Tuesday, June 29, 2010

CRASH: Obama Extends U.S. Insecurity Into Space

Barack Hussain Obama is not content to make the world less safe.  His loopy goals include making space less safe, and exposing our nation to generations of threat from space.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has a very good round-up of sources surrounding this new Madness of King Obama.

Let me add one or two common sense observations; 1) we have a history of actually being bound by our treaty obligations, 2) others have a long, sorry history of NOT being bound by treaty obligations, and using them strategically to our hurt and their advantage.

I was taught in my early teens that I could win a fight against a much more capable enemy if I struck first and kept striking until resistance was ended.  That is commonly understood in human affairs, as it is in nature.

Despite all delusional thinking in this regime to the contrary, this nation...and our culture...has implacable enemies who will strike first in a bid to destroy us. have the upper hand in the race to provide very effective national defense from space-based platforms.  Obama seems intent on squandering that advantage, and carefully tying us down like a modern Gulliver. 

The Mad King Obama does not show any sign of understanding...or even caring about...national security.  Indeed, the opposite has been demonstrated time and again.

BURN: Is Stark (Raving Mad) The Poster Boy For Deemocrat Congress?

Pete Stark (Congress, CA) must certainly be among the top ten contenders for poster boy of the baronial class in Washington, DC.  His arrogance and hostility to his constituents is legendary...and typical.

Watch the whole thing.  I starts strong and builds.  The cretin Stark will likely have his butt in his congressional seat until he dies, which is a conclusive argument for term limits.

CRASH: I've Been Quiet About Kagan, BUT...

I have abstained from some of the froth-fests over this or that revelation about Elena Kagan.  But there is a body of evidence, and it is damning.

I was not too exercised over Kagan's flirtation with Socialism, or her master's paper.  Many of us were stupid in our youth (many of us never get over it), and never grow up to be Bill Ayers. 

I do find it very illustrative...and BAD...that Kagan took the position she did with respect to military recruiters on territory under her control.  MUCH WORSE was Kagan's concurrent approval of Islamist militant inroads in the same territory.

I understand that lawyers sometimes have to take positions they do not fully support as they advocate for a client; that we CAN make arguments on their behalf that we would not make on our own behalf, because we do not fully subscribe to them.  But there is a definite boundary even there; no lawyer is required to take a position that "sears their conscience".  And I don't believe Elena Kagan did when she took this position:

Mr. Obama would not have appointed Kagan were she not a doctrinaire collectivist.  It is apparent she has the same regard for individual liberty and the Constitution as does Obama.  He can be removed from office.  Kagan cannot.  She must never ascend to the Supreme Court. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

CRASH: The Marvel Of Markets v. The Insanity Of Government

Two stories today (at least) provide all the information needed for anyone with a brain to understand how wonderfully well markets work, and the astoundingly perverse consequences of government regulation.

 First up, a ship called A Whale.  (h/t Patterico).

No doubt motivated by PROFIT, and totally on spec (without even any assurance they will be allowed to employ their vessel) entrepreneurial people (foreign devils, in this case) have spent fairly huge sums to invent, innovate, move, and out-fit a large tanker (re-cycling in the process on a massive scale) to come to the aid of our Gulf Coast.  The vessel would be the largest of its kind in the Gulf, and capable of skimming 500 thousand bbls of oiled water a day.  BUT...
Environmental Protection Agency approval is required because some of the seawater returned to the Gulf would have traces of oil.
gulf_oil_skimmer_a_whale_vents.jpgView full sizeThe 'A Whale' skimmer designed to collect up to 500,000 barrels of oily water a day through 12 vents on either side of its bow.
The Coast Guard, which has received more than 2,000 cleanup proposals, said the supertanker skimmer had survived a preliminary review and was being studied further.
Capt. Ron LaBrec said that initial review involves a number of government agencies, including the EPA.
One question, he said, is: "Will a large vessel like this be able to operate this in this kind of area?"
If the ship passes the additional review, its owners could then negotiate terms with BP. He could not provide an estimated timetable for the review would be completed.
The company said it also needs a waiver of the 1920 Jones Act, which limits the activities of foreign-flagged ships in coastal U.S. waters. The A Whale is Liberian-flagged vessel.
So, we have people from all over the globe, investing their money in hopes of making more, ready, willing, and able to come to our aid with technology both old and new.  And the primary impediment is our government, with its perverse incentives.

Second; centrifuges work! (Duh)

Centrifuges are used to separate things with different physical characteristics, mostly their specific gravity.  They've been doing that for the longest, and it isn't exactly rocket science.  Still, apparently the Costner centrifuge DOES present some novel features...which work!

Again, a story of people investing their money, their genius, and their life to bring the world something that works...and expecting to be paid for it.  They succeed, and produce a boon to mankind.  BUT...
One obstacle, he said, was that although his machines are effective, the water they discharge is still more contaminated than environmental regulations allow. He could not get spill-response companies interested in his machines, he said, without a federal stamp of approval.
Research is hampered in other ways. For example, there is only one place in the United States — a center in New Jersey operated by the Minerals Management Service — where cleanup technologies can be tested, at full scale, on spilled oil. Other countries, notably Norway and Canada, allow occasional testing involving intentional spills into the environment, although only after an exhaustive permitting process.
In the United States, just obtaining oil for use in small-scale laboratory research can be extremely difficult, said Scott Pegau, research program director of the Oil Spill Recovery Institute, a research center established in Cordova, Alaska, after the Exxon Valdez spill. Mr. Pegau said it recently took him months to obtain less than a gallon of crude.
  Again, the technology does not...cannot...assure that ALL taint of ANY petroleum fraction will be NONE of it gets removed.

And, please observe, leadership from the Obami would look like this: "Unless you can make a case for allowing oil to hit our coastline, I will expect your agency to waive any red tape during this crisis".  See how simple leadership would be...if Obama really wanted an effective response?

Friday, June 25, 2010

BURN: Exploring The Popular Myths About BP's "Culpable Conduct"

There are a LOT of myths about BP's "culpable conduct" abroad in the land.  Without the least intent to exonerate BP, it is always wise to deal with reality.

