It’s official. Moratoriums are out (as are moratoria if you prefer the Latin plural). On the day the White House rejected calls for a nationwide moratorium on home foreclosures, it also lifted its own moratorium on deepwater drilling for oil and gas. Some Democrats, especially those like Harry Reid facing tough election races in November, had been calling for a foreclosure ban. But President Barack Obama, who doesn’t face voters directly for a couple more years, has accepted the longer-term argument that a broad halt to evictions would slow a recovery in the housing market and the economy.
Tales from the Trail
A two-day trip to the Gulf Coast for President Barack Obama and his family will feature some beach time but maybe not a great deal of rest and relaxation.
BP CEO Tony Hayward takes time off to watch his yacht race in British waters, President Barack Obama goes golfing over the Father’s Day weekend.
Oil and gas spewing from that broken wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico has spread at least as far as the Florida coast, and could go further. Controversy and questions about the relative safety of different kinds of fuel pipelines may have spread over an even wider area — taking in Washington DC, Alberta, Canada, and a big slice of the U.S. heartland.
President Barack Obama is due to take off this month for a trip to Australia and Indonesia that he has already rescheduled once because of pressing matters here in the United States. In March, the imminent passage of healthcare reform prompted him to put off the journey until June.
The new public relations gurus hired by BP couldn’t have started at a better time. The team, headed by Anne Womack-Kolton — a former spokeswoman for Vice President Dick Cheney and the White House — had just started work when they had to deal with an unfortunate statement by BP chief executive Tony Hayward.
“When does my honeymoon period start?” Rand Paul asked.
That was Paul’s opening line in an ABC “Good Morning America” interview Friday when asked about the controversy this week over comments that suggested he opposed part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that outlawed racial segregation.