Thursday, March 24, 2011

How The US Narrowly Avoided Its Own Fukushima-Style Disaster in 1992

The NRC is refusing to update worst case scenario models on flooding of coastal US nuclear plants.

Congress Ignoring Science is Becoming a Habit

Congress votes to overturn scientific findings on the dangers of global warming with misleading arguments.

Karl Rove's Audacious Transparency Hypocrisy

Karl Rove has created an organization, Wikicountability, to use FOIA requests to harass the Obama administration with spurious and undocumented attacks.

Here's another story on this from The Center for Public Integrity

Be Consistent - Invade Saudi Arabia

This essay by Robert Scheer speaks to the hypocrisy of invoking humanitarian rights issues to justify military action. Such language has always a smokescreen for making military actions more palatable to the public, thereby obscuring the strategic motivations for engagement.

US Doesn't Count Civilians Killed by Drones

The ACLU filed a FOIA request to get this information. The CIA has refused to respond to a similar request.

Wisconsin Update from a Local Activist

"We're Still Winning in Wisconsin" post from Daily Kos provides a detailed review of all activities and electoral objectives with regard to combatting GOP extremism in the state.

Fred Upton Faces Constituent Criticism in Michigan for Legislative Attacks on the EPA

62% of House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Upton's constituents believe that Congress should allow EPA to improve clean air standards.

The American Lung Association purchased four billboard ads in Upton's district calling for an end to the assault on EPA funding.

Just saw this piece in Media Matters about the ALA billboard pictured above. A reporter named Jim Hoft is claiming that EPA paid for this ad attacking Upton. Media Matters explains that this claim is false, but I expect that much of the mainstream media will run with the false assertions through a news cycle or two...

The EPA: Cleaning Up Crappy Water Since 1970

Update on litigation against an EPA decision that require CAFOs, a major source of water pollution, to obtain a Clean Water Act permit to operate. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just reversed the order and all sorts of lawsuits are pending. Above pictures a dead zone in the Chesapeake Bay which EPA has targeted for a massive Total Maximum Daily Load regulatory action to limit runoff from farms, that is now being challenged by industry and the GOP. Congress leads with funding cuts and legislative assault on the agency while agribusiness interests fund lawsuit after lawsuit.

Here's an item from the Chesapeake Bay Program that details the historic EPA effort now under attack to regulate the watershed that feeds the bay.

This is an eloquent piece from EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, that counters the argument that we must choose the economy or the environment. That argument is simply not true.

Vermont Poised to Pass Single-Payer Health Insurance

Motivated by an effort to reduce health care costs Vermont is seeking to become the first state to ban most forms of private insurance.

Rich Get Richer With New Congress

Jim Hightower's been on the money for a long time and in this piece he follows the money trail into the House and Senate. I sure wish we still had Jim's old buddy Molly Ivins around to help stoke the investigative fires.

Obama Administration Announces Massive Coal Mining Expansion

Unfortunately, it has become clear that Obama is using clean energy rhetoric as a cover for continued expansion of climate pollution in the US. Similar tactics are being used by BP, Chevron and others; touting modest environmental investments while pressing on aggressively with fossil fuel development.

Ohioans Have Buyer's Remorse Over Electing Union-Busting Gov. Kasich

Governor Kasich has been riding roughshod over the Buckeye state and the public tide is turning quickly.

Lights, Camera, Cover-Up

Both Florida and Iowa have introduced legislation making it a crime to photograph or videotape farm animals, threatening civl liberties and, by extension, public discourse. There is a lot at stake in this battle with food safety and environmental degradation at the top of the list.

Detroit's Census Confirms a Desertion Like No Other

The population in Detroit plunged 25% over the last decade and 20% of city lots are now vacant.

Journalism Under Siege at Northwestern

Professor Protess of the Medill School of Journalism, known for teaching rigorous investigative techniques that have yielded high-profile results, is under attack from a records subpoena and his own dean.

Wisconsin Republicans Believe Their Actions are "Immune" to Court Decisions

These Republicans have forgotten everything that their predecessors stood represented. They are shameful, cold-hearted and enslaved by their allegiance to radical pro-bsiness ideology."immune"_to_court_decisions/?utm_

Officials Underestimate The Seriousness of the Problem with Japan's Leaking Nuclear Reactors

I missed this a few days ago but find that it's an important article that speaks to the widely held belief that we cannot trust the government to provide honest information as a crisis unfolds, particularly when big industrial players are involved. I hope that we will dodge a bullet in Japan and that the breadth of contamination will not reach the 15,000 square mile level of Chernobyl, but this crisis is worse than many realize. The water is Tokyo is already considered unsafe for infants to drink. Radiation continues to leak. This is a nightmare and the full ramifications of this disaster are still unknown. The piece comes from Democracy Now and is extremely informative, for example, both Hillary Clinton (as Senator) and Andrew Cuomo (as Attorney General) demanded that the Indian Point nuclear plant be shut down because of safety concerns.

40,000 Wind Turbines to Power America by 2015

Update on wind turbine construction and prospects in the US.

Why No One Is Talking About How Bad the Japan Nuclear Disaster Could Be?

Discussion of worst-caase scenarios in Japan, including the possibility that Tokyo, a city of 13 million, could potentially become uninhabitable. This is terrifying stuff.

Developer Cancels Plan for Big Wind Farm in Wisconsin

This is exactly what Koch Industries and the Governor in Wisconsin want - to scare off entrepreneurs who would develop renewable energy sources as an alternative to oil, gas and coal.