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This post made possible by the Patty Dumpling Endowment for Oil Spill Blogging and Oily Coastlines.


Hooray, the worst oil spill ever is finally going to be paid for, at least some -- BP agreed Thursday to a record $18.7 billion in fines to settle federal and state lawsuits over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, which gave us such golden memories as that time when Sarah Palin blamed the spill on environmentalists, who actually didn't have to pay anything for the spill at all, and how is that even fair? The one good thing about this here settlement is that it appears to be the amount that the company will actually pay, not the starting point for a bunch of appeals that reduce the fines. All we're waiting on now is for BP to release a statement reading only, "Bummer about all those pelicans." And at least now former BP CEO Tony Hayward has his life back.

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The oil company's agreement with the Justice Department is the largest environmental settlement in history; the Washington Post has the details:

According to the agreement, BP will pay $5.5 billion in Clean Water Act penalties, 80 percent of which will go to restoration efforts in five affected gulf states. It will also pay $8.1 billion in natural resource damages and an additional $700 million to respond to environmental damages unknown at the time of the agreement.

BP has also agreed to pay $5.9 billion to settle claims by state and local governments for economic damages suffered as a result of the spill, and a total of $600 million for other claims, including for reimbursement of damage-assessment costs.

The payments will be spread out at a rate of about a billion dollars over 18 years, and the payments will start in about two years, which presumably gives the oil giant time to check the couch cushions for spare change. The Wall Street Journal notes that the agreement

would add at least $10 billion to the roughly $44 billion BP has already incurred in legal and cleanup costs, pushing its tab for the spill higher than all the profits it has earned since 2012.

Even with all that, the $5.5 billion in Clean Water Act penalties are still just a fraction of the $12 billion in fines prosecutors asked for after a district court judge ruled in September that BP had been reckless in its safety procedures; the ruling found BP liable for dumping a total of 3.19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf. So BP will pay less than half of what it should have, but more than the $2 billion it originally argued the Clean Water Act fine should be.

And now there's at least going to be a significant chunk of money going to partly fix the mess. Three damp, choked, gloppy cheers for justice, we guess.

[WaPo / WSJ]

Paywalled out of the WSJ article? Do a google search on the title, "BP Agrees to Pay $18.7 Billion to Settle Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Claims" and read to your oil-choked heart's content.

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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You guys, hi, hello, it is almost the holiday weekend, so we are going to share you a real video posted last night by "Doctor" Sebastian "Don't Call Me A Nazi" Gorka, that hilarious old knucklecuck. We guess now that he had to give up (or gave up voluntarily!) his Fox News contract, he just makes videos for the Twitter. Hoo ... ray?

Anyway, Gorka is super-excited that Donald Trump issued that order last night, giving Bill Barr all kinds of new powers to expose the Deep State for what it is and PROVE once and for all that the gremlins who live inside Trump's diarrhea are correct when they say Hillary ordered the Deep State to do an illegal witch hunt to Trump, yadda yadda yadda, you've seen these people huff paint before, we don't have to type it all.

Here is the video, after which Wonkette will either transcribe it OR we will provide our own dramatic interpretation. Which one will it be? We don't know! Would you be able to tell the difference between the two? We don't know!

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We want to say right here at the outset that we hate Julian Assange. Aside from the sexual assault allegations against him, and aside from the fact that he's just a generally stinky and loathsome person who reportedly smeared poop on the walls at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, while reportedly not taking care of his cat, an innocent creature, he acted as Russia's handmaiden during the 2016 election, in order to further Russia's campaign to steal it for Donald Trump. All signs point to his campaign being a success!

So we are justifiably happy when bad things happen to Julian Assange. We are happy his name is shit the world over, and that any reputation WikiLeaks used to have for being on the side of freedom and transparency has been stuffed down the toilet where it belongs. We are happy he looked like such a sad-ass loser when the Ecuadorian embassy finally kicked him out and he was arrested.

And quite frankly, we were OK with the initial charge against him recently unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia. If you'll remember, he was charged with trying to help Chelsea Manning hack a password into the Defense Department, which is not what journalists do. Journalists do not drive the get-away car for sources. Journalists do not hold their sources' hair back while they're stealing classified intel. Assange is essentially accused of doing all that.

Now, put all that aside. Because -- and this is key -- journalists do publish secrets they are provided by sources. That's First Amendment, chapter and verse, American as fucking apple pie and fast-food-induced diabetes. And that is what much of the superseding indictment of Assange unsealed yesterday was about. (And nope, it wasn't about anything regarding Assange's ratfucking the 2016 election or Hillary's emails. Why would the Trump Justice Department prosecute anything about that? It's all about the older Chelsea Manning stuff, the stuff the Obama Justice Department considered charging Assange with, but ultimately declined, because of that little thing called the First Amendment.)

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