OT: Oil Spill. There are two men...

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I think you're being too hard on Norminn. Norminn must mean that Bush should have known that local and state officials like Ray Nagin were too stupid to call for an evacuation of the city until it was too late. Remember all those local school busses we saw flooded, just sitting there? I guess they could figure out how to use them for a field trip to a zoo, but it was up to Bush to tell them what to do in case of a hurricane
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The target was the coast, not NO or Louisiana....NO got the worst of it, handicapped by federal policies (levees, dredging, shipping channels, etc.). Where was Nagin to send 100,000 people?
I've pondered some of the news clips lately, showing crews cleaning up beaches in La....95 degree heat, plastic haz-mat suits, and the ones I've seen appear to be all or almost all black men. Nobody in their right mind would suit up like that! There were photos of absorbent booms that had been held in place with bamboo poles...why weren't those marsh-loving locals out there just tying simple anchors to the booms? Obama should confiscate all the news mics so folks will have more to do than howl for money. The gov. was yelling that boats were ready to help with skimming, but the CG can't turn loose every loser with a rust bucket that floats, without nav. and communication equipment. Obama, obama, obama..bullshit. Why weren't the parish presidents prepared? They, more than any others, knew the risks and the geography. There will be hell to pay, regardless of the outcome of the cleanup, with health claims from breathing hydrocarbons and the smoke....9/11 deja vu. When people started attacking Adm. Allen, they really lost a lot of points with me...Send in the military? We had two wars goin' on and North Korea getting nasty.
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>

A lot of the fed BS was driven by local politics and the local CongressCritters. Main problem that exists to this day is games being played with zoning, graft off the top, etc. .

Ahh.. the Coast Guard is considered military. From there website: "The United States Coast Guard is a military, multimission, maritime service within the Department of Homeland Security and one of the nation's five armed services." It is the only US Armed Force that is allowed to operate in a law enforcement capacity within US Borders without additional authorizations from DC. I
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

Yes. Most of us know that.

Let's thank our lucky stars the mess is only as bad as it is now...no hurricanes. Yet.
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wrote:

Not totally true. The National Guard works for the state and can be called in by the governor..
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

They are not considered *US* Armed Forcers when they are acting under the authority of the state government. In a federalized capacity the Posse Comitatus Act specifically mentions the National Guard as one of the Forces who will not have law enforcement authority. It's been about 20 years since I last worked directly with a Guard unit and then it was more manpower and logistics during a flood where the local constabulary was still intact. I don't recall what (if any) arrest authority the garden variety Guardsman has under state command.
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On Sat, 19 Jun 2010 16:39:57 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I think what Kurt said is true. The CG can travel into federal waters. The NG is limited on distance.
The CG can fire upon ships failing to obey orders to stop in federal waters.
In other words, the CG can fire without direction from Washington?
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By Washington I meant the political side. The Coasties are handled a lot like the Guard under Posse Comitatus. If, in wartime, a portion of the Coast Guard were subsumed within the Department of the Navy, as it was during World War II, that portion would lose its federal police power authority and responsibility over the federal law enforcement duties of its civilian mission. PC does give the regular Armed Forces some leeway in that Troops can be used under the order of the President of the United States pursuant to the Insurrection Act, as was the case during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Under 18 U.S.C. ? 831, the Attorney General may request that the Secretary of Defense provide emergency assistance if civilian law enforcement is inadequate to address certain types of threats involving the release of nuclear materials, such as potential use of a nuclear or radiological weapon. Although I did not see anything that gave them police powers per se (such ability to effect arrests, etc.) Interestingly enough immediately following Katrina the Armed Forces were given authority to act on US soil to restore public order after a disaster such as a hurricane. That authorization was repealed two years later.
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Oren wrote:

If the ship they are chasing won't stop when hailed, or is shooting at them, sure. They are still considered US Naval vessels, and have similar rules of engagement. In practice, of course, if their comms are working, they will be calling uphill as soon as the situation gets hairy. I don't think a cutter captain would be likely to fire on a displayed-foreign-flag vessel without calling in, unless he was taking fire. But 'a shot across the bow' is well established in maritime law as 'STOP, DAMNIT!' A vessel captain ignores that at his peril.
Standard disclaimer- IANAL.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Obviously a federal requirement.

