TPMDC Saturday Roundup

Obama Announces Commission On Oil Spill
In this weekend’s YouTube address, President Obama announced the formation of a special commission to examine the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and to recommend future safety and environmental precautions. The commission will be co-chaired by former Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) and former Environment Protection Agency Administrator Bill Reilly (R).

“I can’t think of two people who will bring greater experience or better judgment to the task at hand,” said Obama. “In the days to come, I’ll appoint 5 other distinguished Americans – including scientists, engineers, and environmental advocates – to join them on the Commission. And I’m directing them to report back in 6 months with recommendations on how we can prevent – and mitigate the impact of – any future spills that result from offshore drilling.”

Vitter: Dems Politicizing Oil Spill For Energy Agenda
In this weekend’s Republican address, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) attacked Democrats in Washington, accusing them of politicizing the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in order to advance a wrong-headed energy policy.

“Some in Washington have tried to seize on this real human tragedy in the Gulf to advocate for a radical new energy agenda. That only cheapens the loss of those who’ve lost loved ones and brushes aside the ongoing, unsolved problem to spring forward with an emotionally-charged political agenda,” said Vitter. “That’s wrong and, frankly, an example of bankrupt leadership. Both Republicans and Democrats say they want to decrease our foreign dependence on oil, but ending all domestic energy production offshore would only make us that much more dependent. And this false choice on how to proceed in the future of energy exploration in the wake of a terrible accident contributes little to the debate.”

Obama Rails Against Al-Qaeda’s ‘Small Men’
President Obama delivered the commencement address this morning at the United States Military Academy at West Point, using his speech to denounce Al-Qaeda terrorists. “The threat will not go away soon, but let’s be clear: Al-Qaeda and its affiliates are small men on the wrong side of history,” said Obama. “They lead no nation. They lead no religion. We need not give in to fear every time a terrorist tries to scare us.”

Obama Calls For Greater Diplomacy
Also during his commencement address at West Point, President Obama called for greater efforts at international cooperation and diplomacy — a sharp contrast from the unilateralism and confrontation of the Bush years. “Yes, we are clear-eyed about the shortfalls of our international system,” said Obama. “But America has not succeeded by stepping outside the currents of international cooperation. We have succeeded by steering those currents in the direction of liberty and justice, so nations thrive by meeting their responsibilities, and face consequences when they don’t.”

Connecticut Dems Nominate Blumenthal, GOP Picks McMahon
Connecticut Democrats officially nominated state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal for U.S. Senate at a state party convention, despite recent criticism for having misstated his military record. “I have made mistakes. I regret them. And I have taken responsibility,” Blumenthal said. “But this campaign must be about the people of Connecticut.” At the Republican convention, the GOP nominated former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon, who will face a primary against former Rep. Rob Simmons. “I venture to say we’re going to lay the smackdown on him come November,” said McMahon.

Hillary Clinton Courts Chinese At Expo
Speaking at the World Expo in Shanghai, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for greater cooperation between the United States and China — a visit that comes in the middle of her attempts to win Chinese support for isolating North Korea. “We may not always agree on every issue, but we should seek and seize opportunities like this Expo to build greater understanding between our peoples,” said Clinton.

Van Hollen: GOPers Break With Tea Partiers On Wall Street Vote
In an interview on C-Span’s Newsmakers program, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) argued that Congressional Republicans’ votes against financial reform showed a break from the true desires of their Tea Party activist base. “I think a lot of the Tea Party movement is a reflection of the tough economic times we’ve been through,” said Van Hollen. “I bet if you were to ask members of the Tea Party movement if they wanted to rein in Wall Street…they would say ‘yeah, let’s rein in Wall Street. Yet not a single Republican in the House voted for Wall Street reform and in the Senate there were only four.”

Cuomo Announces NY-GOV Campaign
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) officially announced his much-expected campaign for governor. In his announcement, Cuomo said that New York can come back from hard times –├é┬álikening it to his own political comeback when he was elected attorney general in 2006, after a failed gubernatorial campaign in 2002.

“A few years ago I ran for Governor and I lost, and I then went through a very difficult time in my personal life,” said Cuomo. “It was a public humiliation. People said it was over for me, they said my public service career was finished; there was no way I could come back. Some days even I thought they were right. Well, it wasn’t easy, but I worked hard. And with the help of true friends and my family I built back. And with the compassion and empathy of New Yorkers, you gave me a second chance.”