Representative Anh "Joseph" Cao, a Republican who represents New Orleans in the House of Representatives, had some understandably harsh words yesterday for BP President Lamar McKay when the latter testified before a subpanel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. According to CBS News
Cao said that the oil spill has wreaked economic havoc in his district, closing hundreds of businesses and leaving thousands without work. He called the clean up process a "disgrace" and said the claims process has been "dismal"....
"People, when their livelihoods on the line, they cannot be delayed," he said.
You can't fault Cao for his sense of urgency when so many people whose jobs and/or businesses are lost because of the oil spill caused by BP's faulty procedures in extracting the oil and disinterest in ascertaining how to clean up a spill if one were to happen.
But Mr. Cao is late to the game. He voted against the stimulus package, a modest effort to create jobs, shortly after taking office. Given a second opportunity, several months later, to stimulate the economy, this time by encouraging clean-energy jobs, Rep. Cao joined his fellow Republicans in their unanimous vote against the initiative.
Cao was so exercised that he declared (video below) during the hearing
Mr. Stearns asked Mr. McKay to resign. Well, in the Asian culture we do things differently. During the Samurai days, we just give you a knife and ask you to commit harakiri.
Grandstanding must be in fashion in Washington these days. Lamar McKay is not going to commit suicide, even to satisfy Representative Cao. The suggestion of Representative Stearns, a Florida Republican was more constructive, and at least a little more likely. If suicide was customary for someone presiding over a disaster, it's a tradition that doesn't translate well to modern society. Of course, the American tradition in which a disgraced corporate executive gets a bonus and later a golden parachute is itself ridiculous. Fortunately, the Justice Department has a better idea.
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