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I'm beginning to think that "foot-in-mouth disease" is a real, true affliction!!   How many of these Republicans are going to say totally ignorant stuff and then "profusely apologize" for it 24 hours later??  What is wrong with these these people??  Are that many of them truly that dense?? 


Date: Friday, June 18, 2010
By: Frederick Cosby, Special to BlackAmericaWeb.com

 

Republican House Rep. Joe Barton profusely apologized Thursday for apologizing to BP’s chief executive for what he called a “$20 billion shakedown” by President Barack Obama’s White House in getting BP to create a cleanup and compensation fund for victims of the Gulf Coast oil spill.


Barton (R-Texas), the ranking Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, issued his second “I’m sorry” after he was taken to the political woodshed by fellow Republicans who didn’t want to be seen siding with the company responsible for the greatest oil disaster in U.S. history.


“I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House, and I retract my apology to BP,” Barton said in a written statement. “As I told my colleagues yesterday and said again this morning, BP should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico. BP should fully compensate those families and businesses that have been hurt by this accident.” 


“I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident,” Barton concluded.


Barton caused jaws to drop at an Energy and Commerce hearing Wednesday when he told BP chief executive Tony Hayward, who testified at the hearing, that he was “ashamed of the White House’s treatment of BP."


“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,” he said in his opening statement at the hearing.


Barton added that if he, as a member of Congress, told a private company to pony up money like that, “I’d go to jail and should go to jail.”


Republican leaders, aware of the public anger generated from images of oil spewing from the damaged well and sloshing ashore along parts of the Louisiana coast, scrambled to distance themselves from Barton.


House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) issued a rare joint statement saying Barton’s remarks “were wrong.”


“BP itself has acknowledged that responsibility for the economic damages lies with them and has offered an initial pledge of $20 billion dollars for that purpose,” the statement said. “The families and businesspeople in the Gulf region want leadership, accountability and action from BP and the administration. It is unacceptable that, 59 days, after this crisis began, no solution is forthcoming.”


Boehner, asked about Barton’s BP apology during his weekly news conference, told reporters that “I have said since the beginning that BP ought to be help responsible for every dime of this tragedy ... And they ought to be held accountable to stop the leak and get it cleaned up as soon as possible.”


Asked if he disagreed with Barton’s initial assessment of Obama securing the $20 billion fund, Boehner flatly responded, “I do.”


Barton’s apology to BP prompted Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), whose coastal Pensacola district is being affected by the spill, to call on Barton to quit as the head Republican on the energy and commerce committee.


“Mr. Barton’s remarks are out of touch with this tragedy, and I feel his comments call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee,” Miller said in a written statement. “He should step down as ranking member of the Committee.”


Democrats, needless to say, had a field day over Barton’s comments. The Democratic National Committee quickly posted a video on YouTube titled “I Apologize,” which shows footage of Barton addressing Hayward at the energy and commerce hearing.


White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters “What is shameful is that Joe Barton seems to have more concern for big corporations that caused this disaster than the fishermen, small business owners and communities whose lives have been devastated by the destruction.”


Daniel J. Weiss, a senior fellow and director of climate strategy for the Center for American Progress, expressed amazement Thursday that Republicans would criticize Obama for trying to get compensation from BP because Exxon fought so long and hard after the Valdez oil disaster in Alaska that 8,000 people died waiting for their claims to be settled.


“Obama gets $20 billion, and the Republicans criticize him for extracting a deal that cost the government no money and was voluntary on the part of BP,” Weiss said.


Republicans may have rushed to pile on Barton, but it seems that his “shakedown” comment was a talking point in the making for GOP lawmakers to use against Obama.


On Wednesday – a day before Barton’s BP apology - Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), chair of the Republican Study Committee, said “BP reported willingness to go along with the White House’s new fund suggests that the Obama administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics.”


Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, echoed Barton’s concern about Obama’s approach to BP.


“Representative Barton is expressing some concern about - that I share the concern - is this has really become a political issue for the president, and he's trying to deal with it by showing how tough he's being against BP,” Cornyn said. "The problem is BP's the only one who really is in control of shutting down this well, and he's trying to mitigate, I think, his own political problems."


Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a conservative Tea Party favorite, was quoted as telling the Heritage Foundation think tank on Tuesday that the $20 billion fund was a "redistribution-of-wealth fund."


