"The nine scariest words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and we're here to help'." - President Ronald Reagan
Maybe the Republicans are on to something.
The possible variants of what BP actually stands for are virtually limitless. Their Balloons and Ponies fake clean up strategy is one and Beyond Prosecution is another. Now we can offer "Big People" to the growing list.
It seems every single day since the Deepwater Horizon blew up on April 20th, we news consumers read some other way in which BP or its countless flaks slap in the face the "small people" of the Gulf whose lives and livelihoods have been lubed and sodomized with the energy and efficiency of a prison shower rape. This story by Truthout's Dahr Jamail on OpEd.com is just the latest.
It was discovered by Jamail that the money earned by Gulf coast fishermen in the ongoing cleanup effort is actually being deducted from the $20,000,000,000 federally-mandated claim fund. And, according to citizen activist Kindra Arnesen, relief payments were arbitrarily shortened by BP if the fishermen devastated by BP's negligence and greed refuse to work in the cleanup effort. That's outrageous enough, especially when you couple these whoppers with the realization that many of these fishermen-turned-cleanup workers are getting low-balled and even go unpaid by BP by arbitrarily changing their payment system.
Add this to the shocking but underreported news that BP had been laying off these same cleanup workers for over a week. BP earlier said that they would do nothing of the sort and that cleanup income and settlement claims would be kept separate. But Kenneth Feinberg, Obama's BP settlement czar, announced yesterday that their wages are being deducted from whatever settlement they get from BP for lost wages. In other words, it isn't just BP screwing over the little people, the Obama administration is helping them do it. For all we know, this was probably agreed upon in advance between administration and BP officials at the White House. No wonder BP didn't even so much as squeal when Obama made them set up the escrow account.
In other words, not only are the cleanup workers helping to reduce BP's legal and PR exposure, they're actually getting penalized for going to bat for BP and for trying to keep themselves from immediate financial catastrophe. And Obama's own settlement czar seems perfectly fine with this.
Something else for voters to think about come Super Tuesday 2012.