May 28, 2010

Obama "tells us he thinks that if he somehow gets people to think about him and how much he's thinking about what he thinks they think he should be thinking about"...

... he's done his job.

Now is that fair? He said:
My job right now is just to make sure that everybody in the Gulf understands this is what I wake up to in the morning and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about: the spill.
This was at his press conference, and I think he was a little too frankly reciting his big talking point for the event. That's why he said "my job right now." Kind of like the time President George H.W. Bush said: "Message: I care."

163 comments:

Roger J. said...

What an idiot.

Alex said...

Not fit to clean out the stables, much less POTUS. Impeachment now.

AJ Lynch said...

Dittos to what Roger said.

Original Mike said...

I was going to respond, but I think Roger said all that needs to be said.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama has a split personality. Contrast his animated speeches in front of his friendly Dem fundraising audiences versus his unengaged blase speeches to the public.

Big Mike said...

What Peggy Noonan wrote.

Iapetus said...

1-word exam: narcissist

Alex said...

AJ - it's very simple. He only gets animated to those that "show him the money".

Peano said...

Hail to the thinker-in-chief.

mesquito said...

Gene Krantz: "Work the problem, people."

Barry Obama: "I'm thinking, I'm thinking! Can't you see I'm thinking?"

E Buzz said...

Obama on May 20, 2010

he is a veritable dancin machine, a Denny Terio for a new age of wonderful Presidents. So hip, and cool, and a cool hipster, who is also, cool, and really the man. He is. The Man.

So cool. I might have voted for him based on how fuckin cool he is. And suave, he is one suave fucker, as well.

danielle said...

righties never cease to amaze.

can any of you possibly claim that the point of the press conference was not for the President to let the American people know that he is doing everything in his power to address the spill ? and can you also possibly claim that if you didn't perceive that he actually was doing all that he could that you wouldn't be further angry about the state of the gulf and the prospects for its recovery ???

the problem, of course, is how the right pick and choose a sentence or two in a press conference, take it out of its full context, and then use it to try to define the entire content of the press conference and his entire approach to governing.

dont you all get tired working yourselves up like this ? its clear why folks in the media do it -- to get your attention -- but don't you all see through it ?

danielle said...

oh ... of course, how could i forget -- you're still looking for ways to express your anger that he won.

wah ! waaah ! waaah ! obama is a 'xyz' (insert word of your choice).

does that make you feel better ?

carry on.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

Danielle, Hdhouse's favorite apprentice, don't you understand we don't even watch or read the NYT junk Althouse links to? We just like to spew our venom.

mesquito said...

Danielle:

Do I think some people right are launching insincere, emotional, opportunistic attacks? Do I think some are exploiting a catstrophe for political adavatage?

Yes, I do.

That's too bad, ain't it?

Some Senate demogogue described Bush's response to Katrina as "unconciounable ineptituse." He said much else.

It's just too fucking bad, ain't it?

Kent J. said...

Is it fitting that we, such ordinary Americans, should note the faults of President Barack E. Obamuel?

edutcher said...

Danielle, a real President, FDR or Truman (I'll keep it Demo), would have said, "I've done this, this, and this, and I've asked General Marshall to designate a unit to go down and facilitate operations; he is sending the 5th Engineer Special Brigade and they will arrive tonight. I'm also sending General Leslie Groves to take personal charge as my special representative".

That's the difference. The Zero wants people to feel sorry for him because he obviously doesn't know what he's doing.

mesquito said...

Gene Krantz: "Work the problem, people."

Barry Obama: "I'm thinking, I'm thinking! Can't you see I'm thinking?"


Next step is when he quotes Yosemite Sam, "Ah'm a-thinkin'. And mah head hurts."

danielle said...

edutcher, you clearly did not watch the press conference.

never a good idea to take your talking points from an editorialist who has a particular agenda.

in this day and age, there are few excuses. just go stream it.

Original Mike said...

"My job right now is just to make sure that everybody in the Gulf understands this is what I wake up to in the morning and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about: the spill."

He's just repeating what Rahm told him as he walked up the the lecturn ("Your job right now ...").

Of course, Rahm is back in his office going "D'oh!"

AJ Lynch said...

Edutcher:

Great example of what should have been done. But there has to be someone in the WH who suggested something simiar to Obama. Why won't he take good advice?

traditionalguy said...

I know many verbally skilled left brain folks, including myself when not being watched and reminded by friends of my weakness, who really believe that the saying of something is the same as the doing of that something. In the real world words are limited to comforting teaching devices and entertainment, but only the APPLICATION OF FORCE to things is what changes anything. If you can find it, see Chris Matthews explaining to Obama the difference between pointed headed Phd's theorizing and men who go get things done. The two types may need each other, but in a real world crisis you cannot rely upon Harvard educated verbal intellectuals.

Penny said...

When a disaster like this happens, it should occur to those in charge that even if you have no answers, it's important to acknowledge the problem, its seriousness and to share information about what is being done in order to resolve the issue. Regular communication is key.

Even customer service people, at ridiculously lower paygrades than the POTUS, know this.

With his huge staff, including all the czars, not a single point person set up to be responsible for this hand holding function?

Agree with him or not, Obama is not an idiot, as Roger J. opined. This was a thoughtful "Act of Omission". It's up to us to figure out the WHY.

Hagar said...

The leaking wellhead is a roustabout problem and the containment is a practical problem in getting the bureaucracy to work, neither of which is within Mr. Obama's ken; therefore the studied effort at symbolic leadership.

E Buzz said...

Look, if beyonce showed up at *your* house for a massive, hugely massive party for you, what the hell would you do?

Tell her to go away!!? Priorities people!

Now, watch this drive.

Night2night said...

Agree with traditional guy on meaningful action at the wellhead site. I suspect BP probably has the best people available working for them until this is fixed. Where I would like to see federal action is at the remediation level. Unfortunately, beyond the "I'm horrified by this", I don't see any explicit large scale emergency assets or action being put into place to forestall, or mitigate, the consequences to Louisiana.

Hector Owen said...

Traditionalguy at 4:22 FTW.

BHO: "Look at how hard I am thinking about this."

Media: "He's thinking so hard, Athena will spring from his brow at any moment — and fix the {problem}." Variable set off by curly brackets. Replace ad lib.

wv = "unoso" You know, so what are you gonna do?

vet66 said...

I wondered why Obama was going to Illinois for Memorial Day. Now I know. They did the Friday news drop when they knew most people were in 3 day weekend mode (or 4 day weekend if they took Friday off) and wouldn't be around for the news release. Ditto for Rahm who is hiding out in Israel at the Wailing wall getting heckled by the Israelis he insulted.

I wondered why yesterday BHO didn't just come out and say Bill Clinton put out feelers months ago to see if Vice Admiral and Senate candidate Sestak was willing to give up a senate job for an unpaid Presidential commission. What a deal. BHO says "I'm outa D.C. even if It is Memorial Day." Sestak goes under the bus with a lame explanation.

All this to keep Arlen Spectre in office...If these guys aren't a bunch of grifters out of Chicago I don't know who is. D.C. must be in panic mode.

Or maybe "danielle" is right and I am paranoid.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mesquito said...

Adulated is indeed a word.

Otherwise, Ritmo is full of shit, as usual.

Palladian said...

""Adulated" is not a word. Thanks for playing."

Wha-choo-talkin-bout-Willis' thesaurus must be malfunctioning again. Because, you see, lots and lots and lots of verbed nouns and adverbs and conjunctive clauses make sophomores sound smart!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

the problem, of course, is how the right pick and choose a sentence or two in a press conference, take it out of its full context, and then use it to try to define the entire content of the press conference and his entire approach to governing.

Their hatred of words is a consistent one. They labor under the misunderstanding that Obama should say (and think) as little as they do.

Agree with him or not, Obama is not an idiot, as Roger J. opined. This was a thoughtful "Act of Omission". It's up to us to figure out the WHY.

Finally, someone here comes up with a credible interpretation of events in this White House. (No really! I was just starting to find the cartoonishly amateur psychological profile sketches of Obama believable. I swear!)

Ok, no I wasn't.

Back to the point, Penny hits on something.

It's to illustrate the result of the kind of government inaction and conflict of interest that the right wing is all about, and to throw it back in their faces.

The most bizarre outcome from all this is listening to the right wing bitch and moan about how Obama isn't pursuing a sufficiently activist agenda in dealing with this, while slyly sidestepping the obvious criticism of how their gutting of regulations resulting from prostituting themselves to the oil industry is what made this possible.

If they're pros at anything, it's denial and deflection. And it illustrates their impotence.

Does anyone in their right (or wrong?) mind believe that the right-wing can use this episode to position themselves as stronger stewards of environmental protection and the need to keep industry from deregulating itself of its most dangerous practices?

I suspect Obama realizes that this long, drawn-out episode exposes just how filthy and ugly the consequences of the right-wing agenda really are.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Thanks for your defense of an English language that the puerile Palladian would like to pretend doesn't exist, Mesquito.

And as far as being full of shit goes, how about a credible explanation of what I said that in your mind was incorrect, if you can find one?

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that part of the problem is that we don't need someone telling us how much he is thinking about the problem, but rather, the appearance (and reality) that he is actually doing something.

The same people who were complaining about Bush (43) taking 4 days to get to LA after Katrina, and how little he did, ignore that this President has done far less, and took far longer to get there. If he had said this a couple days after everything blew up, down in LA, it would have worked.

Rather, while the oil has been floating ashore, destroying beaches and wild life, he has been golfing, vacationing, and fund raising.

The scary thing to me is that part of the reason that he was elected was that he looking so thoughtful and intelligent when McCain tried to jump into action with the financial crisis in early 10/08. That is the place where McCain lost his post-convention bounce, and Obama took the lead, never to lose it.

Yet, we probably all should have known at that time that this is not a man of action, even when action is required. And this is a man of process, when results are what matter.

It is scary, not just because of this, but also with the Iranians getting the bomb and North Korea getting ready to disintegrate, possibly taking as much of our long time ally South Korea with them when they finally self-destruct.

There are times when we cannot afford just talk, yet it looks like that is all that this President is capable of.

Night2night said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Wha-choo-talkin-bout-Willis' thesaurus must be malfunctioning again. Because, you see, lots and lots and lots of verbed nouns and adverbs and conjunctive clauses make sophomores sound smart!

Like that idiot Fen (Fem?)*, you might want to consider the possibility that some people actually know things that you don't. Just because you're not aware of something, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

*The other day, Fen-Fem claimed that the only Latin phrases I could know are the ones that he personally happened to watch in an episode of a televised political drama that same day! You see, because Fen-Fem watched it, I had to have just learned about it. It's obviously a violation of every known law in the physical universe for me to know something other than what Fen-Fem learned while watching television that day.

And you guys call Obama a narcissist. ;-)

Night2night said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Night2night said...

I don't care about "wingnuts". I do care about what is happening to the Louisiana coastal bayous. I want to know why nobody verified the functionality of the failsafe mechanisms at the wellhead before removing the drilling mud (or at least recirculating it). I want assurances no corporate entity can proceed with drilling without some type of phase gate process requiring the concurrence of a QA staff person not reporting through the production department. My gosh folks, we’re arguing about how we feel about the captain while the ship is sinking. Wrong focus.

Fen said...

We are so doomed.

Ya know, the wise cracks about Bush were one thing. We know he's a bad comunicator. You guys on the Left thought that meant he must be stupid. Not your most perceptive moment, but whatever. Every GOP President in my lifetime, since Kennedy, has been branded as either Stupid or Evil, and sometimes both at once. So I'm used to that.

But Obama is really out of his depth here. Is Bill Clinton the only adult in the room?

Night2night said...

I don't care about "wingnuts". I do care about what is happening to the Louisiana coastal bayous. I want to know why nobody verified the functionality of the failsafe mechanisms at the wellhead before removing the drilling mud (or at least recirculating it). I want assurances no corporate entity can proceed with drilling without some type of phase gate process requiring the concurrence of a QA staff person not reporting through the production department. My gosh folks, we’re arguing about how we feel about the captain's farewell address while the ship is sinking. Wrong focus.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

But Obama is really out of his depth here. Is Bill Clinton the only adult in the room?

I'll take bets that the regulations requiring environmental reviews for off-shore oil wells were gutted either during Clinton's term in office or W's.

Original Mike said...

"And as far as being full of shit goes, how about a credible explanation of what I said that in your mind was incorrect, if you can find one?"

Well, for starters (and enders, because I'm headed home), this:

...the obvious criticism of how their gutting of regulations resulting from prostituting themselves to the oil industry is what made this possible.

You honestly believe that this accident is the result of the gutting of regulations by the right? Yes, I know you do, and that makes you full of shit.

Fen said...

Ritmo: The other day, Fen-Fem claimed that the only Latin phrases I could know are the ones that he personally happened to watch in an episode of a televised political drama that same day!

No. I said what a coincidence that the first time you use latin on this blog, its the same phrase as the title of a West Wing episode. That just happened to be playing that day.

Of course, you could prove me wrong by providing an earlier use of Latin.

You can even count something your three other aliases said here. To, ya know, prove you're not a fraud.

(and I'm flattered that you chomped down on 3-day old bait)

mesquito said...

Ritmo:

Explain, with precision, which gutted regulation resulted in this spill.

Big Mike said...

@danielle, you have hung around garage mahal and Jeremy and FLS too much, and at 3:51 you started to sound like them. Not good, sweetie.

As it happens our company's cafeteria has a couple wall-mounted TVs perpetually tuned to CNN and I caught most of the press conference.

The first thing that jumped out at me was how utterly inarticulate he is without his teleprompter. Long pauses, hesitations, groping for words. Contrasting their responses to questions at press conferences, I have to say that Obmaa made his predecessor sound positively eloquent by comparison.

That's not meant as a compliment to Bush.

Secondly, I was surprised at how poorly Obama seemed to grasp technical issues. The President of the United States can always get good briefings on any subject he chooses, but either Obama was poorly briefed, or he didn't pay much attention to the briefer, or perhaps he simply lacks the technological underpinings to understand technical material. I never much respected the man, but given Obama's pedigree -- elite prep school, two Ivy League universities, position on the U of Chicago Law School faculty, I expected better.

Finally, I was surprised by what was not said. I didn't hear that Obama has ordered tiger teams to check any other drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico -- according to this NOAA image there were over 3858 active platforms as of 4 years ago. Shouldn't the first question he asked the Department of the Interior is how many other possible disasters were waiting out there?

Under normal circumstances I'd say that it was wrong for the big takeaway from Obama's presser that he was so out of touch that he couldn't even say whether MMS Director Elizabeth Birnbaum was fired or simply resigned in shame and humiliation. But (1) there wasn't much else solid -- most of the rest of what he said was just "trust us" wrapped up in bow -- and (2) somehow that one unresponsive response really did encapsulate the image of a President that isn't on top of things, and doesn't much care that he isn't.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penny said...

"My gosh folks, we’re arguing about how we feel about the captain while the ship is sinking. Wrong focus."

Agreed, which is why the "blame game" is worthless until such time those with the technical wherewithal figure out how to stop and control this mess in the gulf. Neither the POTUS nor the President of BP are the men with that technical expertise.

On the other hand, that by itself shouldn't stop either man, or their designates, from regularly communicating with the affected and concerned parties.

Contrary to what tg said, COMMUNICATING is an action.

Night2night said...

I don't know much about the regulations or the process of deep water oil drilling. However, the WSJ has an excellent article recounting events and decisions during the critical hours before the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon. They produce reasonable accounts strongly suggesting BP operations staff were struggling to expedite production against the advice of the contracted professionals placing the equipment.

BP Decisions Made Well Vulnerable - WSJ.com

Obama and government scientists will not be the people to rectify this. The federal government needs to be focused on the large scale mitigation work required in the Gulf.

Iapetus said...

danielle needs to take a Valium before she posts. She is sooooo thin-skinned and gets sooooo worked up.

Big Mike said...

@Fen, I had to read your 5:17 post twice. It would have been more clear to say GOP after Eisenhower, I think. Or maybe I'm just tired after a long day.

paul a'barge said...

