So, I was reading an article/book review in Time magazine about the Deepwater Horizon where the writer, a Mr. Bryan Walsh separates people into two camps…people who can’t forget about the oil spill and say the region still hasn’t recovered (Dead coral, dolphins, depleted shrimp catches, health problems, tar balls still and oil entering the food chain…etc…) and the people who just want to forget all about the oil spill, mainly people in the oil industry and Republicans who complain that offshore drilling has slowed under Obama.
And I just gotta ask, which I know puts me in that first group…forget about the oil spill? Seriously? You’d have to be pretty boiled over with distracted emotion to forget about millions of barrels of oil and millions of gallons of Corexit being dumped all over our nation’s main source of seafood, among other things…
Hmm, did I say anger?
Yeah, the GOP, they’re really, really angry…at Obama and the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOERME) with it’s new (kind-of) safety regulations and (kind-of) oversight.
GOP Rep. Doc Hastings is beside himself pissed, issuing subpoena’s every chance he gets…but with all that anger, being so focused and all…I gotta ask, “Hey, GOP, what about BP?”
Can you spare a bit of your angry jackassery for the dipshits at British Petroleum?
As this article points out, by way of a review of Abrahm Lustgarten’s book, Run to Failure: BP and the Making of the Deepwater Horizon:
“What had been a company with a history of safety—even dullness—was turned upside down. And while profits and market share increased, the accidents started piling up. In 2005 a major explosion occurred at BP’s Texas City refinery, killing 15 workers. Employees had complained for months of the dangerous conditions at the refinery, but nothing was done. The next year a major spill occurred in BP’s Prudhoe Bay, Alaska facilities, resulting in more fines for the companies. Even before Deepwater Horizon, BP was cited far more often by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for safety violations than any other company. As Scott West, a former EPA official who had investigated the company in Alaska, told me after the spill, BP was a “serial environmental criminal.”
A “serial environmental criminal…”
So, Obama and BOERME play it safe, a move necessitated by the fact that British Petroleum played it anything but and thus caused the United State’s worst environmental disaster of all time and now, correct me if I’m wrong, but the oil industry and the GOP are maintaining that it is Obama who’s the asshole in all this?
Well, in my opinion, you guys should all go and kind of eat some shit…and that goes double for you, Vitter, you self righteous-hypocritical prick. Maybe you might listen to reason at the next BOERME meeting if they bring you a pair of diapers and a bible, ass.
In the Gulf of Mexico, the government serves two fundamental roles:
1. They are the protective savior, providing certain corporations and clean-up contractors legal cover for any consequences that might arise from the manufacture and use of poisonous products.
2. They are an overprotective savior, goose-stepping boogeymen who don’t know shit about marine life, and waste everyone’s time getting in the way of big oil and natural gas.
Man…it’s a damned if you do situation that’s almost enough to make one sympathetic towards the Obama administration…almost, but not quite.
Nalco, the makers of “safe as dish soap” Corexit, and other companies involved in cleaning up the oil filed a motion in Judge Barbier’s court asking the judge to dismiss them from liability because their product is safe they were operating on behalf of the feds, and therefore feel they are entitled to immunity from any later health claims.
You see, Nalco only manufactured the stuff, it was the government and BP who actually used it, and that is not Nalco’s fault.
And you see, the clean-up companies only didn’t provide proper protective gear to cleanup workers, it was the government and BP who actually…uh provided…who uh, what, no? Look damnit, the clean-up contractors were working for the government and therefore feel they too should be given immunity from the consequences of all their bullshit money saving, PR working tactics to score contracts and make everyone happy, well, everyone except the actual workers.
Thank God that Plaintiff Steering Committee is in place to put a stop to this kind of corporate dodge. I mean, after the actions of the banks in ’08, what with their causing, then benefiting from the recession at the expense of so many, you just know the attorneys aren’t going to sit still and let yet another group of companies screw the people for their own financial benef…wait, what?
“In mid-February, the plaintiffs steering committee filed a motion saying that it believed that BP would ultimately be responsible for any health issues associated with responding to the spill, so it asked the court if it could remove the clean-up, responder and dispersant defendants from its complaint so it could concentrate on BP. The plaintiffs said that such a move would dismiss the companies from the litigation, but not let them entirely off the hook.”
The PSC filed to remove Nalco and the clean-up companies because going after all these companies would be too hard? Because they just wanted to focus on BP? What, are they not getting paid enough to handle such complexities?
Okay…okay…now true, the PSC did ask for dismissal without prejudice, meaning they can re- file against these companies later, but in doing so…didn’t they just help Nalco and the cleanup companies bolster their case for getting themselves dismissed “with prejudice,” or in other words, dismissed for real? It sure would seem so…the PSC takes a half-step and Nalco sees that half-step and raises them a full, all the while arguing they were just following orders, man…it ain’t them, it was the government. We didn’t tell the Feds to dump two million gallons of this poison into the Gulf, we just brought it in on tanker trucks. They asked. We delivered. Yes, right, and the banks were just trying to turn a profit under the law, they didn’t do anything wrong either.
