BP, Congress and accountability

So, Tony Hayward is on the way out at BP. It was inevitable, given the magnitude of the Gulf oil spill and the tin ear Hayward displayed along the way.

But, as The Wall Street Journal editorializes today (subscription required):

Contrast that with the political realm, where Barney Frank and Chris Dodd had their power increased by the panic that ended up electing more Democrats. Their punishment for protecting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for years was to be able to rewrite the rules for all of American finance. That’s some business model. At least Mr. Dodd has faced the rough justice of being run out of one more re-election campaign thanks to his sweetheart mortgage from Countrywide Financial.

Regarding the Gulf oil spill, Mr. Obama’s Interior Secretary has removed one bureaucrat (whom he had earlier appointed) but that’s about it. Our point is that it is certainly fair for Mr. Hayward to take the fall, and the timing is right given that the leak now seems on its way to being contained. We only wish there was a similar culture of accountability in government, especially in Congress.

Of course, firing Hayward will not absolve BP of blame or responsibility in the spill. But at least the company, unlike our leaders in Washington, understand that it’s a necessary step.

74 comments Add your comment

Dave

July 26th, 2010
12:00 pm

Only in politics can one’s actions (or lack thereof) legislatively actually lead the way for more power and for the politicians to swoop in and “fix” the problems they had a hand in creating the first place. Talk about job security.

Dave

July 26th, 2010
12:05 pm

But it was really surreal watching the Dems cheer and praise Frank and Dodd after the passage of the financial “reform” bill. Those two were probably most at fault for the mess that the bill is supposed to fix, mostly by inaction. At least Dodd won’t be coming back. As I said, only in DC.

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
12:16 pm

“BP, Congress and accountability”

Obama gave BP an award for safety. He should resign as well.

get out much?

July 26th, 2010
12:29 pm

I really love the free pass you give to the Republican Chairmen of the House Financial Services Committee from 1994 – through 2006 (Rep. Jim Leach and Rep. Mike Oxley). As a member of the minority, Barney Frank only had the power they gave him.

CJ

July 26th, 2010
12:37 pm

Kyle: “[Barney Frank’s and Chris Dodd’s] punishment for protecting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for years…”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Republicans control the White House and Congress during most of the last decade?

Now, two days after arguing that so-called conservatives don’t use racism for political gain, Kyle posts a reference to Freddie and Fannie, a reference generally used by the right to exploit race for political gain.

The coded argument/implication is that the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 forced Big Government to make loans to lazy black people who couldn’t afford to make the payments. As a result, the argument goes, the economy collapsed over thirty years later.

Of course, this anti-government (Fannie and Freddie were private organizations seeking profits for shareholders), racially coded narrative ignores the fact that the large majority of loans during the subprime boom were made through privately originators not subject to the Act. This argument also ignores the fact that only two percent of the GSE’s portfolios were subprime and most of their losses were non-subprime loans.

Conservatives didn’t touch Fannie and Freddie when they were in control because they had been privatized, and they’ve essentially provided housing subsidies for the middle class. If they have a proposal to solve the problem, it’s a well kept secret. Otherwise, they’ll continue to blame Barney Frank while relying on the references to the GSE’s to be another effective implementation of the Southern Strategy.

Dave

July 26th, 2010
12:48 pm

CJ, here ya go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPSDnGMzIdo

Of course the new financial “reform” bill doesn’t touch any of the GSE’s which we’re bailing out with hundreds of billions of dollars.

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
12:50 pm

Obama cult followers. Get ready for a tsunami that is about to overtake this administration. The White House is being pressured to release a letter from Obama about his ok to release the Lockerbie Bomber.

It’s gotta suck to be a left winger these days.

CJ

July 26th, 2010
1:29 pm

Thanks for the link Dave.

Notice that this Fox News piece quotes Barney Frank while he was in the minority, yet implies the lack of reform coming out of the Republican controlled committee was somehow his fault. It also implies that it was the Dem’s fault that the Republican-controlled Senate didn’t schedule GSE reform legislation for a vote on the Senate floor. Such implications lack credulity.

