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Obama calls the cops on MMS in Oval Office speech

President Obama didn't speak long. Just about 15 minutes. But he got his points across. BP is footing the bill for the worst environmental disaster in the nation's history. Removal of the oil from the water, beaches and wetlands and their restoration to health is a must. Reviving the seafood industry is paramount. And there was his call for passage of a comprehensive energy and climate bill to finally ween the U.S. off fossil fuels. And these points were delivered with all the drama an Oval Office address can muster.

But the announcement of Michael Bromwich as the new head of the Minerals Management Service gives me hope that things will finally turn around. True, as Juliet Eilperin pointed out, "He has little past experience with oil and gas issues." But what Bromwich lacks in that arena he more than makes up for in turning around troubled organizations. After reading Bromwich's bio, I'm convinced the president has hired a cop. And a damned good one.

In 2002, Mr. Bromwich was selected by the Department of Justice and the District of Columbia to serve as the Independent Monitor for the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), focusing on use of force, civil rights integrity, internal misconduct, and training issues. He served in that position until 2008, when MPD was determined to have achieved substantial compliance. In 2007, Mr. Bromwich was selected by the City of Houston to undertake a comprehensive investigation of the Houston Police Department Crime Lab; the investigation was widely praised for identifying serious problems in some of the Crime Lab’s operations and providing recommendations for the Lab’s improvement.

Prior to joining [a] law firm, Bromwich served as Inspector General for the Department of Justice from 1994 to 1999. As Inspector General, he headed the law enforcement agency principally responsible for conducting criminal and administrative investigations into allegations of corruption and misconduct involving the 120,000 employees of the Department of Justice. He was best known for conducting special investigations into allegations of misconduct, defective procedures and incompetence in the FBI Laboratory; the FBI's conduct and activities regarding the Aldrich Ames matter; the handling of classified information by the FBI and the Department of Justice in the campaign finance investigation; the alleged deception of a congressional delegation by high-ranking officials of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; and the Justice Department's role in the CIA crack cocaine controversy.

MMS desperately needs to be reorganized. The cozy culture that grew between the regulator and the regulated must end. Read this inspector general's report issued last month to get an idea just how tight these relationships have been. With Bromwich at the helm, I'm more confident than before that the clean up of MMS will happen. No Senate confirmation is needed. So, he can get to work first thing tomorrow.

By Jonathan Capehart  | June 15, 2010; 8:27 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Next: Obama's address: grand setting, weak policies

Comments

Obama advising people to PRAY has got to be the most cynically pandering garbage he's ever spouted.

Posted by: solsticebelle | June 15, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

"After reading Bromwich's bio, I'm convinced the president has hired a cop. And a damned good one."

Well, it's that lovely.

Something tells me your gullibility threshold is set to messiah-lovestruck.

Posted by: thebump | June 15, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

"Obama advising people to PRAY has got to be the most cynically pandering garbage he's ever spouted."

No, I would say it was when he told his disciples that they were the ones they had been waiting for.

Posted by: thebump | June 15, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

He is not qualified. obama failed again and should have appointed an experienced gas/oil engineer. This shows that big government fails to use common sense once again.

Posted by: economy48 | June 15, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

A "damned" good one, Homer? Well, we're showing our 'gangsta'cred here just like the boss, ain't we? We gon' whup some m**f**in aks while we're at it? P--s on 'dem "full rules governing commentaries" and civilized discussions. Da boyz iz in da hood!

Posted by: chatard | June 15, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart, I hope you're right. Too bad a few more "cops" aren't hired for other departments. Did Bush leave any sort of government in place at all when he left? Nothing is working and it's costing taxpayers money.

Posted by: MNUSA | June 15, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I am convinced to Capehart.

The country does NOT need any more MMS regulators in bed with Oil companies. The country needs someone in charge that will make sure the laws and the regulations are been enforced.

There is a new Sheriff in town at the MMS and the wild parties that they have been having with the Oil Companies are over.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | June 15, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

At this point, it looks like the jewish lawyer from Harvard Law, replacing another jewish lawyer from Harvard Law - both with no oil or gas experience...will "investigate" people trying to make domestic energy supply and investigate those trying to regulate those making energy. And everyone will shut down - with the logic that it is CYA time and the safest thing is to do nothing.

Result? Less domestic energy, tens of thousands laid off, an industry paralyzed by verbatim enforcement of even conflicting regulations.

