Baleful Predicament

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Memo to BP and cohorts: STILL DUMB.

It's that time again! After a week off talking about other things in the brief span betwixt travel and illness last week, it's time for another exciting update on the miles-deep plumes of stupid that float freely through the political ocean. They can try to put a cap on the company and its enablers, but shit always leaks out the sides.

And speaking of horrible, life-destroying fuckups, how about that Joe Barton, huh?

You can't possibly have missed it, but allow me to account for the slim chance with a quick recap. BP promised to pay all the claims. Then a bunch of stories surfaced about how they might go bankrupt or get bought out or do one of those sneaky corporate things corporations always do to get out of paying claims. Then Barack Obama got BP to commit to a $20 billion escrow account to pay out claims no matter what. And then, for the first time ever, knee-jerk Republican anti-Obama fervor actually led to something not just stupid, but something universally acknowledged as stupid. This statement from Rep. Barton at the House Energy Committee hearings last week:

"But I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case a $20 billion shakedown — with the Attorney General of the United States who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the interests of the American people — participating in what amounts to a $20 billion slush fund that is unprecedented in our nation’s history, that’s got no legal standing, which I think sets a terrible precedent for the future."

Not only did he apologize to BP, he apologized to Tony Fucking Hayward, the personification of BP's vapid, bumbling evil. The optics, as they say, were not good. In what seems to be a recurring problem in 2010, the Republican Party has had to fight yet another public relations war based on a Republican saying what they believe on an open mic.

This could be interesting. I mean, 30 years ago, the Republican party were a bunch of rich, white, intellectual elites in Washington manipulating hordes of stupid bigots into voting against their own best interests. But now, an entire generation the Republicans taught to hate the Other and ignore their own self-interest has grown up and is getting elected to higher office. The inmates are taking over the asylum, and people are starting to notice all the shit they're smearing on the walls.

Meanwhile, in your spill volume update, BP captured 25,000 gallons of oil in a day. Everyone get out your HP-15C Scienticynical Calculators and extrapolate just what that means for the total volume of the spill and the woeful inaccuracy of BP's early estimates.

Of course you don't have to, because in a shocking twist of events that everyone saw coming, BP's internal estimates of what might leak in a worst-case scenario was... drum roll... 55,000 to 100,000 barrels a day! Which is the basic range of current estimates of the spill. In other words, they knew all along it could be this bad, lowballed the fuck out of it, and Joe Barton thinks Obama's in the wrong.

But hey, at least Louisiana is stepping up to the plate and doing something! Yesterday was a state-designated Day Of Prayer in LA! According to state senator Robert Adley, "Thus far the efforts made by mortals to try to solve the crisis have been to no avail. It is clearly time for a miracle for us."

OK, two things. First, if anyone sees David Vitter on his knees, double-check to make sure he's actually praying.

And second, FUCK THE HELL OFF. Don't pray for a miracle to stop this crisis while your state, in the form of its congressmen and governor, are SUING the federal government to lift the moratorium on the exact same mortal behavior that caused the crisis in the first place. For fuck's sake, Obama got BP to pony up $150 million on TOP of the $20 billion just to pay for the lost work of the rig employees during the moratorium, and you're all still whining about the lost jobs?

Your fairy god helps those who help themselves, I'm told. Beg him to pull your ass out of a burning building if you want, but if I were omniscient and all-powerful, and I yanked you out of a raging inferno only to see you driving into a fireworks factory with a flamethrower, I'd start looking for some new followers with enough damn sense to not self-immolate every other day.

I'd suggest God consider dolphins, but the last month has made it perfectly clear that God doesn't give a shit about them either.