Checkmate on Obama’s Tax Care

American Spectator

In order to protect the new national health care law from legal challenges, the Obama administration has been forced to argue that

The Obama Administration has confessed to Obamacare being a tax after citizens legally challenge the system.

the individual mandate represents a tax — even though Obama himself argued the exact opposite while campaigning to pass the legislation.

Late last night, the Obama Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss the Florida-based lawsuit against the health care law, arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction and that the State of Florida and fellow plaintiffs haven’t presented a claim for which the court can grant relief. To bolster its case, the DOJ cited the Anti-Injunction Act, which restricts courts from interfering with the government’s ability to collect taxes.

The Act, according to a DOJ memo supporting the motion to dismiss, says that “no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court by any person, whether or not such person is the person against whom such tax was assessed.” The memo goes on to say that it makes no difference whether the disputed payment it is called a “tax” or “penalty,” because either way, it’s “assessed and collected in the same manner” by the Internal Revenue Service.

But this is a characterization that Democrats, and specifically Obama, angrily denounced during the health care debate. Most prominently, in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Obama argued that the mandate was “absolutely not a tax increase,” and he dug into his view even after being confronted with a dictionary definition:

OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition. I mean what…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, no, but…

OBAMA: …what you’re saying is…

STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to check for myself. But your critics say it is a tax increase.

OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I’m taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but…

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?

OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.

At the time Obama made that statement, the Senate Finance Committee had just released its own health care bill, which clearly referred to the mandate penalty as an “excise tax.” But in later versions, the word “tax” was stripped, because it had become too much of a political liability for Democrats. The final version that Obama signed did not describe the mandate as a tax, and used the Commerce Clause — not federal taxing power — as the Constitutional justification for the mandate.

“”This is an about face from what is laid out in the law,” said Karen Harned of the National Federation of Independent Business, which joined the Florida lawsuit against ObamaCare. “In the text of the healthcare law, the findings for passing an individual mandate specifically rely on the effects of individuals on the national economy and interstate commerce. Nowhere in the findings is the mandate referred to as a tax. The Justice Department is now calling it a tax to try and convince the court not to rule on whether or not Congress exceeded their authority under the Commerce Clause by legislating that all citizens must purchase private health insurance or face a penalty.”

Put another way, the administration is now arguing in federal court that Obama signed a massive middle-class tax increase, in violation of his campaign pledge.

Ultima Hora: Director de BP confiesa que altos jefes causaron explosión

AP

Los altos directivos se quejaron de que el gigante petrolero BP estaba “tomando atajos” mediante la sustitución de fluidos de

El CEO de BP, Tony Hayward admite que el daño es hasta ahora incontable.

perforación cargados de agua salada en el pozo que dejó un escape, lo que provocó el derrame masivo de petróleo en el Golfo de México, según declaraciones de testigos obtenidos por Associated Press.

Truitt Crawford, un trabajador para el dueño de la perforación Transocean Ltd., dijo a los investigadores de la Guardia Costera que el agua del mar, que habría dado menos peso para contener la presión creciente de las profundidades del océano, estaba siendo utilizada para preparar los escapes que después serían llenos con cemento.

“Oí hablar a altos directivos y ellos decían que BP estaba tomando atajos al desplazar el pozo con agua salada en vez de barro sin sellar el pozo con tapones de cemento, es por ello que explotó “, dijo Crawford en su declaración.

Un portavoz de BP, que fue el que alquilaba la plataforma Deepwater Horizon cuando explotó el 20 de abril, matando a 11 trabajadores y provocar un derrame masivo de petróleo en el Golfo de México, declinó hacer comentarios.

La Guardia Costera dio el miércoles la aprobación final para que BP tapara la fuga por la fuerza- con lodo y cemento. No hubo información sobre cuándo podría comenzar ese intento.

Mientras tanto, las declaraciones de los trabajadores antes de que un panel escuche otros testimonios en Nueva Orleans el miércoles y estudie una nota del Congreso acerca de una investigación interna de BP indicó que las señales de advertencia de explosión fueron ignoradas. Las pruebas que se realizaron menos de una hora antes de la explosión, encontraron una acumulación de presión que era un indicador de “una anomalía muy grande”, dijo el investigador de BP, según la nota del Congreso.

