From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...
The Week Ahead:
Monday: Congress returns from recess. First thing on their agenda: nappytime.
A report on the April mating habits of the species homo sapiens and creditcardus whipitoutimus is released. As usual, results will show the former getting screwed by the latter.
President Obama calmly bur firmly says BP isn’t doing enough in the Gulf, and gets savaged by editorial boards for not being angry enough.
Tuesday: In hot voter-on-voting-booth action, Blanche Lincoln's corporate masters sweat c-notes as they wait to see if she can beat back a challenge by Bill Halter in Arkansas. Everybody say it together: "Bill! Halt her!" Now laugh like you just said something clever. Because you have!
Maine's gubernatorial primaries, in which 62 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of Republicans are currently undecided, will result in a November face-off between Gladys Notsure and Hiram Dontknow.
In California, GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman spends nearly $100 million to get her message to the masses: "I feel your pain. But I'll pay my private doctor whatever cash he needs to make it go away quickly." And in Nevada, the big winner from the loon-heavy GOP senate primary will be: Democrat Harry Reid.
President Obama loads an 18-wheeler with tarballs from Florida beaches, dumps 'em in front of BP's U.S. headquarters in Houston, and gets savaged by editorial boards for being too angry.
Wednesday: The House Budget Committee grills Ben Bernanke about the state of the economy. By the time he finishes, Wall Street will have peed its pants out of either fear or jubilation. Either way the trading-floor janitor's mop is gonna get a workout.
The Commerce Department issues its report on April wholesale inventory levels. Biggest mover: products laced with cadmium
President Obama expresses regret for what he did with the semi full of tarballs, and gets savaged by editorial boards for not being angry enough.
Thursday: Secretary of Energy Steven Chu outlines his plans for the future of energy in America. Step 1: Plug the damn hole. Step 2: See step one.
The Labor department releases the week's jobless-claim numbers. As expected, they defy expectations.
President Obama lifts a Buick, throws it at BP CEO Tony Hayward, and is savaged by editorial boards for being too angry.
Friday: The Commerce Department releases retail sales figures for May. Biggest mover: Acme cadmium-laced-product-recall forms.
The University of Michigan releases its consumer confidence index for June. A glimmer of hope emerges as Americans move from "#!$&!!!" to "#!$&!!"
President Obama invites Tony Hayward for a "Guinness Ale Summit" at the White House, where he apologizes for throwing a Buick at him and then stuffs him in his backyard basketball hoop. Editorial-board heads explode.
Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Four states in the Midwest/West hold primaries tomorrow: Montana, Nevada and the Dakotas. Let?s take a look at some of the key races and candidates in each.
Montana. Montana is an historically progressive western state that in recent years was depicted as one of the proving grounds for a new Democratic majority. Bill Clinton actually carried it in 1992, Democrat Brian Schweitzer attracted a lot of attention with his gubernatorial victory in 2004, and Barack Obama came close to swinging it back into the blue column in 2008. (It was also one of the five states I visited and focused on in Whistling.) Montana also played host to the dramatic saga of then-Senator Conrad Burns, who eventually lost his seat in 2006 to liberal netroots darling Jon Tester.
But this year Montana is largely out of the national conversation. This is the one federal cycle every 12 years when neither of the state?s two Senate seats, nor the governor?s office, is on the ballot. As the Great Falls Tribune reports, tomorrow?s primary outcomes may have the most impact on the state legislature. The only notable federal race tomorrow is the Democratic primary to see who will face Republican Denny Rehberg, the state?s at-large congressman. But Rehberg, despite a recent boating accident, is pretty safe, and he has raised more cash than all of his potential Democratic opponents combined. For more on the crowded Democratic primary field, I recommend this guest post over at DailyKos.
Nevada. This small state may provide the biggest story lines of the 2010 cycle. If Democrat Harry Reid loses his seat, and thus his majority leader?s position, that will be the big national story of the night. Reid's saving grace may be that the Republicans seem poised to nominate surging tea partier Sharron Angle to face Reid in November--even though the same Las Vegas Review-Journal poll showing Angle in the lead also confirms that Danny Tarkanian (yes, son of former UNLV coach) would be more competitive in the general against Reid. If Angle wins tomorrow, this race becomes a big, big, big, big national battle with all sorts of implications, and will be a major focus this November--regardless of outcome.
