ITEM: Administration in PR "Panic" Over Oil Spill. First, if I woke up to Mike Allen every morning I'd give serious consideration to sleeping until noon, or Eternal Rest; hell, just the fact that I live in a country where administration officials won't eat breakfast without checking the US magazine of politics is enough to make me ponder the Big Sleep.
In fact, conversations at the time of the spill on April 20 show that West Wing aides were worried about the rig tragedy from the moment it was reported. Even before the scope of the disaster was clear, these aides knew that it would undermine, if not reverse, Obama’s support for increased offshore oil drilling.
Aw, gee, ya think?
Maybe it's just that I'm old, but I find myself more astonished, on an almost hourly basis, at the fact that "adulthood" is supposed to require balancing of Obvious Fucking Facts Staring You in the Face with some abiding metaphysical assurance that Profits are talismanic. This, despite the fact that it always winds up operating in reverse; once you deed control over the environment to someone whose sole concern is how much money can be wrung from it, the only question is how big the disaster is going to be.
Okay, that, plus how much we're going to increase it by playing footsie with the profiteers beforehand. (See Joe Conason on Norway's offshore drilling.)
What changed, exactly, between the Drill Baby Drill Convention of '08 and last month? What changed between last month and today? Why does it take an environmental disaster (and far from the first one) to alert you to the potential for environmental disaster?
Would now be a good time to remind you that one reason we're having this "debate" is that we had this debate thirty years ago, when "conservation" and "energy independence" were synonymous with "Malaise"? When the President's PR "Panic" was that someone would catch him with Jimmy Carter's solar panels on his roof?
Incidentally, it's interesting that one of our two major political parties voted en mass against the notion that we can give every American health care, but apparently think we can afford unlimited risk to life and livelihood so long as it's in the name of private enrichment. The Indiana primaries are today, and thank god, as we might get a week's respite from political ads. All Republicans favor jobs and small children, so long as they're their own or their grandchildren, though in Dan Burton's case they could be Romanian stunt doubles. Todd Rokita, best known as the Indiana Secretary of State who figured his office was a grand excuse for putting his name on everything that wasn't nailed down, then buying teevee time to publicize it, bemoans the fact that his newborn son was born $40,000 in debt thanks to the Gubmint. Or some number he pulled from his ass. It's funny that this concern never extends to Young Rokita being born hostage to utility companies, landlords, currency speculators, multinational corporations, or all the people his father's beholden to for financing his million-dollar campaigns. Cute kid, though.