Let's start with a few predicates:
  1. Culpable conduct (recklessness, gross negligence, or even simple negligence) is NOT a mistake in judgment.  From a legal stand-point, even to get to simple negligence in a technical field means violation of a "standard of care" that is a known quantity in that field.
  2. Most of the people writing...especially in the MSM...about the Deepwater Horizon incident know nothing about the technology of drilling for oil.
  3. Many of the people who are making comments on this matter are not "disinterested" by any stretch.
  4. Virtually nobody...except people who are not commenting...knows what happened when the well blew out.
  5. Drilling for oil presents risks; it is not a "absolutely safe" proposition...EVER.
On Thursday, June 24th, no less a conservative pundit than Allahpundit, writing on Hot Air, had this to say--
As for the liability cap, I don’t get Napolitano’s point. Yes, in theory it creates a moral hazard by limiting BP’s losses to $75 million, but in practice the cap doesn’t apply in cases involving gross negligence, willful misconduct, or violations of federal safety regs. No surprise, then, that BP has said it’ll waive the cap and pay all legitimate claims: In essence, by taking so many risks with the rig, they waived the cap long ago and accepted the prospect of catastrophic losses.
As a commenter on that thread, I challenged Allahpundit to support the various assumptions in that statement.  He did not respond directly with any of the support I requested.

I assert that we...the American people...know very little about the actual events, or the conduct of BP and its vendors who were part of the drilling operation on the Gulf.

There are several things that seem well established, however--
  1. Since not later than sometime in February, this well was a beast...a well that showed every sign of going out of control.
  2. The regulators were well aware of this.
  3. There is essentially NOTHING that BP could do operationally that did not require approval of at least one Federal regulatory agency.
  4. BP was in the process of plugging and abandoning (P&A) this well in an effort to do the only thing possible when a well presents the kind of potential for catastrophic loss of control that this one did.
  5. EVERYONE involved on the operational end of EVERYTHING in the Gulf was dealing with many millions of dollars of equipment, and many of them were "going to be the first to know" if what they did was the wrong thing.  They had their careers and their lives on the line.

Lets look at some of the myths:

Myth One: "Time after time, it appears that BP made decisions that increased the risk of a blowout to save the company time or expense. If this is what happened, BP's carelessness and complacency have inflicted a heavy toll on the Gulf, its inhabitants, and the workers on the rig," said Democratic Reps. Henry A. Waxman and Bart Stupak.

Easy for two Washington demagogues to say.  They have no idea what they're talking about.  But notice the term "it appears", and the term "time or expense".  Even they were leaving themselves an out.  Time in a wild well situation is a precious commodity, and it is grossly unfair to link it to "expense".  It is rational to assume that nobody on that rig was worried about expense.  They were worried about getting off that hole...alive, and with the vessel on which they worked intact.  Time was one thing they knew they might not have. 

There is a specific vignette about a recommendation from Halliburton that BP use twenty-one centralizers...devices that attach to casing as it is run into the well-bore to keep it evenly spaced relative to the bore, allowing cement to flow uniformly around it..., which was over-ridden by someone at BP; "It will take 10 hours to install them. I do not like this."  Centralizers are very inexpensive, as oil drilling components go.  Was BP trying to save a few hundred dollars, or time in deciding to use fewer than Halliburton suggested?  To me, the answer is obvious.  Time.  That is a judgment call, not recklessness, or even negligence.  Indeed, it may have been the absolutely responsible thing to do.

Myth Two: BP broke regulations.  The only support for that (of which I know) comes from the admitted failure by BP to certify the BOP (blow-out preventer) on this well for the MMS.  But it is also established that this was SOP, and MMS approved the drilling plan subsequently, as apparently was their practice. 

Myth Three: The BOP failed.  We simply don't know what happened, but from experience I can tell you this; a fully functional BOP takes time to work.  Sometimes, that is time that a drilling crew simply is denied by the forces in play.  One thing I can tell about the people writing about a "BOP failure" is they don't have a clue what they're talking about.  A BOP is a wonderfully reliable, proven, and redundant technology...that is NOT fail-safe.  Most people writing about BOPs (like they are authorities) tell us they shear off the pipe with powerful rams.  That is about a quarter true...maybe less.  There are three sets of a common BOP; pipe rams, designed to close around whatever size pipe is in the well; blind rams, which simply shutter off the well; and "shears" which are the ones people write about, and which are used as a last resort because of the damage they do.  Additionally, on virtually any BOP I've worked around, there is an "annular" section, designed to squeeze around whatever pipe is in the well, something like an inner-tube inflating against a fixed outside wall would squeeze whatever was inside its inner circumference.

Something else I've been wondering: are there conditions in which fully closing in a well may be the wrong thing to do?  This is outside my kin, but I can imagine that such a decision might be called for if there was a fear that fully shutting in a ramping well might rupture the casing (tubular lining inside the well that is NOT pipe, but which writers call "pipe" commonly), or blow out partially cured cement.  There are suggestions about the behavior of this well that indicate the casing IS ruptured.

Myth Four: BP chose an inferior method ("long-string" versus a more expensive and TIME CONSUMING "tie-back") method for lining the well-bore.  Here is why that is BS; both methods are acceptable...and the industry and by its regulators.  It is VERY unlikely BP made this election without regulatory approval.  And, again, the decision may have been made to save TIME, rather than out of any financial consideration.  These are facts that await revelation.  But to say one was "inferior" is simply stupid; the method chosen may, in fact, have had advantages over the other method.  Also, it is something like saying after a terrible accident, "He should have been driving the Mercedes, instead of the inferior Chevy".  Both are fine under any normal condition.  The observation is hindsight of the meanest species.

Those are just a few myths.  But let me leave you with some real-time statements that I think illustrate how seriously the people involved were treating this beast of a well: 
In an e-mail, BP engineer Brian Morel told a fellow employee that the company is likely to make last-minute changes in the well.
"We could be running it [I assume casing]  in 2-3 days, so need a relative quick response. Sorry for the late notice, this has been nightmare well which has everyone all over the place," Morel wrote.
The e-mail chain culminated with the following message by another worker: "This has been a crazy well for sure."
 Those are not the words of the normally calm, collected, and relatively fearless people who drill off-shore.  They are the words of people who face an unusual threat, and are trying to make it safe.

CRASH: "Sandwich" Dodd Waves Goodbye With One Finger

Chris "Waitress Sandwich" Dodd, so corrupt that even Connecticut Deemocrats could no longer abide him, bid a fond "screw you" to Americans today.  He and Bawney Frank-lover, the two biggest banking whores in America, foisted off a vast pile of corruption calculated to ruin finances in the U.S. 

As noted here several weeks back--
Indeed, if you have a thinking brain cell, you understand that Dodd is the poster-boy for "why regulations don't, won't, and can't prevent X".  Whatever "X" is...and however you regulate to prevent it...when you have people like Dodd and those who bribe him, "X" will be a predictable certainty.  In fact, I can make a very good case that says that the more you try to regulate something, the more likely it is that when you get "X", it will be MORE damaging (see Home Financing Crisis).
Thus it is with Mr. Dodd's little parting gift for America (he owns a very nice little cottage in Ireland).  From sources as diverse as the HuffingPros to Reason, you can see ONE major thing wrong (and, boy, there are a lot of major things wrong) with the Dodd regulatory poison pill.  In a time when we need innovation and entrepreneurial activity as badly as at any time in our history, Dodd's proposing to make sure it is very effectively suppressed.  How?  Buy raising the barriers entrepreneurs have to jump to get to funding.  "Killing all angels" is a completely irrational and unnecessary move.  It isn't like this is an area of regulatory dearth under the current scheme.
Anyone who was hoping against hope that The Great Recession was over...your hope is effectively dead.  Obama and the Deemocrats have taken Cloward-Piven out of being a demand-side concept, and are targeting the supply-side, as well.

BURN: Kwik Kenny Salazar--The Funky Faux Paneling King

Interior Sec. and noted unindicted felon Ken Salazar was spanked by a fine Federal District Judge last week.  Kwik Kenny had waved his magic lie, shutting down all deep water oil exploration in the Gulf, and the Judge wasn't letting it go.

But Kwik Kenny isn't called that for nothing.  I mean, he earned it by throwing out his half-assed moratorium the first time, based on a flat-footed lie and an intentional reversal of the recommendation of a panel of ACTUAL experts in oil and gas exploration.  They signed off on a report, to which Salazar added stuff that was never REMOTELY discussed with the experts.

Uncommonly these days, the panel of experts had the gumption to call Salazar out for his lies and distortion of their work, AND for a moratorium that ACTUALLY INCREASED RISK OF ANOTHER OIL DISCHARGE IN THE GULF.  Salazar "apologized".  Trouble is...what he did is a felony under Federal law.

As we noted, Kwik Kenny earned his name...and he's earning it still.  Immediately after getting the ruling from Judge Feldman, the Kwikster announced an appeal to the 5th Circuit (good luck with that, Kenny!!!).  But that isn't all...!!!

NO, indeed!  Kwik Kenny, the king of faux panels, immediately announced he's going to throw off a NEW, IMPROVED moratorium.  This time it would be backed by a panel...a new, funky, faux no doubt composed of people like those Obama selected for his BIG, BIG panel to review the Deepwater Horizon event, exclusively composed of people with two attributes...
  1. they know nothing...NOT ONE DAMN THING...about oil and gas production
  2. they are devotees of environmental dogma
This is the composition, as proposed (h/t Swede)--

--Co-chairman: William K. Reilly, former Environmental Protection Agency administrator
--Co-chairman:  former Senator Bob Graham, a Democrat from Florida
--Executive Director: Richard J. Lazarus, a Georgetown University law professor and a former Justice Department environmental law specialist
--Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
--Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science.
--Terry Garcia, a National Geographic Society executive and former chief lawyer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under President Bill Clinton.
--Cherry Murray, dean of Harvard's engineering school and former president of the American Physical Society.
--Frances Ulmer, chancellor of the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and former Democratic lieutenant governor of Alaska.

Post-partisan, yes?

The REALLY BIG problem Salazar faces is that his FIRST panel is still out there, and they are on record.  If he tries a quickie reload of his (Obama's) moratorium, it WILL wind up before the same judge, in every likelihood.  The judge will not be impressed by a batch of shiney, ginned up BS that contradicts the government's ORIGINAL panelists.

Good trial attorneys know that not all experts are equal.  Some are just flat-out whores, and they will not be impressive to juries.  Some are the real deal.  I'm betting Judge Martin Feldman can tell the sheep from the goats, and won't be fooled by faux paneling.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

BURN: Regulated To Stupid

The Federal government regulates oil drilling activities very heavily.  Virtually every procedure requires approval by a regulator, and some regulations in place in the Gulf simply required stupid.

Barack Hussain Obama, from the Oval Office, tilted with his friend, Mr. Straw Man.  He implied that oil exploration in the U.S. was an unregulated, full-tilt boogey exercise in rapacity--
One place we’ve already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service.  Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility -- a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves.
As we've noted before, we know Obama was lying because his lips were moving.  No such philosophy exists, and certainly not in the real world of oil exploration.  Indeed, many of the players in the industry are better, more responsible actors than the regulators and "scientists" who staff the agencies supposed to police the rapacious thugs.  The government players respond to perverse incentives, and those produce monstrous results.

From a WSJ piece today:
BP PLC and other big oil companies based their plans for responding to a big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on U.S. government projections that gave very low odds of oil hitting shore, even in the case of a spill much larger than the current one.
The government models, which oil companies are required to use but have not been updated since 2004, assumed that most of the oil would rapidly evaporate or get broken up by waves or weather. In the weeks since the Deepwater Horizon caught fire and sank, real life has proven these models, prepared by the Interior Department's Mineral Management Service, wrong.
MMS said in early 2000, in a notice to lessees, that it planned to require oil companies operating in deep-water to use new oil-spill predictions specifically designed for deep water.
That regulation never came into effect. Oil companies today still base their contingency plans on the government's models, designed only for surface spills.
Exxon Chief Executive Rex Tillerson pointed out that much of the company's response plan "is prescribed by regulation, including the models that are used to project different scenarios for oil spills."
In other words, not only is the oil industry VERY regulated, but (like most heavily regulated fields) it is fighting an over-burden of useless...or even imposed by its regulators.  Oil drilling interests had to have a plan.  But that plan had to be based on what the regulators told them to base it on, which was a known pile of manure (scientifically).

Concurrently, the Federal government was MANDATED to have a tested, tried, and viable plan IN PLACE for dealing with a spill...FROM WHATEVER SOURCE.  It seems no great leap of conjecture to conclude that one branch of bureaucratic mush was relying on another Federal branch of bureaucratic mush in formulating the plan the LAW required of them.

As noted here before, this is precisely what one expects to see from BIG GOVERNMENT.  Far from protecting the environment...or its borders...or its law-abiding puts them at greater risk, partly though the delusion that regulation is working.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CRASH: A Silver Lining In The McChrystal Deal

Well, Obama did what needed to be done in the worst possible, most self-involved way.  Big surprise.  McChrystal should have been dealt with by Gates in a quiet, respectful way.  Instead, Obama demagogued the hell out of the situation from the Rose Garden. 

So, we have confirmation...yet again...that Obama is a thin-skinned little man-child.  Whoop.

But there are good things that come out of this.  The first is that it is probable that Petraeus levered some concessions out of the Obami...changes in the civilian side of Afghanistan players.  That would be ALL to the good if Petraeus named his choices.

