Pollution

By AWR Hawkins | July 15, 2010 | 2:32 PM EDT
'Dallas' star Larry HagmanWhen news recently broke that the 78 year-old actor Larry Hagman had surfaced in California promoting solar energy as means of staving off the end of civilization, I must admit I was somewhat taken aback. Prior to this, the last time anyone had heard from Hagman was when he was part of a "who done it" spoof which TV viewers watched in an attempt to ascertain "Who Shot J.R.?"

Now he looks like just so many other Hollywood figures that miss the limelight and therefore come out and say something crazy in order to get a little attention: Either that or he actually believes the things he said in the interview for the Oregonian. (After reading the interview a couple of times, I personally hope he's just talking crazy to get attention because if he really believes the things he said, Hollywood has hit a new low.)

In the interview, Hagman takes Sarah Palin's famous "Drill, baby, Drill" and augments it to fit solar energy by changing it to "Shine, baby, Shine." He describes solar power as "an inexhaustible source of energy" which he uses to provide electricity for his home.

By Lachlan Markay | July 12, 2010 | 5:38 PM EDT

UPDATE - 7/13, 1:30 pm: In the face of criticism, the Coast Guard just rescinded this policy, allowing reporters free access to Gulf spill recovery efforts. Details below.

Effectively reporting on the Gulf oil spill is now a Class D felony, punishable by a fine of up to $40,000.

That's right, the most transparent administration in history has made it a felony, effective July 1, to get within 65 feet of what the Coast Guard determines are essential recovery efforts. According to Anderson Cooper, officials tried to up that number to 300 feet.

Cooper, who claimed federal officials prevented CNN on two occasions from taking photographs in the gulf, seemed frustrated when he reported on the new laws the day they went into effect. The press is "not the enemy here" he pleaded. The new policies, he said, make it "very easy to hide failure, and hide incompetence."

Cooper also let loose this zinger: "Transparency is apparently not a priority with [Coast Guard Commandant] Thad Allen these days." Ouch (full video and transcript below the fold - h/t Ron Robinson).

By Ken Shepherd | July 8, 2010 | 6:13 PM EDT

While the media have apparently given up -- if they ever seriously attempted -- on holding the Obama administration to account for its handling of the Gulf oil spill cleanup, Republican governors in the Gulf are a different story, particularly Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, a potential 2012 presidential hopeful.

In a short post at Time.com entitled "Battlefield General: Is Bobby Jindal Making Sense?", writer Alex Altman cast doubt on Jindal's handling of the oil spill cleanup while suggesting the conservative governor is hypocritical for his complaints about Obama's handling of the disaster at the federal level:

By Charlie Daniels | June 24, 2010 | 5:40 PM EDT
The ramifications of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have not even begun to surface. We will be dealing with the ecological damage for years as the prime nesting grounds for shrimp, oysters and countless other varieties of sea life are destroyed by the leak at the bottom of the ocean that nobody seems to be able to deal with.

The economic damage is another entirely different animal that is going to rock the Gulf Coast and head inland with reverberations that will be seriously felt around the whole country.

The Obama administration is completely lost on how to deal with the spill and the president seems helpless except to appoint commissions and place blame anywhere except 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

I know that an oil leak at this depth has never had to be dealt with before and is a seriously difficult thing to fix, but somewhere on this earth, somebody knows how to fix it and it's high time to find him or her.

By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 24, 2010 | 3:28 PM EDT
On the June 24 "American Morning," CNN's Carol Costello trumpeted a "revitalized" environmental movement that is hoping the Gulf oil spill will "change the way we feel about oil" and is aggressively lobbying Congress to pass radical climate change legislation.

Previewing the "Gut Check" segment, Costello gleefully teased, "Coming up next, environmentalists are revitalized and it's over the Gulf oil spill. Could this disaster be what we need in this country to change the way we feel about oil?"

In lockstep with the Left's environmental agenda, the fill-in anchor pondered whether the Gulf oil spill would crystallize support for a climate bill or would "it be back to business as usual?" Costello articulated the same phrase environmental groups frequently employ to manufacture a false sense of urgency around their liberal initiatives.

Interviewing David Rauschkolb, founder of Hands Across the Sand, a liberal group opposed to offshore drilling, Costello praised the forerunner to Rauschkolb's new group – Earth Day – for "strengthening the Clean Air Act and helping President Nixon create the Environmental Protection Agency." Costello did not reach out to conservative critics who argue that draconian environmental regulations stymie economic growth and breed unemployment.
By Lachlan Markay | June 24, 2010 | 1:28 PM EDT
As Interior Secretary Ken Salazar prepares a new moratorium on offshore oil drilling after the last one was shot down by a federal judge Wednesday, lost on the media seems to be Salazar's dishonesty in promoting the policy thus far. Very few have reported that he misrepresented the position of a team of experts designed to look into the costs and benefits of the moratorium.

In reality, the seven-member panel, recommended by the National Academy of Engineering, said Salazar's proposed moratorium would be "punishing the innocent." The policy "will not measurably reduce risk further," the panel explained, "and it will have a lasting impact on the nation's economy which may be greater than that of the oil spill."

