Obama Oil Spill Speech Reax: Epic Fail

Doug has already done an excellent job assessing President Obama’s Gulf cleanup speech but I’m going to weigh in with some further thoughts.

As has been my custom in recent years, I skipped the speech altogether, preferring to assess it the next morning based on reading the text and gauging the reactions to it.  This has several advantages.  First, it diminishes the importance of the skill of delivery, which made Bush’s speeches seem better and makes Obama’s seem worse.  Second, I get the “sound byte” effect, which is how most Americans will form their opinions on the speech.  Third, I can much more efficiently select skim through smart analyses if I give it a few hours.  Fourth, I don’t have to spend my limited family relaxation time listening to banal speeches.

My general sense of the matter is that there was really very little Obama could have said at this point that would have satisfied anyone.   We’re already 57 days into this mess and he’s been talking about it non-stop.  Absent some surprise announcement that he’s been working with James Carville and come up with an instant solution, he wasn’t going to give us anything new of significance.

Even with those very low expectations, though, this was a shockingly underwhelming speech.  The few sound bytes I heard on NPR this morning were exceedingly week, even by George W. Bush standards.  Moreover, even those on the president’s side were disappointed if not outright angry.

My initial thoughts when I was reading some of the “leaked” previews yesterday were that it sounded like a speech Jimmy Carter would have given.  Indeed, like speeches Jimmy Carter give thirty-odd years ago.

The RealClearPolitics gang provides a video clip from the MSNBC crew (see link) of Keith Olbermann, Chris (“Thrill Up My Leg” Matthews, and Howard Fineman. The RCP summary:

Olbermann: “It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days.”

Matthews compared Obama to Carter.

Olbermann: “Nothing specific at all was said.”

Matthews: “No direction.”

Howard Fineman: “He wasn’t specific enough.”

Olbermann: “I don’t think he aimed low, I don’t think he aimed at all. It’s startling.”

Howard Fineman: Obama should be acting like a “commander-in-chief.”

Matthews: Ludicrous that he keeps saying [Secretary of Energy] Chu has a Nobel prize. “I’ll barf if he does it one more time.”

Matthews: “A lot of meritocracy, a lot of blue ribbon talk.”

Matthews: “I don’t sense executive command.”

How about some less emotional types than Olbermann and Matthews?

Here’s Kevin Drum:  “What a terrible speech.”

The whole point of a prime time Oval Office speech (transcript here) is that it announces something big. On that score, Obama failed right from the start. He told us that lots of people are already working the cleanup. Yawn. That Ray Mabus is going to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible. A plan! Hurrah! That we’re gonna make BP pay for everything. Roger that. And then this: “I have established a National Commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place.” A commission! So much for “going big.”

He then takes a long look at the Carteresque proposal to get off foreign oil:

This gives pablum a bad name. Obama wants a bill. Pretty much any bill will do. But he didn’t say a single word about what he himself wanted. A carbon tax? Cap-and-trade? Nuclear subsidies? Electric cars? Who knows? And as Kate Sheppard notes, he didn’t breathe so much as a word about climate change.

I dunno. This speech felt entirely by-the-numbers to me. He told us about the spill. He told us the best minds in the country were working on it. He told us BP would pay for it. He told us he was setting up some commissions. He said he wanted an energy bill of some kind. Then he told us all to pray. It felt like he was reading off a PowerPoint deck.

This is, by a long way, the most negative reaction I’ve ever had to an Obama speech.

How about Ezra Klein?  He notes that the major policy speeches were “broadly-expected” and that the language of the energy dependency part of the speech was exceedingly derivative of his health care speeches.

The optimistic take, at least for environmentalists, is that this is the language and approach Obama uses when he really means to legislate. The pessimistic take is that Obama shied away from clearly describing the problem, did not endorse specific legislation, did not set benchmarks, and chose poll-tested language rather than a sharper case that might persuade skeptics.

