Politics

Fouling the Gulf—And Much More

Making the worst of a bad situation

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Every crisis is an opportunity for someone. The giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is one for both Democrats and Republicans, who are shaping the same facts to fit very different narratives.

Democrats see it as an example of the dangers of petroleum addiction and unchecked capitalism. Republicans think it shows the administration is proving both its excessively cozy relationship with Big Oil and its chronic ineptitude.

But they may both miss the larger vein of popular sentiment that this mammoth catastrophe taps. It's one of a series of horrifying, infuriating, and preventable debacles that has served to spread disillusionment and disgust with important institutions.

Rather than generate a search for solutions, it feeds the notion that there are none. It sows a sense of helplessness in the face of events that hurtle out of anyone's control.

BP was drilling for oil at depths that only recently were impossible. The company had solved the puzzle of how to carry out extraction a mile underwater. Unfortunately, it neglected to devise a reliable way to cap an unplanned blowout at that depth. It's as though the Apollo engineers landed men on the moon without being entirely sure how it would get them back.

So the problem has rapidly expanded, as the smart folks in charge turn out to be not so smart, the government is unable to discharge its obligation and ordinary people who had nothing to do with the failure suffer the consequences. Hubris induced leaders to take big chances without appreciating or preparing for the likely consequences if they turned out to be wrong—which they were, in spades.

This is not a new story but a recurring one. It describes the invasion of Iraq. It describes the failures that led to the destruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

It describes the financial crisis that led to the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. It describes the explosion of the federal budget and the government debt in the last two years.

The aftermath of each event was chaos and pain, which seemed to surprise no one more than the architects of each failure. But the cost of their errors ended up being borne by those beneath them—soldiers in Iraq, homeowners in New Orleans, workers in companies far removed from Wall Street, and taxpayers whose liabilities multiply like rabbits.

Those at the top, by contrast, get off easy. George W. Bush earns $7 million for his memoirs, while Goldman Sachs remains in business, making record profits.

Time and again, we are led into uncharted territory by leaders of one kind or another. We end up wandering in the wilderness while they proceed to the Promised Land.

The culprits bring to mind the description of the Buchanans in The Great Gatsby: "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made."

Is it any wonder that angry populism and dark paranoia now dominate our discourse? Is it any wonder that so many citizens harbor so much distrust for established institutions? In 1966, four out of five Americans trusted government to do the right thing all or most of the time. Today, four out of five do not.

The disenchantment is not just with politicians. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that most of us have negative opinions of financial institutions, large corporations, the national news media, and the entertainment industry.

Even scientists have no great credibility. The more climate specialists converge in alarm about global warming, the less public support they find for measures to counter it. Asked to make sacrifices by experts who claim to know what they're doing, a lot of Americans think they should go hug a tree.

None of this facilitates rational policymaking or sensible use of our imperfect knowledge. It just fosters cynicism, nihilism, and conspiracy-mongering. It suggests that honest, well-intentioned effort is a waste of time.

It leaves us all feeling like a Louisiana beach—drenched in filth and very badly used.

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NEXT: Daddy Dearest

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  1. John Chapman, Phillup Space is writing columns and signing your name to them again.

    1. “Let he without sin, cast the first stone.” I assume you are going to take credit for that quote too? Irony, thy name is Vanneman.

      1. thy name is anonymous

  2. I kept waiting for a point, but there was none.

    1. This whole article was just another failure by our self-appointed leaders.

    2. Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me. I don’t know what to say for the hundredth time.

  3. Fill in the simile contest:

    It leaves us all feeling like a Louisiana beach ____________ ?drenched in filth and very badly used.

    1. It leaves us all feeling like the cities of Cleveland/Detroit/Baltimore/Newark-drenched in filth and very badly used.

    2. It leaves us all feeling like Belladonna ?drenched in filth and very badly used.

      1. Nice Belladonna reference!

  4. I pioneered this type of work; it’s called “Stream of Consciousness.” And Vanneman, The Internet is correct. At least with this most recent post of yours,sir, you didn;t directly lift any devices of mine. But I’m watching you. And your use of sarcasm leave much to be desired. Good day, sir.

