Oh God, I love the Who:
It’s a Mercury retro starting tomorrow. Back up your computers tonight!
Of anything, really. But that will never be enough for the wingnuts!
Mar 29th, 2011 at 8:38 pm by susie
Isn’t it funny that they only pay attention to this stuff when they have to?
WASHINGTON — Almost all American nuclear power plants have backup batteries that would last only half as long as those at Japan’s troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant did after a tsunami knocked out power there, an expert testified Tuesday at a Senate committee briefing on nuclear safety.
An industry official, addressing the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, conceded that battery life was “one of the obvious places” that nuclear operators would examine for potential improvements.
David Lochbaum, a nuclear expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, which generally takes a critical tone toward nuclear reactors, said that just 11 of the nation’s 104 plants had eight-hour batteries, and 93 had four-hour batteries. The batteries are not powerful enough to run pumps that direct cooling water, but they can operate valves and can power instruments that give readings of water levels, flow and temperatures.
In the meantime, Japanese officials are considering stem cell transplants for workers at the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor.
First of all, to say I’m not keen on military intervention is a huge understatement. The only instance in which I felt we had the high ground was when we took part in the 1995 NATO attacks on Kosovo to stop ethnic cleansing and mass rapes. (And even about that, I have some doubts.) And it’s always a red flag when human rights rhetoric is used to justify military intervention.
So when I got invited to the White House blogger call on Libya today, I asked a pretty obvious question.
“We sell massive amounts of arms to repressive regimes in the Middle East, and now in Libya, we’re using our arms to stop them from using their arms against their own people,” I said. “Wouldn’t it make more sense not to sell arms to repressive regimes in the first place?”
Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor, hemmed and hawed a bit.
He said that the Libyan government had a relationship with the United States until the uprising, and that the situation had changed. He also said it was an “interesting case” with the Mubarak government, that the U.S.’s “longstanding relationship with the Egyptian military allowed us to pay a positive role in some respects.”
“We need to take a step back and assess the strategy of arming different regimes, look at it regionally and country by country, understanding the change that’s being made and balance that with our interests.”
Rhodes responded to a question from Spencer Ackerman about whether the U.S. was planning to expand its mission in Libya to include ground troops.
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Steve Benen really nails it. Go read the rest:
At face value, congressional Republicans went into budget talks playing a strikingly weak hand. They’re an unpopular party, pushing unpopular spending cuts, going up against a more popular president. Of the three main players — the House, the Senate, and the White House — the GOP controls about one-half of one-third of the relevant institutions.
And yet, who seems to be calling the shots here?
The New York Times had an interesting summary of the lay of the land, emphasizing the fact that Democrats seem to realize they let this debate slip away from them.
Both parties remain uncertain about which of them would bear the brunt of public anger if Congress cannot agree on financing federal operations for the final half of this fiscal year and government agencies shut down or drastically scale back the services they can provide.
Even many Democrats believe that House Republicans have gotten the better of the antispending, antigovernment argument. But Democrats insist that is because much of the public does not appreciate the impact the Republicans’ $61 billion in proposed reductions would have on spending for popular social programs if those cuts were to become law with just half of the current fiscal year remaining.
Democrats are right; most of the country has no idea the extent to which the GOP’s proposed cuts would be devastating to key domestic priorities. These are cuts that, if put to a poll, the vast majority of the American mainstream would reject out of hand.
But here’s another thought: maybe most of the country has no idea how brutal these cuts are because Dems haven’t told them.