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Brian Lehrer breaks down last night's Oval Office address on BP with today's guest host Andrea Bernstein and Chris Matthews, host of Hardball on MSNBC and the new documentary Rise of the New Right.
Susan from NYC,For what it’s worth, you’re getting the order of what was said mixed up. You didn’t mention any of what’s in the last half of your sentence until after I asked how and with who’s money. No one attacked you, but you’ve called me “ignorant” and “anencephalic”. You’ve referred to the president as a whiner and JK showed us passes for wining these days… reasoned comments against yellow journalism and press that rather make a buck off of town hall yelling matches than covering the actual facts of what’s in a bill.The fact of the matter is that there are tubes made out of used pantyhose full of human and animal hair floating in the Gulf absorbing oil. That’s not sexist, but you belittling women, by pretending it is, is.
VoterI didn’t realize pantyhose were sexist either.
Voter--Had you bothered to read what I wrote before attacking me, you would have noted that I quite specifically suggest hiring as many of the 15 million unemployed in this country as needed to ameliorate the damage by cleaning the beaches, monitoring and properly positioning the booms, changing saturated absorbents for fresh, and capturing and cleaning oiled wildlife.
Susan from NYC,
“Since you, as the world's oldest living anencephlic [sic], insist on an ad hominem attack, my hair is short and, unlike you, I do not wear panty hose”
First, I don’t wear pantyhose, and I'm not sure if I only have half a brain or not since I've never looked in there.
Second, I didn’t realize pantyhose were sexist and I didn’t realize suggesting you donate them to prevent wildlife from dying was snide. I apologize on both accounts.
Third and lastly, if you don’t think challenging you to answer, without name calling, if you can “name one thing president Obama can do that The Constitution; limits of executive power; state, federal or international laws; current and proven technology or the laws of physics permit that he is not currently doing?” isn’t serious, then tell me what is? I see a lot of anger over pantyhose and not a single offer of any viable plan. Just because you’re angry over the spill doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want and think people won’t challenge the logistics.
hjs--I am not interested in your sympathy (real or sarcastic). I only wish to point out that I started with a serious concern, which was blown off with what can at best be characterized as snide and at worst sexist, but certainly not a serious response. You, of course can define "adult" and "teabagging" for yourself, but I beg to differ.
susani'm sorry Voter talked about your pantyhose...
hjs--scroll back further--my first comment was this, in response to Voter's query what do you want Obama to do?
Voter from Brooklyn: Here is what I want Obama to do: hire as many of the 15 million unemployed workers as needed to clean up this ghastly mess.Here is what I don't want Obama to do: whine.This is the worst environmental disaster in our history, and the response is pathetic.
Jun. 16 2010 10:24 AM
This was answered by Voter as follows:Susan from NYC,Hire 15 million people with who’s money? Your taxes? China’s?Clean it up how? Shaving your head and using your pantyhose to make more oil absorbing booms? I bet you still have both. Going out there personally to wipe it up with a rag on a stick? Dive down 5000 feet and put a baggie over it? Again, I hear a lot of whining but not a single solution that wouldn’t be any more than a hollow song and dance.
Jun. 16 2010 10:31 AM
Maybe you wouldn't take offense, but I did (and do).
susan"The feds are the only ones with the resources to attack the clean-up, and go after the perpetrators before, during, and after for the funds."
60 days ago the nation said the Feds have too much on their plate & too much power.30 days ago salazar said the feds were going to "keep a boot on the neck"" of BP and the media was saying that's too harshtoday everyone wants BHO to get "upset" over the spill.nothing he does will make u people happy. keep kicking the man if it makes u better, but u still live in a nation falling apart and no one is ready to change that.
jkglad you're helping ,now get your friends to help.
susandon't what this has to do with women but scroll back, u'll find the attack on voter started with "Your snide ignorance is repellant."
