Ongoing Disaster in the Gulf

Ongoing Disaster in the Gulf

By George
Scaggs

 

While the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Obama administration’s
subsequent six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico are
common knowledge, the fact that the federal government has turned the tragic
accident into an ongoing economic calamity seems to be drawing scant attention.
Though the drilling moratorium was officially lifted three months ago, it
has been replaced with an ongoing de facto ban.  But the full scope and damaging
consequences of the federal government’s reactions to the gulf spill go well
beyond deep-water drilling.
While the moratorium was limited to deep-water rigs, the work stoppage in
the Gulf was not.  Due to new regulations and ever-evolving permit processes,
many shallow-water oil and gas drilling operations have been effectively shut
down as well.  Mind you, there is no evidence that the rigs being prevented from
operating are anything but safe.
During the six-month hiatus, though most companies decided to ride out the
situation (believing the work stoppage was for a fixed period of time), no fewer
than five of the 33 deep-water rigs in operation at the time of the spill moved
to foreign shores to fulfill their intended purpose.
Now rig owners, the contractors who lease them, and tens of thousands of
workers find themselves subject to an indefinite waiting game as the federal
bureaucracy mills about.  As rigs continue to sit idle, pressure is mounting for
contractors to void existing leases, and an increasing number of jobs are under
threat.
Indeed, just this month, Marathon Oil terminated its contract on the Noble
Corp’s Jim Day rig that arrived in the Gulf in September. Similarly, deep-water
rigs built by Pride International and the Maersk Group which were intended to
set up operations in the Gulf have been redirected elsewhere.
Less oil drilling in the Gulf means less oil production in the Gulf.  In
addition to drilling rigs sitting dormant, many of the hundreds of production
platforms operating in the Gulf have also been affected.  From there, the ripple
of economic death extends out to equipment, transportation, fuel and food
suppliers, and other businesses that support the region’s oil industry and its
workers.
The frustrations of Gulf Coast residents affected by the federal
government’s actions were on full display earlier this month (seen here
and here)
as Oil Spill Czar Feinberg held a series of town hall meetings in Mississippi
and Louisiana coastal communities.  Many local businesses harmed by the oil
spill are still suffering due to the government shutdown of the oil and gas
industry in the Gulf.
With no recovery in sight for our nation’s private-sector job market and
government revenues (at all levels) consequently stagnating, if not declining,
it is troubling to find the federal government in the business of killing
private-sector jobs, and many of them good middle-class jobs, in wholesale
fashion.
Though it has been estimated that some 20,000 jobs have been lost due to
the federal government’s actions, Lee Hunt, President of the International
Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), contends that job losses are only a
part of the overall economic impact resulting from the continued ban.
The massive deepwater rigs that operate in the Gulf generate about $500,000
per day in revenues, though numerous owners have reduced daily rates by as much
as $200,000 to keep companies in place while the shutdown continues.
Additionally, Hunt estimates that “companies spend approximately another half
million a day for consumables, transportation, maintenance operations and other
costs” per rig.
All told, Hunt conservatively estimates that there is a direct “$30 million
a day negative impact to the economy” due to the deep-water shutdown alone.
However, he said that considering factors including lower dividend payments,
stock prices, lost wages and investment dollars, “the total enterprise loss is
incalculable.”
Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, who is one among three
commissioners overseeing Texas energy policy, agrees, commenting that “[p]eople
should be up in arms[;] it’s not as though we [America] can afford this much
longer.”
So where are the Democratic Party and Big Media on this development?  The
self-proclaimed champions of the “little guy” have fallen strangely silent,
considering the dramatic impact on jobs and prosperity in the Gulf Coast region.
When thousands of jobs are lost due to corporate layoffs, it is the stuff
of headlines.  When the jobs of local and state bureaucrats are threatened
unless they receive federal “stimulus” funding, a hue and cry goes out across
the land.  But when the government kills private-sector jobs, the sufferings of
average Americans are suddenly of no import whatsoever.
Indeed, though local news outlets thoroughly covered Feinberg’s recent
visit to the region, one would be hard-pressed to find any national coverage of
the controversial meetings which took place.  This is a direct contrast to
media coverage when the ire of Gulf Coast residents was directed at
BP.
Official sources now project a 13% decrease is domestic oil production in
2011, and most industry executives now predict that it will take several
years
before production in the Gulf of Mexico returns to 2009 levels.
Hunt predicts that by the end of 2011, only four to ten deep-water rigs in the
gulf will have returned to full operation.  These are troubling developments,
considering America’s already overwhelming dependence on foreign oil.
The shutdown in the gulf will also have a direct impact on the size of the
federal government’s deficit.  Though leftist politicos inside the Beltway
routinely demonize the oil industry, in truth, Washington reaps huge windfalls
from the industry in the form of royalties and excise taxes.
In sum, there are two rather troubling realities which are completely at
odds with the present course being pursued by an overzealous federal government
and the intrusive “Green” movement that sets the tone for much of today’s
government policy.
First, energy produced from oil and gas is literally the fuel for the
world’s major economies.  As unpalatable as it must be for some, economic
prosperity throughout the world depends on oil and gas.
Secondly, much of government’s revenues come from the exploration,
production, and usage of these hydrocarbons.
Whether the continuing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is due to deliberate
government fiat or just gross bureaucratic incompetence, the results are the
same.  Congress should act immediately to end the Obama administration’s
overreach into this vital American industry.

