Following Up and Following Down: Loose Ends

It’s been a while since WC followed up on earlier posts. Since it’s a slow day around the Wickersham Bunker anyway, let’s check out what’s old.

The Petraeus/Broadwell/Kelley Scandal has fallen off the front pages, but titillating details are trickling out. The mysterious FBI agent contacted by Jill Kelley turns out to be FBI Special Agent Frederick Humphries II, and photos of him shirtless are indeed available on the ‘Net, if you care. WC noted earlier that the reason for the FBI agent’s deep involvement seemed odd. The excuse being offered by Agent Humphries now is “because the anonymous author knew the comings and goings of Allen and Petraeus.” Sorry, it still doesn’t make sense. Nor does Humphries’ later involvement. The full story still isn’t out.

The GOP-led gerrymandering in Alaska was successful. At least from a Republican point of view. Enough Democratic state senators were defeated that a Republican-led coalition now controls the chamber. The last apparent obstacle to Captain Zero’s multi-billion dollar giveaway Big Oil is gone. The half a billion dollar bond issue passed, too. So Alaska is setting itself up for the perfect financial storm: tax cuts to Big Oil, declining production and increased fixed obligations like debt service. Swell.

Failed presidential candidate and political chameleon Mitt Romney, after most of  decade unsuccessfully running for President, is pouting considering what to do next. WC suggests that the best option is that of former President George W. Bush: go away, stay out of sight and remain discreetly silent.

A handful of Christianists have written to WC in response to recent posts, insisting the Bible is literally true, that the world was created in 4004 BC and that the shape of the earth is a consequence of Noah’s Flood. WC has some sympathy for the trauma to true believers of that last 2300 years of science. It was bad enough to be told that sun does not resolve around the earth, and then that the sun was just of a billion stars. And then that our galaxy is just one of billions. And that creation is still under way. Mankind has gone from the center of the universe to a flyspeck planet in one arm of one of five billion galaxies. But not enough sympathy to indulge their pre-Galilean fantasies.

Crushed Spill Containment Vessel

Crushed Spill Containment Vessel

Shell’s test of its containment dome turned out to be an even bigger debacle than we suspected. The most vivid phrase came from a federal inspector, Mark Fesmire, the head of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s Alaska office, along the lines of “crushed like a beer can.” Closely followed by “breached like a whale.” Not reassuring words when you are talking about critical technology in an emergency.

If you think that Shell has an effective plan to handle an oil spill in the Arctic, WC wants to cut you in on a great opportunity to buy scrap metal when they tear down the Cushman Street Bridge.