China Credit Card Fun: Black Cat, White Cat & My Cat

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Steve Clemons and Li Zhaoxing.jpgIt doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.
— Deng Xiaoping

Li Zhaoxing, pictured to the left, on my new Capitol One credit card is a very cool diplomat. During part of the Cultural Revolution, he worked in China’s Embassy in Kenya and learned Swahili.
Li, who is now a professor at Peking University and Honorable President of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs after having served both as China’s Ambassador to the U.S. and recently as Foreign Minister of China, hopefully will be thrilled to be China’s first ever Foreign Minister depicted on a credit card — or at least I hope so.
I figured that since I have this picture of the two of us in my office, it’s not too much of a leap to think it would be fine with everyone to carry the pic in my wallet — and sort of like Deng Xiaoping said, the credit card thing is, well. . .”my cat”.
I’m going to use this card next time I pay my visa fee at the Consulate.
For those interested, not only does Capital One permit you to put your own image on a credit card, but at this point, does not charge the 3% international transaction fee that most other bank cards impose.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

53 comments on “China Credit Card Fun: Black Cat, White Cat & My Cat

  1. questions says:

    Ummm,
    I believe I highlighted the difference over the “measuring” issue as I termed it. And I believe I provided the link to his work and encouraged people to click and think it through, and I believe I provided my reasoning for differing.
    So, yeah, I guess that’s pretty, ummm, S-L-E-A-Z-Y. Yup. Right.
    But seriously, put up a comment on dailyhurricane and quote me and see what others think. I think the site attracts people who have some technical knowledge. Maybe they will think I’m sleazy, too. For it is sleazy to invite others to disagree!
    As for misrepresenting views — the way to deal with that is to quote yourself, quote my response, highlight the difference, lather, rinse repeat.
    If I’ve so badly misrepresented your views, make it clear. When that has happened in the past, I’ve apologized. I admit the fact that I sometimes conflate what I read. I read a lot, as you’ve criticized me for doing, and sometimes some of the views congeal together into an unappetizing stew that I disagree with en masse.
    So defend yourself. Or don’t bother. Whateveh.

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    You know as well as I do that you cherry picked Cavnar’s comments and positions to buttress your own, discarding key aspects of his comments. You didn’t “disagree” with his contention that the well cap is “closed” because BP does not want an accurate flow rate to be determined. You simply ommitted giving his contention notice in your comments, despite this being one of the key premises of the essay you were supposedly mining information from.
    Yep.
    Sleazy.
    To say nothing of the number of times you purposely misrepresented my arguments on this thread.
    Sleazy.
    S-L-E-A-Z-Y.

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    “sleazy techniques of debate”???? Say what?
    What is sleazy about disagreeing with someone or about suggesting alternatives or asking questions? I’m not much in the way of an authoritarian — either in power or wanting power over others. So, no, I don’t believe everything I read, even what I read by some very smart people.
    I’m quite capable of disagreeing. It’s not sleaze. It’s debate. It’s questioning authority instead of accepting it. Very different.
    I think Cavnar has a lot of stuff right, he seems to know the engineering, he’s put to rest some of the crazier stuff, he and Fishgrease have a good sense of BP’s internal culture, but that doesn’t mean I agree with everything he says.
    And remember, he didn’t even agree with this position at first. He’s slowly come to it and has traced his thinking, and has left space for being wrong about it.
    Sleazy????

    Reply

  4. questions says:

    By the way, the DailyHurricane blog is a pretty small one. You could probably post some questions there about what I’m saying or about what you think and you’d likely get an intelligent answer, especially if you approach them in some way other than how you approached what’s her name’s blog — I’m blanking out on it…..
    Feel free to cross post or copy/paste and see if the people over there think I’m as crazy as you think I am!
    You might even get a response from Cavnar himself, if he reads the comments. since I have no interest in posting elsewhere, I’m not going to bother, but I’d actually be interested.

    Reply

  5. questions says:

    There’s no news in that. Cavnar and Fishgrease seem to be the ones who think that the measurement issue is the big one.
    And they might be right.
    However, I think there are other issues that are more governmental — like the fact that with a mess this big, private entities aren’t likely to pay the full cost. The Valdez mess still hasn’t been fully paid 21 years later. I just googled it.
    I actually wouldn’t be surprised if, when Obama got BP to pony up the escrow money, BP got Obama to pony up a liability limit of some sort. If this is the case, then the measurement issue is really a non-starter.
    I am not really uncomfortable disagreeing with Cavnar (and Fishgrease) as I see things a little differently. And it’s not the end of the world if I’m wrong, either, and it turns out they are right. Note that they are still careful with their surmises, couching them in personal belief, and embedding all of that in a cloud of previous doubt that leaves some wiggle room.
    But thank you for looking up more from a couple of seemingly quite reputable people on the issue. They are far better sources than a lot of other stuff that seems to be out there. Doesn’t mean they are 100% right, though.
    As for the seepage, again, I don’t know. Cavnar seems to think the 2 mile away seep is not part of this, but you found someone who does. And Cavnar has suggested that the nearer seeps are minor (at least I think he was the one who did) and he suggested yesterday that the cap thing seemed to be ok.
    Probably we just don’t know, to be honest. There’s likely a lot we don’t know.
    Fishgrease has pushed the same line as Cavnar (maybe they’re even the same person???) that the BP seems to be hedging a lot on the capture issue. But when this all started the whole left seemed convinced that all BP wanted to do was capture the oil. Others suggested that BP wanted the whole Gulf completely dead so it could become an unregulated oil field. Lots of opinions out there. We may never know all the motives.
    BUT, again, my best guess is that there are some engineers with something of an upper hand for now, there is no chance they would ever pay the 4300 bucks per barrel anyway, and even the minimum end estimate is going to be pretty huge in terms of fines. This just seems more like a non-issue to me. Maybe there’s an environmental law expert out there who would have something to say. It’s not really an engineer’s issue.
    But for now, the cap does seem to be containing the leak, and if the relief bores work quickly (that is, if they hit instead of missing, if there are no hurricanes, if there are no sudden mechanical breakdowns or other mini disasters) then I’ll be happy enough.

