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Oil Spill Coverup: What the President Knew and When He Knew It

Clueless or Criminal?

Good Morning, Conflucians!! I shut down my computer early last night and watched the Dateline story on the Gulf, followed by Anderson Cooper. When I logged onto TC this morning, I read Dakinikat’s heartbreaking report from the Gulf and then started surfing around to find the latest news.

Right away I found an article that shook me to my core. I still feel as if someone punched me in the gut. I don’t know why it affected me so strongly–I kind of knew everything in it already. But to see it spelled out in plain English, and by this author just shocked me:

Obama Knew the Spill Was Hopeless, by Richard Wolffe.

The president was not only briefed on the real-time events of the spill, but also on just how bad it would be—and how hard it would be to plug the hole.

Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, told Obama at one of the earliest briefings in late April that the blowout would likely lead to an unprecedented environmental disaster, senior White House aides told The Daily Beast. Browner warned that capping a well at such depths had never been done before, and that they ought to expect an oil spill that would continue until a relief well was drilled in August, the aide said. [….]

The fact that Team Obama was warned of the extent of the disaster so early on suggests that White House officials were aware of the environmental challenge long before they decided to demonstrate concern via presidential visits to the Gulf.

So what did the White House decide to focus on?

Given the lack of technical capabilities on the sea floor, there’s not much the White House can do to plug the hole. And there are limited options for effectively preventing the oil from reaching large stretches of coastline. Instead, Obama’s team is focusing on the options at their immediate disposal—methods of news management and presidential communication.

Unbelievable! Did the administration somehow think they could conceal the extent of the catastrophe? In the first place effects of the disaster are visible to people who live near the Gulf. Did they imagine somehow they could prevent the press from covering it by getting BP and the Coast Guard to keep them out? Or did they think they could influence the press coverage to prevent most Americans from understanding the true national and even global effects of BP’s malfeasance? Did they think the oil might not spread to Alabama and Florida beaches where there would it would affect more tourists?

If the administration really did this, they have far outstripped Nixon and Watergate. Did they not understand that everything would eventually come out and the American people would see them as criminally negligent and in the pockets of BP just as much as they are in the pockets of Goldman Sachs? Did they not realize that the media would ultimately rebel against efforts to limit their access to a compelling national story?

Wouldn’t it have been better in the long run to be open with the American people and explain how bad a crisis we were facing? And then they could have mobilized every resource available–government experts, scientists, private businesspeople, as well as experts from other oil companies–to clean up the oil and prevent as much of it from coming ashore as possible. Instead, as Wolffe writes, the administration responded with passive fatalism.

Even more unbelievable to me is the fact that Richard Wolffe seems to have written his article in an effort to defend the administration’s response to the BP-created ecological catastrophe. Wolffe explains that the reason the administration is angry with James Carville is that Carville didn’t return a phone call from Thad Allen after his (Carville’s) first public outburst. Did they really think they could soothe Carville somehow? Or did they think they could buy him off?

Wolffe concludes by saying that for now the administration is watching the polls, and they think Americans are more worried about the economy than the oil spill. I guess either Obama and his handlers don’t understand how much the events in the Gulf will affect our economy, or they are just trying to postpone the explosion of public anger as long as possible. Either way, they are criminals.

What are you reading this morning? Post your links in the comments as always. And your weekend as best you can despite all the bad news.

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187 Responses

    • Obama’s BP Gulf Oil Spill…and all the time he spent trying to find solutions to this countries worst Environmental Catastrophe!

  1. This is beyond distressing – it’s disasterous. Why are there not calls to mobilize clean-up? Dak’s pictures are so sad. Tools but no bodies to wield them.

  2. obama is a Chicago politician — pay to play and loyalty to the one who pays the most. obama met behind closed doors with BP when this tragedy first began in an effort to protect BP’s best interests over those of the American people:

    http://oilprice.com/Environment/Oil-Spills/The-Cover-up-BP-s-Crude-Politics-and-the-Looming-Environmental-Mega-Disaster.html

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html

    Evidence is mounting that obama is in the pocket of BP. Let’s face it, the man is bought and paid for and should be impeached for treasonous behavior. If he were Hillary or any other politician, he, along with BP, would be charged with criminal negligence.

    • I *knew* that was what happened, but even I didn’t want to believe it. I literally got nausated while reading that article by Wolffe.

      • Just the lack of a nationalized cleanup strategy is enough. Who gives a shit that BP is “responsible” the beaches and birds don’t care and people who make their living in the gulf don’t care either. It is a matter of national importance to respond to save the coast – not to worry about who to blame.

        Of course, obama couldn’t “plug the hole” himself, but he sure as hell could have mobilized a cleanup response. I’m tired of the excuses always being centered on plugging the hole while the oil just pours into the gulf.

    • Everything you say about the criminality of Obama’s action is true–except that this has nothing to do with “treason.”

      I wish people would stop throwing that term around casually. During Bush II’s term, right-wingers were fond of accusing anyone who criticized W of “treason.” Now OBots are accusing anyone of treason who criticizes Teh Precious, while right wingers are using it to encompass everything that offends them, from the guy’s middle name to supposed collaboration with Mus-lim “ji-hadi’s.” (Just in case those two trigger Spammy now.) Treason is a very specific offense, defined very narrowly in the Constitution to avoid precisely the kind of use of the accusation that’s being made now.

      That aside–BP is clearly criminal here, and Obama is clearly their bought-and-paid-for accomplice. But the charge should be malfeasance, obstruction of justice, and/or bribery, as well as a few others, probably, that don’t spring immediately to my uncaffeinated mind.

