Michael Barone on Obama’s “thuggery”

There is a right and a wrong way to do things. We do not advocate vigilante justice even when the situation lends itself to outrage. And there is a right and a wrong way to enforce the laws that would make BP pay the appropriate damages for the gulf oil spill. Obama considers himself above all that. It grates.

Michael Barone is great. He is not a hot head. He did not use the word “thuggery” lightly.


Published in: on June 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

This is an outrage

A “take charge” president could’ve green lighted this weeks ago. This is the kind of clean up I’ve been waiting for. Instead we get bluster and bad speeches from a man  who’s talents are limited to reading a teleprompter. Jindal was mocked for the speech he made last year but I’ll take his substance over Obama’s style any day.


Published in: on June 17, 2010 at 10:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Oil spilling, BS flowing

BP is going to go bankrupt.

It will be due mainly to their utter incompetence. It would be a great example of the market at work as assets are transferred from the criminally negligent to the deserving victims through proper legal channels. Instead it will play out in Obama’s alternative universe where he and his regime plunder the evil profiteers “with a boot on their neck”. He is so fixated on this destruction of a capitalist icon-when he is not busy playing golf and throwing parties-that he has neglected to do anything to limit the damage. In doing so he will further damage his presidency and the Democrat party-not to mention the coastline and the economy.

The prevention of oil reaching shore is virtually nonexistent. Offers of help and booms and skimmers from Denmark and other countries were rejected. Coastal local governments have received no cooperation from the feds. Requests for permission to construct barriers were ignored and then approved in limited form only after long delays. “Environmentalists” successfully thwarted 3 different approaches. It is day 57 and the President of the United States has not met with the heads of BP. This should have been the plan on day 1. The heads of the other major oil companies should have been called in as well-for brainstorming-not interrogation. None of this happened.

If I see one more clip of the “cleanup effort” I am going to lose it. It is estimated that over 100 million gallons of oil has leaked and all I see are mopes in plastic suits cleaning beaches by hand! Why aren’t they using oil tankers to suck up the oil and water and then separating the oil out (it floats right?) for refining? If this is not a viable solution then they should be telling us why and what other large scale efforts are being employed.

Comparisons to Bush and Katrina are apples to oranges but since the Democrats brought it up, “let’s be perfectly clear.” The major failures in Katrina were marked by the bumbling of the Democrat mayor of New Orleans and the Democrat Governor of Louisiana. They did not request the appropriate help from the federal government and turned it down when it was offered. Contrast that with the current Republican governor of Louisiana and his hands on approach. He has come up with quick, creative solutions only to be ignored by the dithering Obama and his incompetent administration.

This is so very simple. Millions of barrels of valuable oil are gushing from the sea floor and BP does not have a clue on how to suck it up at the point of release. This is mind boggling. If they don’t know how to collect oil when and where they find it then they do not belong in the oil business. And if Exxon and all the others do not know how to cap that well and stop the flow of oil or at least divert it to their tankers for proper use then there should be no deep water drilling by anybody.

OK, so I’ve made my case. I think both BP and the Obama team share the blame here. But if we are to learn our lesson here we must ask two questions:

Could it have been avoided?

Can we prevent it from happening again in the future?

Yes on both. But Obama doesn’t see it that way. He said we were drilling a mile deep and forty miles from shore “because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water”. That is a lie-and he knows it. It is the height of arrogance for him to think he could get away with it. It was pointed out by all the sharp commentators right away. This is how the left works. They think if you repeat this nonsense enough it will be accepted. Except it isn’t. Everybody knows our energy policy is driven by the successful lobbying of anti-oil extremists carrying the flag of “environmentalism”. We drill 40 miles offshore because they’ve succeeded in having it banned everywhere else. Obama continued his new faux-angry tone with the tired claim that we use 20% of the world’s oil but hold only 2% of the reserves. This is deceptive nonsense. That reserve figure is an estimate that is dependent on those same drilling bans. More exploration would yield a huge boost in reserves.

Then Obama played revealed his real agenda. He doesn’t intend to let this “crisis go to waste.” He wants to reinvigorate the dead cap and tax bill and make a bigger push for green energy. This is the same “green energy” agenda that has been an utter failure in Spain, killing jobs and contributing to their burgeoning financial crisis

So the big speech was a failure on every level. The blame game continues. The oil spill goes on. Energy policy is not realistic. Leadership is nonexistent.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on June 15, 2010 at 11:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Key Policy Commentary

The oil spill dominates the news and will continue to. We can’t vote it away. It is too late to prepare for it. I will join those who acknowledge the failures of BP AND Government here and push for policies that reduce the chances of future catastrophes. I would summarize that policy this way:

We are decades away, minimum, from an oil-free world and for national security reasons we cannot rely on unfriendly nations to supply us. We need to increase domestic drilling on-shore and off-shore while backing away from the deep water drilling that has caused this problem.

While this plays out we can’t afford to lose sight of the two key issues where we can have a direct immediate impact: the economy and foreign affairs.

