About the only good things I can say about President Obama’s speech from the Oval Office last night are he started it on time and only talked for 17-18 minutes. Which, I suppose, amounts to one question at a press conference. There was nothing new in his speech and Obama offered no specifics or details.

His assertion that he is now in charge and has a plan to collect up to 90% of the spewing oil in the next 3-4 weeks is blatantly false. We all know that on Saturday, the Coast Guard demanded that BP submit a new plan within 48 hours, which they did. A second collection ship is already in the Gulf and is expected to help boost the current 15,000 barrels per day up to 25,000 barrels within the week. BP is arranging for other vessels to increase that number.

Obama’s claim that all is being done to deal with the clean-up is false. The Federal government under his direction has stood in the way of progress. Requests to build sand berms were delayed, then only partially approved. Offers from foreign nations were declined during the first seven week. The pro-union Jones Act of 1920 was not waived immediately. Domestic equipment and efforts have not been fully utilized.

Many local officials are complaining about the uncoordinated and irregular organization and methods used for the clean-up, including a large number of convicts who have been running amok. A good deal of this is BP’s fault, also, but clearly, when it comes to protecting the coast line and the clean-up operations, the Federal government should have either been more directly in charge, or more cooperative with state and local government. A firm decision should have been made early on, by Obama himself, as to what role and responsibility the Federal government would assume. Even today, Day 58, after his speech, I still really do not know the answer to that question!

This business of forcing BP to pay up front ‘X-amount’ into an escrow account to be managed by a third party is dangerous. First, Obama has no Constitutional right to just take money from BP arbitrarily. Secondly, who’s to say if even the $20 Billion dollar amount being mentioned will be enough in the long-run? Then we come to the question of who this ‘third party’ will be? Obama didn’t say last night. Might have been more inspirational that he really does have a plan if he did mention who.

Finally, we get into this urgency to pass his ‘energy bill’, which is really a ‘grab and tax’ bill. The legislation will expand the power and control of the Federal government, increasing it’s control to nearly 70% of the American economy. It will increase the costs of energy, and everything else, dramatically. Plus unleash a whole new breed of taxes upon businesses and citizens. It’s a bad bill and needs to be ‘top-killed’. Bury it deep with golf balls and old tires and cement the whole thing permanently.

The Obama speech from the Oval Office last night offered us nothing new. No new ideas. No specific plans. No leadership. It was just another in a series of staged events to give him the appearance of doing something.