June 19, 2010

"Rand Paul Feels Sorry For Barton, While Limbaugh Doubles Down On Barton’s 'Shakedown' Claims."

Oh? Well, then, I guess Rush totally out-macho'd Rand. Rand needs to man up!

147 comments:

Dead Julius said...
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Dead Julius said...

The whole Barton finking seems sort of silly and content-less. But still I will give Rand Paul the benefit of the doubt, and listen to what he has to say, more than I would any other American politician.

Alex said...

Limpballs has officially LOST the plot. The American people are OUTRAGED at BP and Barton! They are OUTRAGED at any defenders! This will be the magic event that saves the Democrats this November. Thank god, Jesus is on Obama's side!

Alex said...

The American people are now SURGING to the hard-left! Thank god they've come to their senses. Impeach Christie and HEIL teacher unions!

Alex said...

Now is the time to STRIKE while the iron is hot. Declare Arizona in "rebellion", send the army in and arrest all Republicans for their illegal/immoral/vile racism! Yeah I'm splooging with thoughts of such a scenario!! I'm gonna tell it to ALL my Huff-Po friends!

Alex said...

Arrest McChimpBushHitler, DarthCheney, Yoo and the rest of the torture gang. I wanna seem 'em frog marched on national television. I'd be jerking off to that for sure. Maybe Titus could join me!

Psota said...

Barton is like one of those anti-war Dems such as Barbara Lee or Dennis Kucinich, coming out 433-2 against what everyone else thinks is a no-brainer political position. They're just saying what many of their colleagues are thinking.

Yeah, Barton's statement sounded stupid ("apologize" to BP???) And, yeah, Barton played right into the ready-made media template of "GOP protects Big Business!!!" 11!!!, which nicely distracted from the Dems' very real failures in this crisis. (like anyone in the MSM gave two sh**s about Burton before Thursday)

But... he's right that the government ordering a private company to set up a $20 billion slush fund is an odious practice.

edutcher said...

Barton forgot the Gospel according to Nathan Brittles, "Never apologize. It's a sign of weakness".

Especially if you're right. Which is why the video of what he said went viral.

Fred4Pres said...

Barton Smarton.

Shake down or not, Tony Hayward deserves to be ritually raped by an octopus, before committing sepuku for the collective sins of BP. From a PR perspective alone, Hayward sucks. And BP's cost cutting over the last few years (which Hayward presided over) likely helped cause this mess.

BP is not some victim, there was certainly some negligence, possibly recklessness and the damages will be 20 billion dollars + before this thing is all over.

Rush is right to an extent, although BP screwed up by not getting in front of this and making the fund its idea (which in fact it was). Instead Obama, who has been AWOL for eight weeks, gets credit. Barton helped hurt the GOP. Idiot move done solely to kiss up to his oil constituents in Houston.

Fred4Pres said...

Barton Smarton.

Shake down or not, Tony Hayward deserves to be ritually raped by an octopus, before committing sepuku for the collective sins of BP. From a PR perspective alone, Hayward sucks. And BP's cost cutting over the last few years (which Hayward presided over) likely helped cause this mess.

BP is not some victim, there was certainly some negligence, possibly recklessness and the damages will be 20 billion dollars + before this thing is all over.

Rush is right to an extent, although BP screwed up by not getting in front of this and making the fund its idea (which in fact it was). Instead Obama, who has been AWOL for eight weeks, gets credit. Barton helped hurt the GOP. Idiot move done solely to kiss up to his oil constituents in Houston.

Fred4Pres said...

Rand Paul feels sorry for Barton because he knows what it is like to be pawwed over by a dishonest MSM. Here's a lesson, avoid it by not saying stupid things.

William said...

I have no great reserves of sympathy for the banking, petroleum, and tobacco executives who are asked to testify before Congressional committess. It does seem to me, however, that for legal reasons they are forced to give witness with one hand tied behind their backs. They cannot take the fifth amendment, and they cannot admit culpability. They must, therefore, obfuscate and give ambiguous answers. They will then be pilloried for these ambiguous answers. The net result is not an airing of the issues, but the setting of the stage for punitive legislation. It's not a fair deal.....When this type of extra judical punishment was meted out to people because of their political attachments it was called McCarthyism. Why is this so different?

LonewackoDotCom said...

TEAPARTY ALERT!!!!

TEAPARTY ALERT!!!!

TEAPARTY ALERT!!!!

Illuminati plotting with media to destroy Rand Paul!!!!

The Crack Emcee said...

"I guess Rush totally out-macho'd Rand."

Of course he did - and Barton was right. It doesn't matter if the American people are pissed: they were pissed at Bush, too, only to discover he was right about most of the things they had gotten themselves convinced (by the media and the left) that they should've been pissed about. There is such a thing as being wrong, y'know.

Obama doesn't appeal to the best in anybody. BP didn't plan to have an accident. Strong-arming them, long after Obama was perceived to have dropped the ball, was bullshit. He could've appealed to BP's better nature - which I'm sure they have under the circumstances - it would've been the best, and the more presidential, route. And a great public relations coup for BP.

Instead, Obama reinforces the image he uses "The Chicago Way" - the way of thuggery.

Lincolntf said...

If anyone should be issuing an apology, it's President Obama. After years of pushing the notion that the Government can accomplish miraculous and history-defying feats, he's been exposed.
A man who promises to grow an economy while banning the use of natural resources, or who claims that adding 30 million souls to an overburdened health insurance system will reduce costs and improve care, or who sells the idea that the best weapon against genocidal regimes is properly wording your apology, is either a fool or an aspiring tyrant.
Anyway, a man who believes Gov't can accomplish all these things must believe that the Gov't is capable of dealing with a hole in the ground. In fact, if Obama was still sitting in some Harvard lecture hall, he'd have already "solved" this problem a hundred times over. But since it's the real world, he and his "experts" are exposed as the know-nothing ideologues that they are.

jayne_cobb said...

Glenn Reynolds still refusing to go out with you LW?

Eugene said...

DAVID BROOKS [on the 6/18/2010 PBS Newshour]: I think he actually had a kernel of truth at the core of what [Barton] said, which is that we're a nation of laws. We have laws to protect the unpopular, and to even protect people who do bad things.

And we have a set of laws, when somebody does something bad, does something negligent, to force them to pay and compensate those who were damaged. And that's all on the books. And what President Obama did when he very publicly and very brutally strong-armed BP into setting aside this $20 billion, is, he went around those laws.

And some people think, oh, it's no problem. It's only BP. Well, if you're upset about -- I mean, if imagine if Dick Cheney did it to somebody he didn't like and said, oh, we don't happen to like you. We're going to set $20 billion aside, and I will appoint the person is going to decide what is going to happen to that $20 billion.

Now, I'm not personally worried about what's going to happen to this $20 billion, because Ken Feinberg, who was on the show earlier, is a hero. He will be honest. He will be straight. So, I'm not worried about that.

I'm worried about the erosion of the rule of law, which is a president using the vast powers of the federal government to strong-arm a company, no matter how unpopular and no matter how badly they may have behaved.