      • Dereliction of duty, endangering lives, wilfully misleading Congress (I think that’s the requirement for high crimes and misdemeanors), depraved indifference to human life…

      • Dan Shore also mentioned this morning that O has more covert action teams than his predecessors operating in more than 70 countries. Asked if this wasn’t the kind of thing he had campaigned against, hopiated Shore responded that presidents do this because they need the freedom to respond to their enemies beyond what the military or cia can supply. I guess this isn’t treason, but it sure seems to be against the Constitution for presidents to have their own private assassination squads.

    • Also, in light of this revelation, his insistence that he take his vacation in Chicago gains new dimensions.
      he treated the endangering of the US coasts as a Chicago politics mess. Needed to confer with the mentors (that were not in jail already)

    • “In the last five years, investigators found, BP has admitted to breaking U.S. environmental and safety laws and committing outright fraud. BP paid $373 million in fines to avoid prosecution.

      http://abcnews.go.com/WN/bps-dismal-safety-record/story?id=10763042

      • … of course BP is “going to make this right”! Right?

        And, of course Obama is in complete charge of our government to insure that “BP will make things right”! Right?

        And, of course, Obama and HIS government have been protecting the people from DAY ONE!

        501 days of the Messiah? More like Lazareth in the tomb!

      • Then why did this administration grant a number of permit waivers almost until this “kill spill”?

        Perhaps $900+ million in campaign donations cleared the way.

        • What are you, some kind of EE-vil r@ci$t bitter knitter? Why, His Holiness Teh Precious Lightworker would never ever ever take bribes! Doncha believe in 17-dimensional chess? Here, have some of this refreshing beverage from the smiling pitcher; it’ll make everything clear to you… 😉

          [So how’s my Oborg impression?] :mrgreen:

          One of the depressing things for me about 2008 was learning that “progressives” could be just as gullible as any Dubya-worshipping wingnut. 😦

    • If he were Hillary, yes, he would be charged with criminal negligence. But not just any other politician. The Chimperor and Darth Cheney would also have gotten away with it, as would any other politician sufficiently in the pocket of the Malefactors Of Great Wealth.

      I used to think Hillary was too corporate-friendly, but the very fact that the Malefactors Of Great Wealth obviously did not want her to be President–or else they’d have ordered their Corporate Media to push her instead of Obummer back in 2008–makes me think I was wrong about her, and that sexism was not the only reason the MOGW didn’t want her.

      Of course, the MOGW may have really wanted another Elephascist (aka GOP) in the White House, but realized they would need to settle for a DINOcrat like Obummer, because the Chimperor and Darth Cheney had screwed the whole kennel of pooches so severely that the MOGW could not install another Elephascist Prez in 2008 without rigging the election so blatantly that it could not be denied plausibly.

      • Bill,

        Excellent points. I agree, sexism wasn’t the only thing that kept Hillary from getting the nomimnation, but it was the tool used to beat her over the head with and justify many people’s wrong impression of her, which was promoted by the MSM back when she was First Lady.

        Both obama and GW were puppets for the power elite to turn our soverign country into a corporate- controlled government and the people it’s slaves.

  3. Wasn’t Wolffe writing an insider’s biography about Obama?

    usually his writing is nothing short of fawning… you gotta wonder they did to piss him off..

    • This article is fawning too. If you read the whole thing it appears that Wolffe is trying to explain that since Obama has known the extent of the catastrophe all along it means that he has been doing the best he can.

      • Wolffe is the leader of the pack in the fawning toady department. The best bet is he was told to write this garbage to see if the #&$% would float and if not he says he just made it up. Obama will be in the mid thirties by August and fawning toadies cannot help at this point. The WH still doesn’t realize that every time he shows his mug to emote he is pissing everyone off. “News management and presidential communication” has just blown up in their faces.

        • What “emoting?” That’s the problem–he doesn’t know how. It only pisses people off more, because it’s clear he really doesn’t feel anything–even in the face of this monster.

          It’s 3 a.m. and no one is there to handle the crisis. Just like she said.

          • I agree it is not emoting. Maybe “acting”? How about going before the cameras to manipulate because he does not feel anything so he has to put on the pissy face.

        • *speechless* Awesome post, bb. They’re insane, they really are. At worst they look criminally negligent, at best, really, really bad. As if anyone will forgive going through weeks of bunraku instead of just explaining the situation upfront? The fact that they seem to think this mitigates his behavior is scaring me.

        • Wolffe is the leader of the pack in the fawning toady department

          And he’s British…I’m not anti British , ( far from it! ) but that can’t be forgotten when the excuses come in a clipped UK accent. We were told Blair was Bush’s
          poodle…I beg to differ. We are their poodle, and have been for some time…I guess about the time the North Sea wells dried out .Suddenly Saddam had WMD that can strike in 45 mins!! Invade now !

  4. It IS criminal.

    Now think back to the date he was completely informed of the gravity of the spill—late April. They KNEW, while he was going to the WH correspondents’ dinner, golfing, vacationing, campaigning, and partying with McCartney.

    As of LATE APRIL, he could have advised the governors, listened to what they might need if it was as bad as he was told, arranged for super tankers, cut red tape, ordered more booms, and many more things he chose NOT to do, hoping things might change or the media wouldn’t find out.

    Now, of course, his defenders say he really does care, but his “messaging” is off point.

    Mayberry Machiavelli’s, as we all said long ago.

    The man is incompetent. His only concern is allow events affect HIM.

    In frikkin credible.

    • Exactly. But instead of doing the right thing they decided to try to keep the media from finding out how bad it was.

    • Yes, his “mess aging” is way off.

