Month: May 2010

BP CEO Tony Hayward: ‘I’d Like My Life Back’

WTF?  Doesn’t Hayward realize that American’s would like their ocean back the way it was before his greedy corporation decided to turn our Gulf Coast into an ecological disaster? 

We’d like our dolphins, pelicans, fish, shellfish, plant life and the entire spectrum of our ecosystem in that region back!  Sheesh give me a break Mr. Hayward, the reality is that you get to go back home eventually and resume your life of luxury and convenience. 

 On the other hand, Americans in the region will have no livelihoods and the domino effect will be devastating.  So stop whining like a spoiled brat and get that damned oil out of our ocean!!

Think Progress

The millionaire CEO of foreign oil giant BP, Tony Hayward, is upset at the inconvenience caused to him by his company’s devastation of the Gulf of Mexico. BP’s offshore drilling explosion claimed 11 lives on April 20, and has since spewed 20 to 100 million gallons of oil into the Gulf. At least 491 birds, 227 turtles and 27 mammals, including dolphins, have been found dead. On Sunday, immediately after apologizing, Hayward then complained about the effect of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on himself, saying “I would like my life back“:

We’re sorry for the massive disruption it’s caused their lives. There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back.

Watch it:  

Hayward, who pulled in $4.5 million last year, has a record of insensitive comments about the greatest environmental disaster in the United States:

What the hell did we do to deserve this?” [New York Times, 4/30/10]

“The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.” [Guardian, 5/14/10]

“I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest.” [Sky News, 5/18/10]

There are no indications that the Obama administration intends to remove Hayward or his company from running the cleanup effort, however. “I trust Tony Hayward,” Admiral Thad Allen, the top federal official overseeing the Gulf disaster, told CNN last week.

Hard as it may be for Hayward to believe, the residents of the Louisiana coast may want their nightmare to end even more than BP. “I was just sitting here thinking our way of life is over. It’s the end, the apocalypse,” fisherman Tom Young of Plaquemines Parish told reporters today. (HT Eschaton)

Israeli commandos open fire on Gaza aid ship, at least 16 reported killed

I’m sure there will be investigations from all sides to see what went wrong.   Right now we are all speculating based on fractured and confusing reports.  I will withhold judgment until the facts are out.  However, I am reporting what is out there thus far, with certainty and a caveat  that the story may change several times before we know the facts.

Crooks & Liars

This is troubling news:

More than 10 pro-Palestinian activists were killed during a raid by naval commandos halting an aid flotilla heading toward the blockaded Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said Monday.

An official said the soldiers were attacked with knives and clubs as they boarded the six vessels.

The Israeli military said the violence turned deadly after one of the activists grabbed a weapon from one of the commandos. The weapon discharged, though it wasn’t clear whether the activist fired it or if it went off accidentally.

Al-Jazeera TV reported by telephone from the Turkish ship leading the flotilla that Israeli forces fired at the ship and boarded it, wounding the captain. The broadcast ended with a voice shouting in Hebrew, “Everybody shut up!”

Turkey’s NTV network reported that at least 30 activists were wounded.

‘Massacre’
Some 700 pro-Palestinian activists are on the boats, including 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators and an elderly Holocaust survivor.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the incident as a “massacre,” the official Wafa news agency reported.

The raid came just after daybreak, with the flotilla still well away from the Gaza shore. Israel had declared it would not allow the ships to reach Gaza.

In Istanbul, Turkey, police blocked dozens of stone-throwing protesters who tried to storm the Israeli Consulate.

 

The UK reports indicate that the death toll is at least 16.

The Israeli ambassador to Turkey, the base of one of the human rights organisation which organised the flotilla, was summoned by the foreign ministry in Anakara, as the Israeli consulate in Istanbul came under attack.

One Israeli minister issued immediate words of regret. “The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities,” Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the trade and industry minister, told army radio.

But he added that the commandoes had been attacked with batons and activists had sought to take their weapons off them.

