Our “liberal media” at work!
The Republican Party is picking up where they left off in the last election and helping to define themselves as the party “of and for” corporations – especially big oil.
In 2008, they had “Drill, Baby, Drill” and all the money that came along with that. This election year, they’ve chosen the Keystone XL pipeline to show how they plant their lips on the ass of big oil.
Once again, they have the media on their side in this endeavor. Media Matters for America did a study of media coverage from August 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011 on the Keystone XL pipeline. The results aren’t a surprise to anyone who pays attention to reality. This chart tells the story pretty clearly.
The GOP has been tremendously successful at getting the media to play along with them since August of 2011 on this issue and the above chart shows us the results. The red bars show how “job creation potential” was mentioned in the coverage from major media outlets with the green bar representing the “environmental concerns.” If you’ve been following the topic recently, it is obvious that Republicans are trying to make this into their jobs program, or at least an attempt to show how the Obama administration is preventing job creation. Go read the whole article at Media Matters, it was very thorough.
When you drill down into the numbers (I couldn’t resist), it turns out that reality is much different than the propaganda that has been sold to the American people. In a different post, Media Matters has some interesting information that gets to the real job numbers associated with the pipeline. Here are some snippets that show a progression that begins with Fox News…
Fox Anchor Martha MacCallum: 20,000 Jobs Is “The Low-End Estimate.” [snip]
TransCanada Said In 2010 That Keystone XL Pipeline “Is Expected To Create Over … 13,000 New Jobs For American Workers.” [snip]
Wash. Post: Based On TransCanada’s Numbers, “The Number Of People Employed” Would Actually Be 6,500. A November 5 article in The Washington Post reported that TransCanada CEO Russ Girling “said Friday that the 13,000 figure was actually not a true job number, but actually accounted for ‘one person, one year.'” The Post added that “if the construction jobs lasted two years, the number of people employed in each of the two years would be 6,500.” [snip]
Cornell University Global Labor Institute: Based On TransCanada’s Numbers, “The Project Will Create No More Than 2,500-4,600 Temporary Direct Construction Jobs.” [snip]
Cornell University Global Labor Institute: “Based On The Figures Provided By TransCanada For The Canadian Section Of The Pipeline, The New Permanent US Pipeline Jobs In The US Number As Few As 50.” (emphasis mine)
The estimate by the independent group at Cornell University puts the number of temporary jobs at 2,500 – 4,600 and the number of permanent jobs at 50. Those jobs would certainly matter to the people lucky enough to get them, but it ain’t no 20,000 jobs for sure. And considering all the risks to the states that this pipeline would travel through, not worth it at all.
Republicans are either stupid or crazy, take your pick!
In November of 2011, the Republicans decided to embrace the issue in their negotiations for extending the payroll tax cut that President Obama was fighting for. The pipeline became their bargaining chip in those negotiations, even after being warned by the State Department that trying to force the issue would result in it being killed for sure. That didn’t seem to bother the GOP, from a State Department briefing on December 12, 2011…
The State Department has led a rigorous, thorough, and transparent process that must run its course to obtain the necessary information to make an informed decision on behalf of the national interest. Should Congress impose an arbitrary deadline for the permit decision, its actions would not only compromise the process, it would prohibit the Department from acting consistently with National Environmental Policy Act requirements by not allowing sufficient time for the development of this information. In the absence of properly completing the process, the Department would be unable to make a determination to issue a permit for this project. (emphasis mine)
But like the flat footed, clumsy party that they are, the GOP kept right on pushing it. So during the holidays, we were treated to the White House fighting for tax cuts for every American while the Republicans were blocking those tax cuts and supporting big oil. Coming off the BP oil spill in 2010, I’m not sure that is the group you want to wrap your arms around.
Just over a week ago on January 18, 2012, President Obama officially rejected the Keystone XL pipeline bid.
But the president said today in a statement that the congressionally imposed deadline did not provide adequate time for the State Department to finish a customary review of the pipeline’s route through six states.
“The rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment,” Obama said.
