If you have some spare cash, send them some.
Bottom line: this is a teachable moment, and teachable moments were exactly what the Obama presidency were supposed to be all about. Following today's disappointment statement, it sounds like the President could use a bit of advice, not just from VoteVets but JUSIPER mainstay E.J. Dionne.
So there you have it: "Do something!" citizens shout to a government charged with protecting the environment in and around a Gulf of Mexico that is nobody's private property. Yet the government, it seems, can't do much of anything because the means of stopping the flow of oil are entirely in the hands of a private company. BP was trusted to know what it was doing with complicated equipment that, it would appear, it either didn't understand very well or was willing to use recklessly.
Belatedly, the Obama administration has realized that citizens can never accept the idea that their government is powerless. It is moving to show that it's in charge, even when it is not. The president plans to visit the gulf again, on Friday, and on Wednesday, the White House called in a group of journalists for a briefing with Allen, who is earning a reputation for bluff candor. He spoke as the order was given to try to plug the well through a process colorfully called "top kill." [...]
"Deregulation" is wonderful until we discover what happens when regulations aren't issued or enforced. Everyone is a capitalist until a private company blunders. Then everyone starts talking like a socialist, presuming that the government can put things right because they see it as being just as big and powerful as its Tea Party critics claim it is.
But the truth is that we have disempowered government and handed vast responsibilities over to a private sector that will never see protecting the public interest as its primary task. The sludge in the gulf is, finally, the product of our own contradictions.