Disasters and Double Standards

Remember the big stories in the national media when George W. Bush waited four days to tour New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit? Here’s a pop quiz: How long did it take President Obama to visit the Gulf coast after the Deepwater Horizon oil leak began?

The answer is 13 days. Here is how The Washington Post described that visit:

“He flew in and out of New Orleans on May 2, drove two hours to a Coast Guard station and got a briefing before taking a quick helicopter tour. He did not even see the oil slick.”

Mark Knoller of CBS News reported last week that in the first 39 days after each respective catastrophe, Obama visited the Gulf coast twice; Bush visited New Orleans seven times. But remember, this is not Obama’s Katrina!

Now imagine if President Bush, five weeks into one of the largest oil leaks in U.S. history, and without ever having seen the slick, jetted across the country to headline a $17,600 per-person fund-raiser at the home of an oil-fortune heir. How do you think the national press would have treated that? Bush didn’t do that, which is why you didn’t hear about it. President Obama did — which is why you didn’t hear about it.

The media covered Obama’s trip to San Francisco to raise money for Barbara Boxer. Some news outlets even reported that Obama spoke at a private reception at the home of Democratic Party donor Gordon Getty. But few reported that Getty is the heir to the Getty Oil fortune. For instance, the New York Times reports on Obama’s trip never identified Getty as an oil heir. Do you think that would have been omitted had Bush been Getty’s guest?

What if, hours after the head of the U.S. Minerals Management Service left her job over Washington’s mishandling of that giant oil spill, President Bush held a press conference (his first in months) and, when asked about that agency head, could not say whether she had resigned or been fired? What if, hours later, the White House stated that the President knew all along that she had been dismissed, but that story was contradicted by the Cabinet secretary — the one who supposedly did the dismissing — having said that morning during a congressional hearing that she’d resigned voluntarily?

That happened in the Obama administration last week. Where are the outraged cries of incompetence and dishonesty?

Can you imagine the charges of buffoonery that would pour forth from New York, Washington, and Los Angeles, if the George W. Bush administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a state law that had been signed into law by one of Bush’s own cabinet secretaries?

Well, last week the Obama administration did exactly that. The Department of Justice asked the court to overturn a 2007 Arizona immigration law that punishes employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano signed the bill into law when she was Arizona governor.

All of these events were reported in the mainstream media. But they were not reported in the same way they would have been had a Republican been president. The point of this criticism is not to say that Bush was great and Obama stinks. Bush was not a great president. The point is to illustrate the double standard most of the media have.

Media bias exhibits itself in the subtle favoring of liberal politicians and ideas. The same rules don’t apply to the left and the right. The left is presumed to have good intentions, the right bad. So when Bush took four days to get to New Orleans after Katrina hit, it was evidence of racism, elitism, a general lack of concern for the little people. But when it took Obama three times as long to visit the Gulf Coast, there was silence.

When a left-wing administration makes mistakes or contradicts itself, that is simply human nature. When a right-of-center administration does, it is incompetence or duplicity. Or both.

At least some on the left are calling out Obama for his inattentiveness to the Gulf oil spill. That’s no substitute for the press setting the national narrative by holding him to the same standards to which it held Bush. But it’s a start.

Andrew Cline is editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader. Follow him on twitter @Drewhampshire.

  • BS1977

    Cannot put any blame on anyone in DC for this terrible mess…..other than everyone who turns an ignition key in their vehicle…..the insatiable need for more gas, more diesel, more oil, more propane, methane and asphalt has resulted in the inevitable well failure….It was foolish to drill 5000 feet below the surface….it is nearly impossible to do any repairs or precision work at that depth….I am not surprised the catastrophe continues. What do you expect politicians to do? Yell at people on the phone? BP and other companies are not prepared for disasters like this….only to pump out the oil and make billions.

    • davarino

      Right, and you couldnt put any blame on DC during the katrina incident…..other than mother nature.

      Dont make the oil companies drill out in deep water. Also make the inspectors accountable. Supposedly the rig hands gave a heads up that pieces of rubber were coming up from the blow out preventer. Their concerns were ignored and now they have this. BP thought they would save money by skirting the regs, but that would have been cheap compared to what this is going to cost.

    • trickyblain

      Note that, as of the time of this posting, you have a "-7" rating for this logical post. A post that tells us that it was a sabatoge by the left has "+8."


      • Jim C.

        Total, unabashed morons.

    • Jeff Jaworski

      There is an Insatiable need for Gas and Oil that does not mean we have to drill 50 miles out in the gul and a mile down to get it . There is plenty of Oil and gas that can be obtained on land and in Shallow water . The Lunatic enviornmentalists and America haters have suceeded in imposing the Greatest Hoax in History on the American People ,that of Global warming &Climate Change.This along with the Marxist tactic of Political Correctness has Destroyed the Greatest country on the Face of the earth
      Without that BS this country would continue to lead the World in every aspect

  • Firebirds#48

    It is time for the Obama Zombies who voted for this inept radical to wake
    up and smell the weeds.This Country is quickly going down the drain.
    The Media excepting Fox News is Championing the downfall. Obama
    and his crew create more damage on a daily basis. Undoubtedly he
    will go down as the worst ever,even worst than Carter,who hurt the
    Country and still spews his mindless opinions.2010 and 2012 seems
    like the USA's last stand.

