A 1-by-5-mile sheen of crude oil mix has spread across the Gulf of Mexico's surface around the area where an oil rig exploded and sank, according to the Coast Guard.
"This is a rainbow sheen with a dark center," Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry told reporters.
Officials do not know whether oil or fuel are leaking from the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig and the well below, but BP Vice President David Rainey said "it certainly has the potential to be a major spill."
The good news is that, as I write, MSNBC is reporting that the rig is not leaking from the well, so -- for now at least -- all the environmental damage seems to be done. The reporters seem positively giddy about this, but we've still got a 1-by-5-mile oil slick to deal with. Seems to me that's still pretty bad. 11 are missing and, at this point, presumed dead. So no happy news there, either.
Was it just 2008 when we were all told this could never, ever happen? Not only was it something that we shouldn't worry about, but people who did worry about it got well-earned mockery.
Yup, them crazy fish, they love those oil rigs... Except when they explode and leave an oil slick measured in miles. I'm guessing the fish don't like that much. And China was never looking at drilling off Cuba. That was just a wingnut rumor that served McCain's argument -- so he didn't shoot it down, as an honest man would've, he perpetuated it.
And how safe did McCain actually believe offshore oil rigs were? Well, when it was his ass on the line, not very.
Just over an hour after finalizing plans to visit an oil rig tomorrow, the McCain campaign has cancelled the visit.
"The meeting with Governor Jindal has been postponed and we are canceling the trip to the rig due to weather," said spokesman Michael Goldfarb.
Of course, there's President Obama's reversal on offshore drilling. After taking a rational stand on the issue during the campaign, Obama caved into the irrational arguments of the pro-drilling crowd. And they attacked him for it.
What we learn here is that, when it comes to environmental concerns, you should never, ever, ever give a crap what Republicans say. Your default position on this should be "they are wrong," until they prove otherwise -- which they'll almost never be able to do. Some may see this a little unfair, but I'm just saying that when you look at their track record, it bears out. We can save a little time in any debate by going with the odds.
We also learn that -- as I always say -- meeting someone who's crazy halfway is halfway crazy. Fewer rigs than Republicans would like may mean a smaller risk, but it's still an unnecessary risk of potentially devastating consequence.
And, finally, we learn that you can't make Republicans happy. Not if you're a Democrat. It simply cannot be done. Obama could suggest that a 100-foot gold statue of Ronald Reagan be built next to the Washington Monument and Republicans would pretend to be insulted that he didn't go for 150 and snubbed the Lincoln Memorial.
So my advice, which I have no hope that the White House will ever take, is screw Republicans. Screw them all. Every last one of them. And throw Joe Lieberman in there for good measure. They don't know what they're talking about and you can't make them happy. They've taken the position -- either by design or default -- of opinionated ignoramuses. No matter what you do, they'll oppose it as the biggest outrage ever imposed on the American people in the history of big outrages.
So do whatever the hell you want. The reaction from the right will be no different whether you're 180 degrees off their position or just one degree. Repeat after me; "bipartisanship is dead." If you want an idea of what a Republican "good idea" looks like, as well as what an attempted compromise with them looks like, take a gander at that big, flaming wreck off the Gulf coast.
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