"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Monday, June 21, 2010

Biden Chides Rep. Barton For The "Shakedown" Comment

My, my...Aren't we getting sensitive when the "s" word is mentioned!  No comment, however, was forthcoming from the Vice President on the six rounds of golf, at least three fundraisers (one the President attended instead of the memorial for the oil rig workers killed in the blast), and multitude of concerts and parties with the usual White House guests that the President occupied himself with during the first 59 days of this crisis.  Is this still the U.S.of A. that we know or are we merely witnessing the modern version of Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burns?

Congressman Barton made a mistake alright, however the mistake was not likening the $20 billion BP fund to a "shakedown" by this Administration.  The mistake was not explaining his remarks to the American public and the CEO of B.P.  Congressman Barton knows well and agrees that B.P. is the primarily liable entity here and should make all those affected by this catastrophe whole again.  He is in no sense against that idea.  But, unlike Congressional Democrats who admittedly don't bother reading bills before voting on them, and are there primarily to throw their power around in an endeavor of self agrandizing and enriching, Rep. Barton is a fair man who knows what happens in D.C. these days.  Lets shed some light on to the matter.

The "shakedown" comment by Rep. Barton is appropriate if we consider the left's affinity to the practice.  Community organizing, which the president comes from, is the purest form of shakedown that likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton (and formerly, our President) regularly make a grand living from.  During this administration, we have already seen shakedowns of the drug companies, insurance companies, bank CEOs, Chyrysler and G.M. bond holders, and so on.  The reason why creation of the B.P. fund should be characterized as a shakedown is not the why, but the how of the process.  Any strongarm tactics used by the president, implying that he is the only one standing between an entity and the angry mob (remember the bank CEOs?), is not only un-presidential but should also be categorized as a shakedown.  That is what the legal system is for, and though appropriate for President Putin, the stature of the U.S. president does not allow ghetto trash talking about kicking asses.

A day after Rep. Joe Barton, apologized to the CEO of BP for the government’s efforts to force the company to create a fund to pay out claims to victims of the Gulf oil spil, Rep. Bachmann also defended the worries that the account could turn into — in Barton’s words — a “slush fund.”
“I think that part of the concern that many members of Congress had are that the $20 billion fund not become political, because we have very recent evidence that it could be. We have another oil spill fund that the Democrats just three weeks ago tried to tap to use to pay unemployment benefits,” Congresswoman Bachmann said during an appearance on Fox News.

So it’s certainly reasonable and legitimate for members of Congress to be concerned that an oil spill fund goes specifically, 100 percent to make the victims of this environmental tragedy whole.

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