  5. Something must be done!

  6. The society in which we live is an immediate gratification one where everything must happen NOW. No long-term planning is required or objective reasoning on possible consequences are required. And so we get the sound bite, the Twitter obsession, the outlandish behavior.

    1. Plug the damn hole!

      1. I’ve been saying the same thing since you got elected asshole. Good thing Rahm’s 2 inch pecker is up to the task.

        1. this isn’t a job for a white man

        2. Oy! It was a my first mohel gig! I was nervous! But hey, Israel is heckling this putz even as we speak.

  7. It leaves us all feeling like a Louisiana beach?drenched in filth and very badly used.

    Not unlike Nancy Pelosi.

    1. What about me? I worked so hard to become a Senator.

      1. “Senator.”

        1. Just don’t call me “ma’am.”

          1. There’s my legendary ‘stache! Don’t move Senator, it will bite your upper lip! Here, let me…

  8. BP was drilling for oil at depths that only recently were impossible. The company had solved the puzzle of how to carry out extraction a mile underwater. Unfortunately, it neglected to devise a reliable way to cap an unplanned blowout at that depth. It’s as though the Apollo engineers landed men on the moon without being entirely sure how it would get them back.

    This is a terrible analogy. Try the Apollo 13 mission where a series of small unpredictable (in series) events led to near disaster and NASA engineers had to start improvising and thinking on the fly to try and get the astronauts back home. The mission itself was abandoned to accomplish the sole goal of saving the astronauts lives. In the case of the oil spill, they did not accomplish their mission of getting oil to a processing pipe, they suffered a failure and are now trying to accomplish the sole goal of stopping the leak and cementing the well.

    1. He stole it from John Stewart. Bad analogy and lazy writing. One seriously shoddy article.

      1. You expected something else from this dickwad?

  9. Chapman does have a point in this article, and it is quite valid. As long as we, the sheeple, are quite willing to turn over our destiny to the “experts”, we can expect more of the same.

    As our society becomes more complex, and the NIMBY syndrome becomes more prevalent, failures will become more and more spectacular and all encompassing. Our desire to move people and goods drives our need for petroleum (the only efficient fuel for that purpose, so far); but our environmental sensibilities pushes the extraction process further from sight. That leads us to essentially experimental technology applications with the failure potential of …..

    Same economically. Instead of producing wealth, we attempt to create it from existing wealth. That leads to more complicated financial transactions that expose us to even more failure potential of …….

    This cycle can be broken, but there is the immediate gratification inherent in the human condition that prevents us from examining the consequences of our actions from all angles. We also need to understand our risk tolerance; that is a whole other subject.

    1. +1

      But I think you said it much better than the article.

    2. “This cycle can be broken, but there is the immediate gratification inherent in the human condition…”

      The Buddha warned us of this a while back.

      Lest I be misinterpreted, I will now explain my sarcasm. The reason this is a pointless article is the whole “inherent in the human condition” thing. In lieu of some revolution in the human condition (which we’ve been waiting for since at least the Buddha’s time, and even Chapman recognizes the problem is at least 75 years old), this is pretty much how we work. And oil spills and other mass stupidities notwithstanding, it’s not all bad. Well, I guess that’s a matter of perspective. After all, things can always be better, and things can always be worse. Take your pick. But in lieu of somehow substantially changing human nature (which neither Chapman nor A. Freeman offer any clues about, and likely for good reason), this is what we got. Deal with it! I suppose tut-tutting about it is one way to “deal with it”, but don’t pretend your “criticism” is any more substantive than crying over spilt, heh, whatever!!

  10. Every day when I hear or see an update all I can think is “did BP never hear of a FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis)?” It’s a pretty standard tool in Engineering in identifying risk and putting plans in place for dealing with different failure modes.

    The only good resolution to this is to see BP get stuck for ALL the cleanup costs and the “regulators” who were asleep at the switch to get fired. And for all of them to be prosecuted. But I expect none of it will happen.

    1. Every major oil company knows FMEA. Its textbook for safety design. Let’s wait until the final report comes out before we start jumping to conclusion, ok.

