Did the stimulus plan help Georgia? You bet

CAVE SPRING, Ga. — Last week, under a brilliant blue autumn sky, a platoon of Georgia officials broke ground for a brand-new vocational training center for Georgians who are deaf, blind or suffer other disabilities. It will replace a smaller facility, which has been located in this small town near Rome since 1962.

Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, who planned the new building, noted the good fortune of a $10 million project in the midst of severe state budget cuts. He called it “miraculous.”

It isn’t. The new center will be constructed with funds from the same deeply unpopular federal government program that has cut taxes, bought groceries and paid college tuition in households around the country for more than a year — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the “stimulus.”

Among the officials grabbing a ceremonial shovel was Eddie Lumsden, the Republican chairman of the Floyd County Commission. While he believes the new Cave Spring Rehabilitation Center will be a “plus for the community,” like most GOP officials, he’s no fan of the Recovery Act.

“The argument was that it was going to do a lot to bring jobs and help business. But our economy here has not rebounded,” he said.

The Recovery Act was no cure-all, but an analysis by two economists has concluded that stimulus programs under the Bush and Obama administrations added about 2.7 million jobs. (In 2008, in response to the sluggish economy, the Bush administration sent out tax rebate checks. That was a little-noted early stimulus plan.)

In a July report, Princeton University economist Alan Blinder and Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi, who advised John McCain’s campaign, concluded: “The stimulus has done what it was supposed to do: end the Great Recession and spur recovery.” Without the stimulus programs, they said, the unemployment rate would be around 1.5 percent higher.

Thurmond, whose department oversees vocational training programs, said that he set aside stimulus funds for the project because the old training center was dilapidated and “an embarrassment to the state of Georgia.”

The stimulus funds were “a Godsend, the money coming in the midst of a recession when state funds were being cut, to address this huge need we had,” he said.

Since he has mounted a quixotic challenge to popular GOP incumbent Senator Johnny Isakson, Thurmond might consider another aspect of the project useful to his campaign: It will generate some 200 construction jobs, according to John Farmer, a director of construction for the Beck Group, which won the state contract.

“That doesn’t count the jobs in manufacturing. All the materials have to be manufactured,” Farmer added.

But the Recovery Act remains little appreciated among average voters. Few seem to know, for example, that nearly one-third of the $787 billion Recovery Act came in the form of tax cuts, which benefitted 95 percent of households. The tax cuts didn’t go out as separate checks but took the form of slight increases in take-home pay, as the federal government withheld less.

That strategy was intentional; President Obama and his advisers believed that consumers would more likely spend small increases on items such as groceries and clothes, stimulating the economy. A larger check might have gone to savings accounts, with no effect on retail sales.

So the economic effect was just what the president and his advisers had hoped. The political effect, however, was less than useful for Democrats — voters who don’t believe their taxes were cut. Meanwhile, Republicans and their allies in the rightwing noise machine have done everything possible to persuade voters that the stimulus legislation was a model of government waste.

The new rehab center, which is expected to open in November 2011, will include a dormitory, cafeteria and classrooms, as well as modern greenhouses, an amphitheater and a basketball court. Its opening will no doubt draw an even larger group of politicians, many of whom insist that the Recovery Act was a disastrous mistake.

480 comments Add your comment

Tech Man

October 13th, 2010
12:12 pm

HDB
October 13th, 2010
12:00 pm

The short cuts you mention were because of a waiver from the Obama Administration.

How are the wells doing that did not receive the waiver? Why penalize all drilling because of an Obama Snafu?

Adolf

October 13th, 2010
12:13 pm

HDB

October 13th, 2010
12:08 pm

Vee have vah vays!! Patience…ZIG HEIL!