Read my lips ... no more Obama.

Just Lurking said...

The most bizarre outcome from all this is listening to the right wing bitch and moan about how Obama isn't pursuing a sufficiently activist agenda in dealing with this, while slyly sidestepping the obvious criticism of how their gutting of regulations resulting from prostituting themselves to the oil industry is what made this possible.

If you want to criticize the Bush admin for allowing on their watch, the creation of a culture of corruption in the MMS agency, feel free. Also remember to include the Obama admin in that criticism, since they've been in charge for over a year and half. How long does it take to weed out the deadwood? A private sector firm would've fired their asses immediately. Another example of why the public sector sucks.

But let's not pretend that it is anyone's desire, conservative or liberal, to see a regulatory agency being derelict in its duty. That's crazy talk.

People have made the point repeatedly- wanting less govt does not equal wanting no govt.
A five yr old can grasp that less does not = 0 . Why are people choosing to be willfully dense?
It boggles the mind.

Now I'm off to dinner (the brat picture made me realize how hungry I am.)

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

No. I said what a coincidence that the first time you use latin on this blog, its the same phrase as the title of a West Wing episode. That just happened to be playing that day.

Of course, you could prove me wrong by providing an earlier use of Latin.


Fem, you're about as incurious as they come here, and that's saying a lot.

Notice how November 18th 2009 (at precisely 10:57 PM, not that anyone's counting) is an earlier date than May 26th, 2010.

Now, if you were a gentleman with any decency and self-respect, you'd allow everyone else to proceed with the discussion about how Republicans can't use this sorry episode to gain the credibility that they haven't had for over a hundred years when it comes to environmental protections and protecting the public interest over their whoremasters' demands.

chuck b. said...

I'm sick of hearing this disaster referred to as a "spill". Or a "leak".

I think this is the second time Obama has invoked Malia to indicate the seriousness of something. He does it one more time and I'm calling it a strategy. I feel like he thinks we're his little daughters tugging on his pant leg, but less cute.

Night2night said...

I love your use of language Ritmo (you are a talented writer). However, I have to ask, given the whoremaster, who exactly is the whore (and I'l assume there is a john somewhere)? Inquiring minds want to know.

Maguro said...

Obviously BP fucked up, who disputes that?

At the same time, everything we do entails some degree of risk and the law of averages dictates that sooner or later there will be accidents, whether we're talking about oil drilling, air travel or anything else. It's not possible to legislate/regulate your way into perfect safety.

Hopefully, the investigation will find out exactly what went wrong and make oil drilling safer, but the risk can only be reduced, not eliminated.

Night2night said...

Amen, Maguro, amen. Still, a sad day for all of us.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I love your use of language Ritmo (you are a talented writer). However, I have to ask, given the whoremaster, who exactly is the whore (and I'l assume there is a john somewhere)? Inquiring minds want to know.

Well, thanks for the compliment, but sometimes I'm not so sure of the subject or object in that relationship myself. Just thought the word sounded funny and I felt like going with it.

But if you want to get technical, I suppose the right industry is the customer of the Republican politico-whore, but the pol ultimately acts as a conduit to the public. They're ultimately the ones who get screwed.

So on further reflection, Republicans are pimps who allow the public to get raped by the industries they've gotten in bed with. That would seem to make the most sensible analogy. They certainly collect the proceeds from the screwing. But I don't mind being ambiguous about which one is the master in that relationship as the GOP always reminds us that private industry is some kind of golden calf which they can never, ever defy!

A real pimp, OTOH, would at least have the dignity to deny service to a sufficiently filthy or unscrupulous customer every now and then. Not often. Just more often than, well... you know who.

Night2night said...

@Ritmo

A whole bunch of mixed metaphors, but I think I get your point. I'll add as a QA type guy I agree with Maguro's earlier remark. However, I'll concede it doesn't help the conservative cause to defend the actions of every business simply because they are not the gummint.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ritmo:

Explain, with precision, which gutted regulation resulted in this spill.


I admit it's not German engineering, but we'll get to a more precise focus of blame if we look at the Congress that first decided to shorten to 30 days the time allowed for environmental reviews. If I'm correct, it was sometime around 2004, when "categorical exclusions" to the environmental reviews became law due to the impracticality, the impossibility, of doing responsible environmental reviews in 30 days or less.

From there we can find where to lay the real political blame.

mesquito said...

So, Ritmo, you can't precisely explain ho "gutted" regulations cause the spill?

I'm not surprised, really.

So I can safely disregard all that other stuff? Just running your goddam head?

Michael said...

Ritmo: An environmental review would not have had a single thing to do with the mechanical failures that resulted in the explosion that took this rig out. An environmental review would have to do with the impact of the pilings, the disruption of the ocean floor by the drilling, the results of vibration on the habitat, etc. An environmental review would not have prevented this if it had gone on for a year prior to the issuance of a permit.

edutcher said...

AJ Lynch said...

Edutcher:

Great example of what should have been done. But there has to be someone in the WH who suggested something simiar to Obama. Why won't he take good advice?

I have a feeling there was. Remember how Tippytoes wanted something a little less than thermonuclear health care and The Zero said something about he wasn't put there to worry about school uniforms? He obviously believes his own press releases (always a dangerous thing) and, since ZeroCare passed only by massive bribery and backroom deals may think he's too good to take advice ("I have a gift", he told Dingy Harry). The last guy to see it that way ignored all the advice and invaded Russia.

Fen said...

But Obama is really out of his depth here. Is Bill Clinton the only adult in the room?

When did Willie ever act like an adult? You'd be better off going with Malia and Sasha (and I don't mean that facetiously).

WV "canego" (no kidding) What The Zero should do before he gets himself in a mess even the media can't get him out of.

danielle said...

"The first thing that jumped out at me was how utterly inarticulate he is without his teleprompter. Long pauses, hesitations, groping for words."

This is an interesting critique, and i wonder if it answers a question i've long had about why some people are moved by Sarah Palin.

When I hear Obama answering questions on his feet, to me he seems deliberate, thoughtful, careful and intelligent. And you're right, there are pauses and hesitations where he's trying to find the right word.

Sarah Palin, by contrast, seems unable to allow there to be any air between her words; like a pause is somehow a weakness, like if she doesnt get an answer out immediately, its somehow bad. And it sounds like she's not thinking too much; like she's just stringing together earlier talking points, or perhaps looking at the notes scribbled on her hand .... and typically not making any sense.

And for the record, I'm not McWhortering her here. That article was offensive.

Obviously Bush was closer to Palin than Obama. Perhaps you see that as a strength for Bush (or Palin?).

Now if you want to compare Obama to Clinton, then clearly Bill is far better on his feet that Obama. But that was indeed part of slick Willie's charm.

Just Lurking said...

@Ritmo;

Have you heard that your avatar has passed away? (That is a young Gary Colman, isn't it?)

RIP Gary Colman

Brent said...

danielle,

I recommend you rent "The Music Man" this weekend, and then think a little bit more about the person's who speak well.

The people of Iowa in that movie always remind me of Democrats.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

So, Ritmo, you can't precisely explain ho "gutted" regulations cause the spill?

Since the relevant guidelines for issuing categorical exclusions were issued in 2004 (although some sources say 2008), I think it's safe to say that the shortening for environmental reviews came before that time.

I'm not a source of absolute truth and I never claimed to be. But I am capable of putting together objective information and ultimately finding an answer that makes empirical sense. Unlike Glenn Blech, etc.

If you want absolute truth, go to Fox News or some site more interested in propaganda than in empirically plausible explanations. I'm just putting together what I know based on the facts, which happen to include the deregulation heyday that Congress had as a bone for Clinton to triangulate to during the nineties, a philosophy still adhered to by the party of deregulation.

The other fact in this instance is the mismanagement and corruption that was rife at MMS all through the Bush administration. Recovering from a regulatory nightmare as debauched as it was under Bush/Cheney does not happen overnight - especially while you're yelling at the successor to "Drill Baby Drill" his way to energy independence RIGHT NOW!!!

danielle said...

sure Brent, I often take movie tips from random people I dont know who choose to insult my politics without even crafting an alternative view point.

appreciate it.

