Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Notes on Politics: All About the Oil Spill

It’s the nightmare that seems to have no end.

As millions of gallons of oil gush from the out-of-control BP oil line which has been polluting the Gulf of Mexico since April, killing wildlife, destroying ecosystems, as well as devastating Gulf Coast businesses and livelihoods across a large swath of American coastline (never mind the long-term impact of the toxins used to disperse the oil dumped by the millions of gallons into the ocean), and nobody seems to have any clue as to what they’re doing about how to stop the leak, never mind how to deal with what’s already out there.

Pumping mud and junk -- tires and golf balls -- into the pipe to stop it up? Might work in your kitchen pipes but didn’t work with this pipe, one with no working “off” switch. (This “junk shot” approach, ditched after putting a hat/cap over the pipeline failed, sounded like something Wile E. Coyote might attempt while using Acme brand mud and tires.)

In the meantime, President Obama’s promises to devote his utmost attention to solving this, as well as applying the power of the federal government to the BP execs, have rung hollow. The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, one of many critics, has been highly critical of the president’s perceived lack of passion and anger, fury which is felt by Americans who are watching horrifying scenes play out on TV and online via the dreadfully depressing oil spill live feed. Today Dowd wrote:

“It’s not a good narrative arc: The man who walked on water is now ensnared by a crisis under water.

One little hole a mile down on the ocean floor, so deep it seems like hell spewing up its sulfurous smoke, has turned the thrilling saga of The One into the gurgling horror of The Abyss.

. . . With as much as 34 million gallons of oil inking the Gulf of Mexico, ‘Yes we can’ has been downgraded to ‘Will we ever?’”

Ouch. Political satirist Jon Stewart took on the issue with aplomb, devoting two segments to the issue on The Daily Show.

Oh, and as for the diamond saw Stewart mentioned, latest reports coming from the bottom of the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico: The damn saw is STUCK! BP seems like it should be re-branded as the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

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