Patterico's Pontifications


Ace on How Joe Barton Should Have Approached The Topic

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:00 am

The usual suspects are making this another Purity Test. Either you support what Joe Barton said, and the precise way he said it, or you Have No Principles and you are not a Genuine Conservative. For example, there was Josh Trevino on Twitter calling Allahpundit a “useful idiot” because Allah was bemoaning the way that the Democrats have used Barton’s statements to completely refocus the debate away from Obama’s failures.

But the Purity Test crowd says we MUST support Barton — even if he no longer supports himself.

Because the best rhetorical approach is always to unburden yourself of your gut emotional reaction without regard to how your rhetoric will be perceived.

Ace has a suggestion for a different approach — one that might work better in the real world, for those who care about such things. (A hint: it helps to leave the house on occasion and experience said real world. This sometimes helps people realize the importance of valuing something besides masturbatory rhetoric.) He calls it an “Alternate Reality Transcript of Joe Barton’s Questions for Tony Hayward.” Here is a sample:

1. Was the escrow your idea? If not, who proposed it to you? If it was, why is it being reported Obama got you to agree to it?

2. What were you told might happen if you didn’t set up the escrow? What were you told would happen if you did?

. . . .

4. Were you informed in advance the attorney general would be in attendance? What were you told his function was? Did his presence seem intimidating to you? Did he speak at the meeting? What did he say?

5. Did the attorney general at any time explain to you what theory of governance he felt supported his right to be present at this meeting? Did the president?

Ace’s theory: Barton should have collected more facts.

Arguments don’t change minds. Theories don’t change minds. Rhetoric doesn’t change minds.

Facts change mind. Facts.

Much more at the link.

This seems like a much more effective way to make the point.

You know: in case anyone actually cares about being rhetorically effective . . . as opposed to just venting, in as cathartic a manner as you muster.

P.S. In other words, even if you thought Barton was right — and maybe he was — there was a smarter way to do this.

128 Responses to “Ace on How Joe Barton Should Have Approached The Topic”

  1. I think part of my frustration comes from years of doing jury trials and developing a sense of how a jury will react to a given case. I’m not infallible, but I have gotten better at it — and the skill is not that far removed from intuiting how the public will react to a particular political argument.

    This argument, as phrased, was a huge loser. I knew it the second I heard it, as sure as I can spot a dead-bang loser court case.

    So why make this argument in this way, if it’s a sure loser?

    Maybe you think you have to say it in just this way to Stick to Your Principles. Really? APOLOGIZING to BP?

    I find that people who think that you’re a false conservative if you don’t support precisely the way Barton put this, are often (not always, but often) the type who don’t have a lot of life experience, and/or the type who don’t get out much.

    Get out and rub shoulders with real people for a day, and you’ll KNOW that this was a big loser of an argument.

    Which is why I say: if you think he was right in principle — and I’m not saying he wasn’t — you should nevertheless recognize that there was a better way to handle getting that point across.

    That is the point of the post — and of Ace’s. Not that Barton was wrong, necessarily — but that he got his point across stupidly.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  2. Charles Krauthammer says it pretty well here.

    That unprincipled RINO.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  3. Barton blows big chunks
    when he apologizes
    then he takes it back

    Oil exec stonewalls
    because they made it happen
    by being negligent

    So sorry you have
    to pay for the damages
    that you created

    This is a shakedown
    Why would anyone expect
    you to have to pay

    you just made the mess
    how dare they take your profits
    to pay the victims

    Barton thinks they should
    instead play the poor victims
    Obama shakedown

    BP bankruptcy
    get assets before it goes
    maybe not so dumb

    Chris Hooten (5729cb)

  4. You would think that a politician would be successful based on his or her ability to persuade others – just like you, Pat, have to persuade a jury. Therefore, you’d conclude that an experienced politician should have well honed persuasion skills. Not so. Politics doesn’t work by persuasion because people don’t vote, for the most part, on the basis of reason. They vote very often because of emotion (including loyalty to their identity group, etc.).

    That’s the one thing wrong with your post. You say that facts change minds. Actually, emotions change minds a lot more easily and more often. You’ve heard the elephant and rider thing? (“Switch” a book on changing things) Ironically, conservatives want to be the rider, the logical decider of where to go. And Democrats want to be the elephant, pushing ahead wherever the power of feelings leads them.

    Normally, politicians use that pathos argument very effectively (though unethically). But I’m afraid Barton couldn’t decide who he was trying to persuade. Certainly not BP. And not his congressional colleagues. The people watching TV? Maybe. More likely just some of his own constituents.

    Gesundheit (6acc51)

  5. Of course, Barton WAS correct. This was a gov’t. taking without due process.

    Gesundheit (6acc51)

  6. John Hinderaker wrote, in another context, “Modern politics consists largely of promoting the interests of those who are aware they are getting money, in opposition to those who don’t realize they are paying it…”

    Too bad Barton could not have made that argument – that the $20 Billion is not money that US citizens somehow magically gain. It’s money drained from a company that is 40% US-owned, and employing 29,000 US citizens. It’s money that is taken from some Brits and some Americans and given to others, without that process having been legally negotiated, and with a good deal of that money sticking to administrative government fingers on the way.

    The same guy who oversaw the 9/11 compensation fund is supposed to run this, right? Weren’t there some juicy stories about how that money was used?

