Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rainbows Of Death

Here is a video shot by John L. Wathen of what is happening in the gulf. This is a depressing video, oil and death abound. It can be found here. It makes you want to cry.

You see:
Dolphins at 6:40
A whale at 6:50
More dolphins at 7:00
Birds at 8:00
Sharks at 8:20

BP is killing the gulf. And we have allowed it to happen just for the pursuit of money and power.

The Bee Hunter

My grandchildren are afraid of bees. We have a small fountain in our backyard. The bees come to it for water...I assume. The kids run away when they see the bees. My German Shepherd does not. She attacks the bees.

It is really interesting watching her. I think she may have been stung in the mouth by one before, because she is really careful with them. She snaps at them with her front teeth. She can actually grab them out of the air.

However, she does not hold them in her mouth. When she gets a hold of a bee, she quickly shakes her head and throws the bee back into the air. If it falls to the ground, she will either paw at it, or grab it with her front teeth and throw it up into the air again. It is kind of like watching a cat play with a mouse. Once it stops wiggling around on the ground, she will eat it.

I don't particularly like her eating bees although it doesn't seem to have bothered her. And I figure she is going to do it when I am not around anyway, so...what the hell!

My other dog doesn't pay any attention to the bees until they are on the ground. Then she will come over and "nose" them. But, she doesn't really pay much attention to them. It is the German Shepherd that is the bee hunter.

This is the same dog that seems to have a problem with baseball on the TV. Normally she pays no attention to the television at all. Maybe sometimes when a dog on the TV barks, she will look up. But that is about it...unless there is a baseball game on.

When she hears me turn on a game, she will jump up, run over to the TV, stand in front of it, and, if I am not quick enough, she will bark and jump at the screen. Once I tell her "No", she will leave and go back and lay down. It doesn't seem to matter who is playing. She is not partial to one team or the other. And it is only baseball. I also watch basketball and some college football and those games do not interest her at all. It is only baseball. And it doesn't matter what TV the game is on. She will jump at any TV.

I wonder what she would do if I actually took her to a real game?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Taxes And The Economy

I know I have harped on this in the past, many times, but I feel compelled to do it again. We continue to hear that the way to improve the economy and create job growth is to cut taxes. One of the latest is Senate candidate Mark Rubio (R-FL) in this ThinkProgress article. He argues for extending the Bush tax cuts because " in America are created by people that have money or access to money".

Makes sense, doesn't it. But it is bullshit!

Rdan over at Angry Bear has a great article about taxes and the private sector investment. In particular, he has a couple of great figures which I present below. These figures are based on data, really data, facts, real facts, not opinion.

Here's the first figure.

This figure compares the tax burden during the first two years of a presidential administration with the economic growth during the following 3 to 8 years. It covers the period from 1929 forward, the time period for which the data is available.

"In plain English – the more the tax burden was reduced during the first two years of an administration, the slower the economic growth in the following six years. Conversely, the more the tax burden was raised during the first two years of each administration, the faster economic growth was during the following six years." [Emphasis added]

Note where the Bush (GW) tax cuts are -- at the fucking end of the line!

OK! Well, maybe the economy grows a little better with higher taxes, but what we need now is private investment in the economy. We need the rich people and companies to invest and create jobs so we can put people back to work. We need to cut their taxes so they will have more money to invest. It is just common sense!

More bullshit!

Let's look at private investment with the next figure.

This figure shows how private investment changes with changes in the tax burden. It shows that "administrations that cut the tax burden early saw mediocre increases in private investment later. On the other hand, administrations that started out by increasing the tax burden enjoyed big increases in private investment in the remainder of their term." [Emphasis added]

I do want to note here that these figures are using tax "burden", not tax "rate". They are using what the federal government actually took in as taxes rather than the rate people/companies were being charged. In other words, the economy does better when the government collects more in taxes regardless of the tax rate. Those taxes can come from higher tax rates and/or better enforcement of current tax laws.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Was There Even Any Doubt...

...that Donald Rumsfeld had a big ego? If there was, this article by ThinkProgress should remove any doubt. He has just paid about $50,000 for a portrait of himself to be hung at the Defense Department.

It is a painting of him at his "stand-up desk". Of course his stand-up desk would be a regular desk for most people. He is so short that if he sat at his desk, you would not see him, hence the stand-up desk. :)

How Can So Many People Be So Stupid

24 percent of Americans believe Obama was born outside the U.S.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Bush Deficit

The republicans love to bash Obama about the deficit. In fact, they use the deficit as an excuse to bash the American people also, the ones who can least afford it. The deficit is the reason they blocked the extension of unemployment benefits a couple of days ago.

