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Gibbs on GOP: "Hard to tell what planet these people live on"

There's another political dimension to the Joe Barton story worth considering: Until today, the narrative had been entirely focused on the Obama administration's inability to stop the spill.

Barton's apology to BP has handed the White House an easy way to change the subject, and in the White House press briefing, Robert Gibbs broadened the case against Barton to one against the whole GOP and its embrace of deregulation on multiple issues.

"It's hard to tell what planet these people live on," Gibbs said, when asked about the litany of attacks on the White House's treatement of BP coming from multiple Republicans.

"It's hard to understand their viewpoint but it may explain their votes on financial regulation," he continued. "It explains how they view whether or not the banks ought to be able to write their own rules and play the game the way they played it several years ago that caused our economy to crash."

Gibbs ripped BP for doing untold damage to our economy, environment, and "way of life," and added that if you listen to Barton, Michele Bachmann and other Republicans, "you'd think somehow BP was a hankerchief, a crying shoulder."

Gibbs also asked whether the GOP really thought it advisable to keep someone who said "I'm sorry to BP" as the ranking Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee just when it was investigating the disaster.

Until today Republicans had been confident that Dems would be hard pressed to make the story about anything other than the president and his impotence. But Barton's gaffe has given the White House its best opening yet to use the spill to make the global case against the GOP and ensure that its approach to governance is part of the national conversation about the disaster.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 17, 2010; 3:49 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change  
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Comments

Greg, "But Barton's gaffe has given the White House its best opening yet to use the spill to make the global case against the GOP and ensure that its approach to governance is part of the national conversation about the disaster."

YES. 1000 times yes.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 17, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree. This statement blows the doors off the Republican Party's hopes of being portrayed as deserving of taking control of America's best interests.

I disagree, however, that Barton's comments should be described as a "gaffe." I am confident that they were purposeful prepared remarks and imho should be described as such.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

A Prepared statement is not a Gaffe. It is The Republicans' Big Oil Must Rule, Manifesto.

Barton used prepared words, to say that he was; ashamed of his own country; for having demanded that the perpetrator of the biggest man made disaster in American history, start contributing to a restoration fund.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 17, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Just more proof that the GOP= GREEDY OIL PARTY. They have crippled this country with their wholesale sellout to big oil for the last 100 years!

Posted by: joecoppo | June 17, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"It's hard to tell what planet these people live on," Gibbs said"

Clearly, not one where giant oil companies ravage the Gulf of Mexico through their own greed and incompetence, but rather one where evil liberal bullies force helpless corporations to hand over their lunch money.

We can call it Planet Wingnut.

Posted by: PeterPrinciple | June 17, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Breaking News:

Congressman Joe Barton(R) Texas, today washed up on a Polticial Beach, covered in oil, from the BP big spill.

Congressman Barton has been rushed for emergency treatment, to the Office of John Boehner, where several top House Republicans are currently shampooing and blow drying Joe.

They say only time will tell if Joe will survive his oil soaking, and if his political career will ever fly again.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 17, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"It's well-known that Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), the congressman who made headlines today for apologizing to BP for the "$20 billion shakedown" of the new escrow account, has been drenched in oil and gas industry money for years.

But here's a nice catch by 538:

Barton's number one career campaign contributor, Anadarko Petroleum, has 25% ownership in the well where the April 20 rig explosion occurred.

The firm, which has given Barton $146,500 over the years, has been sent a bill by BP for cleanup costs." http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/06/bartons_top_campaign_contributor_is_implicated_in.php?ref=fpi

Posted by: bernielatham | June 17, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, the "gaffe" was accidentally telling the truth: GOP hearts BP and Big Oil.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 17, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, thanks for that. I asked the other day whether any of the other companies involved were on the hook for costs. So, it extends beyond BP? Does anyone know the liability chain in this case?

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 17, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't a gaffe. It wasn't some off-the-cuff comment.

If I'm reading reports correctly, Barton OPENED THE HEARING with a personal apology to the head of British Petroleum. Literally, as his company is spilling millions of gallons a day into the Gulf of Mexico, the ranking member of the natural resources committee thought it made sense to apologize to the CEO in charge of the spill.

