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Big day brings exasperation

Mark Mardell | 18:17 UK time, Thursday, 17 June 2010

BP chief executive Tony Hayward, now routinely identified by the media here as the most hated man in America, had to sound extremely contrite.

He has.

But that is only part of the job. The US Congressional panel hearing he is facing is about what went wrong, what caused the disaster.

His repeated insistence that the investigation is still going on, that it is too early to tell, that he wasn't part of the decision making process, is infuriating and exasperating the politicians who want and expect clear answers.

This is going very badly for Mr Hayward and for BP.

While it is obvious Mr Hayward will continue to get a rough ride there are interesting tensions in the committee, along political lines.

A Texan Republican congressman Joe Barton, talking about the $20bn set aside for the victims of the leak, said the White House had subjected BP to a shakedown and had forced them to set up what he called a slush fund.

He said it bordered on the criminal and made him ashamed of his country.

Democratic congressman Ed Markey replied that it was not a slush fund, but proof the US government was working to protect its most vulnerable citizens.

The exchange is a timely reminder that for many American politicians big business is always preferable to big government.

Comments

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  • 1. At 6:55pm on 17 Jun 2010, diverticulosis wrote:

    It's funny to see that the comments on this board align with the Republicans and the Tea Party. I thought that the polls suggested the people of the UK were glad the Democrats and Obama were elected. I thought they were happy that Bush was gone and the Republicans were out of power.

    Who knew.

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  • 2. At 6:58pm on 17 Jun 2010, commissioner wrote:

    This is what really happened...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AAa0gd7ClM

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  • 3. At 7:00pm on 17 Jun 2010, ARHReading wrote:

    Classic US reaction to any problem. It's obviously part of their DNA.

    What were the odds against this type of incident?

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  • 4. At 7:07pm on 17 Jun 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    Mr Hayworth was genuine no acting,dead pan & broken.He did not stone wall,he is under oath,he can not give definitive answers before the proper
    facts are known & under stood.The main task is to stop the leak & clean up,
    then this type of inquiry can be played out.

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  • 5. At 7:11pm on 17 Jun 2010, Hastings wrote:

    Watching Heyward at the hearing is excruciatingly painful. He hasn't the foggiest how to respond, cannot answer most of the questions and comes across as unwilling to help.

    He look completely out of his depth and close to despair. His answers, such as they were, were getting quieter and quieter.

    US senators are experts at seeming like God Almighty when they are often completely wrong, but it takes an expert performance to put them in their place.

    So when they point out the high level of Safety Violations of BP compared to other companies, they forget to mention that BP has been heavily scrutinised since the Texas Refinery explosion - as far as we know, the other companies may simply have been better at hiding all their problems.

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  • 6. At 7:20pm on 17 Jun 2010, shoXx wrote:

    Transocean not mentioned from what I saw even though from an article CNN posted on their website (not sure if I'm allowed to link to it but will if requested) they said, and I quote.

    "There is no scenario or circumstance under which it [safety] will be compromised. So critical is safety at Transocean that every crew member has stop-work authority, a real-time method by which all work is halted should any employee suspect an unsafe situation or operation."

    Then amazingly to me said.

    The BP official wanted workers to replace heavy mud, used to keep the well's pressure down, with lighter seawater to help speed a process that was costing an estimated $750,000 a day and was already running five weeks late, rig survivors told CNN.

    BP won the argument, said Doug Brown, the rig's chief mechanic. He basically said, "Well, this is how it's gonna be."

    Seems rather fishy to me. Transocean are lying about something. They either did compromise on safety or did it without being told by BP to meet targets and are trying to pass the buck.

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  • 7. At 7:24pm on 17 Jun 2010, Powolny wrote:

    I'm not sure I just watch the same coverage as Mark Mardell. I thought the Congressmen and women did a very poor job asking questions. They seemed so focused on scoring points it not clear what the point of the whole Committee Hearing was. Seems to me that these Congressmen and women need to get themselves together and ask focused questions.

    As far as Tony Hayward is concerned I don't see how he did badly for himself or BP. If he's the most hated man in the US then he still is. I think the answers were on the table before Hayward got to the Committee Hearing.

    This is an open forum and there are criminal procedings pending. Hayward would do himself no favours or BP if he opened up to all the questions.

    Let's not rush to the conclusion that Hayward has done badly. The City and NYSE had 6% rise in the share price; let see what happens tomorrow.

    I am now waiting to see how the MMS do at their Hearing

    Remember Piper Alpha and the government inspectors who said all was well a week before that disaster; here we are again.

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  • 8. At 7:32pm on 17 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "BP chief executive Tony Hayward, now routinely identified by the media here as the most hated man in America, ..." (from Mardell)

    I've never heard that. What sort of media do you listen to, Mr. Mardell?

    I ridicule him, but I don't hate him.

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  • 9. At 7:39pm on 17 Jun 2010, Wannabeyankee wrote:

    It never ceases to amaze me how expert potliticians of any nationality are in fields in which they have absolutely no expertise whatsoever. Being primed with questions to ask in committee/parliament is no substitute for brains. Does it not occur to them that the investigation into this mess is still ongoing. No CEO in his right mind would dare to pre-empt the findings, especially given the litigation that is so obviously hovering in the wings. As with all such enquiries/hearings, it is way to early to be asking those sorts of questions.

    "I don't know" is a perfectly honest response that does not deserve the ire of the questioner. The questioner knows he does not know. He is just trying to be a clever dick!

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  • 10. At 7:50pm on 17 Jun 2010, laughingdevil wrote:

    looks to me like a load of people who 2 months ago were shouting "drill baby drill" are now shouting at the British guy to try and get people to forget their former position.

    From watching the live feed I think the BP boss is doing well and being very honest against a comitee who are obviously biased and are out for his blood.

    America is a Sham democracy. Money makes the country tick, they demand £20BILLION then they shout at BP for trying to buy their country off. The BP boss should get up and walk out and tell the US politicians where to go. They are grandstanding and doing absoloutly nothing to resolve the issue.

    Typical americans, trying to place blame before the issue is even sorted.

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  • 11. At 7:50pm on 17 Jun 2010, guy evans wrote:

    UNBELIEVABLE!!!

    Mr Hayward is doing more harm to the reputation of BP/UK than anyone since the Redcoats sojourn in Lexington in 1775.

    Yes BP isn't a UK only company but Mr Haywards performance is truly woeful. He exhibits all that the US hates about British "reserve", "understatement" and "arrogance". He is behaving like a pinhead-dancing lawyer of the worst kind. Maybe in the short term he is covering his derriere legally so as to avoid huge payouts but in the long run he is doing terrible damage to British business. He would do far better to offer a mea culpa and apologize profusely and offer his own sorry head on a silver platter to the US people. He is totally out of his depth (no pun intended) and seems, like his failed well-head, crumbling under pressure and showing he isn't fit for purpose.

    Can't believe he hasn't been briefed on all aspects of the disaster but he continues to make the Manuel defence, "I know nothing". What the heck DOES he know?? The size of his pay packet? Can't believe he's a CEO. He seems more like a middle manager in demeanor. See no evil, hear no evil...

    Jesu! He doesn't know how many deep wells BP drills. He's a total chump! he was not informed of progress of a very difficult drilling but WAS informed of it's success hitting oil. Why was that info so important? Maybe cos THAT info could help improve the share price?? I wouldn't give him a job in a Starbucks!

    Appalling. Like watching a slow execution.

    It's the Banking crisis problem al over a agin. Front line staff doing VERY dangerous things without top staff understanding or caring as long as the profits kept flowing.

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  • 12. At 7:50pm on 17 Jun 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    I'm sure Representative Barton is concerned a trend could develop of holding corporations responsible for the results of their actions that could adversely affect his client constituency. It also provides him with the opportunity to use the term "shakedown" as has so often been uttered by Republicans when the NAACP or Rainbow Coalition allowed for corporations to donate to black centric charities and education funds in lieu of litigation for racial disrimination. It's a two-fer.

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  • 13. At 8:03pm on 17 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    It's much more profitable to favor big business over government when the business is a partner of your biggest campaign contributor. Since 1989, Barton has received $145,000 from Anadarko Petroleum, a partner of BP in the current disaster.
    (ref: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/06/top-donor-to-barton-is-partner-of-bp-on.html)

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  • 14. At 8:15pm on 17 Jun 2010, Barbara wrote:

    Tony Hayward keeps dodging straight answers, hiding behind "after appropriate investigation". It's been 2 months! It sounds like they haven't even begun to investigate. This is amazing arrogance. No wonder President Obama took over the payment to the affected citizens. If they had to wait on BP, most would have to wait years for their turn in court.

    I hope all of those dissing Americans for their attitude against BP can now fully appreciate and understand the depth of those feelings. Mr. Hayward is deliberately evasive.

    MarK: I felt Congressman Barton regretted his 'apology' as soon as he said it. There are some lines you don't cross, and Mr. Barton crossed it like a drunken sailor.



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  • 15. At 8:16pm on 17 Jun 2010, vagueofgodalming wrote:

    Well, if Mr Barton is so distressed on BP's behalf, perhaps he can persuade the Texas legislature to raise some taxes to help BP out?

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  • 16. At 8:23pm on 17 Jun 2010, Pat Gunn wrote:

    @Wannabeyankee: You're right, although our educational system in the states is so ill-performing (decades of underfunding, siphoning of funds to private schools, homeschooling, and oddly powerful young-earth creationism are among the causes) that with rare exception, only the staff of an elected politician (at best) are well-educated and informed about the issues - people here prefer politicians who seem to be a lot like them, and so the majority of our politicians probably wouldn't make it into a good university in Europe were they to take entrance exams. At the presidential level, this isn't quite as strong - we seem to have about a 50-50 chance of getting someone suitable (BushSr and Clinton were successes, BushJr and Reagan missed the mark). Still, our democracy would work better if American society were better educated and not so anti-intellectual.

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  • 17. At 8:25pm on 17 Jun 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    Tony looks bored.

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  • 18. At 8:35pm on 17 Jun 2010, turningblueandgrey wrote:

    I have some empathy for Mr Hayward, who seems to be a technical person who commendably rose up through the ranks at BP. He rose right into the biggest frying pan of his career: not only the technical and logistical challenges of slowing and stopping the leak, recovering oil and cleaning up the gulf, but also the PR and public testimony aspects.

    The chairman who spoke about the 'small people' (I knew what he meant, in another instance it would be a bit of translation whimsy) made the necessary apology with the requisite gravity.

    Tony Hayward seemed so focussed that he overlooked the proper outward tone or gravity while working to solve the problem. He reminds me a little of college friends who went into 'oil patch' careers and I've tried to picture what they - or I - could say in his shoes. Separating response leadership from spokesperson duties may be overdue.

    I hope the posturing by Repubiclan Chairman Steele and Joe Barton opens eyes to the real priorities of the outspoken far right here, which are not the prevention of a repeat occurance, or the protection of our workers, or finding the security and growth that could come from new energy technologies and polices.

    BP is stepping up to the plate here, to their credit, but Obama made sure they didn't balk.

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  • 19. At 8:47pm on 17 Jun 2010, infrederick wrote:

    British readers should know that even before this latest disaster BP had already been found guilty of repeated environmental crimes for flagrantly disobeying US safety and environmental laws. Over the past decade BP has been found guilty of multiple counts of criminal activity; with more violations than the rest of the oil industry put together. The many violations led to a significant number of deaths, as well as significant environmental damage in locations all across the US. Due to the severity of these egregious violations BP was already being investigated by the US EPA to determine if it should be debarred from doing business in the US and whether the pattern of disregard for US legal mandates was so entrenched in the corporate culture that it should not simply be debarred from any new federal leases, but should forfeit all its existing Federal leases.

    As for BP’s continued existence in its current form, that seems doubtful.

    The fine for the oil spilled alone, if negligence is found to be causative in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, is $4,300 per barrel spilled. Given the volume of the blowout and how long it is likely to take to get a relief well completed the fine will be huge. At 60,000 barrels per day X $4,300 per barrel X 180 days, the fine alone is likely to exceed $46 Billion.

    The output from BP’s existing 22,000 oil wells in the US, leased from the Federal government, and the value of its current US lease holdings, might cover its potential liabilities to the US government. However, should BP be debarred for a long term pattern of criminal activity, then they would not even count as assets, since BP's federal leases would already be forfeit. BP is at risk of bankruptcy, with its assets put into trust to pay damages and fines. Its stock is a very risky investment now as its existence depends primarily on US government forbearance, due to reluctance to offend the British government. That forbearance has its limits and as the damage mounts those limits will be tested.

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  • 20. At 9:16pm on 17 Jun 2010, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    Have to say that if I was Hayward I would be out of there. I've never heard so many ridiculous questions. How the heck did this lot get elected?

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  • 21. At 9:25pm on 17 Jun 2010, dubious wrote:

    Mr. Mardell states that Mr. Hayward is "...routinely identified by the media here as the most hated man in America." I have personally not seen or read this. I certainly do not "hate" Mr. Hayward. I believe that many (though certainly not all) Americans understand that a CEO of a multinational corporation will not be personally involved in the decision making processes for one project.

    Having said this, it has been nearly 60 days. It is very hard to for Americans to believe that the engineers, managers, and operations professionals at BP have "no information" on what transpired. Mr. Hayward has honestly stated that he does not know. However, after 60 days, he SHOULD know.

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  • 22. At 9:26pm on 17 Jun 2010, vin wrote:

    Nothing more than a witchhunt.

    How can he have any answers until the investegations are complete?, as for the other oil company CEO`s well they would say that woulden`t they, there scoring points for there own companies at BP`s expense.
    If the polititions on the commitiee are typical of the quality in the US then no wonder theres oil on the beaches.

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  • 23. At 9:28pm on 17 Jun 2010, arclightt wrote:

    All: Don't forget that the purpose of a "hearing" is NOT to find out anything useful.

    The staffers of the Congressional folks involved in this "hearing" (and in EVERY OTHER HEARING THAT TAKES PLACE) have already asked thousands of collective questions, took copious notes, and have used that knowledge (and thousands of manhours of time) not really to inform their political masters, but instead to prepare the positions that their political masters should take at this blood-sport event in order to achieve the following:

    a. Look like they are achieving something.

    b. Satisfy THEIR masters (i.e. those who contribute to their campaigns) and those "political bases" that are so terribly important

    c. By doing (a) and (b) obtain re-election (they hope)

    Mr. Hayward probably already understood this at an intellectual level before he went into the "hearing" room (he sure should have); however, now he and his staff thoroughly understand it on an emotional level as well.

    This "hearing" was an absolutely monumental waste of the taxpayer's money, as they all are. If there's anyone in the UK or elsewhere that really doesn't understand this, I'm sorry, but that's really the way it is.

    Side note: I believe there's a high probability, near 100%, that after it's all over at least someone, somewhere, will probably say to Hayward or one of his staffers, "Sorry, but it's only politics". Kinda like a rapist asking after the fact if it was "good", or the you-know-what kind of person who said "I was just following orders"...

    Did it help turn off the well? Nope. Did it help clean up a drop of oil? Nope. Did it help solve any of the economic or other problems brought on by this disaster? Nope.

    But this hearing was "...only politics"...so that's supposed to make it OK.

    Arclight

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  • 24. At 9:46pm on 17 Jun 2010, astoundingBigJohn wrote:

    Mark and all---What has happened, is indeed a global tragedy. The devastation to the U.S. Economy and wildlife and the beauty of the gulf is stupefying. BP has agreed to set a huge sum to effect clean up. And, of course, it's appropriate that there is an investigation to see if there was negligence. However, what we see on TV with the grilling of BP's CEO, is 'US Politics as usual.' The politicians are more concerned with pleasing their individual constituencies than actually working constructively with BP to effect the clean up. As a U.S. Citizen, once again, I am ashamed by our playing Politics instead of working together to solve our problems.

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  • 25. At 9:47pm on 17 Jun 2010, rodidog wrote:

    Mark, Tony Hayward is participating in, what some call, a perjury trap. Anything he say's can, and will, be used against him.

    As for the shake down, I am surprised BP agreed to an open ended fund administered by a supposed third party. IMO, they should have said no thank you, and simply pay-up as claims came in. That is how it's usually done. But, BP agreed so...what can you say?

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  • 26. At 9:52pm on 17 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    I have read that the UK House of Commons (or its committees) does not hold hearings -- that similar hearings in ther UK are always conducted by special commissions. Can anyone tell me whether that is correct?

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  • 27. At 9:56pm on 17 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    arclightt (#23): "Did it help turn off the well? Nope. Did it help clean up a drop of oil? Nope. Did it help solve any of the economic or other problems brought on by this disaster? Nope."

    Did it help inform the Congress for the purpose of writing legislation (the ostensible purpose of Congressional hearings)?

    Did it help inform the public?

    I think such hearings do help the public become better informed (a good thing), despite the tendency of members of Congress to play to the galleries.

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  • 28. At 10:01pm on 17 Jun 2010, Gyro-11 wrote:

    Maybe it's time for BP to hire the services of one Gorgeous George Galloway. I'm sure he'd do the business for the right fee.

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  • 29. At 10:17pm on 17 Jun 2010, blueterrapin71 wrote:

    @laughingdevil

    As an American, I must admit that I agree with your comments 100%.

    While watching the hearing, "grandstanding" was the first thought that came to mind, with absolutely nothing being done to actually fix the problem (which at this point is FAR more crucial than playing politics). If Congress truly wants to find a place to lay blame, all they need do is take a long hard look in the mirror. I would suggest that our government is even more to fault for this catastrophe; after all, who allows these mega-corporations to operate with reckless abandon and lax oversight and regulation so long as the money keeps rolling in? While we as citizens, who use four times the amount of energy resources than anyone else on the planet, also share in this blame, would not a responsible government enact and enforce laws and regulations that forced us to change our gluttonous ways? The problem is, that's not so profitable. Does anyone honestly believe that the U.S. government gives a fig about the safety and well-being of its average constituents (or anyone else, for that matter)? Just look at our recent health care "reform" debacle (or any other government response to the woes of the little people) if you don't know the answer to that one. No, here in the "greatest nation on earth" the only things that matter are money and power.

    The whole thing makes me sick. An entire portion of our planet is possibly on its way to becoming a dead zone, and this farce of a hearing does nothing to mend that.

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  • 30. At 10:19pm on 17 Jun 2010, Valleywonder wrote:

    Saw the news and that ridiculous kangaroo court hearing. The utter hypoicrisy of America and its weak politicians has just left me dumbfounded. An accident of this nature was inevitable and its just aswell it was a responsible company like BP and not some fly by night texan cowboy or heaven forbid PetroChina or Gazprom.

    Just a load of scapegoating Bull coming out of the mouth of that bloke Waxman and others and the US government seems to be utterly clueless and helpless to do anything to actually stop the leak. The completely unjust and unfair criticism of BP that is doing the best it can in the circumstances by these wet blanket useless and totally inept chumps of politicians who want to deflect criticism away from themselves is sickening...

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  • 31. At 10:19pm on 17 Jun 2010, soso wrote:

    As I watch the congressional hearing I sense a question hovering over entire room. Should we have offshore drilling or the ultimate question can we as Americans accept alternative energy. For those that believe that this is Anti-British Rhetoric, Its more of a struggle with ourselves. It inter-fighting in our country. That BP and its negligence find itself at the center.

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  • 32. At 10:25pm on 17 Jun 2010, JMM_for_now wrote:

    20. At 9:16pm on 17 Jun 2010, Wee-Scamp wrote:
    “…I've never heard so many ridiculous questions. How the heck did this lot get elected?”

    22. At 9:26pm on 17 Jun 2010, vindict wrote:
    Nothing more than a witchhunt.
    “…If the polititions on the commitiee are typical of the quality in the US then no wonder theres oil on the beaches.”
    Perhaps now you will understand many Americans’ distrust of government. You may also understand how a fairly liberal person like myself can agree on some things [like the need to clean out the governments here] with the archconservatives like MAII, Magic and Powermeerkat who post here.
    We would probably not agree on the replacements, as I think stronger regulation of big companies [especially insurance, oil, pharma and banks] and a first rate, first world health care system are essential. And anyone who chants “drill, baby, drill” should have a free psychiatric work-up.

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  • 33. At 10:26pm on 17 Jun 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:

    "The exchange is a timely reminder that for many American politicians big business is always preferable to big government."
    ---------------
    Speaking of big government -- does anyone know when were going to get to watch our congressmen grill the top five or six people (now and recently resigned) that ran oversight at the Minerals Management Service for the past two years? It seems to me that they deserve an audition for First Villain too.
    ---------------
    Mr. Hayward DID NOT pass muster as First Villain today, in my opinion. He didn't cackle or even give us a good Bush-inspired smirk -- and where was his black cloak? If you're going to audition for a role as lead evil-doer in front of the media, you think you'd at least costume up a little.
    ---------------
    It's looks to me like you need BOTH big business AND big government to generate a really big mess. That's why the villain is often called "Mr. Big" in the script.

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  • 34. At 10:27pm on 17 Jun 2010, Scarf66 wrote:

    Shame on you BBC. I've just watched the live coverage of Hayward's testimony and then the 10 o'clock news. The committee is no more than a kangaroo court which would not be out of place in Saddam's Iraq the intention is quite obviously to grandstand in front of the american public. Using the word "enquiry" is perverse as "blamery" would be more appropriate.

    The fact that you can't or choose not to see this beggars belief.

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  • 35. At 10:28pm on 17 Jun 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Hayward didn't seem to have much to say except: the investigation is still going on; it's too early to tell. He wasn't part of the decision making process. It was frustrating to listen to these answers over and over and over and over and...
    I was waiting for someone to ask Mr., Hayward about a topic he would surely know, like "Mr. Hayward, sir, how come you sold off a huge lot of your BP holdings less than a month before ther BP explosion?"

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  • 36. At 10:37pm on 17 Jun 2010, alb1on wrote:

    The rather pathetic performance of Wacko Waxman would carry more credibility if he did not have a record of bouncing cheques (over 400 in the US 'Rubbergate' scandal in the 90s) and conspiring (as Chair of the Oversight Committee) to avoid public hearings over the biggest recent political scandal in the US, that involving Sibel Edmonds dismissal from the FBI for whistleblowing. It is clear he was only interested in cheap political theatre and had no interest in either the truth or waiting for expert findings as opposed to the smears and leaks of interested parties. When is Cameron going to make it clear to the US that the price of their behaviour is the withdrawal of UK support for their pet adventures.

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  • 37. At 10:40pm on 17 Jun 2010, Gordon12 wrote:

    It seems to me that Mark Mardell has consistently been on the anti-BP side. His report from earlier this week down in the Gulf showed an oil covered pelican without pointing out that the number of birds so injured is miniscule - only one pelican as far as I know. The oil contaminated beach he went to look fairly clean. He failed to point out that BP in terms of compensation has gone far beyod what was required by law. Now this evening he must have been watching a totally different broadcast. To me, Tony Hayward had to put up with a lot of self-important oinks, many of whom couldn't wait for the answers to their questions. How on earth can they think Hayward will have all the answers only 50 days or so after the accident? It's taken 40 years to get the truth about Bloody Sunday for goodness sake.
    As far as I'm concerned, Hayward did as godo a job as anyone could when faced with a witch trial. On the other hand, Mark Mardell has gone down in my estimation.

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  • 38. At 10:40pm on 17 Jun 2010, Zakmann wrote:

    A sickening show of how the US political system works.

    The whole thing was a wast of time and money. Nothing has been achieved except for a lot of political point scoring by some rather dull US politicians. The whole process has done nothing to advance the capping of the well.

    The US should be examining their own regulatory system of off shore drilling - their regulation for drilling looks about as effective as their financial regulation of Wall St. This whole thing occurred because of a lack of regulation and oversight by the US government. Tight control and oversight by the US government and none of this would have occurred.

    As Usual the US is blame shifting.

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  • 39. At 10:42pm on 17 Jun 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    While I don't really have sympathy for a company that may have been greedy, or foolish. I do believe there should to be an investigation, and due process of law. I think it appalling that Islamic terrorists, and their front organizations are given rights and due process, yet BP gets less or none? That is twisted.
    So who watches this $$$$money$$$$$ that has been arbitrarily given or taken? I heard Obama controls $100 million exclusively, the other $20 billions who gets this? Cronies, cohorts, politically connected ACORNians, who, or real people, now a new Czar for this! How many Czars do we currently now have appointed by Obama with out any scrurtiny by other checks and balances within our government? As the average people are screwed for these idiots now in charge, or should I say pretending to be in charge, while filling their pockets, and the hacks that support them.
    Well looks like the borders have collapsed, now Mexican drugies, and cartels have taken control of portions of American lands. Perhaps Kosovo is just a prelude to what is happening across Europe and America. With the current group in charge don't expect and good to come. Congrats to the Brits! At least you didn't buy into the Euro monetary scam. Even if getting caught in some others, like Obama the messsiah, rock star.

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  • 40. At 10:46pm on 17 Jun 2010, soso wrote:

    Learned something from the hearing today. Tony Hayward as CEO knows absolutely noting. This guy gets paid to know noting. He relies on the bureaucratic nature of company organization. " I don't know its the judicial committee decision." C'mon your CEO who needs to speak for the company. Convince the American People. It's not what you know but what you can prove.

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  • 41. At 10:46pm on 17 Jun 2010, Theslamlesswonder wrote:

    Hayward was declining to speculate as to exact cause of the accident. That has got to be right, because it could mislead safety changes to all deepsea drilling. He was not saying that BP won't identify the cause as soon as they can. Doubtless a bad decision got made. And they've already said they'll pay for it. But there's far more risk in fingering the wrong cause to satisfy Congress than in waiting to find out the right thing to fix.

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  • 42. At 10:56pm on 17 Jun 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    "Having said this, it has been nearly 60 days. It is very hard to for Americans to believe that the engineers, managers, and operations professionals at BP have "no information" on what transpired. Mr. Hayward has honestly stated that he does not know. However, after 60 days, he SHOULD know." dubious
    So what is Obama's excuse after all this time in office, more of the same Chicago crap. No leadership, just posturing, and bullcrap.

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  • 43. At 10:59pm on 17 Jun 2010, Eyegore wrote:

    It's official, the US government can make even Tony Hayward look good by comparison.

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  • 44. At 11:07pm on 17 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #11 trikidiki
    "It's the Banking crisis problem al over a agin. Front line staff doing VERY dangerous things without top staff understanding or caring as long as the profits kept flowing."

    Surely thats the point to his answers. BP know there is no point in answering questions before congress until the facts are known, which will probably not happen until the leak is stopped.
    Hayward knows his company are partly, or indeed completely responsible and he isn't going to come up with any kind of mea culpa until everyone reconvenes after the facts are established. He recognises that today is all about politicians looking concerned and coming down hard on big business. Consequently he doesn't want to know the facts yet so he can stonewall without lying.
    Seems to me he got out with a score draw by looking out of his depth and allowing the politicians to hang themselves on their own vitriol. It doesn't change the fact that he may well be in for it in the long run.
    Finally, any suggestion that BP is being slow at shutting the leak is nonsense. If this was the case, the government would have stepped in and brought in another top level oil company to do the job. Also BP's final bill would be even higher. The fact is no-one knows how to stop it. BP stands accused of greed, not ineptitude.

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  • 45. At 11:09pm on 17 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    Hayward is clearly clueless, one congressman asked him if it was Thursday and at the end of his 5 minutes of questioning said, “Well, he said it was Thursday at least. Pretty much sums that debacle up.


    Also, clearly, Transocean and Halliburton are in the clear. I also expect the other 2 silent owner partners will not be liable beyond the loss of their investment in the well.
    Good luck BP, you are gonna need it.

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  • 46. At 11:13pm on 17 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    <RICHPOST>Gordon12 (#37): "<i>... the number of birds so injured is miniscule - only one pelican as far as I know.</i>"<BR /><BR />Where have you been?!!<BR /><BR /><a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=delisted-and-in-danger-gulf-oil-spi-2010-06-08">[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]</RICHPOST>

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  • 47. At 11:16pm on 17 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Zackmann (#38): "The US should be examining their own regulatory system of off shore drilling ..."

    In fact, the Minerals and Management Service, which regulates offshore drilling, is being overhauled. That there are public Congressional hearings does not mean that nothing else is happening.

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  • 48. At 11:17pm on 17 Jun 2010, pegw wrote:

    Our Congress can be quite disrespectful in trying to get answers. I watched most of this & I could not understand why they do not understand that he wants to wait for the results of the test. It is simply if you blurt out what might have happened that would be the one thing repeated over & over again, regardless if it turns out to be right or wrong. I admire how he held his composure with a bunch of angry talking people. I do not like these people in questioning anyone. The majority of them do not really care & that is basically why I hate these hearings. These that think they know more then anyone, most of them have never even run a business & have no experience in business just like Obama has no experience in running a business or doing anything but being a community organizer.

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  • 49. At 11:22pm on 17 Jun 2010, soso wrote:

    Can someone please explain to me how you can't score political points and do your job as congressman of a committee at the same time? Do you feel so bad you have to defend big businesses at the expense of the environment and economy down in the Gulf.

    Why are Americans contradictions? It not a blame game instead its about accountability. If it were An American company we would have put them in the hot seat as well. Fortunately we haven't had oil spill disaster like this recently to prove that we don't play favors.

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  • 50. At 11:25pm on 17 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:

    Aside from the actual explosion and venting of the well, what I find amazing is the inept public response of BP. I know nothing about their technical expertise, but the way they have handled the media exposure is appalling. If you can't be inherently honest and caring, you should at least be experienced in giving that appearance. This isn't the first industrial accident ever to happen and there are consultants who teach companies how to deal with these things. The first thing is to be honest and transparent and not give the appearance of hiding anything. It's pretty predictable that a company involved in offshore oil drilling is going to have spills and accidents. Doesn't their management get training in how to publicly respond to such situations? Don't they get media training? From the company's point of view, the appearance they present means a lot about how they are perceived by the public and the government and investors.

    Tony Hayward's comment about getting his life back after 11 people died was appalling. If he didn't bite his tongue off after saying that, someone should have done it for him. He also should have been thoroughly briefed about what questions were likely to be asked at the hearing today, had the answers at his fingertips, and coached on what would be the best way to respond. I mean, the questions were pretty predictable. Surely the CEO of a major multinational corporation has staff resources at least as good as the average congressman. Saying that the investigation was ongoing may be correct, but it sounds evasive. He should have very forcefully added that he would get to the bottom of it, he would be happy to come before the committee again once the story was clear and there would be consequences within the company for anyone who violated safety rules. Yes, the congressmen were all grandstanding, but they were on TV and so was he. He should have had a mock hearing ahead of time with staff playing the parts of the politicians to prepare him. The stakes for the company were enormous.

    Carl-Henric Svanberg made an apology that sounded like it came from the heart, but he should have run the wording past someone familiar with the nuances of American vernacular English.

    This all should be considered part of their job skills. There's more to running a major corporation than looking at spreadsheets and holding meetings.

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  • 51. At 11:35pm on 17 Jun 2010, elcej wrote:

    The US Congressional panel should be ashamed of themselves. It is clear there are elections later this year and the panel are using this purely to get 'airtime' in the press for their own political benefit.

    Surely the sensible way to proceed would be to arrive with an open mind. Hear the evidence and then sum up with a conclusion.

    However, these egotistical politicians start with 90 minutes of their conclusion before asking a SINGLE question from Mr Haywood.

    It's purely a witch hunt.
    It's pathetic.

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  • 52. At 11:37pm on 17 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    24. At 9:46pm on 17 Jun 2010, astoundingBigJohn wrote:
    BP has agreed to set a huge sum to effect clean up. And


    No, the $20bn is just a deposit for the consequential damages, implemented because no one trusts BP at all anymore. It does not include funds for fines, capping the well, cleanup (huge and no even knows what it will cost), $100M loss for oil workers for 6 month, legal costs, environmental studies (Exxon spent $1bn in that) and anyone who wants to sue BP civilly.

    It’s clear BP were 100% at fault, any anyone that doesn’t think the outcome of these inquires won’t find that this catastrophe was caused by gross negligence, should purchase some BP shares tomorrow. Personally, I think you have better odds putting your money the 00 square at a roulette table.

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  • 53. At 11:37pm on 17 Jun 2010, matt wrote:

    I totally believe that this 'witch hunt' wouldn't be happening if it were a massive US company. But it isn't, so the US gets to bash the hell out of BP and blame everyone but itself for being so dependant on cheap oil that it allowed drilling wells at dangerous depths, without the technology to recover from such a disaster happening.

    I bet they back right off, once the virtually limitless liabilities they are trying to place on BP, reach such levels that they get taken over by a US company for a few dollars. That way UK pension funds get to pay for cheap oil in the US and allow the US to continue foolishly to use cars with excessive MPG.

    Heaven forbid some of the tax revenue from oil wells covers the cost. (if there actually is any.)

    Lets face it. It is a slush fund, there will be claim after claim on a fraudulent basis. Forcing BP to borrow money to cover the costs when it makes enough to cover it over the duration sounds like a stitch up to me! That 'golden parachute' won't be blowing to England much longer.

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  • 54. At 11:46pm on 17 Jun 2010, Cardean wrote:

    Watching Tony Hayward was excrutiating. The worst example of a CEO who rose too fast without the necessary gravitas or experience. He was out of his depth at almost any level, and didn't even have a personality to draw on. He looks a nonentity, has a weak speaking voice,and an almost zombie-like response level. In other words, a personality by-pass. By contrast,his inquisitors looked more impressive - which they shouldn't. He was being baited, and at times should have fought back against the constant interruptions and barracking, but didn't. What I am unclear about is what exactly is the purpose of these hearings when a) the crisis is still unfolding, and b) the final financial outcome unknown?
    Surely, best to end the problem in the Gulf, collate the evidence, and the have a Court of Inquiry with judicial powers. As we are, an utterly futile exercise which polarises attitudes, and achieves nowt.

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  • 55. At 11:54pm on 17 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    37. At 10:40pm on 17 Jun 2010, Gordon12 wrote:
    showed an oil covered pelican without pointing out that the number of birds so injured is miniscule - only one pelican as far as I know.


