Obama does not impress

On the recent oil spill issue (possible disclaimer: I’m wondering about buying I bought some BP shares).

I’m thinking about headlines like Obama Says He Would Fire BP CEO, Wants to Know ‘Whose Ass to Kick’.

[Update: both TB and H point out that this quote is taken well out of context; see the comments or http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/06/kicking-ass-white-house. So I have to partially retract my outrage. But only partially, because the main point still stands (who to blame?) as does the quote below -W]

The real story here isn’t hard to see: Obama is desperate not to get blamed for this, so he desperately needs someone else’s ass to kick. If that could be a Britsh ass, rather than an American oil services company, then that would obviously be ideal.

Then you have the hypocricy of I’m not interested in words. I’m interested in actions. Bullshit. Obama is talking. He is clearly interested in words. To pretend otherwise is simply stupid.

And then we have (this was the bit that wound me up when I heard it on R4):

The U.S. president, who himself faces growing criticism that his administration was slow to react to the economic and ecological catastrophe hitting four U.S. Gulf states, said he did not want to prejudge the investigation into the incident. “But the initial reports indicate there may be situations in which not only human error was involved, but you also saw some corner cutting in terms of safety,” Obama said in some of his angriest public words yet about the catastrophe.

(my bold) which is more junk. He doesn’t want to prejudge the investigation, but he will anyway. Lying skunk.

[Update: Obama's aggressive bullying over the dividend looks bad too (also in the FT).]

[Another update: if you're in any doubt that the US govt are acting like a pile of sleazy blackmailing scumbags, then this should change your mind: exerpt: BP faces bill for lost drilling wages. The White House stepped up pressure on BP on Wednesday, telling it to add the salaries of workers laid off by an offshore drilling moratorium to its bill for the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. "BP is responsible for all the damages," Ken Salazar, US interior secretary, told the Senate's energy and natural resources committee on Wednesday. He said that included paying any workers hit by the government's moratorium on offshore drilling imposed on 33 deep-water rigs while safety reviews took place.]

[More: not all Americans are insane. The administration's response chief for the disaster, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, seemed to take issue with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's threat a day earlier to push BP "out of the way" if it did not do enough to stop the leak. "To push BP out of the way would raise the question of 'replace them with what?'" Allen said at a White House news conference. BP was "exhausting every technical means possible" to meet its legal responsibility to cap the well and contain the spreading oil, he said. But tis probably just reflects reality. If the US govt *did* "push" BP out of the way as the wackos are suggesting, they would be left to do... what extra, exactly?

But the Obama adminstration seems determined to talk like a gang of street thugs or a Russian government: "We will keep our boot on their neck until the job gets done," Salazar told reporters Charmed, I'm sure.]

[Update: this is all getting a bit heated. We need some humour (h/t: mt. But it would have been funnier if they had a man from the govt coming in and putting a boot one someone's neck, no?]

[Update: http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/transocean-u-s-justice-dept-resolve-liability-spat-reuters_molt-2836b4648706.html is interesting. There hasn't been much in the news about Transocean's liability]

[Late update: one thing pointed out to me as a thing-to-think-about was that if the well had simply gushed, it would have been a fair spill but nothing too exciting. What made this exciting was that the rig caught fire and burnt. If that hadn't happened, the rig would have been able to recover it. So perhaps more attention to fire control might be a topic -W]

Comments

  1. #1 snide
    2010/06/09

    The real story here isn’t hard to see: Obama is desperate not to get blamed for this, so he desperately needs someone else’s ass to kick. If that could be a Britsh ass, rather than an American oil services company, then that would obviously be ideal.

    Then you have the hypocricy of I’m not interested in words. I’m interested in actions. Bullshit. Obama is talking. He is clearly interested in words. To pretend otherwise is simply stupid.

    He was not saying such things for the first weeks, then was questioned about why wasn’t acting more angry. Was he shouting, was he abusing people, was he angry. Obama is smart enough to know there is nothing he can do to stop the oil, the people with the best expertise are those who created the problem in the first place. It’s just an act for domestic consumption, so people think he’s outraged.

  2. #2 dhogaza
    2010/06/09

    Meanwhile he almost immediately but somewhat quietly announced that MMS will be sliced into pieces, taking advantage of an opportunity to do something that was very much needed at a time when the industry lobby must lie low.

    Obama is desperate not to get blamed for this, so he desperately needs someone else’s ass to kick.

    This isn’t quite accurate. He has already been unfairly blamed for this. Whether his response is desperate or politically astute is open to interpretation.

  3. #3 thingsbreak
    2010/06/09

    http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/06/kicking-ass-white-house

    The “whose ass to kick” comment has been spun wildly out of context.

  4. #4 thingsbreak
    2010/06/09

    And let me say that I think that plenty of fault can be found in Obama’s overall approach to this problem or that area of the government generally.

    Just that particular bit of nonsense isn’t particularly outrage worthy, unless the recipient is NBC.

  5. #5 Paul Kelly
    2010/06/09

    Calling the President a liar comes dangerously close to right wing racist hate speech. Obama should not be criticized. He’s only been in office for a year and a half.

    [I don't see why, other than that the racist right wing hate him. Obama can be criticised for his own words and actions, which is what I'm doing, and have done in the past. Even though I did prefer him for Prez -W]

  6. #6 thingsbreak
    2010/06/09

    @Paul Kelly

    *yawn*

  7. #7 Paul Kelly
    2010/06/09

    thingsbreak,

    You’re right, sarcasm often falls flat. Probably shouldn’t post comments til after the second cup of coffee.

  8. #8 thingsbreak
    2010/06/09

    One of the dominant narratives in far right blogland is that anyone who supported Obama was a “kool aid drinker” who thought Obama was a “Messiah” or “The One” and shouts down any attempt to criticize Obama or his policies as being rooted in racism.

    It being patently obvious that this isn’t the case, and that Obama receives plenty of criticism from the left as well as the right, they alleviate the cognitive dissonance by absurdly attempting to transfer the imaginary accusations of unfounded racism back to those they attributed it to in their initial strawman.

    It’s a self-refuting line of attack, but one never expects coherence from that corner of the blogosphere.

  9. #9 kfr
    2010/06/09

    Intresting to contrast the outrage over the oilspill to the reaction to bhopal disaster, whose court case finally ended last week. Given the willingness of various lawmakers, from president to senators, to give BP a kicking it seems odd that the administration refused to discuss the issue of extradition of Warren Anderson, former chairman of Carbide’s parent company to India. Or maybe not.

  10. #10 Nicolas Nierenberg
    2010/06/09

    WMC,

    This is why I like you. You call it like you see it.

    Obama is in an impossible position. But I agree he is now managing to make it worse.

  11. #11 Paul Kelly
    2010/06/09

    thingsbreak,

    I hope you’re not saying that the accusing critics of President Obama of racism is some kind of right wing myth. It is a meme and particularly offensive to critics like me who lead thoroughly cosmopolitan lives.

  12. #12 thingsbreak
    2010/06/09

    The idea that all or even many substantive criticisms of President Obama are dismissed as “racism” is a myth. Accusations of his not being a citizen, a “half breed muslin” [sic], etc. are deservedly dismissed as such.