Chase said...

Ritmo,

We get that there is nothing Obama can do wrong as far as you're concerned. That's why almost no one of character - until me just now - responds to you.

What's sad is that it's hard to tell if you're just a Moby or you actually want to believe that you have a grasp of reason and logic.

My guess is you have one hand on the keyboard and the other on your genitalia whenever you defend the indefensible Obama.

Don't bother with me. I won't read or respond to you again. You never have anything of value to contribute to an actual discussion.

Joe said...

Just to note that there was nothing wrong with the Deepwater Horizon. What went wrong was at the well head.

mesquito said...

I'm not a source of absolute truth and I never claimed to be. But I am capable of putting together objective information and ultimately finding an answer that makes empirical sense. Unlike Glenn Blech, etc.

Why must you bring Glenn Beck into this? I don't listen to him. Presumably you don't, either. I don't think he's made any claims about this question either way.

But since you can't answer the original query: do you think that regulations meant to sustain salinity levels in Gulf coastal water have been wisely interpreted in forbidding the building a of berms and barriers to prevent the contamination, by BP oil, of coastal wetlands?

Take your time answering.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Have you heard that your avatar has passed away? (That is a young Gary Colman, isn't it?)

RIP Gary Colman


Yeah, I heard about that. Pretty sad. Even sadder than what happened after the people named on his trust screwed him out of such a huge chunk of his earnings from Diff'rent Strokes so many years ago.

Brent said...

danielle,

Why are you offended? You took a swipe at Palin and Bush. You're above criticism when you comment on a blog that encourages give and take?

I have over 1,000 posts on Althouse over the years. Don't believe you do. Makes you the random one I reckon.

Joe said...

Here's some ideas;

1) Learn what went wrong from an engineering and manufacturing standpoint and make sure other wells don't have the same flaws.

2) Research and develop a better, more reliable, method for capping undersea wells at depth.

In both cases, Obama is hopelessly incompetent to actually do the tasks, but he can provide leadership to have them done. At the very least, he can ensure the task forces have Richard Feynman types on them, not government yes-men who are afraid to speak in definitive sentences.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

We get that there is nothing Obama can do wrong as far as you're concerned.

No, only insofar as that criticism comes from the frothing mouths of the rabid right. That criticism I don't have reason to take seriously. Other criticism of Obama (including his own) I don't have a reason not to listen to.

My guess is you have one hand on the keyboard and the other on your genitalia whenever you defend the indefensible Obama.

Don't bother with me. I won't read or respond to you again. You never have anything of value to contribute to an actual discussion.


I don't listen to you, Chase, so you need not concern yourself with the idea of me waiting for your responses. That's about as much a fantasy as the image you keep in your head of me and my genitalia.

Once you get past the partisan stuff, then I might consider it again sometime - as I did after you rang in to acknowledge Lee Atwater's "Southern Strategy". That took more brains, guts and honesty than a lot of people have here. And if you managed to take the non-partisan approach to other things, maybe I'd reconsider my just as easily made dismissal of you as well.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chase said...

As a conservative who has continually given Obama the benefit of the doubt regarding intelligence and intent, I have truly come to believe that he is not even close to being up to the job. He's too immature.

Can he grow into the job?

Here's hopin'. I'm really not hopeful - I was last year, but I'm not now.

I'll reference this comment and this post the day after the election in November.

Will we use the words of Obama's defenders against them and embarrass them exceedingly, or will the Obamaites on here look good on that day?

danielle said...

Brent,

as I alluded to in my response, i'm all for actual critique of a particular idea. and no, i was not offended. i was more disappointed that you didnt actually reply with a critique. it was more like you were venting because you didnt agree, but you didnt explain why.

but if you respond to me with nonsense, then I'm going to let you know ... unless of course you become one of the idiots that reside here that make veiled (and not so veiled) personal attacks; in that case i'll just ignore you.

and congratulations, Brent, on your over 1000 posts. do you want a medal ? do you feel like this is your turf ? neither the posts nor the medal make you any less random to me (as I dont know you from Adam), which is what I said the first time.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Take your time answering.

Don't mind if I do. That's the whole point anyway. The complaint is that the reviews, in being shortened from ninety days to thirty days, effectively prevented the responsible agencies from offering credible reviews, and made exclusions de facto practice.

But since you can't answer the original query: do you think that regulations meant to sustain salinity levels in Gulf coastal water have been wisely interpreted in forbidding the building a of berms and barriers to prevent the contamination, by BP oil, of coastal wetlands?

Whatever. It seems like you're trying to box me into a partisan stance here but I see no reason to forbid the building of barriers to prevent contamination of wetlands.

The whole point is being able to consider the impacts of what we're doing, but also to be able to take action when necessary. That applies to denying drilling rights no less than it does to allowing barriers to be constructed. Why must these things be in opposition to each other?

Big Mike said...

When I hear Obama answering questions on his feet, to me he seems deliberate, thoughtful, careful and intelligent. And you're right, there are pauses and hesitations where he's trying to find the right word.

Well, thank you for agreeing with me on something. Albeit you could scarcely say otherwise, given that his performance is preserved electronically for all time.

If Obama's stumbling speech seems "intelligent" to you, then I have to wonder what your frame of reference is. I must admit that when I see someone stumbling for words when the question requires a simple yes or no answer, well, "intelligent" doesn't come immediately to mind. Unprepared, yes. Intelligent, not really.

Speaking as a technical person myself, and as I said above, he comes across to me as not being on top of the technical issues. Not that we pick a president for his "techie" abilities, but we do expect enough brainpower to understand when they are explained to him.

rhhardin said...

Obama exudes incompetence.

Detection must depend on whether you ever had a boss like him.

Big Mike said...

@danielle, I forgot to ask. Do you agree with me that one of the very first things Obama should have done is ordered an immediate survey of the nearly 4000 other oil rigs in the Gulf to see whether any others were vulnerable to the same sort of disaster?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

rhhardin reminds me that competence entails single-handedly reversing every problem in the regulatory environment that was created before his arrival overnight!

Yes, he should review the 4000 other oil rigs. Preferably in 30 days or less, though. Right, Mike?

Maybe you can do the reviews or at least agree to fund the agencies to employ sufficient staff for expediting the reviews. I think that's a fair proposal given your willingness to imply that competence and a lack of regulatory oversight go hand in hand.

danielle said...

@Big Mike -- yes. And I'm not sure that what you are suggesting has not happened.

And in terms of technical details, Are you speaking as someone who works in the oil industry or, say, as someone who has an engineering degree ?

Its not clear to me what level of technical detail you seem to want him to have given; but given that he's not talking to a nation of engineers and scientists, it clearly doesnt make sense for him to get too technical.

mesquito said...

Whatever. It seems like you're trying to box me into a partisan stance here but I see no reason to forbid the building of barriers to prevent contamination of wetlands.

The whole point is being able to consider the impacts of what we're doing, but also to be able to take action when necessary. That applies to denying drilling rights no less than it does to allowing barriers to be constructed. Why must these things be in opposition to each other?


That's the whole point, genius. The OPA '90 gives the President nearly dictatorial powers in situations like this. Obama is too clueless (literally) to use them.

Salinity levels are a hot issue in the Gulf bays and estuaries. Enviromentalist use them, disengenuously, to oppose deepening channels and diverting fresh water for human use. The regs that prevented the building of berms accross passes to the open gulf are the result of these battles.

Oneman can override these regs: Our President.

danielle said...

"I must admit that when I see someone stumbling for words when the question requires a simple yes or no answer, well, "intelligent" doesn't come immediately to mind."

I cannot recall any questions he was asked that only require a yes or no answer. And actually, if he had responded yes or no, then I'd start to question his intelligence.

OK, well, I think we have shown that we are sufficiently different in the way we think and perceive.

i guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. no point in arguing.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

That's the whole point, genius. The OPA '90 gives the President nearly dictatorial powers in situations like this. Obama is too clueless (literally) to use them.

I have the sneaking suspicion that even better than offering the president dictatorial powers in the event of a preventable disaster, would be allowing him the regulatory structure necessary for making sure these things are as unlikely as possible to happen in the first place, and with the greatest minimization of risk possible.

But I take it you'll want to disagree with me on that.

c3 said...

Danielle;
Sarah Palin, by contrast,...

Why use Palin as the contrast? She's not an elected official. As long as those on the left choose to use ex-Gov. Palin as a reference they will get overly excited and the right will respond in kind.

mesquito said...

you've been reduced to silliness, Ritmo.

Since Obama is incompetent to exercise the power he has under OPA '90, we're supposed to give hime even greater reach to address "preventable" problems?

Oh dear.

It's obvious that, regardless of trhe number of Nobels won by his various Czars, nobody in this administration has any practical experience in problem solving in an industrial society.

They remind me of you.

danielle said...

c3, I was talking about Palin because what BigMike wrote about the nature of speech brought up a question that i've long had related to Palin's much loved speaking style. I really wasnt trying to slam anyone. (though obviously I do find Palin and her large following particularly absurd)

Just Lurking said...

"Recovering from a regulatory nightmare as debauched as it was under Bush/Cheney does not happen overnight "

How long will it take? Years? If it is that bad, why did O claim in March that offshore drilling is "not risky", when he knew there were problems in the regulatory agency? Is that not a major risk?

And if he didn't know how bad it actually was- why didn't he know after a year and a half? Someone in his administration is culpable, and he as chief executive is responsible. He even admits that, which I see as a positive step, assuming it's not just political posturing.

But I still say, it should not take that long to hire honest, competent people, who can follow the existing regulations, to work in the mms. But this is inherent in the public sector- you often can't just fire people, even if they are crooked or grossly incompetent. THerefore the bigger we allow this sector to grow, the more problems of corruption and incompetence become entrenched and spread.

Also based on what I've read, it was lax inspection procedures, not deregulation, that might be partly responsible for the disaster. IE inspectors giving out empty signed forms to be filled out, rather than doing the inspections. That's not a deregulation problem, that's a crime.

Perhaps O is correct, that offshore drilling isn't risky; except when the regulatory agency is corrupt.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

It's not about what Obama's not doing to somehow make a disaster any less disastrous than it already is, it's about your preference for a reactive administration rather than a proactive one.

Yes, being a bunch of oil tycoons made the captains of industry who ran the last administration so good at acting on the '08 crash and any oil spills that could have occurred at that point either. It also made them good at deregulating their way to making those things possible.

Both events are catastrophes regardless of your president-as-superhero concept of American government. Some things involve regulation, prevention and thoughtful deliberation and are best approached that way. No amount of replacing the study of history with the Marvel comic books, that you use as a guide to American government, will make such boring and stifling things as regulation and review obsolete, I'm sorry to say.

That point stands. Obama wins. It's a sobering lesson but one you're forced to concede. Finally. Too bad it took a Great Recession and an environmental disaster.

This event does not bring anyone to the Republican side, but rather further exposes the consequences of what they've wrought. It's a sobering event that wakes us up to the precise amount of disaster you'd like the American to live with now, and act on later.

Just Lurking said...

This is the article I am referring to re: corruption in the MMS, in case anyone is interested.

link to NYT .

rhhardin said...

@Ritmo rhhardin reminds me that competence entails single-handedly reversing every problem in the regulatory environment that was created before his arrival overnight!

Listen to the very entertaining Munger podcast on price gouging after a hurricane in NC, to get a feel for what's at stake.

It's not about tinkering.

It's monumental brute ignorance we're facing here.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

How long will it take? Years? If it is that bad, why did O claim in March that offshore drilling is "not risky", when he knew there were problems in the regulatory agency? Is that not a major risk?

And if he didn't know how bad it actually was- why didn't he know after a year and a half? Someone in his administration is culpable, and he as chief executive is responsible. He even admits that, which I see as a positive step, assuming it's not just political posturing.


When you fuck up the culture of a regulatory agency so egregiously, sometimes the damage is more severe and takes more time to recover from than anyone can imagine.

The head of MMS just stepped down. The Director of the Interior claims it wasn't requested and Obama's lack of knowledge regarding that resignation implies that it was sincerely offered.

If you don't realize how bad things had got at MMS under Bush/Cheney, just give me a minute or two to GOOGLE you the evidence. The idea that a bureau as corrupt and rotten to the core as theirs could be turned around overnight, or even in a year - especially during an energy crisis where the right throws flack at the administration for not drilling fast enough - is ludicrous.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Looks like you got to the scoop on the MMS before I did, JL.

Jimmy said...

"Republicans are pimps who allow the public to get raped by the industries they've gotten in bed with."

Obama has, however, accepted more than $213,000 in contributions from individuals who work for, or whose spouses work for, companies in the oil and gas industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That's not as much as Sen. Hillary Clinton, who has received more than $306,000 in donations from people tied to the industry, but it's still a substantial amount.

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, who are running for president as economic populists, are benefiting handsomely from Wall Street donations, easily surpassing Republican John McCain in campaign contributions from the troubled financial services sector. LA Times 3/21/08

Fannie and Freddie have also been places for big Washington Democrats to go to work in the semi-private sector and pocket millions. The Clinton administration's White House Budget Director Franklin Raines ran Fannie and collected $50 million. Jamie Gorelick — Clinton Justice Department official — worked for Fannie and took home $26 million. Big Democrat Jim Johnson, recently on Obama's VP search committee, has hauled in millions from his Fannie Mae CEO job. Fox news 9/16/08

Clinton and Obama have raised similar amounts from lawyers and law firms—$11.8 and $9.5 million. McCain and Huckabee have taken far less. The health sector has also given to Obama, Clinton, and McCain. In the pharmaceutical and health product industries, contributions to Clinton total $349,000 and $338,000 to Obama. Again, McCain trails in donations at about $98,000, an indication that the sector sees the real action on the Democratic side of the ballot. Health professionals, which include doctors, nurses, and dentists, have given Clinton some $2.3 million and Obama $1.7 million.
Columbia Jounalism Review 2/15/08


I am sure Mr. Raines earned every penny of his 50 mil, oh wait...

Paul Zrimsek said...

Now we know why Obama made such a big deal of setting up the Office of the President-Elect: he needed someplace to sit while waiting for Bush's third term to end.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

$200,000 Jimmy. There you go. Huge bucks. Explains it all. Surely no one gave more. Obama has more oil pumping through his veins than Bush/Cheney.

mesquito said...

"The level of cleanup and cooperation we've gotten from BP in the past is in no way consistent to the effort shown on the island today," Roberts said by telephone. "As soon as the president left, they were immediately put back on the buses and sent home."

Roberts says the overnight contingent of workers was there mainly to furnish a Potemkin-style backdrop for the event — while also making it appear that BP was firmly in command of spill cleanup efforts.

New Orleans NBC affiliate WDSU reports that the workers were paid $12 an hour and came mostly from neighboring Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts2320

Just Lurking said...

"it's about your preference for a reactive administration rather than a proactive one."

Is that directed at me? I don't know where you get that from. You don't even know me...

[bunch of comic book references ...] That point stands. Obama wins.

????

Oohkaay. You've lost me; (assuming you are talking to me of course!)

Have a goodnight and a happy holiday weekend.

(Even if your comment wasn't directed at me, have a good weekend anyway!)

Fen said...

@Fen, I had to read your 5:17 post twice. It would have been more clear to say GOP after Eisenhower, I think. Or maybe I'm just tired after a long day.

Yah sorry, Kennedy is the first President I have a memory of, so I meant Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush. All "Stupid and/or Evil".

But none as incompetent as Obambi.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

It was directed at Mesquito. Have a good weekend too.

And yes, Obama and Salazar fucked up. But the amount of changes they'd have to put through to make any of this less likely or less dangerous would have been politically prohibitive given the inevitable protests by the right.

The sad fact is that this makes it much less so, and I don't know if something less disastrous than this would have gotten us to that point.

Methadras said...

How many times must this individual prove his incompetence to be in the office of POTUS? When can I whip out the 'I told you so card' ?

