Follow Barack Obama prior and during his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. Read about my personal observations along with every day facts as they happen. This blog will only submit factual information about the first black President, now in his 2nd term of office.


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Oil FAIL: The next acronym is LMRP (Lower Marine Riser Package)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Houston Chronicle:
In the event of failure, BP's further options also involve risks.
The company also is drilling two relief wells to intercept the one that blew out, but that process could take another two months.
The company said Friday it has stopped drilling one of those wells so that its blowout preventer, or BOP, can be prepared for a later procedure if the top kill fails.
The backup plan would involve placing the new blowout preventer on the failed one that now sits on top of the Macondo well.
Because that would require cutting the damaged riser pipe that once linked the blown-out well to the surface, BP first would attach a device called a lower marine riser package cap. The LMRP cap would help control the flow of oil, which BP expects to increase by 5 percent to 15 percent if the riser is cut.
“We wanted to be fully prepared if top kill didn't work to be able to move straight to the LMRP cap and then follow that with the BOP on BOP option,” Suttles said. “We don't want any unnecessary delays.”
Of course, even as we board the LRMP FAILboat, we've got differing interpretations of what the LRMP is supposed to accomplish. The Houston Chronicle reporters quoted above, being from the Oil Patch, presumably have good sources and know what they're talking about. But here's London's Financial Times:
In the event of failure, BP's further options also involve risks.
The first would be a new cap to put on top of the BOP to capture most of the oil and allow it to be to collected by a ship on the surface. This would involve cutting away the broken pipe emerging from the top of the BOP to expose what is known as the lower marine riser package (LMRP), so that the cap could be fitted.
The cap is already in place on the sea bed and could be deployed in three to five days after being given the go-ahead.
The danger is that when the broken pipe is cut away, it will remove one of the obstructions preventing oil escaping and the leak will become even stronger.
A similar risk accompanies the next plan, which would be to drop a new blow-out preventer on top of the failed one and then close it off, as the original BOP should have closed.
Again, this would require cutting away some of the pipe at the top of the old blow-out preventer, risking a faster release of oil.
The FT reporters quoted, being from the London, where BP's world headquarters are located, presumably have good sources and know what they're talking about. But they mention a surface ship, and Houston does not. The captured oil could, of course, be resold.
Just seems, to this media critic, odd. But it's also of a piece with all the confusion about when pumping operations start and stop, and their success or failure. Recall that, to this day, we've got no authoritative estimate of flow rate. And yet, there's massive computer modeling being done at the behest of the unified command, and flow rate(s) have to be parameters for the modeling! We've got video of everything, but the video timecodes are all screwed up, and there's no archive available -- and whatever the government owns, people should be able to see ("most transparent government in history," and all).
Is it that BP's public relations people aren't controlling the story? Or is it that confusion, obfuscation, and disinformation are their method for controlling the story?
NOTE Meanwhile -- and it sure is odd that the "kill shot" operation would conclude on Memorial Day weekend, isn't it -- The Oil Drum gives the state of play:
What I believe is going on is that BP is running a series of "junk shots" with the Nat Lab "junk"*, and after they run one they fill the well with mud to see if it has changed anything. To date, while there are changes (you stop doing this when there aren't) they haven't been enough. But after each time that they fill the well with mud, they switch the pumps off while they go and regroup. That allows the gas and oil to push the mud back out of the way (one of these tries, perhaps, it won't and we will know that it has worked).
Why, again, aren't actual, paid journalists from our famously free press not watching the cams? In other protracted disaster stories -- Apollo 13 and the Iranian Hostage Crisis come to mind, along with Hollywood paparizzi -- we had exactly that level of coverage. An intern could do it, for free, or a stringer, for what, $20K? But the press isn't watching the cams! That, to me, is almost the oddest part of this whole story.
NOTE * The National Laboraties did some analytical work to optimize the sizes and shapes of the junk.