In addition, the government has reformed Fannie and Freddie significantly—at least in the short run. They took control of them for one (pretty major reform). These had been private institutions that made risky bets for the primarily for benefit of their management (their CEO’s were making around $30 million/year, but stockholders ultimately lost every cent). That’s no longer the case, and of course, underwriting standards have increased significantly.

Nobody is arguing that the GSEs don’t need long-term reform. What they are arguing is that these institutions were not the epicenter of the financial crisis as the conservative media would have us to believe (for more information, consider reading “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis).

jconservative

July 26th, 2010
1:53 pm

“We only wish there was a similar culture of accountability in government, especially in Congress.”

How could the Journal make such a silly statement? There is “accountability in government, especially in Congress.” It is called elections. And to make the matter worse, the Journal keeps calling for the re-election of certain Incumbents year after year.

You know we turn the House over every 2 years, the White House every 4 years and 1/3 of the Senate every 2 years. But we keep returning the same fat cats year after year.

If the Journal were really interested in accountability they would call for the complete turnover of every member of Congress this November.
But they have not and they will not. And until they do that they have not earned the right to complain about accountability.

And Mr. Wingfield this applies to you also.

Until we stop returning Incumbents entrenched with special interest to office, then we will continue to have government run for the benefit of those special interests.

I realize I am a lone voice crying in the wilderness. I could really use some help.

Kyle Wingfield

July 26th, 2010
1:56 pm

jconservative: You’re right that incumbents are accountable to voters. But that doesn’t stop congressional leaders from making different decisions about who is best to lead a particular committee.

booger

July 26th, 2010
2:54 pm

The reason the government took control of Fannie and Freddie was to mask the amount of money it was taking to prop them up. They will maintain control over them rather than regulating them because, well this is one administration who just likes control.

Meantime, in the gulf region, over 100,000 oil workers remain idle while the president ponders what to do next. Worse, exploration rigs are beginning to leave for other countries meaning the jobs are lost for good. All this after Obama’s own panel of scientists recommended against shutting down the rigs, althouth their letter was rewritten over their signature to say they supported it. It turns out, the most dangerous operations in drilling is shutting down a rig, and starting it back up.

DebbieDo Right

July 26th, 2010
2:59 pm

The White House is being pressured to release a letter from Obama about his ok to release the Lockerbie Bomber.

Should we start calling you Freiberter Lite?

DebbieDo Right

July 26th, 2010
3:00 pm

Meantime, in the gulf region, over 100,000 oil workers remain idle while the president ponders what to do next. Worse, exploration rigs are beginning to leave for other countries meaning the jobs are lost for good. All this after Obama’s own panel of scientists recommended against shutting down the rigs, althouth their letter was rewritten over their signature to say they supported it. It turns out, the most dangerous operations in drilling is shutting down a rig, and starting it back up.

Wow……just WOW!! Do you also believe in Santa Claus? :roll:

booger

July 26th, 2010
3:08 pm

Debbie,

The Secretary of interior has already sent a letter of apology to the panel of scientists for altering the letter. Their basis for their support of keeping the rigs running, was the risk involved in the shut down/start up operations. The number out of work due to the shut down is common knowledge. I was in Texas two weeks ago, pull up any Newspaper in South Texas and you can get the details if you like.

CJ

July 26th, 2010
3:25 pm

Speaking of the Southern Strategy, The Hill reports:

“Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have requested a hearing to investigate alleged racial bias within the Department of Justice, according to a letter sent Friday to committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).”

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/110885-senate-judiciary-republicans-want-hearing-on-alleged-doj-bias

Just in time for the midterms.

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
3:37 pm

“Should we start calling you Freiberter Lite?”

Saw it on MSNBC, Dodo.

ODDOWL

July 26th, 2010
4:26 pm

Any rich American or their lap dog lackies in the news media who would accept any sort of tax cut during this depression like Bush/Cheney recession is perpetrating an act of greedy un-Americanism. The Bush/Cheney Regime gave the richest 5% of the population 3 trillion dollars in tax cuts. Working class and middle class Americans want that money back to pay down the 11 trillion dollars debt and 1.4 trillion dollars yearly deficit that Bush/Cheney foolishly squandered by cutting taxes on the rich. President Obama has created more than 3 million jobs in 19 months in office. The Bush/Cheney Regime only created a paltry 3 million jobs in 8 years.

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
4:55 pm

ODDOWL = DNC talking point

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
4:55 pm

“President Obama has created more than 3 million jobs in 19 months in office.”

You must be big in fantasyland.

Kyle Wingfield

July 26th, 2010
4:55 pm

Wow, Oddowl…I’m not sure anyone on this blog has ever packed more misinformation into such a short comment.

1. The Bush tax cuts — not sure of your source for the $3 trillion, but never mind — didn’t all go to the top 5% of earners.

2. The $1.4 trillion deficit for fiscal 2010 has come entirely since Bush left office.

3. Presidents don’t create jobs.

4. Not even Obama’s biggest Keynesian cheerleaders claim that they’ve created 3 million jobs. And their figure, closer to 2 million, is a purely formulaic result that doesn’t measure anything real.

5. Whether you measure total jobs created or net jobs created (new jobs minus lost jobs), 3 million isn’t the right figure for Bush’s tenure — total jobs are higher, net jobs are lower. Either way, you’ve got the wrong number.

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
4:56 pm

Has the gargantuan stimulus stimulated anything?

Let us review the recent record on federal spending stimulus and its relationship to GDP growth, about which data are freely available from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In February 2008, $165 billion—for the most part, dollar transfers to the states and increased federal outlays—was spent as economic “stimulus.” In 2009, the infamous $862 billion Obama stimulus package was enacted, comprising spending increases of $574 billion and various tax reductions of $288 billion. Over the last few months, with the looming elections and monstrous polling numbers concentrating the minds of White House and Congressional leaders, proposals for $100-200 billion in additional “stimulus” spending have been prominent.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/23/has-the-gargantuan-stimulus-stimulated-anything/#ixzz0upAZtTiO

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
4:57 pm

“The Bush/Cheney Regime only created a paltry 3 million jobs in 8 years.”

Unemployment under Bush= 4.4%

Unemployment under Obama= 10%

Churchill's MOM

July 26th, 2010
5:04 pm

Kyle Wingfield

When you were a moderator in Dalton did you get after Nathan Deal about corruption or give him a pass?

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
5:08 pm

Now THIS is funny.

NBC’s Matthews Makes Freudian Slip: Will Dems Run Away From “President O’Carter”?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/07/26/nbcs_matthews_makes_freudian_slip_will_dems_run_away_from_president_ocarter.html

CJ

July 26th, 2010
5:14 pm

Blaming the deficits under Obama on Dems is like accidentally setting your house on fire right before closing the sale, and then blaming the buyer.

Most of the deficits since Bush left office result from the loss of government revenues caused by the Great Recession, and most of the rest of it, was money spent trying to put out the proverbial fire. (The stimulus worked since Bush was losing more jobs from one month to the next during his last year or so in office while Obama lost fewer jobs from one month to the next until the economy was finally adding jobs again. The immediate turnaround in this trend was no coincidence.)

When are we going to stop blaming Bush for the recession and resulting deficits? Never. It’s his damn fault.

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
5:19 pm

How many freakin vacations do these people need?

First lady Michelle Obama will travel to Spain next week on a private “mother-daughter” visit.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/110911-michelle-obama-to-make-private-visit-to-spain-with-daughters

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
5:21 pm

“Most of the deficits since Bush left office result from the loss of government revenues caused by the Great Recession”

So Stimulus 2, Health Care Disaster, bailout, bailout, bailout, wars, wars, gitmo, wars, gitmo, etc are all caused by the “great recession?”

“When are we going to stop blaming Bush for the recession and resulting deficits?”

November is not going to be kind to you, CJ.

get out much?

July 26th, 2010
5:25 pm

if the tax cuts were so great, why were they set to expire?

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 26th, 2010
6:00 pm

We get a chance to fire our leaders in Congress every few years. What’s with the folks in Barney Frank’s district though? Can they really be that retarded?

