Karl Rove “Goes There” On Katrina And The BP Spill

May 27, 2010

roveAs noted here…

Today in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove pens an op-ed titled: “Yes, the Gulf Spill is Obama’s Katrina.” He predictably places blame on Obama for a “lethargic,” “slow,” and “unacceptable” response to the BP oil spill. But the real significance of the op-ed is not what Rove has to say about Obama; rather, it’s that Rove is implicitly acknowledging that Bush screwed up the response to Katrina. Rove is essentially trying to make the case that Obama mismanaged a disaster almost as terribly as he and Bush did.

This is breaking news because, for years, despite all the evidence to the contrary, Rove has defended his administration’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina.

And “Bush’s Brain” began his at-least-once-a-month-Obama-bashing screed today as follows…

As President Obama prepares to return to the Gulf Coast Friday, he is receiving increasing criticism for his handling of the oil spill. For good reason: Since the Deepwater Horizon rig blew up on April 20, a lethargic Team Obama has delayed or blown off key decisions requested by state and local governments and left British Petroleum in charge of developing a plan to cap the massive leak.

The “delayed or blown off key decisions” is a typical Repug smear, of course. And I think it’s more than a little perverse that the people who now criticize Obama for letting BP take the lead on this before the company finally owed up to the fact that they didn’t know what they were doing would probably be the first to complain that Number 44 is staging some kind of a “big gumint” takeover of the oil biz if the situation weren’t so catastrophic.

And as far as the part about “state and local governments,” I think the following should be kept in mind from here (concerning Louisiana’s governor “Kenneth The Page”)…

For their part, White House officials are puzzled by Jindal’s increasing criticism of their efforts. The governor and his staff have been in nearly constant contact with Obama’s team since the first days of the spill, and those interactions have been cordial and businesslike, with little of the sharp rhetoric of his most recent public statements, administration officials maintain.

“Everything he’s asked for, he’s gotten, except for the sand idea, which has some real possible problems,” said one official familiar with the situation.

On Monday, Jindal met with administration officials, emerging to tell reporters he was frustrated with federal efforts to place containment booms around endangered coastal wetlands before the brown tide of oil seeps into fragile marshland.

Jindal said the administration had deployed 815,569 feet of hard containment boom, but claimed the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security have yet to act on a request for 5 million additional feet of hard boom that he made on May 2, less than two weeks after the spill started.

“It is clear that the resources needed to protect our coast are not here,” he said. “Boom, skimmers, vacuums and jack-up barges are all in short supply. Every day oil sits and waits for clean up, more of our marsh dies.”

Allen, who is coordinating the federal response, told reporters Monday that he will consider the request once the demands of a multistate “contingency plan” for the spill are met.

Democratic critics aren’t the only ones put off by Jindal. Some Republicans favor the more laidback approach of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former Republican National Committee chairman, who has stood up for the oil industry and suggested that liberal environmentalists are exploiting the catastrophe to curtail deep sea drilling.

“Haley has actually taken the smarter approach, from a national perspective,” said a GOP operative close to both politicians. “Haley doesn’t have oil on his beaches. … But he has taken the long view, that this shouldn’t kill an important source of energy. Bobby has been a little frantic, running around, much more concerned about how he’ll look on tonight’s TV news.”

“Liberal environmentalists trying to curtail deep sea drilling” – I’ll laugh over that absurdity if any species of ocean life ends up living in the Gulf after this tragedy is over, assuming it ever is.

As Think Progress tells us above, though, the real takeaway here is Turd Blossom’s admission that he and his boss screwed up on Katrina after years of typical denials.

Though, as recently as last March, he said the following (here, to sell his book of course)…

Rove insisted, as the White House did at the time, that it wasn’t clear how desperate the situation was. He blamed local and state officials in Louisiana for the failure to communicate and said the federal government lacked “real-time information” on what was going on in New Orleans. Critics have said all he had to do was turn on the television to see how desperate the situation was.

“The media did not have real-time information. The media led people to believe there were snipers,” Rove said, which kept rescuers out of some neighborhoods. “You didn’t know about the suffering at the convention center until the government did. But the government should have known about it earlier. That’s one of the big reforms to come out of Katrina.”

So it was the fault of the media and “local and state officials” during Katrina. Who of course are utterly blameless now, as opposed to Obama (and I thought this was interesting on the supposed “snipers” in New Orleans after Katrina hit; also, here is a pretty comprehensive post on all the ways that the prior ruling cabal of which Rove was a charter member did all it could to exacerbate Katrina’s impact).

If any heads are going to roll on Team Obama, I would say that Ken Salazar’s should be on the proverbial chopping block, though the first person to go has done so, as noted here (not sure what Elizabeth Birnbaum or any other human being could have done to undo the mess of the Minerals Management Service in less than a year, but there you are).

