Patterico's Pontifications


Joe Barton Apologized A Lot Today

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 2:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

BP CEO Tony Hayward is appearing before a Congressional committee today regarding the Oil Spill and Texas Congressman Joe Barton apologized to Hayward and BP:

“In his opening statement, Barton apologized to BP for the fund and its circumstances.

“I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday,” Barton said. “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 with the attorney general of the United States, who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the interests of the American people, participating in what amounts to a $20-billion slush fund. It is unprecedented in our nation’s history.”

Barton later apologized for his apology but was more direct in a statement issued in his name later: “I apologize for using the term “shakedown,” and I retract my apology to BP.”

Democrats claim they were appalled by Barton’s statement.


130 Responses to “Joe Barton Apologized A Lot Today”

  1. I’m amazed at how harshly the GOP came down on Barton. They say his Ranking Member seat was threatened. Insane.

    And Carville and Biden aren’t hiding it… this was a shakedown and it was extralegal. I think Barton could have been more careful with what he said, but I hear House members speak this clumsily all the time without their own party flipping out.

    We just did Obama a huge favor and took a ton of wind out of the sails of a lot of voters, in my opinion. This comment should have been ignored by Republicans who didn’t like it.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  2. Extortion should be called what it is, a shakedown is slang for extortion. BP would win big if they file charges in the world court. Probably triple + of the $20 billion extorted.

    Scrapiron (996c34)

  3. BP sucks. Obama sucks. And Barton super sucks for giving one cover and the other a distraction.

    nk (db4a41)

  4. What a total douchebag Barton is. Poor dessembling, obfuscating and obstructing BP. Boo Hoo. I hope the effing comments work now.

    Chris Hooten (38b032)

  5. Are you listening to yourselves? What are you damn priorities on this issue? Sheesh.

    Chris Hooten (38b032)

  6. damn “r” key, lol.

    Chris Hooten (38b032)

  7. Did Barton give BP cover? The GOP sure makes it look like he did. He said they were wrong, pretty much that’s all he said about them. I guess I don’t understand where that’s coming from.

    I agree it’s a shame he was inartful enough to give Obama some kind of distraction, but the GOP at large is more responsible for that than Barton was.

    I think this was something like extortion. I think this is the wrong way to lead a country and Barton is right to be really upset about it… albeit his particular message isn’t really the clearest or best way to say it.

    But so what? Someone said something stupid. I’m much more concerned with the GOP leadership that so quickly and severely enforced Obama’s wishes on this. It’s just odd, and didn’t do any Republican cause any good at all. Barton is still our top man on a major committee, too.

    I don’t have much confidence in this party right now.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  8. Weasel!

    It IS a strong-arm shake-down but BP is getting it where they deserve, right in the keester WITHOUT any oil for lubrication, from their bed-buddy.

    They think the spill is bad? Just wait for the shareholder lawsuits for voluntarily waiving the $75m liability cap. Any competent court will claw-back that $20b in a heart-beat!

    MJN1957 (6e1275)

  9. Poor dessembling, obfuscating and obstructing BP. Boo Hoo. I hope the effing comments work now.

    Comment by Chris Hooten — 6/17/2010 @ 3:05 pm

    I just gotta ask, is this an accurate description of what Barton said?

    I think Barton said he thought a certain process should be used, even against the wrong. He was pretty clearly identifying BP as ‘the wrong’.

    Chris, do you support the 6th Amendment of the constitution?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  10. “It IS a strong-arm shake-down but BP is getting it where they deserve”

    OK, how does our government know BP is guilty? Even the Nazis got a trial. A trial is important.

    I don’t like the way Barton made this point and don’t need to defend that, but he’s right in thesis. Obama and BP’s execs, behind closed doors, have managed to deny accountability for the government’s mistakes and the execs’ mistakes. The cost: shareholder’s money none of them will miss.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  11. Hootey and his Blowfish never fail to make inane and irrelevant comments.

    I’m amazed at how harshly the GOP came down on Barton. They say his Ranking Member seat was threatened. Insane.

    Not insane at all when you realize what’s at stake here – never interrupt your opponent when he’s in the process of destroying himself. It’s all about November, and any idiotic comments like these take the eye off the prize. Boehner’s exactly right on this – play on the team and stay on message or STFU. Dems know how to do this, why can’t the GOP? They’ve got to stop allowing this kind of crap to occur when they’re on a winning streak. Discipline above all – say whatever you want AFTER the election.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  12. That isn’t what Barton said. I didn’t say what Barton said, I figured you all were smart enough to know what he said. How anyone could believe that this is a strong-armed shakedown of a very powerful and rich and horribly negligent corporation is beyond me. You must live in some alternate-reality universe. Look at that f*cking oil everywhere. This is not going to end for years. It may kill the bluefin tuna PERMANENTLY. Everyone wanting to play these frickin’ political games MAKES ME SICK. It just shows how little the Republicans care about the environment that is owned by EVERYONE. You will see in the next year just how awful this is. There will be no mealy-mouthed partisan crap about how this is a shakedown, lol. You will see the true cost and scope of this catastrophe. It is truly comical to see any of the republicans think they can spin this into “poor BP, being stepped on by the government.” What a joke.

    Chris Hooten (38b032)

  13. “Not insane at all when you realize what’s at stake here – never interrupt your opponent when he’s in the process of destroying himself.”

    OK, I admit this is intelligent.

    But I don’t think the GOP handled this mistake by Barton very effectively. In fact, I think the House leadership that came down on Barton have created a really interesting distraction that is far more distracting than Barton making a good point in a stupid way.

    Just my opinion, but the GOP’s reaction makes me wonder just how important November is.

    What do you expect the GOP House to do after November? Hearings on corruption? I am no longer expecting anything but a different side being porked over.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  14. Chris, you’re saying a lot of things about the environmental disaster as though they explain why there wasn’t a shakedown.

    That’s irrational.

    True, hardcore democrats destroyed the environment before the shakedown. You win!

