Watching the latest tragedy
unfold in the Gulf this last month, all I can say is: I can't wait
for Barack Obama to become president.
This Bush guy is such
a disaster, literally and figuratively. It just seems that the
destruction of America he presides over is all but endless. As
if one Gulf Coast disaster left to rot in the sun wasn't enough for
this president, now comes a second. What did those folks in New
Orleans ever do to him? Heck, what did Americans ever do to him?
I just can't wait any
longer for the new administration to take office. They are absolutely
guaranteed to handle things so much differently than the Cheney Bots
in the White House who seem intent on wrecking the whole world, with
their charity beginning at home.
Look at this oil spill
disaster, for example.
To start with, Barack
Obama would never pick a guy like Ken Salazar for the crucial environmental
position of Secretary of the Interior. Of course Bush would, though.
Salazar has been deeply tied to mining and ranching industries his entire
career - just the kind of corporate hack Cheney would insist on for
the position. In fact, Salazar was even a big supporter of his
predecessor, the corrupt industry shill, Gale Norton. After all
the work environmentalists put into getting Obama elected, there's
no way he'd choose someone like Salazar for this position, a guy so
lame that mining association lobbyists welcomed the appointment when
Bush made it. What does that tell you? Of course, Salazar
has turned out - just as you'd expect - to be the "Heckuva Job,
Kenny" of the oil spill. This will never happen once Obama gets
in and puts a real environmentalist atop the Interior Department.
Nor would Obama ever
adopt the "Drill, baby, drill" mentality that Bush did earlier this
year, when he opened up vast expanses of the Atlantic coastline, the
eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural
gas drilling - much of it for the first time, ending a longstanding
moratorium on oil exploration along 167 million acres off the East Coast,
from Delaware all the way down to Florida. This travesty by the
Bush administration - which delighted oil companies and right-wing
drilling advocates but angered environmentalists and appalled residents
of those states - would never happen under an Obama administration.
Unlike Bush, not only will Obama cease the expansion of drilling in
these sensitive areas, he'll surely cut it back. And not a moment
to soon! Who knows where the next destructive spill will be.
We also wouldn't be
in this mess if federal regulators were doing their job, instead of
being emasculated by regressive Bush administration deregulatory policies
that turn industry loose to do whatever it wants. Regulators knew
that backup systems were required to control the blowout preventers
that failed in the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, and they even told
rig operators that in 2009. But they never did anything about,
relying instead on promises from the offshore drilling corporations
that they were on top of it. Wait 'til Obama gets into office,
man! He'll clean up that nonsense in a hurry. Regulators
will actually regulate, and regulatees be whipped into shape, and forced
to comply with the government-enforced public interest, just like they
I'll tell ya another
thing. When Obama is president, you won't see reckless companies
like BP getting permission from the industry whores in the Minerals
Management Service to drill wells without obtaining the permits that
they are required by law to first receive from other government agencies.
This is exactly what happened with Deepwater Horizon. And since
January 2009 alone, permission to go forward for at least three huge
lease sales, 103 seismic blasting projects and 346 drilling plans has
been granted by MMS without getting the environmental protection permits
required from other federal agencies, like the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to protect endangered species, among
other things. MMS staff scientists are also regularly pressured
and overruled by management whenever they raise concerns about the environmental
impacts of drilling projects. No way will these sort of destructive
sell-outs ever happen once Barack Obama is in the White House.
It's bad enough that
the United States government under George W. Bush has been so culpable
in so many ways for the wreckage that has come from the BP spill in
the Gulf, but even worse is how they are helping BP to lie about its
magnitude. First the administration said that the spill was pumping
1000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf. Then they increased that
number to 5000 barrels. What we have now learned is that the real
figure must be several times larger than that. Worse, we know
that the administration is allowing BP to use a measuring technique
specifically not recommended for this sort of spill, and has actually
turned away a private team of scientists who were standing by ready
to deploy the proper measurement equipment. Ian MacDonald, a Florida
State University oceanographer who is expert in measuring oil flows,
believes the amount must "easily be four or five times" what the
administration is saying. Indeed, he and others have analyzed
video imagery and estimated that the breach is spilling on the order
of 70,000 barrels of oil every day. He notes that, "The government
has a responsibility to get good numbers. If it's beyond their
technical capability, the whole world is ready to help them."
But, of course, the Bush
people absolutely don't want help to accurately measure the disaster
their corporate patrons have created. In fact, because of their
ties to industry, they want to make sure it isn't properly measured.
The situation is actually worse that, however. MacDonald and others
believe that BP is actively trying to "hide the body" in this crime,
and that the administration is assisting them in doing that by not collecting
sufficient deep water samples to map out the damage, and by torpedoing
those few gathered by scientists on their own. Over a month after
the spill began there are still no deep water test results released
by the government and no pressure from the administration for BP to
collect this data. Worse, when independent oceanographers collected
one sample that confirmed their theory about deep water spills creating
huge underwater plumes of oil in the ocean, NOAA immediately criticized
the results of the study, even though they had previously pointed to
their partial funding of the effort as an example of the government's
attempts to stay on top of measuring the impact of the spill.
Just as they did with
the whole Iraq WMD scare, the congenital liars in the Bush administration
can't seem to help themselves. They love the corporate class
so much - even foreign corporations - that they are willing to put
big money interests ahead of the American public who is their real constituency,
and help protect those corporations with official lies. Won't
it be great when Obama gets in and puts the hammer down on this sort
of disgusting treason in the White House?