    Gesundheit (6acc51)

  7. Just as Bush and Brown couldn’t have grown up and served in government in Texas without knowing what a cesspool of corruption neighboring Louisiana was and how totally incapable their state and local government was going to be at handling a situation like Katrina, and should have taken pro-active action accordingly back in 2005, as a Congressman from Texas there’s no way Barton shouldn’t have known that, before BP’s poor planning/recklessness on safety left 11 people dead after the Deepwater Horizon blast and sent all that oil into the Gulf, the company’s poor planning/recklessness on safety resulted in 15 people dying in the Texas City refinery explosion, also in 2005.

    Questioning Obama’s strategy or even it’s legality is one thing; Barton’s apology came off as though he thought the entire probe was just a witch hunt against a corporation that had a pristine record before now. Instead, BP was a troubled company under it’s former leadership when it came to safety, whose strategy apparently had been to re-brand itself as the ‘environmentally friendly’ oil company and then to suck up to Capitol Hill Democrats under the idea that smug Sunday morning TV spots mixed with campaign donations to the right people would make the regulators avert their eyes from BP and focus on other firms in the energy industry. BP may be a company worth defending in order to make a statement on how all companies should be treated by the government, but they brought a lot of this mess on themselves and are nowhere near the innocent, helpless victim here.

    John (d4490d)

  8. If the Obama administration had not gotten that money from BP, that would have been more evidence of his “failure.”

    For the Obama haters, he can do no good.

    mikeb302000 (6127bb)

  9. He got thst m oney, because they was a party to the cap n trade scam, that he’s been promoting

    ian cormac (b7c0e4)

  10. After the Bush years when Democrats accused him of ignoring the rule of law and shredding the constitution, Barton should have stuck to showing Obama as acting more like a tin-pot dictator than Bush ever did. After all, why do we have the best judicial system in the world for terrorists but not for corporations?

    Unfortunately, he failed.

    MU789 (2db1e4)

  11. Well it wasn’t a prepared statement, unlike Congressman Cao, who really did suggest that a BP executive commit suicide, yet Barton gets grief for telling the truth about what this administration intends

    ian cormac (b7c0e4)

  12. For those opposed to Barton’s original outburst, and in favor of the United States of America’s shakedown of BP, think of the precedent that has been set. Every country in the world now has been given a green light to righteously shake down American companies for any event perceived to be harmful to them.

    Well, at least we have fortunate enough to have a ring side seat to globalization. May be the silver lining.


    programmer (52b053)

  13. “at least we have fortunate enough to have a ring side seat to globalization” should read

    “at least we are fortunate enough to have a ring side seat to the end of globalization”

    Note to self: don’t type when angry.


    programmer (52b053)

  14. BP is not an American company.

    nk (db4a41)

  15. i agree, barton should have done it that way…

    but what do you want of congress. these hearings are not about asking questions. they are about giving speeches disguised as questions.

    But even then, lawyers know how to “testify” by getting a witness to ask a carefully set up set of questions.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  16. I would like to read the minute of the meeting Ace suggests may be available. Even if the escrow idea began with BP, the terms and conditions were not set and Obama publicly appropriated the idea. He publicly announced he thought he had the legal authority to complete the transactions. Threats made are not likely to be direct and on the record. After, Obama is the only person between BP and the pitchforks.

    Not buying it.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  17. Comment by nk — 6/18/2010 @ 6:03 am

    After seeing how many people are willing to “defend on principle” (if that’s the word) a foreign corporation, I stand in awe at the right’s ability to drive debate.

    In other eras, any such “defense” of a foreign corporation would’ve been laughed out of polite society, and would’ve resulted in petty violence from the not-so-polite society.

    Brad S (9f6740)

  18. “BP is not an American company.”

    nk – They have no subsidiaries authorized to transact business in the U.S.? Seriously?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  19. It’s the same “right” that gave us prisons for profit.

    nk (db4a41)

  20. And frankly, the true “useful idiots” are Josh Trevino and that corporate bootlicker of a congressman from the Metroplex. One of these days, Josh is going to have a camera pointed at him while he’s telling folks like Allahpundit to “man up,” and Allahpundit (and a LOT of others) are going to have a good chuckle at the spectacle of Josh hemming, hawing, and dummying up when he notices the camera.

    Brad S (9f6740)

  21. Multinational is not the same as
    American, daleyrocks.

    nk (db4a41)

  22. Could have knocked me over with a feather, this morning, when I read that Sony’s CEO is Welsh.

    nk (db4a41)

  23. Not buying it.

    Not buying what?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  24. Barton’s biggest mistake was bringing this up at all… what did he hope to accomplish by focusing attention on the specifics of how BP was going to pay?

    Everybody knows that BP was going to pay for the damage, all of this involved the process by which they were going to pay, not exactly a high interest topic for most of the country… and in bringing this up, Barton took attention off of all the things Obama was getting flak for not doing: not preventing the accident, not capping it, not keeping the coast clean. For good reason, there’s the expression that when your opponent is hanging himself, you do nothing but stand and watch.

    This also illustrates how pathetically inept the GOP is on the PR battle. All of the people they have and all of the millions they spend and no one gets the talking points out to GOP Congressmen and Senators? It ain’t complicated: keep the focus on how Obama is screwing things up: the failure to bring in foreign expertise, the grounding of barges because they didn’t have life preservers, etc.

    steve (369bc6)

  25. steve

    Or to put it more simply, never interfere with your opponent as he self destructs.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  26. Nk

    What are you blathering about this time?

