Thursday, June 17, 2010

How Obama Won the War Against BP and England

Time for a recap of the fun of the last few days.... But first, remember all the criticism of Obama for his strangely passive speech and all of its "inappropriate" war metaphors? Turns out they weren't metaphors. We went to war, briefly, virally, against the United Kingdom and won. In less than a week we started collecting $20 Billion in reparations.

Here's the timeline:

1. GOP and Tea Party demand less regulation, plus chant with Sarah Palin: "Drill Baby Drill!"

2. BP rig blows. Sarah blames it on regulation.

3. Turns out Minerals Management Dept has been indicted during Bush administration for partying with oil lobbyists: sex, cocaine, porn, payoffs.

4. Turns out MM Dept invited BP and 4 major oil companies to "write the regulations." Good enuff for ya, Sarah?

5. Turns out Obama is to blame for the BP blowout, according to conspiracy theorists Beck, Limbaugh.

6. Obama and govt let BP try to fix what they caused: i.e., as Ronald Reagan said, "let govt get out of the way."

7. BP fails to fix, fails to cap, fails to report correct spill amount (off by 90%), tries to arrest reporters photographing oil spill damage. That's the private sector, right?

8. Obama appoints Coast Guard Adm to oversight.

9. Led by Louisiana Gov Bobby Jindal, aka Mr Private Sector, Tea Partier Extraordinaire, the GOP and Tea Party attacks Obama for not stepping in immediately and taking over for private sector sooner. It's government's job!

10. Democrats attack Obama, too. Everybody into the pool!

11. Obama points out we, the people, and the government, are not in the oil business, thus have no experience or expertise in capping 5,000 deep offshore oil geysers. Best we can do is hold BP's feet to the fire.

12. Haley Barbour, gov of Alabama and former head of GOP, says there is "no oil spill."

13. Sarah says it's all a plot to deny deepwater drilling in Alaska.

14. Major crude pipeline in Alaska's North Slope breaks. No fix in sight.

15. Cap is revealed on damage payouts for oil companies--$750 million, no matter how much damage BP does. The law was passed immediately after Exxon Valdez disaster.

16. Turns out Exxon never paid its fine or damages in Exxon Valdez disaster. 20 years later, their court appeals won in the Bush Supreme Court: any damage and payments to fishermen, businesses, and environment was "excessive." Nobody got anything. The 20 years delay meant everyone slimed by Exxon was ruined.

17. BP announces it will pay billions in share dividends to shareholders.

18. Obama says wait a minute. Don't do that.

19. British Govt complains of US interference in British Petroleum, a valued company in the UK. It is revealed that the British Govt holds 12% of its wealth in BP shares.

20. Obama holds Oval Office press conference, speaks in generalities about making BP pay.

21. GOP, Tea Party, Dems all roundly criticise speech.

22. Next day, Obama meets with BP CEO and gets $20 Billion damage payout guarantee, with no lawyers or appeals process to string it along. This agreement is unprecedented and BP did NOT have to agree to it, as their offshore rig was flagged as a ship from the Marshall Islands.

23. Today, the Gulf Coast people who are suffering an almost complete economic shutdown are lining up to receive emergency payments.

24. Today, all the GOP and Tea Partiers have "no comment." Except for head of the GOP, Boehner, who says the "US, not BP, should shoulder the burden for the cleanup," and GOP Rep Joe Barton who says Obama making BP pay up is "illegal and wrong."

25. Tomorrow--a prediction--the GOP and Tea Party will be too busy having sex with interns and little boys to answer any questions about the Oil Crisis.

26. Day after Tomorrow--a prediction--GOP and Tea Party will take credit for everything Obama did, and blame him for making Boehner and Barton speak out, claiming he is a Satanic ventriloqist.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A handsome young fan of the book

while visiting a Barnes & Noble NYC

did find Do One Green Thing

bursting out with the Spring

and let out a scream: Take a look!

--thanks to Thomas Hutchinson (and his sharp eyes)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Alice in Wonderland premiere offers girl a chemical-laden shampoo as a promo: Drink Me!

The author of just-out Do One Green Thing lands a post-Oscar knockout punch: the so-called organic shampoos Disney gave out at the Alice in Wonderland premiere are packed with chemicals and hormone distuptors, exactly what young girls don't need. Go see Alice?

It's on Huffington Post:

Nothing surprises us anymore. We just have to keep on calling em as we see em.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mindy on the Huff Post re: tsunami and my response

Increasingly likely that the tsunami, while serious in Chile and in theory, was highjacked as an excuse for the media and hotel folks to cook up a huge one-day shopping event that would boost the sagging local economy, raise TV ratings (and hence ad rates), mention all the stores and gas stations (advertisers) where you could stock up, and virtually force the tourists to order room service food in the expectation they'd be marooned for a week.

To be clear: the threat was real, but the Pacific Center knew by 6 am it would not be a major event, yet they and the Hawaii powers let an entire day unfold at crisis tempo.

The relationship to green living and Do One Green Thing: How our society handles disasters is being increasingly turned into a "how can I profit from this?" mentality. The lowlying areas of Waikiki that would've been most hurt by a tsunami are exactly where the tourists are kept penned up, like cattle. They're also where the Native Hawaiians, who understood the sea and its moods, had built a vast system of fishponds to practice sustainable aquaculture. The moi they grew, caught and ate were part of a food cycle we'd love to emulate--but now it's all concrete and hotels and imported sand for the beaches.

As for the other disaster, the tsunami that didn't happen for Hawaii, we know how media works: it's exactly what happened with The Weather Channel in the two years following Katrina. Expecting an increase in hurricanes and preparing to get bought out, TWC turned every weather event into a catastrophe. And then sat there mumbling while no hurricanes hit the US for the next two years.

The plantation mentality in Hawaii is to just say, "Thank God nobody was hurt," and ignore the flaws and scare-mongering. Unfortunately, the odds of a free press shedding any light on the subject just went down a lot, given the fact that the day before the Tsunami alert the two Honolulu papers, The Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin, merged. The latter paper buying out the former and closing it--and this six months after all four local TV news stations merged.