Archive for disappointed

WI Gov. Scott Walker tells radio host he's bewildered by the way things have gone since Paul Ryan was picked

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We already knew Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was bewildered by a number of things, including, say, reality and ethics, but now we find out Willard Romney's running mate is beginning to boggle what's left of his mind.

Via Politico:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told radio host Charlie Sykes on Friday that he is bewildered by the way things have gone since Ryan was picked.

I thought (picking Ryan) was a signal that this guy (Romney) was getting serious, he’s getting bold, it’s not necessarily even a frustration over the way Paul Ryan’s been used but rather in the larger context. I just haven’t seen that kind of passion I know Paul has transferred over to our nominee, and I think it’s a little bit of push-back from the folks in the national campaign. But I think for him to win he’s gotta (do) that.

Walker added, “They not only need to use (Ryan) out on the trail more effectively, they need to have more of him rub off on Mitt because I think Mitt thinks that way but he’s gotta be able to articulate that…I think too many people are restraining him from telling (his vision).”

He not only sounds bewildered, he sounds disappointed, frustrated, and like someone who is now aware he's supporting a losing candidate.

Other conservatives were scratching their heads, too. Follow the link for details:

The conservative frustration with Ryan’s role comes at a critical moment in the campaign, when many in the GOP are openly fretting that Romney is letting the election slip away.

According to every poll I've seen lately, it's slipping, sliding, rolling, slinking, and scurrying away.

If Willard Romney manages his own campaign this poorly, imagine how he'd manage the country. No, on second thought don't. I'd hate to be responsible for your declining mental and physical health.

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VIDEO: Tar Sands Pipeline Protests Fail to Move White House

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President Obama already has many of us who care deeply about the air we breathe livid about his dismissing a new EPA air quality standard for smog. Background here and here.

One might think that the president would be tuned into the ferocity of opposition from his base to his recent about-face on the environment. Apparently, he sees things differently than Bill McKibben and a lot of us do. This is one time when "looking forward" -- literally the future of this country-- really means something.

And this is one of those times President Obama is ignoring his own words and will fail to "win the future". I don't know if I'm more angry or bitterly disappointed. Via Roll Call:

Note to the pipeline protesters outside the White House: He's not listening. [...] Despite their pleas, the administration signaled that it is ready to greenlight the project after delaying the permit for the $13 billion project by Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada for more than a year.

Proponents estimate the project will create 20,000 immediate jobs in construction and transportation, followed by more than 200,000 jobs when the pipeline is operational. Those figures helped sway the support of at least one labor union. [...]

The Amalgamated Transit Union and Transport Workers Union issued a joint statement on Aug. 19, saying, "We need jobs, but not ones based on increasing our reliance on tar sands oil."

Opponents of the project say more jobs can be created through alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. [...]

Henn said environmental activists will continue to pressure the president in the runup to the elections, especially in areas directly affected by the pipeline, which would run from North Dakota to Texas.

Here's the thing, Mr. President: Jobs will seem less significant when working Americans take sick leave after having inhaled, swallowed, and/or absorbed pollutants that Big Oil so casually dismisses. Lives matter more than profits, more than jobs, more than corporate lobbyists, more than elections, more than anything.

Health matters. Quality of life matters. We matter.

And best of luck in 2012, because from what I'm hearing, despite your accomplishments, despite your likability, despite the joy and hope you inspired back in '08, voters are having serious doubts, and that is something you, and we, simply cannot afford. 

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Feinberg: Clean-up workers will be compensated, even when they get sick years later

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As Hugh Kaufman just said to me an in e-mail, "Hooray for Nadler and Feinberg!"  He rarely says things like that. What could be the reason for such joy? Positive news.

It's so novel to hear good news these days. Why, here's the hooray-worthy story now!

Kenneth Feinberg, in his new role overseeing compensation for oil spill victims, told a congressional committee Wednesday that he believes BP PLC should be made to pay for injuries that occur during clean-up.

