not always your jaundiced reasoning, and besides: you make me look moderate. But I have to take issue with one thing you say:

"I expect your concern will last about as long as you think you can generate some political gain. Then it will be back to supporting the people that pay ya'."

Who do you think "pays me"? I earn exactly nothing for doing this blog, and no one tells me what to write or not to write. Contrary to what you say, I have posted frequently on the environment and energy policy over the years. I have no love for or any kind of interest in oil companies. I like the idea of alternative energies sources. I think wind farms look pretty neat. But I also try to see things as they are. For the foreseeable future, we will continue to depend chiefly on fossil fuels for energy.

I also try to be fair. I wouldn't mind it if the political consequences of the BP spill should benefit Republicans over Democrats. But I also argued that this would probably be unfair to the President. You might try that kind of fairness sometimes. It would make your arguments more persuasive, even if you don't really mean it.

Donald Pay

Yup. I saw this one coming. Republican efforts to blame Obama for the Gulf oil spill can now be seen as a smokescreen for a renewed demand to "Drill, baby, drill." Governor Jindal has now given his blessing on the Republican oil fetish. He wants more deep sea drilling!! One thing you can count on is greed will overcome common sense every day of the week with your standard issue Republican. Just as long as Jindal can build his dredge islands, he can fake enough dumb people (Republicans) out that he knows what he's doing. Never mind that these berms will be washed away with the first tropical storm,

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