A hug from the President

I’ve been watching the miners in Chile come up off and on all day. Like one of my Twittering buddies, I get a little teary eyed sometimes.

My goodness, what they have been through. Also impressive are the stories of how they organized to survive well in the mine.

The other thing that just knocks my socks off is that the President of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, is there with a big smile and a hug for every one of them. It’s been more than 24 hours since I’ve noticed him there. And every single one is greeted with genuine enthusiasm.

No, I won’t compare. But something inside me says I doubt it.


  1. Randy in Richmond says:

    If you watch this and don’t feel something you aren’t alive.

    And I’m so proud of the part the American oil drillers quietly played in making this rescue happen.

  2. Dan (not Vegas or H) says:

    I’m proud of the obvious influence our president has on the Chilean president.

    “The Coalition for [Change] is a presidential and parliamentary electoral coalition that groups the supporters of President Sebastián Piñera for the 2009-2010 Chilean election.”

    “Chilean President Pinera said that the San Jose mine would be converted into a national monument to reflect [hope] for future generations.”

    How’s that hopey, changey thing working for you?

  3. Randy in Richmond says:

    Maybe if our President had shown the same leadership that President Pinera exhibited, the damage from the aftermath of the Gulf Oil Explosion could have been lessened. President Pinera not only accepted, he seeked help from the world community for his emergency while our President refused assistance that was ready, willing, and able. In fact he did nothing for weeks. He did this in the name of ‘The Jones Act ‘, to protect American unions. One President acted on behalf of his country–another on behalf of his unions. But a Presidential Order could have easily over-riden this as a temporary emergency.


  4. Wow. That’s scary Randy. A girlfriend and I had the very same conversation this morning.

    Leadership is more than a hope for change. Pinera proved his mettle. Still waiting on our guy.

  5. Dan (not Vegas or H) says:

    The event that took place in Chile has absolutely nothing to do with with American politics. Why are you guys turning this into a political football?

    Randy, the myth that our President refused assistance was debunked months ago.


  6. Randy in Richmond says:

    Sorry Dan, I don’t go to the foxhole to determine if the foxes ate the chicken. It’s not a myth, it’s a fact he did nothing for many weeks.

    Pointing out leadership and lack thereof has nothing to do with politics.

  7. Dan (not Vegas or H) says:

    I understand Randy. The myth has been repeated so many times that it has become a core belief. And there’s no point in trying to dislodge the erroneous belief with facts. Been there, done that.

  8. For the record Dan (not Vegas or H), I think you are very guilty of that which you accuse.

    How’s that denial working out for you?

  9. Dan (not Vegas or H) says:

    Cindy, I believe factcheck.org did a satisfactory job of debunking the myth. Being the good liberal that I am, I’m going to hold that belief “tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to” its abandonment. The burden of proof is upon those making the allegations. Show me the proof that “our President refused assistance”. Make me a believer.

  10. Oh, the conversation has little to do with the specifics of this argument but more directly towards the unmistakable desire you have to sway the outcome of a debate regardless of any erroneous beliefs you hold.

    (You’ll have to forgive me. I’m deep into the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. There’s no such thing as a run on sentence in Miss Austen’s world.)

  11. Randy in Richmond says:

    Here are the specifics in an email release on May 5, 2010, from the US Department of State: “The State Department emailed reporters identifying the 13 entities that had offered the U.S. oil spill assistance. They were the governments of Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations. ”

    “These offers include experts in various aspects of oil spill impacts, research and technical expertise, booms, chemical oil dispersants, oil pumps, skimmers, and wildlife treatment,” the email read.

    “While there is no need right now that the U.S. cannot meet, the U.S. Coast Guard is assessing these offers of assistance to see if there will be something which we will need in the near future.”

    Dan, show me where the Obama administration accepted help from any of these countries ?


  12. Classic.

    Randy in Richmond having a sudden interest into the lack of response of the President in times of crisis in the gulf region.

  13. You lost me J. Strupp.

  14. Ask Randy if we should hold the President responsible for leaving a few thousand people to sit on a rooftops and overpasses in 100 degree heat for 4 days with no federal response whatsoever and I’ll bet he’ll tell you about personal responsibility for ignoring a manditory evacuation order and the incompetence of local governments.

    Ask him about an oil spill caused by a major oil company’s pure negligance and outright disregard for Federal law and he’ll tell you that the White House needed more skimmer ships and better expertise in plugging a leak a few thousand feet below the ocean’s surface.

  15. Oooooh. Your former argument fails so you resort to Bush bashing.

    I think we are done here.

  16. That’s your defense mechanism kicking in.

    My point was the typical double standard.

    I actually disagree with the way in which the federal government’s responded this entire crisis. There was no good reason to refuse foreign assistance in dealing with the aftermath of the spill. We should have utilized every resource available. That’s not say I think it would have made a big difference, but why not accept help from aboard anyway? Second, it’s a complete sham that the Obama Administration wasn’t more diligent in fixing the outright corruption in the beaurocracy that allowed the spill to occur. That’s on Obama. You’d have to be a moron to assume that the voids in charge of overseeing the oil industry were on the straight and narrow prior to taking office.

  17. And I never had a former argument.

  18. Randy in Richmond says:

    Thanks for answering your own questions, Strupp. New Orleans was a dark cloud on all levels of government. But President Bush did suspend the Jones Act during Katrina and we are talking days vs almost 2 months. And there’s no hypocrocy on my point. President Bush made decisions and showed leadership–you might not like his decisions but he made them. President Obama prefers to make a speech and blame somebody. He’s in over his head.

    Other than an employee possibly establishing a civil suit do you have a link establishing “pure negligence”?

  19. So you defended it and now you say you disagreed with it?

  20. Dan (not Vegas or H) says:

    “A number of offers of assistance have been accepted. These include: Mexico’s offer of two skimmers and 13,780 feet of boom which were accepted in early May; Norway’s offer of eight skimming systems which was accepted in early May; Netherland’s offer of three sets of Koseq Rigid Sweeping Arms that was accepted on May 23; and Canada’s offer of 9,843 feet of containment boom which was accepted on June 4. ”


    “But President Bush did suspend the Jones Act during Katrina and we are talking days vs almost 2 months.”

    Randy, you’re suggesting that Obama suspended the Jones Act 2 months into the disaster. Are you certain of that? In this June 11 interview, Admiral Allen states that no foreign flagged vessels had requested a waiver.

    @ approx. 4:10 into the video


  21. Randy in Richmond says:

    No, I’m not suggesting Obama waived the Jones Act. Bad wording on my part.

    The explosion occured April 20th. On May 5th the State Department stated there was “no need right now” for assistance from other countries. Oil was reported by the Obama administation to be leaking at a rate of 210,000 gallons per day when in actuality it was 10 times that at a minimum. Interestingly in the State Department letter you link they give exact dates for accepting assistance except for Mexico and Norway where they say ‘early May’. My guess is early May means prior to the 15th because in the ‘real’ early May, the 5th, they stated no help was needed. So around 25 days passed before help was accepted–not offered.

    In a report from the President’s own Commission is the following paragraph:

    “By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the Gulf, the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem,” the report says.

    There’s that word again,’competent’ with a not in front of it. This time it comes from the President’s own appointees.
    The report referred to in the following article gives several ways the administration was , at best, misleading to the American people.


  22. J. Strupp says:

    “Other than an employee possibly establishing a civil suit do you have a link establishing “pure negligence”?”

    Deepwater Horizon employee Mike Williams’ account of the days leading up to the accident are pretty damning.

  23. Randy in Richmond says:

    I agree. We’ve heard one side. I suspect BP is culpable. ” Pure negligance and outright disregard for Federal law” is something else. The Obama administration presented a safety award on the very BP platform involved, about a year prior to the accident. The Interior Department inspected the rig ten days prior to the incident and did not discover the battery for the automatic shutoff valve was dead. The upcoming years of litigation will hopefully answer some questions.


  24. Dan (not Vegas or H) says:

    Fair enough, Randy. I will concede that the Obama administration effed up to a certain degree. And I’m not going to excuse the administration for trying to control the message in order to minimize potential political damage. But I have to say, after reading 20 pages of the first of several documents presented by the commission, this event is a lot more complicated than meets the eye.

    In the spirit of bi-partisan truth seeking can we at least put a stake in the heart of the ‘Jones Act/protect the unions’ narrative?

    I just noticed a very tiny smiley-faced creature at the bottom of my screen … am I under surveillance?

  25. Randy in Richmond says:


    I’m not sure about you but apparently I have a bug somewhere.

  26. J. Strupp says:

    If it was simply a bad battery, that would be one thing. But come on. They were gettting pieces of steel from the shutoff valve coming out of the well. This whole thing smells pretty bad from here.

    The smily face dude has been bothering me too. I try to click on him everytime I comment. Still nothing.

  27. Dan et.al. very tiny smiley face is some kind of WordPress verification thing on my end. I have never completely figured it out, but I’m pretty sure you are ok.

  28. Ahah! The tiny smiley is part of the stat gathering program included with WordPress. I’ve activated it, but never use it. If it makes everyone feel better, I can undo it. Well, just as soon as I figure out why my sidebars died their Javascript death.

    I know I make it look easy, but all this blogging stuff can get kind of hard.

  29. Dan (not Vegas or H) says:

    No! Don’t eliminate smiley guy! I couldn’t live with myself knowing that I was the reason for his demise. If you’re a compassionate conservative you’ll heed my plea. Please, for the love of god, don’t do it!

  30. Dan (not Vegas or H) says:

    Okay, as long as the little guy isn’t creeping around the exterior of my house and peeking in my windows I guess I can live with him.