Monday, May 3, 2010

Spinning the Spill

I have resisted commenting on the oil mess in the Gulf of Mexico mainly because I (unlike the folks at The Weather Channel) do not enjoy commenting on the misery of others.

It took a little longer than I had thought, but the political spin on the Gulf oil disaster is now in full go mode. Let me make it clear that anyone that uses a disaster of this scope for political nonsense is wrong. 11 people are dead and the entire Gulf coast is threatened with a long term mess. Three-fourths of the US shrimping industry is out of business. Uncounted coastal cities and towns are facing the end of their tourism business for years to come.

The administration has appropriately ordered inspections of existing drilling to ensure the proper safety measures are in place. No leases have been canceled. No exploration stopped. They have slowed things down a little to see what happened and why. That makes sense. Look for the real cause and try to find a way to prevent it in the future. Common sense.

This should not be another political spitball game.

For some, sadly, it is.

The Democrats were first out of the gate with the predictable demand to stop all drilling. Several Senators including Bil Nelson of Florida have legislation pending. Environmental groups are screaming that this proves them right and so on. The Democrats shamelessly sought villains in the oil industry, the Republican party, Congress and so on. Lawsuits have already been filed. Some have gone as far as to suggest shutting down the entire oil industry with no thought to the overall economic impact.

The Democrats are as wrong as it gets. The first thing to do is deal with the immediate problem - shutting off the flow of oil. Not enough for these folks. They want a head on a platter. Any head on any platter. And they are using this disaster to forward their agenda. An agenda that has zero basis in the real world. One that would ultimately lead to extremely expensive gasoline and other energy as well.

Their agenda is what I call the "magic ball of energy," as seen on Star Trek. In other words, something that does not yet exist. They think that by simply making existing energy more expensive and difficult to purchase, their magic solution will simply materialize. Keep in mind, most of these folks not only dislike oil. They dislike nuclear, coal, natural gas, wind farms, hydro-electric and even fire. In other words, no reality present.

In the one, the Democrats deserve the "Knee Jerk Idiot Award" for their haste to politicize this. In this one, they were the first to try to use it. Thus, the first to be wrong, wrong, wrong. But they are not alone at the wrong way cafe.

Republicans took a little longer and at first, had the anticipated shouting back at Democrats with the tired and inappropriate 'Drill, baby, drill." There were the expected Katrina analogies and accusations of slow response. This even though most already knew this was not true. In fact, serious conservatives were taking a very cautious wait and see perspective.

Until today. Today it was put forth that the Obama administration may have let the well go for a while to create this disaster for political purposes. This first came from Limbaugh. Well, it was ignored because Limbaugh is a fat, stupid, pasty faced loudmouth paid to say fat stupid things to agitate people for the purpose of ratings. Much the same as Howard Stern. Pointless, but profitable.

Limbaugh ignores the acknowledged fact that BP pretty much lied about the severity of the problem, first reporting no oil spilled, then 1,000 barrels per day, then 5,000 barrels per day and now refusing to give any estimates. He boldly ignores the simple fact that the Coast Guard was on scene immediately and that the government has been working with BP from the start. It was just another ludicrous Limbaugh lie designed to agitate.

But then it got picked up by - of all people - Eric Bolling. In the traditional Republican "just something to think about" method, this got tossed out there for folks. I always thought Bolling was smarter than this. Sure, he is a conservative, but he has always been fair and honest about it. Until he passed along this Limbaugh lie.

For perspective, this is the same as the "9/11 Truthers" who claim the Bush administration was behind the terror attacks. In this regard, Limbaugh and Rosie O'Donnell are one and the same - fat, stupid loudmouths just making noise to get noticed.

Here is where the line gets drawn on this stuff. The spitball game of tossing hate at each other over politics as usual, well, that is the nature of the partisan nightmare we are trapped in. However, when the lives of millions are affected by a disaster of this scope, it is time to put down the flaming spitballs and look for the real problem, the real cause. And some real solutions not involving the next election.

In the case of 9/11 the real problem and the real cause is known. Radical Moslem terrorists who want to kill us simply because we exist. Not Bush or Cheney. As a Jew, I can tell you all about groups wanting us dead for no reason beyond our existence. This is real and it is now. Blaming President Bush was disgusting political opportunism at its absolute worst. Those who did (and some still do) need their mouths washed out with soap.

Same with the Gulf oil mess. Trying to find a way to blame President Obama is using the misery of millions for political gain. This is the same Obama that - despite his own party not wanting it - agreed to open up limited offshore exploration. And even though supporters of offshore drilling said it was not enough, it was more than they expected to get from him. In other words, he looked at the situation and realized that there was a way to move forward and was willing to publicly change his mind on the subject.

Now, those same supporters, sensing an opening for political opportunity are doing exactly what they lambasted O'Donnell and Michael Moore for doing. Exactly the same thing. And you know what - it is just as ugly on them as it was on O'Donnell. I tried to give O'Donnell a break on her comments, but she not only persisted, she got stupid (fire doesn't melt metal) and stubborn. So I consigned her to my moron shelf.

I am willing and and really trying to give Bolling the benefit of the doubt here. While I am typing, I am recording his regular show on Fox Business (Happy Hour; 5-6PM Eastern time weekdays) to see what he has to say. I really, really hope he will rethink this statement. In the interest of full disclosure, I like Bolling. I do not know him personally, and I think it is safe to say he and I disagree on many things. Bt he usually calls them honestly and based on fact.

This is how we are supposed to treat each other. I heard Bolling's comments earlier today and thought "Huh?" But I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and hear him out before slamming him around. In my opinion, he is a good guy who might have taken the Limbaugh lie at face value without any fact. Hopefully, he will rethink that.

That is what is missing these days. Nobody stops to actually listen and hear facts. It is all about innuendo and political spitballs. All about the next election.

The Limbaughs and Olbermanns do this all the time. While it is well within their rights to do so it is also wrong. It is irresponsible and intellectually dishonest. Yes, the First Amendment guarantees this right and I defend it, even though they are simply disgusting people. Olbermann is another stupid fat liar. Just like Rush. They are opposite sides of the same coin.

Both use explosive language and fiery rhetoric to literally demonize the other side. Olbermann and his ridiculous "Worst person" stuff is a prime example. In a world where people are brutally murdered for their tennis shoes, the worst person Olbermann has is one that disagrees with him. I guess in his universe the sun only rises at his command. One cannot help but wonder what color the sky is on his home planet.

Limbaugh the same. Just making it up and spouting it out.

I hope Bolling rethinks this and goes back to actual facts and not political sensationalism spouted from a lazy fat man hiding behind a microphone.

More than that I keep hoping that someone, somewhere will break this silly and ever more destructive cycle of political hatemongering. Me, I hope it is Eric.

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