      That’s how I saw your “messaging” in quotes when I first glanced at your comment.

      His mess is not going to age well, btw. Wonder if he knows that yet.

      Even pols need experience, and Obama had so little of that. Probably his managers told him he could get away with this crap. if he’d really been a pol who believed in service, he would have figured out this would not work.

      It’s really not fair that he’s out president. The public was sold a bill of goods.

      • Why doesn’t Obama send Bill Clinton down to the Gulf to express some real empathy? I guess he would be jealous at the reaction Clinton would get.

    • Thank you, Mary!

  5. I agree completely with this post. I’m using a new hashtag on Twitter to spread the word: #obamabirds. That’s what the dead and dying oil-soaked birds should be called: Obamabirds.

    Very hard to imagine a worse crime: the full resources of the federal government were not brought to bear because that would interfere with “news management.” Utterly unconscionable.

    • Good idea! I’ll use it too.

    • And Obama “chews out” parish presidents for talking to Anderson Cooper instead of him. And the parish presidents fall for it, while help is STILL not getting to them. But they aren’t bitching him out on Cooper anymore — or yet.

      • They are probably just hoping and praying Obama will come through on his promises.

        • It’s pointless but as they say, a false hope is better than none

        • they probably are afraid if they piss him off, no help will come at all…

          the Chicago way, you know…

    • I tried calling it – but it doesn’t work. I shall use it.

  6. Obama fighting from day one.

    • Isn’t it bizarre that the bookend token women have almost identically colored outfits?

    • look at their faces. They know they are lying and can’t keep it off their face…the WH needs much better actors than these.

  7. What amazes me is that there was real news on the broadcast channels!

    • I’m not sure why. I have to wonder if Anderson Cooper was getting too good of ratings and the networks wanted more of his audience.

      • Originally, Cooper said he was just staying through yesterday. Now it sounds like he’ll be there next week.

    • That’s because Carville wouldn’t play the WH game. He busted loose, he and Mary, out of love for his hometown and home state.

      Gibbs “managed” the WH press corps for several weeks, including fussing at them for asking too many questions about the spill (in private, of course).

      But he couldn’t “manage” the Ragin Cajun, and the dam broke.

      Until that time, Anderson Cooper was spouting the WH line like a good soldier.

  8. This may be a good time to repost this:

    The Chicago Way

    1. Set up Straw Man.
    2. Demonize the dirty, rotten, greedy Straw Man.
    3. Ask for money/support to “fight” the Straw Man.
    4. Laugh all the way to the bank.
    5. Anybody who disagees belongs to the KKK.

    Yes, we hate BP. But that doesn’t excuse the President’s incompetence, even if his political team would like to direct the media to focus elsewhere.

    Dear God, Dak—reading this new information and living down amongst it all—-must break your heart. Does mine.

    • Speaking of broken heart. Uppity has a photo posted, that put a knot in my throat, and a link to others. I can’t click on it.

    • Mary,

      Absolutely! It doesn’t excuse obama’s incompetence and it definitely does not excuse his meeting privately with BP in an effort to protect them.

      Obama is responsible first and foremost to the American people, but his actions with this oil spill clearly shows where his allegiance is, as well as his purpose (and it’s not to defend the Constitution and protect the citizens of the U.S.)

  9. What I fail to understand (and I realize that with the MSM in his pocket, he has the bully pulpit to fool the masses) is how he is STILL in the mid-forties. THE MAN IS A CRIMINAL. Notwithstanding the lack of records, birth certificate, complete cheating to get the nomination, etc, HIS CURRENT NEGLIGENCE IS ENDAGERING THE LIVES OF FUTURE GENERATIONS. Some lawyer has to see that is a high crime. The village idiot sees that he is incompetent. How 45% of the country STILL sees him as an effective leader is COMPLETELY beyond me….. idiots.

    • There are a lot of people who robotically repeat: “Where else can we go?” They are Democrats with a “D” just like the Republicans with an “R” and they would vote for a cardboard cutout with a “D” or “R” after their name. And indeed they have, several times.

    • Same as Bush’s 35%. Just different side of the same coin.

      And , of course, those who are eager to claim that anyone who criticizes The One, in any way, must be a raycist.

      Incompetence is multi-colored.

  10. Obama’s team is focusing on the options at their immediate disposal—methods of news management and presidential communication.

    That is truly sickening. As you suggested, maybe honesty and an all-hands on deck approach might have been better–ya think? Save their own asses, that’s all they ever care about. How will it affect THEM is always the first question. Now they are watching the polls? I hope they sink like rock to the bottom of the ocean floor. And STILL the Villagers defend and apologize. What will it take, a nuclear disaster to wake them up?

  11. And now Florida…

    Oil spill hits Florida beaches in omen of a lost season

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/slime_time_for_c1GWNgguK4FogJqtUT0QBN#ixzz0pzIaiXSP

  12. It affected me strongly also, I had a sinking feeling although deep down it was no surprise.

  13. I also read this a.m. that Obama only talked to Tony Hayward, CEO of BP for the first time last week. WTF?!

    • You’ve got to be kidding! WTF indeed.

    • unfucking believable. Tony’s ass would have been on the oval office carpet within hours in a Clinton White House…exactly why the over lords totally refused to have one.

    • Here’s the link, and it says “as of last week he had not spoken to him” so maybe he still hasn’t.

      Obama fails the test of leadership

      As of last week, he hadn’t even spoken to BP CEO Tony Hayward. He’s due to make his third trip to the region Friday, more than six weeks after the crisis began.

      http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38089.html

      • Such hard work, that surely should give him 10 days of golf….yup, someone will have to wipe the sweat from his forehead…

        LEAVE Barrack OBAMA ALONE…and NOW he will have been to visit the Oil Catastrophe three times for less than 24 hours…WHA!

