People? We Have to Deal with People?
A preliminary grade for BP from the not-so-retired Admiral Thad Allen, the administration’s point man for the gulf oil spill. Allen said he isn’t sure any company could have done better than BP in capping the spill (Presumably this includes the whole golf ball, tire parts episode)
But, a big ole Fail on another front. As Allen explains it, BP is a “large global oil production company. They don’t do retail sales, or deal with individuals on a transactional basis…It’s something they don’t naturally have as a capacity or a competency…” We believe this is Coast Guard speak for BP has no people skills.
The president's top environmental and energy adviser Carol Browner pronounced the government run environmental cleanup in the gulf “very successful” but added “there’s still a lot of work to do.” This will come as a relief in the Gulf where residents fear with the leak plugged, they are already in the country’s rear view mirror.
Amen from Allen: “If you’re sitting in Barataria Bay (Louisiana) it’s still a disaster. If the folks have not come back to the panhandle of Florida, it’s still a disaster. “
Putting Your Mouth Where Your Money Is
Browner also revealed that at the president’s (belated) birthday party Sunday, “he’s going to be serving his guests seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.”
By Fall, They’re Going to Need An Answer
Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) went after the Obama administration for wanting to let the Bush tax cuts expire in January for the wealthy ($250,000 and up households). He argued GOP economics 101: Don’t raise taxes in a struggling economy. Asked repeatedly, Boehner would not say whether keeping those tax cuts in place simply adds to the deficit republicans are so eager to reduce. It may be time to posit the question: In arguing for keeping tax cuts for the wealthy, has the GOP found a potent election year issue or are they boxing themselves in?
Oh and He's Not Measuring for Drapes in the Speaker's Office. Honest.
Boehner also down played the GOP’s chances of retaking the House in November. "It's only August,” he said. “There are a lot of things that can happen between now and Election Day. Is it possible? It certainly is possible.”
Acknowledging her party will have a hard time selling voters on the 9.5 percent unemployment rate, Michigan’s term-limited Governor Jennifer Granholm admitted the November elections would be a “tough slog” for democrats.
Virginia’s unemployment rate is well below the national average. Republican Governor Bob McDonnell touts his party’s “fiscal responsibility,” and expects republicans will be “rewarded at the polls in November”.
To Be Continued
Former Solicitor General under George W. Bush Ted Olson defended last week’s ruling by a federal judge to strike down California’s ban on same sex marriage. Olson said he expects the case could go to the Supreme Court. He pointed out that at one time 41 states barred interracial marriages, and if those laws were still in place "the president's parents could not have been married."
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a social conservative with some political sway, suggested the ruling was classic judicial activism. “This is a flawed decision and is far from over” and he said conservatives “hope sanity will reign when [the decision] makes its way to the…Supreme Court.”
86 days until mid-term elections
145 more days until New Year's (just a head's up)
Rep. John Boehner (R) Ohio, on NBC’s “Meet the Press”
“I continue to believe that it is a challenge for us to take back the house, but we have candidates - more candidates than we've ever had. We have 430 districts with one or more Republican candidates in the race. We have the better candidates than we ever have. But we want to earn back the majority in order to renew our effort to go after a smaller, less costly, and more accountable federal government in Washington, D.C.”
Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) Michigan, on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“Well, I certainly am not Pollyanna about it. This is going to be a tough slog, because the situation on the ground of the country is so hard. So there is a lot of anger. There is a lot of anxiety. But the question is, do the people want to go back to the Bush kind of policies which, of course, started this whole recession to begin with.”
Adm. Thad Allen (Ret.), National Incident Commander, on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“What B.P. is not good at - they're a large, global oil production company. They don't do retail sales or deal with individuals on a transactional basis. Anything that's involved, that has been a real struggle for them. And I've had these conversations with Tony Hayward and Bob Dudley and the other folks. It's something they don't naturally have as a capacity or a competency in their company, and it's been very, very hard for them to understand. And that's the lens by which the American people view them. And that's where they need to improve the most.”
Gen. Ray Odierno, Commander of U.S. Forces in Iraq, on ABC’s “This Week”
“A strong Iraq will defend itself against interference from outside countries, and I think as we build a strong Iraq and as we continue to build a strong security mechanism and as we continue to help them economically and diplomatically, that will make it less likely of others from the outside being able to interfere.”
Ted Olson, California Prop. 8 Plaintiff Attorney, on “Fox News Sunday”
“This is an overwhelming record that supports the fact that individuals are being hurt, and it helps no one in California. And California has no rational basis for continuing this discrimination. When that gets to the Supreme Court, I think that will be persuasive to all of the justices on the Supreme Court.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, on CBS’ “Face the Nation”
“This is an activist decision by a district-level court who is interjecting his view over the view of not only millions of Americans who have voted on this issue, but literally the history of the human race. So this is far from over. And we hope that sanity will reign when it does make its way to the United States Supreme Court."