This week, it was not Jindal’s fault…

I shit you not, Chuck Norris's balls are this big! I know! I've seen them! In the helicpter when we were fighting the oil spill!

Quite the week for Mr. Jindal.

Bobby goes to CPAC.

Bobby releases his budget for Louisiana.

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.

Sigh…

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…

Quick answers.

No blame.

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.

Read the articles:

At CPAC, Jindal revives attack on Obama administration over oil spill recovery

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration, LSU spar over cuts at public hospitals and clinics

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s state budget proposal is expected to avoid cuts in higher education

Have a nice day.

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What is BP hiding now, and why is the Coast Guard and NOAA helping?

Move along...nothing to see here...

Oil sheen…

Lots of oil sheen and lots of testing of oil from those sheens…

And weeks later, the people of the Gulf Coast are no closer to determining just what the hell is happening down at the Macondo Well site, if anything…

And British Petroleum, the Coast Guard and the NOAA seem to be in no real hurry to find out either, and that’s a problem, a big problem. Just what in the past seventeen months do these three entities feel they have accomplished, feel they have done so well that the American public should extend them any sort of automatic credibility, especially if that credibility is to rely on their word alone?

I can’t think of anything.

The oil began to reappear in the middle of last August, and since then the public has been treated to denial after denial…from British Petroleum and the Coast Guard who originally said there was no oil to be found, until Bonny Schumaker, a pilot with Wings of Care, flew over and took film of the oil. Then the Coast Guard and BP said okay, there may be oil but it isn’t oil from the Macondo well, it’s from natural seeps, from a different reservoir. Then reporters from the Press Register took a boat out there, took some samples and had it tested…and found the oil is from the Macondo.

And the response now?

In a Sept. 15 email, NOAA’s Sherman suggested that samples collected by the newspaper might not actually be from BP’s well, which is designated MC252 and called the Macondo well, “Yes, the oil that you took was confirmed as MC252, but it does not necessarily mean it is in any way related to the (Deepwater Horizon) spill. Most of the oil throughout the region can be preliminarily identified as MC252 type,” the email read. Sherman went on to say that NOAA’s Scientific Support Coordinator had consulted with the LSU chemists and determined that the oil might not be from the BP well.

Overton said federal officials were wrong. He said he rechecked the newspaper’s oil samples using the more refined analysis recommended by BP’s scientists and federal officials, “They were suggesting I had jumped the gun when I said it matched (BP’s well),” Overton said last week. “They are incorrect. I have double-checked, and I am even more convinced after using the suggestions that BP made that this was the Macondo oil. I think it is 99.9 percent confirmed that it came from that reservoir, “It is a dead-ringer match . I was amazed that the ratios matched as good as they did.”

Overton said BP also provided him with samples from nearby oil sources, none of which matched the oil collected by the newspaper.

Oops.

British Petroleum said at the end of last week they have done inspections with an ROV and failed to find any leaks around the main or relief well and they are now suggesting it is simply residual oil being released from equipment on the sea floor. They say they are continuing to work with the Coast Guard and the NOAA to identify the exact flow rate, I mean, to identify new sheens and where they might be coming from.

And that’s the point. That’s no longer good enough. It’s widely accepted BP was bullshitting everybody last year with their flow rate estimates back when the Macondo well was still spewing oil and the Coast Guard? Well, who knows what the hell the Coast Guard was doing at the time.

Again…their word? Don’t waste my time, especially when they have a little something called a hydrocarbon sniffer:

“There are instruments that can be deployed to detect the hydrocarbons,” said Robert Bea, a petroleum engineer at the University of California and a member of the Deepwater Horizon Study Group, which includes more than 50 top scientists. “The oil companies use subsea-towed ’sniffers’ for this purpose.”

BP officials declined to answer whether the company would use a hydrocarbon sniffer, which can trace oil in the water column from the surface to the seafloor.

“This is crazy. I don’t understand why they are not doing that,” said Overton, who with his colleagues recently earned NOAA’s “Superior Accomplishment Award” for oil analysis done for the government during the oil spill.

