Free Markets, Free People

Inspections for fire extinguishers take precedence over stopping the oil from reaching shore

Bobby Jindal is fit to be tied. The governor of Louisiana has had to essentially ignore the federal government and order sandbags lifted and dropped between barrier islands in an attempt to keep the oil away for the the state’s marshlands.

He also got tired of waiting on others to skim the oil that has gotten through the barriers and so he deployed barges that suck up oil. But the Coast Guard had other ideas. They ordered the barges to “cease and desist”.


The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

This is the type of stupidity for which federal leadership is being questioned. The sort of inflexible bureaucracy that can’t seem to put the oil emergency in perspective, give it priority and work around doing what it thinks it needs to do while allowing the barges to continue their work. Another example is the Corps of Engineers red tape that has delayed the construction of man made barrier islands off Louisiana’s coast.

Understandably, Jindal is frustrated about the barges (a governor cannot overrule the Coast Guard).

“They promised us they were going to get it done as quickly as possible,” he said. But “every time you talk to someone different at the Coast Guard, you get a different answer.”

After 24 hours of constant pushing by Jindal (displaying leadership and trying to get the job done), the barges were finally released to get back to work. There was no reason for the delay, and certainly a work around could have been done to allow the barges to keep working. And Louisiana isn’t the only state having problems:

In Alabama today, Gov. Bob Riley said that he’s had problems with the Coast Guard, too. Riley, R-Ala., asked the Coast Guard to find ocean boom tall enough to handle strong waves and protect his shoreline. The Coast Guard went all the way to Bahrain to find it, but when it came time to deploy it? “It was picked up and moved to Louisiana,” Riley said today. The governor said the problem is there’s still no single person giving a “yes” or “no.” While the Gulf Coast governors have developed plans with the Coast Guard’s command center in the Gulf, things begin to shift when other agencies start weighing in, like the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “It’s like this huge committee down there,” Riley said, “and every decision that we try to implement, any one person on that committee has absolute veto power.”

For those of you still wondering why the leadership of the administration is being questioned as it pertains to this crisis, these are the sorts of examples that are apparently daily fare down there. They are why the effort has been called uncoordinated and “chaotic”. And they’re not because of BP.

They are also why you’re beginning to hear a lot more frustration expressed by those impacted by the chaos.

Leadership means taking charge, not managing by committee as Gov. Riley observes is the case he discusses. It also means cutting through the bureaucratic crap that often impedes efforts in a crisis – just as it is doing now in the Gulf.

If it is still unclear why people are charging lack of leadership, these incidents should help illustrate the problem.



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28 Responses to Inspections for fire extinguishers take precedence over stopping the oil from reaching shore

  • When people like Erb and Pogue sit there and wonder just what it is we want Obama to be doing….again, give this guy a hand please (just cut the red tape for him and let him do what needs be done)

  • What is this contact the manufacturer crap ?
    The Coast Guard does inspections for this kind of stuff .. they should have been satisfied in about an 1/2 hour if they did their jobs.

    • You don’t understand. They need to fill out form 27B/6 completely, including the contact information of the manufacturer who signs off with another form to complete the file.
      Clearly you have never dealt with C TPAT…

  • Scum sucking jackass bureaucrats. IT’S A GODDAMN EMERGENCY!!  Why are you stopping people from trying to help!  AARRRGHH!

  • I realize that it would cause Jindal and the other Gulf Coast governors a lot more trouble, but I think that, if I were in their shoes, I would start arresting and jailing these damned pests.

  • {eyes rolling} More pure partisan hackery. It’s so disappointing that you sterile, inbred righties can’t see the wonderful light leaking from Obama’s every pore. He is a transformational figure, and almost certain to be re-elected because who could vote against a man that’s so godlike? It would be racist and heartless.

    Of course, that won’t stop you Nazi-like righties. You want him to fail. You’re mean. You are the forces of darkness. You oppose every moral right that we post-modern leftists dream up, in favor of some silly stuff from two hundred years ago about so-called natural rights. They don’t exist. Rights can simply be made up by carbon-based life forms to pragmatically suit the circumstances.

    Of course, only we wise, compassionate, intuitive leftists have the ability to see what those rights should be. That’s certainly not for sterile, inbred righties to do. Because you’re mean.

    Obama is trying so, so hard to transform society into leftist utopia. Of course, he’s doing it as a pragmatic moderate. Like me. And there’s no contradiction in that, so don’t start.

