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Joe Burton's Unhinged Gibberish

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It is a deep flaw of the practice of democracy that people don't always elect the most sensible and sane people. And there is no guarantee that once these people are elected they would behave as reasonable, responsible representatives of the populace. I am always amazed, no matter the frequency of times, at the utter rubbish that the country's top civilian political leaders keep spewing at the slightest drop of the proverbial hat. Put them before a microphone and there's an immediate urge to regurgitate faeces through the boccal cavity.

I'm no medical doctor but I do believe that we have to find a cure for this diarrhea of the mouth that is fast becoming a looming epidemic of seismic proportions within the political community. It is moving from the political target population to the mainstream. That's worrying. Take the latest calculated verbal stupidity from a ranking member of the US House of Representatives. Rep. Joe Barton a 21- year veteran of Congress felt compelled to apologize to executives of British Petroleum (BP) at a Congressional hearing for what he called "a shakedown."

Apart from his exceedingly poor choice of words in describing a $20 billion escrow account hammered out between BP and the Obama Administration to compensate Gulf Coast residents who lost their livelihoods and family members, Joe Barton's statement is a study in how big business has bought off some of our political leaders. Burton must be walking around with a huge "Republican Politician For Sale" sign in large caps and a tagline of "Preferably By Big Oil Companies." How else can one rationalize if at all possible Barton's genuflecting, derriere-kissing, idiotic "apology" and his righteous indignation about being "ashamed" at the Obama Administration for trying to bring a little justice to working class Americans who stand to lose everything they worked for?

Listen to this clown: "I'm not speaking for anybody in the House of Representatives but myself but I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think 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."

"I apologize. I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, is subject to some sort of political pressure that is, again, in my words -- amounts to a shakedown, so I apologize."

Waxing oxymoronic Burton agrees that a corporation, in this case BP, did "something legitimately wrong," and assumes that this was the cause of political pressure that amounts to a shakedown. Memo to Mike Roberts: Definition of the word gibberish - rapid and inarticulate talk; unintelligible language. Some politicians are just plain kooks. Understandably, his Republican colleagues, who usually band together to "bash Obama," are very leery about Burton's fandango with BP and are distancing themselves from him. Some have even publicly criticized him.

But what can you expect from a man who was elected to office in 1989 and has raised most of his campaign money from big oil and energy companies? To date he's gotten about $1.5 million from the oil and gas industry and another $1.4 million from electric and utility companies. They own the man lock, stock and barrel. So when he sees his "bread and butter" coming under attack he has to act, not in the interest of poor Americans who lost their livelihoods and are struggling to keep their kids in college, put food on the table, and who face a bleak and uncertain future, but to BP's rich, corrupt and uncaring fat cats.

As politicians go Burton, 60, is one of the people who rails against any talk about global warming and protection of the environment. This political oddball represents a district in Texas that is over 73% white and where ethnic and racial diversity is an alien concept. And for all of his time in office he's contributed only $2,000 of his own money in self-financing his campaign. The man's completely dependent on big oil for funding to stay in Congress.

If this was not a deadly serious disaster of the first magnitude then maybe we could all have a good laugh at Burton's usual gibberish. But thousands of lives are on the line, an environmental disaster looms, and BP is complicit in the loss of 11 lives and the jury of scores of others. Still, the man's certifiable. Here's what he said about carbon dioxide that clearly exposes his abysmal ignorance when it comes to basic, elementary science.

"CO2 is odorless, colorless, tasteless - it's not a threat to human health in terms of being exposed to it. We create it as we talk back and forth. So, and if you go beyond that, on a net basis, there's ample evidence that warming generically -- however it is caused -- is a net benefit to mankind." Enough said. Draw your own conclusions.


MICHAEL D. ROBERTS is a top Political Strategist and Business, Management and Communications Specialist in New York City's Black community. He is an experienced writer whose specialty is socio-political and economic analysis and local (more...)

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When in your heart you know who supplies the money... by mykl samu on Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 1:40:59 PM