Today in BP Oil Disaster: Day 71



• Good morning, Alex! After stalling out last night, he's on the wobbly move again today. He's still a tropical storm, but is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane at the next advisory. It's still scheduled to make landfall in south Texas or northern Mexico, perhaps as a Category 2. Projected landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday. "Forecasters said the storm's likely path would take it away from the site of the huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill off Louisiana's coast, but added that it might push oil farther inland and disrupt cleanup efforts."


• Vice President Joe Biden is in town today to meet with Gov. Bobby Jindal, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, and NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco. Then he's off to Pensacola, but not before engaging in the new New Orleans ritual for politicians: the Gulf seafood lunch, publicly eaten to demonstrate its safety and deliciousness.

• BP's got a backup strategy. Oh, good.

• The Jimmy Buffett/Kenny Chesney benefit concert scheduled for July 1 on the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala. has been rescheduled to July 11 due to expected high surf, inspiring even more than the usual level of half-wit attempts at wit over in the comments section at

Protest at London's Tate Museum:

Activists opposing oil company BP Plc burst into a party at London’s Tate Britain last night, spilling cans of an oil-like liquid inside and outside the gallery to protest BP’s 20-year sponsorship.

Black-clad protesters with veils over their heads splattered the party entrance with cans of treacle bearing the BP logo, then sprinkled bird feathers over the slick. Another group smuggled cans inside, under their skirts, and emptied them in Tate Britain’s columned main hall.


Speaking of protests, there'll be another one today at 3 pm in Washington Artillery Park (better known as the breakdancers' amphitheater) across from Jackson Square. On hand: musician Jason Mraz and actor Peter Fonda of March for Clean Energy. Participants are asked to bring black plastic bags so aerial photographer John Quigley can get a picture of them spelling out some sort of message ... and then the bags will be put to good use cleaning up trash. Leave only your footprints, kids.

• Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour may be tardy to the party, but he's finally shown up. After exhibiting a blithe spirit last month about the spectre of his state's beaches turning to tar, he's now blasting BP for doing too little, too late. (He's not too thrilled with the Obama administration's response either, quelle surprise.) But wasn't it only June 16 that Barbour was hopping mad about the BP victims' compensation fund/escrow account?

• We've heard a bit about how the oil is affecting Louisiana's Vietnamese-American community. Here's the view from Biloxi:

To help, Asian Americans for Change, a local community development organization established in 2007, and Steps Coalition, a group of 35 social- justice organizations, are planning a Resources and Claims Fair for July 8 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.

Kaitlin Truong, one of the organizers, said they hope to offer a BP claim workshop and a Unified Command briefing, along with social services focusing on mental health assessment, information on the hurricane season, disaster preparedness and safety training.

• Epicurious takes note of Susan Spicer's class-action lawsuit against BP for damaging the Gulf fishing industry, and The Village Voice is amused that her lawyer is named Serena Pollack.

• Finally: Gambit ace photographer Cheryl Gerber has published a book titled Love Pelicans, filled with images of our state bird, and all profits go to the International Bird Rescue Research Center. A nice gesture that would make a nice gift. Hint. Hint.

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