June 15, 2010

Let's watch Obama's big speech.

7:06: He's laying out a "battle plan" to fight the leak at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. He's "deploying" the military.

7:08: What to do during the "siege." A decision has been made to speak in military terms. Of course, he's not the first President to ask us to think about a nonmilitary problem in military terms. The War on X... the moral equivalent of war....

7:12: To make sure this won't happen again, Obama is establishing a commission.

7:15: We need to "jump start" the "clean energy" future. There's "the potential" to create "millions of jobs" but "only" if we "act together." We need to do something big at the national level to make this happen. Some people say we can't afford this, but he's saying we can't afford not to do it. He's vague about what this will be. The only thing he won't accept is doing nothing. He won't accept the "paltry limits of conventional wisdom." So even though we don't "precisely know" what we need to do, we will do it. Like we did in WWII and in going to the moon. We'll do something. And it will have to be big, but we don't know what it is. Then he drops from that scarily high level of abstraction and the unknown to... shrimpers. Something about shrimp people. We must think BIG and... shrimpy.

7:20: And suddenly, it's getting religious. I think he's bringing this speech in for a landing, because... it's a bit prayer-like. There's a "hand" that will "guide us." And — yes — it is the end: "May God bless America."

7:26: Well, that was a terrible speech! When it wasn't grim and dreary, it was grandiose. But the grandiosity was so vague... and half-hearted. Oh! The malaise!

AND: Here's the text of the speech. This is the part that interested me most:
As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs -– but only if we accelerate that transition.  Only if we seize the moment. And only if we rally together and act as one nation –- workers and entrepreneurs; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors.  
This is the anti-capitalist move. There is all this opportunity, but free enterprise and capitalism can't take advantage of it. We need a top-down, government-imposed scheme, he announces. He doesn't explain why. It's an article of faith.
Now, there are costs associated with this transition [towards energy independence].  And there are some who believe that we can’t afford those costs right now.  I say we can’t afford not to change how we produce and use energy....
This is such embarrassing cliché rhetoric: Some say we can't do it. I say we can't not do it.


He cites a bunch of modest ideas that have been suggested and says we should think about them, then says that we have to do something, even though you could take all those things together, impose them, and still not break what he calls our "addiction" to fossil fuel. He blathers about WWII and the moon landing -- as noted above --  and talks about "what has defined us as a nation": "the capacity to shape our destiny....  Even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like.  Even if we don’t yet know precisely how we’re going to get there.  We know we’ll get there." That is so hopelessly grandiose and vague, and to keep us from looking at it too long and despairing, he's all: Look! Shrimp!
Each year, at the beginning of shrimping season, the region’s fishermen take part in a tradition that was brought to America long ago by fishing immigrants from Europe.  It’s called “The Blessing of the Fleet,” and today it’s a celebration where clergy from different religions gather to say a prayer for the safety and success of the men and women who will soon head out to sea....
It's the shrimp and religion combo platter. Yummy!

248 comments:

1 – 200 of 248   Newer›   Newest»
David said...

They're gonna capture 90% of the oil.

That's bold.

And stupid.

And a National Commission!! Cool new idea. . . .

mesquito said...

He's establishing a National Commission!

The Drill SGT said...

"I approved offshore drilling because I was told it was absolutely safe"

I also believe in the tooth fairy

The Drill SGT said...

Another F'ing lawyer at MMS

David said...

Elizabeth Birnbaum.

He's gonna replace her now.

Of course he appointed her.

She was totally unqualified, and focused on all the wrong issues.

He's gonna appoint a Federal Prosecutor to run it. Cool. He'll understand the problem.

David said...

Lack of candor.

China is investing in clean energy.

And coal, of course, but why mention that?

The Drill SGT said...

"investing in clean energy jobs"

I can't wait for the bill to come due

mesquito said...

"unleash innovation"

Where is innovation being kept on a leash?

David said...

A Katrina mention was cool.

And Wind! Wow. He knows about wind.

Accelerate the transition to wind . . .

Accelerate = subsidize.

mesquito said...

If he's for energy independence, why does he want to wreck the coal industry?

mesquito said...

"addiction to fossil fuels"

Take the booze away from the drunk, his life gets better. Take the oil from an industrial society, and life gets very, very bad.

The Drill SGT said...

lot's of military references...

David said...

In WW II it was said we could not produce planes and tanks? By whom?

I was around for the moon program under Kennedy. I don't remember a lot of naysayers, except for big time lefties, who said we had to spend the money on earth.

David said...

Word verification = "nocap."

Honest.

No cap on the oil spill.

No cap on spending.

mesquito said...

Holy shit. President Filibuster is already done!

JAL said...

Let's not.

I'll watch you guys watch it.

here.

David said...

What a load of crapola.

Does BP have the guts to call his bluff?

He hopes so--it would be a bonus.

Big Mike said...

Whoa! A commission! By golly as soon as the oil hears that it's going to turn around and head straight back down the pipe.

You betcha.

David said...

Minerals and Management Service.

Obama appointed the head of it.

Am I the only one to point this out?

Eric said...

The military stuff is funny from a guy who doesn't know from which end of a gun the bullets emerge.

What is the military going to do with a hole a mile under the surface of the gulf? Bomb it? Add "Unauthorized release of oil" as an offense in the UCMJ?

Eventually this boob will understand the people he needs to fix an oil problem are oilmen. Not professors. Not generals or wind-power advocates. Oilmen.

rhhardin said...

BP will have to sell assets to get money to give to an independent political slush fund.

That'll work.

It'll hobble BP pretty effectively when you don't particularly want them hobbled.

Obama likes to cancel business law, a good reason not to invest anything in the US.

JAL said...

I approved offshore drilling because I was told it was absolutely safe

He said that? Who in their right mind would ever SAY that?

He is lying.

China is investing in clean energy?

He said that?

Hahahaha the biggest industrial polluters on the planet. Of course they *are* investing in clean energy.

So am I when I buy a clothes line for outdoors.

This is what happens when you elect someone with no real world experience in anything but schmoozing with the community of choice.

He doesn't even have good advisors. (Or he ignores the ones he has.)

Sixty Grit said...

I am reminded of the title of a book by Mike Cullen, Whiny Little Bitch: The Excuse-Filled Presidency of Barack Obama.

Thank goodness The A Team is on - man, those guys knew how to solve problems and bring a plan together.

The Drill SGT said...

If he wants Russell Honore's phone number, I'll send it.

Obama can't plug the leak, but his clean-up operation needs a good leader....

TRO said...

He's an empty suit. No one believes a word he says anymore, not even his supporters like the few who halfheartedly try to back him here.

danielle said...

yawn .... I am getting so tired of Obama speeches .... the structure is always the same. i prefer press conference when he's answering questions.

maybe he can add a new person his speech writing team or something ...

and hopefully all that chatter about 'emoting' will stop so the President's team doesn't feel the need for these political speeches.

Joe said...

Did he say anything about cleaning up the spill, which is by law federal responsibility?

He completely abdicated this responsibility and as far as I can tell has done little to expedite it (I'm not talking about the berms, which is a nutty idea which will likely backfire, but simply getting boom and equipment in place. Skimmers and ships from other countries. The Coast Guard, which is normally a top notch organization, has several commanders who are being stymied in their efforts and others who are just plain incompetent.)

Quayle said...