The question has come up before, as lawmakers wondered about the long-term health effects of chemical dispersants used in the Gulf of Mexico.

As for Nadler, please check out my earlier posts on his efforts to get answers here (scroll down).

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said that flexibility to allow such claims is important because, as happened after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, it can take years for people to develop health problems after a disaster.

Without accurate and honest air contamination testing by EPA and OSHA for baseline and preventive actions, Feinberg's system to compensate folks for health damages will not work.

Hugh wrote in his e-mail:

As of now the EPA and OSHA air testing, like in the 911 WTC, is part of the cover-up. EPA Head Lisa Jackson admitted this in a tv interview, when she said EPA was testing the air so they could tell the pubic that the air is safe (not to identify the magnitude of the problem):

Most of my Hugh Kaufman-related posts are here, but please, please, watch him in this video. It's a great overview of much of the information I've passed on to you from him.

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VIDEO: BP's "massive cover-up"

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Relevant segment, with Hugh Kaufman and Dahr Jamail, starts at about 27:48.

With BP having poured nearly two million gallons of the dispersant known as Corexit into the Gulf of Mexico, many lawmakers and advocacy groups say the Obama administration is not being candid about the lethal effects of dispersants. We speak with Hugh Kaufman, a senior policy analyst at the EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response and a leading critic of the decision to use Corexit.

Hugh Kaufman is a wonderful source of information about what's going on in the Mad Mad Mad Mad World of BP. Why? Because he keeps me updated constantly, and he has real cred. He's a senior policy analyst with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

Today he appeared on Democracy Now, hosted by Amy Goodman. I am so glad he did, because now you can finally hear him say, in his own words, what I have been posting about all this time.

As you watch and listen, you'll hear Hugh refer Jerrold Nadler's efforts, Larry Fink, and Blackrock, among other things. Those are links to posts on each so that you can go back and catch up on the back stories. Most of my Hugh Kaufman posts can be found here, including what he talks about at about 35:00, the dangerous Corexit ingredients that EPA knew about, as opposed to "flying blind" as was claimed.

The use of dispersants (at about 36:30) is intended to cover up, to try to hide, the volume of oil that has been released, saving BP a tankerload of money.  Dispersants make it extremely difficult to clean up the gooey mess, making it impossible to skim the oil out of the water and impossible to quantify.

Hugh also compares the respiratory problems at 9/11's Ground Zero with those of the Oil Volcano. He notes EPA's false statements back then are eerily similar to what is happening in the Gulf. The air is NOT safe, nor is the water. Dispersants mixed with oil are not being tested properly, he says, nor is air pollution.

OSHA and others use BP's contractor for doing air testing; that would be the same company that is used by other companies to prove they don't have a problem. It's a "massive cover-up".

This link takes you to the exploding water video referenced by Hugh. Oil waste was in Alabama's water, not noticeable to the human eye, and children were exposed to it while playing at the beach. EPA claims it has tested the water and says it was safe. Then, from, Mobile, the video surfaced. Explosive news, in every sense.

At about 45:00, Dahr Jamail's (a wonderful journalist who worked with me briefly on an unrelated story) segment begins, and in it he said the following:

Kenneth Feinberg ... in charge of this 20 billion dollar compensation fund for victims...is being paid by BP to do this job...

Ken Feinberg... a BP salesman.

Can of worms doesn't even begin to describe this horrific, multi-layered situation.

In an e-mail today, Hugh said:

BP has, so far, has paid an average of $3,000/claim. That's very little money, given the magnitude of the damages. BP's incessant TV commercials (Link to a peek at the BP ads here) blaring how good a job they're doing making things right, costs orders of magnitude more than that.

He then linked me to this. And this.
And finally, last night Hugh also linked me to the following video:

iReport —

The National Contingency Plan prohibits the use of sinking agents on oil spills.  Why are we debating them?

