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Is Obama placing the welfare of unions above the Gulf Coast clean up?

This is so insane, I don't want to believe it. Part of me thinks it has to be a mistake. No way would Barack Obama go as far as to place his loyalty to unions above cleaning up the oil in the Gulf Coast, right? Dead birds, sea turtles, dolphins, crustaceans, and other marine life are washing up on Louisiana's coast along with clumps of thick, sticky, orange, and gooey oil. Miles and miles of coastal Louisiana marshlands are at risk of being destroyed forever. Yet Obama has refused to lift the Jones Act, which would allow foreign ships to assist us in laying boom and skimming oil. Why? Some say he wants to appease the unions. Robert Gibbs confirmed in yesterday's press briefing that the Jones Act is still in effect because the situation hasn't warranted lifting it. He said the United States has all the help it needs right now.

President Obama is impeding clean-up efforts in the Gulf by kowtowing to unions and members of the American maritime industry, critics have charged in recent days. At issue is the president's refusal to waive the Jones Act, a century-old law that effectively bars foreign-owned ships from moving between U.S. ports, a necessary component of participating in the cleanup effort.

When asked why President Obama hasn't waived the Jones Act -- which President Bush put on hold to facilitate Katrina rescue efforts -- White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said a suspension wasn't necessary.

But Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat, and others say the act is keeping boats from getting on the water to lay boom and skim oil.

The man in charge, Admiral Thad Allen, said, "If we have a reason to consider a waiver of the Jones Act, we certainly will do that...None has been presented to me."

Well, color me unsurprised. No one told him about the boom manufacturer in Maine, either.


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Comments (23)

Here Lee Ward let me save y... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Here Lee Ward let me save you trouble.

Republicans liked the Jones act until a black man became president.

After the midterms, we can ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

After the midterms, we can impeach this incompetent fraud and maybe even inprison him. Him and his radical lying crew. Browner lied her ass off today on the new. You have got to wonder if this is a Cloward-Piven deal.

Never let a good crisis go ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Never let a good crisis go to waste.

If you let someone clean it up it wouldn't have become the crisis that it is. You wouldn't have an excuse to force through cap and tax or to let the EPA regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

In short without obama making he disaster bigger than it needs to be he doesn't have enough people to demonize to get his agenda through.

We have all the help we nee... (Below threshold)

We have all the help we need right now? Gibbs said that?

They're fucking delusional.

I know it's a rhetorial question, but do those bozos inside the Beltway have ANY idea what's going on, what the scale of the problem is? This isn't going to be solved by the SEIU going down en masse and mopping up the oil off the beaches with madated 15 minute rest breaks every hour and double-time after 8 hours a day, or by Obama making an inspirational speech and getting theatrically angry.

At this point, I think pretty much any other President (even ol' Jimmah) would have had invites out to the world to come do whatever they could.

Jones Act? Fuck the paperwork, get the ships here.

Berms? Let's see... environmental impact of sand, vs being drenched with oil... seems to me the oil's worse, this completes your Environmental Impact Review, get the sand moving ASAP, and put the lawyers at the bottom of the berms if they raise too much of a stink. Tell 'em they're needed by other bottom feeders.

Booms? Hey, Air Mobility Command - how fast can you start doing a half-dozen C-5 flights a day staged out of airports near boom makers down to the Gulf?

If it'll suck up the oil, it ought to be in motion to the Gulf. It may not be perfect, it may not be EPA approved - but it'll be better than nothing... which is apparently all Obama's interested in doing.

Yes, I understand that we've got a bureacracy which has created a hell of a lot of hoops anyone applying for anything needs to jump through - mostly as a response to the need to increase manning so people can 'supervise' others and claw their way up the GS food chain. The process became much more important than results to the only people who actually mattered - the supervisors - and it showed.

Now - results are much more important than the process. It'll cause a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth inside the various branches who are used to doling out permits like precious favors bestowed by the kings of antiquity - but too damn bad. The priorities have shifted and anything which would help rein in the oil spills should have permissions expedited.

I simply don't see any rational reason why there would be ANY foot-dragging at this point on ANYTHING which would alleviate the problems in the Gulf.

(And I'm talking 'rational' reason. I can think of other reasons, but they're not necessarily rational. I mean, Obama deciding to stiff-arm folks who want to help means there's lots more oil to percolate onto the beaches. Played right, this could be used to justify a complete shutdown of offshore drilling (or on-shore, for that matter) - but it isn't exactly a rational supposition, is it? )

"Published: June 11, 2010 -... (Below threshold)

"Published: June 11, 2010 - 10:18 PM
This is so insane, I don't want to believe it. Part of me thinks it has to be a mistake. No way would Barack Obama go as far as to place his loyalty to unions above cleaning up the oil in the Gulf Coast"

Yes, his ass would!

Most of Obama's actions hav... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Most of Obama's actions have been in direct benefit of unions: diverting TARP money to GM and Chrysler (avoiding bankruptcy didn't strengthen the companies going forward, but did save a bundle of concessions for the unions), stimulus bill directed mostly to save public employees from state budget realities (favoring unions), health care "reform" crafted to exempt unions from "Cadillac taxes" and relieve their future obligations to members and retirees, and now this.

He's in their pocket. The only non-union beneficiaries of his agenda - Wall Street bankers and BP - were also major campaign contributors.

You do the math.

We know that the liberals a... (Below threshold)

We know that the liberals are a conglomeration of very contradictiong ideas. I wonder if they realize how contradicting they are.

Thanks for the, 'cram it to em article'.

