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berni_mccoy's Journal - Archives
Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion
Mon Dec 20th 2010, 02:12 PM
That triumph occurred over the weekend.

It was the repeal of DADT. This repeal will change more than just the military moving forward. It truly is an epic historical moment for America.

And yet, it's barely discussed on DU. It's certainly already off the front page. And of the handful of topics about the repeal of DADT, nearly all are negative.

In the not-so-distant past, this would have been a day of celebration at DU. Instead, it's right back to complaining about what Obama has or hasn't done.

What happened to this place?
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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Jul 04th 2010, 12:58 PM
I thought on this 4th of July, we might want to reflect on one of the founding father's, Thomas Jefferson's, thoughts on Compromise and Solidarity. As grantcart recently defined:

Solidarity Democrats

Solidarity Democrats feel that history has shown that real change comes when coalitions are built and some degree of party discipline facilitates passing actual legislation. Solidarity Democrats are more willing to make calculations to get 80% of a good bill than to wait and get a much better bill. They strongly support the President because he leads the party but also because in many ways he shares their opinion and approach. Solidarity Democrats have strong principles but feel that interim victories bring us closer to those principles, and are not a sell out. Solidarity Democrats strongest argument is based on the fact that the Senate requires not a super majority but a super-super majority where Senators from the 20 smallest states (and only 20% of the population) can effect a veto on all legislation. Solidarity Democrats therefore are not against compromises, as distasteful as they are, that split the harmony of the Republican Caucus. One big step today can be added on to make a big leap over time.

So, without further adieu, words of one of the first Democrats himself (more at: ) ...

Accepting Differences of Opinion

"We know too well the texture of the human mind, and the slipperiness of human reason, to consider differences of opinion otherwise than differences of form or feature. Integrity of views more than their soundness, is the basis of esteem." --Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799. ME 10:85

"I see too many proofs of the imperfection of human reason to entertain wonder or intolerance at any difference of opinion on any subject, and acquiesce in that difference as easily as on a difference of feature or form, experience having long taught me the reasonableness of mutual sacrifices of opinion among those who are to act together for any common object, and the expediency of doing what good we can when we cannot do all we would wish." --Thomas Jefferson to John Randolph, 1803. ME 10:436

"Differing on a particular question from those whom I knew to be of the same political principles with myself, and with whom I generally thought and acted, a consciousness of the fallibility of the human mind and of my own in particular, with a respect for the accumulated judgment of my friends, has induced me to suspect erroneous impressions in myself, to suppose my own opinion wrong, and to act with them on theirs. The want of this spirit of compromise, or of self-distrust, proudly but falsely called independence, is what gives some opponents victories which they could never obtain if these brethren could learn to respect the opinions of their friends more than of their enemies, and prevents many able and honest men from doing all the good they otherwise might do. These considerations... have often quieted my own conscience in voting and acting on the judgment of others against my own... All honest and prudent men should sacrifice a little of self-confidence, and... go with their friends, although they may sometimes think they are going wrong." --Thomas Jefferson to William Duane, 1811. ME 13:50

The Need to Compromise

"A government held together by the bands of reason only, requires much compromise of opinion." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Livingston, 1824. ME 16:25

"On no question can a perfect unanimity be hoped." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Inhabitants of Boston, 1808. ME 16:315

"Things even salutary should not be crammed down the throats of dissenting brethren, especially when they may be put into a form to be willingly swallowed." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Livingston, 1824. ME 16:25

"I respect the right of free opinion too much to urge an uneasy pressure of my own opinion on others. Time and advancing science will ripen us all in its course and reconcile all to wholesome and necessary changes." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1824. FE 10:320

"I see the necessity of sacrificing our opinions sometimes to the opinions of others for the sake of harmony." --Thomas Jefferson to Francis Eppes, 1790. FE 5:194

"It is for the happiness of those united in society to harmonize as much as possible in matters which they must of necessity transact together." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.VIII, 1782. ME 2:120

"People can never agree without some sacrifices." --Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1789. ME 7:334, Papers 15 8

