Free Markets, Free People

Our administrator President

If you look closely at our history, we rarely elect our legislators to be our president.


There are many theories about why that is so, but for most it boils down to a pretty common sense reason. We want someone who has executive experience. We want that for two reasons. Obviously, first and foremost the presidency is an executive job. You could argue it is the pinnacle of executive jobs – the toughest one on the planet. The reasons for desiring an experienced executive are myriad and well known, but the presidency in particular demands an experienced hand, one that has a demonstrated ability and leadership to do such work at a lower level. Secondly, lower level executive experience, such as governor, gives voters a touch-stone, a way to measure performance and to evaluate whether or not the candidate measures up to their standard of responsibility and success that will enable him or her to succeed while president.

All of that history and analysis apparently went out the window this last election season with the rise and triumph of a formerly little known junior Senator from Illinois who galvanized the populace and saw himself propelled into the White House. Barack Obama was undoubtedly an attractive and unique candidate and incredibly well spoken to the mood of the political hour. Combined with a complete destruction of the GOP brand and tired of both wars and the then occupant of the White House, voters chose to vote for the politics of “hope and change.”

What they got, instead was just another politician, who was a journeyman legislator that had only, for most of his adult life, been running for office instead of working in any of his elected offices. And never had he “run anything or done anything” on an executive level. In fact, when questioned about his lack of such experience, his answer was to point to his multi-million dollar campaign and reference it as equivalent to, say, being a governor of a state. That lack of experience is now beginning to tell.

Juan Williams, a frequent Fox News and National Public Radio contributor distilled the current problem down to its core in a comment he made on the June 4th Fox News Sunday show.

I think the problem here is this is an administration that, as Hillary Clinton famously pointed out, you may not want to have answer the 3:00 a.m. call.

These are guys who have tremendous vision about legislative achievements and specific things like health care, going forward on immigration, those difficult issues for America that America so far has failed to deal with.

But when it comes to the crisis, when it comes to the gulf oil spill, the wars, the recession, they feel as if it’s being imposed upon them, rather than taking the helm. I think that’s what Americans are sensing right here. And I think it’s the source of their problem at the moment. Are you able to handle a crisis in a convincing way that inspires confidence? And so far, the president hasn’t done that.

Legislators are not executives, they are process orientated admins. The skill sets for the two are completely different. One set requires decision making of the highest order – sometimes on an instant and unilateral basis. The other set requires slow deliberation, compromise and consensus building. One deals with pure leadership. The other deals with the duller aspects of management. Executives are result oriented. Administrators are entirely process driven. Executives use action as their means of accomplishment. Administrators set goals and work toward them as their means of achievement.

As Williams so aptly points out, this is a president with no executive experience is focused on the management of the legislative process in order to accomplish a litany of political agenda items. But the role of executive stymies him. Consequently, when he can, he avoids it. As with most human beings he stays away from situations in which he isn’t comfortable. And since he’s had little leadership experience, he has no leadership traits to display. At the moment he sounds like any marginal and very junior leader who thinks leadership consists of running around in circles yelling at people and talking tough. The difference is wondering whose butt to kick and knowing which one to kick.

The military would never give a brand new second lieutenant command of an infantry division – a two star general’s job for a reason. He’d first have to prove himself and earn his way up at various levels of command, from platoon to brigade, before he’d even be considered for such a job. What we have right now is the equivalent of a junior officer trying to run a senior command. The results, unfortunately, are as predictable as they are scary.

Leader’s lead, administrators process, and when administrators end up in a leader’s position, the process usually fails.



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58 Responses to Our administrator President

  • What are you talking about?  We’ve been REPEATEDLY assured by oyur academic superior that Obama will “go down as one of the greats”

    Your views are obviously distorted by pure partisian hackery!

    And if you would just ignore all the very obvious evidence, you’d agree!!!

    • He managed to lose Juan Williams and Keith Olbermann in one speech.  We’re talking 2 in 1 blow.

      • He didn’t really lose Keith.  Keith is just a little miffed.  He would still gladly and lovingly wash the Presidential arse with his toungue any day. If only he were asked!

