May 1, 2010

"Couple of weeks ago, the President, our President said, 'It turns out the oil rigs today generally don't cause oil spills. They are technologically very advanced.'"

"Now if, if I was quoting George Bush, this crowd would be laughing in hysterics.... So, why isn't Barack Obama getting more shit for this? I think he should."

That's Bill Maher.

109 comments:

Fen said...

You don't mock the Diversity Hire.

We see it everyday in classrooms and at work. The affirmative action admits are held to a lower standard.

danielle said...

oh c'mon. do you too expect the president to be a miracle worker and see into the future ?

is it not the case that oil spills happen less frequently these days than previously ?

Fen said...

8 days to react, Danielle.

I guess thats the AA standard for peering into the future - divine what happened 8 days ago...

Bob Ellison said...

ibgw

Beth said...

Who could have known? As if we ought to prepare for only those things that have happened before.

danielle said...

Fen, are you complaining about the time it took the Feds to get involved or the quote from a few weeks ago ?

Pogo said...

danielle said...
"oh c'mon. do you too expect the president to be a miracle worker and see into the future ? "

See:
Liberal media reaction: Bush @ Katrina

Pogo said...

Heckuva job, Barry!

GMay said...

Why anyone thinks Bill Maher's opinion is worth a shit is beyond me. I don't care who he's bashing.

Now, I understand that a disturbing number of liberals get their news and opinions from comedians and entertainers, but Newsbusters has a long record of giving this dumbass legitimacy simply by running stories on him.

Seven Machos said...

Danielle -- What would have been your response had Bush said the same thing?

Remember: your answer says a lot about you. It will demonstrate that you are either stupid or simply a shilling tool.

Titus said...

Althouse, whip the breasts out now.

This is BS.

Do you think I and the rest of my over 60 clan come here to see flower postings?

We want breasts in the hope that maybe someday you would choose us!!!!!

By the way Meade and yourself need to summer at Canoe Bay in Chetek this summer. My Indian husband and I are.

Fen said...

Danille: are you complaining about the time it took the Feds to get involved or the quote from a few weeks ago ?

I'm pointing out that

1) it took the Diversity Hire 8 days to react to this, and

2) the Bush/Katrina crowd is giving him a pass because they have lower expectations of black folk.

GMay said...

"See: Liberal media reaction: Bush @ Katrina"

But this is different. You see, there's just not a large enough Democrat voting bloc affected to warrant a media frenzy.

El Pollo Real said...

I thought Bill Maher was an asshole for tweeting this the other day.

El Pollo Real said...

Maher is a perfect example of the kind of celebrity tweeter that I avoid.

Almost Ali said...

The BIG Question: Who caused the explosion?

1) The DNC

2) Al Qaeda

3) All of the above

chuckR said...

O's statement is correct.

The issue is why would Bush get trashed for saying the same thing and O wouldn't.

I read some commentary today that expressed outrage we don't know exactly what happened a whole eleven days after it happened.

Its in a mile of water. Depth pressure is a ton per square inch.
Blacker than a bankers heart at that depth, too. You just can't stroll down and take a look-see.

Fen said...

I read some commentary today that expressed outrage we don't know exactly what happened a whole eleven days after it happened.

Catch up please. We're using the Katrina standard that the Left embraces.

I guess Obama hates black people

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meade said...

Every voter who ever voted for Barack Obama should have to report to the Gulf coast tomorrow for cleanup duty. And also SWAT team duty. And you must have your papers with you at all times.

LonewackoDotCom said...

I find it beyond offensive that this event - tragic as it is - has been compared to BHO's Katrina, considering the latter cost over one thousand lives and resulted in the putative American president moving Americans out of their city so that foreign citizens could come in and take the jobs that they should have been doing. Various governments have done some anti- and un-American things, but that takes the cake in my memory.

Please do compare the current tragedy to what happened in 2005: see my Katrina topics page listing a few hundred topics (larger type means more posts). Then, compare it to the current situation.

It's beyond despicable - but not at all surprising - that hacks like Glenn Reynolds would keep trying to act as apologists for Bush's anti- and un-American actions.

Fen said...

I'm glad I read far enough into your Soros-funded troll to see you call Glenn Reynolds a hack.

True colors.

Seven Machos said...

Jesus, Wacko, what's your damage? The country is finally talking about your pet issue, immigration.

Take some time to celebrate. I mean, seriously. Shouldn't you be furiously masturbating to CNN right now?

Titus said...

Oh Meade, clean up my garden and shut up bitch.

You don't work, you live off a state employee and your view doesn't matter.

Titus said...

Every voter who is under 65 and doesn't work should clean up by pinched loafs and shut the fuck up.

Also, under 60 pieces of shit should fucking clean up my rare clumbers loafs.

LonewackoDotCom said...

1. I'm not funded by anyone, least of all George Soros (some of my posts about him at the link).

2. I'm going to sue Fen for repeatedly making false claims about me. Maybe he's judgment-proof, maybe his parents aren't. We'll find out.

garage mahal said...

I cashed my Soros check on Friday and took my daughter to Lion King at the Overture tonight with the proceeds. Great show. Life is good. I don't know what he sees in me!

Lot of liberal plants though [seemingly normal families with kids appearing to be normal] LOL

Almost Ali said...

Correction:

#1 should be DNC/RNC/Exxon

#2 should be OPEC/Al-Qaeda

Maguro said...

LOL, I'm gonna sue your parents! is a pretty scary threat.

Anyway...oil rigs don't generally cause oil spills and they are technologically very advanced. So anyone laughing at Bush for saying this would have been an idiot. The fact that Maher is willing to laugh at Obama for making the same true statement just shows that he's even more of an idiot.

dick said...

I see our wonderful leader has now dithered to the point that setting fire to the oil to burn it up and clear it that way is no longer an option. The spill is now too close to the shore. If he had made the decision earlier before the spill got so close to the shore then a lot of the problems would have been alleviated.

How soon will he be gone!!!

Seven Machos said...

Is there anything more childish than threatening to sue someone in a blog comment thread?

Come on, dude. Up your game.

garage mahal said...

Only an absolute fucking moron would even question the business practices of a multi-national oil giant like BP, or the hundreds of contractors it hires. If you do, it just proves you "don't get it". Oil rigs are 100% safe, until they spill, then it's a liberal's fault. For something.

Almost Ali said...

Correction (revised):

#1 should be: Al Gore/DNC/OPEC/Al-Qaeda

#2 should be: The Sierra Club

Seven Machos said...

Garage -- Did you read Obama's quote? Do you understand what he said?

I don't think you do,

reader_iam said...

Here's my comment: Google (or the equivalent of your browser of choice) to find a way that best suits your own inclination to help deal with the oil spill. Whether it's money or effective hands-on cleanup sklls, you can find one. And you can even find examples of both that reflect your political inclination, wherever it falls. You can find something and do something and still, simultaneously, continue the various debates, narrowly, broadly, philosophically, whatever.

I still have faith...

...remarkably enough.

Penny said...

It's a wonderful day when the left and the right agree about something. This would happen more often, of course, if we dispensed with electing Presidents, and instead elected a Butt of Jokes, Chief.

reader_iam said...

Life is complicated.

We all live a complicated life.

But sometimes you just have to stand and face it and then do the complicated thing: Do a bit of something while you say and debate etc. a whole lot.

Fen said...

Heh, reader, good post.

Next time I promise to let you drink the beer before I bop you over the head with the bottle ;)

Fen said...

LoneWackop: I'm not funded by anyone, least of all George Soros. I'm going to sue Fen for repeatedly making false claims about me

Ask your lawyer about Discovery.

You cant sue me without having to release all those photos of you and Soros at the NAMBLA "event"...

Beth said...

dick,

That was never a viable option. There's way too much oil to burn. And the winds are about 30 mph, have been for a couple of days, so had there been a small amount of oil, for which burning might have been useful, they couldn't have done it anyway.