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in the Gulf,

we shall fight the oil spill on the seas and oceans,

we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Country from the oil spill, whatever the cost may be,

we shall fight the oil spill on the beaches,

we shall fight the oil spill on the landing grounds,

we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,

we shall fight the oil spill in the hills;

we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this gulf coast or a large part of it were slimed and tarred with oil, then our political party in Chicago, armed and guarded by the compliant lefty press, would carry on the struggle, until, in evolution's good time, the Department of the Interior, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the gulf."

The Drill SGT said...

rhhardin said...
BP will have to sell assets to get money to give to an independent political slush fund.


The irony is that BP was the most left wing of the oil companies. They were writing cap and trade stuff. Rahm got a free apartment for 5 years from a senior BP lobbyist, Stanley Greenberg.

barry's blog said...

?mush from the wimp?

danielle said...

On to the Staples Center !!!

Quayle said...

"We are addicted to oil."

I tried putting water in my car and it didn't like it.

AST said...

Isn't it spelled "siege"?

The Drill SGT said...

Apparently the people of Louisiana now rate Obama performance in this, worse than they do Bush and Katrina .

That's gotta sting the Wone

lucid said...

Well, he has finally risen to giving a speech on the level of a state assemblyman from the State of Illinois.

What an incredibly inadequate president he has been. Such a disappointment.

Tyrannincal ("I will inform them that they are to set aside..."), both grandiose and yet small-minded, obsessed with blaming others, and totally boring, unispiring, and self-seeking.

David said...

More seriously:

This was a terrible speech because:

1. The 90% promise. He can't promise that. It's not in his control. It could haunt him.

2. Keeping the moratorium on. He just kind of dropped that in--no justification. I predict an opening of the petroleum reserve at some point.

3. Lack of specifics. Everyone in the Gulf is saying that the response is chaotic. He fails to even acknowledge this, let lone solve it.

4. National Commission. Gaaaah!

5. Another lawyer in charge at Minerals and Management.

6. The war analogy--as one CNN (!) commentator is saying, it sounded more like a Powerpoint presentation. Imagine Abraham Lincoln, Roosevelt, Churchill with Powerpoint. You can't, right?

This guy is just not a leader. Leaders face uncomfortable facts. He didn't.

Montagne Montaigne said...

It's too bad we didn't elect McCain, who would have banned off shore oil drilling.

There is nothing that Obama could have done at any point since January 2008 that could have earned any support from this crowd. Pretending that "Obama has lost the country" and such malarkey may be fun, but please don't kid yourselves: Obama has lost about 8 percent of his support. And Republicans won't even recapture the Senate in november.

It's also nice to see how ODS can even make BP the victim for some people. Truly hopeless.

Quaestor said...

JAL wrote: "I approved offshore drilling because I was told it was absolutely safe

He said that? Who in their right mind would ever SAY that?

He is lying."


No he's not lying. He was told offshore drilling was absolutely safe by an idiot with a law degree but no knowledge of oil beyond that it's made into gasoline which makes cars go somehow. What Obama doesn't say is that he hired the idiot who told him offshore drilling was absolutely safe.

wv: grudge (no kidding) (n) what intelligent American people are developing against Obama, the Democrats, and self-identified Progressives generally, and will exercise forcefully come November.

David said...

"Oh, the malaise."

Pretty good summary.

Paddy O said...

A hundred years from now people will be talking about this speech and how it transformed the national conversation about the environment.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I thought his remark about BP's "recklessness" was rather gratuitous. Shit happens, and certainly he doesn't mean to imply that BP just never cared much whether they caused a disaster or not. And where is his authority, exactly, for confiscating $20,000,000,000 (we need to see all of those zeroes) from BP? I would like Althouse or any other legal eagle to comment on where he derives this authority. It seems to me there already exists a mechanism for civil redress. Certainly BP must pay, but I don't see why they should pay at the whim of an arrogant president.

Eric said...

It's too bad we didn't elect McCain, who would have banned off shore oil drilling.

While I agree with Althouse in that McCain may have actually been worse (though at just this moment it's hard to imagine), at least McCain knows how to lead. Also, he knows what the military can do and what it can't do.

mesquito said...

He suggests that offshore drilling was unregulated, and that was the problem.

Why always with the straw men? Is this a law school thing

Eric said...

And — yes — it is the end: "May God bless America."

Where is Michael Moore when you need him?

Quaestor said...

Montagne Montaigne wrote: "Pretending that "Obama has lost the country" and such malarkey may be fun, but please don't kid yourselves: Obama has lost about 8 percent of his support."

Ah, Montagne Montaigne, welcome back to my favorite special needs poster.
You should take your own advise.

AJ Lynch said...

Is there any sign yet that Obama is learning how to do the job of president? It is as if he gives the same speech over and over - "we must do health care...green energy...etc"

I don' want the govt to make investments for me except in transportation and national defense.

Methadras said...

and half-hearted. Oh! The malaise!

Oh, you mean like Jimmy Carter Malaise? Obama has now opitimized himself as one of the most daft, inept, feckless, incompetent, and foolish people to ever hold the office. He has now besmirched Jimmy Carters reputation.

Quaestor said...

Paddy O wrote: "A hundred years from now people will be talking about this speech and how it transformed the national conversation about the environment"

What? Say again, Paddy, my sarcasm detector is a bit dodgy today.

Montagne Montaigne said...

I WILL take my own advise. Thanks, my illiterate friend.

You all think that Obama "approved" the Deepwater Horizon rig, don't you?

Really anything to rail at Obama will do. Facts, common sense, basic logic don't matter.

The Drill SGT said...

He said that? Who in their right mind would ever SAY that?

Here is the actual Obama quote:

A few months ago, I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe – that the proper technology would be in place and the necessary precautions would be taken.

Paddy O said...

"BP will have to sell assets to get money to give to an independent political slush fund."

I am a little disappointed in the speech because I was hoping that Obama would immediately declare that he was seizing BP's North American assets and handing them over to a newly nationalized Exxon-US oil company.

Maybe he'll finally get to announcing this in a couple of months, when only 70% of the oil is captured, and thus something must be done about the 20% gap in captured oil versus capturable oil potentialities. For the children, we must take such measures now.

tgibson said...

珍惜當下..活在當下..祝大家都平平安安健健康康!........................................

mesquito said...

I am a little disappointed in the speech because I was hoping that Obama would immediately declare that he was seizing BP's North American assets and handing them over to a newly nationalized Exxon-US oil company.

See: Adorno, Theodoro W.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

He (Obama) needs to prioritize. PRIORITIZE please.

1. Put people in a postion of authority to coordinate WITH BP, entrepeneurs and with other countries that have alreaady offered help, the stopping of the gusher.

STOP THE LEAK

also

1. Get the efforts to clean up and mitigate the oil damage to the land, the wild life, the economic impact on the Gulf States. This is actually a government responsiblity.

CLEAN UP THE MESS

Way down on the priority list

Who is going to be forced to pay for this. Probably BP and unfortunately the American Taxpayer. Paying extra taxes to clean up the Gulf....I wouldn't object if the tax was temporary.

Quit trying to throw blame everywhere. There is plenty of time later for that.

Forget about the pie in the sky clean energy for right now.

PRIORITIZE for FUCKS SAKE

STOP THE LEAK
CLEAN THE MESS
STFU Obama.

AJ Lynch said...

Hahaha - good one- DBQ for President!

Quayle said...

