Is the Gulf oil spill spinning out of control?
Top Hat, Top Kill, Junk Shot, Hail Mary. I don’t know about you but it sure feels like nobody’s going to stop this leak. Even BP CEO and chief spinmeister Tony Hayward is lowering expectations. This mess is officially out of control.
“Plug the damn hole”
Presidents don’t do impotence — usually. But while BP pipes spew non-stop on webcams, President Obama reduced to sending Cabinet members to the scene where they hold daily press briefings to explain what BP is (or is not) doing. Should we be surprised then at Obama’s “Plug the damn hole” outburst at a recent White House meeting?
In his Washington Post blog Joel Achenbach calls BP the ballerina and the federal government the Stage Mom. But here’s an alt analogy: BP is the teen learning to drive and the government is the parent in the front seat. Only he doesn’t know how to drive either.
They got nothin’
The speculation in Washington is that if BP can’t pull off its “top kill” gambit tomorrow, the White House will need to do something dramatic, like take over.
The feds do have the authority. But what would they do if they took charge of the unstoppable spill? The government’s top man in the field, Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen, flat out concedes that the feds are out of their league-technically-when it comes to plugging the damn hole.
Got any ideas?
Andrew Revkin, in his Dot Earth blog in the New York Times, wants a swat team, of gung-ho geologists and engineers. David Gergen, writing for CNN, wants to rally the country’s best and brightest to brainstorm a solution.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) wants to send in the troops. Let the U.S. military take over the cleanup operation.
Screw the army, we want Bruce Willis!
There is one other option out there, a dark option that BP wants nothing to do with. Nuclear weapons. Hey, we’re serious here, people! The Soviet Union has used nukes four times in the past to cap leaking oil and gas wells. Sure it sounds crazy, but according to Russian writer Vladimir Lagovsky, the explosion “compresses the rock and squeezes the channel shut.”
Of course, resorting to nukes could be a tough call for a Nobel Peace Prize winner, notes Christopher Brownfield, writing in The Daily Beast.
… using nuclear weapons, even for peaceful purposes, would be problematic for a president who stood in Prague and declared that the world should rid itself of such devices. If President Obama were to use a nuke to close this well, he would give other states an excuse to seek nuclear weapons of their own.
Oh, and by the way your poll numbers suck
Surprise, surprise. More than half the people surveyed in the latest CNN poll are unhappy with the way Obama is handling the Gulf disaster.
Mr. President, plug that damn hole.