Archive for September 2011
When it comes to…
…disaster aid, clean air, clean water, financial regulation, voting rights, health care, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, mortgage reform, banking reform, union support and collective bargaining, jobs programs, unemployment insurance, infrastructure repair, fairness in taxation, energy assistance, coal, natural gas and oil industry regulation, overall environmental concerns including endangered species and especially global warming, state and national parks, wildlife refuges, storm monitoring, food safety testing and regulation, protecting the oceans…
…rebuilding the Louisiana Coast and true levee protection for the city of New Orleans and the state of California…
…taxes on hedge fund managers, honest protection of small business, rebuilding schools, funding education, funding for the CDC, the EPA, the NOAA, the NIH, the FDA, the ADA, privacy rights, 4th amendment rights, school lunches, worker re-training, protecting the constitution, protecting the first amendment, maintaining free and honest elections, funding FEMA, funding green energy, protecting American citizens from toxic pollution, protecting innocent men and women from a state sponsored death…
…reining in Wall Street, keeping commodities speculators from increasing the price of such commodities as food and oil through their trading so they can make a buck, the same extra bucks the rest of this country pays for their unlimited greed…
Yeah, the GOP solution to all of the above?
Fuck the People – The Kills
Have a nice day.
Remember last June, when the Macondo Well was still spewing oil, and Tony Hayward appeared at the congressional hearing where Rep. Joe Barton, R-Tx apologized to Tony’s company for the actions of the Obama administrations, suggesting the creation of British Petroleum’s $20 billion dollar escrow fund came only after a White House “shakedown”?
Yeah, and then everybody freaked out (even Boehner) and Barton backtracked reporting his apology wasn’t really an apology, it was more of a “misconstrued misconstruction.”
Yeah, but then Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tx, defended Joe Barton by saying:
“…the part that Representative Barton is expressing some concern about, that I share the concern, is this has really become a political issue for the President and he’s trying to deal with it by showing how tough he’s being against BP. The problem is BP’s the only one who really is in control of shutting down this well, and he’s trying to mitigate, I think, his own political problems.”
The media had it all wrong according to John.
You see, Rep. Barton, long up the ass of big oil, was not trying to apologize to his masters at all, he was just pissed that Obama wasn’t joining he and Mr. Cornyn in British Petroleum’s anal cavity, not even after they’d gotten him a chair, set the table, promised to be on their best behavior, not even after British Petroleum gave Obama all that campaign money. No, John was just trying to point out, to demonstrate that Obama was another Democrat playing politics with tragedy, and even worse, at the time he was playing politics better than Republicans like Bobby Jindal who could only muster up a helicopter ride, which financially wasn’t helping anybody. Obama was certainly playing politics better than John Cornyn whose idea of smart politicking was to apologize for a fellow Texan who apologized to the oil company who screwed up the entire Gulf of Mexico.
Asshole…then and now, but why now, you might ask?
As the Senate Bill that would guarantee 80% of the fines levied against BP be given to the Gulf Coast states comes out of committee, ready to be voted on by the full Senate, Sen. James Imhofe, R-Okla (another asshole) has decided to raise objections to this bill for a few reasons, one of them being his disappointment that not all ten of the senators from the Gulf Coast signed on in favor.
Nine did, but one lone Senator saw fit to hold out.
Guess which one.
Yeah…Sen. John Cornyn.
Maybe he just couldn’t find his way out of Joe Barton or BP’s ass.
Read the article:
Have a nice day.
The oil that washed ashore after tropical Storm Lee…fresh as ever!
“Auburn University experts who studied tar samples at the request of coastal leaders said the latest wave of gooey orbs and chunks appeared relatively fresh, smelled strongly and were hardly changed chemically from the weathered oil that collected on Gulf beaches during the spill. The study concluded that mats of oil – not weathered tar, which is harder and contains fewer hydrocarbons – are still submerged on the seabed and could pose a long-term risk to coastal ecosystems.”
And whereas BP continues to do beach clean-up post tropical storm, they sure aren’t commenting on Auburn’s conclusions…which I suppose is understandable as they are busy these days, you know, in court, meeting with Judge Carl Barbier in the latest status conference, this time to argue against state punitive damages. Andrew Langer, attorney for British Petroleum contends that Barbier already ruled on these damages August 26th by saying OPA and federal maritime law governed in this case which would render state law null and void, but Corey Maze, the deputy attorney general from Alabama, argued otherwise by saying if states are unable to recover damages under state law, this strips the states of the power to protect themselves.
