Day: April 30, 2010

‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ Champions Silent On Gulf Oil Spill

I gotta ask Palin, Steele, et al:  How’s that “drill baby drill” thingy workin’ out for ya?

Huffington Post

UPDATE: Palin has made her first comments on the spill, scroll down to see.

More than a week has passed since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers, injuring over a dozen more, and causing a massive oil spill that may eclipse the Exxon Valdez.

Yet the two most prominent political champions of offshore drilling — Sarah Palin and Michael Steele — appear not to have uttered a word about the incident.

Not that either one of them has been completely silent. Sarah Palin has published four new messages on her Facebook page since the initial explosion, including a post on Thursday titled “The Straight-talking ‘Hockey Dad’ with a Message for Reform” and another defending Rev. Franklin Graham after he was asked not to attend a Pentagon prayer event.

Likewise, Michael Steele has issued at least six statements over the past week, including one on a new Republican National Committee web video, “Mr. Obama’s Wild Ride.”

And yet, if they do comment, it’s hard to imagine that Palin and Steele would take the same tone that they’ve typically used when discussing offshore drilling.

“Drill, baby, drill! And drill now!” Steele memorably chanted at the Republican National Convention in 2008. “Do you want to put your country first? Then let’s make decisions about our security based on what keeps us safe and not on what’s politically correct,” he told the crowd.

And during that year’s vice presidential debate, Palin told Joe Biden, “You even called drilling — safe, environmentally-friendly drilling offshore — as raping the outer continental shelf. There — with new technology, with tiny footprints even on land, it is safe to drill and we need to do more of that.”

UPDATE: At 10:40AM ET on Friday, Sarah Palin made her first comment on the oil spill, posting the following on Twitter: “Having worked/lived thru Exxon oil spill,my family&I understand Gulf residents’ fears.Our prayers r w/u.All industry efforts must b employed.

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Gov. Brewer: ‘Arizona has been under terrorist attacks’ with ‘all of this illegal immigration.’

 

Think Progress:

Today during a Fox News interview about Arizona’s new controversial immigration law, Gov. Jan Brewer (R) commiserated with host Megyn Kelly about all the criticism she’s been receiving from people outside of Arizona. When Kelly asked if the critics have a real “appreciation” for Arizona’s immigration problem, Brewer said “obviously not,” likening it to the state being “under terrorist attacks”:

KELLY: Do you think that these folks who are all noticeably outside of your state, are the ones that I just ticked off, including the President, have an appreciation, governor, for what Arizona has been going through with respect to illegal immigration?

BREWER: Obviously not. You know Arizona has been under terrorist attacks, if you will, with all of this illegal immigration that has been taking place on our very porous border. […] The whole issue comes back, that we do not and will not tolerate illegal immigration bringing with it very much so the implications of crime and terrorism into our state.

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Congressman and Community Leaders To Risk Arrest at May Day Immigration Protests

Crooks & Liars:

This May 1st, immigrant communities and citizens alike will hit the streets to say no to Arizona’s new “show me your papers law” and yes to real, federal action on immigration reform this year. Eighty cities across the country are gearing up for major rallies, marches, and protests tomorrow. Students who had come in from New York, Florida, and California to participate in the Washington protests led their own action in front of Governor Jan Brewer’s DC office today. They chanted, “Arizona, Shame On You! Immigrants Are People, Too!”    More>>>

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Arizona Ethnic Studies Classes Banned, Teachers With Accents Can No Longer Teach English

What’s the matter with Arizona?  What is the real message here?  Reading this literally made my heart ache for my country.

Huffington Post:

Arizona’s new immigration law is just about crime, its supporters say, but given that the state’s new education policy equates ethnic studies programs with high treason, they may not be using the commonly accepted definition of “crime.”

Under the ban, sent to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer by the state legislature Thursday, schools will lose state funding if they offer any courses that “promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

As ThinkProgress notes, the Tucson Unified School District‘s popular Mexican-American studies department is the target here. The state superintendent charges that the program exhibits “ethnic chauvinism.”

Meanwhile, in a move that was more covert until the Wall Street Journal uncovered it, the Arizona Department of Education has told schools that teachers with “heavy” or “ungrammatical” accents are no longer allowed to teach English classes.

As outlined by the Journal, Arizona’s recent pattern of discriminatory education policies is ironic — and is likely a function of No Child Left Behind funding requirements — given that the state spent a decade recruiting teachers for whom English was a second language.

In the 1990s, Arizona hired hundreds of teachers whose first language was Spanish as part of a broad bilingual-education program. Many were recruited from Latin America.

Then in 2000, voters passed a ballot measure stipulating that instruction be offered only in English. Bilingual teachers who had been instructing in Spanish switched to English.Teachers who don’t meet the new fluency standards have the option of taking classes to improve their English, the Journal reports, but if they fail to reach the state’s targets would be fired or reassigned.

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Tread on me only when it comes to immigration?

The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty has a great article on the Tea Party’s take on “immigration policy”.  the site has libertarian views. 

 It questions the true motives of teabaggers who support Arizona’s new immigration law as well as their support for all government intervention when it comes to immigration policies.

I made some similar points in a post earlier this week.  Should one conclude that “teabaggers” are not really “anti-big government”  when it comes to immigration issues?

The Free Man Online:

The Arizona law enabling police to ask for immigration papers or proof of citizenship of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally has fanned the flames of an already hot debate over immigration.  How these issues play out in the Tea Party movement will be interestingPolling data indicate that Tea Partiers have a significant anti-immigration element to them.  So, will people who claim to dislike big government be consistent and oppose this new law?