    • Jim C.

      When you admit your part in this country going down the drain, we'll be getting somewhere.

      2010 GOP will pick up a few seats as they usually do. 2012–Obama re-elected with ease.

      I'll be perfectly happy in a non-quasi-imperial-exceptionalist America. That's probably what needs to happen if we want to pay for the mess we've allowed our corporate leaders to get us into.

  • S. HaLevi

    I am a former Senior/Fellowship level Electronics Engineer US DOD Military Avionics Prograns and Environmental related Patent, (Ozone depletion prevention away from FREON), plus many other technological contributions with credentials on a wordlwide scale.
    A while back I sent to the White House an idea on how we could possibly shut the disaster down.
    Based on old but proven procedure.
    In early 1900's the first electronic tubes were exausted through a DUMET metal tube, named in the industry tubulator. At the end of the process a very powerful tube crimping jaw would crimp up to molecular level that tubulators this sealing the tube.
    My suggestion was to do exactly the same but with today's machines one could easily devise an hydraulic driven crimping monster that would first dig the silt from around the oil well tube and the crimp the walls at several levels.
    I guess the name and Israel being the address of mine prevented any response.

    • HSN

      I do not know if your guess is correct, but there is no reason not to propose this explanation.

      Herve Seligmann

    • davarino

      I am not sure they want a solution. I have heard many good ideas but nothing new is being tried. I guess they have to be careful with the existing pipe. I think if they got to rough with it they could damage the seal around the pipe then your in big trouble. They better think of something quick, otherwise BP will be no more. You know they are desperate when they start throwing golf balls in to stop the leak.

    • MBA NJ

      This is the first time I have gone public with this revelation, and bravo to AP or UPI if they wish to pick this up. 30 years ago an inventor and myself went to the EPA about oil spills with an invention. They asked us to do a demo and we were about to demonstrate it when someone said they would take our invention and destroy it because it came in contact with "contaminants" which was never stated before. Later, the scum at EPA stole the designs by a reputable naval architectural firm and converted it to metric measurements and gave it to a foreign entity. They literally stole it from us and we could not sue!!! A few months later my inventor friend died of mysterious circumstances and I have laid low ever since. My files are distributed so that even if they burn me a la Stalingrad, someone can sift through the details and maybe bring some scoundrels to justice someday–maybe 150 years from now. I have never told this to others. This blog wins. I do so declare….and trust I not be killed shortly.

      • willic

        MBA NJ: This is a tragic example of dirty politics and I am saddened by your story. This explotation of your invention brings up the question of who or what organization is really in control? BTW, I think Obama is merely a good looing "puppet" and I'd love to know who or what is pulling his strings.
        Do you know the story of the Tucker car and how Tucker's invention was ruined by the big car companies at the time? Sound familiar?
        I wish you the very best and thank you for your reply.

        • MBA NJ

          I have moved on recognizing that the wonderful idea of an LST (those large tank carrying vessels with bow doors opening downward and scooping up oil like a lawn mower picking up leaves from the surface–using centrifuges to separate oil and water mixture keeping the oil on board and pouring water overboard–staying on station to unload the oil to barges that would come alongside) was great. Since then I have embarked on pioneering several other areas such as safety, etc.

        • MBA NJ

          When I worked at Texaco my neighbor unit bought up inventions to keep them off the market because they would displace current technologies in uncontrollable ways. Similarly, one of my endeavors–picking up spills with lava based popcorn style absorbent also illustrates mankind's dilemma. The city of Newark, NJ wanted to use this efficient oil absorber for oil spill clean up ON THE STREETS (so there is no confusion about this application, although it also works on water) and told me to approach the contractor who won the bid for this activity. When I demonstrated the oil being picked up for real with 5% of the bulk material versus the cat litter, they told me to go away. They get paid on TIME AND MATERIALS per the contract, so they were making a killing being inefficient. It is hard to displace those entrenched in bad business deals. Say hello to parts of the pharaceutical industry that relishes maintenance drugs instead of a quick and permanent cure that will NOT deliver payback revenues and will instead jeopardize their other existing treatment revenues.

        • MBA NJ

          It all rings true with another endeavor—wonderfully powerful ballistic resistant lights. The problem with that industry is that anyone can put armor around a light fixture, but the shock of repeated rounds would break the filaments, so the light would still be literally knocked out of commission. I sold bunches of them–but the problem was that no one needed replacement bulbs, new lights, etc. It was a one-time problem solver. I got points in heaven and low margins or profits. Society benefited, etc. I am NOT against capitalism but there are strains of it that are bad, similar to a bad catch of shrimp.

  • von Starkermann

    Oil leaking out means higher gas prices eventually at the pump. A President who bows to the Saudi Royal King means higher gas prices at the pump. Higher inflation due to over governmental spending means higher gas prices at the pump. Do you honestly think that BP with its vested interests in Iraq and Iran want lower prices at the pump, or Mr. Husain Obama seeing the oil spill 13 days after it happened want lower prices at the pump? Guess again.

    • Jim C.

