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Graft pays an unexpected, WTF?, dividend

Rep. Joe Barton (Republican, Texas) apologizes to BP CEO Tony Hayward yesterday for the “20 billion dollar shakedown” that BP, poor lambs, suffered at the hands of the White House.

“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 dollar shakedown.”

That’s the “tragedy of the first proportion” in this whole affair?  That “a private corporation” be required to pay — with money — for the ruin and suffering and loss of life and livelihood that transpire as a direct result of its own criminal negligence?

Barton is not only in the pay of big oil, as would be expected, it turns out (surprise!) he’s their top earner across two decades.  From Reuters:

Barton is the biggest recipient of oil and gas industry campaign contributions in the House of Representatives, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Its data showed that Barton has collected $1,447,880 from political action committees and individuals connected with the oil and gas industry since 1989.

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