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The Morning Plum

* With scientists now concluding that far more oil is gushing into the Gulf than previously thought, it's very clear that the level of acrimony between American elected officials and BP is suddenly going to escalate exponentially.

* The key question, though, will be whether all the public ire officials direct at BP amounts to anything more than a whole lot of noise designed to distract the public from growing perceptions of their own impotence.

* National Incident Commander Thad Allen has written a letter to top BP execs summoning them to the White House for a meeting with Obama.

* Though the letter doesn't specifically invite BP CEO Tony Hayward, administration officials say they "assume" he'll be coming.

* But it's unclear whether this will amount to anything more than a public display of ass-kicking to quiet the nonstop criticism that Obama hasn't yet indulged in a public display of public ass-kicking.

* Nancy Pelosi offers some friendly "advice" to BP: Don't pay out shareholder dividends before compensating those who have suffered losses from the spill.

* What to watch today: For all of Pelosi's tough talk, it's clear that Congressional Dems are still struggling to figure out how, exactly, to keep BP on the hook.

* Also in the above link: Amazingly, some House Dems think the best way to get BP to pay up is through a "gentleman's agreement." Yeah, that'll work!

* What about the Republicans? Now that John Boehner has said he opposes taxpayer money for any oil spill cleanup and damages, the questions remains: What, if anything, are Republicans willing to do to force BP to cover damages?

* And: Obama's bid to get BP to pony up for wages lost during the suspension of drilling may be on shaky legal ground.

* Steve Benen keeps making an important point: We have to act now on energy reform because the prospects for action will not get better if Republicans make gains in Congress. They'll get worse over time. Got that, Dems?

* Is the White House-labor partnership kaput for good?

* New York Times edit board gets it right: The White House's dumping on labor suggests that Obama officials have their head in the sand about the Dem base's "growing restlessness."

* The Wall Street Journal struggles to wrap its head around the idea that labor unions might imagine that it's in their interest to back a candidate who's good on their issues.

* Jane Hamsher calls on the DSCC to give back labor's political contributions to Dems.

* And this seems remarkable: Arnold Schwarzenegger appears to suggest that he might not endorse would-be GOP successor Meg Whitman.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  June 11, 2010; 8:27 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Hour Roundup
Next: What is Boehner willing to support to hold BP liable?

Comments

Where, oh where, is David Plouffe?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 11, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Shame. Nothing on Obama meeting with the family members of those killed.

And I noticed that Rolling Stones article from the other day is getting posted around a bit more. Those guys write some good articles. They did a good job at conveying how the U.S. Govn't should have zero faith in private industry to do the right thing. Not only in self regulation, but in the aftermath of a disaster, they are still unwilling to reveal anything that would punish their stock holders. They answer to their stock holders and nothing else.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 11, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

This union bashing is WAY too consistent. 2012 will be a competition between the two parties to LOSE the election, neither the jackasses nor the peanut-brained elephants want to rule a rioting country.

Plouffe? Good question. Maybe he looked at the facts on the ground and went poof.

Posted by: Papagnello | June 11, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"And: Obama's bid to get BP to pony up for wages lost during the suspension of drilling may be on shaky legal ground."

Hmmm. Who was being mocked and attacked for making this case here at Plum Line just . . . yesterday?

That would be ME and Bilgey.

Now even lawyers suing BP say we were right.

The shocks just keep coming here at PL.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

The Rolling Stone article shows the administration's total lack of readiness.

DUMP SALAZAR. "New Sheriff in Town, hee haw, let's watch the girls get oily oily!"

Posted by: Papagnello | June 11, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone think another public display of ass kicking is going to be productive right now?

This has moved way beyond being "Obama's Katrina." He could only wish he had handled this as effectively.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Obama's Katrina? Is that how small you're thinking Qback?

Posted by: Papagnello | June 11, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"And: Obama's bid to get BP to pony up for wages lost during the suspension of drilling may be on shaky legal ground."

A criminal prosecution solves that problem pronto.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 11, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

The last line of the Times editorial says it all:

"There are virtues to pragmatism, but it should be in the service of an underlying principle."

