Bad Deeds for 6-9-2010


John Culberson Says Gulf Oil Spill is a ‘Statistical Anomaly’ – In a letter to President Obama, Culberson says that the “Deepwater Horizon incident was a terrible human tragedy with devastating environmental consequences,” but not terrible enough for President Obama to take the drastic action of halting such operations for six months. The letter asked Obama to view the ongoing BP oil spill in its “proper historical context as a statistical anomaly.”

(See, it’s no big deal. Just let BP keep not following procedures and using faulty equipment. Hey, wasn’t 9/11 just a statistical anomaly? – JLV)


BP’s Approved Spill Plan ‘Riddled With Omissions And Glaring Errors’ – Professor Peter Lutz is listed in BP’s 2009 response plan for a Gulf of Mexico oil spill as a national wildlife expert. He died in 2005.

Under the heading “sensitive biological resources,” the plan lists marine mammals including walruses, sea otters, sea lions and seals. None lives anywhere near the Gulf.

The names and phone numbers of several Texas A&M University marine life specialists are wrong. So are the numbers for marine mammal stranding network offices in Louisiana and Florida, which are no longer in service. (people needed to be called in case of a spill)

BP PLC’s 582-page regional spill plan for the Gulf, and its 52-page, site-specific plan for the Deepwater Horizon rig are riddled with omissions and glaring errors, according to an Associated Press analysis that details how BP officials have pretty much been making it up as they go along. The lengthy plans approved by the federal government last year before BP drilled its ill-fated well vastly understate the dangers posed by an uncontrolled leak and vastly overstate the company’s preparedness to deal with one.


In Apparent Lie, BP Continues to Deny Existence of Underwater Oil Plumes – Appearing on no less than three major networks Wednesday, BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles continued to deny the existence of oil plumes underneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. Suttles’ comments came despite the fact that government and university scientists confirmed Tuesday they had found large plumes of oil.


BP Well May be Spewing 100,000 Barrels a Day, Scientist Says – A University of California researcher and member of the Obama Administration’s Flow Rate Technical Group said Monday that BP’s leaking Gulf oil well could be leeching 20 times as much oil as the company originally claimed. Leifer cited satellite data that appeared to show the leaking well’s flow was increasing over time. He also noted that BP’s decision to drill open a pipe in an effort to place a “hat” on the damaged well had substantially increased the amount of oil that may be spewing into the sea.


Wife Says Minuteman Founder Threatened to Shoot Her, Her Family and the Cops – In seeking a protection order in April, Alena Simcox, 30, the third wife of onetime Minuteman chief Chris Simcox, alleged that she found her husband heavily drunk after she returned from a shopping trip last November. He had a gun, she said, and “repeatedly pointed it at me, saying he was going to kill me, and my kids, and the police.”

In a second alleged 2009 incident, his wife wrote, “On our wedding anniversary, he was drinking and angry. Got a revolver gun and loaded with kids present. Then proceeded to ask me to shoot him.’ I said no,’ so then he said he would shoot the entire family and cops.”

His first wife accused him of trying to molest their teenage daughter, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group that has warned about extremism in the Minuteman movement.

His second wife filed an emergency motion to obtain full custody of their teenage son because it seemed Chris Simcox was undergoing a mental breakdown and growing dangerous following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the SPLC reported in 2005, based on an examination of court records in Los Angeles.


Voting Machines Problems Have Not Gone Away – By Brad Friedman

Two years ago, in June of ’08, the ES&S “InkaVote Plus” e-vote system in Los Angeles County misprinted 4 out of 12 of my own votes.

Today, as I tried to vote on the same system, the failure was even worse. Incredibly. And not just because I cover issues of Election Integrity for a “living.”

I spent more than two and a half hours not casting a vote on the system before eventually I, the poll workers, and, apparently, the folks at the L.A. County Registrar’s central help desk call center, simply gave up. A complete and total failure of the e-voting system for disabled voters in the nation’s largest voting jurisdiction.


Conservatives Say You Should Work for Your Money, But Billionaire’s Kids are Getting $9 Billion Tax Free – Dan L. Duncan built an empire of natural gas processing plants and pipelines that made him the richest person in Houston, died in late March of a brain hemorrhage at 77. His business relied on infrastructure that was made possible with our tax dollars. But thanks to the efforts of conservatives, his kids won’t pay any taxes on his fortune. For them, it’s money for nothing. [Common Wealth – Key to Our Democracy and Threatened by a Growing Aristocracy]


Utah Firing Squad Member Says the Death Penalty is Nothing More Than Sending a Defective Product Back to the Manufacturer – Yes, Utah still uses a firing squad. But one Utah executioner says, “”The death penalty is nothing more than sending a defective product back to the manufacturer. Let him fix it.” He also says, “”I’ve shot squirrels I’ve felt worse about,” and “There’s just some people we need to kick off the planet.”

But is a firing squad cruel? Not according to this guy. He says it is not like the scenes depicted in movies, with a condemned man tied to a stake and smoking a last cigarette before being riddled with bullets in a gruesome spectacle. Instead, the inmate is strapped into a chair 17 feet away with a target pinned to his chest. (Oh, that’s different? Does he still get a cigarette? – JLV)


Texas Republican Convention – Still Crazy After All These Years – The Texas Republican Convention delegates doesn’t seem keen on a ‘sensible immigration policy.’ A 65-year-old Houston insurance agent caused a ruckus Tuesday by presenting his “sensible immigration policy” — a proposal that the Texas reverse course and support a path to legalization — to Republican Party party faithful gathered in Dallas to prepare for their state convention. Adams’ proposal drew heated responses. Sara Legvold, a delegate from Keller, was among those to speak against Adams’ proposal. “No compromises, no guest work, until we have our borders under control,” she said. “I want to deport everybody who is illegal — children, dogs, pets, birds.”

Keith Houser of Southlake hopes to add a measure that requires the top two leaders in the U.S. to be “natural born” citizens, meaning that both parents are citizens. His measure would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to submit proof to be listed on the Texas ballot. “This is our shot across the bow,” Houser said. “Mr. Obama, if you are going to run again, the state of Texas will not recognize you.”

And Dorrie O’Brien, a Grand Prairie delegate, submitted a plank calling for Texas Republicans to support the Constitution “against any Islamic threat of, or actual subversion by, the Sharia law adherents living in the United States of America and the rest of the world.”


Good Advice for Dealing with Conservatives Without Conscience – “It’s time to put away those Marquess of Queensbury rules. Stop smiling as they lie to your face. But don’t get caught in some distraction (the last vestige of a Republican scoundrel: focus on some picayune aspect and steer the conversation away from anything of substance for which they have no defense). Keep hold of your head, your calm and your facts.”





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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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