    Do you honestly think this disaster has only killed one pelican?

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  • 56. At 11:56pm on 17 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "This is going very badly for Mr Hayward and for BP."

    It hasn't even begun yet. His nightmare is at its beginning.

    "While it is obvious Mr Hayward will continue to get a rough ride there are interesting tensions in the committee, along political lines."

    Texas oilmen will be brushed aside when they read the polls. The popular sentiment is that if anything, the Obama administration has been slow to react and not nearly aggressive enough with BP. Mr. Heyward is likely to be thrown from the bronco, land hard on the hard ground, and then get trampled by it over and over again.

    The rage will build to a crecendo until August when the relief well is supposed to fix the problem. If it doesn't work, the rage will skyrocket from there like a moon shot. The reaction will be sustained and deafening. This will be an American Chernobyl, the gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving forever.

    "The exchange is a timely reminder that for many American politicians big business is always preferable to big government."

    Not always it isn't. If I were Mr. Heyward or a BP shareholder I wouldn't count on it.

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  • 57. At 11:58pm on 17 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    38. At 10:40pm on 17 Jun 2010, Zakmann wrote:
    The US should be examining their own regulatory system of off shore drilling


    One of Hayward’s answers to a question indicated that he thought the US regulations were more stringent than other areas like the North Sea. Did you actually watch the hearing, or just the snippets provided by your biased media?

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  • 58. At 00:06am on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    50. At 11:25pm on 17 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:
    He also should have been thoroughly briefed about what questions were likely to be asked at the hearing today, had the answers at his fingertips, and coached on what would be the best way to respond. I mean, the questions were pretty predictable.


    More than predictable. The committee send him the list of questions days before the hearing.

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  • 59. At 00:11am on 18 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Living in Markey's district, I can tell you he does not care about the veryday people.

    The evidence so far shows irresponsibility(possibly criminal) by BP.

    That does not exuse the behavior and political posturing of Markey, Waxman and Barack Obama.

    They seem more concern about scoring political points than solving the problem

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  • 60. At 00:15am on 18 Jun 2010, Barbara wrote:

    Between 'AmericanGrizzly's' dog-whistle conspiracy building against the President, other pseudo Americans fawning over the guilty as charged BP exec, mixed with the usual 'he's English, leave him alone crowd', I cannot fathom what this website stands for. You are government sponsored, paid with British taxes, yes, I understand that. But what is creepingly obvious is that only certain strains of thought are allowed here. Anti-American culture, anti-American policies, in fact, anti-American anything is the cat's meow here. While the Truth about BP and its disastrous actions gets no play at all.

    The BBC has yet to fully list the egregious errors by BP that led to this catastrophe. What gives? George Orwell's "1984" is alive and well at the BBC. Tragically fitting.

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  • 61. At 00:22am on 18 Jun 2010, diverticulosis wrote:

    53. At 11:37pm on 17 Jun 2010, matt wrote:

    "I totally believe that this 'witch hunt' wouldn't be happening if it were a massive US company"

    This congressional "inquiry", is probably the 1st one reported and covered live in the UK. If anybody believes it was done purposely to humiliate the British, BP or because it was a "foreign" firm, they are either misinformed or xenophobic.

    This is done periodically. It was done to the Financial Community after the 2008 debacle, it was done to the auto industry, it was done to the tobacco industry.

    I bet there wasn't a new story on how congress dragged the CEO's of Ford, Chrysler and GM over the coals for flying down in private jets to their congressional hearings. FWIW, the CEO's of the big 3 got it, and for their subsequent grilling they all drove done in Hybrids from their respected companies.

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  • 62. At 00:25am on 18 Jun 2010, 1963Tiger wrote:

    Is anyone bored of this yet? Congress has to have its 5 minutes or else people would say they weren't doing anything but it they really knew anything or could do anything they would have stepped on and done something. Truth is, whatever BP did or did not do, nobody else has the know how to fix this mess.

    The underlying truth is that we drive big fat SUV's which do less than 10 mpg and we're proud of it. We need our own oil and everyone else's as we are greedy and stupid. We feel that the US has a God given right to all the other peoples natural resources and if we don't get what we want we invade.

    The deep oil in the Gulf will be drilled one way or another as we have no option in the long run until the oil runs dry and we look for alternatives

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  • 63. At 00:28am on 18 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Matt;

    "I totally believe that this 'witch hunt' wouldn't be happening if it were a massive US company."

    It wouldn't have happened if it were a US company. They know what the consequences would be by now. They've seen what can happen for themselves by watching it happen to others. BP didn't watch, didn't listen, didn't learn. Now we will do it the hard way. BP will get the lesson and thrashing of its life, one it very richly deserves.

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  • 64. At 00:32am on 18 Jun 2010, AqualungCumbria wrote:

    Perhaps one of the things that prevent Mr Hayward from " knowing" rather than educated guessing what went wrong is that at some point deepwater horizon will have to be inspected.....now i am going to assume it sank quite close to the site so an inspection at 5000 ft isnt going to be easy, if at all possible and even then might not yield any answers, the equipment needed for this is being put to use on the well i would suspect.

    One thing that is not being made plain is that this is not the first incident of this type this year , the self same Transocean /Cameron blow out preventer combination failed off india, but with different outcome, and as far as i can tell BP were not involved in that.So perhaps Hayward/BP are doing US firms a good turn by being made out as No1 hate figure...

    When it all settles i am sure that there will never be the same reliance on blow out preventers that we have seen up to now ( quite how a device can be allowed as last line of defence that can be rendered unable to operate in certain circumstances is one for the legislators to answer)and that in the long term all oil companies will have to come up with a different method, this of course will increase the cost to the consumer.

    In the mean time i have not heard from anyone saying that what BP are doing at present is the wrong method to attack this problem, they appear to be doing everything they can, its just that everything unfortunately takes time to be manufactured they are working at the extremes of knowledge and having to write the book as they go, i hope that some of the temporary stuff works even better than they are doing at the moment, but i fear that it will only be the drilling operations that will stop this so we have some time to go before that will happen...





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  • 65. At 00:39am on 18 Jun 2010, diverticulosis wrote:

    54. At 11:46pm on 17 Jun 2010, Cardean wrote:

    "What I am unclear about is what exactly is the purpose of these hearings when a) the crisis is still unfolding, and b) the final financial outcome unknown?"

    The stated purpose is to investigate the cause of the accident and it's aftermath so that legislation can be written such that the incident will never happen again or at least be minimized.

    The actual purpose, is theater and pandering. If the camera's weren't there I'm sure the proceedings would have been a different affair.

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  • 66. At 00:43am on 18 Jun 2010, yllib wrote:

    It all smacks of McCarthyism, and the Salem witch trials...!

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  • 67. At 00:51am on 18 Jun 2010, Jim1648 wrote:

    BP just happens to be caught in a long-overdue assessment of the role of government in the U.S. That they are arguable a British company (though half the stockholders are American) just makes them the more perfect foil. And I think their safety record has been less than exemplary, as compared to the other companies. But the real issue is how far has the U.S. government backed off from its role as regulator of business, and the economy in general? I am sure that Goldman Sachs, among others, is eagerly awaiting the answer.

    Granted, the U.S. news media is overdoing the Brit part, but they do that for everything else, so you can't expect a break there. Welcome to America.

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  • 68. At 00:53am on 18 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    5. AJoss:

    "US senators are experts at seeming like God Almighty when they are often completely wrong, but it takes an expert performance to put them in their place. "

    ******************
    US Senators are right where they like to be -- asking the questions. (Visualize their mad dash for those chairs at the front of the room.) It's the the safest place for them to be.

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  • 69. At 00:55am on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    56. At 11:56pm on 17 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    If I were Mr. Heyward..


    I would leave the USA and never come back. EVER....

    He lives in Sevenoaks (actually 6 oaks, they lost one in the 80s). It’s not a bad little English town for him to sink into oblivion



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  • 70. At 01:08am on 18 Jun 2010, AgeTheGod wrote:

    Here's a question that's been bugging me since I've been reading about these US Congressional hearings but does congress actually have any power to force any BP PLC executive to actually attend or was Tony Hayward's appearance merely a courtesy?

    Reason I ask that is because, as I understand it, BP PLC has a separate subsidiary, BP America INC, that manages its US operations (which includes the MC252 well) and it's only the subsidiary that's actually subject to US regulation so the bet they can do is force Doug Suttles (BP America Inc CEO and US citizen) to give evidence.

    I'm also wondering about the extent to which BP PLC can actually be made to pay for the damages - the US Government can penalise BP America Inc., as the operator of the MC252 well, to the point of bankruptcy but

    I've worked in the UK for quite a few multi-nationals over the years and they all seem to have the same set-up in that the UK subsidiary is a "Limited Liability Company" (LTD or LLC or LLP) so that any legal liability is localised to just the subsidiary and not the parent company - I even worked for a UK LTD that was owned by a UK PLC so it's not just "foreign" companies that can set-up that way over here.

    If a US INC company is anything like a UK LTD then the maximum liability of the shareholder is the loss of the capital investment in the company and beyond that the shareholders cannot be touched. In this case the shareholder is BP PLC having their liability capped.

    Or at least that's the way it would be in the UK but I'm getting very confused trying to figure out BP PLC's long-game over all this so wondered if anyone could enlighten me about how the equivalent corporate "limited liability" mechanisms work in the US.

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  • 71. At 01:13am on 18 Jun 2010, USABrit wrote:

    I write this from the US. (In the interest of full disclosure: I am a citizen of both the US and the UK, and my heart is in both places.) The US federal government can point all the fingers it wants to at BP, but the fact remains that it is equally complicit, and has again dropped the ball--high-handed finger-pointing, scoldings, and "ass-kickings" aside. The Exxon Valdes disaster should have prompted the EPA and Dept of the Interior and all affiliated agencies (including FEMA) to come up with a viable set of requirements and guidelines for all oil companies engaged in offshore drilling--or for that matter, drilling anywhere else--and seen to it that they were ENFORCED. But as in the recent mining disaster, the government guardians were asleep at the wheel--or at Starbucks, getting coffee--or going to the gym, or surfing the web, or daydreaming, or doing any of the myriad other things that federal employees do while they are on the taxpayers' nickel. The Executive Office of the President can do all the "spinning" it likes: the fact remains that the Government hasn't performed its oversight responsibilities any better than BP (or Halliburton--where have we heard *that* name before?--or TransOcean) performed their fiduciary ones--and again, it is the American people who will be left to pay the consequences. Stop saying, "But Ma! HE did it"--all of you--man up to your part in this horrible, horrible mess--and focus your attention on what needs to be done, when and how, to clean up the consequences of your collective irresponsibility! BP should pay for its negligence, without question--but so should the heads and key players of every one of the US federal agencies who violated the public trust. Mr. President, spare us the exculpatory rhetoric and recriminations. Clean your own house--right along with BP's, AND Halliburton's, AND TransOcean's--clocks.

    A reporter asked a BP official the other day why they didn't have more state-of-the-art disaster mitigation equipment? The fact is that no corporation in its right mind, anywhere, is going to pour billions into what seems a very unlikely "what if." If the regulators had been doing their jobs instead of looking the other way, playing solitaire, or surfing porn, they'd have read the preliminary submittals-for-approval of the risk assessments and the risk management/mitigation plans that I can guarantee you were in BP's and Exxon's and Conoco's contracts, and would therefore have known about the walruses and polar bears and whatever else the oil contractors had just cut and pasted from other contracts themselves! They had a contractual and a fiduciary obligation to identify those problems before the documents were accepted--and have them corrected--but because Uncle would rather pay for ten goldbricks than one competent employee, especially in Washington, DC, nobody reads anything anymore--or they nitpick it to death to impress some SES-er, to the point that the contractor bleeds money, and has to cut costs somewhere else. Look: that's human nature, too. The government makes such a complicated mess of compliance in the first place that most contractors are reluctant to "reinvent the wheel": if something "flew" (got approved) the first time, you don't mess with success--give them the same thing the next time they ask for it, and chances are, they'll rubber-stamp it, rather than go over it with a fine-tooth comb as they're duty-bound to do. Is that an awful practice? Yes. Does it save time--and therefore money? Yes. Are they likely to get caught doing it?

    I'll let the facts speak for themselves, on that one.

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  • 72. At 01:30am on 18 Jun 2010, AgeTheGod wrote:

    26. At 9:52pm on 17 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    "I have read that the UK House of Commons (or its committees) does not hold hearings -- that similar hearings in ther UK are always conducted by special commissions. Can anyone tell me whether that is correct?"

    It's essentially correct - the parliamentary committees can carry out internal investigations at the request of the government e.g. if a politician is accused of misleading parliament on some issue (a much bigger offence to them than misleading the voting public).

    Public inquiries are always handed to someone regarded as independent with some terms of reference and it's up to them to run it as they see fit.

    Another big difference is that public inquiries can be closed i.e. the public don't get to watch and it's only the resulting report that's public.

    They also tend to be quite civilised most of the time but even the feisty ones are nothing like your congressional hearings.

    We also don't have a "5th Amendment" of course so the best we get is the infamous "I have no personal recollection of [whatever]" when someone is trying to dodge the issue.

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  • 73. At 01:56am on 18 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ATG, the United States government can crush and descimate anyone or anything it really wants to. If you don't believe it, just look at Cuba...and it isn't trying nearly as hard as it could. If it wants BP destroyed, it will be destroyed without doubt. I'd say BPs survival will be determined in August by the success or failure of the relief well.

    Funny how touchy Brits feel about Americans and the American press pointing the accusing finger at them whether it's true or not. They didn't have much of a problem with it when it was the other way around. Just imagine what it would be like if Americans really were anti-British. I'd bet Britain could be turned into Cuba II. But that won't happen. Nobody here really cares about Little England. At least not yet.

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  • 74. At 02:06am on 18 Jun 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    "Between 'AmericanGrizzly's' dog-whistle conspiracy building against the President, other pseudo Americans fawning over the guilty as charged BP exec, mixed with the usual 'he's English, leave him alone crowd', I cannot fathom what this website stands for." Barbara

    First off I do not exonerate the English, as there are those here I tee off, quite often, they have good people as well as bad. Its my opinion that both parties in the US are out of touch, my countrymen (which includes women) are quite angry. But party Hacks like you Barbara fail to come to grips with reality, that is currently affecting the whole world. My little corner is in the US, Obama sucks, read my bumpersticker. Just like the twits like you that bought the same bumperstick slogan that got him elected. Hope and change, you bought the lie. Change comes from the voters in this country and every other democracy. The US has some real slime in all its respected positions within the governmental power elite, no longer people who serve, but serve themselves and cronies.
    Stop kissing their backsides and start taking a stand, no matter where you live. Or continue to drink the Koolaid Barbara and be another hack sheep. Or maybe your one of those thrice hired Census takers, that tripled the new jobs, and wish to kiss the governmental foot.
    More losses in the private job sector, way to go elected officals now in office! More whistleblowers are needed in government, I congratulate those that do blow whistles in government! To to expose these dirtbags in office. We need good leaders not these bums.
    By the way I write to my congressmen, senators, and Obama to tell them when I disagree (quite often with these losers), it is in the Constitution to present grievances, a duty of a citizen, try reading it. Or continue way you are, follow the good party line and drone on an on, just like your Messiah, and other rockstars you elect. Inept, ineffective, and shows by the media like a movie. Pass the popcorn please!
    Lastly what does a poor lawyer do for a living, become a politician (elected offical), this way they can steal from everyone. Just some humor from a local spot.

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  • 75. At 02:21am on 18 Jun 2010, Jim1648 wrote:

    @ 70. AgeTheGod

    I will hazard a semi-educated guess (though it is not my area of law) that you are correct that only the U.S. subsidiary is legally bound to attend the hearings and address the liability. But you are looking at a regulated industry here, in the sense that it depends on the government for the oil leases in offshore waters, environmental permits, safety inspections, etc. You get the point. If the head guy from the U.K. doesn't show up, he probably needn't bother further about it at all.

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  • 76. At 02:23am on 18 Jun 2010, Trerro wrote:

    The hearing was, as others have already pointed out, a complete farce, and a useless waste of time. It accomplished nothing except making a few senators think they won votes.

    A quick Google search for "Congressional Approval Rating" gives you a pretty good idea of what our own populace thinks of them, collectively.
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/congressional_job_approval-903.html

    That being said, I'm not sure I understand the debate over whether it's BP, TransOcean, or the US government at fault, as the unstated implication is that these are mutually exclusive concepts. They're not. BP clearly choose to ignore established safety standards in the name of profits. The regulatory bodies that should have enforced those standards were at best, asleep at the wheel, at worst, bought by the oil companies. TransOcean was operating the well and almost certainly aware of the corners that had been cut... and aware the entire rig was a ticking timebomb waiting to explode at the slightest error.

    What we have here is a failure of the system across the board, and a further failure of everyone involved to do anything about it. BP is too busy playing the PR game to give us the actual numbers, and is clearly far more interested in their stock price than their cleanup effort, and even more importantly, their prevention effort to prevent a re-hash of this spill in a few months. Transocean is stepping into the shadows, letting BP take the hit and pretending they were completely oblivious to the problems with the rig. Congress is taking the opportunity to score easy political points instead of doing something to prevent this from happening again - and their lack of enforcement was a huge part of the reason this happened in the first place.

    Sure, I'm glad they're being forced to clean up their mess, but I have yet to hear a single proposal that actually prevents this from happening a few dozen more times - from ANY of the parties involved in this mess.

    A nation's democracy only works when its people actually participate, and unfortunately, that isn't happening here. I can't imagine a legislative body in a European nation consistently getting ratings in the 20s for years straight without a massive shift in the next election, very likely including the rise and fall of entire political parties - especially with this kind of response to a disaster of this magnitude. Yet here, we have 2 parties that the overwhelming majority of the populace agree utterly fail to represent the people, and apparently no one is willing to fix this in the election booth.

    So... to the people blaming the oil companies, and to the people blaming our government... you're both right. Let's just hope that the scale of this disaster was finally enough to shock everyone into fixing the system. Sadly, I doubt it was.

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  • 77. At 02:25am on 18 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    It was just about two years ago when then candidate Barack Obama visited Germany to throngs of cheering crowds and all over Europe people were lauding his praises. Here in America some felt the same way but many others weren't so sure about him and still have serious reservations about his qualifications to be President of the United States.

    So which is it, were the Europeans wrong two years ago or are they wrong now? However you look at it, they always manage to get it wrong. Maybe they were wrong then and are still wrong now. Anyway Bill O'Reilly seems to have warmed up to him. That's not a good sign, in fact that's down right ominous. And suddenly MSNBC doesn't. If Limbaugh starts liking him it may be time to move to the hills of Montana.

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  • 78. At 02:40am on 18 Jun 2010, Jim1648 wrote:

    @77 MarcusAureliusII

    The Republicans can try to get the voters to forget about "Drill Baby, Drill" all they want, but it won't work. If they don't mention it at their convention in Tampa (with an oil slick very probably on Tampa Bay), I am sure the Democrats will. I just hope the Republicans can find a candidate by then. I think that is considered a necessity for taking the White House.

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  • 79. At 02:45am on 18 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 58. TedInDenver:

    More than predictable. The committee send him the list of questions days before the hearing.

    All the more mystifying (or appalling). And if he doesn't feel any empathy, for the sake of his company he should at least act like he feels some empathy. I mean, he's from the country that produced the Royal Shakespeare Company. I thought Brits took in acting with their mothers' milk.

    Seriously, though, these things matter. A company that is perceived as being open and doing it's best to rectify its mistakes will be less likely to find itself experiencing the rough side of the law. A company that appears (in the person of its CEO) to be smug and condescending will find no friends when it needs them.

    There have been questions on this thread about the role of congressional hearings. As has been said, the formal role is to gather information prior to writing legislation or other congressional action (e.g. the Watergate hearings were held in anticipation of the impeachment of Richard Nixon). But there is an informal role as well. If there is sufficient sentiment for it by both political parties (as there is in this case) congressional hearings have the role of publicly embarrassing individuals or groups that seem not to be paying attention to public sentiment. That by itself can induce corrective action. If a congressman or a committee gets too full of their own importance, it can backfire too, as Joe McCarthy discovered.

    Congressional committees can issue subpoenas, even to non-US citizens if warranted. Whether non-citizens who are not physically in the US pay any attention to those subpoenas is another matter, I suppose. They certainly wouldn't have any legal force in Britain, for example. But anyone who intends to ever be in the US or do business in the US would be wise to at least respond. I haven't heard that Tony Hayward was subpoenaed; he was probably invited to testify. But to agree to testify (under oath) under these conditions and not turn in a stellar performance doesn't do his company any good and may in fact harm it. On an individual level, lying to Congress is a serious offense. If in spite of his sworn testimony it comes out that Hayward did in fact have knowledge of conditions on that oil rig prior to the accident, he could find himself in front of a real court.

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  • 80. At 03:14am on 18 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 79 timohio-

    "There have been questions on this thread about the role of congressional hearings."

    Thank you for explaining the purpose of a Congressional hearing. I think people are confusing it with a judicial hearing. They keep forgetting; or perhaps never learned, the separation of powers in the Federal Government.

    I agree that Heywood put in a less than stellar performance in front of the committee, and the cameras. Seems as if BP cut corners on training of all sorts.

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  • 81. At 03:19am on 18 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #78
    Jim1648 wrote:
    @77 MarcusAureliusII

    The Republicans can try to get the voters to forget about "Drill Baby, Drill" all they want, but it won't work. If they don't mention it at their convention in Tampa (with an oil slick very probably on Tampa Bay), I am sure the Democrats will. I just hope the Republicans can find a candidate by then. I think that is considered a necessity for taking the White House.

    _______________

    Many of us want to drill closer to shore and in Alaska where it is safer.

    Drill Baby Drill

    Just not by BP

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  • 82. At 03:21am on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    70. At 01:08am on 18 Jun 2010, AgeTheGod wrote:
    Here's a question that's been bugging me since I've been reading about these US Congressional hearings but does congress actually have any power to force any BP PLC executive to actually attend or was Tony Hayward's appearance merely a courtesy?


    It was by invitation, he had no legal obligation to attend. Other branches of the US government could bar BP from doing business in the US. Get it?

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  • 83. At 03:28am on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    78. At 02:40am on 18 Jun 2010, Jim1648 wrote:
    I just hope the Republicans can find a candidate by then. I think that is considered a necessity for taking the White House.


    Sharron Angle, should do it for you. Assuming that right wing nut job can even beat Harry.

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  • 84. At 03:33am on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    79. At 02:45am on 18 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:
    If in spite of his sworn testimony it comes out that Hayward did in fact have knowledge of conditions on that oil rig prior to the accident, he could find himself in front of a real court


    Or even if someone can prove he even new it was being drilled. In testimony he said he only knew about it when it hit pay dirt.


    He is either really clueless about minor details like how many deep water wells they drill a year, or lying. Either way, clueless and not worth his $6M salary.


    I bet he is no longer CEO before Christmas.


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  • 85. At 04:01am on 18 Jun 2010, clangbb wrote:

    I was surprised the hearing gave Hayward as much room for self publicity as they did. Why was he making that rambling apology in that affected, superior, hypnotically slow manner? They should have reminded him that he was there to answer questions and stick to the point.
    And please, Mark Mardell and everybody, I do not like that term "Brit". What does it mean? It's not as if it was an affectionate nickname given to us, it was devised by cheap newspapers over here to "market" us to ourselves. It's meaningless.

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  • 86. At 04:04am on 18 Jun 2010, GeneralVeers wrote:

    Although I feel that many of these "hearings" (if you even want to call them that) are completely and utterly useless, I wonder if the comments and reactions on this board would be the same of this were about ExxonMobil off the shores of the UK instead of BP in the Gulf of Mexico? Would the same comments about Americans attempting to place blame prematurely, or "are uneducated," etc. be put on the other foot when inquiries and hearings take place?

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  • 87. At 04:08am on 18 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 80 correction:

    Sorry. That was Hayward, not Heywood.

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  • 88. At 05:25am on 18 Jun 2010, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    Oh God Oh God Oh God, what is with all the presumptuous (and sometimes) vitriolic comments comparing our Congressional hearings to kangaroo courts etc?

    Ukwales at #4, Joss at #5, Wannabeyankee at #9, Laughing Devil at #10 and all others. These hearings are not intended as an investigation into what is going on; that has been going on for quite some time now, probably since the outset of the explosion and subsequent sinking of the rig. Congressmen have dug through thousands of E-mails and documents trying to gather as much information as they can on what the culprits in this disaster knew, what procedures they took and didn't take, what they told the rubber stamp of an MMS in order to get permission to drill, what laws they broke in the interests of saving time and money etc. This hearing was intended to discover what BP's Chief Executive Officer knew/knows about the decision making process/decisions that went into this colamity. It was intended to, to use an American phrase, get what the Congressmen already knew (well, the ones interested in protecting the interests of the American people, that is) streight from the hourses mouth - and perhaps, if he was willing, a bit more.

    I highly suspect that Tony Hayward probably does no more about the decisions that went into this colamity than Congress has already discovered from other officials etc, as well as doubt that he "wasn't there" when the decisions were made. How can you be the CEO of a company and have know idea what it does? You must not be a very good CEO, then.



    Just curious, how do other democracies' legislators investigate and inform their publics about disasters that occur? I thought hearings, of some sourt, were a democratic staple. They're not?

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  • 89. At 05:34am on 18 Jun 2010, jmklun wrote:

    As an American who is very fond of the UK, I have to say that the tone of the comments on this article, and many related articles leaves me very frustrated. Can the British posters here honestly say that if an American company did this:

    http://www.ifitwasmyhome.com/#loc=Westminster%2C%20London%2C%20UK&lat=51.5001524&lng=-0.1262362&x=-0.1262362&y=51.5001524&z=7

    that it's CEO would be greeted with a handshake and a warm smile at a hearing in Westminster?

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  • 90. At 06:56am on 18 Jun 2010, turgenev wrote:

    Everyone will have in mind the way Exxon wriggled out of the damage claims after the Valdez disaster:in comparison to the disaster Exxon's payout was enfeebled by legal stonewalling.
    The politicians,fronted by Obama,want to ensure that BP pay, but the case presented by the congressional hearing does little for that cause,full as it was of showboating politicians,reminiscent of the HUAC/McCarthy hearings of the early fifties.Hayward has the brass neck of anyone in his position and can duck the flack thrown at him by a bunch of politicians merely out to try and kick his perceived complacency - how many of these people stood up when the licences were handed out and the oil revenues and taxes rolled in ?
    This hearing is the uneatable in pursuit of the unspeakable and no-one is either asking or answering the real questions.What it all forgets is
    a) people died in this incident and nothing,no matter how politically grandiose or humbling to big business,will bring those lives back or give them respect and
    b) the oil is still gushing into the gulf of Mexico.

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  • 91. At 06:59am on 18 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    This sham sums up everything thats bad about how this disaster has been handled by the US government. Too much focus on revenge and reparations before the spill has even been stopped or the coast cleaned up. Theres plenty of time to send Hayward "back to England with his golden parachute" , "throw his ass in jail" and theres plenty of time to ruin BP if thats what you folks want. That farce of a hearing was a public hanging without trial , nothing more than pandering to the mob. I was waiting for the torches and pitchforks to be produced, like a Simpsons episode gone wrong.

    Several people have asked how the UK would handle a similar event. Not like this...not like this at all.

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  • 92. At 07:04am on 18 Jun 2010, Mike Poskitt wrote:

    Why is it just a BP problem?

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  • 93. At 07:06am on 18 Jun 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    At their best, congressional hearings are for the purpose of informing the court of public opinion. Legislators make their case in the hopes of advancing a cause, or defeating it. Today's hearing tried to inform the public of the inadequacies of BP's operation. Future hearings, which may have more division among congressmen, will address MMS oversight, EPA concerns, fuel efficiency standards, carbon caps, cost benefit analysis of wind turbines, etc. The congressmen are essentially lawyers presenting their case, the public is the jury, and the elections are the verdict. That's what it is- no more, no less.

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  • 94. At 07:18am on 18 Jun 2010, Mike wrote:

    The US hypocracy is staggering. India is still trying to clear up from Bhopal after 20 years. Union Carbide ran away from their responsibilities as fast as they possibly could. Perhaps Congress would like to set up a compensation fund for those victims as the payoff UC made was less than 10% of the estimated clear up.
    Policticians show boating - same the world over, sickening isn't it? You'd really think they'd actually care about sorting out the mess wouldn't you?
    BP's max liability is the size of their US subsidiary - about $50B. If they file bankruptcy for that subsidiary then that's the end of it. Reactive legislation doesn't work either - like it or not the US is part of the global ecomomy and they need foreign investment. Every foreign company is watching this as they all make risk decisions based on current legislation, if the US gov introduces backdated legisation to remove the liability cap, every foreign company with assetts in the US is going to start reducing their risk and moving assetts overseas. The damage that would make to the US economy will make the $20B fund look like a cab fare.
    There are no winners here - so just focus on getting it fixed first and as others have said, these hearings do nothing useful.

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  • 95. At 07:43am on 18 Jun 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    I hope every multinational is watching this- wherever their headquarters. When they act irresponsibly and enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of the world, oddly enough, I don't think they're doing anyone a favor.

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  • 96. At 07:55am on 18 Jun 2010, SANDY wrote:

    I WAS PROUD TO BE BRITISH YESTERDAY AND ALWAYS WILL BE. TONY HAYWARD'S PERFORMANCE WAS A TRIUMPH OF HIS INTELLECT OVER CONGRESSIONAL THUGGERY - INTELLIGENT PEOPLE TALK LESS, ADHERE TO FACTS, OPINE ONLY WHEN QUALIFIED TO DO SO AND DO NOT RUSH TO JUDGMENT BEFORE KNOWING ALL THE FACTS. CONGRESS GROSSLY UNDERESTIMATED MR HAYWARD; THEY DID NOT DO THEIR HOMEWORK AND WERE IGNORANT OF CORPORATE STRUCTURE. I'M GOING TO BUY MORE SHARES IN THIS GREAT BRITISH COMPANY.

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  • 97. At 07:58am on 18 Jun 2010, MJ wrote:

    I feel sorry for the guy. He tried to be honest with them - if he didn't know, he said so. They clearly had no intention of finding out any facts; they're just trying to find a scapegoat.

    This kind of lynch mob mentality is despicable - what a bunch of cowards politicians are. I don't remember much hand-wringing about Bhopal (thousands dead - average of 5 cents compensation each). Several thousand people died in India and you just let the chairman flee back to the US instead of facing the music. A bunch of cowards, whose only goal is pursuit of the almighty dollar.

    Somebody in this comments section asked how the British would react if it was the other way around? I remember the Amoco Cadiz spill off Britanny and how the US tried (unsuccessfully) to blame the owners of the tugs trying to get her off. They didn't bother to pay for all those people whose livelihoods were ruined.

    Come to think of it, where's the trillion dollar compensation fund from US banks to pay for all those outside the US who lost their jobs and businesses due to their incompetent/criminal behaviour in the sub-prime market?

    The hypocrisy here from the American posters here is disgraceful, but not surprising.

    You don't give a damn even when it happens in your own back yard (unless you've got some foreigners to blame). Pathetic.

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  • 98. At 08:06am on 18 Jun 2010, Megan wrote:

    A lot of commentators - professional media and HYS contributors alike - are chasing after the red herring of 'Is it Brit-bashing?' instead of considering if the various parties involved are making an appropriate response to a major ecology-threatening accident.

    BP - correctly said "We will pay" from the outset. The accident happened on their watch, and they didn't wait to be told.

    Hayward - is quite right to say it is asinine to try to attach blame until a rigorous investigation has found out what actually went wrong and what measures are needed to avoid a similar accident in the future.

    However, he's completely wrong to say it was nothing to do with him directly. He's the boss and that's why he's paid the big bucks. Just because he didn't make operational decisions does not resolve him from the responsibility of being in charge of the company that made them.

    Obama - has contributed nothing useful whatsoever and indeed has been downright unhelpful, both in turning away offers of help from third parties with expertise in oil well accidents and environmental protection/clean-up and in attacking BP in a manner that would have only been appropriate had they been attempting to shirk their responsibilities.

    The independent fund is a good idea, but an independent individual ought to have been appointed to run it.

    These are the issues we ought to be exploring: appropriate responses to major accidents. Nationality doesn't come into it.

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  • 99. At 08:10am on 18 Jun 2010, b223dy wrote:

    Mark did you rush through this article? If so, as a responsible journalist you need to re-edit it. It is widely reported that Republican congressman Joe Barton has apologised on more than one occassion on his comment, which should be reflected in your article

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  • 100. At 08:23am on 18 Jun 2010, L A Odicean wrote:

    It was fascinating stuff. I have little understanding of the way multinational corporations function, and it began to appear that this committee did not either.

    Had this been about apportioning blame by discovering the exact cause of the tragedy, what exactly failed and why, then surely the CEO of the organisation was only one of many experts that should have been called and rather more tme than 6 hours was needed.

    It soon became apparent that this was a show trial that might have had parallels in the former Soviet Union or, dare I say it, Saddam's Iraq. I was mildly surprised that Hayward wasn't led out at the end and shot by firing squad.



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  • 101. At 08:32am on 18 Jun 2010, Gordon12 wrote:

    JMKlun wrote -
    "As an American who is very fond of the UK, I have to say that the tone of the comments on this article, and many related articles leaves me very frustrated. Can the British posters here honestly say that if an American company did this ....that it's CEO would be greeted with a handshake and a warm smile at a hearing in Westminster?"

    Some years ago an American owned platform exploded in the North Sea killing about 160 people & causing a huge pollution problem. I certainly don't remember a witch hunt being conducted against Occidental of the type we've seen in the USA.

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  • 102. At 08:47am on 18 Jun 2010, redwards36 wrote:

    The way this enquiry is being conducted sickens me. Its not about finding the truth and doing what's right. Is about politicians saying teh right things in order to get re-elected. The nations wants a target and a foreign company is the the popular enemy. There is little to no mention of the US companies involved beacause that will not be popular.

    Transocean, the US company responsible for the rig and the drilling are not being targetted at all. The fact that they move their domicle around the world to avoid corporation tax, around $2bn a year, I'm sure wont worry anyone.