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 26th, 2010
6:03 pm

Having the tax cuts expire was a great idea. The Republicans gave the Democrats a choice, should they have control of Congress at the time, of renewing them and betraying their libtard base, or allowing them to expire and enraging Americans.

What’s good for Americans is bad for Democrats.

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
6:06 pm

Sherod’s husband is a racist.

Oh, Swell – Shirley Sherrod’s Husband Is Also A Racist

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38254

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
6:07 pm

White House backed release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi

THE US government secretly advised Scottish ministers it would be “far preferable” to free the Lockerbie bomber than jail him in Libya.

Correspondence obtained by The Sunday Times reveals the Obama administration considered compassionate release more palatable than locking up Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in a Libyan prison.

The intervention, which has angered US relatives of those who died in the attack, was made by Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the US embassy in London, a week before Megrahi was freed in August last year on grounds that he had terminal cancer.

The document, acquired by a well-placed US source, threatens to undermine US President Barack Obama’s claim last week that all Americans were “surprised, disappointed and angry” to learn of Megrahi’s release.

Scottish ministers viewed the level of US resistance to compassionate release as “half-hearted” and a sign it would be accepted.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/white-house-backed-release-of-lockerbie-bomber-abdel-baset-al-megrahi/story-e6frg6so-1225896741041

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 26th, 2010
6:07 pm

CJ: Most of the deficits since Bush left office result from the loss of government revenues caused by the Great Recession
——————–

And? Don’t we elect presidents and a Congress to address such issues as they emerge? Things aren’t getting better under the Idiot Messiah, they’re going to hell. Unemployment is up. Budget deficits are up. The size and scope of government is up. Personal freedoms are being shredded.

Idiot Messiah: Do-nothing failure.

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
6:07 pm

Barack Obama faces rising pressure to publish Lockerbie bomber release letter

Scottish officials say US memo giving grudging support to freeing Abdelbaset al-Megrahi undermines president’s criticisms

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jul/25/barack-obama-megrahi-release-lockerbie

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
6:08 pm

HAHAHAHAHAAHAH!!!!!!!!!

The Obama White House is too white.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/opinion/25dowd.html?_r=1

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
6:09 pm

Lil’ Barry Bailout

Left wing retards know they’re in big big trouble. Gotta suck to be a left wing retard.

@@

July 26th, 2010
6:17 pm

Well, Tony Hayward is moving on and the oil companies are moving ahead. Both good news.

Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell are setting up a $1 billion joint venture to design, build and operate a rapid-response system to contain offshore oil spills as deep as and deeper than BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Their goal is a system that can start mobilizing within 24 hours of an oil spill. They hope to have it up and running within 18 months.

All necessary because Obama was caught with his pants down and his thumb elsewhere….couldn’t stop the devastation.

The private sector rallies to the call.

Kyle Wingfield

July 26th, 2010
6:20 pm

Actually, CJ, only about a third of the increase in the deficit (from 2007, when revenues peaked, to 2009) owes to reduced revenues: http://bit.ly/7dGCmz

As for the “immediate” jobs turnaround, gee, you’re right: It only took four months to lose 2.1 million jobs post-stimulus, as opposed to three months pre-stimulus: http://bit.ly/IzHzX

I don’t think anyone disputes that Obama inherited a terrible recession. The issue on which he will be judged is what he did about it — and right now I’d say he won’t be judged kindly.

CJ

July 26th, 2010
7:52 pm

Kyle,

You do not dispute my assertion when you include figures from 2007 and 2008. We were talking about budgets that were in effect, partially or entirely, during Obama’s term in office.

Check out the CBO report from January 2009 (before Obama was inaugurated): “…[assuming] federal laws regarding spending and taxation remain unchanged, the agency’s baseline reflects…the deficit this year will total $1.2 trillion…This forecast, therefore, does not include the possible the effects of a possible fiscal stimulus package.” http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9957/01-07-Outlook.pdf#page=19 [PDF]

Stating that the deficits are Obama’s fault over and over seems to persuade, but it still doesn’t make it true.