Sin embargo, el equipo de perforación quedó “satisfecho” de que otra prueba fue exitosa y reanudó el uso de agua de mar, dijo la nota de los congresistas estadounidenses Henry Waxman y Bart Stupak a los miembros de la Comisión de Energía y Comercio, que está investigando los eventos.

Hubo otras señales de problemas, incluyendo una pérdida inesperada de líquido de un tubo conocido como un “elevador cinco” horas antes de la explosión, lo que podría haber indicado una fuga en el mecanismo de prevención de explosiones, una gran pieza del equipo que debería haber cerrado el pozo en caso de una emergencia. BP ha citado su culpa en la explosión.

Las declaraciones de los testigos muestran que los trabajadores de la plataforma hablaron sólo unos minutos antes de la explosión sobre los problemas de presión en el pozo. Al principio, nadie parecía demasiado preocupado: El primer oficial de Transocean dejó a dos miembros de la tripulación para hacer frente a la cuestión por sí mismos.

Lo que comenzó como un problema de presión de rutina, de repente se tornó en pánico. Los trabajadores llamaron a los jefes para informarles de la situación, con el asistente de perforador Stephen Curtis diciendo que el pozo iba a explotar. Alguien le dijo al líder del pozo, Donald Vidrine que el pozo “estaba escupiendo barro de nuevo.” Uno de los trabajadores, Jason Anderson, intentó cerrar el pozo.

No funcionó. Ambos Curtis y Anderson murieron en la explosión.

En la audiencia en Nueva Orleans el miércoles, Douglas Brown, el mecánico jefe de Deepwater Horizon, testificó sobre lo que describió como una “escaramuza” entre alguien que él llamó el un jefe de la empresa y otros tres empleados en una la reunión el día de la explosión.

Brown dijo que no prestó especial atención a lo que estaban discutiendo porque no se trataba de sus funciones de sala de máquinas. Más tarde dijo que no sabía el nombre del oficial de BP.

“El perforador indicó lo que sucedería, pero el hombre de la compañía se puso de pie y dijo:” Vamos a tener algunos cambios en eso ‘”, declaró Brown. Dijo que los otros tres trabajadores inicialmente no estaban de acuerdo, pero entonces el jefe de BP dijo que “Así era como iba a ser “.

La frustración con BP y el gobierno federal sólo ha crecido desde entonces pues los esfuerzos para detener la fuga han fracasado. Al menos 7 millones de galones de crudo se han derramado en el mar, ensuciando pantanos de Louisiana, nidos de aves y otros animales salvajes.

El presidente Barack Obama se preparaba para ir al Golfo el viernes para revisar los esfuerzos para detener el petróleo, que dijeron los científicos, parece estar creciendo significativamente más oscuro, de lo que pueden ver en un video bajo el agua. El video sugiere petróleo más oscuro y contaminante está saliendo del pozo.

Antes de su viaje, Obama se propone abordar una revisión del Departamento del Interior sobre perforación marina y se espera que recomiende protocolos de seguridad más estrictas y controles para la industria, según un funcionario de la administración. El funcionario habló bajo condición de anonimato antes de la difusión pública el jueves de los resultados de una revisión de 30 días que Obama ordenó después del derrame.

Un nuevo informe del inspector general del Departamento del Interior alegó que los reguladores de empresas como BP y de perforaciones han estrechado su relación con estas empresas de petróleo y gas y aceptado obsequios como viajes de caza y pesca, e incluso han tenido negociaciones para ir a trabajar para ellos.

El recursos de última hora de BP que estaba listo para intentarse el Miércoles consiste en bombear suficiente lodo en el pozo de petróleo para superar el flujo del pozo.

Los ingenieros planean seguir con cemento que la empresa cree permanentemente sellará uno de los orificios. Pueden pasar varios días antes de que BP sepa si funcionará. El Presidente ejecutivo de BP, Tony Hayward anteriormente dijo que las posibilidades de éxito son de entre 60 y 70 por ciento.

