Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rep Eric Cantor Responds to Obama

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor responds to President Obama's claim that he will be offering tough choices NEXT YEAR to stop the out of control spending in Washington. Why would he wait until next year if he has any plans that would stop the madness? When he made the claim in Toronto - in context of a swipe at Republicans, of course - he puffed out his chest and said that he would determine who was calling for financial restraint for political points with his decisions. Cantor asked a legitimate question - why wait for next year? He also responds with a list of GOP suggestions that have been offered all along to the Obama administration.

"We call on Speaker Pelosi to join us so we can engage with the White House, not next year but this year..."

The straw man argument that the GOP is simply the party of no and offering no alternatives to his proposals is nonsense and insincere. For a guy who campaigned on the promise to listen to every side of an argument, he quickly turned deaf.

Kagan Confirmation Hearing Is A Snore

Not much to write about on the confirmation hearing for Elena Kagan in her quest to be a Supreme Court justice. No fireworks or bombs dropping. The predictable is advancing - the Democrats are on a cake walk and the Republicans are trying to dust her up a bit, though they are using an odd strategy. Instead of focusing on Kagan, yesterday several of the GOP Senators on the judicial committee decided to go after the judicial activism of Justice Thurgood Marshall, for whom Kagan clerked back in the day. Of course Marshall was a judicial activist, that is not breaking news. However, he is a saint to the Democrats and he was the first black Supreme Court justice so he can only be praised, not have his record looked upon honestly as time goes on. Republicans focusing on Marshall was silly.

There is plenty to criticize in the working record of Elena Kagan. She is a life long political activist and served in two Democratic White Houses. She was President of Harvard University. She is taking heat for her refusal to allow military recruitment on the Harvard University campus, having moved it to a more remote part of the campus, as she protested the Defense Department's policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell - which was enacted by Congress. She spoke at a rally protesting military recruitment as President of Harvard University. She only allowed the recruitment process to return to normal after she was told by the Justice Department that if her policy continued, Harvard's federal funds would be cut off. She was still taking all the millions of federal money from the government as she protested its policy. Having her cake and eating it, too.

Kagan quote: “The Bork hearings were the best thing that ever happened to constitutional democracy”. Plenty to criticize there. The Bork hearings began the current harsh and ugly methods used today in hearings when Republicans are nominated. GOP nominees are called racist and Nazi lovers and wives cry on the front row in the audience. During the Kagan hearing so far, Senator Leahy - easily the nastiest of all Democrat Senators - has repeatedly interrupted GOP Senators as they question Kagan and then finish answers for Kagan to clarify whatever point he wants her to make. Keeping it classy, that Leahy.

Kagan wrote a strongly worded paper in the early 1990's - as she worked in the Clinton inner circle - about the "vapid" hearings that do not produce knowledge of how a nominee would vote on the Supreme Court. Now that the hearing is hers, she has repudiated the paper. Shocker, I know.

"The only people who've ever used a filibuster (for SCOTUS) were the Democrats." - Sen. Arlen Specter. True. And Senator Barack Obama was right there with them on the filibuster of Samuel Alito. Any righteous indignation from the left on opposition by the GOP on a judicial nomination is to be immediately discarded. They are no longer on the high ground when it comes to professional behavior.

Senator Al Franken: "there is such a thing as judicial activism .. and it is practiced repeatedly by the Roberts court", he stated, before he nodded off in the hearing. That was the Democratic talking point yesterday, opening day. Those evil Republicans are the activists. Today he was spotted drawing a portrait of Senator Sessions. Such attentiveness from the buffoon from Minnesota. He is not an attorney, by the way. He is barely a comedian. Mostly he is a warm body to be counted on to vote with the majority. The voters in Minnesota were useful idiots.

Kagan will be confirmed. She has no judicial experience and only a brief couple of years practicing law with a firm. She has a record as Solicitor General for the Obama administration of winning cases almost 3/4 of the time. But, she is a loyal 'progressive' and she is smart and she 'listens to all sides' and she's a woman from New York and Massachusetts as well as University of Chicago, so she's tops with the Democrats. To hear them speak she is the most qualified candidate ever for the Supreme Court. Well, since Sonia Sotomayer. Sotomayer, you may recall, promised she agreed that the Second Amendment was real and permanent during her hearing. Yesterday she voted with the other liberals on the Supreme Court against the Second Amendment as it applies to states rights.

We'll soon learn how long it takes for Kagan to change her tune on the bench, too.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Force Majeure Begins in GOM Over Oil Spill

I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one as I write here, so I looked it up. Here is the definition of force majeure:

Force majeure is a term that generally refers to an irresistible force or overcoming power. It affects someone's ability to do something and may be used as a legal excuse for not having carried out the terms of a contract. It is a form of the impossibility defense. In some cases, the defense may not apply, such as when there are terms requiring a backup or contingency plan to be in effect.Why is this legal term coming into prominence in the professional reporting of the oil drilling industry? Because the future is here. The oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is coming to a halt, either under the current moratorium or in anticipation of new regulations to come from this very anti-drilling administration. As these two links show, it's beginning.

This from Chevron:
Chevron on June 23 declared force majeure on its contract for Hercules Offshore jackup Hercules 120, saying that it believes the new regulations issued for drilling in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico prevent Chevron from continuing operations involving the rig.

And this from Apache :Rowan Cos. received notice on June 22 that Apache had declared force majeure on Rowan jackup Cecil Provine, which had been working in the Gulf of Mexico, due to delays in obtaining new drilling permits following the Deepwater Horizon incident

These two articles are from a professional publication widely read in the oil drilling industry. The moratorium uncertainty and the anticipated upcoming additional regulations are being used as the excuse to get out of drilling contracts. Companies don't want the burden of paying out contracts if the rigs will be unable to drill or if the timeline is uncertain.

This is what happens when knee jerk reactions are allowed to substitute for common sense policy. The oil drilling rigs under deep water drilling contracts - 33 of
them - were inspected immediately after the Deepwater Horizon exploded. All are in compliance of existing regulations. None give any indication that problems will occur.

There is a backlog of permit requests as it is. With all the criticism of MMS, the pace of the request grants has slowed to a halt. Those already drilling and waiting on new permits to continue will not simply continue on and have to pay for down time of a working rig. Rigs are leased for tens of thousands of dollars per day. The rigs will leave the Gulf of Mexico.

The sheer lunacy of the political left in this country is on display. Carol Browner, EPA director and former Clinton administration EPA director thanks to her mentor Al Gore, is adamant that a moratorium is needed. She actually states it is necessary so that this doesn't happen again. This is the lunacy popping up. This horrible situation was man-produced. Human beings making poor choices and decisions. The Gulf of Mexico has produced millions of barrels of oil over the last few decades by drilling thousands of wells and this has not happened before in our water. While the uninformed like to compare this to the Exxon Valdez accident, that was an oil tanker accident. Two completely different scenarios.

Humans will make mistakes. Lessons will be learned from this disaster. Eleven men lost their lives and many more are injured. BP's safety record is well known in the industry. The MMS is now exposed as having known the problems with this particular well as far back as February. Enforcement of the regulations on the books is needed, not completely shutting down oil drilling or even more layers of regulations not to be enforced.

You will not feel the pinch at the gas pump tomorrow or next week. Maybe not even six months from now, but it is coming. This will make the skyrocketing gas prices of $4.00 a gallon and up of the past seem like a bargain.

Day 71.

Monday, June 28, 2010

10 Arrested as Russian Spies in U.S.

Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, was in Washington to visit with President Obama as they prepared to attend the G8/G20 summit in Toronto. The meeting was reported as though two new best friends forever were born. It was embarrassing that the focus of the press stories centered on the field trip to a burger joint instead of any real issues - oh, the two shared an order of french fries. Really? The types of cheese and other dressings of the burgers were described in detail.

Much was made by the spinners - paid White House staff - that Russia likes us, they really, really do. The irony was that they were all too obtuse to realize why the stronger affection is upon us. The Obama administration was too cowardly to chastise Russia for invading Georgia, too tunnel-visioned to retain the missile defense program as they threw east Europe under the bus in favor of a Russia on the march, and more than willing to disclose the number of nuclear weapons in our arsenal - a number heretofore not disclosed. Why wouldn't Russia really, really like us?

Then, today brings a story announced by the Justice Department that ten people have been arrested as alleged spies for Russia. Oops.

These ten alleged spies are reported to have been arrested Sunday. Interesting. Eight of these spies are reported to allegedly have been long term, deep cover agents. Is it just a coincidence that the G8 finished up Sunday night and the announcement was made on Monday afternoon?

