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Imagine if the government required automobile drivers to purchase liability insurance against the Worst Case Accident: totalling a 2010 Maybach Laundalet with four newly-minted orthopedic surgeons aboard. Worst case liability: $50 million or so. With a $50 million liability insurance requirement, who would drive? Only the wealthy. The Deepwater Horizon incident pointed up the inadequacy of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990’s $75 million economic liability limit for operations involving high pressure, high-volume deepwater oil. Some Congressional Democrats would like the liability cap to be set at $20 billion; some want no cap at all. They don’t even acknowledge the fact that shallow water operations are orders of magnitude less risky than deepwater oil; to them, an offshore well is an offshore well. Independents, small to large, will have no way to insure against a liability of this magnitude. Without insurance, they will cease operations, leaving the Gulf to the only companies with sufficient assets to self-insure. That group would include Exxon, Shell, Chevron and BP among the private companies, plus the National Oil Companies of Brazil, China, Spain and others. Please click here for the rest of the post.
…and will ride this puppy all the way down, bless his heart. For those living in a cave, Charlie Rangel* (D, NY) is about to get served with ethics charges by the House Ethics committee for committing ethical violations (mostly involving real estate) beyond the power of the House Ethics committee leadership to plausibly overlook… not that they didn’t try their best. In keeping with this tradition of benign overlooksight, it turns out that Rangel met with the Ethics Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D, CA) without any pesky Republicans around to hear about any particular deals that Rangel might or might not have been willing to make to avoid embarrassing the Democratic party in public. I can’t imagine why the GOP would be worried about that, though: it’s not like Rangel gave three Democratic members of the Ethics Committee campaign money… oh. Right. He did. Please click here for the rest of the post.
I agree and disagree with John Hinderaker about John Kerry, Millionaire (he owns a mansion and a yacht). The basic background: Senator Kerry (D, MA) built and bought a yacht overseas and has parked it outside of Massachusetts so as to avoid paying Massachusetts taxes on it, which are fairly significant. At least, he was: now that he’s been caught Kerry is making it-was-a-big-misunderstanding noises. Of course. Please click here for the rest of the post.
My friend Kingfish brings word of the implosion of the Mississippi Democratic Party. It is in full scale meltdown because the Chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party’s wife struck up an affair with an elected Democrat. Jamie Franks, the state chairman, is getting divorced from his wife. His wife has been having an affair with Mike Scott, the school superintendent in Lee County, MS and an elected Democratic. Franks used his influence as chairman to pressure Scott to resign and threatened to sue the school district. Scott pre-empted all that by filing suit first, admitting to the affair, and accusing Franks, the local Democratic Party, and the state party of interference with his job, defamation, extortion, etc. The whole of the state party is now in flames. Please click here for the rest of the post.