Sunday, June 20, 2010

(photo courtesy

Happy Father's Day? I think not this year.

It will be the mothers who clean up the mess these greedy men have made.

George to BP: Who's your daddy?

"Under rules formalized by Bush, cleanup of oil and gas drilling is now purely voluntary."

This according to Tim Dickinson (who should get a Pulitzer for this one) of Rolling Stone Magazine, and whose coverage of the oil disaster in the Gulf is thorough and second to none. If you wanna know the real story, and it reads like a Grisham novel, of how this all came about, plan on being shocked when you read his articles (including this one on Ken Salazar, the guy in charge of fixing what Bush and his oil buddies deliberately broke like toddlers on a rampage) in recent issues of RS. But Salazar is no friend to the environment (as i recall a blogger, probably on , stating over a year ago when O'Barmy nominated him to the job at Interior. ) He talks the talk, and then toes the line of the oil industry lobbyists.

"... instead of putting the brakes on new offshore drilling, Salazar immediately throttled it up to record levels. Even though he had scrapped the Bush plan, Salazar put 53 million offshore acres up for lease in the Gulf in his first year alone – an all-time high. The aggressive leasing came as no surprise, given Salazar's track record. "This guy has a long, long history of promoting offshore oil drilling – that's his thing," says Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. "He's got a highly specific soft spot for offshore oil drilling." As a senator, Salazar not only steered passage of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which opened 8 million acres in the Gulf to drilling, he even criticized President Bush for not forcing oil companies to develop existing leases faster."

The current President tells the truth when he says he should take responsibility for this mess. The drilling permit was issued under his watch by his Interior Secretary's department. But of all the oil companies doing bidness with MMS, the ONE they shouldn't have issued permits to was BP.

"Since 2007, according to analysis by the Center for Public Integrity, BP has received 760 citations for "egregious and willful" safety violations – those "committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health." The rest of the oil industry combined has received a total of one."

And, God help me, there's more. (No, no, take it away! I can't watch!)

"BP, it is important to note, is less an oil company than a bank that finances oil exploration; unlike ExxonMobil, which owns most of the equipment it uses to drill, BP contracts out almost everything. That includes the Deepwater Horizon rig that it leased from a firm called Transocean. BP shaved $500,000 off its overhead by deploying a blowout preventer without a remote-control trigger – a fail-safe measure required in many countries but not mandated by MMS, thanks to intense industry lobbying. It opted to use cheap, single-walled piping for the well, and installed only six of the 21 cement spacers recommended by its contractor, (say it isn't so!) Halliburton – decisions that significantly increased the risk of a severe explosion. It also skimped on critical testing that could have shown whether explosive gas was getting into the system as it was being cemented, and began removing mud that protected the well before it was sealed with cement plugs."

Face it, the starstruck Obama didn't know what was in store for him when he took office. He doesn't look particularly crooked to me, just naive. A young guy trying to get kudos for bein a nice guy in a mean world. Well, Che was a nice guy in a mean world, but he wasn't afraid to do the hard thing when the situation required it. Obama strikes me as alternately genuinely grateful for the "opportunity" to serve and arrogant (arrogance being invariably the mask of insecurity). If you can't stand the heat, get outta the kitchen, guy. I mean, this is just insane.

"BP submitted for its Deepwater Horizon well only two months after Obama took office. BP claims that a spill is "unlikely" and states that it anticipates "no adverse impacts" to endangered wildlife or fisheries. Should a spill occur, it says, "no significant adverse impacts are expected" for the region's beaches, wetlands and coastal nesting birds. The company, noting that such elements are "not required" as part of the application, contains no scenario for a potential blowout, and no site-specific plan to respond to a spill. Instead, it cites an Oil Spill Response Plan that it had prepared for the entire Gulf region. Among the sensitive species BP anticipates protecting in the semitropical Gulf? "Walruses" and other cold-water mammals, including sea otters and sea lions. The mistake appears to be the result of a sloppy cut-and-paste job from BP's drilling plans for the Arctic. Even worse: Among the "primary equipment providers" for "rapid deployment of spill response resources," BP inexplicably provides the Web address of a Japanese home-shopping network. Such glaring errors expose the 582-page response "plan" as nothing more than a paperwork exercise. "It was clear that nobody read it," says Ruch, who represents government scientists."

Wow, like bummer... I do wish the fact that I didn't vote for O'Barmy saved me from the angst of buyer's remorse his supporters must feel these days. It doesn't. I feel bad for the country. This would not be happening if Ralph was president.

And there's more about the MMS under Bush, according to those now investigating the agency that was supposed to be preventing things like this:

"this is easily the worst instance of government misconduct we have ever seen."

"The coke-and-sex-crazed atmosphere at MMS may have been the most flagrant scandal at Interior during the Bush years, but it was far from the only one. "The place was like a vending machine," says Sen. Wyden. "The special interests could line up, and out would come the policies they were interested in."

These guys were all raking in serious money, your money, ripping off the American people. And you wonder where the Bush deficit before the 08 meltdown came from? I'll wager this is part of the one-third of the deficit they can't account for (the other two thirds being, they say, Social Security sans lockbox and the War on Terra.)

Anyone who was dumb enough to vote for Bush or McCain or any of the Republican government dismantlers since Nixon ever should be forced to read these articles... s l o w l y. So maybe they'll get it. That includes President Oblimey, whose apparent naivete about the oil companies' good intentions is mind boggling. Like I keep tellin ya, the main lesson of the 60s is that if you think the nefarious political shenanigans in DC that are screwing the average Joe are bad, remember: it's always way worse than you think. Always. And they do it because they can. Greedy politicians and their corporate handlers will use whatever power they can muster to steal the country's riches from the american citizen, unless you stop them. To do that you have to know what the hell's goin on!

So skip the Sunday paper today, turn off the faux "reality TV" and tune in to reading about what's going on, the stuff all these bloggers are trying to warn you about. Forewarned is forearmed.

My final thought: Every time in the past when something disastrous happens or decisions that feel really bad to me are made by the folks "in charge", I've wondered: Are they corrupt or just stupid? I just read that the Obama Campaign was the largest recipient by far of BP "campaign contributions". (It should be noted these were all from individual employees of BP.)

I guess I have my answer, and will never wonder that again.

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