Barbier, seeming to side with the states, proposed the rocket launch theory, “We’re talking about state sovereignty,” Barbier said, addressing BP attorney Andrew Langan. “You can imagine scenarios … where someone launches a rocket from federal waters and it lands on someone’s property in Louisiana or Alabama and lands on someone’s roof and causes death. … You don’t think someone in Alabama or Louisiana could file a claim?”
The main question would appear to be that even though OPA and federal maritime law govern in this case, can states seek punitive damages to “fill in the gap,” this gap being potentially necessary because the federal government is under no legal obligation to give money recovered in fines under the Clean Water Act to the Gulf region. A Senate bill with bipartisan support that will give 80% of fines collected to the region is making its way through committee, but in these days of the Tea Party, who can trust Congress to do what’s right for the people? Judge Barbier gave each of the parties a week to submit legal briefs on the matter and presumably, Barbier will rule on this at the next status conference which is set for October 21st, with the actual trial set to begin in February…
If that trial is even necessary:
Findings of the second major investigation by the U.S. government into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, may press BP into putting over $30 billion on the table to quickly settle its outstanding legal headaches. The report, released on Wednesday, was even more damning of BP’s behavior than the Presidential panel’s findings, which were issued in January and February. Both reports also highlighted mistakes made by BP’s contractors, driller Transocean and cement specialist Halliburton. The investigations have not left London-based BP eager to face the Department of Justice or civil claimants in court.
“We would like everything settled as soon as we can, otherwise you have lingering reputation issues and investor uncertainty,” one insider said after the latest report.
At issue is whether BP will be ruled grossly negligent which will dramatically increase their per barrel fines under the Clean Water Act and after the report by the Joint Investigation Team of the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement and the Coast Guard this is something that looks increasingly likely.
Stuart Smith writes a solid analysis of this legal end and the advantages BP might have by offering a settlement instead of actually going to trial, which of course revolves primarily around money. A settlement, instead of a long drawn out trial could allow BP to finally clean up their corporate image by putting this whole episode behind them, and if they were to go to trial and lose, be found grossly negligent and in addition ordered to pay punitive damages, the cost could far exceed a $30 billion dollar offer. British Petroleum obviously wouldn’t want to face a loss like that. Their company remains in financial trouble enough and that kind of judgement, well…that kind of judgement would be like a rocket launch from a Louisiana courthouse straight into BP’s corporate headquarters.
Or maybe, tar balls continuing to wash up on their shores.
Have a nice day.
Since every team in the division lost, can we just pretend the season starts today? A destruction of the Chicago Bears would sure be a nice place to start…because as I wander around the windy city on my day off tomorrow, it would be a beautiful thing to wear some Saints gear and laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh again kinda steely-eyed creepy…you know, cause its fun and increased anger in Bears fans quickly ruptures already strained arteries.
And on a completely unrelated note, have I ever told of my absolute hatred for that pinhead NCAA Football announcer, Brent Musburger? Oh yeah, they invented the head-on collision for jackasses like that, but I suppose I’ll save that tale for another time.
Enjoy the game all…
Have a nice day.
Jim Hood continues to do battle with Ken Feinberg, administrator of the GCCF claims fund.
At issue right now is jurisdiction of a lawsuit filed by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood against the GCCF, where the Attorney General is asking Ken to comply with a subpoena and allow Hood to look behind the GCCF’s magic curtain to find out how these claims are being processed.
In response, Ken Feinberg filed a motion to remove the lawsuit to Federal Court, saying jurisdiction can and should be changed because this is a civil matter and the Deepwater Horizon exploded on the Outer Continental Shelf, but this past week, Jim Hood filed a motion to keep the lawsuit inside the Mississippi Court system. Hood argues his lawsuit came not as a civil matter, but as an attempt to enforce a subpoena that Feinberg had ignored, and since it is not a civil matter, its jurisdiction cannot be moved: “The state of Mississippi has not filed a substantive complaint stating a cause of action and requesting relief; therefore, it has not initiated a civil action in this matter,” Hood’s motion says, “The attorney general is engaged in a strictly pre-litigation investigation of the activities of the GCCF and Mr. Feinberg pursuant to the attorney general’s duty under the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act.”
