Giving BP the ACORN treatment


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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41 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    Agreed. There’s no reason to give a penny of public contracts to a company that behaves like this. There’re plenty of others that’d be happy to sell the Pentagon fuel.Report

  2. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    I agree with North!
    With that said, I trust you’ll be blogging on those gummint regulators who literally whored themselves to BP and make an astute comment re: Bp’s $1 million dollar contribution to BO’s campaign…should be interesting reading.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      @Bob Cheeks, Yeah along with their close ties to Dick Cheney, George W and Halliburton all of whom of course colluded with BP while the rig was being built during the Bush Minor administration. Right Bob?Report

      • Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

        @North, Of course! And, (follow me here, North) when we find evidence of bribery, etc., we hang the perps..right North? And, Mike, you’re right, there’s no need to frame BP or the regulators or the politicians.
        And North, while this Truth Posse is at it let’s look into why Eric Holder won’t pursue criminal charges against those nasty urban utes who interferred with voters at the poles in Philly (I believe), and let’s have a real investigation into ACORN’s criminal activity no matter how un-PC that may be. And, when we find corruption, we hang the perps (inc. the Politicians). ….Right?
        Gee, North you’ve got me fired up!Report

        • Avatar North says:

          @Bob Cheeks, Well last I heard Bob, Acorn was kaput in terms of any support from the government and good riddance to the crooked incompetents.
          As for hang em all, I must demur. I really don’t like pelicans (a lil Nova Scotia background, in that province we call them “Shags” and they’re really vile smelly beasts) so it’d take a lot of the oil soaked buggers to start making me homicidal. Besides, I’m happy to just watch BP’s value go down the toilet.Report

      • Avatar Scott says:


        You sound like Obama that everything is Bush’s fault. This particular well was dug on Barry’s watch but yet somehow it is still Bush’s fault. And by the way, Tansocean owns the rig and I’m not sure when the rig was built has anything to do with anything relevant.Report

        • Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

          @Scott, Not me Scott, I’m merely saying I don’t care who was responsible (as in what party), nor am I cognizant of the history of events (won’t that take depositions and a trial?), but whoever was responsible, and whatever criminal wrong doing was involved, the final result should be execution of the perps at prime time.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Scott, I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt here but it is very difficult. Are you thinking this through or are you just parroting agit-prop from NRO?

          Deepwater Horizon commenced drilling in the Macondo Prospect in February 2010. That’d be a whopping 3 months maximum after Barack Obama was inaugurated and of course that ignores how long it took him to start getting his appointees on the job. The applications, permits and other regulatory review of course were authorized much much earlier. Would you like to guess who the administration that authorized this project was Scott? I’ll give you a hint, his last name rhymes with push.

          Now, you’ve got me dead to rights on the question of “when the rig was built”. The time that the rig itself was built is quite irrelevant and frankly that was sloppy wording on my part. What we should be looking at, of course, was who was at the switch when the damn thing got the green light. For instance: “The Minerals Management Service changed rules in April 2008 to exempt certain projects in the central Gulf region, allowing BP to operate in the Macondo Prospect without filing a blowout plan”. Now I know that Andy Mcarthy says Obama travelled back in time to fake his birth certificate but are you going to say he travelled back in time to enable BP and its’ contractors to drill a shoddy oil well? Doesn’t fit his MO very well.

          Now I understand that the right really urgently wants to try and pass the buck on this considering all the “Drill Baby Drill” sloganeering they were doing right up until the oil started pouring out of the Macondo Prospect. But couldn’t they pick some slightly more plausible reasoning? Aliens or terrorists or something?Report

          • Avatar Scott says:


            It is so gracious of you to give me the benefit of the doubt. Yes, the permitting may have begun under Bush but that hardly makes the disaster his fault considering we don’t even know why it took place or why the blowout preventer that should have stopped the flow didn’t work. Yes, MMS has had too cozy a relationship with Big Oil but that existed before Bush and is hardly his fault either. Sadly, I’ve never seen an administration that spent so much time blaming problems on past administrations.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              Well that’s me, gracious to a fault. Did I mention I’m modest too?

