The oil giant brought its top brass and even came armed with a top Clinton administration Justice Department official, Jamie Gorelick, whose name was floated as a possible attorney general pick for Obama.Yes, that's the same Jamie Gorelick famous for increasing the 'wall' between law enforcement and intelligence cited as a failure by the 9/11 Commission, helping lead the failed Fannie Mae, and defending Duke University from the wrongly accused Lacrosse players. The noted civic leader must have experienced some deja vu sitting across the table from her former Justice associate Eric Holder.
Her influence notwithstanding, the team was bullied by Don't Mess with Joe into agreeing to over 20 billion even though US law only calls for millions.
But wait, don't we small people have the right to see the transcript of this secret oil meeting? If Cheney were present wouldn't Henry Waxman be rapping his gavel somewhere and demanding it? For instance, it might be nice to know if BP agreed to anything else in return for their cooperation on the escrow fund, or whether it was just a down payment to keep the pitchforks away.
Cap'n Ed on the revelation they were having trouble with the well as far back as February (and had informed MMS thereof):
This may not change anything in terms of addressing the disaster in the short run, but it’s certainly good context to keep in mind when assessing the long-term consequences of this catastrophe and the potential solutions to prevent a repeat of it.OK, but it also goes towards Obama's recent statement that he was told that deep water drilling was "absolutely safe". Byron York is asking "who told him", which opens some questions.
Based on the Hot Air story it would appear MMS knew there were problems with the rig before Obama made his drill-baby-drill announcement in late March. Did the former chief, Liz Birnbaum, know about any of this? Was she the one who told the administration it was safe? Not to say BP wasn't constantly reassuring MMS it was safe, but Obama's new crop of watchdogs was supposed to be leery of the oil companies.
Hmm. Well, this could explain the sacking of Ms. Birnbaum. Perhaps she was not passing concerns up the chain and kicking enough a** in her industry-friendly agency, as everybody seems to think Interior Sec Salazar instructed her to do. Well, not everybody:
Friends of Birnbaum countered that she was never instructed by Salazar to clean house. Instead, she spent much of her nine months on the job promoting renewable energy, particularly the contested issue of putting a wind farm off Cape Cod.In retrospect it might have been interesting to hear her testimony to Congress--the testimony that was scuttled on the very same day she was
“She still doesn’t get it,” an acquaintance of Birnbaum told Greenwire. “She still doesn’t understand she’s being made the poster child for all this. She thinks [her firing is] on the merits.”