  • I was just about to make a comment on how I had already read this nearly word-for-word elsewhere, earlier this week.  I’m glad I checked the author of the original 😉

  • I dunno about your premise on this one, McQ.  An administrator is not too different (if at all) from an executive.  Maybe I failed to see you define the terms that reflect a difference.  I also kind of disagree with the idea that a legislator is an administrator.  They are not, in my lexicon…and sometimes that’s too bad.  They would not pass the stinking piles of manure they do if they were more aware of how difficult implementation would be.
    A competent administrator is results-oriented.  Here, I think of a trustee…hell, even an effective bureaucrat.
    I also think that your military analogy fails here.  Obama is not like a baby LT in the military, IMNHO.  He has not opted into the fundamental predicates of the organization.  He is like a total outsider trying to take command of a military formation, if anything.  That seems to be a growing realization.  He is an alien to the entire structure.

  • experience as a governor certainly sounds great.  ditto for an mba over the usual law degrees we put in.  but these theories both went out the window with the election of gwb,  a train wreck anyway you slice it.  we should give it another shot, but this time with someone with more than a paper mba .
    actually think mitt romney wouldn’t be a bad choice if it’s an administrator we need. he’s a proven administrator.   he can call himself a native of son of half the states in the union.  he has the great hair that even dems love.  but i don’t see how anyone could ever truly trust the guy not to flip on any issue.
    if the republicans actually presented ‘governor palin’ as their nominee then you may as well get used to another 4 years of obama,  but i don’t think she’s viable, or even interested in running. too much work.  too much money to be had on the private lecture circuit.   i do like what i’ve been seeing of bobby jindall.  i could get behind that guy,  something i would not have believed just one year ago.

    • Ah, you had Romney, we had Bush. He wasn’t a bad governor, he wasn’t an awesome governor, but Texas is a big place, with a large economy, and GW did okay during the Clinton Years.   A slightly more favorable press would have left you with a different impression, but there it is.  Past.
      Now Jindal, yeah, he is looking like he has some brains.  What an interesting twist.  I love that we keep proving we’re what we say we are – a nation of immigrants (No offense amigo, but  I prefer the legal sort, get some papers okay?)
      This is kinda fun, since I had to listen to my grandparents worry about JFK taking orders from the Pope (and they were ‘mainstream’) because he was a Catholic.  Now we’re seriously discussing the potential for a son of India being a candidate for President, thank God my GP’s are long gone, it would be a pain arguing with them that it’s all okay and they wouldn’t have to change the White House to look like the Taj Mahal just because this guy wasn’t a Methodist.
      Damn I love this country.

    • Bush was hardly a train wreck as POTUS. He wasn’t great, but the only measure by which he was bad was by the leftist and MSM temper tantrums.

      Train wreck describes Obama, not Bush.

      • I remember when W was first elected thinking, “It will be wonderful to have an adult as President again”.  W was hardly my idea of a good conservative leader, but he damn sure was a leader.  Bracketed as he is in history by Boy Clinton and The Man-Child, he will be benefited by the bookends.

    • Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said Greene was not a “legitimate” candidate and called his victory “a mysterious deal.” (Yes, how could a young African-American man with strange origins, suspicious funding, shady associations, no experience, no qualifications, and no demonstrable work history come out of nowhere and win an election?)

  • What we’ve got here is a “Post Turtle”. That cruel game where children put a turtle on top of a post as a joke.
    He doesn’t belong up there, he didn’t climb up there all by himself, someone put him up there,
    The only two unanswered questions remain: who put him up there, and why?

  • Dick Morris had an interesting point the other night when he said that Obama is a legislator and a lawyer.  That is how he is dealing with the oil spill.  He is looking for more legislation and that is what legislators do.  He is looking to sue because that is what lawyers do.

    The unfortunate thing is that Obama was not elected as “Legislator in Chief” nor was he elected “Lawyer in Chief.”
    His failure to lead in this crisis is astounding.

  • Not that the resident commie commentors still have to tie everything in with Bush.

    Bush actually led, and was actually basically a good executive. He made some serious miss steps, like pushing Ted’s No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, and TARP. He also made a serious and important (and failed) effort to reform social security. He reformed tort laws to protect gun rights. He let the nasty Clinton gun ban expire. He made BLM adopt uniform rules which allowed CA residents to shoot “assault weapons” on BLM land.

    The left hates Bush because of the 2000 election, because he’s not smart (i.e., he dosn’t talk like a Harvard lawyer, which is the definition of smart on the left), and because he’s a Republican. And because he stood up for America. And because he was religious.

