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then this administration has really failed to do all it can to address the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.  Allow me to quote from his column We're losing the gulf war:  

The Post reported Monday that the administration has received offers of assistance from 17 nations. Sweden has volunteered to send three ships that can each collect about 15,000 gallons of oil an hour. Norway has offered to send nearly a third of its oil-spill response equipment. Japan has offered to send some boom, which authorities on the scene complain is in short supply.

According to Robinson,

The Swedes, the Norwegians, the Japanese and most of the other would-be Samaritans are still waiting to hear from the U.S. government or BP.

My point here is not to criticize what is now being done, but to point out what could have been done earlier.  And of greater importance, to raise a more general question about emergency preparedness.

Let's back up.  From the moment the Deepwater Horizon caught on fire and the possibility of a spill / leak was known, I believe the administration should have been moving heaven and earth to obtain equipment for the worst case scenario.

Those Swedish ships can, according to the Post article to which Robinson linked, collect about 370 barrels per hour, which at 42 gal/bbl = 15,540 gallons.  Or think of it this way, those three ships would have been scooping up 1110 barrels a day.  A small amount of how much is now acknowledged to be coming out, but over the period of time since they could have been on scene, a substantial portion of what has now been fouled could have been protected - by these vessels, by the other offers of help.

Let's back up further.  We have had previous serious situations - with tankers, with oil wells.  The world has developed an arsenal of vessels and equipment to address such situations.  If there is going to be drilling offshore, every nation should be participating in a common emergency response plan which would include identification of all possible resources, how long it takes to deploy, and what the effect of deployment will be.

Let's acknowledge that the previous administration did not have such a plan in place.  From the day of the fire someone should have wargamed the worst possible scenarios, while others were identifying all possible resources that could be deployed.  It should NOT have been left up to BP, because the risk was so great.

Of course, BP claimed it was able to contain any leak, but as Rachel Maddow has shown their response plan with its references to walruses was simply cut and paste from another document, and was never properly vetted by the Minerals Management Service or any other government agency, Federal, state, or local.

We learned from Katrina that we had not properly prepared to respond to the kinds of damage that was encountered.  One might have thought that an administration would have had someone say - okay, we were unprepared for this.  So where else might we be vulnerable?  Where is the equipment and materiel to respond?  How do we look ahead now to be able to respond to absolutely worst case scenarios?

And what if that brainstorming determined that we were not prepared to respond to a category five hurricane anywhere on the coast (despite having been through several in recent decades, and remember Katrina was NOT a 5 when it did its damage), or a serious blowout in an offshore drilling rig, or the failure of the largest sized tanker to navigate our waters.  We might not be able to prevent hurricanes, but might we consider restrictions on development on barrier islands that cannot be successfully evacuated?  Might we not restrict further drilling until we had proper plans in place to respond in case of a serious disaster, such as what is now happening?

How many other vulnerabilities exist, with either no response plan even though an event can be predicted, or with a response plan completely inadequate to the size of the problem?  Nuclear power plants?  Serious fires at chemical plants or refineries?  Sabotage - of levees, dams, power plants, refineries, even offshore drilling patterns?

As I read Robinson and then read the post article from which he draws much of his information, I worry that we still do not prepare for failures that either can be predicted, or for which however unlikely if they occur the costs they impose would be so great that it is criminal not to have a full response plan in place, tested if necessary.

And yet, I do think this administration bears a great deal of responsibility.  Let me quote the first two paragraphs of the Post article to which Robinson refers, and which is linked in the first blockquote:  

Four weeks after the nation's worst environmental disaster, the Obama administration saw no need to accept offers of state-of-the-art skimmers, miles of boom or technical assistance from nations around the globe with experience fighting oil spills.

"We'll let BP decide on what expertise they do need," State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters on May 19. "We are keeping an eye on what supplies we do need. And as we see that our supplies are running low, it may be at that point in time to accept offers from particular governments."

I am outside my particular area of expertise. And yet, before I was a teacher I was in data processing, and in that capacity learned to plan for problems.  I have helped develop a disaster recovery plan for a local government's data processing department.  As a manager of software development, I always planned for problems - call it a fudge factor, or simply allowing for a degree of human error based on past experience.

Past experience -  this administration surely knew from other areas of the government that plans left by its predecessor needed to be examined and updated.  

And the moment that drilling site became a problem, GIVEN IN PARTICULAR THE HISTORY OF BP, one might have thought that major efforts to prepare for a worst-case scenario would have begun immediately.

They did not.  The situation has been allowed to fester for too long without sufficient action, domestically and internationally, to attempt to control it.  

We might not have known everything.  We still don't know everything.  But to move the necessary assets, such as those Swedish ships, would take several weeks.  In the midst of a developing cricis, can one really afford to wait?  Suppose they were onsite within 3 weeks of the original leak?  

The explosion took place on April 20. If we allowed 3 weeks, those three vessels would have been on station by May 11, or more than 30 days as I write this.  1,110 barrels a day, for 34 days.  Not much, only 37,740 bbls total, on a leak that may well exceed that within 2 days.

What if all options had been deployed as quickly as possible?  The ability say by the end of three weeks to capture oil at the surface at the rate of 15-20,000 bbl/day?  

And then there is the really hard question -  suppose with all of the equipment in the world we can only handle a rate of 30,000 bbl/day, and the actual leak is greater than that:  what does that say about our decision to allow such drilling in the first place?

Life is not without risk.  Yet we humans can plan, we can consider possibilities, however severe.  We can prepare.  And we certainly can rethink our previous conceptions in a moment of major crisis.

If Eugene Robinson is right -  and I strongly suspect that he is -  then many in our government failed to plan in the first place, and to respond appropriately once the incident occurred.

Please note -  from what I can determine and what I know of the previous occupant of the Oval Office and his fellow oilman who really ran energy policy, the response to an incident like this would on their watch have been far more minimal.  

But that is too low a bar.  

And the damage being wreaked upon the Gulf and its coast - people, fish, birds, animals, habitat, livelihoods, ways of life - one can only hope and pray that we do not have a worst case scenario.  

And we must hope and pray that this administration, and its counterparts around the world, recognize that some of the activities they promote for economic gain carry risks that will be born by those of other nations.  On this, international cooperation and agreement are paramount.

Wherever there is a disaster or emergency response plan, at any level of government or in any private organization, I would hope those responsible would go back, check it out, see what's missing, what it depends upon.  Make sure it addresses so-called worst case scenarios.  Identify the resources necessary, those available, and set up working agreements for the sharing of equipment and trained personnel across national borders.

If Eugen Robinson is right - and he is - this administration did not do all it could and should have done.  That is something for which they will be held accountable.  Rightfully so.

Of greater importance is what those in governments, in the corporations that participate in this and similarly risky other enterprises, and we all, insist upon appropriate response plans to be in effect.

It would be truly tragic for another such incident to occur, and we still had not learned our painsfully won lessons.  Lessons from Katrina,  Lessons from this spill.

It is late.  I read the Robinson.  I reacted.  I wrote.  And now I post.

And then?  I am likely to live this one to the mercies of the community.


Originally posted to teacherken on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 09:59 PM PDT.

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    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 09:59:29 PM PDT

  •  Twitter overloaded, so I cannot tweet this (34+ / 0-)

    to my followers.

    Don't know what if any value I offer here, beyond calling the two pieces to your attention, the op ed by Robinson and the Post news story which seems to be the occasion of this column.

    I do have to go to bed.  So I will for now leave this to your mercies, catching up with any comments in a few hours.  

    Then again, there may not be any comments with which to catch up.

    Which is okay.

    So long as you read the the two pieces to which I link.

    then feel free to draw your own conclusions.


    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:05:00 PM PDT

  •  At first that 15,000 gallons at hour (12+ / 0-)

    sounds impressive. But that's only about 350 bbl/hour. This gusher is spewing at 150 times that. Three of those boats would make maybe (assuming everything worked right) a 2% dent in the problem. I don't think there is enough equipment in the world to handle the scope of this gusher. Yes, it's a nice gesture on the part of the Swedes. But I don't think it would've mattered.

    Republican ideas are like sacks of manure but without the sacks.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:05:31 PM PDT

  •  Interesting and thought provoking. Th Teacherken (19+ / 0-)

    I do wonder, though, what would happen if we permitted international assistance.  Would wingnut heads explode?  You know how they hate the "world community" and Obama's "apologist" tone.  

    I'm protective of our president.  I wish I could protect him from criticism of not handling the spill well.  

    Considering that the spill and disastrous aftermath are completely the result of deregulation and the growth of stateless multinationals, Barack can't altogether be "blamed" for anything.  

    It's all so difficult. I can't look at the pictures online of suffering creatures.

    Thanks again for your thought-provoking diary. I look forward to reading more comments to help me cope with how I feel about this spill.  (I wept this morning when I read a Native American leader describing Grandmother Earth as bleeding.)

    Bartender, make mine a Markos Marxist Maoist Muslim Molato Moulitsas Mojito.

    by DontTaseMeBro on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:06:26 PM PDT

  •  Why not use every resource... (11+ / 0-)

    Illegal Alien: Term used by the descendents of foreign colonizers to refer to the descendents of indigenous people

    by mojada on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:20:34 PM PDT

  •  The President's address to the nation (44+ / 0-)

    is seven weeks too late. I was expecting it the day after the explosion. He would be on tv, saying "My fellow Americans, there has been a disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. I have sent scientists and other experts to analyze the spill. They will report back to me and my administration will do everything in its power to control the situation..." Stuff like that. Day after day, I waited for a response from the White House. Finally on April 26 Bill Press asked the last question at the Gibbs press briefing. He asked about the gulf and about the safety of off shore drilling. He was rebuffed with "we don't want to get our oil from dangerous places in the world."

    So I agree with this diary, not enough interest early in the game was shown by the administration. They sent delegates down to the gulf and they let BP manage the message, the gusher, the so-called clean-up. Now BP is threatening to arrest members of CBS for trying to photograph the area. They are owning the airway over the gulf as well. Every attempt they have made to stop the gusher has resulted in more pollution.

    Let's hope the administration can make up for lost time.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:23:09 PM PDT

    •  to be fair (18+ / 0-)

      the day after the explosion, they didn't even know yet it was going to be anything like this. there have been many rig fires where no blowout occurred, that's the whole point of the BoP.

      the bigger problem is that our entire national response to such an incident was geared around the idea that we let the oil companies take care of it. the thing I want to see from Obama tomorrow is something saying, "the oil companies are never going to be in charge of this again."

      I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes...

      by 2501 on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:00:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  aloof, naive, politics, partners in crime (5+ / 0-)

      None of the explanations to justify Obama/the Obama administration's response are good.

      Aloof/Detachment - "Hey ya'll. I got a lot going on right now. My people are on it and I trust BP. It'll blow over."

      Naive - "I trust BP in almost all regards. Why shouldn't I?"

      Politics - "If I commit the government to take control over this and it does not go well, it'll look bad and we'll lose political points!! Best to leave it all in the hands of BP so we can blame them for everything and pretend we were powerless."

      Partners in crime - "Look, you guys fucked up, but so did we. We can both go down in flames or we can pull through this. We're going to largely leave it in your hands, you're going to take a hit in PR, I'll put some blame on you in public, divert attention, but we're not going to really unleash the public and law on you. You'll recover, be making massive profits again and my administration, the Democratic party, and US government as a whole will pull out of this largely unscathed. Win win."

      "I think we're an Oligarchy and I think it's getting worse." - Sen. Bernie Sanders

      by PoxOnYou on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 01:36:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's seven weeks late, yes. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Uberbah, thethinveil

      But it's only now happening because public opinion is demanding it.

      Obama spent the first six weeks using the resources of the United States to assist BP in covering up and belittling the story. They are still trying to cover it up. But the story is just too big. And it's getting bigger by the day.

      Let's hope the administration can make up for lost time.

      This is a case where I actually hope and expect the government to be incompetent. So as not to prevent the truth from getting out.

      As to..

      Finally on April 26 Bill Press asked the last question at the Gibbs press briefing. He was rebuffed with "we don't want to get our oil from dangerous places in the world."

      Really? WTF? I missed that.

      •  Bill Press - the briefing shld be available in (0+ / 0-)

        C-span archives. Check it out. None of the other Washington Press corps asked about the spill and this was day 5. Press was treated like an irritant.

        I think it is imperative that the media get through to the beaches and shores of the Gulf and even the airspace. The first thing to do in a revolution is to control the media - BP is controlling the media. It may seem morbid but photos of those dead animals will sway opinion very quickly. People will get behind the movement to ban off shore drilling completely. So the media has to break through that barrier.

        This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

        by Agathena on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 05:34:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  American exceptionalism (41+ / 0-)
    The same thing happened with Katrina.  Many countries, including my own, offered assistance and it was refused by the Bush administration.  Many countries, including my own, have an effective regulatory framework for deep water offshore drilling including the requirement of drilling a relief well in case of a blowout and independent regulatory monitoring of drilling.  The problem with American exceptionalism is that you begin to believe that there is nothing that you can learn from anyone else.  An American friend reacted to the offers of international assistance for Katrina this way.  "Foreign assistance?  But we're the United States!"
  •  It seems clear the WH wanted BP responsible (19+ / 0-)

    for the costs of the clean-up.  They wanted BP to be the responsible party legally.  Unfortunately, this focus of legal culpability and narrow focus limited the scope of possibilities with respect to actual problem-solving.

    I did hear some reporting on outdated maritime law.  I remember vaguely that the law mandates that the company responsible for a disaster is legally the party responsible for conducting/heading the response.  If there are indeed legal obstacles, congress needs to step up and change the law.

