Saturday, June 04, 2011

Somebody Needs His Diaper Changed

Extortion is such an ugly word, but it's the right one for what Sen. David Vitter (Moron, Louisiana) is pulling right now.

From an editorial in the New York Times:

It sounded like a simple bit of noncontroversial Senate routine: raising the salary of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to the level of his cabinet peers. Then, with all the finesse of a shakedown artist, Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, declared that he will keep a legislative hold on the $19,600-a-year raise until Mr. Salazar has his department approve more deepwater drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico.

“I cannot possibly give my assent,” the senator wrote to Mr. Salazar. Far from any concern about laws against quid pro quo Washington deals, Mr. Vitter vowed in a press release to keep his “boot on the neck” of the department until his drilling demands are met.

In the wake of the gulf oil spill disaster, the senator wants to regenerate industry jobs, and he is demanding an approval rate of at least six drilling permits per month. Most of the 15 approved since the oil spill, he contends, amount to reissuings.

Apparently the inestimable senator was dissatisfied with the job BP did last year so he wants a do-over. He wants the Gulf completely destroyed.

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