Beyond this, it can be argued the GCCF is meant to compensate people damaged by the oil as it approached and reached Mississippi shores and fishing waters, which is quite the distance from the Outer Continental Shelf. Also, the GCCF operations Hood is asking to take a look at are operating within the state of Mississippi, not out in the Gulf.
It could also be argued Feinberg’s motion is simply an attempt to get this case to a kinder, more gentle court, one not so directly linked to Mississippians.
Of course Ken would deny this, just as he would deny he’s trying to stall this case out, much in the way he would deny he’s been stalling most things GCCF related for the past year, perhaps in this case hoping to have US Attorney General Eric Holder’s audit deflate Hood’s support or lay the groundwork to preempt his suit or give cause for Feinberg to criticize Hood for wasting Mississippi’s time and resources when that Federal audit is already in the planning stages.
Key word being : Federal.
Not the states, not Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida, but Federal, where people have always been kinder to career bureaucrats and politicians masquerading as lawyers.
And ultimately, what are we really talking about here, still?
The Gulf Coast deserves it and Feinberg is trying to control it, keeping people from looking too closely at what the GCCF is doing. If everything’s so on the up and up as Feinberg has maintained, what is the problem here? Certainly not the confidentiality of records. The claimants involved in Hood’s action have already given permission for Hood to look at their records. Feinberg’s games need to end, because the claimants caught within his legal maneuvering need justice, fairness and the assurance they have been screwed only once, by British Petroleum, and not twice, by British Petroleum and Ken Feinberg.
Read the article:
Have a nice day.
When Tropical Storm Lee created a storm surge over Labor Day weekend, the surf brought in a new array of tar balls to some Gulf Coast Beaches. The Alabama communities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, still cleaning up this new oil from the Macondo Well, have requested British Petroleum bring in more beach cleaning machinery to ensure the clean-up is done right.
British Petroleum refused.
Instead, BP will increase the hours of the cleanup workers. BP spokesperson, Ray Melick, said crews would get rid of the oil on the beaches.
Which brings us to the metaphor for the entire cleanup process, actually for the entire “making people whole” line of bullshit BP has been spreading for almost a year and a half now.
Philip West, a city coastal resources manager for Orange Beach had this to say about BP’s plan: “A lot of times after storms, you clean the surface of the sand,” West said. “You pick up what you can see, run a beach cleaner through it. But in some areas — and there are various reasons for it — there could be some buried debris, so you have to run plows. You have to be very thorough and we just don’t think a SCAT guy with a shovel probe punching a few holes is that kind of thorough that we would need.”
BP, cleaning the surface of the sand…while leaving what can’t be seen where it is…just like Corexit dispersant sank the oil to the seafloor, out of sight, just like they’re quick to attack the surface of any problem in the Gulf, while leaving the cause buried deep below.
Clean enough, whole enough, cheap enough…but none of it right enough to fix the mess they created by not being safe enough.
Thanks British Petroleum, you’re the virus that keeps on infecting.
Read the article:
Have a nice day.
Yep, working the Adult Crisis lines tonight all by my lonesome, waiting for the phone to ring in an office building I’ve known off and on for twenty years, and thinking about being elsewhere…just missing a late night walk up Polk Street to California, take a right and climb up and over Nob Hill to Kearney, then take a left and run it straight up to Vesuvio’s across Kerouac Alley from City Lights Books…
Grabbing a beer and reading whatever book I have with me in the moment… or sitting back and watching the people moving in and out of the Italian restaurants, the Condor, Tosca’s, the strip club across the way…all that never-ending traffic at the corner of Columbus and Broadway and everybody shares the sidewalks: from the homeless to the tourists, the jack-ass fratboys to the Beat-writer wannabe’s, the night-time socialites to the forever San Franciscans thinking about the way the city used to be, the way it is now and comparing notes with those so newly arrived. Vesuvio’s, easily one of my favorites spots in the city, a place I used to frequent quite a bit, all times of the morning, day, and night, whenever the mood struck, and usually with jazz on the jukebox…
Have a good evening.
Thelonious Monk – Everything Happens to Me