Optical delusions

I was about as shrill a critic of George W. Bush as you are going to find, but I always thought it was grossly unfair that the media used that picture of him touring New Orleans by airplane as “proof” that his administration had botched the Katrina response. The problem with the Katrina response wasn’t that Bush appeared detached in a photograph, it was that there were no fucking FEMA personnel arriving in New Orleans days after civilians were able to get there in rented vehicles. It was fair to blame Bush for the response, in the end, because it was his administration’s staffing decisions at FEMA that most likely caused the problems. But that has absolutely nothing to do what kind of look he had on his face when he was surveying the damage. Nothing.

Now, of course, the press is upset that Obama isn’t getting “sufficiently engraged” about the BP oil spill. Kevin Drum puts it well:

[W]atching the CNN dimwits after the conference solemnly advising us one after one that Obama really needed to be more emotional because that’s what the American people want — well, screw that. I have no idea what the American people want, and neither do they.

[….]

I guess it’s the kabuki of our times. The president has to be In Charge whether he can actually do anything or not.

Of course, what everyone should be asking is not what the feds are going to do about capping the leak, but what they’re going to do to make sure all the oil is cleaned up afterward. That’s finally starting to get some attention now that oil is onshore, but the story is much bigger than that. There’s 20 million or more gallons of oil sitting in a huge underwater plume off the shore of Louisiana right now, and the big question is what BP is going to do about that. And what we’re going to do to make deepwater platforms safer in the future. If the “top kill” effort to stop the spill works, the dramatic part of this story will finally be over. The real part will just be starting.

(Of course, the press won’t pay much attention to the clean-up. Even Chris Matthews can’t expect a president to get emo about a clean-up.)

The more serious the disaster, the more important the minutiae of our leaders’ rhetoric and facial gestures become.

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282 replies
  1. 1
    rootless_e says:

    All the “progressives” who are saying EXACTLY THE SAME THING as MSM pundits can’t figure out that when you are repeating Jake Tapper, you are probably NOT RIGHT.

    The shallowness of their analytics is awe inspiring.

  2. 2
    Steve says:

    The picture was symbolic of the fact that he completely blew off the disaster for the first few days, doing frivolous crap like eating birthday cake with John McCain, and then there was this stupid flyover that was supposed to make us think he was on top of the situation.

    It wasn’t about whether the look on his face actually showed he cared. It was the irony that the White House actually thought seeing this photo would impress us that he cared. At least that’s how I remember it.

    As for Obama, I dunno, probably there are some folks who don’t think he’s seemed passionate enough or whatever. But the stupid part is where the media anoints themselves as representatives of the public in terms of telling us whether he’s being passionate enough. Different people feel differently. Just tell us what he’s doing and let people make up their own minds.

  3. 3
    DougJ says:

    @Steve:

    Nevertheless, the real issue was hiring Mike Brown (and others) months ago, not playing the guitar at John McCain’s birthday. If he’d had Clinton’s FEMA guy in charge, running a tight ship, he could have done whatever the hell he wanted at John McCain’s birthday party.

  4. 4
    Martin says:

    The firebaggers don’t want leadership, they want revenge. They want Obama to be as big a dick to Republican interests as Bush was to Democratic ones. It’s all one big episode of ‘The Real Politicians of Washington D.C.’ to them.

  5. 5
    Jamie says:

    Agreed, We need a better media

  6. 6
    Calming Influence says:

    I’ll tell you what we (the people) want! A tiny government, funded solely by a sales taxes on shit we would never buy ourselves, and that stays out of our bidness when things are going well; but when the shit hits the fan, a government that instantly expands into a giant daddy figure that fixes problems right now; not tomorrow, not this afternoon: NOW.

    Is that really too much to ask?

  7. 7
    El Cid says:

    Clearly what we need instead now is “The Rock” Obama.

  8. 8
    cyntax says:

    The worse serious the disaster, the more important the minutiae of our our leaders’ rhetoric and facial gestures become.

    Sure. The only other option would be for the press to do their damn jobs and inform the citizenry about what’s going on–which is both boring and hard work for our “journalists.”

  9. 9
    MikeJ says:

    @Martin: Exactly. Why else would they be saying Obama should use the unitary executive to blah blah blah…

    I was surprised, although I don’t know why, when I actually read something similar to that here from a firebagger.

  10. 10
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Does this mean impeachment hearings will begin soon?

  11. 11
    El Cid says:

    @Calming Influence: States rights! Down with progressive tyranny! No to soshullism! Hey, where’s the Fedrul Gubmit with all our help immediately?

  12. 12
    Gretchen D says:

    I listened to some and watched some of Obama’s speech and thought he was great – serious, honest, determined, responsible. I sure hope the top kill works. The mess is heartbreakingly unbelievable.

  13. 13
    DougJ says:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    It might.

  14. 14
    DougJ says:

    @Martin:

    That’s an interesting angle. I hadn’t thought of it.

  15. 15
    Mike Furlan says:

    Now that BP has gotten Obama’s oil spill under control, what should be done to mitigate the damage? A tax cut, of course but how big?

  16. 16
    Cat Lady says:

    Obama got elected because he wasn’t a half-assed nitwit like John McCain. This nonsense too will pass, until the next Bush torpedo hits the ship of state below the waterline, where the Heathers refuse to see it.

  17. 17
    El Cid says:

    @Martin:

    The firebaggers don’t want leadership, they want revenge. They want Obama to be as big a dick to Republican interests as Bush was to Democratic ones. It’s all one big episode of ‘The Real Politicians of Washington D.C.’ to them.

    Hey, just because I want that doesn’t make me bad — it’s just that I realize it won’t happen and probably wouldn’t help.

  18. 18
    Mike G says:

    Chimp’s specialty was doing jut-jawed “in charge” photo-ops and “resolve” rhetoric, and the shallow press whores ate it up like a fat kid at at a buffet despite its transparent phoniness, because they wanted to be deceived.

    They demand that politicians put on a show to make their ‘narrative’ creation easy, and in return they promise to pretend the most manufactured, transparently-bullshit PR imagery they are served up is real.

    I hold their shallow obsession with imagery and contrived emotion majorly responsible for that incompetent, willfully-ignorant asshole getting a second term.

  19. 19
    El Cid says:

    @Cat Lady: Obama should immediately suspend all his duties at the White House and convene a crisis meeting of Congressional leaders so he can sit around without anything to say because he didn’t have idea one about what he would do and end up looking like a fool.

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    The worse serious the disaster

    Pedants untie!

  21. 21
    gwangung says:

    @El Cid: That doesn’t make you a firebagger; that just makes you human.

    It’s the nitwits that’s solely out for vengeance (AND THINKS THAT’S HOW YOU RUN A COUNTRY) that I have a problem with.

  22. 22
    Yossarian says:

    This will be Episode One Million and Four of the ongoing show “Our Media Only Cares About Image.”

    Not for the serious journalists at CNN are stories about structural problems, long-term mismanagement, or the factors that go into bureaucratic incompetence. No, that’s Boring and someone might Change the Channel or Hurt Our Heads. This is about whether or not the President Steels His Jaw, Furrows His Brow, and Gets the Job Done. Or something.

    DougJ also touched on one of my major pet peeves about TV media (rarely print). The whole pseudo-populist “our job is to speak for the people, and moreover, we do such a consistently good job of it.” It’s how you get the spectacle of absurdly overpaid blowhards with Midtown lofts shaking their heads in “outrage” on behalf of Real Americans. Journalists of all political persuasions are guilty of this, from Bill O’Reilly to that idiot Dylan Ratigan.

  23. 23
    Darius says:

    Now, of course, the press is upset that Obama isn’t getting “sufficiently engraged” about the BP oil spill.

    … But he shouldn’t say that he’ll “put the boot on the neck” of BP. Because that hurts the oil companies’ fee-fees.

  24. 24
    DougJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Ha! Thanks for the correction.

  25. 25
    wrb says:

    They’ve stopped pumping mud to reevaluate as too much was escaping, NYT reports.

    Ouch

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @DougJ: I’m out of Knob Creek.
    BRB, FTFY, GFY, & DIAF

  27. 27
    Punchy says:

    Obama just needs to tell everyone to go shopping, and buy duct tape and petrol shrimp.

  28. 28
    jl says:

    I agree with Steve above. The media will say all sorts of things, but often their narrative of what is in Americans’ hearts flies as well as a lead balloon.

    Pics of Bush’s fly over, and pics of Bush strutting in shirtsleeves with actual rescue and reconstruction workers damaged the previous administration because most people could see that that Bush Jr was pretending to be doing something while he actually was doing nothing, or worse than nothing.

    It is becoming increasingly clear that this is administration has been actually working on it, even if we disagree whether it has done enough in all the different aspects of the crisis.

    And if the current effort to stop the spill works, that wil do wonders, since the most important remaining work will be in containment, clean-up, claims and investigation, where the administration can have a more active and constructive role. Please do note that while I have criticised some aspects of Obama’s response I was never one of the seize BP and send them all to Gitmo crowd.

  29. 29
    Elisabeth says:

    @Mike G:

    Chimp’s specialty was doing jut-jawed “in charge” photo-ops and “resolve” rhetoric, and the shallow press whores ate it up like a fat kid at at a buffet despite its transparent phoniness, because they wanted to be deceived.

    Yup!

    Obama needs to stand on the rubble of the oil rig, wearing a hard hat, and then declare war on a couple of countries. That’s leadership.

  30. 30
    Cat Lady says:

    @El Cid:

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too

    /Obot.

  31. 31
    Bret says:

    It’s a lot more difficult to say “The Minerals Management Service needs to be more upset and take charge!” than it is to just say “Obama needs to…”

    Easier to blame 1 person, than a gelatinous blob of a government agency.

  32. 32
    DougJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It’s a rip off anyway.

  33. 33
    NobodySpecial says:

    @rootless_e:

    You may not like to hear this, but ever since a fellow named Nixon decided to have a bad hair day on the teevee, optics have been a large part of our political process. Ignore it if you want.

  34. 34
    Martin says:

    @gwangung:

    That doesn’t make you a firebagger; that just makes you human.

    Demanding it as the only acceptable policy position does make you a firebagger, however.

  35. 35
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Do this blog’s commentators realize the irony in bitching about firebaggers while simultaneously bitching about the insular, personality-driven, and navel gazing MSM take on the same topic?

    Why not just stop paying attention to Kos/FDL/whoever instead of making the story about them on Every Damn Thing that happens?

    /T-100 until Mike Kay brings up Greenwald for no reason…

  36. 36
    DougJ says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Do this blog’s commentators realize the irony in bitching about firebaggers while simultaneously bitching about the insular, personality-driven, and navel gazing MSM take on the same topic?

    The MSM bitches about Firebaggers too?

  37. 37
    BombIranForChrist says:

    “The president has to be In Charge whether he can actually do anything or not.” – Kevin Drum

    This statement is false. It is simply untrue that the president could not do anything.

    Maybe those people who want Obama to shake his fist in anger are being a little silly, but so are folks like Doug and Cole and Drum who are so eager to poo poo the plea for emotionality that they fail to recognize that the president is not powerless. People have made all kinds of sensible suggestions of what more Obama could have done, and it’s very interesting that now that Obama is starting to feel some political heat, he’s actually doing something. Kinda like the HCR debate. Kinda like a pattern with Obama. As I have said before, Obama will start doing something the second this starts becoming a political liability for him, and true to his base political instinct, that is exactly what he has now done.

    I respect Kevin, but that statement I quoted is hyperbole and simplification serving Drum’s desire to sound oh so sensible and serious.

  38. 38
    Chat Noir says:

    @Cat Lady: A very apt description of the President. I thought he did fine today and I wasn’t not surprised by the questions. He answers even the most stupid ones in a measured, thoughtful manner that is both clear and coherent.

    His level of emotion? Whatever. I don’t care. I’m just glad he’s the guy in charge.

  39. 39
    Mary G says:

    I was trapped in a doctor’s waiting room the other day and forced to view news from the local NBC affiliate. They spent the first 10 of the broadcast’s 30 minutes on a bear that had climbed a tree in someone’s back yard.

    Better picturez, you know.

  40. 40
    Mark S. says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    T-50 till he brings up John Edwards for no reason.

  41. 41
    The Endless Sheriff says:

    The media didn’t like the Dean scream because it showed too much emotion, it wasn’t presidential enough. Now they don’t like Obama’s calmness; they want more emotion.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  42. 42
    Joseph Nobles says:

    In the War of 2010, British Petroleum has struck a death blow to American exceptionalism. They may score the White House again at this rate, because making Americans and their press corp feel helpless is the unforgivable sin.

  43. 43
    Jim J says:

    I’m as tired of the apologist cheerleading which willfully ignores Obama’s plain-as-day temporizing on this spill as you are of the mainstream media’s criticisms.

    His apparent cluelessness today as to the firing of Birnbaum from MMS didn’t leave me swollen with confidence, to say the least.

  44. 44
    El Cid says:

    @Bob Loblaw: I don’t know. I have no idea of the reason for the absolutely neurotic and monomanic obsession with the same hated and objectively not-too-significant enemies here, except that it’s exactly like the fierce rivalries one used to see between various sectarian groups of Marxist organizations.

  45. 45
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @BombIranForChrist:

    People have made all kinds of sensible suggestions of what more Obama could have done, and it’s very interesting that now that Obama is starting to feel some political heat, he’s actually doing something.

    It would also be fair to note that a great deal of those “sensible suggestions” have been ongoing for weeks. That would certainly seem to change the calculus of the criticism.

