Framing the Dialogue

Keeping Up With The Jones

The joke goes;  A Brit, a Canadian, a Croatian, a Frenchman, a German, an Irishman, a Mexican, a Romanian, a Dutchman, a Norwegian, a South Korean, and a Swede rush out of a bar one day.  Barry the bartender says “What’s the hurry?  Did someone spill something?

The joke unfortunately is on us as our federal goverment has refused the help of these nations to control and clean up the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Many of us seriously have our doubts that the White House was on top of things from “day one,” but the linked article provides a glimpse into the fact that many of our allies offered help in our hour of need.  The Dutch, in particular, offered help almost from DAY ONE.  Here we are nearly two months later and the Obama administration is still refusing help from other countries.

The Deepwater Horizons spill is being considered the worst man-made disaster…ever.  If you read the papers, listen to talk shows, the news, even CNN you have heard stories about experts, companies, and other governments who have offered their expertise and equipment to help stem the tide of oil. 

One issue that prevents foreign-made and foreign manned ships from participating is the Jones Act that was originally passed back in 1920.  The act requires that “all goods transported over water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. The purpose of the law is to support the U.S. merchant marine industry.”  Here we have a blatent protectionist law for one industry being supported by Obama to the detriment of the whole Gulf Coast and possibly the East Coast (if projections of the potential spread of the spill are correct) and thier industries.

“The Gulf is in dire need of all the help it can get. When foreign entities with better expertise and equipment in oil spills offer to help, why is Obama refusing? While Obama dithers in his bad leadership of the Oil Spill, the Gulf Coast dies more and more each day.”

President Obama could waive the Jones Act in an Executive Order with the stroke of a pen and yet refuses to do it.  This is a major disaster and a temporary waiver seems prudent to accept help.  Is this a payback to the many unions who donated hundreds of millions of dollars to get him elected?  Is his administration simply inept?  Maybe he needs time to put together a blue ribbon panel to make recommendations thus passing the buck as he has done on other issues. 

"That looks like a nice golf course."

I don’t yet believe that he is that evil to actually use the spill and environmental disaster to achieve his political agenda.  I said “yet.”  It is unconscionable that this has gone on so long without some type of effort to clean up the mess.  Skim it, burn it, scoop it, suck it with a straw…I don’t care just do something.

Obama’s response to the crisis is sure to go down with the greatest quotes that inspired generations before;

JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you…”

Reagan’s “Tear down this wall…”

Lincoln’s “Four score and seven years ago…” or

Truman’s “The buck stops here.”

and now Obama’s “I can’t dive down there and plug the hole. I can’t suck it up with a straw.”  [truely inspirational words]

Leave a comment

Use basic HTML (<a href="">, <strong>, <blockquote>)