Hearing from the Top of the Line?
ExxonMobil Chairman and chief executive Rex Tillerson, left, Chevron Chairman and chief executive John Watson, ConocoPhillips Chairman and chief executive James Mulva, Shell Oil President Marvin Odum and BP America President and Chairman Lamar McKay testify on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, during a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill. Photo: Larry Downing-Reuters
Rep. Joe Burton Apologizes to CEO of BP for President Obama “shaking down” oil giant for a $20 billion “slush” fund to compensate victims of the Gulf Oil spill.
Joe Barton Spills the Beans!
It’s not very often that a professional politician will come right out and say what he feels deep down inside. On Thursday our own Texas good old country boy, Republican Representative Joe Barton, did just that. Peeling back layers usually well hidden from the voters, he put up the true face of the GOP as he apologized to the CEO of BP for President Obama’s “reckless shakedown” of BP of it’s 20 billion dollar escrow fund to pay victims of BP’s oil disaster. Since we have started this blog we have been trying our best to show the voters of this country the difference between Democrats and Republicans. Well, good old Joe just did our work for us, and far better than we ever could have.
"I'm not speaking for anybody in the House of Representatives but myself," Barton explained, "but I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown. In this case a $20 billion shakedown."
Tightening the noose, Barton went on: "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, is subject to some sort of political pressure that is, again, in my words — amounts to a shakedown, so I apologize."
Well, we too think it’s a damn shame that Rep. Barton has to live in a country so despicable, that it would expect a business which causes an extreme amount of damage to have to be responsible and pay for the damage it has caused. Obviously Barton identifies with the oil company, and not the people of the Gulf States that BP savaged. Would he be more comfortable living in BP’s home country, providing they would let him in?
And you better believe that Republicans were running like hell from Barton’s apology. And before the day was over even Barton himself was half-heartedly taking back his morning statement, but his original apology to BP still stands tall, and it sure as hell casts the spotlight of truth on what Republicans really, in their hearts, stand for. Look no further. The Good Ole’ Boy with the Big Mouth from Texas Spoke the Truth! What more is there to say?
As we prepare to upload our blog to Google we might note that according to the Associated Press Rep. Barton seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Telephone calls to his office weren’t being answered, and no further peep has been heard out of him. In Houston Chronicle letters one supported him, while four other decried his tirade, though they were grateful for the true face his outburst put on the Republican Party. We agree, it was a one of a kind happening.
Another Face of Republican Righteousness
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer – Would you buy a used State from this woman?
Fans celebrate after Brazil scored its first goal against North Korea during a World Cup soccer match, while watching the game on a giant screen at Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Silvia Izquierdo-AP
Pardon Our Blog Lite
We apologize for posting mostly a group of photographs for this week’s blog. By the way, the photographs, and even the captions, are from the Washington Post’s collection as published Thursday, June 17. The Washington Post publishes an excellent collection of newsworthy photos daily, a collection not to be missed by anyone appreciating fine news photography. It is our pleasure to be able to call them to your attention.
Healthwise . . . (What kind of word it healthwise, anyway?) On the frontier of my health it was not a good week. The naps which follow each of my three meals are no longer optional, they are mandatory with a capital M! And they last at least an hour, sometimes much longer. I cannot even stay awake for the NBA championship games, and anyone who knows me knows how serious a malady that is.
Even though I plan to continue posting this blog until health does me in, on some weeks, like this one, the writing is likely to be lite. It is July 2nd, or sometime thereafter, that once again I get to find out whether or not I truly have chronic myeloid leukemia, hereafter to be known as cml. For at 3:00 pm on that day I am scheduled to have yet another bone marrow, whatever. Of course, I had this before. The first round found I had cml, the second, conducted by the VA, found I did not have cml. All had been going well since that VA finding that I was free of cml until a recent blood test indicated a untoward number of white corpuscles. Here we go again.
But I’ll tell you the truth, after spending much of this week following the BP hearings on msnbc, I am appalled at the level of incompetence exhibited by the distinguished gentlemen pictured at the hearing above. The level of recklessness and incompetence in the oil industry is unbelievable, and most of this incompetence seems to be centered right here in Houston.
May we dare to hope that Houston’s healthcare community is of a slightly higher quality than its oil industry. I mean, it is enough to make one ashamed to be from Houston, to think of these oil types running amuck all through River Oaks and Memorial.
But our favorite oil polluter, Exxon-Mobile, is no longer the world’s biggest polluter, thank you very much. British Petroleum has taken over that honor, you’re very welcome, and it seems to be laying to waste the entire Gulf of Mexico to prove its ascendancy. And BP’s CEO, Tony Hayward, seems to have broken the record for the CEO who knew the least and said even less.
You know, it’s a drag being in ill health, and if I ever have an audience with our Creator, be assured I’ll issue a complaint as to the way we are sometimes forced to leave this life. But, just getting up every day, and reading what goes on for news these days, this matter of death is beginning to seem less of a problem and more of an ultimate solution, the final turning of the page so to speak.
A secretary bird acts up in his enclosure at the Tierpark Friedrichsfelde zoo in Berlin. The raptor birds are native to the open landscapes of Africa. Photo: Barbara Sax-AFP/Getty Images
Lakers Finally Triumph Over Celtics
In one of the most evenly balanced NBA finals since I have been watching professional basketball, the Los Angeles Lakers won their 16th NBA championship, their second in a row, defeating their arch enemies, the Boston Celtics, 83 to 79. Although the Celtics led the final game during much of it, their legs finally gave out and their age showed. And in the final minutes the Lakers had their way with the game. And so ends another year of professional basketball. Talk about a long, hot summer. We’ll miss you, guys.
Kaylea Neal fires a fistful of mud at her friend Heather Lueck at Gehrmann Park in Springfield, Ill. The girls began playing in a puddle, progressed to a mud fight and ended back in the water to clean up. Photo: Ted Schurter-AP
Mud it taking it to a high level. More common is the water the child in the next picture is playing in. As we experience an almost heat wave here in Houston which is taxing our air conditioning unit, looking at the photograph below can almost be cooling.
Three-year-old Felicity Cornwell of Paducah, Ky., plays at a spray park in Paducah. Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee-AP
And finally how about a photograph extolling the virtues of parenthood? Not of the human variety, but in the world of birds.
A stork leaves the nest to find food for its young in Jablonne v Podjestedi, Czech Republic. According to city records, the nest dates from 1864 and is likely to be the oldest in the country. Photo: Petr Josek-Reuters
And so mercifully this week’s Blog Lite comes to an end. Hoping to feel better and be more productive in the coming week, we will immediately post, and then turn our attention towards assembling next week’s blog. However, next Friday I have another trip to the VA hospital, which shatters time like no other invention known to man.
Why submit myself to the VA experience, you might ask? Well, my son the doctor, Joel, assures me that the VA dispenses Gleevec, one of three drugs which is known to tame cml, although the VA lists the drug under its generic name. Gleevec under its name costs $3000 a month, which certainly puts it out of reach for most of us. Kareem Abdul Jabbar is taking the drug it was announced recently, but he is acting as a spokesman for the drug company, which is undoubtedly how he is affording it. We’ll see what we’ll see.
Each week we try to be creative, if not witty, in our closing comments, but this being the week that was, this week we are making an exception. We invite you back anytime next week if you so desire, and will try a little harder to make up for this week. Meantime, bye now. Sleep well, and dream nice thoughts.