Should Obama Send in the Troops to Handle the BP Disaster?

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Florida Sen. Bill Nelson on Tuesday called on President Obama to send in the troops on the Gulf oil spill. Nelson had suggested as much to reporters in the Capitol last week. Now that the top-kill effort failed (and the newest plan hit a snag Wednesday morning), Nelson says he wants Obama to put some military force behind the effort.

“While the Coast Guard, under the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Guard both are involved, it is my belief that the broader assets and command and control capability of the Department of Defense could better translate your directives into prompt, effective action,” Nelson wrote to Obama.

Nelson didn’t outline exactly what he thinks the military should do, just that he believes their presence would provide assurance that the federal government is handling the situation.

“I believe such an approach would help protect people’s livelihoods, as well as our coastlines, wetlands, and fisheries from the damages of this oil spill. Certainly no one thinks the problem in the Gulf is going to be solved in a few days,” he continued. “But Americans need to feel that their government is taking an all hands on deck response.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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