    There is also a healthy skepticism as to why those who championed decades of deficit spending and erosion of US civil liberties under Republicans are suddenly concerned about their “freedoms”, “ACORN”, and are watching TV networks whose hosts pimp racist, antisemitic, Nazi literature while talking about how “our” country is being destroyed, but that’s a bit more subjective I suppose.

  13. #13 Hank Roberts
    2010/06/09

    You’ve been had by the old quote-out-of-context trick, William. Look at the question he was answering, please.
    He was saying he is waiting on expert opinion to know _who_ (to address/blame/kick). It’s being spun into oh-the-brutal-thug-threatening-to-start-kicking-people and oh-the-stupid-jerk-he’s-kicking-everyone.

    Exactly the opposite of what he said. If he hadn’t used the interviewer’s playground term in replying to the question, this wouldn’t be news.

    The term, I believe, is “tskandal” — or concern trolling.

    They got you on this one.

  14. #14 Hank Roberts
    2010/06/09

    Context, as quoted only afterward, see the link above:


    [interviewer] … This is not the time to meet with experts and advisers; this is a time to spend more time in the Gulf and — I never thought I’d say this to a president — but kick some butt. And I don’t mean it to be funny.

    OBAMA: No, and I understand. And here’s what — I’m going to push back hard on this. Because I think that this is a — just an idea that got in folks heads, and the media’s run with it. I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf. A month ago I was meeting with fishermen down there, standing in the rain talking about what a potential crisis this could be. And I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers so I know whose ass to kick.

    —–

    Want a better excerpt?

    ” I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers ….”

    Why yes, they do. Or know how to find them.

  15. #15 thingsbreak
    2010/06/09

    @ Hank Roberts

    I noted the same thing: http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/06/obama_does_not_impress.php#comment-2575644

    Also, I like the term “nontroversy”, though in this instance it doesn’t work quite so well.

  16. #16 Paul Kelly
    2010/06/09

    My number one issue in the last election was who would most rapidly replace fossil fuel. I had to support McCain, who had actually introduced climate legislation and was a career long opponent of corn ethanol subsidies.

    Obama got a failing grade due to career long enthusiastic support of corn ethanol, his involvement in the FutureGen project and his refusal, after feigning interest, to help McCain craft said climate legislation.

    McCain’s experience in actually passing legislation versus Obama’s lack of it was also an influence.

    I believe I was right. Given an overwhelming majority in the House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, he has done almost nothing.

    Since his inauguration, I’ve been surprised by the often petty gaffes and poor atmospherics. To use thingsbreak’s term, the cognitive dissonance from kick some ass is that even his supporters see that the President’s words don’t match his actions.

    The gaffe here is that, with his base saying he had to show some anger, President Obama granted an interview with softballer Matt Lauer so he could show some. He did it so maladroitly that most people, like William, are not impressed.

    It’s something that the most positive spin so far is “the media led him into an out of context quote”. The deepest criticism of President Carter was that he didn’t seem to understand what the job was. The same idea is creeping in on President Obama.

  17. #17 thingsbreak
    2010/06/09

    @Paul Kelly

    So essentially you’re saying that after you ignored the contents of their respective climate legislation platforms (Obama’s was not only superior to McCain’s, so were Clinton’s and Edwards’s), and their respective political momentum (Obama was positioning himself as a pragmatist while McCain was embracing the bizarre identity politics of the fringe right and reversing himself on many positions), as well as the reassurances made by their proxies and allies (Obama’s assured a move on climate and energy, McCain’s assured that if elected he really wouldn’t do anything at all), etc. that you thought McCain was the more realistic option for getting a bill passed? Legislation that his own party opposed in its official platform of 2008?

    Uh huh.

    I am not here to defend Obama on everything. But to claim that he has “done almost nothing” when achieving a historic health care victory alone should render such an analysis unbelievable leads me to believe that (especially in conjunction with your magical thinking on McCain and climate legislation) there’s no way that I can accept your position in light of the evidence.

    As to the supposed “gaffe” here, which according to you was “with his base saying he had to show some anger, President Obama granted an interview with softballer Matt Lauer so he could show some. He did it so maladroitly that most people, like William, are not impressed.”

    Much like William, you seem to be relying on a snippet removed from its context rather than the full interview in which Obama does basically the opposite of what you both claim.

    As for the “Obama is in danger of being a new Carter” meme, that’s not new. It has been used against him even before he was elected, much less the BP spill. He can’t fix the problem himself, and in my opinion contributed to it in general by not as aggressively pursuing regulatory reform within MMS as he has in other branches of government. But the ultimate responsibility for such things is going to be borne by the President- something that Obama made explicit from the get go, even as people like Admiral Allen point out that the private sector is the only place with the equipment and expertise to actually do anything about it (can you imagine the claims of “useless government spending” if the federal government had actually tried to create and maintain a sufficient response team to the tune of millions per year? It would have been slashed under Clinton let alone Bush or Reagan).

    The 24 hour news cycle demands the media swing wildly from one narrative to the next- during his next accomplishment, financial regulation perhaps, the narrative will swing back to his being super-cool and confident, playing the long game, etc. Until the next crisis, in which he will be painted as paralyzed for not magicking it away immediately.

  18. #18 Paul Kelly
    2010/06/09

    thingsbreak,
    Incorrect assumptions. First, I did read Candidate Obama’s energy and climate position paper and the various updates. It was mostly pap. The targets for wind and solar deployment were less than the current trend. On cap/trade legislation Candidate Obama insisted on 100% auction of CO2 allowances. He said repeatedly it wouldn’t work without 100% auction. As President, he says “Never mind. We’ll give them away.”

    Second, I’d seen the full interview clip. Even in the full context the remark is a gaffe. Not because it’s potty mouthed, but because it illuminates the feebleness of the administration’s response. Yes it is BP’s responsibility to fix the well; but it is by law the Federal Government’s responsibility to protect the coastline.

    Third, “done almost nothing” clearly referred to energy and climate issues. If you think the health care that passed, which is very unpopular and its repeal will be a major issue November, is an exemplary accomplishment, more power to you.

  19. #19 thingsbreak
    2010/06/09

    “Mostly pap”? In comparison to McCain’s platform? It’s not possible for me to take you seriously on this. As for moving on climate and energy, let’s not forget that although Obama doesn’t command Congress (if he did, surely you can count Waxman-Markey/ACES as something), he does appoint agency heads and the current EPA is moving forward on GHG emissions by all accounts. Likewise, Obama has already set reductions for Federal Ops.

    And again, to review the bidding, McCain had his proxies going on television assuring people that he wasn’t going to do anything to reduce emissions, picked a denialist for his VP, and his official party platform for the 2008 election explicitly ruled out moving on climate.

    The “feebleness of the administration’s response”? They’re literally at the mercy of BP on this. That in and of itself is the price you pay for being President, but that’s hardly something that Obama can be blamed for himself. He organized a group of advisors including Chu and Holdren and had them working with BP very quickly. The Coast Guard is doing its job. Legislation to increase the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is moving forward. The EPA issued demands regarding the dispersants BP has been using. And on and on. Being ignorant of what has and is actually being done doesn’t negate its existence.

