Ex-Acting Chairman of Federal Maritime Commission Paul Anderson Reveals Misinformation on Gulf Cleanup

Ex-Acting Designated Chairman of Federal Maritime Commission Paul Anderson Neal Asbury opened the show by highlighting a number of issues that “should shake every American to the core.”  Particularly troubling is that this week the Obama administration asked NASA to become as much a tool of international diplomacy as it is an agency that furthers science, commerce, and the national security needs of the US.   Their new responsibility is to help Muslim countries develop a space science program.  The trouble is that the only Muslim country with a space program is Iran, which is thought by most analysts to want to use space science to develop ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction against targets in the Middle East, Israel and Saudi Arabia, Europe and North America.

An equaling troubling Obama administration initiative is orders to the Justice Department to sue Arizona over the State’s strict new immigration law. The administration argued the Arizona law, which requires state and local police to investigate the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being an illegal immigrant, is unconstitutional and would sap law enforcement resources. Most people suspect that the lawsuit is part of a broader approach by President Obama to curry favor with the 10.8 million illegal immigrants believed to be in the country.  Asbury, like most people, believes that tighter border security should be the priority, not a lawsuit against a state upholding an existing federal law.

Finally, Asbury discussed the appalling video available on the Internet that shows members of the New Black Panther Party intimidating and even physically attacking voters trying to vote during the 2008 national elections in Philadelphia. Despite the fact that most people think this is the clearest example of voter intimidation in decades, the justice department is stonewalling any prosecution.

Joining the show as a returning guest was A. Paul Anderson, Senior Fellow at United States Congress, Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure and a former Commissioner-Designated Chairman at the Federal Maritime Commission.

Anderson, coming off his recent work with Congress, was shocked to see how partisan the Congress has become since he was a Senate aide 27 years ago. He contends that the country is “paralyzed by partisanship,” and that both political parties are at fault.  The gridlock resulting from this partisanship has delayed key bills that could be generating jobs, such as the National Energy Bill and National Highway Bill, which could be generating millions of infrastructure jobs for highway and bridge repair and restoration.

He is troubled that out of the $787 billion stimulus dollars that were supposed to create jobs, only seven percent were earmarked for transportation.  And of that seven percent, only 25 percent has actually been spent.

One of the revealing facts about the Gulf oil spill is that there has been a great deal of misinformation disseminated by the press regarding the cleanup efforts, according to Anderson. While there is a common belief that foreign ships with skimmers have been turned away from helping with the cleanup effort, many foreign ships are actively engaged in the efforts. Much of the confusion can be traced to a maritime policy called the Jones Act, which prohibits foreign vessels from calling on more than one US port. The intent of the Act was to give priority to US ships.   This has been traced to the creation of 500,000 US jobs, with only a small portion dealing with the BP oil spill cleanup.  Anderson maintains that this is not discrimination against foreign ships, but rather giving priority to US vessels.

As for the spill itself, Anderson acknowledges that the administration has done a poor job managing the cleanup.   It was clear from the beginning that there was not enough oversight on deep water drilling or emergency practices, according to Anderson. He also proposed that archaic regulations regarding the acceptable measure of syphoning off oil with skimmers has eliminated some ships from contributing to the cleanup.

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