"A great deal of indulgence is necessary to strengthen habits of harmony and fraternity." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Livingston, 1824. ME 16:25

"I will sacrifice everything but principle to procure harmony." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Adams, 1801. ME 10:251

"Every man cannot have his way in all things. If his opinion prevails at some times, he should acquiesce on seeing that of others preponderate at other times. Without this mutual disposition we are disjointed individuals, but not a society." --Thomas Jefferson to John Dickinson, 1801. FE 8 6

"In general, I think it necessary to give as well as take in a government like ours." --Thomas Jefferson to George Mason, 1790. ME 8:36

"He alone who walks strict and upright, and who, in matters of opinion, will be contented that others should be as free as himself and acquiesce when his opinion is freely overruled, will attain his object in the end." --Thomas Jefferson to Gideon Granger, 1804. ME 11:25

Maintaining Union

"Without union of action and effort in all its parts... no nation can be happy or safe." --Thomas Jefferson to James Sullivan, 1807. ME 11:236

"Union of opinion... gives to a nation the blessing of harmony and the benefit of all its strength." --Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Inaugural, 1805. ME 3:383

"To the principles of union I sacrifice all minor differences of opinion. These, like differences of face, are a law of our nature and should be viewed with the same tolerance." --Thomas Jefferson to William Duane, 1811. ME 13:67

"If to rid ourselves of the present rule of Massachusetts and Connecticut, we break the Union, will the evil stop there? Suppose the New England States alone cut off, will our natures be changed? Are we not men still to the south of that, and with all the passions of men. Immediately we shall see a Pennsylvania and a Virginia party arise in the residuary confederacy, and the public mind will be distracted with the same party spirit. What a game, too, will the one party have in their hands by eternally threatening the other that unless they do so and so, they will join their Northern neighbors. If we reduce our Union to Virginia and North Carolina, immediately the conflict will be established between the representatives of these two States, and they will end by breaking into their simple units. Seeing, therefore, that an association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry, seeing that we must have somebody to quarrel with, I had rather keep our New England associates for that purpose than to see our bickerings transferred to others... A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolved, and the people recovering their true sight, restoring their government to its true principles." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1798. ME 10:45

"It might have been made the interest of the western States to remain united with us, by managing their interests honestly and for their own good. But the moment we sacrifice their interests to our own, they will see it better to govern themselves." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1786. ME 6:10

"A reasonable disposition,... sensible that advantages are not all to be on one side, yielding what is just and liberal, is the more certain of obtaining liberality and justice." --Thomas Jefferson to Robert Walsh, 1818. ME 15:176
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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Jul 03rd 2010, 12:14 PM
As people head to the polls...

Some people, like my family, with PEC will be thinking how they finally can get affordable healthcare, hundreds of thousands of people who've never had health care before can now enroll.

Some will be driving to the polls in cars they could afford thanks to Cash for Clunkers.

Some might go to the poll after a day of work on a job that was created by the Recovery Act.

Others might go to the polls on road that was rebuilt by the Recovery Act and will pass a Recovery Project Sign as they go to vote.

Still more might use their local school as a polling center, a school that was recently expanded and improved by Recovery Act money.

Some will lock the doors on the new homes they bought with the Homebuyer's Assistance Program as they leave to go to the polls.

On the other hand...

They might remember how Republicans tried to kill the HCR bill and how we could have had an even better bill if they didn't work to kill it.

They'll recall how Minority Leader of the Republicans, Boehner said the recovery act was like trying to use "a Nuclear weapon to kill an ant".

Or they'll remember Rush saying the poor and unemployed can go Dumpster Diving for food, and that life for the poor was not that bad.

Or they'll remember Boehner saying again that we should raise the age for receiving Social Security to 70.

Or that not a single Republican voted for the Recovery Act, HCR, Cash for Clunkers or the Homebuyer's program.

Yes, people will have a lot on their mind this fall when they go to vote.
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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Jul 01st 2010, 12:52 PM

Presidential Scholars: Obama Is Our 15th Best President -- Bush Is In The Bottom Five

Where do presidential scholars rank Barack Obama and George W. Bush among their fellow U.S. presidents?

