Archive for settlement

What I will not write about today

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frustrated24

Sometimes I get so frustrated and/or disheartened and/or annoyed by some of the news stories of the day that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that made my blood pressure hit the roof. I am avoiding delving into them at length out of concern for my physical and mental health.

 bush embassies dead smaller

There is no there there. This is nothing but a partisan politics, embarrassing conspiracy theories, and a witch hunt. Now stop wasting our time.

Need a palate cleanser? Me too! Majority In Virginia Supports Stricter Gun Laws. So there.

See what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?

drunk wine classy

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BP still hasn't paid billions of dollars in fines, other payments to Gulf Coast, environmental groups

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suck it bp

If you have an ounce of logic in you, then you know that the longer we wait to repair what BP destroyed, the more difficult it will be to fix their mess. BP accepted criminal liability in the 2010 gulf oil disaster and was supposed to pay a $4-billion fine.

And tests confirmed, and Hurricane Isaac exposed, that globs of oil found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill. The area is still suffering the consequences of BP's negligence and they should be falling all over themselves to rectify that.

BP has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and environmental crimes, because:

BP we care

USA Today:

Saturday marks the third anniversary of the spill in 2010, but only a small fraction of the billions in fines and other money owed by BP has trickled in for use on restoration projects, environmental groups say.

Local, state and environmental groups are banking on money from several sources

However, BP is proud to use their money to pay people to go on the Tee Vee Machine and say reassuring things like this:

bp adbp ad smaller

And they lavish us with ads like this repeatedly force ads like this down our throats:

Here's what's really going on:

Gulf Coast groups say the region is still struggling.

Environmental groups say an unusually high number of sick dolphins are washing up on shore. They're also finding tar balls on beaches, particularly after big storms.

USA Today has all the gory details.

If you really want to get your blood boiling, read this via the Government Accountability Project:

On April 19, 2013, GAP released Deadly Dispersants in the Gulf: Are Public Health and Environmental Tragedies the New Norm for Oil Spill Cleanups? The report details the devastating long-term effects on human health and the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem stemming from BP and the federal government's widespread use of the dispersant Corexit, in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. [...]

Conclusions from the report strongly suggest that the dispersant Corexit was widely applied in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion because it caused the false impression that the oil disappeared. In reality, the oil/Corexit mixture became less visible, yet much more toxic than the oil alone. Nonetheless, indications are that both BP and the government were pleased with what Corexit accomplished. The report is available here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three

"We will clean this up. We will make this right."

We won't hold our breath.

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BREAKING: BP accepts criminal liability in gulf oil spill, will pay $4-billion fine

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UPDATE:

Via an L.A. Times email alert, this isn't enough to compensate for the loss of human life, sea life, and environmental damage:

Energy giant BP has accepted criminal liability and will pay at least $4 billion in connection with the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the nation's worst environmental disasters.

In an announcement today from its London headquarters, BP confirmed an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve all federal criminal charges and all claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission against the company stemming from the events that began with the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

As part of the agreement, BP said it has agreed to plead guilty to 11 felony counts of misconduct or neglect in connection with the 11 deaths caused by the rig's explosion. It also agreed to plead guilty to other charges, including one felony count of obstruction of Congress. The agreement is subject to U.S. federal court approval.

For the latest information go to www.latimes.com.

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"Mortgage settlement is great — for politicians and banks"

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Michael Hiltzik has a column in today's L.A. Times about the Big Bank Deal, and he is none too pleased. He breaks it down for us in detail, explaining who the winners are and who the losers are.

For example, he mentions that President Obama and California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris were claiming victory.

And then he gets to his (legitimate) concerns:

Then there are the banks. ... If you don't listen too closely, it sounds as if they're putting up the $25 billion. Not so. The only cold cash the banks are paying is a combined $5 billion, including $1.5 billion to compensate borrowers whose homes were foreclosed on from 2008 through the end of last year, with the rest going to the federal and state governments to pay for regulatory programs. [...]

How much of this will translate into an outlay of cash by the five banks? Not much, if any. [...]

What about homeowners? They don't get much, especially in relation to the scale of the housing crisis. ... By the way, loans owned by the government-sponsored firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren't eligible for this relief. Since they own or control the majority of all outstanding mortgages, that's a rather large black hole. [...]

Banks will have to give borrowers complete and accurate information about their loans, suspend foreclosure proceedings once they start working on a loan modification, apply mortgage payments promptly, keep accurate loan records and communicate effectively with borrowers.

I believe the technical term for all this is "big whoop." The provisions mostly require mortgage lenders and servicers to comply with what I would have thought was already the law, which prohibits, you know, criminal fraud. [...]

Most troubling, compliance with the settlement terms will be overseen by an independent monitor who must rely on the banks' own figures.

This is an effective and informative post, so I suggest you give it a read.

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