Matthews tells Obama to end BPs disaster capitalism

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"Matthews tells Obama to end BPs disaster capitalism"

“Millions of people in the American right who sit around and say there’s no such thing as mankind destroying his environment through climate change or whatever, there’s an example of what we’re doing right now. We can destroy our habitat on this planet, and it’s the only one we got.”

On Monday, May 17, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews erupted in anger at the oil disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. Matthews expressed his rage at the profits BP continues to reap as it fails to fix the growing environmental apocalypse.  Brad Johnson has the story and the video:

Matthews criticized the behavior of the Obama administration. Matthews wondered why President Obama doesn’t “nationalize that industry and get the job done” and noted that in the “brutal society” of China, “they execute people for this”:

It is maddening that our government is “” everybody says, “Capitalism is great. Unbridled free enterprise is great.” Look at it!

The moral hazard created by privatized profit and socialized risk has allowed bankers to cripple our economy and energy companies to destroy our planet. Matthews concluded by calling out the “millions of people in the American right” who deny the threats of climate change and other environmental catastrophes from our dependence on fossil fuels:

Rush Limbaugh fired back, saying Matthews is “basically asking for a dictator” with his “delusional, deranged” commentary. Matthews has repeated his criticism of BP and the administration, telling Jay Leno on May 21 that President Obama is acting like “a Vatican observer here.” On May 19, Matthews asked for “Harry Truman to come back and do the job” “” making reference to Truman’s seizure of the steel industry in 1952.

Transcript:

I have a hunch that the reason they don’t want to fix this mess down there is because they would admit who did it if they fix it. Nobody is down “” if this was a nuclear bomb ready to go off, we would be down there. I am so angry “” I don’t even want to talk about it. I get so mad at this oil company. Why aren’t they fixing it, first of all? “¦

You know, I have a suspicion “” I will go back to it again “” I don’t think they’re doing their best. I don’t think there’s “” the government is doing its best. Why doesn’t the president go in there and nationalize that industry and get the job done for the people? There’s a national interest in this, not just a BP interest. We’re letting BP fix a national problem.”¦

In China, it’s a more brutal society, a more brutal society, Kate, but they execute people for this. Major industrial leaders that commit crimes like this. Failure like this.

This is a serious, serious problem. It is not over. It continues to destroy a part of our planet, basically. Part of our habitat, our American habitat. And everybody just sits and watches television every night and says, “Oh, well, that’s interesting.” And these guys are still drawing their paychecks, still making their profits. The oil industry has been ballooning in profits this year, and nobody is doing anything about it, except “” what are we, the Vatican observers now? We just watch? It is maddening that our government is “” everybody says, “Capitalism is great. Unbridled free enterprise is great.” Look at it! “¦

Millions of people in the American right who sit around and say there’s no such thing as mankind destroying his environment through climate change or whatever, there’s an example of what we’re doing right now. We can destroy our habitat on this planet, and it’s the only one we got.

This is a Wonk Room repost by Brad Johnson.

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22 Responses to Matthews tells Obama to end BPs disaster capitalism

  1. Doug Bostrom says:

    Matthews wondered why President Obama doesn’t “nationalize that industry and get the job done”

    Heart in the right place, I guess, but brain is fried by studio lights. Perhaps if Matthews wears a sunhat his brain will cool sufficiently to produce a workable idea. How about something radical, like inspectors on risky offshore rigs ensuring that bonus-driven operators are not skipping vital steps? We have inspectors bird-dogging fishing boats so it seems the idea is not too bizarre, hmmm?

  2. Mike I says:

    Along these lines, has anyone yet sent an oil-covered dead pelican to Brit Hume and Fox News, saying “Here’s your !&#%*@ oil!”? Send another to Rush, and the other loud-mouth deniers?

  3. Andy says:

    “I have a hunch that the reason they don’t want to fix this mess down there is because they would admit who did it if they fix it. Nobody is down — if this was a nuclear bomb ready to go off, we would be down there. I am so angry — I don’t even want to talk about it. I get so mad at this oil company. Why aren’t they fixing it, first of all? …”

    Mr. Matthews has blown a logic circuit.

    Once the well blew out, there was likely to be no easy fix and once the oil was spilled it was a foregone conclusion that most would never be cleaned up. The idea that BP or Obama can wave a magic wand and shut off the oil or clean up what’s been spilled is absurd. No amount of money can accomplish the impossible. That only happens in Hollywood.

    This is the risk we take with oil production and transport in our oceans. Is it worth it?

    “We can destroy our habitat on this planet, and it’s the only one we got.”

    Yep. Many of our nation’s citizens have an idea that money can solve all environmental problems, they think there is always going to be enough time to turn around if they see we are heading into trouble, they think they will be unaffected by environmental degradation, that jobs or the economy are more important than our environment. They are wrong.

    What cheeses me off the most? The media’s usage of the word “environmentalists”. What, does the rest of humanity not eat, not breath, not drink? We are all environmentalists!

  4. mark says:

    He’s correct about China.

    A.P. May 10:

    ” China sentenced 20 people to jail Monday for their involvement in a y deadly fire at the China Central Television’s headquarters.

    The former head of CCTV’s construction bureau, was sentenced to seven years in jail, after he pleaded guilty to playing a role in an illegal fireworks display that triggered the fire, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

    Nineteen others who were being tried in the case were given sentences ranging from three years to six-and-a-half years in prison, Xinhua said.”

    Seven year jail sentences for senior executives might be one part of the prevention of future oil well disasters, mine collapses, and the like.

    Eleven people died in the initial explosion. So far, not a word about criminal culpability. How is that possible?

  5. Laromie Twamzick says:

    The leftist regime preeching on killing birds. The wind turbines are now called condor cuisinarts. The same Leftists advocate the abortion/ slaughter of unborn and toddlers. I suspect getting a sermon from the morally depraved makes no sense. Chris Matthews is a mental midget. His audiences is very small for reason. This is Obama’s Katrina. The feds are ust now taking notice. It seems they will be very slow and create a lot of paperwork and red tape to slow down the cleanup.

  6. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    I think he’s spot on, he’s expressing the anger and frustration the rest of us feel. I think we should be fining BP a HUGE amount for every day this spill goes on, then ban the whole effing bunch from ever setting foot on American soils again.

  7. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    …or water.

  8. Gestur says:

    Andy @ May 24, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Andy, excellent post! What we all desperately need to understand from this calamity—if nothing else—is that if we continue down our path of GHG emissions there will be many such problems for which there are no acceptable solutions. Just a miserable bunch of alternatives differing only in their own horrible, nightmarish way.

  9. Leif says:

    I know it sounds simplistic but we must mandate that Capitalism and by extension Corporations factor long term sustainability into financial decisions before shareholder profits. Since the dawn of both capitalism and corporations accession, they both have only looked at the two dimensional landscape of profits and increasing GDP. That world view has fostered child labor, union busting, environmental rape and pillage, preferential treatment from sympathetic politicians, corruption of law and order, and on and on.

    Humanity can not and will not survive with these two powerful, society created, forces at odds with humanities sustainability and survival of earth’s life support systems.

    The Green Awakening Economy and rational thinking must address the third dimension of humanities sustainability. Capitalism and Corporations must be part of that endeavor, not the arch enemies of the present.

  10. Berbalang says:

    If BP can “accidently” kill off most of the life in the gulf, then there would be little life to protect from future drilling in the area. So it would in the long run be easier to argue for more drilling in the area because there wouldn’t be much environment left to impact.

    Has anyone else seen the commercial showing how easily Dawn detergent cleans up your oil covered waterfowl?

