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Friday News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians!! TGIF!!! I’m a little behind schedule this morning. I stayed up late watching the Celtics lose to the Lakers alternating with Anderson Cooper decimating the BP and Obama administration response to the ecological and economic catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.


BP managed to get a cap in place on the riser pipe, and they claim that some oil is being captured; but oil can still be seen gushing out into the Gulf.

BP’s Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said it will be later in the day before they know how much is being captured.

“There is flow coming up the pipe. Just now, I don’t know the exact rate,” Suttles said on NBC’s “Today” show.

At The Oil Drum, “Heading Out” offers a pretty clear explanation of the process of capping the riser. According to Heading out, the cap is in place but isn’t on tight enough to seal the opening. Thus there is still plenty of oil and gas coming out.

A commenter on the Heading Out’s post linked to this ABC News story about how BP and the government have handled the media throughout this crisis. According to the story, it was clear in 2002 that the oil industry and the Coast Guard did not have the technical expertise or the equipment to deal with a spill of this magnitude.

Attention to handling the media response to a major oil spill was just one focus of the four elaborate exercises staged by the U.S. Coast Guard over the past decade, the after action reports show.

As early as 2002, the practice runs also indicated that oil companies lacked updated equipment to mount an effective response to a spill, and would need to be forced by the government to invest in better technology.

“Without requirements in place to require use of new response technologies they will not be developed and deployed adequately,” said an after-action report from the summer 2002 drill that simulated an oil leak from a sunken rig in the Gulf of Mexico that was eerily similar to the current disaster. “There is little incentive for [oil companies] to invest in them and therefore, little incentive for technology companies to develop or refine these technologies further.”

Those requirements were never forced on the companies and, as a result, the oil spill response underway in the Gulf is being mounted with booms and skimmers that some industry experts described as antiquated and of limited value.

Last night, Anderson Cooper asked why the government could not have provided an expert spokesman to explain to the American people exactly what was going on last night and during other attempts to stop the spill.

Cooper and his guests discussed how JFK responded after the Soviets put Sputnik into orbit before the U.S. was able to send a satellite into orbit. JFK responded by saying that we would land on the moon. He mobilized the resources and we did it. And there were always explanations on TV of what was happening during the space program. So why couldn’t the government do that now with the oil spill? Why isn’t the President out every day pushing us to mobilize resources to develop alternative energy sources and to hold oil companies and government agencies responsible?

I have to hand it to Cooper. He really is doing a good job right now bringing attention to what is happening to wildlife and people in the wake of this terrible disaster. But where is the government response? Oh yeah, President Obama went on Larry King Live and said in a monotone, “I am furious.”

Of course no one believes Obama is furious, because it is all “just words.” We don’t need the President to emote; we need him to take action and lead. And this guy just doesn’t seem to be capable of being a real leader.

Here’s a more upbeat story: BP’s Survival in Doubt After Gulf Oil Spill

In a widely circulated research note, London-based Abuthnot analyst Dougie Youngson wrote earlier this week: “The key question now is whether BP, and not just BP CEO Tony Hayward, can survive.”

Lysle Brinker, co-head of the equity department at IHS Herold, agreed that the oil giant is staggering. “In any scenario, from worst case to best case, there is a strong likelihood that BP will emerge from this situation with a much changed corporate and ownership structure than it had before,” Brinker said. “You can’t rule out bankruptcy or a takeover, but we think it is more likely that to compete going forward BP will need to take on some form of minority equity partner. A closer relationship with a large national oil company, possibly of Chinese origin, is a percentage-play scenario.”


Some moronic state senator in South Carolina decided to shoot his mouth off when he probably should have just had another doughnut.

A longtime South Carolina state Senator with a reputation for blunt language used the term “raghead” to describe Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley and President Obama during an appearance on a political talk show Thursday.

Haley is of Indian-American descent.

State Sen. Jake Knotts, who backs Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer in the four-way Republican primary battle, made the remark during an interview on “Pub Politics,” a popular online political talk show in Columbia.

“We already got one raghead in the White House, we don’t need a raghead in the governor’s mansion,” Knotts said, according to multiple people present for the broadcast.

Disgusting. What an a-hole!

The unemployment situation still sucks, and the Villagers still couldn’t care less.

Employers in the U.S. hired fewer workers in May than forecast and Americans dropped out of the labor force, showing a lack of confidence in the recovery that may lead to slower economic growth.

Staff reductions at companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Citigroup Inc. indicate a slowing in the labor market that threatens to restrain consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said yesterday that unemployment was exacting a heavy toll, showing why economists forecast interest rates will remain low.


Bernanke yesterday said joblessness is among the “important concerns” for the recovery.

I’ll believe the Villagers are concerned when I see real action.

Remember Natalee Holloway? I’m sure you do, and you probably heard that the primary suspect in her disappearance five years ago, Joran van der Sloot, has been arrested in Chile after a young woman was found dead in his hotel room in Peru. He had supposedly been in Peru to participate in a poker tournament. Among his other activities in the past five years, van der Sloot reportedly had visited Thailand hoping to become a human trafficker.

LIMA, Peru (AP) — A Dutchman who has long been a suspect in the disappearance of an Alabama teenager in Aruba five years ago was arrested Thursday in connection with the murder of a young woman in Peru.

The woman, Stephany Flores, 21, was killed in a Lima hotel on Sunday, five years to the day after the Alabama teenager, Natalee Holloway, disappeared.

The suspect, Joran van der Sloot, was escorted by three police officers as he entered a police station in Santiago, Chile, on Thursday. He did not comment as he entered, walking calmly and without handcuffs as reporters shouted his name.

The murdered women, Stephany Flores was seen with van der Sloot entering his hotel room at 5AM on Sunday. At 9AM Sunday, van der Sloot checked out of the hotel, and the woman’s body was found in his room on Wednesday.

In addition to being a murder suspect, van der Sloot has been charged with extortion in Alabama, where he “tried to sell details” about Natalee Holloway’s disappearance.

Can we just put this guy away now so we never have to see or hear about him ever again?

What are you reading this morning? Please post your links in the comments, and have a fabulous Friday.

101 Responses

  1. It’s Friday, but it’s too early to start drinking. 😦

  2. Debrahlee Lorenzana sues Citigroup, claims bank fired her for being too sexy

    A Latina lovely says her bosses at Citigroup canned her for flaunting her ample assets at a midtown bank.

    Dangerously curvy Debrahlee Lorenzana contends her ex-bosses at Citibank in the Chrysler Building banned her from wearing sexy outfits or heels deemed “too distracting” for male coworkers.

    “I can’t help it that I have curves,” Lorenzana told the Daily News.

    “And I’m not going to go eat and gain 50 or 100 pounds because my job wants me to be the same size as everyone else.”

    The 33-year-old Queens woman filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court, claiming she was ordered to lay off turtlenecks, pencil skirts and fitted suits because clingy clothes were drawing too much attention in the workplace.

    • Reminds me of the explanation once got from a religious joo (avoiding the filter) about the reason women have to sit separately from men in the temple:

      It’s not because of the the women. It’s because God knows how little self control men have

      Which I am sure covers burkas and all other women discrimination: help men with their self-control issues. Cuz they always need a leg up 😉

    • Well, she certainly is lovely. I wonder how her case will go.

    • I hate to admit this, but when I was very young, I was once asked not to wear miniskirts to my workplace. I was pretty insulted too.

      • As Erin Brokovich said, “Well as long as I have one ass instead of two I’ll wear what I like if that’s all right with you. You might want to re-think those ties.”

        • Had to wear stocking to work for the telephone company, no bare legs, but the men had to suits and hats…

      • I’m a curvy girl and when i was younger, I had a manager (female) who’d always comment on my thin waist: ooh, you’re so skinny, pinch me, look at my butt, acting like we were buddies shopping together, trying on outfits. Wierd and invasive. If I hadn’t been a temp, I bet she wouldn’t have pulled that crap, even back then.

        I hope Debrahlee gets a big settlement.

  3. Hey Obamabots, how’s your genius’ on the job training going?

    • Who are you asking? There ain’t no Obamabots in these parts. (We do have Obot blogstalkers that lurk here daily though.)

    • And we also get illiterate right-wingers who parachute in every now and then on the assumption that every liberal is an O-borg fan.

      Read the blog, traveler.

      • The wingnuts can’t tell the difference between a liberal, a socialist, and a fauxgressive who is really a wingnut but pretends he isn’t.

        If they knew their asses from their elbows they’d know that Obama is the best thing to happen to the GOP since Ronnie Raygun.

      • Maybe he’s a lost Puma.

  4. I would illustrate the government respnse with that “reflective song” McCartney sang for him: “Let It Be” It’s should be our new anthem.
    Bringing today’s tabloids from downstairs – the only successful BP operation – so far – keeping media away – has failed too

  5. Oh, poor BP might go bust? Color me cynical, but why do I think that might be a ploy to get the directors off the hook for paying for the spill’s damages?