'Top kill' fails, BP moves on 'to next option'

Saturday, May 29, 2010

 By the CNN Wire Staff
May 29, 2010 8:25 p.m. EDT

Robert, Louisiana (CNN) -- Three attempts to pump mud and 16 tries to stuff solid material into a breached Gulf of Mexico oil well failed to stop the flow, top BP executives said Saturday, and engineers and executives with the oil giant have decided to "move on to the next option."

That option: Place a custom-built cap to fit over the "lower marine riser package," BP chief operation officer Doug Suttles said. BP crews were already at work Saturday to ready the materials for that option, he said.

Suttles said three separate pumping efforts and 30,000 barrels of mud -- along with what chief executive officer Tony Hayward described as "16 different bridging material shots" -- just didn't do the trick.

"We have not been able to stop the flow," a somber Suttles told reporters. " ... Repeated pumping, we don't believe, will achieve success, so we will move on to the next option."

Suttles and other officials said that the "top kill" attempt to stop the flow did so -- but only as long as they were pumping. When the pumping stopped, the oil resumed its escape. And Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said that BP would resume using undersea dispersants for the new attempt to trap the oil.

Suttles said the lower marine riser package cap "should be able to capture most of the oil" that has fed what is now the largest oil spill in U.S. history, but he cautioned that the new cap will not provide a "tight mechanical seal."

"We're confident the job will work, but obviously we cannot guarantee success at this time," he said.

Engineers should be ready in about four to seven days to make the fresh attempt, he said. Landry said officials were "disappointed in today's announcement," but noted that the immediate efforts to stop the flow were never intended to be permanent.

"The real solution, the end state, is a relief well," she said. BP currently is working on two relief wells, but they are not expected to be ready until August, Suttles said.

Earlier, Suttles said that BP engineers would try to place a second blowout preventer -- the piece of equipment that failed when the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20 -- should the lower marine riser package fail. The failed blowout preventer is a 48-foot-tall, 450-ton apparatus that sits atop the well 5,000 feet underwater.

Suttles and Landry praised the clean-up efforts, however, in light of the failure of the "top kill" attempt to stop the flow.

"It's a tribute to everybody that we only have 107 miles of shoreline oiled and only 32 acres of marsh," Landry said.

Meanwhile, teams in Louisiana were working Saturday on a clean-up project aimed at protecting coastal marshes. Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser has said that machines would suck oil out of marshes Saturday after crews determined where to deploy them.

But Nungesser told CNN that BP needed to "step up to the plate tonight to save our wetlands" by using its might to create sand barriers to prevent the oil from moving into the marshes.

"BP needs to say it will pay to move those dredges and pump that sand berm," he said. "We are gonna die a slow death if we don't get that berm. We've got to have that barrier island."

President Barack Obama, who toured the area Friday, said federal officials were prepared to authorize moving forward with "a portion of" an idea proposed by local officials, who want the Army Corps of Engineers to build a "sand boom" offshore to keep the water from getting into the fragile marshlands.

But Nungesser said the marshes couldn't wait and that the effort needed to start immediately to save the Louisiana wetlands.

Government scientists on Thursday said as many as 19,000 barrels (798,000 gallons) of oil were spewing into the ocean every day, making this disaster perhaps twice the size of the Exxon Valdez incident.

Previously, BP officials and government scientists had said 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) of crude were flowing out daily.

"This is clearly an environmental catastrophe," Hayward said Friday. "There's no two ways about it."

In an e-mail message sent out after the announcement Saturday, Hayward said he was "disappointed that this operation didn't work."

"The team executed the operation perfectly, and the technology worked without a single hitch," he said. "We remain committed to doing everything we can to make this situation right."

Obama's visit to the region came under intense political pressure to take control of the situation.

"We want to stop the leak, we want to contain and clean up the oil and we want to help the people in this region return to their lives and livelihoods as soon as possible," the president told reporters.