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
12:14 pm

Really, Kamchak, my ox is being gored? The only non-liberal forms of news in this country are Fox and talk-radio (by and large). So what is the first form of media to be targetted under a hopeful return of the rather misnamed “Fairness Doctrine”: talk radio. I’m sorry that much of the country is centrist and right-leaning. I know that really throws a wrench in your over-all government plans, Kammy.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
12:14 pm

Good Grief
October 13th, 2010
12:10 pm

“But I know when a judge declared the first ban overturned, …”

Wasn’t it noted that the judge should have RECUSED himself because he was a STOCKHOLDER in the same oil companies that would have been affected by the moratorium?? Could you say that justice was bought and PAID for by the oil companies to lift the moratorium????

C’MON, MAN!!

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

October 13th, 2010
12:15 pm

Kamchak
October 13th, 2010
12:06 pm

The “liberal media” has been doing a good job marginalizing itself for decades. No help needed from talk radio.

Keep up the good fight!

October 13th, 2010
12:15 pm

Can we get some more tea party candidates who claim unemployment compensation is unconstitutional when they make sure their wife collects unemployment when fired her from her temporary job?

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
12:16 pm

I know that really throws a wrench in your over-all government plans, Kammy.

(Sigh) And which plans are those?

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
12:17 pm

The “liberal media” has been doing a good job marginalizing itself for decades.

There’s your sign.

Tech Man

October 13th, 2010
12:18 pm

President Barack Obama’s failures of either competence or candidness regarding the size of the oil spill are just the beginning of his administration’s botched disaster response. From the beginning there was a complete lack of coordination between local governments, BP, the federal government, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard, not to mention the refusal to allow expertise and resources from foreign parties until months into the spill. Then there was the overzealous enforcement of labor and environmental regulations that slowed clean up and recovery.

Instead of rolling up his sleeves and fighting the disaster head on, President Obama used the disaster for political gain to push his existing environmental agenda. He used the spill to push his stalled energy tax bill in the Senate and then instituted an all out ban on deep water oil development. Then when a federal judge threw out his original ban because it was “arbitrary and capricious,” President Obama doubled-down expanding the ban even wider.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

October 13th, 2010
12:19 pm

Kamchak
October 13th, 2010
12:17 pm

If the “liberal media” told me water was wet I’d believe it. You on the other hand issue “signs”. How lame.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
12:21 pm

Tech Man
October 13th, 2010
12:12 pm

Question: Why endanger more of the coastline and food resources (fishing, shrimping, et. al..) in the LONG TERM rather than have a moratorium of deep water drilling in the SHORT TERM to ensure the viability of BOTH?? Admit that Deepwater Horizon is a SNAFU……but short term PAIN is tolerable to ensure long term viability!! Note how the people of the Gulf are suffering because people are hesitant to purchase seafood from the Gulf; no one knows the long term issues to human health due to the use of chemical dispersants (I know I’m avoiding Gulf seafood until I know!). How long is it going to take until the Gulf is viable for both industries to coexist????

Keep up the good fight!

October 13th, 2010
12:22 pm

Limp leg…how is that birther thing going for you? Liberal media says to believe our President is born in USA.

Guess you know the liberal media tells the truth!

David Granger

October 13th, 2010
12:22 pm

Did it help? Certainly did.
Did it help the country as much as it COULD have, if the money had been spent wisely, and not looked upon as “pork”? Of course not.

Kamchak

October 13th, 2010
12:24 pm

Keep

Let’s leave Orly Taitz out of this.

Pluto

October 13th, 2010
12:26 pm

You know you can vacate one of these sites for a week or more and then re-visit and nothing changes. The same old wine in another bottle. The same hackneyed players espousing the same old diatribe. It must fulfill some need; maybe it’s an intellectual inferiority thing?!?!

beavis

October 13th, 2010
12:27 pm

“And serious people understand it and appreciate it.”

Granny has the best drugs around, but only intelligent people understand that the stimulus did NOTHING, except pay off cronies. Granny did you see that Wall Street has the biggest bonuses in history, there is the stimulus….
Please Granny tell the over 10% of people looking for work how well it has done….

