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Issa report questions administration's spill response

By Juliet Eilperin
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has released excerpts of a new GOP report charging that the White House has mismanaged key elements of its response to the BP oil spill.

The report, which draws heavily on administration critics such as Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, suggests that the federal government has not deployed as many assets to the Gulf of Mexico as it has said, and accuses the government of sending equipment primarily in hopes of placating disgruntled local officials.

"These testimonials from the people who are on the frontlines of this crisis have brought to light a bureaucratic quagmire that is exacerbating the response and clean-up effort-- in a post-Katrina world, this is unimaginable and unacceptable," Issa said in a statement. "The evidence on the ground suggests that the White House has been more focused on the public relations of this crisis than with providing local officials the resources they need to deal with it."

The White House declined to comment on the report--key parts of which were based on Nungesser's allegations and not independently verified.

In one section, Issa's report quotes Nungesser questioning a map of the gulf that identified the locations of 140 oil-skimming vessels.

"Sensing that the chart may have been somewhat inaccurate, Mr. Nungesser requested a flyover of the assets for verification," the report states. "After three cancelled trips, officials admitted to Mr. Nungesser that only 31 of the 140 skimmers were ever deployed. The rest were sitting at the docks. According to Mr. Nungesser, the chart appeared to have been fabricated."

The report states that Nungesser "was apparently visited by two White House officials at his office on Fathers' Day," and the parish president said they asked them, "What do we have to do to keep you off t.v.?" But it does not say if congressional staffers had corroborated this account for Issa's investigators.

In another section, the report states the U.S. government has been slow to accept foreign assistance in dealing with the spill because of the Jones Act, a decades-old law that limits the activities of foreign vessels in U.S. waters.

"According to local officials, the decision to not waive the Jones Act has impaired Gulf Coast clean-up efforts," the report reads. "The most likely application of a broad-based Jones Act waiver would be for the operation of boats equipped with skimmers, which is one of the most effective tools to clean up the oil."

But administration officials have denied that the Jones Act has impeded foreign aid. In several instances, resistance from either oil giant BP or Louisiana officials has blocked the acceptance of such offers. Louisiana officials have specifically rejected the idea of hiring Dutch companies, who are more efficient than U.S. ones, to dredge sand berms off the state's coast.

By

Juliet Eilperin

 |  July 1, 2010; 7:38 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Our country is in such horrible shape. I read the comments from each of you and it is sickening.

I'm 40 years old and in my lifetime (as short as it is), I've seen personal responsibility evaporate. We are too happy to blame someone else for our own lack of intestinal fortitude in any tough situation. Let's sue someone instead!

Firstly, the current administration's failure to adequately help the oil "spill" cleanup is NOT mitigated by the fact that the previous administration failed to adequately respond to the Katrina disaster! You CANNOT defend this failure by saying "well Bush failed too"! Bush ended up being as A$$clown in the end, but that doesn't mean Obama gets to be one too.

Second, take any and all help from anyone who offers it. If we have TOO much help (which seems unlikely), isn't that a situation preferable to not ENOUGH help????

Posted by: rebelfan94 | July 2, 2010 11:11 AM
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Whatever you think about the incompetence of the Bush adminstration with Katrina Obama is 10 times worse! It isn't even just incompetence anymore its negligence. We could have hand hundreds more skimmers down their skimming up the oil, but Obama has blocked them. Obama clearly is the worst Presdient in U.S. history. Let's pray that Hillary steps in next year to save the party and the country!!!

Posted by: valwayne | July 2, 2010 1:44 AM
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Ms. Eilperin: Your article reads like you're copying White House talking points. More specifically, I quest the validity of your claim that:

"Louisiana officials have specifically rejected the idea of hiring Dutch companies, who are more efficient than U.S. ones, to dredge sand berms off the state's coast."

This article from the Wall Street Journal directly contradicts your claim and states that Louisiana hired this Dutch company to perform dredging on June 16.

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100616-703172.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines

In fact, it appears that the only thing that held up the hiring was waiting for the Obama Adminstration's approval. Would you care to respond?

Posted by: WashingtonDame | July 1, 2010 5:53 PM
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Wow!! You people scare me. You're all still playing the Democrat vs. Republican game. Please, for the sake of our country, pull your head out. Obama and Bush are the same. They are both progressives and they are both scary. They are both after the same thing and as long as they can keep us arguing - - they win. Bush was bad, but Obama is the expert at screwing us.
Notice that none of you are disputing Issa's facts. You completely avoid the evidence of what is going on. You just try to destroy Issa or the GOP.
I don't want to here how you FEEL, tell me why what he says is a lie. Give me proof.
Guys, we need to come together, our children are depending on us.
God Bless

Posted by: wfmacwilliam | July 1, 2010 4:17 PM
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gop? is that the same party who was in charge and handled Katrina so well? It doesn't surprise me that the gop are the biggest hypocrites that could ever exist, or that they're constantly calling the kettle black. what amazes me is that they get away with it. but, when those who vote for you are made up almost wholly by mindless sheep whose minds are controlled by fright wing radio and fox news and the rest, I guess it makes sense.

Posted by: red2million | July 1, 2010 3:56 PM
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I got your small Government right here. Is there a Department of Compensating for Corporate Botches? No. I didn't think so. Besides, a proposal to establish one would be opposed by the GOP. The awl men (Bush and Cheney) ensured everything the awl industry wanted would be permitted, no questions asked, including deep sea drilling without adequate safeguards and without adequate Plans "B". So corrupted was process that sexual relations between regulators (government employees) and the regulated (awl industry employees) were commonplace. Now if al Qaeda mounted a invasion through the Gulf, I'm sure the Pentagon has plans to repel them. But awl? Not so much.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | July 1, 2010 3:40 PM
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There is a teensey weensey difference between Katrina and the oil spill. LOCAL government had jurisdiction during Katrina, and by law had to ASK for federal assistance. FEDERAL government has jurisdiction over the waters where the spill originates, and BY LAW was supposed to have measures in place to prevent the spread of oil should an accident occur. (see legislation signed by Clinton, William Jefferson). The Federal Government BY LAW also has to approve any measures that are taken, which is why A Whale sat in New Jersey for the last two months and why Bobby Jindal is pulling out his hair.

Posted by: belsawyer | July 1, 2010 3:39 PM
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The GOP wants the federal government to take control of the situation so that they fully place the blame on Obama, from the point he takes control, onward. For example: Obama secures money from BP for the American citizens being affected by this disaster. GOP response: apologize to British Petroleum CEO for the strong arm tactics of our US government.

As a matter of fact, these are the people screaming for less government, less gov interference in state matters and smaller government with corporate solutions. BP has no solution even though they're the entity responsible for having a solution....but NOW the GOP wants government intervention?

What a bunch of double-talking losers....

Posted by: massmedia77 | July 1, 2010 3:04 PM
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Year after year fools like tbastian (partially quoted below) whine about the "heavy hand of government" and vote for Republicans, who's only agenda is to cut taxes, decrease government services, and increase the wealth of the already wealthy, and yet when an emergency happens suddenly according to tbastian, a) it's the Democrats fault that the emergency happened and b) why don't Democrats rush in and save the day. In fact, tbastian, while I am very sad for all the wildlife, but YOU are getting exactly what YOU deserve.

"As someone who lives on the Gulf Coast the article does point out some of what we have ALL been saying down here. There has been little response and the Fed has not taken control of the situation at all...

Posted by: jjedif | July 1, 2010 2:29 PM
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Let's look at the record. Bush appointed a horse breeder to head FEMA, and when Hurricane Katrina struck thousands of Americans died...because FEMA did nothing.

Now an oil well blows...becauses it turns out that the technology and know-how to stop a deep sea blow-out doesn't exist...and it's Obama's fault for NOT using the "heavy hand of government" to invent the solution that the oil industry should have already had on hand and to regulate the oil industry, which year after years posts record profits.

The next time the Republicans takes the White House I think we can kiss our country good-bye because it will collapse just like the Soviet Union.

