Friday, July 30, 2010

Presidential View

That was my Facebook status post during President Obama's appearance on "The View" yesterday morning.

Of course I knew that the right was going to jump all over the President for appearing on “The View” yesterday. I expected it of them. I just wasn’t sure what form it would take because as I said, my mind isn’t filled with the blind hatred that the right has for our President (at least not this one…I hated the last one just as badly as they currently hate mine, but I had legitimate REASONS that I could actually enumerate, and it wasn't ridiculous "birther" lies).

I wasn’t surprised to hear the expected vitriol, like Michelle Malkin claiming that "It's telling that he goes to cry on the shoulders of the sympathetic women of The View.” Not that I see what she thinks it is “telling” of, nor did I see any “crying on shoulders” during his appearance. And if Malkin honestly believes that all the “women of The View” are “sympathetic,” clearly she has never heard Elizabeth Hasselbeck talk. But then, realistically, what can you expect from someone who didn’t know that Oberlin is a "radically left-wing, liberal arts college" before actually attending?

I was, of course, also not surprised to hear comments like the following from the squawking heads at Fox:

"I don't think it looked very presidential..."

"It's a move that some are calling inappropriate..."

"Whatever happened to the majesty of the office?"

But, I do have to admit that I was a tad surprised that the bulk of the attack seemed to have to do with “snubbing” Boy Scouts.

The Right Wing squawking heads were seriously complaining because President Obama passed on speaking to the “Boy Scout Jamboree” in order to appear on a popular, Emmy winning show, conceived and created by one of the most respected women in news, Barbara Walters.

Faux News was all atwitter with things like the following:

"I feel sorry for the boy scouts, cuz they would have loved
to have seen their president."

"The president, who serves as honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America,
had been invited to speak…”

"It's the 100 year anniversary of the Boy Scouts but instead of honoring the
future leaders of our country, the president sat down with the ladies of The View"

"How can 45,000 boy scouts compete with foie gras and Whoopi Goldberg?"

Really??? BOY SCOUTS?!?!?!? I suppose I should be somewhat encouraged if the biggest complaint they can manage to muster is about snubbing the Boy Scouts.

As Jon Stewart said on his Daily Show, "Look on the bright side, the boy scouts will finally get their merit badge for crushing disappointment." But then, as Stewart accurately pointed out, when it comes to the Right, the fact is that "nothing Obama does will EVER make you f***ing happy, will it?"

So, yeah…I sorta got what I expected from the Right…but today the bulk of my anger goes to a few voices on the Left.

First, there was Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, discussing the President's upcoming appearance on "The View" (before it even happened) while a guest on "Morning Joe" (MSNBC) on Thursday morning. Rendell said "There's got to be a little bit of dignity to the presidency," and "I wouldn't put him on Jerry Springer either." (Isn't Springer just hosting WWE nowadays?)

You know…I don’t remember anyone bitching about the “dignity of the office” back when George and Laura Bush appeared on “The Dr. Phil Show”…and frankly, between “Dr. Phil” and “The View” (especially in its current incarnation with Whoopi in the host seat), it’s Dr. Phil’s Show that is FAR closer to Springer. I have NEVER seen Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar…or even Elizabeth Hasselbeck do a surprise reveal of paternity tests on “The View”…but on the other hand, that far more Springeresque thing has happened a number of times on Dr. Phil. So anyone who was NOT complaining about “the majesty of the office” when George and Laura were on with Phil needs to shut up about President Obama’s appearance on “The View.”

So, yeah…I’m annoyed with Rendell…but hey, he’s not my Governor, and so therefore not really my problem. However, as I used to have a lot of respect for the following individual due to the fact that he has made appearances and been a credited writer on (what I consider to be) one of the finest television shows ever made, “The West Wing” I’m deeply angry at, and disappointed in, Lawrence O’Donnell.

While sitting in as a guest host for Keith Olberman, Larry O'Donnell talked about the President's appearance on a "daytime talk show" with a contemptuous sneer.