Israeli military sources said four of its men had been injured, one stabbed, and that they had been shot at.

“The flotilla’s participants were not innocent and used violence against the soldiers. They were waiting for the forces’ arrival,” they were quoted by a news website as saying.

As you can see in the CNN portion of the above video, the real casualty of this affair may be Turkish-Israeli relations, which have played a critical role in maintaining the balance of power in the Middle East.

Memorial Day – Also, Gretchen Carlson Continues Fox & Friends Smear Of NY Islamic Center

The purpose of the photo used in this post is two-fold.   

First, on this Memorial Day Week-end, I want to remember all of the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country…their country.  Remembering those soldiers, living and deceased, who have served in the many wars we’ve engaged in since the birth of this great country, is an important part of our national moral imperative.   

Secondly, the photo to the left depicts a young twenty-year old that died in combat.  He happened to be a  Muslim.   

This iconic photo of his mother clinging to his grave tells us a story.  That story is, forget all you thought you knew about “ALL Muslims being terrorists” .    

That young man fought for his country just as bravely as any Christian or Jewish soldier would.   There are thousands more in our military branches that are doing the same thing daily.  There have been hundreds of Muslims wounded and killed in  both Iraq and Afghanistan.  They are/were American citizens who fought bravely and sometimes died, like many Americans have done during times of conflict.   

All too often we condemn an entire group of people for the actions of intolerable radicals, especially those outside of the Christian or Jewish religion.   The fact is, Christians had the KKK  (which at their peak, numbered in the millions.) Jews had the Gush Emunim Underground (sometimes called the Jewish Terror Organization).  The common thread among all of these groups is “intolerance” and a belief that their religion is the only “true religion”.    

One of the main reasons people left Europe and voyaged over to the “new world” was “religious freedom”.   The First Amendment of The Constitution  of The United States provides every citizen that freedom:    

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”    

The point is, trying to stop a religious group from practicing their religion is just wrong.  This country is made up of people from around the globe who practice all types of religions.  Some  practice none at all.  In the United States of America, Religious persecution is against the law.  Period.    

The following article shows that Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson and her guest Pamela Geller have a disregard for the First Amendment’s Free Exercise of Religion clause.    

News Hounds    

It’s not just seditious Arizona ethnic studies curriculums that the American right wing is freaking out over. There sees to be a visceral reaction to the proposed Islamc Center which will be built near 9-11 “Ground Zero.” As the mouthpiece for the American right, Fox & Friends has been less than subtle in advancing the right wing meme that the construction of this center, which includes a mosque, is an insult to “real” Americans. Last week, Brian Kilmeade asked if the construction of the mosque was a way for Muslims to “gloat.” One of Kilmeade’s guests, Andrew McCarthy, who recently told Sean Hannity that liberals are working with radical Muslims to instate Sharia law, responded that it was “Islamic Supremacism” (wonder if he has a problem with America’s community of white supremacists?) The day before this incendiary “question,” Kilmeade said that the Cultural Center was an “outrage” and accused Muslims of “taunting 9-11 victims.” And Thursday, during her interview with the ultra right wing Islamophobe, Pamela Geller, Gretchen Carlson worked in the requisite smear of those evil NY City Muslims who are being just so uppity.    

Timothy McVeigh committed an act of domestic terrorism – yet his Christian religion was never brought into the discussion. 9-11 was perpetrated by men who committed, like McVeigh, a political act of terrorism – yet their religion is constantly part of the discussion – a discussion on Fox & Friends that broad brushes an entire faith. That Muslims were also killed in the 9-11 attack seems to be missing from the equation. But now that the American Society for Islamic Advancement wants to build a cultural center two blocks from “Ground Zero” the gang at Fox & Friends has their propaganda guns loaded.This edifice will include a mosque, as well an art center, a swimming pool, and public spaces. But this is not acceptable to the philosophical descendants of the Inquisition mind set (a time of Christian cultural hostility directed towards Jews and Muslims who converted to Christianity) who see this building as a victory monument to 9-11. In addition to Fox & Friends, “World Net Daily” and the “Washington Times” have voiced their outrage.         Read more….   

