Rep. Barton on Obama’s Shakedown of BP (UPDATED)

UPDATED: Barton caves under pressure from republican leadership and retracts his apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward.

Joe Barton retracts apology to BP

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is apologizing for his apology.

After infuriating Democrats and Republicans alike with his public apology to BP and suggesting that a $20 billion escrow fund was a “shakedown” by the White House, Barton is now “retracting” his statement, made at a hearing with BP CEO Tony Hayward.

“I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP,” Barton said. “As I told my colleagues yesterday and said again this morning, BP should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico. BP should fully compensate those families and businesses that have been hurt by this accident.”

Showing just how involved Republican leadership was in damage control over Barton’s comments today, the retraction was forwarded to the media by House Minority Leader John Boehner’s office. Moments after Boehner’s office publicized Barton’s retraction, Boehner, Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) sent out a statement condemning Barton.

“Congressman Barton’s statements this morning were wrong,” the GOP leadership trio said in a rare joint statement. “BP itself has acknowledged that responsibility for the economic damages lies with them and has offered an initial pledge of $20 billion dollars for that purpose. The families and businesspeople in the Gulf region want leadership, accountability and action from BP and the Administration.”


Whatever you may think of BP, Barack Obama setting up an escrow fund for the injured parties of the gulf states is totally un-American and goes against our ‘rule of law’.  The power to decide who gets what will no longer be decided in a court of law, but by the Executive Branch.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the strong-arm tactics used by the Obama administration.

For those of you that don’t understand what Barack just did, here are the words of Judge Napolitano from yesterday’s Glenn Beck program.

The Feds trumped BP engineers, and the Feds trumped the wishes of the folks that live along the Gulf Coast, and the Feds decided where this oil well would be drilled. Disaster struck. The Feds did nothing. Oil gushed out in an amount so great as to be immeasurable. Political pressure grew. The President eventually panicked because he believes that his federal government can right every wrong, regulate every activity, and protect us from every catastrophe. He’s wrong. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal was ready to build barriers to protect his state’s coastline and the Feds incredibly said no. The President even invoked powers that allow him to supervise the cleanup using BP personnel and equipment, and the oil still gushes. Last week, the president stopped all drilling in the gulf, putting thousands of Americans out of work. Last night, he demanded billions from BP so his team could decide who gets it, and today, a terrified BP gave him all the cash he asked for.

So the government, the government that foolishly limited BP’s maximum liability, the government that claimed it knew where best to drill, the government that actually stopped locals from protecting their own shoreline; that would be the same government that has bankrupted Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Post Office, Amtrak, and virtually everything it has ever managed. The government now wants to decide who gets BP’s cash. The last time this government had this much private cash to give away during the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, it disregarded well settled law, and it gave it to it’s friends in the labor unions. To whom will it give this cash? The innocent injured or it’s political buddies. The government cannot protect us from every catastrophe, especially ones it’s rules have facilitated.

No Wonder We Are So Poor; We Pay Our Rent

No Wonder We Are So Poor; We Pay Our Rent

Yes boys and girls, we are the suckers for allowing the collusion in the District of Criminals to continue.

White House chief tied to BP adviser

Did Emanuel’s link to oil company compromise efforts to regulate it?

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, WND has learned, lived rent-free in Washington, D.C., for years, thanks in part to a friend under contract with oil giant BP.

While the White House approaches “day 50” of the environmental disaster caused by an explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig, unable yet to stop the flowing crude in the Gulf, several media sources have questioned the administration’s efforts to regulate BP prior to the incident.

WND’s research further raises the question of whether the White House was compromised by Emanuel’s financial ties to the company.

Emanuel lived for five years rent-free in an apartment owned by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and her husband, Stanley Greenberg, whose consulting firm was a prime architect in BP’s efforts to recast itself as a “green” corporation and recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars awarded through a committee chaired by Emanuel.

Greenberg research helped reposition BP as a “green company”

The Greenberg Quinlan Rosner consulting firm’s website details a case study for client BP in which the firm “helped BP plan and evaluate its successful re-branding campaign, focusing the company’s branding on energy solutions, including the development of solar and other renewable energy sources.”

Greenberg Quinlin Rosner’s research also contributed to a $200 million advertising campaign in which British Petroleum attempted to shorten its name to “BP” and redesign its corporate insignia to emphasize a “Beyond Petroleum” theme.

Critics have characterized the BP advertising campaign prompted by Greenberg Quinlin Rosner research as “greenwashing,” a process in which corporations disingenuously portray their efforts as fitting into a politically correct, “green,” environment-oriented sensitivity to alternative energy.