Fred4Pres said...

Rush and the rest of you miss the point. BP was going to do this anyway. It has to, it knows it screwed up the region and the litigation going forward it going to be brutal. Even if this was just an accident, BP is culpable. Paying claims in advance makes sense, even without a release.

BP screwed up in making it look like Obama demanded it. BP blew the PR war. Rather than BP getting credit, it is looking like it got woodshedded by Obama.

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

Fred4Pres said...

Rule of Law? Exxon Mobile is still litigating now. Can you imagine the costs of that?

Obama can pull all the Chicago thuggery he wants, but BP agreed to this. I mean seriously, you think that they waterboarded Hayward to agree to this?

Don't cry for BP. BP just blundered and did so badly.

Beth said...

BP didn't plan to have an accident.

The problem is, they didn't plan not to, or what to do if they did.

Dead Julius said...
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Beth said...

Fred,

Our 2nd district Congressman Cao agrees with you, minus the octopus. Did you see his comments to the BP exec about harakiri? He's normally very quiet, but don't get him riled.

Lincolntf said...

Nobody's crying for BP. But people are recognizing that the 20 billion dollars(+) that they're going to end up paying is REAL money, coming out of the pockets and pensions of REAL people. It's nothing to celebrate. And while the end result may have been the same after litigation, and BP did agree to it, the method of getting there is important. Obama decreed that they would pay, and that was the end of it.
If BP had said "No, we'll see what happens in court", what do you think the Obama Admin. response would've been? That's the real question.

Old Dad said...

Barton forgot the most fundamental principles of Obamaism: "Never rely on existing governmental processes that can probably be manipulated when you can invent new ones that will cost more money and that you know can be manipulated." "Never apologize--lie relentlessly, then steal and cheat." When it comes to press coverage, you get what you pay for."

LonewackoDotCom said...

Rand Paul says unemployed should accept lower wage jobs: "tough love" (ignores immigration, 5-1 job seeker ratio).

Old Dad said...

Somewhat OT--

Who would you rather have managing your pension?

Chris Dodd
Barney Frank
Fannie and Freddie
SSA
BP

Sheepman said...

BP screwed up by not getting in front of this and making the fund its idea (which in fact it was).

One would think that a major corporation like BP would have some understanding of PR. They have made one error after another on that front and haven't learned from their mistakes. Sunday, Hayward is going to a yachting race on the Isle of Wright, this after it came out that the Chairman of the Board was on his luxury yacht in Thailand during the oil spill in April.

Beth said...

Old Dad, your survery is incomplete without Powerball, and a hole in the mattress.

Old Dad said...

Beth,

You are absolutely correct, but I've got a Selectair?

somefeller said...

I heard that Congressman Barton just apologized to the referee in the US vs. Slovenia soccer match. The guy just doesn't learn.

The Crack Emcee said...

Fred4Prez,

Seriously, nobody's crying for BP, but there's a right way and a wrong way - and Obama always takes the wrong way.

Beth,

They're called "accidents" for a reason. And what you do in deep water - when the only place you're allowed to drill is in deep water - is anybody's guess. I'm with the people who say blame the environmentalists for forcing this to be the only option. We ain't going green, so any move in that direction has been a waste of time and resources.

I've been planning on doing a post on this, but I'll ask it first here:

How much money have we blown on useless (focus on that) environmental measures - and where would we be if we'd never initiated them? Worthless "organic" food - which raised the prices for food, overall, to the poor? And on and on and on.

We're killing ourselves, financially and politically, with this nonsense.

Beth said...

Barton's getting his act together; he's opening for the Dixie Chicks in their new European tour, the Sorry, Y'all! Texas Jamboree.

Who says there's no such thing as bi-partisanship?

Trooper York said...

I am glad your congressman is letting the Big O off the hook.
I mean he means well so what can you do?

Trooper York said...

When they investigate and prosecute this occurance, BP and it's officers and employees should be subject to the fullest extent of the law.

Of the law.

You know what I mean?

wv:rushnedri - nerdy white guys who listen to Rush all day!

Kev said...

Barton helped hurt the GOP. Idiot move done solely to kiss up to his oil constituents in Houston.

Fred, just an FYI: I get what you're saying, but Barton's district is quite a bit north of Houston. Texas is a big state, you know... :-)

Lincolntf said...

"How much money have we blown on useless (focus on that) environmental measures - and where would we be if we'd never initiated them? "

Tens of billions of dollars certainly. Maybe hundreds of b's when you think of all the trickle-down damage done by EPA regs and other economy-killers.
The EPA (Dept. of Int, etc.)spend billions of dollars generating thousands of pages of regulations whose chief goal is to wheedle more dollars out of the country. But apparently not a penny goes to actually protecting the environment. Maybe if they took a few years off from determining how thick the windows in my shed have to be, they'd have time to determine how to stop an actual threat to nature.
Idiots, thieves and madmen.

AllenS said...
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Beth said...

I am glad your congressman is letting the Big O off the hook.

That's silly, Trooper. Where do you get that idea?

AllenS said...

I doubt if BP did anything wrong that caused the oil spill. The fault probably lies with one or more of the 11 that died. We'll never know what went wrong. If you've ever worked with a crew of people, it only takes one person to fuck the whole thing up.

Once it happened, I wanted to see the government trying their best to help BP solve the problem. That didn't, and isn't happening.

c3 said...

A race to the bottom.

Hey while you're down there could someone plug the leak!!

Scott said...

There are two separate issues:

1. Barton, as a sitting member of Congress, apologizing to BP.

2. Barton characterizing Obama's demand for an "escrow account" as a "shakedown."

On point #1, Barton behaved like a doofus. He can't apologize on behalf of anyone but himself; and on that score, he doesn't have anything to apologize for. It makes him look as silly and lightweight as the President.

On point #2, he ought to have been able to double down on it. He could have hit the Sunday talk shows and made the shakedown accusation hang in the air for months. However, his commission of sin #1 sucked all the air out of the message. All he could do was walk the message back.

I feel sorry for Barton too. He had the chance to reframe the issue in a more truthful light, and he blew it. The doofus.

edutcher said...

LonewackoDotCom said...

Rand Paul says unemployed should accept lower wage jobs: "tough love" (ignores immigration, 5-1 job seeker ratio).

He (Paul) is right. As my sister once wisely noted, "Sometimes you have to take a step down to take a step up". Wack's way is the same kind of (I use the term loosely) thinking that Ray Nagin used to justify not bussing the people of NOLA out of town on school busses because they all deserved motor coaches.

c3 said...

Did you see his comments to the BP exec about harakiri?

I saw it; one of the most despicable comments I've heard from a congressman.

(And as far as I know the Vietnamese don't practice sepiku.)

Old Dad said...

Crack,

Lincoln is right-we've pissed away billions, maybe trillions--take nuclear power generation. A cautionary tale. The Marble Hill nuke plant in southern Indiana was halted midconstruction in 1984 due to impossible government regulation at a loss of scaring $7 billion in real spent dollars, but what about opportunity cost--all the cheaper btu's? and for the greenies all those shitty CO2 molecules that wouldn't have been released.

c3 said...

