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Yes, people fault the response to the spill. But why?

It's a fact: Multiple polls have now shown that the public is very unhappy with the way Obama and the federal government have handled the Gulf oil spill. Today's Post/ABC News poll, for instance, offers the eyebrow-raising finding that more disapprove of the government's response to the spill than disapproved of its handling of Katrina.

But here's my question: Why do people fault the government's and Obama's performance? The polls I've seen don't really say.

The Post poll, for instance, asks the question this way:

How would you rate the Federal government's overall response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico -- excellent, good, not so good or poor?

Sixty-nine percent disapprove, mirroring findings in other polls. Last week's Economist/YouGuv poll found that only 30 percent approve of Obama's handling of the spill. Similarly, a CBS News poll found that nearly two thirds want Obama to do more.

But do more of what? None of these polls delve any more deeply into public attitudes towards Obama's handling of the mess.

Here's why this is bumming me out. All the polls finding general disapproval of Obama's handling of the spill only embolden the mob of commentators who are eager to slap him around for not sputtering with rage towards BP or wailing and beating his breast at the tragedy of it all.

I'll bet you that if pollsters asked people why they're unhappy with his handling of it, they wouldn't talk about Obama's emotional state. They'd express unhappiness with his tardiness in figuring out that BP can't be trusted and with his sluggishness in opening a criminal probe. Indeed, today's Post poll also finds heavy blame directed towards BP for taking unnecessary risks.

I get that gauging why people have the opinions they do is tricky business for pollsters. But it would be interesting if folks tried it. Chances are the results would prompt far more interesting discussions than the endless "Obama as Spock" comparisons we keep hearing.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 7, 2010; 3:14 PM ET
Categories:  Climate change , Political media  
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Comments

This paragraph explains it all.

"Criticism of the government and BP crosses party lines and spans the country. The Democratic discontent with the government's response today - 56 percent give it low marks - contrasts with majority GOP support for federal efforts a few weeks after Katrina stuck in 2005."

In other words, Bush could have conjured up Katrina and unleashed its fury on the Gulf himself and a majority of Republicans would still support them.

So, you've got one party that is willing to criticize its own party while in power and you have another one (GOP) willing to be Bush apologists to the very end.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

And here's a shocker.

"In the new Post-ABC poll, those who see the spill as a disaster overwhelmingly advocate criminal charges against BP and its partners, and altogether 64 percent of Americans say the government should pursue such legal action. Most Democrats (74 percent) and independents (67 percent) support criminal investigation; Republicans divide 50 percent in favor, 44 percent opposed."

44% of Republicans oppose seeking legal action against BP.

Oil companies could possibly destroy the Gulf industry for decades to come and a large % of Republicans still carry water for them....mind boggling.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Anyone with a lick of political acumen could predict how this oil spill issue would play out. Why the hell could the White House not see it coming.

Here is what I wrote on Plumline, way back on May 12th.


"

Just Wondering:

How many other off shore Oil Platforms are currently operating with the very same set-up and equipment as the one that is spewing oil into the gulf waters?

What I am getting at: Since no one has yet been able to stop BP's Oil Tsunami, what happens if one or more of the other platforms also start doing the same thing.

If that happens, will that not destroy President Obama's reelection chances.

Shouldn't he order all those platforms to be shut down, and closed off, until it has been determined how to prevent them from doing the same thing, as the BP Oil Tsunami is currently doing.

If The President does not, and another one blows, he will be toast.

It is clear by now that BP, Haliburton, etc are more interested in finding a way to stop the oil tsunami, that will still allow them to continue to get oil from it in the future, than they are in saving the gulf waters from having any more oil spewed into it.

I think the President needs to call all parties, BP, The Navy, etc in for an immediate crisis summit. BP is not going to stop the leak, so the White House must treat it like they would any other enormous catastrophe.

When one finds one self in a hole; the first thing to do is stop the digging. That means that the first thing that has to be done, is stop the oil leak. What the hell is the point in trying to clean up the surface oil slick, while another 200,000 gallons are being added to it, on a daily basis.

The President must take charge, and order an all out effort now, to seal of and entomb the leak site. To hell with trying to do it in a manner that will still allow BP to extract more oil from it.

Treat it like Chernobyl.
Seal it off and entomb the damn thing. Call on the military branches to come up with ways to bombard the site until it is full blocked off. Then find ways to entomb it for ever.

In the mean time; all similar platforms should be shut down. Until a way is found to make sure that they can not repeat what is now happening at the BP Oil Tsunami operation. It is too risky to allow those other platforms to continue to operate until we have made sure that they can do so safely, and with many redundant shut off features.

Believe me; if President Obama does not order them shut down, and another one blows, then he will have failed to lead, and will pay the price.

Time is not on the President's side. The longer the oil continues to spew, the more it will become an existential threat to his presidency.

This is a growing disaster, with no end in sight, while BP is allowed to call the shots on what has to be done.

The White House better go into to crisis mode now, and plug the leak ASAP.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 12, 2010 10:34 AM
.....................

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

There's a fundamental principle at work here.

Obama is getting blamed because there are expectations that he will be an effective manager of just such situations. The blame that found Bush, eventually, did so because it came out that they were not prepared, and didn't react. And since Bush didn't show a lot of interest in the details of governing, no one could get very upset. He was elected to make government small and ineffective: job done.

Obama is playing against an expectations game that is far trickier than Bush had to deal with.

Add to this the fact that Americans are spoiled by getting government services but demanding low taxes. Americans want it both ways and this demonstrates why they expect -- for NO reason -- that the gov't could "just clean it up or stop it" but they still do not show any interest in getting the government to enact needed, sweeping changes (energy, HCR, etc.).

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 7, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I think it's good that "why" is being asked.

But, let's not forget that people believe what the media tells them.

For instance, many people assumed from the start of the crisis that most of the beaches in the Gulf were closed. That led to a wave of cancellations for hotels, resorts, etc. in the region, all because the media was presenting a distorted perspective of the crisis. [Of course, now more of those beaches are closed, but many of the businesses could have been less severely impacted had initial reporting been more accurate.]

Similarly, the media has, from the beginning of this crisis, largely ignored the steps the Obama administration has taken (e.g., ordering the drilling of a second relief well, the early and constant involvement of Homeland Security, EPA, NOAA, DOJ, etc.) and presented the Obama administration as "taking a backseat to BP," because the administration was not taking a high-profile role in overseeing the crisis. [The Exxon-Valdez spill was handled primarily by Exxon, but this spill was apparently supposed to take a different route, despite the currently legal obligations of the company responsible for the spill.]

Thus, many people assumed, because the media said so, that Obama was "not engaged." Nevermind that stuff going on behind the scenes. We need the President in front of the camera reassuring people that he's going to make everything all right, even though the best scientific minds had no clue about how to stop the leak (the media also forgot to tell the public that little detail too).

So, if you want to ask "why" people believe what they believe, start with the media. Everyone's not responsible enough to find the details for themselves.

And apparently, most of the media is not responsible enough to present the facts to the public. They'd rather focus on Obama's emotional state and deficiency of his "paternalistic protector response."

