ThePoliticalCat

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Bullshit Must Stop NOW

ICHC

We're in the midst of the worst ecological disaster of our lifetimes, in case you didn't know. That would be BP's oil rig leaking billions of gallons of oil into the ocean. The ocean that feeds and sustains us.

The RightWingNutJob Noise Machine, aka Faux Noise and Rupert Murdoch's various rags (the Wall St. Journal, various local fishwrap in different cities), the various "pundits" and opiners, talk show hosts and mouthpieces for the corporatocracy are already trying to spread the meme that President Obama and the Federal government that he heads are somehow culpable in this disaster. They're calling it "Obama's Katrina."

Oh, yeah? Well, I got your Katrina right here, fuckwits. What, do these idiots think that we have forgotten what happened during Hurricane Katrina? That was a mere five years ago, you bilious bloviating bilebags. We all lived through that, in person or vicariously. We have not forgotten the terrible scenes we saw.

So, peeps, if some RWNJ starts haranguing you with this bullshit? Here's what you tell them:
Timeline of events courtesy of Media Matters For America, a nonpartisan fact-checking organization devoted to exposing inaccuracy in reportage.

April 20 (10 p.m.): Oil rig explosion. An April 21 ABCNews.com article reported, "An overnight explosion in the Gulf of Mexico rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the Louisiana coast, sending spectacular bursts of flame into the sky. The fires were still raging today." The U.S. Coast Guard's National Oil and Hazardous Substances Response System assigns primary responsibility for cleaning up oil spills to the spiller as the responsible party.

April 21: Deputy Secretary of Interior, Coast Guard dispatched to region. An April 22 White House statement noted that following a briefing with President Obama, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, "Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes was dispatched to the region yesterday to assist with coordination and response." The Coast Guard announced that four units were responding to the fire, with additional units en route.

* Search and rescue efforts begin for 11 missing. An initial focus of the response was the search for 11 missing crewmembers. The search was called off April 23.

* BP confirms U.S. Coast Guard was "leading the emergency response" In an April 21 press release, British Petroleum stated that it was "working closely with Transocean and the U.S. Coast Guard, which is leading the emergency response, and had been offering its help - including logistical support."

* CNN.com: "The U.S. Coast Guard launched a major search effort." An April 22 CNN.com article reported:

The U.S. Coast Guard launched a major search effort Wednesday for 11 people missing after a "catastrophic" explosion aboard an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico engulfed the drilling platform in flames.

Another 17 people were injured -- three critically -- in the blast aboard the Deepwater Horizon, which occurred about 10 p.m. Tuesday. The rig was about 52 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana, said Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry. As of late afternoon Wednesday as many as six firefighting vessels were working to contain the massive fire caused by the explosion.

"It obviously was a catastrophic event," O'Berry said.

April 23: Coast Guard "focused on mitigating the impact of the product currently in the water." On April 23, the Coast Guard stated:

The Department of the Interior, MMS [the U.S. Minerals Management Service], and the Coast Guard continue to support the efforts of the responsible parties to secure all potential sources of pollution. Both federal agencies have technical teams in place overseeing the proposals by BP and Transocean to completely secure the well. Until that has occurred and all parties are confident the risk of additional spill is removed, a high readiness posture to respond will remain in place.

Although the oil appears to have stopped flowing from the well head, Coast Guard, BP, Transocean, and MMS remain focused on mitigating the impact of the product currently in the water and preparing for a worst-case scenario in the event the seal does not hold. Visual feed from deployed remotely operated vehicles with sonar capability is continually monitored in an effort to look for any crude oil which still has the potential to emanate from the subsurface well.

"From what we have observed yesterday and through the night, we are not seeing any signs of release of crude in the subsurface area. However we remain in a 'ready to respond' mode and are working in a collaborative effort with BP, the responsible party, to prepare for a worst-case scenario," Landry stated early Friday morning.

April 25: Response team implements plan to contain oil spilling from source, weather delays cleanup.