Page Printed
from:
http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/ongoing_disaster_in_the_gulf.html
at
January 26, 2011 – 11:15:20 AM CST

// <![CDATA[//  

Obama’s Offshore Drilling Ban Flip-Flop

Obama’s Offshore Drilling Ban Flip-Flop

Thomas
Lifson
The Obama administration is reversing
its March decision to open up the eastern Gulf and certain Atlantic and Pacific
offshore areas to oil drilling. This means, of course, fewer jobs and more
reliance on foreign oil.
This is good news for Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and the Chinese oil company
currently drilling in the eastern Gulf. But bad news for Americans.
Ed
Lasky adds:
Do you think that the drilling ban lifting in October
may have been designed to help Democrats on Election Day? Do you think the fact
that the Dems got wiped out in the southern rim played  into the decision to
re-impose the ban-especially because some of the few remaining southern
Democrats are becoming Republicans?
And what evidence does Obama have now that he did not have a few weeks ago
that justifies the re-imposition of the
ban?
Page Printed from:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/12/obamas_offshore_drilling_ban_f.html

at December 01, 2010 – 01:08:21 PM CST

SARAH PALIN HARD AT WORK CLEARING THE TARBALLS OFF THE GULF BEACHES

 

SARAH PALIN HARD AT WORK CLEARING THE TARBALLS OFF THE GULF BEACHES
 

 

As transparent as crude oil.

As transparent as crude oil.

Aaron Gee

The Federal Government and the Coast Guard have issued new restrictions on press access to the Gulf oil spill and clean up.  Reporters are not allowed within 65 feet of any cleanup vessel, or booms on land or in water.  Failure to obey these directives is a class D Felony, with fines up to $40,000. This comes on the heals of a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform report that found that the Obama administration had repeatedly provided false information on what assets were being used in the clean up, when officials knew about the leak, and the depth of Federal involvement in the operations. 

President Obama has been remarkably thin skinned and it’s clear from my perspective that Obama is trying desperately to control the negative images that come from the gulf oil disaster.  The Press restrictions are so egregious that even CNN’s Anderson Cooper is upset.  In his broadcast (embedded video) he repeatedly says “we are not the enemy here”, referring to the press. The recent actions by the Coast Guard , in direct contradiction to their earlier statements, have more and more reporters hopping mad. The clear implication of these actions is that Administrations is trying to cover up government incompetence and failure. 

The new restrictions on press access aren’t the only issue, another problem is that the media is still reluctant to place blame for government incompetence at the feet of Obama. Instead of looking to the Obama Administration in light of the new regulations, the media is blaming Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen. It would seem that the press still doesn’t understand what the term “Commander-in-Chief” actually means.  The US Military has always been a favorite press target and the recent criticisms continue the trend.