Posted by: associate20 | June 7, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Federal law states:

If a discharge, or a substantial threat of a discharge, of oil or a hazardous substance from a vessel, offshore facility, or onshore facility is of such a size or character as to be a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States (including but not limited to fish, shellfish, wildlife, other natural resources, and the public and private beaches and shorelines of the United States), the President shall direct all Federal, State, and private actions to remove the discharge or to mitigate or prevent the threat of the discharge.

Does the law put anyone in charge of directing all operations to fix the problem? As anyone in charge? Is anyone directing the cleanup?

Posted by: tlancer78 | June 7, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob Obama, the headless chicken in the White House, issued drilling permits for the oil rig WITHOUT SAFETY INSPECTIONS. That is Barry's hand-picked cabinet. Then Barry the inept bungler sat on his hands for two weeks after the fatal explosion, and went on vacation twice.

Miserable failure Obama

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 7, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

People just feel helpless right now and just want SOMEONE to do something. I think it's easier to blame Obama than to admit there's nothing that can be done until the relief well is done.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 7, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

The part of the polls I find most interesting is that they ask "is Obama doing enough." The easy answer for many is no. But ask what should he be doing and the response is a blank stare. The Federal Government can send men and women to the moon, fight wars anywhere on the globe, regulate financial markets, but simply put it has never had the mandate or tools to clean up oil spills. The pity in this situation is that the Mineral Management Service, the government agency that regulates the oil industry, should have been carefully regulated too. The only thing to do now is to carefully monitor work practices on the other 3,500 oil platforms operating in the Gulf of Mexico, stop work on bad practices, and create an entirely new MMS with teeth.

Posted by: sr31 | June 7, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama's response has been erratic, poll and politics driven, and in some ways utterly feckless. Making a big show of vowing to press criminal prosecutions? A great feel-good way to pretend to be doing something important. But helpful in stopping the leak or cleaning up? Of course not. Obama thinks first of politics and image.

The public might be coming to the realization that it was important after all that Obama has no executive experience and has never run anything significant in his life. It shows. A lot.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 7, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

BG:

"Obama is getting blamed because there are expectations that he will be an effective manager of just such situations."

From whence did these crazy expectations arise? It couldn't have been the man himself, what with his promising to keep the seas from rising and heal the planet, could it?

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I find Greg's disturbed reaction interesting. Is it because he thinks Obama has actually done a great job, or is it just purely partisan?

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 7, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

How do we know that nothing could have been done. The White House took BP's word for it.

The White House should have gone into disaster recovery mode at once, and examined all other options.

President Carter jumped in immediately to the Three Mile Island accident, and did not just stand back and let the operators of the site, call all the shots on how it would be handled.

The White House should have at least gone into crisis mode.

There has been an oil Chernobyl spreading in the gulf waters for more than six weeks, and as we speak, and saying nothing else could be done, because BP said so, is a pathetic abdication of crisis mode leadership.

Relying on the arsonist, who started the inferno, to put out the fire, is both naive and incompetent.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@tiancer78: "Does the law put anyone in charge of directing all operations to fix the problem? As anyone in charge? Is anyone directing the cleanup?"

That decision seems to be at the President's discretion.

Initial media reports suggested that the Deepwater Horizon would not leak. But, when it was determined that initial reports were inaccurate, on April 30th, 2010, Secretary Napolitano announced that Admiral Thad Allen would be the incident commander for the BP oil spill.

It barely generated a peep in the media.

Posted by: associate20 | June 7, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama's more of a Picard than Spock anyway. Maybe the spill will be his "four lights" scenario.

Posted by: dkp01 | June 7, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that it's because people are basically ignorant of the facts. Which are that there is really nothing the government can do. They don't have the equipment or practical expertise. They haven't been given these facts so they believe there's more to be done. And how do you prosecute anyone when the investigation is still going on? It's the same with the "Papers Please" law in Arizona. The press has not made it clear that crime in Arizona and the border towns is down. If people were aware of this they'd at least have to question whether this is simply a racist response to the shrinking white base and their anxiety about it. I hate to blame the media but, in both cases it's warranted.

Posted by: roxsteady | June 7, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Thad Allen spent the first five weeks, after the oil spill started, planting big wet kisses on the BP CEO's Arse.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and anyone who is stupid enough to think this response is worse than Katrina should take a math class. Some 1,800 people died during Katrina while 11 died when that rig exploded.

Posted by: roxsteady | June 7, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I would personally vote for 'not so good'. But then, that is the best that the government can do in this instance, simply because of the way things are set up. Consider:

1. We have chosen to keep the expertise out of the government;
2. We have chosen to reduce regulation (almost eliminate actually);
3. That means that the government must rely on industry for the status of things;
4. The government must also rely on industry for the solutions (which means that the government cannot pressure industry);
5. There are legal limits on the amount of the liability of industry.

Ergo, the best the government can do is 'not so good'. the most effective the government can be is as effective as industry wants to be at the time.

What I find most interesting is that those most, and directly, affected by the spill also want the current restrictions on drilling (paltry as they are) to be lifted. Even before we know what happened and what the options for prevention are (for instance, why don't Canada and Norway have these problems - then again they have far more extensive regulation!!!).

In short, we WANT TO IGNORE THE SPILLS, for all the complaints.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | June 7, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

We're unhappy with Obama for ballooning federal debt that puts our grandchildren in hock to people that hate us.

We're unhappy with Obama for a massively expanding federal government full of employees who can surf porn all day at taxpayer expense, and not worry about being fired. We also know that this massively expanded bureaucracy will work no better - and probably worse - than the present bloated federal bureaucracy.

We're unhappy with Obama for drooling out soothing but clearly insincere words about the environmental disaster in the Gulf, while his Administration worries more about the political spin on its reporting than they do the fact of fixing it.

There are a lot of other ways we're unhappy with Obama. These will become obvious in November.

Posted by: hill_marty | June 7, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Scott, Obama has raised expectations and worked hard to meet them on many fronts. Do you think in response to an explosion on an oil rig miles offshore a mile below the surface there is something this particular administration could have done that they haven't?

I'll be the first to agree that the admin should have been more aggressive in cleaning out the people in the MMS and other agencies who were put there by the GOP.

Obama can't reverse 8 years of deregulation (or more, really, given that Clinton contributed some lousy ideas too) fast enough.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 7, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Excuse the extra Katrina. Now, anyone who thinks optics are important should remember the "Mission Accomplished" fiasco. Fortunately, Digby has a great article on the press and how they fawned and much worse during this moment. Warning!!! Prepare yourselves for the Bush Bulge. EEEEEU!

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/tweety-does-full-180-bushs-mission-accompl

Posted by: roxsteady | June 7, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama is being blamed because the media has decided that he should be blamed. The hell with facts! And the facts are no matter who was in the White House the oil would still be gushing. The fact is with all the oil spilling some of it is bound to find it's way to shore no matter how many ships may be in the ocean to clean it up. The media refuses to state that not even the best minds can figure out how to stop this leak. But to hell with that. If Obama did get more hot they would be calling him the angry black man, and if he went the other way they would be calling him soft. The media had decided that this is the storyline they are going to go with and most people are to stupid to think for themselves!

Posted by: jhop1104 | June 7, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

The government should not need BP's approval or expertise to manage the cleanup and containment. Placing blame and presenting a bill can come in due time but all officials including Obama seem to be making public statements and actions based solely on what they think is politically expedient. There should have been resources moved in place to handle containment regardless of what BP thought was right.

Posted by: geotherm21 | June 7, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

In all seriousness though, I'd love to see some polling data exploring whether there's intersection between the people who were afraid the government was infringing on private businesses with HCR, and the people who want more government involvement in the BP spill.

I'd also like to see polling investigating whether people think a Republican administration would have handled this better. If people think the GOP would have been even worse than Obama, then the GOP will have to wrench the topic of discussion back to something else entirely both this November and in 2012.

Posted by: dkp01 | June 7, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama, being "The One", should have parted the Gulf whence atop the southern most point of the Mississippi delta to assist in the spill.

Honestly, I don't mind if they keep the heat up on this admin. It'll keep them on their toes.

In the end, results matter. However responsible or not, if there are stories of bureaucracy causing delays, as there are, or accounts of lack of clean up crews, which I've heard, BP will most definitely be to blame but so will the U.S. Govn't, rightly or wrongly so.

I was hoping the admin would have more access to the Command and Control section directing clean up responses.

The press has been an utter failure but the director of WH PR needs to be fired. I'm not talking about Gibbs. He's the press' punching bag. I'm talking about whomever is coordinating the exposure of the Admin's response. We all know what an utter failure the press was in the first month of this disaster, focused primarily on the "Is this Obama's Katrina?" rather than focusing on what was being done, or rather not being done. The WH cannot count on the press to do the responsible thing. Only person they can count on is themselves and the results they produce.


Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The reason people are happy is because they have no answer. its no different than the entire sound bite meme. Sound bites give you something to hold on to its easy its simple its short. This spill is none of that. Plug the hole, ok with what? from where? with who helping? and for how much and how long? The problem only generates more questions which lead to less answers and more unhappiness. All that talk about optics is silly, i mean come on we had Mission acomplished and Sadaams statue being torn down as Iraqs supposed optics. I dont care how the president looks or stages things i want him to do the best he can with what he has. and if he doesnt have it where can he go to find it, how long will it take to get it and after its gotten how long until its fixed.

Posted by: osmondbrinson | June 7, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

But, quarterback1, let's say your nonsensical critique of the President has any merit whatsoever (it doesn't), what would your recommendation be for how Obama should do more? Kindly illustrate in your answer (for my amusement, more than anything else), how a President with more political experience could have done more.

Posted by: chert | June 7, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, one more point:

I'm sure the media, disregard the logistical and situational differences between the BP spill and Hurricane Katrina, and will play up the Katrina comparison following this poll.

Even so, it's worth put it into the ether that that CBS poll found that 38% approve and 44% disapprove of Obama's handling of the BP spill. Those are far from catastrophic numbers that suggest, at worst, that the public is still largely weighing information, and have not come to overwhelming disapproval of the administration's response. At best, it demonstrates -- pretty much intuitively -- that the public does not largely hold the administration responsible for BP's spill, and recognizes the oil company's primary role in cleanup (even though there's federal oversight of the company's effort).

And since I'm on on my soapbox about media narratives, Gallup just released their "generic ballot" poll for the midterms. Last week, it showed a Republican "surge," with Republicans "opening up a 6-point lead" (49%-43%). The media went crazy over that poll, never once noting that polling is subject to statistical noise over long weekends (i.e., Memorial Day weekend), and the media also did not properly note, if they noted at all, that because of the margin of error for Gallup's poll, there was, statistically speaking, no major shift in the poll. Did that stop the "Republicans have largest lead ever" type stories? Nope.

And guess what? Gallup just released an updated poll: 46%-46% again -- a tie, as it's been much of the year. Shouldn't be a surprise, since the last poll was likely nothing more than statistical noise. [There were no underlying reasons for a "surge," although some in the media tried to make some up.]

Now, the question is will the media have the same type of obsession with the Democratic "surge" (which is also nonexistent)?

I won't hold my breath. I'm sure now the media will suddenly become more attuned to the nuances of statistics since the story of a "Democratic surge" doesn't fit their preconceived story lines.

Posted by: associate20 | June 7, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Fix the blame or fix the problem. Obama's done neither (at least not well). So, that could explain why everyone faults him.

Posted by: willdd | June 7, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I think he failed to show visible crisis leadership from the outset.

He is the elected leader of the United States, which includes the United States. He should have have taken charge, and assembled all the expertise he could find, instead of just letting BP call all the shots.

The Gulf States are States of the Unites States Of America, not the United States Of BP.

Perhaps a better solution might not have been come up with, but he should have gone into disaster leadership and containment mode, and called all hands on deck, to see if one could have been come up with.

I did not see any leadership tone being set by President Obama.

He said that he was going to strive to be a transformational President. That would call for bold assertive, and timely leadership. It would call for bold decisive moves.

Unfortunately,

That is not in President Obama's nature. He is a master of reticent half measures, and comprises at all costs. He snoozed all summer, while the Right Wingers were tearing down his health care proposal. He settled for worthless half measures in Afghanistan. Karzai took him to the cleaners on that.

Karzai rigged the election. Kept all his old crooked cronies, including his drug lord brother, and ended up having President Obama recently applying lipstick to the corrupt incompetent pig.

It looks like we have a President who has trouble hearing the train whistle when it is bearing down on him.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

chert, the answer is clear. If only John McCain had been president, he would have suspended his administration and canceled his appearance on Letterman, so that he and Sarah Palin had time to run down to the gulf and yell, "Fill Baby Fill!" at the busted pipe until it submitted to their overwhelming power and charisma and closed itself up. Romney would be for banning off-shore drilling like he used to be for gay marriage and health care reform, then be against it when 2012 rolled around. Huckabee would pardon the pipe for good behavior, and then express remorse when it ran off to another gulf and started polluting once more. Boehner would ask the oil how it got to be such a lovely shade of orange.

Posted by: dkp01 | June 7, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Change I can believe in?

Just what change was Obama talking about

Posted by: beenthere3 | June 7, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

TV news no longer reports and analyzes the facts. Instead, we're treated to talking heads circulating gossip to which they themselves give credence by repeating it to one another. The fourth estate, our free press, is and has been failing its duty to democracy for some time now.

The press isn't calling anyone yammering about the spill on their baloney. For instance, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the conservative who voted for loosening regulation of drilling off shore and one of the "keep Washington out of my business" crowd, is crowing about what the Feds woulda, coulda, shoulda done.

Will all those who think the Government should eliminate personal income taxes, gut social spending, and let the free market operate please stop asking the Federal Government to do anything? After all, isn't this just the market pitting the investors of Bubba Gump Shrimp against the stockholders of BP? The hypocrisy is as slippery and toxic to our nation's well being as the oil slick is to our ecosystem and economy.

Posted by: giacomino | June 7, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I backed Obama all the way, from the day he announced, and it has nothing to do with what might have happened if the other guy had won.

We have one President at a time. He ran for the job, to lead the nation.

I just am very disappointed in his failure to assert his leadership from the very start, when BP caused their Oil Chernobyl in the Gulf Waters.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

An emergency should have been declared immediately. Everything that was to be used to contain the leak should have been at hand and ready in a matter of a couple of days. Organization at shorelines should have been ready the next day. Weeks were wasted while thousands of gallons of oil were leaking into the Gulf. That is why I am mad.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 7, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are all too willing to criticize their own leaders. Which I guess is better than the sheep-like mentality of the GOP.