    Are you under the impression that all of this is okay if it is not an american company?

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  27. “Not buying what?”

    The alternate reality. Without more evidence I still see shakedown.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  28. “Multinational is not the same as
    American, daleyrocks.”

    No shit, but what’s your point.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  29. Brad S – Sorry to expose your ignorance, but while BP has a global brand, in the U.S. they have subsidiaries licensed and incorporated to do business in this country. There are plenty of assets to attach to satisfy any judgments. Who cares if the ultimate parent is foreign?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  30. Daley

    agreed, for obama shakedowns are the norm.

    But that being said, look, the fact is that BP is going to be held massively liable no matter what. I am not sure it really does them much harm.

    I mean, yes, i have heard that the damages are capped at $75 million, unless there is gross negligence. But look, even without the famously corrupt judicial systems involved (Louisiana and Missississippi in particular) there is NO WAY they will not be found grossly negligent.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  31. daleyrocks,

    Let me put it to you this way: If you’re trying to utilize “constitutional principles” to defend a foreign corporation (and BP’s HQ is in London. That is a pretty simple definition of foreign, no matter how many US employees they have), then those same “constitutional principles” can be used to state that a Khalid Shaik Mohammed has constitutional rights because he is a “person” who came into contact with the long arm of the US Government.

    Or are you just too much in awe of Rush Limbaugh’s mad corporate bootlicking skillz to engage in such “intellectual honesty?”

    Brad S (9f6740)

  32. Or it could merely be a case of Oppose Obama Uber Alles. In which case, hey, light ’em up.

    Brad S (9f6740)

  33. “Rush Limbaugh’s mad corporate bootlicking skillz”?

    How is it corporate bootlicking to oppose the government control or seizure of a company’s assets without even any pretense of a due process? I don’t care if their headquarters is in London, a lot of American people (and pensions, etc.) are going to be hurt by this action. Maybe that has to happen as a result of malfeasance by BP. So those investors made a bad bet. I can live with that. But it’s NOT UP TO OBAMA to decide that all on his lonesome!

    I don’t care WHO did it. This is not just knee-jerk opposition to Obama. If President George W. Bush had “summoned” my brother to the White House to read him the riot act about some aspect of our family business, or to demand that he make some payoff, I would encourage my brother to tell him to go stuff himself. (I was going to use Reagan as my example, but in that case I’d be tempted to go just to meet the guy. And THEN tell him to go stuff himself if he actually demanded money.)

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  34. Oh crikes with the passive-aggressive bemoaning of “Purity tests” already.

    You and Ace note that the “That is the point of the post — and of Ace’s. Not that Barton was wrong, necessarily — but that he got his point across stupidly.”

    The point most of those opposed to Drew and Ace’s take was that Barton was mostly right and they either did not think or did not care that Drew and Ace thought he did it stupidly.

    It is not really a “Purity Test” except for that handful of people who think everyone else but them is a RINO. It is mostly a disagreement about what is more important: what he said or how he said it?

    After I saw the NRO repost of what he said in 2005 about embyros volunteering to be research subjects, I am inclined to think he just a bit of a dunce and leave it at that.

    A Balrog of Morgoth (389a4f)

  35. I wouldn’t care if BP was the sole proprietorship of Mary Anna Custis Lee. I care about the harm it did to our southern coast. And the harm to any future attempt for energy independence.

    nk (db4a41)

  36. Barton may not have been elegant or used thoughtful phrasing but this is a perfect example for,

    “Never apologize; it’s a sign of weakness.”

    John Wayne as Captain Nathan Brittles in “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.”

    Gary P (1f2034)

  37. Especially in the past two years, through snippets of congressional show trials and televised hearings, the American public has been exposed like never before to the people from both parties who are running this country — and not liking a lot of what they see. Of course there are notable exceptions but the lack of human decency temperment, the lack of basic scruples and the lack of intellectual heft exhibited by many of our legislators have been shocking. And that is not even factoring in the appalling sense of entitlement, the obvious conflicts of interest, and the arrogant “my sh*t doesn’t stink” attitude that allows too many legislators and appointees to ignore the rule of law, insult their constituents and even to assault people. Citizens have noticed and the opinion polls reflect this in many different ways.

    Oh, but the lions of industry and finance have also been exposed as greedy, lying pigs looking to evade existing regulation and take short cuts wherever possible. As in the AIG fiasco (also a multinational), now BP stands as the poster child for corporate malfeasance. Meanwhile, the public sits helplessly as our precious environment, our retirement funds, our livlihoods– and pretty much our American way of life are being befouled by the dispicable tag team of legislators, government bureaucrats, and billionaire bankers and corporate moguls.

    Not a pretty picture.

    elissa (3796f2)

  38. The alternate reality. Without more evidence I still see shakedown.

    You’re probably right.

    Does that mean apologize to BP?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  39. Interesting to see the lefties approve of gangster government. “Nice little corporation you’ve got there…” There are laws, or used to be, that determined liability and how it was handled. The war on BP actually makes it more likely that damages will NOT be paid. Their market value has dropped by half. I think the British presence in Afghanistan, for example, has a half life in weeks now. We will face British hostility for many years after Obama is gone. Lawlessness is unseemly in what appears to be a radical defense lawyer.

