Friday, June 18, 2010

Too Big to Foil

Texas politicians have always stood behind their oil industrialists. So it was only to be expected that US Representative from Texas, Joe Barton, tried to foil the effort President Obama had constructed to escrow $20 Billion of BP funds to secure some of the cost of the Deepwater Doodoo cleanup.

The Houston Chronicle reported, Barton BP 'shakedown' remark draws fire
"I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, (they are) subject to some sort of political pressure that … amounts to a shakedown," Barton told BP CEO Tony Hayward. "So I apologize."

Barton chairs the Republican party’s top seat on the powerful House energy committee. The Jerk's kneejerk defense of Big Oil, however, proved no match, in this election year, to foil the Deepwater Doodoo cleanup plan.

The New York Times noted the immediate cleanup efforts of the Republican party, who understood the Deep Doodoo Barton had plunged into.

Republican, Under Pressure, Backpedals From Apology to BP
“I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday,” Mr. Barton said in his opening statement. “I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown — in this case a $20 billion shakedown.”

[Old Joe knows a good shakedown when he sees one:] Individuals and political action committees in the oil and gas industry have been Mr. Barton’s biggest source of campaign money, the Center for Responsive Politics reported, contributing $1.4 million since the 1990 election cycle.

Of the five Gulf Coast states, Mr. Barton’s Texas is the only one whose beaches, fisheries and tourist haunts are not threatened by oil spewing from BP’s ruined well. Republican lawmakers from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida quickly disavowed Mr. Barton’s apology to BP, and one was the first to call for stripping Mr. Barton of his committee seat.

Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader, and Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the Republican whip, summoned Mr. Barton and he “was told to apologize, immediately, or he would lose his spot, immediately,” a senior aide said.

Mr. Barton, in his [subsequent] statement, apologized “for using the term ‘shakedown’ ” to describe the $20 billion escrow account that BP and the White House announced Wednesday. He also retracted the apology to BP and said the company “should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico” on April 20 and “fully compensate those families and businesses that have been hurt.”

Not to be "misunderestimated", Old Joe used what was almost a fellow Texan's Bushism to say he'd been miscontructed to the opposite effect, as reported in that Houston Chronicle piece above:
"I think BP is responsible for this accident, should be held responsible, and should, in every way, do everything possible to make good on the consequences that have resulted from this accident," Barton said. "And if anything I said this morning has been misconstrued to the opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstruction."

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