Everyone, it seems, is holding Obama's feet to the fire and that's what accountability is all about.

BP still sucks.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | June 7, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

An emergency should have been declared immediately. Everything that was to be used to contain the leak should have been at hand and ready in a matter of a couple of days. Organization at shorelines should have been ready the next day. Weeks were wasted while thousands of gallons of oil were leaking into the Gulf. That is why I am mad.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 7, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still:

It may not alter your impressions of Obama's response, but it will at least give you more details than the media's given about what the Federal government has actually been doing:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/05/05/ongoing-administration-wide-response-deepwater-bp-oil-spill

Posted by: associate20 | June 7, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, incompetent gov't is always a win-win for GOP.

-----

That brown goo in the Gulf? That's what "less government" looks like, by the way.

-----

Obama needs to seize BP's assets and data and put it under Coast Guard authority. This is a national disaster that has gone on way too long.

The joke at my house is if Tony in Durham screws up the Gulf like this, just watch what the Feds do –– fast! LOL

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | June 7, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? Does the Post really publish a reporter that doesn't understand this issue?

People in the Gulf are seeing their lives destroyed, beaches and recreation destroyed, travel destroyed, and you don't understand why they blame the feds?

Did you somehow miss Katrina? And keep in mind that Katrina was a one-time event, once it is over people can go home and rebuilt. But here, once the damage is done you can never go back, it will take years (if ever) to clean up the environment.

The Feds had a chance to marshall resources at an early stage and try every trick in the book to manage the spill damage, construct booms, etc. The fact that nothing has been done says more about the incompetence of the feds (though conservatives will argue they lacked the ability anyhow). Since Obama has promised that the government can solve all problems, he is now stuck trying to dig out.

People want Obama to stop hammering BP (which is already incentivized to do as much as it can) and to start using federal resources. His lack of response and time jetting around to fundraisers and dates doesn't play to well when you see the slick heading into your town.

Posted by: Boraxo1 | June 7, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Why wouldn't the public buy into the media meme that he's not doing enought--WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT IT. Isn't that what a media meme is designed to do? You have James Carville, a fellow Democrat, screaming folks are dying despite that fact that the only folks endanger of dying were already dead. No one was in danger of dying. Then he went on a rant about Applebee's. You have Chris Matthews saying, contrary to published reports, that the President has not called experts in or out of the industry when in FACT AP, Bloomberg and others had reported the President was calling space experts, bomb experts, movie producers, you name it, form the first days of the explosion. AP published a detailed account of the administration's reponse from day one, which concluded that debunked the "slow reponse" meme, but what do facts matter when you're on tv. The public buys it.

Posted by: NMP1 | June 7, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Had a crisis team been initiated soon after the spill, hay might have been distibuted in marshes before they were inundated with oily goop. American farmers and truckers would have risen to the call.

video: Hay absorbing oil from oily water
http://www.wimp.com/solutionoil/

Instead, Obama and cronies allowed similarly risky deep water wells to continue operation. Then again, what's the big deal about oiling the Gulf? We've allowed certain industries to create dead zones while we breathe increasingly polluted air and while much of our drinking water contains pollutants.

As Mr. Neumann said, What? Me worry?

Posted by: TeresaBinstock | June 7, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama screwed up by saying he wanted o open our coasts up for dll rilling again, and he is STILL saying it even after this HUGE disaster! Bush would never admit he was wrong either.

Posted by: sux123 | June 7, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

You know who I blame? Drill Baby Drill.

Posted by: leftcoaster | June 7, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Where are the jobs jobs jobs?

Bush and Cheney off-shored them to China and India!

How soon Repugs forget.

NO REGULATIONS! BIG OIL CAN POLICE ITSELF!

WHERE CHENEY NOW? WHERE DRILL PALIN DRILL?

NO REGULATIONS! BIG OIL CAN POLICE ITSELF!

Posted by: beenthere3 | June 7, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

@hill_marty wrote:
"We're unhappy with Obama for ballooning federal debt that puts our grandchildren in hock to people that hate us."
- except that the massive federal debt was pretty much already in place when Obama took office. Healthcare reform will *reduce* the deficit, not add to it. Without the bailouts there would have had been *much* worse unemployment (3 million auto-industry alone) so while it isn't fun, it's still better than the alternatives were.

"We're unhappy with Obama for a massively expanding federal government full of employees who can surf porn all day at taxpayer expense, and not worry about being fired."
- except that these people at the SEC were doing this under Bush while the financial industry imploded. This is Obama's fault, how exactly?

"We also know that this massively expanded bureaucracy will work no better - and probably worse - than the present bloated federal bureaucracy."
- again, Bush and co. declared that gov't can't do anything right and proceeded to put incompetent cronies into oversight positions. That might have some bearing on gov't not working very well, no?

"We're unhappy with Obama for drooling out soothing but clearly insincere words about the environmental disaster in the Gulf, while his Administration worries more about the political spin on its reporting than they do the fact of fixing it."
- as opposed to "You're doing a heck of a job Brownie", "Mission Accomplished", and all the platitudes about how easy the Iraq War was going to be?

"There are a lot of other ways we're unhappy with Obama. These will become obvious in November."
- with luck, some of them are actually based in fact, but frankly I'm not exactly holding my breath on that.

Posted by: rpixley220 | June 7, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Roxsteady's 4:17 comment might be the most illogical argument t I have ever seen here. A high achievement.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

BG:

"Do you think in response to an explosion on an oil rig miles offshore a mile below the surface there is something this particular administration could have done that they haven't?"

To stop the explosion from happening or to plug the hole? Unlikely. To counter the resulting problems that the gulf states are now experiencing? Probably, yes.

But what Obama can or cannot actually do is rather besides the point. We are talking about the expectations that people have for their government. For decades the left has encouraged the electorate to look to the government to solve their problems. For eight years Bush was ritually blamed by the left for virtually every negative event that happened, regardless of his actual ability to have avoided or mitigated them. For two years Obama sold himself to the electorate as a savior of sorts, a man of supreme competence who would not only restore government to its proper role of doing good and taking care of problems, but would even be able to "heal the planet". Given all this, combined with the natural tendency of the voters to give undue credit to a president in good times and undue blame in bad times, how can anyone actually be shocked that people are disappointed with him in this instance?

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@everybody who wants more Gov't action response:

Let's take the reverse scenario.

BP has an explosion at a rig but the leak is small or non-existent. Obama comes in and completely takes over, pushing BP out of the way and forcing all decisions to go through the gov't/Coast Guard.

What would the public opinion on that be? That Gov't was massively overreaching and obviously he's a socialist.

So with an initial report from BP of 1000 barrels a day, nobody wants the gov't getting in the way of a 'relatively' small leak. But now that it is massive we wanted the gov't all over it from the beginning.

Exactly when did the proper response change? If you want accurate responses on the leak you need gov't with it's hands all over the operation BEFORE the accident. Otherwise how do you get accurate readings from BP in the first place?

Clearly the last 10 years have said no to gov't oversight at that level of detail. Much to our bane today...

Posted by: rpixley220 | June 7, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"how can anyone actually be shocked that people are disappointed with him in this instance?"

