Thursday, June 17, 2010

Joe Barton, You Sir, Are a Pig

I woke up to the sound of Joe Barton's voice calling the BP twenty billion dollar escrow account, to guarantee reparations for victims of the Gulf oilspill, a shakedown.  I heard something similar from other wingnuts spouting bullshit yesterday after the President's Oval Office speech.  I hope someone is taking notes and keeping track of the senators and representatives running for reelection who are saying this kind of sick shit, but I'm betting that only a handful of the very rich think and those whose pockets are fully lined by the lobbyists for the oil industry, like Joe Barton, share his sentiments.  Joe Barton's district is not one that will be fouled by a black tide since the 6th district doesn't have a beach, but his biggest donor is the oil and gas industry. Joe Barton is a corporatist pig.  Joe Barton is a shill for the oil industry.  He does not represent the people of the 6th district of Texas unless all his constituents are oil men,  Any politician who wants to protect BP, should go down in infamy as a politician who sold his integrity to the only industry which currently has the power to destroy our environment and our livelihoods.  God forbid we give contracts and award the building of new nuclear power plants to private industry.  God forbid we let private industry run nuclear power plants. Industry's only constituent is it's shareholders.  Industries only job is to make more and more money in less and less time.  Safety is only important to industry in so far as it doesn't interfere with profits and bonuses.

Seems to me I have heard some of these same comments about the escrow fund (calling it a shakedown, a slush fund) from the usual idiots on the far right like Palin, Bachmann, Rush and Beck.  But any politician who lives in one of the states that will be devastated by this catastrophe and who refers to the escrow fund established to cover the cost of the clean up and reparations to those whose livelihoods have been ruined as a shakedown, should be run out of town by an angry mob of pitchfork wielding citizens.

34 comments:

D.K. Raed said...

agreed! plus if BP doesn't fund an escrow acct, where does Barton think the money will come from? taxpayers! ... including those in his district ... but of course he'll be very vocal against raising taxes ... so maybe he thinks there is a fairy godmother out there who'll wave a magic wand? barton = shit for brains.

Jerry Critter said...

The republicans have their heads so far up BP's asshole, they have to look out BP's nostrils to see the light of day.

TRUTH 101 said...

A hundred billion dollar ass is a nice ass indeed Jerry. And we all know republicans are "assmen."

an average patriot said...

I was insulted that he apologized for BP's idiocy and destruction of the gulf and having to pay for it. He should be fired and BP kicked out of the country after we get what we can out of them.

Hi Red!

I have that damn Kudzu in my yard and it gets every where. It is terribly invasive. It seems to grow 20 feet in a month amd spread like hell. Your yard looks gorgeous by the way!

Utah Savage said...

On twitter we are now calling the GOP the GOBP. They all get the bulk of their money from the oil and gas industry.

Suzan said...

I've heard that what we should be pointing out is that 20 billion was their first offer, and that if the leftists/progressives don't get loud and in their faces quickly, that may be it with perhaps just a little bit more to sweeten the deal with the Blue Dog Dems (who've all already been paid very well for just such an occasion).

It's obviously worth over a 100 billion already to make this disappear from their lives.

And they will go on with the next hole, and the next hole, and the next hole.

Drilling away.

Which is what all the rightwing pundit chat on CNBC was about this morning (not to mention the rightwingnuts who are crazed that BP has to pay anything for providing such a fine service to us). Right, because without them we wouldn't have any oil . . . .

Thanks for reporting on Barton - first among the assholes - or is that even a known quantity anymore?

S
_______________

no_slappz said...

God forbid we give contracts and award the building of new nuclear power plants to private industry. God forbid we let private industry run nuclear power plants.

I guess you do not know the government does not build anything. Maybe you believe the government builds the nuclear ships and submarines operated by the Navy. But they are designed and built by private industry.

Existing nuclear plants were designed, built and maintained by private industry.

Industry's only constituent is it's shareholders.

The shareholders are the owners. All businesses are operated to benefit the owners.

Industries only job is to make more and more money in less and less time.

Businesses are obliged to do what their owners expect. I guess it's news to you, but expectations vary. Some businesses enjoy high profit margins, and some are limited to low profit margins.

Safety is only important to industry in so far as it doesn't interfere with profits and bonuses.