The second is described by Michael Yon:
The United States has again called upon Gen. David Petraeus during crisis. There have been other times, the most remarkable being in January 2007, when we were on the cusp of losing the war in Iraq. The chances against success were increasingly remote. I was there through the entire surge, and more, and saw the remarkable transformation under the command of General Petraeus and due to the incredible efforts of our armed forces and their civilian counterparts. No book that I have read, including the one that I wrote, has fully conveyed the magnitude of those days. You simply had to be there.
Here we are again, this time on the cusp of losing the war in Afghanistan. The situation is worse than ever before. Again, the United States has asked Gen. David Petraeus to step into a situation that seems hopeless to many people. It is not hopeless, just extremely bad. All is not lost, just nearly lost. Our people can turn this war around.
Yon, as noted in this blog previously, relates that McChrystal's ROE were so weird that they were being disregarded by officers and grunts in the field.  I think we can expect that Petraeus will review those, and bring some innovations to the theater that will be warmly welcomed by the people with the most direct interest...our war-fighters.  They are ALWAYS ready to adopt what works.

In our history, we have been blessed at critical times with the right generals.  We had no right to expect a Washington, a Grant, or a Patton.  But we got them...somehow.  Maybe, in Petraeus, our luck is holding.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BURN: Was Today The Dawning Of The Day Of The Court?

Have we seen the first cleansing rays of the Day Of The Courts?  With his ruling suspending the Obamic Gulf drilling moratorium, Judge Feldman may have fired the first shot in the battle to reclaim the rule of law.

The Obami have been having it all their way for some time now.  Many of us have been wondering when the courts would assert some control.  That day may finally have arrived.

When FDR was running amok, ignoring all constitutional restraints, the courts were the power that finally roped his excesses least to some degree.  Many observers have been wondering where the law suits have been, and why so few have been filed in the face of the Obamic destruction of our republic.  Perhaps this is the opening salvo.

Sec. Of Interior Ken "The Liar" Salazar has signaled that he will issue a new order halting Gulf drilling.  If he does, I think that judge Feldman will make short work of it.  Its pretextual nature will be apparent, and its corrupt intent obvious.

The Obamic DoJ has also indictated that they...joined by Mexico...will sue Arizona to halt implementation of its new immigration law.  The rationale and predicates are...politely...stupid and vacant (in that order).  States have plenary police powers, and there is no EVIDENCE to support any DoJ suit based on racial profiling.

Elsewhere, several states are girding their legal loins to attack the "individual mandate" under ObamaCare.  For any court to hold that this is supportable under the Constitution would mean that the Commerce Clause is infinitely expansive...or that the central government can do whatever it wishes, without limit.

Now is the time for all good Americans to stand to their keyboards.  Every one who can type, write, or use a phone needs to burn down the lines of communication to the U.S. House, Senate, and judiciary.  Flood the coffers of the various legal funds involved in these essential battles.  Do it!!!

CRASH: McChrystal--I'll Just Say This and Then I'll Be Quiet

Gen. Stanley McChrystal committed an unpardonable sin.  For whatever reasons, he gave a wildly inappropriate and unprecedented interview.  It is simply not done for a serving commander in a theater of war to openly criticize the civilian command structure.

That never means they have to suck their teeth and keep mum.  When they speak, like the rest of us, it costs something.  Partly because of who they are, and the immensity of the damage they can do to a war-fighting effort, they are constrained in ways none of the rest of us are.  When they speak out, the price is very high.  Traditionally...and it is a very good tradition...they were compelled to resign their command if the extremity was great enough.  If not, they held their remarks to a later time, and wrote critically in their memoirs. 

Another note; nobody...especially now...makes it to general officer rank (flag rank) who is not a politician.  They just are, and a lot of them have studied politics very closely.  Along with organizational behavior, public relations, psychology, etc.  They are smart, highly trained and educated people.  Some of them have been trained into being PC wonks more than war-fighters, and that will cost us in the future.  Some say that McChrystal was one.

I dunno.  I have never delved into the McChrystal psyche.  I am, I suppose, as aware as your average American of who he is, what he's done, and what his relationship with Obama has been.

Do I blame him for thinking very little of his Commander In Chief?  Hardly.  He would have to be stupid not to deplore Obama, and I think it apparent from the Rolling Stone piece that he does deplore the President.  Is Afghanistan in danger of being "lost"?  Absolutely; any time you have American servicemen under fire in hostile places, you can lose.

But McChrystal made his opinions apparent, along with his aides.  He was candid, and candor is not permitted by a man in his position respecting his civilian leaders during his time in command.  Worse, 
the culture of his command was insubordinate.  There are indications that this has ramified down to his men in the field, who are ignoring his orders.

If he felt as he apparently did, his duty was to resign his command and go public.  His duty was to create and maintain a culture of respect for the civilian chain of command...despite who resides at the top of that chain. 

If he could not respect them...and I can certainly relate...he was honor-bound to bring his well-founded contempt to the American people AFTER stepping down.  We need to hear from this man, but now we need to hear from him outside his role as war-fighter.

Monday, June 21, 2010

BURN: Could Sanity Break Out In The Gulf?

When the Obama drilling moratorium, predicated on rank politics and a Ken Salazar lie, hit the Gulf Of Mexico, it was at least as bad...maybe worse...than Deepwater Horizon. 

Nobody knows how bad the effects of that purely political and cynical decision may be; partly because it puts perverse incentives into areas effecting safety, and we know those have monstrous results.  As the panel of experts Salazar used to publish his lies has noted, the Obama moratorium HEIGHTENS the risks out in the Gulf, while concurrently destroying the oil field economy of the region.

But help may be on the way from a Federal judge in New Orleans (h/t Patterico), where several oil field businesses have filed for injunctive relief from the Obamic orders.  Generally, injunctions are proper to preserve the status quo pending a full resolution of a controversy.  That is how the one being sought  would apply, allowing the Gulf to operate as before, pending a showing that the moratorium was supportable.  That, given Salazar's admitted deceit, would be an uphill climb.

This is all good news to the people of the Gulf, and good news to the rest of the nation, though some will see it otherwise.  It will reverse an Obama decree that was based on bad (or no) science and at least one lie.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

CRASH: Shaping Up To Be A Very Hot Summer

The Mid-East is showing every sign of heating up this summer to the point of war.  The region could get very deadly, very fast.

American and Israeli warships are transiting the Suez Canal, en route to apparently be ready to meet new attempts to break Israel's Gaza blockade.  Some of the blockade runners are openly talking of "martyrdom", which is impossible unless they intend the kind of murderous counter-attack seen in the "Love Boat" flotilla incident.

Europe has turned its back on Israel, consistent with a neo-judenhass currently all the vogue among European collectivists.

Meanwhile, virtually every neighboring state BESIDES Egypt has heightened its threat levels against Israel, some of them very appreciably.  

Iran has gone unchecked in its nuclear ambition.  There is little doubt that they have, or will have shortly, a nuclear bomb.  Not long thereafter, they will have a delivery system, and few thinking people doubt their capacity to use both.

Barack Hussain Obama has projected two things that virtually assure war: weakness and ambivalence.  Cause will beget effect.  "Soft power" will kill.

BURN: The Illustrated Mass Exodus Calif --> Texas

It is true--pictures can say what thousands of words cannot fully convey.  These are eloquent...

People really DO vote with their feet.  Read Ryan Streeter's whole post at The Enterprise Blog

THE HUMANITY: What Americans Are Not, And Should Never Be

The United States was designed to be "not Europe".  Almost with painful self-consciousness, the Founders established a nation that was unlike its parents, and they recognized that its people were, even then, unlike anyone on earth.

In one school of logic, it is common to express things as being, say, "cats" and all other things "not cats".  In virtually every important way, we were designed as a national entity to be "not Europe" in that logical sense.  True, some of the forms were kept, as from English common law.  But on a deep, fundamental level, Americans were not, and their national charter was not, anything like Europe.

We were something new under the sun, literally and every other way.  We still are, but every day we have to choose to be that.  Every day, we have to choose to be Americans, and many of us choose to be something else.

What are...and what were...Americans?  What made us different?  What makes us different now?

Well, one thing we are not, as individuals, is "small people".  We never were that until some very European ideas infected the national thinking, ideas that had us being trodden down by powers we individually could not resist, and urged us to look at others with envy and resentment, as though that was not a civic sin.  We, as past or present Americans, are never "little people".  We were and are a broad-shouldered, generous, growing and capable people...a people large in every important way.  When we saw our neighbor achieve, we were happy, knowing that what a person can do, we could do if we valued it.

Today, there is pressure on each of us to buy into the notion that we are "citizens of the world".  Americans cannot accept that.  We have been, and will be, good neighbors in the world.  But we will not lose our unique identity in exchange for some fuzzy warm nullity.  It would be like forsaking one's family to join a cult.  And our family is a fine, healthy family.  Not without "issues", to be sure, but not one of which we need be ashamed, either.  Our family is unique, and that is a virtue of itself.

Europe...which we are not, and should never in decline.  Some of us, including many in our political class, think we should be Europe now.  We have been apart too long, according to them...too individualistic, obstinate and arrogant.  Europe is more civilized, more humane, more cultivated and cultured.

But that was always true, and it was true at great cost.  And Americans and those who aspired to be Americans could not leave it fast enough.  They fled that place, and what it meant to be European.  They were right to do that, and we are right to flee it in our thinking now.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

CRASH: Deepwater Horizon A Known Problem For Months

The Deepwater Horizon well didn't just up and blow out one day.  That well had been a beast for months, and everybody knew it.  That is why the crew that experienced casualties was there to P&A (plug and abandon) a well they knew was too dangerous.

I've long speculated that the drilling crew experienced a "loss of circulation"...or catastrophic loss of the drilling fluids that normally contain a release of gas from a productive formation.  On any drilling rig, such an event is a religious moment.  If it happens concurrent with being in...or immediately thereafter finding...a gas-producing formation, you are about to have a wild well.  This is when your BOP (blow out preventer) comes into play.  But, by the time you can activate it, things may have already gotten very interesting.  You can have a miles-long string of drill stem starting to displace out of the hole, and through the derrick crown, and there is just no good place to be when that happens.  You can also have a blasting geyser of natural gas, or poison gas, blowing out of the well, searching for air and ignition.

Well, we learn more details from a Bloomberg piece (h/t Hot Air) that seem to support that there were, perhaps, multiple circulation loss events on the Deepwater Horizon, and that would explain why they were in a P&A operation.  It was just a bad, bad well.

In the drilling industry, you have those; you just make them safe, and go on (which is what the crew was doing when the well blew).  You have holes you drill that produce nothing.  You have holes where you experience formations that collapse or shift to bind your drill stem.  It's more difficult to drill for oil than most people begin to understand.

There are lots of interesting loops the Earth throws, and motivated, very hard-working people meet them to provide us oil, and the standard of living we enjoy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

BURN: Caption Of The Day Contest

My first ever Caption Of The Day Contest.  The subject?  Harry Reid, the execrable slug from Nevada.  Have fun, people!!!

My modest entry: Harry Reid surrenders to Nevada authorities after losing his Senate seat and discovery of his various crimes while in office.

CRASH: Stuck On STUPID Government Mandates Disaster

Perverse incentives yield monstrous results.  Barack Hussain and his BIG GOVERNMENT fellow travelers churn out perverse incentives like nothing ever seen in America.  One disaster after another will result, as sure as night follows day.

I don't know who observed this first, but failure by BIG GOVERNMENT...or the not a bug, but a feature.  Meaning, it is built into the system, and can't be "built out" of the system.  It is organic.  What is so damnable is that we know this.  History is rich with horrific examples, as are current events.

Obama and his collective own the Gulf disaster; front to back, port to starboard, top to bottom.

There is a Deepwater Horizon ONLY because perverse incentives yield monstrous results.  We are drilling for oil in 5,000+ feet of water ONLY because of stupid, perverse, and dangerous environmental policy, which is, in turn, predicated on lies.  Instead of drilling in safe places on land and shallow water, which we do with astounding reliability, we have been pushed to the limits of technology.  We told people to do risky things, and they did.  They always WILL.

Every aspect of the Deepwater Horizon operation was under Federal control.  That is, they did nothing of any significance without approval by one agency or another.  All those agencies are Mr. Obama's responsibility.  All the law and regulation is his charge to enforce.  Of course, nobody can, really.  And no set of people can, either.  Our government is vastly too large, and our regulations far too numerous and tangled.  They, many of them, are written on false premises, and only reflect the political "thinking" of their authors.  They are perverse, and can only yield monstrous results 

We told BP they should certify that a blow-out preventer (in the last of at least three redundant systems to shut in a wild well) would cut and crush the drill stem used in the well.  But nobody at the MMS enforced that certification requirement.  So nobody at BP (and presumptively other oil companies) provided the certification.  When you have a regulator, you do what they require.  Many regulations are ignored by both the regulators and the regulated.  And the regulated think in terms of the regulation being where their limits are, and forget about reality being where real limits are.  Perverse incentives yield monstrous results.