Bob Bea, profesor de ingeniería en la Universidad de California en Berkeley, dijo que el procedimiento tiene un alto riesgo de fracaso debido a la velocidad a la que el petróleo es arrojado.

“Desde luego podemos rezar para que funcione, porque si no, habrá que esperar un largo tiempo antes que BP pueda cavar pozos de alivio que cortarían el flujo,” dijo Bea.

Los reporteros de AP Mike Kunzelman en Nueva Orleáns, Jeff Donn en Boston, Ben Evans, Ben Feller, Fred Frommer y Werner Erica en Washington, Alan Sayre en Kenner, Luisiana, y Holbrook Mohr en Jackson, Misisipí, contribuyó a esta historia.

In the U.S., the Establishment is on the Run

The waking of the United States of America has begun.  All over the country, incumbents traditionally in bed with corporations have been voted out of office again and again and again.  Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania and other states saw the break of dawn with different eyes as grassroots supported candidates took over senate seats from Establishment candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties.  While only a few years ago people simply could not see through the smoke screen called partisan politics, it took many Americans only six months to realize that Obama was just another disappointment.  Therefore, many of the President’s allies are now being booted out of office.  The massive awakening has started.  May this awakening serve as an example for more Americans to keep on fighting for liberty and freedom.  May this movement infect patriots in other countries so they also defeat the tyranny of the Establishment, the Globalists and their conquest agenda.

Politico

Rand Paul, the first-time candidate for elective office who has emerged as a symbol of the national tea party’s clout in Republican politics, appears to have clinched the GOP’s nomination for this state’s open Senate seat – in a victory certain to jolt the political order in Kentucky and across the country.

The 47-year-old Bowling Green ophthalmologist – who until last year was best known for being the son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), whose staunch libertarian views have spawned a national grassroots following – knocked off Trey Grayson, the Kentucky secretary of state who had been the favorite of this state’s political heavyweights, most notably Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“I have a message, a message from the tea party, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We have come to take our government back,” Paul, with his parents and the rest of his family by his side, declared to roaring supporters at a posh country club here in his hometown.

With his attention-grabbing views railing on Washington and its ballooning budget deficits, the fire-breathing Paul successfully connected with this state’s furious Republican primary voters, something that the more subdued Grayson was unable to accomplish in the fight to replace the retiring two-term Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.).

“The electorate is pissed,” said Mike Shea, a long-time political adviser to McConnell. “Rand did a really good job of tapping into those themes and tapping into that anger. Trey is a nice guy, but in his commercials and everything else, he seemed completely unable to generate any kind of dialogue to indicate he was tapping into that. If you meet him, he didn’t seem like he was angry.”

With 89 percent of the precincts reporting, Paul appeared poised to seize a huge victory – leading Grayson by 59 percent to 35 percent of the vote. The Associated Press projected that Paul would win the race.

A packed crowd here at the Bowling Green Country Club let out a loud cheer when the AP projected the race for Paul, who was expected to address some 100 activists here later Tuesday.

But many of the Paul supporters had expected nothing less than resounding victory.

“I kind of expected it actually,” said Brent Young, a 45-year-old tea party activist who works with a local firm researching swine production. “I’ve really been a big supporter of his dad, and I really hope he can be elected in November. Time will tell but we really do think he’s a different kind of politician – and hopefully send a message to the GOP that we want something different.”

Paul is expected to face either Lt. Gov Daniel Mongiardo or state Attorney General Jack Conway, who are in the middle of a neck-and-neck battle for the Democratic nomination. Conway’s views are more in line with the Democratic base’s positions, and he is seen by national Democrats as a safer choice. But Mongiardo is seen as more unpredictable on the campaign trail, though his conservative views that break with the White House could appeal to rural and right-leaning voters. Conway is leading the race in early returns.

