Obama’s golf game tees up image debate

By Alexander Bolton

President Barack Obama is facing the same dilemma several of his Republican predecessors faced during times of national crisis: whether to golf.

His love of the game is clear from his willingness to play over successive weekends, even in sweltering heat.

But he has come under criticism from Republicans — and some in the media — for playing the country-club sport while millions of gallons of oil spew into the Gulf of Mexico.

Obama has played at least seven times since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on April 20, according to a compilation of media reports. He has reportedly golfed a total of 39 times since his inauguration, though some rounds came during vacations.

“Very seldom do people look at a president golfing with admiring eyes,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University. “Like [Sen.] John Kerry [D-Mass.] with windsurfing and Obama with golfing, there’s a feeling that it is an Ivy League, country-club activity.”

Obama’s golf game became a political issue this week when Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, called on the president to quit playing until oil stopped gushing into the Gulf.

A White House spokesman pointed out that the president, given the demands of an all-consuming job, deserved a little time to himself.

“I don’t think that there’s a person in this country that doesn’t think that their president ought to have a little time to clear his mind,” said Bill Burton.

Republicans used Kerry’s fondness for windsurfing to deadly political effect in 2004, when he was the Democratic presidential nominee. GOP strategists portrayed Kerry as a member of the elite and a politician who followed the prevailing political winds.

Some in the GOP have been leery of following Steele’s lead in criticizing Obama for how he spends his weekends. Sens. George LeMieux of Florida and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, two Republicans who have blasted Obama’s response to the spill, declined to take issue with his golfing during the crisis.

“He needs to be more focused on the Gulf of Mexico; it’s not just tar balls, it’s sheets of oil that have been washing ashore,” said LeMieux. “But I’ll leave the president’s personal time to him.”

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) has likewise criticized the president’s handling of the Gulf disaster, saying he needs to have “a higher command-and-control operation.”

But Nelson said he is not concerned with how much time Obama plays golf.

Said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who frequently disagrees with Obama on policy matters: “It’s a low blow.”

Other Gulf Coast lawmakers, including Rep. Allen Boyd (D), who represents the Florida panhandle, and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), said the same.

Democrats were more outspoken about commanders in chief who golfed when Republicans controlled the White House, according to presidential historians.

GOP President Dwight Eisenhower loved golf so much that he made several trips to Augusta, Ga., site of the Masters Golf Tournament, where he had a house on the course.

“Eisenhower was criticized by Democrats who didn’t have a great deal to criticize him for as being asleep at the controls and spending too much time on the golf course,” said historian John Sayle Watterson, author of The Games Presidents Play: Sports and the Presidency.

Eisenhower’s golf habit led to a confrontation with Congress when his staff tried to trap and remove squirrels digging up a putting green on White House grounds.

Former Sen. Richard Neuberger, an Oregon Democrat, called on Eisenhower to leave the squirrels alone and helped set up a Save the White House Squirrels Fund. Eisenhower eventually backed down.

Former President Gerald Ford, another Republican, came under attack from Democrats and the media for taking a golfing trip to California at a time when the inflation rate was rapidly rising, threatening the economy.

“He was criticized for being away at a critical time,” said Watterson.

Former President John F. Kennedy and his aides were keenly aware of the public image golf projected. They used to joke about the amount of time Eisenhower spent on the links.

After Kennedy won the White House in 1960, he initially tried to keep his golf playing from the public eye.

Obama often plays at Andrews Air Force base, where public access is restricted. When he plays at other courses, he often deploys protective foursomes ahead of and behind his golfing party so bystanders have a tough time catching a glimpse of him mid-hack.

The president also holds his scorecards back from public scrutiny, perhaps fearful that an appalling score may raise questions about his prowess in other matters.

Obama was roundly mocked on the campaign trail in 2008 when he bowled an atrocious 37 out of a possible 300 while on the stump in Pennsylvania — though he did not finish the whole game.

Tim Joyce, a columnist for RealClearSports.com, said that sports can become a metaphor for a president’s governing style.

Former President Jimmy Carter’s reputation as a micro-manager was cemented after it emerged he had sign-off authority over who used the White House tennis courts.

Carter’s near-collapse from exhaustion during a Maryland 10K race became a troubling symbol of a presidency that seemed to be running out of steam.