  6. (Watching Obama on TV live) Obama may not be able to emote empathy or outrage, but he sure knows how to emote cockiness!

  7. Obama may not be able to emote empathy, but he sure do arrogance!

  8. Debralee doesn’t get it, even the big boned, plus sized
    women are fired due to sexual harassment on the job.
    It’s really not about size but gender.

    • Exactly!

      • Seriously. If it wasn’t for our f*cked up health care system, I would never work for anybody else ever again, I am so sick and tired of being treated like cr*p in the workplace. Unfortunately COBRA is 1300/month.

  9. Something that is annoying me on some blogs — the meme that “we are all to blame” for the oil spill. Really? REALLY?

    I get what they are saying, that ultimately it’s our fuel consumption and lifestyle but dear goddess, let’s face facts. Most of us are pretty powerless. We do our little bit to help the environment but face it keeping body & soul together takes priority. And furthermore, most of us are not engaged in negligent and downright criminal acts that cause this disaster AND make it worse.

    I just feel like people who say “we’re all to blame” are letting the actual perpetrators off the hook.

    • We also pay taxes so we can have REPRESENTATIVES (ha ha) that are supposed to be creating oversight to avoid and/or deal with situations like this–and the banking industry…and the insurance industry…and…

    • And we also aren’t responsible for ensuring regulations are in place — and are enforced.

      Canada requires relief wells be drilled while main wells are drilled. Our politicians are responsible for implementing those protections — that’s what we hired them to do. And 4 years of Democratic Congressional control and 1.5 years of Obama as president, and the Democrats’ hands are no cleaner than the Repubs in this.

    • Thank you. “Look in the mirror” for the culprit, they say. What utter tripe.

    • Lots of companies operate safely in the Gulf, even in deep water. This is not our fault and it is not the fault of other oil companies.


      • You’re half right. This isn’t our fault. We’ve voted for representatives who back environmental protection and industry regulation.

        It IS, however the fault of the oil companies. There is no indication whatsoever that BP’s inspection “standards” weren’t (and aren’t) SOP in the industry. Do you think the “inspectors” didn’t offer the same easy deals to BP’s competitors in return for the same perks? Do you t hink they got turned down in righteous indignation when they did? Did you hear a whistle blowing at any time before the Horizon disaster?

        Here’s news: this can, and will, happen again if there isn’t a massive regulatory crackdown. Even with correct procedures, it could happen again. The rigs need to come out of the water, like yesterday.

    • ITA! If I’m gonna be responsible then give me some say in the matter. (Like, maybe, count my freakin’ vote for starters!)

    • excellent point–I have seen those comments also. But, we the people, have less and less power every day. I hope these horrible pictures of helpless birds moves more people. The outrage meter in this needs to go up alot.

    • That sounds like it could come from BP or Greenpeace.

    • VM: Hammer. Nail. Bang!

      As Stan Lee said: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

      Likewise, with zero power comes zero responsibility.

  10. Obama Heads to Gulf as Spill ‘Furor’ Shifts Toward White House

    Still, in an interview, Gibbs said Obama doesn’t see the need for a theatrical display of concern.

    “If the president thought getting mad and yelling would plug the hole, he’d do it on top of the White House,” he said. “He understands we’ll all be judged by our response and our recovery efforts, not on whether he’s been a good method actor.”

    Tom Mann, an analyst at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said the administration failed early on in telling the public what it was doing.

    “He believes in getting involved in the work and not in grandstanding,” Mann said. “To some extent, you’ve got to play this game. Talk is an important part of the job.”


    That’s a laugh riot: He doesn’t believe in grandstanding but work?! Who the hell is he talking about? ALL Obama does is grandstand and little work from what I’ve seen. Can they actually hear the crap that comes out of their mouths?

    Plus, Gibbs talks about Obama not being an ‘actor.’ Another WTF moment. Again, that is ALL he is. The point is: if he really had empathy, he would just feel for these people, it would not be an effort. It would come out naturally in his comments, concern and actions. There is no acting involved if he really cares.

    • I’m headed down there today with my camera and my eyes wide open. Take care!!!

    • I don’t get why they keep insisting people want him to talk. What we want is action–some sign that the corporations are not running the show while oil ruins an important area of our country.

      • yup, people are tired of all the talk and no action. I do not believe the american people want him to show anger. They just want to see that he is taking over and doing something. But to Obama, saying you’re doing something is as good as the real thing.

        I find it interesting that Gibbs said that for the president to show anger and concern he would have to be acting. That is a very telling statement.