While polls showed Paul building a comfortable lead in the final weeks of the primary campaign, his win is still poised to send a shockwave threw the Republican establishment. It’s the first clear statewide victory by the disparate national tea party movement, which propelled his victory based on his calls for radical reforms to Washington, including imposing term limits on senators, mandating Congress be more sensitive to its constitutional prerogatives, constitutionally mandate Congress to balance its budget and force all legislation to directly apply to lawmakers. Absent from Paul’s campaign was much focus on socially conservative and national security views that have generated enthusiasm among tea party supporters in other states.

Conway was leading the race by just two percentage points with 92 percent of the precincts reporting.

“It’s not a real good time for any individual to be in a political position,” Republican state Sen. Carroll Gibson said simply.

Tuesday’s voting turnout appeared lighter than usual in much of the state, due to inclement weather and a lack of a presidential contest this midterm season. The day was colored by allegations from the Grayson camp that Paul’s supporters had been intimidating voters outside polling stations and had improperly sought to verify that voting machines were properly being used, allegations Paul firmly rejected.

Paul appears to have his work cut out for him uniting a divided GOP electorate here. A Public Policy Pollingmemo issued Tuesday found that 53 percent of likely Grayson voters had an unfavorable view of Paul, and 43 percent said firmly they would not vote for the tea party-favorite.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Paul said nothing about Grayson and declined to extend an olive branch to his opponent’s supporters. Instead, he launched a fierce attack on President Barack Obama, accusing him of “apologizing” to the dictators and running the country towards socialism.

Beyond that, he’ll have to face a newly energized Democratic Party, which views his victory as a bright spot in an otherwise dim election year since it puts the Republican-held seat immediately in play. Already, Democrats are planning to pounce on a number of Paul’s more politically controversial views, including his calls to eliminate the Education Department, severely cut agriculture subsidies to farmers here and his advocacy for increasing the age for Social Security eligibility.

“Sometimes people run primaries different than they run general elections,” Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of theNational Republican Senatorial Committee, told POLITICO when asked if he were concerned that Paul’s views would make him unelectable in a general election. “We’ll see what happens.”

But Paul said he will not “weave and dodge” from the tea party’s message, and he insisted that he will not moderate in the general election.

Grayson, 38, had been viewed as a rising star in the state’s Republican Party. Young, telegenic and seen as a pragmatic-minded conservative, he is one of only five living Republicans to win statewide here, where a majority of voters are either Democratic or independent. With the quiet backing of McConnell for months, Grayson was seen as the heir apparent to Bunning’s seat.

But in the final hours of the campaign that slipped away from him, Grayson’s allies began looking back at what went wrong – and the explanations ranged from failing to account for Paul’s rise early enough, a subpar advertising campaign and a failure to effectively communicate fiscal views to the electorate.

“It seemed to me that he got off to a slow start,” said state Sen. Tom Jensen, a Republican who backed Grayson. “We never really picked up the momentum. It seemed like Rand Paul had the momentum from the beginning and just didn’t lose it. They ran a good campaign.”

And several people here said Grayson failed to push back against the notion that he was the establishment choice, a politically toxic label this election year that he could have more forcefully sought to affix to his opponent.

“He accepted the mantle of being the ‘Washington D.C.’ candidate despite Paul’s obvious ties to his father, and he ceded ground on key fiscal arguments,” said Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist based in Louisville. “Grayson wanted this primary to be about national security because that’s where they thought they had the best opposition research. But this race was about spending and fiscal issues from the beginning, and Grayson’s lack of focus on that cost him early momentum which he never regained.”

As late as Monday, Grayson had complained that he couldn’t get traction on what he considered a key Paul gaffe: that a nuclear-free Iran wouldn’t be detrimental to national security. Paul had responded with a television ad calling Iran a threat, and the tit-for-tat never quite resonated with voters.

“We ran an ad and a quote from him saying that – I don’t know what else we could have done,” Grayson said. “On an issues discussion level, I’m not sure what more we could have done.”

In addition, Paul has positions that stray from the conservative line, including his hesitation over building a fence along the southern border with Mexico and for endorsing a federal ban on same-sex marriage; such positions didn’t seem to resonate with GOP primary voters in an election-year with many concerned about the budget deficit.