Or Taegan Goddard:

Though Obama called for a “national mission” to transition to clean energy, he was vague on what he actually wants to see in a comprehensive energy bill. In doing so, Obama is just another president that has refused to ask Americans for the necessary sacrifice to finally achieve this greater national goal. He missed a golden opportunity.

Or Jonathan Chait:

The important part of his speech concerned how we would wean ourselves off of fossil fuels. This portion revealed just how much Obama is operating from a position of weakness.

These aren’t wild lefty ideologues expecting the politically impossible.  Nor, obviously, are the Republican partisans hoping for the president to fail.   That these folks are piling on tells me that the speech was an epic failure.

But, as Greg Sargent reminds us,

The intended audience of this speech was a general public wondering what the heck is going on with the spill and what the broader game plan is. This audience didn’t need to hear the level of commitment to specific policy prescriptions that we all might have wanted.

We’ll see what the polls tell us.  But the general public will filter their reactions of the speech through the media commentary.

FILED UNDER: General, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    The world is divided between those who understand that this story was essentially written the day the well blew, and those who want to “insert magic” to make it all go away.

    The President isn’t magic enough, lower his score.

    (He certainly isn’t magic enough to make up for the criminal negligence at BP.)

  2. In retropsect, I think Obama’s biggest mistake last night came in the beginning of the speech when he said that 90% of the oil flow would be stopped within the coming weeks.

    If the last two months have proven anything, it’s that we cannot rely on anyone’s promises about what’s going to happen with that oil gusher.

  3. sam says:

    “How about some less emotional types than Olbermann and Matthews?”

    I watched the speech, and was underwhelmed somewhat myself. But in fairness, Olbermann and Matthews wanted something along the lines of:

    “Tonight, I am ordering all the assets of BP in the United States to be ceased; I am further ordering the CEO and chairman of the board of BP be placed in federal custody pending criminal charges for crimes against humanity. I am also asking the Congress to pass legislation that enables us to tar and feather these two monsters with the very petroleum their criminal negligence has allowed to be spewed into the Gulf. God bless the United States of America.”

  4. Duke says:

    I was hoping he’d announce a competence czar. It’s a juvenile strawman argument that people expect Obama or the gov’t to cap the wellhead; we all know that’s not the government’s expertise. What the administration’s apologists avoid answering for is the utter lack of some organized and urgent cleanup of what is and has spilled. Where are the skimmers? Why haven’t the feds responded to Gov. Jindal’s requests for federal waiver made well over a month ago? This is the competence issue Obama’s speech purposely avoided.

  5. john personna says:

    Duke, are there actually skimmers? Is Jindal’s request actually a full ecological win?

    There are two sides to the game-playing. One is to pretend that every suggestion was the best plan, and missing it means that a sub-optimal path was taken.

    It’s easy to say “give me the magic skimmers NOW” never mind how long it takes one to sail half-way around the world.

  6. john personna says:

    (Basically, if you want to show me that the public aren’t immature whiners, show me the real and practical plan not taken. “oh, if we’d only have 6 berms it would be solved” is NOT that.)

  7. Walsingham says:

    Truth be told….if Barack Obama’s voice were two octaves higher he would still be a State Senator in Illinois.

  8. FedkaTheConvict says:

    Yes, there are skimmers. The Dutch and Belgians offered us help – including the most advanced skimmers in the world – and we refused primarily because it would require us to waive the Jones Act.

    As Obama has consistently demonstrated, he will not make any choices that are likely to annoy unions and the protectionist Jones Act is heavily favored by unions.

  9. Fen says:

    “The President isn’t magic enough, lower his score.”

    When is he going to finally catch Osama Bin Laden?

  10. Pug says:

    We will not wean ourselves from oil. Oil is the magic of the market place, including the BP blowout.

    My solution? How about we just separate ourselves from Louisiana? Kind of a reverse secession. We can tell them this just isn’t working out and we need to let them go, like an employee with a drug problem or something. They have too many problems and they are unhappy anyway. We could throw in some skimmers as severance pay.

  11. john personna says:

    We refused because the well was going to be capped in a couple days, and because the estimates of oil then were about 5x lower than the estimates today.