And I would imagine that the Republican leadership was saying to themselves the same thing BP Board had said to themselves after some of CEO Hayward's public remarks

What the hell are you saying!!

Beth said...

They're called "accidents" for a reason. And what you do in deep water - when the only place you're allowed to drill is in deep water - is anybody's guess.

Deep water is not the only place we're drilling. You are ill informed on that count. Nor are the procedures in deep water "anybody's guess." There are deep water rigs operating right now that were drilled safely and are operating safely. It's easy enough to find accounts of the series of decisions BP made that led to the explosion.

We call things "accidents" for all sorts of reasons. But we also hold people accountable for accidents they could have avoided, or recklessly invited. To say "accidents happen" is to woefully oversimplify things.

HDHouse said...

wow, how far off the deep end...These guys are worse than the spill..

Trooper York said...

The should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the Law.

The Law.

I mean I really hate fucking lawyers but we are a nation of laws not men. At least isn't that the way it is supposed to be?

Or did we flip the script?

El Pollo Real said...

Even The Economist (which famously sucked-up to Obama in the last election) thinks the POTUS overstepped it on this one. And it's not just a "British" thing either.

Rich B said...

I notice that thinkprogress was unable or unwilling to provide any justification for the shakedown. Disdain is the closest the libprogs get to logic.

Dead Julius said...

The should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the Law.

The Law??? HA! HA! HA!

Didn't BP just hire a new law firm with a bunch of Harvard grads and pay them a $20B retainer?

From what I understand, they even arranged to pay the retainer in four annual installments.

Now B.P. has top-notch representation! And attorney-client privilege.

It wasn't a "shakedown", it's fee-for-service!

Scott said...

@Dead Julius: You have a point.

MadisonMan said...

If this were Wisconsin, the $20bn would be put in a fund, and then raided to pay for other things so as not to raise taxes or cut programs. Look! The Budget isn't $20bn out of whack!

I have no problem with putting BP on the hook for (at least) $20bn. I find myself wholly in agreement with Fred4Pres. My concern is getting the money to those that need it, without any being siphoned off by govt bureaucrats who are "managing" it.

Synova said...

I will admit to Not Paying Attention on the grounds that I figured no one had enough information on any level to actually solve the problem of the oil spill by emoting about it. Whatever BP or Obama were or weren't doing about it my personal participation would hardly make a difference.

Now, slowly, I'm getting the sifted down details and it's all sort of alarming.

BP will be destroyed because just like with the execution of a murderer the public wants its vengeance. But I've not heard anything specific about BP other than whatever led to the initial accident that leads me to believe that they were even particularly negligent. Certainly something went wrong and certainly BP should pay.

But all of the bits and pieces I've heard about the response that seem outrageous go directly to our government rather than BP. Turning down the initial offer of Dutch skimmer barges because of EPA regulations? Refusing to give Jindal permission to protect the marshes because of EPA regulations? Not deploying any number of solutions for cleaning the water or protecting the shoreline because they weren't perfect, and lately delaying a ship until the life-vests were counted?

What has BP screwed up like that? What glaringly stupid mistake have they made that delayed anything common sense to mitigate damages?

It's their mess, they should pay to clean it up but I'm quite uncertain they should pay to clean up what Obama's outrageous refusal of the Dutch barges could have prevented or suspending some EPA regulations to allow protecting the shoreline could have prevented.

How is it not a shakedown, what is going on? Everyone has to posture and be extra angry and tough and prove that no one is going to be allowed to get away with anything.

Except the government, except for Obama and his inability to prioritize and to clear regulatory pathways for emergency measures. There may be accountability there come 2012, but it's no sure thing and any other accountability is a fantasy.

Revenant said...

BP is not some victim, there was certainly some negligence, possibly recklessness and the damages will be 20 billion dollars + before this thing is all over.

That's certainly true. But the appropriate way to force people to pay up is to let the courts handle it -- not threaten them into giving you money. Barton's right about the behavior of the US government towards corporations. It didn't start with Obama, but it has gotten worse.

Trooper York said...

This the Joey Gallo way of doing things.

"Nice little company you have here. But you screwed up and now everybody hates you. They want to whack you. But if I tell them you are with me....well I can get them off your back. What's 20 billion after all. A mere bag of shells."

Beth said...

What was the leverage for this "shakedown"? Lawsuits? Those are coming. Criminal prosecution? That's a given. What has the administration got to hold over BP's head? BP's going to pay out much more than $20 billion, and this escrow account doesn't even exist yet. It's a promise, a security. Until someone identifies the threat, the gun to the head, the "or else", I am dubious of the motives in calling this a shakedown. It's to BP's advantage to put up an escrow fund, which also allows them to pay it over 3+ years, so it makes sense that they'd agree to it. As Fred said, they missed out on a great opportunity to claim it, but they've been completely inept with PR, so that's par for the course.

Beth said...

My concern is getting the money to those that need it, without any being siphoned off by govt bureaucrats who are "managing" it.

Put me down for that, too. That's a legitimate worry.

The Crack Emcee said...

Beth,

"Deep water is not the only place we're drilling. You are ill informed on that count."

Ill informed my ass - this is why I hate talking to Libs: you know what I'm talking about but you reframe it as I'm an idiot.

"Nor are the procedures in deep water 'anybody's guess.' There are deep water rigs operating right now that were drilled safely and are operating safely."

That's a dumb thing to say, as well, because we're not talking about shit that goes well - we're discussing an accident.

"To say 'accidents happen' is to woefully oversimplify things."

Again - nobody said that and you you know what I meant. It's your comment that's woefully oversimplifying things. Attempting to make yourself look smart - you ain't:

You always look dumb, because we're on to the art of debate you practice, which is cheap.

Beth said...

What has BP screwed up like that?

Synova, BP has to agree to pay for the berms that Jindal wanted, for one thing. This has been a series of holdups and slowdowns as measures are proposed, the Coast Guard takes them to BP, and to the EPA, and looks over their own rules, and ya da ya da. My personal take is that looking for a single thread is useless, when it's a tapestry of a clusterfuck.

I support getting the berms going, right now, but I also understand that the marshes are fed by salt water, and cutting that off could have a bad result. Jindal has also been trying to get federal money for a series of barrier islands (berms) for a different flood protection project (Morganza to the Gulf) that could pose a threat to wetlands and also costs a big bunch of money, so some opponents to this current plan are wondering if this is his way of making an end run around obstacles, and getting BP to pay for the thing. It's complex.

The barges with no lifevests holdup was just stupid, and more reason to yell for a single authority that doesn't have to keep going back and forth from BP to the White House to multiple little commanders here and there to get anything done.

Trooper York said...

You know you are right Beth. It's not really a shakedown. It's a bribe.

"Hey cough up the dough and I won't nationalize you right now like I did the car companies and the banks. Who knows after November I might not be able to touch you. Or I could do it right now when everybody is really pissed. Poeple forget you know.So you wanna take a chance so you want to buy a little time and a little insurance if you know what I mean?"

It's the Chicago way.

