Thursday, June 17, 2010

This is the kind of stuff that makes people dislike Republicans!

I try my best to avoid over-identifying with either the Republicans or the Democrats. There are equally good reasons to dislike both parties and their political philosophies and neither party seems to have good affordable solutions to fixing some of the most serious problems our country is facing. In my opinion both parties bicker with each other and the White House way too much and neither gives the other party credit when they make a valid point which diminishes their credibility in my eyes. I say all of this as a disclaimer because even though this post is about the Republicans, please do not make the mistake of pounding your chest with democratic pride as both parties are well deserving of multiple blank stares and evil squints.

TO THE POINT: Rep. Joe Barton (R) is the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee. This morning he apologized to the CEO of BP (you know, the company that has "accidentally" altered our entire ecosystem and is wholly unable to fix the problem), Tony Hayward for the behavior of the White House towards him on yesterday. Rep. Barton said the following "I am ashamed by what happened at the White House yesterday...It's a tragedy that a private corporation can be subjected to a shakedown." *BLANK STARE* In case you don't know Rep. Barton is referring to the fact that the White House was able to obtain assurances from BP that it will set up a $20 Billion Dollar fund to pay the claims of people whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by this massive oil spill (that just wont stop).

Here is the really confusing part, Rep. Barton said:
“I'm only speaking for myself, I'm not speaking for anybody else, but I apologize I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong it is subject to some sort of political pressure that is again in my words amounts to a ‘shakedown’ so I apologize,” *BLANK STARE*

Please note, Mr. Barton seems aware that BP has actually done something wrong. But apparently, he does not believe that doing something wrong warrants a corporation being forced to actually pay for the mistake they made. What kind of country would you like to live in Mr. Barton? You want to live in a place where you wake up one day and one of the richest corporations in the country has recklessly destroyed your life and all of the wildlife in your area because it was economically feasible for them to do so? Oh wait, we already live there. How about a country where this happens and then the same corporation that was too cheap to take the proper safety precautions in the first place is trusted to just altruistically compensate you for the havoc it has reeked in your life? If the answer is yes Mr. Barton, I recommend you hop on the next thing smoking and go find that country and STAY there.

You want to hear about a shakedown Mr. Barton? Let me tell you the story of millions of hard working Americans who arrive at the gas pumps (so we can get to our jobs) and find that gas prices have quadrupled in the course of 7-10 days (during which time minimum wage has not budged). The prices have gone up not because there is less oil or because the oil at the higher price is better quality but solely based on random speculation as to the future availability of the product. What do the hardworking Americans do? We keep pumping because we have no choice. Now THAT is a shakedown Mr. Barton!

I'm dropping the microphone and walking away from this, because it is making me nauseated.

P.S. Rep. Barton has a record of accepting big contributions from the oil industry, having raked in $1.4 million from the industry since 1989 and is one of the top ten all-time biggest recipients of BP money in the House of Representatives, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. DONE and DONE!

Update: Several (though not all) top republicans are now disavowing this apology given by Rep. Barton and getting as far away from it as possible.  Among those who disagree with Barton is Rep. Boehner the House Minority Leader.

There are worse things than being fat

Alli is a popular weight loss drug that has recently come under scrutiny for the risk that it causes liver disease.  In an "informative" commercial sponsored by the makers of Alli, they advise users to consult a physician if experiencing a number of symptoms.  Among these symptoms is weight loss... *BLANK STARE* So basically if this drug actually works for you, it may also be killing you...Is there an upside? Suuuure, if you are concerned about leaving behind a thin corpse....