    If others nations want to help us in our time of national disaster, why didn't we let them?  For the people, the animals, environment and the future economy in the gulf, there is no answer that could possibly be satisfactory.


  •  it's human nature to avoid emergency planning (8+ / 0-)

    Most folks don't have any idea how they would manage if the electricity was off for a few days. That's why we need strong planning agencies that cross check emergency plans between different players such as the coast guard, EPA, BP, etc.

    In a democracy, everyone is a politician. ~ Ehren Watada

    by Lefty Mama on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:26:33 PM PDT

    •  nevertheless, (5+ / 0-)

      prudence and Murphy's Law demand that planning always be for worst case scenarios not best case or cheapest scenarios. failure to do so is gross negligence IMO.

      "Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear." Gladstone, Me -8.88/-7.08

      by zedaker on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:00:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, but . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies, zedaker

        perhaps because I was tired I was not as clear on this as I can be.

        You do want to imagine the worst possible scenario.  You then want to size different levels, to determine the level of response for each.

        Depending on the nature of the kind of thing, you may not necessarily have to have prepositioned or fully preplanned for the worst possible, if the consequences of such an event would still be manageable.  After all, prepositioning is very expensive.

        So let's make a distinction.  If you know a category 5 hurricane is headed for the shore, you can and should start moving material closer to be able to apply it more quickly, even as you also have to be cautious not to expose it.  

        I might argue given the amount of deep water drilling occurring in the Gulf at any moment, if Sweden has three such vessels  (which I presume are to protect portions of their coast from accidents from Norwegian drilling - I am unaware of any offshore efforts in Swedish waters), might not it make sense for us to have had, say, at least twice that number in the Gulf area at any time?  Would that be sufficient for a disaster of this scale? Of course not.  But it would allow for a better chance of immediate control.

        "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

        by teacherken on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 03:22:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yup (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Heart of the Rockies

          i found no fault with your writings or even lefty mama's. i was simply restating her end thought.

          i agree that the prep planning and so on is, and must be, an externally applied requirement, i.e. government regulations, partially because of her first thought, but, more so, because corps are amoral, and will not do it themselves. therefor, they require an external morality imposed on them.

          i also agree that the government should pick up some of the functions like the ships you mentioned with the cost carried entirely by the owners/operators of all the wells in some fashion, be it fees, royalties or lease costs, or direct taxes.

          "Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear." Gladstone, Me -8.88/-7.08

          by zedaker on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:23:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Tiny nitpick with Swedish vessels? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I might argue given the amount of deep water drilling occurring in the Gulf at any moment, if Sweden has three such vessels  (which I presume are to protect portions of their coast from accidents from Norwegian drilling - I am unaware of any offshore efforts in Swedish waters), might not it make sense for us to have had, say, at least twice that number in the Gulf area at any time?

          Norwegian coast - North Sea
          Swedish coast - Baltic Sea
          Difficult for Norwegian oil to get there. :)

          I suspect these vessels are for tanker accidents in the Baltic Sea. Which might also explain their somewhat limited capacity (per day).
          Most countries here have at least some of these vessels.

          •  okay - I accept your picking of the nit (0+ / 0-)

            and if that much for tanker accidents, how many should we have for tanker accidents in the US, where our rate of import is so much greater?

            "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

            by teacherken on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:27:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  If we're to believe the POTUS... (0+ / 0-)

          they did imagine, foresee, and were warned of a much worse scenario.

          And, if we're to believe the POTUS, they prepared for that much worse scenario.

          I mean, it's obvious. Just look at how well the response is going...

          More and Better Democrats

          by SJerseyIndy on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:35:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  If President Obama broke it... (20+ / 0-)

    then he and WE would OWN it...lock, stock and barrel. The  "if we break it, we own it" is a General Colin Powell's adage. If he had made his move too soon, then BP would have been off the hook. Just sayin....

    •  Yep, it was a no-win deal (8+ / 0-)

      Nothing but a relief well was/is going to help much. Certainly not those silly booms that wash right up onto the shore, not if you had 4,000 miles of them. And, not any artificial islands that will probably do more damage than good.

      Can you imagine the folks at BP saying, "We would have... but, President Obama ...."?  

      Can you imagine the right wingnuts saying, "BP would have... but Obama ...."?

      Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction -- Pascal

      by RJDixon74135 on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:58:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  please tell me which is more important (7+ / 0-)

        political ownership or protection of the environment?

        Again, after what happened with Katrina, it seems to me a prudent administration would have ordered a government wide review of possible emergency situations and the plans to respond.  Hell, every administration seems to do that with military contingency plans.

        If nothing else, we have to demand that this administration at least now scour the government for areas in which government authority might not be clear, and get the laws passed that will allow the government to take control while still leaving the actors - in this case BP and the other companies - financially responsible.

        "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

        by teacherken on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 03:25:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But the free market knows best (0+ / 0-)

          and de-regulation and privatization are magic words.

          /black humor

          "UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems." -- Barack Obama, Aug. 11, 2009

        •  I understand your comparison (0+ / 0-)

          to military contingency plans, but I think the US has failed in that regard, too, and not just in the Middle East.

        •  so far (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, PsychoSavannah, RJDixon74135

          The federal government has not shown itself more competent to deal with this than BP. Sorry, that is the real deal. Obama called the military--they don't have any expertise beyond 2,000 feet. The oil companies have all the expertise, equipment, engineers. Now maybe Obama could have called in Exxon, Shell, Conoco-Phillips, but that would take BP off the hook if anything went wrong.

          What we may fault Obama with is the ground response--deployment of boom, skimmers, ect. And on this point, i think Thad Allen has shown himself the victim of lack of imagination and innovation. He's not the right person for this job as it is now.

          Never underestimate the ability of the Right to over reach.

          by never forget 2000 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 06:34:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Protection of the environment is paramount (0+ / 0-)

          But, all those who point out that the federal government lacks the technical ability to shut in the well are right. So, I think we need to look at it as two problems. One 5,000 feet down at the well head (if not deeper into the well bore) and the other cleaning up the oil that's escaped. I think the federal government could pretty easily take over the latter, and perhaps should. Be sure to watch the testimony Thursday. We may learn more there, and be better able to make some decisions, and get some more action going.

          Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction -- Pascal

          by RJDixon74135 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:19:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If that was the calculation, it was a bad (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greeseyparrot, marina, SJerseyIndy

      calculation.  We are on the hook anyway.  

    •  Instead... (0+ / 0-)

      that many more birds, that many more fish, that many more fishermen (etc. etc. etc.) are on the hooks of death and bankruptcy.

      But, at least BP was held liable for long enough....

      More and Better Democrats

      by SJerseyIndy on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:36:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Indiv. states could maybe request intl. help (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ctsteve, JanL, Blogvirgin, MichaelNY

    to protect their coasts. Wouldn't be as politically treacherous that way. just thinking out loud here

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:28:25 PM PDT

  •  Preparedness (7+ / 0-)

    This is why each of us has to make emergency and disaster plans of our own.  We cannot depend upon the government, we cannot depend upon the experts, we cannot depend upon anybody but ourselves.

    This is why Transition Town, Relocalization efforts, Common Security Clubs, and preparedness planning are good.  We should be ready for our regions' most common disasters and emergencies ourselves, help our families and neighbors prepare, just in case, and work with local authorities to make sure our relief systems are in order.

    Then we should keep on kicking and screaming up the chain of responsibility until whomsoever is in the White House does his/her job.

    And don't forget, Solar IS Civil Defense

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:31:03 PM PDT

  •  Help From Foreign Oil Collecting Ships (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cdreid, ctsteve, JanL, blueoasis, sixthestate

    The foreign oil collection ships could make help with the clean up effort if they were parked offshore in strategic areas, say at the entrance to a channel into the coastal marshlands.  They don't collect much oil when compared to the total gusher volume, but several of them together could protect a selected shoreline.

  •  We never listen (7+ / 0-)

    Shouldda gone for the bigger boat.  We should have regulated industry more.  But, please, oh please, lest we do more damage to the world, let's not forget the party that chanted "Chum baby chum!"

    Obama didn't do enough to unravel decades of cutting corporations loose to gamble more than necessary with our environment to pad profits a bit more.  Yes, let's hold him accountable.  But let's make damn sure it's not by empowering the very people who dedicate their lives to pushing for more of the same.  

    It's worth giving up something in an argument if you're all standing on a mountain of gold.

    by Sun dog on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:32:31 PM PDT

  •  I'm getting tired of this crap (41+ / 0-)

    Just like with Wall Strret, Pres Obama is left to clean up another Bush/Cheney/Republican deregulation disaster.

    The only way Pres Obama could have 'possibly' done anything about this beforehand is if he would have started firing everyone in the MMS upon taking office. That can't be done because most of these people are conservative gov't cronies placed in those (for all intents and purposes) life time positions by Bushco on purpose. Plus, can anyone imagine the Wingnut cries of 'socialism, communism, fascism' or whatever the hell they would call it if Obama would have started finding reasons to shit can those people before this spill happened?

    Whatever, I'm so tired of this shit. Every single time we get a Dem Pres, that Pres has to spend almost all of his time cleaning up Repub fuckups. Meanwhile, those very same Repubs start blaming the Dem Pres for the fuckups they themselves caused and we end up getting stuck with another Repub Pres after only four years.

    Mission. Fucking. Accomplished.

    "Load up on guns, bring your friends. It's fun to lose and to pretend" - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:32:39 PM PDT

    •  Spot on, Jeff. (18+ / 0-)

      Teacherkens sign off:  "I am likely to leave this one to the mercies of the community" brought out the cynic in me.  I know he meant his diary but I couldn't help but think there is no mercy here for one Barack Obama and if there's none here you can bet your last dollar there isn't any elsewhere.

      I have nothing to add.  I'm heartsick about the gulf.  And I'm heartsick about the gulf between this site and our president.  

      "Armageddon was yesterday. Today we have a serious problem."

      by Lying eyes on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:59:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  we'll get our bearings. (8+ / 0-)

        i know it's hard to feel balance here sometimes. beyond these orange gates it can feel flipped the other way.

        but in the big picture of things there is no doubt in my mind this was the right president for the job and this critical juncture as a nation -- for the chance to change. it was always going to be hard as hell.

        we are learning big lessons about governance, preparation and policy -- not just the administration, but americans in general. at least, the ones who care about getting our act together.

        our President signed up for a helluva tough job... It was never about just him, it was always going to be about the raising the quality of our consciousness and political action as a nation.

        that book is still being written... here and elsewhere.

        anyway. i am heartsick too. i just don't want you to feel despair.

        The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

        by beijingbetty on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:13:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The reason for that gulf is simple: (4+ / 0-)
        1. Lack of leadership in gulf catastrophe.
        1. Blanche Lincoln.
        1. The Health Care debacle, which will enrich insurance companies and frighten everyone who already has health care.
        1. Scott Brown.
        1. Kicking DADT down the road while proclaiming triumph.
        1. The MMS Embarassment.
        1. Not standing by his nominees.
        1. Capitulation as bipartisanship.

        Need I go on?

        British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

        by Bensdad on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:33:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And that has exactly what to do with this thread? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, Lying eyes, jonnie rae

          Pat yourself on the back, Sparky. You just did the 'already been done on here a million times', and attacked Pres Obama on the oil spill with a list of crap that has absolutely nothing to do with the oil spill.

          "Load up on guns, bring your friends. It's fun to lose and to pretend" - Kurt Cobain

          by Jeff Y on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 12:29:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  My opinion may be simple to some here who have (9+ / 0-)

        vast knowledge on history and politics...I'm still learning. I think President Obama is getting some very bad advice. It seems like he is being held to a higher standards and unrealistic expectations to fix a lot of crap left behind by Bush, Cheney & crew.
        Watching CNN the other night Richard Quest mentioned that 39% of BP stockholders are American. Have you seen the GOP who still want to keep on drilling? they still want to keep on drilling, not surprising.
        They smell blood. They want President Obama to fail -- they want us to fail. I'm not ready to throw in the towel. I voted for this man, I care very much about what is happening. I agree with some of the criticism at the same I will give him the benefit of the doubt. This is all so very heartbreaking.

        "About that Hopey Changey Thing" --Change takes Courage.

        by We Want Change on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:46:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I appreciate and accept nuance. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cdreid, miriam, TracieLynn, JesseCW, MichaelNY

          But it's interesting that you feel Obama is getting bad advice and yet you still give him the benefit of the doubt. IMO, Obama is accountable for receiving and acting on bad advice. Too often already he's found himself chasing the narrative set by others. I find it problematic.

          The beauty of doubts is they can be erased. I am anxious to see what he says tomorrow.

          Through all your faults and all my complaints, I still love you.

          by jayden on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 12:21:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think millions of people and most of us here (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marina, jayden, beijingbetty

            are also anxious - which in this case is a more apt word than "eager" - to hear what he says.

            I know that President Obama is not as far left as I am, and that he is too influenced by the Chicago School of economics and aspects of imperialist foreign policy, and gets and acts on some bad advice from Rahm Emanuel, but I also know he is very intelligent, resilient, and can take the initiative in a crisis and change his strategy when Plans A, B, and C aren't working. I also think that he means to do what he thinks is best for this country and its people, although there's no way of knowing that for sure. I retain a degree of hope that he will continue taking some important steps toward progress - more incremental than I'd like, but steps in the right direction.

