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BP CEO Tony Hayward  (Source: CBS News, AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  (Source: CBS News, AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

  (Source: Fast Company)
But BP has a new plan

Saturday marked yet another failed attempt to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. BP's top kill procedure used more than 1.2 million gallons of mud to suppress oil into the well 5,000 feet below surface in hopes of sealing the well permanently with cement, but most of the mud ended up escaping out of the damaged riser. 

"This scares everybody, the fact that we can't make this well stop flowing, the fact that we haven't succeeded so far," said BP PLC Chief Operating Officer Dough Suttles. "Many of the things we're trying have been done on the surface before, but have never been tried at 5,000 feet."

Since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and the oil leak began six weeks ago, BP has tried and failed with several attempts such as robot submarines to close valves on the blowout preventer, large and small-sized domes to contain the leak, a one mile long siphon that only collected 900,000 gallons of oil and now, a failed top kill procedure. According to government figures, between 18 million and 40 million gallons of oil has been spilled into the Gulf. 

Despite these failures, BP already has a new plan in motion. The next step is to use robot submarines to cut the riser where the oil is leaking and try to cap it with a containment valve while using a new pipe to siphon oil up to containment ships on the surface. 

Suttles says that "cutting off the damaged riser isn't expected to cause the flow rate of leaking oil to increase significantly," though experts have mentioned that the bend in the riser was likely restricting the flow of oil and cutting it and adding a new containment valve could be a risk.

"We're confident the job will work but obviously we can' guarantee success," said Suttles. 

The new plan will take between four and seven days to work before BP can report whether it's a success or failure. According to Philip W. Johnson, an engineering professor at the University of Alabama, if BP "can't get that valve on, things will get much worse" and that the new plan is "a scary proposition."

In addition to this new effort, a relief well is in the works which should be completed in August of this year. A major concern for BP is that hurricane seasons begins Tuesday, and they're hoping the weather cooperates while they work on the Gulf.

"What we are trying to do is create an engineered solution so that we can remain on station essentially through, not perhaps the heart of a hurricane, but through the very rough weather associated with a hurricane somewhere in the Gulf," said BP CEO Tony Hayward.

Even as BP readies for the next plan of action, Louisiana residents remain disappointed and are as angry as ever. Hundreds of protestors gathered in New Orleans to speak out against BP's continuing failures.

"I'm a little upset that the perpetrators of a crime that killed 11 people are still in charge of the crime site," said local musician Dr. John, an impromptu speaker. 

 



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WOW!
By Hiawa23 on 5/31/2010 1:28:37 PM , Rating: 5
I find it hard to believe these so called oil drilling experts had no plan in place, or any worse case scenario plan in place for if/when something terrible happened on one of these rigs.

I am not one these people now shouting, this is why we don't need to drill, cause last time I checked both of my cars still run on gas, everything is made out of some oil product, gas prices are still too high, our energy company rape us every month, etc. Continue drilling baby drilling but do it safely.

Can we not ask the foreign countries who has hated our way of life but gladly accepted billions of our dollars over the years for their oil. They seem to have done it for many years safely.

I find the Obama haters funny to as some try to make this sound like it's his fault. Even with Obama on the ground doesn't clean up the oil, & other than dispatching the government resources, not much else he can do. Everything is made political & the whole political process has poisoned our country for decades, & continue to.

I hope someone finds some solution, cause the spill is ruining that region & will ultimately affect all of us. These oil/gas companies have raped us for years at the pump raking in insane profits, & they can't cap this gusher. I am not religious at all, nor do I believe in it, but if there is a supreme force up there in the clouds, help us all, cause we need it.




RE: WOW!
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/31/2010 1:34:10 PM , Rating: 3
Sounds like a job for Harry Stamper


RE: WOW!
By Dorkyman on 6/1/2010 1:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
"Insane profits?" Wow back to you. Try reading the financial section of the papers once in a while to see just how thin the profit margin is.

As for blame, look where we (meaning the greens and tree-huggers) have forced oil companies to search for oil. Not on the land or in shallow water, where blown wells are easily fixed in a matter of days if not hours. No, we have forced drilling in waters ONE MILE DEEP. Good luck with that.


RE: WOW!
By Mojo the Monkey on 6/1/2010 1:54:20 PM , Rating: 1
You are grossly misinformed. These selectively griped-about thin profit margins are after deducting every possible expense on the balance sheet. I know several people in the oil industry and I can tell you that they are not running penny-pinching operations. The pay structures at these companies, not just the regular compensation, which is high, but the bonuses (good god) are ridiculous. Yeah, when its all said and done you see lots of money "spent" to earn that end profit, but lots of money is enjoyed along the way.


RE: WOW!
By MrBungle123 on 6/1/2010 2:28:04 PM , Rating: 4
and why is making a profit a bad thing? At the end of the day a buisness is there to make money not provide services. Oil companies do not exist to ensure that individuals can afford to drive their cars for next to nothing, they exist to provide a return on the investment made by their share holders. The prices that are paid for thier products are going to naturally find their way to the maximum level that can be maintained without causing so much demand destruction that it eats into thier bottom line.



RE: WOW!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/1/2010 2:47:54 PM , Rating: 1
Ok you know what, without the oil companies making "huge" profits, we would lose about 1.5 trillion in tax revenue per YEAR, and have a complete financial collapse.

So what'll it be?


RE: WOW!
By Mojo the Monkey on 6/2/2010 11:05:22 AM , Rating: 2
what part of my post said that I thought the profits were bad? I just said they were there. Get all fussy with another poster.


RE: WOW!
By Azure Sky on 6/3/2010 12:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
haha, nice one!!!!

wonder how many people will have to google to get that comment!!!


RE: WOW!
By Jul on 5/31/10, Rating: 0
RE: WOW!
By geddarkstorm on 5/31/10, Rating: 0
RE: WOW!
By Jul on 5/31/2010 1:48:05 PM , Rating: 3
No, the MMS did not inspect Deep Water horizon, thats one of the conclusions of the Senate Hearings. Also there is a security System for exactly what happened on Deep Water Horizon which was not installed there because the US doesn't require it. Another result of the Senate hearings


RE: WOW!
By tallcool1 on 6/1/2010 12:23:09 PM , Rating: 2
Anybody see this story, I doubt its true, but hey who likes a good conspiracy theory?
http://www.eutimes.net/2010/05/us-orders-blackout-...


RE: WOW!
By Mojo the Monkey on 6/1/2010 2:08:03 PM , Rating: 1
that EU Times "publication" that you cited to is far more crazy and fly-by-night than its prestigious sounding name would imply. You may as well have cited prisonplanet.


RE: WOW!
By Mojo the Monkey on 6/2/2010 11:06:51 AM , Rating: 2
Like I said - this story you quoted to is now CONFIRMED to be an internet HOAX. Why would someone rate me down for pointing out the untrustworthy nature of a website that some people might think is more legit than it is?


RE: WOW!
By Ard on 5/31/2010 1:56:25 PM , Rating: 4
Actually they could have. There were numerous signs indicating problems with the well. Hell, they had 3 of them before the damn thing blew up and they chose to press on.

And, so we're clear, they can't stop the thing because they're incompetent. Everything about this situation proves their incompetence. They underestimated the size of the leak and overestimated their success. The only thing BP is truly concerned about is how much money they're losing and what the impact to their stock price is going to be.

But, hey, believe what you want.


RE: WOW!
By heiwashin on 5/31/10, Rating: 0
RE: WOW!
By Alexstarfire on 5/31/2010 7:39:47 PM , Rating: 1
You need to redefine your definition of incompetence. I think that not having a plan in place and ignoring warning signs are definite signs of incompetence in any job. Just because a government doesn't require certain safety features also doesn't mean that they aren't a good idea to have anyway.


RE: WOW!
By heiwashin on 5/31/2010 11:34:00 PM , Rating: 2
My definition is fine. Once again a statement that has no merit. Of course they have plans in place. Everything they have been trying has been done before. In fact, this exact same thing happened about 30 years ago. A massive uncontrollable gushing underwater in the gulf that they used the same procedures to attempt to fix. So stop claiming that they have no plans, it's just an unavoidable fact that the only plan that will truly work is to drill a relief well. Everything else tried while doing that is a hope that it just might work, and for them dissuades public opinion that they're sitting on their ass. As for this preperation for every accident nonsense, there's a reason every product is made in other countries now as it is. Those simple safety features can add up to cost many millions upon millions and yes, even enough of a difference to make an accident every now and then more cost effective.