    I do agree that Barton could have done this with a rapier instead of a battleaxe.

    Mike K (82f374)

  40. “If the Obama administration had not gotten that money from BP, that would have been more evidence of his “failure.” For the Obama haters, he can do no good.”

    On the contrary. When it comes to using the power of government to steal money, liberals are totally competent.

    That’s one of the few things they’re actually good at.

    Dave Surls (4ca5a0)

  41. Barton said something that was clumsy and embarrassing at worse, but I admire the sentiment, as do most classical liberals, of being ashamed of the way a bad guy is treated.

    I admit, the GOP being seen as BP’s defender is exactly what the democrats need and Barton made a huge error.

    On the other hand, the GOP made this into a huge story by threatening to remove Barton’s rank (if they really did as some are reporting). That’s a severe and instant reaction that made this story much juicier. Now, Barton’s apologized for the apology, which obviously is an automatic embarrassment.

    The idea that we are going to enforce and scrutinize the political calculation of members saying silly things much harder than we are going to scrutinize Obama (as many have said, the House GOP failed to get that done yesterday) may be a good way to win the House in November, but I am worried that after November we will continue to not be doing all the investigations I was relying on.

    Barton seriously goofed (I agree with his sentiment), but the reaction was also a serious good because it cost votes from those who are not interested in the GOP getting power if it’s not going to proudly expose Obama’s corruption.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  42. Also, my cynical mind is concerned the GOP’s House infighting is more related to who gets the Speaker’s role and other powerful roles such as who the new Cardinals will be.

    I kinda was hoping the ‘true believers’ who are tone deaf like Barton would get more power. Granted, such people should know by now they are fighting practically everyone on the Hill.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  43. What was their last quarterly profits compared to the entire 20 billion dollar amount (that is spread out over 5 years) The 20 billion is peanuts. They had to get something before BP claims bankruptcy. It is hardly “stealing.” I, as a citizen am glad he went ahead and made a reasonable deal with BP to help pay for the crap that they caused, including lost wages for people. It was voluntary on BP’s part. Why do you think it wasn’t? It’s not like BP has many choices in this situation. But they did make that one. No one made it for them. Pretending it was some sort of shakedown is a pathetic denial of what actually happened. It’s going to cost a lot more than 20 billion, anyways.

    Chris Hooten (7e496e)

  44. You still are avoiding the topic, Hooten. The president is not a court, he has no authority to levy money judgments.

    Get a clue.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. SPQR, it’s pretty disturbing to realize how much power he’s got.

    At some point, his opposition will have to start defending the rule of law, and it’s never going to be a popular character Obama is taking down.

    I think Ace has an extremely compelling argument that this is a terrible time and place and manner to make that defense. In particular, if Barton wanted to do this he should have done it by getting facts from Hayward about the process.

    Chris, you already know this $20 billion is not going to pay “for the crap that was caused”. It’s another pet project fund for democrats. But nothing you said shows why this wasn’t a shakedown. It’s like you rattle off a bunch of reasons why you’re happy there was a shakedown and conclude it wasn’t one because you like Obama a lot.

    This was a shakedown. Obama just violated his oath of office, plain as day. Doesn’t matter if you think he is a great judge and jury, SPQR is right that this just isn’t his role at all.

    And there’s that teeny weensy problem that this covered up a lot of the fact finding, which probably will hugely protect Obama.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  46. Lawlessness is unseemly in what appears to be a radical defense lawyer.

    I read about a doctor who thought women would not die giving birth if the attending doctors washed their hands. Another doctor thought that mold on watermelons could cure bacterial infections. And one more, who thought he could rip open a patient’s chest, cut out his heart, and put in a new one.

    I wonder how much they worried about their pension plans.

    nk (db4a41)

  47. ^


    Dustin (b54cdc)

  48. Made no sense to me either Dustin.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  49. Aaron, I’ve been for some time of the opinion that President Obama’s superpower is that he causes his opponents to self-destruct.

    Ryan? check. Keyes? well, maybe not. Clinton? check. McCain? check.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  50. aphrael.

    well, hilldog didn’t self destruct so much as just turning out to be really unpopular among the base.

    Maybe its like the character “Black Cat” in the Spider-Man comics, who gets a superpower to cause bad luck around everyone.

    Still, Barton will capture the headlines for a day, but as long as the oil gushes, Obama is going to continue to bleed. I mean it is now looking like it will go through august and Obambi is continuing to verify everything we said about the need for executive experience.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  51. I like Aphrael’s theory.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  52. Ryan didn’t self-destruct without the push provided by Axelrod’s allies in the media getting “closed” court records opened-up.
    But of course, they did it “for the children”.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3b92f0)

  53. AD

    Ryan was a timebomb. Sooner or later the story would come out.

    And i might add a collossal idiot for blowing it with 7 of 9. seriously, have you seen pictures of that woman, Jeri Ryan?

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  54. P.S. In other words, even if you thought Barton was right — and maybe he was — there was a smarter way to do this.

    I agree on both points.

    He was giving voice to the reason why Obama (and the US secondarily) is climbing to the top of the UK poop list, and making the point that not all Americans are arrogant slobs. Didn’t we just have a long thread of how rude Obama’s behavior had been with BP, as well as with others previously?

