Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Oily Bastards 

There can be little doubt that this Administration has been sucking oil company dick all along. Now, the Supreme Court has just bent over for Exxon, signaling that the true wish of the Neocons has always been to turn the United States of America into the Disunited Peons of Corporations.

This story at Alternet lays out the details and I can't really add to it. But look at it and ask yourself how any Court with a conscience or a sense of Justice could have in their dock a Corporation that makes billions off of an over-valued commodity upon which the People depend, and decide that the punitive damages awarded to victims of the Exxon Valdez spill were just too high.

Of course, either way the award goes, most of it goes right into the hands of the US Government. The attorneys get the next biggest chunk. Before the Supreme Court decision, each attorney would become (if already not) a mutli-millionaire. Now, they'll get barely more than half a million each. Look, Dick, look. See the sad attorneys? Sad, sad attorneys.

Most inexplicable is the payment of 11% of the award to Exxon -- which was reduced from $275 million to just under $56 million -- to pay off other claims. That seems a little "fox in the henhouse" to me.

The lawyers, the government were not victims here. Exxon's loss amounted to a boat, a captain's reputation and a lot of oil. But the real victims, people who lost their jobs, their homes, sometimes their families and too often their lives, had their award reduced from $28,125.00 per claimant to just $5,703.75. Even then, if the entire original award of $2.5 billion had been distributed only among the claimants, they would have received $78,125 each.

In other words, this Supreme Court is saying that people's lives, families and careers, that decades of planning turned decades of waiting, that the pain of divorce and suicide, are worth barely enough money to fill a sedan's tank weekly for a year and a half. Even the $78K would have been an insult. The original award to the plaintiffs, after fees, taxes and kickbacks, should have been $160 billion.

And why not? Isn't that about what Exxon's profit was last year? Let's let them enjoy twelve months of the hell that 32,000 people have suffered daily for over nineteen years.

Unfortunately, it looks like their pain will continue -- and every Jackass in a Robe who voted in favor of this decision should be impeached now.


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