Methadras said...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Wha-choo-talkin-bout-Willis' thesaurus must be malfunctioning again. Because, you see, lots and lots and lots of verbed nouns and adverbs and conjunctive clauses make sophomores sound smart!

Like that idiot Fen (Fem?)*, you might want to consider the possibility that some people actually know things that you don't.


Ah, so says the pot. Sometimes I really wonder how much rope you actually require.

Big Mike said...

I cannot recall any questions he was asked that only require a yes or no answer. And actually, if he had responded yes or no.

Well, I suppose that technically you're correct. For instance the answer to question about whether MMS Director Elizabeth Birnbaum was fired or simply resigned, the answer is either "Ken Salazar asked for her resignation," or "she offered her resignation and Ken Salazar accepted," or "she offered her resignation and Ken Salazar accepted with regrets." Hmmm. Add another three for the variants where the first person singular is substituted for Ken Salazar's name.

And I'm not sure that what you are suggesting has not happened.

I have not read anywhere that Obama has ordered inspections of the remaining platforms -- per the NOAA map I linked to upthread there were almost another 4000 platforms just between the Florida panhandle and Galveston, TX -- to see whether any other platforms were vulnerable.

Let me stipulate that the MMS has been corrupt for years, and let me further stipulate that it was mis-incentivized to rubber stamp the documents presented by the drilling companies going back possibly to when it was founded.

How many more Deepwater Horizons might be out there?

I don't know, you don't know, Ritmo doesn't know, and, since he seems strangely incurious about it, Barack Obama doesn't know and can't be bothered to ask the question.

And in terms of technical details, Are you speaking as someone who works in the oil industry or, say, as someone who has an engineering degree?

I'm a mathematician who designs computer systems for the Federal Government, chiefly of late in the law enforcement community. My observation wasn't directed at Obama being more technical in his presentation. Over the years I've come to recognize when someone has merely memorized a couple phrases and buzz words but does not really grasp the technical issues. And that's what I saw in Obama. Go back to youtube and take another look at his manner of presentation. If you are technical you should see what I mean. If you aren't perhaps you won't.

danielle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mesquito said...

i've been amongst technical (and mostly male people) my whole life, and the cockiness has always been absurd to me. I used to be sort of that way, but then I studied abroad and realized how silly it was..

Chortle.

Big Mike said...

you're the cocky technical guy who tried to lampoon me about a comment I made about different sorts of intelligences.

Guilty as charged :-)

... the cockiness has always been absurd to me.

If I wasn't pretty confident of my ability with a computer, I don't think I could bring myself to write a single line of code now or ever. I suppose we come across to others as cocky to the point of arrogance.

But so far I haven't seen anything written by you or any of your left-wing compatriots that causes me to think that I'm wrong in any of my premises as regards fiscal conservatism, freedom of speech, or anything else, for that matter.

... but calling him unintelligent is pretty ridiculous, and letting that be the criterion by which you judge the quality of the press conference is just silly

I'm pretty certain that Obama is not unintelligent. Be he certainly was inarticulate at the press conference and very poorly prepared. And I just can't see any reason for his being unprepared. Nor do I understand why he doesn't consider the possibility that a second platform will go. When I find a bug in a system I've designed, the first thought that goes through my head is what else might be wrong.

I think that if a second platform goes, given that one has gone and he has done nothing to assure the safety of the remaining thousands of platforms, then he might as well resign on the spot. He'll be over, absolutely over.

... and referencing the resignation or firing of the head of MMS as the case of a yes or no being sufficient when we both know we were talking about the gov't response to the spill is just disingenuous

No. Disingenuous is your sequence of posts.

mesquito said...

i've been amongst technical (and mostly male people) my whole life, and the cockiness has always been absurd to me. I used to be sort of that way, but then I studied abroad and realized how silly it was.

These nasty men may have technical expertise and credibility, but I have beheld the Mona Lisa! In the flesh! When I was on six months's Study Abroad! In, like, Europe!

Methadras said...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ritmo:

Explain, with precision, which gutted regulation resulted in this spill.

I admit it's not German engineering, but we'll get to a more precise focus of blame if we look at the Congress that first decided to shorten to 30 days the time allowed for environmental reviews. If I'm correct, it was sometime around 2004, when "categorical exclusions" to the environmental reviews became law due to the impracticality, the impossibility, of doing responsible environmental reviews in 30 days or less.

From there we can find where to lay the real political blame


So how does an environmental review correspond to a mechanical functionality audit of the rig itself. It was a mechanical failure that caused the explosion. Simple failure analysis should be able to give you the near exact, if not exact reason for how it occurred, but an environmental review, unless it includes some sort of mechanical audit would have done nothing to prevent this accident. If it was deliberate negligence, then obviously BP is going to suffer much of the ire of the people affected by them, but if you think they are going to roll over and just dish out money to anyone who comes before them without a legitimate claim, then I recommend you just start preparing your burial plans now. They've already launched their army of lawyers to staunch not just the flow of oil.

Night2night said...

I think we have two problems in the Gulf. The first is highly technical (securing the blowout at the wellhead), the second requires a huge logistical response (mitigating the environmental damage from the spill). I've seen little indicating President Obama's administration is focused on fixing either. I do see a lot of political posturing.

Danielle, I don't think it's in this country's interest to see any presidency fail and I fully understand President Obama is my president. That being said, I don't understand the man's priorities. I've never been a big fan of political messiahs, but my fear is this man is more of a political ideologue than I recognized at his election. He seems to embrace just about popular consensus view of the academy and just doesn't seem to understand the nuts and bolts of life in this country. That is just a little scary.

k*thy said...

Thank you, N2N (@ 5:20). Ridiculous.

TRO said...

The guy is a fricken moron. Seriously, GW Bush is Einstein compared to this guy. Who the frack elected him?

Methadras said...

danielle said...

anyhow -- if thinking the President is not technical enough makes you feel good and superior, then fair enough; but calling him unintelligent is pretty ridiculous,


It's not that he isn't unintelligent. I mean afterall he was a senior lecturer, which the University of Chicago considers to be an actual professor, and of ConLaw no less at the University of Chicago. He's on record as saying he was a professor of ConLaw at UofC. However, he might think he understands the constitution and has said that, "I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution."

Really? Respects the Constitution? I wonder where half of the things he's proposed are remotely Constitutional. For example, the latest debacle known as Health Care Reform. Oh, he's intelligent, but just not very bright. Your meanderings leave a lot to be desired, so I'm not really sure what you are exactly defending here?

Night2night said...

@TRO

We did. I may not have personally voted for him, but the majority of my countrymen (and a sufficient number of state electors) did. I think some people saw him as the validation of a post racial reality for this country; some saw his eloquence and sophisticated judgment; some saw a chance to refute the Bush administration legacy. What most of us failed to see was how utterly inexperienced he was in either a leadership, or chief executive sense. That's what hurting us today. We're spending more time addressing his psychological adjustment then he is addressing those issues the majority desire to see addressed.

Lem said...

Thank you, N2N (@ 5:20). Ridiculous.

I remember the Challenger disaster was caused by a management all too willing to gamble on the ability of a five dollar O ring to withstand colder temperatures than what tests had shown it would be able to withstand and still do the job.

I bet some manager looking at the bottom line (above anything else) was more than willing to cut corners. Willing to do something that up until now had not gone wrong b4.

Somebody pushed the envelope up that rig and this time it blew up in their face.

Lem said...

This is Obama O-ring ;)

Night2night said...

@Lem

I actually met some of the people at Morton Thiokol who were involved with this (one of the major distortion with this incident was that the engineers had agreed to the NASA decision; this was untrue).

Interesting book given to me by a optical systems specialist I'm now working with on the same subject is: "What Do You Care What Other People Think?, Further Adventures of a Curious Character" on Richard Feynman's testimony to the congressional committee's investigating the root cause to the accident. It's an interesting story and testimony to a number of characteristics of human nature.

AJ Lynch said...

Relax everyone.A little on-the-job training for the president won't kill us. Am I right?

Joan said...

danielle: the cockiness has always been absurd to me. I used to be sort of that way, but then I studied abroad and realized how silly it was.

