Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Blaming the Victims for BP’s Negligence

Bert opines that if we had less regulation, BP would have had fewer corners to cut while drilling Deepwater

Explosion is CG--No Squirrels were hurt in the production of this cartoon

Yup, that’s right, it isn’t Biggish Petroleum’s fault that the Gulf of Mexico is turning into La Brea East. After all, they have such a lovely service record with hundreds of safety violations … in the last 2 years! So it couldn’t possibly be THEIR fault for being in such hot … errr … water. How dare President Obama shake them down for damages when it manifestly is not their fault.

It’s the Democrat’s fault for allowing themselves to be bullied into toothless regulation. It’s the fault of those damn liberals who forced them to drill so far off-shore. It’s the fault of the American people for buying those gas guzzlers and not forcing the auto manufacturers to make electric cars. It’s their fault for not throwing away their incandescent light bulbs and replacing them with mercury-filled CFLs that are 10 times as expensive and require a HAZMAT team to come clean up if one breaks. It’s their fault for keeping on using gas and oil instead of smoke-belching coal, since they don’t have any other viable alternatives. Except ultra-safe nuclear! It’s the fault of the alternative energy folks for not developing their technologies on a shoestring while Congress is giving subsidies to the oil folks who are already making the largest profits in history. It’s the fault of that guy in all the emergency contact documents who had the temerity to die without informing the oil companies of the need to update their plans. It’s the fault of the turtles in the Gulf for being so delicious that they’re endangered.

Yeah. And as the bank robber said to the security guard:

Damn you! if you hadn’t gotten untied and started screaming, I wouldn’t have had to shoot you.

See. It’s YOUR fault.

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Keeping the Gulf Crisis in the Short-Range View

David Cameron explains to President Obama how the needs of British pensions outweigh the loss of the Gulf of Mexico.

In Saturday's talk, Obama assured David Cameron that BP is important to the US

WASHINGTON (IVC)–President Obama and British Prime Minister met by phone on Saturday to discuss the ongoing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameron expressed his deep regret that billions of barrels of British oil were being lost in the Gulf of Mexico and that it was unfortunate that it might destroy an entire international eco-system. The President and Prime Minister reaffirmed the “special relationship” between the US and UK and expressed how they’d like to meet in person soon to administer the official special reach-arounds. Cameron reminded Obama how important BP was to the world’s economy, which, he added, “includes the USA.” According to Robert Reich, 12% of British pensions are invested in BP. Cameron continued that while BP was a British company, the problem is strictly an American one. “It’s not as if the oil will enter the Gulf Stream and head out across the Atlantic,” he noted. Obama, for his part, apologized for the emphasis everyone seemed to be placing on called BP “British” Petroleum, which was merely an unfortunate accident from the fact that BP happens to be a British company. Obama further said that he understood that this accident was not an act of war and that we would do everything possible to avoid invading Britain any time soon. The rest of the conversation was devoted to talk about their families.

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The New Financial Reform Bill Has the Banks Crying All the Way to the …. Bank

Chris Dodd displays his financial reform package to Batman and Robin, who likens it to Holy Underwear!

Hole-y Reform!

The disaster bubbling up to the surface down in the Gulf is assuming proportions that make the plagues of Egypt look like a teen party that got a little out of control. “Don’t worry. Accidents Happen!” says the new bright star of the Tea Party Brigade, Rand Paul, “it’s un-American to blame BP for being negligent.” After all, there were THREE companies that were negligent down there and one of them was that shining example of patriotic profit-taking, Halliburton! You can’t blame BP for an Act of GOD! Well, I have a question. If these god-fearing jackasses think the destruction of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Delta is an Act of God, then WTF do they think God is trying to SAY???

But I digress. My real topic is that other corporate disaster, the Financial Reform Bill. Yup, Chris Dodd has finally achieved his valedictory legislation, a financial reform that is in every way the counterpart of the Health Care and Credit Card Reforms. Like underwear that is so full of holes, the skidmarks get on your pants anyway. Yes, there are some nice new picket fences with signs that say, “Don’t Go Here Or We’ll Slap You,” in place, but by and large, “too big to fail,” has become enshrined by law as the WAY THINGS ARE in the United Corporations of America.

