Costume Co. Unveils BP Oil Spill Halloween Getup

BP Halloween Costume

If you’re trying to decide whether to go trick-or-treating this year as either media phenom Lady Gaga or erstwhile fight attendant Stephen Slater, here’s a third alternative — oil-splattered BP rigger with a dead fish and wrench in hand. Pretty doggone clever, eh?

The outfit is the brainchild of New York-based Fun World, a costume-manufacturing company that has dubbed the getup the “Bad Planning” costume to fend off the trademark lawyers should they be attracted to the familiar green-and-yellow BP logo on the suit.

Nobody is expecting the oil company to send a deluge of cease-and-desist orders to the small costume company, though, as BP has enough bad press without stepping into a David-and-Goliath media mess with a little mom-and-pop costume company.

Tea Party Nation Head Ups Barton’s ‘Shakedown,’ Calls BP’s $20 Bil Gulf Victims’ Fund ‘Extortion’

Barton, left, and Judson
Barton, left, and Judson
Judson Phillips, head of Tea Party Nation, hosts of the convention where Palin wrote her crib notes on her hand, showed whose side he’s really on yesterday when he endorsed Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-Texas) apology to BP’s CEO Tony Hayward over the company’s agreement with Pres. Obama to set up a $20 billion escrow account to cover damages from its oil spill disaster in the Gulf.

Barton, who will be chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee if Republicans win control of the House in November, called the escrow account a “shakedown.” But that was too mild for Phillips, who upped the ante.


In Wake of Barton Apology to BP, BP Shill Bachmann Tries Walk Back Her Shill-iness

Think Progress:

“They have to lift the liability cap,” said [Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.]. “But if I was the head of BP, I would let the signal get out there — ‘We’re not going to be chumps, and we’re not going to be fleeced.’ And they shouldn’t be. They shouldn’t have to be fleeced and make chumps to have to pay for perpetual unemployment and all the rest — they’ve got to be legitimate claims.

Bachmann is now trying to back away from her comments. “I said that I was concerned that Washington, the Obama administration, could use it as a permanent ATM,” Bachmann insisted to the Pioneer Press. “I want to make sure everyone knows I’m not a shill for BP.” She also recently went on CNN where she similarly made clear that she believes “BP clearly is at fault” for the oil spill. “I’m not here to shill for BP,” she said, adding nevertheless that President Obama may try to use the escrow account as a “permanent ATM card.”

Palin Lies: Claims Obama Refused Help in Gulf from Norway, Netherlands – But They Are on Site

On his Fox News show last night, Bill O’Reilly asked Sarah Palin what she would do if it were up to her to stop the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Palin avoided answering the question, choosing instead to criticize Pres. Obama for not accepting help from foreign countries, even stating emphatically that the White House had failed to return calls from the governments of Norway and the Netherlands:

O’REILLY: Obama obviously doesn’t know how to stop the leak. Do you know how to stop it?

PALIN: Well, then what the federal government should have done was accept the assistance of foreign countries, of entrepreneurial Americans who have had solutions —


PALIN: — that they wanted presented.


PALIN: They can’t even get a phone call returned, Bill. The Dutch. They are known in the Norwegian. They are known for — for dikes and for cleaning up water and for dealing with spills.

This was a lie ripped from that day’s Fox News’ Republican talking points:


Palin: Obama Should Call on the Dutch Because They’re ‘Known for Dikes And for Cleaning up Water And for Dealing with Spills’

Update: Turns out Palin’s assertion that Obama refused foreign help is a lie.


First, [O’Reilly] challenged Palin by saying, “49% of Americans still want BP to run the show and only 45% want the government to run the show.”

If you stop the video at about the 3:00 point, you can see the look of dismay on Palin’s face, followed by nervousness, moments after he said that, as she must have realized this was not going to be the kind of cakewalk she has probably come to expect on Fox News.

O’Reilly went on to ask, “What is your solution, here, Governor? What would you do tonight – tell the nation tonight, what you would have said, the main point in that speech. Go.”

Palin obviously had no idea. “Stopping the gusher,” she said. “That’s the number one priority of the nation.”

“But nobody knows how to do it,” O’Reilly countered.

“Well, we haven’t had the assurance by the president that that has been his top priority.” Her voice rose with more condescension, as she continued to evade the question and, instead, went on to accuse the president of making “cap and tax” his greater priority and “using this crisis… to increase the cost of energy.”

“Are you telling me that you don’t think the president’s top priority is stopping that leak? Is that what you’re telling me?” O’Reilly asked, not bothering to hide his incredulity.


BILL O’REILLY, HOST: Joining us from Wasilla, Alaska, former governor of that state, Sarah Palin. All right, did you have a big beef with the president tonight in any way, governor?

SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I did. I kind of have a big beef with you too though, Bill, if you don’t acknowledge that President Obama is wrong on his call for a need for energy policy. Certainly we need that, but he is wrong not to acknowledge that we still need on a three-legged stool the conventional sources of energy to be drilled here. Otherwise, Bill, we are going to be dropped to our knees and bowing to the Saudis and Venezuela and places like Russia that will keep producing oil and petroleum products, and we will have to ask them to produce for us because we will still be dependent upon these sources of energy.

In addition though, too, shifting more towards the renewables which, of course, we need. And the other leg of that stool is conservation. President Obama, it scares me, it saddens me that the CEO of our nation does not understand that inherent link between the conventional sources of energy that we’re dependent upon and our security, our prosperity, our freedom.

O’REILLY: OK, what was the — when you were the governor of the state, you dealt with oil companies all the time. What was the most difficult thing that you had to deal with when you were having meetings with them face to face?

PALIN: Believing that their perception of what the circumstances were in any situation that we dealt with them, whether it be a spill or lax infrastructure maintenance or the value of the resource that was being sold. In any of those issues, it was believing what they were telling me and my administration in terms of their perspective on what the facts were.

Now, here’s where the problem lies with President Obama in waiting so long, you know, eight weeks before meeting with the CEO of BP and with the high-ranking officials that have been calling the shots. He has allowed this industry player to get to define the facts. So they are just in this position of having astronomical maximum liability exposure. He’s allowed them to define the facts of this spill. You can never be allowed to do that as a CEO and be on a level playing field, being equals there at the table when you allow one side of the table, in this case BP, in dealing with this spill to define the facts.

O’REILLY: All right. But 49 percent, according to a poll today, we’ll have later, 49 percent of Americans still want BP to run the show. And only 45 percent want the government to run the show. So most Americans aren’t down with the Obama administration calling the shots.

Now, President Obama basically is, as Charles Krauthammer pointed out, a dreamer. I mean, he wants, I think, good for the nation as far as energy is concerned. You made a very valid point. We can’t throw the oil people under the bus. If we do that, our economy is going to tank totally. And if we spend billions of dollars on pie in the sky stuff that doesn’t work, we’re going to go bankrupt. So what is your solution here, governor? What would you do tonight? Tell the nation tonight what you would have said your main point in that speech. Go.

PALIN: Stopping the gusher. That’s the No. 1 priority of the nation.

O’REILLY: But nobody knows how to do it.

PALIN: We need to make sure that all technology is being thrown at this problem.

O’REILLY: Nobody knows how to do it.

PALIN: Well, we haven’t had the assurance that president — we haven’t had the assurance by the president that that has been his top priority. Instead, what his top priority is, Bill, is cap and tax. It is using this crisis, not letting it go to waste, but to use this crisis to increase the cost of energy.

O’REILLY: All right, if that happens, there will be an outcry.

PALIN: And that is going to stall any kind of economic recovery that we have.

O’REILLY: Are you telling me that you don’t think the president’s top priority is stopping that leak? Is that what you are telling me?

PALIN: What I’m telling you is that is not what I am hearing and what the American public is hearing from the top official in our government. And that’s why those poll numbers show that, no, the public, we don’t know where to turn. If we can’t trust BP to be able to fix this leak, we know we can’t trust government because they’ve had eight weeks of overseeing, of regulating and kind of coaching this whole process, this whole issue of stopping the leak. And they haven’t succeeded in doing it.


PALIN: So the people are very, very frustrated.

O’REILLY: And that’s right.

PALIN: We have to know — we have to know that President Obama’s No. 1 priority is to stop the leak.

O’REILLY: But I’m assuming that it is. And I am assuming that it is. But, look, the reason I’m pleased to have you on the program tonight is that there is not a governor in the United States who has more experience than you do dealing with the oil companies. You’ve already said you can’t believe them, that their word doesn’t mean much when you are debating issues as far as the oil company’s interest and the interest of the people. You can’t believe them. OK. Now, the oil company BP says we don’t know how to stop the leak. We’re going to try X. We’re going to dig another well. We’re going to do this. We don’t know. We don’t know. Obama obviously doesn’t know how to stop the leak. Do you know how to stop it?

PALIN: Well, then what the federal government should have done was accept the assistance of foreign countries, of entrepreneurial Americans who have had solutions…


PALIN: …that they wanted presented.


PALIN: They can’t even get a phone call returned, Bill. The Dutch. They are known in the Norwegian. They are known for — for dikes and for cleaning up water and for dealing with spills. They offered to help and, yet, no, they too, with a proverbial can’t even get a phone call back. That is what the Norwegians are telling us, and the Dutch are telling us. And then the entrepreneurial Americans, the company in Maine that has the boom and the absorbents, those companies that are waiting for the Obama administration eight weeks later for the regulators to come in and say, OK, we’ll purchase from you now. We’ll do all that we can. That’s where some of the frustration is.

