UPDATE: (6.11.2010): News stories about the media shutdown around the Gulf Oil leak are starting to surface in the MSM, here, here, and here. I just ran across this video from On The Outside Looking In with a pilot that violated the airspace over the leak and subsequently received a warning phone call from Homeland Security, Air and Marine Division. If you are in the vicinity and have video footage or audio of the media blackout conditions, please contact me on my contact page.
Did Emanuel’s link to oil company compromise efforts to regulate it?
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, WND has learned, lived rent-free in Washington, D.C., for years, thanks in part to a friend under contract with oil giant BP.
While the White House approaches “day 50” of the environmental disaster caused by an explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig, unable yet to stop the flowing crude in the Gulf, several media sources have questioned the administration’s efforts to regulate BP prior to the incident.
WND’s research further raises the question of whether the White House was compromised by Emanuel’s financial ties to the company.
Emanuel lived for five years rent-free in an apartment owned by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and her husband, Stanley Greenberg, whose consulting firm was a prime architect in BP’s efforts to recast itself as a “green” corporation and recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars awarded through a committee chaired by Emanuel.
Greenberg research helped reposition BP as a “green company”
The Greenberg Quinlan Rosner consulting firm’s website details a case study for client BP in which the firm “helped BP plan and evaluate its successful re-branding campaign, focusing the company’s branding on energy solutions, including the development of solar and other renewable energy sources.”
Greenberg Quinlin Rosner’s research also contributed to a $200 million advertising campaign in which British Petroleum attempted to shorten its name to “BP” and redesign its corporate insignia to emphasize a “Beyond Petroleum” theme.
Critics have characterized the BP advertising campaign prompted by Greenberg Quinlin Rosner research as “greenwashing,” a process in which corporations disingenuously portray their efforts as fitting into a politically correct, “green,” environment-oriented sensitivity to alternative energy.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner is also tied heavily to the Democratic Party, as it created a sister political consulting company named “GCS,” an acronym based on the last names of the principals – Stanley Greenberg of GQR, James Carville, the long-term adviser of Bill Clinton, and Bob Schrum, the campaign manager for Sen. John Kerry’s unsuccessful 2004 presidential campaign.
The oil leak progresses, Iran has decided to jump into the Gaza aid drive, Turkey is going sideways…and what is the pRetender doing just days after hanging out with Paul McCartney?
OBAMA OFF TO THE THEATER
Sent: Sun Jun 06 18:06:32 2010
Subject: pool report #1
Reception in the East Room prior to performance at Ford’s Theatre
Print pool only was ushered into the East Room about 5:20 p.m. where many elegant ladies in long dresses and men in tuxedos were standing sipping drinks and eating small finger food. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood came over to say hello to the pool but the president and first lady were announced before there was any real conversation. A few faces spotted in the crowd, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Rep. John Dingell and his wife.
The president and first lady walked in and gave brief remarks to the crowd, but pooler was unable to actually see them because everyone was standing. We’re headed over to Ford’s Theatre shortly and should be able to see then what FLOTUS is wearing.
Remarks: The president welcomed everyone to the White House. He thanked the performers for taking time out of their busy schedules, as well as cabinet officials and members of Congress, including Sen. Reid.
Tonight is about celebrating the great work of Ford’s Theatre and what it has done to preserve the legacy of presidents and highlight the importance of the arts and education in our lives and the life of our nation. “In many ways it’s impossible to separate the history of America from the history of its music and its spoken word. Soldiers have sung as they’ve marched to war and raised their voices again while laying the burden to rest.”
Lyrics on a page and voices on a stage have helped make us across generations and across cultures, backgrounds, and faiths. Great leaders including Lincoln himself have drawn inspiration and courage from the arts. “And on a personal note, they helped each of us express the joys and hardships of life while bringing us closer to each other.”
This is especially true during moments of trial. The president said there have been a lot of trials over the past year and a half. Now, there are brothers and sisters in the Gulf Coast who are going through an incredibly difficult time in the face of a disaster unlike any we’ve seen of late. “I want to emphasize again that we’re going to do everything we can in the weeks and months and years ahead to make this right,” and everyone here feels the same way.
