Friday, July 09, 2010

Please, Just Be An Entertainer, Jimmy

As is the case with far too many entertainers, Jimmy Buffet feels the need to pontificate on things political as though a microphome and a fan base is a suitable substitute for wisdom. This is no real surprise; Jimmy has always been an avowed liberal and, over the years, he has sprinkled his songs with his beliefs thereof.

So be it; Jimmy is a talented songwriter, storyteller and novelist. His work has given me immense pleasure over the years and whenever I listen to his music, albeit momentarily, I feel the sand between my toes and a warm sea breeze on my face.

As far his inane political views, they're like finding yourself with a mouthful of grounds at the end of a wonderful cup of coffee; you learn to enjoy the coffee, but not to drink to deeply.

Jimmy Buffet Organizes Gulf Benefit, Blames Bush for Spill

Buffett, a supporter of President Barack Obama, said the roots of the spill lie with the administration of former President George Bush, which was often criticized for being too cozy with the petroleum industry.

"To me it was more about eight years of bad policy before (Obama) got there that let this happen. It was Dracula running the blood bank in terms of oil and leases," he said. "I think that has more to do with it than how the president reacted to it."

To his credit, he does recognize the president's reaction has been all but non-existant, but in his assertion regarding the "cozy" relationship with the petroleum industry, there are some intersting facts that haven't seem to have made it to Margaritaville:
Obama biggest recipient of BP cash
POLITICO (Washington) - While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they've taken from the oil and gas giant over the years.

BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company's political action committees - $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.

On top of that, the oil giant has spent millions each year on lobbying — including $15.9 million last year alone — as it has tried to influence energy policy.
Was there a quid pro quo? Such allegations are hard to prove, but stories, such as the one below, do tend to make one wonder who, in fact, was "cozy" with BP:
U.S. exempted BP's Gulf of Mexico drilling from environmental impact study
The Interior Department exempted BP's calamitous Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact analysis last year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely.

The decision by the department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) to give BP's lease at Deepwater Horizon a "categorical exclusion" from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on April 6, 2009 -- and BP's lobbying efforts just 11 days before the explosion to expand those exemptions -- show that neither federal regulators nor the company anticipated an accident of the scale of the one unfolding in the gulf.

This constant mantra of "Bush did it" wears thinner by the day, particularly when, in the case of Deepwater Horizon, any culpability on behalf of the Bush administration strains all reasonable credulity. Jimmy should understand that "parrotthead" does not necessarilly mean mindlessly repeating everything one hears.

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