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Old 06-21-2010, 01:47 PM   #461
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Sounds rather accusatory to me without proof, bordering on libelous even....
Spend some time on the ford explorer firestone tire problem and you will get a clear idea. Every police officer in the world knows that you always get the suspects in and question them before they have a chance to coordinate their stories.
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:40 PM   #462
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Spend some time on the ford explorer firestone tire problem and you will get a clear idea. Every police officer in the world knows that you always get the suspects in and question them before they have a chance to coordinate their stories.
Yeah, but the objective in a real interrogation is to get the truth. Congress seems more concerned about creating sound bites to woo the ill-informed electorate.
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:43 PM   #463
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Yeah, but the objective in a real interrogation is to get the truth. Congress seems more concerned about creating sound bites to woo the ill-informed electorate.
Why wait for the truth? In his world, the verdict is already in.
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:42 PM   #464
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I'm amazed that many people think that BP should not be severly punished for this. I couldn't care less if the US uses them to fund a stimulus package...BP deserves everything they get! It's about time that the punishment meets and even exceeds the crime!
Fixed for you.

BTW: to the best of my knowledge, no criminal charges have been brought, let alone proven.
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:37 PM   #465
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Yeah, but the objective in a real interrogation is to get the truth. Congress seems more concerned about creating sound bites to woo the ill-informed electorate.
the witnesses control the sound bites
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:57 PM   #466
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the witnesses control the sound bites
In your dreams, counselor. Do you think anyone DC is going to miss a chance to make the poor bastards they summoned to the hill look bad, and vindicate themselves in the process?

Question= "We have convened this Congressional sideshow inquiry to discuss your propensity for wife-beating. Do you still beat your wife?" "Answer the question yes or no!"
Answer= sound bite.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:10 PM   #467
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Actually, Emeritus has a point. A well-prepared witness will never fall for the "yes or no" trick. Rather, he or she will have pre-filed testimony, written by a team of the company's lawyers, consultants and business strategists. The witness also will be equipped with a set of prepared talking points -- mini speeches on various topics that have been polished and vetted by the testimony team. If the question is anywhere in the vicinity of one of the canned talking points, the witness will launch into his or her speech. Demands to answer yes or no will be politely ignored -- "I can't answer that Senator" is always a good one.

In a sense, the witnesses will be like a political candidate at a debate -- they don't answer the questions, they give speeches. Similarly, the senators are not asking questions for the sake of learning the answers. It's all about the speech they give before they get to the question. Anyone who doesn't see that it is all kabuki theatre -- on both sides of the table -- has not been paying attention.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:20 PM   #468
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Actually, Emeritus has a point. A well-prepared witness will never fall for the "yes or no" trick. Rather, he or she will have pre-filed testimony, written by a team of the company's lawyers, consultants and business strategists. The witness also will be equipped with a set of prepared talking points -- mini speeches on various topics that have been polished and vetted by the testimony team. If the question is anywhere in the vicinity of one of the canned talking points, the witness will launch into his or her speech. Demands to answer yes or no will be politely ignored -- "I can't answer that Senator" is always a good one.

In a sense, the witnesses will be like a political candidate at a debate -- they don't answer the questions, they give speeches. Similarly, the senators are not asking questions for the sake of learning the answers. It's all about the speech they give before they get to the question. Anyone who doesn't see that it is all kabuki theatre -- on both sides of the table -- has not been paying attention.
So, everyone knew about Joe Barton's apology to BP in advance?
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:25 PM   #469
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Regardless of how you feel about its contents, Joe made his speech just like the rest of them. I'm certain his comment/apology was not extemporaneous. He just underestimated the blowback he would get.

And I'm sure some people knew what was coming. It is a meme that had been percolating in certain corners of the political world.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:32 PM   #470
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In your dreams, counselor. Do you think anyone DC is going to miss a chance to make the poor bastards they summoned to the hill look bad, and vindicate themselves in the process?

Question= "We have convened this Congressional sideshow inquiry to discuss your propensity for wife-beating. Do you still beat your wife?" "Answer the question yes or no!"
Answer= sound bite.
I've been a witness in congressional hearings. That Doesn't happen.
Its more of
"your company is directly responsible for the deaths of 11 people Is that correct?
Every witness gets to make statement.
The sound bites are generally refusals to answer.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:47 PM   #471
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And how often do we never hear an actual answer to a question asked in any public arena--no matter what the question is, the "best" (best for them, not for us maybe) prepared people segue right into a statement that typically has nothing to do with the question but is the information they want to get across. No sound bites that make them seem suspicious in those cases.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:30 PM   #472
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Actually, Emeritus has a point. A well-prepared witness will never fall for the "yes or no" trick. Rather, he or she will have pre-filed testimony, written by a team of the company's lawyers, consultants and business strategists. The witness also will be equipped with a set of prepared talking points -- mini speeches on various topics that have been polished and vetted by the testimony team. If the question is anywhere in the vicinity of one of the canned talking points, the witness will launch into his or her speech. Demands to answer yes or no will be politely ignored -- "I can't answer that Senator" is always a good one.