            But the problem is, in the area of energy/climate change, incremental steps are grossly insufficient to stanch the severe symptoms of climate change and contamination by fuel waste. I sure hope he makes a big pitch for radical legislation to limit climate change, aggressively transition to renewable energy, and drastically increase conservation of dirty energy.

            We shall watch and listen tonight.

      •  I meant the diary, as you note (5+ / 0-)

        now that I am awake, I am going through the comments.

        The blowout was April 20.  Obama is addressing the nation on June 15.  Methinks that is at least 30 days too late.  Regardless of anything else, at least for that he can be held accountable.  I think he will acknowledge that tonight.  

        "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

        by teacherken on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 03:28:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  teacherken, I honestly don't understand the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lying eyes, PsychoSavannah

          significance of this point you are making.

          It honestly sounds like something along the lines of how he has failed to show enough emotion at various times, to various people reporting on his responses during this tragedy.

          I sincerely do not care about his providing a nationwide, pre-empting, televised address to the USA's inhabitants vs. the progression of interviews and statements, policy directions (e.g., drilling moratoriums and creation of tougher oversight+contingency plans going forward), etc.

          Maybe this speech will help to sideline some of the odd implications from the more severe speculation of his Administration's possible failings - or, even the unproductive, if well-meaning - attempts to get BP and others more stridently engaged in minimizing a truly significant disaster via means never addressed before.

          Other than that, I don't understand the significance of this "30 days too late" perspective that you offer, perhaps implying that the Administration has done far too little to help the situation - or itself - until whatever focus this speech may provide to viewers.

          "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

          by wader on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 07:41:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly! It almost sounds like Politico on here. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, Lying eyes
    •  I like Nancy Pelosi's idea (14+ / 0-)

      When someone asked her when we'd stop blaming Bush for all the problems:

      We'll stop blaming Bush when the problems go away.

      Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction -- Pascal

      by RJDixon74135 on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:06:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, Eugene Robinson won his (18+ / 0-)

      pulitzer prize for covering Barack Obama.  He was and is a PRO OBAMA supporter.

      But facts be damned!!!

      Yes, Bush/Cheney left a mess, but the Obama Administration treated oil/gas as business as usual.

      They gave the green light with hardly NO VETTING to BP for that rig.  We got to face that and deal with it because it is true.

      Obama ran around here stating oil rigs don't cause oil spills.  A very stupid and clumsy statement.

      Yes, Obama can use his time tomorrow night slamming Bush/Cheney, but do you think the country gives a mickey-fick right now?  Especially for those gas bags?  They don't want finger pointing, they demand action.  Yes, the previous admin won't get off scott free, as you here crickets from them, but we are in the here and now.  Barack Obama needs to perform sweepers in that White House and until then, his behavior remains the same and he is still caught up in the bubble.

    •  He didn't help his cause today by saying (19+ / 0-)

      we would restore the Gulf to better than it was before, or words to that effect.  Not possible in this situation.

    •  He has the opportunity tonight (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to speak to the nation and say just that.  I've got a dime that says he doesn't.

      Wanna bet ? ? ?

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 12:54:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hear you (5+ / 0-)

      But it goes with the territory. President Obama knew what he was getting into, and it really doesn't help that he had announced a proposal to increase deep-sea drilling shortly before this calamity struck.

    •  We need to clean house (0+ / 0-)

      And that will never happen with either party.
      With very few exceptions, if any, I can hardly see myself voting Democrat again. But I'm an overseas vote now, which get counted last and no one pays attention to, right? I don't really have faith another party will take over, I'm looking more at what we can do on the ground level to take control back, that is not affiliated with any parties, to make the governments and elites fear us again (and ideally for us to feel empowered and organized enough to throw out the whole system and run our lives without these power structures anymore).

      "I think we're an Oligarchy and I think it's getting worse." - Sen. Bernie Sanders

      by PoxOnYou on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 01:45:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not speaking of militias (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But democratization of all aspects of our communities, cities, and work places and reducing and eliminating the hierarchy that leads to the problems we have, that all countries share following this same model for civilization.

        "I think we're an Oligarchy and I think it's getting worse." - Sen. Bernie Sanders

        by PoxOnYou on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 01:48:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Voting Democrat (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pattym922, never forget 2000

        People who actually vote Democratic, or for Democrats, generally don't use "Democrat" as an adjective. Sorry if that seems nitpicky to you.

        To respond to the substance of your post, focusing your attention, money, or/and time on NGOs is fine, but not voting because you think your vote doesn't really count, somehow, is in my opinion shirking a fundamental duty of citizenship. Sorry if I'm misunderstanding you.

        •  Yes and no (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I do vote, but ultimately it's not the direction we need to be aiming for. We should be fighting to regain control over our lives and the decisions that are made that affect us and the world we live in. The current model does not work as the power is taken from us and instilled in the hands of very few who have other problems that affect the decisions they make or don't make.

          "I think we're an Oligarchy and I think it's getting worse." - Sen. Bernie Sanders

          by PoxOnYou on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:22:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I follow your reasoning (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Basically, the problem is that the U.S. is not a democracy but a representative republic, and the representatives aren't representing the people enough, but representing their campaign contributors too much. It's the most basic problem of the system, and all of us should do something about it, but it's such an overwhelming - and worsening - problem, it's hard to know what to do.

            What are you doing about it?

    •  Okay, now that you tackled "beforehand"... (0+ / 0-)

      try having a go at "duringhand" and "afterhand".

      Best of luck in your defense of the indefensible...

      More and Better Democrats

      by SJerseyIndy on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:39:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Generally I agree. However. (0+ / 0-)

      Just like with Wall Strret, Pres Obama is left to clean up another Bush/Cheney/Republican deregulation disaster.

      I would better use the words "cover up" in place of of "clean up" in this thought.

  •  The only thing I'd like better than seeing BP (18+ / 0-)

    prosecuted for this is seeing Halliburton strung up with them. From what I've (obsessively) read about this kind of blow out in the past, there's frequently been a connection to the cement job. Even Newsweek has asked Why is Dick Cheney Silent on the Oil Spill?

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction -- Pascal

    by RJDixon74135 on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:32:58 PM PDT

  •  A sort of related question and, like Ken, I'm (14+ / 0-)

    out of my depth here but I have to ask:

    When the nation experiences catastrophes (floods, tornadoes, fires, hurricanes), the first federal responder is often the National Guard: protecting against looting, guarding homes, filling sandbags, and in general just helping people -- often mobilizing within a day or two. Why not hundreds of NG cleaning the beaches? Why not NG (or Navy) monitoring the boom that seems to float useless in a lot of places? It's been two months now, and when you hear locals say "Nobody is doing anything," that doesn't reflect well on the WH, whether it's Obama's "fault" or not. Can't we at least send some warm bodies to shovel shit off the beaches?    

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:33:45 PM PDT

  •  American ego (18+ / 0-)

    Chest thumping go it alone macho Exceptionalism, we don't need no stinkin' help from no stinkin' foreigners, we're better than them, even if we are the ones who  suffer enormously  we damn sure don'[t want to "show weakness".  It's like an entire nation roid-raging every day for a century.

    We who have been nothing shall be all. This is the final struggle. ~E. Pottier

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:35:08 PM PDT

  •  Many offers would require legislative changes (16+ / 0-)

    Some of the same legislation that prevents companies like BP from discharging contaminated seawater from drilling processes back into the ocean also make it illegal to use the kinds of skimmer/separator vessels offered.

    Most of these skimmers cannot clean the water to a degree that makes it legal to put it back into the gulf, so everything collected must be taken ashore and processed - something we have fairly limited capacity for. That's why we turned to burning and dispersing instead. Those are legal.

    That's not Obama's doing, and it takes time to work around those kinds of regulations.

  •  Obama never took the Gulf oil blowout seriously. (29+ / 0-)

    And this permeated his administrations failed response from failing to even find out the extent of the problem, helping BP hide the flow data from scientists with everyone now admitting that Obama's low ball numbers were the absolutely most out of touch with reality.

    Obama golfing and Gibbs joking "This is not the first spill, it won't be the last".  Got knews for Gibbs it could very well be the LAST spill for this administration.

    So of course Obama failed to mobilize, failed to bring in all available help and now is playing catch up with "I'm gonna git you sucka" acts on TV morning entertainment shows, announcing strongly worded letters to BP, announcing he wants a BP escrow fund, all meaningless to cleaning up the mess, preventing new blowouts, rallying the nation to cut oil use.

    For some reason, Obama never took the oil blowout seriously and, as with Bush's response to Katrina, Obama is too little, too late.

    I hold little hope that Obama's speech on Tuesday will be anything other than more bromides for image polishing.

    •  "For some reason" (15+ / 0-)

      This is not a pro-environment administration. Environmental protection does not seem to be on their "radar screens."

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:53:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ain't even the environment. Should be also (13+ / 0-)

        about response to emergencies. I am not overly impressed by the admin's ability to respond well and quickly. Other than having Emmanuel beat up on progressives and labor....

        To the teabaggers "May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." Sam Adams

        by shigeru on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 12:00:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Based on what? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          foufou, soothsayer99, MichaelNY

          Off the top of my head, I can't think of that any other massive-scale emergencies besides the Haiti earthquake and the H1N1 pandemic.  I thought the response was as good as can be expected for imperfect human beings.  But then I see the "having Rahm beat up progressives" talking point, and I now know what you're about, so nevermind.

          •  You do like ad hominem attacks don't you? (4+ / 0-)

            Other than Haiti, we can see the Xmas bomber in which the Homeland security person was nonchalant at best, the numerous comments during this very long and slow response from countless others in the admin, the mining disaster was a bit off kilter too. So there have been a few. Don't get me started on the health care process and financial reform.  

            I'll tell you that other than two votes years ago for Shirley Chisolm, I have never voted for anyone other than a dem. If the Obama admin has me questioning its competency then it is in trouble.  I just don't know if "at least he's better than Bush" is going to garner too many votes the next time around.

            And really I did like Obama. Still do. Don't care much for Emannuel and some of the finance retreads. But did like Obama and if you have been on this site for a while you might remember some of the 2008 battles. However, you have no trail, no posts and seem to be one of that mysterious group that pops up whenever there is anything critical of the prez.

            Unlike you I WANT a demo victory in 2012, just unsure that we will have one.

            To the teabaggers "May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." Sam Adams

            by shigeru on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 01:36:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What "ad hominen" attack did I use against you? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              foufou, SouthernBelleNC49

              Seeing your "Rahm = evil" talking point and drawing conclusions that you're predisposed to rip Obama from the left?  That's "ad hominen" to you?  That's not "ad hominen", that's "consider the source".  

              Besides that, most of my post was substantive response to your post, and your counterreply was rather weak.  "Off kilter" response to mining accident?  What did you want?  Nonchalant response to Xmas bomber?  What did you want that wasn't done?  They did an investigation as to how the guy was allowed on the plane and reformed the system to deal with it.  I guess you're talking of PR response after the emergency is over with, like a beltway villager would talk about.  I talk of real response to emergencies in progress, when I talk of the human emergency of the Haiti earthquake aftermath and the H1N1 pandemic.  Yeah, the response to the oil spill wasn't appropriate for what turned out to be the actual severity.  That one example isn't enough to draw your conclusion of weak responses to emergencies in general.

              BTW, Good luck primarying Obama and then trying to keep the black vote in the general.  If you "WANT a demo victory in 2012" it might behoove you to not piss off the most reliable voting block of the Democratic party.

              •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

                That's not "ad hominen", that's "consider the source".  


                "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

                by JesseCW on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 03:17:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You complete fucking jackass (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                by their very definition ad hominem arguments are those which attack the source of an argument rather than anything within the argument itself.
                Unlike you, and far too many other fools at this site seem to think, name-calling by itself does not constitute ad hominem..

                Alito. Kennedy. Roberts. Scalia. Thomas.
                More important than ever: ERA NOW!

                by greeseyparrot on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:13:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  addendum (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  The Liberty of Meat

                  Sadly*, the term has been so misused at this site alone, I've no doubt that within a few years, if not already, one will be able to find dictionaries giving "insult"  as a second, or third, meaning.

                  *"Sadly" IMHO. Call me a conservative elitist, but I'm no fan of the entirely "descriptive" approach taken by some modern dictionaries.

                  Alito. Kennedy. Roberts. Scalia. Thomas.
                  More important than ever: ERA NOW!

                  by greeseyparrot on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:26:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  "At least he's better than Bush" Obama obit (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              In 2012 Obama's campaign message will be "I'm better than Bush (or whatever right wing disaster GOP runs in 2012)".  He'll be right about that but he won't be president because that's all he is.

              That is really what it has come down to for the remnants of Obama supporters on DKOS.

              We've been "walking back" Obama's presidency from the beginning.  We have to "walk back" stimulus bill that half way happened, health care reform that never happened, Wall Street reform that never happened, Guantanamo that never closed, equal rights that never happened.

              As Freidman noted, Obama should have ridden the Gulf oil blowout from the beginning to pass energy and climate bills he is only now weakly making that connection but his incompetent response per Herbert's column and others, makes that unlikely.

              Had Obama proposed real solutions or even the solutions he campaigned on, fought for them and had to compromise people would be more tolerant but he never even proposed what he advocated during the campaign.

    •  Who is our candidate for 2012 n/t (0+ / 0-)

      To the teabaggers "May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." Sam Adams

      by shigeru on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:58:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's down to 2 candidates (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shigeru, tberry, Jerry056

        Zombie FDR or Zombie Nixon, the best environmental President ever.

        •  umm, no, best environmental president TR (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          which is why it was such a joke that McCain said TR was his model.

