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Meanwhile At Rick’s

No, not the one in Casablanca, Rick Outzen’s blog in Pensacola.

Rick writes about the continuing “failure to communicate” – BP fails Pensacola Beach

On the day the Pensacola News Journal gives front-page coverage to BP exec Doug Suttles, who assures readers that there is no oil near the shores of Pensacola Beach, the beach is covered with oil.

There was a complete breakdown in communication, yet again, from BP and the Unified Command Center in Mobile. Despite DEP and local officials sending the UCC photos of our white sand covered with mats of oil and several phone calls asking for help, the fellows in Mobile, Ala. wouldn’t send more help until a written report was filled out and sent to them.

I’m not kidding. BP and the Coast Guard wanted a written report before they would do anything. It finally took the Coast Guard admiral to drove over from Mobile for more equipment to be dispatched.

They keep warehousing stuff in strange places that move it away from where it’s needed. The maps are constantly updated and you can see where the oil is headed, so why doesn’t someone have it moved to where it is needed, before it is needed? What in hell kind of “expertise” is this?

Rick also noted that our Temp-Senator is making speeches: LeMieux is upset about Pensacola Beach .

LeMieux is operating under the delusion that the reason there aren’t more skimmers available is the 1920 Johes Act, and wants the Feds to issue a waiver. There’s no need for a waiver. Skimmers aren’t moving cargo from one US port to another.

Apparently LeMieux can’t figure out that the Deepwater Horizon was built in Korea, flagged in the Marshall Islands, and owned by a Swiss corporation, so the Jones Act obviously doesn’t apply. Whoever [BP?] told him that it did, was looking for an excuse not to spend money on more skimmers.

June 23, 2010   Comments Off on Meanwhile At Rick’s

Around Here

The Local Puppy Trainer notes that: No swimming on 6 miles of Walton beaches, health dept. says

While Pensacola got its worst oil impacts to date Tuesday, health officials in Walton County issued an advisory asking people not to swim on 6 miles of beach stretching from Miramar Beach to the east end of Topsail State Park.

Actually they advise that anyone not fit enough to run a marathon to avoid the air on the Gulf, but in a very tourist friendly fashion. They are getting masses of tarballs, and the air smells like one of those quick oil-change operations.

CNN highlights a major problem for fighting the spill: Frustrated Florida Panhandle counties find BP’s checks not in the mail

We have no money to fight the oil, but we do have money for a free concert:

In an effort to draw crowds to Okaloosa County beaches, the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau will start a free concert series called “Rock the Beach” this Sunday, June 27, at the Boardwalk.

The bureau signed the Doobie Brothers to the 5 p.m. concert last Friday and added Kenny Loggins to the bill Monday night.

This is what Republicans do to government. Money is locked into specific functions and can’t be moved to do things that need to be done. The tourist development council has money, but they can’t give it to the emergency management people to fight the oil. School districts may have money to build schools that they don’t need, but can’t use it to pay teachers that they do need.

Republican politicians tell us that you have to do this because politicians are crooks and liars. Voters never seem to analyze the meaning of that statement.

So, we can’t implement the protections we want, and have approval for, because we have to wait for BP to cut us a check, but we can hold free concerts to attract people to the beach we can’t protect.

June 23, 2010   2 Comments

It Gets Worse

The Pensacola Beach Blogger is short and direct: Oil Swamps Pensacola Beach, Island.

Troy Moon at the Pensacola News Journal expands on The day the oil came

The sign at Pensacola Beach Properties boasted “Always has been, always will be — the most beautiful beaches in the world.’’

The sign was a lie.

Because surely, there was a white sand beach somewhere in the world that didn’t look like it was vomited on by Big Oil.

Surely, there was a beach somewhere that people could swim in without getting slimed by sheets of oil washing ashore. There had to be a beach somewhere that wasn’t being patrolled by Hazmat teams and work crews shoveling gunk and oily grime from shore.

Surely there was a beach somewhere that smelled like sea salt and Coppertone and not like a dirty mechanic’s garage. There had to be a beach somewhere where dolphins frolicked offshore instead of beaching themselves onshore coated with oil to die.

And yet a Federal judge says a six-month moratorium is arbitrary and too long, as he collects the dividends from his energy investments and Congressmen apologize to oil companies.

It was a juvenile dolphin that died despite the efforts of volunteers.

June 23, 2010   2 Comments


The Miami Herald says that McChrystal out; Petraeus picked for Afghanistan.

