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Gulf Coast Governors not deploying available guard troops

BP Spill Gulf States 2010

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#1 Spectacles

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:04 PM

http://www.cbsnews.c...in6615414.shtml

Quote

CBS)   All along the Gulf coast, local officials have been demanding more help from the federal government to fight the spill, yet the Gulf states have deployed just a fraction of the National Guard troops the Pentagon has made available, CBS News Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian reports.

That's a particular problem for the state of Louisiana, where the Republican governor has been the most vocal about using all resources.



Gov. Bobby Jindal's message has been loud and clear, using language such as "We will only be winning this war when we're actually deploying every resource," "They (the federal government) can provide more resources" and "It's clear the resources needed to protect our coast are still not here."

But nearly two months after the governor requested - and the Department of Defense approved the use of 6,000 Louisiana National Guard troops - only a fraction - 1,053 - have actually been deployed by Jindal to fight the spill.

"If you ask any Louisianan, if you said 'If you had those troops, do you think they could be put to good use? Is there anything they can do in your parish?' I think they'd all tell you 'Absolutely,'" Louisiana state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, said.


Oops.

Could Jindal be footdragging on clean-up to make the feds look bad? Nah. He's a principled guy. Just take a look at this:

http://thinkprogress...re-jumbochecks/
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#2 Palisades

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:16 PM

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But CBS News has learned that in addition to Louisiana's 1,053 troops of 6,000, Alabama has deployed 432 troops of 3,000 available. Even fewer have been deployed in Florida - 97 troops out of 2,500 - and Mississippi - 58 troops out of 6,000.

Yeah, all the Gulf governors are just trying to make Obama look bad. It's a conspiracy. Surely.
"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

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#3 Spectacles

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:33 PM

Regardless, it looks like some governors need to focus on using the assets they do have available--even as they press for more.

If Obama were governor of Louisiana, running around lamenting the lack of leadership of President Jindal while failing to put 6000 National Guardsmen assigned to him to work, wouldn't you point out that Obama needed to take the plank out of his own eye?

Given the behavior of Republicans these days, and Jindal's behavior in particular (see the above article on how he bashed the stimulus even while handing out huge stimulus checks throughout Louisiana), it's pretty clear to me that they will sacrifice anything to demonize Obama. For example, beginning to day, over a million unemployed will stop receiving unemployment checks thanks to the GOP--who will blame Obama, who will amazingly still try to kiss the GOP's rear end.

Personally, what revolts me is the politicizing of this oil spill. I'm from a Gulf State. I love the Gulf of Mexico. It breaks my heart to see it soiled with this never-ending gusher. Like my cousin says, "I want them to fix it and clean it up and THEN fight about who to blame." But when I see someone acting like Jindal, obviously using this and ANY situation as an opportunity to campaign, then, yeah, I find that revolting--especially combined with his hypocrisy.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#4 Bad Wolf

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:49 PM

Well the governors DO need to use the resources they have.  But that doesn't make Obama's response anything close to sufficient.
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#5 Palisades

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:54 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 25 June 2010 - 12:33 PM, said:

Regardless, it looks like some governors need to focus on using the assets they do have available--even as they press for more.

If Obama were governor of Louisiana, running around lamenting the lack of leadership of President Jindal while failing to put 6000 National Guardsmen assigned to him to work, wouldn't you point out that Obama needed to take the plank out of his own eye?

Not until I knew why not. Maybe it's a red tape thing. Or maybe they don't have the equipment they need to do the cleanup or establish barriers against the oil. Either of those seems much more likely than Jindal conspiring with three other governors to under utilize national guard troops to make Obama look bad. Obama doesn't need any help looking bad and out of his depth. If it's purely about politics, why do something that may come back to bite you just to make someone who looks lost and confused look even worse?
"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

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#6 Spectacles

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 01:07 PM

View PostBad Wolf, on 25 June 2010 - 12:49 PM, said:

Well the governors DO need to use the resources they have.  But that doesn't make Obama's response anything close to sufficient.

Not arguing that it is.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#7 Spectacles

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 01:11 PM

View PostPalisade, on 25 June 2010 - 12:54 PM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on 25 June 2010 - 12:33 PM, said:

Regardless, it looks like some governors need to focus on using the assets they do have available--even as they press for more.

