“Tragedy of the first proportion” (United States of British Petroleum)

Those words were uttered by an elected member of the United States Congress representing a Gulf Coast state this morning. Was Rep. Joe Barton referring to the Gulf catastrophe? Yes, kind of. Via TPM:

“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.”

These mind-altering statements can be easily understood in conjunction with this information provided by the Center for Responsive Politics concerning the House Energy and Commerce Committee of which Mr. Barton is a member.

The Center reported that:

“In 2009, individuals and political action committees associated with BP donated $16,000 to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

In addition, five of the all-time top 10 recipients of BP money in the House of Representatives sit on the House Energy Committee: John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) Joe Barton (R-Tex.), Ralph M. Hall (R-Tex.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Fred Upton, (R-Mich.).

All have received upward of $13,000 from BP-related individuals and political action committees during the past two decades.”

So that’s that. He also apologized to his boss Tony Hayward for the rude, unconscionable treatment and ridicule he’s received over the past few weeks. File it under money well spent.

Not to be outdone the misleadingly named Republican Study Committee issued a statement lamenting “BP’s reported willingness to go along with the White House’s new fund” and accusing the President of practicing his brand of “Chicago-style shakedown politics” on the poor, misunderstood Oil conglomerate.  Besides the soul-crushing, mind-altering psychedelic aspect of these words, it really makes you wonder what a company would have to do anger and offend the modern day Republican party.   I didn’t even think they would have the balls to publicly defend and bestow the mantel of victimhood on BP.

Who they REALLY represent couldn’t be clearer.

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