    Reply

  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “My current thinking is that the new cap, the stacking cap or whatever it’s called, was at first (as Cavnar notes) intended to be a collection system with 4 points for collecting the oil, sending it to ships for processing. Then, I personally am guessing, some engineering people realized that rather than collect and risk a range of problems with the storm season and whatever else can go wrong, they could try just capping the hole in the bottom of the sea. Hence the sudden switch to “integrity testing””
    Gee, thats a lot of “guessing”, questions. Interesting that you recommend Cavnar’s opinions, yet choose to discard his main premise. But hey, nothing suprises me anymore about your sleazy techniques of debate.
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20172
    BP’s Incentive: To Not Capture All the Oil.
    by Robert L. Cavnar
    Global Research, July 19, 2010
    Email this article to a friend
    Print this article
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    In an interview, Bob Dudley, CEO of BP’s New Gulf Coast Restoration Organization (whatever that is) finally admitted yesterday that their first relief well could be completed far in advance of the mid-August date that they have been insisting on since May, enabled by the Coast Guard and other government officials. We’ve heard the mantra now for months; even as the relief well, spud on Sunday, May 2, has stayed ahead of schedule, BP has steadfastly stuck to the mid-August completion date. In the interview, Dudley said that the well could be ready for the kill attempt by July 20th to 27th, but hedged, though, that storms and seas could delay that date. BP tried walking back his statement this morning, saying,
    “He (Dudley) gave that as the very, very best scenario if everything went absolutely superbly according to plan and there are no interruptions but the expectation is that it will be
    August.”
    Coincidently, July 20th is the date that new British Prime Minister, David Cameron, is scheduled to meet with President Obama. July 27th is the date set for BP to publicly release quarterly financial information.
    BP has every incentive to get this well killed. As you know, I’ve been calling next week Kill Week, and since they are almost there now, only 245 feet from the objective as of yesterday, I still believe that is doable. The mid-August date never made any sense, unless they took a direct hit from a major hurricane, shutting down operations for 10 to 14 days. Right now, short of the low pressure area that will come ashore around Brownsville over the weekend, there is no tropical activity even out in the open Atlantic. Of course, that could always change, as we all know.
    I’ve been resisting calling their delays in getting a better recovery system installed footdragging, but I now believe that’s exactly what they’re doing. As my friend over at Daily Kos, Fishgrease, says, every bit of unmeasured oil that is spilled into the Gulf is later negotiable. The volume estimates from the Flow Rate Technical Group are just that, estimates, and estimates are arguable in court. Flow rates and recovered volume reports are bewildering, coming from BP, the Coast Guard, the Unified Command, and the DOE, sometimes matching and never consistent. Sometimes BP will do a relief well update on their website, sometimes it comes from the Unified Command, sometimes from the Coast Guard in a hastily called press conference. There is no central place for all information, and you have to know how to navigate the sites that do exist. You need a degree in quantum physics to compile the information into anything that is deciferable and its a full time job trying to keep up with all of the numbers. The only source of reliable continuous data is on the DOE Oilspill Data page, but it’s in oilfieldese, so only bewildering to the public. No wonder everyone is so confused. I’m paying attention all day every day, know what I’m looking for, and I get confused.
    While they have every incentive to get the well killed, BP also has every incentive to not capture 100% of the well flow until they do. As soon as they do capture all the flow, then a real, measurable number will be in front of the public, and that’s the last thing BP wants, since that number will then be used to extrapolate environmental damage, hence per barrel fines that will likely run to the tens of billions anyway. What bewilders me is why the government is letting them get away with it. Where is the Coast Guard, Steve Chu, the EPA, and the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management? Where is the White House? Where is the main stream media? Are industry bloggers the only ones who are asking these questions?
    Don’t be surprised if the Helix system and the floating riser systems are not completed by kill date. Also don’t be surprised when the kill attempt happens far in advance of mid-August before the larger system is operational.
    I’ll certainly be watching.

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Top Expert: There Were No Natural Seeps Within 3 Kilometers of Blown Out Well
    University of California Berkeley engineering professor Robert Bea is one of the world’s top experts on oil drilling disasters. Bea is an expert in offshore drilling and a high-level governmental adviser concerning disasters. He is also a member of the Deepwater Horizon Study Group.
    As the Times-Picayune reported yesterday:
    Scientists have discovered four gas “seeps” at or near BP’s blown-out Macondo well since Saturday …
    ***
    Berkeley engineering professor Bob Bea has very little confidence in what

    Reply

  8. questions says:

    Anyone paying any attention to the latest Breitbart dust up? I think the left has had it wrong when they use the charge of “McCarthyism” against anyone save this guy. He targets individuals and ruins their lives. Shirley Sherrod is the newest victim of an edited video tape, a job loss, and a CYA attitude by the Obama admin.
    Shame on Vilsack and the whole admin for this one.
    Please don’t learn from Clinton’s BS Sistah Souljah moments. For indeed, BS it is.

    Reply

  9. questions says:

    http://dailyhurricane.com/2010/07/bob-on-msnbc-countdown-july-19-2010.html
    A very very intelligent interview — Bob Cavnar meets MSNBC Olbermann substitute.
    According to Cavnar (of the Daily Hurricane linked to above):
    The measurement issue is significant (I personally am not there with him on this one)
    Corporate interests regarding share prices drive BP — no surprise, but I think there’s more going on here as well, it’s too easy a read, and remember, there are well documented tensions between the engineers and field people at BP and the MBA-types. And the other companies involved in the dispute are going to be cat-fighting for quite some time. It’s too simple to say “share prices.”
    The seepage 2 miles away is unrelated to the major leak and is indeed “natural”, but there is some nearby seepage that might be related as there is a path for the oil to move there, and fluids do need paths of least resistance to travel, apparently.
    Thad Allen seems far more assertive and able now than he was –he’s not an oil guy. I think we should note that anyone we hire for any complex gov’t job will have some of the skills and not all of the skills needed. You can get an oil guy who can’t run a press conference, you can get a flak who knows nothing and doesn’t learn, but man is s/he telegenic, and so on. Looks like Allen can run a press conference and can learn the industry information quickly.
    There is some concern about wider damage, but Cavnar wasn’t in any kind of panic about it.
    Collecting the oil would make the most sense for minimizing risk according to Cavnar, BUT Cavnar says nothing about the hurricane season, which I think is actually pretty significant as ships have to leave and things have to be disconnected during major storms
    My current thinking is that the new cap, the stacking cap or whatever it’s called, was at first (as Cavnar notes) intended to be a collection system with 4 points for collecting the oil, sending it to ships for processing. Then, I personally am guessing, some engineering people realized that rather than collect and risk a range of problems with the storm season and whatever else can go wrong, they could try just capping the hole in the bottom of the sea. Hence the sudden switch to “integrity testing”.
    So far, much less oil is seeping than was spewing, and so the engineering hope is to keep the thing capped.
    The MBA people jumped with gusto on to this version of things because it probably does help the share prices. And maybe there is some room for the barrel counting reading as well.
    But I would guess the real driver here is that some engineer/s figured that capping would work long enough and well enough to get the relief bores in place, without the risks that the storm season brings. Or at least, they thought it was worth the risk of “testing”.
    So now they continue with the relief bores, they watch the pressure readings which are still increasing as of this interview last night, and they keep an eye on related seepage and with a fin and a prayer and a whole lot of ROVs on the bottom of the sea, they do what’s called “watchful waiting”.
    Cavnar has some concerns, but seems to feel better about things than he did previously. He’s still concerned about the one part that seems not to be rated for the pressure load, though. I don’t know much about it, but there was a back and forth between Fishgrease and another poster on kos regarding that part and just what the pressure rating means. Both parties seem to have oil backgrounds, so they might both be right at some level.
    At any rate, the interview is well worth watching, there is much that seems sane rather than CT-esque. There’s no cursing. There’s a reasonable attempt to figure out the incentive structure, though I tend to think this measuring issue is much lower level.
    Caveat — I’m not an industry insider, so who knows……
    Watch the vid. and bookmark the site. Cavnar seems to be pretty on top of things, even if I have some differences of opinion with him.

    Reply

  10. nadine says:

    questions, agreed that bp has no motive not to fix the spill as fast as possible. But if they basically believed that nothing would fix the problem short of the relief well, the capping may be more of a very temporary fix, or even a pr move to stall for time.

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    No one is debating the existence of natural seepage. Anyone that spent any amount of time on the beaches of Southern California knows damned good and well that tarballs are far from rare, and have ALWAYS been present, particularly on the beaches of Ventura and Santa Barbara. In fact, the Chumash ceremonial bowls were often coated with tar, with shells and beads pressed into it decoratively.
    It is the seepages in the vicinity of this blown well that are of issue. But keep throwing straw, questions, it seems to be one of your favorite strategies. You musta learned it in a book. Was it “The Fine Art of being the Perfect Asshole” by I.M.Asweldhed?

    Reply

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    Reply

  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And terrible things will happen with the cap closed”
    Like I said, you supercilious ass, I have made NO predictions about “terrible things” that “will happen with the cap closed”. I have commented on existing and known seepages. I have not predicted explosions, nor have I predicted that the seepages will worsen. So you can take your disingenuous musings about conspiracy theories, and your despicable habit of misrepresenting my arguments, and shove ’em where the sun don’t shine. That is, if theres still room in there, considering the prior entry of your grossly inflated head.

    Reply

  14. questions says:

    Two links worth spending some time with…
    http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/07/professor_low_pressure_reading.html
    This one suggests that the lower pressure reading might actually not be problematic.
    http://dailyhurricane.com/
    And this is a blog that was linked to from a HuffPo piece that was linked to by Fishgrease in the July 15 post….
    There is much debate about BP motives –do they just want to make sure that no one measures anything as the price per barrel for the fine is 4300 dollars — and there are certainly a lot of barrels
    Do they want the government to force them to re-open the current cap so that all the remaining spill is the government’s fault and that reduces BP’s fine
    Are they playing stock value games
    Or none of the above
    Also something somewhere in there about fluid dynamics and the fact that fluid isn’t going to travel several miles through rock if there’s an easier way out, so leaks are more likely to be related if they are very close (or something like that…I’m over my paygrade here.)
    There is a trashing of “Simmons” who has some catastrophic theory of some sort
    The comments and the blog posts are worth reading.
    There seems to be some rationality, some speculation that is marked as such
    Some info about the part that didn’t explode though it was supposed to
    Some discussion of BP’s playing Thad Allen, or vice versa
    Some read of the preference for a “tight” hold on any information and a sense that it’s unclear if the gov’t is getting everything or not
    At any rate, it’s worth a few clicks…..
    Also, there’s some paper out there from the 70s that suggests that oil seepage really is normal and oil has been washing up on shore for far longer than we’ve been drilling for it. Tar balls have been around….. But then, the research was done in conjunction with a whole bunch of oil companies. So who knows! If there’s a petroleum engineer reading this, please respond!

    Reply

  15. questions says:

    If BP is leaving the cap closed and the closed nature of the cap is causing seeping and leaking and further damage to whatever well-related stuff is still intact under the sea, all to cover up something, then BP, in your reading, is working to make things worse for itself.
    If all you’re saying is that BP is denying responsibility for something it might actually be responsible for, then fine. That has nothing to do with the cap, has a lot to do with how you behave when you’re on the verge of being sued. Makes sense to me. Has nothing to do with the cap.
    The issue, it seems to me, is that you seem to claim that they are leaving the cap closed as a way of keeping something secret. And terrible things will happen with the cap closed.
    This part makes no sense to me at all. And it’s one of the things that “the brilliant Fishgrease” isn’t so sure of, actually.
    One suggestion people have made is that BP gets nailed per unit of oil spilled so they don’t want anyone to know how many gallons have actually leaked. I already gave an opinion on this one — it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because there’s no way they are going to be liable for x dollars per gallon or barrel spilled. It’s too massive a mess for that kind of punishment and everything will be negotiated down, in my sense of things at any rate.
    What makes more sense is that there are 2 corporate cultures, the MBAs and the PhDs and they are fighting, and the sheer lack of certainty among the engineers makes clear action impossible. So they are muddling along on a wing and a prayer (or a fin and a prayer, I guess.) And EVEYone wants the damned leak stopped as soon as possible.

