Jun 162010

Daily Mail

Nearly £7billion was wiped off the value of BP amid growing fears that its crucial dividend payout to shareholders will be suspended.

The shares fell 9.3 per cent, with City analysts warning that they will fall even lower in the coming weeks.

Since the oil rig explosion in April, the market capitalisation of the company has almost halved, losing about £55billion in value.

The BP board met in London to discuss whether or not to pay a dividend, which Barack Obama has put the company under

pressure to scrap in favour of refunding victims of the oil spill. Yesterday a BP spokesman said the company would not be revealing the outcome of the crucial meeting.

But scrapping the dividend would hit, in particular, elderly investors who rely on the income.

Last year, BP handed out around £7billion, paying £1 in every £7 of dividends paid out by companies in the FTSE 100.

BP said it had so far spent around £1billion on its ‘response’ to the disaster, but it was ‘too early to quantify other potential costs and liabilities associated with the incident’.

More than 50,000 claims have been submitted to BP, which has repeatedly insisted that it promises to meet every legitimate one.

To date, it has paid out £42million to more than 26,500 claimants, which is equal to nearly £1,600 each.

Rival oil giant Chevron told the Wall Street Journal that the Gulf of Mexico explosion was a ‘preventable’ incident.

Chief executive John Watson said his company had policies and procedures in place that could have avoided the explosion that triggered the spill.

Jun 162010

Washington Examiner By: David Freddoso
Online Opinion Editor

You know that President Obama’s speech was a dud when Keith Olbermann trashes it immediately afterward by saying “it was a great speech if you’ve been on another planet for the last 57 days.” I don’t think it was a good speech even if you have been on another planet for the last 57 days.

I’m glad to hear that Obama finally has a plan for the Gulf oil spill. I am quite underwhelmed, however, by his recycled (no pun intended) call to solve the problem by making our buildings more energy-efficient.

The speech lacked any serious specifics, and it also put Obama on the hook with BP for promising a 90 percent reduction in spillage. But I still wasn’t too bearish on the speech until this line about transitioning the economy to “green energy”:

Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill – a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America’s businesses.

Now, there are costs associated with this transition. And some believe we can’t afford those costs right now. I say we can’t afford not to change how we produce and use energy – because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater.

I think that line alone will cost him 4 or 5 percentage points in approval immediately, and ten seats for House Democrats. The last thing people want to hear right now is that we need to make more humongous investments in government programs (costly not only to taxpayers but also to consumers) because we “cannot afford not to.” Why doesn’t he just call for another $1 trillion stimulus package?

Jun 162010

RUSH: The BP oil spill, the Obama administration and Obama’s personal reaction to it. Folks, I hope you remember that about a half a week, maybe a week before I left, I told you they want this disaster.

~Darn skippy they wanted a crisis! It’s in Rules of Alinsky etal

I told you that this is something that’s going to play right into their hands. He’s gonna use this thing to push cap and trade. He has devastated the Gulf oil business by eliminating all offshore drilling until the so-called cause for this thing is found. It’s a disaster in and of itself the way the president of the United States is dealing with this. It’s a crisis and they are gonna make full use of it.

This speech from the Oval Office tonight is not about the oil spill. It’s not about BP. It is about Obama. The whole purpose for this is Obama’s plummeting approval numbers and an attempt to get them back up. We have learned so much about early offers of assistance from foreign countries that were rejected ’cause the paperwork wasn’t done correctly or so forth and so on.

RUSH: Okay. Let’s get down to the matters at hand regarding the future of the United States of America. We are a great nation at risk in a dangerous world. Our threats have always come externally. They have always come from outside our borders. Today the greatest threats facing our country come from within our own borders. It is simply unconscionable how this president and his administration, his regime, have used this oil spill, this natural disaster, to advance a political agenda. And you’re going to see the culmination of it tonight in his address to the nation as the AKOTUS, the Ass Kicker of the United States. No longer is he POTUS.

He’s got his Bay of Rigs out there, he has shut down the Bay of Rigs, he is going to destroy a way of life in the Gulf of Mexico.

JUST read the transcript…

Jun 162010

Perspective Editorial By DAVID BRODER Investors Buisness Daily

Far be it from me to tell the crew of public relations officials who now occupy those West Wing offices as a reward for running one of the best presidential campaigns anyone has ever seen, but…

If there is any value in President Obama’s knocking himself out to dramatize on prime-time television his impotence in the face of the Gulf oil leak calamity, I wish someone would explain it.

