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Killian Obama is lying to you

The myth, as articulated yet again by Barack Obama tonight:

One place we have already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service. Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility - a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves.

The reality:

Some people still seem to think Republicans take a hands-off approach to regulation, probably because the party is always quick to criticize the burdens regulations place on businesses. But Republican rhetoric doesn't always match Republican policy. In 2007, according to Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, roughly 50 regulatory agencies issued 3,595 final rules, ranging from boosting fuel economy standards for light trucks to continuing a ban on bringing torch lighters into airplane cabins. Five departments (Commerce, Agriculture, Homeland Security, Treasury, and the Environmental Protection Agency) accounted for 45 percent of the new regulations.

...

The Bush team has spent more taxpayer money on issuing and enforcing regulations than any previous administration in U.S. history. Between fiscal year 2001 and fiscal year 2009, outlays on regulatory activities, adjusted for inflation, increased from $26.4 billion to an estimated $42.7 billion, or 62 percent. By contrast, President Clinton increased real spending on regulatory activities by 31 percent, from $20.1 billion in 1993 to $26.4 billion in 2001.

He'll keep telling the lie, but that doesn't mean anyone is going to believe him. He's in deep trouble.


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Comments (30)

Here lee ward let me save y... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Here lee ward let me save you the trouble.

Republicans were for less regulation before a black man became president.

"Over the last decade, t... (Below threshold)
914:

"Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility"

The last decade? Sounds like hes blaming Bush. Im shocked.

When Katarina Happend there... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

When Katarina Happend there were spills in the Gulf and they were cleaned up. Bush did not authorize drilling 4 miles down?

So how is it that there really was not an issue till the present administration came into power?

Maybe if you appoint people who know what they are doing to head agency instead of lawyers you get better results.


Speaking of lying, did you ... (Below threshold)

Speaking of lying, did you catch the whopper he told about running out of places to drill for oil on land? Has he never heard of ANWR???

Now Baron, I have not been ... (Below threshold)

Now Baron, I have not been in blogging as long as you have... but I'm a quick learner!

Loved the title of the post!

Of course, cap-'n'-tax has ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Of course, cap-'n'-tax has NOTHING to do with oil leaks or "energy independence" at all - it's about a new way to tax and bring more power to government, PERIOD.

The only regulations which might have helped in this case were the regular inspections (waived by Obama) and the environment impact statement (waived by Obama) - except that lifting the ridiculous regulations on offshore drilling would have eliminated the necessity for deep-water drilling (it's one mile down, not five, btw). Much easier to plug a well that's 100 feet down than one at 5000 feet, where even submarines fear to drift.

There is one other aspect of Obama policy, though: by taxing coal out of use, we will become MORE dependent on foreign energy, in keeping with his plan to bring America to its knees.

Come on, Baron. You're crea... (Below threshold)

Come on, Baron. You're creating a false equivalency.

Obama is referring specifically to the MMS - which you may remember under the Bush administration was revealed to have spent more time watching porn and having sex parties than enforcing regulations.

To attempt to prove Obama wrong about this *one* agency by citing Bush administration figures for the *entire* budgets of 50 regulatory agencies, is like comparing one apple to a basket of oranges.

In other words, fail.

True or false, Bush's doubl... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

True or false, Bush's doubling of dollars spent enacting and enforcing regulations represent "a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility - a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves."

"One place we have alrea... (Below threshold)
914:

"One place we have already begun to take action"

In Barry speak that means another takeover is in the works. This one is aimed at big oil because, well, they are eeeeeevill like Cheney. This idiot is trying to take over the whole country and build a utopian race of dumbbots to serve the almighty central gov.

What a waste of DNA.


True or false, Obama mentio... (Below threshold)

True or false, Obama mentioned the Bush administration anywhere in his speech.

True... (Below threshold)
914:

True

Actually, jim_x, the extrac... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Actually, jim_x, the extracurriculars at MMS were rather current, but that would mess up the narrative, wouldn't it? Obama felt confident enough to grant the waiver of impact statements after being in office only four months, why should we be surprised he waived inspections and even gave BP a safety award?

Does the fact that Obama received more BP-related money than any candidate in history have anything to do with this sweetheart treatment?

I apologize in advance for treating you this seriously.

No 914, the answer is false... (Below threshold)

No 914, the answer is false. Sorry, but that's the transcript. Go look it up yourself if you don't believe me. You know where The Google is.

And Jim Addison, sorry to m... (Below threshold)

And Jim Addison, sorry to mess up your narrative with facts, but the MMS scandal broke in 2008 - and concerned incidents dating back to 2002 and onward.