But in the Silver State, which Republicans had dominated in recent presidential elections until Obama beat John McCain rather comfortably in 2008, Harry may not be the only Reid on the fall ballot: His son Rory is the favorite to win the Democratic nomination for governor tomorrow. Presuming he wins tomorrow, the younger Reid will face either embattled, scandal-plagued Republican incumbent Jim Gibbons or, more likely, Republican Attorney General Brian Sandoval, who in recent polls enjoys a double-digit lead over Gibbons.
And so, while the Silver State?s senate race may provide the single biggest national storyline of Election 2010 (if H.Reid loses, that is, and especially if he loses to Angle), the governor?s race is also rather compelling. (Almost...in terms of pure sizzle, a match-up between a tea party favorite and the senate majority leader is virtually impossible to beat.) Incidentally, presuming Sandoval wins?which would be the wise choice for Nevada Republicans, given that Reid polls well in a potential match-up with Gibbons?Sandoval will join Susana Martinez as the second Latino Republican in consecutive weeks to be nominated for governor by the Republicans, signaling that they recognize the power of Latino votes in the southwest.
As for a Reid-Sandoval final this November, that could be fun because father Harry?s name on the ballot could seriously complicate matters for the son, who will undoubtedly have a tough fight against the young, attractive state attorney general. Polls suggest that Sandoval should be the favorite; although Reid has outraised Sandoval overall, they?ve raised the same amount since January.
South Dakota. Popular incumbent Republican Gov. Mike Rounds is term-limited, and with at-large Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin not running, Larry Sabato ranks this a likely hold for the GOP. Which means the key contest tomorrow is the Republican primary between Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard and state senator Dave Knudson. Though Daugaard is the favorite and has the stronger numbers over expected Democratic nominee Scott Heidepriem, Knudson is surging in the late stages of this primary contest; he received the endorsement of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader yesterday. If Daugaard holds off Knudson, watch for the Daugaard-Heidepriem general election to be the contest with the most name misspells this cycle.
North Dakota. If, as Nate projects (see rankings, left), North Dakota is a certain pickup for Republicans in the wake of Democrat Byron Dorgan's retirement, the real question there is not so much whether John Hoeven, the state's popular governor, will win the open Senate seat, but by how much. So, there's not much more to say about ND than, "Congrats nominee-to-be and Senator-elect Hoeven."
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Crossposted from the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet. This is the fourth in a five-part series of my visit with the Ecumenical Association for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural...visit us at www.borderjumpers.org[...]
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After two members of Congress cited OSHA's letter citing BP's "general systemic failure" to protect workers, OSHA did an about-face and lined up to protect BP. What's going on?[...]
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The oil spill in the gulf continues to create a tectonic shift in public opinion over offshore[...]
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I don't understand how they can scream that unemployment is too high (it is, I'll give 'em that) in one breath, then turn around in the next one and denounce a government action that saved one in seven American jobs.
Huh? How can that be? How can they hold both of those positions simultaneously without having a cerebral hemorrhage?
That unarticulated partisan rage is on display in Nevada as early voting for Tuesday's primary is underway and republicans are doubling down on the crazy and backing Sharon Angel. Let's just put it this way...Sue "chickens for checkups" Lowden looks moderate and reasonable in comparrison.
Elevator technician David Shurtliff, 48, strolled out of an early voting station at the Clark County Government Center the other day, happy to proclaim whom he voted for in Tuesday's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate: "Not Harry Reid, that's who!"
Nevada Republicans are seeking the Not Harry Reid vote with a vengeance this year as they attempt to dethrone the powerful Senate majority leader by portraying the four-term incumbent as a deal-making Washington insider.
But someone other than his Republican rivals may benefit Tuesday from the anti-Harry Reid movement: Harry Reid. In their zeal for a third big win this spring after victories in Utah and Kentucky, "tea party" groups are lining up behind the most uncompromising GOP candidate they see: Sharron Angle, a former state assemblywoman with steadfast views against taxes and government spending. She has led a 12-person pack in recent polling.
But by backing someone who many times was the lone "no" vote in the Nevada assembly, these groups may be handing Reid the candidate he can most easily beat.
And Harry Reid, whose political career was written off as over by the pundit class as recently as two months ago, is pulling for Angel at least as hard as the tea partiers are, because to beat her he won't even have to break a sweat. Especially when he reminds Nevadans just how extreme she is, and that she wants to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, a position they hate and she backs.