Posted by: wbgonne | June 11, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Re; Agent Orange's Freudian Slip yesterday: I think the GOP has been spewing anti-govrenment rhetoric for so long that they no longer believe that WE ARE the government. So it's easy for AO to say, just send the bill to the federal government, as if the federal government is some alien being to kick at will like an illegal immigrant.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 11, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

So Chuck Todd felt embarrassed saying ass in front of Pelosi.

What is he, five?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 11, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

stooge-b-gonne:
"A criminal prosecution solves that problem pronto"

[To extort BeePee into paying the Bilgeman's salary during he Odministration's 6 month deepwater drilling moratorium]

I want no part of your dirty extortion racket, pal.
And I don't like you using the criminal court system for a shakedown.

Scratch a moonbat and you'll reveal a socialist, scratch a socialist and you'll reveal a gangster.

You should read this closing from the Politico piece:

"“Every other business doing business in the U.S. has to say: What happens when the government decides to come after me? They expect with Chavez in Venezuela, they have to account for that risk, but if the U.S. does it, that just reduces the incentive to invest in the United States,” Frank said. “The damage the administration is doing to the U.S. economy by playing these kinds of games is just appalling.”"

Are BeePee's corporate and managerial drones deserving of investigation?

Certainly. But because they may have broken the law and engaged in criminal conduct. And that's the ONLY reason.

Executing a criminal prosecution to conduct a shakedown makes you nothing but a thug, and the USA nothing more than a Banana Republic.

And you half-wits wonder why I favor seceding from you dirt-bags?

Any business would have to be insane to invest in the United States during the Alleged Hawaiian's regime.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 11, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I don't think there'll be much real acrimony, Greg. Sure, the politicians will puff out their chests, and talk big; but the truth is they're all wholly-owned subsidiaries of big corporations, if not specifically BP. They'll posture and grandstand, and then accede to whatever their owners demand.

Posted by: azportsider | June 11, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey Bilge, can I ask you a question without you sounding like someone with only half a brain?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 11, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Mike -- that Chuck Todd thing is hilarious, where was that?

wbgonne, I think that's right -- these guys have forgotten that they are the government.

Posted by: sargegreg | June 11, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

It was just on MSNBC moments ago in an interview.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 11, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

hmm...off for a bit.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 11, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Poor wittle BP getting picked on by the meanie president just for killing 11 people and destroying the Gulf Of Mexico.

And you don't want them prosecuted criminally because other companies won't want to do the same to us. That, Bilgey Boy, is the point. Oh, and to ensure BP doesn't wriggle out of its liability by litigating until the victims are dead, or by reorganizing under a different name, or by using one of the other myriad shell games to hide the money from BP's victims. Evidently, you don't have much experience in corporate prosecutions; this is exactly the way it has worked for 50 years. It is often the only real leverage the government has over Big Money. I can't imagine a better case for hardball than this one.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 11, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"And you half-wits wonder why I favor seceding from you dirt-bags?"

Go right ahead, Bilgey. If the Confederacy wants to leave there won't be a fight this time. It is you neanderthals who are dragging the U.S. down. Good riddance.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 11, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Here's what I think. The BP oil gusher is a National environmental and economic disaster. While the media was suggesting that Obama wasn't "angry" enough, behind the scenes the brightest scientists and engineers here and around the world were gathering in Texas, at Obama's request to figure out a way to stop the flow. Thousands and thousands of feet of boom were being laid, hundreds of ships and boats gathered in the Gulf to try to contain the spill. And the media was focused on personality traits and politics. Consequently, most of us focused on the same thing.

I had two discussions yesterday, one with qb and one with bilgey that were honest. I agreed with qb that I don't perceive a situation where BP could be liable for the lost wages of workers during the moratorium, it just doesn't make logical sense to me, although I'm certainly no legal scholar. Bilgey dropped the slave lingo for a couple of posts and we discussed the economic consequences of the moratorium. I'm not smart enough to figure out the answers to either of these dilemmas but both have consequences for all Americans.

