After a busy weekend that included a Friday date night with Michelle where they attended a play at the Kennedy Center (second theatre visit in less than a week), and a golf outing on Sunday Obama took off on Air Force One and headed to the Gulf region to get a first hand report of.... how good a snow cone tastes in hot June weather?
Obama (L) poses with a local while enjoying a snow cone following a roundtable discussion with local residents on June 14, 2010 in Gulfport, Mississippi.One Big Snow Cone: Obama Proposes Multi-Billion Slush Fund
On the serious side of the trip news is that Obama proposes BP hand over several billion dollars to be put into an escrow fund to pay damages and claims as a result of the spill.
Sounds like a good idea on the face of it. Make BP pay and have an independent manager make sure claims are paid quickly. But we're talking about a Chicago politician here and a former community organizer. One of the few areas of experience he has is on how to corrupt a fund for good works and turn it into a political tool. Who will run the fund? Will it use former ACORN employees to distribute the fund and make sure it gets to the "right" (or should I say "left") people? Will "community" groups be eligible for grants from this fund to do whatever it is these groups do?
The opportunity for corruption is a very great concern. Especially so with this Chicago crowd running things.
Obama Appoints Environmentalist Responsible for Pushing Oil Drilling into Hazardous Deep Water as Member of Oil Spill Commission
Also on Monday, the White House announced that Obama has appointed Frances Beinecke as a member of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission:
Frances Beinecke is currently the President of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)...From 1974 through 1983, Ms. Beinecke worked as a coastal resource specialist in NRDC’s water and coastal programs, fighting to protect marine ecosystems from the impact of offshore oil and gas development and advocating for sound coastal land use.This is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse and reminds me of the appointment of Jamie Gorelick, chief architect of the wall that prevented law enforcement from talking to intelligence agencies in the run up to 9/11 as a member of the commission charged to find out what went wrong. Environmentalists like Beinecke were the reason rigs like BP's Deep Water had to be built further offshore and in deeper water where the difficulty of stopping a leak is much greater as we all can see.
Send Foreign Skimming Boats AFTER Oil Destroys Beaches and Marshes!
Monday also brought a hint that the Obama Administration might finally get around to accepting help from our friends overseas. Nearly two months into the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history with so much damage already done it seems a little late. And how long would it take that aid to arrive and be operational?
Meanwhile, the oil keeps gushing and more and more is coming ashore.