May 28, 2010

Obama Has Jumped The Oily Shark

Karl Rove recently published an article claiming that the Gulf Oil Blow Out is Obama's Katrina. Through inaction and foot dragging, Obama made Rove correct. It didn't have to be.

Obama likes to think of himself as a master of politics, but he must have learned his moves from the WWII French. He surrenders practically as the battles are joined. He has never stood firm for any position he presented verbally. Instead we discover that behind the scenes he has done much to reverse that which he publicly proposes.

But to get back to Rove's assertion, the first clue that Obama had lost control of the message was the actions of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. In an attempt to do something for his state, he was proposing actions that should have already been underway under Federal guidance, and made Obama look more the fool and poltroon than anything else Obama has done (and that is already a lot).

Just to be fair, Jindal also made the Republican governors of Mississippi and Alabama look bad. Of all the affected Gulf states, only Florida's politicians have begun to act -however misguidedly- to defend their state from BP's mess. But I digress.

The real message beginning to emerge is that Obama has lost the little people. MSNBC is reporting that, for the first time since Bill Clinton left office after he disappointed the American people, small donors are giving more to the Republican Party than to the Democrats.

This indicates to me that the GOP can now claim justification for their obstructionist tactics, and they can be expected to continue to use these tactics if they ever lose control of the government again (Fat Chance!). Stalling until the other side screws up big time will guarantee the desired results.

This is not a good development for the nation. We have been started down the path to corporate dominance of the national affairs with the installation of George W Bush by the activist conservatives on the Supreme Court. We were continued down that path by Obama, both actively behind the scenes and through his incompetence in public. The people have had enough, and are seeking change from the only other (to their small minds, anyway) option.

The Democrats are finished, and Obama can take the credit for blowing the best opportunity to turn the nation onto a course which would have led to the future. Now, despite all of his protestations to the contrary, we are only going to look back instead of looking forward. The troglodytes of the Republican Party will insist.

May 14, 2010

Spill, Baby, Spill

I've tried to refrain from talking about the BP / Transocean / Halliburton oil spill in the Gulf until I understood it well enough to comment on it. I'm still no expert on industrial engineering and oil drilling, but I think I've finally gotten a handle on the amazing screw up that continues unabated. What I find shocking is that we're now getting reports that the spill could be ten times bigger than we thought.

I can only begin to imagine the damage this spill is going to have over the long term.  I'm sure the fishermen on the coast would be more than happy to tell us how this is destroying their lives.  I'm sure we'll even see more signs of it soon, and not just tar balls either.  

What really amazes me, although it doesn't surprise me, is that Republicans have blocked an effort to change the law to increase BP's liability for clean up and environmental damages.  After all, that would be bad for BP and that makes it bad for their graft revenue. 

The more I hear about this, the more I believe criminal charges need to be filed.  I just don't know against whom they should be filed.  There are memos and letters going back over a year discussing how dangerous the situation was.  There are reports that hours before the explosion there was notification of system failure.  Make no mistake, those men that died on that rig didn't need to.  They died because BP, Transocean, and Halliburton are greedy, evil corporations that don't give a flying crap about the lives of the people who actually do the real work.  MMS, and their criminally cozy relationship, with the oil industry needs to see some people go to jail too. 

Yeah, off-shore drilling.  What a great idea.  How much more proof do people need to know that it is time to end our addiction to oil?  It's time for an energy revolution, and that means stopping those bastards in Washington from lining their pockets with blood money.