Obama has opened up a third front in our war. Iraq and Afghanistan are now on the back burner, as he is throwing maximum effort at the problem in the gulf.

He's only really comfortable talking like a war president when he's going up against an inert substance.

Quaestor said...

Montagne Montaigne wrote: "
You all think that Obama "approved" the Deepwater Horizon rig, don't you?"


You are amazing. You manage to outdo yourself with every comment you post here. Whether he approved or disapproved Deepwater Horizon is irrelevant. The response to the disaster has been a monumental clusterfuck, and Obama is at least partly responsible because he CHOSE to own the problem for political reasons, specifically he saw it as another crisis that ought not be wasted.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Think of the oil leak in real life terms in your own home.

You didn't watch your kids very well and they went and broke one of those light bulbs that contain mercury. (You know... the ones that Obama wants us to use)


So instead of cleaning up the mess you decide to throw out all of the light bulbs in your house, beat your children to within an inch of their lives and decide to invent a new light bulb. Nevermind that you will be sitting in the dark for 15 years or that you don't have a fucking clue on HOW to invent a light bulb.

Meanwhile you have broken glass and mercury all over your house.

Maybe we should have elected a MOM in chief instead of a planner. Mom would have cleaned up the mess, disciplined the kids and made some sandwiches.


Oh....also...you plan to make all of your neighbors pay for your new project and take away all of their light bulbs too,.

The Drill SGT said...

PRIORITIZE for FUCKS SAKE

STOP THE LEAK
CLEAN THE MESS
STFU Obama.


you forgot, Chain Holder up in the back yard.

The last thing you need is for BP geeks to start doing lawsuit risk analysis or CYA in memos when they ought to be heads down like the Apollo 13 geeks "working the problem". Having Holder collecting all their working papers looking for fault is counter productive to mission 1:

STOP THE LEAK

Quayle said...

"STOP THE LEAK
CLEAN THE MESS
STFU Obama."

What we got instead was:

IGNORE THE LEAK
SEND THE LAWYERS
BLAME THE COMPANY
OPEN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
PLAY GOLF
ACKNOWLEDGE THE LEAK
TAKE A VACATION
FIRE SOME UNDERLINGS
GIVE A SHORT SPEECH
SEND BP A BILL
TELL GRADUATES TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
DEMAND THAT BP SET ASIDE MORE MONEY
MAKE A VISIT WITH A DETERMINED FACE
MAKE A REALLY LONG AND STUPID SPEECH

Next step is probably to go upstairs and watch the Lakers game.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Well, that was a terrible speech!"

Here's how terrible it was ... the booster club at MSNBC thought it was a horrible speech.

If Barack Obama can't get his own cheerleaders to root for the home team, he's fucking done.

What is happening in the mainstream media is that people are beginning to realize that they'll still need their credibility in 2.5 years ... long after Barack Obama has been swept into the dustbin of history.

They'll need jobs. They thought a year ago that they could skate for the next 8 years ... but they're realizing that ain't gonna happen and that with the shitty economy that Barack Obama is going to leave in his wake, they'd better maybe start reporting what a fucking dumb-ass President Dumbo has turned out to be.

I'd give Barack Obama about nine more months and even Ann Althouse won't even admit she voted for this fucking boob.

bagoh20 said...

Is this really the President of the most powerful nation in history? Somebody screwed up!

Almost Ali said...

From the Jive-Turkey-In-Chief: Pure, unadulterated BS.

May we now draw up the Articles Impeachment? Or do you need even more proof that Obama is a congenitally incompetent, two-bit conman.

bagoh20 said...

That's a f'n perfect bot response at 8:11 pm.

bagoh20 said...

That's beautiful, DBQ.

mesquito said...

Really, what did you expect?

Franz Fanon, Margaret Atwood and Saul Alinsky have very little to say about crisis management and petroleum engineering.

He's a helpless, innocent baby in a big, bad world.

bagoh20 said...

All that speech needed was laugh track to become a classic.

traditionalguy said...

There is nothing unclean about oil, gas , nuclear and coal extracted carefully. It is semantics aimed at dunces. The construction of literally millions of wind mills will cost us everything we have and get us back less energy than it takes to run the windmills by 100 to 1. This man is an enemy of every American citizen except the wind mill builders over seas.

Paddy O said...

I also would have preferred if Obama had included some heart-warming New Age sentiments about our planet and our responsibilities to share in our responsibilities for it, calling for the people of the world to set aside their wars and disagreements, to think warmly in unison, sending humanity's collective thoughts into the universe, so that the universe would smile back down upon us, and help us find a cosmic stridex pad so that we can sop up all this oil from the sweet visage of our gentle--but now desperately weeping--earth mother.

Quaestor said...

Dust Bunny Queen wrote: "Maybe we should have elected a MOM in chief instead of a planner."

What makes you think Obama is even a planner-in-chief. This man couldn't plan breakfast if he had a box of Lucky Charms in one hand, a bottle of milk in the other, and an empty bowl on a table before him... Mmm, let's see, is it milk on the floor, cereal out the window and bowl on the head? Or is it cereal on the floor?.... Michelle!!

edutcher said...

The Zero never "approved off-shore drilling", he made a show of approving exploration and that's all, and now he has an excuse, at the cost of more jobs lost, to cancel it. Like the Congress from which he came in '08, there was a great show of approving exploration, only to revoke it after the election.

Also, consider this, Birnbaum knew nothing about petroleum drilling, but was picked for her 'green' street cred.

PS All the National Socialists keep trying to convince themselves (and everybody else) that the conservatives are in the minority, but, looking at the polls, there's always the same 60 - 30 - 10 split with the 60 pointing Right (and most, if not all the 10, going that way when they finally make up their minds).

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Quaestor

I was thinking more along the lines of the 'planners' in Freidrich Hayek's

Road to Serfdom

Read it and weep.

I think we are at Stage 9

Methadras said...

The political reality is that the smoking hypocrite-in-chief is going to try and get this shoved through and November should be the sole reason to vote to stop this nonsense. For that alone should be a reason.

Methadras said...

It's fun to watch MSNBC facepalm themselves after President Barely's speech. This is too good to pass up.

Paddy O said...

I'm watching the Lakers game, and there's a BP commercial. BP claims are easy to make. Just go to the website to make yours!

See, Obama's speech has already made a difference!

BP didn't have commercials on before the speech.

Psota said...

I was listening on the radio. Was Obama wearing a cardigan?

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Was Obama wearing a cardigan?"

Jimmy Carter is breathing a huge sigh of relief knowing he's no longer the dumbest fucking President.

From now on, Barack Obama will be the dolt-stick by which all future Presidents are measured.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Ctrl-F

"garage mahal"

Nowhere to be found.

Even Barack Obama's most loyal ass munchers are running for cover tonight.

Methadras said...

At this point President Barely is like Snagglepuss trying to exit stage left and saying to himself," Heavens to Murgatroyd".

God this man is dumb. I mean USDA Grade A dumb.

Methadras said...

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Ctrl-F

"garage mahal"

Nowhere to be found.

Even Barack Obama's most loyal ass munchers are running for cover tonight.


Oh don't worry. They are working on their spin right now for later dissemination. Leftards are like an infection, they will figure a way to spread their filthy disease.

TosaGuy said...

So Obama goes on TV to push for Cap & Trade...a bill that that will jack energy prices, not plug the leak or clean up the oil....and was supported by BP because they want to make money on the trading of carbon.

