Saturday, May 1, 2010

Obama scolds Wall St, Arizona; appeals to African Americans and Latinos while a million gallons of crude heads for the Gulf Coast

The April 20th explosion of British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform precipitated a breached wellhead and a catastrophic hemorrhage of 5000 barrels of crude oil per day, and what will likely be the worst environmental disaster in American history.  It took the White House eight days to respond.

Mark Tapscott at the Washington Examiner presents a damning timeline:

It's been more than a week since British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform 53 miles southwest of the Louisiana coast in the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico exploded and sank on April 20, leaving a breached wellhead bleeding an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil petroleum per day.

Eleven workers on the rig were killed in the explosion and subsequent fire. The gigantic oil slick created by the disaster has reached the coast line and threatens to become the nation's worst environmental disaster ever. More than a week passed before President Obama moved to address the disaster despite the clear evidence that BP and the Coast Guard were unable to stop the flow of oil and contain the spill.

Obama's delay in acting to put needed resources on the disaster site is being compared to President George W. Bush's tawdry response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. One big difference in the perception of the Bush and Obama responses to disasters in Lousiana, however, is the way the media has reported their respective delays.

For Bush, the cries of uncaring apathy began within hours of the commencement of the crisis. For Obama, very little has been said about his apparent unconcern until the last 48 hours. But by now it's become so obvious that even the New York Times had to take notice.
The New York Times did, indeed, take notice, but its response is predictably tame.  You can read it here.

Doug Ross has put together a revealing pictorial timeline of this disaster and reminds us what the President was doing for eight days while over a million gallons of crude oil headed for the shores of our Gulf Coast.  His conclusion:
Perhaps if the oil breached the Louisiana levees, then caught on fire, and then then [sic] turned New Orleans into a Dresden-like inferno, the President would stop campaigning for a couple of days and actually pay attention to his own, personal Katrina. Even The New York Times has noticed, decrying the President's lackadaisical response. But I'm guessing that somehow, someway, it's all President Bush's fault.

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