Since Obozo came into office over 7.4 million jobs have disappeared, so please tell me what it has done, not by some un-measureable figure of “what we think we saved” jobs, but created…..ZERO
Obozo and people that follow this loser are the only people in the world that can spend a trillion dollars and have nothing to show for it and call it a “Success”

Red Sovine

October 13th, 2010
12:28 pm

Come on back truckers and talk to teddy bar.

Billybob

October 13th, 2010
12:30 pm

Another day another Tucker. Keep talking Tucker! Three more weeks and we’ll see where it has taken you…

HDB

October 13th, 2010
12:30 pm

Tech Man
October 13th, 2010
12:18 pm

Not quite true; the Hatch Act did not affect the help coming to the Gulf…because the area affected was OUTSIDE US territorial waters!! No one in the federal government had the expertise to handle a spill of such magnitude….and the BP response plan was copied from their Arctic Response….using contacts who were DEAD….

What the President did was to default to the “experts”, i.e., BP…..and let private industry take control! Look at what happened…..

Also..be reminded that the owners of the Deepwater Horizon (BP, TransOcean and Halliburton) submitted aperwork on the rig that is sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands…where prefunctory inspection…less that USCG standards….were invoked!!

A moritorium to ensure that all oil rigs could PASS a USCG inspection and were up to deep drilling standards WAS appropriate……..

HDB

October 13th, 2010
12:35 pm

beavis
October 13th, 2010
12:27 pm
“Since Obozo came into office over 7.4 million jobs have disappeared, so please tell me what it has done, not by some un-measureable figure of “what we think we saved” jobs, but created…..ZERO”

Remember: under Bush, the nation LOST a net 8M jobs…..
Question: If you had been one of the 25,000 people who LOST their jobs nine MONTHS into the Bush Administration over a 2-week period….and have YET to recover, would you be so enthusiastic for the GOP…who did nothing to mitigate such an occurrance??

Think it didn’t happen? WRONG!! Ask those who were laid of right after 9/11 who were working for United, Delta, Northwest……

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
12:37 pm

HDB – could they not have inspected these rigs on a one-by-one basis without shutting down the entire industry? One rig had a problem, to me that’s not justification enough to take the entire industry offline.

Tech Man

October 13th, 2010
12:37 pm

HDB
October 13th, 2010
12:30 pm

A moratorium on BP is appropriate. See their standards on the Alaska pipeline.

Why penalize others, doing the job correctly, because of an Obama Administration SNAFU on a known renegade company?

Billybob

October 13th, 2010
12:37 pm

Stimulus = slush fund
Stimulus = millions of lost jobs and 10%+ unemployment in many places
Stimulus = shows Central Gov’t planning DOESN’T WORK
Stimulus = Entirely new way to count jobs that are “saved or created”, that’s my favorite one!
Stimulus = leads to MORE stimulus to create what the last stimulus has already created or saved? WHAT A CROCK?
Stimulus = $1 trillion in money Obama borrowed from China(foreign money) to create or save jobs…..total hypocrite on foreign funds charge leveled by Obama!!!!
Stimulus = what Granny likes in the morning:) couldn’t resist…

Billybob

October 13th, 2010
12:39 pm

Cat got your tongue tucker?

Tech Man

October 13th, 2010
12:40 pm

Responding to the BP oil leak, President Obama instituted a moratorium on deepwater (over 500 feet) drilling. Though a judge ruled against the moratorium, drilling has not restarted. In addition, though no official moratorium was issued for drilling in shallower water, the permitting process has slowed considerably.

granny godzilla

October 13th, 2010
12:42 pm

beavis

great new name!

can you please provide new whine to go with your cheesy posts…

yep, only a rightie can say “mission accomplished”

tee hee hee

Gm

October 13th, 2010
12:42 pm

Teach Man: Let see you people cry we dont want more government but yet when the President says I am going to let private sector clean up their mess then you people cry, the President did not do enough.
This is the kind of hypocrites in the Rep party.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
12:45 pm

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
12:37 pm
HDB – could they not have inspected these rigs on a one-by-one basis without shutting down the entire industry? One rig had a problem, to me that’s not justification enough to take the entire industry offline.