    They don’t really care about the war thing, they didn’t mind Clinton bombing the hell out of Iraq, for example. And they don’t really care about the deficiet, since obviously $1.6T deficiets are OK if their guy is in charge.

    Reality is that Bush was basically a good executive who was flawed in that he pursued a path that was too moderate. In part this was imposed upon him, since he essentially faced a divided legislature. In reality, what we needed was someone who would stick strongly to free market principles.

  • A leader makes decisions.  Whether he does so by consensus, by majority rule, by hook or crook – he makes decisions. 

    Obama has not.  Even now, can anyone tell me the decsions he has made to alleviate the effects of the spill?

    He has established a commission.  How does that alleviate the immediate effects of the spill?

    He has appointed a Czar.  How does that alleviate the immediate effects of the spill?

    He has forced BP to establish a $20B Slush fund.  Even here, how does that alleviate the immediate effects of the spill?

    So even now what has he really done?  Answer: What he has always done – Voted Present!

    • The TOTUS is in morning …

      Among the seven countries surveyed with substantial Muslim populations, the U.S. was seen favorably by just 17 percent in Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan and 21 percent in Jordan. The U.S.’s positive rating was 52 percent in Lebanon, 59 percent in Indonesia and 81 percent in Nigeria, where Muslims comprise about half the population. None of those figures was an improvement from last year. There were slight dips in Jordan and in Indonesia, where Obama spent several years growing up. Egypt saw a 10-point drop, even though Obama gave a widely promoted June 2009 speech in Cairo aimed at reaching out to the Muslim world.

      Et tu, AP

  • I can’t help but wonder what you folks think a great executive would have done about the Gulf situation. Release the Kraken!

    I also wonder why y’all aren’t asking government to get out of the way and the let free market handle this.

    Most of the nonsense I am reading and hearing is on par with suggesting that if Obama isn’t in a wetsuit a mile down, he’s not leading.

    There are very good reasons not to push BP out of the way, and if you don’t understand them, or the implications with respect to liability, or how much of this debacle could quickly be owned by taxpayers instead of BP, then you don’t understand the problems above the water, and don’t have the standing to make credible assertions regarding what is and is not leadership on this issue.

    Unless it’s just pure partisan politics, in which case all I can say is, “nice kidney punch”.

    • Your post is sheer idiocy, and self-contradictory.
      Obama had a LEGAL MANDATE to have at the ready a NATIONAL RESPONSE TEAM.  That would have been IMMEDIATELY mandated…by existing law…to respond according to a tested plan with pre-positioned infrastructure.
      This is OWNED by the Obama administration…front to back.  BP never said “boo” without regulatory permission.
      If you want a very quick and dirty description of what leadership would look like, take this in, and state your reasons if you disagree.

    • He should have had visible clear chain-of-command crisis management set up in the White House with an absolute pro in charge there and in immediate touch with an absolute pro in charge on the scene.

      He should have had triple 24/7 redundancy on the clean-up with a marshalling of every available resource, showing an effort to take as much oil out of the Gulf as was spilling in.

      BP didn’t need to be shoved out of the way. It needed to be the focal point of a much more vast and much more dynamic operation that used all of the world’s oil drilling and spill clean-up expertise NOW.

      Then, as far as the gushing hole goes, there should have been absolute encouragement to think beyond the immediate situation with the first question: “If we have everything we could possibly want at our disposal what do we do to stop this?”

      Instead, I’ve seen incredible passivity. I could be wrong in that perception. But I see what looks like dithering, bureaucratic, passivity in the face of all this. The clean-up should be so vigorous that people down in LA would say “we couldn’t ask for a better more sustained effort.” And the capping effort should have the best engineers saying, “we’ve got a Manhattan Project going on to solve this problem and we ain’t stopping, for this now or anything like this in the future.”

      What I see is Don Knotts with a tan trying to talk himself out of his own business again.

      • To further clarify, the primary purpose of the chain of command would be to cut through the red tape. Instead of that guy who proactively manufactured boom getting the shaft for two months (and I haven’t heard that he’s made a sale yet), Presidential action should have been taken to get that ordered and deployed, instead of dithering. Presidential action should have been taken to suspend the law about how only US-owned and crewed ships can operate in the theatre (which the law has explicit provisions for). Instead of agencies stepping on each other, squabbling, and doing little more than blocking and failing to coordinate local authorities, they should have brought everything together as quickly as possible.
        I don’t expect the President on a beach with a brush. But these aren’t even my special demands because I’m, I dunno, racist or something… this is a job description! This is what the President does in crisis. Or in Barack’s case, doesn’t do. People are right to think Bush did a better job with Katrina than Barack is doing here, because he did. Response was slow, and FEMA should have been dragged away from the scene sooner, but it’s still clearly better than what’s been done here. The administration has taken the time to obtain what political advantage from this they think they can, but hardly anything else seems to have happened.

