A perfect example of that appears in a letter to the editor in Sunday’s edition of the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by someone named Randy Knibes called “Leadership lacking on Gulf oil spill.” It contains every single false Republican talking point the party of BP has put out. I’m not sure if the letter is part of the Livingston County Republic Party’s letter writing campaign or it’s a case of the Republican strategy of if you tell a lie often enough people start to believe it, and this guy has bought into it.
First, there is no such person as Randy Knibes. However, there is a Randy Kniebes, a Brighton Township Republican.
From the opening sentence we see that Kniebes is full of crap and we see we are going to get a bunch of GOP talking points when he writes, “President Barack Obama's lack of leadership, gross incompetence and self-serving decisions on this oil-spill situation in the Gulf of Mexico have been appalling.”
There has been no lack of leadership, no incompetence on the President’s part and I have not seen a single “self-serving decision.”
Right after that we get the first false and debunked talking point:
“Shortly after the original oil spill began, 17 foreign nations and four international groups with expertise in controlling oil spills offered their help to Obama to contain this large spill. This included the Dutch, who offered Obama the services of an entire fleet of the world's most advanced oil skimmers. He told them all "no."“
Simply not true. According to Factcheck.com, “
To date, 25 countries and four international organizations have offered support in the form of skimming vessels, containment and fire boom, technical assistance and response solutions, among others. A chart provided by the State Department shows that as of June 23 offers from six foreign countries or entities had been accepted. Fifty more offers were under consideration — including multiple offers from a single country or entity. One offer had been declined: France offered a chemical dispersant that is not approved for use in the United States.”
But here is the big lie that is on the lips of every single Republican:
“Why? Because Obama was unwilling to waive the Jones Act, which regulates foreign-vessel operations in U.S. waters, ever mindful that he did not want to upset his union cronies. Former President George W. Bush waived the Jones Act after Hurricane Katrina to speed recovery efforts, but President Obama apparently decided his personal political relationships were more important than protecting America's shoreline.”
This follows the GOP strategy, if you’re going to tell a lie, you might as well tell a big one,
“Some critics have charged — falsely — that Obama’s refusal to waive the Jones Act has kept foreign vessels from assisting in cleanup efforts.”
“In reality, the Jones Act has yet to be an issue in the response efforts. The Deepwater Horizon response team reported in a June 15 press release that there are 15 foreign flagged ships currently participating in the oil spill cleanup. None of them needed a waiver because the Jones Act does not apply. The Jones Act is a trade and commerce law that was enacted in 1920 as part of a larger Marine Merchant Act. It requires all trade delivered between U.S. ports to be carried in U.S. flagged vessels constructed in the United States and owned by American citizens. The law states its purpose is to develop a merchant marine for national defense and commerce.”
Then Mr. Kniebes takes a few shots at the president for not talking to the BP CEO, claming:
“For 56 days after the spill, President Obama could not find the time to even talk with the CEO of BP — although he did find the time for multiple fundraisers, Earth Day celebrations, golf games, vacations, hosting various sports teams, shooting hoops and attending concerts by big-name entertainers.”
Apparently, Mr. Kniebes has not heard about President’s Obama’s securing of a $20 billion escrow account from BP to pay for the clean up and compensate Gulf Coast residents who have lost their livelihoods and way of life. He talked to him when it counted.
Mr. Kniebes then has a problem with the moratorium on offshore drilling. Apparently, he’s unaware that there is no plan or technology to stop another leak. But his facts are all screwed up on production. He claims “ Oil production from the Gulf represents nearly a third of U.S. domestic production.” Now, that may be true, but oil production in the U.S. only accounts for about 12 percent, and it all goes to the world market.
Then Mr. Kniebes the President of “trying to use this environmental tragedy to advance his previously doomed "cap and tax" legislation.” The “cap and tax” is a talking point from GOP linguists. After the latest oil spill, it makes you wonder what it’s going to take to start the process of getting us off a dirty, dangerous and fast disappearing energy source. Here is one of the most ridiculous claims among many, “Since the scientific evidence for global warming has been widely discredited.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth. The simple fact is global warming is without a doubt man-made and a threat.