Politico sucks it up uneasily. (But the oil is still gushing)
Nonetheless, West Wing officials are feeling very good about how the BP and McChrystal crises turned out -– and believe that their response may help the president pivot to the offensive. In each case, Obama did little second-guessing and acted decisively, according to participants in presidential meetings.Well, and they would know. For sure.
But what about that huge skimmer that hasn't been used yet?
And Bill Clinton has had enough. He says blow up the well.
Same goes for trying to save oiled birds or other wildlife. Federal permits—which can take up to three years to process—are required, and violators are subject to arrest, fines, and jail. So if an oiled mallard washes up on shore, best leave him be and call the proper authorities to scrub him down with Dawn soap, never mind if he dies before they get there.
Some brave souls are resisting this nonsense. A couple of fire chiefs from the Magnolia River and Fish River communities in Alabama got tangled up in five weeks’ worth of red tape just to bring in equipment to block the oil from getting into their rivers. “They can arrest me and Jamie if they want to,” one of them said, “This is the biggest damn mess I’ve ever seen.” [snip]
According to the Coast Guard there are 400 skimmer vessels working along the affected coast—which, depending on how its measured, is somewhere between 500 miles (the linear measure) and 5,000 (if you measure every cove and creek). There are said to be 2,000 skimmers available in the United States. Gulf Coast residents are wondering just what the other 1,600 are doing. Apparently many of them are required by government regulation to remain right where they are in case of emergency. The mayors of a number of small towns along the coast are seeking to purchase their own skimmers instead of relying on the effort by BP and the government, but that leaves open the danger of government regulators insisting on weeks of training and testing before they can be put to use.When the oil is upon you, it is not a matter of weeks, but of hours, even minutes. The cleanup effort is drowning in the proverbial sea of red tape. The interesting contradiction here is that the entire response is turning into one of the greatest arguments against government regulation that could possibly be imagined.