"And now it appears like we'll be looking at one more gateway for more government control, more money to government," the Minnesota Independent quoted Bachmann as saying.

 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
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Joe Barton's Connection To Big Oil.



Joe Barton is no stranger to "Big Oil" and is heavily in their debt in terms of campaign contributions...below is from a 2006 article on Barton's connections;

"According to opensecrets.org, a watchdog group that monitors monetary contributions to politicians, Barton alone has received close to $2 million in campaign contributions from energy companies and their political action committees since he has been in office. The oil and gas industry has been the top industry contributor to his campaign. This does not include contributions from individuals who work for petrochemical companies, though. Last year, employees from Anadarko Petroleum alone, contributed $50,000, opensecrets.org reports."

During his political career, the industries that have been Barton's largest contributors were oil and gas ($1.4 million donated), electric utilities ($1.3 million) and health professionals ($1.1 million)[  He is ranked first among members of the House of Representatives for the most contributions received from the oil and gas industry, and number five among all members of Congress. His largest corporate contributor, Anadarko Petroleum, owns a 25 percent share in the Macondo Prospect, the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Has Joe Barton done a disservice to the people of the Gulf by "besmerching" the Obama administration with today's sound bite? Has Barton spent too much time kissing the oily hand of Big Oil ? Does Barton speak for the American people or does he only bark for his masters?

"On Sept. 26, 2005, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex), head of the Energy and Natural Resource Committee, introduced the Gasoline for America's Security Act 2005, to the House of Representatives in what he said was a response to the present energy crisis. The most significant part of the bill gave the authority for the government to subsidize the construction of new refineries for petrochemical companies, despite the fact that the oil companies had intentionally been closing down refineries for years prior to the hurricanes. It would allow for oil companies to construct refineries on military bases and government controlled areas offshore. The bill also included a clause in which several environmental restrictions on the oil companies would be repealed.


"The bill was an example of yet another free giveaway for 'big oil'," former Texas Agriculture Commissioner and talk-show-host Jim Hightower said. "They have their hands deep in the pockets of politicians."


http://www.allvoices.com/contr...big-oil-barton-barks

Rep. Barton has been regarded as a global warming skeptic and his opposition to addressing global warming has been consistent and long-term. Barton is considered an oil industry apologist, most notably for his rebuffing and apologizing for the White House asking for an escrow account from BP in response to the Gulf Oil Spill disaster.

As a chairman with primary responsibility over the energy sector, Barton has consistently acted over the years to prevent congressional action on global warming. In 2001, Barton declared, "as long as I am chairman, [regulating global warming pollution] is off the table indefinitely. I don't want there to be any uncertainty about that. Barton led opposition to amendments that would have recognized global warming during consideration of the Energy Advancement and Conservation Act in 2001, opposing an amendment to require the President to develop and implement a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels as called for by the non-binding United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to which the U.S. is a party.


In 2003, Barton again opposed amendments that would have recognized global warming during consideration of the National Energy Policy Act of 2003, opposing a nonbinding amendment that would have put Congress on record as saying that the U.S. should "demonstrate international leadership and responsibility in reducing the health, environmental, and economic risks posed by climate change.



In July 2003, Barton offered an amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act to remove language that both recognized global warming and called on President Bush to reengage with the international community to find solutions.  In addition, Barton has consistently opposed proposals to reduce the nation's dependence on oil.

In 2005, prompted by a February 2005 Wall Street Journal article, Rep. Barton has launched an investigation into two climate change studies from 1998 and 1999. In his letters to the authors of the studies, he requested not just details on the studies themselves but significant information about their entire lives and previous studies. This has been widely regarded as an attempted attack on the scientists rather than a serious attempt to understand the science, although some view it as a normal exercise of the committee's responsibility and an effort to make possible scientific debate on a subject within its jurisdiction.  The Washington Post condemned Barton's investigation as a "witch-hunt".  Environmental Science & Technology, an obscure policy journal often cited by politicians, including Barton, reported what it said was scientific proof that global warming science is wrong. See also Barton's own response to this controversy in The Dallas Morning News. The dispute expanded with Sherwood Boehlert's House Science Committee taking a strong interest.

