Reason.tv: 3 Reasons Why Obama Should Kick His Own Ass

President Barack Obama made news on The Today Show when he talked about kicking some ass over the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

If he is interested in punishing those responsible for what is shaping up as one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, he should think about giving himself a boot.

While BP is ultimately responsible for the spill (and for cleaning it up), the federal government is a major player in the problem for at least three reasons:

1. It owns the property on which the oil well is located.

2. It regulates offshore drilling. And

3. In order to protect small players in the drilling industry, it capped economic damages from this sort of spill at just $75 million, a way-too-low cap that encourages risky behavior.

"3 Reason Why Obama Should Kick His Own Ass" is written and produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie, who also hosts.

Approximately 2:30 minutes.

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  • Spoonman.||

    All reasonable, but it's apparently seditious to think of the federal government as a problem instead of the Solution to All Our Problems.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Obama couldn't kick anybody's ass anyway.

    He's a liberal democrat.

  • Suki||

    But I hear he carries a pistol in his waistband under his t-shirt.

  • ||

    I don't care if he carries an assault rifle in his waistband, he's still a punk!

  • shrike||

    Tell Jim Webb or Jon Tester.

    In fact, we can go 10 deep on what little Congressional macho there is and Dems still kick the fairy-fags in the GOP to death.

    In fact, I'll take Claire McKaskill over 90% of the Mitch-fags in the Senate.

  • ||

    Seriously. Get some help. If you can't afford it, there are places that charge on a sliding need scale.

  • shrike||

    Who do you RedStaters have? Lindy Graham?

    Face it, the individual members of the GOP Senate are a sordid lot of faggoty toe-tappers.

    David "Mud Blower" Vitter pays whores to spank him whilst he shits his diapers.

    Ensign has his parents buy off his side action.

    DeMint is a raging truck-stop dick sucker according to I-85 long-haulers.

    I won't wait for a defense.

  • ||

    I live in a blue precinct, in a blue city, in a blue state you ignorant asscunt.

    Now go get some fucking help.

  • Mike M.||

    I'm not a big fan, and he's obviously an old man now, but I'm thinking that making it intact through the Viet Cong torture sessions qualifies McCain as being a tough S.O.B.

  • Vaccine||

    Your weak, runny bullshit is insulting to the world-destroying Hyperion you stole your name from.

  • shrike||

    I stole my name from the the great novel by West - 'Miss Lonelyhearts'...

    Yet you offer no counter argument.

    I easily win.

  • Shriek||

    I win! Do you hear me you bunch of faggoty toe-tapping libtards? I win! Now give me my fucking prize!!

  • JohnD||

    Like him or not, George Bush could kick any Dems ass in a brawl. He is actuually a pretty tough guy. If you ever worked on a farm you would realize that.

  • Spoonman.||

    Those Alternet people who want to murder seasteaders don't seem to fit that image, at least if their talk is backed up by how they really feel.

  • Skid Marx||

    I wonder what it is in Obama's make-up that causes him to both desire to act violently and encourage others to as well.

    Activist Slugs Tea Party Protester in Face (Video)
    by Jim Hoft
    More Hope and Change–

    Barack Obama gave his marching orders:

    Obama: “They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun”
    Obama to His Followers: “Get in Their Faces!”
    Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
    Obama To His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”
    Obama to BP: “We talk to these folks… So I know whose a$$ to kick.”

    Now it’s playing out on the streets.

    On Tuesday June 8, the North Carolina Tea Party Patriots held a protest against government bailouts in front of Rep. Mel Watt’s (D-N.C.) Greensboro office. During the protest a raging leftist goon, Governor Spencer, turned out, disrupted the protest, confronted the patriots, argued with them and then… He started throwing punches!

    The whole thing was caught on tape.

    The raging goon, Governor Spencer, slugged Nathan Tabor, a business owner and head of the Forsyth County Republican Party and a former candidate for senator.