        • “People are right to think Bush did a better job with Katrina than Barack is doing here, because he did. Response was slow, and FEMA should have been dragged away from the scene sooner, but it’s still clearly better than what’s been done here.”
          The (federal) response to Katrina being slow is something of a myth:
          MYTH: “The aftermath of Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history.”–Aaron Broussard, president, Jefferson Parish, La., Meet the Press, NBC, Sept. 4, 2005
          REALITY: Bumbling by top disaster-management officials fueled a perception of general inaction, one that was compounded by impassioned news anchors. In fact, the response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest–and fastest-rescue effort in U.S. history, with nearly 100,000 emergency personnel arriving on the scene within three days of the storm’s landfall.

    • Yeah, nice strawman – not a single person here, except Erb, thinks Obama should personally deal with the leak.  And none of us think any of the others think it either.  NOT one of us has suggested he “push BP out of the way”.
      We’re adults.  So don’t come in here with your ‘credible assertions’ and tell us what we’ve been talking about and what we’ve been complaining about, and what we’ve suggested for answers.

    • Sixty days of Obama being in charge and what has transpired.  I’ll repeat my entry just prior to your own:

      He has established a commission.  He has appointed a Czar.  He has forced BP to establish a $20B Slush fund.  All in the last week.

      Can you list another thing he has accomplished that is not on the list?
      Can you think of a single thing he could have done in addition to what is listed?
      Are there any available assets for stopping the leak or the cleanup that have not been employed?
      Is his actions the best a Leader could do in this instance?
      Lastly:  Will his actions be studied in the future as 1) How to do it right; or 2) How not to do it?

      Take you time to answer the questions.  Meanwhile we will wait to see who Obama throws under the bus as his sacrificial lamb to take the brunt of the blame that’s building against him.  Any bets who that will be?

    • There are very good reasons not to push BP out of the way, and if you don’t understand them, or the implications with respect to liability, or how much of this debacle could quickly be owned by taxpayers instead of BP, then you don’t understand the problems above the water, and don’t have the standing to make credible assertions regarding what is and is not leadership on this issue.

      Really!!!!  My admiralty law is a bit rusty, but I’d LOVE for you to expound on the “problems above the water”, you execrable boob.  Tell us all about how liability would be shifted to the government…had they the LEAST freaking notion of what to do, and how to do it down-hole.

    • If you want to run as the guy who will make the waters recede, then you will be expected to do great things. If you want to run as the competent, pro-regulation guy who will fix government, then you better fix the regulators that you control. You can pull out the new lefty meme that somehow the market is supposed to clean up after oil spills, but that’s just risible. Is that the best you can do?

  • Just wait till our POTUS gets around to actually making cuts … like never .. for sure .. gag me with a budget  .. so grody man.
    What’s really amazing that Obama has the ability to reabilitate the image of George W. Bush so quickly.

  • Lesson 1 in any leadership situation:  never take ownership of something you can’t solve or have solved.

    Obama stupidly did the above with his speach 2 weeks or so ago, when, btw, it looked like the leak would be successfully capped and he would get the credit (political theater).

    Then the cap didn’t work and bammo, impotence defined.

    He has three basic problems confronting him: 

    Stop the leak
    Contain the oil flow
    Restitution of damage

    He can’t control (1), he’s done little to nothing about (2) and (3) is a function of (1) and (2).
    The fact that he and his advisors have zeroed in on (3), at this point in time is an indicator of poor/non existant problem solving skills.

    In effect, the Space Shuttle Challenger has just exploded, and this Administration is worried about compensating the employees who will face layoffs rather than what caused the vehicle to blow up and how to fix it.


    • Lesson 1 in any leadership situation:  never take ownership of something you can’t solve or have solved.
      Respectfully, that is not leadership…except in the most crass political sense.
      I suggest that leadership in the “ownership sense” is often a matter of investiture; that is, it comes with the job.  If you have the job, you own its prerogatives and its responsibilities.  Obama owned this from the git by virtue of his office.  He screwed the “vision thing” when, as you suggest, he bopped down to the Gulf to associate himself with what he thought was a successful top kill.  As I observed concurrently, “Timing is a bitch”.