    I’m all for blaming Obama for not doing more to undo the eight years of regulatory gutting and corruption in the MMS, so if you want to criticize him for that, I’m with you.

  20. #20 Paul Kelly
    2010/06/09

    thingsbreak,

    Here’s a good exposition of McCain’s positions on the issue in 2008. At the time, I gave McCain a C+ and Obama a D- and so voted for McCain.

  21. #21 off to watch hockey
    2010/06/09

    p.s. An example of feeble

  22. #22 Bryan
    2010/06/10

    Blimey. What a storm in a tea cup: What Obama said, or didn’t say, in what context…

    It’s what he does that matters, and that has to be convolved with what he can do. Me, I think he’s doing OK, he’s certainly less gaffe prone than Tony Hayward.

    Frankly the Federal government can’t protect the coastline while deep drilling is allowed, and don’t blame BP for doing it (or Haliburton even though that’s tempting). Blame us. I think the Guardian is spot on.

    [Um, aren't you being inconsistent here? "What Obama said, or didn't say... It's what he does that matters... he's certainly less gaffe prone than..." unless you're counting a "gaffe" as a "do" rather than a "say"? -W]

  23. #23 4billion
    2010/06/10

    Thing that yanks my chain is how BP has not been held to account to determine the amount of Oil being released, their refusal to cooperate with Scientists trying to determine it and their denial of underwater plumes. If Obama wanted to use his position in the way it is meant to be, he should demand BP fully cooperate with independant scientists. His failure to do so implies a complicity to deny the full extent of the spill, ironically he does have a stake in minimising the extent. Who wants to be boss when the biggest fuck up since the invasion of Iraq occurs.

    [their refusal to cooperate with Scientists - [citation needed], please. Who are these “scientists”? -W]

  24. #24 deconvoluter
    2010/06/10

    I do not want to pre-judge Tony Hayward for including the data below (italicised by me) because it is possible that he has been misquoted.

    though BP PLC CEO Tony Hayward on Sunday disputed their findings, saying the company’s tests found no such evidence of oily clouds underwater.

    “The oil is on the surface,” Hayward said. “Oil has a specific gravity that’s about half that of water. It wants to get to the surface because of the difference in specific gravity.”

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1992940,00.html

    Even if the quote is reliable, it may still be unfair to blame him personally, because he comes from a culture where the man at the top is often the one who is expected to know the least. Anyway some people may think 50% is a reasonable approximation to 82%, except that is, if you are a BP shareholder.

    [Thanks to Michael Schlesinger's mailing list for drawing attention to this]

  25. #25 Eli Rabett
    2010/06/10

    Thank you Ralph Nader

  26. #26 Paul Kelly
    2010/06/10

    re another update:

    Ken “boot on the neck” Salazar is likely talking out of his ass. Current law caps BP’s liability at $75 million. Congress is attempting to pass legislation raising the liability – ergo Salazar’s testimony – the constitutional prohibition of ex post facto laws notwithstanding. Even so, holding BP liable for a voluntary government action, the moratorium, will have a hard time surviving the inevitable litigation. Of course, BP could choose not to fight.

    I am a bit surprised by your defense of BP’s financial interests. Many in the climate blogosphere would welcome the destruction of BP in the aftermath of this disaster. Any association with oil companies is grounds for dismissal from the discussion in some quarters.

    [Well, for full disclosure: BP's interests and mine now align somewhat, in that I won £5k of BP stock. At least, it was worth that much when I bought it, probably £4k by the time you read this. But as for the rest: BP is no more evil now than it was a year ago. All this sudden attention to BP is sheer hypocrisy (of course, if you've hated BP for ever, baggins, that is different). They happen to have had an accident. There isn't any particular indication that this is BP's fault; quite likely it is Halliburton's. But Obama would far rather blame Evil Foreigners; he is very rapidly blowing his credit on this. And as for destroying BP - what would be the point? The oil is still there; someone else would pump it. Destroying Exxon a few years back would have had a point, as they were doing their best to poison GW discourse; I don't see evidence that BP are doing that -W]

  27. #27 thingsbreak
    2010/06/10

    Any association with oil companies is grounds for dismissal from the discussion in some quarters.

    This is idiocy. There has been plenty of good science done on oil and coal companies’ dime, and there are some companies that have made positive contributions on the policy front as well.

    It’s a different kettle of fish altogether to shill for anti-regulatory front groups like Heritage, CEI, et al. than it is to hold serious policy meetings or accept a run of the mill grant to do paleoclimate/geology work.

    Those guilty of the former have sought to elide the stark differences between themselves and the latter.

  28. #28 P. Lewis
    2010/06/10

    Why would we want to destroy BP, or any other oil company for that matter?

    There’s nothing wrong with extracting oil. Oil is a valuable chemical feedstock that we’ll likely need well into the future.

    The problem is what’s done with the oil once it’s out of the ground; namely too much of it being combusted. That’s a regulatory and consumer issue.

  29. #29 Steve Bloom
    2010/06/10

    So now can we expect BP to suffer the Curse of the Mustelid Stock Picker just as Northern Rock did? :)

    [Very likely :-( But I'm up 0.32 percent on the afternoon. There's long-termism for you -W]

  30. #30 Steve Bloom
    2010/06/10

    I should add that my crystal ball tells me to expect BP to be punished by being taken over. Current management will be seen to suffer somewhat, probably having to settle for silver parachutes, the slavering crowd will get its spectacle, and the happiness of those who bought low with the expectation of selling high will hang in the balance.

  31. #31 Steve Bloom
    2010/06/10

    Re #24: Tony seems to be dodging the issue of how the heavy application of dispersant at depth affects the specific gravity of the resultant oil-dispersant product. I expect that we will soon see analyses from NOAA shedding light on this. Normally I wouldn’t have high hopes for getting the straight story from NOAA much more than I would from BP, but I don’t think Jane Lubchenco’s sense of professional integrity will allow anything to be swept under the rug.

    For those who don’t know who Jane is, she’s a world-class marine biologist, among other things an expert on oceanic dead zones.

  32. #32 Paul Kelly
    2010/06/10

    Couple of quotes from Mitt Romney’s op-ed in USA Today

    “We have become accustomed to his management style — target a scapegoat, assign blame and go on the attack.”

    “President Obama’s instigation of criminal investigations of BP at this juncture is classic diversion politics — and worse, it will engender bunker mentality at a time when collaboration and openness are most critical.”

    A bit partisan, but worth a read.

  33. #33 Carl C
    2010/06/10

    I’m disappointed William – by virtue of owning BP stock (and some ersatz “British pride” over BP?) you sound like you’ve tossed your Green Party cred out the window and have become a Republican. This is an unprecedented disaster and Tony Hayward has come off looking like an unconcerned buffoon. And you’re whingeing about Obama?

    [Yes, it is an unprecedented disaster (well not quite: Exxon Valdez comes close. And to be fair, Exxon got an awful lot of stick over that (though not so much from the gummint?)).

    Why am I a Republican? Cos I have Oil stock, or because I'm criticising the Democrats? I thought tribalism was bad (I bet KK doesn't give me any points for being non-tribal about this, though).