          "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

          by teacherken on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 03:35:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Equal "big joke" compariing Obama to TR. (0+ / 0-)

            Obama's weak, whatever BP says or wants is OK with me, response vs. what TR would have done. While Obama orders Coast Guard to take BP orders and hide the disaster, TR would have dragged the reporters (and the BP execs) to the beaches and demand they put them on the front page every day.

            Obama opens up 300,000,000 acres to pointless East coast offshore oil drilling.

            TR preserves 300,000,000 acres from development.

            TR is day to Obama's night.

            The shrinking but increasingly reactionary group on DKOS that still supports Obama's string of failures shows how out of touch with reality it is in making comparisons of Obama to TR on the Gulf oil blowout and the environment in general.

    •  The severity of the situation was underestimated (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      never forget 2000, jonnie rae

      at the time Gibbs made his statement and at the time foreign help was declined.*  

      That's Occam's razor explanation, and it explains everything that's happened.  Your and Agethena's explanations, on the other hand, require going into conspiracy theory crap and/or Obma = anti-environment crap.  Go there if you want to, but I'll take the obvious explanation.

      * It would be uncouth to accept help that you don't think is necessary, as it would waste the time and effort of the help offerer.  Instead you decline it with "Thanks, but we don't think we need help right now, but if it turns out that we do then we'll get back to you", which is what has happened here.

      •  The severity of the situation was underestimated (6+ / 0-)

        by a White House listening to BP instead of independent sources.

        This is exactly what happens when you trust industries to "fix themselves", and presume that only "experts" from those industries have anything of value to teach you.

        Both of these theories require an even handed application of Occams Razor - and what's left is

        "Naive Incompetence"

        "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

        by JesseCW on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 03:19:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's it. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Misplaced trust in "industry" experts.

          As if...they couldn't possibly have any bias.

          Obama failed completely to repopulate the government oversight cabinets and agencies with independent and unbiased sources of expertise and opinion.

          McCain was even positively surprised in his cabinet appointments. That by itself ought to tell you all you need to know.

          •  It's a massive "Smartest guys in the room" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, CapeTown96


            On every topic, from Afghanistan to Poverty to Bank Regulations to Energy, the President seems to accept whatever parameters his advisors set for him, and to accept that whoever they present to him as "experts" is in fact both expert and honest.

            That's the only way I see him getting to statements like "Drilling today doesn't result in spills" or "Nuclear power is safe".

            "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

            by JesseCW on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 05:39:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:


              Smartest guys in the room

              David Halbestram had a book on this topic, I think, as it worked out with the US involvement in the Vietnam War, The Best and the Brightest.

              Turns out the experts are fools, probably lying fools. No wonder we don't trust them. Their credentials are fake. Their purpose is to sell the establishment story. Their lies often come crashing down like a house of cards.

        •  When did the "experts" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, miss SPED

          believe this was a catastrophe? April 20? April 21? April 30? Give me a link.

          Never underestimate the ability of the Right to over reach.

          by never forget 2000 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 06:53:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  he should have had MMNS (or whatever) gutted (0+ / 0-)

      That was Salazar and Obama's responsibility to teh country after taking office. He ahd over a year to clean that thing out. That' and his team's arrogance from teh outset in taking on this spill have ruined him and may lead us all to a Palin presidency. That, above all else, would be the worst case outcome.

  •  i've been wondering about this, tk (12+ / 0-)

    having heard vague references for the last few weeks.  this is the first summary i have seen. there is no excuse and no rational reason why all possible resources have not deployed to save the gulf - american and foreign.  so much loss going on as we debate the terms and wait for a presidential address.  all of this should have happened last month.  there is no excuse.

    i am in a dark frame of mind tonight.  the more i read, the more i feel as if we are in for some very difficult times.  bp is not to be trusted to resolve this disaster and i don't know that our government is either.  at this point next to nothing has been done that builds my confidence in either doing the right thing at the right time.  never have i felt so helpless.

  •  Thanks teacherken (7+ / 0-)

    I have felt for many weeks that while the feds had no real help to offer regarding the gusher at the ocean floor, they really missed an opportunity to get out in front on the containment and cleanup. The feds response to the containment and cleanup has been unacceptably slow, and people are justified in their criticism.  

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:40:57 PM PDT

  •  Lax regulation of offshore drilling (10+ / 0-)

    and lax regulation of credit default swaps go hand in hand.  The Obama administration has not been pushing for these needed reforms.  

    I want Obama to show me that he is willing to challenge corporate power.  I hear strong words from him, but I am waiting for the strong actions to back them up.

    Up until now, Obama has been a show of intending to reform without doing anything that threatens  corporate powerbrokers.  Tuesday night will be interesting because Obama needs to take on BP and that's not his style or preference. He will either transform or be exposed by his confrontation with BP.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:42:46 PM PDT

  •  Gen. Russel Honore (Ret), the general who (23+ / 0-)

    took charge in the days after Katrina, was interviewed on the Anderson Cooper CNN show and asked what he thought of the response to date.

    Without referring to the Administration, he said the response should be to go on offense (as in war) and not continue what he regards a defensive response - reacting instead of acting.

    He would mobilize all military assets available, including pulling troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and form three theaters of operations along the Gulf coast with a major general in charge.

    And one of the things he would recommend is accepting any and all forms of assistance in the collection or disposal of the oil.

    And he would place the well and BP in federal receivership.

    He regards this as a greater threat than any terrorist act.

  •  Clearly, Obama cut a deal with BP. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, dhfsfc, blueoasis

    BP wants control of whatever oil it can collect. It doesn't want to get other nations or oil companies to be messing with THEIR OIL. So they made a deal with the ever-compliant Obama to keep other companies and nations out of the Gulf, let the oil spew out, and let BP recover as much as it can. Oh, and let the remaining oil kill off the coastline ecosystems and the aquatic life in the Gulf. Who gives a rat's ass about the coastline?

  •  The Obama Potemkin Village keeps falling away (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cdreid, Bensdad, dhfsfc

    it'll be gone soon.

    Obama dined with David Brooks, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer & George Will; but not with Kos

    by Churchill on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:01:24 PM PDT

  •  TK, I've heard people on other blogs saying that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, CWalter, Rogneid

    National Security issues possibily account for the huge lag in response time and public information regarding the spill.  The armed forces in the US use enormous amounts of fuel, and while we know that the Deepwater drilling project makes up a small percentage of US total oil consumed, it may feature largely as an independent and sovereign (ie, American) source of oil for the govt., if necessary.  

    Do you know anything about this angle?  

    •  national security issues - (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miriam, Rogneid, lallard, FireBird1

      as in if we act against BP in the Gulf we might have to bar them from federal contracts, and they are the largest supplier to military in Iraq and I also believe in Afghanistan?    That would be subsequent contracts, not canceling of current contracts.

      I do not see how a vigorous response to the situation in the Gulf in any way would jeopardize national security.  I think it is clear that national security broadly construed is being seriously damaged by the ongoing crisis.

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 03:38:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If BP walks away from those contracts (0+ / 0-)

        out of spite, our men and women are well and truly fucked.

        Look past your anger and disappointment and look at the hundreds of different issues that need to be taken into consideration....

      •  teacherken.... (0+ / 0-)

        Excellent diary!  

        One vital thing you brought up has received no comments here.  It is the thing that keeps me awake nights.  How many other catastrophes are waiting to erupt that this administration is unprepared for?  There are plenty of other "unprecedented" scenarios that can take place tomorrow and there's little excuse for "No one expected such and such to happen."  

        But that's not the entire point.
        Foresight is a good beginning, but the test of leadership is when the unexpected does happen. And fifty-six days into a crisis is too late to claim leadership.

    •  one more point on national security (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miriam, Rogneid, lallard, FireBird1

      our inability to respond properly expands the targets for the next terrorist attack.  We know wells and rigs can be targeted -  think back to the Iran-Iraq war, for example.

      Now imagine the resources it would take to protect all the drilling and pumping sites in the Gulf.

      And while you worry about that, how little effort it would take to breach levees in New Orleans, or perhaps some levees upriver along the Mississippi -  I remember an angered farmer who did substantial damage with a bulldozer.

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 03:40:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, absolutely. (0+ / 0-)

        I can't figure out whether the story is being guarded in order to "protect" national oil interests or whether it's being edited/veiled/made difficult to decipher b/c national security sees this as a huge revelation about security weaknesses.  

        I am wearing so many tin foil hats recently that I'm surprised Reynold's Aluminum's stock hasn't skyrocketed.  I know the message is being controlled, but exactly by whom and to what end will only be apparent in the fullness of time (as in "men must endure their going hence even as their coming hither;/Ripeness is all").  

  •  WaPo article yesterday (19+ / 0-)

    I didn't see this referenced in your diary, teacherken.  My apologies in advance if I'm repeated something that you or someone else has already cited.

    This article lays out some information about help that was offered, and what the response was.

    After delays, U.S. begins to tap foreign aid for gulf oil spill

    Four weeks after the nation's worst environmental disaster, the Obama administration saw no need to accept offers of state-of-the-art skimmers, miles of boom or technical assistance from nations around the globe with experience fighting oil spills.

    "We'll let BP decide on what expertise they do need," State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters on May 19. "We are keeping an eye on what supplies we do need. And as we see that our supplies are running low, it may be at that point in time to accept offers from particular governments."

    That time has come.

    In the past week, the United States submitted its second request to the European Union for any specialized equipment to contain the oil now seeping onto the Gulf of Mexico's marshes and beaches, and it accepted Canada's offer of 9,842 feet of boom. The government is soliciting additional boom and skimmers from nearly two dozen countries and international organizations.

  •  BO's BP response, slow, uneven, hesitant (5+ / 0-)

    doesn't want to take control.  AM I WRONG?

    Obama dined with David Brooks, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer & George Will; but not with Kos

    by Churchill on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:06:17 PM PDT

  •  I still want to believe in Obama, but tell me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cetylovx, Rogneid

    Obama dined with David Brooks, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer & George Will; but not with Kos

    by Churchill on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:06:36 PM PDT

  •  No, convince me, that BO was on top of this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cetylovx, dhfsfc

    Obama dined with David Brooks, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer & George Will; but not with Kos

    by Churchill on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:06:56 PM PDT

  •  My question - Where is the military on this? (7+ / 0-)

    They know the world runs on oil.
    They would be the only ones capable of addressing a disaster of such epic proportions.
    They were in the Gulf when Saddam opened the spigots.

    They are supposed to plan for things like this. Where was their 'action' plan?
    Have they never done a 'what happens if a terrorist organization blows up a rig' scenario?

    Those folks who are trying to get in the way of progress - let me tell you, I'm just getting started. I don't quit. I'm not tired; I'm just getting started.

    by Unenergy on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:06:57 PM PDT

  •  BO let BP handle PR, keep "free press" out (7+ / 0-)

    they even let BP deny access to areas of the oil spill.

    Obama dined with David Brooks, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer & George Will; but not with Kos

    by Churchill on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:07:37 PM PDT

  •  The Obama Administration died...... (15+ / 0-)

    .....along with those 11 men. And it is a tragedy. It is apparent to me that he is just tone deaf and that he doesn't have the right information. Everything he says, sounds like it is spoken through a heavy winter muffler. I can't even listen to him anymore. I cringe.

    He appears not to remember that someone else promised that he would make New Orleans "better than ever". He didn't. So perhaps we shouldn't be telling the people on the Gulf that it will be "better than ever" and talking about how it is actually better that oil wash up on beaches because it is easier to clean (true) and that it will all go away in a year or two (false, and you just cancelled bookings on the Gulf Coast for at least 18 months.).

    He appears to know less than FishGrease and is just not being informed. It's as if his brain has gone to another planet. We witnessed this phenomenon first when he let Scott Brown take Massachussetts. He lost his mojo in August of last year during the health care "debate" when he let them snag the message.

    There is nothing he can say or do tomorrow to get people back. He had a golden opportunity to JUMP on a crisis. It was in the same goddamn place if he needed a big hint. Silence. For weeks.

    This would be worse but the Louisiana whores have decided they don't want to scare big oil away because they employ 58,000 in Louisiana. So they don't point out the utter failure to do anything.

    To you who would say "What do you want him to do -- put a frogman suit on heh heh heh", I say, no. All I wanted him to do was lead and make Bush look ridiculous.

    That hasn't happened. And the Gulf catastrophe is the death knell of his administration. He cannot recover.

    British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

    by Bensdad on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:19:13 PM PDT

  •  This paragraph says it all" (12+ / 0-)

    "We'll let BP decide on what expertise they do need," State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters on May 19. "We are keeping an eye on what supplies we do need. And as we see that our supplies are running low, it may be at that point in time to accept offers from particular governments."

    The administration is 50% responsible for this.  For lack of vetting, not cleaning up a corrupt and compromised department from the beginning, and just letting a major catastrophe be handled by BP.  BP's inept, callous, don't give a shit CEO has done more damage not only for BP but for Barack Obama.  The public has a right to ask, "Who the hell is in charge?"

    I guess the name, "Katrina", does not mean anything at 1600 PA AVE.


  •  now advance this thinking to nuclear: (10+ / 0-)

    if we can't fix a disaster, should we be building new nukes?

    any thoughts on that, mr. president?