With regard to job losses, I said the trend immediately turned around under Obama. Under Bush, job losses grew every month. Under Obama, job losses shrank each month until we had job growth again. Contrary to false assertions, nobody on the left ever believed Obama was super-human. Evidently, you did.

cloudy

July 26th, 2010
8:39 pm

I only wish that there had been some amount of accountability for the two clowns that failed to govern this country for 8 years. The lies, torture, trampling of the Constitution, and removing or restricting rules and laws that were designed to prevent the rape on Wall Street by the wonderfully unethical businesses. And you want to blame it all on Freddie and Fannie??? You have obviously been drinking the Republican brand of kool-aid for so long that you no longer recognize the truth!!! Please do not insult the intelligence of the reading public. Would you once in a while tell the TRUTH rather than spouting the party line for your party???

cloudy

July 26th, 2010
8:45 pm

Grand Forks Nobody took vacations like our former useless leader Bush. Until Obama hits about 95 days this year you can give up that comparison pal.

Kyle Wingfield

July 26th, 2010
9:01 pm

And you, CJ, don’t prove your earlier assertion that “Most of the deficits since Bush left office result from the loss of government revenues caused by the Great Recession” with your 7:52 p.m. comment.

The majority of the 2009 spending increase was due to the TARP — although the document you cited came amid that fiscal year, and the deficit ended up being $200 billion larger than projected because of…wait for it…the stimulus.

We have a spending problem. It didn’t begin with Obama. And it sure isn’t going to end with Obama.

Ayn Rant

July 26th, 2010
9:05 pm

What does the oil spill have to do with home mortgages and politics? The oil spill is an accident that befell a lightly-regulated private enterprise that followed industry-standard practices.

Why should BP retire Mr. Hayward on a $1 million+ a year pension just because he failed to weep crocodile tears over the unfortunate accident?

Is blame the only thing that matters in life? Some people seem to think so.

Peter

July 26th, 2010
9:09 pm

We then should have been able to impeach Bush and Cheney then !

After all we got a made up WAR, and the Secret Energy Meetings which surely must have included not needing the protective emergency valves.

What was ” Mission Accomplished ” anyway Kyle ? The bilking of the US treasury with cost plus contracts written by the Cheney office ?

When was Bush ever accountable, and how about Regan who was loosing his mind while in office. Afer all Kyle, he turened out to be the biggest Drug Lord of them all with the Iran Contra Affair.

Peter

July 26th, 2010
9:11 pm

Sorry it posted before the spell check was done…….but you get the point, which I doubt anyone gets with your silly statements of baloney on rye !

Peter

July 26th, 2010
9:18 pm

Kyle didn’t do his homework……. “Barney Frank’s and Chris Dodd’s punishment for protecting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for years…”

He apparently forgot to mentioned they hired a Republican based lobbyist group to block legislation that would change the way they did business……

WASHINGTON – Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse.

In the cross hairs of the campaign carried out by DCI of Washington were Republican senators and a regulatory overhaul bill sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. DCI’s chief executive is Doug Goodyear, whom John McCain’s campaign later hired to manage the GOP convention in September.

Freddie Mac’s payments to DCI began shortly after the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee sent Hagel’s bill to the then GOP-run Senate on July 28, 2005. All GOP members of the committee supported it; all Democrats opposed it.

Yes Kyle is another Talking head……..not saying much, smearing the truth…… But hey he is REPUBLICAN !

fair and imbalanced

July 26th, 2010
9:45 pm

GF – are you serious,,when are we going to stop blaming Bush for the recession! um..never, since he caused it. When are we going to stop blaming Hitler for WWII? You are truly an idiot.

soames

July 26th, 2010
10:22 pm

Pathetic blog….BP is the best you can come up with? It’s ok, your job is safe, your progressive peers aren’t doing much better. More blogs about racism and secession.

Nothing to see here…

Grand Forks

July 26th, 2010
10:23 pm

“Until Obama hits about 95 days this year you can give up that comparison pal.”

Spoken like a true retard. Ya gonna make me stop, ma’am?

soames

July 26th, 2010
10:23 pm

Yes Peter, you’re saying alot…of nothing yourself. Keep licking windows.