While a number of you may have been celebrating 4/20 yesterday (cough), that date is notorious for many less pleasant anniversaries, one of which we noted yesterday. We'll note another today when we take a look back at what happened two years ago yesterday: the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling platform which killed 11 people, and poisoned the Gulf of Mexico with millions of barrels of oil.
There are some images from that ecological nightmare which will be burned onto our national consciousness forever -- the pelicans and sea gulls covered in crude; the patches of dark slime that one could pick out of the water by hand; Republican Joe Barton's apology to BP; the endless stream of oil from BP's broken pipe, seemingly flowing as if it (and its minders) didn't have a care in the world. Today, we're seeing images like these, of deformed sea life, and continuing to hear the stories of the people whose lives have been forever altered.
Melissa, who lives in Louisiana, will talk to one of her Gulf Coast neighbors today when she welcomes Dean Blanchard, owner of Dean Blanchard Seafood of Grand Isle, LA. His booming business was decimated by the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and today he is enduring the aftermath, both physically and financially. He'll join us live from New Orleans, along with National Wildlife Federation biologist Doug Inkley and the former Democratic U.S. Senator from Florida, Bob Graham, who co-chaired the Presidential commission that investigated the oil spill.
We'll keep it local for Melissa's beloved home state, and also when it comes to national politics -- examining not simply the already-tight 2012 race, but also the down-ballot races that are growing in importance. In the wake of the departure of basketball legend Pat Summitt, Melissa will also delve into the flourishing of women in sports in the Title IX era. She'll also have a unique take on yesterday's bond hearing for Trayvon Martin's killer.
Other guests will include:
- Alex Wagner, host of MSNBC's "Now with Alex Wagner."
- Rebecca Traister, Salon senior writer and author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election That Changed Everything For American Women."
- Jemele Hill, ESPN columnist.
- Ashley Hicks, co-founder of Black Girls Run, a fitness-advocacy group targeting obesity in African-American communities.
- Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, in 1967 (and last week's "Foot Soldier"!).
- Doug Thornell, former national press secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
- Robert Traynham, former communications director for Rick Santorum and MSNBC contributor.
- Nathan Gonzales, deputy editor, Rothenberg Political Report and writer for Roll Call.