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More on the BP shakedown

The $20 billion payout by BP for damages related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the result of a very controversial move by the Obama Administration, in which the White House effectively ignored established legal due process and assessed the extent of BP's liability on its own, then ordered the company to pony up the cash.

The Obama Administration claimed victory; BP apologized and assured us that it cared about the "small people." But who are the real winners and losers in this deal?

Agreeing on a settlement amount before the full extent of the damage is known is probably a very good thing for BP. Assigning a dollar amount to BP's liability has already eased the uncertainty in the markets regarding BP's portion of the total cost of the Gulf cleanup. BP's share price rose nearly 10% after the settlement was announced, which clearly indicates that analysts are comfortable with having at least a baseline dollar amount to work with, even if the company's total liability eventually exceeds that amount. Even though its share price has fallen by nearly 50% since the disaster, BP is still very sound financially, with over 18 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, a lucrative cash flow stream, and very little debt. In addition to suspending shareholder dividends for the remainder of the year (which will keep $8 billion cash it its coffers), BP also plans to raise as much as $10 billion in cash in the near future by selling off non-critical assets. As the Associated Press reported yesterday, $20 billion is only a drop in BP's very large bucket of assets and revenue.

(It's probably also worth mentioning that without "obscene profits," companies with large liability potential, like BP and the other oil majors, would not be able to cover the costs of those risks.)

BP has also supported many of the green energy initiatives backed by Democrats. It has received millions in US government subsidies for solar and biofuels research and implementation. It supports Federal government subsidies for coal-fired power plants that switch to natural gas. (Did I mention that BP is the largest producer of natural gas in the US?) And before the Deepwater Horizon spill, BP was set to become one of the Administration's most powerful corporate allies in its quest to pass Cap and Trade. It's probably not a stretch to assume that the Obama Administration, while attempting to give BP a public ass-kicking, is also secretly working with company officials to ensure their continued support for Democratic Party environmental policies. I'm not sure exactly who wins on this count, but I am pretty certain that BP doesn't have much to lose.

Left out in the cold of course are BP shareholders, including (at least) tens of thousands of retirees as well as pension and benefit funds. All of them have seen the value of their shares drop by half during the last two months, and none of them will be receiving their dividends. Former BP employees living on a fixed income and who have a significant portion of their retirement invested in BP stock stand to lose a great deal, at least through the end of 2010.

Meanwhile, regarding the $20 billion settlement that BP will pay into a government escrow account that will be managed by Obama "pay czar" Kenneth Feinburg, the Financial Times puts it rather bluntly: "Oil Has Become The New Tobacco"

For a time, it looked as if public anger over the financial crisis of two years ago would be confined to Wall Street banks. But the gulf spill raises a broader threat to companies and shareholders. Oil is becoming the new tobacco and other industries could well be next.

If chief executives were brought to Washington merely to be humiliated, investors would not care. But the pressure on BP to suspend dividends to shareholders and put $20bn into an escrow fund for compensation and clean-up before anyone knows what it will cost is ominous.

It has echoes of the 1998 tobacco settlement in which the industry paid $246bn to states following legal action by their attorneys-general. Only 5 per cent of that money was spent on tobacco-related initiatives, with Virginia, for example, investing in higher education, fibreoptic cables and research into energy.

I don't think it's hyperbole to refer to this $20 billion as a "slush fund". It will probably take the Federal Government only a matter of weeks to come up with ways to spend all of it, and then ask BP for more. Certainly a big win for Big Government. American Thinker's Steve McCann also believes that the ultimate result of the Obama Administration's guilty-until-proven-innocent handling of BP will be a weaker economy:

The Obama administration has just made certain that there will be minimal foreign or even domestic investment in the United States. Their shakedown and blackmail of BP has major corporate investors looking elsewhere for expansion and exploration. No company answerable to their shareholders or investors will risk capital in a country which has brutally abandoned the rule of law.

My company is headquartered in Switzerland and in recent conversations with business executives and clients overseas, they have told me that this and many of this governments actions has completely chilled their enthusiasm to invest in the United States.

The same applies to domestic U.S. companies, why would they expand within the country or even continue to do business here? They will not.

This lack of faith and confidence will not be easily overcome and will exacerbate and make permanent a high unemployment rate and a lower standard of living. This is yet another step in making certain another recession in just over the horizon.

As I wrote in the comments section of another post earlier this morning, "Is it just me, or is there a pattern emerging, pointing to a distinct attitude among elite members of the current regime that basically says, we're smarter than you, we know what's best for you, and we don't need no stinkin' legal system keeping us from dispensing 'justice'?"

Any student of history knows that elites have a very poor track record when it comes to taking justice (economic, financial, social, or whatever) into their own hands. If that is what is happening with BP and the Deepwater Horizon spill, we will all be losers.


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Comments (88)

Wow! High debt, driving of... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Wow! High debt, driving off foreign investment, government control of industry. This sounds like Venezuela. Oh yeah, Hugo is one of Barry's heroes. Shocker.

Be that as it may. . its no... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Be that as it may. . its not BP he should have been apologizing to. BP ended up being a complicit partner in the deal.

Michael:You are wr... (Below threshold)
James H:

Michael:

You are wrong.

The $20 billion payout by BP for damages related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the result of a very controversial move by the Obama Administration, in which the White House effectively ignored established legal due process and assessed the extent of BP's liability on its own, then ordered the company to pony up the cash.

This isn't really an assessment of liability. Rather, it's an estimate of potential liability. This isn't about short-circuiting the court system. It's about creating an alternate claims system that is more timely than going through the courts. It's basically a way to settle cases on a large scale, no different than what happens in hundreds of cases every day.

Setting aside the money in an escrow fund is merely a more public way of creating a litigation reserve. Again, something that happens every day. And even you admit that "it's ... a good thing for BP."

Further:

It will probably take the Federal Government only a matter of weeks to come up with ways to spend all of it, and then ask BP for more. Certainly a big win for Big Government

Wrong. If you read the BP press release -- which you linked to yourself -- you will see that the fund is being used not ofr the government, but to pay individual claims for economic damages. It's not a slush fund. It's not government revenue. It's essentially a large-scale litigation reserve.

And I think it's been made very clear that this fund goes toward satisfying individual claims, not claims raised by state or federal governments. Thus, a lower likelihood that the money would be misused.