About 25 percent of the Gulf of Mexico exclusive economic zone has been put off limits, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and fishermen are worried the gushing oil will take a more serious toll than Hurricane Katrina did in 2005.

"Katrina was nothing but rain, water and wind. This is poison. It's gas," oysterman Arthur Etienne said.


GULF OF MEXICO OIL SPILL UPDATE: New Rules & Presidential Visit

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Outgoing U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen has now said the government team calculating the extent of the oil spill in the Gulf if close to announcing its findings. According to the latest CBS Evening News poll, just 35 percent of Americans approve of the Obama Administration’s handling of the oil spill.

Congress continues to grapple with the question of how much BP and other oil companies should be on the hook to pay for major oil spills such as the one in the Gulf. Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) has now become the third Republican to block Democratic efforts to raise the liability cap for oil companies. He blocked a unanimous consent sought by Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) to pass legislation that would make the cap unlimited, up from $75 million.

Senator Vitter and Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have introduced another bill to codify BP’s commitment to paying all the costs associated with the cleanup in the Gulf from the Horizon spill. Senator Vitter said on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday that his bill would only address the Gulf spill rather than other oil companies and future spills.

BP officials are continuing to run diagnostics on the blowout preventer above the leaking well, a final step before the top kill effort gets underway today or tomorrow. BP has also now given details of another backup plan if the top kill doesn’t work. This would involve what BP calls the LMRP cap, for Lower Marine Riser Package. The very top of the blowout preventer would be severed using the robotic submarines and a new containment dome would be lowered onto the blowout preventer that would capture much more of the oil than has been captured thus far.

President Obama faces growing pressure from fellow Democrats who say he should take stronger action to step the BP oil spill. Republican criticism of the Administration’s handling of the spill is also escalating. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming said yesterday, “the cloud of confusion over how much oil is spilling into the Gulf is very concerning. And it’s also very unclear who was in charge.”

Meanwhile, BP is under fire for their continued use of the chemical dispersant Corexit that the EPA calls toxic. Scientists and legal experts have said the chemical may be toxic to marine life.

On Thursday, President Obama will announce new permitting procedures for oil rigs and tougher inspections to ensure safety and environmental rules are being followed. The President is also scheduled to receive a report on Thursday from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on the cause of the BP spill. The President also heads to the Gulf coast on Friday, his second visit in about four weeks, as the administration is under fire over how well it is overseeing a complex fix-it effort.

The Interior Department’s new regulations governing safety and environmental practices will replace a system of largely self-regulation by the oil companies and will include mandating additional inspections of rigs after their construction is complete to ensure that safety features are installed properly.

Tropical Storm Risk this week predicted that the 2010 hurricane season in the Atlantic will be 'active' and produce 16 tropical storms, including eight hurricanes, four of them intense, with a 74 percent chance that more storms than normal will hit the continental US. The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, which starts June 1, is expected to be among the most-active on record. Academic and commercial forecasters are calling for the storm total to range from 14 to 18 named storms by the time the season ends December 1. As the number of hurricanes rises, so do the chances of one striking the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf is home to about 30 percent of U.S. oil and 12 percent of U.S. natural gas production according to the US Energy Department.


Obama taps two to lead Gulf Oil Spill Panel

Saturday, May 22, 2010

President Barack Obama announced Saturday that former Florida Sen. Bob Graham and former EPA Administrator William K. Reilly will lead a presidential commission investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.


Director of National Intelligence Blair Resigns

Friday, May 21, 2010

First, there was the alleged attempted Christmas Day airline bombing when suspect Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab to board a flight bound for Detroit, Michigan, in December. Now, Obama's top intelligence adviser, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair is resigning, effective today. The Senate Intelligence Committee just released a report that criticized the National Counterterrorism Center that is overseen by Dennis Blair's office. In matter of fact, his office oversees 17 federal agencies of the U.S. intelligence community, which also includes the CIA, FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. So it appears that the United States was lucky in this incident as noone was hurt or killed, but at the expense of the Director of National Intelligence.


New Book "THE PROMISE" about President Obama

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If you express interest in President Obama, it may be interesting to you as it is for me, what it may be like to be the 44th President of the United States, and what actually makes the president tick. Also interesting to know is his decision-making process on issues, especially ones that have been so public in the near past such as health care, and the Afghanistan war. Presently there is a book out about the 44th President, even though he has only been in office for less than 2 years, called “The Promise” which states just that. So here is a President who is so very high profile with under 2 years of service in the White House, but already there seems to be so much knowledge on this very public, controversial figure of the 44th President of the United States.

So what is he truly about? The Author, Mr. Alter who incidentally wrote a book in 2006 called “The Defining Moment” about President Roosevelt, seems to channel his attention on the President's own perspective on his record as it happens and also while standing back as a journalist by assessing the President’s victories and mishaps and follows other challenges that he faces day to day.

In the book, you get to understand the President’s management style, which seems to be a very methodical approach to policy making. His thinks very logically along with making very well thought of decisions. This method seems to be directly opposite as to the way that the previous President, George Bush thinks as he served in office. In contrast, what Bush did was to make gut calls and mostly stressed distaste for process. The Iraqi War is an example of what happens when you make the wrong gut calls.

Also stated in the book is a reminder of how President Obama inherited the dire financial crisis, along with two wars from George Bush, that of in Iraq and Afghanistan. As of today, the cost of the war in Afghanistan now exceeds the cost in Iraq. Still, the President seems to always have an uphill battle working the conservatives, and never seems to get anyone from the “far right” or anyone from that side to support his ideas and policies at anytime. This has been a real problem for the President, but so far he has stood up the criticism of his opponents very well. He doesn’t sway easily and seems to be on a set path of action while representing his office as President.

With just about two years gone by in this presidency, Mr. Alter has more than enough information to put together his take on Mr. Obama’s cabinet members, and has specific comments on the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and especially Defense Secretary Robert Gates, as he seems to be one of the most influential persons in his cabinet. Last but not least, you can sense the rapport that the President and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner share and depicts the sense as to why they work so well together.


U.S. President Barack Obama vs. Afghan President Hamid Karzai

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and President Obama met in Kabul about six weeks ago, but the results from that meeting were far less than satisfying for President Obama. The U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones claims that one thing that President Obama wants the Afgan President to understand is "that in his (Karzai's) second term, there are certain things that have not been paid attention to, almost since Day One."
President Obama seems to be very patient with Karzai, but at the same time, he is very cautious. These sentiments are now displayed because of the Afghan President's recent remarks when he openly made anti-Western comments. What is interesting here is that President Karzai himself blames the West (the United States) for corruption in his homeland of Afghanistan, and blames any fraud in the election that took place last Novermber to the United States, and this being why he is still in power. It seems to me that he would be happy for such an outcome, but instead he previously made further threats, including the possibility of joining the Taliban if President Obama and his administration continue to provide pressure to his administration.
President Obama plans to return to Afghanistan this week, but the White threatened to put a stop to the visit because of all the negativity towards peace by Hamid Karzai.
At the same time, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed Karzai to the White House this week so that there can be several days of talks between her and the Afghan President concerning military actions, the defense of Afghanistan, diplomacy and intelligence reports, before meeting with President Obama.
Regardless of what was said by Karzai in the past, Hilary Clinton focused on what can be considered a "long-term commitment" of the United States to Afghanistan. The Afghan President clearly wants talks to continue, and he claims that the obvious tensions are a sign of maturity with relations of both sides.
President Obama is being patient with the Afghan President because he knows of how important it is for the two countries to help each other fight terrorism.
Why does President Karzi act this way? It may be because he fears that the United States may abandon Afghanistan in 2011, when the U.S. is scheduled to start pulling out of the country. He fears that regardless of the present progress at that time, the U.S. will abandon Afghanistan. This cannot be further than the truth. At that time, most likely President Obama would weigh his options, and remaining in that country for an extended time as this is a viable an option. Yes, Obama did state that in July of 2011 he would begin pulling out his troops, but he has never stated that there is a specific date that he will move out.
Another reason why President Obama is not too happy with the Afghan President is because he made a few promises after he was elected 6 months ago, but he has yet to be true to his word. In his inaugural address Karzai promised to fight corruption, improve governance and fight opium trafficking, which fuels the insurgency.
President very much wants to pursue his present timetable, and to be successful and withdrawal in 2011, the Afghan President must come up with a way to do exactly what he says, because if he does not, he will not be credible to the United States along with his own people.
Trust is another building block that is desperately needed between the two leaders. President Obama does not trust Karzai, and also notes that President Karzai doesn't seem to understand what good the American soldiers are doing there in his country. If President Karzai could finally get away from the notion that the United States is just present in his country for personal interests, then there may be some progress. These are definitey the hopes of President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.


