Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Shakedown Explained

Joe Biden's so angry at the "shakedown" comments, he waxes eloquent.



Dante said...

When Biden tells BP they can either put aside the money or the government can take it by force, that's a shakedown. When Biden "applauds" sidestepping the whole reason we have three branches of government in the first place, that's a shakedown. He may find due process an inconvenience, but it exists for a reason. Well, it used to exist for a reason...

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

"Insisting that BP demonstrate their preparedness to set aside billions who need the help now."

Where, exactly, is the threat to take it by force? Where is the taking it by force? There is none, because "BP was cooperative."

You are taking BP's intrinsic fear of potential government action against them as the threat. But there is nothing unconstitutional about using that perception as the basis for negotiation.

Otherwise, no business would ever fear government enforcement of laws.

DADvocate said...

Interesting that article here that doesn't support your view, nor Barton's: The Justice Department has already threatened to prosecute BP, and a refusal to play ball on BP’s part would almost certainly have led to an even more aggressive campaign of public vilification, at the very least.

Is that a threat? Sure looks like one.

intrinsic fear of potential government action

Could you possibly play more word games? Perhaps I could start having my 6' 3", 280 lb son with arms as big as my legs stand menacingly behind me while I argue with others and call their reaction intrinsic fear and imply that it is somehow irrational.

I love how Biden says "the one primary role of government is to protect people who are being taken advantage of" meme. This used to be true, but today government takes advantage of people more without recourse than any other entity. Who's protecting us from the protectors?

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

I think that article was written by someone who has only a political stake in continuing a meme. If residents of the Gulf Coast were out for vengence, we'd use the Republican-preferred and constitutionally approved method and demand all BP executives get waterboarded.

But we don't want revenge, we want justice. If we have to go to court to get it, we will. But if the defendant is willing to begin settling claims out of court, that is completely agreeable.

And the Justice Department still should prosecute BP if any crimes have been committed. And I hope they'll be as aggressive as possible.

The implied threat of potential action concerns not allowing BP the privilige of drilling in our waters again, ever.

Dante said...

"If residents of the Gulf Coast were out for vengence, we'd use the Republican-preferred and constitutionally approved method and demand all BP executives get waterboarded."

Tu quoque, Pat? Really? And not even a good one. If BP had information we needed, I'd be all for waterboarding. However, it is frighteningly obvious that BP has no information of use to us at all.

"But if the defendant is willing to begin settling claims out of court, that is completely agreeable."

If this were just a matter of settling out of court, then why isn't BP administering these funds? Speaking of which, who is administering this money? The former pay czar is administering it. A person only accountable to the White House is in charge of settling "out of court" claims. That you're ok with that tells me that you don't really care nearly as much about justice as you do revenge, Pat.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Oh, there's plenty of information we could get out of BP executives by subjecting them to Republican-preferred constituionally approved methods of stress positions and waterboarding:

How much oil is really coming out of the well?

Is the oil leaking from the sea floor at this time?

Where are the reports from the Deepwater Horizon for the hours immediately before the explosion?

What chemicals are contained in the recipie for Corexit? Have you run tests on those chemical effects on humans and wildlife?

How much Corexit are you putting into the environment?

When an oil/Corexit mixture is burned, what chemicals are the result? Are those airborne chemicals dangerous to humans and wildlife?

Why have you not been booming correctly?

Oh, the list goes on and on and on. What a "productive" session it could be!

But I'm not into torture under any circumstances, so if I was after vengence, I would demand that all BP's American assets be siezed, leases be terminated, and accounts be frozen. I would definitely support nationalization until Exxon or Sunco or Shell could bid on those items.

Seeking vengence, I would support immediate arrest and demands of extradition so BP executives that may be responsible could be tried in court in New Orleans, Louisiana. This may still happen, but that will follow a due process investigation.

But I'm not interested in vengence, I'm interested in justice. We're going to re-open drilling at some point, because we still need oil. BP will likely be a part of that. We need them to be doing things safer and better than the other guy. And I have this ability to detach my raw emotions from policy discussions. I would support the escrow account if it came from a Democrat or a Republican.

Bill, baby, bill.

As for the fund, the guy administering the out of court claims is the same guy who did it for September 11. I didn't hear any complaints about him back then.

Dante said...

"I didn't hear any complaints about him back then."

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was created by an Act of Congress. That's why there were no complaints back then.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

I hate to go all patsbrother on you for this one but:

Him <- denotes a person.

Fund <- denotes a thing.

Sort of an important distinction.

Dante said...

Nowhere did I personally discuss Feinberg's merits to administer the fund. What I mentioned specifically was this:

"Speaking of which, who is administering this money? The former pay czar is administering it. A person only accountable to the White House is in charge of settling "out of court" claims. (emphasis mine)"

I thought I was clear but since apparently I was not, my big beef with the White House tapping Feinberg is the total lack of Congressional input. And I really don't understand why since this is the sort of thing they'd bat right back to the executive branch with Congressional oversight.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

No, I was confused. I read something into the statement against the guy himself and not his official situation.

As far as Congressional oversight is concerned, they're too busy right now trying to cap liabilities, even as we witness a catastrophe far beyond the scope of liability they have imagined in the past.

Becasue mistakes are inconceivable.

DADvocate said...

More change we can believe in:

And on, and on, and on. Meanwhile, the oil is still gushing into the gulf and will soon be going up the eastern seaboard via the Gulfstream and all Obama can do is resort to the usual Chicago style tactics of extracting money from someone but not improving the situation at all. That $20 billion won't mean crap is if something isn't done.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

As for the links:

1. Wash. Tu quoque. The cozy relationship with lobbyists remains one of my main criticisms of this administration.

2. Please see answer to #1.

3. This is one of those ludicrous things we only care about because of the media. You think nobody who lives on the Gulf Coast has gone to chop up the course to take their mind off these things for a few hours? I can name at least one.

4. URL didn't work.

5. This article is on track for about 10 paragraphs, and then goes off the rails about the escrow account and politics. Strange enough, right up until the words "stop it" appear, this is the exact same criticism of Obama from the left.

There were plenty of people saying these things back when Brit Hume was asking "Where's the Oil?" and Rush Limbaugh was calling this a "natural occurence."

The matrix provided is cute, but is a terrible oversimplification of what is going on here. You don't need quadrants, you need a flow chart.

As far as the oil still gushing, the most frustrating part about the whole catastrophe is that our government has zero expertise in how to fix or close off the pipe. Neither anyone else, including BP, if the pipe is compromised below the sea floor.

Hence the moratorium. Hence the escrow fund in case of bankruptcy. Hence the philosophical explanation that the free market does not regulate itself. Hence the cool demeanor, because what does panic solve, at this point?

There are real criticisms to be applied here, but I'm just not seeing them from the right.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Here's an important link of why we were voting for change in the first place.

The money:

I'm not necessarily a fan of Obama, but Vitter's kitchen was cooking up the recipes which resulted in those men's death well before Obama even put on an apron.