Even late yesterday, multiple government agencies have held to the BP claim that the leak is only 5,000 barrels a day, though most scientists have challenged those numbers.
The spokespeople for NOAA, the Coastguard, Homeland Security, MMS are all saying that no oil has reached the Loop current, which connects to and feeds into the gulfstream which could take the oil gusher’s output all the way the east coast, even to Europe. .
These same spokespersons are saying that they question the reality of the ten mile by three mile by 300 yard curtain of oil reported on Friday in the NY Times.
Yet we have a coastguard image showing tarballs just found in the keys.
Now, Obama is calling for a commission. You can call me a conspiracy theorist, but I am bored by JFK theories and am absolutely not a 911 truther. But it seems pretty clear to me that commissions are used to create chimeras that, on the surface appear to do due investigative diligence, but really provide cover with unanswered questions and half truths.
How about this– a bottom-up citizen’s investigative commission? Let citizens and businesses harmed by the gulf BP gusher band together and file a civil suit that starts with a commission of experts– but not one made of former politicos and energy industry and other corporate shills who have made money providing cover to polluters. I suggest this because I fear Obama, with his feckless team of corpsters– Emanuel, Geithner, Summers, Salazar– to name a few, will submit a list of worthless, untrustworthy fellow corpsters (like banksters only they can be pimps and whores for any big corporate industry)
Every day, Obama’s leadership becomes more and more disappointing. Yesterday, the man at MMS who was in charge of offshore drilling regulation put in a resignation to end his job the end of this month. Obama should have fired him and had Eric Holder (still looking worse than Gonzales) start investigating him. Actually, Ken Salazar, who oversees that agency as Secretary of the Interior, should clean out the whole MMS rats nest.
This is a massive, huge national emergency. BP has no privacy rights. The government should be keeping this as transparent as possible, even posting new videos and scientific findings on a website.
It’s clear that the US government’s usual and customary agencies that deal with offshore drilling are woefully unprepared for what we are, as a nation, as a planet, facing. It is time to go whole hog bottom-up. Put up the website that was used to poll Obama supporters before– that was de-emphsized when marijuana legalization, investigation of Bush and Cheney started showing up as the most popular bottom up issues. Use that kind of site to enable people to post suggestions for solutions. Let the people vote up the ideas they think are smartest. Bring in NASA engineers.
Open this up to the whole world. There’s no way of getting around it that this happened on Obama’s watch. It is highly likely it happened because of the inaction and cronyism of Bush appointees, but that is also Obama’s fault, for allowing them to stay, instead of replacing them. There are thousands of these lurking time bombs saturating government.
Obama should appoint a team to identify all of them– the ones he can fire and replace instantly with appointments, the ones that need congressional confirmation and the ones who are in velcro jobs that are not easily dislodged. Then, he should immediately remove, as soon as they are identified, the pure political appointees still in place. He should line up replacements for ones requiring congressional approval and replace as many as he can using interim appointments, just the same way Bush appointed Bolton to represent the US at the UN. The others– probably thousands, who Bush shifted from political to civil jobs, should be put on notice that their every move, every email will be closely monitored, and their previous moves should be reviewed, with the intent of removing them if they’ve engaged in pro-corporate actions that failed to fully require compliance with regulations. If democratic appointees failed to require compliance with regulations, fire them too.
I spoke to Senator Byron Dorgan (D ND) about this yesterday and he said that the president decides how regulations are followed. Well, how about if this president decides that not having followed regulations, even under another president is not acceptable? Set a precedent that if you don’t follow congressionally dictated regulations under one president, you are at risk of losing your job when he leaves office.
It is clear that we are not getting transparency from our government. It is clear that Obama has not moved fast enough to clear out the bad apples in many regulatory agencies. It’s not even clear that Obama is going to start enforcing regulations.
This is a world record shattering disaster. Obama is not aroused, not aggressive enough yet. This is as bad as any military attack on America and will adversely affect millions of lives.