The other two alleged spies were said to participate in a Russian intelligence program in the U.S. Perhaps we will learn what that means later.

So, how is that silly, inaccurately labeled RESET button working out now? The Russians are laughing at us, as is much of the world. It is Keystone Kops time in Washington lead by a campaigner in chief, not a leader. All the symbolic photo ops cannot show what is not there - mature, reasoned leadership.

Obama Answers Question Chicago Style in Toronto

From Toronto, President Obama answers a question on his determination to reduce our deficit. This is painful to watch - he goes from lecturing professor without a clue to economics to slapping Republicans - by party name - then finishes by going all thug on those opposing his agenda. International audience meets American president out of his league.

It's going to be a long two and a half years, folks. Partisan political attacks on an international stage and the standard making it all about him. Makes an adult cringe.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rep Ryan Leads with Budget Alternatives

This week's GOP address is brought to us by Rep Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a rising star and common sense, fiscally conservative Republican.

The Democratic leadership in the House - Speaker Nancy Pelosi - has decided to not even submit a budget this year. That decision has not been implemented in Washington in decades - there's your hope and change. This is also the same leadership that claimed to be implementing PAYGO and eliminating fraud and waste in government spending.

We'll just keep hoping.

“Republicans on the budget committee have already identified $1.3 trillion in specific spending cuts we would implement right now to make Washington do more with less and help small businesses put people back to work,” said Rep. Ryan.

Continued proposals by the GOP and false claims by President Obama that there are no alternative ideas being presented by Republicans come to the forefront. It's a shame the first of Obama's campaign pledges to be broken was the one about a post-partisan administration. Our country is the worse for it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tx Democrat Gonzalez and BP


According to the Center for Responsive Politics' review of a monthly campaign finance report filed today with the Federal Election Commission Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas), a member of the House Energy Committee, was the sole federal beneficiary of BP's PAC between May 1 and May 31.

Why would BP be contributing to a Democrat on the Energy Committee? Because Democrats have been in control of Congress since 2007. Now there is also a Democrat in the Oval Office. Contributing to Democrats makes good financial sense. Just as when BP spent all that money contributing to the campaign of Barack Obama against John McCain.

The first rule in politics? It's all about winning. It's as simple as that. Remember that the Deepwater Horizon blew up on April 20. Also from the article: BP's prowess extends beyond political contributions. In 2009, the company was one of the biggest spenders on federal lobbying, investing nearly $16 million to ensure its voice was heard. That amount was nearly three-and-a-half times as much as it spent on federal lobbying activities two years earlier

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gen McChrystal Out, Gen Petraeus In Charge

President Obama has replaced General McChrystal with General David Petraeus as commander in Afghanistan. After a rather brief thirty minute meeting with the president, McChrystal exited the White House and was not in attendance for the Afghanistan planning meeting that occurred a bit later in the morning. General Petraeus was there.

No surprise, really. If for no other reason, Obama had to save face. The thin-skinned man in charge of our nation is proud of his manufactured reputation as Mr. Cool, the guy who takes his time in making decisions and is not simply a reactionary kind of leader. This proves otherwise.

Obama is certainly entitled to have the General in charge of his choosing. He hand-picked McChrystal, we were told at the time, to take the place of the previous General in charge who was fired by Secretary Gates on instruction from Obama. McChrystal was called on the carpet for voicing criticism about Obama dragging his feet on making a decision on additional troops requested for operations in Afghanistan. Perhaps the publicity of the critical article in Rolling Stone magazine was just too much - a 'cool' magazine giving voice to such public criticism of the man wearing the thin skin.

McChrystal put himself into this position, make no mistake about that. Some say it was an intentional move, as the war is going poorly and is appears to not be a priority with this administration. This whole scandal brings much needed focus to the war effort and brings to light the internal factions split apart by strategy differences. There is room to make the argument that Obama is not engaged with his team of leadership there - it was noted that McChrystal didn't have but two one on one meetings with Obama during his time as Commander in Afghanistan before today's meeting. The count is reported as six that Obama and McChrystal have been in face to face meetings.

McChrystal's media aide had no journalistic experience. Yet for a major media manager, Boothby has left virtually no media trail himself. Most of the new civilian advisers to the top military staff have had long careers in journalism and come from established news organizations, but Boothby has virtually no media credits to his name. In fact, the only credit that could be found for him was as an actor in North Carolina. Wouldn't that history be a red flag to McChrystal's staff?

Perhaps the negligence of President Obama to be an interested party in the relationship between himself and his commanding General in the field is at play. As is written here, that disconnect is the defining difficulty.

I’m not suggesting that with earlier close acquaintance Obama might have spotted the seeds of McChrystal’s “enormous mistake” — as White House spokesman Robert Gibbs described it at press briefing Tuesday. I’m suggesting that better leadership from Obama himself would have averted this mess altogether. Whatever comes next for McChrystal, the biggest lesson here is one the commander-in-chief himself has yet to master.

It’s this simple: To win this war, America, and its generals, need to be led by someone who really wants to win the war. Someone who believes his country is great, and extraordinary, and deserves to win its wars. Someone who takes a direct and genuine interest in those he sends to the frontlines. Someone who makes a point of really getting to know the general he puts in charge. Someone, in sum, who does what’s needed to inspire loyalty and respect.

Democrats enjoyed hailing military officers who criticized President Bush in executing two wars, yet now it is not so cool to "speak truth to power". Interesting, right? And predictable. The irony is that then Senator Obama was leading the chorus of the campaign of belittling Petraeus and his operation in Iraq as "General Betrayus". Obama has shown his contempt for the military. Now he has to rely on General Petraeus to take command of the war in Afghanistan. Karma, baby.

The fact that Obama came out and said, as he spoke about McChrystal's resignation, that he didn't accept the resignation out of a "sense of personal insult" says it all. Of course that was it, why else even bring that up, if it is a regular Obama straw man in the decision?

McChrystal violated the chain of command with his poor judgement of making remarks about the administration while in the presence of a reporter looking for a juicy story. His aides provided snarky remarks and credited McChrystal with many of them, from previous meetings. All of this was wrong. Will Dana, Managing Editor of Rolling Stone, appeared on Imus in the Morning televised radio show and said that all of the offensive quotes were acquired within the first twenty-four hours of the reporter's embed with McChrystal. They were in Paris for McChrystal to seek more support for the war in Afghanistan among European nations and they were drinking, which apparently led to tongues loosening. Unfortunate.

From the office of Eric Cantor, Republican Whip: "Without question, the article in Rolling Stone raises a lot of concerns, but our top priority must be to ensure that our forces in Afghanistan have what they need in order to successfully execute their mission and win the war there. At the moment, Democrats in Congress are standing in the way of a clean bill to fund our troops and provide the resources needed because they want to lard it up with domestic spending. We need to get our troops these funds, and should do so without any pork or unrelated domestic spending items thrown in."

General McChrystal ends a stellar military career under a cloud. General Petraeus technically takes a demotion from his current command to accept this assignment. There is no doubt that Patraeus will succeed. And now, President Obama and our country owe him a debt of gratitude for accepting this new challenge.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Energy Secretary Chu Claimed BP Would Save the World in 2007

From 2007. You remember 2007, don't you? The year that Democrats took back control of the House of Representatives and the Senate:


General McChrystal Speaks to Rolling Stone

What was he thinking? Since when does a U.S. military commander, at a time of war, employ a staff that agrees for the General to be interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine? Seriously? Rolling Stone? General Stanley McChrystal - commander of the war in Afghanistan - has relieved his civilian media relations person of his duties, rightly so.

This article in Star and Stripes makes the most important point - President Obama is between a rock and a hard place and the person responsible for that awkward situation is General McChrystal himself.

Now Obama must add a new crisis to that daunting list: The commander he handpicked to win the Afghanistan war allowed a reporter for Rolling Stone to embed with him and his closest staff for a month, offering up a series of incendiary and embarrassing comments about the president and his war cabinet.

If he fires McChrystal, Obama will enjoy the dubious distinction of being the only president in U.S. history to sack two wartime commanders in a little more than a year. Last May, Gen. David McKiernan was relieved of post commanding the Afghan war effort after the White House and Defense Secretary Robert Gates said “fresh eyes” were needed to find a more successful path forward.

In an opinion piece in The Washington Examiner, Byron York writes about speaking with a former military man familiar with McChrystal:

"He had great disdain for anyone, as he said, ‘in a suit,’” the former military man continues. “I was shocked one day in a small group of people when he took [former Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld to task in front of all of us.”

“The other thing about him is that he is probably one of the more arrogant, cocksure military guys I have run across. That in itself is not necessarily a character flaw, but when you couple it with his great disdain for civilians, it’s a very volatile combination.”