RE: WOW!
By clovell on 6/1/2010 11:19:06 AM , Rating: 2
Then your definition is broke. Because they're drilling two relief wells right now - have been working on it for 4 weeks. And, now - by your logic - they're throwing money at kitchen-sink plans to try to fix it sooner.

They're executing the best plan AND covering their ass - what more can they do that will satisfy your evaluation of their competence?


RE: WOW!
By Solandri on 6/1/2010 2:32:55 AM , Rating: 5
To be fair, what I've read from the inquiry hearings so far makes it sound like the people operating the rig weren't ignoring the warning signs and brought up their concerns to the managers. It's just that their recommendations were dismissed by the BP executive in charge. This is starting to look like another Challenger disaster, where the people who knew the ins and outs of how these machines work had their safety concerns overridden by clueless managers more concerned about meeting a schedule and saving some money.

I'm an engineer by training, and you put failsafes (the BOP) in place. But you never deliberately put yourself in a position where you're forced to rely on the failsafes unless you have no other option. Usually it's managers and politicians who make the boneheaded decision to violate that principle. They get lucky and get away with it a few times, become overconfident, and decide it's ok to live dangerously all the time. It's why I believe promotions should be based not just on accomplishments, but equally on what the person's peers and underlings think of his/her operating style.


RE: WOW!
By clovell on 6/1/2010 11:16:46 AM , Rating: 2
BP has the most expertise out of anyone to stop this leak. Maybe it hasn't been sufficient up to this point, but you're doing a great injustice to the level of this disaster by waving your hand at BP's 'incompetence' here and professing to know their motives. BP thinks about the PR from this, and how it will affect their ability to do business and gain licenses and workers in the region. This is a very bad situation.


RE: WOW!
By geddarkstorm on 5/31/2010 1:42:32 PM , Rating: 2
They did have plans, and they tried them immediately when the oil was noticed to be flowing. It's simply incredible that this well is still going. For instance, that mud they were using is the same stuff all deep water rig use to hold back the oil when they are drilling up a new well. It worked for Horizon till it removed the mud with sea water in preparation of leaving the well. How the oil then overwhelmed the rig, destroyed it, and has resisted all attempts to plug is simply amazing.

Basically, this might be an unprecedented situation we haven't faced before. All the plans that would have worked, and should have under any other set of conditions we know of, haven't. That's what makes this so difficult.

I do like their new plan, and wonder why they didn't try it at the beginning, as it sounds the most sensible method. But, these guys are far smarter than you or I, and have been running through their list of most likely to succeeds. Now we are hitting desperation mode.


RE: WOW!
By Jul on 5/31/2010 1:46:13 PM , Rating: 3
This situation is in no way new. They're trying the same stuff they try for more than 30 years in those situations in exactly the same order, just that they're not doing it in a depth of 200 foot anymore. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZjMP8YdNbg


RE: WOW!
By UltraWide on 5/31/2010 10:24:06 PM , Rating: 3
Wow is this is just amazing and tragic.


RE: WOW!
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/31/2010 1:52:18 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I find it hard to believe these so called oil drilling experts had no plan in place, or any worse case scenario plan in place for if/when something terrible happened on one of these rigs.


If you haven't watched this, its hilarious in a horrible sort of way:
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-may-13-2010/...

"Why do I have a feeling that the best minds in the science field were working on getting the oil. But the stopping the oil department -- maybe a little smaller, a little less financed. What if the space program ran that way? 'Hey you said you wanted to put a man on the moon, you didn't say you wanted him back!' 'Alright, wait I got an idea -- what if we shot golf balls and pieces of tire at the moon, make like a garbage ladder?'"
-- Jon Stewart

Pure gold.


