Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day To...

all you warmongers! I hope you think Afghanistan and Iraq have been worth it. I sure don't. In Afghanistan we took out a government that supported Al-Qaeda in a few days. Why are we still there? We should have never attacked Iraq in the first place. Why are we still there.

Watch this video and then tell me it is worth it.



Thanks to Its my Right to be Left of the Center for the video. Check them out for more information about what these wars have cost us and what we could have done with the money.

What could have been done by the Americans that have been killed cannot be estimated.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Unprecedented?

Unprecedented??? I call bullshit!! Check out this video from ThinkProgress.



This blowout is not unprecedented. It has happened many times before.

If we had required, or BP had installed anyway, an acoustic valve, the blowout may have been prevented or stopped quickly.

If we had required, or BP had done anyway, that a relief well be drilled at the same time as the exploratory well, the blowout would have been stopped shortly, maybe within a few days, after it occurred.

Other countries do just that! We should REQUIRE (not just recommend) that relief wells drilled at the same time for all future offshore drilling, be it in shallow or deep water. All experts agree. A relief well is the only sure way of stopping the gusher.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why Do They Only Pay 15%?


Check out what

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Canadians Do It Better

On Countdown tonight, Olbermann interviewed conservation consultant Rick Steiner about the BP gusher. You can see the full interview here. But what I found interesting is a statement that Steiner makes about 3:15 into the clip. He says

"...the Canadian government requires the drilling of a relief well along with the exploratory well in extreme environments"

Here is the clip

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Let me repeat. The Canadian government REQUIRES a relief well to be drilled at the same time as the exploratory well in extreme environments.

Why don't we? Well, that's easy to answer. It is expensive. We won't even require a $500,000 acoustic valve. We certainly won't require a second well to be drilled at the cost of several millions of dollars. But the Canadians do. They are able to do it. Why are we? Come to think of it, they have universal health care too. Why don't we.

Maybe it is because we are controlled by big business, not the people. Business keeps getting put first...and the people, you and me, suffer because of it.

Now there are calls for the government to take over the gusher. Why? So we can pay for it. So it will be our fault, not BP's. So you and I will have to foot the bill, and BP can go on it merry way and pay millions of dollars to its management and millions of dollars to its shareholders, while we the people get stuck with BILLIONS of dollars in costs, costs that are the fault of big business.

Republicans Repudiate Reagan


Reagan said "Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem."

Republicans have just thrown Reagan under the bus.

Check it what Bob Cesca has to say about it.
"Republicans and tea party people have been screeching about the bailouts. They insist that the banks and financial institutions (and GM) should have been allowed to fail, rather than receiving emergency loans from the government in order to, at the time, prevent the American economy from being dragged down along with these institutions had they not been hoisted with an infusion of cash."

"Americans dying from a lack of health insurance? Too bad. No government takeover. The economy about to sink into a second Great Depression? Too bad. No government takeover. The Earth growing warmer due to the burning of fossil fuels? Too bad. No government takeover."

"And suddenly all of these state's rights, anti-government takeover Republicans are demanding a government takeover of the capping and cleanup process."

"Bobby Jindal, the state's rights small government governor who tried to block stimulus money from entering Louisiana (though it didn't stop him from eventually accepting giant checks during photo-ops), is demanding that the federal government take over the handling of the disaster."


Even Sarah Palin has gotten into the act.
"So one half of the 2008 Republican presidential "drill, baby, drill" ticket which, by the way, accepted $2.4 million in contributions from oil companies (double the amount donated to the Obama-Biden ticket), called for a government takeover of the BP situation, and lamented that it wasn't happening because the president's campaign accepted oil money.


And don't forget the Senate.
"In the U.S. Senate, the anti-bailout, anti-spending Republicans have been filibustering any Democratic effort to lift the $75 million liability cap on oil spill damages, effectively bailing out the oil companies and potentially forcing the federal government to cover any damages above and beyond the limits of the cap. Put another way, once an oil company reaches $75 million, American taxpayers take over, and Republicans like Senator Inhofe are working hard to keep it that way. Once again, just like the bailouts, the Republicans are embracing privatized, free market profits, but socialized losses."
Republicans, once again, show what they really are. They bitch and moan about big government when they are not in control of big government, and then look to big government to bail them out when one of their benefactors, big business, gets in trouble.

Remind me again why the average American should vote for these clowns.

I'm With Dad On This One

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Profits Over People

Looks like the GOP is doing it again, putting PROFIT over PEOPLE.

As reported by ThinkProgress, Congress is working on a bill to extend unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies for laid-off workers. The cost of the bill will be paid for, in part, by closing of a loophole that allow corporations to claim U.S. tax credits on profits earned overseas.

The cost? About $1.5 billion per year from the entire multinational corporation community. According to the National Employment Law Project, 1.2 million Americans who are currently eligible for extended benefits will lose them in June if Congress doesn’t act.

To put $1.5 billion per year from the ENTIRE multinational corporation community, BP (you know, the multinational corporation responsible for the Gulf oil spill) earned over $5 billion dollars in the first QUARTER of 2010. Hell, they could have paid the annual cost for all multinational corporations with ONE MONTHS profits.

According to Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) Congress should stop extending benefits “right now”.

Way to go, GOP. Way to put corporate profits ahead of people...again!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

War Is Making You Poor

Here is Alan Grayson introducing his War Is Making You Poor Act, HR5353.

LISTEN TO IT!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On It's Way To Europe?

Here's a great picture of the oil leak for SkyTruth.


It is a satellite radar image and shows that the extend of the oil slick and oil sheen covers 15,976 square miles. It also shows that it has been picked up by the loop current and is on its way eastward. It is interesting to see how much of the slick/sheen is to the east of the well gusher.

Just think if all that oil was going north to the gulf coast instead.

Top Kill

Well, there is good new and there is bad news.

The good news -- BP says that it hopes "to start the procedure known as a "top kill" by Sunday". If it works, it will shut down the oil flow.

The bad news -- It could take several weeks to complete. If that's true, why have they waited so long to start? After all, their other efforts, except for the relief well, have been directed at capturing the escaping oil, not stopping the flow.

What is a "top kill", you ask?

Here is a picture of what will be done.

Here is a little more information about how a "top kill" will be done. It appears that they have been collecting data on the BOP for a while in order to do this, which brings up another question.

Doug Suttles, BP Chief Operating Officer, said, "We had to get certain diagnostic information and measurements across the BOP and damaged riser. We have been gathering that data over time."

They should have had most of this data already. Why didn't they? I mean, they should have all the design data available on the BOP. Yes, they had to assess the damage, if any, but I would think that they should have had most of the information already on hand -- unless their documentation is about as good as it is on their other deep water platform, Atlantis.

Atlantis is a whole other potential problem!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tax Cut Myth

Republicans love themselves those tax cuts. That's all you hear. We need tax cuts to stimulate the economy.

Well, the folks over at Angry Bear have taken a look at the effects of tax cuts. And they have concluded that:

"Going as far back as there is official data on economic growth, what we find is that expansions associated with reductions in the top marginal income tax rate have been shorter and slower than expansions that did not involve tax cuts."

Here are the figures.

The length of time of the economic expansion is longer with no marginal tax change or a marginal tax increase than it is with a marginal tax cut.



The growth rate in Real GDP per capita is greater with a marginal tax increase or no marginal tax change than it is with a marginal tax cut.



The growth in real GDP per capita is greater with a marginal tax increase or no marginal tax change than it is with a marginal tax cut.

See the article for the backup information on the data,how it was analyzed, and further discussions on the implications of these figures.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

SkyTruth Discovers Another Leak



If one leak was not bad enough, it now looks like SkyTruth has discovered another leak. Here is a picture:


It is identified as the "Leaking Platform". It is not very large, at least relative to the gushing well, but...maybe the problems with offshore platforms are larger than we have been led to believe.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Let's Use the Correct Terminology





This is a leak.