It's part of a pattern. Boehner initially said BP shouldn't have to pay anything, that taxpayers should be the ones footing the bill for the damages the spill caused. And when he saw this overwhelming public outrage, it only took him a day or two to figure it out.

If this is how they behave when everyone in America is watching, can you imagine how they behave when no one is watching? On the million issues that aren't front-page news?

Posted by: theorajones1 | June 17, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately (for the Dems?) I think that this whole thing just feeds into the larger narrative that government is ineffective and more interested in political advantage then tending to a disaster. And that sentiment, of course, actually plays into GOP hands - being the party out of power.

Seriously, the entire country (74%) disapproves of the way government has responded to the spill - and you think these cynical Democratic political ploys are going to restore the public's faith in government? At this point, every time the Dems try to cynically use this disaster for political advantage I really think it just blows up in their faces.

Just fix the problem and worry about political advantage later. This nation tries to come together during tough times - and this admin is trying to manipulate us during a tragedy. Anyone can see right through it.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 17, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Joe Barton Retracts Apology to BP's Tony Hayward

"I apologize for using the term 'shakedown' with regard to yesterday's actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP," he said. "...I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident."

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20008075-503544.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 17, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

From Benen...

"Update: In a written statement, Barton went further: "I apologize for using the term 'shakedown' with regard to yesterday's actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP.""

I retract those eight beer I had before driving home.

I retract pushing my knife into the man's chest.

I retract the lynching.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 17, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Remember what the Right Wingers did to the Dixie Chicks?

Why are they not going to hold Joe Barton to the same standard, and ostracize him for saying the following, today?

""I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday," Barton said. "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." "

Posted by: Liam-still | June 17, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

All, cruise around the news sites and blogs and there's nothing but reporting on Barton's "apology," with plenty of comments on how it's "not much of an apology."

Again: FAIL.

Go back to his STATEMENT. Ask why he said what he said. It was a prepared statement. Premeditated.

"Is it your role as a GOP congressman to make sure Big Oil is in now way harmed no matter how much they harm the environment/economy?"

"What role should Congress take regarding Big Oil companies?"

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 17, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

By his very own words; Joe Barton must now leave America for good. Here is what he said today.

""I apologize," Barton told Hayward. "I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is -- again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize.""

Posted by: Liam-still | June 17, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Liam, he doesn't live in America, he lives in GOP-occupied Texas.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 17, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

What Barton was doing, while Congressman Markey was making his remarks, reveals all you need to know about Joe Barton.

"As Markey spoke, Barton leaned back in his chair reading what appeared to be the newspaper Investor's Business Daily."


"Rep. Ed Markey (D - MA) said at the hearing he "could not disagree more strongly" with Barton's initial comments.


"Not only is the compensation fund that was created yesterday at the White House in an agreement reached between BP and President Obama not a slush fund and not a shakedown, rather it was the government of the United States worked to protect the most vulnerable citizens that we have in this country right now - the residents of the Gulf," he said.

"American citizens are being harmed," Markey added. "We cannot wait, as unfortunately so many victims of the Exxon Valdez had to wait years to see those families compensated. We can't lose sight of fact that the 1984 Bhophal disaster and lawsuits related to it, were only settled last week. We have to make sure American citizens are protected."

"The families of the Gulf will be crushed financially unless this compensation fund is put in place," said Markey, arguing that the history of Gulf families will be "permanently altered" without action.

Markey added that the creation of the fund reflected "American government working at its best" to ensure that families do not become "roadkill" as a result of corporate practices.

As Markey spoke, Barton leaned back in his chair reading what appeared to be the newspaper Investor's Business Daily."

Posted by: Liam-still | June 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Planet Big Business, simple. Big bucks for big oil and its big supporters and crumbs at best for the "small people."

Posted by: Mimikatz | June 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

This is not a 'gaffe' it is a 'belief'. Just like Rand Paul's attacks on the Civil Rights Act and on and on, this is what certain factions of the Republican Party believe. And as more and more of this faction gets into the mainstream or gets elected, we are going to hear more and more wackiness.

At first glance this seems like a good thing for the Democrats because moderate, reasonable people will be turned off. But over time statements that seem wacky at first start to seem more reasonable as they get more attention. As a result the entire discourse gets pulled to the right. It's called triangulation, and it's working.

Just look at how the Democrats have shifted their rhetoric on immigration since just 5 years ago. That conversation in particular has moved way to the right, and I think the Minutemen can take some credit/blame for that shift.

Posted by: Adam_W | June 17, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Again, from Benen...

"As Kevin Drum noted, "Keep up the BP-bashing a little bit longer and eventually, just out of reflex, Fox News and the Republican Party will be calling for Obama to make payments to them.""

Yes. The marine life of the Gulf and Obama are victimizing British Petroleum and its shareholders and it really must stop.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 17, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

" This nation tries to come together during tough times - and this admin is trying to manipulate us during a tragedy"

BS. Total, compete and absolute BS. Not to mention repulsively hypocritical coming from a GOP apologist. the GOP that politicized 9/11; that politicized the Dept of Justice, the GOP that is under the direction of Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove.

Words fail me as to just how ridiculous that comment is.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 17, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps words fail because what I've written is true?

"The entire country (74%) disapproves of the way government has responded to the spill - and you think these cynical Democratic political ploys are going to restore the public's faith in government? ...
Just fix the problem and worry about political advantage later. This nation tries to come together during tough times - and this admin is trying to manipulate us during a tragedy. Anyone can see right through it."

Posted by: sbj3 | June 17, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

SBJ your comments are literally insane.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Cynical ploys? Like a Congressman apologizing to BP for the President making BP put its damage money in escrow? That is beyond cynical; it is flat-out corrupt. Barton should resign before the investigations start into his role in destroying MMS and the money he take from Big Oil.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 17, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"It's hard to tell what planet these people live on," Gibbs said

That is the truth.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Shorter Barton: "I am truly sorry I got up this morning and went to work."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 17, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of cynicism, how about playing games with poll numbers? As I'm sure you know, Americans want Obama to be TOUGHER on BP. Like me, they expect criminal charges. Once that happens, watch the poll numbers go way up.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 17, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps words fail because what I've written is true?"

Ummmm...........no.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 17, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are inveterate liars and propagandists and I am SICK of them ruining our country.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 17, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait to see Markey on Olbermann or Rachel tonight. Esp if he references Barton's paper-reading insouciance.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 17, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

AWESOME video.

"We've looked at how much each of these people [have] raised as contributions from the Oil Industry...

Joe Barton seems to have the most."

~ Jessica Yellin, CNN

WATCH:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sydlY3No7TY&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

If the oil soaked shoe were on the other foot:

Grizzly Palin would be claiming that Democrats are "Palling Around With Oil Terrorists".

Joe Barton Likes To Pal Around with Oil Terrorists. Say It Sarah, Say It.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 17, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Naw - cynical as in: Let's use Barton's asinine comments to make the case that the entire GOP wants banks to make their own rules and ruin our economy.

That's more the cynical angle I was writing about.

It is laughable on its face to try and take Barton's statement and somehow turn it into an indictment of the GOP's style of governance. It just won't wash - there's an oil spill causing untold damage to our environment and economy and congressmen are busy making long-winded and pointless statements in committee hearings while Gibbs and Hari and the admin strategize about how to create another "inflection point." It's enough to make anyone barf.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 17, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm still waiting for Democrats to take the "Government is bad" argument that Republicans have been hammering away at for decades and turn it against them. One could very easily turn the tables, pointing out that "Republican Government is bad."

There's more than enough evidence racked up at this point to do it. And it feeds a narative that the GOP has, in fact, done a good job of engraining into the minds of many Americans.

Don't directly combat "Government is bad", instead make it "Republican Government is bad." Much easier, and true to boot.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 17, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Gulf Coast citizens literally applauded this announcement and a new CNN poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans -- 82 percent -- support the BP disaster compensation fund

http://www.speaker.gov/blog/?p=2332

The entire country (82%) approves of what SBJ and the Republican Party thinks of as a cynical political ploy.

