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Passions in Poetry

What Obama Admin SHOULD have Done in Gulf Oil Crisis

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Balladeer
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125 posted 06-18-2010 10:09 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Comedian Jay Leno may have summed it up best when he quipped, "President Obama announced [Tuesday] that he wants to use the oil spill to move America toward green energy. I have a crazy idea. Maybe he should use the oil spill crisis to fix the oil spill."

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126 posted 06-18-2010 10:09 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bureaucratic red tape has hampered cleanup by delaying oil burn-off and the use of dispersants because of environmental concerns (never mind the 60,000 barrels of oil a day gushing into the Gulf). The administration also waved off foreign assistance because of the ill-conceived 1920 Jones Act, which mandates U.S. union labor for particular jobs. Permit delays slowed the construction of barrier islands off the Louisiana coast, though that didn't stop Obama from bragging, "We've approved the construction of new barrier islands in Louisiana to try to stop the oil before it reaches the shore."

To add insult to injury, Louisiana's oil-sucking barges were halted by the administration because the Coast Guard had to "confirm" that the barges had fire extinguishers and life vests aboard. After those "concerns" were allayed, the barges were then stalled because the Coast Guard had "problems" contacting the company that constructed the barges.

If Obama were more concerned with stopping the spill of oil rather than the spill in his poll numbers, he would offer whatever legitimate assistance the federal government can provide and then get out of the way. http://patriotpost.us/edition/2010/06/18/digest/
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127 posted 06-18-2010 10:31 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Yes, fixing the leak and cleanup efforts should be the focus. It is absolutely shameful that Obama appears to be politicizing this by pushing his cap'n'trade legislation. This is what "never waste a crisis" looks like, I suppose. Shameful. He still hasn't issued a blanket waiver of the Jones Act. Unbelievable. Is he so beholden to unions that their interests take precedence over the environment and the livelihoods of those in the Gulf region?

Some people are saying that he is showing a lack of leadership in this tragedy, that his inexperience is showing. I don't know if I agree with that anymore. I am starting to think that maybe he knows exactly what he is doing, and that things are going according to plan. He's taking care of the unions, and he is taking care of George Soros, the very folks who enabled him to be in the position of power that he is in today.
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128 posted 06-18-2010 11:36 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Mike, there are oils wells here in, LA.  There are oil wells in a lot of places in the US.  The problem is that as I understand it, the new US oil wells need to be worth while financially to drill, so that getting oil out isn't a losing proposition for the people doing the drilling.  Sitting on a gold mine doesn't do you much good if it costs you more than the current price of gold to work it.

     So what's the blatant lie, Mike?  Do you think we're sitting on an untapped sea of cheap oil?  That would be the lie, Mike.

     And if you're going to suggest that I'm a liar, it would be nice if you'd actually say why than merely retreating in a cloud of verbiage.  Where is all this cheap landbased US oil?

