Forgive Us, BP, For We Have Sinned

Time was when Republicans would criticize the President for kowtowing to foreign heads of state. Now we’re learning that the problem wasn’t the action, but the recipient:

Rep. Joe Barton , R-Arlington, apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward on Thursday morning for the “political pressure” his company is facing.

Barton condemned the White House’s handling of a meeting Wednesday with BP officials, in which President Barack Obama pushed the company to create a $20 billion escrow account for damage claims from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The congressman called the account a “slush fund.”…

“I am ashamed of what happened at the White House yesterday,” said Barton, the top Republican on the [House Energy and Commerce] committee. “It is a tragedy in 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.”

Other genuflectors lining up at BP’s confessional include Michele Bachmann, Haley Barbour, the wingnut “Republican Study Committee”, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity. We’re not sure how the spin works on this one, but we imagine it requires a lot of grease.

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton apologizes to BP CEO for ‘$20 billion shakedown’ [Dallas Morning News]

Say What? GOPers Slam White House Over BP Gulf Spill Fund [TPM]


This is wonderful, and the majority of the GOP are fully aware of what an insane blunder it was.

What I think significant, is that this idea, this wild attempt at spin, seems to have been driven by the Limbaugh-Hannity-Buchanan conservative pundits, not by the GOP officeholders, and this is the first example I have seen, of a GOP office-holder making a major fuck-up by going with the Limbaugh-line. They don’t realize, or have forgotten, that a lot of what Limbaugh says makes decent people retch. Limbaugh is not the one to listen to for advice on persuading or winning new support, all he’s good for his confirming his audience’s existing prejudices, anymore.

Now that’s some serious schlong gobbling.


That is actually a nice, sloppy, rooting rim job. He’s really digging in there.

I have no clue what this can be about. It is literally insane.

@FlyingChainSaw: This was my thought until I read Tommcat’s update.

AP list of how much money members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have received in political contributions from oil and gas interests since the beginning of 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Contributions are from political action committees run by oil and gas companies and from individuals employed by those companies.

Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., none
John Barrow, D-Ga., $31,500
Joe Barton, R-Texas, $100,470
Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., $33,500
Roy Blunt, R-Mo., $133,100
Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., $5,750
Rick Boucher, D-Va., $36,000
Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, none
Michael Burgess, R-Texas, $39,350
G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., $19,500
Steve Buyer, R-Ind., $5,000
Lois Capps, D-Calif., none
Kathy Castor, D-Fla., none
Donna Christian-Christensen, D-Virgin Islands, $1,500
Nathan Deal, R-Ga., none
Diana DeGette, D-Colo., $2,250
John D Dingell, D-Mich., $7,000
Mike Doyle, D-Pa., $8,000
Eliot L Engel, D-N.Y., none
Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., none
Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., $20,500
Charlie A Gonzalez, D-Texas, $30,000
Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., $13,500
Gene Green, D-Texas, $43,500
Ralph M Hall, R-Texas, $31,250
Jane Harman, D-Calif., $3,000
Baron Hill, D-Ind., $2,000
Jay Inslee, D-Wash., none
Edward J Markey, D-Mass., $16,000
Jim Matheson, D-Utah, $47,750
Doris O Matsui, D-Calif., $7,500
Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., $3,000
Charles Melancon, D-La., $65,500
Chris Murphy, D-Conn., $6,800
Tim Murphy, R-Pa., $62,950
Sue Myrick, R-N.C., $11,500
Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., none
Joe Pitts, R-Pa., $18,000
George Radanovich, R-Calif., $14,000
Mike Rogers, R-Mich., $20,400
Mike Ross, D-Ark., $76,950
Bobby L Rush, D-Ill., $1,000
John Sarbanes, D-Md., $3,300
Steve Scalise, R-La., $44,335
Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., none
John Shadegg, R-Ariz., $13,400
John M Shimkus, R-Ill., $34,000
Zachary T Space, D-Ohio, $9,600
Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., $1,000
Bart Stupak, D-Mich., $12,000
John Sullivan, R-Okla., $65,250
Betty Sue Sutton, D-Ohio, $6,000
Lee Terry, R-Neb., $30,350
Fred Upton, R-Mich., $22,000
Greg Walden, R-Ore., $31,200
Henry A Waxman, D-Calif., $6,000
Anthony D Weiner, D-N.Y., none
Peter Welch, D-Vt., $10,000
Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., $20,500

Who’s sorry now?
Who’s sorry now?
Whose heart is aching for losing each barrel?
Who’s sad and blue?
Who’s covered in goo?
Deny global warming too?