82%.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Barton should resign before the investigations start into his role in destroying MMS and the money he take from Big Oil."

"Jessica Yellin, CNN"

Go get 'em!!! Send that crooked Congressman to prison where he belongs!

Posted by: wbgonne | June 17, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

BBQ, right on.

Obama should say "When the Republicans decry Big Government, what they mean is Republican government, where the deficit grows to record levels and corporations have a free hand in disaster creation: financial, environmental, economic."

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 17, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Shorter Barton: I am truly sorry I'm being scapegoated for my entire party's position.

The Repubs got greedy. They thought they were going in there with their usual "you say black, I say white" argument, but they've completely exposed themselves as big oil's handmaidens.

Liam, good point about the Dixie Chicks. Too bad Barton doesn't sell something we can boycott. All he has is a line of BS, and that's free.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | June 17, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

SBJ, please tell us whether you approve or disapprove of the following action by the federal government:

"Creating a fund of billions of dollars to compensate workers and businesses that have been affected by the oil spill that would be paid by BP but administered by a neutral party"

Do you APPROVE, DISAPPROVE, or have NO OPINION?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

ANOTHER premeditated lie by the GOP!!! WTF!!!

Reps. John Boehner (R-OH), Eric Cantor (R-VA), and Mike Pence (R-IN) released a joint statement:

"The oil spill in the Gulf is this nation's largest natural disaster..."

NATURAL DISASTER?!?!?!?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

sbj3: No, we wouldn't want to deal with reality. A blown-out rig. Eleven people dead. The Gulf of Mexico poisoned. The Gulf beaches ruined for at least a year. The precious Louisiana Coast smothered in black oil. Dead whales, pelicans, turtles. A destroyed fishing industry. The destruction of the most fertile fishing grounds in the United States. The end of Louisiana oysters, crabs and shrimp.

Why would we do anything in response to that? Better we pretend that the Invisible Hand will sweep in and make everything OK. Better to be a Republican where you start a war under false pretenses but refuse to accept scientific evidence on climate change and environmental degradation. Better to be a Republican where you say it's a "political ploy" for the President to do ANYTHING about the risks posed by deepwater drilling in the face of overwhelming evidence of catastrophic damage that hasn't even been recognized yet, never-mind stopped or contained.

Can't argue with that kind of thinking.

GO CELTICS!

O&O.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 17, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Boehner, Pence and Cantor throw Barton under the BP bus:

"The oil spill in the Gulf is this nation's largest natural disaster and stopping the leak and cleaning up the region is our top priority. Congressman Barton's statements this morning were wrong. BP itself has acknowledged that responsibility for the economic damages lies with them and has offered an initial pledge of $20 billion dollars for that purpose."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 17, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

@ethan: One definition of insanity might be responding to someone who calls you insane. Especially when your question comes in the form of asking about some fund that I'm not even writing about!

Posted by: sbj3 | June 17, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I love the fact that just when Joe Barton started back peddling so fast, that the BP CEO, who Joe was giving a piggyback ride to, fell off, that is the exact time that SBJ decides to blame Democrats for making a partisan issue out of it.

Republican Joe Barton launched a strident political attack on President Obama, and SBJ then calls for Democrats to stop making such attacks.

What An Ultra Maroon, this SBJ is!

Posted by: Liam-still | June 17, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party Is This Nation's Largest Natural Disaster!!!

Posted by: Liam-still | June 17, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

So SBJ, let me see if I have this right:

Dems responding to Barton's comments is a cynical ploy.

But Barton calling the $20B escrow fund a SHAKEDOWN SLUSHFUND... THAT isn't cynical nor political.

Right? Is that an accurate summary of your comments?

Also, do you approve, disapprove or have no opinion on the $20B fund?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"Is that an accurate summary of your comments?"

