Archive for April, 2010

Rush Limbaugh blaming Obama for oil rig disaster?

Rush Limbaugh will probably claim he was joking when he suggested that President Obama blew up the Gulf oil rig. But some of his “dittoheads” may believe him:

. . .but they’re going to send SWAT teams down there? He was going to send a SWAT team to the rig that blew up or are you going to send a SWAT team to other rigs? What’s going on here?. . .
I want to get back to the timing of the blowing up, the explosion out there in the Gulf of Mexico of this oil rig.  Since they’re sending SWAT teams down there now this changes the whole perspective of this.  Now, lest we forget, ladies and gentlemen, the carbon tax bill, cap and trade that was scheduled to be announced on Earth Day.  I remember that.  And then it was postponed for a couple of days later after Earth Day, and then of course immigration has now moved in front of it.  But this bill, the cap-and-trade bill, was strongly criticized by hardcore environmentalist wackos because it supposedly allowed more offshore drilling …

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Oil spill disaster keeps getting worse

The disastrous Gulf Oil spill may cause more damage than the Exxon Valdez calamity:

Migrating birds and those along the shoreline, nesting pelicans and even river otters and mink along Louisiana’s fragile islands and barrier marshes are the first in the path of a massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill that was starting to ooze ashore.

The leak from a blown-out well a mile underwater is five times bigger than first believed. Faint fingers of oily sheen were reaching the Mississippi River delta late Thursday, lapping the Louisiana shoreline in long, thin lines. Thicker oil was about five miles offshore. Officials have said they would do everything to keep the Mississippi River open to traffic.

The oil slick could become the nation’s worst environmental disaster in decades, threatening to eclipse even the Exxon Valdez in scope. It imperils hundreds of species of fish, birds and other wildlife along the Gulf Coast, one of the world’s richest seafood grounds, teeming with shrimp, oysters …

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Could the massive oil spill change Obama’s mind about drilling? It could, and it should

Could the massive — and growing — oil spill out in the Gulf of Mexico cause President Obama to rethink his plan to open up offshore drilling? Well, of course. Obama lives in a reality-based universe; his administration is not impervious to facts or to science. New information informs his judgements:

White House energy czar Carol Browner said the spill will be a factor as the administration evaluates future offshore drilling proposals. Ms. Browner said the spill will become a “point of debate” if Congress debates climate legislation containing proposals to allow more offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, a plan that has been opposed by environmental groups and some Florida political leaders
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that the future of President Obama’s proposal to allow expanded oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico could depend on the cause of the spill.

“The president’s announcement [allowing expanded drilling] was the beginning not the end …

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Are Republicans serious about repeal of health care law?

UPDATE:

The health insurance industry has decided to end its practice of cancelling claims once a patient gets sick next month, well before the new health care law would have required it, the industry’s chief spokesman said Wednesday.

“While many health plans already abide by the standards outlined in the new law, our community is committed to implementing the new standards in May 2010 to ensure that individuals and families will have greater peace of mind when purchasing coverage on their own,” AHIP president and chief executive Karen Ignagni said in a letter to top House Democrats.

Out on the campaign trail, Republicans are still talking about repealing the new health care law. But, in reality, Congressional Republicans are not rushing to actually do it. Conservative blogger David Weigel notes:

Hours after the House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) made good on a promise and introduced a short bill that would repeal the …

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Charlie Crist, the GOP and the curious refusal to compromise

The Republican Party’s civil war is about to get really interesting. Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist — a Republican who would be trounced in a GOP primary by tea party favorite Marco Rubio — is reportedly leaving his party to seek a post in the U.S. Senate as an independent. According to a Quinnipiac poll from last week, Crist could win a three-way race:

The newest Quinnipiac University poll shows Republican Marco Rubio with a 56-to-33 percent lead over Gov. Charlie Crist in the Republican U.S. Senate primary.

If Crist were to leave the GOP and run as a no-party candidate, the poll found him with a lead within the poll’s margin of error: 32 percent for Crist, 30 percent for Rubio and 24 percent for Kendrick Meek. That poll of 1,250 Florida voters had a 2.8 percent margin of error. The GOP poll of 497 voters had a 4.4 percent margin of error.