And Paul seemed to squash any momentum that Grayson seemed to muster. Last month, for instance, Bunning – who has a strong base of support in the conservative northern part of the state – grabbed headlines when he endorsed Paul, just a day after a new poll found the race tightening.

“I was very surprised because he had said to me straight up that he was going to stay out of the race,” Grayson told POLITICO about Bunning’s decision. “I was surprised. Based upon the things he said to me, I couldn’t reconcile that with what his actions were a month or so ago.”

But Paul benefitted greatly from his name identification as result of his father’s quixotic presidential run for the 2008 GOP nomination that spawned a buoyant band of libertarian followers. And he seemed to be doing something Grayson did not: speak directly to the mood of Republican primary voters angry at President Barack Obama’s agenda – and that anger seems to have cost Grayson his bid for the nomination.

“Obama is the best thing to happen the Republicans, but also the worst thing to happen to some Republican [politicians],” said Todd Inman, a Republican Party activist who supported Grayson.

But Paul credited a “nationwide movement” that helped him win his primary.
“What I say to Washington is, ‘Watch out, here we come.”

U.S. Senate Also Covering-up Oil spill

Global Research

On Tuesday, the US senate began hearings into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which took the lives of 11 workers in an April 20oil spillexplosion and has since poured millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the region with an environmental and economic catastrophe.

Appearing before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the morning and the Environmental and Public Health Committee in the afternoon were executives from the three corporations implicated in the disaster: Lamar McKay, president of the US operations of BP, which owned the oil and the drill site; Steven Newman, president of Transocean, the contractor that owned the rig and employed most of its workers; and Tim Probert, an executive with Halliburton, which contracted for the work of cementing the rig’s wellhead one mile beneath ocean’s surface.

The hearing resembled a falling out among thieves, with multi-millionaire executives—who, until April 20, had collaborated in thwarting basic safety and environmental considerations—each blaming the other for the explosion.

McKay of BP blamed Transocean. “Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and its equipment, including the blowout preventer,” he said. “Transocean’s blowout preventer failed to operate.” Newman flatly denied that the blowout preventer was responsible for the disaster, shifting blame to BP, which he said controlled the operation, and Halliburton, which was responsible for the cementing around the well cap. “The one thing we know with certainty is that on the evening of April 20 there was a sudden, catastrophic failure of the cement, the casing, or both,” Newman said. Probert of Halliburton pushed back, indicating that BP and Transocean had moved forward operations before cementing was adequately set.

There was, in fact, some harmony between the accounts offered by the executives of Halliburton and Transocean, both of whom appeared to suggest that BP ordered the skipping of a usual step in offshore drilling—the placing of a cement plug inside the well to hold explosive gases in place. That this step was passed over was corroborated by two workers on the rig, who spoke to the Wall Street Journal on condition of anonymity. The workers also told the Journal that BP first cleared the decision with the US Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS). Both BP and the MMS refused comment to the Journal.

Robert Bea, a University of California at Berkeley engineering professor, has gathered testimony from Deepwater Horizon survivors that indicates the rig was hit by major bursts of natural gas, promoting fears of an explosion just weeks before the April 20 blast, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. This raised concerns about whether mud at the well head should be replaced by much lighter seawater prior to installation of a concrete plug. The decision to proceed won out, according to information gathered by Bea.

Whatever the immediate cause of the disaster, the clear thrust of the hearings was to focus public outrage on a single, correctable “mistake,” such as a mechanical failure or regulatory oversight, in order to obscure the more fundamental reasons for the disaster: the decades-long gutting of regulation carried out by both Republicans and Democrats at the behest of the oil industry that made such a catastrophe all but inevitable.

A similar calculation lay behind Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s Tuesday announcement that the MMS, which ostensibly regulates offshore oil drilling, will be split into two units—one that collects the estimated $13 billion in annual royalties from the nation’s extractive industries, and one that enforces safety and environmental regulations. Salazar’s claim that this would eliminate “conflicts of interest” in government regulation was nervy, to say the least, coming from a man with long-standing and intimate ties with oil and mining concerns, including BP.

