Gulf oil spill is SO Obama’s Katrina

Which parallel is not analogous? Off New Orleans, massive devastation to environment and human health, predictable failure of flawed technology, inadequate official response which broadens tragedy. Leaving BP to shoulder cleanup is like tasking arsonists to extinguish their fire. BP is responsible, but needn’t be put in charge. Put every government resource into addressing this calamity, make oil industry write the checks. By any standards of a failed rescue, Obama’s watch is proving as laggard as Bush’s.

We can all express our awe at the scale of the spill, but who can believe the professionals couldn’t foresee it? The media ramped its estimates incrementally, but department first responders were theorizing 100,000 barrels a day right from the start.

I’m amused that conservative critics use “Katrina” in the pejorative, where they didn’t hold it against Bush. Katrina has come to mean colossal fail, but what did it mean for Bush? It wasn’t his Waterloo, it didn’t even stub his toe. Those who pretend Katrina was Dubya’s downfall are the same pundits who describe Iraq as a blunder. Lies. To tar President Obama with a tragedy of like magnitude of a predecessor is to remind the electorate how bad Bush was.

I’m pleased by the comparison because it pollutes your perception that voting matters. The choice of lesser of two evils means relative degrees of industrial strength toxicity.

Why aren’t Obama hopefuls confident enough to let their leader take this “Katrina” on? Let him own it and beat Bush’s legacy of indifferent passivity.

Are you provoked because “Katrina” presumes a callous failure, as yet in your opinion unmerited by Team Obama? I’d rather say it means disaster in the sense of a test which proved this nation’s horribly misplaced priorities. Has Obama’s administration brought better preparedness in the face of unforeseen peril coming in with the tide? In such a manner alone this oil spill will rival Katrina. If you are measuring only loss of human lives, look to the health impact which the crude infusion will bring.

Now if you’re asking if the oil spill is a “Katrina” land grab of coastal real estate, and excuse to gentrify New Orleans and remake gambling regulations to suit the casinos, perhaps not. But count the same relief contractors to make themselves spillionaires. Once again the residents will bear the burden of the labor and disruption, ultimately to lose their livelihoods and homes. This time instead of praising “Brownie” the president will praise BP for doing their best, as the media will assure us it was. The spill’s magnitude could never have been predicted, they’ll say, a mitigation of the damage beyond anyone’s capability.

Was “Katrina” a repudiation of our reliance on old levees? Not really. Will this Katrina mean a rekindled moratorium against new offshore drilling capers? I doubt it. Americans inland will probably write off the oceans. No longer pristine, what with mercury, hypoxia and now oil, why not Drill Baby Drill with what is there left to lose aplomb?

3 thoughts on “Gulf oil spill is SO Obama’s Katrina

  1. Two big differences, the time scale (1 year as opposed to 4) and that the New Orleans levees are DIRECTLY funded through Executive Orders and directly managed through the Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers. Right now, BP is writing some serious checks, to their attorneys. They’re in lawyer-up mode. That’s not a good sign. Apparently there’s no valve left to “turn off” with Robot Subs and BP goddamn knew that all along.

    And they’re pushing a major media campaign to blame their contractors, and… the American government. The government that’s really left powerless through corporate manipulation to do anything, short of enacting some serious Emergency Powers.

    Which the executive has had since 1863, and which were Ungodly enhanced by the so-called “patriot” act. Under the Draft Act nobody is exempt from service, just degrees of deferments and classifications. 4F has typically meant “no, you don’t get drafted” but that’s only because the government never reached the stage of crisis where they would draft somebody who’s blind, deaf and quadriplegic.

    Some of the auspices of that could get really ugly. Fat kids not smart enough or healthy enough to serve? MANDATORY Physical Education and mandatory General Education. Volunteer say what? That would almost be a good thing, except it would concentrate more power into the hands of a corporate-controlled Very Few Individuals.

    It’s been (to crib somebody’s speech) 7 score and 7 years since those powers were assumed in the middle of a war that’s technically been over since 2 years after the Draft Act was signed.

    You notice that the power was never actually let go after the war.

    Kind of like “stop loss” that lasts for generations.

    Voting might seem futile or even BE futile, but a coup.. right now the people who are pushing for a coup are the ones who don’t even bother pretending to be Eco-Friendly. Very unsubtle about it too.
    I can see them riding the disaster into power, knowing full well that their own businesses built the disaster.

    These aren’t good Midnight Musings though. Kind of raises a specter that I’d rather not see even in imagination.

  2. That’s so sad… Brother Jonah just can’t bring himself to mutter even a hint of criticism against the Democratic Party or his beloved President Obomber! He seems to have forgotten that the Democrats did not propose any real enforcement of safety standards already on the books for coal mines and offshore rigs, or better yet, even better standards than the relatively few that exist. NO, they have been proposing more nuclear power plants, more offshore oil rigs, and more war.

    I remember how Jonah jumped up to criticize the owner of Massey Mines, but only had words of praise for the Democrats. So I leave you words about the environment, Brother Jonah, taken directly from West Virginia Democratic Party Senator Jay Rockefeller’s government website. In them, you can see just how respectful of the environment are your team of DP donkeys….

    Brother Jay’s words sit on his site even to this day. Check them out…

    March 4, 2010

    Legislation Calls for Two Year Suspension of EPA Action On Greenhouse Gas Regulations to Protect Jobs and Coal Industry

    Washington, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today introduced legislation to suspend potential Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation of greenhouse gases from stationary sources for two years.

    “Today, we took important action to safeguard jobs, the coal industry, and the entire economy as we move toward clean coal technology,” said Senator Rockefeller. “This legislation will issue a two year suspension on EPA regulation of greenhouse gases from stationary sources—giving Congress the time it needs to address an issue as complicated and expansive as our energy future. Congress, not the EPA, must be the ideal decision-maker on such a challenging issue.

    “Two weeks ago, I sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson challenging EPA’s potential regulation of greenhouse gases. Administrator Jackson responded quickly and showed some willingness to move the agency’s timetable for regulation to the end of 2010. This is a positive change and good progress, but I am concerned it may not be enough time. We must set this delay in stone and give Congress enough time to consider a comprehensive energy bill to develop the clean coal technologies we need. At a time when so many people are hurting, we need to put decisions about clean coal and our energy future into the hands of the people and their elected representatives, not a federal environmental agency.”

  3. Oh, Brother Jonah, I forgot to mention that there is a change in Ken Salazar’s planned schedule. Since he is one of your beloved Democrats I thought that you might be intending to go to this event, so I want to let you know that it is OFF.

    Published on Monday, May 3, 2010 by CNN

    In Ironic Twist, BP Finalist for Pollution Prevention Award
    by Mike M. Ahlers

    Call it a tragic irony. Energy giant BP was a finalist to get Obama administration award for “outstanding safety and pollution prevention.” (AFP/Paul Ellis)BP, now under federal scrutiny because of its role in the deadly Gulf of Mexico explosion and oil spill, is one of three finalists for a federal award honoring offshore oil companies for “outstanding safety and pollution prevention.”

    The winner of the award – chosen before the April 20 oil rig incident – was to be announced this coming Monday at a luncheon in Houston. But the U.S. Department of Interior this week postponed the awards ceremony, saying it needs to devote its resources to the ongoing situation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and fire.

    Jonah, I hope there is time for you to cancel your flight to Houston for the event! Sorry….

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