Safety is handled in many ways. Lenders have a lot to say about safety. If a company operates in an unsafe manner, it may be open to lawsuits. But lawsuits are a huge problem for creditors. Thus creditors expect companies to operate safely.

Meanwhile, the concept of safety is often amusing. How do you reconcile safety with smoking cigarettes?

Smoking is suicide, and it directly kills about 60,000 Americans each year. How does some oil in the Gulf compare with 60,000 deaths every year?

Seems to me I have heard some of these same comments about the escrow fund (calling it a shakedown, a slush fund) from the usual idiots on the far right like Palin, Bachmann, Rush and Beck.

The $20 billion was gotten by intimidation. A shakedown. It will be distributed in slush-fund fashion, going to anyone who completes a claim form asserting the oil spill caused harm.

BP has publicly stated it will pay for damages to businesses and the environment. But to pay the required billions it will require a BP that is fully operational and not handcuffed by drilling moratoriums or loss of lease rights.

If the company cannot earn the necessary cash, it cannot pay the bill. But the anti-BP vigilantes want to lynch the company AND make its corpse pay. Good luck with that.

M said...

Well said, Utah Savage. Living in Texas I'm dismayed (but not surprised) by the recent turn of events. Hell, it's not a turn...it's another sidestep. BTW, I treat disease caused by smoking and I would have never - not in a million years - thought to use the smoking thing to argue about safety in the gulf and BP's responsibility. It's like comparing raisins to watermelons. It strikes me as kind of a silly arguement. But then, a lot of it is silly, isn't it? Or it would be if these yahoos weren't trading our planet's future for their fancy whatevers. I don't trust Barton, Cornyn, or the rest of those neocons any further than I could tow their obstructionist asses across the gulf on a wakeboard. I'll keep reading.

no_slappz said...

suzan, you wrote:

It's obviously worth over a 100 billion already to make this disappear from their lives.

Obviously it is not.

At the end of 2009 the net worth of BP was almost exactly $100 billion.

Thus, if the company were hit with a bill for $100 billion, it would have no choice but to file for bankruptcy protection. If that were to happen, the real fun would start.

Anyway, despite all the grandstanding attacks coming from the yahoos in Congress, the investigation of the explosion will show that BP followed the deeply flawed rules of the MMS.

The US government will have to struggle to prove that BP should have known the government's own MMS regulations were flawed and should have been over-ridden by the offshore drilling professionals working on the rig.

Phoebe Fay said...

Dear no_slappz,

First off, the smoking analogy is just off in left field and totally irrelevant.

Second, the intimidation/shakedown thing is just bullshit. I have yet to see one piece of evidence supporting this. Also, the slush fund idea is bullshit. None of the documents released so far support that characterization in any way. It's just something somebody pulled out of his ass and decided to run with.

The escrow fund was established because there are legitimate concerns about BP responsiveness to claims, concerns that BP was deliberately slow-walking the process.

The escrow fund is a fine response to those concerns. It will have guidelines for claims and will be administered by a third party. It doesn't deprive BP of any rights and in fact is pretty generous in the funding schedule ($5b a year).

The only people who have a problem with this are the ones who simply oppose Obama no matter what and then come up rationalizations later. If Obama created the cure for cancer, people like you would accuse him of trying to put doctors out of work.

Monkfishy said...

It's true that U.S. Nuclear power plants are designed, built and run by private companies. However, the design, construction, maintenance, safety, and daily operations are regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which is an independent regulatory agency. The NRC has the power to shut down the operation of any U.S. Nuclear plant with a phone call. In fact, they have a physical presence at every Nuclear plant in the U.S.

Apparently the oil industry has been virtually self-regulated. Being self-regulated is the same as being unregulated.

The shareholders might expect industries to operate safely, but they really don't care about it. That's not what they're interested in seeing in the yearly shareholder's report. What they want to see is how much profit they made, and how much they can expect to make next year.

While it's true that BP's stock has dropped, it's not due to the fact that the stockholders are outraged over BP's unsafe operation. People are selling BP stock because they expect the public repercussions to cause the stock value to drop. That's not the same thing as having stockholders who insist on safety.

The responsibility for regulating industries lies with our government. It looks like there now will be an independent agency responsible for regulating the oil industry. Hopefully they'll do a better job than the Minerals Management Service (MMS) did, and a much better job than BP's shareholders did.