    In short, he was saying, “I’m sorry you had to put up with Chicago-style political showmanship, very unbecoming of our nation. Yes, things have gone downhill since Texan hospitality left the White House.”

    Yes, he was correct, and yes, it was not very well worded, especially since the MSM desperately needed a reason to distract the public from Obama’s said rude behavior.

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  55. AW…Yes, I am familiar with 7of9, and I am enjoying her new gig on “Leverage“. But, the Court had a duty to stand by the terms of the Divorce that it granted.
    And, since there was nothing in the public record subsequent to that divorce that put Mr.Ryan’s personal conduct into a bad light IIRC, I suspect that he had learned to be quite circumspect in his activities, which would have had minimal future impact.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3b92f0)

  56. Ryan had a choice between calling the mother of his child a perjurer or saying “I don’t need this grief”. He made the right choice.

    nk (db4a41)

  57. AD

    i did not know she was on leverage. i think i will have to watch the show. on tivo. in slow motion. bouncy cam. score!

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  58. NK

    bwahahaha. Like anyone would let their rep be that trashed without a fight.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  59. No, I’m from Chicago and I followed the story closely. I live two blocks away from Judy Barr-Topinka, the head of the GOP in Illinois at the time. After the California judge ruled against him, he could have appealed and delayed the case past the election. Instead, he made copies of the documents and passed them out to the media himself on TV. I saw it. It was a way of saying “Bite me, I don’t need this”. He was already very rich and worked for free as a teacher in a poor neighborhood. He was for real, unlike the little Kenyan bastard.

    nk (db4a41)

  60. NK

    Are you saying he didn’t want to remain a senator?

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  61. I read about a doctor who thought women would not die giving birth if the attending doctors washed their hands.

    I thought that squid would be out of ink by now.

    On the other hand, I agree with you on Ryan and the divorce papers.

    Mike K (8df289)

  62. NK

    Are you saying he didn’t want to remain a senator?

    Comment by Aaron Worthing — 6/18/2010 @ 1:14 pm

    It was each’s first run for the U.S. Senate, for the seat vacated by Peter Fitzgerald. Obama was a State Senator till then and Ryan was just retired from making a ton of money on Wall Street.

    I thought that squid would be out of ink by now.

    What did I do to you, Dr. Mike? In any case, bite me.

    nk (db4a41)

  63. Yep, nk. I’ll bet “We are the Champions” plays in your head.

    Or I am the Champion,” anyway.

    I wonder why you are fighting with so many people? Being right so often, to so many other…why, it must be some kind of burden for you to carry.

    Again, why be a jerk? And I haven’t seen anyone attack you without you being a jackass first.

    Spare us your tough guy stories and invective, please. You weren’t convinced when people acted like that toward you, back when you were a pleasant enough poster. In fact, you used to make fun of trolls talking tough.

    I think you want to fight people. Including people who have supported you and stood up for you. I wonder why?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  64. Gaping hole in ground.
    Relentless farting of oil
    into deep blue.

    bloop bloop is the scoop
    as it flows into the soup
    do not be a dupe

    this will cost you cash
    BP sets aside some funds
    they were not made to

    they need to pay it
    before they claim bankruptcy
    so you don’t have to

    why think they were forced
    when no evidence exists
    of such force applied

    Chris Hooten (e632ed)

  65. That’s not writing. That’s typing, as the saying goes.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  66. …into _the_ deep blue…


    Chris Hooten (e632ed)

  67. nk

    i stand corrected. but the fact is this destroyed his political ambitions. and made him into a national joke. its hard to believe a person would let that happen without a fight.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  68. Consider this hypo : A, a driving instructor, leaves a student in the car while he goes inside to locate another student. The student left in the car puts it into gear and drives off an embankment into twenty feet of water. a sees what is happening and races tro the water’s edge and prepares to dive to the submerged car and extract the student. B, a park ranger, forbids him from going into the water because swimming is not allowed because the water is poluted. In an action by decedent’s estate, can A inter plead B?

    If so, can BP interplead the various Federal regulators who, from day one, have forbade BP from taking actions that would have lessened the damage caused by the oil spill? Ofcourse, this wouldrequire a trial and in President Obama’s “Red Queen Wonderland,” trials are so old fashioned. Sentence first, verdict second and trail never.

    Longwalker (4e0dda)

  69. I’ve never attacked Dr. Mike. Or you either, Eric. Not JD. Not daleyrocks. DMac only after he called me an anti-Semite. I express an opinion and get beat up on. Could I get you all to do it in garter belts, thigh highs and six inch heels?

    nk (db4a41)

  70. You stay classy, tough guy. Will you tell us again of your exploits taking on two fights at once as a 15 year old?

    Take a break, sir. Take a break.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  71. chris hooten a hoot
    no poet and he know it
    he know bugger-all

    ColonelHaiku (2ce3dc)

  72. chuckle. That one was pretty funny, nk.
    Give him that at least.

    Chris Hooten (e632ed)

  73. This was a shakedown. Obama just violated his oath of office, plain as day. Doesn’t matter if you think he is a great judge and jury, SPQR is right that this just isn’t his role at all.

    And there’s that teeny weensy problem that this covered up a lot of the fact finding, which probably will hugely protect Obama.

