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.