Stan said...

The unfortunate reality in DC is that it's packed full of shills for unsavory corporates from both party's pretty much making themselves equally guilty and notoriously corrupt.

If you haven't figured it out by now, those Big Boys and Girls playing the pay for play games in Congress, the Senate, and the White House are looking out for the elite other Boys and Girls that lobby and fund them and their pet issues.

This is not by any stretch of the imagination a Dem & Rep pissing contest after all.

It's to hell with the -"BP quote- "Small People" in so many ways, and from so many of the same old nasty sources.

This 20 billion dollar carnival side show is nothing more than another public diversion slight of hand ( as are the freak show congressional hearings) to point some fingers, yell, scream, jump up and down as the burner heat taken off the administration and BP.

That marvelous 20 billion figure given will be a fund that will be built up over time (estimated 3 to 5 years). This isn't an instant giant gold mine go to fund by any means.

What we should be asking everyone in Washington DC from both party's, is where will BP be in twenty years when we the Tax Payer are footing the tab after the so called clean up job is proclaimed all done.

I hope you realize the oil is still spilling like gusher as they went before the camera's writing that rubber check.

As with the Alaskan Valdez spill, that oil will still be effecting the environment and jobs in the gulf for many many generations to come.

In Alaska some twenty years later, it only takes a stick poke in the sand to find oil and it's lingering long term impact.

From my personal prospective and opinion the response from both the government and BP has been sorely lacking, full of political bullshit speak, and a huge Cluster Duck so far.

I gather we can only hope it gets better, before it gets much worse.

Utah Savage said...

I read your comments in awe of your intelligence. I tell people on twitter that they should come here just to read your comments. What a smart bunch except for... You know who you are, no slappz

no_slappz said...

monkfishy, you wrote:

It's true that U.S. Nuclear power plants are designed, built and run by private companies. However, the design, construction, maintenance, safety, and daily operations are regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which is an independent regulatory agency.

No. The NRC is NOT Independent. It is an agency of the US government. The Financial Accounting Standards Board is an example of an "independent" agency.

Apparently the oil industry has been virtually self-regulated. Being self-regulated is the same as being unregulated.

No. But the government agencies that regulate energy are weak. But the weakness is hardly the fault or responsibility of the oil industry.

The shareholders might expect industries to operate safely, but they really don't care about it. That's not what they're interested in seeing in the yearly shareholder's report. What they want to see is how much profit they made, and how much they can expect to make next year.

Wrong. YOu don't get it. Bad safety decisions can ruin a company and wipe out shareholders. Hence, shareholders want companies that are run in a manner that avoids the problems BP is now facing.

While it's true that BP's stock has dropped, it's not due to the fact that the stockholders are outraged over BP's unsafe operation.

Investors are selling the stock because they do not know how large the company's liability may become. The cause of the growing liability is tied to faulty decision-making by rig operators.

As you will learn, the company was operating according to acceptable practices. But things went wrong. Still, BP may find itself liable for damages that are big enough to bankrupt the company.

Its net worth was $100 billion. As of now, due to the de facto creation of the $20 billion damage fund, the net worth is now $80 billion. However, its value may drop further if Obama pushes more of his silliness on the oil industry. If Obama pushes hard enough, the company will have to consider a bankruptcy filing if it expects to continue operating.

Thus, the people of the Gulf Coast are threatened more by Obama killing the goose that will pay for the clean-up than anything else

Airplanes crash and frequently the cause is pilot error. Do we take all planes out of the skies after a crash? No.

People are selling BP stock because they expect the public repercussions to cause the stock value to drop. That's not the same thing as having stockholders who insist on safety.

Like I said, investors are selling because they know stock values shrink as liabilities grow.

The responsibility for regulating industries lies with our government.

Obviously, regulating industries is a hit-or-miss affair. A few regulators seem competent. Others are disastrous. But either way, that's government at work.

It looks like there now will be an independent agency responsible for regulating the oil industry.

No. NOT an independent agency. The agency will most certainly answer directly to the president and one or two other incompetent bureaucrats.

Hopefully they'll do a better job than the Minerals Management Service (MMS) did, and a much better job than BP's shareholders did.

Remarkably -- actually not -- Obama has let Ken Salazar keep his job. Hence, you know the new MMS, the agency that will supercede the existing MMS, will employ all the same clowns, all those government employees with their high GS ratings, good pay and easy hours.

No one is getting fired. No new agency is in the offing.

no_slappz said...

phoebe fay, you wrote:

First off, the smoking analogy is just off in left field and totally irrelevant.

Measuring disasters always includes a tally of the damage. Smoking KILLS 60,000 people every year. Kills 60,000. That's a lot of damage.

But we mindlessly accept the annual death toll because...? Why? Why do we accept 60,000 annual deaths due to smoking?

We do not NEED cigarettes. They are one product that has NO redeeming value. On the other hand, oil is the vitamin that helps America and the leading nations of the world to be as prosperous as they are.

Yes, it was tragic that 11 people were killed in the rig explosion and it is tragic that oil is gushing into the Gulf. But BP will clean up the oil and many people will get paid by BP to assist.

Second, the intimidation/shakedown thing is just bullshit. I have yet to see one piece of evidence supporting this.

Obtaining money with threats is the definition of a shakedown.

Also, the slush fund idea is bullshit. None of the documents released so far support that characterization in any way.

When a sum of money is taken from one source and distributed by another party that has no stake in the legitimacy of the claims made by those who say they were harmed, the money and those handling it are corrupted.

As a resident of New York City and one who worked in the World Trade Center till it was destroyed, I can tell you that when people are invited to dip into a big pot of money, they will. Even if they have no basis for a claim. In these situations there is no penalty for lying.

At worst your claim is refused. But you risk nothing by trying to get your hands on some free money.

darkblack said...

'But the weakness is hardly the fault or responsibility of the oil industry.'

Why not? They got what they lobbied for. The word 'fault' is somewhat semantically misleading here, as deregulation processes performed with a willing regulatory partner are by mutual design with shared rewards...and consequences.

'Its (BP's) net worth was $100 billion. As of now, due to the de facto creation of the $20 billion damage fund, the net worth is now $80 billion.'

This is a overly simplistic bit of mathematics. Factor in rising quarterly earnings and revenues (an effect shared within the energy sector, of course), the deferred nature of the $20B escrow account ($3 billion this summer,$2 billion in the fall, and $1.25 billion per quarter until full funding is reached) using non-core U.S. assets as security, and with a stock price actually rising over the past days, a truer picture emerges of a centrist corporate friendly President allowing a minimum of emergency fiscal diligence to be exhibited by a company at risk so that operations may continue.

'BP will clean up the oil'

Really? On what do you base this assertion? Exxon has yet to fully remedy a spill now utterly dwarfed by this event. I suspect you're being whimsical in your outlook here.

;>)

no_slappz said...

darkblack, you wrote:

Why not? They got what they lobbied for. The word 'fault' is somewhat semantically misleading here, as deregulation processes performed with a willing regulatory partner are by mutual design with shared rewards...and consequences.

Shared rewards and consequences? Never have I read a claim that a government agency faces "consequences" for its bad decisions.

At this point BP is on the hook for $20 billion. But that worthless bureaucrat Ken Salazar is keeping his job even though he himself did nothing to tighten up operating rules for offshore drillers since the start of the Obama administration.

What do you think? Jail time for Salazar and his indifference? A big fine? How about firing the guy? Nope. He and Obama have been discussing the restructuring of the MMS. Unbelievable.

This is a overly simplistic bit of mathematics. Factor in rising quarterly earnings and revenues (an effect shared within the energy sector, of course), the deferred nature of the $20B escrow account ($3 billion this summer,$2 billion in the fall, and $1.25 billion per quarter until full funding is reached)

I can see you know nothing about finance or stocks.

BP's revenue fluctuates with oil prices. In 2009 it was $240 billion. In 2008 revenue was $360 billion. In 2007 it was $285 billion.

Earnings hop around as well. But this year, as a result of the spill, BP will earn nothing as it pays its extra bills.

Meanwhile, yes, the net worth of the company goes down by $20 billion.

If a company borrows $20 billion, its level of debt goes up. But then it has the $20 billion to invest in plant and equipment from which it expects to earn more than $20 billion. Thus, the purchased assets are equal to the borrowed amount.

But there is no asset offsetting this $20 billion clean-up fund. It is an outright $20 billion liability. It does not matter that the money will flow out periodically over the next few years. The total number goes on the books NOW.

If not, someone will scream ENRON.

using non-core U.S. assets as security,

Maybe. Maybe not. There may be other creditors with existing claims on these assets. That's usually how it works.

and with a stock price actually rising over the past days,

Yeah. The stock was $62 before the explosion. Now it is $31-$32, after bouncing off a low of $29.

But yes, the stock is likely to get somewhere close to $50 by the end of the year if BP stops the leak and makes evident progress in the clean-up. However, one reason the stock was $62 was its dividend of $3.36 a share.

The dividend is now suspended. Thus, until the outlook improves and there is reason to think the company will resume the $3.36 dividend payment, the stock will stay at low levels.

a truer picture emerges of a centrist corporate friendly President allowing a minimum of emergency fiscal diligence to be exhibited by a company at risk so that operations may continue.

If Obama is dumb enough to kill BP, then he kills the goose that can easily pay for all the damages while continuing to employ thousands of US workers.

Globally, BP employs 80,000 people. They do good work.

However, I cannot say the same for those in the tobacco industry.

darkblack said...

One appears to have some deep-seated issues with Mr.Obama and Mr. Salazar, neither of which I care to address...and this 'kill BP' chatter, while admirable in the single-minded diligence with which it is presented is ludicrous given the myriad layers existent between national divisions of a multinational enterprise.

'I can see you know nothing about finance or stocks.'

Rubber, glue. Shoo.

;>)

PENolan said...

Utah,
Thanks for being "out there."
You are very brave for inviting this exchange into your personal space. I could never do it without giving in to despair for our future.

It's one thing to hear the ranting on TV, especially when Jon Stewart or Rachel Maddow provide a buffer. It's another thing entirely to provide a forum for debate.

My hat's off to you.

PENolan said...

PS: As it happens, my favorite fiancee is one of a group of plaintiff's attorneys who recently met to begin sorting out the law suit against BP for shrimpers and others who have been damaged by the accident - although I don't know if they are representing the families of the workers who were killed.

They are expecting the lawsuit to last at least 15 years - and it's got nothing to do with the 20 billion.

He's also a Texan which just goes to show there are a few of us out there who aren't sleeping with oil executives (literally, too). True, the lawyers will also get a fortune, but that's the name of the game here in America.

Utah Savage said...

Dark, thanks for taking up the argument. I can do it all day on twitter and then block if I hate the exchanges, but here I'm interested in a more detatched way despite my post. It was tossed of in anger, not terribly deep but the passion in the defense of corporatist culture and anti government bullshit that slappz or is slinging is so nicely handled by others, I'm just enjoying the exchange of views. God you guys are smart.

Tricia, see what I said to Darkblack? I say the same to you. I'm really grateful to have you all weigh in. I always learn a lot when the conversation is this smart. Fear not, darling, we're strong women. We're Texas women. We can handle a cast iron skillet and a shotgun. Now I'm going back to my hod carrying. The bricks await. And my arms look great.

no_slappz said...

darkblack, you wrote:

One appears to have some deep-seated issues with Mr.Obama and Mr. Salazar

Trouble -- again -- has found Obama. And he's bungling things, again. However, the oil spill and the ensuing problems are no more his fault than Hurricane Katrina was the fault of Bush.

His failure is his failure to lead. Like BP's Tony Hayward, he has other people tending the details. But today Hayward was demoted. Possibly canned. Nothing nearly so rational is happening at Club Obama.

However, considering the fury aimed at Brownie over the Homeland Security Katrina mis-steps, the least Obama can do is boot Salazar for failing even more grandly than Brownie.

...and this 'kill BP' chatter, while admirable in the single-minded diligence with which it is presented is ludicrous given the myriad layers existent between national divisions of a multinational enterprise.

Oh yeah. Those myriad layers of multinational enterprises. They save the corporate bacon every time.

Like they saved it for Enron, Worldcom, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Kidder Peabody, Merrill Lynch, Barings, Union Carbide, General Motors and Texaco.

I'd include Chrysler, but Chrysler is pretty much a domestic car company. Not multinational.

Anyway, as I said, BP will pay off. The company will write checks for years -- unless some dopes in the government let the company sink under the weight of lawsuits.

Every year the tobacco companies honor their shakedown obligations by sending billions of dollars to Washington and the 50 state government offices.

The gambling industry is also generous. For example, the Indian tribes in CT fork over $150 million a year to maintain their exclusive right to operate slot machines in the state.

But if the companies -- BP -- are squeezed too hard, they will have no choice but to file for bankruptcy protection. Happens every day.

PENolan said...

Okay - so no_slappz is like the corporate choir singing some hymn written by Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck et al, and they aren't a bit scary except for they represent the idiocracy that has taken hold of the country ever since Ronald Reagan got elected?

You know, this kind of dialogue is difficult for me because, as a preschool teacher, when kids act like assholes we give them direct instruction in how to get along in a community without being assholes. Of course, I have always taught in Progressive environments, and it's my moral obligation to prevent assholery from spreading further in society.

Fortunately, I don't have to deal with assholes in adult life except when I'm on the phone to Verizon or Continental Airlines.

I understand that such assholes are The Problem - but it never occurred to me that they can't really hurt you until this very thread. Maybe they can hurt you if you're related to them - but on the internet, they are simply keystrokes who are inherently impotent?

Utah Savage said...

Tricia,you have found the secret wisdom. I hope this is a liberating experience for you. It has been for me. Best of all I feel all warm inside to know I have this many smart friends and acquaintances who will take on the insufferable assholes for me. I feel loved.

no_slappz said...

penolan, you wrote:

You know, this kind of dialogue is difficult for me because, as a preschool teacher, when kids act like assholes we give them direct instruction in how to get along in a community without being assholes.

In other words, independent thinking is out. Conformity is in. By your declaration, you have presented yourself as the Chairman Mao of the pre-school set. Nice.

Meanwhile, based on your comments it's amusing and ironic that you go straight for the ad hominem attack. For you, understanding the subject is irrelevant when the understanding gets in the way of a good old head-popping rant.

Of course, I have always taught in Progressive environments, and it's my moral obligation to prevent assholery from spreading further in society.

Ah, the preceding reads like the love poetry written by North Korea's Dear Leader.

PENolan said...

Right back at 'cha, Utah.
And thanks to no_slappz, too. I don't know what that person represents, but I know there seems to be a fundamental need to attack something unattainable, as if lashing out in envy.

Progressive Education, as defined by John Dewey back around 1929 when these same Robber Barrons were destroying people and the planet over rail roads and minerals - is all about creating a learning environment that nurtures critical thinking. At the time, the dominant model of education in America was based on Henry Ford's assembly line which did, indeed, require conformity. That model persists in the present day where standardized tests define academic success. When a person believes everything worth knowing on any given topic can be distilled into a multiple choice question - or even a short essay - then it's easy to see why the same people do not question what they hear on Fox TV, or from Congressmen and women who have been bought by special interests.

no_slappz said...

penolan, you wrote:

Progressive Education, as defined by John Dewey back around 1929 when these same Robber Barrons were destroying people and the planet over rail roads and minerals

The railroads, steel and oil that have made the existence of cities possible? Those resources?

Meanwhile, you probably meant Robber Barons. One "r", not two, in Barons. The Barron's with two "r"s is the weekly financial newspaper published by the parent of the Wall Street Journal.

Anyway, in the great giveaway known as the Obama's Stimulus Plan, our Dear Leader speaks highly of high-speed railroads. He wants them running everywhere, even though the only profitably railroads are the long-distance freight lines like Burlington Northern.

He's calling for more roads and bridges, which is good news for Ford, GM and Chrysler, as well as the big truck-makers like Paccar.

Of course making more cars means making more steel and aluminum, and putting more cars on the road means burning more oil. That's where BP comes in.

increasing the pathways
- is all about creating a learning environment that nurtures critical thinking.


I see. But based on your critical thinking, your best response was to call me names. Therefore, if you believe you are an example of Progressive Education, we're in trouble.

At the time, the dominant model of education in America was based on Henry Ford's assembly line which did, indeed, require conformity.

There's plenty of educational practices that need to change. But like it or not, the basics of reading, writing, math and science are sound and mastered mainly by repetition.

That model persists in the present day where standardized tests define academic success.

No educator I've known has said that scores on standardized tests define "success." But the scores do give everyone some understanding about each student's level of knowledge.