Sadly, the media still doesn’t “get it”.  They are being played just as eloquently now as they were during the 2008 campaign.  Our “watchdog” press has been fawning over President Obama in spite of his unkept promises, cover ups, and incompetence.  The masters of spin and distraction at the White House know this and are hard at work  on a new story line for the media to swallow.  In the fairy tale version of events Obama will have done nothing wrong but the bad Coast Guard (Military types) and evil BP (Corporate types) will be obstructing the President’s attempt to be transparent and clean up the gulf.  Expect the White House to push this storyline and expect the media to go along despite all evidence to the contrary.  Expect the American people to not be so easily fooled.

Obama’s Wonderland Is No Fairy Tale

Obama’s Wonderland Is No Fairy Tale

By Eileen F. Toplansky

As we continue to tumble down the road to economic ruin, security vulnerability, and reduced health care benefits, things become “curiouser and curiouser.” While President Obama speedily demands that General McChrystal zoom home to be dismissed from his post, the frustrated Gulf residents still cannot get all the equipment and assistance that they need to hold back the oil that is wrecking their homes and their livelihoods. Thus, one wonders as Alice in Wonderland did, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” 
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. And herein is the American people’s conundrum. Where do we want to go as this president continues to severely damage our country and her interests?
Even Europe understands the economic catastrophe that is upon us and wonders if “we’re all mad here” as Obama and team continue to obfuscate the truth. Actor Jon Voight has publicly stated that Obama is lying to the American people. But of course, when Obama speaks, “it means just what [he] chooses it to mean — neither more nor less.” 
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” 
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.” 
And so, in the new Patients’ Bill of Rights, Obama, “speaking ominously,” has warned the health care insurance providers that the government will “be watching [them] closely.”  Ultimately, our soft tyrannical government will be the sole arbiter of our health needs and costs. Though Obama promised otherwise, it is becoming patently obvious that eventually Americans won’t be able to keep their own insurance, since Obama has created a no-win situation for the private health insurance sector, which cannot remain financially solvent. Queues and denial of health care benefits are around the corner. Furthermore, the latest massive bill about financial reform is being pushed through Congress; Senator Dodd has said that it “is about as important as it gets, because it deals with every single aspect of our lives.” Uh-oh!
Furthermore, infatuated with himself, Obama, believed by many to be the messiah, has hurt the very people who pinned such high hopes on him. Already, accounts reveal that minorities and women — those very groups who were part of the affirmative action programs imposed by the federal government — are being adversely affected. Obama promised them pie in the sky but neglected to tell them that a house built upon financially shaky foundations will eventually fold. Moreover, Barney Frank blocks Republicans from offering amendments to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — the source of so much of the current economic downfall — and so the charade continues, with American taxpayers propping up a defunct system. Obama pointedly dislikes the exceptional nature of America and seeks to destroy it, but are all the congressional Democrats so hateful of the country they swore to serve?
People are slowly allowing themselves to be psychologically enslaved as one group is pitted against the other. When questioned by senators about the massive expansion in hate crimes enforcement, Attorney General Holder responded that hate crimes legislation “would not necessarily cover” instances where whites, Christians, or military members were assaulted. Preferential treatment for blacks at the expense of whites and Asians was part of Obama’s tenure during his time as senator. Double standards and obvious favoritism now reign supreme. Most egregious is Holder’s dismissal of the case where New Black Panther Party members intimidated white voters. Does this portend things to come in November?
How else could Arizona now be a pariah in the Obama administration? Hypocritically, he thinks he will obtain the Hispanic vote while he undermines the rule of law. If I were of Hispanic heritage, I would be incensed at the covert discrimination this represents. It implies that Hispanic people are unlawful and irresponsible! How could other states arrogantly dismiss the genuine legal concerns of Arizonans and start boycotting this besieged state? Government does not want to actually repair the holes in our immigration program. Furthermore, Obama offends those immigrants who have obeyed the law and are adding their talents to the American tapestry. Quite unbelievably, because Obama and Holder will file lawsuits against Arizona, our Mexican neighbors are coming on board and have formally joined a lawsuit challenging Arizona’s new immigration law! 
The Mexican government is merely taking its cue from the deliberate “reeling and writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of arithmetic — ambition, distraction, uglification, and derision” that Obama employs so well. First, there is his overweening ambition with no true leadership experience; then our 44th president constantly distracts with his pseudo-anger and coarse words. When that trick loses its appeal, he derides and humiliates the banks, the car companies, the BP executives, the people of Arizona, the country, the value system of America, and our allies. This is an autocrat who clearly echoes the Queen when she said, “Now I must give you fair warning: ‘either you or your head.’” There is a genuine fear in this country as people understand that to disagree with Obama and company is to invite “the boot” on their necks, so reminiscent of dictatorial governments as Obama and cronies doth “sentence first — verdict afterwards.” 
Surely, “it would be so nice if something made sense for a change,” said Alice, but in Obamaworld, if one wants to deliberately undermine this country, everything he does leans in that direction. As the Duchess exclaimed, “the moral of that is — the more there is of mine, the less there is of yours.” The next generation of Americans is already burdened with the financial debacle of a $15-trillion debt with no end in sight as the federal government becomes as bloated as Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Obama’s economic plan has not improved the country, but when “four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen,” math takes on a wholly new and original meaning as this president confiscates money without “due process of law.”
Knowing full well that his programs could do nothing but fail because they are not sustainable, Obama sets the stage for frustration and anger. He pits groups against each other rather than open up a truly free-market economy where people would have a chance to succeed. Rile up the crowd — distract them from the issues and engage in constant polemic. Sales on new homes in May plunged 33%, but all is well in Obama Wonderland!
Indeed, after forty years of federal entitlement, there are too many Americans who may have vaguely remembered ideals like responsibility and individual initiative, who used to “know who [they were] when [they] got up this morning, but … must have been changed several times since then.” Segments of Americans have lost their fundamental moorings or were never taught about the greatness of America and are now mesmerized by the empty slogans and the articulate nonsense of this president and the congress.
Jean-Francois Revel in his book How Democracies Perish wonders how “the citizens of democratic societies [will] find reasons to resist the enemy outside if they are persuaded from childhood that their civilization is merely an accumulation of failures and a monstrous imposture. … And that attack, which is being waged with unexampled vigor [and] scope … is catching the democracies in a state of intellectual impotence and political indolence” (10).
Our history books censure the dangers of totalitarianism and falsify and embellish history, and there is no reprobation. Obama stands by as America is demeaned, and all the while the adoring crowds still believe the emperor is wearing clothes. Their gullibility or lack of facts is mind-boggling. Thus, Obama has learned well the advice of the Queen: “Be what you would seem to be — [or] if you’d like it put more simply –’Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.’”
Will democracy “turn out to be have been a historical accident,” as Jean Francois Revel wrote?
 “Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting,” said Rabbit!
Active in the 1970s writing campaign to free Russian Jewish refuseniks, Eileen continues to speak out against tyranny. She can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