              Now let me get this straight… we have here some drilling company that rolls up to the MMS under the administration of Bush Minor and says “Can we have all these exceptions to the regulations for this well we’re planning on drilling?” And the MMS under the administration of Bush says “Sure go for it.” So off they go, drill this well, Bush leaves office and then the well blows up and somehow it’s Obama’s fault because the explosion happened while he was President? Even though all the particulars of the government involvement occurred under the Bush administration and under exceptions and loosening of standards that occurred again under Bush and in some cases can be attributed right up to ol’ Uncle Tricky Dick (the second) Cheney but somehow it’s Obama’s fault because he didn’t uncover this little mess they left for him and fix it before it blew up?Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Except that there’s no need to frame BP.Report

  4. Avatar Alan Scott says:

    When congress tried to sever ACORN contracts, the court ruled that an unconstitutional bill of attainder. Wouldn’t an attempt to sever contracts with BP be the exact same thing?Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      @Alan Scott, I don’t think servering contracts was the issue. I think was some special We Hate Acorn bill that aimed to prevent them from every getting contracts again or something like that.Report

  5. Avatar dexter45 says:

    Instead of severing contracts with BP, which would only increase the price of fuel, why doesn’t someone with the ability to do so pass a law that says BP and all the other oil related industries will have a 99.9% tax on all profit and a 100% tax on any oil exec making over one hundred grand a year, which is to be paid to all residents within one hundred miles from the coast until the Gulf has been deemed environmently pristine by five experts hand picked by the president of Greenpeace. Then maybe that British buffoon can get his life back. I know none of that will happen because I live in a state where the DINO senator says we can’t raise the cap on payments because that would drive the mom and pops out of business. How many moms do you know that can afford to rent a 540 million dollar rig? How many pops do you know that can destroy a way of life that has lasted since the French and Indian War?Report

  6. Avatar Stuhlmann says:

    “Nationalizing BP, as some pundits have suggested, strikes me as a huge waste of resources and probably a huge step in the wrong direction, making the oil giant even less accountable by weaving it even more indelibly into the federal government. ”

    Why would we want to nationalize a company that is potentially facing billions of dollars of losses for clean-up costs and legal settlements? Haven’t the US taxpayers suffered enough?Report

  7. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    Considering events since the oil spill, the question I have is this: Is our president merely incompetent or is he following his chief-of-staff in taking advantage of a ‘crisis?’Report

    • Avatar North says:

      @Bob Cheeks, Well what is it that he should have done that he hasn’t Bob? I suppose he could fly down to the spill site and try and seal the leak with the power of Hope and Change but if it doesn’t work on Republicans in congress I doubt it’d work on a rift in a deep underwater seabed.Report

  8. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    GOOD MORNING, NORTH. Well, he could have picked up the phone and spent a few minutes talking with the CEO of BP, they coulda burnt off the oil at the beginning of this whore’s nightmare, they could be hauling the materials necessary to contain the spill to the sight (they aren’t, you know), and on, and on.
    Northie, this really, really looks like a colossal circle-jerk or BO’s finally figured out a way to jack gas prices up to $8.00/gal.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      @Bob Cheeks, I’m kind of skeptical that it could simply be burned off or contained at the sight. BP is literally melting before our eyes. If it could have been burnt or contained at the sight why on earth wouldn’t the corporation have done so? Still I don’t know enough about oil spills to say you’re wrong so I’ll suffice it to say I’m skeptical. Or maybe this is just Obama’s perfidious vengence on all those right wing states that have coastlines on the gulf.Report

      • Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

        @North, Northie, I know this entire affair hurts, it hurts me too, but there’s no need for sarcasm. We’ve got to try some fixes and BO/BP isn’t trying anything…and I just wondered why, who’s to benefit from this ‘inaction?’
        You know even as a Paleocon I consider this an environmental disaster and gummint should look into all aspects related to these sad events and at least try to rectify things. Are you sure you want these people running your health care?Report

  9. Avatar North says:

    Bob, I’m busy marveling at how the entire right wing edifice can pivot on a dime from gummint not being supposed to be involved in any of private industries affairs and Drill Baby Drill to gummint being supposed to run around cleaning up after private industries disasters and how dare they allow industry to drill for oil in deep water?