Limiting the size of banks? Perish the thought–just like the US itself is too big to fail, our banks are too big to close. Breaking up some of the companies that were responsible for a worldwide economic collapse? You gotta break some eggs to make an omelet! Caps on credit card interest? We covered THAT back with credit card reform! And what a success THAT has been. And the piece de resistance? The wall between trading and commercial banking that would prevent banks from using our money to buy chips in their own casino? Hahaha you must be joking.

OK there’s a new consumer agency that Elizabeth Warren, darling of the Daily Show, has been pushing. And there’s some new regulation and oversight. But mostly Wall Street is left with the task of policing Wall Street and us chickens know what it means when the fox is guarding the hen house. The Street will still hire its own credit raters, you know, the ones who gave those risky investments AAA ratings? And derivatives will still be sold to hedge risk, thereby allowing risk to be swallowed up in bookkeeping. So in every way, the things that led to the economic collapse of 2009 has been left in place. Anyone want to take bets on another collapse by 2016? How about 2012?

If this is Chris Dodd’s valedictory achievement in the Senate, I’d say his retirement is a very good thing for the American people. But–couldn’t you have left a little quicker, Chris?

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The Real Reason All Those Oil Companies Screwed Up

We'd have been better off if the Three Stooges had been in charge of drilling in the Gulf.

Moe Inc., Larry Inc., and Curly Inc. Woowoowoowoowoooooo!

Well, let’s see, you still need papers in Arizona–finish the danged fence, eh, John McCain? And Elena Kagan is now the darling of Laura Bush–who has started opening her mouth more and more since she doesn’t have to just nod her head and smile–although she does that quite a lot in her new book–the one with the mummy mask on the cover? So it looks like we’re back with the LaGulfa Tar Pit–formerly known as the Gulf of Mexico. Just think, boys and girls, in 50,000 years, people, or whatever intelligent species will be inhabiting this planet, will be able to excavate the Gulf of Mexico and find all sorts of creatures that used to live in the ocean!

We were treated to the spectacle of BP, Transocean and Halliburton all pointing fingers at each other, saying that it was some other guy’s fault that for nearly a month now, crude oil has been gushing into the sea, endangering wildlife, fishing, creating a dead zone far greater than the previous one, and in general, becoming OILMAGEDDON. Really, it looked like a Three Stooges movie. In fact, it probably would have been much more fun for all of us victims to see these three guys slapping each other and poking fingers into eyes!

True, this is probably unfair to Moe, Larry and Curly. They only created disasters on a purely local level. Like leveling a house. It takes an oil executive to create one on a global scale! See what a college education can do for YOU!

The “Drill, Baby, Drill” ideologues have in the meantime weighed in with their peculiar brand of irrationality. Sarah Palin says this is why we shouldn’t trust furriners like BRITISH Petroleum (never mind that TransOcean and Halliburton are American companies). Rush Limbaugh ideates that environmentalists did this to scotch any further offshore drilling–this is the cutting off your nose to spite your face strategy–or maybe Koreans. He’s not sure–he’ll know in another dose of oxycodone. And of course, the pro-drill crowd says this just PROVES we need to do more offshore drilling–look at all the oil we’re losing, we’ve got to make that up SOMEHOW and after all, practice makes perfect!

In the meantime, BP has tried to cap the well with the TOP HAT and the HOT TAP–amazing that the ONLY thing they’ve gotten to work so far is something that allows them to recover some of the spill into a tanker, but in the meantime, we still have the 10 mile long plumes of crude shooting out to sea. And it’s getting near the current that will take it to the Florida Keys. Ernest Hemingway couldn’t do it, hurricanes couldn’t do it, but it looks like good old capitalism will finally shut Sloppy Joe’s down!

And as we watch the death of one of the most important bodies of water in the world, let’s have a drink on that old fisherman and his soon-to-be-vanished marlin. One more for my baby and one more for the road–because it was the road that got us here.

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