When Folks Stop Liking Barry

When Folks Stop Liking Barry

By Bruce Walker

President Obama’s image of leadership flounders in the Gulf of Mexico. While Governor Jindal displays the true qualities of leadership, our president is stuck in Saul Alinksy gear, demonizing a foreign corporation instead of actually doing anything constructive. Disgust at Obama’s genuine incompetence at this genuine ecological disaster stretches across party lines and the ideological spectrum.
Barry blames Bush for everything about our dismal economy. A partisan rubber-stamp Congress has given Obama the wild and wasteful expenditures which his childish, failed, quasi-Keynesian witches’ brew prophesies will spend us into prosperity. It hasn’t worked. Now, oddly, congressmen facing electoral apocalypse have stopped writing our wise leader a blank check against the federal treasury.
Wearing the hat of Commander in Chief, Obama explicitly sought a general in sync with his plan to end the war in Afghanistan. Then, when General McChrystal snickered too publicly at Obama’s cartoon leadership, the president replaced him with the old Bush team — the man Obama and his pals three years ago were calling “General Betray Us.” Does this cause a “willing suspension of disbelief” in Obama?  
The nomination of radical leftist women to the Supreme Court simply reinforces the image of Obama as a closet Marxist. His cabinet choices reinforce this image of radicalism. The American people, during Obama’s administration, profess to be conservative — and increasingly conservative according to Gallup, a poll that already shows that conservatives outnumber liberals in every single state of the Union.  
The Blagojevich trial, which has already hinted at Obama’s connection to the thoroughly seamy side of Chicago political corruption, may do more than hint at criminal misconduct in the future. Other creepy people, like Tony Rezko, keep popping up with common connections to Obama and Blago. How dirty is Obama? No one knows, but no Democrat could rise out of the cesspool of Chicago politics without some ethical problems.
The cumulative impact of these corrosives on Obama’s presidency is becoming very clear. Although polls differ in the precise measurement of unhappiness with Obama as president, the trends in all the polls are consistent, and the combined average of these various polls is clear and stark: Confidence in President Obama has fallen dramatically, and a plurality of Americans now disapprove of the job he has done as president. 
What, then, is preventing a total collapse of Obama? In a word, it is Obama’s likability. Before my conservative friends commit me to an asylum, we must be objective: Many millions more Americans like Obama than see him as an effective leader. He is (or is seen as) a loving father, a good husband, a sincere man who rose out of difficult circumstances into high office. Obama speaks well, he talks about sports, he is seen in every flattering photo-op which the servile leftist press can engineer. Americans like him.
Since television became king in politics, presidents who appeared “likable” to the camera — Eisenhower, JFK, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush, and now Obama — have had a huge advantage in connecting to the American people. Why? The reason is largely because Americans are naturally optimistic, friendly, and receptive people. We want to like our leader.
Likability, however, is a two-edged sword. When pettiness peaks its pointy head in a president — Jimmy Carter is the perfect example — then Americans sour on the man in the White House. Few Americans ever expected to “like” LBJ, Nixon, or George H.W. Bush. The national judgment on these politicians is more or less connected to their actual accomplishments or failures. When the American people saw Carter as a failure in governance and a more unpleasant person than they imagined, then he became toxic in politics. When Obama, already a catastrophe as a chief executive and policy innovator, loses his kismet with Americans, then his presidency will simply implode. Hillary Clinton might well challenge Obama just like Teddy Kennedy took on a Carter, who at times was almost running third in election polls (behind, or close to behind, maverick Republican John Anderson).
What might make average, otherwise only mildly political Americans begin to really dislike Barack Obama? If he shows a thin-skinned temper to questions or challenges. Anger comes off very badly on television. If Obama gets caught in a transparent lie, then that deceit could be a quick and deep stinger. If he appears condescending and arrogant, as he did on the infamous San Francisco tape when he was talking about people “clinging to their religion and guns,” then the people may see a different Obama.
Will one or more of those incidents occur before the public eye during his presidency? The more appropriate question is: When will Obama show his true character before the American people? Obama’s choreography is tight, but national and world events are wildly unpredictable. Who could have guessed that Obama would now be grappling with an oil spill? Who knows what the next time bomb will be?
In fact, the real time bomb is probably Obama himself. As Robin of Berkeley observed in her truly scary article, Barack Hussein Obama may well be have been a traumatized victim in his youth, perhaps of sexual abuse. If he is, then Obama will have personality disorders which simply cannot be cured (read Robin’s article for the details). If Robin is right, then at some point, the true, hopelessly sick Obama will show himself before a horrified nation. Average Americans will no longer like the president. They will, instead, be saddened and repelled — and they will emphatically expel Obama and his supporters from power or influence in our lives. When folks stop liking Barry, the party is over.
Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.

The Runaway General

The Runaway General

Stanley McChrystal, Obama&apos;s top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, works on board a Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft between Battlefield Circulation missions. 

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Mark O’Donald/NATO

By  Michael Hastings

Jun 22, 2010 10:00 AM EDT

This article appears in RS 1108/1109 from July 8-22, 2010, on newsstands Friday, June 25.
‘How’d I get screwed into going to this dinner?” demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It’s a Thursday night in mid-April, and the commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is sitting in a four-star suite at the Hôtel Westminster in Paris. He’s in France to sell his new war strategy to our NATO allies – to keep up the fiction, in essence, that we actually have allies. Since McChrystal took over a year ago, the Afghan war has become the exclusive property of the United States. Opposition to the war has already toppled the Dutch government, forced the resignation of Germany’s president and sparked both Canada and the Netherlands to announce the withdrawal of their 4,500 troops. McChrystal is in Paris to keep the French, who have lost more than 40 soldiers in Afghanistan, from going all wobbly on him. 

“The dinner comes with the position, sir,” says his chief of staff, Col. Charlie Flynn. 

McChrystal turns sharply in his chair.

“Hey, Charlie,” he asks, “does this come with the position?”

McChrystal gives him the middle finger.

More on General McChrystal

1 ⁄ 3

Hastings on Replacing McChrystal: Can Petraeus Win the War?

Photos: On the Ground with the Runaway General

Revolt of the Troops: Hastings Reports In From Afghanistan

The general stands and looks around the suite that his traveling staff of 10 has converted into a full-scale operations center. The tables are crowded with silver Panasonic Toughbooks, and blue cables crisscross the hotel’s thick carpet, hooked up to satellite dishes to provide encrypted phone and e-mail communications. Dressed in off-the-rack civilian casual – blue tie, button-down shirt, dress slacks – McChrystal is way out of his comfort zone. Paris, as one of his advisers says, is the “most anti-McChrystal city you can imagine.” The general hates fancy restaurants, rejecting any place with candles on the tables as too “Gucci.” He prefers Bud Light Lime (his favorite beer) to Bordeaux, Talladega Nights (his favorite movie) to Jean-Luc Godard. Besides, the public eye has never been a place where McChrystal felt comfortable: Before President Obama put him in charge of the war in Afghanistan, he spent five years running the Pentagon’s most secretive black ops.

 “What’s the update on the Kandahar bombing?” McChrystal asks Flynn. The city has been rocked by two massive car bombs in the past day alone, calling into question the general’s assurances that he can wrest it from the Taliban.

“We have two KIAs, but that hasn’t been confirmed,” Flynn says.

McChrystal takes a final look around the suite. At 55, he is gaunt and lean, not unlike an older version of Christian Bale in Rescue Dawn. His slate-blue eyes have the unsettling ability to drill down when they lock on you. If you’ve fucked up or disappointed him, they can destroy your soul without the need for him to raise his voice. 

“I’d rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner,” McChrystal says.

He pauses a beat.

“Unfortunately,” he adds, “no one in this room could do it.”

With that, he’s out the door.

“Who’s he going to dinner with?” I ask one of his aides. 

“Some French minister,” the aide tells me. “It’s fucking gay.”

The next morning, McChrystal and his team gather to prepare for a speech he is giving at the École Militaire, a French military academy. The general prides himself on being sharper and ballsier than anyone else, but his brashness comes with a price: Although McChrystal has been in charge of the war for only a year, in that short time he has managed to piss off almost everyone with a stake in the conflict. Last fall, during the question-and-answer session following a speech he gave in London, McChrystal dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as “shortsighted,” saying it would lead to a state of “Chaos-istan.” The remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force One. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the fuck up, and keep a lower profile

Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, McChrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. “I never know what’s going to pop out until I’m up there, that’s the problem,” he says. Then, unable to help themselves, he and his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner. 

“Are you asking about Vice President Biden?” McChrystal says with a laugh. “Who’s that?”

“Biden?” suggests a top adviser. “Did you say: Bite Me?”