  • I originally (you will recall) said that I thought Obama was getting too much blame for things that were not really in his control and i compared it to the Attacks on Bush after Katrina.
    However, more recently Obama did three things wrong, very wrong. 1) not letting other nations help, not allowing the re-flagging of their ships and specifically turning  down help from the Netherlands who have expertise in oil spill control. 2) not giving prompt permission to build berms between the barrier islands in Louisiana. and 3) the moratorium on all offshore drilling. This is exceedingly stupid, like grounding all aircraft of all type after one plane crash. and it is adding more damage to the devastated gulf economy.
    These things are inexcusable as they would have cost nothing to implement(or not implement).  Totally inexcusable. He is a colossal failure!

    • I originally (you will recall) said that I thought Obama was getting too much blame for things that were not really in his control and i compared it to the Attacks on Bush after Katrina.

      >>>> Which is exactly why he deserves all the criticism he gets.  It’s always gratifying to see them hoist on their own petard, and believe me, the current crop of dems is mighty petarded.

  • Rags, I am not sure why you say contradictory, but perhaps you will explain. Perhaps I was not clear enough distinguishing between mitigation efforts and the actual leak itself. If the federal government had the expertise and resources to cap the leak with a degree of certainty, then it would make sense to just do it and send a bill to BP, but the fact is that the federal government does not have these resources, and to push BP out and fail to the cap the leak would potentially change the entire liability equation, pushing liability before the fed takeover to BP, and after the fed takeover to the American taxpayer. On the mitigation efforts, the fed has been leading since before the spill was even identified.

    The NRT was activated on April 22, two full days before the leak was even apparent, and the President held a Principals meeting telling them “Treat This Response as The Number One Priority”, again, two days before the leak was apparent. Until April 24, efforts to find a leak, using both aerial, surface, and remote underwater reconnaissance did not observe a leak, but the resources were put in place in the event a leak became apparent. Another Principal level meeting was convened on the 23rd, again, a day before the leak became apparent, to plan ahead of a potential worsening of the situation. The formal unified are command was set up and fully operational, again, before the leak was observed. These were all pro-active measures.

    By April 27, just 3 days after the leak was first observed, the following resources and actions were in place:

    Total response vessels: approximately 50
    Boom deployed: 29,280 feet
    Boom available: 80,900 feet
    Oily water recovered: 260,652 gallons
    Dispersant used: 29,140 gallons
    Dispersant available: 119,734 gallons
    Overall personnel responding: more than 1,000

    By May 2, resources were more than doubled, by May 3, resources were doubled again, and continued to be increased daily. By May 24, resources allocated were:

    Total active response vessels: more than 1,200
    Containment boom deployed: more than 1.75 million feet
    Containment boom available: more than 380,000 feet
    Sorbent boom deployed: more than 990,000 feet
    Sorbent boom available: more than 1.07 million feet
    Total boom deployed: more than 2.74 million feet (regular plus sorbent boom)
    Total boom available: more than 1.45 million feet (regular plus sorbent boom)
    Oily water recovered: more than 10.83 million gallons
    Surface dispersant used: approximately 700,000 gallons
    Subsea dispersant used: approximately 115,000
    Total dispersant used: approximately 815,000
    Dispersant available: more than 300,000 gallons
    Overall personnel responding: more than 22,000

    I get it that the fact that the leak has not been contained and oil is reaching shorelines is defacto evidence of failure to date. The President, regardless of how well he actually executed his responsibilities (read: leadership) will be held politically accountable, it’s just the way it works. But the sillines, like the suggestion that the President failed to waive the Jones Act, therefore hampered response, is just that, silliness. The command center and President have never refused a request for a Jones Act waiver, and can waive the Jones Act if any responses requiring such a waiver were to be presented and deemed useful. Nonsense arguing that Obama has declined waiver requests to protect union workers is not just poor political speculation, it is flat out not true.

    It comes down to this; If the President completely failed to assert executive response, and the leak was stopped early, he would have been hailed as successful, if he perfectly executed the response, but the leak was not contained, he would be flogged as ineffective, especially by his political opponents (who would have flogged even if the leak were contained)

    So flog away,  but don’t kid yourselves into thinking that your flogging is anything but political.