Recession? What recession?
Cancer cluster? What cancer cluster?
Dolphin deaths off the Louisiana coast?
Huh? What dolphin deaths?
“From February 2010, NOAA has reported 180 dolphin strandings in the three parishes that surround Barataria Bay — Jefferson, Plaquemines and Lafourche — or about 18 percent of the 1,000 estimated dolphins in the bay. Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it had found 32 dolphins in the bay underweight, anemic and showing signs of liver and lung disease. Nearly half had low levels of stress hormones that help with stress response, metabolism and immune function.
Lori Schwacke, a NOAA scientist, said the dolphins’ hormone problems could not definitely be tied to the oil spill but were “consistent with oil exposure.” Over the same period of time, NOAA says 714 dolphins and whales have been found stranded from the Florida Panhandle to the Texas state line, with 95 percent of those mammals found dead. Normally, the region sees 74 reported dolphin deaths a year.”
So then, it would appear that something is not only wrong in the courthouse, something is very wrong with the wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, especially around Louisiana where the oil spill flowed the heaviest…and in response to all this death and dying, the feds stepped in to ban the seismic equipment used by oil and natural gas companies to find geologic deposits for drilling. These seismic surveys are done with air-guns that emit pulsing sounds known to disturb marine mammals and could also disrupt mother and calf bonding for the dolphins. Okay…government being cautious…good and how long is the ban in effect for? Just until the beginning of May when calving season ends.
Again…good, so everybody’s happy, right?
Of course not…
Global Geophysical Services Inc. the company being paid to do these surveys and therefore having no conflict of interest dispute the dangers of their testing, saying, “We see no hazard to them (the dolphins) whatsoever.”
Oh, okay…well there you have it then. The company also notes that since the government has stepped in with their new unnecessary regulations, they have had to lay off thirty people…so there. Man, just give it a day until Jindal’s giving a speech somewhere to talk about what a rat bastard Obama is…
What a drag to be a fed these days.
Not only should the government provide immunity to companies that manufacture poisons or perhaps lack proper cleanup gear, thus causing health problems for untold amounts of people, but the government should stop enforcing regulations that protect marine life in the same Gulf where all those toxic poisons were dumped.
Total drag, these two roles of government in the Gulf:
You exercise a lack of caution, companies demand you provide legal immunity.
You exercise any caution, companies demand you get out the way of big business because you’re costing money and jobs.
It’s gotta almost be enough for Obama to grab a seismic air-gun, march into Barbier’s courtroom and point it at not only the defendants, but the entire Plaintiff Steering Committee and I for one, wouldn’t mind if he did.
Hell, I might even meet him there to see if he’d let me pull the trigger.
As any who check this site with any regularity are sure to know, my politics run to the left, really far to the left…
Left like Obama?
Left like Russ Feingold?
No…he’s nothing more than a covert member of the Heritage Foundation.
My politics…they run further left than professionals of this ilk, they rumble along similar tracks laid by a Noam Chomsky, an Alexander Berkman or Pierre Proudhon and that being the case, I understand that when it comes to the majority of Americans, when I shake my head thinking everyone’s gone crazy as I examine their belief systems and life choices…I understand my opinions are oft the minority.
Fair enough. I can accept that…
Especially when it comes to the realities of climate change global warming…
I understand that when I look at people who have children, even my own family members and I question such choices, feeling offspring in this day and age is really a whole lot of selfish vanity and lack of control when it comes to biologic impulse…I get that my opinion is in the minority. I know when I see someone purchasing a 3-D television, and I feel that both the cost to purchase it and the energy required to run the thing is morally repugnant, again…I get it, minority opinion.
And again, fair enough.
However…my leftist opinions don’t change the reality staring at this country and the world, at it’s children and that reality is global warming is fucking real and the time is coming soon when no one will have a choice anymore to accept or reject this reality. Flooding, temperatures, sea level rise, storm intensity, heat waves…maybe even new epidemics…all here, or on the way and pretty soon, like in a few years soon, if nothing concrete is in the works, it’ll be too late.
But again…leftist opinion…my leftist opinion.
So, what about the right?
What about God declaring us stewards of the land, about the free market, about myths, ice ages, Palinesque trumpetings and so many other lines of crap from climate deniers…and yes, I include such rightists as Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and other pseudo-democrats who attempt token changes in environmental policy that really don’t amount to shit in that mix as rightists…yeah, what about them, what about all of that?
Okay…well how about Paul Douglas?
From a GOP meterologist and businessman:
“I’m going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real. I am a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment, and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I’m a meteorologist, and the weather maps I’m staring at are making me uncomfortable. No, you’re not imagining it: we’ve clicked into a new and almost foreign weather pattern. To complicate matters, I’m in a small, frustrated and endangered minority: a Republican deeply concerned about the environmental sacrifices some are asking us to make to keep our economy powered-up, long-term. It’s ironic. The root of the word conservative is “conserve.” A staunch Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, set aside vast swaths of America for our National Parks System, the envy of the world. Another Republican, Richard Nixon, launched the EPA. Now some in my party believe the EPA and all those silly “global warming alarmists” are going to get in the way of drilling and mining our way to prosperity. Well, we have good reason to be alarmed.”
And he only goes on from here with further climate denier debunking…
He discusses how believing climate science doesn’t make you a liberal, how Christianity is no defense of being a flat-earther, of how 30 year old “alarmist” predictions from climate scientists are coming true, and faster than expected – one by one…of how capitalism, yes…capitalism can even help be a proponent to alternative energy sources if people would finally stop buying the bullshit from people making money hand over fist from rising gas prices and finally reinvest not only in newer, less destructive forms of energy, but in your own kids’ futures. And of course, he points out how getting responsible when it comes to the environment used to be a Republican thing by way of the National Parks System and the EPA, and it could be again through alternative energy job creation…
And finally, to my Louisiana friends, especially in New Orleans and southwards…to those who understand the environmental situation…grand. Good, what are we going to do about all of this? But to those in climate denial down there…seriously? You realize where you live, right? Rising sea levels and all that? No? Okay, how about this: do you honestly think all those assholes funding the war on science (which in all truth is a war on you) are going to be down on the disappearing Louisiana shores lamenting their houses as rising water makes living in them no longer tenable, or do you think they’ll be on the high ground, with a lot of your money, in gated communities, forgetting to apologize for all the lies they told you while they made that money and screwed your childrens’ futures?
Hmm…I’m guessing gated communities and major cash.
Paul Douglas, in his blog post…he concludes with the following:
“The climate is warming. The weather is morphing. It’s not your grandfather’s weather anymore. The trends are undeniable. If you don’t want to believe thousands of climate scientists – at least believe your own eyes: winters are warmer & shorter, summers more humid, more extreme weather events, with a 1-in-500 year flood every 2-3 years. For evidence of climate change don’t look at your back yard thermometer. That’s weather. Take another, longer look at your yard. Look at the new flowers, trees, birds, insects and pests showing up outside your kitchen window that weren’t there a generation ago.
This is a moral issue. Because the countries least responsible will bear the brunt of rising seas, spreading drought and climate refugees. Because someday your grandkids will ask what did you know…when…and what did you do to help? We’ve been binging on carbon for 200 years, and now the inevitable hangover is setting in. Curing our addiction to carbon won’t happen overnight. But creative capitalism can deal with climate change. I’m no fan of big government or over-regulation. Set the bar high. Then stand back and let the markets work. Let Americans do what they do best: innovate.
We can figure this out. Frankly, we won’t have a choice. But I’m a naïve optimist. We can reinvent America, leaving us more competitive in the 21st century, launching thousands of new, carbon-free energy companies – supplementing, and someday surpassing anything we can expeditiously suck out of the ground and burn, accelerating an already-warming planet. We don’t have to bury our heads in Saudi sand – we’ll never “frack” our way to a sustainable future. It’s time for a New Energy Paradigm. There’s no silver bullet. But there’s plenty of (green) buckshot, if we aim high and point America in the right direction. We need realleadership, and a viable, bipartisan blueprint for inevitable energy independence from President Obama and Congress. Yes, healthcare is important. So is the long-term health of our air, land and water.
There are steps all of us can take today. I own one hybrid, another on order. I bought a home a mile away from my office, to reduce my carbon footprint (and preserve some sense of sanity). But there’s much more I can do. Let’s challenge ourselves to reinvent our own energy ecosystems.”
A recent editorial in the New Orleans Times-Picayune celebrated House Passage of an amendment to the transportation bill which mandated 80% of Clean Water Act fines levied against British Petroleum for their catastraphuk be earmarked to the Gulf States who suffered the damages. The editorial called this first step important. It noted how this was the House of Representatives making a public commitment to the Gulf Coast and never shall it be torn asunder.
I would love to be so optimistic.
I really would, but I can’t. History just won’t allow it.
Back in April of 2010, very soon after the Deepwater Horizon exploded, we were greeted with congressional slogans and promises by so many members giving impassioned speeches from the floor or telling any media outlet they could find just how they would take immediate action to ensure something like this oil spill would never happen again.
We’ll make drilling safer! We’ll make it clean! As your elected Congress, we will not rest until we fix the problems that led to this horrible, ongoing disaster…
And what laws were passed?
Essentially, none…in fact, what happened was quite the opposite as new laws were voted on which would accelerate the rate of drilling and open up newer, more sensitive areas to oil exploration all the while listing the same safety precautions that failed in the Gulf as their rock-solid protection against any future spills. So, with that recent history, you’ll have to pardon my lack of enthusiasm when it comes to passage of this amendment, because I just ain’t buying it this time. I want it to, but I have my doubts it’ll happen like they say, uh-uh, too easy. Congress is way too distracted with their endless pursuit of politically winning nothing at the expense of the other party.