  11. Chris Winter says:

    Berbalang wrote: “If BP can “accidently” kill off most of the life in the gulf, then there would be little life to protect from future drilling in the area. So it would in the long run be easier to argue for more drilling in the area because there wouldn’t be much environment left to impact.”

    So cynical, Berbalang. But I have to admit the same logic has worked in recent years for coal barons in Appalachia. They frequently rush to dump waste into a stream before the court can rule on objections to their permit. Then they say the objection is moot.

    Perhaps they’d have a different perspective if they were required by law to subsist on the fish living in that one stream…

  12. mike roddy says:

    Thanks for speaking up, Chris Matthews. It’s about time somebody did.

  13. catman306 says:

    Berbalang’s point exactly frames a concern of mine:

    “If BP can “accidently” kill off most of the life in the gulf, then there would be little life to protect from future drilling in the area. So it would in the long run be easier to argue for more drilling in the area because there wouldn’t be much environment left to impact.”

    I’m quite sure this thought has occurred to oil executives and their K street buddies. Can’t we send these people out on little boats to the Gulf so they can fully appreciate the splendor they have caused?

    The Taliban and Al Qaida terrorists, even if they should build an A-bomb, can never hope to equal the sheer destruction that BP and their corporate partners have caused. These terrorists are sitting on their hands, eating sugared dates and figs, laughing at us and our corporatist system that does their horrible work for them.

  14. Wonhyo says:

    This Chris Matthews segment is the first expression of anger that comes anywhere near approaching an appropriate level on this issue. One thing that the Tea Party can do well, that progressives can’t, is make their voice heard.

  15. mike roddy says:

    Chilling thought, Catman, but I wouldn’t put it past them either.

  16. Mike #22 says:

    The GOM is only 0.5 % of the world’s ocean surface area. Wonder what CM’s reaction will be when he finds out what CO2/Global Warming is doing to the rest of it.

  17. Mark says:

    Catman & Mike Roddy – What do you think our response would have been as a nation if it was determined that terrorists had blown up the rig?

    What would our response be if someone who was driving a gasoline tanker truck recklessly and as a result had an accident that happened to kill 11 people and spilled the contents of the truck?

  18. The outrage is fine, but Matthews to his credit did an interview that answered some of his questions about the Obama administration response, while revealing another result of privatization and starving government. In his interview on Thursday May 20 with Sylvia Earle of National Geographic who said essentially that the federal government–including the U.S. military–is simply not equipped for this emergency. Specifically the submersibles capable of working below 5,000 feet. Only oil corporations, a few scientific institutions, and the countries of Russia, Japan, China and France, have it. She concluded:

    “But we haven‘t made the investment to have a garage filled with submarines, a garage filled with remotely-operated systems, and the talent to be able to go down independently of industry and respond.”

    Here’s the link to this transcript: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37278623/ns/msnbc_tv-hardball_with_chris_matthews/

  19. evnow says:

    Unfortunately, I see the media learning all the wrong things from this tragedy.

    The simple fact is
    - Deep ocean drilling is not safe
    - It could have happenned to any operator – BP/Exxon… doesn’t matter

    So,
    - Ban all deep ocean drilling

  20. fj2 says:

    Chris Mathews is right. This is the right tone of the discussion. He is telling it how it is.

    Obama has to get moving.

  21. Raul says:

    Was depressed and am still poor, but never from a system of my own
    that destroyed so much. My own actions have cheesed me off before.
    But such a large admittance of cheesed off on TV for the world to see.
    Excellent. Yep, cheesed off.

  22. Theodore says:

    There is a good reason why this accident happened. It was the absence of significant financial risk. Shortcuts for reasons of economy are only taken when there is a perceived lack of risk. The cure is to make sure that in the future significant financial risk is a part of the picture. First, all caps on liability should be removed. Second, a fine should be imposed sufficient to ensure that great care is taken in advance to prevent such an occurance. The fines should be in proportion to the amount of oil spilled. In this case, about 200 million dollars per day would be appropriate.