Further, I should point out that the very judicial system that you suddenly love is that same system that plaintiffs attorneys can and will use to extract a pound of flesh -- plus reasonable attorney's fees -- from BP. Which is better -- six-figure punitive damages or people taking their just compensatory damages through the escrow account? Despite the potential benefits the my profession, I vote the latter.

As for the shareholders ... I would argue that they benefit from this escrow account in the long run. They benefit from a healthy BP, and a healthy BP is one that moves to minimize its risk and resolve the oil spill and its attendant litigation quickly. If BP does not, they will see share prices plummet over time.

The escrow fund and the dividend cuts are no-brainers. You, I am afraid, are bitter merely because a Democratic president caused BP to confront reality.

"is there a pattern emer... (Below threshold)
Geoffrey Britain:

"is there a pattern emerging, pointing to a distinct attitude among elite members of the current regime that basically says, we're smarter than you, we know what's best for you, and we don't need no stinkin' legal system keeping us from dispensing 'justice'?"

The pattern Mr.Laprarie has always been here;

"Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties:

1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes.

2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depository of the public interests.

In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves." -Thomas Jefferson

"Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak and that it is doing God's service, when it is violating all his laws." - John Adams

Ryan,The point is ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Ryan,

The point is that the government should not be focused on seeking a payday from any company foreign or domestic. It seems that more effort has been put into assigning blame than resolving the crisis.

Rather than lead it has been looking for who to blame.

Rather than reaching out to foreign nations who could have helped obama has chosen to alienate them and drive off potential investment. He has chosen a path that will lead to further economic difficulty for this nation and that he intends to use to further federalize the economy and to impose additional regulations and taxes.

A whole lot of wrong inform... (Below threshold)

A whole lot of wrong information here, Michael.

The $20 billion payout by BP for damages related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

It's not a payout. It's an escrow fund. As you well know, it is neither being administered by the Administration nor BP.

was the result of a very controversial move by the Obama Administration,

This move was absolutely not controversial except in Republican circles, and probably not even all of those.

in which the White House effectively ignored established legal due process

Please show which due process was ignored here, by the White House asking BP to voluntarily put its own funds in escrow for claims which it AND the administration know is coming.

and assessed the extent of BP's liability on its own,

Wrong again - it has been stated by President Obama himself that this was NOT a cap.

then ordered the company to pony up the cash.

The company was not ordered. While it was certainly a firm suggestion, BP had the full ability to not do this as well.

That BP did this shows that Obama offered BP something that was in their interest which ALSO benefits the Gulf Citizens. Finding this common ground is a solid win for Obama, and the Gulf Citizens.


...Agreeing on a settlement amount before the full extent of the damage is known is probably a very good thing for BP.

First, as previously stated, this is NOT a cap. If claims exceed this $20 billion, then those claims will proceed.

But it is true that this is a good thing for BP, too. That being the case, the title of this article itself is wrong - this is NOT a "shakedown".

So let's review. That's five easily verifiable things wrong in the first two sentences. Nice! Possibly a new record.

Are you saying th... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Are you saying that Kenneth Feinberg has been corrupted since he oversaw the 911 Victim Compensation Non-Slush Fund.

Are you saying that Republican votes are for sale?!


Left out in the co... (Below threshold)
Left out in the cold of course are BP shareholders, including (at least) tens of thousands of retirees as well as pension and benefit funds.

Oh, those poor poor retirees waiting on that dividend check to keep them afloat. But all those poor and middle class people in the gulf whose lives have been shattered by BP's reckless negligence? Screw 'em.

But wait - since putting those funds in escrow, BP's stock value has shot up 10%. Wouldn't that mean that Obama's convincing BP to put funds in escrow, will end up benefiting these poor shareholders as well?

And the Financial Times guy... (Below threshold)

And the Financial Times guy is about as bad.

It has echoes of the 1998 tobacco settlement in which the industry paid $246bn to states following legal action by their attorneys-general.

In other words, it has "echoes" because it's money in billions that have something to do with a corporation and a government. But these two situations actually have nothing in common - BP's escrow fund is NOT a result of legal action, will NOT be administered by states OR the White House, and is dedicated *exclusively* to civil claims.

I mean, wow. That's like saying Barbie has "echoes" of Barbara Bush.

Above has nested blockquotes f... (Below threshold)
Above has nested blockquotes for no good reason. I blame society.
I suggest a pattern... Barr... (Below threshold)
914:

I suggest a pattern... Barry cheat's, steal's and lies for a reason..Being..


Its hard to find work when your underskilled, overmatched and a dunce

Its the time of the season for bullshit!


Barry sucks

"Oh, those poor poor retire... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Oh, those poor poor retirees waiting on that dividend check to keep them afloat"

Yeah all those poor retirees with their Calpers retirement checks that you and I will have to pay for now that Obama has crushed the economy.

Well, just me since you are either unemployed or just another lib who doesn't pay taxes.

You scoff at retirement but the money has to come from somewhere you dunce. The government needs people to have incomes to tax. Obama's moratorium on drilling has been estimated to cost another 10000 jobs.

"Are you saying that Rep... (Below threshold)
914:

"Are you saying that Republican votes are for sale?!"

You do the opposite of this jackass of a community agitators agenda and yes, I would pay You!

Mr. X, (Related to Malcolm?... (Below threshold)
SER:

Mr. X, (Related to Malcolm?)

You stated: "Please show which due process was ignored here, by the White House asking BP to voluntarily put its own funds in escrow for claims which it AND the administration know is coming."

I have a problem with "asking BP to voluntarily..." If a large, muscular man met you on a dark street and asked you to "voluntarily give you money," I think you would voluntarily comply. That is one of the reasons those of us on the right like the "rule of law." The US Government can do many things to BP if it fails to voluntarily comply - none of them pleasant (IRS audits, rejection of drilling permits, EPA reviews of every BP gas station in the country, etc.). The President even wants BP to pay salaries of people put out of work by his moratorium on deep water drilling. I prefer the rule of law to the rule of men. I believe you would as well if a Republican gains the White House.

"But who are the real wi... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"But who are the real winners and losers in this deal?"

You forgot about the lawyers. Lemme see--a one-third contingency on $20 billion-- that's $ 6.66 billion going directly into the pockets of Obama supporters. Say now, that buys some real power and as James H. pointed out above-- it's QUICK & EASY money.

Be really interesting to se... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Be really interesting to see where that money is actually SPENT.

As for Barry and Company driving off business; hey, that's been the plan since Day 1.

From AP this morning:... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

From AP this morning:

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's point man charting a new future for the oil-poisoned Gulf Coast will do the job part-time. Some environmentalists said the job demands someone's full attention.