    Video here:

    http://biggovernment.com/capit.....p-bailout/

  • ||

    Please tell me "Governor" is not his first name, but his job title. Please!

  • Skid Marx||

    Governor Spencer is a union organizer, a socialist and a black liberation activist.

  • ||

    Anybody want to put money on whether Mr. Spencer is charged with assault?

    $20 will get you $40 that this gets handled just like the SEIU attack on the black guy selling Gadsden flags.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Don't forget this one:

    “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.” - Barack Obama to banking CEO's, March 2009

  • Jeffersonian||

    He's Hugo Chavez with a neck.

  • Wegie||

    But still no brain.

  • ¢||

    3. In order to protect small players in the drilling industry, it capped economic damages from this sort of spill at just $75 million, a way-too-low cap that encourages risky behavior.

    It rewards risky behavior from companies with more than $75mil to flush. It does nothing for the ones with less.

    No regulation is made to (or in effect does) protect any little guys.

  • Rob||

    Apparently, BP's exposure here is FAR more than $75M.

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/0.....htm?hpt=T1

  • ||

    Correct - BP even placed 160 million into an escrow account to help pay for the cleanup.
    Their company is taking a major hit stock wise (of course) - but one can make a safe put on that and still make money should they be savvy enough. Yet all that money lost is really no damage to the company as the price will go back up when this all blows over. Yet if held responsible today for the 15 billion in damage, well....no recovering from that man.

  • Bill||

    Actually, by these points he should kick a previous administration's ass.

  • Suki||

    He keeps complaining about his inheritance. The inheritance he begged and begged for, now he doesn't want it any more!

  • Almanian||

    What Suki said

  • Atanarjuat||

    16 months not enough time to clean up Bush's mess?

  • Steve||

    But plenty of time to make it much, much worse... it's a paradox!

  • Hacha Cha||

    Thanks for the video, excellent! No one else is bringing this stuff up, they are ignoring the facts. More of the media needs to be like Reason.

  • ||

    Worst president of my lifetime, I think.

  • AlmightyJB||

    You were born after Carter then I assume? Don't worry, at this rate he'll surpass Carter before his term's up.

  • ||

    No, I was counting Carter. Carter was awful, but he did some okay stuff. Like deregulation. And, back then, anyway, I don't think Carter had the socialist impulses that this fool has.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Reason #4: The existence of FEMA, Coast Guard, etc., crowd out private disaster response companies.

  • Skid Marx||

    Exactly. Why sholud Jindal have to get permission from the Feds in order to build man-made sand barrier islands?

    FUCK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

  • I, Kahn O'Clast||

    And who would pay for the private disaster response companies?

  • Atanarjuat||

    Insurance, local municipalities, the company responsible for the spill, for a start. Who pays for the security system on your house/apartment?

  • d||

    The companies engaged in the activities that could cause the disaster or their insurance company. Just like I have to do for my property, business, home, auto, etc.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Their already are private industrial disaster response companies- such as aerial firefighting companies paid by forestry businesses (unfortunately heavily subsidized by the forest service as well) and oil well fire putting out companies paid by oil companies.

  • Zane||

    Because nobody would ever pay for the services they use, right?

    You take toll roads? Know people that do?

    That's what I thought.

  • Becky Chandler||

    The federal government is an inept criminal enterprise. So when these bungling klutzes mess up, we, the taxpayers and innocent Pelicans and Sea Turtles, take it in the shorts.... http://bit.ly/dkhLA3

  • Tim||

    I come from Washington DC
    With my banjo on my knee
    I'm going to Louisiana,
    An ass kicker for to be

    It rained all night
    The day I left
    The weather it was dry
    The sun so hot,
    I froze to death
    Susanna, don't you cry

    Oh, Susanna,
    Oh don't you cry for me
    For I am named Obama
    With my banjo on my knee

  • SFC B||

    Racist.

