Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Randi Rhodes Newsletter for Wednesday June 16th 2010

Did you watch the President’s oil spill speech (video below)? If you didn’t, just let me put it this way: nobody comes out of an oil spill looking good. It wasn’t exactly a Winston Churchill “blood, sweat, and tears” speech. But then it’s hard to give a truly inspirational speech about mopping up an ugly mess. At least Churchill’s “we shall fight on the beaches” phrase would still have worked. But instead of repelling Nazi invaders, we’re stuck shoveling oily sand into garbage bags. Face it, no matter how necessary it is to scoop up globs of oil, it doesn’t feel like “our finest hour.”
The reviews were pretty negative. Frustration is building up under the surface like oil plumes. Things are going to get sticky when it hits the beach of approval ratings. To be fair, lefties wouldn’t be happy unless Obama was powering the TV lights by pedaling a stationary bike while he was speaking… and conservatives wouldn’t be happy unless he started drilling right then and there on the White House lawn. Of course, even when a speech by Obama can rightly be criticized, conservatives will criticize it wrongly. Moments after a speech in which the President vowed “We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes,” Fox News “analyst” Sarah Palin said “we haven’t heard that stopping the leak is his top priority.”

Maybe Sarah didn’t actually listen to the speech. Maybe she doesn’t know the meaning of the word “priority.” If the President fell a little short for once as an orator, at least he came through as a collection agent. Today BP has tentatively agreed to create a $20 billion fund to pay oil spill claims. “Tentatively” means that the details have yet to be worked out. And it also means that I’m sure BP was far from enthusiastic about it. If the $20 billion estimate is anything like the estimates of the amount of oil actually spilling, expect it to double several times. The actual cost, that is, not the amount BP is willing to put out. The plan would give BP several years to deposit the full amount into the fund so it could better manage cash flow. I just hope they’re better at managing cash flow than they are at managing oil flow. Today’s Homework

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