The Tattlesnake Hayward Ho, Joe Blows It, Michele’s Glow Dims and All That Glitters Edition

Why Ask Me? Thanks to Tony Hayward’s appearance before Congress, we now know the qualifications for a CEO of British Petroleum apparently are to be completely uninformed about your business and the details of the greatest man-made oil disaster in US history that your company caused. For maintaining this extraordinary level of blissful ignorance, Hayward was paid $4.7 million in salary last year. Note to BP: Seems like you could find someone just as empty above the neck for considerably less I know several people looking for a job who know nothing about the oil business and would gladly accept $50K per annum to stay just as dumb as Tony.

Speaking of Tony’s eye-rolling Congressional performance, crackpot Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton, coincidentally the recipient of at least $27,000 in campaign cash from Big Oil, took the occasion to dump on Obama for making sure BP paid for its disaster with a $20 billion escrow fund (which Joe hilariously called a ‘shakedown’) and then apologized to BP for any inconvenience the people of the US might have caused the oil giant by holding them responsible for destroying the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 Americans and ruining the lives of millions of others. President Obama may not have had his finest moment in his speech last Tuesday, but with the opposition spearheaded by half-baked corporate cheerleaders like Barton; Mississippi Gov. Haley “You Sure These Here Tar Balls Are From BP?” Barbour; Louisiana Gov. Bobby “I’m Against All Federal Bail-Outs Except When My State Needs One” Jindal; Alabama Gov. Bob “The Oil Will Never Reach Our Beaches” Riley and other GOP space cadets echoing the same forehead-slapping “Let’s not be so hard on BP” line, Obama looks like FDR in high-gear in comparison. The delusional, pop-eyed, tongue-lolling crazy GOP is committing suicide in the Gulf States; seems like the political opposition could take advantage of that by running ads simply showing what the various Republican pols have said in defense of the hated BP, especially Barton. (Just imagine the spittle-flecked furor on the right if a Democrat apologized to BP.) But, then, these are today’s Democrats who have made ‘bipartisanship’ with the lunatic Republicans their religion. FDR would not have approved. (Incidentally, GOP House Minority Leader John Boehner forced Barton to apologize for his BP apology; even the Ohio SunTanMan knew what a stench of electoral defeat Strokin’ Joe’s words left in their wake.)

Speaking of losers, I think it’s a cinch that dipsy-doodle Republican wingnut Michele Bachmann will lose her bid for reelection in Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District. Given a strong Democratic challenger (for a change) and the embarrassment she’s caused to her constituents by her public bouts of delusional babbling, paranoid hysteria, and defense of BP’s unethical and destructive practices, she may very well be retired to a Fox News berth, or a sinecure as a lobbyist for the Focus on the Family’s Anti-Woman League.

— Gold Rush and Bust: For those who think buying gold will be a hedge against disaster if the economy melts down even further, keep in mind it is just a tradable commodity like corn, and actually worse than corn because at least corn is edible. Gold is a soft metal not good for much except jewelry and spacecraft and the price is high only because, for now, there are more buyers than sellers. However, if in the future the number of sellers exceeds the number of buyers, the price will plunge, which is exactly what I think will happen as things worsen. Although most economists think there’s no chance the price of gold will drop precipitously, these are some of the same seers who thought real estate values would perpetually increase. Unless you can find a way to eat it or wear it for warmth, investing in gold is just another junk bond scheme where the little guy will end up holding the bag. (Gold purveyors are now Glenn Beck’s primary sponsors what does that tell you?) As John Kenneth Galbraith once said, “In economics, the majority is always wrong,” and Galbraith has been proven right, again and again.

BTW, those who favor a return to the gold standard for US currency don’t seem to realize that the price of gold is unstable and fluctuates daily and, therefore, so would the value of the dollar. Besides, the US doesn’t own enough gold to make this a viable notion.

2010 RS Janes. LTSaloon.org.