By David Edwards
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
A nuclear power plant that was shut down after an earthquake struck central Virginia Tuesday had seismographs removed in 1990s due to budget cuts.
U.S. nuclear officials said that the North Anna Power Station, which has two nuclear reactors, had lost offsite power and was using diesel generators to maintain cooling operations after an 5.9 earthquake hit the region.
The North Anna plant, which was near the epicenter of Tuesday’s quake, is reportedly located on a fault line.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission rates the plant as the seventh most likely to receive core damage from a quake. But they say the chances of that are only 1 in 22,727.
According to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME), the Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory (VTSO) removed all seismographs from around the plant in the 1990s due to budget cuts.
In February, Dominion Virginia Power confirmed its commitment to add a third reactor to the plant.
Bringing manufacturing back to our shores is good policy wedded to great politics. So why aren’t we talking about it?
By Joshua Holland
August 22, 2011
In this highly polarized country, one idea about fixing America’s economic woes reverberates across ideological, partisan, geographic and class lines: “Let’s make things in America again.”
And well it should. Although manufacturing accounts for just 12 percent of our economic output, manufacturers shell out 70 percent of our research and development dollars – innovation follows manufacturing.
We’ve been shedding manufacturing jobs for years. They now make up a smaller share of our economy than at any time since the United States entered World War Two. And their decline has accelerated in recent years; we shed about a third of our manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2009. Today, the share of the workforce that makes things has been halved since it peaked in 1979. And that period of decline correlates well with a period of stagnant wages and disappearing economic security. That’s because many of those jobs were relatively high-paying gigs; many were union jobs with decent benefits.
According to economic reporter Dave Johnson, manufacturing jobs pay 15 percent more, on average, than do service jobs. Johnson also notes that a manufacturing job “supports on average four or five other jobs in the economy—and in some industries far more. For example, the Milken Institute estimates that every computer-manufacturing job in California creates 15 jobs outside the factory.”
So a campaign to bring manufacturing to our shores would be good policy married to excellent politics. Yet calls for doing so are met with scorn from the establishment. We’re told those jobs are gone forever, and anyone who says otherwise is pining for a lost era. According to the editorial boards of the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal, they’re Luddites, who don’t understand that technology brings us all manner of wonders, or “protectionists,” whose preferred policies would only result in painful unintended consequences.
It is true that some manufacturing jobs have been lost forever to technological advancements. Manufacturing isn’t as labor intensive in the age of the robot as it had been mid-century. But the decline in manufacturing as a share of our economic output, rather than the number of jobs in the workforce, has everything to do with chasing cheaper labor, less stringent environmental regulations and other ways to cut costs abroad.
The reason talk of bolstering American manufacturing gets such short shrift is that the most effective means of doing so are unpopular with corporate America, particularly the financial sector. These include losing tax breaks for companies that offshore jobs – or imposing tax penalties on them – adding “buy American” provisions to federal contracts (which requires revisiting some of our trade agreements) and investing in infrastructure repairs and upgrades. Taxing capital gains as income would help spur real investment in general, rather than speculation at the Wall Street Casino (although that investment wouldn’t be limited to manufacturing).
by Michael Hayne
August 22, 2011
Walking anal sex joke (Google: “Santorum”) and Republican presidential wannabe Rick Santorum, although massively lagging behind in the polls, appears to be competing with Bachmann and Perry in the far-right “ludicrous statement du jour” department on the issue of abortion.
The former Senator and GOP presidential candidate is renowned for offering stunningly maximalist positions on abortion. In the past, Santorum said abortion should be flatly banned, even in cases of rape or incest, and doctors who perform abortions should face criminal charges. Okay, we get it–Rick Santorum loves fetuses more than hate group special-interest money.
Last week, Rick Santorum took it up a notch at the Republican presidential debate in Iowa.
“Would you allow no exceptions for cases of rape on incest?” Fox News host, Byron York asked. “Polls have shown that large majorities of Americans support some exceptions for abortion. Are your views too much, even for many conservatives to support?”
“That child is an innocent victim,” Santorum replied. “To be victimized twice would be a horrible thing. It is an innocent human life, genetically human from the moment of conception. We in America should be big enough to try to surround ourselves and help women in those terrible situations who have been traumatized already. To put them through another trauma of an abortion, I think is too much to ask. So I would absolutely stand and say that one violence is enough.”
So, not only does the former Senator and GOP presidential candidate believe that a woman has absolutely no say in extreme cases such as rape or incest, but he also believes that the rape victim is way too traumatized to make such a consideration.
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/08/22-3
Already the projections are in—not for who is going to win the election in 2012—but for how much it is likely to cost.
Public Radio International concludes: “Campaign spending in the 2012 US election could reach $6 or 7 billion dollars as outside groups pay for electoral influence.”
Here we are in the middle of a deep recession that’s getting deeper by the day, with austerity the unofficial slogan du jour while Republican scheme up new ways to trim, cut and decimate government spending, and parties are spending billions on political horse races.
They decry government spending but they don’t talk much about their own spending, do they?
And neither do the Democrats who are also backing an orgy of spending cuts if only to show their opponents how “responsible” they are.
As both parties slash spending that benefits people, they are in a manic overdrive effort to raise more for themselves and their campaigns.
PRI’s Here and Now program reported, “In 2008, Barack Obama raised some $778 million for his presidential bid. The total cost of the national election, including Presidential and Congressional, was about $5.3 billion. Since then, court decisions like Citizens United have made spending by outside groups easier.
“In 2012,” Dave Levinthal, director of the Center for Responsive Politics told PRI’s Here and now, “you’re easily looking at 6, maybe even 7 billion dollars nationwide.”
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/08/22-3
Tina and I went to a Move On organized demonstration today outside of the Lakewood Country Club here in Dallas.
It was a pseudo “Town Hall” meeting/fund raiser put on by ultra right wing Republican Rep.and Super Committee member, Jeb Hensarling.
There were a bunch of scumbag, tea bagger counter demonstrators but they were vastly out numbered by the gray hairs of Move On.
It was the third demonstration, forth if I count the screening put on by Get Equal that we’ve gone to this year, so far.
Today I had my turn at the microphone and spoke about an issue that seriously impacts the lives of both my partner and me, Social Security and Medicare. I’m holding on until next year when I get Medicare. I may need to take my Social Security early unless I find another job soon that isn’t so hard on my feet and knees.
Employers do not hire older workers without health coverage elsewhere because they don’t want to insure them. Or they give part time with no coverage and sub-living wages. So many decent jobs, jobs we retrained for in the 1980s and 1990s have been shipped off shore so the corporate Kochsuckers can become even more stinking rich. Their treasonous actions with globalization makes me sick.
So I spoke out about how they want to fuck with Medicare and Social Security even though neither of those programs was ever supposed to be part of the general budget. In spite of how we had money deducted separately from our checks to cover both Social Security and Medicare. Money taken out of our checks separately from our general taxes. How Reagan started raiding Social Security to use as part of the general funds so they wouldn’t have to demand the lazy fat cat rich bastards pay higher taxes.
Tax the hard working people, the people who actually do the work and let the slime ball money people off the hook.
Yeah I go to demonstrations. Just don’t look for me to be at any for the “Transgender Community”. Even though my fighting for economic justice and marriage equality affect TG people as well as non-trans folks.
But as of late the homophobia of the Transgender Community has become repulsive, just as repulsive as their attacks upon transsexual and post-transsexual people who do not want to be part of the TG Borg Cult or TG Inc.
Y’all lost me when you attacked gay and lesbian people’s focusing on marriage equality. I’m more focused on marriage equality than your particular issuses because it affects me more.
I personally think it is time for the Gay and Lesbian Communities to drop the “T”. Time for the “T” to slither back into the world of Tri-Ess and behind the pink door.
Me I’d rather go hug a tree or save a whale…
By BRUCE SMITH – Associated Press | AP
Sun, Aug 21, 2011
LADSON, S.C. (AP) — Dale Richardson was saved at a tent revival 32 years ago, was called to preach the Lord’s word in 2006 and, for the past year, had served as pastor at Freedom Free Will Baptist Church, a modest red brick structure on a South Carolina side road running along a railroad track.
Now he’s in jail, charged with kidnapping and raping three women at gunpoint — two of them in a trailer behind the church — and kidnapping a fourth who was not sexually assaulted.
According to an incident report, about noon on a Saturday last month, Richardson picked up a woman and gave her a ride. When the 20-year-old tried to get out of the car, Richardson allegedly pulled a gun, bound her hands, covered her head and took her to the gray-blue trailer home behind the church.
The report said he later dropped the woman in a wooded area, threatening to shoot her if she turned around. Police said the woman was able to identify Richardson from his picture on the church website, which also displays a short biography detailing how he became a Christian and then a pastor.
Continue reading at: http://news.yahoo.com/sc-preacher-accused-raping-women-behind-church-144656789.html