Only 36 rigs were affected…..not every rig in the Gulf fell into that category!! How many could have similar issues? If not for the moratorium and subsequent inspections, we would have never known!! Once each of those 36 rigs gets inspected and PASSES, then I think that we’ll be back to “normal”……

Short term pain for long tern gain…..I can live with that!!

Tech Man

October 13th, 2010
12:37 pm

A moratorium on BP is appropriate. See their standards on the Alaska pipeline. Why penalize others, doing the job correctly, because of an Obama Administration SNAFU on a known renegade company?

Are you SURE that all were doing things correctly?? Who else may have taken short cuts? We wouldn’t know unless we took all prudent steps to do so….and the moratorium to ensure such, IMHO, was the right…and NECESSARY thing to do!!

Roy Barnes

October 13th, 2010
12:48 pm

Elect me again and all my lawyer friends will be happy! Yes..I was a lousey Governor before and would do a sorry job again but so what! I’m a lawyer! Don’t worry..folks without jobs..I will have you all raking pinestraw in our Georgia forests! That should make you commmon people happy!!

Gm

October 13th, 2010
12:48 pm

HDB: Blood OIl George Bush, lost 5 million jobs under his adminstration, Stop watching Fox and learn,

Unemployment Mn, Wy, Nk,Ks, Nb, is less then 6% they took the money, please blame your corrupt good old boy here in Georiga, Sonny and the next Georgia crook Nathan Deal, you people can not be these dumb of hicks.

18 wheels and a dozen roses

October 13th, 2010
12:49 pm

Plenty truck driving jobs available. Oh thats right unless you flunkies can start a job as CEO or making a minimum of $100K annually you had rather sit on your lazy behinds asking for a handout.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
12:49 pm

Tech Man
October 13th, 2010
12:37 pm

“Let see you people cry we dont want more government but yet when the President says I am going to let private sector clean up their mess then you people cry, the President did not do enough.”

GM does have a point here; in your eyes, WHEN is governmental action necessary??

HDB

October 13th, 2010
12:51 pm

Gm
October 13th, 2010
12:48 pm

Hey….check my 12:35….I know that jobs were LOST in the Bush years; mine was ONE of them!!!

Tech Man

October 13th, 2010
12:52 pm

HDB
October 13th, 2010
12:45 pm

How long to inspect one rig? If inspected and passed why not put them back on line immediately?

Something stinks more than just BP and it is the Obama Administration dragging their feet, costing jobs.

Billybob

October 13th, 2010
12:52 pm

The only way Obama can move his ‘green’ agenda forward in this country is to destroy the oil and coal industry. The slowing of permits is part of that. He is on record saying he wants to destory the coal industry. People need to start listening to what this guy is saying. His ‘green agenda’ has no room for fossil fuels people!!!!! His next destructive environmental moves will be through the EPA, behind the scenes, over the next 2 years. Take a look at who he has appointed there. This guy is not the man A LOT of people thought they voted for. Listen to him speak on a daily basis and please tell me what you see. He is a man that is ANTI-CAPITALIST!!! Don’t listen to me, just listen to the way he throws industries under the bus ON A DAILY BASIS! Even far left liberals can’t push this kind of stuff under the rug. Wake up people!!!

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
12:52 pm

HDB – I’m asking why each of those 36 rigs could not have been taken offline one at a time to be inspected, leaving the other 35 operating and producing, since they’d not had any incidents. It would be even less short-term pain to do things that way than to tell the entire group to shut down. Since you’ve not had problems with any of the other rigs, let them run until their inspection time. Seems more reasonable than shutting down the entire group.

hotlanta

October 13th, 2010
12:54 pm

I wonder did all of these folks that are soooooooooo opposed to President Obama and his policies are telling their insurance company you can drop me because I have an existing illness and I don’t want Johnnny in college on my insurance either. There butts were the first one in line.