    As for "Tony Hayward has come off looking like an unconcerned buffoon" - come on; that is substanceless; you're falling for the spin -W]

    The $75 million liability cap is a joke for a disaster of this magnitude, and the $11 billion or so shareholder dividend would probably be more like the damage to recover from this “Pandora’s box.” Of course the real blame should be the idiot Republicans in the past that have done all they can to deregulate oil (and other) corporations & lower liability to nil.

    [The $75 M liability cap is indeed far too small. But that was deliberate. Similar caps are of course part of the economic viability of nuclear power. However BP have waived it (probably they had no choice; had they tried to stick to it they would have suffered far worse). But the apparent disregard to the Rule of Law by the Obama administration is very troubling. Dividend or not is not a quesstion for them; they should back off and stop grandstanding. Speaking of dividend - the shares are up today; looks like they priced in too much bad news yesterday -W]

  34. #34 Paul Kelly
    2010/06/10

    Carl,

    I think the Brits call them Tories. As for the Republicans, they lost control of the Congress in 2006 and the Presidency in January 2009. Deepwater Horizon commenced drilling in the Macondo Prospect in February 2010. Most of the permitting came after the Republicans were vanquished from the executive branch. Read here how much better the Democrats have been.

  35. #35 Carl C
    2010/06/10

    oh great Paul, that’s what Rupert Murdoch says. So you think Obama’s team had much to do with the MMS team which handed out the permits to BP (and others), and BP who has had a horrific safety record for at least 10 years? It looks like the MMS were leftover Bush-era appointees like the “stealth Jesus-freak” lawyers that are from the Bush era and embedded in many departments.

    Trying to pin this on Obama is just laughable; whether before the accident or “his reaction” after it. It was a corporate cluster-fuqq, BP can’t spent .001% of their profits on basic safety (cancelled the major test 8 hours before the blow-up).

    We just got rid of two oil execs from the executive branch, who screeched about “deregulation is bad for business and jobs” for 8 years — so of course it must be Obama, who the RepugliKKKan hacks call the “tree-hugger communist Kenyan.” Not to mention Cheney’s pet company Halliburton was the one who did the shoddy work, and then BP didn’t even bother to test it right before the explosion.

    Also you have all the Repukes immediately wanted to start drilling offshore again; and latest dittohead Repuke hero “Ayn” Rand Paul screeching “Obama has his heel on the throat of BP” just because Obama got mad BP screwed the pooch. Gee Rand Paul sounds a lot like Stoat come to think of it….

    [Err well wasn't it someone from the Obama admin who said they weren't going to lift their boots of the neck of BP? -W]

  36. #36 Paul Kelly
    2010/06/11

    Carl, I truly admire your post-partisan rationality.

  37. #37 Adam
    2010/06/11

    “But I’m up 0.32 percent on the afternoon. There’s long-termism for you”

    The importance of 15 minute trends.

    [Up 6% this morning. That is nearly a 15-hour trend :-) -W]

  38. #38 deconvoluter
    2010/06/11

    BP, Haliburton or another?

    Why look at the end of the causal chain? Its like the Ministry of Defence blaming the helicopter crew for the crash, and the USSR attributing the Chernobyl accident to a breach of regulations.

    Its worth considering the latter, which was variously attributed to lack of Glassnost (Edvard Shevadnaze claimed to have warned Gorbachev that ‘we can’t go on like this’) and to a host of other things such as the pressure to increase electricity production. But the real human error was to choose a design which was known to be risky i.e to place water so near to graphite.

    Anyone prepared to take such risks is likely to make further ones, and so it was with graphite tipped control rods, and a risk of positive feedback from the void coefficient; terrible! This happened in spite of the fact that the Soviets had been good at nuclear reactor physics in other respects.

    The oil industry is also brilliant in some ways

  39. #39 J
    2010/06/11

    I admit I don’t follow the news too closely … so, William, would it be a fair analogy to say that Obama is treating BP about the way the UK was treating Iceland not very long ago?

    [Very much so, and a lot of people (including me) thought how we behaved towards Iceland was outrageous -W]

  40. #40 J
    2010/06/11

    [Very much so, and a lot of people (including me) thought how we behaved towards Iceland was outrageous -W]

    Thanks. Did you discuss that on your blog? I might have missed it, though searching for “Iceland” doesn’t seem to find anything. Of course, it’s your blog and you can choose what you post about; I’m certainly not suggesting that a lack of posts about X is indicative of a lack of personal interest in X.

    [Don't think so. It wasn't very environmental, you see. If I posted about everything that would me up, I'd have a lot of short boring posts :-). I did rant about bankers bonuses, which is close -W]

    However, from this side of the pond the strong language used in this post contrasts rather jarringly with your normally understated prose. We’re more used to seeing phrases like “a gang of street thugs” used by the GOP as dog-whistle reminders to their followers that Obama is black and all blacks are violent Bronx street thugs. Again, I’m sure that’s not how that analogy reads to you but the “street thug” thing has a lot of ugly connotations over here.

    [Well, this comes down to "rule of law" stuff, which Obama is failing in a crisis. I get failed p*ss*d off with the US when it throws its weight around unjustly; this appears to be a particularly obvious example. Instead of "street thugs" I was tempted to make some allusions to the Russian goverments behaviour when is muscled various foreign oil companies out - that would probably have been more appropriate -W]

    Likewise, your suggestion that BP is being scapegoated because it’s a British company also seems a bit … odd … to me. First of all, I would bet that a majority of people over here have no idea that the “B” in “BP” stands for “British.” Second, there’s still lingering hostility to Exxon here dating back to the Exxon Valdez. Nobody who isn’t in the industry itself has any love for giant oil companies. It’s not like Exxon or Texaco is some beloved icon of America while BP is an evil alien. I can’t prove it, of course, but my instinctive feeling is that had some other company owned the rig, events here would have proceeded basically indistinguishably … except that if it had been Exxon, the level of hostility might have been higher.

    [I think the main aim is for the US govt not to be seen to be at fault, and that is what I said. I also said "someone else's ass to kick. If that could be a Britsh ass, rather than an American oil services company, then that would obviously be ideal" and I still think that is reasonable -W]

    This is your blog, and so of course you will write about how all these events are perceived from a certain distance. And distance often helps promote objectivity! But the fact of the matter is that Obama isn’t in Cambridge and he isn’t speaking to you limeys :-) … he’s responding to the popular sentiment over here. That may be objectively wrong, and perhaps BP is being scapegoated unfairly, but I suspect if you were posting from here both your astonishment and your rhetoric would be turned down a bit.

  41. #41 Paul Kelly
    2010/06/11

    comment #11 I hope you’re not saying that the accusing critics of President Obama of racism is some kind of right wing myth.

    comment #12 The idea that all or even many substantive criticisms of President Obama are dismissed as “racism” is a myth.

    comment #40 We’re more used to seeing phrases like “a gang of street thugs” used by the GOP as dog-whistle reminders to their followers that Obama is black and all blacks are violent Bronx street thugs.

    It’s no wonder I love the internet.

  42. #42 thingsbreak
    2010/06/11

    It’s no wonder I love the internet.