     And where do you seem to get the notion that BP or any of these folks would sell it to us.  Some of the off-shore oil might come here, much of it would be shippeed elsewhere.
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129 posted 06-19-2010 12:04 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Do I think we are sitting on a sea of oil much cheaper than getting it from Brazil or the Middle East? Yes, Bob, I do. Do I think we are sitting on a sea of oil much safer to extract than drilling in 5000 feet of water? Yes, Bob, I do. Do I think Obama lies when he makes comments like that? Yes, Bob, I do.
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130 posted 06-19-2010 01:02 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The United States contains massive amounts of oil held in mineral deposits known as oil shale, located primarily in the states of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The
recoverable energy from these high-grade deposits may be more than 800 billion barrels of crude oil equivalent—more than triple the known oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.
For nearly a century, the oil shale in the western United States has been considered
as a substitute source for conventional crude oil. But the economics of shale oil
production have persistently remained behind conventional oil. When crude oil
prices were about $3 per barrel in the 1960s and early 1970s, estimates of the
required selling price needed to make oil shale economic were about $6 per barrel. By the late 1970s, world crude oil prices had increased to about $15 per barrel, but
estimates of the required selling price for oil shale had also sharply increased, ranging from a low of $20 per barrel to a high of $26 per barrel (Merrow, 1978). Crude oil prices jumped again in the winter of 1979–1980 in response to the Iranian crisis, and so did estimates of the required selling price of shale oil, which were reported at more than $45 per barrel in 1980 (OTA, Volume I, 1980).1
Once again, the United States is in a period during which crude oil prices have
risen sharply. As in the past, concerns are being raised regarding the ability of world oil supplies to meet growing demands, especially from the developing economies of Asia. Once again, oil shale is being examined as a possible solution. In 2003, the Bureau of Land Management in the U.S. Department of the Interior established an Oil Shale Task Force to assess opportunities and prospects for oil shale development on federal lands. In early 2004, the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Petroleum Reserves, U.S. Department of Energy, released a report (Johnson, Crawford, and Bunger, Volume I, 2004) asserting
Oil shale development holds the promise of assuring the Nation’s secure access to
strategically important fuels to drive the economy, meet national defense needs,
and fulfill global commitments.

http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG414.pdf
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131 posted 06-19-2010 05:25 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Shale oil?

Should you listen to Johnson, Crawford, and Bunger? They’re obviously experts - all three of them work for companies trying to secure government money to investigate viable shale oil recovery methods, but are they ever so slightly biased?

If you’re going to listen to them though you might also consider listening to some other ‘experts’, there’s a nice environmentally friendly British company simply itching to pump copious amounts of undisclosed chemicals into American soil. They may even sell you some of the low-grade oil and gas they extract if you fund the development for the ten years that Johnson, Crawford, and Bunger claim it will take before Shale oil becomes viable.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/04/bp-shale-gas-environment-protection-ag ency
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132 posted 06-19-2010 12:09 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
There is no doubt that the oil spill produced by the Deepwater Horizon rig and BP is a disaster of monumental ecological proportions. There is no doubt that the spill has caused the loss of livelihood for fishermen, hotel owners, beach surfboard renters and millions of other people on the gulf coast. There is also no doubt that it is the responsibility of BP to get the well shut off and pay for the cleanup. Finally, there is no doubt that a full investigation should be conducted into how the spill happened, the role of BP and of the government in the spill and the mistakes made in the cleanup. It is important that we find out what caused the blowout, how it could have been prevented, why the cleanup was so slow in getting started, why foreign experts were not allowed to help, why the EPA is blocking applications of products as simple as hay which could soak up oil, and why Governor Jindal and others were disallowed the means to protect their shore lines by government bureaucracies.

However, none of these events or responsibilities gives the president the power to suspend the constitution, revoke the rule of law or demand payments from a company. In fact the $20 billion fund "demanded" of BP by the Obama administration does just that. To understand let's review the facts around the fund.

The fund will contain $20 billion to ostensibly pay for cleanup efforts and provide compensation to those affected by the spill. Kenneth Feinberg, who is also known as Obama's "pay czar", will administer the fund. Mr. Feinberg, a political appointee, will have the final say so on who will receive money from the escrow funds and how much they will get paid. It is unknown what rules of evidence will be in force, what documentation will need to be provided and what the priorities and process for payout will be. Furthermore, so far there are no known constraints on what the fund can be used for; since Obama clearly views alternative energy as a long-term solution to oil spills in general, it is possible that he could direct part of that 20 billion to alternative energy research. In short, this is a huge 20 billion dollar fund under the sole direction of a single guy without even congressional oversight. Disturbed yet?

If you try to find the power in the constitution that allows Obama to do this, you will be even more disturbed.  In this case the government can't even claim the commerce clause of the constitution as legal basis because the commerce clause, even misinterpreted as it is, only applies to the legislature, not the executive branch. Where exactly in the enumerated powers of the constitution does the president have the right to "demand" money from a corporation, deem them guilty of a crime and extract a settlement amount? The short answer is "nowhere."