Posted by: jjedif | July 1, 2010 2:23 PM
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This is real news. Im partially shocked its coming from Wapo

Posted by: Homunculus | July 1, 2010 1:53 PM
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Where did Tom Price (R) Georgia go? After making a fool of himself kissing BP's buttocks he seems to have fallen off the face of the earth.

Posted by: jaxspp | July 1, 2010 1:20 PM
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The Republican Party has apologized to BP for the US government's "unfair" treatment of BP's negligence, and now the Republican Party is for big government before it was against it.

The Republican Party wants to "drill baby, drill".

John Boehner thinks the economic crisis he and his fellow GOPers are responsible for during the Bush/Cheney years is a minor bump in the road about the size of an ant while millions of Americans have seen their future go down in flames.

The Republican Party is blocking extension of Unemployed Insurance that will devastate millions of unemployed workers who lost their jobs because of the Republican Party's policies under Bush/Cheney. They say the unemployed, whose jobs they destroyed, are lazy and spoiled, and that the safety net is creating a nation of hobos.

The Republican Party is saying no to anything that will solve the problems it created hoping the misery and pain that results can be blamed on Obama.

Republicans are violating the trust of the people who sent them to Washington to solve the problems of the nation and are breaking their oaths of office. Their policy of "slash and burn" all efforts to improve the health of the nation borders on treason.

The Republican Party wants to raise the retirement age for Social Security to 70 for workers who are 50 and younger which will guarantee more senior citizens will die before ever receiving the benefits they paid for all their lives.

The Republican Party wants to unlock the Social Security funding lockbox and let the speculators of Wall Street access to all that money.

The Republican Party has one and only one goal: to destroy or block any programs Pres. Obama creates to solve the problems so that they can take back control of the government and resume the destructive policies of anti-worker, pro-corporate and pro-Wall Street we were victimized by under Bush and Cheney.

The Grand Old Party has become the Grotesque Old Party.

Posted by: apspa1 | July 1, 2010 1:12 PM
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Listen to Issa. Before the Senate panel advances an oil spill bill, they should assess and develop an action plan for immediate implantation on the Gulf Coast. Solve the emergency crisis disaster before you try to prevent future ones. Put out the fire first before worrying about future ones. Bill Clinton suggested a way to stop the oil spill. Just do it.

Depending on how devastating the 60,000 barrels a day oil spill after 72 Days continuous, who cares about future ones? The damage of this one is equivalent to how many more potential “blow ups” of oil rigs?

Obama tipped his hand when he said GOP wants oil companies unregulated. The President’s Democrat Party political response to disaster is let the damages continue and the White House can blame oil companies. If a grain of truth rest here in, then impeach Obama for willful neglect of Executive duties causing great damage to the environment and people of America.

Posted by: klausdmk | July 1, 2010 12:58 PM
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Is this the same party that wants less government? Strange how they now want more government.
POSTED BY: RLJ1 | JULY 1, 2010 12:18 PM
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Don’t we have public education in this country???? With that said how come we have this many uneducated or poorly educated (mainly LIBS) people in the 21st. century??? Are you really as stup1d as your post indicates??? You really cannot figure out what smaller Gov. means???? Here’s a clue simpled$%k, It has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PHYSICAL SIZE it’s about them trying to tell you what to eat, what not to eat, telling you what you can say or not say and so on. If you really are this stup1d then you should probably leave the site and return to something more suited to you. Like Facebook or Twitter. I guess there really is no fixing stup1d…..

Posted by: askgees | July 1, 2010 12:25 PM
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Will the Drill-Baby-Drillers ever Stop Crying for more drilling, and instead focus on greater Conservation and Efficiency to “Use Less Oil” and make what we use “Go Further and Last Longer”?

Posted by: liveride | July 1, 2010 12:20 PM
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Is this the same party that wants less government? Strange how they now want more government.

Posted by: rlj1 | July 1, 2010 12:18 PM
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All Deep Water Drillers must have Emergency Response Equipment and Manpower for a 200,000 barrel a Day Gusher, Independent 3rd Party Insurance, Secondary Relief Wells, Remote Acoustic triggers for Shut off Valves, Frequent Inspections of Blow-Out Preventers and Certified Drilling Rigs. That creates Engineering, Manufacturing, Maintenance and Operations JOBS - JOBS - JOBS - JOBS in the USA.

