Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Offal Office

I haven't heard horseshit like this since Baghdad Bob was rousing terrified and bewildered citizens with his witticisms. Unfortunately, the condescending, platitudinal insincerity from The Chosen One lacked the effervescent farce of that man, (who now has his own DVD on the market! -- "We blocked them inside the city. Their rear is blocked.")

"Good evening. As we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges."--Obama

No shit, Sherlock!

"At home, our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every American."--Obama

What you mean, "our", boss? I thought your biggest priority was to bail out Goldman-Sachs by transferring the remaining wealth of the middle class to the bankers while simultaneously printing more debt to create the illusion of "recovery" which, of course, will simply accelerate inflation and (ergo) systemic poverty and economic collapse. Guess I'm not reading the right hymn book.

"Abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight to al-Qaeda wherever it exists. And tonight, I’ve returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle we’re waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens."--Obama

Gotta love that metaphor, what? But -- though Obama published two poems during his undergrad days -- he's not a poet, and neither are his speechwriters. An oil spill can't be compared to military combat. Tactics in the former case are often best employed in a drawn-out, infiltrating, subtle geographical coverage; waiting and watching (Obama thought the "important" video intrusion appropriate after 57 days) is not only the wrong course of (in)action, it's dangerous. Options, strategies, organizational wit and forceful mobilizations are imperative. But Obama, as usual, is content in simply appearing to do something. (More on that later.)

"we have directed BP to mobilise additional equipment and technology. In the coming days and weeks, these efforts should capture up to 90 per cent of the oil leaking out of the well."--Obama

Each word is important, n'est pas, poets and curious readers, viewers, listeners? "Should" capture, and my favourite, "up to". Of course, "up to 90 per cent" is a correct estimate if dreadnoughts per cent is recovered. The noble-prize winning scientists, the university think-tankers, and the geologists on the federal payroll just may have problems in enforcing their harsh economic solutions onto the BP powers-that-be to implement any of their creative proposals. But politics and energy makes for strange poop deck bedfellows. (And more on that later.)

"This is until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that is expected to stop the leak completely."--Obama


"But make no mistake - we will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused."--Obama

It's Obama who's mistaken if he thinks the general public, American and world, believes this obnoxious assertion. Yeah, congress can slap a fine of a million or two on BP (equivalent to the rest of us to charging a one-time GST payment on a pack of chewing gum -- wait! can
that plug the hole, perhaps?), but Washington has been slobbering all over the oil leaders' asses pre- and post-spill. Election funding -- and the American-Canadian "way of life" (luv that phrase). Obama is just a middle manager caught in a tight bind, like any other uncreative, compromising, beleaguered business manager trying to satisfy the bosses and his "underlings".

"Because of our efforts, millions of gallons of oil have already been removed from the water through burning, skimming, and other collection methods."--Obama

And scientists have now upped the estimate on the leaking oil: between 6 and 9 million litres a day are now spewing free. But to mention that would have been .... churlish, I suppose, in this need for a meaningless sing-a-long.

"If there are problems in the operation, we will fix them."--Obama

Ah, to be sanguine. I had more respect for Cretien after 9/11. At least he was out in the open playing golf, not politics. Federal bureaucrats know dick about stopping oil spills, and about securing the technological procedures in making sure they don't happen in the first place. But they have to put the thumbscrews on oil companies with respect to regulation with teeth. Reagan gutted the regulatory system, Clinton (through repealing the Glass-Steagall Act) put the final nails through the financial coffin, and Obama can't stop playing a sentimental tune on Nero's fiddle.

"Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company’s recklessness.

And this fund will not be controlled by BP."--Obama

No, it'll be controlled by federal appointees who, in turn, are comtrolled by BP. If the "independent" overseers make a "suggestion" that BP doesn't like, BP will tell Obama et al about it, and Obama, in turn, will tell the "get tough" boys to cool it. It's the same song and dance between the federal reserve, the U.S. Treasury dept., Congress, the five megabanks, and (not least) the regulatory "powers", all of whom recruit from each other, collude with each other, cover for each other, and share long histories with each other. When Obama retained Geithner and others from the Bush era, did anyone honestly still believe in "change"?

"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

As I say, same as the first party. Party, party, party! No independence day. And who sets the claims? And what is the process and rationale for those claims, in serious consideration and follow-up, firstly, and secondly in amount, duration, comprehensiveness?

"Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy, a former governor of Mississippi, and a son of the Gulf, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible.

The plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other Gulf residents. And BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region."--Obama

Obama strategist: "Boss, the oil companies were as popular as firecracker enemas even before this spill. Now? Hey, just keep hammering that mantra home."

Obama: "BP will pay!"

British Petroleum is the fifth largest business in the world. The puny punitive damages possibly inflicted by Obama's administration is laughable contrasted to the natural hit BP (and other oil giants) have been taking during the long, slow decline in world oil production. When (not if) oil companies collapse like whoopee cushions assaulted by Sumo wrestlers' reclining bums, those same executives will simply move to a different area of energy interest, which they will then corner (with the help of massive government subsidies), and for the token (to them) and requisite kickbacks for governmental largesse. The history of Ford Motors, Firestone, the major airlines, and any other company that created and served the suburban build-out were not only encouraged, but inspired with cash, exclusive rights, tax write-offs, and overt destruction of alternative energy infrastructure. Even if BP were forced to liquidate and declare bankruptcy (ha ha), they'd simply resurface under a different name and be back in business, unscathed, with a minor procedural blip. Obama has to stop threatening to get tough. He has to get tough. But, then, as stated, it's obvious why that won't happen.

More on this anon. Time for a long nap.

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