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This week on the journal editorial.
Mortgage Obama versus VP under intense pressure from the president oil executives agree to a twenty billion dollar victims survive and much more.
Will Obama get a political -- And -- -- beleaguered BP survive and experts speak out on the administration's deep water drilling moratorium.
Was it driven by safety concerns or politics.
Plus the gun lobby gets in -- Chuck Schumer.
The NRA's sells out on the First Amendment in a -- its members.
May come to regret.
Welcome to the journal editorial.
Report on -- you go under intense.
And said it would cancel shareholder dividends for the rest of the year BP also said.
It would pay another 100 million dollars to a fund to help oil rig workers sidelined by the administration's.
Moratorium on deep water drilling.
The deal was worked out in a four hour meeting Wednesday at the White House a day before.
BP CEO Tony Hayward faced a contentious grilling on Capitol Hill.
-- -- -- we have made a lot of progress.
We have made it very clear to everyone in the company the slate for a lot of human maidens at commitment that you made and so.
We made major changes we've made major changes to -- made major changes many now we see -- disaster in the gulf.
Does that indicate that you didn't keep that commitment and one of the reasons that I -- salute to schools can do this suggestion.
-- -- -- I don't wanna know where the year distraught.
I want to know what you think you've kept your commitment.
Joining the panel this week Wall Street Journal business world columnist Holman Jenkins opinion journal dot com columnist John fund and Washington columnist Kim struck console so.
-- to BP really have a choice to -- whether or not to agree to the a twenty billion.
I think to share price was under such pressure that it wanted some change of tenor voice -- -- the Obama administration so they probably felt they had no choice.
Whether it pays off will be determined by whether the stock price turned her in the coming weeks.
The one thing we don't know is what they got in return they must have.
At a minimum got some assurance that Obama's gonna stop beating up on them but -- counts that we want BP to survive but he didn't put a cap on liabilities in effect said this may be just the beginning no effect it may turn out -- whatever the ultimate liability is this makes -- twenty billion dollars more ahead tonight -- -- if it's almost -- -- -- -- different models of -- -- nationalize the company -- the original model with General Motors and Chrysler and now there's a new model which is if you get into any kind of trouble.
Notes the next Toyota for example you you -- going to basically fix such liability of the federal government is effectively going to own your future.
What does this mean that it -- is a setting a precedent that.
Means that in any future large scale industrial accident.
That this kind of -- public trust fund where company has obliged to put money into the fund and the government will decide who gets paid.
Is that what we're gonna see from -- on that's a danger remember one of the reasons so many investors overseas have contributed.
To the American economy for so long as we've rule of law here is due process will this effectively cents to foreign investors.
Forget the rule of law.
About Joe Barton basically it's it's you know came out against this twenty billion dollar movement because shakedown.
The shakedown and that would it is what is it -- You better believe it's a -- it's a completely goes around political process and the message this sends the foreign investors.
Be careful here because the United States resembled banana republic overnight with the wrong president and turn it teaches them how vulnerable they are the politicians decide to target the stock price they can go.
This doesn't mean -- camps Russell that anybody is saying that BP has no liability here and that BP what would in fact.
Be on the hook them leave the trust this new fund aside they were on the hook for billions and billions of dollars -- -- -- -- -- -- nothing to do it BP's culpability or its obligations on us.
We have laws dealing with that and BP has been following laws those laws in fact exceeding we have courts.
To work out these questions of responsibility.
This this is instead this is about I mean and I kind of I have no doubt the share price had something to do with this but let's not also forget that we had the attorney general of the United States publicly announce that he was criminally investigating this company.
And that wasn't a prod for BP up pressure on BP to basically stand up and do whatever the president told what to do I'm not sure what it.
But cam -- Joe Barton who's the Republican ranking member on the energy committee said in his statement.
This week epic and in the -- we're hearing about the BP was owed an apology for this -- and he was taken to the woodshed by his fellow Republicans who said he could lose his committee.
Member position if he didn't turn around and apologize which he did so -- the politics here would seem to be against.
This kind of view that it is a shake up.
Yeah well it's appalling Joe Barton said the only thing that's probably been through -- -- -- -- defense this entire circus started if he had you know we had.
