berni_mccoy's Journal - Archives
This list was compiled from the transcript available here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office...
1. The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster is the worst environmental disaster in American History.
The combination of the deepness of the well and the volume of oil make it uniquely challenging to solve.
2. The damage from this disaster will be economically and environmentally severe and will impact us for years to come.
Likewise the response will go on for as long as needed.
3. We expect to reduce the flow of oil by 90% in the coming weeks
....3.1 Relief well is still the only 100% solution... completion expected by August
....3.2 Energy Secretary Chu, a Nobel Prize winning Physicist, has led a technology innovation team to reduce flow until then
4. Cleanup has already begun
....4.1 Led by Admiral Allen
....4.2 Over 30,000 personnel are involved
....4.3 17 thousand more National Guard will be activated.
....4.4 5.5 million linear feet of boom have been deployed
....4.5 Construction approved to build barrier islands
....4.6 Millions of gallons of oil have been recovered or burned
....4.7 Oil on the shores is being cleaned up
....4.8 Claims are being processed
5. Despite all these efforts, damage is done and will continue
....5.1 President is personally meeting with BP to establish an independently controlled fund to pay for damages
....5.2 BP will not control fund
....5.3 Payments for economic and environmental damages will be paid from fund
6. Establishing a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan
....6.1 Led by Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus
....6.2 Plan will be designed by those impacted: states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists and other Gulf residents.
....6.3 Will be paid for by BP
7. This type of disaster must never happen again. Establishing new regulatory standards
....7.1 Current safety guidelines were not followed on BP Deepwater Horizon
....7.2 We will find out why, a National Commission has been established to find out why
....7.3 Commission will establish new standards to prevent this disaster
....7.4 Deepwater drilling has been stopped until we have answers
8. MMS is a failure
....8.1 Salazar did not do enough to fix the MMS
....8.2 MMS will be completely reorganized
....8.3 Influence of oil industry must be completely removed from oversight agencies
9. No matter how much oversight and regulation, Drilling for Oil is Risky. America needs a New Energy Initiative
....9.1 We must end our dependency on Fossil Fuels
....9.2 We've already made changes to reduce, but we must be bolder
....9.3 Everyone must participate in the transition from fossil fuels to Renewables
....9.4 America has made big changes in the past, they can make the change to stop using Fossil Fuels
In my opinion, for a 20-minute Oval Office Address to America, there is indeed a good bit of detail here. He covered all the bases and laid out the right road-map for moving forward. The big points: he lambasted MMS as a failure, called for a TVA-like organization with the Gulf Coast Recovery commission and issued a "Moon-shot" call with Renewable Energy and to end our use of Fossil Fuels.
Oh, wait, they don't:
Many more from "When the cold and detached president met the angry people":
“A name is a label, and as soon as there is a label, the ideas disappear and out comes label-worship and label-bashing, and instead of living by a theme of ideas, people begin dying for labels... and the last thing the world needs is another religion.” -- Richard Bach
When I grew up in the midwest, both my parents were union workers, members of UAW. I grew up in dairy country too, so from the time I was twelve until the time I was 16, I worked on farms, hard physical labor, during the summer. Money was very tight and if I wanted anything besides 2nd generation hand-me-downs to wear, well, I had to find the money for it. My family also was a believer in serving our country, three of four children serving, myself included, my father a lifetime service member and his father a World War II veteran. Since the day I could vote, there was only one mindset: Democratic.
I've been away from this site for some time as I've seen it become hostile to Democratic members. Members who have been here a very long time. Members like myself. I'm not a centrist Democrat. I'm not a progressive Democrat. I'm not an FDR Democrat. I'm just a Democrat. I believe in the principles of the party. Protect the workers. Scrutinize the corporations. Take care of the poor and the sick. The Military is for defense. Equality for all people, men, women, religious, anti-religious, gay and straight. Expose government corruption and operate the government as intended by the Constitution: by the people for the people.