But wait a minute, to be fair, it did pass and that’s something…right right?
Right, even though the amendment doesn’t actually authorize any payments, it only requires that the money be placed into a special fund. It is the RESTORE act, yet to be passed, which will do the dirty work of allocating these funds to the states. That’s when the politics will really come into play I fear – How much money does each state get? What can the money be used for, and how much? What do the states, and then the counties and then the towns have to do to get this money? And when do they get it?
Republicans will probably want to earmark as much money as possible for commercial development purposes at the expense of the overall environment, while the Democrats will be focused more on actual coastal restoration, and that’s when this whole thing will get so complicated, and so politicized and overwrought we get delays, name-calling and other assorted grandstanding bullshit on various news channels, so much so the whole process will take so much longer than it needs to, playing games with time the Gulf Coast is running out of.
Oh, and let’s not forget that the amendment itself was attached to a bullshit transportation bill which would not give enough money to maintain highways and roads, wind up cutting funds to public transportation all while it opens environmentally sensitive areas for more oil drilling, not to mention the bill also authorizes the Keystone XL pipeline, which the President has already come out against…
In other words, this bill is terrible and shouldn’t pass. This isn’t a first step, this is a political ploy and a dodge by the House of Representatives.
Can’t you just hear it?
Gosh golly gee, Louisiana, we wanted to give you guys all that money, but the Democrats and that damned White House…well, they said no way and voted us down…but we tried.
Right, though another way of putting this would be how hopefully, the Democrats refuse the GOP’s blackmail tactics, the same shit they’ve been running for the past year with the whole government shutdown, deficit reduction and ceiling, super committee give us everything we want or you get nothing…well, until the payroll tax extension blew up in their face.
Even the author of the amendment, Steve Scalise, isn’t making a whole lot of sense:
“Now that the House is on record supporting the dedication of these fines to the Gulf Coast states and to fully restoring the ecosystems and communities of the region, we will continue pressing forward with our colleagues in the Senate to pass the entire RESTORE Act into law.”
Again…so what if the House is on record? Who’ll call them onto the carpet if they change their minds, or water the amendment down, make it 60% or maybe 55% because you know, we have a deficit and those are federal funds…and Louisiana? You’re America’s sewer anyway so you’re used to getting screwed…oh, and on those same lines, I would appreciate if Mr. Scalise could explain to me just why the hell I’m supposed to suddenly believe the GOP House is committed to restoring ecosystems?
These are the same guys who are pushing forward the wholesale destruction of mountains in Appalachia, not to mention the poisoning of our nation’s water supplies through natural gas fracking. The destruction of ecosystems is kind of a GOP trademark. The Democrats aren’t innocent either, but at least they pretend to care and pass half-measures. Hell, the House GOP wasted how much time bringing back incandescent light bulbs?
And at what point does Eric Cantor finally find himself a microphone and demand spending cuts to offset this money because even though the cash’ll be coming from BP, it would normally go to the Federal treasury so in not doing so this time around, isn’t that really additional Federal spending, albeit indirectly? So we better cut Medicare, Social Security and oh, why not food stamps this time if you want your money. Why wouldn’t he try it? This is the same high-strung yuppie villain who initially demanded offsets for disaster funding going to tornado victims in his own state, and he’s in the House GOP leadership.
You really think he cares about states he doesn’t live in?
So yeah, the editorial board at the Times-Picayune calls this amendment an important step forward, and I want to believe it but I have to disagree. I think right now, I can’t consider this more than wishful thinking…because if there’s one thing we know to watch out for when it comes to the first steps of politicians, it’s to dodge immediately left so you don’t get run over when they take their two steps back.
Bobby blames everybody but Bobby for all the criticisms levied against the decisions and policies of Bobby.
Gotta feel for the guy, though…it must be difficult to be the only reasonable man in not only Louisiana, but the United States…the only true conservative, the only one willing to fight for the Louisiana coast he didn’t really care about until he saw the possibility to earn political points by developing a sudden, long-standing love of all things nature and fighting and Obama sucks and aviator sunglasses badassery!…oh, and the only man to care so much about fiscal responsibility, he’s willing to make the hard choices that fuck the poor out of health care and he had to, because those health care providers and bureaucrats just didn’t listen to him, didn’t plan and since they didn’t, who would Jindal be to try to remedy the situation and ensure his state’s citizens are cared for? Certainly not a benevolent leader of any sort, after all, his hands are clean and leadership is only for brief moments when one gets to ride helicopters and criticize the federal government…
Ah, but I’m rambling…let’s review, shall we?