The answer may not surprise you: Obama comes in at number 15. Bush is 39th.

For the fifth time in a row, the 238 presidential scholars who participated in the Siena poll ranked Franklin D. Roosevelt as the number one president overall, with Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson rounding out the top five.

The poll also asks respondents to rank the presidents according to a few personality traits: "imagination, integrity, intelligence, luck, background, and being willing to take risks."

The responds ranked President Obama sixth for imagination, seventh for communication ability and eighth for intelligence. His history-making personal background ranked only 32nd (due to that elusive birth certificate, no doubt), leaving him in the 15th spot overall.

President Bush, who ranked number 23 overall in 2002, now finds himself 39th, putting him, for the first time ever, among the five worst presidents in American history. He's ranked 40th for imagination, 42nd for communication ability, and 42nd for intelligence. His own background is ranked 36th.

Bush joins such presidential luminaries Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding and Franklin Pierce in the bottom five, with Johnson taking the honor for worst president ever.

The strangest WTF part of this report is that Obama was ranked 32nd for his BACKGROUND?! I'd say it's one of his strengths! TPM cites his Birth Cirtificate issue as part of the problem. Simply incredible that birthers have had this kind of impact on perception.

Full rankings in PDF here:
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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Jun 30th 2010, 08:21 AM
Even though many necessary services and functions of government, like safe roads, emergency response, and schools, are indeed socialistic mechanisms, the right took to turning a good political concept into a bad word.

Then they did the same thing with the term Liberal. The right was successful in turning even the working man against his own advocacy by turning liberal into a bad word by tying it with big-spending and taxation even though the right was always the one to do the big spending and the left was always left with the massive problems left by the right to clean up. And even though Liberals rarely taxed the working man harder, and instead taxed the wealthy, the right was still successful in demonizing the word.

I find it now tragic that so-called progressives are demonizing another ideology that has been a cornerstone of liberalism and the Democratic party. And that is sensibility and practicality. Democrats have always used information to achieve policy, applying solid research into legislation to find out what approaches will actually work. We are the party that honors science and technology to be used to benefit everyone, not just the wealthy. And we've consistently governed with sensibility, practicality and compromise. I find it ironic that some who are pushing the idea that compromise, sensibility and concession are bad are the first ones that are saying we should be using these approaches with Americas enemies in order to establish peace over war. But to use this same approach with the other party or even factions within our own party in order to pass some of the most progressive legislation in a generation, well, that's simply not acceptable.

And to be one of those who supports this political approach, an approach that is tried and true and has been shown to work, especially with a party that is as large and diverse as the Democratic party, well, we just get to be made fun of and called names like "Chuckles". To those fellow liberals who choose to try to demonize us, I say this. You can demonize us if you want. But you can never control us, nor can you claim the banner of being the only "true" liberals. You have a different approach. That does not make it the only approach. It doesn't make you right. And you can never tell us to be quiet. Not when you try to demonize good Democrats.
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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Jun 29th 2010, 12:39 PM

I have just published a report by three statistics wizards showing, quite convincingly, that the weekly Research 2000 State of the Nation poll we ran the past year and a half was likely bunk.

Since the moment Mark Grebner, Michael Weissman, and Jonathan Weissman approached me, I took their concerns seriously and cooperated fully with their investigation. I also offered to run the results on Daily Kos provided that they 1) fully documented each claim in detail, 2) got that documentation peer reviewed by disinterested third parties, and 3) gave Research 2000 an opportunity to respond. By the end of last week, they had accomplished the first two items on that list. I held publication of the report until today, because I didn't want to partake in a cliche Friday Bad News Dump. This is serious business, and I wasn't going to bury it over a weekend.