    Having just read every response in the previous BP shakedown thread, I’m too tired to say much more than what’s been covered. I find Obama’s latest extortion for DNC cash to be TOO much, especially in light of his own delays, disappearance, partying, avoidance of Jindal and other local pols… refusal to stop the damage by bringing in ships or responding to suggestions.

    I’m sure the Dems think Barton made some gargantuan faux paus, but this isn’t 2008. It’s clear we have Chicago on the Potomac.

    Vermont Neighbor (5841cd)

  74. shakedown just shell game
    sea life in Gulf all dead by
    this time next Summer

    ColonelHaiku (2ce3dc)

  75. “You stay classy, tough guy. Will you tell us again of your exploits taking on two fights at once as a 15 year old?”

    – Eric Blair

    You mean the story that ended with him getting his ass kicked? Yeah, textbook braggadocio.

    You guys get pissed off because nk has political opinions which deviate from the party line. Get over it – it’s one of those things you have to learn to live with, grown-up.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  76. You stay classy, tough guy. Will you tell us again of your exploits taking on two fights at once as a 15 year old?


    Comment by Eric Blair — 6/18/2010 @ 2:32 pm

    How did that pick your pocket or break your leg?

    You grade any tough term papers, lately?

    nk (db4a41)

  77. Um. Leviticus. I know you like to act tough, too, from time to time. But nk has been picking fights nonstop over the past two weeks, and acting in a fashion that he heaped scorn upon with others. That’s fine. But why keep posting—unless he just wants to fight?

    It’s not about disagreement. It’s about being disagreeable. A world of difference. And sounding tough does not equal being “true to one’s convictions.” It just means you get lonely. JD put it best: we all need more friends than fights.

    Your mileage may very.

    I hope you notice that, despite our differences, I have several times remarked on your consistency, honesty, and sense of honor.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  78. Thanks for proving my point, yet again, nk. Why are you posting, again—if not to fight?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  79. “You guys get pissed off because nk has political opinions which deviate from the party line. ”


    Far from being pissed, I’m glad smart people are arguing against the commonly held opinions.

    But while I still really have no problem with nk, I don’t think the issue with him is where he sits on the political spectrum so much as the contradictions that seem timed to be controversial.

    Just take his definition of battery, which currently does not include shoving a cop.

    thing is, nk is smart. He knows how plainly contradictory and absurd some of these positions have been. I think this all started when he got annoyed at some of us and said he was tired of attempting to discuss legal issues with unqualified people. I suspect that his routine since then has been more like performance art. This is how he sees us, as contradictory, silly, needlessly contrarian… something like that.

    Anyway, Leviticus, I don’t think the problem with nk is that he’s out of step with the orthodoxy so much as he’s just screwing with some of us.

    Doesn’t really bug me either way, but I am curious if I’m approximately correct. And this is a much more pleasant squab than the Barton squabble at Ace’s yesterday. Good. Lord.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  80. dyspepsia is
    a malady common to
    keyboard kommandos

    ColonelHaiku (2ce3dc)

  81. A sticky black plague
    overtaking all in path
    Gulf is never same

    Chris Hooten (e632ed)

  82. duodenum fire
    from five then seven then five
    Haiku cause ulcer

    Chris Hooten (e632ed)

  83. I appreciate very much nk’s observation about Ryan’s candidacy. Though far away, from what I heard he did sound like someone who really was interested in public service.

    I thought the divorce records was ultimate in dirty pool, especially given how much of private info the one kept hid at great expense. I always imagined that in most divorce cases each party tries to make things as bad as possible short of outright perjury, and opening divorce files would give the worst possible impression. I had heard that the once Mrs. Ryan said in public that she supported his candidacy.

    The fact that he put preventing the trashing of himself and his family above his need to go into politics I think credits him with more honor than the one who forced him into the decision.

    I did not think about it until Alan Keyes was already set, but I thought about Mike Singletary as a candidate. He had great name recognition, was known for hard work, straight-shooting, play fair and tough. I thought he was at least a resoanbel public speaker, and while I didn’t know his political views, I was pretty sure he was against infanticide and wanted people to work and be responsible for themselves.

    But he’s gone and become a coach in Oakland, but I’d still consider, nk, passing the suggestion on to Judy Barr-Topinka to pass on.

    Back to the topic, Obama is a Chicago-style rude bully on an international stage. Barton was right in principle, not so good with tactical implimentation.

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  84. Anybody who has gone through a divorce with an angry wife, especially if there is a potential payday involved, knows how statements get made with no facts but they are still devastating. There was a rather outspoken, if not obnoxious, LA city councilman years ago. He was going through a divorce when he was suddenly arrested. It turned out that his ex-wife, at some point in the custody battle for the kids, got a daughter to testify he had molested her. Eventually, it was thrown out but imagine the damage to that kid, let alone her father.

    At least the allegations made in the Ryan divorce seemed to omit the kids but they were still devastating to him and were probably creative, at the least.

    I do have one objection: National Review (I believe) had a list of Republican women for some award. Jeri Ryan was included and I would have objected if I could figure out how to do so. She gave us Barack.

    Mike K (8df289)

  85. Hooten – If this spill will permenently damage the Gulf then we don’t have to worry about it because the Gulf has already been permenently damaged by the worse spill in Mexico thirty years ago.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  86. It was voluntary on BP’s part.

    Funniest line of the day – so far.

