Obama The Incompetent.

There is a reoccurring theme in the news lately. Obama, the senator who “distinguished” himself by voting “present”…has been taking that same incompetence and unpreparedness into the Oval office…to our great detriment. General McCrystal, his man in Afghanistan, is quoted today as calling Obama “unprepared” for meetings about the War zone. Unprepared while our troops risk their lives. More likely, Obama , was prepared only to gauge the political ramifications for HIMSELF…the one thing that always takes precedence over anything else. *

“Another aide refers to a key Oval Office meeting with the president a year ago.
Barack Obama and Stanley McChrystal on Air Force One, Oct 2009 The Afghan strategy review was difficult for Obama and McChrystal

The aide says it was “a 10-minute photo op”, adding: “Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him, who he was… he didn’t seem very engaged. The boss was pretty disappointed.”

Gen McChrystal himself says: “I found that time painful. I was selling an unsellable position.”

Always the photo op. Always the fakery.

At the same time, the largest newspaper in New Orleans speaks to Obama’s ignorance about their unfolding tragedy.*

“Louisianians understand that deepwater drilling is central to our economy; we know that the jobs provided by this industry go far beyond those on the rigs themselves — more than twice as many people in oil-related jobs earn their livings on tugboats and supply boats and in shipyards, helipads, catering kitchens and other places on shore.

It doesn’t take an economist to see what shutting down the rigs for half a year will do to all those jobs and the people who hold them.

But President Barack Obama doesn’t seem to get it. His administration fails to grasp how Louisiana’s economy works or what the six-month halt to exploratory drilling that the White House has ordered will do to people who earn their living from this critical activity. Either that, or his administration is determined to disregard the economic annihilation that its shutdown will cause.

The announcement this week of a $100 million compensation fund for rig workers affected by the moratorium is striking proof of this administration’s myopia. In all, 18,000 to 24,000 jobs related to the 30 shuttered rigs across the Gulf are in jeopardy from the drilling moratorium. But this fund, which BP agreed to provide, targets only 6,000 to 8,000 Gulf Coast residents who work on the rigs themselves. Those workers make an average of $2,400 a week, counting benefits, which means the fund could dry up in as little as six weeks, with months left before the moratorium ends.

According to the LSU Center for Energy Studies, Louisiana residents account for 3,339 of rig workers who are likely to lose their jobs, but another 7,656 Louisianians who work in jobs related to drilling also face likely layoffs. That’s 10,955 people who stand to lose their source of income, joining the fishers, shrimpers, oyster harvesters, charter boat operators, seafood processors, restaurateurs and many others whose livelihoods have already succumbed to the oil spill.

The Obama administration succeeded in persuading BP to set up a $20 billion compensation fund for economic losses caused by this unprecedented disaster, and that’s a crucial step toward ensuring our recovery from this environmental nightmare. But it remains unclear whether workers left in the lurch by the moratorium will be able to get help from this fund.

Nor will the damage end when the moratorium is over. The harsh reality is that many deepwater rigs are likely to abandon the Gulf of Mexico for places like Brazil and western Africa. After spending millions to move a rig, it’s unlikely that a company will rush back to the Gulf. That leaves support workers with little prospect of getting their jobs back. Over half of rig workers could keep their jobs if they are willing to endure greater separations of time and distance from their families. But the rest won’t be given that choice.

President Obama said that he stressed the plight of Gulf Coast families in a private conversation with BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg.

“A lot of these folks don’t have a cushion,” the president said he told the chairman. “They were coming off Rita and Katrina, coming off the worst economy that this country has seen since the Great Depression, and this season was going to be the season where they were going to be bouncing back.”

Understanding the human face of those affected by the oil spill is vital, and President Obama was right to make that point in his meeting with BP officials. But Louisiana and other Gulf Coast residents whose jobs are now imperiled by their own government’s action deserve no less from the president. They, too, lived through the storms of 2005. They, too, have struggled through a tough economy. Moreover, workers in jobs that support drilling make less money than those who work on the rigs. Now they face the prospect of joblessness, and so far, all that most of them can count on when the pink slips arrive is an unemployment check from the state.