The majority of hostility toward Democratic members centers around President Obama. It should have easily been foreseen that the first African American President would bring out strong feelings. The primaries were just a foreshadowing of what would come. Now, if one defends President Obama here, they are labelled, at best, as a centrist, at worse, well, I won't get into the labels that are put on his supporters here. But we are boxed in, tight, to be sure. Many, like me, have not felt safe expressing our opinions here as we choose to expose media bias and represent factual posts to counter some of the hyperbolic attacks aimed at President Obama. Are there valid criticisms? Absolutely. I have not agreed with every decision Obama has made. I did not approve of some of his appointees and I have serious issues with his policy on illegal drugs. I've seen valid criticisms put forth by long standing members here and I am fine with them.
But this site and it's mechanics are being used to abuse long-time members who have been staunch defenders of liberal ideology. And it has been used to divide us up and box us into categories... cheerleaders, haters, centrists, extremists, you name it. Everybody has been put into some box. It's driven serious fights between good members, to the point that some are banned and others abandon DU. The Admins have acknowledged that there are probably people paid to post, disrupt and organize attacks, but there is really no way to prove it unless they in some way expose themselves. I do believe that there are people who use Democratic Underground to attack liberals. Great posts, factual posts, get unrec'd into oblivian where baseless attacks on Obama will rise to the greatest page. It's not the big items, but there are many points that get buried, and over time, could make a difference to the general attitudes and mindset here. And as long standing member after long standing member is banned or abandons DU, the external influences become increasingly larger and more potent.
Just because members defend President Obama, his policies or his methods, does not make those members centrists, corporatists or anything else. It makes them supportive of Obama and the particular issues they defend. Obama isn't perfect. But he is one thing: A Democrat. Members who defended the resulting HCR legislation are far more likely to be Democrats with chronically sick children then they are to be insurance shills. And yet, that is what I've been labelled as here, even though, if you check my history on this site, I am anything but. But it's far easier to label someone you disagree with as something that is not like you, something that is less than you, simply because you don't agree with them. Democratic members have been dehumanized here because they support Obama.
I was moved to post this because I read something a friend of mine wrote. He said:
What's not okay, however, is the growing attempts to discredit and marginalize the democratic left. We are not “whack jobs” nor any of the other insulting names that are too often used by establishment democrats and others to describe us. We are, rather, Malcolm X Democrats, Martin Luther King Democrats, and Vine Deloria Democrats, among other good things. Our time, money and votes are good enough come election season. Our dollars aren't kept in separate accounts, our time spent at campaign headquarters has as many minutes per hour as anyone's, and our votes aren't tallied on separate ballot boxes. Establishment democrats need to respect that, and to respect our humanity.
I echo this sentiment strongly. But I would add that what also is not okay is the growing attempts to discredit and marginalize any Democrat, even those who choose to continue to support President Obama. We are as hard working for progress as anyone else here. We are as committed to the same principles as anyone else. We are as left as those who choose to disagree, or worse, attack President Obama. We, like President Obama, aren't perfect. But we are Democrats.
And that's not all...
Every day, the Administration is doing something in response to the BP Oil Disaster, and they are providing an update nearly every day of what is going on. But you won't hear it reported in the MSM, and sadly it isn't being talked about here.
For those interested in the facts, you can see what's been going on in this timeline summary of the response: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/05/05/...
The latest update:
Total response vessels: more than 1150
Containment boom deployed: more than 1.73 million feet
Containment boom available: more than 275,000 feet
Sorbent boom deployed: more than 730,000 feet
Sorbent boom available: more than 1.25 million feet
Total boom deployed: more than 2.46 million feet (regular plus sorbent boom)
Total boom available: more than 1.52 million feet (regular plus sorbent boom)
Oily water recovered: more than 10.24 million gallons
Surface dispersant used: approximately 685,000 gallons
Subsea dispersant used: approximately 100,000
Total dispersant used: approximately 785,000
Dispersant available: more than 340,000 gallons
Overall personnel responding: more than 22,000
Furthermore, the Admin has overseen that BP has paid out more than $27 million in damage claims. No claims have been denied so far and assessors have been deployed to the region.