  11. I can’t believe they pay Chapman for duds like this one. It’s news that our leaders suck?

  12. As much as I enjoy the shadenfreude of watching liberals who were convinced that the only reason New Orleans flooded was because George Bush hated black people explain how the BP disaster is the fault of the government for lax regulation but somehow not Obama’s fault, my fairness prevents me from really going after Obama on this. Like Katrina, this is a huge disaster. And there are no quick or easy solutions. Unless I see absolute evidence where Obama or his minions did something to fuck the situation up more than it already is, I am unwilling to scream too loudly about this.

    1. The Bush bashing in Katrina was sickening and as much as I hate too, I have to defend Obama in this too. Especially since I don’t believe the president should be the parental figure to kiss all of America’s booboos. I just wish Obama had the balls to stand up there and say so. All these calls for the federal government to take over from BP are laughable. The US military doesn’t drill deepwater wells and wouldn’t know how to direct the engineers in charge of coming up with solutions. It would be as rediculous as the government stepping in to tell Toyota how to fix its cars.

      1. Especially since I don’t believe the president should be the parental figure to kiss all of America’s booboos.

        Obama ran on being not only america’s big daddy buy also as somekind of super hero that would cure all.

        He was the one, the change we’d been waiting for. His inauguration was the moment when the planet began to heal, the waters recede…..

        Its hardly illegitimate to heep scorn on him for failing to deliver. Yes his supporters were idiots for believing his fairy tales, but still, it high time we hold politicians accountable for the crap they say, the promises they make, no matter how fanciful.

        1. That is a good point. When you run on the premise that the government is the answer to all the world’s ills, then you can hardly complain when you and the government are blamed for ills that are not cured.

          1. John, you’re a fucking idiot. So is Josh. We should accept that government is going to solve our problems because the President ‘ran on that premise’? I didn’t agree with that before, but even if people voted for Obama in because they bought that premise, it wouldn’t be reason for me to change my mind.

            Besides, you’re living in fantasy land if you think that people voted for Obama because they wanted a ‘big daddy’ and ‘superhero.’ It was the on-the-fence independent that was disgusted by the Bush years who voted Obama in. The 20% who believed the hype are actually a minority even among Obama supporters. I didn’t vote for wither big party this year, but EVERYONE I know who voted for Obama falls into the ‘he must be better than what we just had,’ category. And to be honest they all have major issues with aspects of his presidency, but they ALL rush to his defense in shit like this!

            Josh and John, until you and cunts like you get a realistic view of this President and his ACTUAL faults, then you will be nothing but hot air.

            1. Look, it is not our fault you and your friends are rubes. So stop taking out your buyer’s remorse on us.

            2. “We should accept that government is going to solve our problems because the President ‘ran on that premise’?”

              No, we shouldn’t accept that, but it’s perfectly reasonable to point out that when you do run on that premise and try to take credit for anything positive as being a result of some harebrained legislation you put through, it’s only fair that you take the blame for anything negative, as it’s just as likely to be your fault.

              “Besides, you’re living in fantasy land if you think that people voted for Obama because they wanted a ‘big daddy’ and ‘superhero.'”

              No, I think that’s precisely what people thought they were getting, a well-educated, well-spoken, and untainted savior of the Washington political system. Sure, there were many who opposed him and it was likely a swing vote of independents who tipped the scales, but the fact is that the majority of his voters did seem to be thinking that way in my opinion.

              1. Well, you can keep to your fantasies of naive Americans being fooled into believing the ‘image,’ but that’s not what the evidence shows. Obama did not win the Democratic primary by a landslide. The Democrats weren’t even all buying into Obama. But eventually those skepitcal Democrats and the ‘Anyone but Bush’ crowd put him into office.

                Yes, many people were willing to try big government solutions like Obamacare, and various bailout programs- due to the fact that the ‘conservative’ Republican had just fucked things up so immensely, but that has nothing to do with people thinking Obama is a superhero.

                The point is that my friends who voted for Obama HAVEN’T been having buyers remorse. They are finding themselves more sympathetic towards him due to the attacks against him being so unbelievably douchy.

                1. John, you are the only rube here. You are such a stupid fucking moron, that you couldn’t even follow my post enough to realize I voted Libertarian in the last presidential election, you absolute retard! Please kill yourself as a favor to the world.

