Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Then there was the Health Care bill process, the back room deals Obama made with the Healthcare players (doctors, pharma, Insurance companies), the President seemed to playing against himself; the deals were made, the players were vilified, but there was no attempt by the players to defend themselves, and the final result was a mandate that everyone has to buy health insurance. However, the event that caused my gerrymander alarm to go off was Anthem Blue Cross in California. At the very time that the healthcare bill seemed dead and in the ground, Blue Cross decided to raise the premium of certain policies 40%. There were only three possibilities behind this decision. They either did not care, they were stupid, or they had a stake in the healthcare bill to succeed. The first two are unlikely and improbable (in that order) and the result was new life breathed into the bill and it passed.
Now we have the BP Oil Disaster. This time the trail to special interests and extremely suspect events is showing up all over the place.
Why did current CEO of BP Tony Hayward dump approximately one-third of his BP stocks before the oil crisis? Why did Goldman Sachs dump a hefty 44% of its BP stock prior to, particularly given that Peter Sutherland was formerly CEO of both BP and Goldman Sachs at the same time? What are the odds that former Vice-President Dick Cheney’s firm Halliburton would purchase a company which “focuses on oil spill prevention and blowout response,” just weeks before the so-called ‘biggest environmental crisis’ of all time would strike? Prisonplanet.com
In my blog White House Fraud Risks More Well Explosions, we learned that “Prior to issuing the moratorium, the White House consulted a panel of experts. According to the President, these experts agreed that a moratorium was a good idea, which outlined in his Oval Office speech. However, when the Wall Street Journal contacted some of these experts, it turns out that’s not what they said at all. The experts said they agreed a moratorium for new drilling permits was a good idea, not for current drilling. One of the experts said, “Because if anybody had [made that suggestion], we’d have said ‘that’s craziness.’” Why would it be craziness? The WSL continued, "A big reason why those experts would have balked is because they recognize that the moratorium is indeed a threat to safety… The ban requires oil companies to abandon uncompleted wells. The process of discontinuing a well, and then later re-entering it, introduces unnecessary risk. He notes BP was in the process of abandoning its well when the blowout happened."
What was not mentioned by Prison Planet is the part George Soros is playing in all this. For those that don’t know, George Soros is a billionare of unknown citizenship, who believes in socialism and world governance; not for the welfare of the collective, but so the economies of the world can be planned and manipulated much like fascism. George Soros is also a heavy contributor to the extreme left wing of the Democratic and controls steering committees that seem to be dictating the polices of the President. George Soros recently invested $900 million investment in Petrobras, Brazil’s state owned oil company. Immediately following Soros investment, President Obama guaranteed loans to Petrobras at the tune of $2 billion (actually $10 billion). To this day the President has refused to explain why US dollars have been promised to a profitable nationalized oil company supposedly to drill deep-water drills off the coast of Brazil. The result of the moratorium will open the door for Petrobras, to supply the oil that was previously supplied by US Gulf wells. It will also free up drilling platforms previously used by with US wells, to Petrobras and other oil companies that are already bidding for the platforms.
The result of all this is the President not wasting another crisis and using the disaster to push for his Cap and Trade legislation. Contrary to popular belief BP is heavily invested in so-called green technology and carbon credits; as is Goldman Sachs and George Soros. So the worse the oil disaster gets, the better for those invested in carbon credits. The end result of the president’s energy legislation is non-green energy will necessarily skyrocket to pay for green energy jobs. In Spain this resulted in 2 jobs lost for every green job gained. In the President's Oval Office Speech he explained this with,
"As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of good, middle-class jobs – but only if we accelerate that transition. Only if we seize the moment. And only if we rally together and act as one nation – workers and entrepreneurs; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors,” and “..what has defined us as a nation since our founding is our capacity to shape our destiny – our determination to fight for the America we want for our children. Even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we don’t yet know precisely how to get there. We know we’ll get there."
So there you go, “Never let a crisis go to waste”, “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket," and “Even if we don’t yet know precisely how to get there. We know we’ll get there;” The department of energy has been around since Jimmy Carter's time, with the stated purpose of reducing America's reliance on oil and we still don’t have a green replacement for fossil fuels. The later statement by the President says he needs hundreds of billions of new taxes, so he can legislate innovation originating from some unknown direction before it bankrupts the country; someone needs to tell him that’s not how it works.
It is almost beyond reason that these crises were somehow not planned. The idea the back-story to the BP Oil Disaster is arbitrary is beyond belief. Recently a federal court blocked the Presidents oil drilling moratorium in the Gulf and The White House promised an immediate appeal. What the court looked at is long range effect of the moratorium. The same experts on the panel that said the moratorium was “craziness” also said, "It will not measurably reduce risk further and it will have a lasting impact on the nation's economy which may be greater than that of the oil spill." However U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman’s primary consideration was the historical safety of off shore oil drilling. Since Bill Clinton forced drilling into deep water 3600 wells have been drilled and this is the first major spill, including the 30,000 other wells in the gulf. "If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are?" he asked. "Are all airplanes a danger because one was? All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All trains? All mines? That sort of thinking seems heavy-handed, and rather overbearing." The judge brought up the point that there will still be oil tankers in the gulf and their safety history is much worse, to which the White House had no response.
The President appears to be establishing political power by manipulating crises. It is inexcusable that the White House has allowed the Army Corp of Engineers and Coast Guard to stop local attempts to protect the estuaries. Also, rather than investigate the money trail behind the BP oil disaster, the White House seeks to illegally enrich entities outside the United States, such as George Soros and Petrobras. This at the expense of US national security, as no country ever prospered by denying itself its natural resources. When the President decides to ignore the wants and needs of the American people, he is also ignoring Newtonian Physics; to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. Obama once said America, “clings to their guns and religion” when frustrated; the can only be considered a negative to someone who is blind to god, the Constitution and love of country.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
The White House Panel of experts said they had signed on to a document that said one thing and the White House added two paragraphs without their knowledge or consent, changing the scope of the moratorium. This is the morale equivalent to a judge signing a search warrant, then the police adding a few more things they want to search for and forging the judges name to it; it's called fraud. To make matters worse, the tactic of shutting down and capping the existing 33 deep-water wells, could result in more another deep-water spills. The very reason for the moratorium is to study what went wrong with capping the wells, yet the moratorium will force BP to re-create the conditions, 33 more times, that lead to the current spill.
The President is again, hoping his ideology will not blowup in the country’s face and make matters worse; much worse in the Gulf. After the BP deepwater well exploded, spewing hundreds of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf, the President balked. Unlike the “trust but verify” tactics of Ronald Reagan, the President took the word of BP that no help was needed without any confirmation and went off to play golf. This is not to say that BP was up to something sinister. The fact is that corporations have a different world view than governments. What are acceptable risks to business, may not be acceptable in areas of national security. Life border security, this is an area were the federal government is supposed to take charge, and where the Obama Administration continues to fail. Once it was obvious that BP was in over it’s head, Obama maintained that it was still up to BP to stop the leak and keep the oil off the beaches. BP has acknowledged that they spent more of their resources making sure no deep-water calamity would occur and not planning what would be necessary if a spill actually happened. During this time oil experts from around the world offered assistance with clean-up technology, but the President has turned it down, refusing to suspend something called the Jones Act, that protects the unions, by not letting foreign ships into American waters; he still has not done so.
As I said before, he should let BP worry about the spewing broken wellhead, but muster the world’s resources to stop the oil from reaching the beaches. Instead he has spent all his energy on the blame game and assuring BP is going to pay for the destruction of the Gulf. Never mind that a coordinated effort using all available technology and tactics could mitigate the damage and help keep the beaches safe. Nature will take care of most the oil in the water, but it will take decades or longer to get the oil out of the beaches. Wouldn’t it be better to protect the beaches now and worry about who is going to pay for it later? But the ideology of the President is based primarily on vilification, not problem solving.