Obama Socialism in action.
Never waste the opportunity any crisis presents to advance your ideology!
The crisis is secondary to the political opportunity.
And so much more can be done if only the leak continues and people turn to the Wise Federal Government as the answer to all matters.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | June 16, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

At this point, it looks like the jewish lawyer from Harvard Law, replacing another jewish lawyer from Harvard Law - both with no oil or gas experience...will "investigate" people trying to make domestic energy supply and investigate those trying to regulate those making energy. And everyone will shut down - with the logic that it is CYA time and the safest thing is to do nothing.

Result? Less domestic energy, tens of thousands laid off, an industry paralyzed by verbatim enforcement of even conflicting regulations.

Obama Socialism in action.
Never waste the opportunity any crisis presents to advance your ideology!
The crisis is secondary to the political opportunity.
And so much more can be done if only the leak continues and people turn to the Wise Federal Government as the answer to all matters.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | June 16, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Let' hope that Bromwich is way better than Obama's pick last year to head the MMS. Now that Obama is having to replace his own people I would hope that the "blame Bush" era is behind us, but not counting on it yet.

Posted by: doug7772 | June 16, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing sometimes to see what good ethics and honesty can do for a persons career. Good choice I think. He comes with a full spectrum BS meter.

Posted by: Nymous | June 16, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Again we hear about America needing to regain technology leadership! Why then is science being removed from public education? A friend's 6th grade daughter came home with a report card that said they had not done enough science in school to warrant a grade in that subject. Is that what we want for our kids? Is that how we regain technology leadership? Instead of giving up, we started a business that brings back the fun in science; challenging and engaging kids in the hands-on science basics we discovered when we were kids. Now's the time to get kids excited about science as a career. Just find out what interests them and keep them asking questions.

Posted by: BuildingNerds | June 16, 2010 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Jon-Jon, stuff those rose colored glasses back in your man bag.

"And there was his call for passage of a comprehensive energy and climate bill to finally ween the U.S. off fossil fuels."

Because Obama says something, and Congress might pass a piece of paper, this would "finally ween" the U.S. off fossil fuels. You are going to the grave in a hearse powered by fossil fuel, I can assure you, no matter what Congress does or what Obama says.

There is NO credible analysis anywhere --- if there is, and I am not talking about stream of consciousness dreams from environmental whackos, please cite it --- showing so-called green or alternative energy displacing fossil fuels. Wind and solar could perhaps SOMEDAY provide as much as 10% of our total energy requirements.

Now you can go on dreaming that you'll be taken to your last resting place by a vehicle with a windmill on top, but it ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | June 16, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

It's ABOUT DANG TIME OBAMA DID SOMETHING!!! Too bad it took something of this magnitude to make him wake up.

Read it and weep right wing, no big-gov, fox in the hen house Bush/Cheney a** lickers...there's a new Sheriff in town!

Oh, and get your GD rubber gloves and boots on and get your sorry fat redneck a**es down to the coast to clean up your oil industry loving mess, our Government shouldn't spend a penny on you Red state idiots..

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | June 16, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

While the guy sounds qualified as an investigator and administrator, and is probably a decent guy personally, I don't see how you can call him qualified.

MMS is not an investigatory agency.
They do not arrest people.
Having an IG (lawyer) in charge of people that decide technical questions does not seem the best fit.

Posted by: Bailers | June 16, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob Obama and his three ring circus of incompetents issued drilling permits for that rig BUT NO SAFETY INSPECTION. Barry the inept bungler owns the problem just as he owns MMS: it under his hand-picked cabinet. This is complete and utter lack of leadership by Barry.

If after 16 dismal months in office this headless chicken in the White House still does not have control of his own administration, it shows Barry the incompetent boob of a boob is unfit to lead this nation.

Miserable failure Obama

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 16, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Typical regulator: no actual knowledge but good at blaming. Why is our Government and citizenry so enamored with regulations and regulators?

Posted by: bruce18 | June 16, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Well, Mr. Capeheart -- someone called you homer in a post - one of the comments by President Obama hiring a top cop - but they wanted him to hire an oil man to do the job, that would be a wrong move -- all of them are in bed together. I'm glad our President was smart enough to know that.

Posted by: phyllisr5 | June 16, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Only a bunch of really, really "smart" people from Ivy League schools would think that someone with no background whatsoever in the petroleum industry could police it. How will he have the least idea what they're even talking about?
This is truly pathetic.

Posted by: parkbench | June 17, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Here is a link to a National Public Radio article on MMS involvement with prostitution in 1990!!!!
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94525281

Posted by: kay_sieverding | June 17, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

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