Despite the panel's clear opposition to the policy, Salazar implied that they supported the moratorium. Salazar was forced to apologize after the panel publicly rebuked the Secretary's implications. "The Secretary should be free to recommend whatever he thinks is correct," said one member of the panel, "but he should not be free to use our names to justify his political decisions."
By Joseph C. Phillips | June 22, 2010 | 4:00 PM EDT

Editor's Note: The following originally appeared at Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood.

Appearing on CNN with Anderson Cooper, film director Spike Lee implored President Obama to infuse his handling of the Gulf oil spill with more emotion. Demonstrating the astute analysis we have come to expect from the director, Lee implored Obama to “one time, go off.”

Perhaps he is of the same mind as Bill Maher, that the authentic black man is one who is always armed and resorts to violence and loud-talking when things do not go his way. (Note to self: On the way home from the liquor store, I must pick up my Glock from the gun shop.)

Both Lee and Maher seem to share the opinion of a great many progressives that emotion is the same as leadership and that problems are most easily solved by decree. It is no mistake that following criticism by Lee and others, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was declaring to the media that he had “seen rage from him [President Obama].” Apparently, when Obama gets angry, he clinches his jaw.

By Tom Blumer | June 22, 2010 | 2:57 PM EDT

Via the Associated Press (link may be dynamic and subject to change): 

A federal judge in New Orleans has blocked a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling projects that was imposed in response to the massive Gulf oil spill.

The White House says President Barack Obama's administration will appeal.

Several companies that ferry people and supplies and provide other services to offshore drilling rigs had asked U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans to overturn the moratorium.

This later paragraph from AP's breaking news report explains why I believe Ken Salazar's dissenting experts from the National Academy of Engineering may have influenced the judge's outlook on the case:

Feldman says in his ruling that the Interior Department failed to provide adequate reasoning for the moratorium. He says it seems to assume that because one rig failed, all companies and rigs doing deepwater drilling pose an imminent danger.

Feldman's take seems to mirror the language of the dissenting experts.

By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 22, 2010 | 12:20 PM EDT
CNN correspondent Jeanne Moos has a penchant for quirky, off-beat reporting, but what happens when the eccentric newswoman gives a more accurate picture of important events than the serious journalists?

While media outlets relentlessly denounced BP CEO Tony Hayward for taking Saturday off to participate in a yacht race, they mostly glossed over or completely ignored President Barack Obama's Saturday golf outing with Vice President Joe Biden.

It was left to CNN's resident humorist to connect the dots.

"It's the yachting versus golf smack down, round one," declared Moos. "BP's CEO gets pummeled for taking a day off to watch his yacht race...CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller says already President Obama has played 39 rounds of golf, compared to the 24 George Bush played his entire presidency."
By Jeff Poor | June 21, 2010 | 6:14 PM EDT

Usually when you see something on the Center for American Progress' Think Progress blog, you ignore it (or at best take it with a grain of salt) because you know its fundamental objective is to score some inane point against conservatives or the Republican Party.

But a June 21 post by Tanya Somanader, categorized as "Radical Right-Wing Agenda" was too hard to let go. In her post, "Fact Checking Sarah Palin: Joe Barton Reflects The Philosophy Of Over 115 Republicans" Somanader used guilt by association to back up White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's claim that the ill-advised remarks of Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, were indicative the GOP's "larger philosophy."

Former Republican vice-presidential nominee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin attacked Emanuel for the claim he made on the June 20 broadcast of ABC's "This Week" on her Twitter feed:

RahmEmanuel= as shallow/narrowminded/political/irresponsible as they come,to falsely claim Barton's BP comment is "GOP philosophy"Rahm,u lie

By NB Staff | June 21, 2010 | 4:39 PM EDT

Managing Editor's Note: I saw this earlier today on RedState and asked the artist for permission to republish here. You can check out more of Toby Dials's work at TobyToons.com and follow him on Twitter here.

By Tom Blumer | June 20, 2010 | 11:28 PM EDT
US_department_logoA Friday report by reporters Matthew Lee and Eileen Sullivan indicates that there is a serious shortage of critical thinking skills over at the Associated Press, or a serious desire to run interference for the Obama administration no matter how ignorant doing so makes the wire service's reporters appear.

Lee and Sullivan try to excuse the State Department's inaction on the vast majority of roughly 60 specific offers of assistance from over twenty nations, many of which go back to late April and early May (detailed in a 4-page State Dept. PDF here), because almost all of the offers are being made with an expectation that the costs of such assistance will be reimbursed. By my count:

  • 15 of those assistance offers involve the provision of "containment boom" to protect beaches, shoreline, and other sensitive areas.
  • Roughly 10 of those 15 containment boom offers are over a month old, and a few were made on or before April 30, over fifty days ago.
  • Out of all 60 offers made involving all forms of goods and services, roughly a half-dozen have been accepted.

The reason Lee and Sullivan cast these offers as proof of a "double standard" is -- wait for it -- because the U.S. doesn't get reimbursed when it provides aid in natural disasters like earthquakes, and because many of the countries involved, several of which are dirt poor, receive American foreign aid.

Here are the petty pair's first few paragraphs: