Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Obama replaces inexperienced lawyer with another inexperienced lawyer

On May 27, Elizabeth Birnbaum was fired, forced out or simply resigned as Director of the Minerals Management service, roughly a month after the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon explosion.  The explosion and fire killed eleven men and the damaged Macondo well it was drilling is now spewing millions of gallons of raw crude into the Gulf of Mexico, fouling marshes, soiling beaches, killing wildlife and knocking thousands out of work.

That Birnbaum was anywhere near spitting distance of the Director's office is but one of many tarballs on the Obama regime's record of appointing unqualified political hacks to jobs they are incapable of doing.  Birnbaum is an environmental activist and "community organizer."  Like the community organizer in chief, she had virtually no management experience and absolutely no management experience in issues dealing with energy, commerce or natural resources.

Enter Michael R. Bromwich, another Harvard-educated lawyer, with...  surprise: No management experience in issues dealing with energy, commerce or natural resources.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is in the process of splitting the MMS into at least two new agencies--one to manage leases and revenue collections; the other to manage regulatory enforcement and safety.  It's not clear how rearranging the nameplates at MMS will do much good.  But as of now, there's technically no MMS for Mr. Bromwich to serve as Director.  It's also not very clear how a man with no experience managing any organization that oversees energy or natural resource production will organize two completely new agencies whose only roles are in energy and natural resource management.  Surely, I am not the only one for whom the logic defies belief.

What Mr. Bromwich does have is experience as a prosecutor.  Hmmm.  He's also turned around a pair of ailing police departments:

Bromwich helped prosecute Oliver North in the Iran-Contra investigation in the late 1980s. After that, he was inspector general for DOJ during the Clinton administration. He then went into private practice at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. But his most high-profile work at the firm has been leading turnaround efforts at troubled agencies like the Houston and Washington, D.C., police departments.

It's not a stretch to turn to a lawyer and former prosecutor when looking for someone to overhaul a law enforcement agency.  But is it a stretch to turn to someone with that resume when the goal is to overhaul a natural resource management agency?

Gimme some feedback in the comments.


Anonymous said...

I have said from the very beginning that sending a flock of lawyers to Louisiana after the oil spill was about the stupidest response I have ever heard of. Some of my friends are lawyers, but unless they specialize in oil and gas, they have no business in the middle of an oil disaster. Now we have another lawyer with no oil experience who is going to make life-threatening decisions. That like someone appointing me to head the air force and I can't fly a kite.

Just when you think O can do no worse, he surprises you and pulls another trillion dollar bill out to save the day.

We traded in Osama as the greatest threat in America to Obama.