Yes, she seems to be Rand Paul in a skirt. And that is a good thing. Because watching Rand "Not ready for prime time" Paul in the aftermath of his primary victory makes me think of a dog that chases cars and manages to catch one.
Now you've caught it, what the hell are you going to do?
And don't mind me, I'll just be over here pointing and laughing while you figure it out.
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Media figures have advanced a long line of inane historical analogies to attack the Obama administration, characterizing the Gulf oil spill -- and a wide range of other events -- as Obama's Katrina and searching for Obama's Watergate, Obama's 9-11, and Obama's Waterloo, among others.
Limbaugh: BP oil spill in Gulf is Obama's Katrina. During the April 30 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh referred to the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as "Obama's Katrina," absurdly comparing the Obama administration's response to the spill to the Bush administration's botched response after Hurricane Katrina, a hurricane that left more than 1,500 dead. Limbaugh added, "That damn oil slick just got in the way. So he had to give some lip service to the oil slick. 'It's all British Petroleum's fault. They gotta clean it up. I'm sending some czars down there.' "
Right-wing media enthusiastically adopted Obama's Katrina talking point. Among other media outlets that promoted the claim that the oil spill is "Obama's Katrina" were Fox Nation, Big Bureaucracy, The Washington Times, the Drudge Report, and the Boston Herald.
Hannity continued pushing discredited Obama's Katrina talking point. On the May 7 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity said the Gulf spill has "been called Obama's Katrina, and new evidence indicates that may be an understatement" and falsely claimed that the Obama administration "failed to act in the immediate aftermath of this crisis."
H1N1 flu is Obama's Katrina. On his November 3, 2009, radio show, Limbaugh stated that the H1N1 vaccine shortage "ought to be Obama's Katrina," but won't because "they have to protect the little man-child." An August 25 op-ed by Martin Schram for the Scripps-Howard News Service was headlined "Schram: Swine flu could be Obama's Katrina." Kansas City Star blogger Bill Dalton wrote an October 15, 2009, post under the headline "H1N1: Obama's Katrina?" On the May 3, 2009, edition of Washington, D.C., television station WJLA's Inside Washington, host Gordon Peterson and Newsweek's Evan Thomas discussed whether the H1N1 flu was "Obama's Katrina" (retrieved from the Nexis database).
Fort Hood shootings are Obama's Katrina. In a November 11, 2009, Human Events post titled "Fort Hood Could Be Obama's Katrina," radio host Lynn Woolley wrote: "As Hurricane Katrina zeroed in on New Orleans in 2005, government at all levels was lethargic, seemed unprepared, and to some, even uncaring. In the wake of last week's massacre at Fort Hood, we are learning that the United States Army knew quite a bit about Major Nadal Malik Hasan -- but did not act on the information. Fort Hood could become Barack Obama's Katrina." Woolley concluded: "The attitude of our Commander-in-Chief and others sworn to protect us is frighteningly reminiscent of what happened with Katrina. All we need from Obama is a hearty, 'Gen. Casey, you're doing a heck of a job.' "
Kentucky ice storm is Obama's Katrina. A February 1, 2009, Confederate Yankee post titled "Obama's 'Katrina on Ice' " asserted:
More than 700,000 homes are still without power in Kentucky due to a massive ice storm that struck the state six days ago, forcing Gov. Steve Beshear to mobilize his entire state's Army and Air National Guard, a total of 4,600 men and the largest call-out in Kentucky's history.
FEMA has apparently been a no-show.
Earthquake in Haiti is Obama's Katrina. In a January 25 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal titled "Haiti: Obama's Katrina," Soumitra R. Eachempati, Dean Lorich, and David Helfet wrote: "Four years ago the initial medical response to Hurricane Katrina was ill equipped, understaffed, poorly coordinated and delayed. Criticism of the paltry federal efforts was immediate and fierce. Unfortunately, the response to the latest international disaster in Haiti has been no better, compounding the catastrophe." Similarly, in a January 17 post titled "Obama's Katrina," the blog Flopping Aces mentioned the criticisms of President Bush for his Katrina response and asked: "Does Obama Hate the People of Haiti?"
GM bankruptcy is Obama's Katrina. A June 8, 2009, Politico article was headlined: "Republicans hope General Motors is President Obama's Hurricane Katrina."
