The Oil Is Slick, But These Guys Aren’t

From Joel Connelly at seattlepi:

As slick attacks on President Obama’s oil spill leadership spread across conservative media — and mainstream Washington, D.C. pundits display their disconnect with America — a defining question gets overlooked.

Do our elected officials’ sympathies lie with what BP’s chairman called the “small people,” those with livelihoods put at jeopardy, or with Big Oil?

Original DVD cover

(Click on the image for a larger version and then on that for an even bigger one)

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, was delivering his “shakedown” apology to BP at last Thursday’s hearing when a four year-old memory flooded to mind: This is the guy who tried to shake loose Puget Sound refineries from tanker size and transportation safety regulations.

As chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Barton was crafting legislation designed to cut down the regulatory hoops governing the siting of new oil refineries. Hurricane Katrina was the given reason, Big Oil was the chosen beneficiary.


[W]e should ask what manner of folks will be running Congress if control flips to Republicans in the November election.

Joe Barton is not alone in tossing bouquets and sympathy toward the corporation responsible for the worse pollution disaster in American history. Other examples:

–BP “shouldn’t have to be fleeced,” in the words of Rep. Michelle [sic] Bachmann, R-Minnesota, who described as “a redistribution of wealth fund” the $20 billion escrow account set up to pay cleanup costs and claims.

–“We can’t afford to demonize” BP, Sarah Palin declared on television last week as she upbraided President Obama for taking so long to meet with BP’s chief executive Tony Hayward. (Hayward has been exiled back to England.)

–President Obama “is directly engaged in extorting money” from BP, ex-House Speaker (and possible presidential candidate) Newt Gingrich charged, appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity.”


–The BP escrow account is an example of “Chicago-style shakedown politics” by President Obama, Rep. Tom Price, R-Georgia, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, charged in a statement.

After Republican House leaders beat his brains in, Barton apologized for his apology. Interestingly, however, House Republican leader John Boehner declared about 10 days ago that government and BP should share burdens of spill response, before hastily clarifying that cleaning up is the company’s responsibility.


Dating back more than a century, to the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, “green” Republicans have done yeoman service for conservation and the environment. But they are now an endangered species.


By contrast, Joe Barton is responsible for legislative language that forced the Minerals Management Service (MMS) to speed up approval of drilling rigs. MMS was already more a lapdog than a watchdog.

The lethal disasters of 2010 — the Tesoro refinery explosion in Anacortes, the West Virginia mine blast, the Deepwater Horizon fiasco — demonstrate the need for rigorous regulation, and a necessary role for government.

Even as beaches and birds are fouled along the Gulf, however, blood runs thick among friends of BP. “They need their capital to drill wells: They need their capital to produce income,” Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, former Washington, D.C., lobbyist, said in criticizing the escrow fund.


If an anti-government tide washes over America this November, it will carry into Congress more Bartons, Boehners and Bachmanns. They’ll strip oversight agencies, let corporations write the rules, and usher in more bed sharing of regulators and industry than seen in the Colorado office of MMS.

Do we really want that for our country?

From Steve Benen at POLITICAL ANIMAL at Washington MONTHLY (June 17, 2010):

THE PARTY OF BP…. I haven’t seen much in the way of polling on this, but I’d hazard a guess that BP isn’t especially popular with Americans right now. The company’s horrific safety record, its willingness to cut corners, its repeated falsehoods about the scope of the ongoing disaster, and its efforts to downplay the significance of the crisis have, I suspect, made BP rather villainous in the eyes of the public.

Common sense suggests politicians, especially in a competitive election year, would go out of their way to look “tough” against BP. No one wants to side with the foreign company responsible for the worst environmental disaster in American history.

No one, that is, except a surprising number of leading Republicans.


GOP officials: Barton’s apology will likely be the most memorable moment of the dispute, but let’s not forget that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) slammed the escrow fund to help victims of the spill as “a redistribution-of-wealth fund” that could serve as a “gateway” for “more money to government.” Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) blasted the White House for securing the funds for Gulf Coast businesses and families, condemning the success as a “Chicago-style political shakedown.” Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) disapproves of the escrow fund, and has said he’s worried it will undermine BP profits too much. At one point, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) went so far as to suggest American taxpayers should help pay for the relief effort, though he later backpedaled.

GOP candidates: In Nevada, Senate candidate Sharron Angle has said the appropriate response to the disaster is further deregulation of the oil industry. In Kentucky, Senate candidate Rand Paul said it’s “un-American” for the president to criticize BP.

GOP allies: A variety of Republican media personalities — Limbaugh, Hannity, and Oliver North — all read from identical talking points, calling the independently-operated escrow account “a slush fund.” Dick Armey has blasted the fund, as has the Heritage Foundation.

What on earth is going on here?

[…]Republicans probably feel like they don’t have a choice, at least in a partisan sense. President Obama and Dems are going after BP — demanding the $20 billion, lifting the liability cap, proposing tax hikes and new safeguards — which means Republicans are necessarily inclined to move in the other direction. After all, whatever Democrats are for, Republicans are against, regardless or merit or circumstances.


The second [factor] is that BP is a giant, private oil company, and when it’s under fire, the Republicans’ knee-jerk response is to launch a defense. Even if BP is to blame — even if BP is criminally responsible — Republicans want to blame government, bureaucrats, and environmentalists. Holding a giant corporation accountable just makes the GOP uncomfortable.

In an election context, this has the potential to be incredibly toxic. Barton’s public apology to BP will be part of about a zillion campaign ads over the next several months, and Republicans have made a huge strategic error positioning themselves as the Party of BP.


Filed under Barack Obama, Congress, Democrats, Fox News, House Energy and Commerce Committee, humor, John Boehner, Katrina, Media, Newt Gingrich, parody, politics, Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, snark, television, Texas, Wordpress Political Blogs

36 responses to “The Oil Is Slick, But These Guys Aren’t

  1. Very nice, I’m still laughing. It’s good to know Palin still reads her own book, despite not writing it. Newt seems to have craved a V-8, or is constipated.

    • glad it gave you a chuckle, cynic! i had fun making the poster, even though i changed the cast 3 different times. as for newtie, i was thinking he was sleeping. if you look closely, you’ll see he wrote up another contract with america, and he’s exhausted. 😉

  2. Montana

    The Tea Bag Party are just “haters not debaters” or as others have dubbed them “screamers not dreamers”, with their failed attempts at stopping Healthcare reform, they say they respect the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence but they do not mind passing laws, through weak Governors (no one voted for this crazy) who only cares about getting elected Governor, on the backs of undocumented workers, that will not pass Constitution muster.

    Brewer signed into law;

    1. S.B. 1070,
    2. No permit conceal weapons law,
    3. The famous Birthers law,
    4. Banning Ethnic studies law,

    5. Could she be behind the Mural in Prescott, Arizona, ordered to be whiten,
    6. On deck to pass, no citizenship to babies born to undocumented workers,

    7. If she can read she should look up Arizona’s House Bill 2779 from two years ago (which was un-constitution and failed when legally challenged),
    8. The boycotted Martin Luther King Day, what idiots don’t want another holiday? Yes, you guessed it Arizona.

    Well Arizona, you can boycott new holidays and keep passing crazy laws and the rest of us will continue to challenged them in a court of law and continue to add cities to our Boycott of your state.

    I real cannot believe anything that comes out of Brewer’s mouth, in an interview she first said her father had died in Germany fighting the Nazi in World War II (war ended 1945) but of course we find out the truth that father was never in Germany and died in California in 1955. But we are suppose to believe everything else she says, right! No one voted for you for Governor, yet you keep listening to the tiny brains of the crazies and signing into law everything that comes into their feeble minds, it only make you look dumb, stupid or racist, or maybe all three.