This is a gusher.

Even if it is on the ocean floor under 1 mile of seawater, it is still a gusher, not a leak!

Not only are they most likely under-estimating the flow rate, they are using the wrong terminology.

Obama Tells GOP NO!

This is a great clip. We need more like it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Question of the Day


Why is the Bible filed in the non -fiction section of the library?



Maine GOP Throws Children Under the Bus


The GOP platform in Maine has been written by the Tea Party. It is something that all Maine republicans are supposed to run on. This should be very interesting. You can read the platform here (link to download pdf file).

Most of it is standard GOP/Tea Party rhetoric. But, there are a couple of interesting provisions, one dealing with the fetus and one dealing with children. It seems that Maine is more interested in the unborn than the born.

First of all, they say:
"We recognize the sanctity of life, which includes the unborn."

OK, they are against abortion. Standard stuff. But then they go on to say:

"Reject the UN Treaty on Rights of the Child."

Wait a minute!

The UN Treaty on Rights of the Child deals with the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of children. Among other things, it prohibits the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography.

One could say, and of course I never would, that the Maine GOP/Tea Party is in favor of the sale of children.

One could say, and of course I never would, that the Maine GOP/Tea Party is in favor of child prostitution.

One could say, and of course I never would, that the Maine GOP/Tea Party is in favor of child pornography.

The other interesting aspect of this whole thing is that only two countries in the whole world have not ratified this Convention. Want to guess who they are?

Somalia

and

The United States!

What's up with that?


UPDATE

This just in: Maine GOP Vandalizes 8th Grade Classroom

Not only did they adopt a Tea Bag platform, they met in a public school classroom and "went through eighth-grade teacher Paul Clifford’s items, opened sealed boxes, stole a prized poster, and vandalized the room with Republican slogans."

Way to go GOP. That's showing lots of "class"!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Do Corporations Lie To Save Money?



Here is what happens when they do.



Read this article by Greg Palast from Truthout.org. Here are some excerpts:

"To contain a spill, the main thing you need is a lot of rubber, long skirts of it called a "boom." Quickly surround a spill, leak or burst, then pump it out into skimmers, or disperse it, sink it or burn it. Simple."

"...BP has figured out a very low-cost way to prepare for this task: BP lies. BP prevaricates, BP fabricates and BP obfuscates."

EXXON VALDEZ SPILL

" I was a fraud investigator hired to dig into the cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Despite Exxon's name on that boat, I found the party most to blame for the destruction was ... British Petroleum (BP).""Before the Exxon Valdez grounding, BP's Alyeska group claimed it had these full-time, oil spill response crews. Alyeska had hired Alaskan natives, trained them to drop from helicopters into the freezing water and set booms in case of emergency. Alyeska also certified in writing that a containment barge with equipment was within five hours sailing of any point in the Prince William Sound. Alyeska also told the state and federal government it had plenty of boom and equipment cached on Bligh Island.

But it was all a lie. On that March night in 1989 when the Exxon Valdez hit Bligh Reef in the Prince William Sound, the BP group had, in fact, not a lick of boom there. And Alyeska had fired the natives who had manned the full-time response teams, replacing them with phantom crews, lists of untrained employees with no idea how to control a spill. And that containment barge at the ready was, in fact, laid up in a drydock in Cordova, locked under ice, 12 hours away."

DEEPWATER HORIZON SPILL

"Where was BP's containment barge and response crew? Why was the containment boom laid so damn late, too late and too little? Why is it that the US Navy is hauling in 12 miles of rubber boom and fielding seven skimmers, instead of BP?"

"...the spill response crews were told they weren't needed because the company had already sealed the well. Like everything else from BP mouthpieces, it was a lie."

WHY DID IT HAPPEN?

"Americans want government off our backs ... that is, until a folding crib crushes the skull of our baby, Toyota accelerators speed us to our death, banks blow our savings on gambling sprees and crude oil smothers the Mississippi.