When a person believes everything worth knowing on any given topic can be distilled into a multiple choice question - or even a short essay - then it's easy to see why the same people do not question what they hear on Fox TV, or from Congressmen and women who have been bought by special interests.

Ah. To wrap things up, you create a pointless straw man.

The troubling aspect of the Progressive Education, Critical Thinking, Social Justice crowd is the shallowness of its views.

Having no grasp of economics is one of the key weaknesses of the crowd.

cynictastic said...

So the cop on the beat presented the limo driver who littered the road with a 20 billion dollar traffic ticket. Call it a 'shakedown' and hold your breath while looking for 50 percent plus one in any precinct in the nation who think this was something the cop did wrong.
Andrew Sullivan said it best, this President drives his opponents crazy because he's smart, patient and gets shit done. Unless he get's plaintiffs lawyers to administer the account, who always add seven zeros to the first number of their altruism.

no_slappz said...

cynictastic, you wrote:

So the cop on the beat presented the limo driver who littered the road with a 20 billion dollar traffic ticket. Call it a 'shakedown' and hold your breath while looking for 50 percent plus one in any precinct in the nation who think this was something the cop did wrong.

BP has acknowledged its liability for the oil leak. There's no doubt about the company's willingness to pay and management's desire to clean up the spilled oil.

But your analogy shows the problem. Cops may catch wrongdoers, but except for minor infractions, they do not determine consequences.

Here, however, BP has been subjected to a huge and arbitrary fine that was imposed by a threatening government acting as a cop rather than a court examining the events.

Summary judgments, kangaroo courts and vigilante justice may satisfy some of the bloodlust of the irate mob, but killing the culprit is the worst possible outcome for everyone.

Andrew Sullivan said it best, this President drives his opponents crazy because he's smart, patient and gets shit done.

Gets shit done? Like what? Appeasing Iran by giving Ahmadenijad the sign that he can have nuclear weapons? Giving Israel notice that America may support Hamas -- a self-declared terrorist government -- over the only capitalist democracy in the middle east?

If you think the healtcare bill is an example of "gets shit done" then you should know that here in New York State, the government passed its latest budget. It includes a Medicaid allocation of $51 billion.

That $51 billion for Medicaid works out to $12,500 per enrollee. Per year. $12,500 per year. That's double the national average.

When ObamaCare is phased in, that's the first stop for national healthcare spending.

Hence, if you think healthcare is expensive now, then the bills for ObamaCare will stun you.

By the way, the lowest healthcare costs in the US are found in Utah. Obviously a result of the Mormon influence on lifestyle. There may a basis to criticize Mormons, but their opposition to drinking, smoking and other habits harmful to health has shown its value.

no_slappz said...

p.s. cynictastic, you wrote:

Andrew Sullivan said it best, this President drives his opponents crazy because he's smart...

Really? If he were, then while he was head of the Harvard Law Review he would have published some work demonstrating his purported intelligence. Instead, he set a record by publishing Nothing.

He was equally prolific as a law professor.

Meanwhile, he's so proud of his intelligence that his SAT and LSAT scores have been buried at an undisclosed location.

Based on his yakking about energy, he believes in flying carpets and anti-graivty machines as well as technology that exists only in the movies.

In other words, there's no evidence his mind is remarkable. However, he has shown enormous affection for Islam and its most violent followers.

Fran said...

Joe Barton's apology & blathering about due process piss me off. The Exxon Valdez "due process" dragged on for 20 years.
You think the banks, and credit card people are going to be cool about missed payments?
Some have already been without work for 2 months. Think a credit card bill will waive all the late payment charges for 2 decades???
No... with over 6000 lawsuits pending to date.... these people need relief Now.
Plus we don't want BP making money disappear in some legal maneuver.
Ameri pure oytser company just shut down...
people were making $500 bucks a week.
Is Joe Barton gonna cover that?

He said this was "unprecedented"-- so is the magnitude of the spill.
It's not enough for TonyHayward to mug for the camera & say we will make this right.
Show these people out of work the money.

Let's not forget the domino effect the shirimper has no money, so the coffee shop has no customers, and the tourists bail out.

Barton later apologized for the apology-- but he;d already said it in the opening of the hearing.
As I posted-- he's one sorry politician.