  • ||

    Stephen Foster was white.

  • I, Kahn O'Clast||

    How would all this have unfolded under Libertopia (or is it now Liberdystopia?)... Who would own the property in question? Could it be owned? Or would the high seas be open season for anyone with an oil platform and a well armed security service?

    How would that company be made liable for the damages it caused from such an accident? Under whose rules? And if you think the security companies of the various fishermen, beach owners etc would simply find common ground with the security company of the company I find that unlikely.

    Here's where it all goes pair-shaped.

  • Mike||

    You willfully ignore that the settlement and enforcement of civil lawsuits over property disputes and damage is one of the few legitimate purposes of government in the eyes of most libertarians.

    So there would be a giant class-action lawsuit against BP from pretty much everyone who owns property or rights to fishing grounds along the gulf. The government would enforce the payment of them.

    Whether that would work or not is up for debate, but don't pretend that no one's thought of that problem.

  • Chad||

    Why do you think lawsuits are a good way to resolve things? They are expensive, prone to corruption, and take a very long time. And of course, they require government "force" both to enforce the judgements and to raise the money to have the courts in the first place.

    They have other limitations as well, as I noted a few days ago. The primary one in this case is the fact that you can't sue someone past zero. A liability-only model of resolution would have no way of dealing with economic actors risking more than they can cover. Despite your fury, none of you guys seem to be able to come up with a viable model based on liability which addresses this issue.

    There are other issues as well. For example, liability is meaningless for those who cannot sue, either because of jurisdictional issues or more pointedly, those who aren't even born yet. Yet another problem arises when either the damages are widespread but individually small. Doing $.0001 in damage to everyone on earth to make a million bucks is a pretty good bet to take, safe in the knowledge that no one is going to even be able to trace that .01c back to you.

    The liability model is a necessary, but not sufficient, system for resolving disputes. It has serious failings, however, that do not allow it to function as the sole solution. In most of these cases, regulation works much better...especially when moron conservatives get out of the way.

  • cynical||

    "They have other limitations as well, as I noted a few days ago. The primary one in this case is the fact that you can't sue someone past zero. A liability-only model of resolution would have no way of dealing with economic actors risking more than they can cover."

    This is a bona fide problem (although not necessarily for this specific case -- BP has pretty deep pockets, and if they aren't put completely out of business, they can get back to making craploads of profit and forking it over to their victims).

    Certainly with high risk situations, it's not unreasonable to have a regulator estimate an insurance requirement. That wouldn't be any fun for the people that want to control everything down to the little details, though. There's still the issue of regulators getting bribed or fucking up and lowballing the insurance requirement, but it's better than nothing.

    Should be noted, though, that unlike a person, a corporation is property. If it can't pay up, there's no real rights violation for basically selling it to its victims and forcing it to work off its debts. If that doesn't look promising, they can at least cut it up and sell its organs for transplant, so to speak.

  • Contrarian P||

    "Why do you think lawsuits are a good way to resolve things? They are expensive, prone to corruption, and take a very long time."

    Sounds a lot like the government system we have now, doesn't it? Except that the current system is even more of all the downsides you cite.

    "They have other limitations as well, as I noted a few days ago. The primary one in this case is the fact that you can't sue someone past zero."

    In this case you can't sue past seventy-five million.

    "The liability model is a necessary, but not sufficient, system for resolving disputes. It has serious failings, however, that do not allow it to function as the sole solution. In most of these cases, regulation works much better...especially when moron conservatives get out of the way."

    How exactly does regulation work better? It certainly didn't work in this case, although I suppose that's the fault of moron conservatives? You can't just postulate a superiority of regulation. Where is the evidence?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    In a free market system, BP and the other oil majors wouldn't be drilling in water that deep to begin with until all the easier and cheaper places places to drill had been tapped out. And those places would not have been off limits as they actually are under the current system.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Maybe, maybe not. In Libertopia, someone might own the land in question and refuse to grant mineral rights.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    It's highly unlikely that there would be one someone or even a uniformly like minded group of someones opposed to drilling who wound up owning virtually ALL the places to drill that are off limits under the current system.