    Reply

  16. questions says:

    I think this was the most recent post in which “the brilliant Fishgrease” has started wondering but is also not sure if s/he should be wondering.
    There hasn’t been anything since, and this explosion by the way is from a part, not from the sea floor. There have been internet postings popping up about the sea floor’s going “boom” and that “the brilliant Fishgrease” hasn’t though plausible.
    In general, “the brilliant Fishgrease” has seemed knowledgeable, has been picked up by MSNBC and so has managed to survive some level of fact checking, and doesn’t seem to me at any rate to be a total whacko passing off CTs.
    Some of what FG has predicted has indeed turned out to be accurate, and so I generally trust the postings. On this one, there s/he seemed to be unsure in places about what BP’s motivation could be.
    There was quite a debate in the comments about this part and what the ratings mean, by the way. Whether or not there is tolerance built in, so the stated max isn’t the actual maximum and so on.
    Fg’s biggest complaint is that it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to stop the relief drilling for even a few days to “test” this cap. On that, I have no opinion.
    And as for “seemingly brilliant” that’s probably a little strong. “Seemingly an industry insider who seemingly knows something more about the field than, say, I or POA” –that, I’d go for.
    If I find seemingly reasonable readings that challenge what I think at this point, I will be happy to update my views. “Seemingly reasonable” does not generally include anything that POA posts.

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Do you see anywhere that I predict or assert that BP is taking actions to “make things worse”? No.
    What I AM asserting is that they may take actions To conceal how bad things are. In fact, we already KNOW that they HAVE sought to conceal the gravity of what has occurred, don’t we? Case in point, their early assertions on the volume of oil being “spilled”.
    BP is already claiming the seepage is unrelated to the well. Are you really such a gullible ass that you are willing to take them at their word, and give them the benefit of the doubt? Or are you just some obtuse internet jackass that engages in an astronomical degree of argumentative mental masturbation just to stroke your own inflated estimation of your power of intellect. Tell the truth, questions, have you ever NOT been in an academic setting?

    Reply

  18. Don Bacon says:

    The brilliant Fishgrease predicted an explosion.
    “We later received information that the Oil States FlexJoint actually in place is a Model 5, and therefore has a MWP (maximum working pressure) of 5000 psi. So now, the pressures Our Government has signed off on applying, are at least 2,000 psi differential pressure over the rating of the component! . . .When you’re pressuring up against metal with hydrocarbons, the “maximum” in “maximum working pressure” fucking means MAXIMUM. Purposefully exceeding MWP is, in fact, criminally actionable. MWP is enforced in the Oil & Gas industry with perfect vigor. There is no tolerance for exceeding MWP. None. Never. Ever. You. Don’t. Fucking. Do. It.” –Dkos, July 15

    Reply

  19. questions says:

    Not that you care, but the person who posts under the name “Fishgrease” at kos seems to have a decent sense of the industry and some insider status of some sort. That is, s/he appears to know what s/he is talking about, from booming to berms, from blowouts to BP insider culture.
    “May well be” is not the same as certitude. Just note that.
    Seafloor cracks might be a little extreme.
    You probably know less than you think you do.
    The issue isn’t BP’s denial of liability, the point is that BP has absolutely no reason to want to make anything any worse than it is, so they are not likely to take action that would deliberately lead to a worsening. In fact, what they would most like right now is for this new cap to work, work well, and keep the oil under the sea until the relief bores connect and the whole damned thing is sealed off.
    They do not want more damage, more liability, more hits to their stock prices.
    So, indeed, they have no reason to leave the cap on if it’s making things worse. Not at this point.
    I bring up CT with you because it seems to dominate your world view. Everything is captured by some kind of overarching interest, everyone who fails to see what you do is either hasbara or some other kind of nefarious presence on the web designed to increase the power of your sworn enemies…..
    Again, BP has no reason to make things worse, so they aren’t likely to be demanding that the cap stay in place if leaving the cap causes more problems.
    And BP isn’t likely to want the sea floor to crack open, as that, too, would be traced right back to them.
    So my guess is that they are hoping things will work, they are monitoring the pressure readings, and they are drilling the relief bores.
    And they might be hiring a lot a lot of scientists to help with their new found legal troubles…..

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I have no idea who “Fishgrease” is, nor do I give a shit.
    And why do you insist on this CT crap? It is YOU that is raising the specter, disingenuously, of an “explosion” or “blow-up” in your responses to my comments. I have made no such claims or predictions. I have raised the issue of known seepages in the seafloor that may well be a result of a compromised well casing, or fractures in the seafloor caused by the INITIAL explosion. And if you think it is not in BP’s best interests to deny that the malfeasance that led up to the initial explosion is not causitive factor to these seepages, you’re out of your unusually obtuse and delusional mind.

    Reply

  21. questions says:

    Ok, so tell me, if the sea floor blows up or whatever (which, by the way Fishgrease says isn’t a threat), then what’s the result for BP?
    The point, really, is what is BP trying to get away with? If they leave the cap in place and there’s some seepage, is that seepage less than there would be with the cap open?
    At some point, CTers were arguing that all BP wanted was to collect as much oil as possible and not “waste” any. But now the theory is that BP wants to leave the well capped so as to avoid collecting an oil.
    So do they want to collect? Not collect?
    Do they want the sea floor to rupture or whatever the apocalyptic reading is?
    Do they want more damage to the guts of this well so that the relief bore is LESS likely to succeed?
    What is the motive? What do they want? What can they hope to get away with?
    If you’re going to give in to the CT tendency, you have to justify the CT.
    Not even Fishgrease can quite figure out what the point of all of this might be. Maybe there actually is hope that the cap is working better than the non-cap. Maybe?
    And, from what I’ve read, what actually happened regarding the original set of problems that led to the blow out in the first place is a battle between the corporate MBA people and the engineers and platform workers and drillers. The MBA people push the risk envelope, the rest of them would rather not. But then it’s YOUR job on the line, and many people in that situation go along with it and hope for the best. Up to this point, the MBAs sadly had the right strategy as they made lots of money and had no major blow outs — up til the Macondo.
    There’s more suggestion of seepage and leaking from the top of the well coming out. The AP has the story for now. I would guess that eventually the cap valves will be re-opened and siphons will be attached, barring hurricanes which are kind of a nuisance this time of year.

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Monday, July 19, 2010
    BP Moves the Goalpost for the Oil Well Integrity Test
    I noted on July 15th:
    As Coast Guard admiral Thad Allen has explained, sustained pressure readings above 8,000 pounds per square inch (psi) would show that the wellbore is more or less intact, while pressures of 6,000 psi or less would mean there could be major problems:
    We are looking for somewhere between 8,000 and 9,000 PSI inside the capping stack, which would indicate to us that the hydrocarbons are being forced up and the wellbores are being able to withstand that pressure. And that is good news.
    If we are down around in the 4,000 to 5,000, 6,000 range that could potentially tell us that the hydrocarbons are being diverted someplace else, and we would have to try and assess the implications of that. And as you might imagine, there are gradations as you go up from 4,000 or 5,000 PSI up to 8,000 or 9,000.