Joyce noted that former President George H.W. Bush spent much of his presidency fighting the public perception that he was a pampered East Coast establishment elite.

To avoid fueling his country-club reputation, Bush would play tennis games at an indoor court in the Senate Hart Office Building, away from prying eyes and cameras.

Former President George W. Bush understood the potential public-relations fallout of playing golf during a time of national crisis. Bush said it would send the “wrong signal” to continue playing golf while American soldiers were fighting and dying in Iraq, and vowed not to.

He said he decided to quit after the bombing of United Nations headquarters in Baghdad in August 2003. But liberal critics shamed him when they found video of him on the green two months after making his promise.

But Bush seemed well aware of the sport’s image during a time of crisis.

“During the BP spill, it may have been wise to avoid a couple rounds here and there,” said Brinkley.

“Every elected official must be mindful of how things that seem a part of everyday life will be looked at differently during times of crisis,” said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat from Ohio, who ran for president in 2008.

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Obama zones out

By Mark Steyn

What do Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and BP have in common? Aside from the fact that they’re both Democratic Party supporters.

Or they were. Gen. McChrystal is a liberal who voted for President Obama and banned Fox News from his headquarters TV. That may at least partly explain how he became the first U.S. general to be lost in combat while giving an interview to Rolling Stone. They’ll be studying that one in war colleges around the world for decades. The managers of BP were unable to vote for Mr. Obama, being, as we now know, the most sinister, duplicitous bunch of shifty Brits to pitch up offshore since the War of 1812. But, in their “Beyond Petroleum” marketing and beyond, they signed on to every modish nostrum of the eco-left. Their recently retired chairman, Lord John Browne, was one of the most prominent promoters of “cap-and-trade.” BP was the Democrats’ favorite oil company. It was to Mr. Obama what TotalFinaElf was to Saddam Hussein.

But what do Gen. McChrystal’s and BP’s defenestrations tell us about the president of the United States? Mr. Obama is a thin-skinned man and, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, White House aides indicated that what angered the president most about the Rolling Stone piece was “a McChrystal aide saying that McChrystal had thought that Obama was not engaged when they first met last year.” If finding Mr. Obama “not engaged” is now a firing offense, who among us is safe?

Only the other day, Sen. George LeMieux of Florida attempted to rouse the president to jump-start America’s overpaid, overmanned and oversleeping federal bureaucracy and get it to do something about the oil debacle. There are 2,000 oil skimmers in the United States; weeks after the spill, only 20 of them are off the coast of Florida. Seventeen friendly nations with great expertise in the field have offered their own skimmers; the Dutch volunteered their “superskimmers.” Mr. Obama turned them all down. Raising the problem, Mr. LeMieux found the president unengaged and uninformed. “He doesn’t seem to know the situation about foreign skimmers and domestic skimmers,” the senator reported.

He doesn’t seem to know, and he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t care. “It can seem that at the heart of Barack Obama’s foreign policy is no heart at all,” Richard Cohen wrote in The Washington Post last week. “For instance, it’s not clear that Obama is appalled by China’s appalling human rights record. He seems hardly stirred about continued repression in Russia. … The president seems to stand foursquare for nothing much.

“This, of course, is the Obama enigma: Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?”

Gee, if only your newspaper had thought to ask those fascinating questions oh, say, a month before the Iowa caucuses.

And even today, Mr. Cohen is still giving President Whoisthisguy a pass. After all, whatever he feels about “China’s appalling human rights record” or “continued repression in Russia,” Mr. Obama is not directly responsible for it. Whereas U.S. and allied deaths in Afghanistan are happening on his watch – and the border villagers killed by unmanned drones are being killed at his behest. Mr. Cohen calls the president “above all, a pragmatist,” but with the best will in the world, you can’t stretch the definition of “pragmatism” to mean “lack of interest.”

“The ugly truth,” wrote Thomas Friedman in the New York Times, “is that no one in the Obama White House wanted this Afghan surge. The only reason they proceeded was because no one knew how to get out of it.”

Well, that’s certainly ugly, but is it the truth? Afghanistan, you’ll recall, was supposed to be the Democrats’ war, the one they supposedly supported, the one from which the neocons’ Iraq adventure was an unnecessary distraction. Granted the Dems’ usual shell game – to avoid looking soft on national security, it helps to be in favor of some war other than the one you’re opposing – candidate Obama was an especially ripe promoter. In one of the livelier moments of his campaign, he chugged down half a bottle of Geopolitical Viagra and claimed he was hot for invading Pakistan.