The article - all eleven printed pages of it from my computer - contains some comments by aides to the general that should not be available for public consumption. The only damning quote from the General himself is one concerning Richard Holbrooke and well, no one likes Richard Holbrooke. But, that is not the point. The point is that the General showed incredibly bad judgement and allowed a Rolling Stone magazine reporter to hang with him and his inner circle for an extended length of time in the first place.

The article is here.

President Obama has called General McChrystal back to Washington to talk to him. Some say McChrystal will offer his resignation. Some say Obama will fire him. This will be known later in the day, after the meeting. This is the second time that Obama has 'scolded' McChrystal, having done so last summer on Air Force One.

General McChrystal's inner circle has allowed their commander to be in this situation. This should have never happened. Once the General was told of the reporter's access, he should have vetoed the decision. During a time of war, a war not going very well right now, the last thing parents of young soldiers dying in battle need to read is that the man in charge there has no respect for leadership in Washington.

We now wait to learn of the consequences of this exercise in poor judgement.

The Oil Spill Commission

President Obama has appointed a seven member commission to investigate the Gulf oil spill.

The Obama-appointed commission is lousy with environmental activists and policy wonks yet woefully short on such experts as petroleum engineers and others with real world experience.

From an article in the Houston Chronicle:

The commission has yet to meet, yet some panel members had made their views known.

Environmental activist Frances Beinecke on May 27 blogged: "We can blame BP for the disaster and we should. We can blame lack of adequate government oversight for the disaster and we should. But in the end, we also must place the blame where it originated: America's addiction to oil." And on June 3, May 27, May 22, May 18, May 4, she called for bans on drilling offshore and the Arctic.

Gee, who didn't see that coming?

When the White House announced the commission, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and others made compared it with the one that investigated the 1986 Challenger accident. This one, however, doesn't have as many technical experts.

The 13-member board that looked into the first shuttle accident had seven engineering and aviation experts and three other scientists. The 2003 board that looked into the Columbia shuttle disaster also had more than half of the panel with expertise in engineering and aviation.

Iraj Ersahaghi, who heads the petroleum engineering program the University of Southern California, reviewed the names of oil spill commissioners and asked, "What do they know about petroleum?"

It's almost like the Secretary of Energy is a Nobel prize winning physicist. Physicist. Oh wait. That is exactly who Obama put in charge of energy policy. Before he turned it over to the Interior Department, that is. Does Secretary Salazar have a boot on the throat of Secretary Chu, too? Salazar is the one who put into effect the six month moratorium of deep water drilling by using fake recommendations from industry experts. The very experts who specifically called for no moratorium, so Salazar inserted two paragraphs into their findings after they signed off on the report.

The Wall Street Journal leads with this Obama quote from April 2009: "Under my Administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over. . . To undermine scientific integrity is to undermine our democracy. . . I want to be sure that facts are driving scientific decisions, and not the other way around." We all remember the public slap to the Bush administration - the continuation of slaps to the Bush administration - from the new guy in charge. Democrats enjoy feeling superior to others when it comes to intellectual matters. There is no proof of superiority of one party's intellectual heft over another party, but never mind. This administration is the most ideologically strident of any - in many instances more strident - yet they still want to put up the facade of an upper hand on fact gathering. The report from the experts proves otherwise.

The administrator of NOAA is another Obama appointee who enjoys smirking about scientific fact finding superiority. She, too, enjoys reminding those within earshot that the Obama administration is committed to science over ideology. So far, not so good in the results department.

The rest of the commission as reported in The Wall Street Journal: loaded up on politicians and environmental activists.

One co-chair is former Democratic Senator Bob Graham, who fought drilling off Florida throughout his career. The other is William Reilly, who ran the Environmental Protection Agency under President George H.W. Bush but is best known as a former president and former chairman of the World Wildlife Fund, one of the big environmental lobbies. The others:

• Donald Boesch, a University of Maryland "biological oceanographer," who has opposed drilling off the Virginia coast and who argued that "the impacts of the oil and gas extraction industry . . . on Gulf Coast wetlands represent an environmental catastrophe of massive and underappreciated proportions."

• Terry Garcia, an executive vice president at the National Geographic Society, who directed coastal programs in the Clinton Administration, in particular "recovery of endangered species, habitat conservation planning," and "Clean Water Act implementation," according to the White House press release.

• Fran Ulmer, Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage, who is a member of the Aspen Institute's Commission on Arctic Climate Change. She's also on the board of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which opposes nuclear power and more offshore drilling and wants government policies "that reduce vehicle miles traveled" (i.e., driving in cars).

• Rounding out the panel is its lone member with an engineering background, Harvard's Cherry A. Murray, though her specialties are physics and optics.

This is not an exercise in confidence building for anyone with the slightest knowledge of the oil drilling industry. It is, however, a perfect commission for Team Obama. These folks have never been in the real world and have no clue on practical problem solving in the field - they are consumed with college seminars and think tank weekends.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MME Knew About BP Well Problem in February

Bloomburg reports that the Obama administration - MME in specific - knew of the troubles with the well BP was drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as far back as February.

What did President Obama know about it and when did he know? The Bloomburg article is dated June 17, 2010. Where's all the investigative reports with this disclosure? Do 'journalists' simply now solely rely on White House talking points and story lines from the DNC? On MSNBC this morning, Mika openly admitted she has a file she's "been working the White House" in collecting talking points on this tragic event, as she blurted out on the Morning Joe radio show. No one questioned her about that action. Jack Welch was the guest at the time and he did tease her briefly as he answered another question and she challenged his answer, but that was it. She blames Rudy Guiliani for the necessity of this file from the White House - she claims he was unfair about his opinions on the handling of the crisis.


On Feb. 13, BP told the minerals service it was trying to seal cracks in the well about 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast, drilling documents obtained by Bloomberg show. Investigators are still trying to determine whether the fissures played a role in the disaster.

In early March, BP told the minerals agency the company was having trouble maintaining control of surging natural gas, according to e-mails released May 30 by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating the spill.

No wonder the White House is in such heavy cover-your-ass mode lately.

The administration that promised to be the most transparent in history now relies on willing blondes co-hosting morning talk shows to rattle off the re-writing of their history when a man with proven leadership qualities dares to criticize Team Obama.


From Bloomburg - "The incident was a "showstopper," said Robert Bea, an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has consulted with the Interior Department on offshore drilling safety. "They damn near blew up the rig."


No Experience Necessary For Obama Energy Dept

The newly appointed head of MMS has no energy industry experience.

To overhaul federal oversight of offshore drilling, President Obama has turned to a Washington lawyer with a reputation for fixing broken government agencies, but little or no background with energy or environmental issues.

Michael R. Bromwich, a former federal prosecutor and inspector general for the Justice Department who is now a partner in the Washington office of a New York law firm, will head up efforts to restructure the former Minerals Management Service, Obama announced yesterday.

Got that? A lawyer was appointed for oversight of offshore drilling, not someone with actual industry experience or knowledge. Feel better now? Oh, and yes, he is a 'maxed-out' contributor to the campaign of Obama. Whatever happened to all that change we were promised in how Washington operates?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gov Jindal Files Amicus Brief on Obamoratorium

This is from a press release issued by the office of Governor Jindal:

The brief argues that states are entitled to participate in the policy and decision-making process by the federal government on issues relating to the exploration and development of Outer Continental Shelf minerals and requires the Secretary of Interior to cooperate with affected states. The brief states, “Inasmuch as the State of Louisiana was completely ignored by defendants in the establishment of this moratorium for alleged safety reasons, the question arises whether that failure renders Defendants’ action invalid.”

The President of the United States was very poorly advised by his Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, in support of this six month moratorium on deep water drilling. Salazar should have been fired for incompetence long ago, certainly after repeatedly using such hateful language as "keep a boot on the throat" of BP. Salazar used and edited a report made by energy experts to support his own opinion against offshore oil drilling. The effects will be devastating to an already tragic environment due to the oil spill that is gushing on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

Thank you, Governor Jindal for stepping up. You have been the one consistently strong and competent leader in this entire tragedy.

The judge commits to making his decision by noon Wednesday.

Remembering Neda in Tehran

The life of Neda Agha-Soltan was the subject of a documentary on cable television last night. The anniversary of her murder by the thugs of the Iranian regime was noted last week.

THIS description of the Obama brand of foreign policy is on the mark. " Then there is our new foreign policy of bowing, apologizing, and reaching out to thugs in Cuba, Iran, and Syria, while snubbing liberal democracies like Britain, Colombia, and Israel. Why send a video to a creepy bully like Ahmadinejad, and snub brave dissidents in the streets of Teheran?