We contracted with Research 2000 to conduct polling and to provide us with the results of their surveys. Based on the report of the statisticians, it's clear that we did not get what we paid for. We were defrauded by Research 2000, and while we don't know if some or all of the data was fabricated or manipulated beyond recognition, we know we can't trust it. Meanwhile, Research 2000 has refused to offer any explanation. Early in this process, I asked for and they offered to provide us with their raw data for independent analysis -- which could potentially exculpate them. That was two weeks ago, and despite repeated promises to provide us that data, Research 2000 ultimately refused to do so. At one point, they claimed they couldn't deliver them because their computers were down and they had to work out of a Kinkos office. Research 2000 was delivered a copy of the report early Monday morning, and though they quickly responded and promised a full response, once again the authors of the report heard nothing more.

Much more at the link. Now THAT is some naked honesty and bare transparency.
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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Jun 29th 2010, 12:19 PM
New poll from Gallup:

America does indeed want peace in Afghanistan. And they believe Obama's plan is the way to go.

Majority of Americans Favor Obama's Afghanistan Timetable

Opponents generally reject idea of setting any timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops

PRINCETON, NJ -- A majority of Americans (58%) favor President Barack Obama's timetable that calls for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan beginning in July 2011. Most of the 38% of Americans who are opposed reject the idea of setting any timetable rather than setting one with an earlier or later date.

Obama said the change in command would not signal a change in U.S. policy in Afghanistan. On Sunday at the G-20 summit, Obama reiterated that the July 2011 date would mark the beginning of withdrawal but that it would not mark the end of the U.S. military presence there, adding that the U.S. would be assisting the people of Afghanistan for "a long time to come."

Most Democrats, and the majority of independents, favor the timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops beginning in July of next year. Republicans, on the other hand, oppose it by a better than 2-to-1 margin.

Also from the poll, while 80% of Democrats also approve of Obama's timetable, 76% approve of his handling of Afghanistan overall.
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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion: Presidency
Thu Jun 24th 2010, 01:56 AM
It's primarily because Bush was incompetent. But after he put troops there and then allowed the Taliban and Al Qaeda to escape, the country destabilized and the situation degraded until President Obama took office.

If anyone knows why the Taliban and Al Qaeda should not be allowed to regain power there, it's Greg Mortenson, author of "Three Cups Of Tea" (see ). If you haven't read this book, you should. But one glance of his twitter feed tells you all you need to know why were are not going to make a hasty retreat from Afghanistan. From Mortenson's recent tweets:

Over three dozen Afghan H.S. girls poisoned by Taliban in Ghazni, on Saturday, June 12, now recovering in hospital:
4:23 AM Jun 13th via web
... Taliban poison students - Kunduz area. Never forget these brave girls in the fight of their lives for education & hope
11:03 AM Apr 27th via web

If you dig into each of these, you'll find the following:

Afghan schoolgirls rest at a hospital in Ghazni, eastern Afghanistan, Saturday, June 12, 2010. More than three dozen school girls were hospitalized after becoming ill from suspected poisoning at their high school in Ghazni. There have been similar cases of illnesses at schools around Afghanistan. Some suspect militants are spraying schools with poison gas because they oppose education for girls. (AP Photo/Rahmatullah Naikzad)

And here is a video of the 2nd story:

The Taliban and Al Qaeda know that education, especially of girls, is going to destroy them far faster than any guns or predator drones. They can't allow it and they have been waging war on education for some time now. And if you think Obama isn't listening to someone like Mortenson, you'd be wrong. Mortenson is required reading by all troops stationed in Afghanistan. From:

Mortenson is someone the military's top brass listens to — and has often consulted with. "Three Cups of Tea" has become required reading for U.S. commanders and troops deploying to Afghanistan, making Mortenson a valued but unofficial adviser to the Pentagon. Mortenson's follow-up book, "Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs," was released Monday.

'I now think the military gets it'
In an interview, Mortenson, a former U.S. Army medic and mountain climber from Bozeman, Mont., retracted earlier remarks that the U.S. Army were all “laptop warriors … who don’t have a clue what was going on locally, on the ground.” Now, he says, “despite a steep learning curve on the part of the U.S. military, I now think the military gets it.”

