Why does Ken Salazar still have a job?

That one is easy to answer. Because President Obama hasn't fired him and Salazar refuses to resign in shame. (Image)

The real question is what is so wrong with President Obama that he keeps Ken Salazar on as Secretary of the Interior?

Salazar should have given Obama a strong heads up about the major risks of offshore drilling before any policy change was made. He should have done a thorough review of the Department of the Interior with some serious attention to the problem agency key to exploration and drilling permits. The department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) has a long rap sheet as a problem agency. Salazar knew this.

So why is this guy still around?

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In 8 pages of must read The Rolling Stone smacks everyone around on this, including Bush, MMS, Obama and Salazar. And rightfully so, IMHO:

It's tempting to believe that the Gulf spill, like so many disasters inherited by Obama, was the fault of the Texas oilman who preceded him in office. But, though George W. Bush paved the way for the catastrophe, it was Obama who gave BP the green light to drill. "Bush owns eight years of the mess," says Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California. "But after more than a year on the job, Salazar owns it too."

During the Bush years, the Minerals Management Service, the agency in the Interior Department charged with safeguarding the environment from the ravages of drilling, descended into rank criminality. According to reports by Interior's inspector general, MMS staffers were both literally and figuratively in bed with the oil industry. When agency staffers weren't joining industry employees for coke parties or trips to corporate ski chalets, they were having sex with oil-company officials. But it was American taxpayers and the environment that were getting screwed. MMS managers were awarded cash bonuses for pushing through risky offshore leases, auditors were ordered not to investigate shady deals, and safety staffers routinely accepted gifts from the industry, allegedly even allowing oil companies to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil before tracing over them in pen.

"The oil companies were running MMS during those years," Bobby Maxwell, a former top auditor with the agency, told Rolling Stone last year. "Whatever they wanted, they got. Nothing was being enforced across the board at MMS."

Salazar himself has worked hard to foster the impression that the "prior administration" is to blame for the catastrophe. In reality, though, the Obama administration was fully aware from the outset of the need to correct the lapses at MMS that led directly to the disaster in the Gulf. In fact, Obama specifically nominated Salazar – his "great" and "dear" friend – to force the department to "clean up its act." For too long, Obama declared, Interior has been "seen as an appendage of commercial interests" rather than serving the people. "That's going to change under Ken Salazar."

...snip...

The failure of the obama administration to crack down on BP – and to tackle the crisis with the full force of the federal government – is likely to haunt the Gulf Coast for decades to come. Oil continues to lap up onshore in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Pelican rookeries are fouled, their eggs and nests soaked in oil. The region's fisheries – some of the richest in the world – are imperiled; anglers and shrimpers have been barred from more than a third of the Gulf's waters, which may never fully recover from the toxic stew of crude and chemical dispersant now twisting in its depths. The region's beaches are empty, and tourist towns are dying. Administration officials now admit that the oil may continue to gush into the Gulf until August, when relief wells are finally in place.

Both the government and BP have reasons to downplay the extent of the spill. For BP, the motive is financial: Under the Clean Water Act, the company could owe fines of as much as $4,300 for every barrel spilled, in addition to royalties for the oil it is squandering. For the Obama administration, the disaster threatens to derail the president's plan to expand offshore drilling. "It's crystal clear what the federal response to the tragedy ought to be," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who chairs the Senate subcommittee on environmental health. "Bring a dangerous offshore drilling pursuit to an end."

And this article is great. The sad thing is anyone who has been around DC and awake knows MMS is a problem, particularly Ken Salazar. They're just too stupid to worry. I mean risk is always a calculation. "What are our current risks?" is the question asked in any well run acquisition or other assumption of ownership/management. If they'd bothered to ask, the answer would be a list with MMS right near the top. They're not even smart enough to cover their backsides.

"Furthest from him is best, whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals." Milton