Why not? The federals licensed an unsafe oil platform with a couple hundred people aboard?
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news:1cqdnerRUZVFSYHRnZ2dnUVZ_v-
n> > This sure as hell isn't Obama's Katrina...Bush had at least 5 days of n> > dire warnings about Katrina and did NOTHING.> Nonsense. At least three search and rescue teams were activated and

I have to agree although I'd reserve "nonsense" for flat earth-type claims. It's not true to say he did nothing. But he did have a Horse Association Guy at the helm of FEMA. It would be accurate to say he might have done better. That's true of most Presidents. It will certainly turn out that we will be able to say that about Obama. He could have done better with the Gulf spill, and that's becoming all too clear.
MMS was already a sinking rig when he came into office. Some of that was clearly Bush's fault. But the first thing an experienced manager SHOULD do when helming a new operation is survey all the weak spots and the hot spots. Fix the worst right away because that's where the most bang for buck is: stopping incompetents from further gross incompetency.
Obama didn't do that, according to the article cited elsewhere. It's probably on his agenda to do in the future, but the economy got in the way. At fault, in both cases, is the Devil's bargain that allows all Presidents to put their friends in office. It's a doubled-edged sword, though. If patronage was eliminated, the government truly could just stop working if the President couldn't put people he trusted in positions of power. Any fix is likely to be worse than the problem as it stands. The President needs to be able to fire his cabinet heads and even guys like four-star Gen Stan McHistory.
I can also see the big picture. Anything Obama did to bridle MMS could have seriously slowed down an already sick economy. We both know in this cartoon world of "I know you saved our lives last week, but what have you done for us lately?" Obama cleaning up MMS *before* the spill would have backfired. There was no good choice, only a lucky one. Obama didn't get lucky. Neither did Bush when it came to Katrina. Stuff happens.
It's usually not fair to blame the president of either party because the failures are usually of a deeply entrenched bureaucracy that has long ago learned how to insulate itself from control and accountability. If you think it's bad where you can see it like FEMA and the MMS, imagine how much money evaporates in black ops where there's almost no accountability.

FEMA was an agency in turmoil walking a delicate line when Katrina hit. Any joint operation, whether corporate, military, rescue or neighbor watch, operates in murky waters because of the differing expectations of the participants. The massive Bush-led reorganization of the established chain of command was probably something he HAD to do to break down the serious stovepipes that had evolved in the intelligence communities, but it had some predictably bad consequences. FEMA got caught squarely in the eye of that hurricane. Ironically, it may turn out to be a good thing in the long term.
I'm an optimist. I've seen lots of Guard and Reserve participation in disaster relief. Want to know how to make friends for life? Pull a flood stranded family AND their dogs and cats off a roof in a fast moving river. It's against the rules to load animals, but pilots do it because they have dogs and cats, too. In a world full of constant disaster we have actually made significant contributions and in exchange refined our own techniques for S&R ops by responding worldwide. And we've made worldwide friends for life doing so.
IOW, things really are getting better because we're getting smarter about how we do things and the tools we use keep getting better. GPS alone has changed the face of emergency relief, and it's one of a dozen helpful new technologies. As for the Gulf, barring seabed blowout, this too shall come to pass and the rest of the world's drilling operations will become safer.
Think back in your life. What taught you the most profound lessons? The ones that had profound consequences. For me it was that a gun is always loaded even when you're sure it's not, don't use spray Lysol and a lighter to torch bugs in your dorm room, don't drive after four vodka martinis, don't keep darkroom chemicals in old milk jugs and when refinishing an old, beautiful tabletop, you don't turn the house heat on for the first time in months while the varnish is still wet.
-- Bobby G.
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<stuff snipped>