The Dutch offered us skimmer vessels that would have cleaned the oil out of the water of the Gulf at huge rates.  Our government turned them down, some say because of the Jones Act (a 1920 law to protect shipping interests and maritime unions), or because the discharged water from the Dutch ships was not pristine according to EPA (there being some fraction of some component of crude oil in the discharge).  So, the full tide of crude made it to our beaches and marshes.  Now we learn the skimmer technology is at work.  Too late.  So, another disaster, directly caused by perverse incentives.

The Dutch also offered dredges and people who know how VERY QUICKLY to produce berms specifically for the purpose of protecting the shore from oil.  This was a proven technology.  Nope.   The Jones Act again, and the welter of Federal agencies who have to say grace over anything like that, regardless of the temporary nature of the berms.  So disaster comes ashore while bureaucrats dither (and collect their pay).

The Obama administration lied, and they imposed a moratorium on deep water drilling.  They say it was intended to increase safety, but they know that is a lie; it has the opposite effect.  They say it was a decision based on engineering.  That is a lie, too.  The experts they consulted told them the opposite, and that Gulf operations could and should be continued after a safety review that would take, at most, weeks.  They were ignored, and a purely political decision was made to shut down the Gulf deep water drilling.  That produces a disaster all its own, and it is one that plainly derives from the perverse incentives of Barack Hussain Obama.

These are merely a few of the stories of which we know.  We will learn many more over time.  They all have the same moral; perverse incentives produce monstrous results.  Failure by BIG GOVERNMENT is not a bug, but a feature.

We learned today of a check in the work being done in Louisiana by private vessels.  They were stopped by the Coast Guard, and shut down so that life vests and extinguishers could be checked.  Perverse incentives yielding monstrous results.  It is what BIG GOVERNMENT does.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

BURN: Leadership Is Not Rocket Science

President Obama has been roundly criticized..rightfully...for his failuresssss of leadership.  But it's easy to criticize, and not so easy to produce.  Recognizing that, leadership…especially from someone who respects the law…would look something like this;

Day nine (charitably): MEMO: President Obama to all cabinet members--
I want a report from each cabinet head on my desk tomorrow evening, detailing the current legal mandates YOUR department has for dealing with an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  I also want a report on all technology anywhere in the world for dealing with an uncontrolled release of oil into the sea, and what needs to be done to make it available here.

Day ten (charitably) at the next cabinet meeting: Obama to his cabinet heads--
To the extent that your reports reflect crossed lines of authority and responsibility for effective response in the Gulf, I am going to name one agency to be in charge of this problem.  I will expect all other departments and agencies to facilitate the work of that one agency.  You will report to me explicit actions each of you will take.  I want to make certain that both the states and private interests who can help with this are NOT impeded by red tape.  If there are permits required, issue them unless you have a well-founded concern that you think you can balance against the potential damage this oil could do if we allow it to reach our coastal areas.  You will answer to me, and to the American people, if you stand in the way of anyone with a viable solution.

Day twelve (charitably):  Pres. Obama, press opportunity, Gulf Coast--
Gov. Jindal and the other Gulf Coast governors are here today to show the people of this region and the United States that we are united in our response to the threat that oil may soon reach our southern shores.  I have ordered the Jones Act to be suspended during this crisis, and eagerly welcome the offer of other nations…nations who have faced this same sort of threat…to provide the technologies they have successfully deployed in the past.  I have directed all agencies of the Federal government to actively assist the state governments in their efforts to defend their people, businesses, waters, land and resources against the threat a tide of oil might pose.

Day thirteen: Recorded video message to Americans, Pres. Obama--
All of us are pulling for the dedicated people out on the Gulf Of Mexico, working literally around the clock to control the wild well.  Our priority is to support their work in stopping or stemming the flow of oil.  This is not the time for recriminations; the time will come to thoroughly examine the causes of this tragic accident, to learn what we can, and to do all humanly possible to assure it is not repeated.  But now, today, we want every person’s skill, talent, and thoughts focused solely on one object; contain the well, contain the oil, and protect our waters and our coast-lines.

It would look something like that…leadership.  It ain't rocket science.

BURN: Obama's Lips Move, So You KNOW He's...

Being untruthful is one of the things THE ONE does surpassingly well.  One of a few things.  He does it virtually every time he speaks, and from the Oval Office he did it as he rarely has before.

One thing he said that was sort of true, but said in support of a larger lie, is that oil is a finite resource.  Wul. Duh.  All resources are finite, ultimately, including our leasehold on our happy little planet.  Obama was, of course, intimating that we are just running out of oil.  That is not true.  He also said "part" of the reason we drill in the vastly more risky deep waters of the Gulf Of Mexico is because we have used up oil we could access on land or shallower water.  Of course, that is simply a lie in the larger sense, too.

Environmental BS, resulting in regulatory BS, is the reason we drill wells like Deep Horizon.  There are MANY attractive places on our land and in our near waters for us to find oil and gas...places where we know they wait.  We can't get to them only because of paper.

But what about the idea that we are close to running out of oil?  It is a case without evidence.  In fact, all evidence shows otherwise.

As Jonah Goldberg wrote today:
Matt Ridley, author of the indispensable new book The Rational Optimist, notes that history is full of examples of mankind literally running out of “renewable resources” or effectively exhausting them—mastadons, whales, passenger pigeons, guano, Lebanon cedars, etc.—but the one resource everyone has insisted is about to disappear keeps increasing. “In 1914, the U.S. Bureau of Mines predicted that American oil reserves would last ten years,” Ridley writes. In 1939, the Department of Interior said American oil would last 13 years. Twelve years later, it said oil would last another 13 years. President Jimmy Carter announced in the 1970s that  “we could use up all the proven reserves in the world by the end of the next decade.”

And yet, Ridley goes on to say, “In 1970, there were 550 billion barrels of oil reserves in the world and between 1970 and 1990 the world used 600 billion barrels of oil. So reserves should have been overdrawn by 50 billion barrels by 1990. In fact, by 1990 unexploited reserves amounted to 900 billion barrels.” And that doesn’t count the tar sands in Alberta or the shales of Venezuela and the Rocky Mountains, which collectively contain 6 trillion barrels of heavy oil, 20 times the proven reserves in Saudi Arabia.

Thomas Sowell wrote on this in Basic Economics.  "Known reserves" is a concept that depends on how much we are willing to spend on "knowing".  At points in time, knowing where oil is and how much there is can be prohibitively expensive.  But as technology improves, the price of knowing drops.  Our knowledge expands, and with it "known reserves" expand.  That is one great fallacy of "peak oil".

These are simple economic truths.  They are not complex, or hidden.  Therefore, I consider it likely that Barack Hussain Obama has no idea of them.  Not because he is stupid, but because he is the most ignorant man ever to be President Of The United States.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CRASH: Obama Lays Faberge Egg

Obama's speech on the Gulf was the worst speech by a president of a free people ever delivered.  It was the best by an Emperor of America.  Obama gave himself another "good, solid B+".

