Gulf of Mexico

BP And Our Kick-Ass President
June 21, 2010

My hunch is that the hemorrhaging of oil in the Gulf of Mexico won't end until...well, until it ends. By which I mean until the last drop rises to the surface and there is no more below. No, I don't know when that will be, and neither apparently do the hot shot execs at what President Obama (in another swipe at London) called British Petroleum or. for that matter, the president himself. Of course, no one really does.

Obama: The "Astonishing Progress" of Dubai. Once Unbelievably Wealthy, Now Just A Crooked Little Emirate.
June 19, 2010

You may recall that, during the Bush presidency, Dubai World, a flagship corporate asset of the emir and his kin, had been discovered servicing and actually owning some U.S. ports on the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. You will not be surprised that I wrote against this. Or that Tom Friedman wrote for it. Frankly, I didn't trust the emirate to serve as guardian to the ships going in and out of the docking facilities or, more generally, to patrol sensitive entry points to great harbor cities like New York, Baltimore, Miami and 19 other municipal areas.

Did Obama Smear Gore? [Updated]
June 16, 2010

Update: Geraghty says he was joking.

BP Isn't The Only Ill-Prepared Oil Giant
June 15, 2010

Earlier today, the chairmen of the world's five biggest oil companies went before the House energy committee to testify about the Gulf spill. Naturally, the CEOs from ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Shell all wanted to put as much distance as possible between themselves and BP, protesting that they would've never handled this mess so poorly. But Henry Waxman and Ed Markey weren't buying it: Mr. Markey added: “In preparation for this hearing, the committee reviewed the oil spill safety response plans for all of the companies here today.

So Much For Lindsey Graham
June 08, 2010

Once upon a time, Lindsey Graham was the great conservative hope for passing climate-change legislation. He helped draft a (decent, if imperfect) bill with John Kerry and Joe Lieberman. He gave a bunch of passionate speeches about the need to wean America off fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions. He took a lot of abuse from the Tea Party lunatics in his state but stood by the effort because, by all accounts, he thought it was an important cause worth fighting for.

Eyes on the Prize
June 07, 2010

WASHINGTON--The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has created a double bind for the Obama administration. How it deals with a challenge even more complicated than it looks will determine the kind of summer the president has and the kind of election the Democrats will face this fall. The obvious problem is how the administration can get ahead of a disaster that promises to be a running story for much of the year.

A Disaster Worse Than Katrina
June 04, 2010

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, now deemed the worst in American history, may inflict more damage to the future of New Orleans than Hurricane Katrina. In a matter of days, Katrina and the levee failure wiped out the physical and social fabric of many communities. Across the Gulf Coast, more than 1 million people were displaced from their homes and another estimated 1,400 persons lost their lives to the disaster. In New Orleans, the severe flooding destroyed more than 134,000 homes, wreaked havoc to public and private infrastructure, disrupted businesses, and severed generations of family and

Political Analysis And Bullshit
June 04, 2010

Greg Marx has an article in Columbia Journalism Review on the gulf between the methods of news reporters, who create narratives, and political scientists, who examine structural forces: That perspective differs from the standard journalistic point of view in emphasizing structural, rather than personality-based, explanations for political outcomes. The rise of partisan polarization in Congress is often explained, in the press, as a consequence of a decline in civility.

Is It Interesting to Criticize the Civil Rights Act? Down to Cases with Rand Paul and John Stossel
June 03, 2010

I have held off on writing about Rand Paul’s take on the Civil Rights Act. Partly because I am finishing a book. But also because his idea that it shouldn’t have been made illegal for businesses, as private institutions, to discriminate strikes me as, oddly, both too interesting to sound off on without long-term reflection and too uninteresting to get excited about in the moment. Uninteresting because who among us really thinks that there will be a move any time soon to legalize segregation for American businesses?

America (Begins to) COMPETE
June 02, 2010

Notwithstanding the nightmare of the spreading Gulf of Mexico oil spill, there was good news last week as sensible Washington folks headed to the beaches for the long weekend. Late on Friday, the House of Representatives passed an important piece of U.S.