We need a Centralized Facility with Oil Cleanup and Emergency Response Equipment including Hundreds of Oil Cleaning Centrifuges just like we store Hundreds of M1 Tanks in Kuwait and Iraq. Store the Heavy Equipment on Site so it doesn't take weeks to Mobilize. That creates a culture of Safety in addition to Thousands of desperately needed Emergency Response and Safety USA JOBS that can be deployed when needed.

BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and ConocoPhillips Should Immediately Purchase Hundreds of Oil Cleaning/Separating Centrifuges: Kevin Costner’s Oil Cleanup Centrifuge can Separate 210,000 gallons of Oil and Water a day. 32 have been only recently purchased by BP but Hundreds are needed. THAT Creates JOBS in the USA.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/17/smallbusiness/small_business_bp_hearing/index.htm?source=cnn_bin

Posted by: liveride | July 1, 2010 12:04 PM
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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sixty percent (60%) of U.S. voters continue to support offshore oil drilling, but voters remain critical of President Obama's response to the ongoing oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and are more critical than ever of how the companies involved are responding.

..........We must continue to drill baby drill, that according to the American people, but who in the hell are they, right liberal/progressives...? .........lol

Posted by: allenridge | July 1, 2010 11:47 AM
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The Grand Oil Party, the party of corrupt incompetents of the Katrina persuasion are questioning Obama's response to their financial $pon$sor?
Wha! what gall!
In this case there was no: :ya doin' a heckuva job, Brownie."
Posted by: analyst72 | July 1, 2010 8:27 AM
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LOL sure... Bush was in NO t2 days after the storm. Obama didn't even mention the spill for 11 days. Then proceeded to take 2 vacations and play 9 rounds of golf....

Your about a sharp as a bowling ball....

Posted by: askgees | July 1, 2010 11:44 AM
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Are you really this stup1d??? You really don’t understand what SMALLER GOV. means??? It has nothing to do with the actual size of the Gov. ret@rd it has to do with the Gov. staying out of your life. Not telling you what to eat what to wear what to read. It has nothing to do with the Gov. doing there actual JOB. And to think OUR TAX DOLLARS paid for this simpelt0ns education.

Posted by: askgees | July 1, 2010 10:56 AM

stup1d??? ret@rd??? there for their???
simplet0ns??? You can't spell,use little punctuation and incorrect grammar!!!
And where did you get your education???
I hope it was not with my tax dollars!!!
The Feds have never told me what to eat,wear or read.And what country (or planet)are you from?
Your hate & ignorance should qualify you to run for political office!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: rosshome | July 1, 2010 11:36 AM
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ASKGEES, dude, complaining about other posters' education while you yourself don't seem to know the difference between "there" and "they're" would be funny if your frothings-at-the-mouth weren't so pathetic.

Posted by: 7900rmc | July 1, 2010 11:16 AM
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Who is responsible for this spill? Before you point a finger, ask yourself some questions. How far from work do you live? What kind of car do you drive? Do you drive 3 blocks to the grocery store? Do you bicycle or use mass transportation or walk whenever possible? How about carpooling? What's your thermostat set on? Do you plug your TV and computer into power strips that you turn off when not in use, or do you let them continue to suck phantom power from the grid? How many TVs and computers do you have? Do you pressure your local, state and federal officials to pass laws that promote mass transportation and pedestrian friendly infrastructure?

