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Obama and the Solution that Wasn’t

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Two days ago, Obama delivered his first speech from the Oval Office to a country that desperately wanted to know what was being done to address the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. What he delivered, to paraphrase Keith Olbermann, was a speech that could have described another country on another continent on another planet. Perhaps even a time and place long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Certainly, he discussed the many efforts the government has undertaken to address this disaster. And to the average, uninformed citizen, Obama would have left the impression that something was being done, even from Day 1.


It's true that since the oil spill, Obama has been very busy. After all, there’s so much to do.

For instance, since day one, Obama has played at least 7 rounds of golf. He has welcomed at least 4 sports teams to the White House including the New York Yankees, the Duke men’s basketball team, UConn women’s basketball team and the Navy football team.

He has attended at least 3 fundraisers, one of which was held for Barbara Boxer on the same day as the memorial service for the 11 workers killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion. I suppose keeping Barbara Boxer’s Senate Seat was more important. Oh, and did I mention that he attended a party with the Getty Oil family that day too?

Obama has even been on two vacations. Not to mention that Tom Strickland, chief of staff for Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, went on a "work-focused" trip that includes whitewater rafting in Arizona on Day 8 of the oil spill.

But let's not forget that since the oil spill, President Obama has met with very important dignitaries like President Calderon of Mexico, sports analyst Marv Albert, Bono, and most importantly, Paul McCartney. However, it wasn’t until day 58 that he met with BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and BP CEO Tony Hayward.


As much as Obama would love for us to believe that he has his "boot on the neck" of BP and that he is demanding to know "whose @$$ to kick," it seems that he has other irons in the fire. Actions speak louder than words, Mr. President. 

In sharp contrast with his actions over the past 59 days, Obama's speech offered the illusion that he is in control of this massive disaster. Furthermore, he is begging us to believe that his cap-and-trade legislation will somehow address this monstrosity. The reality is that it simply will not. I believe Governor Bob Riley of Alabama said it best: "If my house is on fire, I don't need the fire chief telling me I should not have built the house out of wood.  I need somebody to put the fire out." We don't need cap and trade, we need to "plug the damn hole" and clean up our shoreline. 

Also, although we've finally accepted it now, we shouldn't have rejected assistance from the Dutch when they offered it to us days after the rig exploded. We should have repealed the Jones Act and let our allies help us with this disaster. 

It is downright shameful of this president to use the oil spill as leverage to foist his economically inhibitive policies on our country. Cap-and-trade will not clean the oil from our shores. Cap-and-trade will not directly prevent disasters like this from happening. Cap-and-trade will not accelerate scientific advances in clean energy. Why on earth should we pass such legislation? 

We must ask ourselves: does it make sense to throw more money at a government who has failed, as a result of bureaucracy and not a lack of money, to clean up our shores in a timely manner? Unfortunately, instead of concerning themselves with the actual oil spill, the White House is apparently more concerned with never letting "a crisis go to waste."

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About Braden

  • James

    Brian, I hear the frustration in your text. And I agree with you. I find it hard to beleive that Obama can be labeled “the most environmentally friendly president ever” and still let this carry on for 2 months without taking any solutions… I hope you would agree. If Bush were to wait 2 months like Obama, and kept blaming people for it, I would think EVERYONE would be mad… I would to. Now that Obama is doing this, I only hear anger from the right and a few people who truly care about the environment. Where is the outrage?

    “I would pack my sh!t and find a new place and a new line of work.

    “Personally, I would pack my sh!t and find a new place and a new line of work.”

    Uh, dude.. how old are you? Okay, I have 2 kids, and I have a skill that I use to make money. To “pack my sh!t and find a new place and a new line of work.” would almost make my family starve. It is EASY to say that on paper, but to implement, ear impossible. It may have been easy in the Clinton and Bush years, but in the Obama years we have 11%+ unemployment in the state of Alabama. Finding a “new line of work” would be as easy as cleaning that oil slick with a straw.

    And I know its just pure emotion, but when you say “F*ck the locals!” you lose a lot of credibility. Birds and fish are great. Fish are better when people can make money harvesting them and selling them to feed people and making money so they can spend that money so other people can have jobs and buy things and feed their family. Sorry, if it comes down to a pelican dying or my child doing without food for a day, “F*ck the pelican!”… as you would say.