Another pertinent question is what BP got out of this deal with the president. It is unlikely that they simply agreed to just drop $20 billion in escrow without agreements, legal documents or contracts specifying the use of the money. If BP obtained immunity from prosecution in exchange for the money then President Obama just violated extortion laws.  Will we get full disclosure on the deal given to BP for this fund? What about the payouts themselves? Will we be allowed to be a watchdog over those funds? At this time it doesn't look like it.

To illustrate the problems with this fund, imagine you are a fisherman with a claim to 6 million in damages from the fund but the government only wants to pay you 2 million? Where do you appeal? What are the standards to prove damages? What about a hypothetical sign painter working out of Utah paid 3 million on his claim because he is the son of a congressman? What about the hypothetical hotel operator that has claims of damages for 5 million but is in competition with the brother of an administration official and is therefore denied? Furthermore, with millions applying to a single office for payment, how long will that fisherman be waiting before he can make his payroll?

In the USA we have a court system set up to provide rules of evidence, assess actual damages, estimate punitive damages, evaluate claims of complainants and assign settlements or verdicts to those damaged. If you have a problem with the ruling, you can appeal that ruling. When you go to court you will have to prove actual damages, not just imagined ones or political connections, and the defendant will have the ability to refute your claims if they so desire. When millions of people filed for damages due to leaking silicone breast implants, the system worked. When millions filed for claims due to asbestos exposure, the system worked. The system is designed to be fair, impartial and above all non political. However in the case of BP the system was summarily replaced with a single pay czar with sole discretion over 20 billion dollars.

It is always easy to defend the rule of law when it is applied to a sympathetic target but much more difficult when applied to an oil company responsible for a spill of this magnitude. The natural reaction of anger makes it hard for politicians to get up and say, "Woah, wait a minute, this is wrong." Few politicians have the courage to do so. Those that do express reservations about the process, such as Michelle Bachman (R-MN), are universally excoriated in the press as fans of big oil and apologists for big business. However, that couldn't be further from the truth. The rule of law is there to prevent the society from turning into anarchy. The rule of law is there to prevent the government from gaining too much power and imposing tyranny. Finally the rule of law is there to protect the people from reactions of anger. If we will suspend the rule of law for BP, why not suspend it for accused killers and let people exact vigilante justice?

The end result of this BP oil cleanup fund is more likely to be little fisherman without political connections being left hanging in the wind while their politically connected allies get big payouts. Money will go to alternative energy projects, well connected businesses and political interests while the actual people hurt by the spill are left out. Of course we won't know that this is going on because Feinberg will likely use "privacy" arguments to make sure the payouts are not public; in fact the Obama administration has a history of such opacity.

One thing this fund won't do for sure is shut off the gushing oil well, or cleanup a bird. It won't make the government accept help from international experts. The fund won't convince the EPA to allow American product developers to use their products to soak up the oil in the gulf. The fund won't allow us to find out what really happened, what role the government had in the spill or why the cleanup was slow. The fund will merely be a political tool for assuaging the pitchfork crowd out front that Obama is doing "something" about the mess in the gulf.  

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/06/an_oil_spill_is_not_a_license.html
Grinch
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133 posted 06-19-2010 12:28 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


As I understand it Denise the fund is to supply interim payments to ensure that anyone with a legitimate claim has at least some recompense to keep them going until full payment can be settled in court – sounds like a good idea given that compensation for the Exxon Valdez took twenty years to materialise.

.
Denise
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134 posted 06-19-2010 12:43 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

It vests too much power in the hands of one man, Grinch. It could just become another political slush fund, and not really help the people who need it most.
Grinch
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135 posted 06-19-2010 12:52 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


You forgot a couple Denise, he might eat all the money, set fire to it at a barbeque or lose it all in Vegas.

Did any of that happen when he administered the 9/11 fund Denise ?