Yes, crazy…

It is crazy that it’s been well over a month since the sheens started to appear, that petroleum engineers, the experts, are telling BP, the Coast Guard and the NOAA what needs to be done here, yet nobody is doing it while at the same time, British Petroleum has begun the process to begin drilling again in the Gulf of Mexico…or maybe it isn’t crazy at all, maybe this is the reason the sniffers aren’t being deployed. Maybe British Petroleum doesn’t want to know what’s going on down there and would rather just assume everything is fine, you know, kind of like when they decided to not bother running tests and just assume the original cementing job at the Deepwater Horizon was good, or when they just assumed they didn’t need the extra centralizers down in the well either…

Hell, they thought it’d be just fine then too and gosh, it sure was cheaper.

Enough already.

Read the articles:

LSU confirms oil from BP well; feds collect samples

Time to take oil sheen seriously (editorial)

Have a nice day.

The Red Snapper…what am I supposed to make of this?

Am I gonna live, Doc?

Over the course of a week, it would appear a very interesting development has occurred regarding Red Snapper caught off the shore of Alabama…and it’s all got me a bit confused.

Last week, in the Pensacola News Journal, the NOAA was warning anglers that some fish are sick and may pose health problems if handled or eaten raw. The agency further suggests anglers be on the look out for fish that have lesions, fin rot, or discolored skin and toss these fish away.

Jim Cowan Jr., a Louisiana State University Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences scientist reports that the locations where the sick fish have been found correlate with areas most impacted by the BP oil spill. The NOAA, however, states that the LSU findings are preliminary, but Cowan said he believes the problems are more widespread, “I’m very worried because I’ve talked to both commercial and recreational fishermen who have been in the business 30 to 40 years and no one has seen anything like this,”

But, that was last week…

This week, I read in the Alabama Press-Register, the following headline:

“Snapper Season 2011, one year after BP oil spill: ‘Bigger, badder and better'”

Skipper Thierry, a charter boat captain, said he was initially fearful of what the season might bring, but after witnessing scientists continue to search the seafloor for oil and come up empty time and time again, Thierry has had a change of heart, “I think the fish are fine. I think the fishing’s fine. We still have a little bit of a perception problem — or maybe a lot of a perception problem — with the public. Nothing is going to heal that but time.”

As for a prediction about this year’s snapper season, Thierry said it’s going to be outstanding, “We left a lot of fish out there last year, and the spill didn’t kill them. That moves right on up the food chain. The fish are everywhere…I’ll say this: The Gulf, the red snapper, everything out there, is bigger, badder, and better than it’s ever been. And it really is. Nobody can deny that.”

Maybe, maybe not…I guess it all just depends on who you ask, and which day of the week it is.

And that’s unfortunate, very unfortunate because when it comes to all these perception problems, articles so diametrically opposed are a huge part of the problem…

Have a nice day.

A Quick Note on Taxes and Narrative…

Read my lips...no new taxes, for the Shaw Group or LHC Group or Entergy or CenturyTel or...

So, Bobby Jindal maintains that in the next legislative session, he will not permit taxes to be raised to close the monstrous Louisiana budget gap, but like all things having to do with terminology, language and narrative, this is untrue.

Sure, he won’t force everyone to pay a higher state income tax, but what about…

 Are bus fares going up around the state?

Are school tuition costs going up?

Social programs, are they being cut?

Once one blasts away all pretense at framing arguments, these three things and many, many others amount to taxes and more importantly to Jindal and his ilk, they amount primarily to taxes on the poor and middle class.

Sure, they aren’t called taxes per se, but when bus fares and tuition go up, it is routinely because the money they are getting from the government (funding, subsidies) is being cut to save the governor from having to cut the subsidies given elsewhere, often to larger business. And when social services are being cut, again to maintain the subsidies given to larger business, it is again the poor who are being affected.

These are government decisions that take money away from a family’s wallet or purse. If it happens on April 15th, it’s called a tax but if it happens on the other 364 days of the year we are supposed to call it fiscal responsibility and hard choices. No new taxes is never true, no matter how it looks in the campaign literature. Just ask those at the poverty line trying to buy groceries or a pair of middle class parents looking at a tuition bill from LSU…

Just a thought.

