Wednesday, November 09, 2005

My Name Is Oil

I realize that CNN often is criticized for spinning stories in liberal fashion, but I nonetheless was annoyed to discover yet another problem with national politics in a lead on the front page of the news provider's Web site this morning:

Fireworks started early today at a Senate hearing into high oil prices and record industry profits as Democrats and Republicans sparred over whether energy executives should have to swear to tell the truth before the panels.

Guess which side each party is taking!

Senate Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens rejected calls by some Democrats to have the executives sworn in, saying the law already required them to tell the truth. "There is nothing in the standing rules to require that witnesses be sworn," the Alaska Republican said. "These witnesses accepted the invitation to appear before the committee voluntarily. I shall not administer an oath today."

Stevens seems to love truth that lacks accountability. Maybe the two parties will reach a compromise and wind up asking one of the executives, "Do you kind of swear to tell the truth, sorta the truth, so we'll help you, Todd?"

Why did baseball players have to swear under oath over an issue that involves a game? They didn't volunteer; they were subpoenaed. So oil executives get a free pass over something that heavily impacts the U.S. economy, environment, political donations, and domestic and international policy? Why do they get to volunteer?

In a related story, we've never gone to war over steroids.