“Apparently President Barack Obama hopes that you took a little time today to enjoy The View because there he was, the first time a sitting President has ever visited a daytime talk show. Although then President Bush was ON Dr. Phil, he did not go TO the set of Dr. Phil so "The View" can indeed claim bragging rights here. And in our number one story...the highlights as well as the inevitable question, why?”
AHHH….So the fact that George and Laura made Dr. Phil come to THEM rather than going on the actual set in person makes that appearance better somehow? Sorry, I don't see it that way, Mr. O’Donnell. I see having the courage to make an in-person appearance in front of a packed studio audience to be far greater demonstration of intestinal fortitude than a private conversation with a show's host and his wife on your own turf. Also…Dr. Phil’s show and its questions were more about details of their personal lives (spanking the twins, really??), whereas the ladies of “The View” actually asked some hard-hitting questions and got legitimate answers…something we rarely saw from George W. Bush.

Secondly...are you disparaging the news cred of Barbara Walters? REALLY? On what grounds? She sat alongside Harry Reasoner as his first female co-anchor on the ABC Evening News and was also a correspondent for ABC World News Tonight with Charles Gibson. She was a morning news anchor for over ten years on NBC’s Today Show. For over 25 years she was a co-host at 20/20. She was a writer at CBS News as well. She was chosen as the moderator for the final Presidential Debate between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford in 1976 and also moderated a 1984 Presidential Debate as well. She has interviewed luminaries as diverse as Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin, the Shah of Iran, Boris Yeltsin, Margaret Thatcher and Hugo Chavez. She has interviewed Kings and Queens from numerous foreign lands as well as the King of Pop (Michael Jackson) and the Queen of the Silver Screen (Katharine Hepburn). I don’t know where O’Donnell thinks he can get off disparaging her and the show that she created and loyally serves.

Then O’Donnell said, “The show was taped yesterday touching on all the obvious subjects and it gave the President a chance to do what all Presidents do...criticize the media.”

Really? I heard President Obama say that “the things that the media may focus on are not necessarily the things that I focus on. I have to sign letters to parents of children who have been killed in Afghanistan.” Exactly what part of that does Mr. O’Donnell consider inaccurate or “critical” of the media? Saying that the Press and the Presidency focus on different things is not a “criticism,” it’s just a simple statement of fact.

Then I heard President Obama say, “"The fact of the matter is that the media culture right now loves conflict. And if there's a story about cooperation between the two parties, that story doesn't make the news. What makes the news is somebody who says something as outlandish or outrageous as possible.” Again, I find myself curious as to which aspect of that Mr. O’Donnell takes exception to, as I find it to be a completely accurate depiction of the media climate in the country today.

I also strongly disagree with O’Donnell’s characterization of the President broadening the blame of the media on the Shirley Sherrod matter, when what the President said was that a 24/7 media cycle generated a controversy and then a lot of people overreacted, including people in his own administration. That sounds like a completely accurate portrayal of the events that transpired…not about broadening blame.

The ladies of The View, rather than the “slow-pitch softball” that “the White House Correspondent” for Politics Daily, Alex Wagner claimed it to be, asked the President some serious questions (the Afghan war, the economy, unemployment, education, etc.) to which he provided serious answers. Was there a bit of silliness? YES, they let the utterly ridiculous subject of “Snookie” into the conversation. But that silliness is what O’Donnell chose to focus on.

He accused the President of "lying" when Obama said, "I don't know who Snookie is." Really?? “The big lie”?? Sorry Mr. O'Donnell but although YOU may feel that trashy "Snookie" is, as you called her, "TV's biggest star," to a great number of us she really is FAR beneath our attention. I couldn't possibly care less about this trampy girl who seems to come from the wrong side of the tracks and talks like she's still in a ghetto even though she's a supposed "star" now. And most of the (intelligent) people that I know don’t know who the heck she is either. Frankly, if she's beneath MY notice/attention, she's certainly FAR beneath the attention of the President of the United States.

O’Donnell even ridiculously questioned the wardrobe of the View hosts...wondering if there was "any significance" to the fact that “all of the co-hosts were dressed in black and/or white...hmmmm..." How completely ridiculous! What kind of racially charged statement was THAT supposed to be??

The only thing that O’Donnell said that I did not take serious exception to (because it's TRUE) was when he called the President "gracious" in discussing Chelsea Clinton's wedding.

I was also pretty appalled by Alex Wagner, especially when she (in response to yet another of O’Donnell’s patronizing comments about the intelligence of the audience of “The View”) said that Michelle Obama is too busy working on projects and “otherwise leading the country” to ever watch “The View.” Personally, as Michelle has been ON “The View” as a guest co-host, I find that to be an utterly ridiculous statement. Also, if Ms. Wagner believes that the First Lady leads the country, I don’t know how the heck she got a job as a “White House Correspondent,” but I know I want one too.  Obviously, one doesn't need to know much about how government works.