    Halliburton, the US company responsible for the cementing of the oil well are seemibly devoid of any guilt.

    An enquiry needs to be held but one that seeks the truth and tries to ensure that this does not happen again... If not this will occur again but with another oil company being blamed.

    I hope I'm wrong but I cant see there being many changes to offshore deep water drilling after this... the oil men will pay off the politicians who will take their money and do as they are told. A few minor consessions will be made that cost little and are superficial.

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  • 103. At 08:47am on 18 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #89

    If a US company caused a similar spill off the coast of the UK, you think the US CEO would testify before a Parliamentary committee?

    If you want to know how the UK would respond, look at the transcript of the Piper Alpha Parliamentary debate in Hansard. No anti-Americanism, no attempt to hang, draw and quarter the CEO. The Cullen Inquiry looked at the facts, learned and implemented lessons and made sure the victims were cared for and compensated. I'm afraid the US "lets kick some ass" response to this disaster stands in stark contrast to documentary evidence of how the UK responds in similar situations. They are light years apart. Why not just send Hayward to Utah and let them deal with him, secretly thats what y'all want to do to him anyway isnt it?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/us_and_canada/10347166.stm

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  • 104. At 08:49am on 18 Jun 2010, Keith Clarke wrote:

    The only thing that was missing was the rope, ready to be slung over the nearest tree.

    There was a time that it was considered appropriate to hear and assess the evidence before making judgement

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  • 105. At 08:50am on 18 Jun 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    Coast Guard hearings of the largely American crew from the rig, TransOcean, Halliburton, etc. have been going on since this accident for weeks. They are very lengthy, technical, and don't generate the media attention a congressional hearing does.

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  • 106. At 09:01am on 18 Jun 2010, ag42b wrote:

    The hearing is a great example of why we need term limits in Congress. The suits may never change, but at least the clowns wearing them will. With this much vitriol directed at Mr. Hayward, he is well advised to say as little as possible, as he is probably being set up for a Federal perjury prosecution, one of their favorite catch-alls. While our politicians are showboating for the media, in the background, I could distinctly hear the sounds of their hands rubbing together in glee over how much money they will be able to generate for themselves and their friends. While lives have been lost, livelihoods ruined, and the environment damaged, I'd only heard one voice apologizing to the "little guy".

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  • 107. At 09:06am on 18 Jun 2010, Adiemus wrote:

    "...is infuriating and exasperating the politicians who want and expect clear answers."

    Would these be the same politicians who can never give clear answers themselves when asked a question?

    Given that congressional testimony can be used in evidence at a later trial (see Skilling), he has no interest in providing clear answers here, even if he wanted to or could.

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  • 108. At 09:47am on 18 Jun 2010, Bogchuff wrote:

    @ Tedindenver -

    "It’s clear BP were 100% at fault,"

    No, it's not. The purpose of the investigations and hearings that will go on for years and years is to determine where culpability lies in this instance, be it with BP, Transocean (My employers, incidentally), Halliburton, Cooper Cameron, whoever.

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  • 109. At 09:49am on 18 Jun 2010, GeorgeWingate wrote:

    There are 22,000 US employees and 10,000 Brits on BP's payroll.

    It is a fact that BP had a respectable safety record until it started buying American oil companies.

    Amoco, for instance. (The name Amoco is short for American Oil Company.) BP bought them in 1998 and they've suffered a string of disasters ever since at Amoco sites, most notably an explosion at a former Amoco refinery in Texas.

    You can bet that the people on the rig who made the decisions had American accents.

    Time to split this company back into its original components. BP needs to reconstitute Amoco. Congress can then insult American Oil all they like while BP can drill for oil in saner parts of the world.

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  • 110. At 10:20am on 18 Jun 2010, rupe wrote:

    This was simply a pointless, premature meeting called by congress to whinge at BP because the US is unable to do anything about the spill without BP's assistance. The congressional nonsense was an opportunity to read out some pre-scripted fantasy to cover up the fact that congress is completely powerless and just wants to sound oh-so-tough to domestic tv audiences. Obama's badly misjudged decision to press for some criminal charges before even knowing the causes of the accident or stopping the oil spill were never going to make anyone more forthcoming about the causes of the accident. Could the US administration have handled this any more incompetently and with more duplicity?

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  • 111. At 10:22am on 18 Jun 2010, rare glass wrote:

    Mark, could you answer a couple of questions...
    From the clips shown on news bulletin's, it appeared that Hayward was the only representative of BP present. Is this true?
    Witnesses to select committees in the UK regularly have support from other members of their organisation in order to help answer questions not in their direct competence. Where a 'matter of fact' question is asked to which they do not have the answer to hand, witnesses are regularly asked to supply the answer in writing to the committee in timely manner.
    Secondly, does the deferment of a dividend payment indicate that companies have a higher duty than maximising profit for their shareholders?

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  • 112. At 10:25am on 18 Jun 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 113. At 10:34am on 18 Jun 2010, Clive Sinclair wrote:

    How short memories are.... Occidental Petroleum, Union Carbide, Exxon!

    American politicians want the CEO of BP to give truthful answers?

    Thats rich coming from ANY politician

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  • 114. At 10:56am on 18 Jun 2010, nettoa wrote:

    Hayward gives the impression of a thoroughly honorable man but out of his depth. I believe that he made it a genuine mission to improve safety at BP. But it seems that he was incapable of having his writ respected in the US part of BP. That he only became aware of the email exchanges between members of the drill team when he received the Waxman/Stupik letter looks like an indication of this. Clearly Hayward has to go.

    But BP also has to decide whether it can really rein in its US operations. If not, it should get out of the US.

    I also think that all foreign companies with significant operations in the US should reconsider them. There have been too many cases of such companies burning their fingers, whether due to regulatory or other problems. At the least, operations in the US should attract a risk premium of the sort one would normally associate with countries like Russia or China.

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  • 115. At 11:02am on 18 Jun 2010, Kit Green wrote:

    I think this sums up many peoples view of US government and financiers:

    http://nbyslog.blogspot.com/2010/06/britain-world-usa.html

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  • 116. At 11:05am on 18 Jun 2010, stewart wrote:

    Can anyone point me to a similar Congressional Hearing into the Bhopal disaster in which an estimated 18,000 people were killed as a result of negligence and a further 50,000 have suffered from long term illness. The CEO of Union Carbide jumped bail and refused to return to face trial.
    Compensation was $23,000 per person paid for by Lloyds of London.
    The CEO of BP is in the same position as Obama he depends on those delegated to a particular exercise. Does Obama know why a drone killed a wedding party in Pakistan, does he want to know, does he care.

    Were in this are Transocean. At anytime the Offshore Installation Manager has the right to stop any change from the original drilling programme. The MMS responsible for Drilling Regulations in the Gulf of Mexico signed off on all changes without any queries.BP,Transocean,Cameron and the MMS all share responsibility for this disaster.
    The USA should be glad it was not one of the smaller Oil Companies responsible as they would have filed for Chapter 11 and the USA taxpayer would have been liable for all payments.

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  • 117. At 11:31am on 18 Jun 2010, Anglophone wrote:

    This probably won't earn me any friends but my heart went out to Tony Hayward as he continues to endure this witch hunt! It is true that he is not the best at media management but his treatment now is nothing less than persecution by an ignorant and deeply hypocritical lynch mob. His behaviour yesterday was one of a man expecting to face criminal charges in court and concentrating on not saying anything potentially incriminating. The fact that he is English and speaks using English idioms also allows him to be portrayed by media and politicians to a public, who mostly couldn't find England on a map, as being like "the bad guy in the movies"!

    BP are culpable in law for the environmental damage suffered in the Gulf of Mexico. I don't think that they dispute this. But what is evident here in the behaviour of the administration and the US media is a convenient amnesia. BP owned the exploration licence but, as is normal practice, the drilling of the well is sub-contracted to specialists...in this case the rig owners Transocean and the giant oil services firm Halliburton. The criticism of these companies, both staunchly American has been muted at best. Have they been bullied into placing billions into an Escrow account? Does BP now stand a cat in Hells chance of counter-suing them in US courts in front of a US jury?

    By contrast BP is conveniently foreign so it can be bankrupted and abused without overly upsetting the wider US energy industry. In fact it is a golden opportunity for the good 'ol boys to clean up (no pun intended) on BPs distress sale of prime US assets as it tries to raise the money for the punitive fines imposed, not to mention ousting BP as prime fuels supplier to the US military. This is a win win for Obama who gets to bash "big oil" without upsetting the domestic industry who in turn will get their hands on prime assets at a knock down price. How very convenient!

    The US public and media are also guilty of operating several naked double standards. People who are utterly dependent on cheap gasoline...who would think nothing of driving 100 miles to buy a taco, are appalled when one of the inherent risks of exploration drilling happens in their backyard (rather than spilling out all over the Niger Delta). Don't they see the connection when demanding vengeance? Secondly, when prosecutors are demanding that a 30 year jail sentence is handed out to a man to was 4000 miles away from the rig, had no hand in the well design had no operational executive role in it drilling and whose closest involvement was probably to sign off the company's US exploration budget last year, will they have the right man? It's like demanding that Obama be arraigned at the Hague every time the US Airforce bombs an Afghan wedding...there is no moral difference. At a time when Bhopal is back in the news it is appropriate to remind people that the US government absolutely refused to allow the extradition of Union Carbide executives to India for actions that caused the deaths of 15,000 and compromised the health and life chances of half a million. Of course that was different wasn't it...wasn't it?

    My advice to Tony Hayward at the moment is to find God and become born again. This has worked well in the past in winning forgiveness for disgraced executives from Middle America. But even this is unlikely to save him from this tide of xenophobia and hypocrisy. I hope that our government finds the courage to turn down any extradition request under the present grossly lop-sided arrangements on the grounds that he cannot expect a remotely fair trial!

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  • 118. At 11:54am on 18 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I watched rebroadcast of the Senate subcommittee hearings last night and you can see it here for yourself;

    http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/06/17/HP/R/34337/BP+CEO+Spill+in+the+Gulf+of+Mexico+never+should+have+happened+and+I+am+deeply+sorry.aspx

    If the link breaks, after http://www.

    enter;

    c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/06/17/HP/R/34337/BP+CEO+Spill+in+the+Gulf+of+Mexico+never+should+have+happened+and+I+am+deeply+sorry.aspx

    Although the style of American politicians in session is not as rude or directly confrontational as British politicians in PMQT and even in normal Parliamentary proceedings, there should be no doubt that there is an intense seething rage among them. One member, I think the Committee Chairman pointed out that it is rare for Republicans and Democrats to agree on anything but with a few exceptions, they were in full agreement here. To the degree that there are exceptions, it has to do with the importance of the oil industry to a member's constituents directly, not out of any sympathy for BP or Tony Heyward. You can see Heyward duck, evade, not answer, change the subject, and give answers that I and I think few other Americans find credible. The members told him in a civil manner what they think of him, his answers, and his company. However it may seem to British or European eyes, to American eyes it could hardly have gone worse for Heyward. I'm certain that this was just the beginning. There will be many more hearings, civil litigation, possibly criminal proceedings.

    The purpose of the hearings are clear. This is not a political show. It is meant to find out what if anything about the laws, the way the structure and operation of government allowed the disaster to happen and what legislative steps if any need to be implimented in changing the laws, sturcture, and operation of government to prevent it from ever happening again. This is not a witch hunt. Members of the Congress of hte United States make laws, that is their job. The hearings are held to review how the law interacts with those in industry and where processes and structures were inadequate or missing so that they can be remedied.

    The openness of American government proceedings allows anyone to watch it and form their own opinions. If the questions are much sharper than the tone of voice they are asked in and the answers unacceptable to anyone who is even slightly fair minded and draws conclusions based on what is said without preconceptions, then it is up to them to decide if those being cross examined come off as witches.

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  • 119. At 11:58am on 18 Jun 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Hopefully the BP executives and shareholders found comfort in the accolades they received from loyal GOP members of Congress because those are the only ones among a few weirdos that still believe BP acted responsibly and deserves preferential treatment.

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  • 120. At 12:00pm on 18 Jun 2010, Anglophone wrote:

    Infrederik

    "The fine for the oil spilled alone, if negligence is found to be causative in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, is $4,300 per barrel spilled. Given the volume of the blowout and how long it is likely to take to get a relief well completed the fine will be huge. At 60,000 barrels per day X $4,300 per barrel X 180 days, the fine alone is likely to exceed $46 Billion."

    This gets me wondering again. With fines payable to the government it appears that US government scientists have a financial incentive to put in as big an estimate for total spillage as possible. BP's estimate of 5,000 bpd looks low but out by a factor 12? Looks like a convenient revenue raising ploy. A sort of gigantic speed camera!

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  • 121. At 12:10pm on 18 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 122. At 12:31pm on 18 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    Well, perhaps some of you will have a greater understanding of Americans' distrust of its own government.

    Would you want these guys making your health care decisions?

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  • 123. At 12:37pm on 18 Jun 2010, shoXx wrote:

    #117. At 11:31am on 18 Jun 2010, Anglophone wrote:

    Well, I'm not going to repeat your post but I couldn't agree more, Transocean, Halliburton and to be frank, the US oil regulators are as much at fault for this as BP are. Also I'm not sure if anyone remembers the Amoco Cadiz spill in 1978 where the entire clean up was handled and financed by the French. Amoco contributed nothing towards clean up neither money or equipment. AND it took 12 years for the French to be compensated by the US legal system.

    It was estimated to have cost the French $250m in damage to fishing and tourism (not even counting the cost of the clean up) but what did the US award them from Amoco? $120m.

    It seems to me that when US companies balls up (Bhopal is another example) they do an outstanding impression of an agoraphobic mole and the US government turn a blind eye, yet when it happens on their patch it's the apocalypse and money needs to be allocated immediately. Funny that.

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  • 124. At 12:45pm on 18 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    118. MarcusAureliusII:

    If, as you say, the purpose of the hearing was to fine-tune laws, wouldn't it make sense to wait until a complete investigation has taken place?

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  • 125. At 12:48pm on 18 Jun 2010, Jim1648 wrote:

    To again address the real purpose of a Congressional hearing, it is in theory at least to find out whether new legislation is necessary. It is not a judicial hearing, as capably pointed out by timohio at 79 above, among others. It is not entirely irrelevant that Tony Hayward said that he "did not know" so many details of the drilling operation. Even though it appears to be just grandstanding by the politicians to keep asking him, and he is being either evasive or honest with his answers (depending on your point of view and even cultural background), that is useful to know also. For example, Congress may decide that some top executive may need to review the safety plans for a drilling operation periodically, much the same way that the CEO must now approve of financial results as per Sarbanes Oxley. It is probably very premature to suggest that will in fact happen, but it is the type of thing that Congress really is empowered to do under our constitutional system. There are hard choices to make and it does need a public hearing, including the dirty laundry, and that is the way it works in the U.S.

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  • 126. At 12:54pm on 18 Jun 2010, Old Fogey wrote:

    At 11:05am on 18 Jun 2010, stewart wrote:
    Can anyone point me to a similar Congressional Hearing into the Bhopal disaster?

    I was wondering about this myself. I don't think the same standards need apply as those killed in Bhopal were in a foreign country.

    Bhopal killed about 16000 I gather, and the Indian courts have just found negligence as a cause. As the BP/Amoco compensation fund has been set at $20Bn, on a loss of life basis the prededent set would appear to be for Dow Chemicals to set aside a sum of $30trillion or so, with the fund being administered by independent politicians in Madhya Pradesh.

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  • 127. At 1:00pm on 18 Jun 2010, diverticulosis wrote:

    109. At 09:49am on 18 Jun 2010, GeorgeWingate wrote:

    "It is a fact that BP had a respectable safety record until it started buying American oil companies.

    Amoco, for instance. (The name Amoco is short for American Oil Company.) BP bought them in 1998 and they've suffered a string of disasters ever since at Amoco sites, most notably an explosion at a former Amoco refinery in Texas."

    I don't get your point. Are you trying to prove that BP is not an inept company because it purchased a US company 12 years ago and it still can't integrate it into their corporate structure?

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  • 128. At 1:03pm on 18 Jun 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    Post118.MA2 wrote

    The openness of American government proceedings allows anyone to watch it and form their own opinions. If the questions are much sharper than the tone of voice they are asked in and the answers unacceptable to anyone who is even slightly fair minded and draws conclusions based on what is said without preconceptions, then it is up to them to decide if those being cross examined come off as witches.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So you agree then Marky,that this was a witch hunt, Senator Waxmax would make a good witch hunter general, especially with that guy who was a dead
    ringer for the painting"American Gothic",peering over Waxmans shoulder.
    It was enough to scare the bee-jeepers out of any one...

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  • 129. At 1:15pm on 18 Jun 2010, The Toothbrush Man wrote:

    118. At 11:54am on 18 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "The purpose of the hearings are clear. This is not a political show. It is meant to find out what if anything about the laws, the way the structure and operation of government allowed the disaster to happen and what legislative steps if any need to be implimented in changing the laws, sturcture, and operation of government to prevent it from ever happening again. This is not a witch hunt. "

    You're kidding, right ? These hearings are a farce. They're just an exercise in public vilification.

    To expect Tony Hayward to be able to answer some random questions, from memory, about a company as large and as complex as BP is an utter joke. Being under oath, he has no choice but to answer honestly and so he HAS to answer truthfully that he just doesn't know ! And then they accuse him of being evasive ! How mad is that ?!?! The idea that is part of the law framing process is just ridiculous.

    They're just a modern version of the ducking stool. If you sink - you drown but at least you're not a witch. If you float - then must be witch - so you'll be burnt at the stake anyway. And that's why its appropriate to call it a witchhunt.

    If the questions could be raised prior to the hearings then he could turn up with some answers. This would seem to be more constructive, surely ?

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  • 130. At 1:19pm on 18 Jun 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 131. At 1:20pm on 18 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    A quote from Mark Twain

    "Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself."

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  • 132. At 1:48pm on 18 Jun 2010, goggyturk wrote:

    On a related issue, it's good to see that Obama and other US politicians have toned down their rhetoric since David Cameron had a quiet word in El Presidente's ear.

    Nice work Dave!

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  • 133. At 1:55pm on 18 Jun 2010, Unbias wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 134. At 2:41pm on 18 Jun 2010, yoowin wrote:

    Get Gorgeous George Galloway as their spokesman! Probably the only guy who can shut up a committee of congress blow-hards!

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  • 135. At 2:59pm on 18 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    For you folks across the pond, don't be in too much of a huff. I agree that what we have here is a kangaroo court, but you'd think that poor ole Tony was the only one to have to go through this. I didn't hear anybody from your side criticize the good old boys for dragging the bankers, health care executives, Toyota, the domestic car companies, FEMA, etc. etc. down the road.

    Now if you want to see a really good hearing, look up footage of the confrontation between Robert Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa. Ole Jimmy gave as good as he got.........but he did go to prison.

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  • 136. At 3:02pm on 18 Jun 2010, ann arbor wrote:

    Watch it all unwind.

    In American civil law, the plaintiff is still required to mitigate the damage from the defendants actions. Between inaction and outright obstruction, the American Federal government has completely failed in making a timely, sincere effort. In fact, unlike under Bush, the government's Jones Act insured no external (Dutch) help could have been possible.

    That Obama has publically stated that BP has been operating at the direction of the Federal Government. With this statement, BP would have no right to take independent action and use what expertise it could muster to help mitigate the situation - with asking, "Mother may I".

    My Obama's actions this week are a precursor to something very devious. On the surface, he played the role of an amateur tort attorney extorting a premature and insufficient settlement. Of course, he wants to be the one to dispense the funds - as would any other tort attorney. What is significant is that the settlement is made before the extent of damage is known, and the settlement seems grossly insufficient (given the lack of mitigation.)

    There is no legal basis or government mechanism that authorized Mr. Obama to arrange a financial escrow fund directly. Quite simply, Mr. Obama was operating from his more powerful position to force a settlement. BP is actually in a position to file a civil case against the federal government as a result of Mr. Obama's actions, if it so chooses.

    There will be a financial shortfall as the "escrow" will be insufficient. This opens the opportunity for Obama and Gore to rape the American people as they have been unable before. Because the accident and damage can be poorly related to energy consumption, the justification for "Cap and Trade" and "Carbon Trading" taxes will be these monies will be used to fund the BP escrow deficit.

    The "Big Talk" yesterday thoroughly disgusted me with the absolute farce the American Federal Government has become. The vicious and vindictive, simple-minded politicians were trying to bait BP with Yes/No answers to questions that were not Yes/No questions. BP has never shunned their responsibility in this matter. BP is also cautious that every leach, lawyer, sham, and con man will be trying to participate in the settlement.

    While members of this post opine that Barton received $1.4M from oil companies over a period of 21 years, they never mention Obama received more than that in 2008 alone. Mr Barton called the "shakedown" for what it was.

    As for the mystery of "why" the turtle was put on the post, it was it get it out of the oil. They could not have let it out in the mainstream traffic because its ability to act quickly and intelligently would have been worse for the turtle.

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  • 137. At 3:10pm on 18 Jun 2010, MmtinTime wrote:

    37. At 10:40pm on 17 Jun 2010, Gordon12 wrote:
    showed an oil covered pelican without pointing out that the number of birds so injured is miniscule - only one pelican as far as I know.

    It is precisely this kind of arrogance that creates the animosity going on now. How utterly patronising is this statement? This is a very widespread and irreversible environmental catastrophe. To dismiss it in such a disdainful manner underscores much of what BP's overall attitude has been, particularly as incarnated in Mr Haywood's bored and virtually catatonic performance yesterday. It's de riguer to mock the Yanks, but at the end of the day, that big old oil slick will be sweeping up the Gulf Stream with the very real possiblity of affecting Cornwall and Devon. And, who will be whinging then?

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  • 138. At 3:14pm on 18 Jun 2010, Bill Hill wrote:

    First, about the "apologist"...
    Barton is the biggest recipient of oil and gas industry campaign contributions in the House of Representatives, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
    Its data showed that Barton has collected $1,447,880 from political action committees and individuals connected with the oil and gas industry since 1989.
    Federal Election Commission records show that during the current 2009-10 campaign cycle, the oil and gas industry has been the second-biggest contributor to Barton, at $100,470, behind only the electric utility industry ($162,800).
    Second, about Hayward. BP was given a list of the questions which would be asked days before the hearing. Any CEO worth his salt would have had an entire organization working on providing answers.
    President Obama - and US politicians who still believe that they can take financial contributions from the oil industry and be their "shills" - are lagging far behind the feelings of their voters. As a Brit living in the USA, I feel a "sea change".
    This disaster, brought about by a combination of greedy and risky cost-cutting by BP, and an appalling (and, until now, deliberately) toothless regulatory body will change things forever. For the whole industry.
    Rachel Maddow at NBC caught the nation's mood when she gave "The Oval Office Address President Obama SHOULD Have Made". Watch it on the Web. She expressed exactly what most of the US public is thinking.

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  • 139. At 4:11pm on 18 Jun 2010, Horseless Headsman wrote:

    A few points... Hayward's legal advice is evidently one of hedging and non-comittal to actual, useful information and pertinent facts - both regarding what happened originally and what is actually happening now - on the seabed, in the Gulf generally, and on the shoreline. He has set his stall indefinitely in the future on the conclusions of some multiple investigations of indeterminable length. Fronts of investigation need to be opened up more by the mainstream media. Because the feeling that many people reasonably sense is that BP is actively hiding something important. Whether or not the Federal Government is also hiding something remains to be seen and is a matter of journalistic investigation of the highest quality.

    The independent Internet media are doing a good job, and this runs in stark contrast to the mainstream which prefers the circus and the politics of power as opposed to hard science and the cold ramifications of real people with real lives. Evidence already exists in the online world - from whistleblowers, workers, scientists, tenacious observers and activists (ordinary folk) - that BP and others have failed, and continue to fail, to: a) respond appropriately to the challenge to protect the shoreline by incorrect and sloppy methods of booming and other measures; b) notify the media and others of the degree of problem being faced, one of which is that the sea bed is significantly damaged near to and some distance away from the well, such that oil is leaking up in many places through the compromised rock and sediment base of the sea bed thereby ensuring that oil and gas release will not be stopped for a very long time, if at all, until the reservoir pressure is essentially at zero; and c) that a serious policy-in-practice is in effect aimed at preventing release of the details of this information to the wider public, in contradiction to an executive statement declaring openness to any interested party.
    BBC - I appreciate your coverage of this very serious issue, but like BP, you need to move up a gear or two and TEST the water, so to speak, by getting your hands dirty with some serious investigation and subsequent broadcasting. Don't do what you often seem to do which is to wait for some statement by an official, and then just repeat it for an audience, or analyse its effect on some personality as if it was the main issue. Hayward is dispensable - even he knows this, and more than ever. The problem remains. We need to know about it. Go find the News. Thanks.

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  • 140. At 4:13pm on 18 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    Well what did Congress expect Hayward to say? "I'm sorry, we cut corners to increase profits and this time our luck ran out?" Not gonna happen--even if it were true. The coporate attorneys had obviously helped him prepare so he could give inoccuous answers and not let anything slip that might be used against the company. In any case, the proper place for such questions is in a courtroom, not in front of a politically motivated witch hunt.

    Speaking of which, when are we going to see the CEOs of Transocean and Haliburton in front of Congress in the hot seat? And when will Congress question the head of the government's Minerals Managagement Service which approved BP's drilling plan and was supposed to be providing oversight?

    I'm offended that our politicians think the American people are so stupid that they will be distracted by a bit of political theater and forget about getting to the truth of the matter regardless of where any fault may lay. The only honest Congressman I heard in the hearings was Barton and he was forced to recant afterwards and join the BP bashing bandwagon. The whole hearing was a farce.

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  • 141. At 4:28pm on 18 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. # 3. At 7:00pm on 17 Jun 2010, ARHReading wrote:
    "Classic US reaction to any problem. It's obviously part of their DNA."

    It would be more fair to say that such hearings are a typical reaction on the part of U.S. politicians. I'm sure our British cousins understand how hard it is to find good help these days when it comes to public servants.

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  • 142. At 4:40pm on 18 Jun 2010, Michelle wrote:

    My name is Michelle and I live in South Louisiana. I apologize if I sound like I am rambling, but this issue is out of control! I am stunned at the lack of coordination and organization. Where is the plan of action, or the exit strategy? Congress is taking time to grill Tony Hayward, a man who should be tending to stopping this gusher. Instead of the grilling yesterday, Congress should get out of their suits and off their comfy chairs and get down to the Gulf and figure out how to stop this thing and clean it up!


    This meeting, grilling, whatever they want to call was premature and is not fixing the problem. First, they should make BP stop using this dispersant! Either they are not looking into the ramifications of this dispersant or they are keeping this information from the public. Should a hurricane or major storm develop in the Gulf of Mexico what kind of toxins do you think these clouds will absorb... and then rain upon us! Secondly, inspect each rig one at a time, if they pass inspection open it back up to drilling. You are killing our businesses! It's the governments fault they drill that far out in the first place. Third, at the same time, have groups designed to do nothing but cap this well and another on clean-up! Coordination and organization is missing on all sides! GET IT TOGETHER!

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  • 143. At 4:48pm on 18 Jun 2010, willa wrote:

    To those who believe that Tony Hayward was unfairly grilled in front of congress, I would like to point out the following:

    First and foremost, it's not because Tony Hayward is British! It’s because Tony Hayward (regardless of his nationality, height, weight, shoe size or eye color) is unequivocally the FACE of BP. As CEO, Tony Hayward bears responsibility for BPs operations in the gulf of Mexico which include drilling wells such as the Deep Horizon and overseeing policies surrounding its subcontractors.

    The ensuing environmental damage and adverse economic impact created by the Deep Horizon explosion has disrupted lives and made many people very upset and angry....understandably so. At the very least, these people expect honesty and truthful answers from BP’s top leader...instead, BP's voice-piece has fallen miserably short of that. Stonewalling, evasive action and 'stoic' silence just won't do..such behavior smacks of deception and undermines trust....it adds insult to injury.

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  • 144. At 4:53pm on 18 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #123. At 12:37pm on 18 Jun 2010, shoXx wrote:
    #117. At 11:31am on 18 Jun 2010, Anglophone wrote:

    "Well, I'm not going to repeat your post but I couldn't agree more, Transocean, Halliburton and to be frank, the US oil regulators are as much at fault for this as BP are. Also I'm not sure if anyone remembers the Amoco Cadiz spill in 1978 where the entire clean up was handled and financed by the French. Amoco contributed nothing towards clean up neither money or equipment. AND it took 12 years for the French to be compensated by the US legal system.

    It was estimated to have cost the French $250m in damage to fishing and tourism (not even counting the cost of the clean up) but what did the US award them from Amoco? $120m.

    It seems to me that when US companies balls up (Bhopal is another example) they do an outstanding impression of an agoraphobic mole and the US government turn a blind eye, yet when it happens on their patch it's the apocalypse and money needs to be allocated immediately. Funny that."
    _____________

    Bhopal again? Must we continually remind you that India has it's own legal system closely modeled on that of a certain former colonial power? What happened at Bhopal was certianly tragic and Union Carbide was criminally negligent but if the people of India couldn't get justice from their own legal system whose fault is that?

    In maritime matters jurisdictions can be muddled and liability is often based on laws and precedents that are woefully outdated. That it took 12 years for the French to collect a paltry $120 million in damages just goes to show that America has no shortage of highly skilled lawyers--although I like a lot of people often wonder if we might not be better off if we had fewer of them.

    In any case, neither Bhopal nor the Amoco Cadiz excuse what BP, Transocean and Haliburton did in the Gulf nor will rhetoric about them contribute anything to the cleanup of the current mess.

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  • 145. At 5:07pm on 18 Jun 2010, crash wrote:

    Tony Hayward was most likely uncomfortable in front of the camara's,unlike Obama and the rest of the representatives in Washinton he not a professional liar

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  • 146. At 5:16pm on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    All this British fury is worth watching for pure entertainment value only. Some facts on the issue and American law to read between bouts of whining.

    1) Even if BP employees didn’t cause this catastrophe directly, BP are responsible under US law, this is irrefutable. If a company does not like US law they probably shouldn’t be drilling 3 mile holes in our Ocean, should they?

    2) BP assured the US government and citizens that they had this under control and were following a plan, as each day went by and their story changed, it was clear they were making this up as they went along. The US government has had to gradually take over every aspect of this disaster, capping, recovery, clean up and now claims. Had BP been transparent we would be in better shape. In hindsight, the US government should have got much more involved in the beginning.

    3) Many Brits are saying Transocean and Halliburton are incompetent, then praising BP for their skill in solving the issues at a mile deep. Fact is Transocean and Halliburton are the companies with the equipment out there solving this BP mess. BP does not own any deepwater drilling equipment, zilch. BP execs were calling the shots at first but not anymore.

    4) Although the various inquiries are not finished, there is an awful lot of damming evidence clearly proving BP staff were cutting corners to save money/time. The government agencies have been working on this for 60 days, it’s not like they are making this up. BP knows they are in the wrong, or they simply wouldn’t have bent over like this. I would bet your new PM has also been advised of this, explaining his in-action, other than asking Obama to never say the word British again.

    5) BP walking away from the US operations. The US assets, revenue, etc. are huge for BP. When BP bought those US companies BP already had assets in the US of their own, they would be leaving those too. Let’s assume that if BP bankrupt BP America, BP is now half its former self with no chance to ever do business with the US again. The remaining assets get taken over by other oil companies (not necessarily US companies) and get this, the remaining 50% of BP is still 39% owned by Americans unless they bankrupt that part too. It’s not happening. Hopefully BP continues to be a viable company and after a few years of repaying US taxpayers with profits they will pay a dividend again.

    6) To the people who think the government is making up the flow rate to get higher fine revenue. An internal document from BP (found during the investigation) drafted at the very beginning of this, estimated 40,000 to 60,000 b/pd vs. the 5,000 b/pd BP were telling everyone. This is the same number scientists just came up with after BP were forced to give some pressure data up. Draw your own conclusions, this will be a key piece of evidence.

    7) The GoP committee member who defended BP later that day (in front of Hayward) rescinded his apology (backtracked big time). Maybe that snippet of the hearing was not included in the UK media?

    8) Bhopal, is in India last time I checked a map. The US government has zero authority in India. If India wanted more compensation for the victims they should have handled it 25 years ago, sold the assets, paid the victims and supplemented with Indian tax money if they needed more. If BP folds the US cannot by law come after the UK government for the rest of the money this will cost, or are you suggesting that the US should be allowed to do that?

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  • 147. At 5:24pm on 18 Jun 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 148. At 5:49pm on 18 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Michelle (#142): "Instead of the grilling yesterday, Congress should get out of their suits and off their comfy chairs and get down to the Gulf and figure out how to stop this thing and clean it up!"

    Do you really think members of Congress could contribute anything of importance? Besides being unqualified for the task of figuring out how to stop the well, there would be a conflict of jurisdiction. The Executive Branch is in charge, and it operates through the National Incident Commander, Admiral Allen. The proper role for the Legislative Branch is to figure out what legislation will reduce the chances of this happening again.

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  • 149. At 5:55pm on 18 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Tired of hearing about the BP execs. Want to hear about how we are going to stop the oil leaks. The media keeps showing Tony Hayward, the mess the oil has caused, but why won't they examine the ways how we are going to stop the oil leaks?

    We can clean up all we want, but as long as the oil leaks are still going on, there will be no end in sight.

    Congress is all talk and no action about how to stop the oil leaks.

    Am tired of anti-Americanism from some others, too.

    There is yet another example of prominent anti-Americanism in the world that took place today.

    Second-half sub Maurice Edu appeared to put the U.S. ahead in the 86th, poking in close-range shot after Jozy Altidore headed Donovan's free kick to him. But the goal was disallowed by referee Koman Couilibaly of Mali, apparently for a foul before Edu got the ball.

    "I'm a little gutted to be honest," Donovan said. "I don't know how they stole that last goal from us. I'm not sure what the call was. He (the referee) wouldn't tell us what the call was."

    How can a referee call a foul and refuse to say what it was for?