Yall know good and well if this was a socialist country, a word being thrown around like water, yall behinds would be in jail and never to be seen again. Go to Cuba with this mess and see what happens. If yall want a smaller or no government go to Haiti or Afghanitan somewhere. How can folks complain about less government and running for political office themselves. DUMB!!!

It’s amazing how they wanted less government but when the oil spilled into the Gulf they wanted the GOVERNMENT to do something about it within 24 hours. Those fisheman were trying to get 2-3 year free ride off BP talking about when the well is sealed what about us. We are going to be forgotten. Go to Mcdonald’s they are always hiring. A lot of them has been working under the table for years and haven’t filed taxes and they know if they get that money their butts would be exposed. It is amazinf how they don’t consider themselves criminals for doing this.

What is the Governor and Mayor of these states doing to provide jobs for their constituents. NOTHING!!!!! They are blaming the President for that as well. The Repulicans blocked a bill to bring the overseas jobs back home. What they are trying to do is stop evertything that the President is doing and when they get in office they are going to copy him and do the same thing and claim VICTORY!!! They are still acting as if someone stole their pony. Ger over it REPLICANS you lost.

DawgDad

October 13th, 2010
12:54 pm

Cynthia, there is a clear and distinct difference between government spending and economic stimulus. Trying to portray this Rehab Center construction spending (of borrowed money) as economic stimulus is so over the top as to be laughable, but I think you know very well the difference and you’re intentionally misleading your economically illiterate readers. Shame on you.

Jack

October 13th, 2010
12:57 pm

For your edification: “Make do” means muddle through until a real job comes along.

Billybob

October 13th, 2010
12:58 pm

THIS JUST IN TUCKER!!!
Obama admits that….”there’s no such thing as shovel ready projects”. Obama SOLD THE STIMULUS ON THE FACT THAT it would keep unemployment under 8% and that it would create miliions of jobs through “SHOVEL READY PROJECTS”. NOW HE ADMITS THERE IS NO SUCH THING. All Obama fans please chew on this one and then respond.
PS….he sold the Obamacare bill on the fact that it would save money and right after it was passed the CBO said it was going to increase the budget!!!!!!

beavis

October 13th, 2010
1:01 pm

HDB,
Bush left office what was the unemployment rate, 5 or 6 %?
Now add 1 trillion dollars and lose 7 million jobs, that is great success, for a loser.
I am still not sure how you loser libs who complain about what Bush spent or did, by the way he is no longer in office, just in case you libs haven’t figured it out, where is the outrage of spending more in 18 months than Bush did in 8 years. Then lose more jobs than Bush did in 8 years, if that is liberal success I WANT to fail…
I am so glad November is close

Billybob

October 13th, 2010
1:02 pm

This guy may be a nice guy to some of you but it is increasingly obvious that he is IN WAY OVER HIS HEAD and is ECONOMICALLY ILLITERATE……just how Tucker likes readers to be in order for her to post columns like this one. Say something Tucker…PLEASE!!!!

18 wheels and a dozen roses

October 13th, 2010
1:02 pm

hotlanta

October 13th, 2010
12:54 pm

LOL…that was a nice yet non-effective diatribe.

PS…Obama is about to have his hands tied behind his back and be taught a lesson.

HDB

October 13th, 2010
1:04 pm

Tech Man
October 13th, 2010
12:52 pm
Good Grief
October 13th, 2010
12:52 pm

….from the WSJ…..maybe this is why….(just conjecture)

Inspectors Rarely Surprised Oil Rigs

Surprise inspections of deepwater drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico dwindled to about three a year over the past decade, even as exploratory drilling far from shore increased, according to federal data analyzed by The Wall Street Journal.

And since 2004 federal authorities haven’t made a single surprise inspection on any of the 50 or so deepwater natural gas and oil production platforms in the Gulf, despite a law requiring periodic unannounced inspections. Like rigs, these semi-permanent structures also handle enormous amounts of oil and natural gas and are at risk for oil spills and worker fatalities.