Another sickening aspect
of this tragedy is the cover-up which is already underway. As
they did with 9/11 and Iraq, the Bush administration has again appointed
a Potemkin Panel to investigate this crisis. But, guess what?
Its six-member Board of Inquiry is made up of half Coast Guard staffers
and half MMS clowns. It obviously is going to be completely unable
- by design - to tell the truth about what has happened here, especially
where the key government agencies nominally in charge are concerned.
This is a total white-wash. You can bet that a guy like Obama
would never countenance such behavior if he were president today.
Bush is also playing
deceitful games with policy on this issue, trying make the public think
that he's environmentally friendly, even while he is taking excellent
care of his buddies in the oil industry. After the blow-out, the
president announced a moratorium on permits for drilling new offshore
wells, and promised to stop giving environmental waivers for offshore
drilling projects. But guess what? While we weren't looking
this last month, the administration issued seven new permits and handed
out five environmental waivers for just the sort of projects like Deepwater
Horizon that were supposed to be banned now because of their potential
to replicate the current destruction we're witnessing. In fact,
many of these projects involve wells nearly twice as deep in the ocean
the one currently spewing oil, and are therefore even more potentially
The president himself
said, "It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little
more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot
and will not happen anymore." But it has. Seven times.
The president also said, "We're also closing the loophole that has
allowed some oil companies to bypass some critical environmental reviews."
But he hasn't. Five times. Bush's Interior Secretary,
Ken Salazar, explicitly testified that "there is no deep-water well
in the OCS [outer continental shelf] that has been spudded - that
means started - after April 20". But, in fact, Newfield Exploration
Company confirmed that it was issued a permit on May 11 to drill, and
has been doing so. And they're not alone.
Meanwhile, back in the
Gulf, the Bush administration seems completely intent on letting its
oil industry buddies do whatever they want, no matter the damage.
There are substantial concerns about the health and environmental impact
of Corexit (just the name freaks me out), the oil dispersant being used
in world-record amounts (over 700,000 gallons so far) to deal with the
spill. According to Representative Edward Markey, Chairman of
the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming,
"We know almost nothing about the potential harm from the long-term
use of any of these chemicals on the marine environment in the Gulf
of Mexico, and even less about their potential to enter the food chain
and ultimately harm humans". Great.
So the Bush administration
pretended to order BP to scale back the use of Corexit, and pretended
to give them a deadline by which to do so. But BP just told the
government where they could stick their deadline, and kept on deploying
the toxic chemicals. I doubt they'd dare to try that if a real
environmentalist who put the interests of the public ahead of oil company
profits - someone like Barack Obama - was in the Oval Office.
You can bet the house on that.
The Bush Leaguers have
also played silly games with public relations, like wimpy babies trying
to act tough, just as they did when the Vietnam-evader himself put on
a flight suit and landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln to declare "Mission
accomplished" in Iraq, before the real war even started. Now
they talk about how they're gonna "keep the boot on the neck"
of BP to clean up the spill. Tough words, man. According
to the New York Times, though, "Oil industry experts said they did
not take seriously the sporadic threats by the administration that the
federal government might have to wrest management of the effort to plug
the well from BP. The experts said that the Interior and Energy
Departments do not have engineers with more experience in deepwater
drilling than those who work for BP and the array of companies that
have been brought into the effort to stem the leak. 'It's worse
than politics,' said Larry Goldstein, a director of the Energy Policy
Research Foundation, which is partly financed by the oil industry.
'They have had the authority from Day 1. If they could have
handled this situation better, they would have already.'"
Speaking of rank public
relations maneuvers, Bush pretended to blow his top when the three companies
(including Halliburton, of course) all blamed each other for the catastrophe,
and called their antics a "ridiculous spectacle", despite doing
little himself to deal with the issue for more than a month now.
Then he professed anger and astonishment at the "cozy relationship"
between the oil industry and the government. Imagine that!
Putting on his tough guy face, Bush waved his arms and said, "I will
not tolerate any more finger-pointing or irresponsibility".
Oh, that's cute. What's he gonna do, order BP to act responsibly?
Next year sometime? Over brandy and cigars in the Oval Office?
I'll tell you one, thing, if Obama were in the White House you'd
never see a "ridiculous spectacle" like the one the president is
putting on right now.
And, you know, you would
also think that Bush learned his lesson from 9/11 and Katrina about
getting up off the couch and engaging himself when there is a national
crisis going on. Apparently not, however. Just like when
Katrina hit, he's running around doing political fundraisers while
the country scrambles to deal with a crisis, and now he's taking a
vacation, as well, just like he did in the month before 9/11, after
being warned of an imminent attack. Unbelievable.
Speaking of vacation,
I just can't take it anymore. These Bush clowns and their destructive
antics are just killing me. It seems like it's taking forever
for the Obama administration to start, and for these predators to go.
I just can't deal with
it anymore. I'm gonna go take a long nap
Someone wake me up, oh,
say, about a year-and-a-half into the Obama administration, wouldya?
By that time they should
have really made their mark, and life will be so much better in America.
One thing's for sure,
once Barack Obama comes to power you'll never again see an oil corporation-infested
administration do nothing about a major crisis, lie about it, and protect
British Petroleum instead of the American public.
That's change you can