Not Jimmy Blago's best idea.

Beth said...

Shit happens, and certainly he doesn't mean to imply that BP just never cared much whether they caused a disaster or not.

Are you kidding? You must be a moby.

ne BP man making the call to tell Halliburton to skimp on the cementing job said "who cares, it's done, end of story, it will probably be fine." The Halliburton crew said fine, but get us the hell off this rig, and were on the next helicopter out.

BP did not care much whether they caused a disaster or not. That's why this rig blew, while thousands of others out in deep water have not.

Will said...

Thanks for nothing Obama you empty suit. Just admit that Acorn will administer the BP Booty Fund and Van Jones will be Chairman. Now you can get back to prolonging the recession with your anti-Business rhetoric.

HKatz said...

All that speech needed was laugh track to become a classic.

Now that's something to edit and put up on youtube.

edutcher said...

Psota said...

I was listening on the radio. Was Obama wearing a cardigan?

You had the same thought I did. Ol' Bucketmouth called the energy crisis 'thuh mo'al equivalent of wo'ah'. The Zero did pretty much the same thing. Can't wait to hear him use the word malaise.

PS He said this was something we couldn't afford not to do. Just like ZeroCare.

Weimar, here we come!

alan markus said...

Finally, an Olbermann/Matthews vid worth watching:

MSNBC Trashes Obama's Address: Compared To Carter, I Don't Sense Executive Command

Lem said...

OT - THE Lakers are ahead...

But according to the way my father taught me to watch playoffs.. the Lakesrs are going to win two games IN A ROW for the championship.

I have always expected my team to lose..

My team loosing is not a big deal!!!

Fen said...

BP man making the call to tell Halliburton to skimp on the cementing job said "who cares, it's done, end of story, it will probably be fine." The Halliburton crew said fine, but get us the hell off this rig, and were on the next helicopter out. BP did not care much whether they caused a disaster or not.

Sidebets thats its a little more complex than Beth's screenplay.

Lem said...

HALF TIME!

Beth said...

A caller to a local radio show mentioned Obama's praise of Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who's coordinating this thing, and said "If Thad Allen had been admiral during WW II, there'd still be German subs in Lake Pontchartrain."

He's retiring in July, and I feel like Obama's sticking with him till then, and it's a disaster for us. Allen is out of touch, doesn't know what resources he has on hand and what's been offered, for the first month was a suck-up to BP. When someone asked him about unused boom and boats at a location where oil was encroaching he replied "I guess I'm just slow and stupid" - I assume he meant that sarcastically but the response down here was "duh, yeah. I guess you are."

What I hear in this speech is about claims and restoration. It's as if Obama has given up on defense of the coast, and the wetlands.

Today, we're told BP-employed clean-up workers were stepping on pelican chicks and eggs, and tossing oiled boom into the nesting area. What the hell? We're trying to save the pelicans, not kill them!

BP's just grabbing guys at the rent-a-laborer shop and giving them no training. That's why the press is being pushed around by their rent a cops - they don't want you to see the extent of the problem, and Obama and the Coast Guard are letting them get away with it.

I've never been so convinced that we're all lackeys to a corporate-government alliance. This is more about protecting BP's stockholders as it is protecting American workers and our environment.

The alternative energy talk is complete bullshit. He knows we can't convert from petro-chemicals at any meaningful percentage. This is theater. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Penny said...

"He won't accept the "paltry limits of conventional wisdom.""

Excellent! Nor should you, Mister President.

Now if only we can get him to stop accepting the limits of conventional, political leaders' language...

Perhaps if he had opened with something along the lines of, "We've got a problem here, Houston."

Beth said...

Fen, imagine what you want. That's straight from BP email.

The Drill SGT said...

Beth said...BP did not care much whether they caused a disaster or not. That's why this rig blew, while thousands of others out in deep water have not.

I don't know the part of the story you're telling, but I read an interesting article that I think was in the WSJ 10 days ago. It focused on the 23 y/o gal who picked up the mike and called the Mayday on the guard channel after the rig blew. The Captain of the rig turned to her with a glazed look and said, "nobody authorized you to do that".

I was struck by the bifircated chain of command between Transocean and BP. All decisions, even safety critical ones needed approvals by the senior men from both firms. Unlike even the most hide-bound assembly line where any worker can stop the line for a safety reason (but of course needs to be able to explain why) on the Rig, the system was designed for paralysis in an emergency.

Lem said...

You people, speaking about an incidental president who is not even taken seriously by his "colleagues" is up to you..

I pledge not to say a word about his irrelevancy for the time he marshales, for the time he forces a relevancy.

Big Mike said...

There is nothing that Obama could have done at any point since January 2008 that could have earned any support from this crowd.

Patently false, Monty, but then every word you type is a lie in some form or another, right down to "the," "a," and "an."

Once he discovered that the reason why the Coast Guard had to turn away offers of assistance from the Dutch and others was the 1920 Jones Act, he could have called for an emergency session of Congress to repeal the Act or at least suspend it in the Gulf of Mexico until the crisis is past.

Once he found out from petroleum engineers that runaway gushers can be stopped using explosives, he could have given BP X number of days (maybe 7, maybe 10) to cap that well or he'd order the Navy in with conventional explosives to blast that thing until it stopped leaking. Of course once it was blasted, BP would have to start drilling all over again, but that would have been quite a motivator not to screw around for day after day and week after week, as happened.

In other words, he could have solicited advice from experts and he could have demonstrated leadership.

BJM said...

Weak.

I think Urkel could probably kick Obama's ass.

Luke Lea said...

If he were really serious about reducing America's dependence on oil he would have talked about natural gas, nuclear energy, and clean coal technologies, not solar cells and wind turbines. Time for "He's so lame" by Carly Simon.

The Drill SGT said...

He's retiring in July, and I feel like Obama's sticking with him till then, and it's a disaster for us. Allen is out of touch,

and lacks that sense of urgency and focus that Honore had....

Big Mike said...

@Beth, you're sounding feisty again. Great!

I think I'm seeing a pattern, and I wonder if you'd agree.

1) Big company donates lots of money to Obama in particular or at least to the DNC.

2) Big company gets what it wants, be it relief from environmental assessments or the Dodd act or whatever.

3) Something goes wrong and Obama excoriates the company.

4) But Obama continues to cut slack for the companies.

BP, Goldman-Sachs, CITI, the list goes on.

Lem said...

I realise I just kissed away half the Althouse posts here..

There is one exception I claim as my own... Any post having to do with the impeachment of Obama will have at first my undivided attention.. upon a chance.. my undivided effort. enough to talk my tea party to get behind it.

The Drill SGT said...

So Beth,

no shit, How is Jindal doing?

Better than Blanco in Katrina I expect?

Beth said...

Drill Sgt., that's a great example. The BP men - business managers - made decisions that overruled the safety protocols, and their own engineers' designs. The rig appears to have had a fuzzy chain of command on the operations end, as your example shows. There was more to that story - the guy who did try to activate the blow-out preventer did it only after waiting on the guy who's job it was to make the call. He was in the shower, and no one was acting in his stead. Clusterfuck is the right word, I think.

And I don't believe most rigs are run that way. That's why the men who worked it had complained to their wives, why Schlumberger and Halliburton contractors had expressed their concerns.

If you want to believe it's just a matter of "shit happens," then you're pretty much saying drilling is too dangerous, and should be abandoned. I don't believe that.