President Obama has not heeded the voices urging him to reconsider the scope of the moratorium. Those include engineering and oil industry experts consulted by the administration, who are calling the broad moratorium a mistake that could cause more harm to the economy than the spill itself. They had endorsed different steps such as a moratorium on new drilling permits. They suggested a briefer halt at existing rigs, so that safety tests could be conducted.

That’s still a viable strategy. A more nuanced approach would be far wiser and more compassionate than the punishing shutdown that the White House has ordered.

President Obama also needs to show that he’s willing to learn about Louisiana’s economic underpinnings. He missed an opportunity when he failed to appoint someone with that kind of knowledge to the commission that is investigating the BP spill.

Louisianians also need clarity on whether the $20 billion compensation fund will encompass losses caused by the moratorium. The White House has said that it expects BP to pay all claims for lost wages related to the moratorium.

At the very least, Gulf Coast oil industry workers who are worried about how they will pay their bills without jobs should have the assurance that their losses will be treated no differently than those of their neighbors.”



Goin’ To New Orleans…and Sayin’ I’m a Shrimper…


Here is video of Kenneth Feinberg – head of the “Oil Spill Compensation Fund” – saying people in the Gulf Region can file a claim with the Government and receive “emergency payments” without providing “the type of corroboration that would normally be provided.” Feinberg said they only need to provide “basic information,” which he did not explain.

He was asked if, by taking the funds, people were giving up their right to sue BP. Feinberg said “Absolutely not.” In no way are people giving up their right to sue BP by taking the “emergency funds.”

Exit Question: How long do you think those funds will last with this kind of loose control of who is eligible for the funds?

That D.C. Reality Show

I don’t watch made-for-TV reality shows too often…. but that’s because I watch government hearings and political event coverage which is pretty much the same thing.

I caught an episode of Toddlers In Tiaras this Wednesday…and probably I won’t tune in to that freak show again any time soon. If I want to watch idiots spending money they don’t have…. on inane frivolities they cannot afford…I can watch Congress on C-span every day of the week. Just a little too repetitive for me.

And, come on, People, the feigned fistfights, the insults, and the low-life puffery of the folks on Jersey Shore could never beat the antics at your standard Congressional hearing. Why not invest your time WATCHING the real deal? The shows we are producing with our tax dollars? You are seriously settling for second best: Seaside Heights has nuthin’ on Washington D.C….trust me.

Take yesterday’s episode.

“Joey-Sweetheart” Barton shot off his mouth and within an hour, everyone was hopping out of the Hearing hot tub, exiting the Shore House and looking to get in on any star-making… viewer-favorite… derriere-drubbing fight scene. Apparently Snookie Pelosi was unavailable for the first filming, so Joe “The Situation” Biden was featured instead. This was a curious choice, I thought. I believe the affable, gaffe-able Biden is always better cast in, say, “The Cake Boss” role capacity….loopy, low-key and just creating marvelous high calorie BS. Biden’s not… buff enough… for the faux parts they currently assign him.

Henry (H-Woww) Waxmann got his share of face-time. He does have that Geek-Gone–Guido-thing goin’ on pretty well. Frankly, I always enjoy any episodes wherein he’s featured. I do think someone needs to give him the faux tan memo however. A rather pasty, but hey…a pugnacious pumping l’il street guy, isn’t he?

But to what POINT? Am I the only one that thinks all of this is severely overacted, redundant and, in practical terms…inane?

I guess I need to focus on the Entertainment value. These D.C. shows are really more like Bob Hope extravaganzas…these politicians are performing for their “troops.” Tonight, on “The Real House-Reps of Washington D.C.”….the drama will reach new heights when….