If Obama were governor of Louisiana, running around lamenting the lack of leadership of President Jindal while failing to put 6000 National Guardsmen assigned to him to work, wouldn't you point out that Obama needed to take the plank out of his own eye?

Not until I knew why not. Maybe it's a red tape thing. Or maybe they don't have the equipment they need to do the cleanup or establish barriers against the oil. Either of those seems much more likely than Jindal conspiring with three other governors to under utilize national guard troops to make Obama look bad. Obama doesn't need any help looking bad and out of his depth. If it's purely about politics, why do something that may come back to bite you just to make someone who looks lost and confused look even worse?

I'm not arguing a conspiracy. I'm arguing that Jindal is a hypocrite. Read the article. The facts pretty much show that he is. Contrast his words with the reality.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#8 Bad Wolf

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 01:28 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 25 June 2010 - 01:07 PM, said:

View PostBad Wolf, on 25 June 2010 - 12:49 PM, said:

Well the governors DO need to use the resources they have.  But that doesn't make Obama's response anything close to sufficient.

Not arguing that it is.

I know that.  I shouldn't have responded to Palisade's strawman.  I apologize.
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#9 Palisades

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 01:29 PM

Spectacles said:

I'm not arguing a conspiracy. I'm arguing that Jindal is a hypocrite. Read the article. The facts pretty much show that he is. Contrast his words with the reality.

How's Jindal a hypocrite for taking money the federal government throws at him? He'd have to be stupid not to take it. The people who live in his state are going to pay the price in higher taxes and higher interest rates whether he takes the money or not.

Edited by Palisade, 25 June 2010 - 01:31 PM.

"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

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#10 Anna

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 01:39 PM

Just a point of possible clarification regarding Nat'l Guard troops. I believe that if the Governors activate the Nat'l Guard for use inside the state, then the state must pay them. The Feds don't pick up their pay and allowances. I'm not sure the Gulf states have the money to pay the troops. The law may have changed since I last paid any attention to it, but this still may be the case.

Edited to add: I just read the original article in Spec's link. BP is to pay for the troops. I wonder how long it would take to get the money from BP.

Edited by Anna, 25 June 2010 - 01:45 PM.

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#11 Tricia

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 02:52 PM

Just my opinion but I really doubt anyone is doing or not doing anything to try to make the other look bad....

Such stupidity/pettiness in the face of this manmade disaster is only sure to backfire.

But no one--no matter what their position/political party/etc--is using the resources available properly or at all...in this case National Guard troops.

Or so it looks from here.

Edited by trikay, 25 June 2010 - 02:52 PM.

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#12 Bad Wolf

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 06:52 PM

It's hypocritical to rail against the Feds for not giving you enough help when you aren't USING the help they've already given you.  This is not rocket science.
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#13 Palisades

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 07:16 PM

^ It's not rocket science that the type of federal help he's most interested in isn't national guard troops.

http://abcnews.go.co...ory?id=10731680

Quote

May 24, 2010

As thick oil flows into the sensitive marshes of the Louisiana coast, Gov. Bobby Jindal called on the White House and BP today to either stop the oil spill or get out of his way.

Jindal is still waiting for the federal government to provide millions of feet in boom and to approve an emergency permit for a state plan to dredge and build new barrier islands to keep the oil from reaching the marshes and wetlands.

Jindal is so desperate for the islands, he's said he'll build them even if it sends him to jail.

"We've been frustrated with the disjointed effort to date that has too often meant too little, too late for the oil hitting our coast," Jindal said.


http://www.propublic...troops-sat-idle

Quote

June 25

Update (3:00PM): We’ve just received a statement from Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin, and here it is in full:

Quote

We will call up more National Guard troops as the Adjutant General tells us he needs them. Right now our biggest challenge is the broken federal system that takes weeks to approve requests for resources – from vacuum barges, to sand boom projects, to the rocks and barges project in Grand Isle – and then ends up shutting things down even after we finally get them started (vacuum barges last week, dredging operations this week which are still sitting idle after federal shutdown). We spend more time fighting red tape and bureaucracy than we ever should have to if the federal government understood this oil spill as the war that it is. Especially as we get further into hurricane season, we need them to either fix their slow and broken process or just get out of the way so we can continue doing what we need to do to protect our coast and our Louisiana way of life.