Have a nice day.

Bobby’s Bad Day…in Texas

"You think I need you to tell me about the problems in Texalouisianaflorda? Hardly, if Obama would get out of my way, I'd fix everything."

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, ever concerned about the needs of his constituents, spent yesterday attending to Louisianans in the grand ol’ state of Texas. He gave a speech. He hawked his book. He did a fund-raiser.

Oh, and while Bobby was out of town again…

The National Oil Spill Commission declared that Jindal’s great sand berm idea was ineffective to say the least, largely as a result of them not being built fast enough and also, in the wrong location. In response, Jindal said, “This report is partisan revisionist history at taxpayer expense,” which of course, is another way of saying, “All the people who said this berm idea was faulty from the beginning, and who have now been proven correct by the evidence in this report are either scientists, Democrats, or not hoping for some kind of higher office in 2012, so obviously I must know better.”

Meanwhile in Baton Rouge, also while Jindal was in Texas, more than 250 people gathered at the state capital to protest the poor job Kenneth Feinberg is doing in compensating the Gulf Coast for its losses as a result of BP’s oil spill. They complained that maids, bellhops and the such at Louisiana hotels are not being compensated from the claims fund, despite them losing money and hours as a result of the drop off in the tourist trade.

Jindal, to make sure his citizens understood how much he cared, even though he was in Texas, sent out his Chief of Staff, Timmy Teepell to inform the protesters that Jindal “continues to have concerns about the fairness, timeliness and accuracy” of the claims process and he will someday address them, from Texas or maybe Florida or Ohio, you know, where he is hard at work taking care of his constituents at fundraisers or book store events, these necessary obligations where Jindal is busy raising funds for…Louisiana.

Maybe this is how he intends to close the monstrous budget gap, continue doing fundraisers so he won’t have to cut back on education, on social services, on medical care…on…and on…and on…

If not, however, perhaps he would be better served by some serious brainstorming on how to fix the problems in his state, listen to his people, attend to their needs…come up with some seriously, creative solutions to blunt the looming damage from the budget shortfall…tor maybe finally admit what many have suspected all along, that Louisiana is a platform for Jindal to higher office and once he flies out of the state for good, he’ll be leaving the people and the problems behind.

Have a nice day.

Urgent: Call for a Moratorium On Demolitions in the LSU/VA Footprint

Make the call...

From Humid Beings, New Orleans Ladder and Save Charity Hospital

Repost from Save Charity Hospital website:

Given the continuing uncertainty surrounding the financing for the proposed University Medical Center (UMC) in Lower Mid-City, we ask you to call upon Mayor Landrieu and the New Orleans City Council to stop demolitions in the LSU/VA Hospitals Footprint:

Mayor Landrieu: (504) 658-4900   mayor@cityofno.com

Jackie Clarkson: (504) 658-1070   jbclarkson@cityofno.com

Arnie Fielkow: (504) 658-1060   afielkow@cityofno.com

Susan Guidry: (504) 658-1010   sgguidry@cityofno.com

Kristin Palmer: (504) 658-1030   kgpalmer@cityofno.com

Stacy Head: (504) 658 -1020   shead@cityofno.com

Cynthia Hedge-Morell: (504) 658-1040  chmorrell@cityofno.com

Jon Johnson: (504) 658-1050   jdjohnson@cityofno.com

Keep reading…

Urgent…Call for a Moratorium

Have a nice day.

FDA, NOAA Still Not Testing for Heavy Metals or Dispersants in Gulf Seafood

Okay, so we don't actually have to eat it, right?

Federal officials and the Obama administration have maintained for well over two months now that all is safe in the gulf: no serious food contamination, no significant risk to air and water quality, no long-term health risks.

And all this seems well and good so long as you only ask the government’s scientists.

Asking elsewhere, one gets an entirely different story, and from such notable periodicals like the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association, or from such notable people like staff scientists at the Natural Resources Defense Council or the Chair of Cancer Epidemiology of LSU or Gina Solomon of UCSF, just to name a few. In fact, it would pretty much appear that the only people willing to go on record that everything is safe in the Gulf would be the NOAA, the FDA, the EPA, various politicians and perhaps some science types at BP.

