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Many Villains, No Heroes

By Greg L | 21 June 2010 | National Politics | 14 Comments

Guest Post by Sanford D. Horn

Rahm Emanuel is the opportunist’s opportunist. The Obama administration Chief of Staff first said “never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Then, this past weekend, Emanuel referred to Congressman Joe Barton’s apology to BP as a “gift,” demonstrative of how the GOP would behave. For that, Emanuel is a villain.

Texas Republican Joe Barton chided the Obama administration last week for “shaking down” BP to the tune of $20 billion, in the form of an apology to the beleaguered oil company. Barton then redacted his apology to BP, no doubt under pressure from key GOP leadership who may have threatened to relieve Barton of his ranking position on the Energy and Commerce Committee. For his backpedaling, Barton is a villain.

It begs the question, who shook down Barton? What was wrong with his apology to BP? Barton merely expressed what he believed to be an inappropriate action by the Obama administration to make financial demands on a private corporation. Financial demands that would hurt not just the company’s bottom line – and deservedly so, as they are responsible for the worst oil spill in American history – but the investments of private citizens. That any member of the Obama administration would demand that BP not pay its dividend to its investors is disturbingly anti-capitalist, but not surprising. For such dubious financial advice, the Obama administration is a villain.

BP no doubt capitulated to avoid a deepening public relations nightmare, which, quite frankly, they brought upon themselves via the numerous verbal gaffes by CEO Tony Hayward as well as a number of spokesmen for whom English is not their first language. BP is certainly a villain on so many levels.

Public relations plays a major role in the restoration or continued deterioration of the image of BP, the Obama administration and even Congressman Barton.

The media determined BP is the villain because of the environmental disaster unleashed upon the Gulf of Mexico and the surrounding communities – and rightfully so.

But hold the phone just a minute here – while appropriately castigating Hayward, the so-called mainstream media has said little of Obama, except to criticize him for wanting to find someone’s ass to kick. For that, the lame-stream media is a villain.

The media needlessly piled on Hayward grilling him for spending the past weekend on his yacht, after being relieved of his spokesman responsibilities. Clearly Hayward is an insensitive dolt and a villain, but not after being replaced as spokesman.

However, where was the media criticism of Obama for playing two rounds of golf in the past five days? (He’s played more golf in the last week than I have in the past year. A friend suggested I become president so I might play more golf.) And instead of criticizing Obama for taking in last Friday’s Nationals – White Sox game at Nationals Park, a simple picture in The Washington Post shows Obama enjoying the national pastime. For lacking the sense of urgency and his late arrival on the scene Obama is most assuredly a villain.

However, once Obama did arrive on the scene, he wandered about looking for someone’s ass to kick. The media did not criticize Obama for not knowing whose ass to kick (both his own and BP’s) but instead focused on his use of language. I applaud him for wanting to find someone’s ass to kick – it was Obama’s first sign of emotion during this entire debacle.

Shame on the media for feigning Puritan and Victorian shock in the wake of coarse language – see also Vice President Joe Biden, the dust up between Senator Patrick Leahy and former Vice President Dick Cheney and countless others.

As a journalist/columnist, rest assured, there’s nary a newsroom not rife with coarse language – and politicians are certainly no different, so cut the crap and the false indignation. For not placing criticisms where they belong, the media is again a villain.

Where there is a villain, there is a hero – black hats versus white hats as depicted in old Westerns. Bottom line – many villains, the only known heroes – the residents and business owners in the Gulf region trying to restore some semblance of a life.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.



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14 Comments

  1. Anonymous said on 22 Jun 2010 at 6:06 am:
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    Well, come on now….everyone knows that the current socialists in charge don’t need to play by the old school rules. Nope, Hope-Bama can pretty much speak anything and the media gives him a free pass. They have since day one. Why, do you suppose, the media does this? Could there possible be an agenda in the Lame Stream Media?

    What would a New World Order look like? Where the United States was just one of many countries that receives its marching orders from a rotating presidency at the top? What would world capitalism look like? No need for pesky tariffs that only get in the way of goods being sold to a consumer. No need for country rules that only serve a selfish nation. No! International rules would replace those things.

    There was a book written about the invisible hand of the market. That hand is actually quite visible now for those who do not live in a sound-bite world. It’s there. This hand has gotten intelligence now. Technology. It knows who everyone is, or can make an approximate guesstimation and know3s how you shop, where you go, can even track you if it wishes to.

    This world order is slowly being set up and our nation is slowly being dismantled.

    If this alone doesn’t make you mad as hell or want to cry, then keep your head in the sand and still believe it’s an Us vs. Them….Republican vs. Democrat.