If you're wondering why Obama is only changing personnel and not policy with the recent events regarding McChrystal, well, it's because, I believe he feels it's the best way to defeat the Taliban and AQ. If we leave, the people there have little chance of achieving peace with books. They won't be allowed to read them.

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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Jun 23rd 2010, 06:09 PM

The dark areas are ocean peaking through the oil...

For a full sized image (very large) including surrounding area and ocean see: (click on the image at the link to see the large version)
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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Jun 23rd 2010, 12:24 PM
Would a corporatist...

- Create a new level of transparency in government that shines a light on revolving door between government workers and lobbyists? ( / )
- Put a pay-freeze on Senior White House officials? ( / )
- Restrict lobbyists from working in the government? ( / )
- Allow California to establish stricter emissions standards than the EPA? ( / )
- Enforce EISA of 2007 to raise MPG ratings of vehicles, including trucks and SUVs? ( / )
- Sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act? ( )
- Force Government Contractors to abide by Federal Employee Law and provide the same protections and rights as Federal Employees? ( / )
- Explicitly forbid previously charged wasteful expenditures to the government by contractors? ( / )
- Expand SCHIP to cover every uninsured child? ( / )
- Ensure the proper treatment of unions and labor agreements for large scale gov't paid construction projects? ( / )
- Save the economy with a $787 billion investment in main-street and infrastructure projects through the Recovery and Reinvestment Act ( )
- Sign the Kennedy Server America Act, which creates many new non-military ways to serve the country in order to help young people pay for school? ( )
- Sign the Mortgage Fraud Protection Act, a law which protects consumers against predatory lending and increases accountability in the financial industry? ( )
- Sign the Helping Families Save Their Home Act? ( )
- Sign the Credit Card Holder Bill Of Rights? ( : )
- Negotiate one of the largest reduction in Arms with Russia? ( )
- Initiate and Sign Cash for Clunkers, saving the auto industry by putting cash where it belongs: directly in the hands of the American people? ( / )
- Sign the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 which additional emergency unemployment compensation; extends the $8,000 First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit through April 30, 2010, increases from two to five preceding years the period for which businesses can offset net operation losses in 2008 and 2009 against income? ( )
- Help Veterans get back into the job market? ( )
- Create the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to crack down on financial fraud? ( )
- Crack down on improper payments to government contractors? ( )
- Create Labor-Management Forums To Improve Delivery of Government Services? ( )
- Create a comprehensive strategy for capturing and storing carbon? ( )
- Enlist the aid of Elizabeth Warren, head of Congressional Oversight committed on TARP, to help with financial reform? ( )
- Sign the HCR Bill that will provide health care to 30+ million more Americans and forever reform the Health Care Industry by ending practices such as recision and exclusions?
- Approve $30 billion for the Small Business Lending Fund? ( / )

Would a corporatist really do all that?

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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Jun 18th 2010, 08:53 AM
I've seen a lot of disinformation regarding the moratorium flying around. There are a few points everyone should remember. First, it's not a moratorium on drilling. It's a moratorium on deepwater wells. Secondly, it means that there will be no new deepwater wells drilled. It doesn't necessarily mean leases won't be approved, it doesn't mean plans won't be approved. It means that drilling operations won't be allowed to drill until the moratorium is lifted.

Most of the information comes directly from the White House itself.

As such, here are some key points covered directly by the White House:

1. What about these permits? From May 24th:
MS. BROWNER: There is. The President has said no new holes. Let me tell you what --

Q So what are these permits?

MS. BROWNER: So what the Times appears to be talking about are modifications to existing permits. It is quite routine where you’re currently drilling and you need to make a modification, you’ve encountered something that you didn’t anticipate, and so you go back in -- and it’s called a permit, but I think the better way to think about it is that it’s a modification to an existing permit.

There are -- in addition -- so there’s that going on. I think that’s what the Times is reporting on. There are 23 permits out there for new drilling activities that are not -- have not begun. So what the President said is we’re going to stop; those have been stopped. There were two that were issued shortly after the accident. Those have also been stopped. So all of the deepwater permits that were not currently drilling are not going forward at this point in time.