Fen said...

Beth, we're playing this game by the Katrina Rules.

Obama MIHOP, Obama LIHOP...

Catch up please or skip your turn.

Jason said...

Titus, you ignorant slut.

Meade may be a 'kept man.' But at least he doesn't use the word "summer" as a verb.

Go water your ferns.

Seven Machos said...

Look, people, the issue here isn't Obama just like it wasn't Bush. All presidents have shitty things happen on their watch.

The issue is how media outlets are reporting about it. There was an absolutely concerted effort to paint Bush as a failure concerning Katrina, which was a gi-normous hurricane that Bush could do nothing about. He couldn't rebuild the city in a day, either.

Palladian said...

"There was an absolutely concerted effort to paint Bush as a failure concerning Katrina, which was a gi-normous hurricane that Bush could do nothing about. He couldn't rebuild the city in a day, either."

Well, he wasn't Our Messiah, The Lightworker, was he? We expect more from the One of God than we do from Satan, don't we?

Seven Machos said...

Imagine the news cycle under Bush with the economy in the tank since he took office, a crushing national debt, a never-ending war in Afghanistan, a foreign policy that is incoherent at best, and an immigration law in Arizona that -- whatever anyone thinks of it -- is certainly highly anti-illegal immigrant. Oh, and an historically awful environmental disaster.

How far will the left go to prop up this wisp in the wind?

reader_iam said...

Look, people, the issue here isn't Obama just like it wasn't Bush. All presidents have shitty things happen on their watch.

The issue is how media outlets are reporting about it. ...


WOW. It's come full circle at last, just like that. This where reader_iam came in, how reader_iam came to be on line, back in 2005 (and in this very blog's comment section, even).

You can look it up.

Me, I need to consider that whole full circle thing.

edutcher said...

Hate to tell you, Wack, but The Zero and Company are making Dubya's response to Katrina look better and better. Also, things are looking bad for the Aztlan crowd - LAPD estimates the crowd at the big immigration rally at about half of what the organizers expected.

God forbid, I take Titus' side in anything, but the use of the word summer (or winter, for that matter) as a verb meaning where one vacations during that season has been around since Commodore Vanderbilt.

PS Titus is talking about breasts?

Robert Cook said...

"Now, I understand that a disturbing number of liberals get their news and opinions from comedians and entertainers...."

And a disturbing number of right wingers get their news--and views--from charlatans and frauds, (Glenn Beck, Ayn Rand, Rushbo), from paid shills for the right wing party line, (Fox News as a whole, Ann Coulter, William Kristol, and their ilk), and from the uninformed and the deluded, (right wing bloggers and chain emails).

Xmas said...

The New York Times is complaining about the same issue, a slow response to something that was SOLELY in the hands of the Federal Government. Screw BP, it didn't matter if they said they could handle the problem. It was a disaster when they first thought it was 1000 barrels a day.

I think the bigger story here is the growing undercurrent of...annoyance at Obama within his base supports. He hits sour note after sour note. I seriously expecting him to make some sort of Gordon Brown like gaffe that pisses off the African-American community.

He's turning out to be a good communicator but a lousy administrator. He hasn't surrounded himself with capable people. He has, instead, surrounded himself with idealistic lawyers...and Rahm Emanuel.

mesquito said...

We know exactly why Our President isn't getting more shit for this spill. It's the same reason anemic economic growth rates in 2006 and 2010 are reported in strikingly diferent tones.

mesquito said...

Robert Cook:

Ilkity ilk ilk ilkity ilk.

Also, spew!

shoutingthomas said...

Went to a blues concert last night... Pinetop Perkins is still playing at 96 years old!

Concert was at a college. Colleges, for some reason, always play up blues as having some sort of leftist origin.

Opening act was this purportedly American Indian woman singing "indigenous" songs a cappella. Her act was right out of some ethnic studies department. Grant city. I thought I'd landed in South Park. She was hysterically awful, yowling and screeching about "the people."