* Storms delay response efforts. An April 25 Associated Press article reported, "Stormy weather delayed weekend efforts to mop up leaking oil from a damaged well after the explosion and sinking of a massive rig off Louisiana's Gulf Coast that left 11 workers missing and presumed dead." AP further reported:

The bad weather began rolling in Friday as strong winds, clouds and rain interrupted efforts to contain the spill. Coast Guard Petty Officer John Edwards said he was uncertain when weather conditions would improve enough for cleanup to resume. So far, he said, crews have retrieved about 1,052 barrels of oily water.

* Oil recovery and cleanup were to resume after adverse weather passed. On April 25, the unified command team responding to the spill stated:

The unified command is implementing intervention efforts in an attempt to contain the source of oil emanating from the wellhead at the Deepwater Horizon incident site Sunday.

The unified command has approved a plan that utilizes submersible remote operated vehicles in an effort to activate the blowout preventer on the sea floor and to stop the flow of oil that has been estimated at leaking up to 1,000 barrels/42,000 gallons a day.

Also, BP is mobilizing the DD3, a drilling rig that is expected to arrive Monday to prepare for relief well-drilling operations.

Additionally, the oil recovery and clean-up operations are expected to resume once adverse weather has passed. These efforts are part of the federally approved oil spill contingency plan that is in place to respond to environmental incidents.

April 26: Response crews "to resume skimming operations." On April 26, the response team stated, "Sunday, an aircrew from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sighted five small whales during an over flight in the vicinity of the oil spill, which currently measures 48 miles by 39 miles at its widest points with varying levels of sheening, and is located 30 miles off the coast of Venice, La." The command team further stated, "Following adverse weather that went through the area, response crews are anticipated to resume skimming operations today," including 1,000 personnel, 10 offshore vessels, 7 skimming boats and more than 14,000 gallons of dispersant. At that point 48,384 gallons of oily water had been collected.

April 28: Federal officials realize spill was far more severe than BP led them to believe. An April 28 New York Times article reported, "Government officials said late Wednesday night that oil might be leaking from a well in the Gulf of Mexico at a rate five times that suggested by initial estimates." The Times further reported:

In a hastily called news conference, Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry of the Coast Guard said a scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had concluded that oil is leaking at the rate of 5,000 barrels a day, not 1,000 as had been estimated. While emphasizing that the estimates are rough given that the leak is at 5,000 feet below the surface, Admiral Landry said the new estimate came from observations made in flights over the slick, studying the trajectory of the spill and other variables.

An April 30 Associated Press article reported, "For days, as an oil spill spread in the Gulf of Mexico, BP assured the government the plume was manageable, not catastrophic. Federal authorities were content to let the company handle the mess while keeping an eye on the operation." The article continued:

But then government scientists realized the leak was five times larger than they had been led to believe, and days of lulling statistics and reassuring words gave way Thursday to an all-hands-on-deck emergency response. Now questions are sure to be raised about a self-policing system that trusted a commercial operator to take care of its own mishap even as it grew into a menace imperiling Gulf Coast nature and livelihoods from Florida to Texas.

April 29: Napolitano declares spill "of national significance"; BP insists its "plan can handle this spill." On April 29, BP official Doug Suttles appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and stated, "At this point, I believe our plan can handle this spill, and that's what we're doing." That day, Napolitano declared the spill "of national significance," explaining that "we can now draw down assets from across the country, other coastal areas, by way of example; that we will have a centralized communications because the spill is now crossing different regions."

* EPA preparing for oil to hit shore. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson commented at an April 29 press briefing: "[A]s the oil does hit the shoreline, EPA will provide support to assess the impacts on the coastal shoreline and play a key role in implementing the cleanup. As a daughter of the Gulf Coast, I know that it is our job to ensure people that we will be eyes and ears working with the states who have valuable and vital resources to monitor air, water and land quality." Jackson also stated that the EPA has deployed air-monitoring aircraft "that is gathering information on the impact of the controlled burn on air quality, both in the area of the burn, and, of course, further away."

* AP: "Air Force sends planes to help with Gulf oil spill." An April 30 Associated Press article reported: "Two Air Force planes have been sent to Mississippi and were awaiting orders to start dumping chemicals on the oil spill threatening the coast, as the government worked Friday to determine how large a role the military should play in the cleanup."