    And you have still failed to demonstrate how increased “emotionality” from President Obama in any way addresses the issue that his most vocal critics over the past weeks have been grossly uninformed.

    The POTUS being visibly angry and upset on your telelvision doesn’t do anything except make you feel better. If that’s what you want from him right now, just be honest about it. You want him to console and soothe your uncertainty. That’s fine. But don’t dress it up as “Oh, now that he’s feeling the heat, he’s finally doing something.”

    Because that’s easily disprovable bullshit.

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Darius:

    Now, of course, the press is upset that Obama isn’t getting “sufficiently engraged” about the BP oil spill.
    __
    … But he shouldn’t say that he’ll “put the boot on the neck” of BP. Because that hurts the oil companies’ fee-fees.

    Wouldn’t it be easier for the media to just write out what they want him to say and he’ll recite it for the camera? It would be easier than this Goldilocks schtick they put us through. “He’s too mean! Now he’s too wimpy!”

  47. 47
    Emma says:

    Bomb: Can you point out to ONE THING he did yesterday or today that wasn’t started a week ago?

    I hate fighting another thread’s war, but honestly, what suggestions?

  48. 48
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @DougJ:

    The topic being emotion in politics, of course.

    Firebaggers are raving, irrational, vengeance-driven simpletons out for score-settling. They are decidedly Unserious.

    Obama is emotionless, detached, and aloof at a time of crisis. He is being decidedly Unserious.

  49. 49
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Verily
    To what can we compare these media? They are like spoiled brats sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

    ‘We played the flute for you,
    and you did not dance;
    we sang a dirge
    and you did not mourn.’

  50. 50
    DougJ says:

    @BombIranForChrist:

    I make no apologies for poo-pooing emotionality. Whether or not there is something else Obama could have done is an entirely separate issue. The point of my post is that those two things should not be conflated.

  51. 51
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    Yes, the reason I voted for Obama and gave him all that money during the campaign was that I was hoping he’d post more pictures of his pets.

  52. 52
    SIA says:

    Tweety and Howard Fineman were particularly dense tonight. Did they watch the same press conference I did? What is it these guys missed from their daddies? Christ on a pogo stick.

  53. 53
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Jim J: “His apparent cluelessness today as to the firing of Birnbaum from MMS”

    Show me the departure from upper levels of government that have EVER been described by any President or the White House as a firing.

  54. 54
    celticdragonchick says:

    @wrb:

    That does not sound good. Yikes!

  55. 55
    El Cid says:

    Karl Rove is really disappointed in the Administration’s response.

  56. 56
    cleek says:

    I have no idea what the American people want, and neither do they.

    actually, polls have shown that Americans are growing more and more dissatisfied with Obama’s handling of the situation, week by week. over 50%, last time i looked, IIRC.

  57. 57
    danimal says:

    I’m repeating myself, but having watched Hardball last night (against my better instincts), I came to the conclusion that there is no way for Obama to meet the needs of the kneejerk media. Chris Matthews was calling for Obama to nationalize every available oil supertanker and retrofit them with pumps and so on so they can skim the oily seawater out of the Gulf and dump the mess in tanks for processing. In this environment, Obama would have a better shot dressing in an Aquaman outfit and fixing the blowout preventer with his bare hands. The “Do Something” crowd seems to want President Santa Claus, or at least a president who, during a crisis, makes their legs tingle in a special way.

  58. 58
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Unfortunately, emotional involvement is part of the whole job. If the People think you don’t look like you care(regardless of how much you are doing in actuality), you will punished in elections.

    If you want a job that actually has fair metrics for your performance, don’t be a politician.

  59. 59
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Wouldn’t it be easier for the media to just write out what they want him to say and he’ll recite it for the camera?

    The Script. I really think that’s a big part of this.

    They’re really, really conventional people. They’re more conventional and resistant to change than Americans as a whole.

    They get rattled so easily! The “gaffe” obsession. They’ll write off an entire career based on one careless comment. No one in real life is that punitive and unforgiving.

    I think Obama’s big sin is he often refuses the play the role they assign him. It would be easier for him if he would, but he won’t.

  60. 60
    celticdragonchick says:

    @danimal:

    Chris Matthews was calling for Obama to nationalize every available oil supertanker and retrofit them with pumps and so on so they can skim the oily seawater out of the Gulf and dump the mess in tanks for processing.

    To be fair, it was done in a previous spill in the Arabian Gulf, although it seems unlikely to be practical here.

  61. 61
    Cat Lady says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Pat Roberts thinks Obama needs a valium, so someone thinks he’s not detached or unserious. Nothing will ever be just right, so why should Obama ever care what anyone thinks? I for one will never welcome our Goldilocks overlords.

    ETA: then there’s the issue of being an angry black man. Cue that freakout to eleventy1111!

  62. 62
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    To be fair, it was done in a previous spill in the Arabian Gulf, although it seems unlikely to be practical here.

    To be fair, Chris Matthews is a “journalist” and it is his job to know the differences between the two situations before hysterically taking to the airwaves with egregiously incorrect information.

  63. 63
    El Cid says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Chris Matthews was calling for Obama to nationalize every available oil supertanker

    I agree with that part. And for me, that would just be the beginning, mwah ha ha ha ha…

  64. 64
    Jim J says:

    @Joseph Nobles: You misunderstand me. Obama himself admitted he didn’t know about the, um, personnel change until after the fact. This cannot be a good thing, all the defeatist/poor Obama apologia aside.

  65. 65
    georgia pig says:

    What do you call Wolf Blitzer, Gloria Borger, Paul Begala, James Carville and Mary Matalin at the bottom of the ocean? A good start on a junk shot.

  66. 66
    Allison W. says:

    A-Mother-F*ing-Men!!!!!!

  67. 67
    Emma says:

    Jim J: Maybe they are trying to keep up the illusion that it was a resignation. That’s the way I heard it in the news this morning. She had resigned.

  68. 68
    Davebo says:

    Just one correction.

    There are now deep water “platforms”.

  69. 69
    Davebo says:

    Oops.. “no”

  70. 70
    Terrell says:

    @cleek:

    actually, polls have shown that Americans are growing more and more dissatisfied with Obama’s handling of the situation, week by week. over 50%, last time i looked, IIRC.

    Yes, and if you look at the same poll, these same people have no clue as to what the President should do differently.

    Heck, most Americans supported the Iraq war back 2003/2004 only to reverse their opinion just a couple of years later. Polls of uninformed people are meaningless.

  71. 71
    wrb says:

    @Jim J:

    She just turned in her resignation this morning.

    The story I read said that Salazar told her that her agency was being committed her agency was being eliminated and was non committal as to whether she’d have a place going forward– so she decided to resign.

    You think Obama would have been briefed on that within hours with all that is on his plate?

  72. 72
    Terrell says:

    @Jim J:

    His apparent cluelessness today as to the firing of Birnbaum from MMS didn’t leave me swollen with confidence, to say the least.

    I agree. Let’s see if we can get Obama to resign. Hopefully we can persuade either John McCain or Sarah Palin to take over. I’m sure you will find them better capable of handling this crisis.

    I swear; some people will never be happy with Obama no matter what he does. He could solve world hunger and somebody would still complain.

  73. 73
    Violet says:

    I caught a bit of the press conference and thought Obama sounded pretty good – knowledgeable, responsible, serious, thoughtful, informed, accomplishing things, and so forth.

    Then I got in the car and turned on the radio. Rush Limbaugh informed me that the press conference was a complete disaster for Obama. Later I heard Sean Hannity say that it was the worst press conference ever – a total and complete disaster.

    It feels like bizarro world.

  74. 74
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @wrb:

    It would have taken about one minute to brief him. Somebody fucked up and let the story get to cable tv before it got to Obama. That’s pretty goddam lame for people supposedly on top of a crisis.

  75. 75
    JL says:

    And, at the same time we have Rand Paul saying that Obama is unfairly criticizing BP because “accidents happen.” And other saying that his criticism of BP is proof that he’s anti-business.

    The media wants it both ways (Obama is BOTH so harsh that he’s a socialist who wants to take over businesses AND not involved enough) as long as the ways end up in the same place – critical of the Obama administration.

    So typical of our “liberal media” (actually, that is pretty typical).

  76. 76
    debbie says:

    The problem with the Katrina response wasn’t that Bush appeared detached in a photograph, it was that there were no fucking FEMA personnel arriving in New Orleans days after civilians were able to get there in rented vehicles.

    Not so. As I recall, the Bush administration (and it could have been a rep of FEMA) spent the first few days insisting that it was Louisiana’s responsibility, not Washington’s, to rescue the people. It was the sight of bodies floating in the floodwaters that finally moved them to do something.

    And it wasn’t just the fact that Bush flew over New Orleans; what rankled so many people is that he then landed in Mississippi, palled around with Haley Barbour, and commiserated with Trent Lott because his front porch had been damaged.

  77. 77
    cat48 says:

    Well, the press is early this yr I guess. Obama said last summer that in August the press gets all “Wee Wee’d Up” Sick of all the phony poutrage from the media and others demanding more emotion from this man. He is who he is. Measured. Yet, again criticized today by the press for the “boot on the throat” remark. Frankly, they want it both ways.

  78. 78
    Jim J says:

    @Terrell: Dear me, that’s a weak parry. “Obama may suck, but you can’t pick anyone better.” Ringing endorsement of executive skills there.

    Oh, and the Top Kill apparently has been halted for most of the day. Did Obama know this during the presser — therefore proving his complicity in BP’s BS — or did he have no clue, which confirms Tweety, et al.?

  79. 79
    WereBear says:

    I think the rampant nitpicking and uneasiness is not unconnected to the Bush Administration: thanks to unprecedented levels (at least in my lifetime) of outright buffoonish incompetence and ideological indifference to truly horrendous consequences for bloodthirsty short term gain; some people have a terrible time figuring out who to trust.

    Especially for people who once voted for W in, I imagine, full confidence that this was the best choice and maybe even gave a sigh of relief that upright rectitude and a nice balance of conservative compassion would make up for those horrible trailer trash Clinton years.

    Kinda like marrying some nice looking, nice acting guy, only to have him sleep with all your bridesmaids and max out all your credit cards before running off with the waitress from the diner.

    You won’t date for a long time and even then you’re going to put the guy through a wringer before you trust again.

    Obama is the rebound guy.

  80. 80
    debbie says:

    Best statement from the news conference:

    “The fact that oil companies now have to go a mile underwater and then drill another three miles below that, in order to hit oil, tells us something about the direction of the oil industry,” he said. “Extraction is more expensive and it is going to be inherently more risky.”

    And so that’s part of the reason you never heard me say drill, baby, drill. Because we can’t drill our way out of the problem.”

    Call the bitch out.

  81. 81
    Redshift says:

    @LikeableInMyOwnWay: Get a grip. Someone leaked the resignation. Compared to other priorities for “on top of the crisis,” making sure this gets to the president quickly is only important to avoid embarrassment. That’s important to our media who believe that the PR is the most important thing of all, but it’s not something that makes a damn bit of difference to the hour-by-hour response to the actual problem.

  82. 82
    Cat Lady says:

    @debbie:

    This. Bush also had to be given a CD of the TV coverage showing the suffering, because he didn’t. give. a. shit. He needed to be confronted with the understanding that it looked bad POLITICALLY before he took that overflight of NOLA, and then there was Barbara Bush’s comment in Houston about the refugees that just brought the whole Bush FAIL meme home.

    This does not compare to Obama’s response. AT ALL.

  83. 83
    Redshift says:

    @Calming Influence:

    I’ll tell you what we (the people) want! A tiny government, funded solely by a sales taxes on shit we would never buy ourselves, and that stays out of our bidness when things are going well; but when the shit hits the fan, a government that instantly expands into a giant daddy figure that fixes problems right now; not tomorrow, not this afternoon: NOW.

    Transformer government! I’m sure DARPA has something in development for that, right?

  84. 84
    Jim J says:

    @Redshift: I’d like to hear more about how Obama not knowing about the resignation/firing of one of his key department heads could possibly be indicative of a good thing.

  85. 85
    cat48 says:

    Someday, I hope Obama looks at the press (as Jon Stewart did on Crossfire to Tucker Carlson) and says “Look, I’m not going to be your monkey and perform for you!” Please, Obama, just once, in a calm, measured tone that really annoys them. Maybe if he gets reelected……..which the firebaggers have determined will.not.happen. according to their blogs.

  86. 86
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Jim J: You misunderstand the President. There was no “apparent cluelessness.” What he actually said:

    Now, with respect to Ms. Birnbaum, I found out about her resignation today. Ken Salazar has been in testimony throughout the day, so I don’t know the circumstances in which this occurred. I can tell you what I’ve said to Ken Salazar, which is that we have to make sure, if we are going forward with domestic oil production, that the federal agency charged with overseeing its safety and security is operating at the highest level. And I want people in there who are operating at the highest level and aren’t making excuses when things break down, but are intent on fixing them. And I have confidence that Ken Salazar can do that.

    That’s not cluelessness. He knows that she’s gone, he’s entirely comfortable with her being gone, and he’s quite open about giving Salazar implicit authority to fire her if that’s what happened.

    But some will seize on any silly thing to make Obama look worse. With people like you, there’s just no way that he could win – and you’re going to make sure of it.

    For instance, the post of yours I just saw. Obama knew about the resignation. I’d like for you to explain first how Obama not hearing from Ken Salazar on the resignation/firing issue is indicative of a bad thing.