    As for the Tea Bag Party, their phony patriotism is sickening; they are just racists going by another name. We all know you are just itching to put a sheet on their head? Let’s face it the Republicans had eight years to deal with health care, immigration, energy (remember Cheney’s secret meetings with oil companies where loosening regulation and oversight were sealed), climate change and financial oversight and governance and they failed. It appears that the Republican Party is only good at starting wars (two in eight years, with fat contracts to friends of Cheney/Bush) but not at winning wars as seen by the continuing line of body bags that keep coming home. The Republicans party will continue turned inward to their old fashion obstructionist party (and their Confederacy appreciation roots) because they continue to allow a small portions (but very loud portion) of their party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” to rule their party. I will admit that this fringe is very good at playing “Follow the Leader” by listening to their dullard leaders, Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush, Savage, Sarah Bailin, Orly Taitz, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Blowhards and acting as ill programmed robots (they have already acted against doctors that perform abortions).

    The Birthers and the Tea Bag party crowd think they can scare, intimidate and force others to go along with them by comments like “This time we came unarmed”, let me tell you something not all ex-military join the fringe militia crazies who don’t pay taxes and run around with face paint in the parks playing commando, the majority are mature and understand that the world is more complicated and grey than the black and white that these simpleton make it out to be and that my friend is the point. The world is complicated and people like Hamilton, Lincoln, and Roosevelt believed that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now it’s about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. For a party that gave us Abraham Lincoln, it is tragic that the ranks are filled with too many empty suits and the crazy Birthers who have not learned that the way our courts work is that you get a competent lawyer, verifiable facts and present them to a judge, if the facts are real and not half baked internet lies, then, and only then, do you proceed to trial. The Birthers seem to be having a problem with their so called “Internet facts”. Let’s face it no one will take the Birthers seriously until they win a case, but until then, you will continue to appear dumb, crazy or racist, or maybe all three. I heard that Orly Taitz now wants to investigate the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC), she wants to re-establish a family values party, that is like saying that the Catholic Church cares about the welling being of children in their care, too late for that. Yee Haw!

    • Here’s what I have to say about the Teabaggers “love” of the Constitution:

      “The Tea Party loves the Constitution so much that it’s now obsessed with it, sending it creepy love notes and stalking it. Next, it will try to kill it so no one else can have it.

      The Constitution needs a restraining order against the Teabaggers.”

      • i doubt that montana will answer you, neon vincent. s/he write a rant and posts it on dozens of blogs in the comments. this is the second one s/he’s left here. i don’t delete them, because i agree with him/her on most counts.

        a restraining order against the teabaggers is a great idea, but i’m afraid only a lawyer of orly taitz’s caliber would actually take the case. 😉

  3. MNLatteLiberal

    nonnie, you knew I wouldn’t be able to walk by this diva! LOL. Nicely done. I love the “expert” round table, love the sausage whisperer face of Papa Bear, love Newt’s resignation to fate (was that what he looked like at his wife’s hospital bed right before he started cheating on her?), love Angle’s orgasmic ecstasy. I am puzzled where you could find such a pale version of Boehner. In all the photos I’ve seen, his tanned skin tone alert, as the Onion had put it, had beet set to orange. Photoshop?

    But back to the queen of the ball. I am going to try another link :), sorry in advance :).

    In addition to Papa Bear, Geraldo takes Bachmann to task for blaming Obama for not acting sooner, when all of them, all the Faux pundits failed to recognize the scope of the disaster, mostly because of the BP lies. That comes at the very end, near 10 min mark. Worth a looksie, imho.

    Another positive is that unlike El Tink who lost to Bachmann in 2008 partly by failing to capitalize on her self-made “unamerican investation” Hardball/Matthews idiocy spotlight in a timely manner – unlike Tink, Tarryl Clark is on the ball and already has a tv ad out playing here in the Twin Cities market, focusing on this latest Bachmindlessness.

    In short (too late for that!), nonnie, thanks for great red meat for this Bachmann fan :).
    ~ Latte

  4. MNLatteLiberal

    n0nnie, fyi, comment being moderated again.
    ~ L

    • i feex eet! 😀

      whenever i’m about to post a batshit bachmann poster these days, i always say to myself i wonder how long before latte stops by.

      one correction, papa bear isn’t pictured in the poster. you might be looking at tom price. he’s got the $/caduceus pin on his lapel (he’s an orthopedist, if i am remembering correctly). i toned down boohoo boehner. i kept changing the cast, and by the time i added him, i decided to de-orange him a bit, because he looked so abnormal next to everyone else (yeah, i know, he does in real life), and i didn’t really want him to be the focus. he’s still more orange than anyone else.

      i saw the papa bear video, and i’m about to watch the geraldo one over at usojo. i saw tarryl clark on hardball earlier. she comes across as very well-spoken and intelligent. i hope that doesn’t work against her in a district where voters seem to like shrill and stupid.

