• comment on a post Transitions over 4 years ago

    Hope you find the time for a post here and there.  Congrats.

  • I've never claimed "that the Obama administration is now allowing 27 new rigs into the gulf."

    I qouted from the piece about the 27 waivers...

    ...and why did you do that?  Because you seemed to think it supported your "Obama is lying about offshore drilling" shtick.  It doesn't, as I've explained.

    I'll also believe, based on what you've written, that the Obama administration won't push for more off-shore drilling.

    I can't say that they won't, but I'll say unequivocally that it would be stupid on a number of levels if they do.  After recent events, I can't imagine that there won't be more vigorous regulations enacted (by order at the federal lead agency level) and/or as part of the pending energy bill agenda.

    ...I doubt that I'm alone in that perception, if we go by the enthusiasm gap between Democratic and Republican voters.

    I tend to think that much of the enthusiasm gap (which really isn't as bad as the MSM would have us believe and is already showing sings of ebbing) has more to do with the economy than it does other issues.  Despite all the criticism, the economy is improving on many fronts and so long as that trend continues into the mid-terms, we won't be facing the "OMG SLAUGHTER" that pundits are predicting.  Not to say we won't see losses; they should be expected as part of the same old 'punish the party in power' cycle.

    why the hell would Obama want to give the impression that he was advocating more offshore drilling in March?

    I can't speak for the Adminsitration, but if I had to guess, I think it was an effort to pull the rug out from under the drill, baby, drill crowd w/out actually allowing any drilling.  Remember, lifting the moratorium didn't greenlight drilling/extraction, it simply allowed exploration and environmental analysis thereof.  Suppose exploration finds nothing, or reserves so paltry that it's not economically viable to extract them.  In that scenario, Republicans can't reasonably argue that we should absolutely be drilling offshore.  Drill for what?

    Or, now that all is stalled as a result of the BP spill, let's assume they find something the mega-oil tycoons want to pursue.  In this eventuallity, they'll have to undergo environmental review under NEPA. 

    As it stands now, the Adminstration, environmental advocates, and progressives are in a pretty good position to enact some serious regulatory reform, with broad public support, and I hope to hell they do it. 

    Now is the time to push for better regulation and call to limit or eliminate drilling.  Honestly, I'd like to see it ended altogether as of now, but I don't see that outcome as likely.  Realistically, I think the best we can hope for is a new moratorium on NEW drilling and far more vigorous regulation of those rigs already in place / in process.

    Pissing in Obama's shoe and calling him a liar on this particular issue isn't really the kind of advocacy that's needed.  If we get zero out of the investigation, and zero in the way of more strenuous environmental review, and the Obama Administration lets drilling go on like it has over the last eight years, sure, I'll be banging on my keyboard same as you.  Until then, I'd rather advocate in a way that makes sense while things play out.

  • Cheers.

  • You are positioning yourself against an absurd argument I never made, to try to make yourself look sensible by comparison.

    Actually, that's a fair assessment.  I'm being attacked rather insensibly on another front, and I let my frustration flow into my reply to you.  For that, I apologize.

    I hope you are not willfully missing the distinction between Obama going rightward from himself during the campaign and him just being to the right of us.

    No, I'm not.  I'll put this in bold, so nobody can miss it this time:  I've been disappointed when then that's happened too.  Every time Obama talks about 'clean coal', I punch a pillow.  Healthcare was a huge disappointment for me, though I still applaud passage as movement in the overall correct direction.  Lots of little things have me plenty pissed off.

    ...the discussion was about the legitimacy of progressive dissapointment and whether those of us upset with the president are legitimately upset or have some sort of "PUMA, Obama-derrangement syndrome.

    Honestly, I think it's a mixed bag.  When I see criticisms that aren't reality based (i.e. Obama is letting 27 new rigs drill or Obama hates gay people), it's hard to not see some derangement there.  There's plenty of room for criticism, but let's face it:  Politifact has Obama keeping 110 of his campaign promises, compromising on 34, and breaking 19.  82 are rated as stalled, and 256 are in the works.  Less than a year and a half in, that's a record I can live with big picture-wise.  Living with it doesn't mean we shouldn't be critical, and it doesn't mean we shouldn't advocate for our causes, but still that's not too shabby.  At the end of the day, I think its far better to view Obama as an ally who needs our smart activism than it is to declare him an enemy.

    To be clear, I don't want to start a new party, and I don't want to leave the Dems. I simply want the Dems to start feeling pressure from the left because I believe that politicians respond more to pressure than to no pressure.

    Then we are 100% in agreement.  I think pressure is best when it's informed, guided, and properly placed.  Like you say, we should hold our leaders accountable.  I just think we have to know what we're talking about when we do it.  Spouting tenuous crap, or outright lies like the left-wing version of a teabagger isn't helpful in the long run.  I'm not accusing you of this, just saying generally.