Does the President really not know what he’s doing? I don’t know, perhaps no one knows. But he's throwing the dice again and hoping they won't turn up snake eyes. If they do, the American people will once again have to cover his bets once again.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
When I read Jeffrey Scharf's editorial on Sunday, I couldn't help but ask, what is it this guy smoking? Tax oil? One would hope with the rescission and high unemployment the government could come up with something other than making a necessity more expensive. It is well known that an oil tax, much like a VAT tax is the most oppressive tax one can lay the poor and middle class. You see, not only will an oil tax necessarily make gasoline skyrocket (ala cap and trade), it will increase the cost of every consumer item that needs to be transported, which is pretty much everything. America's reliance on automobiles has resulted in communities that are spread out and not as amendable to mass transit; many Americans drive 30-60 miles or more a day to work. Mr Scharf, how about we let this emergency go to waste and let cooler heads prevail? If the government would just get out of the way with it's tax and spending ways, American innovation would be able to take car of this problem. No problem has ever been solved by more taxes.
Monday, June 14, 2010
In 1995 President Clinton signed the Outer Continental Shelf Deepwater Royalty Relief Act, which encouraged the oil companies to drill deep-water wells in the Mexican Gulf. This was an act that was cheered on by the Republicans in Congress; the oil industry took its cue from Washington and went full speed ahead into drilling and production in deepwater Gulf oil wells with the predictable result that something, somehow, sometime would go very, very wrong and that nobody would have the faintest idea of what to do about it (Dick Morris).
In 1999 the Financial Modernization Act (FMA) set the stage for the sub prime mortgage bubble. The act repealed the Glass Stegal Act in 1999, which removed the boundaries between Commercial and Investment Banking, this also allowed the bundling of mortgage back securities which previously had only been allowed by Government-Sponsored Entity, such as Fannie Mae. And finally, the FMA re-instituted naked-derivatives such as Credit Default Swaps. 2000 under pressure from the Clinton Whitehouse, Franklin Raines (Clinton's former Secretary of US Office of Management and Budget) institutes the American Dream Commitment (ADC), and the bubble forms and starts to inflate.
All three Administrations – Clinton, Bush, and Obama – bear the blame for this (BP Disaster) abject failure. None took the danger of a massive spill seriously or sought to hold up the massive expansion of off shore drilling until failsafe measures could be developed (Dick Morris).
Of course, there is still the blame bush crowd, that claim the current lack of regulation and poor contingency planning was inherited by President Obama. This ignores the facts from my previous blog, A Note On How President Obama Can Really Take Ownership of the BP Oil Disaster, “that while oil industry gave twice as much money to the Republicans as Democrats, BP oil gave twice as much to Obama over McCain during the presidential election. President Obama also appointed BP senior manager Silvia Baca to the federal office of Minerals Management Service and BP’s chief scientist Steve Koonin as undersecretary of science to the Department of Energy. Then, when the President created a commission to look into the BP Oil Disaster, he chooses William K. Reilly as a commissioner, who is currently on the payrolls of both ConocoPhillips and Dupont”. You also have Obama’s secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. Chu previously received a $500 million grant from Koonin when Koonin was at BP. Koonin then followed Chu to the Department of Energy.
But, as with the subprime crisis, policy initiatives taken during the Clinton years – with the best of motives – were implemented without adequate regulation and without due consideration of the dangers involved. We are now suffering mightily for this failure of foresight and planning (Dick Morris).