      • MNLatteLiberal

        Having to de-orange Boehner to make him blend in is nothing short of hysterical. But would you expect any less from h. raisins? 🙂

        I am ashamed to say that it was Joe Barton I mistook for Papa Bear. Without the glasses, there is some resemblance. I should’ve known by the BP lapel pin, I suppose… And by those puckered up lips, ready to kiss ass…

        Tarryl is great; I hate to agree with my better half about appearances mattering so darn much in politics. T. is every bit as polished and “camera friendly” as Ms. Batshit. And that is of no small importance in MN CD-6, unfortunately. These are the guys who are still walking around with a hard-on for Palin, pardon my expression.

        It was a very tough choice between Tarryl and Maureen Reed for us, and we are both very glad MR dropped out well before the primaries, so we don’t have to make that choice. But even more importantly, so that TC could focus. on Red-to-Blue and Bachmann. We just marched in Hugo Days parade with TC; I was in charge of shadowing her with a giant campaign sign for the cameras as she pressed the flesh. She is a funny, warm and astute woman. I hope that’s enough to swing enough Indies and peel off a single digit of thinking republicans.

        There is that X-factor of Independent with a last name of Anderson running, as he did 2 years ago. Nordic Minnesotans LUV their Swensons and Andersons and Petersens and any kind of sens and sons. And Anderson, a total idiot that he is (I’ve heard him fail to adlib on everything from economy to human rights), still gets 10% of the vote.

        But ‘nough serious stuff. Party on, Garth. Thanks for the laughs.
        ~ L

        • billO was one of the ones auditioning for a part on the cover, but he didn’t make it. the barton character is too short to be billO. the tom price character was originally little randy paul, and princess sarah was originally marsha blackburn. newtie was originally haley barbour. like i said, i kept changing the cast.

          it’s unfortunate that looks matters in politics, but let’s face it, it counts in almost everything. does anyone really think that megan fox can act?

  5. Good one. I think Newt was born intellectually exhausted, unlike your work which is replete with imagination, sincerity and institutional analysis par excellence.

  6. It may just be my sick mind, but it looks like Angle is doing something inappropriate with Boner Boehner’s Boner.

    Of course, to GOBP standards, that’s not inappropriate. It’s a rite of passage.

    Oh, I love the #failwhale shout-out. Awesome. 🙂

    • omg! i didn’t even notice. make note that i didn’t photoshop that part of the cover, so whatever sharron the obtuse angle is doing was her idea.

      yayyy! you noticed the fail whale. that was the very last little joke i threw in, and i was wondering if anyone would notice. by the way, wd, i don’t twitter, and i learned about the fail whale from you at your blog. 🙂

      • Really!? Cool! 😀 Glad someone learned something from my blog. Makes it all worth while.

        I love spotting all the little goodies you throw in your pictures. It’s actually pretty fun. When I was trying to see what was on the Blackberry, I saw the Neiman Marcus tag on Palin’s shirt and started laughing, then found the fail whale and laughed harder.

        • i’ve used that price tag so many times! most of the princess sarah posters have it, and it makes me giggle every time i use it. this was a poster just begging for little jokes. i wanted to put an oil rig outside the window, but because i changed the cast so many times, i only got done with it right before it was time to post.

  7. According to her dad, Princess Sarah left college in Hawaii because “there were too many Asians.” Serves her right that you pasted her head on the body of an Asian actress (who I think is better looking than Princess Sarah, which adds insult to injury).

    • sharron the obtuse angle is pasted on the body of margaret cho. princess is pasted on the one who plays the blond bimbo. that seemed fitting, and at least i made her sit next to an asian.