This is all about our thirst for fossil fuels. Gasoline (and other fossil fuels) are artificially cheap. We should be paying more for them, in the form of taxes and fees that go toward rail, more regulatory enforcement, alternative energy development, and clean-up funds for the messes we leave behind from this kind of extraction (and it's not just oil...check out how the hills and streams of West Virginia are being destroyed in our quest for more coal). Until we ALL change our habits and start recognizing the environmental damage we're doing in searching for and burning ever-more-difficult-to-find fossil fuels, these kinds of disasters will continue, until there's not a pristine or healthy ecosystem left on the planet.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | July 1, 2010 11:06 AM
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The Republicans always cry for smaller Federal government, but are the first to complain about the Federal governments' response to any situation.
BP should be responsible for it's own mistakes and the bill not passed on to the taxpayers. We will already pay higher prices at the pump when this is all over.
POSTED BY: ROSSHOME | JULY 1, 2010 8:37 AM
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Are you really this stup1d??? You really don’t understand what SMALLER GOV. means??? It has nothing to do with the actual size of the Gov. ret@rd it has to do with the Gov. staying out of your life. Not telling you what to eat what to wear what to read. It has nothing to do with the Gov. doing there actual JOB. And to think OUR TAX DOLLARS paid for this simpelt0ns education.

Posted by: askgees | July 1, 2010 10:56 AM
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And why have Louisana officials rejected help from Dutch companies? If you're going to make these statements, then cite the reason why.
POSTED BY: LDDOYLE2002 | JULY 1, 2010 10:26 AM
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Do you have any idea what you are talking about???? The Gulf of Mexico belongs to the people of the US or in other words WE THE PEOPLE. So LA has no say so in the decisions. Have you not been paying attention they been complaining about the lack of equipment, the fact that the feds (OBAMA) has not suspended the rules preventing foreign assistance and has allowed this to become a much bigger issue. He has absolutely NO SKILLS he!! He can’t even play basketball…. He should be impeached….

Posted by: askgees | July 1, 2010 10:55 AM
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Shut up Issa you are NOTHING but a two bit CROOK...You are SO LUCKY you should be sitting in a jail cell for 5-7 years...YOU CROOK!!

ISSA YOU KNOW FOR A FACT THAT YOU STOLE INVENTIONS FROM OTHERS AND EVEN IDEAS TOO, AND MADE BIG BUCKS OFF OF THEM ALL...YOU PIG THIEF!!!

This spill was the fault of BP & the MMS who under BUSH & THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ALLOWED ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THE OIL COMPANIES WANTED...AS LONG AS THEY PAID HUSH MONEY IN COKE, VACATIONS AND HOOKERS!

WHERE'S THE REPORT ON THAT ISSA..YOU THIEVING CROOK!!

BUSH GAVE A FREE PASS FOR SAFETY TO EVERY OIL COMPANY WHO DONATED TO HIS LIBRARY!!!

NOPE THIS LAY'S RIGHT ON THE DOOR STEP OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND THE CROOKED REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!

NEVER, NEVER EVER AGAIN SHOULD ANYBODY EVER TRUST A LYING, THIEVING SCUM BAG REPUBLICAN EVER AGAIN!!!

Posted by: imZandor | July 1, 2010 10:53 AM
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FactCheck.Org says the claims about the Jones Act in the Gulf Cleanup are not true - which is a polite way of saying Republicans and their Propaganda Network (aka Fox) are lying.

http://www.factcheck.org/2010/06/oil-spill-foreign-help-and-the-jones-act/

Posted by: ad9inaz | July 1, 2010 10:44 AM
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As someone who lives on the Gulf Coast the article does point out some of what we have ALL been saying down here. There has been little response and the Fed has not taken control of the situation at all. They seem perfectly happy to let the spill go on and have moved on to other pressing issues for them.... The oil is still leaking and it isn't getting any better. Where is the 100% all out effort to get this thing cleaned up and stopped?

As long as they can keep it out of the headlines they are happy.....

The financial destruction of a whole region of the country is taking place.. not to mention the ecological disaster. Where is Obama? Where is that laser focus her has on this?

How many people have to go bankrupt or become unemployed to get the Fed Govt attention?

Posted by: tbastian | July 1, 2010 10:39 AM
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And why have Louisana officials rejected help from Dutch companies? If you're going to make these statements, then cite the reason why.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | July 1, 2010 10:26 AM
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Those supporting the administration's response in the gulf are absolutely correct!

The administration's response has been nothing short of superb and I know all the folks in the gulf states appreciate having such a fine administration "in charge" (using our fine leader's words) of the situation.

