Gulf Crisis Implodes Presidency

Flanked above his left shoulder by what looked like a pair of turkey legs dressed in a red-striped diaper, the President of the United States spent twenty minutes Tuesday night capitulating to a fight that he refuses to win.

The terms of battle are simple. We need to plug the hole, contain the oil, extract the oil from the water, and swiftly remove the oil that makes it onto beaches and wetlands. Count ‘em. Four things.

As far as plugging the hole goes, there was no news from the President’s lips. He avoided using the word August.

For containment and removal, the President directed our attention to future oil. He said we could soon expect to see 90 percent of the future oil captured at the point of the gusher. He didn’t say 90 percent of what.

In terms of the oil that’s already out there, the President illuminated nothing. He didn’t say how much he thought there was or how much capacity we have to extract it. He repeated what we already know: millions of gallons of oily water have been extracted from the Gulf, millions of boom-feet have been deployed. He said nothing to convince us that the effort even halfway matches up to the challenge. He didn’t show any maps or aerial photos.

Either the President does not understand the urgency of the battle against the oil at sea or he thinks that we won’t notice how he left that part ill defined. But we’ve had eight weeks to notice. The single most important difference that the President can make is the difference in the battle against the oil at sea. Yet this is what he does not clarify, not even speaking prime time from the Oval Office.

As for removal and cleanup of oil at shore, this has been the President’s favorite issue all along, like when he called the cameras closer to him at Grand Isle while he picked up a tiny little tar ball from the beach.

“And sadly,” said the President, “no matter how effective our response is, there will be more oil and more damage before this siege is done.” Therefore, he has meetings scheduled, commissions appointed, and make no mistake about it, he – the President of the United States – has ordered plans to be drawn up!

All by himself and speaking from behind the most powerful desk in the world on Tuesday night, the President of the United States imploded his Presidency. Finally, the only people who make any sense any more are those who said from the very beginning that this man would not stand and deliver.

CNN could have nailed the coverage. They had all the necessary assets in place, including the Carvilles, David Gergen, Anderson Cooper, Billy Nungesser, and a room full of “real people.” But everything was underplayed, chiefly because the people who are most likely to feel the truth are also the people most in need of whatever the President still has to offer.

Nungesser and the Carvilles restrained themselves. The “real people” were given only about a minute to convey their shrewd grasp of the hopelessness they were left in. Nothing will ever be the same again. Didn’t the President confirm that? Quick as they appeared from the Gulf the “real people” were gone. As a sheen of timidity darkened the production values at CNN, you could find yourself clicking to the Palin-O’Reilly channel for a timidity-free zone.

Twenty minutes before the President’s address I got an email from the Plaquemines Parish news service about the latest effects of the BP-led assault on the Gulf Coast.

“As you can see in the pictures,” said the text of the email, “plastic bags containing snare boom were recklessly placed without consideration for the natural wildlife” on Queen Bess Island where the Plaquemines Parish Inland Waterways Strike Force recently discovered broken eggs and crushed chicks of the precious Brown Pelicans.

“They (the Brown Pelicans) already have the oil affecting their population during their reproduction time. Now we have the so-called clean-up crews stomping eggs,” said Nungesser. “The lack of urgency and general disregard for Louisiana’s wetlands and wildlife is enough to make you sick.”

Greg Moses is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. He can be reached at: gmosesx@prodigy.net. Read other articles by Greg, or visit Greg's website.

18 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on June 16th, 2010 at 9:36am #

    Lucky for US, all the oceans are connected and earth is not flat. So? Well, US can use a huge sucking machine and dsiperse the gulf waters all over the orb.

    As the world leader and the chief police for world peace, order, security it wld have at least an oral right to do that. How ab a moral right? Well, that is a big issue for my small brain to tackle.

    But gulping gulf waters by bns of cubic meters a minute or second shld have been done the first day. But i hate all oil drilling; so i did not offer BP-congres this solution. tnx

  2. Don Hawkins said on June 16th, 2010 at 1:16pm #

    Ex-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called Obama a “dreamer.”