Senators who oppose Elana Kagan Have No Substance to Stand On

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Has anyone wondered why President Obama would nominate someone to the high office of Supreme Court judge when that person was never a seated judge?

There is only one reason know as to why Elana Kagan has never served on a court. Take one guess who stopped her nomination. You guessed right!!   The REPUBLICANS were the only reason why she was blocked from becoming a judge. Back in 2008, President Clinton named her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, but the GOP-controlled Senate blocked her nomination from coming to a vote so the appointment could be made instead by an incoming Republican president. And the supposed "tradition" of focusing solely on appellate-court judges for the Supreme Court is, in fact, relatively recent: A half-century ago, there were no former appellate judges on the high court. If anything, the court would benefit from more diversity of experience. With Kagan on board, all nine justices would be products of Harvard or Yale law schools. Surely, the nation has top legal talent beyond the Ivy League.  So none of the criticism seems to be particularly substantive by the Republicans as far as her ability to serve because she never served on a court bench. Congress needs to judge her on what she hasn't done up to now, but to look at her record and see what she has done. As a person who fully believes in the creation of law, she says:

"Law matters, because it keeps us safe, because it protects our most fundamental rights and freedoms, and because it is the foundation of our democracy."
 How can you argue with that. She like Justice Sotomayor had in the past, still has questions to answer, like explaining her role in limiting military recruiters at Harvard Law School to protest the military's policy of not letting gays serve openly. At the same time, the people who criticize her, namely the Republicans that oppose her, have to answer for allowing the confirmation process to sink to the level of tawdry gamesmanship it has reached.  So the lesson is, no matter who you are, especially if you are a public official, all comments most likely are noted by someone. Especially in this day and age of the computer,  TV stations like CNN, and other highly open political papers and outlets, candidates, especially those in high office must be aware that someone may likely tell a story about them, especially if it is controversial.


Tax Bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950

Average rate has fallen 26%
since recession began in '07

by Dennis Cauchon

  Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.
  Some conservative political movements such as the "Tea Party" have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels.
  Federal, state and local taxes - including income, property, sales and other taxes - consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8% of income before rising slightly in the first threee months of 2010.
  "The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts," says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberal Center for American Progress. The real problem is spending, counters Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, which organizes Tea Party groups. "The money we borrow is going to be paid back through taxation in the future,"he says.
  Individual tax rates vary widely based on how much a taxpayer earns, where the person lives and other factors. On average, though, the tax rate paid by all Americans - rich and poor, compined - has fallen 26% since the recession began in 2007. That means a $3,400 annual tax savings for a household paying the average national rate and earning the average national household income of $102,000.
  This tax drop has boosted consumer spending and the economy, which grew at a 3.2% annual rate in the first quarter. It also has contributed to the federal debt growing to $8.4 trillion.
  Taxes paid have fallen much faster than income in this recession. Personal income fell 2% last year. Taxes paid dropped 23%. The BEA classifies Social Security taxes as insurance payments and excludes them from the tax calculation.