    But, you are mad at Obama because of the wildlife, I am mad at him for the wildlife’s sake and the locals sake. Jobs are important, people are important, families are important.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus


    “Tell it to the locals.”

    F*ck the locals! What about the wildlife?! This tragic event sucks for those people because they cannot fish/work,BUT, they are still alive. It’s not like this sh!t happens all the time! It’s time for those people who are affected to make their own executive decisions. Personally, I would pack my sh!t and find a new place and a new line of work. Something the wildlife can’t do…

  • James

    El and Dr. Can the man do anything to get you to finally admit “Yeah, he isn’t doing everything he had me believe he could live up to”?

    Forget Bush, forget Katrina. The Prersident has the hardest job on earth. With the hardest job comes responcibility. This crisis is no time for golf every other day, fund raisers, etc. I live near the gulf. I can feel and see the effects on the region. The buck stops with him.

    Bush lied people died, blood for oil, Bush is a racists for his actions in Katrina, fine, toss it all out there, I don’t care, heck, BLAME ME for the oil spill, but lets do all this AFTER WE STOP THE LEAK! Buckets of ideas are floating around by real engineers and professionals in this industry to stop the leak and clean the mess. Due to all this governmental red tape, we are 2 months out. LA and AL are frustrated. We need help NOW!

    Now, pick apart my comment line by line, over analyse every word and sentence I typed, destroy me for any spelling errors, call me a racist, if that makes you feel good , awesome, but at the end of the day the “most environmentally friendly president” (Says the Sierra Club) is allowing the coast of my state to be tarnished with oil and allowing industry to die (fishing and tourism to name just two) literally overnight assume that at SOME point the government will fix it… Step aside. Wave the Jones Act thing (like Bush did for Katrina).

    Admit this, please, that if Bush were president right now, and the state was California that was feeling the effects of all this oil on the coast, and he was playing this much golf and raising money for Jeb in Flordia amist all this, and it’s been 2 months, ADMIT IT PLEASE that you would be wanting him burned at the stake. Or, would you stand by him and give every excuse?

    Silas, you are a cool cat… except for you going out on a limb with that BO and BHO thing… GWB was a common way I refered to Bush back then, whats wrong with BHO? For you to assume they are somehow using a secret code only us conservatives know about means you give us way too much credit… we aren’t that sophisticated and we haven’t had meetings in damp, dark basements to discuss how we can pretend not to be racists in ages.

  • Silas, my friend. For all your sophistication, you’re naive.

    I need an hour with you tête-à-tête.

  • I was quoting an actual Conservative in a chat room on that one, DM. Like I said, I’m frustrated. Yesterday I saw comments flying around my screen and some of the venom coming from the Right was just too out of control. It’s hard to try and apply Conservative principles when a faction of those Conservatives are motivated by ideologies contrary to what they proclaim.

    I had two people yesterday almost apologize for being Republican. One is in MA and the other in Alabama. When I pressed further I learned that they’re as frustrated as I. They know that this President is in trouble. They appreciate that the fault lies in Congress. They’re mortified by the “caliber” of GOP candidates coming to the political stage. So while the battle will rage for control of the Democrat Party after November’s resounding defeat, there will be an equally vicious battle within the GOP. They way I see it, 2012 will be America’s political Armageddon. It’s make it or break it time, folks. God bless the NRA.

  • Silas,

    I don’t understand this part of your comment #8:

    What’s most frustrating is the approach Conservatives have taken. As I follow tweets, I see conservatives using “buzz words” which in my mind is race baiting, period. I see them refer to this President as “BHO”, not “BO”, “BHO”. That’s their way of gently reminding their small minded, racist driven bases that Barack Hussein Obama is no better than a “sand n*#&%r”.(emphasis added)

    Leaving aside that “BO” is a slang expression for body odor, it wasn’t long ago that President Obama’s opponents were chastised for using his middle name, apparently viewed as reflecting a possible Islamic heritage.

