02 July 2010


Yep, it's that time of the week.

Sega Genesis FTW.

And music!

30 June 2010

Mother Jones 

Despite ye olde Yat Pundit's kvetching about Mac McClelland, Mother Jones has been doing great work covering the great gusher in the Gulf. Jeffrey linked to a good story today, but here's another nominee for quote of the day.

So far, the BP spill has not provided environmentalists with new leverage in Baton Rouge. During their most recent session, Louisiana legislators also considered bills that would have allowed plaintiffs to seek punitive damages for injuries related to "the drilling, equipping, operating, or producing of an oil or gas well" and would have taxed oil processing to fund coastal restoration; both failed. As the legislature adjourned, Darrell Hunt, a lobbyist for the Louisiana Sierra Club, lamented that it had not passed a single bill to tighten controls on oil and gas companies since the spill. "If this situation in the Gulf didn't change the minds of people and get them to vote for those bills," Hunt laments, "I don't know what would."

Yet Hunt did not lobby for the punitive damages bill, or the tax on oil companies, or the contingency bill. "It would have been counterproductive," he says. "The Sierra Club is so goddamn weak in Louisiana that any statement of support on those bills would have been just meaningless." Instead, he spent much of the most recent legislative session fending off a bill, promoted by chemical companies, that would have dismantled Tulane University Law School's Environmental Law Clinic, which has a long record of suing the state's anemic environmental regulators to enforce the law.

After you get over the author's too-eager approach to commas, you've got a pretty good summary of legislative action "after the spill." It's pretty sad that the best our state legislature can muster is NOT to strip the ability of a private university's law clinic the to sue the state government.

Months not years? 

Ray Mabus says that the plan to restore our wetlands and rebuild our economy should be ready any day now.

President Obama's point man overseeing the cleanup of the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico expects a plan to restore the coastal region economically and environmentally will take months rather than years.

Let's hope the gathering of ideas "from within the community" happens a lot quicker and is more comprehensive than the work we commissioned from the Army of Corps of Engineers on levee protection.

More than two years late, the Army Corps of Engineers is Wednesday delivering its report on the potential for "high level" hurricane protection in southeast Louisiana, a voluminous document that has been roundly panned for excluding the very thing that Congress is said to have most wanted.

29 June 2010

Wave your magic wand make it disappear 

Governor Jindal targeted his political opponents with his pen this weekend.

Jindal used his line-item veto power to nix funding for projects ranging from road work to funds for small towns. Much of the vetoed funding focused on projects in the districts of legislators who voted against him on the budget or tried to increase public access to his office’s records.

I'm not one to get particularly upset about the executive branch using powers laid out to them in order to punish political opponents. Situations like this say more about the folly of the line item veto than they do about the person who wields the pen.

28 June 2010

Don't worry everyone, we're still fucked. 

Is this whole deal based on a handshake and the naive faith that Big Oil will do the right thing, no matter how badly their fiscal house deteriorates? Will the American taxpayer ultimately foot a large portion of BP’s bill?

Old Oyster links to a great story from the TP this weekend documenting the atrocities left in Alaska decades after the Valdez disaster and what it may or may not mean for Louisiana. This disaster 20ish years later is equally a study in inflation, cost, and risk as it is in regulatory failure and corporate malfeasance.

I have more thoughts about this, but am incapable of expressing them tonight. Personal family matters are permeating my consciousness in a way that makes "blogging" difficult, but things are looking up and I hope to have more about it as time goes by. In the meantime remember this:

Bankruptcy for BP means we're fucked. A long drawn out legal battle for damages probably means we're fucked. Therefore find out exactly what terms are and extract every dollar from these people and every company associated with this disaster as quickly as possible before we have to start depending on a fickle taxpayer and government that hasn't shown one bit of care for the viability of Louisiana since Andrew Jackson called up Volunteers in 1812.

To view the stupendous works of nature, exemplified in the falls of Niagara...to tread the consecrated spot on which Wolfe and Montgomery fell, would of themselves repay the young soldier for a march across the continent.”

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