The Talking Dog

June 15, 2010, Obama kabuki-rama

obama kabuki Pictures, Images and Photos

I guess the President regards his first primetime Oval Office address to the nation as his way of showing he means to "kick someone's ass," presumably the British Petroieum BP Corporation, whom he tells us will "soon" be containing around 90% of the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico (although, of course, there might be a bit more oil leaking out than heretofore thought,.. just a little), Oh, and BP will be placing large sums of money necessary to pay damage claims in a lockbox an independently administered escrow account, and the barndoor will be shut the Minerals Management Agency, responsible for regulating oil drilling, will be overhauled, and lots of other things that the President's clearly inept and feckless advisors think will stop the political hemorraging, even as BP (which is inexplicably still "in charge" of cleaning up a mess caused by its deliberate actions which can only be classified as criminal ineptitude) can't stop the hemorraging of oil into the Gulf. And yet, that $75 million liability cap still seems to be inviolably there, does it not? With that in place... seems we have a bunch of... idle chatter.

The President refuses to state the actual, miserable truth: oil containment technology has not improved in the decades since the Exxon Valdez disaster, because it costs too much. Oil extraction technology has improved, but so have the risks of using it. And we are more dependent on oil from all sources now than we have ever been. And nothing the President is doing, or has done, will change any of it. And therefore, we just have to live with the consequences, and sorry folks, but that's life, because our vaunted oil-dependent lifestyles are more important than anything else, including the environment or liberty or human life.

Of course, saying those sorts of things would be "impolitic." Instead, the President is behaving like his trained profession of lawyer, seemingly for the first time in his life, albeit like an ambulance chaser looking for someone to blame,

Well, we'll have to see what the political consequences end up being, given that the President has allowed his presidency to be highjacked by the oil spill at this relatively early 1/3 point in his (first?) term. We know what the environmental and human consequences will be. As if we give a sh**. Forget it. It's Chinatown, Boss. We're talking oil, folks. Got to know one's priorities.

Update: On cue, BP announced that it was paying $20 billion into a lockbox an escrow fund and suspending its dividend, I'm guessing that BP anticipates that the ultimate financial toll from the Gulf mega-spill will be somewhat more expensive, but $20 billion will at least cover the first wave of claims until something else takes over the front-page.