Yes, it is on Obama that he trusted the policies and people the Bush Administration put in place, and didn't review them. Since that is the policy he's pursuing now, that makes criticizing Obama for tougher inspection and enforcement especially ridiculous.

Does the fact that Obama received a completely underwhelming $70 thousand dollars - for an election campaign that was in the hundreds of millions - make a difference in his treatment of BP?

Well, let's see - are you proposing BP's donations to Bush made Bush soft on BP? Or do allegations of corruption only go against parties you don't like?

Since Bush actually created the policy and Obama simply didn't change it - wouldn't that make Bush just as guilty of such an infuence charge, if not more so?

Or are you suggesting that this miniscule sum for Obama's election campaign - during which BP gaveFor him...are now influencing him to regulate BP?

Does that make sense to you? If so please explain.

jim x - "Obama is ref... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jim x - "Obama is referring specifically to the MMS - which you may remember under the Bush administration was revealed to have spent more time watching porn and having sex parties than enforcing regulations."

Yeah and the IG's report of all that came out in Sept 2008. Where's obummers hand on the issue correcting those problems?

The ONLY thing related to MMS is hire two lackys that are now either quit or fired under a very large cloud.

jimx - "True or false, Obama mentioned the Bush administration anywhere in his speech."

Guess you didn't hear, or ignored the ref to "the last decade" when refering MMS.

Lemme see... in the last decade Bush held office for eight years (two of whcih the dems held the house and senate), obummer 18 months and slick wille 6 months.

Looks like obummer gets just short of 20% of the blame.

And considering the dimblb hasn't lifted the Jones Act as yet the number is going up.

jim x "Yes, it is on O... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jim x "Yes, it is on Obama that he trusted the policies and people the Bush Administration put in place, and didn't review them. "

"Nice" revisionist history you got there.

obummer didn't just trust previous Bush appointees.

He hired MMs officials and Salazar with the specific job of cleaning up problems at MMS.

Guess you also missed the part in his speech where the Interier Sec. got tossed under the bus.

Nice spin, but as you are want to say

Epic fail.

Certain comments in this th... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Certain comments in this thread ignoring Obama's obvious intent by claiming Obama never said "Bush" are emblematic of a stupidity so profound it evokes images of a person drooling and rubbing shit in their hair.

See what I did there, jim x? I said you're a drooling, rubbing-shit-in-your-hair moron without actually saying your name. Just like President Passive-Aggressive did with Bush last night.

That's "wont" to say, Marc.... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

That's "wont" to say, Marc.

Tip: Watch the unnecessary quotation marks. They make you look ignorant.

You're welcome.

Barry wouldn't know the tru... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Barry wouldn't know the truth if it walked up and bit him on the ass.

Wow, guys. So much elementa... (Below threshold)

Wow, guys. So much elemental logic fail, so little time.

BVO, I'll start with you. Let me lead you back through the original argument.

Obama said that the MMS had problems dating back the last ten years. This is - what do the kids call it nowadays? - factually true.

BVO then pulls out some budget information on the Bush administration for **50** agencies, and says that because the Bush administration increased the budget for all 50 total, Obama's statement regarding this one organization is a lie.

I point out the obvious - that BVO's recitation of statistics for *50 agencies* to disprove Obama's statement regarding **ONE agency** actually makes no logical sense.

BVO doubles down on the illogic in # 8. I point out again in # 10 that Obama wasn't referring to the whole Bush admin. Therefore, BVO's Bush statistics refute absolutely nothing.

In # 17, BVO stoops to personal insult in an attempt to gloss over his illogic. What he doesn't do is deal with his basic, elemental logical fail:

-> Trying to take Obama's valid and undeniable point about the MMS' dysfunction, and pretend Obama is using this to criticize the entire Bush administration

-> Trying to pretend that reciting Bush's budgets for 50 agencies refute this enlarged accusation that - once again - was not made.

This is what is literally known as building a straw man - creating a false argument, defeating that false argument, and pretending that defeats the actual argument.

See what I did there, BVO? I showed you again that you are entirely wrong, without resulting to childish insults. You can do things like that when you are relying on facts and reason. You should try it.

I mean, if I were you I'd be embarassed to call someone an idiot when they were refuting me - because that would mean I was using logic more poorly than an idiot. But there I go, using reason again.

In re: Marc:# 12 a... (Below threshold)

In re: Marc:

# 12 attempts to say that the MMS's issues were "current". I point out in # 14 that they were not.

In # 15 Marc apparently doesn't even read # 14, he just disagrees with it. He misses the part where I say:

Yes, it is on Obama that he trusted the policies and people the Bush Administration put in place, and didn't review them.

He then also says:

Guess you didn't hear, or ignored the ref to "the last decade" when refering MMS.