Right to the end
Just like a friend
Joe tried to blow you somehow
You had your way,
Now you must pay
I’m glad that Joe’s sorry now.

Can we eject the whole political system into the sun and start over again? Please?

Will BP ever forgive us for sullying their pristine petroleum with our dirty, sandy beaches?

I would really like to take Joe and roll him in that muck the pelicans are drowning in.

Too revolting even for Repubs? This is from The Hill:


A Republican lawmaker from a district affected by the oil spill called on Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) to step down as the ranking member of his committee.

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), whose Pensacola district is among the most affected areas in the Gulf by the oil spill, condemned Barton for apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward during a committee meeting on Thursday.

“I condemn Mr. Barton’s statement. Mr. Barton’s remarks are out of touch with this tragedy and I feel his comments call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee,” Miller said in a statement. “He should step down as ranking member of the Committee.”

Barton apologized to Hayward during opening remarks at a hearing Thursday morning, telling Hayward that he was “ashamed” by President Barack Obama’s effort to force BP to create a $20 billion fund in escrow to pay out damages to victims of the oil spill.

“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 dollar shakedown,” Barton said.

Miller took Barton to task.

“I am shocked by Congressman Joe Barton’s reprehensible comments that the government should apologize for the ‘shakedown’ of BP,” he said. “BP has caused the greatest ecological and environmental disaster our nation has ever seen. They are the responsible party and they should pay for losses and damages, not the taxpayer. I am optimistic and hopeful that BP acted in good faith by opening the $20 million escrow account, as several of us have requested.”

Republicans have already begun to distance themselves from Barton’s remarks.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he disagreed with Barton during his weekly press conference.

“I have said since the beginning that BP ought to be held responsible for every dime of this tragedy,” Boehner said. “And they ought to be held accountable to stop the leak and get it cleaned up as soon as possible.”

Another one of Barton’s colleagues, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), who was a top member of the subcommittee hosting Hayward today, also disavowed Barton’s remarks.

“He made it quite clear he was speaking only for himself,” he said.

@Capt Howdy: $20 BB won’t be enough, but it’s a decent down payment.


Strike while the iron is hot. Two or three years from now it will be impossible to squeeze these sorts of concessions from BP. Memory of the spill will have largely faded for those who are not living with its direct consequences, and BP lawyers will fight all claims tooth and nail. Regardless of what any naysayer claims, it was imperative that Obama get as much as he could for the victims of the spill as soon as he could.

I am under few if any illusions that Obama will be given credit where credit is due for this. But enormous credit is due.

Nil-Nil at the half in the Battle of Puebla, Part Deux/Dos.

@Serolf Divad: Aha, I just saw that the $20 BB is over 4 years. Well, that’s not gonna cut it. You read it here: BP’s tab for this one will get near the $100 billion mark.

@Dodgerblue: Too bad the Republican Study Committee, a group of more than 100 of the most conservative members of the House, released a statement describing the escrow account as a “Chicago-style shakedown.”

At least China has the decency to execute their insane, failed corporate kleptocrats. Here they get $10 million dollar bonuses, fawning ass-kissing and book deals.

Meanwhile, the first dead sperm whale has been found in the Gulf.
I swear, I’m getting to the point that I can barely drag myself out of bed.

ADD: Just to buck the trend, Vive la France!

@Mistress Cynica:

You can always go with my strategy of desperately trying to ignore the whole disaster.

