Daniel Stone

Top Kill Fails

After three days of pumping a viscous mud mixture into the oil well in the gulf, on-scene engineers have admitted that the Top Kill measure designed to stop the leak of oil has failed. What are the next steps?

Obama: Get Your Shirt Dirty

The president was remarkably rigid during his visit to the gulf Friday. If he had gotten down in the muck, or angrily shaken his fist, it would have earned precious political capital with the region's residents and fishermen.

Heads Roll as the Oil Slick Spreads: Elizabeth Birnbaum Resigns at MMS

On the same day that engineers are completing the top-kill procedure to stem the flow of oil from the Gulf of Mexico seabed, Washington is executing a top-kill procedure of its own at the Minerals Management Service. Elizabeth Birnbaum, head of the agency that oversees drilling for oil and natural gas, was asked to resign from her post this morning by the Obama administration.

Arizona Mocks Washington With Muppets

It's been a long week of criticism in Washington. Criticism, that is, of Arizona's controversial immigration law. President Obama has taken several high-profile swings at the measure, calling it "misguided" and then "misdirected" this week at a presser with Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

BP Continues Stealth Public Relations During Its Crisis

Knowing that its name and future are at stake, BP has had to walk a fine line. Doing nothing to quell public outrage over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill would quickly erode the company's image. But undertaking aggressive and overt marketing to downplay the effects of the incident could just as easily paint the company as more concerned with profits than ecological impact.

The Indirect Sort-Of Apology While Blaming Someone Else: Blumenthal Coins New Kind of Mea Culpa

Imagery is always deliberate in political apologies. Clearly, Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's attorney general and Democratic Senate candidate, put some thought into how he'd apologize in front of the cameras just hours after a devastating front-page story in The New York Times implicated he had lied on several occasions about serving in Vietnam.

Savage Does Playboy: 'I Am a Sexual Libertarian'

Conservative commentator Michael Savage has a penchant for being racy and provocative. But even we were surprised to see a sit-down he did in this month's Playboy. (Can't say we've ever heard of this magazine, although word around the office is that they do great journalism.) Playboy writer David Hochman spent 16 hours interviewing Savage, an experience he said was "incredibly difficult." Savage's opinions were often incendiary to the point of being like "poison." In this case, however, the...

Oil Spill Raises Questions About Arctic Drilling

It wasn't that long ago that proponents of oil drilling, and even President Obama, were arguing that the threat of spills had been substantially reduced thanks to new advances in drilling technology. It's a claim that sounds humbling in light of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. But rather than harp on the past, environmentalists are focusing their efforts on the future, specifically this summer, when another round of exploratory drilling is set to begin off the pristine coasts of Alaska.

How Obama Got to Kagan

President Obama's process to select Solicitor General Elena Kagan began the day after outgoing justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement, according to a White House official.