Rove has always been one of the all-time greats, I hate to admit, when it comes to peddling just enough dookey in a public forum that seems believable to the easily led but repellant enough to not quite enough people to do anything about it. However, there are limits to all human faculties, particularly the sense of smell, and on this occasion, he has vigorously cleared that threshold.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go buy a case of Glade so I can fumigate my workspace.


Wednesday Mashup Part One (4/28/10)

April 28, 2010

  • 1) There aren’t too many issues where I split with my lefty brethren, but the Cape Wind development project in Massachusetts is most definitely one of them.

    And we all heard the news today, oh boy (here).

    In response, I give you Sen. Scott Brown from here (yes, I’m serious)…

    “I am strongly opposed to the administration’s misguided decision to move forward with Cape Wind. While I support the concept of wind power as an alternative source of energy, Nantucket Sound is a national treasure that should be protected from industrialization,” Brown said in a statement. “With unemployment hovering near 10 percent in Massachusetts, the Cape Wind project will jeopardize industries that are vital to the Cape’s economy, such as tourism and fishing, and will also impact aviation safety and the rights of the Native American tribes in the area. I am also skeptical about the cost-savings and job number predictions we have heard from proponents of the project.

    “Instead of forging a coalition and building consensus, this administration has created a deep division that will lead to fewer Massachusetts jobs and more expensive court battles,” Brown wrote. “I am proud to stand with Congressman Bill Delahunt and leaders on both sides of the political aisle who share my concerns with this ill-advised plan.”

    (And by the way, I thought Brown was a Johnny-come-lately to this, until I found a story claiming he opposed the project last February…can’t find the link at the moment – and I know there’s political posturing by Brown here, but I – gulp! – fundamentally agree with him).

    I am not unsympathetic to the job creation issue for the commonwealth of MA, but there absolutely had to be a better place to stick a bunch of wind turbines than smack in the middle of Nantucket Sound (and I haven’t heard a serious alternative to this plan anywhere).

    And yes, I partly blame myself also for not devoting more attention to this over the last few months. However, what had transpired were a bunch of rulings and matters of bureaucratic minutiae, which, truth be told, makes for pretty boring posting material.

  • 2) That being said, I should bring to your attention two more matters of activism where we can be a bit more proactive; the first is described here about an event that transpired yesterday…

    It was a silent call to arms: an easy-to-overlook message urging New Jersey students to take a stand against the budget cuts that threaten class sizes and choices as well as after-school activities. But some 18,000 students accepted the invitation posted last month on Facebook, the social media site better known for publicizing parties and sporting events. And on Tuesday many of them — and many others — walked out of class in one of the largest grass-roots demonstrations to hit New Jersey in years.

    [snip]

    The mass walkouts were inspired by Michelle Ryan Lauto…”All I did was make a Facebook page,” said Ms. Lauto, who graduated last year from Northern Valley Regional High School in Old Tappan, N.J. “Anyone who has an opinion could do that and have their opinion heard. I would love to see kids in high school step up and start their own protests and change things in their own way.”

    And as noted in the Daily Kos post, the diarist has started a Facebook page in an effort to get “Governor 33 Percent” recalled (We “see” your Bob Menendez and “raise” you Christie, wingnuts).

    Awesome!

  • Update 5/1/10: And by the way, charming imagery here, Governor…

  • 3) And here is the second…

    San Francisco officials on Tuesday will consider(ed) a sweeping boycott of Arizona in the wake of that state’s passage of tough anti-illegal-immigration measures.

    A resolution before the Board of Supervisors calls on the city to cancel contracts with companies based in Arizona and halt business ties between city government and the state.

    Well, that’s actually a starting-off point for what I’m proposing, good idea though it is. And I got the idea after reading this story, including the following…

    HOUSTON — The Oklahoma Legislature voted Tuesday to override the governor’s vetoes of two abortion measures, one of which requires women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion.

    Though other states have passed similar measures requiring women to have ultrasounds, Oklahoma’s law goes further, mandating that a doctor or technician set up the monitor so the woman can see it and describe the heart, limbs and organs of the fetus. No exceptions are made for rape and incest victims.

    A second measure passed into law on Tuesday prevents women who have had a disabled baby from suing a doctor for withholding information about birth defects while the child was in the womb.

    To me, this is at least as monstrous as the Arizona “illegal-to-be-brown” law.

    Sooo…a doctor could actually lie about the health of the baby to the mother with impunity? And that is after the mother is made to watch for proof that the baby is viable?

    In a scenario like this, I suppose?


    If this isn’t a reason to boycott travel to the state of Oklahoma or impose punitive sanctions, I don’t know what is (and keep telling me that “The Handmaid’s Tale” is fiction).

  • Update 5/11/10: Want another reason to boycott the “OK” State? Read this.

    Update 5/13/10: Troglodytes…


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