Jindal went to CPAC and told a rabid crowd how badly Obama screwed up in the oil response, how he had “wasted precious time while that oil was coming to our coast, they refused to listen to the people who lived along the coast that knew better than the experts.”
Yeah, Obama was the only idiot in the Gulf. Because Jindal certainly never signed off on an emergency plan filed by BP which included the names of dead scientists to be contacted in case of an oil spill. Jindal never pushed forth a plan to create sand berms which not only wouldn’t stop the oil, but would also wash back into the Gulf and wouldn’t you know it, happened to make a profit for the Shaw Group, one of Jindal’s campaign donors.
Mere details, details not included in his speech because obviously, none of it was Bobby’s fault, it was Obama. If Barack Obama had just given Jindal what he needed, when he needed it, the damages from the spill would have been entirely mitigated, because for years Jindal and his cronies sat around the governor’s mansion anticipating the breach of the Macondo Well. They were all over that shit. And of course Jindal didn’t contrast democrat Obama’s horrible BP response with Bushco’s republican wonder works after Katrina…if it were to be asked, he would probably call the comparison irrelevant, not even worth a comment, not to mention politically unpalatable.
Next, Jindal proposes a new budget for Louisiana that not only privatizes everything he can get his hands on (because if there’s one thing we’ve learned since 2008, it is the efficiency and success of private industry, you know, like all things financial market and banks and auto industry and Standards and Poverty) he figures in more cuts to public health and surprise! No more cuts to higher education.
When it comes to state health, Jindal is calling for the removal of $34 million dollars in funds to the LSU network of public hospitals and clinics serving the poor and uninsured. Thousands of people receiving care from LSU would have to look for care elsewhere, where there is none, and hundreds of hospital workers would be laid off. LSU of course expressed disappointment in this development while Jindal’s health care secretary blamed LSU for recklessly overspending and blaming the administration. Also, Jindal proposes to cut reimbursement rates to doctors who work with Medicaid, but relax, politicians love to say, they’re not cutting even more services, just provider rates which…shhhhh, make doctors stop offering medicaid services in order to not go bankrupt, thus depriving health choices from the poor, yet again, so the poor, fucked again, but who cares in these times of austerity? Certainly not Bobby, All he knows is it certainly isn’t his fault LSU cared more about providing services and less about the budget. These are tough times! These are times of sacrifice! Jindal is more than willing to prove his conservative bonafides by balancing his budgets on the backs of the poor so what makes LSU’s public hospital so immune, so special?
Maybe if they served more rich people, they’d be in better financial shape.
Anyways, onto higher education which Jindal will not cut in this current budget and we certainly could applaud this, especially if we choose to forget the past three years, but maybe the reason he didn’t cut funding to colleges and universities this year is he already took everything he could over the past three…all $251 million dollars worth. Perhaps he’d been informed that if he cut anything else, the colleges were going to have to steal manufacturing jobs from the prisons, requiring students to work two hours a day in the gymnasiums making gloves or running call centers, the profits from which universities could then use to offset further cuts to their budgets.
Hey, didn’t Jindal also say he was going to sell prisons in this new budget? So maybe there will be manufacturing contracts available after all.
Yes, it’s Jindal’s Louisiana…where quick, reactionary answers are proffered for any question.
BP oil spill?
Obama did it, or at least he applauded it and did very little while Bobby hung from a helicopter in a bomber jacket, sporting cool shades and a bucket bailing out the Gulf with the help of Chuck Norris!
Denying health care to the poor?
That’s got nothing to do with Bobby. That’s LSU’s fault for not working harder to craft a more stringent budget and take on their own responsibility in denying healthcare to the poor. And hey, if those doctors decide to stop offering medicaid services because politicians like Jindal keep starving them out through reimbursement rate reductions, well, that’s on those greedy fucking doctors and their love of not declaring bankruptcy.
Funding higher education?
Hey, Jindal already cut $251 million dollars over the past three years and this year, if he tries to cut more, Tulane will have to begin selling their students for scientific experiments…
Well…no blame for Bobby, everybody else will have to shoulder their share of the responsibility, especially those who are suffering already…
After all, tightening the vise on those who can least afford it is the republican way.
In this past week, it has been reported how, in the immediate aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, British Petroleum had demanded via e-mail that it’s own expert be kept quiet when he gave his opinion stating 82,000 barrels of crude a day were coming from the Macondo Well. In fact, two days after ordering his silence, BP publicly announced their estimate that the flow rate was only 1,000 barrels per day. And of course, this report comes on the heels of another showing how the White House had been trying to get the United States Geologic Survey to downgrade its flow rate estimates in public statements too, reducing the USGS estimate of at least 25,000 barrels of oil per day coming from the well to a number the NIC thought sounded better, 12,000 to 25,000 barrels or better still, the estimate a White House Communications officer suggested, 12,000 – 19,000 barrels per day. Oh, and who can forget the wrongful termination lawsuit being filed by August Walters where he claims to have been fired by BP a couple of months back because he wouldn’t modify clean-up data to make the beaches appear cleaner on paper than they in fact truly were, thus allowing BP to say they’d turned the corner and in light if this data, come to an agreement with the Coast Guard to officially move from cleanup to restoration, all while eagerly anticipating the stock bump to come from such an announcement.