    "...this election has never been about me. it's about you."--barack obama

    by fake consultant on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 11:32:54 PM PDT

    •  there is no plan for the failure mentioned (11+ / 0-)


      JEFF BIGGERS: You know, and that has always been my feeling as a journalist and as a historian, that a crisis is never a crisis unless it’s validated by a disaster. And so, we’re just waiting for another disaster. And we have all these ticking time bombs ready to go off. You know, the BP oil disaster is horrific, and it’s catastrophic, but it’s in the millions of gallons. And if you look up just a few miles up from the Upper Big Branch coal mine, there’s a billion-gallon coal slurry impoundment held back by an earthen dam. And right now Massey, in massive violations, is blasting with a mountaintop removal operation, a strip mining operation, that is once again compromising and jeopardizing the earthen dam that is holding back almost six billion gallons of toxic coal sludge. And if that earthen dam broke, as it did ten years ago in eastern Kentucky, when not one single mainstream news media covered it, then the people below, the same coal miners who have just lost twenty-nine people in the Upper Big Branch, they will have less than fifteen minutes to flee a seventy-foot tidal wave of toxic coal slurry.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 12:05:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  These are assistances not desired. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dhfsfc, JesseCW

    Where is there any profit motive in letting Sweden and Norway fix a problem that can become more profitable in the short term to fix with private and domestic ventures?

    ...They sound like nice countries. Maybe if I can afford a train ticket anytime soon I'll take one to these nice states.

  •  I wouldn't trust Japan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PinHole, Rogneid, BrighidG

    Cheney met with the Saudis and the Japanese right after the spill.

  •  The free market will solve these problems. (6+ / 0-)

    Keep saying that. That's been the first commandment of US politics for the last 30 years.

    Don't blame Obama. This was BPs well. Every governor around the gulf - EVERY ONE, list them - Crist, Barbour, Riley, Jindal, Perry - all of them wanted drilling, all of them wanted this economy, all of them wanted the government to stay out. The voters in those states want the government to stay out. Remember, the 9 most terrifying words according to zombie Reagan and Sarah Palin:

    I'm from the government and I'm here to help

    Stop blaming Obama for BPs failure. Stop blaming Obama for what the public has demanded constantly for 30 years. Maybe a summer of having the kids lay in the 10W-30 will change people's concept of government, but since Obama took office, they haven't become more receptive to a functional government, they've become more actively hostile to it.

    Leave it to Republicans to set the house on fire and then rant that the fire department is socialist.

    by johnsonwax on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 12:20:03 AM PDT

  •  Do you ever feel like a truant officer, (7+ / 0-)

    Trying to tell the parents that their kid is missing school and on the verge of getting himself into trouble or even flunking a grade, only to be yelled at, "My boy is a GOOD boy, how dare you!"

  •  I've wondered why this hasn't become an (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dhfsfc, ThisIsMyTime

    international effort yet.

    The answer is pretty obvious, it would be a bad political move.  

    It would freak out the anti-UN "one world government" crowd and split off the isolationists at a time when the Obama administration wants to use this crisis to unify public support for tougher energy legislation than he could get otherwise.

    It would start a meme of "Obama thinks America is too weak to handle this ourselves."  "Obama couldn't deal with it himself so he had to get help from the pussy-assed swedes."


    It would make Obama look like weak leader to a lot of moderates and independents, many of whom are already starting to see him that way for not diving down there and wrestling that leaky pipe like a snake and tieing it in a knot.  

    Toyota: Proof US Union Labor Still Does it Better

    by VelvetElvis on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 12:40:06 AM PDT

  •  Glen Beck and Eugene both agree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, eXtina

    Glen also mentioned this on his show, although he blamed Obama not wanting to piss off unions for not rescinding the Jones Act (i have since washed my eyeballs). This is new territory.

  •  The response should have been simple (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, ohmyheck

    In the words of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.  "Get there fastest with the mostest."

    When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

    by rmonroe on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 01:37:28 AM PDT

  •  My career was the reverse of yours. (6+ / 0-)

    I taught for four years before switching to data processing for the next 30. I retired in 1995. There were two expressions that we used with respect to planning. One was "drop dead date." It meant that we had to have something done by a particular date, there was no getting around it. This usually came up when we were installing a new system or a major modification to an existing one and there was a date that we could not ignore. Often this date was the start of a calendar or an accounting year.

    The other expression was "drop dead event." In our planning we would identify things that could disrupt service in critical, unacceptable ways. System crashes in general fell into this category and we tried to imagine what events would cause a crash and we then devised ways to prevent them, and ways to mitigate the damage should they occur. One drop dead event that we failed to anticipate was the computer room getting too cold, but it happened once, long ago, in a computer facility we had in Queens. We were powerless, we had extra cooling in the event of temperature rises, but we did not have extra heating capacity.

    To deal with drop dead events we learned to benefit from the experience of others. There was a sharing of ideas among data processing units in general. Disaster planning, as we called it even then, was an important part of our business. And it was a serious activity. We spent the money on the tools we needed and we were ready. I remember very well the day we reduced our restart time after a crash of an online customer service system from 35 minutes to four. And at the end of my working life, we never went down -- at least during the last four years before I retired. We never had to go down for maintenance, we never had to go down for backups, and we never crashed for failures of any kind.

    Preventing disaster was always the goal, but its constant companion was minimizing disaster's effects should it ever happen.

    Anyhow, I ache when I see the Gulf Disaster story unfold. I can't understand how any engineer worth his salt could tolerate such negligence. It is unbearable to me and I am just an onlooker.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

    by hestal on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 02:07:20 AM PDT

  •  Well, there's the problem, right there... (6+ / 0-)

    "We'll let BP decide on what expertise they do need"

    Wrong, wrong, wrong! You don't let the criminals control the crime scene. You don't trust the person who broke it to fix it. Especially when they've shown a propensity for being screw-ups in earlier events.

    Of course, if Obama had immediately stepped in and accepted help, shoving BP out of the way, the Righties would have popped a blood vessel. He can't win for losing, poor guy. But what he should do - what anyone should do - is consider the helpless before anything else. The people who rely on the Gulf to make their living. The animals. The American people who feel an impotent anger at the sheer horror of this catastrophe.

    It's too late to go back and do it differently. But it's NOT too late to step up and do it right from here on out. Obama should be on the phone with reps from every country that put its hand out to help only to have it ignored. THIS is his 3 AM call.

    Beyond petroleum my ass! ~ Rachel Maddow

    by Purple Priestess on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 02:19:38 AM PDT

    •  I honestly don't know how we could have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Purple Priestess

      logistically shoved "BP out of the way" in this case - they were already on the scene, with far better equipment than the USA government owned and had best experience with the initial disaster . . . since they lived (and died) with it, firsthand.

      I was reading about our accepting some offered help from foreign countries weeks ago, but none of it was focused on the flow at ocean floor, for example.

      Obama has said this was ultimately his responsibility, but at the same time he had to rely on those with the most experience in dealing with such deep well situations.  Even so, the Administration reviewed BP's plans for short-term containment and recently pushed the company into deriving an even better (and more costly) plan within the same timeframe already proposed - there's only so much our government can do beyond directing resources and pushing involved parties like a project manager, I feel.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:08:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder how George W. Bush would (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Kroning II

    have handled this disaster? Would his approach make Obama's look good by comparison? If so, how?

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

    by hestal on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 02:33:04 AM PDT

    •  We may be talking about differences in... (13+ / 0-)

      degree, not in kind.

      "You can still eat fish from the Gulf" is definately something I would never have believed I would hear Obama utter.

      At some point, every thinking man or woman will reach a turning point in which they have to accept that they cannot make any more excuses or explain away the inexplicable.

      I'm not upset about "not getting a pony."  I'm not angry about health care, or bailouts, or continued war, or no change in policy in Latin America.  I expected as such.

      I can't forgive being lied to about the death of an ocean and being told to eat fish from an ocean poisoned by oil and dispersants.

      It may be that we can't do any better in American politics. It may be too corrupted.  If that is so, than I pity us all.

      •  You know, I hate to say this but ... (0+ / 0-)

        "change we can believe in"
        has turned into something way to close to
        "meet the new boss, same as the old boss"

        this oil disaster shows 2 things to be true:

        1. we can not balance the good of society and the planet with the "rights" of the powerful institutions or those that are enriched by those institutions


        1. the very problem we lefties and bleeding hearts have over the way Native peoples have been pushed aside in the pursuit of "mineral rights" for corporations, is the same thing going on in the Gulf and will be going on in Afghanistan.  

        It isn't BP's oil, it is their crime.  We all know BP isn't interested in the clean up but in their liability.  Get 'em the fuck outta their and get to the actual task at hand-- which can not be compromised with their stock value or their corporate image.

        My political compass: Economic: -7.38 Social: -5.79

        by musicalhair on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 06:04:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  how long do you think it should take to (0+ / 0-)

          clean up and reorganize 30 years of undoing and brekaing the government? doesn't it usually take longer to fix something than it does to break it?

          •  it will take an infinite amount of time if ... (0+ / 0-)

            we can't even talk honestly about who broke it, why they broke it and the consequences of their breaking it.

            The problem IS the institutions government protects.

            what is the problem with our energy policy?  the interests of the energy companies.

            what is the problem with our banking system?  the interests of the banks.

            what is the problem with "tort reform" with regard to medical malpractice?  bad doctors and the ama that protects them and their influence.

            what is the problem with natural resource extraction?  the interests of the companies at the top of the that food chain that want to profit from it while never having to deal with worker safety or environmental protection.

            Follow the money-- right?  Where has wealth drifted over your last 30 years?  the top one percent of wealth holders in that time grew wealthier while everyone else beneath had to scramble, some more than others.  The problems, and the solutions start with dealing with their greed, and their lack of "that vision thing" where they are a part of society as opposed to above it.

            Till we who want things to be better can openly say that, nothing will get fixed.  Anyone that can't openly say it isn't working for anything to get better but instead are too busy saying "things aren't that bad, yet."

            My political compass: Economic: -7.38 Social: -5.79

            by musicalhair on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 09:26:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  How many of us will be eating that seafood.?? (0+ / 0-)

        I can't forgive being lied to about the death of an ocean and being told to eat fish from an ocean poisoned by oil and dispersants.

        I still support this president but this is a really really bad suggestion. I understand why he said it, but, really.

        MY Erdos number is 2146679321

        by NuttyProf on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 07:21:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I live down here. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There are areas still being fished.  Who are we to believe?  Is seafood still OK to eat?  I hope they're not lying when they say "yes" if it's from the western part of Louisiana.  I'm not going to eat it, just in case.  But why is President Obama perceived as such a liar?

          •  As an Obama supporter, I can think of reasons (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hestal, slatsg


            1. He is a politician, which is just a longer word for liar.
            1. His "fierce" support for LGBT Americans in stopping further implementation of DADT by executive order, like he said in his campaign.
            1. His strong "support" of the public option and opposition to mandates in HIR, like he said in his campaign.
            1. His month-long insistence that BP was doing everything they could/should do and his continued support and praise for people like Thad Allen, who are obviously shills for BP.
            1. His appointment of a cabinet of DLCers, Wall Street insiders, and Republicans, including a COS that has made public sport of trashing the left.
            1. His open disregard for opinions/ideas from the left, including Nobel prize-winning economists like Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz.
            1. His seeming unwillingness to learn from his mistakes, particularly regarding the chimera of bipartisanship, and his willingness to trash even his "most cherished" beliefs for little or no substantive gain (or even political advantage).

            Yes, Obama is still miles ahead of our alternative. I certainly still support him and do my best to respond to the ridiculous epithets hurled at him from the unthinking right.

            But there are a whole bunch of us who were cynical/jaded before his election. We dared to suspend our disbelief and accept that Obama really was different. We threw our energy into a political campaign one more time.

            Reality has intruded and we've gotten over our suspension of disbelief now. It's the curse of living in the reality-based community.

            Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ---Plato

            by carolita on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:48:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I felt during the campaign that ... (0+ / 0-)

              Obama could be the best president we've ever had.  But, more importantly after 12 years of bushes and 8 years of triangulations, we need nothing less than a perfect game to be pitched by him.  To continue the baseball analogy, he's given up a lot of walks already.

              My political compass: Economic: -7.38 Social: -5.79

              by musicalhair on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 09:29:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I don't. (6+ / 0-)

      Because George Bush is not only no longer President, but he's a terrible bar to set as a measurement.

      More and Better Democrats

      by SJerseyIndy on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:45:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If Bush had performed as Obama has (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miriam, slatsg

      step by step and word by word, going back to his "oil rigs don't cause spills" comments just 18 days before the rig blew, the progressive community would be rabid in tearing Bush to pieces.

      Now some of that would be simple politics, no doubt.  And that's fine.  But it's really looking like a significant portion of the progressive community is willing to rah rah for the President no matter what bad decisions he makes.  For example, his appointment of Salazar to Interior has been a disaster.  And it's a disaster completely of his own making.  Bush had nothing to do with installing a corporatist like Salazar.  And yet there's been remarkably little outrage from the progressive, "reality-based" community.

      Right now, I'm more concerned with how the progressive community is reacting to the President's actions.  I already know Obama is a corporatist and pushing him towards justice is going to take constant and extreme pressure.  The real question is: Does the progressive community, as a whole, have the ability to objectively analyze President Obama's actions, and not simply become a cheerleading team?

      HCR ended up as DLC triangulation.

      by gila on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:02:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  At the risk of being eaten alive... (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not at all sure that Bush's and Cheney's response would have been worse.  Only because they are oil men and they would have understood the ramifications of a blow out faster. I'd guess--and I may well be wrong here--that they would have accepted other nations' offers of help immediately  because they would have known how much it was needed.  