Well, the way I see it, the facts on this scenario are out there. If people actually cared about the facts, then they shouldn't be blaming President Obama.

So, when you ask why people are shocked, THAT is the reason. The facts are out there and people just don't care. THAT is why people are shocked. Most of us live in a world based on factual reality. And when a large number of people exhibit reckless disregard for facts, that is shocking.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 7, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

They are supposed to be experts at handling public relations. That is how they defeated Hillary.

Now they seem to have forgotten all about the Image game.

In Politics:

Perception Is Reality.

They are perceived, according to the polls, to not have tried hard enough.

That is not the fault of the media. It is the fault of this White House.

Notice who has not been heard from recently; Rahm. He is the Chief Of Staff, and we have witnessed one slow response after another, including the Sestak issue, and before that the slow response to the town halls assault on health care refrom. Rahm has to go. We need a Chief of Staff who has better national political instincts. Do not forget, that Rahm tried hard to get President Obama to give up on Health care Reform.

Time for a big shake up. President Obama is acting like he has become trapped in the Rahm bubble.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? Does the Post really publish a reporter that doesn't understand this issue?

People in the Gulf are seeing their lives destroyed, beaches and recreation destroyed, travel destroyed, and you don't understand why they blame the feds?

Did you somehow miss Katrina? And keep in mind that Katrina was a one-time event, once it is over people can go home and rebuilt. But here, once the damage is done you can never go back, it will take years (if ever) to clean up the environment.

The Feds had a chance to marshall resources at an early stage and try every trick in the book to manage the spill damage, construct booms, etc. The fact that nothing has been done says more about the incompetence of the feds (though conservatives will argue they lacked the ability anyhow). Since Obama has promised that the government can solve all problems, he is now stuck trying to dig out.

People want Obama to stop hammering BP (which is already incentivized to do as much as it can) and to start using federal resources. His lack of response and time jetting around to fundraisers and dates doesn't play to well when you see the slick heading into your town.

Posted by: Boraxo1
======================================================================================

Amen! As someone who lives on the Gulf Coast and has oil washing up on my beach I couldn't agree more. 100% immediate response was needed... It still hasn't happened. He was more worried about everyone knowing it is BP who is at fault and he had nothing to do with it. He is still playing the blame game and has moved on to the "prior administration" game again.

At some point.. you have to take ownership of this thing.. The American public has already assigned it to you.. so step up to the plate.

Posted by: tbastian | June 7, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

They are supposed to be experts at handling public relations. That is how they defeated Hillary.

Now they seem to have forgotten all about the Image game.

In Politics:

Perception Is Reality.

They are perceived, according to the polls, to not have tried hard enough.

That is not the fault of the media. It is the fault of this White House.

Notice who has not been heard from recently; Rahm. He is the Chief Of Staff, and we have witnessed one slow response after another, including the Sestak issue, and before that the slow response to the town halls assault on health care refrom. Rahm has to go. We need a Chief of Staff who has better national political instincts. Do not forget, that Rahm tried hard to get President Obama to give up on Health care Reform.

Time for a big shake up. President Obama is acting like he has become trapped in the Rahm bubble.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

so they appointed you to put words in the mouths of the people and obama...
truth...obama is useless by his performance...
or have you been sleeping...

Posted by: DwightCollins | June 7, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

At least three people were killed Monday afternoon when a natural gas facility in Johnson County exploded, Cleburne City Manager Chester Nolen told WFAA-TV.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/060610dnmetoilwell.7e3c4fce.html

7 burned in W.Va. gas well blast likely to survive

UPDATES with DEP spokeswoman saying rig did not have blowout preventer.

http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/national/95803344.html

Yes, both of those were TODAY.

Drill Baby Drill!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 7, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Now things are starting to get worse in Afghanistan.


Today:

"KABUL, Afghanistan – Ten NATO service members, seven of them American, were killed in separate attacks Monday on the deadliest day of the year for foreign forces in Afghanistan. A U.S. civilian contractor who trains Afghan police also died in a suicide attack."

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"He was more worried about everyone knowing it is BP who is at fault and he had nothing to do with it."

And folks on this blog - and Greg - seemed far more interested in how to turn this tragedy into a legislative triumph.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 7, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

More about the Natural Gas facility:

A natural gas facility has exploded near Cleburne in Johnson County killing three, according to the Cleburne city manager.

At least 10 people are missing, Chester Nolen said.

A lot of people have been transported to hospital with burn injuries.

A massive fireball and a huge plume of smoke can be seen in the area.

http://www.wfaa.com/home/Oil-well-explodes-in-Hood-County-95801134.html

3 Dead, 10 missing...

GET. US. OFF. PETROLEUM. NOW.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 7, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats are all too willing to criticize their own leaders. Which I guess is better than the sheep-like mentality of the GOP.
Everyone, it seems, is holding Obama's feet to the fire and that's what accountability is all about.
BP still sucks.
Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | June 7, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse"

dems gave a standing ovation to a congressman doing pages getting reelected...
so you see, they don't hold their own accountable...
btw, where is schumer on obama's handling of Israel...

Posted by: DwightCollins | June 7, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

And folks on this blog - and Greg - seemed far more interested in how to turn this tragedy into a legislative triumph.

Posted by: sbj3 |
--------------------

You betcha! Because it's about time that we have a comprehensive energy policy in this country. If it takes this event to legislate the changes we need to make, so be it.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 7, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"For decades the left has encouraged the electorate to look to the government to solve their problems."

I like the way you conveniently left out the fact that the right wing has spent the last 30 yrs doing absolutely everything possible to strip the government of it's ability to perform basic functions. They've worn as a badge of honor their record of underfunding agencies, stripping away regulations, and packing departments with inexperienced cronies. The result has been collapsing bridges, lead in toys, food borne illness outbreaks, mining disasters and now oil spills. Have I been happy with everything Obama has done? Absolutely not....but I also recognize that it's going to take a lot longer than 18 months to undo 3 decades of damage.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 7, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"Where are the jobs jobs jobs?
Bush and Cheney off-shored them to China and India!
How soon Repugs forget.
NO REGULATIONS! BIG OIL CAN POLICE ITSELF!
WHERE CHENEY NOW? WHERE DRILL PALIN DRILL?
NO REGULATIONS! BIG OIL CAN POLICE ITSELF!
Posted by: beenthere3 | June 7, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse "

no offense but clinton and hillary set up and enabled most of the outsourcing...
now obama will set it up for the financial institutions to outsource their I.T. operations...
that will make it easy to steal America's wealth...
elect politicians that back American workers...

Posted by: DwightCollins | June 7, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Natural Gas is something we will not be weaned off of, even in a green economy. In fact it is so plentiful and cheap, here in the USA, that in order to reduce the demand for oil, most vehicles will eventually be designed to run on compressed natural gas.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

sbj, it's not about a legislative triumph, it's about facing the reality of declining oil reserves and the damage to the environment. And I wouldn't worry about it too much, Kerry announced today they're going to take energy legislation in small incremental steps. Nobody listens to the progressives anyway. If we can't get people to realize the peril to our planet through a disaster like this, it won't be debt our grandchildren have to worry about. Short sighted policy and financial gain in the hands of a few are all we're apparently capable of.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 7, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/happy_hour_roundup_23.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 7, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

I think we should be doing more to utilize NG now. We have a lot of it, it would not have to go onto the world market like the oil we produce does, and it would get us out the H*LL of of the Middle East.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 7, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

I think we should be doing more to utilize NG now. We have a lot of it, it would not have to go onto the world market like the oil we produce does, and it would get us out the H*LL out of the Middle East.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 7, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

ScottC said: "From whence did these crazy expectations arise? It couldn't have been the man himself, what with his promising to keep the seas from rising and heal the planet, could it?"

