Nearly 40 million gallons of oil "have gushed into the ocean from a broken wellhead 5,000 feet below the surface, creating a spill that has surpassed the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in terms of volume," the Washington Post reports.
Luckily we finished our workout on the stationary bike yesterday before Obama's meaningless, taxpayer-funded Louisiana Gulf Coast photo-op appeared on one of the flat screen TVs in the healthclub's cardio area. (No matter what, Obama typically gets a free ride from his vast array of media apologists. Bush was blasted immediately for his handling or mishandling of Katrina, even though the-then Democrat Louisiana governor and the Democrat New Orleans mayor shared in the culpability. With that in mind, you imagine the outcry if Bush had waited so long to visit this particular disaster area--let alone failing to mobilize all of the instrumentalities of government to "plug the hole"?)
And Yahoo News is reporting that the photo-op was ever more bogus than even commonsense would indicate. Hundreds of $12-and-hour temp workers apparently spruced up the area for the presidential visit:
Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts, whose district encompasses Grand Isle, told Yahoo! News that BP bused in "hundreds" of temporary workers to clean up local beaches. And as soon as the president was en route back to Washington, the workers were clearing out of Grand Isle too, Roberts said...News of 11th-hour spruce-up brigade spread rapidly Friday afternoon and infuriated locals. One popular radio host...suggested that the Coast Guard and the White House may have been involved in setting up the "perfect photo op."Turning to more substantive issues, Charles Krauthammer answers a question that a lot of us have been wondering about: why did British Petroleum decide to drill for oil in 5,000 feet of water in the first place?
Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production...And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we've had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. So we go deep, ultra deep -- to such a technological frontier that no precedent exists for the April 20 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.It's amazing how this president can play golf, attend political fundraisers, and give interviews on ESPN during various national emergencies, and up until recently, the fawning media hasn't said a word.
Are things changing? Perhaps. Here, NBC's Chris Matthews temporarily jumps off the Obama bandwagon: