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Obama's $20 Billion BP Escrow

Steelerman6794
Posts: 158
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6/20/2010 4:16:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Whether it's justified or not, does the White House even have the legal authority to do this? I realize that BP should be held responsible for the Gulf spill, but how can the Obama administration force BP to pay up $20 billion without any sort of due process?

If I'm misunderstanding the whole situation please let me know.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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6/20/2010 4:25:50 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Do those that confess to a murder outright still go through a jury trial?

Same thing. BP already admitted guilt and have accepted responsibility. Not much else to do.
badger
Posts: 11,793
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6/20/2010 4:37:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 4:25:50 PM, Volkov wrote:
Do those that confess to a murder outright still go through a jury trial?

do they not?
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Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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6/20/2010 4:38:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 4:37:42 PM, badger wrote:
do they not?

Not with confessions. They'll go before a prosecutor, plead guilty, and are sentenced. Not a jury trial.
badger
Posts: 11,793
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6/20/2010 4:40:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 4:38:53 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 6/20/2010 4:37:42 PM, badger wrote:
do they not?

Not with confessions. They'll go before a prosecutor, plead guilty, and are sentenced. Not a jury trial.

that's a bit stupid. if they actually were guilty they could surely provide evidence. not having a trial is just allowing innocent people to take the rap for whatever reason, keeping the guilty out of jail.
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Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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6/20/2010 4:44:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 4:40:59 PM, badger wrote:
that's a bit stupid. if they actually were guilty they could surely provide evidence. not having a trial is just allowing innocent people to take the rap for whatever reason, keeping the guilty out of jail.

The person isn't innocent... they admit that they are guilty. That's not innocent.

Are you high or something right now?
badger
Posts: 11,793
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6/20/2010 4:57:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 4:44:33 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 6/20/2010 4:40:59 PM, badger wrote:
that's a bit stupid. if they actually were guilty they could surely provide evidence. not having a trial is just allowing innocent people to take the rap for whatever reason, keeping the guilty out of jail.

The person isn't innocent... they admit that they are guilty. That's not innocent.

Are you high or something right now?

small bit. still makes sense, though. it should still be proven that someone did something. i thought the point was to catch the culprit, rather than to assign blame.
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Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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6/20/2010 5:08:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 4:57:34 PM, badger wrote:
small bit. still makes sense, though. it should still be proven that someone did something. i thought the point was to catch the culprit, rather than to assign blame.

Lol... but if someone admits that they ARE the culprit, why would people waste time trying to catch the same person who is right there, admitting they are the culprit? It's not "assigning blame" - it's admittance of guilt.

If you steal something, then admit you steal something, should the courts then go about collecting evidence to prove you stole something? It makes zero sense. It's wasteful and pointless.
Vi_Veri
Posts: 4,487
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6/20/2010 5:10:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 4:57:34 PM, badger wrote:
At 6/20/2010 4:44:33 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 6/20/2010 4:40:59 PM, badger wrote:
that's a bit stupid. if they actually were guilty they could surely provide evidence. not having a trial is just allowing innocent people to take the rap for whatever reason, keeping the guilty out of jail.

The person isn't innocent... they admit that they are guilty. That's not innocent.

Are you high or something right now?

small bit. still makes sense, though. it should still be proven that someone did something. i thought the point was to catch the culprit, rather than to assign blame.

So who's oil is it that's in the Gulf of Mexico if it's not BP's?
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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6/20/2010 5:15:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 5:10:58 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
At 6/20/2010 4:57:34 PM, badger wrote:
At 6/20/2010 4:44:33 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 6/20/2010 4:40:59 PM, badger wrote:
that's a bit stupid. if they actually were guilty they could surely provide evidence. not having a trial is just allowing innocent people to take the rap for whatever reason, keeping the guilty out of jail.

The person isn't innocent... they admit that they are guilty. That's not innocent.

Are you high or something right now?

small bit. still makes sense, though. it should still be proven that someone did something. i thought the point was to catch the culprit, rather than to assign blame.

So who's oil is it that's in the Gulf of Mexico if it's not BP's?

It's everyones, man. It's from the planet and no company owns the planet. You capitalist dictator, you. <insert placard and waving of aforementioned placard>
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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6/20/2010 5:15:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 4:25:50 PM, Volkov wrote:
Do those that confess to a murder outright still go through a jury trial?
Yes. (or a judge trial if they waive a jury trial)
A confession is not a plea. You have to specifically plead guilty in court to wave a trial, whether jury or judge. Confessions out of court are evidence, but they do not in themselves waive due process.

The notion that he can order such an escrow is clearly unconstitutional-- fining someone is unequivocally a judicial power, and no such fine has yet been ordered. The executive branch can only legally collect-- or forcibly prepare a target to be collected from-- what a court has ordered (Or a legislature if it's a tax, but doing it for one specific company falls foul of the bill of attainder clause).
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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6/20/2010 5:16:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 5:15:21 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
You have to specifically plead guilty in court to wave a trial, whether jury or judge.

'Tis what I meant, Ragnar, as noted in later posts.
badger
Posts: 11,793
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6/20/2010 5:19:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 5:08:26 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 6/20/2010 4:57:34 PM, badger wrote:
small bit. still makes sense, though. it should still be proven that someone did something. i thought the point was to catch the culprit, rather than to assign blame.

Lol... but if someone admits that they ARE the culprit, why would people waste time trying to catch the same person who is right there, admitting they are the culprit? It's not "assigning blame" - it's admittance of guilt.

if they are the culprit they should easily be able to prove it to a jury. the person claiming guilt might have been forced to or might be trying to protect a loved one. i'm just picking at holes, but do you not agree that these are holes?