  Why the tax bite has eased:

* Stimulus law. One-third of last year's $862 billion economic stimulus went for tax cuts. Biggest reduction: The Making Work Pay tax credit reduced income taxes $800 for married couples earning up to $150,000.

* Progressive tax rates. President Clinton and BUsh pushed through a series of tax changes - credits, lower rates, higher exemptions - that slashed income taxes for poor and middle-class families. A drop in income now can trigger big tax breaks and sharply lower rates, sometimes falling to zero.

*Sales Tax. Consumers cut spending sharply in this downturn, thereby paying less in sales taxes.
  A Gallup Poll last month found that 48% thought taxes were "too high" and 45% thought they were "about right." Those saying taxes are "too high" remain near a 50-year low.
  The lower tax burden should last as least through 2010, says Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C. "Virtually all the stimulus tax cuts expire at the end of the year," he says "So the key decision is whether to extend them into 2011."


President Obama's Nominee for New Supreme Court Justice - Solicitor General Elana Kagan

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's almost official, but confirmed by CNN is the Supreme Court nominee picked by President Obama to replace the retiring John Paul Stevens. Her name is Solicitor General Elana Kagan. The formal announcement is expected to be made at 11:00 ET. If confirmed she will be the 3rd woman justice on the bench when confirmed. She happens to be Jewish, while the other two sitting woman justice's are Catholic.
She is a former Harvard Law School dean. Her present job as Solicitor General, she is the Obama administrations's top lawyer before the Supreme Court. She has been very active in her present position. She has been solicitor general since 2009.
Prior to her present position, she worked for Justice Thurgood Marshall as a law clerk, and worked for President Clinton as an associate White House counsel.
She has never served as a judge. Her confirmation is expected to take a little more heat than Justice Sonia Sotomayor who was elected less than a year ago to the Supreme Court.

Immediately below is her employment record.

List in reverse chronological order, listing most recent first, all governmental agencies, business or professional corporations, companies, firms, or other enterprises, partnerships, institutions or organizations, non-profit or otherwise, with which you have been affiliated as an officer, director, partner, proprietor, or employee since graduation from college, whether or not you received payment for your services. Include the name and address of the employer and job title or job description where appropriate.

Professor and Dean, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA 02138, 1999-present (2003-present as dean, 2001-present as professor, 1999-2001 as visiting professor)

Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, Executive Office of the President, Washington, D.C. 20502, 1997-99

Associate Counsel to the President, Executive Office of the President, Washington, D.C. 20502, 1995-96

Professor, University of Chicago Law School, 1111 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637, 1991-97 (1991-94 as assistant professor)

Special Counsel, Senate Judiciary Committee, Summer 1993

Associate, Williams & COlmolly, 725 1ih St., Washington, DC 20005,1989-91

Staff member, Dukakis for President Campaign, Boston, MA, 1988

Judicial Clerk, Hon. Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court, 1987-88

Judicial Clerk, Hon. Abner Mikva, U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit, 1986-87

Research Assistant, Professor Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA 02138, Summer 1986

Summer Associate, Paul Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, 1285 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY 10019, Summer 1985

Summer Associate, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, One New York Plaza, NY, NY 10004, Summer 1984

Paralegal, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, NY, NY 10005, Summer 1983

Board Memberships:

Member, Board of Trustees, Oxford University Press, Inc., 198 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10016, 2008-

Member, Advisory Board, American Indian Empowerment Fund, 579 Main St., Oneida, NY 13421, 2008-

Member, Board of Directors, Equal Justice Works, 2120 L St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20037, 2008-

Member, Board of Directors, The Advantage Testing Foundation, 210 E. 86th St., NY, NY 10028, 2007-