Everybody else seems to think there is much to be concerned about here. In a great three-part series featured on RawStory, the various threats to safety are explored.

In part one, they take a look at the seafood and its dangers of long-term health risks:

In particular, experts tell Raw Story, contaminants from the massive oil spill and unprecedented use of the dispersants employed to dissolve the spill have the potential to cause cancer and neurological disorders.

Exclusive: Gulf seafood poses long-term health risks, experts say

In part two, they take a look at how heavy metals still aren’t being tested for in Gulf seafood, heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium which have been linked to cancer in long term consumption:

Both National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and FDA officials told Raw Story that fish and shellfish being tested for the purpose of reopening waters to commercial and recreational fishing are not being tested for heavy metals.

Exclusive: Heavy metals go untested in Gulf seafood

In part three, they take a look at bioaccumulation in seafood, its toxicity to humans and despite repeated assertions that Corexit is safe, the extremely toxic carcinogens contained in the product. The article also discusses how currently, no seafood tests exist to measure the dispersant in seafood:

Edward Trapido, the Wendell Gauthier Chair of Cancer Epidemiology at the Louisiana State University School of Public Health, revealed to Raw Story that 2-butoxyethanol, one of the compounds in Corexit 9527 – the first dispersant used by BP – is not only considered a carcinogen by the state of New Jersey, but the NJ Department of Health says “it should be handled as a carcinogen with extreme caution.”

“Unfortunately,” Trapido added, “there were two dispersants used – 9500 and 9527. They used 9527 first, until the supplies ran out. Then they switched to 9500. But we don’t know how much of the 9527 was used.”

Exclusive: Gulf oil dispersant contained extremely toxic carcinogen

Enjoy the series…

Have a nice day.

Traces of Corexit Washing Up On Alabama Beaches?

Stands for Born Polluter

BP and the Coast Guard used Corexit in unprecedented numbers in the Gulf of Mexico. The dispersant is designed to bond with the oil and sink the mix of chemical and crude deep, far away from shore and while this is indeed happening, depleting the oxygen and poisoning the lowest rung of the food chain on the sea floor, unfortunately it is also beginning to now wash up on the beaches of Alabama, its presence indicated in recent water samples collected by the Press-Register and analyzed by Ed Overton, an LSU chemist.

“We didn’t see oil in the analysis we do, but I passed some of these water samples to a colleague who does fluorescence analysis,” Overton said. “We saw some preliminary indications that there was a dispersant signal in the sample.” Fluorescence analysis provides ultra-fine detail and can measure chemicals to the parts per billion level or better. Overton said it was too soon to say definitively that the material in the samples was the Corexit dispersant, but the signal was similar to a Corexit sample. “I’m very interested in it. We need to find out what it is,” Overton said. “If dispersants are getting onshore, that’s news. We need to know that.” Harriet Perry, a  scientist at the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs stated, “They looked specifically for the Corexit. It looks like they found it,” Perry said of work by research colleagues at Tulane University, “These (oil) droplets in the crabs, they are pinhead-sized. For a droplet to be that small, it has to be dispersed oil,” Perry said. “It’s supposed to biodegrade rapidly. It’s supposed to disappear in days, not weeks, but that may not be happening.”

Last month, Dr. Susan Shaw, a marine toxicologist described symptoms of shrimpers who had been exposed to the combination of oil and Corexit, which included muscle spasms, heart palpitations, long-lasting headaches and bleeding from the rectum. Of primary concern is those symptoms were only as a result of short term exposure. Unknown are the effects over the long-term, and if Corexit is being found in crab larvae this means it could be making its way inside the food supply. Add this to its washing up on the beaches and the Gulf Coast could be dealing with this chemical for a long time to come.

British Petroleum spokesman, Steve Brocknick, when asked about the findings by these two scientists went on record stating, “Ed Overton? Harriet Perry? Who the hell had those two on their lists?…heads will roll!”

Read the article:

Tests suggest oil dispersant washing up on Alabama beaches

Have a nice day