Deepwater Got You Down? Try This Spring Tonic

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson

Members of a Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Team (SCAT) follow a trail of oil debris on the shoreline of Raccoon Island, May 12, 2010. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

Members of a Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Team (SCAT) follow a trail of oil debris on the shoreline of Raccoon Island, May 12, 2010. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

Over at Truthout, there’s some really good stuff today on the tragedy of the Gulf Coast. I’m not going to call it “the oil spill” anymore and I’ll bet you won’t, either, if you follow the first of the links I offer here.

In a characteristically feisty piece titled “Government Impotence and Corporate Rule,” Jim Hightower calls out President Obama and demands that he “wring a few corporate necks” and “put the public back in charge of our government.”

If you don’t know who Hightower is and why you want to know what he’s saying, here’s his current Truthout bio:

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

And Sarah van Gelder, executive editor of YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses ideas with  actions, lists six things Americans can do, “[i]nstead of sitting helplessly on the sidelines….there are some things we can and should demand,” she writes. The first is my favorite.

The federal government needs to take charge and put BP under temporary receivership as recommended by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. BP was dishonest about the quantities of oil flowing into the Gulf, and their initial repair efforts have failed. The federal government is accountable to the American people, and it needs to decide what to do to protect our nation’s water, wildlife, and shorelines of the Gulf (and wherever else the oil travels). As Reich argues, receivership would allow the government to act with full authority and accountability, and to call on all the expertise available (not just BP’s) to help make the difficult calls.

The rest are worth seeing, too.

If you’re feeling hopeless and helpless, here’s a spring tonic for you.

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