      How about one hwo holds hands and smooches with the Saudi king? Forgot about that one, did you? I bet you like teleprompter jokes, too.

      And higher prices at the pump benefit an American president how?

  • Cuban Refugee

    At the onset of this catastrophe, there were some Doubtful Thomases who put forth their suspicion that the "accident" had actually been sabotage. While, at first, I was inclined to believe that assumption, and still do not discard it, I find that the Gulf oil spill can only advance the "Green" effort to shut down other wells and prevent any new drilling along the coast. Obama and his cronies, in their relentless efforts to destroy America from within, will not, as Rahm Emanuel would put it, let this crisis go to waste. You can be sure that the media who have been ignoring the bumbling missteps, chicanery, cronyism, and in-your-face corruption of this administration will become Green foot soldiers. The oil spill has figuratively reached the White House in the form of putrid slime, slick political players, and dirty Chicago politics. Our former Nation's House is where the clean-up and disinfection should begin immediately to restore it to We the People!

    • SarahPalinRetard

      Give it a rest, teabagger. And tell Glenn Beck to start coming up with some better material. These crazy conspiracy theories make you people sound like goddamned lunatics.

      • Cuban Refugee

        I do not usually respond to ad hominem attacks, which are the Left's domain, but in your case, I will make an exception. Anyone who would use you hurtful, insulting moniker, has to be well-steeped in evil. I would suggest you run to church and get an exorcism because you are rotting from the inside out — pretty much like our country since the Muslim Hussein and his Marxist cronies assumed power. To express my feelings in your simple language: GLENN BECK ROCKS!!!

    • MBA NJ

      I found it quite ironic that the Attorney General stated he would go after all sorts of environmental crimes. Why has he not chosen to enforce another type of massive pollution called election fraud? A spill that affects a physical area is a shame and needs accountability, but to corrupt our process with no consequences is also something that attorney generals are sworn to uphold and to not be selective in their efforts.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JosephWiess JosephWiess

    The media won't turn on their own creation. They have their heads stuck so far up his arse that they can't even smell fresh air.

    • MBA NJ

      Well stated

  • Jean Laviolette

    Bush was a damned idiot who didn't do anything about Katrina because he didn't give a rat's butt about poor people who hadn't voted for him and because he was so out of touch with this country. A massive rescue effort from the Federal Government was required and it didn't come. Obama's handing of this crisis is much better than Bush's handling of Katrina. Let's thank God Bush and Cheney aren't still in control, otherwise they'd be letting BP off the hook for damages.

    • Jim C.

      Bush mishandled the p.r. but I don't think you can fairly pin Katrina on him. Of course his biggest mistake was appointing his incompetent college buddy to head FEMA, because "that's what you do for friends." FEMA did very well under Clinton because that's the sort of thing a real leader takes seriously.

      I mean it's just so obvious that whatever he's supposed to do, Obama's not doing it! He should be doing something! We don't know what, but we know he's not doing it! –that's what these guys' carping amounts to.

    • WallyLee

      To respond any earlier Bush would have either had to have been invited by the Governor of LA or have had her arrested. She stood in the way of the Feds, against all advise, and refused to relinquish control until it was too late.

  • USMCSniper

    Obama's beach picture remonds me of another phony photo op. During his 1994 visit to the hallowed beaches of Normandy, Bill Clinton staged perhaps the most disgraceful photo-op in the history of the presidency. As Michael Hutchison noted, "The lone President arranging a pile of suspicious rocks into a cross on Normandy Beach while a perfectly-framed navy battleship just happens to float in the background. They had been planted there by Clinton staffers for the phony photo op. It got even more transparent later on when Clinton "noticed that the small flag on a soldier's tombstone had apparently blown over and then rolled itself up; frowning that exaggerated frown and shaking his head in disgust, he unfurls the flag, plants it and salutes it while photographers shoot video of this "private moment" from behind the cemetary's fence." What a guy.

    • Jim C.

      "Mission accomplished," Sniper.

      I think Obama needs to go down himself in one of Soros's magic submarines and just plug the darn leak already!

      • davarino

        Ya, a yellow submarine with Paul McCartney, while smokin dubies. You act like there is nothing Obama can do. He is powerless to help or solve.

        No, he is going to let this get bad enough in order to demonize oil and we will all be driving these little clown cars that run on AA batteries.

        • Jim C.

          As we should be! Our massive consumption of oil has consequences as well as benefits. We've been artificially putting them off too long.

          • USMCSniper

            Sorry Jim, I plan to still drive my totally restored 1967 Shelby 350 fastback muscle car guzzler. Screw those little coffins on wheels.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

      That's what the hussein playing in the sand pic reminded me of as well.

  • Jean

    Agreed that the mainstream media displays the expected double standard on Obama's response to the BP catastrophe. Have not fully discarded the sabotage theory myself, though as the earlier poster said, it looks unlikely. What most stupefies me is that a company based on profit from supplying oil would have no plan(s) in place to handle such a disaster, which I assume (naively?) has/will destroy their company. I don't get it.

  • Thunder

    what about Mexican gang trying to blow up a dam in Texas?
    Naaaah, just "drug cartel" or nothing at all in the MSM news….
    Niiiice job, MSM urinalists.