I hope he gets his sorry ass booted out of office.

no_slappz said...

Here's where things stand with respect to BP's obligations and responsibilities -- as BP sees them:

BP said costs related to its oil-spill response had reached $2 billion as it continues work to contain the leak and to pay claims for damages.

To date, more than 65,000 claims have been submitted and more than 32,000 payments made, totaling about $105 million, BP said.

"It is too early to quantify other potential costs and liabilities associated with the incident," the company said in a statement.

BP last week agreed to hand over $20 billion—to cover spill victims such as fishermen and hotel workers who lost wages, and to pay for the cleanup costs.

cynictastic said...

So a black man with a Muslim name goes to Harvard, writes his own book without a ghostwriter, remembers how many vacation homes his wife bought him, becomes President and slaptastic doesn't believe in his intelligence or patience because he doesn't know his SAT score. And a foreign corporation agrees to pay 20 billion dollars because this dumbass President yelled at them, not because it was a pragmatic decision which reflects an enlightened corporate decision to accept responsibilty and try to limit its future damages, which decision provides for those who don't have the resources or the time to use lawyers and the judicial system to seek recompense. While we argue to eliminate corporations or turn our goverment into one, the dumbass gets things done. Every politician in our country kisses somebodies ass, they learn to get used to the smell and we like it when they tell us how authentic we are.

no_slappz said...

cynctastic, you wrote:

So a black man with a Muslim name goes to Harvard

Ah. I see you participate in the charade. Obama is a biracial man who WAS a muslim; who lived in an intensely muslim culture during his formative years; who is, in his heart of hearts, more muslim than Christian, as his tolerance for muslim extremism shows.

writes his own book without a ghostwriter

Oh. I see. So you want to claim he was both writer and editor of his books. An editor, well, yeah, maybe an editor is not a ghostwriter, but sometimes it's close.

Not that I've read Audacity or Dreams, nor have I read any books purportedly written by presidents gassing about their lives.

Anyway, I've listened to, and read the texts, of many Obama speeches. News flash -- they ain't so great. He's got a good speaking voice, but surprisingly little to say.

remembers how many vacation homes his wife bought him

I'll bet the illegal details of his real estate deal with Tony Rezko was somehow overlooked.

becomes President and slaptastic doesn't believe in his intelligence or patience because he doesn't know his SAT score.

His SAT and LSAT scores have not been revealed, an obvious sign they were appallingly low. Even his wife admitted she scored so low on her SAT that she was shocked Princeton accepted her.

After reading her Princeton senior thesis, I was surprised she graduated. She may have been only a college student, but students accepted to Princeton are some of the best in the world, which means the quality of their college efforts is often breath-taking. Not in her case, however.

Notice, too, she's been muzzled by advisors. Meanwhile, Orzag is leaving and it looks like Rahm is about to go.

And a foreign corporation agrees to pay 20 billion dollars because this dumbass President yelled at them, not because it was a pragmatic decision which reflects an enlightened corporate decision to accept responsibilty and try to limit its future damages, which decision provides for those who don't have the resources or the time to use lawyers and the judicial system to seek recompense.

Yeah, sure. It isn't the "small people" as they were described by BP's Swanberg, who have to file class action suits to get compensated for BP's mistakes. That's what the government does -- through the court system. The misfeasance is adjudicated and obligations are determined.

But that's not what happened here. In this case, the government effectively confiscated $20 billion from BP without any judicial process and is distributing the funds without any accountability.

That act has says the government is operating at the edge of tyranny.

It's one thing for BP to acknowledge its obligation and begin payments to injured parties. It's something far more sinister for the government to operate like the mafia.

While we argue to eliminate corporations or turn our goverment into one, the dumbass gets things done.

Gets things done? Like what? Appeasing muslim terrorists in Gaza? In Tehran? Appeasing North Korea? Restricting military action in Afghanistan nearly to the point of ineffectiveness? Borrowing huge sums to spark economic improvement, that, so far, has sparked nothing? Jabbering about science fiction while pretending to talk seriously about energy? Closing Guantanamo? Starting a national healthcare plan that will DOUBLE our healthcare costs almost instantly? Tolerating millions of illegal aliens who are increasing taxpayers' bills for education, police, fire, sanitation and healthcare.

Please. Can we find a president who will do less?