Thursday, July 22, 2010

The spill is Obama's fault?

The latest band wagon to jump on is the one with the sign in the back that says, "It's Obama's fault."
I'm talking about the spill of course, that's all I seem to talk any more.

The rantings from the talking heads on shows like Fox News are using 3 main points to make their case, that it's the Presidents fault.

1st, "Obama declined help from other nations in cleaning up the spill."
2nd, "He won't waive Jones Act restrictions like Pres. Bush did after Hurricane Katrina."
3rd, "If the Ragin Cajun (James Carville) a loyal democrat, disagrees with Obama, it must be true. It's his fault."

Can we look calmly at item #1?
They say countries like Norway, who are among the world leaders in oil spill recovery, offered to send ships with skimming systems to help us, and the President said no. Really?
How do you image that conversation went?

President of Norway: "Hello Mr. President, we would like to send over our best ship to help you with this cleanup, would that be ok?"
President Obama: "No thank you."
Come on people.

During the last 2 weeks, while they have been preparing our barge for oil spill response, BP has sent us to 3 different classes to get certified in various things concerning spill cleanup.
One of the classes, the one that trained our crew and the 16 other techs who will be living on the barge, to operate all this new newfangled equipment, was taught by a gentleman from Norway.
He owns a company that makes state of the art skimming systems and sends it worldwide.
He also rolls his own cigarettes so it looks like he's smoking a joint, but that's neither here or there.

If you were to call Norway to get their help for an oil spill, you would be talking to this guy sooner or later. Another words, when this Gulf tragedy happened, he was in the loop.
So I thought, who better to ask than this guy about his opinions on what happened.
So I did.
And here's what I came away with.

When the Deepwater Horizon blew up, many countries called Obama to offer their services.
The thing is, when we give humanitarian aid or help to other countries,we don't ask to get paid for it. When other countries offer to send help, they also send a bill. So there were many countries hoping to help us. It's a money maker.

Logistics played a huge part. If a country wanted to send us a skimmer, but it wouldn't arrive for a month, than the answer was no thanks. We'll get one from another place that can be here quicker. This company from Norway has equipment on 8 units right now out in the Gulf. They flew it over and put it on a vessel that was already here. It's just quicker.
So, did Obama decline help from other countries? No.
Did he say yes to every country that wanted to send an unsafe, uninspected vessel to our waters? No.
Lack of oil skimming boats was never an issue. Within days of the disaster, there were hundreds of boats on site, skimming and booming off marshes.

Item #2. Obama won't waive Jones Act restrictions, therefore, foreign ships can't come into our waters.?
That's the biggest lie circulating the talk shows and the internet.
For those who don't know, the Jones Act in a nutshell states simply that if a ship is going to be travelling between two U. S. cities carry goods, than the ship needs to be built in the U.S. and the crew needs to be U.S. citizens.
President Bush waived the Jones Act restrictions after Hurricane Katrina because the Hurricane cause big problems for the infrastructure of Louisiana. The roads, bridges, rail systems, airports, all were out. The waiving of the Jones Act let many ships move from city to city to help keep the goods that were slowed by the hurricane, flowing.

This oil spill has not damaged the infrastructure of Louisiana. The Jones Act doesn't even come into play.
Right now there are 15 foreign flag vessels working on the cleanup. They're not traveling from city to city. There is nothing to waive. They are here, legally, helping, from other countries.
So there is no reason to lift the Jones Act restrictions.

Item 3, the Ragin Cajun. Once he criticized Obama, the Obama haters loved it. But Carville's only complaint is that Obama hasn't stood at a podium and, while frothing at the mouth, demand justice and answers.
James Carville grew up in Louisiana. He lives there to this day. Of course he's pissed.
He has every right to be.

This isn't Obama's fault. Turn off Fox News and ask why BP disregarded it's own safety policies when it comes to drilling. Why don't we ask why BP never had a response plan in place in the event something like this happened.

BP is the fourth largest company on Earth. They are paying and will continue to pay.
Obama made sure of that.


Alison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison said...

Thanks Mark. Great writing.

Jerral Miles said...

I am trying not to panic as we move closer to election time in November... and Fox News and Tea Party and their crew of Obama haters pile on as our capable, intelligent President works desperately to save our country from itself. Mark, your analysis of the Gulf situation is logical. Thanks for that good bit of writing.

slommler said...

Thanks for the info on the Gulf crisis...good to know!

Karen said...

Great post, Mark. I wish it was published in the New York Times and every major news outlet across the country.

I am so tired of the President-bashing.. with the state of people's ignorance these days the poor guy (intelligent, well-meaning, hard-working, HONEST guy) doesn't stand a chance.

beth said... need to be on the nightly news with this.....

Melinda Owens said...

It's wonderful to have solid information instead of all the lies floating around out there...I DETEST Fox News. Thank you!

dcpeg said...

EXCELLENT commentary!! If only millions more had enough sense to open their eyes and ears to the truth and to turn off Fox and all the other ranters and ravers.

Keda said...

WOW. That adds a whole new dimension to the Blame Game.


BP spills oil and continues to make a much of things and the President who is making them pay for this fowl up gets blamed for the whole fiasco?


Thanks for clearing up some things.

From the rest of the world (mine, obviously): Obama Rocks!