RE: WOW!
By Uncle on 5/31/2010 1:54:59 PM , Rating: 3
What is really scary is that usually an emergency, you use your best solutions first, well BP have done that, now its trial and error and hope for the best, and of course LUCK of the draw. A friend in the business says that what was suppose to happen when they had the blowout didn't for what ever reason. The best bet is drilling a second well and angling the the drill into the original line and either continue to pump oil or seal it shut. The stuff that is going on is to PR and too appease the public and make like someone is working on the problem vs sitting back until the next hole gets drilled.


RE: WOW!
By Uncle on 5/31/2010 2:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
By the way the problem here is the depth. The oil companies are drilling at an even deeper depth off the coast of Canada and four years from now if plans continue their going to start drilling in the Canadian Arctic. When everyone knows their is enough oil in the tar sands to take care of North America.


RE: WOW!
By sviola on 5/31/2010 4:57:25 PM , Rating: 3
Well, here in Brazil, we've been drilling over 2000 meters (6500 ft) deep for over 15 years (water only, I think there are additional 1000 meters in salt and sand). And next year we'll start drilling below 2000 meters of water and another 5000 meters (16000 ft) of sand and salt, reaching for a total of 7000 meters of depth (near 23000 ft).

In the meanwhile, we had a plataform explode but there was no leak in our seas. BP should seek out the help of Petrobras which is the top expert on drilling in these depths.


RE: WOW!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/1/2010 10:57:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
By the way the problem here is the depth. The oil companies are drilling at an even deeper depth off the coast of Canada and four years from now if plans continue their going to start drilling in the Canadian Arctic. When everyone knows their is enough oil in the tar sands to take care of North America.


Umm it's not like they HAVE A CHOICE in where they drill! Why do you think they are so far out?


RE: WOW!
By Zandros on 5/31/2010 2:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
As far as I know, relief wells were always the "best solution". It's just that it's very time intensive, so they've tried a lot of hit-or-miss things in the meantime. I think it's very interesting from an engineering perspective, but obviously a huge tragedy in any other way.


RE: WOW!
By troysavary on 5/31/10, Rating: 0
RE: WOW!
By retrospooty on 6/1/2010 8:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
Really? So this rig built in 2001 was fast tracked by President Obama? Your blamey hate is conflicting with your lack on intelligence. =)

Oil has been in bed with govt. for longer than Obama has been alive. Obama is the first president I have ever seen to call that out and begin steps to do something about it.


RE: WOW!
By troysavary on 6/1/2010 3:14:31 PM , Rating: 1
Way to prove your stupidity. The rig was built in 2001, yes, but it wasn't at the current site that long. The well that is currently leaking was drilled in Sept 2009. I know it is tough for Obama fans to take their mouths of his cock long enough to tell the difference between a drill and a well, but there you go.


RE: WOW!
By retrospooty on 6/2/2010 11:21:51 AM , Rating: 2
Ah yes, it was drilled in Sept 2009. Clearly this is Obamas fault and my mouth is all over his cock. In 6 months in office, his legislative power has already not only been enacted, but executed. None of this was in the works prior to January 2009 when he took office, because govt. works THAT fast. Get a grip people. this is no more Obama's fault than Katrina was Bush's fault.

You hate Obama, thats fine. I am not all that impressed with him either, but this thing isnt his fault, and neither is the economy that dumped before he took office. If you want to hate on him, fine, hate on him for something he actually effected... Like the rediculous overspending that is going on, or the lack of changing the way Washington works as he promised.


RE: WOW!
By Solandri on 6/1/2010 3:02:56 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I find it hard to believe these so called oil drilling experts had no plan in place, or any worse case scenario plan in place for if/when something terrible happened on one of these rigs.

Bear in mind that the "what do we do if the blowout preventer fails" scenario is pretty close to the "what do we do if the wings fall off the plane" scenario. The BOP pretty much turned oil gushers (the above-water equivalent to what's happening) from a common event to just a few per year event on land. The failure rate underwater has been about 20x lower (downtime due to a BOP test failure is more expensive at sea, so they work harder to maintain them better).

They're not a single point of failure either. They typically have 4 or more valves to cut off the flow. All of them have to fail to result in the disaster we're seeing now. There's speculation that BP installed the wrong type of BOP, and the one that's there was insufficient to cut through the pipe they were using for the well bore. No doubt this incident is going to result in a thorough scrutiny of their design and regulatory requirements.