I didn't ignore it - Marc actually makes my own point. Obama was specifically referring to the MMS, and not the entire Bush administration. So to bring up stats for the entire Bush admin to refute this valid, fact-based criticism of this one agency, is to (once again) attempt to refute an apple by comparing it to a basket of oranges.

Then in # 16, Marc accuses me of revisionist history because:

obummer didn't just trust previous Bush appointees.

He hired MMs officials and Salazar with the specific job of cleaning up problems at MMS.

Guess you also missed the part in his speech where the Interier Sec. got tossed under the bus.

The one thing we do know is that the MMS' policies re: deep-sea drilling safety weren't changed.

So Marc, have it your way. Obama was trying to have the MMS changed, then the guy he put in charge of it failed, so he's firing that guy.

This accountability makes Obama look bad how? In your version of events he actually looks better than he does in mine.

If it is only a myth that c... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

If it is only a myth that conservatives think there is too much regulation, lets here some conservative readers of Wizbang call for more regulation. I don't believe its a myth and don't believe any conservative readers of Wizbang will say we need more regulation.

Less government and less re... (Below threshold)
914:

Less government and less regulation. Unless its regulating the uncontrolled nitwits in D.C. Then, more regulation and less of them.

Ms. S,I would like... (Below threshold)
SER:

Ms. S,

I would like to believe that more regulation of deepwater drilling would have prevented the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig catastrophe. However, from the reaction of our government, I have a hard time believing that they know how to regulate anything. Did you know that Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy, has won a Nobel prize? Does he look like he knows what he is doing? Does anyone in the Department of Energy look like they know what they are doing? MMS? Did the U.S. Government take the proper action after the spill? Ships from the Netherlands?, booms in Main, chemical dispersants, creating berms, etc.

It would be great to say that greater regulation would have prevented this accident and I would be interested in your ideas concerning the types of regulations that would have prevented it. I caution you, though. I am tired of people yelling for "more regulation" as though "more" were a type of regulation.

I believe that this will play out the way other industrial accidents have in the past. The company that suffered the accident will pay for damages - maybe even to the point of bankruptcy. Governments will add additional regulatory hurdles for companies to "jump over" and technology will evolve to move beyond what regulators could comprehend at the time of creating the regulations.

It would be great to say... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

It would be great to say that greater regulation would have prevented this accident and I would be interested in your ideas concerning the types of regulations that would have prevented it. I caution you, though. I am tired of people yelling for "more regulation" as though "more" were a type of regulation.

I agree that we need good regulation and not just more regulation. Canada as well as some other countries have a regulation that requires a relief well be in place before they start pumping the oil. If we had this regulation than the leak would have been stopped the first day.

I also think oil rigs should be outfitted with a black box similar to airplanes. It would record pressure readings and anything else that would be useful in determining the cause of a catastrophy. Part of the problem in determining what went wrong on the Deep Water rig is that much of the evidence was destroyed. The blockbox would keep it protected. I suspect that all oil rigs undergo some type of equiptment testing. Maybe the blackbox could also record when the tests were done as well as the test results.

Ms. S,I am somewha... (Below threshold)
SER:

Ms. S,

I am somewhat confused by the existence of a "relief well" that would have stopped the leak on the first day. I have worked for an oil company (however, it was 20 year ago) and my understanding is that a relief well is one drilled into the same reservoir. It would reduce the flow from the leak, but would not be able to "stop" the leak. In addition, if the relief well had been drilled from the same platform, would the explosion that destroyed the platform also damaged the relief well? Would that have resulted in two leaks?

Black boxes may be a good idea, as well. However, I would have to believe that the well production data was maintained in Houston (TransOcean HQ) or in one of BP's Louisiana facilities. There is too many data transmission capabilities to believe that all production data was maintained on the platform. I could be wrong (wouldn't be the first time).

Sorry,"There are t... (Below threshold)
SER:

Sorry,

"There are too many data transmission capabilities"

- My mother was an English teacher and she would be quite upset with me.

jim, are you just being obt... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

jim, are you just being obtuse?

Do you know what emblematic means? Read what he said. Yes, he is specifically castigating the heretofore unknown MMS. Then claims, "Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility."

Regardless of any circumstances specific to MMS, the idea that "over the last decade" regulation was somehow curtailed because Bush "views regulation with hostility" is absolute fantasy. Fantasy is too kind, it is a bald faced lie.

FWIW, the MMS budget increased from $240M in 2000 to $307M in 2009. That's a higher rate of increase than the eight years under Clinton. And the budgets under Clinton were flat until after he signed the RIK guidelines into law. Again, for an administration that viewed "all regulation" with hostility Bush had an odd way of showing it.