    Is this the way soccer at the World Cup has always worked?

    Do the refs always make calls without explanations?
    Or are they just doing it to USA?
    Why won't they let us play on a level playing field?

    What a joke.

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  • 150. At 5:55pm on 18 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Scott0962 (#140): "Speaking of which, when are we going to see the CEOs of Transocean and Haliburton in front of Congress in the hot seat?"

    You are not paying attention. The Presidents of Halliburton and Transocean (and BP America) appeared before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on May 11.

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  • 151. At 6:01pm on 18 Jun 2010, cynic555 wrote:

    Hayward did what was expected - said he was sorry - didn't accept any blame - denied being part of the decision making process. Not much different than most politicians or CEO's in the USA.

    I used to think that there wasn't much difference between the UK/USA - however it's pretty clear that in the UK and attack on British Petroleum is considered a personnel attack on the British people - whats up with that? You never saw the American public stand up for Exxon or Union Carbide when they killed people and ruined the environment.

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  • 152. At 6:07pm on 18 Jun 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @27 (GH): "Did it help inform the Congress for the purpose of writing legislation (the ostensible purpose of Congressional hearings)?"

    No. Not a bit. Attorneys NEVER ask questions in public that they don't already know (or think they know) the answers to. That goes double for attorneys practicing politics. My reference is a practicing attorney in the Washington area, who helped me as an engineer translate physics issues into things that other attorneys in the Washington area could deal with.

    "Did it help inform the public?"

    In theory, possibly / in practice, extremely little. Real information delivered by video is generally a very small fraction of that which can be delivered via text. Walter Cronkite once observed that the total number of words in a 30-minute newscast would not fill one column of one page of a standard newspaper. TV events are generally constructed not to feed the mind but to stimulate the emotions. Congressional hearing certainly qualify in this regard.

    Regards,
    Arclight

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  • 153. At 6:11pm on 18 Jun 2010, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    Commonsense_expressway #91: '"This sham sums up everything thats bad about how this disaster has been handled by the US government. Too much focus on revenge and reparations before the spill has even been stopped or the coast cleaned up."

    The focus is on finding out what Tony Hayward knows about the decisions that went into what culminated in the worst environmental disaster in American history. It was not to seak revenge on him.

    "Theres plenty of time to send Hayward "back to England with his golden parachute" , "throw his ass in jail" and theres plenty of time to ruin BP if thats what you folks want."

    I don't want that. I don't want that at all. Now keep in mind, that I am just one lonely person in a sea of 300 million, but I don't want BP to be ruined. That would destroy the pentens of the millions of Britons - and Americans - who are shareholders in the company. I don't seak to hurt anyone, no matter what you may believe of me. I just want them - as well as the perpatraters of the Piper Alpha, Bhopal, and any other disasters who's blood is on the hands of American corporations - brought to justice and their safety standards modernised. Leave the "ass kicking" to the George Bushes and Toby Keiths of this nation. I want no part of it!

    "That farce of a hearing was a public hanging without trial , nothing more than pandering to the mob. I was waiting for the torches and pitchforks to be produced, like a Simpsons episode gone wrong."

    Again, it was not supposed to be a trial, it was supposed to be an investigation. Don't worry, Haliberton, Transocean and the MMS will be dragged through the same humiliating process.

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  • 154. At 6:19pm on 18 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    I am also confused to how players can hold other players arms and that is not called a foul?

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  • 155. At 6:40pm on 18 Jun 2010, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    Commonsense_expressway #103: '"If you want to know how the UK would respond, look at the transcript of the Piper Alpha Parliamentary debate in Hansard. No anti-Americanism, no attempt to hang, draw and quarter the CEO."

    As discussed on previous threads, there is no anti-Britishism here as well, nor is there an attempt (by rational people and law makers, that is) to hang, draw and quarter Tony Hayward. My God!! You still think Americans hate Britain because of this?


    "The Cullen Inquiry looked at the facts, learned and implemented lessons and made sure the victims were cared for and compensated."

    And as explained in #88, that is what Congress - and Obama - have been doing, too, in the lead up to this farcical hearing. That 20 billion dollar fund that BP has agreed to set aside for the victims of this colamity? That is what Joe Barton - in a potencially politically suicidal move - called a "slush fund."

    "I'm afraid the US "lets kick some ass" response to this disaster stands in stark contrast to documentary evidence of how the UK responds in similar situations. They are light years apart."

    Yeah, because Americans from the president on down have been going around like 300 million George Bushes promising to kick ass while stomping (both figuratively and literally) on the Union Jack. That was one comment by the president made one time in a desperate attempt to not be seen as Bush was after hurricane Katrina!! It was unhelpfull and unnecessary, yes. But it did not/does not reflect the attitude of the nation as a whole to this!!

    "Why not just send Hayward to Utah and let them deal with him, secretly thats what y'all want to do to him anyway isnt it?"

    Not me. I apose capital punishment. I'm ashamed that (aside from Japan) we're the only developed country that still practices it.

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  • 156. At 6:56pm on 18 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    arclightt (#152): "In theory, possibly / in practice, extremely little."

    I agree it's little (information for the public), but sometimes that little bit is interesting. In this case, I would cite the fact that Mr. Hayward learned of certain safety-related communications within BP only when unearthed by the Congressional committee. I think it is an important point. In a very large corporation such as BP, with a large subsidiary (BP America), what should be the lines of communication and authority on questions of safety? Clearly much authority must be delegated in such a large company, but what does it mean for a CEO to go around saying safety is his top priority (as he has) while he was completely out of the loop on problems which ultimately led to the loss of eleven lives?

    Everything Mr. Hayward has said about safety within BP appears to me to be merely empty words.

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  • 157. At 7:10pm on 18 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    commonsense_expressway (#103): "The Cullen Inquiry looked at the facts, learned and implemented lessons and made sure the victims were cared for and compensated."

    The Cullen inquiry is more properly compared to the Graham-Reilly commission than to a Congressional committee hearing. The commission is just getting started.

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  • 158. At 7:29pm on 18 Jun 2010, diverticulosis wrote:

    The sacking of Mr. Hayward has begun:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_bs2709

    Don't worry, I'm sure he will get a fine exit package.

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  • 159. At 7:42pm on 18 Jun 2010, as is wrote:

    "A Texan Republican congressman Joe Barton, talking about the $20bn set aside for the victims of the leak, said the White House had subjected BP to a shakedown and had forced them to set up what he called a slush fund.

    He said it bordered on the criminal and made him ashamed of his country."


    Amazingly, both Mr Mardell and the posters tiptoe around the white elephant: the thugocracy and absolute disregard for US law and constitution of this administration.

    Assuming BP is liable for each and every damage caused by the leak, please enlighten me on:

    Any constitutional grounds for the executive branch to step in, and determine, prior to any input of the legislative and the judiciary branches:

    1) The size of the damage (and, according to Mr. Markey, the $20 bn are just a "down payment)
    2) Institute, without the aforementioned input from the other branches, an escrow fund
    3) Name, without the aforementioned input from the other branches, the person to preside over this fund (Mr Feinberg, "the pay czar", part and parcel of the administrative branch)
    4) Cut off the other branches, and BP, from any liability estimates and decision-making re the distribution of the BP funds, and prepare a vast redistribution in Nov 2010 and 2012


    Remember the faith of the Chrysler shareholders? After the bad, greedy capitalists, comes your turn. And now, amid the kill-Big-Oil hystrionics, even Rep. Barton is cowed into a retraction of a perfectly valid statement.


    What do you think, Americans (or, should I write, "budding Venezuelans")? It's scary to monitor from north of the border the fast and inevitable venezualization of a neighbouring country and its citizens, businessmen, and politicians. This is not the rule of the law, and the banana republic is lurking down the road to serfdom. God help you, neighbours, I pray you regain your common sense, love for freedom, and pride.

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  • 160. At 7:42pm on 18 Jun 2010, rodidog wrote:

    It appears Tony Hayward has been demoted, and will no longer be in charge of the Gulf region for BP. BP Chairman Svanberg will now take over PR for BP. He has empathy for the "small people", so that make sense.

    I'm just wondering, is this the start of BP backing away from that $20 billion deal with Obama?

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  • 161. At 7:54pm on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    159. At 7:42pm on 18 Jun 2010, peterbo wrote:
    "A Texan Republican congressman Joe Barton, talking about the $20bn set aside for the victims of the leak, said the White House had subjected BP to a shakedown and had forced them to set up what he called a slush fund.

    He later (that day in front of Tony) apologized for his statement and withdrew it.


    Any constitutional grounds for the executive branch to step in, and determine, prior to any input of the legislative and the judiciary branches:


    None, BP did it voluntarily.

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  • 162. At 7:58pm on 18 Jun 2010, joan_of_arc wrote:

    It's Hollywood and flashing bulbs...Tony is the star. Next week, it will be the birds drowning in oil. The week after that, Dolphins dying in the Gulf of Mexico. Can money really buy life?

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  • 163. At 8:03pm on 18 Jun 2010, as is wrote:

    161. At 7:54pm on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    159. At 7:42pm on 18 Jun 2010, peterbo wrote:
    "A Texan Republican congressman Joe Barton, talking about the $20bn set aside for the victims of the leak, said the White House had subjected BP to a shakedown and had forced them to set up what he called a slush fund.

    He later (that day in front of Tony) apologized for his statement and withdrew it.


    Any constitutional grounds for the executive branch to step in, and determine, prior to any input of the legislative and the judiciary branches:


    None, BP did it voluntarily. "

    Oh, I wasn't aware we have an insider here. So you were around when the talks Obama-BP evolved. Mr Mardell should take notice of a valuable source of first-hand info. And, BTW, my questions remain unanswered.

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  • 164. At 8:10pm on 18 Jun 2010, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    Goggyturk #132: '"On a related issue, it's good to see that Obama and other US politicians have toned down their rhetoric since David Cameron had a quiet word in El Presidente's ear. Nice work Dave!"

    Yes, it is good that Obama has stopped his "ass kicking" remarks; they were in no way helpfull. But you must understand, sir, that it is a tough job, seaking to not appear as though one is slacking on doing everything they can in order to help the victims of a disaster while at the same time balancing being seen as too soft on the disaster's culprits and being too tough, especially when the main culprit is (at least in part) foreign owned, and the country that owns the company is your nation's closest (and one of its only because you are just that repulsive) real allies. I don't envy his job.





    That being said, however, I really must know this. Why do the British papers, politicians and (as clearly evidenced by this site and undoubtedly many others) people believe their is anti-British sentiment in America? They aren't so presumptuous as to conflate one off-color remark by the president and a few uneducated trouble makers standing on a Union Jack with the mood of both the president as well as the overwhelming majority of Americans. So why do they believe it? They must have always believed it to some extent on some level. Why?


    You know, I must say, that I think it very sad indeed that everything our government (and now people) does/do, everything we say is seemingly interpreted as sending the complete opposite message of the one we wish to send. Its as though no matter how careful we are, no matter how hard we try not to give an impression or perception, we always end up sending/giving the very thing that we want most and try hardest not to. The returning of the bust of Winston Churchill? In my opinion an unwise move, but not, as Britain perceived it to be, a slap in the face to them, but rather a desire of a president to decorate his office as he wished, with the bust of the man who in large part made it possible for him to be there in the first place; Abraham Lincoln. And now with this BP thing, instead of sympathizing, empathizing, pretending to feel sad for the livelyhoods ruined, ecologic system destroyed and lives lost, you instantly assume that Americans hate Britain. How utterly astounding!!


    Its as if in British eyes America and Americans are deamonized; nearly always presumed to be seaking to undermine, obstruct, and downright hurt Britain and the British people at every opportunity. And this goes for both parties. With Bush (which, oddly enough, the accusations had much truth and validity to them) we were the master to your poodle. And now with Obama (the one who was supposed to set things right) we either don't care about you at all or flat out deplore you. Noone seems to believe in the benefit of the doubt anymore; in seeing a nation/someone for who they are, not romantisized or deamonized, but just them self.

    Its is if we can't be ourselves around our closest ally for fear of offending. We can't be human. We must always be on our absolute best behavior; but not just any definition of best behavior, the British papers/politicians/people's definition of best behavior. Now as I've said before, this does not mean that I (or the majority of Americans) can't take criticism!! TheUnited States, in my opinion, always needs criticism so that it can ever improve. Nor does it mean that I believe we must agree on every single thing; every single method to solve a problem, whether it be militarily, economicly or intelligence-based. But I, for one, can't live in this constant state of fear. And if this is how it will be, then I'm not so sure if I want to remain friends with you anymore.

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  • 165. At 8:18pm on 18 Jun 2010, west44 wrote:

    Lucy J. I agree what makes a foul! Terrible officiating. Our boys sure make a great comeback, though!

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  • 166. At 8:22pm on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    163. At 8:03pm on 18 Jun 2010, peterbo wrote:


    Oh, I wasn't aware we have an insider here. So you were around when the talks Obama-BP evolved. Mr Mardell should take notice of a valuable source of first-hand info. And, BTW, my questions remain unanswered.


    I was not there, there maybe some executive emergency powers but BP announced the $20bn voluntarily. Question answered.

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  • 167. At 8:35pm on 18 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "Any constitutional grounds for the executive branch to step in, ..." (from peterbo at #159)

    These amateur constitutional scholars are so funny. At the time, some thought the Louisiana Purchase was an unconstitutional use of executive power. Nevertheless, we bought it.

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  • 168. At 9:06pm on 18 Jun 2010, slimedbybp wrote:

    It is amazing how many Treasonupublicanslive in THE US

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  • 169. At 9:45pm on 18 Jun 2010, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    Mark: '"The exchange is a timely reminder that for many American politicians big business is always preferable to big government."

    Well, as Chris at #13 already pointed out, when the overwhelming vast majority of your campaign funds come from big business, no wonder they stand up for them and fight for them in office. What? Did you think that come campaign time, big businesses simply say "Here's the money you requested. Good luck?" No. They say "Here's the money you requested, now you'd better be certain to fight for the things you promised me you would if we were to give you this; it is not free!!" And they do. That is why I (and others) have argued on previous threads for private funding of campaigns to be either severely limited or outlawed altogether.


    As regards this particular incidant, as I'm sure you well know, the Republicans' stratigy has been to do one thing and one thing only since Obama and the Democrats have been in office, and that is apose them. It doesn't matter if the Republicans have a better idea or not; if the Democrats' idea is working or not. The Republicans' one aim has been/is to apose the Democrats at every turn. So in that spirit, this November they were going to try to paint Obama as the one who doesn't have command of the oil spill; who doesn't know what's going on; and who doesn't know what to do to fix it. Which, in theory, would have probably not been a bad idea since up until this week Obama was seen as not taking this crisis seriously; as not doing everything within his power to help the victims/clean up etc.

    But sometimes there is a huge chasm between theory and practice, and this was just such a time. Instead of making the Republicans appear as the ones in control, Joe Barton made them appear to be the ones defending and supporting BP and their oil corporation allies; as the endorsers and enablers of the corporations that caused this colamity in the first place. And you can bet that as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, the Democrats will milk this for all its worth - as they should, in my opinion.

    When and if we get public financing of campaigns, then we'll see who and what the Republicans support.

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  • 170. At 9:53pm on 18 Jun 2010, as is wrote:

    166. At 8:22pm on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    163. At 8:03pm on 18 Jun 2010, peterbo wrote:


    Oh, I wasn't aware we have an insider here. So you were around when the talks Obama-BP evolved. Mr Mardell should take notice of a valuable source of first-hand info. And, BTW, my questions remain unanswered.


    I was not there, there maybe some executive emergency powers but BP announced the $20bn voluntarily. Question answered."


    OK Ted, please remind me of President GWH Bush exiting White House premises, after secret takls with EXXON, and declaring what the EXXON VALDES spill damages and liabilities were in US$ (a number), and then instituting an escrow fund, with EXXON voluntary/non-voluntary installments, with one of his henchmen managing the fund, and distributing compensation to plaintiffs on unclear criteria - without any input from the legislative and judicial branches, or EXXON.

    As far as I know, the damages/liability issues was settled in the US courts of law, between the plaintiffs, the defendant(s), with input from fed/state prosecutors, attorneys, and experts representing all parties involved. And, believe it or not, GWH was not around.


    So no, my questions were not answered. Even if Obama's administration simply accepted a number voluntarily offered by BP, the whole procedure remains unconstitutional, as there's no input by the other branches. Ever heard of Montesquieu's separation of powers?


    Only in Venezuela/Cuba/NK/etc. can Chavez/Castro/Kim/etc. determine, single handedly or by decree, damages, liabilities, asset values, etc for purposes of nationalization/compensation. That's where you are headed.

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  • 171. At 10:16pm on 18 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #143

    It's not the grilling its the political posturing.

    When will goverment officials including Obama adminstration officials testify about their errors, about the ssame time Barney Frank and chris Dodd due to their contribution to the financial meltdown

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  • 172. At 10:23pm on 18 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #150. At 5:55pm on 18 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    Scott0962 (#140): "Speaking of which, when are we going to see the CEOs of Transocean and Haliburton in front of Congress in the hot seat?"

    You are not paying attention. The Presidents of Halliburton and Transocean (and BP America) appeared before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on May 11.

    -----------------

    You're right, I did miss it but I bet their answers were just as bland as Hayward's. A cynical person would note that Transocean, Halliburton and BP America can all donate to American political campaigns while the parent company of BP being based overseas cannot but I'm sure that would never influence our forthright elected servants of the public weal.

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  • 173. At 10:26pm on 18 Jun 2010, brazilwatcher wrote:

    I think Tony Hayward did a good job yesterday. There is no proof whatsoever that BP caused the accident, there is just talk & hearsay, and Hayward is going to reserve his proper answers for a professional board of enquiry, and not give them to the bunch of clowns that we saw yesterday, who don't know one end of an oil pipe from another.

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  • 174. At 10:30pm on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    170. At 9:53pm on 18 Jun 2010, peterbo wrote:
    Even if Obama's administration simply accepted a number voluntarily offered by BP, the whole procedure remains unconstitutional


    What part of the constitution does this violate, exactly?

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  • 175. At 10:37pm on 18 Jun 2010, newwyorkk wrote:

    I, for one, am appalled at the complete lack of respect shown to Mr. Hayward and I am infuriated at the blatant political grandstanding by our elected officials. The committee members who so rudely interrogated Mr. Hayward are an embarrassment to the United States. While they sit high and mighty behind a shield of rhetoric in a desperate attempt to save themselves from culpability, they are committing a grave disservice to those affected by the oil. Plugging the leak, containing the spill, mitigating the damage and cleaning up the mess should attract the unwavering focus of every agency, official and effort. The “who” and the “why” will come out in the wash.

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  • 176. At 10:39pm on 18 Jun 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    THE DEATH OF RONNIE LEE GARDNER

    BBC News report:
    "He was hooded and strapped to a black metal chair, with a white target pinned to his chest. Gardner was then shot at a range of 25ft (7.6m).
    Utah department of corrections director Thomas Patterson said:
    "This is an unusual task but one we have done professionally. It has been done with absolute dignity and reverence for human life."
    This is the graphic account of the passing of a man who had been on death row for 25 years. This surely is an example of how callous and intolerant the United States has become yet continues to regard itself as a world leader on all moral issues. Those responsible for this barbarous act should bury their heads in shame and have no right to dictate to the rest of the world on human affairs.

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  • 177. At 10:42pm on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    On a more positive note, some parts of BP's GoM spill response plan have been a smashing success. Not a single walruses in the GoM has been harmed by this spill!

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  • 178. At 10:47pm on 18 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    I laugh when I hear Obama talking about "kicking ass" as if this affair were some kind of boxing event and he were actually fighting it instead of giving speeches from the Oval Office. Personally, I think Hayward could take him.

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  • 179. At 11:09pm on 18 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #167. At 8:35pm on 18 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    "Any constitutional grounds for the executive branch to step in, ..." (from peterbo at #159)

    These amateur constitutional scholars are so funny. At the time, some thought the Louisiana Purchase was an unconstitutional use of executive power. Nevertheless, we bought it.

    ------------

    Anything is constitutional until the Supreme Court rules it's not. No court challenge, no consitutional violation. If half the stuff Congress and the Executive Branch do ever got challenged in the Supreme Court there's a good chance it would be ruled unconstitutional depending on the current makeup of the Court.

    My favorite example is when Congress passed legislation in 1994 that dictated only "low flow" toilets could be installed in new home construction. The pretext was that it was to conserve water but I find it impossible to believe that the Founding Fathers ever intended to empower Congress to dictate the sanitary accomodations in people's homes. Nonetheless, it was never challenged so it remains the law of the land.

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  • 180. At 11:11pm on 18 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    17 Gavrielle_LaPoste Wrote

    Tony looks bored.

    I agree, and my advice to Tony is..get the hell out of there,go home to ur friends,and have a decent pint or two in ur favourite local. Sod em.

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  • 181. At 11:14pm on 18 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #149
    Second-half sub Maurice Edu appeared to put the U.S. ahead in the 86th, poking in close-range shot after Jozy Altidore headed Donovan's free kick to him. But the goal was disallowed by referee Koman Couilibaly of Mali, apparently for a foul before Edu got the ball.

    "I'm a little gutted to be honest," Donovan said. "I don't know how they stole that last goal from us. I'm not sure what the call was. He (the referee) wouldn't tell us what the call was."

    How can a referee call a foul and refuse to say what it was for?

    Is this the way soccer at the World Cup has always worked?

    Do the refs always make calls without explanations?
    Or are they just doing it to USA?
    Why won't they let us play on a level playing field?
    _____________

    Football (world style) is a second rate sport. there is an anti Eng;ish speaking bias as the refs had to learn the English swear words but no other languages.

    But in a real sport the Celtics got ripped off by the refs last night. That was far more important than this sport

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  • 182. At 11:16pm on 18 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    177 Ted in DEnver Wrote.

    On a more positive note, some parts of BP's GoM spill response plan have been a smashing success. Not a single walruses in the GoM has been harmed by this spill!
    **************

    Some of u poeple still havnt got it...lol

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  • 183. At 11:17pm on 18 Jun 2010, as is wrote:

    174. At 10:30pm on 18 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    170. At 9:53pm on 18 Jun 2010, peterbo wrote:
    Even if Obama's administration simply accepted a number voluntarily offered by BP, the whole procedure remains unconstitutional


    What part of the constitution does this violate, exactly?"

    You may wish to acquaint yourself with Article II - Executive branch, President.

    Aside from the unconstitunality, I am perplexed at the fact that a community organizer and his inner circle undertake to estimate the damages and liabilities, without the judiciary/legislative branch, and experts of all parties involved. Where did this number (US$20 bn) come from? Why not US$40 bn, or, US$15 bn for that matter?

    Frankly, I am curious to hear from arclight, AndreaNY, and other rational posters here. Or maybe they dare not express openly opinions? The cowing and auto censure of politicians, corporations, etc. seems to have come a long way.

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  • 184. At 11:21pm on 18 Jun 2010, eye_write wrote:

    117. Anglophone

    True. And the US's health and safety law is naff too - these disasters happen in places where this is all corrupt. That's the fault, it's their own fault.

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  • 185. At 11:27pm on 18 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #153 #155

    PursuitofLove;

    With respect, from previous exchanges, I have never suggested there is any anti-Britishness going on , nor do I bear any anti-Americanism. I commented that Hayward faced a sham trial and i stand by that. If you recall from previous posts, I was encouraging you and other American doubters to stop relying on the internet for information and come pay us a visit and make your own minds up. Does that sound like an anti-American to you? It is also nonsense to, on the one hand,say in #164 "i'm not sure i want to be friends with you anymore", whilst claiming that some of the American opinions "did not/does not reflect the attitude of the nation as a whole to this!!". You cant have it both ways. Either the internet is a true reflection of BOTH sides views or its neither. I say its neither.

    My opinions on Piper Alpha stem from the number of Americans claiming that Britain would react identically if a US oil company caused a disaster off our shores. I claim that real hard evidence from previous events shows that is not true.

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  • 186. At 11:27pm on 18 Jun 2010, as is wrote:

    179. At 11:09pm on 18 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #167. At 8:35pm on 18 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    "Any constitutional grounds for the executive branch to step in, ..." (from peterbo at #159)

    These amateur constitutional scholars are so funny. At the time, some thought the Louisiana Purchase was an unconstitutional use of executive power. Nevertheless, we bought it."


    Not so fast. The act is being challenged, and will probably go the legal distance.

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  • 187. At 11:33pm on 18 Jun 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    With the difficulty in stopping this leak,it seems the defense in stopping oil coming ashore is piecemeal & fragmented.May be the US military should coordinate the on land defense.There are 100,000 US service men & women in Afghanistan chasing Ali Ba Ba & his forty thieves all over that place.The return would be far better if they were stopping that oil in getting ashore.The only way to look at this terrible situation is through the eyes of people who need a clean ocean to earn there lively hood.The fact that Mr Hayward & BRITISH petroleum are for the high jump if negligent has to be taken on the chin.I did feel for Mr Hayward yesterday,but there is no sentiment in business...

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  • 188. At 11:36pm on 18 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    So far the gulf of Mexico oil leak is nearly half the volume of the Iraqi oil spill on land and into the Persian gulf during the US Desert Storm Campaign.

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  • 189. At 11:54pm on 18 Jun 2010, as is wrote:

    179. At 11:09pm on 18 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #167. At 8:35pm on 18 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    "Any constitutional grounds for the executive branch to step in, ..." (from peterbo at #159)

    These amateur constitutional scholars are so funny. At the time, some thought the Louisiana Purchase was an unconstitutional use of executive power. Nevertheless, we bought it.

    ------------

    Anything is constitutional until the Supreme Court rules it's not. No court challenge, no consitutional violation. If half the stuff Congress and the Executive Branch do ever got challenged in the Supreme Court there's a good chance it would be ruled unconstitutional depending on the current makeup of the Court. "


    Here's what the constitutional expert/Chicago thug Rahm Emanuel had to say on the $20 bn Obama grab:

    "Mr. Obama had no legal basis for the demand, but concluded he did not need one. “He had a power other presidents have used — you call it jawboning,” Mr. Emanuel said."


    The quote comes from the venerable leftist bastion NYT:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37772482/ns/politics-the_new_york_times/

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  • 190. At 00:22am on 19 Jun 2010, Telias wrote:

    My current feelings about this BP spill are as follows :
    1) Tony Hayward made some very cold comments when considering the hurt
    and deaths that were caused, and that must have deeply insulted
    people in the US.
    2) Barack has something against the British to refer to BP as British
    Petroleum in the tone that he did, and to not mention US involvement
    in this tragedy in an even mildly negative tone.
    3) The US have to explain how they can treat the Bhopal tragedy so
    coldly (much worse than BP) and take the moral high ground. If the US
    pays equivalent damages to Bhopal victims then fair enough.
    4) BP are paying 20 billion US$, but are still most hated - that's not
    right.
    5) BP and all other major Oil companies should not have been allowed
    to drill in deepwater without a contingency plan for the blowout
    mechanism not working. How could the US Regulator or BP allow
    drilling under these circumstances?
    6) If Barack destroys BP, then I can only conclude that the US/British
    relationship is no different to any other in the world. Maybe that's
    the way it's going anyway, but it's a shame.

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  • 191. At 00:54am on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Heyward said over and over again he wanted to wait for the investigation to be complete. Well now how long does it take the British to complete an investigation? They just finished their investigation of Bloody Sunday and that happened on January 30....1972. It's only taken them 38 years. You can understand why some of us in America are rather impatient for it to get finished. We'd like to live long enough to see it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Sunday_(1972)

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  • 192. At 00:57am on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    For some reason KGBBC didn't like me comparing OBL with OBH. I said if the relief well doesn't work and the oil spill can't be stopped the US would find him even if he was hiding in the cave in Pakistan next to OBL. He'll be brought to justice.

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  • 193. At 01:07am on 19 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    191. At 00:54am on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    Heyward said over and over again he wanted to wait for the investigation to be complete. Well now how long does it take the British to complete an investigation?


    From an insider:

    "The BP investigation took place at a hotel near the Houston HQ from May 7th to 21st and averaged 18 hours/day of work by a team from all over the world. That investigation did include the depositions of the rig crew. The draft report was ready on May 27th to be presented to BP executives, the final version was ready on Wednesday night, before the Congressional meeting.



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  • 194. At 01:13am on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Ted, the investigation of Bloody Sunday was complete by Mondy night. They just sat on it for 38 years for the heat to die down. That's what BP is doing and we all know that. They know exactly what happened and they are guilty as sin. That is why they are behaving like they're guilty. If they were innocent, they'd be completely open about it. That's okay, the DOJ has ways to make them talk. Ya!

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  • 195. At 01:33am on 19 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:


    Marcus, I have a feeling we are diametrically opposed politically but would get along, maybe after the 6th beer :)

    What is Bloody Sunday other than a U2 song? I kinda know it's an Irish/Brit thing, is all. Is there cliff notes somewhere?

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  • 196. At 02:00am on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Ted in Denver, Bloody Sunday was the Boston Massacre all over again...two hundred years later and 3000 miles to the East. The British never learned anything in all that time and there is little reason to expect they ever will. They are after all Meurons :-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Massacre

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  • 197. At 03:15am on 19 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    183. peterbo:

    "Where did this number (US$20 bn) come from? Why not US$40 bn, or, US$15 bn for that matter?"

    *******************
    Good question.

    My guess is that Obama needed a big enough number to appease Americans after his poor showing in negotiations with the financial institutions. Americans feel they got the short end of that stick.

    It's hard to argue that the president is unqualified and/or ineligible to negotiate a settlement like this when so many people want evil oil to be punished.




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  • 198. At 04:56am on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The Meurons don't get it. The Titanic has hit the iceberg. The Captain and his crew are worried that they passengers are stealing the towels and the silverware while the ship is sinking.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Getting-life-back-BP-CEO-on-apf-760626292.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=3&asset=&ccode=

    Meanwhile now they're shuffling the deck chairs. It is pathetic to watch them...and so very funny. That Heyward guy sure has a knack for getting people angry at him. I don't think I've ever seen anyone do it better.

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  • 199. At 05:33am on 19 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    189. peterbo

    "jawboning"

    That's what Sampson did to the Philistines..in'it

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  • 200. At 06:09am on 19 Jun 2010, RoundRockMike wrote:

    British and American culture and language are so close in many ways that it's easy to misjudge what's actually happening when they differ. The Congressional Panel's treatment of Mr. Hayward reminded me most of the treatment received by U.S. Auto executives when they came begging for loans, and were told to get rid of their private jets. Congress has been mis-behaving in this way for over two-hundred years. Congress asked questions and did nothing. It's the way they do it, and I'm sorry so many in Britain take it so seriously.

    As an American watching the PM's Question Time (I apologize if the term is wrong) I find the questions rude and impertinent, and the general behavior rather uncivilized. The British are not rude, impertinent or uncivilized, it's just my perspective as an American. We do it a bit differently. We grandstand, you harass the PM. No harm no foul.

    Language can be tricky too. When a foreign CEO addresses a US audience, the CEO's staff would do well to consult an American first, for language clarity. Many of us understood the benign nature of the "small people" comment, but from a cultural perspective, referring to "small" or "little" people to an American is both patronizing and demeaning... and might result in a fistfight in some quarters. (My father's for example.)

    Americans don't consider US multinationals (except maybe Ford and GM) at one with American pride and patriotism. In general we hate and mistrust multinationals, U.S. multinationals the more so because they've moved jobs overseas. No one is picking on BP because it's a British HQ'd multinational.

    Foreign aid has been offered by many countries with respect to the Gulf oil spill. With the exception of Mexico, this foreign aid all comes with strings attached...the repayment of all costs related to the aid. While the offers are appreciated, I believe the U.S. government should exhaust domestic sources before hiring foreign aid to assist in the clean-up effort. We may need to buy this aid in the future, thanks for offering to sell it to us.

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  • 201. At 06:48am on 19 Jun 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    I don't 'get' the hate that is sometimes on these threads.
    What is happening is tragic on many levels. Enduring the greatest hurt are those life forms that have no voice on the internet- imagine if they did- what might they tell us all of our stewardship.
    Twenty four hours ago, many comments took a pro-BP stance. I don't share the view, but I may understand it. Two years ago when the global economy seemed on the edge, serious questions were raised wheather any US car company would survive. It wasn't GM or Chrysler but the idea that Ford could be gone hit me in a way that may not have been rational, but still nearly made me want to weep for my nation. I wonder if BP is lodged similarly in others' psyche.
    While I believe BP was in the wrong here, there was no ill considered decision they made that our government's MMS didn't sign off on, making our government an equal partner in this crime.

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  • 202. At 07:58am on 19 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #196

    "Bloody Sunday was the Boston Massacre all over again...two hundred years later and 3000 miles to the East. The British never learned anything in all that time and there is little reason to expect they ever will."

    Shall we discuss massacres perpetrated by the US state? We can if you like. But you might need to put some time aside, as it'll take a while.

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  • 203. At 08:25am on 19 Jun 2010, Countertalk wrote:

    If the purpose of this blog is to comment on Mr Mardell's particular view may I say in my opinion it is somewhat flawed. He was not privy to an hearing behind closed doors. Anyone who cared to was able to watch it from beginning to end. Mardell's comments are I am afraid gratuitous. No one will know the answers until a full professional investigation has been conducted. Of course Mr Heyward must decline to answer any questions that may preempt such an investigation. What we witnessed was a pretty ugly (in more ways than one) panel of inquisitors who were not interested in anything that did not fall within their preconceived intentions. They seemed intent on demonstrating how much they were in 'tune'. Here we saw a hungry pack with barred teeth who had isolated a prey and were determined to tear it limb from limb for public consumption. None of them were experts but they were politicians anxious, without doubt, to satisfy their public at any cost. Mr Heyward made his position quite clear and it is no good beying for his blood. They will just have to wait. It is so desperate for the families of those who died. It is desperate for the ecology, an ecology that is so much at the mercy of the particularly massive demands for energy of that continent right down to the members of the interrogating panel. Did they go there by bike! Clearly there are overriding issues that have to be addressed before responsibility can be properly determined. Chiefly among them is the degree to which all the participants in the disaster as well as BP should be held to account. This has so far been glossed over or not mentioned at all as it no doubt will make uncomfortable reading. For the moment, there is a desperation to avoid any finger being pointed at any 'US' culpability. I have every sympathy for Mr Heyward and BP as they direct all their efforts to sealing the leak while these bees buzz about their ears.

