Observations on the continued Gulf oil spill circus ...
Let's stop and think. Either the government knows how to stop the oil spill or they don't. If they know how to stop it, then why have they let thousands of barrels of oil per day keep gushing out, for weeks on end? All they have to do is tell BP to step aside, while the government comes in to do it right.
If they don't know, then what is all this political grandstanding about keeping their boot on the neck of BP, the attorney general of the United States going down to the Gulf to threaten lawsuits - on what charges was unspecified - and President Obama showing up in his shirt sleeves?
Just what is Obama going to do in his shirt sleeves, except impress the gullible? He might as well have shown up in a tuxedo with white tie, for all the difference it makes.
This government is not about governing. It is about creating an impression. That worked on the campaign trail in 2008, but it is a disaster in the White House, where rhetoric is no substitute for reality.
If the Obama administration was for real, and trying to help get the oil spill contained as soon as possible, the last thing its attorney general would be doing is threatening a lawsuit. A lawsuit is not going to stop the oil, and creating a distraction can only make people at BP start directing their attention toward covering themselves, instead of covering the oil well.
If and when the attorney general finds that BP did something illegal, that will be time enough to start a lawsuit. But making a public announcement at this time accomplishes absolutely nothing substantive. It is just more political grandstanding.
This is not about oil. This is about snake oil.
Nothing will keep a man or an institution determined to continue on a failing policy course like past success with that policy. Obama's political success in the 2008 election campaign was a spectacular triumph of creating images and impressions.
But creating political impressions and images is not the same thing as governing. Yet Obama in the White House keeps on saying and doing things to impress people, instead of governing.
Hammer. Nail. Head. No one quite hits the target the way Dr. Sowell does, and he is spot-on in his assessment. Now, contrast the grandstanding with the real leadership from Governor Bobby Jindal; fed up with empty rhetoric from this administration:
Eight weeks into the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of the Mexico, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has told the National Guard that there's no time left to wait for BP, so they're taking matters into their own hands.
In Fort Jackson, LA., Jindal has ordered the Guard to start building barrier walls right in the middle of the ocean. The barriers, built nine miles off shore, are intended to keep the oil from reaching the coast by filling the gaps between barrier islands.
Today, huge Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters lined up in the air, dropping sandbags one by one into the sea.
"They are lifting up about 7,000 pounds of sandbags," said 1st Lt. James Tyson Gabler.
We can understand the governor's frustrations with BP, but the facts still speak for themselves. Governor Jindal was told by the administration that he couldn't act to protect his shores until an environmental impact survey was conducted to see what effect, if any, the berms would have. The administration seemed more fixated on the damage that might potentially be done by constructing the berms to prevent the oil from washing ashore as opposed to the real damage the oil itself would do; this despite Governor Jindal's warnings about the environmental damage that would occur if the oil reached Louisiana.
Since this accident occurred, the president has been more concerned about rhetoric and image as opposed to action. As Dr. Sowell observes, the talking points and platitudes are great on the campaign trail, but being president means having to make decisions, sometimes tough ones, and rhetorical flourishes have no place in that office when action is demanded.
Michelle Malkin notes that Barry is catching flak for his poorly-chosen words comparing the Gulf oil spill to the 9/11 attacks. Now when we heard that, we were naturally ticked; angered by the misplaced allegory. But we were also amused that he would dare to compare his actions in this accident to that of President Bush in the aftermath of the worst attack on the United States, ever.
We can start with the basics such as the fact that Bush was at Ground Zero a couple short days after that attack whereas it took Barry ten days to even mention the accident, and another few days before he showed up down in Louisiana. The Left criticized Bush for not jumping up like Superman when he learned of the attacks, but they give Barry a pass for his nonchalant attitude regarding this accident. Bush's response was to go to Congress, and ask for a declaration of war. Barry declared war on the only entity qualified to handle the accident which was British Petroleum. And the list is seemingly endless. Oh, and Barry, the Brits aren't exactly happy with you making that comparison. They called the statement "cruel." Personally, we call it stupid, but that isn't exactly news concerning this administration. This administration has to be filled with some of the most inept, incompetent, ill-educated, non-common sense-minded people this nation has ever seen. Congrats guys, you managed to knock Jimmy Carter off the top of the list as the worst presidency ever in the history of the nation.
The Heritage Foundation has done yeoman's work in investigating what could and should be done to deal with this spill. What they reveal in this piece should have everyone -- regardless of whether or not you're an environmentalist or not -- spitting nails. The media has ignored this little fact, but not Heritage:
When the federal government isn’t sapping the initiative and expertise of local governments, it has been preventing foreign governments from helping. Just three days after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Dutch government offered to provide ships outfitted with oil-skimming booms and proposed a plan for building sand barriers to protect sensitive marshlands. LA Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) supported the idea, but the Obama administration refused the help. Thirteen countries have offered to help us clean up the Gulf, and the Obama administration has turned them all down.
According to one Dutch newspaper, European firms could complete the oil spill cleanup by themselves in just four months, and three months if they work with the United States, which is much faster than the estimated nine months it would take the Obama administration to go at it alone. The major stumbling block is a protectionist piece of legislation called the Jones Act which requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens. But, in an emergency, this law can be temporarily waived, as DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff did after Katrina. Each day our European allies are prevented from helping us speed up the cleanup is another day that Gulf fishing and tourism jobs die.
They refused the help. Barry is having more fun sucking up to tinhorn dictators and thugs than with accepting help from our allies. This administration has set US foreign policy back decades with its continued snubbing of our allies, from the Brits, to the Israelis, to the Iraqis, and now the Dutch; a nation willing to work in concert with a dozen other nations and the US in containing and cleaning up this mess.
But Barry & Company aren't interested. They're concerned with rhetoric, public image, and their agenda, and all of this garbage he's had to face since being inaugurated is a distraction; an interruption that prevents them from pushing their radical agenda forward. Funny thing about a president's agenda: They can get a decent amount of their agenda passed and enacted, but the real world tends to befuddle their plans and timetable. After all, Bush never wanted to be a wartime president, but he stepped up to the task when the decision hit his desk. Barry is still in the middle of voting "present" than making decisions.