I find it interesting that now that there is a democrat as president, the republicans are complaining about the deficit. Where were they when they were running up the deficit? Oh yeah, they were too busy spending. I guess you can't complain about spending too much when you are the ones spending too much.

Of course there are the teabaggers. Come to think about it, where were the teabaggers when the republicans were running up the deficit? Oh! I guess they only come out where there is a democrat in the presidency. Republican overspenders are OK with the teabaggers also.

Republicans and teabaggers say we should stop blaming Bush for the deficit. Anger Bear recently posted an interesting figure showing just where the Bush deficit came from. Here it is in all its glory.

The graph is based on data through 2005 and a projection for 2006 to 2009. The graph shows the on-budget federal budget balance (the budget balance excluding the Social Security Trust Fund surplus). The heavy red bottom line shows the actual annual budget deficit per year between 2000 and 2009. The top blue line shows what would have happened if Clinton's policies has stayed in effect.

Note, that this graph does not include the effects of the financial crisis.

Also note the following:
  • About half of the deficit is caused by Bush's unfunded tax cuts. Weren't they supposed to boost tax revenues?
  • Another significant portion is expanded defense spending, excluding Iraq.
  • If tax laws had remained the same as they were in Clinton’s last year in office, discretionary spending had simply grown at the rate of inflation, Iraq had not been invaded, and entitlement programs had remained unchanged by new legislation – then the federal budget balance would have followed the top-most blue line instead of the bottom-most red line.
  • The deficit can be greatly reduced by letting the Bush tax cuts expire and cutting back defense spending to 2000 levels
The deficit increase is entirely due to specific decisions made by the Bush administration and Congress. Clinton balanced the budget! External, “ungoverned” forces have not caused our budget mess. That honor belongs entirely to our policy-makers in Washington.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stay Out Of The Back Door...

...if you are in Texas.

From Oliver Willis, the republicans have voted on a platform to ban anal sex. OK, not into that? Will how about oral sex. They will ban that also.

WOW. And they say they want to keep government out of our lives. Where do they get this stuff?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Good Questions

SkyTruth has asked a couple of good questions.

  1. If the LMRP should break down, gunk up, or otherwise fail, is there a backup LMRP ready and waiting to be immediately deployed?

  2. If the well casing fails beneath the seafloor...we'd need to immediately deploy a large containment device similar to the "dome" that was initally tried and quickly failed....Has such a device been designed and built, in case it's needed?
Given BP's history, my bet is no to both questions.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sign Of The Times

I like this picture. It is the GOP congressional game plan.

Actually what I want to right about has nothing to do with politics. Being a resident of Los Angeles, I was greatly pleased by the outcome of last night's game. I poured over the paper this morning reading every article about it.

I came across the following statement in one of the articles,
Bryant sounded this note so often he started to sound like a broken CD.
A broken CD?!?

It use to be "sounded like a broken record". And then I thought, OH yeah! Kids now a day don't even know what a record is.

Hell, they probably have not heard of a "punch card" either.


Revelations From Alan Grayson

Copied from an email from Alan Grayson

Dear Jerry,

In the New York Times for June 13th, the Pentagon proclaimed that Afghanistan holds almost one trillion lira - no, sorry, that's one trillion dollars - in hitherto-unknown mineral wealth.

Allow me to offer these revelations:

(1) Paris Hilton actually is Albert Einstein, with a wig. Think about it - you've never seen them together, have you?

(2) The Moon is made of green cheese. Specifically, a lovely Camembert, slightly fruity, that goes very well with cabernet.

(3) While you were at work today, someone broke into your house, stole everything, and replaced it with an exact duplicate (apologies to Steven Wright).

$1 trillion dollars in mineral wealth in Afghanistan. What a lame excuse for a lame excuse.

But the interesting thing is that the Pentagon felt it necessary to serve up this fevered imagining. Why? Because they say that they need another $33 billion for the war by July 4th, or, or, or, I don't know - they just say that they need it. And for once, Congress isn't falling all over itself to give the generals whatever they want. So get ready to hear about lithium in Afghanistan, oil in Iraq, and diamonds in your bathtub.

With 14 million Americans out of work, support for endless war is crumbling. People want an America that is #1 in health, #1 in education, #1 in quality of life, not #1 in number of foreign countries occupied.

Send an e-mail to your Member of Congress. Ask him or her to oppose the "emergency supplemental" for more and more war.

Hope. Change. How about some peace, for a change?


Alan Grayson

P.S. I am the first Democrat to represent my district in 34 years. I depend on ordinary people like you to support my campaign. If you'd like to make a contribution, please do so here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Republicans True Colors Shine Once Again

The republicans are once again showing their true colors - green for money and black for oil.

