On the recent oil spill issue (possible disclaimer:
I’m wondering about buying I bought some BP shares).
I’m thinking about headlines like Obama Says He Would Fire BP CEO, Wants to Know ‘Whose Ass to Kick’.
[Update: both TB and H point out that this quote is taken well out of context; see the comments or http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/06/kicking-ass-white-house. So I have to partially retract my outrage. But only partially, because the main point still stands (who to blame?) as does the quote below -W]
The real story here isn’t hard to see: Obama is desperate not to get blamed for this, so he desperately needs someone else’s ass to kick. If that could be a Britsh ass, rather than an American oil services company, then that would obviously be ideal.
Then you have the hypocricy of I’m not interested in words. I’m interested in actions. Bullshit. Obama is talking. He is clearly interested in words. To pretend otherwise is simply stupid.
And then we have (this was the bit that wound me up when I heard it on R4):
The U.S. president, who himself faces growing criticism that his administration was slow to react to the economic and ecological catastrophe hitting four U.S. Gulf states, said he did not want to prejudge the investigation into the incident. “But the initial reports indicate there may be situations in which not only human error was involved, but you also saw some corner cutting in terms of safety,” Obama said in some of his angriest public words yet about the catastrophe.
(my bold) which is more junk. He doesn’t want to prejudge the investigation, but he will anyway. Lying skunk.
[Update: Obama’s aggressive bullying over the dividend looks bad too (also in the FT).]
[Another update: if you’re in any doubt that the US govt are acting like a pile of sleazy blackmailing scumbags, then this should change your mind: exerpt: BP faces bill for lost drilling wages. The White House stepped up pressure on BP on Wednesday, telling it to add the salaries of workers laid off by an offshore drilling moratorium to its bill for the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. “BP is responsible for all the damages,” Ken Salazar, US interior secretary, told the Senate’s energy and natural resources committee on Wednesday. He said that included paying any workers hit by the government’s moratorium on offshore drilling imposed on 33 deep-water rigs while safety reviews took place.]
[More: not all Americans are insane. The administration’s response chief for the disaster, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, seemed to take issue with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s threat a day earlier to push BP “out of the way” if it did not do enough to stop the leak. “To push BP out of the way would raise the question of ‘replace them with what?'” Allen said at a White House news conference. BP was “exhausting every technical means possible” to meet its legal responsibility to cap the well and contain the spreading oil, he said. But tis probably just reflects reality. If the US govt *did* “push” BP out of the way as the wackos are suggesting, they would be left to do… what extra, exactly?
But the Obama adminstration seems determined to talk like a gang of street thugs or a Russian government: “We will keep our boot on their neck until the job gets done,” Salazar told reporters Charmed, I’m sure.]
[Update: this is all getting a bit heated. We need some humour (h/t: mt. But it would have been funnier if they had a man from the govt coming in and putting a boot one someone’s neck, no?]
[Update: http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/transocean-u-s-justice-dept-resolve-liability-spat-reuters_molt-2836b4648706.html is interesting. There hasn’t been much in the news about Transocean’s liability]
[Late update: one thing pointed out to me as a thing-to-think-about was that if the well had simply gushed, it would have been a fair spill but nothing too exciting. What made this exciting was that the rig caught fire and burnt. If that hadn’t happened, the rig would have been able to recover it. So perhaps more attention to fire control might be a topic -W]