That opponents of big government would support immigration control is surprising on its face.  Enforcing such laws requires governments, federal or state, to exercise powers that small-government advocates should reject.  It’s not that immigration law requires enormous expenditures, or that it dramatically increases the size of government.  But it does increase the scope of government power.

[…]

Too often forgotten in these debates are the rights of immigrantsLibertarians believe in human rights, not just citizens’ rights or Americans’ rights.  People everywhere have, or should have, the right to travel where they wish and to contract for work with whomever they wish.  On what grounds do those who profess a belief in freedom prohibit them from doing so?  (To anticipate a possible objection:  Illegal immigrants are not more likely to commit crimes, and the U.S. crime rate has fallen since the 1987 amnesty program.)  People who break the law to look for work in America are mostly trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.  Why risk life and limb to come here to go on welfare when they can do the same thing at home without risk?  And by what right do we prevent them from trying to make better lives for themselves, just as we would wish for American citizens?  The reverence with which supposed opponents of big government treat the artificial lines governments draw is yet another puzzle.

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“Commando-In-Chief”? Arnold Schwarzenegger Wants To Be President

As it stands now, the United States Constitution says that one must be a natural born citizen to seek the office of President of the United States.

Does “Ahhnold” know something we don’t know?

Huffington Post:

BURBANK, Calif. — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would love to run for president – if he could.

California’s actor-turned-governor was born in Austria and the U.S. Constitution prevents foreign-born citizens from holding the nation’s top job.

Jay Leno asked Schwarzenegger on “The Tonight Show” Thursday if he would make a White House run if the law was changed.

Schwarzenegger replied, “Without any doubt.”

But that’s not likely in the foreseeable future. Any amendment to the Constitution must be approved by two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate, and then be ratified by three-fourths of state legislatures.

Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear says the governor doesn’t think that will happen.

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White House Says New Offshore Drilling Projects ON HOLD

 

Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Friday directed that no new offshore oil drilling leases be issued unless rigs have new safeguards to prevent a repeat of the explosion that unleashed the massive spill threatening the Gulf Coast with major environmental damage.

Obama ordered Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to report within 30 days on what new technologies are needed to tighten safeguards against oil spills from deep water drilling rigs.

“We are making sure any leases going forward have those safeguards,” said Obama at a White House Rose Garden event.

The president sought to reassure the jittery Gulf Coast that Washington is on top of the mounting oil spill crisis, saying people’s livelihoods and a region’s ecology are at stake.

His declaration is not expected to have any immediate impact. Under the expanded leasing plan that Obama announced a month ago, the first offshore leases would be issued off the Virginia coast in 2012 at the earliest.   More>>>

Now this is something I agree with the POTUS on.  Halting any future offshore drilling projects until the results of an investigation of the cause of the spill is a smart move. 

The problem is, had he and his administration figured out the consequences of offshore drilling before committing to it, I and other progressives would be even more gleeful.  I know he said he would put it on “hold” and not stop the program entirely, but this spill in the gulf is enormous.  It’s possibly the largest spill ever at a daily spill of 200,000 gallons of oil per day thus far.

One can only hope that after the White House mandated investigation as to how the spill occurred, is completed, the President will think twice about an off-shore drilling program.  The animal habitat of that area in the gulf will be affected for years.  There has to be a better way to obtain our energy resources, just as the POTUS said on his campaign trail when he was against offshore drilling

I tend to believe that after all is said and done, and the reports start rolling in about the dangers of offshore drilling to the environment as well as our incessant need for fossil fuel, offshore drilling may have already become a thing of the past.  At least for this administration.

Obama Doubts “Will” For Immigration Reform

 

 

President Obama:

From the onset, I must say that I am not an expert on the political machine in Washington.  I also acknowledge that Barack Obama certainly has a better view of what goes on in Washington than I do, after all he is the POTUS.  However, as a concerned citizen, in spite of  a probable naive perception of how government works, I do have an opinion.
Mr. President, I think this is an ideal time to take on immigration reform sans GOP support in Congress.  The Arizona Law that was just implemented is a clarion call to shine a light on the the urgent need for immigration reform.
 
With a mid-term election just a few months away, and the hell no! strategy of the GOPs in Congress, the Dems can sweep through an immigration reform bill which I am certain will have the support of at least five or six Republican members of the house and/or senate.
 
Dems can campaign on the do nothing GOP.  Dems can point out how constituents send their members of congress to Washington to do “the people’s work” and yet, the GOP have decided to do nothing except block every attempt at legislation so that the Dems can fail.
 
Mr. President, it appears to me that  your lack of will is the problem.  In my opinion Dems are so damned scared of being demonized by the GOP this mid-term election, that they (with your approval and leadership, Mr. President) are afraid to tackle legislation without trying to compromise and frankly, coddle the GOP, only to be ignored and eventually betrayed by the same people who’s behinds you (collectively) kiss in order to achieve bi-partisanship. 
Yes,  Dems  just finished a difficult legislation,  but does that mean they can’t work on another?  Energy will be taken care of and legislated in your first term.   The urgency for immigration reform, in my opinion, supersedes energy legislation right now.
  
When will the Dems stand together and say screw the GOP and screw “bi-partisanship” in favor of the people of the United States, and what they need?  Our country is evolving  into ultra right-wing “state’s rights” totalitarianism.   From the looks of things, it seems as though their purpose is to weaken the executive branch of  government by Congress and the Supreme Court.
 
I was under the impression that Dems won in 2006 and 2008 to form a solid majority, which enables them to get things done.  You even told the Dems that a couple of months ago.  So, please Mr. President, as an ardent supporter and life-long progressive, try to see what we see.  You guys are looking like the kids who fear the bullies in school because they will give you another bloody nose.  Frankly, its embarrassing that the losers of two-consecutive elections are running the show in D.C.