Posts Tagged ‘Obama’
…does it seem each time a politician refers to their budget as “bold” or their ideas as “bold,” or their plan to do anything as “bold,” one can easily replace the word “bold” with “stupid,” or “poorly thought out,” or “really screwing the poor and middle class so don’t look too close, go see the Smurf movie instead, it’s family-damn-tastic!”
Take this example from a Think Progress article where John Boehner tried to say the S+P didn’t downgrade US credit because of GOP unwillingness to consider revenue increases, but instead because Obama (kinda-sorta) wouldn’t let them eliminate Medicare:
“The President and the Democratic leadership in Washington are trying to blame the tea party, because they know this downgrade is on [the Democrats] (Hmm…that’s a lie). When we took the bold step of proposing entitlement reforms, they reacted not by embracing them and joining us, but by demonizing those proposals for political gain.”
See how that works?
Bold…as in, “Hey man, I was thinking we could save a lot on Grandma’s health care if we were to just tie her hands and feet and throw her off the Crescent City Connection, taking that strong an inititiative would be a truly bold move.”
Have a nice day.
Since the rule of law is dead:
GOP cuts funding to the SEC because of “budget deficits,” despite the fact money for the SEC does not come from the budget, but from regulatory charges paid by the brokerage firms the SEC investigates, thus saving the same companies/banks that fucked us into a recession millions while also making it more financially difficult for the SEC to prosecute all the companies that did all the fucking.
Oh, and that recession – nobody in jail, banks made billions.
Oh, and that British Petroleum oil spill – nobody in jail or charged.
Oh, and that Foreclosure Fraud – nobody in jail or charged.
Oh, and the Medical Lobby/hospitals/administrators/insurance companies/big pharma – how many people have died because they couldn’t afford not to? – nobody goes to jail and nobody charged.
Okay then, so does this mean when Republicans and not a few Democrats, including Obama, cut back on the safety net because of the deficit, one debt ceiling and/or budget at a time, while in the same moment, they give ridiculous tax cuts to the wealthy which go a long way towards helping create that deficit…does this mean then, that when I decide to go to the exclusive parts of town or to the Financial District to get my money back, that just like the banks, the oil companies, the insurance and medical industry, that I won’t go to jail or be charged either for theft and/or fraud?
Interesting, then the rule of law must only be kind-of dead, inasmuch as the bottom 99% is ruled by the laws of the top 1%, the same 1% who only calls it class war when the bottom 99 fights back against their greedy, entitled ways…
Have a nice day.
Stories abound across the Gulf Coast of people with legitimate claims who have been denied by Feinberg and the GCCF, but what of those who have been approved, who have received checks? Many have been given paltry sums, pennies on the dollar that didn’t come close to making up for their damages or lost earnings as a result of the BP oil spill, and for those people, now they may have a new problem:
He’s coming, and he’s coming only two days before the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
All of the paid claims are taxable income and since Feinberg and the GCCF didn’t withhold taxes on any of the payments, that leaves the recipients responsible. With $2.7 billion dollars paid out, that’s a lot of money, maybe too much to think about on such a large scale…so let’s start small. Feinberg, with his quick payments of $5,000 to individuals and $25,000 dollars to businesses leaves the recipients on the hook for $1,200 and $6,000 dollars respectively. Now, how many of those people who were in need, bad enough to accept this payment had the means to set aside 25% of this paltry sum?
Yeah, that’s trouble and those tax bills only go up from there, levied onto a population that can hardly afford it.
So here’s a thought, since Obama and his new Republican runnin’ buddies are so into the tax cutting business these days, why not go one more and declare these payments tax free. Get the IRS out of the equation, these people got trouble enough.
It would seem the least you can do.
Have a nice day.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, ever concerned about the needs of his constituents, spent yesterday attending to Louisianans in the grand ol’ state of Texas. He gave a speech. He hawked his book. He did a fund-raiser.
Oh, and while Bobby was out of town again…
The National Oil Spill Commission declared that Jindal’s great sand berm idea was ineffective to say the least, largely as a result of them not being built fast enough and also, in the wrong location. In response, Jindal said, “This report is partisan revisionist history at taxpayer expense,” which of course, is another way of saying, “All the people who said this berm idea was faulty from the beginning, and who have now been proven correct by the evidence in this report are either scientists, Democrats, or not hoping for some kind of higher office in 2012, so obviously I must know better.”
Meanwhile in Baton Rouge, also while Jindal was in Texas, more than 250 people gathered at the state capital to protest the poor job Kenneth Feinberg is doing in compensating the Gulf Coast for its losses as a result of BP’s oil spill. They complained that maids, bellhops and the such at Louisiana hotels are not being compensated from the claims fund, despite them losing money and hours as a result of the drop off in the tourist trade.
Jindal, to make sure his citizens understood how much he cared, even though he was in Texas, sent out his Chief of Staff, Timmy Teepell to inform the protesters that Jindal “continues to have concerns about the fairness, timeliness and accuracy” of the claims process and he will someday address them, from Texas or maybe Florida or Ohio, you know, where he is hard at work taking care of his constituents at fundraisers or book store events, these necessary obligations where Jindal is busy raising funds for…Louisiana.