2. What about existing deepwater drilling operations in the gulf? From May 27th:

And four, we will suspend action on 33 deepwater exploratory wells currently being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.

3. What about these leases approved by the MMS in the gulf? Weren't they approved?
No, the leases were not approved, they were deemed acceptable. There has been no final sale on the pending leases in the Gulf, even though as late as June 11th, 448 bids were deemed acceptable.Secondly, even if a drilling company has a lease, it is not permission to drill. They must get a permit to drill once they have a lease. Secretary Salazar has cancelled the lease per a directive issued by President Obama. From May 27th :

To improve the safety of oil and gas development in federal waters, provide greater environmental protection and substantially reduce the risk of catastrophic events such as the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today called for aggressive new operating standards and requirements for offshore energy companies and ordered a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. He also canceled a pending lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico and a proposed lease sale off the coast of Virginia, and suspended proposed exploratory drilling in the Arctic.

Secretary Salazar said the Administration will continue to take a cautious approach in the Arctic and, in light of the need for additional information about spill risks and spill response capabilities, will postpone consideration of Shell’s proposal to drill up to five exploration wells in the Arctic this summer. In March, Secretary Salazar cancelled the remaining four lease sales in the 2007-2012 program that the previous Administration had scheduled for the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in the Arctic, and the President formally withdrew Alaska’s Bristol Bay from the oil and gas leasing program. The Department will make decisions about potential future lease sales in Alaska in the 2012-2017 OCS program based on public input, scientific analysis, and the results of on-going investigations and reviews into the BP oil spill. (For a link to a fact sheet on OCS policy, click here.)

The Secretary today also cancelled a proposed 2012 lease sale for offshore Virginia to allow additional consultations with the Department of Defense on military training requirements in the area, and canceled a lease sale for the Gulf of Mexico that was scheduled for August 2010. The findings of the Presidential Commission, environmental reviews, science-based analysis and public input will inform the Secretary’s decisions about whether to move forward with other leases sales in the Gulf of Mexico that are currently scheduled for 2011 and 2012, along with decisions about what areas in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic should be considered for inclusion in the 2012-2017 OCS program.

4. Even after new safety standards are put in place, won't drilling, especially deepwater drilling, still be too risky?
Yes. Obama admits this in his oval office address:

So one of the lessons we’ve learned from this spill is that we need better regulations, better safety standards, and better enforcement when it comes to offshore drilling. But a larger lesson is that no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk. After all, oil is a finite resource. We consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves. And that’s part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean -- because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.

So, what is Obama going to do about it? A better question is what are the American People going to do about it? Again, from Obama's address:

This is not some distant vision for America. The transition away from fossil fuels is going to take some time, but over the last year and a half, we’ve already taken unprecedented action to jumpstart the clean energy industry. As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels. Consumers are buying more efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their homes more energy-efficient. Scientists and researchers are discovering clean energy technologies that someday will lead to entire new industries.
None of this goes to the question of why not just stop drilling altogether

So, while the transition off of fossil fuels will take some time, The Obama Administration has made the largest investment in clean and renewable energy than any other administration in the history of the U.S. And they've only just begin. Some details on what they've done are here:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included more than $80 billion in clean energy investments that will jump-start our economy and build the clean energy jobs of tomorrow:
- $11 billion for a bigger, better, and smarter grid that will move renewable energy from the rural places it is produced to the cities where it is mostly used, as well as for 40 million smart meters to be deployed in American homes.
- $5 billion for low-income home weatherization projects.
- $4.5 billion to green federal buildings and cut our energy bill, saving taxpayers billions of dollars.
- $6.3 billion for state and local renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts.
- $600 million in green job training programs – $100 million to expand line worker training programs and $500 million for green workforce training.
- $2 billion in competitive grants to develop the next generation of batteries to store energy.