Thursday, June 10, 2010
BP is obviously lost here and threatening to kick their ass is not going to clean up the oil. All BP can say is nothing like this has ever happened before, which is not true, but BP has no plan B. Forget BP for the moment; the President needs to take ownership to save the Gulf Coast. He could ask for help from those that have faced similar oil disasters, such as the Saudis; they are the world experts in this area and one of the few post Obama friends we still have.The President is fond of saying his expert, “Nobel Prize” winning Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, is on the job, keeping an eye on what is going on. The problem is Chu knows absolutely nothing about what he’s doing there. From the Department of Energy WEB site, "Prior to his appointment, Dr. Chu was director of DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and professor of Physics and Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California. He successfully applied the techniques he developed in atomic physics to molecular biology, and since 2004, motivated by his deep interest in climate change, he has recently led the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in pursuit of new alternative and renewable energies. Previously, he held positions at Stanford University and AT&T Bell Laboratories." What is strangely missing is Chu's previously receiving a $500 million grant from Koonin when Koonin was at BP. Koonin then followed Chu to the Department of Energy. When BP was able to attach the containment cap on the damaged well, there was considerable oil flowing out of the pressure vents of the cap. Chu was dumbfounded asking, “Why is there still oil coming from the well?” Chu had no idea how the containment cap would work.
From inhabitat.com "So for argument's (and BP's) sake, let's say that when BP charters the necessary tankers (and they will have to, eventually), the tanker broker makes them a deal for $450,000 a day. And let's say that BP orders up six tankers, and for a problem the size of the one they've created, these supertankers and their pumping and storage capacity are needed for six months. At that rate, six supertankers for six months comes to $494,100,000. Round up and call it a half-billion dollars; that will be the best half-billion BP every spent. But but former Shell Oil executive Hofmeister said he's been repeatedly turned away, and, once, a lawsuit was even threatened. Hofmeister thinks BP is turning a blind eye to their solution because they don’t want to tie up their supertankers in the cleanup efforts."
Recently we have discovered that BP wants to burn the 500,000 gals of oil it is capturing because it says it would be too dangerous to put it in tankers. From Foxnews.com "Oil and gas siphoned from the well will flow up the rig, where it will be sent down a boom, turned into a mist and ignited using a burner designed by Schlumberger Ltd. BP opted to burn the oil because storing it would require bringing in even more vessels to the already crowded seas above the leaking well."
Two things seem brazenly clear here; First, BP has the super tankers to suck up the oil, but would rather sue then let the public know. Second, as I said in my previous blog, the direction BP is going with this oil leak disaster, is based on economics. BP does not appear to care what damage is done to the Gulf Coast. They continue to react with a criminally flawed plan, and the belief that nature will eventually take care of the problem on it's own. After all it was the Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, who said, the spill is not going to cause big problems because the gulf “is a very big ocean” and “the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest.”
We now know how our President reacts to a problem. First he blame-lays, so he will bear no responsibility (if all else fails blame Bush). Then he delegates a person to be responsible for the problem with little accountability. That way he can take credit if the problem is properly handled, but insulated enough so he will not be blamed for any failure. This may be the Saul Alinsky management style, but it is not leadership. And leadership is what is the US needs right now.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The illegality of occupied annexation is based on the Fourth Geneva Convention (GCIV) of 1949 and Protocol I, an amendment to the Geneva Convention in 1977, which prohibits an occupying power to annex land. The issue here however is one of national sovereignty. Israel, like many countries (including the US) have never signed on to these provisions. It is these issues of sovereignty that have been the bane of the UN, that has espoused world governance since it's inception. However the UN's tendency toward oppression and re-distribution, tends usurped the voluntary compliance needed for the UN to have any real authority.
