So you’ve probably been thinking throughout this whole gulf-destroying oil spill business: Isn’t there, like, some kind of meddling bureaucratic government agency that’s supposed to make whiny liberal complaints about potential environmental apocalypse when someone asks to set up an offshore drilling rig? Turns out that, whoops, there is, and they have been, but the Minerals Management Service has just been stone cold handing out permits anyway! The Mark Trail-endorsed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been raising objections about sea life when these leases are approved, but apparently the MMS kids have “given up any pretense of regulating the offshore oil industry,” according to some environmentalist lady who lives in Tucson, protected from sinister oil spills by thousands of miles of deserts. [NYT]
In other cheery oil spill news, according to nerds, the sea floor could give way under all the pressure of oil gushing out, and then the whole Gulf of Mexico could blow up, in an “Earth extinction event.” [Slashdot]
Did blogs affect the British election? These are the tough questions the BBC is asking, because it is still 2004 over there, apparently. [BBC]
Today in foreign unrest: Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia. The Indonesian dudes were plotting to kill their president and, more importantly, our president, who is also Indonesian.