    I’m here to tell you it goes MUCH deeper than that and is, in fact, directed. The media plays a VERY BIG part in this.

  2. hazegray said on 22 Jun 2010 at 10:14 am:
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    I attended a high school graduation last week in Tidewater Virginia (not a hotbed of liberalism). In the proram, the schools published “mission” was to graduate students who were “citizens of the global community” or something close to that. And no one apparently raised an eyebrow that the word “America” was no where in the statement….

  3. Tillie said on 22 Jun 2010 at 4:26 pm:
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    hazegray

    Whether you want to or not, we are ALL , if not citizens, part of the global community. Maybe you hadn’t noticed.

  4. Big Dog said on 22 Jun 2010 at 7:19 pm:
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    My heroes are the local folks like in Magnolia Springs, Alabama
    where, when the Mayor finally realized what BS was
    gushing from BP and the Feds, quickly recruited everyone he
    could, including the Volunteer Firemen and Boy Scouts, to use an
    ad hoc bunch of boats and booms to protect their small community.
    While financing, procedures, and plan approvals are in some
    sort of limbo, oil slicks are now a few hundred yards off their
    shore.

  5. Anonymous said on 22 Jun 2010 at 9:25 pm:
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    By all means, Tillie, feel free to “commune” with any portions of the world that will have you…

    That “Global Community” meme is straight up PC Marxism wherein the individual is reduced to just another voiceless, dependent, possession of the global socialist/communist Nanny State.

  6. NoVA Scout said on 22 Jun 2010 at 9:36 pm:
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    Here’s the deal on this, folks. Barton was right up to a point, but he expressed himself poorly. There is a system in place for handling these claims, and there was absolutely no evidence that it wasn’t working as designed. Barton was right that the White House, for political showmanship reasons, arm-twisted BP into establishing a fund that was no improvement over what was happening according to statute in any event. It’s pure theatre, and it’s a shame that the President allowed himself to be a party to his political handlers’ concern that he appeared to be powerless (which he is and any other president of either party would be) to stop the ocean floor gusher-to-everywhere-but-my-gas-tank. BP has made a world class mess - no need to apologize to them, Congressman. But, the kernal of truth is that this escrow fund is pure optics, not substance, and it creates serious issues about respect for a legal system that was working, at least with regard to the handling of third-party claims.

  7. Anonymous said on 22 Jun 2010 at 10:53 pm:
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    It has become painfully clear that swift and competent action in the Gulf does not suit the Obama agenda nor Soros’ profit interests.

    Gush, Baby, Gush! is the their motto….The Obama Regime wants to make sure this disaster is as bad as it can be. That way Zer0 and his socialist minions can take the maximum political advantage of it.

    1) Feb 2010 - BP has trouble with the well and notifies the feds that things aren’t going well.
    2) March – BP cuts costs and cuts corners on safety as they carry on their work
    3) Obama announces that off-shore drilling will get a green light
    4) Goldman Sachs starts dumping BP stock
    5) The CEO of BP starts dumping BP stock
    6) April - The well explodes, killing 11 and beginning the spill
    7) The federal government issues a moratorium on off-shore oil drilling.
    8) The federal government is slow to act in dealing with the spill
    9) The federal government will not ask foreign nations for help
    10) The federal government will not use skimmers on hand to gather oil

    Over 2,000 Skimmers Available In US That Obama Refuses To Use

    http://www.libertyjuice.com/2010/06/22/over-2000-skimmers-available-in-us-that-obama-refuses-to-use/

    http://joytiz.com/2010/soros-bp-and-obama-singing-from-the-same-hymnal/

  8. Anonymous said on 22 Jun 2010 at 10:58 pm:
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    ‘A County Goes Rogue, Obama’s Coast Guard Acts Stupidly”

    “Fed up with the Obama Regime’s ongoing incompetence, Okaloosa County Florida has gone rogue. Rather than for the Feds to stop counting life jackets and telling foreign governments “No thanks, we’d rather botch this ourselves,” the county is going ahead with the construction of barriers to protect its beaches from oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon spill on its own.

    Obama’s Coast Guard — fresh from defending its position of halting skimming operations so bureaucrats could count life jackets and fire extinguishers — has responded by reportedly running its boats over the booms and barriers Okaloosa county has erected.

    Remember, the entire Obamunist philosophy of governance is based on the premise that state and local authorities are stupid and therefore the Federal Government must have supremacy in all matters. The response to the spill gives lie to this premise.”

    http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/2010/06/morning-briefs-191.html

  9. Dan said on 23 Jun 2010 at 10:32 am:
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    NoVA Scout, I think it remains to be seen if the fund is an improvement to paying claims to those damaged by BP’s negligence or not. If payments can be made promptly to small business owners from the fund, for instance, they may survive where they otherwise would have been forced out of business by the total interruption of their businesses caused by BP’s little spill.

