Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Welcome to OWOF, Obama Wheel of Fortune: The Oil Spill Crisis of 2010

Not having an actual crystal ball, political analysts told us the health care reform battle would define President Barack Obama's presidency followed by the economy, issues not discussed much lately.

But everyone get out your Ouija Boards. It's becoming clearer each day that it's not health care nor the economy, stupid, it's the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that will shape this president's future. Both Republicans and Democrats will make this oil spill a crucible of 2012 and November 2010. Republicans will say Obama ruined America and didn't act swiftly. Democrats will drive the "If Republicans didn't want us to Drill-Baby-Drill" bus, and then pull out the GOP's dirty, oil-tango laundry. As for Obama, some of his progressive supporters also clamor to push him over a cliff, but they never understood who they voted for anyway.

This Deepwater Horizon spill is a man-made disaster that illustrates the arrogance of corporations that neglect safety, and it is raining misfortune on not only the people of the Gulf but also the first African-American POTUS. So, let's focus on a new game, Obama Wheel of Fortune! Like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, this game is popular. Anyone can play, but average Americans will gain little from doing so.

Today's episode of OWOF begins with the president meeting BP officials at the White House today on the heels of a speech to the nation last night in which he called on God but earned thumbs down from political analysts, reporters, pundits, and some Gulf Coast residents also.

The breaking news from today's meeting says "BP agrees to $20B fund for spill victims." In Obama's speech to the nation last night, he vowed to make BP pay and also said the Gulf oil spill spells end to our oil addiction.

But what about this $20 billion? It's great to hear that figure, although I think the president said $25 billion before the meeting. Nevertheless, can we be assured the wetlands, Gulf Coast environment, and the people affected directly by the oil spill will see that whole figure, touch the money? Fact-checking last night's speech, the AP says:
In assuring Americans that BP won't control the compensation fund for Gulf oil spill recovery, President Barack Obama failed to mention that the government won't control it, either.

That means it's anyone's guess whether the government can, in fact, make BP pay all costs related to the spill.
But here's another kicker. We should be concerned about where that money goes even if the government, especially some local governments, get control. Corruption in the south and other parts of the nation runs rampant, according to this Daily Beast article, "The Most Corrupt States."

I was both happy and surprised that Louisiana wasn't number one. However, it is #19 of 51 locales.

Look for updates later on Obama's BP meeting.

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