LSB: This is my fucking representative! Could he be sniffing any further up the ass of the oil industry? He's a weak and ineffective legislator kept around by the GOP because he's a reliable vote on their continuous skull-fucking of the American public. Joe, if you don't want to live in a country that holds responsible the people that created the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history because you'd rather see the American tax-payer pay for the clean-up rather than one of your contributors, there's the door. Don't let is hit you on your fat ass on your way out!
Brett Michael Dykes, Yahoo! News: Well, that was fast.
Barely 10 minutes into Thursday's landmark congressional testimony — where BP CEO Tony Hayward and other leading company executives are revisiting the Gulf Coast oil spill before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — the first controversial statement has entered the record.
And no, it didn't come from the gaffe-prone BP brass. Instead, GOP Rep. Joe Barton of Texas — the ranking member on the House Energy Committee — made a decisive splash in his opening remarks. A staunch conservative who has a long record of backing oil industry interests, Barton apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the "shakedown" the Obama White House pulled on the company. (Barton has received more than $1.5 million in campaign donations from the oil industry, according to Open Secrets, a nonpartisan watchdog group.) You can watch the video here:
"I'm not speaking for anybody in the House of Representatives but myself," Barton explained, "but I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. 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 shakedown."
Wrapping up, Barton said: "I apologize. I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, is subject to some sort of political pressure that is, again, in my words — amounts to a shakedown, so I apologize."