    • BP too BIG to Fail! – UK to Obama, ‘LEAVE BP ALONE’ (NO JOKE…pay attention)

  14. Obama, resign or be impeached.

  15. WH had video that showed the full extent of the *three* leaks from day one:

    http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/52855

    • Stunning. The administration had all info and video from BP from the beginning. It wasn’t BP manipulating the press and the public. It was the administration controlling what was revealed.

      If BP can prove that in court, compensation may very well be denied.

      The Obama administration will be culpable for the lack of protection of the land.

      SOB’s.

  16. So when Obama angrily said” plug the hole already !” He knows that’s impossible and is lying to the American people…and hasn’t stopped lying.

    What gets me is even if one looked at it as a let’s just do what’s good for Obama situation , which I expect this WH to do, they are throwing away a huge opportunity to rally people behind him …just like with 9/11, people wanted to do something ,and were told go shop…people want to do what can be done , such as construct sand dunes etc… and be told the freaking truth …but what happens? BP is allowed to endlessly lie and our POTUS joins them in that as BP fumbles around because they were allowed to drill though out the Gulf without considering swat environmentally . Has anyone told the” tree huggers ” they were right about drilling in the Gulf?? [[[ crickets]]]

    Carville is like the one kid in the super dysfunctional family who can’t lie…and his ” acting up” is seen as the problem. Not the real problem he can’t lie about of course. So to these people , the oil gusher isn’t the problem, it’s James Carville refusal to lie about it ….that’s the problem…help. How can anyone plug the lie gusher in DC?? Where’s the relief well for that?

    • Very well said!

    • Anderson Cooper With James Carville On The Gulf Oil Spill 5-28-2010

      I understand why they are mad at me…I am just not gonna quit…I don’t like doing it…They just don’t understand us, understand our culture, and the president, I’m sorry he didn’t spend longer, but if he spent some time understanding who we are, what we are about, the things that we love…

      • CNN James Carville is this was Nantucket the Feds would be all over it.

        • CNN James Carville is this was Nantucket the Feds would be all over it.

          He’s right . I just saw the weather channel ( NBC) and the top story about the gusher was Obama incredible amazing generosity in coming to the area 3 times! !!’ Oh he’s just too good to us!!

          • I say Carville should run for the Senate or Governor, he has courage and he knows how to connect with the ‘ordinary’ working folks and doesn’t look down on them nor talk down to them.

            Obama knew and didn’t think us ‘ordinary folks’ deserved to know, nor did he mobilize a contain strategy or a clean up one… 😦

  17. I could give a shit if Obama “emotes” or not.

    I just want him to do his fucking job.

    • Same here. I’d be happy if he disappeared for awhile and just gave orders to people who are capable of doing what needs to be done to clean up the mess.

      • As Hillary said, “It takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush.” We’re on Bush 3 and we still need the Clintons to clean up the mess!

      • Obama is just like his teleprompters …he can’t order, do , or say anything that has not been fed in from someone/ where else . He is that empty and it’s why he was installed. imo. The only time I see him animated is when he’s telling someone off for even questioning him. That it.

    • YES! Thank you; this whole showing his anger is some sort of strawman — Exactly to what purpose I’m not sure, but i think it’s to paint the non-DC people as bumpkins. Just want the big ‘ol hissy fit, those poor thoughtless little people. Very patronizing of the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) to use this narrative. And they are all using it! MCM through to the wannbees at NPR. Stomping of feet, waving fists?

      No way –what we wanted was actual action, and communication about the actions, followed by evidence we could judge of the actions. Oh, financial punishment would be nice, but, more important, get tough regulations in place with real regulators.

      And, actually, what has me most PO’d is that Obama had the time and, more importantly, opportunity to use stimulus monies for both jobs and getting — oh, take the easy one — solar collectors on as many roofs as humanly possible.

      It’s not that he may not have acted as fast as possible (when we though he really didn’t have all the information, btw; now we know what he knew and when he knew it, I’m much angrier) — it’s that there was so much he should have done early on in his administration.

      But he was just too damn solicitous of Big Bidness.

    • All of these decisions really are above his pay grade.

  18. The immediate effect of the spill is on the Gulf Coast states, the rest of us won’t see anything until later this summer. Then it will most like be price increases in gas and seafood.
    That’s what the White House is counting on, try to make it to November since the affected areas vote republican for the most part anyway.
    Funny that you wrote this because yesterday I emailed my Senators and Joe Sestak about the barring of the media from coastal areas in Louisiana. I didn’t bother writing my Representative because he’s an R and isn’t involved.

  19. If all the experts agreed that there was no way to plug the leak until August then Obama should have said so, and then did everything he could to mobilize a massive containment and clean-up effort.

    Instead they understated the severity of the size of the leak and pretended like the fix was imminent. He didn’t order a massive containment and clean-up because he didn’t want to admit how bad the situation was. As if keeping it secret would make it better.

    We could have done without last week’s Potemkin photo op on the only scrubbed beach in the Gulf Coast. He should have skipped a few golf games, concerts and social events too.

    • “Yeah, it’s a crying same that BP got away with this and I feel for Gulf Coast residents.
      Now, watch this swing.”

    • Exactly, except that the “experts” at BP don’t seem to know anything about containment. The booms are just placed for show; they aren’t placed to funnel the oil into a catch location, and there certainly aren’t enough of them anyway.