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  15. OK, I’ll be more blunt:
    You have to be f*cking crazy to think that setting up a 20 billion dollar fund over 5 years for an environmental disaster that will be going on 15 years from now is some sort of “shakedown”. You have to be a crazy politically partisan moron.

    Chris Hooten (38b032)

  16. Yeah, Dmac, it’s all about winning in November, not the catastrophic economic and environmental impact this BP negligence has cost. Idiot.

    Chris Hooten (38b032)

  17. What is wrong with republicans that they don’t care about the environment? Not one person seems pissed here. WTF!???

    Chris Hooten (38b032)

  18. “#

    What is wrong with republicans that they don’t care about the environment? Not one person seems pissed here. WTF!???

    Comment by Chris Hooten”

    We care a lot about the environment. A lot of us have been upset that BP, hardcore democrat operation, and Obama’s hardcore democrat regulators screwed up so badly. We’ve been upset that environmentalist kooks have pushed drilling from safer places to places where problems are more harmful to our environment.

    You see, we don’t see this as a political issue at all. The people who made the environment too political are the reason BP was drilling in this spot to begin with, instead of ANWR and shallower areas, where a problem is fixed so much more easily (and occurs so much less easily).

    I don’t know why you always move to this ‘you are a uniform mass of evil partisans’ shtick, but in this case, it’s pretty silly.

    Also Obama said he was going to ‘kick ass’, the legal system was avoided. Biden was explicit that BP had ‘no choice’ but to agree.

    I think it’s reasonable to accuse them of some kind of extortion. I realize you have a hard time seeing evil in democrats, but if Bush and Cheney said that stuff, you would understand what I mean.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  19. Claiming extortion is not reasonable at all. Give me a break. What the hell are you talking about? Extortion? Really? Come on man, that is not only drinking the kool-aid, but swigging it down by the pitcher.

    Chris Hooten (38b032)

  20. Dustin, the party came down on him hard because apologizing to BP is an attack ad waiting to happen, and they know it.

    It was an amazingly amateur political mistake.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  21. OK, that’s not much of an argument, though.

    Why isn’t this extortion? I gave reasons, and you just ignored them.

    What was Biden meaning when he said they didn’t have any choice, and Obama said he was going to kick ass? What’s wrong with using the court system? What’s so horrible about transparency? What arguments did Obama use to get BP to agree? I think we should know exactly what he said to them.

    You say I’m drinking the coolaid, but I’m making arguments, and you’re just stating your conclusion a few times.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  22. “#

    The GOP should not care that Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are poisoned because some greedy British and Swedish ****** did not know what they were doing? Are you people crazy here?

    Comment by nk — 6/17/2010 @ 4:02 pm

    Seriously? Name the person who doesn’t care about the environmental damage. Who is the target of this accusation? Yes, whoever thinks that way is beneath contempt. Barton seems to care quite a bit about that.

    It’s possible to be upset at the obvious extortion and be upset about the environment. In fact, I don’t understand how you can be one without being the other. I think we’re risking future problems by the lousy way this problem is being handled in back rooms.

    I want an open court process. I think you do too.

    [NOTE: This comment refers to an earlier comment by nk that was moderated by Patterico because “the word in question is unacceptable, asterisks or no.” — DRJ]

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  23. Aphrael, I can’t defend the way he made his point. It’s not a big deal to me, I admit. House members say silly stuff all the time. Frankly, I could rattle off an endless list of silly things Sheila Jackson Lee has said that make this look like Aristotle.

    But the way we came down on him is an even worse political mistake, in my opinion.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  24. Obama did not have any Constitutional or legal authority to demand BP create the escrow account or waive the $75 million liability cap. All he had was threats. How do you not call that a shakedown or extortion?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  25. Deal with the freaking facts, not the emotions. It was Chicago street thug politics, just like the auto bailouts.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  26. I’d line up these international BP **** against a wall. This is my country and my daughter’s country and they’re not going to poison it so they can live in $3m mansions. And Obama is still a *****. So is Barton.

    nk (db4a41)

  27. “I’d line up these international BP **** against a wall.”

    Go for it tough guy. In my court, you’d get the DP.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  28. Well, I’m not ready to embrace nk’s solution, that’s for sure.

    Chris Hooten (38b032)

  29. Barton said they were very much in the wrong, nk.

    I think Barton’s a pretty great fella, and have thought as much for many years, so perhaps my judgment is clouded by that. But he didn’t give BP a pass. He thought they deserve the full penalty and the full fairness of a trial.

    And with the facts as I know them, I would happily see some of these men in prison. Shot? Of course not, but you don’t think they deserve that either.

    And comparing Barton’s clumsy comment to Obama’s corruption is kinda unnecessary.

    daleyrocks compared that to the auto bailouts. Isn’t that the real problem? Business problems are interfered with when the business is in great peril, so that Obama gains something valuable by using leverage.

    I think letting the system take its course would have made more sense. Would you buy a GM bond now? Would you invest in American business? There is a corrosive effect on our economy when Obama takes the role of the courts.

    And some of this demonization is pretty insane. We are relying on certain BP engineers to fix this problem. They are working their asses off and having an impossible time. The villains work for the same company, but that’s no reason to speak about them like the entire company deserves to be executed.

    Without a fair and open process, it’s hard to really nail down who deserves what. Instead, we have a political fund that will simply go to enhance Obama’s power.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  30. Why wasn’t BP allowed to drill at 500ft or even 1000 ft.? Why 5000 ft.? To save the enviroment?
    President Obama loves these catastrophes. Now he will ram down our throats a cap and trade bill.
    Like Rahm says, “Let no crisis go to waste”.
    The $20billion from BP was extortion from President O. Yes there has been terrible damage done, but the monies could have been collected in a more tactful way. But this President shows no tact in whatever he does.

