Obama Administration’s Delayed Response to the Oil Spill: Look for the Union Label

Remember when the Dutch offered not only their skimmers, but crews experienced in cleaning up oil spills mere days after the Deepwater Horizon well blew out?

The Obama administration initially turned down the offer because the skimmers didn’t live up to EPA regs (the filtered water they’d spit back into the gulf would still contain a small fraction of oil — oh the horror).

Now the Obama administration has allowed the skimmers, but not experience Dutch crews to operate them. Why? As with every decision this administration makes, it has something to do with labor unions:

The Americans, overwhelmed by the catastrophic consequences of the BP spill, finally relented and took the Dutch up on their offer — but only partly. Because the U.S. didn’t want Dutch ships working the Gulf, the U.S. airlifted the Dutch equipment to the Gulf and then retrofitted it to U.S. vessels. And rather than have experienced Dutch crews immediately operate the oil-skimming equipment, to appease labour unions the U.S. postponed the clean-up operation to allow U.S. crews to be trained.

From day one we’ve been putting big labor before people and the environment!”

(h/t Instapundit)

Hang in There, Gulf Coast Residents — The IRS is Coming to the Rescue!

There have been complaints about a lack of “coordinated reponse” to the Gulf oil spill, but rest assured, the IRS response will be very coordinated:

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Internal Revenue Service wants its cut from oil spill victims who receive BP payments for lost wages.
The agency says that under current law, BP payments for lost wages are taxable—just like the lost wages would have been.
[…]
The IRS is planning to hold forums in seven cities in the Gulf region on July 17 to help oil spill victims with tax troubles or questions.

Because nothing will help lift the spirits of people who have lost their livelihoods better than a day at an IRS tax seminar and later trying to figure out how to write off tar balls as dependents.

Jumping on the cash as BP dumps it in the area before the money has a chance to get away is known in IRS circles as a “top kill.” Couldn’t the IRS have its agents at least wash a turtle or something useful while they’re down there?

The government has sent a team of attorneys from the Justice Department and some thumb-screw weilding collectors from the Internal Revenue Service to the Gulf, and yet the leak hasn’t yet been plugged. Better send more bureaucrats!

Update: And the hits keep on coming: Joe Biden will travel to the gulf on Tuesday. Can Plugs plug the hole? Now that would be a “big f-in deal.”

The Obama Administration Lied, the Drilling Moratorium Died

If the Obama administration does in fact believe that deep water drilling should not continue at all until more is learned about the BP accident, with a federal judge overturning Obama’s across-the-board drilling moratorium, the administration became victims of their own addiction to misrepresentation, lies and fraud:

A federal judge in New Orleans halted President Obama’s deepwater drilling moratorium on Tuesday, saying the government never justified the ban and appeared to mislead the public in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Judge Martin L.C. Feldman issued an injunction, saying that the moratorium will hurt drilling-rig operators and suppliers and that the government has not proved an outright ban is needed, rather than a more limited moratorium.

He also said the Interior Department also misstated the opinion of the experts it consulted. Those experts from the National Academy of Engineering have said they don’t support the blanket ban.

“Much to the government’s discomfort and this Court’s uneasiness, the summary also states that ‘the recommendations contained in this report have been peer-reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.’ As the plaintiffs, and the experts themselves, pointedly observe, this statement was misleading,” Judge Feldman said in his 22-page ruling.

A few days ago, the drilling experts said that the Obama administration not only misrepresented their opinions, but actually modified the reports after they signed them. In any world other than Chicago-style politics, this would be called fraud and somebody would have lost their job over it — at the very least (Ken Salazar is testifying at a Senate subcommittee hearing today, incidentally).

If the Obama administration is so correct in their “assessments,” why the need to lie about the facts? Maybe some enterprising reporter can ask Robert Gibbs that question today to give him something new to dance around.

As for Obama’s upcoming lawsuit against Arizona challenging that state’s immigration law, if Team Obama is going to fall back on the old habit of wildly misrepresenting facts to win the case, you’d think they’d look at what just happened with the drilling moratorium ruling. If they do take a close look at that ruling, Obama’s people will reconsider their usual strategy of lying through their teeth and hoping the judge is as gullible as the people who put Obama in the White House in the first place.

Nobody’s buying the schtick anymore.

Update: The judge who made the ruling has oil investments. This will be a big Dem talking point but it doesn’t undo the Obama administration’s lies and distortions concerning the moratorium.

‘Absolutely Safe’ Energy Sources? Not Possible

Byron York: “Who told Obama that drilling is ‘absolutely safe’?”

Hopefully not the same person who told Obama that nuclear power plants can be absolutely safe.

There are in fact no “absolutely safe” energy sources. Consider one of the simplest and most convenient energy sources we have available: Ourselves. Obama recently expressed an interest in leg power — getting people to ride bikes and walk to where they’re going more (and spent a fortune of our money on it as a matter of fact). Do you know how many pedestrians and bicyclists are killed each year? Me neither, but I do know that it’s a lot.

If “leg power” is a dangerous source of energy, I’m certain that any energy source from there on up is going to carry with it risks. We should spend our time planning how to manage inevitable risks instead of on the futile exercise of trying to eliminate them.

Just a little something to Chu on heading into the weekend.