“As a result, the secretary of state has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.”
What is so astounding to me is that they don’t seem to really want the pipeline to go through, they just want it as a campaign issue. Steve Benen summed it up very well…
I’d argue that this is the outcome Republicans wanted all along. The GOP didn’t really want the pipeline; they wanted the ability to whine about the absence of the pipeline. This wasn’t, in other words, about energy production; this was about creating an issue for the 2012 campaign.
Besides the stupidity of pitting tax cuts for all Americans against the interests of big oil, Republicans also touted those outrageous claims of how many jobs it would create. Going into an election year that everyone says will be all about jobs, you would think they might pick an issue that would actually create some jobs. But instead, they’ve inflated and exaggerated numbers that even the company building the pipeline doesn’t agree with.
I’m seeing a new slogan, “Lay Pipe, Baby, Lay Pipe.” Now get your minds out of the gutter.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
This was a very good clip from Rachel Maddow’s show last night. I particularly like the beginning montage of Senators grilling the oil executives. It speaks volumes about how Washington works and corporate entitlement. It’s just amazing that they will issue threats if they don’t get their way. If they have to give up just a sliver of their PROFITS, they will raise prices. You got that, they’re getting your money one way or another.
Now obviously what Joe Barton said when he apologized to BP was idiotic, offensive and probably a bad idea politically (we’ll see about that). But for people to say he should resign from his committee post is just another attempt to rule by polls, popularity and giving the media way too much power in our political system. Isn’t that what elections are for? Joe Barton was doing something most Republicans have trouble with, he was being honest. I give him credit for telling us how he really feels and I wish more Republicans and Democrats would do the same thing.
As a Democrat I want him to stay right where he is and keep telling us how he really feels. Let’s make him the new leader of the Republican Party. Sarah, Glenn, Rush and Michelle Bachman need to move over and let Joe step into the spotlight. He’ll probably have more money than any other politician, he kind of has a lock on the oil money now, doesn’t he? So really, elections happen every two years and for a good reason, if you don’t like your representative, you vote them out. Running people out of town for making stupid statements isn’t the way it works in Washington, if it did, the place would be a ghost town.
In the Republican Party’s attempt to be on the opposite side of everything President Obama does, they often do the exact opposite of what their party has always believed in. It’s pretty funny when you think about it, because I think a lot of it isn’t calculated at all, it’s just boneheaded mistakes. It is one of the reasons why I’m not very worried about the elections in November and then again in 2012. The latest is some on the right making up shit and saying that Obama has turned down help from foreign nations. First of all it isn’t true, there are 15 different nations flying flags in the Gulf. Besides that, some of these countries coming to the rescue are <whisper> socialist. Which of course doesn’t matter at all, but to the new leaders of the Republican Party like Liz Cheney, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, apparently they are too stupid to realize what they’ve done. Don’t anyone tell them.
Since when are the American Exceptionalists on the far-right in favor of asking foreign countries to swoop in and save America?
Oh I know. Since they decided that they believe in nothing other than the exact opposite of what the president does.
The link goes to Steve Benen’s piece which lays out the lies from Palin, Beck and Cheney about not accepting help from foreign nations and then Steve says…
And third, aside from the simple facts of the matter, I’m not even sure why the angry right is taking this talking point seriously. What’s the message here? That President Obama is opposed to international cooperation? Isn’t that Republicans’ job?
I get the sense conservatives are so desperate to attack the White House over the BP spill that it’s clouded their judgment, leading to nonsensical talking points like this one.
I get the feeling sometimes the Michelle Bachman is behind the curtain feeding these boneheads their talking points. You have to give them credit for diversity when it comes to employing simpletons.
