The Hightower Report

The Chamber of Commies; and BP's Steady Flow of BS

The Chamber of Commies

In the category of "big news that has gotten little coverage," consider this stunner: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has openly embraced socialism!

Not for you and me, of course, but for one of the world's largest and wealthiest corporations: BP. On May 27, the chamber's president, Tom Donohue, came out of his Leninist closet to assert his communitarian affinity for corporate socialism: "Everybody is going to contribute to this cleanup," Donohue declared. "We are all going to have to do it. We are going to have to get the money from the government and from the companies, and we will figure out a way to do that."

What a hoot! The guy who earlier this year was screeching in horror against government health care coverage for ordinary Americans has now flipped over to the compassionate side, demanding that those same ordinary Americans simply must "contribute" their tax dollars to clean up the disaster caused by the greed of a foreign oil corporation. Hypocrisy, thy name is Donohue! Even Saturday Night Live wouldn't air a skit this crude.

BP might be a British outfit, but it's also a member and major funder of the U.S. Chamber, which in turn has been a major backer of deregulating Big Oil's offshore drilling schemes. Thus, it's really no surprise that Donohue's inner flower child would bloom in the midst of BP's oozing oil disaster. And don't you love his kumbaya sensitivity, his we're-all-in-this-together social sensibility?

Let's all sing along with Tom's heart-tugging song: "We are going to have to get the money from the government/We will figure out a way to do that/Kumbaya, Lord, kumbaya."

Adding to the hilarity, Donohue later tried to retract his socialist stand, but he only came off as a rhetorical contortionist, still leaving taxpayers on the hook for BP's mess.

BP's Steady Flow of BS

Urgent memo to the shareholders of the oil corporation formerly known as British Petroleum: Cap that gusher! And the other one, too!

Some of the worst damage being done to BP's credibility and reputation is not coming from the 30,000-40,000 barrels gushing every day from its well on the Gulf floor but from the torrent of stupid comments gushing from the mouths of various BP honchos. The oil giant's CEO, Tony "Tone Deaf" Hayward, has already been enshrined in the Goofball Hall of Fame for what apparently is his bottomless well of gushing insensitivity. From his early assertion that the environmental impact of BP's failed well "will be very modest" to his recent narcissistic whine that "I'd like my life back" – Tony is a one-man plume of pollution.

Unfortunately, he's not BP's lone ranger of galloping goofiness. In mid-June, Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles stupidly spewed his own stream of nonsense by flatly announcing that the gusher would be reduced to a "relative trickle" within days. Days passed. Oil kept gushing. More and more birds, turtles, and other wildlife died. More marshes and beaches were soiled. And, once again, the hopes of people on the Gulf Coast were suffocated, having been thoroughly coated in the goo of BP's steady flow of BS.

The oil giant's top executives can't even apologize without mucking things up. At the White House on June 16, BP Chair Carl-Henric Svanberg declared: "I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are really companies that don't care, but that is not the case in BP. We care about the small people."

Small people? The more this giant talks, the smaller it becomes. Memo to shareholders: Invest in some duct tape. Pronto!

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce, BP, Tom Donohue, Doug Suttles, Tony Hayward

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