Most of you have probably heard by now that BP is putting 20 billion dollars into an escrow account for spill victims. The republicans are already complaining according to ThinkProgress.

Michele Bachmann, the gift that keeps on giving, has called the account
"a redistribution of wealth fund."
She meant it as a criticism. Well you know what? That is exactly what it is and it is exactly what it should be. Take the wealth of BP Oil and give it to the people that BP has injured. What the hell is wrong with that? The alternative is to let BP off the hook and put the American public on the hook.

Fuck you, Bachmann.

The other dimwit that the ThinkProgress article talks about is Mississippi governor, Haley Barbour. He's worried that BP will lose some profits. He says they need their money to more drill wells. He's worried that the company that made about 6 BILLION dollars in the first quarter of 2010 and made 163 BILLION dollars from 2001 through 2009 is going to "lose some profits".

Well, fuck off Barbour!

When Is Enough Enough?

There is an interesting post over at RealClimate. It is short so I have reposted it here.

Five Thousand Gulf Oil Spills

— david @ 16 June 2010

That’s the rate that people are releasing carbon to the atmosphere from fossil fuel combustion and deforestation today. I know, it’s apples and oranges; carbon in the form of oil is more immediately toxic to the environment than it is as CO2 (although CO2 may be more damaging on geologic time scales). But think of it — five thousand spills like in the Gulf of Mexico, all going at once, each releasing 40,000 barrels a day, every day for decades and centuries on end. We are burning a lot of carbon!

We see and experience the effects of the gushing oil. You can watch it burst forth from the ground here from multiple angles. We all have seen the pictures of dead animals, fish, and birds, and the soiled wetlands and beaches.

Carbon dioxide is a little more insidious. It is colorless and odorless, and we are releasing it at an equivalent rate of 5000 Deepwater Horizon spills.

Last night Obama said,

"The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now."

Truer words were never spoken.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Broken Seafloor

From Susie at Suburban Guerrilla

Just when you thought it could not get worse, reports are beginning to surface that the BOP is not the only place that Deepwater Horizon oil is gushing from. If oil is also gushing from the seafloor, sealing the well is greatly complicated.

Alexander Higgins has an excellent discussion of the possible seafloor leaks and the problems of sealing this well.

Among other things, he reports:
  • ...these additional leak indicate that the relief well that BP is counting on to cap the Gulf oil spill won’t be the final solution to stop the leaking oil well.
  • ... normal hiccups involved in a worse case scenario of the relief well could mean that BP may not be able to cap the the leak until Christmas.
  • ...last year’s Montara oil leak in the Timor Sea took 5 passes before the relief well actually hit the leaking well casing.
  • To make matters worse the BP Gulf oil spill relief wells are further complicated by a much higher leak rate, are being dug twice the distance under the seafloor, face hurricanes, dense rock and other problems.

  • Matt Simmons believes that the well casing may have been destroyed when the oil rig exploded and says that oil is leaking from the seafloor up to 7 miles away because of the explosion.
BP denies that oil is leaking from the seafloor.

BP changed their name in 2001 from British Petroleum to BP and created a new logo. I can see why they wanted to get rid to Petroleum in their name. They wanted to be viewed as an energy company, a much broader branding than just an oil company.

But why get rid of British. Are they ashamed of being British? I don't think so. They just didn't think being called British P was very good. In light of what is currently happening in the Gulf, we would be lucky if it was only pee that was gushing into it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why We Are Still In Afghanistan

Why we are still in Afghanistan is explained in this article for Angry Bear.

"The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe."

It's oil in Iraq and minerals in Afghanistan. The corporations are at war with the world.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Republicans Admit Responsibility For Oil Spill

Maybe I exaggerate a little bit, but "The Boner" is the leader of the House republicans, and as such, speaks for the republicans.

According to Think Progress, he said,

"I think the people responsible in the oil spill — BP and the federal government — should take full responsibility for what’s happening there."

He says the federal government, along with BP, is responsible for the oil spill. He is a member of the federal government, therefore he is admitting his responsibility. As leader of the minority in the House, he speaks for the republicans and thus the republicans are admitting their role in the oil spill.

Those responsible should pay. Boehner is telling the American people, you and me, that we should pay for the oil spill along with BP.

What a big dick!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tony Hayward -- The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Tony Hayward, the CEO of BP speaks faster than his brain works. But then again, in my experience, BP gives way more lip service to safety than they do money. It is no surprise that they lead the industry in safety violations by a wide margin.

Here is a compilation of Hayward's gaffes.

As Brian Merchant at AlterNet says:

"What do you call someone who callously says injurious things, has an inability to empathize with people, and who's narcissistic? Usually, you call him an asshole."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why BP Does Not Want You To Know How Big The Gusher Is

No! It is not because of the oily pelican trying to fly away in the above picture.

