Obama’s Dilemma: Heavy Leadership Responsibility – Light Leadership Aptitude

Of Thee I Sing 1776

Obama’s Dilemma: Heavy Leadership Responsibility – Light Leadership Aptitude

by Of Thee I Sing 1776

The president’s recent disappointing oval office speech elicited a chorus of criticism from across the political spectrum.  For some reason the speech seems to have put a spotlight on the president as a leader, whereas other misjudgments in which he was directly involved in making policy had not.  The oil spill, which was certainly no fault of Mr. Obama, seems to have finally caused the public and many of his cheerleaders among the pundits to focus on the president’s substance and not his style.  That has been the unspoken, elephant-in- the-room, concern throughout his presidency, his aptitude for leadership.  We are reminded of the lead-in lyrics to the signature song Ethel Merman belts out in Gypsy… Curtain up…light the lights…you either got it…or you ain’t.”

obamamirror-1

President Obama seems to have the curtain up, light the lights part down pat.  The dramatic campaign and convention stage sets, his world photo-op tours, his big oval-office backdrop to his little oval-office speech, and his ever-masterful use of the teleprompter have all produced a “strike-up-the-band” expectation whenever and wherever he appears. It’s the “you either got it, or you ain’t” part that seems finally to have focused the public on the president’s aptitude for leadership.

The befouling glob that threatens hundreds of miles of coast or, as Peggy Noonan put it recently so aptly in the Wall Street Journal, “the monster from under the sea,” seems to be a metaphor for the president’s inability to shape the world as he wants it to be.  Speeches are not a substitute for coherent policy.  The president, with the entire world watching his prime time speech, essentially punted.  He pulled from the presidential duck-and-cover arsenal the time-tested, yawn producer of presidents bereft of solutions to all manner of problems…the formation of a new blue-ribbon commission.  This was the cornerstone of his “battle plan” to face down the “siege” of big oil’s attack on our Gulf coast.

There is nothing more to be said about the quality of Mr. Obama’s oval-office speech debut.  It seems as if all the commentators from Chris Mathews, Keith Olberman and Jon Stewart on the left, to Mark Steyn, Charles Krauthammer and Karl Rove on the right have already done that.  Besides, there is something much more revealing that is apparent here.  It isn’t about the delivery by the man who gave the speech; it is, rather, about the man who delivered the speech.  The disappointing oval-office moment was more than just a lack of writing skill by some wordsmith presidential speechwriter; it focused the attention of the American people on the man himself and on what they hoped just wasn’t so; an apparent lack of the leadership aptitude which a president must possess if he or she is to succeed.


The evidence of weak leadership skills was there before but it became shrouded in the president’s rock star image. The fact is that there was very little about Barack Obama’s pre-presidential career that suggested any real aptitude for leadership.  There was always plenty of “curtain up, light the lights” but the demonstration of leadership part was always a bit like a clock striking thirteen. That is to say, not quite reassuring.

His career as a legislator in Illinois, while always well hyped, was less than impressive.  His biggest legislative achievement in Illinois seems to be the nearly 130 times he chose to vote “present” rather than “yea” or “nay” on major bills.  And yes, we’ve heard or read the standard excuse for this apparent ambivalence.  “It’s the way things are often done in the Illinois Senate,” we’re told.  But since when has doing things the way they are done in Illinois met the definition of leadership anywhere outside of that state.

Besides, some of the “present” votes then state-Senator Obama chose to cast while in the Illinois legislature are quite revealing, if not troubling.  For example, in 1999 he was faced with a difficult vote, to support a bill that would let some juveniles be tried as adults. Understandably, many African-Americans were opposed to the bill.  On the other hand, Mr. Obama was trying to hone an image of a tough-on crime candidate. It was a difficult political call for him; so, he voted “present.”

According to the New York Times, on at least 36 occasions state-Senator Obama was either the only state senator to vote “present” or was part of a group of six or fewer to vote that way.  Politically, the option to vote “present” provides a certain amount of cover. It is a way for the faint of heart, in effect, to say, “I don’t particularly like this bill, but I don’t want to take the political risk of taking a stand.”