The picture above on the right, shows where a 13-story mosque and Islamic cultural center is  planned to replace the building in Lower Manhattan in New York, that once housed a Burlington Coat Factory store, that was damaged by airplane debris on Sept. 11, 2001. /AP

  

          

 
 

   

more about “News Hounds: Gretchen Carlson Continu…“, posted with vodpod

Sunday Night Round-Up

 

The Plum Line

* Obama: We’re in charge, and we’re angry. Now that BP’s latest efforts to plug the damn hole have failed, Obama issues a new statement on the crisis essentially taking ownership of the new way forward.

Obama says the Coast Guard has “directed” BP to try the new technique, whereby “the riser pipe will be cut and a containment structure fitted over the leak.”

Also: Obama says the out-of-control spill is “as enraging as it is heartbreaking.”

* With Obama under fire for not going to Arlington, Steve Benen weighs in with an important post laying out all the ways that perfectly routine things under previous presidents have been branded as odd and disconcerting under Obama.

The subtext here is that Obama’s foes on the right are engaged in a concerted effort to paint Obama’s presidency as strange and unsettling, as an effort to transform our society and economy into something unrecognizably American. Ugly stuff.

* Colin Powell tells ABC News today that we need to counter the spill with “decisive force” and a “comprehensive total attack,” though he stops short of calling for the use of nukes.

In all seriousness, the criticism from Powell, an inside-the-Beltway icon, may signal that the political classes will begin directing new, higher levels of blame and recrimination at the administration in the coming weeks, as the spill appears more and more out of control.

As Mike Allen puts it this morning, the chattering classes are being to ask whether “the response size and structure need to be fundamentally re-thought.” Look for more of this.

* And this doesn’t seem all that helpful: Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen tells CNN today that the oil industry is in charge: “It really is not ours to lead right now, because of the technical challenges.”

* But Brad Johnson explains that, yes, Obama does have the authority to shove BP aside.

* Big picture: Frank Rich says the spill could drown Obama’s efforts to restore the legitimacy of government.

* Zzzzzzzzz…Is there anything that will get editors to gently inform marquee columnists that the Obama-as-Spock meme is a tired, predictable, useless cliche that we’ve already read a thousand times, and insist they come up with something original instead?

* By contrast, David Broder seems to suggest that Obama has in fact cleared whatever emotional threshold he was supposed to clear.

* Will revelations about GOP Senate candidate Mark Kirk of Illinois get embellishing his military record get the same amount of attention that the Richard Blumenthal flap did?

Obviously it’s not a perfect parallel — Kirk really does have a service record to be justifiably proud of — but the Blumenthal flap got sustained national media scrutiny for days.

* And it’s just amazing that media orgs are lavishing coverage on the ridiculous Sarah Palin-versus-Joe McGinniss flap, given that both sides, each for his or her own ends, are transparently milking this for all the publicity it’s worth.

What else is happening?

Obama: Ongoing Oil Spill ‘Enraging,’ ‘Heartbreaking’

Huffington Post

CHICAGO — President Barack Obama said Saturday that the failure of BP’s latest effort to stop the damaging flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico is “as enraging as it is heartbreaking.”

Obama commented after BP officials reached the disappointing conclusion that a dayslong effort to stop the flow of oil, known as a “top kill,” by packing the well with mud had failed.

It was the latest in a series of failed attempts by BP to cut off the flow of oil.

BP will now try anew by cutting the pipe that lies deep underwater and fitting a containment valve over the leak, an effort expected to take four to seven days.

The disappointing news came a day after Obama interrupted a long holiday weekend at his home in Chicago to visit the Louisiana coast on Friday and show its angry residents that he is in command of the situation.

