Cleaning house at MMS

CLEANING HOUSE AT MMS…. For eight years, we saw an administration in which officials were kept on the job, regardless of job performance. Indeed, in many bizarre instances, we had a president who’d promote those who failed.

There’s more accountability now.

Democratic sources say the Obama administration has fired the head of the U.S. Minerals Management Service in response to blistering criticism over lax oversight of offshore drilling.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity before the official announcement, tell The Associated Press that President Barack Obama will announce the decision Thursday.

I guess this answers the question of whether “anyone in the government [will] be fired” as a result of the disaster in the Gulf.

Of course, whether anyone at the energy companies — BP, Transocean, Halliburton — might also lose their job remains to be seen.

Liz Birnbaum’s departure, after less than a year at the Interior Department, comes just 10 days after the White House also accepted the resignation of Chris Oynes, the top Interior Department official who oversees offshore drilling for the MMS.

Given the damage to the Minerals Management Service during the Bush/Cheney era, and the breathtaking corruption that became the norm at the agency, it stands to reason the staff departures aren’t finished yet.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.