Did Obama shake down BP for $ 20 billion? Yes, according to republican Joe Barton

This is an example of how dollars go to work.  If you pay for it, you can get damn near anything you want from the congress.  Here’s republican congressman Joe Barton actually apologizing to BP for the Obama administration shaking them down for a $ 20 billion “slush fund”.  Barton got about $ 1.5 million in campaign contributions from BP.

Poor BP is being picked on according to this guy.  How ridiculous!

7 Responses to “Did Obama shake down BP for $ 20 billion? Yes, according to republican Joe Barton”
  1. What an idiot! There’s no other words I can use to fully characterize this partisan hack’s comment. I’m sure the British public stood up and cheered, and Republicans everywhere fist pumped the air, and gave high-fives. What a kiss-up!

    If I couldn’t recall him, I’d fire Barton the next time he came up for reelection, but it’s my guess that nothing of the sort will happen.

    Republican congresspeople, and pundits, will stop at nothing to blacken this president. ( Pun intended.) President Obama stood up for the people of the Gulf, and this hack decided to attack him, and say he’s only speaking for himself. B.S. Rush has made similar statements. Michele Bachmann calls it a redistribution of funds. You damn right, it’s a redistribution–it’s assurance that BP will meet, in a timely, and fair manner, its financial obligation to those who have suffered because of this oil-spill.

    It’s days like this that I’m ashamed to call myself an American.

    • Greg L says:

      I’m feeling you BD. Again, if anyone had any doubts about how thoroughly purchased the congress is, then those doubts should have been removed by this incident. This fool has now retracted his apology in the face of condemnation from all sides, but he knew he’d have to do that before he offered it this morning. He was simply paid to fall on his sword by BP so there’d be at least one friendly voice for them at the hearings. The mess in the gulf is directly linked to the one on Wall Street and our government is up for bid to the highest bidder and this is why absolutely nothing can get done. It’s also the reason why there’s a total absence of regulation and oversight where it needs to be.

      You also raise a good point about the republican party. I don’t have a problem with legitimate criticism of Obama or anyone else, but they’re well beyond that. They’re simply obstructionists and are doing whatever they can to undermine the administration and if the country is damaged as a result, they really don’t give a damn. If they truly believed he was going to fail, then they’d simply get out of the way and let him do so, but no, that’s not the deal. They are actively undermining not only the adminstration but the nation at the same time.

      This disaster is one where all hands need to be on deck. It’s one of those situations where we ought to be rallying the people and doing what we can to solve the problem, but it looks like the political maturity needed for that is in short supply.

  2. It is interesting to monitor MSNBC and then FoxNews to see them “take comments” and run with them.

    First the big picture set up of the $20 billion.
    As part of the “Keep The Boot On Their Necks” phrase (that used to be the statement of an oppressor) the government is set on snatching away the process of claims disbursement from BP. This the same day as they announced that they have paid on about 2,300 claims to the tune of $69M dollars; growing to $82M in a few days.

    It was interesting to see Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan DEMAND that BP put $10B into an escrow fund prior to the meeting. When he appeared on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” after learning that they put $20B in – HE STILL WAS ATTACKING THEM.

    Lets add one more background element. The Mexican oil spill of 1980 which pumped even more oil into the Gulf than what BP has done so far……..this was a STATE OWNED oil company. After paying $100 Million they claimed SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY!!! Despite the fact that some of the oil reached the Texas coast – they essentially said “Tough Luck”.

    So why did the Rep from Texas call it a shake down and then apologize for the attacks made by his colleagues against the BP CEO?

    1) They had no more evidence that BP was “holding back” funds that the standard attacks upon FEMA distributions indicates that the GOVERNMENT of the USA is “screwing people”.

    2) The LEFT spins the Rep’s comments as saying “BP does not OWE ANYONE”. The truth is he was saying that the GOVERNMENT had no need to take $20B and thus take the distribution process away from BP (to teach it a lesson)

    MY OPINION – BP did not fight this. This was a good decision not to. AGAIN – IRONICALLY they PAID THE MONEY and people who are seeking skin off their hide still are attacking!!!

    Imagine if a Criminal Defendant was attacked and was put on trial in a way that many people who call themselves “Social Justice” advocates are doing:

    * Boots On Their Neck
    * “Were gonna slice and dice him tomorrow” when he testifies before us

    It seems to me that those who have made a lifetime rendering INDICTMENTS against “oppressors” have that same spirit within them – based upon the target.

    I just struggle to understand one thing – Is it just a coincidence that where this ANTI-CORPORATE IDEOLOGY is strongest………the “corporate abandonment” and massive loss of industrial base is also strong?

    • Ernesto says:

      “I just struggle to understand one thing – Is it just a coincidence that where this ANTI-CORPORATE IDEOLOGY is strongest………the “corporate abandonment” and massive loss of industrial base is also strong?”

      Corporations exist to make money. They will go where they can maximize profit. How do they do this? By avoiding safety regulations and paying workers as little as possible. Do I really need to explain this to you?