Beth said...

Crack, you have an entertaining way with an insult, but you use it to substitute for content. That's dishonest. You haven't responded substantively to a single point I've made about drilling and negligence.

somefeller said...

As stated above, the $20 billion fund was BP's idea, and may have been at least partially an idea first suggested by a GOP Congressman (not Joe Barton, obviously). So the idea that this is a thuggish shakedown is absurd.

Lincolntf said...

I'd love to see what kind of "escrow fund" Barry would have demanded if the rig had been a CITGO operation? It's easy to mess with the Brits, because they're civilized people. If Barry's homey Hugo was on the other end of the line, all he would've heard was a laugh and a dial tone.

Flexo said...

We'll just see what actually happens.

Do not be surprised if those British pensioners who own stock in BP file suit against BP, in Britain naturally, and getting an injunction against BP execs giving away more money than the $75 million that they liable for under the law.

Anything above that is theft by the execs -- it is not their money to agree to give away, and to do so is beyond their legal authority. Any promises that they have made are not legally binding. Do not be surprised then if some British court enjoins them from actually paying any more than a fraction of the $20 billion they have promised.

Lincolntf said...

"So the idea that this is a thuggish shakedown is absurd."

Yeah, absolutely absurd.
Barack "I'm the only thing between you and the pitchforks" Obama would never do something like that.

Beth said...

somefeller, "shakedown" and "the Chicago Way" are talking points - get used to them. There'll be something new next week, up through the 2010 elections.

Trooper York said...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Don Fanucci: Young man, I hear you and your friends are stealing goods. But you don't even send a dress to my house. No respect! You know I've got three daughters. This is my neighborhood. You and your friends should show me some respect. You should let me wet my beak a little. I hear you and your friends cleared $600 each. Give me $200 each, for your own protection. And I'll forget the insult. You young punks have to learn to respect a man like me! Otherwise the cops will come to your house. And your family will be ruined. Of course, if I'm wrong about how much you stole, I'll take a little less. And by less, I only mean - a hundred bucks less. Now don't refuse me. Understand, paisan? Understand, paisan?... Tell your friends I don't want a lot. Just enough to wet my beak. Don't be afraid to tell them!
(The Godfather Part Two, 1974)

Dead Julius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dead Julius said...

@Synova-

But all of the bits and pieces I've heard about the response that seem outrageous go directly to our government rather than BP. Turning down the initial offer of Dutch skimmer barges because of EPA regulations? Refusing to give Jindal permission to protect the marshes because of EPA regulations? Not deploying any number of solutions for cleaning the water or protecting the shoreline because they weren't perfect, and lately delaying a ship until the life-vests were counted?

I think that anyone who has been running a business in America recently can relate to having to deal with these sorts of asinine, inhibitory regulations. They permeate every aspect of every mature business; and newer areas of business are often threatened by proposals "in the works".

That's the law that the Republican-Democrat establishment created, to the (okay, metaphorical) sound of cheering from the American people.

People got what they wanted: red tape. Don't like it? Suck it up!

Beth said...

Trooper, that's the "New York way," isn't it? It's been awhile since I saw the movie, maybe I'm wrong.

The Crack Emcee said...

"BP has to agree to pay for the berms that Jindal wanted, for one thing."

Now who's ill informed? Protecting our coasts is the governments responsibility - otherwise, why is Jindal asking the government for money for the berms?

And no one's trying to insult you, you don't know what you're talking about and you don't play fair.

Beth said...

Jindal didn't ask the government for money, he asked for approvalof the plan, which required EPA input. BP's paying for the berms.

somefeller said...

And BP chief Tony Hayward spends his Saturday at a yacht race. This guy is turning out to be the 21st Century answer to General Cornwallis.

HDHouse said...

Alex said...
Now is the time to STRIKE while the iron is hot. Declare Arizona in "rebellion", send the army in and arrest all Republicans ..."

Well not ALL of them Alex. That would be a bit much don't you think.

dbp said...

somefeller said...
As stated above, the $20 billion fund was BP's idea

If so, then why did I hear Obama on the radio, before the agreement, saying that he was "demanding" BP pay into this fund?

To my ear it sounds tyrannical to make demands that there is no legal basis for.

Alex said...

Yes all Republicans must be arrested and Tony Hayward should be detained immediately and fucked up the anus with a rusty chainsaw.

AC245 said...

Crack, you have an entertaining way with an insult, but you use it to substitute for content. That's dishonest. You haven't responded substantively to a single point I've made about drilling and negligence.

Beth, you're describing your own comments on every single post about this topic that has been made from the beginning.

At least you've dropped your laughably duplicitous boilerplate claim that you're too busy/concerned/sad/virtuous to place blame before you launch into your BP-is-evil tirades.

Again, a reminder for the liars who keep trying to absolve Obama and the government of their legal responsibility for the handling of this (and every other) oil spill:

USC TITLE 33 > CHAPTER 26 > SUBCHAPTER III > § 1321:

(a) Definitions
For the purpose of this section, the term—
(1) “oil” means oil of any kind or in any form, including, but not limited to, petroleum, fuel oil, sludge, oil refuse, and oil mixed with wastes other than dredged spoil;
...
(11) “offshore facility” means any facility of any kind located in, on, or under, any of the navigable waters of the United States, and any facility of any kind which is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and is located in, on, or under any other waters, other than a vessel or a public vessel;
...
(b)(1) The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of the United States that there should be no discharges of oil or hazardous substances into or upon the navigable waters of the United States, adjoining shorelines, or into or upon the waters of the contiguous zone, or in connection with activities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act [43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.] or the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 [33 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.], or which may affect natural resources belonging to, appertaining to, or under the exclusive management authority of the United States (including resources under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act [16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.]).
...
(c) Federal removal authority
(1) General removal requirement
(A) The President shall, in accordance with the National Contingency Plan and any appropriate Area Contingency Plan, ensure effective and immediate removal of a discharge, and mitigation or prevention of a substantial threat of a discharge, of oil or a hazardous substance—
...
(d) National Contingency Plan
(1) Preparation by President
The President shall prepare and publish a National Contingency Plan for removal of oil and hazardous substances pursuant to this section.
(2) Contents
The National Contingency Plan shall provide for efficient, coordinated, and effective action to minimize damage from oil and hazardous substance discharges, including containment, dispersal, and removal of oil and hazardous substances, and shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
...
(B) Identification, procurement, maintenance, and storage of equipment and supplies.
...
(F) Procedures and techniques to be employed in identifying, containing, dispersing, and removing oil and hazardous substances.
...
(M) A fish and wildlife response plan, developed in consultation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other interested parties (including State fish and wildlife conservation officials), for the immediate and effective protection, rescue, and rehabilitation of, and the minimization of risk of damage to, fish and wildlife resources and their habitat that are harmed or that may be jeopardized by a discharge.

rick said...

Beth said

"Deep water is not the only place we're drilling. You are ill informed on that count."

Sorry for being late to this party, but...

The Allegheny Nat. Forest was once owned by locals in northern Pa. The land (surface rights)was sold to the Feds, however, the locals retained the Oil, Gas and Mineral rights (sub-surface rights)). The ability to drill has been stymied for years by the enviro-nuts and sympathetic courts.

Beth said...

dbp, follow the url somefeller posted. That's the point it's making as well - essentially, the Dems and GOP are competing to see which way the "Chicago Way shakedown" will play. That's all political theater. Either way, BP would be ponying up funds, and had no objection to an escrow account. Now what's left is to jostle over whether credit or blame will get the best response by either side's base.

Roger J. said...

If I were BP I would cough up some excrow money as a PR gambit.

At a somewhat more abstract level, I am more concerned about mr Obama's speech in which he said he was going "to inform" BP they had to do this.

I mean, really, there is rather a rule of law thing here--My understanding is that the President of the US does not have the remotest authority to tell anyone to cough up some bucks.

I think the applicable phrase in the constitution: no person (and much to the chagrin of some, Corporations are persons) shall be deprived of life, liberty or PROPERTY, without due process of law.

So can any of the learned commentariat, especially the lawyers, tell me how due process of law operated here?

And will the money get to who needs it? We have a model: the tobacco settlement money. If you are some poor gulf coast victim, don't hold your breath.

Beth said...

Alex, please be sure to wear chaps if you're wielding the chainsaw.

Alex said...

Beth - nope, I prefer to go "bareback" when I do my chainsaw wielding. More "authentic" that way.

Alex said...

I want to know Titus' opinion on:

* Tony Hayward's hotness
* chainsaws

Beth said...

My understanding is that the President of the US does not have the remotest authority to tell anyone to cough up some bucks.

And so BP doesn't have to listen. He can tell them stuff all day. He's been blustering for a month now; that's the problem. Lots of talk, not enough action.

We have a model: the tobacco settlement money.

Or the 9/11 settlements. The guy administering this account administered that one.

Trooper York said...

Beth, it's the mafia way.

Works for both New York and Chi town.

Or down NOLA way.

Did you know the biggest lynching of Italian Americans was in NOLA in 1891. They lynched 11 guinea's for killing the police chief.

dbp said...

Beth, I think you are missing my point. It is fine and good for BP to set-up a fund if that is what they want to do.

What I object to is Obama thuggishly and publicly demanding it of them. My theory is that the President wants BP to pay for the lost wages due to the rash 6-month drilling ban. Rather than reverse a stupid decision, he'll just get someone else to pay for it.

Beth said...

Trooper, yes, I know about the massacre - worse yet, they put up a monument.

Roger J. said...

Beth: please dont misunderstand my position--my more theoretical position is abuse of authority--that was the big thing during the Bush administration IIRC.

I am fully cognizant of the reality on the ground, and its really bad from all I have read on your blog and oil drum

HOWEVER--if we take the view that the severity of the threat justifies violation of the due process clause, we will continue to abuse those who have legal rights. Some of those micreants deserve lynching; others do not. The president's position does not distinguish between them.

A wise executive has to distinguish between the two, and therein, Mr Obama has failed utterly.

And Ms Beth--will you be posting on your blog? My thoughts continue to be with you and yours.

Beth said...

dpb, I disagree with the six-month moratorium, so you won't get an argument from me on that. I'm not missing your point, though; I don't buy into the outrage about "shakedowns" - it's politics. No one put a gun to BP's head. Obama's been trying to get mileage out of tough talk and it will either work for him or backfire. We'll have to see how that goes.

Trooper York said...

Hyman Roth: This is the business we chose
(The Godfather Part Two, 1974)

dbp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

And as usual, Trooper continues to highlight the issue in his usual elegant way. Thanks Troop--I can see Mr Obama going to the oval office and informing Garage Mahal he has to pay for abuse of statues about poaching roadkill--While this is indeed a puerile argument, it does have a basis in fact (both about roadkill and presidential power)

WV: loatio---fellatio from the oval office

dbp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

Just as a thought experiment look at two scenarios:

1. I am walking down the street and come upon a homeless man, take pity and give him 10 bucks.

2. I am walking down the street and come across a homeless man. As I approach, a big tough police officer appears and orders me to pay 10 dollars to the homeless guy.

Do we feel the same way about these situations?

Trooper York said...

Henry Hill: [narrating] And when the cops, when they assigned a whole army to stop Jimmy, what'd he do? He made 'em partners
(Goodfella's, 1990)

Beth said...

my more theoretical position is abuse of authority--that was the big thing during the Bush administration IIRC

Obama certainly has done nothing to roll back on the move to have more power in the presidency, we agree. That's why people in both parties should always be careful what we think we want: any power on our side and/or restriction on the other side (speech, for example) just bites us on the ass when the inevitable turnover of office occurs. No politician ever gives up power.

I have no dog in the hunt to defend Obama, or criticize him, just to be doing it. I can't find much good to say about his performance re: the leak over the past two months.

I'm off to dinner - not intending to post and run, just have an appointment.

Roger, thanks for encouraging me to blog. I'll post something this week.

Trooper York said...

Henry Hill: [narrating] Now the guy's got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with the bill? He can go to Paulie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Paulie. But now the guy's gotta come up with Paulie's money every week, no matter what. Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. Your oil rig sprung a leak? Fuck you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? Fuck you, pay me.
(Goodfellas, 1990)

Roger J. said...

dbp: only lawyers are allowed to use hypotheticals

And while I think they tend to be foolish, yours is quite good.

But as trooper would remind us the only thing worse than lawyers are journalists.

Roger J. said...

Beth enjoy the respite, and look forward to your experiences. Be careful out there, Ms Beth

Alan said...

People who don't see the intelligent and insightful equivalence Barton and Limbaugh draw didn't get their Ayn Rand. Next time you eat those wonderful Gulf shrimp and oysters flavored with oil and chemical disbursements maybe you'll realize you're really eating the formula for Rearden Metal. The very formula Obama shook out of BP. It's a travesty of epic tyranny.

somefeller said...

dbp @3:59pm - As Beth mentioned, please click through the link provided. Also, Fred4Prez's comments early in the thread and Beth's comments later amplify my point.

And here we see another shoe dropping. BP's partner, Anadarko Petroleum, is hammering BP, using statements like "reckless decisions and actions" and "BP's behavior and actions likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct" to describe BP's management of Deepwater Horizon. While this may be positioning for future litigation on Anadarko's part, I would suggest that those who are saying that this is all just an accident and BP is being unfairly attacked might want to consider the words of this player in the industry.

david7134 said...

I find the reaction of the American people to this tragedy to be beyond belief. Everyone is quick to blame BP for what occured. Yet no one, even the people on the scene has yet indicated what caused the incident. Note I did not say accident. This was not an accident. It was inevitable. When you are dealing with mechanical systems their is a failure rate. The law of statics can not be violated. Ultimately, despite the best of intentions, bad things happen. There have been several allegations of safety violations by BP. What exactly? Did they not have enough life perservers or fire extinguishers?