    William deLorimier (a89514)

  31. I can tell you from personal experience that it is every corporation’s goal to create multi-billion dollar uninsured environmental losses that will tarnish its reputation for decades to come. For Obama and Congress to continue their reckless rhetoric about BP’s culpability when it has voluntarily come forward and begun paying claims in excess of the liability cap, even before agreeing to the escrow idea, in my mind is a dangerous game. It poisons future court proceedings, just as Holder and Obama did with their remarks about KSM, and makes corporations wonder whether cooperation is actually the best route after all. If I were BP, I might be tempted to stop acting like Obama’s tackling dummy to cover up for his dithering and fumbling in the whole affair.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  32. William, I am simply disturbed by the relentless stories of how Obama is interfering with the clean up. Today’s example is his coast guard under orders to stop oil sucking barges until they pass lifevest inspections. Needless to say, that’s bullshit and it would be much cheaper to just throw 100 life vests on the boat and be on your way.

    It’s insane they ordered them, at gunpoint, to stop cleaning up the mess that is well beyond control. That the skimmers, capable of skimming at a faster rate than the oil was leaking, were denied. And endless list beyond.

    I’m no truther. I cannot believe this is Obama trying to make the crisis worse. I think it’s a mess of managerial incompetence and committee complications. But Obama said he was up to the job and he’s too busy making hay about cap and trade and boasting about kicking ass. Sadly, the GOP is too busy condemning itself to look like an alternative.

    [note: released from moderation. –Stashiu]

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  33. “… a very powerful and rich and horribly negligent corporation…”

    Chrissie must be getting a tingle so strong it has warped his brain waves.

    Since the cause of the blow-out, and the explosion, is completely unknown at this time, to claim that anyone was negligent is to make a claim that is not supported by the evidence, since the investigation has not been completed (if it has even begun, since the emphasis is on stopping the flow of oil).

    But, a lack of facts has never before caused Chrissie to pause in his partisan pursuits.

    AD - RtR/OS! (76c972)

  34. Chris Hootenany should removed that vuvuzela from his anus.

    JD (bf6262)

  35. You have to be very dishonest or stupid at this point to not know who was negligent in this venture. It wasn’t even Halliburton that I would love to blame, but, the truth is, they warned BP about multiple decisions they made that could have (and did have) disastrous results. In the name of money and saved time, they made multiple decisions that caused this to happen. There is no doubt about it.

    Chris Hooten (38b032)

  36. I would prefer to remove the anus that is blowing a lot of hot air, much like a vuvuzela, into this discussion, but I guess you won’t be leaving anytime soon. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Chris Hooten (38b032)

  37. “There is no doubt about it.”

    Chris – Were you there? How can you be sure there is no doubt and how can you be sure of the motives?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  38. *sigh* Are you actually defending BP? There are plenty of facts available, and they all point to BP being a total buttplug and not doing things safely in the name of saving time and money. Since this disaster will still be going on months from now, you will all have plenty of time to see what I am talking about, instead of accusing me of not knowing what I am talking about.

    Chris Hooten (38b032)

  39. These alleged warnings you speak of Chris, were they the standard CYA type warnings companies issue, were they issue by responsible credible people, were they delivered to people in authority? What exactly do you know about these alleged warnings?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  40. There is no doubt about it, says idiot Hooten.

    This mental midget is on a bender today. Good Allah, he has savaged only about 938,017,936,371,485,840,261,306 straw people in one afternoon.


    JD (41e5f8)

  41. Do you ladies and gentlemen understand how much this multi-national **** (BP) poisoned the well for domestric drilling for oil?

    nk (db4a41)

  42. All good misogynists hate Mother Nature.

    AD - RtR/OS! (76c972)

  43. Please point out an energy company in the oil patch that is not a multi-national.

    AD - RtR/OS! (76c972)

  44. “Do you ladies and gentlemen understand how much this multi-national **** (BP) poisoned the well for domestric drilling for oil?”

    Do you understand that you can’t change the past? WTF?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  45. Joe Barton is very America I think but he shouldn’t have apologized for apologizing to the British rape victims.

    BP should just say later losers and let Captain Kickass and his Boehnerfag posse clean up the mess.

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  46. “Are you actually defending BP?”

    Chris – I want to see your rock solid, provable facts. You have presented absolutely none, just hearsay.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  47. Hmmm. Chris Hooten is doubtless a petroleum engineer, deep water drill expert, or marine biologist.

    Why should we listen to him?

    Or he could go stick a camera in someone’s face (LOL).

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  48. Chrissy – Please cite for us the statute under which Barcky derived his authority to do what he did to BP. Chapter and verse, please.

    JD (41e5f8)

  49. BP killed the leprechauns, too. Bastards!

    We’re still looking into Touchdown Jesus.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  50. you silly racist wingnazis choose to defend trillionaires at BP while ignoring the death and destruction their evil and nefarious activities have caused and will continue to cause until time immemorial because you hate hate hate mother gaia and are prolly dancing on the heads of brown people while smearing oil over your naked pasty white bodies laughing about how much money you made while oppressing people and exploiting them just so you can destroy the earth so you can drive your gas guzzling suv’s to your kkklan meetings

    JD (41e5f8)

  51. Joe Barton said something that can be used to make Republicans look foolish, so he shouldn’t have said it for that reason. But I agree with what he said.

    The White House essentially forced BP to turn over its assets to what amounts to government control, instead of going to court as the rule of law provides. It’s similar to the way the Obama Administration treated the GM & Chrysler secured creditors and shareholders, the Banks, Wall Street, and anyone else that is vulnerable. The Obama Administration picks on unsympathetic victims so no one defends them or so they look foolish defending them.

    I’ve said this before: Because of this incident and BP’s safety failures at the Texas City refinery, I think BP should be barred from serving as an Operator on a U.S. well (in jurisdictions where safety procedures allow BP to be banned). I would restrict BP to investing in someone else’s wells. But even if BP’s actions were negligent, that doesn’t mean we should suspend the rule of law “this one time.” Because there are way too many “one times” with this Administration.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  52. DRJ, in all seriousness, that is the measure of the fairness of a law, I think: if you would not mind it in the hands of your bitterest political enemies.

    Given Boehlert and his ilk, we know how Progressives feel.

    The legal version of “I cut, you choose” is imperfect, but prevents “...that’s different!…” nonsense, which is a speciality of this administration and its defenders.