The juvenile crime bill was to allow offenders as young as 15 to be prosecuted as adults if charged with committing a crime with a firearm on, or near, schools. Both houses passed the measure handily. State-Senator Obama justified his “present” vote by opining there was no proof that increasing penalties for young offenders reduced crime. Mr. Obama’s aides said he was more concerned about whether the bill would be effective rather than with its political consequences.  They did not explain, however, why he did not just vote “no”.

There were other “present” votes, in which part-time law-lecturer Obama, according to the New York Times, said he had concerns about the constitutionality or effectiveness of some provisions. Among those, Mr. Obama did not vote “yea” or “nay” on a bill that would allow certain victims of sex crimes to petition judges to seal court records relating to their cases. He also voted “present” on a bill to impose stricter standards for evidence a judge is permitted to consider in imposing a criminal sentence.

On the sex crime bill, Mr. Obama cast the lone “present” vote in a 58-to-0 vote.  When it appeared that this vote might become an issue in the presidential race Mr. Obama’s campaign said he believed that the bill violated the First Amendment. The bill had passed 112-0-0 in the Illinois House and 58-0-1 in the state Senate.  Again, why didn’t he just vote, “no”?

In 2000, Mr. Obama was one of two senators who voted present on a bill on whether facts not presented to a jury could later be the basis for increasing an offender’s sentence beyond the ordinary maximum. The bill sailed through both chambers. Out of 174 votes cast in the House and Senate, two were against and two were “present”, including Mr. Obama’s.  Mr. Obama’s campaign said he voted present to register his dissatisfaction with how the bill was put together. He believed (hold on to your hat) the bill was rushed to the floor and that lawmakers were deprived of time to consider it.  Oddly, this hasn’t been a problem for the president with bills passed in the House and Senate of the United States.

The Times also reported that Mr. Obama was the sole “present” vote on a bill that easily passed the Illinois Senate that would require teaching respect for others in schools. He also voted “present” on a measure to prohibit sex-related shops from opening near schools or places of worship, which ultimately did not pass the Illinois Senate.  In both of those cases, his campaign said (hold on to your hat again) he was trying to avoid mandates on local authorities.  This from, now, President Obama, who has gone on, arguably, to impose the greatest funded and unfunded mandates on local authorities in the nation’s history.

But enough of ancient history.  Fast forward to the centerpiece of his first year in office, health-care reform.  Many on the left, and even some on the right, suggest that this massive legislative “achievement” is proof that President Obama is a formidable leader. We beg to differ.  It may, indeed, prove that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority leader Harry Reid can effectively lead their party’s foot soldiers over any cliff they choose, but it really doesn’t say much about President Obama’s leadership aptitude.  Quite the opposite.   Apparently misreading the lessons of President Clinton’s terribly misdirected attempt at health-care reform, President Obama delegated the entire effort to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid.  He sat by as they cobbled together (in his name) the horrific 2700-page health-care reform legislation that a substantial majority of the people consistently said they did not want and consistently continue to say they now want repealed and which a third of the states are now fighting to stop in federal court. Real leadership of the type he promised, but apparently cannot deliver, would have brought both sides together instead of putting the nation through some of the worst acrimony we can ever remember. 

The curtains up…light the lights first-day-in-office announcement that the prison housing terrorists at Guantanamo Bay would be closed within a year, was an early lesson that Ruffles and Flourishes without leadership aptitude is, well, just music.  The world apology tour for American foreign policy under the Bush Administration, the Cairo speech, the presidential outstretched hand to our adversaries and the long-lapsed ultimatum for a reciprocal handshake in return, the puzzling back of the hand treatment to Britain, our closest friend since the end of World War II, the insulting treatment of our friends such as South Korea, Columbia, Honduras, and Israel, and the skyrocketing spending and the attendant ever-mounting deficits all call into question the aptitude for leadership that prevails (or is absent) at the White House.

Les Gelb wrote of Obama, “He is so self-confident that he believes he can make decisions on the most complicated of issues after only hours of discussion.  Strategic decisions go well beyond being smart, which Obama certainly is.  They must be based on experience that discerns what works, what doesn’t — and why.  This requires experienced staffing, which Obama and his top appointees simply do not seem to have.”  Mr. Obama is beginning to look to more and more of the people who were dazzled by his meteoric rise and who were looking for the political equivalent of a messiah, as a growing disappointment.  It turns out that Mr. Obama cannot by his charm, his gift-of-gab, his oratorical skills and his considerable intelligence will into reality policies that the people won’t accept and that many across the political spectrum here and abroad seriously question.     