I also take exception to Ms. Wagner’s characterization of war, health care and race issues as "the great themes of his presidency”…I feel that there are a number of “great themes” to the Presidency of Barack Obama and the trivialization of this administration is simply not what I’ve come to expect from MSNBC.

O’Donnell contemptuously asked, “Why, oh why did the President of the United States do "The View”?

I’ll tell you why, Lawrence…because thanks to the Right’s overwhelming voice (after all, they do scream the loudest) in the current media culture, he HAD to speak to the American people and try to remind them why they liked him in the first place and that most of the crap being spewed by the Right is just that…crap. And since I know that Mr. O'Donnell is savvy enough to know that, I find myself seriously questioning the motives behind his overt, and in my opinion groundless, criticism.

And frankly, I think it could have even had some good effect.  After all, even Elizabeth Hasselbeck, whose right wing nuttery usually infuriates me, seems to have been thoroughly charmed. So much so that Joy Behar felt compelled to ask her on this morning’s recap segment, “Did we just turn you into a democrat?" In reply, Elizabeth said, "Let's hope..."

Yes, I do hope...for Elizabeth, and the rest of the Sarah Palin loving, tea party brigade, to come on over to the Light side and finally start to see this Presidency for what it REALLY is, rather than what the far right is working so hard to convince them that it is.   Ahhh...the audacity of hope...

For Mr. O’Donnell, I just hope for him to learn the lesson that President Obama said that he hoped everyone would draw from the Sherrod matter…”let’s not assume the worst of other people”

To view the referenced episode of Countdown, go to:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Show Must Go On....

Steve Flynn, VP of Safety for BP was recently asked by Senator Al Franken if he felt responsible for the safety of the people working for BP. Flynn responded, "Sir, I have a part to play, and that role is to establish standards that extend company-wide."

Excuse me?? "a PART to play"? "that ROLE"? Does this guy think he's an actor? Oh hell...who knows...maybe he IS an actor. Lord knows "sincerity" is not exactly something that BP can be accused of with all they've done. But I have news for him...this is NOT a play! If he's not clear on that fact, I'm sure there are a bunch of boat captains, shrimpers, and millions of Gulf residents that will GLADLY clear it up for him.

Then Senator Franken pointed out that the Center for Public Integrity issued a recent report which found that BP is responsible for 760 of the 761 “egregious and willful violations of OSHA regulations over the past three years.” Mr. Flynn responded by saying, "We were disappointed with the 760 violations because we believe that we were in compliance with the requirements of those orders."

Disappointed?? DISAPPOINTED???!!!  Mr. Flynn...I'm not "disappointed". I passed “disappointed” on the 20th of April when I realized that, contrary to law, your company had no plan whatsoever to deal with this catastrophe that BP knew was likely to happen. And now instead of remorse, you’re going to sit there and say that you honestly believed you were “in compliance,” really??

I'm not "disappointed" Mr. Flynn…I'm appalled, disgusted, horrified and absolutely sickened. Not only at BP and their greed-spawned, cost-cutting, to-hell-with-safety behavior...but I'm also appalled at my fellow Americans. I find the lack of wide-ranging outrage absolutely staggering.  But then, in truth I’ve been finding lack of outrage staggering for a LONG time…like the entire eight years of the Bush administration.  But you know, there was plenty of indignant outrage that President Obama played golf on Father's Day.  Maybe that's what's making me so crazy...the utterly misplaced outrage. I still find myself shocked that there are any vehicles sitting at the pumps in BP stations...fueling up and putting their hard-earned money into the pockets of these men of absolutely no character.

On the other hand, BP at least does have the marketing sense to understand that they're in a precarious public relations situation. So, it was announced on Tuesday (7/27/10) that as of October first Tony Hayward is out of the BP CEO post and Robert Dudley is in. Oddly, what's actually happening is that Hayward and Dudley are merely swapping jobs.

Tony Hayward and Bob Dudley
Dudley was run out of Russia (they refused to grant him a new work visa) so he's taking Tony's job (as he's being run out of the Gulf). Tony, on the other hand, is going to Russia...Siberia to be fill Dudley's old job as head of TNK-BP. Seems like a pretty typical 'bait and switch' to me. Although I have to say I do find it somewhat poetic that Hayward is LITERALLY being sent to Siberia.