    In my non-lawyer and therefore unimportant opinion.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  53. Look at that f*cking oil everywhere.

    Yes, look at it – your point again? Also – using swear words always makes your point much more impactful.

    This is not going to end for years. It may kill the bluefin tuna PERMANENTLY.

    Saying it in ALL CAPS always makes for a convincing argument as well. So does screeching, pawing at someone’s elbow and crapping on their lawns.

    Everyone wanting to play these frickin’ political games MAKES ME SICK.

    You mean like the Dems did regarding Katrina?

    It just shows how little the Republicans care about the environment that is owned by EVERYONE.

    You’re right – those dirty and fouling Republicans should have never allowed the prior President to introduce and then sign into legislation a huge area of pristine ocean that’s been deemed a nature sactuary. What on earth were they thinking?

    Grow a pair, read a book and then get back to us.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  54. There are no more “this one times” with these people, DRJ. They despise the law.

    I wish I could have written Barton’s apology. I apologize to the American public that we have a president that cannot lead, and cares little about the rule of law, and is willing to bully and threaten people and exploit ecological nightmares to pimp out his economy destroying cap and trade fiasco, provided there is an economy left.

    JD (41e5f8)

  55. I do not agree DRJ cause of it discounts all the good BP has done in the past and imputes bad faith. This accident was caused by a handful of BP wankers with bad judgment.

    It’s just not how we roll and there’s precious little legal basis for banning a company like that and I don’t think we want to live in that world. Especially when our dirty socialist little country is increasingly inept poor piteous and risible. The wealthy competent respectable countries might start to ban American companies.


    We need to be nice to people like BP what can make jobs so they don’t just tell us to sod off like the loser little joke of a country we are.

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  56. I think what Barton said (first) was 100% in line. It is a shakedown. It was political suicide to say so, but not false.

    BP is also more than likely going to be proven totally in the wrong in their decoupling procedures (regardless of whether some stupid hapless frak-wit at MMS approved them), at blame for the initial blowout, and completely on the hook for the efforts to stop the well and all cleanup efforts.

    The two statements are not mutually exclusive in any way, shape, or form. Nor has BP once denied liability that I’ve heard.

    What we don’t hear about is the 2-3 day delay of the EPA before approving the relief wells, out of concern for ’emissions’ from the rigs. Nor the 3-4 day delay from MMS for the same relief wells once EPA gave approval. Lord knows why on that front; probably busy shredding the approvals of the preceding decoupling procedure changes.** That’s a week of delay before the ONLY KNOWN FIX could be started, even while they were trying to line up other lower-odds and never-tried mitigation tactics. (And don’t talk about dropping a nuke on it either…the russians have done it, but somehow I don’t think they ever did it a mile beneath the sea.)

    Has O-bambi waived the Jones act yet? Accepted skimmers from overseas even if they might not be absolutely “100% efficient”…yet? Approved the full channel island rebuild or sand berms, YET?

    Oh, but the federal government will be SOOOOO much more efficient “administering” $20bln in slush money extracted from a chastened and compliant BP, than BP has been in handling claims. Of COURSE they will. Sorry, not touching that koolaid….

    BTW, Chris, I live in TX and scuba dive in the gulf, often within the leg shadow of some of the other rigs (one of which is operating and has been for years in the Flower Gardens National Marine Sanctuary) which are often the highlights of the weekend. So if you want to say I somehow “don’t give a crap” about the environment, you can go f**k yourself blind with a chainsaw, you blind moralizing drama queen lemming piece of offal.

    Your president (and, unfortunately, mine, though not of my choosing) is a Caudillo and we may never recover from his complete and total disdain for the rule of law. The political fallout from that lack will be around just as long as the lingering oil in the Gulf. And the moritorium on drilling is only going to make things WORSE as all the good rigs leave US waters, probably never to return.

    (** The ONE bit of foresight I’ve heard or read about from this administration is demanding two not one relief wells be drilled, in parallel, in case one misses or fails. While that’s not 100% a good idea (splitting crews, splitting parts), it did show a bit of thought and understanding of the level of effort involved. Everything other than that one tiny glimmering of sense coming from this administration has been a clusterfark in every sense of the word.)

    rtrski (6ae5bb)

  57. Everyone wanting to play these frickin’ political games MAKES ME SICK.

    This one should be saved for posterity. The cognitive dissonance should have made your head assplode. Were we able to convert said dissonance into energy, we would never need to drill for oil anywhere in the world.

    Barcky just gave a 17 minute infomercial where he tried to use this tragedy to advance Tax & Destroy, as though he needs any help.

    JD (41e5f8)

  58. C’mon JD. You know that these characters are hypocrisy-resistant. They think it is always, always, (to borrow a trope) ALWAYS different when their people do it.

    But the line about “playing politics” was hysterical. I also liked the “It may kill the bluefin tuna PERMANENTLY” line. Me, I fear zombie bluefin tuna.

    Never let a crisis go to waste, isn’t that the line?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  59. Bluefin tuna is almost as good as sockeye tuna in tartar.

    JD (41e5f8)

  60. hf,

    I take it you’ve never read this. It’s 374 pages so if you don’t have time to read the whole thing, read pages 13-16.

    As for banning BP as an operator, there is only one Operator on a well. It is the person or company in charge of drilling the well. It makes decisions and its decision is final, even if everyone else disagrees — which appears to be what happened here. As shown in the Texas City report (linked above) and as appears to have happened on this well, some people believe BP makes reckless decisions to save money. If so, we don’t need BP operating wells in the U.S.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  61. he set new standard
    photo op presidency
    but there no there there

    ColonelHaiku (523269)

  62. $20 billion is about right considering BP is racking up $250 million in penalties each day in civil penalties. Might as well get it now since BP’s lawyers will obviously try to claw it back.

    I’m sure the money to pay for the cleanup will magically appear if we just pray hard enough. Maybe the animals will come back to life too.