I do think it's a time to come together as citizens and figure out the best way to minimize both the environmental and economic impact of the gusher. Playing politics in a National Emergency doesn't really get us anywhere as our political system is pretty much broken. I really don't particularly care what the Brits think of our treatment of BP. 11 men were killed and if there was negligence on the part of BP, Transocean or Haliburton a criminal investigation is in order. If the Brits want to bail out their oil company that's up to them. The costs of the spill and cleanup are on BP's shoulder.

The people working behind the scenes regardless of political persuasion deserve our gratitude and respect. There aren't many things I can find agreement with folks on the right but right now that's less important to me regarding the gusher than figuring out ways to minimize the impact.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 11, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

And you GOPers crack me up with your sympathy for the "rights" of Big Money. You care not a whit about civil liberties or unfair prosecutions of real Americans, but when it comes to Big Money you become ACLU members. What a hypocritical joke. Throw the book at BP, Holder. And I can't wait for the GOP to start BP's legal defense fund. (They can just use 10% of the kickbacks they get from Big Oil.)

Posted by: wbgonne | June 11, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

A "Gentleman's agreement"?!

Yes, and when the agreement is ignored, they can break out the Sternly Worded Letter!

What if these Dems threw a "let's be nice" party and no one came? Why they'd throw another one of course.

More Unicorn - spotting. Unbelievable.

Posted by: michael_conrad | June 11, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and your Banana Republic baloney is just a plea to remain in slavery to Big Business. Just like LA begging for more drilling as oil destroys the state. Pathetic. Why we don't require the simultaneous drilling of relief wells like other countries do? Because Deadeye Dick Cheney and the GOP crooks sold the United States to Big Oil just like we were Nigeria. Go ahead and defend that.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 11, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"[To extort BeePee into paying the Bilgeman's salary during he Odministration's 6 month deepwater drilling moratorium] I want no part of your dirty extortion racket, pal."

OK. Refuse the money. Problem solved.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 11, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Re SC, Greene etc...Here's a portion of the transcript from an NPR show yesterday...

"Mr. HARPOOTLIAN: Well, I think it's a pretty simple explanation. G comes before R. Neither one of these guys was known. If you're going down the ballot, and you see two people, and you don't know either one, you know, you either don't vote in the race, or you go alphabetically. That's the only explanation I can come up with.

BLOCK: Do you believe that there is also something more nefarious going on here? The South Carolina congressman, James Clyburn, has said he thinks shenanigans were at play, that Greene was somebody's plant. He said it just doesn't add up that an unemployed guy paid $10,000, the registration fee, to run for the U.S. Senate.

Mr. HARPOOTLIAN: Well, I mean, we've had this happen before. The most graphic example, when I was the district attorney in 1992, I prosecuted a Republican operative who used campaign money from his sister's campaign for lieutenant governor to pay the filing fee for an unemployed African-American shrimp fisherman out on bond for selling cocaine, to run against Arthur Ravenel, the congressman in Charleston. The idea that if Ravenel had an African-American run against him in a Republican primary down there, it would increase the turnout in that area, which would help this guy's sister, who was from down there.

Of course, it didn't. It was a stupid thing to do. I prosecuted her brother and convicted him." http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127747650

Posted by: bernielatham | June 11, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Pardon the repetition, but wanted to underline this for folks who missed in on last night's thread...

There's a delightfully ironic aspect to this "the Brits are upset at Americans being upset at BP" narrative coming from the right here.

Brit opinion (or any other nations' opinion) isn't relevant to the American right except where it might concur with what the right would like it to be. Thus the overwhelming Brit citizen or Canadian citizen or Australian citizen etc anger at the US attack on Iraq was not noteworthy except as proof of widespread "anti-Americanism". Where Britain or some other nation has protested the US violations of existing treaties, that has been, for the modern right, a loathsome attempt to "internationalize" the world and carve away at American sovereignty.

But now, rather magically, American policy and the President stand indicted by Brit opinion and the indictments are worth attending to, even of such value that they ought to trump US leaders' policies. Even, we'll note, should trump American citizens' justified fears that they, as taxpayers, will have to cover the costs themselves.

The conservative movement. Supporting anti-Americanism abroad. When corporate interests are in jeopardy, of course. Taxpayer interests? Not relevant.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 11, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

stooge-b-gonne:
"Oh, and your Banana Republic baloney is just a plea to remain in slavery to Big Business."