Now, we saw the same thing though with Katrina, didn’t we? So, I’m not going to point fingers and make this a partisan issue at all, point fingers at different administrations. But it is that inherent problem that we have with government, not necessarily being prepared, because our priorities in government are wrong. National security, safety of the people, needs to be the top priority. That’s where we need to be funding instead of funding these other things on the periphery that really just get in the way of the private sector’s progress, their ability to produce and to thrive and to prosper, Instead, our priorities in the national government have been screwed up.

Now, as governor of Alaska, what I did in dealing with the oil companies, and I’ll bet you, 75 percent of my time was being taken up by energy issues here in this state. I had to set up our Petroleum Systems Integrity Office so that we could be there on the front lines making sure what the oil companies were telling us was legit, when they were dealing with their corroded pipes that we found out and other lax maintenance issues.

O’REILLY: Good point.

PALIN: It took us putting that as the highest priority to protect our resources, to protect our environment, including not just the physical environment but the human environment here.

O’REILLY: All right. Well, that’s a good point. There wasn’t anybody from the management service or whatever — Mineral Management Service out on the pipeline checking it out. That’s for sure.

Hey, Governor, always a pleasure. Thanks for coming on.

PALIN: Now, but Bill…

O’REILLY: Go ahead, real quick.

PALIN: OK. We can’t — we can’t afford though to — we can’t afford to demonize these energy producers to such an extent though that they go under. We do need to work with them though, but we need to verify everything it is and hold them accountable for all that they have done in this situation.

O’REILLY: All right, governor. Thanks again.

Mr. President, Please Appoint Sarah Q. Palin Gulf Disaster Czar

See the rest of the conversation between the president and Sarah Q. here.
Art by Betty Cracker at Click the image to see the rest of the strip.
While regular Americans see the Gulf oil spill as a tragedy that is devastating the lives of people and animals as well as the economy, ecosystems and natural beauty along the shores of five states, Republicans see the disaster as just another opportunity to play political games and criticize the president.

The problem with putting Sarah Q. Palin in charge of anything is that “Quitter” is her middle name.

From day one, the Republicans’ approach to the crisis has resembled a mob of howler monkeys tossing poo at firemen trying to put out a fire at the zoo. Last week, Sarah Q. Palin, the GOP’s putative 2012 presidential nominee, piled on by flinging her poo at the president in the guise of offering advice via her Facebook page:


The Week of Bad Asbestos News

An Environmental Protection Agency declaration and a Supreme Court ruling were two major stories about asbestos that made headlines this week — neither of them good news.

Wednesday the Environmental Protection Agency declared a public health emergency in and near Libby, Mont., where decades of asbestos contamination from a vermiculite mine has left hundreds of people dead or sickened from asbestos-related lung diseases.

They are just two more stories about American corporations’ greed and irresponsibility, and — only tangentially — the people they harm

It was the first health emergency ever declared under the Superfund law, the 1980 statute that governs sites contaminated or threatened by hazardous substances. The Libby site, formerly owned by W.R. Grace & Co., was designated a Superfund priority in 2002.

In the case of the Supreme Court ruling, the court decided for Travelers Companies Inc., one of the largest U.S. property and casualty insurers, saying a lower court erred in overturning the approval of the company’s nearly $500 million settlement of asbestos-related litigation.

The settlement also barred new lawsuits against Travelers stemming from its relationship with Johns Manville Corp.., which had been the country’s largest miner of asbestos and a major manufacturer of asbestos-containing products. The 7-2 vote basically indemnifies Travelers against any future claims for injury or illness caused by Johns Manville asbestos products.

To gain some insight into these stories, Pensito Review interviewed Richard Moyle, national awareness coordinator for the Mesothelioma Cancer Center at about the significance of these two asbestos-related stories. The Mesothelioma Cancer Center at is a one-stop resource on all asbestos issues ranging from occupational exposure to mesothelioma doctor locations and treatment options. The center also provides legal information.

Pensito Review: Asbestos has suddenly gotten a lot of media attention because of the Supreme Court’s finding and the EPA’s declaration. Is the mainstream media getting it right about the potential dangers and health effects of asbestos?

Richard Moyle: I obviously haven’t seen all of the stories from the news media, but yes, the articles I have read on the situation seem to be pretty accurate. Basically, all you need to know about asbestos products is that they are generally not harmful unless disturbed or deteriorated in any way.

For example, if you have asbestos insulation in your home, it doesn’t pose a serious danger so long as it stays in good condition and remains behind the walls. If a hole is punched through a wall of a home containing asbestos insulation it could damage the asbestos and send the microscopic fibers into the air where they can then be inhaled or ingested.