  87. 87
    Corner Stone says:

    @DougJ:

    It’s a rip off anyway.

    Meh. I like Knob Creek once in a while. But this time I went with Forty Creek.
    Which ain’t too damn bad, say so myself.

  88. 88
    Jim J says:

    How can he not know the ‘circumstances in which this occurred?’ If he did know, why didn’t he take ownership of it today? What is the downside of that?

    And if his administration is indeed ‘fully engaged,’ why was he allowed to give a presser during which the Top Kill had apparently been halted for hours without his knowledge?

    Or, conversely: He knew but chose not to mention it.

    Which?

  89. 89
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Jim J: The President didn’t know the full circumstances about Birnbaum’s resignation because Salazar was busy testifying before Congress in their hearings on the matter. That is how his not knowing about the resignation/firing of Birnbaum is indicative of a good thing. Members of Congress were getting their questions answered. It’s an entirely appropriate reason for not knowing. Please curb your mendacity.

    ETA: How could he not know the circumstances? Because it went down the hour before he went out! Can you not read?

    And what is this bullshit you’re spewing about the top kill now? Unbelievable.

  90. 90
    slag says:

    I’m with Inigo Montoya El Cid.

  91. 91
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @Redshift:

    Get a grip. Someone leaked the resignation.

    Really? In less than the sixty seconds it would have taken to contact the White House and let them know?

    Wow, that is some magic lugey leak!

  92. 92
    Will says:

    Did anyone else think Admiral Allen was just about to reach through the camera and strangle Chris Matthews just now?

  93. 93

    @Joseph Nobles:

    But some will seize on any silly thing to make Obama look worse.

    This.

    Wanna blame an administration for this? Blame fucking the fucking Bush administration. Just because W rode off into the sunset back to his shit-hole dude ranch, folks think nothing’s his responsibility anymore.

    What they fail to realize is that he booby-trapped this country with an eight-year long, delayed action fuse and Obama’s the bomb squad. Sure, he volunteered, but he’s got assholes on his left and right all screaming “Cut the greeeeeen wire!!” “NO! Cut the RED wire!”

    There will be more and more of these incidents as Obama’s administration continues on, and they’ll all be unexploded bombs W left behind.

  94. 94
    jl says:

    @Redshift:
    “I’m sure DARPA has something in development for that, right?”

    I don’t think so. DARPA will have to fund research into much way bigger mechanical robot dawgs. And ones that don’t make those weird electric lawn mower sounds and clickety clacks when they walk. Only then can we have presidential mechanical robot dawgs everywhere all the time solving crises, programmed to display the appropriate emotions at the command of the press.

    And the media will be happy. Until a mechanical robot dawg shows up to drag them away to some unpleasant fate.

  95. 95
    Splitting Image says:

    @WereBear:

    Kinda like marrying some nice looking, nice acting guy, only to have him sleep with all your bridesmaids and max out all your credit cards before running off with the waitress from the diner.
    __
    You won’t date for a long time and even then you’re going to put the guy through a wringer before you trust again.
    __
    Obama is the rebound guy.

    That is a disturbingly accurate comparison.

  96. 96
    RSR says:

    As an aside, and throwing back to a recent thread, I think the the Katrina ‘response’ was part of the awakening of the electorate to the piss poor management skills of that administration.

    It’s one thing to being be caught in a military stalement in some far off place, but when Americans are dying in their home streets while the ‘bestest’ most expensive, most well trained and equiped military/industrial complex in world sits idley by because the top of the command structure has its collective thumb up its ass, well then people start wondering.

    Katrina was the proof that big decision makers really didn’t know how to use their assets or what they were doing–here or over there. And both here and over there, Americans were dying in the streets because of it.

  97. 97
    DougJ says:

    @danimal:

    In this environment, Obama would have a better shot dressing in an Aquaman outfit and fixing the blowout preventer with his bare hands.

    That would show he gives a damn, at least. He’s so detached, sometimes I wonder if he cares at all. I just want him to care.

  98. 98
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Terrell:

    He could solve world hunger and somebody would still complain.

    Sally Struthers?

  99. 99
    sherifffruitfly says:

    It’s a tarp.

    They want him to get publicly mad so they can start up the “angry black man” crap again.

  100. 100
    Chyron HR says:

    @Jim J:

    Why was he allowed to give a presser during which the Top Kill had apparently been halted for hours without his knowledge?

    Could we get the “seven liberal arts and sciences” guy back? Thanks.

  101. 101
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @WereBear: You hit the nail on the head. Nothing he can do will be right for some people after what W. put us through.

    And, for me, the optics of W. and the flyover was just the last straw. It was so obviously a photo op and nothing more after he willfully tried to pretend that nothing of import had happened with Katrina. It was the cumulation of all the shit in one stupid photo. It pretty much pushed me over the edge from loathing W. to downright being unreasonable when his name came up.

    Personally, I am glad the prez isn’t out there shrieking and wailing and rending his garments at every little thing. Like others have said, just let me know what he’s doing, and I’ll deal with that.

    @sherifffruitfly: Doubly down on this observation. The minute he lets loose, it’s the angry black man syndrome all over again.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim J:

    How can he not know the ‘circumstances in which this occurred?’ If he did know, why didn’t he take ownership of it today? What is the downside of that?

    Please tell us: what is the downside to the president knowing that she had resigned, but not saying specifically whether or not she voluntarily resigned or corporate resigned (aka “left to pursue new opportunities,” aka fired)?

  103. 103
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Barack Obama’s mistake was being president when the latest example of how America can’t remedy every last damn thing happened.

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:

    @DougJ:

    He’s so detached, sometimes I wonder if he cares at all. I just want him to care.

    You must not be from the Midwest. I watch Obama and think, “Hoo-boy, is he pissed off!”

    I’m sorry we can’t publicly display our emotions in your preferred style, but we can’t help ourselves.

    (Yes, he grew up in Hawaii, but Yutsano said the other day that there’s a certain amount of reserve in that culture as well, which is probably why Obama ended up in Chicago and not New York or Los Angeles.)

  105. 105
    Cat Lady says:

    @Jim J:

    What are you fucking babbling about, you firebagging dickwad? Obama’s not perfect every day in every way, like Dennis Kucinich would be? Whaaaaaaaa!

  106. 106
    Jim J says:

    The contortions here are mind-numbing and frankly somewhat bizarre.

    Obama is showing leadership by deferring to others, including the malefactor corporation which has been blatantly lying about nearly everything for nearly 40 days.

    He was preceded by Bush, therefore he is blameless for things he let slide on his watch until too late.

    He is ‘fully engaged’ — I know this because he said so — but is still letting BP and Bobby Jindal and the dude from Plaquemines Parish be the public faces of this cataclysm over a month in.

    It all smacks of weakness, both on the president’s part as well as on the part of his apparently defeatist apologists. I know people feel powerless in this situation, but a president is far from powerless.

    In this crisis, this president hasn’t begun to tap into the all-encompassing executive powers he has been more than willing to tap into with regards to habeas corpus, extralegal assassination, etc.

    Does no one else see the disconnect? Can anyone answer without a reference to firebagging?

  107. 107
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Mnemosyne: I am not watching, but I would agree. Those of us from the Midwest do anger very differently. When I get mad, I get extra-quiet and deadly calm. That’s when you know you should run.

    @Cat Lady: He’s not the Magic Negro. He hasn’t magically undone all the damage W. did in eight years in a year and a half. He’s not using his total superpowers for good, only for evil! He should kick BP out just because! Sigh.

  108. 108
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    I didn’t much care that Dubya looked detached, the problem for anybody even just a bit less shallow than media stars was that people were on their roofs dying. Furthermore, the answer was obvious; how about getting a few of the 20 trillion helicopters in the U.S. on the job?

    The problem here is of a different order. Nobody knows what to do about a blown-out oil well under a mile of ocean. I’m guessing Obama’s team discussed this early on and didn’t like the optics of sending him out there to admit that only a handful of people in private industry have the slightest idea what to do. Today’s press conference should have happened several weeks ago, but I’m guessing that the President was talked into not making this stark admission in public. Obama’s game is to look cool and technocratic under pressure, but simply telling the truth like he did today but earlier on in the process would have been nice.

    Which leaves us with the ongoing problem of the preening pundits. While I think he waited too long to do this presser the basic outline of the information he presented and how he presented it were correct. Of course, giving a professorial and technocratic presentation on how nobody in government is qualified to cap a well under a mile of ocean will piss them off even more, but fuck ’em. Professorial and technocratic has gotten Obama this far and he should stick with what he does best. If the public want to go back to empty suits and cronies then fuck the public too.

  109. 109
    WereBear says:

    Geez, I thought the President did really well… over an hour with complicated stuff going on and he demonstrated he had a much better grasp of the situation than the journalists asking him questions.

    And, sad to say, this is not the only thing on his plate.

    Honestly, I’m glad he has a dog. Dog might be the only one in the world not giving him a hard time and is just plain happy to see him.

  110. 110
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Well, unless I am remembering the morning wrong, I saw the item on a cable crawler before the news conference began.

    How did that happen, and nobody bothered to notify the White House? Or see it on a crawler, like I did, and contact the White House? Or if the WH was contacted, why didn’t they tell the President?

    The downside is that it made him look ill served, which in this case, he apparently was.

  111. 111
    Mike G says:

    Press whores —

    Bush Assministration that strutted around making bombastic statements and puffing their chest with histrionic John Wayne bullshit while completely fucking up the task of actually administering the US government = Good, because it flatters the solipsistic media egos and reaffirms their primacy, and that’s what’s most important.

    Obama Administration that calmly behind the scenes gets on the with job of mostly competent, occasionally very good administration of government agencies and dealing with problems in an effective way without screaming drama = Bad, and they’re going to throw a screaming fit until the administration starts catering to them with dumbass photo-ops, Reaganesque manufactured sentimentalism and shallow imagery they can spin into comic-book-simple narratives for the lazy magical thinkers.

  112. 112
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: And I was hatched in Hawai’i, but even though I didn’t live there very long (life of a Navy brat) I still share a lot of the attitudes of the islands. In fact it stuns me that there’s a Republican party active there at all, unless they’re of the RINO type, the islands are so much about mutual cooperation and quiet respect. The gay marriage thing is throwing me, although there is an inherent social conservative streak in Japanese culture that may have som influence on that.

    @WereBear: The anecdote about his daughter suggests they love having as much time with Daddy as possible as well. So there’s at least three. And I’d argue Michelle is still very much in love with her husband. It must gourd the family values crowd to no end to see a successful liberal family on display for the whole world to see.

  113. 113
    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: You must not be from the Midwest. I watch Obama and think, “Hoo-boy, is he pissed off!”

    Oh, yeah, this. By both temperament and circumstance, he’s just not a ranter or a raiser of his voice.

    My first marriage was to a Sicilian/Romanian who grew up in Brooklyn. He’d get theatrical over being out of butter. I finally had to tell him, “Look, in my family, we don’t yell unless it’s to empty the house during a fire.”

  114. 114

    @Jim J:

    In this crisis, this president hasn’t begun to tap into the all-encompassing executive powers

    What… you mean the Ark of the Covenant he’s got stored in a secret government warehouse?

    How about you describe in specific detail, which “all-encompassing executive powers” you believe Obama — or any President — should be employing right now? Oh, and don’t forget to explain how your list of powers would stop the oil leak and clean the spill. It’s important.

  115. 115
    Michael says:

    Said it before, I’ll say it again: Bruce Willis and Tommy Lee Jones will not be able to gruffly take charge and “git er done” with good ol’ ‘Murkan know how and some pluck.

    That never was the case, anyway. Engineering disasters have never really resolved well in this country, especially those which occurred at the outside reaches of sloppy planning and reckless decisionmaking born of glib attitudes as to safety standards. As far as I’m concerned, the decisionmakers who instigated this catastrophe committed some homicides and robbed the fishermen of the Gulf of their livelihoods – you can throw their well-bred, well-educated, overcompensated keesters under a prison so they never see the light of day again.

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LikeableInMyOwnWay:

    Well, unless I am remembering the morning wrong, I saw the item on a cable crawler before the news conference began.

    Look at the quote in #86. He knew that she had resigned. He did not say if she had voluntarily resigned or if she had been fired.

    You’re really arguing that it’s a huge gaffe for the president to know she was gone but not to specifically tell the national press whether or not Salazar fired her?

  117. 117
    Elisabeth says:

    @LikeableInMyOwnWay:

    I saw it on CSPAN at least a couple of hours before the presser.

    I’d assume Salazar had asked for her resignation earlier this week and formally received it today. It is likely the president knew such was in the works but not that the letter had been received and accepted. It may well have been that Salazar’s office was busy with the Congressional testimoney but someone should have taken the time to make sure the president was aware of the updated situation, particuarly given they knew about the presser. There was certainly a failure to communicate on someone’s part.

  118. 118
    Michael says:

    I’ll add this – the big difference, to me, is that Thad Allen is a career Coast Guard officer in a job that he is trained for and knows how to do. He’s getting done what can be done, which isn’t much. Industry wide experts are working on this, as our governement, sadly, doesn’t seem to have independent talent on the engineering questions because it might make some Texas cretard oilboy pay some extra taxes and deprive him of an annual replacement of the gold toilets on his G-IV. Beyond that, there really is nothing one can do besides attempt to deploy booms.

    Michael Brown wasn’t doing a far simpler task because he wasn’t up to it, never had the training for it and had no inclination. It would have gone far different with a large-ish department police, fire or EMS guy at FEMA.