What a bizarre sense of reality you inhabit, Scott. You are just tossing out some flame here for the fun of it but why not try to be more exacting?

Do you protest a campaign built on notions of hopeful change in governance? If so, could you point to a campaign which doesn't suggest precisely this?

If you are suggesting that Obama made some unique claims to "magic" if he were elected, I'd love to see them quoted.

But the most telling way in which you get this wrong is by failing to confront how the conservative movement actually does make claims and implications of access to some superior magical connections. I'd remind that it wasn't this President who claimed to be directed by God. That was your fella. I'd remind that it isn't lefties who set up e-prayer meetings to appeal to God to determine election outcomes or failures of bills or who blame acts of sodomy in bedrooms for planes flying into the Twin Towers.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I think you have a certain percentage of Republicans who will never admit Obama has done a good job on anything,

and then you have a portion of Democrats who aren't happy that Obama came out for some off shore drilling prior to this catastrophe, and also want him to push for a energy reform bill.

I suspect BP convinced the administration that they had the technology to stop the leak quickly and Obama took them at their word. BP was certainly downplaying it to the public for the first two weeks, maybe they did the same to the administration.

Posted by: Beeliever | June 7, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Very good piece from Think Progress on financial connections between senior Republicans over the last decade and the oil/energy industry.
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/06/prelude_cheney_katrina.html

Posted by: bernielatham | June 7, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The media that was so instrumental in his election is also responsible for creating unrealistic expectations for the "The One". In spite of the reporting, Obama cannot walk on water. The Presidency was never meant to be an entry-level position. The lessons of Carter and Bush 43 were not learned and look where we are again.

Posted by: stvcar | June 7, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

People are unhappy with Obama's handling of the oil spill because of the following:
1) He did not anticipate how the oil spill could impact Americans, the coastline, the environment, marine life, wildlife, etc. He did not recognize it as a crisis. Anyone would have seen it coming!
2) This ignorance resulted in a seriously delayed reaction to the crisis. While the feds would not have been able to "plug the hole," swift action by the feds could have built barriers to prevent the massive oil spill from reaching the shores in that region. As a result, local government agencies were not able to do much of anything because the Feds did not heed their cries for help. It took about a month for the oil to reach shore and during that time, there was no help from the federal government.
3) Obama seemed more concerned with image and PR, than being a leader.

Posted by: aquapura | June 7, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The Myth of the Great Deregulation lives.

The growth of the regulatory state has continued through all administrations. It just isn't the panacea liberals promise.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 7, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

But, quarterback1, let's say your nonsensical critique of the President has any merit whatsoever (it doesn't), what would your recommendation be for how Obama should do more? Kindly illustrate in your answer (for my amusement, more than anything else), how a President with more political experience could have done more.

Posted by: chert | June 7, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

The only substantive criticism I've heard of what it is Obama should be "doing more" of is approving the building of berms or artificial barrier islands. That was Bobby Jindal's main criticism.

But I haven't heard any of the news media folks ask anyone in the Coast Guard or in the Obama administration for their side of the story.

I have read on one of the liberal web sites that the Army Corps of Engineers was concerned that building berms would just channel the oil to other parts of the coastline and that in any case, it takes months to complete the berms so a delay of several weeks in the approval process won't make much difference.

But as I say, I haven't heard anyone in the "serious" media ask for the government's side on the question of these berms. I guess they're just satisfied with reporting that people think Obama should be doing more of something or other.

Posted by: Spacer | June 7, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Right you are, Toon Town Lawyer!

It was those massive invasive government regulations that kept The Wall St. Bankers from causing a global financial crash in the 2008.

Sure glad that never happened.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

One thing is certain and that's the fact that Obama's in way over his head.

Obama has struggled to show that he's been in control throughout this entire crisis. His administration used tough talk like "we're going to push BP aside" when it appeared the first attempts to contain the leak would be successful-only to have his man in charge (Adm. Thad Allen) tell the American people "push BP aside and do what??".

Meanwhile, Obama and Biden go running around 2 weeks ago touting the upcoming jobs report and boasted about how the economy is back on track...only to find out that Census temporary jobs accounted for almost all of the jobs created in the latest figures.

Obama is proving to be far more incompetent than even Republicans feared.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | June 7, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, I give you for an example the fine correspondent "screw job 16" or whatever he's up to now. This guy gripes about anything Obama. So that whole contingent is a given. Now for the democrats. I think they are griping because, as stated above, they expect more and want more. Rightfully so. But good old Screw Job and his F-troop would be complaining whatever the subject. So yes the numbers are higher than for Bush, because screw job supported his disastrous presidency for sure.

Posted by: larry9 | June 7, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

This is another great win for the Rebublican party. First they screw up the economy through a total lack of oversight then sit back and blame the admininistration for the budget deficit already high when they took office and then higher because of they mess they created. Now after years of cozy relationships between the feds and the oil industry the inevitable environmental disaster happens. Drill baby drill, right?The response actually could have been better in the beginning but it appears they are doing what they can to get the clean-up right. So once again lay the groundwork for failure and then sit back and blame the dems for a situation they didn't create.

Posted by: 5IN5 | June 7, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Greg: The discrepancy you identify is easy to correct. When analyzing any national poll numbers, you need to drop off the 35% who are simply repeating GOP/Murdoch talking points.

Call this "correcting for sentience." Once done, the numbers will start to reflect reality.

Posted by: factota | June 7, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a poor leader, and a worse manager -- too shallow to know his weaknesses and strengths, who lacks the experience to know the difference between the two. It's what America gets for electing a mediocre attorney, a community organizer and someone that the Mainstream Media doesn't hold accountable.

Posted by: logicprevails | June 7, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"It's what America gets for electing a mediocre attorney, a community organizer and someone that the Mainstream Media doesn't hold accountable."

If you're going to repeat the talking points, at least get them right: it's LAMESTREAM MEDIA. Sheesh - ya'll can't do anything right.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 7, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, I am sure we can not blame you, because you voted for the mediocre, bottom of his class, pilot, and his half term, half witted running mate, right?!

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

The People voted for change-not status quo. The only thing worse than maintaining the status quo is doing so incompetently. Thanks Barry Obama!

Posted by: Digitalman08 | June 7, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

There is another aspect of this that is being missed, at least for me.

Obama's reaction is all of a piece with his previous actions towards big business. He pretended to care about health care reform and then pushed a bill that makes everybody buy health insurance, while rates keep going up and coverage keeps being denied.

Now he's pushing a financial "reform" that will do nothing to prevent another meltdown.

So please explain why I should believe that he has any intention of holding BP accountable, when he has never held ANYBODY accountable for ANYTHING despite his lofty rhetoric? Not to mention that he came into OFFICE determined to "move forward" from the countless BushCo crimes.

So why would anybody expect him to start holding anybody accountable for anything now?