    And frankly I don’t see anyone anywhere benefiting from inaction and I see all kinds of cleanup being frantically attempted so the conclusion I draw is that everything that can practically be done is being done.Report

  10. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    My purely emotional response is that I’d like to see the country in general kick some ass on this. My sole measurement of the mainstream media on this topic is an hour spent watching CNN- which fills me with shame- and an anchor talking about how America is over a barrel, because they’re super pissed at BP, but what can they do? They need oil- desperately- they’re “addicted to it”, after all. Also, if BP pulls even one oil rig, American workers will be out of a job and forced to wander a desolate hellscape foraging for bits of grass and salt to eat until their lingering deaths finally come. So, I’m not really on the “get BP!” bandwagon so much as disgusted by the cringing servility of the “it sucks, but what can ya do? They got us by the short hairs!” argument.Report

  11. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    I’m sensing angst here!
    Really though I was trying to apply a little comparative analysis between BO’s clusterboink and Bush’s Katrina escapade that you folks on the left so loudly decried.
    It’s that old “what goes around, comes around’ thing all over again and I thought BO was…well, way to smart to be sucked into this.
    Would you let me know when you miss George the Minor?Report

  12. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    Rufus, I too don’t want to unnecessarily punish BP. After all it was the lunatic enviromental wackos that forced the drilling rig so far off shore and forced it to drill in a mile of water…unintended consequences as they say.
    There’s also the carbuncle on the ass of BP’s campaign contributions to BO, a million bucks I believe, and what did that buy them..I mean if this were a GOP Pres that would be a required question…right?
    So it really looks like there was collusion between the gummint and BP. We gotta hold hearings/investigations/and trials and find out what went on, whose guilty, and punish accordingly.
    So, Rufus, let me know when you begin to miss George the Minor too!Report

  13. Avatar North says:

    Bob, for some reason I can only post in the main comment section, the reply function isn’t working for me; most annoying. So if any hostility is being expressed please keep in mind that it’s not directed at you because I hold you in high esteem.

    That said I don’t follow your parallels here. The Federal government and government in general are responsible for lending aid when a horrific hurricane (or other natural disaster) smashes a major American city. They even have an entire department dedicated to this purpose; it’s called FEMA.
    The Federal government and government in general is not automatically responsible for cleaning up after big mess making private entities. Prior to this incident conservatives and libertarians especially felt that it was the responsibility of the mess maker to clean up the mess. That’d be BP and its contractors. Now certainly government does involve itself in big messes for prudential and practical reasons. Voters get crabby when their beaches turn fuchsia colored.
    So to bring it home now, I would concede that this incident is similar to Bush in Katrina if:
    -The government was specifically responsible to cleaning up this mess.
    -The government had agencies specifically purposed for cleaning up this mess.
    -Obama had appointed a grossly unqualified director to manage said agencies.
    -There was a long laundry list of acts of towering stupidity and mismanagement on the part of said director.
    -Obama had then lauded said director as doing a good job. Or even “A heck of a job!”

    Now certainly I can understand the right and its media mouthpieces like NRO being all over this. It’s a huge mess, Obama can’t fix it likely because it’s not within his ability to fix and of course Obama loves using soaring rhetoric that makes him sound like he can fix anything so in terms of sound bites and PR it sure looks bad for him.

    As for campaign contributions, as I pointed out to Scott above all of the regulatory green lighting and permissions for this project occurred during Bush minor’s watch so trying to saddle Obama with that blame similarly requires the right to use large heaping of Bushs’ famous “fuzzy logic”.

    But you, Bob, specifically are very smart, honest (as far as I know) and a paleo straight-talker, so how could you possibly endorse such a parallel on an intellectual level? I mean doesn’t the faith say something sharp about bearing false witness? From a hack like McCarthy or K-lo I would be unsurprised but frankly I would think you were better than that.Report

    • Avatar Scott says:


      Last time I checked, Barry started changing Bush’s policies the same day he was inaugurated. The fact also remains that Barry was president when the disaster occurred so why shouldn’t he be the one responsible for over seeing the Fed Gov’s response? What happened to “The Buck Stops Here”? Bary’s response seems to consist of beach photo ops, invoking his daughter for political points and blaming Bush.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        @Scott, Sure Scott, this of course from the same bunch who blamed 9/11 on a long gone Clinton right? Long story short; the buck stops with a Democrat.Report