  119. 119
    Jim J says:

    @Polish: Yes, the reliable strawman again. Clearly I was referring to the Ark of the Covenant. You got me there, good one.

    I don’t know how much specificity you actually want — I suspect no amount is enough in this case — but at a minimum I would expect a declaration of emergency, pushing aside that useless Coast Guard guy who can’t get anything right, full use of the executive order to assure BP has funds set aside to pay for not only damages but for continued cleanup, a military-style marshaling of resources like what he just the other day proposed for the Arizona border, and perhaps a jobs/stimulus program and/or a rousing clarion call to volunteer for cleanup in the Gulf.

    And yes, a bit more of the dreaded “optics” might be nice. Just to piss you guys off.

    There, that’s for starters. I’ll wait on your ‘firebagger’ retort now, or perhaps the one about me wanting Obama to grow gills and go cap the leak himself (that’s always good in a pinch).

  120. 120
    Elisabeth says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You don’t think Salazar would/should have told the president he was asking for the resignation of the head of MMS before he asked for it? Under more normal circumstances I might agree but the president should have known, if it’s the case, that Salazar was asking for her resignation.

    The quote in #86 rather makes it look like the president was expecting it.

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim J:

    I don’t know how much specificity you actually want—I suspect no amount is enough in this case—but at a minimum I would expect a declaration of emergency, use of executive order to assure BP has funds set aside to pay for not only damages but for continued cleanup, a military-style marshaling of resources like what he just the other day proposed for the Arizona border, and perhaps a jobs/stimulus program and/or a rousing clarion call to volunteer for cleanup in the Gulf.

    Shouldn’t they, I don’t know, actually get the gusher stopped before they put all of their resources towards the cleanup? Just a silly thought, I know.

  122. 122
    kay says:

    @Jim J:

    And if his administration is indeed ‘fully engaged,’ why was he allowed to give a presser during which the Top Kill had apparently been halted for hours without his knowledge?

    It’s too soon to make that assumption. The top kill is a process, and we were told again and again that it had to be monitored. I listened to the official cable tv engineering professor, and he said they would continue to monitor the stress on the thing and make adjustments. I assumed it would be stopped and started.

    Even if we assume the very worst motives for BP, what possible purpose would lying about the top kill process serve?

    Either they stop it and get to the cement process or they don’t.

    Just don’t jump right to motive. Wait for some facts.

  123. 123
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elisabeth:

    You don’t think Salazar would/should have told the president he was asking for the resignation of the head of MMS before he asked for it? Under more normal circumstances I might agree but the president should have known, if it’s the case, that Salazar was asking for her resignation.

    He may have known but felt it was inappropriate for him to make the announcement if Salazar had made the request for her to resign. Having worked for corporations for so long, I’m not at all surprised that they decided not to cause a potential human resources issue by having the president announce on national TV that Salazar had asked for her resignation.

    Unless the argument is that Obama should have leapfrogged over Salazar and personally demanded her resignation, I really don’t see where the “he didn’t know!” thing is coming from.

  124. 124
    Yutsano says:

    @Jim J: Okay, we’ll play this game your way:

    but at a minimum I would expect a declaration of emergency

    Closing off 19% of the Gulf isn’t enough of a declaration for you then? How’s about states of emergency are usually done at state level, and I’d bet money Piyush has alrerady done this. Next…

    use of executive order to assure BP has funds set aside to pay for not only damages but for continued cleanup

    Nice try but cannot be done extrajudiciously. Though I get the strange feeling law isn’t your primary concern here.

    a military-style marshaling of resources like what he just the other day proposed for the Arizona border

    To do…what exactly? Stand around and kick sand over the oil? Clean-up crews, both public and private, are already working the coasts, and folks aren’t panicking and rioting in the streets (yet) so what will a show of force accomplish?

    and perhaps a jobs/stimulus program and/or a rousing clarion call to volunteer for cleanup in the Gulf

    Now I know you’re seeing what you want to see, because this was done weeks ago even before the oil hit the coasts.

    You’re choosing that he act all blustery and wild-eyed rather than impose good practical solutions that will solve the crisis. In other words, YOU’RE NOT HELPING.

    @Mnemosyne: Oh and this, too.

  125. 125
    Jim J says:

    @Mnemosyne: Sure, that would be great.

    Maybe letting BP know they can’t continue to lie about the processes would be a good start.

    Maybe calling in a task force from other oil-producing countries, oh say, about three weeks ago, would have been another.

    But of course I prefer him to don a cape and morph into Aquaman and go do it himself.

    There — isn’t that what you finally wanted to hear? Feel better now?

  126. 126
    Jim J says:

    @Yutsano: And it’s ‘helping’ to say the president has little power at all and basically we should expect very little of him?

    More defeatist weakness.

  127. 127
    Elisabeth says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    We know where it started. :)

    I’m less concerned that the president didn’t know the circumstances of Birnbaum’s resignation than I am as to whether he knew or didn’t know that the top kill had stopped the night before. According to some folks at theoildrum.com the fact that the process stopped last night means all the mud has escaped so basically they are back to square one on that deal and it is likely that it isn’t going to work and BP likely knew it wasn’t going to work.

  128. 128
    kay says:

    @Jim J:

    a declaration of emergency,

    I think I can answer this. In 1990, after Valdez, the US responded with a specific statute to address oil spills. It’s a whole schematic.
    It includes the designation you’re demanding, except for this type of emergency, it’s called a Spill of National Significance, which gives the federal government the same sort of power as a declaration of national emergency, but tailored for this disaster. It’s been designated that way for a month, Jim. They don’t need any more power. They got it.
    The law was written because the larger emergency plan, the one you are familiar with for hurricanes, was not workable for a Valdez-like disaster. We found that out.
    For example: every coastal state submitted a plan to the feds, in the event of a large spill. States designated which areas were high priority. Obama doesn’t decide which Parish gets equipment first. The state of Louisiana decided that a long time ago. There’s a whole command structure in place, with specific jurisdiction for EPA, Coast Guard and local.
    That’s what they’re following. They’re not just winging this.

  129. 129
    rootless_e says:

    @NobodySpecial: you may not like to hear this, but whatever Obama did, the media would say it looked bad.

    I don’t give a shit what people who swooned at Bush’s stuffed crotch think looks good or bad.

  130. 130
    Jim J says:

    But, but… a ‘fully engaged’ president — and again, I know he is because he told me so today — would certainly have known the progress or lack thereof of the last, best hope to plug the well, the Hail Mary beyond which truly desperate measures would have to be enacted.

    No?

  131. 131
    Yutsano says:

    @kay: Your facts are getting in the way of his poutrage. This of course means you’re the next target. Have fun because reality forgot to stop by his house.

  132. 132
    DougJ says:

    @Jim J:

    In this crisis, this president hasn’t begun to tap into the all-encompassing executive powers

    If there is one thing that stops oil dead in its tracks, it’s executive power. It’s sad that Obama lacks the will, the passion, the gumption to use his executive powers to force the oil to stop stop spilling.

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim J: I think this is the rebuttal you’re looking for.

  134. 134
    kay says:

    @Yutsano:

    I shouldn’t read. I listened to Anderson Cooper last night for no more than 3 minutes and wanted to bash my head against a wall.
    He said that “beyond the cameras” areas were being “neglected”.
    There’s a reason for that. Louisiana submitted a very specific plan on which areas have priority, in 1990.
    Jindal of course knows this, as the governor. I recognize that Job One as a governor is always “more federal resources” but can we stop pretending Obama is sitting there with push pins and a map?

  135. 135
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That “huge gaffe” think in italics … are those my comments? Because I don’t remember using any such language.

    I said, it made him look ill served, not to know the details, especially since there had been more than ample time to brief him.

    I don’t think he made a huge gaffe, but I think that whoever is running the White House operation that makes sure that they look like they are on top of this situation every day has done a shitty job, and has made them look out of touch and distant. It would have cost them relatively little to do it better.

    We had a huge forest fire out here in Arizona some years back, Janet Napolitano was governor. She and a fire expert were in front of the cameras and microphones every day, sometimes more than once a day, doing a snappy job of staying on the details, answering concerns, acting like they were in charge. Impressive. So, at least one cabinet member back there knows how to do this. But, it isn’t getting done, and it looks like shit.

    Obama can turn this around, but not without some work. As I said the other day, I am probably the biggest ‘Bot around here, and I think the White House looks like shit on this story for about a month now.

  136. 136
    Jim J says:

    @kay: If the states continue to have precedence in this situation and not the feds, I submit that that is a pretty poor facsimile of a national emergency situation and not really what I was calling for.

    Bottom line: Sometimes when people appear detached… it’s because they’re actually detached.

  137. 137

    @Jim J:

    More defeatist weakness.

    Ah. Okay. Now I know you’re just a spoof. Pretty good too, up the that point.

    And I take back my line about the Ark. What Obama really needs to do is unleash the alien technology squirreled away in Area 51. Everyone knows that shit’ll stop the leak — and convert the oil slick to Dream Whip.

    Keep on spoofin’, Jim.

  138. 138
    Jim J says:

    I must say as a general comment that I’m very disappointed in the bizarrely low expectations so many people have for this president who came in with such perceived ability to affect change. This is a very dire national emergency and a president has a direct, active stake in it.

    Going on TV once a month and talking smack about Sarah Palin ain’t gonna cut it.

    For a bunch of people who were ready to change the world at one point not so long ago, it seems like you’ve thrown in the towel already.

  139. 139
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim J:

    Maybe calling in a task force from other oil-producing countries, oh say, about three weeks ago, would have been another.

    You mean in addition to the existing task force currently headed by Nobel Prize-winner Steven Chu that includes outside consultants from companies like Exxon? Who is not on Sec. Chu’s task force that you would like to see there?

  140. 140
    kay says:

    @Jim J:

    I agree to a certain extent, if what you’re saying is that the 1990 Oil Pollution Act was more geared to a tanker spill than a drilling disaster. But, there it is. That’s the plan. That’s why we wrote it. Oil spill.
    I disagree on states deciding where resources are allocated, in their own coastal areas. I think they’re the absolute experts.
    Remember: there’s an overlay of federal action. Spill of NATIONAL signifigance.
    But Jindal probably can’t tell people in one or another area “you weren’t a high priority, sorry” so I get why he’s playing dumb.

  141. 141
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elisabeth:

    According to some folks at theoildrum.com the fact that the process stopped last night means all the mud has escaped so basically they are back to square one on that deal and it is likely that it isn’t going to work and BP likely knew it wasn’t going to work.

    That doesn’t seem to be the current information on theoildrum.com. Right now, they’re saying that Top Kill is in stage 2, presumably after having successfully completed stage 1. It’s still ongoing. So I’m not terribly worried that the president didn’t respond to what it looks like may have been a false rumor.

  142. 142
    Jim J says:

    I would have thought someone with the handle Polish the Guillotines would be on the forefront of any deadly serious attempt to hold a chief executive to a high standard.

  143. 143
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim J:

    Still waiting for my answer, Jim. Who do you want to see on Sec. Chu’s task force that’s not there now?

  144. 144
    kay says:

    @Jim J:

    For a bunch of people who were ready to change the world at one point not so long ago, it seems like you’ve thrown in the towel already.

    It’s funny because that’s what I’ve come to feel about Obama’s constant critics. That they veer wildly between unrealistic highs and deep depression, and might not have a lot of stamina.
    Hillary was right, ultimately. It’s a long goddamn haul.
    You don’t see her running off. No, sir. One day or another, she’ll finally get China to agree to something, or die trying :)

  145. 145
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I settle on one expert, in these matters. I have chosen the engineer from Rice who has apparently moved into CNN studios.

    I just like him.

  146. 146
    Jim J says:

    @Mnemosyne: This is of course another strawman. I was referring to an actual task force, not a collegial assortment of academics.

    But yeah, I saw Mr. Chu the other night on my teevee. Pretty unimpressive.

  147. 147
    Jim J says:

    @kay: I’m not a ‘constant critic’ actually, just on this issue.

    Next strawman, please…

  148. 148
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kay:

    We love Dr. Kate in Southern California, but I’m guessing a seismologist won’t have a lot to say about an oil spill. She’s very good at getting us not to panic after earthquakes.

  149. 149

    @Jim J:

    I would have thought someone with the handle Polish the Guillotines would be on the forefront of any deadly serious attempt to hold a chief executive to a high standard.

    Performance art of this caliber deserves a Webby.

    Yeah, I’m all about holding the chief executive responsible for a decade of corruption in MMS, gutting regulations, and stocking the executive branch with industry flunkies — but that guy’s chopping wood in Texas.

    Meanwhile, I happen to understand that undoing the damage of the previous eight to twelve years of GOP “governance” won’t happen in 18 months.

    Of course, lopping off the new guy’s head for not having super powers isn’t exactly a “serious attempt” at anything.

    But keep the spoof a-gushin’. It’s fine entertainment.

  150. 150
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim J:

    I was referring to an actual task force, not a collegial assortment of academics.

    Ah, I didn’t realize that you’re more knowledgeable about how to stop this oil leak than Nobel Prize-winners and geologists who specialize in petroleum. Perhaps you should offer your services since the current panel of experts is not up to your high standards.

    ETA: Oh, and it’s Dr. Chu or Sec. Chu, not Mr. Chu. Just so you know. I’m sure you wouldn’t knowingly want to imply that you know more about energy than a mere Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

  151. 151
    Yutsano says:

    @Polish the Guillotines: I’m calling spoof now too. Either that or there is absolutely nothing Obama can do that will ever be enough or correct. It really does amaze me how much the teabaggers and the firebaggers have in common. Oh and because we show a little faith in the President we’re defeatists and traitors to the cause. I give this Cheeto commando props for at least trying to form a cogent argument, but those damn facts keep getting in his way.