      • Yup. Call the F*ing troops back from the useless wars and send them to help with the clean-up. Declare National emergency. Put BP in receivership. I am sure people in Louisiana have more specific ideas.
        I don’t want to see your face anywhere, I just want to see some effective action to contain this disaster!

      • Because the media morons only understand politics and the role of government in terms of what they themselves deliver: manupulative propaganda. The idea that government is about actually doing anything is entirely foreign.


    • W once said Babs taught him to “act” humble.
      Obama would be angry if he cared. Gibbs misses the point the media makes.(I bet Obama does too)
      I am extremely sorry to have to agree with Rudy here, but he makes some good points

      • Obama makes Jindal look good, and now he even makes Rudy sound sensible.

        (Rudy’s right that the admin takes its cue from the top guy — if he doesn’t display urgency about it then his underlings won’t feel any urgency. ANd he’s even right about “if BP is criminal, why are we letting a bunch of criminals run this?”)

        • yes–it occured to me the other day that Jindal was looking more like NYC Rudi and obie like W reading ‘My Pet Goat.’

      • There’s caring about people, and closely related, caring about the country. He does neither.

  11. Futures Extend Losses After Jobs Report

    US employers added 431,000 jobs to nonfarm payrolls in May, but 411,000 of those were temporary census workers. The private sector added just 41,000 jobs: Manufacturing, temporary help and mining added jobs, while construction declined. That number was also well short of the more than 500,000 economists had expected. The unemployment rate, however, fell to 9.7 percent from 9.9 percent in April.


    • Ouch! Just as BP finally had to let the oily birds show, so did the propagandists finally let the real numbers show.. You can fool some of the people…

    • Help! Is 431K new jobs were added in May, but 411K of them are temp census jobs, how do we end up with 41K jobs added by the private sector?

      It seems to me (non-economist) that we got 20K net permanent jobs. Now, were there non-private sector job losses which then mean there were 41k private permanent jobs?

      Thnx to anyone who can help me suss this out.

      • That sounds right. Not counting census jobs, there was a net gain of 41k private sector jobs and a net loss of 21k public sector jobs. Not much movement. Discouraging since the stimulus is winding down this summer.

  12. Did they really say that about Sputnik?

    Sputnik was launched in 1957.

    • They did say sputnik. Maybe they meant when the Russians sent the dog (monkey?) into space?

      • The point is that JFK was able to inspire people to believe in the power of government to change things and energize people to work hard to make the changes.

  13. Another view on how the worst ecological disaster will affect the U.S. and we have our dear government to thank:


  14. Good for the Washington Post. They’re the only newspaper with enough cahones to show the very worst of the oil spil bird pictures. The rest (including my local paper) frequently showed the relatively benign squawking pelican.

  15. More strawmen, this time from the president. Nobody asked him to scream and yell at people, only to show that he actually gives a sheaot (hi spammy). I think his professed “fury” is too little to late, only considered genuine by the stupidest koolaid drinkers.

    Asked about his anger toward the oil spill situation, Obama said he was furious because “somebody didn’t think through the consequences of their actions.” Obama also said he had not seen enough of a rapid response from BP to the environmental catastrophe.

    “I would love to just spend a lot of my time venting and yelling at people, but that’s not the job I was hired to do,” Obama said. “My job is to solve this problem and ultimately this isn’t about me and how angry I am. Ultimately this is about the people down in the Gulf who are being impacted and what am I doing to make sure that they’re able to salvage their way of life.”

    And oh, shoot, I closed the article before I could get the link, but the quote is from the CNN Larry King interview. And BTW, if you want to show you’re tough, you don’t go on Mr. Softball Larry King!

    • Yes. Amadinnerjacket went on Larry King to try and soften his image. What BO should have done is go on Fox and destroyed someone like Beck on his Gulf response. Course he flubbed that last round to Bret Baier.

    • Did Larry ask him what he is actually doing? I’m guessing no.

  16. Oh that is so Clintonian!

    To actually learn something from your president every time he speaks. Or to be kept updated on important national events.

    Anderson must be finding his inner geezer again to expect such things from the president.

  17. Ah, it’s good to know in these times of strife that the most important things on BTD’s mind are a Souter commencement speech and soccer….LOL! Hey, look over there! That’s a graveyard you’re whistling past!

  18. More info coming out on more bullying by the Whitehouse re: Senate races. Seems Rahm leaned on Gillibrand’s opponent.