Susan,Men and women across the county are shaving, buzzing, or significantly cutting their hair, drag queens in San Francisco are donating pantyhose, some dude somewhere in this country is shaving his llamas and sheep; all are donating to make oil absorbing booms. I simply asked if you were doing any of the things men, women, and a few ruminants here and there are doing.Last time I checked, women tend to have longer hair than men and (drag queens aside) wear pantyhose. Is that sexist or just the limitations of an anencephalic mind?
JK,“But it's not going to come easily and it is going to require a level of cooperation and a willingness to work strategically together that we have not seen over the last several years. And frankly, this town and the way the political dialogue is structured right now is not conducive to what we need to do to be globally competitive. And all of you are leaders in your communities -- in the business sector and the labor sector, in academia, we even have a few pundits here -- it is important to understand what's at stake and that we can't keep on playing games.I mentioned that I was in Asia on this trip thinking about the economy, when I sat down for a round of interviews. Not one of them asked me about Asia. Not one of them asked me about the economy. I was asked several times about had I read Sarah Palin's book. (Laughter.) True. But it's an indication of how our political debate doesn't match up with what we need to do and where we need to go.”"The public trust falters. We fail to understand our world or one another as well as we should -- and that has real consequences in our own lives and in the life of our nation. We seem stuck with a choice between what cuts to our bottom line and what harms us as a society. Which price is higher to pay? Which cost is harder to bear?""Sometimes I think that, frankly, the media encourages some of the outliers in behavior, because, let's face it, the easiest way to get on television right now is to be really rude. If you're just being sensible and giving people the benefit of the doubt and you're making your arguments, you don't get time on the nightly news."Man! You’re right! Give this baby a bottle! I heard he thinks the National Enquirer, Star, and Sun are a bunch of bunk too, that anti-First Amendment Pinko-Commie.
Voter--Allow me to quote you: "Shaving your head and using your pantyhose to make more oil absorbing booms? I bet you still have both." Do you really wonder that I took offense?
Voter--For the sake of the ecosystem, we cannot wait until the legal niceties are untangled. The feds are the only ones with the resources to attack the clean-up, and go after the perpetrators before, during, and after for the funds. The priority must be saving the gulf, and all creatures therein. They may not have the wherewithall to stop the leak, but they can control what is done to minimize the damage.
Susan,I hope in the future when you to engage in discourse on topics of relative seriousness, you don’t have to resort to petty name calling. Especially since no one had, up to that point, made a sexists or otherwise prejudicial remark about you.
JK,What is hjs11211 simply not getting?Can you, Susan, BL’s moderators/producers or anyone else listening please name one thing president Obama can do that The Constitution; limits of executive power; state, federal or international laws; current and proven technology or the laws of physics permit that he is not currently doing?
hjs--This may come as a surprise to you, but some women will not allow an ad hominem attack to go unanswered. If that's your preference, be my guest, but don't try to impose your attitude on me.
Voter from Brooklyn,
Enjoy reading these articles
Why reporters are down on President Obamahttp://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/36454.html
Obama and the Media: Is the Critic-in-Chief Too Thin-Skinned?http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/11/08/obama-and-fox-news-is-the-critic-in-chief-too-thin-skinned
What Barack Obama Really Thinks Of The White House Presshttp://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/12/06/what-barack-obama-really-thinks-of-the-white-house-press
I don't own a car. I don't live an extravagant lifestyle. I don't cook, I'm a vegetarian and only eat raw vegetables and fruits.
What have you done?
Obama's failure to get out in front of this story has proved costly because it has allowed endless carping and complaining from the pundits.
"Worlking on it without" isn't enough for the cable talking heads.
Obama needed to take on the role of explainer in chief by going on tv and giving a clear, direct explanation of specific steps he has taken and what specific limitations this crisis presented.
You simply don't get it.
JK,It’s easy to quote Right-Wing talking points, it’s harder to buttress them with anything resembling facts. Take your time. I’ve yet to hear one scintilla of an iota of proof of Obama blaming the main stream media for anything, but interested to see what turns up.You’re far too hungry for rhetoric the president couldn’t possibly backup through existing legal or existing technological means, but I respect your passion.Sadly, you are probably correct on your predictions for both 2010 and 2012.