  152. 152
    Jim J says:

    @Mnemosyne: I didn’t realize that either. That’s why I’d prefer the president be more proactive about taking control of this situation, since he is in an infinitely more advantageous position from which to do so than I am.

    My, the strawmen are getting thinner and thinner.

  153. 153
    Jim J says:

    If by “spoof” you mean “someone who is intruding on a self-referential echo chamber in which little dissent seems to be tolerated,” I guess you’re right.

  154. 154

    @Jim J:

    If by “spoof” you mean “someone who is intruding on a self-referential echo chamber in which little dissent seems to be tolerated,” I guess you’re right.

    Next strawman, please…

  155. 155
    Jim J says:

    As to Dr. Chu, et al: If what he’s doing is so expansive and competent, and the president is so fully engaged… why is the situation not under better control?

    Why is BP still running the show and running it badly?

    This is really the only question that matters.

  156. 156
    gwangung says:

    I didn’t realize that either

    There’s not much you realize.

    Be careful. You’re talking to someone’s who worked in geology here.

  157. 157
    Cat Lady says:

    @Jim J:

    Just to piss you guys off.

    Rush?

  158. 158

    @Yutsano: I must say, though, it’s better quality spoof than BoB.

  159. 159
    Yutsano says:

    @gwangung:

    There’s not much you realize.

    Truer words have never been spoken. At least on this thread.

    @Polish the Guillotines: Oh I thought for sure he was serious, then I saw this:

    But, but… a ‘fully engaged’ president—and again, I know he is because he told me so today—would certainly have known the progress or lack thereof of the last, best hope to plug the well, the Hail Mary beyond which truly desperate measures would have to be enacted.

    At that point it was dawning on me no person could be this stupid and type this well. A good friend of mine thinks authoritarians are conservative by nature. I’m starting to question the veracity of that claim.

  160. 160
    Jim J says:

    Good grief, can anyone here focus on the actual issue?

    So everyone here gives Obama high marks for his handling of this crisis? Seriously?

    Am I actually to understand that this is the case?

  161. 161
    kay says:

    @Jim J:

    I don’t know yet. There’s so much nonsense out there. I have to check everything.

    They didn’t run out of mud, for example:

    BP stockpiled more than two million gallons of mud on ships in the gulf.

    “That’s a massive amount of mud,” said another person involved in the effort, who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it. BP is getting the material from five companies, he added. “They’re supplying as much as they can get their hands on.

  162. 162
    ericblair says:

    Why is BP still running the show and running it badly?

    I’m sure that BP would be thrilled to be told to take all their stuff and piss off, so they can wash their hands of any responsibility for the site and spend the next two decades in court arguing with some grounds that they have no liability for the severity of the results since they were relieved of responsibility before the leak was capped. Meanwhile, the feds and the few other companies that can do this kind of work spend weeks getting equipment into position and personnel spooled up on the data while their lawyers make it extremely clear that they have no liability in the matter.

    I’ve been in a few non-life-threatening but complex, technical, shit-we-have-to-get-this-fixed-now kind of crises. The kind of reaction that certain people here want to see out of Obama is the last thing the boots-on-the-ground people want to see: microcontrolling, grandstanding bosses who fuck things up by “taking charge” of highly complicated tactical situations that are already competently handled by his subordinates, and interrupting time-critical procedures by insisting on briefings every ten minutes for no reason.

    And yes, those people on FOX News make Obama look bad. Funny about that. We’ve noticed that before, even without a huge oil spill in the GOM.

  163. 163
    Nick says:

    @Martin:

    The firebaggers don’t want leadership, they want revenge.

    Win

  164. 164
    Nick says:

    @Jim J:

    As to Dr. Chu, et al: If what he’s doing is so expansive and competent, and the president is so fully engaged… why is the situation not under better control?

    engaged does not mean solve a problem, it means finding a solution.

  165. 165
    Mnemosyne says:

    Finally, some good news: “Top kill” stops Gulf oil leak for now

  166. 166
    ruemara says:

    And on this topic, I had to quell my fist o’death as Olberman and Eugene Robinson commiserated that Melancon was showing tears and choked up over the oil volcano and Obama wasn’t. Then I prayed for aliens to contact me. Planet full of juicy humans-For Sale!

  167. 167
    Jim J says:

    @Nick: Solving a problem doesn’t mean finding a solution, check.

    That’s OK, I probably speak your native language a lot worse than you speak English.

  168. 168
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim J:

    That’s why I’d prefer the president be more proactive about taking control of this situation, since he is in an infinitely more advantageous position from which to do so than I am.

    That’s right, all of the people on the task force just magically decided to gather together. It’s not like there was, you know, a request from the president or anything. Because he’s done absolutely nothing proactive, like sending DOJ investigators to the Gulf three weeks ago.

    Yep, all he’s done is sat around and let the oil flow. What an asshole.

  169. 169
    Cat Lady says:

    @Jim J:

    Who would you really like to have running this show? I’m really curious, who would be doing the bestest job evah in your fantasy world? Hillary?

  170. 170
    Jim J says:

    @Mnemosyne: That story is from this morning. Who’s spoofin’ who?

  171. 171
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim J:

    why is the situation not under better control?

    Because they’re trying to penetrate 600 feet of mud to get to the start of the well head that’s more than 5,000 feet below the surface, and there are no vehicles that go more than 2,000 feet down before they get crushed by the pressure. That includes submarines.

    It’s not like there’s a spigot someone forgot to turn off. This is an engineering problem of massive proportions and you think Obama can just wave his hand and say, “Make it so,” and it resolves itself.

  172. 172
    Madeline says:

    @ericblair:

    The kind of reaction that certain people here want to see out of Obama is the last thing the boots-on-the-ground people want to see: microcontrolling, grandstanding bosses who fuck things up by “taking charge” of highly complicated tactical situations that are already competently handled by his subordinates, and interrupting time-critical procedures by insisting on briefings every ten minutes for no reason.

    This. Exactly.

  173. 173
    Jim J says:

    @Cat Lady: Non-sequitur. Gist of thread is about the job current president is doing. Nice try to deflect though.

    So — how do YOU think the president is doing on this crisis? High marks, eh?

  174. 174
    Nick says:

    @Jim J:

    @Nick: Solving a problem doesn’t mean finding a solution, check.
    That’s OK, I probably speak your native language a lot worse than you speak English.

    what is with you liberal morons, you why do you insist on misrepresenting what people say? Is that one of the lesson at Jane Hamsher U?

    And btw, my native language IS English, what’s yours douche?

    I mean seriously, you guys are approaching tea bag level of assholeness lately.

  175. 175
    Jim J says:

    I notice all these references to magic and magic wands, etc.

    I’m asking that the president be a more potent force in organizing the reaction to the leak and its aftermath. Clearly BP is taking far too much of a leading role, with clearly disastrous results.

  176. 176
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim J:

    Because only things that happened today are reported. Such a genius you are. Here’s the letter from the DOJ to Sen. Boxer.

  177. 177
    Nick says:

    @Jim J:

    I’m asking that the president be a more potent force in organizing the reaction to the leak and its aftermath. Clearly BP is taking far too much of a leading role, with clearly disastrous results.

    so you want him to grandstand is what you’re saying.

  178. 178
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Not even close, Mnem.

    BP was full of shit. They stopped pumping mud LAST NIGHT (over 16 hours ago) when the first top kill attempt wasn’t going anywhere. There was no mud going into the well today.

    They have to junk up the BOP first before they can move on with their new attempt tonight. Too much mud was being lost into the gulf to ensure a good seal for the cementing. The well is still flowing oil.

    You people need to keep up with The Oil Drum and not MSM sources.

    Oh, and by the way, not letting BP “miscommunicate” with the press is precisely one of those mystical abilities Obama has over the process that he’s not using. We shouldn’t have Thad Allen giving us day old information…

  179. 179
    Cat Lady says:

    @Jim J:

    I have gone on record as an unabashed Obot on numerous occasions. I’ve already clearly stated I believe Obama’s doing everything that can be done. Perfectly? No. Newsflash – NO ONE IS PERFECT. But you obviously believe that there is someone out there in the real world that would have handled all this with just the right mix of righteousness and foresight and unitary executive aw3someness to satisfy your exacting fee fees. Who – Hillary?

  180. 180
    Jim J says:

    @Nick: So what’s the difference between solving a problem and finding a solution? They sound awful similar to me, but I’m a douche.

  181. 181
    Jim J says:

    @Nick, re ‘grandstanding’: I don’t believe I said that. (Checks post again.) Nope, never mentioned grandstanding.

    So you also give Obama high marks for his handling of this crisis, then?

  182. 182
    Emma says:

    Mnemosyne: This. I spent my teenage and young adult years in Chicago. When I see how his lips tighten and he gets that slight squint, I want to back out of the room.

  183. 183
    Jim J says:

    @Cat Lady: Why do you keep bringing up Hillary? Obama is current president, no?

    Can we at least agree on that?

  184. 184
    Nick says:

    @Jim J:

    So what’s the difference between solving a problem and finding a solution? They sound awful similar to me, but I’m a douche.

    Clearly, so I’ll explain it like I would a fifth grader;

    What you are saying is that he is not engaged until the leak is stopped, what I’m saying is that he can be engaged and the leak could still not be closed. The options put forward to shut down the leak have failed, that does not mean the President isn’t engaged.

    By your definition, failure to find a solution indicates lack of trying. That’s a great message, really. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, but if you continue to fail, it’s because you’re not trying hard enough”

    Get it now?

  185. 185
    Nick says:

    @Jim J:

    So you also give Obama high marks for his handling of this crisis, then?

    Yes.

    His administration responded to it immediately, they had a team down there immediately, they had BP working on it immediately. It’s not as if everyone just let the oil leak for 30 days and paid no fucking attention to it. Perhaps the media got a little sidetracked, but the administration sure didn’t.

    The fact that they didn’t fix it does not mean they haven’t been trying or didn’t respond adequately.

    that’s the fucking problem with this country, we measure everything on the outcome, not the effort. That’s why people are so afraid of failure. Because in America, failure implies you’re incompetent or lazy.

  186. 186
    Jim J says:

    @Nick: Stop saying what I am saying. You don’t know what I am saying.

    I am saying the president is doing a poor job of staying on top of this situation, and BP clearly does not respect or fear the U.S. government, for which I hold Obama accountable as chief executive and highest official of said government.

    That is what I’m saying, over and over again. Nothing so far about magic wands or wetsuits. I’ll go back and check, though.

  187. 187
    Nick says:

    @Jim J:

    re ‘grandstanding’: I don’t believe I said that. (Checks post again.) Nope, never mentioned grandstanding.

    Then be sure to adequately explain “more proactive role.” Do you mean he should swim down to the bottom of the Gulf and plug it up himself? should he be personally using the machines?

    Because if not, all he can do is go down there and say mean things about BP on television. This…is an example of grandstanding.

  188. 188
    Nick says:

    @Jim J:

    I am saying the president is doing a poor job of staying on top of this situation, and BP clearly does not respect or fear the U.S. government, for which I hold Obama accountable as chief executive and highest official of said government.

    What does “on top” mean? could you kindly stop making blanket vague statements with no specific examples?

    Oh, I see, so you want BP to “fear” the US government. Care to explain how?

    I’ll wait while you run back to FDL for help.

  189. 189
    Jim J says:

    @Nick: “Do you mean he should swim down to the bottom of the Gulf and plug it up himself? should he be personally using the machines?”

    Yes, of course, that’s exactly what I’m saying. All of my posts in this thread are exactly reflective of just such suggestions.

    Are you sure English is your native language?

  190. 190
    Jim J says:

    @Nick: What is FDL?

  191. 191
    Nick says:

    @Jim J:

    Yes, of course, that’s exactly what I’m saying. All of my posts in this thread are exactly reflective of just such suggestions.

    Then, please Jim, please give me one, just one, specific example of what you want the President to personally do that doesn’t involve him spending days on end in everyone’s way in Louisiana grandstanding.

    Are you sure English is your native language?

    Are you sure you can not be a jackass?

  192. 192
    Cat Lady says:

    @Nick:

    Jim J is a victim of Optical delusions. DougJ FTW.

  193. 193
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim J:

    I am saying the president is doing a poor job of staying on top of this situation, and BP clearly does not respect or fear the U.S. government, for which I hold Obama accountable as chief executive and highest official of said government.

    Yes, because if a massive engineering problem that’s never been encountered before is difficult to solve, clearly it’s because BP doesn’t respect and fear the president and not because, you know, it’s a massive engineering problem that’s never been encountered before.

    You know where we keep saying you want someone to wave a magic wand and fix things? This is what we’re talking about. You think that all someone has to do is rilly rilly want real hard to solve the problem of plugging a leak 5,000 feet below the surface of the ocean and — poof! — it’s all solved. It couldn’t possibly be that it’s a very difficult problem.

    You still need to define “on top of the situation,” because apparently a task force, the Coast Guard, and a criminal investigation aren’t enough for you.

  194. 194
    vwcat says:

    Reading the comments about how the press just wants slogans and shallow photo ops kept my mind turning to Tweety whining and screaming at the camera to obama and his guests because there is no ‘I feel your pain’ moment.
    What they want is for Obama to don a flightsuit and cry phoney tears or beat his chest saying Dead or Alive.