The craziness coming out of the mouths of some people seems to have no limit. Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of GE was on Morning Joke this morning and when asked whether BP should be trusted he basically said yes the can, they are just inept. The really crazy thing that came out of his mouth, and I guess we should cut him some slack because he is getting pretty old, but he said the president should have gotten all the oil CEO’s in a room and locked them in it until they came up with a plan. He was very serious about not letting them leave, forcing them to stay in a room in the White House until they came up with a plan. That is a perfect example of the absolute craziness coming out of some people’s mouths. Let’s break this down, he thinks the president can force private individuals to come to a meeting and then lock them in a room, forcibly, and keep them locked up until they solve an unsolvable problem. Does that sound like we are living in America to you? Is that really what he wants the president to do? Or is it just the right wing hyperbole that appeals to the knuckle-draggers in the country. It President Obama were to have done that, just imagine what the idiots like Joe Scarborough would have screamed.
After Jack Welch made these crazy claims, Joe Scarborough, who loves to talk out of all 4 sides of his mouth, jumps on it and sees an opportunity to use it to his advantage. They had a good ole’ time speculating about this crazy idea and Mika attempted to throw some reality into the situation and of course was talked over and diminished. She also went after Rudy Giuliani for telling a whole bunch of lies last week when he was on several TV shows. This was of course brushed off as White House talking points, whether it was true or not didn’t seem to matter, they are talking points. Which brings me to this whole “golfing while president” talking point the Republicans are trotting out, including the Republican commentors on this site who keep claiming to not be Republicans but when the latest talking point comes off the press, they are right there spewing it.
I have to give Jack Welch credit for shooting down that talking point and saying that president’s need to have recreation and downtime, it makes them think more clearly and do their job better. It’s just one more example of how the right and the media seem obsessed with appearances and symbolism. Reality really has no place in most of their thinking, as was shown when Mika pointed out all the real things that the Obama administration did early on in the crisis and that was then dismissed because they didn’t “convey” that well enough. In their pea-sized brains apparently if you don’t convey it, it didn’t really happen. That’s the type of mentality of too many of the talking heads on TV, reality doesn’t really matter, it’s perceptions that matter. I’m sure there is plenty of room to criticize little details that were or weren’t done, but when people make the blanket, exaggerated claims like he didn’t consult with industry experts…..that’s complete horseshit, they assembled a team of people in Houston composed of experts from many oil companies, engineers, physicists etc.
I have to give Mika credit this morning, she did an excellent job pushing back against the bullshit spewing from Joe and his cronies mouths. Mark Halperin was also a voice of reason, although he never goes too far out on a limb for the president.
Carole King, the most awesome singer and composer was on Morning Joe this morning and gave the greatest analogy to what the president is dealing with on the Gulf oil spill. She said she thought he is doing great and that he’s not a magician. She then gave the analogy….she said something like. “It would be like me and James Taylor trying to perform a show with people yelling “YOU SUCK”!
I love Carole King even more now, her album Tapestry is, of course, one of the greatest albums ever. I’ve heard it too many times though, but pull it out every couple of years to remind me what a great album really is.
BP has purchased 32 machines from Kevin Costner’s company Ocean Therapy Solutions for separating oil from water in the Gulf. This is great news and I think it gives a sense of hope for the situation that seems insurmountable to most. ABC News has a story about this new technology that could help to save the Gulf of Mexico, here are some chunks of that piece…
Costner has spent the past 15 years and more than $20 million of his own money into developing the oil separator, a powerful centrifuge that he claims can separate oil from water and dump the oil into a holding tank, leaving the water 99 percent clean of crude…
…Costner said BP had ordered 32 of the machines. While he acknowledged that a great deal of damage had already been done in the Gulf, he said the machines could still mitigate much of the problem.
“It’s not too late … That oil’s going to keep coming towards those people. That well has not stopped. So we have to be out at the source, sucking it up … I mean, we have to treat it a little bit like war,” he said. “We mustered logistically everything we had to get the beaches of Normandy. We have to muster everything we can to keep it from hitting our beaches.”
I want to personally thank Kevin Costner for investing in this company and caring about clean water. I’m not necessarily a big fan of his movies, but I love the man for doing this. I have to wonder whether a company that didn’t have Kevin Costner backing them up would have been listened to at all. Those BP characters are something else, they act like Republicans. :) And they probably are too.