Yes, these are the assholes in charge making things right along the Gulf Coast, and yes, the oil company mentioned in the above paragraph is the same British Petroleum putting out all those feel good commercials telling you how everything is just swell now. Hey! The economy, the seafood and the jobs are back!
And now, today even, when it comes to that same oil company and that same government, I’m sure if you asked, they’d go on and on to tell you how it would be impossible for the low-balling of flow-rate numbers that lead to a potentially flawed cleanup response based on their bad data, and how the fact there is still more unaccounted for oil in the Gulf of Mexico than was spilled from the Exxon Valdez…yeah, they’ll tell you how none of this has anything to do with more dead dolphins…even if there still is oil along the Louisiana coast.
Of course not.
That would be fucking ridiculous, and potentially unprofitable…
“Since the beginning of the month, 14 marine mammals, including a dozen dolphins, have been found along the northern Gulf of Mexico. Half of the dead dolphins washed up on the Louisiana coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calls it an “Unusual Mortality Event” in the northern Gulf and next month will mark two years since it began. The tally so far: 630 dead.
The event started in February of 2010 – two months before the oil spill began. Still, the deaths raise a red flag with the Gulf Restoration Network. “The ongoing death of these dolphins speaks to the idea that we haven’t seen all of the impacts from the BP oil drilling disaster end yet,” said Dan Favre of the Gulf Restoration Network.
At the height of British Petroleum’s catastraphuk…the scientists involved from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) were estimating at least 25,000 barrels per day were gushing from the well.
But, the National Incident Command suggested they report the flow rate to be between 12,000-25,000 barrels per day.
And a White House Communications person suggested they report the flow rate at 12,000-19,000 barrels per day.
However, part one:
Both would have been a lie, because as previously noted the USGS were estimating a minimum of 25,000 barrels per day and now…21 months later…the above-mentioned facts come out, that the White House was trying to downplay the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico and unlike 21 months ago, nobody’s really paying attention anymore so it’ll be pretty much like it never happened…even though, all their bullshit obfuscations resulted in a less effective response to this spill.
Hey, it’s all politics, baby.
However, part two:
So then, tonight, when all over the fucking television will be Mitt Romney giving his pre-State of the Union Speech to be followed by Barack Obama giving his actual State of the Union Speech, to then be followed by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels giving a GOP rebuttal to the State of the Union Speech – what one might ask is what will all these asshole politicians be lying to you about now?
And do you really care?
And if you do care, what are you willing to do about it?
Why do I do what I do? Why do I write the things I do on the internet? For what purpose?
Do I believe that by writing all the things I’ve written over the past year or so about British Petroleum, Ken Feinberg, the GOP, Barack Obama and whatever else will create a world of my liking…that British Petroleum will finally admit just how bad they’ve fucked up, and how yes, they could have been more careful and now…they are truly ready to make things right in the Gulf Coast? Or maybe Ken Feinberg will finally admit he could have done a much better job at compensating people for British Petroleum’s cluster-fuck rather than hiding behind a bunch of platitudes such as – look how much I’ve paid out! Look how many claims we’ve received! Hey, this is a lot better than Road Home…right right? Just one more blog post and Ken will fess up, review the claims again, give the benefit of the doubt, really be more generous than any court of law, stop being content with a reasonable margin of error and make sure that nobody, zero…no deserving claims go unpaid. Or maybe the next post I write will finally convince greedhead dipshits like Cantor, Boehner, McConnell and all the corporations they enable how the main goal in life, and the main theorem of their oft-espoused Poli- Christianity is not “Fuck that guy! I got mine!”
Hmm…I’m thinking none of this is very likely.
BP will continue to be BP up to, and including their next environmental disaster and employee death.
Ken Feinberg will continue to get rich from the denial of his conscience.
Politicians will continue to spin, help the haves get more so they can retain whatever it is they are trying to retain in lieu of a fucking soul.
Oh, and New Orleans will still have crime and poverty problems because nobody local, state or national really wants to do that much about the cause, instead preferring to criminalize the symptoms of all these problems we have.
Okay…so then, why write at all…because, sometimes, in here is more important than out there.
The reasons why I do what I do is because it’s what I know how to do and by doing it…this helps me get along in my day to days. Venting. Expressing. Blowing off steam so I don’t start looking fondly at Guns and Ammo magazine. These things help maintain a balance within myself and continue on down the roads of self-cultivation as I filter my experiences through eastern philosophies for context and a greater understanding of my condition and how it relates to the world…out there.
And hey, if it helps or gives some enjoyment to others along the way?