RE: WOW!
By Zoridon on 6/1/2010 6:47:37 AM , Rating: 2
What I find funny is that you accuse the oil companies of insane profits yet their percentage of profit per gallon of oil sold is less than 10 percent on average. McDonalds makes more on every hamburger they sell so shouldn't you by your crack head logic be denouncing McDonalds? Or better yet the Government makes more on taxing the oil than the oil companies ever dreamed yet why don't you denounce the governments insane profits?. The oil companies could make nothing absolutly zero on every gallon of oil and the price at the pump would drop no more than ten percent. So you are your worst enemy. You have politicised the entire problem with a biased agenda without ever considering the facts. College has failed us as well as public education with the inability to teach critical thinking skills and instead spits out mind numbed robots that regurgitate the latest fad wipping boy propaganda while leaving the real issues hidden behind the smoke and mirrors operated by a modern day wizard of OZ. I say where is the dog toto to pull the curtain aside? and would you even recognize the the wizard if you saw him?


RE: WOW!
By Hiawa23 on 6/1/2010 10:42:01 AM , Rating: 2
What I find funny is that you accuse the oil companies of insane profits yet their percentage of profit per gallon of oil sold is less than 10 percent on average.

meh, I can choose not to eat at MCd's, I can choose not to buy any Apple product. I have to buy gas, I have to use heat, electricity, buy plastics, or whatever else is made out of oil. Even in a bad economy, when gas prices were $4-5/gallon when most companies were doing bad, or less than their usuual numbers, oil companies huge profits increased, then they cry, look at those other companies profit margins, ours is much less, k.........

Nevermind the strangle hold the oil companies have on our society, our economy, our politicians, so when you start saying look at Mcdonald's or Microsoft, or whomever else's profit margins you want to throw up, that doesn't regiter here, I don't have to buy their products.


RE: WOW!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/1/2010 11:10:15 AM , Rating: 2
I love how you keep blaming the oil companies for a problem caused by our Regressive energy policy and OPEC.


RE: WOW!
By Hiawa23 on 6/1/2010 1:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
I love how you keep blaming the oil companies for a problem caused by our Regressive energy policy and OPEC.

I agree with you. The oil companies are not my only blame. I blame our govt, OPEC, other, who has had decades to try to get some sort of energy program in place. The supposed greatest country, atleast this is what the flag waivers keep telling us, I would think would produce more of our own oil & depend less on countries who hate us. God forbid when gas prices go back up to $4-6/gallon, I sure hate to see the President or next go back to the foreign countries begging them to give us a break on the price.


RE: WOW!
By Hiawa23 on 6/1/2010 10:49:14 AM , Rating: 2
McDonalds makes more on every hamburger they sell so shouldn't you by your crack head logic be denouncing McDonalds?

also, to add to my last point, we aren't starting Wars in foreign countries over hamburger prices..


RE: WOW!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/1/2010 10:55:10 AM , Rating: 2
Ugh now I know you are a leftist moron. Please show me all this oil we took from Iraq by declaring war on them. Where is it??


RE: WOW!
By Hiawa23 on 6/1/2010 1:58:52 PM , Rating: 3
Ugh now I know you are a leftist moron. Please show me all this oil we took from Iraq by declaring war on them. Where is it??

Didn't say we took anything, & I consider my views not to be left, & the name callin, is not necessary, as everyone is welcomed to their opinion. Not surprising, we as adults can't have discussions without someone on one side or the other bashing the other just because they differ in their view. We see it in Congress, the government, very sad it's even worst on internet faceless boards, where you can hide behind a terminal.

I live in Florida & the bottomline for me is I hope they find a solution to the spill, that's all, all the political point scoring nonsense is of no interest to me.


RE: WOW!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/1/2010 10:52:44 AM , Rating: 2
There is no way you can tell me equipment can be designed to have an oil rig explode on top of it, applying who knows how much force and vibration to the pipe connecting the well to the rig (bending it completely over on it's side), and everything still function.

