Wednesday, February 15, 2006

How do you spell asshole in the House of Representatives? J-O-E B-A-R-T-O-N 

The U.S. political leadership certainly has no shortage of people who are complete jerks - Bush, Cheney, DeLay, Frist just to name a few. Today I learned of one who I hadn't previously heard of - Joe Barton. This congressperson from Texas is the Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Apparently he is all worked up in a lather right now. About what you ask? About Venezuelan owned Citgo doing for American citizens what this clown and his collegues should be doing but don't - help people of limited means pay some bills. No joke, this asshole wants Citgo investigated for giving out low cost heating oil:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., today sent a letter to Felix Rodriguez, president and CEO of CITGO Petroleum Corp., asking him for details of the company’s programs to provide discounted heating oil primarily to organizations in the Northeast. Barton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Whitfield, chairman of the Subcommittee for Oversight and Investigations, have raised concerns that the company, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, is using this program as part of an unfriendly government’s increasingly belligerent and hostile foreign policy toward the United States.

Those who want to bore themselves reading his entire letter can read it but let me just quote the last two paragraphs:

Given President Chavez’s clear anti-American sentiments, his current efforts must be viewed with concern that he is attempting to politicize the debate over U.S. energy policy. Indeed, CITGO’s Chief Operating Officer, Jerry Thompson, recently acknowledged as much in an interview with USA Today (January 12, 2006, page A1): “Being owned by a political entity [PDVSA] ultimately means, from time to time, you have to do things with a political bent to them. Heating oil as an example of that.”

The Committee would like to get a better understanding of Venezuela’s program offering discounted heating oil to select low-income communities in the United States (the Program). Accordingly, pursuant to Rules X and XI of the United States House of Representatives, please respond to the following questions. (1) How and when was this Program first conceived? (2) How and why were the particular beneficiaries of this Program selected? (3) How is the Program being implemented? (4) What is the status of the Program in each of the proposed communities? (5) Does this Program run afoul of any antitrust laws? In addition, please provide all records in CITGO’s possession, custody, or control relating to the Program. All responses and documents should be provided on or before February 23, 2006.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Joe Barton

Ed Whitfield

cc: The Honorable John D. Dingell, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

The Honorable Bart Stupak, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations


So lets make sure we are getting this straight. A foriegn owned company is generous enough to help Americans in need and instead of being thanked... they get investigated for violating anti-trust laws?!?!?! Excuse me, but aren't antri-trust laws meant to prevent companies colluding to raise prices? Not stop companies from giving to charities or lowering prices? Quite frankly this absurd request deserves a simple one line reply - "fuck off". But that would obviously provoke legal action and fines. So Citgo will have to spend countless hours putting together documentation for this clown. As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Hopefully, some people in New York, Boston, Delaware, Maine, Vermont and elsewhere will write to give Joe a piece of their mind.

And all this is not to mention you would think this guy would have other things to focus on, like the government letting Big Oil walk away with billions of dollars in unpaid royalties. As if they weren't already making enough money. Of course, if the government bothered to collect these royalties and use them to provide discounted heating oil they wouldn't have to worry about what Citgo was offering to people - there wouldn't be any unmet needs for them to fill. But of course that won't happen because the Joe Bartons of the world don't give a hoot about the well being of average Americans.


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