    Now, I can see in retrospect that “send them and we’ll use them, when they get here, if we need them” but … what’s the transit time?

    “What is the average speed of an ocean going freighter?” 10 knots = 18.52 kilometers per hour

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_average_speed_of_an_ocean_going_freighter

    “What is the navigational distance from Amsterdam to New Orleans?” 4809.72 miles.

    http://www.distance-calculator.co.uk/worlddistances.php

    So that’s … 417 hours, or 17.4 days.

    To order the ships you needed to know you could use them 17 days later.

  12. Pug says:

    As Obama has consistently demonstrated, he will not make any choices that are likely to annoy unions and the protectionist Jones Act is heavily favored by unions.

    All right! I was wondering how this was the fault of unions. This is beautiful.

  13. john personna says:

    BTW, I don’ t now if that navigational calculator was smart enough to go around, rather than over, Florida.

  14. john personna says:

    Seriously guys, if you were President and you asked BP “can you cap the well?” If they said “Yes. Absolutely.” would you say “I don’t believe you, I am a bigger drilling expert than you, I’ll order skimmers for 2 weeks from now.?”

    Again, in _retrospect_ we know he should have done that, but I think the really key thing here was that this required him to _reject_ the experts.

  15. Lina Inverse says:

    The *average* speed of *freighters* is slow because operating cost and therefore minimal fuel expenditure is very important (balanced out by covering very high capital expenses). I think we can be pretty confident that saving a little fuel hasn’t been a high priority in dealing with the mitigation and cleanup. And even the 17 day figure would give them three times over the time needed to get here.

    It’s not the fault of the unions per se, but of an administration that’s not willing to cross them on anything.

    As for the Jindal barrier island proposal, for nearly a month it was simply ignored by Team Obama and the local Feds, then they said it would take too long. If they’re now claiming it would be ecologically worse, that’s simply the latest excuse for … well, I don’t know. I just can’t understand this level of indecisiveness; as “Duke” said, Obama needs to appoint a competence czar.

  16. john personna says:

    “OCEAN FREIGHTER NABBED FOR SPEEDING ON THE ST. CLAIR RIVER”

    “The ship has a flat out top speed of 17.3 mph, according to the Canadian Transportation Agency.”

    Not a heck of a lot of difference. 15 knots. 27 kph.

    And even the 17 day figure would give them three times over the time needed to get here.

    Again, in retrospect, yes we had 17 days. The question is whether expert opinion was whether we had 17 days, or if that required the President to reject his advisors.

  17. JorgXMcKie says:

    john personna, you *do* recognize the “just in case” planning strategy *and* that ocean-going vessels can turn around if not needed, right? And is there any mistake at all that you’re unwilling to hand-wave away?

  18. john personna says:

    You are repeating what I’ve said Jorg. In retrospect we know the skimmers should have been ordered “just in case.”

  19. john personna says:

    BTW, if you want to say “he should have known the well couldn’t be capped” then say that straight up.

    Strangely, I’m the earliest person I know who said “the black swan would be if it just couldn’t be capped.” I said that to friends the first week, and was emboldened enough to say it publicly a week or so later.

    Let’s remember though that very few were saying that then, when the skimmers would have had to been ordered.

  20. Lina Inverse says:

    It’s quite interesting watching people try to defend the indefensible. The bottom line is that 57 days after the spill started the foreign oil boom skimmers have still not been allowed in. Does anyone think we have enough booms and skimmers in the Gulf today?

  21. Brian says:

    Thanks for putting this list together. As someone who reads political blogs more than I wish I did, the disconnect between what the common man gleans from the 30 second sound byte on the local news and what is really happening in Washington is incredibly frustrating to watch. More often than not it is, as you say, not what is said, but how the media filters what is said down to the people. Ironically this situation is one case where what was said is just about exactly what was filtered down – it sucked for everyone. For once, we all see it exactly as it is.

  22. Biff says:

    “To order the ships you needed to know you could use them 17 days later.”