Glad to see Barry is really SERIOUS about this oil spill.

Errmm ... except, Bunyan, t... (Below threshold)
James H:

Errmm ... except, Bunyan, that the court system could give those plaintiff's attorneys much, much more money.

Adriane"Are you sa... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Adriane

"Are you saying that Republican votes are for sale?!""

Let's see now. Which Party is involved in at least 2 scandals concerning Senate seats for sale?

"in which the White House e... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"in which the White House effectively ignored established legal due process "

Kings dont pay attention to the laws. They dont apply to them.


"Four years of Bush III in the White House -- all because Obama wants to be King."

. Posted by Lee Ward | March 16, 2008

Yes Lee Ward We know we know

REpublicans were for Kings in the white house before a black man became President.

Yeah all those poo... (Below threshold)
Yeah all those poor retirees with their Calpers retirement checks that you and I will have to pay for now that Obama has crushed the economy.

Nope, wrong President. I know you want to blame this on Obama, but seeing as how the crash occurred under Bush I don't see how that's possible. And I don't see how he's that powerful.

Well, just me since you are either unemployed or just another lib who doesn't pay taxes.

Wrong again. Neither. I'm an employed guy who pays taxes. I just like my government to be doing smart things with them that benefit the entire country.

You scoff at retirement but the money has to come from somewhere you dunce.

So does the money that the poor and the middle class in the gulf need to feed themselves, you imbecile.

Or do only retirees need to eat? I'll let you figure that you for yourself.

The government needs people to have incomes to tax. Obama's moratorium on drilling has been estimated to cost another 10000 jobs.

And how many jobs would have been lost by another BP oilcano? Now we have the chance to do the inspections that should have happened previously.

Sorry, messes can't be magically solved, and undoing a disaster of this magnitude might actually mean some inconvenience for some! Gasp! But that's what happens here in reality world.

I have a problem w... (Below threshold)
I have a problem with "asking BP to voluntarily..." If a large, muscular man met you on a dark street and asked you to "voluntarily give you money," I think you would voluntarily comply.

Yes - but that would also be against the law. As that's called robbery, you see.

Whereas (1)this money is being placed in escrow, for (2)legal claims which everyone knows is coming, (3) to be administered by a third party. Who was previously proven to be very fair, under a Republican administration, (4) all of which is to BP's advantage **and** the advantage of BP's shareholders.

So, once again, please show me what law this actually violates.

That is one of the reasons those of us on the right like the "rule of law."

That's a very convenient notion. Funny how that rule of law seems to get thrown out the window by many on the Right, when they don't like the people the rule of law would protect. But that would take us off topic.

The US Government can do many things to BP if it fails to voluntarily comply - none of them pleasant (IRS audits, rejection of drilling permits, EPA reviews of every BP gas station in the country, etc.)

And all of them legal.

I get that you guys don't like the concept of pressure being placed on a corporation by the government. But here's the thing - this is what we need government to do. Otherwise corporations are too powerful, and the common man who isn't a shareholder is basically powerless.

It is the government's job to protect its citizens within the limitations of the law. If the government is within these limitations and it's actions benefit the country, then it is doing the right thing.

The President even wants BP to pay salaries of people put out of work by his moratorium on deep water drilling.

This proposal was floated, as part of a larger proposal for BP to pay for the jobs specifically lost to the Deepwater Horizon mess. We'll see where that goes. But from what I've read, the White House said they "might" ask this from Congress - where Congress will decide whether to make this legal, or not. Which would therefore make it fall under "rule of law", as well.

Personally I think having BP pay for jobs it didn't directly cause the loss of won't occur. It's on far shakier ground than BP's definite liability from jobs directly lost due to the oilcano.

Yo' Adrion<br /... (Below threshold)
914:

Yo' Adrion


"Are you saying that Kenneth Feinberg has been corrupted since he oversaw the 911 Victim Compensation Non-Slush Fund."


Who cares knucklehead.


Wee a tard-


Four years of Bush III in the White House -- all because Obama wants to be King."


Miss Me Yet?

Check me on this - but isn'... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Check me on this - but isn't Feinberg an executive branch employee that serves at the pleasure of one B.H.O?

Mr. X,You said, "T... (Below threshold)
SER:

Mr. X,

You said, "That's a very convenient notion. Funny how that rule of law seems to get thrown out the window by many on the Right, when they don't like the people the rule of law would protect."

Could you please provide examples of how we "throw the rule of law out the window."

Thank you.

SER

In North Carolina the tobac... (Below threshold)
Locomotive Breath:

In North Carolina the tobacco settlement was used to keep tobacco farmers in business.

OK, SER. All further commen... (Below threshold)

OK, SER. All further commenters note: I'm responding to a side topic. So please don't accuse me of irrelevant posting.

Exhibit A: John Yoo - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Yoo

Here's just a couple of his greatest hits:

Cassell: "If the President deems that he's got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person's child, there is no law that can stop him?" Yoo: "No treaty." Cassel: "Also no law by Congress -- that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo..." Yoo: "I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that."

In other words, according to Yoo it's not a question of whether or not it's against the law - it's a question of why the President wants to do it.

Which means quite literally, that Yoo aproves of a rule of a man rather than a rule of law.

Republican outrage against Yoo? I recall just about none. Please prove me wrong, and cite the huge Republican backlash against Yoo.

Exhibit B:
Bush's signing statements. Whereby Bush quietly claimed the **extremely** debatable right to ignore any law he wanted, by signing at the top of the law that he thought he could do so.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/04/30/bush_challenges_hundreds_of_laws/

Republican backlash against Bush for this? Again, nil.

Exhibit C
The Terri Schiavo case. Where, in clear violation of the very concept of State's Rights that the GOP gives lip service to, the entire GOP of the White House, Senate and Congress attempted to overturn Florida's fully appealed and resolved decision re: Schiavo.

Republican backlash against the GOP for this was not so much either.

Exhibit E:
For a more recent example, Arizona Republicans attempting to punish children for their parents' sins, by denying birth certificates to those born in the US by illegal immigrants. Which violates both the State's legal obligations to US Federal law, and their legal obligations to the citizens of the State of Arizona.

http://www.creators.com/opinion/daily-editorials/arizona-legislators-going-after-birthright-citizenship.html

So, there you have it, as a bare start.

Jim:Those links re... (Below threshold)
James H:

Jim:

Those links really throw off the layout. Think you might consider doing them as code rather than simple pasted-in links? Something like this, I think.