When Barack Obama entered the Oval Office, he immediately set out to deliver on his most important campaign promise on foreign policy: to refocus the war in Afghanistan on what led us to invade in the first place. “I want the American people to understand,” he announced in March 2009. “We have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” He ordered another 21,000 troops to Kabul, the largest increase since the war began in 2001. Taking the advice of both the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he also fired Gen. David McKiernan – then the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan – and replaced him with a man he didn’t know and had met only briefly: Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It was the first time a top general had been relieved from duty during wartime in more than 50 years, since Harry Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur at the height of the Korean War.

Even though he had voted for Obama, McChrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the president met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked “uncomfortable and intimidated” by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn’t go much better. “It was a 10-minute photo op,” says an adviser to McChrystal. “Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him, who he was. Here’s the guy who’s going to run his fucking war, but he didn’t seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed.”

read full

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236

Morning Bell: Obama’s Leadership Vacuum

Morning Bell: Obama’s Leadership Vacuum

Posted By Mike Brownfield On June 23, 2010 @ 9:16 am In Ongoing Priorities |

More than two years ago, then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton launched a campaign ad that took direct aim at Senator Barack Obama’s inexperience [1]. It painted the picture of a telephone ringing in the White House at 3 a.m. and asked the question, when there is a crisis in the world and your children are safe and asleep, “Who do you want answering the phone?”

Now, two years later, there are several crises confronting America, that telephone is ringing, and President Obama isn’t quite sure what to do about it.

The first crisis is the War in Afghanistan, a lynchpin in the War on Terror and a key to ensuring U.S. security. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, U.S. commander in Afghanistan, reportedly [2]tendered his resignation yesterday following a Rolling Stone article [3] that portrayed him and senior aides on his team as dismissive of top Obama administration officials. Apart for being an embarrassing moment for both President Obama and Gen. McChrystal, the story revealed a larger problem for the president – festering, internal dissension [4] regarding his administration’s Afghanistan strategy. As Politico reports [5], there are divisions among Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Vice President Biden, Gen. David Petraeus, Richard Holbrooke and others.

Those divisions are of Obama’s own making, stemming from his lack of leadership and failure to make a firm commitment to victory in Afghanistan. It took the president 10 months to decide on an Afghanistan strategy [6], he took a middle road in only committing 30,000 additional troops [7] to the mission, many fewer than Gen. McChrystal had requested, and he imposed an artificial timeline for withdrawal that sent mixed signals to the country [8], the military, our allies and our enemies about America’s resolve to win the war. Now, as the president contemplates Gen. McChrystal’s potential resignation, it appears he is reaping the bitter harvest of his failure to take decisive action.

There’s another crisis spewing from deep in the Gulf of Mexico, where the environmental and economic repercussions of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continue to spread, 64 days later. Even after President Obama addressed the nation on the government’s oil spill response, 59 percent of Americans [9] do not believe he has a clear plan for tackling the crisis.

Is it any wonder? Yesterday, a federal judge struck down the president’s six-month ban on oil drilling, concluding that plaintiffs likely could show [10] “the Administration acted arbitrarily and capriciously in issuing the moratorium.”

The ruling followed protests from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and 19 Gulf lawmakers [11], including Democrat Rep. Charlie Melancon (LA), who complained that the ban would pile on even more economic hardship to the embattled Gulf region. Despite the ruling, the protests, the economic consequences, and a poll showing that 56 percent of Americans [12] believe offshore drilling is necessary for U.S. energy security, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he will issue a new order [13] re-imposing the moratorium on deepwater drilling.

The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky writes that the ban is just one example [10] of the Obama administration’s oil spill failures:

From the unjustified 24-hour ban imposed by the Coast Guard on the barges that were pumping oil out of the water to check on whether they had fire extinguishers and life vests on board to the Army Corps of Engineers’ delays in allowing Louisiana to build berms and sand barriers to protect its wetlands, the administration has acted more like the Keystone Cops than a competent and effective government.

And then there’s the budget. President Obama’s administration has been marked by a spend-now, cut-later (or never) mantra that has featured the largest single-year increase in domestic spending since World War II [14] and a trillion-dollar health care plan [15]. Recognizing that all that spending might cause a public relations problem, the president appointed the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform [16] to study ways to improve America’s fiscal future. Why make a decision when others can do it for you?