      A corporation like BP, if it were a regular person (as recently suggested by five misanthropes on the Supreme Court of the United States) would be put in jail for criminal negligience, manslaughter and sundry other crimes. But they are not people, and they are pretty much untouchable according to their representatives in Congress.

      Why do we need to make a choice between having an industrial base and having a healthy environment where people are paid a living wage? We don’t, except in your world of false dichotomies.

      • [quote] By avoiding safety regulations and paying workers as little as possible. Do I really need to explain this to you?[/quote]

        My good friend Ernesto. How are you man?

        You seek to provide an indictment upon the corporation for their PROFIT MAXIMIZATION but appear to not have the “intellectual curiosity” to look at those who sit on the other side of the negotiating table.

        In Time Magazine that was delivered to my house yesterday, Ernesto, I saw that the GOVERNMENT WORKERS UNIONS are lobbying to prevent various state and local GOVERNMENTS from filing for bankruptcy and thus nullifying their PENSION OBLIGATIONS. Do you recall the fight over the Bankruptcy bill several years ago Ernesto? The progressive fought the Bush administration’s attempts at making Bankruptcy harder – as it benefited THE BANKS. Now that they are at risk as pension holders the UNIONS want to make bankruptcy harder.

        Why is it that you don’t see GREED in the demand for compensation packages that are greater than what the “consumer of labor” could pay as driven by the UNIONS?

        If you state that corporations are present to MAKE MONEY would you also agree that UNIONS are there to maximize the compensation for the rank and file (and high paid union leadership?)

        Open your eyes Ernesto.

        Look at all of the places where the unions WON but the workers LOST in the long run (Trenton, Detroit, Cleveland, etc)

    • Greg L says:


      This guy Barton is still a fool.

      Let’s admit that everyone is posturing here and jockeying for postion. Obama has been pretty beat up behind this thing and BP has taken an even bigger hit on their rep. Both needed a deal and they cut it. If BP can pay the $ 20 billion (which is being paid over the next 3-4 years BTW and not all at once) and get out of managing the claims, it is on the road for a quicker rehablitiation of its public image. Obama needed to show he was asserting himself by getting the $ 20 billion, but has assigned the claims management piece to a third party, so he too escape blame if something should go wrong with the claims, but folks know for certain the money is there to cover the claims which was uncertain when BP was managing the situation. Basically, this thing is a business deal that benefits both Obama and BP.

      But apparently there were portions of the ‘deal” that BP took exception to (likely the open-ended nature of the financial commitment) and they decided to lodge those complaints during the hearing with this paid fool Barton. He did what he was paid to do while being condemned by both sides of the aisle. BP will make sure he’s taken care of should he lose the next election.

      As to the press, both the left and the right were assailing Obama’s speech and how he was handling the crisis. That only changed when Barton opened his mouth and they definitely needed to call this guy out. Actually, Obama should thank him as the narrative’s focus has switched from him to BP and Barton. Also, it should be noted now that the BP chairman has been removed from day to day oversight of the crisis. Again, BP has a major PR problem and is doing what it can to rehabilitate its image, so any exception they took to the deal could not have been voiced for fear of futher eroding their image. Hence, their paid jackal Barton issuing an apology.

      This thing is less about anti-corporatism and more about the lack of sensible regulation of the kind that brought us the debacle on Wall Street along with this. It is this very thing that has assailed the industrial and economic base of the nation. To be sure, there are those who stand to gain politically by dumping on BP, just as some stand to gain politically by dumping on Obama for handling the crisis, but I think that falls far short of wanting to kill BP.

      • Brother Greg L:

        Apparently the words of Barton was enough for “Organizing For Obama’s America” to send off a fund raising email asking for money. I am a member of their e-mail distribution list as a means of monitoring how both sides work. Indeed Barton’s words are profitable.

        I thought that the “9/11” guy that Obama appointed said it best – he suggested that people join in on the claims process now as the most efficient means of obtaining compensation to keep them going. THIS DOES NOT PREVENT THEM FROM FILING A LAWSUIT LATER.

        He stated on PBS yesterday that those who seek to take BP down via boycott or jackpot lawsuits – they are working against their best interests. A bankrupt BP is not good for anyone. As claim holders they are put behind bond holders (and one other group) and then they’ll be screwed.

        I agree with the BP corporate decision to put aside the $20 billion. More than anything it was a move motivated by the Obama left to show that they took a piece out of BP’s hide. I still point to the irony of how the Mexican STATE OWNED oil company paid only $100 million for a far larger spill that flowed for more than 9 months.

        If we were to juxtapose the calls for FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE heard by those who make this case when it comes to individual criminal defendants – they are the one’s seeking to “put their boots on the neck” of BP in anticipation of a LYNCHING.

        By all means the Environmentalist / Anti-Corporate Left should take the lead in decoupling themselves from the OIL ECONOMY without the need for the government to force them off.

        They did a good job in stopping the pollution of the rivers in Pittsburgh.
        UNFORTUNATELY this was a consequence of the steel mills going out of business than by their environmental regulations.

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