When the President shared his unfavorable opinion of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission case during his January state-of-the-Union address (the US Supreme Court decided 5-4 in favor of Citizens United), he got a visible tisk-tisk from Chief Justice John Roberts for admonishing the Court, and some flack from the usual peanut pundits for breaking with some sort of legislative protocol in terms of the relationship and public roles of the executive branch and the U.S. Supreme Court. Can’t the President have an opinion too?
This week, President Obama revisits his thoughts about the Citizens United decision (which benefits corporations, associations and unions alike when it comes to influencing elections with well financed messaging in his weekly message).
They can buy millions of dollars worth of TV ads – and worst of all, they don’t even have to reveal who is actually paying for them. You don’t know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation. You don’t know if it’s BP. You don’t know if it’s a big insurance company or a Wall Street Bank. A group can hide behind a phony name like “Citizens for a Better Future,” even if a more accurate name would be “Corporations for Weaker Oversight.”
It appears the President is still annoyed with BP too. This singling out hints at his earlier criticism about BP spending $50 million to “manage their image” vs. putting time and money into addressing the damage. Tomorrow, the Gulf Coast Claims Agency opens headed by Kenneth Feinberg who was jointly appointed by President Obama and BP (Feinberg administered the 9-11 Victim Compensation Fund). Application information is available here.
Persons who filed claims earlier with BP will not have to refile with the agency. The agency is set up with the $20 billion BP promised to deposit into a special account set up for this purpose. By August 9, BP had deposited an initial $3 billion into the escrow account (Citigroup Inc. is the corporate trustee). How BP will pay the remaining $17 billion has been under discussion. Perhaps singling out BP also signals how well these discussions may be going between the oil company and the White House. Meanwhile, at least one major leak is sealed for the time being.
IN THE OBAMA’S FOOTSTEPS – BAR HARBOR, ME
Eclectique916 was on the road (actually on the seas) this past week and has a presidential moment to share with the readers. Imagine what the first “Washington slept here” signs looked like. Or maybe taverns and other establishments weren’t initially as enthusiastic when a “first” came to call. This sign is outside Stewman’s Lobster Pound in Bar Harbor, ME where i had a delicious lobster roll, sweet potato fries, and slaw. Being that the Obamas are kind of “foodies,” you can interpret the sign as you would the 4 star system. But does being “here” mean the same thing as “eating” here. I guess I should’ve asked but I was too enthralled with my food.
The Obama family spent a weekend in Bar Harbor which included a tour of Acadia National Park. The peak is Cadillac Mountain. Our tour guide vacationed in Bar Habor for many years before putting down permanent roots. He had a lot of soul about the island. I was impressed that I could see the rocks and other natural objects through the water. There are some waters that you can’t swim or ride a motor boat because it’s used for drinking and other public consumption. You won’t find BP here. [Maybe a vacationing CEO.] But you may find this blogger back on the Bar Harbor scene sometime in the future.