Take, for example, Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. He has some mighty interesting Connections, as this article highlights, The Ties That Bind. Remember Rahm Emanuel's Rent-Free D.C. Apartment? The owner: A BP Adviser. Oh, oops - this could get a bit messy:
In case you were tempted to buy the faux Washington outrage at BP and its gulf oil spill in recent days, here's a story that reveals a little-known corporate political connection and the quiet way the inner political circles intersect, protect and care for one another in the nation's capital. And Chicago.
We already knew that BP and its folks were significant contributors to the record $750-million war chest of Barack Obama's 2007-08 campaign.
Now, we learn the details of a connection of Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayoral wannabe, current Obama chief of staff, ex-representative, ex-Clinton money man and ex-Windy City political machine go-fer.
Though plenty of Obama supporters want to gloss over that little connection with BP and the flow of money, it doesn't mean the rest of us aren't still living in the Reality-based community.
(Photo from Left Coast Liberal)
Back to Rahm, seen above with buddy, Blago:
Shortly after Obama's happy inaugural, eyebrows rose slightly upon word that, as a House member, Emanuel had lived the last five years rent-free in a D.C. apartment of Democratic colleague Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and her husband, Stanley Greenberg.
For an ordinary American, that would likely raise some obvious tax liability questions. But like Emanuel, the guy overseeing the Internal Revenue Service now is another Obama insider, Tim Geithner, who had his own outstanding tax problems but skated through confirmation anyway by the Democratic-controlled Congress.
Remember this was all before the letters BP stood for Huge Mess. Even before the Obama administration gave BP a safety award.
Now follow these standard Washington links if you can:
Greenberg's consulting firm was a prime architect of BP's recent rebranding drive as a green petroleum company, down to green signs and the slogan "Beyond Petroleum."
Greenberg's company is also closely tied to a sister Democratic outfit -- GCS, named for the last initials of Greenberg, James Carville, another Clinton advisor, and Bob Shrum, John Kerry's 2004 campaign manager.
According to published reports, GCS received hundreds of thousands of dollars in political polling contracts in recent years from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Probably just a crazy coincidence. But you'll never guess who was the chairman of that Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dispensing those huge polling contracts to his kindly rent-free landlord.
Surely, just a CRAZY coincidence.
Hmm - you don't suppose this is why the Obama Administration gave BP a Safety Award for the very oil rig platform that blew up, do you? Or why they failed to perform the monthly safety inspections required by the Minerals Management Service policy?
Or that the plans for the drill rig were not subjected to environmental review (thanks, Ken Salazar)? What makes that one particularly mind boggling are the claims by the Federal Government that LA cannot get emergency permits to build barriers to protect their shores because the Feds don't know what the environmental impact of the barriers would be yet. Um, here's a hint - when you see dolphins washing up covered in oil, or pelicans unable to take off because they are coated in oil, there is ALREADY an environmental impact. Jeezum crow. (After a month - a full month of LA's drive for sand berms - BP is making its first payment of $60 million to put up these sandbag barriers. One can only guess what a difference it could have made had the Feds not dragged their feet on this.)
Or why BP was a finalist for the Pollution Prevention Award? Well, the latter at least sounds like Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for something he MIGHT accomplish someday.
You just can't make this stuff up, people. Well, you could, but no one would believe it. Yes, each and every one of those is true.
Now, I'm not saying that Rahm's being in bed with a BP oil adviser, or at least living in his apartment for free, is definitively why BP has gotten all of these breaks, exemptions, and lack of oversight. What do you say?