How much does Chavez pay you to flack for his interests here, stooge?

Or is it the Saudis?

Or do you pimp yourself out for both?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 11, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Also be sure to read my rebuttal of Bernie's predictably ideologically patterned argument on last night's thread.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone stopped to note how plain stupid Obama's ass-kicking answer is?

He is meeting with experts to learn whose ass to kick? Really?

Is he not kicking BP's ass?

Why, if he is meeting with experts, is it not to figure out how to stop the leak and clean it up?

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"A criminal prosecution solves that problem pronto."

One of the most absurd and irresponsible statements ever made on PL.

What you are advocating would be malicious prosecution and abuse of process among other things, and a gross violation of due process.

You would simply be exposing the United States to massive liability TO BP.

You really are not a serious person.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

War's-a-brewin between the virtue-obsessives and the libertarianish types...

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0610/Perkins_calls_Daniels_truce_astonishing.html

Posted by: bernielatham | June 11, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The Log Cabin Republicans of Los Angeles: you can't say they don't have a sense of humor!

"The Log Cabin Republicans of Los Angeles are holding a special event at this weekend's gay pride festival in L.A.: A tea bag toss!

Contestants can buy a tea bag and win a prize if they toss it into the open "mouths" of three politicians: gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown (D), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sarah Palin.

"We figured this year we ought to take it up a notch and do something that is engaging and somewhat amusing and shows that we can even laugh at ourselves," Scott Schmidt, president of of Log Cabin-Los Angeles, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

He said he included Palin in the game in order to give the game a more bipartisan feel, telling the Chronicle that she had raised the sales tax when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

According to the Chronicle, the Log Cabin's L.A. chapter is the biggest in the country. But it's still not officially recognized by the state GOP."

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/06/gay-republicans-la-fundraiser-the-tea-bag-toss.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 11, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Canadian Man-bag:
"Thus the overwhelming Brit citizen or Canadian citizen or Australian citizen etc anger at the US attack on Iraq was not noteworthy."

Where and when it really counts, it's not.
Nor should it be.

Now I don't know from whom and/or for what purpose this supposed Limey concern over what is happening to BeePee's valuation is coming from, but I could GAS what Blighty thinks about it. BeePee is going to have a big fat bill to pay just to cover compensatory damages, and if that means the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to cover pension shortfalls has to cut funding for the NHS and they then have to recycle false teeth, that's THEIR lookout.

So don't include me in your anti-strawman broadside about caring what foreign devils think when its convenient to do so.

Frankly, pretty much all the time with me every one of you miserable socialist wetback peasants are cordially invited to perform an acrobatic sex act upon a rolling circular breakfast pastry.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 11, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Steven Perlstein on the gusher:

"Even the people who are supposed to really understand this stuff can't come to consensus on where things are headed and what we should do next. And I have a hunch why that is: At this point, there are no good solutions -- only a choice among painful and distasteful ones."

Posted by: lmsinca | June 11, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

QB1:
"One of the most absurd and irresponsible statements ever made on PL.

What you are advocating would be malicious prosecution and abuse of process among other things, and a gross violation of due process.

You would simply be exposing the United States to massive liability TO BP."

Word.

If what this schmuck advocates would come to pass, BeePee would, playing defensively, sell off it's US assets to its competitors as fast as it can, shut down all operations in the United States, and transport their executives, managers and anyone else in jeopardy of stooge-b-gonne's Stalinist prosecution campaign to lie on a beach in sunny Brazil.

And if this dummy thinks that the Oil Patch wouldn;t do exactly that, he doesn;t know the business' history when dealing with booger-eating tyrants nationalizing their assets.

Iran STILL cannot refine enough gasoline to meet its' own domestic needs...30 years after they ran the Oil Patch out.

"You really are not a serious person."

He's a fascist stooge in the pay of Chavez.


Posted by: Bilgeman | June 11, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

It's funny. It always seems that ScottC and QB are more effusive with their comments when there is a perceived weakness in the Democratic Party which they then mercilessly attempt to exploit.

I'm going back to ignoring them because they are trolls. ScottC even admitted as much the other day on one of our convos. It's just pointless.