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yep, here I am advocating that “the military should be in charge of the energy sector”, advocating for a more “powerful military”, and warning that there will be “some new massive explosion of methane, oil and hydrates some miles from the current spot”.
    Yep, thats what I said, questions.
    Uh huh.
    Right.
    And if irreversable damage has been caused to the sea floor, causing an unstemmable and steady flow of oil into the gulf, do you suppose the ramifications for BP might be considerably more costly than if they can con the American people into believing the seepage is unrelated and natural? And its official now, that is EXACTLY what these lying pieces of shit are saying. Now comes the process of slowly breaking it to the American public that these “natural” seepages are far more extensive than how they are being presented to us today.
    But worry not, folks, its all as natural as childbirth and sunrises. Questions read it in a book somewhere.
    “Develop the patience of an engineer. It’s something to watch these people at work”
    Hmmm, would that be the same “patience” the BP engineers employed in putting a well with KNOWN defects online because the daily costs of mitigating risk were too high?
    File this in your library, jackass; It is the IMPATIENCE that “engineered” this disaster.

    Reply

  24. questions says:

    By the way, I haven’t “bought” into anything at all. I am merely reserving judgment as I do not have a PhD in petroleum engineering…..
    And I have noted that much press has had many half-truths and untruths regarding the spill, from the Jones Act through the skimmers.
    The reporting has been uneven in quality and I kind of think it’s better to reserve judgment instead of exploding.
    Especially when exploding doesn’t really solve anything.
    Develop the patience of an engineer. It’s something to watch these people at work.

    Reply

  25. questions says:

    I am so confused.
    So there was no seepage until the newest cap was put on?
    Or there was seepage, so that has nothing to do with the newest cap?
    They can open the valves of the current cap and let the oil escape, capture what they can of it and let the rest do what it does.
    And how is this different from the other seepage?
    I really am confused by your various lines of CT.
    Fishgrease, the guy from kos has thought that BP is basically trying to stop the oil, that BP doesn’t really want the leak, and with the most recent cap s/he is wondering if there is maybe something on the less up and up side. But Fishgrease isn’t convinced, and Fishgrease does seem to have a better handle on the subject than you do.
    I am simply not given over to conspiracy theory, but I am given over to structural arguments, incentivized behavior, and certain kinds of logic.
    So if I can see a really really good reason for BP to lie AND a way for the lie never to be detected (which is part of lie-telling after all), then I am more willing to believe that there is some lying going on.
    My best guess at this point is that liability will be limited by one of the following: bankruptcy or deal-making. I don’t think covering up the precise number of gallons of oil is going to make any material difference in the settlement that comes out of all of this.
    Sometimes disasters are a little too big to be settled by the gallon, and this would seem to be one.
    So if I’m right that the settlement isn’t going to be decided by the precise number of gallons, and if what I’ve read is right that there are reasonable ranges of guesstimates of the amount of oil lost such that liability will likely bankrupt BP or push them towards some kind of corporate spin-off and bankruptcy, then the CT reading loses a lot of force.
    Further, there are several companies involved in the platform and well failure and they’re all going to go after each other in court. Enough info will come out that I have no fear that money will change hands.
    Again, though, the real issues at this point are stopping the oil from the kill bore and figuring out how to price risk such that we’re a little more careful with our drilling habits.
    Once oil is priced with significantly fewer externalities, it will be a lot more expensive for, say, drivers of trucks to continue to drive their trucks.
    I think we should be buying bicycles.

    Reply

  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Opening the valves on the cap may indeed lessen the seepage, which would indicate that the well casing is blown, and the seepage is directly cause by the blown well casing. Further, there is no gurantee that a relief well can stem the seepage. Therein lies BP’s motive for ignoring areas of seepage, and refusing to comply with the Federal Government’s requests that valves be opened and, if logic is employed, oil recovery lines once more be put in place. Like you, BP will obviously attempt to con the public into buying into this particular seepage being a “natural” occurrence, that it is not responsible for, in a causitive respect, and as far as fiscal responsibility. Yep, its just a “coincidence” that methane levels are rising, and seepages are being found.
    I imagine the future arguments offered in BP’s defense, by an army of sleazy high dollar lawyers, will be along the same lines as the odorous bag of shit you are peddling here today.
    And who said anything about “some new massive explosion of methane, oil and hydrates some miles from the current spot”???? I have commented on KNOWN seepages, NOT the straw line of pure unadulterated BULLSHIT that you are using to attempt to throw my argument into the “conspiracy theory” bin.
    You really are a disingenuous little schmuck with your basketful of straw, aren’t you?

    Reply

  27. questions says:

    Argh.
    First, I do not love corporate capitalism. Second, I am sure that BP has a significant amount of CYA behavior. It’s in the nature of corporations to do this. I have never suggested BP is a model corporate citizen. Rather, they are a fairly normal corporate association responding fairly normally to the incentives in their environment.
    At the same time, I am assuming that the engineers want the leak stopped, that they are doing their best with the technology available, that the federal government doesn’t have aces up its sleeves. I am assuming that Obama doesn’t have a miracle cure for the spill. I am assuming that the extra monitoring you think is so crucial wouldn’t add a damned thing to anything.
    I am assuming that the real immediate cure for the hole in the bottom of the sea is the relief bores. I assume that they should be successful by Christmas at the latest (since that’s the longest time span I’ve seen.)
    I assume that BP would like to avoid maxing out on payments. They might be trying to hide the amount of oil leaked, but then maybe the government already has some data about the amount that hasn’t been, umm, leaked, yet.
    The fact is that command and control don’t make the relief bores go faster.
    Cameras don’t make the relief bores go faster.
    Various caps don’t make the relief bores go faster.
    If the current cap thing cuts down somewhat on the amount of oil coming up, that’s probably good. If we get leaking elsewhere, but it’s less than what was coming up from the camera-covered leak that’s still something.
    Fact is, though, the universe is waiting for the very very inexact science of drilling relief bores.
    Obama can’t change it.
    BP can’t change it.
    Cursing and being rectally obsessed aren’t going to change it.
    James Cameron and A Whale can’t do anything about it, nor can Kevin Costner.
    Going forward, we need to rethink our driving and burning habits, our living habits, our cost/benefit and risk calculations and so on.
    But go ahead and explode because that’s what you do best.
    And by the way, if the all-knowing all-seeing malevolent BP knows that the current cap is going to cause some new massive explosion of methane, oil and hydrates some miles from the current spot, what’s in it for them to shut off the flow for a few days now only to have it pop up again further down the coast?
    Can you even begin to figure a logic to that? Seriously, if they put the current cap on only to look better while knowing deep in their malevolent souls that thar’s some oil over there blowin’ away, what does that get them?
    Near as I can tell, absolutely nothing. Which means that it would be totally dumbfuck to plug the leak while knowing that it’ll worsen elsewhere and soon we’ll know about that leak.
    If the ocean dies from Corexit, we’ll know. So again, the cover up angle makes less sense than the CT-ers would seem to think.
    I can see that there’s a deep craving to MANAGE the image issues, but there are such limits on this managing that it stops making any sense at all at some point.
    What everyone really wants is for the relief bores to connect the first time — this is never guaranteed.