  • trickyblain

    So, what mistakes did the Adminstration make? Cline tells us that it took Obama 13 days to visist the site. Is the implication here that if Obama had flown in the day after the explosion, he could've grabbed a wrench and a scuba tank?

    • Jim C.

      Tricky, they don't know what he should have done, but he should have done it–whatever it was! LOL

      But he's not taking heat because the "lamestream media" (har har) hasn't properly blamed him for the oil rig blowing up!

      Mind you, I've heard some howlers about how he should open up the entire seaboard to drilling now "for national security purposes" and loosen regulations on oil companies so they can drill closer in.

      • USMCSniper

        Both you guys are either uniformed or dishonestly evasive. Obama is "never wasting a crisis" and politicizing a national disaster and that is obvious to the casual observer. His non -response to the LA governer to build sand walls to caintain the slicks is an example of his total lack of leadership. The non-readiness of the federal government to contain the oil (that is the governments job) is becasue he has losers in leadership positions. Instead of bashing BP he should have had the Navy should be helping contain and burn off the oil. But no his solution is typical of a lawyer – to investigate from the DOJ – litigate – and hold hearings – assign committees to study the problem like that useless tits on a boar 9/11 committee. By the way, it is because of the environmentalists and charlatan scientists that BP and other companies are deep water drilling at the edge of the technology rather than in shallow coastal waters. . Regulate means control the companies and to loot and plunder their wealth by the politicians for entitlement programs for "social justice". I am sure Bill "Ted Baxter" O'Reilly the gossip columnist agrees with you though.

        • trickyblain

          I am not "uniformed," that's for sure. Sniper, you seems to be blaming everyone except the company that a) caused the spill, b) said they had the technology to stop the leak, c) said they had a double failsafe system in place (before the spill). And the federal gov't is responsible for containing oil spills in a mile deep in international waters? Really?

          You spend half your email complaining that the gov't didn't do enough, then the rest decrying gov't doing anything to prevent future spills. So which is it?

          I remember visiting Santa Barbra in the early 1980's – almost 20 years after the comparatively minor offshore spill. The beach had oil all over the place – it was a mess. It's not pseudo-science to protect shallow water because the evidence tells us that spills happen.

          • Jim C.

            Sniper, like Bobby Jindal, wants it both ways, which I applaud and encourage–this is the wonderful new position conservatives have dug in for themselves.

          • Democracy First

            I agree; it would have made no difference whether he showed up quickly, late, or not at all. BP and not the government ultimately has the know how to fix the problem, or the means to figure out a solution, even if it's taking several tries.

            However, the media double standard remains the real point.: Bush is held to account, Obama gets a pass.

          • trickyblain

            Bush was held to account for things like his administration outing a CIA agent, declaring victory in the Iraq war WAY too early, not committing enough troops to Afghanistan, letting bin Laden escape, making torture a policy, wiretapping American citizens, and various other sundry activity. It's not the media's fault he was the worst president in history.

            I'm still unclear on where Obama needs to be taken to task on this issue.

          • Democracy First

            Bush was castigated over Katrina – even expressed as racism! Obama gets a pass over the gulf oil disaster. Thats the point here.

            As for your other comments…

            The Bush admin did not out Plame. That was Bob Novack, the journalist. Telling, though, that you remember it otherwise, reflecting MSM and Democrat talking points.

            Obama gets a pass for maintaining all of Bush's anti-terror protocols, for which the media, the left wing establishment, the Democrats, and even Obama himself, ranted against Bush for (something about masscring the constitution), including wiretapping, the Patriot Act, renditions, predator strikes, Guantonamo.

            Hard to logically dispute the double standard.

          • trickyblain

            Wrong on Plame. Novack reported what was leaked to him, according to testimony, by Richard Armitage, Karl Rove and Lewis Libby. To say it ended at Novack is just reciting a Republican talking point – who told Novack? It's hilarious that you consider the findings of the Dept. of Justice and "United States v. Libby" as MSM "talking points." Scooter Libby, part of the administration, was convicted on over a half-dozen felonies for his role in the affair. Richard Armitage admitted to the leak for goodness sake!

            That you don't know any of that reveals
            Obama's administration is wiretapping American citizens? Can you give some examples of MSM attacks on Bush for predator strikes? Do you have evidence that Obama is waterboarding?

            And Katrina and the BP spill are apples and oranges. One occurred in the US. It was a humanitarian emergency that an administration agency was set up to handle (FEMA). The oil spill is far off the coast, in international waters, administered by a private company, and a mile beneath the ocean's surface.

          • Democracy First

            You`re wrong as well.

            Armitage did inadvertently tell Novack, but he was not indicted. Libby, who did not leak anything, was indicted for something else. So the Bush admin was never indicted for the leak. That you believe otherwise is the inflouence on you of the Democrat/MSM talking point.