      Increasingly, I get the impression that Obama hasn’t even tried to master the basics of oil spills–of capture and clean up. He truly sounds ignorant of what is being done and what needs to be done. That’s the problem, I suppose, when you just want to be a figurehead.

      • Obama has always delegating everything – he has no idea what to do. He naively believes all the baloney BP is telling him.

        And even though BP admits they don’t know jack about clean-up – they are somehow in charge of it. This morning I caught a report on Weather Channel; from Pensacola that the officials there are having to take orders from BP for mobilizing clean up efforts. WTF???? I was stupified – noone is questioning this????

        • The open admissions that the government is taking orders from BP surprise me.

          I already knew that the Malefactors Of Great Wealth owned the government, but apparently the MOGW no longer feel any need to hide it.

    • If all the experts agreed that there was no way to plug the leak until August then Obama should have said so, and then did everything he could to mobilize a massive containment and clean-up effort.

      Well, it’s the Ole thinking of the elite IVY League ‘special people’ not telling us ‘ordinary folks’ the truth of a crisis, be it a war (s) or the biggest environmental catastrophe this country has known.

    • Doing his job would be a nice change.

    • Thank you for speaking the truth. I could not believe how many photo ops and concerts Obama attended over the last several weeks. And where is Michelle? Does she even care what is happening? She should have showed support by going down to New Orleans to talk and meet with people. It wouldn’t have stopped the oil spill, but at least it would’ve shown that someone in the Obama family cares (besides Malia). This did not have to be a PR nightmare for Obama if he had decided to stop acting like Bush and take control of the situation rather than help BP with covering up the severity of the problem.

      • ME-chelle was busy campaigning for Harry Reid and singing with Paul McCartney. Those bitter, clingy po white folks in Louisiana aren’t her cup of tea.

  20. Yeah, but the *real* news is how our SOS is screwing up…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/theroyalfamily/7804820/Queens-birthday-gaffe-leaves-Hillary-Clinton-red-faced.html

    Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has been left red faced after mistakenly sending a birthday message to the Queen a week early.

    A whole week early??? WTH was she thinking??? THIS IS A MONUMENTAL DISTASTER!! You guys need to worry about more pressing issues like this.

    (disgusted)/snark

    • BTW, that was the lead story on the AP radio news segment mid-afternoon yesterday. Unbelievable.

    • Why that is right up there with that “Reset” button she gave to the Russian Foreign Minister. Fire her now!

    • Oh my god! She is so deficient in the type of girly stuff defined by our party as her role! This is what happens when we allow them to become the wrong kind of secretary! I knew it!

    • She’s the only thing keeping the US from sinking completely into a post empire world… the oil gusher is our Berlin Wall… an event after which the truth cannot be denied …so shit yeah! Fire her over a damn birthday greeting , like now! Finish the job on us

      • Go ahead and fire her–then she’ll be free to primary Teh Precious in 2012. 😈

    • Hillary is a good read and must have read this:

      Postman who kept thousands of letters in coal bunker could face jail

      A POSTMAN who hoarded thousands of items of undelivered mail over almost five years could face jail.
      http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Postie-kept-hoard-mail-coal-bunker-facing-jail/article-2143872-detail/article.html

      Sheesh, I would have sent it a week early just to make sure it got there and if not, then there would be time to FED Ex it. 😉

    • Is it just me, or do Brits seem especially eager to distract our attention from their oil corporation messing our coast? This comes right on the heels of McCartney show & stupid statements.

      • I’m waiting for Bono and U2 to do something distracting next

        • I doubt four Irishmen will want to do anything to help BP or Her Majesty’s Government. :mrgreen:

      • McCartney, the fool on the hill.

        • Yea, what’s the point of being a vegetarian if he doesn’t tell President Obama to mobilize the troops to contain and clean the BP Oil Catastrophe!?!

    • Yeah, HuffPo ran that too. The title is Queen Elizabeth Birthday Blunder: Clinton Sends Greetings A WEEK EARLY and I thought WTF??? Especially since her real birthday is April 21 and this is a second celebration (it’s an Edwardian thing). Blunder?! Blunder!

      • Blunder

        Blunder??? blunder??? that’s a blunder???

        {{{bangs head on table}}}

        Someone get me an aspirin stat!

      • The English have always liked their greetings to be sent early……….

    • I never! That Hillary! What’s next? Putting her hands on the Queen?

  21. They are all criminals.
    Here’s what makes it even more jarring. From the local coverage of his latest photo-op
    http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20100605/NEWS01/6050318/Obama-sees-spill-progress

    criticized the British oil giant for spending money on advertising and paying dividends to shareholders in the midst of crisis.
    “What I don’t want to hear is when they’re spending that kind of money on their shareholders and spending that kind of money on TV advertising that they’re nickeling and diming fishermen or small businesses here in the Gulf who are having a hard time,”

    • BP spent 3 billion pounds over the past decade advertising that BP stood for Beyond Petroleum, without actually doing what they promised to move beyond petroleum. They should be spending that kind of money dredging the oil in the Gulf, saving the wildlife, and cleaning the beaches and wetlands.

  22. It should be also remember what he was actually doing BEFORE that briefing

    Two days after the explosion on the rig—when a mobilization to stop the looming spill should already have been underway and with the fate of the 11 dead workers still unknown—the White House could not hide its indifference. When a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs if Obama had yet “reached out to anyone in Louisiana over the oil rig explosion.” Gibbs responded, “Let me check on that. I don’t believe so.”