It is all about the money and what BP may face in terms of fines for spilling all this oil.

Here is the civil penalty for spilling oil:

"The basic amount, the law is $ 1,100 per barrel spilled. But the penalty may increase to $ 4,300 per barrel as a federal court rules of the spill is the result of gross negligence."

The basic cost $1000 per barrel. Maximum cost is $4300 per barrel if it is determined that the spill resulted from gross negligence.

So, let do some math.

The spill will not be stopped until August. The spill started in May. May thru August is 4 month or about 120 days.

BP original "estimate" was 5000 barrels per day. So, 5000 bbl/day x 120 days x $1000 = $600 million dollars.

But wait, they are talking now about the gusher being 100,000 barrels per day according to a government panel tasked with determining the size of the spill.

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND barrels of oil per day at the minimum fine will be 12 BILLION dollars.

But wait, it get better. What is there is gross neglegence? The maximum fine becomes 51.6 BILLION dollars.

So what's at stake? The difference between 600 million and 51.6 billion dollars. Let me put that on the same basis.

$600 million
$51,600 million

Which would you rather pay -- $600 or $51,600 putting it in terms we can understand.

Do you still wonder why BP does not want anyone to know how much oil is leaking or how it happened?

Of course at BP's current profit rate of over $5 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2010, they can pay the $51.6 billion dollar fine is a little over 2.5 years.

Don't you wish you could pay off your mortgage that quick?

Jerry Brown 2010

Jerry (I like that name!) Brown comes out swinging for the California governor's race. The republicans spent over $100 million dollars running against each other. Given California's huge budget problems, such spending may not sit well with the voters.

Watch Brown's campaign ad.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Critter's Crap Exclusive

Well, not really. I stole it from Keith Olbermann. Here is the wedding video of Elton John singing at Rush Limbaugh's fourth wedding.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Understanding The Problem

Tony Hayward, BP CEO, said,

"In this accident, based on what we understand so far, seven layers of protection were breached."

He doesn't understand the problem. The problem is not how many layers of protection they had. The problem is that they had no viable plan in place if a blowout happened.

A four month wait while a relief well is drilled is not a viable plan.

Who Would Have Guessed?

Friday, June 4, 2010

George W. Bush, International War Criminal

From Thom Hartmann

George W. Bush, international war criminal, admits torture

George W. Bush's very casual comment on Wednesday that he had tortured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and would do it again, has some former military and intelligence officials concerned that the former president doesn't realize the gravity of what he is admitting. Retired Brigadier General David R. Irvine, a former strategic intelligence officer who taught prisoner of war interrogation and military law for 18 years, says Waterboarding is, "unequivocably torture." He added, "As a nation, we have historically prosecuted it as such, going back to the time of the Spanish-American War. Moreover, it cannot be demonstrated that any use of waterboarding by U.S. personnel in recent years has saved a single American life." According to most reports, Khalid Sheik Mohammed had been highly cooperative and provided excellent intelligence initially, but then clammed up when they began waterboarding him to try to force him to say that there was an association between 9-11 and Saddam Hussein. Additionally, the Bush/Cheney/Bybee/Yoo policy of torturing prisoners of war has placed as-yet-unborn future generations of American soldiers who may be taken prisoner at great risk, as other nations will point to our having used torture to justify their own use of it against our soldiers. Torture historically has been used only for a single purpose - to get people to say what the torturers want them to say, regardless of whether its true or not. This is why the communist dictatorship of China announced earlier in the week that they will no longer criminally prosecute people based on confessions obtained by torture, because so many of the confessions are false. China gets it, the military gets it, but George W. Bush is still clueless. And still an international war criminal.

BP's Ad Campaign

BP is spending about $50 MILLION dollars on an ad campaign designed to rehabilitate their image.


That's a lot of money.

It is very possible that they could have prevented this "accident", by installing a $0.5 MILLION dollar valve.

Let see. BP could have bought 100 (ONE HUNDRED) valves for what they are spending on rehabilitating their IMAGE. Not the ocean, not the beaches, not the lives of people living in the region. NO! They are spending it on their IMAGE.

Well, I guess we know where BP's priorities lie.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

BP's Legacy

Thanks to ThinkProgress for these pictures.

Get use to it. As more and more oil comes ashore, we are going to see more and more pictures like this. BP is trying to hide them, but they won't succeed. Too much wildlife is dying for them to prevent everyone from knowing. And remember, just a small fraction of the dead even reach the shore.

Too bad every dead animal can't be shipped to BP corporate headquarters.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BP Prophetic Advertisement

From here.

This is an ad from 1999. Little did they know how true that would be!