Monday, June 21, 2010

Remember When George Will Used to be Not-Insane?

From Crooks and Liars:

TAPPER: George, I want to start with you. I know you don't agree with what Republican Texas Congressman Joe Barton had to say, but does the idea of this $20 billion escrow account make you uncomfortable?

WILL: It does. Look, there is no defense of BP which has an execrable safety record in this country, from the refinery disaster in Texas in '05, the Morris Slope leak in '06, all of that and so no apology from BP. But if you don't want to live in a Northern Hemisphere Venezuela, you ought to be a little queasy about the fact that a president, any president of any party, using raw political power, without recourse to courts that exist for this sort of thing. . .

Oh, the courts! Suddenly, the right is all in favor of people using the courts to have their grievances redressed! You know, Torts? The righties just loooooove torts!

. . . under laws, with due process, essentially confiscates $20 billion from a publicly held corporation, about half of its shares held by Americans, to be dispensed, again, with out judicial supervision, as the political branch sees fit.

Supervision by judges? What if they're activist judges? Since when has the right wing had any respect for the judicial branch?

That is worrisome. Even, they have even said that BP maybe held responsible for the lost wages caused by, not BP, but the administration's own moratorium, six-months moratorium, on deepwater drilling. Which maybe more costly to the economy of the Gulf than the spill itself.

Really? A six-month moratorium on drilling more costly than having the shrimping, fishing, and tourism industries destroyed for at least a generation? Really? That's what you're going with? You're gonna just go ahead and stick with that, then, hmm? Yeah? The six month thing, more costly than the giant catastrophe? Yeah? Really?

WILL: Well, among those asking, upon what meat doeth [sic] our Caesar feed that he has grown so great?, is "The Economist" of London, which I think we have all accept as a mainstream publication. They say, in a section of their lead editorial, called "Vladimir Obama", "The collapse of BP's share prices suggest he has convinced the markets that he is an American version of Vladimir Putin, willing to harry firms into doing his bidding. If the president does not stand up for due process he will frighten investors across the board. The damage to Americans environment is bad enough, the president risks damaging the economy, too." That's not a partisan outfit, "The Economist".

I think that if you title your editorial "Vladimir Obama," you've pretty much given up all claim to being a mainstream non-partisan outfit. And by the way, BP's stock price only ever went down as low as $32 a share, that's hardly a collapse.

And the editorial in the Economist is a pretty blatant attempt to deflect any blame from BP:

Vilifying BP also gets in the way of identifying other culprits, one of which is the government. BP operates in one of the most regulated industries on earth with some of the most perverse rules, subsidies and incentives. Shoddy oversight clearly contributed to the spill, and an energy policy which reduced the demand for oil would do more to avert future environmental horrors than fierce retribution.

See, it's not BP's fault that it cut corners on safety and got shoddy and careless. The government should have stopped them. This is the sort of defense that routinely gets laughed out of the "courtroom" on Judge Judy. It's the sort of thing children come up with. "yeah, I took the car and crashed it, but mom and dad should have hidden the keys better." It's pathetic.

It seems to me that George Will used to be more sensible than this, before he started writing masturbatory odes to the splendor of baseball. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, but he's definitely slipped into FOX territory now.

Happy Solstice!

 A picture of a Russian pagan putting on a fiery show at Kupalo, one of the summer solstice 2010 celebrations.