On March 31, President Obama announced a new policy toward offshore drilling off the Mid-Atlantic and Florida coastlines. Three weeks later the BP oil platform blew up and sank in the Gulf of Mexico and Obama had to reverse himself.
That wasn't Obama's fault, of course, but it is the kind of thing that happens when Administrations are looking a little shaky. The fact that the broken well is pouring some 5,000 barrels of oil per day into the Gulf isn't Obama's fault, either, but that means some 70,000 barrels of crude are fixing to begin washing up on someone's shore in the next couple of days.
The Administration's insistence that it has been involved in the oil spill "since day one" is coming under some scrutiny. According to the AP's Erica Werner, when Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano said on "Meet the Press" Sunday that,
"We had (Defense Department) resources there from Day One. This was a situation that was treated as a possible catastrophic failure from, from Day One," may have been a bit hyperbolic.
Three days earlier, according to Werner, Napolitano had specifically said that "the Defense Department was not yet involved in responding to the spill: 'If and when they have something to add, we'll certainly make that known,' she said."
White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, appeared to be pretty sanguine about the whole situation three days after the spill (well beyond what most mathematicians would consider "Day One") when he "seemed to dismiss" suggestions the spill might "affect Obama's plans to open up new areas of the coast to offshore drilling," quoting Gibbs as saying:
"I don't honestly think it opens up a whole new series of questions, because, you know, in all honesty I doubt this is the first accident that has happened and I doubt it will be the last."
The Administration is not slick enough to cover its lack of concern at the front end of the BP oil leak. With apologies to Oscar Hammerstein, "When do you spell an oil spill like 'Katrina?'"
The SUV Bomber, Faisal Shahzad, (no relation to Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's famous story-teller) was nabbed by the Feds at JFK airport after he had gotten on a plane bound for Dubai.
The question zipping through cyberspace was: How did Shahzad get on the plane if he had been put on the "no-fly list" after he'd been ID'd as the prime suspect?
According to a theory propounded by the Christian Science Monitor, the Feds had followed Shahzad to JFK, allowed him to park his car (in which they found a 9mm pistol), and allowed him to check in.
According to the CSM, Dr. Joseph King, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York theorized:
"Probably the clerk when he checked in was not an airline employee but a federal agent. Shahzad was probably never more than five feet from an agent the whole time."
The whole point of the exercise was to see if a confederate was on the plane which agents (who had presumably pre-boarded had) would detect by his "making eye contact or winking."
The Feds ordered the plane back to the gate and they took Shahzad into custody.
This whole Times Square episode points out how dangerous the world remains, notwithstanding the Obama Administration's on-going policy of attempting to nice our enemies into submission.
Obama is sailing through some rough seas.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Reuters calculation about how much oil is leaking, the Christian Science Monitor, and to Oscar Hammerstein. But not to Scheherazade. Also a Mullfoto of an interesting bumper sticker and a fairly silly Catchy Caption of the Day.