Back in June Hayward was pulled from the clean-up in the Gulf, and Dudley was put in charge of the operation. Of course, old "I'd like my life back" Tony just had to lie a bit more to Congress before he left for his great Siberian trek. He testified before a congressional committee last month that the drilling mud used by BP in May was "Water based with no toxicity whatsoever" when in fact, they have recently admitted that it contained lye and ethylene glycol (a toxic substance primarily used in anti-freeze).

And Tony's ouster is not going to come cheap either...his financial punishment will be, according to Mark Phillips of CBS News, "a year's salary of $1.6 million, a pension worth roughly another million dollars every year, and BP shares that could be worth many more millions," but that's assuming, of course, that the BP stock price manages to rebound...which, amazingly, it seems to be starting to do.

Bob Dudley is the first American to ever head the British oil giant. Dudley started his oil career with Amoco in 1979 and stayed with them until they were bought out by BP in 1998. It seems that Dudley was likely chosen for his American accent and the fact that he was raised in Mississippi. He has a reputation (according to the British press) as a "straight-talker" and claims he has a "somewhat evangelical attitude toward safety." In fact, it is claimed that he supposedly alienated the Russians by using town-hall style meetings "to emphasize safety in a country where it had long been a low priority," according to the New York Times.

In regard to the Gulf, Dudley said, "I picked up that people think that, well, once we cap this well, we're somehow going to pack up and disappear," he said. "That is certainly not the case. We're -- we've got a lot of clean-up to do. We've got claims facilities. We've got 35 of those around the Gulf coast. As of this morning, we wrote a quarter of a billion dollars in checks, for claims. There's still more to go. We know that. We haven't been perfect at this. But it's a deep, deep personal commitment from me for BP and the many people in the Gulf coast to make this right in America."

Which all SOUNDS good, if he really is the "straight talker" that the Brits claim that he is...but I have to say that to me it sounds a LOT like Tony Hayward's "we will make this right" commercial, so I have to admit I doubt the veracity.

Let's face it...BP is a bit desperate. According to an AP article which appeared in both the Boston Herald and on, BP is the largest producer of oil and gas in the United States and over 40 percent of the company's assets are located here. Additionally, BP has fuel contracts with the US military which amounted to over $2.2 billion last year. And lastly, BP has a lot of interests in Alaska and the Gulf, with much of it yet to be developed (don't forget their big plans for that manmade gravel island in the Arctic since they can't drill "offshore").

According to Amy Myers Jaffe, an oil industry expert at Rice University in Houston, "If BP is going to survive and grow, it must protect those assets.  He needs to run the whole company.” Jaffe noted, “His first job is to convince people BP is going to come back and you better buy BP stock while it's cheap.”

I find myself hoping that this Robert Dudley really is an honorable man though I am skeptical on that. If it turns out that he's not an honorable man, I hope that people don't fall for this "we care" act and buy up the value of BP stock. I further hope that my fellow Americans stop putting BP gas in their tanks and their money in BP's pockets until we see some real improvement from BP, not just in the shutdown and cleanup of the current Gulf mess, but in their general business practices as well (giving up on their Arctic gravel island debacle and stiffening their own safety standards without being forced to would be a nice start).

Lastly, I understand that the US Congress is currently considering a proposal which would block granting new offshore oil and gas leases to companies with bad safety records (for which BP would definitely qualify...remember…760 of 761 "egregious and willful violations"). I sincerely hope that this proposal is being SERIOUSLY considered, and I hope that it actually manages to pass, though I'm sure it's just one more thing that the Republicans will block. After all...big oil has no better friends than the GOP.


Written Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Two former BP employees, who have since turned “whistleblower,” have come forward to talk about the fact that they knew months before the 4/20 explosion, that the blow-out preventer installed in the Deepwater Horizon well was malfunctioning.

Tyrone Burton saw it leaking and informed the company, but BP decided not to have it repaired, as that would stop production, thereby costing time and money.

Testifying before Congress in May, Christopher Pleasant, the rig worker in charge of the blow-out preventer itself, stated that when he would activate the device that should trigger the blow-out preventer, it lacked enough hydraulic pressure to operate. Which he did report to the company.