The old joke goes, "How did you know he was lying?".  We all know both the punch-line and how perfectly the joke applies here, and that it is on us.  The Obamic cliche-loaded machine-gun was the John Wayne never runs out of ammo; the barrel never melts.  He knows no shame, no mercy, no responsibility, and no duty to the people he "serves".  He also knows no law, and certainly no constitutional limits.

He must earnestly embrace the idea that you and I are stupid, and will believe what we are told.  Some of us gave him some reason for that idea.  He was elected.  But you cannot say to intelligent people in a paroxysm of self-exoneration, "I was assured that this was absolutely safe".  Because intelligent people will immediately say, "Nothing is 'absolutely safe'; nothing".  Then they will say, "Either nobody ever said that, which means you are lying to us, Mr. President, or someone did say that to you, and you are the greatest fool on the planet". 

Obama waxed grandiloquent about how the people of the Gulf have plied the sea for generations for their living.  He didn't mention that for generations, we people of the Gulf have been producing oil out of the Gulf.  We've done it well, responsibly, and we've bent genius and great skill to make it extremely safe.  Why didn't he say all that?

He promised to do things that no president of the United States may do.  He promised to do things only an Emperor Of America could do.  

He evoked his pet Nobel Laureate and other certified smart people, who to date have done NOTHING appreciable...EXCEPT IMPEDE OTHERS.  But he promised they would be multiplied, as though that will avail.  It's as though he proposed to part the sea with his staff meeting.

And he simply lied.  Often, repeatedly, and without the least hesitation.  That is who he is.  This pathetic speech is an example of his sole forte.  It is time for responsible people to call on him to resign before he does much more damage.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

BURN: Where's The Love...???

Another milestone in "OPERATION OVER-REACH" is in the books.  Barack Hussain Obama has tipped his point with the MSM; how permanently remains to be seen.  Just now, "They've lost that lovin' feelin'".

Maureen Dowd on presidential press relations: "The patrician George Bush senior was always gracious with reporters while conveying the sense that what we do for a living was rude."  (Hot flash for MoDo: speaking as a common man, we think a lot of what SOME of you do is rude...vile...obscene, too.  That's the way people in the real America feel about being lied to by condescending half-wits; just so you know.)

Dowd on BHO: "But he is an elitist, too, as well as thin-skinned and controlling."  And, "Now that Obama has been hit with negative press, he’s even more contemptuous. “'He’s never needed to woo the press,'” says the NBC White House reporter Chuck Todd. “'He’s never really needed us.'” 

Of course, that last part from Chuck Todd is only partially correct; he should have said, "We were already in the tank for the guy; he's never really needed to woo the press.  He had us at, 'I'm Barack Hussain Obama'".

After noting that Obama would recoil from reporters who pressed him for answers when he wanted to make pillow-talk, Dowd writes: "But that’s the world we live in. It hurts Obama to be a crybaby about it, and to blame the press and the “'old Washington game'” for his own communication failure".

Dowd's NYT editors wrote this, appearing the same day: "The country is frustrated and apprehensive and still waiting for Mr. Obama to put his vision into action.

"The president cannot plug the leak or magically clean up the fouled Gulf of Mexico. But he and his administration need to do a lot more to show they are on top of this mess, and not perpetually behind the curve."

Well, again, about half true; the country is frustrated and apprehensive...ABOUT Obama's putting his "vision into action".  Much more of that "vision thing" from the Obami, and we're pretty much cooked, and we know it.  Obama can't show us he's "on top of this mess" BECAUSE we know he isn't; not only that, we know that the Gulf oil mess is, to him, a very annoying distraction from his real mission; transforming America.

Just to keep faith with their time-honored psychotic break with reality, the Times editors tell Obama this: "It is well within Mr. Obama’s power to keep his administration and Congressional Democrats focused on what the economy needs: jobs and stimulus. Voters are anxious about the deficit. But the president needs to tell them the truth — that without more spending the economy could remain weak for a very long time".

Even Rolling Stone committed an act of journalism...well, half-act...this past week, and Obama was not well depicted. 

On This Week, John Bohner accused Obama of having “coddled our enemies [Hamas and its Iranian puppet-masters] and pushed our friends [Israel] aside in the process” regarding the Mavi Marmara incident and world reaction to it.  Steny Hoyer had to pretty much second that.

 If that sounds like cats barking, BOTH Egypt and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas came out with statements supporting the continuation of the Israeli blockade.

Talk about your rough weeks in the press, huh, Barack?  It will get worse, and Obama's pathologies will be further exposed and strained in the coming weeks.  Honeymoon is so over...

CRASH: PayPal Demands A Competitor

When a business commits serial stupidity, it is sending a message out to the market; "WE DEMAND COMPETITION".  PayPal is telling the world loud and clear that someone needs to fill the void between its corporate ears.

And, trust me, help is on the way.

Pamela Geller's Atlas Shrugs blog is strong medicine.  She is a take-no-prisoners blogger of the distinctly pro-Israeli, conservative, American exceptionalism stripe.  She, like a lot of bloggers and commentators, loathes Islamism, and will not back down from seeing and portraying it as an existential threat to Western civilization.  Which is what it is.

PayPal has a "Acceptable Use Policy":
Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive
payments for items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance or the
financial exploitation of a crime.
Geller generates some revenue for her extra-blogospheric work using PayPal (such as bus ads that were approved by the NY authorities).   Or, rather she did.  PayPal has weighed her in the balance, and found her wanting.  They've cut her off, citing their "Acceptable Use Policy".

Only looking at the terms PayPal publishes, that seems internally inconsistent.  Islamists are not a race.  I doubt very seriously that Ms. Geller would have the least degree of hate for any Islamist that forsook their jihad against the Enlightenment and the culture that sprang from it.  I think the opposite to be true, in fact.  I have not seen anything from Geller calling for violence, outside of support for our national policy.  I have never seen anything remotely suggesting she sought to financially exploit a crime.

There is, however, another area of inconsistency at work here; PayPal seems not to have much trouble "Acceptable Use"-wise with sites and individuals BESIDES Geller.  Many of these are pretty clearly sites that promote racial some cases, toward the Jews.  Some of them are strongly promoting violence.

That seems to leave us with Geller's opinions as "items", and the finding by PayPal that those opinions are "hate".  That is very thin ice on which to skate for a business.  PayPal is, of course, free to associate with whom it will.  When you publish a policy though, you limit your freedom voluntarily, and you may be held liable for what you do in violation of your published terms.  So, PayPal is a determine who it will serve.  Just as Hearst was free to use Hellin Thomas...or not.