  195. 195
    Jim J says:

    I guess I’m clearly in the minority here, as you guys are in the minority in the nation at large for thinking Obama’s doing just fine with this.

  196. 196
    Nick says:

    @Jim J:

    I guess I’m clearly in the minority here, as you guys are in the minority in the nation at large for thinking Obama’s doing just fine with this.

    I’m very often in the minority of the nation as a whole, and I’m always very proud of it because the nation as a whole is usually out to fucking lunch.

  197. 197
    Keith says:

    My problem with the Bush photo wasn’t the expression on his face, but rather the staged appearance of one hand clenched in a fist with the other holding it back. At least that was my interpretation of it when I first saw it. I wouldn’t say I flipped out over it or anything; I just had the cynical thought that his handlers tried to stage the photo to look like some iconic image that should be converted to oil-on-canvas.

  198. 198
    Nick says:

    @vwcat:

    Reading the comments about how the press just wants slogans and shallow photo ops kept my mind turning to Tweety whining and screaming at the camera to obama and his guests because there is no ‘I feel your pain’ moment.
    What they want is for Obama to don a flightsuit and cry phoney tears or beat his chest saying Dead or Alive.

    Grandstanding!

  199. 199
    Yutsano says:

    @Jim J: The majority of the country is either absorbed with the final results of American Idol or the latest foibles of their favorite sports team. They only pay attention long enough to be told what to think by their local newscasters then go back into relative oblivion. The minority who are paying attention are saying more or less what you are but will never vote for him because he’s a Democrat so he can’t do anything right anyway. Just because the majority doesn’t approve doesn’t mean he’s doing it wrong.

  200. 200
    Max Power says:

    Don’t bother with the firebaggers. They have their narrative and they’re sticking to it.

  201. 201
    kay says:

    @Jim J:

    Jim, he can’t. He can’t be the conduit for the nation’s anger. Not at the banks, and not at this oil company.
    We as a people made a lot of poor decisions and didn’t face up to a lot of uncomfortable truths, and he simply can’t channel all that rage and what is increasingly sorrow.
    He has to fix the engine while he’s driving the car, as my father would say.
    Jim, we allowed the Gulf to be destroyed. We’re going to have to deal with that. We’re not going to be compensated for our loss, and I don’t mean money damages.
    He has to run this sad fucking wreck of a country while we accept that, but he can’t do it for us.

  202. 202
    dan says:

    Balloon Juice for the last week:

    People say that Obama isn’t doing enough. So what? Fuck them. I don’t care. Big deal. Tough shit. It’s the media. And so called “progressives.” They just want photo ops. Fuck that bullshit. He doesn’t have to do anything. It’s all on BP. And BUSH WAS WORSE!

    And, although this doesn’t address the impression that the country has that Obama isn’t engaged, we get a lot of: What can he do? Oh, yeah, he can swim underwater and plug the leak himself.

  203. 203
    Nick says:

    @dan: and yet no one has explained what they want him to do, except vague talking points like “take charge” or “lead”

    That’s because all they want is grandstanding and they’re ashamed to admit it.

  204. 204
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dan:

    People say that Obama isn’t doing enough. So what?

    Actually it was more like, “People keep demanding that Obama do things that he’s already done. Why are they demanding that he start investigations when DOJ investigators have been there for three weeks? Why are they demanding a task force when one already exists? What the heck is up with that?”

    And, although this doesn’t address the impression that the country has that Obama isn’t engaged, we get a lot of: What can he do? Oh, yeah, he can swim underwater and plug the leak himself.

    Considering how many people have been demanding immediate actions that have already been done, it’s kinda hard to take the demands seriously at this point since they clearly have no idea what the hell they’re talking about.

  205. 205
    flukebucket says:

    A hard hat. He definitely needs to wear a hard hat more often. I think that would help calm my fears more than anything else.

    Good night gang. This one has been one hell of a lot of fun to read.

  206. 206
    dan says:

    @Nick:
    They just want photo ops!!!

    No, Nick. That is not what people want. You, and BJ in gereral, are having a hard time getting this. Leaders are supposed to lead. I don’t have to give him ideas as to what to do. He’s the POTUS. Act like it. Go down there and tell people that you know what is going on. Just let people know that you are aware of the situation. “I know how bad this is.” That simple. And, if it would help the BJ community, he can say “I don’t know what we can do beyond what we are doing.” Fine. I’d be happy with that. Tell people you care about what is going on. Tell them what you, as POTUS, intend to make happen and what you as POTUS are going to make sure that BP does.

    Hey, take a Bush-flying-over-New Orleans flight, so maybe the sight of it will sink in, and you will feel some sense of responsibility (not responsibility for the disaster, but responsibility to your position).

    And yes I know he had a big presser today. 35 days into this.

  207. 207
    gwangung says:

    I guess I’m clearly in the minority here,

    Note that you still haven’t defined “being on top of the situation.”

  208. 208
    gwangung says:

    No, Nick. That is not what people want. You, and BJ in gereral, are having a hard time getting this. Leaders are supposed to lead. I don’t have to give him ideas as to what to do. He’s the POTUS. Act like it. Go down there and tell people that you know what is going on. Just let people know that you are aware of the situation. “I know how bad this is.” That simple. And, if it would help the BJ community, he can say “I don’t know what we can do beyond what we are doing.” Fine. I’d be happy with that. Tell people you care about what is going on. Tell them what you, as POTUS, intend to make happen and what you as POTUS are going to make sure that BP does.

    To be clear, you want PR gestures on top of the substantive actions that are already done?

  209. 209
    Nick says:

    @dan:

    Leaders are supposed to lead. I don’t have to give him ideas as to what to do. He’s the POTUS. Act like it. Go down there and tell people that you know what is going on. Just let people know that you are aware of the situation. “I know how bad this is.” That simple. And, if it would help the BJ community, he can say “I don’t know what we can do beyond what we are doing.” Fine. I’d be happy with that. Tell people you care about what is going on. Tell them what you, as POTUS, intend to make happen and what you as POTUS are going to make sure that BP does.

    so grandstanding then, since he pretty much did this every damn day in Washington, and every damn day on his Facebook page.

    How often should he do this, Dan? He did that a week after the disaster happen. Is he supposed to show up, like, every Tuesday Morning until the leak stopped to tell people “I know how bad it is?” Is it supposed to fly to the Gulf Coast every week to yell at BP?

    You know, this reminds me of an episode of The West Wing when a tornado hit Oklahoma and President Bartlet went to the town that was destoryed to show people he “felt their pain,” only to actually end up being in everybody’s way as they tried to pick up the pieces.

  210. 210
    ruemara says:

    @dan:

    What does lead mean to you? It’s rather nebulous, so if you can pin down the traits you mean, maybe there’s something to discuss.

  211. 211
    Nick says:

    @gwangung:

    To be clear, you want PR gestures on top of the substantive actions that are already done?

    Grandstanding.

  212. 212
    dan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “Why are they demanding that he start investigations when DOJ investigators have been there for three weeks? Why are they demanding a task force when one already exists?”

    Hey, good question. And one that makes my point. The are demanding things that are already in the works because most people don’t know they are in the works. And even to people that are aware of what steps are being made, it appears as though Obama just made some phone calls and started getting some wheels in motion, but does not seem to understand the magnitude of the problem. Hey, wow, a fucking task force! Bet the turtles and pelicans are waiting for the reports from the task force.

  213. 213
    Nick says:

    @ruemara:

    What does lead mean to you? It’s rather nebulous, so if you can pin down the traits you mean, maybe there’s something to discuss.

    Grandstanding! Grandstanding! Go down to the Gulf Coast and get in everybody’s way and make vague statements about “feeling people’s pain” because, clearly, doing so on his Facebook page and in his weekly address and through his Press Secretary every afternoon is not nearly enough. He must be standing on an oily beach next to a dead turtle and a crying fisherman, otherwise he’s not leading!

    This is why there’s a lot of pay in PR and media consulting.

  214. 214
    Nick says:

    @dan:

    Hey, wow, a fucking task force! Bet the turtles and pelicans are waiting for the reports from the task force.

    No, the turtles and the pelicans are waiting for the leak to stop, which Obama has NO control over, you do realize that, don’t you? Please tell us then, what can Obama do to make the leak stop now?

  215. 215
    Nick says:

    @dan:

    it appears as though Obama just made some phone calls and started getting some wheels in motion

    true leaders don’t make phone calls and get wheels into motion, they fly down to the disaster scene and do speeches holding dead birds covered in oil!

    DUH!

    suddenly the election of Bush makes sense.

  216. 216
    Lit3Bolt says:

    @Jim J:

    What’s hilarious is that all this BJ holy wrath is perceived as justified pushback against MSM memes. And it’s ironic because by being “oh so above politics and optics,” DougJ, John Cole, Kevin Drum, Steve Benen, Steve M, etc are actually participating in politics because they feel it’s they’re god given duty to defend Obama against bullshit media narratives that bubble forth from the news cycle, thus they near unanimously peddle their own snark (supplemented with facts) against the tide.

    So now that everyone’s playing “Meme vs Meme” (think Spy vs Spy, but stupider), let me reiterate that I think saying Obama could have done much better politically with this. I think many BJ comments are right in the federal response was appropriate in many many cases, and public is woefully uniformed as were many people here who disagreed about Obama’s response (including me, I was forced to learn a lot). However, the pooh poohing of political optics at once hilarious and disturbing. It’s hilarious because of the hypocrisy; if this was Bush the outrage would go off the scale (tempered with glee). It’s disturbing because your President is doing poorly politically and…it’s all in the minds of the uninformed, unwashed masses? Really? Aside from just being an opportunity to be an asshole, you really want to play that line over and over again onto the national stage?

    I’m sorry if this rambles, this line of thought is a little too meta for me at the moment, but there’s the policy response, and there’s the political dimension of how the policy plays. Obama and the feds may be doing a decent job, which makes me happy, but my President is doing poorly in the MSM, which makes me unhappy. So my unhappiness with Obama is not that he’s capping the oil well with rainbows shot from his chest, but that he’s getting the shit kicked out of him politically everyday on teevee. So when I want Obama to “do something” I want him to make a political response. What makes even more unhappy was John’s initial response to Carville and Tweety grandstanding and saying “What can he do?” which makes me so unhappy it’s hard to express. I still think politically you can’t say stuff like that when the MSM and public is looking for a target, and BP is…I dunno…”too obvious”…so people naturally shift to Obama. The entire defense of “What can he do?” and the ruthless mocking of anyone dissatisfied with the federal policy and/or events is going to backfire I believe and I sure wish you guys would stop. It suggests a lot of things…powerlessness, aloofness, a lot of things which so conveniently click with the same bullshit narrative you’re trying to push back against.

    That rambled, I did like what happened to day and I believe Obama timed this speech exquisitely to work once the top kill was in place. He’s not your average pol and is sure of a lot different than what people are naturally used to, which is the firebreathing barnstorming lightning-assed politicians of yore. He does play the long game, but by god, he makes us sweat while doing so.

    Anyway, I’m out. I hope this illuminated rather than obfuscated.

    Bolt +3

  217. 217
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dan:

    The are demanding things that are already in the works because most people don’t know they are in the works.

    I can’t entirely blame them, because we’ve had weeks eaten up by idiocy like the whole Rand Paul thing, and then the news crews suddenly wake up and say, “Hey, wait, when did this oil spill thing happen?” So something that happened a month ago that the government has been working on for a month is being presented by the news as a brand-new breaking story.

    And even to people that are aware of what steps are being made, it appears as though Obama just made some phone calls and started getting some wheels in motion, but does not seem to understand the magnitude of the problem.

    In case you haven’t noticed, North Korea blew up a South Korean ship. We still have 30,000 troops in South Korea, and Kim Jong-Il probably has a nuclear weapon. We kinda have more than one enormous problem right now, and that’s leaving aside our existing enormous problems, like the economy and Iraq/Afghanistan.

    I think he understands the magnitude of the problem, but some people are just waking up to it and are pissed off all over again because it hasn’t been fixed yet. And who ya gonna blame, BP or the president?

  218. 218
    Nick says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    if this was Bush the outrage would go off the scale (tempered with glee). It’s disturbing because your President is doing poorly politically and…it’s all in the minds of the uninformed, unwashed masses? Really?

    If Bush responded to this the way Obama responded, I would’ve been pleasantly surprised.

  219. 219
    dan says:

    @ruemara: Really? I have to explain what “lead” means?

    It’s not nebulous. Here, try this: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lead

    I especially like “to direct the operations, activity, or performance of” and “to guide someone or something along a way.”

    I like this one about Leadership, too. “Leadership, a critical management skill, is the ability to motivate a group of people toward a common goal.”

    You’d know it if you saw it. I can’t really believe you don’t know what it means.

    What you want is for me to say specifically what I want him to do. I am not in the position to direct the POTUS in his job. That’s why he makes the big bucks. I wouldn’t suggest what the fire captain should do at a fire, either.

  220. 220
    Yutsano says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    He does play the long game, but by god, he makes us sweat while doing so.

    Jeez, you had to end your long gripe by completely undercutting what you just wrote in one sentence? I’m gonna blame the booze for that. Long game means the MSM can go fuck themselves while, you know, DO SHIT. And did it ever occur to all of you bitching about the appearances that the whole reason Obama gets no credit is because what he does doesn’t fit into nice little sound bites that they can put up and dissect into pieces? We’ve already been over this.

    You’d know it if you saw it. I can’t really believe you don’t know what it means.