For some economic perspective check out Art Laffer in the Wall Street Journal who notes that coming tax policy can sink us into a “double dip” recession in 2011. LINK

Arthur Brooks draws interesting comparisons to Greece here: LINK

Note: Arthur Brooks will be in Chicago in two weeks for a speech and book signing. Those interested in attending a great event should contact me directly. If you do not have my email please access the “leave a comment” feature directly below.

Fred Barnes has great insight into the ways of Washington but he falls into a familiar trap here. Those expecting Obama to “pivot to the right” or any of the many maneuvers of Bill Clinton are not getting it. Obama is not Bill Clinton. Clinton liked playing politics and understood the dynamics of compromise and how it could preserve power. Obama views all of that as just part of the problem. He does not like America or its political structure. He wants to “change” it. Read Fred here: LINK

Blogger “Neoneocon” has some comments on the pivot here: LINK

Pat Duggan

Dick Morris: Obama is incompetent

Dick Morris has a catchy headline: “Obama doesn’t have a clue.”

Read his column here: LINK

Dick imagines himself smarter than the Democrats he worked for and has made a name for himself as one of their chief critics. I find his observations frequently enlightening but he misses the mark several times here. We are not surprised that Obama is incompetent. His total lack of relevant experience-either administrative or private sector-was one of his main shortcomings and the way the mainstream media ignored it was infuriating. By election day the story was that he ran such a great campaign he could surely handle the presidency.

Morris writes: “He doesn’t know how to stop the oil from spilling. He is bereft of ideas about how to create jobs in the aftermath of the recession. He has no idea how to keep the European financial crisis contained. He has no program for repaying the massive debt hole into which he has dug our nation without tax increases he must know will only deepen the pit.”

The problem isn’t that Obama doesn’t “know how” to plug the oil leak-the experts at BP clearly don’t either. The problem is that Obama views business-all business-as the enemy. As I have noted, BP caused this mess, but at this stage of the crisis the Obama administration should be working with BP. Instead they are doing the only thing they know how to do: attack the big bad business entity. They should be working with BP and engaging all the other big oil companies to help. They all can benefit from a quick solution or be damaged by the fallout.

As for the financial crisis unfolding in Europe this is classic liberal behavior. They cling to their socialist ideology and pseudo-Keynesian economic theory in spite of the historic evidence. Both are consistent failures. Obama dare not speak the solution for Greece and the rest of the “PIIGS”. Bring government spending and public sector unions under control and implement pro-business policy? If then forced to take this advice he’d have to completely reverse his entire agenda. He might even have to pull a “Specter” and switch parties.

The Oil Spill Blame Game

I called this blog Center Debate for reasons spelled out in the “Mission Statement”. While my written views here make it clear that I lean right I also will continue to argue that it is simplistic to try placing us all in one of two categories. While I disagree with much of the left’s positions I have been critical of GOP politicians-especially the Bush presidents. I am staunchly pro-free markets.

The ongoing mess in the Gulf of Mexico is a true test of these convictions. Here is my attempt at balance:

BP screwed up. Big time. They own this. If you are going to engage in deep water drilling you had better have your disaster plans ready. I watched an ABC reporter tour the Louisiana shore line with the BP Chairman who stuck to the company line of “We’re doing everything we can…blah blah blah.” Behind him were a handful of workers in white “Haz Mat” suits with shovels and kitchen garbage bags cleaning by hand. It would be laughable if it were not so utterly insulting. All along I have shouted at the TV, “Where is the big BP equipment sucking up this precious oil and dumping into tankers?” It floats ferchrisake. You can skim it off the top. You can suck in tankers’ full and then pump the water out from the bottom.

For once big business is almost entirely to blame. I defended the oil companies when crude hit $145 per barrel. I still support extensive drilling. I still think the cry for alternative energy to replace fossil fuels is incredibly naive. I think that man-caused global warming has been exposed to be an orchestrated fraud. I think some democrats need to admit that their party, and to a great extent our country, has allowed extremists waving the environmental flag to gain undue influence in our energy policy and in doing so has endangered our national security. Russia and a good chunk of the world who are not friendly to the US are cornering energy markets and stockpiling weapons. We are tilting at windmills and appeasing tyrants.

BP has done proponents of free markets and pragmatic energy policy a real disservice.  It would behoove the other major oil companies to assist BP in plugging this leak and cleaning up the mess.

As for the Obama administration they are steadily losing credibility in this and other important issues. Their stance should be obvious: First, do whatever is necessary to contain this mess. Offer BP the full support of the US government. There will be time for the blame game later. The longer this takes to fix the more the Obama crew deserves to share in the blame. Administrations don’t cause disasters-Bush didn’t cause Katrina-but the way they respond is open to review.

Lastly, one of the major contributing factors in this mess is the depth at which BP was drilling. The well head is a full mile down. The only reason BP is drilling under these difficult conditions is because the coastal areas are under a drilling ban. Land based drilling in Alaska is much safer than this but is also banned. This disaster does not change those facts. We are many decades away from an oil free world. It’s time to put the grownups back in charge and put in place a sensible energy policy-one that will withstand the every four year change of administrations.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 10:38 am  Comments (2)  
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