Member, New York State Commission on Higher Education, 2007-08

Member, Board of Advisors, National Constitution Center's Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution, 525 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19106, 2006-

Member, Research Advisory Council, Goldman Sachs Global Markets Institute, 85 Broad St., NY, NY 10004, 2005-08

Member, Board of Directors, American Law Deans Association, 2004-

Member, Board of Trustees, Skadden Fellowship Foundation, 4 Times Square, NY, NY 10036, 2003-

Member, Board of Directors, Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, 60 E. 42nd St., NY, NY 10165, 2003-05

Member, Litigation Committee, American Association of University Professors, 1133 19th St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20036, 2002-03

Public Member, Administrative Conference of the United States, 1994-95

Member, Board of Governors, Chicago Council of Lawyers, 50 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 606


'HARDBALL' Interview with former Governor George Pataki

Saturday, May 8, 2010

George Pataki, the former New York Governer, on meet the press with 'Hardball' host Chris Mathews, tried to explain the actions of his Republican party, while Chris Mathews just tries to state the truth. Interestingly enough, the former governor does not fully support the remarks of the talk show host Rush Limbaugh. Pataki also claims that President Obama fails to act in the proper time. He claims "we are responding after something is attempted". Ok here I go again. What about President Bush. We saw that he did ONLY respond after Hurricane Katrina blew into New Orleans, but several days passed before he sent help. The former governor says that "we need to prevent the terrorists from getting so close in the first place" referring the the recent bomber that was caught in New York City. Listen to the interview in full directly below..


Rush Limbaugh - More Idiot comments about President Obama

In a recent story featured on CNN, some people feel that President Obama did not act fast enough after the April 20 oil rig explosion and subsequent spill. So who are these people? They are critics who just so happen to criticize every thing he does, or doesn't do.

Starting with conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, he labeled the oil spill "Obama's Hurricane Katrina." Now please!!!! Here me out here. How can he even compare the oil spill that has killed no one to the likes of a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane that ravaged in New Orleans killed approximately 1,800 people. Yes, President Bush could not prevent this disaster from happening, but after the fact, he left the city on its own for days upon days. When help finally arrived, more people who were injured had lost their lives, and again, maybe the hurricane is not President Bush's fault, but the people who died unnecessarily because of the lack of treatment, and the lack of a quick response by the President makes it his fault.

Now back to the oil spill. Did President Obama cause the oil spill? No. Just because he has changed his policy and now supports drilling in the gulf, the conservatives now label the disaster his fault. Am I missing something here? Wasn't it the Republicans who fully supported drilling in the Gulf during the Presidential campaign issues, and at the time, then Senator Obama supported different ways of supplying energy to the country, like windmills and solar energy. How did they want President Obama to act when the spill occurred? What is there to act on? BP(British Petroleum) who has taken responsibility has vowed to clean up the mess and do what it takes to stop and control the leaks in the Gulf. They are living up to their promise. They have built a structure that is presently being lowered on the leak on the gulf floor, some 5000 feet down, and have a plan to be able to control the leak. They will pipe the oil from the structure up to boats on the surface of the gulf and will then process the oil for consumption. In the mean time, the oil that is leaking out now is being dispersed with agents to break up the oil before it even reaches the surface. Yes, the threat of oil reaching the coastline is still very present, but everything that can be done at this time to solve the problem is being done. What had happened originally was an accident. The explosion on the Gulf oil rig may have been someones fault, but you cannot directly accuse President Obama for it. BP still must be directly to blame as they did not have a backup plan already in place in case an accident of this kind happened.

