BP Disaster Spills Into Cajun Politics As Carville Pitches Melancon For Senate

Two Democrats appear to have emerged as heroes from the ongoing Gulf Coast oil spill — and now one of them is boosting the Senate candidacy of the other. Longtime Democratic strategist and native Louisianan James Carville used an email Sunday to drum up support for Rep. Charlie Melancon’s bid to oust Republican Sen. David Vitter in November’s congressional election. In their own ways, Carville and Melancon both have become faces of anger and anguish as upwards of 100,000 barrels of crude leak daily into the waters off the coast of their home state due to an explosion last month on an offshore drilling platform leased by BP. A three-term congressman who’s represented Louisiana’s 3rd District in the southeastern part … Continue reading

Obama Group Readies For Senate GOP’s Planned ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Obstruction

President Obama is mobilizing the network of millions of Web-connected supporters he built in the 2008 campaign to counter threats Republicans are making to block a repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Organizing for America (OFA), a Democratic advocacy group built from Obama’s campaign apparatus, emailed the president’s supporters Friday, asking them to join an Internet pledge to back the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the 17-year-old policy which allows gays to serve in the military only if they keep their sexuality hidden. Obama promised to do away with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during his 2008 campaign, and vowed in January during his State of the Union address to make good on that commitment this year. … Continue reading

Oily Politics Led to Environmental Disaster

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) had a good idea to slow or stop the Gulf Coast oil spill from reaching shore. Build artificial barrier islands, he told the federal government. He wanted the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River to strengthen and connect the existing barrier islands. The $350 million plan, which Jindal demanded be paid for by BP Oil, would establish an 80–85 mile barrier, about 200 feet wide and six feet high. The barriers would also protect the marshlands, the federal wildlife preserves, and a fragile ecosystem. When the federal government didn’t respond, he threatened to have Louisiana do the job itself, and had his attorney general notify the Corps of … Continue reading

House Bill Puts Main Street Ahead Of Wall Street — But Now What Will The Senate Do?

Aiming to put the needs of Main Street ahead of Wall Street, the House Friday approved legislation to clamp down on corporations that avoid paying taxes and provide incentives to create American jobs. It’s now up to the Senate to decide whether to maintain a provision of the bill that would close a loophole that gives preferential treatment for wealthy investment fund managers who pay the same taxes as other Americans who make much less. The House passed the the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act by a vote of 215 – 204, which would curtail tax avoidance by multinational corporations and lessen the incentive to move jobs overseas. The act also would tax the income of investment fund … Continue reading

For Obama’s War, Reid Says: ‘Stay The Course’

Majority Leader Harry Reid went to the Senate floor to fume at the commander-in-chief. Reid complained of the long deployments troops had to endure, and of the high costs to the American taxpayer, for a war that continued to drag on, seemingly without end. “The President still doesn’t understand that America’s limited resources cannot support his limitless war,” the Nevada Democrat lamented. Reid gave that speech on April 10, 2008, and it wasn’t for the first time that he castigated the man who occupied the Oval Office over the way the president was conducting the war. The war that Reid was railing against was in Iraq, and the commander-in-chief the senator berated as clueless was George W. Bush. But two … Continue reading

Dean Group Mounts BP Boycott Over Spill

A group of progressives associated with the former head of the Democratic Party is urging supporters to boycott BP until the energy giant cleans up the continuing massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The call for the boycott Thursday by Democracy for America (DFA) comes a month into a spill that still hasn’t stopped, and is leaking as many as 100,000 barrels of crude daily into the waters off of the Louisiana coast, and as President Obama signaled further action as a result of the disaster. BP, the fourth-largest corporation on the planet, is in the midst of its latest attempt to stop the flow some 5,000 feet beneath of the surface of the Gulf in a maneuver … Continue reading

War Spending Bill Also Includes Bucks For Jobs, Oil Spill Cleanup, And More

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to vote Thursday on a supplemental spending bill designed to continue funding combat operations in Afghanistan which also includes billions to save teaching jobs nationwide, start addressing cleanup due to the BP oil spill, and other domestic initiatives. The legislation would provide more than $37.5 billion to support U.S. troops, conduct the war in Afghanistan, continue to draw down troops in Iraq, and provide non-military assistance and build up State Department operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, according a summary of the bill provided by the committee. It also would fund a variety of domestic programs, too, including $24.7 billion to retain teachers, police officers and firefighters in their jobs nationwide. That includes $23 … Continue reading

BP’s Spill Liability Not Capped If Company Guilty Of Wrongdoing, Senate Panel Told

BP could be subject to unlimited damages and liability for the massive, month-old oil spill unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico if the disaster was caused by the company’s wrongdoing, a top Justice Department official says. That means the energy giant could be liable for billions of dollars for the damage being caused as upwards of 100,000 barrels of crude leaks daily into the waters off the Louisiana coast, even if Republicans are successful in blocking legislation designed to raise the current $75 million maximum liability BP faces under current law. The catastrophe was caused by an April explosion on an offshore oil drilling platform called Deepwater Horizon, leased by BP. BP will be responsible for the full cost of … Continue reading