PatCA said...

I felt the same way: a waste. Vague and grandiose. College Peace Studies major grandiose.

And what really riled me was the old chestnut "America uses 25% of the energy with only 2% of its population.

SO WHAT?

We also lead the world in charitable donations and technology and inventions and, last but not least, sacrificing the lives of our military to make the world safe and prosperous.

Aurelian said...

This is our President.

We.

Are.

Fucked

Beth said...

Big Mike, I see Big Oil giving money to everyone in Congress, and running for office. If a Republican was in office right now, we'd see merely a difference in style. Jindal and Vitter talk tough with BP on one hand, but Vitter tried to keep the cap on BP's liability.

Big Oil's trying to cut themselves off from BP - I don't know how successful that will be. It looks like none of them are actually prepared for this kind of disaster - but BP courted disaster more so than Shell, for example.

I've got some praise for Jindal, some questions, too. BP ponied up $25 million a few weeks ago to Jindal, and he held onto it, all the while complaining about resources, and claims. Use the money, Bobby! I like his activity on getting the berms started, and getting some tankers finally to suck up some oil, and also sinking some barges to form barrier reefs.

I depart with your analysis in my complete cynicism about all politicians. I don't see any of them doing much to damage Big Oil. Even Obama's moratorium here doesn't hurt stockholders since the rigs will just move somewhere else. It's the workers that get hurt, and all the industry that intersects with the oil business offshore. I expect not enough of those are on the stock index.

Lem said...

If you people cant play politics (impeaching a weak president) as good as the opposition would, if they had your chance.. then maybe you don't deserve to lead.

The Republicans of old managed to impeach a popular president..

What is the excuse of today's republicans?

Lets face it.. a weaker president has never faced a weaker opponent!!

Beth said...

Big Mike - check in on the Baton Rouge Advocate's website and the Times-Picayune (New Orleans) occasionally, and you'll keep up with the local efforts.

If you pay attention, you'll see the politicos are all trying to tar the other with who's politicizing the spill. From clusterfuck to daisy chain. That doesn't mean they're not acting in the best interests of dealing with this, but they're smart enough to stop and throw elbows, just enough, not too much.

Dead Julius said...

That speech was soooooo, like, ya' know, like, soooooo mindblowingly glad awesome... super hug to Obama!

Robohobo said...

"To make sure this won't happen again, Obama is establishing a commission."

Ooooooooo, a Commission! Wow, that should solve EVERYTHING and MORE!
OOOOOOOOO!

Beth said...

I've got class in the morning. It's hard not to remain obsessively engaged with following the news, the pundits, this discussion, the god-awful pictures...maybe it's a good thing I'm teaching summer courses, indeed.

Patrick said...

I'm only commenting because the word verification is "ungod," which I think ought to be routinely applied to the President. Usually, it goes without saying. for BO, it bears mentioning once in awhile.

Old Dad said...

Look lefties, your guy is clueless. His speech tonight was crappy, but not unusually so, just another drop in the drip, drip, drip of failure.

And you know what? He's embarrassed, but he doesn't give a shit. Wait for it--he'll play golf this week.

The silly manchild doesn't get it. He can't lead. He's never managed shit. And we are paying a terrible price, and I am by God sick of it.

The emperor has no clothes, and he's going down the crapper faster than Jimmy Carter could have imagined. But never underestimate the desperation of a psychopath. Keep laughing at the douche. Keep calling him what he is--I-N-
C-O-M-P-E-T-E-N-T.

We're $130 trillion in the hole give or take a few trillion. And we're putting up with the shenanigans of this asshat and Congress? Come the cool temperate climes of November we can start the process of flushing the steaming pile of shit that we've allowed to fester in Washington and our statehouses.

Joan said...

Beth, I really appreciate the time you take, keeping us all informed of what's really going on down there. It really sucks that LA is getting smacked around again. I hope that you get some mild tropical storms that wash all the oil away without doing any other damage!

Dead Julius said...

Lem the Magnificent Commenter said...

What is the excuse of today's republicans?

Only the establishment, in-office Republicans can impeach. Problem is that they are guilty of the same sort of corruption and malfeasance that Obama is. This was shown pretty clearly in the Clinton trial, and in the many revelations of Republican impropriety that came out since, especially sexual impropriety.

Impeachment ain't gonna happen.

Paddy O said...

I want to echo what Joan said.

Beth, I really appreciate your updates and comments, as you give a sense of what is really going on.

Despite my political disagreements on assorted issues, I respect your perspective greatly.

This is one of those times I really wish Obama was what people said he was. I am not celebrating his stumbling because real people and real places are hurt when he stumbles and is apparently entirely flabbergasted about what to do.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Beth said...

Are you kidding? You must be a moby.


So put it a little more clearly for me. I'm dense. Are you saying that BP thought it would be a good idea to create a public relations and an environmental disaster? That they were sure they would get away with this because they're a Big Evil Company? You haven't got enough kapok between your ears to float a grasshopper.

Engineers do their best to perform a task without it costing too much money. That is what engineers do. They are not too interested in the snail darter population, because that is not what they do. But think about this, Einstein-- it is in their best interest and the interests of the company they work for to build a wellhead that does not blow out. If you think they allowed this to happen for the sake of a few yards of concrete, you have a lot to learn about the real world. Sometimes the physical situation is different from the one you're prepared for. Which is another way of saying shit happens. Wise up, Rachel fucking Carson.

Beth said...

Joan, and Paddy O,

Thanks, much.

Beth said...

tyrone, drunk drivers don't think it's a good idea to go out and plow into another car and kill its occupants. They just keep accepting the risk that it might.

Engineers didn't get to make the call on these decisions. Maybe they felt more comfortable than they should have, relying on the BOP, which was faulty.

That you consider oil in 40 percent of the Gulf of Mexico something akin to fretting about "snail darters" shows you for a snark artist, and no one to be taken seriously.

Penny said...

"This is more about protecting BP's stockholders as it is protecting American workers and our environment."

It just feels that way in the "theater" near you, Beth. British theater goers are watching their own, equally tragic play.

Perhaps you feel that, as Americans, we don't need to be as concerned about the end of the British play, but surely, and at least objectively, you realize that needs to be an important aspect of our President's concern?

He isn't the man behind the curtain. Far from it. He's the President, who along with Great Britain's Prime Minister, is trying to balance competing interests on his shoulders, in hopes that both plays in two different countries will open to another full house soon enough.

Maguro said...

Did Barry ever find out whose ass he needed to kick?

Chris said...

This does not sound like a President who could kick anyone's ass.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

This is the anti-capitalist move. There is all this opportunity, but free enterprise and capitalism can't take advantage of it. We need a top-down, government-imposed scheme, he announces. He doesn't explain why. It's an article of faith.

Sounds like Ann prefers the sort of faith that got industry to write their own regulations and sleep with the regulators.

That's the way to defend free enterprise, Ann! Just come out and say it! Go get 'em!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Lack of candor.

China is investing in clean energy.

And coal, of course, but why mention that?


Good point, David! The U.S. is so behind on mining coal that it's not even funny. Someday we'll catch up to those Chinese. Someday.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Beth, You obviously know nothing about the oil industry. You don't get to be a decision maker in that industry unless you are an engineer, until you get up into the rarified air of strategic decision makers. Do you contend Tony Hayward told them to skimp on concrete because he begrudged a few tens of thousands of dollars on an experimental well?

The drunk driving analogy is just awful. Drunk drivers are not anticipating profit and loss statements, and they are not accountable to shareholders and boards of directors.

Lem said...

Only the establishment, in-office Republicans can impeach. Problem is that they are guilty of the same sort of corruption and malfeasance that Obama is.

It sounds as thought that idea HAS xrosed your minds.. The idea that I'm not alone is of some comfort.. even when you mean to pour cold water on it.

All I'm saying is that "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" are within the Obama purview thus far.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Did Barry ever find out whose ass he needed to kick?

Don't tell me! Was it... Saddam's ass!? No! Wait! Iran's? No!!! Bin Laden's? No!!!

Ok, I give up Maguro. Whose ass would president "Wanted Dead or Alive" kick?

Mian said...

Speech reaction? Welcome back Carter!

Beth said...

Tyrone, I wish there wasn't a culture of poor safety at BP, that there hadn't been a series of bad decisions on a rig that was over-budget and over-schedule. You keep yammering about a few yards of concrete, when you know from reading the testimony of men on the rig, these latest emails, that it was more. The evidence just doesn't support your faith in the process.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ooooooooo, a Commission! Wow, that should solve EVERYTHING and MORE!
OOOOOOOOO!


I forgot how incompetent Republicans are are at carrying out the recommendations of commissions. Just ask the 9/11 commission.

I guess Obama could always try not being a Republican, of course.

Lem said...

Every minute Obama remains in the presidency is a minute of comfort to the enemies of these United States of America.

I saw a sign.

Mian said...

Ah, Ritmo, it's good to see you flustered and swinging at flies with a baseball bat. Get used to it!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

You didn't watch your kids very well and they went and broke one of those light bulbs that contain mercury. (You know... the ones that Obama wants us to use)


So instead of cleaning up the mess you decide to throw out all of the light bulbs in your house, beat your children to within an inch of their lives and decide to invent a new light bulb.


Maybe not if they broke their own light bulbs. But if they broke a mercury light bulb in the neighbor's house, that's different.

But then, DBQ only believes in teaching responsibility when it comes to money.

Or so she claims. I'm sure those whose livelihoods are affected by this mess are with her.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

They squash the same way, Mian. Especially when sitting pretty and lined up along the pavement like this.

Revenant said...

"Clean energy" can only create jobs if it is more economically efficient than "unclean energy". If it is more economically efficient, the private sector will embrace it without government meddling.

And only if we rally together and act as one nation –- workers and entrepreneurs; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors

The thing that strikes me as odd about this creepy corporatist slogan is the contrasts he draws. "Public and private", ok. "Workers and entrepreneurs", ok, if you subscribe to the belief that business owners don't count as workers (which the Left doesn't) then those are two contrasting groups too.

But... "scientists and citizens"? Is this meant to express a technocratic "experts vs the rest of you" sort of thing, or is it just bad writing?

Lem said...

Obamas defenders might as well be using their index finger to plug Obamas short comings.

Let the people of the United States believe than a man from an "Oil family" might have been just what we need it.. right now.

Please God not the man we blamed for (up until just yesterday) the worst disaster in American History.

No God please no no no...

An Exxon Valdes a week.. mother f*kr*r!!

Beth said...

The rig was millions over-budget - every day over cost $500,000 and it was more than a month behind schedule. They weren't seeking to save a few thousand bucks on cement, they were saving millions in time. The BP email exchange said the cheaper cementing approach "saves a lot of time … saves a good deal of time/money."

Revenant said...

The Republicans of old managed to impeach a popular president..

Yes. And they failed to remove him from office, took a huge approval rating hit in the polls, and lost seats in the following election.

This lesson is exactly the reason the Democrats never impeached Bush -- not even after all the endless whining about what a criminal he supposedly was, not even after his approval ratings reached Nixonian levels. The lesson is that the American public doesn't approve of impeachment for anything short of behavior the PUBLIC considers outrageously criminal -- and in modern history only Nixon has met that standard.

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

Which form of dirty energy isn't subsidized, Reverent?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Puzzling out the subsidies to the coal business is as unnerving as edging through a dark mineshaft swarming with Velcro-winged bats. This is because a big chunk of the subsidies are not direct handouts, but packaged as tax credits, tax breaks, and other goodies too numerous to itemize here. The U.S. coal industry enjoyed subsidies of around $17 billion between 2002 and 2008, including tax credits for production of "nonconventional" fuels ($14.1 billion), tax breaks on coal royalties ($986 million), exploration, and development breaks ($342 million), according to a study by the Environmental Law Institute.

On top of this federal largesse, state and local governments coddle coal with hundreds of millions per year. The Kentucky state government’s net subsidy to coal is $115 million. Virginia grants tax credits of about $26 million to power plants just to burn Virginia coal, and doles out credits ranging from 40 cents to $2 per ton for another 20 million tons not burned by power plants. Bioregionalism at its finest.

Around $1.5 billion of the federal costs are associated with damages to miners’ health such as the notorious black lung disease. Thinking of the miners’ plight lands us smack in a morass of hidden subsidies as thick as the billion gallons of coal-ash sludge that poured into eastern Tennessee in 2008...


Hate to get in the way of Reverent talking out of his irreverent ass, but some things just needed to be done.

Lem said...

An Exxon Valdes a week for months.. on Obamas.. the hopes watch!

Defend an atrocity!!

Go ahead... political pusillanimous, amicus of incuriae!!

or is it uncuriae?..

you all know waht I mean!!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Link

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Beth,

As I maintained in my original post, I am fully on board with BP paying any and all damages they may have created. I'm not trying to make excuses for them-- that's how big boys play.

As for safety practices, certainly you are aware Deepwater Horizon received a District Safety Award for Excellence (SAFE)from MMS? Is MMS in on this too?

I have yet to hear you make a case for why BP might want to eschew all of its fiscal and civil responsibilities and just let the damn thing blow. It makes no sense, but you just seem to think they are a bunch of evil men, so no reasons need be given.

Oh and concrete? Well you're the one that brought that up, hon.

miller said...

I'm sorry I missed the speech. I was washing my hair.

WV: spent, as in "Bambi's presidency is spent."

Seven Machos said...

Why does Ritmo Urban Legend believe that continually talking about a president two years out of office is a good argument? Do you really believe that anyone cares at this point what the last guy did about some unrelated thing?

Please yield the floor to Beth, moron. She is a leftist who, as usual, is making concrete (forgive the pun) points about actual facts on the ground.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Watching high falutin' pollutin', dirty energy subsidizin' Rrrrr'sss talk about how to handle an environmental disaster is truly edifying. I sense some competition they feel to, you know, get clean!

But right now they're still dreaming about it and angry that they can't just use this to makes themselves look better. Everything in stages.

miller said...

Seven makes a good point. I will (choice) listen to Beth, who has smart arguments.

I simply skip over MUL/BSR/Ritmo. I can't think of any use case for someone reading a single thing he says.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Do you really believe that anyone cares at this point what the last guy did about some unrelated thing??

He embodied an approach to politics and to the issues that y'all just can't rid yourselves of.

Please yield the floor to Beth, moron. She is a leftist who, as usual, is making concrete (forgive the pun) points about actual facts on the ground.

I'm not a leftist, but I have my concerns for things that to the Republican Rabble are just political fodder. If Beth has got you concerned about actual facts, that's nice. In the meantime I'll still skewer your asses politically for pretending, and trying to make us think that, you gave a damn all along.