LOL

I was stuck in a waiting room with CNN blaring and heard most of the press conference. I've heard Gov Jindal's statements, too, mostly: shut up and get out of the way!

Obama could be clearing the way for those who want to act, but instead he's saying things like "We have to get more booms, we don't have enough, and we're not sure how long it's going to take to make them." Really? It's been 6 weeks, and now you're saying "we don't have enough equipment" and "we're not sure how long it will be until it's in place"?

The HIGHEST incompetence. When the rig blew, they should've immediately inventoried all the booms and mobilized them towards the spill, estimating how many they would need and authorizing an emergency order to fill the gaps. Had that been done right away, they could've contained the majority of the leaked oil.

Obama thinks "doing something" means "having a meeting and talking about doing something." They're not the same thing.

Chris Matthews comparing this, not to Bush's Katrina, but to Carter's Iran hostage crisis, was something of a shock to me. Is the MSM finally coming to after so many years of intoxication?

Lem said...

..one of the major distortion with this incident was that the engineers had agreed to the NASA decision; this was untrue.

You may be a little too young to remember this one.. but the beast that is change orders, design changes that sometimes are so late in the game they get done "in the field" (of all places) never get properly checked and double checked.. because by then there is no time bla bla bla.. you probably heard the excuses.

AST said...

First, let me say that I thought his performance in Louisiana today sounded a lot better than his press conference. I wondered if he'd called Rudy Giuliani for lessons.

Is it too late? It might be. Check out Jake Tapper's report at http://hotair.com/archives/2010/05/28/oh-boy-obama-proposed-downsizing-coast-guard-crisis-center-three-months-before-spill/
The locals don't seem to be buying it.

What bothers me most about his "think" shtick is that he's used it before about other issues. Even during his campaign. It's one thing to think about the problem, which is supposed to tell us that he really cares, and another to list what he's done and what he has learned about the current state of things. That's essentially what Rudy Giuliani did again and again after 9/11, and it made him a hero. It's what executives do--they gather the latest information and make decisions. If he's still thinking about it 6 weeks later, it's not perceived as managing the situation.

I think it's possible that VC Carville had given him some advice before today's appearance, but from the Tapper report, I'd say he's going to have to go some to earn back the confidence of the people in Louisiana.

He promised "millions" of new green jobs. How about using stimulus funds to bring people down there to rake beaches and wash animals?

His problem is that his head has been in the lovely green clouds of solar panels and electric cars when he, and his predecessors could have been putting money into improving the Levees in NOLA and stockpiling more of the supplies for fighting and cleaning up big spills. We still need oil. We can't afford for everybody to drive Volts and Leafs and we couldn't provide the power if we could. Instead of daydreaming about eliminating CO2, we should be doing more of what we can do right now and quit pretending that tomorrow cars won't have exhaust and outhouses won't stink.

That is real management. Leadership consists of telling it to us straight and making sure our current apparatus is running like it's supposed to. He's been focusing on how he wants to change the country, but that's not his job. His job is to make the government we have work. That's a big enough job for anybody. I didn't see him walking on the water down there, so he should put away his halo and get back to reality.

Lem said...

BTW - Any accident forensic investigator worth his salt should start by reading the OM Manual (if there is even one)

The press has been making BP out to be worst of the worst.. So who knows.

Night2night said...

@ Lem

Actual I do remember Hyatt City disaster (this was about 2 years after I finished engineering undergrad). Funny thing is even today I get in arguments with R&D folks who don't understand the regulatory exposure you get from lack of configuration control once you start clinical trials (Cordis Corp basically had it's capability to submit drug eluding stent designs to FDA frozen for 5 years while they attempted to get FDA to clear the 483 against it's quality system). I guess the point is at some point things become real and you better know where that line in the sand is. It's as important to your business survival as it is your customers.

Lem said...

I guess the point is at some point things become real and you better know where that line in the sand is.

Some thing are beyond even murphy's law.. In a building to try to over design it while not getting overruled by the architect and get the owner to pay for it, hard enough.

When you have the government involved, its a brand new ball game.

I hated those because I knew the chances of seeing it built w/in my lifetime were against me.

Hector Owen said...

What Joan said at 10:21 is worth repeating:

Obama thinks "doing something" means "having a meeting and talking about doing something." They're not the same thing.

After the meeting comes the allocation of blame. Still nothing gets done about {the problem}. Variable set off by curly brackets. Replace ad lib.

Lem said...

We upgraded the Hoboken Sewage Treatment Plan in Hoboken NJ.

The original design called for the latest in water treatment up to that time (late 80's)

By the time it was done, it was only a secondary treatment worthy of Poland (maybe) and twice the budget (did I mentioned no state of the art treatment?) and the law suits took about 6 years to resolve. the contractor sued us and the subs we sued them and the "owner" (a sewerage authority and the city of Hoboken) they, the "owner", sued everybody

One of the building where the high tech treatment was going to take place sits empty because by the time they figure to kill it the building was already built.

Its funny this huge bldg has a couple of filter presses squeezing the water out of the solids and dumping it in these dump-truck bins to be carted off to a landfill.

Beth said...

BP shipped in a bunch of workers dressed up in hazmat suits right before Obama got there, and then bussed them out right after. This is theater, with BP, Obama's administration, and the Coast Guard directing and producing. The top kill is probably theater, too, and the only thing that will stop the leak is the other well they're drilling. That will take until mid-August.

Mark said...

Beth, BP bussed in 400 workers to make the man with the boot on its neck look good.

At least he's using the boot for something.

(Garage, et. al., you can be proud that you've kept that boot so shiny.)

Lem said...

There are ways of plugins that hole Beth.

The key is to think/design ahead of time contingency plans for worst case scenarios.

The stuff they tried so far were never meant for this kind of depth.

..in other words .. they didn't have a plan!!

Lem said...

My guess is that the most robust top kill equipment available cannot exert enough pressure to make the oil - retreat - if you will. So what ever they pump, mud, in this case its getting blown right back out.

Its like trying to plug a Hoover Dam de-watering pipe with a rag. It ain't going to happen.

Knowing what the pressure is, is key to combating it. My guess is they knew top kill would not work given what the top of top kill is design to kill.

ergo the Hoover Dam de-watering pipe and the rag.

Beth said...

Mark, that "boot on the neck" is like B'rer Rabbit's briar patch. The federal government and BP are pretty much on one side of this thing, and the people down here are on the other. Obama seems happy to hear "we're doing everything that can be done!" from BP and the Coast Guard. He was given a dog and pony show by BP and the CG.

Beth said...

Lem, you're right. No plan.

Lem said...

As for Big O.. I cant say he wasn't "there" there. daddy..

Ya Mo B There - Michael McDonald and James Ingram

Lem said...

Why is President Obama skipping the traditional Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery?

Fuga A Cavallo - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Lem said...

Rush Limbaugh: "I know I am a target and I know I will be destroyed eventually."

Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir - Sandra Luna

wv - affeales

Lem said...

The Obama press conference.

This One's For You - Barry Manilow

Lem said...

NYT: Rahm used Bill Clinton to ask Sestak to drop out of the Senate race.

The Trio El Bueno El Malo y El Feo

wv - backsl

Lem said...

Subliminal sex on Drudge.

Caring Is Creepy - or something ;)

Check out this Chalie Rose

Lem said...

[Redacted] Guy wants to have sex in a public place just once before he dies. But he has 4 fears...

You Can't Always Get What You Want - Rolling Stones

Try the one of the "labs" at the Metropolitan.. certain areas of Central Park.. the train during off peak hours.. (I'm just being helpful ;)

Lem said...

Songs that equate the feeling of love to the symptoms of illness.

Heartbreak Beat - The Psychedelic Furs

Revenant said...

oh ... of course, how could i forget -- you're still looking for ways to express your anger that he won.

Actually I'm more focused on laughing at the swing voters who thought that dunce would actually make a good President.

I mean, sure, I'm stuck with him just like they are. But I still get four good solid years of saying "I told you so", and that's worth something. :)

Fen said...

McCain: "There are legitimate questions as to whether he’s out of his depth or not”

Lem said...

"There I was, former president of the United States, with a plastic bag in my hand, picking up what I had been dodging for eight solid years."