    Why do you think it wasn’t?

    Because they had no other choice to do what was asked of them or else face their company’s immiment demise.

    It’s not like BP has many choices in this situation.

    You just contradicted yourself there, pal. Try again.

    But they did make that one. No one made it for them.

    Surrre – either sign this paper voluntarily or else face a firing squad. Purely voluntary on their part.

    Have you ever actually held a job in the private sector? Your statements indicate a trust fund kid or someone who’s been in college for far too long.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  87. Dmac – When I point a gun at your head and ask you for your wallet and you give it to me that’s voluntary on your part, dontcha know?

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  88. hooten know when the
    turd bloom not fall far from tree
    must be father’s day

    ColonelHaiku (2ce3dc)

  89. I haven’t followed this thread closely but I am instituting the civility rule in this thread starting . . . NOW. If your comment is personal in any way, it gets nuked. If your comment simply insults the other person OR his argument without substance, it gets nuked.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  90. haiku think insult
    if properly proferred
    most civil discourse

    ColonelHaiku (2ce3dc)

  91. for twenty eight year
    hide underground jungle cave
    haiku so lonely

    ColonelHaiku (2ce3dc)

  92. Hooten – If this spill will permenently damage the Gulf then we don’t have to worry about it because the Gulf has already been permenently damaged by the worse spill in Mexico thirty years ago.

    Comment by Have Blue — 6/18/2010 @ 3:31 pm

    I don’t think it was under the same pressure as this one. Not even the same. This thing is spewing oil like it was mentos and diet coke.

    Chris Hooten (e632ed)

  93. IXTOC-1 was 2-miles deep, in 160′ of water, and spewed 3.3Million barrels of oil (140,000,000 gals). Over 71K bbls of that oil impacted 162 miles of Texas beach. The initial rate of flow was 30,000-bbls/day. It took 10-months to cap the well, and shut off the flow of oil into the Gulf.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3b92f0)

  94. If Patterico
    requests no personal digs
    will you heed the call

    Or be a dumb*ss
    c*cksucking motherf*cking
    piece of sh*t douchebag

    Chris Hooten (e632ed)

  95. If even half of what is stated here: is true, we are in deep stuff re: the Gulf situation.

    GeneralMalaise (2ce3dc)

  96. 30,000 barrels a day. I wish the current one was that low!

    Chris Hooten (e632ed)

  97. And it took 10 months to stop it!

    They hope to have this one under control by the end of August with the completion of the two relief wells.
    But, they really have no idea, or refuse to reveal, how much oil this thing is putting out.
    Both of these wells are at about the same sub-surface depth – approx 10,000 feet – but Ixtoc was in 160′ of water, and this devil is in (what?) 5400′!

    AD - RtR/OS! (3b92f0)

  98. Can you imagine if the relief wells fail to work?

    Chris Hooten (e632ed)

  99. They have to work, they’re being directed by Teh Won.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3b92f0)

  100. I thought I had heard Obama claim credit for the relief wells being started, AD.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  101. If it advances his interest, he’ll claim credit for it, no matter how remote it is from him.
    Originally, BP was only going to drill one relief well, but it was IIRC Browner who demanded they drill a second. Probably the only good idea she’s had since working for AlGore.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3b92f0)

  102. ColonelHaiku no worry
    insult couched in prose very much

    Chris Hooten (a6cd3c)

  103. I would request that Hooten quote the statute or authorizing legislation that The One was operating under. I would also like for him to explain what is insufficent about our existing laws and legal system. I would also like for him to explain why BP should pay for the wages of people who lost their jobs because of the political dishonest drilling moratorium. This should be simple for an all-knowing emo like the great Chris Hooten.

    JD (220f42)

  104. Let’s do it fore the tuna, the bluefin tuna!

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  105. Bluefin tuna tartar rocks. I love tuna, when it is dead and called sashimi sitting on my plate.

    JD (220f42)

  106. Charlie the Tuna
    say he have good taste but now
    he not taste so good

    ColonelHaiku (2ce3dc)

  107. Charlie the Tuna
    he now taste like numbah two
    not like numbah one

    ColonelHaiku (2ce3dc)

  108. Environmental criminals just cut the net of Libyan fishing boat yesterday to “liberate” a bunch of bluefin tuna.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  109. liberate tuna
    battle cry “free Charley now!”
    tuna sammich soon

    ColonelHaiku (2ce3dc)

  110. daleyrocks at 108 – How many of the people crying about the shrimpers and fishermen today were last year calling for limits and moratoriums to prevent overfishing and collateral damage to turtles and such.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  111. tooter turtle need
    more than mister wizard in
    gulf of mexico

    ColonalHaiku (2ce3dc)

  112. “How many of the people crying about the shrimpers and fishermen today were last year calling for limits and moratoriums to prevent overfishing and collateral damage to turtles and such.”

    Have Blue – Obama should have announced a moratorium on fishing and shrimping in U.S. waters last year in response to such concerns, FOR THE CHIRREN!

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  113. JD – “operating under” What are you talking about? The President met with the head honcho at the company that just caused our greatest environmental disaster ever. Feeling the public pressure, the company made a relatively small gesture of good will on the mess they made. You are making something out of nothing, just like the Sustek thing.

    Chris Hooten (342154)

  114. “…our greatest environmental disaster ever…”

    Well, I guess Mr. Hooten is the expert on environmental disasters throughout history.

