Monday, July 05, 2010

Spill continues to pump oil into Gulf, but White House successfully plugs leaks -- of information on websites, from journalists, and local officials

It's day 75 and oil in the Gulf of Mexico continues to flow.

But there's one thing the administration appears to have plugged: information flow related to the spill. The President, seemingly more concerned with his image than anything else, wants to suppress the graphic evidence of his bumbling response.

WKRG Mobile reports that the government has taken "tighter control" over the spill response website that had been co-managed with BP. In short, "who can post information to the site would change. Details are still being worked out... [a government spokesman] said the government wants to be as transparent as possible and increase Americans' access to information."

It appears clean-up equipment is provided to local officials to "shut them up". After a series of appearances on TV, a parish president was shocked to find two White House officials show up at his office on Father's Day. They asked him what they needed to do to "keep you off TV". These and similar accounts "raise serious questions about whether the Administration is more concerned with fighting a public relations battle than combating the oil spill.”"

A photographer taking pictures of a BP refinery while on a public road was reportedly detained by BP security, local police and a DHS official.

The union of television and radio professionals -- AFTRA -- has created a new section of its website to handle reports of journalists who are denied reasonable access to cover the effects of the spill. CNN's Anderson Cooper has been vocal in protesting the suppression -- some would call it censorship -- of information by the government.

It only took the White House 75 days to get the A-Whale Super Skimmer to the Gulf; 53 days to accept help from the Dutch and British and 58 days to mobilize the military. The administration also shut down cleaning barges for "infractions" like not enough fire extinguishers on board; prohibited sand berm dredging in Louisiana; and lied to state officials about the cleanup efforts.

But don't worry, folks -- it's like 9/11. Except for all of the golf.

And the fact that the spill continues to pump oil into the Gulf. And that the government can't seem to get anything right, other than threatening local officials to shut the hell up and censor the increasingly dire news.

I give Obama a good, solid B+ on this oil spill thingie.


bondwooley said...

Obama told America that if we can win WWII and put a man on the moon, we can plug this leak and solve our dependency on fossil fuels.

But there's a missing piece: the soldiers in WWII had the Pentagon and Neil Armstrong had NASA. What's the man on the street supposed to do to solve the fossil fuel problem? Is it time for an organized, funded effort?

The following link is to a satirical video, but it underscores this issue in real terms.

Link: You're Soaking In It

gail said...

I'll believe the superskimmer is on the job when an independent source confirms it. We know it's down there, but it's being tested and who knows how long that will take or what the outcome will be?

MataHarley said...

Just a small info correction, Doug. The big Zero and the WH had nothing to do with the A-Whale coming to to the Gulf. That was done unsolicited by the tanker's owner. They retrofitted it as a monster skimmer in Portugal, then sailed it to the Gulf with a refuel stop in Norfolk.

The owner did this sans a contract with BP, or without contacting the US federal authorities to ensure the tank skimming would meet EPA requirements. Granted, he probably had a good motive since the recently commissioned tanker didn't have any notable contracts in it's existing condition. However it strikes me as a very astute move to retrofit it for the current Gulf need.

The tanker, after it's Portugese port retrofit, arrived in the Gulf on June 30th. It then had to wait out the Hurricane Alex weather before commencing it's testing July 4th.

All without the help of the O'admin, of course. They are a conglomeration of community organizers, lawyers, and all around putzes.

And thank you for the link!

MataHarley said...

Gail, if you go to the Marine Traffic live site, you can search the A-Whale vessel in the Gulf and see it's movements. It's definitely there, and is tracked by it's onboard GPS equipment.

MataHarley said...

oops... so sorry that the Marine Traffic live link didn't work. Here it is the old fashioned way...

lop faran said...

Mr. Obama is really killing this country. I really hope he doesn't get reelected!