Twenty thoughts on 20 billion bucks
--So how’s your Swedish? How’s your Swedish when you’re facing dozens of cameras on the White House driveway?
BP’s top guy tried to apologize for the mess they’ve made, and to explain that he and his Big Oil colleagues aren’t really the greedy, heartless so-and-sos they’re alleged to be.
We care about “the small people,” said Carl-Henric Svanberg. He meant “the common people.” He meant “the little guy.” It was perfectly obvious.
The commentariat went wild anyway.
--If only BP’s biggest sin had been poor grasp of American idiom…
--Pounding corporate execs in a congressional hearing room is incredibly satisfying, and takes far less energy than paying attention to what those execs were doing in the first place.
--The oil-company spill-containment plans must be working better than we thought—there hasn’t been a single dead walrus washed ashore yet.
--Fun is watching some of the very same liberal pundits who bashed Barack Obama for presidential wimpiness on Tuesday night scrambling to revise their remarks when Obama squeezed 20 billion (and counting) out of BP on Wednesday afternoon.
--Expect some of those same pundits to take credit for putting the steel in Obama’s spine. Overnight. (Now, that’s influence!)
--Congressional Republicans also bashed Obama on Tuesday night, before he got the 20 billion bucks—he was too passive. And on Wednesday afternoon, after he got the 20 billion bucks—he was overreaching.
--Congressional Republicans will also be bashing Obama next Tuesday night, and next Wednesday afternoon. Also Monday morning, and all day Thursday. Mitch McConnell will complain. John Boehner will insinuate. Then Boehner will complain and McConnell will insinuate.
--In other news, the sun will rise.
--Does anyone with a choice pull into a BP gas station until this thing is fixed? (Does BP drop its price per gallon to hold onto its market share?)
--If the booms are on the surface of the water, but lots of the oil is under the surface…
--Restoring the Gulf wetlands is an idea whose time has come. Decades ago.
--Obama keeps starting things that won’t even begin to pay off until many years after he’s left office. It’s almost like he’s able to take the long view! (Or does he know he’ll be long gone before the bill comes due?)
--Taking the long view makes for tough votes for congressional careerists. For some reason, instant gratification always polls better.
--“Free the Mississippi River!” Because there isn’t enough on Obama’s plate already.
--Could 20 billion one-dollar bills soak up all the oil?
--I wouldn’t trust Sarah Palin to bag my groceries.
--If Obama comes out of the this whole experience more suspicious of Big Business, that will be a good thing.
--If Obama comes out of this whole experience much more suspicious of Big Business, that will be a bad thing.
--Forget the Nobel Prize in Physics—where’s the guy with the Nobel Prize in Plumbing?
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.