But even more than the donations issue is the deal BP had with Obama's Department of the Interior:
I'm sorry, they did what now? Exempted BP from "intense regulatory scrutiny"? And, um, WHY did they do that? I am not the least bit surprised that the White House won't acknowledge any wrong doing there, leaving it to an "investigation." Nor am I surprised that Spokesweasel Robert Gibbs dismissed any connection between donations to Obama and the exemption. Of course, just absurd!! How can that POSSIBLY have influenced Obama in any way? Spare me.
One other thing: when a massive oil spill is occurring in the Gulf, wreaking havoc with the environment, livelihoods, and the LIVES of 11 oil rig workers, perhaps the Interior Department's Chief of Staff should not be out on a rafting trip. Oh, yes, it's true, as this Jake Tapper post details:
Though his agency was charged with coordinating the federal response to the major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Department of the Interior chief of staff Tom Strickland was in the Grand Canyon with his wife last week participating in activities that included white-water rafting, ABC News has learned.
Other leaders of the Interior Department were focused on the Gulf, joined by other agencies and literally thousands of other employees. But Strickland’s participation in a trip that administration officials insisted was “work-focused” raised eyebrows among other Obama administration officials and even within even his own department, sources told ABC News.
Strickland, who also serves as Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, was in the Grand Canyon with his wife Beth for a total of three days, including one day of rafting. Beth Strickland paid her own way, Obama administration officials said.
The Stricklands departed for the Grand Canyon three days after the leaks in the Deepwater Horizon pipeline were discovered. Ultimately, after the government realized that the spill was worse than had been previously thought, officials decided that Strickland was needed in the Gulf so Strickland was taken out of the Grand Canyon by a National Park Service helicopter.
One government official, asking for anonymity because of the political sensitivities involved, told ABC News that some Interior Department employees thought it was “irresponsible” for Strickland to have gone on the trip, given the crisis in the Gulf, which was fully apparent at the time he departed for the Grand Canyon.
Uh, gee, you THINK?? Yes, just a tad "irresponsible" for Strickland to go off on this rafting trip, especially since it was AFTER the oil leak began. I wonder how much it cost to go in and fetch him from his rafting trip? Just curious.
You know the government is on the defensive about this:
When asked about Strickland’s trip, Interior Department press secretary Kendra Barkoff told ABC News that “the federal government has been all over this issue from day one in a unified coordinated response.”
Barkoff said that Secretary Salazar deputized Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes “to be the point person on this issue and from the morning after the explosion from the time he got to New Orleans he has been working on this non-stop with the help of other people in the Interior Department as well as other agencies involved.”
An administration source says that Strickland’s trip to the Grand Canyon was work-focused. He was with the director of the National Park Service, Jonathan Jarvis, and Grand Canyon National Park Superintendant Steve Martin, the source said, and they discussed matters such as river flows, beach erosion, humpback chub, tamarisk control, overflights, safety, motor boats, and wilderness management.
Strickland is Salazar’s chief of staff as well as the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, having been confirmed to the latter position on April 30, 2009.
When asked during his Senate confirmation hearings as to which job would take priority, Strickland was very clear to the members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the Energy and Natural Resource Committee: “My first priority will be the responsibilities of this assistant secretary position, and we are staffing the personal operation of the Secretary with that in mind,” he said.
Wow. Okay, you know I have to say it: "Heckuva job, Strickland!" For the rest of the article, click HERE.
Thursday marks the attempt to cap one of the leaks on the ocean floor. It has not been tried at this depth before, and much can go wrong. Here's hoping that much goes RIGHT. The ocean is being devastated, the coastline is threatened, wildlife and fish are bearing the brunt, along with loss of jobs, and most importantly, life.
What a tragedy this is, and even more so if the exemption granted to BP by the Obama Department of the Interior could have prevented this devastation.
While I am talking about devastation, I must mention what is occurring in Tennessee. The loss of life, the destruction, the cost, is staggering:
My thoughts and prayers go out to those in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky, as well as Louisiana...