American Elephants

When Obama Hit The Panic Button: by The Elephant's Child

The Energy Tribune has an article by Geoffrey Styles, titled “The Panic Button.” The President’s decision to halt 33 exploratory wells currently being drilled in the Gulf  of Mexico will compound the economic damage to a Gulf Coast already reeling from the impact of the spill.

I suppose it was inevitable that we would arrive at the moment in the ongoing oil spill crisis at which the baby would be thrown out with the bath. That moment came at about 7 minutes into President Obama’s press conference on the spill Thursday, May 27. After announcing the suspension of offshore drilling in Alaska, the cancellation of planned lease sales for the Gulf of Mexico and Virginia, and the extension for six months of his administration’s moratorium on new drilling permits for deepwater wells, he ordered a halt to 33 exploration wells currently being drilled in the Gulf, excluding the two relief wells for the leaking Macondo prospect. Everything up until that point could be considered as reasonable, prudent, and expected responses by an administration faced with an unprecedented and still-unfolding environmental and economic disaster. But while stopping work on the 33 projects already underway might look like prudence to some, it could ultimately have economic consequences rivaling those of the spill.

Never hurts to get a little sensible response.

When Oil is Gushing From A Leak 5,000 Feet Down, Quick, Call In The Lawyers! by The Elephant's Child

Attorney General Eric Holder is visiting the Gulf region. He has announced that he has sent a team of attorneys, including the head of the Environment and Natural Resources Division and the head of the Civil Division to protect not only the people, blah, blah, but the taxpayers, the environment and the abundant wildlife, and especially to protect the president from any allegation that he has not been completely in charge right from Day One. (OK, I added that last part after ‘abundant wildlife’).  Holder added:

As we move forward, we will be guided by simple principles: We will ensure that every cent of taxpayer money will be repaid and damages to the environment and wildlife will be reimbursed. We will make certain that those responsible clean up the mess they have made and restore or replace the natural resources lost or injured in this tragedy. And we will prosecute to the full extent any violations of the law.

Among the many statutes Department attorneys are reviewing are:

—The Clean Water Act, which carries civil penalties and fines as well as criminal penalties;

—The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which can be used to hold parties liable for cleanup costs and reimbursement for government efforts;

—The Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Endangered Species Acts, which provide penalties for injury and death to wildlife and bird species; and,

—Other traditional criminal statutes.

There are a wide range of possible violations under these statutes, and we will closely examine the actions of those involved in this spill. If we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will be forceful in our response. We have already instructed all relevant parties to preserve any documents that may shed light on the facts surrounding this disaster. As our review expands in the days ahead, we will be meticulous, we will be comprehensive, and we will be aggressive. We will not rest until justice is done.

They just don’t get it, do they?  But it isn’t just the administration.  International Answer is demanding that the government nationalize BP.  (Never mind that BP stands for British Petroleum ). And the administration has asked James Cameron  to join the physicists and the engineering experts.  He is referred to as an expert in underwater photography.

Well, he may have just the skills that they need.  Those waterfalls pouring down from the floating mountains in the sky were pretty spectacular, with no plausible source for the continually flowing water.  If he can do that, why not stop a flow gurgling up from the seafloor only a mile down?

Dino Rossi Has Entered the Race Against Incumbent Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) by The Elephant's Child
June 1, 2010, 1:59 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Conservatism, Economy, Politics, Taxes, The Constitution

Here is Republican Dino Rossi’s announcement that he is entering the Washington State race for the senate seat now held by the hapless Democrat Senator Patty Murray. It would be really nice to have an effective senator once again. He’s a good man, and a good candidate.

The Democrats Just Don’t Want to Deal With The Budget! by The Elephant's Child
June 1, 2010, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Politics

Our frequent commenter, Ron Spins, is a genius at searching out appropriate YouTube videos. This one is too good to miss, if you happen not to read the comments. There are interesting things going on in the comments, and we enjoy your responses.

We know the Democrats have a strange relationship with money.  They do like to spend it;  they do believe that it is the government’s money;  they do like to find ways to increase the funds available for them to spend.  It’s the balancing bit that really gives them trouble — the notion that they should restrain themselves, that they should simply not do something,  that they should refrain from all those splendid things that they really, really want to do.

That said, this one provides a good laugh for a Tuesday.  That is if you don’t cry.

Building Peace, Small Steps at a Time. Without Obama’s “Peace Process” Efforts. by The Elephant's Child
June 1, 2010, 12:39 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Israel, Middle East, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

According to Jake Tapper of ABC News Service:

I’m told there won’t be any daylight between the US and Israel in the aftermath of the incident on the flotilla yesterday, which resulted in the deaths of 10 activists.

Regardless of the details of the flotilla incident, sources say President Obama is focused on what he sees as the longer term issue here: a successful Mideast peace process.

“The president has always said that it will be much easier for Israel to make peace if it feels secure,” a senior administration official tells ABC News.

The suggestion is that US condemnation of Israel would further isolate that country, and make further peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians even more difficult.