    Is your reading comprehension that poor? No substantive criticism was dismissed as racism. Someone was informing Connolley that his choice of language probably carried a different tone stateside than he might have intended. At no point was anything remotely like your original “sarcasm” confirmed.

    No wonder I hate some aspects of the internet.

  43. #43 Paul H
    2010/06/11

    Carl C,

    You said this:

    “Not to mention Cheney’s pet company Halliburton was the one who did the shoddy work, and then BP didn’t even bother to test it right before the explosion.”

    BP actually did test the well capping but the reason they got a false safe positive in that test is specifically linked to the reason why the blowout preventer failed: the rubber seal, the fundamental part of the BOP that creates the seal, got trashed a week earlier in an accident. That rubber seal is also a fundamental part of the well pressure testing mechanism. Without a working seal all pressure readings are going to be erroneous. Another clarification, BP pushed Halliburton to only use *two* concrete plugs with mud below them instead of the accepted three. Witness testimony states that BP executives onsite in meetings on the rig pushed staff to cut corners and save time by using two plugs citing financial constraints as the cause of this move. Two plugs means that when it comes to re-drilling the well come extraction time things can progress faster.

    All of this information was made available thanks to investigation by 60 minutes and I highly recommend that anyone interested in finding out how this disaster occurred view this documentary. I’m afraid it completely damns BP and damns them heartily indicating that there was motive to this gross negligence and that motive was profit, pure and simple. I think it is this issue that sparks the ire regarding dividends.

    The documentary indicates that engineers on site knew the BOP was broken or should have known.

    Here’s part 1:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLJHTTOSkpg&feature=related

    For the bit about the plugs see part 2 at roughly 8 minutes.

    Based on this information, I think it’s likely that BP is not going to escape this without being hit by enormous piece of litigation and some hefty fines. Based on BP’s efforts to clean this up and their statements that they are solely responsible for the clean up it seems that they know they are to blame to. I would be selling my BP shares right now since ~$30 is probably no the bottom of the pit yet.

  44. #44 Paul Kelly
    2010/06/11

    thingsbreak,

    Read this. There are many, many more examples. Unfortunately, the comment filters dings link laden posts.

    Exactly what part of “used by the GOP as dog-whistle reminders to their followers that Obama is black and all blacks are violent Bronx street thugs” does not accuse Republicans of racism?

  45. #45 thingsbreak
    2010/06/11

    So yes, your reading comprehension really is that poor.

    I never claimed that there have been zero accusations of racism by some attacking Obama, in fact I expressly stated that there were.

    What I did say was, “The idea that all or even many substantive criticisms of President Obama are dismissed as ‘racism’ is a myth.”

    A white Representative from South Carolina pointing his finger and shrieking “YOU LIE!” at the President while he addresses Congress is not “a substantive criticism”.

    Warning someone from a different country that racially-charged language has been used by an opposition party and thus he might want to be conscious of his phrasing is not “dismissing all or even many substantive criticisms”.

    It’s pretty clear that you’re incapable of either understanding my assertion or honestly challenging it.

  46. #46 Andy
    2010/06/13

    BP isn’t being picked on because their British. They are still on probabtion over an accident that caused 15 deaths in Texas. One of a long line of accidents where death and environmental damage was traced to decisions made to put off maintenance or improvements due to cost. The cost of killing people and destroying the environment must be greater to a corporation than the cost of being safe. Right now in the U.S. oil industry it isn’t.

    It’s hard to believe that people would kill someone over money; seriously.

    [Is it? People regularly kill for money. Risking people for money is even easier to understand -W]

    But because the chance of these accidents is so small it’s easy for CEO’s and those others making the decisions to delude themselves that the consequences of their actions won’t be incurred on their watch.

    Obama’s actions are entirely logical and just to those who have followed this issue for years to its culmination last week. There are others in Washington (Sen. Markey) who are aware as well. Finally we have a president willing to take the heat and hold BP’s feet to the fire until it is clear that the oil industry must change its ways.

    [Hmm, I think the idea that Obama is "taking the heat" is a rather odd interpretation. To use your fire analogy, I would say that Obama is using BP as a shield to avoid any heat himself. For exaple, Obama could have mandated relief wells drilled along with the production well, as per Canada. He didn't. I don't see him accepting any "heat" for that -W]

    Obama is doing what he can as head of the executive branch. He gets it. Given that our legislative and judiciary are largely backed by corporations, he is using what authority he has to make it clear that the cost of failure will be greater than the cost of being safe.

    Just as it is in England.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/special/05/blast/3117793.html

    [404 -W]

  47. #47 deconvoluter
    2010/06/13

    Magnitudes.

    Michael Meacher suggested on Newsnight that the length of the drill was about half the height of Everest. I was doubtful, until I read about the part of the drill below the sea floor (i.e.more than half).

    When comparing this event to the Piper Alpha disaster Eric Pickles said on Question Time that the new accident involves 20 billion barrels of oil per day … Did I hear wrong? I was not concentrating. Still he is only a government minister.

    [I've lost track exactly by 20,000 barrels is a reasonable estimate. I think 40,000 /day is the current high-end -W]

    Michael Schlesinger points out :

    So, how would those in the UK feel if their entire island nation was surrounded by the muck of BP?

    This looks fair , even though William might substitute Haliburton and I might have referred to big-oil.

    It is supported by a demo. based on Google maps which shows how the British Isles could ,roughly, fit inside the oil slick.

    [I don't think it is fair; if the leak was on one side of us, it wouldn't surround the entire island. If the drilling was in the channel, say, then both UK and France and perhaps Holland would be polluted - and if one of those countries had done it, I suspect the others would be well pissed off. If they do ever drill in the channel, perhaps they'll insist on the relief-well-in-place strategy -W]

  48. #48 Deconvoluter
    2010/06/13

    Re: Unfair? Agreed; we are protected by our convexity. Nations with concave coastlines are especially vulnerable, but big-oil knew about that. My comments tend to grow too long so that part of it got deleted.

  49. #50 J
    2010/06/14

    William writes: I get failed p*ss*d off with the US when it throws its weight around unjustly; this appears to be a particularly obvious example.

    That’s interesting. Yes, the US has a long history of throwing its weight around unjustly. On the other hand, the US also has a long history of government being excessively cozy with Big Oil. The former is apparently the greater concern to you in this context, while for those of us on this side of the Atlantic the latter seems more significant.

    After many decades of pernicious oil industry influence in Washington, the greatest fear that many of us have is that the administration would go too easy on BP … and that ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, etc. would draw the obvious lesson (you guys can still get away with anything).

    William also writes: (I bet KK doesn’t give me any points for being non-tribal about this, though). It looks to me like you’re just prioritizing one tribal affiliation (the “British” in “BP”) over another (progressive-minded people who don’t want to see Big Oil running the world).