If you steal something, then admit you steal something, should the courts then go about collecting evidence to prove you stole something? It makes zero sense. It's wasteful and pointless.

if you actually did it you should be able to provide evidence. it's no work for the court.
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Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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6/20/2010 5:19:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 5:10:58 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
At 6/20/2010 4:57:34 PM, badger wrote:
At 6/20/2010 4:44:33 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 6/20/2010 4:40:59 PM, badger wrote:
that's a bit stupid. if they actually were guilty they could surely provide evidence. not having a trial is just allowing innocent people to take the rap for whatever reason, keeping the guilty out of jail.

The person isn't innocent... they admit that they are guilty. That's not innocent.

Are you high or something right now?

small bit. still makes sense, though. it should still be proven that someone did something. i thought the point was to catch the culprit, rather than to assign blame.

So who's oil is it that's in the Gulf of Mexico if it's not BP's?

The rig is property of Transocean, leased to BP-- although I think they also contract out operation to Transocean

The oil that's spilling would be BP's if they weren't throwing it all over torting other people's stuff, as it stands it's just evidence of a bizarre and complex civil wrong :P (due to the whole lease and subcontract thing)
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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6/20/2010 5:21:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 5:16:55 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 6/20/2010 5:15:21 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
You have to specifically plead guilty in court to wave a trial, whether jury or judge.

'Tis what I meant, Ragnar, as noted in later posts.

Yet you ignore the essential point that that entails-- that until that plea is registered, and they are sentenced in accordance with it, Obama has no legal power to order funds to be held in escrow.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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6/20/2010 7:55:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
No, there is no legal basis for the requiring the escrow account. BP could have refused, but chose not to. Obama pretended to "order" them to do it to enhance his image of being presidential. He could have gotten the same result by announcing that he and BP had jointly arrived at an equitable solution to repaying those harmed. That would not have sounded macho enough. We can put all our hopes into negotiating wih Iran and North Korea, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

The danger with the escrow account is that distribution of the money is under government control. The guy in charge was Obama's "pay czar," although he also administered the 9/11 compensation fund, and that seemed okay. All money under government control is in some danger. For example, Obama's top priority has always been paying off unions. A fund administered by a court-appointed "master" might be more equitably distributed. We'll see. Note that BP gets rid of the responsibility of determining who gets what.
Steelerman6794
Posts: 158
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6/21/2010 8:00:12 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/20/2010 7:55:17 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
The danger with the escrow account is that distribution of the money is under government control. The guy in charge was Obama's "pay czar," although he also administered the 9/11 compensation fund, and that seemed okay. All money under government control is in some danger. For example, Obama's top priority has always been paying off unions. A fund administered by a court-appointed "master" might be more equitably distributed. We'll see. Note that BP gets rid of the responsibility of determining who gets what.

Wait, but if it's an escrow account, wasn't it already decided where the money was going before BP paid it? That's the whole point of an escrow account, to neutrally set aside money for a specific purpose.

Apparently even the most liberal news pundits seemed to be questioning the White House's actions. Some guy on CNBC (Chris Matthews I think) asked a member of the Administration what legal authority Obama had to "order" the creation of this escrow account. The Administration member said something to the extent of "it it's not a statute now, we'll make it one." I must say that is very disconcerting.
brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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6/29/2010 2:39:51 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
BP is a business, not a charity, and its primary responsibility is not to fishermen in Louisiana or hoteliers in Florida - it is to its shareholders.

BP should never have admitted liability and should certainly never have agreed to put the money that was going to pay their shareholders' quarterly dividend into an escrow account.

Legally, BP is only liable to pay a maximum of $75 million. In view of this, they should have turned round to the American Government and said: "Right, Mr. President, we don't want any unnecessary unpleasantness so a special favour to you we'll add a nought to that figure and make it $750 million, but in return we want immunity from prosecution".
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I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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6/29/2010 12:43:49 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/29/2010 2:39:51 AM, brian_eggleston wrote:
BP is a business, not a charity, and its primary responsibility is not to fishermen in Louisiana or hoteliers in Florida - it is to its shareholders.

BP should never have admitted liability and should certainly never have agreed to put the money that was going to pay their shareholders' quarterly dividend into an escrow account.

Legally, BP is only liable to pay a maximum of $75 million. In view of this, they should have turned round to the American Government and said: "Right, Mr. President, we don't want any unnecessary unpleasantness so a special favour to you we'll add a nought to that figure and make it $750 million, but in return we want immunity from prosecution".

Brian, do you hold any umbridge over the beating British petroleum is getting from the U.S. administration?
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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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6/29/2010 1:31:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/21/2010 8:00:12 AM, Steelerman6794 wrote:

Wait, but if it's an escrow account, wasn't it already decided where the money was going before BP paid it? That's the whole point of an escrow account, to neutrally set aside money for a specific purpose.

Only the general purpose of paying claims for oil spill damages is determined, not exactly who gets paid. An escrow account can be made with virtually any rules that can be written down.

Obama is trying to impose a six-month ban on deepwater drilling, which will throw twenty thousand people out of work. The drilling rigs will likely relocate overseas and be gone for many years. Obama plans to pay all the laid off workers out of the escrow account. That's an outrage. The ban on drilling is irrational, but if government is going to do it, it's the government's responsibility, not BP's. Compare it to an airline suffering a plane crash and government then banning all air travel, with costs charged to the one airline.