    The pornography defense? ORLY?

  221. 221
    kay says:

    @dan:

    but does not seem to understand the magnitude of the problem.

    I think it’s the opposite. I think people are just starting to understand the magnitude of the problem.

    So there’s a disconnect. It will never be mentioned in The Situation Room (now that they’ve realized the magnitude of the problem) but just last week the top news story for days was Rand Paul. The media, and Americans, didn’t “get” this until the oil started showing up on the beach.

    Obama’s not playing catch-up. Americans are. He’s probably well past shock and rage. He’s been dealing with it daily for a month.

  222. 222
    dan says:

    Wow, blaming the media and saying Bush was worse. @Lit3Bolt:
    Um, yeah. What he said. I think.

  223. 223
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    I’m sorry if this rambles, this line of thought is a little too meta for me at the moment, but there’s the policy response, and there’s the political dimension of how the policy plays. Obama and the feds may be doing a decent job, which makes me happy, but my President is doing poorly in the MSM, which makes me unhappy. So my unhappiness with Obama is not that he’s capping the oil well with rainbows shot from his chest, but that he’s getting the shit kicked out of him politically everyday on teevee.

    The problem for me, at least, is that people are mixing the policy and the political response together. They’re demanding policy responses as political responses, but they’ve already been done, so now people are flailing.

    It really sucks to be Obama right about now, because there’s pretty much nothing he can do that he hasn’t already done until the goddamn leak is plugged up. Nothing. Even the most emotional Clintonesque feel-your-pain speech is going to fall flat as long as we have thousands of barrels of oil flooding the Gulf every day. That’s just a fact.

  224. 224
    Corner Stone says:

    @dan:

    Hey, wow, a fucking task force! Bet the turtles and pelicans are waiting for the reports from the task force.

    Actually I’m pretty sure they are all dead.

  225. 225
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Or, what kay said:

    Obama’s not playing catch-up. Americans are. He’s probably well past shock and rage. He’s been dealing with it daily for a month.

  226. 226
    dan says:

    Stop blaming the media for covering Rand Paul. Was the WH creating competing stories out there that the media should have been covering? Wait, stop the presses! Obama set up a task force?!

    “In case you haven’t noticed, North Korea blew up a South Korean ship.” Well first of all, thanks for talking to me like my wife (in case you haven’t noticed, the garbage can is full).

    But, yea, there are other things going on. Like the Korea thing that happened, like, on day 32 of the oil problem. And Iraq and Afghanistan, which nothing much has changed in the past month.

    Multitask. Prioritize. I have to do it. The POTUS has to do it too.

  227. 227
    Nick says:

    @dan:

    I especially like “to direct the operations, activity, or performance of” and “to guide someone or something along a way.” I like this one about Leadership, too. “Leadership, a critical management skill, is the ability to motivate a group of people toward a common goal.”

    So I guess intiating criminal investigations, sending the Coast Guard and Sec. Salazar to oversee efforts, pushing Congress to raise the liability cap, and appointing a task force don’t fit the definition of “directing operations” or “guiding something” or “motivating a group of people toward a common goal”

    You KNOW he’s leading dan, you admitted it, but then you said “well no one is seeing it.” You’re not mad he isn’t leading, cause you know he is, you’re mad he’s not grandstanding.

  228. 228
    Max Power says:

    Dan wants Obama to use a bullhorn.

  229. 229
    Lit3Bolt says:

    @Yutsano:

    Well, it’s a gamble. He’s bleeding and the sharks are swimming. The “long game” is not always a full success; it’s just what Obama does. He tried it with HCR and it worked but that was a crazy ride, and he’s trying it with DADT. Obama’s a master at political jujitsu, but I guess I’m worried about the Katrina comparison and how that works for the lazy MSM to fart out shit like that day after day while the clean up continues, and then say stuff like Obama was “politically forced” by Karl Rove to go to the Gulf. The only solution I can think of to stop stuff like that is to do it sooner and give the media their photo op.

    But I reserve the right to be unhappy at how he’s doing politically and wish him to do better, not that I want him to kiss oil covered babies and hug chemically zombified fishermen over and over. But eventually you just have to do shit like that if for no other reason to get Chris Matthews and James Carville and Taylor Marsh to stop fucking weeping like children.

  230. 230
    Nick says:

    @dan:

    Wait, stop the presses! Obama set up a task force?!

    I work for the press dan, they’re not gonna stop the presses because he’s giving his weekly “I feel your pain” speech from a Louisiana beach either, even though that’s what you want him to do.

    The fact of the matter is, he’s losing the narrative because the leak hasn’t stopped, that’s not something he’s able to fix himself, so he has to rely on those who can. He can give “I feel your pain” speeches all he wants and take as many photo ops with a dead animals as he can in a day, but it isn’t going to make him look like “a leader,” otherwise Bush’s Mission Acomplished stunt would’ve been an epic example of leadership.

    All he can do is stay out of everyone’s way and figure out how to keep this from happening again, hence the task force.

  231. 231
    Yutsano says:

    @Max Power: And stand on a berm in the bayou screaming that the oil shall be defeated at all costs? Will this finally make the pantswetters happy?

    But eventually you just have to do shit like that if for no other reason to get Chris Matthews and James Carville and Taylor Marsh to stop fucking weeping like children.

    The sad part is all three of the folks you mentioned don’t have a fucking clue what else he should be doing either, just that he’s making their ratings go up by pretending to be outraged at what they say he’s not doing. I appreciate you acknowledge that there is stuff happening here, I just don’t see the need to make Chris Matthews pretend to be satisfied with his answers. It could be a moral failing on my part.

  232. 232
    dan says:

    You like to use the word “Grandstanding.” It used to be called “communicating with the American people.” I was going to mention Reagan and Clinton, but really, every president in my memory was able to communicate the status of any particular crisis and what their role would be.

    A presser on day 35? Is that what keeps it from being grandstanding at this point? Because he waited so long to communicate with the public?

  233. 233
    Nick says:

    @Lit3Bolt: Do you really think doing that is going to stop them from weeping like children?

    Of course not, I’m a news producer and reporter, that will only exacerbate it

    “Oh, Obama has no control over the situation, he’s just getting in everyone’s way for photo ops to look like he’s doing something. He’s so helpless!”

    The fact is if you’re worried about the media narrative, then you’re going to lose it unless he’s able to play superhero and swim to the bottom of the sea and stop the leak. Since he can’t, he’s losing the narrative no matter what. Might as well do what he think is best.

  234. 234
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dan:

    Multitask. Prioritize. I have to do it. The POTUS has to do it too.

    He has been. For a month now. It’s not like he woke up this morning and went, “Holy shit, there’s an oil leak in the Gulf! Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

    And, yes, I am going to blame the press for this because, as usual, they chased after the soccer ball because the Gulf story got boring. Yeah, yeah, massive oil leak, fish die-offs, trying to cap it, task force working on it, relief well drilling. Yawn. Let us know when something happens.

    You know why you’re suddenly hearing about it now? Because they announced they were going to try the top kill and now CNN can set up a cool webcam so people can see something happening.

    Really. That’s it. If there were no cool visuals that CNN could run live, you wouldn’t be hearing jack about this story.

  235. 235
    kay says:

    @dan:

    dan, I’m not going to run through the effort they had and have going. We’ve done that here plenty.
    Look, I’m not surprised media followed the shiny news until they stumbled onto the oily beach.
    I’m just saying that perhaps the American public are just now dealing with the full ramifications of the catastrophe, and are still in “someone do something!” mode, which is an emotional reaction, nothing wrong with that, it’s valid, but not a good state of mind for gathering information.
    They skipped the “information” phase, but they’ll get there, because that comes after keening and mourning. Obama’s past that.
    Just yesterday we had commentors suggesting Navy submarines (the pressure crushes submarines). I think that was probably considered and rejected weeks ago.

  236. 236
    dan says:

    @Nick:
    Actually, Bush’s Mission Acomplished stunt was an epic example of leadership.

    The problem was when it was proven to be so horribly incorrect. But, yeah, by definition, that episode was leadership.

  237. 237
    Nick says:

    @dan:

    It used to be called “communicating with the American people.”

    OMFG, THIS IS WHY HE HAS A FUCKING PRESS SECRETARY! He has no less than 20 Facebook status about what he’s doing about the oil spill on his Facebook page. Robert Gibbs updated the press every damn day of the last month.

    I don’t think he should have done a press conference at all since half the questions weren’t even about the damn oil spill. The media that was so concerned that Obama wasn’t responding to the oil disaster fast enough and adequate enough and they were so concerned he wasn’t communicating with the American people on the oil spill enough that they used his first press conference since the disaster to ask him…about Joe fucking Sestak!

  238. 238
    Yutsano says:

    @dan: Oh. My. Fucking. Gravy. You don’t want a leader you want Daddy Obama to hold your hand and tell you everything will be all right. For fuck’s sake.

  239. 239
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dan:

    But, yeah, by definition, that episode was leadership.

    You have a very odd definition of leadership, my friend. You seem to be confusing theatrics and leadership.

    If you’re wishing that Obama had better stage managers and set dressers, well, I wish that sometimes, too. But that’s not the same thing as leadership.

  240. 240
    Nick says:

    @dan:

    Actually, Bush’s Mission Acomplished stunt was an epic example of leadership.

    then we’re one fucking pathetic excuse for a country if all we need for leadership is a dramatic staged event.

  241. 241
    Lit3Bolt says:

    @Nick:

    I don’t see it that way, but I’ll defer to your judgement. My view was just that the media just want copy and access. Bush gave them the copy and access and they sucked it long, and sucked it slow. Obama doesn’t like to do that, obviously, and likes to duck and cover and disappear from the news cycle. That makes press angry hence the bitch fits we’ve been reading about lately.

    I’m glad we can agree to disagree though. I think suggesting Obama or the feds could not have done more is a fundamentally flawed narrative myself; I wouldn’t suggest it in any format.

    The thing about grandstanding is that once the President does it, the press follows your example. So maybe we wouldn’t’ve see Carville “off da CHAIN” if Obama had gone down to the Gulf and already pitched a bitch fit of his own. Makes me wonder about that plug the damn hole nonsense. Was that real or a myth, or deliberately “leaked?”

  242. 242
    dan says:

    Hey Yutsano, Nick only seems to missing my point. You on the other hand, are a douchebag.

    And Nick, the American people are not really checking Obama’s Facebook page. If you have to be aggressive to get your message out, then be aggressive. Don’t post on Facebook. Or put an ad in the Pennysaver.

    And maybe if he had the presser earlier, several news cycles wouldn’t have passed allowing other issues (such as Sestak) to distract.

  243. 243
    scav says:

    Yup, still idiots hoping for the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world. Whimpers for Cheerleaders in Chief that stand on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares and collapsing and/or burning oil platforms — because then and only then will we know that we are AMERICANS and know the plot of which exact fucking movie we are starring in at this exact moment in time. Jaysus.

  244. 244
    Yutsano says:

    @dan: I’ve been called worse by better than you. And thanks for choosing to dump any pretense that you’re serious and admitting this is all about how Obama is and always will be teh suxxors. We now know we can’t take you seriously.

  245. 245
    Nick says:

    @Lit3Bolt: Yes, all we want is our dicks sucked, and I applaud Obama for telling the news media to shove it where their mothers used to put the thermometer. The DC news media is an ugly, disingenious bunch of failed celebrities who care more about wearing fancy clothes to galas than reporting the news…and all they want is scandal.

    Unless Obama gives them what they want, a blowjob in the former of the complete surrender of the entire progressive agenda so their narraives about a “right wing country” can be confirmed, they will only treat him as an advesary. So he’d best ignore them, they are not his friends. and we’d do well as to be his soldiers and fight them.

  246. 246
    Nick says:

    @dan:

    And maybe if he had the presser earlier, several news cycles wouldn’t have passed allowing other issues (such as Sestak) to distract.

    Yes, cause Lord knows there weren’t an other issues a month ago that the media would love to corner Obama on, like, i don’t know, Arizona.

  247. 247
    dan says:

    I really wish you would all stop with the “you want photo ops of Obama standing at the beach” crap. That is a very GOP way to argue. Black and white.

    Like Obama’s choices are either total disengagement or nothing but staged photo ops. Like there is nothing in between and no other options.

  248. 248
    dan says:

    Yutsano, I have no doubt that you have been called worse by people better than me.

  249. 249
    Lit3Bolt says:

    Nick, I’m interested in your professional opinion on this. Did the Obama team misread the leak somehow, and think it would disappear from the daily news cycle, akin to how the Bush team probably thought of (arg! I can only think of this) Katrina? Or is a slow, unstoppable oil leak just one of those impossible events to fight from a PR standpoint? I’m trying to think of a comparable disaster analogy, but coming up blank. Thanks.

  250. 250
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    So maybe we wouldn’t’ve see Carville “off da CHAIN” if Obama had gone down to the Gulf and already pitched a bitch fit of his own.

    He did. He went a month ago when the spill first happened. And then a couple of weeks ago he told BP and Transocean to stop pointing fingers and fix the problem.

    I really think kay is right: people are only just realizing how bad this spill is, and they’re angry. Obama’s already moved past that stage.

  251. 251
    Nick says:

    @dan:

    Like Obama’s choices are either total disengagement or noting but staged photo ops. Like there is nothing in between and no other options

    Then tell us oh wise one, what is in the middle, and reasonably realistic, that he hasn’t yet done?

    and if you say “take control” or “lead,” I swear I’m gonna find you and bust you in the face.

