June 10, 2010 archive

Flow Rate Technical Group ups the Ante for BP

Hot off the Presses …

Scoop: Gulf well may be gushing 25,000 to 30,000 barrels

By Joel Achenbach, washingtonpost.com — June 10, 2010; 4:00 PM ET

Just filed to the web some new figures we obtained this afternoon from the federal government that suggest the Deepwater Horizon well is gushing more oil than previously estimated.

The Flow Rate Technical Group has about five subgroups, and the one that is looking at the video of the leak, the so-called plume team,

has come up with an estimate of 20,000 to 40,000 barrels a day,

with the most likely range being 25,000 to 30,000 barrels.

The team had earlier estimated the flow at 12,000 to 25,000 barrels.

Breaking: Indian Educ. Advisory Bill Passes In Okla!!!

The last two diaries I did on this are here and here. Breaking news after the fold!

Good News: Hudson, NY, is NOT Itawamba County, Miss

At last, a different meme and a small victory in the culture wars.

Today’s Hudson, New York Register Star has the counterpoint to the horrendous Itawamba County, Mississippi, prom stories.  It seems that two gay friends have been elected prom king and queen by the student body at Hudson High School. I’m applauding.

Join me in Columbia County, New York.

The Register Star reports:

The Hudson High School prom made history this past Saturday when openly gay best friends were named prom king and queen.

Seniors Charlie Ferrusi and Timmy Howard won their respective crown and tiara by a landslide Saturday and said the support they received from their peers and school administration has been fun and humbling.

“It’s a really big step for Hudson but also for the gay community in general,” Howard said Wednesday. “To have this happen in our city is pretty exciting.”

Ferrusi said he and Howard started thinking about running about a month ago. While there were some students who were in opposition to their idea many more approved and the boys decided to go for it.

By prom night the overwhelming majority of students cast their votes in the open ballot race. They won by such a wide margin the school didn’t crown any runners up.

Earlier this afternoon, the Superintendent of Schools and the High School Principal gave a press conference (sorry no reportage yet) in which they supported the boys’ election and said that was all there was to it.  It remains to be seen how the School Board might respond.

I’m really proud of the Hudson High School students and staff.  This is so much a better story than one tinged in homophobia and hatred.  Join me in applauding.


simulposted at dailykos and The Dream Antilles  

A Longer and Wronger Way Home from “Obama’s War”

Among many other recent innovations, including a “featured advertiser,” Pheedo, which showed up like news on their RSS feed today, the Washington Post has been calling the war in Afghanistan “Obama’s War” for the past few months, and in case you wonder what that never-ending mess is all about, they add a helpful sub-title…  

Combating Extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan

So we were apparently “combatting extremism” in Marjah when we reduced that primitive hamlet to rubble, and the very bad new news on top of all the other very bad old news about that brutal operation is that it was…

A total honking failure!

Residents of this onetime Taliban sanctuary see signs that the insurgents have regained momentum in recent weeks, despite early claims of success by U.S. Marines.

Firefights between insurgents and security forces occur daily, resulting in more Marine fatalities and casualties over the past month than in the first month of the operation, which began in mid-February.

Firefights every day! More and more US casualties!

It’s like some kind of nightmare joke! A Marine blogger at Military Times calls Marjah a petting zoo in Hell!

Pets from Hell

And that’s a scene from Marjah! Look at it! One shack, one Marine, and one crazy dog!

So this total honking failure has finally inspired General Stanley A. McChrystal with some second thoughts about running the same kind of operation in Kandahar.

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is finding himself squeezed between a ticking clock and an enemy that won’t go away.

On Thursday, during a visit to NATO headquarters here, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal admitted that preparations for perhaps the most critical operation of the war — the campaign to take control of Kandahar, the Taliban’s birthplace — weren’t going as planned. He said winning support from local leaders, some of whom see the Taliban fighters not as oppressors but as their Muslim brothers, was proving tougher than expected. The military side of the campaign, originally scheduled to surge in June and finish by August, is now likely to extend into the fall.

And meanwhile Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was extending another deadline…

“All of us, for our publics, are going to have to show by the end of the year that our strategy is on the right track and making some headway,” Gates said Wednesday during a visit to London to meet with British leaders.

Is our strategy “on the right track?”

We won’t “know” until the end of the year!


Chaos, Change, Tragedy ……….and Politics

Humans only change through crisis and tragedy.

And boy do humans need to change.

It is inconceivable but true that the current tragedy, as immense as it is, is NOT changing the politics of Climate and Energy. The only change it has really wrought politically is to answer the question: What will it take. Unfortunately the answer is…..nothing. Nothing, no event, no force, no reality can change the artificial world of politics in a crumbling empire. In a crumbling paradigm, in what is perhaps a crumbling civilization. At the very least, the model of civilization as we have known it is crumbling, as that model proves inadequate to deal with the change that is occurring.