Go ahead you have the experience of the past week -- watching a bunch of -- congressman you know mugging for the camera team says this.
And the GOP is so nervous on the issue the first thing they do is go and and lose all their principles and make mr.
-- stand up and apologize.
For defending the rule of law he wasn't defending BP but the rule of law.
John you gonna -- if he had used the word apology I think would have an entirely different discussion.
Because that's what -- the headlines and he was it the substance of what he said was largely.
Hopefully it has to put the genie back in the bottle could have hit it didn't it didn't work the genie is out for good -- -- -- -- usually when there's an airline crash the rest of the airline industry doesn't.
Attack -- distance itself from the airline that had the accident in this case you see the rest of the movie oil industry.
Distancing itself from BP saying we would have -- that drew well in the same way that they do it.
Why are they doing.
Because they don't have a long experience the airline industry has everybody suffers in a crash.
I think the real -- they are all have the same problem that BP did which is to rely on these blowout prevent here's where some people rely on their air bags as the you know magical guarantee is safety it's gonna save them from any stupid thing they do but isn't so.
The blow -- prevent -- completely failed.
And they all have to go back and and look at all their processes now because this thing always protect -- in the past apparently doesn't always work is there anything on the public record so far the cutesy.
That suggests that BP was negligent here.
There's a lot of emails there's a lot of chatter between BP people about what they're doing things right that's always a telltale sign.
All right okay -- -- when we come back crew and the politics the experts are speaking out about Obama deep water moratorium.
The administration says these scientists back to their decision to stop drilling.
But the scientists are telling.
A different story.
Already -- issued a six month moratorium on deep water drilling.
I know this creates difficulty for the people who work on these -- But for the sake of their safety.
And for the sake of the entire region.
We need to know the facts before we allow deep water drilling to content.
That was President Obama in his Oval Office speech this week reiterating his commitment to a six month deep water drilling moratorium the administration claims the moratorium was part of a Interior Department report of new safety recommendations and -- those recommendations were signed off on by a panel of experts.
But now eight of those experts are speaking out claiming they never supported a moratorium on deep water drilling and arguing that the move could devastate.
The Gulf Coast economically and make us less safe.
So can't you would talk to some of these experts this week what were they telling you about how this all went down to.
Well what -- really unhappy about is that this moratorium.
Was added after they had signed off on the report now think about that -- happened in the Bush Administration -- would be huge uproar.
-- what we're saying it was -- they say that they that this issue of a deep water drilling more time was never even brought up with them really one of them said the reason why was because if anyone had brought up they would have told them it was pure craziness.
We've also found out that that of these many recommendations that were a couple of dozen in the secretary's report.
About the them the bulk of them could be done in thirty days or less so there really was no reason to have this six month pause.
Rather they they -- they -- long term safety implicated that that's.
That's what I want to ask you about because the president argues that we need the moratorium because we had this accident now we we need to find out what's safe.
Why are they arguing that would actually make us less say.
Well -- -- reasons one of them is is they point out that when when these rigs sit out there they are going to be contracted to go to other jobs.
It's gonna be the newest most modern most safe ones that are gonna leave first and it's going to be the ones who -- blasting comebacks in this that are less safe and also we're gonna have a whole bunch of experienced crew members in the golf -- and a look at the six months and they're gonna decide.
That they're not gonna be in this business anymore so when things get restarted you're gonna have less experienced people working on this -- and finally and this is a big one.
Even is inherently risky to.
Closed down a well in mid operation and then go back and started up again you're just adding more risk by by putting this war -- place so you think it have to lift.
Well I think that they're gonna have to think about it especially because there's enormous first of bristled original scientific basis for this.
And has enormous pressure right now on them because this is doing terrible economic damage to a -- of starting reeling under this -- -- -- gonna stick homeland you know lifted progressively they can't just climb down Connecticut well we're satisfied -- you -- the 200 feet is -- test by the 400 feet safe.
He'll pull it back pretty partisan.
-- that -- -- turn of the president's speech this week which I understand why some conservatives would be happy but I what I don't I would just like it.
But I what I don't understand is why the left -- so -- Harshly against the speeches that it didn't match their ambitions to move for -- the climate agenda but the president said.
