Transcript available here.
This week the President made his third trip to the Louisiana coast in lieu of a trip to Australia and Indonesia, to check on the
lack of progress of BP’s next move on capping the oil pipe as well as the lack of confidence in the administration’s ability to bring BP to heal. Though the President appeared to put too much confidence in BP’s abilities and intentions, I do have to say during the “drill baby drill” spasm of the 2008 election, many people of all stripes had no problems with deep sea oil drilling as long as the money was coming in and there were no new taxes at the gas pump. In other words, let’s spread the lack of skepticism and critical assessment of BP’s and similar companies enterprises around. When profits are involved, everyone’s got a stake in anything. Check this out from the editorial staff of the Times-Picayune.
We’re already reeling from the loss of thousands of fishing industry jobs. We now could see an estimated 20,000 oil-services jobs vanish due to your six-month federal moratorium on deepwater exploratory drilling. That could do even greater damage to the economy than the well-chronicled fishing industry losses.
The next showdown: fishermen vs oilmen. Harks back to the cattle and sheep feuds of the old days or a new cast of characters for the WWF.
Personally, I’m more interested in how fast and effectively BP can be in putting a tight cap on this oil spill and how swiftly justice will be served for the damages. Last on my list is whether the President will snap or bust a cap over it. There’s no need for the President of the United States to have a “Do the Right Thing” moment and “Go Off!” per the new’s media’s Spike Lee sound byte of the day [Lee says much more in his interview with Anderson Cooper]. While the press is anxiously waiting for the close up of the “angry black man moment,” filmmaker James Cameron’s remarks merit some serious consideration:
Sure, thev’ve got lot of cameras down there, but do we want BP choosing where they’re pointed? It’s easy to coordinate multiple cameras on the seabed. It’s nothing more dire than combat. Reporters and the media are allowed in combat situations. Why not when a foreign corporation working in the U.S. economic zone has created the biggest hit to the environment ever and a huge hit to the economy of the southern states?
At least Cameron has developed robotic technology for deep water filming. There’s no need to brush him off as just another egotistical Hollywood director.
Here’s what the President is offering in his Weekly Address:
… I’ve authorized the deployment of 17,500 National Guard troops to aid in the response. More than 20,000 people are currently working around the clock to protect waters and coastlines. We’ve convened hundreds of top scientists and engineers from around the world. More than 1,900 vessels are in the Gulf assisting in the clean up. More than 4.3 million feet of boom have been deployed with another 2.9 million feet of boom available – enough to stretch over 1,300 miles. And 17 staging areas are in place across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida to rapidly defend sensitive shorelines. In short, this is the largest response to an environmental disaster of this kind in the history of our country.
We’ve also ordered BP to pay economic injury claims, and we will make sure they pay every single dime owed to the people along the Gulf Coast. The Small Business Administration has stepped in to help businesses by approving loans and allowing deferrals of existing loan payments. And this week, the federal government sent BP a preliminary bill for $69 million to pay back American taxpayers for some of the costs of the response so far. In addition, after an emergency safety review, we’re putting in place aggressive new operating standards for offshore drilling. And I’ve appointed a bipartisan commission to look into the causes of this spill. If laws are inadequate –laws will be changed. If oversight was lacking – it will be strengthened. And if laws were broken – those responsible will be brought to justice.
At this point, the solution requires all hands on deck. Whoever comes up with the winning fix will be “King of the World.”
This is the live feed from BP of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. They’ve restarted the “top kill” process of shooting heavy drilling mud into the hole to essentially “plug it up.” The video source and ticker is from PBS’s Newshour. The live feed was ordered by the U.S. Government. What a treat for insomniacs.
A couple of soundbytes are really disturbing to me:
Gulf of Mexico oil spill the worst in U.S. history.
Not worst in the world? You mean to say there are others that are worst?
Update: Yes! And in the Gulf of Mexico. Go here. Here’s a convenient time line from the New York Times.
Dispersants have never been used in this volume before.
When and how many times before? And how much?
Yesterday, I had to be queen of the hustle. I was determined this was going to be a make-or-break day. The goal was to get that “credential” to get into the Pepsi Center and see the hall of delegates, state signs, the funny hats. And YES! I got in.
Somehow, on this mission, I got side tracked by a Hillary Clinton press conference in the Colorado Convention Center where she released her delegates – 1,920 committed delegates, according to CNN, she mentioned in her remarks along with stating she won’t “tell anyone what to do.” Her core message was party unity, beat John McCain following up on a great speech from the night before. I talked with one of her delegates at the CBCF (Congressional Black Caucus Foundation) party the night of her speech who said he and other delegates were prepared to make a symbolic visual transition to Obama on the convention floor Thursday during the roll call. Somehow that roll call didn’t happen. Delegates cast their votes Thursday afternoon. I’m trying to chase down the real tally because one thing I’ve learned here is the news I’m getting on cable and network television and radio is often wrong and intended to build on hype. I’m still on news black out btw. Best to put my ear to the ground, talk to people, and observe. More on that press conference in a later wrap up post. I detected a bit of a wink in the remarks. Hopefully I can share the audio from the Flip camera I had.
I was happy to say that press conference led me to the Gulf Coast people. Lauren Anderson with the Equity and Inclusion Campaign and Jacques Morial of the Louisiana Justice Institute. All eyes are on hurricane Gustav at this time. Lauren and Jacques were very worried about what this will do to the modest Katrina recovery efforts made to date and the people along the Gulf. Please visit their sites for more information.
But Thanks to the DC Delegation (DC4ObamaBeatsMcCain), I got a “credential” to get me into the Pepsi Center for the final night at this location before Barack Obama makes his acceptance speech at INVESCO Field. How did I do it? After a bit of lecturing by a friend, I had to put myself in the right place and hopefully the right time and person would present itself. Ask people. The magic moment happened on the 16th Street Mall bus. Frank Smith of the African American Civil War Museum in DC invited me to join several other DC delegation members at the “drop off” point inside corner pizza joint/bar. Kudos to Arrington Dixon, former DC City Councilmember-At-Large. Apparently Arrington Dixon’s mission was to get as many DC delegation and DC folk into our section of the hall for the BIG Thursday Night. Bill Clinton, John Kerry and Joe Biden were on the bill. And for those of you who didn’t stay up after Biden’s Vice Presidential acceptance speech, a surprise appearance by the candidate himself, Barack Obama.
Apparently, I was not the only one on a search. PBS’s The NewsHour found me. I was a brief face in the crowd on the national convention broadcast. A message on my cell phone confirmed it. Yes. I was there. Today’s goal: INVESCO field for Barack Obama’s acceptance speech. I heard DC, VA, and MD ticket requests were shut out in a snafu. If I get into INVESCO field tonight that, and all the craziness and hassles of this week will be forgiven ;)