I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown. In this case a $20 billion shakedown.

~ Joe Barton (1949-09-15 age:68) Republican Representative for Texas, the potential head of Energy and Commerce committee along with rival John Shimkus.

Barton believes it is unfair to ask BP to clean up its own oil spill and to compensate those damaged by it. To him it is a random act of God and thus the taxpayers should pick up the tab. Not surprisingly Barton receives more over-the-table contributions from big oil than any other politician. He has roughly a four-year old’s understanding of science. He denies plate tectonics. He thinks Jesus placed the oil for Americans to find it. He denies global warming, but simultaneously thinks it will solve the energy crisis.