    • Had D-Day been a failure, counting the number of troops, vessels, and aircraft involved wouldn’t have changed the fact that it was a failure.

      That sort of after-the-fact PR spin is nauseating. “Oily water recovered: more than 10.83 million gallons.

      Oh boy.

      • 1200+ Vessels – uh huh….by definition there are many things that carry a man that are defined as a vessel.      Quite a flotilla 1200 vessels.  The 5000 vessels employed at D-day were reputed to stretch ‘as far as the eye could see’.     One would think that a significant number of those 1200 vessels working closely together on spill areas would make an awesome photo op as they operate, I mean, not often such a fleet is assembled.
        Why, for example the US Navy, currently the largest navy in the world has a fleet of 284+ ships in active service.
        So, wow, 1200 vessels!  Impressive no?
        Unless of course a ‘vessel’ is actually say,  a Boston Whaler, you know, what most people would refer to as a ‘boat’, or “motor boat”, or ‘launch”  to properly distinguish it from a true ‘vessel’.
        Aren’t words fun?

      • And how many time, in how many ways, has government red tape impeded the work of BOTH containing the well and remediation?  I can think of perhaps a dozen off the top of my head, each of them significant.
        There was NEVER a question of “taxpayers” being liable here.  That is utter crap.

    • What you wrote would be much more credible had you provided any references.
      Your post is self-contradictory because it at once poo-poos the private sector, while acknowledging that BP has an important role to play (disregarding all the other myriad private-sector players assisting here).

      But the sillines, like the suggestion that the President failed to waive the Jones Act, therefore hampered response, is just that, silliness. The command center and President have never refused a request for a Jones Act waiver, and can waive the Jones Act if any responses requiring such a waiver were to be presented and deemed useful.

      Your dismissal is not an argument.  Why is it silly to assert that the Jones Act should have been waived, as it was by President Bush?  What references do you rely on for your assertion that “no waiver has been refused”.  Who told you that?  How credible are they?
      The EPA has primary responsibility for this under the 1994 act.  Who did Lisa Jackson put in charge, because I sure have not seen, heard, or smelled them in this.

      • My search  indicates they didn’t feel the Jones Act would be violated by oil recovery vessels and there are reputedly several foreign flagged vessels capable of recovery deployed at present – the Dutch Sweepers neglected at the beginning as unneeded have been on duty as far back as June 11th from what I can see.    Allowing for transit time, and I don’t know their average speed, it would imply approval I would assume in a time frame at the beginning of June?

        • So approval sometime after the failure of Top Kill.

        • Are they vessels from the Dutch, or their skimmers, fitted to domestic vessels.  My understanding (hardly definitive) is that the skimmers were sent here.

    • So flog away,  but don’t kid yourselves into thinking that your flogging is anything but political.


  • A bull in a china shop …

    The Obama administration has just made certain that there will be minimal foreign or even domestic investment in the United States. Their shakedown and blackmail of BP has major corporate investors looking elsewhere for expansion and exploration. No company answerable to their shareholders or investors will risk capital in a country which has brutally abandoned the rule of law.
    My company is headquartered in Switzerland and in recent conversations with business executives and clients overseas, they have told me that this and many of this governments actions has completely chilled their enthusiasm to invest in the United States.

    • Another seemingly calculated stake in the heart of our moribund economy.  NOBODY in their right mind would put money in this sinking boat, with uncertainty being spun off like cotton candy virtually every day by this regime.

      • Make a note that collection of “nobodies” includes American investors and currently operating businesses, large and small, as well.  Some businesses thrive on, and profit by, uncertainty (Dragons Hoard, we buy gold!) , the corner clothing store run by Sarah and the bodega run by Antonio, not so much.

  • As I said, no request for a waiver of the Jones Act has been refused. If you wish to assert that a waiver has been denied, the burden is on you to show a request that was denied, don’t suggest that I should prove a negative. Wouldd you like for me to list all of the waiver requests that were not made, complimented with each waiver that was not denied?

    Part of the problem is the method the Dutch skimmers use, which essentially takes in lots of oil and water and releases lots of water and quite a bit of oil. This is a disallowed method for US oil cleanup. It is not a matter of them being neglected, but of them using a disallowed method. As the criticality increased, it appears those rules may have been waived. Though I cannot find conclusive information indicating Dutch ships are in or heading to the Gulf, though the Dutch skimming arms have been placed on tankers and are currently skimming the Gulf.

