On this blog, I don't, as they say, "work blue."
However. . . .
When I run across the likes of this in Friday's Washington Post, keeping things clean doesn't seem to do nearly enough justice to the magnitude of the sphincterlicious inside-the-Beltway shit peddling that's America's "new normal":
The worsening oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday threatened not only the shores of five states but also President Obama's plan to open vast stretches of U.S. coastline to oil and gas drilling.WELL, there you go.
Hours before the spill started washing ashore in Louisiana late Thursday, members of Congress issued new calls for Obama to abandon his plans for expanded offshore drilling, and White House officials conceded that the spreading oil slick could cause the president to rethink his position. "We need to figure out what happened," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. "Would a finding of something possibly affect that? Of course."
The outlook in the Gulf of Mexico remained bleak in the wake of the April 20 explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and killed 11 workers. A change in the weather and choppy waters prevented a second burn of oil at sea and slowed efforts by a flotilla of ships to skim the oily mixture from the surface of the gulf, federal officials said. Continuing efforts to use remote-controlled robotic submarines to activate a malfunctioning blowout preventer lying on the sea floor in 5,000 feet of water failed.
The Coast Guard approved an experimental plan by petroleum giant BP, which had leased the rig, to apply chemical dispersants underwater near the places where oil is gushing from three breaks in the well pipes at an estimated rate of 5,000 barrels a day.
In Washington, the White House held a series of high-profile media events aimed at communicating that the administration is fully engaged in the crisis. Obama went to the Rose Garden and said, "While BP is ultimately responsible for funding the cost of response and cleanup operations, my administration will continue to use every single available resource at our disposal, including potentially the Department of Defense, to address the incident."
Because a multinational Big Oil conglomerate was too cheap to install state-of-the-art blowout protectors on its mile-deep oil well 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, and because the federal government is too craven to insist they just fucking do it, my home state -- at least according to the experts -- is about to face the biggest environmental, economic and cultural shitstorm ever unleashed on one of these United States.
Well, at least since 1865. Or 2005, if you're from Louisiana.
In southeastern Louisiana, people are still living in trailers five years after Katrina washed away half the damned region -- and the Army Corps of Shitty Engineers ravaged the rest -- and now they get to watch the fishing industry destroyed perhaps for a generation, the wetlands destroyed maybe forever, the wildlife smothered in a tarry layer of petroleum and a genocidal knife plunged deep into the heart of their very culture.
All because, basically, Gordon Gekko wrote the rulebook for America 2.0.
This is what's happening. This is what may be happening for the next generation . . . or more. And New Orleans -- what's left of New Orleans -- is going to be sitting there with the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico lapping at "hurricane-protection" levees the Army Corps of Shitty Engineers is rebuilding only slightly less shittily than previously.
THE BOTTOM LINE here is that New Orleans is pretty much doomed because America couldn't care less. All we need is a Category 3 to just come close enough -- to the west this time.
Because in the United States today, being in government -- or traded on Wall Street -- means never having to say you're sorry. Or invest in Soap on a Rope.
These are the stakes now as the Crescent City sits under a stinking petroleum haze -- fumes from the black-tar slick just now starting to kill Louisiana's coast. And the livelihoods of its shrimpers. And its oystermen. And its coastal tourism industry.
OK, we live in a Gekko world, so you want numbers, right?
How about this, then: According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the state's fishing industry has a total economic impact of $2.3 trillion.
That's with a "T."
And amid all this -- amid all the implications of all the stuff the g**damn Eastern press can't be bothered to much think about -- we hear from The Washington Post that this is the most important damned thing about the whole deal:
Hours before the spill started washing ashore in Louisiana late Thursday, members of Congress issued new calls for Obama to abandon his plans for expanded offshore drilling, and White House officials conceded that the spreading oil slick could cause the president to rethink his position. "We need to figure out what happened," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. "Would a finding of something possibly affect that? Of course."I WENT to journalism school. I used to work for newspapers. I know all about the hierarchical design of the "inverted pyramid" method of newswriting. And that, my friends, was the second paragraph.
An entire ecosystem -- and many of the creatures living in it -- may be in the process of being destroyed. Is this Obama's Katrina?
The culture of southeastern Louisiana is being petro-choked to death. Will BP be able to weather this public-relations storm?
Thousands of people will lose their jobs -- and a way of life that survived generations but couldn't survive the explosive mixture of Big Oil and the free market. Will this cause the president to rethink the White House's position on expanding offshore drilling?
Asshat bastards. There's a sea of suffering humanity -- and suffering wildlife -- waiting to slip under the oily waves and these fuckers can't see past the political posturing and Gallup polls.
"We need to find out what happened" ought to be the epitaph on America's tombstone. Written in oil.
You know, the oil industry and the ass-kissing politicians just as well could march all of southeast Louisiana at gunpoint to the giant dust bunny that is Oklahoma, and the g**damn national press would be speculating whether the added demand for walking shoes would be a boon for Nike.
Then again, nobody much paid attention to the original Trail of Tears at the time. Cherokees, coonasses, blacks, Croatians, Isleños, Vietnamese . . . the wogs begin in Northern Virginia, right?
IT'S A DAMN PITY, Louisiana, that over a century ago when you sold your soul to the devil -- or to John D. Rockefeller, I forget which -- you wasted all the money on hookers and booze. And on second-rate schools, second-rate hospitals, third-rate roads and lots of all-pork boondoggles that kept brothers-in-law everywhere in high cotton.
Because right now, as after Katrina, it would be really helpful to have a diversified economy, an educated workforce, a decent infrastructure and a functioning civil society.
But you don't. And you're fucked. And America doesn't give a shit that you're shit out of luck.
That's because America is the devil. It's a self-righteous country full of little satans, and they're -- we're -- all going to tea parties and chanting "Drill, baby, drill!"when we're not tooling around hell in air-conditioned SUVs.
And The Washington Post is riding shotgun.
God, does it suck to be you, or what?