    Nonsense. If you are a competent executive and there is a complex emergency, you order the ships because you * might * need them — not because you know that you will need them. Evidently, BP recommended accepting the help, but the Feds denied the offer.

    If you’re in an emergency that has possible multi-billion dollar consequences, and there is any uncertainty about whether or not the planned fixes will work, you immediately start spinning up contingency plans and getting assets needed for Plans B through F in place. People with executive experience in any complex area know this. Certainly anyone with experience in the real energy industry would.

  23. JKB says:

    We refused because the well was going to be capped in a couple days, and because the estimates of oil then were about 5x lower than the estimates today.

    Where on earth did you get this little tidbit. No oil industry professional ever thought that much less said it. It is a matter of physics and the only sure way to stop the well was with the relief wells. Everything else was attempts to slow the release. The Tophat was to capture the oil so it could be funneled for collection at the surface. The junk shot was to foul the BOP so that the flow would slow. Don’t listen to the new media who keep hoping for a Hollywood ending.

    In any case, immediately it was known that the oil released would be significant and need collection, dispersion, biodegradation, vessel clean-up and still it would be showing up on shore.

    The only thing that would have happened if the Dutch vessels were sent on their way was the incursion of operating costs for the transit. Is it your contention that Obama nickel and dimed this clean-up? The expense of the transit (say $30,000/day) is trivial compared to the potential savings were they now operating in the GOMEX collecting oil.

  24. john personna says:

    Just curious Biff, if “anyone” would have asked for those skimmers, do you have any evidence that BP did? Now that would be a real smoking gun, if the experts and the people working the problem asked for those skimmers 6000 miles away, and the President refused.

    Remember the first weeks, we all (including the Pres) were saying to BP “when will you stop this leak?” and they were all “in just a few days.”

  25. anjin-san says:

    Let’s summarize this whole thing:

    1. BP cuts corners on safety in quest for better ROI on Deepwater Horizon.

    2. Doing this is simple for them because Bush gutted oversight/regulation.

    3. The very disaster that the environmentalists have been warning about for 40 years while the right jeered at them takes place.

    4. Obama is unable to summon up a heard of magic ponies to ride to the bottom of the gulf and repair the damage.

    5. The right concludes that all of the above are proof that Obama is “an empty suit”. (actually, rush and Beck make this conclusion, and a vast flock of parrots echos them)

  26. FedkaTheConvict says:

    Note this little new item dated May 5, 2010 and look at the names of the countries offering assistnace: http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/05/06/us_not_accepting_foreign_help_on_oil_spill

    “When State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley refused to tell reporters which countries have offered assistance to help respond to the BP oil spill, the State Department press corps was flabbergasted. ”

    …”Late Wednesday evening, the State Department emailed reporters identifying the 13 entities that had offered the U.S. oil spill assistance. They were the governments of Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations. ”

    Read the whole thing.

  27. anjin-san says:

    The whole thing is actually quite ironic. Obama put his faith in a corporation and the magic of the free market system. Now the right is screeching that the allmighty government has to solve the problem that has the oil companies scratching their heads and saying “dunno, what should we try next”? It would be funny were not the whole situation tragic.

  28. john personna says:

    BTW, Matt Simmons is still saying “nuke it.”

    I guess this is the chance for people to say seriously “yes nuke it” rather than a couple months from now “should have nuked it.”

    http://timiacono.com/index.php/2010/06/16/more-dire-warnings-from-matt-simmons/

    I would not “nuke it” by the seat of my pants. I’d personally want BP and the Navy and the USGS to concur that it was the prudent action.

  29. c.red says:

    Personally, I’m mad that he didn’t call on Superman to reverse the rotation of the earth or ask Harry Potter to cast a spell. That would have gotten us some results, you betcha!