            You continue to evade the simple fact that Obama is getting an huge pass for what the Bush admin was accused of "shredding the constitution" From Victor Davis hanson:

            "Take also terrorism. Obama 1.0, the champion of civil liberties, based the entire foreign-policy side of his 2007–08 campaign on the notion of George W. Bush’s shredding the Constitution in his unnecessary War on Terror and his venture into Iraq. Obama at one time or another attacked almost every Bush protocol — e.g., renditions (“shipping away prisoners in the dead of night”), military tribunals (“flawed military commission system”), preventive detention (“detaining thousands without charge or trial”), the surge of troops into Iraq (“not working”), the Patriot Act (“shoddy and dangerous”). We were to have all combat troops out of Iraq by August 2010, and Guantanamo (“a legal black hole,” “a sad chapter in American history,” “a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus”) closed last week. Predator strikes, according to candidate Obama, recklessly terrorized civilians.

            But Obama 2.0 seemed to be ignoring Obama 1.0. Our realist president embraced renditions and tribunals, still held terrorists in preventive detention, kept troops in Iraq, championed the Patriot Act, and apparently counted on Guantanamo to stay open. Three days after he took office Obama ordered our first reported Hellfire missile attacks inside Pakistan itself."

            katrina and the leak are in no way apples and oranges. Only the highly credulous would believe Bush would have been treated the same over the leak as has been Obama.

          • trickyblain

            Now you're just making it up as you go.




          • Democracy First

            Moreover, the Democrat/MSM talking point about the Plame leak, was that it was revenge for her husband Wilson's erroneous report on yellow cake (now, there was the true malice in this story). You seem to have bought into that, given your comments above.

            But, in fact, Armitage in no way was motivated about anything to do with Wilson. In fact – aside from that as both he and Novack later said, it was more offhand, inadvertent, and without thinking – he was the one admin official who himself was dubious about the Iraq war. The Democrats and MSM were rather disappointed to learn it was he, and not, say, Cheney (or even Libby) who was responsible for the leak to Novack. That's because they knew there was no malice behind the leak. Quite possibly, as was also later said, Armitage knew Plame no longer was undercover, because her identity had been exposed previously. In other words, he didn't see any harm in whatw as the disclosure; hence, it's being inadvertent.

          • trickyblain

            But you said Novack was the only leak. You're backtracking.

            The legal record shows the opposite. The legal record CONVICTED Libby of LYING about his (and Rove/Cheney's) role in the leak. Your propaganda exonerates him.

            I'll go with the legal record.
            I'll go with the legal record.

          • Democracy First

            Libby was not convicted of leaking info. That is the legal record.

            As for VDH – that you would mock such a man – and not bother to refute his comments or his Obama quotes – well and truly discredits you.

      • trickyblain


        I guess we might as well start drilling all over the Gulf, since it's already polluted. Let's not even bother with the "rigs" and just let it flow!

  • Ken

    The lamestream media will never take Obama to task. He is their darling and can do no wrong. What happened to just reporting the facts and letting the people decide? I guess objectivity is too much to ask for the media today!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jemc50 jemc50

    I agree with Lawrence Eagleberger, it's amateur hour at the White House. And, we are all paying for it.

  • posse101

    hey look at the President on the beach. he's pensive, reflective and contemplating action. i think with more of these photos people will finally see that he's about to solve the problem. but unfortunately he's gotta' go now and welcome McCartney to the White House. "Did you get all those pictures guys?" this, my friends, is what change looks like.

  • mike tate

    Think of what Mayor Julianni did after 9-11 working 18-20 hour days. And, Governor Jindal in touch and in charge as leaders should be. What leadership he has shown. He will be my pick for president in the future. And, we will see Obama Chicago Team tie him in with Pakistani terrorists. Obama is a disgrace. This is the first time I do not reconize him as my president. He has sold America out. We will pay soon.

  • Erchamion

    As a Louisiana resident and a long time participant in the quest for fossil fuels it is apparent that some people have no touch with reality.

    If you believe Bush was an idiot who didn't care about the people injured in Katrina then you have fallen for the hype this article reflects. The law…and our governor prevented a federal response. But the media wouldn't report bad things about inept and incompetent Democrats when they had a Republican handy to beat up. Stupid

    If you believe that drilling cannot be done safely at 5000+ ft depths you're ignoring not only that is has been done for many years, but that it is currently being done and you're also ignoring that the reason we're drilling in such extreme conditions is that much more accessible areas with fossil fuels under them have been banned by our government of environmentalist from ever seeing a drill bit. Stupid.

    After Katrina, Senator Landreau asked for a restructuring of the lease policy so that Louisiana could keep more money from the leases off of its coast. The answer was "that won't happen because the reduction in funds would impact the federal deficit." Just wait until the drilling moratorium losses hit it. Stupid

    The rigs being put out of work will end up in Brazil. Brazil is currently looking for 20+ deep water rigs…and they're now available. But that's okay, because along with the 90 Billion $ the Obama government gave them to expand their drilling program…this will help one of their primary stockholders – George Soros. Stupid

    It would be in our best interests if the media just presented the facts and let the people make their own inferences from it. But, that would mean that the media believes the people capable of making an informed decision. Stupid

    • scum

      Actually, FEMA is a federal organization that has the mandate to intervene in any national catastrophe. Local government would had loved some assistance. But as we know, federal agencies have been staffed the way that Republicans want them staffed – by do-nothing 'experts' (non-experts). Bush didn't care

      • Jim C.