He wanted to move ahead on a climate agenda what's the problem with the left.
This is the nightmare of Health Care Reform the president said about -- and -- not the way they wanted it to remember you Richland one of the public option but he wouldn't push for.
And eventually he had to drop a public option what they worried because of Obama's lack of specificity in his speeches they want cap and trade but Obama didn't push hard enough for that.
The congress may end up doing nothing as a result of Obama's indecisiveness.
That you think the climate is gonna go forward -- a chance to pass this you know this support in the country and is now support among Democrats.
But the left is angry because a crisis is a terrible thing to waste and he's wasted a bunch of -- How is he how's he Wacey did -- health he didn't get the public option he hasn't delivered you know labor you're preeminence over American business.
He's not he didn't mention carbon taxes or cap and trade and in his speech and he's not really pushing.
So you really think that that the failure to mention cap and trade as a signal that look we're just drop -- this and I just -- -- sound like I'm pushing it but I really don't want to yeah BC just setting himself up for defeat.
But it passed in the house -- We pay the bill passed cap and trade passed in the house last year.
There's some people think that may be the that the Senate passes anything close to that maybe doesn't include a cap and tax provision.
But they could get together in conference and put it in the -- in a lame duck session.
Even if the Democrats lose congress or lose the house in November put it in later and say it's tough.
-- -- I think the democratic strategy is they know they're going to lose big in November.
They know their their majorities agree to vanished therefore pass as much as you possibly can.
Put it into law because Obama -- Vito will prevent the Republicans for the take over one -- both houses of congress from changing just.
I can do you by the lame duck strategy as a possibility here.
I think anything's a possibility with this congress on this precedents say.
And and you know America should be on guard for that the -- now what -- -- focused on they want an energy victory.
And cap and trade makes -- harder for them to do that energy victory -- claim that they've done something about an oil crisis so it's it's more likely they let that go for the moment.
What about the ability home -- to link.
To big oil -- BP that's clearly part of the strategy Harry Reid pushing it hard it is race.
And and some other senate races I don't think it's gonna work you know.
The classic question is right track -- -- track and no one looking at this BP situation doesn't think the country's on the wrong track that means incumbent turned trouble all right thank you when we come back.
Guns and free speech the NRA sells out to Democrats on the First Amendment.
And -- its members may soon come to regret.
Chuck Schumer and the and our eighth.
They say politics makes strange allies but this is one for the books the gun lobby cut a deal this week with the Senate's leading gun control advocate and an attempt to exempt itself from a campaign finance bill now working its way through congress.
The bill known as the disclose act as a democratic response to the Supreme Court January ruling in citizens united VS EF EC which.
Lifted limits on spending by corporations unions and nonprofit groups and political campaigns.
At the time the NRA's Wayne Lapierre called citizens united a defeat for arrogant elitists who wanted to carve out free speech is a privilege for themselves and denied to the rest of us.
How times have changed senior editorial page writer Colin Levy joins us with more so Colin briefly what does -- disclose act do.
The disclose -- is really geared towards camping back the free speech that.
Businesses and corporations -- with the citizens united decision in January.
And you know ostensibly it just targets particular sorts of government contractors businesses that have received.
And those that have some level of foreign ownership but what.
Is really -- play here is an effort to create sort of mass confusion in the business community in a way that.
Businesses that like to speak out against Democrats don't.
All right so the IRA it's that it opposed this so -- -- so why would suddenly the Democrat democratic leadership no friend of the NRA deciding need to carve out an exemption for fruitful for the gun lobby.
Well you know again here what's happened is when you think about it NRA actually isn't nearly as much of a threat to Democrats as businesses are in.
In most districts where and it where gun rights are important to citizens Democrats tend to run fairly gun friendly candidates -- the NRA has a history of endorsing some Democrats as well so it's not just a right leaning groups there.
The bigger the bigger threat is local business groups that want to speak out against Democrats and that's what the Democrats are more afraid of in this upcoming so they -- -- neutralized.
The NRA on this particular question for this election and give and particularly -- make some of the blue dog Democrats we're gonna have very tough races not have to run and in addition against business.
Against the NRA.
Right okay so what here's a question Kim why would the NRA it.