  8. But corporations are people!
    Some of the bigger sea food places are having to shut down…. with the oil so goes the jobs.

    But seriously??? These GOBP clowns are going to pitch big oil???
    Drill Baby Kill~ Spill.
    They ain’t seen nothing yet & it is possible these relief wells could be a failure too.

    I hope voters get creative– just like Sue Lowry could no longer have a town Hall or rally w/o someone showing up in a chicken costume.
    Someone needs to make some paper mache giant dead looking fish w red X eyes & hound these drill babies.

    Or a big barrel of oil w strands of leaks…. something that gets in their faces.

    I made my own bumper sticker when Gordon Smith was running for Oregon Senator….
    it had a dead fish with strands of stench rising up that said “Something fishy about Smith” (he had a cannery that polluted the local waterway. )

    Protecting BP & offshore drilling in general will be a hard sell for just about anyone but politicians & those who work in the industry.

    Those joining these ranks in support of big oil right now are the total sellouts. How can they defend a company that had 26 deaths within 1 year’s time, the worst OSHA safety record ever, and now the biggest environmental disaster– they want to put lipstick on this pig???

    Make these bastards go pick up dead animals on the ruined beaches. Bow there’s a photo op I want to see– the Barton & Palin & Boehner- get into the nitty gritty of it– without protective gear.
    Go wallow in the toxic mess of your drill baby wet dream nightmare.

    Go live with the locals who now have no livelihood, as the months go on & fishing is banned, the waters fouled & the vanishing marshland disappears.

    Making BP cough up $20 billion to help those who are out of work was one of the first “backbone” things Obama has done.
    In my book- if you piss off the Joe Bartonesque crowd, you are doing something right.

    • make princess sarah go to the gulf, and let her explain to the 11 families who are now husbandless and fatherless why she gets paid millions for being a moronic asswipe, but they only deserve a pittance for losing a loved one. she’s sure generous with the criticism. how many of her millions has she donated to help a single person?

  9. So little Randy thinks it’s unAmerican? Does he think it might be nonAmerican (not to be confused with nonnieAmerican). Looks like BP is trying the economic model that destroyed dozens of long time railroads, particularly in the northeast: don’t spend a dime on upkeep or maintenence. When the Alaska pipeline needed to be pigged it was deemed incovienient. Then the corrosion you didn’t pig out of the line caused a massive failure. When equipment and procedure were determined in Texas City to be too much trouble, you let a valve failure overflow a containment tank filling the air with vapor that eventually found a running ignition on a truck resulting in 15 people being killed and destroying a big expensive piece of the company. And when the inane reasoning of “company men” over-rule everyone on Deepwater Horizon leading to the death of 11 more people and the loss of a very expensive rig boat, you ask yourself “Which Clown College did the management get their degrees from? Was it mail order like Orly?” They kill a lot of workers and destroy a lot of plant and equipment. How do these jackasses keep a job?

    • here’s my theory. they all live in a it can’t happen to me dream world. they figure they’ll make as much money as they can while the getting is good, take their golden parachutes, and get out of dodge, leaving the problems to the next guy. i wonder if tony hayward knew something bad was going to happen, because he sold a yachtload of his bp stock. did he realize that it could and would happen under his watch? after all, her knew that they were taking shortcuts at deepwater horizon. in fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if it turned out he authorized the shortcuts. one of those things that makes you stop and go hhmmmm.

  10. Pingback: Loose Cannons Unleashed 6 Report- Part One « Political Championship Wrestling

  11. the loon

    hey kiddo,

    where do you find time for all this wit and creativity? as you say, an oil rig out the window would have been good as would have been black rain drops. (is that grammatically correct?)
    your posters are like the illustrations in childrens’ highlights where we have to look for the hidden shapes. the detail is what makes the difference and so much fun to discover!