    I suspect he’ll succeed. As I’ve been saying since he was inargurated, he will cut spending. Stop laughing! He will halt the warming of the Earth via the holy power of Cap and Trade. He will gain the power to shut down the Internet at will, which of course he will only use for excellent reasons, such as stopping the lying attacks of partisan hacks so that he can concentrate on leading us to a glorious leftist salvation.

    Repent, ye righties. Your unholy saint Palin will not save you. I see how mesmerized you are by her full lips and ample bosom, but those won’t help her defeat the mighty Lightworker. She will fall to the righteous forces of investigative journalism. We’ve already dispatched comrades a colleague in the media to live next door to her. I suspect he’s going to discover how she corruptly received kitchen redecorations. Think of it! Kitchen redecorations! Yes, those nicely finished cabinets will be the end of her! Bwa, ha, ha!

    Obama understands so much that your limited minds cannot comprehend. Like the fact that markets don’t adjust themselves, there’s no reason to believe they do. So the guiding hand of wise, beneficent leftists must constantly intervene to make things right. And our elected Democratic representatives are so smart they can always figure out exactly where the market should go, and steer it there with precision, through divine Ivy League educated guidance. If you disagree, you doth protest too much. LOL

    Yes, I’ve seen how Washington works. I was there you know. I worked for a Republican senator. He wasn’t as much on the dark side as other Republicans, of course. Though he did like his coffee black.

    And it’s not true that I was just a gopher who never got to see or participate in anything important! Stop saying that! I was a key figure! Why, one day the senator said to me that he didn’t know what he would do without me. That was right after I brought him his daily morning coffee before he even asked for it.

    Of course, I’m just a humble messenger now. A messenger of leftist, post-modern holy writ, which I describe as pragmatic moderateness so as to not alarm those who have not yet made the spiritual journey to light-infused worship of Obama and the beautiful philosophy of the left. And I am content in my role, indoctrinating educating young minds in the glories of collectivism. Yes, I am content, and the fact that I am low paid even though I have advanced degrees from prestigious places you’ve never heard of, and work at an obscure college that doesn’t even award doctorates and has a herd of moose uncomfortably close by is all completely beside the point. So is all the paperwork I do. Someone must do it, after all. Someone must be the chair of a very small department and take on the burden, because we have agreed in the faculty lounge that our tasks in paving the way for Obama’s lightworking are of supreme importance.

    And one of those tasks is to come here and try to inform any of you thick righties who are not yet beyond redemption. Which is only a few, I’m afraid. But I’m having fun too. And having fun by irritating you isn’t a sign of mental sickness. It’s a sign of a dedicated Obama supporter and leftist crusader who will leave no stone unturned to make this a better world for my gender-neutral children. And heck, I’m even getting a book out of my research here: “Righties in the Mist: Penetrating the Dark Denseness of the Right by Frequenting Their Natural Blog Habitats.”

    Many of you will really enjoy the chapter on how the ex-military front page posters here are wigged out from the stress of being in our icky armed forces. It certainly explains why so many of the posts around here are so foolish, incorrect, flawed, heartless, and mean. {chuckle}

    • Environmentalists are much more like battered spouses, returning again and again to their abuser based on another promise to do good. And nothing in President Obama’s June 15 oil spill and energy speech should offer environmentalists any hope that this is going to change.

    • Hey, Ott…  I was reading a VDH piece the other day (you know him; scholar, gentleman farmer, author) that said that tenured professors put in a work-week of only about 6-8 class-room hours.  Seems like a hell of a way to make a living.  Any openings in your department, perhaps caused by unfortunate close encounters of the moose kind?

      • {chuckle} {eyes rolling} {giggle} That article about how little we wise leftist professors work is just more partisan hackery. Why, I’m working right now. Yes, I consider trying to further the redemption of lost righties to be a part of my profession. So does everyone in the faculty lounge.

        We don’t have a regular old job like you dense righties. We have a calling, a profession, an enlightened career infused with the desire to do good by using our godlike powers of political science and other leftist disciplines to bring the world closer to the salvation of leftist utopia.

        So our work is anything we want it to be. Personally, I probably work an average of sixty hours a week, when you add up the seminars I do with people like Cindy Sheehan, the long faculty meetings in which we discuss how best to indoctrinate educate our young charges, and of course regular and substantive engagement on the Internet with those who would oppose us. Of course, that part is fun, as I said earlier. And don’t start up with how having fun irritating the readers here is mentally sick. It’s not true. I decree it. It’s work. I decree that too. Would you deny me having pleasure at my work? Well, you’re a mean rightie, so you probably would, since we all understood long ago that you would take away everyone’s pleasure except your own if you could. That is the central message in Ayn Rand’s books, right?