Wanna cut this deal because if if if in fact the Democrats felt they needed to that that they needed to do something to -- generating get this.
-- it might have failed on its own.
Looking NRA has always been exceptionally private about its donors.
And has a right to -- I mean there is right out there to an un committee in organizations.
They went to blue dogs and and they basically made it known that they really didn't want this to pass and they didn't want these restrictions put on it.
That's one of the reasons that the Chuck Schumer cut this deal because he couldn't get votes from blue dogs -- something happened.
The -- I was just simply worried that this bill would passed weather tonight it posted or not.
Democrats -- very good at twisting arms so in the end it said well better to cut a deal.
Then they end up under these restrictions with nothing at all so they were -- Into a sellout -- the First Amendment to get that to protect themselves they thought in their main job which is to protect the Second Amendment and not have to disclose their donors so that's the logic.
That's part of it yet.
All right John so.
It does this help the bill -- -- not.
A confuses situations.
Senator Dianne Feinstein a California Democrats that she's not gonna vote for this now.
Because the -- been carved out she's a friend of the other exactly as historian I think.
I think the bill is going down but I think in the longer on the area's going to hurt its standing in the conservative movement because this was done.
With I mean it's one thing you can -- -- -- honorary members and a deal like this but the 76 member board was also not consultant really.
Barely a few members were clued in otherwise this was an inside deal inside the -- bureaucracy.
So -- the is that in order to after this past it was an uproar against its -- how the congress is looking -- we're gonna expand the exemption not just to the NRA and maybe ARP which also qualified for the preview for now he's brought that.
Duke with the Sierra Club and some other or some other organizations.
In this what's the thinking there.
Right so that the very very.
Uber exclusive club has gotten just a little bit less exclusive.
You know I -- marriage they're getting all kinds of blowback from liberal groups as well -- who say.
What got this really isn't fair that this is just to carve out for the NRA and the Chinese want -- that we worry about this do.
-- the whole game here is about creating two different tiers of political free speech and -- the problem that.
That Democrats have.
-- -- issue mentioned that NAACP.
Was still would apply even -- the second iteration of this.
And now they wanna get in -- get into into this do they may have to take the exemption on the level of eliminates that and the ducks and give us a so -- -- you follow the politics of this John says he thinks it's going now.
Democrats are still insisting it's gonna pass briefly what do you think.
Though they have created a real must for themselves you know they were supposed to have a vote this past week it's it's been delayed.
And this is what happens when you start cutting special deal with everyone because everyone wants in on it.
The look at -- passes bill to spare mine this is about -- anticipating the unions to continue using free speech.
And had to stop the corporation -- special interest groups are sort of a side issue.
Okay thanks -- we have to take one more break when we come back hits and misses.
Time now for hits and misses of the week -- first -- I missed -- Joe Biden you know the vice president -- point man for -- the president's stimulus that 800 billion.
Taxpayer dollars that was supposed to created a 3.5 million new -- by the end of the year rather than losing 2.2 million.
And yet there and I'll get this week talking about -- summer of recovery about the progress and and a new -- to go out and see shovel ready projects it it really is gonna work this time.
I think he'd be better odd given half of the stimulus money that hasn't been -- back to the America.
There's a good old boy establishment of Republicans in South Carolina Paul that does not like Nikki Haley who's poised to become the Republican candidate for governor primary runoff next week they are attacking her.
Her opponent is calling her the Mark Sanford Kennedy trying to entering directly to mark -- affairs.
And the chamber of commerce in the state Paul is saying if she wins we may endorse the democratic candidate.
She says she's going to run -- reform conservative administration they don't like that idea.
All right Colin.
I'm gonna give a hit to Elton John for getting two very politically brave things recently.
First he performed at Rush Limbaugh's wedding and then this week.
He put on a concert in Israel where a lot of other musicians have been declining to play.
So you know he's been getting criticism for sort of selling out for the money.
But the ROKR came back and his critics and said we don't cherry pick our consciences so that something that should be music to our ears.
All right count thanks so much and remember if you have your own hit or miss please send -- us at JR at foxnews.com.
That's it for this week's edition of The Journal Editorial Report thanks to my panel and especially through all of you for watching I'm -- you go.
Hope to see you right here.
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