        Exactly. FEMA got high marks for quick response under Clinton. Then Bush appointed his college buddy and whistled away…pretty much the story of his entire presidency, give or take a military adventure. Bush seemed to wise up about 6 years in, dumping Rummy and ignoring Cheney–but it was too late.

    • Guest

      Erchamion, well said. Once these rigs leave the Gulf of Mexico for friendlier environs, it will be well beyond the 6 month moratorium our "knee jerk" (jerk probably more appropriate) politicians have implemented before a semisubmersible is readied for drilling. This in itself is a disaster to many individuals who will lose their jobs and small contractors such as myself.

  • Jean

    O petroleo e nosso! I hope things work better in Brazil than they did when I was a kid.

  • badaboo

    say what you want about Obama , this crisis has its basis in the attitudes of the very people it is now affecting ..Just like Louisianna and New Orleans corruption and politics , contributed to the unpreparedness and innefficiency of that city's sea walls and their failure , so too the oil indistry in the Gulf , which has nothing to do with the Saudis btw , was a disaster brought about by the cozy family relatioinshiops between the oil companies , the Federal Regulators and inspectors , and the indigenous folk who worked for both the iol companies and the regulatory agencies , trading jobs and favors for years . Every respectable engineer in this country has said , this was totally avoidable , and that a $500,000 blowout preventer properly maintained as per OUR OWN FEDERAL STANDARDS on each well , would prevent this type of disaster , but as of today , of the 1500 wells or so operating in the Gulf , very few if any have these preventer …the reason ? "Cost " !!! Well what;'s this gonna cost ???

  • scum

    Exactly why does this article keep pushing the discredited and ridiculous 'The Gulf spill is Obama's Katrina' line? Anyone with a brain can see the obvious differences. Katrina was a NATURAL DISASTER, and only the federal government had the mandate to respond (a lesson for idiots who hate America and push for 'limited' government), while the oil spill was a direct (and entirely predicted catastrophe) made possibe due to massive deregulation, lax oversight, and the push for profits by Haliburton and Cheney. Moreover, because it was a case of obvious corporate malfeasance (the type perpetually protected by FPM: where is the outrage on this site over Madoff, Enron, etc??) they were REQUIRED TO CLEAN IT UP. BP IN FACT LIED FROM THE BEGINNING, SAYING THERE WAS NO RISK OF A SPILL, THEN SAYING THE SPILL WAS MINOR. Andrew Kline, if he cared about America and the natural habitat, should be furious. Instead, he protects the perpetrators. TRAITOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://maxentropy.squarespace.com Bruce

      Ah yes, the EVIL Cheney/Haliburton oil oligarchs! The same bogymen responsible for taking us to war to steal Iraqi oil. Those fiends!
      Anyone know whatever became of all that oil?

  • Erchamion

    Every drilling rig operating in the GOM arena has a BOP stack…some more than one. How well maintained they are is another question, but weekly full pressure tests were the standard, though there has been some information that this was relaxed. A statement that these are on very few of the 1500 rigs is totally false.

    It is an accurate statement to say that this was totally unavoidable. And, having been in that situation, it can be said that avoidance should have started weeks before the incident. That being said, without ALL the information, the decisions made (as currently outlined) fell within the range of reasonable decisions made by respectable engineers and/or operations personnel.

    Yes, regulatory oversight could have been more stringent. However…and bear this in mind…waivers are given based on historical precedent…IE…the probability that sufficient things have (or could go) gone wrong within the scope of the well plan (or similar well plans) to preclude taking the chance. The industry as a whole as maintained a very good record considering the sheer volume of wells drilled over 70 years and the total "bad" results. This IS only the second time in offshore drilling that an incident of this magnitude has taken place and the first was a clear cut case of stupidity and arrogance on the part of the operating company.

    Using this one incident as a gauge of the entire industry and the oversight of that industry is equivalent to using the Apollo 13 incident as the only picture of manned space flight. It's a part of the whole, but it doesn't represent that normal…and far less disastrous results.

    • trickyblain

      You make your points well, but I must disagree. If the situation was unavoidable, these rigs need to be shut down. Period.

      There are certain things — nuclear war, killing off thousands of square miles of ocean and coastline — where I frankly don't care if the industry has a 98% "good record."

      • trickyblain

        That is to say – there are about 700 other deep water platforms. You tell us you're an experienced offshore rig veteran. You also tell us the disaster was unavoidable. Tell us why your job is more important than an entire ecosystem and why the gov't should not shut these things down until you guys can figure your shit out.

  • badaboo

    baloney , "the decisions made " DID NOT fall "within the range of reasonable decisicions made by respectable engineersand /or operations personnel " ….the infrequent anf FAILED previous pressuyre tests , should have stopped the operation in its tracks , as one of our country's top engineers said on 60 minutes , when the pressure tests failed and bits of the preventer stareted coming up and spilling on the deck , in his own words the reaction should have been " Houston we've got a problem " . This is nothing less than malfeasance on the parts of the operaters , owners , contractors and federal regulaters .And that is a result of cronyism between all parties , arrogance about SOUND AND PROVEN engineering practices .And finally ignoring the obvious , days before the disaster occurred . There should and will be jailtime cominjg for some .