A change which cannot be stopped by men because it is not of man. It is of the world, of the planet, of the universe.  

Have debts? Go to jail

Although no crime was committed, Minnesotans and other people across America are being locked up because they owe money to some corporation. This is another example of our emerging corporatocracy — Where the power of the state is just another tool for business.

The Star Tribune has published an investigative piece about the return of debtors’ prisons, “In jail for being in debt“.

It’s not a crime to owe money, and debtors’ prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts. In Minnesota, which has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country, the use of arrest warrants against debtors has jumped 60 percent over the past four years, with 845 cases in 2009, a Star Tribune analysis of state court data has found.

Here is what is happening now to people who fall behind in paying their bills. Joy Uhlmeyer, for example, is a 57-year-old patient care advocate. She was arrested by a sheriff’s deputy and no one would tell her why, despite her pleas.

Uhlmeyer spent a sleepless night in a frigid Anoka County holding cell, her hands tucked under her armpits for warmth. Then, handcuffed in a squad car, she was taken to downtown Minneapolis for booking. Finally, after 16 hours in limbo, jail officials fingerprinted Uhlmeyer and explained her offense — missing a court hearing over an unpaid debt.

“They have no right to do this to me… Not for a stupid credit card.”

Uhlmeyer ‘crime?’ She “defaulted on a $6,200 Chase credit card after a costly divorce in 2006.” She ignored the collection agency because she “didn’t recognize the name”.

Brain Injury Investigation: Army Responds

After the first part of the report by Danny Zwerdling and T. Christian Miller of NPR and ProPublica there was the following, before the second part, that aired on the NPR show ‘Talk of the Nation’.

Army Responds To Brain Injury Investigation

Guests Danny Zwerdling, NPR national desk correspondent and Gen. Peter Chiarelli, U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff

June 9, 2010 An NPR investigation found that the U.S. military often fails to diagnose traumatic brain injuries in troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The investigation also revealed that many soldiers receive little or no treatment for lingering health problems after suffering brain injuries.

NPR Player to stream discussion

BP’s Perjury Corner – Papantonio on Hardball

The other day we saw in Beyond Paradox & Look, We’re Dealing With Criminals Attorney Mike Papantonio talking with Randi Rhodes explaining the basics of his class action suit against BP after Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he would be launching a criminal investigation into the activities of BP.

As oil continues to gush from the BP site in the Gulf of Mexico, so do the lies coming from the BP spin machine.

Mike Papantonio is working to hold British Petroleum accountable for the damage that they are causing the environment, and working on a class action suit against BP on behalf of families suing BP, as well as to expose the lies that BP continues to feed the news media.

Here’s Mike’s latest appearance on Hardball with Chris Matthews…

Open Step


News at Noon

From Reuters

BP shares plunge as U.S. threatens new penalties

by Tom Bergin and Anna Driver

June 10, 2010

Louisiana (Reuters) – Pressure on BP intensified on Thursday as the U.S. sought to extract more money to pay for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and Britain’s Prime Minister said he “understood” U.S. frustration.

Shares in the British oil company sank to their lowest since 1997 in London trading on Thursday, catching up with a sharp fall in the U.S., before bouncing off their lows as U.S. trading prepared to start.

The cost of insuring BP’s AA-rated debt traded for a time at levels normally associated with “junk” status.

Related Stories:

U.S. spill may be “game changer” for oil: IEA

Oil spill ripples through Florida economy

Hi Tech Open Thread

Get Connected! Wirelessly!!

BP thinks it’s being treated unfairly.

According to the Guardian:

There were signs last night that BP was heading for a showdown with the administration over the issue. A BP source told Reuters that “at some point a line has to be drawn”.

The issue is over paying oil workers who have stopped work because Obama and Salazar have suspended deep water oil drilling because of a disaster Caused by BP.

This amid word that BP treated U.S. regulations about disaster cleanup plans as a total joke, made shit up about disaster preparedness in total mockery and contempt for the weak and infested American government that smiled on its perfidy, and that BP is delaying claims so that claimants go out of business before they can collect.

I agree.  A line has to be drawn.  But not by BP.

You see, I think that the media is all wrong.  Obama doesn’t do anger well and we shouldn’t be looking for him to do it.

However, as we have seen with Obama’s treatment of his allies and voters in the gay community, he does Darth Vader very well.

Perhaps he can treat his enemies as well as he treats his friends.

“Perhaps you think you’re being treated unfairly, BP?”

How about this?  How about we debar you from the United States, Seize your assets, Nationalize your Shit, Imprison your Executives, and then Sell off the Loot to Pay for the Damage you have Caused?

Good.  It would be unfortunate if we had to leave Imperial stormtrooper National Guard garrisons on your rigs and at your headquarters.

We have altered the deal.  Pray we don’t alter it any further.

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