All that accomplished was to embolden those who hate America and depress those who like us. Does anyone think Obama’s visit to Turkey won that country over, or his Cairo outreach charmed Arabs, or his bow to China earned anything, or being checkmated by Putin was impressive? Lots of straws were piled on with all that."
The premise of the article being that one too many straws are accumulating on the back of Obama, even for the most loyal of Obots, and the disappointment in his lack of leadership abilities has surfaced.

Remembering the protests in the streets of Tehran last summer and the millions who participated, it also brings back memories of the slow response of President Obama. As is a well-established pattern now, then it was still just a bit odd for the President of the United States, the leader of the free world, to be silent for so long in his support for those demanding freedom from the brutal theocracy in control of the people of Iran.

The documentary brought out the interesting recognition that it was the women of Iran who were leading the organization and execution of the protests. Neda's father was interviewed, along with her mother and brother and sister, and he stated several times his pride in his daughter's courage and spirit. In a country known for brutal enforcement of draconian measures towards any ounce of personal freedom of women it was very informative to hear of Neda's supportive family.

Here's hoping the Green Movement in Iran doesn't die off like so many of its heroes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sen Wicker Delivers GOP Weekly Address

This reported in the Houston Chronicle:

BP had paid out $95 million as of Friday and written about 30,000 checks to settle about half of the 63,000 claims it has received, a company spokesman said.

The chief of the Independent Claims Facility — the newly created office charged with distributing $20 billion in compensation from BP — said a plan to handle the remaining damage claims should be in place within about six weeks.

Republicans used their weekly address to claim the president has been too slow to react to the threats posed by the Gulf oil spill and some steps taken by his administration will do more harm than good.

"I'm glad President Obama is finally putting this catastrophe at the top of his agenda, but his response has been too slow," Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi said. Wicker criticized Obama for pushing for an energy bill and increases in oil cleanup fees and for calling for a moratorium on deep-water drilling, which he said would cost jobs and raise the price of energy.

So, the "small people" will have another six weeks to sweat out trying to pay bills as the new government office gears up and organizes to pay the remaining outstanding claims. Government never moves quickly. And the legality of this whole procedure is being questioned. Perhaps instead of trying to seize another major company, this administration should have focused on taking command of actions on the ground. Let the oil experts cap the leak. Let the administration handle the clean up and then worry about the criminal and civil law suit, the dog and pony congressional hearings. The administration should have set up a spot within the command center to place a BP check writer and supervise the work there, not layer on another Washington bureaucrat.

Some common sense and leadership would be refreshing.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rep Barton Calls It A Shakedown And Apologizes

It was a shakedown. Let's just get it out there - Rep Barton was correct. He used a politically incorrect term and the GOP leadership freaked out over anticipation of the hay the Democrats would make of it - and they immediately sent out the fundraiser letter on it, as predicted - but Barton told the truth. And, the truth in D.C. is a rare commodity.

What would you call a meeting with the Attorney General in attendance and talk of criminal charges in play as you are told the President of the United States wants your corporation to set up a multi billion dollar escrow account for claims filed because of the oil spill? And, oh by the way, a person appointed by the President of the United States is an old crony of his and he'll will be in charge of distributing said multi billion dollars?

And, where did the number of $20 billion come from? Why not $30 billion? $40 billion? What was the formula and was it just plucked from thin air?

BP is a foreign entity. BP's first priority is to its shareholders. That is how corporations work. BP is entitled to sell assets to pay claims. BP is entitled to use the court system to settle disputes.

For the White House team from Chicago to haul in the BP executives with the number one goal to secure an 'escrow' account worth billions of BP dollars, when there is no legal standing to demand such an action, merits some truth telling.

BP is completely and entirely responsible for paying all of the damages of this disaster. No one is disputing this. BP has said from the beginning that they will pay all claims. I am no fan of BP but they have responded as a corporate entity, not as super dad. That is reality. The White House action was, in fact, a shakedown. The Obama administration is not suppose to be able to just swoop in and takeover any private corporation on a whim, to show how engaged they are in the disaster. Isn't it bad enough that they have gotten away with taking over the auto industry, the insurance industry, health care/American doctors, student loans programs, banks, Wall Street, and so on? Where does it end? It won't with this team from Chicago.

This is not to come to the defense of BP. Their actions led to the loss of eleven men on that drilling rig and injured many more. Their actions have brought destruction to the Gulf coast. Hundreds of thousands of lives are forever changed. BP's safety reputation is well known within the industry.

Let's remember that the Obama administration is in bed with BP. Big time. BP executives paid big bucks to help Barack Obama sit in the Oval Office. His own MMS director approved the plans of BP's drilling operations. Rahmbo lives rent-free in a home owned by a pollster with ties to BP and has a wife in Congress. BP was pushing the 'green energy' agenda of Team Obama. Reports are around the industry that BP is losing buckets of money on their green agenda, in pursuit of favor from Team Obama. We've all see the commercials on television.

It is in our own best interests for BP to remain financially healthy as they move forward paying claims and making things right, as we have been told they will do. Trust but verify is the best policy there. Stock prices have already slid for BP. BP has stated that stockholder dividends will not be paid out for the rest of this year. It is not only those in England holding stock in BP, many Americans do, too.

Rep Barton was immediately made into a pinata in the BP hearing over his shakedown statement. He was wrong to apologize but his term was correct. He was wrong to apologize for the actual shakedown. The escrow account is a good idea, on face value, but to think this administration will distribute the dollars with any competency is a bit of a stretch. And, as they are inclined to pick winners and losers, will they pay the claims of favored constituents before those of others? We have no guarantees. The stimulus projects have turned into a slush fund for favored groups - namely unions and government jobs - so concern is justified.

The GOP leadership reacted swiftly. The Barton committee chairmanship was on the line so he issued the mandatory apology. He apologized for the apology.

Rep Charles Boustany, (R-LA), a neighbor of ours in our former city of Lafayette, LA, said of the shakedown (my word, not his) that he wants to be sure BP is held accountable, in a transparent way. He disagrees with Barton's statement of apology to BP and glad he apologized for the apology. He said he thinks Barton was reacting emotionally not logically in apologizing to BP for the shakedown. Boutsany also calls for an end to the moratorium on deep water drilling.

Two GOP members of the House Ethics Committee are reported to be calling on Barton to step down from his committee chairmanship. These two losers need to shut up. Barton made a mistake in apologizing to BP - or as the Democrats say, "Big Oil" - and corrected his poor decision by apologizing for the apology to BP that the White House shook down the company. Let it go. And, gentlemen? Grow a pair.

BP deserves no apologies, but it was a shakedown. Or, even more correct, extortion.

No apologies.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Deep Water Drilling Moratorium - It's All Politics

THIS is from The Wall Street Journal: The oil drilling moratorium for deep water offshore drilling is all about politics. This is no surprise. Class warfare is alive and well in America, led largely by Barack Obama himself. The man thrives on that narrative and depends on divisions among people to push through his big government takeovers and huge legislation agenda.

All of this matters because it offers proof the moratorium was driven by politics, not safety. The drilling ban was not reviewed by experts, and was not necessary to satisfy most of the safety recommendations in Mr. Salazar's report. It was authored by political actors so Mr. Obama could look tough. A cynic might argue the ban was only added after review precisely because the Administration knew experts would refuse to endorse it.

Color me a cynic.

Weary of pieces critical of the deep water moratorium? Wait until you are paying $5 a gallon at the gas pump. This moratorium doesn't just simply affect the thousands of offshore workers and service workers and small businesses along the Gulf coast. This moratorium affects the entire country. Plus the added bonus of making our nation more dependent on foreign oil, not less, as is the proclaimed goal of this administration. This is all about politics.

"You don't want to let a good crisis get away" is a quote from Athan Manuel. Manuel is director of lands protection for Sierra Club. The goal of Sierra Club is a permanent moratorium on all new offshore drilling. This logic is the result of allowing ideology to dictate policy. The extreme in the environmental movement insist the moratorium is the first step of action, not a temporary move.

The oil drilling industry is the most regulated and taxed of any in this nation. If more regulation is needed, begin by enforcing the regulations already on the books. That is common sense. Reform the corrupted aspects of the MMS. Do away with the cozy relationships and do the job of keeping an eye on operations.

Barack Obama benefited more from BP contributions as a candidate for President than any other. Obama placed the director of MMS into that position. This administration was well into their second year of a four year term when the Deepwater Horizon blew up. This administration's MME signed off on the oil rigs permits and procedures. Those are the facts.