    Anyone who thinks this is extortion is perfectly welcome to pay my share of the taxpayer’s cleanup. I’d prefer BP to do it, but if you really want to…

    And yeah sure, its the liberals fault for not letting them drill closer to shore. You know the disaster in Mexico just like this one happened in 600 feet of water, not miles deep…I wouldn’t put much stock into that argument. More likely that BP cut corners and didn’t take the necessary precautions that were more costly. That’s what the reports are saying, if you know how the Google works.

    I prefer to have my reality acknowledge that corporations, especially companies in dirty industries like oil and coal, will do whatever they can to make a buck – no matter if some employees like you and me get killed (the “little people”) – screw the consumer and screw the environment.

    It’s clear from this disaster and from this posting that plenty of people don’t give a damn if we spill a little oil in the ocean as long as we can drive our pickup trucks. For those people, would you mind storing some of the spilled oil in your backyard for us? I’ll have BP drop off a few barrels…

    Fred (82f8c9)

  63. But DRJ there’s lots of American companies what jack up other countries all the time it’s just part of doing business it’s not any different just cause the oil is landing on the coast of our own incompetent whiny-ass oh so precious poofter laughingstock little country.

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  64. Fred joins Crissy is savaging an inordinate amount of strawpeople.

    What is the matter with the rule of law, the existing laws on the books, and the legal system, Freddie?

    JD (41e5f8)

  65. Fred,

    There are legal ways to attach BP’s assets and assert claims against BP. Those laws protect all of us. How would you like it if you got in an automobile accident and the government demanded you hand over $100,000 to a third party to cover the damage you caused, simply because everyone was so offended by the way you drove? And what is the difference between that and what happened to BP?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  66. It’s clear from this disaster and from this posting that plenty of people don’t give a damn if we spill a little oil in the ocean as long as we can drive our pickup trucks.

    Fred, between my wife and I we drive less than 8,000 miles a year, preferring instead to use public transportation or walk if it’s possible. We don’t lecture others or consider ourselves some kind of moralists – it’s just what we prefer.

    How about yourself? How much do you drive, and how much carbon do you put into the atmosphere each day? Please be specific.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  67. I don’t give a damn if we spill a little oil in the ocean as long as we can drive our pickup trucks.

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  68. Grow up, Fred, your kind of faux environmental superiority impresses no one but six year olds who watch too many episodes of Captain Planet.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  69. Why limit the shakedown to $20B, Fred? So you think it’s appropriate to shakedown a corporation that is under criminal investigation? Where is that prescribed in our law?

    We are either a civil society governed by law, or we’re not. The law isn’t what the King proclaims it is today.

    Lefties… sheesh!

    GeneralMalaise (523269)

  70. Dmac – I am a carbon factory.

    SPQR – Emo is all Freddie and Crissy have.

    JD (41e5f8)

  71. Rep Barton also should have apologized for causing Crissy and Freddie to show their asses in public.

    JD (41e5f8)

  72. I don’t think there’s any question that the rest of the world is watching failmerica stamp its foot and cry and make pouty lip about pollution the rest of the world manages to deal with all the time without acting like a deranged five-year-old girl in a princess costume and frankly the United States looks ridiculous right about now I think.

    We put a man on the moon and we cured polio oh and plus also we rolled BP for 20 large, yo?

    We rolled BP more better than any country has ganked any business in history ever and we did it gangsta-style made those Brits eat it. Made those limey bastards acquiesce.


    happyfeet (19c1da)

  73. prawns in light crude sauce
    beat the tuna in tartar
    any day of week

    ColonelHaiku (523269)

  74. Okay, Colonel Haiku kills me.

    JD (41e5f8)

  75. Chris Hooten rebuttal of the objection to the White House strongarming BP into creating a slush fund to be run by an Obama crony seems to be based only on Hooten’s bragging about his own ignorance and inability to understand simple english statements.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  76. When the Mc****, the owners of the Chicago Bears, wanted the taxpayers of the City of Chicago to build them a new stadium, they threatened to move to Gary, Indiana. Mayor Daley’s ****boys went out and said all kinds of things against the Mc ****. Then the taxpayers of Chicago paid $150m to destroy Soldier Fiel.

    It’s the Chicago way. Theater. Maybe BP did not give the Kenyan bastard a $1m in a Swiss bank account (they’re bought cheap in Chicago) but they surely signed his golf-playing ass for a do-nothing job on their board of directors when his term is over.

    nk (db4a41)

  77. bearz bullz coach ditka
    chicago my kind of town
    rahm ballerina

    ColonelHaiku (523269)

  78. There’s nothing worse than a faux enviro, replete with bullsh-t screeching.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  79. happyfeet is back in force. Good golly.

    And anyone who agrees with Barton probably helped sabotage the well with BP. And is a homophobe.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  80. The substance of what Joe Barton said is correct.

    We have an out of control, tyrannical President to whom the rule of law means nothing.

    Barton made it absolutely clear at the beginning of his remarks that he was speaking only for himself and not for the GOP or any other member of Congress.

    For all the bedwetters and pillow biters out there worried about giving talking points to the left, the only way that happens is if you let them get away with twisting what Barton actually said, which they are certain to attempt.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  81. DRJ @60 – That panel’s main concerns based on a quick skim seem to be former Amoco facilities.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  82. I assume some of you have spent time in such places as Beijing or Mexico City. The exhaust fumes from millions of belching autos in those cities make it nearly impossible to breathe on many days. No, it’s not a good thing, but Chris and Fred, please try to keep this in mind when you are self-righteously pontificating about the horrible American Republicans in pick-up trucks whom you imply are single-handedly befouling the world and demanding demon oil. You, yourselves use a bike or a horse for transportation, right?

    elissa (3796f2)

  83. elissa – I’m sure they don’t fart either.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  84. BP acquired the Texas City refinery from Amoco in 1998. After the 2005 explosion, one of BP’s engineers testified about problems getting BP to install safety equipment even though it was warned it could cause deaths:

    In his second day on the witness stand, Parus talked about long-standing struggles to make safety a higher priority and to get the oil giant to spend money on safety equipment and training.