    Thats my view Mr Mardell after hearing the sessions - warts and all. Mr Heywards performance was not bad for BP unless one wanted it to be. So next time you dance before the cameras, it would be nice to hear a comment or two that might be a little more even handed.

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  • 204. At 09:29am on 19 Jun 2010, blogjt wrote:

    Tedindenver wrote

    Also, clearly, Transocean and Halliburton are in the clear. I also expect the other 2 silent owner partners will not be liable beyond the loss of their investment in the well.
    Good luck BP, you are gonna need it.

    Wow a number of Transocean employees are killed and they are in the clear? I must remember to find someone else to blame next time I do business in the US. Unlike some, I will wait until more facts are known before I jump to judgement. But in my book, I am responsible for the people I employ – not my customer. The day that changes will be a sad day for all. Nobody will ever be safe at work again.

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  • 205. At 10:59am on 19 Jun 2010, Andrew Sleigh wrote:

    The news media could do us all a favour by reporting a proper analysis of the material released by the Energy Committee last week. The letter sent by Waxman to Hayward makes some very clear points about BP's actions which could be explained more fully to the general citizen. If you spend the hour or so it takes to look through the emails on the House Energy Committee website, you can understand why the "reckless" comment is being made. You, the media, could do much more to make this material more accessible. It would change many people's take on the issues.

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  • 206. At 11:23am on 19 Jun 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    Well now that the show trial has begun by the slick politicians, pardon the pun.
    Tony was set upon by the political pigs, with reference to basically hari kari, or death by some other way. Amazing how little is given to just searching for the facts. The US government gave them permission to drill, the US government regulated how to drill, and when it turned to a disaster it became British Petro's fault. Huh, seems to me there was a partnership there between BP and the US government.
    The organization US Minerals Management Service/ Dept of Interior that overseers the US interest in mining, drilling, and government wealth associated with this task. Is corrupt, inept, and useless as a viable government entity watchdog. I can envision this Office of the Interior is probably adjacent to or across the hall from FEMA.
    With Obama at the helm and the progressive liberals scurrying about the deck as this ship sinks. Capt Obama will have the lifeboat loaded with the BP booty aboard his own private lifeboat to mete out justice that will best serve the interest of himself and his loyal koolaid drinking followers. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Hope and change, ha!
    Meanwhile with this distraction on, screw the unemployed, screw the majority who favors Arizona's immigration law, continue to support Pakistan, while Pakistan supports the Taliban. So the billions we gave them gives comfort to the enemy who kills our own soldiers. Bailout this,open borders, take over of healthcare, insurance, and auto industry, failed stimulus, more stimulus. Meantime tracts of US land taken over by thug Mexican drug dealers, and bandits in Arizona. I suspect BP poster as Public ENEMY #1 will now be displayed prominently with Obama with an angry face kicking Tony's butt. As Rome burns.

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  • 207. At 11:55am on 19 Jun 2010, U14483105 wrote:

    I am not surprised by the conservative Americans' views on this thread, but I am surprised by the anti-American replies of the "Brits." I have a few questions to which I would like to hear reasoned responses.

    First, because the US response has been found wanting by so many posters from the UK, or those with British sympathies, I wonder what response you would find appropriate? (I am, however, entirely uninterested in the worn replies of American conservatives and faux-libertarians.)

    A most common attack against the US in this forum is that we exist solely for the sake of the dollar, our regulation is a joke and our politics are nothing more than an aestheticized emptiness. Are you suggesting that your concern about the politicized treatment of BP is unrelated to the 15% of all UK pension payouts for which it is responsible? (If you wish to continue the accusations of worthless political bloviation and show, how can you sit still with a useless, bloated family of royals dotting your political landscape? What precisely does Harry cost per annum in dollars?)

    Should the US, after a spill that is now roughly 1/3 the size of your COUNTRY forgive BP its small, pathetic Hayward, a geologist clearly out of his depth? If he cannot stand the glare of bright lights, what on earth is he doing at the head of the 3rd largest corporation on earth?

    Do any of you honestly believe that BP's "investigation" to clarify all the details Mr Hayward lacked would discover anything substantive? The BP investigation that WOULD produce results, in my opinion, would be the one that would determine how much litigation any risk exposure might cost, and how profits reaped make exposure to such risk cost-efficient. It looks like that committee made a couple of accounting errors. Americans, despite your stereotypes, are often critical of corporate power in our country, and malfeasance at the highest levels, whether we have power over it or not. If this were an American company, I believe the reaction would be the same. Bracketing off your distaste for things American, how do you justify your defense of a clearly awful corporation, whose decisions have exceeded the bounds of moral categories?

    Finally, what are BP's chances of survival?

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  • 208. At 11:56am on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    In the two months since the accident on the oil rig, a great deal of evidence of what had happened has been revealed to the public in the Coast Guard hearings which I linked to in previous threads, in these hearings, and in other reports. ALL OF IT is consistent with the conclusion that BP was calling the shots, BP management was motivated exclusively by cutting the time an cost to complete the well, and that safety of the crew, the equipment itself, the environment, and the protection of all life both human and in the marine and coastal environment took a back seat to which BP pays only lip service. Only BP denies these facts, only BP executives refuse to acknowledge what becomes clearer each day to those in America and around the world who look at the evidence objectively. So far not one shred of evidence to the contrary has been presented, only speculation by those who don't want to draw this conclusion. It is also becoming clear that this is part of a corporate culture and pattern of behavior which resulted in the Texas city explosion and deaths, the Alaskan pipeline failure and spill, and over 700 very serious safety code infringements which constitute over 97% for the entire oil industry in America according to one Senator during the hearings. Under American law, as I understand it, there is little doubt this evidence if proven true will constitute a pattern of criminial behavior which will negate any and all limits on the liability for consequential damages to BP as well as fines and punitive damages. The size of the accident and the ripple effect it will have throughout the entire United States economy which is so intertwined will be so great I expect, that it will ultimately bankrupt BP. Nor will shuffling people around within BP or dismissing them absolve them either individually or the corporation of their vulnerability to both criminal and civil prosecution.

    Russia's President Medvedev has said this could be "the annihilation" of BP. That quote is from an article on BBC's web site yesterday. I think his assessment is right on target. If there is one thing I disagree with that I've seen in the media, it is the likely ultimate cost for this disaster. It would hardly surprise me if the bottom line isn't far over 100 billion dollars. While this would deplete much of BP's assets, it should be kept in perspective as only about two thirds of one percent of the US annual GDP. The full effect and cost won't probably be known for years.

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  • 209. At 11:57am on 19 Jun 2010, john vail wrote:

    This crisis falls upon us as the argument mounts as to the role of oil in the future as one of the main sources of energy in the world. No doubt the growing forces in the green movement will take every possible advantage which is offered as a consequence of these events to further the arguments which they persistently raise concerning disasters such as this as well as wider issues such as climatic change and other forms of oil related polution, no doubt we will be hearing more from those sources as time passes, perhaps more people will pause to listen to their input to what is a growing debate around growing concerns of this sort.
    However, leaving aside this profounder side to the matter before us, and returning to the political brooha at present providing its own sticky fall-out from all the hot-air gusts prevailing from all sides, including across the Pond (I'm a Scot by the way, Piper Alpha and all that), mixed messages are what are not needed either now or at any time throughout the course of this hellish event. Only the truth will do, and
    whatever Americans may think about the way their politicians are presenting their views to their electorate, they are doing so IN PUBLIC and they are there for all to see and hear! Judge them as you may, but, aided or hindered by them, only the facts in this situation are of crucial importance, political point scoring has no place in matters of clarity and truth.
    The primary mission above all is unarguably to stem the outpouring of oil into the waters extending across such a wide coastal stretch, which embraces the ways of life of so many who are dependent upon its bounty for their livelihoods in the first place, and also to save the destruction of wild life, their various habitats, and also to secure the wider environment from the inestimable long term damage which could inevitabably ensue if all attempts at stabilisation fail.
    President Obama and his administration, whatever may be claimed about their agility in taking action when alarm was raised, have never the less correctly set what I think are the are the issues of first and most importance in demanding that BP instantly secure those victims of these events whose occupational wellbeing has been undermined by the consequences of BP's actions, first of all by removing the cap of £75m limit on the liabilities to be met by offending companies, and demanding instead that BP establish a fund of $20B from which to meet all claims for damages submitted by those who would otherwise be facing disaster, with the further qualification that this sum is not capped, which carries the inference that failure to bring this disaster to an end in time could incur further penalties, good news for those who might, due to continued loss of livelihood, go on to suffer unsustainable losses otherwise. My gut reaction throughout all that has taken place has been to hope that all those whose livelihoods have been affected by this mess recieve all the support that they need to carry them through this trauma, they don't deserve to fall victim in any way whatsoever to this gross technical failure on the part of BP. They have my total support in every way possible, although I will reserve my sympathy for the moment, as I hope that in finality it will not be needed.
    Obama's administraton has also placed the responsibility for all reparations and costs to be met on the shoulders of BP, thus absolving the American taxpayer of any liabilities, and quite right too. If oil companies are prepared to extend their operations to the point of involving themselves in such high risk undertakings, then they will have to consider the extent of the consequences to themselves in the event of failure, as the bill for such a failure is, certainly in this instance, outrageously beyond anything which could be rationally demanded
    of any nation's public purse. (It's notable that BP has aquiesced to the financial demands of the American administration with such benign equanimity, having deposited a sum of money that would have left many Third World states destitute. Just a thought).
    When events odf this sort on this scale occur, the consequences reach beyond the expected parameters into areas which are not initially given instant consideration, to wit, the cries of agony arising from the pensioned shareholders who find themselves on the recieving end of the decision of BP to withold payment of shares as a step towards meeting the costs incurred by its financial measures to meet its bills. Well, how many times have we been told by one financial advisor after another that the market can go down as well as up, does this ring any bells, or for another example, did the bank fiasco not happen? You pays your money and you takes your chance! Perhaps challenging the (British) government to do more with regards to meeting its responsibilities towards the provision of a decent pension would be a sounder policy than complaining when company assets are requisitioned to meet a crisis of this dimention, with subsequent losses of dividends.
    Oil certainly plays a crucial role in the life of a modern technology driven society, and is more than a lubricant or fuel amongst the other countless uses it has today. The part it plays in national security is central, therefore the relentless drive to obtain secure supplies, is understandable to say the least. the technological requirements of the sort of well at the centre of this disaster is awsome. A mile down in the water to the sea bed before touching terra firma, then drilling into the sea bed to a depth of two kilometers is an idea which simply enfeebles the mind, but only to the extent that it gives rise to other considerations as a consequence. The question of how far risks can be taken before they become untenable, are such risks managable when things go wrong, are we aproaching a cross-road where signal decisions have to be taken about the future of oil, its conservation and therefore its use?
    Perhaps some other chickens are coming home to roost, like our disasterous actions in the Middle East, thanks to the Bush/Blair Axis, (there's a term for us to contemplate, old veterans and the historically adroit will know what that refers to), and the destabilising consequences we now enjoy as a result, forcing the West and not just America alone into the position of looking closely at all the other options whatever they might be.
    Whatever can be achieved in concrete terms by the politicians in the midst of all that has come to pass has been probably been achieved by Obama so far, after all whilst the rest of the world has been looking on, no useful alternatives have been forthcoming from anyone, despite the fact tthat problems on this scale could have gobal effects.
    When an end is brought to this situation, no doubt changes will be made on how he oil industry is controlled, and I hope that first of all the people whose livlihoods have been affected recieve full compensation for whatever they stand to lose, and also that the conservation movement gets a close hearing, with political decisions following these events making sense not only in a way that affects the way that oil companies behave in and around America, but also how they conduct their affairs globally, their record on pollution elsewhere does not stand close scrutiny.







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  • 210. At 12:17pm on 19 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref #205 Andrew Sleigh
    Reading the data on the House Energy Committee website shows that there is no "smoking gun" to incriminate BP yet. They stand accused of taking money saving decisions at the expense of safety, but culpability and liability will be determined by whether those decisions fell short of legal safety standards.

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  • 211. At 12:46pm on 19 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    210. PartTimeDon:

    "They stand accused of taking money saving decisions at the expense of safety, but culpability and liability will be determined by whether those decisions fell short of legal safety standards."

    ***************
    I get the impression that there are few "standards" on rigs. It looks more like a "Wild West", do whatever-it-takes mentality to get the job done.

    At a minimum, changes should be made to protect the workers.

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  • 212. At 1:16pm on 19 Jun 2010, Paul Eyles wrote:

    They say that BP should pay for the damage it caused...Fair enough.

    They say that BP should not pay dividends due to the damaged caused.....fair enough.


    Globally the Greedy American Banks / Investment Companies started the Global Financial Crisis. They got to pay there staff bonuses afterwards, they did not get this treatment after causing a GLOBAL catasphrophy for their greed. They caused more damage on a Global level than BP has.

    Now will we see the same treatment BP has recieved and been dictated to with the greedy banks. They have caused so much damage and heartache and nearly collapsed the global economy. They should be made to stop all bonuses and the like until they pay back all the financial damage is "repaired".

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  • 213. At 1:20pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    PTD;

    "They stand accused of taking money saving decisions at the expense of safety, but culpability and liability will be determined by whether those decisions fell short of legal safety standards."

    I disagree. At every turn, with every decision there were others both within BP and in the outside contracting firms who voiced strong objections warning that those decisions entailed unacceptable risks and each time BP managers in charge vetoed their objections. If there is at least one smoking gun it's the internal memo about the centralizers that would have taken another 11 hours to install. At a cost of about half a million dollars a day that decision saved BP about a quarter of a million dollars even though there was an explicit warning that not using all 21 of them would result in the drilling mud not flowing properly. They were also warned about the cement log test not being performed made it impossible to know if there would be a dangerous buildup of gas that could result in an explosion and that appears to be exactly what happened. Those who refuse to accept the evidence of the testimony are in the same state of denial as the executives of BP are. Nor will the "I knew nothing" defense work either. As the top executives of what was a large, expensive, difficult, behind schedule, and potentially very lucrative project, their explanation that they were not in the loop, didn't know what was going on lacks credibility. The test in American law as I understand it is "knew or should have known." That they did not know even if it is true only proves their indifference to what was going on in their own company and their gross mismanagement and irresponsibility. They either knew and agreed with what was happening or didn't know because they didn't care as long as they thought the project was being completed no matter how. Either way they lose. The courts will determine if that rises to the level of criminality but I think many Americans have alreaady reached the conclusion that it does. Not only does it appear they will not be given a pass to get out of this one, it seems they have no credible defense to offer, not even the wisp of one. The explanation that it was an unforseeable accident which could not have been anticipated does not seem to get off the ground. Every bit of evidence from outside experts including their subcontractors, competitors, independent experts with no direct personal stake in the outcome and by some of BP's own employees argues consistently that they are as guilty as they can be. That is why they are condemned and their obfuscation, denials, stonewalling, only deepens the trouble they are in and the ultimate consequences for them.

    So far the only thing BP has had to offer is that it is waiting for the investigation to be complete. If they think America will wait 38 years for the result the way the victims of bloody Sunday had to wait they'd better guess again. This week Mr. Heyward seems to have had a bloody Wednesday with President Obama and a bloody Thursday with a United States Senate Committee. The 20 billion dollars is IMO just the first few drops of BP's blood in red ink it will shed. The real bleeding for it hasn't even begun yet. This is not going away, if anything as the oil slick continues to spread and its impact widens around the coastal waters and deepens in the American economy it will grow considerably. BP is a dead man walking.

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  • 214. At 1:24pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    A.NY;

    "I get the impression that there are few "standards" on rigs."

    I get exactly the opposite impression. I get the impression that there are very strict and explicit standards. It's just that BP ignored every one of them every time it would have cost time and money to adhere to them. The excuse that the MMS didn't stop them won't fly either. The fact that a cop didn't make an arrest doesn't give someone license to continue commiting crimes. MMS is an entirely different issue and that will be deal with separately. BP trying to connect them will only again make matters worse. No free pass on that one either.

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  • 215. At 2:24pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Clang Clang Clang went the bell;

    "Globally the Greedy American Banks / Investment Companies started the Global Financial Crisis.

    That is not exactly right. Nobody forced Northern Rock, Deutchebank, USB Warburg, Societe General, or BNP to buy the same kind of risky investments American bankers did. Nor to trust ratings services whose liability had been previously determined by the US Supreme Court to be non existant because their ratings were merely a statement of opinion and an exercise of free speech. The European were only too happy to make and keep these investments when they thought they were doing well. That they did not do their due dilligence was nobody's fault but their own, and their management's, and their shareholders' who let them get away with it.

    As with markets, there appears to be two emotions which come into play, greed and fear. What the banking crisis and the oil disaster seem to have in common was that there was far too much greed for profits, far too little fear for the possible consequences of risky actions.

    "They got to pay there staff bonuses afterwards, they did not get this treatment after causing a GLOBAL catasphrophy for their greed."

    That some banks were bailed out and some execs got large bonuses as a result was an unintended consequence due the speed with which the crisis manifested itself and to carelessness in the speed it had to be dealt with. Many Americans were very angry to see their tax money go to that and I'm sure many politicians paid for their oversight by not getting re-elected. It will continue to be an issue as their challengers are sure to bring it up in elections in the future.

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  • 216. At 3:31pm on 19 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #176
    margaret howard wrote:
    THE DEATH OF RONNIE LEE GARDNER

    BBC News report:
    "He was hooded and strapped to a black metal chair, with a white target pinned to his chest. Gardner was then shot at a range of 25ft (7.6m).
    Utah department of corrections director Thomas Patterson said:
    "This is an unusual task but one we have done professionally. It has been done with absolute dignity and reverence for human life."
    This is the graphic account of the passing of a man who had been on death row for 25 years. This surely is an example of how callous and intolerant the United States has become yet continues to regard itself as a world leader on all moral issues. Those responsible for this barbarous act should bury their heads in shame and have no right to dictate to the rest of the world on human affairs.
    ___________-

    the only tradegdy is that it tok 25 years to kill this man. I think exucting murders is moral when there is an overwhleming proof.

    If you are concerned about being humane, lets go back to the guillotine quick and decisive.

    I hope the European cause celbre who murdered a police officer in Philidelphia goes fairly soon

    Better the U.S even under Obama being the arbiters of morality rather than the U.N Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International

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  • 217. At 3:53pm on 19 Jun 2010, Telias wrote:

    Marcus Aurelius II wrote : "What the banking crisis and the oil disaster seem to have in common was that there was far too much greed for profits, far too little fear for the possible consequences of risky actions."
    I have to agree that long term financial or environmental risk was not priced in by multinational bank or oil companies, as they hoped any indirect damage would be covered by the people's taxes.
    However, it is up to government to regulate enough so that the risk is priced in by companies. In BP's case it was getting everything signed off by Regulators, so how could BP have been allowed to have 6 instead of 21 of those safety devices and still get signed off? Why didn't the contractors report the bad practice at the time to the Regulator and refuse to work on the rig until resolved. If they were afraid of upsetting BP (by talking to the Regulator),then that issue must also be resolved, and regulation drafted to remove that fear in future. Surely the Regulator should physically oversee all critical stages of rig construction with photographic evidence and not just trust the oil companies.

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  • 218. At 4:05pm on 19 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    I called it in one of my post yesterday that Anadarko would get out of any liability. I thought they would wait longer but pretty much everyone can see the writing on the wall now.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37782377/ns/disaster_in_the_gulf/

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  • 219. At 4:05pm on 19 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #216

    "the only tradegdy is that it tok 25 years to kill this man. I think exucting murders is moral when there is an overwhleming proof"

    That's not the only tragedy with that sentence.

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  • 220. At 4:14pm on 19 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    216. At 3:31pm on 19 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #176
    margaret howard wrote:
    THE DEATH OF RONNIE LEE GARDNER


    How about you bring religion in to this also. Then we have money, religion, oil, greed, politics, capital punishment and wars all in one thread.

    Yep, that about covers it. Godwin's law in 5.4.3.2.1..... :D

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  • 221. At 4:17pm on 19 Jun 2010, Telias wrote:

    I don't understand why the "Oil Rig Construction Regulator" did not prevent BP from using the well if it had been built using lax safety standards. Surely there should be a Regulator physically present at all critical stages of Rig construction, with photographic evidence, and if any Contractor mentioned any safety doubts then that should have been resolved with the Regulator at the time.

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  • 222. At 4:20pm on 19 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    217. At 3:53pm on 19 Jun 2010, Telias wrote:
    Surely the Regulator should physically oversee all critical stages of rig construction with photographic evidence and not just trust the oil companies.

    Regulators are like the police, admittedly ours were not on the ball, but bad police officers do not excuse crime. At least not in the US. Maybe it’s different in the UK and this would be a valid defense.

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  • 223. At 4:28pm on 19 Jun 2010, diverticulosis wrote:

    It didn't take long for Mr. Hayward to "get his life back".
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100619/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gulf_oil_spill

    Now you see why the US populous doesn't trust BP.

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  • 224. At 4:28pm on 19 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    PA follow Utah's example and excute Abu Jamal

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  • 225. At 4:43pm on 19 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #222

    "bad police officers do not excuse crime. At least not in the US. Maybe it’s different in the UK and this would be a valid defense"

    No, its the same. But we do have a particular enthusiasm for the mantra of "innocent until proven guilty", a concept clearly lost on that group of numpties the other day.

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  • 226. At 5:05pm on 19 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    The World comes to the aid of America.....sorta

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/37785500

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  • 227. At 5:15pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Ultimately the responsibility rests with those who do something, not with the government regulators who didn't stop them. BP broke it, they own it, now they have to fix it and pay for the damage it inflicted. If they also broke the law they have to pay for that too. If you can't do the crime, don't do the crime. BP blaming its own negligence on MMS's laxity won't work, it is merely a further admission of culpability whether BP knows it or not. It won't work in American public opinion, not in American courts either.

    BTW, the bailout of AIG by the Bush administration was in part the result of pleading by European governments for preventing the dire consequences to their banks, their economies if AIG had been allowed to go the way of Lehman Brothers. I expect we won't make that mistake again.

    Should BP fire Heyward, that would be about as dumb a move as they could make given the stew pot they're already in. That would leave him free to cut a deal with the Feds in which he'd get a reduced sentence by admitting to what seems obviously BP's policy of ignoring the laws. As a result, any hope BP had of limiting its tort liability would be gone. It would also be very damaging in Federal criminal court to them. I'm sure their lawyers know that.

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  • 228. At 5:17pm on 19 Jun 2010, falmaid wrote:

    I have to agree with MagicKirin's comments on the death of Ronnie Lee Gardner. Tony Hayward should count himself lucky that the ignominious show trial by the Congressional Committee was not held in Utah. What we were all looking for was the results of an in-depth understanding across all companies and agencies involved in this terrible disaster and not a public flogging that did no-one any good. And the high spot of the week?Surely it was M. Le Président Zarkosy and David Cameron 'zarkosying' up in London in a new entente cordiale. The road to Europe has been long and hard, and isn't over yet, but perhaps this week has made us think that our better cultural ties are across the Channel. Vive La France!

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  • 229. At 5:19pm on 19 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref 211 AndreaNY
    "At a minimum, changes should be made to protect the workers."

    Totally agree. Congress should be boning up on current legislation right now.
    Step 1: They can act to close any loop holes in current safety legislation.
    Step 2: Find out the facts
    Step 3: Go after BP and/or their subs for any instances when they fell foul of the law and legislate further based on the facts of this case if necessary.
    All this must happen in tandem with the ongoing clean up.
    If Step 2 is delayed in order to expedite stopping the leak. So be it. Notwithstanding MAII's rants.

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  • 230. At 5:28pm on 19 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    223. At 4:28pm on 19 Jun 2010, diverticulosis wrote:
    It didn't take long for Mr. Hayward to "get his life back".
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100619/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gulf_oil_spill


    I do believe the people working day in and day out on this need a day off here and there. Working 7 days a week for months does not foster productivity, we all know that. However, this guy is amazing, just chill out in the back yard and grill a steak or something, not go to a massively public yacht race!!!!

    What a plonker, to use a Brit word but it fits.

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  • 231. At 5:38pm on 19 Jun 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 217, Telias

    "Surely there should be a Regulator physically present at all critical stages of Rig construction, with photographic evidence, and if any Contractor mentioned any safety doubts then that should have been resolved with the Regulator at the time."

    Every day and every moment are critical druing oil well drilling operations. The chances of having MMS inspectors on every well when the American public is clamoring for smaller and less intrusive government are slim to none.

    Periodic, unannounced, inspections should take place but in the end the operators and owners of each lease are responsible for their decisions and must abide by established laws, standards and regulations. If oil companies - or anyone else for that matter - breakx the law they must be held responsible for their decision...regardless of what the GOP minions think.




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  • 232. At 5:44pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Ref 211 AndreaNY
    "At a minimum, changes should be made to protect the workers."

    Totally agree. Congress should be boning up on current legislation right now."

    There are strict rules to protect workers and severe penalties for violating them. They are set and enforced by OSHA. If the stories we heard about BP threatening to fire workers who wanted to wear protective clothing or respirators is true there are more civil and possibly criminal penalties to come. This is consistent with the entire patttern, a tapestry that portrays BP as a criminal enterprise violating American law at will as though it doesn't exist. In the end, these cases will likely all get tried and if BP is guilty, penalties will be meted out. Often those who are employees within the company as well are also subject individually to civil and criminal penalties too under American law. Usually if they are at a low level, the company disavows them and lets them hang on their own saying they violated company policy. Usually their financial resources to hire the best lawyers aren't nearly equal to the kind of defense corporations can buy for those employees it chooses to defend.

    There are Federal crimes that are capital, that is they carry a death sentence. I don't think the deaths of the 11 workers will rise to that level though. This sounds more like involuntary manslaughter or negligent homocide rather than first degree murder. I don't think the death penalty will be an issue in any of BP's trials. At least not for humans. For corporations that's another matter. Death by chocolate, death by oil. I watched part of the World Cup with Ghana playing Australia. I fell asleep three times in ten minutes. I had to turn it off or I might have suffered death by boredom. God I hate soccer.

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  • 233. At 5:56pm on 19 Jun 2010, Henry Wood wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 234. At 6:00pm on 19 Jun 2010, whosays wrote:

    is infuriating and exasperating the politicians who want and expect clear answers."

    Are these the same politicians that spent so many years ignoring spills in South America or India or Nigeria because they considered the worst offenders to be the likes of "GreenPeace" and all those "terrorists" as they used to be called.

    Seems the protesters had another thing right. Now that's

    World economy , free trade, ozone, global warming, pollution, conservation, .. WOW for a bunch of stoned losers they sure got a "heck" of a lot more right than the..... older generation that just said NO.

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  • 235. At 6:05pm on 19 Jun 2010, whosays wrote:

    229 And at the same time America can demand that it's companies set up funds to compensate those victims of the oil industry that america tends to forget about.

    Occidental.. Chevron Union Carbide (for you know what)


    Or wait for BP to sue on the grounds of discrimination and unfair advantage given to those companies that have been allowed to get away with this .
    Until now no one has ever suspended dividends for paying out a claim.
    Unfortunately. Those that demanded it before are vilified as anti capitalist hippy stoners.

    Well don Obama. now spread the justice out a bit more fairly.
    Time to demand that Chevron and the rest set up funds to clean their messes up.
    Or is it only a mess when it effects america.

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  • 236. At 6:08pm on 19 Jun 2010, whosays wrote:

    "Now you see why the US populous doesn't trust BP"

    LOL the rest of the world didn't trust them before. It was Americans that kept saying "believe in corporate kindness and decency" as the world protested the free trade and free for all on the environment.
    So frankly given the amount of the oil used by americans you can take your xenophobic comments and US them where they belong.

    Concentrate on the Brit aspect. forget the america.
    still the BBCUS xenophobic hate site I see.

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  • 237. At 6:29pm on 19 Jun 2010, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    Commonsense_expressway #185: '"With respect, from previous exchanges, I have never suggested there is any anti-Britishness going on , nor do I bear any anti-Americanism. I commented that Hayward faced a sham trial and i stand by that."

    And I pointed out that this Congressional "hearing" is not a real hearing, at least not in the due process, innocent until proven guilty fashon that is the foundation of our democracies. It is a part of an on-going investigation, intended to yes grand stand for the constituants, but also try to get some serious answers to some serious questions that the Congressmen and women do not already know from BP, Halliberton, the MMS and Transocean's CEOs/department head. It was not, as you concluded, a conviction before trial/drawing and quartering/an event to bring out the pitch forks. It is not a trial. It is a public investigation which (if it goes well) should provide some invaluable information for the Graham-Reily commission, the 7-member commission tasked with gathering the evidence for the potencial later real trials, if in fact the oil corporations are found to have broken the law. And I never said you were anti-American. You had said that you saw anti-British sentiment expressed during the hearing, and I pointed out that there wasn't. The Congressmen were tough with Tony Hayward, sure. But tough with a CEO doesn't equal insulting and disparaging an entire country and its people.

    "If you recall from previous posts, I was encouraging you and other American doubters to stop relying on the internet for information and come pay us a visit and make your own minds up. Does that sound like an anti-American to you?"

    No. And I thank you for the suggestion. Perhaps one day before I die I'll work up the courage to come over. Just not now. It seems Obama is a combination of both George Bush and Tony Blair.

    "It is also nonsense to, on the one hand,say in #164 "i'm not sure i want to be friends with you anymore", whilst claiming that some of the American opinions "did not/does not reflect the attitude of the nation as a whole to this!!". You cant have it both ways. Either the internet is a true reflection of BOTH sides views or its neither. I say its neither."

    My post in #164 was that I, personally, would not want to be friends with someone who - knowing my character, knowing my values and beliefs, knowing how I feel about them - suspects me of seaking to undermine/offend/hurt them all the time. Friends aren't supposed to treat one another like that without just cause. So I was saying that if I were in a position in the government where I could have some influence over this (and perhaps one day I will be,) I would rethink being so close to Britain, because as described in post #164 in great detail, it seems that no matter who is in the White House, no matter the party, the papers, many of the people and politicians believe the American people to harber anti-British sentiment/the president to see the British as a loyal poodle/punching bag etc. And for me, it is just to hurtful too endure. I'm just not that strong. The belief that the American people are anti-British because of their anger (sometimes expressed in not the most diplomatic of terms) at BP is, for me anyway, like a significant other suspecting their partner of cheating on them without just cause. It is simply astoundingly devistating.

    I don't think the internet is a reflection of both sides views either.


    "My opinions on Piper Alpha stem from the number of Americans claiming that Britain would react identically if a US oil company caused a disaster off our shores. I claim that real hard evidence from previous events shows that is not true."

    And I believe you. But then what do you call the MPs questioning the officials in public as they did during the Iraq inquiry with Tony Blair, Jack Straw etc last year? They had Tony Blair sit there all day long and peppered him with questions. Real, honest, serious, investigative questions, to which many of which he avoided. That sounds like a Congressional hearing to me. What do you call that? And again the Graham-Reily commission is where the real work is being done here, just as the inquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster was handled in Britain. See GH1618's post at #157.

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  • 238. At 6:30pm on 19 Jun 2010, Telias wrote:

    Ref 222 - TedInDenver wrote:
    "Regulators are like the police, admittedly ours were not on the ball, but bad police officers do not excuse crime. At least not in the US. Maybe it’s different in the UK and this would be a valid defense."

    I agree that BP are primarily responsible, not the police. If it can be proved that BP threatened the workers to ignore safety then if it went bankrupt on that basis that would be fine with me. However, I do not know that has happened.
    Maybe this was an accident, with a few safety short cuts that were nonetheless still within the Regulator's margin of saftey.
    If that's the case then lack of regulation must also be a significant factor.

    Ref :231. SaintDominick wrote:
    "Every day and every moment are critical druing oil well drilling operations. The chances of having MMS inspectors on every well when the American public is clamoring for smaller and less intrusive government are slim to none.

    Periodic, unannounced, inspections should take place but in the end the operators and owners of each lease are responsible for their decisions and must abide by established laws, standards and regulations. If oil companies - or anyone else for that matter - breakx the law they must be held responsible for their decision...regardless of what the GOP minions think."

    Again, I agree that if BP broke the law then they must pay the consequences. However, the potential damage of deepwater drilling is now so great that we cannot rely on trust in future - there must be a physically present independent inspector who also takes some responsibility for the safety of a rig. In particular, something must be done to prevent employees being bullied in to passing off safety reports, without fear of losing their job. If an independent inspector was present I don't think this would occur.

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  • 239. At 6:53pm on 19 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    214. MarcusAureliusII:
    A.NY;

    "I get the impression that there are few "standards" on rigs."

    I get exactly the opposite impression. I get the impression that there are very strict and explicit standards. It's just that BP ignored every one of them every time it would have cost time and money to adhere to them.

    ***********************
    And, yet, had this explosion not occurred, BP would have continued to do what it did on this rig, and no one would have known about any of it.

    Sounds to me like what goes on out there on those rigs is not subject to much interference.

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  • 240. At 7:25pm on 19 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #237

    "But then what do you call the MPs questioning the officials in public as they did during the Iraq inquiry with Tony Blair, Jack Straw etc last year? They had Tony Blair sit there all day long and peppered him with questions. Real, honest, serious, investigative questions, to which many of which he avoided. That sounds like a Congressional hearing to me"

    Yes you are right. But the main difference is that the Chilcot Inquiry didn't begin until Britain's mission in Iraq was concluded and the troops withdrawn. All the evidence from start to finish is available to be examined,whether the witnesses tell the truth or not is entirely down to their integrity or lack of. The Gulf spill hasn't been stopped yet, the clean up concluded ,nor has the full depth and breadth of guilt been determined. Thats the issue I have with it, its pointlessly premature and with testimony being linked to possible future prosecutions, it wasn't in Haywards interest to be cooperative.