Hugh:

If this young lad gets the cover-up, how long til more adults do?

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Scientists: Obama not doing enough + VIDEO: Shrimpers exposed to Corexit "bleeding from the rectum"

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There is a theme that's developed over the course of the past year and a half since President Obama got elected. He often has the right ideas and great intentions, but the implementation of those ideas only goes so far.  In short, many people have been disappointed after having high expectations. IMHO, too high (I've posted about that many a time). Let me add this: The realization of his goals isn't solely under his control. Congress plays a huge part in this, too.

For now, let's focus on science, and scientists are a very disappointed bunch, according to this L.A. Times article:

Now scientists charge that the Obama administration is not doing enough to reverse a culture that they contend allowed officials to interfere with their work and limit their ability to speak out.

A stifled scientist is not a happy scientist. Nor an effective one.

Uh-oh! I feel a bad word coming on. The worst word ever, in fact. The dreaded B word...

"We are getting complaints from government scientists now at the same rate we were during the Bush administration," said Jeffrey Ruch, an activist lawyer who heads an organization representing scientific whistle-blowers.

Oy.

Okay, prove it, science types. Don't just complain, be scientific about all that whistle-blowing:

In Florida, water-quality experts reported government interference with efforts to assess damage to the Everglades stemming from development projects.

In the Pacific Northwest, federal scientists said they were pressured to minimize the effects they had documented of dams on struggling salmon populations.

In several Western states, biologists reported being pushed to ignore the effects of overgrazing on federal land.

In Alaska, some oil and gas exploration decisions given preliminary approval under Bush moved forward under Obama, critics said, despite previously presented evidence of environmental harm.

Crap.

Here is the example that really hits home in light of the BP disaster, as you'll see later in this post. This is the one thing that sends unending shivers of fear and waves of anger through my nerve-wracked little body:

The most immediate case of politics allegedly trumping science, some government and outside environmental experts said, was the decision to fight the gulf oil spill with huge quantities of potentially toxic chemical dispersants despite advice to examine the dangers more thoroughly.

Again, I've posted about this subject over and over again. You can find all my posts about the utter stupidity of using dispersants here.

To be fair, and as I said earlier, the Obama administration does come through for us, albeit incrementally:

While overall respect for science may have improved under Obama, several scientists said in interviews that they were still subject to interference.

Which brings us back to that dispersant problem, and it is a huge problem. I cannot stress that enough. In fact, my pal Hugh Kaufman (aka AltaKocker on Twitter) sends me article after article every day, making that very point. And who is this Hugh Kaufman I speak of? He's a senior policy analyst at the EPA’s office of solid waste and emergency response.

Speak of the devil:

Ruch's organization, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, also said it had been contacted by an EPA toxicologist who said a request for review of the toxicity of oil dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico was rebuffed.

EPA analyst Hugh B. Kaufman, a 39-year veteran, said he had heard similar complaints from colleagues. Kaufman believes that his agency "gave the green light to using dispersants without doing the necessary studies."

That's my Hugh! Seriously, something has to be done about this. Keith Olbermann, thankfully, has focused on the dispersant disaster, as has Jerrold Nadler, here and here. Oh, and here:

Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, who has proposed legislation to prohibit dispersant use until further scientific studies are completed, said the EPA "has been entirely irresponsible" in its review of dispersants.

He's right, you know. The EPA has maintained that using dispersants is acceptable, even helpful. Wrong.

Which brings me to this (h/t: Hugh Kaufman):

Shrimpers who were exposed to a mixture of oil and Corexit dispersant in the Gulf of Mexico suffered severe symptoms such as muscle spasms, heart palpitations, headaches that last for weeks and bleeding from the rectum, according to a marine toxicologist who issued the warning Friday on a cable news network. [...]

The EPA lists Corexit 9500 as "useful on oil spills in salt water" and prescribes an application of "2 to 10 U.S. gallons per acre". They further said in a media advisory that Corexit 9500 will "biodegrade."