Did Obama shut down coal mining after the last tragic accident which killed several miners? No. He even attended and eulogized the miners at the memorial held for them. This double standard, too, is all about politics. It is wrong.

The immediate fall-out of the moratorium will reap more pain on the Gulf coast. Not only does the population residing there have to deal with potentially devastating destruction of the fishing industry and the wetlands but small businesses are on the ropes. Service industries have no drilling rigs to service. Tourism is way down from uncertainty. For those living paycheck to paycheck, the effects are immediate. Unemployment numbers skyrocket. Most Americans are simply not aware of the numbers of people affected by a drilling moratorium. It is in the hundreds of thousands. How does all this fit into Obama's claim of not resting until everyone has a job?

A quote from The Wall Street Journal: "Mr. President, you were looking for someone's butt to kick," said Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph, recently. "You're kicking ours."

Today Obama goes to Ohio to celebrate a building project - the alleged 10,000th project funded by the stimulus program. Bonus - the workers are being told to stay home today due to the presidential visit. They will each lose about $200, on average as a result. Way to go, Mr. President. What will the people in the drilling industry and along the Gulf coast celebrate today?

Day 60.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We Are All The Small People Now

This is a question posed by my husband's colleague to him in an e-mail that was then forwarded to me: Do you remember several months back, when Toyota was having trouble with their accelerators sticking on their automobiles? I don't recall everyone pointing their finger at GM, Chrysler, Ford, or for that matter Saab, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, or Mercedes motor companies. If the whole auto industry wasn't responsible for what Toyota did, how can the whole oil industry be responsible for what BP did? Reasonable question, right?

The moratorium on the deep water drilling operations for six months in the Gulf of Mexico punishes everyone. These rigs have been inspected and there are no safety issues. Why punish the ones doing the right thing? The unemployment numbers continue to rise and thousands are without work or paychecks. Many live paycheck to paycheck. Why are they punished for the shoddy work of one rig?

The guaranteed $20 billion fund set aside by BP is reassuring but it is not the final step of compensation. But, the government in charge of it? It will become another political slush fund, just wait and watch. The red tape is astounding. Our government is botching up the process further by introducing another czar and another commission while the working people along the Gulf coast just want to make their boat payments, meet payroll, pay their mortgages and continue normal life in a situation not of their own making. There is a 90 day process involved now in claims if you are not compensated with an amount you think is fair. How can the regular working folks be expected to endure a 90 day balancing act? Let's hope the process for initial payments is streamlined and more efficient so that the stress is a bit lessened.

And, when will the oil drilling rig workers be able to go back to work? Those rigs will not remain in the Gulf as they sit idle. They will move overseas where the demand is and higher day rates are available. If the crews are not offered jobs as the rigs move overseas, they will add to the number of unemployed. BP has already stated they will not pay for unemployment compensation for other workers of other companies. Taxpayers are on the hook for that. That is more fallout from the Obama issued moratorium. It was not thought out properly and not necessary. It is simply a knee jerk reaction so that Team Obama appears to be making decisions. It is not leadership.

This administration,so heavily laden with career educators and think tank scholars, as well as career politicians, has no clue of what it takes to create and maintain jobs. They have no working world experience. These people never met a payroll, led a company, governed more than a specific constituency. It shows.

We know Obama is impressed with Energy Secretary Chu's Nobel prize in physics. Good for him. But, he knows nothing about oil drilling and no practical working experience in the real world. It shows.

The old reaction that the big oil companies are evil and GOP controlled is so last century. Obama benefited more than any other candidate from oil company contributions - the most from BP, as a matter of fact. The oil drilling business is first and foremost a business. The political contributions go with whomever appears to be in power. Democrats have controlled Congress since 2007. Common sense.

President Obama met with the group of BP executives for a mere 20 minutes. He met with the Chairman of BP for 25 minutes. So, was it only for the publicity of being able to say finally, on day 58, he met with the BP people? It is just strange to most Americans that this meeting is so late in the making and it seems Obama simply went through the motions - a vehicle for him to appear angry and demand more money to throw at the tragedy. After the meetings concluded, there was no joint appearance of the president and the BP executives. They made separate statements to the press. The Chairman of BP took a few questions. He made an unfortunate reference to the claims of "small people" when he was referring to the working people of the Gulf coast. He is Swedish and it is assumed that was a language glitch. They just keep shooting themselves in the foot.

It would be good if in all of this turmoil and trouble, the lives lost were remembered a bit more. I know they would not have approved of a moratorium on deep water drilling. It does not honor their memory.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Obama Addresses the Nation From Oval Office

What was he thinking? Or, more to the point, what was the group around him - his advisers- thinking when they scheduled an address from the Oval Office to speak about the Gulf oil spill? He was seated behind his desk and was obviously not comfortable with the arrangement. This is a man who stands and reads a teleprompter. He gestured with his hands, non stop, which made him look nervous and distracted the viewer. It is said that his advisers were trying to conjure up the recollection of the fireside chats given by FDR. The difference? FDR actually gave his ideas and solutions to the nation's pressing problems. FDR was a comforting figure to nervous Americans, while this is clearly not the case with Obama. His is a cold, detached persona.

This was the first address from the Oval Office by this president and it was a wasted opportunity.

The substance of the address was odd. There was no 'there' there. The president started out with the war talk with how the disaster will be treated.

The continued whining about the previous administration is just too much. It continues now into the middle of the second year of a four year term. His swipe during last night's address was claiming that "for over a decade" the MMS was riddled with corruption and lax regulation enforcement. That may be true of the agency but if Team Obama is chock full of the smartest people on the planet, why is their reform so slow? Why did the MMS, led by a director Obama chose, approved BP's drilling plans? Why was Barack Obama the recipient of the highest amount of oil industry contributions, ever? There is no doubt that MMS needed reform measures taken. However, to think the solution is more bureaucracy with yet another commission and more czars brought in will not help, it will hinder the reforms. The oil drilling industry is the most regulated and taxed industry in our country today. If the current regulations on the books aren't being adhered to, what good are more layered on top of those already in place?

The predictable whining about the previous administration shows the president to be a very small man. He asked for the job of president. He promised he was up to the job - that he had the answers needed to solve the problems presented to him. He has yet to move from campaign mode into leading the nation.

Last night's address was not the time to talk, in vague terms, of the cap and tax legislation he hopes to pass as new energy policy. Not only is that legislation vastly unpopular and shown to be a job killer, he still does not speak in concrete terms about how the changes would be of benefit to the consumer. All we hear from him is that 'sacrifices' will have to be made. That is code talk for higher taxes and more pain by the taxpayer already struggling to keep up with the current economic conditions.

From Roger Simon at Pajamas Media: Also not in evidence was the most serious solution to the problem — nuclear energy. We had the usual palaver about solar and wind, but no reference to the energy source employed so successfully by the French and the Japanese, the one source that could change the situation with some rapidity. Obama probably didn’t want to mention it because his left would be offended. Again, frightened.

Still, he managed to recite that litany of “clean” energy sources, following the by now nauseatingly familiar Rahm Emanuel dictum about never missing a good crisis. No mention, of course, of the studies that indicate wind energy causes more environmental damage than it cures. Or that solar would require we cover half the world with panels in order to generate sufficient electricity to power society. This isn’t about science. It’s about pose.

No mention either of what every one of us, if we are being honest, knows: No oil. No modern life.

Oil is not just used for gas in your car's tank. It is used in almost everything you purchase. To advocate the elimination of its production is so ignorant it is laughable. Sure, it's fun and cool for those outside of the drilling industry to make 'big oil' the enemy but it is just downright silly and anyone suggesting otherwise is not to be taken seriously. It's a simple as that.

Green energy is decades away, if ever. Solar panels require too many of them to be of use for anything other than a small space. And, yes, petroleum is used in their production. Wind machines are proving to be very damaging to the environment and flying creatures. Guess what is needed for wind production? Yes, that's correct - petroleum.

Natural gas is a common sense solution. We are geared up for it. Natural gas is produced by drilling for oil, too. And, our nation has an overabundance of the stuff. Why not set about converting to natural gas?

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.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

N.C. Representative Etheridge Goes Thug

Rep. Etheridge of North Carolina has been recorded attacking a college student. The video is getting much attention and this attention has forced an apology from the congressman. There is no indication that he would have issued the apology had the video not gone viral on the Internet. The telltale sign is his beginning - that he has seen the video reported on blogs and viewed it on the Internet.

Let's go to the video:

Here's the apology:

"I have seen the video posted on several blogs. I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved," Etheridge said in a prepared statement.