    As for BP being blackmailed, does anyone actually with this assertion?

    Should we socialize this loss between us taxpayers so as not out undue burden on a private enterprise?

    Isn’t that the alternative to forcing BP to take financial responsibility?

    • You know, I feel for you. I think Bush got unfairly slammed over Katrina. The media just went berserk. No matter how many photos of submerged school buses were found, no one blamed Nagin or Blanco – it was all Bush – the buck stops here – fairly or unfairly.
      Obama has had fairy tale MSM coverage from day 1. He has never been held accountable – never asked hard questions, and held no press conferences during his first year in office. I think the MSM is using this oil spill to make up for some lost time. So, yeah, the coverage won’t be very fair. Sorry. But He won, and now he has to be responsible even if its not “fair.”
      I mean, do you think the BP CEO actually knew about the safety situation on that rig? NO. But he is accountable and takes his lickings.

    • Idiot.  Read this, refute what it says.
      As to BP, ever heard of due process?  You know, COURTS.  Asp-hole.

    • As I said, no request for a waiver of the Jones Act has been refused.

      Got a citation for that?  If the Jones Act had been wiaved or suspended, there would be no need for anyone to ask for it.  The Act allows for the waiver or suspension in Emergency situations, which the Bush Administration exercised during the post Katrina activities.  (Note: As an aside, there was no request made of the Bush Administration to waive the Act, they understood it had to come from them in order to expedite emergency operations.)  Until such time as it is waived or suspended, non-compliant vessels are barred from US waters.  The action to waive it has to come from the OPR (Office of Prime Responsibility – the EPA), Congress (who enacted the bloody thing to begin with) or the Presidency.  Would you mind showing us the paperwork from one or more of these agencies which suspends or waives the Act for the duration of the Emergency? 

      Next time remember not to bring a knife to a gun fight, moron.

  • All the ad hominem, it’s so adorably Tea Party-ish.  I tell my children that when they have to resort to name calling, they have already lost the argument. So keep it up, even when you bring up semi-valid points, it still makes you look desperate and insecure.

    As to the Jones Act, it has NEVER been waived in a wholesale manner, as you suggest was done in 2006, and it was never waived without request. If you wish to educate yourself on this, please read the waiver signed by Michael Chetoff in 2006, which granted a waiver for a period of two weeks for the exclusive purpose of transporting fuel between US ports, based upon the reciept of numerous requests for this waiver. There have been NO requests for a Jones Act waiver, therefore no waivers have been needed to be granted. However, in anticipation of potential requests, the National Incident Commander has ensured expedited processing of any such requests. While there are 15 foreign flagged vessels currently assisting with the Gulf spill, they did not require waivers because the operations they are conducting do violate the Jones Act.
    Published: Jun 15, 2010

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen instructed the Coast Guard federal on-scene coordinator, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. Maritime Administration to ensure any Jones Act waiver requests regarding the BP oil spill response receive accelerated processing.

    The admiral’s guidance would route waivers through the on-scene coordinator and the national incident commander for expedited clearance.

    No Jones Act waivers have been required for the 15 foreign-flagged vessels currently in operation in the Gulf of Mexico. A foreign flag vessel can conduct certain operations as part of the flotilla if it is an oil spill response vessel and meets the requirements of 46 USC § 55113.

    Federal law prohibits a foreign-flagged vessel from transporting merchandise between points in the United States encompassed by the Coastwise laws. The CBP determines the application of the Jones Act. “

    As to the suggestion that the Dutch ships are prevented by the Jones Act from assisting in the cleanup efforts, that is simply false. The article suggests that the reason the Dutch ships were not requested was in part due to the Jones Act, but gave no support for this theory, and no one has submitted a waiver request for those ships, and they would almost certainly not need a waiver anyway, since the operations would not even violate the Jones Act.  There is a reason that the US did not request assistance from the Dutch ships, and that reason is because these vessels do not meet OUR legal standards for cleanup. While I would agree that these particular rules, though practical, should be waived because the less than ideal cleanup these ships could offer could help. However, the rules in place were put in place over time with careful consideration, and these are the part of the preparedness required to address a spill. The basic difference is that the Dutch skimmers suck up oil and water, then immediately dump the water, which still has a significant oil content. I would imagine if the Dutch skimmers were invited, y’all would be whining away about Obama violating the law by executive fiat and pumping oil back into the Gulf.

