Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gloom, Despair and Agony

You've heard the phrase "the world is too much with us?" Well, that's the way I have felt this week. Maybe it's because I've had a backache, but every time I watch the news, I want to curl up in a ball and try to think happy thoughts.

I'm feeling for those poor people in Louisiana. They still haven't recovered from Katrina, and now, the oil spill. And, that makes me realize that the people in our government, be they Republicans or Democrats are really good at talking but not much good at doing.

So, we have calls for President Obama to "do something." What they mean, of course, is he hasn't been talking about it enough. Because that's what we do. After all, what can he do, but stay after BP and insist that they clean up the mess they created. And, I have no doubt he has been doing that. He just doesn't always tell us about it.

Today, he had a press conference, and took responsibility for failing to tell us, sooner, what he has been doing. Reminded me of JFK taking full responsibility for the Bay of Pigs, and the sign on Harry Truman's desk stating, "The buck stops here."

Now, maybe people will stop whinging about what Pres. Obama is going to do about an oil spill that wasn't his fault, and the cleanup that he can't do anything about, because there is a law, passed in 1990 in response to the Exxon Valdez catastrophe, placing all oil spills on the oil companies, and now he has to figure out a loophole in that law.

I think we need some kind of law allowing the president to take whatever steps are necessary in the face of an emergency such as this, a natural disaster, and then sort out all the details later.

Stay tuned.


Arkansas Patti said...

The news kind of make you look at the 2012 predictions a bit closer. Sure does look like our wheels are coming off.
When you think of the number of such platforms around the world you can only wonder what have we been thinking.

Tincanman said...

The President can get around all laws by declaring a national state of emergency. He should immediately seize all assests of BP. He can arrest and detain all BP corporate officers pending criminal investigation. He can order BP resources to continue the capping and clean up. Seizing their world wide assets will ensure it is their money not ours that pays for this mess. Although, how you put a monetary figure on a disaster like this that is likely to take a hundred years or more to resolve is beyond me. If any BP assets are left after the well is capped and the environment and other factors are restored and paid for, he can release the remaining assets back to BP. If criminal charges can be brought against the corporate officers then prosecute. If not, release them from prison. That's decisive leadership. Everything else is just worthless lip-flapping. And, by the way, all off-shore drilling should be stopped...forever. Cold turkey is the only way America will be weaned from their oil addiction. Eventually, the world's oil reserves will be depleted anyway. Better to get off it now and develop viable alternatives.

kenju said...

You are so right. I loved when he said that Malia had asked him "if he plugged the hole yet?"

Darlene said...

It all sounds good, tincanman. By declaring a national emergency can the president really seize the assets of BP? I didn't know that the law allowed him to do that.

The president is not an oil man and has to rely on the industry to fix this mess. If he could go down to LA and plug the hole I have no doubt he would have done that the first day. What a hero he would be.

What I really hate is the way the politicians are using this national catastrophe to hurl insults right and left. This should be above politics.

Tincanman said...

I fully agree with you. This should be above politics, but sadly....

On the assets seizure, here’s what I think (warning: I’m not an attorney so seek licensed, professional legal opinion before adopting the following suggestions). :-)

As I understand it, the President certainly can seize assets and arrest the corporate leaders of British Petroleum. There is precedence upon which he can act. Homeland Security entities such as I.C.E. are successful in freezing and/or seizing assets of companies suspected of hiring illegal aliens for their workforce. Likewise, the Federal government has frozen assets of individuals and businesses suspected of criminal and/or terrorist activities. In this case, we a clear-cut case of environmental terrorism with eleven dead and suspicions that the BP, Halliburton and Transocean corporations were criminally negligent in the operation of that rig and the drilling well that exploded. It is legally irrelevant whether the crime was intentional or not. This entire area is, essentially, a potential crime scene and yet we have the perpetrators of the suspected criminal activity in front of cameras giving news briefings and pretending they’re sorry for their crime when they should be in irons and behind bars pending investigation and criminal prosecution should the evidence warrant.

Chancy said...

Good idea

Clean up the mess and then sort it all out later.

Grayquill said...

I heard today that BP had over 700 flagrant safety violations - what good are violations, inspections if they only log the violation - hmmm...maybe be somebody is getting paid off.

patsy said...

we have such of a law, it was passed about the time JFK was president. I have forgot what it is called but i know when the law was passed it scared the dickens out of some of us. Under certain conditions a president can declare marshal law and have more power than anyone in the goverment. I was afraid that Chaney and Bush would decide to use it while they had the power.
a president, I forgot which one said the president had the power of the bully pulpit and that is what Obama is using now.
I too feel bad for people along the coast but I think if they can't stop this it might be the death of the oceans and if so all living things on this earth. It is a very bad thing.

Margie's Musings said...

All offshore drilling should be stopped immediately.

Offshore drilling was always an accident just waiting to happen.

And, yes, I have always said, the rich get special treatment while the poor get the consequences.

Capitalism is greed driven.

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