Red Links, 6-17-10

Obama Can't Save UsBritain, BP, Kyrgyzstan, the human genome, and Iraq – this week’s newspaper combines the sobriety and idealism I love about this newspaper.

Too Pissed to Await Obama’s Divinity

I didn’t realize “the blessing” was anything but a throwaway bit of agitprop.

Each year, at the beginning of shrimping season, the region’s fishermen take part in a tradition that was brought to America long ago by fishing immigrants from Europe. It’s called “The Blessing of the Fleet,” and today it’s a celebration where clergy from different religions gather to say a prayer for the safety and success of the men and women who will soon head out to sea – some for weeks at a time. The ceremony goes on in good times and in bad. It took place after Katrina, and it took place a few weeks ago – at the beginning of the most difficult season these fishermen have ever faced.

A Left-Libertarian Solution for BP’s Disaster (Video)

Centrism, “getting the job done”, pragmatism, whatever. I want the right response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. But, it’s not an ideological target I’m looking for. So, why then, does Byron King try to scare taxpayers with his homily on BP’s sainted role in the American economy?

And for as much as people in the U.S. are thinking this is a British company, this is really an American company as well. Out of 80,000 worldwide employees, over 30,000 are in the U.S. Of the stock market ownership, about 40 percent of BP shares are owned by — by — you know, within the U.S.

And BP is the largest oil producer in Alaska. It is half owner of the Alaska pipeline. It’s the largest oil producer in the Gulf of Mexico. Globally, BP produces over four million barrels of oil equivalent per day, which is about 5 percent of the total global world oil output.

No Time Left For Asia

It’s not wise to cancel the same trip twice, unless good will overflows, or your power is preeminent.

Grappling with the worst oil spill in the nation’s history, President Barack Obama has abruptly scrapped a trip to Indonesia and Australia for the second time this year.

The president informed the leaders of both countries of the news in phone calls Thursday night, offering his “deep regret” and pledging to reschedule soon, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced in a statement just after midnight. Obama was to depart on a weeklong trip to both countries, along with a quick stop in Guam, on June 13.

Asked the reason for the delay, Gibbs told The Associated Press that Obama was staying home “to deal with important issues, one of which is the oil spill.”

Another Gulf Coast Tragicomedy

It’s not just BP and Deepwater Horizon that are sullying the Gulf waters. The Federal government has its own kind of skill for scandal. Again, though, I have to go with this commenter (and, this comment raises a good point before descending into rage):

After Katrina, the undocumented workers participating in the reconstruction efforts became the victims of exploitation and the targets of violence, not because they were taking jobs, but because their status left them with little legal recourse. Undocumented workers often carry large amounts of cash and don’t feel safe going to the police.

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