I’ve seen a lot of people comparing this to the Truman/MacArthur episode, and they are wrong. Jim DeRosa correctly identifies this as President Obama’s ‘Lincoln /McClellan’ Moment.

MacArthur wasn’t simply bad-mouthing Harry Truman, he was actively working at cross-purposes to Truman’s policy. It was insubordination in its worse form.

Obama adopted McChrystal’s concept and was providing him with everything required to carry it out. Like Lincoln, Obama assumed that the general knew what he was doing and supported him. Like McClellan, when things didn’t succeed as anticipated, McChrystal began blaming everyone but himself.

If McChrystal bothered to read his plan he would have known that it requires coordination with all of the parties involved. Everyone else seemed to be attempting to keep McChrystal apprised of what they were doing, and were looking for feedback on how their activities were affecting the overall plan, while McChrystal acted like they were bothering him.

McChrystal’s plan required someone like Eisenhower, not Patton, and McChrystal wanted to be Patton.

In order to “maintain good order and discipline” and to preserve whatever hope of success there is for the McChrystal plan, McChrystal had to go. There was no other option. Even with his exit, there is no guarantee that NATO countries will be willing to remain in Afghanistan after reading the Rolling Stone article.

For people who have never been associated with the military, if a general’s staff is making stupid comments to outsiders, they are saying what the general says. That a general’s staff talks to outsiders is a very bad thing, in military terms. Now would be a very good time for McChrystal’s staff to apply for retirement, if they have their time in.

June 23, 2010   Comments Off on McChrystal


Gulf Gusher symbolThe Leak Meter just zipped by 80 million gallons [1.9 million barrels or more than a quarter million metric tons]. That is the amount of oil dumped in the Gulf, and doesn’t include what has been sucked up by various methods.

McClatchy explains the latest screw-up: BP oil leak setback: ‘Top hat’ removed, oil flow unhindered.

The short version – based on speculation by various sources, it is probable that one of the ROVs bumped the Top Hat and closed a shutter which increased the pressure. As a result, methane has started coming up the warm water line and filling the vessel.

Have none of these people heard of a “check valve”? Do they know any plumbers or pipefitters?

I have gone from believing they can’t trusted to change a faucet, to believing they can’t be trusted to change the toilet paper roll.

June 23, 2010   11 Comments

Rudd Out?

Doesn’t look like even a come from behind win by the Socceroos in the World Cup would be enough to save Kevin Rudd’s job in Australia. The ABC reports that Gillard poised to defeat Rudd

Kevin Rudd is spending one last long night as Prime Minister.

Shortly after 10:15pm yesteday he announced that he had acceded to a request from his deputy Julia Gillard to spill the leadership at a ballot to be held at 9:00am AEST today.

“It’s important I believe, in the interests of the Party and the Government, for these matters to be resolved as a matter of urgency,” he said.

His supporters say the party vote is evenly poised. The Gillard camp says she had the numbers before making a single call.

He is unlikely to survive the ballot, which should install Ms Gillard as Australia’s 27th prime minister and its first female leader.

This is what happens to leaders who disappoint their party base in a parliamentary system. Even a prime minister can be ousted without a general election.

June 23, 2010   2 Comments

Day 13 – Sneaking In

World CupFinal Round

In Group C:

United States 1-0 Algeria
Slovenia 0-1 England

Team Status Points Matches Goals
Played Won Tied Lost For Agnst. Diff.
United States In 5 3 1 2 0 4 3 1
England In 5 3 1 2 0 2 1 1
Slovenia Out 4 3 1 1 1 3 3 0
Algeria Out 1 3 0 1 2 0 2 -2

Looks like they finally figured out what they were supposed to be doing in South Africa, but I wouldn’t advise the US or England to send clothes to any cleaner that doesn’t offer one-day service.

In Group D:

Australia 2-1 Serbia
Ghana 0-1 Germany

Team Status Points Matches Goals
Played Won Tied Lost For Agnst. Diff.
Germany In 6 3 2 0 1 5 1 4
Ghana In 4 3 1 1 1 2 2 0
Australia Out 4 3 1 1 1 3 6 -3
Serbia Out 3 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1

The Australians needed 3 more goals, either in their game, or from Germany in their game, to get by Ghana. Nice come back beating the team that beat Germany.

June 23, 2010   Comments Off on Day 13 – Sneaking In


funny pictures of cats with captions

It even annoys Dave Barry.

June 23, 2010   9 Comments