Seven Machos said...

I'm not a leftist

Sure. Right. Gotcha. I'm not a conservative. It's just that all my views make me sound like one.

Of course, it's mundane for leftists to have gi-normous arguments about the vast differences between communists and socialists. One wants government to own the means of production. The other wants government to own the means of producing.

Carry on, tool. Froth forth.

Drew W said...

Look! Shrimp!

To solve the Gulf crisis, maybe Obama’s speechwriters should simply . . . Ask Elvis!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

If you want to be a forever hopelessly partisan tool, that's fine. I've heard you depart from party line before to make a decent point (on one rare occasion, and in an incredibly historical context), but if you can't help resorting to role-play, keep it to yourself.

The Drill SGT said...

Please yield the floor to Beth, moron. She is a leftist who, as usual, is making concrete (forgive the pun) points about actual facts on the ground.

I don;t know about the leftist part.

I'd try gun toting, flag waving, America loving, good government gay liberal, with a slight libertarian tinge :)

Lem said...

Obama made the oil his oil when he made Bush the blame for his early shortcomings.

Karma has never touched the presidency this Oprahclose.

All I'm saying (for the hard of understanding) is that unlike democrats, we (regular folks) are not celebrating the hardship of thousands of Americans. We are asking for a distant, unmoved federal government to do what it promised.

Hope and Change!!.

m*th%r f*k*r!! I'm waiting!!

Maguro said...

The BP email exchange said the cheaper cementing approach "saves a lot of time … saves a good deal of time/money."

Certainly companies are always interested in saving time and money, but that motivation in and of itself doesn't prove negligence. Was BP's cementing approach compliant with Federal regulations and within accepted industry standards? That is the key question that your Yahoo story doesn't address.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Cite one quote of mine where I stated, as a matter of ideology or normative thinking, that government should own the means of production.

Seven Machos said...

Drill -- I stand corrected.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

To me Beth exemplifies everything that is wrong with America today. We must never take risks, or pursue profit. Bad things happen when we do, so let's just quit. And when bad things do happen, someone must be blamed. The blame-hanging is more important than any other factor, beyond the benefits to society that might have been contemplated, beyond repairing the damage, beyond learning from our mistakes. All the better to blame them if they are a Big Evil Company, of the sort that Beth learned at university is always out to screw us, whether it does them any good or not. They just like screwing us, as Beth's professors made clear.

Seven Machos said...

government should own the means of production.

6/15/10 10:59 PM
-- Ritmo Urban Legend

Lem said...

You Promised... you got elected on it!!

.. are you full of shit?

Revenant said...

Which form of dirty energy isn't subsidized, Reverent?

Fossil fuel "subsidies" are a fraction of tax revenue from taxes on fossil fuel sales.

So: "fossil fuels". :)

Kevin said...

"To make sure this won't happen again, Obama is establishing a commission."

Well I'm disappointed. A mere COMMISSION? Obviously the situation calls for no less than a BLUE RIBBON Commission!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

So you lie by quoting out of context. Do you think that's clever? No wonder it takes someone like Beth to get you to get you to come out of your partisan sandbox and think for a change.

Seven Machos said...

And when bad things do happen, the people who fucked up and caused the bad things to happen should pay for the damages they caused

Fixed it for you, Tyrone. It's only the fundamental principle of law across virtually every society.

Don't worry, dude. BP is a corporation. Its veil won't be pierced. Nobody's house is going to get taken here.

Seven Machos said...

Ritmo -- You have no sense of humor whatsoever and you apparently have a terribly faulty sarcasm detector. I saw this in a thread yesterday, when John Stodder made you look like more of a tool than you are.

No one here has accused you or anyone of wanting the government to own any means of any production. That would be clear to any average sixth grader. Please go back and read above.

shirley elizabeth said...

We can't transition over to a clean energy solution that we don't have. His words are so idiotic.

Lem said...

Obamas speech is so easy to Fisk, nobody seems willing to embarrass him.. its sad (that's putting it brightly).. because all it really means is that we might as well live in a Chavez style "democracy".. were "timidity" is rewarded.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Dude, I can appreciate that it was funny but it would be even funnier if people weren't so willing to believe whatever they hear.

bagoh20 said...

"What I hear in this speech is about claims and restoration. It's as if Obama has given up on defense of the coast, and the wetlands."

He is a law professor, not a leader.

Beth,
While I don't dispute anything you are saying, I just don't know, the details of who's at fault with the blow out and how it happened is likely to be batted around for a while before it gets clear. My guess is what you're saying is close to the most likely scenario, but such things including the facts can take a lot of turns as they come out. Regardless, it just doesn't matter right now.

The important thing now is action to help the situation: the capping, the mitigation, the cleanup. This is where the governemnt could be doing more and apparently is not. It seems this failure is mostly a result of bad leadership. This is something you should be furious with this President about. BP and whoever will get their due later. The pols will use them for years to come as political fodder, as it should be.

Right now this President needs pressure on him to act. With this speech he appears immune to pressure and deaf to your concerns in any real way. He's should be your target right now.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Bag, he's the target all right. I just suspect that he wants the viewing field for that target to expand from the far left and start to get the right to appropriate some of the same concerns they have.

It seems to be working. We can debate the ethics of his tactics, but only if you accept that there is a moral dimension to environmental disaster in the first place.

Revenant said...

The BP email exchange said the cheaper cementing approach "saves a lot of time … saves a good deal of time/money."

I wrote an email just the other day saying (paraphrased), "we should go with opinion A, we'll save a lot of time and money".

Now I'm sure that if, option A turns out to be a disaster for our customers, someone could seize that out of context and say "see? see??? those evil money-grubbers didn't care about the little guy". But the reality is that option A is as good as the other options from a quality perspective; the reason for preferring it to the other options is that it saves us money.

Don't assume that talking about profits mean that people are ONLY considering profits.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Someone on C-SPAN suggested throwing magnets down the pipe since it is made of metal.

Could a solution really be that simple?

Seven Machos said...

One more thing -- If I were suing BP, the negligence theory I'd try first is res ipsa loquitor.

The classic case is: guy walks by a building and a piano falls on his head. This is de facto negligence on the part of the owner of the building. Pianos should not fall out of buildings onto people's heads. Period. Guilty. End of lawsuit.

Similarly, if you are operating an oil well in an ocean and it explodes, you fucked up. End of story. The damages are yours to pay.

JAL said...

@LemI have always expected my team to lose..

My team loosing is not a big deal!!!


You're a Red Sox fan. Of course it generalizes to other things, Lem.

vnjagvet said...

I am afraid the poor fool, whimpering fool will be calling his buddy the oilman Chavez for advice.

garage mahal said...

Ctrl-F

"garage mahal"

Nowhere to be found.


Sorry you missed me! I didn't see a word of the speech, sounds like it was a dud though.

Beth said...

Regardless, it just doesn't matter right now.

The important thing now is action to help the situation: the capping, the mitigation, the cleanup.


We're in agreement, bagoh20. I don't think the government can do anything with the capping, and there's probably worse to come there, despite the efforts day and night of that group of engineers - if you're reading The Oil Drum blog, you'll have some idea of what they're up against. But the containment and cleanup is where I really, really don't trust BP to have a plan, or an infrastructure, or even a real motive, to go balls to the wall, as we need them to. So that's where I see our government being ineffective and disorganized.

Paul said...

Revenant said... But "scientists and citizens"? Is this meant to express a technocratic "experts vs the rest of you" sort of thing, or is it just bad writing?

I think it was just an attempt to get another alliteration in: "Private...public", "Scientists ... Citizens." Beyond that it means nothing. To Obama, to achieve full presidentification, you just have to sprinkle a speech with enough alliterations, borrowed time-tested phrases like "the last full measure of devotion," toss in a few straw men and destroy them, and use plenty of high-blown meaningless rhetoric like "some say we cannot afford to do blah-blah, I say we cannot afford NOT to do blah-blah."

Obama is working his word magic, clouding the minds of the public with his preternatural eloquence. Is it still working? Don't think so.

bagoh20 said...

"he wants the viewing field for that target to expand from the far left and start to get the right".

The right wants this stopped, the damage to the environment minimized and the well capped. They don't want it to be turned into another crisis to exploit for every leftist dream from banning drilling to wind farms. He needs to focus and act.

His inaction is exactly what you would expect from someone with no executive leadership experience. I blame you among others for that. That's the problem right now, not the crap in the other 3/4 of his speech. This is not a war, this is not a terror attack, it's not even a hurricane. What needs done is not dangerous nor does it involve an intelligent aggressive enemy, it's just logistics and leadership. In short, it's what you hired him for.

Lem said...

Obama got elected on the back of American sweat and tears (like the ones in Katrina)..

Its no small consistence that his accuser should face the jury of the peers of his creation.

27 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'[a] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Concupiscence..

A state of mass concupiscence.. Its the only way I can describe the Obama continuing worship this late in the game.

Beth said...

Revenant, I try to save time and money every day, and yes, context is everything. More will be revealed, but there's already a picture coming together of negligence.

If there wasn't negligence, then we will have to stop at least deep water drilling. If this kind of disaster could occur within a best practices, rigorously safe environment, then we're screwed. Maybe that's the case. If this rig was being run at less than a best-case safety level, then BP screwed up.

Beth said...

Seven Machos,

I spent time with my nephew and his kids today. The 14 year old wants to be a Mexican wrestler when he grows up. Please set him up with a purveyor of fine masks.

Lem said...

You're a Red Sox fan. Of course it generalizes to other things, Lem.

You got it.. and that itself is not a cause for celebration because of waht you know and all the other things ;)

Thanks for catching that one.

Seven Machos said...

Beth -- I wish I could help. You really should take him to a real La Lucha event down in Mexico someday. Great fun.

While there, eat oodles of yogurt and bring some Cipro and absolutely do not miss the bacon-wrapped hot dogs topped with ketchup and cream and onions and tomatoes from the street vendors.

Beth said...

Tyrone,

If we don't understand what went wrong on that rig, we can't avoid it in the future. Risk-taking for reward has to be balanced with responsibility. Why would we allow people to take risks with our resources, and just walk away with a "shit happens!" when they fail to take precautions along with the risks?

We are not going to be able to replace oil and the petro-chemical industry; therefore, we have to ensure that industry balances risk with responsibility. What you call "blame" is what grownups call accountability.

Beth said...

Seven, he's been; his mother is Mexican and they visit Mexico City a few times a year. That's why I'm not sure if he's kidding. His older brother plans on a BA in History, then law school, so maybe this is the little one's way of poking him a bit for being over-achieving and serious.

Beth said...

"bring some Cipro" - ha! I just saw that.

Stephen said...

Hey why no discussion of BP's moral and legal responsibility, Professor Althouse? Seems to me there's been a deafening silence from you on that score. Also, what energy policy do you actually favor? Or are you only interested in knocking Obama?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The rest of your comment is fine, Bag. But this begs for response:

His inaction is exactly what you would expect from someone with no executive leadership experience. I blame you among others for that.

Ever since Reagan (and with the exception of Bush the First) you've been nominating and electing figureheads whose only experience prior to politics consisted of sinecures. To complain about the cozy relationship between regulators and the regulated without first taking issue with the right reeks of insincerity, and will be, rightly or wrongly, viewed that way by the left and middle.

Maybe now is not the time for politics. I can appreciate that. I can also appreciate that the lessons the right needs to learn have only scratched the surface of where they need to ultimately settle in. And I'm not talking about getting bloodied and bruised politically. I could care less about retribution. I'm talking about some deeper reflection on the environment and the need to refuse to see a close relationship between government and industry as a substitute for the relationship that should instead exist between government and the people.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

What Stephen said at 11:49 PM.

Lem said...

Driving my father he told me about what he calls an Obama Concupiscence that's going on.

He was surprised that I didn't remember "Concupiscence"... apparently it was a recurring theme of his ministry.

I drove my father monday from New Jersey to the state of Georgia.. we had a chance to talk.. and talk .. and talk and talk and talk.

Seven Machos said...

I tell you what. Law school is always there. Anybody can go, pretty much. Only a few very lucky souls get to wrestle the Mexican wrestling circuit.

I know what I should say to a young person here, but I am deeply torn.

bagoh20 said...

"government and industry as a substitute for the relationship that should instead exist between government and the people."

Yea, that's exactly the kind of discussion I have when I finally realize I've hired someone for a job that they are clearly unable to perform.

Beth said...

Seven, he's 14 - I figure he's young enough to dream so why not enjoy it? He'll have an awakening of his own in a few years, so who am I to throw cold water on him now?

His dad's a solid guy, Army vet; and you know what? If little guy does end up on that circuit, we'll be in the stands cheering.

Seven Machos said...

Stephen -- Very good points there. Very thought provoking. Here is what your blog says on the subject:

Profile Not Available

The Blogger Profile you requested cannot be displayed. Many Blogger users have not yet elected to publicly share their Profile.

If you're a Blogger user, we encourage you to enable access to your Profile.

Beth said...

good night - I'm up early these days.

miller said...

Please don't pick on Stephen. He is being Thoughtful and Profound, and Asks the Questions No One Is Asking.

Any minute now he'll return from Dumpster® diving at Media Matters and trot back here with his talking points.

Scott M said...

@Lem

No way in hell this or any other Congress is going to impeach this country's first half-black president. He could go cannibal on live tv and they still wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole.

No, unfortunately, this one is going to play out right up until November. If the GOP takes both houses (still a long shot), the jig is up.

bagoh20 said...

This is what happens in an organization when an incompetent is hired. If that organization is weak and defective there will be people who will continue to defend them despite the fact that everyone can clearly see they are blowing it, even when those people are themselves being hurt by that incompetence.

If the organization is truly dysfunctional that will prevent anyone from fixing the situation until it's too late. Then some disaster is caused by what has now grown to organizational negligence.

This is likely what happened at BP and what is happening with the U.S. Executive branch as well. stop defending this guy - he's blowing it.

Seven Machos said...

Good night, Beth. It's always great.

On an unrelated point, let's stop with this impeachment talk. Bad policy and utter ineffectual leadership are not high crimes or misdemeanors. Were you people not paying attention in junior high school?

Our political process is a good process. Please participate. There's no point in feeding fantasies about some small-d democratic orgy that will not occur. Thank you.

Dead Julius said...

200! A fine number of comments on this Glorious Day! Our Glorious Leader has unveiled his Glorious Five-Year Plan! The harvests will be bountiful!

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 248   Newer› Newest»