Look, there are major major problems that need solutions. But aside from all the grumbling and griping and the sideshows about unions and the like, the Obama Administration and the Democratic Majority ARE making progress on both the spill, holding BP accountable and lots of other issues that are moving forward despite the petty blogosphere arguments that we've seen take shape here and elsewhere. It's just not worth it.

Let's focus on THE ISSUES and not the BLAME. Because right now we have TREMENDOUS opportunities to do the right thing as a country and we should not -- cannot -- let Republicans force the situation into interparty/intraparty brawls just because they want to win in November. The ISSUES are far too important to allow that to happen.

Trolls, you are hereby going back to "ignored" status for me.

Everybody else, I suggest we all chill out a bit and refocus on issues not agendas and backbiting.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 11, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Interesting -

According to the wingnuts, BP can't be prosecuted for its criminal negligence pursuant to US law because it would amount to malicious prosecution and a violation of due process similar to the tactics of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

And it's ok for VP Dick to tell a Senator to go eff himself on the floor of the Senate but the President investigating who's ass to kick is gangsta, perhaps a basis for impeachment?

You guys are beautiful.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | June 11, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca,

We have butted heads plenty but I will credit you for your reasonable statement above although I don't agree with all of it. The sole focus of everyone right now should be stopping and containing it. I think Obama made a big mistake by not simply saying now is not the time for ass kicking and threats; now is the time to work together to stop this.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

lmspilledinca:
"And I have a hunch why that is: At this point, there are no good solutions -- only a choice among painful and distasteful ones"

I remember discussing this with SlaveinCHI, IIRC, back when it first happened and observing that if the casing was busted, this would be a difficult engineering problem.

Now, I don;t know what your author means by "painful", but one way to slow and then stop the blowout is to lower the pressure in the pay-zone to where "Dome", "Son of Dome", "Top-Kill" and/or "Junk Shot" can be tried again.

BeePee is drilling relief wells, which is fine as far as it goes....if they can whipstock the drill-bit into the existing well-bore.

That ain't a foregone conclusion, because it's akin to shooting an earthworm on the sidewalk with a rifle...from atop the Empire State Building.

The other approach they could employ, (and y'all are gonna LOVE this), is best summed up as:

"Drill, Baby, Drill!"

Bring in as many rigs as they can and absolutely perforate the Macondo's Mississippi Canyon block 252's pay zone with safe, functioning wells.

The more outlets the pay has, the sooner the pressure will drop off, and the likelier that the capping methods that failed before will work.

And...we get the awl/url/oy-yull to help pay for our troubles.

So, all together now, tree-huggers and pelican-lovers!

Drill, Baby, Drill!!!!

Let's turn that patch of the GoM into something that looks like "Waterworld".

(And BTW, Kevin Costner's separators idea will work. We use centrifugal separators/clarifiers to clean lube and fuel oil aboard ship, so "The Mariner" can come hang out too!)

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 11, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Besides, ass kicking really isn't the President's job. Law enforcement yes ass kicking no.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Ethan, I hear you on that.

lms, great post above on the "everyone needs to focus on solutions and not politics in the gulf." I'm afraid that, as you say, our system is too broken to put aside petty squabbles. I guess we'll see.

The media fail on this is just as bad, esp coming from the punditry class (as best represented by Maureen Dowd).

I don't want it to look like the ridiculous teabagger stuff, but this country needs a housecleaning and a wake-up call. If this huge disaster won't even lead to a new energy policy, then I'm starting to get depressed.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 11, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

slavemccauley:
"You guys are beautiful."

And you're an idiot...or a liar.

Which is it?

"According to the wingnuts, BP can't be prosecuted for its criminal negligence pursuant to US law because it would amount to malicious prosecution and a violation of due process similar to the tactics of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez."

Who said that, moonbat?

Go re-read, or have someone smarter than yourself read it for you, what was written here on the subject instead of making up your own nonsense.

Some Lefties really ARE interested in finding a solution,(I think there may be three (3) of them altogether), but their efforts are undercut by partisan booger-eaters like you who gin up your own bogeymen, and then run around in a panic at what you yourself have created.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 11, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"Kevin Costner's separators idea will work."