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner is also tied heavily to the Democratic Party, as it created a sister political consulting company named “GCS,” an acronym based on the last names of the principals – Stanley Greenberg of GQR, James Carville, the long-term adviser of Bill Clinton, and Bob Schrum, the campaign manager for Sen. John Kerry’s unsuccessful 2004 presidential campaign.

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Oil Leak Bigger Than Reported – And Feds Knew

No shock here…on Day 21, I said we were looking at an extinction event.

From ABC News (how the hell did that happen?):

BP and Feds Withheld Videos Showing Massive Scope of Oil Spill

New videos show more clearly than ever how BP, with little resistance from the Coast Guard or other federal agencies, kept the public in the dark about just how bad things were beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

On May 1, 11 days after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, and nine days after oil began spilling into the Gulf, the Coast Guard had still only released a single image of oil leaking a mile beneath the surface — a fuzzy photograph of a broken pipe spewing oil.

But inside the unified command center, where BP and federal agencies were orchestrating the spill response, video monitors had already displayed hours of footage they did not make public. The images showed a far more dire situation unfolding underwater. The footage filmed by submarines showed three separate leaks, including one that was unleashing a torrent of oil into the Gulf.

BP officials said they made all the video available to federal officials.

“The video has been available to the unified command from the very beginning,” said Mark Proegler, a BP spokesman. “It’s always been here from the beginning. They had it.”

Coast Guard officials told ABC News that BP refused to allow them to release the more startling images, arguing they were proprietary. But at the time, the agency was doing little to convey to the world what the images were showing. Coast Guard Admiral Mary Landry was sticking with estimates, calculated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which put the spill’s size at about 5,000 barrels a day for several weeks. Coast Guard officials said they were focused on the response, and advised the public not to worry about just how much oil was pouring into the water.

“I would caution you not to get fixated on an estimate of how much is out there,” said Adm. Landry.

Two days later, as oil continued to spew, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said much the same thing.

“This fixation on the number of barrels is a little bit misleading,” said Napolitano.

BP officials said everyone inside the Unified Command center in Louisiana agreed that the 5,000 barrel figure was the best they could offer.

Oil Spill Headed For Florida

Oil Spill Headed For Florida

(Editor’s Note: This is my ‘we are so screwed’ post for 6.2.2010 unless Barry pulls a FUBAR with the Israeli situation.  Does anybody have current information on what I’mADinnerJacket over in Iran is doing right now?  Is Israel about to get hit on many fronts?)

The winds are moving in just the right direction to bring the oil leak ashore on Florida beaches.  The spill is currently 9.5 miles from Pensacola Beach, and expected to come ashore soon.

Oil could hit Florida Panhandle by Wednesday

PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. — A Florida beach might get hit with oil from the Deepwater Horizon accident for the first time Wednesday as sheen likely caused by the accident was reported less than 10 miles off Pensacola Beach.

A charter boat captain reported the oil Tuesday afternoon and state and local environmental officials confirmed that it was about 9.5 miles offshore. Winds are forecast to blow from the south and west, pushing the outer edges of massive slick from the spill closer to western Panhandle beaches.

Emergency crews began Tuesday scouring the beaches for oil and shoring up miles of boom. Escambia County will use it to block oil from reaching inland waterways, but plans to leave beaches unprotected because they are too difficult to protect and easier to clean up.

The spill’s arrival coincides with the beginning of the Panhandle’s summer tourism season, which normally brings millions of dollars to the region.

“It’s inevitable that we will see it on the beaches,” said Keith Wilkins, Escambia’s deputy chief of neighborhood and community services.

The oil has been creeping toward Florida since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers and eventually collapsing into the Gulf of Mexico. An estimated 20 million to 40 million gallons of oil has spewed into the Gulf, eclipsing the 11 million that leaked from the Exxon Valdez disaster. The rig was being operated for petroleum giant BP, which has tried unsuccessfully for six week to stanch the oil.

The Florida report followed an orange and oily mess washing up on Alabama’s beaches earlier Tuesday. Crews cleaned up the oil that they described as having the consistency of a “tarry mousse,” but health officials closed the beaches to swimming.

Pensacola Beach officials said their request for about $150,000 from BP to buy sifting machines and a tractor to help remove oil from the beach’s famous white sands has lingered unanswered for more than three weeks. BP has promised it will pay any expenses, but Panhandle officials say the bureaucracy has been slow. Some think the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be running the cleanup operation, not BP.  (FEMA?  These guys couldn’t find New Orleans after Katrina.)

Meanwhile, BP has cut the well pipe in order to install a cap.  The oil output has increased with no guarantee that this maneuver is going to work any better than the previous.  Everybody start praying.

(more…)

Chairman Obama’s Next Move? Takeover BP?