Susan from NYC,Write your representatives and demand legislation that will make what you want Obama to do possible, vote in November removing anyone who will stand in the way of such legislation, change your own spending and energy habits so Americans no longer consume 20% of the worlds reserves (likely more when you add in foreign manufacturing by US corporations), and if you’re able, go down to the Gulf and volunteer (that is if BP who controls the site will allow you).No one wants the Gulf to become a dead zone; all I’m suggesting is we look at what Obama can actually do and not judge him against some concoction of what we think Jesus, Neptune, the Little Mermaid, and Aqua Man would do if they were here.
susan, act like an adult. this is not one of your teabagging parties
drill baby drill??
Voter from Brooklynso your argument would be "if BP might not pay, let the Gulf of Mexico become a dead zone"? You are a pathetic shill for an anything-but-progressive administration. (And of course you can spell A-N-E-N-C-E-P-H-A-L-I-C; you just copy it off your driver's license.)
voternot at all
jk, susan,the prez has been working on this and all the other messes he inherited since day one. that's all i ask of him. what have u done?
Voter from Brooklyn, hjs11211
The whining has occurred, but I'm too wiped out to track down the info right now.You're both far too forgiving for Obama's lethargic slow motion response, but I respect your passion.
Our dispute is actually moot, because after the midterm elections, this country is going down for the count. The Republican obstructionists will either take control of 1 chamber of Congress or will gain enough seats to shut down the operation of government until 2012 at which time a Republican will probably get elected president. Even if Obama wins a 2nd term, Repubs will gain enough seats in both houses to bring governance to a grinding halt. It will soon be all over except for the shouting.
Shame on Brian and Andrea for forgetting to plug Bloomsday on Broadway.
hjs11211,Hopefully my last two comments haven't forced you to change your mind.
Susan,Promises promises. What BP has promised to do and what it is required to do legally is completely different. How many times has a corporation promised to pay and decades of legal wrangling and new legislation to close loopholes later they underpaid. BP, by act of Congress, under the management of the Coast Guard (management with little actual authority), is responsible for identifying solutions and implementing them. BP has control of the site and other than Obama seizing the company’s US holdings or an act of Congress, BP will remain in control.And as a 32 year old “anencephlic”, I know it’s spelled A-N-E-N-C-E-P-H-A-L-I-C.
Jk,Who’s accountable?MMMS staff is largely career and not appointed (Meaning Obama had little to do with it). Our energy policy was virtually written by energy companies under the preceding administration (meaning Obama had nothing to do with it). Obama, or people in his administration are on television, in the papers, in magazines and on the internet all of the time. You’ve yet to cite when Obama has whined about the press coverage (which leads me to think he hasn’t, since he already knows he under a microscope stronger and more widely viewed than any other president in history). And we have a 6 month moratorium on drilling that has half of the country ready to take up arms. I see people asking why isn’t the president doing more but don’t see people hanging up their car keys (if geographically possible) and not driving to the corner for milk, or turning down or up the thermostat (depending on season), taking public transport more since the spill, and denying BP the billions in profits is surely will make this quarter.I’ve voted Democrat for president every since I’ve been old enough to vote and I voted for Obama (though that’s unlikely to happen again for differ reasons). The reason I’m defending him in this case is because a lot of the criticism seems to center on how he behaves and not the realities of what he or any president would be able to do.
Voter,as always U get it. don't give up on the rest of them yet.
Voter from BrooklynAgain, your ignorance is in full bloom: BP has agreed to pay the costs of the clean-up, but our government's pathetic response has been an utter failure to identtify the best solutions and implement them. Since you, as the world's oldest living anencephlic, insist on an ad hominem attack, my hair is short and, unlike you, I do not wear panty hose.
Voter from Brooklyn
I've been a democrat all my life.