If you want to talk about straw men, this entire freaking thread is a straw man.

Edited by Palisade, 25 June 2010 - 07:17 PM.

"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

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TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#14 Bad Wolf

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 07:40 PM

The only straw man is your attempt to turn the thread into one that argues that Spectacles is claiming that The Obama administration's failure to adequately respond is in fact a conspiracy.  She's expressly stated that this is not her point.
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#15 Palisades

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:19 PM

^ No, the 'conspiracy' would have been to under utilize the National Guard troops since all four governors are doing it, and Spectacles suggested it's a Jindal plot to make the federal government look bad:

Spectacles said:

Could Jindal be footdragging on clean-up to make the feds look bad?

To say that all four of them are doing it, and they're doing it to make the feds look bad sure seems like a conspiracy theory to me. Or maybe Spectacles thought the other three had innocent reasons for under utilizing the troops, but Jindal, surely he's out to get the feds. Even if it means harming his own state.

Anyway, this thread was an obvious response to my post in the other thread where I said that at least Gov. Jindal is trying to do something other than spew hot air for the TV cameras. And now we see from my last post what Jindal actually wants and the problems he's having with the federal government.

Edited by Palisade, 25 June 2010 - 08:21 PM.

"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

FKA:
TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#16 Balderdash

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:31 PM

View PostPalisade, on 25 June 2010 - 08:19 PM, said:

^ No, the 'conspiracy' would have been to under utilize the National Guard troops since all four governors are doing it, and Spectacles suggested it's a Jindal plot to make the federal government look bad:

Spectacles said:

Could Jindal be footdragging on clean-up to make the feds look bad?

To say that all four of them are doing it, and they're doing it to make the feds look bad sure seems like a conspiracy theory to me. Or maybe Spectacles thought the other three had innocent reasons for under utilizing the troops, but Jindal, surely he's out to get the feds. Even if it means harming his own state.

Anyway, this thread was an obvious response to my post in the other thread where I said that at least Gov. Jindal is trying to do something other than spew hot air for the TV cameras. And now we see from my last post what Jindal actually wants and the problems he's having with the federal government.


Did you read the other link that Specs provided that suggests that Governor Jindall might in fact
bitch about the Federal Government out of one side of his hypocritical mouth while glad-handing
with over sized checks out of the other.  Southern Republican Governors frowning and saying no
to stimulus while grabbing with both hands, makes me sick that people fall for that sh*t.

Another Democrat leaning Independent that has to search for truth because it can't be found on Fox News OR MSNBC.



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#17 Palisades

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:03 PM

^ Regarding the 'stimulus,' let's try another example. I think the mortgage tax deduction is bad policy and the federal government should end it. But given that they have it despite my objections, I'll sure as heck claim it if I buy a house. See the distinction?

Now let's try pork as another example. You probably think pork is bad. But if all other forty nine states are going to gobble pork, don't you want your state to get its share too? That's not hypocritical. It's the difference between the policy you want and making the best of the policy you're given.

Edited by Palisade, 25 June 2010 - 09:04 PM.

"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

FKA:
TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#18 Spectacles

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 03:41 PM

View PostPalisade, on 25 June 2010 - 08:19 PM, said:

^ No, the 'conspiracy' would have been to under utilize the National Guard troops since all four governors are doing it, and Spectacles suggested it's a Jindal plot to make the federal government look bad:

Spectacles said:

Could Jindal be footdragging on clean-up to make the feds look bad?

To say that all four of them are doing it, and they're doing it to make the feds look bad sure seems like a conspiracy theory to me. Or maybe Spectacles thought the other three had innocent reasons for under utilizing the troops, but Jindal, surely he's out to get the feds. Even if it means harming his own state.

Anyway, this thread was an obvious response to my post in the other thread where I said that at least Gov. Jindal is trying to do something other than spew hot air for the TV cameras. And now we see from my last post what Jindal actually wants and the problems he's having with the federal government.

