Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Something Someone Else Said

"BP wants Twitter to shut down a fake BP account that is mocking the oil company. In response, Twitter wants BP to shut down the oil leak that’s ruining the ocean." -Jimmy Fallon, Late Night.

I find the recent Republican attempts to label the Gulf oil spill "Obama's Katrina" to be both desperate and laughable. The Bush administration had an entire agency in place expressly charged with responding to Katrina-like disasters but because they decided that FEMA wasn't very important that response came all too late and was far too incompetent. That same administration decided that government regulation of private industry wasn't very important either, thus allowing companies like BP to take the risks and cut the corners that have led to this current disaster.

As far as I can tell President Obama has done everything he could have done to remedy this situation thus far, which unfortunately is realistically very little. I find it a bit ironic that the same critics who decried his partial takeover of the banking and auto industries as "socialism" are now screaming for him to take over BP, as if that company doesn't have ample incentive to fix the leak as quickly as possible themselves. One of the differences between this situation and Katrina is that the government is neither equipped to nor capable of stopping this disaster and no amount of management or "owning the spill" on Obama's part could have changed that. The federal government is not in the business of drilling for oil a mile beneath the ocean's surface or fixing any leaks caused by that drilling, and nor should it be. What it should be in the business of doing is regulating the private companies that are and that is where it failed.

The oil spill in the Gulf is BP's mess: they own it and they are going to have to clean it up. Enabling the spill should have been the Bush administration's mess but now, as with so many others, they've left it for Obama to clean up instead. I would imagine that he's getting pretty tired of this shit by now; I know I am.



magpie said...

BP - as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company - bribed Winston Churchill to lobby for private oil exploitation in Persia.

Their influence was considerable in causing Iran and Iraq to become what they are now.

Protection of their interests led to the destruction of the democractic government of Iran, the installation of the Shah's autocractic regime, setting the scene for his overthrow by Islamic militants during the 70s.

They have been fucking up our world for a century.

Anonymous said...

Am I supposed to hate the British, Big Oil or Bush? I need you to spell it out for me, James. Stop being so indirect and just tell me where to focus my anger.

JBW said...

Mexicans, one L. Always blame the Mexicans. They're trying to flood across our borders to destroy America, you know. A guy with a handlebar moustache and a "Nobama!" sticker on his truck told me as much.

The Absent Minded Housewife said...

Here from Some Pig. Excellent post.

JBW said...

Thanks, Becky. This whole disaster has seriously put me off of watching the news lately, although I can't tell if it's my anger or depression that's caused this.

Anonymous said...

I would hope that it's your heart.

We all want this thing fixed, but there's no need to be a masochist about it... and it doesn't mean you don't care if you don't watch.