        • Avatar Scott says:


          It is well documented that Clinton passed up a couple of opportunities to get Osama, one an offer from Sudan to arrest him and turn him over to us. Willie was too busy waving his finger at the public about Monica. Don’t forget that George Tenant, Clinton’s CIA director was still failing in that position when Bush came into office.Report

          • Avatar North says:

            @Scott, Uh huh. As if the fact that the drilling project wasn’t green lit during the Bush administration or all the relaxing of regulations didn’t occur during his administration and sometimes even at the behest of senior administration figures (see Cheney, Dick) isn’t documented.
            If it happened during Bush Minor’s term you have to understand how complex and clearly due to his predecessor the situation was but as soon as Bush Minor stumbles off to Crawford all the crap and mess he made is now Obama’s fault. Long story short, the buck stops with a Democrat.Report

  14. Avatar North says:

    Oh and my best to the Missus as always. I’ve never had as spectacular weather in Minnesota as I have this June. Brilliant and bright but cool with plenty of rain at night when no one cares if it falls. If it keeps up like this I may have to start commending her prayers to my friends though I suppose technically the credit would accrue to whoever is beyond the great cloud of the unknowing that she prays to. In any case all my best.Report

  15. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    We’re (the nation) is going to have to wait and see what any investigations reveal in terms of any funny business between BP and gummint..I’m all for hanging anyone (Dem/GOP) involved in this event.
    BTW, Laffer had a column in the WSJ (I think) a few days ago related to the impending BO tax hikes and the Bush tax cuts running out. If you can find it, I would like to read your comments on that…or if someone wants to blog it. I heard it on right wing talk radio and it seems rather scary!
    All my best, dude, love the banter!Report

  16. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Too many folks have too much to gain by agreeing “if you don’t disclose *THIS* in your report, we won’t disclose *THAT* in our counter-report. Let’s instead agree to release a report that says something to the following…”Report

  17. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    Well, JB, you’re probably right, pessimistic but right. However, I hold out hope that someday we can have the truth of any number of gummint clusterboinks from Fanny/Freddy to BP, from JFK’s Dallas trip to the idea of perpetual war for perpetual peace.
    Also, I wouldn’t mind reading your comments on the coming tax hikes and the end of the Bush tax cuts?Report

    • Avatar North says:

      @Bob Cheeks, Bob, you mean the end of the Bush tax deferrals right? Any economist can tell you that tax cuts without matching spending reductions are not in actually tax cuts. They merely cause an inevitable and larger tax increase in the future.Report

      • Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

        @North, Well I understood them to be tax ‘cuts’ which seems different than ‘deferrals,’ alas, I’m no economist. I wanted your opinion on the whole she-bang ’cause my right wing talk show hosts are talking about 2011 being an economically catastrophic year.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      @Bob Cheeks, we have reached the point where taxes aren’t enough to pay for the stuff we’ve promised. We can raise the tax rates of *EVERYBODY* to 44% and we still won’t be able to pay for it. We can get rid of the mortgage reduction, charitable donations, and raise taxes and we still won’t be able to pay for these things.

      This tells me that, eventually, paying for them will no longer be an issue.Report

      • Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

        @Jaybird, Yes, I quite agree that there has to be a reduction of gummint spending but tax hikes means less money coming in to gummint. This is where the commie-Dems fail to understand human nature and consequently screw up the gummint, which ushers in the GOP who haven’t the nuts to do what’s required and consequently we go round and round.
        Hopefully the TPers will have the backbone to cut taxes, drastically reduce federal spending, gut the bureaucracy, etc., etc…hey, one can hope.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          @Bob Cheeks, eh. I dunno. I think that, on an economic level, the perfect number is somewhere around the Clinton years… assuming, of course, Clintonian levels of spending.

          I’d go back to Clinton level taxation in a HEARTBEAT… if it meant Clinton levels of spending.

          And regulation.Report

          • Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

            Well, now that would be after ’94..yes? When we had a split gummint. Usually, however, there’s enough commie-dems and RINOs to pass spending legislation.Report

  18. Avatar Saturn says:

    Join the FB group demanding that the government De-fund BP:

    Write to the President and Congress to demand this now!Report