I’m Seeing a Pattern

At least there was one place in American life where government isn’t intruding:

And yet, in their investigations of nearly 400 offshore incidents, Minerals Management Service officials failed to travel to one-third of the accident scenes, collected only 16 fines and did not investigate every blowout as their own rules require.

Also, too, that’s yet another solid piece from the Houston Chronicle, which is beating the national press on a daily basis.

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22 replies
  1. 1
    tofubo says:

    OT, from a comment in the suntimes article by ebert in the post below

    dennis hopper channeling his inner glen beck

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    (or, that would be glen beck, chenneling his inner peter vollmer)

  2. 2

    Not surprised the Chronicle is beating the national press, since much of the US oil industry is based there. It’s their home turf, just like the Times-Picayune did better reporting than the nationals during Katrina. nola.com is also doing some pretty good work on the spill.

  3. 3
    stevie314159 says:

    I have come to the sad realization that this country may never recover from the Bush years.

    From banks to oil companies, from the SEC to the MMS, from FEMA to the DOJ, from torturing people to taking your shoes off in airports, from shredding the Constitution to endless RW bullshit, everything has just gotten too f-ed up to be salvagable.

    On my optimistic days, I think maybe things can be fixed within 20 years. Of course, if we have a second Civil War, I’ll have to revise that estimate.

  4. 4
    dmsilev says:

    did not investigate every blowout as their own rules require.

    To be fair, they *did* extensively investigate every blowjob they received from industry representatives.

    dms

  5. 5
    Starfish says:

    The SkyTruth people think they may see a leak on a different platform in the Gulf of Mexico. I wonder if MMS is checking that one out. Haha.

  6. 6
    PeakVT says:

    the Houston Chronicle, which is beating the national press on a daily basis.

    An eight year old with a mimeograph machine could beat the national press at this point.

    Seriously, though, major props to the Chronicle.

  7. 7

    Give the people of the Gulf credit for one thing:

    They realized EARLY in the game that this disaster was a gift from Dick Cheney, caused by his packing the MMS with His People.

    And mixed in with “We are too dependent on oil” was a generous amount of “We should not have believed and supported the Republicans.”

    In the future, we may see unmanagable voters in The South as a result of the unstoppable spill. We might see tomorrow’s elections determined not by talking heads and pundits but by millions of folks covered with southern sweat, southern dirt, and long southern memories.

  8. 8
    mai naem says:

    I am sure if some clean up crew person leaked any negative details about the clean up, MMS would be out there pronto investigating it, and, hell, they’d probably have the poor person put away at Gitmo.

    Morning Ho’s got a Rolling Stone reporter on giving a pretty negative take on the admin’s response to the spill. Pretty depressing. Ken Salazar was the one Obama appointee I did not like at all, even more than Geithner and Summers. He was no Lieberman or Ben Nelson but he was always a corporate shill in the Bayh/Lincoln mold.

  9. 9
    Thomas says:

    The Chronicle is treating this like a massive clusterfuck with many underlying causes, each of which should be exposed and thoroughly examined. The national media is treating this an opportunity to inquire whether the President is showing enough empathy and wondering how the commoners perceive his response. For the national media, literally every single thing that happens in American life is viewed as an opportunity to ask about the President’s job performance, no matter how tangentially related the incident may be. “Why hasn’t Obama stopped the oil yet?” “How do you, man on the street, feel about Obama not having stopped the oil yet?”

  10. 10
    wag says:

    the Denver Post had a good article in yesterday’s edition that gives historical context to and details of the MMS’s long term pattern of misbehavior. Who would have imagined that an agency created by Reagan and first staffed by James Watts coud have degenerated into a cesspool of industry interference.

  11. 11
    wag says:

    @mai naem:

    Ken Salazar was the one Obama appointee I did not like at all, even more than Geithner and Summers. He was no Lieberman or Ben Nelson but he was always a corporate shill in the Bayh/Lincoln mold.

    I would recommend reading the article Iinked to above. Salazar’s response to the spill has been a behind the scenes approach, mirroring the overall Obama administration approach. I suspect that when we look back on this era, we will appreciate the work that has shaped what I hope to be very positive outcomes for many of our nation’s current ills.

    Then again, maybe I’m just another Obot.

  12. 12
    Brian J says:

    Jesus Christ, why are we still having this debate? Isn’t it obvious that if we inspect accidents and enforce the rules, the newly combined Russian and Chinese Communist forces will start rolling tanks through the streets and we will be waiting on lines for toilet paper and potatoes? Is this scenario that hard to envision?

    On a more serious note, while Obama has supposedly been making solid progress on restoring the regulatory capacity of a lot of government agencies, there’s probably a lot that still needs to be done. I wonder if it’s simply easier to clean house in one decisive move and deal with the fall out if and when it happens. Sure, the right will bitch, but they bitch about everything.

  13. 13
    El Cid says:

    One place? Just a while a go there was a lot of focus on how the Bush Jr. era hacks made sure to allow maximal violation freedom in West Virginia mines, but then, that was, like, forever ago, and who remembers so far back?

  14. 14
    Shalimar says:

    @stevie314159: Why would we have a second Civil War? Are there any leaders who would fight to get them back if southern states seceded?

    @dmsilev: Saying “please sir, may I have another?” is not an investigation.

  15. 15
    Wag says:

    I wonder if it’s simply easier to clean house in one decisive move and deal with the fall out if and when it happens. Sure, the right will bitch, but they bitch about everything.

    Now about those little tricks known as Senatorial holds…

    Obama’s hands are at least partially tied by the sheer number of holds that the GOP has placed on his nominees. He may not be able to risk any more holds.

  16. 16
    Fern says:

    @Wag: I’d thought the plan was to break up the department and have one for approvals and one for monitoring.

  17. 17
    El Cid says:

    @Shalimar:

    Are there any leaders who would fight to get them back if southern states seceded?

    Probably the majority of the USA’s African Americans, who live in the South and don’t want to be ruled by a new CSA, and also the minority of Southern whites who want to live in cities and such rather than dressing up once again as field hands and starving sharecroppers and hookworm partiers.

  18. 18

    @Wag:

    Obama’s hands are at least partially tied by the sheer number of holds that the GOP has placed on his nominees. He may not be able to risk any more holds.

    It’s not just the holds. Someone mentioned in a thread a few weeks ago that a lot of these people are not appointed officials, but hired government employees, who are governed by federal hiring practices, making it more difficult to fire them. Appointed officials can be canned on Jan. 20. All the Bush-era hires underneath those appointed officials … that’s another story entirely.

    I suspect there are a lot of hangers-on in DOJ, Defense, Energy, EPA, MMS, Interior, etc. who have no use for Obama or his cabinet-level appointees.

  19. 19
    Maude says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:
    That’s the big problem. MMS is going bye bye. Obama is doing a lot of fed agency clean up very quietly.
    Doncha just wanna thank Ronnie Raygun for all that deregulation that continued thru Bush Jr. ?

  20. 20
    Shalimar says:

    @El Cid: I’m assuming the United States minus the south and a few other choice places like Arizona would have a sensible immigration policy for the people you speak of so they can escape from racist hell.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    @stevie314159:

    On my optimistic days, I think maybe things can be fixed within 20 years.

    It took 30 years of Republican rule and ideas to get us to this point, so it will probably take at least that long to get it cleaned up again. Which is one of the reasons I’m not screaming about Obama not having fixed problems that date back to Reagan’s day within his first two years in office. This is going to be a long haul against people who have already demonstrated that they’re willing to work as long as it takes to get things to go their way.

    For all our talk about the short-term thinking of conservatives, they managed to stick it out and work their way up through the ranks over the course of decades to get into power. It’s going to take liberals at least as long to do the same, but I don’t see too many people willing to put in the time to get it done.

  22. 22
    Gregory says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    just like the Times-Picayune did better reporting than the nationals during Katrina. nola.com is also doing some pretty good work on the spill.

    Co-sign. I recently returned from a visit to New Orleans, and the dead tree edition of the Times-Picayune has some amazing wall to wall spill coverage as well.

    Which is funny, because that paper used to be so bad that Berke Breathed named the lousy paper in “Bloom County” after it.

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