The Gulf spill happened where it did because the residents of that region are among the poorest and the least politically empowered to be found anywhere in the US. That makes them easy to take advantage of and that's why BP and many others set up shop there. They could drill without anyone giving them a lot of "gas."
If they tried drilling off the coast of Virginia, their are legions of ultra-rich, very politically connected people who would have sued them into a pillar of salt and forced them to provide *real* contingency plans and to have remediation equipment on close standby in case of a spill on the odd chance they got a permit to drill. No such impediments in the Gulf (at least the parts not near Florida, which also has clout and $.) and so the drilling party went non-stop.
I read something very, very spooky on a geology site that claimed the incredible pressure of the methane gas stored under the sea floor is causing fissures and ruptures to appear on the sea floor. As many of us who have done plumbing know, when you fix a dripping faucet, you can end up with a far greater problem like a joint failing behind a wall because the now the water pipes are under full pressure instead of the reduced pressure that a steady drip provides.
Some of the geologists wrote that even the worst of the BP leakage could be a drop in the bucket if that methane gas (IIRC, at 10,000PSI+) forces its way to the surface through a large enough natural fissure. Sort of like a nail in a tire causing a total blowout. The scariest part of the article was that it's clear we just don't know WHAT will happen because a lot of the data collected on undersea drilling is unshared proprietary information that has not made its way into the hands of scientists and regulators.
Just imagine. They finally cap the well and the whole seafloor around the drill hole ruptures and empties the contents of that huge undersea pocket of oil and methane into the Gulf. IOW, "We ain't seen nuthin' yet!"
-- Bobby G.
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<stuff snipped>

Whatsamatter, don't like "I never met a corporation I didn't like more than a human" Roberts? Me neither. He has health problems, apparently, and has passed out twice for no discernable reason. Probably the control chip the US Chamber of Commerce has installed in his head that forces him to vote for Big Business in 9 out of 10 cases.
As for the spill, this very comprehensive Rolling Stone article talks about how Bush and Obama both share the blame in allowing the Gulf spill to occur.
<<At a recent hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse grilled Salazar about Interior's own handbook on categorical exclusions, which bars their issuance for offshore projects in "relatively untested deep water" or "utilizing new or unusual technology" - standards that Whitehouse called "plainly pertinent" for BP's rig. "It's hard for me to see that that's a determination that could have been made in good faith," Whitehouse said, noting that the monstrously complex task of drilling for oil a mile beneath the surface of the ocean appeared to have been given less oversight than is required of average Americans rewiring their homes. "Who was watching?">>
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/111965
-- Bobby G.
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My personal belief is that the remainder (or more than that) consists of waiting to see what exactly happened in the first place. Waiting will enable us to determine whether or not there's an ass that needs to get kicked.
But if you're the Preener-in-Chief, such details are of no import compared to headlines and your own ego, so...
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...and how about that golf game?
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In reality, I won't be surprised to see that, quietly, behind the scenes, both men have been talked to. "HeyBub"
another 5-6 years. It isn't in either side's political best interests to make those conversations public.
And further-more, if either thinks they have an answer, they can probably make a phone call if it matters to them.
The Obama-hate is ruining the Republican party. Even more-so than the Bush-hate drove the loudest Dems over the edge.
As I saw posted by the right for 8 years-- 'get over it. . .you lost'.
Jim
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we won't know about it for at least

In their hearts they know it was Bush who got us into wars that are bankrupting us and whose theories about the "free market" prevailed right up to the end - when Bush was forced to bail out AIG with a gigantic "nothing free market about it" check from the US taxpayers.

