Friday, May 21, 2010

Rush Limbaugh was right... almost

I had to bite my tongue, but I have to admit it: Rush Limbaugh was right. Almost. So what am I talking about? I'm talking about when, on May 2, Rush Limpdick said that the Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill was "Obama's Katrina". As the days go by, it becomes increasingly clear that Rush was right.

First, let's put one thing aside. The biggest failure of the Bush Administration with Katrina was not the levees. The levees were defective, but that long-predated the Bush Administration's tenure in office. Similarly, regulation of offshore oil drilling and BP's safety precautions in the Gulf were inadequate, but again, that long-predated the Obama Administration's tenure in office.

No, the biggest failure of the Bush Administration was its inept and incompetent response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina -- its emphasis upon PR rather than upon actually, like, doing something to help America and Americans, its use of armed Federal force to keep first responders, assistance, and the media out of the crisis area whenever possible, and its continual stream of lies and false reassurances about how everything possible was being done for the people of New Orleans at the exact same time that nothing was being done, lies that delayed help for the people of New Orleans to the point where the Governor of Louisiana had to evacuate New Orleans herself by calling every FEMA contractor herself and begging for buses (the usual response she got was, "we have the buses, we've been waiting for FEMA to call us, why didn't they call us? Well, we'll send the buses anyhow and bill FEMA even though we'll probably never see our money.")

Now, read the above, and tell me that the Obama administration has done anything different about the Gulf oil spill from what the Bush Administration did? We have the obligatory government forces keeping the media out stories. We have the first responders turned away and lies told about the severity of the problem stories. We have the emphasis upon PR rather than actually doing something.

So look: Rush Limbaugh was right. Well, almost. Rush Limbaugh said that this oil spill was "Obama's Katrina". But he was wrong, because the Obama administration's reaction to this oil spill has been worse than Katrina. At least the Bush Administration was being incompetent and venal simply because they were incompetent and venal. But the Obama administration appears to be collaborating with a BRITISH company, BP, to cover up the extent of the oil spill. Regardless of what Bush did or didn't do in Katrina, at least he was not doing it for the profit of the British.

-- Badtux the Tongue-biting Penguin


  1. God damn it, Tux - How can I disagree with you when you keep hitting the bull's eye?

    JzB the Obama-is-a-Republican trombonist

  2. Sorry, but the two aren't even close. Look at your own statement and try to swap the context:

    the Governor of Louisiana had to evacuate New Orleans herself by calling every FEMA contractor herself and begging for buses

    Buses. She wanted friggin' BUSES! And, as you pointed out, the buses existed. People knew how to drive the buses. If they took them to New Orleans it would be no great technological marvel that they could have moved people to safer places.

    Sooooooo, just who is Obama going to call for equipment and expertise on plugging multiple oil leaks in a well that is over 5,000 feet below the surface of the ocean? Who, in all of the government and private industry, has anything approaching that expertise? Well, unfortunately, only the oil companies and their supplier, like Haliburton.

    Getting people food, water, and shelter is not a technological challenge. George Bush failed because he refused to try to attempt to perform a function for which we had an entire federal agency at the ready. Obama has no such agency, and nobody he can call. If a natural blowout somehow occurred, he'd have to call the very same people who are trying to repair it now.

    To conflate these two is to completely misunderstand the difference between a logistical challenge and a technical one.

  3. LFC, the U.S. Government is dependent upon third parties and contractors for disaster response regardless of the disaster. You are correct that the U.S. government itself does not have the internal capability to cap a gusher. On the other hand, the U.S. government does not have thousands of bus drivers either. There are dozens of companies which do have the capability to cap even a deep-water gusher, and which could be contracted to do so. Allowing BP to lead the disaster response has been a disaster in and of itself -- BP has an inherent desire to a) recover as much oil as possible i.e. *NOT* permanently cap the gusher, and b) downplay the extent of the gusher. BP has an inherent conflict of interest here, and leaving them in charge is as disastrous as leaving Brownie in charge of the FEMA response to Katrina. Neither is competent to the task, as was proven two weeks ago when BP's coffer dam solution failed because they failed to provide a heating mechanism to keep it from freezing up.

    At that point, BP's role should have been at an end. While there are legal difficulties with simply sweeping them aside and bringing in Halliburton or others to fix the problem (and frankly I would trust Halliburton more than BP here, they warned BP against doing what BP did), there comes a time to order in the navy cutters, telling BP to keep out, and doing what it takes to get shit done with whatever contractors it takes to get it done, and let the legal shit work out later in the courts. There is a variety of things which can be done to cap an out-of-control gusher, from putting a slightly larger blowout device on top of the old one and activating it to doing a down-the-throat mud-and-cement job, and BP's insistence on trying to collect oil rather than on plugging the well altogether has long since passed the point of being obvious and become a nationwide joke with the latest video that shows oil gushing out as BP's straw sips a small amount to the tanker on top -- a situation which BP seems quite happy about, since they can now sell that oil on the open market.

  4. How in the hell would I know if he was right? I can't stand to listen to him. But he can't be wrong all the time.

  5. boy is LFC so wrong, it is not even funny. and i am from New Orleans, so i can see it from this vantage point.

    Obama is so worse than Bush in this scenario, it is hard to believe it could be so ass backwards. Obama has done everything to make this situation worse. with Bush we knew he wasn't going to life a finger no matter what happened.

    Obama had the opportunity to lead and direct and show what a wonderful leader, no matter his missteps would have been.

    instead Obama has done just about everything to prove he is doing what BP wants. and continues to do. i can't think of one thing he has done right. no moral leadership what so ever, not a single thing.
    and here we have good ole boy rednecks he could win over with his "bipartisanship" bs.

    letting BP stop the press and the locals from going into the wetlands to see and document this whole tragedy. keeping the videos of the leaks quiet for weeks and then not even pushing then on Gov websites,.

    gosh i could go on, but Obama has done more than enough to show us here in LA. that we are toast on the side, as compared to what the Oil Industry et al wants.

    and this from the Oil heartland and good ole boys who defend the right to fuck over anyone who says anything bad about Big Oil

    could Obama have done more stupid things???. i'm sure we will find out one day after the Gulf is declared a waste zone and the damage goes up the East Coast to Precious Precious Florida.

    boy Rush didn't have to invent this up. who could've foreseen Obama crowning Rush with the narrative in this matter.

    something are so bad it is hard to believe, how stupid could Obama be? does he really think the Oil Companies give a flying fuck about the rest of us.

    this is our coastline, our seafood, our beaches, our lives in other words.

    this is so immense and Obama could have become a moral leader just by taking the high ground.

    now Obama is shown as the corporatist lackey he and we all knew all politicians are. Grade A lackey.

  6. Beleck3.... If you don't like Obama, you are going to like our next president even less. Just saying.

    I voted for him but I didn't expect much from him going into this.


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