  50. #51 PurpleOzone
    2010/06/16

    Is “fair spill” a British term for “huge environmental disaster”?
    Does the BBC show the pictures of dying birds coated with oil? Does it say that 40% of U.S. fish comes from the wetlands along the Gulf Coast? That fishermen and waitresses have lost their job? Or give the examples of BP’s bizarre statements that are the worst PR ever? Or show the beautiful beaches now being cleaned with oil? Or the marsh canes dying where the oil has washed against the islands which protect inland towns and cities from storm surges? Do you ever look at the diagrams and images showing how much oil there is visible in the Gulf of Mexico?
    This spill has a big impact on the US, especially in the southern coastal states. Your discussion shows no understanding of this.
    But don’t worry, some of the oil may be taken by ocean currents to the shores of Great Britain.

  51. #52 aghadilbar
    2010/06/17

    Peace & Prosperity
    Home
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    Agha Dilbar
    My Open Letter (Blog) has been sent Nine Lak (900000) to
    International Community for the welfare of Humanity till today. I Agha Dilbar authorize Newspapers, Magazines, Internet, to Publish and Radio, T.V. Channels to broadcast this letter all round the World.
    Website: http://aghadilbar.webs.com/
    (See 600 latest pictures of Obama in Photo Gallery)
    Dear President Barrack Obama
    the Great Leader of the World
    I Agha Dilbar have sent Mr. President 100 registered research Letters
    (1000 new ideas to develop America and to Change the World for Peace
    and Prosperity)
    Through Embassy of USA Islamabad till today and also direct sent
    these registered Letters to Whitehouse Washington DC 20500.These
    letters have been written on the guidelines of CHANGE WE NEED. And
    these letters are about the Common Men Problems of respected American
    Peoples and their Solutions. To end, Economic Recession, Unemployment
    and to Finish War, all round the World for Peace and Prosperity. In
    these letters I have sent one thousand new scientific Planning
    /Suggestions, about every walk of life for Peace through Friendship
    Progress and Prosperity all over the World.
    My dear Barack Obama, the great leader of the world, my friend, my
    brother, provide an opportunity to Agha Dilbar to pay an official
    visit to America, that we two brothers sit together and by halt this
    horrible war. if this war continues for 10 20 or 50 –year, it will
    never end.
    In this war 1-million people have died from 9/11 till today, if this
    war continues, it will become the 111- World War.200-Million people
    would die, if 111-World War is triggered) can take out 6.5 billion
    people of the World from abyss of destruction .We two brothers Barack
    Obama+ Agha Dillbar can put them on the road to Progress and
    Prosperity through Peace.
    Dear President Barrack Obama considers, from 9/11 till today, America
    has conducted many war operations in connection with War on Terror,
    resulting the circle of war has spread hundred times. Millions
    innocent persons have died.
    In this war. Many have been rendered homeless. One Lak (10000) war
    affected youth joined the army of Al-Qaida and Talban by the help of
    anti American countries have begun gorilla war in a horrible manner.
    It is the result of wrong war strategy. I Agha Dilbar desire to solve
    all above mentioned problems in a meeting with President Barrack Obama
    by adopting new revolutionary planning by bringing an end to present
    gorilla war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a result the World
    can enter in a peaceful, advanced and progressive world, May it be so!
    I Agha Dilbar have a new War Strategy to achieve success through Table
    Talk between Talban, Pakistan and American Gov. 90% of Talban that are
    fighting against Pak Army belong to Swat and Tribal Areas of NWFP. I
    can provide America all realistic facts in such manner that their
    implementation could convert these Talban into Patriotic Citizens of
    Pakistan.
    In this War Strategy Pakistan Gov will never send his Heavy
    Artillery, Tanks, Cannons and Air craft in war. In this way 5-million
    persons will never Displaced. In the end Talban by their will
    handover, their Weapons to Pakistan Gov, they will come to Table Talk
    and Suicide Bombing will come to an end in Pakistan. Through this War
    Strategy Pakistani and American Gov can save expenses on war. Through
    this planning American and Pakistani Gov can utilize their saving on
    war budgets for development of Schools, Hospitals, Colonies, Markets,
    Industry, Roads, Bridges, Dams, Canals of Swat and Tribal Areas of
    NWFP that are war affected.
    Due to wrong war strategies of the American and NATO forces.
    The war on terror is getting worst mainly due to use of air craft,
    tanks, Cannons.
    Because nine innocent people are killed for a single terrorist this
    way in these circumstances thousands
    of innocent people lose their life or properties and any other source of income.
    In the result many people join terrorist or become suicide bomber. As
    they think there is no other way to take revenge of the innocents
    killing of their relatives these are the basic reasons that hundreds
    of suicides are generated very quickly and easily in Pakistan,
    Afghanistan, Iraq particularly who further kill thousands of other
    innocent public.
    On account of present war strategy, Billion Dollars are being wasted yearly.
    This war can cause Fall of America instead of continuation of war; my
    best suggestion for America must keep his Supper Power on the World
    and should conquer the World instead of war, but by his No-1
    scientific technology spending on agriculture, industry, trade,
    education, scientific development and tourism, all round the World.
    Making an end to Economic Crisis in America.
    PLAN NO. 1
    A new Global Package is being offered for your kind consideration
    America will have to make complete and final announcement that in
    future all Multinational American Companies will get free land on
    20-years lease and will set up under the BOOT agreement (in
    undeveloped and poor countries) factories, mills five star hotels,
    schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, air companies, shipping
    companies, latest railway, bus transport and steel mills. All these
    companies will be bound to handover without any cost to under
    developed and poor countries well as their machinery and transport
    after 20-years.
    PLAN NO. 2

    A new suggestion in connection with Global Peace is offered that in
    return of export American Agriculture and Industrial Products, will
    give his 50% profit to the exporting countries and utilize as Aid on
    the development of agriculture, industry, trade, education and
    tourism. This suggestion, making an end to American Economic Crisis
    and get full support to enhance his Foreign Public Relation
    . May it be so!
    PLAN NO. 3
    To make successful American Foreign Policy at Global Level the
    following planning is put before:
    a) America will have to provide free scholar ships at least to ten top
    master students (in each country) of medical and science in
    underdeveloped and poor countries of the world.
    b) Highly educated and well trained one hundred cultural groups (each
    group contains 100 persons) will have to arrange one hundred cultural
    shows for three months in big cities of underdeveloped and poor
    countries.
    c) America will have to arrange exhibitions through his Embassies for
    his latest products, in the underdeveloped and poor countries .All
    these mentioned above industrial exhibitions will be arranged
    continuously for two months. In the above mentioned exhibitions
    present products will be sold except export order booking. In these
    exhibitions, American Cultural Programs will have to arrange and
    American Traditional Dishes will be kept for sale. In these
    exhibitions American Tourism Stalls will also be put-up.
    PLAN NO. 4
    Following rules and regulations will be undertaken for the progress
    and prosperity of American students.
    a) Among metric, Fsc, Bsc, (eng} .Mbbs, Llb, Ca and diploma holders in
    all institutions, all those receiving degrees at the state level, ten
    each from girls and boys by cash prizes will be announced on behalf of
    the gov during invitation on lunch.
    b) For above mentioned top ten intelligent students boys and girls
    each, tours for different historical and healthy sites will be
    arranged free of cast.
    c) Sport Talent Schools of international level will be set up over the
    country at the district level, in which students of extra-ordinary
    sports talent taught from class one to Fsc level.
    d) American states gov will announce free transport, free medical
    facilities and free lunch during education to all school, college and
    university students.
    PLAN NO. 5
    Minimize the aforesaid differences, which I will deliver to president
    the increasing distress and hatred between the Muslim world and
    America is the major cause of weak relationship on public and
    government level.
    As a sincere friend I have practical suggestions to Barack Obama in
    my official visit to America.
    I request the government of America to allow me to describe (first of
    all my briefing with president’s advisors). My one thousand plans &
    ideas for changing the world before one to one meeting with the
    president Barack obama.thanks

    PLAN NO. 6

    Today we are presenting a new planning in America for the rapid
    progress in industry.

