Now that everyone's tuned out for the Memorial Day Weekend, it's time to dump the bad news: The top kill doesn't seem to be working, despite repeated positive assessments from the Coast Guard. A month and change since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf, the Times has finally found an inside source on the team trying to plug the leak. And this guy's news is not specifically too good.

This morning Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said the top kill effort was continuing, and that BP engineers had been able "to push the hydrocarbons and the oil down with the mud." But later today a technician working on the effort leaked contradictory information to the Times.

Despite the injections at various pressure levels, engineers had been able to keep less than 10 percent of the injection fluids inside the stack of pipes above the well. [The technician] said that was barely an improvement on Wednesday’s results when the operation began and was suspended after 11 hours. BP resumed the pumping effort Thursday evening for about 10 more hours.

"I won’t say progress was zero, but I don’t know if we can round up enough mud to make it work," the technician said. "Everyone is disappointed at this time." Yeah, understatement of the century. BP spokesman Andrew Gowers told the Times he would not give "blow-by-blow commentaries," adding, "The operation is by definition a series of phases of pumping mud and shooting bridging materials and junk and reading pressure gauges. It is going to keep going, perhaps 48 more hours." If it fails, they'll try another containment dome, which didn't work last time.

Meanwhile, President Obama stood on a Louisiana beach today and told the locals, "You are not alone and you will not be abandoned. We are on your side and we will see this through. This isn’t just a mess that we have to mop up, people are watching their livelihoods wash up on the beach." Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, who has been one of the harshest critics of the federal government's response, met with Obama and other officials. He told reporters afterward, "I feel like he really cares and he's listening to us."