Wednesday, 16 June 2010

BP: SAFETY FINALIST

Ken Berwitz

Here's a little something you might be interested to know about the federal government's pre-oil rig disaster opinion of BP's safety standards.

Excerpted from an article at ccn.com -- and please pay special attention to the date this article was published:

In ironic twist, BP finalist for pollution prevention award

 

Call it a tragic irony.

 

BP, now under federal scrutiny because of its role in the deadly Gulf of Mexico explosion and oil spill, is one of three finalists for a federal award honoring offshore oil companies for "outstanding safety and pollution prevention."

 

The winner of the award - chosen before the April 20 oil rig incident - was to be announced this coming Monday at a luncheon in Houston. But the U.S. Department of Interior this week postponed the awards ceremony, saying it needs to devote its resources to the ongoing situation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and fire.

Unbelievable. 

BP, at the very least, was one of three finalists for this award.  And the fact that the U.S. Department of Interior postponed the award ceremony suggests to me that there is a pretty good chance BP was the outright winner.

Can you even begin to imagine the field day media would have had with this if it were the Bush administration? 

Can you hear them sneering out that the company which gave us the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history was deemed a finalist for "outstanding safety and pollution prevention"?????? 

Can you even begin to imagine the derision that would have been heaped on George Bush? 

Well, this isn't President George Bush.  This is President Barack Obama.  So a month and a half after it was reported by CNN, there still is virtually no mention of it anywhere.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


HANDING U.S. TERRITORY TO MEXICAN THUGS

Ken Berwitz

This is a story you will not believe unless you see/hear the video report.  The US, under President Obama, is literally conceding our sovereign territory to Mexican thugs, who traffick in drugs and human misery. 

Watch this video and see/hear for yourself:




 

Let me say it again:  President Obama is literally conceding part of Arizona to the Mexican drug cartel and the smugglers of illegal aliens, who profit by their human misery.  They are being allowed to freely operate inside the United States. 

That is not an exaggeration, that is a demonstrable fact.

And let's remember that handing these people a part of our country puts them that much closer to other parts.  What will President Obama do next?  Give them Tucson?  Phoenix?  Maybe they'd like to branch out and grab Santa Fe, New Mexico too?  Who is stopping them?  Certainly not the current administration.

How can this not be front page and lead story news throughout our media?  Can these so-called "journalists" possibly be so committed to Mr. Obama and his people that they look the other way as this happens?  What other explanation could there be?

One other thing:  You may have noticed that the video you just saw/heard came from Fox News.  The same Fox News that so many of these "journalists" scorn, call names, and accuse of bias. 

But did you see anything about this on their networks? 

Maybe the real reason they hate Fox so much is how hopelessly biased Fox makes them look. 


LOUISIANANS RATE PRESIDENT OBAMA'S PERFORMANCE

Ken Berwitz

Here's a poll I didn't see on Today this morning (I wonder which, if any, of the major network morning shows mentioned it).  The following is a brief analysis from Public Policy Institute's latest poll of Louisianans - the folks who have suffered through both Katrina and now the oil rig disaster. 

The bold print is mine:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fallout from the Spill

 

Our new Louisiana poll has a lot of data points to show how unhappy voters in the state are with Barack Obama's handling of the oil spill but one perhaps sums it up better than anything else- a majority of voters there think George W. Bush did a better job with Katrina than Obama's done dealing with the spill.

50% of voters in the state, even including 31% of Democrats, give Bush higher marks on that question compared to 35% who pick Obama.

Overall only 32% of Louisianans approve of how Obama has handled the spill to 62% who disapprove. 34% of those polled say they approved of how Bush dealt with Katrina to 58% who disapproved.

While the poll results indicate a lot of unhappiness with the President, ultimately BP is getting the largest amount of blame from voters in the state. 53% of voters say they're angriest at the oil company to 29% who say their greatest unhappiness is with the federal government. And 78% say BP has the greatest responsibility for cleaning up the spill to only 11% who say that onus lays with the federal government. 44% think BP CEO Tony Hayward should be fired to 29% who think he should not and 26% who are not sure.

One thing the oil spill has not done is created a spike of opposition to offshore drilling in Louisiana. 77% of voters still support it with only 12% against. Only 31% say the spill has made them less inclined to be in favor of drilling while 42% say it hasn't made a difference to them and 28% say they're now stronger in their support.

If there's any 'winner' in this unfortunate event it's Governor Bobby Jindal. 63% of voters approve of the job he's doing, the best PPP has found for any Senator or Governor so far in 2010. There's an even higher level of support, at 65%, for how he's handled the aftermath of the spill.

Full results
here

Bottom line:  The people who are most directly suffering from the oil rig disaster obviously blame BP, the company whose rig exploded. 

But regarding which elected officials are and are not doing a good job?  Read those numbers again and see that President Obama is seen as underperforming by a huge margin (62% disapproval, compared to just 32% who approve of his performance). 

By contrast, Governor Jindal, who begged Obama to release the equipment and supplies which could be used to lessen this disaster, waited and waited with no action from Mr. Obama, then finally, in exasperation, decided to breach protocol and do it himself, is being hailed as a leader.

The contrast is stark, and unavoidable.  President Obama is a BSer who doesn't get things done, and Governor Jindal is a leader who does get things done.

But who do we have to blame for Barack Obama?  Ourselves, that's who.  We elected a Chicago machine politician with no qualifications for the office he holds and no history of accomplishing anything except political agitation and the expenditure of untold millions of other people's money. 

Barack Obama never ran a business, never met a paycheck and, other than dishing out ice cream as a kid, never held a job outside of politics and academia (i.e. the real world).  Why would we expect anything more from him?

The sooner we rectify this mistake, the better.


THE GERALD WALPIN SCANDAL (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Do you remember Gerald Walpin?  He is the Inspector General President Obama summarily fired, apparently illegally, while he was investigating corruption on the part of Obama pal Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star and current Mayor of Sacramento, CA. 

Do you know that Mr. Walpin has sued for reinstatement?

I thought you might be interested in how this is playing out.  So I'm posting an editorial on the Walpin situation from today's Washington Times - one of the few media venues providing any information about it:

EDITORIAL: Walpin-gate swings wide open

Two big new twists on anniversary of IG firing

By THE WASHINGTON TIMES

6:19 p.m., Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One year to the day after illegally firing AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin, the Obama administration is scrambling to ward off further embarrassments related to the case. On Friday, Mr. Walpin's lawsuit for reinstatement moved forward another step. For this tempest to be raging a full year later shows how badly the administration botched the situation from the start.

On June 11, 2009, President Obama fired Mr. Walpin without explanation to Congress despite having co-sponsored a law as senator that required such an explanation before an inspector general could be dismissed. The most public dispute between the administration and Mr. Walpin involved the IG's efforts to sanction Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA star and self-proclaimed friend of the first couple, for a series of ethical and financial improprieties in Mr. Johnson's use of AmeriCorps grants.

On June 9, 2010, The Washington Times broke the story that AmeriCorps' parent, Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), ignored its own sanctions against Mr. Johnson for infractions admitted by the mayor by featuring him in an honored speaking slot at the upcoming National Conference on Volunteering and Service June 28 through 30 in New York. By June 11 - the anniversary of the firing - CNCS executives made a series of frantic phone calls that resulted in Mr. Johnson being scrubbed from the list of speakers and removed from the website. The remaining questions are: Who invited Mr. Johnson in the first place, and why?

On the same day Mr. Johnson withdrew as a speaker, Mr. Walpin filed a final summation in a federal appeals court explaining why the court should order expedited action on his lawsuit. Even though he filed suit on July 17, and even though his suit is time sensitive because the administration already has nominated a would-be replacement, Judge Richard W. Roberts of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has sat on numerous motions and countermotions for expedited judgment, thus stalling the case. Mr. Walpin's petition for a writ of mandamus asks the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to issue an order for Judge Roberts to rule on all pending motions.

The Obama administration's goal clearly is to run out the clock until Mr. Walpin's replacement is confirmed, which would seem to make this case moot. On Friday, however, Mr. Walpin explained its broader importance. "The longer this case sits idly on the [judge's] docket," he said, "the clearer the message is to other IGs that ... protections Congress granted them against political interference are in doubt."

That's what this case really is about. Inspectors general are meant to serve as independent watchdogs against corruption. The administration wants IGs to be lapdogs. By taking on an honorable bulldog such as Mr. Walpin, the administration has focused more attention, not less, on the breadth of its politicized shenanigans.

Could this be more disgraceful?  Could this be more scandalous?

Why is this not a major news story?  What explanation is there, other than that our wonderful "neutral" media (the Washington Times excluded, of course) are burying it on behalf of President Obama, thus acting as PR flaks for the President rather than as journalists?

I will do my best to keep you posted about Mr. Walpin's reinstatement suit.  For the sake of simple justice, I wish him all the best in his efforts.


MSNBC'S PROGRAMMING SHAKEUP

Ken Berwitz

Big shakeup at MSNBC:  Instead of keith olbermann's "Countdown" being aired at 8:00PM and then rerun at 10:00PM........

.....the 10:00PM slot will be given to Lawrence O'Donnell, a self-described socialist who can make olbermann look like a middle of the roader.

I didn't think it possible, but MSNBC has found a way to lurch left.  That's a little like mahmoud ahmadinejad finding a way to dislike Jews more than he already does.

Congratulations to MSNBC on its change of course.

.Or something.


THE TODAY SHOW'S COVERAGE OF OBAMA'S SPEECH

Ken Berwitz

This is going to be a very short blog.

This morning's Today Show had exactly one guest to discuss last night's speech by President Obama. 

That guest was David Axelrod, Mr. Obama's senior advisor and one of his closest friends.

Matt Lauer lobbed a few softballs for Axelrod to belt out of the park.  And then on to other news.

No Republican.  No representative from BP.  No panel of journalists that might provide more than one perspective.  Zero. 

Just President Obama's senior advisor and close friend.

Pathetic.


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