    American government will allow to 50% relief in the following things.
    Petrol, dizel, electricity,
    gas and water bills

    For the establishment of new industries in industrial zone American
    government will allow 25%relief in taxes .

    1) Sugar mills, textile mills, Garment Industry
    2) Shoes tire tube factory.

    3) Milk powder industry, tin pack fruit industry, ornament industry,
    carpet industry.
    4) Frozen fish, chicken beef, and meat industry.
    6) Dairy farming, poultry farming, fish farming, cattle farming, fruit farming.
    7) Vegetable farming biscuit sweet industry hotel industry.
    8) Electronic industry, sanitary industry paint industry.
    9) Furniture industry.
    10) Steel mill industry.
    11) Engine industry.
    12) Aero plane industry and shipping industry.
    13) Computer and mobile industry.
    14) Medicine industry fertilizer industry and insecticide industry.
    15) Car, bus truck,tractor, loader, harvester industry.
    PLAN NO. 7
    I Agha Dilbar have sent Ten Million research Peace Letters to
    International Community from 9/11 incident till today. This letter is
    my Great Peace Mission plan which is continued. Present Global
    Economic Crisis is the result of War on Terror. This Crisis if further
    accelerates could initiate a 111-World War. Please hear my Voice of
    Truth; I can save the World, for my Great Peace Mission, with the help
    of President Barrack Obama, Peace and Prosperity.

    PLAN NO. 8
    The Government of America will announce to provide free home facility
    to employees after 20 year of service as per following rules and
    regulations.

    1. For providing free home facility to their employees after
    retirement the government will deduct 2 ½% amounts for their monthly
    salaries.
    2. The government of America will deduct 2 ½% amounts of salaries to
    the employee and will deposit the same in government treasury which
    shall be paid to the housing company on allotment of plots.
    3. The housing company shall provide beautiful home to the government
    or non government employee after 20 year of service.
    4. The people not acquiring home after 20 year of service shall be
    paid in whole by deducted total amount from their salaries during
    their employment.
    PLAN NO. 9
    The government of America should follow the below regulations
    immediately. For giving facilities to the government and
    private employees.

    The employees working in America shall be given pension from the
    government treasury equivalent to 50%
    Of their salaries.

    Such employees who suffer from disabilities shall be given insurance
    benefits for their whole lives for the government treasury.
    And their children of the employees who face death also be
    paid insurance to their parent’s salary.

    All the employees working in America shall given free transportation,
    medical facility, lunch, and living during their tenure.

    Employees leaving their jobs in America shall be paid given 3 months
    advance salary.

    President Barack Obama will become more popular by taking above
    action, and industry wills also prosper more in America.

    PLAN NO. 10
    Ten thousand small dams planning during seven years in USA as a result
    of this planning ten million
    people shall obtain employment. Other than doubling the electricity
    shall also benefit fish farming, tourism, agriculture
    and trading.

    plan no 11

    To obtain the subjective following rules and regulation shall be observed.

    Government and private institutes of America shall pay 5%share of their income
    In the new international development of corporation (IDC).

    2.IDC shall invest to build ten thousand new hydro electric dams
    adjacent to all the rivers
    with 100 km.

    3.From these small dames network of rivers shall be obtained
    this benefit fish farming and tourism spot.

    4.1500 hundred Dams shall be built each year at every cost.

    5. To speed up the progress of IDC government state government,
    arms forces and semi government
    organizations shall help and support the implementation of
    these small dams.
    PLAN NO. 12

    The following regulations would be implanted to install American
    institutions of international standard for progress and construction
    in all the backward countries of the world.
    In the suggested institutions, the 50% investment would be done by
    American government, and these institutions would work private
    autonomous bodies.
    In the underdeveloped countries, the developmental institutions would
    sell these services privately in the following fields, in
    collaborations with the suggested institutions.
    Roads and bridges
    Industrial zones
    Housing projects
    Car, bus and truck industries
    Agriculture projects
    Schools, colleges and universities
    Hospitals and nursing training institutes
    Poultry fish and cattle farm training institutes
    Paper sugar and furniture industries
    Textile and garment industries
    Milk powder and tin pack fruit industries
    Ghee oil and soap industries
    Electronic and electric industries
    Engineering industries
    Steel railway aero plane and shipping industries
    PLAN NO. 13

    To bring an agriculture and industrial revolution, the following
    regulations would be implemented
    a) In America, all the agricultural and technical institutions would
    be given following concessions instantly.
    1) All the new and old agriculture and technical institutes would be
    from all kind of taxes i-e income Tex, sales tax and property tax
    2) In America, all technical and agricultural training institutes
    would get 50% investment from federal and states governments
    3) Free books would be provided to students studying in these
    institutes of international stand red.
    4) All the expenses of students studying in these institutes would be
    borne by the federal and states governments.
    5) New courses of international stand red would be planned to teach in
    these agricultural and technical institutes.

    PLAN NO. 14

    During the next seven years in America, the foiling rules and
    regulations would be observed to install one million wind mills and
    one million off shore tide tribunes.
    In the result of implanting the suggested plan, besides a large scale
    of production of pollution free electrical energy, there will be great
    development in employment, agriculture and industry
    1) Federal and states government would announce no tax on wind mills
    and off shore tide tribunes.
    2) To install wind mills and off shore tide tribunes the federal and
    states governments provide free land near off shore.
    3) To act upon the above mentioned plan, the federal and states
    governments America would announce to provide 50% capital to initiate
    the business.

    During the next seven years in America, the foiling rules and regulations would be observed to install one million wind mills and one million off shore tide tribunes.
    In the result of implanting the suggested plan, besides a large scale of production of pollution free electrical energy, there will be great development in employment, agriculture and industry
    Federal and states government would announce no tax on wind mills and off shore tide tribunes.
    To install wind mills and off shore tide tribunes the federal and states governments provide free land near off shore.
    To act upon the above mentioned plan, the federal and states governments America would announce to provide 50% capital to initiate the business.
    Plan no 15
    To develop agriculture, industry and business to increase production and to provide employment resources, the following rules and regulations would be implemented.
    There would be a 50% tax relief to all factories, mills, schools, colleges and universities and commercial institutions, which are working in double shifts. The number of workers the second shift would be equal to the workers in the first shift.
    In America , all federal and state government factories, mills, schools, colleges universities and all commercial institutions would be given 100% tax relief , which are running on triple shifts i.e. 24-hours,in such cases, the number of workers in second and third shifts should be equal to the number of first shift.
    All the exporters in America, increase their exports in comparison to last year by 50%, would get 50%tax relief.
    Those exporters who would double their exports 100% in comparison to last year would get 100% tax relief by the government.

    Plan no 16

    To develop agriculture industry trade and export and tourism in America, I recommend the following implementations.
    1) For building new industries the federal and states governments shall provide free land to the local and foreign industrialists.
    2) after the acquisition of land the industrialists shall have to start production within the first year, and till 20 years the industrialists shall have to start production within first year., and till 20 years the industrialists shall not be able to either close or sell their industries. And after that they will become the complete owners.
    3) Similarly for building agro industries, federal and states governments shall provide free land.
    A)dairy farms (b)poultry farms(c) cattle farms(d)fish farms (e)feed industries(f)fruit farms (g)tin pack fruit industry(h)milk powder industry (I )ghee oil and soap industry(j)biscuit and sweet industry(k)cold drink and juices industry(l)fertilizer industry(m)insecticide industry
    4) government of America under new policy should provide counter trade(barter)facility for import and export to the rest of the world

    Plan no 17

    To promote agriculture industry, trade, tourism and employment in America 50- thousand latest super stores with following rules and regulations would be installed.
    1) in America, in the private sector, the federal and states governments would provide free land of 4- canals 8-kanals,16-kanals and 32-kanals area to install these super stores in different motor ways linking big and small cities.
    In these latest super stores, all the necessities of life should be sold in whole sale and retail sale with 10% prophet only.
    a)vetables,fruit and grains,flour,rice, ghee , oil and spices.
    b) Mutton, beef poultry eggs and fish.
    c) Cold drinks, milk shakes, juices and milk.
    D) Medicines, fertilizer and insecticide.
    e) Cloth, readymade garments, shoes, handbags and purses.
    f) Books, stationary and watches.
    g) Furniture.friges frezires, air condictioners and computers.
    h)utensils and crockery, makeup items and paints.
    i) Electrical appliances wires and sanitary material.
    j) Cycles motor cycles, cars and tractors.
    2) In latest super stores, the following services of international stand red would be provided to people.
    A) hotel and restaurants
    . Parks, play land, gymnasium and swimming tanks.
    b) Petrol pumps, gas station service station and car repairing

    plan no 18

    To impose the conditions of employment in America, and to give boost to industry, agriculture, business, tourism and export, the following rules and regulations would be implemented immediately.
    1) To install new industry in America, the local and international investors would be provided loan on 2%mark up for ten years period from federal and states governments.
    2) To boost export in America, the federal government would issue bonus vouchers to all exporters equalent to the money invested. The government would issue two years short term loan against against these bonus vouchers, with 2%mark up only. This money would be returned after one year in easy installments.
    3) The investors of such industries would be exempted from all taxes in the next five years by federal and states governments.

    Mr. Barack Obama you are not only the Leader of America, you are Great
    Leader of the World. In this connection I am waiting for your Email
    response, dated 2.10.2009.
    Please Confirm.
    Thank you, God blesses you and God bless America.
    Agha Dilbar (founder)
    International Revolution Movement
    64-neelum block ait Lahore (Pakistan)
    Phone: 0092427830084
    Cell 03224628349
    Email aghadilbar4@gmail.com
    Website http://aghadilbar.webs.com/
    (see 600 latest pictures of Obama in Photo Gallery)

    This Open Letter has been sent Nine Lak (900000) to International
    Community for the welfare of Humanity till today. I Agha Dilbar
    authorize Newspapers, Magazines, Internet to publish and Radio, T.V.
    Channels to broadcast this letter all round the World .

    I Agha Dilbar challenge with 100% trust that own result of my meeting
    with Barack Obama war on terror and suicide attacks in PAKISTAN,
    AFGHANISTAN ,IRAQ And all over the WORLD could be put to an end and
    due to this great success Barack Obama would be able to rule the
    America till 2016. And on my return of my official visit from America
    the World will be set on the way of implementing the CHANGE WE NEED.
    Live with Dignity and Die with Grace.

    It has been extraordinary to read and hear, some of the things I did
    my decision alone by the voice of God, who called me in my heart.
    Mystery of success to rule the World
    Peace through friendship progress and prosperity.
    With greetings and best wishes.
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  52. #53 Steve Ellwood
    2010/06/17

    @PurpleOzone
    Does the BBC show the pictures of dying birds coated with oil?
    Yes.

    Does it say that 40% of U.S. fish comes from the wetlands along the Gulf Coast?

    Yes. Mentions shellfish, too.

    That fishermen and waitresses have lost their job?

    Yes. Getting a pattern here?

    Or give the examples of BP’s bizarre statements that are the worst PR ever?/em>”

    Well, ‘Brownie’s doing a heluva job’ or the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq must run pretty close. But yes, the BP stuff has been reported.

    Or show the beautiful beaches now being cleaned with oil? Or the marsh canes dying where the oil has washed against the islands which protect inland towns and cities from storm surges?/em>”

    Yes, those too, strangely enough.

    Do you ever look at the diagrams and images showing how much oil there is visible in the Gulf of Mexico?/em>”

    Yes.
    Oddly enough, however, there’s relatively little on the BBC aboutidiots complaining about British accents, nor about Texaco/Chevron in the Amazon, nor about the pollution in Nigeria, where much of the US oil comes from, I understand.

    I remain convinced that President Obama will be instructing all the other oil firms to make similar reserve funds available.

    Perhaps he might care to “instruct” Warren Anderson to surrender to the international *arrest* warrant for the teeny little accident at Bhopal.

  53. #54 Carl C
    2010/06/17

    again – some of you guys are blaming Obama for doing what he’s supposed to do – protect the US. It’s not the US’ fault if India kow-towed to Union Carbide/Dow over Bhopal because they wanted to get some more bribes & outsourced jobs; or if Nigeria’s corrupt gov’t won’t fight for the people.

    What’s funny is Stoat is now on the side of Joe Barton & Inhofe et al, AGW denialists who are now screaming the loudest in favor of BP (and anti-Obama)!

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/06/17/barton-bp-apology-tragedy/

  54. #55 Steve Ellwood
    2010/06/18

    @Carl C I have no objection to any world leader protecting his country.

    I object to the double standards, mealy-mouthed approach to Big Oil as a whole. I genuinely believe that the reason he’s emphasising the “old” name British Petroleum is to make it look like “bad foreigners”.

    The USA is notorious in the rest of the world for their hunger for oil, and the activities of American firms. I’m… amused to see Haliburton being portrayed as innocent parties in this.

    BP has dirty hands, for sure. It’s not yet clear, despite the lynch mob the CEO appeared before, where all the blame lies. There’s certainly plenty of others who bear some responsibility.

    The president wants – instructs – BP to take some responsibility for their actions. Fine, I agree with that. Let’s see him make the other world polluters do some clean up too.

    Oh, and while he’s about it, let’s see him take a lead in balancing the extradition rules between countries.

  55. #56 deconvoluter
    2010/06/23

    Up-date:

    Re:#47

    Have the media and public been desensitised? Unless there is a reporting or arithmetical blunder, this latest does not look so good:

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/06/23/business/AP-US-Gulf-Oil-Spill-Containment-Cap.html?_r=1&hp

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