Indeed, more farcical than the executives’ recriminations against each other was the spectacle of senators attempting to pose as tough critics of the oil industry. The US Senate, like the House of Representatives, the Department of the Interior, and the White House, is for all intents and purposes on the payroll of BP and the energy industry as a whole. Among the senators sitting on the two committees who have received tens of thousands in campaign cash from BP and the oil industry are Richard Shelby (Republican, Alabama), Mary Landrieu (Democrat, Louisiana), John McCain (Republican, Arizona) and Lisa Murkowski (Republican, Alaska).

One of the few truthful moments in the hearings came when an exasperated Murkowski told the executives, “I would suggest to all three of you that we are all in this together.” Murkowski and Landrieu also expressed concerns that the disaster could compromise offshore drilling.

None with even a passing familiarity of the workings of Washington or the Senate can have any doubt that Tuesday’s hearings were but the opening of a government whitewash. The ultimate aim is to shield the major industry players and the financial interests that stand behind them from any serious consequences.

The assemblage of the guilty parties inside the Senate chambers took place as ruptured pipes on the ocean floor continued to gush forth oil at a rate conservatively estimated at 220,000 gallons per day some 40 miles off Louisiana’s coast. The rate could be many times greater, but arriving at a more accurate estimate is impossible because BP has refused to release its underwater video footage for independent analysis.

BP, which is liable for cleanup costs, has all but admitted it has no idea of how to stop the leak. Its attempt last weekend to lower a four story box over the piping failed when ice crystals clogged a portal at the structure’s roof, a result that was widely anticipated. BP is now considering lowering a much smaller box in order to avoid icing. US Coast Guard and BP representatives have also floated the idea of a “junk shot,” firing golf balls, tire shreds, and other refuse at high pressure into the well.

The drilling of two relief wells continues, with the aim of disrupting the flow of oil from the current well. This option will take a minimum of 90 days, during which 18 million gallons more oil will pour out at the low-end estimate. Even this option provides no certainty. “The risks include unpredictable weather, since the wells will be operational at the start of hurricane season,” according to a report in the Christian Science Monitor. “The wells are also being drilled into the same mix of oil and gas that caused the original explosion, and operating two wells in the area creates the potential of igniting a second explosion that is more powerful.”

If the spill cannot be stopped—a distinct possibility—the ruptured well could release a large share of the deposit’s underground reserves into the Gulf of Mexico, which totals upwards of 100 million barrels of crude oil. And even if the spill is stopped at a lesser volume, with each day there is a growing probability that the oil will devastate the entire Gulf from Louisiana to Florida and possibly reach the Gulf Stream, impacting the Atlantic seaboard.

In the interim, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given BP clearance to resume pumping chemical dispersants into the oil column as it emerges from the broken piping. BP also continues to dump large quantities of dispersant onto the ocean’s surface. The environmental impact of such heavy use of dispersants is unknown, but a growing number of scientists and environmental groups are warning that the highly toxic substance could simply be transferring the brunt of the spill from the shore to marine ecosytems.

“The companies love the idea of using a chemical to spray on an oil slick to sink it,” Rick Steiner, a former professor of Marine Conservation at the University of Alaska, told the World Socialist Web Site. “It’s ‘out of sight out of mind’ as far as the public is concerned because TV cameras can’t see it. This is the big oil company playbook: public relations, litigation protection, and image.”

Oil has now washed ashore in three places: the Chandeleur Islands off Louisana’s coast, on the coast of a navigable channel from the Mississippi River known as the “South Pass,” and on Alabama’s Dauphin Island. Fishing has been blocked over a wide area, effectively imposing layoffs on thousands of fishermen, many of whom are self-employed and therefore not entitled to unemployment benefits. Sightings of birds covered in oil and dead sea turtles washed ashore have increased in recent days.

In his testimony, McKay boasted that BP would make available “grants of $25 million to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida,” and that it has paid out approximately $3.5 million in damage claims to those affected by the spill. These figures, presented as an act of enormous magnanimity, are such a tiny share of BP’s revenues as to be almost inconsequential.