        Experience does count for something.  I can't imagine a worse response than what has happened here---which is no response.  Proof lies in the streaming video of oil literally volcanoing into the Gulf Of Mexico with no stopping it in sight.  (At this point, I am not a firm believer in the relief wells. I think the diddling around with top-kills, top hats, etc. have compromised the relief well approach)  

    •  Not only do we need to jettison the idea (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg, Picot verde

      that Bush, McCain, Palin or any of these idiots are worth comparing to, but that this Administration had better step up to the plate and rise above these problems.

      Reaganomics never ended. 'Wealth Creation' for the rich is still more important than a sustainable middle class

      by shpilk on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:44:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  More pundits complaining, they were wrong (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RevJoe, wader, Jerry056

    about election results and they are wrong about obamas response.  From the begining there main narative is how bad Obama is doing and they are sticking to that narative no matter what Obama does.  From healthcare to jobs, the only thing the media does is complain about Obama.

  •  Mostly You Are Right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If the government really doesn't know what to do they reorganize even though if you don't have a full deck shuffling it doesn't make a difference. Example HLS and the Intell Chief.

    I sense that the real problem in the White House group is paranoia about some of those around them and the potential of someone leaking something that would turn into the Right's battle cry.  So a brain storming operation requires a lot of people any one of which in a moment of ego could cause them a headache, so they don't do anything but sit on their hands.

  •  The Big Lesson (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Picot verde, zenox, David Kroning II

    The big lesson from this is that we are out of our depth drilling out there. It has to stop. I hear people on TV suggesting that this is a one-time thing and that we need to get back to drilling for more oil as quickly as possible.

    What planet are they living on?

    It ain't earth.

    On planet earth, the U.S. owns about 2% of the world oil reserves and at current production levels will run out in about a decade. Drilling on the OCS will extend this for perhaps another decade, but after that we are essentially tapped out. Given how difficult it is to change technologies, we had better move right now to other sources because even if we could afford to burn all the carbon into the atmosphere we are still going to run out of domestic supplies in the foreseeable future.

    Of course, if we don't mind a little global warming, we can just plan to get all our oil from other countries in the near future. What would that look like? We buy all our goods from China, we get all our services from India, and we get all our oil from the Middle East. Sound like a plan?

    The big lesson here is that time has run out and we will be moving to other sources of energy. That is, we will if the U.S. wants to have an independent existence.

  •  Now that I've read some of these comments, (8+ / 0-)

    I've seen enough rabid Obama bashing to last me a few months.

    Come To Arizona - It's a DRY Hate!

    by kitebro on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:04:10 AM PDT

  •  If G.R. is right: Declare War on the BPirates. (0+ / 0-)
    They are corporate persons, given vast freedoms by the Roberts Rewrite Society.

    So declare BP to be pirates and that a State of War exists.

    Back early 1800s the Bey of Tripoli and his Barbary Pirates took American ships and held hostages for ransom. Jefferson sent warships and won a small war.

    Today, BP and Hayward hold the Gulf of Mexico hostage.

    They have killed, maimed, and destroyed.

    War !!

    What else ???

    Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Career criminals + White Racists + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

    by vets74 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:11:34 AM PDT

  •  BP wants to declare this a success (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RevJoe, Picot verde, nervousnellie

    BP is hoping that they can cap the blowout and pay a few billion to cover the damage and then claim: "look, this was the worst spill possible and we took care of it."

    Calling in foreign help is admitting that they could not take care of it.

    But why is the administration cooperating? There is some sort of a deal that goes like this. Let us, BP, do it our way and we will pay for all of the documented damages.

    The bottom line is that BP wants to be able to say that offshore deep water drilling should be allowed, because we have an answer for even the worst case blowout scenario.

    •  I don't doubt this scenario for a minute. Bottom (0+ / 0-)

      line, though, is BP proved weeks ago that they can't handle it and the administration needed to have the spine to call them on it. Considering the President has said for HCR, if he's a one termer so be it, then he needs to apply that sentiment across the board. I thinks it's way pass the time to take the situation in hand and start calling the shots with respect to BP and the mess they have created and if the GOPers and blue dogs don't like it then it's just too darn bad. At this rate, President Obama is not going to be known as a transformational president, but instead as a president who bent over backwards to kiss up to GOPers and blue dogs who didn't give a rat's rear end about him or the country.

  •  Dkos: the same cast of character saying the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kat68, NamelessGenXer

    same damn thing over and over again.

  •  Of course Eugene is right. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, TJ, greenearth

    The POTUS incriminated himself in his Larry King interview.

    He said something to the effect of his putting together a team that made sure we were prepared for the damage, but that his team was told it could have actually been worse. So, they were preparing for a situation much worse than this.

    Well, if there was preparation for a situation worse than this, why is the situation getting worse?

    It makes absolutely no sense, and incriminates the administration as it relates to charges of not doing all it could or should have done.

    Moreover, statements like the one mentioned above pile lies on top of ill-preparedness.

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:16:29 AM PDT

  •  Et tu, teacherken? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sun dog, foufou, zenox, Jerry056

    Assessing and placing blame at this time does nothing but sully the picture and allow wingnuts the opportunity to dismantle the gains we have accomplished in the past few years.
    Could the President's response have been more forceful? Most probably. Will the dismantling of the Obama administration cure the problem? Is a return to the GOP controlled government going to help??? I don't think so.
    If we get caught up in arguing this point between each other, we're sunk, and so is the nation.
    Sorry, Teach, I don't think I'll remember this lesson.

  •  Are you sure no help was taken? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pattym922, Mother of Zeus, chrswlf

    If that's the case, why wasn't it?  You didn't address this in your diary.  I see one part that eludes to it (something about BP deciding what they need).  Could you be more clear?  

    •  HELP was and is being accepted BUT that would (5+ / 0-)

      undermine the entire point of his article.  They're massive ships on their way to the gulf but that would completely undermine the blame obama first crowd.  These pundits only focus on the negative and if they cant find the negative, they will make it up.

      •  That is why I asked this question. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't know what to believe anymore.  It doesn't seem logical that President Obama would turn down help unless there was reason.   What purpose would that serve?  Yet, I don't believe we get real or complete information anymore.  Maybe Obama hasn't been thorough.

        I do believe that the media jumps on anything it can in order to create controversy.  I'm familiar with the journalist and generally have respect for him.  

        If Obama had rejected legitimate help, I'm sure it would be front page everywhere as the media loves to pile on the President.  This sounds like the usual conclusion jumping I read here all too often these days.

  •  Thank you teacher (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scorpiorising, 3goldens, Picot verde

    I agree 100%. Obama and his administration should have moved quick and decisively. It's 57 days in and no one is vacuuming up the oil, STILL.

  •  "Clean-up..Chaotic", Marshall Is. Inspects Rigs.. (6+ / 0-)

    Not only is the clean-up effort failing to use assets from other nations, local emergency preparedness people in the gulf are calling the current efforts as: "Chaotic": (emphasis mine)

    ...From the beginning, the effort has been bedeviled by a lack of preparation, organization, urgency and clear lines of authority among federal, state and local officials, as well as BP. As a result, officials and experts say, the damage to the coastline and wildlife has been worse than it might have been if the response had been faster and orchestrated more effectively...

    ..But Leslie Pearson, a private oil-spill response consultant, said federal oversight of spill contingency plans largely amounts to accepting what oil industry operators say they can do, rather than demanding they demonstrate that they can actually do it...She and other critics of the federal government’s response point to parts of the world where they say foreign governments have stricter rules for offshore operators...

    Speaking of "demanding" that oil companies can "demonstrate that they can actually do it", apparently Safety inspections were left to the Marshall Islands":

    "Foreign flagging of offshore rigs skirts U.S. safety rules:  The Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico was built in South Korea. It was operated by a Swiss company under contract to a British oil firm. Primary responsibility for safety and other inspections rested not with the U.S. government but with the Republic of the Marshall Islands — a tiny, impoverished nation in the Pacific Ocean...

    Under International law, offshore oil rigs like the Deepwater Horizon are treated as ships, and companies are allowed to "register" them in unlikely places such as the Marshall Islands, Panama and Liberia — reducing the U.S. government's role in inspecting and enforcing safety and other standards...

    "Today, these oil rigs can operate under different, very minimal standards of inspection established by international maritime treaties," said Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

    Seems like a whole lot of effort (and money) has been invested in skirting any and all regulatory efforts, and our government, past and present has been a willing accomplice.

    •  Yup. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurious, ohmyheck

      Unfortunately, kurious, you're correct. Flagging ships under nations with few or no safety laws (Panama and Liberia especially) is common shipping practice. The obvious thing, in this case, is a petroleum version of Net Neutrality: reclassify. Once drilling platforms are classified as such, distinct from ships, the entire legal regime can change and we'll be able to enforce different (i.e. stricter) regulations.

      The UN Law of the Sea would have bearing here (the US isn't party but the treaty is in force, so we do selectively observe it when it favors our interest). It may impede such a reclassification, but the US has sovereign rights over the economic value on its continental shelf, so I'd think the govt could do so if it wanted to.

      Not that the Republicans would ever want to.  They'd probably rather reclassify drilling platforms as invisible, or holy angels of God.

      •  Adm. Allen said that Coast Guard is... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...looking into changing their regulations so that they won't just accept third party safety inspections, but reserve the right to do their own inspections.  Apparently the Coast Guard would then have the authority to shut down a rig that was non- compliant? Seems to be a no-brainer, and one wonders why no one thought of implementing this common sense back-up before.

    •  holy it possible that we can't mobilize (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurious, Picot verde

      right now?

      Could that be the case?

      Think about it...

      Everything outsourced. Hundreds of companies with tangental responsibilities? No chain of command. No spiral bound government plan?

      Isn't it possible that the government is already in the Bathtub?

      Hadn't really thought of that.


      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 07:33:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, But... (0+ / 0-)

    An admirable diary, as usual, teacherken. But bear in mind the principle that Fishgrease has brought up repeatedly: the situation is never as simple as a single (or multiple) news report suggests.

    A current story:

    Petroleum drilling and production is industry on a gigantic scale, which requires time for logistics and staging. Ten days lapsed between Deepwater Horizon's sinking and the first efforts at containment, because it took ten days to get ships on station. They're big, and slow.

    I'm not defending BP--they created this disaster, and while searching desperately for a bandaid solution, have done nothing but lie--but more equipment is indeed on the way, and furthermore, even the equipment they'll have available creates a very hazardous situation.  

    Even with dynamic positioning it's really tough to keep big ships in close proximity apart, because the water pressure and currents between ships can cause a lot of suction.  Add varying states of wind and seas, and plenty of hydrocarbons in the air, and you get the picture.

    This is a massive, avoidable and criminally negligent accident, but not one to be solved by simply throwing more and more ships at it.  

  •  Criticism grounded in specific facts, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, carolita

    and without hurling accusations of bad faith or dishonestly.

    Now THAT I can rec.  THAT is what "holding feet to the fire" (the ever-popular justification for any old kind of craptascular rant routinely posted on here) should look like.

    I love Eugene Robinson anyway.

    Thanks, teacherken.

    "Put your big-girl panties on and deal with it." -- Stolen from homogenius, who in turn stole it from a coffee mug.

    by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 05:21:42 AM PDT

  •  As Carl von Clauswitz famously said, (0+ / 0-)

    "Barack Obama is a continuation of George W Bush by other means (sic)". (TM)

    Or something like that.

    •  Barack Obama is the continuation of Gerry Ford. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miriam, El Zmuenga, Knarfc

      This is like the Ford Administration, all over again without the Chevy Chase bumbling.

      We have a President and Administration that steadfastly refuses to pursue justice, that refuses to make changes needed to restore governance, that is desperate to reach across the aisle and not rock the boat.

      It might have been "OK" to get by in 1975.
      But today isn't 1975.

      Reaganomics never ended. 'Wealth Creation' for the rich is still more important than a sustainable middle class

      by shpilk on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:42:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The deference shown to bP is stunning (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chipoliwog, davidkc, Jiminy Cricket

    I will allow that once the Deepwater Horizon sank, the government relied upon BP's word as to how much oil was leaking. They have truly shown themselves untrustworthy. I still don't understand Obama standing on the law and allowing BP to dictate the response when it was clear they didn't know what they were doing. Moreover, BP's goals have always been at odds with the government's: BP wants to capture the oil, not stop the leak. They want to maintain the well. We need it to stop.

    Never underestimate the ability of the Right to over reach.

    by never forget 2000 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 05:36:19 AM PDT

  •  Whining again Democrats? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, Hopefruit2

    1.1968 to 1976 two term Nixon and Ford left a mess. President Carter comes in to clean up the mess. The republicans, even though it was their mess played the whining democrats and the whining democrats turned against Jimmy Carter and blamed him for the mess the republican left. With help from the media.

    2.1980-1988 They voted for the great communicator Ronald Reagan for two terms, who belonged to the party that left the mess for President Jimmy Carter. The "i paid for this phone" line that so many people thought was cute. The small government one. With help from the media

    3.1989-1992 they being a sucker for punishment voted for President George H Bush, still another member of the party that left the mess, but a bigger mess this time because of the "great Communicator and the "i paid for this phone" guy. People loved that bullshit. He left a double whammy mess. His combined with Reagan's mess. With help from the media.

    4.1993-2000 After 12 years of the fu*kups, Democrats vote in President Bill Clinton who came in to clean up the republican's double whammy mess and did a great job in balancing the budget and left with a surplus. The mess up republican party (the corporate party) impeached him even though he had 65% support from the public at time of impeachment for a blow job. But the less government crap because of the so called moral majority stayed intact. With help from the media.

    5.2001-2008 President Bush, with the help of the supreme court TOOK office and immediately began fucking up everything Bill Clinton did and returned to the 1980 fuckup position (corporate position). aND REINFORCED Less government, deregulation that dawn near led us into the second great depression. With help from the media.

