[Editor's note: BP removed the cap Saturday at 12:37 p.m. CDT.]

I’ve lost count of how many times the powers that be have proclaimed that the latest and greatest idea to cap the gusher in the Gulf of Mexico will absolutely, positively, definitely, dead-solid lead-pipe cinch surefire no-doubt-about-it work. So add one more to that.

The BP oil leak could be completely contained as early as Monday if a new, tighter cap can be fitted over the blown-out well, the government official in charge of the crisis said Friday in some of the most encouraging news to come out of the Gulf in the 2 1/2 months since the disaster struck.

Crews using remote-controlled submarines plan to swap out the cap over the weekend, taking advantage of a window of good weather following weeks of delays caused by choppy seas.

“I use the word ‘contained,’” said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen. “‘Stop’ is when we put the plug in down below.”

Why would they even bother to say this? Nobody retains any expectations that oil will stop flowing into the Gulf until the completion of the relief wells, and maybe not then either. Why raise those expectations when every other attempt has failed? Top hat, tipped. Top kill, dead. Junk shot, junked. Containment dome, leaky.

By the way, this is another instance where the well will actually spew more into the Gulf in the meantime, as we await the results of the new cap:

During the installation, the gusher will get worse before it gets better. Once the old cap is removed, oil will pour into the Gulf unhindered for about 48 hours while the new one is put in place, Allen said.

The last time they tried to make something temporarily worse before they made it better, when they sliced the pipe to get a tighter fit on the current containment cap, it increased the flow rate so much it very nearly negated the effect of the capturing.

I’m with this guy:

Some people in Louisiana’s oil-soaked Plaquemines Parish were skeptical that BP can contain the oil so soon.

“Too many lies from the beginning. I don’t believe them anymore,” oyster fisherman Goyo Zupanovich said while painting his boat at a marina in Empire, La.