Thursday, June 17, 2010

BP fund and PTR loonies

The Party for The Rich (formerly the GOP) is at it again, vying for this week's Beneath Contempt Award. Since they have to oppose everything the administration does, they need excuses to oppose the escrow fund of $20 billion that the President has gotten BP to set up. Joe Barton, a perennial idiot from Texas, has called it a "20 billion dollar shakedown." Other PTR folks have described it as a "Chicago style slush fund"; Rush Limbaugh is somehow worried that ACORN might be getting a cut. Michelle Bachmann, who is truly beneath contempt all of the time, describes it as a "redistribution of wealth" -- no doubt like the damages that the drunken driver who ran over your child might pay. (Ah, but what part of beneath contempt don't I understand?) And so on, ad nauseum.

None of these prize folks seems to have grasped the fact that payouts from the fund will be directed by Kenneth Feinberg, the same person appointed by Bush AG John Ashcroft to dispense the funds to victims of 9/11. Whatever you may think of Feinberg's handling of 9/11 monies, it seems highly unlikely that he will use the BP money to set up "Chicago-style" slush funds for ACORN or Democratic operatives. But perspective is not one of the fringe PTR strong suits...

Some of the saner members of the PTR -- especially representatives from states like Florida which will sustain severe damage from the spill -- are beginning to distance themselves from the outright loonies . John Boehner of Ohio, House minority leader, has disavowed Barton's remarks. The best thing the Dems can do is make sure that what the crazies are saying stays in the spotlight for as long a possible.

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