Friday, July 02, 2010

Obama and the Oil Spill: Points to Ponder

The Gulf Oil Spill will go down as one of the most disastrous manmade catastrophes in modern history, of that there is no question. But such accidents don't happen in a vacuum. A friend of mine that is a police officer said "Fatality accidents are usually a series of bad decisions." I believe that axiom could also be applied to this crisis as well.First, a long time ago a raw young senator was plucked by very powerful millionaires to carry the banner for what they hoped would be a more easily controlled, "less cowboy" president. Names like Soros, Pickens, Buffet carry a great deal of political and economic power behind them. And rich people have rich friends. While the elite of the wealthy often have charities and such, they also indulge in pay for play, meaning that they massage the political strata and expect conciliatory payback down the line. British Petroleum was also an early corporate contributor to the Obama campaign. These powerful groups mobilized with their fellow millionaires to create a perfect storm of an election. Whether it was supplying ad space, or brokering air time or actually creating out of whole cloth a web site whose only purpose seemed to be to push Obama into the presidency, these folks were willing to do it.Obama gets elected after an exercise of some of the most egregiously biased media coverage of the history of the nation. In a type of casting like "American Idol" opposing candidates are pushed aside. Media time cannot be bought and newspapers will not cover some of the candidates early on in the primary season. Instead just a few are covered-Obama, Clinton, Romney and McCain. McCain is bringing up the rear, but suddenly gets a flurry of media coverage. Nobody bothers to ask why.The casting is complete, old guy vs, young hip minority guy, aging veteran vs. Ivy League lawyer. McCain, not surprisingly, loses. Obama, shaped by a coalition of very powerful people is in office.

Once Obama's in office, policy is set based on political premise over pragmatic goals. British Petroleum weighs in heavily to advising the White House on energy policy. Just days before Deepwater Horizon blows out, inspectors give it a clean bill of health. LIkewise, despite over 700 violations, BP gets awards from the government. When compared to other operators in the area, BP has the lion's share of violations, but is still given slaps on the wrists, until the wellhead blows killing 11 people. April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon explodes. This is unusual for a few reasons. First, while it is flammable, oil itself is slower to burn than gas, Any gas layers into the system should have set off alarms. It is believed that methane was the culprint for the explosion. The first reaction was to blame the entire process of deepwater drilling.This totally ignores that beach communities have pushed for oil rigs to be out of sight. This moves rigs beyond areas where repairs could be completed using divers. Once you are in the middle of the Gulf, you are in deep sea water.

The next blame was justifiably placed on British Petroleum. They cut corners and people died as a result. But who allowed the corners to be cut? Where were the inspectors on this issue?Moving forward, trying to spin the problem, in-house BP advisors tell the White House that sure it's a bad spill but that it can be fixed. Obama, believing them, puts off definitive action. This is critical to realize that had some actions like skimmers and booms been mobilized immediately much of the coastal marshland could have been salvaged. Instead, Obama,Emmanual, Axelrod, those guys who don't like to waste a crisis and knowing Cap and Trade was on the horizon, make the decision to delay thinking that a little oil on the water off shore from hardline Blue Dog and Republican coastal states would mobilize them into blindly supporting Cap and Trade provisions that would limit domestic off shore drilling. Unfortunately, British Petroleum is a British corporation. They don't really owe allegiance to this White House or to anything beyond making a buck off the Yanks.

BP lied. They knew the spill was far worse than imagined and that capping it would not happen easily. Two months and counting and only now have twelve of the thirty countries that offered assistance been contacted. Doesn't it make you wonder how long this crowd would take to act after a hurricane, and earthquake or God forbid, a terrorist attack?Even more glaring that this is the "out of sight, out of mind" attitude with which this crisis and all other issues outside the Beltway are attacked. It seems that photo ops and rehearsed speeches are issued while state governors like Bobby Jindal have had to repeatedly ask for the EPA, the Coast Guard and other federal groups to stop throwing up roadblocks to taking action. Jindal requested permission to build sand berms the day after the spill. Two months later he was still asking and when they finally started, the EPA gets huffy when the sand is taken from wildlife nesting areas. Here's a news flash for the EPA, if Lousiana doesn't get to build the berms sooner rather than later, those birds are going to die anyway. In addition skimmers were stopped because of fears that there weren't enough life jackets. Seriously, if someone is trapped in a car wreck do you stop the rescuers because they don't have enough flashlights?

Now the White House is trying desperately to spin this crisis their way. Obama's last Gulf speech was on a pristine beach in Florida. Why was he not in Biloxi or Grand Isle? Probably that was because the White House staff could not insure a benevolent welcoming backdrop for their president. In fact, given the attitude right now along the Gulf, they would have been luck had people not started throwing the toxic goo at him-Secret Service be damned. Biden shows up saying nothing and doing less. There are stories about clean up crews that show up while the Prez and VP are talking but which disappear once they are through. The folks along the Gulf may not be Harvard graduates, but they are adults and they know when they are being used and lied to. And when Petrobras agents show up at New Orleans drilling supply companies offering to take charge of rigs that have been shut down due to the moratorium, and the dots are connected right back to Obama supporters George Soros, well let's just say folks down there are not happy.

In the meantime the DNC are passing bills, ignoring budget deadlines and in general NOT DOING THEIR JOBS while the headlines about the Oil Spill gives them continuing political cover. Secretly the White House staff must be overjoyed that this crisis has taken the border war in Arizona off the front pages. While oil has spewed in the Gulf, armed drug cartels have taken over a national park. And the Feds solution is to put up signs warning people to keep out. I guarantee had this been any other president there would be mobs with pitchforks and torches parked on the White House lawn. Why is it that so many people, especially those in the media, continue to give this bumbling excuse of a president a free pass? Why do they not research the history of BP's relationship with those in the Democrat Party elite? When the mayor of San Francisco has his money in Transocean and has his wife's money in BP and when White House insiders also have a vested interest in seeing British Petroleum prosper, then you have to wonder if they are more interested in solving the problem or in just using the problem for political effect. So the final question is, when does the investigation begin?

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