But, as noted here in several posts here, all actions have consequences.  PayPal may be free to deal with Geller, according to its own terms, but we are also free to deal with PayPal or not.  There are people out there who can start another PayPal, or people who have one now.  This is a prime opportunity to exploit the PayPal opening.  They demand it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

CRASH: Obama Opens The Barn Door For Conservatives

In one of his patented blame-fests, Barack Hussain Obama's usual misrepresentations of his opponents opened the barn door for you and I to show our neighbors just what our philosophy of government really is, and why they should support it.

His self-excusing, intentional distortion talking points weren't even original.  In fact, we've dealt with them here...weeks ago.  He's what he said:
“I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill had happened, I had gone up to Congress and I had said we need to crack down a lot harder on oil companies and we need to spend more money on technology to respond in case of a catastrophic spill, there are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said this is classic, big-government overregulation and wasteful spending.
But the funny thing is, Mr. President, a lot of those people passed a law back in 1994...the National Oil And Hazardous Substances Contingency Plan Act...that MANDATED--(h/t Climate Audit)
  1. a plan for dealing with various scenarios around oil and hazardous substances
  2. testing that plan to assure it worked
  3. effective response to a large oil spill was a national priority that could overwhelm regional resources
  4. the EPA and the Coast Guard are in charge of the plan and its testing and implementation
So, it is instructive, isn't it Mr. Obama?  We already have a law, and clearly defined Federal lines of responsibility (consistent with the Commerce Clause, BTW) that MANDATED you have a response "in case of a catastrophic spill".  The crazy lady you picked for your EPA chief?  Where is she?  Isn't she, or somebody she names, supposed to be the chair of the National Response TeamYou know, the one in charge of making the plan YOU are supposed to have workShe has been in the news lately, but it isn't because of her work along the Gulf coast, is it, Mr. President?

That National Response Team, you hear of them all the time, right?  Hmmm....  Me neither.  It's like they just lost track of the whole idea they were supposed to have a National Response Team, and a plan, and technology in place, and drills testing the plan, and stuff.  What's that old saying about trying to do too much...?  And isn't there one about a government governs best when it governs least? 
“Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘do something’ are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much,” Obama said. “Some of the same people who are saying the president needs to show leadership and solve this problem are some of the same folks who, just a few months ago, were saying this guy is trying to engineer a takeover of our society through the federal government that is going to restrict our freedoms.”
And, of course, this is where Obama erects his second favorite person in the world...Mr. Straw Man.  No TEA Party activist or conservative whats NO government.  What we want is LIMITED government.  Why?  Well, golly there are so many reasons, but one of them is that we understand that LIMITED government is also EFFECTIVE at doing the few things it is chartered to do.  And we all want EFFECTIVE government.

So, this is one of those sterling moments...a teachable moment...when you can share with your neighbors why you believe what you do about the incredible wisdom of the design of our Constitution, providing for a limited, effective government.

Friday, June 11, 2010

BURN: Did Ken Salazar Violate Federal Law When He Lied?

Secretary Of Interior Ken Salazar published a "report" over the signatures of a panel of experts.  Trouble is, the experts DID NOT say what Salazar published.

USC Sec. 1001 apparently makes Salazar's action a felony.  (h/t commenter Neo at Questions and Opinions).

And it certainly SHOULD be a felony.  Salazar's bogus "report" was the pretext for the Obama drilling moratorium in the Gulf.  That is costing the already reeling Gulf regional economy FAR greater suffering.  That is, people in a vital region, in a vital industry and its support industries, are suffering.  All Americans will soon join them as domestic oil production shrinks.
"None of us actually reviewed the memorandum as it is in the report," oil expert Ken Arnold told Fox News. "What was in the report at the time it was reviewed was quite a bit different in its impact to what there is now. So we wanted to distance ourselves from that recommendation."
Salazar apologized to those experts Thursday.
"The experts who are involved in crafting the report gave us their recommendation and their input and I very much appreciate those recommendations," he said. "It was not their decision on the moratorium. It was my decision and the president's decision to move forward."
In a letter the experts sent to Salazar, they said his primary recommendation "misrepresents" their position and that halting the drilling is actually a bad idea.
Salazar essentially admits that the report, as presented, was a lie.

The people of the United States were promised a new day...a "change we can believe in".  What should happen here is for the DoJ to investigate Salazar.  It won't.  The "change" Obama has delivered is an outlaw administration that is completely untethered by law, truth, or concern for the governed.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

CRASH: The California Canary

California has for decades been pointed to as the national trend-setter.  Just now, the trend in California is distinctly swirling down, and the vortex is tightening.

Between 1970 and 2008 the share of California’s population comprised of immigrants (legal and illegal) tripled, growing from 9 percent to 27 percent.1 This Memorandum examines some of the ways California has changed over the last four decades. Historically, California has not been a state with a disproportionately large unskilled population, like Appalachia or parts of the South. As a result of immigration, however, by 2008 California had the least-educated labor force in the nation in terms of the share its workers without a high school education. This change has important implications for the state.
Among the changes in California:
  • In 1970, California had the 7th most educated work force of the 50 states in terms of the share of its workers who had completed high school. By 2008 it ranked 50th, making it the least educated state. (Table 1a)
  • Education in California has declined relative to other states. The percentage of Californians who have completed high school has increased since 1970; however, all other states made much more progress in improving their education levels; as a result, California has fallen behind the rest of the country. (Table 1b)
  • The large relative decline in education in California is a direct result of immigration. Without immigrants, the share of California’s labor force that has completed high school would be above the national average.
  • There is no indication that California will soon close the educational gap. California ranks 35th in terms of the share of its 19-year-olds who have completed high school. Moreover, one-third (91,000) of the adult immigrants who arrived in the state in 2007 and 2008 had not completed high school.2
  • In 1970 California was right at the national average in terms of income inequality, ranking 25th in the nation. By 2008, it was the 6th most unequal state in the country based on the commonly used Gini coefficient, which measures how evenly income is distributed. (Tables 2a and 2b)
  • California’s income distribution in 2008 was more unequal than was Mississippi’s in 1970. (Tables 2a and 2b)
  • While historical data are not available, we can say that in 2008 California ranked 11th highest in terms of the share of its households accessing at least one major welfare program and 8th highest in terms of the share of the state’s population without health insurance. (Tables 3 and 4)
  • The large share of California adults who have very little education is likely to strain social services and make it challenging for the state to generate sufficient tax revenue to cover the demands for services made by its large unskilled population. 
But, of course, California has DIVERSITY, which the collective reminds us...the great panacea that overcomes all else.