  • Ok, seriously, what is wrong with you?  Which part of 'preaching to the choir' do you not understand? You can post links from here to enternity about how bad offshore drilling is, and every single time, I'd agree.  Odds are, I know it better than you do.  You've gone on a nice rant here, but it has absolutely no bearing on the discussion.  Am I arguing the offshore drilling is a good thing?  No.  Have I ever?  No. 

    At issue here is your claim that the Obama administration is now allowing 27 new rigs into the gulf.  This is demonstrably false.  Again, you can link whatever you like, you can go ape-shit with exclamation points, and you can attempt to insult me until your toes curl in a blissful rage, but not one bit of that will change the fact that you are completely wrong.

    This may be hard for you to wrap your head around, but some progressive folks in my industry (environmental protection consulting) think that lifting the offshore moratorium on analysis and exploration was a relatively small concession for politcal cover in the run-up to a strong energy bill.  At the time, lifting the ban wasn't likely to increase any drilling anywhere in the near future, and now that disaster struck the gulf (not the result of any Obama action, but rather the deterioriation of sensible federal agency regulation under eight years of Bush), there will be no new drilling anywhere until everything gets a hard look.  Would the ban lifting have worked in getting a better energy bill?  I seriously doubted it, and was critical of the move, but now that it's halted everywhere for the time being, it doen't much matter because the political landscape has shifted pretty dramatically as a result of the BP spill.

    I've said before, and I'll say again for the last time (though you're obviously not listening):  If the Obama Administration fails to significantly reduce or eliminate offshire drilling and/or fails to overhaul the environmental review process (particularly for CatEx actions), then we'll have something to bash him for.  Until then, you're just blowing smoke, you're blowing it early, and much of it in entirely the wrong direction.

  • you basically said that you were not going to entertain arguments that Obama had mostly been arm-twisting progressives instead of cnetrists/conservaves, because it is too "subjective".

    No, basically, that's wrong.  I've entertained many of these arguments, and as I alluded to before, agree with some of them.  I'd have liked to have seen him exert more pressure during the Healthcare storm.  I'd also like to see him beat the shit out of Karl Rove on Pay-Per-View, I'm just not as convinced as you are that either would've produce tanglible enough results to significantly advance progressive causes.

    yes, declaring that the evidence is no good before being presented with the evidence is sticking your fingers in your ears.

    Awesome.  Except that's not what I did.  I didn't declare any evidence 'no good', I just don't place as much stock in all of it as you do.  I've considered most reasonable criticism, and much has merit.  It's the unreasonable criticism I can do without.  Suggesting that Obama hates gay people because DADT hasn't been squashed yet, for example, is one I see a lot.

    In some cases, what you see as the arm-twisting of progressives is what I'd call a concensus building President exerting pressure where he can (i.e. where it can actually work) to move things along, however incrementally or potentially disappointing it may be to us progressives.  That's his job.  I expected it.

    you are trying to frame the issue of whether any dissapointment is enough to stop supporting Obama.

    Uh, what?  I support some of Obama's actions, others I criticize, others I keep mum on because I don't know enough about them.  You don't want to support Obama?  Want to join the Green Party, or form a new party?  You or anyone else are welcome to have at it.  At this point, It's just not for me.

    the problem is that it has been in (almost) all in one direction - to the right.

    Sure, some has been to the right...of you and me.  Two tiny little people in a smallish, realtively weak faction of the Democratic party.  Maybe we can form our own little progressive country, and together we can impeach him.  Or better, we could work together to help elect more progressives and/or advocate for progressive issues in a way that doesn't completely freakin' alienate people who would otherwise be happy to help us out. Saying that Obama is a lair 'cuz he's puttin' in 27 new oil rigs in the gulf is demonstrably false, and I fail to see how it's helpful.


  • Mind you, this is a response to her repeated 'slur' claims, which now appear to be veering into 'disagreement with me equals misogyny' territory.  Further, I'm not saying she's stupid, just that what she said was stupid.  Sure, it's a fine line, but there's a distinction there nonetheless.

  • Yep.  Like you said.  Except now it's twice as stupid, as there is no slur, and despite my having explained the reality of the situation to you, you remain as vacant as before.  One cannot draw blood from a stone, and while I appreciate your being on my team, you're obviously the stone.  At best, much of your criticisms are premature and counter-productive.  At worst, their just ignorant.

  • in other words: "i'm going to ignore evidence I don't like" *sticks fingers in ears*

    I've no idea how you got that out of what I said.  Point is, we can debate strategy, optics, and tactical maneuvers all you like but it's the results and how they affect the grand scheme for the overall future that I care most about.  At this level, he's doing about what I expected when I pulled the lever for him.

    I've got my share of disappointments too, but the difference between me and many of the 'us progressives' you allude to is that I expected some disappointment along the way.  I'm a progressive who recognizes that we're not an especially large or powerful part of our own party, let alone the electorate.

    But he seems to be fighting the hardest for, and moving toward the more rightward part of the spectrum of what he campaigned on.