    Filing suit against a company like BP means waiting years for compensation. They have teams of lawyers far more expensive than most small businessmen could ever dream of affording. The folks who had losses in the Exxon Valdez spill waited as long as two decades in some cases to receive compensation. Many of the businesses were bankrupt at that point. Some of the people were dead.

    Somehow I think this fund may represent a serious improvement over the normal workings of the legal system in a disaster of this magnitude.

    The optics argument works both ways. The establishment of the fund is excellent PR for BP. And God knows they have blundered the PR aspect of this. From idiotic statements about the spill being insignificant in a “very big ocean” to their obvious dissembling about the size of the spill.

    And it isn’t like they weren’t going to be paying the money out at some point. Paying the five installments into the fund and having it administered by a reputable third party with a solid track record is good for repairing the image to which BP had caused so much self inflicted damage. I don’t imagine it took too much arm twisting to reach agreement on the fund.

    I realize it is fun to parrot silly talking points about “Chicago style shakedowns” and making this all about the president who is hated with every bit as much irrationality by some of the commenters here as Bush was by equally foaming at the mouth lefties. But we might save the outrage for where it is more properly directed.

    First, BP has done and is continuing to do a great deal of damage to our country as a whole and to the lives and economic well being of many of our fellow citizens. There is an investigation to complete, but there seems to be a fair amount of documentary evidence and the testimony of witnesses already deposed that indicates that cutting corners on safety in order to save time and money may have played a significant role in this mess. Anyone apologizing to BP is either a moron or is bought and paid for by oil money. In Congressman Barton’s case I believe it is the latter.

    Second, a little outrage is due toward the Interior Department and Secretary Salazar. It was pretty common knowledge that the MMS was thoroughly corrupt during the Bush administration. Everyone is acting surprised about that now but it was no great secret. Salazar has headed Interior for 17 months now. Time enough to clean house and bring some semblance of order after the Bush years. He was too slow to act. And there is no excuse for that. His resignation is in order.

  10. Anonymous said on 23 Jun 2010 at 5:23 pm:
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    Obama became full owner of the federal government when he took the oath of office. not to mention the fact that his administration approved deep horizon in the first place. It is HIS resignation that is in order.

    “Obama Admin Shuts Down Sand Dredging to Create Protective Berms off Coast of Louisiana…”

    http://weaselzippers.us/2010/06/23/unreal-obama-admin-shuts-down-sand-dredging-to-create-protective-berms-off-coast-of-louisiana/

  11. Anonymous said on 23 Jun 2010 at 6:50 pm:
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    BP blow out smears virginia beach coast. Are you guys going to tell people to use the legal system to get there money? How about when the @#$% drowns Virginias farmlands from the froth whiped up in a huricane and ruins our farmland? Are you still going to tell the people to sue in court? Hey greg, how about when it covers your house and you have to replace your roof? How can you prove it was BP’s oil? Do you have money upfrount to hire a chemist who specializes in forensice oil science? Those anti tax free regulation govenors of the gulf are crying like babies now for the feds to act! How about a tax to pay claims ahead of time before court?
    I am just wondering how BP is dealing with the oil soaked walruses there are? I dont drive solo in a SUV to work. At least with the last gilded age the victorians had conspicuous consumption on there minds. A man needs to get to work by car so be it! Do we not remember history with T.R. and his trust busting? This is a catastrophry in the first degree.

  12. Greg L said on 23 Jun 2010 at 10:24 pm:
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    “I am just wondering how BP is dealing with the oil soaked walruses there are? ”

    Their plan is to get to them as soon as they clean off all the penguins in the Gulf. After the walruses are taken care of, they plan to move on to the mermaids. There’s a priority list here. Obummer is all about priority lists, you know….

  13. NoVA Scout said on 23 Jun 2010 at 10:37 pm:
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    Dan: my point is that the escrow wasn’t necessary given that there already exists an industry-funded source for claims payments and given that BP was already paying claims as filed. There was no requirement that lawyers file suit (although the plaintiff’s bar would no doubt like people to think so). The escrow is an exercise in political optics that duplicates structures already in place by law.

  14. Anonymous said on 24 Jun 2010 at 10:54 am:
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    Everyone knows what a shakedown is, but not many know the legal implications of EXTORTION.

    America has tough rules and regulations regarding oil companies drilling etc. on or off shore ……if BP was ‘derelict’ in not following all the rules, then I suggest some government high up looked the other way.

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