Of course the whole annexation of occupied territory is a red herring anyway. After WWI the area that now encompasses Jordon, Israel and the West Bank, was a territory under British Mandate, referred to generally as the Palestine Territory. In 1923 the area was to be divided between Israel and an Arab Palestine State, separated along the Jordon river, that became Jordon. However in 1947 the UN created a second Arab Palestine State out the Israel partition on the along the West Bank; a year later the "Palestine Jews" finally declared their own State of Israel and became “Israelis” . In 1967 Israel defeated the armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordon, occupying the Golan Heights on the Syria Border, Judea-Samaria on the Jordon border and the Sinai Desert on the Egyptian border; if one looks at a map this creates what Israel called defensible borders. In 1982 Israel returned the Sinai Desert to Egypt, with Israel maintaining control over the Gaza Strip. In regards to the Palestinian problem, in the 18 years Judea-Samaria was under Jordanian control, there was never an attempt to give the Arab Palestinians their own state. Also, there have certainly been Jews in the middle-east since recorded history; the historical bible is an obviously source for this. There are also the "Arab Jews", or the Jewish population that originated in Arab countries. These Jews constitute 1/3 or 2 million of the Jews in Israel.
The reason for this Readers Digest history of Palestine is to place Helen Thomas' comments in historic prospective. Her call for the Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine”, is not call out of the occupied land taken in 1967. No, she defines Palestine as the British Mandate territory taken from the Ottoman Empire. Thomas further statement that the Jews "go back home" to Germany and Poland, is the anti-Zionist belief that the 1947 borders of Israel, drawn by the United Nations, is an annexation of occupied territory and not the granted territory by the United Nations; conveniently ignoring that the UN is the arbitrator of International Law. So, knowing the history of how Israel came to be, it would be a stretch to believe Helen Thomas is an anti-Zionist based of some violation of International law.
In the final analysis, Thomas is simply antisemitic; she blamed Israel for 911 and has sided with the PLO, Hezbollah, Hamas and any other governance or terrorist organization that has called for the destruction of Israel. How an antisemitic like Helen Thomas achieved her front row center seat by the White House Press Corp is inexcusable. The only caveat is that Thomas has never carried any weight as a journalist, but there were still apologist for Thomas, one saying tht because she never used the word Jew, her remarks were not antisemitic. But it was a straight forward remark by Robert Gibbs that put Thomas' hate speech in a proper prospective, “"I think those remarks were offensive and reprehensible. She should and has apologized because obviously those remarks do not reflect certainly the opinion of most of the people in here and certainly of the administration."
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Former Shell oil executive John Hofmeister has said while discussing BP relief efforts, “I think that (they) are still relying upon old techniques for the control of the surface oil. I think we have to change our mindset, put a new paradigm in place. And instead of dispersing and burning and booming, what about collecting? What about collecting that oil, setting up a row of barges, a wall of barges with high-volume pumps, or use of supertankers that could drift back and forth in the sea, sucking in huge volumes of, yes, water and oil, but get the oil off the sea to start with?” The use of the supertankers sucking oil off the surface of the sea was used successfully in Saudi Arabia in 1994 (yes 16 years ago) to suck up 80% of a 700 million gallon spill. The reasons this is not being attempted is varied, but Hoofmesiter states it is most likely the result of NIH (Not Invented Here syndrome). The dispersing and booming is the easy and cheap way the handle the problem. The end result is to hide as much oil as possible under water and let nature take it’s course as the remaining oil on the surface slops up on the beaches. This tragically ignores that the use of dispersements is likely to magnify poisoning the rich fishing grounds in the Gulf. You see BP knows that unlike the Alaska’s Exxon Valdez spill, the combination of tropical heat and storms in the Gulf of Mexico, will eventually scrub the beaches relatively clean, so there’s really no cost effective means to protect them. Using sand berms, supertankers and bacteria is considered to be inefficient, not because they won’t help clean up the ocean, but they are too expensive. By not leaving the oil on the surface, it can not evaporate or be treated with bacteria, plus using dispersement is the moral equivalent of spraying agent orange over the Ho Chi Minh trail.