BP just bought 32 of his separators.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 11, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Executing a criminal prosecution to conduct a shakedown makes you nothing but a thug, and the USA nothing more than a Banana Republic.


Posted by: Bilgeman | June 11, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse
What you are advocating would be malicious prosecution and abuse of process among other things, and a gross violation of due process.

You would simply be exposing the United States to massive liability TO BP.

You really are not a serious person.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

He's a fascist stooge in the pay of Chavez.


Posted by: Bilgeman | June 11, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: cmccauley60 | June 11, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Ethan:

"ScottC even admitted as much the other day on one of our convos."

That, of course, is a lie.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 11, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

All, new thread: Question of the day: What, specifically, is Boehner willing to support to hold BP liable?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/what_is_boehner_willing_to_sup.html

Posted by: sargegreg | June 11, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

* With scientists now concluding that far more oil is gushing into the Gulf than previously thought, it's very clear that the level of acrimony between American elected officials and BP is suddenly going to escalate exponentially.
.....................

Who the hell could not see that coming?

I warned, withing days of the start of the spill, that BP would lie and cover up, and should not be let call the shots on how to handle the disaster.

I compared it to; letting the arsonist, who started the inferno, being allowed to call all the shots, on what steps were to be taken to quench the roaring flames.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 11, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"So, all together now, tree-huggers and pelican-lovers! Drill, Baby, Drill!!!!"

I have an even better idea. Let's build a huge containment wall around the entire Gulf, then drill a million holes and let the Gulf just fill up with oil. Then we take a giant straw, like in There Will Be Blood, and suck all that oil right on out of there. Bonus: after that we take the giant wall and place in on the Mexican border. Win win.

You GOPers are just corporate apologists and sycophants using propaganda techniques to pretend you're advocating something other than peonage to Big Money. Oh, and you know NOTHING about the criminal law or its purposes: deterrence, retribution, restitution. But put some poor black kid in prison for 600 hundred years for selling dope and its Hardball all the way, Baby. Complete and absolute phonies.

Ethan you are correct and I will follow your advice. We have enough real problems to contend with and can't be wasting time dealing with corrupt imbeciles.

Now, how do we get the Democratic Party back to what it's supposed to be?

Posted by: wbgonne | June 11, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, give money to DFA and candidates directly for primaries.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 11, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

stooge-b-gonne:
"Now, how do we get the Democratic Party back to what it's supposed to be?"

You could do your part by emigrating to Venezuela.

Or don't they pay you enough for THAT?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 11, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Apparently quite a few of Costner's oil separators have been ordered and will be arriving soon. And just to keep our focus on what is coming from the well, at 100k barrels pd, it's about 3800 gallons per minute. Obviously they've raised the estimates to only around 40k bpd so you can do the math. Most scientists seem to agree it's closer to the 100k bpd. Right now the big discussion at the oildrum is the dispersant, lots of questions but few answers. They issued a big report today and will continue to use them, but no one seems to know the ultimate impact on the Gulf.

I don't know about that drill the hell out of the Macando 252, but if we get to that point as the only solution, let's hope no one puts BP in charge.

In the scientific community almost no one seems to doubt peak oil, so I really think now would be the time to take our legislative "baby steps", since that's all we seem capable of, away from our reliance on oil. It doesn't mean the oil companies will suddenly disappear and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be gone. We've got to get past both the notion of not needing oil and the idea that we have time on our side.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 11, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

cmccauley,

Ok, I'm ready to be persuaded.

As I argued yesterday, BP can't be held liable for economic damage caused by Obama's drilling moratorium. That appears to be agreed by everyone including lawyers suing BP. That's the starting point. (It has nothing to do with BP's liability for the spill itself.)

wbgonne claims above that BP's nonliability for the moratorium is easily solved by criminally prosecuting BP (for crimes so far not specified), i.e., extorting it to pay anyway, to use the word Bilgey correctly uses.

Do you care to explain to the class why this would not constitute abuse of process or malicious prosecution? Do you even know what those are? Hint: The government is liable for abuse of process if it prosecutes for an ulterior motive, even if the prosecution has a reasonable basis. So good luck with that.