I'm tired of hearing on this site how the Admin is doing nothing in response. The fact is they are, and they are doing quite a bit. They aren't just sitting around waiting for BP to stop the oil gushing out. They are actively cleaning it up now and working with BP on solutions to stop it while holding BP accountable for damages and the cost of the cleanup.
It may not quite be "Frankenstein," but for the first time scientists have created an organism controlled by completely human-made DNA.
Using the tools of synthetic biology, scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute installed a completely artificial genome inside a host cell without DNA. Like the bolt of lightning that awakened Frankenstein, the new genome invigorated the host cell, which began to grow and reproduce, albeit with a few problems.
"This is the first synthetic cell that's been made," said Venter. "We call it synthetic because the cell is totally derived from a synthetic chromosome, made with four bottles of chemicals on a chemical synthesizer, starting with information in a computer."
"Blue colonies indicate a successfully transplanted genome in bacteria."
I dunno... looks like the bright blue eyes of the FSM.
Markey to Get Live Feed of BP Oil Spill on Website
BP Acquiesces to Markey’s Request, Will Release Video Stream Tonight to Chairman
May 19, 2010 – Following a demand from Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) for a live feed of the BP oil spill to be made publicly available on the web, BP said they would release the feed and it will be shown on Rep. Markey’s committee website at www.globalwarming.house.gov . The release of the live link to Rep. Markey is expected tonight.
“This may be BP’s footage, but it’s America’s ocean. Now anyone will be able to see the real-time effects the BP spill is having on our ocean,” said Rep. Markey, who conducted a briefing today with independent scientists where he reiterated the call for a video feed. “This footage will aid analysis by independent scientists blocked by BP from coming to see the spill.”
Markey sent letters earlier today to BP America’s CEO Lamar McKay asking for the footage to be made public on BP’s website. If BP could not host the footage, Rep. Markey offered to host it on his website free of charge.
“BP is going to have to pay for the cleanup of this spill and the long-term damage. Hosting this video on our website is the only freebie they’re going to get,” Rep. Markey said.
The letter sent to McKay today can be found here (http://globalwarming.house.gov/files/LTTR/... ).
Rep. Markey has frequently queried BP for more information on the exact size of the spill and on their refusal to engage with outside scientists. Independent scientists have examined video, satellite photos and other aspects of the spill and determined that it may be much bigger than estimated. Today at a briefing Rep. Markey held in his Energy and Environment Subcommittee, independent scientists from Purdue University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said that the estimate of a 5,000 barrel per day leak was an underestimation of the flow. The scientists said with more data, they could better calculate the flow of oil from the sea floor.
"This is 4th grade math. We know the numerator here—the couple thousand barrels a day BP is siphoning out of the sunken pipe. But we still don’t know the denominator," said Rep. Markey. "BP is capturing a fraction of the oil, but they don’t know what that fraction is. By releasing this video, we’ve taken the first step towards allowing better access to the information BP has about this spill."
This is the kind of behind-the-scenes work that is being done by Democrats and the Obama Administration to get BP to do the right thing.
"This is a big night for people who really want Washington to be a change agent," Dean said, adding the results show a "backlash" against both parties in official Washington. Dean, also former governor of Vermont and a 2004 presidential candidate, said he views Jack Conway as the progressive choice in Kentucky and said Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's forcing of a runoff in Arkansas proves that candidates on the left can prevail.
At the same time, Dean thinks Sestak is a Democrat in the mold of Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) -- a centrist who was elected in 2006 in part thanks to online progressives supporting and funding his candidacy until it attracted national attention. "New progressives are the old centrists. Conway and Sestak will be pretty damn appealing to the middle of the road," Dean said. "Joe is a bit of an iconoclast and that's what you want in a race like this. Joe is a centrist with conviction politics."
