In retrospect, it seems a working blowout preventer was also required for defenders of the oil industry this week, as BP's Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg took to microphones in the White House driveway to pledge his concern for "the small people" and then the House GOP's leading man on energy issues called the $20 billion compensation fund a "tragedy" and offered a profound apology to BP. Taken together, the two sets of comments turned what was originally a bad week for the White House into a Democratic campaign commercial for the midterm elections and was as close to a "Saturday Night Live" skit as reality gets.
Energy & Environment
Much has been made of Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-Texas) unbelievable statement at the
hearing yesterday. Apologizing to BP and calling the funds to help people in
the Gulf a “shakedown,” Barton showed his true colors. After accepting over
$1.4 million from oil interests, he showed how deep “in the tank” he really
I have to hand it to him — how much more loyal can you get? But, as they say, with friends like him, who needs enemies? Not only did BP have to wince, but it was the Republicans who realized the fix they were in yesterday. Unfortunately for them, it was a fix of their own making.
If Republicans were still in control, they would favor a BP bailout for the oil spill, as the last Republican president created the bailout for the banks. And the Tea Party people should demand a Republican apology, or they are simply Republican hacks wearing Tea Party costumes.
Where President Obama went wrong on the oil spill was that he didn't move fast enough to reverse Republican policies. Where Obama went right was to realize that BP, not taxpayers, should pay for the oil spill.
The first order of business will be deciding what to call that $20 billion BP compensation fund. How about "a start”? As in, $20 billion doesn't begin to cover the liability for the careless disregard for anything but profit that caused such devastating losses in the Gulf of Mexico region, including the loss of life. It'll take more than any financial penalty to achieve a just result.
The president of the United States took to the airwaves last evening to once
again put his marker down on how he views the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It
seems every day that passes, the storyline surrounding the leak gets worse, not
better. So I don’t blame the president for trying to manage this mess from the
Oval Office. He really doesn’t have much of a choice.
I and many Americans could do without the usual blame finger pointing back to years ago and previous administrations, but hey, Rahm told the POTUS it’s a free swing, so he might as well take it, right?
All I can say is thank heaven for my DVR. Otherwise I would have missed the first couple of innings of the Washington Nationals game. And for what? For President Obama throwing puffballs in his first play from the Oval Office.
There he was. The president of the United States, in the Oval Office, telling us he was mad as heck. He couldn't even work up a "mad as hell,” as he assured us he simply will "refuse" to let this destructive oil spill destroy the Gulf way of life.
It's hard to tell who's whipping up the story that Americans are angry with
Britons over the horrible Gulf oil spill.
Is it the media, as the politicians say? Or is it British politicians who want to make a show of defending their constituents' pension funds, as some in the media claim? After all, 18 million Britons are BP investors, many of them through their retirement plans.
Let's be clear: I treasure the Brits. Just like our leaders always say, it's a "special relationship.” Like so many on this side of the pond, I pretentiously mimic their affectations, up to and including calling the Atlantic Ocean "the pond.”
I get a huge kick out of the way they talk, even though they are incapable of correctly pronouncing my name. They can't say "Bob.” No matter how hard they try, it comes out somewhere between "Bub" and "Boob.” And "Pentagon" is "Pentaghin.” Professor Henry Higgins had a good question when he asked, "Why can't the English learn to speak?" Maybe it has to do with their stiff upper lips. But hey, you gotta love 'em.
Get ready for the BP bailout debate. As the most hated company in America led by the most despised CEO in business continues its systematic deceptions about the magnitude of the catastrophe, its systematic secrecy and threats of reprisal against employees who speak the truth in public and its systematic blockade against reporters seeking the basic facts, get ready for the mother of all political debates.