Wash Me Clean - K. D. Lang

Remember this?

Lem said...

I seem to remember a 1990's punditocratic wisdom that went something like this.. The reason why Bill Clinton's job approval remained relatively high (for a president going thru impeachment) was that, aside from the economic good times, Bill's sexual escapades allowed us to either judge him or to think we could emulate him. Apparently the numbers meant that we (mostly men) wish we could get away with "it".

If the Clintonian assessment holds today, the people that want Obama to get away with the leak, the spending, the recession - its not out of some personal fantasy wish to get away with it themselves.. (ergo the low numbers)

It seems to me that if Obama wants his numbers to revive, a scandal of a sexual nature might just be waht he needs.

I hear the birds outside.

rhhardin said...

Bernard McGuirk's line is that Obama turns out to be Ray Nagin.

JAL said...

Good morning Beth.

I wanted to let you know I am really sorry you guys are getting hit again. :-(

JAL said...

I am not following the details of the spill work but a couple questions:

1. Is another well being drilled? In the same field, to release the pressure?

I saw in the speech that ALL exploratory drilling (and leases?)was being stopped. I heard an oil guy call in on some show who said they were having meetings about closing down much more than that.

Now that will really boost the economy.

My husband pointed out that when a plane crashes they don't stop all flights. (Well -- except for 9/11 ... and we all know that according to John Brennan that was a social injustice demonstration.)
They may pull all of a particular type of plane and check why, but crashes do not end aviation.

2. Did BP import the workers, or,
But make no mistake: BP is operating at our direction. Every key decision and action they take must be approved by us in advance. was this a joint effort to give more clout to the kabuki?

And of course I note that Obama offers this as the all encompassing, one size fits all solution:
If nothing else, this disaster should serve as a wake-up call that it’s time to move forward on this legislation.

No baby. It's time to enforce the legislation we already have.

Incompetence is not the justification for more incompetence.

I would also like to observe that there are many comparisons being made to the Valdez spill and how much bigger this is.

The Valdeaz was a *spill* This is an open well. I do not believe we have ever had an open offshore well like this, although I am sure there have been other much smaller versions which were handled better.

So. Is this the first time ever there has been a deep well blow like this? Anywhere else this has happened? How many off shore wells are there? (4000 in the gulf ... the rest of the world?) Just wondering if we need some perspective.

And I hate, repeat, I hate, this demandingness the President uses every time he talks. (We will demand that they pay every dime they owe for the damage they’ve done and the painful losses that they’ve caused.

(That a way ... You tell 'em!!!)

Some really good manager needs to takle him aside and have a chat with him.

It is really weird and offputting.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"My job right now is just to make sure that everybody in the Gulf understands this is what I wake up to in the morning and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about: the spill."

Bullshit.

April 22: Obama hosts Earth Day celebration at White House instead of working on the Gulf oil spill.

April 23: Obama vacations in North Carolina instead of working on the Gulf oil spill.

April 24: Obama is still on vacation.

April 26: Obama plays golf at Andrews Air Force base instead of going to Louisiana.

April 28: Obama goes to Iowa to talk about biofuel instead of going to Louisiana to talk about spilled fuel.

April 29: Obama attends a hurricane meeting instead of going to the Gulf to help clean oiled birds.

May 1: Obama yuks it up with reporters at the White House Correspondent's Dinner instead of dealing with the Gulf oil spill.

May 3: Obama hosts dinner in Washington for his fatcat CEO friends instead of doing his job and dealing with the Gulf oil spill.

May 8: Obama is still playing golf instead of doing his job. This time, he's fucking off at Fort Belvoir.

May 12: Obama took the afternoon off.

May 17: Instead of doing his job, Obama hung out with the chicks ... this time it's the hotties of the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team.

May 21: Obama flies to the Gulf to personally deal with the crisis. Hahahaha ... just kidding. He hung out with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Washington today instead of doing his job. Perq's of power, you see.

May 26: Obama reacts to criticism that he's fucking off, and flies to the Gulf. Hahahaha ... not really. Today, he's fucking off with the U.S. World Cup soccer team and the Duke men’s basketball team. It's only Louisiana, after all. Not like it's Florida beaches getting oiled, or something. South Louisiana is mostly poor black people. They can be forgotten.

Barack Obama is a fuck off. He'd rather hang out with celebrities that do the dirty work of actually, you know ... leading our country.

http://dailycaller.com/2010/05/28/what-obama-has-been-doing-while-the-gulf-coast-dies/

Roger J. said...

Second JAL's comment to Beth.

This situation drives home the fact that in some situations, the government simply does not have the technical expertise to fix something--they are going to have to rely on the oil industry for relevant expertise. I doubt there are any drilling engineers in this (or any other) administration.

The government should focus on getting resources to the State of Louisiana to mitigate, to the extent possible, the oil spill.

And I stand by my initial comment in the thread.

Roger J. said...

A second point re the limitations of the Feds to do things--yes we put a man on the moon, and created the manhattan project--but these technological feats took years, not days. Can the government do something? probably--but to do something in days or months, involving complex technology, is a chimera.

master cylinder said...

Just checking to see if y'all are still full of shit, and by golly you are! The whole election you babies were whining about "the One"," the Messiah", and the whole cult of personality thing. Ooh too powerful! Now you want him to be exactly that- Order a super secret swat team leak commando squad to the rescue! Get in and plug it Obambi! Every week you have a new scandal to end the Obama presidency. Each week he gets something done that he said he would do. It's fun to see y'all tear your hair out! Peace!

chr1 said...

Let me summarize a common lefty position, as written from someone not on the left:

"I don't mind my ideals merged with politics, and if big government spending is one way to get there, then so be it. I just hope the moral goodness of this man (who is leading on a path to a more equal and just future, overcoming our biggest moral failure) is enough to handle our partisan politics, so others will see the logic of my ideas (and if they don't they're bitter clinging gun toting racists who haven't seen the light. I'm glad my guy has the power)."

This is why I'll be voting against Obama, and as many tax and spend democrats as I can.

I'd like to remove the class analyses, race narrative (tribe rewarding) green hustling identity politicking progressive left from the mainstream, because I believe it results in a worse and more belligerent nationalism and I'm tired such internal contradictions being portrayed as the highest ideas around.

As for the oil spill. It's a fuckup. It's a tough fix, and we should all be focused on how best to clean it up.

Beth said...

JAL,

I'm in a rush to get on the road to visit family for Memorial Day, but here's a quick response:

1) they are drilling two relief wells to tap the well if they can't stop it from leaking. Those will take until August, mid-August, and they've suspended drilling for today, while they try another procedure.

That procedure involved cutting the pipe and/or putting a new Blow Out Preventer (BOP) atop the failed one. They may use the BOP from the rig drilling the relief well for that, so that's why they've suspended that drilling.

2) BP hired the workers. It may all be kabuki, and I believe the Coast Guard is as involved in bullshitting us as is BP. Obama was treated to a dog and pony show, and I have no reason to believe that he wasn't satisfied with one.

3) Yes, there has been a leak like this, in 1979, Bay of Campeche. It went on for months. It's not a good comparison, though, because it affected beaches only. Wetlands are impossible to clean, and they're the source for our seafood, as well as the barriers against tropical storms.

Fen said...

MasterCylinder: just checking to see if y'all are still full of shit

aw, don't start crying again little Libtard

Big Mike said...

@Beth, have a save trip.

Original Mike said...

Danielle said: "Obviously Bush was closer to Palin than Obama."

That's funny, because I have thought from the beginning that Obama's stumblings, off teleprompter, remind me a lot of Bush (without the malapropisms).

Beth said...

Thanks, JAL, for your kind thoughts.

And Big Mike, too. We're there and back again, so a safe journey was had.

Beth said...

Billy Nungesser says he tangled with Obama about making accountability and response, and that he's seeing results from that today. I hope that's true.

Fen said...

Sorry, but that ABC piece reads like a DNC press release. Like something Mark Studdock would be asked to write, in That Hideous Strength

"Or Dear Leader was wreathed in sunlight as he rightfully scolded me for my impertitence."

Gag.