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Allen: Oil will be out there for months to come; Crist praises administration's response; Israeli ambassador: No apologies

By Matt DeLong and Aaron Blake

Sunday Rundown: A quick wrap-up of the Sunday talk shows.

CBS: FACE THE NATION - Allen: Oil will be out there for months to come

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, commander of the Obama administration's response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, described the "bottom kill" procedure that he said will ultimately stop the flow of oil after the relief wells are drilled. "This will only end when we intercept the well bore, pump mud down it to overcome the pressure of the oil coming up from the reservoir and put a cement plug in," Allen said. "That's what I would call bottom kill rather than top kill." Allen said the region will be dealing with the environmental impacts long after the leak is plugged. "There will be oil out there for months to come ... this will be well into the fall," Allen said. The admiral said it was "absolutely not the case" that the administration had placed limits on what he is allowed to say publicly.

Echoing statements made on "Fox News Sunday" by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)said that the oil washing up on Florida's shores "wasn't that bad" compared with the economic damage to the tourism industry. "The bad part is that people think that there's oil there and they're canceling their fishing trips," Nelson said. "They're canceling their hotels. They're not going into the restaurants because they're not coming. They are canceling orders of our fish houses because they're afraid that the seafood is tainted. And as a result, there is a huge economic impact that is beginning to be felt." Nelson lauded the Coast Guard for doing a "great job" but called for greater military involvement in the effort "if it continues for months."


CNN: STATE OF THE UNION - Crist praises administration's response

Allen distanced himself from BP Senior Vice President Bob Fryar, who said he was "very pleased" that the company has been able to divert some of the oil. "I don't think anybody should be pleased as long as there's oil in the water," Allen said. "I would say progress has been made, but nobody should be pleased until the" spill is capped. Allen repeatedly described the spill as an "insidious" foe. "It's like an insidious enemy that just keeps attacking. It's going to be there for a while."

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I) praised Allen's responsiveness. "Whenever we have made an ask, it has been answered. And we hope and pray that will continue to be the case." Crist, who switched from Republican to independent earlier this year, also addressed allegations from his former close ally, ex-state GOP Chairman Jim Greer, that Crist had approved am an alleged fundraising scheme for which Greer was arrested recently. Crist said it was "absolutely untrue." "Sometimes desperate people say desperate things and it's very sad," he said.

Appearing on the show two days before he tries to upend Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) in a runoff, Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D) was repeatedly challenged on the millions in support he has received from unions in a state that has little union presence. Despite that support, Halter has repeatedly declined to say where he stands on the unions' top priority, the Employee Free Choice Act. Halter did say he supports a secret ballot, which has been the main sticking point for opponents of the bill. But he said organizers have given up on seeking a vote. "The old card check provision is no longer on the table, and I have that directly from that people that are involved in the negotiations," Halter said.

Lincoln appeared after Halter. She acknowledged that she has suffered in an anti-establishment election year as someone who has served in Washington, but she emphasized her independence from her party and her moderate politics. "Yes, people are frustrated in Arkansas with Washington, and I certainly have admitted to them that I've gotten that message. And more importantly, I understand what they feel."


FOX NEWS SUNDAY - Israeli ambassador: No apologies

Allen, making the rounds on almost all of the Sunday talk shows, said "the final fix" to the oil spill in the Gulf "is the relief well in August," which he referred to as "the right time frame. He said the spill is not "monolithic" but is actually an "aggregation of smaller spills." While about 140 miles of coastline is currently being impacted, Allen said, the frontline has expanded to 300 to 400 miles. He added that there is a "low probability" that the oil will get into the Gulf's loop current and spread into the Atlantic Ocean.

On BP's performance in handling the spill, Allen said the oil company needs "to get much better at the retail side," which he said includes dealing with the public and processing claims from those affected by the disaster. Allen defended the administration's transparency in the immediate aftermath of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, saying that the Coast Guard immediately prepared for the "worst case scenario" after the blast. He also rejected criticism of the Coast Guard's handling of Louisiana's plan to build sand berms to prevent oil from entering delicate coastal ecosystems. He said the Army Corps of Engineers required time to assess the environmental impact of the berms, but Allen approved parts of the plan immediately after the Corps signed off.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said his state has seen "virtually no oil" wash up on its coast. He added that the "biggest negative impact for us has been the news coverage" which has driven away tourists. "The coast is clear," Barbour said. "Come on down." Barbour criticized the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on new drilling projects, which he said would cause oil companies to abandon the Gulf in favor of West Africa and other parts of the world.

Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren flatly asserted that "Israel will not apologize for taking the steps necessary to defend its citizens." Despite the Obama administration's claims that it had warned Israel to be cautious before its raid on an aid flotilla that left nine civilians dead, Oren said that Israel "did not receive messages of that nature. Oren said Israel would reject an international commission to investigate the raid, and would instead carry out its own probe. If Iran sends military ships to escort future flotillas, Oren said "Israel will do whatever it takes to defend itself from Hamas terror."


ABC: THIS WEEK - Cornyn: Flotilla activists provoked Israel

Allen said the oil-sucking tankers used to contain a 1993 Saudi oil spill weren't a manageable alternative for stopping this spill. "The tankers actually have to be modified; they're not ready to go right now. No. 2, we don't know what those modifications would do to the stability of the vessels. ... And No. 3, the area of operation is very different." Allen said BP has been forthcoming throughout the situation. "When I ask for something, I get it." He also stood firm that spill workers should provide media with "uninhibited access" and should not follow any orders to resist the media's queries.

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) appeared next. Kerry defended the Obama Administration's response, which has been under growing criticism. "Everybody understands the government of the United States doesn't do the drilling," Kerry said. "The government of the United States doesn't have the technology. And they've been racing to try and make up for BP's mistakes and for the absence here of a sufficient level of emergency." Cornyn said the Democratic energy bill which Kerry has spearheaded would put too much of a burden on the economy during tough times: "A lot of people that make their livelihood in the oil and gas administration are going to be out of work."

Shifting to the recent killings by Israeli soldiers on a flotilla headed for Gaza, Cornyn blamed the flotilla activists for a "premeditated provocation" of Israel. "(Israelis) are entitled as a matter of their self-defense to look to see whether weapons or other items are being smuggled in," he said. Kerry said Israel has a right to defend itself, but said Gaza needs to be allowed a steadier stream of aid.


NBC: MEET THE PRESS - Off this week

By 44 Editor  |  June 6, 2010; 2:02 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Gulf oil spill diverts attention from domestic atrocities against American citizens...


Political leaders "targets" too? OR


* Mid-Atlantic States MAGLOCLEN fusion center (includes D.C.) -- "A serial violator of constitutional and human rights," says veteran journalist Vic Livingston.

When will the Obama administration get a grip on a rogue bureaucracy? OR Facebook -- Vic Livingston ("Notes" tab).

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 7, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Well, if you don't like the "head" comment, how about this? Obama is a corrupt Chicago gangster / marxist who hates America, and along with his wife (who gave him his first job) "has never been proud of America".

Posted by: jhr1 | June 7, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I can only hope that they can at least get this gusher contained, sooner rather than later. My biggest complaint about the government's response is that they haven't gotten out the resources necessary for cleanup and for preventing the oil from reaching the beaches and marshes in the first place. Now is not the time for the usual strangulation of red tape. They certainly don't have the expertise the oil companies and ancillary service companies have in finding solutions but they should have been more forceful in seeing that BP coughed up the dollars to help the locals in their preventive and cleanup measures. I've seen reports from local officials who say that despite BP's promises, they've seen nothing from them in the way of money or resources. As an Alabama native and former Florida resident, it disturbs me greatly that the response has been so poor.

And JBfromFL, I agree wholeheartedly with your comment. I am not a fan of this administration but the first comment shows a distinct lack of class, good manners or sense. There's no excuse for it.

Posted by: Lilycat1 | June 7, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

To the poster below with the comments about Obama's head. Grow up! This is political chat, not white racism chat. You aren't funny, and your statement says alot about you.

I think it's over for the Democrats and especially this administration. I know I'll be voting them out in November and again is 2012. The oil leak, and their poor-response is the last straw for me.

Posted by: JBfromFL | June 7, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

the BP's "cap" CLEARLY is a DRAMATICALLY WRONG idea!!!
don't wait more DAYS or WEEKS to do something better!!!
take a look and adopt NOW my NEW idea just published!!!
it can STOP up to 100% of the oil leak in a matter days!!!

Posted by: gaetanomarano | June 6, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Let's stick Obama's nappy head down the well, maybe that will soak up all the oil and his dumb head will at least be worth something.

Posted by: jhr1 | June 6, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

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