Spill cleanup workers face labor-camp conditions

The invisible victims of the BP oil spill.

Among the many victims of the BP spill are the thousands of cleanup workers hired by the company and contractors to lay boom, operate skimmer boats and comb beaches for oil.

Obama’s Oval Office speech: A cowardly cover-up of BP’s crimes

Do you want a short summary of Obama’s speech? It’s business as usual. No one will be held accountable, nothing will be done to prevent something like this from happening again, and those impacted by the spill will get little help.

Obama’s performance was the speech of an individual and a government that are under the thumb of BP and the corporate-financial elite as a whole. It reeked of servility and cowardice before big business and contempt for the public.

Even Robert Reich agrees.

Pity the poor global oil corporation

Don’t you feel sorry for them?

Under capitalism, business owners are driven by competition to put one priority above all others–profits. Every other goal–the health and safety of workers or consumers, protection of the environment, the living standards of employees, the good of society as a whole–come second.

New evidence undermines latest BP-White House estimate of spill size

A few facts concerning the Deepwater Horizon spill:

  • The rate of the oil spill as of early last week was between 30,000 and 50,000 barrels (1.2 million to 2.1 million gallons) per day, and possibly higher.
  • Fifty-three days after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon that killed 11 workers, somewhere between 63 million and 107 million gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, according to the latest estimates.
  • Between every five and nine days the spill equals the Exxon Valdez, which dumped about 11 million gallons into Alaska’s Prince William Sound in 1989.
  • If those 63 million gallons of oil were put in gallon milk jugs, they would line up side by side for nearly 5,500 miles.
  • It appears the spill will continue at least until mid-August.
  • The BP spill by then will have easily eclipsed the worst oil spill on record.

This is why capitalism, especially as it is current practiced, is unsustainable.

Frank Rich on Obama: Liberal fears and illusions

His inability to articulate in any way the anger of millions of Americans has raised serious doubts about his leadership.

The column is significant, not for any insights it provides into the crisis of the Obama administration, but rather as an indication of the sense within the left-liberal constituency of the Democratic Party that the public mood is shifting against the White House.