“After I saw that there was no hydraulics, I knew it was time to leave,” said Pleasant.

Coincidentally, BP CEO Tony Hayward sold off 223,288 shares, one third of his total holdings with the company, on the 17th of March for a total of £1.4 million. He used the proceeds from the sale to pay off the mortgage on his family’s mansion in Kent, England, which carries an estimated value of £1.2 million, according to a June 5th article in the U.K. publication The Telegraph.

There is no proof that he knew that his company’s stock value would likely soon plummet, therefore no insider trading charges are currently being brought. However, I believe that the evidence that the company was made aware of the previously mentioned problems with the blow-out preventer on the rig should certainly be explored in relation to the timing of this stock sale. His decision allowed him to avoid losing more than £423,000 when BP’s share price plunged by 30% after the oil spill began in April. Hayward’s pay package from BP is £4 million per year.

It is also interesting to note, in relation to the blow-out preventers, that immediately after the spill began BP issued many assurances that failure of a blow-out preventer was a rare event. However, according to a recent article in the New York Times, Transocean had commissioned a strictly confidential study on the reliability of blow-out preventers. The researchers looked at 15,000 wells drilled off the coast of North America and in the North Sea between 1980 and 2006 and found the staggeringly high failure rate of 45% in deepwater situations.

Curiously, the Obama administration’s moratorium on exploratory deep-water drilling has been overturned by U.S. District Court judge Martin Feldman, who owns stock in 17 different energy companies and related industries, including Transocean (who owned the Deepwater Horizon rig) and Halliburton (who was pouring the concrete at Deepwater Horizon when the explosion occurred). Judge Feldman ruled that the moratorium created a hardship on jobs in the region, however it should be noted that of the 3,600 oil drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, only 33 would have been affected, as the moratorium only applies to exploratory wells, like Deepwater Horizon. Also, the moratorium is only for six months. Just long enough for the experts to determine the exact cause of this disaster and, hopefully, find solutions to ensure that it could never happen again before work on other exploratory wells continues. This does not seem unreasonable to me in any way, but then I don’t get stock dividend payments from the oil industry like Judge Feldman. Why this judge did not feel obligated to recuse himself from this case is beyond my understanding.

In response to the decision, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “We will immediately appeal to the fifth circuit. The President strongly believes, as the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice argued yesterday, that continuing to drill at these depths without knowing what happened, does not make any sense.”

Lastly, it seems that BP has a plan for the Arctic beginning this coming fall. In order to circumvent the regulations about “offshore drilling,” BP intends to essentially build a tiny, five acre gravel island, just large enough to hold the rig. From that rig, they intend to drill 2 miles straight down, and then 6-8 miles sideways…thereby drilling offshore, from on-shore (if you count a tiny little man-made “island” of dumped gravel to be a “shore”).

According to an article in Rolling Stone magazine, “This would be the longest ‘extended reach’ ever attempted, and the effort has required BP to push drilling technology beyond its proven limits. BP calls the project ‘one of its biggest challenges to date’…in what the company itself admits is ‘some of the harshest weather on earth.’”

Hmmm…is it just me that thinks that BP has pushed drilling technology far enough already??

Pissed About Golf....really??

Originally written June 21, 2010

I find it amazing that the GOPers seem to mind horribly that President Obama played a bit of golf this past weekend. They didn't mind in the LEAST that their hero, Dubya Bush, played a LOT of golf during times of crisis in his administration as well…even bantered about fighting terrorists while on the golf course. The right-wing also didn’t mind at ALL that Bush spent more time on vacation than any other president in history also during many times of crisis.

Bush was visiting schoolchildren in his brother's home state when he delivered that "deer in the headlights" look after being told of the World Trade Center attack on the day of America's greatest tragedy. He didn't leave the classroom upon learning of the attack for far too long a time, though there is really no consensus on just HOW long. He didn’t return to Washington for over 10 hours and didn't visit New York for three days. Bush was on vacation while starting two wars (three if you count the "war on terror" as a separate entity from Afghanistan and Iraq...which I do, since if we REALLY had wanted to wage war on the "terrorists" who attacked us, the target should have more logically been Bush's pals the Saudis, but he was busy holding hands and dancing with the Sauds). Bush was also on vacation while watching a major city drown and its people drown along with it (some in their attics waiting for rescue). Watching others die from lack of food, water or shelter during Katrina's aftermath while the bodies of American citizens rotted in the streets.