.
Bob K
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136 posted 06-19-2010 04:26 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Shale oil?

     I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged when I was a sophomore in high school.

     In the meantime, what I said about commercially viable oil still seems to be the current situation.  I hadn't thought about the chemicals required for the extraction, frankly, and when Grinch brought them up I was taken aback by the potential ecological nightmare that presented.  Water rights make the pollution situation  out west different than it is in the also ecologically fragile lowlands of Florida.  Some of our cities are getting by through partial dependence on Fossil water deposits, a foolhardy situation at best.

     Talk about your economic bubbles!

     Your shale oil is somewhat like coal, only not so available.  It also puts up back in the current mess, Mike, should it ever become readily available and commercially viable and ecologically, otherwise, neutral.  We'd be burning more hydrocarbons.

     President Obama wasn't lying, Mike.  I don't agree with him about lots of things, but about this I think he was telling the truth.

     Also, I watched Thursday's Maddow show, and she went after that Congressman who lied about his service record, the Democrat, and she spent a fair amount of time on him.  She was hysterical, I thought, and you might want to check it out on her blog.  I think you'd get some serious chuckles from it, and the guy is a Democrat, so it's a chance to see her wit turned on something that you agree with her about.  Entertaining.

     Best.  BK
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137 posted 06-19-2010 05:15 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Speaking of Atlas Shrugged....

"With the capping of executives' salaries, the taxing of the minority to support the majority, the possible nationalization of the banks, and other "spread the wealth" policies, Americans all over the country are picking it up as well. Sales of Atlas Shrugged have tripled the first few weeks in 2009:

    Sales of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" have almost tripled over the first seven weeks of this year compared with sales for the same period in 2008. This continues a strong trend after bookstore sales reached an all-time annual high in 2008 of about 200,000 copies sold.

    "Americans are flocking to buy and read 'Atlas Shrugged' because there are uncanny similarities between the plot-line of the book and the events of our day" said Yaron Brook, Executive Director at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. "Americans are rightfully concerned about the economic crisis and government's increasing intervention and attempts to control the economy. Ayn Rand understood and identified the deeper causes of the crisis we're facing, and she offered, in 'Atlas Shrugged,' a principled and practical solution consistent with American values."
http://wizbangblog.com/content/2009/02/26/sales-of-ayn-rands-atlas-shrugged-triple.php


"The biggest under-appreciated political story of this year is the astonishing surge in the sales of Ayn Rand's epic 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged.

In the past week, the ranking page which shows the top sellers among all of the books offered through Amazon.com showed the novel surging into the top 20, climbing as high as #16. Remember that this is a thousand-page-long, 52-year-old novel that is heavy on philosophical content. And those rankings surely understate actual sales, since the novel is listed under at least three separate editions, each showing strong sales in its own right."
http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2009/04/atlas_shrugged_sales_overturn.html

How about that, Bob?...and oh yes, shale oil was in there, too.

Grinch
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138 posted 06-19-2010 06:01 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


I prefer ‘Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance’.

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139 posted 06-19-2010 10:23 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Obama accused Republicans on Saturday of blocking legislation that would boost the U.S. economic recovery and lift a $75 million limit on what oil companies must pay to families and small businesses affected the spill.
Obama said the Senate bill would extend unemployment benefits to workers without jobs and a tax credit for first-time homebuyers. He also said the legislation would save thousands of jobs across the country.
"Unfortunately, the Republican leadership in the Senate won't even allow this legislation to come up for a vote," the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address. "And if this obstruction continues, unemployed Americans will see their benefits stop. Teachers and firefighters will lose their jobs. Families will pay more for their first home. "
Obama said the Republicans were hurting the country by refusing to let the legislation move forward. He said the bill meant to hasten the economy recovery and lift the $75 million oil cap deserved a vote.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-06-19-obama-weekly-address_N.htm?csp=34news&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UsatodaycomWashington-TopStories +%28News+-+Washington+-+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo


I agree with lifting the oil cap. As for the rest of his "blame someone else" continuous ramblings, all I can say is what a pathetic excuse for a leader.
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140 posted 06-20-2010 01:52 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Put that cap lift in a separate piece of legislation. I'm sure it would pass without a problem.

