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Obama agenda: Is Thad Allen up to the job?

The AP asks the question… “Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, one of the few federal officials whose reputation survived Hurricane Katrina intact, is facing growing criticism that he and his agency are overwhelmed by the catastrophe. It's unfamiliar territory for a former Coast Guard Academy football captain who has managed responses to crises that include the earthquake in Haiti, Katrina and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.”

The Washington Post: “After defending for days President Obama's decision not to speak directly with BP chief executive Tony Hayward, the White House has now invited -- or rather summoned -- senior executives from the oil giant to Washington. In a letter to Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chairman of BP's board, Coast Guard Adm. Thad W. Allen requested the presence of 'you and any appropriate officials' from the company at the White House on Wednesday. Allen is overseeing the Obama administration's response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He added that Obama would attend 'a portion of this meeting.'"

“A government panel on Thursday essentially doubled its estimate of how much oil has been spewing from the out-of-control BP well, with the new calculation suggesting that an amount equivalent to the Exxon Valdez disaster could be flowing into the Gulf of Mexico every 8 to 10 days,” the New York Times writes. “The new estimate is 25,000 to 30,000 barrels of oil a day. That range, still preliminary, is far above the previous estimate of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day.”

“Family members of the 11 men killed in the Gulf oil rig explosion say they're satisfied President Barack Obama and lawmakers will help them get just compensation for their loss,” the AP writes. “Widows, parents and other relatives spoke at a news conference Thursday with senators who want to change ancient laws that limit their compensation. They met earlier with the president.”