Then, suddenly, it's, "Where was hell was the government? Why didn't the government do something to stop it?"

"It was only last month that BP, lobbying for new deepwater drilling, testified to Congress that additional equipment and inspection wasn't needed."

"...one of the platform workers has informed him that the BP well was apparently deeper than the 18,000 feet depth reported. BP failed to communicate that additional depth to Halliburton crews, who, therefore, poured in too small a cement cap for the additional pressure caused by the extra depth. So, it blew."

TRUTH?

"BP says its worker is lying. Someone's lying here, man on the platform or the company that has practiced prevarication from Alaska to Louisiana. "

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What Does History Tell Us?

Rachel Maddow revisits the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Is this what the Gulf Coast has to look forward to?

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



h/t to TomCat at Politics Plus

Monday, May 3, 2010

What Do You Want To Bet?


BP's CEO said the oil company would pay all necessary and appropriate clean up costs associated with the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

What do you want to bet that "all necessary and appropriate clean up costs" means their maximum liability of $75 million dollars only as per the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

Want to guess who is going to pay for the rest?

Looks like more corporate "privatize profits, socialize losses". The banks got theirs. Now it is time for the oil companies. Who's next?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Skytruth


The LA Times, today, has an article about Skytruth. Skytruth is a small nonprofit group that has been monitoring the oil spill. They were the first to point out that the spill was much bigger than the initial 1000 barrels estimate given by BP and the government. That sent BP and the government scrambling to come up with the 5000 barrel estimate.

As stated in the LA Times article, "Saturday, the group updated its analysis to estimate that the slick contained more than 11.1 million gallons of oil, which would make it the largest oil spill in American history. John Amos, the group's president, also revised the estimate of the rate of oil leaking to 25,000 barrels a day, saying it was a "rock bottom" figure."

25,000 barrels per day is 1,050,000 gallons per day. That's right, over 1 MILLION GALLONS PER DAY!

That's 25 times the initial estimate, and there is no end in sight.

With all the resources that a large international corporation, British Petroleum, and with all the resources of the federal government, why does it take a " tiny nonprofit group with one paid staffer in a one-room office in a small West Virginia town" to figure out how much oil is leaking?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What Happened To The Volcano?


Well, the oil spill, or should I say oil leak, in the Gulf has certainly knocked the Iceland volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, off the front pages. Before we leave it, however, I would like to use it to point out more extreme mis-information out there about volcanoes and global climate change.

I spent last weekend visiting relatives in the mid-West. We were out driving around and the topic of the Iceland volcano came up. One relative blurted out,

"You know, that volcano has spewed out more carbon dioxide than is produced by all the cars in the US in 10 years. So much for our impact on global warming. Ha! Ha! Ha!"

Now, I knew he was full of crap, but (1) did not have my facts with me, and (2) did not want to really get into a climate change discussion at that time. Where did he get that "information"? He listens to "shock-jock" radio, so it probably came from there. Such thoughts may have originated from Ian Plimer who has written that volcanoes produce more CO2 than the world's cars and industries combined.

Let's look at some numbers.

The volcano is emitting about 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per day. That's 0.15 million metric tons per day.

When flights were cancelled in Europe, there was actually a net DECREASE in the carbon dioxide emissions. Airline carbon dioxide is more than twice the volcano carbon dioxide.

The effects of Eyjafjallajokull are quite small compared to other volcanoes. Mt. Pinatubo (much bigger eruption) in the Philippines emitted 42 million tons of carbon dioxide in 1991. The Iceland volcano will have to erupt for 280 days to equal that amount. That may happen. 42 million is a large number by itself. How does it compare to those cars?

Cars in the US emit about 1,600 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in one year. Hey, 1,600 million is much larger than 42 million. Way bigger. In ten years US cars emit 16,000 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Wow! 16,000 million is way way bigger than 42 million. What do you know?

And what about all the other human activity? Well, in 2006 we contributed 29,195 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to our atmosphere. That's a really big big number, makes Eyjafjallajokull seem somewhat insignificant.