Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Reich Delusion

Robert Reich was on Countdown last night, still spouting his delusional ideas about presidential powers for handling the Gulf oil well blowout. Keith Olbermann was nodding sagely and interjecting an occasional “Uh huh” as Reich ranted on,

I think it‘s very important that the president demand—not request, not negotiate with, not be all that polite—but demand that BP set aside an escrow account of something in the order of $20 billion so that BP cannot otherwise seek protection under the bankruptcy laws or otherwise just say, too bad.

Let’s clarify that point before we continue. We do not live in a tinpot dictatorship or a regency; Obama does not have the power to enforce such a demand of a U.S. corporation, much less a British-owned one. The fact the BP is operating in U.S. waters and has many U.S. stockholders is irrelevant; it is still a private corporation, and a British one to boot, and the President has no direct power over it.

And again Professor Reich returns to the receivership idea,

But also, that the president use some sort of legal mechanism—I think the easiest is sort of a temporary receivership, to assert control over the resources of BP.

I love the “some sort of legal mechanism” part. Olbermann asked him how that receivership would be imposed, what authority the President might use.

What the courts do if a particular company just may not have enough money to pay off claims, the courts are receptive to an injunction or receivership, or some sort of escrow account, under the mandate of courts. What the president could do, and I think he could very easily use the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 as his pretext, would be to force BP‘s hand on this. Say, BP, look, we have the power to force you to do this. We could negotiate, but we‘re actually going to do it.

"What the courts do..." Actually, professor, the courts don't. Am I the only one cringing when an Obama supporter is suggesting the our president do something under a “pretext?”

The “courts” to which the good professor refers are specifically bankruptcy courts, and it is they, not the President of The United States which would place a company into receivership. Further, the “receivership” which he is so fond of is a fairly complex process which is part of the bankruptcy proceeding and, just to drive the nail into the coffin of the Reich Delusion, British corporations are not subject to the jurisdiction of this nation’s bankruptcy courts.

As Olbermann would (should) say, “That man is an idiot.”

1 comment:

  1. bruce9:28 AM

    This is just like during the 2008 campaign, where the major candidates were spouting about obscene oil company profits, high gas prices, and imposing windfall profis taxes, etc blah blah. More public opinion driving political dogma and hysteria. Gack.

    Does no one actually think? Obama does or used to...