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Presidential Lassitude in Louisiana

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British Debates

It finally dawned on the president and his team yesterday that the oil spill in the Gulf is a major crisis, but their 8-days too late response is still fumbling, bumbling and stumbling. The press conference today by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is sure to raise eyebrows if anyone listened closely. She remarked that two C-130s that are crucial to the dispersal of chemical dissolvent on the slick and which are capable of flying multiple msisins a day have been dispatched and should arrive shortly. Where, one wonders, have they been until now?

The MSM that jumped all over George W. Bush for failing to push aside the New Orleans and Louisiana officials in the aftermath of Katrina are allowing President Obama and his team an enormous pass for what has been a federal responsibility from the beginning. Secretary Napolitano’s wholly unnecessary reminders that BP is responsible and that BP and others will pay are transparent attempts to divert attention from the fact that, even though BP is at fault and indeed will be paying billions in clean-up costs and damages, this is a potential environmental and economic calamity, and the president and his team have been too busy denouncing Wall Street and capitalism generally to act with dispatch and purpose on this crisis.

The timeline is here. The slick had grown to 80 miles in length a week ago, and, as noted above, just today Secretary Napolitano announced that the military will send two C-130s to drop oil-dispersing chemicals at a rate of three flights per plane per day, with each flight covering 250 acres. We have to assume this is a very good thing, but we also have to ask why did it take more than week to get the planes assigned to the mission and why only two? What else is just now getting done that ought to have been begun a week ago?

There is no chance that the still-in-love-with-Obama MSM will be pressing the White House with the same sort of coverage and zeal for blame with which they pursued the Bush Adminstration in the aftermath of Katrina. But their complacency on the story like the president’s complacency on the crisis is so obvious it doesn’t even matter. The lassitude towards Louisiana and the Gulf Coast generally


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