Rush Limbaugh never ceases to make a fool out of himself when he makes comments like this. He did not make it on his own. He made it after the newspaper called 'the Washington Examiner' made the original statement. They also feel that President Obama takes too long to respond, also calling is actions "a time-line of presidential delay." Instead, maybe these critics may try and make a statement like 'a timeline of presidential no-action', referring to their own President Bush. Who are the critics and conservatives to judge, when in fact the Republican party who of course backed President Bush should also take the blame along side of him during his failed 8 years in the presidency. Now this may sound a little harsh, but the facts are the facts. 1800 people did not loose their lives on President Obama's watch, but they did on President Bush's. Terrorism has not struck this country in major fashion under President Obama's watch but did so so dramatically on Sept 11, 2001 when President Bush was president and the Republicans were in control. I could go on and on.

Still, the people of this country expect the government to handle every single crisis as it happens. When President Obama does take action to help save the economy and revamp health care, now all of a sudden some people (conservatives) think that the government is trying to take over. Did President Bush handle the economic disaster that was inching up to President Obama when he took office? No he did not. Instead, he slid the problem in President Obama's lap, along with the the Iraqi war and Afghanistan war. Is President Obama the blame for those wars? No. But who is to blame? Of course, none other than President Bush himself.

Did anyone forget about war crimes? This blog featured articles showing who was actually the blame. Do you think that President Obama will ever be associated or accused of perpetrating war crimes. The answer obviously is no, as only within his very first year in office, President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. You do not deserve or win such an award if you perpetrate war crimes. The policies that president Bush followed with war prisoners are a crime in themselves, but President Obama refuses to push the issue and has stopped all further investigation or prosecution in this matter. For that, Bush owes President Obama a very big thank you.

Unfortunately, this article may seem to be very one-sided, but when stupid remarks by a person such as Rush Limbaugh make the headlines, I feel that I have to also state the true facts. In the past in other remarks, Rush Limbaugh wished bad things towards President Bush, and with his freedom of speech, he did get away with it. Only in America can someone like Rush Limbaugh exist and not get punished for his actions.


NEW Weather blog -

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Within the last two weeks, I have decided to create another blog, this time dedicated to the understanding of Tropical Weather patterns, namely Hurricanes. The blog can be found at, and it is updated daily with real-time factual information as it is happening, along with advise to anyone who may have to endure such a storm. The Hurricane Prevention blog is also open to readers who would like to include one of their own articles to be featured on the blog. The article needs to be weather related, and can be an article like your own personal weather related experiences, or other pertinent knowledge about tropical weather.
Again, I invite everyone who reads this blog to also stop by my new blog and keep informed about tropical weather. The hurricane season begins in less than a month, and it is an exceptionally good idea to keep informed, especially if you live along to coastal regions of the Gulf of Mexico.


President Obama with Second Thoughts about Offshore Drilling

Monday, May 3, 2010

Just a month ago, President Obama announced plans to expand offshore drilling. If I recall during his election campaign, he did not necessarily want to drill for oil offshore, rather than to chose alternate forms of energy. His announcement just 30 days ago proved to be the wrong thing to say. In this case, President Obama attempted to try and shore the Democratic and Republican ideas by going along with the Republican interests to pursue drilling offshore.
Now, because of an offshore oil well run by BP (British Petroleum) that has been leaking oil for some time now, serious damage to the environment that will directly affect the economy of the Gulf states can go on for a while. Thousands of people who depend on Gulf waters, fishing communities, and beaches all will be heavily affected by the spill. Yet, the oil still leaks.
President Obama spoke in Venice, Louisiana yesterday, and he outwardly stated that BP was responsible and will foot the cost for the cleanup. In the meantime, the President stands by his remarks last month, stating that the United States although is pursuing new sources of renewable, homegrown energy, he claims that tapping the oil found in the oceans still must be an alternative that must not be passed up.
At the same time, President Obama states that "drilling in new areas will not begin until an adequate review of what's happened here and of what is being proposed elsewhere."
President Obama is being very cautious on what he is saying about oil exploration in the Gulf, and several would now believe that it will be a long time before new off shore exploration will begin.
One must question why President Obama had a change of heart to want to begin drilling offshore. He was so adamant when he stated during his campaign that he was against off shore drilling.


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