Markey says Jones Act doesn't apply in gulf spill - foreign ships are helping out he says

At last week's forum in St. Petersburg on the Gulf oil spill crises, it was mentioned during the discussion with the media panel that there were fears that the media (and/or the public) would soon grow weary of the story, and soon it would train its cameras and news pages to other news.

Although in our short attention span theater culture that is certainly a legitimate fear, the fact of the matter is is that the media are fully invested in this story right now, as is Capitol Hill, and until the oil is capped, it will continue to dominate media coverage.

But that doesn't mean there's always new information out there.  For example, Florida U.S. Democratic Senator Bill Nelson made an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, where he essentially said the same thing he did on the same program two weeks before - that he believes the military should be in "command and control" of the oil spill.  Specifically he says the Navy should be in charge.

Another difference this week on the program was that he joined in that viewpoint from California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer in expressing that sentiment.  But Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Fox News that the Navy will not be getting involved, and thinks its limited how much the DOD can do, though he's willing to try whatever's requested of him.

But perhaps most interestingly is the question of the Jones Act, the 90-year-old protectionist law that that prohibits foreign-flagged boats and crews from doing port-to-port duty within 3 miles of the US coast.

Several Florida lawmakers, most prominently Attorney General Bill McCollum and U.S. Senator George LeMieux, both Republican, have been calling on the Obama administration to waive the law and allow foreign tankers to come into Gulf waters to help skim the oil out of the water.

On Friday, LeMieux wrote to Obama about this, and Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison proposed legislation to waive the law.