I have worked in the oil field and can assure you that when you are working a rig you are sitting on top of a ticking bomb. If the rig is completed without problem, great. But sometimes bad things happen. What did BP do wrong? They didn't play the PR game. Maybe we should scrap the game and quit acting like a bunch of little girls running around and saying just the right thing and apologizing for any misconstruction that ignorant minds perceive. I think that the Brits likely could not understand exactly how stupid the average Ameircan is and thus could not get ahead of the PR game.

Have you watched the Congressional inquisition of BP? It is totally disgusting and makes one nauseated. I was ashamed that people like this represent us.

The one person who is to blame for the damage is Obama and gang. They have assured us that a clean up plan is in place, but it isn't. They turned down help from other countries and material assets that would have contained the oil. They are requiring EPA analysis of every action and adherence to out dated maritime laws. Obama has distroyed us here in Louisiana in a way that even Katrina could not. And he is not finished.

Also, who is BP? Is it Hayward? No, it is us. It is the stock and bond holders. It is the people who invest in pensions and ETF's. When you attack BP you are attacking the average man who holds any wealth, stock fund, etc. Of course, if you get your money from the government, you are safe. Except BP does pay taxes. We should be helping BP, not trying to put them in jail and stymie their efforts.

Obama and group have a clear intent to distroy the US. They have attacked every sector of our country and continue to do so. I really don't know if we can survive to November, much less 2 more years. The theft of 20 billion from BP was unlawful and meant to increase the power of the president. It had nothing to do with getting money to where is belongs.

I support Mr. Barton's statement and only wish that we had more like it. Our way of life is under attack and we are losing.

Roger J. said...

Somefeller: irrespective of fault, my concern is for due process of law--now admittedly, due process of law does not happen in a hurry. But it is the difference between a nation of laws, and a nation of bureaucrats. The former is preferable, even under dire circumstances, to the latter. IMO

AC245 said...

You don't have to read past the second paragraph into somefeller's link to see it's another government shakedown:

"Anadarko Petroleum Corp., which owns a quarter of the Macondo well dumping oil in the Gulf of Mexico, on Friday blasted BP's "reckless decisions and actions" that led to the well's blowout.

Anadarko Chairman and CEO James Hackett's statement came after some elected officials said Anadarko should help pay for the massive cleanup and spill-related claims.
"


Nice little business you've got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.

somefeller said...

Somefeller: irrespective of fault, my concern is for due process of law--now admittedly, due process of law does not happen in a hurry.

Fair enough and I agree with you. But due process (in this circumstance) kicks in when there is an actual taking of property on the part of the government. As mentioned above, BP wasn't forced to create the escrow fund. (And no, harsh criticism or demands from public officials, including the President, do not constitute force.) Notice that BP isn't claiming that it's been forced into this plan and therefore due process concerns need to be addressed.

That having been said, I will agree that due process rights need to be preserved (for all parties involved, including those claiming harm) and there are legal issues that will need to be sorted out. One that I hope doesn't need to be sorted out is this - what is the status of the escrow fund in the event of a declaration of bankruptcy by BP? Is it part of the bankruptcy estate? And if not, why not?

Roger J. said...

Somefeller: thanks for the reasoned response--I do agree that BP coughed up the dollars for what I personally suspect are PR purposes and they can certainly do that if they choose.

Its a fascinating insight into how bureaucracies work--both public and private--and not very pretty as it pertains to the poor bastards on the ground who are caught between the opposing powers

Roger J. said...

Somefeller: as to the your last question, I have no idea but it very important.

Fred4Pres said...

David7134, while the investigations have only just started, there is most definitely evidence that BP contributed to this "accident." In fact, some of the statements from the crews on the rig suggest BP's acts were reckless. In addition, Hayward and others in BP management had a program of cost cutting that may have eventually bit them in the ass.

So while the stockholders and employees will take it in the shorts, and the gulf region gets devestated, and while we can argue that the governement and eviromental rules and our appetite for oil is the cause of all this, ultimately BP is going to pay a lot of money because of this. And I do not have a lot of sympathy for them.

edutcher said...

MadisonMan said...

If this were Wisconsin, the $20bn would be put in a fund, and then raided to pay for other things so as not to raise taxes or cut programs. Look! The Budget isn't $20bn out of whack!

That was Stupak's idea for ZeroCare.

Keep in mind, this slush fund will be administered by an 'independent' committee staffed by people like Jamie Gorelick, the Typhoid Mary of DC, and chaired by The Zero's Pay Czar.

We may need an amendment that allows the people to recall POTUS.

Fred4Pres said...

Barton is a fool. Either he can't form a sentance or he really was apologizing to BP. While I agree the Obama gang can't shoot straight and have made this mess far worse by inaction, Obama did not blow that well. BP did that (not intentionally, but BP was responsible).

Roger J. said...

Fred--not arguing that BP is at fault--but I believe it is important as an issue of public policy that the laws of the US be employed to seek damages.

somefeller said...

Roger J. - thanks for the kind words. And on the bankruptcy question, I'm not a bankruptcy attorney so I'm not comfortable speculating on how that would go if BP went into bankruptcy, except to say I suspect it would go from ugly to really ugly in about thirty seconds.

bagoh20 said...

I have no problem defending business from government intrusion on general principles. If the governemnt succeeds in "punishing companies it deems evil then the net result will be that every citizen gets punished. If you are a secretary at BP or work for a company that partners or depends on business from BP or another company the depends on that company, you will be hurt, maybe laid off. We really are interconnected and companies are not made up of foolish or selfish executives they are mostly hard working people like you and me who had nothing to do with this accident. And make no mistake we will all pay in higher energy costs for any "punishment" including that which does nothing to repay victims or clean up the mess. Nobody thinks THEY are big business, but we all are and we depend on them to do things too big for a ma and pa. People need to grow up and ween themselves off the emotion fix.

HDHouse said...

would it not do well to consider that the government for its ambiguous inaction is actually a neutral party here. They have left BP to dangle on the hook by letting them lead the technical charge to fix this mess and they have failed miserably. But I think that many, me included, from the left fully understand that although the goverment (and BP) is technically powerless to stop the flow, our government can put together a much better and coordinated clean up effort than we see.

This wasn't a shakedown in any sense. The feckless BP officers didn't have a wing and a prayer and Obama new it. He could have asked for the checkbook and the credit cards and BP would have had to give them to him.

lemondog said...

Rahm looking to shift public focus from the WH cavalier attitude back to villainous Hayward.

White House chief: Yacht trip another gaffe by BP

somefeller said...

If you are a secretary at BP or work for a company that partners or depends on business from BP or another company the depends on that company, you will be hurt, maybe laid off.

Yeah, well, that stinks, but that's life. If you work for, do business with or own shares in a company that goes under because of bad management or malfeasance, you lose. Just ask anyone who owned stock in Enron. Those facts, however, don't mean that the government (or for that matter, private party plaintiffs) shouldn't go after companies that act criminally or negligently. While it hasn't been determined yet whether BP was a bad actor or not (though it's not looking good for them right now), the argument that it or any other business shouldn't face liability because of the trickle-down effect to shareholders and employees is a ludicrous one. Such a rule would allow businesses to do whatever they want under the argument that any punishment of them would hurt others. Let's not let otherwise good pro-business attitudes blind us to that point.

