In this post, I intend to deal with the deceptions, inaccuracies and outright lies of the president’s speech last night as well as comment on other items of note. Today’s offering contains many links to references that I am using to support my comments and accusations. I am doing my best to avoid conjecture or to parrot conservative talking points. I hope you enjoy it… it was a pain to write..and made me nauseous, but that is entirely because of the subject matter.
Our president began with…
“Good evening. As we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges. At home, our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every American. Abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight to Al Qaeda wherever it exists.”
This is where I believe the honesty stopped.
Obama set the stage for his speech reminding us what happened on April 20th in the gulf. and then quickly he segued into what he did immediately to combat the problem. History shows us that he assembled a team. And then headed to the golf course.
“Because there’s never been a leak this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology. That’s why, just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge, a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation’s secretary of energy. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice. As a result of these efforts, we’ve directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology. And in the coming weeks and days, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well. This is until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that’s expected to stop the leak completely.”
This statement is shocking and shows the unmitigated gall of our president. Largely he takes credit for any progress whatsoever on containing the ongoing leak and suggests that by his direction and that of his team of government scientists/bureaucrats progress has been made and eventual success is assured. This is in direct contrast to what has been reported when BP was working on ideas and trying various strategies to stop the leak which met with varying degrees of failure. I guess Obama stood off from a distant golf course and yelled instructions to BP while refusing to meet with the CEO of BP and those instructions sounded something like this: “Hey you guys! You have 48 hours to get your act together and MacGyver something to fix this problem never attempted before!
After using warlike terms to describe his plans to provide ongoing combat against an “epidemic” he assures us he will make BP pay for the damage caused by the spill. He promises that “we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.”
Then here comes the “Battle Plan”:
“From the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental clean-up effort in our nation’s history, an effort led by Admiral Thad Allen, who has almost 40 years of experience responding to disasters. We now have nearly 30,000 personnel who are working across four states to contain and clean up the oil.”
There is some really good video of these cleanup efforts. In fact these workers are diligently working 15 minutes on, and 15 minutes off with one and half hour lunches. Party on, dudes.
“And I’ve authorized the deployment of over 17,000 National Guard members along the coast. These servicemen and women are ready to help stop the oil from coming ashore, they’re ready to help clean the beaches, train response workers, or even help with processing claims, and I urge the governors in the affected states to activate these troops as soon as possible.”
Let’s all hope that these National Guard members have more resources than the 1000 unarmed soldiers sent to patrol the Arizona border from behind desks 30 miles from the DMZ. Besides I thought governors deployed “guard” troops. Maybe I am wrong on that one. It happens occasionally.
Because of our efforts, millions of gallons of oil have already been removed from the water through burning, skimming, and other collection methods.
Of course again, Obama and his team take full credit for everything that has occurred.
“We’ve approved the construction of new barrier islands in Louisiana to try to stop the oil before it reaches the shore, and we’re working with Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to implement creative approaches to their unique coastlines”.
The barrier island approached took more than a month to approve while the ever-present EPA got in the way. Governor Bobby Jindal was criticized for his own criticism of the Obama administration’s withholding of these approvals.
“As the clean-up continues, we will offer whatever additional resources and assistance our coastal states may need.”
Regarding the plans for recovery of the Gulf Coast he said this:
“You know, for generations, men and women who call this region home have made their living from the water. That living is now in jeopardy. I’ve talked to shrimpers and fishermen who don’t know how they’re going to support their families this year. I’ve seen empty docks and restaurants with fewer customers, even in areas where the beaches are not yet affected.
I’ve talked to owners of shops and hotels who wonder when the tourists might start coming back. The sadness and the anger they feel is not just about the money they’ve lost; it’s about a wrenching anxiety that their way of life may be lost.”
Obama’s answer? I guess he is going to kick some ass with new-found power of the executive office that doesn’t seem to exist anywhere:
“I refuse to let that happen. Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company’s recklessness.”
Recklessness. Did he really say that? About a company that had just received from HIS administration glowing awards for safety? Wasn’t this rig exempted from some regulatory requirements because the knowledgeable folks down at MMS decided it was the benchmark for all to follow? By the way, how much money did BP contribute to Obama’s campaign again? Look in the mirror Mr. President. The rest of the buzzards in your circle of friends seem to be coming home to roost.
The President begins to twist the discussion here:
“The oil spill represents just the latest blow to a place that’s already suffered multiple economic disasters and decades of environmental degradation that has led to disappearing wetlands and habitats.”
“And the region still hasn’t recovered from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. That’s why we must make a commitment to the Gulf Coast that goes beyond responding to the crisis of the moment.”
Now here comes the “green” power grab taken from a page in the Cloward & Piven/Alinsky playbook:
“I make that commitment tonight…The third part of our response plan is the steps we’re taking to ensure that a disaster like this does not happen again”.
He shifts gears quickly into the administrative blame game:
“A few months ago, I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe, that the proper technology would be in place and the necessary precautions would be taken.”
“That obviously was not the case in the Deepwater Horizon rig, and I want to know why. The American people deserve to know why. The families I met with last week who lost their loved ones in the explosion, these families deserve to know why.”
The Truth: The Deepwater Horizon rig was vetted and endorsed by the Obama Administration’s Minerals Management Service. That is why it happened. It is impossible for him to say: “My people approved this thing, and my people blew it. We are partly to blame”. It takes courage and unselfishness to say something like that, and he possesses neither of these qualities.
“And so I’ve established a national commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place. Already I’ve issued a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.”
Now, one place we’ve already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service.”
“Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility, a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves.
At this agency, industry insiders were put in charge of industry oversight. Oil companies showered regulators with gifts and favors and were essentially allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write their own regulations.
And when Ken Salazar became my secretary of the interior, one of his very first acts was to clean up the worst of the corruption at this agency. But it’s now clear that the problem there ran much deeper and the pace of reform was just too slow.”
Somehow distancing himself from the agency that has operated under his management, and referencing the Bush Administration without using the words, he demonizes the MMS and criticizes their corruption. If the stuff that he says he is going to clean up now is representative of the present, just how bad was it before Ken Salazar cleaned up the “worst of the corruption at this agency”? And while Ken was in there with his broom, why didn’t he notice the things that are so clear now? Again, why didn’t Obama say: “Ken blew it, the buck stops here, so I blew it”?
Then the “green” lies begin:
“After all, oil is a finite resource. We consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves. And that’s part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean: because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.
The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. Countries like China are investing in clean-energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America. Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil. And today, as we look to the gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.”
“For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we’ve talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires.”
“Time and again, the path forward has been blocked, not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.”
The images he conjures here are numerous and disingenuous. The first outright fabrication is the idea that the reason we are drilling deep is that there is nothing left that is shallow. Nothing could be further from the truth. Shallow drilling is not allowed because of numerous environmental complaints. And must we again say this acronym? ANWR. Why not drill in ANWR. A blowout like the one in the gulf would have been solved in hours, not months. The area that is proposed for drilling there is about the same size as the airport near your home.. a few hundred acres. We are running out places because environmental crazies work tirelessly to limit those places, not because there is no oil there. Most scientists agree today that oil production is also a deep earth process which makes it not finite. The decayed dinosaur theory doesn’t hold water.
He takes shots at those evil oil industry lobbyists (who paid his presidential campaign with evil oil industry money to the tune of nearly $1 million from BP alone) and the lack of political and candor. Being candid means being “honest in conversation and disclosure”, something our president wouldn’t know anything about. Ironically he sees something sinister about a cloud being black and crude.
Obama then launches into a green energy campaign speech full of talking points that are all debatable. It is clear that we must develop ways to reduce our dependence on oil, and particularly foreign oil. We involve ourselves all over the Middle East to protect the supply and manage the price of Arab oil. This is not sustainable and subjects us to many dangers in itself both here and abroad. We are hostage to energy costs. However, we have many existing technologies that can help with this problem in the short run while we develop truly efficient technologies to produce “green” and “renewable” energy sources. Nuclear energy works. It can be utilized safely, and frankly we have a huge amount of already-processed nuclear materials for power generation. Natural gas is very clean compared to coal and is a step in the right direction. We cannot make this conversion process overnight as the rest of the world supposes. Too much infrastructure exists based on the old to scrap, and we require much energy as a nation to operate. It is a practical reality.
“As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels. Consumers are buying more efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their homes more energy-efficient. Scientists and researchers are discovering clean-energy technologies that someday will lead to entire new industries.”
“Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us. As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs, but only if we accelerate that transition, only if we seize the moment, and only if we rally together and act as one nation: workers and entrepreneurs, scientists and citizens, the public and private sectors.”
A whole post could be written on these two paragraphs. Wind Turbines have been manufactured for years and years, and frankly there are zero new U.S. players in that game. China has aggressively started production of both turbines and solar panels that are relatively cheap. Will this produce new jobs? Not many. Billions of dollars of TARP money set aside for renewable energy went overseas because that is where you buy things like this from. American companies and entrepreneurs do not have available working capital for the development that he alludes to because deficit government spending and borrowing is consuming everything available.
Finally the last hypocrisy:
“Tonight, we pray for that courage, we pray for the people of the gulf, and we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day.”
“Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.”
Praying for blessings from God, while running an administration whose actions are godless on all fronts is inviting a “busy signal” on the prayer line at best, and a well aimed lightning strike at worst.
Nobody is buying his lies anymore.