This dearth of surprise visits to deepwater operations reduced the likelihood that inspectors would find individual safety violations, industry experts and inspectors say. “You’re more apt to see what actual operations are with a surprise inspection,” said Perry Jennings, who heads the union local that represents federal offshore inspectors. “And if something’s going on that’s inappropriate, that’s the best time to catch it.”

Since the explosion of a BP PLC well in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20 that led to 11 deaths and the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, the Minerals Management Service, the agency that monitors offshore drilling, has been the subject of withering criticism for what many described as lax oversight and enforcement of regulations.

Regulators in the U.S. and around the globe routinely use surprise inspections in such operations as airplane maintenance and oil refining.

It’s impossible to know if a surprise inspection would have prevented the deadly explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon, the rig drilling the BP well, owned and operated by Transocean Ltd. The last unannounced visit was in October 2006.

However, inspectors can request records on the condition of the blowout preventer, a mammoth set of valves designed to shut down the well in an emergency. Some of the functions on the blowout preventer failed to work on the Deepwater Horizon.

Federal inspectors spent 62 hours aboard the rig in 2009 in announced visits. And an announced inspection this year about three weeks before the blowout lasted about two hours, but no citation was issued.

Still, unannounced inspections are seen as so critical to ensuring safe mining that Congress is considering a bill, drafted in the wake of a recent deadly West Virginia coal mine explosion, to make it a felony punishable by five years in prison to tip off an operator about an unannounced inspection.

Regulators with the Mine Safety and Health Administration said it was during a surprise inspection on Sept. 28 that they found safety violations at a West Virginia mine owned by Massey Energy Co. that could have caused an explosion. Massey, the owner of the separate West Virginia mine where 29 workers were killed after an April 5 explosion, said it fired three workers and suspended nine others over the recent inspection results.

“If you have zero unannounced visits and if the industry knows there will be no unannounced visits, that changes the incentive to be vigilant,” said Cary Coglianese, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in regulatory issues.

But officials with the MMS, recently renamed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, say surprise inspections were a low priority in deepwater energy operations.

“It was not what anybody wanted,” said Elmer P. Danenberger III, the longtime head of the agency’s offshore regulatory programs who retired in December. Mandatory annual inspections of 3,800 offshore facilities, responding to hurricane and collecting royalties were deemed more urgent, he said.

Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar has promised extensive reforms in the agency and named a new director with a broad mandate to overhaul policies and enforcement practices.

A recent report said the agency’s policy about surprise inspections must be clarified. Interior spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff promised “to determine the appropriate actions to take as we reorganize the agency.”

A Journal analysis of inspection data from 2000 through July 2010 showed an agency that had significantly reduced unannounced inspections in the Gulf’s deep waters, which the agency defines as 1,000 feet or deeper.

In 2000, about one in nine inspections of deepwater facilities were unannounced, according to the Journal’s analysis; by 2009, that rate had dropped to about one in 80. Meanwhile, the number of deepwater wells pumping oil and gas more than doubled over the decade to 602 from 256, according to federal data.

Some companies, such as Transocean, almost never had a helicopter carrying an inspector appear on the horizon to check on them. Surprise inspections accounted for less than 1% of total inspections for the Switzerland-based company between 2000 and 2010, the lowest among large drilling companies.

A Transocean spokesman said that drillers don’t determine “the number or frequency of government inspections.”

Inspectors arrive offshore via government-leased helicopters usually with a computer-generated random list of safety and antipollution components.

The inspector can issue a warning, or order the shutdown of a single component, or the entire facility. The third option was a rare occurrence.

In fact, the government and inspectors have been faulted by internal investigators for being too close to oil companies, sometimes even allowing company employees to fill out inspection reports.