  • Erchamion

    As always, the top engineer that made the comment had the benefit of hind sight. And, pertinent to the original article…he made it within a medium that has proven hostile to the oil industry and capitalism in general (60 minutes).

    I would agree…after the fact…that there were decisions made that seem to fall outside of normal practices. And, to be frank, there should be severe doubts about the competency of the personnel making those decisions…IN THIS CASE.

    To extrapolate from this event that malfeasance is present in ALL such operations is ridiculous.

    By the time the preventer pieces started landing on the deck…it was too late to take action. Sheesh…if you have 35+ years in and around the drilling industry…then great…there's a difference of opinion. If you don't, then you haven't a clue what you're talking about and are simply repeating the comments of those that are qualified by those that WANT this scenario to be described the way you're describing it.

    Do i think that people in operations, engineering and regulation screwed this up? Absolutely.

    Do I think that there's a systemic failure evident that spans an industry that is 150 years old and spans the globe based on the severity of this incident. No.

    Do I think that there are lessons that need to be learned and changes that have to be made? Absolutely.

    Do I think that the media and the leftists are going to use this event to push for a ban of all drilling in the US? Absolutely…they've already started. CNN has 24/7 coverage of this…from the leftist perspective.

  • badaboo

    Wewll the engineer who made the comments , which in fact were ststements of scientific and engineering fact , whether or not he appeared on 60 minutes , or Fox news is irrelevant .
    An as per the surviving oil worker , it was NOT TOO LATE after pieces appeared on Deck , in fact an argument ensued . And no , I'm not extrapolating malfeasance to all operations in the Gulf , but to this one in particular , and any others where inspections are flubbed , faked or by-passed .
    As far as what I commented on , I'll take the experts words over your , which is laced and viewed through your conservative prism in which EVERYTHING has its cause in some leftist .
    If anyones views are jaded , misguided , and politically biased it is yours .
    And if you paid any attention to facts on the ground , and sentiments already expressed by trhe US Govt. you would know that this will not bring drilling to a halt , it will however leads to adhereing to regulatory enforcement , which has been lax or absent in the Gulf .

  • Oil-bama

    Where are the Hollywood idiots ? Where is Michael Moore ? do you think there will be a movie made about the absolute incompetence of the absolute WORST president I can ever remember. This coming from someone who voted for Clinton on 1992.

    Obama is a bumbling fool, an absolute embarassment, and determined to punish businesses across the nation. I dont know ANY business owners ANYWHERE who are not terrified of his policies and his absolute inability to provide an economic environment for things to start rebuilding. Instead everyone is afraid of the next shoe to drop, what kind of garbage policy he will bring on that makes even more people just sit on their money until this world class idiot is vote out and someone who is not hell bent on punishing every business person in the US is voted in.

    THIS OIL SPILL UNDER FEDERAL LAW WAS OBAMAS DISASTER FROM THE FIRST MINUTE UNLIKE KATRINA WHICH WAS UNDER STATE CONTROL BY LAW. If Obama was indeed from there from the start, which is a TOTAL LIE which even the press destroyed him on, he is proven even more ineffective than I thought. We all know he has been busy on vacation, fundraising, sitting at concerts, partying, and talking about stupid "green jobs" which dont exist while the oil ruins the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

    But when had the truth mattered to the rotten liberals. Where is the outrage over BP giving more money to Obama than ANY other politician in recent years? WAY WAY more than Bush or Cheney ever got.

    As much as Bush screwed up, Obama is 100 times worse. Spending like lunatic, quadrupling our national debt, and then having the cohones to lecture the world on spending. No worries, Obama has an adminstration stacked with the most Wall Streeters in HISTORY. Thats a fact, why do you think Obama is so bent on "reform". Because it steers the policy decisons right into the pockets of his buddies. George Soros was mad that Obama didnt nationalize the banks, after all Soros owns a huge percent of Citibank and that means Soros gets all the bad debt he owns paid for by the US taxpayers. Poor George……. dont worry, Obama will make sure you get paid from the middle and lower class.

    And why the animosity towards criticism? The left spent 8 years calling Bush a liar, looser, and every other word in the book. You turds on the left sure don't like the shoe on the other foot huh?

    I guess that we cant really expect a guy who thinks there are 57 states to do a decent job running the country……

    • Jim C.

      Ding dong Oil-bama,

      According to you and your ill-informed peers, Obama has been the Worst President Ever since before his inauguration. Don't believe me? Look at any archived posts and right wing ding dong media from the time. Hardly objective criteria.

      Obama's gonna kick republican butt in 2012.

  • Erchamion

    Reasonable people can disagree regarding information presented. The basis of the original article, if you will, was that there was a bias TOWARD the leftist argument among the press. To say that it's irrelevant where the engineer made his comments discounts wholesale, without basis and apparently without consideration for the possibility of a less than objective viewpoint, the main premise of the article.

    If we remember correctly, Dan Rather lost his job by presenting an "expert" and "undeniable proof" about George Bush's service ON 60 MINUTES!!! And then it turned out that it was all lies and forged documents.