Obama couldn't have made it clearer that while he might be a "constitutional scholar,a" he WILLFULLY doesn't have a CLUE when it comes to JUSTICE.

Posted by: solsticebelle | June 7, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Libs need to face the facts that their Messiah is nothing more than a person who has never worked hard his adult life, never held accountable, always given a free pass in college, and is now expected to be a successful POTUS. Sorry libs, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. All Obama wants to do is campaign and entertain, which is exactly what he's been doing for so many years. Actually doing the job he campaigned for is so beneath this uppity liberal elitist.

Posted by: cschotta1 | June 7, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY WILL NOT INVEST UNTIL OBAMA THE MUSLIM COMMUNIST IS GONE.
NOTHING WILL GET BETTER UNTIL HE RESIGNS OR IS IMPEACHED. THIS LOSER OBAMA NEEDS TO GO ASAP. COMMIT SUICIDE OBAMA FOR THE SAKE OF THE USA.


Friday redux: Stocks fall in final hour of trading
By STEPHEN BERNARD and TIM PARADIS (AP) – 3 hours ago

NEW YORK — Stocks fell to their lowest level in seven months Monday after traders couldn't shake fears that Europe's economic problems will derail a global recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 115 points, or 1.2 percent, to its lowest close since November. The Dow lost 323 Friday after the government's May jobs report fell short of expectations.

Broader indexes logged steeper percentage drops Monday. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index fell 2 percent.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | June 7, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"a person who has never worked hard his adult life, never held accountable, always given a free pass in college, and is now expected to be a successful POTUS."

I think you have Obama confused with this person:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/one-closes-another-opens/2005/11/21/1132421591189.html

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 7, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Don't get this: any other time a poll is conducted, reporters, pundits and assorted media-heads seem only concerned with the hard numbers. There's little questioning; the poll is typically accepted for what it is. Sargent here is among a rare few who actually ask "why?" as it relates to a poll.

The real question is "why?" ask "why?" about this poll. You never seem interested then, why show interest now. Understand, no one is pitching any particular party line at the moment, just a bit confused. The general public gets berated for not being skeptical enough; now, it shows a bit of skepticism, is just not feeling the situation, and gets chastised for its own critical analysis. Sure: we're not experts on containing an oil spill. Will give you that. But, for real Greg: who is? Are you? How rich is that? Obviously, we have enough sense to know and see what's going wrong.

And, what's the point? If, say, the public did offer a suggestion, would you create some sort of Excel spreadsheet listing the ideas? Would they be considered? Director James Cameron recently offered his deep-sea technology expertise to help cap the well. He put his money where his mouth is. Did he even get the time of day from either BP or the Administration?

This is why you're going to get the double-standard label. Don't blame you for not being a Bush fan - who really is. But, seriously, during post-Katrina, the Bush Administration got battered by media for not showing enough response. Here, the Obama Administration's federal response just doesn't show on that massive a scale, is (frankly) a bit underwhelming, and the media finds our expectation of a greater response annoying(?).

Posted by: wrathofmugen | June 7, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Eight Years of Bush/Cheney.

No net jobs created in the USA.

All that business investing under them, sure paid off, didn't it?!

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse


This Just In!

Chris Matthews just did a segment on Hard Ball and blamed the whole Gulf Oil Spill fiasco on Dick Cheney and Halaberton. Ha Ha......

Posted by: geo82170 | June 7, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

"You never seem interested then, why show interest now."

I seem to recall quite a lot of discussion during HCR about why people opposed the law and what specifically all of the polling numbers meant. I think that's a silly assertion you're making.

"Director James Cameron recently offered his deep-sea technology expertise to help cap the well. He put his money where his mouth is. Did he even get the time of day from either BP or the Administration?"

Um...yeah.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/movie_plug_feds_enlist_cameron_L1Rv5k97wsxRRrTBkS2E2L

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 7, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Ethan:

"Most of us live in a world based on factual reality."

Everyone does. Trouble is, precious few grasp that factual reality. And certainly political reality is not always, and perhaps not even often, based on factual reality.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

TheBabeNemo wrote:
Let's see -
coordination and meetings had to be done to form Area Response Teams, Regional Response Teams, National Incidenter and put an Admiral in charge. Those are real easy things to do. NOT.

Day 1 - Congressmen, Senators and House Reps were called in for ideas on coordination. So we know Congress is involved. Day One folks, Congress got involved. So the President is not just acting and doing things on his own.

2800 vessels in the waters around the spills and where the spills are moving. Tankers pumping and siphoning oil out.

100,000 Coast Guard and National Guardsmen

60 thousand workers. OF all kinds.

Over 4 REGIONS, the Coast Guard and National GUard have been deployed.

Do you know what a Region is?

Dr. Stephen Chu, head of the Corps of Engineers closely monitoring anything BP is doing. SO they don't do it wrong. Like the first Top Hat was done wrong.

Monitoring of wildlife. People are cleaning off those birds and releasing them way up the coast.

All claims are going to paid by BP or President Obama is issuing an Administrative Order so they do pay.

And BTW, President Obama has publicly stated that he takes responsibility. He says "it's on him to make it right".

Never before have we had so much going on for a man-made disaster. Not even war has mobilized all the agencies and "things" the way this oil spill has.

Bush sure didn't do it. Never did capture Bin Laden, then Katrina. Oh yeah, Bush really deployed on Katrina, didn't he???? NOT.
Bush really did claim HOT PURSUIT but nothing came to fruition.

Blame President Obama all you want. THe logical people of the USA know he's doing everything possible.
Blame him, go ahead. SHows your ignorance of our governmental processes and our government strucutre, and not to mention....
from these entries.....What kind of parents are you all? Or are you all 18 years of age and know nothing but eating, texting, and game playing?


Looks like you've run out of plays from the liberal playbook. Care to spin again?

"IMAGINE...NO LIBERALS"

Posted by: cschotta1 | June 7, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

The real reason Obama is being blamed: He was elected by people who were sick and tired of the mendacity and anti-smarts campaigns by the Republicans, the rule since Reagan.

These people are not the ones who tend to hang out and make the 32nd post to a small opinion piece.

They are the ones who remember that the unofficial campaign slogan of McCain/Palin was "drill, baby, drill!"

So are the people who are complaining about the speed of Obama's administration bold confrontation of a major oil company, a major provider of good jobs for Americans, suggesting that McCain/Palin would be more cautious about oil rig safety?

Do these people believe that we could open up the last real bit of coastal Alaska wilderness to oil drilling without concern about safety--that the disaster of the Exxon ship and Prince William Sound was a one-only freak?

Who could get elected by this group of people with abnormally deformed memories without making some concessions to oil companies ever eager to drill more wells?

If we are fortunate, we will not get the national leadership we deserve.

Posted by: rgathercoal | June 7, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

We're mainly unhappy with him because he is a corrupt Chicago gangster / marxist, who hates America and, a his wife fammously stated "has never been proud of America". May he rest in pieces.

Posted by: jhr1 | June 7, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

People are unhappy with the Obama/Reid/Pelosi administration because they have screwed up everything they have put their hands on. The fact that the WaPo can't figure this out is simply more News Week analysis which is just about worthless if not harmful.

Posted by: Slager21 | June 7, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"What a bizarre sense of reality you inhabit, Scott."