"Throughout my many years of service to the people of North Carolina, I have always tried to treat people from all viewpoints with respect," he said. "No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response. I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse."

In other words, he's sorry he was caught on video as he arrogantly manhandled a college student who dared to inquire if the Democratic congressman supported the agenda of the Democratic president. Instead of talking to the kid, he grabs him and asks him "who are you?" You know, how dare you ask me a question right here on the street. The congressman was reported to have been leaving a fundraiser featuring Speaker of the House Pelosi.

There is an alternative to re-electing Etheridge to Congress. Her name is Renee Ellmers. Do you live in this North Carolina district? If so, I would take a look at Renee Ellmers. She's a nurse and her husband is a doctor. They do not support Obamacare. She is against the government bailout mentality of the Democrats in Congress. She supports offshore oil drilling. On and on with solid conservative policy opinions.

I don't think a video will appear with Ellmers grabbing a college student and attempting a choke hold. Just sayin'.

What CAN Big Government Do Competently?

It is interesting to have the curtain of Oz pulled back from the facade that all we need is more big government and big government power grabs to solve the woes of our country. With the big liberal dreams of the far left in play now that the White House is occupied by Team Obama - one member farther left than the next - and the audacity of members of Congress calling for government takeover of public and private industries, it is now that the Democrats must face what Republicans have known to be true. There is a limit to the effectiveness of big government.

Now that the Republicans are rightfully calling for government action for the clean up measures taken by the federal government, the Democrats are making hay and openly ridiculing the GOP. Why? BP was drilling in federally controlled waters. BP was operating with a government issued permit. Oil drilling is regulated by the federal government. Oil drilling is taxed by the federal government.

It is a common sense reaction for Republicans to demand the President and his cabinet step up and do the right thing. The right thing, in this disaster, is to demand that BP plug the well as soon as possible, which is in their best interests, too. It is for the President and his cabinet members to reform the MMS - he brought on the director that had to resign after issuing the permits to BP just months ago. For the finger pointing to continue from this administration and their flacks hitting the talking heads shows is ridiculous. It is now well into the second year of a four year term. They were focused like a laser beam on health care legislation and big spending taxing legislation - like the stimulus bills - yet doing what they criticize previous administrations of doing, neglecting reforms necessary within regulatory departments. Grow up and do the job at hand.

THIS from a column in The Wall Street Journal: Coming as it did on the heels of various other government fiascoes and embarrassments—the subsidized-mortgage crisis, ethanol, California issuing IOUs, Bernie Madoff, ultra-deep public debt, infrastructure turning to dust everywhere—the Gulf mess is the moment for the American people to reconsider just what they think government can do, or should do.

Less, more efficient and effective government control is needed from Washington, D.C.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oil Spill Will Raise Unemployment Numbers - POTUS Parties

This article sums the incoming continued devastation of the oil spill.

It is unnerving to watch this president and his wife go about the social perks of being First Couple. The soirees are over the top with splendor and all the cool kids come. The Washington press swoons and finds it so charming that this couple 'entertains'. How sad. The country is in a terrible state, unemployment is about 10%, we have a huge natural disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, yet these two party on. THIS article speaks to the disconnect.

Perception is everything in politics.

This president gives an interview to an online publication and has the nerve to call the oil spill comparable to 9/11/01. Then, he traipses out to play golf. As he stated in the interview:"In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11 . . . I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come," Mr. Obama said in an Oval Office interview Friday

Any president who fails to see the vulgar implications of partying hearty while millions of American citizens are seeing their already-imperiled livelihoods go completely kaput with every day of gushing crude has lost touch with reality.

The election in November is critical to stop the arrogance and destruction to the fabric of our country. In the same article where he compares the reaction to emotions of 9/11/01 to an oil spill in the Gulf, Obama states:

“I am spending some time thinking about 2010 because, obviously, my ability to get things done on behalf of the American people depends on a Congress that is willing to cooperate,” he said.

I see November from my house.

"I Can't Suck It Up With A Straw"

The latest of the oratory brilliance from the smartest guy in the room came in this form: "I can't suck it up with a straw".

President Obama outlined the limits of his power to handle the oil spill in the latest episode of "West Wing Week," the casual weekly White House online show.

"Even though I'm president of the United States, my power is not limitless," he told Grand Isle, La., locals in the video, released Friday. "So I can't dive down there and plug the hole. I can't suck it up with a straw. All I can do is make sure that I put honest, hard-working smart people in place ... to implement this thing."

Here's a thought - less time spent on 'casual weekly online show', more time spent on the oil spill.

Enough with the posturing from Washington. Enough of the finger pointing and hearings. Enough of the commissions and panels. Get the leak plugged up first. Then do the rest. This administration claimed it could walk and chew gum at the same time. It can't.

Fifty days passed before Obama met with surviving family members of those eleven men who died in the oil rig explosion. If these workers were union members or in a more politically correct industry, wouldn't the visit have come sooner? And, the president didn't bother to attend the memorial in Jackson, Mississippi - a red state for the dead oil rig workers.

This week, Obama meets with the CEO and board members of BP at the White House. This week. How can this be? Obama has yet to talk to the CEO or anyone on the board of directors of BP. He is delegating the task of inviting them for a talk to Admiral Thad Allen, the National Incident Commander for the oil spill. Now we learn the letter states that the president will be present for some of the meeting. What is going on around there?

From Juan Williams, liberal commentator for NPR and Fox News: I think the problem here is this is an administration that, as Hillary Clinton famously pointed out, you may not want to have answer the 3:00 a.m. call. These are guys who have tremendous vision about legislative achievements and specific things like health care, going forward on immigration, those difficult issues. . . . But when it comes to the crisis, when it comes to the gulf oil spill, the wars, the recession, they feel as if it's being imposed upon them, rather than taking the helm. That's what Americans are sensing right here. . . . Are you able to handle a crisis in a convincing way that inspires confidence? And so far, the president hasn't done that.

That sums it up completely - we have the impression that when a crisis pops up, it is an imposition on Team Obama. They appear to have been elected only to push through huge pieces of legislation, mostly against the will of the majority of Americans. They are not able to transition to governing from campaigning and that is hindering actually leadership in times of crisis. In today's world, crisis is a given. Why aren't they better prepared, even well into the second year of the term?

On day 57, Tuesday, Obama will address the nation on television and talk about the oil spill. Day 57. This will be a conclusion of a two day effort to shore up some public relations support for Team Obama. A two day trek to the Gulf coast with visits to the other states involved - not Louisiana this time - and then a meeting with BP big shots. Unbelieveable.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fire Admiral Thad Allen

The Three Musketeers of the oil spill management team, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Admiral Thad Allen, and NOAA Director Jane Lubchenko are woefully inept and have to step aside. Further proof has surfaced.

HERE is a jaw dropping article about the mishandling of information useful for the Gulf oil spill.

Auburn, Maine, company Packgen has miles of oil spill containment boom on hand and has the capacity to produce upwards of 100,000 additional feet of boom a day. That inventory and that capacity has been available to help the Gulf Coast states for nearly a month. The news of this company was reported here at PJM four days ago, on June 8.

Why has this information been ignored by the leader of the pack on the ground, Admiral Allen? He was interviewed yesterday by ABC's Jake Tapper and claimed ignorance of the company and the inventory of containment boom. The problem? He was sent a letter signed by the two Maine senators and copied to Salazar and Lubchenko back in May. Yes, back in May. May 21, according to the article.

The Maine company has verified that their product meets all standards and passes all tests necessary to be of use in the Gulf oil spill. The company has some boom on pallets waiting for an order to ship it. BP is dragging their feet in purchasing the product. Where is the leadership?

If this administration now wants the American people to believe that they have been in charge "from day one", then they must accept the blame for all the screw-ups, too. Why do they continue to allow the Three Musketeers to remain in place if they are incapable of making progress and meeting the requests of the governors of the Gulf states? The governors of the Gulf states were informed of the product availability, too. Governor Jindal has been begging for boom from the beginning, right after the horrible explosion and the realization of the impending disaster on the water.

Admiral Allen plants stories like the fact that he wrote a letter to BP demanding that they produce their plans to speed up the process of plugging the hole gushing oil on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. What sense does that exercise make? Does he think BP is deliberately dragging the process out? What benefit would that serve to BP, for the gushing to continue longer than it already has?

The president has yet to meet with anyone from BP. Allen spins his wheels. Luchenko goes before the cameras and boasts that the Obama administration is committed to using "real" science in their decisions. Salazar continues on with his Fascist imagery in speech.

What is going on?