Do we really need to start labelling people, fellow DUers, and others as to what kind of Democrat they are?
Specter was no Democrat. He was a converted Republican for the sake of political survival.
Self-proclaimed Progressives here at DU I think would not like to refer to themselves as Progressives if they truly understood where the Progressive movement came from: The CENTER.
Twenty-three days after the explosion and under pressure from the White House and the media, BP today finally released a thirty second underwater video of the oil from its broken well spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.
"In this case, the Coast Guard encouraged BP to make (the) video responsive to requests available to the press and today they did," the Coast Guard said in a statement to ABC News.
But control of the video, and its powerful images, remained in the hands of BP, under rules agreed to by federal officials over the last several years.
The recent report by the Center for Biological Diversity that the Obama Administration has APPROVED 27 new Offshore Oil Rigs is factually 100% wrong.
They site their source of the Minerals Management Service (http://www.mms.gov /).
However, if you go to the list of Offshore Rig applications and do a search by date (http://www.gomr.mms.gov/homepg/offshore/Pl... ) using April 20th as the start date, you do get 27 applications. But these are submitted applications, *not* APPROVED applications. I've included a screen cap of what the results look like:
There are 4 approved applications in the list (see the "A" values in the "Plan Final Code Action" column).
What are these 4 approved applications for? The "EP" value in the plan type indicates an "Exploration Plan". No rig, just a plan to explore.
Are these 4 applications new? No, each one is a Revision to an existing approved plan (see the "R" value in the Plan Control Code column). These were exploratory plans *before* the disaster with revisions to the original plans.
FACT: No new off-shore drilling has been approved.
The recent violence in Iraq stems from the recent election in March where the incumbent Prime Minister al-Maliki's political party lost 91 seats in the parliament. When these new lawmakers are seated, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi will once again be elected as Prime Minister.
The current violence in Iraq is not directed at the U.S. troops there. It is politically driven. As noted by the British paper, The Gaurdian:
The latest bomb highlights how sectarian tensions are rising, as al-Qaida fighters in Iraq and affiliated Sunni extremists have mounted bombing campaigns and assassinations around the country.
The violence is seen as an attempt to intimidate all sides of the political spectrum and press home the message to the departing US forces that militancy remains a formidable foe.
Why is this important? Al-Qaida is working with Sunni extremists and politics in Iraq is largely based in religious divisions. While both al-Maliki and Allawi are Shia, Maliki solidified support from the Shia bloc and excluded Allawi, who as a result, turned to the Sunnis to gain power as a cross-sectarian candidate.
Why does this matter a hill-o-beans to the U.S. and why should it cause a delay in our withdraw? After all, U.S forces are largely confined to their bases and U.S. patrols are greatly reduced.
As noted from the article:
Earlier this week, Allawi warned that the departing US troops had an obligation enshrined in the security agreement and at the United Nations security council to safeguard Iraq's democratic process. He warned of catastrophic consequences if the occupation ended with Iraq still politically unstable.
That is, the U.S. has a binding obligation via the U.N. Security council to ensure the transition from al-Maliki to Allawi is made once the new lawmakers are seated. And Allawi is going to hold us to that obligation.
Harvard Law Professor at HuffPo destroys the hiring practice myth.
The Media Jabs Are Unfair, Kagan Will Fight for Equality on the Court
Michael R. Klein Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Elena Kagan's nomination for a place on the Supreme Court should be welcomed enthusiastically by those who are especially concerned with advancing the cause of racial justice in America. She is knowledgeable about the history of our nation's racial problems and committed to a vision of racial inclusiveness that reflects the best of our national traditions. I say this on the basis of an acquaintanceship with Kagan that dates back almost twenty-five years.