    Hindsight is a bitch and yes we should have gotten the four dutch ships here as soon as possible, but it wasn’t just because of Union protections that they were not accepted right away. Beyond the fact that BP was, intentionally or unintentionally, giving bad estimates of time and we didn’t think they were needed, they violate some of our EPA standards. When the thought was that this would be a relatively small spill it did made no sense to waive those. Once reality set in they were waived and the ships were brought in. And they still only work on the surface oil and only in very good weather, so they weren’t/aren’t going to get even most of the leaking oil.

    For everyone complaining on the right, this is a pretty clearly a failure of small government and lack of oversight on a private company. BP was cutting huge corners on this operation and, despite having the most expertise, has continuously underestimated/underreported the leak. If the Fed hadn’t been cutting experts and inspectors maybe this would have been prevented. Since all we have been hearing from the right for the last decade is that the unfettered free market will cure all, they should be the last ones throwing stones right now.

    All in all, the only real mistake made by the Fed is that trust has been shown in BP at every level despite the fact that they have proven untrustworthy at every point. I am angry about that, but given how things are now, I don’t see any other choice.

  30. c.red says:

    Sorry for the redundancy – aijin and JP made all my points while I was working on other things.

  31. geokstr says:

    “john personna says:
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 09:30
    To order the ships you needed to know you could use them 17 days later.”

    Pardon me while I throw up.

    This is the exact same attitude that has condemned us to buying our lifeblood from the very same countries that want to destroy us. Every year for the last thirty or so, the leftling environmental whackos have told us that domestic drilling won’t decrease our dependence on our enemies because it would take 10 years to get the oil flowing.

    First of all, it only takes 10 years because the same whackos and their allies in the Democratic Party have enacted every kind of regulatory, licensing and legal roadblock to slow the entire process down to a crawl. Secondly, if we had started twenty years ago, oil would have already been flowing for ten years already.

    Fastrack this and oil will start being available in a couple years (the exact same problem is true of nuclear.) So in 2030, as our economy grinds to a halt because of thousand dollar a barrel oil prices, the same lunatics will tell us we can’t drill domestically because the oil won’t start flowing for 20 years.

    So now that we have supposedly told the Dutch we’re interested in their help, it will still take another 17 days to get them here. The ships they have or are outfitting can remove 80,000 TONS of oil and sludge EVERY DAY. That means that had this moronic Jones Act been waived when they offered to help two days after the explosion, we would have removed nearly 5 MILLION TONS of the stuff that is now fouling our beaches.

    Let’s not also forget that in one of the first acts of this administration, Obama voided all the leases and licenses for exploration and drilling that the Bush administration finally had the good sense to allow. This insured that we would not drill in a host of readily accessible locations both on-shore and close-in on the continental shelf, where we know there is lots of oil, and were the inevitable leaks would have been easily capped and cleaned up. Instead we pushed the drilling into the deep water where no one knows what to do now.

    But Obama has it all solved now. Blame Bush for everything, and spend another couple trillion of other people’s money promoting giant blowdryers and tanning energy – a guaranteed epic fail. That will give rise to another major crisis which he can then not let go to waste by taking over the entire energy sector.

    The only thing Orwell got wrong was the year.

  32. Jake Jackson says:

    It’s just stupid to debate skimmers and oil booms. The overwhelmingly vast majority of the oil is dispersed underwater, and none of those collection devices are even minimally relevant.

    Obama’s speech failed because he didn’t acknowledge the magnitude of this disaster, and because he didn’t issue a clarion call for a completely new direction. Americans remain in denial about what has just happened, and what will happen. The relief wells will not work, because the well casing has been damaged and will soon be completely destroyed. As a result, this well is going to leak for 30 years; the Gulf of Mexico is destroyed, and a large portion of the inland areas bordering the Gulf will become uninhabitable.

    Millions of people will have to move, and infrastructure will be abandoned. The effects on national economic output and agriculture, not to mention Florida entirely, will be catastrophic. Obama did not mention any of this. Americans are in a fog, but these facts will become apparent quite soon. Just wait until the first big hurricane of the season, and everything will become apparent.

    Oil booms and skimmers? You people are nuts.

  33. aggy says:

    “this is a pretty clearly a failure of small government:”

    But we don’t have small government. We have a huge government with huge resources put toward oversight … and it failed. It’s a failure of big government. Despite the fact that we have a massive federal regulatory system monitoring off-shore drilling, the accident still happened. You can say “maybe” this wouldn’t have happened if we had even more regulators, but that seems unlikely to me. It seems just as legitimate to question whether or not government regulators would ever be capable of offering adequate oversight of such projects.

    It’s also worth noting that the Bush administration cited Deepwater Horizon six times for safety violations, and that the Obama administration gave them a safety award just last year.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100516/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gulf_oil_spill_inspections

    BP, as you know, has been a huge supporter of Obama’s campaign:
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html

  34. Jake Jackson says:

    Despite the fact that we have a massive federal regulatory system monitoring off-shore drilling, the accident still happened.

    There was no “massive federal regulatory system” of any kind. There was the Minerals Management Service, which has been captured by the mining companies. The idea that government was “too big” here is insane. In any case, that’s pretty much just a detail, now that we’ve got 120,000 barrels a day leaking into the Gulf of Mexico, and which will be doing so for the next two or three decades.

    People are still refusing to grasp the magnitude of what has happened.

  35. c.red says:

    I’m sorry but you’ll have to come with a source other than Politico before I’ll take claims of Obama being in bed with BP seriously.

    Regarding the other link, which I like a lot, that the MMS is corrupt is not really news now is it? They had the huge sex, cocaine and bribery scandal a few years ago and haven’t they also been mentioned in regards to the coal mine collapses? Look at the dates involved in the drop off in inspections: 2005. Just as we were getting full swing into deregulation. Perhaps the MMS had enough inspectors (though 55 for approx 3200 facilities seems small to me), but perhaps we needed some more people to maybe audit the MMS from time to time?

    That “massive federal regulatory system” was getting slashed everyway possibe during the last administration and where it wasn’t being outright dismantled, it was being subjected to ideology purity tests and being made toothless. Bush and Co were proud of it!

    Here’s the results; oil spills, federal bridge collapses, mine collapses, massive food recalls, massive toy recalls because of lead, etc.

    There is definitely a case that Obama and Co have not moved fast enough to clean up the corruption and incompetence that is leftover and yes I will even agree they are hampered somewhat by thier own inexperience (the trusting BP does bother me), but considering everything else going on AND that half of congress is fighting them tooth and nail from doing ANYTHING, the track record is pretty good.

  36. MarkButter iin SoCal says:

    anjin-san says:
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 11:27
    Let’s summarize this whole thing:

    1. BP cuts corners on safety in quest for better ROI on Deepwater Horizon. – wasn’t it just last year that MMS under Obama approved plan

    2. Doing this is simple for them because Bush gutted oversight/regulation.

    – wasn’t just the last 3 years that the Dems in Congress were saying this, but did nothing? And when Obama came in, hired a lady with NO experience in oil to run MMS. Keeps saying his “Nobel Prize winner” Secretary . . yeah, in freakin’ PHYSICS

    3. The very disaster that the environmentalists have been warning about for 40 years while the right jeered at them takes place.

    IN 40 YEARS…… These folks weren’t even closer to being correct than a broken clock which is correct at least twic a day.

    4. Obama is unable to summon up a heard of magic ponies to ride to the bottom of the gulf and repair the damage.

    – Nobody is asking for magic ponies. Just some executive experience

    5. The right concludes that all of the above are proof that Obama is “an empty suit”. (actually, rush and Beck make this conclusion, and a vast flock of parrots echos them) –

    The guy’s biggest claim to running anything was running his campaign. “He Axel, you need to send 20M to Ohio and Penn, my numbers are slowing a bit. yeah, that’s the ticket to running a campagin. More money and advertising and I’ll fly in and give a speech. And you disabled the 4 digit verification mechanism on the credit cards too. . . .right?

    The fact is, in an emergency like this any CEO would have gone over board and ordered anything and everything to be done and then apololgized later for spending too much money for things that turned out not to be needed. It’s alot easy to say, “We were ready but thank God it wasn’t needed” Then to try to CYA yourself and blame everyone later. That’s not executive leadership.In this case, Obama waited, hoping it would get bigger to help push his policies, but not too big to overwhelm him. He goofed. And waiting 60 days to talk to BP, let alone any others like Texaco or such. And for what? For all of a scheduled 20 minutes. If he felt he was getting lied to from the beginning, why not seek outside opinions? Oh, that’s right. . .he’s Obama and he has all the answers. It’s gone for him from “Daddy, did you plug the hole?” to “Daddy, how many shots did it take to put the little white ball in the hole?”

    Obama likes being president. He doesn’t like doing president.

  37. Masturbatin' Pete says:

    Ah yes, the old “Bush deregulated everything” chestnut. Question for those of you who raise it: how many pages were in the Code of Federal Regulations on January 20, 2001, and how many were in the CFR on January 20, 2009?

  38. Morgan says:

    I absolutely love the guys on here going on about how BP cut corners and are evil and blah blah blah, but it’s not Obama’s fault that he trusted them? I mean if they just royally screwed the pooch on the platform why would you trust them to clean it up anyway?

    “Obama put his faith in a corporation and the magic of the free market system.” Yeah, that’s what he did. Oil really isn’t the most regulated industry in our country, you can just drill and refine wherever you want, that’s why they chose to drill in a mile of water. Obama didn’t put his faith in a corporation, he checked out completely– but if you want to believe he did, then he chose to put his faith in THE LAST CORPORATION HE SHOULD HAVE TRUSTED since they just created an epic fail.

    Further, in terms of regulation, don’t forget why we can’t easily just accept help, what with our dumbass protectionist laws governing the ships down there.

  39. red says:

    —federal bridge collapses—

    Sorry, the bridge collapse in Minneapolis was nothing but a ‘big government failure’. The State of Minnesota was warned that the bridge needed maintenance in at least three biannual inspections.

    You government worshippers are the ones in denial. Bush’s regulatory efforts were stronger than Oilbama’s. For example his record on Mine Safety improvement was immense. He also tried very hard to better regulate the Democrat’s piggy banks Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae (financial black holes)

    Despite his professed hatred for non-green (meaning real, reliable) energy “pricess must necessarily skyrocket” –Oilbama was in the pocket of BP.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/04/on-thursday-oil-giant-bp.html

  40. anjin-san says:

    Obama approved plan

    Really? Obama approved the Deepwater Horizons revisions? That is amazing – after all, one of the changes that was made shortly before the explosion was approved in 5 minutes. The guys on the platform must have had Obama’s cell number.

    IN 40 YEARS…… These folks weren’t even closer to being correct than a broken clock which is correct at least twic a day.

    Well, they were certainly right that if we keep drilling offshore that there would eventually be a catastrophe. Guess that makes you what, kind of a dumb shit?

    The fact is, in an emergency like this any CEO would have gone over board and ordered anything and everything to be done

    I guess you mean any CEO except for the CEO of BP.

  41. anjin-san says:

    Question for those of you who raise it: how many pages were in the Code of Federal Regulations on January 20, 2001, and how many were in the CFR on January 20, 2009?

    Well, the Bible is kind of a long read too. How many people do you know who follow its teachings faithfully?

    You don’t sound like a person with a lot of real-world experience.

  42. anjin-san says:

    Yes, there are skimmers. The Dutch and Belgians offered us help

    Ah, the lament of the right. “If only we had turned to the socialistic Euro-weenies, all would be well”.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  43. anjin-san says:

    none of those collection devices are even minimally relevant.

    Of course they are relevant. They give the right something to go after Obama with. They are far more concerned with damaging Obama than with damage to the environment. It hard not to notice that there is just about zero anger with BP (the folks who actually brought us the disaster) from the right, yet there is limitless fury to direct at Obama.

  44. Jooch says:

    Beaches are the best way to collect oil but the doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try the less efficient oil booms and skimmers