She decided to rip into Bush for old times sake. She asked the audience beforehand whether they minded and they screeched their approval.

Nobody heard my response, which was: "Please shut the fuck up!"

I adjourned to the lobby to wait her out and returned when the band took the stage.

Fen said...

Robert Cook: And a disturbing number of right wingers get their news--and views--from charlatans and frauds

No. We don't read the NYTs or watch CNN, like you do.

And not only does the Left get their new and views from charlatans and frauds in the MSM, a disturbing number of liberals get their news and opinions from comedians and entertainers.

So there.

Fen said...

We know exactly why Our President isn't getting more shit for this spill. It's the same reason anemic economic growth rates in 2006 and 2010 are reported in strikingly diferent tones.

BTW, when is Obama going to catch Osama bin Laden? Whats taking him so long?

Jason (the commenter) said...

That quote is a good quote and illustrative of Onbama's problem. He thinks he can collect a bunch of experts, force them debate each other, and impose whatever ideas they come up with on the entire country. It never occurs to him that there are things the experts can't foresee, or that what worked in one place wont necessarily work somewhere else.

DADvocate said...

OMG - Bill Maher has become a racist.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I wanted to make sure this was a real quote, here's video proof if anyone wants to see.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Obama likes mentioning how he's going to use science to create regulations, wasn't that exactly what the Fascists and Communists said? Everything was going to be regulated scientifically and through a central authority; no one had to make decisions for themselves because the "right ones" would be chosen for them.

rollingdivision said...

Bush is hated by the MSM, Obama is loved by the liberal media.

You may have also noticed gasoline is moving over $3 a gallon on it's way to $4 and there are no horrifying stories in media and no blaming Obama.

Peter V. Bella said...

So, ah, Meade, have you packed AA's bags yet?

Peter V. Bella said...

oh c'mon. do you too expect the president to be a miracle worker and see into the future ?

is it not the case that oil spills happen less frequently these days than previously ?


Obama campaigned on the miracle worker platform. His own campaign staff referred to him as the Black Jesus. He was going to cure the sick, raise the dead, and fix all that is wrong in the world. He saw into the future through his rose colored glasses and promised a yellow brick road with a garden.

Is it not the case that plane crashes happen less frequently these days than in days past?

Is it not the case that ships sink less frequently than in days past?

Is it not the case that buildings collapse less frequently than in days past?


wv= dismsm: I do that everyday.

GMay said...

Robert Cook takes the bait: "And a disturbing number of right wingers get their news--and views--from charlatans and frauds, (Glenn Beck, Ayn Rand, Rushbo), from paid shills for the right wing party line, (Fox News as a whole, Ann Coulter, William Kristol, and their ilk), and from the uninformed and the deluded, (right wing bloggers and chain emails)."

Look, you went a whole post without mentioning Roger Ailes. Good job!

Let's fantasize for a moment that MSNBC, CNN, publicly funded NPR, ABC, CBS, NBC, NYT, WaPo, TIME, Newsweek, Air America and just about every newspaper going out of business aren't paid shills, charlatans, frauds, or partisan hacks. (Lotta disbelief to suspend I know)

I mean, I guess the fact that the left is putting members of the Saturday Night Live cast in the U.S. senate is an improvement over former KKK members.

Pogo said...

Utopians keep electing fellow utopians and are repeatedly disappointed.

Realists vote expecting mere humans to lead.

The original Constitution was written by realists who feared the destructiveness of utopians.

Sixty Grit said...

I blame Bush.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Who could have known? As if we ought to prepare for only those things that have happened before.

You mean....like Hurricanes?

There is being prepared for the impossible to prevent or to stop event...like a hurricane.

And then being prepared for something that might be possible to prevent or possible to mitigate.

The response to a hurricane is coordinated by the State government and aid is requested by the individual States. The Federal Government isn't supposed to take over from the States.

In International waters and in the case of this current and horrible disaster for Louisianna and the rest of the Gulf Coast, the Federal Gov is directly and IMMEDIATELY in charge.

Obama dithered for 8 days. 8 DAYS!! Before leaping into action. If it were Bush, as astutely pointed out by that pointy headed prick Bill Maher, the screaming and finger pointing would be endless.

If the Feds had started right away, they might have been able to mitigate some of the damage. But we won't know because Obama sat around jerking his pud for over a week.

Will the MSM put on their baby diapers and wail about Obama sitting around while shrimp died? Nope.

Peter V. Bella said...

Hey did Obama say something like "good job Nappy" to the head of Homeland Security yet?

PatCA said...

I think it's more of the "he's one of us" phenomenon than love of his diversity. Liberal, Ivy League, sarcastic. The perfect guest of The Daily Show.

Meade said...

Pogo said...

The original Constitution was written by realists who feared the destructiveness of utopians.

Utopian, perfect thyself!

AJ Lynch said...

I think it is telling that a few regular commenters here are giving a Obama a pass on his dithering.

"Dithering" is such a great word. Is it true Time Magazine will give Obama its "Ditherer Of the Year Award"?

Pogo said...

@Meade: Touché!!

GMay said...

"There is being prepared for the impossible to prevent or to stop event...like a hurricane."

Unless you're an Al Gore disciple.

And the kicker is that direct hurricane damage wasn't really that big of a deal, it was the flooding caused by the breach of levees neglected by decades of municipal and state neglect.

Strange how there were 40 years of "African American" administrations in NOLA and how little they cared about ensuring their "chocolate city" was protected.

But Bush hates black people.

Shanna said...

And a disturbing number of right wingers get their news--and views--from charlatans and frauds, (Glenn Beck, Ayn Rand, Rushbo)

Yes, tons of folks on the right get their news from Ayn Rand. Heh.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Strange how there were 40 years of "African American" administrations in NOLA and how little they cared about ensuring their "chocolate city" was protected.

Christ. Not another one!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Breaking news: The afterlife does not exist save in the imaginations of vhim-vorshippers. From our reporter on the spot, Ayn Rand.

GMay said...

"Yes, tons of folks on the right get their news from Ayn Rand. Heh."

In all fairness, he did include "views".

GMay said...

But I'll take Rand over Marx any day.

Jason said...

@edutcher: God forbid, I take Titus' side in anything, but the use of the word summer (or winter, for that matter) as a verb meaning where one vacations during that season has been around since Commodore Vanderbilt.

I never said or implied it was grammatically improper or even without precedent. The use of "summer" as a verb is simply a linguistic marker of a pretentious, snooty twit. I'm thinking of a gay, fabulous version of Thurston Howell, III.

The ONLY person who ever lived who can get away with it was Audrey Hepburn.

Cedarford said...

Nothing that hapened removes the core truth that in general - oil rigs are far safer today and less prone to major spills than old technology.

People claiming otherwise are just using another variant of argument by anecdote.

"In general, commercial aviation has been an exceptionally safe way to travel since 1972"

"Oh yeah! What about that plane crash last year! Tell it to the victims families how safe it is! Tell it to the mothers of the innocent seabirds killed when the plane crashed into the ocean!!"

GMay said...

"I'm thinking of a gay, fabulous version of Thurston Howell, III."


That right there's some funny.

Ironclad said...

As someone who works in the oil and gas industry, the problems on the leaking well are not going to be fixed for a few months. Unless the blowout valves at the wellhead (the ones underwater) can be activated, the only way to shut off the flow is to bring a new rig into place, drill a second well into the first and then pump a seal plug into the leaking well. The other alternative is to install a new blowout valve by tapping the existing line - but that is hard enough to do on dry land, much less on a seabed a few thousand feet down.
My point is that anyone in a responsible position should have been asking if the well was sealed after the fire was put out - or if the wellhead had been damaged by the rig sinking. Because if it did not - then you have a serious leak to shut off. BP was aware of the situation, but the guys that manage the emergency plans should have been asking this from the get go. Because then you start planning for the worst - or start mobilizing a new rig to get out there to plug the hole.
If you want to fault Barry and Janet- that is what you do it for. More to the point, blame themfor not standing up and explaining this to the public. And more importantly, indicating this is unusual that the isolation systems did not work (like a plane crash is rare), so stop making arguments that this is the end of offshore drilling. (and indicating that the safety systems have to be reviewed)
But the MSM should have his ass for not realizing that a day or so after the rig started burning and listing. (or all the experts in the state and federal government) That is what his pay grade is supposed to be responsible for.

CoffeeNut said...

I keep waiting for a democratic mayor somewhere along the gulf coast to scream "get your asses down here!"

Balfegor said...

"Now if, if I was quoting George Bush, this crowd would be laughing in hysterics.... So, why isn't Barack Obama getting more shit for this? I think he should."

Honestly, why? Does anyone actually think Obama knows the first thing about oil rigs or oil extraction technology? If he got the answer wrong, it's not a reflection on him -- he shouldn't be the one sitting in the library researching oil rig safety. It's a reflection on the quality of his staff -- whoever gave him the briefing that gave him that idea.

That said, I think Obama's correct that oil rigs generally don't cause oil spill, and are technologically advanced. The fact that the media would have pounced on Bush II for such a statement does not make it appropriate to go after Obama -- the media were driven stark staring mad by Bush II, that's all.

Big Mike said...

Bill Mahar said that!?!?!

Like Steffy Grace, someone is going to come along and explain what the "correct" attitude is.

John said...

Did Venezuela sabotage the well?

They have motive:

1) The well itself will increase supplies and reduce oil prices.

2) The well is, probably, a harbinger of more wells in that field reducing oil prices even further.

3) A spill like this gives Obama a convenient fig leaf to reverse on offshore drilling.

4) A spill like this will work against popular American support for Drill Baby Drill.

So does Venezuela have the means to do it? I don't know. They apparently have some submarines that might be able to do some damage.

Or not. The wellhead is pretty deep.

John Henry

John said...

As for AA, someone upstream is quite right, it does lower expectations.

This lowering of expectations is extremely corrosive. No black (or woman, such as my ChemEng daughter) can ever know for certain that they were hired or promoted because they are good or because they are black etc.

AA is horribly racist in and of itself. It is destroying generations for little if any positive benefit.

Other than to the Demmies who use it as a vote buying tool.

John Henry

John said...

Re Katrina:

We should really stop saying Katrina and New Orleans together. The problem was not Katrina which never hit New Orleans.

The problem was centuries of corruption, mainly democratic, at the state and local level. It was this corruption that, when it fixed levys did so in substandard ways but mostly didn't do much maintenance at all. They did spend tons of money, though.

Had the levys been maintained, they would not have broke and there would have been no major flooding.

It is stupidity anyway that allows a city to be built below sea level. New Orleans should not even exist.

John Henry

Beth said...

Gmay,

The levees in New Orleans, and all over the country, are built and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers - that's federal. The money appropriated for them comes from Congress, the feds - both Democrat and Republican office holders.

Beth said...

ironclad has it right. There was way too much time between the collapse of the rig and any urgent attention to the dangers that posed. The Coast Guard took it for granted that BP was correct in saying nothing was leaking, and then later that the leak was small, and then again that they could shut it off, and so on. The DHS came in more than a week later, way late. And they're still dithering with BP.

chuckR said...

John Henry

Not even Venezuelan military submarines can dive to a mile deep;) Unless they have bought a deep submersible as used to dive on Titanic....

Could they have set a torpedo to knock out a marine riser at a more moderate depth? Sounds like the plot of an airport-grade thrilla and it would have left a signature.

wv - ralpati - my favorite Indian meal...

GMay said...

Beth swung and missed: "The levees in New Orleans, and all over the country, are built and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers - that's federal. The money appropriated for them comes from Congress, the feds - both Democrat and Republican office holders.

Really? Might want to check your info.

Care to try again?

Fen said...

Dead link GMay.

But you should be aware that Beth has a serious conflict of interest on this topic, as she is wholly funded by taxpayer dollars.

If not for the Nanny State, she would either starve or drown.

Just so you know where she's coming from.

AJ Lynch said...

"Starve or Drown"?

Heh sounds like a good plotline for a new reality show where teachers compete against parking meter maids.

Beth said...

Gmay, you omitted the feds and the Corps - check that yourself.

GMay said...

Hmm, not sure why those links didn't work.

Let's try it this way, google "New Orleans Levee Board" and see if you can figure out their role with the Orleans Parish levees, as well as their relationship with the Army Corps of Engineers.

If that gives you some trouble, I can spell it out for ya.

Balfegor said...

If that gives you some trouble, I can spell it out for ya.

You should spell it out for those of us who are too lazy to google and read (i.e. me).

Beth said...

Gmay, there is local, state and federal involvement with the levees. You omitted the feds, and overlooked that the Corps designs and builds them. If the Corps builds a levee and the feds own it, the Corps is responsible for the maintenance. That's true all over the country. Not every levee is federally built or owned. The levees in New Orleans are federal levees, and various levee boards (of which there are now two, a result of voter reaction to poor performance of the many boards) have some sort of oversight role. Maybe I'm not getting your point, but you appear to be saying that there's no federal role, and that's flat out wrong.

GMay said...

Alright alright, here are the two links I offered Beth as just a primer on the subject to offer a basic understanding. (Since I dicked up the formatting before)

Orleans Levee District

I hate to link to wikipedia, but hey...

She seems to be under the mistaken impression that the feds are the ones who are responsible for and fund the levees. The feds have a hand in it, but the funding and ultimate responsibility fall on the local and state governments.

GMay said...

I didn't say there was no federal role in it. I don't "seem" to say it either.

What I am saying is that the local government is mainly responsible for the levee system. Just like the local government is responsible for the evacuation plan. In both cases they failed miserably.

Balfegor said...

What I am saying is that the local government is mainly responsible for the levee system.

In this case, though, the levees were designed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Re: Beth's claim that the Army Corps was not only responsible for design and construction but also for maintenance, that hallowed authority, Wikipedia, says no, local authorities had to agree to be responsible for maintenance before the feds would step in. In practical terms, that's probably the regular inspections the local New Orleans authority was supposed to have been performing, and, I guess, directing any repairs they determined were necessary.

That said, just from browsing through this, the problems don't seem to have been maintenance, but initial design. Some of the breaches were because conditions exceeded the design tolerances, but in a number of cases, it seems like they just didn't design it right, or built the foundations wrong in the first place.

GMay said...

Balfegor said: "In this case, though, the levees were designed by the Army Corps of Engineers."

Sure, but from the link you posted:

"Almost from the start, the design was impacted by changes due to technical issues, environmental concerns, legal challenges, and local opposition by those opposed to the project.[4] The project was initially estimated to take 13 years, but when Katrina struck in 2005, almost 40 years later, the project was only 60–90% complete with a revised projected completion date of 2015."

I'm certainly no fan of the ACE, but having lived in NOLA for 3 years and being exposed to the corrupt and incompetent city government, this little snippet comes as no surprise. At all.

Add to that the carefree attitude about hurricanes that damn near everyone in the city had in pre-Katrina days - "If we get hit by a Cat 3 or higher, we're fucked! Har har har..." - it was a recipe for massive failure that should have been borne by the city, then the state, and lastly the feds.

Of course the reverse is what actually happened.

Beth said...

That said, just from browsing through this, the problems don't seem to have been maintenance, but initial design.

You're right. The wall design and the soil calculations were wrong.

Local levee boards are at fault, also, hence the big changes voters made in response. See levees.org. We didn't succeed in reducing to just one levee board, but two is fine, one each west and east of the river.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

What a meaningful thread.

A comedian, with stronger environmental sentiments than anyone here, knocks Obama (from the left) for one(!) statement he made that can be contrasted to a disaster stemming from an oil rig, and now the ultra-partisan righties pile on Obama as if the only political point that matters was something other than the right's unwillingness to ever consider the inadequacy and shortcomings of their energy policy proposals.

Once you're as opposed to oil as the only meaningful solution to our energy/environmental problems (or at least as willing to take its detriments seriously) as Maher is then maybe you might have a point worth listening to. In the meantime, what Titus said.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

But it's good to know that a mere seven hours after the post was uploaded, Beth, GMay and Balfegor actually managed to get around to the only meaningful point: what it was in the design that actually either invalidated or corroborated Obama's statement.

But that is a technical consideration, and one that could lead to a meaningful solution to a serious problem. And, therefore, that angle could never be taken seriously by the partisan cacklers.

Downstream in the blog posts, Cacklefest continues.

Robert Cook said...

GMay said:

"In all fairness, he did include 'views'."

DING!DING!DING!DING! Give the man a prize! GMay demonstrates that he reads for comprehension.

Robert Cook said...

GMay said:

"But I'll take Rand over Marx any day."

Take away the prize! GMay has disqualified himself.

I've never read Marx, but I have read Rand, and I have every confidence that Marx presents a more coherent description of capitalism as it exists than Rand, who doesn't even try. She presents sado-masochistic sex fantasies with her own imaginary utopianism about a capitalism that never was as icing on the too heavily larded cakes.

Robert Cook said...

GMay said:

"Let's fantasize for a moment that MSNBC, CNN, publicly funded NPR, ABC, CBS, NBC, NYT, WaPo, TIME, Newsweek, Air America and just about every newspaper going out of business aren't paid shills, charlatans, frauds, or partisan hacks. (Lotta disbelief to suspend I know)."

Oh, I'll grant you most of them are, and with few exceptions, they are all purveyors of the establishment (i.e., right or center-right) line.

GMay said...

Robert Cook falls flat on his ass with: "Take away the prize! GMay has disqualified himself.

I've never read Marx, but I have read Rand, and I have every confidence that Marx presents a more coherent description of capitalism as it exists than Rand, who doesn't even try."


You're more concerned with the form of something you've never read, over the substance of something you have.

You could be far more concise when you express your idiocy. It will save us both time.

GMay said...

"Oh, I'll grant you most of them are, and with few exceptions, they are all purveyors of the establishment (i.e., right or center-right) line."

In your wet, left of Dennis Kucinich, dreams.

Night2night said...

I'm a technical professional. I've put together entire risk management programs starting with a white piece of paper (ISO 14971 compliant; medical device, but still). I've worked running Inservice Inspection Programs in nuclear power plants (ASME Section XI), but still. I'm a conservative guy and believe in the principle of a limited federal government, but this incident still infuriates me.

I don't care about the politics, or about what President Obama said last week, or about what President Bush did, or didn't do, after Hurricane Katrina. This wasn't a hurricane, or a terrorist attack. This event has the potential of being one of the largest environmental catastrophes in US history. Some of the most productive wetlands in the US could be irrevocably damaged for years (question: How much of US domestic seafood production originates in Louisiana?). This event was caused by necessary energy production processes run by technical people, and overseen by technical people, who, I'm assuming, did not do their jobs, or who did not adequately define the worst case accident scenario.

Do I want to know the root cause of this event (sabotage is a low probability, but real possibility; equipment failure is more likely)? Oh yes, but I want some assurance we put measures in place to make sure certain type of "black swan" events associated with off shore drilling are properly mitigated and so should the people on this board.

Some events are not politically based, and they're still terribly important to get right. This is one of them. One of the ridiculous things about political ideologues is their tendency to see everything thru their political lenses. This is not a political event. We need reliable sources of high availability energy to run this country, but we can't allow scenarios like this to develop at low probabilities and this great a magnitude.