Clearly, you think Jindal is above reproach.

I don't. I think he's been running his mouth, beating up on the feds, and trying to score political points--even as he (1) hands out big checks of stimulus money to his constituents in LA, even going so far as handing out oversized for photo-op checks with his name on them, as though he were the provider of the dough and (2) kvetching about feds not supplying the needed materials and manpower along the coast--and then when confronted with the fact that he hasn't utilized the manpower provided, he attempts to blame the Coast Guard. When the CG says, nope, that's not true, then he changes the subject. But I guess if you think that Jindal is "The One," you can overlook all of that.

Can we not learn that NO politician is to be trusted in this country? None of them. Not from ANY party.
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"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#19 Palisades

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 03:51 PM

^ Where did Gov. Jindal say needing more National Guard troops was one of his top concerns? Combating and cleaning up oil spills requires specialized equipment. He's asking for that equipment and for the federal government to cut through the red tape that causes them to keep shutting down his efforts. Perhaps he's not above reproach, but the complaints in this thread don't seem particularly legitimate to me.

Edited by Palisade, 26 June 2010 - 04:02 PM.

"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

FKA:
TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#20 Spectacles

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:35 PM

The New York Times has a long article on Jindal's grandstanding today:

http://www.nytimes.c...agewanted=print

Quote

June 25, 2010
Louisiana Wants U.S. Help, and Its Own Way
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON and JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF

NEW ORLEANS — For weeks, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has attacked BP and the Coast Guard for not having adequate plans and resources to battle the oil spill.

But interviews with more than two dozen state and federal officials and experts suggest that Louisiana, from the earliest days of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, has often disregarded its own plans and experts in favor of large-scale proposals that many say would probably have had limited effectiveness and could have even hampered the response.

The state’s approach has also at times appeared divided: while some state officials work alongside the Coast Guard and BP every day, others, including the governor, have championed a go-it-alone approach.


The article notes that Jindal alone, of the Gulf state governors, has been whingeing--probably mainly to score political points with Obama-haters and federal-government-haters and former Bush-supporters who desperately want the Gulf of Mexico to die on Obama's watch to make up for Bush's "Heckuva job, Brownie" while New Orleans drowned in Katrina.

Here's what interested me most in the article:

Quote

But a review of Louisiana’s prespill preparation suggests that the state may be open to the same criticisms that Mr. Jindal has leveled at BP and federal authorities.

The state has an oil spill coordinator’s office. Its staff shrank by half over the last decade, and the 17-year-old oil spill research and development program that is associated with the office had its annual $750,000 in financing cut last year. The coordinator is responsible for drawing up and signing off on spill contingency plans with the Coast Guard and a committee of federal, state and local officials.

Some of these plans are rife with omissions, including pages of blank charts that are supposed to detail available supplies of equipment like oil-skimming vessels. A draft action plan for a worst case is among many requirements in the southeast Louisiana proposal listed as “to be developed.”

State officials said that many of those gaps had been addressed but that the information had not yet been formally incorporated into the plan by the Coast Guard.

The plans, in conjunction with state and federal laws, do outline a response structure, called a unified command. In the event of a spill, state officials, the responsible party and the federal authorities, usually the Coast Guard, are supposed to work together to marshal resources and create day-to-day action plans.

From the first days of the spill, state representatives at a command center in Houma, La., have been following that script, signing off on the action plans with the Coast Guard and BP.

But on the first weekend in May, after the governor declared a state of emergency and weeks before heavy oil began to hit the coast, senior members of the Jindal administration decided the unified command was not working.

“We very quickly ran into challenges with the different entities carrying out their responsibilities under that framework,” said Garret Graves, the director of the governor’s office of coastal activities, citing a lack of urgency and decisiveness by the Coast Guard. “That’s where I think the inefficiencies were realized, and that’s why the state began taking an alternative path.”

“I don’t think the Coast Guard or BP had a familiarity with disaster posture,” Mr. Graves added.

On May 3, Mr. Jindal went public with his dissatisfaction.

