Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

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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Jabba the Oil Executive

Cartoon: Jabba the oil executive eats a customer--it was all his fault anyway for being so tasty...

And when he dies, Exxon Mobil will render him for additional reserves

Ever see one of those movies where the bad guys have the good guys in a hostage situation? The bad guys always say, “Behave yourselves and nothing will happen.” Then either the hostages try to get loose or the cops do something stupid and someone gets killed and the bad guys say, “It wasn’t MY fault. We told you to behave. You only have yourselves to blame.” Bad guys have a warped set of ethics. The fact that they are robbing a bank or hijacking an airplane or something similarly illegal doesn’t really count. It’s YOUR fault for not letting them get away with it.
We’ve, of course, had the last 8 years with a bunch of hoodlums in charge, the chief of whom, one George Bush, was never responsible for anything. Someone else always gave him bad information, or no one could have foreseen the consequences of our actions or inactions. Or something else that would inevitably gain the offending party the Medal of Freedom. With the banking crisis, it’s different. George was NOT the only person responsible. Everyone in government from Ronald Reagan on has been giving banks a free ride, letting them go on a merry deregulated spree until finally, whoopsiedaisy, we’ve got to bail them out. Or else, we’re the ones who’re going to get screwed. Never mind that bailing them out of their greed, rapacity and, worst of all, incompetence is getting screwed enough. If we don’t bail them out, we’ll get doubly screwed.
But during all this, the markets crashing, stock analysts trying to fake suicides, a giant Ponzi scheme to the tune of 50 billion dollars being exposed, whose balance sheets show record profits? The OIL companies. As the economy was going into the ashcan during the summer, they screwed every last cent they could out of anyone who wanted a tank of gas. Why? Because they expected an oil shortage. Well, the oil shortage never arrived. People stopped driving. Did the price go down? Yes, in time for the election in the hope that another laissez-faire Republican, the so-called Maverick McCain, might get to be in charge. But now gas prices are rising again and there is a surplus of crude. What gives? Oh, they shut down refining capacity to match the lowered demand of the summer.
Feel like a hostage? Well, just remember. It isn’t THEIR fault…
By the way, yes, I know Lee Patrick is no longer CEO of Exxon, they have some new, less Jabba-the-Huttish person who nevertheless has just as much appetite–he only LOOKS less gluttonish. But Lee was such a perfect caricature of the oil executive that I had to use him here.

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