    The second response, worked out over the next week, was to seize on the event to reiterate Obama’s call for a vast expansion of deep sea oil drilling. Several days after the blast, Gibbs declared, “I don’t honestly think [the disaster] opens up a whole new series of questions, because, you know, in all honesty I doubt this is the first accident that has happened and I doubt it will be the last.” At this time both the Obama administration and BP were insisting that the spill was relatively small.

    • even when it comes to kabuki, they are pathetic. They don’t respect us enough to even lie decently.

  23. And here’s a chronicle – with photos of what Obama did while having the knowledge that could have helped
    http://politipage.com/2010/05/28/obamas-days/

  24. OilPrice.com (link is above) says: “Obama and his senior White House staff, as well as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, are working with BP’s chief executive officer Tony Hayward on legislation that would raise the cap on liability for damage claims from those affected by the oil disaster from $75 million to $10 billion. However, WMR’s federal and Gulf state sources are reporting the disaster has the real potential cost of at least $1 trillion.”

    If this is true and I am sure that the damages will far exceed the cap, it’s too bad that the WH couldn’t put caps on insurance industry under the new insurance reform. This would protect the people but I forget that just doesn’t seem to be the interest of our government.

  25. Why Richard Wolfe thought that story would help Obama is beyond me. It’s totally damning. Impeach that fucker now!

    • Let’s stay off the impeachment bandwagon, shall we? I don’t think this incident rises to the level of an impeachable offense. It’s time to raise the bar on impeachment so that it actually has meaning- when a Republican president does something unconstitutional.

      • I don’t think incompetence qualifies as “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

        Then again, neither does lying about a blowjob..

        • I would say lying to the public about an issue that seriously involves the economic health of this country, controlling media access to the story, and covering for a corporate conglomerate in one of the biggest disasters we’ve ever had does rise to that level…however, these days it seems to be politics as usual.

          • Agree with Teresa and Ralph. It rises to that level, if he knew and withheld the info from the press and the public.

            RD can disagree if she wants, but it won’t change my mind.

        • The Framers, beloved of the right-wingers, deliberately left the phrase vague and quite broad–in contrast, say, to the definition of “treason,” which is very specific and very narrow. An argument can be made that “high crimes” covers only serious offenses, such as bribery, embezzlement, murder (which Obama has at least attempted against an American citizen) and other outright felonies. “Misdemeanors,” on the other hand, can be anything an impeachment panel wants it to mean. In the usage of the late 18th Century, it didn’t mean jaywalking; it meant “bad behavior” and is in fact a catch-all to deal with someone who’s become generally intolerable to the Congress and/or the people.

          If I were a lawyer, I think I could make a good case that Obama is an accomplice after the fact of the corruption (including bribery) involved in the Deepwater Horizon faux inspections, or if not, then of misprison of bribery (knowing about the crime and not reporting or prosecuting it.)

      • Get on or off any bandwagon you want..

  26. Is Richard Wolffe credible? He’s carrying the water for the Villagers. If anything, his report signals to me that Obama’s free ride is almost over. They bonus class has gotten what they want from him. Maybe they see he’s no longer a viable candidate for 2012. Time to start shaping the news cycle for the return of the Republicans.

  27. I thought my head was going to explode after reading that Daily Beast article. Wolffe is a primary sycophant on the Obama train. Does he really believe that this explanation absolves the Administration from responsibility? Or is he trying to redeem himself, pretend now that he’s a real journalist?

    Whatever! The idea that Obama and his crew knew from the start how bad this spill was and decided to concentrate on “managing the message” is not only incompetent, it’s criminal. All the time wasted to try to contain and save what could be saved was thrown to the wind because they were worried about the “message and public opinion?”

    They belong behind bars, preferably with electric rods up their butts. It’s disgusting!

    • It was all image, image and image. If you recall they said he did this and that but couldn’t mention a specific…apart from reading a good line.

      “Hardball” Obama Supporter Kirk Watson , couldn’t name his accomplishments…”Well, well I am not going to name specific items of legislative accomplishments”… “He inspires”… 😯
      Chris Matthews grills State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-TX) on Barack Obama’s legislative accomplishments, February 19 2008

      • “Hardball” Obama Supporter Kirk Watson , couldn’t name his accomplishments…”Well, well I am not going to name specific items of legislative accomplishments”… “He inspires”… 😯
        Chris Matthews grills State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-TX) on Barack Obama’s legislative accomplishments, February 19 2008

    • I was wondering why a WH staffer would think this info was going to help his or her boss…. So, wheels within wheels?

      Sheesh.

  28. another reason to drag their feet on this( besides that’s just how they function ) is to get the cap on liabilities ducks in a row first . Gotta get that in place before the scope is realized….Also Parishes having to ask BP for direction?? I tell you, the American Experiment has concluded . We are a subsidiary of BP

    • BP will file bankruptcy and/or dissolve the corporation before they will pay any meaningful damage awards or penalties.

      Fines in the hundreds of millions won’t phase them.

      “Blimey, I’ll need to reach in my other pocket to pay that one.”

      • BP is very rich with assets. I’m not sure they are close to bankruptcy. They pay billions just in dividends, and if they stopped the dividends, they could pay for the clean up. The question is whether the government will make them or excuse them, like it happened with Exon.

        • And yet, if they have documented PROOF that they informed the administration of this early on, even though the public didn’t know, it’s quite possible courts will find the administration culpable for lack of action based on BP’s reports.

          Depends on what they can document in court.

        • They pay billions just in dividends,…

          This is what cracks me up when the business channels go on and on about the 69 million clean up so far bill DC slapped on BP the other day. I believe their daily profit is around 95 million A DAY…so I’m supposed to be impressed when they are told to fork over the process of less than one day? In the bigger $$$ picture, that’s the budget office pastry cart .
          ho-hum

          btw the other thing the business business were saying was there aren’t any jobs because the minimum wage is too high! Oh yeah that’s it! Why didn’t I figure that out?