    6.2009-June 15 2010 President Obama comes in to clean up a bigger mess,Including TWO WARS Left by the mess up party, who dawn near led us into a second depression. He has worked constantly and has done a lot in such a short time against an all hell NO republican party, with more polls then i have ever seen in my life,, lowest taxes in 60 years, HCR, fighting for the repeal of DADT, financial reform, clean and more efficient energy, electrical cars, solar power, financial reform, S-chip, ledbetter, closed corporate offshore tax havens for 20,000 corporations, ETC. All the while some democrats are whining all the way, racist are coming out of the wood work, many threats to his life, and all HELL NO Republican congress and a thousand polls a week on everything he does or what is imagined he is doing. Go to

    Now a pipe that was in the ground before this president took office, due to the mess up republican party's deregulations and less government crap, may have bursted below the sea bed, by a private company because of deregulations passed by the mess up party and the whining Dems, The righties and the paid off corporate media are doing another Jimmy Carter on him.

    7.Is it time for another Ronald Reagan? Because of whining Democrats who can't remember anything,  quick to blame, who want perfect bills, impatience, and not cleaning up the republicans mess fast enough, will lead us to another Ronald Reagan. Back to the mess up corporate party?  

  •  Pursuing every last drop of oil is a mistake (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Picot verde

    is the conclusion I come to. Likewise every last ounce of fossil fuel in any form. We urgently need now to have a long-term plan to wean ourselves from oil. This will be incredibly difficult and will take 30-50 years, but if we do not start now it may prove impossible to do without economic collapse.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 05:51:36 AM PDT

  •  3 times 370 times 24 (0+ / 0-)

    does not equal 1110

  •  Rachel Maddow (7+ / 0-)

    last night showed an interview with a top BP official.  When asked why over 40 years they had not improved their response to disaster, he said they had spent their money being able to do deep water drilling.  They had not had an oil spill that required a response until now and he expected this situation will trigger the money and time to find a solution to these problems.  Rachel then went to a blackboard and marked all the oil spills just in the US that had happened in recent history.  She was amazed and upset with this man's response to the disaster.  Time to shut them down.

  •  Having been taught my profession of IT work... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    carolita, ohmyheck

    by military folks, I learned to live by the 6 P's:

    Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

    This includes the details before, during, after, and "in case of".

    "Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value." ~ Albert Einstein

    by LamontCranston on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 06:08:11 AM PDT

  •  the government wasn't better prepared to deal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with the spill than BP was. Now if all of those countries were offering to help, we should have accepted that help, hurting BP's feelings be damned. I think they did everything they could have done at the time, their fatal flaw was believing BP when they said they could handle it when they clearly can't.

    This whole situation is just depressing/confusing, and whoever is in charge of disseminating info from the WH with regard to what the administration has been doing since the original blow-out deserves to be FIRED. I don't think Obama has been doing nothing, or even close to nothing.

    But I DO know that this entire situation is illustrative of why we can't just leave things to the market, Rachel pointed out last night that Shell just drilled an even DEEPER well off of the coast of Texas and was bragging about it on the website. We keep developing technology to get oil, yet we haven't spent nearly that much to develop technology to deal with the oil/pipes when crap like this happens.

    "This is no time for fancy pants!!"
    ~Stephen Colbert on Obama's Attire During Gulf Visit

    by Muzikal203 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 06:14:15 AM PDT

  •  The possibility that our government is filled (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with corporate whores and this bunch is just new "faces" is there, too.  Evil or ignorant..either choice is bad.

    If we want peace, why do we give weapons and call it "aid"?

    by gdwtch52 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 06:14:33 AM PDT

  •  Hrm.. a president denying foreign help... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to a natural disaster... I seem to recall a similar situation a few years ago...

    "My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks." - Obama, Protector of Wall Street

    by The Dead Man on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 06:39:01 AM PDT

  •  Evidently, ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... God is real pissed at the situation and last night sent the U.S. a sign of his irritation:

    Lightning destroys Jesus

  •  If Eugene Robinson is wrong . . . (7+ / 0-)

    he is contributing to the problem and not the solution.


    Wbat possible reason would the President of the United States have to NOT do everything he could to remediate this ongoing disaster?

    So it stands to reason that if something is not happening, there is a reason it is not happening.

    The simple fact is that even if these ships were dispatched, they cannot suck up enough oil to counteract what is coming out and will continue to come out until August.


    Even if half as much oil was coming out they couldn't.

    And once the suck up the oil, they are going to have to stop and unload it somewhere.

    The truth is that we could bring every skimmer ship on the face of the earth today to the Gulf of Mexico, and if they had left 15 minutes after that rig blew up, they would not be able to suck up enough oil to stop it all.

    The simple fact is that the reason the Obama Administration did not take time out to "war game" what might happen in a potential oil spill is because they were "war gaming" two actual wars, trying to avert a financial collapse, trying to pass health care reform, and battling renegade terrorists at home and abroad.

    All within the first year of being elected.

    Now we are told that it is the President's fault that he did not "wargame" the worst-case-spill scenarios and develop a fleet of supertankers to be standing ready at the coastline in case the worst happened?

    It is now President Obama's responsibility to have a worst-case-scenario plan for every private business, foreign or domestic, just in case?


    But I'm drininking the koolaid?

    It is true that more can be done . . . more can always be done.

    But in life you cannot do it all, you have to make choices.

    The initial focus was on stopping the leak, and several attempts were made.

    They did not work.

    Now the focus shifts and the reality of the situation shifts.

    All the backseat driving is fun, but it doesn't actually get us anywhere.

    The reality is there is no and was no good, perfect, or easy solution.

    Pretending that there is an easy solution that is not being used is just a coping mechanism to deal with the horrific reality and the unbearable sadness of the situation.

    It is one of the stages of grief on our collective way to accepting the gravity of what has happened.

  •  Reading the comments here - I have one question (3+ / 0-)

    for all of you who are viciously blaming Obama for everything:  "Do you honestly think John McCain and Sarah Palin would have done a better job with the
    oil spill or anything else going on?
    I'm sorry, I'm not happy with Obama, and as I've said many times here, "he was my third choice because I thought he was too centrist," but
    I can't read any more of this crap.
    Jump on the band wagon now folks:
    We'll have Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman in the white house in 2012.  Then you can really bitch.

    "It's not just the premiums - It's those high deductibles and out-of-pockets."

    by Cassandra77 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 07:00:29 AM PDT

  •  WH Leadership is lacking (0+ / 0-)

    The full brunt of EPA has not been brought to bear on this.  Not nearly.

  •  i think that obama and his administration (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    will pay in 2012... there is no excuse for not suctioning up this oil before it hit the estuaries, bays and beaches. i'd vote him out of office right now if i could. he's a disaster for the gulf of mexico. no amount of speeches can ever make this response right. he's done done it now.

    Keep Religion in Church

    by titotitotito on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 07:03:33 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for your opportunistic dig at (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soccergrandmom, foufou

    the President. I have called your diary a hogwash and stated my reasons in my diary. Please go and rec it!

    ...We have many more issues that bind us together than separate us!

    by ThisIsMyTime on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 07:11:41 AM PDT

  •  I was in the UK shortly after this happened! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, Fury, JRandomPoster

    ...when I got back home I told my husband that all of the news reports, aside from the British elections, were about the spill. They said on British TV then that there would be no capping of the well for three months! This they said in April!

    I was horrified that this was not THE topic of news reporting when I got off the plane here in the US. If I could tell that this would be bad, this early, I certainly think that the administration knew more. They are f@ck -ups. I don't understand this.

    MY Erdos number is 2146679321

    by NuttyProf on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 07:18:19 AM PDT

    •  That's our media... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      way behind and wrong on everything.  It explains  lot, and I've been getting that feeling myself...that there is nothing to be done to stop it aside from the relief well.  If that's true though, we should have been told up front.  Is that BP's fault, the administration's fault or the media's fault?  Or all three?

    •  I recall differently. From the very beginning (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jampacked, eXtina

      it was daily news that the relief wells would not be completed until August?  I don't recall any claim that the actual CAPPING of the well would not take place for three months in either the British or US media, both of which I read and listen to every day.

      Let's just impeach Obama, imprison Hayward and declare martial law and turn the country back to the republicans who really know how to handle an emergency.

    •  Anyone with a smidgen of common sense (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miss SPED

      knows that the estimates of 1000 barrels, 5000 barrels a day was a lie. One can go to Wal Mart and buy a pool pump for $100 that weighs 65 lbs that can pump "5000 barrels a day".

      The Administration knew on Day One they were being lied to, and has let this continue.

      Reaganomics never ended. 'Wealth Creation' for the rich is still more important than a sustainable middle class

      by shpilk on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:48:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Failing to plan is planning to fail (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maracucho, Picot verde, ohmyheck

    As true as it ever was.

    If it's
    Not your body
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    AND it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 07:28:37 AM PDT

  •  tipped to the moon & back. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  The truth will eventually come out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if Robinson is right about this.
    I lved and worked in the gulf area and I believe not all has been done when all
    of the countries offered their help.
    BP should be nowhere near this mess.
    It would be like to me, having Osama digging for surviors after 9-11 at ground zero.

  •  What I don't get is (0+ / 0-)
    There have been SO MANY THINGS this president has done that warrant real outrage--things he HAD CONTROL OVER but chose not to control or let others control or whatever.  From the Supreme court nominees to Bush's war crimes to watered-down healthcare reform.  Yet many gave him the "it's Congress' fault" pass.  However, on this, in which no one really has any control over, most were blindsided on (yes most people did not think the oil spill was of this magnitude, despite the monday morning quarterbacking on this site that claim otherwise), people want to burn him at the stake?  It makes no sense to me.  
  •  The reasoning here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jampacked, looking and listening

    is just as twisted as the far right.

  •  WAR!!! this morning reading some op-eds I (4+ / 0-)

    was struck how pundits and populace use the analogy of waging war on about everything that happens on a daily basis.

    It is as though war is the way we frame our relationships with each other, with nature and with government and politicians.

    This morning the first two columns I wrote equated 'war on oil in the gulf' and 'war strategy' in the soccer field defining various nations tactics.

    I guess life is just war in another form, or war is life taken to an extreme. Interesting, no wonder humans are such warlike creatures.

  •  According to Thad Allen, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jampacked, Anak

    who I heard on the Diane Rehm Show, there is simply no room for more tankers, skimmers, or any other equipment at the leak site.

    "This isn't for the ones who would gladly swallow everything their leaders would have them know". Mary Chapin Carpenter

    by malenda on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:07:34 AM PDT

  •  What are you talking about? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And the moment that drilling site became a problem, GIVEN IN PARTICULAR THE HISTORY OF BP, one might have thought that major efforts to prepare for a worst-case scenario would have begun immediately.

    They did not.  The situation has been allowed to fester for too long without sufficient action, domestically and internationally, to attempt to control it.  

    what is 'the moment' you are referring to? the rig exploding? the problem with the concrete days before? are you seriously suggesting the government should have been monitoring the drilling site and told BP not to override TransOcean? how long did this 'fester'? several days?

  •  We can't wind back the clock (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and respond to this like it should have been.

    But I've been wondering (and in my scan of the comments, I haven't seen anyone ask this), Does any other nation have a decent emergency response plan?  

    Any nation at all?  Has anyone asked and looked at those available?

    Although it is too late for us to create one, I think it would be prudent for the administration to review all other nations' plans, pick the most aggressive and appropriate response plan and super-impose it on what we are already doing.

    Like TK's past job, I work in IT and any self-respecting money-grabbing company has a plan to recover from an emergency that knocks out their computer systems.  They have remote backups and remote disaster sites where they can re-establish their computer systems so they don't miss any opportunities to run their company and continue making money.

    I have also worked with my state's department of health, where they had an exercise for a pandemic occurring.  States have extensive plans on how to disseminate drugs and isolate sick individuals, etc.  They 'exercise' their plan to find the kinks and problems.

    Apparently, the Bushies castrated FEMA to where it didn't have the proper plans in place for natural disasters, much less as for oil spills.  

    Emergency response should be driven from the local to the national, with the national providing oversight and clearing of obstacles.  National should be the one making sure all disparate agencies talk and coordinate with each other.

    Lacking our own plan, we should take the best plan available and start superimposing it on our situation.

    Truth is subjective, Insanity is relative

    by denimari56 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:22:25 AM PDT

    •  The US has the expertise (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to prepare good emergency plans.  The problem is that our federal government lacks the WILL to prepare good plans.

      Long before the George W. Bush administration, federal officials rejected the idea of preparing detailed emergency plans.  Internally, they admitted that they viewed emergency plans as "restrictive."  Based on my experience as a federal planner, that was at least partly based on a realization that they were unlikely to be held accountable for poor performance is the performance standard (i.e., emergency plan) was vague. Another motivation for some officials was a desire to be viewed as indispensable, providing job security for the person who had the plan only in his head.

      The Clinton administration fared better in disaster response, not because it had better plans, but because the people in charge were better at improvisation, having handled many previous disasters.

      The problem with improvisation (i.e., plans that exist in someone's head) is that when those people leave their jobs, their replacements have to start from scratch learning the many details of a highly interdisciplinary profession. Good emergency plans incorporate lessons learned from past disasters and ensure that even a team of newbies can work effectively together.

      I struggled for years to convince federal officials to prepare better plans. (State officials sometimes play that game, too, but their plans are generally much better than the federal plans.) Only a few improvements resulted, but I experienced a lot of retaliation, some of it quite vicious. Eventually, I concluded that changing the system from within was a futile effort.

      Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

      by Deep Harm on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:14:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  BP is in trouble (0+ / 0-)
    Can Obama help?
    Find out tonight!
  •  We have NO idea what the President (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    has accepted or not. All we have are NUMMEROUS pundits telling us this and that.

    We are not even getting pictures of the ships that
    are out there or the numerous people working out

    All we get are pictures of oil bubbling up or oil
    covered birds. We are getting DISTORTED view of
    what is going on in order to generate ratings and
    drive public opinion.

    I wish you would all use your brains. I do not think
    that President Obama would sit by and do nothing while this all goes on.

    YOU ALL KNOW THAT THE CONGRESS PASSED LAWS GOVERNING HOW TO PROCEED. As yet not one congressperson has made any suggestion as to what else to do.

    I what him to decide CAREFULLY what to accept or
    hold back.

    If he lets these countries in and something MORE
    goes awry people would be clamoring for his neck
    because HE allowed them in.

    There are TOO many fingers in this pie. We have
    hundreds of Presidents all knowing the answers.
    Why didnt we have some of these prescient ideas

    I am going to wait and see what the President has
    to say about this. I trust his decisions more than
    anyone because he is not trying to make money or score points from this problem

    •  Not so (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miriam, 3goldens, Picot verde

      I have been reading foreign newspapers reporting their own government's concerns that the U.S. rejected offers of help through diplomatic channels.  

      This is typical of our federal government, and was a problem in the response to Katrina also.  I was working for a federal agency that rejected British aid at the time of the hurricane.

      Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

      by Deep Harm on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:48:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kinda funny.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miriam, 3goldens

      We have NO idea what the President has accepted or not.

      ..followed closely by..

      I do not think that President Obama would sit by and do nothing while this all goes on.

      You can guess at his intent, but when someone else does it, it's outrageous?

      "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

      by Wayward Son on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:22:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There were objections from US companies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edwardssl, foufou, Anak

    to foreign ships and crews operating in US waters. This was widely reported as contravening the Jones Act of 1920.

    US companies wanted to train American crews to operate the skimmers and to man the Dutch dredgers.

    People seem to forget that bureaucracy also has inertia in massive disasters such as this and it takes a while to swing an operation into place. Is American truly ready to go into full fledged D-Day WAR mode to clean the beaches.

    This is what some want, including the Louisiana General Honore, but there is by no means consensus amongst the competing southern states..

    I think Eugene Robinson's article is premature and  judgmental, especially as many Southern governors are trying to play down the potential damage to get tourists to come to their states p not to mention those who still insist that the US continue off-shore drilling.

    Truly simplistic and inflammatory.  You should listen tot he republican Senators blathering at the morning speeches. This is not time for energy reform they trumpet, raise the gas tax and kill the recovery!!! especially Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

  •  Well, it is my area of expertise (10+ / 0-)

    and I am shocked by the way the disaster has been handled, overall.

    When the administration requested recommendations for improving recovery planning, I submitted a written list of suggestions.  Among them, I recommended that the U.S. and all countries develop better mutual aid plans - and use them - for major catastrophes.

    The US has a long history of helping other countries struck by massive disaster.  But, the US has been ever reluctant to accept disaster aid from other nations, no matter how grievous the situation.  This appears to be rooted in a belief that accepting disaster aid makes the U.S. appear weak.

    The attitude toward mutual aid is very different at the state and local government level, where a good network of mutual aid plans exists and is employed frequently.

    When it comes to military actions, our federal government not only accepts military aid - it solicits it. It should be willing to do the same to protect the lives of U.S. civilians.

    Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

    by Deep Harm on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:46:23 AM PDT

  •  BP wanted to do the cheap undermanned cleanup (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And Obama let them get away with it. It's just too bad for the people of the Gulf Coast.

    Everything is permitted if it is directed toward stopping U.S. wars.

    by tr4nqued on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:17:48 AM PDT

    •  BP wanted to control access to control PR (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Picot verde

      first and foremost; second, they wanted to recapture as much product as possible. Clean-up was a distant third, and only if not doing so would cost them something. Now that they have gotten dozens of new leases from MMS SINCE the Deepwater disaster started, they know it really isn't necessary at all. So their only concern is PR and lobbying to keep Congress from making any laws to impede them.

      Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ---Plato

      by carolita on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:06:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WTF (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Picot verde, Tropical Depression

    I believe the administration should have been moving heaven and earth to obtain equipment for the worst case scenario.

    Did any others of you believe from day one this was going to be a disaster?  Sort of like GWB, Roberts and Alito, and Iraq?

    You don't have to be an engineer or a political scientist to know which way the wind blows. What good is a high IQ if you can't protect your nation?  Oh, forgot, we gotta fight 'em over there so....

    "We heard their ideas, and they stink." Hal Sparks

    by lisastar on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:33:22 AM PDT

  •  This President and Administration is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    more concerned about process and getting the place settings right than on getting stuff done.

    It's more important to get the salad fork and dinner fork in the right order. It's crucial to get the approval of goons at AEI, Cato, Heritage .. to mollify the power brokers of public opinion.

    Getting "stuff done"?

    Bush already showed us that starting wars is really the only thing an administration needs to do.

    Reaganomics never ended. 'Wealth Creation' for the rich is still more important than a sustainable middle class

    by shpilk on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:35:19 AM PDT

  •  If Glenn Beck is right... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sponson, chumley, bubbanomics

    ... then Obama is Hitler.

  •  TeacherKen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Zmuenga, 3goldens, Picot verde

    Thanks for speaking that which cannot be spoken.

    Now prepare to be labeled an anti-Obama zealot.

  •  You know you've made it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Casey, 3goldens, bubbanomics

    when people start penning opposite diaries to compete with you on the rec list.  

    Congrats, teacherken!  

    If your definition of good is my definition of unacceptable, then I am indeed the enemy of the good.

    by Nada Lemming on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:06:51 AM PDT

    •  hey, I like to encourage discussion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sponson, 3goldens, bubbanomics

      and often encourage people with thoughtful comments, even if I disagree, to repost them as stand-alone diaries so they can get visibility and extend the discussion.

      Please note my title begins with a word that makes clear I am not insisting he is. . .

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:18:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i know that about you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, bubbanomics
        It's ironic someone felta need not to engage you directly and made a home for all those who wish to sniper from the sidelines.  too bad ok,because the other diarist's points seemed reasonable.

        If your definition of good is my definition of unacceptable, then I am indeed the enemy of the good.

        by Nada Lemming on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:29:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There WAS a worst-case scenario plan in place (0+ / 0-)

    BP had it on file, as required by law, with the MMS.  They've lived up to virtually zero of the plan.  To say that Obama himself should have been planning for a massive oil spill in the gulf is even more of a stretch, and more unfair, then screaming at Ray Nagin of New Orleans because of photos of school buses seen after New Orleans flooded.  It's as simple as that.

  •  Unfettered corporate power (0+ / 0-)

    and incompetent Federal agencies.

    "We'll let BP decide on what expertise they do need."

    President Obama needs to take bold action on both, and I'm hopeful that he will.

    Tonight's speech will be telling.

    Thanks for this diary, teacherken.

  •  Well, of course. Everyone believes that - (0+ / 0-)

    in hindsight.

    I believe the administration should have been moving heaven and earth to obtain equipment for the worst case scenario.

    Plastic isn't 'disposable,' no matter what the ads say.

    by VictorLaszlo on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:58:56 AM PDT

  •  Accepting "resources" without the means to deploy (0+ / 0-)

    is simply adding confusion and wasting resources.  Getting booms from Japan without having trained people to deploy them would simply supply pictures of boom stacked on a pier and/or floating ineffectively in an estuary.

    Maybe they're doing everything they can within the capacity of people to ORGANIZE and manage a meaningful effort on such a gargantuan scale?

    Just sayin'.

    •  I may ... may ... stand corrected: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miriam, miss SPED

      Still learning stuff, I came across this at ThinkProgress:

      BP has rejected the help of thousands of volunteers, many with expert training and experience in handling offshore oil disasters and oil spill cleanup. Yesterday, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd interviewed Don Abrams of, who collected the names of nearly 8,000 volunteers in the first weeks after BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion, and tried repeatedly to contribute their expertise to mitigating this national disaster. Many of the volunteers Abrams had organized have certification in the federal government’s official Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER), and were ready and able to train others:


      On May 13, we turned over a list of about a hundred highly qualified people to BP, including people with two to three decades of offshore oil experience, people with experience in spill clean ups, people who are HAZWOPER instructors. As of about two days ago, I contacted about half of those people, and none of them have been contacted by BP.

      It may be that BP is overwhelmed as well.  But, seems that adding trainers would be a good thing to do just as soon as you could reserve a hotel with guest rooms and a conference room to put them in, no?

      I may have to 'correct' my cutting all concerned some slack. But, I'm no expert.

  •  Hard to collect oil floating on the bottom from (0+ / 0-)

    toxic dispersants.   I suspect it may have been better to let as much as possible float to the surface and skim it up, although that would have exposed BP's BS of 1000-5000bbl/day rather quickly.  What is it now, 40k-100k bbl/day wiht some saying over 300k?!

    I think BP and the Administrations was trying to minimize this disaster early on, hoping that it would be solved quickly enough either via the BOP or the top-hat so no one would take too much heat.  That failed, everything so far has failed.  They, BP and Obama, really need to stop with the toxic dispersants and let as much oil as possible come up and suck it up while they work on the relief wells; hopefully with better BOP's so they don't blow out, too!!!

    Obama needs to channel TR+FDR: Walk Softly, Carry a Big Stick and Welcome Their Hatred. He has Walk Softly down pat. Time to get on with the rest...

    by FightTheFuture on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 11:27:39 AM PDT

  •  Only the most ardent of Obama fans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    can deny that his response to the spill has been lacklustre and far too dependant on the company that caused the mess and lied about it in the first place. I'm a big fan of Obama, the man and the President but this F-up lands on his doorstep too

    "If that's what Fallujah is, then what's that band with all the Mexican kids in it?"

    by iSenseChange on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 11:41:58 AM PDT

  •  Obama claimed we were prepared for oil spill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, ThAnswr
    disasters when he announced his decision to expand offshore drilling. He specifically stated he and his administration studied "for more than a year" the ways they could "protect communities and protect coastlines." Now the White House refuses to release their notes to prove they did their homework as well as the president claimed they did. No "transparency" again. People just don't want to believe they're being bullshitted so they hang on to this imaginary version of a president they thought they elected.
    •  On April 2nd 2O10, Obama claimed new ...... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miriam, Heh

      ...... technologies made oil rigs safe and used phony Katrina talking points to prove it.

      Then, on April 20 2010, an oil rig exploded in the Gulf and in his face.  

      He's been floundering ever since.  

      Yanno, this crap is starting to add up to a White House that can't find their ass with both hands and a mirror.  

  •  We'll find out how deep the Fascism is tonight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is this the Change he was talking about?  America owned, bought and sold out totally to Corporations.  

    I heard on progressive radio today,  that BP is more or less run like a bank and not an oil company.  If that is the case, sounds to me that they farmed out their oil work to Halliburton.  I smell their name all over it and it is in hiding just like Cheney.

  •  Thank you, Ken (0+ / 0-)

    I hold nothing against the fine Mr. Robinson, in fact I appreciate his candor about this. I think we'll have to see what the President intends  tonight. I just hope he's prepared to be a hard ass on this corporation. If reports are true, then they are guilty of criminal negligence (something I've thought for a while now). There is no room for polite negotiation, the President needs to set down the guidelines for BP and every other oil company.

    They broke it, they need to fix it, no matter the cost, and I'm sorry about those British pensions, but I hope that the British government has provisions to support the people affected.

    Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

    by valadon on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 01:48:37 PM PDT

  •  America's Dying Sea and real estate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Regardless the obvious lack of preparations for a heretofore unbelievable, apparently unforeseeable,  environmental, ecological catastrophe blooming from Earth's proverbial Pandora's box,  a yet to be conceivable plan to deal with the disaster  needs some ingredients.  One of those ingredients is to do more thinking about thousands of southeastern US Americans who have to abandon their livelihood, their society, their way of living and thinking about their loyalties, their futures while relocating themselves to a new, less fouled place, a  more livable, sustainable environment than the now intensely fouled environment where the world's lust for coal and oil has come to rest for spell, in northern Gulf Mexico,  America's Dying Sea.

    Long ago FEMA spent many million$ doing flood-plain oriented land and river surveys in the coastal Cascades, while spending more million$ creating extensive land development designs for inhabiting the area by the millions of peoples from actual or suspected incoming nuclear strike targets mostly east and leeward of the Cascades.  Of course no such relocation of Americans en mass has ever occurred, except perhaps of Native Americans relocated temporarily, when not terminally, during the establishment of the institution of the concept, the ideology of real estate.  

    In spite of the name, real estate has no connection with the concept of reality. It derives instead from the feudal principle that in a monarchy, all land was considered the property of the king. Thus originally the term real estate was equivalent to "royal estate", real originating from the French royale, as it was the French-speaking Normans who introduced feudalism  to England in the 11th century  and thus the English language; cognate  to Spanish real.   //

    So, it seems, not only new-job training, but real estate is central to any population relocation  plans.

    Few abandoned places need be left uninhabited since anyone there on a "drill baby drill" mission needs a home as does everyone involved, whether volunteering or drafted, in cleaning up the "drill baby drill" environment as best as is affordable, practical and perhaps likely possible given the magnitude of of the failures and their consequences.

  •  Spot on, Teacherken. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
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