Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Who Is In Charge of The Oil Spill? Gov Jindal Steps Up

Gov Bobby Jindal has taken control and is doing what has to be done to save the coastline of Louisiana. He says he can no longer wait for BP and President Obama to make a decision.

The authorities say they're keeping a tab on the cost of the project and will send a bill to BP, adding to a huge list of claims from the spill zone. This is common sense. Just do what has to be done and bill BP. The escrow account idea of Team Obama makes sense. The legality of the fund is in question, though. The Wall Street Journal published an article with the determination that it is not legal. It is finally a concrete idea to ease the pain of the people along the Gulf coast, instead of empty finger pointing at BP and whining about the reforms needed to MMS. That is for another time. The hole has to be plugged and that isn't going to happen until the relief well is completed. This has been a well-known solution from the beginning but BP continued drilling the well while attempting other alternatives which failed. Everyone is rightly impatient.

BP is not set up to write checks to the victims in the numbers that exist. So many have legitimate claims and the standard oil drilling corporation isn't set up to send checks for claims from normal account payable accounting. That is common sense. A system has to be put into place and apparently BP has been slow in doing that.

HERE is the speech delivered from the Oval Office. It was his first speech from the Oval Office and it is clearly to tamp down the criticism that he is detached and fumbled the early days of this tragedy. His approval numbers are not good - more think GW Bush handled Hurricane Katrina better than he has handled the oil spill now - and he is concerned about a landslide election in November. Remember, it is always about him with this man. He is a cold fish and Americans are not comforted by a leader who doesn't lead. A leader who doesn't bother to visit the area of a disaster for two weeks when the logistics were not the problem, like it would have been after a hurricane. No one but the last who still accept his dribble think he is up to the job.

An interesting comparison is made between the approval ratings of President Obama and former President Bush concerning leadership in crisis. The interesting part is that Bush is favored more highly than Obama. Thinking back, Obama was a loud critic of Bush at every opportunity so it is a bit of a moment of karma for the current president. It begins as this:

Five weeks into the Hurricane Katrina crisis, President George W. Bush's Gallup weekly public approval rating stood at 45 percent. Five weeks after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank, the same survey pegged President Obama's approval rating at 46 percent. That is bad news for the White House. The worse news is that Mr. Bush's approval rating had increased five points since the Katrina crisis had started; Mr. Obama's has dropped four points.

Instead of playing politics - the usual Obama action plan - and pushing the insanity that is the cap and tax energy policy legislation, he should have taken the opportunity to put forward his plan for handling the oil spill. The rest can come later, after the oil stops gushing on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. He should have concentrated on a plan of action to clean up the shore and save the wetlands. By not doing so, by taking a swipe at it and moving on to his political agenda, he didn't inspire confidence. The American people are awakening from the Obama dreamy stupor and the realization is setting in that he is just not up to the job.

The guy sold to the American people as the smartest man in the room, simply isn't after all.

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