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Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil and Gas Drilling for First Time; That is Not a Misprint

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The headline read, "Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time"[1]

After a stunned double take (and hardly believing what one was reading ), there it was, Obama is going to "open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time."[2]

George W. (oops!), Barack Obama is going to do EXACTLY what his predecessor vowed to do!

That it was (and is) completely unnecessary and will do nothing to seriously reduce our dependence on foreign oil or make us any closer to reaching energy independence apparently was lost on the "current occupant" in the White House.

As was made known during the rein of W., the oil companies have existing leases on millions of acres where they are currently not drilling. With that alone, there is absolutely no need to add additional drilling rights to these behemoths.

This is simply a scheme to placate the oil barons and one supposes the wacko right who have clamored for this idiocy ever since gas prices hit four bucks a gallon a couple of years ago.

Is this another attempt at bipartisanship by Obama with those who instinctively and reflex ably oppose everything he proposes or acts upon?

What about his wide eyed supporters, liberals, Democrats, members of his own party in Congress; are they going to be like Republicans and act in brain dead lockstep on Obama's "drill baby drill" scheme (ala Sarah Palin on her campaign swings in 2008)?

Is this "change you can believe in", Obama's campaign theme of "yore" (it does seem so long ago)? Do his true believers pay attention any longer now that he sits in Bush's vacated chair (while operating similarly to the "cowboy brush cutter" but without the Texas drawl). Do they still respond to his internet inspired fund raising appeals, still enamored with the "coming of Obama" and his mantra of "hope."

There was a time to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. That time has passed. We know where the Republicans, their "tea bag" cousins and other "fellow travelers" stand with regard to Obama. But the entire left, (not just the progressives) must openly question and challenge what the Obama administration is doing (and not just with new offshore drilling).

The war in Afghanistan has been escalated with more troops than Bush had there. Drone attacks into Pakistan have been increased under Obama. Guantanamo remains open while indefinite detention continues and extraordinary rendition of suspects goes on unabated. Obama mouths the same "WE don't torture" rhetoric Bush used (when the latter knew that was a lie). Instead of Obama cleansing the country of this stain perpetrated by Bush/Cheney mob and holding those who authorized the torture accountable, Obama said he wanted to "move on" and "not look back" letting the despicable Cheney sneer and ridicule his detractors, knowing full well he'll get a pass and never be held to account.

Just because you're smarter, more erudite and articulate than "Dubya" if your policies are essentially unchanged from his, that is not "change", it is just new "packaging" of the same damaged goods.

Obama must be calculating that his "constituency" has nowhere else to go, believing they certainly won't embrace Republicans (or the "tea baggers") so he feels he can do as he pleases and embrace right wing ideas like increased offshore drilling and nobody on the left will notice or just ignore it.

Americans have to wake up (and go beyond the rants of the screaming wack jobs on the right). We're at the 11th hour and the clock is ticking. Our two party system is dysfunctional and broken and there is little difference between them. The people are being stiffed as neither party acts in its interests. Both parties are beholden to their corporate backers and our office holders are mostly sycophants and dutiful water carriers doing their bidding.

And that includes the current occupant in the White House.

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