With Obama still inheriting residual blame from people rightfully pissed about the un-ending flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico via BP, the White House has gone on the offensive with fury in the past week. President Obama finally came with harsh words, wondering whose ass he should kick, but predictably offending a host of prudes. But if almost all Americans can unite under the banner of foul language and hating BP, there’s one surefire topic we can certainly all agree on: crisp, green, smelly American dollars. So Obama plans to make them pay.
Via the Washington Post:
President Obama will demand that BP establish an escrow account to compensate for Gulf Coast oil spill claims when he meets with company executives on Wednesday, White House officials said Sunday.
Obama is expected to announce the details of the escrow account request during an address to the nation Tuesday night, which he will make upon returning to the White House after a two-day trip to the region, senior adviser David Axelrod said.
Axelrod calls the amount “substantial.” Americans like hearing really big numbers — lawsuit settlements, fines, alimony payments, etc. — in accordance with levels of anger. BP might be off those charts. But hopefully it’s a start.
A new massive Rolling Stone feature about Obama’s role in the disaster is close to damning, blaming his failure to address leftover weaknesses from the Bush administration, and detailing the troubling bureaucracy surrounding the mess:
Like the attacks by Al Qaeda, the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency’s culture of corruption.
And it gets much worse. But as hard as those truths might be, many Americans are more concerned with moving forward than finger-pointing. Evening news Americans are not necessarily Rolling Stone investigative journalism Americans, and the money talk scheduled for early this coming week may very well be the political equivalent of a vuvuzela, drowning out all other conversation.