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Not with a bang, but a gusher

Peter Daou on the Deepwater Horizon disaster:

Why has this unfolded so badly?

  1. Democratic leaders have been blindsided by this spill, having just come out in favor of offshore drilling to appease Republicans.
  2. The right, for the most part, is stuck in the 19th century, consumed by a manic hatred for anything green.
  3. Oil companies are after one thing: money.
  4. The press and punditry are busy chasing the story du jour.
  5. Defenders of the administration are loathe to critique it, out of a sense of loyalty.

Consequently, we're left with a halfhearted and halting, shameful response to a profound tragedy.

This isn't Katrina II, it's worse. As the oil keeps gushing and the damage keeps growing, we are squandering a rare chance to turn the tide against those whose laziness and greed and ignorance is imperiling every living thing on our wonderful and beautiful - and wounded - planet.

Words are a necessary precursor to deeds, anger is an essential ingredient for social change. Speaking up and speaking out is the difference between apathy and action. 30 years of conservative message dominance is a function of the right's ability to master outrage. Now is the time for Democrats and progressives to muster (and master) the kind of outrage worthy of this calamity.

Well, if that were going to happen, it would have already happened, and Dauo gives some of the reasons why:

See above at #1 and #5, which apply to both the Ds and the "progressives."

Ya know, I look around me for institutions that work, especially at the national level, and I don't see very many that work. Those that do -- Social Security, Medicare, even the Post Office, which regularly delivers my mail -- the elite is bent on destroying. And those that FAIL grotesquely -- finance, health insurance, oil, the empire -- the elite is reinforcing with all the considerable resources still at its command. As Atrios remarks:

A Sad Thing That Is Probably True
Much as the financial crisis gave the banksters more power than ever, the crisis in the Gulf will simply embolden Big Oil.

Digby comments, summing up her response to Daou:

We haven't seen much competence among the experts in any fields lately. It's a crisis of confidence.

No, it isn't. It's a crisis of legitimacy.

NOTE Does anybody know if the fucking booming is fucking being done right? Yet?

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S Brennan's picture
Submitted by S Brennan on

The reason there is no outrage is simple, right wing politics wants an extractive economy, Democrats, are now right wing [with personal liberties for the well off], Obama/Salazar personally involved themselves with British Petroleum on this particular well...and half of the Democratic party signed off on Obama & his tactics. Only 15-20% of US citizens are against what his wellhead represents, if you are Republican, or an Obama supporter, you supported this catastrophe with words and deeds. While Republicans want offshore oil production to work, Democrats[?] want the campaign contributions to flow from BP [and Obama is BP biggest recipient], so while Republicans may think BP management is vile, they say nothing...because it would hurt offshore oil production, meanwhile Democrats have married Obama and he's whoring for British petroleum. Their is simply no opposition, if you're a Republican or an Obama supporter...this is what is acceptable.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

1.Democratic leaders have been blindsided by this spill, having just come out in favor of offshore drilling to appease Republicans.

No, Democratic leaders are in complete agreement with Republicans about not upsetting the petro lobby/suburbia, corporatist status quo. This is our ruling elite.

2.The right, for the most part, is stuck in the 19th century, consumed by a manic hatred for anything green.

No, this is booga booga tribal fear mongering. The Right is defending the petro lobby/suburbia, corporatist status quo. They will use any stick in their arsenal to beat that dog.

3.Oil companies are after one thing: money.

And? Their money has bought our ruling elite. Hand in glove.

4.The press and punditry are busy chasing the story du jour.

No, the press and punditry are, as always, concerned about their own pampered asses. They don't want to do or say anything that might upset the status quo, or call in to question the current narrative. To do so would jeopardize their cushy careers. They don't "do" reporting. They corporate media and corporate punditry are bought with the same dollars as our ruling elite.

5.Defenders of the administration are loathe to critique it, out of a sense of loyalty.

No. "Sense of loyalty" my ass. Depending on who they are, defenders of the administration are either in agreement with their policies, complicit/bought, or delusional/morons.

warren mosler's picture
Submitted by warren mosler on

I now fear something far worse.

BP appears to have delayed measures to plug the well and stop the damage.

Instead it appears they have taken measures to salvage revenues.

They inserted a siphon tube that initially allowed them to load a portion of the escaping crude onto surface ships, presumably to be sold.

Instead of inserting a siphon tube, could BP have deposited aggregate (rocks) or other materials (steel rods, etc.) to start filling the hole with something 'heavy' that could obstruct the outward flow?

In fact, would not something as simple as an armada of barges filled with aggregate dumping their fill over the open pipe have built a mound over it that, when it got high enough, would completely stop the leaking crude?

Right from the beginning, could there not have been an emergency call to action for the US Navy and Coast Guard, as well as privately owned ships, to begin the parade of barges needed to continually dump aggregate over the site?

There has been no discussion that I have seen along these lines. Instead, public trust, as low as it may poll, remains high enough for it to be unthinkable that BP could have made the decision to attempt to siphon some crude rather than immediately take measures to plug the well based on narrow corporate cost/benefit analysis that showed the clean up costs of leakage that could have been stopped to be less than the present value of the well if it could be salvaged.

Warren Mosler
www.moslerforsenate.com
www.moslereconomics.com

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

that confirms your hypothesis.

VENICE, La. — As Louisiana state and local officials continue to hammer BP and the federal agencies responding to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, repeatedly threatening to “take matters into our own hands” if the response falls short, BP said Monday morning that it was further delaying its next attempt to shut off the leak.

The oil company has been planning to attempt a procedure known as a top kill, in which heavy fluid would be pumped into the well. Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for exploration and production, said in an interview on NBC on Monday morning that the top kill would be attempted Wednesday morning. BP had previously said it hoped to execute the procedure on Tuesday.

But really, is this such a stretch, that a corporation would act to defend its profits before "doing the right thing?" What do people think corporations are about?

A corporation is like a two-year-old child. It can eventually become a functioning member of society, or it can become a sociopath. Much depends on how the child is parented and whether the rules of behavior are clearly laid down AND enforced.

Anyone who thinks a two-year-old child can self-parent, or a corporation can self-regulate, is being extremely unrealistic. But yet, this is the free-market philosophy we are all supposed to believe. And too few people are connecting the dots between lack of proper regulation and environmental disasters like these.

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

Piling rocks or sand on top of the wellhead is unlikely to work. The oil/gas mixture is coming out with tremendous pressure and will scatter anything dropped on top of it. Also, your rocks from the barges are not going to come down from the surface in a nice neat pile, they're going to spread out on the way down. Consider trying to stop a garden hose on the bottom of a pool by dumping aquarium gravel from the surface one cup at a time.

There was a report yesterday that oil/gas was escaping from outside of the well casing and the wellhead was now sitting in a crater with oil and hydrate snow everywhere. Speculation for the failure: broken annulus at 300' below ground level. This would at least greatly complicate the "top-kill" procedure being planned.

Here

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

I don't know why but to look at them -- the WH & Congress -- they are very busy running around doing nothing. It looks like stalling and delaying to me.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Quick bucks, lack of foresight and not caring about the impacts of the unregulated greed. That's the problem. Its when the science and technology are influenced more by money and/or power than anything else when problems arise.