    Aside from walking very quietly down the street in the shadows and breathing inconspicuously through one’s nose, mouth shut at all times, how is one to avoid the racist connotation of, as you suggest, referring to President Obama as a “Obama is no better than a “sand n*#&%r”?

    I find this conundrum puzzling.


  • Braden, you’re a Conservative with class. For the last two days I’ve talked to a dozen people who live and earn around the Gulf. And in the process, I’ve been further disheartened by this President. When victims of Katrina say to me that “Bush would have responded quicker” – I cringe. That’s just how bad it is down there.

    What’s most frustrating is the approach Conservatives have taken. As I follow tweets, I see conservatives using “buzz words” which in my mind is race baiting, period. I see them refer to this President as “BHO”, not “BO”, “BHO”. That’s their way of gently reminding their small minded, racist driven bases that Barack Hussein Obama is no better than a “sand n*#&%r”. Yet if someone on the left had been as disrespectful to “W”, the same BHO haters would be waving the flag and saying there’s no respect for the Oval Office. This is just how petty our entire national dialog has become and it’s about time that it halts.

    Barack Obama’s Administration has made plenty of missteps which Conservatives are justified in bringing to our attention. And, believe me, there are plenty of those on the Left who share the same concerns with the Right. By using these buzz words and pandering to the more radical on both sides, nothing gets accomplished and gridlock is fueled with nuclear rods.

    You also brought up a point which I think is most central to the debate: never allow a crisis to go to waste. There it is in a nutshell. The politics has to stop and the business of governance must begin. To accomplish the task of returning governance to the voter, it begins with entering the voting booth and maintaining a blind eye to political party. Incumbents – irrespective of party or ideology — must go. This perpetual daisy chain of campaign money and lobbyist influence will only end when we sweep out the Congress and populate it with genuine patriots.

  • John Wilson

    As I understand the Braden theory, we should have NO regulatory agencies, thereby keeping the government off business’s back, but when they screw up the president should personally go in and solve the problem, somehow.

    I guess that would keep the gov payroll down (except for essential political cronies like good ol’ Brownie) and then everyone could personally steer the pres around while the Gulf beaches are filling up with oil.


  • Yeah, can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to stop in and deal with intelligent commentors like yourself, James. When you have a chance, you should take a moment and pull your head out.

  • And then, him saying it will be better than before.

    Tell it to the locals.

  • Obama’s speech offered the illusion that he is in control of this massive disaster.

    Really, he gave you that impression? I got the feeling his brains had been scooped out and his head filled with sawdust.

    That this is the first time he even addressed the issue seems unbelievable. And his speech sounded as if it were pulled from some generic speech bag.

    People are talking about how long it will take to clean something up that no one even knows how to stop. People seem like they are in denial, to me. Not sure how long it will takes to break through that, but no one knows what to do about this, folks. No one is in control.

  • Tell me, James, is anyone who dissents from your viewpoint automatically a “lib troll” and an “Obama-bot”?

  • James

    wow, one comment. and not even from the BC lib trolls. Obama-bots have been eerily silent lately.

  • Doug Hunter

    There are only so many executive level decisions to be made by the president on a situation like this. I don’t need to see the Commander in Chief in hip waders scooping up tar balls to know the leak is commanding his utmost attention.

    Cap and trade is a separate issue. BP and the other oil giants have been lobbying hard for this. It’s simply another regressive tax where ordinary working people pay more for heating their homes and fueling their cars while megacorps rake in the windfall from the higher payments. The ‘cap’ creates the artificial scarcity needed to command price and the ‘trade’ just means the megacorps launder the money amongst themselves. If the energy giants make energy, great they sell it at a premium, if they don’t they get issued credits they can sell to their competitors so they still win.( if you’d like to compete with BP they’ll be glad to sell you some tickets… for a small premium of course. Ain’t it great when you get to set the entry price for your competitors!)

    The effects of the legistlation on global temperatures, which aren’t headed down any catastrophic path anyway, won’t be outside the margin of error for our measuring of the global temperature anyway. In other words, we pay trillions to international megacorps for absolutely nothing.

    Chart and Info on Waxman Markey effect on global temperatures