    In addition, just because an engineer says something does not make it a fact. This is something that has been disputed with engineers of all stripes for many years. (Being the father of an engineering trained attorney and a chemical engineer…i have first hand experience with that concept)

    The fact that an engineer had to be qualified by the producers of 60 minutes, considering their track record of distortion and lies, lends credence to the possibility that this particular person's comments should be taken with a grain of salt. IE, by factual inference…it is MORE likely that any engineer presented by 60 Minutes will be inclined to support their agenda.

    The perception of "there was still time" is obviously miscommunication based on differing definitions of the processes live and on the ground on the rig. My comments relate to the ability to change components that are wearing. It will take time and the well has to be secured prior to taking such action.

    The second view regarding operations that could have taken place include the possibility that other sections of the components in question could have been used to secure the riser is also accurate. Hence the disagreement on the rig…and the apparent disagreement here. The two statements are not mutually exclusive.

    What you're saying is that rig workers wanted to shut in the well using the redundant components, a position I would agree with. What I'm saying is that to repair the components other things that take varying amounts of time and energy would have to be done first to secure the well. This is also action I would have recommended.

  • Erchamion

    While naturally my comments are viewed through my personal prism (as are yours), that prism actually includes years in offshore drilling operations from top to bottom. It includes learning and teaching well control. It Includes live well control situations including underground blowout control. It includes years of oil spill, incident command, and offshore related training as a student, teacher, and course designer.

    So while there will be areas where I agree with the comments of the engineer in question, there will be areas where I disagree also. This is no less accurate a statement when I listen to Tony Hayworth, his comments are generic enough to be understood (or misunderstood) by the average person, but they fall short of an accurate description that would suit my standards, and to be frank, reading between the lines of normal drilling operational tactics, I'd throw the bullshit flag on him about every third statement he makes. It's not that he's lying, it's that his characterizations don't accurately depict IN DETAIL how things work in real life…which is part of trying to make his comments generic..and part of trying to cover their asses.

    It is also fascinating that the response to my comments is that they are invalid because they can only be a result of my "conservative" leaning. Which, I suppose, supports the original premise of this article that "liberals" won't (can't) argue with facts…therefore malign the "intent" of those that oppose them (the articles premise is that the media is the main tool used for this purpose)

    It should be noted that Haliburton has already transferred a number of personnel out of the GOM arena to 1: Keep them employed, 2: allocate resources where work exists, and 3: prepare for the lack of work in the GOM. They won't be the last.

    While the government says it doesn't want to stop drilling in the GOM, the six month moratorium will do that very thing…regardless of intent. If you have an asset that you can make a half million a day in revenue with and it takes nearly all of that to keep it manned and operational, you're not going to let it sit idle when you can move it somewhere else and secure long term contracts for it. So the rigs will move on long term contracts and will come back to the GOM AFTER they're done. By that time…GOM operations will be non-existant…well…except for the Chinese, Russians, and Vietnamese that are already in the Gulf working with their operating partner – Cuba.

    When one of those rigs blows out, will the impact be different? And what will be the government's response then? None.. because it's not our rigs?

    The ironic part is that we are shutting down some of the best maintained and regulated operations to allow for the least maintained and regulated operations to take over. Think the Russians or Chinese care about OUR environment?

    So, while the government doesn't INTEND to shut down drilling operations (so they say) the effect will be the same as if they DID INTEND to do so. At the end of the day…what's the difference? The same amount of people will be unemployed, we'll be importing a higher percentage of oil from people that don't like us, and our economy will be 10 times worse off than it is now once the impact of rising fuel prices hits.

    Anyway, considering that the topic has been exhausted and working under the premise that one should never argue with a fool as…from a distance…folks can't tell which one is the fool, I'm closing the BOPs on my output. :)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/catzmeow catzmeow

    The enemedia is too busy being outraged at Israel defending itself from "Activist" Terrorists.,

  • Chezwick

    Whether or not there is more Obama could have done – I happen to believe he could've done MUCH more – it is a certainty that if George Bush (or John McCain for that matter) had been presiding over the spill, the cacophony of righteous media indignation would have reached a hysterical level within a week…and by now, either man's presidency would be in absolute tatters.

    It reminds me of the issue of homelessness that was so well documented in Bernie Goldberg's 'Bias'. For as long as Reagan and then Bush were in the WH, the issue was revisited constantly on the front pages and on the nightly news…as a club to bash the heartless Republicans. Estimates of the homeless rose from 250,000, when Reagan first took office, to 5 million by the time Clinton was elected 12 years later. But the moment Bill Clinton was inaugurated, the story of the homeless dropped off the media radar…and the estimates of homeless Americans was again revised to accommodate the new political reality: 250,000.

    In short, it was NEVER about homelessness…it was about ideology and power…turning the public against sitting Republican Presidents. So it is with these humanitarian/environmental disasters….which is why the media has been so reluctant to hold Obama accountable: Bashing the first black President over ANYTHING doesn't conform to the liberal agenda.

  • Jim C.

    Less regulations? So when an accident does happen, it's right there on the beach, right? Come on. Just looking for another thing to gripe about. I'll tell you what: tell Republicans to run for election on less regulation for oil companies. See how that polls.

    BP said it had the technology. BP lied.