Legislators like Barton is how Louisiana became 'toxic alley'. Calmer minds in the GOP have pulled his coat tails and he has retracted:
"Under pressure from Republican leaders who threatened to remove him from a ranking committee position, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) late Thursday retracted his apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the way his company has been treated by the U.S. government -- a comment that had drawn heavy criticism from both parties.
Barton made that apology to Hayward in his opening statement Thursday morning before Hayward's testimony to the House subcommittee, in which Barton decried the Obama administration for pressuring BP to open a $20 billion escrow account and to suspend dividend payments for the rest of the year.
The ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee said such arrangements have no legal basis, and that the political pressure exerted on the corporation in the midst of an investigation is a "tragedy of the first proportion."
"I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday," Barton said in the morning. "I apologize."
Barton called the escrow account, which will be distributed independently, a "slush fund" and said the situation amounted to a "shakedown" by the White House. He said if he, as a congressman, asked for something similar from a corporation he was investigating, he could go to jail.
Later Thursday, when House Republican leaders called his statement "wrong," Barton first said he was sorry for the "misconstruction" of his comments, then later put out a statement retracting his apology to BP. "
That's some fancy tap dancing Barton has been doing.