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “BP has now applied an unprecedented almost one-million-and-counting gallons of chemical dispersants, some sprayed by the US Air Force from two C-130 Hercules cargo planes that can fly three missions a day, and cover up to 250 acres per flight”
    http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15609
    So, I guess the military’s involvement is A-OK as long as it assists BP in containing the NARRATIVE and IMAGERY that the public is ALLOWED to assimilate, eh, questions??? The only thing we know FOR SURE about the use of Corexit is that it breaks the oil down into a less visable presence. So our military is used to spray Corexit, but not to monitor the situation on the seafloor?
    That makes sense to you, doesn’t it? Must be the kind of logic you found in a book you read while seeing how far you could stick your head up your….oh, never mind.

    Reply

  29. questions says:

    And what if the government already has access to BP’s cameras? And what if the live feed is, I don’t know, maybe authentic? And so what if we already know what there is to know, and what can be done is actually being done?
    Is it possible?
    In your mind, probably not…..
    Some of what is being used already, by the way:
    “”It’s the most fun job in the world,” said Jeffrey Harris of Oceaneering International Inc. ( OII – news – people ), which is providing about 14 robots to work on the Gulf spill. The joysticks resemble the ones used in fighter jets and, he joked, they’re “a little more sophisticated than your Gameboy.”
    The most popular remotely operated vehicle – or ROV – being used in the project is the Millennium, an 11.5-foot-long, 8,000-pound, rectangular, foam-topped device with human-like arms that has the added benefit of wrists that can rotate continuously like a drill.
    “It’s like a construction worker,” Harris said. “But it’s got a lot more whistles and bells than a construction worker.”
    The devices using fiber optic technology are what allow the oil industry to drill and remove oil and natural gas from thousands of feet under the water. While a human cannot work in underwater pressures of more than 1,000 feet, these robots have been able to operate in depths of up to 18,000 feet – and for unlimited time, as long as parts don’t fail.
    Robots have been part of offshore drilling since the 1980s, said Andrew Bowen, director of the National Deep Submergence Facility at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The technology was first developed by the U.S. Department of Defense to examine downed Soviet submarines.
    Since then, the technology has advanced greatly, with the ROVs moving from relatively simple, basketball-shaped devices to the massive boxes of today.
    But in 30 years in the industry, Bowen said, he’s never seen them used quite like this.
    They’re helping to hook up fluid connectors, hoses and plumbing; install newly developed oil recovery systems; and build the relief wells that are considered the best hope of stopping the gusher.
    Bowen and other scientists also have submersibles monitoring oil flow, gathering data on the ecosystem and sea life and surveying the underwater plume of dispersed oil.
    The challenge now is getting the robots to perform new tasks in real time, without the benefit of prior testing or tweaking.
    Said Bowen: “It is going to require a range of new techniques and technologies developed and tested and put into service so we are far better prepared to respond in the case, heaven forbid, where we are confronted again with a situation like this.”
    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/06/24/general-energy-us-gulf-oil-spill-robots_7719147.html
    ********
    Engineers have noted that a)there is no perfect engineering fix the first time through b)these gizmos are being used for things they’re not quite designed for c)the people who make the ROVs are thrilled!
    **********
    “Most of the robots or remotely operated vehicles used to combat the leak were manufactured in Morgan City by Oceaneering, which has built about half of the 500 ROVs in use worldwide, said Mark Campbell, the company’s manufacturing manager.”
    http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/07/undersea_robots_are_heroes_of.html
    *****
    This is a human interest story regarding the ROVs. Note that line “half the 500 ROVs in use worldwide.”
    There actually aren’t a lot of these gizmos around, apparently. Kind of interesting.
    I came across something about James Cameron (Avatar fame) — he thinks he can be of use because he’s taken cameras down low. Of course, there already are cameras down low.
    And there’s Kevin Costner with the oil skimming tech. And there’s A Whale that didn’t work….
    A lot of people have glommed onto this mess. I wouldn’t necessarily trust all the claims of definitive solution out there.
    It’s actually enormously complex, both physically and socio-politically.

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oil spill media blackout UPDATE for Tampa, Florida: Gulf oil spill sea floor leak now confirmed
    July 19, 12:57 PM
    BP has confirmed that there is an oil leak on the sea floor several miles away from the Deepwater Horizon’s damaged blowout preventer. The undisclosed specific location of the sub- sea leak is reported to be billowing oil and deadly methane gas.
    While the live BP video feed has been focused on the BOP, some oil industry experts have suggested that the leak being reported today has been played down, despite a report from Florida Senator Bill Nelson last month. (See video below)
    The third oil leak, which was admitted to by BP shorty after the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20,1020, may now be emerging from behind what many believe has been an oil spill media blackout.
    On May 5, 2010 BP confirmed that one of three initial leaks had been plugged. The second leak is the one millions of people have been watching through the BP live video feed. However, the third leak has been virtually ignored.
    In the early stages of the 90 day-old disaster, oil industry expert Matt Simmons told NBC News that a major area of seepage was coming from an area about 7 miles from the well. Simmons called it the

    Reply

  31. PissedOffAmerican says:

    From the Los Angeles Times….
    “Worried about a substance seeping near BP’s sealed oil well, the federal government demanded late Sunday that the company intensely monitor the seabed and be prepared to reopen the well immediately if new oil leaks spring up around the wellhead”
    Ah yes, just as questions alleged, the situation is being “monitored”. By BP. At Allen’s request.
    Comforting, eh?
    “Be prepared”, eh?
    Well, whether they are “prepared” or not, they’ve pretty much made it clear to Allen that he can fuck off, and they will open some valves when they are damned good and ready, if at all, and they could care less about what the United States Government tells them to do. But don’t worry, by golly, whether they give a fuck what Allen tells them to do or not, at least we’ve asked them to “intensely” monitor the seabed. And you can bet they are doing just that. Their attorneys undoubtedly need to know EXACTLY what is occurring, whether we get the truth or not.

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The Triton XL ROV
    Sonsubs Triton XL ROV is one of the new generation of remotely-operated vehicles designed for work in the deep ocean. The Triton is about the size of an small automobile, being 10 feet (3.1m) long, 6 feet (1.5m) wide, and 5 feet (1.8m) tall. It is designed to operate at depths of up to 8,200 feet (2,500m), depending on the specific equipment installed on board.
    http://www.pastfoundation.org/DeepWrecks/TritonXL.htm
    “If you really want the military to be in charge of the energy sector, write up a post about it. Steve might be pretty interested in putting it on the front page, right up there with Dan’s desire to make Israel the 51st state, seriously and really”
    Questions, only some straw spitting asshole like you could conflate my comments so disingenuously. Fuck off.
    So, a little research reveals that there are a MULTITUDE of ROVs capable of operating at the depths the BP ROVs are operating at. And these technologically current ROVs are owned and operated by a multitude of governmental, academic, and private entities. So where are the ROVs being operated by the Federal Government, directly, or by subcontractors, to monitor BP’s clkaims about what is happening on the ocean floor in the immediate vicinity, and distant from, the BP well?
    Note how questions offers some distracting horseshit about the USN’s inability to effectively handle the actual repair of this situation, when the real issue I raised is NOT the ability to REPAIR the situation, but the neccesity to MONITOR the situation. BP has already proven, irrefutably, that they cannot be trusted to accurately and honestly chronical events and situational reality. Point of fact, they already admitted there was no well casing integrity during their effort to plug the leak with concrete. Further, at the initial onset of this disaster, there were TWO leaks described in press releases. Its convenient for BP that one of these leaks seems to have miraculously mended itself, is it not? Its hard to believe we could be fed SO MUCH bullshit by BP without the willing complicity of Obama, Salazar, and Allen. What are these pieces of shit so afraid of, why can BP so consistently ignore their directives, and do they all think that JohnQ public is a bunch of fuckin’ idiots? Isn’t it about time someone stood before us and gave us a believable account of what is occurring in the Gulf?
    “If you really want the military to be in charge of the energy sector, write up a post about it. Steve might be pretty interested in putting it on the front page, right up there with Dan’s desire to make Israel the 51st state, seriously and really”
    Questions, only some straw spitting asshole like yourself could conflate my comments so disingenuously. Go screw yourself.

    Reply

  33. questions says:

    By the way, the Chinese leadership is so fuckin’ authoritarian that they have limited the number of children people are legitimately allowed to have, they have drowned out huge numbers of human habitats to make way for a vast and seismically risky dam, they have encouraged some hideous pollution and labor conditions and all sorts of things we probably don’t want to mimic.
    I’m sure that others could add to the list….
    Why in heaven’s name would you want any part of that? And why would you want the military to have any more power/ability than it already has here?

    Reply

  34. questions says:

    POA, no, actually that’s not my argument at all.
    The private sector would seem to have the needed technology.
    The public sector would seem not to have the technology.
    You don’t just “launch” such an effort for a singular (thus far) disaster.
    The equipment already exists. Duplicating it is a little ridiculous.
    What Obama cannot do is suddenly get a B.S. in some related engineering field, and M.S. in another and write up a quickie diss. for his doctorate so that he can, voila, be a petroleum engineer and dive into the deepwaters, camera first, and plug the damned hole.
    Note that I manufactured nothing here, I copy/pasted from some regular new sources (not even from nutwing blogs!).
    The situation is being monitored. There have been enormous technological difficulties, which may or may not have been overcome.
    “A seep

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So its questions argument that the ROV technology to MONITOR the situation on the seafloor doesn’t exist outside of the private sector, therefore Obama is unqualified, and incapable of launching such an effort?
    Bullshit, questions. Is there no end to your relentless manufacture of pure unadulterated crap?

    Reply

  36. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I wonder, is the Chinese leadership so fuckin’ daft and malfeasant that they allow their military to be technologically inferior to their business and manufacturing entities?
    What have we gotten for our obscene contributions to the military complex??? BP has developed more advanced technologies with less investment??? Our legions of submariners must be thrilled. Perhaps when the next USN sub goes down in deep water, we can call in BP for an assist with rescue and recovery, eh?

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And now these fuckers at BP are beginning to worm together a story that the seep is unrelated to their well. And our President, being the good little “non-technical” leader “questions” wants him to be, hasn’t the “expertise” to counter such obvious horseshit. Never mind that the reason for the failure of this cap to maintain pressure is as simple as understanding why you can’t pump up a bicycle tire that has a gaping hole in it, and if you apply too much air pressure the hole will only get larger.
    And if our navy does not have ROV capability that will operate at these depths, (which is an argument that hardly seems plausible), why aren’t we seeking a neutral provider for this technology, so we can monitor the veracity of the BP claims as to what is happening on the sea floor?
    Not in question’s world. The unknown knowns and known unknowns and bottomless pit of obsfucating rectal discharge knows no limit as it rolls off his unfortunate keyboard. He should write a book; “The Art Of Well Read Cluelessness”.

    Reply

  38. questions says:

    “BP knows more about oil than the Navy does. The military has lots of equipment, but it is oriented toward combat, not clean-ups. The US Army and Navy have little in the way of specialized knowledge that would add anything to the fight to stop the spill, said the nation

    Reply

  39. questions says:

    Does the Navy have the equipment to go down that deep? I was under the impression that they don’t actually. But I could be wrong.
    And honestly, you have to figure out the boundaries between government and industry. We don’t actually have this down at this point. Much is in dispute, especially with the bailouts and the auto industry support and health care and so on.
    Rushing headlong into BP’s territory on top of all the other interventions in the market may actually have been a bad move in the current political climate.
    As for the Kristol family, not exactly my end of the political spectrum, but then you either already know that or you’re so incredibly obtuse it’s practically something to refudiate!

    Reply

  40. questions says:

    Thanks, Dan. That makes some sense, then.
    Obama isn’t an engineer at all, though, so, again, his “directing operations” makes no sense at all.
    I suppose we could see if we could ever get an engineer as president.
    Maybe Steven Chu is eligible? Of course, he’s not a petroleum engineer, and these specialties are pretty specialized near as I can tell.

    Reply

  41. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Nobody is asking this mealymouse Obama to “direct” the technological aspects of this disaster response. But relying on BP’s ROVs, techies, and PR managers to to give us an aqccurate and honest appraisal is malfeasant at best, and more likely complicitly deceptive. Why don’t we have US Navy ROV’s down there giving us a picture of what is occurring on the Ocean bottom? Why is BP still allowed to refuse to respond and act on the demands of the Federal Government? Where are these studies of Corexit and its effect on the environment that were promised months ago? The list of areas that Obama has dropped the ball on this is as bottomless as your bullshit is.
    And stop with the straw, you equivicating indecisive obsfucating coward. Get back under your library desk where you seem to thrive, for the real world suffers for fools like you. Go join a think tank, you’d fit right in. I understand Kristol is looking for few accomplished assholes for his new “Emergency Committee”. You’re perfect for the job.

    Reply

  42. rc says:

    Lack of credible alternatives make it even harder to see what can be done. You think Clinton is next? Who else is there? Hope you’ve got your chute on ’cause it’s looking like double-dip time coming up! … especially in the UK where 1/7th of all dividends are paid by this company (see below). Buddy, can you spare a dime?

    “The British Prime Minister David Cameron is to meet President Obama in Washington on Tuesday, and BP – formerly British Petroleum – is expected to be a key topic of discussion.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10682402)
    “On 16 June, the cost of buying financial protection for one year against a possible debt default by BP reached a staggering 10%.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10520619)
    “BP plc is a global energy company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the third largest energy company and the fourth largest company in the world. The name “BP” derives from the initials of one of the company’s former legal names, British Petroleum. A multinational oil company (“oil major”), BP is the United Kingdom’s largest corporation, with its head office in St James’s, City of Westminster, London. BP America’s headquarters is in the One Westlake Park in the Houston Energy Corridor, Texas. The company is among the largest private sector energy corporations in the world and is one of the six “supermajors” (vertically integrated private sector oil exploration, natural gas, and petroleum product marketing companies). The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.”
    and
    “After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill BP’s stock fell by 52% in 50 days on the New York Stock Exchange, going from $60.57 on 20 April 2010, to $29.20 on 9 June, its lowest level since August 1996. Around 40% of BP shares are held by UK shareholders, and 39% in the USA. BP’s UK dividends represent approximately one-seventh of all dividend payments in the UK and form the basis of many pension schemes.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP)
    [you’d be crazy to hold BP’s (British Pounds) today !!! … hence the visit no doubt]

    Reply

  43. Dan Kervick says:

    From the Wikipedia article on Wen Jiabao:
    “Premier Wen Jiabao’s popularity was boosted significantly when he went to the disaster area of the Sichuan a mere few hours after the disaster occurred. He declared on national television that survivors are to be rescued as long as there is “a glimmer of hope”. He was named the General Commander of the Earthquake Relief Efforts Committee immediately following the disaster. Following his visits to the area, images of the Premier were displayed on national media, numerous videos popped up on Chinese video sites making comparisons with former Premier Zhou Enlai, a largely popular figure who was also dubbed the “People’s Premier”. While China’s leaders are often shown on state television looking rather stiff and sitting motionlessly, Wen’s on-site image and candid nature has attracted a large popular following of Chinese citizens[11].”
    It is reassuring to know that there are still politicians in the world who understand the requirements of national political leadership in response to a major crisis.

    Reply

  44. Dan Kervick says:

    Hu Jintao is a hydraulic engineer by profession. Wen is a geomechanical engineer.

    Reply

  45. questions says:

    “In a statement early Monday, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad W. Allen, the official in charge of the U.S. response to the oil spill disaster, said a federal science team conferred with BP representatives Sunday night on specific issues, “including the detection of a seep near the well and the possible observation of methane over the well.” He said the federal scientists “got the answers they were seeking and the commitment from BP to meet their monitoring and notification obligations.” ”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/19/AR2010071902220.html?hpid=topnews
    From this notion that “the federal scientists got the answers they were seeking” comes the certainty that Obama has been played by BP.

    Reply

  46. questions says:

    “making a bitch of our president” — you really are stuck on the gender thing, aren’t you!

    Reply

  47. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oh shut the fuck up, Questions. Go read another book.

    Reply

  48. questions says:

    And yet, he now has evangelicals on his side for immigration reform.
    Sometimes there is method in seeming madness.
    Besides, according to the article:
    “this has aroused the attention of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, with Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang rushing to the site Friday night to direct operations. ”
    Are these guys petroleum engineers? What does it mean that they are rushing there to direct operations?
    And, besides, China’s government has a very different relationship to industry from what the US has. For someone who might have mildly flirted with Ron Paulian libertarianism at any level at all (since you have claimed not to be a libertarian at this point, but to have been interested in some Paul positions, I’m couching my language here), why would you call for a deeply authoritarian response to a disaster?
    And, further, the engineers have made it clear that what they’ve managed thus far in the Gulf they have managed because they learned from the previous failures. That seems to be how engineering moves forward. Lots of failure, decent analysis, and a new widget emerges.
    It’s probably a very good thing that the pres didn’t race down to the Gulf to “direct operations.” He’s not a Ph.D. in petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, deep sea conditions, marine biology, or the like. He has a law degree. It’s a little different, actually. Any trip to the Gulf is show-only, and it gets in the way of work as the security arrangements for presidential visits are crazy-making. Better he delegates than directs.
    And better to let the engineers do their engineering.
    If, by the way, you want to be on the receiving end of petroleum price increases in the face of a battle between BIG petrol and the world’s governments, please do tell!

    Reply

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