Which brings us full circle back to where we began… the growing fiasco that continues to assault the gulf coast.  “What could the President have done to avoid the blowout at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform?” the Administration’s defenders indignantly ask.  Nothing.  But that is the wrong question.  The more telling question would be “what could the President have done to mitigate the damage?”  And the answer to that seems to be, “plenty.”

He had the authority to waive the ridiculous and long-outdated, protectionist Jones Act that would have allowed significant expertise and siphoning capacity to be on location in the Gulf weeks ago mitigating the damage that now seems unstoppable.  But, so as not to offend labor unions or domestic shipping interests, he turned down the offers.  He could have immediately authorized Governor Bobby Jindal to begin deploying barriers parallel to the gulf coast as the governor was begging for permission to do (and for which he was still begging last week).  He could, and should, have immediately designated the most operationally competent person he could find to take charge of containment operations and to report progress to him on a daily basis.

Instead, seven weeks into this debacle, when discussing why safety precautions were not in place, Mr. Obama assured the American people “that he wants to know why.”  Of course, the answer he will soon provide is quite predictable since we have heard it many times before.  The problem, we will be told, rests with the previous Administration.  Blaming Bush, or industry or political opposition seems to be his answer for every problem.  “I inherited this mess,” he often tells us. In short, the President is not providing the leadership one would expect from a chief executive running the country.  Instead, he has responded as one would expect from a chief executive running a think tank.

Enough curtain up…light the lights.  The curtain has been up and the lights have been lighted since January 20th, 2009.  Show us you got it, Mr. President. Not that you ain’t.

By Hal Gershowitz and Stephen Porter 

Obama’s Thuggery Is Useless in Fighting Spill

Obama’s Thuggery Is Useless in Fighting Spill

June 21st, 2010

By Michael Barone, National Review Online

The Obamos The Obama Administration reacts to spill using Thuggery

Thuggery is unattractive, ineffective thuggery even more so. Which may be one reason so many Americans have been reacting negatively to the response of Pres. Barack Obama and his administration to BP’s gulf oil spill.

Take Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s remark that he would keep his “boot on the neck” of BP, which brings to mind George Orwell’s definition of totalitarianism as “a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” Except that Salazar’s boot hasn’t gotten much in the way of results yet.

Or consider Obama’s undoubtedly carefully considered statement to Matt Lauer that he was consulting with experts “so I know whose ass to kick.” Attacking others is a standard campaign tactic when you’re in political trouble, and certainly BP, which appears to have taken unwise shortcuts in the gulf, is an attractive target. But you don’t always win arguments that way: The Obama White House gleefully took on Dick Cheney on the issue of terrorist interrogations, but turned out that more Americans agreed with Cheney’s stand, despite his low poll numbers, than Obama’s.

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Obama’s Gulf Speech – The Day After In One Sentence

Obama’s Gulf Speech – The Day After In One Sentence

“So that’s what it’s like to play President.”

Obama wants 15 Million Dollars for “Expert” Oil Commission

Obama wants 15 Million Dollars for “Expert” Oil Commission

June 17th, 2010

By Connie Hair, Human Events

Obama’s Oil Commission to cost 15 million?

-The White House asked Congress late Wednesday for $15 million — a whopping $2.5 million per month for six months — to fund their expert commission of academics to study the Gulf oil-rig explosion and the disastrous spill that followed.

In a letter to Congress, which was obtained by HUMAN EVENTS, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag requested the money to fund the work of the “National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.”

While tens of thousands are put out of work by Obama’s six-month Gulf deep water drilling moratorium — and people lose generational legacies of work pulling their livelihoods out of the sea with their bare hands from fishing nets and crab traps — the president is spending more money in a month on his academic commission to study the issue than any one of these hard working families will make in a lifetime of real work.

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The President’s Oil Reserves Lie

The President’s Oil Reserves Lie

By Chad Stafko

Tuesday night, following a tour of the Gulf Coast area, the President of the United States addressed the nation regarding the state of the BP oil spill. In his speech from the Oval Office, President Obama spoke regarding our nation’s dependence upon oil and how we need to break that dependence. 

During his speech, the president made a statement that was blatantly false. The president noted, “We consume more than 20% of the world’s oil, but have less than 2% of the world’s oil reserve. 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.”
We are not running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water. In fact, it is due to the president’s party of extreme environmentalists that BP had to drill some forty miles from the coastline in deep waters to extract oil. Imagine if this oil leak had happened in the shallow waters off of the East Coast or even, dare we say it, in the pristine ANWR region. How much easier it would have been to cap the leak and clean up the oil?
Consider our nation’s vast oil reserve resources that are currently unavailable for use due to government ownership of the land or outright bans on drilling in certain areas.
According to a June 2008 article in Kiplinger Magazine, the United States has enough oil reserves to power the nation for upwards of three centuries. That’s three hundred years, Mr. President. We are not running out of oil reserves — it’s just that those oil reserves have been declared off-limits due to decades of environmental lobbying of our politicians, especially those on the Left. This lobbying has driven the likes of BP and others out deep into the Gulf of Mexico to extract the nation’s needed oil.
Note the following statement from the article:
… untapped reserves are estimated at about 2.3 trillion barrels, nearly three times more than the reserves held by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC) and sufficient to meet 300 years of demand-at today’s levels-for auto, aircraft, heating and industrial fuel, without importing a single barrel of oil.
Think about that.  The nations that currently hold us hostage by their massive oil production actually have far fewer reserves than our own nation. Put another way, some of the very nations on which we are dependent for oil are also the same nations that help to sponsor worldwide terrorism. Were we to extract our own oil, it would make our nation and the world a safer place. But isn’t a spotted owl more important than the safety of the world?
Among the areas the article mentions are the oil shale located underneath land in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. These lands are federally protected, but they alone could provide about two hundred years’ worth of oil for the nation. Others mentioned include oil reserves located under Montana and some reserves located on protected lands in Texas, California, Utah, and Kentucky.
In fact, our own government has acknowledged the vast oil resources available to us. In an April 2008 study conducted by the United States Geological Survey, the group began its press release with the following: “North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.”
The report acknowledges that the available oil reserves could be much larger, but the 3.0 to 4.3 billion figure represents oil recoverable right now with today’s technology. In fact, there may more than 100 billion barrels eventually recoverable with continued developments in the technology necessary to extract the oil.
Then there is the most famous government-blocked area of oil reserves, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuges (ANWR). With 10 billion barrels available, ANWR is the most accessible of the major untapped oil reserve locations in the United States, and claims are that this oil could be extracted in a way that would have minimal negative environmental impact. 
Yet with all of these resources, here we sit, importing oil at a feverish pace, and a significant portion of it from our enemies and those who support terrorist organizations around the world. And here we sit watching oil float towards our shores through unnecessary deep-water drilling when we could be drilling on dry land.
Yes, the president is correct when he calls for the need to use more alternative energy sources. Some of these may, in the long-term, actually be more efficient than the use of oil and be more readily accessible. However, until then, we would be wise to tap our God-given resources in the safest of areas first before we go drilling more than a mile beneath the ocean for the same fuel that is available on dry land.
Therefore, if we’re tossing all the blame towards BP for this catastrophic oil spill, then we’re ignoring other perpetrators. The reason BP and other oil companies are drilling 40-plus miles off the shoreline and more than a mile deep is because of the stranglehold that environmentalists have held on politicians and their resulting energy policies for decades.
Let’s use some common sense. Drill first on land, then in water. It’s really not that difficult.
Chad Stafko is a writer and political consultant living in the Midwest. He can be reached at stafko@msn.com.

Obama meets with BP execs — for 20 minutes…

Obama to demand BP pay for oil spill damage

By Caren Bohan and Tom Bergin Caren Bohan And Tom Bergin 1 hr 5 mins ago

WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will confront BP Plc on Wednesday with a demand that it set aside billions of dollars to pay damages from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst in U.S. history.

BP executives, including Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, CEO Tony Hayward and BP U.S. boss Lamar McKay, were seen walking into the West Wing of the White House just before 10 a.m. ET for talks with Obama that were scheduled to last 20 minutes.

Looking serious, they barely glanced at photographers and camera crews recording their arrival. It was their first meeting with Obama since the start of the nearly two-month old crisis.

The meeting came a day after Obama, in a televised address to Americans on Tuesday night, accused BP of recklessness and vowed to fight the spill “with everything we’ve got.”

