So far, Obama has responded to the Gulf Oil disaster as though he has a kindergartner running his PR. Whoever is in charge should be demoted to cleaning the sandbox in the whitehouse playground.
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I'm no expert, not a scientist, but this list of steps seems so obvious. I may be off here or there, a bit, but there are so many things the Obama administration could be doing to demonstrate it is in charge, operating with real leadership. I stand with my position that Obama has already failed to be the real leader that was needed. This well should have been shut within the first week. It seems to me that every day it remains open, every day the job is left to BP, Obama's failure reaches deeper levels of tragedy. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Obama has done a lot more than is apparent. If that's the case, here are some steps to take.
Gulf view at 40,000 feet
. flickr imagebyzphone
-Identify the people in your administration who let you get in this far with such a bad image of what you've done and get rid of them. It's not enough to do all you can, you need to give the American people faith and hope that you ARE doing it, that you're in charge and that you can be trusted to do a good job. So far, you've blown it bigtime.
-bring in 10,000 or more national guard members to help with protecting shorelines. Make it clear that BP is paying for the cost.
-Throw money at Louisiana. Set up a fund that emergency relief and clean-up organizations can tap. Offer naval and coast guard vessels to help. Don't just hand it to Bobby Jindal, but provide a bottom up way for relief and cleanup organizations to access it. We gave trillions to banksters. It looks REALY bad to not do the same for American citizens and states.
-Start firing political appointees in environmental protection agencies-- starting with MMS and NOAA personnelbut reaching to all agencies where regulation compliance has been lax.
-Fire energy company-too-friendly Ken Salazar, who is saying the same thing as the worst GOP senators who are blocking raising the liability of BP beyond $75 million. There should be NO limit on liability. Fight for that. Use your role as leader of the Democratic party to get Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to push this and force actual votes. Don't allow threats of Fillibusters. This will help in the Fall elections.
- Provide video of Navy vessels and the footage they are acquiring and provide details of the role US military is playing in gulf oil spill.
- Provide video and a lot more images of NASA satellite images.
- Declare that the US government has taken over control of BP operations, but is primarily supervising them-- pretty much a different frame of what is already happening. Make sure, before the announcement, that BP agrees to it and to continue to be liable for the damage they've unleashed.
-Eliminate secrecy, eliminate what appears to be government agency collusion with BP in selling the same story BP is peddling. Why did congress have to force BP to show the video from the wellhead? Why does it look like NOAA is working for BP?
-Make it clear that this disaster is not being kept secret, that the only enemies are those who hide the truth, that we are not keeping secrets like we would if we were at war, which is the way the Obama administration appears to be acting.
-Create a website where British Petroleum, the USA, Louisiana and Florida post continuous updates of information, realtime video, updates on efforts.
-Create a website where problems that are developing or have developed can be described and people around the world can offer ideas and suggestions on how to solve them. And give a place where people can discuss the situation so far and predict or describe problems that have not even been identified yet. This is not just BP's problem, not just Obama's or Louisiana's problem. Even if the well's gusher is stopped today, we're still facing the worst man-made ecological disaster in human history.
-Take control of the media more aggressively. Currently, news anchors keep asking where the Obama leadership is. Put together a team that is generating information and content round the clock, so the media presence dynamic is altered.
-Order BP to obey EPA directives to stop using the toxic dispersant... one more time. If they don't obey, start arresting people from the top down, then, use federal marshalls to take over control of the control center where the robotic mini subs are being operated.
Note that several weeks ago I called for a US take-over of BP resources being used to address the BP-Congress Gulf Oil Disaster. Now, that call is being echoed on many national media venues. Some silly libertarians argued the government couldn't commandeer a company's resources. That's nonsense. In a time of emergency, this has been done many times before and should be done now.
-Announce a halt to all new drilling below some set ocean depth-- 3000 or 5,000 feet-- until new safety pre-cautions, ones already in use by BP in other nations, are put into place. Yes. BP has been using additional precautions in other underwater drilling areas because other nations have required them. For example, Canada REQUIRES a second safety well be drilled at the same time as the first well-- you know, the one we're waiting three months for BP to complete.
-Discuss publicly the reasons for considering or not considering the use of explosives-- at the sea surface or a thousand feed below the seafloor.
-Discuss any other options being explored for shutting the well.
Take Robert Redford's advice, in an article he wrote last week,Mr. President: Now Is the Time For Clean Energy. Matter of fact, go even further and use this criminal action by a corporation to push congress to go even further on it's final touches on the financial regulations bill. Call out Chris Dodd for making a package that Wall Street is mostly happy with and push for a much stronger bill. While you're at it, Mr. President, dump the Wall Street Insiders, the Robert Rubin students you polluted your administration with-- Summers, Geithner and Orzsag, for starters.
-Announce science grants of $10 billion all to small businesses-- for new safety approaches to deep water oil drilling.
-Get a team of scientists to come up with more realistic estimates of the rate of the oil flow and stand with the bigger number range. Stop protecting BP.
-A few weeks ago Obama convened a group of top scientists, headed by Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, a kind of instant think tank to address the problem. Why did we just learn about it this week? Get the word out about this kind of project.
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This is a fairly long list, but President Obama, you have a lot of resources. Use them as though we were at war. If an enemy had attacked us, this kind of disaster would be beyond their wildest expectations. Energize our resources as though you were afraid Fox News would be criticizing you if you didn't-- because they are going to figure out that this is the greatest vulnerability you have ever faced.
Listen toPlaquemines Parish PresidentBilly Nunbesser who is beginning to become the face of the Louisiana victims of this disaster. Partner with him and do what he's saying.
Mr. President, I don't think your advisers realize that this disaster is far bigger than Katrina because it exposes so many failures in government. It may be true that you inherited most of them. At this point in your presidency, that doesn't matter. You own all of it and if you don't clean it up and make it better than it was-- not just the gulf, but the government regulatory agencies and the laws protecting we the people-- let's face it. Your second term as president is toast. Time is extremely important. You've already blown a month. Make the next five days really count. Cancel all vacations, all weekends off and put your people to work so the rest of Americans can see it.