Then he found himself in the Oval Office, and the dime-store opportunism was no longer helpful. But, as Mr. Friedman puts it, “no one knew how to get out of it.” The “pragmatist” settled for “nuance.” He announced a semisurge plus a date for withdrawal of troops to begin. It’s not “victory,” it’s not “defeat,” but rather a more sophisticated melange of these two outmoded absolutes: If you need a word, “quagmire” would seem to cover it.

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, the Taliban and the Pakistanis on the one hand and Britain and the other American allies heading for the checkout on the other all seem to have grasped the essentials of the message, even if Mr. Friedman and the other media Obammyboppers never quite did. Mr. Karzai is now talking to Islamabad about an accommodation that would see the most viscerally anti-American elements of the Taliban back in Kabul as part of a power-sharing regime. At the height of the shrillest shrieking about the Iraqi “quagmire,” was there ever any talk of hard-core Saddamite Baathists returning to government in Baghdad?

To return to Mr. Cohen’s question: “Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?” Well, he’s a guy who was wafted ever upward from the Harvard Law Review to the state legislature to the U.S. Senate without ever lingering long enough to accomplish anything. “Who is this guy?” Well, when a guy becomes a credible presidential candidate by his mid-40s with no accomplishments other than a couple of memoirs, he evidently has an extraordinary talent for self-promotion, if nothing else. “What are his core beliefs?” It would seem likely that his core belief is in himself. It’s the “nothing else” that the likes of Mr. Cohen are belatedly noticing.

Wasn’t he kind of unengaged by the health care debate? That’s why, for all his speeches, he could never quite articulate a rationale for it. In the end, he was happy to leave it to the Democratic Congress and, when his powers of persuasion failed, let them ram it down the throats of the American people through sheer parliamentary muscle.

Likewise, on Afghanistan, his attitude seems to be “I don’t want to hear about it.” Unmanned drones take care of a lot of that, for a while. So do his courtiers in the media. Did all those hopey-changers realize that Mr. Obama’s war would be run by George W. Bush’s defense secretary and general? Hey, never mind: Moveon.org has quietly disappeared its celebrated “General Betray-us” ad from its website. Cindy Sheehan, the supposed conscience of the nation when she was railing against Mr. Bush from the front pages, is an irrelevant kook unworthy of coverage when she protests Mr. Obama. Why, a cynic might almost think the “antiwar” movement was really an anti-Bush movement and the protesters really don’t care about dead foreigners, after all. The more things “change you can believe in,” the more they stay the same.

Except in one respect. There is a big hole where our strategy should be. It’s hard to fight a war without war aims, and in the end, they can only come from the top. It took the oil spill to alert Americans to the unengaged president. From Moscow to Tehran to the caves of Waziristan, our enemies got the message a lot earlier – and long ago figured out the rules of unengagement.

Judge Faces Death Threats After BP Gulf Oil Drilling Moratorium Ruling

New Orleans–While many Americans undoubtedly agree with the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman to overturn the Obama administration’s moratorium on deep water drilling, not everyone is happy. In fact, the Judge is now receiving death threats in the aftermath of his bold ruling.

Last night, Feldman served as a celebrity judge at a cooking contest at a school gymnasium in Uptown New Orleans. Due to the threats, Feldman was accompanied by a federal marshal security team.

It is a sad indictment of our society today that a judge with such a sterling record of integrity and service to his country would be subject to such threats. Feldman was appointed to the federal bench by President Reagan in 1983. Today, he is in the eye of a political hurricane unlike anything he has ever experienced.

In issuing his ruling, Feldman said that the moratorium was faulty because there was no “rational connection between the facts found and the choice made.” While there is often debate about the merits of judicial decisions, seldom does the criticism focus on the integrity of the judge. Right after he issued the ruling, Feldman came under attack as a tool of the oil industry. Media outlets reporters noted that the Judge held stock in oil and gas companies and implied that his decision was based on his own personal financial considerations. Such a personal attack is unfair and completely unwarranted, especially for Feldman, a distinguished judge known for his commitment to the law and a jurist who has earned the praise of people throughout the legal community.