    Look, I don’t care who you support (and I do like Gillibrand.) This crap is WRONG, whether it’s legal or not, and whether your favorite candidate benefits or not. It was wrong in the presidential primary, and it’s wrong now. I have a big problem with the Dem machine and the WH getting to decide who we get a choice of in the primaries, and muscling candidates to drop out. It stinks. It reeks of un-democratic Chicago political racketeering.

    • Isn’t this just a replay of what happened to Hillary? She was supposed to drop out of the race in the name of party unity?

      • this is disenfranchisement——just like the primaries we lived through. We should all bring a class action suit against them. It’s odd that all of this is suddenlly coming out. Maybe Rahm and obie have pissed enough people off with their strong arm tactics.

    • That’s not news to anyone – at least in NY. Ford was similarly ousted – although no one missed him. What about of engineering the governor race by kicking the sitting governor out with bogus scandals that the media played up until he cried uncle? How ethical was that?

    • Ya know, maybe we should start a list of politicians threatened by Obama. I don’t recall this many in such a short time admit such things. It has been a constant drip drip drip since the primaries.

      • People like Obama, who obtain power by nefarious means, never use that power for good.

        We can expect all kinds of machinations, gross violations of democratic principles, lying, manipulation, cheating, bullying, and cover-ups from this administration. It’s what they did, and what they’ll continue to do.

        Like you said: drip, drip, drip.

  19. be careful Dak..waiting for your report..

  20. Appears the good ole boys in SC are going after Nikki Haley.

    When Sarah and Hillary meet for coffee, Nikki should be invited.

    • I’m sure ABG and his Obot pals think that because Haley is a pro-life Republican that means she is not a feminist and is therefore fair game.

      Just like Sarah P.

      • These people don’t actually give a shit about raycism. It’s just another tool in the toolbox to them – to selectively bludgeon whom they choose.

        Using the rayce card like they’ve done is and will continue to be a loosing proposition. The next time Rev. Al gets on his high horse over one of the “politically favored” being smeared, the public is going to yawn. These morons have created an environment in this country where no one even cares anymore about raycism, because they can’t separate the real incidents from the trumped-up ones. So the response is becoming “Yeah, yeah, whine whine, whatever.”

        They have done irreparable damage to race relations, by making the public both numb to and resentful of the accusation. When you use the issue of raycism cynically on political targets, don’t be surprised when the public begins to not give a flying shit, whether actual raycism occurred or not.

    • I live in NC, right on the SC border, so I see all the news stories and ads. The allegations against Haley seem ridiculous, with no shred of evidence other than some-guy-who-actually-seems-like-he-might-actually-be-gay saying (with quavering lip) “I just could not stand by and hear Nikki claim that she was faithful to her husband”. One of her accusewrs works for an opponent’s campain, for gawd’s sake!!!! Haley is ahead by double digits in SC, and she must be scaring the pants off the good ol’ boys.

  21. Wow. Shepherd Smith of FOX, of all people, is really not letting up on BP and this oil spill. He’s airing photos of tar-covered birds.

    He just said outright on the air that (paraphrase) “BP is HIDING the effects of the spill, is denying reporters and photographers access, and is not allowing photography in areas heavy with wildlife. They don’t want the American people to see what is happening. They are making a concerted effort to hide it from you, and keep our reporters from covering it.”

    It was about as ballsy a statement about BP that I’ve heard from the TV press. Good on Shep!!

    • Let me add that he pulled no punches about their behavior and ass-covering. Of course, he’s from the gulf, so this is from the heart for him. He has been really passionate about the whole stinking mess. He doesn’t come across as just the usual Fox mouthpiece cynically going after a Dem administration. I think he’s sincerely speaking truth to power in this case. Just my impression.

      • @jaketapper: Private + govt workers down here in Louisiana instructed to NOT talk the media/public about their work. Like it’s the Manhattan Project.

      • He was good after Katrina too.

    • Sounds like BO’s staged performance last week on tar pebble beach.

    • Earlier in the week I heard it was BP and the Coast Guard denying press access.

  22. @jaketapper: Lightning and fierce rain in Grand Isle as POTUS is briefed in NOLA. Will likely have to drive here – 2.5 hours – instead of helicopter.

  23. Via Uppity:


    The state or condition of not having the faintest idea what’s going on.

    “Television reporter” is easier to pronounce.

  24. BP CEO calls the “spill” a gusher now
    Funny thing – when I clicked on the link under the title
    What BP Is Doing About the Gulf Gusher
    on Firefox, the screen turned petrol black. I was sure it was a gag, but on Safari I got text. I think I prettu much gave you all the substance from it though.

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