The man who electrified the nation with his speech at the Democratic National Convention of 2004 put it to sleep Tuesday night. President Obama's address to the nation from the Oval Office was, to be frank, vapid.
Unless or until BP's shareholders are forced by law to part with their assets to ensure the safety of the American public, shareholder interests will come first in the Gulf. Not the wildlife. Not the citizens.
BP has legal duties to its creditors and stockholders. Its duties to the United States are still vague and unknown. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 can be interpreted in various ways. So far, the administration hasn't tried.
The common wisdom is that excessive debt-financed spending was one of the causes of the recent recession, so the news that household debt is dropping is being celebrated as reason to believe we're on the mend. Baloney.
The president says the BP will pay for its mistake. He should act now to make sure. He should also order BP to set aside at least $5 billion for the cleanup, and create a new Civilian Conservation Corps to do it.
The only way to make sure no bank it 'too big to fail' is to make sure no bank is too big. If our current leaders fail to do this, you have every reason to believe it's because Wall Street has paid them not to.
The job numbers show that, in the short term, we need more stimulus -- especially extended unemployment benefits and aid to state and local governments. But the deficit crazies in the Senate last week shot that down.
I dislike singling out individuals for blame or praise in a political system as complex as the United States'. But I worry that the nation is not on the right economic road, and that some of our leaders still don't get it.
This is a spoiled, petulant and entitled corporation operating in a largely deregulated free market atmosphere. Are we to believe that it's acting responsibly and with the best interests of the Gulf in mind? Not a chance in hell.
Much of what Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner did in 2008 was presumably necessary. But the public has no way of knowing. The public doesn't even know who else the Fed has bailed out, or what entities it will bail out in the future.
The president should temporarily take over BP's Gulf operations. We have a national emergency on our hands. No president would sit by and watch a privately owned nuclear reactor melt down and the gulf spill is the environmental equivalent.