Lord, give me strength.

Any of you fans of Nancy Grace should be tuning in as well.

Nancy was smarmy-Southern-girl sweet to the late Melinda Duckett compared to the congressional inquisition of BP’s Tony Hayward yesterday . Maybe like Duckett, he’ll kill himself..oh wait, didn’t one of “The Real Reps of Washington D.C.” suggest that ALREADY? Hari-Kari no less. See what I’m talking about, TV fans?

Our Politicians must looking at Nancy’s ratings and believing overplayed outrage might actually pull them up in the polls.

I was expecting the Chairman yesterday to end the hearing with…. “Goodnight Friend.”

What was the practical point of that Theater of the Absurd? (I said “practical.”) Our President, who becomes daily more and more like the ineffectual, seldom needed Bruce Jenner (who haunts the back shots of the Kardashian drama)…has already informed anyone within the sound of his professorial voice that the US Justice Dept is weighing criminal charges against “British Petroleum.” So what did any of these dorks expect Jeffery Skilling..oh, strike that…Tony Hayward.. to actually SAY?

Like these inane reality shows, it’s all diversion. People pretending things. The uninformed grilling the over-lawyered. Professional political bottom feeders who never held a job or met a pay-roll pretending they are experts in everyone else’s field.

Individually, on both sides of the aisle….the average Congressman is as vapid and non-productive as the Guidos and Guidettes of the fake Sea Side Heights; their “contributions” to solving our increasingly hideous problems…just about as significant as the contribution that other show cast makes to our culture. As a nation we are fascinated by low-life types behaving badly. We elevate them for their outrageousness. We tolerate their nothingness. We make them celebrities. We elect them to office.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the state of our Government and our collective morals and malaise….you can find in the average Reality Show and …daily in the power centers of Washington D.C.

Except for the Oval office.

Obama is a throwback.

Every day… I swear….he is actually looking more and more like Barney Fife.

In case you missed the Speech…

yada, yada, yada, got a” Battle plan”

Did I mention Chu was a “Nobel Man?”

yada yada yada,  AUTHORIZE… (but wait?

The GOVERNORS have to “activate??????”)


yada, yada,yada …NEW Leadership.

(But Salazar still guides the Mother Ship?)

yada, yada, yada…NATIONAL COMMISSION

yada, yada, yada,…more hope and “vision.”


Yada, yada, yada …BARRIER REEF

(weeks for the permits while SEEP SEEP, SEEP)

Yada, yada, yada…”SHOULD be”…”SHOULD happen”

yada, yada, yada, …(don’t know…just yappin’)


Yada, yada, yada, talked to a fisherman

Yada, yada, yada, wore my good pants

Yada, yada, yada, more “authorize”

Did I mention Chu has a Nobel prize?


yada, yada, yada, gotta go Green hard

Spend, baby, spend..I’m your “Greek” God.

Cap and trade, in God we Trust

Bless the Fleet, then let’s…. blame Bush.

“The One”…comes undone

It’s terrifying when Keith Olbermann and I agree.

After watching Obama’s speech last night, I kept thinking of that great line a dissatisfied  King Lear delivered to a daughter that disappointed him, “Nothing can come of nothing. Speak again.”

Actually, O, don’t bother. Left and right…we’ve heard enough. It’s better to say nothing silently.

I’m sensing your dilemma. You never wanted to be President; you wanted (and still want) to be “The One We Have Been Waiting For.” You want the kingdom, the power and the glory…not the inconvenient terror incidents, veteran’s events, and oil spills. You want pillars behind you and swaying crowds, waving their arms in a mass embrace of you, chanting “Yes! WE Can!”  “Yes, WE Can!”

You didn’t have to offer specifics…just hint…and receive the adulation of the adoring crowds.

YOU were the penultimate American Idol.

Those were the days, huh?  But that’s NOT the job.