Maybe this is how he intends to close the monstrous budget gap, continue doing fundraisers so he won’t have to cut back on education, on social services, on medical care…on…and on…and on…
If not, however, perhaps he would be better served by some serious brainstorming on how to fix the problems in his state, listen to his people, attend to their needs…come up with some seriously, creative solutions to blunt the looming damage from the budget shortfall…tor maybe finally admit what many have suspected all along, that Louisiana is a platform for Jindal to higher office and once he flies out of the state for good, he’ll be leaving the people and the problems behind.
Have a nice day.
British Petroleum’s CEO, Bob Dudley has provided estimates to the business world and more importantly, to its investors that BP’s share of costs associated with the Deepwater Horizon will not exceed $40 billion dollars when all is said and done. Still trying to reassure his company’s investors, Dudley has even indicated that dividend payments will resume again in the new year.
Course, there is a lot riding on those statements and actually, it is somewhat of a gamble.
In order to meet these two goals, the estimate’s accuracy and the dividend payments, it is becoming increasingly important that BP not be found guilty of gross negligence which would quadruple the per barrel fine, and the recent uplift in BP’s stock prices assisted by these announced goals? Yeah, those stocks would again fall.
So keeping this in mind, there is ample reason for BP to keep pointing fingers at Transocean and Halliburton, according to David Prosser, business writer for the Independent:
“It is important that BP does not have to shoulder the full responsibility for the spill when Mr Reilly (Oil spill commission co-chair) makes his final report to President Obama in the New Year. And not just because sharing the blame might leave BP feeling just a little less uncomfortable. What is more important is that if Mr Reilly finds the British company only jointly culpable for what happened, he is much less likely to say it was guilty of gross negligence.”
Ah, business strategy…well, If there is one thing we all seem to continue learning about British Petroleum, it is just how strategic they are about trying to save money and cut costs, and this would seem to be more important to them than human lives, taking responsibility for their actions or doing what someone of sound conscience would consider to be the right thing, the moral thing.
From the Oil Spill Commission’s document that shows BP’s risky decisions on the Deepwater Horizon to their use of toxic chemical dispersants to drive the oil from sight, from the hiring of Ken Feinberg as arbitrator of the escrow fund to the stipulation that the fund money not paid out be given back to the company, from BP’s new insistence that the government’s estimate of spilled barrels could be off by as much as 50% to their refusal to give Gulf Coast charities further funding in helping residents make rent payments, pay utilities or put food on their tables: all strategy, all cost cutting, all serving British Petroleum’s interests.
BP appears to have never really been about making things right; their actions seem to indicate they are only about making things right enough. So it would seem in very poor taste for Bob to make this gamble, to make his suggestions and estimates, especially when these rosy scenarios appear to be based on BP’s attorneys finding a way for the company to shirk their moral responsibilities to the Gulf, again.
Senator Mary Landrieu and other lawmakers are trying to pass legislation that would direct 80% of the fine levied against BP towards the Gulf Coast and its repair, so when BP is doing all that they can to drastically cut into that money amount by lowballing the government’s oil estimates and avoiding a decision of gross negligence this is more than big business just being big business and trying to protect their own.
This is another example of a company’s failure to live up to the slogans of their public relations TV commercials.
This is a gamble at the expense of the Gulf Coast.
And though it may be legal, this is wrong.
Have a nice day.
December 15th is looking to be a disappointingly memorable day for citizens of the Gulf Coast. This is the deadline when all emergency claims to BP’s $20 billion fund must be processed and since August 23rd when Kenneth Feinberg took over the fund from British Petroleum, he has denied 173,000 claims including 100,000 in the past seven days alone.
“The number of denied claimants continues to soar for two reasons,” Feinberg said in an e-mail Monday. “1) Thousands and thousands of claimants, who were asked over the past few months to submit additional documentation have not done so; so they are now being denied. 2) Claimants who filed in the past few weeks with insufficient documentation have automatically been denied.”
This is an excuse to give Feinberg cover.
He has been in charge of the claims fund for over three months and it would seem reasonable to believe that Feinberg knew of documentation problems early on. When you take into account that the average amount of fraudulent claims in any national disaster have been about ten percent, and in the Gulf there have been 455,000 claims, this would indicate that only about 45,000 of these claims should be considered fraudulent. When Feinberg denies 173,000, or 40% of the claims, this strongly indicates that thousands upon thousands of people being hurt by this oil spill are not being compensated. Even worse, this simple math doesn’t take into account all of the people who feel they have been shortchanged, getting pennies on the dollar for their losses.
According to my math, 120,000 legitimate claims are being denied and that is simply, wrong. That’s 120,000 families, businesses and individuals and that is a lot of people, too many. I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe there is nothing Feinberg could have done, or could do now to help. Sure, by the letter of the law, he is doing what is legally permissible, but by any kind of moral law, he is a dismal failure and should be removed.
120,000 legitimate claims denied, 120,000 rent payments, homes, businesses, dinner tables, families abandoned by the neutral arbitrator: it’s simply another criminal gut punch to the residents of the Gulf Coast, after British Petroleum’s oil spill slashed their jugular.
And lest we forget, any of the money Feinberg doesn’t pay out of the fund gets returned to British Petroleum, the company paying his salary.
I gotta wonder how Feinberg lives with himself. Like the Halliburton technician who wasn’t watching the pressure readings rise on the Deepwater Horizon, maybe Feinberg is just out smoking cigarettes while the claims are being denied and needy families are sent home.
Perhaps it’s time to get back in your office, Ken. Unless something is done to “make things right,” this situation is just as likely to explode.
Read the article:
Have a nice day.