The company took home $93 million per day in profits—for a total of $6.1 billion—during the first quarter alone. The $3.5 million in damage claims paid out are significantly less than CEO Tony Hayward’s 2009 compensation, estimated at over $4,700,000 by Forbes.

Casa Blanca y British Petroleum Encubren Desastre en Golfo de México

Wayne Madsen Report

WMR ha sido informado por fuentes del Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército de E.E.U.U, la Agencia Federal de Emergencias (FEMA), y la el Departamento de Protección del Medio Ambiente de Florida, que la Casa Blanca y British Petroleum (BP), que donó 71.000 dólares en el 2008 a la campaña presidencial de Barack Obama – más de John McCain o Hillary Clinton-, están encubriendo la magnitud de la catástrofe del petróleo en el Golfo de México y trabajan juntos para limitar la responsabilidad de BP por daños causados por lo que puede llamarse un “mega-desastre”.

Obama y sus altos funcionarios de la Casa Blanca, así como el secretario del Interior Ken Salazar, están trabajando con el director ejecutivo de BP, Tony Hayward, sobre la legislación que aumentaría el límite máximo de responsabilidad para las reclamaciones por daños de los afectados por el desastre del petróleo de $ 75 millones a 10 mil millones de dólares . Sin embargo, fuentes federales y las fuentes de WMR en el Golfo están reportando que el desastre tiene un costo real potencial de al menos $ 1 billón. Los críticos de la oferta que está siendo elaborando entre Obama y el Hayward dicen que 10 mil millones de dólares es sólo una gota en el vaso para un desastre billonario como este, pero también notan que si los activos de BP fueran nacionalizados, podrían alcanzar casi un billón de dólares para fines de indemnización. Se habla en algunos círculos del gobierno, incluyendo a FEMA, de la necesidad de nacionalizar BP con el fin de compensar a aquellos que en última instancia se verán afectados por el peor desastre de petróleo en la historia del mundo.

Los planes de BP para hundir una cúpula de contención de cuatro pisos sobre el petróleo que brota de un abismo un kilometro por debajo de la superficie del Golfo, donde la plataforma  Deepwater  Horizon explotó y mató a 11 trabajadores el 20 de abril, y los informes de que una de las fugas ha sido contenida es pura desinformación de relaciones públicas destinada a evitar el pánico y las demandas de una mayor intervención de la administración de Obama, de acuerdo con FEMA y el Cuerpo de Ingenieros. Fuentes internas de las agencias dicen que la Casa Blanca ha estado resistiéndose a la divulgación de cualquier información “dañina” sobre el desastre del petróleo. Añaden que si el desperdicio de petróleo al mar no se detiene en 90 días, habrá daños irreversibles a los ecosistemas marinos del Golfo de México, al norte del Océano Atlántico, y más allá. A lo sumo, algunos de los expertos del Cuerpo de Ingenieros dicen que podría tomar dos años para cimentar el abismo en el suelo del Golfo.

Sólo después que la magnitud del desastre se hizo evidente fue que Obama llamá a la secretaria de Seguridad Nacional, Janet Napolitano, para declarar el el problema un “asunto de seguridad nacional.” Aunque la Guardia Costera y FEMA son parte de su departamento, el razonamiento real de Napolitano para no invocar la “seguridad nacional” era que los medios de comunicación bloquearan la cobertura de la inmensidad de la catástrofe que se está desarrollando en el Golfo de México y el Océano Atlántico y sus costas.

Desde el Cuerpo de Ingenieros, FEMA, la Agencia de Protección Ambiental, la Guardia Costera del Golfo y los organismos estatales de protección ambiental, el mensaje es el mismo: “nunca han tratado con algo como esto antes.”

La administración Obama también conspiró con BP para amañar el alcance de la fuga de petróleo, de acuerdo con nuestras fuentes federales y estatales. Después que la plataforma petrolera explotó y se hundió, el gobierno dijo que 42.000 galones por día brotaban del lecho marino. Cinco días después, el gobierno federal aumentó a 210.000 galones al día.