I never claimed this disaster could be solved tomorrow, but going forward, No More Deep Water Drilling.
I'm not talking razzmatazz, I'm talking accountability. Just because press conferences aren't perfect, doesn't mean Obama should abolish them. Obama is displaying hubris by interacting with the MSM as little as humanly possible. This may be ok with you, but it's not ok with me.
Matter of Trust at matteroftrust.org is accepting hair if you want to do your part.
Susan from NYC,I’m not sure how my “snide ignorance” could be appalling since I didn’t make a single comment about the technicals on the clean up other than wondering if you’ve donated your hair and pantyhose. I doubt you’ve done either; my head is buzzed and I don’t wear pantyhose so neither have I. You mentioned BP picking up the tab. Riddle me this: under what Constitutional authority can the president of the United States of America unilaterally and usurping due process take over the coffers of private foreign corporation?
Chris Mathews is an idiot!
With that said, if people all over the country are so outraged why aren't THEY showing it. I don't see people "taking to the streets" in mass numbers over the oil catastrophe. And I'm sure many of the people that are shaking there heads and declaring how terrible this all is are driving 17mpg vehicles and have no plans on altering their own oil guzzling life styles!
All good recomendations. Speaking of guests how about Joe Conason, Michael Tomasky, Joan Walsh, Laura Flanders, Norman Solomon, and Ta-Nehisi Coates?
Jk,I hear more demands for song and dance but no offers of solutions. You make it seem so easy like the spill could be stopped tomorrow, if only he had the will or the razzmatazz or whatever you’re looking for, but no viable solutions. When has the president complained about press coverage? I haven’t heard it so cite some examples.Lastly, tell me what you want; who have you voted for since 1979? Twenty of the last thirty years we’ve had deregulation pro-oil anti-environment Republicans in office.
The most important thing Obama mentioned was the need for energy reform. We now have the technology to push forward cars that run on electricity, hybrids, wind turbines, solar panels and other green technology. What would happen if all Americans who drive cars that run on gasoline started to switch to electric cars? How much cleaner our air would be. We could wean off of off-shore drilling completely and subsidize and encourage companies that are creating these environmental-friendly cars and factories, etc. This is not a dream. It is a reality that can made mainstream by passing legislation that supports this. This is a very very pivotal time. We should not let is slip thru our fingers. And we need to make our elected officials accountable for this.
Get Bill Moyers to talk to Brian Lehrer...or David Brancaccio...or Amy Goodman. Those are thoughtful analysts. Chris Matthews is an elitist DC operative who will run with the hare and the hounds. Sad, sad man.
Voter from Brooklyn:Your snide ignorance is repellant. Everyone who has been on site says most of the beaches are devoid of cleanup workers, the booms are not monitored, which they need to be constantly to keep them in position, the absorbent materials are not picked up and changed, so they can no longer absorb, and more birds are dying than can be rescued and cleaned. What is needed is manpower, with BP to pick up the tab.
The Oval Office address was adequate. I personally think he has gone over and above what he is required to do as Commander in Chief. This disaster was created by a private company who is and shall remain responsible for the deaths and the clean up of the Gulf.
Chris Matthews is a closet bigot (maybe not so much closet anymore). Did you notice how he slipped in that the Clintons were "Americans that other Americans felt comfortable with"? WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT MEANT?! Or his comment on Andrea Mitchell last week when he commented that the gubernatorial candidate in SC was not a "woman of color" because like Colin Powell she had missed the "slavery thing"! It is time to call Chris Matthews out on his racist rhetoric!
Let's make a deal. Don't tell me what I want and I won't tell you what you want.
I want a president who makes himself available for more than 2 primetime press conferences a year and I don't want a president who's constantly whining about critical press coverage. Obama wanted this job and I'm sick and tired of him and his surrogates criticizing unflattering press coverage. Obama needs to man up and stop being such a crybaby.