In 2006, Barton earned two "environmental harm demerits" from the conservative watchdog group Republicans for Environmental Protection, the first "for derailing floor passage of a sense of the House resolution ... acknowledging climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions"; the second, "for holding hearings, in his role as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, designed to intimidate climate scientists and raise doubt about the impacts and causes of climate change. The hearings were held by Barton's committee on July 19, 2006, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations; there, several skeptics testified regarding the hockey stick graph.

During Former Vice President Al Gore's testimony to the Energy and Commerce Committee in March, 2007, Barton asserted to Gore that "You're not just off a little, you're totally wrong."

Rep. Barton has been regarded as a global warming skeptic and his opposition to addressing global warming has been consistent and long-term[citation needed]. Barton is considered an oil industry apologist, most notably for his rebuffing and apologizing for the White House asking for an escrow account from BP in response to the Gulf Oil Spill disaster.

As a chairman with primary responsibility over the energy sector, Barton has consistently acted over the years to prevent congressional action on global warming.In 2001, Barton declared, "as long as I am chairman, [regulating global warming pollution] is off the table indefinitely. I don't want there to be any uncertainty about that. Barton led opposition to amendments that would have recognized global warming during consideration of the Energy Advancement and Conservation Act in 2001, opposing an amendment to require the President to develop and implement a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels as called for by the non-binding United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to which the U.S. is a party. In 2003, Barton again opposed amendments that would have recognized global warming during consideration of the National Energy Policy Act of 2003, opposing a nonbinding amendment that would have put Congress on record as saying that the U.S. should "demonstrate international leadership and responsibility in reducing the health, environmental, and economic risks posed by climate change."  In July 2003, Barton offered an amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act to remove language that both recognized global warming and called on President Bush to reengage with the international community to find solutions.[dead link][14] In addition, Barton has consistently opposed proposals to reduce the nation's dependence on oil.

In 2005, prompted by a February 2005 Wall Street Journal article,Rep. Barton has launched an investigation into two climate change studies from 1998 and 1999.[5] In his letters to the authors of the studies, he requested not just details on the studies themselves but significant information about their entire lives and previous studies. This has been widely regarded as an attempted attack on the scientists rather than a serious attempt to understand the science,] although some view it as a normal exercise of the committee's responsibility and an effort to make possible scientific debate on a subject within its jurisdiction. The Washington Post condemned Barton's investigation as a "witch-hunt". Environmental Science & Technology, an obscure policy journal often cited by politicians, including Barton, reported what it said was scientific proof that global warming science is wrong. See also Barton's own response to this controversy in The Dallas Morning News. The dispute expanded with Sherwood Boehlert's House Science Committee taking a strong interest.

In 2006, Barton earned two "environmental harm demerits" from the conservative watchdog group Republicans for Environmental Protection, the first "for derailing floor passage of a sense of the House resolution ... acknowledging climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions"; the second, "for holding hearings, in his role as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, designed to intimidate climate scientists and raise doubt about the impacts and causes of climate change." The hearings were held by Barton's committee on July 19, 2006, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations; there, several skeptics testified regarding the hockey stick graph.

During Former Vice President Al Gore's testimony to the Energy and Commerce Committee in March, 2007, Barton asserted to Gore that "You're not just off a little, you're totally wrong."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Barton

It's just scary to think that people like him - who thinks like he does - are in charge of  our government and our lives.  And In particular, my state.   I mean, this man has been in the House for the past 25 years!!  And he (and all these other Republicans) said what he really feels.  He just had to apologize for it because it shows him to be the corrupt, bought-and-paid-for-by-corporate-America politician that he is if he doesn't say he's sorry he said it.  (As if he really means it!  ).

Interestingly, though ... this *CHANGE* in American politics that we we ushered in in 2008 is bringing all the 'rats' out and into the open.  True colors are startin' to show.  The Red against the Blue ... but especially the White!!   
SHAKEDOWN is a word i've only ever heard applied to civil rights activists ie Jesse & Al...


What does it mean that it has been applied to the president after he secured a relatively small amount (considering there's no way to estimate the total damage to the citizens of the gulf coast) for american citizens whove been damaged by BP's recklessness?
Just more southern racist rhetoric that is relied on by southern politicians to keep there southern racist base voting against there own interests.  Making it clear (or appear) in a public forum that they are against the first Black president is virtually a requirement, otherwise the racists may not come out to vote for them in coming elections.

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