Now, speaking of energy sources, it’s about time to light the grill! Have a good weekend, and if you don’t see new posts here over the weekend, be sure to check in over at Michelle’s site.

Stretch Pelosi Reminds Everyone Oil Spill is Fault of Bush and the Republican Congress

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On her website, the illustrious Big Gavel commented on last night’s President Obama speech on the oil spill.

How long have the Democrats controlled Congress, anyway? Just wondering:

“The disastrous BP oil spill is a harsh reminder of the price we are now paying for the Bush Administration and Republican Congress placing the employees of Big Oil in charge of regulating their own industry.

Questions abound: If “big oil” is in charge of regulating its own industry, why was the Minerals Management Service Director the first head to roll over this? Also, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, etc, can orchestrate a takeover of Wall Street, health care and an auto company virtually overnight, but, almost two years after Bush left and several years after the GOP lost control of Congress, they couldn’t change how the drilling industry was regulated?

Pelosi naturally skips over the fact that, during two terms of Bush, BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig received six safety citations. During Obama’s first term, the rig was given a safety award.

Since the spill is all the fault of Bush and the Republicans who haven’t controlled Congress for four years, Obama didn’t see it necessary to meet with BP execs for more than 20 minutes, and BP has agreed to put $20 billion in a trust fund for victims of the oil spill.

If somebody finds a way to plug the hole with gall, the country will finally have a good use for Nancy Pelosi.

From Day 1, Obama Was Focused on Getting Barbara Boxer Re-Elected

At a press briefing on Thursday, Press Sec Robert Gibbs was asked why President Obama didn’t attend the memorial service on May 25 for workers who were killed in the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion:

(CNN) – According his official schedule, President Obama did not attend the May 25 memorial service in Jackson, Mississippi for the workers who died in the Deepwater Horizon explosion because he was en route to a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, in San Francisco.

Oh well, why should Obama have gone to the memorial service when the whole thing was Bush’s fault anyway, whereas Barbara Boxer is going to help eliminate national security threats by taxing us for every time we exhale?

Priorities.

Proof-Positive Obama’s Been Hanging Around Bill Clinton Too Much

The Wall Street Journal story on Obama’s touch & go to the Gulf region earlier today caught me with the headline, “Obama gets lesson on tar balls,” but there’s also evidence contained therein that the president’s been hanging around Bill Clinton too much:

New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes was skeptical: “Can you be sure these oil tar balls are from the oil spill? Because when I used to swim on the Gulf in Texas, I’d get tar balls in my bathing suit all the time.”

Allen and Randolph, the parish president, confirmed that tar balls do wash up at other times, though these, they said, were likely from the spill.

But the president was distracted. “At some point, Jackie, we’ll want to hear more about those tar balls and your bathing suit,” Obama said, as reporters laughed.

Yeah… anyway, back to the looming huge disaster…

Bobby Jindal Says All We Need to Know About the Dangers of Over Federalization

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and everybody else in the state are desperate to begin cleaning up the ever-increasing messes of crude oil along the shoreline, but they can’t because they’re still waiting for the federal government permits.

Speaking with Anderson Cooper from an oil-covered marsh, Jindal asked the government to “approve this emergency permit, let us to help ourselves.”

“Let us help ourselves”? Maybe Governor Jindal has been to busy to notice our long slide into nanny-statism that not only discourages self-reliance, but has outlawed it in many cases. The federal government thinks that a good sitter should never allow the baby to change his own diaper — even if he’s been sitting in his own s*#t for a month.

When the leak is stopped (reports are that the “top kill” method is working) and the mess is being cleaned up in the coming months, as many people as possible need to be reminded that the shoreline might not have been as bad if local officials hadn’t had their hands tied by DC red tape for a senselessly long period of time.

That said, ironically, we all know that the “solution” will involve even heavier federal regulations.

(h/t Hot Air Pundit)

Doh! Janet Napolitano Didn’t Know the Defense Dept. Had Equipment to Help Clean Up Oil Spills

As what point can we start referring to the head of the Department of Homeland Security as an “Obama-caused disaster”?

From the New York Times via Gateway Pundit:

A review of the response suggests it may be too simplistic to place all the blame for the unfolding environmental catastrophe on the oil company. The federal government also had opportunities to move more quickly, but did not do so while it waited for a resolution to the spreading spill from BP.

The Department of Homeland Security waited until Thursday to declare that the incident was “a spill of national significance,” and then set up a second command center in Mobile, Ala. The actions came only after the estimate of the size of the spill was increased fivefold to 5,000 barrels a day.

The delay meant that the Homeland Security Department waited until late this week to formally request a more robust response from the Department of Defense, with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano acknowledging even as late as Thursday afternoon that she did not know if the Defense Department even had equipment that might be helpful.

Heckuva job, Jannie!

Just something to keep in mind as people point the finger at BP and even predictably play the “blame Bush/Cheney” game with the “Halliburton connection”.

Some are calling this “Obama’s Katrina” — but so far I haven’t seen Geraldo down there holding oil-covered birds and pleading into the camera “Let the pelicans go!” — only then will it officially be Obama’s Katrina.

A list of the worst oil spills of all time is here. The perpetrator of the largest spill of all time was swinging at the end of a rope not long ago… but not specifically for that reason.