Now, back to "the MMS - which you may remember under the Bush administration was revealed to have spent more time watching porn and having sex parties than enforcing regulations." The lack of drilling accidents from 2000-2008 belies that point, but nevertheless the people involved were fired in 2007 & 2008. Under Bush. Does that compute? Those particular actions were investigated and punished prior to Obama taking office.

So as it stands right now Bush did more to alleviate dysfunction within the MMS than Obama.

Surely I jest, right? We can rest assured Obama and Co. were focused like a laser on improving drilling safety since 1/20/2009. Or not, since Obama's hand-picked head of the MMS - Liz Birnbaum - per the NYT, "had not been ordered to clean house at the scandal-stained agency, but to promote renewable energy. In particular, she was tasked with handling the politically charged issue of siting the 25-mile "Cape Wind" wind farm off Cape Cod, the MMS issue where Salazar was most active before the spill. In April, Salazar ended nearly a decade of regulatory battles by green-lighting the project." Hey Liz, how's the view under Obama's bus?

Gee, distracted from one of the agency's core functions by the Green Energy Boondoggle. But that doesn't fit the narrative, does it? Hostility to regulation over the last decade? That's the ticket!

Beyond that, since the cause of the explosion still isn't known it's a huge leap to assume that "MMS dysfunction" had anything to do with the current situation. What specifically - save for a philosophy that views regulation with hostility over the last decade - would a fully functional MMS have done to prevent the explosion?

The straw man and intertwined lie is a decade of regulatory hostility resulted in a federal regulatory agency becoming dysfunctional and corrupt for the first time in the annals of American history.

I mean, color me shocked. The agency charged with brokering mineral rights (of which the US government is the nation's largest owner) became a cesspool of corruption. Too cozy relationships with the industries they regulate and their Congressional overseers? Somewhere, there's a former Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac executive who skated with a multi-million dollar bonus laughing so hard he/she just shit their pants.

Teapot Dome. Go look it up yourself if you don't believe me. You know where The Google is.

Oh, and how about Obama's l... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Oh, and how about Obama's logic in punishing BP by enacting the cap-and-trade regime for which they've been lobbying ever since they cooked the scheme up with Enron in the '90's? That's like punishing Iran for pursuing a nuclear weapon by sending them a few ready-to-fire Minuteman missiles. Or throwing Brer Rabbit into the briar patch.

BVO, I'm not being obtuse. ... (Below threshold)

BVO, I'm not being obtuse. You are making connections which are not present in the speech; and then you are attempting to refute an argument that comes from those connections you created. Rather than what Obama actually says in the speech.

Is it true that the MMS was severely dysfunctional? Yes.

Is it true that the MMS was severly dysfunctional in particular over the last ten years - more so than in previous decades? Since watching porn and having sex parties instead of inspections weren't found before 2000, yes.

Is it true that BP should have been both more regulated, and had more enforcement of existing regulations? I think it's pretty clear. If nothing else, certainly the latter.

Is it true that a philosophy of deregulation made this more difficult? It seems pretty clearly so.

So we can agree that in stating this, Obama is stating what is actual fact.

For you to make the further statements that Obama is connecting this directly and solely to the Bush administration isn't in the speech. But let's say that were so, for the sake of argument.

For you to cite total budget statistics for more than 50 regulatory agences under the Bush administration as refutation of this point, doesn't work either - because budget size in no way shows either seriousness or effectiveness.

If that were the case, the Bush administration's increase in the MMS budget in particular would have resulted in **better** performance by the MMS, not worse.

Now, it is an absolutely accurate criticism of Obama for not immediately reviewing all of the MMS' inspections, procedures and personnel on taking office.

But, as delegation is a necessity of running a government, he put Liz Birnbaum in charge. At which point it became her responsibility to make sure things are running right and give notice when it's note. She didn't do this, and BP had a probably avoidable oilcano that's devastated the gulf.

So Obama fired her. You can state that as "being thrown under the bus" - to me, it looks like accountability. And making sure someone is in place who can do the job.

But that doesn't fit your narrative, does it?

Nor does Obama's plan to split off the money-taking part of the MMS from the inspection part.

But what really isn't clear to me is how Obama is presumed guilty of cozy relationships with oil corporations, but Bush/Cheney are presumed innocent. It would be much more fair - and accurate - to say that cozy relationships are always a danger between corporations and government. And that the only solution to this is for the public to make sure that government keep corporations in check.

But that would mean that government has a useful place in creating and enforcing regulation on business, to the betterment of the nation. And I'm certain that doesn't fit your narrative. Although I'd be happy to be pleasantly surprised.




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