Call Bush for help? I am sure part of the problem lies right at his feet because he was well-known for his anti-regulatory stance and for leaving agencies "headless" as a way of pulling their teeth.
He was also from an oil family who doubtless saw government regulations as horrendously intrusive. Repubs have decried regulation for a long time, yet that's all that often stands between safe stewardship of the environment and wrecks like the BP spill. Read this if you want some idea of what the US would look like if we had no government regulations at all, which seems to be what at least some people seem to seriously propose from time to time:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/world/africa/17nigeria.html
"As many as 546 million gallons of oil spilled into the Niger Delta over the last five decades, or nearly 11 million gallons a year, a team of experts for the Nigerian government and international and local environmental groups concluded in a 2006 report. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 dumped an estimated 10.8 million gallons of oil into the waters off Alaska."
43 would be the last guy I would call. He's the one that did this to us by giving big business and big oil the greenlight (how ironic) to drill ever deeper wells, tear the tops off mountains, etc. Not to mention his other "interesting" ideas like putting Social Security money into the stock market. Ot-nay Oo-tay Right-bay. Do you think all the food poisoning cases, the worst coal mine disaster in 40 years and the BP spill were just accidents? No, they were the result of a Federal government that was forced to downsize and ignore the responsibility to safeguard people against corporate risk taking.
If you need any proof that oil-drilling Texans hate the rest of the country as much as they love their oil, check out Joe Barton's (R. Tex) flowery apology to Gulf-killer Tony Hayward:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/06/17/eveningnews/main6592916.shtml
It was nauseating. But what makes it even more sickening is the apology comes from the man who's the top Repub. on the committee that oversees oil drilling. A man who's taken $100's from Big Oil. I see that the GOP leadership forced him to suck back his apologetic speech. Talk about being out of touch with the people.
The fund was put in place to help avoid the possibility that BP will attempt to distribute any cash hanging around just before they file for bankruptcy. While a week ago that seemed far fetched, the possibility of BP being prosecuted to the max criminally is now a serious one. Their safety record will probably be the thing that hangs them. They've killed through negligence before. That pretty much pre-empts the "It was an accident defense." As for actually collecting from BP, I say dream on, Gulf staters:
http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/16/how-much-will-bp-really-pay /
"BP has owed the state of Michigan $800,000 for 20 years for the costs of clean up for several incidents in and around the state. They have not paid a penny and are now filing an appeal of the court decision. What makes anyone think they are going to be any more forthright with regards to this disaster?"
While I feel badly for the shareholders, they took the profits when they were flowing, and now they'll have to take the losses, too. If the US yanks their Federal oil leases, BP might not survive, especially if the Feds push for criminal liability and the maximum penalties (nearly $5K for every barrel of leaked oil - no WONDER they are seriously underestimating the flow).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill
"In their permit to drill the well, BP estimated the worst case flow at 162,000 barrels (6,800,000 US gallons; 25,800 cubic metres) per day. BP initially estimated that the wellhead was leaking only 1,000 barrels (42,000 US gallons; 160 cubic metres) a day. . .According to Ira Leifer, a member of the Flow Rate Technical Group, the group was only provided a seven minute segment of low-quality video selected by BP."
At every turn BP has been trying to minimize the amount of damage, even incredulously reporting in the first few days that "no oil was leaking."
The Feds could also ban BP from Federal contracts, which usually results in states also banning them. The thing that burns most people, it seems to me, is the outright lies about the quantity of oil leaking from the very beginning. I have a feeling that it's been so much oil that it will make its way to the Gulf stream and off to Merry Olde England, especially if the high end estimates turn out to be right.
-- Bobby G.
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Of course SS has already gone bankrupt semi-officially and will pay most of us a negative rate of return on our money over the course of our lives. Even at the trough of this market, there has never been a 20-year period since WWII where the S&P has paid less than 8% annualized. If you put the same amount of money into a tax advantaged account that was entirely in stocks, you would be much further ahead than you will be SS. Add in dividends (and the impact of compounding interest) and you would have been much better off putting the money in stocks or other investments.
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Federal government DOWNSIZING? Now that's a total crock. The Federal govt today is LARGER and spending MORE money than ever before. Obama and his folks were in charge of the Dept of Interior that had control authority over offshore drilling for the last 18 months. They have had plenty of people capable of bashing corporations and telling them what to do, from GM to Wall Streeet. And they just EXPANDED government into healthcare. So, it's obvious nonsense to attribute this accident to government downsizing.

And the guy who wrote this is the same guy who thinks govt has downsized? Good grief!
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MRS. STONE YOU ARE NOT AS FUN AS YOU THINK GET BACK TO WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED
I AM PROTEUS
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