Susan from NYC,Hire 15 million people with who’s money? Your taxes? China’s?Clean it up how? Shaving your head and using your pantyhose to make more oil absorbing booms? I bet you still have both. Going out there personally to wipe it up with a rag on a stick? Dive down 5000 feet and put a baggie over it? Again, I hear a lot of whining but not a single solution that wouldn’t be any more than a hollow song and dance.
Please tell Ms. Bernstein that the President is not "The Commander-in-Chief" except of the armed forces. He has no command authority in civilian matters. I intensely dislike this tendency to make the President's military role leak into civil affairs.
Why do we never hear of new replacements for oil from Washington?Slug (human and animal wast) can now be made in to ethanol fuel or algae fuel never comes up.Is it because some rich dink want make bills off it?Maybe people will be more willing to change if we tell them the cool things that are really happening out there and not just say wind... over and over!
JK,You’re the one accountable. All Americans are accountable. Mining and Minerals Management did virtually nothing and everyone’s stock portfolios, pensions, IRAs, 401Ks, and voting patterns loved them for it. President Obama proposed limited off-shore drilling and America was livid it didn’t go further. You want cheap gas. The Supreme Court and Republicans give private corporations more and more power and rights. You brought this on, when are you going to accept personal responsibility?
jk global warming is a catastrophe. i want accountability alsowhy is there no federal oil tax?
The difference between democrats and republicans is that the Rep Pres can do no wrong. On the other hand a Dem Pres can always make mistakes and his main critics, those who will bring him down are the Dems. That's why the dems will loose over and over. Even though the majority of Americans favor Dem policies they will vote Rep because they get hyped by the Rep with the carrot that they will never eat.
Obama should have apologized or at least admitted to being slow to acknowledge the severity of the spill.
THIS would have stopped all the talk in its place.
Instead, he said he's been there since the beginning, which anyone who's been watching knows is NOT true.
I fear that Obama (and his supporters) equate a speech with leadership.
He can speak, but so far, he cannot lead.
Chris Matthews needs to inform himself better. Progressives _did_ oppose Vietnam in '66 and '67. It was the supposedly virtuous Moderates who took the go along to get along approach -- people like Anthony Lewis who _supported_ Vietnam until '68 with the Tet Offensive, etc.
Chris is totally right. This is Obama's "we choose to go to the moon" moment, and he's totally blown it. What happened to "let no crisis go to waste?"
What exactly do people want the president to do?Song and dance minstrel show stomping his feet, furrowing his brown, and shaking his fist when we all know he can’t do a God dam**d thing to stop the oil over the next 60 days; the technology simply does not exist today nor does the government have the know-how to do it. This was supposed to be the purview of big business.Get down there, rest of the countries catastrofu**ks aside, and sip up the oil with a drinking straw?Take over big business when American voters have voted against regulation every since the ’79 Embargo and have been crying Socialism, Communism, Nazism, Fascism and end of days every since Bush’s TARP (which Obama get’s blamed for) and election day?I hear three nattering nabobs and not a single glimmer of intelligence nor solutions to remedy the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The only thing I hear is “put on a show for us”
Before President Bush had even delivered his November 30 speech at the U.S. Naval Academy, MSNBC host Chris Matthews used variations of the word "brilliant" twice to describe it, while deriding Democratic critics of the Iraq war as "carpers and complainers."
And Matthews contributes WHAT to any real substantive conversation?
Where are the Supertankers? If Obama was really concerned with doing *everything* then we would have used the idea put forward by the ex-Shell head that we have Supertankers scooping up the oil in the Gulf. I guess - like the respirators BP doesn't want cleanup workers wearing - they don't make for good TV images.
The question is...
How much is the American Public willing to pay for a 'fix' to climate change? $5 gas and 20% more on your food?
And, given the nature of the problem... this fix is only likely to work 50% or 60% or 70% of the time.
The explosion of an oil rig that results in 11 deaths and the spilling of millions of gallons of oil into the ocean constitutes a catastrophe. I want accountability. I don't want an imperial presidency. Obama has made the prime time press conference extinct. During the campaign, Obama touted himself as Mr. Transparency. Now, Obama is showing contempt for the public by giving the MSM as little access to himself as possible.