  • ||

    Libertopia is somehow looking worse to you than what the world looks like now? Really?

  • ||

    Liability is easy.

    Property rights is the rub. I don't agree that the landholder has a right to the oil they can tap on their property. This is even further complicated at sea, which adds the obvious pollution externality to the equation.

    Frankly, I don't think I've seen a libertopian vision of Commons rights that doesn't eventually fall back on Government management to a degree.

  • Xenocles||

    Maybe because that's because libertarianism != anarchism?

  • bubba||

    In libertopia they'd be drilling on land.

  • Marusia||

    Nick Gillespie should pull his own head out of his own head.

  • Fatty Bolger||

  • ||

    Can't see the video because YouTube is blocked where I work, but I gotta say, Jon Stewart beat you to it.
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/wa.....quest-2010 at 4:14.

  • Paul||

    If liability is the best way to keep business honest and efficient, then beyond these liability caps - shouldn't we also be looking at the liability limitations granted to corporations from the government? Did Adam Smith not write about this in the Wealth of Nations, "being the managers rather of other people’s money than of their own, it cannot well be expected, that they should watch over it with the same anxious vigilance with which the partners in a private copartnery frequently watch over their own.... Negligence and profusion, therefore, must always prevail, more or less, in the management of the affairs of such a company."?

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Limited liability is only extended to shareholders. The corporation itself has unlimited liability. This is perfectly consistent with libertarian ideas, because shareholders have little authority in a corporation compared to a partnership. If shareholders do have significant authority, then courts will "pierce the veil" and apply unlimited liability to the shareholders.

    For example, if IBM screws up and creates liability greater than its assets, it makes little sense to bankrupt Dr. Bob who holds 1000 shares he will sell for retirement. OTOH, if Dr. Bob and two other doctors create a medical corporation in which they practice or hold serious authority, it makes much more sense to hold Dr. Bob responsible if his new corporation blows up.

    IOW, liability tends to follow responsibility, and shareholders in large firms tend to have little of it.

  • Paul||

    Certainly, the current shareholders have little liability when it comes to BP. They didn't create the mess, their money just helped enable the negligence. Would investors put money into such enterprises if there was not such a blanket protection from liability? What might these investors do if they had to accept responsibility for where they put their money? Would these investors demand their companies act responsibly? Would markets suddenly stop happening if you were held to be responsible for your money, or would it simply mean businesses act more responsibly?

  • ||

    Those investors who "enabled the negligence" are at risk, up to the value of their investment. So they are responsible for what is done with their investment, up to the value of the investment, which is the sum total of their involvement in the corporation.

    Just what exactly do you expect me, as a holder of a whopping one hundred shares of BP, to do to control what happens out on rig in the middle of the Gulf?

  • Paul||

    Absolutely nothing. Would you have bought those shares if you had to be responsible?

  • DRATER||

    I might not buy those shares if the price of the share acutally reflected the liablities of the corporation, simply because the price might be to high, or not provide enough ROI.

  • ratatouille||

    How does that make corporations take more precaution though? Say the liability is upped to 150 million, and share prices are $5.00 higher because of it. What changes?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    The value of the share would go down, not up, with greater liability. It would also take more of a hit in the case of an accident like this one. Insurance companies would be likely to demand greater safety measures as well in order to provide the amount of coverage needed. So yes, the corporation and its management would have greater incentive to take precautions.

  • qtip||

    BP doesn't have insurance, or rather it self-insures, so the only people that can demand greater safety measures is BP

  • matador||

    BP is responsible for its negligence.

    If the government could have done better to ensure that BP was not negligent, then they missed an opportunity to prevent the oil spill, but that does not mean they caused the oil spill.