    During the afternoon session, Coon presented documents to bolster his argument that BP officials had what one document described as a “checkbook mentality,” ignoring repeated warnings about shortfalls at the refinery for the sake of saving money.

    He introduced a 2001 safety assessment of BP’s South Houston area operations, which included Texas City.

    These operations have “the potential for events which could result in multiple deaths, property damage, business interruptions and damage to the BP brand reputation.”

    An August 2002 memo between an executive in London and another BP official said it would be good if Texas City could return to its 1995 form when it was considered “the Amoco jewel.”

    He blamed the deteriorating condition first on a lack of spending by Amoco, before that company was acquired by BP, and then on BP’s 1999 order to cut budgets across the company by 25 percent.

    An October 2002 BP document presented as evidence said Texas City had the second highest number of hydrocarbon leaks of all BP refineries and was overdue on more than 1,000 inspections. The document said $297 million was needed to fix the infrastructure.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  85. DRJ – I was referring to the part of the summary where it cited the facilities where an atmosphere of trust was lacking, impairing the ability to instill a strong safety culture, among them Texas City, Whiting, and another former Amoco plant.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  86. You don’t change the culture with dollars alone or overnight at large facilities like that. It takes years.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  87. Apparently the democrats are already talking about using this money to fund health care.

    So anyone saying that Obama merely streamlined the justice system, getting BP’s cash to victims, has just been proven wrong. And I think they already knew it was a lie from the beginning. This shakedown was never about fixing any of the problems caused by the oil spill.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  88. Sorry if I misunderstood your point, daleyrocks. Are you saying Amoco had a lax attitude toward safety and BP inherited its troubled properties?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  89. DRJ – That is what I was trying to say based on my skimming of the document. What you pasted may imply something different, but I’m not convinced. The culture and tone from the top are critical as they are on the financial side of an operation – the panel did focus on that – and referred to the plants I mentioned. I doubt if the workforce turned over between the BP acquisition of Amoco in 2001 and 2005, the year of the accident. The panel liked what BP was aspiring to instill at its facilities.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  90. I hate to say it, but Barton was right. He should not have said it, but he was right. It’s hard to defend the indefensible, though, and he will be pilloried for the next couple of weeks.

    Don’t get me wrong, though, BP deserves to be admonished and punished. This is indeed a disaster and it is ultimately responsible.

    So, if we all agree BP is bad, may I ask what happened to all the layers and layers of government enacted and staffed to prevent this kind of thing from happening?

    If you want to blame Bush, I’m right there with you. If you want to blame Obama, I’m by your side.

    But if you want to argue the only solution is more government, sorry, I’m out. The oil industry is already one of the most regulated industries in the U.S. and if government can’t do it’s job now, I don’t see how it can do any better with more authority.

    That’s the rub, isn’t it.

    Ag80 (1b8eea)

  91. Barton, says, misconstrued & misconstruction. Sake em down, let em cruise.

    D hyrk (04ae30)

  92. What if he were the CO of ur ship??

    D hyrk (04ae30)

  93. daleyrocks,

    I don’t know enough about Amoco’s role to say but this report linked BP’s 25% budget cuts with the 2005 Texas City explosion and found that BP adopted Amoco’s refinery safety rules but then failed to follow them:

    According to CSB chairman Carolyn Merritt, the report will focus on evidence of technical shortcomings, equipment failure, management awareness and the role played by cost control. On the last point, Merritt says simply: ‘We make the link between cost-cutting and the event that occurred on 23 March 2005.’

    Equipment used to boost the octane level in petroleum products was started up after a long shutdown and then overfilled with hot, flammable liquid. This ‘isomerisation’ unit then reached critical pressure and three safety valves were opened. These fed the liquid to a ‘blowdown drum’, used to release pressure by blowing out vapour. But the drum was too small and the pressure was released in a ‘geyser-like’ eruption that caused explosions, killing and injuring people in trailer accommodation.

    Merritt calls what happened a ‘perfect storm’ of factors. She is critical of management at the site on the day. She indicates that details of emerging problems were not passed between shifts. ‘What happened was a failure to communicate information between the previous shift and the one that came next. These failures are really quite astounding.’

    The failings go beyond site managers. The CSB points out that in 1977 Amoco issued ‘Process Safety Standard Number 6′, which stated that blowdown drums should be removed when modifications were made to plants. They could be replaced by flare systems which burnt off oil instead of releasing it, reducing the risk of ‘geyser-like’ eruptions. BP adopted this standard when it took over the refineries after it merged with Amoco in 1998, but, says Merritt, did not follow it.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  94. There’s more on BP’s decision-making at the link.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  95. I didn’t read the comments after the first 20. This country used to be a nation of laws and contracts were honored. I don’t see that any more. Barton was exactly right and should not have backtracked his comments. The Republicans did not look good today. Maybe I’ll stay home.

    Mike K (82f374)

  96. AG80: I would argue that this is a classic problem with government regulation of complex industries – the people who are the most qualified to do the regulation are, generally speaking, people with close ties to the industry, who have (personal) incentives to under-regulate.

    I don’t think anyone has proposed a good solution to that problem — basically it requires that we have a pool of people with (a) the skill and knowledge of the industry to do a good job with (b) no financial or personal/emotional investment in the industry. I don’t think it’s doable; all we can do is work on ensuring that the people tasked with regulating are honorable people who will put the law, and the public interest, above their personal interests … and who will be willing to set aside their preconceived notions when necessary.

    It’s one of the real failure modes of human systems.

    aphrael (04e965)

  97. I think most people are aware of how the Navy handles collisions. The captain is relieved.

    Even if the accident is completely explainable.

    In the US Army, you had better not run out of fuel. This was made extremely clear to me one time when I was unsure how much was left (fuel gauge didn’t work properly). I never saw anyone run out.

    DRJ seems to have some of this concept in play too. BP is running an operation that had a disaster. Twice. And at least one of them is historical it’s so bad.

    Perhaps there’s a good reason to just tell them they can no longer operate here anymore. Perhaps that would cause other operations to not cut corners our regulators are behind the curve on.