                2. Then your friends are the cool-aid drinkers he’s talking about.

                  Attacks like “Don’t spend a trillion dollars more than you have this year” and “Don’t nationalize the healthcare industry” and “Don’t nationalize auto manufacturers and confiscate 30 billion dollars from creditors without any legal authority to do so” are not douchy. They might be wrong from your cool-aid drinking friend’s point of view, but they are far from ‘douchy’.

                3. Timmy – I think John, etc., may be confused because the mainstream media, during his campaign, painted him as a superhero and a savior. I agree with you – many voters didn’t buy that hype. But that hype existed and it did help him win the election.

  13. So the problem has rapidly expanded, as the smart folks in charge turn out to be not so smart, the government is unable to discharge its obligation and ordinary people who had nothing to do with the failure suffer the consequences. Hubris induced leaders to take big chances without appreciating or preparing for the likely consequences if they turned out to be wrong?which they were, in spades.

    Be careful Chapman…a society that takes zero risks makes no gains and not every consequence is as clear cut as you may think. If you plan against failure, you are reducing risk, not consequence. The consequence remains absolutely the same if you fail and mitigating the consequence usually involves reducing the possible gain vs. reducing the likelihood (through safety systems).


    This is not a new story but a recurring one. It describes the invasion of Iraq. It describes the failures that led to the destruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

    The invasion of Iraq had many fathers and hubris was only one of them. New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen though and the blame Bush extravaganza that went on was rediculous. Yes, the whole thing became a debacle because the federal government ham fisted the rescue operations, but the cesspool that is Louisiana politics was a hell of lot more to blame than the narrative that came about. The corrupt and racist police force, the stubborn welfare ridden ghettos that festered and the complacency of the city’s officials caused more damage than FEMA ever did.

    1. And don’t forget the corrupt Congress who spent money on pork rather than upgrading the levies and the Corps of Engineers who build defective levies. Neither of those parties got any of the blame.

      1. The corps of engineers had its faults, but the construction of defective levies wasn’t one of them. The levies were old and in dire need of improvements and upgrades, but they served their original purpose for many years. You can’t necessarily blame Toyota for your 15 year old Camry’s timing belt failure if you never paid to have it replaced.

        1. But they were built on unstable soil. I have read, and I apologize I can’t fine where, that the levies were defective from the get go. That said both the Corps and Congress spent billions around Louisiana on pork projects but never bothered to fix the levies. That is the dirty secret of Katrina. Katrina missed New Orleans. New Orleans only experienced category one winds. There was no reason those levies should have failed. And the fact that they failed when a large hurricane just nicked New Orleans tells you they were eventually going to fail on their own. And that would have killed 1000s. Katrina, by breaking the levies when the city was mostly evacuated, may have saved lives.

          1. Lies. Katrina hit as a high category 3. I know because I was there the day before it hit, and I lived there through 28 years of Cat 1’s and 2’s directly hitting the city. No Category 1 that ‘just nicked’ the city could have possibly produced the storm surges that overtopped the levees and caused them to fail. Katrina didn’t save lives or tell us anything that we didn’t already know, including years of mismanagement by the Corps of Engineers.

            1. You have been reading the wrong media.
              Here is the windfield of Katrina just as it hit land. Notice the wind speeds up around lake Pontchartrain and near New Orleans, they never go above 80 MPH. It nicked New Orleans. It didn’t hit it.

              ftp://ftp.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/pu…..tour02.png

              And here is the site for the wind fields as it approached and moved on shore. Look at all of them. you won’t find one that show NOLA getting anything above 75 MPH winds. That is category one strength.

              http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/S…../wind.html

              1. I haven’t read anything because I WAS FUCKING THERE if you haven’t noticed. All of your colorful graphs are worthless and don’t say anything meaningful. How about actually reading some of the media from that day? Both the NOAA and NWS have it as one of the top 5 hurricanes to ever hit the United States. Even lowly Wikipedia gets it right.

                It hit Florida as a Cat 1, and then strengthened to a Cat 5 with 175mph winds on the day before it hit. New Orleans was hit with 125 mph winds. I lived through probably hundreds of 75 mph tropical storms and Cat 1’s that did no damage other than local flooding.

