Folks our blogging on John Houghtaling, aka Magnum J.D. and his association with Kevin Costner has been pure gold for us and literally opened the floodgates for information as my inbox has received quite the workout on the subject of lil’ ol Magnum and more. Let’s begin with Val Bracy at Fox 8 who explores the inherent conflict of interest involving a law firm which is copiously advertising for oil spill clients to sue BP while the managing partner of the same firm is selling BP Costner’s Oil-Water separating machines:
Fox 8 Legal Analyst Joe Rasapnti says the situation is unusual.
“He has a business relationship with BP and he needs to disclose that to any prospective client to let them know ‘I’m doing business with these folks even though I’m suing them on your behalf,'” said Raspanti.
I can imagine Magnum’s partners aren’t very happy about all this, especially since it very well may take money out of their pockets due to lost spill business while Magnum cashes in with Costner:
Houghtaling has taken a leave of absence. Continue reading “In this episode of Magnum J.D., Bull Durham sells his machines to BP and creates a conflict of interest for Magnum's firm Gauthier Houghtaling and Williams”
Folks, there is nothing like a disaster to bring the corporate shoeshine boys into the light of day and that has certainly been the case with our Governor Haley Barbour and his sidekick Lite Gov Phil Bryant. In this installment of Boss Hogg is in it for himself, Barbour comes out against his own people and those similarly situated on the Gulf Coast in favor a huge multi national corporation that has polluted the Gulf of Mexico to the verge of extinction. It has become clear the majority of voters here in Mississippi voted against their own welfare and best interests by elevating these two BP waterboys to the pinnacle of State Government. Let’s begin with a WTOK report (H/T Yallpolitics) where Barbour says the escrow is a bad idea and he uses logic that Captain Queeg would certainly appreciate to explain why:
Gov. Haley Barbour said Wednesday he believes making BP put money in an escrow account makes it less likely for victims to be paid.
“We expect them to pay. But if you take $10 to $20 billion out of their operational funds and make them give it to the government in an escrow account, how are they going to generate the revenue to pay what the people of Mississippi are rightfully owed?” asked Barbour.
Worth noting is the $20 billion is to be paid over 4 years in $5 billion dollar installments. To the extent it will reduce any amount BPs pays in litigation I don’t see Barbour’s point, especially since the victims of this disaster will be the beneficiaries of the escrow. Is he saying that paying the innocent victims of this mess is a bad idea or should we just let BP decide when to compensate the victims at a time when it benefits them the most?
Boss Hogg wasn’t done carrying water for BP on this subject though as he spoke with AP reporter Emily Wagster Pettus as well:
Mississippi’s governor said Wednesday he’s not sure the federal government should have made BP put $20 billion into escrow to compensate victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill because the company needs it to drill more wells and make money so it can pay up.
I guarantee if BP had offered Boss Hogg’s kin folk big fat no-bid contracts he’d be singing a different tune. Ol’ Haley didn’t make the list the Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington’s list of the nations most ethically challenged governors for nothing. Continue reading “Boss Hogg comes out against the BP escrow. Phil Bryant still in hiding after previously beclowning himself.”
Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy, a former governor of Mississippi, and a son of the Gulf, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible. The plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other Gulf residents. And BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region.
So much for those who coined “savus from Mabus”, Obama picks ‘Son of the Gulf’ Ray Mabus to lead restoration:
President Barack Obama’s selection of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus , a former Mississippi governor, as his go-to person in charge of developing a long-term Gulf Coast restoration plan won widespread praise Wednesday.
While details are sketchy, the selection of Mabus, which Obama announced Tuesday night in an Oval Office speech to the nation, is meant to quell rising unease, especially on the Gulf Coast , about the government’s response to the eight-week-old oil spill.
Describing Mabus as a “son of the Gulf,” Obama said, “the plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other Gulf residents.” Continue reading “Will Mabus savus after all?”
Thursday, June 17th, 2010
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
RISK TAKERS STICK IT TO THE TAXPAYERS!
And if thou stare long enough into an abyss, The abyss will also gaze into thee.”
Melville’s Moby Dick is a popular semblance right now for our unquenchable search for oil, and, like Captain Ahab, the consequences that often lead to self destruction. In days of old, whalers ventured further and further into unchartered waters to become excavators of oceanic whale oil that stroked the furnaces of the Industrial Revolution. The same unchartered path has been followed by oil companies pushing technology to new limits. But are they responsibility assessing the risk involved?
The BP gang has continually told us that such a spill never happened before, and therefore they had not anticipated such bleak scenario. That’s the same argument we heard during the financial meltdown from Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan when they argued that the housing market would not plummet because “it had never happened before.” But stuff happens. Part of the process is to assess the risk. Time and time again, both industry and government have minimized risk and, in a highly irresponsible way, just played the odds. And much too often, it has turned out to be a bad bet.
Lay the blame for BP’s irresponsible risk taking right at the feet of the United States Congress. Our representatives in Washington passed a little known 1990 law that capped an oil company’s liability, after cleanup costs, at $75 million. For now at least BP has agreed to waive the cap. But who knows for how long? BP stockholders, many of whom have retired on BP dividends, may well feel full justification to challenge disbursement of BP assets when the law says the company is not required to do so. Continue reading “Jim Brown's Weekly Column: Risk Takers Stick it to the Taxpayers”