My wife's suburban has a movie player for the kids to watch in the backseats. Here is a standard "discussion" between my oldest girl and boy that occurs within a few minutes of buckling everyone in for a trip of any length: Oldest - "I'm older than you, so I get to pick the movie." Middle child - "Unh, unh. Mommy is the boss. We need to pick something we both like." Wife - "You two quit fighting. I'm going to pick the movie. You're going to watch Mary Poppins and like it."

I couldn't help but think of this dynamic when I read today's Wall Street Journal. There is a story in today's paper that outlines a meeting between reporters and a pair of BP executives "who declined to be publicly identified." The BP executives pointed the reporters to a portion of the Transocean Emergency Response Manual, which apparently states that Transocean was "fully responsible" for activities on the Deepwater Horizon, and BP was there to "assist."

Problem is, the BP execs only showed the reporters part of the manual. When the reporters asked Transocean for comment, Transocean pointed to another section of the manual which stated that BP and Transocean "were supposed to jointly decide" whether a control of the well was being lost. Transocean's top official on the rig was "atop the chain of command," but "BP's senior representative was supposed to consult with shore-based management in Houston to 'decide appropriate well control procedures' if rig crews had trouble handling a serious problem."

Sometimes it's entertaining to watch the kids interact. Sometimes it's annoying as hell.


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