Wednesday, June 16, 2010

$20 Billion for Gulf Clean-Up. Whack 'em with a 2x4!

I was just going through Yahoo News and came across an article fresh on their feed about the $20 billion fund that BP has agreed to establish to pay for cleaning up their oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

I agree with others today who have questioned the continuing reference to this as a "spill" stating instead that it's a disaster or even a "hemmorage". It's far from a spill. You spill a cup of coffee. You dump out the whole pot. But, I digress.

BP has agreed to suspend dividends to its shareholders and instead to establish this fund. How magnanimous of them. Doing today under pressure from President Obama and others what they should have done a month or more ago.

BP's Chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg commented today about the disaster and recovery fund by saying, "I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies...are greedy companies and don't care, but not in the case of BP. We care about the small people."


BP had to be cajoled, shamed, coerced into doing the right thing. And then Svanberg has the temerity to claim that he cares about the "small people". What kind of arrogance is that? Small people? Geesh. It's just too bad that no one has grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, made him put on a pair of tyvek overalls and given him a shovel or pitchfork along a marshline to spend some time getting dirty and sweaty doing some actual "small people" work of cleaning up his own damn mess.

President Obama's comment was far better when he said the vulnerable fisherman, restaurant workers and other people of the Gulf "are uppermost in the minds of all concerned. That's who we're doing this work for."

And even better was what Tony Kennon, Mayor of Orange Beach, Alabama said: "We asked for that 2 weeks ago and they laughed at us. Thank you President Obama for taking a bunch of rednecks' suggestion and making it happen."

Yeah, thanks Barak, and there's still a lot of work to do. But at least now you've managed to get BP's attention.

Kind of like the old Missouri farmer known far and wide for how cooperative and docile his mule was. When the TV reporter showed up to film him, the farmer walked up to the mule and smacked it in the head with a 2x4 leaving the reporter appalled and aghast. "Well, son," the farmer said, "first you got to get their attention."

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