So keeping all that in mind, a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of the New Orleans Ladder, I read Nicholas Payton’s blog post entitled Fuck the 99% and my initial reaction to this piece was Fuck Nicholas Payton. His post seemed pretty judgmental (something I know a lot about) very cynical and way off base, at least from my experience on why people in the 99% movement were/are involved in the 99% movement…and he seemed to be saying that people should focus on inner peace and if they did, the world would take care of itself. My initial reaction aside, I did some more thinking about what he said as far as living authentic, connected lives and letting that outside world take care of itself and I realized Payton was right…and wrong.
I believe we need to do both.
We need demonstrations, anger in the streets and more connection to our surrounding communities…and we also need to take a hard look at ourselves and where we’re at and why it is we do what we do and how to come to terms with all of it…to find peace within.
Oh, and just when you think you’ve got yourself figured out?
Then, look again.
Developing inner peace as an internal reflection to what we wish for from an external world is just as important as being involved in helping to create that world, be it demonstrations, teaching, writing, family, what have you…so yeah…we enter a new year, and in here may be more important than out there, but out there is still something to pay attention to, be happy with or angry about and then respond accordingly, the best way you see fit.
And one of the actions I’ve chosen, along this road, is to write, and even if whatever I write never matters to anyone at all…it does matter to me, and my continuing search for balance…so, so be it…
And, when it does come to that external world:
1. Here’s hoping the federal audit of the GCCF is more than a smokescreen providing economic and political cover to Feinberg, British Petroleum and the Obama Administration.
2. Here’s hoping that criminal charges against British Petroleum finally come.
3. Here’s hoping we get to cheer the New Orleans Saints to the Super Bowl, and the same goes for the San Jose Sharks and the Stanley Cup.
At the end of this month the payroll tax holiday will expire, and if allowed to lapse, it will come as a tax increase for working lower and middle class Americans. The Democrats, including Obama, are in favor of an extension while many Republicans are not. Many Republicans are demanding the extension be offset by spending cuts elsewhere or simply done away with altogether.
Oh wait…forget that part…no, the reason some Republicans would be so willing to let it expire is our out of control deficit…fiscal prudence at its best, yes-sir, so fiscally responsible these Republicans, the cult of Norquist clan, they would allow a tax cut to expire. What an example of sacrifice? Imagine that, they finally agreed, not all tax cuts could be forever sacrosanct…oh, and the fact this party is oft accused of defending only the wealthy, and the fact this tax cut only benefits the working poor and middle class, not the wealthy…
I’m sure this is coincidence.
Has to be.
Just as I’m also sure it is only coincidence the Bush tax cuts, those gifts to the rich and a large part of our current deficit, weren’t required to be paid for while the payroll tax holiday, so many Republicans demand, must be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget.
Yes, this Republican coincidence is but one of many these days…
Take a look at the job creators, for instance. Nick Hanauer, a successful venture capitalist recently wrote an op-ed, stating:
Consider, for example, that a puny 3 percent surtax on incomes above $1 million would be enough to maintain and expand the current payroll tax cut beyond December, preventing a $1,000 increase on the average worker’s taxes at the worst possible time for the economy. With a few more pennies on the dollar, we could invest in rebuilding schools and infrastructure. And even if we imposed a millionaires’ surtax and rolled back the Bush- era tax cuts for those at the top, the taxes on the richest Americans would still be historically low, and their incomes would still be astronomically high…Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Middle-class consumers do, and when they thrive, U.S. businesses grow and profit.
Yet, the Republicans would rather it be discovered they wet the bed than raise taxes on the wealthy, on those job creators…God save the job creators, even if they call bullshit on their actual ability to create jobs…and I suppose this only makes no sense at all, none…I mean, the Bush tax cuts have been in effect for what, 10 years or so, yet strangely enough we’ve had a recession, we’ve watched a looting of pension plans, a housing collapse and high sustained unemployment for years… And through it all, the fact those taxes on the wealthy, meant to create jobs have done everything but create jobs?
But I digress, back to that tax break the Republicans are so sketchy about, the one that coincidentally doesn’t help the wealthiest of this country…when John Boehner was asked if letting the tax cut expire would hurt the economy, he replied, “I’m not an economist. I don’t know what kind of impact it’s going to have on the economy.”
Not an economist?
Yet he was sure the deficit didn’t matter when Bush was president, growing exponentially due to unfunded wars, tax breaks for the wealthy and that huge gift bag to pharmaceutical companies.
Just as he is now sure, that since Bush is no longer President, the deficit is destroying America as we know it, that if allowed to continue, not only will the deficit destroy our ability to manufacture American flags for the waving, but your mother’s apple pie? As a country, we will no longer be able to support the cost involved in using ovens, ever again. We will be one flag-less pie-less country, that much closer to gay marriage if we don’t do something about the deficit, like yesterday. He means…now.
Oh, but that Boehner suddenly lost his economist credentials, that he devolved into financial confusion when it was time for this tax break that doesn’t expressly help the wealthy?