Can you explain why it would not also expose the United States to liability for depriving BP of liberty or property without due process of law?

I have never worked at DOJ, but I'm also quite confident such a prosecution to extort money would violate DOJ guidelines and likely federal statutes, and there is no question that the lawyers conducting it would be violating rules of ethics and professionalism and face serious sanctions from the governing bar.

But do explain. If the government can do this, perhaps we can just force BP and other companies to pay for Obamacare and Social Security as well.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

So, nickel, a prosecution based upon evidence that there has been a commission of crimes cannot be resolved via an agreement to pay certain sums. That would be an abuse of process in your mind?

That must have been some impressive law school you went to.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | June 11, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"Trolls, you are hereby going back to "ignored" status for me."

After your utterly nonsensical comments in recent days -- like ascribing one man's domestic violence to conservatives' having lost their minds -- trust me when I say it is no one's loss.

I used to think you just played games of deliberate obtuseness but now realize you just don't have any analytical reasoning ability.

But I'll still be here holding feet to fire.

"It always seems that ScottC and QB are more effusive with their comments when there is a perceived weakness in the Democratic Party which they then mercilessly attempt to exploit."

Probably more variable based on demands of work and life in general, but, really, you talking to another lib about merciless exploitation of the other party's weaknesses? Ethan, meet Ethan.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

A prosecution can be resolved however the parties resolve it.

Bringing or threatening the prosecution for ulterior purposes like extorting money, however, is the very definition of abuse of process. Every lawyer who went to any law school knows that.

So stop evading the question. Explain how it isn't.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Bilge,

"If what this schmuck advocates would come to pass, BeePee would, playing defensively, sell off it's US assets to its competitors as fast as it can, shut down all operations in the United States, and transport their executives, managers and anyone else in jeopardy of stooge-b-gonne's Stalinist prosecution campaign to lie on a beach in sunny Brazil."

These guys in general just can't think straight. Everything is based on an emotional reaction with them.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

qb:

"If the government can do this, perhaps we can just force BP and other companies to pay for Obamacare and Social Security as well."

I can imagine the loons reading that and thinking..."Hey, now THERE's an idea!"

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 11, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, there's a real strong chance that BP will sell all of their operations and leave their most lucrative market because they were prosecuted for their crimes.

And I'm sure the justice department has better lawyers than you, nickel (if you are really a lawyer), and that they would properly bring the appropriate charges and negotiate a plea agreement without a hint of process abuse.

But, sure, you're correct, it is the left that fails to think things through and reacts in a knee jerk fashion ...

AR MA GEDDON

Posted by: cmccauley60 | June 11, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

QB1:
"These guys in general just can't think straight. Everything is based on an emotional reaction with them."

It's more than that, quarterback.

They just can't THINK, period.

As if these goofs think that they and their thug-buddies are going o be in charge FOREVER.

Let's see if they can wrap their mind around how they'd like the government doing this kind of thing with a Dick Nixon in the White House, or their personal bogeyman, a Dick Cheney.

Furthermore, what these moonbats apparently REFUSE to realize is that if a company as big and well-heeled as BeePee can have the bite put on it, what chance does the little guy have against the Fed...or the State Capital...or City Hall?

"Trickle-down" isn't solely limited to economics. I've seen it happen in the Criminal Justice realm also.

Now I think some of these goobers really ARE this stupid, but not all of them.

Which is why I suspect that we have us a foreign-paid bedbug pushing propaganda to influence our laws so that their foreign master(s) benefit.

Chavez and his CITGO would stand to make a mint if his minions and fellow-traveller dupes here, would they not?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 11, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

slavemccauley:
"Yeah, there's a real strong chance that BP will sell all of their operations and leave their most lucrative market because they were prosecuted for their crimes"

You are ignorant of oil patch history. Tha';s is EXACTLY what they could do. And they have done it before in other countries.

Your error is assuming that they will still HAVE a "market" here, dummy.

"And I'm sure the justice department has better lawyers than you, nickel (if you are really a lawyer), and that they would properly bring the appropriate charges and negotiate a plea agreement without a hint of process abuse."

Well, as I've pointed out in the next thread, there are valid reasons to initiate a criminal negligence investigation, one of the effects of which, upon a conviction, under OPA'90, would be to negate the liability cap.

So what is your vaunted DoJ waiting for, two months after the accident?
For Holder to get around to reading the Oil Pollution Act of 1990?

What? He hasn't managed to work his way through the Arizona Immigration Law yet?

Moonbat, Please!

Quarterback took you to school, and now you're just yelping with a case of the red @ss.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 11, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"And I'm sure the justice department has better lawyers than you, nickel (if you are really a lawyer), and that they would properly bring the appropriate charges and negotiate a plea agreement without a hint of process abuse."

You aren't evading very well.

By definition, a prosecutor could not "properly bring" charges for ulterior purposes of extorting money without committing abuse of process. Get it through your head: That is the DEFINITION of abuse of process.

To say it could be done without giving a "hint" of the real purpose is merely to say prosecutors could get away with it.

That is some principled position you are defending. I wouldn't need to be a very good lawyer to know you are all wet.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 11, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"Jane Hamsher calls on the DSCC to give back labor's political contributions to Dems."
----------------------------------------

LOL. Have I ever mentioned how much I've come to enjoy watching Jane Hamsher's head explode? Speaking of Jane, I was reading Sam Stein's article on Huffington Post last night, on the back story of the Halter candidacy and had to shake my head. Not surprisingly, the *non-union* players in all that basically turn out to be a collection of the same f***ing retards (as Mr. Emanuel so aptly put it) who were either actively campaigning to kill the HCR bill and/or damned near ran it off the rails at one point anyway (whatever their intent) by running millions of dollars worth of ads attacking Blue Dogs in their home states.

To wit: Four of the five mentioned were Hamsher herself, MoveOn.org (of course) DFA, and PCCC. The one surprise was Kos. He's often proven capable in recent years of more clearheaded strategic thinking than most of the rest of those knuckleheads. But as for the rest, this is very much the kind of muddleheaded behavior I pretty much expect of them.

Also interesting was a 538 article wherein Nate Silver produced a statistic that I had been kind of wondering about ever since it was reported that after Halter lost, the union players said just for that, they were just going to take their ball and go home. According to Silver, "Arkansas has the lowest fraction of union members from among the 50 states -- just 4.2 percent of the overall population, or 8 percent of the Democratic primary electorate, according to 2008 exit polling." I kind of figured that was going to be a low number, just based on the fact that it's a farm state with no real major metropolitan areas, industrial centers or tourism destinations, but I wouldn't have guessed they were dead last.

So I'll say it again, and feel free to call me a dirty urinator if you feel you must (and if you really feel that's appropriate rhetoric from a blogger for one of the country's most prominent metro dailies) but the unions dropped $10 million dollars of their members hard-earned dues on that race and ended up with bupkis to show for it. It was a dumb idea to begin, whose most likely outcome was to do more harm than good and all the hyperventilating in the world won't change that fact.

Links:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/10/bill-halters-arkansas-sen_n_607563.html

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/06/arkansas-was-tough-target-for-unions.html

Posted by: CalD | June 11, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

REP BACHMANN: OBAMA WORST PRESIDENT in UNITED STATES HISTORY
WEUS 810 AM
June 11, 2010
SHAPIRO: Is President Obama better or worse than Jimmy Carter? BACHMANN: Worse. Easily worse. SHAPIRO: I agree. So far, you’d have to say he’s the worst president in United States history … BACHMANN: No question. No question. Hear other highlights of the interview at Big Government. Follow the link below.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB-DU8VhdZk&feature=player_embedded
And
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eszcEC4sk0o&feature=player_embedded


Shooter Jennings Takes On the New World Order
Russia Today
June 11, 2010
Singer-songwriter Shooter Jennings, the son of country music outlaws Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, talks with RT America’s Jihan Hafiz about his latest project with novelist Stephen King. Jennings and King teamed up to produce a concept album entitled Black Ribbons, an indictment against government censorship and the New World Order.
http://www.prisonplanet.com/shooter-jennings-takes-on-the-nwo-with-art.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN9-DoWi8kQ&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: PaulRevere4 | June 11, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

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