Much of the sensational reporting on Feldman’s investments was based on outdated information. The Judge was blasted for owning stock in Transocean, Ltd and Halliburton, two of the major companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Feldman owned those stocks in 2008; however, he sold those shares long before issuing his ruling this week. In fact, this updated information will be released in the next report on his stock holdings.

If Feldman held financial interests in any of companies involved in the lawsuit or the Deepwater Horizon rig, he would not have been allowed the take the case. The 5th District Court uses a sophisticated computer system to check whether judges have a conflict of interest in any legal proceeding. This system automatically determines whether a judge needs to be recused from a particular case. In this lawsuit, Feldman was allowed to take the case because he did not own any stock related to the parties involved.

The attack was not based on facts, but it was a character assassination as a way to mitigate the influence of the scathing decision. If anyone should be questioned, it is the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who disregarded the advice of his own scientific experts in declaring the deep water drilling moratorium. In the wake of the Judge’s ruling, Salazar said he would issue a “refined” moratorium, ask for a stay of the ruling and appeal the decision. Some legal experts predicted the preliminary injunction would lead the government to compromise on the moratorium. In fact, Salazar decided to be confrontational instead of working with business interests in Louisiana to find common ground.

The lawsuit was filed against the Department of Interior by more than a dozen companies involved in offshore drilling operations, led by Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC. Feldman found that the Obama administration did not base the moratorium on solid facts and made a sweeping decision that was not justified. The Judge noted that just because the BP well was beset with problems and resulted in a massive oil spill, there is no reason to believe other wells would have similar problems. “If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are? Are all airplanes a danger because one was? All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All trains? All mines? That sort of thinking seems heavy-handed, and rather overbearing,” Feldman wrote.

Feldman is right on target with his ruling, which is why a constant stream of people thanked him last night for his decision. The final outcome remains in doubt, but Feldman exposed the faulty reasoning that the Obama administration used in banning deepwater drilling. The suspension of drilling in the 33 wells 500 feet or more below the surface could have a major impact on Louisiana’s economy. According to some estimates, the ban could cost the state of Louisiana 50,000 jobs or more. In a horrible economy, these are good paying jobs that no state can afford to lose.

Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?

By THOMAS SOWELL

When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.

Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler’s rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

“Useful idiots” was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive.

In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.

The president’s poll numbers are going down because increasing numbers of people disagree with particular policies of his, but the damage being done to the fundamental structure of this nation goes far beyond particular counterproductive policies.

Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.

And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Many among the public and in the media may think that the issue is simply whether BP’s oil spill has damaged many people, who ought to be compensated.

But our government is supposed to be “a government of laws and not of men.”

If our laws and our institutions determine that BP ought to pay $20 billion — or $50 billion or $100 billion — then so be it.

But the Constitution says that private property is not to be confiscated by the government without “due process of law.”

Technically, it has not been confiscated by Barack Obama, but that is a distinction without a difference.

With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.

If you believe that the end justifies the means, then you don’t believe in constitutional government.

And, without constitutional government, freedom cannot endure. There will always be a “crisis” — which, as the president’s chief of staff has said, cannot be allowed to “go to waste” as an opportunity to expand the government’s power.

That power will of course not be confined to BP or to the particular period of crisis that gave rise to the use of that power, much less to the particular issues.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt arbitrarily took the United States off the gold standard, he cited a law passed during the First World War to prevent trading with the country’s wartime enemies. But there was no war when FDR ended the gold standard’s restrictions on the printing of money.

At about the same time, during the worldwide Great Depression, the German Reichstag passed a law “for the relief of the German people.”

That law gave Hitler dictatorial powers that were used for things going far beyond the relief of the German people — indeed, powers that ultimately brought a rain of destruction down on the German people and on others.

If the agreement with BP was an isolated event, perhaps we might hope that it would not be a precedent. But there is nothing isolated about it.

The man appointed by President Obama to dispense BP’s money as the administration sees fit, to whomever it sees fit, is only the latest in a long line of presidentially appointed “czars” controlling different parts of the economy, without even having to be confirmed by the Senate, as Cabinet members are.

Those who cannot see beyond the immediate events to the issues of arbitrary power — vs. the rule of law and the preservation of freedom — are the “useful idiots” of our time. But useful to whom?

Is Obama’s BP Shakedown an Impeachable Offense?

By Raymond Richman

As former counsel and trainer in political tactics for ACORN, President Obama used a well-known ACORN tactic, the shakedown, in getting BP to create the $20 billion escrow (slush!) fund without any law, legal controls, or binding rules to guide it on how, to whom, and how much those injured materially by the oil spill will be paid. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, well-respected and well-known for heading the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, was appointed by the President to administer the escrow fund. BP will pay $5 billion into the fund for four years, starting in 2010.

BP announced early after the spill that it would pay all justifiable claims resulting from the disastrous oil spill. It opened 25 claims offices. As of June 15, BP approved initial payments that amounted to $63 million, expected to rise to $85 million by the end of the week, to businesses claiming $5,000 or more in damages. Why did the President insist that his own personal organization take over the job of paying claims? After all, supervising reparations is a judicial function, not an executive function. BP created its own fund and appointed its administrator and determined how it will be staffed with a view to ensuring only qualified persons, businesses, and governments would be reimbursed for its losses. Now those decisions will be made politically.

It is obvious that BP’s CEO agreed to create this fund and allow the President to administer it to prevent President Obama from bankrupting their company. After all, the President was on record that he would “kick BP’s ass” and a cabinet members declared he would “put his boot on BP’s neck.” The President when announcing the creation of the fund stated the terms of the fund would keep BP viable. He cannot know this. BP’s liability is not affected by the fund except to the extent claims are voluntarily settled. Those refusing to settle and their lawyers are not bound by it nor are juries that will hear their lawsuits.

The President has no legal authority to create the escrow fund and no authority to compel BP to contribute to the fund. Forcing BP to agree to the terms of the escrow is ultra vires (i.e., illegal), beyond the powers of his office. Rep. Barton (R, Texas) accurately described the slush fund as a “shakedown” (i.e., blackmail), a felony. If so, Pres. Obama has committed an impeachable offense. Congress itself does not have the authority to create the escrow fund retroactively. Congress will have no voice at all except to vilify any Republican who raises questions about it. All the ACORN employees who lost their jobs when the banks stopped paying “blackmail” to ACORN may be getting better-paying new jobs processing claims.

No doubt the media, which show pictures of the spill and pelicans covered with oil 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will hail the President’s tough dealing with BP. But BP’s oil spill deserved the strongest action under the law, not above the law. A few miles away, there are pelicans flying “free as a bird” with no oil on them. Not a single photo of them. And more than 10,000 barrels of the spilled oil are being recovered by BP daily with no photos at all; vessels are skimming oil near the spill and no photos. And the federal government has yet to grant exception to the Jones Act that is preventing foreign vessels ready to skim oil from getting closer to shore to prevent more serious damage which would, incidentally help save a lot of pelicans. No wonder BP believed it had to surrender to the President.

You don’t have to be paranoid to suspect the President (and many in the media) of ulterior motives, a hidden agenda. If you can get enough people to hate the oil companies, you might get the cap and trade bill passed. By the time they regret such hasty action, it will be too late to undo the damage. Cap and trade was given no chance for passage before the spill. The President pacified the environmental extremists by banning drilling in the Gulf for six months, adding to the rolls of the unemployed and increasing our dependence on foreign oil. To make the hidden agenda more believable, the President overreached by getting BP to agree to pay the lost wages incurred by workers who lost their jobs as the result of the President’s six month moratorium on drilling in the Gulf. The hidden agenda obviously includes getting cap and trade passed. It looks like “cap and trade, cap and trade, cap and trade” has displaced “jobs, jobs, jobs”.

The President employed a similar tactic when he nationalized GM, violating the bankruptcy laws by denying bondholders their rightful control of the future of those enterprises and gave the bondholders’ interest in GM to the unions instead, literally. He gave Chrysler to Fiat, The bondholders of both gave their consent, being afraid of having their asses kicked or having a boot on their necks.

When an executive uses threats to secure the “cooperation” of private businesses, we have a name for it, fascism. It is the kind of act we expect from Venezuela’s Chavez not from a President who swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution and its separation of powers. I believe the President’s behavior is ultra vires and that he has committed an impeachable offense.

Raymond L. Richman, JD, PhD, is a member of the Illinois Bar and has a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago. He and his son and grandson maintain a blog at http://www.idealtaxes.com, and co-authored the 2008 book, Trading Away Our Future: How to Fix Our Government-Driven Trade Deficits and Faulty Tax System Before it’s Too Late, published by Ideal Taxes Association.

Obama’s Latest Shakedown

By: David Limbaugh

President Obama’s oil spill speech revealed, once again, how stunningly shameless he is. This relentless ideologue is not even marginally competent at masking his ongoing crusade to apply a wrecking ball to every sector of our economy and remake it in his own image.

And I do mean “his” own image. Once again, his speech was loaded with first-person references, from “I refuse to let (Gulf Coast residents lose their way of life)” to “I expect (the new commission tasked with determining the cause of the explosion) to do that work thoroughly and impartially” to “I am happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party.” More on that last howler in a moment.

Obama’s MO is so predictable that sophisticated practitioners of Marxist transformation should be embarrassed. Then again, Obama doesn’t need to be subtle; he is the president — a president who rejects the constitutional limitations that applied to his mortal predecessors.

After sitting on his hands for months, he comes out rhetorically swinging with both barrels of his teleprompter blazing. First, declare a crisis — meticulously distorting the facts, especially those relative to what caused the crisis. Second, isolate a scapegoat (along with the awful, resource-exploiting, oil-inhaling, pre-Obama America) to be demonized and bullied into conspiring with him to launch his transformational solution — a solution that has nothing to do with solving the “crisis.” In the meantime, shield the true culprits from any blame. Third, unveil his grandiose plan for salvation by the federal government, provided it first acquires structurally new powers. All the while, he not only downplays the government’s culpability in all of this but also overstates its (and his) response to date.

A returning space traveler watching his speech would have assumed Obama actually had been “kicking tail” throughout this “crisis” instead of partying and playing golf. Upon watching the speech, the traveler would not have experienced the megadoses of d?j? vu felt by the rest of us, who had watched this movie — starring this very president — many times before.

To be sure, the oil spill has been terrible, and BP doubtlessly bears much blame. But do any of us know all the facts? Should the president be unilaterally declaring BP’s strict liability as if he were the final judge, jury and executioner — without even affording the company any opportunity to defend itself?

Alinsky-starved radicals might find it gratifying for a dictatorial president to beat up on such an evil agent of capitalism, but some of us find his approach unseemly and disturbing. Besides denying the company any semblance of due process and fairness, how about his habitual expenditure of negative energy — pointing fingers — instead of employing a constructive approach?

No matter how culpable BP is ultimately determined to be, Obama’s bullying should not deflect our attention from another culprit here: environmental extremists.

Just as Obama blamed Wall Street and exempted government (liberal policies) and quasi government entities (Freddie and Fannie) for their complicity in the financial meltdown and just as he blamed doctors, pharmaceuticals and insurance companies for soaring health care costs caused mostly by socialistic governmental policies, he is summarily blaming BP and exempting unreasonable liberal environmental policies for shutting down more conventional and safer drilling methods — and venues. As usual, he and his ilk greatly contribute to problems and then use those problems as catalysts to justify even greater doses of their destructive socialistic prescriptions. It’s maddening.

Just as Obama browbeat and bought off the American Medical Association and big pharma to go along with Obamacare, he summoned BP executives to his office. Flanked by Attorney General Eric Holder, who has threatened criminal action against BP, he shook down BP into forking over a $20 billion installment to defer the government’s further wrath. BP is but another prop Obama has chosen to advance another plank of his statist agenda — this time his plan to shut down our conventional energy industry in favor of new, quixotic alternative energy methods that will succeed only in propelling this nation even faster toward Third World status.

I’m surprised Obama didn’t give another “shout-out” to “Joe Medicine Crow” as he began his speech designed to pretend he cares about the victims of the oil spill (even his lib media enablers aren’t buying it this time) — for the sole purpose of passing cap and trade on their backs. Cap and trade has already failed, but so had health care before he finally crammed it through.

Just as Obama fraudulently promised to listen to Republican ideas at his bogus health care summit after he’d shut them out of the process from the beginning, he promised to “look at other ideas and approaches from either party” on his cap-and-trade fiasco. Oh, yes, he’s all about considering the ideas of others and the will of the American people. And I’m all about advancing liberalism. LOL.