AC245 said...

somefeller said...
And BP chief Tony Hayward spends his Saturday at a yacht race. This guy is turning out to be the 21st Century answer to General Cornwallis.
6/19/10 3:49 PM


Hayward really should have limited his weekend activities to catching a baseball game and jetting off on Air Force One for another few rounds of golf at U.S. taxpayer expense.

Fred4Pres said...

BP voluntarily agreed to this deal. Obama has no magic powers, despite his Chicago thug roots. BP's mistake was not doing it sooner so Obama could not take credit (and BP would look like they were in front of this).

Freeman Hunt said...

BP officials have said from the beginning that they will pay for the cleanup. They have been out in front of it. Maybe it's just no fun to report it that way.

Twenty billion dollars to be handed out by bureaucrats; what could go wrong?

Freeman Hunt said...

Also, BP has already been paying out claims. According to BP on Twitter, the average wait time from claim to check is four days.

Lincolntf said...

So BP drills exactly where the Gov't says they should, they build everything to the specs demanded by the Gov't, the rig is inspected by Gov't officials, the Gov't awards the rig operation a safety award, the Gov't gives them the go ahead, and the Gov't collects it's millions in lease fees.

It's all BP's fault. If only the Government were more involved this never would have happened.

John said...

lincolntf said:

"Nobody's crying for BP. But people are recognizing that the 20 billion dollars(+) that they're going to end up paying is REAL money, coming out of the pockets and pensions of REAL people."

I get tired of hearing about the pensioners. They are not just pensioners, they are OWNERS of BP. Stockholders, if you prefer.

They get the benefit of increased profits in dividends when BP makes more money by cutting corners (assuming that they did, which I don't know) they need to be the ones to pay when their company screws up.

Having said that, I too am concerned about this Chicago Way extortion that may be going on here.

John Henry

AC245 said...

It's all BP's fault. If only the Government were more involved this never would have happened.

Don't be silly, Lincolntf. It's not all BP's fault.

It's also Bush/Cheney's fault.

ricpic said...

Barton dared to throw a monkey-wrench into the smooth flow of the Democrat/Soviet Show Trial? A Shanda! Crush The Wrecker!! All power to the Soviets!!!

Lincolntf said...

Whether you're tired of Capitalism or not, it is the way we do things. People blindly celebrating "BP" getting screwed are the same people who will wonder why Mom and Dad have to move in with them or live on the streets for their retirement.

bagoh20 said...

"the argument that it or any other business shouldn't face liability because of the trickle-down effect"

That's not my point at all. It's about the silly attack-the-evil-company narrative that the WH is apparently going to run with.

It's all of us who will pay, not some inhuman entity or made for TV movie executive.

It should be handled like being forced to do surgery. It may be necessary but you don't go eviscerating yourself just to teach the disease a lesson. Every dollar extracted will come from regular people one way or another.

John said...

EDutcher mentioned it but let me elaborate a bit:

BP's lawyer, and representative on the Escrow Account(?) is none other than Hilary Clinton crony Jamie Gorelick. He called here, rightly, "Typhoid Mary"

She is the one who was responsible for erecting the "Chinese Wall" between CIA and FBI that prevented them from sharing info on the 9/11 murderers. Some reports are that this wall was erected to protect Billary from some nefarious schemes of theirs.

Jamie Gorelick was vice-chair of Fannie Mae while it was taking the country down the tubes. She made $25 million doing this.

And now she negotiated this escrow deal for BP? She gets to dabble her fingers into how the $20bn will be spent? (Assuming BP ever puts the money in). I am sure she will be well paid for doing this. I suspect that what she gets paid will only be a fraction of what she makes from it.

I wonder if any will find its way to Hilary's pockets?

We are so screwed.

John Henry

PS-Does anyone know where I might find a link to the proposed escrow agreement? All I could find was a WH faq that says what it says. I'd be curious to see the actual document.

Alas, that is probably not for the likes of little people like me.

dick said...

Fred 4 Pres,

Don't say stupid things wont help. The MSM will just make stuff up like they did for Palin. Don't have to say anything. It is their normal MO. If they can't diss the Republicans for real things, then they will make things up and diss them for that. We have seen it time and again. Remember McCain's mistress? Remember how Sarah was not the mother. Even now we hear that Sarah has had implants. This is just more of the same.

John said...

Bammy likes to call BP "British Petroleum", a company that went out of business 12 years ago.

Might this be to stir up discontent with the Brits?

Perhaps he should go all the way and start referring to it as the "Anglo-Iranian Oil Company"

It has not been that since the 60's(?) but it would be just as legitimate as calling it British Petroleum and it has the benefit of stirring up enmity against both Britain and Iran.

"Just look what them nasty Iranians did in our Gulf. Time to nuke them"

John Henry

Synova said...

The yacht thing really does just scream out for a political cartoon of Obama at the golf course leaning on his putter while denouncing the yacht race.

Part of me doesn't care. Part of me figures that some down time actually makes for better decision making. Few are wealthy enough to take their down time at a yacht race but is a more pedestrian version automatically more moral?

John said...

Speaking of BP, my daughter's first job out of college (She is a Chem Eng) was with an Amoco/Standard Oil of Indiana plant. About 2 weeks after she started, BP merged with them.

Shortly after the announcement she sent me a copy of a memo going around on BP letterhead saying that the 4th of July would no longer be a holiday.

She didn't know any better and thought it was real.

It was not, of course.

John Henry

Bruce Hayden said...

It's about the silly attack-the-evil-company narrative that the WH is apparently going to run with.

And the reason that the WH is attacking the evil company (that they so gladly took money from up until just recently) is that they are trying desperately to deflect attention from the mess that they have made of the situation, and, in particular, the cleanup.

And make a mess of it they have. Just to straighten things up a bit:
- it is/was the EPA that is/was preventing Gov. Jindal from building his berms - ridiculous since the law designed to protect the environment was essentially wrecking it.
- the Coast Guard was the agency that was preventing the barges from going back out to skim oil because they might not have sufficient life vests and fire extinguishers.
- The Jones Act was the reason that the Administration couldn't accept the offer of aid from 13 countries, including that Dutch oil skimmer. It requires (unionized) U.S. crews for ships in U.S. waters. This protectionist law was passed in 1920 to protect U.S. labor.

There was nothing there that a strong leader in the WH couldn't have overcome with the stroke of a pen. Bush (43) apparently waived the Jones Act with Katrina. Obama can't do it, because of the hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign contributions he and the Democrats have taken from unions over the last couple of years.

Or, maybe. The problem is that crooks don't stay bought, as BP recently found, as did the AMA and insurance companies with Health Care "Reform".

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't have a lot of compassion for the widows and orphans who are going to lose money on their BP stock. The company took several safety related gambles in order to cut costs, and the gambles ultimately failed. And as a result of the cost cutting side of those gambles, BP had higher dividends and growth than they would have had otherwise. And so anyone riding the stock up would have benefited from that cost cutting.

Trooper York said...