* WSJ: Navy joins Obama's "robust response." An April 30 Wall Street Journal article reported that "The U.S. Navy said it will send more than 12 additional miles of inflatable oil booms to the Gulf, as well as seven towable skimming systems and 50 contractors with experience operating the equipment." The article continued: "The Navy is making two large facilities available to the Coast Guard personnel and BP-employed contractors who are currently taking the lead in fighting the spill. Military officials said the booms and skimmers were being sent to a Naval construction base in Gulfport, Miss. The Navy also opened its air base in Pensacola, Fla., to the effort."
The timeline is clear. The incident was reported on 4/21 and the same day, the Deputy Secretary of the Interior and the Coast Guard were on the scene. BP assured everyone that the situation was under control, and minimized the scope of the disaster.

Seven days later, the Coast Guard realized that BP had underestimated the leakage by a factor of five times or more, and had no plan to deal with the disaster. President Obama has told BP that they must pay for the cleanup, but he has assigned the highest level of resources to this crisis.

So I'd better not hear "Obama's Katrina" coming out of anyone's mouth, any time soon. Because Katrina was what caused me, finally, to take a stand against Gee, Dumb? Yeah! and his cohorts, the Bouchebags who squatted in the White House and the Houses of the People and every administrative office and department in this country.

Here are a few ways in which Hurricane Katrina differs from the current disaster:
  • BP, NOAA, NASA — no organization could have predicted the oil rig accident.

  • Hurricane Katrina had been predicted weeks beforehand. There was plenty of warning, it was hurricane season, and researchers could see the hurricane approach landfall.

  • BP oil rig explosion — 11 dead

  • Hurricane Katrina — 1,500 dead

  • BP oil rig explosion — Federal Government/POTUS response: same-day dispatch of Coast Guard and high-ranking official to determine nature and extent of damage

  • Hurricane Katrina — Federal Government/POTUS response: Bush flew to McCain's to celebrate birthday party

    Remember this?



    Meanwhile, Dick Cheney was off on a week-long fishing "vacation" in Wyoming — supposedly. And Condi Rice was checking out the plays on Broadway, diverting herself with a little shoe-shopping at Ferragamo. Here's the timeline of events, if you want to see for yourself.
Bush waited for FIVE WHOLE DAYS between the time aid was requested and the time he finally reported back to work. He was too busy enjoying photo ops with John McCain's birthday cake and horsing around with a guitar and lying to seniors about his new Medicare drug benefit.

Meanwhile, this just in: Halliburton, Dick Cheney's old company which won so many no-bid contracts after Dick picked himself to be Georgie's Veep, is implicated in the widening scandal. And has been involved in similar environmental disasters.

Moreover: President Obama has already directed that BP will pay the cost of cleanup. BP has, apparently, agreed.

So I'd better not be hearing nothing about no fucking Katrina.

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3 Comments:

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Friend of TPC said...

Hi TPC,

I have been wanting to comment on this disaster but have not had time to do so. But now this evening I hear they are planning to put this dome down to the oil gusher to catch the oil so they can siphon it into ships.

Except now there are reports that the area is so polluted with natural gas and other noxious fumes that all they need is a little spark to blow up the surface where the ships are. And even without the explosive risk, I gather the fumes are so noxious it's making it next to impossible for the workers trying to deal with this.

Are they ever going to be able to shut this off? Talk about poisoning the planet, oh man. We're screwed. We are so screwed. What an unbelievable disaster.

 
At 8:15 AM, Blogger Distributorcap said...

we will never learn -- it is more important to make money than preserve the only place we can live

we are fucked

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Victoria said...

Hi,

This is Vicky Silvers, I am an editor for Hospital.com. We are a medical publication whose focus is geared towards promoting awareness on hospitals, including information, news, and reviews on them. We would like to have our site included within your blog and offer our information to your readers, of course we would be more than happy to list your website within our directory as well.

vicky silvers
vicky silvers@gmail.com
www.Hospital.com

 

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