Good note James H. I wouldn... (Below threshold)

Good note James H. I wouldn't mind doing that if it bothers many as it is. I do like posting the full link just 'cause some prefer to copy-paste, but I don't need to be dogmatic about it.

Jim X: Messing up the layo... (Below threshold)
James H:

Jim X: Messing up the layout is bad feng shui.

Mr. X,I agree with... (Below threshold)
SER:

Mr. X,

I agree with your Arizona point. Arizona can not overturn Federal Law. If we want to change the Constitutional determination of citizenship, it is not up to a state.

As for the Yoo example, I am not sure of the law - I am an accountant, not a lawyer. However, I don't think the current administration has actually changed any practices (words, maybe; deeds, no). In fact, I missed the part where Yoo was arrested as a war criminal (or anything else).

As far as the former President ignoring the 750 laws that he interpreted as violating the Constitution, I could see that one. As an example, the at the Greensboro "sit in," protesters sat at segregated lunch counters because they believed that the law - validated by Plessy vs. Ferguson - violated the Constitution. They were right.

But by all means, we should have these arguments play out in the court system. That is my problem with the "BP Shakedown." Although you point out that a large man asking for your money would be robbery, you don't see the parallel for the President of the United States telling a company, "You have a nice set of assets in our country... too bad if anything happened to them."

The laws of the land dictate that those who have suffered a "tort" have their grievances addressed in the courts.

It could be construed that "the fix is in." Who did BP give the most money to in the last election? President Obama. Who had more safety violations ignored in the last year - Exxon Mobil or BP? BP. If we let the courts handle the process, BP could end up in a lot worse shape (Want to buy some Union Carbide stock?).

Jim XExhibit A: Jo... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim X

Exhibit A: John Yoo -

Just because he said it doesnt make it so. If Lee Ward says Obama should be able to take every dollar everyone makes and redistributes it to how he sees fit it doesnt mean I am going to come up and say liberals are against the rule of law (like you are doing).

Exhibit B:
Bush's signing statements.

Last time I checked Obama was making use of signing statements as well. Clinton did as well.

List of some of Obama signing statements

http://www.coherentbabble.com/listBHOall.htm

Google links

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=obama+signing+statements&aq=f&aqi=g2g-m1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=ChqMCMcIbTMaQPILqzATYiYTMDAAAAKoEBU_QAFbY


Exhibit C
The Terri Schiavo case.

I remember the rights of the family being part of the issue.

Also if you want to talk state rights how about the Arizona law which Obama and company have denounced without even reading and are threeatening to sue the state.

Exhibit E:
For a more recent example, Arizona Republicans attempting to punish children for their parents' sins, by denying birth certificates to those born in the US by illegal immigrants.


Actually I heeard about this on TV from the Arizona AG. A. It isnt even written down yet, much less a law or being implemented. It is just a concept and he stated that they would be given a birth certificate. The main discussion IS GOING TO BE what is on the birth certificate. Also STATES ISSUE BIRTH CERTIFICATES not the federal govt so that falls UNDER THE STATE's purview. Sorta like driver's licenses.

Way to go shooting yourself in the foot.


and Get your facts straight.

SERRef the Arizona... (Below threshold)
retired military:

SER

Ref the Arizona "law" proposal. The AG stated that the main reason they are looking into passing this law is to get the Supreme court to clarify exactly what the term "Natual born citizen" means. That was also the subject of a discussion we had here a few weeks ago.


There is no need at all for... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

There is no need at all for this "fund" - which, btw, Democrat Bart Stupak has already suggested could be used to pay some costs of health care reform (that didn't take long, did it?). BP could have paid out advance claims on its own without such a fund.

Again, there is the rule of law and the rule of decree. This is decree.

However, I don't t... (Below threshold)
However, I don't think the current administration has actually changed any practices (words, maybe; deeds, no). In fact, I missed the part where Yoo was arrested as a war criminal (or anything else).

I agree, the current administration hasn't changed many of these practices. And that's one of the things I don't like about Obama. Unfortunately whenever the office of the President gets more power, the next administration is loath to return that power - no matter which party is in charge.

As far as the former President ignoring the 750 laws that he interpreted as violating the Constitution, I could see that one. As an example, the at the Greensboro "sit in," protesters sat at segregated lunch counters because they believed that the law - validated by Plessy vs. Ferguson - violated the Constitution. They were right.

I think there's quite a difference between civil disobedience from ordinary citizens in one case, and the head of the Executive Branch declaring freedom from the law in 750+ cases.

And specifically as per rule of law, the citizens were willing to go to jail in violation of the law - which means they are still submitting to the concept of the rule of law. They were going to use enforcement of the law as a way to raise a stink, to change it.

Whereas it seems like Bush was declaring that he shouldn't face any consequences for breaking the law if he chose to.

But, even if Bush's signing statements were *exactly* like the civil disobedience of protesters - and both defying the rule of law - then that merely proves my point: that Republicans can be just as impatient with the rule of law as anyone else, when it gets in the way of what they want.

There is no need a... (Below threshold)
James H:
There is no need at all for this "fund" - which, btw, Democrat Bart Stupak has already suggested could be used to pay some costs of health care reform (that didn't take long, did it?).

Does somebody have the exact quote? Using escrow funds to pay for health insurance for those who are jobless is a legitimate use of those funds ... provided it's part of the damages.

I.e., if my employer provided me with health insurance as part of my employment package, and I lost that employment as a direct, foreseeable result of BP's negligence, then, yeah, it should be part of the damages I claim.

Hmmm ... what if insurers jack up Gulf Coast residents' insurance rates because exposure to the oil fumes creates a pre-existing condition? I hadn't thought of that angle before ....

#29"but ... (Below threshold)
914:

#29


"but I don't need to be dogmatic about it."


You liar. I just bet you voted for Barry and the mightily sinewed Wookie!

Regarding Yoo:<blockq... (Below threshold)
James H:

Regarding Yoo:

As for the Yoo example, I am not sure of the law - I am an accountant, not a lawyer. However, I don't think the current administration has actually changed any practices (words, maybe; deeds, no). In fact, I missed the part where Yoo was arrested as a war criminal (or anything else).

I admit I don't know that area of the law well, but the tone of Yoo's memo really struck me. It read like a memorandum in which the client has already decreed the result, and the attorney is filling in the details.