Christmas Day underwear bomber is Obama's Katrina. In a December 29, 2009, Pajamas Media blog post titled "Is the Undiebomber Obama's Katrina?" Ed Driscoll asserted: "No doubt, Obama's poll numbers aren't going to be helped by this Jan-caused disaster. But I doubt if the fallout they'll face will be as severe as what the Bush administration went through due to Katrina, simply because the media will never gin up a news storm against the man they helped to elect that's anywhere near as powerful as the one they created to accompany Katrina." Similarly, as Comedy Central's Jon Stewart noted, on the January 7 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Republican strategist Karen Hanretty referred to the attempted bombing as the Obama administration's " 'heck of a job, Brownie' moment."
Chicago housing policies are Obama's Katrina. In a June 30, 2008, post, Slate.com blogger Mickey Kaus linked to a Boston Globe article about Obama's Chicago housing policies as a state senator, headlining his post "Obama's Katrina." Kaus later updated, concluding: "After all, Obama's career has been unusually limited for a presidential contender. Housing and 'community development' has been a big part of it. If the result has been a disaster in which Obama's friends made lots of money while his poor constituents lived in dangerous squalor, that seems like a big warning sign, no? At least an expectations-lowerer! George W. Bush, in contrast, hadn't dedicated a large chunk of his life to FEMA."
The BP oil spill is Obama's Waterloo. In a June 2 article headlined "Forget Katrina: Is BP Obama's Waterloo?" Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz detailed criticism over Obama's response to the BP oil spill and his purportedly "flat and technocratic" press conference.
Limbaugh: Trials for terror suspects could be "Waterloo for Obama." Discussing trials for terror suspects on November 16, 2009, Limbaugh stated that Obama's position on the issue was an "in-our-face weakening of our security" based on his supposed "contempt" for America. Limbaugh declared that this could amount to "Waterloo for Obama."
Limbaugh: November 2009 election results "may well have been Obama's Waterloo." On the November 4, 2009, edition of his radio show, Limbaugh discussed the previous night's election results and echoed Sen. Jim DeMint's language that health care reform could be "Obama's Waterloo." Limbaugh declared that "last night may well have been Obama's Waterloo" and added: "I'm not kidding about that, ladies and -- that may have been Obama's Waterloo last night."
White House outreach to Joe Sestak is Obama's Watergate. In recent weeks, conservative media figures have labeled the false allegation that Rep. Joe Sestak was "bribed" with a job offer as Obama's Watergate. Fox & Friends hosted Republican Rep. Darrell Issa to forward the allegation that the Sestak situation is similar to Watergate, a comparison subsequently highlighted on the Drudge Report. RedState.com featured a post headlined "Obama's Watergate?" that advanced the comparison. Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner speculated in a May 28 column headlined "Obama's Watergate" that the Sestak story "could be [Obama's] Watergate."
BP oil spill is Obama's Watergate. During the May 27 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, host Bill Hemmer asked whether the BP oil spill could be "Obama's Katrina." Angela McGlowan, at the time a Republican candidate for Congress whom Hemmer introduced as "a Fox News contributor," responded, "It's a fair comparison, but not only could this be Obama's Katrina -- and it's not Katrina yet -- but it could also be Obama's Watergate. Clearly, the role of the federal government is to protect the consumer and after this explosion, they should have called a state of emergency."
Nomination of Elena Kagan for Supreme Court is Obama's Harriet Miers. Various media figures have likened Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan to Harriet Miers, Bush's failed nominee. A RedState blogger asked, "Will this be President Obama's Harriet Miers Moment?" The May 7 edition on Fox News' Special Report included a video clip of the Manhattan Institute's James Copland saying: "This is a potential nomination that's closer to Harriet Miers than it is to Sam Alito." BigGovernment.com stated: "Today, President Obama is expected to announce the nomination of Harriet Miers Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court." However, legal experts -- including conservatives -- have rejected the comparison.
Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination is Obama's Harriet Miers. Curt Levey, executive director of the right-wing Committee for Justice, and National Review Online's Ramesh Ponnuru both previously likened Sotomayor's nomination to -- in Ponnuru's words -- "Obama's Harriet Miers."