    But this is the Progressivist conceit. They overstate something undeniably bad, and when they are chided for their overwrought statements, the response is always “…so you don’t think it is a big deal?”

    It’s like “Physicians for Social Responsibility” in the old days. If you opposed their crazee, they came back with “…so you approve of nuclear war?”

    As for Mr. Hooten? Shrillness, thy name is….

    It all takes us back to the very motto of this administration: never let a crisis go to waste.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  115. Hooten – It is an easy question. What theory of law or constitutional process allows a President to extort actions from a private company?

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  116. Have Blue, remember: if it is the worst thing ever, then it is okay to break the law. It’s an emergency!

    Again: let no crisis go to waste!

    As for human-caused environmental disasters, I thought that this might be good reading:

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  117. Prove this so-called “extortion” that keeps being mentioned. Show me any proof whatsoever. It is a bunch of made up garbage.

    Chris Hooten (342154)

  118. “Prove this so-called “extortion” that keeps being mentioned. Show me any proof whatsoever.”

    Chris – I’ll use the standard of proof you use in your comments here. Everybody knows it was extortion.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  119. Daley, you should read Mr. Hooten’s post on the shoving incident. He wants to “sit down” the “students” down and “explain things” to them.

    I’m thinking “Pay for View.” Are you in?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  120. Eric – I saw that comment. Those career criminal apprentices wouldn’t even stand still to talk to the policeman. Why would they sit without restraint? What is Hooten smoking, or rather what isn’t he smoking?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  121. He does smell like a trustifarian, doesn’t he?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  122. Wrong thread guys. Why do the stoned people always post the wrong subjects to the wrong threads?

    Chris Hooten (342154)

  123. You should be happy, Mr. Hooten. After all, you are posting to stir up people and get them talking about you. Right?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  124. There is no evidence of extortion. Just like death panels and the birther movement and the Democrats trying to instill the fairness doctrine, etc. All made up tripe that a few misled people believed at some point because they wanted to believe it, and trusted sources that lied and misled them.

    Chris Hooten (342154)

  125. “…Just like death panels and the birther movement and the Democrats trying to instill the fairness doctrine, etc…”

    Could we get some honest trolls here, or is “honest troll” an oxymoron?

    AD - RtR/OS! (4ae013)

  126. Maybe under a bridge?

    Chris Hooten (342154)

  127. Patterico, your frustration “comes from years of doing jury trials and developing a sense of how a jury will react to a given case”.

    My frustration comes from years of being on the right side of logic and history but it not making any difference because somebody else determines the rules of the battle.

    BP is owed an apology. They need to be held accountable for paying for damages, etc., but they are owed an apology for:
    1. Having to work on their problem in the presence of a totally incompetent administration “partner”
    2. Being used as a foil to destract from the incompetence from said administration
    3. Being treated rudely and “played” by an arrogant administration
    4. For being demonized and probably losing more of their net worth than necessary, which hurts their ability to meet their obligations for clean-up, etc.

    Furthermore, the British people are owed an apology for
    1. having their pensioner’s wealth subject to the incompetence of the our administration
    2. insults to their nation, heritage, and prime minister, turning our back on the accomplishments in WWII in partnership with Churchill, and “honoring” an official visit with a recording of the one’s greatest hits

    In addition, apologies are owed to:
    1. The people and government of Honduras
    2. The prime minister and people of Israel
    3. Poland, the Czech Republic, and whoever else was backstabbed in the decision to stop the anti-missile defense plans
    4. Reformers in Iran who want democratic reforms
    5. The US military for cutting off further deployment of the F-22, which would have guaranteed US dominance of the skies in any battle zone for the foreseeable future
    6. The governor, senators, and people of Arizona

    and last but not least,
    Any American fed up with his utterly dishonest way of dealing with policy disagreements

    Now, I agree that how the point was communicated was not productive. But I’m frustrated by the dems getting away with all manner of lies, distortions, and evading the truth, and when a repub says something that is true but tone-deaf everybody goes into an “oh, we’re so sorry” mode and disciplines their own, instead of moving forward and giving a better explanation of the point being made.

    In case no one has noticed, it appears that BP can do little more than what it has already been doing in trying to end the leak (except use my idea of an angioplasty deep into the well).

    On the other hand, our federal government has been an ongoing demonstration of ineptitude of epic proportions, not only failing to help and organize help, but actually standing in the way of clean up efforts done by the states and others who became tired of waiting around.

    How many thousands of people are out of work in the gulf because of spill? They could have been scooping it up by the 5 gallon pail for the last 6 weeks and we’d be better off, even without buying boom, etc., etc. Volunteers fill sand bags when flood waters are rising, “volunteers” (actually getting paid for their time) could have been filling oil buckets.

    Instead of making Barton back down, they should have had him apologize for not making himself clear and then on to the offensive, once the original deed was done.

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  128. But the Purity Test crowd says we MUST support Barton — even if he no longer supports himself.

    there’s also the crowd what Mr. Barton was supporting when he called the little president man’s shakedown for what it was.

    It was nice to hear a Team R person speak the truth, even if the other ones forced him to take it back in much the same threatening bullying way the little president man forced BP to throw its shareholders under the bus and cough up a vote-buying fund for Baracky Chavez.

    happyfeet (19c1da)

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