    Seems, or is?  This is what I meant when I said it was often subjective.  Seems that way to you, a lot apparantly.  Seems that way to me too, but maybe less often than you.  He seems like a pinko commie to the redneck dipshits I went to high school with.  It's a matter of perspective.

    Listen, I don't intend to dissuade advocacy for issues that progressives care about, I just think we ought to know what the fuck we're talking about when we do it.  I'm not saying 'Trust Obama implicitly' on everything he does, I'm saying it's counter-productive to embody the caricature of a tree-hugging numbskull who jumps to wild and premature conclusions without even a basic understanding of the reality.

  • I can see tangents are your thing.  How many rigs are there?  Lots.  Offhand, I'd guess upwards of 3,700 offshore production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico alone.  Tell me, how many of these were approved and implemented since January of 2009? 

    Look, are you wanting to blame the POTUS for all the oil rigs that lie off our coasts?  If you are, and it sure sounds that way, then I don't know how to sugar coat this:  you're a moron.  He's not responsible for putting those there, you know?  I guess your next step will be to blame the POTUS or his agents of evil for intentionally sabotaging the rig, creating the spill for political gain?  You're only a few steps left of Limbaugh at this point anyway, might as well go whole hog.

    Obama hasn't opened up more drilling, he allowed exploration and feasibility / environmental studies to continue because he believes that domestic oil production is an important part of an overall strategy for energy security.  Lots of people agree, though I'm not necessarily one of them. 

    Since the big mess in the gulf, the administration has stated explicitly that there will be no new domestic offshore oil drilling pending a review of the rig disaster.  They've also dispatched teams to the Gulf to inspect all deepwater rigs.  You're not interesting in hearing it beacuse in harshes your poutrage, but the Administration has responded pretty aggresively to this, and if you think nothing good will come from a suspension and review, then you're really beyond reach.  As I said before, if once the investigation and review processes are complete, and we fail to see new and improved regulations and a reconsideration of offshore drilling in general, then we'll have a legitimate reason to gripe.  Until then, you're just a baseball manager charging the Ump to argue a bad call at the plate...before the game has even started.

    Oh, and thanks for the Surfrider link, though it's unecessary as I'm an active member of that Organization, and have worked on a number of studies that contribute to their findings.  You're preaching to the choir when you start trying to school me on the perils of offshore drilling.

  • To be frank, I don't even know what the hell you're talking about here.  Sorry.

  • I tend to think that the 'arm twisting' claims as to whether he does too much or too little on various issues along the ideological spectrum are far too subjective to substantiate.  Besides, arm twisting isn't the go-to tool of a conciliator.  Again, my expectations in this regard have not been upended.

  • Let's focus here, and get back to where we started.  How many of the 27 proposed offshore actions granted CEs are in operation?  How many are about to be given Notice to Proceed as the result of the CER process?

    The answer is ZERO.  I assume you can tell the difference between 27 and zero?

    As I said before, which is somehow too hard for you to understand, if these 27 projects were on the move, we'd have reason to call the Adminstration to the carpet -- but they aren't.  The Obama administration has suspended the only process by which these proposed actions could proceed to implementation.

    Now, if you think we won't see any changes to the MMS CE review criteria, or other regulatory fixes in the aftermath of what may be the worst environmental catastrophe in US history, then you've reached a level of cynicism I'm not interested in exploring.  Should this come to pass, you should bitch incessantly, and I'll be right there along side you.  Until then, you're just flapping your gums about something you clearly don't well understand.

  • I said you were half-cocked, and well, you plainly are.  It's not a slur, it's simply an observation of the obvious.

    I'm not anymore an 'Obamabot' than the next average Dem.  He's done plenty I don't much care for, done some things differently than I'd like, is moving too slow for me on some fronts, and holds some positions that I disagree with vehemently.  That said, he's doing pretty much exactly what I expected he'd do as a center-left conciliator and pragmatist POTUS.

    Anyone who thought Obama was going to be some kind of super-aggressive progressive dynamo must've had their head in a barrel for the duration of the Presidential primaries and general.

  • See, here's the problem.  Being an environmental advocate doesn't necessarily equate with blind opposition to offshore drilling.  You make the leap that Obama secretly supports unfettered drill, baby, drill practices a la Palin, and do so by soaring over his actual position, which is that there are some credible arguments that some limited and well-regulated offshore drilling may be a necessary part of the solution to our energy needs and fossil fuels energy crisis.  There are other socio-political factors that come to bear, but I doubt you'd take a moment to consider them.

    That you're seemingly incapable of understanding even the most apparant shade of nuance, and haven't the slightest idea how NEPA works, tells me all I need to know about your form of ignorant advocacy.

    Don't think Obama did damage to the voting enthusiasm of those in the Democratic party who care about the environment?

    Only if they're as uninformed as you are.  Either way, you should consider getting your sackcloth and ashes ready.


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