You were a stellar campaigner. You were America’s coolest non-custodial parent. It was so easy to trash the soon-to-be Ex and tell us how fabulous life would be with you. You were deliberately vague but that was exceedingly seductive. We could then impose our own future vision of wants and wishes and all the wonder that lay ahead for us WITH YOU… into the empty set of what you actually said. All our friends around the world wished you were… theirs. But you were ours.

So cool.

So now, here we are together and you have full custody of  every problem, crisis and inconvenient family tradition. You now seen peeved. You seem put-upon. You seem  very unprepared. You still want to blame the “ex” but it’s exceedingly clear, you are in over your head yourself. You now seem more shallow than suave….more clueless than cool.

This is probably why your party schedule seemed to ramp up every time the oil spill estimates did. Sir Paul made you feel like “The One”…again.  For one night anyway. “Michelle My Belle.”

This is what you need. Why you are here.

Vacations, golf, celebrity parties. The terrified residents of the Gulf Coast, the tired and discouraged unemployed, the families with the ravaged 401ks watch you with now with narrowed eyes.

The One We Have Been Waiting For, huh?

There’s your trouble, I think.

It’s clear you have a greater burden than other Presidents…than, say,   Bush.  Yes, he faced the greatest terror attack on American soil barely months into his Presidency…but YOU face trying to juggle those dual roles..President of the United States AND…. that other thing….”The One We Have Been Waiting For” deal.  A President must choose, must lead, must make decisions.; The One must try to keep every adoring cow, here and internationally,  in the herd.

That is why, since taking the oath, you have not governed …you have continued to do what you do best…campaign. Essentially, you have opted to go with “The One” gig.  In your campaign, we heard whispers that “Obama talks out of both sides of his mouth.”…but only in small groups…just giving various constituencies, a little private tingle… tempting them with a little private “insight” into what was to come. Officially, as a candidate, you were vague. But, so many people, Left and Right, thought THEY had the inside story. The One We Have Been Waiting for…was just playing it cool; once elected you were their guy. THEY had won BIG with “The One.”

But almost two years in, on almost every contentious decision, from Afghanistan, to”Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to Guantanamo, to Terror Trials, to the worst ecological disaster of our time…all we get is dithering and words. We are still IN Afghanistan…but , don’t worry, we have a sort-of date to get out.  We are closing Guantanamo, but not yet. We are abolishing DADT, but only when the military agrees. We are new and clean, except when we are making old school Chicago pol deals. We are “kicking ass” but real vague on names or giving details.

We observe the standard slippery, completely self-involved political machine in action; that’s the mindset that now stands between the American people and financial, ecological, and/or  actual mass destruction.

As our President, you are still trying to be magically vague….confusingly cool. All things to all people…because your Presidency is all about YOU. You have been adored for imagery, not action…so you cling to the former and avoid the latter. Going back to my non custodial parent riff…you appoint czars and intermediaries…essentially babysitters and nannies to take the heat and pressure off yourself. Someone to fire and blame and make the hard choices.

You, President Obama, avoid responsibility, hard choices, tough love.

Yes, Obama, the cool non custodial parent is now in over his head. Our international friends now think he’s kind of a weak, dopey Dad…and they have gotten more obnoxious and bold. Every day, he pushes us to pay MORE for more Big Government but  every day, he acts as Poster boy for  the false promises and ineffectiveness of Big Government.  We’re starting to wonder why we chose to live with this fool.  We’re starting to fear  his crazy spending will  leave us without a roof over our head a few years from now.  When we look closer now…we see  the shallowness underneath the artful spin.

Obama needs to be loved too much. He’s too into himself. He has no fire in his gut or great attachment to anything other than himself…certainly not us. Like so many “custody fights”…this  was about POWER…NEVER about…US.

If Obama is The One We Have Been Waiting For…a lot of us have been at the wrong bus stop.

The Cool One is still singing…but increasingly, no one’s dancing along.