Over on Twitter, there’s a bit of discussion as to whether Rep. Joe Barton (R., Texas) has done the Obama administration a great favor by calling the $20 billion escrow account a “shakedown.” It certainly seems like the media will enjoy spending the next 48 hours asking Republicans if they agree with Barton, shifting away from the question that’s more inconvenient for the administration, “Hey, we’re at two months now. That darn hole plugged yet?”
Since a portion of the Morning Jolt dealt with the topic, I’ll post it here . . .
So is the $20 Billion that BP just got strong-armed into placing into escrow account a good idea? All depends on what it’s used for, it seems.
I think we all agree that if a big multinational company is negligent or reckless in operating its enormously expensive, enormously complicated drilling rig and puts your company out of business for the foreseeable future by turning a shoreline into crude soup, they owe you compensatory damages and maybe some punitive ones, too. But they were already doing this, and Captain Kickass and the Emoting Avengers seem to think they’ll get residual credit for it all by adding a few zeroes and administering the whole thing. Note that in his speech, Obama referred to it “making people whole” after this mess, but tough to figure out how the cash could really achieve that high goal; if you’ve spent your life collecting more shrimp than Forest Gump, a lump-sum payment might help you pay the rent, but won’t really get you your life back. A life isn’t just a check; these people want their shorelines back…
Lefty blogs are trying hard to convince us that Minnesota Republican/Valkyrie Michelle Bachmann has committed some great outrage by declaring, “The president just called for creating a fund that would be administered by outsiders, which would be more of a redistribution-of-wealth fund. And now it appears like we’ll be looking at one more gateway for more government control, more money to government. If there is a disaster, why is it that government is the one who always seems to benefit after a disaster, and that’s of course what cap-and-trade would be.” Really? The administration still gets the benefit of the doubt on matters like this? After Blagojevich, the jobs offered Democratic Senate primary candidates, the shrug to the Black Panther intimidation case, the firing of Inspector General Walpole, the million-and-one exemptions for lobbyists, the mess at MMS, and everything else, it’s still considered outlandish to not take their assurances at face value?