An April 20 explosion on an offshore rig owned by the British energy giant killed 11 workers and ruptured a deep-sea well. The ensuing spill has fouled 120 miles of U.S. coastline, imperiled multibillion-dollar fishing and tourism industries and killed birds, sea turtles and dolphins.

Obama wants BP to establish an independently managed fund to guarantee it would cover the billions of dollars needed to clean up the 58-day-old spill and compensate affected individuals and businesses.

There has been much debate, however, over whether the administration can legally force the company to set up such a fund, and the White House has been in talks with BP to discuss a mutually acceptable framework.

The BP executives were accompanied by the company’s legal counsel Rupert Bondy and noted Washington lawyer Jamie Gorelick, a former deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration.

The White House team included: White House counsel Bob Bauer; Larry Summers, one of Obama’s top economic advisers; Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the administration’s point man for the crisis; and a Department of Justice representative.

Setting the tone for what could be a strong message to BP, Obama said on Tuesday he would tell BP to set aside “whatever resources are required” to compensate the workers and business owners harmed by the spill.

“And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent, third party,” Obama said.

A LEVEL OF CERTAINTY

British Prime Minister David Cameron said BP is eager to face its liabilities from the spill but it should not have to pay claims that were too far removed from the disaster.

Cameron is under intense domestic pressure to stand up for BP, which many Britons perceive is being treated too harshly by the U.S. administration to the detriment of British pension funds and other investors with big stakes in BP.

“While it’s important that they (BP) pay reasonable claims, and BP accept this themselves, they do need a level of certainty, and this is BP’s worry, that there won’t be claims entertained that are three or four times removed from the oil spill,” Cameron said during a BBC radio phone-in program.

BP said in a statement its executives looked forward to a constructive meeting. “We share the president’s goal of shutting off the well as quickly as possible, cleaning up the oil and mitigating the impact,” the company said.

James Guiang, senior portfolio manager at Millennium Global Natural Resources Fund, said BP needed to cut a deal with Obama. “Whenever you go up against a government, you’re not going to win,” he said.

BP STOCK

Shares in BP, which have lost nearly half their value since the spill began, were down 2 percent in trading in London, underperforming a flat European oil sector index. In New York, BP’s U.S.-listed shares were down more than 5 percent in early trading.

The cost of insuring BP debt against default rose, with five-year credit default swaps hitting a record wide of 600 basis points, according to Markit.

Rating agency Fitch downgraded BP’s rating by six notches on Tuesday. Dutch bank ING said it expected other agencies to follow suit.

A team of U.S. scientists raised their high-end estimate of the amount of crude oil flowing from BP’s stricken well by 50 percent to between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels per day, dramatically escalating the potential fines BP faces.

(Additional reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Writing by Caren Bohan and Ross Colvin; Editing by Will Dunham)

Obama will use Oval Office speech to politicize the Gulf oil disaster

Obama will use Oval Office speech to politicize the Gulf oil disaster

Bill Weckesser

Has the Obama administration willfully been scuttling clean up efforts in the Gulf so that the oil could make its way to shore and onto the beaches and birds for maximum political leverage?  Now Politico is reporting that the President will use his oval office address for a full court, no hold-bars, assault on the oil and energy industries. Mike Allen writes in Politico:

President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies plan a major new push for a broad global warming bill, fueled in part by public outrage over the BP disaster, according to top aides.
Joel Benenson, a pollster for the Democratic National Committee and Obama’s presidential campaign, argues in a new briefing for top Capitol Hill officials that a comprehensive energy bill “could give Democrats a potent weapon to wield against Republicans in the fall.”
“The oil spill is intensifying the public’s desire for clean energy investments and increased regulation on corporate polluters,” Benenson writes in the briefing, which he prepared on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters. 
“In the aftermath of the spill, people firmly believe Congress needs to do more than just make BP pay. Even when pressed with opposition messaging that now is not the time for some ‘job killing energy tax,’ people coalesce around comprehensive clean energy reform. Consequently, support for a comprehensive energy bill is very high. With the right messaging, that support holds strong in the face of harsh opposition attacks.”
Obama plans to include a call for an energy bill in his Oval Office address about the Gulf on Tuesday night. And the Obama administration has told key senators that “an energy deal must include some serious effort to price carbon as a way to slow climate change,” according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide.
“No traditional ‘energy only’ bill [without climate-change provisions] meets their sense of what’s credible as a response to BP, or the president’s own 2008 rhetoric,” the aide said.
Benenson’s briefing argues that “Making BP Pay Isn’t Enough.” His recommended “messaging architecture”: First, “frame the opposition” as “Big Oil and corporate polluters who have blocked energy reform for decades” and “politicians protecting the special interests that fund their campaigns.” Second, “illustrate the costs of our dependence: … $1 billion a day on foreign oil … Oil spill destroying jobs and livelihoods.” Third, “tap into deeply held values.” “Put America back in control of our energy situation. Cut foreign oil spending in half. Invest in energy that’s made in America and creates millions of jobs for Americans.”
It’s amazing to see this unfold before our eyes.  There’s a terrible oil drilling accident.  Lives are lost.  Oil is gushing from a well that’s about a mile down.  But, instead of protecting the American people from the oil, the administration rebuffs all efforts to contain and clean the contamination.  Instead, it rushes to bring in the attorneys and demonize the oil industry.  Shell-shocked American’s and an impotent main stream media focus solely on the damage — not the administration’s contribution to the pollution — and march comatose to the melody of government to the rescue.

Obama to Tea Partiers: See! The Gulf Disaster is What Smaller Government Will Get You

Obama to Tea Partiers: See! The Gulf Disaster is What Smaller Government Will Get You

By Doug Powers  •  June 12, 2010 11:29 AM

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

When you’re stuck in quicksand, the first pointer in the survival manual is not to flail — President Obama hasn’t read that manual:

The president also implied that anti-big government types such as tea party activists were being hypocritical on the issue.

“Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘do something’ are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much,” Obama said. “Some of the same people who are saying the president needs to show leadership and solve this problem are some of the same folks who, just a few months ago, were saying this guy is trying to engineer a takeover of our society through the federal government that is going to restrict our freedoms.”

Is the president saying that he didn’t react quickly because he was trying to placate Tea Party activists, thus blaming them for the slow response? Obama almost makes it sound like he let the Gulf die to make a point against those who are for smaller, more responsible government, doesn’t he?

Besides, the whole argument is bogus, desperate, and perhaps eventually counterproductive for Obama.

Dan Riehl:

Patently false. If the Tea Party mentality held sway, we’d be drilling in ANWR and closer to the shore in shallower water, so this disaster would never have happened. He’s opening the door for even more attacks over how government overreach creates problem like this.

On top of that, it was Obama who was talking about more drilling just before the rig explosion. Is he now saying that was a bad idea, he simply pushed for pure politics? Americans are smart enough to know there’s a big difference between how the government reacts in a major disaster, or a war, versus how it encroaches into their lives more and more on any given day.

‘Nuff said.

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Obama’s BP attacks fuels concern in UK

Obama’s BP attacks fuels concern in UK

June 10th, 2010

By Jean Eaglesham, Financial Times

 Obama points the finger at BP

British business on Wednesday expressed alarm at the “inappropriate” and in-creasingly aggressive rhetoric being deployed against BP by President Barack Obama, warning that the attacks on the oil company could affect energy security and damage wider transatlantic industry relations.

Richard Lambert, director general of the CBI, a leading British employers’ organisation, told the FT the presidential attack was “obviously a matter of concern – politicians getting heavily involved in business in this way always is”.

He suggested the White House strategy was misplaced, stating that “apart from anything else, BP is a vital part of the US energy infrastructure. So the US has an interest in the welfare of BP, as much as the rest of the world does.”

Miles Templeman, director general of the Institute of Directors, said he was “very concerned – this sort of political rhetoric is inappropriate.” Mr Templeman emphasised that British business appreciated the gravity of the Deepwater Horizon spill and the environmental damage being wreaked on the gulf coast. But he warned: “There is a danger that this will become a British business thing and there will be a prejudice against British companies because of it. The issue should be decided outside politics.”

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For Kicks: The New Obama Music Video

For Kicks: The New Obama Music Video

By Doug Powers  •  June 10, 2010 07:01 AM

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

Careful, it’s catchy:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yghFBt-fXmw&feature=player_embedded#!

Team of ass-kicking experts fully assembled. Let’s do this!

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**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers