Posts Tagged ‘British Petroleum’

White House “misrepresentations” on the oil spill

October 7, 2010 Leave a comment


The Obama administration blocked efforts by government scientists to tell the public just how bad the Gulf oil spill could become and committed other missteps that raised questions about its competence and candor during the crisis, according to a commission appointed by the president to investigate the disaster.

In documents released Wednesday, the national oil spill commission’s staff describes “not an incidental public relations problem” by the White House in the wake of the April 20 accident.

Among other things, the report says, the administration made erroneous early estimates of the spill’s size, and President Barack Obama’s senior energy adviser went on national TV and mischaracterized a government analysis by saying it showed most of the oil was “gone.” The analysis actually said it could still be there.

“By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the Gulf, the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem,” the report says.

I thought only Presidents who were old, white Republicans from the South used their government power for political gains and cover-ups.

There’s more:

Citing interviews with government officials, the report reveals that in late April or early May, the White House budget office denied a request from NOAA to make public its worst-case estimate of how much oil could spew from the blown-out well. The Unified Command — the government team in charge of the spill response — also was discussing the possibility of making the numbers public, the report says.

The report shows “the political process was in charge and science really does not have the role that was touted,” said Christopher D’Elia, dean of environmental studies at Louisiana State University.


From the beginning, there was “a contradiction between discoveries and concerns by academic scientists and statements by NOAA,” MacDonald said in an interview with the AP at the oil spill conference.

And he said it is still going on. MacDonald and Georgia Tech scientist Joseph Montoya said NOAA is at it again with statements saying there is no oil in ocean floor sediments. A University of Georgia science cruise, which Montoya was on, found ample evidence of oil on the Gulf floor.

Hey, I thought Democrats were all about science, and that it was the ignorant Republicans who would jettison science for political gains and what-not.  Fancy that.

And what do you call it when the government purposely pushes for the suppression of scientific information related to an environmental disaster affecting the lives of thousands of Americans?

An environmental disaster is not something to get political over.  The handling of that disaster or rather, the mishandling of that disaster, by political buffoons for the sake of political expediency is another matter.

The 2012 campaign ads are starting to write themselves.

POTUS: Hey, let’s talk about energy policy but don’t mention the BP oil spill

June 29, 2010 Leave a comment

We can’t have Obama-led government incompetence suck up all the oxygen in the room now, can we? 

That wouldn’t be prudent:

In the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama today summoned a bipartisan group of over 20 senators to the White House to push for energy and climate change legislation.

But one thing the President did not want to talk about at the meeting was the BP disaster, a Republican source told ABC News. And that, the source said, led to a pointed exchange with GOP senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee.

“The priority should be fixing the oil spill,” Alexander told the President, according to the source. “That’s what any meeting about energy should be about.”

But when Alexander tried to interject the BP leak into the meeting, the source said, the President told the senator, “That’s just your talking point.”

Retorted Alexander, “No, it’s my opinion.”

Senator Alexander made the critical mistake of highlighting a situation where government is not only not a solution, but impeding progress towards a solution. 

Given that the Barack Obama is all about bigger and intrusive government, bringing up such issues are verboten.  Government, and by extension, Barack Obama,  can only do good things. 

Once again, it’s all about Obama.  Narcissism prevails in this White House.

The Oil Spill Speech

June 16, 2010 Leave a comment

There’s really not much to say about this lame stab at leadership by President Obama.  To me this was a waste of an Oval Office speech, only because the blatant politicization of the oil spill is reaching absurd proportions.

For Obama, everything is political, including this oil spill.

The commentariat have spoken.  The most spot-on assesment I’ve seen so far however, comes from Stacy McCain:

The Gulf oil spill is not a political problem. You can’t negotiate a compromise with a broken well. Nor is the oil spill a legal problem. You can sue BP, but litigation isn’t going to cap that well. And all the “community organizing” in the world isn’t going to fix the problem, unless you’re planning to plug the well with SEIU members.

What is Obama’s greatest skill? Reading speeches. As I remarked in February 2009, Obama could read the ingredients from the side panel of a box of pancake batter (“…dextrose, partially hydrogenated soybean oil with mono- and diglycerides…“) and inspire standing ovations from an audience of adoring Democrats. But all Obama’s oratorical powers are useless to the task of plugging that well.

As I’ve noted before, the spill was not the President’s fault, no more than Katrina was Bush’s fault.  And as for the President’s “response” in both of these situations?  What can they do really? 

At this point, anyone who doesn’t think that Obama is desperately trying to regain any shred of credibility in the wake of falling poll numbers, by grandstanding about this disaster is seriously fooling themselves.  The rushed trips to the Gulf, the “kick ass” statement, etc., all culminating in this pathetic speech, everything smacked of desperation. 

The need to “do something” to appear presidential just resulted in more flailing, more idiocy.

Which leads to the ultimate problem for left-wingers–their incessant belief in the power of large bureaucracies like the Federal government to be able to “solve” these problems.  Couple that with an incompetent community-organizer as President and you have one heckuva problem on your hands.

No wonder why people are starting to realize that Obama kinda sucks at handling crises:

[Public Policy Polling’s] new Louisiana poll has a lot of data points to show how unhappy voters in the state are with Barack Obama’s handling of the oil spill but one perhaps sums it up better than anything else- a majority of voters there think George W. Bush did a better job with Katrina than Obama’s done dealing with the spill.

50% of voters in the state, even including 31% of Democrats, give Bush higher marks on that question compared to 35% who pick Obama.

Overall only 32% of Louisianans approve of how Obama has handled the spill to 62% who disapprove. 34% of those polled say they approved of how Bush dealt with Katrina to 58% who disapproved.

That the MSM is going nuts about this speaks volumes.  At this point, anything the President says or does just digs him deeper in the hole.

POTUS to give Oval Office speech on oil spill

June 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Cue up the propaganda machine:

President Obama will give an address to the nation on the BP oil spill this week, delivering remarks Tuesday night at the end of a two-day trip to the Gulf region.

In the address from the White House, Obama will map out the government’s next steps, senior adviser David Axelrod said on NBC’s Meet the Press. He is expected to announce plans requiring BP to put billions into an escrow account to be used for compensating victims. “We want to make sure that money is escrowed for the legitimate claims,” Axelrod said.

Asked about a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll showing public dissatisfaction with the federal response to the oil spill, now nearly two months old, Axelrod said it cannot be compared to a single-moment event such as a hurricane. “This is an ongoing crisis, much like an epidemic,” he said.

Looks like those poll numbers are really hitting the floor.  Am I the only one that gets the feeling that this is just more flailing around on the part of the President, and a blatant act of desperation?

We can expect everything plus the kitchen sink in this address–the demonization of BP, the demagoguery, the implication that Republicans have to share some, if not all of the blame, etc.   This should be really fun.

BP spills coffee

June 12, 2010 Leave a comment

This made me laugh:

Oil Spill vs Katrina

June 10, 2010 Leave a comment

They told me that if I voted for John McCain in 2008, the White House would provide lame responses to national crises.

Looks like they were right:

A month and a half after the spill began, 69 percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll rate the federal response negatively. That compares with a 62 negative rating for the response to Katrina two weeks after the August 2005 hurricane.


In addition to the 7-point difference in negative ratings of the federal response to the oil spill vs. Katrina, there’s a 10-point difference in positive ratings – 28 percent for the government’s oil spill response, vs. 38 percent for its response to Katrina.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  Barack Obama was supposed to bring a cool, level-headed maturity to the White House, characteristics and a presence that allegedly were absent with the previous occupant. 

We were told over and over and over again, that Obama was bringing a different type of governance to Washington.   Things were going to be different–government would be streamlined, more efficient, accountable. 

All we see from the President is amateurish statements about kicking “ass”, plugging that “damn hole”, demonization and passing the buck.  In other words, all talk and incompetence.  This is not what the American people voted for in 2008, or rather, it’s not what the Obama campaign advertised.

Obama’s Katrina

May 26, 2010 Leave a comment

This post by Marc Ambinder is an excellent take-down of the flailing administration.  The money bit:

The public is sick of political posturing. These Congressional hearings that Democrats are holding — they certainly are useful exercises in ventilation, but really, the focus right now shouldn’t be on blame assigning, it should be on crisis mitigation. Congress needs to stop yapping and start figuring out what it can do to support the administration, which, whether you like it or not, is on the hook for this.