That has no relation to my comments.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 17, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

SBJ, your comments have some merit in a world where political power and advantage don't contribute to substantive policy. Nobody wants to see a catastrophe like this used simply for personal gain by some crooked politicians.

Sadly, however, these little political games that you're sick of matter a lot in our government, and they surely matter in relation to the oil spill and its aftermath. Absent some leverage of substantial American opinion, there is little chance of significant reforms of anything in the short term due to intractable ideological polarization that exists currently in Congress. Barton and other republicans are doing the same thing that the Obama administration and other democrats are trying to do: build public support for different political agendas. What makes Barton's comment so ridiculous and important to condemn is that he and many other congressmen would gladly turn a blind eye to the financial ruin caused by the BP oil spill so long as it benefits his special interests (no surprise that he's from oil producing TX). Absent political and legal (i.e., litigation) pressure on BP, the American taxpayers are going to end up subsidizing BP for the mess that it created.

Whether you like it or not, politics matter. This isn't some event that we can just reflect on quietly and hope everything will turn out well for everyone.

Posted by: dcresident11 | June 17, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@dcresident: Thanks for the polite feedback. I understand what you are saying.

"Your comments have some merit in a world where political power and advantage don't contribute to substantive policy."

My issue is that the effort by Gibbs and the admin comes in the midst of a tragedy and it is so transparent that there's no chance it will sway anyone towards their policy ideas.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 17, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

SBJ is fine with politics. As long as it makes Dems look bad.

He calls Democrats cynical on the very same day that the RANKING MEMBER of the Energy and Commerce Committee APOLOGIZES to the perpetrator of the worst energy disaster in the history of mankind.

SBJ's comments and opinions are WAY outside the mainstream, as evidenced by the fact that he refuses to respond to a very simple question as to whether or not he approves of the $20B escrow fund. Obviously he disagrees with it because that's what Rush Limbaugh TOLD him to think on today's show. He just won't respond now because his response would show that he is going AGAINST the popular majority of 82% of Americans.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"SBJ your comments are literally insane."

Unintentional comedy gold from Ethan, and not just the hypocrisy of it.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 17, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/7057234.html

Houston Chronicle Editorial:

With Gulf Coast ears: In southeast Texas, we hear the president’s words about the BP spill in a special way

For the president, the hoped-for home run swing may have come on Wednesday, when Obama announced BP's agreement to fund a $20 billion escrow account to compensate Gulf Coast fishermen and others who have lost wages and work due to the spill. No question, this is good news for a change — a powerful boost to hopes for full, long-term recovery in the Gulf.

This is personal. The lives of fishermen and shrimpers all along the Gulf Coast follow seasonal rhythms that were utterly destroyed by the Deepwater Horizon spill. As were those of the thousands who make their livings from tourism. These folks deserve to be made whole, and in a timely manner. Creation of the escrow account is a welcome step; so is Obama's promise to see this through, especially to so many who felt abandoned following Hurricane Katrina.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 17, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

QB, like SBJ, disagrees with 82% of America.

Republicans have shown the people of America, YET AGAIN, that they care more for corporations than they do their own country and their own people.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Joe Barton said he does not want to live in this country any more, just because BP was asked to contribute to repairing the damage that they caused.

Since Joe Barton does not want to live in the USA anymore, then he can no longer be a member of the US House Of Representatives.

Maybe he can get a title, and go sit in the House Of Lords. That is where that American Traitor belongs, and he should take Lickspittle SBJ along with him.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 17, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"SBJ's comments and opinions are WAY outside the mainstream."

Is that supposed to be some kind of insult?

Posted by: sbj3 | June 17, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Proving Gibbs' point, check out the TOP HEADLINE right now on FixedNoise:

Lawmaker Warns Parks Takeover by Mexican Cartels, Illegals 'Intensifying'

The Republican Party and Republican lemmings like QB and SBJ are TOTALLY detached from reality.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

WOW. This is stunning! (From Benen)

"When Fox News aired footage from this morning's hearing with Hayward, the network edited out Barton's apology."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 17, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Another stunner from Benen:

" And finally, Bill Randall, a Republican congressional candidate in North Carolina, believes there's a "possibility" that federal officials and BP "colluded" to create the oil spill in the Gulf. He couldn't explain why anyone would want this, and added, "I'm not necessarily a conspiracy person." Randall nevertheless signaled his support for an "investigation," leading me to once again wonder where in the world the Republican Party finds these clowns."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 17, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

SBJ, is the oil spill a "natural disaster"?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"QB, like SBJ, disagrees with 82% of America."