Weekly GOP Address

"We work for the people, not the other way around." Indeed.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

When Liberals Turn Against Liberals

When liberals have had enough of liberals:

The video comes from a story HERE:Zakaria, a Newsweek editor but also host of Fareed Zakaria GPS, recently wrote a defense of Pres. Obama’s response (actually he criticized the President for his overreaction). Newsbusters noted this exchange on John King USA last night. King read from Zakaria’s recent column, which said “what worries me is that we have gotten to the point where we expect the president to somehow magically solve every problem in the world, appear to be doing it and to reflect our anger and emotion. This is a kind of bizarre trivializing of the presidency into some kind of national psychiatrist-in-chief.”

The presidential candidate who campaigned on possessing the ability of bringing us all together, who would end the rips in our national fabric, has not only split up conservatives against liberals but also liberals against liberals. How's that for some change, folks? Is that what everyone who swallowed the campaign pap of the Obama public relations team and voted for the candidate Obama had in mind?

Heckuva job, Barry.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Salazar Lied - Jobs Died

It is obvious that Team Obama will continue with the words of wisdom of Rahmbo: Never waste a crisis. With the oil spill in the Gulf continuing, the conclusion is that the time is now to push major energy policy onto the American taxpayer. The administration has in mind stealing your hard earned tax money for the greening of the earth. This is completely wrong-headed on their part - the last thing a floundering economy needs is more taxes and government nannyship - but common sense was never a part of the Obama hopey, changey agenda.

Now we learn that blatant manipulation of the facts presented by a panel of engineers has been the tactic of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Salazar, he of the holding his boot on the throat of BP fame, has outright lied about the conclusions of the panel and added two paragraphs to the end of their report - after the engineers signed off on the report - and used it for his idea of the deep water drilling moratorium. The engineers specifically reported that stopping drilling in the middle of operations - exactly what the moratorium did - was not the proper action.

The engineers are now going public with their displeasure of being used by Salazar for is own benefit. Salazar told a congressional committee that the engineers were only to give their guidance and expert opinion, but that he was in charge of making the final decisions. So, if he didn't intend to use their expert advice, why bother with the panel. Yes, you know why. With this team of incompetents in charge now it is all about appearances. 57% now say the Obama administration could have done more initially after the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. It is all about covering up the continued incompetence and the ensuing knee jerk actions taken as 'solutions'.

"None of us actually reviewed he memorandum as it is in the report," oil expert Ken Arnold told Fox News. "What was in the report at the time it was reviewed was quite a bit different in its impact to what there is now. So we wanted to distance ourselves from that recommendation."

The experts warned that oil rigs will not sit idle for six months. They will move overseas, as these type of rigs are in high demand. Deep water drilling does not start back up overnight. And, as the experts also pointed out to the administration in their true report - the best and most advanced rigs will be the first to go.

The coming consequences of this tragic policy decision by an incompetent and lying Interior Secretary, fond of using Fascist language, are real and devastating to the people living and working along the Gulf coast. Oil rigs will relocate and along with them will go the workers. Oil drilling personnel will either leave to follow the work or will be unemployed. Service companies will die off for lack of work. The less skilled workers will be hardest hit, as is always the case, and be dependent on government aid programs - unemployment insurance benefits, food stamps, and other taxpayer funded programs. And, energy prices will rise for Americans.

Salazar is apologizing to the engineers for lying about their advice to the president.

It is time for Ken Salazar to resign. Or to be fired.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nikki Haley and Blanche Lincoln Win Big

THIS article voices the prominence of women winners in the primaries for the Super Tuesday of the primary Tuesday night.

Despite the silly blathering of tv news person Elizabeth Vargas, I don't think it is legitimate to give Hillary Clinton the credit. Republican women were elected to high office long before Hillary Clinton was on the scene.

The two biggest winners Tuesday night were Nikki Haley, running for Governor of South Carolina and Senator Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas. Both defeated wrong-headed attempts to derail their aspirations.

THIS from The Wall Street Journal: Tea party favorite Nikki Haley prevailed over no fewer than three pillars of the GOP establishment, including the current Lieutenant Governor, state Attorney General, and a Member of Congress—and the state's media establishment. The articulate conservative and daughter of Sikh immigrants barely missed avoiding the need for a runoff with 49% of the vote and is the favorite to win that on June 22.

Haley was targeted by two men in the political world claiming to have had sexual encounters with her. No proof was ever presented and Haley kept campaigning. Besides being branded as a whore by these two sleazy men, she was also called a "raghead" by another male politician. The best revenge is winning and Haley did it. She was just short of avoiding a run-off and now her opponent is said to be considering stepping aside so that Haley can concentrate on the November election. She will be the next governor of South Carolina. She will be the first female governor of South Carolina and the second Indian-American in that position.

Liberals don't quite know how to deal with Haley. She is young, smart, a good campaigner and works hard for her employers - the people of South Carolina. Juan Williams, on Fox commenting about the primary results, said Haley would be the first Native American governor. Oops. Then he had to be reminded that Bobby Jindal is the first Indian American governor.

Blanche Lincoln won her primary against the challenge of the Arkansas Lt Governor. Eleven weeks away from primary day, he entered the race and his campaign was orchestrated by SEIU union thugs and MoveOn. The union spent $10 million of union members dues money. They claim they wanted to push Lincoln farther to the left. Perhaps they did. According to an unnamed White House source, Obama is angry with his best friends - the union thugs - and consider the $10 million as money flushed down the toilet when it will be needed in November against the GOP.

Arkansas went solidly for McCain in 2008 so Obama didn't physically go to Arkansas to campaign for Lincoln. He did, however, record telephone messages for robocalls. Bill Clinton campaigned for Lincoln in Arkansas and the crowds loved it. It is no doubt the reason she won a race all the experts were sure she would lose. Bill Clinton proved he is still President of Arkansas. Lincoln is far behind in the polls for November against her GOP challenger.

Instead of "raghead", that bigot better get used to calling Nikki Haley "Governor" Haley.

How sweet it is.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Obama Wants an Ass to Kick

President Obama told a reporter that he is seeking the opinions of the eggheads available to him so that he can figure out whose "ass to kick". I have a suggestion - let him start with his own. Does he really not understand the situation? Is he so completely dependent on polling and the opinion of others that he can not make basic decisions?

Though now that the situation has gotten away from him, he is in full rehabilitation mode. Sort of. As he hits the campaign trail yet again to sell the still vastly unpopular health care legislation and approves a taxpayer funded slick and glossy campaign for television spots to persuade the public, he continues to appear disconnected.

From The Washington Times:

After drawing initial criticism over its public response to the crisis, the White House is doing all it can to highlight the government's role in containing the spill and preventing similar disasters. Last month, the administration announced it is splitting up the regulatory agency that oversees offshore drilling, and the Department of Justice recently said it is exploring possible criminal charges against BP.

Obama predicts a long recovery from the oil spill: "No matter how successful we are over the next few weeks on some of the containment efforts, the damages are still going to be there," Mr. Obama said after meeting with his Cabinet to discuss coordinating the ongoing response, including monitoring workers for any adverse health effects. Hardly breaking news there.

As has become his pattern, Obama ignored the initial disaster and then slowly responded. The nonsense that his administration was on the problem immediately, "from day one" as the talking point now goes, is just not at all apparent to anyone other than maybe him. There was, of course, immediate blame placed on BP and that is just. But to claim the administration is actually doing anything to cap the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico is ludicrous. They can coordinate the clean up efforts on the beaches and marshes in the wetlands yet they have dropped the ball on that, too. By waiting on BP to start passing out big checks, they have allowed the oil to come close enough that disaster onshore can not be avoided. Now to go on television and say he is waiting for word on whose ass to kick is laughable. Can't he figure it all out by now?

Kicking ass is the emotion the president of the U.S. is projecting to the world? Mr. Cool has to be told when he should show emotion of any kind? Since we are now told that they have been in charge "from day one" then I suppose he should be kicking his own ass with all the delays. We have yet to hear the president lay out his plan for recovery on the Gulf.

And, preaching to graduating students to not make excuses? Please.

The hypocrite-in-chief is always predictable telling students at commencement to do as he says, not as he does in office. He is certainly not leading by example.

NOAA is represented to the public by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, a marine ecologist and environmental scientist, is the ninth Administrator of NOAA. That description is from her Facebook page. She made an off putting remark that the Obama administration is committed to using "real" science. That must have been a swipe at the previous administration because leftists never think conservative or Republican administrations are using "real" science. It is arrogant and wrong, of course, but they - the people of hopey change - never really change. They remain small minded and nasty while accusing everyone else of the same. The finger pointing from the president trickles down through his administration.