Taking a cue from their leader, House Democrats announced yesterday that they won’t pass a budget this year [17]. Even though that’s never been done [17] in the history of the modern budgetary process, they want to wait [17] until the president’s commission issues its report in December before making any moves.

Following President Obama’s Oval Office address on the oil spill last week, MSNBC commentators Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Howard Fineman, three of the president’s most ardent media cheerleaders, roundly criticized the president’s speech [18]. Fineman said “Obama should be acting like a ‘commander-in-chief.’” Olbermann complained the president “wasn’t specific enough.” Matthews observed, “I don’t sense executive command.” Each of those observations comes down to one thing: leadership. And these days, the man picking up the White House phone at 3 a.m. doesn’t seem to have it.

Quick Hits:

Glenn Beck on FDR’s New Deal Agencies ane Obama’s new agencies

 Glenn Beck reviews FDR’s agencies created under the New Deal and then lists the agencies created under Obama. He preludes this by referring to how FDR and Obama both talked about how they were for the small business owner, when in fact, they actually only cared/care about big business and big government.

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their substance.” – Declaration of Independence, 1776

Glenn Beck on FDR’s New Deal Agencies ane Obama’s new agencies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l42aCY1BBeI

Obama’s Broken Inauguration Day Promise to Gulf Coast: ‘Never Again Such Failures’

Obama’s Broken Inauguration Day Promise to Gulf Coast: ‘Never Again Such Failures’

by Kristinn Taylor

obamacleanup2

On his first day in office, January 20, 2009, President Barack Obama issued a statement on the White House Web site promising Gulf Coast residents that his administration would not fail them like he accused his predecessor President George W. Bush.

Eighteen months later, those arrogant words are coming back to haunt Obama as the Gulf Coast is facing the third month of failure by Obama to marshall sufficient resources to protect the region from the massive BP oil spill.

“President Obama will keep the broken promises made by President Bush to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He and Vice President Biden will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur.”

Politico reported the statement the day it was posted to a White House page titled “Additional Issues.”

Since then, the White House has edited the comment to remove the personal insult to President Bush so that it now reads:

“President Obama will keep the broken promises to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He and Vice President Biden will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur. Within weeks of his inauguration, he made a renewed commitment to partner with the people of the Gulf Coast to rebuild now, stronger than ever.”

Based on the Politico report, the White House also edited out verbiage bragging about Obama’s post-Katrina trips to the region:

The site also points out that Obama “visited thousands of Hurricane survivors in the Houston Convention Center and later took three more trips to the region” and worked with the Congressional Black Caucus to help rebuild in the aftermath of Katrina.

The Obama administration has left a destructive trail of catastrophic failures in its wake over the BP oil spill, beginning with its failure to ensure that an adequate disaster plan was in place for BP’s Deepwater Horizon well to its failure to secure enough skimmers and booms to prevent the spill from reaching the shores of the Gulf states.

Obama had to be shamed into making his first overnight trip to the Gulf states last week. It took nearly two months for him to speak directly with BP executives. It wasn’t until last week that he acted like he was engaged, but even then he only spent half the week on the spill. The other half he spent on the golf course and at a ball game.

Obama’s response has been called “lackadaisical” by RNC Chairman Michael Steele who called on Obama to rein in his leisurely lifestyle until the leaking oil well is plugged.

Since the oil well blew on April 28, Obama has taken two vacations, played seven rounds of golf, entertained the pop star Bono and been entertained by Paul McCartney. He has also attended the theater several times, a Major League basball game, political fundraisers and has hosted several White House parties and barbeques.

Yet Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel ripped BP CEO Tony Hayward this weekend for taking one day off for a yacht race in Britain.

Team Obama is putting the word out to the media they think they’ve done enough on the oil spill with last week’s half-week effort and the resulting $20 billion shakedown of BP and are ready to move on. The Atlantic’s White House stenographer Marc Ambinder previewed the Obama administration’s attitude last night:

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 56 other followers