In a sense, the witnesses will be like a political candidate at a debate -- they don't answer the questions, they give speeches. Similarly, the senators are not asking questions for the sake of learning the answers. It's all about the speech they give before they get to the question. Anyone who doesn't see that it is all kabuki theatre -- on both sides of the table -- has not been paying attention.

Did you watch the news? Most of what I saw was a Senator saying 'All I want is a yes or no' or 'Can you not answer with a yes or no'... and then a shot of Hayward NOT answering with a yes or no (only a few seconds) ... and then onto another of the same... the news never really showed anything except him looking tired and at his watch once...
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:51 PM   #473
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Off and on I watched a couple of hours, maybe more. I was not impressed by any of the congressmen questioning Hayward. They were grandstanding for the cameras. Dingle in particular was pitiful! He would ask questions that Hayward would not have know the answer to, and then mumble in the microphone.

While I have my doubts if BP is the cleanest company in the stack, to ask him questions and demand answers as if he were on the well appears stupid. And he would have been crazy to answer them any other way than what he did. Like several on this board, they considered him guilty from the time he sat down.

I also found it amazing that a congressman would expect him to know the day to day operations on every rig BP is drilling. It is as dumb as holding President Obama responsible for the actions of some Second Lt. in Iraq.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:29 PM   #474
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Did you watch the news? Most of what I saw was a Senator saying 'All I want is a yes or no' or 'Can you not answer with a yes or no'... and then a shot of Hayward NOT answering with a yes or no (only a few seconds) ... and then onto another of the same... the news never really showed anything except him looking tired and at his watch once...
I did not watch these hearings. While I have not testified like Emeritus, I have prepared witnesses (and their testimony) for Congressional hearings, and I have watched a number of them. As a general rule, nobody ever answers yes or no. And the senators don't really care; they just want to make the witness look bad for not answering. You would have better luck locating the Loch Ness monster than learning the truth about anything as a consequence of Congressional hearings.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:44 PM   #475
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Since the time of the Titanic Congressional hearings have been used to drag information out of recalcitrant wrongdoers. Its the only way to nail down the facts before the purjurors get together to coordinate the lies.
What happened to "due process", "innocent until proven guilty" etc. Isn't any of that part of an "ethics" class?
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:53 PM   #476
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What happened to "due process", "innocent until proven guilty" etc.
That's so 20th (...and 19th, and 18th) century. Embrace the change.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:18 AM   #477
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That's so 20th (...and 19th, and 18th) century. Embrace the change.
Nah, we should go back a few more. Those Spanish Inquisition guys knew how to get to the bottom of things.
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:45 AM   #478
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Many industries are appallingly negligent. Industry standard is the cheapest crappiest garbage that they can get past an inspector who is not well educated, well paid or looking too closely

Think of taxi drivers in New York and you understand "industry standard"
Now that all the "I reported X was broken and they just told me to get back to work" stories are coming in, I get a feeling of "There but for the grace...".

When anything like this happens, we typically discover that:
- The guys at the coal face knew exactly what was happening
- As you go up the food chain, you find various levels of pressure - often self-imposed or imagined - to perform without questioning
- When you get to the top, the senior executives, many of whom are actually pretty good people except for their tendency to groupthink, are genuinely shocked to find how their inherently contradictory messages of quality, safety, and profit have been twisted by the people below them.

A few years ago the BBC made a superb series called "Back to the Floor". The premise was that the CEO of a company or organisation would do the lowest job in the place - sometimes incognito, if possible - for a week. It was always eye-opening, but there was a pattern of excellent people at the bottom, doing their best despite all the BS, and an enlightened guy at the top who didn't realise what a collective bunch of jerks all the levels of management were.

You know how, at the end of a film based on a true story, you get the written story over the end credits saying "Billy Bob went back to live in Arkansas; Mary became US Ambassador to Sweden", or whatever? At the end of many episodes of "Back to the Floor", you'd see "The CEO fired three Vice Presidents within a month of the end of filming. Billy Bob the shift supervisor is now General Manager of Logistics. Customer satisfaction is up 30% on a year ago".
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:03 AM   #479
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- When you get to the top, the senior executives, many of whom are actually pretty good people except for their tendency to groupthink, are genuinely shocked to find how their inherently contradictory messages of quality, safety, and profit have been twisted by the people below them.
When I was in the military, I often thought some of the stupid things we were doing were because some general someplace wondered out loud if something was possible. By the time it got to the working level it was no longer, "I wonder," it had become, "get this done by the weeks end".
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:50 AM   #480
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Nah, we should go back a few more. Those Spanish Inquisition guys knew how to get to the bottom of things.
Ugh! Yeah! Who do you think invented waterboarding!
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