…tapping, tapping, tapping…waiting, waiting waiting…for the next move of the collectivist Obama administration which could very well be the borg absorption of British Petroleum as recommended by economic transition team member Robert Reich.

Because one should never waste an excellent crisis!

Why Obama Should Put BP Under Temporary Receivership

It’s time for the federal government to put BP under temporary receivership, which gives the government authority to take over BP’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico until the gusher is stopped. This is the only way the public know what’s going on, be confident enough resources are being put to stopping the gusher, ensure BP’s strategy is correct, know the government has enough clout to force BP to use a different one if necessary, and be sure the President is ultimately in charge.

If the government can take over giant global insurer AIG and the auto giant General Motors and replace their CEOs, in order to keep them financially solvent, it should be able to put BP’s north American operations into temporary receivership in order to stop one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.

The Obama administration keeps saying BP is in charge because BP has the equipment and expertise necessary to do what’s necessary. But under temporary receivership, BP would continue to have the equipment and expertise. The only difference: the firm would unambiguously be working in the public’s interest. As it is now, BP continues to be responsible primarily to its shareholders, not to the American public. As a result, the public continues to worry that a private for-profit corporation is responsible for stopping a public tragedy.

Read the entire article at the link above.  Mr. Reich does have a point that the government does need to be in legal control and have direct authority over what is happening to fix the leak in the gulf, I’m just worried that Bambi isn’t gonna give this bright shiny back when the leak is fixed.

(H/T BB)

Smells Like Buyers’ Remorse

Smells Like Buyers’ Remorse

This is one of those situations where I will never get over saying “We Told You So!”.  I know, it’s cold and manner-less, but considering the devastation that has been wrought on our economy, society, and our childrens’ future – it’s the only comfort most of us have right now.  The political class in this country has to be reined in because their judgment leaves quite a bit to be desired.

Gergen: Mr. President, take command

(CNN) — Enough is enough! After the latest failure by BP to plug the gaping hole, it is time for President Obama to take full command of this growing national catastrophe. Immediately!

The president in his press conference this past Thursday assured the nation that he and his administration were already in charge and he has manfully taken personal responsibility — “the buck stops here,” he said, echoing Harry Truman. Well, it may be true that BP has been acting all along under the oversight of the federal government, but that supervision has been loose and ineffective.

To the world, it has been apparent that the government has been riding shotgun and BP has been at the wheel. It’s time for the White House to get in the driver’s seat and get us to safety — fast.

Meanwhile, no longer is the Exalted One seeing dead servicemen in the audience, he wants to commemorate our fallen soldiers through ‘deeds’. Time to put the pipe down, Mr. pResident.

Do you think Mr. Gergen over at CNN is feeling better or worse now?

Obama urges nation to honor Memorial Day through ‘deeds’

(Editor’s Note: “Or How To Really Upset The Military By Not Visiting Arlington Cemetery.  This must be more of that hopey-changey sh**.)

President Obama called Saturday for Americans to honor their countrymen who have died in war, saying that Memorial Day should be marked by “doing our part for the loved ones our fallen heroes have left behind and looking after our military families.”

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said, “We are called to honor their ultimate sacrifice with more than words. We are called to honor them with deeds.”

“By making sure the men and women serving this country around the world have the support they need to achieve their missions and come home safely,” he said. “By making sure veterans have the care and assistance they need. In short, by serving all those who have ever worn the uniform of this country – and their families – as well as they have served us.”

Obama is spending the holiday weekend in Chicago, his home town, and will visit the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

But some critics, most of them politically conservative, have complained that he is not visiting Arlington National Cemetery, the traditional focal point for Memorial Day events. He did so last year.

Here’s a question; are they moving the Capitol to Chicago?
(H/T KG)

BP Buses In Workers For Obama’s Visit?

…Or Did BP Just Create A Public Relations Nightmare?

It appears that British Petroleum hired between 300-400 workers just for Bambi’s visit on Friday, and when the pResident took off for vacation, so did the extra workers.  If this is true, and it does have the ‘looks like a duck’ paradigm working, BP just shot themselves in the head with a very large caliber weapon.

From CNN (that’s unbelievable too!)

Parish official: BP shipped in workers for president’s visit

(CNN) — A Gulf Coast official accused BP of shipping workers into Grand Isle, Louisiana, for President Barack Obama’s visit to the oil-stricken area Friday and sending them away once the president left the region.

Early Friday morning, “a number of buses brought in approximately 300 to 400 workers that had been recruited all week,” Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts told CNN’s “Situation Room.”

Roberts said the workers were offered $12 an hour to come out to the scene at Grand Isle and work in what he called a “dog and pony show.”

But, when Obama departed, so did the workers, he said, adding that he’s never seen more than 20 workers at the Grand Isle cleanup site since the effort started.

(more…)

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