I don't know what you think 82% agree with that I don't, nor do I think you even know what you are trying to say. Fuzzy thinking is your forte.

Having BP step up to pay for harm it caused is great, but then, it had already done that.

I think one of the only reliable predictions about this is that putting the money in escrow won't actually do anything to help injured parties.

But it makes the Obamatons feel all happy, since Daddy kicked some ass.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 17, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Congressional Republicans Engage In Blatant Political Partisan Attack, On Fellow Republican, Joe Barton,

Leading Lickspittle SBJ to demand that Democrats stop doing that.

"ASHINGTON (AP) -- Who's sorry now? Rep. Joe Barton, that's who.

The Texas Republican, the House's top recipient of oil industry campaign contributions since 1990, apologized Thursday for apologizing to the chief of the British company that befouled the Gulf of Mexico with a massive oil spill.

His double mea culpa plus a retraction, executed under pressure from fuming GOP leaders, succeeded in shifting attention from the tragedy, BP's many missteps and the stoic British oil chief at the witness table, to his own party's close connection to the oil industry.

Barton started the ruckus at midmorning when he took aim at the $20 billion relief fund for victims of the spill sought by the White House and agreed to by BP.

"I apologize," Barton said to BP CEO Tony Hayward, who was sitting at a witness table for another of Congress' ritual floggings of wayward corporate heads.

"I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is - again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown," Barton said. "So I apologize."

Incensed at the gift Barton had given Democrats, Republicans came close to stripping Barton of his post as chairman-in-waiting of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. GOP leaders summoned Barton to the Capitol and demanded he apologize in specific terms. The leaders threatened to launch a process to strip Barton of his seniority on the powerful panel, a particularly painful threat to any long-term lawmaker, according to two knowledgeable Republican officials who demanded anonymity so they could speak freely about private meetings.

But it was the notion of an American lawmaker apologizing to a foreign head of a corporation that had caused great hardships for millions of Gulf Coast residents that incited rare Republican-on-Republican rage. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., became the first in his party to demand that Barton be stripped of his seniority. During a House vote later in the day, other Republicans pressed their leaders for Barton's punishment - and at least two in the leadership were still considering that option, the officials said."

Posted by: Liam-still | June 17, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

"I think one of the only reliable predictions about this is that putting the money in escrow won't actually do anything to help injured parties."

Having the escrow agreement with BP and a fund established is a hedge against a bankruptcy filing which would leave all the victims S.O.L.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 17, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"WOW. This is stunning! (From Benen)"

Yes, it is stunning how much misinformation he publishes and how reckless with the facts he is.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 17, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

QB: "putting the money in escrow won't actually do anything to help injured parties"

82% of America thinks that it was a good idea.

QB and SBJ and the Republican Party mouthpieces disagree with a VAST proportion of American populace.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 17, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The Oil Escrow fund is going to be adjudicated and disbursed, by the same person who handled the 9/11 victims' compensation disbursement.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 17, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Comment seen elsewhere:

"Barton's apology to BP is spreading faster than the spill...and the Repug's leadership can't plug that leak."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 17, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

So, you can twist an argument into a pretzel, you can juggle facts without any connection, you have a pair of floopy shoes and now - the nickel is taking to making predictions of the future.

That is one talented clown.

The clown predicts that establishing an escrow fund with an expedited claims processing mechanism administered by an independent third party "won't do anything to help injured parties."

Posted by: cmccauley60 | June 17, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/happy_hour_roundup_31.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 17, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

And now the nickel also seems to be able to change the past, calling Benen's factual statement that FOX edited Smokey Joe's apology out of its coverage "misinformation." In the nickel's new version, Smokey Joe didn't apologize so FOX's version was accurate.

