5.23.2008

Don't Take Their Crap

Man, I hate Congress. The institution is no more despicable than when it conducts hearings, which are nothing more than opportunities for Congressmen to grandstand for the cameras and blame other people for the problems that they themselves probably created. This is what happened this week, as Congress invited oil executives to be the latest targets of its bloviation and ire.

This is the same Congress that, through gas taxes, restrictions on drilling, and obstacles to refinery construction, has caused oil prices to rise far beyond what they otherwise would be. Yet they need to deflect blame in this election year, so they call oil company CEOs onto the carpet. Listen to this claptrap:
  • ‘‘Where is the corporate conscience?’’ Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill
  • ‘‘People we represent are hurting, the companies you represent are profiting,’’ Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt
  • You have ‘‘just a litany of complaints that you’re all just hapless victims of a system,’’ Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told the executives. ‘‘Yet you rack up record profits ... quarter after quarter after quarter.’’
  • ‘‘Is there anybody here that has any concerns about what you’re doing to this country with the prices that you’re charging and the profits that you’re taking?’’ Durbin asked.
This occurred the same week we learned that "most of the oil and more than 40 percent of the natural gas beneath public lands in the U.S. are off limits to drilling." Also this week, the House voted to sue OPEC over oil prices. If only we could sue Congress.

The CEOs tried to educate the Senators at this hearing, but I doubt it did much good. I suspect that, if I were in the CEOs shoes, I'd find it hard to be nice. I'd probably start screaming at the Senators and calling them morons. John Roberts and Samuel Alito, recent Supreme Court appointees, probably felt the same way while they were being grilled by their intellectual inferiors during their confirmation hearings. I think the President should send up a sacrifice nominee for some position before he leaves office, just to have that person yell at and berate some Senators, like they so deserve. It would be the most entertaining programming C-SPAN has seen in a long time.

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