Saturday, May 29, 2010

BP Oil Spill: Will the Media Continue to "Gush" Over Their Hero?

Nearly 40 million gallons of oil "have gushed into the ocean from a broken wellhead 5,000 feet below the surface, creating a spill that has surpassed the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in terms of volume," the Washington Post reports.

Luckily we finished our workout on the stationary bike yesterday before Obama's meaningless, taxpayer-funded Louisiana Gulf Coast photo-op appeared on one of the flat screen TVs in the healthclub's cardio area. (No matter what, Obama typically gets a free ride from his vast array of media apologists. Bush was blasted immediately for his handling or mishandling of Katrina, even though the-then Democrat Louisiana governor and the Democrat New Orleans mayor shared in the culpability. With that in mind, you imagine the outcry if Bush had waited so long to visit this particular disaster area--let alone failing to mobilize all of the instrumentalities of government to "plug the hole"?)

And Yahoo News is reporting that the photo-op was ever more bogus than even commonsense would indicate. Hundreds of $12-and-hour temp workers apparently spruced up the area for the presidential visit:
Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts, whose district encompasses Grand Isle, told Yahoo! News that BP bused in "hundreds" of temporary workers to clean up local beaches. And as soon as the president was en route back to Washington, the workers were clearing out of Grand Isle too, Roberts said...News of 11th-hour spruce-up brigade spread rapidly Friday afternoon and infuriated locals. One popular radio host...suggested that the Coast Guard and the White House may have been involved in setting up the "perfect photo op."
Turning to more substantive issues, Charles Krauthammer answers a question that a lot of us have been wondering about: why did British Petroleum decide to drill for oil in 5,000 feet of water in the first place?
Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production...And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we've had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. So we go deep, ultra deep -- to such a technological frontier that no precedent exists for the April 20 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.
It's amazing how this president can play golf, attend political fundraisers, and give interviews on ESPN during various national emergencies, and up until recently, the fawning media hasn't said a word.

Are things changing? Perhaps. Here, NBC's Chris Matthews temporarily jumps off the Obama bandwagon:

Border National Guard Deployment is Not Comprehensive

Deploying "up to" 1200 National Guard troops (that's 300 per shift, assuming this temporary measure is actually implemented) to the 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexican border is obviously just a superficial, going-through-the motions move. The administration is not serious about really securing the border. For example, Obama's minions on Capitol Hill defeated a measure that would have sent 6,000 troops to the southwestern border. Similarly, Senate Democrats also blocked an amendment that would have required completion of the 700-mile border fence between the U.S. and Mexico within a year.

And you have any doubts that the temporary National Guard deployment isn't just a public relations stunt, consider this:
US National Guard troops being sent to the Mexican border will be used to stem the flow of guns and drugs across the frontier and not to enforce US immigration laws, the State Department said Wednesday.The clarification came after the Mexican government urged Washington not to use the additional troops to go after illegal immigrants. [AFP]
And ABC News reported the following:
The troops, expected to be spread along the southern border of all four southwestern states, would largely assist border patrol agents and local law enforcement by providing intelligence and intelligence analysis, surveillance and reconnaissance support, and the ability to train additional Customs and Border Protection agents,
In fact, ABC aired this surprising fair report on the president's decision:

In the meantime, the security threats at the southern border don't merely involve drug and human smugglers:
The Department of Homeland Security is alerting Texas authorities to be on the lookout for a suspected member of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorist group who might be attempting to travel to the U.S. through Mexico, a security expert who has seen the memo tells experts tell that the influx of hundreds of Somalis over the U.S. border who allegedly have ties to suspected terror cells is evidence of a porous and unsecured border being exploited by groups intent on wrecking deadly havoc on American soil.
What is is about securing the border first that this administration (and the previous one) doesn't understand? If, for example, U.S. troops can secure the border between North and South Korea and elsewhere around the world, why can't we protect our own border?