6 Years This Week – BP Kills in the Gulf

This clip is from Greg Palast's film Vultures and Vote Rustlers which you can download for FREE this week

Six years ago today, 11 members of the Deepwater Horizon Crew were still alive. The Gulf of Mexico, thanks to decades of dredging by the oil companies was a slowly growing disaster - but it was still a tourist destination and a source of jobs for thousands of fishermen.

New Orleans, still recovering from the man-made disaster that was Hurricane Katrina would again, in just 2 days become the center of America's latest great environmental tragedy.

All this week we'll be sharing the investigations that we did on British Petroleum's disaster and its international fallout - including the one that could have foretold the April 20th blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

Today, we're sharing an excerpt from Vultures' Picnic.
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A RUBBER DINGHY OFF THE GULF COAST, MISSISSIPPI, OCTOBER 2010

This was my first investigation of fish homicide, so I figured Rick and I needed a boat because Professor Steiner’s submarine had just cleared the Panama Canal and wouldn’t arrive in time for our filming.

However, Badpenny couldn’t hook up a canoe, let alone a skiff, because BP had put every Coon-Ass captain on its payroll for the oil clean-up, which mostly involved floating around looking busy when CNN showed up. BP would have to OK our taking one of their indentured boats, and BP never said OK unless they controlled the fish story. (Show me more...)

Big Oil Threatens Academia, Again


This week on Democracy Now, 350.org's Bill McKibben was on the program to discuss Exxon's "thuggish" attempt to threaten Columbia journalism students after they published an investigation into Exxon's climate lies.

It's not news to anyone who follows my work that big oil likes to use their financial sway in higher education. Back in 2009 I wrote about the Deputy Director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, Ivor Van Heerden who was pushed out of his job when he started talking too much about how Big Oil helped drown New Orleans.

I don't get to use the word "heroic" very often. Van Heerden is heroic. It was van Heerden who told me, on camera, something so horrible, so frightening, that, (Show me more...)

Damn that Lincoln: Abe’s to blame for Jindal

Exclusive to Buzzflash.com
by Greg Palast

Damn that Abe Lincoln. When Louisiana and Mississippi seceded from the Union, a sensible president would have sent them a box of chocolates with a note, "Goodbye and good riddance."

Tonight, following Barack Obama's budget presentation to Congress, effectively the president's first State of the Union Address, the Republicans chose to give their party's response, the governor of the state that wanted to leave the Union, Louisiana's Bobby Jindal.

Jindal told us that Barack Obama is a terrible President who passed a stimulus bill "larded with wasteful spending."   Where's the lard?  All week, Jindal has been screeching that Obama wants to require states like Louisiana to extend unemployment insurance to - get this - the unemployed!  (Technically, the federal government would pay 100% of the cost of reforming Louisiana's and Mississippi's Scrooge-sized benefit requirements.)A Year After the Flood

Jindal, and some other Republican governors, notably Haley Barbour of Mississippi, are actually turning down millions in federal funds for their own state's unemployed out of fear that, four years from now, they may have to maintain full unemployment insurance like the rest of America.

Barbour's excuse, parroted by Jindal, is that the Obama payments to the unemployed of their states would mean, when the economy returns to expansion, that their state would have to increase unemployment insurance taxes and payments to the US average, scaring away new employers. "I mean, we want more jobs," says Barbour.  Um, this is the Governor of MISSISSIPPI talking.  Exactly what new "jobs" is he talking about? Is Microsoft is based in Gulfport?  Is Genentech opening its new headquarters in Moss Point?

As an economist, I can tell you that the only industry Mississippi leads in is deep-fried chicken-dog manufacturing.  I will admit that Louisiana and Mississippi can boast of growing employment at several (Show me more...)