Another matter of simple coincidence.
However…to be fair…Boehner has come around the past day or so, the GOP is coming around and now say the payroll tax holiday should be passed. John himself has said, ““The fact is that Republicans are doing everything we can to allow American families and small businesses to keep more of what they earn.”
Course, that was Public John Boehner. And what did Private John have to say about the payroll tax holiday?
Well, behind closed doors, he told his membership they were pushing a package that not only included the extension, but also more environmental deregulation, more sales of broadband spectrum and a change in policy to help pass the Keystone XL pipeline so, you know, he could turn “chicken shit into chicken salad.”
The ingredients of chicken salad of course being heavier pollution, sick kids, global warming, monopolies on spectrum leading to a lack of diversity on our airwaves, and a big fucking pipe to take oil all the way across our country from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, oil from tar sands development which is about as environmentally friendly as, well, as most Republican policy.
Oh, and that John Boehner didn’t refer to this tax break, which doesn’t help the wealthy, as “chicken shit” in public?
Coincidence…you know it.
Yes…coincidence…of course this is what it is, what all of this is.
Cutting taxes on job creators so they continue to not create jobs, unfunded tax breaks for the wealthy while tax breaks for the working poor and middle class must be offset by spending cuts, spectrum sales and pollution, and Boehners ability to be an arch-economist who sometimes, economically speaking, is dumb as a stump…
Two competing articles published a day apart have a very different take on the safety of Gulf Seafood…
In the first, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries report that not one bit, smidgen or iota of toxic chemicals has ever been found in Gulf Seafood and therefore the seafood is safe to eat, while in the second article, though first quoting the FDA’s website which reports the seafood “is as safe to eat as before the spill,” (a whole ‘nother can of worms), the article goes on to quote Louisiana fishermen and NRDC scientist Gina Solomon who seriously dispute the government’s findings.
Or…in other words, what’s your agenda?
Says the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries:
“The testing protocol, the first of its kind, analyzes water and seafood samples for pollutants found in the spilled oil and in various chemicals applied to disperse the oil. So far, no contaminants have been detected in any piece of seafood tested since the spill…”
Says the FDA:
“The seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe to consume for all consumers including pregnant women and children,” he asserts before adding, “The amount of seafood that somebody would have to eat would be the equivalent to sixty-three pounds of shrimp, or five pounds of oyster, or nine pounds of fin fish every day for five years before they would exceed levels to be concerned of. That’s how low the residues are in the seafood.”
Says Gina Solomon:
FDA only examined what would be safe for an adult. When they did their calculations they looked at what level of contamination would be safe for a 176 pound person. Children are known to be more vulnerable to contaminants in seafood because they eat more per pound of their bodyweight and their developing bodies are more sensitive to harmful contaminants. What’s more, in a pregnant woman, these contaminants can cross the placenta and harm the developing fetus. This increased vulnerability is well-known to science, and other agencies require that children be included in safety assessments.
Meanwhile, fishermen in the region continue to wonder aloud how the seafood can be safe when the shrimp seasons this year were so bad, with very little to catch, not to mention the state of the seafood they are catching:
“Fisherman are bringing in shrimp without any eyes … they evidently have lost their eyes and they’re still alive.”
So, who’s right?
Who do you want to believe?
Would seem to me that’s a personal decision…but if someone were to ask me, and I assume if you’re still reading this, you are…I might be more willing to bet my health on local fishermen and the NRDC, for a number of reasons:
Barack Obama will only benefit from clean bills of health when it comes to the Gulf. Many voters have placed the Gulf response at his feet and if this response is seen as ineffective, that affects him and his re-election chances. British Petroleum donates a great deal of money to Obama and are in bed with his administration as they begin to receive new leases for deep-sea drilling. The oil company would also love to see the perception of safe seafood begin to take hold so they can stop compensating fishermen. The state of Louisiana wants all to be well because it is their citizens being harmed by the bad reputation of Gulf seafood, a reputation that continues to be voiced outside of the Gulf Coast. Local fishermen, on the other hand, why the hell would they want to be quoted as saying something is wrong with the seafood if they didn’t believe it to be true? Feinberg and the GCCF have been short-changing everybody, livelihoods and whole ways of life are being impacted. Fishermen receive no benefit from ongoing bad perceptions whereas the NRDC, not beholden to the government or corporate sponsorship gains nothing from questioning the thoroughness of government testing or the claims of government agencies.
Oh…and the even worse problem?
Corporations and the United States Government have a long history of placing political perception and financial bottom lines over the health and welfare of their consumers and citizens and as a result, skepticism of their claims are automatic to almost anybody but the true believer. It is this distrust, born of their bad behavioral patterns that necessitates doubt of their claims…and it shouldn’t have had to be this way; it didn’t have to be this way…
But, it is…and who the hell wants to eat an eyeless shrimp?