Obama’s Katrina problem is incompetence.
The problem isn’t that the President can’t find someone to do this job. The problem is the President himself isn’t up to the job of leadership required by the crisis.
It’s not only Republicans and conservatives that understand the problem:
“As oil spread as close as 1½ miles from Jackson County’s coast Saturday, U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor called the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster “incompetent.”
“I’m having a Katrina flashback,” said the Bay St. Louis Democrat after an aerial survey of the Mississippi Sound and barrier islands Saturday morning. “I haven’t seen this much incompetence since Michael Brown was running FEMA.”[snip]
Taylor said U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who heads the spill response, should fix problems that include a lack of direction and equipment.
“Vessels of Opportunity do not identify themselves,” said Taylor. “There is no way to communicate with them.
All those boats are running around like headless chickens. None of them are skimming for oil. It is criminal. Between the amount of money, the amount of wasted effort, there shouldn’t be a drop of oil in the Mississippi Sound, but because of this incompetence, it is there.”
What does a president have to do? Certainly there is no need for a president to “suck up the oil” with a straw. There is no need for a president to dive miles down to shut the oil gusher. The job is to lead. The job is to put in place competent people. The job is to get the job done, not devise new excuses with flowery words to explain the problem. The job is to lead. With Obama, the job is not getting done:
“Taylor said U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who heads the spill response, should fix problems that include a lack of direction and equipment. “If he doesn’t get off his butt and fix this, yes,” said Taylor when asked if he was saying Allen should be replaced.[snip]
“It is criminal what is going on. This doesn’t have to happen, and it is not like I said ‘go fix it.’ I gave them a detailed plan how to do this two weeks ago. They are not doing any of it.”
Taylor’s plan, like the state’s, called for a multilayered response that relied heavily on skimmers to collect oil south of the barrier islands, at the island passes and within the Mississippi Sound.
“I’m absolutely furious,” said Taylor. “If the president of the United States can’t find somebody who can do this job, then let me do it.”
Republican Roger Wicker of Tupelo complains about the lack of skimmers:
“There is a growing frustration among the Gulf States delegation, both sides of the aisle in Washington, about the lack of skimmers.
“We’ve turned down assistance from other countries. We’ve turned down assistance that has been offered from way up on the East Coast.”
Wicker said the Jones Act, which restricts the use of foreign-flagged vessels in the nation’s waters, should be waived. “It is not too late for the administration to say ‘all hands on deck,’ if it requires a temporary waiver of the Jones Act. Unfortunately, the secretary of the interior says that is not necessary,” he said.
“I think we need a new approach, and it is hard to get your arms around,” said Wicker. “Thad Allen is highly regarded. He has agreed to stay on past his retirement in order to deal with this, but it is clear from our standpoint and from the vantage point that we had today it is not getting done. And, not getting done in a halfway professional manner. I’m not ready to call for a change in personnel, but there is a huge frustration there.”
On Friday, Gov. Haley Barbour said the state needs 20 skimmers, but only has two. Barbour announced that skimmers would be built on the coast in response to the disaster.
On Saturday, DMR and DEQ announced there would be 23 new belt skimmers operating in state waters by Aug. 1.”
Among Obama’s excuses has been the ‘BP has the expertise we don’t’ dodge. But other governments have expertise and offered help. Finally, 70 days into the oil gusher, some help will be accepted from other countries:
“The United States is accepting help from 12 countries and international organizations in dealing with the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The State Department said in a statement Tuesday that the U.S. is working out the particulars of the help that’s been accepted.
The identities of all 12 countries and international organizations were not immediately announced. One country was cited in the State Department statement — Japan, which is providing two high-speed skimmers and fire containment boom.
More than 30 countries and international organizations have offered to help with the spill. The State Department hasn’t indicated why some offers have been accepted and others have not.”
There is no coordinated anything going on in the Gulf mess. Barack Obama is too incompetent, too unqualified to lead. Barack Obama ignored the problem for too long and distracted the nation with many publicity stunts and appearances beside sports celebrities.
Barack Obama was not too busy to advance his interests in Illinois. Even during the supposedly busy transition period in 2008, we learn from the Blagojevich trial, Obama had plenty of time to talk to a union official to get a job for his crony Valerie Jarrett. No mystery why an SEIU chieftain got a call from Obama to “buffer” his interests (even as Obama told the FBI he did not do what he did). SEIU has and will spend millions to advance Obama’s interests with money from union dues, which do not benefit union members, but do benefit top union officials gain influence.
A job for Jarrett gets plenty of time even during a supposedly busy transition period. But for the Gulf coast, NOTHING – but feigned concern.
“Onlookers stare at a huge mass of oil that came ashore on Pensacola Beach on June 23. The water is closed to the public. (Tampa Bay.com)
Hat Tip Brian B.
It didn’t have to be this way. The Dutch have equipment that would have prevented any oil from reaching shore but the federal government wouldn’t allow them into the Gulf.
** The feds only accepted assistance from 5 of 28 countries a month after the disaster.
** It took the Obama Administration 53 days to accept help from the Dutch and British.
** It took them 58 days to mobilize the US military to the Gulf.
** The feds shut down crude-sucking barges due to fire extinguisher concerns.
** The Obama Administration ignored oil boom manufacturers that have miles of product stockpiled in their warehouses.
** They only have moved 31 of 2,000 oil skimmers to the disaster area off of Florida.
** Florida hired an additional 5 skimmer boats to operate off its coast due to federal inaction.
** There are no skimmer boats off the coast of Mississippi.
** The massive A-Boat skimmer won’t be allowed to join the cleanup effort until the Coast Guard and the EPA figure out whether it meets their standards.
** The feds shut down sand berm dredging off the Louisiana coast.
That’s what you get when you elect a community organizer as president.”
For his friends, calls and concern. For the Gulf coast voters who rejected him, nothing. If it is not incompetence, it is something much worse.