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Slick Barry Tries To Show He Is In Control

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Posted on June 16 2010 1:00 pm
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President Barack (“Barry”) Obama delivered his first televised address from the Oval Office, trying to reassure the nation that he was fully in control of the Gulf oil spill crisis and that it will be fixed.

As usual, Obama gave a slick performance. However, his speech was short on credible details demonstrating how he intended to finally marshall the federal government’s full resources to tackle the clean-up. While continuing to claim, against all the evidence, that he has been in command of the crisis from Day 1, he failed to explain some serious mistakes and inaction.

Why, for example, did he not accept the aid offered by various foreign countries including skimmers from the Netherlands? All it would have taken was his signing of a waiver of the Jones Act, a 1920s-era federal statute requiring that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. George W. Bush’s administration waived this provision immediately in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Could Obama’s refusal to do the same thing, which would have permitted the use of foreign ships in U.S. waters to assist with the clean-up and transport needed equipment, have something to do with his submission to the will of the maritime union bosses?

Why didn’t Obama cut through the federal bureaucracy and give the go-ahead to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal  to build the sand barriers that the governor requested weeks ago?  Could Obama’s foot-dragging on this common-sense request have something to do with his submission to the will of the environmentalist lobby?

Here are some additional actions that Governor Jindal personally asked President Obama to take, with no positive response as of yet:

We need the Coast Guard to deploy all the resources they have – using the military air traffic control assets if needed, or sentinel ships for water-based reconnaissance – but we must deploy every resource we have and not simply wait and hope for the best. Federal officials could also work to relax regulations to free up non-essential oil fighting resources, including skimmers and boom, from ports and refineries. We asked the President to consider this during his last visit and he said today that he was still looking into it.

We again asked the President to increase the monitoring of our deepwater wells so they do not have to be closed down and cost tens of thousands of our people their jobs during a six-month or longer process by a government committee that hasn’t even been assembled yet. Louisiana people should not have to lose their jobs because the federal government cannot do their job.

I generally agree with Bill O’Reilly’s assessment last night on “The Factor” of the strongest and weakest portions of Obama’s speech. The strongest  was Obama’s promise to make BP pay for its “recklessness” and “the damage their company has caused.” I believe that he he is taking action to deliver on that promise, which includes pressuring BP to set aside billions of dollars in an independently-run escrow fund for the payment of claims.

The weakest portion of the speech was Obama’s pie-in-the-sky promise of a fossil fuel-free green future for America. Billions of dollars of subsidies have not made it happen so far.

However, O’Reilly slid over the most cynical portion of Obama’s speech – his use of the Gulf oil spill crisis to justify his grab to control the energy industry and raise our taxes via his cap-and-trade legislation. Following the strategy of his Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste, Obama is exploiting the suffering of the Gulf residents to justify more federal government power.  How slick is that?

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