Sin embargo, WMR ha sido informado de que los sumergibles que están supervisando el escape de petróleo están viendo imágenes de televisión de lo que es una “erupción volcánica de petróleo.” Por otra parte, cuando el Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército intentó primero obtener imágenes de la NASA de la mancha de petróleo del Golfo – que es mayor que el que se informa por los medios de comunicación – la petición fue rechazada. Sin embargo, National Geographic logró obtener las tomas de imágenes de satélite de la magnitud de la catástrofe y las mostró en su sitio web.

Hay otras imágenes de satélite que han sido retenidas por la administración Obama que muestran lo que yace bajo el enorme abismo escupiendo petróleo a un ritmo cada vez más alarmante es una caverna que se estima, tiene el tamaño del Monte Everest. A esta información se le ha dado una clasificación prácticamente de seguridad nacional para evitar que el público la conozca.

El Cuerpo de Ingenieros y FEMA mantienen silencio crítico sobre la falta de apoyo a la acción rápida después de la catástrofe por parte de la Casa Blanca de Obama y de la Guardia Costera de los EE.UU.. Sólo recientemente, la Guardia Costera ha comprendido la magnitud del desastre, y envió cerca de 70 buques a la zona afectada. WMR ha sabido también que las inspecciones en plataformas off-shore mostraron ‘válvulas de cierre pedidas por el Servicio de Administración de Minerales que durante la administración Bush se limitaban sello de goma-, como resultado de la colusión criminal entre Halliburton y el servicio del Departamento del Interior.  El potencial de desastres similares existe con las otras 30.000 plataformas en alta mar que utilizan las mismas válvulas de cierre.

El impacto del desastre se hizo conocido por el Cuerpo de Ingenieros y FEMA antes incluso de que la Casa Blanca comenzó a tomar la magnitud de la catástrofe seriamente. La primera víctima de la catástrofe es la industria de mariscos, no sólo con los pescadores, criadores de ostras, cangrejeros y pescadores de camarones que pierden sus puestos de trabajo, pero todos los involucrados en la industria de restaurantes, desde los camioneros a camareras.

La invasión de petróleo crudo en los estuarios como la Bahía de Apalachicola-rica en un desastre para la Florida y la industria pesquera. Sin embargo, la mayor amenaza es la de los Everglades de la Florida, que los expertos federales y estatales temen que se convierta en una “zona muerta” si el petróleo sigue brotando de la fosa del Golfo. También hay expectativas de que la mancha de petróleo se vea atrapada en la corriente del Golfo frente a la costa este de los Estados Unidos, playas y estuarios como incrustaciones theChesapeake Bay, y en última instancia el objetivo de ricos recursos pesqueros de los Grandes Bancos de Terranova.

WMR ha sabido también que 36 áreas urbanas en el Golfo de México están esperando confrontar un gran desastre con el escape de  petróleo en los próximos días. A pesar de protección preparadas en la superficie para proteger áreas tan sensibles como Delfín de Alabama Island, la desembocadura del río Mississippi, y la Bahía de la Florida Apalachicola, sólo hay 16 millas de protección para la protección de 2.276 millas de costa de las mareas en el estado de Florida.

Los preparativos de emergencia continuan para hacer frente a la amenaza del petróleo en expansión que se presenta ahora para las ciudades y pueblos de Corpus Christi, Texas, a Houston, Nueva Orleans, Gulfport, Mobile, Pensacola, Tampa-San Petersburgo-Clearwater, Sarasota-Bradenton, Nápoles, y Cayo Hueso. Hay planes para evacuar a las personas con problemas respiratorios, especialmente aquellos de entre la población jubilada a lo largo de la costa oeste de Florida, antes de que el petróleo comience a acercarse a la costa.

Hay otra gran amenaza inminente para las ciudades del interior. Con la temporada de huracanes en efecto, existe un potencial de que el petróleo en el mar sea recogido por las lluvias impulsadas por los huracanes y que caigan en lagos de agua dulce y ríos, lejos del mar, aumentando así la contaminación de los suministros de agua y los ecosistemas.