If there are any shortcomings in the response to the crisis, it was obviously the fault of prior administrations or the other party's minority in congress. The fine leader will point that out again in his next speech on the subject which will come after the holiday break (a lot of activities planned for this weekend!).

Hey Hillary recently convinced our fine leader to accept aid offered by other countries over 70 days ago...now there is progress we can all be proud of!

We are doing just fine on the gulf crisis, the war, unemployment, the overall economy, immigration, etc. Just listen to our fine leaders speeches.

If you still believe there are problems, then blame them on the Republicans and prior administrations, it will make you feel much better as it does our fine leader.

Posted by: RandyM1 | July 1, 2010 10:16 AM
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Another WaPo straw poll:
Issa and GOpB LOSE!

Posted by: knjincvc | July 1, 2010 10:13 AM
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Skeptic1-

How true your sign on truly is!!!! Unfortunately though, a federal disaster had been declared so it WAS brownie and w who were in charge and they got 1,000s of innocents killed. Drowned like rats thanks to them.

Posted by: rpttn20041 | July 1, 2010 9:48 AM
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Ok, so many of the ships didn't deploy. Yet no mention of why. That in no way implicates the government. maybe the capatains wanted more money that was being offered, maybe they couldn't come up with enough people to crew the ships. No where does thism report state that the government prohibited the ships from being used.

Posted by: schnauzer2 | July 1, 2010 9:44 AM
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Posted by: itkonlyyou154 | July 1, 2010 9:41 AM
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Skeptic1 must have been living in an alternate universe during Katrina. You know, the Katrina that the Bush Administration neither planned for nor responded to for days - maybe some forget that FEMA and the US government didn't even know that refugees were at the convention center and Superdome - even though the convention center and Superdome were two of the refuge centers in the Federal plan? Yeah, that Katrina. The Katrina that Bush went out of his way to fly over on his way to his vacation home. Stopping would have been too much of a distraction for the relief effort. The Katrina that tricked FEMA into buying and not using hundreds (thousands?) of temporary mobile homes. Yeah - that Katrina.

Child, please.

Posted by: kemp13 | July 1, 2010 9:30 AM
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Issa paid to oust Grey Davis as governor so he could run for governor to promote smaller government with fewer regulations now wants the federal government to take over the spill but not BP.

Posted by: knjincvc | July 1, 2010 9:29 AM
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The GOP is a joke and pathetic. These are the same clowns that approved of George's Katrina response. The party of oil (no matter what).

Posted by: jckdoors | July 1, 2010 9:27 AM
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Daryl Issa... Now there's a non-partisan guy. Why would anybody think he was really in the corner of the people?

Posted by: robertmerry | July 1, 2010 9:24 AM
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Posted by: itkonlyyou154 | July 1, 2010 9:13 AM
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"The fortunate thing is 1,000's of people haven't died waiting for Brownie and w to get off their asses."

It wasn't brownie that got anybody killed. It was Ray Naggin and Kathleen Blanco and the Democratic corruption in the state.

The fed offered plenty of time and assistance to get out of New Orleans. They offered plenty of assistance afterward.

Perhaps the police in New Orleans were too busy looting to help.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | July 1, 2010 8:59 AM
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Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Once again, the Party of NO complains about everything this administration has done years after they did the same thing. The fortunate thing is 1,000's of people haven't died waiting for Brownie and w to get off their asses.

Posted by: rpttn20041 | July 1, 2010 8:43 AM
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GObP

Posted by: TOMHERE | July 1, 2010 8:42 AM
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The Republicans always cry for smaller Federal government, but are the first to complain about the Federal governments' response to any situation.
BP should be responsible for it's own mistakes and the bill not passed on to the taxpayers. We will already pay higher prices at the pump when this is all over.

Posted by: rosshome | July 1, 2010 8:37 AM
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The Grand Oil Party, the party of corrupt incompetents of the Katrina persuasion are questioning Obama's response to their financial $pon$sor?
Wha! what gall!
In this case there was no: :ya doin' a heckuva job, Brownie."

Posted by: analyst72 | July 1, 2010 8:27 AM
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