I imagine that the lunatics in the asylum find the reality inhabited by the sane to be bizarre, too.

"You are just tossing out some flame here for the fun of it..."

Um, no.

"Do you protest a campaign built on notions of hopeful change in governance?"

No. But lefties in general, and Obama in particular, are especially guilty of promoting the federal government as a competent, effective, and indeed necessary intermediary between people and their problems. They will, as a result reap the wrath of the people when government fails to live up to that promise.

"If you are suggesting that Obama made some unique claims to "magic" if he were elected..."

I wasn't, which I suppose is a little unfortunate as it renders the rest of your post to be rather an irrelevant distraction (in much the same manner that Obama regularly attacks Republicans to distract attention from his own deficiencies). As I explained already, I am suggesting that Obama made grandiose claims about his ability to transform the world, both the political and the physical, claims on which he's had a hard time making good. You can hardly blame the public for either noticing or being disappointed.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat:

Recall last report (one in this newspaper) noted that EPA officials weren't present during the meeting. He claims BP was like "we got this." It's one thing to get an invitation, but is the man's expertise getting put to use? Thanks for the - June 2nd - NY Post link, but that doesn't offer any additional information beyond Cameron showing up in a conference room with a group of like-minded geeks. Can point out how that's repeated several hundred times a day in any random conference room, facilitated by any random government agency in D.C.

But, keep it real: why does it appear media-heads are pushing a narrative when the polling doesn't turn out a certain way re: the oil spill? Again, not dropping a Dem line or a GOP line on this. Not trying to score one for the partisan team here. Just saying: average folks have enough sense to see that the response effort is lacking. Call it for what it is, stop splitting it when it's already on the floor.

Posted by: wrathofmugen | June 7, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

A village in Kenya is missing its idiot.

21 Jan 2013 - Obama's last Day!

Dissent is patriotic.

Worst. President. Ever.

Anybody but Obama in 2012.

Posted by: get_it_right | June 7, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama in his own words: "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though," he says. Citation - Washington Post, 03 Jan 2007.

Posted by: get_it_right | June 7, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

In June 2008, Obama boasted with absolute certainty that his election would be the moment remembered by future generations when the water stopped rising and the planet began to heal, when the jobless would have jobs and the sick have care, and we would end the war and our image would be restored.

He promised to transformation not just the country but the world. We are the ones we've been waiting for. He campaigned in Europe before throngs of the starstruck as though for president o the World. "Citizens of the world . . .."

He was given a Nobel Price upon being elected, for having done nothing but making all the grandiose boasts.

We were told it made no difference that he had no qualifying experience; we were supposed to be overawed by and vote for him based on nothing but the self-evident greatness of the Man Himself. He ran an unprecedented image and celebrity campaign complete with manipluative personal iconography.

His primary opponent, now his Secretary of State, brilliantly lampooned his grandiose campaign and the adulation he sought to elicit.

But we are supposed believe now he is being held to unfair expectations he had nothing to do with creating.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 7, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to Obama, never have so many expected so much and been rewarded with so little. So much for your "community organizer," libtardds. His main qualification for the Presidency was "running his campaign" and it really shows now. I relish the day when even left-wing dingbats throw in the towel and admit they made a mistake by choosing this loser.

Posted by: get_it_right | June 7, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

LAUGHABLE, MR. SOCIALIST


Real leaders know to act NOW.

OWE-BAMA (D) -- "I'm gonna pay your bills! By STEALING MORE!"

Nov. 2 -- his TOOLS are DONE.

Posted by: russpoter | June 7, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

No Greg, as a Republican and living on the Gulf we are pissed that we see NO government help....none. Then Obama really gets after it and Slaps BP with a Bill for 70 million, that will show him. Except it shows the government is doing almost nothing! BP has spent over a billion on this, why hasn't the government matched dollar for dollar against BP and BILL THEM! they have the power. They spend OUR money freely, why not spend BP's????

Posted by: ben27 | June 7, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to wash his hands from big oil. Remove any cap on liability. Persue clean energy that comes from non oil industry. Such as higher gas milage and solar wind and stan meyers invention. Obama has a chance to be the greatest man in history if he does a few things right.

Posted by: oilless | June 7, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Its the way they handle EVERYTHING not just the spill they dont care about us its all for them HURRA screw the public and I am truly tired of this arrogant staeming piles we have to deal with they have been the most secretive evading lying administration EVER !! and its time to sweep the corruption out


we the American people (TRUE AMERICANS OBAMA!!!!)not someone hiding his past with taxpayers money and RUINING THIS COUNTRY !!!! evading every real question that needs to be asked and answered but have you ?? NO YOU HAVEN'T WHY BECAUSE YOU LIE OBAMA YOU DO LIE


TAKE BACK AMERICA PEOPLE

Posted by: yourmomscalling | June 8, 2010 3:30 AM | Report abuse

Coast Guard documents show that the Obama administration knew within a few days that the current leak could be larger than that of the Exxon Valdez.

Was the slow-footed administration too slow-witted to realize the oil would spread out over a large area?

In 2000 Clinton's administration released federal funds to 52 Arkansas counties affected by winter storms.

(See: https://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=7538)

Bush released federal funds to Louisiana BEFORE Katrina struck land.

I'm looking for proof that Obama's administration released sufficient federal funds to Louisiana parishes so they could prepare (in a TIMELY manner) for the oil coming ashore.

A stitch in time, saves nine.

Posted by: dumbreddown | June 8, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Obama should have taken charge and directed the fed govt reaction from day one. (not that he'd actually know what to do!) Instead he went on vacation, played golf and ate exquiste meals. When he returned he took off on campaign trips, more golf, more trips, basketball, golf again, Cinco de Mayo celebration,had a WH photo op with him sitting on the desk in the Oval office, hosted Calderone at the state dinner, golf, another vacation, workout at the gym, basketball game, McCartney concert, performance at Ford's theater and tonight hosts the Congressional picnic on the south lawn of the WH. His desire to party and play is more than obvious.

Posted by: grannysunni | June 8, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

US Environmental regulations have forced oil companies to move off-shore drilling platforms into deeper, more dangerous waters, making it far more difficult to fix problems and spills that might occur. BP's current spill is an unfortunate example of the unintended consequences of regulation. Spills or leaks from shallow water drilling platforms would be less challenging to correct.

Posted by: aliceaddertongue | June 8, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Oil spill Fix.

Make a clean cut to existing spill pipe. Take a large motorized ball valve, one opening is fitted with a open port expansion ring with barbed gripping on the outside, this end will slide into the pipe, and can be hydraulically inflated. Place open motorized valve into pipe with expansion ring facing pipe, command expansion ring to inflate this will seal the valve to the pipe, Command Motorized Ball Valve to Close this will stop the oil flow. Sensors can be placed on this valve to monitor back pressure.

By Will Green

Posted by: will1green | June 8, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Why does Admiral Allen of he Coast Guard, in his daily briefings, keep referring to the actions of BP with the pronoun"we", as though BP and the fed were acting in unison. Allen gives us BP's estimates in an accepting voice, as though he worked for BP. He doesn't give the appearance of an independant spokesman for the FED, and doesn't sound very convincing. Not a very effective communicator, I'm afraid.

Posted by: Maurice10 | June 9, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

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