The Governments finest lega... (Below threshold)

The Governments finest legal minds are "in charge" and doing one hell of a job. There are some asses to "kick" and others to "cover", but America can rest assured this administration has a firm hand on both.

Is Obama placing the welfar... (Below threshold)

Is Obama placing the welfare of unions above the Gulf Coast clean up?

Of course!

Again: This is a man who co... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Again: This is a man who coldly and impassionately advocated agresssively for the legalization of slaughtering an innocent baby after it was born, and in the most henious manner; witholding nutrition and hydration -even after a nurse described in detail to him the horror of such a "choice"

This is not a policy question or a political question -it is about deliberate cruelty to an another innocent most helpless human.

Why should we expect the slightest compassion to exude forth, ever, from such a heartless individual?

You didnt mention the miles... (Below threshold)
retired military:

You didnt mention the miles of oil boom sitting in a Maine warehouse weeks after he notified both BP and the govt that he has it available.

I suppose it can't be stres... (Below threshold)

I suppose it can't be stressed often enough:"This is what happens when you put people in charge that have an agenda geared towards non-human preservation and incompetents that want nothing to do with the actual problem."

Incompetence does not even begin to describe this administration.

Failure to act decisively, competently and with speed is destroying the Gulf region. Does the (P)resident care? No, those people didn't vote for him and now never will so screw them. Is it ANY surprise that his biggest supporters are getting preferential treatment over the health, welfare and safety of citizens of the affected states?

Its not like he hasn't helped them previously...

Think about it!!!! i dont s... (Below threshold)

Think about it!!!! i dont see SEIU involved in the clean up or in the industry. I predict SEIU or other progressive unions strong arming the industry and the government to require their services. Only makes sense to the DEMoncrats to follow through with such anticapitalist endevors. I am surprised that there isnt any news that big labor havent brought their bats and tire irons in demonstration to those businesses.

The "man in charge," Admira... (Below threshold)

The "man in charge," Admiral Thad Allen, said, "If we have a reason to consider a waiver of the Jones Act, we certainly will do that. None has been presented to me."

Well, color me unsurprised. No one told him about the boom manufacturer in Maine, either.

And even had anyone told him about the Jones Act, about the boom manufacturer in Maine and/or how to go about the business of capping and controlling an uncontrollable 800,000 thousand gallons per day BP oil disaster, let us not for a minute forget he and every other poncing about peacetime perfumed prince is but a feral gummint bureaucrat: uniformed branch.

"No way would Barack Obama ... (Below threshold)

"No way would Barack Obama go as far as to place his loyalty to unions above cleaning up the oil in the Gulf Coast, right?"

Barry has a pretty big bus. My guess is that he'll be able to get the entire gulf coast under it.

The problem is that at Harv... (Below threshold)
Evan Wilson:

The problem is that at Harvard Law School Obama had all semblance of imagination "educated" out of him (like every other HLS grad). For example: He could have timely declared martial law in the Gulf from the Mean High Water Mark down to comply with the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C. §1385) enabling him to legally muster the military and National Guard to help. Another example: Under the Common Law, oil that is not passing through a working wellhead to reach its refineries is not BP's to sell; it is property of the people of the United States. See any movement to take control of the oil BP has been recovering through the cap and pipe up to the containment ship?

Kim "Is Obama plac... (Below threshold)
retired military:


"Is Obama placing the welfare of unions above the Gulf Coast clean up?"

Is that supposed to be a trick question?

GarandFan @ #15 ~ Obama was... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

GarandFan @ #15 ~ Obama wasn't likely to win any of the Gulf states in 2012, anyway. Red states, and those obviously likely to go Republican in the next quadrennial, had better figure they are on their own in disasters from here on in.

BrianRichardAllen @ #14 ~ No relation, then, I presume?

On their own like the recen... (Below threshold)

On their own like the recent flood victims in Tennessee?
Yeah, like that.

"Miles and miles of coastal... (Below threshold)

"Miles and miles of coastal Louisiana marshlands are at risk of being destroyed forever."

Don't buy into that hype. "Forever?" More like a year or two. Nature is very resilient.

"In short without oba... (Below threshold)
John S:

"In short without obama making he disaster bigger than it needs to be..."

Hate to say it, but commenters here are bordering on Obama Derangement Syndrome. Obama doesn't need to make this worse. We're screwed, he's known it since day one, and is in on the cover up. We've drilled a hole into a oil formation that is under 10,000 to 50,000 psi. So much fuel is gushing out that oil and gas fires melted the BP drilling rig in two days. This is a structure the size of an aircraft carrier.

There is no technology that can plug this. There could be a billion barrels of oil down there. It could gush 30 years.

So what are we doing? BP is spraying dispersants to keep the slick underwater and out of sight of satellites. Obama has the Coast Guard and Homeland Security preventing news media from filming the spill. A massive coverup.

Of course, a Category 5 hurricane eventually will pick up that toxic brown sludge created by the dispersants and spread it over land all the way to Canada. But hurricanes as we know are Bush's fault.

I am simply pointing out th... (Below threshold)

I am simply pointing out the obvious.

Incompetence on a massive scale along with an inability to react rationally all the while knowing that there were people with the experience and equipment to help contain the oil that were AND STILL ARE being prevented from coming in to help.

We're are so screwed down here. It will destroy the tourism economy in the 4 state area for years to come in no small part thanks to the current administration.

History tells the truth:</p... (Below threshold)

History tells the truth:

Katrina hit New Orleans on 08/23/2005
Homeland Secretary, Michael Chernoff waived The Jones Act of 1920 on 09/02/2005.



KATRINA - Jones Act lifted in 9 days!
SPILL - Day 56...Jones Act STILL NOT LIFTED!






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