Patterico's Pontifications


Second Source Claims Mullah Omar Captured

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 10:15 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Patterico posted yesterday on a report by Brad Thor at BigGovernment that Mullah Omar has been captured in Pakistan. To my knowledge, no one in the major media has reported this story. MyPetJawa confirmed Thor’s report today:

“An overseas intelligence source has confirmed to the Jawa Report that Mullah Omar has been captured as originally reported by Brad Thor.

You can wait for the New York Times to catch up if you’d like, we don’t mind.”

There appears to be a third confirmation in an Update.


BP Oil Leak Slows, Leaking Natural Gas

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 10:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The BP oil leak is reportedly slowing and possibly replaced by leaking natural gas:

“In the last few days, the spill from the broken well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico has begun to change. Sources tell ABC News the amount of natural gas coming out of the well is increasing, which could mean less oil spewing into the ocean. BP, trying to control the slick, confirmed the report.

When satellite images of the oil slick from May 1 are compared with the slick today, it appears smaller in size. On explanation is that it now appears that the natural gas forcing its way out of the well could be reducing the amount of oil escaping. Instead of floating on the surface, the natural gas escapes into the atmosphere.

BP confirms that it is seeing some changes in the nature of the leak, but because it is not measured, they cannot say precisely what is happening.”

Is it possible the wellbore is bridging the fluid formations?

“Bridging tendencies in ultra-deepwater blowouts. Wellbore collapse (Bridging) is the fastest, least-expensive and possibly only method of blowout control in deep water.”

On the other hand, this 2005 Offshore article almost foreshadows the BP blowout and oil spill, and it casts doubt on whether high pressure offshore wells will bridge.


Another Incumbent Falls

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 8:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

West Virginia Democrat Alan Mollohan has been defeated in the primary:

“Anti-incumbent sentiment is roiling both parties as another long-serving member was defeated in a primary Tuesday.

West Virginia Democratic primary voters opted not to nominate Rep. Alan Mollohan for a 15th term.

Mollohan’s loss is the first defeat for a House incumbent this cycle and comes days after Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) was denied his party’s nomination for a fourth term at the GOP state party convention in Salt Lake City.

In West Virginia, Democrats nominated state Sen. Mike Oliverio, who claimed 56 percent of the vote to Mollohan’s 44 percent with 511 of 670 precincts reporting. The Associated Press called the race for Oliverio.”

Mollohan’s loss was variously attributed to his vote for ObamaCare and its abortion funding, earmarks, and allegations of corruption.


Controlling the Kagan Message

Filed under: Judiciary,Obama — DRJ @ 2:50 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Administration sent a not-so-subtle message to the White House press today — reporters are expendable:

“While the White House seems to believe the American people deserve to hear from Kagan, it has not made her available to reporters. That prompted some consternation at today’s White House briefing.

“It appears that Solicitor General Kagan did an interview yesterday right after the president’s announcement,” said a reporter. “You’ve now posted that on the White House Web site. Who did the interview? And can I have one?”

“I think it’s — I think it’s on the website if you want to see it,” responded Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Soon after, the reporter can be heard saying, an edge in her voice, “So a White House staffer interviewing her.”

Gibbs says yes, and the reporter asks if Kagan would like to do another interview.

“She has — she’s not told me that, no,” replied Gibbs, prompting the reporter to respond, “Tell her we’re deeply frustrated.”

The decision to post an interview with Kagan conducted by a government employee – not a journalist – is in line with the Obama administration’s policy of regularly using new media tools to go around traditional media.”

Will the media begin its full court press as it did when the McCain campaign limited access to Sarah Palin?


Houston Teacher Fired for Beating Student

Filed under: Crime,Education — DRJ @ 2:21 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Houston charter school science teacher has reportedly been fired for this:

The Houston Chronicle article quotes a school spokeswoman as saying her students loved her (presumably at least one didn’t) and she has had no complaints in 3 years of teaching.


Deep Thoughts

Filed under: Government,Immigration — DRJ @ 2:06 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Dan Collins on human rights:

“Pelosi says we can’t tell 12 million illegals to get out or go to jail; we sure can tell 250 million actual citizens to buy government-approved health insurance or go to jail, though.”


Britain Has a New Prime Minister

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 1:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Brown resigned and Cameron is in:

“”Her Majesty the Queen has asked me to form a new Government and I have accepted,” Mr Cameron declared before paying tribute to Mr Brown for his “long record of dedicated public service”.

Looking ahead to the coalition he will form with the Lib Dems, he said: “We have some deep and pressing problems – a huge deficit, deep social problems, a political system in need of reform.

“For those reasons, I aim to form a proper and full coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats,” he said.

“I believe that is the right way to provide this country with the strong, the stable, the good and decent government that I think we need so badly.”

He added: “Nick Clegg and I are both political leaders who want to put aside party differences and work hard for the common good and for the national interest. I believe that is the best way to get the strong Government that we need, decisive Government that we need today.

“I came into politics because I love this country, I think its best days still lie ahead and I believe deeply in public service, and I think the service our country needs right now is to face up to our really big challenges, to confront our problems, to take difficult decisions, to lead people through those difficult decisions so that together we can reach better times ahead.”

It was a businesslike, even sombre, performance at odds with Mr Brown’s own farewell little more than an hour before. Mr Cameron’s ministerial line-up will start to emerge later today but the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is expected to be named Deputy Prime Minister.”

I’m not knowledgeable enough about British politics to say anything valuable but from what I’ve read, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats seem like strange bedfellows. I hope it works out because Britain and Europe need strong fiscally conservative leadership right now.


What Did MMS Know?

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 12:20 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The finger-pointing begins in the BP oil spill and some fingers may be pointing at the Minerals Management Service:

“Tim Probert, Halliburton’s president of global business lines, plans to testify Tuesday that his company had finished an earlier step, cementing the casing, filling in the area between the pipe and the walls of the well; pressure tests showed the casing had been properly constructed, he will testify.

At this point it is common practice to pour wet cement down into the pipe. The wet cement, which is heavier than the drilling mud, sinks down through the drilling mud and then hardens into a plug thousands of feet down in the well.

The mud then is removed and displaced by seawater; the hardened cement plug holds back any underground gas.

In this case, a decision was made, shortly before the explosion, to perform the remaining tasks in reverse order, according to the expected Senate testimony of Mr. Probert, the Halliburton executive.

“We understand that the drilling contractor then proceeded to displace the riser with seawater prior to the planned placement of the final cement plug…,” Mr. Probert says in the prepared testimony, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The “riser” is part of the pipe running from the sea floor up to the drilling rig at the surface.

Lloyd Heinze, chairman of the petroleum engineering department at Texas Tech University, agrees that this is an unusual approach. “Normally, you would not evacuate the riser until you were done with the last plug at the sea floor,” he said in an interview.

A worker who was on the drilling rig said in an interview that Halliburton was getting ready to set a final cement plug at 8,000 feet below the rig when workers received other instructions. “Usually we set the cement plug at that point and let it set for six hours, then displace the well,” said the worker, meaning take out the mud.

According to this worker, BP asked permission from the federal Minerals Management Service to displace the mud before the final plugging operation had begun. The mud in the well weighed 14.3 pounds per gallon; it was displaced by seawater that weighed nearly 50% less. Like BP, the MMS declined to comment on this account.

As the heavy mud was taken out and replaced with much lighter seawater, “that’s when the well came at us, basically,” said the worker, who was involved in the cementing process.

The worker’s account is corroborated by an email account sent by another person on the rig. He said that engineers wanted to flood the well with sea water before setting the final plug. As they were taking out the mud, the blowout began with a flood of drilling fluid being pushed out of the well, followed by a series of explosions.”

What did MMS know, and did it give BP permission to proceed without placing the final cement plug?


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