The NY Times gets results! On Monday the Times headlined doubts about the official government estimates of the flow rate in the leaking Gulf oil well. By Thursday, the government had revised its estimate upward:
This assessment, based on measurements taken before BP cut the riser pipe of the leaking well on June 3 to cap some of the flow, showed that approximately 25,000 to 30,000 barrels of oil could have been gushing into the Gulf each day. That is far above the previous estimate of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day.Scientists say the flow rate could actually be greater now because they believe that cutting the riser to position the cap pipe may have only increased the flow of the oil and gas mixture.
As of Monday, the official estimate was that cutting the riser had only increased the flow by 20%; look for that number to rise, since on Monday the Times quoted a scientist involved with the effort as saying that the flow may have increased by "multiple factors".
Now if the people who demanded that Obama get angry would declare themselves satisfied, we could get rid of this First Emoter imposter and bring Mr. Cool back.
PHONY AND ANNOYING: An otherwise dumb and unamusing column from Nick Kristof ends with this false choice:
Well, rage isn’t President Obama either. It’s not who he is any more than a monarchy is America.
So maybe we should just accept that we’re stuck with a presidential system — and with a ruminative and slightly boring president who tries to solve problems rather than fulminate about them.
I don't think people have a problem with Obama trying to solve problems; I think they have real doubts about his priorities, and real concerns that the problems out here in America are not registering on his radar.
Do remember, his approval rating was swooning before the Gulf debacle, mainly because we had spent a year worrying about jobs, jobs, jobs and he had spent a year focusing on health care, health care, health care.
The Gulf problem drifted for a week before Obama finally sprung into action. Scientists have been critical of the government response, and some of the early decisions (such as declining Dutch oil-sweepers) look absurd in retrospect.
So let's not pretend that Obama was calmly doing a great job on this, and that an ungrateful nation was unreasonable in looking for a little more Presidential effort.