His multiple inspection trips to the afflicted and threatened states, his Oval Office TV address to the nation and now his sit-down with the executives of BP have certainly established his personal connection with one of the worst environmental disasters in history.

But the only thing people want to hear from him is word that the problem is on its way to being solved — and this message he cannot deliver.

~JUST finish this…

Jun 162010

CHARLES ALAN WILSON, 64, of Selah, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to threatening a federal official. WILSON was arrested in April 2010, by the FBI and local law enforcement at his home in Selah, near Yakima, Washington. WILSON became the subject of a federal investigation after a series of threatening phone calls to the office of Washington’s U.S. Senator Patty Murray. WILSON faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when sentenced by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour on October 8, 2010.

According to the plea agreement, between March 22 and April 4, 2010, WILSON called Senator Patty Murray’s office on multiple occasions leaving expletive laden threatening messages. WILSON stated that Senator Murray “had a target on her back.” WILSON stated, “I want to (expletive) kill you.” WILSON discussed assisting others in an attempt to kill the senator. WILSON’s threats were in response to the passage of the Health Care Reform Act.

WILSON made the calls from a telephone line with a ‘blocked’ phone number. However, federally subpoenaed telephone records revealed the calls came from his home phone line. FBI agents were able to further confirm WILSON was the caller. WILSON told undercover FBI agents that he regularly carries a firearm with a concealed weapons permit. He also stated that he was extremely angry about the passage of the health care reform legislation.

The case was investigated by the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg.

Jun 162010

Laura’s E-Blast


My reaction to the President’s Oval Office address on the Gulf Coast crisis can be summed up in one word–WHAT?! Of all the unconvincing and unfocused points Barack Obama made, one really stood out: “[W]hat has defined us as a nation since our founding is the capacity to shape our destiny–our determination to fight for the America we want for our children. Even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we don’t yet know precisely how we’re going to get there. We know we’ll get there.”

This is the type of circular blather one would expect to hear in the Harvard faculty lounge, not from the President in a time of crisis. He tells us he is “unsure” about exactly what kind of America we want for our children or “how we’re going to get there.” But somehow he “knows we’ll get there.” Call me crazy, but how will we know when we “get there” if we’re “unsure” what it looks like? My head is still spinning.

Of course that’s what liberalism is–promises and pronouncements untethered to reality. It is cotton candy rhetoric; spun to taste good for a moment. But then it dissolves in an instant, leaving you feeling sick and disgusted that you tried it in the first place.

With the daunting economic, military, and environmental challenges we now face, America craves a competent, experienced chief executive. In President Obama, we see a man who is horribly ill-equipped for real world decision-making and crisis management. (Unless the crisis involves whether to invite Shakira or Beyonce to a White House soiree.) Even worse, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. This means he doesn’t even know enough to bring on the best and the brightest people to critical posts. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar inspire zero confidence. The same can be said of the rest of Obama’s cabinet.

No amount speechifying or demonizing the enemy (whether it’s BP or the GOP) will save the Administration. In the end, results are what count. We want to see our president fighting every day to make America richer, stronger, and more influential. Instead, more often than not, we feel that Barack Obama and his merry band of radicals are fighting against us, our prosperity, and our freedoms.

Mr. President, most of us know the type of America we want for our children, and we know how to get there. The first step requires giving the boot to politicians who are so arrogant and out of touch they think there is a political solution to every problem and the rules of accountability don’t apply to them.

Jun 162010

IBD Editorial http://tinyurl.com/25jy4mv

Immigration: Arizona’s governor tells illegals if you want family unity, take your kids home with you. And a Tea Party candidate for the Senate says just being born here doesn’t make you a citizen. Anchor babies, away!

We’ve seen the photos of children holding signs at protests that read, “Don’t deport my parents.” They’re called “anchor babies” because they’re considered citizens by being born on American soil. You can’t break up families, the argument goes, even to enforce the nation’s immigration laws.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who had the audacity to copy federal law and then enforce it in cases where illegal aliens suspected of violating the law can’t prove they belong here, has an answer to that too: Send the kids home with their parents; the family that leaves together, stays together.

In a recent interview with Tucson’s local ABC affiliate, Brewer was asked about how to solve the problem of mixed-status families, in response to news that a local school district was planning to sue the governor on behalf of their legal children’s illegal parents. Not pandering or tap-dancing like most politicians would, Brewer answered: “They can take their children back with them.”

“It is illegal to trespass in our country,” Brewer continued. “It has always been illegal. And people have determined that they want to take that chance, that responsibility. We are a nation of laws. That’s why we are America. They made a decision, and, you know, you pay those consequences, unfortunately.”

In other words, if you break this nation’s immigration laws, being pregnant is not an extenuating circumstance.

In Kentucky, Rand Paul, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, has attracted attention with his libertarian view of the Constitution. He insists, as columnist George Will has done on these pages, that these anchor babies are not U.S. citizens at all and are considered such only under a bizarre misreading of the Constitution that few have dared challenge.

Paul reminds us that prior to the 14th Amendment — passed July 3, 1866, and ratified six days later — to be a citizen of the United States you had to be a citizen of one of the states.

Nine years earlier, the Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. Sandford held that no black, not even a freed black, could be considered a citizen. The purpose of the 14th Amendment was to repeal the Dred Scott decision, grant full citizenship to all blacks and to elevate citizenship from a state to a national determination.

Full article

Jun 162010

The Weekly Standard BY Mary Katharine Ham
June 21, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 38

A father retraces the steps of his son, a gallant Marine who lost his life in the liberation of Iraq.


Of all the men I met in Baghdad, Colonel Ali Jafar most looks the part of a senior Iraqi officer. A large salt-and-pepper mustache lends him authority—as if he needed it at 6′6″. He rests a long arm comfortably against a stack of sandbags at least as tall as I am. Clad in desert camo, cigarette ever-present, he has the calm confidence of one accustomed to command.

We are standing in the expansive marble and sandstone portico of Saddam’s Al-Faw Palace on Camp Victory with two American Marines, and the conversation has turned to old war stories.

Ali is suddenly animated, pulling his right pant leg halfway up his calf to reveal a gunshot wound he got in the first Gulf war. “U.S. Army,” he says, pointing to a brown-gray scar on his shin the size of a quarter and grinning widely. Lieutenant Colonel Joel Poudrier, who served with Ali in Fallujah in 2006 and 2007, has seen this before.

“You know how he knows it was the Army?” Poudrier asks. “Because the Marines wouldn’t have missed.”

Another American, Colonel Tom Manion, USMC (Ret.), who is holding a lit cigarette he never smokes in his right hand, chuckles along with Ali. He too bears scars.

Three years ago, Manion’s son, First Lieutenant Travis Manion, was killed in action by enemy sniper fire in Fallujah.

First Lieutenant Travis Manion

Very Poignant read…

Jun 162010

~Townhall by Patrick J. Michaels

Ominous words are emanating again from the president on climate change and energy independence, this time as “a response” to the Gulf oil catastrophe. Somewhere between the war rhetoric and comparisons to the moon landing, President Obama last night (vaguely) told Congress to pass the energy legislation that’s been languishing there since last summer.

Add that to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s speculation on June 8 that the Senate can pass it “this year” and obvious election difficulties for conservative Democrats if they vote for it, and it would appear that we’re headed toward a lame duck session in Congress.

The leadership of the House of Representatives could very easily change hands in the next Congress, and it is likely that major changes—though probably not involving a switch in majority—are on the horizon in the Senate. So, if the Senate indeed does pass far-reaching climate legislation after the election but before the new Congress sits, a compromise House-Senate bill will likely be negotiated by the party that the people have just thrown out of power.

Whatever the Senate passes, and whatever the House agrees to do with it, the legislation will fail to effect any change on climate. The House’s radical Cap-and-Trade bill, rushed through last June 26 (before any one had read it) will have virtually no effect on global warming, even by the year 2100, even if every nation that agreed to emissions targets under the United Nations’ (also ineffectual) Kyoto Protocol did the same.

Richard Lugar’s (R-Ind.) current Senate proposal isn’t cap-and-trade. Instead, it’s a hodgepodge of subsidies for energy sources no one would normally buy, and an unrealistic fuel economy mandate for autos. It does even less for climate than the legislation the House passed last year.

There are other Senate bills out there, too, from John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), which are pretty similar to the House bill; there is also a bill from Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) which mandates costly and inefficient “renewables” that can’t make it on their own economic merits, and various other bills that are variants upon either cap-and-trade or renewable mandates.

None are popular. No matter what people think about global warming, good or bad, indifferent, strong or weak, or nonexistent, they simply aren’t willing to pay thousands of dollars for fuel taxes, emissions permits, or energy subsidies.

~Continue reading…