Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:13 pm

We had an earthquake a few minutes ago. It was very mild here in Rancho Palos Verdes. The chair in front of the computer wobbles a bit. I felt the slight rocking and called out “Earthquake!” but everyone else was upstairs and the dryer was on, which makes noise (we keep the door to the garage open because of the stupid cat), so nobody heard me. Then I figured maybe I imagined it and went looking on the Web for information and could find none.

Then DRJ e-mailed to say happyfeet had felt it.

The early report says it was a 5.7 at about 9:30 near the Mexican border. I didn’t really note the time because I wasn’t sure it was for real but I thought it was at 9:40 or 9:50, something even like that. Did I feel an aftershock?

I still can’t find anything on the official earthquake maps. They must be slow tonight, or I must be clicking on the wrong ones.

Your feedback is welcome.

Incident at MacDill AFB

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 9:18 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Fox News reports there has been an incident at McDill MacDill AFB in Florida:

“Base public affairs officer Senior Airman Katherine B. Holt reports a man and woman were unable to show proper identification Monday evening, and their vehicle was searched. Security found military-style gear and weapons in the sport utility vehicle but no explosives. Holt says she didn’t know how many weapons were removed but they were rifle-type.”

Both persons were in custody and presumably being questioned.


Obama Compares BP Spill to 9/11

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 8:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A British mother who lost her son on 9/11 responds:

“Joy Bennett, 66, a mother of two from Amersham in Buckinghamshire whose son Oli, a 29-year-old financial journalist, died, said: ‘It is an unfair parallel and is really a cruel thing to say.

‘I can see what he is trying to say but to compare a manmade deliberate terrorist attack to something that is an accident is absolutely wrong. Mr Obama seems intent on causing as much offence to Britain as possible.'”

Mrs. Bennett has figured out President Obama.


Marine Leaders Need the Right Stuff

Filed under: Obama,War — DRJ @ 7:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has recommended Gen. James Amos, an aviator and the current second-in-command, as the next Marine Corp Commandant:

“Defense Secretary Robert Gates has recommended that Gen. James Amos will be the next commandant of the Marine Corps, POLITICO has learned.
Amos, already the Corps’ No. 2 officer, would be the first aviator to lead the service. The selection of Amos is a huge upset since the choice was thought to be between two known infantry officers: Dunford, and Gen. James Mattis. Both men had long been considered frontrunners and brought to the job different reputations and backgrounds at a time when the Corps endeavors to re-establish its sea-service identity after more than eight years of fighting wars in largely landlocked regions.”

There is concern at the Pentagon that a commander with experience in ground wars is needed while the U.S. is fighting two ground-based wars. What qualities vaulted the aviator Amos over the others? It may be because he has the right attitude on budgets and gays in the military:

“Typically, the Corps’ second officer, known as the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, is an aviator who never rises to the top job. But the choice of Amos, considered a reserved senior officer not known for the force of his personality, may be the result of a combination of factors. Those likely include his thinking on how and if gays and lesbians should serve openly in the Marine Corps, as well as potentially being open to cancelling the EFV, a multibillion-dollar program that is behind schedule and over budget. Gates appears to have the vehicle in his budgetary cross-hairs.”

“Not known for the force of his personality”? I guess that’s why his nickname is Tamer Amos.


Gov Jindal Orders Guard to Build Barrier Wall

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 7:32 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has defied the Obama Administration and ordered the National Guard to build a barrier wall off the Louisiana coast:

“In Fort Jackson, La., Jindal has ordered the Guard to start building barrier walls right in the middle of the ocean. The barriers, built nine miles off shore, are intended to keep the oil from reaching the coast by filling the gaps between barrier islands.”

Just over 10 days ago, BP and the Obama Administration authorized the construction of five barrier islands. Hugh Hewitt said that represented 2% of what Jindal wanted. Apparently Jindal has decided to go forward with the remaining 98%.

Kudos to Gov. Jindal for taking the initiative.


Princess Leia for Obama

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 6:58 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Carrie Fisher aka Princess Leia loves Obama and hates “teabaggers”:

Is there anyone you haven’t met that you’ve always wanted to?


I’m surprised you haven’t met him.

I know. I love him. Hopefully I’ll meet him sometime. I’m just happy he exists.

Do you think Tea Party is just people who are pissed that there is an African American president?

Yup, and the fact that they chose to call themselves “teabaggers,” which is slang for a certain act involving b***s. It sort of says a lot. I would say a mouthful. Looks like it’s very upsetting for them, but he’s brilliant. The thing is, he’s half white but that’s still not enough — for them it’s all white or f**k off. I think we don’t deserve him and certainly teabaggers don’t deserve him.”

H/T everyone on the Tennessee Republican women thread who wants to talk about this. Not interested? Rightpundits has Princess Leia bellydancing.


TN Dem Attacks Female Republicans

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 5:46 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From Michelle Malkin:

“We can now add Tennessee State Democrat legislator Janis Baird Son­tany of Nashville to the roster of abusers. Here’s what she said about her GOP opponents at a Democrat Party breakfast over the weekend:

State Republican Chairman Chris Devaney today denounced as “petty and insulting” a Democratic legislator’s statement about her Republican women colleagues.

“You have to lift their skirts to find out if they are women. You sure can’t find out by how they vote,” said Rep. Janis Baird Sontany, D-Nashville.

The remark at a Saturday Democratic breakfast was initially reported by blogger Dru Smith Fuller. Sontany acknowledged the statement when asked and described it as “a glib, off-the-cuff remark” that “was inappropriate on my part.”

Sontany has issued the standard, non-apology apology “if I offended anyone.”

That was a mistake on Sontany’s part and she’s admitted it. Maybe she realizes that if Dems need to look under GOP women’s skirts to see if they’re really women (because of the way they vote), the obvious next step is to check Democratic men to see if they’re really men.


Big 12 Lives: Texas Turns Down Pac-10

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 4:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The University of Texas and up to 9 other teams will stay in the Big 12. TV money, travel costs, and the chance for OU and UT to negotiate side deals may be behind the decision.


NC Rep. Bob Etheridge’s Awkward Moment (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 12:21 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

According to Big Government, last week North Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC2) attended a fundraiser headlined by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and was asked by some students on the street whether he supported the Obama Agenda. “He didn’t take it well:”

[NOTE: I replaced the YouTube video with a better one from EyeBlast.]

“Let’s recap what we saw on this video. A sitting Congressman–a presumed living extension of James Madison and other founding fathers–was asked on a public street whether he supported the President’s agenda. His response was to hit away a video camera and assault a student. The age of Pericles this ain’t.”

Moe Lane says this is why today’s videographers need multiple cameras.

Amazingly, the Washington Post‘s Dave Weigel describes this as Etheridge grabbing the student “in a hug” and wonders “who TMZ’ed” Etheridge. Weigel, whose column is charged with looking at the “conservative movement and the Republican Party,” seemingly implies this is the work of new James O’Keefe-style politicos working with Andrew Breitbart. Even if that’s true, is that the real story here?

Etheridge has apologized.


UPDATE: Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs previously worked for Etheridge and he sent this statement to a Raleigh newspaper today:

“I’ve known Bob Etheridge for more than a thirteen years and I am proud to have worked for him. He is one of the most honorable people I know. Everyone makes mistakes, and I’m proud of Bob for taking responsibility and apologizing for his.”

Still no word on whether Etheridge is proud of Obama’s and Gibb’s agenda.

Troublesome BP Well Prediction

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 11:23 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama flew to the Gulf Coast today to begin a 2-day visit to Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. However, his spokesman’s talking points weren’t on how to stop the oil but instead on how to force BP to escrow funds to pay for damages:

“The White House said Monday BP appears willing to set up a massive victims compensation fund, as President Barack Obama set out on a fact-finding tour in the stricken Gulf Coast that he said would help him get tough with the oil company’s leaders.

Spokesman Bill Burton, speaking to reporters traveling with Obama aboard Air Force One to the Gulf, said the White House and BP were “working out the particulars,” such as the amount of the fund and how it will be administered. The account would be run by an independent third-party entity, Burton said, and would run into “the billions of dollars,” although he wouldn’t give a specific amount.

“We’re confident that this is a critical way in which we’re going to be able to help individuals and businesses in the Gulf area become whole again,” the spokesman said.”

The change in tone is not a surprise because, increasingly, it appears the only hope to stop the oil is a relief well that won’t be completed until sometime in August. Why can’t something be done sooner to stop the spill? Via Doug Ross:

“I took some time to go into a bit of detail concerning the failure of Top Kill because this was a significant event… the system below the sea floor has serious failures of varying magnitude in the complicated chain, and it is breaking down and it will continue to.

What does this mean?

It means they will never cap the gusher after the wellhead. They cannot…the more they try and restrict the oil gushing out the bop?…the more it will transfer to the leaks below. Just like a leaky garden hose with a nozzle on it. When you open up the nozzle?…it doesn’t leak so bad, you close the nozzle?…it leaks real bad…

…Contrary to what most of us would think as logical to stop the oil mess, actually opening up the gushing well and making it gush more became direction BP took after confirming that there was a leak. In fact if you note their actions, that should become clear. They have shifted from stopping or restricting the gusher to opening it up and catching it. This only makes sense if they want to relieve pressure at the leak hidden down below the seabed…..and that sort of leak is one of the most dangerous and potentially damaging kind of leak there could be. It is also inaccessible which compounds our problems. There is no way to stop that leak from above, all they can do is relieve the pressure on it and the only way to do that right now is to open up the nozzle above and gush more oil into the gulf and hopefully catch it, which they have done, they just neglected to tell us why, gee thanks.”

There’s more at the link. As I understand it, the well casing was defective so cracks developed in the well bore. As noted above, this would explain why the top kill procedure was not successful — because the heavy drilling mud dissipated rather than pushed the oil/gas down the well bore — and why the recent goal was to capture the oil rather than try to seal off the hole.

It would also be consistent with claims that BP’s well had a cementing design flaw and/or because BP failed to adequately test the cement bond.

If so, this makes the relief wells the best hope to cap the well. According to BP’s website, Relief well #1 has almost reached 14,000 feet, with a planned intersection at 18,000 feet.


UPDATECongress is waiting for BP:

Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) wrote to Hayward yesterday in advance of his scheduled testimony on Thursday before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“The committee’s investigation is raising serious questions about the decisions made by BP in the days and hours before the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon,” the lawmakers wrote.

They cite company documents obtained during their investigation, including an e–mail from a BP engineer that refers to the doomed Macondo well as “a nightmare well” five days before the explosion that killed 11 workers and set off a massive oil leak that is still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico nearly two months later.

“In spite of the well’s difficulties,” Waxman and Stupak write, “BP appears to have made multiple decisions for economic reasons that increased the danger of a catastrophic well failure. In several instances, these decisions appear to violate industry guidelines and were made despite warnings from BP’s own personnel and its contractors. In effect, it appears that BP repeatedly chose risky procedures in order to reduce costs and save time and made minimal efforts to contain the added risk.”

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