Blue State Views

Republican Priorities

Iron Knee offers a nice, succinct summary of Republican priorities:

Republicans in the US House are showing us their priorities. On Tuesday, they passed an energy spending bill that is riddled with amendments that are bad for our country. Compared to what Obama requested, they removed funding for clean-energy and efficiency programs, and added additional money for fossil-fuel and nuclear programs.

Imgres-1But the most ironic amendment was one that strips the government of the ability to enforce the light bulb efficiency standards that already went into effect this year. Even though the efficiency law was passed in 2007 — under George Bush — that hasn’t stopped the GOP from using it to attack Obama.

Assuming this amendment survives, it won’t actually do what its promoters claim. The light bulb efficiency law would still be on the books, and US manufacturers have already changed their products to comply with the law, so they will keep making more efficient light bulbs that generate the same amount of light with less electricity. Instead, it will open the doors to unscrupulous foreign manufacturers to dump cheap, inferior light bulbs on the American market (with no way for the government to enforce the law).

So, in one stroke, the GOP shows that it wants to increase our energy dependence, put US jobs at risk, hurt the economy, and increase pollution. Could it be any clearer?

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The Kind of President I’d Like to Have

The other evening, Rachel Maddow delivered a fake Oval Office address, giving the kind of speech she wishes Obama had given about the oil spill, instead of the weak, cowardly, mealy-mouthed address he gave.

It's great.  This (Maddow) is the kind of president I hoped Obama would be. What a disappointment he is!

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Obama’s White House Botches Response to Oil Spill

A White House increasingly known for annoying the press by ruthlessly controlling its message had better start paying more attention to the message itself.  We now have the worst oil spill in the history of the nation, but Obama is sitting in Washington, preparing for the White House Correspondents Dinner tonight. He's going to show up at the Washington elite's annual exercise in frivolity — its very own prom — and make humorous remarks while seabirds and fishing grounds are coated with oil. 

In this morning's New York Times, Martha Kumar, a Towson University political scientist who is an expert on the relationship between the presidency and the press, makes the following observation about the mistake the White House makes by allowing the president to be seen yucking-it-up in Washington while the oil slick spreads:

There you are in Washington with celebrities and the media while
wildlife and fishermen are doused in oil? That’s not going to do much
for the White House or for the press, for that matter.

Shades of Katrina?  I thought Obama, Axelrod, and Emanuel were supposed to be smart enough to avoid pitfalls of this sort.  Guess not.  It's not enough that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is on the scene.  Obama should be, too.   As this catastrophe worsens, the White House will wish it had put the president out there, demonstrating some concern.

Meanwhile, this environmental disaster should push the Obama Administration to turn away from its recent embrace of offshore drilling, not just pause new leases.  But there's no reason to expect our politicians to do the right thing when it comes to the environment.  They're all cowards.  Mother Nature doesn't vote or make PAC contributions the way corporate America does.