From the Democratic National Commitee:
When BP CEO Tony Hayward testified before Congress this morning, many expected to hear him apologize for the disaster his company has caused. Instead, GOP Congressman Joe Barton was the one saying he was sorry -- to BP.
In his opening statement, Barton, the top Republican on the committee overseeing the oil spill and its aftermath, delivered a personal apology to the oil giant. He said the $20 billion fund that President Obama directed BP to establish to provide relief to the victims of the oil disaster was a "tragedy in the first proportion."
Other Republicans are echoing his call. Sen. John Cornyn said he "shares" Barton's concern. Rep. Michele Bachmann said that BP shouldn't agree to be "fleeced." Rush Limbaugh called it a "bailout." The Republican Study Committee, with its 114 members in the House, called it a "shakedown."
Let's be clear. This fund is a major victory for the people of the Gulf. It's a key step toward making them whole again. BP has a responsibility to those whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by the disaster. And BP oil executives don't deserve an apology -- the people of the Gulf do.
Joe Barton was paid 1.4 million dollars by the oil industry in campaign contributions, more than any other legislator in the house or senate. One wonders if that might affect his willingness to make a public apology to BP. More importantly, it's clear that that $1.4M influences the man to vote in favor of the oil industry at the expense of the people who elected him, and who he would be expected to represent - if he weren't bought and paid for by the oil industry.
Sure, BP is a U.S. Person and are entitled to lobby congress and the senate. Fair argument, except you and I can't really pony up the $1.4M necessary to make the legislature force corporations to conduct dangerous activities like drilling for oil in the safest way possible. The public interest is sacrificed because corporations CAN come up with the cash to quash legislation that would increase their costs and require safe operations. Fuck the public good, fuck public safety - that's what your bought and paid for legislature gives you. Thank you Supreme Court for allowing this in your recent ruling on speech by corporations. Nice work.
The tea party do have it right - it is time to take back our government. Not from centrist democrats (so called socialists) but from bought out pricks like Barton.
The beauty is in watching republicans attempt to defend their corporate masters. Sure, Barton's oil industry lobbyist/handler meets with him before the hearing and asks for the apologetic language, Barton delivers, republican leadership (Boehner) recoils in horror and makes Barton issue an apology for the BP apology. Does that mean Barton will get less money next year from the oil industry? I just like watching the train wreck.