But by all means, ... (Below threshold)
But by all means, we should have these arguments play out in the court system. That is my problem with the "BP Shakedown." Although you point out that a large man asking for your money would be robbery, you don't see the parallel for the President of the United States telling a company, "You have a nice set of assets in our country... too bad if anything happened to them."

That's because they are not parallel. Besides the fact that this not-shakedown actually *benefits* BP's assets ( hence the 10% stock uptick ) - AND besides the ungrounded assumption that hard pressure was actually applied ( because this arrangement is actually in BP's best interest as well as Gulf citizens ) - anything a burglar would do to physically force you to comply would be **against the law**.

Whereas, say, a town requesting that a multi-millionaire drunk-driver place $100,000 in escrow to pay for future damages, because their drunk-driven car wiped out an entire school - that would NOT be against the law. It would be his choice to do this, or not. Now the benefits of complying can be explained to him, including the likelihood of a jury being better disposed towards him when his case comes up - and the near certainty that his eventual civil fine will be AT LEAST $100,000.

But it would still ultimately be his choice, and any pressure put on him would both be legal and to benefit the community.

And that is the difference between completely justifiable pressure for the benefit of citizens, and the "shakedown" and "robbery" you claim.

It could be constr... (Below threshold)
It could be construed that "the fix is in." Who did BP give the most money to in the last election? President Obama.

So wait - is the fix in for BP, or is it a shakedown? Pick one or the other.

Where's Judy Collins when y... (Below threshold)
914:

Where's Judy Collins when you need her?

Oh wait, jim x!! Send in the clown!!

Jim X"So wait - is... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim X

"So wait - is the fix in for BP, or is it a shakedown?'

Well depends. If the shakedown money goes towards the fix than it is both. After all isnt one of the definitions of extortion is being made to pay mmoney to avoid some criminal or civil penalty?

Just because he sa... (Below threshold)
Just because he said it doesnt make it so.

Retired military, I'm responding to SER's implication that the Right likes the rule of law to a degree that the Left does not..

My point is that if the Right was so universally worshipful of the Rule of Law, then the Right would have universally condemned John Woo for saying this. Bush would have fired Woo immediately, or there would have been tremendous pressure on Bush from the rest of the GOP until he did.

So it's not that John Yoo said it that makes it so - it's that he kept his job with no outcry from the Right that proves the GOP had no real problem with his ideas.

That Obama has continued exhibit B still doesn't mean the Right respects the Rule of Law more.

That the "family's rights were at issue" still doesn't disprove exhibit C. If state's rights are always state's rights, that should have been the end of it.

As for exhibit E, once again, we're talking about an alleged preference for the Rule of Law on the part of Republicans and conservatives, that Democrats and Liberals are supposed to not have.

And if the GOP loved the rule of law so universally and so much, than Arizona's notion of not fulfilling their obligations should never have left the AZ GOP's mouths.

Now that he's gotten a lot of backlash from the LEFT, he's shifting it to a different birth certificate. But it wasn't the Right that made him do this - which, once again, proves me right regarding the Rule of Law.

You shot yourself in your own foot here, retired military, by apparently not understanding what I'm arguing.

jim x"the Right?"<... (Below threshold)
914:

jim x

"the Right?"


If they or who are Right.. What the fuck are you spewin about?

# 37 - Wookie? You must be ... (Below threshold)

# 37 - Wookie? You must be thinking a few presidents ago. That albino Yeti was Mrs. George Herbert Walker Bush.

#44 - Just scroll up and ac... (Below threshold)

#44 - Just scroll up and acquaint yourself with the thread. You can do it. I believe in you.

After all isnt one... (Below threshold)
After all isnt one of the definitions of extortion is being made to pay mmoney to avoid some criminal or civil penalty?

Which criminal or civil penalty is Obama permitting BP to avoid here?

Jim X:Your hypo ab... (Below threshold)
James H:

Jim X:

Your hypo about the millionaire drunk driver is a bad analogy. You speak of a fund to compensate victims of his future negligence. The BP fund has been put in in place to compensate victims of past negligence.

Past negligence is causing ... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

Past negligence is causing future damages.

Lee:You misunderst... (Below threshold)
James H:

Lee:

You misunderstand.

If a millionaire is believed likely to cause damages through his hypothetical future accidents, that is setting up a fund to cover damages that are in the future, unknowable, and inherently speculative.

The BP escrow fund, on the other hand, is to pay out for damages incurred by past negligence.

I guess I shouldn't have sa... (Below threshold)

I guess I shouldn't have said "future damages", when I meant "claims from current damages, that have yet to come to court."

So to make the analogy clearer: a millionaire drives drunk, wipes out a school, is caught, and is then asked by the town to place $100,000 in escrow for claims that will soon arise from this incident.

Jim XRef WOO... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim X

Ref WOO

Going by your "rule of law" argument. Looking at the congressional approval of use of force which stated (and I paraphrase) "the president can take any action he deems nescessary to fight terrorism" than any action he would have taken would have been legal if he deemed it nescessary. Note: democrats signed that as well as republicans.


"That Obama has continued exhibit B still doesn't mean the Right respects the Rule of Law more. "


True but it doesnt mean that the left respects the rule of law any more than the right.

"That the "family's rights were at issue" still doesn't disprove exhibit C. If state's rights are always state's rights, that should have been the end of it."


And the matter was settled in court in favor of the state. Now let's see. When abortion was illegal in most of the states what did the left do? They fought it in court. Are you saying that fight means that the left didnt care about the rule of law then? If ROE v WADE were overturned tomorrow are you saying that the left wouldnt be up in arms about the Law of the land?


As for exhibit E, "And if the GOP loved the rule of law so universally and so much, than Arizona's notion of not fulfilling their obligations should never have left the AZ GOP's mouths.

Now that he's gotten a lot of backlash from the LEFT, he's shifting it to a different birth certificate. But it wasn't the Right that made him do this - which, once again, proves me right regarding the Rule of Law."


a. The rule of law is not being observed. That law being the immigration law which makes it illegal to be in the country ILLEGALLY.

b. Who said the AZ AG was made to change his toon. I saw no direct quotes from the AZ AG or anyone else in authority from your article.

c. Once again you are talking about something which hasnt even been written down yet.

How can the right which wants THE IMMIGRATION LAWS TO BE FOLLOWED AND ILLEGALS DEPORTED NOT BE FOLLOWING THE RULE OF LAW.

Oh wait you dont like the immigration law which will deport illegal aliens so hey we dont have to follow that one, but you want to put down something that isnt even on paper much passed into law yet.


"You shot yourself in your own foot here, "

You sure as hell did.

Well, and I say again - fut... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

Well, and I say again - future damages.

There are huge pools of oil in the Gulf. BP's negligence is in the past but the damages are to some extent future damages.

Bubba Gump's shrimp business, for example, is unharmed today.

3 months from now Bubba is out of business because of BP's negligence two months ago.

True but it doesnt... (Below threshold)
True but it doesnt mean that the left respects the rule of law any more than the right.

Great! Then you agree with me that SER was wrong to imply otherwise.

How can the right ... (Below threshold)
How can the right which wants THE IMMIGRATION LAWS TO BE FOLLOWED AND ILLEGALS DEPORTED NOT BE FOLLOWING THE RULE OF LAW.

How?

BY SUGGESTING SOLUTIONS WHICH ALSO VIOLATE THE RULE OF LAW.

That means that they aren't respecting the rule of law - they only like the rule of law when it's in their favor.

Which is like saying you play fair except when you might lose.

Lee, it's true that BP's ne... (Below threshold)

Lee, it's true that BP's negligence has created a continuing problem.

So if I were to fully continue the metaphor, the drunk-driving multi-millionaire wiped out a school and set it on fire, causing a continuing toxic cloud which won't be put out for weeks or months.

In that case, it would be even harder to blame the town for asking the multi-millionaire to put funds in escrow for the eventual claims.

Great! Then you a... (Below threshold)
rightsaidfred:
Great! Then you agree with me that SER was wrong to imply otherwise.

That was well done. The rest of his argument doesn't matter since he in essence agrees with your premise here.

Jim X"BY SUGGESTIN... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim X

"BY SUGGESTING SOLUTIONS WHICH ALSO VIOLATE THE RULE OF LAW"

How can the mere suggestion of passing a law violate the law?

It can't.

If they suggested "Hey lets pass a law to make slavery legal" that isnt violating any law. It isnt smart but it isnt illegal. Now if you suggest "let's rob a bank" than you could possibly go to jail for conspiracy.

To pass a law there is a legal process. If the law is deemed unconstitutional than it is thrown out. IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR IN THIS COUNTRY.

They are talking about TRYING TO pass a law regarding birth certificates. Their intent is to get the case to go to the supreme court. THEY ARE LOOKING FOR A CLEARER LEGAL STANCE By the supreme court on what a natural citizen is. Again a discussion we had here a few weeks back. They are very open about this. The same way for instance the gay marriage lobby and the abortion lobby sue to get cases to the supreme court. It isnt illegal to want your day in court.

Now what most liberals are doing with the immigration laws in effect is totally ignoring them and the amnesty cities are saying we are going to totally ignore the immigration law.
Talk about not following the rule of law altogether.


Want to talk about flouting the law. Here's one

Bill Clinton and Perjury. Oh hell the liberals just went into a tizzy there.

"Which is like saying you play fair except when you might lose."

Well the liberals idea is

"You play fair, we play the way we want and you will lose in the meantime." because they want to have it both ways.


Jim XHere is anoth... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim X

Here is another example of "typical liberal thinking"

Lee ward early 2008 - Obama is the scum of the earth, crook, liar, unfit to be president, etc etc.

Lee Ward after the primaries - "Obama I wuv you, you can do no wrong, My life for you"

He sounds like trashcan man in The Stand.

56 comments at this point a... (Below threshold)
Marc:

56 comments at this point and... nothings solved, for a very good reason.

No one up to and including stanch supporter of sais fund jim x can tell what and how this fund will work.

The term escrow has a specific legal meaning:

"Money, property, a deed, or a bond put into the custody of a third party for delivery to a grantee only after the fulfillment of the conditions specified."

All we know for certain is a third party is involved with handling the cash.

Until Justice, the WH or the appointed administrator gives details of said account, not the least of which the legality of it, this entire disussion is moot.

P.S. So BP's stock is "up" 10 points...

Big friggin woop.

Before BP was pummled it's market capitalization was at $165B, today it sits at $99B.

With 40% of its shares owned by Americans that bills is at &6 billion and counting.

And for the record this is Stupak's actual quote:

"I think we had to have someone say this is where you can go without limiting your criminal liability or civil liability.For instance, the question is brought up, pay for all of the health care for the people in the Gulf. No, but I think those who lost their job, then lost their health care would be legitimate."

"BY SUGGESTING SOL... (Below threshold)
"BY SUGGESTING SOLUTIONS WHICH ALSO VIOLATE THE RULE OF LAW"

How can the mere suggestion of passing a law violate the law?

It can't.

Here, let me break that sentence down for you.

(By suggesting) (solutions which also violate the rule of law).

See, it's not the *suggesting* I'm showing, as evidence that some on the Right don't respect the rule of law. What I'm showing as evidence of that disrespect, is that the **solutions proposed** would violate the rule of law, if enacted.

Hopefully that's clear now.

56 comments at thi... (Below threshold)
56 comments at this point and... nothings solved, for a very good reason.

Wrong, actually. What was solved very early in this thread, is that the original article was dead wrong (#3) and in at least 5 ways in its first two sentences(#6).

What's also been settled since then is that the Right is not magically more enamored of the Rule of Law than the left, and that BP's escrow maneuver violates no laws.

All that aside, I don't see how something is moot if both parties have agreed to it. That's like saying a wedding is a moot point because there's an engagement.

So lets recap folks<p... (Below threshold)
retired military:

So lets recap folks

Here on the left we have Jim X and Lee Ward.

Lee Ward whose own writings prove him to be nothing but a Kool aid drinker for the DNC who rabid unsupport and then support of a president boggles the mind.

The we have Jim X complaining that the right doesnt care about the Rule of Law and as examples he provides
1. Court testimony about actions a President didnt take but if he had may have been considered legal. The same president who was given a blank check by Congress to include dozens of democrats including Hillary Clinton (Lee Ward wants to have your baby) and John "Drink a beer with your fellow man" Kerry

2. A Proposed law which isnt even written in AZ which is illegal in Jim's view because it deigns to challenge the legality of anchor babies. So illegal in fact his own source states that the intent of the law is to get challenged and have it go to the Supreme court to determine exact status of said anchor babies. Yet that is illegal but when Roe V Wade challeneged the antiabortion laws and the several gay marriage cases which have been in court and are being challenged in court is not only illegal but just fine and dandy according to liberals like Jim.

Yet on the left we have sanctuary cities who refuse to enforce EXISTING IMMIGRATION Laws because they dont like them.

3. The Shiavo case which was decided in court and after which no republicans committed illegal acts (at least none that i Know of) but just the very fact of challenging something in court is in JIM x's eys enoguh to say that the right doestn believe in the rule of law (see above where left challenges cases in court which is just fine)

4. Presidential signing statements which are in fact legal and are continued to this day by Annointed One himself.

and finally We have Exhibit D which Jim didnt list above but hey we all make typos.

Is that truly the best arguments the left has to offer?

If so I can see why Obama is so messed up.


Jim X I understan... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim X

I understand what you are saying but again. on the subject of immigration laws the left has no legs to stand on. The intent of the law is GET CHALLENGED. IF IT EVER IN FACT THE LAW EVER GETS PASSED it is LEGAL until it is deemed illegal in a court of law. Those are the facts. Come back after it has been WRITTEN, challenged and found to be illegal and we can talk.

In the meantime why not go out and beat the drums against sanctuary cities which are not following laws ALREADY WRITTEN, PASSED and IN EFFECT.

I admit I'm late getting in... (Below threshold)

I admit I'm late getting into the discussion, but a few comments need to be addressed.

I spent ten years doing environmental work, specifically asbestos-related work. I am very familiar with the process of setting up victim's compensation funds, which is a normal part of handling a large liability like this one.

That being said, the question is why does the White House need to be involved? Does anyone really think that BP wouldn't set up a compensation fund without Team Obama holding their hand? And why is the White House directing the establishment and administration of the fund? Again, why can't BP do it? Corporations the size of BP have armies of attorneys and financial specialists specifically to handle these kinds of claims.

That is why we use language like "shakedown" to describe this event. When someone who is perceived to have the power to destroy you is breathing down your neck and dictating terms, you are not agreeing to a settlement; you have been shaken down.

Of course BP has a team of clever lawyers working to ensure the survival and the best interests of BP. And as I have explained in previous posts, the Obama Administration has a curious affinity toward big government/big business corporatism (or "crony capitalism") so I'm not surprised that BP will come out of this deal relatively unscathed.

That is simply another layer of deceit within this whole ordeal. Team Obama wants to appear tough, but in doing so they have created some disturbing precedents, such as effectively accusing BP of criminal liability in their public statements (before any investigation or trial), and deliberately intervening in the compensation fund process.

Yet at the same time, their actions seem more focused on using this tragedy to further their own green environmental agenda (and preserving BP's support for that agenda), rather than exhausting every effort to stop the spill and contain the oil before assigning blame. Personally I find it very disturbing that the Obama Administration was responsible for ordering a halt to all offshore drilling, yet they want BP to cover all lost wages and compensation for the oil workers who lost their jobs because of a Federal government order.

And with regard to the government finding ways to spend the BP compensation fund, Rep. Bart Stupak has already suggested that BP should use the fund to purchase health insurance for everyone who lost jobs/benefits due to the spill. It will only take a few government "suggestions" like that to completely wipe out the fund.

That being said, t... (Below threshold)
That being said, the question is why does the White House need to be involved? Does anyone really think that BP wouldn't set up a compensation fund without Team Obama holding their hand?

Did Exxon spontaneously do this after the Valdez spill? No.

Then what leads you to think BP would have?

MichaelThe WH is i... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Michael

The WH is involved becuase

a. The Feds are responsible for protecting the coastlines and reacting to disasters, manmade or otherwise. If say a private nuclear plant overloaded and blew up even though the operator would be at fault but the feds would definitely have clean up responsibility as well as the private company.

b. The WH is getting heat and justifiably so for actions which they have taken which have made this disaster worse. IE not accepting offers of aid from foreign countries, miles of oil boom STILL sitting in a Maine warehouse, coast guard stopping vessels helping with the clean up for beaurocratic nonsense.

c. I believe BP should pay every bit for the clean up. At the same time paying 10k to clean oil off a bird and rehabilitating it when it is not an endangered species is ridiculous. They should also pay for people whose lives are affected by this. IN addition, if something criminal is found than whoever committed the crimes needs to go to jail (Max sentence please).

I do not feel that they should have to pay for jobs affected by Obama's order.

THere has been talk of a military chain of command needed. That IMO is true. It doesnt have to be military but what they mean is a person at the top who can make things happen. A high ranking judge would be good. Someone neutral. Maybe have a BP exec and someone from EPA or FEMA as advisors or to make them aware of what is going on.

a. Mr Top person we have miles of oil boom in a warehouse in Maine. Poof he writes a check and the oil boom is on its way to the gulf. Dont buy oil boom for a million dollars a foot either.

b. Governors ask Mr Top person for permission to do sandbags to try to stop the oil from spreading. Judge signs order to make it happen that day or say change X Y Z and then I will sign it.


That is pretty much how a m ilitary chain of command works. The general at the top makes 99.99% of the day to day decisions of the running of the operation.

They dont have that. Instead they have prosecutors looking for someone to blame, no central decision making authority, etc. BP cant make a decison because they dont want to go to jail or get sued for a billion dollars so they throw it over to the govt. The govt doesnt want to make a decision because they dont want to be fall guy when it comes time for Obama to throw someone under the bus.

As a result Chaos with noone in charge.

That is why we use... (Below threshold)
That is why we use language like "shakedown" to describe this event. When someone who is perceived to have the power to destroy you is breathing down your neck and dictating terms, you are not agreeing to a settlement; you have been shaken down.

This is why using language like "shakedown" doesn't work: this money is not a settlement. It's an escrow fund that claims will be paid from. It is money that BP knows it will lose eventually, in any case. So placing this in escrow makes sure that BP's victims will receive compensation in a timely manner (unlike the Valdez victims) - AND helps BP's stock value and PR.

As a side note, you guys really should decide whether you think Obama is BP's oppressor or their servant. Because he really can be only one or the other.

jim x - "What's also ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jim x - "What's also been settled since then is that the Right is not magically more enamored of the Rule of Law than the left, and that BP's escrow maneuver violates no laws. "

No it doesn't but for a single fact, BP agreed to it.

Without that agreement the full presure of the Fed's would have been raining upon their heads via illegal action.

Not that it wasn't already and had a lot to do with their acquiesence.

If you think otherwise your delusional.

BTW jim x - "So placi... (Below threshold)
Marc:

BTW jim x - "So placing this in escrow makes sure that BP's victims will receive compensation in a timely manner (unlike the Valdez victims)"

So you think all the future decisions by this escrow "czar" won't be sent to every damn court in the land by people/lawyers who think they've been screwed?