Right nickel?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | June 17, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, look, cmciq60 is trying to redeem himself from his last embarassing flameout -- not being able to follow the argument over BP contributions -- and get my attention again. Why do you crave my attention, iq60?

I know the arguments that go on here must seem like juggling to you, but you'll just have to try to keep up a little better.

As for Fox "editing" or "splicing" out, um, no, there is nothing at all edited out. If you claim they did, please tell us the time on the video where the "missing" apology was "edited out."

They showed part of Waxman and part of Barton, and they put great editorial emphasis on Barton's "shakedown" comments.

You liberals need to learn that you shouldn't lie when accusing others of lying. You make it so easy to make fools of you.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 17, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I keep thinking and hoping that with each new vile and unpatriotic BS comment coming from the GOP they have finally (like an addict) hit the absolute bottom. But guess what, a trap door opens and further down they go. My husband is from Argentina and I lived there during the "Dirty War". What really shocked me was how the right went so far as to take babies from the wombs of young leftists so they could be raised with--you guessed it--family values and a good Christian way of life (they always said Viva La Patria--long live our country). Now those children are in their late 20's and are finding out that their parents were thrown out of helicopters after they were torn from the safety of their mothers' wombs. Can you imagine the sense of betrayal? Alot of our politicians on the right here in my beloved country would throw me out of a helicopter if they could, just for this e-mail. What a bunch of evil creeps. Jan, Tampa

Posted by: eelvira | June 17, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I keep thinking and hoping that with each new vile and unpatriotic BS comment coming from the GOP they have finally (like an addict) hit the absolute bottom. But guess what, a trap door opens and further down they go. My husband is from Argentina and I lived there during the "Dirty War". What really shocked me was how the right went so far as to take babies from the wombs of young leftists so they could be raised with--you guessed it--family values and a good Christian way of life (they always said Viva La Patria--long live our country). Now those children are in their late 20's and are finding out that their parents were thrown out of helicopters after they were torn from the safety of their mothers' wombs. Can you imagine the sense of betrayal? Alot of our politicians on the right here in my beloved country would throw me out of a helicopter if they could, just for this e-mail. What a bunch of evil creeps. Jan, Tampa

Posted by: eelvira | June 17, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

These remarks were no gaffe. The same exact sentiments were expressed by Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin who are reliable spokesmen for vast majority of the Republican party. These have been heady days for Republican spin doctors, but this time they miscalculated. Before God and everyone else they spoke the truth about their feelings and their motives. The emperor is now standing naked before us. Not pretty is it?

Posted by: capmbillie | June 18, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

It amazes me anyone votes Republican, it is so clear they don't care about anyone but themselves and their cronies. If they have to play on their dimwit constituents' sense of religion and "family values" to get the votes, they will. Their actions clearly indicate they do not believe in what they preach. How much more proof do you need? It's common knowledge they've been in bed with big oil for decades.

These people living on the coast who lost their livelihoods need that money NOW, not years from now when it finally winds it's way through the legal system. I sure would like everyone who disagrees to go ahead switch places with those people. I bet their opinion changes pretty fast.

Posted by: Mas_Tequila | June 19, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh how wise are all of you who spew condemnation of the mighty BP oil company and Joe Barton. Your wisdom is incomparable even unto God. Let us all join together with our holy messiah Obama and take the wealth from all the corrupt oil companies of this nation!

Let us tear down their industry and give it to Obama so that he can run them and take from them the wealth of this nations oil producers. For surely the government is much better equiped to run these businesses.Let us castigate all those who decrys our wise leaders who desire only the best for us, the blind masses. We care not for the loss of the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue and wages which comes to the government through taxes. We care not for the loss of oil production which runs our cars, heats our homes, and lights our way. Big business is evil, tear them all down with huge government taxes and take away their profits. Destroy the jobs they create. Let our wonderful and wilfull king Obama lead us into poverty and subjagation unto the mighty hand of Big Brother.

Posted by: A_lite_to_the_blind | June 19, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

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