    One thing I know, this would help the GOP alleviate some of the fears in that party that we’re going to be seen as the evil pro-oil guys. Just outlaw them. Even though most of their people are great people who deserve work, which I suspect they could find from other oil companies if we do permit drilling in the future.

    Why did Chris rant repeatedly that we’re defending BP, even though no one did? Because that’s the talking point the dems are pushing. BP = Two legs = Bad.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  98. DRJ – I did not do anything beyond skim up through the exec summary of the panel report. My question is what personnel were running the plants – mostly former Amoco or were they replaced with BP people after the merger. You seem to want to indict the entire company, while I don’t think there is evidence for that. There is also no comparison for how a similar report to the panel’s would read for a major competitor – point they specifically make in their summary where they say they are under no illusions that such findings would be limited to BP.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  99. aphrael,

    It might actually be better in the long run if the government regulated routine workplace safety issues that bureaucracy can handle — things like helmets, life vests and fire extinguishers — and avoided systemic problems like this. This is far too complicated for any regulatory scheme to anticipate.

    Rather than trying to keep BP afloat long enough to fund all the President’s pet projects, let it navigate valid legal claims or go bankrupt.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  100. aphrael:

    I won’t argue a single point you made except:

    It’s not a failure, it’s a feature. Saints are hard to find. Humans, though, are in abundance and they do seem to muddle through.

    Ag80 (1b8eea)

  101. “There’s more on BP’s decision-making at the link.”

    DRJ – I don’t think it’s just decision making that is at issue, because decisions can always be second guessed. I would need to spend a lot more time with the material you linked to form an educated opinion.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  102. DRJ, there is no point in arguing, the facts will come out and everyone will know who was at fault here. For once we agree, let’s enjoy it :-)

    Chris Hooten (5729cb)

  103. daleyrocks,

    I agree we should all make up our own minds about BP’s corporate governance and responsibility. I know oil industry people who believe any problems at BP are limited and should not reflect on management. I’m not a BP insider and I don’t know anyone who is, so obviously I can only surmise about who was involved and what went wrong.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  104. I think however you look at it the situation has quickly progressed to the point that BP’s behavior is downright admirable compared with that of our little country.

    The world is watching.

    Believe it.

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  105. daleyrocks,

    I think some decisions can be second-guessed. Some of the major oil company executives who appeared before Congress said they would not have done what BP did in casing and cementing the well. Based on what I’ve seen and heard in the last 2 months, they didn’t just say that because BP’s well blew-out. The other offshore oil companies wouldn’t have done what BP did because they knew it wasn’t safe.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  106. The ideal regulator for the operations side would be the insurers, for they have skin in the game.
    BP, and other oil-patch operators, try to cut corners to maximize the return to their investors; whereas the insurers would demand the most stringent controls to minimize the risk to their investors.
    Maximizing return v. minimizing risk should balance out to a win-win for everyone, including the environment.

    AD - RtR/OS! (76c972)

  107. Oh yeah, who was the insurer of BP? That’s right, BP! They insured themselves, lol.

    Chris Hooten (5729cb)

  108. Joe Barton’s quote may have been the best thing to happen to Tony Hayward in 2 months. Now Barton is the top story instead of Hayward’s appearance before Congress.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  109. BP has some insurance: here and here. Although some are contesting coverage.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  110. Pretty sure the insurer was the American taxpayer, and their premiums were the huge amounts of cash they stuffed into the pockets of Carville’s firm and Obama’s campaign.

    And it worked. The deal they made is probably going to really help them avoid problems with our government and fund a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with oil damage.

    That’s why the taxpayers are sick and tired of this president’s response to this spill. Too much concern about proving his kicking ass and not on BP’s side, and a poor job actually preventing more damage to our coast. Thanks Obama!

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  111. did anyone see the congressmen ask Hayward what went on in his dealings with Obama?

    What he was promised, what Obama said would happen if his company didn’t go along, etc?

    I didn’t watch most of this thing, but my impression was they were just being kinda mean to him without getting any real insight into this deal. I would have demanded every document relating to this deal and a description of what the White House used as leverage. I think it’s a critical issue that these congressmen had a job to look into.

    But I didn’t see them do it, so if anyone did, I’d like to know.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  112. most of the insurance was by BP itself.

    Chris Hooten (5729cb)

  113. I think that’s correct.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  114. 1. Mr. BP, I’d like you to meet my Attorney General. He’s currently investigating whether we should charge you criminally – maybe personally – for what’s happened. By the way, how’d you like to put $20B of your money into my left pocket here so’s I can hang onto it while we clean up this mess? You would? Gosh, look at my AG smile!

    That’s called coercion.

    2. No amount of money put into the possible reach of the voracious Obama is going to survive long. Watch as he “borrows” against it for various reasons, and watch as it magically re-appears in some of his friends’ pockets. He is your basic Chicago thieving pol – the money will ALWAYS go where he wants it to go.

    3. Barton got it just right. If someone is claiming that the GOP was angered by his statement because it was going to let this slip by without mention for now in order to serve some down-the-road strategy, well, guess again. The GOP sucks at down-the-road strategy. You NEVER win by letting a Dem slip away with cash. No, the GOP simply caved when someone said “ooooo, but the voters won’t like us if we insist on legal and constitutional protections for BP!!”

    Effin’ weenies.

    bobby b (4baf73)

  115. What a bunch of swill. Did you make all that up yourself?

    Chris Hooten (5729cb)

  116. The only real question is when Mr. Hooten will again fall off the wagon. Or maybe he only posts here during such periods.

    I liked it last month when he was all annoyed with rude language. Then our good friend dally found some, um, not very polite posts by the gentleman at another blog.

    Eric Blair (02a138)

  117. At least Hooten has the balls to come here and be an avowed partisan democrat who has some kind of problem with those who aren’t the pop culture’s default (liberal).