Obama ran for president because he wanted to make government work again. He’s had a tough time convincing people that it is possible for government to work benignly. A crashing economy will just make it tough to change opinions. But now he’s faced with an equally impossible task — one that he did indeed sign up for when he decided to run for president — what happens when you’re called upon to solve an unsolvable problem?

This links up a bit with the bubbling controversy over whether Joe Sestak was offered a job in exchange for not running against Sen. Arlen Specter. One furthers the knife in the “open, honest, transparent” theme that has been on life support since health care, and the other furthers the knife in the “neither big government nor small government but efficient government” theme that has been on life support since the stimulus. The administration will need to fight these two issues immediately, consistently, and relentlessly.

I am in the camp that believes Presidents can have little effect on actual results in situations like this—that is to say, little in the effect that the American people think they can have on these crises.    There’s only so much the President can do.

That being said, there’s no doubt that the Bush administration were more in control of the Katrina situation than the Keystone cops running the show now.

If anything, all of this should confirm that the Obama administration is in over their heads when it comes to governing.  If government can be efficient, if it can work to solve these problems, we’re certainly not seeing any of that from this White House.

Oil Spill Flyover

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Holy crap:

I’ve read a lot regarding the oil spill, but the devastation never really hit me until I saw this video.

Keep in mind, the video is dated May 6th, so you can only imagine what’s happened since then.


What’s the deal with the White House? Leftists want to know…(Gulf Oil spill edition)

May 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Browsing the blogosphere, I’m starting to get the feeling that the hard left is none too happy with the Obama administration’s lackadaisical response to the oil spill in the gulf.  Exhibit A here

Then there’s prominent leftist Peter Daou’s piece in the Huff Po, in which he clearly has a case of  the vapors:

The Gulf disaster is a singular moment – an opportunity to bring the human race together to save itself, to protect its only home.

This should be a rocket-boost for the environmental movement, a time to finally put to rest the notion that environmentalists are misguided alarmists, a chance to finally marginalize green-bashers and put an end to their fatal obstructionism.

Instead, this grand debacle will gradually fade into the background once some political gaffe or sports game or celebrity scandal occupies us.

But kudos to Daou for laying blame at the feet of the administration:

[…]President Obama can launch as many fact-finding commissions as he sees fit. But we shouldn’t be impressed that they are doing what we elected them to do – it’s their job to deal with emergencies promptly and effectively.


The administration seems miffed and mystified that it is being criticized. After all, it can reel off dozens of swift actions taken in the aftermath of the spill.


The White House’s defenders want the spotlight aimed exclusively at BP. But this is a situation where body language and words are just as important as actions.

Scheduling an ‘angry’ presidential news conference weeks after oil started gushing into the Gulf waters is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Authentic anger isn’t something you turn on for the cameras and leak to the press the previous day. Indignation and defensiveness are precisely the wrong message…

Two things here. 

First, I agree with his take on American ambivalence towards crises facing the country.  The looming debt crisis, financial and mortgage crises of the last two years might as well be ancient history for example.  And I’m in the camp that these are merely in remission and they will rear their ugly heads yet again.  It’s speaks volumes of our political class’ whatever attitude and their unwillingness to make hard and uncomfortable decisions. 

Which brings me to the second point.  Despite campaigning as a different politician, one who was willing to make these hard decisions and change the way “Washington works”, Barack Obama is proving to be the complete opposite–your standard fare for DC. 

This is nothing new.  But it presents an interesting dynamic.  The memories of the Bush administration are just beginning to fade, but the Left’s gnashing of teeth over perceived errors and bureaucratic hubris over Hurricane Katrina, the wars, etc. is essentially what got Obama elected.  Obama was the anti-Bush.

So now you have the Left getting agitated over the White House sticking its thumb in their collective eye over a disaster that makes Katrina look like a spring shower.

Part of the problem is that the left assumes government can “solve” these problems.  Hence, their aneurysm over Bush and Katrina.  In reality, there’s not that much the federal government can do and government bureaucracy is horribly inefficient in these situations.  And one could make the argument that Republicans lost the White House for less.

All I ask is for consistency from the Left on their moral equivalencies.  Time will tell.