Friday, July 30, 2010

Thoughts in Passing

Upon reading the list of thirteen charges of unethical behavior which the ethics committee found Congressman Charlie Rangel guilty, it appears that they will deliver a “reprimand.” Not all of the Democrats agree. Murphy (D-PA-08), Sutton (D-OH), and Minnick (D-ID) all registered a preference for the resignation of the congressman. It is safe to believe that each one has a view overshadowed by the presence of a very real threat from the Republicans in their home district with the challengers each looking good in the polls and strongly favored in the upcoming election. Did anyone seriously expect more from the Democratically controlled committee? Ah there’s nothing quite like the hint of hot breath on your neck in a race to get your attention.

So the president decided to go on “The View.” With things going swimmingly around the White House he ventured out to “people” land to share his wisdom with “just folks.” He then proceeded to horrify the world by describing his “black” heritage as mongrel. Give him credit; he did not refer to himself as a cur. Considering his well-established background as half white, 43.75% arab and 6.25% black perhaps “mutt” would have been a better word. What is this guy thinking? After eighteen months may we now conclude that he is helpless without a teleprompter?

I happen to share my quarters with a marvelous friend of mixed ancestry—Rottweiler and red-bone hound. She is an absolutely beautiful slick coated reddish brown creature who I adore. Even though of mixed ancestry, I would never refer to her as a mongrel. It has a pejorative sense in current usage which insults her and our relationship. The president on the other hand—not so much.

Before we leave “The View” let’s give some thought to why the president went there in the first place. Nothing happens without a reason and in this case it is clear: they draw an audience which is made up of 79% women. This demographic has been sagging over the last year from 59% approval in 2009 to a mere 46% approval currently. One can only wish to ever see the demographic which describes the unemployed who watch “The View.” While we are at it: who are the 21% of guys who watch that show?

Ed Morrissey has an interesting piece on Hot Air which concerns the US Coast Guard response to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig fire, subsequent explosions and finally the sinking of the platform and rupture of the pipe. For his in depth look, click here.

For the short version, it appears that the USCG did not follow their own strictly drawn procedures for an occurrence such as Deepwater. The Coast Guard does not allocate manpower and equipment to actually fight fires but rather puts an expert on the scene to direct the existing personnel and manage the fire. This did not happen in this particular circumstance. During the vital early hours of the fire, with proper equipment not immediately available, they were left to fight only with the readily available sea water at hand. In a mile deep well, one does not use a “planted” rig but rather one which floats. As the huge volume of water was doused on the flames, an imbalance was created on the “craft” by leakage into areas not intended to hold water. This no doubt created the problem which eventually sunk the rig. Under ideal circumstance they would have used AFFF (Aqueous film forming foam) which does not create the problems of imbalance. By using the sea water, everything was thrown out of kilter and the rig sank, tearing the pipe in two and dumping tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the sea.

In the course of investigation we learn that Coast Guard resources have been under budgeted and drastic reductions in men, ships and other equipment and management capacity have occurred as a result. With current government attempting to manage each and every miniscule aspect of our lives one can only question why the Coast Guard was unable to furnish their “expert.” We also question the failure by the administration to accept the appropriate vessels offered by foreign entities who generously offered them early on. This was accompanied by resistance by the White House to use skimmers, booms, and ships dedicated to oil retrieval from the sea with pointless insistence on equipment presence and general nitpicking became the norm.

After all of this we are now informed that there is little evidence of problems still existing which reconcile with the predicted immensity of the tragedy. How is that possible? Did the oil not cooperate and just form a huge bubble and steadily seep to the top to be recovered? This entire matter will continue to fascinate as more investigations reveal even more irreconcilable facts and questionable behavior.

At one point the president asserted he would continue “to hold his foot on the necks” of those responsible. It is beginning to appear that this will require a gymnastic maneuver of Olympic proportions since much of this is beginning to point at him. He is the Commander in Chief you know.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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