Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) has been widely condemned for telling BP executives yesterday that he is “sorry” for the Obama administration’s “shakedown” of their company, which resulted in a $20 billion escrow fund help Gulf families suffering from the oil spill. While the Republican leadership realized the potential political fallout and quickly distanced themselves from Barton’s comments, right-wing pundits rushed to Barton’s defense:
– PAT BUCHANAN: “Barton made a very courageous statement in my judgment. … To have anyone stand up and even indirectly defend [BP] and say that they were a victim of a shakedown shows some political courage.”
– INGRAHAM: “I think Joe Barton, before he apologized, had a legitimate point.”
– NAPOLITANO: “That is a classic shakedown. The threat to do something that you don’t have the authority to do. ”
– KILMEADE: “One Congressman calling the BP compsensation fund a ’shakedown,’ but does he have a point?”
– GINGRICH: “The president is directly engaged in extorting money from a company.”
– VARNEY: “It is Hugo Chavez-like, is it not? To sieze a private company’s assets.”
Watch a compilation of conservative pundit Pat Buchanan, Fox News analyst Laura Ingraham, Fox News Business host Andrew Napolitano, Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Fox News Business host Stuart Varney, and right-wing radio host Mark Levin:
Levin went on to say that GOP leadership’s treatment of the Barton incident made him fear the “Republican party in the House will not have the courage to do what needs to be done should it win the majority in November” to resist the “increasingly tyrannical administration.”
State Senator Tarryl Clark ( D-MN) is coming out swinging at Michele Bachmann (R-MN-BP).
I think it was a smart move for the Clark camp to jump right on Bachmann’s statement of support of BP.
First, Dick Armey tells Tea Party candidates to avoid the “Tea Party” label. Then he tells them to avoid the national media, but that it’s ok for candidates to be interviewed by “local” media.
The reasoning behind all of this? Well, it appears that the candidates chosen by “Tea Party” folks are not very smart.
We’ve seen and heard how Rand Paul reacts to media scrutiny. Now the GOP Nevada Senate Candidate, Sharron Angles is avoiding ALL press and media (except Fox news.)
In spite of optimistic predictions by the right wing, that the GOP will recapture the House majority in the 2010 mid-terms, I think that might be somewhat of an exaggeration.
Sharron Angle wants to make sure she does not make the same mistakes that Rand Paul made.
Senate nominee Sharron Angle (R-NV), who has adopted a pattern of avoiding all media except for friendly right-wing radio and TV talk show hosts, had an amusing run-in with a local CBS station’s reporter in Las Vegas — who repeatedly asked her tough questions.
Reporter Nathan Baca asked Angle about past policy position statements on her campaign website about “transitioning out” of Social Security. Angle strongly denied that this meant she wanted to eliminate the program entirely — saying instead that she wanted to save it. “You believe the Harry Reid lie,” Angle replied, also adding that “transitioning out” really meant: “Transition into a personalized account…personalized Social Security accounts that they can’t raid.”
Angle also refused to answer a question about her previous statement that people could potentially seek out their “Second Amendment remedies” if Congress is not reined in — a statement that has been widely interpreted as predicting an armed revolt against the government.
Baca followed Angle through a parking lot, repeatedly asking what she meant by “Second Amendment remedies.” Angle ignored him.
As Baca reports: “The reaction from the Angle campaign was swift. Their spokesperson called this reporter ‘an idiot’ — and another term that cannot be repeated on television.”
This TPM Reader/Blogger seems to have an insight into GOP group-think.
(1) The idea of a pot of money existing which the GOP can’t get their sticky fingers into is a violation of freedom of speech, since money is speech, the GOP is in effect being muzzled.
(2) The precedent of the federal government and the President asking corporations to pay for damages they do is a fundamentally unAmerican, and sets a sinister precedent for jobs, business, freedom, and corporate payoffs to crooked GOP politicians to go soft on regulation.
(3) The idea that people who choose to make a living on a body of water that is primarily there for the oil industry to exploit, have any right to complain about oil or oil spills, is without any merit or justification.
(4) Every dollar BP pays to the people affected by this disaster, is a dollar that would have been better contributed to a GOP candidate running for election.
(5) If the fund works as planned, some former Republican voters in the affected region may get the idea that the government can act to do things to help them, their families, and their businesses, and they may expect more help in the future.
So, what did the Governor expect the Justice Department to do? Nothing?
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Thursday she’s angry over comments by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that the Obama administration will sue the state over its new immigration law.
In a June 8 media interview in Ecuador that began circulating Thursday in the U.S., Clinton said President Barack Obama thinks the federal government should determine immigration policy and that the Justice Department “will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.”
Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler on Thursday declined to say whether the department would sue and that “the department continues to review the law.”
The department has been looking at the law for weeks for possible civil rights violations, with an eye toward a possible court challenge.
It’s unclear why Clinton made the comment since it’s not her area. She couldn’t be reached Thursday for comment.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Obama and Clinton have both made it clear that the administration opposes the law.
“I will defer to the Justice Department on the legal steps that are available and where they stand on the review of the law,” Crowley said. “The secretary believes that comprehensive immigration reform is a better course of action.”
Brewer, a Republican, said in a statement that “this is no way to treat the people of Arizona.”
“To learn of this lawsuit through an Ecuadorean interview with the secretary of state is just outrageous,” she said. “If our own government intends to sue our state to prevent illegal immigration enforcement, the least it can do is inform us before it informs the citizens of another nation.”
Vice President Biden stopped by today’s White House press briefing to talk about the Recovery Act. While there, however, reporters encouraged him address Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-TX) apology to BP for the fact that the Obama administration is making the company set up a fund to pay individuals and businesses that are suffering because of the oil spill. Biden angrily responded to Barton, calling his comments “astonishing” and “outrageous”:
BIDEN: There’s an entire way of life in jeopardy. This is just not about jobs. This is just not about whether or not the waterfowl is polluted and you can’t — this is an entire way of life that’s in jeopardy. And to sit there and say that we’re being — in effect, as I understood the statement — that he was ashamed we’re being tough on an oil company who caused the problem — I mean, I — look, I just think that it’s pretty important to the people of Louisiana all the way through Florida and even in his home state of Texas that people disassociate themselves from that.
That’s not the role — there’s no shakedown. It’s insisting on responsible conduct and a responsible response to something they caused. And I find it outrageous to suggest that if, in fact, we insisted that BP demonstrate their preparedness, to put aside billions of dollars — in this case, $20 billion — to take care of the immediate needs of people who are drowning — these guys don’t have deep pockets. The guy who runs the local marina, the guy who has one shrimping boat, the guy who has one small business — he can’t afford to lose $10,000, $12,000, $15,000, $30,000 a month. [...]
What is wrong with that? How is that a shakedown? I mean, I just — I don’t know, I find it pretty astounding, the comment.