Shouldn’t we be demanding an oil company fund to do research on future cleanups? We talk about compensating victims, but if we were using a new technology to clean up the mess instead of 50 year old booms and skimmers, there might be fewer victims.
the new right = the last gasp of the culture wars, southern strategy, archie bunker is getting old. nannybooboo!
Chris Matthews's fulminating screech is an embarrassment to the liberal tradition. His analysis is simplistic, anachronistic, and, dare I say, bigoted and narrow-minded. He is MSNBC's version of Lou Dobbs and Hannity! My "jaw drops" at much of what he says. Clearly, he has NO knowledge of how the world works, the complexity of modern business, or anything else! It is quite understandable that people along the Gulf would be conflicted and frustrated. Chris Matthews, on the other hand, has been frustrated since Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic nomination. His head remains in 1960s Boston politics!
@ Hugh - I agree, Matthews is not fair-minded. What he is, for better or worse, is as mainstream and "of-the-beltway" as any US media member.
What is interesting in listening to him is not his opinion in terms of what policy, politics work best, but the his opinion as to received wisdom of the DC crowd and much of the media. Listening to him is basically a good way to gauge how a politician will be perceived, attacked, etc.
Chris Matthews?! The Chris Matthews who called Rudy Giuliani the "perfect candidate"? Said John McCain "deserves to be president"? And gushed over Mitt Romney's "perfect hair"?
Of organized labor, Matthews said, "They don't have speakers. I'm telling you, I can't think right now of a labor leader that could match wits with a Dick Cheney on television. They don't want to get out there and debate like they used to.... Who are the great spokesmen against this administration's trade policies or this administration's tax policies? Who are they?"
When Bill Moyers pointed out that there are many articulate labor activists, Matthews said, "Well, they should get elected to Congress. Then we will put them on."
Matthews - neither intelligent nor fair-minded.
JKpsby way what catastrophe? what does he need to address?we waste energy? we trash the air and water? we have an addiction?? where is the news? what here is new?? yawn
Reaction of Mexican Govt?
Other govts in the world to their own drilling spills and drilling standards?
The UN and other international bodies?
Other oil companies?
jk it was a general comment, thank you
I'm not blaming the president for everything.
I'm raising questions about his responsiveness in light of his favorite campaign catchphrase: "the fierce urgency of now"
Is it acceptable for Obama to wait until Day 57 of this catastrophe to address the nation?
Is it acceptable for Obama to wait until Day 58 of this catastrophe to meet with BP officials?
Is it acceptable for Obama to have to be dragged kicking and screaming to hold a primetime press conference?
don't blame the prez for everything. america is broke. U fix it!!
@Mike from NJ
I share your frustration with Obama. His staff is a confederacy of dunces who are more lost than the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815. Obama has stumbled and bungled his way thru this disaster as if he were George Costanza. Obama's only redeeming quality is that his 2012 Republicans would be handling this crisis a billions times worse.
Brian/Andrea, For at least a week MSNBC has been reporting that anyone hired for cleanup by BP who wears a respirator will get fired. Mr. Matthews is well aware of the stories. The fact that President Obama did not mention and did not end this practice last night leads me to conclude that BP is still dictating to the administration.. This is not a crisis in the gulf. This is a crisis of an increasingly ineffectual president. I voted for the President and disappointment does not even begin to describe my assessment of the job he is doing.
As long as I continue seeing images of enormous patches of oil in the Gulf coast, Obama’s rosy progress reports of cleanup efforts will be irrelevant to me. His speech was too little too late.
Given the horrific nature of the Gulf Oil disaster, it’s mind boggling that anyone still supports deep water drilling. Drilling at depths too deep for humans to do repair work is pure, unadulterated insanity. Any senator or congressman who still supports this procedure should be fitted for a straitjacket.
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