    Really the only people who can cast a stone are people who didn't support offshore drilling, so in this sense Obama should kick his own ass.

  • bubba||

    Why isn't anyone blaming the government for forcing offshore oil drilling into deep water?

    Wasn't the whole purpose to somehow protect the coast?

    How'd that work out?

  • shrike||

    No one "forced" drilling into deep water.

    Look at the oil plume flowing - that is where the oil is for wildcats.

    Quit listening to Rush "King of the Rednecks" Limbaugh. He is a liar.

  • Random Dude||

    Dis-incentivizing the exploitation of land-based oil does indeed "force" any rational human being to drill where they can make a profit and not a loss.

    So, yes, the federal government "forces" offshore drilling because there is 1) a skewered, crony BLS land management system that deliberately tries to deny access to land permits and 2) a demand for oil right now that can only be satiated in drilling for oil offshore.

    The federal government can either open cheaper (and I mean much cheaper) land wells, or ban offshore drilling in American managed waters entirely. (Will all those socialist nations with state-owned oil companies be so foolish shrike? Will this end the "problem"?)

    Otherwise, we can expect a transition to 55-60/bbl drilling cost offshore oil instead of the 15-25/bbl land oil.

  • Random Dude||

    correction: BLS = BLM.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Quit listening to Rush "King of the Rednecks" Limbaugh. He is a liar."

    Such jealously!

    Yes Rush is smarter and richer than you are (or ever will be).

    You'll just have to live with it.

  • ||

    Wasn't the whole purpose to somehow protect the coast view?

    How'd that work out?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Just commenting on the post as I haven't read the comments, but this list is pretty weak.

    Starting with 3...much ado about nothing as the cap in practice does not limit liability to 75 million (see the NEWS HOUR from 2 nights ago).

    As for one and two...the lack of regulation is the problem? Is that what you are saying? Cuz that's what it sounds like you are saying.

  • ||

    Starting with 3...much ado about nothing as the cap in practice does not limit liability to 75 million (see the NEWS HOUR from 2 nights ago).

    Yes it does. An oil company that spills will not be paying the strict liability then also paying tort liability. They just admit they screwed up and then pay the 75 million. The rest comes a government.

    You do not pay for damages twice.

  • ||

    Also it would not be hard to prove negligence. This is civil law mind you not criminal. What is BP going to claim? act of god?

  • ||

    As stated in an above comment (and on BP's site) they paid 160+ million into an escrow account to the government to help it clean.
    Yet remember that this hardly BP's only oil rig - on or off shore. Essentially they have so far paid out about 220mil - now compare this to the 15+ billion actual cost. Also, stock prices will go back up eventually - it is why BP is not expressing more concern over it. Yet if they were made to pay the 15 + Billion right now - well - there is no repairing that anytime soon.
    Point is - number 3 is absolutely valid.

  • Ivan||

    This must be the presidents idea of kicking ass; add your own paragraph to expert recommendations after the experts sign off on it and have left the room. Unbelievable.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....lling-ban/

  • ||

    Jimmy Carter must be smiling, whereever he is.

  • Timmeh||

    So, when a house is burglarized, it's partly the owner's fault because the burglary occurred on property that he owns.

    Brilliant logic there!

    And what exactly is Obama's connection with the $75 million cap on economic damages?

    Do you really think that the president (one person) really has time to personally manage what happens in a minor agency like the MMS?

  • Random Dude||

    "So, when a house is burglarized, it's partly the owner's fault because the burglary occurred on property that he owns."

    No. But there is a clear connection between the property owner and the damage in that case.

    In this case, the owners of all the marshes and the water is "America." So there's a problem here with socialization of that property.

    If a person (such as Obama) is going to blame the oil companies for pissing on our ("America's") property, it needs to actually be "ours" in some way that actually matters. Otherwise, at least partial responsibility of managing the property and *adjacent* property should be the steward of this forced collective known as "America" as well. This would put a measure of culpability at the hands of the federal government.

    A better analogy would be a guy who owns a fireworks factory and he puts no locks on the doors and has no gates on the property. He never checks up on the property and is consistently abiding by unsafe business practices. One day, a mischievous teenager walks on to the property to burn something up; the building and the surrounding buildings explode.

    Should the negligent owner be held liable?

    The source of the spill is in federal property, the damages are, however, not contained just to federal property. There can be shared responsibility, even if the damages were not directly caused by the landowner.

  • donaldm||

    Even if the land were privately owned you'd get the same result from the oil spill, as the oil doesn't really care who owns what and will go wherever it wants.

    And it'd be strange if someone owned a parcel of land spoiled by BP, and for you to say they too should be held liable along with BP for getting their land spoiled? Maybe I misunderstood you, but that would seem strange.

  • jeffersonianideal||

    Hold on a minute, Nick. I am usually with you all the way but there is something muddled about your third reason. You have often blamed federal over-regulation as a reason for impeding competition. Now, you insist there doesn't seem to be enough regulation. Which is it? Just make BP pay for the damage it caused through criminal trespass laws. This should also include any consequential and incidental damages. Don't give government another opportunity to fail. It will do so inevitably, without anyone's help.

  • ||

    Barack Obama is not responsible for any of the policies cited in this article. If libertarians ever want to be taken seriously by the elctorate, they are going to have to stop making excuses for the corporate criminal class.

  • ||

    Dan,
    And if you ever want to be taken seriously here you need to do better then that.
    you start by saying 'Barack Obama is not responsible for any of the policies cited in this article'. Ok - in what way (i will not try to read your mind).

    Your second point however I can thank you for - I needed a good laugh - "If libertarians ever want to be taken seriously by the electorate, they are going to have to stop making excuses for the corporate criminal class."
    1 - I never heard anyone here make any excuse for a company that has committed unethical or criminal behavior.
    2 - So far, our government has used stimulus, TARP, and all sorts of other legislative acts to keep in business the people who did fuck up so badly - in turn making us all responsible to pay on it even though we had nothing to do with it. The only profit shown (according to the BEA) was from the companies and sectors that were subsidized heavily with tax dollars by the government. The private companies responsible who did not receive subsidies...well lets just say its much harder without govt handouts.

    I eagerly await your reposte...

  • ||

    It is ALL George Bushes fault, EVERYTHING< EVERYWHERE< EVERYTIME

  • ||

    Reason 4: He's a nerd.

  • ||

    Two natural gas pipelines exploded in Texas this week. We need to shut down natural gas exploration!

  • ||

    All are asses are getting kicked here. Creepy Uncle Sam is becoming even more unstable and predatory. Britain is our friend and ally for now, but if we breach contracts, retroactive change law, and confiscate her citizens' private assets we'll be another globally shunned American Pariah like Venezuela.

  • Jerry||

    We're confiscating British citizen's private assets?

  • lisa shaner||

    I don't understand how Obama is looking for someones ass to kick, yet we all know the peoples ass that need kicking are BP....British Petroleum, this seems like another way to Dance around the real issue...Now its all about Obama using the word Ass....I mean come on they say 'Ass' on the Simpsons TV show.

  • ||

    Obama is too busy kissing ass, as in unions who want to do the clean up and not allow any foreign help, etc.

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  • ||

    Does anyone remember Obama saying that he wants to send a man to Mars.

    Now I am not interested in going but I am all for sending him to Mars.

  • ||

    Lisa Shaner said:
    Now its all about Obama using the word Ass....I mean come on they say 'Ass' on the Simpsons TV show.

    Lisa, all I can say is, Bart Simpson is not the president of the United States. Do you think the Queen of England talks about kicking butt to the media.

  • ||

    Why is it that the only thing republicans are good at are name calling and gay sex?

  • ||

    James must be a Republican!

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