She was in one of the first classes on race relations law that I taught at Harvard Law school. I recall vividly that she was an outstanding student -- so much so that I recommended her with superlatives to my former boss Justice Thurgood Marshall. I thought that she would be an excellent clerk for him partly because she was so able analytically and also because her quiet but passionate commitment to equality before the law would fit in so well with "Mr. Civil Rights." I was delighted when Justice Marshall offered her the clerkship and was unsurprised later when the Justice told me that her work for him had been exemplary.
First, it is mistaken to suggest, as some have, that the Dean of Harvard Law School is responsible for all that happens or does not happen with respect to hiring. The Dean is the single most influential member of the faculty. One does not get hired at the law school without the Dean's blessing. At the same time, the Dean does not have the power on her own to hire someone to the faculty. To be hired, a candidate must receive at least a majority, usually a super-majority, of votes. The Dean can seek to persuade, but the Dean at Harvard Law School cannot force professors to move when it comes to faculty hiring, traditionally the most contentious arena of struggle at a famously contentious institution.
Excellent, excellent post at Kos on this most recent topic to divide the left. Also this diary is very timely to go hand-in-hand with Skinner's recent post on expectations and grantcart's post on diversity yesterday.
The Problem With Elena Kagan Is That She's Not You
The Problem With Elena Kagan Is That She's Not You
Wed May 12, 2010 at 10:36:40 AM PDT
This diary isn't addressed to anyone in particular - there have been relatively thoughtful diaries expressing concerns about this or that in her record, and I'm sure the most cogent of those concerns will be addressed in the confirmation hearings. But ultimately, I agree with Cenk Uygur that the problem with Elena Kagan is the same as that with Barack Obama: Neither is Cenk Uygur. Or, speaking more generally, neither is you (whoever you happen to be). You, the paragon of liberal virtue, repository of all knowledge and oracle of progressive political wisdom, have been impiously blasphemed again and again by the failure of the political establishment to do exactly what you would do in their place.
They have failed to act in their capacity - as defined by you - of being your personal agents in Washington, and instead acting as if they have minds of their own, and have to represent other people as well. It's almost as if they believe they're human beings in a society of other human beings, trying to do a job with many interlocking and occasionally interfering responsibilities. Where do they get such crazy ideas?
A President of the United States who went to Harvard Law School on his own merit and taught law at the University of Chicago must be off his rocker to think he knows the difference between a good potential Supreme Court Justice and just some random person wandering the halls of the Justice Department. I mean, sure he might get lucky and accidentally nominate the right person - hopefully you, or someone who is exactly like you - but more likely than not, he would nominate someone who at some time said something you disagree with: A grievous offense against all that is righteous and holy - aka, you.
Much more goodness at the link.
Edited to add link.
Ok, I don't trust the source, Politico, but this seems like a smartly done report.
Elena Kagan is not a lesbian, one of her best friends told POLITICO Tuesday night, responding to persistent rumors and innuendo about the Supreme Court nominee’s personal life.
“I’ve known her for most of her adult life and I know she’s straight,” said Sarah Walzer, Kagan’s roommate in law school and a close friend since then. “She dated men when we were in law school, we talked about men -- who in our class was cute, who she would like to date, all of those things. She definitely dated when she was in D.C. after law school, when she was in Chicago – and she just didn’t find the right person.”
Another friend, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, a member of Kagan’s social circle at Princeton University, wanted to make the same point as Walzer. “I did not go out with her, but other guys did,” he said in an email Tuesday night. “I don't think it is my place to say more.”
More details at the link.
Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement on the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan by President Obama to serve as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court:
“With the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, President Obama has chosen a candidate who will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Solicitor General Kagan's outstanding service as a lawyer, professor, public servant, and administrator prepares her for this challenge, and she will come to the bench with a deep knowledge of the law and respect for all individuals.
"If confirmed, Elena Kagan's appointment will mean that for the first time in history, three women will sit on the bench of the Supreme Court.
"I look forward to Elena Kagan's timely confirmation by the United States Senate."
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
Use the tools below to keep track of updates to this Journal.
Today's Featured Forums