An April 2005 memo prohibited certain unannounced inspections. In the memo, Donald Howard, a former regional supervisor for MMS, required inspectors to give a 24-hour notice before inspecting many of the largest offshore platforms. He cited new security regulations imposed after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

But the U.S. Coast Guard, which oversees these security rules, said it could find no justification for a 24-hour notice. “I haven’t found anything that requires an advanced notification to conduct an inspection,” says Lt. Commander Kevin Lynn, chief of the Coast Guard’s offshore facility security branch. “I am not exactly sure where that is coming from.”

Mr. Howard couldn’t be reached for comment. The agency fired him in 2007, and he later pleaded guilty to failing to disclose gifts from an offshore drilling company.

The policy was reiterated in 2007 by Joe Gordon, who subsequently left the agency to work for Chevron Corp. He declined requests for an interview.

Last month, an Interior Department Inspector General report found employees felt pressured to notify Royal Dutch Shell PLC before traveling to its offshore facilities. Shell spokesman Bill Tanner said: “If we did request additional notice, it was purely a safety matter in our mind.”

A separate Interior Department internal report released last month noted that individual district MMS offices seemed to have different interpretations of agency policy about when and if surprise inspections could be done or even what constituted one—something the department said needed to be clarified.

The report also noted some companies had “special notification arrangements.” The Interior Department declined to elaborate.

Oil and gas companies have generally favored scheduled inspections over unannounced ones. Allen Verret, executive director of the Offshore Operators Committee, an industry group, said scheduling inspections helps avoid congestion—and potential danger—if a helicopter appears unexpectedly.

Most inspectors, however, felt handcuffed by the arrangement. A recent survey by a federal safety oversight board convened by the Interior Department found that 90% of inspectors said there was a “critical need for more unannounced inspections.”

—Leslie Eaton and Tom McGinty contributed
to this article.

JB

October 13th, 2010
1:05 pm

Pork. Money to dead people. money to prisoners.Special interest funding……In the words of Bob Schefer at CBS……….Is this the best you can do…….Look, when a project is done, a road paved, these “few Jobs” go away…..Americans spending money on good and services drive this economy……. WORKING AMERICANS………..DEM’S are really clueless….It’s scary

Booger Presley

October 13th, 2010
1:06 pm

Upon Obamas incarceration plan on singing “Jailhouse Rock”.

“Number 47 said to Obamee
Your cutest jailbird I eva did see
I sure would delighted with ya company
Cmon and do the jailhouse rock with me
LETS ROCK…

Everybody lets rock
Everybody in Obamees block was
dancin to the jailhouse rock”

Good Grief

October 13th, 2010
1:10 pm

Okay, so the MMS decided that 24-notice was needed. Instead of telling the service to repeal the need for that notice, the administration decided the best step was to shut down all deepwater rigs. Surprisingly, that makes sense. (SARCASM)

guy

October 13th, 2010
1:12 pm

CT just wants to rile up her conservative enemies.Don’t give her the pleasure of succeeding.She would support O.J. Simpson or Al Sharpton if they were running for office too.
You can’t fix STUPID!

AmVet

October 13th, 2010
1:12 pm

“I am still not sure how you loser libs who complain about what Bush spent or did…”

Of course not. Because we all know he is not, in the slightest way, responsible for ANYTHING regarding the current state of affairs in America.

In fact I think we should elect a whole bunch of these new mini-GWBs and see how that works out for middle class Americans!

EJ

October 13th, 2010
1:13 pm

Cynthia’s Next Column:

How Crime Helps Georgia

Recent smash and grabs have been seen as detrimental to the local economy. But in truth, these criminals are helping to stimulate and create new jobs.

New windows must be installed to replace the broken ones.
New flat screen tvs must be purchased, helping the sales at local stores such as Wal-mart and Best Buy, enabling the state to collect additional sales tax dollars.

Local insurance companies must raise their premiums to cover these additional losses. It also requires the hiring of additional claims adjusters, another boom for the local economy.

All in all, we are benefiting greatly from the Smash n Grabs….

So keep up the great work. It’s in our best interest.