Thursday, June 17, 2010

Joe “Chump Change” Barton Defends BP

When you cross the border into Texas, depending on where you land, you lose IQ points right off the bat. When I go to my home state of California, I just feel smarter, see clearer and hear pins drop. And when it’s time to go home I always ask myself this: why in the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks do I want to go back to Texas?

But I go back because I like to eat on occasion.

And it is where my unsellable house stands on a nearly worthless piece of land.

And when I get home I say to myself: It’s good to be home. So there it is, the proof is in the pudding – sure and certain evidence that I have lost some IQ points.

But Congressman Joe Barton (R-Big Oil) must live in an unique part of Texas, because when he leaves Texas for DC he takes his Texas IQ with him. Quoting Clueless Joe in this morning’s House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce hearing on the massive BP oil disaster, as he defends BP against the deal that the Obama Administration cut yesterday with BP, on behalf of the “small people” of the Gulf Coast:

“I am ashamed of what happened at the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would consider a shakedown, in this case a $20 billion shakedown.”
That’s right, here is Texas’ own, Joe Barton, criticizing the President for cutting a deal with BP to expedite compensation for the losses of the “small people” (as BP’s CEO likes to refer to them) of the Gulf Coast. People who have lost family members, businesses, livelihoods and health will benefit from Obama’s “shakedown.”

But Barton objects.

And make no mistake, Joe Barton, who is dumber than a bag of hammers, didn’t even think that one up. Was not the first to associate the deal with a “shakedown” It took his Georgia colleague, Congressman Tom Price to think that one up:

From TPM:

“BP's reported willingness to go along with the White House's new fund suggests that the Obama Administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics.These actions are emblematic of a politicization of our economy that has been borne out of this Administration's drive for greater power and control.”
He said that yesterday.

Barton must have decided that this was a talking point he could not avoid parroting, so he didn’t.

The thing is, and I have looked, Tom Price has no hands in the oil and gas cookie jar. His contributions listed on show nothing from the oil companies. Price was just being political.

Barton cannot say that, however. Depending on how you cut it, Barton’s number one campaign contributor is from the oil industry, to the tune of $1,148,380. So if anything, what we are seeing from Joe Barton’s remarks (as he was speaking “only for himself”) is what one can characterize as a bit of jealousy. Jealousy in that all Joe has been able to shake down the oil industry, over his career in congress, is a mere $1.14 million. In one day, in Barton’s view Obama has bested him by 4 orders of magnitude.

The difference is, Barton’s “chump change” goes toward getting Barton re-elected time and time again. Obama’s $20 billion goes toward concretely impacting on the lives of countless American citizens whose lives have been disrupted, or ended, by BP’s malfeasance.

I’ll take Obama’s shakedown any day over Barton’s.

No comments: