Lloyd Garver: The diary of Judge Feldman
Well, it's been a pretty heady time for me. A few days ago, I blocked that presidential six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling. That's right, I overruled the president of the United States. How cool is that? I got your "separation of powers" right here, Obama.
It's no surprise, but some people feel I wasn't the right man to make the decision just because I've had holdings in Halliburton and Transocean Ltd., two of the companies being sued because of this little oil spill accident. Picky, picky, picky.
My decision was quite logical: Just because one rig failed doesn't mean other rigs present a danger. America is the country of second chances. We gave Bush a second term, didn't we? We don't know that this kind of oil accident will happen again.
It's like when a guy kills another guy. We don't know that he'll kill again, so why put him in jail? Give him another chance. If he kills somebody else, then you put him in jail.
I thought it was great when Congressman Joe Barton apologized to BP for everybody picking on BP. It's a shame he was pressured into an apology for his apology, but he did it in a graceful manner. I have it right here, because I may use the same words someday: "If anything I have said this morning has been misconstrued to the opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction."
It's just the kind of obfuscation I like for obfuscating.
I know supporters of Obama's drilling moratorium point out that the moratorium is not forever. It's for six months, and during that period they're supposed to figure out what went wrong and how to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. Doesn't it make more sense to keep the other rigs drilling, and if we find out what went wrong, then just fix it?
There's also been some talk about the Gulf area not being able to survive another disaster after this one. This is an insult to the people of the region. We've seen how resilient the people from New Orleans have been -- well, those who didn't move away.
This is the real world, and it's not run by seafood, fish or other wildlife. It's run by us – federal judges who have been appointed for life. (I still can't get used to that, my beloved diary.) Let's face it, which is more important: keeping stockholders happy or a little bit of oil on a few birds?
Of course, some people think I should recuse myself just because of all of the investments I have had in the oil business. They don't feel I can be fair and impartial in this case. They believe it's "conflicto interesto."
To them, I say, "tough-o nougie-ohs." Like I said, I was appointed for life. Besides, my involvement in the oil industry does not affect my decisions on things. Last night, I went out to dinner – I got a great table, by the way. Anyway, I debated between the salmon and the filet mignon and went with the filet. Believe me, my choosing the steak had nothing to do with my involvement with the oil industry. That proves I can be impartial, doesn't it?
That's it for tonight, diary. Oh, I almost forgot. I got this fantastic fruit basket delivered to me today. There was no name on the card. Just initials. B.P.
Lloyd Garver has written for many television shows, ranging from "Sesame Street" to "Family Ties" to "Home Improvement" to "Frasier." He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his website at lloydgarver.com and his podcasts on iTunes.