Gulf oil slick: mindboggling incompetence

June 8, 2010

When an oil spill occurs in water, one thing you want a lot of is boom: floating barriers that can contain the oil to a relatively restricted area. Since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and began the largest oil spill in US history, gulf-state governors have been begging for boom to protect their coastlines. Louisiana Governor Jindal asked for 5,000,000 feet of “hard” boom in early may. So far, he’s only received 20% of that. Supposedly, there just isn’t enough.

Wrong.

In what has got to be one of the most frustrating, infuriating moments of bureaucratic foot-dragging and incompetence since this whole mess began, a company in Maine has miles of boom available. They can churn out 40,000 feet per day, they’ve contacted federal officials and executives at BP – and no one will buy it from them:

John Lapoint of Packgen in Auburn, Maine, says he’s got plenty of floating oil containment boom and can make lots more on short notice. There’s just one problem: no one will buy it from him.

(…)

Packgen’s main business is not making oil boom. They make specialty packaging materials for shipping and storing environmentally sensitive materials. But when Packgen’s president, John Lapoint, saw the BP oil spill in the news, he understood right away that to have any hope of containing the oil drifting towards the shoreline, lots of floating boom would be necessary.

(…)

Maine, like the rest of the country, is suffering from very high unemployment. But its residents aren’t out of work because they aren’t useful; they’re useful, but out of work because there’s nothing much useful to do. Lapoint was able to immediately add two shifts of competent and motivated workers, and by the fourth day of production was making forty thousand feet of boom a day.

It’s likely they could make even more. But no one was ready to purchase it.

This comes down to a failure of anyone other than Mr. Lapoint, from the President of the United States to BP executives, to take any initiative. Instead they’ve stuck to approved procedures: when the Governor of Louisiana wants to build sand berms to protect his marshes, he has to wait for approval from Washington because of environmental regulations. And when a company stands ready to do its part and work round the clock to supply the equipment we need, no one from the Fed can be moved to do anything, while BP sniffs because the design isn’t approved, yet.

This is the worst of all possible situations: a Federal government that makes everyone wait on it, depend on it – and then won’t act decisively in a situation where it is given the lead role by law.

All while the ecologies and economies of the Gulf states are devastated.

Here we have Americans willing to take the initiative, from the Jindal administration to a small company in Maine, and the statist nitwits in DC are blocking them every step of the way. They should have instead have said “damn the regulations” and bought every foot of boom Packgen had, shipped by military airlift to the Gulf, and then set the company to working 24 hours a day. If the President is so willing to “kick ass,” here is just the situation in which he should put boot to tail. This is disgraceful.

Apparently, there are two clean ups in order: first the Gulf, and then Washington, D.C.  Angry

LINKS: More at Hot Air.

Advertisements

Your Wednesday midday North Korean weirdness

June 8, 2010

Steve at Pax Parabellum says this is a North Korean tourism video (as does the original poster at YouTube). I’m not so sure (Would Kim Jong-Il be my host? Eww…), but it does have a catchy beat:

It’s a 24-by-7 party in old NoKo, y’know?

Meanwhile, Pyongyang adds another item to the “Are they trying to commit national suicide?” list, this time by ticking off their sole protectors:

North Korean border guard ‘shoots three Chinese dead’

China says a North Korean border guard shot and killed three people near the countries’ border last week.

A fourth person was reportedly injured in the incident near the north-eastern border town of Dandong.

China has made a formal complaint to North Korea, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said.

The two countries are considered to be close allies and Beijing rarely makes any public criticism of its isolated neighbour.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news conference in Beijing that the four residents of Dandong, in Liaoning province, had been shot “on suspicion of crossing the border for trade activities”.

“China attaches great importance to that and has immediately raised a solemn representation with the DPRK,” he said, using North Korea’s full name (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).

Right. So, you’re North Korea and you know that a) China supplies 90% of your energy needs and b) is the only thing keeping your loony bin of a nation afloat. You’ve already caused them a major headache by sinking a naval vessel belonging to South Korea, so, what do you do?

Easy! You just gun down some of their citizens, too!*

It’s Bedlam, and the worst psychos are in charge.

*(Wouldn’t it have been easier to arrest and deport them? I’m just sayin’…)

(via The Jawa Report)


Winner, “Hypocrite of the Year”

June 8, 2010

Okay, okay. There’s a lot of competition for this award, especially in politics and celebrity circles, but this has got to be one of the finalists:

Bill Clinton calls Louisiana senator ‘sinner’ in fundraising letter

Former President Clinton has sent out a fundraising letter on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee under his own name warning that Republicans are trying to “derail’ President Obama’s agenda.

Not much unexpected there.

But along with the letter, Clinton has included a flyer from the DSCC that’s bound to raise eyebrows.

“DSCC funds go towards efforts to unseat far-right Republican senators like admitted sinner David Vitter…” the flyer says, referring to the Louisiana senator who admitted patronizing a prostitution service when he was in the House.

Bill Clinton decrying someone else for being a sinner? Bill “Blue dress” Clinton? William Jefferson “I did not have sex with that woman” Clinton?? What was the DSCC thinking?

Someone check the exchanges, because I think he just cornered the market on brass.

What’s next? Eliot Spitzer denouncing someone for the sin of lust? John Edwards lecturing on fidelity? Barack Obama on not blaming others? Wait. Scratch that last one

Wow.

(via Ben Domenech)


“We con the world”

June 8, 2010

I’ve always said that mockery is one of the best weapons, especially against the self-righteous. Israel’s LatmaTV comedy group unleashes it against the jihadists of the Gaza “humanitarian aid” flotilla and their useful idiots, to the tune of “We are the world:”

Well done! Applause

(Observant news junkies will spot journalist Caroline Glick as one of the chorus.)

UPDATE: YouTube has pulled the video based on a spurious copyright claim from Warner Music, but the intrepid Ed Morrissey has reposted it through Eyeblast. Enjoy. (via Fausta)

UPDATE II: The video has since been reposted at Daily Motion, so I’ve linked it above. Enjoy! (via Power Line)