Increasing, for the first time in more than a decade, the fuel economy standards for Model Year 2011 for cars and trucks so they will get better mileage, saving drivers money and spurring companies to develop more innovative products.

The President issued a memorandum to the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances, like dishwashers and refrigerators. Through this step, over the next three decades, we’ll save twice the amount of energy produced by all the coal-fired power plants in America in any given year.

Supporting the first steps of a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide.

On Earth Day 2009, the President unveiled a program to develop the renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents. These regulations will enable, for the first time ever, the nation to tap into our ocean’s vast sustainable resources to generate clean energy in an environmentally sound and safe manner.

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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Jun 17th 2010, 10:50 AM
You're leaving DailyKos because of something some random person commented on in a diary. Something anyone with access to the Internet can take five minutes and do.

You're not upset with the diary, but a comment. A comment that has since been deleted.

You didn't like the speech, that's fine. Many didn't. And you're entitled to express that you didn't like it. You've earned the privilege to say what you want on your show.

But come on man. DailyKos has supported you through thick and thin. The vast majority of members have done wonderful things for you.

As one Kossack so eloquently puts it ( ):

I also know for a fact that when your father was ill, Mr. Oblermann this community showed you unfailing support and sincere concern and showered you with a real outpouring of love. If you don't remember, have your intern do a search of the kind things that were said to you here in thos difficult days. The record will show that this community "had your back" and the support outnumbered any criticism you have ever been given here by 1000 to 1.

One Kossack, Sara R, even gathered up scraps of cloth and sewed you a quilt to allow the community to share with you their most personal feelings of sorrow in the moment of your grief.

I know for a fact that she never asked you for "the check."

Grow a pair, sir. Man up. Toughen your hide a bit. You certainly can dish out the criticism yourself. Don't leave the most progressive site that has show tremendous support for both you and Rachel because one anonymous person made a comment you found offensive.
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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Jun 16th 2010, 10:16 PM
Believe it or not, this speech was not intended for Politicos or members of DU. It was intended for the average American, specifically a resident of the Gulf Coast. And according to at least one member, he hit the ball out of the park.


A reader writes:

For whatever it's worth, I'm a native of and currently live in Louisiana, about 20 miles outside of New Orleans. My dad is a Cajun river rat in the truest sense, born and raised in Southeastern Louisiana. His father's native language is Cajun French -- literally, he had to learn English as a boy. My dad has never fished commercially, but it defines his out-of-work, weekend persona -- it dominates his spare time. He often talks about a dream life living in a shack somewhere out in the marsh, fishing all day. He's a product of the cultural fabric of southeastern Louisiana.

My dad comes home from work these days depressed about the oil spill. He thinks about it all damn day, and, like many here, he has no shortage of outrage at everyone involved in this mess.
When Obama pivoted to his remarks about "The Blessing of the Fleet," my dad started crying.

He's not someone who is going to give you a nuanced opinion about politics or policy -- in fact, he's relatively apolitical -- but he knows what he knows.

Maureen Dowd can talk all she wants about these amorphous, nebulous standards like a "Clint Eastwood moment" or whatever, and Anderson Cooper is free to think he knows the people here better than anyone because he's been here for a few weeks, but Obama connected with my dad last night -- of that I can be sure. And trust me, my dad isn't exactly a pushover.

I have more trust in the sanity and common sense of Americans on this than many of my fellow pundits.

For a great breakdown of the speech, see:
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Posted by berni_mccoy in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Jun 16th 2010, 12:04 PM

The White House and BP tentatively agreed on Wednesday that the oil giant would create a $20 billion fund to pay claims for the worst oil spill in American history. The fund will be independently run by Kenneth Feinberg, the mediator who oversaw the 9/11 victims compensation fund, according to two people familiar with the deliberations.

The agreement was not final and was still being negotiated when President Obama and his top advisers met Wednesday morning with BP’s top executives and lawyers. The preliminary terms would give BP several years to deposit the full amount into the fund so it could better manage cash flow, maintain its financial viability and not scare off investors.

Obama delivers on one of his Oval Office Address points from last night.

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