Bringing BP to justice
Many of you may have noticed that yesterday was the first weekday I've not posted a blog note in several years. It actually felt great to have the day semi-off, although my lack of writing was due to an insanely busy schedule as I'm traveling to/near DC for a business meeting I had yesterday. I was going to skip Wednesday too, but a news story today demanded at least a small comment.
When I first looked at the stock market this morning, it was down over 100 points and looked, frankly, just sick. However, after some positive economic data, the market turned around and was posting decent gains when I looked at it maybe 90 minutes before the market closed.
How many of you remember not so many days ago when Ken "Brain Dead" Salazar talked about putting a "boot on the neck" of BP, a statement which even the I-hate-big-companies-just-for-being-big Barack Obama walked away from in his press conference earlier this week?
Yesterday afternoon, in a sign that anti-capitalist mania destroys short-term memory, Obama and his henchman Eric Holder were pounding the pavement talking about bring BP "to justice" with a "meticulous" and "aggressive" investigation looking for reason to file criminal charges.
Shares of BP, Anadarko, and Haliburton (the latter two of which were also involved in operating the rig), which were already under pressure early in the day due to the weekend's failure of the "top kill" attempt to stop the leak, cracked further after Holder's afternoon remarks and dragged everything else along with them, hitting the Dow Jones Industrial Average for about 150 points, or 1.5%, in the last two hours of the day with most of the damage coming in the last 30 minutes.
I was going to say Obama is an idiot but then I thought that's too harsh. I was wrong about the second part. He's an idiot. He comes from Chicago politics where it's all about hurting everyone but the unions and the party bosses whenever possible because implicitly by making everyone else smaller and weaker you make yourself bigger and stronger. It's SOP for fascists.
But really, what possible upside is there to cause BP to be nervous and overcautious with everything they do during the phase when we need them to be as focused and aggressive as possible?
I'm not saying people shouldn't be prosecuted if they broke laws. Of course they should. But BP has done nothing to try to back away from expense or admission of liability to this point; they hardly seem to need bullying, especially right now.
Instead, what's going on is that Obama made a ginormous mistake in saying the buck stops with him when he has absolutely no control over the situation. His tremendous narcissism -- he is the guy who said that we would remember his nomination as the event which caused the oceans to stop rising -- caused him to take credit-in-advance for something which didn't happen and for which he was not responsible. He was not responsible for the explosion and he's not responsible for plugging the well. It's true, people -- especially the idiots who bought into his proclamations of omnipotence -- would look to The One for The Answer. And it's theoretically a wonderful thing that Obama's utterly unfounded reputation for competence is being shattered.
But when we have a government which is only motivated, as they are now, by a desperate self-created need to be seen to be "doing something", that can only make for idiotic decisions and counter-productive public statements, such as we've seen today.
It's par for the course for people getting on-the-job training in government. After all, Obama's never run an organization bigger than his law school newspaper, at least until he became the most powerful and underqualified man in the free world.
What's happening in the Gulf is so horrible that even the political damage to The One isn't worth the terrible toll it's taking on residents of the Gulf Coast. The damage to Obama is a self-inflicted wound caused by his narcissim. Unfortunately, he thinks the way to divert attention from his own wound is to attack others. For all but the most devout Obama Kool-Aid drinkers, his and Holder's unnecessary judge, jury, and executioner act looks like the petty, bone-headed Chicago politics that it is.
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