    I see a few who present themselves as something they are not. Chris doesn’t do that.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  118. Actually it was the incessant and childish namecalling that I mostly complained about, Eric. I don’t give a rat’s @ss about cursing, other than it makes it hard to quote other commenters when they are allowed to curse, but I am not, and my comment gets swallowed up by the spam-filter because I quoted them. That sucks. Even the name calling doesn’t really bother me, it just adds unnecessary noise to a conversation (not to mention making the name caller look like a fourth-grader.)

    Chris Hooten (5729cb)

  119. See, I bet I don’t agree with Dustin on much, but I bet we could still go out and have a beer without having a fistfight or our heads exploding or anything.

    Chris Hooten (5729cb)

  120. I don’t give a rat’s @ss about cursing, other than it makes it hard to quote other commenters when they are allowed to curse, but I am not, and my comment gets swallowed up by the spam-filter because I quoted them.
    Comment by Chris Hooten — 6/18/2010 @ 1:29 amd them.

    You continue to misstate what happened despite repeated explanations.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  121. For all the bedwetters and pillow biters out there worried about giving talking points to the left, the only way that happens is if you let them get away with twisting what Barton actually said, which they are certain to attempt.

    I never claimed that what Barton said wasn’t entirely correct, but this is not the time and it was the wrong context in which to make this kind of statement. Regardless of his caveats about it only pertaining to his personal opinion, he’s a member of congress, so to pretend that it would’nt be used against him and his party immediately strikes me as quite naive.

    As as for allowing “others” to twist his meanings to their own advantage, what have we been talking about the last few decades of our political lives? The MFM twists everything into the Dem’s advantages, like it or not. That’s what we’re fighting here, and until the GOP learns how to really break through this embargo, they’d be wise to watch their commentary until the November elections.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  122. #119: Um. Don’t make daley or someone else link to your own crude and quite childish name calling. You were shown to be quite the hypocrite on this topic, sir. Best to change the subject. Again.

    Eric Blair (02a138)

  123. Barton’s initial comments typify in general the Republican party mindset toward the average American (corporations 1st, people 2nd or maybe a distant 4th behind dogs and cats). Think about it next time you vote.

    rocknwroll (cee144)

  124. rocknwroll,

    Wrong, Obama broke his oath of office. You can pretend that’s OK this time because you don’t like BP, but we all know this is wrong. It has nothing to do with defending BP.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  125. It’s clear from this disaster and from this posting that plenty of people don’t give a damn if we spill a little oil in the ocean as long as we can drive our pickup trucks.

    Fred, between my wife and I we drive less than 8,000 miles a year, preferring instead to use public transportation or walk if it’s possible. We don’t lecture others or consider ourselves some kind of moralists – it’s just what we prefer.

    How about yourself? How much do you drive, and how much carbon do you put into the atmosphere each day? Please be specific.

    I have to drive on the West coast, the oil companies dismantled our public transportation system when freeways were invented, so that’s really not an option. But I did sell my 6-cylinder car for a Prius, and I have an appointment to install an electrical charging station at my home for the Leaf as soon as it comes out. You can do the math.

    I support the expansion of public transportation and that’s what we need to help solve this energy problem. Make it work and I’m all in. I’ve lived in cities where I didn’t own a car and loved it.

    The fact is that the regulators that we had were the ones that the energy companies bought and paid for. You can blame the government for their oversight, but read the posts regarding how regulators are regarded. If these posters were sincere in their desire to have real regulators, then they wouldn’t complain about regulators who are Sierra Club or NRDC members. But they do because they know that these people really do care about the environment and will protect it against damage by the industry.

    The fact is that the Republicans are pushing against corporate responsibility. Whether it is Blackwater in Iraq or Halliburton in the Gulf, show me one Republican who would fight against them and against corporate abuse. I agree, both parties are responsible for not fighting harder for oversight, but there are at least some Democrats who have and will continue to push for oversight. That is the Progressive position, and that’s what I believe in. There are no Washington Republicans I am aware of who would take the same position – at least not in public.

    So where’s the outrage people against the coal mining companies who are more wiling to pay meager fines than protect their miners? So ho many oil spills will it take for there to be real change? This isn’t the only one. There have been a number of large spills this year. Where’s the investment in cleanup technology? Where’s the oversight?

    It doesn’t have to be Government oversight. Why not require these companies pay an environmental advocacy group to be the watchdog? Would that be better? There has to be a change and it can be Government or private, but it has to look out for the “little people” and can’t be self-regulated by the industry.

    I’m happy to stop finger-pointing and start talking about solutions. But to make it work, the solution has to have teeth – to be able to say “no” to oil drilling when it’s unsafe. I think everyone on this post would agree with that. That’s how oversight works.

    So what’s the answer? How would you do it?

    Fred (82f8c9)

  126. Fred – So you plan to drive a coal powered car? How enviromentally minded of you!

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  127. Republicans are not against corporate responsibility, they’re against an arrogant and rude Chicago bully in the White House.

    One of the industries with the best safety record is the airline industry. The airline industry also has a very atypical policing system. In the airline industry the worst thing you can do is not tell the truth. They make sure the various laws concerning liability and such reward honesty and are not punitive. The idea is everyone is in it together to make it safe, not that everyone has to look over their shoulder to find litigation attorneys or special interest groups looking for a scapegoat.

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  128. HaveBlue – depending on where Fred lives, his car may very well be powered by hydro power; most of the major dams in the west are power-producing as well as water-storing. The California Energy Commission says that 14.5% of our power comes from that source, and I believe the number is higher in Washington.

    It’s also unlikely to be coal; natural gas is responsible for 45.2% of California’s power (says this link).

    I can’t quite recocile the hydro power statistics from the page discussion hydrogen power with this link here; I suspect the difference is that total hydro is “large hydro” plus small hydrogen plants which the latter source counts under ‘renewable’.

    That source says that coal is 15.5%.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  129. WonkyTroll ejaculated:
    124.Barton’s initial comments typify in general the Republican party mindset toward the average American (corporations 1st, people 2nd or maybe a distant 4th behind dogs and cats).

    — Your initial comment typifies the left’s willingness to, without a single pause or second thought, deal in the most base and simplistic of stereotypes, fully believing that the means justify the end.

    Icy Texan (d1faea)

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