The EPA's description is only slightly less enthusiastic than a list of Corexit talking points featured on Nalco's Web site...

Please go read the rest of that piece. My jaw dropped, as it did after viewing this:

Happy Sunday.

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Health care PMS

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By GottaLaff

http://www.flamemultimedia.com/images/pms.jpg

My thoughts on health care reform are a work in progress, so this post may become obsolete by the time it's completed.

I am Laffy. I have health care PMS.

"Hi Laffy!"

I've had health care reform mood swings that no dinky little Bayer Pharmaceutical Inc. Midol pill can remedy. One day I'm given information that has me walking on smoggy L.A. air, and the next, I'm falling to the ground with a thud. Not just any old thud, a resounding thud.

The Conservadems have confiscated my health care iPhone, which means my optimism apps are inaccessible. The Rushpublics have constructed a typically badly designed brick wall, so I keep slamming my liberal noggin on it and am running short of Bayer Pharmaceutical Inc. Bactine. Traitor Joe Lieberman has pulled away my Charlie Brown football so often that even my own cats are pointing and laughing at me.

My emotional state runs the gamut from "We can still do this, it's just the beginning of a very long fight" to "WTF?! Screw Congress, where'd President Yes We Can go? I'm going all Howard Dean, and then I'm gonna go hide under my covers and pout and never vote again"... to, "Well, I do see a few improvements, it's farther than we've gotten in years, so go for it". And then I cry. And scream. And sigh. And start all over again.

Today Senator Bernie Sanders is introducing a single payer amendment. It will go nowhere. But it feeds into my instinct to keep fighting.

This morning on the Stephanie Miller Show, Hal Sparks said of Dems who are feeling impatient, "It's like shaking a baby who is learning to walk and keeps falling, and yelling at him, 'Just do it already! Get up and walk! What's your problem?!'"

And all these conflicting emotions stem from having high expectations and seeing them crash around me. Where did those expectations come from?

This is where I may differ with a lot of you. Most of them didn't come from Obama. I've always seen him as a centrist who is willing to play with the boys and girls I don't like. Don't get me wrong, I've been disappointed by him, but not entirely surprised. He wanted a health care bill passed, but not necessarily a good bill, not the one you and I want. He said as much. He just said it in such a way that convinced us he was for the same bill we were.

But he revealed many a clue that suggested his idea of a good bill and mine differed.

I am more disgusted with Congress. I had faith in the Progressives, and was buoyed by their happy talk. Obama made deals early on that signaled his willingness to compromise away the best parts of real reform. Just as, during the election, he campaigned on escalation in Afghanistan, lowering my hopes for peace, he also worded his health care campaign promises in a way that told me he'd do pretty much what he's doing. But I still wanted to believe my health care wishes would come true, and that the Progressives in Congress could make that happen.

I can't say I'm shocked. And yes, I'm angry, but again, not surprised. Obama promised change, but my early research told me that his words didn't always match his policies. I enthusiastically supported him because I did, and still do, like him and much of what he has done, and come on, the McCain/Palin alternative would have been disastrous. Plus, look what he inherited.

So how do I shake off my health care PMS? Today's mood swing dictates that I fight, that we all should fight, and not give up. We should campaign hard for 2010 candidates who share our goals, we should donate when we can, we should make calls to current Congress members until our dialing fingers fall off, we should do whatever it is we can to make our voices heard.

Because, realistically, taking our toys and stomping home won't accomplish a thing. Crawling under the covers doesn't eliminate cramps and headaches. I'm going to self-medicate with effort, forward thinking, and action. Defeat is not an option. My health care reform PMS can be treated. As I tell my most despondent students, life is fluid. Things never stay the same, they continue to change.

But it's up to us to do everything possible to make that change happen.

I may feel differently in an hour. Damn mood swings.

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