“As I said yesterday, every day that this leak continues is an assault on the people of the Gulf Coast region, their livelihoods, and the natural bounty that belongs to all of us,” Obama said. “It is as enraging as it is heartbreaking, and we will not relent until this leak is contained, until the waters and shores are cleaned up, and until the people unjustly victimized by this manmade disaster are made whole.”

Obama said he discussed the situation Saturday with Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who is overseeing the response to the spill, and Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and senior White House advisers John Brennan and Carol Browner.

Obama said the approach BP plans to turn to next is risky and hasn’t been tried before at a depth of 5,000 feet.

He said that while officials were hopeful the “top kill” procedure would succeed, “we were also mindful that there was a significant chance it would not.”

Obama pledged anew to pursue “any and all responsible means” of stopping the leak until BP completes the drilling of a relief well. But while the relief well is permanent solution to the problem, BP says it won’t be ready until August.

In the six weeks since the spill began, the government estimates that between 18 million and 40 million gallons of crude have poured into the Gulf, damaging beaches and wildlife and the local economy.

Daily Kos: Sunday Talk – No, You Can’t

Daily Kos

Faced with the prospect of having his Congressional majorities teabagged this fall, President Obama took a page from the work of Mario Puzo.Under strict instructions from Obama’s consigliere, Rahm Emanuel, former President Clinton was dispatched to make Rep. Joe Sestak an offer he couldn’t refuse.

But refuse it, he did.

This never would’ve happened to Ronald Reagan.

Meet the Press: White House Energy & Climate Adviser Carol Browner; Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL); Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ); Roundtable: David Brooks (New York Times) and E.J. Dionne (Washington Post).

Face the Nation: White House Energy & Climate Adviser Carol Browner; Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA); BP Managing Director Bob Dudley; Environmental Scientist Edward Overton, PhD.

This Week: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R); Roundtable: George Will (Washington Post), Republican Strategist Matthew Dowd, Clarence Page (Chaicago Tribune) and Joan Walsh (Salon.com).

Fox News Sunday: BP Managing Director Bob Dudley; Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D); Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA); Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen; Roundtable: Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Ceci Connolly (Washington Post), Psychopath Liz Cheney and Juan Williams (NPR/FNC).

State of the Union: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen; Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA); Sen. David Vitter (R-LA); Reliable Sources: Fred Francis (Formerly of NBC News); American University Professor Jane Hall; Rome Hartman (BBC America); Toby Harnden (Daily Telegraph).

The Chris Matthews Show: Joe Klein (TIME); Katty Kay (BBC); Trish Regan (CNBC); John Harris (Politico).

Fareed Zakaria GPS: Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates; President of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haas; Martin Wolf (Financial Times); Cynthia Freeland (Reuters).

USA Today founder knocks Gibbs

This is an interesting take on White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.  I personally, am a fan of the Press Secretary, so I would tend to disagree with Mr. Neuharth:

Politico

The founder of America’s highest-circulation newspaper has delivered a negative verdict on White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, suggesting that President Obama’s public image is weaker than it could be in part because of his spokesman’s poor performance.

In a column published Friday, USA Today’s Al Neuharth writes that Gibbs “lacks any press experience and it shows.”

“Obama suffers because Gibbs is better at dealing with politicians than he is with the press,” Neuharth writes.

Listing Jim Hagerty, press secretary to Dwight Eisenhower; Jerry terHorst, press secretary to Gerald Ford; and Jody Powell, press secretary to Jimmy Carter, as the finest White House spokesmen he’s encountered, Neuharth concludes that Gibbs does not rank among their number.

“An example of Gibbs’ media shortcoming occurred Sunday on ‘Face the Nation’ with Bob Schieffer on CBS. In answer to a question from Schieffer about the Gulf Coast oil mess he said, ‘The government is doing everything humanly and technologically possible to plug the hole 5,000 feet above — ar — 5,000 feet below — the floor —below the ocean,’ ” Neuharth quotes. “Gibbs appeared amused rather than embarrassed by his answer.”