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She’s no lady

If I ever get married again, this song will be the first dance. Lyle Lovett with John Hiatt and Joe Ely:

Isn’t this a story?

When NASA’s top climate change scientist is willing to go to jail to protest the tar sands pipeline?

Think it over one time

Robert Earl Keen Jr.:

The GOP’s perennial Christian con game: the rich deserve their wealth, they worked for it, and the poor who can’t work their way into a higher income bracket should accept their poverty as God’s will

Uh oh

Oh well, what’s a few decimal points on the Richter scale when it comes to shareholder dividends?

The earthquake that prompted the shutdown of a Virginia nuclear power plant last week may have been more severe than the plant’s reactors were designed to withstand, federal regulators said.

The revelation is likely to put increased pressure on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to quickly implement a series of safety recommendations intended in part to protect plants from major natural disasters like earthquakes.

NRC said Monday that its preliminary analysis indicates that the ground motion caused by the magnitude-5.8 earthquake near the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Va., exceeded the maximum level the two reactors at the plant were built to handle.

But the commission noted in a statement Monday that “data is still being collected and analyzed to determine the precise level of shaking that was experienced at key locations within the North Anna facility.”

NRC decided to send additional inspectors to the North Anna power plant after conducting the analysis, the commission said Monday.

“The fact that we’re sending an [augmented inspection team] should not be interpreted to mean that Dominion staff responded inappropriately or that the station is less safe as a result of the quake,” NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree said in a statement. “An AIT provides us with the resources needed to completely understand all the effects at North Anna and gather important information for the NRC’s continuing evaluation of earthquake risk at all U.S. nuclear plants.”

Last night

In case you missed it, here’s me and Stuart Zechman ranting on various topics last night.

Dumb question of the day

Why do we subsidize the building of homes in flood prone areas? Why, because so many wealthy special interest groups (doctors, lawyers, accountants, politicians, etc.) own beachfront property, of course!

See, we only approve of taxpayer-subsidized insurance when it’s for rich people. Are we clear now?

Food for thought

The Rev. Jesse Jackson at the recent AFL-CIO Martin Luther King Center Conference on “Jobs, Justice and the American Dream” of interest:

In 1960 Martin Luther King supported Kennedy instead of Nixon to prevent America from going backwards. Then he marched in the streets of Birmingham to pass the Civil Rights Act
to move the nation ahead.

In 1964 Martin Luther King supported Johnson instead of Goldwater
to prevent America from going backwards. Then he marched in Selma to pass the Voting Rights Act to move the nation ahead.

For Dr. King, there was no conflict between voting strategically
to prevent the triumph of reaction and leading a nonviolent mass movement
to pressure a president to achieve profound social change.

When we in the movement struggled for social justice we helped weak presidents become stronger. When we in the movement struggled for social justice we helped good presidents become great.

Yesterday on the beach.

Hype?

One of the things I began to see on Twitter after Irene passed were comments like, “What a bunch of hype.” Really? Overblown, you say? Not to the many, many people whose towns have been devastated – or the 38+ who died:

The death toll from Hurricane Irene, later downgraded to a tropical storm, rose dramatically Monday as at least 35 people were reportedly killed by the storm that ripped its way up the East Coast and into New England.

Earlier, officials estimated that at least 22 had died across 10 states. But as the massive cleanup and recovery effort got underway Monday, authorities tracing Irene’s destructive path raised the number of dead, according to the Associated Press.

Among the fatalities: An 89-year-old Connecticut woman who was killed when a falling tree limb pulled power lines down on her home, starting a fire; and a 46-year-old man who tried to canoe down a flooded street. The canoe capsized, he disappeared, and his body was later recovered.

PHOTOS: In the path of the storm

The storm is estimated to have caused up to $7-billion worth of damage, a number that could grow, along with the death toll, as emergency assessments and flooding woes continue.

Much of New York was regaining its stride — airports resuming flights, subways reopening — but swaths of Vermont were underwater after Irene dumped more than 5 inches of rain on the region. Authorities continue to warn residents there to remain indoors until the rising waters receded.

Scott Towle, 54, a native of Brattleboro, Vermont, was stunned when he finally got a look at at the storm-swollen Whetstone Brook near his home. Normally, the tributary is a bubbling stream. “I’ve lived in Brattleboro all my life and I’ve never seen it like that,” he said. “It was a raging torrent. You could hear boulders, trees, everything going down through. It took out the road; it took out a couple of houses; it took out a bridge; it took out most of that street.”

About 5 milllion residents were left without electicity Monday morning, but authorities up and down the coast were chipping away at that number. In New York City, the majority of customers were expected to have power by the end of the day Thursday, and much of the rest of the area by Friday.

[…] A National Weather Service official said Monday that the threat of flooding remains a top concern in New York and much of New England, even well after the rains subsided.

David Vallee, the service’s hydrologist in charge of the Northeast, said that at one point 81 locations were at or above flood stage in the region, including a handful at record levels.

“While the flash flood threat … has for the most part ended, we still have some of the moderate-sized and larger rivers that still will take all of today to crest,” Vallee said, including the Hudson River near Albany, N.Y. And he said of rivers including the Connecticut, “we’re not likely to see the rivers crest and reach their highest river elevation until midweek.”

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