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  • 241. At 7:30pm on 19 Jun 2010, JMM_for_now wrote:

    122. At 12:31pm on 18 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:
    "Well, perhaps some of you will have a greater understanding of Americans' distrust of its own government.

    Would you want these guys making your health care decisions?"

    Amazing how some people, after this corporate mess and after the banking and mortgage messes, keep pretending that the people who run big companies are more careing, more trustworthy and better able to handle the people's needs than the government!

    Some are so moronic that they would want their health care in the hands of people like the BP management, or Bernie Ebbers because they distrust government people [like President Obama].

    It just doesn't penetrate heads as thick as concrete that the decision making process used by BP [sacrifice the environment, peoples jobs, lives, and health in the interest of making a bigger profit more quickly] is exactly the same mentality and process used by the management of the insurance companies, banks and the pharmaceutical companies.

    Some, apparently, appear to be so dim that if Obama warned them to take an umbrella today, they would rather get drenched than use an umbrella and admit that he was right about the rain.


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  • 242. At 7:41pm on 19 Jun 2010, JMM_for_now wrote:

    170. At 9:53pm on 18 Jun 2010, peterbo wrote: "What do you think, Americans (or, should I write, "budding Venezuelans")? It's scary to monitor from north of the border the fast and inevitable venezualization of a neighbouring country and its citizens, businessmen, and politicians."

    Please prorogue the baseless comparisons. No one having prorogued our [admittedly corrupt] congress, the idea that democracy is particularly threatened SOUTH of the Canadian boarder is a bit much.

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  • 243. At 8:12pm on 19 Jun 2010, Andrew Sleigh wrote:

    My comment at 205, PartTimeDon at 210, MarcusAureliusII at 213.

    It may be there is not yet a smoking gun in the sense that it directly implies negligence, but it does show less than best practice being followed in several regards, and that internal advice, and advice from contractors, to adopt an approach with better inherent risk mitigation was overruled by operational management. In all safety critical activities that I have had experience of there is invariably a parallel safety function with 'red card' authority over operational management. This piece of governance is usually built in by Boards and CEOs to protect them from the inevitable conflict of interest that operational managers face. This does not seem to be in place in BP. That IS Hayward's responsibility.

    The actions that come closest to a smoking gun are the decision to use 6 not 21 centralisers (which has potential to weaken the cementation plug as the inner pipe squeezes against the casing) and the decision not to put the sensors down to check the integrity of the cementation. The decision not to put in place a lock down ring before pressure testing and unloading the well is another doubtful omission.

    However, my point was that the media should bring this part of the story out into the open, and try to explain the background to the concerns raised by BP employees and Haliburton and by Schlumberger. For example, it appears it is normal to have more than 2 barriers to well rupture, but the single casing solution adopted has just that: the concrete plug at the bottom and the seal where the well casing meets the well head. Other solutions provide 4 barriers to failure. Since it looks like the well failed through the top part of the casing coming loose, and probably lodging in the blowout preventer, following failure of the cement plug, these are all material decisions, especially in a well that was already "a nightmare".

    If you have not done so, read the letter sent to Hayward:
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 244. At 8:23pm on 19 Jun 2010, JMM_for_now wrote:

    204. At 09:29am on 19 Jun 2010, blogjt wrote:
    To Tedindenver:
    “Wow a number of Transocean employees are killed and they are in the clear? I must remember to find someone else to blame next time I do business in the US. Unlike some, I will wait until more facts are known before I jump to judgement.”

    I, and probably most Americans, hope all parties who share the guilt also share the pain and punishment. Nor should we overlook the harlots of D.C. [NOT the working girls, the politicos] who have been turning tricks for the oil, insurance, banking, and other industries and whose corruption and/or inattention to the public welfare allowed the organized criminals in big business to get away with their crimes.

    My British, Canadian and other friends, vilify the US government you may, but scarcely with the same feeling that many US citizens do so. And we heartily agree that they need their appointment with justice as well.

    None of this, however, lets BP off the hook. Let's try a simpler comparison.

    If you have a suit made at a British tailor shop, the proprietor of which is a Briton, and the suit falls apart a few days later, who do you blame and who must make it good, the British proprietor, the Indians who did the sewing in the back room, or the Chinese who produced the inferior tools and materials?

    A good tailor would, no doubt, be all over polite and make appropriate recompense to the customer, then fire the Indians and possibly sue the Chinese manufacturers [or failing the ablility to do so, at least get rid of the dreck and obtain quality replacements].

    I think this is a pretty close parallel, though vastly different in scale. No one would assume that Britain was at fault, nor all Indians [I know from experience that they do excellent work tailoring], just the ones who did the shoddy work in question.

    If, however the proprietor had had previous problems, and if the suit had fallen apart spectacularly and embarrassingly on High Street at high noon, one supposes that the reputation would suffer further.

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  • 245. At 8:36pm on 19 Jun 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    To better grasp how private interests have permeated public oversight, and why this is just as critical to correct as any individual case of corporate wrong, the following article speaks volumes:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/111965

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  • 246. At 8:38pm on 19 Jun 2010, Andrew Sleigh wrote:

    Reference my post at 243, this is a working link to the !4 June House Energy Committee letter to Hayward:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 247. At 9:06pm on 19 Jun 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    LucyJ:

    How can a referee call a foul and refuse to say what it was for? Those are FIFA's rules.

    Is this the way soccer at the World Cup has always worked? Yes.

    Do the refs always make calls without explanations? No, but a fair amount of the time they do. It's typically obvious what the foul is.

    Or are they just doing it to USA? No.
    Why won't they let us play on a level playing field? Sometimes a bad call is just a bad call. I might also point out that Dempsey could easily have been given a red card for throwing an elbow to the head. At the very least he deserved a yellow.

    I am also confused to how players can hold other players arms and that is not called a foul? Not an NBA fan, I presume.

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  • 248. At 9:09pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    A.NY

    "And, yet, had this explosion not occurred, BP would have continued to do what it did on this rig, and no one would have known about any of it."

    The standards exist, they just were not adhered to and the violations of them were not discovered and enforced. BTW, it's like that in many other ways in many industries in the US. In construction standards for example. In fire codes. OSHA and NIOSH codes. But the violations are usually not as flagrant or systematic. That is because if nothing else, our legal system provides for tort remedies. In foreign countries where you can't sue for a million dollars if they give you a cup of coffee that's too hot and you spill it on yourself and get burned, they rarely observe or enforce codes. Whenever there is an earthquake, severe storm or some other disaster, people around the world are killed because there is no enforcement and no legal remedies.

    "Sounds to me like what goes on out there on those rigs is not subject to much interference."

    That's how it sounds to a lot of people including many in Congress who will be asking MMS why not. I think the President has been asking the same questions and he's not happy with the answers. Those who thought this was all solved after the Exxon Valdiz were wrong. I think one problem is that BP does not understand what can happen if they break our laws. The lack of real penalties for Texas City, Alaska, and those 760 violations gave them a message that they could get away with anything. Maybe that was our fault for going too easy on them in the past but I think it will be a mistake that will be remedied in this case.


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  • 249. At 9:18pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    AS:

    "It may be there is not yet a smoking gun in the sense that it directly implies negligence, but it does show less than best practice being followed in several regards, and that internal advice, and advice from contractors, to adopt an approach with better inherent risk mitigation was overruled by operational management."

    That is clear but whether it rises to requiring them to pay for damages under tort law or if there are criminal penalties is for prosecutors, plaintif's lawyers, judges, and juries to try and to decide. I'm no lawyer and unless you are we're just guessing but I think most of us who live in the US are sufficiently aware of the rules and penalties to believe that in all likelihood there will be successful civil and criminal prosecutions against BP and some of its employees.

    The hearings so far are not trials, they are simply public investigations for various other purposes and some of the testimony and evidence may be used later as evidence in a real trial or as the source for further investigation. Most criminal investigations are performed secretly to prevent prejudicing potential jurors, tipping off suspects, violating people's rights including privacy, and compromising evidence. But you can be sure that there are plenty of people in the legal and judicial systems who are eager to see this through and apply the fullest possible extent of American law to insure our sense of justice is satisfied.

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  • 250. At 9:21pm on 19 Jun 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 10, GeorgeWingate:

    "Time to split this company back into its original components. BP needs to reconstitute Amoco. Congress can then insult American Oil all they like while BP can drill for oil in saner parts of the world."

    You want to force a divestiture? On what grounds? We are a country of laws. Don't be misled by a bunch of grandstanding Congressmen. Congress takes action through legislation, and I don't know of any bills that are working towards that end.

    BP just needs to stop this gusher and clean up the mess. Destroying the corporation will achieve nothing. So, it wouldn't be BP anymore. Why do you think Shell or Exxon will do any better? We will contiue drilling for oil in the Gulf, and it seems as if the whole industry was susceptible to making this sort of error.

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  • 251. At 9:32pm on 19 Jun 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 159, peterbo:

    "Any constitutional grounds for the executive branch to step in, and determine, prior to any input of the legislative and the judiciary branches:"

    There isn't any. Even if the legislature joined in it wouldn't make it Constitutional. Only the judiciary can rule on damages.

    However, BP volunteered for this. If they wish to fight it out in court, they can still do so. Until they do, this has nothing to do with the Constitution.

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  • 252. At 10:05pm on 19 Jun 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:

    Is it true that AIG has started offering Responsibility Default Swaps, No-fault Blown Well Coverage and Tar Ball Futures Derivatives?

    If so, wow: those boys are GOOD!

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  • 253. At 10:16pm on 19 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 246 Andrew Sleigh-

    "Reference my post at 243, this is a working link to the !4 June House Energy Committee letter to Hayward:"

    I believe you are trying to link to a pdf. Not allowed on this blog.

    Those interested in reading the very informative pdf Mr. Sleigh has been trying to link can google "house energy letter to hayward" and the pdf will pop up at the top of the list.

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  • 254. At 10:30pm on 19 Jun 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 200, RoundRockMike:

    "Congress has been mis-behaving in this way for over two-hundred years. Congress asked questions and did nothing. It's the way they do it, and I'm sorry so many in Britain take it so seriously."

    I'm not sure I'd characterize it as misbehavior, but I think you're basically correct.

    What the Brits don't seem to understand is that the Representatives who are taking part in this ritual harangue are all fighting for their political lives. Americans do blame the government for this (at least partially), and there was already a reckoning underway before this started. So, these Congressmen are going out of their way to demonstrate that they get it. Fat lot of good it'll do come November, though.

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  • 255. At 10:33pm on 19 Jun 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 122, Andrea

    "Would you want these guys making your health care decisions?"

    Medical decisions are made by doctors, hospitals, and the patient. What the Obama administration tried to do, and failed, was get rid of the insurance companies that currently make decisions that affect our well being.

    Even if government officials were in charge of making medical decisions, I would much rather let a person whose job is to make sure everyone gets the medical care they need than an insurance company clerk whose job is to reduce cost to increase profit margins.

    The only area of concern for me is the fact that funding and related regulation is likely to change dependent on which party is in control of Congress and the White House.

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  • 256. At 10:47pm on 19 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    When one reads the 14 JUN 2010 letter sent to Tony Hayward from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, one wonders how Mr. Hayward could show up to the committee hearing so unprepared and ill-informed.

    Once again; the hearing before the House of Representatives was not a judicial hearing. It is a hearing of inquiry. Not a hearing to determine guilt, nor pass sentence. Those called to testify are expected to have knowledge on the subject. I should think a corporation as large as BP would have more than sufficient staff to be able to provide their CEO with the information he would need to answer the specific points outlined in the letter from Congress. Perhaps they did provide him with that information.

    Since the hearing of inquiry is not a judicial proceeding which would lead to punitive actions in the event of a guilty verdict; the "presumption of innocence" does not apply, nor need apply.

    The issues raised in the letter, supported by specific references to previous testimony and documents, indicate that high-level management was involved in making decisions that proved costly and dangerous, instead of saving costs. These decisions were not made by a bunch of oil platform "roughnecks" and their immediate supervisors. BP was bleeding money like a slashed wrist on this drilling operation and high-ranking officials of BP were trying to rush completion against the strong advice from their contractors. Their poor judgments resulted in a catastrophe that only keeps getting worse.

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  • 257. At 10:55pm on 19 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 252 Curt Carpenter-

    "Is it true that AIG has started offering Responsibility Default Swaps, No-fault Blown Well Coverage and Tar Ball Futures Derivatives?"

    I couldn't say if this were true. There was a very active and outspoken poster on this blog who said, some time ago, he was interested in collecting tar balls so he could burn them in his fireplace. He enjoyed downplaying the extent of this catastrophe. Have not seen him posting lately. Maybe he's all globbed up from collecting tar balls and the toxins from them have overwhelmed him.

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  • 258. At 11:56pm on 19 Jun 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 256, publiusdetroit:

    'Since the hearing of inquiry is not a judicial proceeding which would lead to punitive actions in the event of a guilty verdict; the "presumption of innocence" does not apply, nor need apply.'

    Yes, and I'd also add that if push comes to shove, Mr. Hayward can take the Fifth; he is not compelled to testify against himself.

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  • 259. At 00:13am on 20 Jun 2010, Patrick wrote:

    I find it unfathomable that anyone would say that trying to hold BP accountable for the damage done to the environment and thousands of jobs lost is a "shakedown." It clearly shows whose pocket those politicians are in. It also shows an unfortunate circumstance - many communities along the Gulf are dependent on big oil jobs. I, for one, support Obama's big plans for alternative energies because it will eventually break the back of oil companies' grip on middle America in the south, and diversity in industrial and political capital can only be a good thing.

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  • 260. At 01:01am on 20 Jun 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:

    Properly prepared with a good-quality vinaigrette, Tar Balls make a delightful side to any main dish -- such as Young Brown Pelican sauteed crispy in its own light crude coating. Of course, no recipe can substitute for FRESH INGREDIENTS and meticulous care in the kitchen. Chef's Pride is key here!

    Listen publiusdetroit (@257) -- it's good that people writing the 259 comments above care about this tragedy deeply, as they clearly do. But not so good that they take themselves so terribly seriously. Is it?

    "What use in sitting alone in your room?/ Come here the music play!/ Life is a cabaret old chum!/Come to the Cabaret. At least once in a while.

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  • 261. At 02:13am on 20 Jun 2010, TeaPot562 wrote:

    In civil lawsuits in the US, when a plaintiff claims material damage, the defendant has the right to show that the plaintiff SHOULD HAVE TAKEN ACTION TO MITIGATE the damage caused.
    Given that the Netherlands offered substantial help on material to absorb and remove some of the surface crude oil on the third day of the spill, It is at least possible that BP may cite Pres. Obama's failure to accept offers from other countries to help clean up the oil in the Gulf.
    This is not to excuse BP, but an indication that BP's liability might, in a judicial hearing (and assuming that they can, in fact, STOP the well gushing sometime in August) be partly offset by the US govt's failure to mitigate.
    TeaPot562

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  • 262. At 02:45am on 20 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    248. At 9:09pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ... That is because if nothing else, our legal system provides for tort remedies. ... Whenever there is an earthquake, severe storm or some other disaster, people around the world are killed because there is no enforcement and no legal remedies.

    ____________

    Although I am a big supporter of civil remedies in Tort, there are other countries that obtain high levels of compliance without the US Tort system. The Scandinavians, Germans, Swiss, the Japanese, perhaps a few others, all seem to be able to do it. So you get a major earthquake in Japan, and there are no deaths, and a similar earthquake in, well, you can probably think of some likely candidates, and there are 10,000 deaths.

    Tort law helps, but a society in which orderly compliance with safety standards is the cultural expectation - particularly when backed up by exacting inspection - you also see the desired result. The point is that these are cultures where people are expected to be held accountable.

    It is when there is neither a functioning system of civil law remedies, nor enforced systems of regulations, nor a culture that expects compliance as its cultural norm that we get, for example, overloaded inter-island passenger ferries that sink in a tropical storm with great loss of life as a fairly common occurrence.

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  • 263. At 03:23am on 20 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 264. At 03:57am on 20 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    241. JMM_for_now:

    Hadn't realized that my not wanting Congress involved in my health care meant I wanted BP executives involved.

    Unfortunately for Obama, talking about opening an umbrella won't keep anyone dry.

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  • 265. At 03:57am on 20 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 262 Interestedforeigner-

    "The point is that these are cultures where people are expected to be held accountable."

    We see in many postings on this thread alone that there is a strong tendency to blame the U.S. Government for failing to do their job. Qualifications of elected officials called into question. Allegations of corruption. Charges of ineptitude.

    One needs to ask; who elected these people? Was it corporations? Some foreign government? They just showed up one day and took a seat?

    It was "We the People..." who elected those who represent us in our government. They are a reflection of all of us. We put them in office, then sit back and ignore how well, or how poorly, they represent us until the next election where barely half of the registered voters show up to elect, or re-elect those who represent us.

    It is also very evident from many postings that many U.S. Citizens do not understand how their government actually works, nor what the responsibilities and authority each branch of the government are charged to perform.


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  • 266. At 05:01am on 20 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    265. publiusdetroit:

    It was "We the People..." who elected those who represent us in our government.

    *********************
    Which is why voter anger shouldn't be dismissed as "racism", "brainwashing" or whatever else people project onto unhappy voters. Americans are unhappy and communicating their displeasure.

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  • 267. At 12:18pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    AP;

    "Destroying the corporation will achieve nothing."

    If the allegations prove true, BP may be judged to be a criminal enterprise. Destroying this menace would be of benefit to the entire world...except to BP shareholders who were indifferent to their responsibility as owners of a company to police its management's policies (that's how most shareholders are.) BP's assets would be sold off to pay for the damage the havoc they created has inflicted on the victims of their alleged crimes. The employees at the level of working those assets would mostly be retained by whoever acquires them. Those deemed unsuitable such as BP management would be forced to find work more appropriate to their real talents or be retrained for something else.

    "So, it wouldn't be BP anymore. Why do you think Shell or Exxon will do any better? We will contiue drilling for oil in the Gulf, and it seems as if the whole industry was susceptible to making this sort of error."

    I don't think the rest of the industry operates this way. BP seems to be unique. At the very least, the liquidation of BP and the suitable criminal punishment of those responsible would serve as a warning and an example to those who would pursue the same way of doing business that there are real consequences. This seems to be one industry where far more enforcement of regulations and tougher regulation is fully warranted just as in the financial industry. Massive catastrophic failure in these two industries is proof as though we needed any that self regulation means no regulation and that leads inevitably to meltdown. What Greenspan "didn't understand about markets" was that without putting control limits on greed, you have no control limits over stupidity either.

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  • 268. At 12:43pm on 20 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:




    "Extremely cintrite", Mark Mardell?

    Extremely contrite?

    I was away for merely 10 days and what's the first thing I read?




    Mr Hayward and his son attended the Isle of Wight boat race.

    BP CEO Tony Hayward has faced fresh criticism for taking time off to go sailing with his son instead of dealing with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

    The White House said the move was one of a "long line of PR gaffes and mistakes" by Mr Hayward. [...]


    He was later spotted by photographers on his $270,000 (£182,000) Farr 52 racing yacht, "Bob", at the event. [BBC]


    And what a fine example of contrition it was.

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  • 269. At 12:48pm on 20 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #265

    "One needs to ask; who elected these people? Was it corporations? Some foreign government? They just showed up one day and took a seat?

    It was "We the People..." who elected those who represent us in our government. They are a reflection of all of us. We put them in office."



    Please, save pluralis majestatis for yourself.

    I, for one, most certainly have not elected any of those pathetic failures, for I have not voted for any of them.

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  • 270. At 1:24pm on 20 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref#243 Andrew Sleigh
    "The actions that come closest to a smoking gun..."
    Does anyone honestly think that Congress, Obama or the news agencies would have held back from pointing out explicitly criminal behaviour?
    So far everyone is blowing smoke because otherwise they would be quoting the regulations that BP fell foul of.
    Without the facts there is no way to know whether the decision not to use all the safety equipment is truly negligent or if it is merely analagous to refusing the use of an industrial radiation suit to operate an X-ray machine.

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  • 271. At 2:59pm on 20 Jun 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    267 et al, interesting thought though that, 'destroying the corporation'. Perhaps the legal basis and structure for all large, multi-national, publicly-traded corporations should be revised. Or maybe they should not exist. Then again what about nationalizing it, or seizing its assets? Although that, unfortunately, would probably just end up with its purchase by another corp, and the result would be an even bigger, less manageable, incomprehensible, irresponsible, dysfuntional beast.

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  • 272. At 3:03pm on 20 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 269 powermarkeet-

    "I, for one, most certainly have not elected any of those pathetic failures, for I have not voted for any of them."

    Are you telling us that you don't vote? Or are you saying you have a gift of voting for candidates unable to convince the majority of voters they have the skills to represent them in government?

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  • 273. At 3:54pm on 20 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    266. At 05:01am on 20 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    "Americans are unhappy and communicating their displeasure."
    ____________

    There is general discontent that people feel when the economy is not running well. That occurs in all countries, and the government of the day will end up taking its lumps, whether it deserves them or not.

    The irony that President Obama will be the focal point for the severe morning-after hangover arising from the deeds and mis-deeds of his predecessor will not be lost on everybody, but it will be lost on many. That, too, is part of the territory.

    That would be bad enough without the oil leak.

    The oil leak disaster is just another problem that has been added to the pile of disgruntlement. And there, the society of instant gratification and infinite impatience has run into a wall. It is like a child throwing a temper tantrum, that keeps demanding inchoately that somebody do something, anything, even though they have no idea what anybody can usefully do.

    Well, it's time to grow up and realize that not every problem in the world can be solved from a reclining position on the sofa merely by changing channels with the remote.


    "Events, dear boy, events."

    ------------


    And in the meantime, the federal government might get around to asking when BP is going to start adding an anchored concrete base around the existing BOP so that if the next attempts to stop this thing fail, they will already be well along the way to encasing it permanently.

    Perhaps I have missed something, but I don't recall hearing or seeing a clearly laid out plan by BP, or anybody else, of the sequence of steps they intend to take, roughly how long they think those steps will take, and what their plan is if those steps don't work.

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  • 274. At 3:57pm on 20 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #268
    It's people like Haywood make the overwhelming majority of business people look bad.

    Although usual double standard as Obama took time off for another game of golf

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  • 275. At 3:59pm on 20 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re 272 "Or are you saying you have a gift of voting for candidates unable to convince the majority of voters they have the skills to represent them in government?"



    Yes, indeed.


    "IF ALL PEOPLE ARE GIVEN EQUAL CHANCES THE WORST WILL PREVAIL, FOR THEY CONSTITUTE A MAJORITY"

    (Jose Ortega y Gasset)


    "All men were created equal"?

    Not really, as even basic comprehensive IQ tests show again and again.

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  • 276. At 4:08pm on 20 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    271. At 2:59pm on 20 Jun 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    "267 et al, interesting thought though that, 'destroying the corporation'. Perhaps the legal basis and structure for all large, multi-national, publicly-traded corporations should be revised. Or maybe they should not exist. Then again what about nationalizing it, or seizing its assets? Although that, unfortunately, would probably just end up with its purchase by another corp, and the result would be an even bigger, less manageable, incomprehensible, irresponsible, dysfuntional beast."

    ____________

    That would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    The separate legal existence of the corporate form has been of enormous benefit to our society over the last 130 years.

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  • 277. At 4:16pm on 20 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 267 MarcusAureliusII-

    "Destroying this menace would be of benefit to the entire world...except to BP shareholders who were indifferent to their responsibility as owners of a company to police its management's policies (that's how most shareholders are.)"

    For some time I have wondered what the effect of mutual fund investing has on corporations? Mutual fund investment companies chase after the highest rate of return, constantly selling and buying blocks of shares in numerous corporations. Who goes to the annual shareholders meetings to investigate the current state, and long-term health of the invested corporation? A proxy? Nobody?

    Here we have an invested corporation seeking to maximize profits being heavily capitalized by other investment corporations committed to maximizing the rate of return on investment for a large pool of detached, faceless investors whose only concern is how well their mutual fund is performing. Most of these individual investors participating in the mutual fund do not even know which corporations have been chosen by the mutual fund operators at any given time. Constant buying and selling of stocks on the basis of performance makes for an ever-changing dynamic. Who represents the individual investors at a corporate shareholders meeting? Who holds the Board of Directors and Officers of the Corporation in check when so many voting blocks of shares go unrepresented, or poorly represented, at the shareholders meeting?

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  • 278. At 4:30pm on 20 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 275 powermeerkat-

    With a gift for always picking political candidates who are incapable of being elected to office, you are a perfect political bellwether. Please let us know which candidates you support in any given election so we can know in advance the outcome of the election.

    Don't feel bad about your unique gift. Same thing goes with me betting on the ponies. I can always find the losers.

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  • 279. At 4:48pm on 20 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Is there too much media focus on this oil spill? I see big news is that the BP CEO is facing fresh criticism for taking time off to go sailing with his son instead of dealing with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill? The BBC seem to have missed Obama’s golf game, though other news outlets did catch that one.

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  • 280. At 4:49pm on 20 Jun 2010, EWAdams wrote:

    As you are based in the USA, would you kindly explain something to the British people that they apparently don't get? The vast majority of Americans have never even heard of the "special relationship." They don't think the BP oil spill has anything at all to do US-UK relations. Why should it? As the British seem anxious to point out, it's a multinational company.

    The huge British media uproar over so-called anti-British attitudes in the USA is completely manufactured by the British media itself in an effort to make Britain seem a) important and b) victimized.

    The truth is... and I know this is going to hurt... Americans don't think about Britain very much at all. American culture may pervade Britain; British culture does not pervade America.

    In short, Brits, the BP oil spill is not about you. Get over yourselves.

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  • 281. At 5:07pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    IF;

    "That would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    The separate legal existence of the corporate form has been of enormous benefit to our society over the last 130 years."

    Not always and not necessarily. The history of the modern corporation goes back at least to the mid to late 19th century with the industrial revolution in America. By late in that century it was necessary to break some of the largest ones up...Standard Oil for example. It was also necessary to pass anti-trust legislation, anti monopoly legislation, laws that protected worker's rights such as the right to join a labor union, environmental protection, occupational health and safety, minimum wage, consumer rights, equal opportunity employment laws, child labor laws and a host of others. These protect individuals and society as a whole from the overwhelming advantage large corporations have over them in terms of their financial and legal resources when it comes to disputes. Without them the individual doesn't have a chance to exercise his rights even when he has clearly been wronged. The unfettered rule of private capital is a prescription for disaster just as the elimination of private capital is. Evidently that lesson was forgotten in the 1980s and we are still feeling the effects of that mistake and the pain of having to learn it over again. There is a lot that has been forgotten that we should know. Our educational system is more geared towards kumbaya kumbaya political correctness than in learing history and its lessons and you know what Santayana said about that.


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  • 282. At 5:12pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    EWAdams #280

    While what you say is entirely true, that makes the British very unhappy and they don't want to believe it. They refuse to believe it. So do what I do, just keep telling them how inferior their society is and how much we detest what that society is about. Tell them even if you don't believe it (although if you learn and read enough about it it's an easy reaction to arrive at.) By telling them this, it makes them feel we think about them and gives them the illusion that they are important to us and therefore to the world. It makes them happy if they think we hate them. At least it makes them happier than if they knew we don't even know or care if they exist at all :-)

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  • 283. At 5:18pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I accidently clicked on a button that posted...nothing in 281 and 282.

    I don't know why my posting was deleted. Not only doesn't the KGBBC not tell you what rule you broke and how but this time they didn't even send me an e-mail of my original posting telling me that I broke the rules. So the thing to do is just post a lot more short messages. That way you'll know which one broke the rules.

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  • 284. At 5:19pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    I found your website and posted a link with the English translation. That might have been how I broke the rules. So far it seems very boring to me. I didn't try to register. I'll watch it for awhile but unless it gets more substantive, I'll stick to this site.

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  • 285. At 5:21pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    After you left, David went off on his own. I think he went to slay Goliath. Anyway I posted a few lines from a child's fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk" and something in it may have offended the KGBBC. That could have been the reason they deleted it.

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  • 286. At 5:33pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    While you were away, a company called BP invented a new way to obtain crude oil. BP used to be called British Petroleum...before they had a big accident in one of their plants in Texas City, Texas that killed a lot of people, had a major oil spill in Alaska that leaked about I think a quarter of a million barrels of oil into Prudhoe bay, and had about 760 major safety violation citiations at their American oil facilities which is 97% of the entire oil industry's major violations here. So they changed their name to BP so nobody would know they're British (shhhh, don't tell anybody, it's a big secret that they are British, they don't want anyone to know because they are embarrassed by bad publicity.)

    So what they invented is rather than drilling a well and operating it continuously the way it's usually done, they drill a hole deep below the ocean bottom, that bottom being a mile deep and then they drilled another mile or two below that and they tapped into a high pressure underground reservoir of maybe a billion barrels of oil. So what they do is instead of going to the expense of operting an oil rig, they just pump it right out of the ocean and separate it from the water. It goes straight on to the tankers. Now admittedly they don't get it all, a lot gets lost into the ocean but so what, it is free after all. There's plenty more where it came from.

    That reminds me of people who like to catch fish but don't want to be bothered with fishing rods, reels, lines, hooks, lures, bait, or even nets that get tangled up and need repairs. They just find a school of fish with a fish finding sonar, throw a live grenade into the water, and when the grenade goes off, the dead fish float to the top. Then they just paddle over to where they are floating and scoop them up. There's no rush, they won't get away, they aren't going anywhere. No muss, no fuss, no bother. Looks like BP now catches oil the way those guys catch fish :-)

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  • 287. At 5:34pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Ooops, 283 to 286 shouled have been posted on Gavin Hewitt's site. Sorry about that.

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  • 288. At 5:39pm on 20 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    273. At 3:54pm on 20 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    “And in the meantime, the federal government might get around to asking when BP is going to start adding an anchored concrete base around the existing”

    Impossible, the bottom of the GoM is mud for the first 1000 feet or so. Concrete would sink. The BOP is sitting on top of 1000s of feet of metal tube (the well).


    “Perhaps I have missed something, but I don't recall hearing or seeing a clearly laid out plan by BP, or anybody else, of the sequence of steps they intend to take, roughly how long they think those steps will take, and what their plan is if those steps don't work”

    There are no other ways to cap this other than relief well(s) and a bottom kill. If they fail, eventually the gusher will stop when the pressure in the formation equalizes. I.e. when most of the oil/gas has escaped. 100MM barrels or so…

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  • 289. At 6:23pm on 20 Jun 2010, Telias wrote:

    The metaphor in my mind for the oil rig safety, is that of a nuclear power station and its safety procedures. You would not trust nuclear companies to build and operate nuclear power stations safely. A government inspector would check on behalf of the people, that saftey measures were followed, as the danger is so great. Likewise, given what has happened here, there must be independent inspections at all stages of rig construction, and not an inherent trust that oil companies have built a well correctly.

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  • 290. At 6:36pm on 20 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #280
    EWAdams wrote:
    As you are based in the USA, would you kindly explain something to the British people that they apparently don't get? The vast majority of Americans have never even heard of the "special relationship." They don't think the BP oil spill has anything at all to do US-UK relations. Why should it? As the British seem anxious to point out, it's a multinational company.

    The huge British media uproar over so-called anti-British attitudes in the USA is completely manufactured by the British media itself in an effort to make Britain seem a) important and b) victimized.

    The truth is... and I know this is going to hurt... Americans don't think about Britain very much at all. American culture may pervade Britain; British culture does not pervade America.

    In short, Brits, the BP oil spill is not about you. Get over yourselves.

    ________________-

    Of course there is a speical relationship, it is probaly one of the 43 most important ones.

    Along with Candaa and Israel.

    Just because our incomptent President does not value two of them don't think the majority of americans don't.

    As far as influence, even before BBC got here there were many british influences in the media, entertainments and the economy.

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  • 291. At 7:10pm on 20 Jun 2010, paul8222 wrote:

    I watched the opening speeches & then more in parts on BBC's UK News Channel. Whatever Hayward's faults in this matter or his alleged interlocutory shortcomings, he did not deserve the initial 90 minutes pillorying, playing to Gulf voters. Perhaps my university studies in US Government & Politics were idealised, but "if this is civilised democracy then give me the other"(borrowed from Hailie Selassie) . The opening speeches reminded me of the footage of the McCarthy Senate Un-American Activities hearings of the 1950s.
    Quite apart from any internal BP enquiries which may fetter Hayward's answers the Spill is sub-judice to a Marine Board of Investigation convened under Statutory Powers.This last is something that any Congressional hearing should not be in near contempt of. The object lesson is I suppose the Pearl Harbour Enquiries where one equally thought that Congress seemed to ignore "separation of powers" & be a law unto itself above the constitution. (PS if the Board were taking him off the Spill, why the press witch hunt on him sailing in the English Channel, this weekend?)

    Regards,

    Paul

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  • 292. At 8:26pm on 20 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 279 David-

    "Is there too much media focus on this oil spill? I see big news is that the BP CEO is facing fresh criticism for taking time off to go sailing with his son instead of dealing with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill? The BBC seem to have missed Obama’s golf game, though other news outlets did catch that one."

    Taking time to step away for a bit of distraction from an ongoing, long-term problem goes a long way in finding better solutions. How one chooses to distract themselves is something of their own personal taste.

    Hayward sailing in a race, or Obama shooting a round of golf should not raise so much ire. I have been involved in some complex, ongoing projects where I found target shooting to be a pleasant distraction paying dividends when I went back to working through problems that had been building without a clear path of resolution. My coworkers and staff found it a little unsettling that I chose to shoot a firearm at paper targets. They failed to realize that one must clear their mind of all other things in order to drill center on a target.

    People who solve crossword puzzles will likely agree with me that putting the puzzle aside for a short time unlocks a mindset. When one picks up the puzzle again and begins solving the clues that stumped them, only a brief time previous; the answers become clear as day.

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  • 293. At 8:46pm on 20 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    292. publiusdetroit:

    "How one chooses to distract themselves is something of their own personal taste."

    *************
    How true. If only people who pillory presidents who golf could distract themselves with something else.