They DID have a plan, and they ARE experts. But oil rigs exploding over wells isn't exactly something you can practice or account for, is it? We have NO idea what even happened, so I'm just sick of all the armchair quarterbacking on this. You aren't an expert either!

quote:
I hope someone finds some solution, cause the spill is ruining that region & will ultimately affect all of us.


Oh please. In a few years nobody will even remember this spill, and the effected area's will be back to normal. Prince William Sound, where the Exxon Valdees spill occured, was populated with hundreds of millions of Salmon (where they come to breed) just a few years after.

Nature is amazingly resilient. This is NOT going to be as big of a disaster as the media is playing it up to be. We've seen this SO many times, haven't we? Like you said, this is being politicized. It's no secret how the left would just LOVE to use this to shut down drilling and say "see!!?? we told you oil was bad!". Hell they are already doing it.

In Mexico a well similar to this one leaked for NINE MONTHS uncapped, have we all been effected by that too?? Did the oceans just die?

quote:
These oil/gas companies have raped us for years at the pump raking in insane profits


*rolls eyes* Oh boy, there it is. Even assuming that you have a point with this, where are you going with it? So because they "raped us", we need to use this accident to get back at them? Never mind that the entire reason they are freaking so far out in such difficult deep water, is because they AREN'T ALLOWED to drill in their own countries waters.


RE: WOW!
By ender21 on 6/1/2010 12:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
Cool.. I'm on my way to your place to dump about 100 barrels of oil all over your property and neighborhood.

Different if it's in YOUR backyard isn't it?

"Nature is resilient, so let's push it to the brink as often as possible." THERE's some asinine thinking.


RE: WOW!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/1/2010 1:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah because CLEARLY I'm "pro oil spill" ???

Look kid, grow up. That's not what I'm saying, that's not what anybody is saying.


RE: WOW!
By clovell on 6/1/2010 11:13:46 AM , Rating: 2
> I find it hard to believe these so called oil drilling experts had no plan in place, or any worse case scenario plan in place for if/when something terrible happened on one of these rigs.

This level of disaster is unprecedented. There is a mile of ocean sitting on top this well, and half a dozen plans have been attempted with another half dozen in progress. The failure of the safety valve was pretty weird in itself. I don't understand why it's hard for you to believe this. This is truly a disaster, and BP has been trying their best to stop the leak - if they had a better idea, I'm pretty certain they'd have used it. Any claims to the contrary are utterly ignorant.

> I find the Obama haters funny to as some try to make this sound like it's his fault. Even with Obama on the ground doesn't clean up the oil, & other than dispatching the government resources, not much else he can do. Everything is made political & the whole political process has poisoned our country for decades, & continue to.

Are you insane? The paragraph before this, you made the arguement for continued domestic drilling - as a matter of economic and military stability - AND YET, what does Barak Obama do five weeks into this mess on the first day after the DJIA closed under 10k in recent memory? He extends the moratorium on domestic drilling indefinitely.

Furthermore, Louisiana officials are having to act outside the law to protect their wetlands because Obama's administration is no helping them cut through the red tape. If Bush gets flak for Katrina, Obama rightly gets flak for this. He could be doing a lot more than b!tching at BP to help solve this problem.

> I hope someone finds some solution, cause the spill is ruining that region & will ultimately affect all of us. These oil/gas companies have raped us for years at the pump raking in insane profits, & they can't cap this gusher. I am not religious at all, nor do I believe in it, but if there is a supreme force up there in the clouds, help us all, cause we need it.

Yes, this is a disaster that will affect us all - pay attention to the price of gas, oil futures now that Hurricane season has started, and the price of American Shrimp at the fish counter of your grocery store.

Thing is - the oil companies don't make more than a 10% profit - they just deal in the world's most prolific commodity. They can stop the gusher and they will be the ones to do it - it's just a question of which of their dozen solutions will work, and when.


RE: WOW!
By Ammohunt on 6/1/2010 2:51:21 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I find the Obama haters funny to as some try to make this sound like it's his fault. Even with Obama on the ground doesn't clean up the oil, & other than dispatching the government resources, not much else he can do. Everything is made political & the whole political process has poisoned our country for decades, & continue to.


Funny, i felt the same way with Bush and Katrina.


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