                1. Those graphs are the official NOA record of the storm. They mean everything. When the storm was killing the boot of LA, the winds around NOLA were between 50 and 70 MPH.

                  ftp://ftp.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/pu…..tour02.png

                  When it moved closest to NOLA, the winds were between 50 and 60 in NOLA. The strongest part of a hurricane is the NW part. Katrina went SW of NOLA. That means the strongest parts missed it.

                  You can claim “I was there” all you want. But the wind records tell of a different story. I am sorry but I am believing NOAA, who records this stuff systematically and for a living, before I am believing what you thought the winds were.

                2. And you totally miss the point. It is not that Katrina was not a huge hurricane. It was. It was that the strongest parts of the storm hit Mississippi not New Orleans. New Orleans never saw greater than category I winds.

                  1. Then why does the NOAA state that it hit as a Cat 3? The NOAA has an entire archive in which they analyze the impact. Quote from NOAA “Windspeeds over 140 mph were recorded at landfall in southeastern Louisiana while winds gusted to over 100 mph in New Orleans.”

                    Your wind charts don’t tell the entire story. It was 125+ mph in the Gulf, which means that it carried that 30+ foot storm surge with it when it made landfall, which caused the levees to be overtopped. I don’t care if it was only going 70 when it hit Lake Pontchartrain, because that’s almost past the city and on the way to the Northshore then. You are also not taking barometric pressure into account, which was the third lowest in recorded history. Those charts only show the speeds once the eye hits landfall, but the effects are felt days before the eye hits. Not to mention that wind speeds die down drastically over land, so measuring the speed when the eye is on land is absolutely irrelevant. The strongest part had hit and the damage was done. Landfall was made at 125 mph and N.O. was hit with 100 mph winds and 20-30+ foot storm surges, verified by both NOAA and NWS.

                    1. “Windspeeds over 140 mph were recorded at landfall in southeastern Louisiana while winds gusted to over 100 mph in New Orleans.”

                      At landfall in SE Louisiana, not New Orleans. And wind gusts are different than sustained winds. As PapayaSF links to below, New Orleans only had sustained winds of Cat 1 and Cat 2. Just because the hurricane was Cat 3 at landfall, doesn’t mean that you have Cat 3 winds across the whole storm. The winds go down as you go away from the eye.

            2. According to Wikipedia, the truth lies in the middle: much of New Orleans got hours of Cat 1 or Cat 2 winds.

      2. It was not the wind that caused the flooding in New Orleans. And it was not really the levees that failed and flooded most of the city. It was the drainage canals that got over-topped and failed in a few key points and allowed the lake to drain into the city the day after the hurricane hit.
        The Corp of Engineers should take a lot of the blame for shoddy work or for not over-seeing it properly. This still leaves plenty of room for blame on FEMA, Congress, and corrupt Louisiana politics and cronyism in hiring crappy construction companies that may have also been to blame for some of the failures. Saying the levees failed is not accurate but I guess it makes more sense to people that way. And by the way, most parts of the city and neighborhoods built before WW2 are either above sea-level or are “raised” structures built so that the bottom floor is above sea-level. Unfortunately, my house was built in 1948 and was only 3 feet off the ground instead of the 5-6 it needed to be. Even newer houses were often built on slabs (i.e. at ground level) and so were below sea-level as were many of the poorer neighborhoods.
        It would not have been possible to get flood insurance on properties that were not raised enough so many years ago the Feds decided to make this more “fair” and provide federal insurance to houses below sea-level, thus insuring (no pun intended) that when a flood did happen there would be massive damage.

  14. “Every crisis is an opportunity for someone.”

    Why not everyone? If you think this situation will lead to less drilling, whether in the sea bed or on land, then you would bet the price of oil would go up in the face of less supply.
    So join the oil club: all day long, shares of oil companies are offered on the stock exchanges. Or, if you don’t want to bet on particular companies, buy one of the energy mutual funds.
    Soon, you’ll be cheering $125 barrel oil, not moaning about the price per gallon at your local gas station.