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  • 294. At 9:19pm on 20 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    292. At 8:26pm on 20 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:
    Taking time to step away for a bit of distraction from an ongoing, long-term problem goes a long way in finding better solutions. How one chooses to distract themselves is something of their own personal taste.


    Agree with you 100%. However, given the type of disaster, ya know, millions of gallons of oil in the gulf, home to fishing and tourism now getting killed by the company he is CEO of. Not particularly tasteful, ya think?

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  • 295. At 10:29pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Representative Joe Barton of Texas apologized to BP for being "strongarmed" by President Obama and then later apologized to America for his apology. I think his political career is at an end. IMO the Republican party should distance itself from him, he is now a liability.

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  • 296. At 10:30pm on 20 Jun 2010, rjw256 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 297. At 10:55pm on 20 Jun 2010, rjw256 wrote:

    There is little point in this hearing takening place, in fact it makes my blood boil listening to these Americans in their brash arrogant manner asking ridiculous questions and expecting to know exactly happened. When it all finally comes out, your find the "arses being kicked" as some person recently used (real presidential quailties) will be mostly American. As for Mr Hayward stonewalling the inquiry is another stupid statement. At least he appeared in good faith to try and answer questions, which is more than the Americans did in the Iraq friendly fire deaths inquiry in the UK. Seems to me, the Americans only ask the questions and far too arrogant and superior to answer them. No wonder they are so disliked and losing friends fast. The sad thing is...you find it so difficult to understand.

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  • 298. At 11:02pm on 20 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 294 TedInDenver-

    "Agree with you 100%. However, given the type of disaster, ya know, millions of gallons of oil in the gulf, home to fishing and tourism now getting killed by the company he is CEO of. Not particularly tasteful, ya think?"

    When we hit a wall and I would send my staff off to distract themselves I could care less if their personal choice was to go home and watch porn, yell at the cat, bet on the ponies, eat half a gallon of ice cream...

    I wanted them to come back with a clear head and ready to face the challenges. It worked. I never bothered to ask them what they did. Not my business. Pragmatism can be a good tool when seeking productivity and efficiency.

    I have raced sailing yachts. I know that one must concentrate on wind, water, balance. A great way of clearing one's mindset. If racing is Mr. Hayward's way of clearing a mindset, and it produces results; then the rest of us should swallow that lump in our throat.

    There were four of us friends, working for different companies in positions best described as, troubleshooters. When things went too badly awry, we were the ones called to make it work. Our companies had the good sense to never interfere with once a week race night. We came back with clear heads and brightened attitudes.



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  • 299. At 11:44pm on 20 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    298. At 11:02pm on 20 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:
    Ref 294 TedInDenver-


    I know what you are saying. I just think playing Mr. rich guy on an non-polluted sea with a bunch of other rich guys as probably not the smartest thing to do from a PR stand point right now.


    UK PR is obviously different that US PR, this is sorta explaining things to me actually.

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  • 300. At 11:47pm on 20 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    297. At 10:55pm on 20 Jun 2010, rjw256 wrote:
    The sad thing is...you find it so difficult to understand.

    Only sad to you. Most Americans could care less what English people think.

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  • 301. At 00:21am on 21 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    rjw;

    "Seems to me, the Americans only ask the questions and far too arrogant and superior to answer them."

    We learned that from the British a long time ago when they had an empire. That's how they treated THEIR colonies. What's the matter, don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot? That's what my postings are all about. The "AMERICAN PATRIOT" Thomas Payne (yes he was born in Britain but they would have hanged him if he hadn't excaped to France at the last second) said it was illogical for an island to rule a continent. He never said anything about the reverse.

    "No wonder they are so disliked and losing friends fast."

    Does that mean the special relationship is over in Britain's mind too now?

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  • 302. At 00:31am on 21 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Once again the Preident appoints a panel with mostly political partsians instead of experts.

    Including former Dem govenor Bob Graham who is anti drilling.

    Drill Baby Drill Now!

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  • 303. At 00:49am on 21 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 299 TedInDenver-

    "I know what you are saying. I just think playing Mr. rich guy on an non-polluted sea with a bunch of other rich guys as probably not the smartest thing to do from a PR stand point right now."

    Not arguing with you, neither. If Mr. Hayward was seen rowing a beat-up aluminum boat on a pond he would have taken flack. I am afraid he dug his own hole in a public relations trench.

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  • 304. At 02:09am on 21 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    281. At 5:07pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Not always and not necessarily."

    [[ True indeed, but on the whole it permitted hundreds of millions of people to climb out of agrarian poverty and into the unparalleled wealth creation of the 20th Century. ]]

    "The history of the modern corporation goes back at least to the mid to late 19th century with the industrial revolution in America."

    [[Quite so. The landmark case in Anglo-Canadian-Australian-Indian-South African- Irish-New Zealand etc., law was Salomon v A Salomon & Co Ltd [1897] AC 22, which established the separate legal existence of the corporation.]]

    "By late in that century it was necessary to break some of the largest ones up...Standard Oil for example. It was also necessary to pass anti-trust legislation, anti monopoly legislation, laws that protected worker's rights such as the right to join a labor union, environmental protection, occupational health and safety, minimum wage, consumer rights, equal opportunity employment laws, child labor laws and a host of others."

    "These protect individuals and society as a whole from the overwhelming advantage large corporations have over them in terms of their financial and legal resources when it comes to disputes. Without them the individual doesn't have a chance to exercise his rights even when he has clearly been wronged."

    [[ This, to me, is a non-sequitur. The evils of which you write did not depend for their existence on the ability to incorporate as a share corporation with separate legal existence from its owners.

    On the contrary, these evils existed long before - think of the history of the silver mines at Potosi, or coal, lead, tin, and salt mines just about anywhere. The use of slave labour on the plantations in antebellum times did not require or rely on the ability to incorporate. Nor did, or does, the use of child labour in manufacturing bricks - the evils of this business are still with us in India, China, Pakistan, and many other countries certainly. The Soviet Union was quite capable of near comprehensive destruction of the environment from the Arctic to the Aral Sea without the aid of share corporations.

    The evils of anti-competitive behaviour existed long before the first Corporations statutes. In the 1770's Adam Smith made his famous comment that never do men of business meet but their conversation soon turns to a conspiracy against the public interest.

    We see it to this day in certain sectors of the economy, in particular the black economy, where criminal organizations engage in all sorts of nefarious practices, including monopolistic behaviour, oppression of workers, disregard of health and safety concerns, and so on. None of these organizations relies on the ability to incorporate to engage in evil practices.]]




    "The unfettered rule of private capital is a prescription for disaster just as the elimination of private capital is."

    [[ For a second there I thought your next sentences would be "We must therefore nationalize the means of production for the benefit of the workers. From each according to his ability; to each according to his need. All power to the working proletariat!"

    But I see that you have opted instead for the path of democratic socialism in a mixed economy. Didn't know you had it in you. ]]




    "There is a lot that has been forgotten that we should know. Our educational system is more geared towards kumbaya kumbaya political correctness than in learning history and its lessons and you know what Santayana said about that."

    [[Agree with this.

    History, if taught at all, is abysmally poorly taught in our schools. The school system is over-politicized; under competitive in terms of parental choice of educational options in the public system; fails to give the kids enough raw physical activity; and, because of the short day, the prevalence of semester system schooling, the very few classes per term, and the much greater emphasis placed on maths, sciences, English (and here, French), most kids have very little opportunity to study more than the merest smattering of history, geography, music, art, a second language, phys ed in the upper years ...

    So our students are systematically short-changed on all the things that might give them a broader and more rounded education, and that might thereby help to make them better, more law-abiding, and more involved citizens in a democracy.

    With due respect to our very much more highly qualified classical historians on this site, it sometimes feels to me, paradoxically, that you only really begin to appreciate the importance of a good grounding in history and literature when you have a science or engineering degree - because you realize that you're missing it.

    Yes, it is a while since we have sung Kumbaya together.

    So let's sing a couple of verses, and when we're done we can set about changing the school system so that all students, from kindergarten to grade 12, take gym everyday, first thing in the morning, and run the school day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., ten courses per day, each day and every day, and you can send your kid to whatever school you want, with your choice being informed by published test results.

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  • 305. At 02:26am on 21 Jun 2010, JMM_for_now wrote:

    264. At 03:57am on 20 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:
    241. JMM_for_now:

    “Hadn't realized that my not wanting Congress involved in my health care meant I wanted BP executives involved.”

    Not the same individuals, certainly, but the same type:
    They put profit ahead of all else. They take risks to increase the profit that put the environment and the ”little people” in danger.

    These are the same types who were behind not just disasters of oil companies, but the banks and Wall Street frauds; and these types are running the insurance industry that conservatives seem to think are more to be trusted than “government bureaucrats.”

    The insurance people turn down or delay treatments in order to increase their profits. The corporate bureaucrats get paid, and get bonuses to do so. Whatever else government bureaucrats may be guilty of, they have no profit motive to hurt people.

    Ideological blindness, at the very least, is required to favor the corporate swine. I do not trust the government because they have been in the pockets of these same selfish corporatists. The so trustworthy corporate executives, on top of all the other damage, have corrupted our political system to deregulate and maximize their profits. But the answer is not to trust these people. The answer is to have a not-for-profit health care system.

    And the corporations must be regulated by the government, and the voters have to be more proactive in preventing corruption of the kind that has been ruining the country.

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  • 306. At 02:44am on 21 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    IF;

    "But I see that you have opted instead for the path of democratic socialism in a mixed economy. Didn't know you had it in you. ]]"

    Put whatever label you like on it. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production and distribution. That is not what I am advocating. In fact there is no such thing as democratic socialism, the invented term is an oxymoron. Where people are not entitled to keep the fruits of their labor because it will be redistributed to others who have less and so the goverment steals it, where people cannot enter into private business contracts with each other selling their labor and goods to whomever will buy it in a free market, there is no democracy. Property rights and democracy are one and the same. However, without limits, those who acquire the most money, the most power, will eventually monopolize all power eliminating democracy and establishing a dictatorship. This is what Marx meant when he talked about the concentration of power in the hands of fewer and fewer capitalists. Only his mistake was to substitute a dictatorship of the proletariat for a dictatorship of monopoly capitalism after violent revolution. Dictatorship is dictatorship in any guise, I'm sure you know that.

    The failure to enact and adequately enforce regulations on private capital was the lesson that was learned the hard way when the result was the great depression. Those lessons were forgotten, the structures erected to prevent it from happening again dismantled under the banner of market self regulation, deregulation but it was no different from the laissez faire capitalism of the decades before the 1930s. And the results were exactly the same, a bubble economy where assets purchased with borrowed money on wild speculation of ever escalating prices were the only collateral for the loans used to buy them and when that bubble collapsed, the economy went into depression.

    There is much in common between what happened to the financial industry and what happened to BP. I think the other major players in the oil industry like Exxon had learned their lesson the hard way from the oil spill in Valdiz Alaska in 1989 and knew even if the regulators weren't on top of them, it was in their own self interest in the long run to be far more prudent than they would have been allowed to get away with. BP never learned or understood that lesson. It was a catastrophe on the way to happening. If it handn't been this oil rig it would have been something else as bad or worse sooner or later. The root cause was a corporate culture incompatable with the 21st century, more akin to what was common here in the 19th. And that culture ultimately sprang from British culture itself. It never evolved. I doubt it ever will.

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  • 307. At 02:46am on 21 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    By the way, there is in The Economist this week a very fine obituary of a remarkable journalist.

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  • 308. At 04:21am on 21 Jun 2010, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    Oh no. It appears the perception of anti-British sentiment existing in, and eminating from the United States as a result of this oil spill is not just a figment of the British media's imagination.


    Although, in the intrest of fairness, I would like to see a pole of Britons' attitudes toward the US at the end of Bush's presidency; somehow I find it hard to believe that less than 45% of the British people interviewed believed Bush to significantly damage the relationship. I suspect Bush's disapproval ratings were at the very least in the mid 50s.


    However, what I found most striking about this pole, was its (I believe false) claim that the 54% of Britons who hold a favorable view of the US and the 77% of Americans who hold a favorable view of Britain mirror each other. The same goes for the 71% of Americans who think the US-UK relationship is currently close, compared to just 55% of Britons. In both instances, there is nearly a quarter of a difference. Half of one comparing to three quarters of another is not a mirror immage. I believe this description to be wrong.

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  • 309. At 05:05am on 21 Jun 2010, shoXx wrote:

    I'm quite frankly staggered by some peoples comments on here and other sites I frequent regarding Tony Hayward spending a day (on Fathers Day weekend) with his son. The Fox (or Faux as some call it) News completely failed to mention he was with his son and made out he was on some happy-go-lucky millionaires jaunt. Give the guy a break, would you really deny him spending time with his son who he hasn't seen for over a month?

    I'm sure some people think he can single handedly clean up the oil while operating the machinery to stop the leak. And I bet a months wages President Obama and the other members of congress spent time with their families over the weekend seeing as it was Fathers Day. Why aren't they recieving the same 'news' coverage. It's pathetic.

    Would some people really deny Tony Hayward having some time out after working for a month straight to spend time with his family?

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  • 310. At 05:14am on 21 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    306. At 02:44am on 21 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Only his mistake was to substitute a dictatorship of the proletariat for a dictatorship of monopoly capitalism after violent revolution."

    [[ I would actually have said that his mistake was to fail to appreciate basic human truths. People who work to achieve things in life will eventually get fed up with any system that rewards hard workers no better than those who produce nothing. Hence the old Soviet joke "We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us." ]]


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  • 311. At 06:33am on 21 Jun 2010, whosays wrote:

    I get the impression that there are few "standards" on rigs. It looks more like a "Wild West", do whatever-it-takes mentality to get the job done.

    At a minimum, changes should be made to protect the workers."


    ah so here someone is up for more regulation.
    how amusing, better clip this for later

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  • 312. At 06:40am on 21 Jun 2010, whosays wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 313. At 06:41am on 21 Jun 2010, whosays wrote:

    Pub
    He didn't dig that hole. But hey don't worry , just ride that wave.but think you are different.That'll do the job.

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  • 314. At 06:43am on 21 Jun 2010, whosays wrote:

    167. At 8:35pm on 18 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    "Any constitutional grounds for the executive branch to step in, ..." (from peterbo at #159)

    These amateur constitutional scholars are so funny. At the time, some thought the Louisiana Purchase was an unconstitutional use of executive power. Nevertheless, we bought it."


    LOL and U should Know

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  • 315. At 06:48am on 21 Jun 2010, whosays wrote:

    tim ohio
    "A company that is perceived as being open and doing it's best to rectify its mistakes will be less likely to find itself experiencing the rough side of the law. A company that appears (in the person of its CEO) to be smug and condescending will find no friends when it needs them."

    Normally I would agree but here the company could not win no matter what they tried. At first the right were "hang em out" until Obama did get something out of them , then they became worried that chevron and Occidental might get noticed, so they ran the other way. funny. But with BP the people were always going to be angry. After all the press had made out that this was done to them by them forners!

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  • 316. At 06:51am on 21 Jun 2010, Nomader wrote:

    I understand the point made by shoXx (comment 309), but I have to strongly disagree with it. I can't understand or condone how Mr. Hayward has acted at all.

    It could be understandable if Mr. Hayward wanted to spend some time with his family, but yachting with his son is not the way to go about it. It makes him come off as an aloof Brit with a penchant for being elusive and pompous right at the time when he should be apologetic.

    I'd understand it if someone likes to yacht and takes some time out of their work schedule to pursue their favorite activity. But Mr. Hayward is the CEO of a company that has caused (and is still dealing with) one of the largest environmental disasters in the history of the United States. As an American I can say that I am disgusted by his behavior, and his muted answers to questions during the congressional committee hearing just makes it feel like he's toying with the United States people. Thank god he's not going to be the PR leader anymore for BP, he was just a walking disaster.

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  • 317. At 07:10am on 21 Jun 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 306 MarcusAureliusII-

    "Put whatever label you like on it. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production and distribution. That is not what I am advocating. In fact there is no such thing as democratic socialism..."

    What is the key role of Government? What is the key role of a Commerce?

    When Government takes the role of owning production and distribution it favors decisions which provides for the perpetuation of the Government. When Commerce takes the role of owning production and distribution it favors decisions which provides for the perpetuation of Commerce. Two jealous sisters battling for dominance over the human family. Where do we, as registered voters, draw a line?

    Somewhere there must be a balance. Somewhere Yin flows into Yang; and we, as a populous become enlightened.

    I associate feminine qualities to these two forces because I believe females are more responsible for historic, human social structuring than males. My premise for this theory is far too extensive to explain in this posting. I ask that the reader(s) will indulge me when I state that females of our species grouped into close-knit communities while males orbited those communities; entering into them, with some application of physical domination, to mate and eat, when hunting became less productive. Women collected together in common cause to eject the male interlopers when their own supply of gathered foods became threatened by the male invasion. Men do form alliances; but not to the extent, nor the emotional intensity of women.

    Women allowed us into their societies to mate. They took pity on us when hunting was exhausted. They migrated with us when hunting/gathering became less productive. As long as us males obeyed their socially determined norms.

    It always helped, in amiable ways, if we males, brought into their community, a side of meat protein. It was common among women to share in larges.

    Now I ask the reader(s) to take a huge jump from mitochondrial Eve, to the 19th century when the Industrial Revolution was screeching towards its zenith. Especially the 1890's.

    Men had, for the largest part, taken over Commerce. Each Yin needs a Yang. Masculine dynamics of personal competition ruled the field. Men were the Titans of business. Women were the Titans of the community. Usually expressed through Christian religions, because the basic unity through Christianity (without much masculine interference) allowed women to act upon their own direction. Here; in America, women were the social conscience of their successful husbands as well as the referees in the battle between commercial dominance, and social responsibility.

    We can pit Jane Addams against John D. Rockefeller. Addams the soul of social humanity. Rockefeller the soul of economic progress. Both indefatigable personalities. Which of them won? Hull House, in Chicago, determined the start of civil, commercial, responsibilities. Rockefeller sought after his, ever increasing economic power.

    Now; let us toss in an effervescent ball of political energy named, Theodore Roosevelt. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Humbled by his physiological weaknesses, that he overcame through individual persistence. Sometimes overcompensating his masculinity to hide his feminine, socialistic love of humanity. As well as his more feminine side of compassion, who he understood, valued his inner-strength that protected the community of women.

    Theodore Roosevelt is a milestone in our development as an U.S. Nation. He was a human being, who progressively bent to the will of his own self goals. Yet; he led these United States into one of the most productive times of our existence.

    Think of T.Roosevelt as you may. T.R.is one of those unique individuals who popped-up in our political vista that could balance on the tight-rope of masculinity and femininity which brought about the changes we, as a nation, needed to be dragged through, while kicking and screaming at both ends of the economic spectrum. Other Presidents before him may have worked national attitudes in the direction T.R. accomplished; but he made those attitudes become reality.

    Keep in mind that Teddy Roosevelt would not have been elected President of the United States of America if he ran on his own platform.

    I will remind you that Lydon B. Johnson, and Gerald Ford would not have been Presidents at extremely crucial times in the success of our Nation.

    Read them up, at your leisure. Both very interesting humans. Both, with very interesting histories that brought them to a place in destiny. Both; somehow effeminate; in their way.

    We; as a people, can direct our national destiny. We must be informed voters. We must study the Constitution; and look broadly across the powers of our Government, and know the boundaries of their power, so they will not be able to over-extend those boundaries.

    I love my child. I want him to age into a land of opportunity.

    Do any of us want less?

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  • 318. At 08:17am on 21 Jun 2010, Countertalk wrote:

    Oh Come on. This is all Daily Mail celebrity column rubbish. Good luck to Mr Heyward if he manages to take a bit of time off. What sponge of a brain will you have if you attempt to tackle an earth shattering problem non stop. Has everyone desperate to seek the public eye and shown so much concern from the President down, stayed at the job and not taken any time off since. I doubt it as they continue to lap up energy at a rate that makes the rest of the world miniscule.

    And we see evidence this morning that Transocean and Haliburton have direct responsibilities. Where is the Obama anxt this morning, Congress? and above all Mr Mardell balancing out the act for the rest of the world! Please dont leave it in a minor column on the BBC website!! Or dont you have bullet proof windows over that way! And it could be up to 100,000 barrels a day too. Can anyone with qualified savvy say if the massive crater that this collosal emission is creating in the bowels of the earth without being balanced, will not cause an implosion with the attendant eruption at the sea bed and beyond. That Gulf stream might well start to effervesce.

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  • 319. At 08:31am on 21 Jun 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    Response to Marcus Aurelius II #301:
    "...dont't like it when the shoe is on the other foot?..."American Patriot" Thomas Paine (yes he was born in Britain, but they would have hanged him if he hadn't escaped to France..."

    I actually like and agree with much of the thrust of your last few posts, but have to mention, Paine, the pamphleteer of highest minded democratic priciples, so effective in rallying the populace of his time that the Federalists (Hancock, Washington, etc.) financed and promoted him well while the revolution was on and he served their purpose. After that war, though, his ideals, which he maintained, were far less than welcome, and it was from the US that he fled to France.

    Now, about Santayana...

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  • 320. At 10:30am on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #278

    No secret about my political choices.

    I have voted for John McCain and had stated that much earlier.

    Now, seeing BHO's performance so far, would you say that I've betted on the wrong horse, or that those who voted for Barack Hussein Obama betted on the wrong horse? :)

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  • 321. At 10:36am on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "A Deepwater Horizon rig worker has told the BBC that he identified a leak in the oil rig's safety equipment weeks before the explosion.

    Tyrone Benton said the leak was not fixed at the time, but that instead the faulty device was shut down and a second one relied on." [BBC]


    Some weeks ago I have written here that there were indications that the real size of the oil spill was not 5,000 or 10,000 but in reality ca 100 000 barrels per day. [check]

    Now, according to the latest data it seems that was indeed a real
    BP's daily "output". :(

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  • 322. At 11:14am on 21 Jun 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    Reference to 319, response to MAII 301:

    No, indeed I see you're right, there was a British interlude there. Looks like the highest of democratic principles went three for three among national authority.

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  • 323. At 11:40am on 21 Jun 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 320, powermeerkat

    "Now, seeing BHO's performance so far, would you say that I've betted on the wrong horse, or that those who voted for Barack Hussein Obama betted on the wrong horse? :)"

    I can not speak for anyone else but I don't mind telling you that I am delighted I voted for Barack Obama. He is, by far, the most intelligent, pragmatic, honest, hard working, and visionary President we had in a long time.

    Yes, it is true that he has not been able to correct all the problems caused by his predecessor yet, but that is a testament to the extent of the damage caused by the Republicans that preceded him rather than a reflection on his abilities.

    I plan to vote for him again in 2012, without the slightest hesitation, and plan to vote Democratic, with one possible exception, in November 2010.

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  • 324. At 11:44am on 21 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    pd;

    "Where do we, as registered voters, draw a line?"

    What is the purpose of government you asked? The answer is in your high school civics book...and in the preamble of the constitution.

    “ We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    And in the declaration of independence;

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

    We recognize that greed is among the most valuable of human resources and is inherent in the will to survive of all animal and even plant life. Whether it is trees competing for sunlight, animals defending the territory they hunt their prey in, squirrels gathering and burrying acorns, dogs burrying bones, or people accumulating land, bank accounts, and other property, no other form of economics other than capitalism has been demonstrated to create wealth on any meaningful scale. Every other system devised which relied on other human emotions such as the love of his fellow man to work for the common good has failed disasterously.

    However, there are limits to how far private capitalism can be allowed to go in order to best serve society. We need taxes to hire police and firemen, pay for schools and school teachers, raise an army, and to keep the indigent from starving in the streets. We do not need the government to fund dance troops or cheerleader uniforms for high school football teams. And we cannot allow private corporations in the name of profit to poison the air we all breathe, the water we all drink, bathe in, play in, nor can they be allowed to sell products which are known to be harmful such as poisoned food or cars that are likely to crash and kill people. Nor can we allow their cleverness to deliberately trick or defraud people. That is why we must have regulations and must enforce them. And that is why we sometimes have to hold those who violate those regulations not merely as having commited tort wrongs but as criminals who will pay personally for their their malevolent intent or indifference to earn profits for themselves or their employers.

    When you do business in another country, live in another country, visit another country, you are subject to their laws and their penalties for violating them. Not knowing what those are is not a viable excuse. That BP didn't know or care what the law is here and how it would be enforced only proves even greater recklessness on their part than the indifference and recklessness that led to the oil spill suggests. Now what is left is for our legal system to take its course. That this is the worst ecological disaster and crime in American history cannot be mitigated by anything that BP can now do or say. It should receive the maximum punishment our laws can mete out as both an exercise of our system of justice and as a warning and example to others who might also be recklessly indifferent thinking there would be few if any penalties for them too.

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  • 325. At 1:34pm on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "The Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be leaking up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day, almost double the current estimate, according to an internal BP document released by a US congressman.

    Speaking on US TV, Ed Markey (D) said BP was "either lying or grossly incompetent" about measuring the magnitude of the spill."



    Question: How come Obama's Administration has not bothered to at least measure the size of BP's "output" independently early on?

    ["Trust but verify"]

    Don't tell be that BHO and his minions (Napolitano, Salazar, etc.) didn't know that, for example, US Navy had a capability to deploy its SpecOp minisubs to the disaster area, take samplings at 1500 meter depth and report their findings in a timely fashion to our temporary Commander-in-Chief?

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  • 326. At 1:37pm on 21 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref# 324 MAII
    Not a terribly convincing primary school civics lesson. All rights and no responsibilities.
    Just out of interest can we make use of this miraculous insight you have on BP's legal standpoint. Can you even specify the laws and regulations that BP stands accused of breaking? I don't want to defend BP blindly, I just think they deserve their day in court and have to be found guilty of something before making ridiculous assertions about making an example of them.
    On that subject, there have been plenty of other corporations, both US and otherwise that have gone before of whom an example possibly should have been made. In this case if the US arm of BP is bankrupted (the company itself is safe), another oil firm will step in and a different sticker will be put on the tankers shipping the oil out. The 43,000+ US employees wont apply safer working practises overnight just because they find themselves working for Shell or Texaco. Every other oil company is just as trapped as BP between good practice and the pursuit of profit. Anyone who has a best practise policy that differs significantly from legal minimums will in the long run lose out to its competition.
    That's why I doubt much will change at all unless legislation is brought forward to make offshore drilling well regulated and safe.

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  • 327. At 1:37pm on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Saint Dominick wrote: "I don't mind telling you that I am delighted I voted for Barack Obama. He is, by far, the most intelligent, pragmatic, honest, hard working, and visionary President we had in a long time."


    True; the previous one like that was Jimmy Carter.


    And it was 34 years ago.

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  • 328. At 1:50pm on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "if the US arm of BP is bankrupted (the company itself is safe), another oil firm will step in".



    I agree.

    And to be fair.... He who speaks ill of BP's safety procedures have obviously never seen Russia's ROSNEFT drilling and environment protection methods.

    Or oil spills created by Saddam Hussein.

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  • 329. At 2:32pm on 21 Jun 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    My apologies for the tangential note, but I really enjoy the blog discourse around here.
    Not only are the posts informative, poignant and often very amusing, but the subsequent threads are unusually thoughtful, intelligent and often really really funny. (ROTFLMAO. Epic Win. Srsly.)

    Cool.
    Thanks.
    Please, carry on.

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  • 330. At 3:58pm on 21 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #327
    powermeerkat wrote:
    Saint Dominick wrote: "I don't mind telling you that I am delighted I voted for Barack Obama. He is, by far, the most intelligent, pragmatic, honest, hard working, and visionary President we had in a long time."


    True; the previous one like that was Jimmy Carter.


    And it was 34 years ago.

    _____________

    Quite true

    The only thing Obama seems to be working hard at is blaming others, his golf game and his 3 point shot.

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  • 331. At 4:35pm on 21 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    PartTimeDon (#326): "Every other oil company is just as trapped as BP between good practice and the pursuit of profit. Anyone who has a best practise policy that differs significantly from legal minimums will in the long run lose out to its competition."

    Not necessarily. It seems that this BP incident is evidence to the contrary.

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  • 332. At 4:49pm on 21 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    Paul8222 (#291): "The opening speeches reminded me of the footage of the McCarthy Senate Un-American Activities hearings of the 1950s."

    The Un-American Activities Committee was in the House of Representatives. Senator McCarthy was chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, under the Senate Committee on Government Operations.

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  • 333. At 4:55pm on 21 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    InterestedForeigner (#276): "The separate legal existence of the corporate form has been of enormous benefit to our society over the last 130 years."

    Only 130 years? That covers the industrial revolution, but the corporation goes back to the middle ages. The Renaissance probably owes a great deal to the corporate form.

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  • 334. At 4:58pm on 21 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Saint Dominick wrote: "I don't mind telling you that I am delighted I voted for Barack Obama. He is, by far, the most intelligent, pragmatic, honest, hard working, and visionary President we had in a long time."


    True; the previous one like that was Jimmy Carter.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If obomba is the most intellingent pragmatic and hard working and visionary president, then americans should change their crieteria for the above mentioned qualities..In the oppressed and not free countries, people would have gotten rid of such a person long time ago.

    As far as carter is concerned, he is like that cat which killed and ate thousands of mice in its glory days and in old age decided to befriend the mice. Its carter who is responsible for everything that ended on sept 2001. Together , usa and uk have not been able to discover ben laden for the past 9 yrs, and now they cannot stop the oil..Incompetency of the highest order. The news is not even worthy of international attention, its been exagerated to the point of no return. Its usa's internal leakage and it should remain so..

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  • 335. At 5:07pm on 21 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The only thing Obama seems to be working hard at is blaming others, his golf game and his 3 point shot.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Give me one example where americans didnt blame others. If tomorrow he starts blaming his own country, the americans will call him to be a traitor or a kenyan.

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  • 336. At 5:11pm on 21 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Or oil spills created by Saddam Hussein.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Its kind of pathetic, but funny. There was bush warning late saddam hussain not to set fire or do anything to the oil wells over there, and almost all his soldiers were stationed around those places and to protect the oil ministry while the rest of the country was allowed to go into chaos, here in his own country, the oil is spiling like wild..Serves them right.

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  • 337. At 6:33pm on 21 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    295. MarcusAureliusII:

    "Representative Joe Barton of Texas apologized to BP for being "strongarmed" by President Obama and then later apologized to America for his apology. I think his political career is at an end. IMO the Republican party should distance itself from him, he is now a liability."

    *****************
    He needs to disappear.

    Did you catch Rahm Emanuel yesterday? He appeared to be dancing through the entire interview. He gave us a glimpse of the democrats' campaign strategy: Choice. And they'd like to make everyone believe the choice is between Joe Barton and the democrats.

    So, change is out. Choice is in.

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  • 338. At 6:36pm on 21 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    330. MagicKirin:

    "The only thing Obama seems to be working hard at is blaming others..."

    *****************

    Odd response on his part: "If something isn't working, we want to hear about it."

    If he doesn't realize there's a problem with the clean up by now...


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  • 339. At 6:55pm on 21 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    311. whosays:

    "ah so here someone is up for more regulation."

    ******************
    Not exactly. Why put more in place when what exists is not being enforced?

    Shouldn't confuse regulation with results.

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  • 340. At 7:43pm on 21 Jun 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    What Italian footballers and American political parties have in common

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxFKsGoOBrM

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  • 341. At 8:05pm on 21 Jun 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    "The exchange is a timely reminder that for many American politicians big business is always preferable to big government."

    You know, I keep coming back here in between menial office tasks to see what's rolling along... and I keep reading the above line and chuckling a bit at my desk. (I will refrain from the temptation to state that I 'LOL' as the expression is such terribly base and common literary vernacular.)

    Each time I read it I think 'too true... to true..' and then immediately consider that for AMERICANS (the little people who vote), big business might not always be preferable to big government...


    Philly-Mom likes this blog post.
    There. I voted. ;-)

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  • 342. At 8:21pm on 21 Jun 2010, Nanuk wrote:

    339. AndreaNY:

    Why the presumption that current regulation is enforceable? Do you not think that if investigators were convinced a violation existed that they would have laid charges by now?

    I've said before and say it again now - don't expect any criminal charges to come out of this. Unless the regular way of administrating and regulating these things is changed, the US will continue to be a place where corporations will be allowed to crap where they eat.

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  • 343. At 8:22pm on 21 Jun 2010, David Hammond wrote:

    As humans do we not tend to over-criticise and judge the very thing of which we ourselves have been or are guilty? The Bhopal Gas Tragedy of December 2-3, 1984 was the world's worst ever industrial catastrophe, resulting in the exposure of over 500,000 people. The number of children exposed to the gases was at least 200,000. Estimates vary on the death toll. Some estimate that 8,000 died within the first weeks and that another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases. Another 100,000 to 200,000 people are estimated to have permanent injuries. In 1999, a settlement was reached under which UCC agreed to pay US$470 million (the insurance sum, plus interest) in a full and final settlement of its civil and criminal liability. How did a US company get away with paying so comparatively little, relative to the damage and deaths, when BP has already pledged £20 billion for this oil leak? Is this some form of hypocrisy BP is facing?

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  • 344. At 8:31pm on 21 Jun 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Colonel! You're back!

    I was afraid you'd gone off and done some fool thing like joining the Taliban.

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  • 345. At 9:08pm on 21 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    David Hammond (#343): "Is this some form of hypocrisy BP is facing?"

    No. You, like so many others here, do not know the meaning and proper usage of the word.

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  • 346. At 9:13pm on 21 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Right now, at this time, taliban are the most powerful force on this planet..the so called powerful powers cannot fight against them...Taliban dont want people to join them, they want obama to keep on sending the surge, the more the surge, the more they can sophisticate their IEDs.

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  • 347. At 9:22pm on 21 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Kindly check BP's record in the ex colonies of ex british empire, now its usa's turn..Whatever usa tries to project, in the heart and minds of BP, usa is just another ex colony of england.

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  • 348. At 9:33pm on 21 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Andy,

    Of course referees make bad calls at times. They are only human, like we are all. However, even if a ref makes a bad call, he or she should at least have to say what the call is for, whether right or wrong.