    “Stopping the gusher, that’s the No. 1 priority of the nation,” she told Bill O’Reilly on Fox News.

    “Certainly we need that, but he is wrong not to acknowledge that we still need on a three-legged stool the conventional sources of energy to be drilled here,” Palin said.
    “Otherwise, Bill, we are going to be dropped to our knees and bowing to the Saudis and Venezuela and places like Russia, that will keep producing oil and petroleum products,” she said. Then “we will have to ask them to produce for us because we will still be dependent upon these sources of energy.”

    Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argued on “Fox & Friends” that Obama was using the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as a tool to serve his own agenda for a national energy tax.

    The administration is “seizing on this crisis in the Gulf to try to do something that has absolutely nothing to do with getting the oil leak stopped, and the oil cleaned up,” he said.

    “The climate bill isn’t going to stop the oil leak,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “Stop the oil leak, that’s what this is all about right now.” Daily News

    I watched Mitch the wise one on TV today saying the same thing the old cap and tax. As a side note or maybe a side show these morons and there total nonsense is tiring to say the least. Hay Mitch we know cap and trade will not work and we also know to give this a try will take a little harder choice at least for you and those special interests you are up to your eye ball’s in. On the oil spill a secret Mitch no amount of money will fix this little problem can you understand that? Oh Sarah where did you learn about a three-legged stool I mean who writes this stuff for you the Ayn Rand Institute? Alaska experienced unprecedented fire activity during May that was more characteristic of extreme July conditions what part of that don’t you understand? Oh Mitch McConnell did his little cap and tax thing in front of the Capital today and two million as a start only a start Capital one voice loud and clear stop the bullshit the madness we know it’s kind of easy to see now. I wonder how two million people one voice at the same time illusion illusion illusion foolishness foolishness foolishness tomorrow is already here tomorrow is already here would sound ringing down the hall’s. I know a dreamer.

  3. Don Hawkins said on June 16th, 2010 at 2:00pm #

    Coffee we have that tea we have that too nice game of checkers what are your thought’s on this funny weather we seem to be having?

  4. Don Hawkins said on June 16th, 2010 at 2:47pm #

    11 die in French floods

    16.06.10

    Up to 11 people have been killed by flash floods in south-eastern France. Two others are missing in the aftermath of flash floods that followed powerful rainstorms.

    Unusually heavy rains in the Var region have transformed streets into muddy rivers sweeping up trees and cars.

    More than 1200 people spent the night in shelters while tens of thousands of people are now without electricity.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent condolences to the region’s residents and thanked the emergency response personnel. tv3

    Unusually heavy rains is it and Worldwide this is starting to add up. No not that we all are in deep do do that’s a nobrainer people’s lives. How about another World summit this time for real.

  5. diane said on June 16th, 2010 at 5:51pm #

    I have really been biting my tongue the last few weeks, but this is the most stupid article I have read in some time and I just have to comment
    I am an old left Australian and I find most of the American left to equate to the Australian right and take this into account but sometimes my tolerance just evaporates particularly when the situation is as dire as it is at the moment

    Take Moses statement
    The terms of battle are simple. We need to plug the hole, contain the oil, extract the oil from the water, and swiftly remove the oil that makes it onto beaches and wetlands. Count ‘em. Four things

    Pleaaase, good old american knowhow is just gunna get in there and clean it up no sweat, Grow up mr Moses its not possible given the amount of oil being dispersed, at a minimum it should be in the hands of an international UN committee, where all nations can contribute to the dialogue and explore solutions and access a world wide scientific expertise

    In 200 years american have managed to destroy pretty much all their own natural environment and like 18 year olds let loose with their first cars are hell bent on destroying the rest of the worlds

    Secondly when was the last time Americans actually elected a real person as President?
    Obama is a creature of your political system, most americans blanch when it is suggested they change the constitution to something resembling democracy yet they continue to act as if the thing actually works
    Really
    Diane

  6. Don Hawkins said on June 16th, 2010 at 6:46pm #

    In 200 years american have managed to destroy pretty much all their own natural environment and like 18 year olds let loose with their first cars are hell bent on destroying the rest of the worlds.