    You know this is true because Harun is exactly corrrect when he says, “So, yeah, the coverage won’t be very fair. Sorry. But He won, and now he has to be responsible even if its not “fair.”

    This is how the game is played, and Obama will pay a political price, I have no quarrel whatsoever with that assertion, and I acknowedge that whatever unfairness that exists is at least equally unfair to whoever happens to be standing up when the music stops.

    And finally, Rags, who asks, “As to BP, ever heard of due process?  You know, COURTS.  Asp-hole.”

    Rags, if you broke my fence and I told you to put up $1000.00 to fix it, and you agreed to do so, have you been denied due process? Of course not. BP does not HAVE to do anything, they could just walk away and say, “see you in court”. That they have so far chosen not to do that does not mean due process has been denied. If you think they are being squeezed between wanting to keep their money and not wanting to be outcast by public opinion in the largest energy market on the planet, well, then you might have a point, but that has nothing to do with deny them due process.

    So perhaps bringing a gun to a gunfight is right move, but this a debate, so might I suggest bringing valid facts and a good argument.

    As the always genial in the face of antagonism, Pogue says… Cheers!

    • If I break your fence (you being the chief executive of the county), and you put an entire industry out of work, and demand I pay for your fence AND pay for the people’s wages lost by your edict, and threaten criminal action against me if I don’t cave, have I been denied due process?  Whaddaya think there, Sean?  A county executive you want to live under?
      And your Deemocrat talking points regarding the Jones Act don’t really seem to square very well with reality, do they?  I mean, there WAS a waiver during Katrina, right?  And there were Dutch proffers of vessels weeks ago that were turned down, right?  There were others, too, weren’t there?  You know, the ones about the birms and the Dutch dredges?   But you called all that “silly”.  Still, all that silliness appears to have happened.  You know, in reality…
      Why is there a Jones Act, Sean?  I mean who does it protect?
      The ships did not meet our standards for cleanliness?  Is that really you argument?  Well, as Milton Friedman used to remind us, you have to compare something with something.  Would 80-90% removal of heavy oil fractions be an improvement over just letting the whole mess hit the beaches?  Is that YOUR idea of good policy and practice?
      And, by-the-by, if that piece of crap you are using for an argument held any truth, why is the same technology now in use?   Hmmmm…..????
      All told, I have to think your posts today are a net public service.  They show just how stupid “thinking” people can be, how willing to pass on lies, and remind us how we got strapped with this calamitous regime.
      Cheers up your ass.

      Yep.  Color me impressed with the way Obama has sliced through red tape.  Ya, boy.  “Treat this response as the highest priority”.  Yessir, I believe that right down in my toe-nails.  Nice cut  n paste from the White House website, BTW, Spawn.
      Another example of private sector action stymied by government stupid.

    • From a more recent post here on QandO:

      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”.
      Why?  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.

      That’s an example of the Bullshit that can be avoided with proper leadership.  It’s not rocket science.  In an emergency such as this all a real leader has to do is ask “What do you need?”  And then that leader does all in his/her power to make it available.  Actions take precedence over words and process.  You keep things like processing, administrivia and Red Tape out of the equation.  And you do it PRO-ACTIVELY!  You don’t wait for the problem to arise, you take it off the radar before it even becomes a blip – like not waiting for a request, suspend the Jones Act.

      Red Tape kept the barges off the oil and for what?  Seems the barges were on the spill on Tuesday – no problem.  Now you got a problem – with what?  Life vests?  YGBSM! (Translation – You Gotta Be Shitting Me!)

      Next time you want to defend the actions of an Administration that has shown the world they have no concept what the term Leadership even means, then put some real shells in that so-called gun you brought to the fight.  So far you are shooting blanks.

    • Narrowing the question is always an amusing tactic, especially when the narrowing becomes an exercise in verbosity. It’s the stuff of big bills for big clients at big law firms.

  • There may be no better evidence to codemn the federal response that the arguments Sean provides. The Bush administration issued a repeal of the Jones Act for specific purposes two days after Katrina hit. This administration promises accelerated processing months later. Then he acknowledges that the Dutch ships, though far from perfect, would be a useful supplement to what we have operating currently. As a bonus he says name-calling is evidence of a weak argument after using it himself on several occassions.