    1. Very good point. But, that’s only P of a trading strategy as you have still to us where/when to exit.

  15. It leaves us all feeling like a Louisiana beach?drenched in filth and very badly used.

    Oh and this just proves that Mr. Chapman has not spent much time in Louisiana. What beaches are you referring to again?

    1. My guess is that he has never been there. The beaches are in Alabama and Mississippi. I have never heard of a beach in Louisiana.

      1. There is one in Grand Isle, but other than that, I can’t think of another one (not sure if Cypremort Point counts as a beach).

  16. Chapman didn’t even mention the immigration issue, which is another example of government failure.

    The nation states are in their death throes. Libertarians should actually see this as the beginnings of the end of the nation state model.

    Jamaica is another example. The news actually said that the war between the drug gangs and the state was a war for supremacy…the nation states are losing that war.

  17. The longer this oil gushes out, the more hopeful I and my fellow pussy environmentalists grow.

  18. There is one thing I do not understand about the financial crisis.

    How did it affect the fortunes of Exxon-Mobil, Wal-Mart, or Ford Motor Company?

  19. It looks like the “top klll” procedure that BP is doing may be working.

    Obama will natrually try to claim credit for it if does.

  20. TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets ////Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led.” “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.” “All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it.” “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. //////”pelosi don’t see much future for the Americans … it’s a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social HATRED …obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of HATRED and deep repugnance … everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it’s half LIES, and the other half RACIAL. How can one expect THE USA to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries… Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit? The media’s justification is apparently “because it’s out there”, truth be damned., GOD OPEN YOUR EYESTO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets ////Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led.” “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.” “All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it.” “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. //////”pelosi don’t see much future for the Americans … it’s a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social HATRED …obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of HATRED and deep repugnance … everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it’s half LIES, and the other half RACIAL. How can one expect THE USA to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries… Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit? The media’s justification is apparently “because it’s out there”, truth be damned., GOD OPEN YOUR EYES,INPEACH COMMUNIST Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama,TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT .THE COMMANDER REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT .THE COMMANDER REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE

    1. Thanks. I needed a good laugh.

  21. why isnt this on the new TV news station run by the people…. for get all the current inplace media centers, in fact just burn them down, and remove those ppl like we did hussain, and start up the new peoples voice news station and I bet you a million bucks that shit would change overnight…. Fine all these bastards to the tune of all their money and assets and hang them in the town square, as the example an the warning to all ppl that this is what happens when you fuck up, starting with all the baillout corps and all the banks etc…

  22. I’ve read this article three times today. I know it will sound like hyperbole. I know it will seem effusive. But, this article should be considered for the Pulitzer Prize. Seriously.

  23. In a couple years when the spill is no longer on anyone’s mind a back page news article will come out about how surprised some are at how quickly the gulf coast recovered.

    Come on people, how many times do we have to go through this before we finally get a clue.

  24. This is not a free-market spill. In 1990, the government capped liability at $75 million. So if you’re an oil company, you don’t quite have the incentive to go to extremes on safety, do you?

  25. Chapman, you could have written a much better article. Rather than second guessing the technology drilling over a mile down in the ocean, how about exposing how government contributed to the problem?

    First and foremost, via the Oil Pollution Act, the government limited the liability of rigs to $75 million. Lacking this subsidy (at the expense of anyone who suffers from the oil spill) insurance companies would likely have required more safety than MMS required. And they’d likely require more mitigation equipment, and would likely be getting more resources to respond to a spill given their liability. I’m not sure BP has responded like they would if their company and jobs were at stake, which as far as I can tell, are not.

    Second, MMS was derelict in their duty and AWOL, except for giving the rig a safety award (what irony) all allowing BP to bypass red tape (not that the red tape is a good thing).

    Third, union rules prevent firing of government workers also contributed to the lack of oversight by MMS. At least one official has resigned, but if I were Obama, I’d probably fire Salazar and many under him (if I could) and I’d probably want to repeal or loosen union rules that make firing bureaucrats difficult.

  26. I don’t know what to say for the hundredth time.

  27. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that most of us have negative opinions of financial institutions, large corporations, the national news media, and the entertainment industry. | RAN ran ran ??? ??? ??? |

  28. This is not a new story but a recurring one. It describes the invasion of Iraq. It describes the failures that led to the destruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

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