    Well put and I just watched some 18 year olds on Fox news the Hannity show. Change is coming this will not last.

  7. Deadbeat said on June 17th, 2010 at 4:02am #

    I think diane is absolutely correct and I’ve criticize Moses’s weak perspectives of his previous articles. What the BP catastrophe reveal is how f’d up the Capitalist system is. NO AMOUNT OF MONEY can repair this problem. MONEY is a USELESS concept to measure the damage caused by BP’s property relationship to the environment that was permitted by the Capitalist government. This crisis is an indictment of the Capitalist system and there should be calls out for its complete discard.

    There is really nothing that Obama especially since he is a man who embraces the systemic contraints. These contraints have been 40 years in the making. And blaming Obama is really a waste of time if not downright counterproductive because it diverts attention away from the ills of the Capitalist system. Diane is right, without any call for a reassessment of the capitalist system Moses article rather than being of dissent is actually reactionary.

  8. Don Hawkins said on June 17th, 2010 at 4:32am #

    Sent to CNBC this morning,

    Amazing,

    So far today all of your guests seem to be on the same page how do they
    all know how to do it at the same time. Wait the book how to win friends and
    influence people. Of course there is that other book the book of knowledge
    and the wonderful thing about that book is it’s never finished and can make
    changes when more is learned oh and there is a part in the book of
    knowledge about authority. So far today if we translate what your guest’s have
    said from the Zenon language to a more simple language that more people can
    understand what was said I guess was we are all going down the drain in not
    such slow motion and we are not going to do a damn thing about it it’s just
    better that way. Go shopping maybe buy some gold listen to your so called
    leaders in there varying forms watch your parking meters don’t forget to put
    that check in the mail and what about those blackhawk’s. It does seem more
    people are starting to translate the Zenon to that more simple language
    hurry the light the light go faster say something anything people will believe
    anything. Just maybe that’s not so true anymore and we need to work on
    that it’s in the book.

    “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
    Albert

    Dave Bowman: HAL, I won’t argue with you anymore. Open the doors.
    HAL: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye

    I wonder did Hal read the book how to win friends and influence people
    and then all those zero’s and one’s big small big small no wonder Hal
    wouldn’t open the door.

    Don

  9. Don Hawkins said on June 17th, 2010 at 7:30am #

    Wow,

    So the line is being drawn in the sand and how does it play out not well. A shake down is it and who else might think in this way? I guess just a fundamental difference of opinion self interest who has it and who doesn’t is it time for lunch yet? To keep thinking in terms of money on the spill is not the answer as there is no amout of money on this planet that can solve this problem and of course the other one that is a hoax that we hear from the self interest people.

  10. Don Hawkins said on June 17th, 2010 at 8:46am #

    A few minutes ago Larry Kudlow said Tony Hayward needs to come clean tell the truth. Yes Tony tell the truth the whole thing just how do you all think up there on the top floor go for it tell the people not just here in the States but the World the whole story the biggest whistle blower of all time go for it. Then just maybe you can help clean up another little mess and for that one the luck of the God’s you will need.

  11. Don Hawkins said on June 17th, 2010 at 9:06am #

    Well they took a early lunch at the hearing be back at noon. Maybe they will lose the coat and tie roll up the selves and go to work. Then again maybe they don’t know how to go to work or if they ever did real work forgot how yes a bit of a problem. On the who’s ass to kick just maybe they would have to kick each others ass and what a site that would be although they sort of do that now. Get those boot’s people and prepare it’s going to get ruff. Oh on BP the beautiful people save the bond holders save the bond holders never mind about the human race. A new way of thinking one way or the other on the way.