Tony Montana: You know what capitalism is? Getting fucked!
(Scarface, 1983)

Lincolntf said...

Bruce Hayden said...

What costs did they cut? The purpose of business is to make production as cheap as possible. A check on that urge comes in the form of Gov't Reg's.
If they "cut corners" and were allowed to get away with it (remember the safety award, inspection certs, etc.) one would suspect that it's because they were the largest private source of funds for the Obama campaign.
The BP spill is not an example of how the system fails so much as it's an example of how the system really works.

amba said...

This -- the oil spill and the politics being played with it -- is turning into a typical "righties say government is bad; lefties say business is bad" nyah-nyah "Did not!" "Did too!" clusterfuck. Predictable and boring. People with the ability to do something about the spill have from the start seemed more concerned about covering their asses and harvesting advantage.

Andi said...

The media keeps saying this Trust Fund will be administered by the Government. That's not true. It is a private agreement between BP and Obama. Good luck getting a look at the chartering documents - BP has no obligation to share those with the public. Good luck finding out where the funds will be invested while idle - Congress will have no authority to demand review.

Feinberg and Gorlick will not be operating as agents of the U.S., but as administrators of a private fund.

Unless Congress passes legislation authorizing the President to administer the Fund... in which case, Obama would be answerable to Congress regarding the Fund...

Bruce Hayden said...

What costs did they cut? The purpose of business is to make production as cheap as possible. A check on that urge comes in the form of Gov't Reg's. If they "cut corners" and were allowed to get away with it (remember the safety award, inspection certs, etc.) one would suspect that it's because they were the largest private source of funds for the Obama campaign.

I may quibble here, maybe not with you, but rather how this came out.

One problem with government regulation is that such are often utilized as a floor for what a party can do. Thus, BP seems to have been operating under the, "if the regulators don't call us on it, it must be ok" standard of doing business.

In this case, the company seems to have cut corners a couple of times. One time appears to have been for the installation of a tertiary blowout system that is apparently common in the North Sea, is present on some deep sea rigs in the Gulf, but wasn't installed on this rig. Another appears to be the actions that triggered the blowout. Something to do with too much gas and not heavy enough mud, but BP making a command decision to continue to proceed. There appears to have been a pretty heated meeting about this shortly before things blew up (literally).

And, of course, the MMS inspectors weren't out on the rig, and, indeed, rarely went out to rigs, esp. ones in deeper water. So, BP could essentially do what they wanted to here.

That is one problem with regulation. Another is that it invariably and inevitably gets corrupted. The MMS is a classic case of agency capture. The regulated invariably gain control of the regulatory agency. Happens all the way from local school boards often controlled by the teachers up through cabinet level departments like Ag, Commerce, Education, and Treasury.

The solution in this case? Not more regulation, but rather, elimination of the damage cap, less regulation, and availability of massive tort damages. The cost of that tertiary blow out preventor looks like pennies on the street compared to the bet-the-company litigation that can destroy companies as big as BP.

And if someone really wants to make this sort of tort liability effective, then they should make the managers, officers, and board members in the chain of command also liable. Does anyone here believe that Raines, Gorelich, et al. running Fannie and Freddie would have made all those junk loans if they knew that they would be on the hook if they went bad before the taxpayers would have to kick in? Instead, of course, many of those top executives and board members left with millions in the bank, and with the taxpayers left on the hook. The opposite side of this can be seen in law firms like mine, where the partners self-insure for some of the firm's potential malpractice liability.

Bruce Hayden said...

The BP spill is not an example of how the system fails so much as it's an example of how the system really works.

Again, we probably agree more than disagree here. I think.

I would suggest that the system failure is inherent in a regulatory system, and that we should expect nothing else here. The conceit that if the best and brightest had just written the laws and regulations, and then staffed the agency, none of this would have happened, is wishful thinking. The best and brightest are never going to be on the side of the regulators. If they are at some point, they will ultimately jump to the other side, because that is where the money is. And it is the worst kind of self-delusion to believe that very many of the legislators, regulators, administrators, and other government employees involved will ever be anything but greedy. That is just human nature, and human nature doesn't change just because someone gets elected to office or takes a government job.

Beth said...

Freeman, they've paid less than 12 percent of claims so far.

Bruce Hayden said...

I should clarify my last point. Legislators and government employees, at whatever level are human beings, just like the rest of us. I used "greed" as a catch-all for our less than noble traits that include such things as sloth, envy, revenge, etc.

And, indeed, anyone who has worked very long in or with the government at most levels is probably struck by how inefficiently things get done and how many there are just doing what it takes to get their pensions.

My experience with the government over 15 years in software was with the Departments of Commerce (Census and NOAA), Energy (the national labs west of the Mississippi) and much of Agriculture, plus a couple of trips to IRS sites. You could inevitably find those who were taking on-the-job retirement. And those frantically building empires at the expense of the taxpayers. And the incompetents who wouldn't last in private industry.

And these are the people that we have writing and enforcing the regulations to prevent oil spills (as well as any number of other things, such as ultimately what medicines your doctor can prescribe, etc.)

Bruce Hayden said...

Beth,

If the government were paying the claims, it would probably be well below 10%, and many of those would be fraudulent.

traditionalguy said...

I believe that the talk is of 3 billion that BP should pay now and 2 billion at the end of 2010. Then BP starts to pay 1.25 billion per quarter for 3 more years. Even if it was already paid, the money is not to be held in escrow until a court approves a lawful payout. Therefore it is a private fund solely for use by a Presidential-Tyrant with no law involved. The issue here is LAWLESSNESS. That is a nail in the coffin of the world's crediting the USA to be a trusted nation of laws where other countries and their citizens can safely invest money. Would you invest in a Venezuelan Business Corporation or Bank under Chavez. That is now the same question the rest of the world has to ask because Obama has made the USA into a lawless tyrant. That action may turn out to be the biggest single damage that Fifth Columnist Obama has done to us from the inside.

Comrade X said...

Be careful what you wish for Mr. President. Now that you have your cookie jar, you'll have to not get caught with your hand in it, which is the tricky part, since that's where your hand will be.

HDHouse said...

Bruce Hayden said...
What costs did they cut? The purpose of business is to make production as cheap as possible..."

Well Bruce, the issue is now that this makes BP's "business" incredibly expensive. don't you get it?

regulations - those of a reasonable kind - HELP busines because they level the playing field. .. i.e. if you want to drill these are the rules.

When someone feels that the rules kinda apply to others more than me or I'm in a position where I'm outside the rules, you get a BP/Gulf situation.

Tack on 28*42 bucks per every barrel spilled so far. That is the regulated fine. $28/gallon. So just how much of a cost efficiency did BP deliver here?

I wish the right wing 'got it' just once and we didn't have to explain it to them 1 step at a time.

ya'betcha! .... say where is that "drill baby drill honeypie anyway"?

Jack Wayne said...

Crack Emcee,

The first insane green takedown of our economic system was over air-conditioning to "cure the ozone hole". We have since paid 100's of billions to cure a phenomenon that is a figment of a greenie's crazy science.