    For example, the call at the baseball game in which the runner was apparently tagged out and it should have been a perfect game. The ref said what he thought he saw- that the runner had made it. Looking back at the replay, clearly, the runner was out. Later, the ref realized he was wrong, but he admitted to his mistake because sometimes bad calls do happen. But at least he had to tell what it was called for.

    The ref from FIFA refused to even say what the call was for.

    Otherwise, how do you know that the whole thing isn't rigged or paid off?

    I am over it now, though, because what is done is done. Plus, we still can make it by beating Algeria.

    Go USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    Go Donovan, Bradley, Edu and others!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I cannot believe the Lakers won, because the Celtics played so well the whole game until the end. Several calls were questionable, but at least there were explanations, good or bad.

    I loved the NBA in the 90's because Michael Jordan was so amazing. Michael Jordan and Larry Bird are the best basketball players ever!!!!!!!

    While Kobe is a great player, he just doesn't have what Michael Jordan or Larry Bird have- talent and rolemodelness combined that is incredibly special, as well as rare to find.

    I wish that we would stop talking about the BP execs and talk instead about how we are going to stop the oil leaks. Or will they go till they run dry? How much oil are in those wells? The oil can't be neverending. Can it?

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  • 349. At 9:39pm on 21 Jun 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 320 powermeerkat wrote:

    "No secret about my political choices."

    Indeed. If memory serves, you're very keen on Portuguese dictators, specifically a Mr Salazar

    "I have voted for John McCain and had stated that much earlier.

    Now, seeing BHO's performance so far, would you say that I've betted on the wrong horse, or that those who voted for Barack Hussein Obama betted on the wrong horse? :)"

    The former.

    No doubt you have a wealth of overwhelming evidence that the John and Sarah show would have [a] prevented the disaster or [b] solved it in minutes - perhaps by chanting 'drill baby drill'? If so, I am sure the many enquiring minds on this blog would love to hear it.

    Oh, and when you refer to John McCain, surely you mean John Sydney McCain, whose VP candidate was Sarah Heath Palin? Or is it only one politician whose middle name you're strangely obsessed with? Why ever could that be, enquiring minds wonder...

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  • 350. At 9:45pm on 21 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Of course referees make bad calls at times. They are only human, like we are all.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The difference between referees and the rest of us, is that we havent been trained as refrees and they have.

    Algerian players just didnt get up from their beds and decided to play in the world cup..

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  • 351. At 9:46pm on 21 Jun 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 325 powermeerkat wrote:

    "Don't tell be that BHO and his minions (Napolitano, Salazar, etc.) didn't know that, for example, US Navy [sic] had a capability to deploy its SpecOp minisubs to the disaster area, take samplings at 1500 meter depth and report their findings in a timely fashion to our temporary Commander-in-Chief?"

    "Temporary Commander-in-Chief"?

    I make no claim to expertise in US constitutional affairs - but, the last I heard, all Commanders-in-Chief are 'temporary' - ie they normally serve for 4 or, if re-elected, 8 years?

    Or has there been some constitutional change you'd like to share with us?

    [Or perhaps you were confusing the USA with Portugal under Salazar, when they weren't perhaps so hot on term limits?]

    Enquiring minds are just dying to know...

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  • 352. At 9:49pm on 21 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Too bad people didn't feel the same about the bankers, they did more financial damage than BP will ever do and unpunished and also rewarded for their stealing. It is funny how people will attack an oil company but not the banks. Where is the demanded account from the banks to restore the individual retirement accounts that were diminished. Politicians have no ethics. The truth never escapes the grasp of the media.

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  • 353. At 9:50pm on 21 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    John Mccain lost because of Palin. If only he would have read what I wrote here and there, he would never have allowed his party to force him to pick Palin as his deputy.Obama is just an image..a perfect PR-image..nothing more nothing less.He was elected because of his skin color.the outer covering..

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  • 354. At 10:09pm on 21 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    So why is it that the Taliban are Muslim, yet they have young male dancers that dress up like females? That they have to sleep with them or are threatened with death?

    Apparently, because females are not allowed places, they use young males to "accompany" them. Very bizarre.

    I saw a documentary on it the other day. It is real.

    It is also unsettling to hear about the people in Africa who have been killed by terrorists because they wanted to watch soccer. Ridiculous.

    If killing people for watching soccer is "power" then you can have your power.

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  • 355. At 10:27pm on 21 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    342. Nanuk:

    Why the presumption that current regulation is enforceable?

    *******************
    I'd like to see what exists and why it's not been enforced before clamoring for more regulation. As I've said, I don't think anyone was looking too carefully at what was happening out on those rigs. My guess is that this will now become a more highly regulated area.

    Good article today in the NY Times.

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  • 356. At 10:49pm on 21 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    If refs are trained, they should have no problem in saying why they call a call, whether right or not, they should at least have the decency or legality to say what they saw or thought they saw.

    I do not know if it is like this in all of soccer aka football all throughout Europe or if this is just the World Cup/ FIFA in which they can make calls without saying why?

    Team USA, you make us proud. Go USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)


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  • 357. At 10:55pm on 21 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    So why is it that the Taliban are Muslim, yet they have young male dancers that dress up like females? That they have to sleep with them or are threatened with death?

    Apparently, because females are not allowed places, they use young males to "accompany" them. Very bizarre.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Err, you are generously mixing your allies, the northern allies, aka the ones who support you against taliban, with the taliban..Einstein, the young male dancers and everything is practised by the allies of NATO..

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  • 358. At 10:57pm on 21 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    It is also unsettling to hear about the people in Africa who have been killed by terrorists because they wanted to watch soccer. Ridiculous.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I guess you get settled when you hear people who want to bring aid to the beseiged people being killed..

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  • 359. At 11:01pm on 21 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The problem with americans is that they really believe that BP somhow treat and will treat them better than it treats the rest of the world...the problem with BP is that it treats every ex colony of england as if its still its backyard...

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  • 360. At 11:05pm on 21 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    If killing people for watching soccer is "power" then you can have your power.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nine yrs of fighting, and the world has not won the war against taliban...thats power..americans have dug afghanistan so deep that it managed to discover the hidden mineral resources concealed so beautifully by every afghani ruler, as such things cause more misery than benefits, but have the americans found ben laden? No..Now, its for you to decide exactly what the americans were looking for in the name of digging out ben laden..

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  • 361. At 11:10pm on 21 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    348. At 9:33pm on 21 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:
    The oil can't be neverending. Can it?

    No, it’s finite. BP is saying 100M barrels in the formation and currently it’s leaking ~60,000 barrels per day. So at that rate it should be done before Christmas. Assuming my math is right and BP’s numbers are right.

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  • 362. At 11:13pm on 21 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    USA is not against Muslims.

    USA is against terrorists, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

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  • 363. At 00:03am on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    USA is against terrorists, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I think even you dont believe in this rant...however, once again. the dancing boys and the stuff you wrote claiming that taliban do it, is absolutely nonsense...the reality is that the people who are your allies do those things...Now, you can ask your leader why he joined hands with such allies...or just go into the denial american mode..

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  • 364. At 00:51am on 22 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    It's just a very small spill!!!

    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/06/oil_in_the_gulf_two_months_lat.html

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  • 365. At 00:52am on 22 Jun 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 356, LucyJ:

    "If refs are trained, they should have no problem in saying why they call a call, whether right or not, they should at least have the decency or legality to say what they saw or thought they saw.

    I do not know if it is like this in all of soccer aka football all throughout Europe or if this is just the World Cup/ FIFA in which they can make calls without saying why."

    I would prefer that myself. Of course, you have to remember that in some corners of the world people riot when they believe the home team was ripped off, people get hurt. Perhaps being quiet is safer?

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  • 366. At 01:14am on 22 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    USA is not against Muslims.

    USA is against terrorists, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

    Yes, it was all in a documentary about the Taliban, others and the dancing boys, as you call, and it is a very sad way to treat young men. I have to admit I shed a few tears and then had to change the channel because it was too much to watch the full segment.

    USA is against all sexual slavery. You know this because we have many laws against sexual slavery. We also have laws against marrying multiple partners and laws against marrying kids, although some occasionally try to skirt around the law and usually get caught.

    The Sharia Laws are the opposite of our laws.

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  • 367. At 01:39am on 22 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 126. old_fogey:

    At 11:05am on 18 Jun 2010, stewart wrote:
    Can anyone point me to a similar Congressional Hearing into the Bhopal disaster?

    I was wondering about this myself. I don't think the same standards need apply as those killed in Bhopal were in a foreign country.


    I thing that would be the job of the Indian parliament, since the accident took place in India. I'm willing to see American companies held to the standard of the laws of the countries in which they operate.

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  • 368. At 02:22am on 22 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    333. At 4:55pm on 21 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "Only 130 years? That covers the industrial revolution, but the corporation goes back to the middle ages. The Renaissance probably owes a great deal to the corporate form."

    ____________

    Yes, 130 years, more or less.

    Corporations have existed for rather longer - we had one founded by Prince Rupert in 1670 called "The Company of Adventurers Trading Out of Hudson's Bay".

    It exhibited many of the tendencies to monopoly of which Marcus wrote, too.

    But the corporate form came into its own with the creation of limited liability share corporations. The case that established for good that share corporations in the British Empire had a separate existing from their owners (and therefore the debts of the corporation are not the individual debts of the owners) was only decided in the 1890's.

    Contrast this with the Lloyd's syndicates. It seems to me that Lloyd's was founded in a coffee house in 1694, but up into the 1980's it never became a limited liability corporation. Thus the Lloyd's "Names" were liable to the full extent of their worth for losses suffered by their syndicate. The demise of Lloyd's, and the ruination of the members of several syndicates was big news at the time.

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  • 369. At 02:30am on 22 Jun 2010, timohio wrote:

    re. 298. publiusdetroit:

    Publius, you're a good guy and almost a neighbor, but you can't believe that standing on the shore watching your expensive yacht competing in a race is the same as actually sailing it? I've sailed too, but the largest boat I've ever owned was 12.5 feet and had a crack in the dagger board well. And when it sailed, it was me at the tiller holding the mainsheet. I don't think Tony was doing that. Not exactly Mr. Everyman. And that's the problem. When fishermen in the Gulf couldn't go out to earn their living with their boats, Mr. Hayward was back at the Isle of Wight enjoying the good life with his.

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  • 370. At 03:13am on 22 Jun 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    re:#343 and others-


    Criticisms on this blog re the tragedy in Bhopal center on the trials and their legal outcomes. Shall we be as lenient with BP et al as it is alleged India was with Union Carbide?

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 371. At 03:32am on 22 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    288. At 5:39pm on 20 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    "Impossible, the bottom of the GoM is mud for the first 1000 feet or so. Concrete would sink. The BOP is sitting on top of 1000s of feet of metal tube (the well)."

    ____________

    There I was, thinking that what was needed was something akin to rock bolting with, at most, a couple of hundred feet of steel reinforced concrete anchors, and it turns out that what would really be required is pilings pretty much the same height as the CN Tower, not to anchor the concrete down, but to hold it up. What a thought.




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  • 372. At 03:35am on 22 Jun 2010, Nanuk wrote:

    AndreaNY:

    What seems to be misunderstood is how environmental laws are supposed to function when it comes to controlling pollution. Regulations of this nature are more or less in the realm of "self-regulation". It operates on the premise that the government "regulates" a particular industry by permitting it to pollute up to a certain level and expects the players in the industry to behave as good corporate citizens by doing their darndest to keep on top of the latest technologies and pollution prevention mechanism and report to the government when something goes wrong. A couple of things are problematic here. First, corporations as a whole are clearly not acting in good faith anymore. Secondly, and more importantly, the idea of having a person report a wrongdoing to the government and then try to prosecute them on the basis of what they reported runs against the grain of the principle of fairness. You basically have to prove that a corporation meant to cause the environmental disaster in order to get a successful prosecution. As faulty as BP may be for the scale of the problem, it is difficult to believe that they meant to have caused it.

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  • 373. At 03:50am on 22 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Andy, that sounds out of control.

    Like it is about more than a game?

    I did read that Austraila also calls it soccer, aka the Socceroos, so that is kind of cool. USA is not the only one who calls it soccer.

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  • 374. At 03:51am on 22 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    372. Nanuk:

    Was thinking more of knowledge, and enforcement, of safety regulations -- and of those poor dead workers.

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  • 375. At 05:22am on 22 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    KScurmudgeon (#370): "Shall we be as lenient with BP et al as it is alleged India was with Union Carbide?"

    There is no equivalence. The one has nothing to do with the other. The Gulf well blowout will be investigated and (if called for) prosecuted without regard for anything but the facts and the applicable US law.

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  • 376. At 05:44am on 22 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Andrea wrote: "So, change is out. Choice is in."


    Chaos is in. [PR]Noise is out; and deafening.

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  • 377. At 05:54am on 22 Jun 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    375. At 05:22am on 22 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    KScurmudgeon (#370): "Shall we be as lenient with BP et al as it is alleged India was with Union Carbide?"

    There is no equivalence. The one has nothing to do with the other. The Gulf well blowout will be investigated and (if called for) prosecuted without regard for anything but the facts and the applicable US law.
    ________________________________

    Then why all this carping about unfairness in both cases?

    If it is a matter of facts and law, when the facts come out we will all know the truth and this speculation and blame that is being thrown about will be pointless, will it not?

    Or is it rather that every week spent in blame and speculation is another week stolen from the Obama legacy, exacerbating the nation's wounds?

    Curmudgeonly

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 378. At 06:38am on 22 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    AnyPost wrotew: "Colonel! You're back!

    I was afraid you'd gone off and done some fool thing like joining the Taliban."



    ISI and Taliban? Nooooo! :-))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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  • 379. At 06:49am on 22 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "As faulty as BP may be for the scale of the problem, it is difficult to believe that they meant to have caused it."



    Of course they haven't. Saving $500,000.00 a day by choosing dangerous but cheap methods and procedures BP would have potentially gained merely $50 million over 3 months period.



    Now they're looking at potentially 20 BILLION dollars outlay (at least) in fines, compensation and clean-up costs.

    And you thought that only governments hire village idiots for top positions.

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  • 380. At 12:26pm on 22 Jun 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    Ah ha, Colonelartist indeed you are back!,lets wish this time around you make more sense than last. Unfortunately looking at your posts I fear that will be a forlorn hope over experience.An unfortunate remark re IEDs in post 346,so we can take it then,that you are not too keen on the US or UK.Ovusly





    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VktQBj1Dm4

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  • 381. At 12:44pm on 22 Jun 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    oops,obviously I can not speak for the US folk,but the British can turn up in the most unlikely of places.If you see a rather scruffy dressed set of
    chaps with a regional UK accent feel free to tell them exactly what you think of the British!.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VktQBj1Dm4

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  • 382. At 12:55pm on 22 Jun 2010, Nanuk wrote:

    AndreaNY: Sorry, I should read more carefully - I didn't realize that was what you were referring to.

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  • 383. At 12:59pm on 22 Jun 2010, Nanuk wrote:

    powermeerkat,

    I agree, there's plenty of idiocy. Laying criminal charges on BP for the spill/leak would be in line with that.

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  • 384. At 1:07pm on 22 Jun 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 323 Saint Dominick wrote:

    "I don't mind telling you that I am delighted I voted for Barack Obama. He is, by far, the most intelligent, pragmatic, honest, hard working, and visionary President we had in a long time."

    # 327 powermeerkat replied:

    "True; the previous one like that was Jimmy Carter.


    And it was 34 years ago."

    So - the Presidents betwen Carter and Obama were unintelligent, impractical, dishonest, lazy and shortsighted?

    I think that's a bit hard on Bill Clinton...

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  • 385. At 2:06pm on 22 Jun 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref# 373 LucyJ
    "I did read that Austraila also calls it soccer, aka the Socceroos, so that is kind of cool. USA is not the only one who calls it soccer."
    The official name of the socceroos is the "Australia National Association Football Team". They use the nicknames to differentiate themselves from their "Aussie Rules" team.
    In Ireland they don't use the term "Soccer", despite Gaelic Football being a huge sport.

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  • 386. At 2:12pm on 22 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    It seems the Obama adged true friends tell each other when they are doing something wrong does not apply to him.

    so McChristal is coming back to be fired or reprimanded for pointing the truth about the White House.

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  • 387. At 3:20pm on 22 Jun 2010, TedInDenver wrote:

    Ouch, 20% tax on everything except gas and booze (much higher). Darn!

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  • 388. At 4:08pm on 22 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    That Gen. McChrystal made such remarks to a reporter tells me that he is very frustrated with the attitude of senior officals and possibly the administration's policies in Afghanistan. You don't reach his level of command in the U.S. military without being aware of the level of respect required (in public) for senior political appointees.

    Nevertheless, President Obama is absolutely correct to call him into the office for a "chat" and would be justified in relieving him of command. The principle of civilian control over the military is a constitutional mandate and proper respect must be shown to the persons appointed to authority by the president who is after all, the commander in chief.

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  • 389. At 4:12pm on 22 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    Hey, how about that Brazilian hand ball team? Are the rules different for Brazil or was that another spectacularly bad call?

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  • 390. At 4:18pm on 22 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #384. At 1:07pm on 22 Jun 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:
    # 323 Saint Dominick wrote:

    "I don't mind telling you that I am delighted I voted for Barack Obama. He is, by far, the most intelligent, pragmatic, honest, hard working, and visionary President we had in a long time."

    # 327 powermeerkat replied:

    "True; the previous one like that was Jimmy Carter.


    And it was 34 years ago."

    So - the Presidents betwen Carter and Obama were unintelligent, impractical, dishonest, lazy and shortsighted?

    I think that's a bit hard on Bill Clinton...

    _______________________


    I never thought I'd say this but Obama actually makes me miss Bill Clinton (and I voted against him twice). I'd say why but I doubt it would get past the BBC's censors, freedom of speech not being the same thing on their side of the Atlantic as it is here.

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  • 391. At 4:24pm on 22 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #377. At 05:54am on 22 Jun 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:
    375. At 05:22am on 22 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    KScurmudgeon (#370): "Shall we be as lenient with BP et al as it is alleged India was with Union Carbide?"

    There is no equivalence. The one has nothing to do with the other. The Gulf well blowout will be investigated and (if called for) prosecuted without regard for anything but the facts and the applicable US law.
    ________________________________

    Then why all this carping about unfairness in both cases?

    "If it is a matter of facts and law, when the facts come out we will all know the truth and this speculation and blame that is being thrown about will be pointless, will it not?

    Or is it rather that every week spent in blame and speculation is another week stolen from the Obama legacy, exacerbating the nation's wounds?"

    ============================

    I prefer to think of it as every week spent distracted by events in the Gulf is one less week for Obama to push his liberal agenda to the detriment of the country. A pity that the distraction is making such a huge mess and wasting all that oil.

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  • 392. At 4:28pm on 22 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #379. At 06:49am on 22 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "And you thought that only governments hire village idiots for top positions."

    Oh no, but nothing makes village idiots thrive like civil service protection, with the possible exception of academic tenure.

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  • 393. At 4:58pm on 22 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #389

    , Scott0962 wrote:
    Hey, how about that Brazilian hand ball team? Are the rules different for Brazil or was that another spectacularly bad call?

    _____________

    Probaly the latter, I thought NBA refs were bad.

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  • 394. At 5:16pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    USA is against terrorists, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

    Yes, it was all in a documentary about the Taliban, others and the dancing boys, as you call, and it is a very sad way to treat young men. I have to admit I shed a few tears and then had to change the channel because it was too much to watch the full segment.

    USA is against all sexual slavery. You know this because we have many laws against sexual slavery. We also have laws against marrying multiple partners and laws against marrying kids, although some occasionally try to skirt around the law and usually get caught.

    The Sharia Laws are the opposite of our laws.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No, USA is not against sexual slavery. the documentary which your hyper journalist or repoter made, has to be about northern alliance, the ones who are your allies..This is a blog and not usa, where lies and propoganda is most sought after thing, second to oil. USa is against muslims,every muslim killed or put in jail is labelled as terrorist, thats its modus operandi..YOu could have whatever laws and much more inside your country, but those laws end where your countries boundries end..unless like israel, your countries boundries are anchorless. And finally, you should have shed some tears for yourself, then some for your country fellows and finally some more for yourself, because if you had not changed the channel, you would have realised that it was the documentary about the people whom your government has chosen over taliban...You can lecture all about this and that, but you are judged by the company your leaders keep...

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  • 395. At 5:18pm on 22 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    KScurmudgeon (#377): "Then why all this carping about unfairness in both cases?"

    Don't look at me. I'm not the one trying to link the two.

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  • 396. At 5:21pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    ISI and Taliban? Nooooo!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sure ISI and taliban are not letting the world win this war...very good...On one hand pakistan army has lost thousands of its soldiers and officers against taliban, and on the other hand its ISI is helping taliban...Taliban have become more sophisticated with IEDS because they used it more, especially after obama's surge...Not even an idiot would send more soldiers if he saw the main cause of death is IEDs, and here is your pragmatic and visionary president to not only sends more fodder, but claims that it is working as well...It is working but for the benefit of taliban..

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  • 397. At 5:30pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Maybe obama should acquaint himself with the record of BP in the rest of the ex british colonies...

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  • 398. At 6:08pm on 22 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    ABC news reports that the Obama Admin. is going to sue the state of Arizona for their new law, which was put in force to protect Arizonans from illegal immigrants, such as the case in which the rancher was killed by illegals smuggling humans or drugs across the border. ACLU reports that it is going to sue the small town in Nebraska in which the voters elected to ban letting any person in the state illegally rent property in their town and also states that employers in their town must use e-Verify so they do not employ people in the country illegally.


    Several of the 9/11 hijackers were in our country illegally. Some illegals seek jobs. Some illegals seek to kill us.

    The Obama Admin. and ACLU have gone too far this time. They believe they can stomp all over us like we nothing. They are wrong.

    The Obama Admin. and the ACLU underestimates Americans who love this country more than anything. They do not understand us because they don't want to.

    The Obama Admin. and the Democrats will pay with our votes going to Republicans in Nov.
    Nov. will not come soon enough.

    Meanwhile, Americans must gather all the strength and courage we have to face enemies who want to destroy us, both foreign and domestic.

    If that sounds ominous, that is because it is.

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  • 399. At 6:16pm on 22 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    It is time to bring our troops and our allies troops home.

    Our soldiers have done everything we have asked them to. They are true heroes, the best people in the world. Please, dear God, love, protect and watch over our troops and our allies troops.

    Please, dear God, bring our troops and our allies troops home safely.

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  • 400. At 6:30pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Several of the 9/11 hijackers were in our country illegally. Some illegals seek jobs. Some illegals seek to kill us.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Did your ancestors by any chance came to usa legally, waving their green cards as they entered usa? do all those blacks, now fondly called as african american had their ancestors brought to usa with proper papers? the only people who have a right to say anthing about this illegal people are the red indians, now fondly called as the native americans..to them, there is no difference between the illegal people of the past or the present...You and your folks are now in the same situations which the native americans were when illegals from europe poured into their lands, criminals and thugs looking for easy ways to get rich and exploit this part of the world..Look closely at those illegals and you mind find your ancestors in them.

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  • 401. At 6:32pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Please, dear God, bring our troops and our allies troops home safely.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Make sure that you take those northern alliance with you as you leave afghanistan...Dont leave them back for taliban..

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  • 402. At 6:48pm on 22 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Deport all illegal immigrants, regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation. (no discrimination)

    No amnesty.

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  • 403. At 7:10pm on 22 Jun 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Time for a new string, Mark.



    ------------


    On another note, the forecast is for rainstorms in Huntsville, with warmer weather is to follow. Which means one thing for certain ...

    That being the case, you can usually buy DEET at Canadian Tire ("More than just tires ..."), conveniently located just south of the lights at Hwy 60 on Muskoka Rd. 3.


    "Oh the black fly,
    The little Black fly,
    Always the black fly,
    No matter where you go,
    I'll die with the black fly
    a'pickin' my bones.
    In North Ontar-i-o - i-o.
    In North Ontar-i-o."

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  • 404. At 8:27pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Deport all illegal immigrants, regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation. (no discrimination)

    No amnesty.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yes. deport all illegal immigrants, the present generations of the old illegal immigrants and slaves. If you want to deport then atleast be consistence.

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  • 405. At 8:36pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    And if usa was still ruled by its own people, it would never had this oil spill thingie..the native americans would never sacrifice their land, their sea and their air just to satisfy their needs.So, actually those who need to be deported are those who claim deportation of the illegals.

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  • 406. At 8:40pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Deport all illegal immigrants, regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation. (no discrimination)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And once upon a time there was this very famous reporter named helen thomas...... whose departure isnt even registered because she just said similar things but about some europeans living in the middle east...

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  • 407. At 8:40pm on 22 Jun 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 402, LucyJ:

    "Deport all illegal immigrants, regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation. (no discrimination)

    No amnesty."

    What if they have kids that are American citizens? They'll have to go with their parents, but when they reach adulthood they'll come back.

    I'd rather they were immersed in our culture, not Mexico's.

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  • 408. At 8:57pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    American culture is like israel boundries, they will fight for it but they will never show it.

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  • 409. At 9:12pm on 22 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Andy,

    If illegals have kids that are born in America, they should

    A) Go back to their homeland and keep their children. Their children would have the choice by age 18 whether to be an American or dual citizen ( in which they would have to learn English, follow our laws, ect.) or a citizen of their homeland.

    B) Go back to their homeland and give up their children to be raised in America as Americans by legal relatives, legal friends, foster care or orphanages.

    Either way, the parents should immediatly be kicked out as soon as they are found to be illegals. Is a criminal not a criminal just because they have children?

    Anyone harboring illegals knowingly should be punished by jail.

    It should be against the law for non-American parents to raise American children in America. It is no wonder the kids are the way they are- they learn from their parents.

    Look at all the European laws. Many have laws that state a child is only a citizen of that country if at least one parent is a citizen.

    Now if a child has one American parent and one illegal parent, the child can stay with the legal American in America. However, the illegal parent would have to marry the American quickly or be deported immediatly.

    It is rumored that several illegal immigrant supporters against the new law are setting the fires across Arizona. That is pure evil.



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  • 410. At 9:53pm on 22 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    I meant to say it should be against the law for illegal parents to raise American children in America.

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  • 411. At 10:21pm on 22 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    The oil drilling ban has been overtuned.

    Drill Baby Drill!!!

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  • 412. At 10:29pm on 22 Jun 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 413. At 10:34pm on 22 Jun 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    Franklin was being ironic, by the way.

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  • 414. At 10:41pm on 22 Jun 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 409, LucyJ:

    "If illegals have kids that are born in America, they should

    A) Go back to their homeland and keep their children. Their children would have the choice by age 18 whether to be an American or dual citizen ( in which they would have to learn English, follow our laws, ect.) or a citizen of their homeland."

    No, the kids are American citizens. There are no more requirements made of them than of you or me. Equal protection under the law is guaranteed to all, you know.

    And they will come back. Employment prospects will bring them back. Now, do want them to be Mexicans with U.S. citizenship (harboring considerable bitterness toward their country) or Americans? Which do you think will produce better citizens?

    They're not going to become Americans living their lives in Mexico.

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  • 415. At 10:45pm on 22 Jun 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 410, LucyJ :

    "I meant to say it should be against the law for illegal parents to raise American children in America."

    Ok, that's more to the point.

    I'm against any law that makes it illegal for any American child to be raised in America.

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  • 416. At 10:48pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The oil spill had nothing to do with the present illegals, and everything to do with the legals, who legalised themselves without asking the natives...Send these grown ups, behaving likke wild children back to their european and african countries...Deport them all with no amenisty whatsoever.

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  • 417. At 10:51pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    I meant to say it should be against the law for illegal parents to raise American children in America.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Social darwinism at its best...and why stop here, why not apply dawinish and send everyone back to africa...to live in the trees, I will personally start a fund to save the decendents at their ancestors trees..

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  • 418. At 11:09pm on 22 Jun 2010, Emps wrote:

    348 Lucy Wrote

    Of course referees make bad calls at times. They are only human, like we are all. However, even if a ref makes a bad call, he or she should at least have to say what the call is for, whether right or wrong.

    Whether or not the call is good or bad,generally everyone from players,commentators, to crowd spectatators who are "Association football" followers, usually know what the call is. No-one needs to ask what the call is for. The arguments always without exception are the interpretation of that "law" by the individual ref.


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  • 419. At 11:19pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Illegals have no right to raise their children, their children should be taken from them and sent to live in collectives or boardings, never allowed to write or speak their language, taught that they come from a savage or unclutured culture,when they are totally mentally oppressed they be released into some areas and be told that their genetics makes them alcholic and good for nothing people....Havent your ancestors the illegals practiced this once upon a time...

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  • 420. At 11:32pm on 22 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #405. At 8:36pm on 22 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:
    "And if usa was still ruled by its own people, it would never had this oil spill thingie..the native americans would never sacrifice their land, their sea and their air just to satisfy their needs.So, actually those who need to be deported are those who claim deportation of the illegals."

    Deport them to where? Back to the land of their ancestors? Most Americans have a very mixed ancestry but let's assume for the sake of discussion that those with British ancestry are deported to Britain. Where would you put them all? There are more Americans with British ancestry than there are people in Britain.

    And how would Britain ever assimilate them? Two hundred plus years of self rule have given Americans some very different ideas about how things should be run. What happens when they start voting? And they will expect to vote, you know how they feel about taxation without representation. Forget about them joining the Church of England, their ancestors left to get away from it! Just wait till their liberal ideas of free speech clash with Britain's restrictive libel laws: sparks will fly!

    And since they'll be the new majority expect some sweeping changes. Pay a tax to watch television? Better find a new funding model, BBC. The EU, who needs it? Pounds and shillings and guineas and the metric system? American refugees will go nuts trying to figure it out. You'll have an esaier time trying to get them to drive on the wrong, sorry, left side of the road.

    Actually, I suspect after a couple of years of British weather they'll be eager to sail west and conquer the new world all over again.

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  • 421. At 11:59pm on 22 Jun 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 396, colonelartist:

    "Not even an idiot would send more soldiers if he saw the main cause of death is IEDs..."

    IEDs are a form of booby trap or land mine. Those devices have been around for a long time. They don't kill that many of the enemy. They're used mostly to slow enemy troops down or funnel them into kill zones. They never stop an enemy attack by themselves, let alone precipitate a retreat. They have some effect on unit morale but not that much.

    I don't know why you're putting so much faith in them.

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  • 422. At 01:14am on 23 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Andy,

    Even though the child may have American rights, if the parents are illegals, they have no American rights. This is why they should give up their children to Americans or take them back with them to whatever country they are from.

    If a criminal has a child, do you think the criminal's crimes should be erased?

    Because essentially, letting illegals raise American children is rewarding them for breaking our laws.

    The only solution is deportation of all illegals.

    Just today I read about two illegals in Cali, one was a thirteen year old girl who had a baby at age eleven and the other a fourteen year old male who stabbed the girl for domestic abuse. What wonderful parents.

    But I do like people who come here legally. Very impressed with Jindal and Haley.

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  • 423. At 04:11am on 23 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "The judge said the [Obama's imposed] lengthy ban [on deep water drilling] was "invalid" and could not be justified, as the negative impact on local businesses was simply too great." [BBC]



    That's what happens when "wimps in the White House" (to use gen. Mc Chrystal's parlance) in view of their plummeting ratings try to make up for their earlier inaction with an overreaction.


    And in the meantime deep water drilling continues unabated in the environmnentally-conscious Canada (Newfoundland), and at much greater depths than in the GoM, to boot.

    [obviously windmills don't suffice]

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  • 424. At 04:31am on 23 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    At 06:49am on 22 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "And you thought that only governments hire village idiots for top positions."

    Scott (in #392) repplied:

    "Oh no, but nothing makes village idiots thrive like civil service protection, with the possible exception of academic tenure."




    Non-removable "prof." Angela Davis anyone? :)



    P.S. To the person who posted a video :"What Italian soccer players have in common with US political parties"....


    Could you possibly supply a link to a video:

    "What French and North Korean footballers have in common?"?

    [Or "What British footballers..etc." as an alternative.]

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  • 425. At 04:34am on 23 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Interestedforeigner wrote:
    By the way, there is in The Economist this week a very fine obituary of a remarkable journalist.




    Seymour Hersh has died? When did that happen?

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  • 426. At 04:44am on 23 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    colonelartist [vel IED technician] wrote:

    "This is a blog and not usa, where lies and propoganda is most sought after thing"


    Hate to tell you this but quite a few of us don't find your output that indispensable. :)


    And for at least one poster here shaped charges seem to be the most sought after thing.

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  • 427. At 05:07am on 23 Jun 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    382. Nanuk:

    AndreaNY: Sorry, I should read more carefully - I didn't realize that was what you were referring to

    *************
    No need to apologize. I wasn't clear.

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  • 428. At 1:26pm on 23 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    IEDs are a form of booby trap or land mine. Those devices have been around for a long time. They don't kill that many of the enemy. They're used mostly to slow enemy troops down or funnel them into kill zones. They never stop an enemy attack by themselves, let alone precipitate a retreat. They have some effect on unit morale but not that much.


    I don't know why you're putting so much faith in them.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Just put your post in the context of world-taliban war that has been going on for 9 yrs....world, especially usa and uk went there with just one goal, to keep their death rate low..and in nine yrs in real wars the death toll is always in thousands...You dont get it, but the taliban have gotten it...one soldier killed today is worth 10 or more killed in real wars...Besides unlike americans, taliban arent stupid, they know they dont have the sophisticated weapons, so the best way to attack is IEDs...

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  • 429. At 1:29pm on 23 Jun 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Hate to tell you this but quite a few of us don't find your output that indispensable. :)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hate to tell you but I get physically sick if I somehow get a feeling that people who believe in lies would somehow start to think that my output i somhow is indispensable...

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  • 430. At 6:33pm on 23 Jun 2010, sean56z wrote:

    BP ignored warnings issued after inspections of this petroleum platform. Repairs were considered too expensive. Now, the oil company is sued by anyone who has business in that part of the Gulf.

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