  12. Don Hawkins said on June 18th, 2010 at 3:27am #

    Sent this out this morning

    Hay,

    CNBC was on Glenn Beck last night. I think he said you all are on to it. It’s a shakedown and it does appear this whole shakedown thing well there’s rules that need to be followed. Now the best way is for the money to come in from the private sector to the public sector you know laws and all that. Any changes to this system that has worked so well as we see is unamerican. Maybe we need a committee/commie on unamerican activities. Let us sing

    Oh the games people play now
    Ev’ry night and ev’ry day now
    Never meaning what they say, yeah
    Never saying what they mean.

    People walking up to you
    Singing glory hallelujah
    Then thy try to sock it to you, oh
    In the name of the Lord

    Never meaning what they say, yeah
    Never saying what they mean.

    Never meaning what they say, yeah
    Never saying what they mean.

    Now I don’t know about you all but I need to work on that.

    Don

    And for you all at DV who do watch Glenn Beck remember he did have a drinking problem although from watching him probably a light weight and that little ADD problem that he always’ tell’s people about. He does have a new book out and for the small low low price think of it as a seed it can be yours and remember the Never meaning what they say, yeah
    Never saying what they mean.
    Does old Glenn have like a hidden agenda no he’s on Fox News the fair and balanced channel there looking out for us and a few close friends of course. Coffee, tea

  13. Don Hawkins said on June 18th, 2010 at 4:19am #

    There are new movies to not go and see it’s official although this whole official part is hard to figure out just who or what that is in old twenty ten. South of the Border no no no as from what I understand it’s about the truth and we sure wouldn’t want to get that started. The Book of Eli has an interesting story line and the official word or book is the plot. Remember don’t go see these movies go shopping maybe buy gold stay diversified or two million to start only a start Capital one voice tomorrow is already here and heck maybe the tea party people might want to join in am thinking great speakers and song’s again how about

    Oh the games people play now
    Ev’ry night and ev’ry day now
    Never meaning what they say, yeah
    Never saying what they mean.

    People walking up to you
    Singing glory hallelujah
    Then thy try to sock it to you, oh
    In the name of the Lord

    Ringing down the hall’s of power I guess that’s what they call it. Cap and trade will not work any ideas on what could be a real try? Oil oil everywhere and ……………………………

  14. Don Hawkins said on June 18th, 2010 at 4:34am #

    Breaking news BP was just down graded to A2 from double A 2. The planet Zenon comes to mind. Think parallel Universe.

  15. Don Hawkins said on June 18th, 2010 at 4:49am #

    Ok just watched two people on CNBC big people as opposed to small people and the one man said he is favor of cap and trade and the other man said he is also 100% in favor of cap and trade. Now let me get this right these icons are in favor of cap and trade something that will not work and guarantee that my kid’s and there kid’s get to live in hell on Earth makes perfect sense to me how about you all.

  16. Don Hawkins said on June 18th, 2010 at 5:02am #

    Now just on the off chance what we now see with our own eye’s rather major changes to Earth happening somewhat fast for all you assorted icons, talking heads, so called policy makers, elites and yes you to Beck what would a real try at slowing this down look like. Come on put on your thinking cap.

  17. Don Hawkins said on June 18th, 2010 at 6:41am #

    This misconstrued misconstruction I mean I didn’t know there was such a
    thing on Earth. Now Zenon yes that as we know is far far away yes far far
    away. Funny that never comes up just normal I guess. I give up where do I
    sign up? Maybe thorazine or lithium a better choice? Misconstrued
    misconstruction is there a certain place to find it you know other than Zenon.

  18. Don Hawkins said on June 18th, 2010 at 7:02am #

    I think I found one

    So gas from shale well any thought’s on water fresh water.

    http://geology.com/usgs/marcellus-shale/

    Could this be a misconstrued misconstruction am going to see if I can find one here on Earth is it rare bigger than a bread box ok animal mineral or vegetable. Just left nut case stuff hugging trees and all that. Well in the Great plans, California the Mid East not only now but in a few more years water and heck right now China is that water suppose to be black like that? I know misconstrued misconstruction