In the days leading up to Katrina's landfall, when all KNEW that the Category 5 hurricane was going to hit, Bush and Cheney were both on vacation in their respective "home" states...Bush in Texas, Cheney in Wyoming. When Katrina made landfall, Bush and Cheney stayed on vacation. When the levees breeched on Monday and New Orleans drowned, Bush and Cheney STAYED on vacation. The day AFTER the levees failed and Americans were dying in the Superdome, Bush (still on vacation) was playing golf and playing guitar with country singers.

Also on that Tuesday, Secretary of State Condi Rice LEFT for a shopping vacation in New York and saw a Broadway show. Bush didn't return from his vacation until Wednesday, August 31. Cheney didn't return until a day later, on Thursday.

The republicans had NO problem whatsoever with ANY of that behavior. But now suddenly, it's a problem when the president (that they just happen to hate) plays a bit of golf on Father's Day.

They are SUCH hypocrites. And it's so clearly a hypocrisy born out of deep-seeded hatred.

Their utter hate is glaringly apparent in everything they do, starting with the fact that a “filibuster” is no longer a rare event, but now used for EVERYTHING that is put up for a vote. This fact is completely ironic (read hypocritical) considering that when THEY had majority control, they threatened the “nuclear option” of abolishing the filibuster rule entirely if the minority party dared even threaten to try to use it.

Their crazy “birthers” scream about how he’s not an American when the fact that he was born in Hawaii has been completely verified. They scream every crazy accusation that there is...“He’s a Muslim”, “He’s Kenyan”, “He’s a Socialist”, “He’s a Communist”, even “He’s a racist!”

On top of all this they keep calling this BP disaster "Obama's Katrina," this concept is TOTAL garbage. The comparison isn't even 'apples and oranges', because at least apples and oranges have the commonality of both being fruit...this comparison is more like apples and carburetors. One was a natural disaster for which we SHOULD have been better prepared (and had been in previous years) but which was then completely bungled by the government; the other is a man-made catastrophe caused by greed, arrogance and (Bush era) deregulation, that is being managed to the best of the government's ability.

What was needed during Katrina was government intervention...drop-ins of food and water, the promised trailers, peacekeeping forces, etc...all things that our government should excel at, and has excelled at many times in the past. But instead, this time they failed miserably in every way, while the PotUS congratulated the man orchestrating the failure. On the other hand, what is needed in this oil disaster is the EXPERTS (who happen to mostly work for the oil industry, not government) dealing with the horror that the oil industry has wrecked through cutting corners and lack of regulation while attempting to drill the deepest oil well in history.

What is it that the republicans want Obama to do? Put on scuba gear and go down and cap the damn well himself? He has visited the region FIVE times (and not just in a flyover like Bush did during Katrina).

He has made them drill not just one but TWO relief wells, so that if the first doesn't work (as it didn't with the last similar spill, Ixtoc over three decades ago) the second will be almost ready and therefore it will NOT take 10 months (as it did with Ixtoc) to get the leak ultimately shut down. He has mobilized the Coast Guard and other government agencies at his direction to aid with the containment and clean-up. And last, but certainly not least, he has gotten the primary perpetrators of this disaster, BP, to immediately put $20 billion into a fund to enable prompt payouts to begin to those injured... which a republican congressman appallingly called a "shakedown." Incidentally I find it notable that the Congressman who issued that apology to BP for the "shakedown" is the ranking Republican on the Commerce and Energy Committee. Therefore, IF the Republicans regain control of the House in November, he is the one who will become the Chairman of that important committee which plays a role in regulating the oil industry. Also notable to me is this: although BP is seemingly being made to accept their responsibility in this mess, Transocean, the actual owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig that BP was leasing, has already received an early partial insurance settlement of $401 million around May 5, 2010 for the "total loss" of their rig.

The fact of the matter is that the right is so full of hatred for our President that even if Obama were to suddenly develop magical powers and could find a way to clean the Gulf with just a wave of his hand it would still not be good enough for these people. The right would STILL hate him...hell...they'd probably accuse him of 'stealing the oil.' 

Or more likely, HALF of them would accuse him of "stealing the oil," the other half would use it as "proof" that he is the "anti-christ"