Crist has been, in effect, drummed out of his party for the sin of being a moderate. He endorsed John McCain. He accepted, with gratitude, funds …

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It’s time to give illegal workers a path to citizenship

WASHINGTON — An ambitious leader who tends to see opportunity in crisis, President Obama has been criticized, even by some supporters, for attempting to do too much too soon. But it took the Arizona controversy to force his administration to consider tackling comprehensive immigration reform before the mid-term elections.

With the electorate roiled by the recession and rattled by the deficit, Democrats are looking at significant losses in November. They’ve already been bruised by a vicious (but necessary) fight over health care, and they aren’t in the mood for another battle royale.

And, let’s face it, the debate over immigration reform will be contentious, protracted and polarized, uglier, in all likelihood, than the polemics over health care. After all, immigration raises the specter of race and ethnicity — subjects that don’t lend themselves to low-key, thoughtful discussion.

But those charged with responsibility for the public weal don’t always get to choose the most …

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The Democrats worry about young voters

President Obama was elected with the help of an enthusiastic turnout of young voters, many of them exercising the franchise for the first time. Charmed by a youthful candidate, excited by the prospect of a history-making election, they went to the polls in droves.

Now, Democrats are worried that those same voters won’t turn out for the mid-term elections:

Less than 24 hours after President Barack Obama announced his plan to re-build the coalition that helped elect him in 2008, new numbers from Gallup suggest one of the pillars of that foundation is decidedly shaky.

Less than one in four voters aged 18-29 described themselves as “very enthusiastic” about the 2010 midterm election. Those numbers compare unfavorably to voters between 50 and 64 (44 percent “very enthusiastic”), 65 and older (41 percent “very enthusiastic”) and 30 to 49 (32 percent “very enthusiastic”).

“The fact that voters under age 50 — and particularly those under 30 — are less enthusiastic about voting this …

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Tea party hypocrisy on Medicare and Social Security

Today, President Obama’s deficit spending commission meets for the first time. So here’s a little exercise for those of you who are serious about reducing government spending: What to do about Social Security and Medicare, which are enormously popular government programs that eat up a large portion of government dollars? (The average beneficiary gets back more than he/she paid in.) If you are a Medicare or Social Security recipient, are you prepared to give up some of your benefits?

Over at FrumForum, the conservative blog by David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, a young writer has noted the hypocrisy of tea party supporters, who say they want smaller government but want to keep entitlement programs:

As Republicans and conservatives have scrambled to rally the support of the Tea Party movement, many have failed to take notice of some of the important inconsistencies implicit in the Tea Party message.  A recent New York Times/CBS poll reveals some interesting …

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New Jersey’s Chris Christie has dizzying drop in the polls. It’s the economy, stupid

Just last November, Republican Chris Christie beat incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine to win the governor’s office in New Jersey, one of a handful of off-year elections that Republicans read as a repudiation of Obama and the Democratic Party.

I thought it was much more likely that voters were angry over the economy. And they’re now taking that anger out of Christie, whose approval rating is only 33 percent. That’s much lower than Obama’s approval rating, which still hovers near 50 percent:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been in office for just three months, and a new eyewitness news poll shows voters are not giving him any kind of a honeymoon as he presses for budget cuts.

Only 33% of New Jersey residents approve the job Christie is doing as governor.

Nearly twice the number, 63% disapprove.

The telephone poll by SurveyUSA has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.

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Will Republicans stand with Wall Street?

For now, Senate Republicans are standing united against Wall Street reform, demanding more negotiations. Democrats should be leery of that tactic since it’s the same one the GOP used on health care reform.
Did Republicans use the delay on health care to negotiate in good faith? Nope. Instead, they used it to whip up opposition to the measures.
Democrats should push ahead with stricter oversight on financial firms. They have the momentum on this issue:

But compared with congressional Republicans, Obama has a clear advantage. A slim majority – 52 percent – of all Americans says they trust Obama over the GOP on the issue, while 35 percent favor the Republicans in Congress. Independents prefer Obama 47 to 35 percent, with 16 percent trusting neither side on the issue.

In the poll, most Democrats back each of the three major elements of the reform legislation and most Republicans oppose them, echoing the congressional showdown expected this week.

The area with the highest levels of …

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