Wash Times op-ed compares Obama's handling of BP oil spill to Carter's dealing with Iranian hostage crisis. In a June 2 op-ed for The Washington Times, Craig Shirley touched on conservatives' labeling of the BP oil spill as Obama's Katrina and wrote that the "more accurate historical analogy to Mr. Obama's fecklessness is Mr. Carter's in dealing with the 444-day hostage crisis."
Time managing editor Stengel references Time article describing unemployment as Obama's 9-11. On the September 27, 2009, edition of The Chris Matthews Show, Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel said "our writer talked about the fact that 9/11, i.e. an unemployment rate from 9 to 11, could be 9/11, the fact that every lost job is like a rock thrown into a pond, it circulates all out and affects all kinds of other people" (transcript from Nexis). The article Stengel was presumably referencing is dated September 11, 2009. In it, Joshua Cooper Ramo wrote:
America now faces the direst employment landscape since the Depression. It's troubling not simply for its sheer scale but also because the labor market, shaped by globalization and technology and financial meltdown, may be fundamentally different from anything we've seen before. And if the result is that we're stuck with persistent 9%-to-11% unemployment for a while -- a range whose mathematical congruence with that other 9/11 is impossible to miss -- we may be looking at a problem that will define the first term of Barack Obama's presidency the way the original 9/11 defined George W. Bush's. Like that 9/11, this one demands a careful refiguring of some of the most basic tenets of national policy. And just as the shock of Sept. 11 prompted long-overdue (and still not cemented) reforms in intelligence and defense, the jobs crisis will force us to examine a climate that has been deteriorating for years. The total number of nonfarm jobs in the U.S. economy is about the same now -- roughly 131 million -- as it was in 1999. And the Federal Reserve is predicting moderate growth at best. That means more than a decade without real employment expansion.
O'Reilly asks, "[C]ould health care be Obama's Iraq?" As Stewart noted on The Daily Show, during an interview with Fox News contributor Karl Rove on The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly tried to draw a comparison between Obama's poll numbers during the debate on health care and the decline in Bush's poll numbers after he "won the initial Iraq invasion." O'Reilly then asked Rove: "Could that be -- could health care be Obama's Iraq?" (transcript from Nexis).
Hannity speculates that Goldman Sachs is "Obama's Enron." As Stewart noted, during an April 22 interview with Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin about Goldman Sachs fraud accusations, Hannity asked: "Is this as some are suggesting, Barack Obama's Enron or do they get away with it in the end? What do you think?"
Columnist Chapman labels reaction to Blagojevich scandal "Obama's 'My Pet Goat' Moment" In a Creators Syndicate column headlined "Obama's 'My Pet Goat' Moment," Steve Chapman derided Obama's decision not to initially comment on former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich allegedly trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by Obama. Chapman wrote that Obama "had a 'My Pet Goat' moment, freezing up in the face of the shock."
How else can you explain it?Massacres, disasters, high crimes, betrayals, faked pandemics, the disintegration of decency, the destruction of dignity, the religion of the root of all evil and the genocide of the poor by the rich.Flashes of outrage[...]
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“…There will be oil out there for months to come. This will be well into the fall. This is a siege across the entire Gulf. – Com. Thad Allen Looking at Pres. Obama against BP’s marauding, incompetent corporate malfeasance, the[...]
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Whether China's claim that they are moving faster to reform the situation than any other country at this stage is debatable though every country has been through this. My father had an uncle who died when he was thirty years old after working in a battery factory in Philadelphia back before WWII. The toxic fumes killed him and others who were employed there.
Terribly sad story out of China these days and you have to wonder about the health care these workers are receiving.
Since last year, there has been an explosion of lead poisoning cases close to smelting plants. Studies have shown that communities that recycle electronic waste are exposed to cadmium, mercury and brominated flame retardants. Elsewhere, there have been protests against chemical factories that are blamed for carcinogens that enter water supplies and the food chain.
Nationwide, cancer rates have surged since the 1990s to become the nation's biggest killer. In 2007, the disease was responsible for one in five deaths, up 80% since the start of economic reforms 30 years earlier.
While the government insists it is cleaning up pollution far faster than other nations at a similar dirty stage of development, many toxic industries have simply been relocated to impoverished, poorly regulated rural areas.
Chinese farmers are almost four times more likely to die of liver cancer and twice as likely to die of stomach cancer than the global average, according to study commissioned by the World Bank. The domestic media is increasingly filled with reports of "cancer villages" - clusters of the disease near dirty factories.