That seals it... you ARE delusional!

So you think all t... (Below threshold)
So you think all the future decisions by this escrow "czar" won't be sent to every damn court in the land by people/lawyers who think they've been screwed?

Did that happen with the similar set up for the 9/11 victims? As far I've been able to see, no. It's certainly been far less messy and problematic than waiting for the courts to settle it - which is where the victims of the Exxon Valdez disaster wait, to this day, decades later.

If you know different, let me know.

jim x - "What's al... (Below threshold)
jim x - "What's also been settled since then is that the Right is not magically more enamored of the Rule of Law than the left, and that BP's escrow maneuver violates no laws. "

No it doesn't but for a single fact, BP agreed to it.

I wasn't only referring to BP. Read # 27, which was in response to SER's request for further info.

No it doesn't but for a ... (Below threshold)

No it doesn't but for a single fact, BP agreed to it.

No, you're wrong - it can't be only that "single fact". For it to be illegal, it would have to actually violate a law.

Please list the law that was actually violated by the White House asking BP to set up this escrow.

jim x - Sorry to say this ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jim x - Sorry to say this but... you're so full of sh*t your eyes are brown.

Quote where I said this violated any law?

Specifically I said it didn't because BP agreed to it. And they did so under great presure.

And why use the 9/11 example, obviously because it worked to a resonable degree, that proves nothing other than history.

BTW, with Feinberg in charge of that fund he had final say on who and how much will be paid... but by accepting his decisions they HAD NO ability to appeal them at a later date.

That fund also took just short of THREE years to settle and pay all the victims.

Speedy by Gov teams but not so much when you've lost your business.

Jim X"No, you're w... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim X

"No, you're wrong - it can't be only that "single fact". For it to be illegal, it would have to actually violate a law.

Please list the law that was actually violated by the White House asking BP to set up this escrow.
"

Spoken by the person who said that a law which hasnt even been written yet would violate another law and prove that the right doesnt like the rule of law.

You cant make this stuff up.

Jim X" So placing ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim X

" So placing this in escrow makes sure that BP's victims will receive compensation in a timely manner (unlike the Valdez victims) "

Actually it doesnt make sure of anythign except $20 b will be in escrow. It doesnt say how it will be spent, who will get the money or who it will be allocated. It only makes general claims of what the money will be used for.

Want to bet that there arent a half a dozen or more stories that come out about some of the money being funneled to unions via overpriced contracts, to Obama supporters on single source no bid contracts, or to ACORN to help with housing?

Jim X"Did that hap... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim X

"Did that happen with the similar set up for the 9/11 victims? As far I've been able to see, no."

But you forget one thing Jim

"You have me now" - Barrack Obama 2009

Oops, Republicans are now s... (Below threshold)
john:

Oops, Republicans are now saying that putting $20 billion in escrow was BP's idea from the start, and Obama had nothing to do with getting them to do it.

http://franks.house.gov/press_releases/467

No shakedown here, folks. Or was it? Doesn't matter, does it? Just keep throwing shit at the walls and see what sticks.

john - sooooo... it's the s... (Below threshold)
Marc:

john - sooooo... it's the same shit on the wall whether it was BP's or obummer's idea isn't it?

And you'll note Congressman Trent Franks uniquicably states if it was obumers it would have violated the constitution.

My point all along.

Fascistic Administrative Br... (Below threshold)

Fascistic Administrative Branch-imposed Sovereign Risk.

Welcome to the Third World, Fellow Americans.

Spoken by the person who... (Below threshold)

Spoken by the person who said that a law which hasnt even been written yet would violate another law and prove that the right doesnt like the rule of law.

Spoken by the person who claimed to understand my argument in # 64, but continues to either misunderstand it or deliberately misrepresent it.

Want to bet that there a... (Below threshold)

Want to bet that there arent a half a dozen or more stories that come out about some of the money being funneled to unions via overpriced contracts, to Obama supporters on single source no bid contracts, or to ACORN to help with housing?

Actually, yes. Seeing as how Obama won't be administering it, but the same guy who administered the 9/11 fund under Bush will be.

Here's my bet: there is nothing that will be done with this fund that is any worse than what happened when the 9/11 fund was distributed while Bush was President.

The best will last through, say, Obama's first administration. And the loser will publicly admit it here, in a short statement that just repeats the conditions of the bet, reports the outcome, and says nothing more else than "I was wrong, and he was right."

Actually I retract # 81, an... (Below threshold)

Actually I retract # 81, and my apologies. You're understanding my argument fine, I guess I need some coffee.

jim x - "Here's my bet:... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jim x - "Here's my bet: there is nothing that will be done with this fund that is any worse than what happened when the 9/11 fund was distributed while Bush was President."

Well then, I guess we can expect the current fund to be doled out in 3 years or less if that's your benchmark.

Sad... very sad.

Jim XI can live wi... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim X

I can live with that bet. It is a bit vague as to the standards amd we may have some discussion as to the results at the end of Obama's (only I hope) term but I think we can work with it. You at least seem more honorable that Lee Ward. of course, (and no offense to you) that isnt saying much.

Oh and apology accepted.

Marc, re: # 74 - you're so ... (Below threshold)

Marc, re: # 74 - you're so full of shit that you accuse others of being full of shit rather than look at your own argument.

It is crazy that I have to walk you back through the argument like this. But apparently I have to.

I said:

and that BP's escrow maneuver violates no laws

Then you said

No it doesn't but for a single fact, BP agreed to it.

Which means that you are **disagreeing with me**. That's what "No" means.

So I say,

Please list the law that was actually violated by the White House asking BP to set up this escrow.

Then you say -

Quote where I said this violated any law?

Specifically I said it didn't because BP agreed to it. And they did so under great presure.

So if what you are saying is that this **didn't** violate any law, then why did you say "No" in the first place?

And then you accuse me, for taking your "no" as meaning "no"?

Wow.

Well then, I guess... (Below threshold)
Well then, I guess we can expect the current fund to be doled out in 3 years or less if that's your benchmark.

Sad... very sad.

Exactly why is that sad?

You do realize that some people are still waiting for settlements from Exxon Valdez, 20 years later?

Retired military, no offens... (Below threshold)

Retired military, no offense taken. So the bet is on. : ) We'll see if either of us remembers in several years' time...I should perhaps set an online calendar or something.




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