But tonight, we will celebrate not only music, song, and performances, but also the incredible legacy of Ford’s Theatre and some award recipients who have done some much to help others in this country and around the world.
Pool was ushered out about 5:26 p.m.
According to the Ford’s Theatre website, the event tonight is described as follows:
Ford’s Theatre Society will host its annual gala on Sunday, June 6, 2010, at Ford’s Theatre (511 10th Street NW). The evening’s performance, titled “America Celebrates July 4th at Ford’s Theatre,” will be taped for broadcast on the ABC Television Network to air July 2, 2010 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET). Modern Family cast member Ty Burrell hosts a star-studded program with appearances by Kelly Clarkson, Renee Fleming, George Lopez, Lionel Richie, Robin Roberts, Dick Van Dyke, Laura Michelle Kelly and Gavin Lee from the Broadway Company of “Mary Poppins,” the Soldiers’ Chorus of the United States Army Field Band, and cast members from the Ford’s Theatre production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Sent: Sun Jun 06 19:28:59 2010
Subject: pool report #2
Motorcade rolled at 6:56 p.m. and arrived without incident at Ford’s Theatre at 7:00 p.m. sharp. Pool was led past a large white tent in the street and a red carpet leading to the front door. We are holding in the lobby of the theatre with two large-screen television sets showing the live performance within.
The president and first lady were announced and walked to their seats at front row center. FLOTUS is wearing a stunning silver strapless dress with a large crystal necklace with what looks like two small fabric bows on either side. Designer unknown to pooler.
The programme for tonight’s performance was just handed out:
Ty Burrell, welcome
Kelly Clarkson, “Everybody Got Their Something” and “Way Over Yonder”
From the Ford’s Theatre production of Little Shop of Horrors
Christopher Kale Jones and Jenna Coker-Jones, “Suddenly, Seymour”
Soldiers’ Chorus of the United States Army Field Band
“My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” and “America the Beautiful” Robin Roberts, family life in the White House
Dick Van Dyke and The Vantastix, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Medley”
Lionel Richie, “Three Times a Lady” and “All Night Long” with the Joyce Garrett Celebration Singers
Presentation of the Lincoln Medals
Renee Fleming, “Soul Meets Body” and “In Your Eyes”
Cast members from Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Broadway musical Mary Poppins
Laura Kelly and Gavin Lee, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”
From the Broadway musical Memphis Montego Glover, “Colored Woman”
General Colin Powell, a special tribute Renee Fleming, Soldiers’ Chorus of the United States Army Field Band, Bill Conti and the Spirit of America Orchestra with the Entire Company “Battle Hymn of the Republic”
Meanwhile, in completely related news that someone besides the average American should be paying attention to (but they aren’t)…
By Garfield Reynolds and Wes Goodman
June 4 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama is poised to increase the U.S. debt to a level that exceeds the value of the nation’s annual economic output, a step toward what Bill Gross called a “debt super cycle.”
The CHART OF THE DAY tracks U.S. gross domestic product and the government’s total debt, which rose past $13 trillion for the first time this month. The amount owed will surpass GDP in 2012, based on forecasts by the International Monetary Fund. The lower panel shows U.S. annual GDP growth as tracked by the IMF, which projects the world’s largest economy to expand at a slower pace than the 3.2 percent average during the past five decades.
“Over the long term, interest rates on government debt will likely have to rise to attract investors,” said Hiroki Shimazu, a market economist in Tokyo at Nikko Cordial Securities Inc., a unit of Japan’s third-largest publicly traded bank. “That will be a big burden on the government and the people.”
Gross, who runs the world’s largest mutual fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California, said in his June outlook report that “the debt super cycle trend” suggests U.S. economic growth won’t be enough to support the borrowings “if real interest rates were ever to go up instead of down.”
Dan Fuss, who manages the Loomis Sayles Bond Fund, which beat 94 percent of competitors the past year, said last week that he sold all of his Treasury bonds because of prospects interest rates will rise as the U.S. borrows unprecedented amounts. Obama is borrowing record amounts to fund spending programs to help the economy recover from its longest recession since the 1930s.
“The incremental borrower of funds in the U.S. capital markets is rapidly becoming the U.S. Treasury,” Boston-based Fuss said. “Do you really want to buy the debt of the biggest issuer?”
No shock here…on Day 21, I said we were looking at an extinction event.
From ABC News (how the hell did that happen?):
New videos show more clearly than ever how BP, with little resistance from the Coast Guard or other federal agencies, kept the public in the dark about just how bad things were beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
On May 1, 11 days after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, and nine days after oil began spilling into the Gulf, the Coast Guard had still only released a single image of oil leaking a mile beneath the surface — a fuzzy photograph of a broken pipe spewing oil.
But inside the unified command center, where BP and federal agencies were orchestrating the spill response, video monitors had already displayed hours of footage they did not make public. The images showed a far more dire situation unfolding underwater. The footage filmed by submarines showed three separate leaks, including one that was unleashing a torrent of oil into the Gulf.
BP officials said they made all the video available to federal officials.
“The video has been available to the unified command from the very beginning,” said Mark Proegler, a BP spokesman. “It’s always been here from the beginning. They had it.”
Coast Guard officials told ABC News that BP refused to allow them to release the more startling images, arguing they were proprietary. But at the time, the agency was doing little to convey to the world what the images were showing. Coast Guard Admiral Mary Landry was sticking with estimates, calculated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which put the spill’s size at about 5,000 barrels a day for several weeks. Coast Guard officials said they were focused on the response, and advised the public not to worry about just how much oil was pouring into the water.
“I would caution you not to get fixated on an estimate of how much is out there,” said Adm. Landry.
Two days later, as oil continued to spew, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said much the same thing.
“This fixation on the number of barrels is a little bit misleading,” said Napolitano.
BP officials said everyone inside the Unified Command center in Louisiana agreed that the 5,000 barrel figure was the best they could offer.
(Editor’s Note: This is my ‘we are so screwed’ post for 6.2.2010 unless Barry pulls a FUBAR with the Israeli situation. Does anybody have current information on what I’mADinnerJacket over in Iran is doing right now? Is Israel about to get hit on many fronts?)
PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. — A Florida beach might get hit with oil from the Deepwater Horizon accident for the first time Wednesday as sheen likely caused by the accident was reported less than 10 miles off Pensacola Beach.
A charter boat captain reported the oil Tuesday afternoon and state and local environmental officials confirmed that it was about 9.5 miles offshore. Winds are forecast to blow from the south and west, pushing the outer edges of massive slick from the spill closer to western Panhandle beaches.
Emergency crews began Tuesday scouring the beaches for oil and shoring up miles of boom. Escambia County will use it to block oil from reaching inland waterways, but plans to leave beaches unprotected because they are too difficult to protect and easier to clean up.
The spill’s arrival coincides with the beginning of the Panhandle’s summer tourism season, which normally brings millions of dollars to the region.
“It’s inevitable that we will see it on the beaches,” said Keith Wilkins, Escambia’s deputy chief of neighborhood and community services.
The oil has been creeping toward Florida since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers and eventually collapsing into the Gulf of Mexico. An estimated 20 million to 40 million gallons of oil has spewed into the Gulf, eclipsing the 11 million that leaked from the Exxon Valdez disaster. The rig was being operated for petroleum giant BP, which has tried unsuccessfully for six week to stanch the oil.
The Florida report followed an orange and oily mess washing up on Alabama’s beaches earlier Tuesday. Crews cleaned up the oil that they described as having the consistency of a “tarry mousse,” but health officials closed the beaches to swimming.
Pensacola Beach officials said their request for about $150,000 from BP to buy sifting machines and a tractor to help remove oil from the beach’s famous white sands has lingered unanswered for more than three weeks. BP has promised it will pay any expenses, but Panhandle officials say the bureaucracy has been slow. Some think the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be running the cleanup operation, not BP. (FEMA? These guys couldn’t find New Orleans after Katrina.)
Meanwhile, BP has cut the well pipe in order to install a cap. The oil output has increased with no guarantee that this maneuver is going to work any better than the previous. Everybody start praying.
A few weeks ago I received some information that advanced the theory that the BP oil leak is actually an oil volcano, and that attempts to seal the leak would fail. It appears that the theory may be correct after watching some side by side videos and images.
The BP oil leak on 5.23.2010. Notice the white plume next to the black plume.
An AP video from 5.20.2010 which shows the white plume in the background and what appears to be volcanic ejecta floating down.
Now, video of an underwater volcano “erupting from NOAA’s Submarine Ring of Fire expeditions.” 3.20.2009
So exactly how screwed are we today? I’m so glad that Obama and one of his biggest campaign contributors are handling this crisis. We should be hearing the truth any minute now. (snark)
This is one of those situations where I will never get over saying “We Told You So!”. I know, it’s cold and manner-less, but considering the devastation that has been wrought on our economy, society, and our childrens’ future – it’s the only comfort most of us have right now. The political class in this country has to be reined in because their judgment leaves quite a bit to be desired.
(CNN) — Enough is enough! After the latest failure by BP to plug the gaping hole, it is time for President Obama to take full command of this growing national catastrophe. Immediately!
The president in his press conference this past Thursday assured the nation that he and his administration were already in charge and he has manfully taken personal responsibility — “the buck stops here,” he said, echoing Harry Truman. Well, it may be true that BP has been acting all along under the oversight of the federal government, but that supervision has been loose and ineffective.
To the world, it has been apparent that the government has been riding shotgun and BP has been at the wheel. It’s time for the White House to get in the driver’s seat and get us to safety — fast.
Meanwhile, no longer is the Exalted One seeing dead servicemen in the audience, he wants to commemorate our fallen soldiers through ‘deeds’. Time to put the pipe down, Mr. pResident.
Do you think Mr. Gergen over at CNN is feeling better or worse now?
(Editor’s Note: “Or How To Really Upset The Military By Not Visiting Arlington Cemetery. This must be more of that hopey-changey sh**.)
President Obama called Saturday for Americans to honor their countrymen who have died in war, saying that Memorial Day should be marked by “doing our part for the loved ones our fallen heroes have left behind and looking after our military families.”
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said, “We are called to honor their ultimate sacrifice with more than words. We are called to honor them with deeds.”
“By making sure the men and women serving this country around the world have the support they need to achieve their missions and come home safely,” he said. “By making sure veterans have the care and assistance they need. In short, by serving all those who have ever worn the uniform of this country – and their families – as well as they have served us.”
Obama is spending the holiday weekend in Chicago, his home town, and will visit the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery on Memorial Day.
But some critics, most of them politically conservative, have complained that he is not visiting Arlington National Cemetery, the traditional focal point for Memorial Day events. He did so last year.
Here’s a question; are they moving the Capitol to Chicago?
…Or Did BP Just Create A Public Relations Nightmare?
It appears that British Petroleum hired between 300-400 workers just for Bambi’s visit on Friday, and when the pResident took off for vacation, so did the extra workers. If this is true, and it does have the ‘looks like a duck’ paradigm working, BP just shot themselves in the head with a very large caliber weapon.
From CNN (that’s unbelievable too!)
(CNN) — A Gulf Coast official accused BP of shipping workers into Grand Isle, Louisiana, for President Barack Obama’s visit to the oil-stricken area Friday and sending them away once the president left the region.
Early Friday morning, “a number of buses brought in approximately 300 to 400 workers that had been recruited all week,” Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts told CNN’s “Situation Room.”
Roberts said the workers were offered $12 an hour to come out to the scene at Grand Isle and work in what he called a “dog and pony show.”
But, when Obama departed, so did the workers, he said, adding that he’s never seen more than 20 workers at the Grand Isle cleanup site since the effort started.
Scientists estimate 95,000 barrels per day versus the government’s estimate of 5,000 barrels.