The President has mistakenly lumped the leak and clean up into the same camp. This is the area were President Obama can clearly take a leadership role. While the government should rightly turn over the plugging of the leak to BP, but if BP is unable or unwilling to properly conduct the cleanup, then the federal government needs start making some decisions for BP. But just taking responsibility for the clean up and falling on his sword is not what’s needed now, because we don’t have time for it. The President needs to take ownership, not just responsibility. First, let BP stop the leak; but don’t micro manage BP either. Instead, we have the White House saying they’re going to direct BP to drill two relief wells, not just one and then a week later say, we are now ordering BP to drill three relief wells. This is the action of an Autocrat, not a leader. We need more than President Obama’s statement, “things seem to be getting better”.
Much has also been said that the BP Oil Disaster for President Obama, is akin to President Bush’s “Katrina”; but it’s equivalent is more like President Carter’s Hostage situation in Iran. Like the Hostage situation, this is an ongoing crisis, where the anger and frustration of the American people continue to increase every day; there is even a day ‘count’ going on. To stem the anger and frustration President Obama needs to take ownership of the relief and cleanup. Can you imagine the reaction of the American people if they saw a line of supertankers in the Mexican Gulf sucking up the oil? When the Department of the Interior told BP not to use a certain dispresement, they told the US to “pound sand” and continued to use what they wanted. The President should have stood up and said,"We've got some work to do. I don't mind, by the way, being responsible. I expect to be held responsible for these issues because I'm the president…but I don't want the folks that created the mess -- I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them just to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess". This is what he told the Republicans Aug 6, 2009; why can’t he say the same thing to BP.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Well the socialist pro-Hamas group Free Gaza is angry. Why? Well it's because CNN and Fox are twisting the violence that occurred when the IHH run “Peace” flotilla tried to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza; the result was 9 dead activists (Israel and Saudi Arabia currently have a blockade of Gaza to stop weapons smuggling). The problem is IHH is a charity front with ties to al Qaeda' and has been caught purchasing automatic weapons for it's smuggling operations. Further it was discovered that rather then being a humanitarian relief operation, the IHH flotilla's stated purpose was to run the embargo to open up smuggling routes through Gaza to Hamas. Also, rather then being the non-violent peace activist they claimed to be, the IHH recruited mercenary al Qaeda' members who were reported ready to martyr themselves for the cause. According to the Israeli Debkafile, when the passengers were later questioned:
(The) passengers attested to more than a hundred members of terrorist organizations aboard acting like a quasi-military group with a command hierarchy, whose leader forced the other four or five hundred passengers to fall into line behind them. The group was split into sub-sections, each in charge of a section of the ship before and after it set sail from Istanbul. Its members were all armed with an assortment of chains, iron bars and knives as well as night goggles and gas masks. Although they appeared to hail from different terrorist organizations from various countries, they were all ordered to say they belonged to the IHH.
When Israeli commandos repelled onto the decks of the ships from helicopters, on 5 of the 6 ships, they were met with non-violent resistance. However on the sixth ship they were attacked by men armed with chains and clubs, leading the commandos to eventually kill 9 of their attackers in self defense. More from Debkafile:
Israel intelligence agencies too have questions to answer - principally, how they missed spotting the terrorist presence aboard the putative aid-for-Gaza convoy and let a naval force undertake the mission to divert the ships to Ashdod, without preparing them for a violent confrontation with a determined, well-organized group of violent men.
When the conversation starts to shift to why didn't Israel prepare better for a higher level of violence, the Free Gaza narrative pretty much falls flat. The entire incident would seem to be the moral equivalent of a flotilla of Islamic terrorist trying to run the security blockade at Guantanamo Bay with humanitarian aid. Hopefully the powers that be would not buy into to some false rhetoric of non-violent resistance, and the Navy Seals would show up with something more potent than paint balls. It is to both Israel's humanity and their discredit, that they disarmed themselves believing IHH intentions were honorable. As the saying goes, if the Arabs would lay down their arms there would be peace in the Middle east; if Israel laid down their arms, they would be annihilated. As always, the argument is ideological and not of facts.