Thursday, June 3, 2010

RAND PAUL: "Things That Aren't Violent Shouldn't Be Against The Law"

You have to see this to believe it:

“I’m against legislating morality. I mean, I’m for having crimes and having laws against things that are violent crimes, but things that are non-violent shouldn’t be against the law.”

Kentucky Senate Candidate Rand Paul, newly famous for lacking any sort of verbal filter, isn't just far, far outside the mainstream on things like the Civil Rights Act, energy policy and worker safety. Apparently, as reported this week by Page One Kentucky, he's also at odds with hundreds of years of established law in the United States and around the world.

Since he believes that "things that aren't violent shouldn't be against the law," let's review a couple of things that Rand Paul presumably thinks should have been perfectly legal in the United States:
  • Any sort of environmental crime, all the way from illegally polluting air, water or soil down to common littering. That means famoues crimes like Massey Energy's 12,000 individual violations of the Clean Air Act, massive air and soil contamination by the company that ran the Rocky Flats nuclear facility in Colorado, and the Puerto Rico Sewer Authority's failure to adequately treat sewage and protect drinking water would all be perfectly legal in Rand Paul's world.
  • Lots of stuff that oil giant BP has done. Never mind the newly-opened federal investigation into malfeasance by the company in conjunction with the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill; the company already pleaded guilty to federal charges of negligence in 2007 for causing a massive oil spill on the North Slope in Alaska.
  • Corruption by or of public officials, including Tom DeLay's indictment for conspiracy to violate election laws or anything Jack Abramoff ever did.
  • White-collar crime, which means that Bernie Madoff would still be a free (and rich) man in Rand Paul's utopian world.

Where's a lot of competition, but we think this might just be the most absurd thing we've seen Rand Paul say. Either he really believes it (scary), or he just sort of says stuff (also scary). Watch the video again and decide for yourself whether you think Mr. Paul was kidding.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BP was "Prepared" for Spill 10 Times Greater than Deepwater Horizon

The dome didn't work. The "top kill" failed, and the "junk shot" - as promising as it sounded - didn't work either. Protective booms are failing to block oil from reaching the Louisiana coastline and the widespread use of dispersants are only adding to the ever-growing toxic soup in the Gulf.

BP is so completely out of ideas that they are going to try once again to cap the leak with a containment dome - a stragety which has already failed twice.

It is now brutally clear to everyone that BP was totally unprepared for a disaster of the magnitude that we are witnessing in the Gulf. And yet, the company told federal regulators it was prepared for a leak 10 times worse than the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Bloomberg reports that in BP's spill response plan, the company claimed to be prepared to mitigate a leakage rate of 250,000 barrels per day. Current leak estimates hover around 19,000 barrels, and yet BP has made little headway in their containment effort thus far.

According to the report:
“Proper execution of the procedures detailed in this manual will help to limit environmental and ecological damage to sensitive areas as well as minimizing loss or damage to BP facilities in the event of a petroleum release.”
Many of the techniques outlined in the report have already been tried with minimal effect: dispersants, skimming vessels, and containment booms.

The only real hope, experts now concede, is a relief well which will be completed no earlier than August. As hurricane season approaches, concerns are mounting over just how far the damage will reach, and what challenges the clean-up effort has yet to face.

So thanks a lot, BP. Good plan.