“We kept being assured over and over that they had a plan, that there was a detailed plan, that it was coming; we never got that plan,” he said.


But under the law, oil spill experts said, there are only two kinds of government plans pertaining to spills, and the state is partly responsible for both.

There are area contingency plans, which the state helps draw up and are meant to be in place when a spill occurs; and there are action plans, which the state helps put together on a day-to-day basis after a spill.

It is just as much the state’s responsibility as anyone’s if a spill occurs and there is no up-to-date contingency plan, said Donald S. Jensen, a retired Coast Guard captain who coordinated the response to several major oil spills.

"After a spill happens is not the time to make a plan," he added.

Nevertheless, state and parish officials drew up their own response plan, a process that usually takes months, over that weekend.

So, the state was not prepared. Its oil spill response plans had lots of blank pages. Yet somehow this is all the Coast Guard's and the federal government's fault?

People in Louisiana are understandably, predictably furious and heartbroken. Third-, fourth-, and more-generation fishermen are losing their livelihoods. Entire coastal villages are without income. The wetlands, already not well from erosion, are wiped out. A hurricane is one thing. But this was the result of human error, and those people are fighting mad. Some politicians are trying to aim that anger at their enemies. I think Jindal may have decided that the best way to escape it was to point at everyone else and start yelling that they're to blame--even though evidence shows that the state itself shares responsibility in any lack of preparedness. Certainly, when his director of communication complained that they kept waiting for plans from from Coast Guard and DC, she had no idea that the state itself was supposed to have plans on hand. Jindal has just been squawking to avoid getting tarred and feathered. So far, it's worked. But he may have cried "it's their fault, not mine!" too loudly and too often because now he's pissed off enough of his partners in the clean up--namely the Coast Guard--that his own responsibilities are being scrutinized.

He's rushed around trying to look like a man of action, hamstrung by bureaucracies, when really it looks like he was caught unprepared, without a plan, and panicked on such a grand scale that he ordered one-and-a-half the amount of boom available in the U.S. and three times what a contingency plan estimated would be needed to boom the entire coastline of Louisiana.

Quote

“I think it’s proven to be not real reasonable,” said Todd Paxton, general manager of Cook Inlet Spill Prevention and Response Inc., an Alaska company. “For one, it’s just a huge amount of boom.”

A call to put out large amounts of that boom immediately, experts said, was also problematic, as boom can quickly be rendered useless by waves and tides if deployed too early.

Still, the unified command put much of the state and parish plan into effect over the next few weeks, while also continuing to draw up its day-to-day action plans.

A little over a week later, Mr. Jindal began to push a sand berm strategy.

Working off an idea put forward by a pair of Dutch marine research and engineering firms, the plan called for the construction of 140 miles of sand barriers, in 24 segments, to protect the inner coastline from oil. Such an idea is also discussed, though not in great detail, in one of the state’s area contingency plans.

Just before midnight on May 11, the state requested an emergency permit for the project from the Army Corps of Engineers. At just three pages, it was intentionally vague, Mr. Graves said, on the understanding that it was likely to need modifications.

Within days the governor began to decry the slow wheels of government.

“While we’re continuing to push the Corps to give us this permit and the Coast Guard and BP to approve this, we’re not letting the bureaucracy stop us,” Mr. Jindal said on May 14.

By that time, federal agencies had already raised serious concerns about the sand berm project, which, by one estimate, could cost nearly $1 billion.


It's overkill. He's panicking. And he's deflecting blame like crazy. I mean, he applies for billion-dollar berm project on May 11 and is complaining about how long the approval is taking three days later. For a billion dollar proposal to essentially build a wall of sand around Louisiana's shore, a wall that may not be as good an idea as it sounds, considering all the variables--which must be considered. After consideration, a modified, smaller berm will be constructed, and it will take months. Or I guess they can give Jindal a sand pail and shovel and it can be done overnight.

So, no, given all of this especially, I'm not inclined to smile and nod when someone tries to make Jindal out to be a hero--even moreso when that someone is Jindal himself. He's a man in a helluva position. But so are the other governors--and none of them are whingeing and running amok and casting blame and aspersions. They are trying to do the best they can with a tragic situation.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman



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