  252. 252
    dan says:

    @Nick: You really think 35 days is OK? You would have accepted that kind of reaction from Bush? Honestly. I want you to be honest. In your heart of hearts. You would have been OK with GWB taking 35 days to address the country about a crisis like this.

  253. 253
    suzanne says:

    @LikeableInMyOwnWay:
    Me and husband and friend looked for y’all liberals at George & Dragon tonight and found none. Instead watched the Suns suffer. Next time, wear something identifying??

  254. 254
    dan says:

    @Nick:
    He should lead. I’ll be in NYC tomorrow afternoon. Come and bust me in the face.

    Or, no, he shouldn’t lead. He should delegate and hope that everyone knows that it is being taken care of, by checking Facebook.

  255. 255
    Nick says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    Nick, I’m interested in your professional opinion on this. Did the Obama team misread the leak somehow, and think it would disappear from the daily news cycle, akin to how the Bush team probably thought of (arg! I can only think of this) Katrina? Or is a slow, unstoppable oil leak just one of those impossible events to fight from a PR standpoint? I’m trying to think of a comparable disaster analogy, but coming up blank. Thanks.

    No, Lit, WE the media misread the leak. WE though BP would solve this problem after the first week and we moved on and ignored whatever they or the administration was doing. WE got preoccupied with the Rand Paul nonsense . Once that died out, we turned around and realized the leak was still happening. The easy way out was to say “Oh gee, this hasn’t been fixed yet, how is this Obama’s fault” since everythin that goes wrong is his Katrina.

  256. 256
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dan:

    You would have been OK with GWB taking 35 days to address the country about a crisis like this.

    Other than the part where Obama didn’t wait 35 days to address the country and has given multiple speeches in multiple venues about the oil leak in the past 35 days, yes, they’re exactly the same.

    The only thing Obama didn’t do was a press conference with the White House press corps. And yet you’ve latched onto that one thing as the only thing that he absolutely should have done despite all of his other speeches and press releases addressing the country about the crisis. Interesting, that.

  257. 257
    Nick says:

    @dan:

    You would have been OK with GWB taking 35 days to address the country about a crisis like this.

    dan, are you fucking stupid? He address the country from Louisiana on May 2, a few days AFTER the rig burned! Did you forget?

  258. 258
    Yutsano says:

    @Nick: I’m calling it willful ignorance at this point, because we keep presenting facts and all we’re getting back is butthurt. I’m over it honestly, I’m just enjoying you and Mnemosyne go to work. Lit I don’t think is beyond hope, however.

  259. 259
    Nick says:

    @dan:

    He should delegate and hope that everyone knows that it is being taken care of, by checking Facebook

    How is this not leading? Isn’t delegating and keeping people updated fit that definition of leading you posted earlier, what was it? “motivate people” or whatever you said.

    I’m starting to think you’re just a troll, because you just can’t seem to answer an obvious fucking question, which is “what specifically is leading to you?”

  260. 260
    dan says:

    Nick, it is getting late and you are getting nasty.

    A few days after the rig burned, billions of gallons had not spilled into the gulf and no one knew it would take so long to fix. 2-3 weeks into it is when people realized how catastrophic this was going to be.

  261. 261
    Nick says:

    @dan:

    A few days after the rig burned, billions of gallons had not spilled into the gulf and no one knew it would take so long to fix. 2-3 weeks into it is when people realized how catastrophic this was going to be.

    Which is completely contridicting everything you’ve been saying.

    Obama was down there three weeks ago, when apparently it wasn’t a catastrophe yet according to you. if it took us 2-3 weeks to realize how bad it was, that means we just realized it this week, so, guess what, his response didn’t take 35 days, it took like 2.

    You can’t say “Oh, he didn’t respond for 35 days” and then turned around and say “well it took us three weeks to realize how bad it was” it’s making you look really stupid now. It’s almost as if you’re saying he should have known it was going to be catastrophic before everyone else did.

  262. 262
    Lit3Bolt says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I thought that was just a brief helicopter tour and he did not see the spill itself. Anywho, I think it whiffed over a lot of people’s heads, it certainly did mine, and I like to think of myself as a news junkie.

    Well, I feel for Obama, because he has certainly been lied to by BP, and the MSM because of one reason or another has been woefully slow itself on this story, until they raised their sleepy little heads after the primary and realized hitting Obamñiata was gonna be a ton of fun. Plus, the spill which was stated to be small at first only got “worse” with time until people were just making up shit.

    Thanks for being patient guys, I know you want to fight the BS narrative and you are saints of repetition. I still think Obama got out PR’ed by this and this public reaction was avoidable, but maybe that gives Obama too much credit or too little to the MSM for being prima donas and bullshit peddlers no matter what.

  263. 263
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dan:

    A few days after the rig burned, billions of gallons had not spilled into the gulf and no one knew it would take so long to fix.

    Actually, they said from the beginning that it could take months to block the well and that our best bet was the relief wells. That’s why they started drilling them within a couple of days. But people didn’t pay attention and you can only scream for so long trying to get through to them.

  264. 264
    Corner Stone says:

    @suzanne: You’re looking for a mirage.
    They don’t exist.

  265. 265
    Lit3Bolt says:

    @Nick:

    WOOT! So it’s not my fault if I’m woefully misinformed because the MSM has failed me yet again! Oh frabjulous day! Kaloo, kalay!

  266. 266
    pattonbt says:

    @Jim J: Jim, I like to think of myself of a pretty level headed person and just between you and me I think you are coming off a bit immature, wildly unrealistic and foolish (the whole “defeatist weakness” and “next strawman please” stuff really isnt doing you any favors). And to answer your question, yes, I think, when objectively reviewed, the administration is doing a decent job.

    Now if in the aftermath facts and evidence come out to change that assumption, so be it, and Obama will pay for it hard. But as for now you have an ongoing catastrophe of epic proportions that is one of the most complex engineering tasks ever asked for on an immediate time scale.

    Most people here are saying to you “yes, this situation sucks” and they want heads to roll, but they recognize the situation is complex and no matter how much they “want” everything to be fixed NOW!!!!! that the facts on the ground preclude that as being an option. What you are asking for simply is not in the realm of possibility. And you just dont seem to get that through your head. Your other wants are “optics” which, while pleasing in a “Off with Heads!!!!” way, really would not change the facts of the situation one iota.

    But on the flip side, you make a valid point (or are the expression of a valid point) that the nation is growing weary of this situation and Obama is taking a hit for it. And that is true. I think it is supremely misguided, but it is the nature of the political beast. The guy in charge takes the hit. I just realistically do not see what else Obama or his administration could do in seriously effective measures that would change where we are today.

    It sucks to know you are powerless to the forces of nature.

  267. 267
    suzanne says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You’re looking for a mirage. They don’t exist.

    Apparently not. Neither did a Suns victory.
    Damn damn damn.

  268. 268
    Lit3Bolt says:

    @dan:

    Don’t get into a Snarkbolt war with the BJ crowd. First off, their Snarkbolts are bigger and more powerful and crit more often, and second, they have Factbolts, which hurt much worse.

  269. 269
    Nick says:

    @Lit3Bolt: Oh dude, don’t look for us to inform you, we’re just interested in sex and scandal.

    In the middle of a epic ecological disaster, we put a picture of a Spanish bullfighter being gored though his neck on our covers and the very next day act outraged that so little information about the oil leak has been given to the people, which is because we decided to give our cover to a bullfighter the day before.

  270. 270
    Lit3Bolt says:

    @Nick:

    I know, I know, I was being very facetious. It reminds me of seeing the compare and contrast between the Newsweek covers around the world which have serious political shit like war, terrorism, and the one in America is something like “What Stock Portfolio Would Jesus Pick?” or “How to talk to your child about eating paste?” and then the same magazine bemoans the lack of education in America’s youth in a different article. Our education system is probably not that bad compared to other countries, its just our out of school education and literacy is so ridiculous because even our print is filled with gossipy bullshit.

  271. 271
    ruemara says:

    @dan:
    Hey it was an honest question, so fuck you and your rudeness if you can’t figure out an answer.

  272. 272
    Yutsano says:

    @ruemara: The “You’d know it if you saw it” comment might as well be saying, “Fuck you, I’m gonna sit here and poutrage and you can’t stop me so nyah!” It’s like blogging with a child.

  273. 273
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Lit3Bolt: ” So my unhappiness with Obama is not that he’s capping the oil well with rainbows shot from his chest, but that he’s getting the shit kicked out of him politically everyday on teevee.”

    Ah, so you have the same problem with crime victims then? Constantly getting guns shoved in their faces, beaten within inches of their lives, murdered, robbed…

    And now for a trip down Memory Lane! Let’s go back to the morning of April 29, 2010, literally seven and a half days since the first explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig at 10:00 pm April 21. What was going on at the White House?

    Press Briefing on the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf Coast
    __
    James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
    __
    PRESS BRIEFING
    BY PRESS SECRETARY ROBERT GIBBS,
    SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
    JANET NAPOLITANO,
    DEPUTY SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR
    DAVID HAYES,
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR
    LISA JACKSON,
    ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
    CAROL BROWNER,
    REAR ADMIRAL OF THE U.S. COAST GUARD
    SALLY BRICE-O’HARA,
    AND ADMINISTRATOR OF THE
    NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ASSOCIATION
    DR. JANE LUBCHENCO

    My goodness. They even recorded this odd gathering of people over at the C-SPAN.

    Well, this couldn’t be Obama doing nothing about the optics of the situation, as much as it looks like a full court press done hours after new information truly showed the extent of the leak. I’ve been advised by so many people today that Obama hasn’t been doing anything (or doing barely nothing at all) about the optics until just today.

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    Yutsano says:

    @Joseph Nobles: You’re using those damn facts again. Sheesh, no one can get in a good poutrage without y’all throwing facts back in their faces. Will no one think of the children here?

  275. 275
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jim J:

    Jim J is a long time SICK deranged PUMA.

    During the primaries, you couldn’t get through any diary, without Jim popping up and spewing some hate. He’s Hillary’s Dick Morris. He hates Obama for beating his Hillary. He has never gotten over it. It’s been over two years, Jim, it’s time to let go. But no, he’s a biter, biter person who only surfaces when he’s able to bash obama. It’s unlikely he will ever get over it, which is so sad, because while Hillary moved on, jim will be always stuck in 2008, like “Groundhog Day”.

  276. 276
    Dan says:

    @Nick:
    No, what I am saying is that a statement on day 2 or 3 is like standing in front of a brushfire and saying your going to monitor the situation, find out who is responsible, blah blah blah. Then 2-3 weeks in, when it is a wildfire, and people are worried about houses, communities, wildlife and natural resources, saying check my Facebook.

  277. 277
    Jim J says:

    @Mike Kay: Judging by the “biter, biter” tenor of your personal attack and by the fact that YOU brought up Hillary, not me, I’d have to say that I’m not the one stuck in 2008….

    I’m talking about the BP Deepwater Horizon spill of 2010. Just stick with the topic at hand and avoid the bizarre internet stalking. It would be for the best.

  278. 278
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jim J: asswipe, your hillary PUMA obsession is all over DKos. let me repeat – all. over. dkos. I can’t read a post on nutter-net without tripping over your PUMA primary hate (which by the way, ENDED TWO FUCKING YEARS AGO, YOU FUCKING MORON – BUY A NEW FUCKING CALENDAR, SICKO!).

  279. 279
    Jim J says:

    Dear me, Mikey, what a biter, biter man you are.

    Generally speaking, ‘sicko’ describes your behavior on this blog a lot more than it does mine. Perhaps you should rethink why you’re posting? It clearly doesn’t have anything to do with the topic at hand, now does it?

    Does it?

  280. 280
    Lit3Bolt says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    If those press conferences were so effective, then why is majority opinion giving Obama a failing grade? You guys keep pointing to this under the radar shit that happened weeks ago like it completely vindicates the Obama administration for all time. If it was so effective, why is he back down in the Gulf doing yet another tour? The first one didn’t take? Is it grandstanding? Where’s all the wrath for the Obama administration doing political kabuki today in the Gulf?

    Again, this is a stupid meme, it’s kabuki, it’s bullshit, and I hate to buy into anything the MSM peddles, but I think the speed they turned against them caught Obama off guard and he’s in damage control. I’m not blaming him…none of this is his fault, but eventually you HAVE to react to the narrative somehow, or they’re just going to savage you relentlessly. Which is what Obama is doing and why he timed his press conference with the top kill. I think this could have been prevented and preempted somehow; it’s not impossible to play the Washington press corps against itself. Maybe Carville was trying to be a canary for Obama (or trying to get the administration to bow and scrape and suck his hairless, shriveled wee wee is more likely). Maybe I’m just a gull, but I’m not such a gull that I’m going to think appearances and optics and polls mean absolutely nothing in our political theater.

    But on the other hand, I think this meme is already losing steam because Obama’s opposition is so uniquely inept to handle it, as Larison points out.

  281. 281
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @suzanne:

    So sorry. I think the Suns game kept everybody at home.

    I was feeling ill and did not attend. But I will post the next notice and an invite to the next meeting which should be on Thurs June 10 if they keep to their schedule.

    Meantime, there is tomorrow morning at Steele Park. Big rally against SB1070! I will be out there wearing a red Diamondbacks baseball cap. If Little Dreamer comes out too, she is the good looking one standing near me.

  282. 282
    suzanne says:

    @LikeableInMyOwnWay: The husband and the kid and I are gonna be there doing voter registrations. We’ll be the only Italians there, most likely. ;)

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