        • I guarantee that BP will not pay any kind of meaningful fines or money judgments. We’ll be lucky to recover 5% of what the clean-up will actually cost.

          That’s what accountants, attorneys and corporate structures are for. They are already moving assets and rearranging things so BP will be virtually judgment proof.

  29. Given how badly every crisis has been handled, I am inclined to think that our country, as we know it, is finished. The magnitude of the oil spill is epic. It could have been dealt with if something had been done right away. Now, we will be cleaning up for years, and some things have probably been lost forever.

    I recently watched a documentary on PBS about the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corps, set up by Roosevelt. It put men to work, and gave them food, shelter and some money to send home (they were required to do so). But, also of interest to me, was the fact that part of the purpose was to reverse the years of bad use of the land that had caused the dust bowl. I feel like this is what we need for the oil spill.

  30. Dak-Kat (brought up from below): To add tags to your Flickr photos,

    Go to your Flickr Page.

    1. Click the link “Organize & Create”
    2. Click the tab “Batch Organize”
    Your photos will line up at the bottom of the screen.
    3. At the bottom of the screen (on the left side above your photos), click the “Select All” link.
    4. Drag all selected photos to the batch window (it will be obvious where that is. It says, “drag items here”).
    5. Click the link “Add Tags” (located at the top of the screen and beneath the tabs). This will bring up a dialog box where you can add tags (keywords). Separate each keyword/phrase with a comma.

    • thx done!!!!

      • PROPAGANDA ALERT! – WARNING ON BP!

        BP Buys ‘Oil’ Search Terms to Redirect Users to Official Company Website
        BP Spokesman Acknowledges Purchase ‘To Make It Easier for People to Find Out More About Our Efforts in the Gulf’ and Other Ways to Help

        By EMILY FRIEDMAN | VENICE, La., June 5, 2010

        “Be careful where you click, especially if you’re looking for news on the BP oil spill.

        BP, the very company responsible for the oil spill that is already the worst in U.S. history, has purchased several phrases on search engines such as Google and Yahoo so that the first result that shows up directs information seekers to the company’s official website.

        A simple Google search of “oil spill” turns up several thousand news results, but the first link, highlighted at the very top of the page, is from BP. “Learn more about how BP is helping,” the link’s tagline reads.

        A spokesman for the company confirmed to ABC News that it had, in fact, bought these search terms to make information on the spill more accessible to the public.:

        http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Broadcast/bp-buys-search-engine-phrases-redirecting-users/story?id=10835618

  31. I was just over at Memeorandum and I noticed that the progressive bloggers are basically ignoring the Wolffe article.

    They have been trying to walk a fine line on the oil spill story from the beginning. They are trying to report the story and bash BP without blaming Obama for anything (other than not emoting) If anything they are defending him.

    If McCain (or Hillary) was POTUS right now the proggers would have their torches and pitchforks out and would be staging protests all around the country.

    Where are the environmentalists? The Hollywood celebrities?

    • Bashing BP without blaming Obama for anything—-that’s exactly what The One’s political team is feeding to Obot bloggers. That’s the meme: the only bad guy is BP (Alinsky 101).

      • That’s the meme: the only bad guy is BP (Alinsky 101).

        keeping it simple. Obots inside are like a looking at a few pages torn out of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery ( and I don’t mean Mega Millions) They are ready to over the top adore or attack…that’s it.

    • Where are the environmentalists? The Hollywood celebrities?

      Where are the environmentalists I don’t know…the
      The Hollywood celebrities? They will not be singing
      ” We are The Gulf ” until thier paymasters tell them to . That will be in the touchy/ feely phase…we aren’t not there yet. My somewhat Obot friend cut short a disscussion aboit it with, ” It’s too sad to talk about. the Gulf ” ..that solves that problem !

      • well, Sean Penn is still in Haiti, working his ass off, so he deserves some credit.

    • The Left Coaster has one post up blaming Cheney for teh spill.

      • I read a comment here yesterday blaming Reagan.

        • blaming Reagan? You mean for the deregulation spree we have been on since his day ? There are two area of blame. The conditions that lead to the gusher and what has gone on since the gusher…I can see blaming Reagan in part for what lead to the gusher…but after? No. That’s all on O.

          • I agree with Paper Doll. The wingnuts get the blame for the deregulation spree, but Obummer and other “rational” conservatives–who are just as chummy with the Malefactors Of Great Wealth as the wingnuts–get the blame for right now.

            A “rational” conservative is just a wingnut who doesn’t hate swarthy people.

            The Dems are the “rational” conservatives, the GOP the wingnuts. Either way, the MOGW rule.

            OTOH, the Dems have been acting like wingnuts for years in a futile attempt to snag the “angry white male” vote, so it makes little difference which of the two corrupt conservative parties holds the majority of offices.

            That was the most despair-inducing thing about 2008 for me. I saw that the Dems had finally become the 2nd GOP.

    • Those smelly cajun fishermen and ugly pelicans aren’t cool enough for the celebs to go help.
      Ordinary environmentalists are upset over the oil spill, but for environmental organizations to get angry would be to get angry at Oprecious, and we can’t have that.

  32. spammy got me…I think after a certain number of replies per post , spammy snags one just on principle

  33. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: This Isn’t Katrina; It’s America’s Own Mega-Disaster. We Own It (BP Oil Spill Catastrophe)

    • A bit late for Rachel to discover that the political system in this country doesn’t work. 10 years late.
      And this is the reason I disagree that we all “own it”. Had I owned my vote, I’d agree. The people who stole it – in 2000, in 2004 and 2008 own it. They did it in large part so that BP be free to behave the way they did.

