Incompetence and misplaced priorities

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It’s now Day 66 and counting since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig suddenly exploded and burned on April 20.

While the last well cap reportedly reduced the flow, all attempts to stop the spewing oil have failed.

Thus, crude oil now assaults our Southern shores.


There are many reasons. All have their place and proper priority.

For example, the original cause of the explosion is important.

But, until the spewing oil flow is stopped the original cause of the rig explosion cannot be artificially deemed the most important.

That’s because, while the continuing muck makes the Gulf waters murky and unclear, now glaringly clear to growing numbers of concerned citizens is the incompetence incumbent in national officialdom.

That incompetence—peppered with excessive political arrogance—is the specific overarching reason why crude oil now assaults the coastlines of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida.

It seems everything done by a caring right hand is undone by the administration’s political left hand.

And, anything attempted, considered, or even suggested by concerned action-oriented local and state officials is blocked, delayed, nixed, or ignored by all-knowing Washington bureaucrats and politically intimidated Coast Guard officers.

If the oil spilling in gulf waters—and it’s impact on the livelihoods of America’s Citizens who live and work in the Gulf Coast Region—were not so serious and very real, some of the silly shenanigans—perpetrated by “Federales” on the scene and those ensconced in Washington—might be Abbott and Costello screen funny.

But this latest “crisis” is no laughing matter.

Here are some facts:

Earlier this month, two Southern Republican governors—Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and Alabama’s Bob Riley—gave specific action-oriented directives that would protect their state coastlines.

Jindal ordered “barges to begin vacuuming crude oil” out of the waters. The oil vacuuming approach worked. That is, it worked for a while.

How long is a ‘while’?

Answer: A ‘while’ is… “until the Feds came along”.

Jindal said “The Coast Guard came and shut them down… they said ‘Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.’

“It’s the most frustrating thing… literally, yesterday morning we found out that they were halting all of these barges.”

Exasperated, Jindal told media on the scene: “These barges work. You’ve seen them work. You’ve seen them suck oil out of the water.” As a result, “more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore”.

Why did the Feds stop the oil vacuuming barges that did the job?

“The Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because they needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board (the 16 barges), and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.”

Yes, you read that right.

Misplaced federal priorities that reflect incompetence, political arrogance, or both.

The important question is who ordered the Coast Guard to stop the successful oil vacuuming—that was working—for such a reason?

Here’s another example:

Riley said he “asked the Coast Guard to find ocean boom tall enough to handle strong waves and protect Alabama’s shoreline. They “went all the way to Bahrain to find it”.

That’s good news.

Ready for the bad?

Riley continued, “But when it came time to deploy, it was picked up and moved to Louisiana.”

It appears that Alabama’s outgoing governor may have put his finger on the problem when he said “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.”

Riley added “It’s like this huge committee down there, and every decision that we try to implement, any one person on that committee has absolute veto power.”

Hmm… absolute veto power?

In our American constitutional system of government only one elected federal official has veto power.

The time has come for President Obama to remove all those who have been party to the left-hand shenanigans going on in the Gulf region, and elsewhere, while immediately reordering administration priorities.

If Mr. Obama fails to act accordingly, it will give credence to the growing cries of federal incompetence, misplaced administration priorities, even arrogance.

Unchecked and unchanged, America’s citizens may call on their elected governors to reassert their sovereign state rights as part of their ‘boom’ to protect our shores, our Constitution and our way of life.

Richard Olivastro is president of Olivastro Communications, a professional member of the National Speakers Association, and founder of Citizens For Change (www.CFC.us). He can be reached via email: RichOlivastro@gmail.com ; telephone: 877.RichSpeaks.Checkout his blog: www.richardolivastro.com/blog