The senior administration official says that President Obama spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu three times on Monday. Mr. Obama pushed the notion that last night – as the United Nations Security Council met to issue a statement about the incident – was the moment when the US had maximum leverage, that the longer the statement was being debated the worse it would ultimately be for Israel.

Ultimately, as the statement was negotiated over night, the US succeeded in making it more neutral where other nations wanted it to criticize and condemn Israel.

What is important is for the U.S government to continue to support the Gaza blockade.  If the blockade is legitimate, then Israelis have the right to board the ships of those who refuse to respect it.  The Israelis have the right to defend themselves against attack.  Hamas is a terrorist organization pledged to the elimination of Israel.

Most Palestinians live in the West Bank, and Israel is quietly working to create the peace that will never be created by the so-called “Peace Process.”  Did you know that all this was going on?   I didn’t.  Perhaps it is best, going on quietly, without constant media attention.

ADDENDUM:  Obama apparently called the Prime Minister (President?) of Turkey to offer condolences on the deaths of their terrorist thugs.  Obama seems to clearly just not like Israel.  An odd position for an American President.

The Climate is Definitely Cooling. by The Elephant's Child
June 1, 2010, 11:54 am
Filed under: Energy, Environment | Tags: , ,

Speaking of the environment, Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper, have announced that they are separating after four decades of marriage.  Just thought you should know.

The Blame Game. The Head of MMS Was Assigned to Cape Wind Approval, Not Overisght of Drilling. by The Elephant's Child

The former head of the Minerals Management Service division of the Interior Department, Liz Birnbaum, was fired because she did not clean house at the agency. Obama has claimed a too close relationship between the agency and the oil companies they regulate.

Birnbaum acquaintances were angered by the ouster. They said that she had not been charged with cleaning house at the agency, but was tasked with handling the politically charged issue of siting the 25-mile “Cape Wind” wind farm off Cape Cod, the very issue where Secretary Salazar was most active before the Gulf spill. In April, Salazar ended a decade of regulatory battles by giving the project the go-ahead.

Liz Birnbaum’s focus on the Cape Wind project is supported by the fact that it was the first thing Salazar mentioned. “She helped us on issues of offshore wind in the Atlantic,” Salazar said. “All I can really tell the committee is she is a good public servant.”

Is Ms. Birnbaum a scapegoat?  We’re very big on casting blame in Washington right now, and somebody has to take the fall.

Oops! They weren’t “Peace Activists.” It Was a Terrorist Attack! by The Elephant's Child
June 1, 2010, 1:06 am
Filed under: Islam, Israel, Middle East, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

The above photo is of the new Olympic-size swim pool in Gaza City.  This is in an area that claims to be starved of water and building materials, and depends on humanitarian aid while they create a luxury lifestyle for some, while others suffer under a non-existent “mass humanitarian catastrophe.”

The Roots Club features steak au poivre and chicken cordon bleu, which seems somewhat disassociated from the media theme of desperate refugees suffering in terrible poverty in filthy camps.  It is all very confusing.

A flotilla of six ships filled with “peace activists” has been trying to break the embargo on ships arriving at the Gaza strip.  They claimed to be delivering “humanitarian aid” to the beleaguered refugees in Gaza.

The Israelis, desperately tired of Hamas attacks from Gaza, intended to inspect the ships to make sure that there were not new supplies of weapons from Iran for Hamas terrorists.  Any humanitarian aid would be promptly delivered to Gaza by Israel.

The Israeli Navy sought first to warn the ships off verbally, then sent in commandos armed with paintball guns.  The “peace activists” seemed to be largely European, and included a small child.  The commandos fast-roped down from helicopters, and the” humanitarians” aboard the ship pulled out clubs, iron rods, knives, slingshots with steel balls and grenades and assaulted the commandos One commando was thrown 30′ down to a lower deck with a severe head injury.

The paintball guns were ineffective in a pitched battle with what turned out to be not a humanitarian mission, but an Islamist terror ambush.  The invasion was backed by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, a radical Islamic organization outlawed by Israel in 2008 for allegedly serving as a major component in Hamas’s global fund-raising machine.  They are noted for their role in Islamist terror in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya.

Attackers nabbed one commando, wrested away his handgun, and started to shoot at the commandos, who radioed for permission to use their sidearms.  The soldiers started shooting at the terrorists legs to neutralize them.

It becomes clear that the Islamist strategy is, on the one hand theatrical events in which the Western media is to play the role of accepting the lies of Israeli violence against peaceful victims; while on the other hand the terrorist operation is intended to open a path through which Iran can supply Hamas terrorists with fresh supplies of war materials with which to attack Israel.

As Michael Rubin says, it is decision time for Obama.  “Iran has dismissed Obama’s call to unclench its fist.” Obama still wants to chat with the Mullahs, who simply are not interested.  Iran is nearing a nuclear-weapons capability, and the President of the United States seems intent on being the one who succeeds, at last, in applying “the Peace Process,” which is a fantasy beloved by the minions at the State Department for whom the goal is always — talks.

ADDENDUM: An article at American Thinker has pictures of the markets in Gaza, and a link to further pictures.  Not quite as we have been led to believe.

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