Archive | February, 2011

Joke of the day

A unionized public employee, a teabagger and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it.

The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the teabagger and points to the union guy. “You’d better look out for that guy — he wants a piece of your cookie.”

The teabagger looks at the union worker, knocks the last cookie to the floor, stomps on it and calls the union member a “fucking socialist.”

Kind of like real life!


Good news from David Dayen:

Dale Schultz, the Republican State Senator who has been on the fence on the budget repair bill that will strip away public employee collective bargaining rights, will vote against the bill, according to protest organizer leadership. According to the Capitol City Leadership Committee, Schultz told State Sen. Lena Taylor (D) that he’s a no on the bill.

And here’s the bad news: Capitol police were welding the windows shut this morning to make sure protesters didn’t have access to food and supplies.

Blocking access to the Capitol is illegal under the state Constitution.

Found it!

Video of PS22’s student chorus performing last night at the Academy Awards:

We’re so lucky

To have a new PA governor who’s so firmly owned by the energy industry, he wants no regulation at all! Start stocking up on the bottled water now, and don’t forget the Geiger counter. Wheee!

With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself.

While the existence of the toxic wastes has been reported, thousands of internal documents obtained by The New York Times from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and drillers show that the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood.

The documents reveal that the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle.

Other documents and interviews show that many E.P.A. scientists are alarmed, warning that the drilling waste is a threat to drinking water in Pennsylvania. Their concern is based partly on a 2009 study, never made public, written by an E.P.A. consultant who concluded that some sewage treatment plants were incapable of removing certain drilling waste contaminants and were probably violating the law.

The Times also found never-reported studies by the E.P.A. and a confidential study by the drilling industry that all concluded that radioactivity in drilling waste cannot be fully diluted in rivers and other waterways.

But the E.P.A. has not intervened. In fact, federal and state regulators are allowing most sewage treatment plants that accept drilling waste not to test for radioactivity. And most drinking-water intake plants downstream from those sewage treatment plants in Pennsylvania, with the blessing of regulators, have not tested for radioactivity since before 2006, even though the drilling boom began in 2008.

In other words, there is no way of guaranteeing that the drinking water taken in by all these plants is safe.
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