I see November from my house.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Obama Incompetent - Press Notices

The growing number of opinion pieces criticizing Barack Obama as an incompetent president and the incompetence of his hand picked administration is sometimes surprising. The slobbering press that was intent on putting Obama in the Oval Office is taking a harder look. Had they have actually done the job of researching the Obama political record and looking at his past behavior, none of his job performance would be a surprise to the newly awakened.

Yes, experience does matter. Team Obama is quite expert at winning elections, at crowd persuasion, but not so good at governing. Even with the best of spin, this gang from Chicago cannot change the narrative that Obama's complete lack of executive experience has caught up with him. The self-proclaimed community organizer agitates, he does not lead.

HERE is a devastatingly honest piece on President Obama.

The high point of his presidency came the day he took office. Since then, a majority of Americans has opposed virtually all his major policies and he has prevailed on several only because of large Democratic congressional advantages.

The problems are growing, but he's not. If he were, we'd see green shoots of improvement

There is a photo circulating on the Internet of White House staffers, including the young super star speech writer, shirtless and playing beer pong as the troubles continue. Yes, staffers deserve time off but this kind of visual is not reassuring.

HERE is the account of a party hosted by VP Biden for the White House press and their families. While it is said to be an annual event, again, it does not inspire confidence in a public cynical of the separation of the press and the Executive branch. This White House frequently holds teleconferences with bloggers, for example to put forward the talking point of the day, as well as calling reporters on the carpet for stories viewed as unfavorable. How much are reporters swayed by all of that? When they began the administration as kingmakers, it is understandable that readers are cynical.

In the New York Post, writer Michael Goodwin, who disclosed he voted for Obama, says Obama is not up to the job. "It's excuse time in the fudge factory. President Obama is getting lots of cover and advice from his left-leaning media friends. Their ideas run the gamut from public relations to, well, public relations. Beyond the irony of journalists urging more spin from a politician, the really remarkable fact is that none dare consider the possibility that Obama is simply not up to the job. It is a scary thought, but evidence of consistent failure is overwhelming." So, as the press began to parrot the public with concerns that Obama is not truly engaged in crisis management - especially in the case of the Gulf oil spill - and they begin to encourage him to show more emotion publicly, he responds with carefully orchestrated 'emotion'. Today he told a reporter on NBC News that he doesn't just call together scientists to hold college think sessions- he needs to know whose "ass to kick". Classy. That is his idea of showing emotion? Crudeness from the leader of the free world is emoting?

Whether it is answering 3:00 AM calls concerning world events or dealing with crisis at home, the response of this president and his administration has fallen short. Well into the second year of this four year term, Obama continues to finger point backwards and ridicule the minority party. He promised to bring a new day to Washington. Maybe people didn't understand the new day was Chicago politics.

It was Joe Biden who said, as a candidate, that the presidency is not for on the job training. Ironic, no?

Now, as the mid-term elections approach and the field is not looking good for Democrats, the president is hitting the road again to talk up the disastrous health care legislation passed despite the objections of a solid and, growing still, majority. Those who voted for it - all Democrats - will be punished come election day.

They were warned. They didn't listen and took the backroom deals and goodies from the president for one 'yes' vote too many.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Flotilla Video

The last voice sounds like an American voice, which makes it all the more despicable.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

POTUS and Public Relations on the Gulf Coast

President Obama visited the coast of Louisiana yesterday in another effort to appear to be engaged in solving the oil spill tragedy. He squeezed the trip in after first stopping by a manufacturing plant in Maryland to boast of the numbers out on the job market. Even the press was puzzled by that boast, since the numbers were in reality quite bad. After analysis, the jobs created were almost solely due to hiring census workers, not real job creation.

But, Team Obama is in serious campaign mode trying to re-sell Barack Obama to the American voter. After 19 months of holding the highest office in the land, turns out the glow is off. He has mishandled most everything that has crossed his path and it is getting difficult for even the slobbering press to cover for him. His complete lack of executive experience is evident.

From talk show host Laura Ingraham yesterday: Obama's visit today will come on Day 46 of the spill. During that same period of time after Hurricane Katrina, then-President Bush had made 8 visits to the Gulf Coast or hurricane-related sites

We are told the president is angry. We are told by his press secretary that the president clinches his jaw during meetings and that is a signal of his anger. We do not hear that anger, however, in his voice. The Mr. Cool persona has backfired on Barack Obama. As his poll numbers continue to sink, even loyal Democrats are publicly instructing him to show some emotion, show some human connection.

President Obama did not attend the memorial service for the eleven men who perished in the oil rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana 45 days ago. He did, however, make quite a show of attending a service for coal miners killed in a mining explosion. Does Barack Obama favor blue states over red states? The coast lines which will be directly affected on the Gulf coast all have Republican governors. Do bare knuckle politics determine which American lives will be honored by our president? Isn't he the guy who campaigned for president after coming into prominence as a good speech reader who told the audience that we are not a country of blue states and red states ... we are the United States?

Now, as many more than just me have recognized the fact that Obama does, indeed, favor swing and blue states, he has invited the families of the eleven dead workers to the White House. Too bad I am far to cynical to believe that gesture anything more than Obama trying to soften his cold image.

The fact is, President Obama and his administration were quite slow off the mark when the Deepwater Horizon exploded and then sank to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. As criticism began to be given voice, they sprang into full overdrive. He sent out administration members who made a point of sounded as tough as possible - Secretary Salazar said he would keep his boot on the throat of BP. Charming. Also, frankly, I would be surprised if Salazar knew much at all about offshore drilling before this tragedy, much less ever been on a drilling rig. And, it was the MMS - under his supervision, that approved the waivers for BP just days before the accident.

Much fanfare was made that Energy Secretary Chu is a Nobel prize winning physicist. Well, that's nice, but he knows virtually nothing of the oil drilling business. He was surprised that even as the leak is capped, oil will still leak from the well. Once again we are reminded that formal education is great but practical work experience in the real world is essential in such fields.

BP was a major donor to Barack Obama and the Democrats in the last election cycle. Candidate Obama received the most campaign dollars from BP than any other candidate. His interior secretary, Salazar, has been in place since Inauguration Day. So, with the flaws in the MMS, why didn't they implement reforms? Is it just easier to wait for something to happen and then look back and point fingers to previous administrations? That seems to be the Obama administration's pattern.

That's not leadership, that is agitation.

From the Washington Times:
Yet Obama's trip was also about him.

He says it serves little substantive point to go around and yell — that people want results, not a show — but presidents face peril if they do not connect emotionally. As the crisis has dragged on — and his poll ratings have slipped — his words for BP's leaders have grown sharper.

"I don't want them nickel-and-diming people down here," Obama said after his latest briefing on the oil response. He promised his government would look over BP's shoulder to ensure it was paying out claims.

His visit amounted to one long I'm-on-your-side passage for reeling communities. Along that same line, he invited family members of the 11 workers killed when the BP rig blew up to visit the White House next Thursday. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the president had written to each of the families.

As for BP, Obama cast the oil company as a corporate giant interested in protecting its image with TV ads and its shareholders with bountiful dividends.

"I don't want somebody else bearing the costs of those risks that they took," Obama said. "I want to make sure that they're paying for it."

Again, that's not leadership, that's agitation. BP continues to say they will pay all costs, though they also qualify that by using the word "legitimate", so that will be a matter for the court system to solve. Why wouldn't BP launch a public relations campaign to let the country know of its remorse and sympathy for the accident? Why wouldn't BP want to let the American people know what the way forward is, as they see it? The president was doing public relations on his trip to the coast, too, let there be no mistake about it.

President Obama, so determined to prove he can handle more than one crisis at a time, has continued on as though there is no oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and that is of concern to everyone involved on the ground. He has allowed the situation to get away from him. It is easy to blame BP - and right to do so - and demand they make the disaster right, but at the same time it is not the time to talk only of 'bad corporations' as liberals do and of lawsuits, as liberal trial lawyers do. The immediate concern is to stop the spill. It is not time to concentrate on his 'commissions' that he is relying on to determine drilling decisions. Something must be done immediately and he can first start by listening to Governor Jindal and providing him with the resources he requests. Stop the nonsense of saying you are waiting on the commission studying the request for birms and just order them to be built, as the governor requests.

The Agitator-in-Chief is ignorant of the ways of the real world. He proceeds to proclaim that he is in charge but his actions indicate otherwise. He should do more in his own public relations campaign. Simply touching down in Louisiana for an hour here and there is not the answer. Stop with the endless parties, golf games, date nights with the wife, vacations, and other publicized fun stuff. A major coastline is suffering and lots of jobs and families have been destroyed.

We intend to keep our boot on your throat, Mr. President.