Friday, July 2, 2010

DeMint Scratches BP's Back

For the President's oil spill inquiry commission to investigate the causes of the BP oil spill, and more importantly to stop it from happening again, they need the power of subpoena. Last week, the House showed overwhelming bipartisan support for granting the commission subpoena power in a vote of 420-1, with the only holdout being ultra-libertarian Ron Paul (R-TX).

It would seem the Senate would have a similarly easy time granting subpoena power through unanimous consent, right? Not on Jim DeMint's watch. Sen. DeMint (R-SC) objected, which had the possibility of delaying the subpoena for several weeks. He did so, he said, not on his own behalf, but on behalf of the Republican conference. They must think DeMint can get away with anything, even taking PAC money from each of the country's biggest oil producers, BP included, since his opposition in this year's Senate race is Alvin Greene, a real "Who's Who" of who the hell is that.

Fortunately, the Republicans have now lifted their hold on granting the power of subpoena to the Gulf oil spill commission, but only because DeMint's actions were so blatantly pro-Big Oil that it was causing a political embarrassment. Even "Smokey Joe" Barton didn't let his buddies at BP off the hook on this one.

For now, Jim DeMint and a couple of "Drill, Baby, Drill" allies in the Senate have backed off to fight another day. It doesn't make their protection of Big Oil any less disgusting.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

House Minority Leader Boehner Flip-Flops on White House's Oil Disaster Response

First President Obama wasn't doing enough on the oil disaster. Now, he's doing too much.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) criticized the Obama administration for its response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports:
Boehner said Obama overreacted to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill might warrant a "pause" in deepwater drilling, but Obama's blanket ban on drilling in the gulf -- which a judge overturned last week -- could devastate the region's economy, he said. Louisiana State University scientists estimate the ban could have affected more than 10,000 jobs.
That's funny because just over a month ago he lambasted the President for not doing enough. In a national radio appearance on May 27, Boehner said that it is "becoming increasingly clear" that the Obama administration's response to the Gulf spill has been insufficient.
“The law makes it pretty clear that if there’s an oil spill, the President is required to take action, and we’ve got the Governor of Louisiana, we’ve got parish presidents of those small communities south of New Orleans asking for help, asking to be allowed to put a sand berm and other things in to protect the marshes, and they can’t get an answer out of the federal government. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Administration is not fulfilling their responsibility to the people of the Gulf Coast area or the people of the United States.”
So which is it, Boehner? Too much or too little?