@SanFranLefty: If the Dems had any spine, huevos or brains (mmm, brains), they’d put up a regional ad by tomorrow with Joe Fisherman saying “I’m not extorting anything from anyone. BP destroyed my goddamn livelihood. Thanks, Mr. President. You’re one of the good ones.”

“Hey – wait! CUT!!! CUUUUT!!!!”

ADD: Mexico up by 1.

@Original Andrew: And in Japan, the CEOs have the decency to kill themselves.



“Republican Study Committee” – when I first heard that name, I assumed it was a program at NIH to try to diagnose the cause of the organic brain defect commonly known as “teh crazee”. Alas, it is not.

Rep. Tan Boehner releases Barton’s “clarification”

@Mistress Cynica: May the pictures of hottie soccer players take your mind off of the dead sea life.

@Mistress Cynica:
actually if you believe reports it might not be the first. they have been talking about carcasses disappearing off beachs in the middle of the night in a matter of minutes.

at first I thought BP but you know, it could be our own government.

@Capt Howdy: Chain saws in the night wielded by BP’s mall ninjas.

@SanFranLefty: Did you watch the video of Biden’s response? Grandpa Joe has got some fight left in him.

Barton abandons GOP principals of bloodthirsty hatred of humanity and gagging on oligarchic schlong:

Traitor! A real Republican stalwart would double down and demand Gulf coast states’ citizens pay BP for the honor of being made pathetic enough to be interviewed by CNN and therefore increasing the probability of a tear-jerker book deal and leveraging that asset to enter a market for Gulf Apocalypse Celebrity Bonds that are based on the likelihood of a gulf coast resident getting a book on Oprah. You know, ideas based on freedom!

@SanFranLefty: Soccer hotties are just about the only reason I have left to live. You’re providing a life-saving service.

@Mistress Cynica:

Here’s about a zillion screen grabs of local Seattle comedian hawttie Joel Mc Hale, (formerly of Talk Soup fame) flauntin’ it on some TV show I’ve never heard of.


What I wouldn’t do to “Click to Enlarge.”

@Original Andrew: Community is quite good and not just because of eye candy like McHale (although that doesn’t hurt). Since it’s an NBC show, at least some of the episodes are on Hulu. Just sayin.

@Mistress Cynica: You saw my Book of Faces link to Zooborns, right? I’ve wasted lots of time avoiding work spent lots of time researching in the name of science, and apparently there are no baby animals that are not cute. Even the baby mantid…for reals.

@flippin eck: I need a baby snow leopard. All baby animals do seem cuter than human babies, for some reason.

@Mistress Cynica: I’m working on finding today’s WC Hottie of the Day. Sadly, it was rather cold today in South Africa, so not much shirt-stripping (nothing stopping me from using a file photo). If anyone has recommendations, send ’em to me at sanfranlefty [at] stinque [dot] com

@flippin eck:

Joel Mc Hale trivia:

1) He’s a hawttie and a smartie – BFA & MFA, University of Washington

2) Was a Husky football tight-end for two years (bowchikawowow)

3) He’s straight (!?)

@Dodgerblue: “He made it quite clear he was speaking only for himself,” he said.

So that leaves the question of who the Republican study committee speaks for, because I was told by a person at Rep. Tom Price’s (chairman, RSC) office that the entire membership (115 House Republicans) met on Wednesday and agreed it was a great idea to issue a press release titled “Chicago-style Political Shakedown” that differs from Barton’s statement only in that it’s a press release instead of on TV.

To Jeff Miller’s credit, although a member of the RSC, he wasn’t at Wednesday’s meeting and his office claims he disagrees with the press release.

I’ve got a call in to the RSC for the list of attendees to the meeting, but I’m not holding my breath I’ll ever get the information.

@SanFranLefty: Yeah, that’s what I was using to make phone calls this afternoon. Imagine — none of the Republicans I called wanted me to know what their position was on the press release.

@flippin eck: “Community” is great, although I haven’t seen it since January cuz Hulu doesn’t have the rights to any shows for off shore streaming.

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