  12. Dogmeat

    It is odd that there has been this big spike in right wing idiocy coming out of Arizona though. Texas has a higher background level of crazy and right now Arizona is like a supernova taking the attention. I wonder how long it will last.
    Actually it isn’t that strange. Arizona has been moving gradually towards the middle over the last twenty years. The population has doubled in that time and a big part of that spike wasn’t old retirees who tended to be conservative, but a lot of younger families moving from blue states, etc. In 2008 McCain only received 53.4% of the vote here in Arizona, his sixth lowest vote total among the states he won. Now think about that, his home state was one of his least supportive states. Had McCain been from Texas, Florida, etc., he likely would have lost Arizona.

    This state has a long history of very conservative, often racist politics and the supporters of those policies aren’t happy that they are consistently losing ground to moderates and liberals (simply termed as liberals in their tirades). Because of how the state legislature is set up conservatives still have a major majority in both houses but, when Napolitano was governor, she vetoed a lot of their stupidity. In fact she set the record for vetoes in the history of the state. You take her away, bring in Brewer who is a wing-nut’s wing-nut, and you see incredibly stupid legislation that was shut down by a reasonable governor make it out of the state house. At the same time you see an increase in non-conservative population as well as an increase in non-white population and the far white err, right is freaking out.

    • hello dogmeat,

      welcome to the raisin! 😀

      when obama picked napolitano, i was filled with dread. i think she could have beaten capt underpants (for the newbies, that’s my name for ol’ grumpypants john mccain) and given us another senate seat. now, we’re probably stuck with him, and jan brewer is seeing how much damage she can do. not only is she a wingnut and an idiot, but she’s one of the most unappealing people in history.

      i think some of the stupidity can be blamed on the heat. i’m in south floriduhhh, and i ventured out to the store today. it was 2000 degrees out, and by the time i got home, i was much dumber than i was when i left.

      hope you’ll stop by often, dogmeat! 🙂

  13. i know this sounds nuts, but i would love to have dinner with bachmann – mainly because i would have enough fodder to blog for a decade.

    she might be the most insane piece of shit in the entire universe

    • i don’t know if i would live through dinner. i’d probably choke on my food when she starts spewing her crap, either because i’m gasping at her stupidity, or because i’m laughing so hard while i have food in my mouth.

      • MNLatteLiberal

        Silly wabbits, Bachmann does not eat; she runs on misery and blood and a 3 phase 220 power.

        Seriously, have you ever seen her condescending smirk whenever she is confronted or caught in a lie? You see it in that Geraldo link when she can’t believe her ears about being called wrong on Faux News. I’ve seen it close up when I asked her in a town hall why she refuses to argue her case(s) on merits and resorts to distorting her opponents’ views to the point where CNN/St. Pete Times Truth-O-Meter has called her statements 100% outright lies.

        Her eyes glaze over, reptilian like, as if a transparent eyelid comes over the pupil, then she dons that stupid dismissive smirk, then she talks about some irrelevant tangent.

        Even I lose my appetite. I cannot see how anyone can eat with that monstrosity nearby.

        I challenge anyone to a share meal with Bachmann and enjoy it. I don’t think that’s humanly possible.

        ~ L

        • i think she has a room in the back where she swallows rodents whole. she makes the silly wabbits vewwy vewwy nervous. 😉

          she gets the same look that princess sarah gets. when she knows she’s not going to know the answer, she swallows hard, and there is a moment of panic before she veers into some irrelevant shit that has nothing to do with the questions. it’s the same look a kid gets when he reads an essay question he doesn’t know the answer to. that’s when he starts rewording the question to use up as many words as possible, but never answers the question.

  14. Joanaroo

    With this inane-but hopefully political-career killing Princess Sarah backed Tea Party/GOP link of candidates, why Billy Joe Trailerpark would vote for these corporation-loving loons baffles me. If they still think King Ronnie’s trickle-down Reaganomics is eventually going to get to them, they should realize by now the money trickled all the way down by osmosis to the other side of the world to China. If they wonder where all the jobs, sense of accountability, any moral sense to the American people are, that’s been gone, thanks to the GOPers and now GOBPers starting at least 50 years ago.

    • sometimes i think that people vote against their own interests, because they’ve learned a set of talking points, and they’re too lazy to listen to the truth and actually think about what’s best for them. they’ve bought into the st. ronnie crap for so long that their entire mental house of cards will collapse if a shred of truth creeps in.