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Desperate Democrats try blame-shifting gambit on oil

A bit of a government scandal touched Louisiana as scathing reports about the ethics and integrity of a government agency were issued. No, it’s not from any state or local government, but the federal government. But more interesting is the reaction from certain politicians desperate to use the issue to try to reverse their party’s waning fortunes.

Turns out that some officials in the U.S. Mineral Management Service have been having a grand old time – a senior male official reported to have made booty calls and snorting coke with subordinates along pursuing with an illegal outside consultancy, and engaging in other breaches of integrity, while two female officials better known by randy and/or wary private sector clients as the “MMS chicks” were documented having considerable party experiences in New Orleans, among other places, all the while violating a number of ethics standards, and as many as 15 others also seemed to get in on the act in less lurid but equally corrupt fashion. A couple of proposed deals involved Louisiana properties.

So it’s a sad tale of government employees, even as it was documented they were well-trained on the appropriate ethical standards, with financial powers backed by the power of the federal government that let themselves act corruptly, right? Not according to certain Democrats in Congress. “This is why we must not allow Big Oil's agenda to be jammed through Congress,” snorted Sen. Bill Nelson, while Sen. Charles Schumer bloviated, “This IG report has it all — sex, drugs and the Bush administration officials once again in cahoots with Big Oil.”

So “Big Oil” is to blame, never mind that the oil companies (including a few regional firms of small size that apparently when Democrats use the phrase it must mean every business connected to petroleum larger than a corner gas station) did not force the employees to violate ethics laws? And it’s “Bush administration officials” that are the miscreants, even though none of those involved are political appointees and it was the Bush appointees in fact who blew the whistle and ferreted out the wrongdoers? If the amount of brains of Nelson and Schumer were gunpowder, it’s clear combined they couldn’t blow each other’s noses.

The reason why they are trotting out explanations that insult intelligences is that they are looking for any excuse to deflect from maybe the biggest issue on the political radar now, that Democrats for decades have backed unreasonable measures to restrict domestic oil production in order to please anti-growth/environmentalist wacko interests. Only now are some of them, including Sen. Mary Landrieu, even budging from this absolutism with a sham proposal that will do next to nothing to solve the problem at great expense to consumers.

Perhaps more that any other issue it has led to a comeback for Republicans on the campaign trail as many congressional candidates have hammered their Democrat rivals on it. Anything that will try to shift blame to Republicans or the private sector in place of the culpability of Democrats some are willing to try.

Landrieu for her part smartly has avoided such preposterous rhetoric. It’s too bad she won’t go a step further and condemn her partisan colleagues for distortion of the issue that will inhibit implementation of the real reforms needed.

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