Here is the second in my posts inspired by an editorial cartoon. Today’s edition was drawn by Bruce Beattie last month.

BP dividend check

Look! It’s an oil-drenched bird bringing the guy his dividend check. Oh, the tragic irony!

Eh, not so much.

See, President Obama strong-armed BP into ponying up $20 billion to fund clean-up along the Gulf Coast and to help people whose businesses and livelihoods have been affected by the spill. But try as I may, I can’t find anything in either Section 2 or 3 of Article II in the Constitution that grants President Obama the authority to tell a foreign-owned company how to spend its money here. But much of what President Obama has done so far has been outside of his Constitutional powers.

But back to the dividend checks. The $20 billion isn’t coming from the coffers of BP. Instead, BP has suspended paying out any dividends to its stockholders to raise the money. So who is being given the bill for the BP payout? Could be you, if you own any BP stock or mutual funds that contain BP stocks, and about 40% of BP is owned by Americans. I sure hope you aren’t living off your investments, because President Obama has just taken some of your money.

What should he have done? There are billions of unspent stimulus money that should have been used. Then President Obama could have recovered the money by using the Justice Department to sue BP for any criminal negligence that contributed to the disaster. That would have freed up money to people harmed by the spill as well as keep paying out dividends to BP stock-holders.

In the past, I have written that if the only tool you have is a hammer, it’s not long before every job starts looking like a nail. It is the job of the media to report the news and state their opinions, but there should a clear distinction between opinions on the editorial page and facts on the front page. All too often these days, opinion is reported as fact.

And what is the media’s single tool? It is the “Bush sucks!” hammer that they pound, pound, pound every day. Have you heard that the Dow Jones industrial average of stocks has been hitting record territory recently? Stocks briefly hit another record high today before going down a bit, but the major media doesn’t really want to talk about that because it is good news. Good news isn’t useful in the ongoing mission to bash President Bush.

If we were enjoying an economy like this with a Democrat President in office, the news media would report constantly that the economy is the best in decades, and the boom and bust cycle has been solved, and we’ll never have market corrections ever again. That’s what the economic news was like during President Clinton’s administration, at least before the inevitable dot-com bust came upon us. But since this booming economy is happening at a time when credit can be placed squarely on the Bush administration, faint praise is too much.