BP made over 20 Billion dollars last year drilling for oil in places that pose massive risk of loss to neighboring business owners. There is a federal cap on BP’s liability for any damages it causes to $75 million. That’s a pretty good risk/reward, ain’t it? BP can pollute the coasts of Mexico, Cuba, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, realize oil profits in the tens of billions; Americans pay $2.75-$4.00/gallon and Mom & Pop shrimp boat owners bear the risk of ruination along with the sea turtles, dolphins, birds, flora, fauna, tourists, and one or two little kids living along the shore that don’t like the taste of oil in their morning cereal.
Last week, Senator Bob Menendez, (D), NJ, proposed to lift the liability to $10 billion. The up or down vote was blocked by Senator Lisa Murkowski, (R), AK, who has received $400, 000 in contributions from the oil and gas industry. Senator Murkowski argued that the shrimpers and other folks aggrieved by the spill can obtain unlimited damages in state court. Therefore, no need to lift the cap.
In rebuttal, the sponsor, Menendez, argued that in the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill off of Murkowski’s own Alaska, it took 20 years for the cases to get through the courts because the oil company is so adept at gumming up the process.
This little vignette elucidates the need for independent candidates like Cahill to challenge both parties in this country. The republican party is always going to prefer the large banks while they charge old widows $35 per overdraft and funny accounting practices in computing interest on credit card debts. It will always bail out the Wall Street hedge fund before it helps the upside down homeowner; the military hardware contractor over the shrimp boat operator or the restaurant owner or the small business provider of accounting or legal services. Those are the people that create jobs and make America the coolest place on earth.
I look at Cahill and see an example of the kind of candidate America needs in every state. The guy’s dream was to be a smoothie mogul. He had a three way partnership. Hell, I could have told him that would bust; but the kid was 22 years old. That’s why I am not worried about his being a little cozy with unions either. Those are real people. A healthy spot of populism beats the hell out of hoity toity country club republican whores selling us out to banks and insurance companies. People who identify with the working middle class are temperamentally far more disposed to protect our borders too, than effete republicans who are going to be restrained by effeminate considerations of political correctness. By the same tokem, Cahill is most likely of the three candidates to opt the Commonwealth out of President Obama’s Red Scare Health Care.