      • Damn straight, EoF. We peasants are not to blame for this, because we have no real political power, and with zero power comes zero responsibility, to misquote Spider-Man. 🙂

    • F off, Rachel. You’re part of the problem.

      WE knew better in 2008.

  34. The pathetic thing is that after putting so much effort in PR, they even failed at that. Obama Times fawning editorial eventually concludes

    By the time the president spoke again at the White House and then revisited the gulf on Friday, he seemed genuinely enraged at BP. The writer in him, perhaps, sensed that the oil from a snapped-off pipe on the ocean floor might yet come to signify something deeper about his administration. But chaos-weary Americans no longer needed him to share their outrage at the leak. They needed him to finally shut it off.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/weekinreview/06bai.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

    • …wow. The worship never ends.

      • True. But at least he figured out what we want.

        • It doesn’t even matter what point they’re trying to make or that he figured what what we want! I AM a writer (a real one!) and when I see things like, “…he seemed genuinely enraged at BP. The writer in him, perhaps, sensed that the oil from a snapped-off pipe on the ocean floor might yet come to signify something deeper about his administration.” I literally want to throw up.
          A person reading this who doesn’t understand abuse of language misses the point. They miss the incompetence, because all they read is poor heroic Obama who is so amazing and we cannot understand his brilliance.

  35. “myiq2xu, on June 5, 2010 at 10:27 am Said:
    I could give a shit if Obama “emotes” or not.
    I just want him to do his fucking job”

    With all due respect, I think you’re missing the point. He doesn’t emote because he doesn’t have empathy. If he had empathy for others, he would care what is happening to the people and animals down there, and he would have been working furiously on this catastrophe since day 1. There is a big positive correlation between what you care about and what you’re motivated to do.

    He cares about himself. He’s been motivated to spin.

    • Exactly: the reason he is now making PR stops is only because the outrage built to the point that it was even being expressed by Dems, so that finally woke him from his narcissistic haze to defend his threatened poll numbers. Big woop.

  36. Hey bb–we’re in the 14,000th hour of our state convention and so far zero mentions of The One. Paul Kirk even lauded the health care bill during the Kennedy tribute and managed to avoid it. 😉 What’s the over under–will it happen?

    • Lurch is coming up–if anyone is enough of a dolt to break the streak, it’s him.

      • And Lurch comes through, blames Bush and Paulson for bailing out the banks “before Barack Obama was even elected.” we will not have a scrupulously Plastic Jesus-free convention on Lurch’s watch!

        • If “Lurch” means John Kerry, I am SO sorry I sent that SOB $100 in 2004, only to watch him roll over and play dead in the face of more GOP electoral shenanigans. 😡

          I have never sent money to a political campaign since.

          • Awww, sorry. 😦 I said about Hill that I was sending every dime I could because it’s the one time I would have regretted not sending enough, as opposed to the typical I regret sending that scumbag one damn dime generally fostered by our party.

    • Wow, that’s interesting. Obama is cryptonite for Dems these days.

      • Great Rao, BB! “Kryptonite” is spelled with a “K”!

        Were you an exclusive Marvel Zombie or something? 😛

  37. Have you heard Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen speaking about this? On tv news he uses the words “we” and “our” – “our efforts to cap the well”, “we are blah, blah, blah”. The man thinks he works for BP. You’d think someone in the WH pr dept would be smart enough to coach him.

    • Adm. Allen is just being honest.

      But you’re right, you’d think the WH would catch on to that.

      Again, as I noted above, the Malefactors Of Great Wealth aren’t even trying to pretend they don’t own the government. WTF? 😡

    • He’s so June 2! (before Obama declared that he’s not playing with BP anymore)

  38. Uhhh, please be careful, y’all–this looks like a wingnut blog. 😮

    • I was talking about the link to “The Anchoress”, which apparently has been removed. 🙂

  39. Remember when “news management” was called bias, censorship, and propaganda?

  40. While on the subject on news management – I figured out why the misnomer “oil spill” was adopted by the entire media
    http://url4.eu/45rWE

    (NewsCore) – A BP spokesman confirmed that the company bought search terms related to oil spill in order to direct internet users to the company’s own information about cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, ABC News reported Saturday.

    I seem to remember Obama being praised for being so savvy in the past in having his OFA come at the top of all election searches. Coincidence? I think not.

  41. http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-06-03/obama-white-house-exodus-20-something-true-believers-burning-out/2/

    H/T Bronwyn from NQ and her post on the upbove article.

    It seems that at least some WH-Obots are starting to understand that being a wonk is a good thing.

    There are a lot of gems in that article…this is only one.

    “A lot of folks have identified that [they] should actually know what [they’re] talking about,” says Evans, “not just advocate what’s in my heart, but what works.” “

  42. In this world buys everything including the lies! So all these companies sold out the American people for a few more dollars…why am I not surprised!

  43. Spin = lie by someone who lacks the ability to see the consequences.
    This environmental disaster will impact the seas around the world. It also means that more people in the world will go hungry. Food from the Gulf is already gone, destroyed by the carelessness of our govt. and BP. The oil cannot be easily cleaned up and most of the govt and BP efforts to clean it up came too little and WAY too late. It’s just the average immorality that seems to infect big business and politicians taken to it’s natural deadly conclusion. Politicians don’t see or care about the real consequences. Listen up WASHINGTON, DC AND BP. It’s the end of the world as any of us know it.

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