He does get nasty when he doesn't get his way on everything. And his blame game is getting very old.
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141 posted 06-20-2010 03:33 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



    So you're in favor of blocking unemployment benefits and the various other needs of the folks suffering from the recession.  President Obama doesn't need to blame you; you and your representitives volunteer.  
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142 posted 06-20-2010 05:50 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Put that cap lift in a separate piece of legislation. I'm sure it would pass without a problem.


It didn’t last time they tried that Denise, or the time before that. On both occasions it was blocked by Republicans when your pathetic excuse for a leader tried to get a vote on it.

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143 posted 06-20-2010 09:03 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

One can imagining him stopming his foot in anger at not getting his way. Obama doesn't like not getting his way.

So because he has a bill they won't pass (even with a majority in both houses) that means that Republicans are responsible for first-time home buyers not being able to buy, the loss of thousands of jobs, teachers and firefighters losing their jobs, homes costing more...all of this because Republicans ask how he is going to pay for what he wants to spend (not too unreasonable for the zero deficit president he claims to be). None of those things are his fault. Of course not. They are all someone else's fault. Interesting how Obama goes to the public to cry about those evil respublcans but ignores the public when he wants to pass what they don't want passed.

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144 posted 06-20-2010 09:10 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, that Democrat ploy is getting real old. "You're against unemployment benefits? You want people to starve? You want to lose police officers and firefighter, making you communities unsafe? How heartless can you be??"

No, Bob, they simply want to know where the money will come from to extend those benefits. That is a question that Obama apparently never even considers and that's why we are so mired in debt. Hey, why not just make unemployment benefits unlimited? People still getting paid not matter how many years it takes them to find a job? No one would starve that way, would they?

Police and firefighters are always the red herrings governments throw up to get their way. The fact is that there are MANY areas in which city, state and national governments can reduce costs but they don't really want to go there so they used the same old, "have to fire police and firefighters" routine to scare the public. So what's new?
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145 posted 06-20-2010 09:25 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
One can imagining him stopming his foot in anger at not getting his way.


I don’t blame your pathetic excuse for a leader Mike, if I were American I’d be pretty upset myself that some politicians are obstructing a vote on lifting the cap simply to protect the oil companies.

I guess the upside is that BP will wriggle out of paying the full whack, which means my pension scheme will take less of a hit, every cloud has a silver lining I suppose.

.
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146 posted 06-20-2010 10:07 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No one should be obstructing s vote to lift the cap, as long as that's the only issue on the table.

COngrats on your pension. You can use it to vacation in Louisiana.
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147 posted 06-20-2010 11:09 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

He wants the credit for 'pay as you go' but then when Congress on both sides of the aisle hold him to it he cries foul. But only against the Republicans.

He already got his 'down payment' pledge from BP of $20 billion, with more to come. I don't see how the cap relates to them now anyway.

And I do hope the fund is handled correctly. When he said it would be administered by a third party, I didn't think he meant by someone in the administration. How is that a third party? Just last month Bart Stupack tried to get funds from another oil spill account to help pay for the extension of unemployment benefits. Washington tends to treat even those funds set aside for one thing to try to pay for something else. Look what they have done to Social Security funds. They threw away the key to the lockbox.
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148 posted 06-20-2010 11:29 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
No one should be obstructing s vote to lift the cap, as long as that's the only issue on the table.


You mean a vote on a bill like this one Mike:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:s3305is.txt.pdf


.
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149 posted 06-20-2010 11:38 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
He already got his 'down payment' pledge from BP of $20 billion, with more to come. I don't see how the cap relates to them now anyway.


How much did it cost the US to secure that pledge Denise?

.
 
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