        I’m sure you were not serious about checking on positions here. We have a long line of sober, well-regarded recent graduates who are just aching to join us in our holy quest. But that’s not evidence that the job is easy money, oh no! It means we offer satisfaction they can’t get anywhere else, as we are charged with furthering the gospel of leftist and post-modernism. Why I don’t buy. Except when I do.

        Of course we are far too wise to have dangerous encounters with any moose. And those reports of faculty campouts that featured some kind of physical relations with moose are completely untrue. Trust me, it’s physiologically impossible. {giggle}

        • My question is this: what about some diversity?  You know, like from a simple country lawyer?  I have a JD and MBA, so I would offer some EXTREMELY diverse views to that of the faculty lounge.  I know that you value diversity above all other virtues, right?  Add to that an undergrad degree in hard sciences (which tells me your moose physiology comment simply is NOT true [step ladder] and provides me certain credentials your colleagues do not possess) and I feel I would contribute immeasurably to the richness of your offerings to skulls full of mush students.  I could also teach them hands-on courses in various trades, including oil drilling crew.  What could go wrong?

          • We are already extremely diverse. Why, we even have a wog Middle Eastern professor on campus. And several women, a couple of blacks African Americans in the phys-ed department, and even a few gays, most in the drama and theatre group. How much more diverse do we need to be?

            And I’m afraid I would regard any experience in the oil industry as a negative. It means you are fine with destroying Gaia through increased carbon dioxide emissions. As I’ve said here many times, the science is settled on that, and deniers are sterile, mindless, inbred Nazis. No offense intended, of course.

            And the step ladder thing has been tried. Not by me, of course, so stop saying that. It was a colleague student in a different department janitorial worker. It didn’t end well. The bruises took about a month to heal. So I heard, I mean.

  • The way the guard was spot on the scene makes me feel it wasn’t a mindless bureaucracy at work.  The question is whether it was some bureaucrat from learning about it in the media that saw an opportunity to exercise their power or if it was specifically directed to be a thorn in Jindal’s side from even higher.
    Regardless Obama has 2 1/2 years to get his petty revenge on Jindal.

  • Dear Federal Gov’t,
     Lead,Follow or get the HELL out of the way!

    Yours truly,
    John Q. Public

  • Remember that Obama wants to be in charge of healthcare as well.

    “Doctor you cant operate on the guy having a massive heart attack, you havent signed these 48 forms and provided us 3 additional copies of your license to perform this type of surgery for each form”

  • Stupidity abounds on all sides of this argument. Anyone not knowing that flotation devices and fire extinguishers are required on boats should have their toes in the dirt, not on a boat.

    On the other side, the USCG checking working vessels in the area is just about like the Highway Patrol having a seatbelt check roadblock during a hurricane evacuation.

    • It’s not clear there weren’t fire extinguishers and vests on board. What I read is the CG stopped them until it could confirm the fact.

      • It could also be the case that the vests and extinguishers had to be check for conformity to a type or show an inspection they lacked, etc.  Any of that would do.

      • My take away is that the CG held the barges for 24 hours while they tried to find out from the OEM if the correct type / quantity of said items were aboard the vessels.

  • This is, as the blogs say, an example of how failure by BIG GOVERNMENT is not a bug, but a feature.
    It is as predictable as the sun rising in the East.  If this disaster response looks like it was designed by a Dilbert committee, that is because it was.  Dilbert is funny party because it is true, and we recognize people and situations in it that mock what we’ve actually experienced.  And government is inherently MORE bureaucratic than even big private organizations, and its stupidity more pervasive and harder to countermand or wire around.
    This is why we were drilling in 5,000+ feet of water, remember.  Not any other reason than that.

  • Recall, if you will, that during the Katrina crisis, responders on their way to Naw’lin’s spent a day or two in Atlanta taking EEOC classes in sexual harassment and racial sensitivity training.
    It’s BROKE folks, irretrievably BROKE.

  • My take on this madness today.
    The Gulf is of a piece with the financial melt-down.

  • Obama acknowledged that he had approved new offshore drilling a few weeks before the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion on April 20. But Obama said he had done so only “under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe.”
    Obama’s “slam-dunk” moment.

  • Was there a “Mission Accomplished” sign hanging in the background?!?!

  • What prvented the Coast Guard from boarding the barges and doing a visual inspection?