The Long Way Home-The Pacific Clipper
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Under our Constitution, only Congress has the power of the purse. To formally delegate to the President the power to appropriate funds from the Treasury without stint or limit breaches the separation of powers in fact, if not in form.In short, Section 1311(a) of PPACA is a dangerous, irresponsible, and arguably unconstitutional delegation of money and power to the Executive Branch.Regardless of one's opinions about government-run health care, surely all Americans can agree that this slush fund gives the President -- any President -- too much power.The vote is next week. To learn more about this bill and related issues, visit our Obamacare Repeal War Room.Or go straight to our petition page to send an email to your Congressman.
|via latimes blog|
|AP Photo/Charles Dharapak via foxnews|
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Rock Island and Mercer counties are two of 14 Illinois counties with more registered voters than actual eligible voters, according to a study by the State Board of Elections.
The report says the disparity was revealed by comparing the number of registered voters in each county to the number of people listed in the 2010 Census as being older than 18 and eligible to vote.
Rock Island County lists 125,875 registered voters, although Census numbers show the county has only 114,359 residents age 18 or older. That means 11,516 people may be deceased or no longer live in the county, according to Rock Island County Clerk Karen Kinney.
The report also shows Mercer County has 14,295 registered voters, while Census numbers show the county has only 12,714 residents age 18 or older.
"We have to purge our records sometime this summer," Mercer County Clerk Phyllis Bewley said....
Other counties with more registered voters than actual eligible voters are Alexander, Clark, Clinton, Hardin, Jasper, Massac, Menard, Ogle, Pulaski, Richland, Stark and Vermilion.
I was looking at the high resolution photos taken of the complex a few weeks ago, and looking at the shots of unit 3 in particular (the 2nd and 5th photos show it best) – because it was the one using the MOX fuel and was also the one most severely damaged by the hydrogen explosions. I’m sure you guys at UCS have already seen these shots, the link and photos are below:
A few days later I came across an article on the disaster over there that had a good cut away diagram of the reactor buildings:
I was struck by the location of the spent fuel pool on the third floor. (The spent fuel pool in the diagram is in the upper right corner of the building to the right of the top of the reactor, below the yellow beam, which is below the large orange girders.Part of the pool is cut away in the diagram, it appears to extend most of the way across about half of the building on the third floor) I went back to the site with the aerial photos and confirmed that the third floor was pretty much entirely obliterated in the explosion. The spent fuel pool is gone… see for yourself.
Today I had another look at the diagram, and noticed something else quite significant that I had missed before. I realized that the top of the primary containment vessel was flush with the floor level of the 4th floor, and that the top of the reactor itself was in the space between the 3rd and 4th floors, partially surrounded by the spent fuel pool.
Look at those photos again, particularly the 5th shot. At the top of the photo you see the skeletal remnants of the wall of the 3rd and 4th floors. It is easy to see the floor level of the third floor – there are two massive steam pipes running behind and below the building…the lower edge of the lower pipe is almost perfectly aligned with the floor level of the 3rd floor. Follow the floor line of the third floor down from that back wall along the right side of the building, then across the front side of the building near the bottom of the photo. That shows you the floor level of the 3rd floor very clearly, right? There is nothing but air remaining above that level, except for a bit of roof debris which you can see through. The top of the primary containment vessel, as well as the top of the reactor itself, is simply GONE.
Even to a layperson, it is obvious that this means that the huge hydrogen explosion at unit 3 must have occurred in the reactor itself, and that the entire top of the reactor containment vessel was obliterated, ejecting the contents of the core – as well as the spent fuel pool- into the atmosphere.
This means, obviously, that significant quantities of plutonium were released, and that the release of radiation from unit 3 alone must be many times higher than has been admitted for the entire
complex – Chernobyl pales in comparison.
It is apparent that Tepco, the NRC, and the Japanese and American government officials, among others, are participating in a coverup of the extent and severity of this disaster. This almost certainly applies to the blandly misleading assurances about the harmlessness of the fallout on US soil. The whistle must be blown, loud and clear.
|Silvia Pepa via fanppop|
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled his date with pop sensation Justin Bieber over the singer's refusal to meet with children living in communities affected by Gaza rocket fire, Channel Two reported on Tuesday.Even worse are the comments on the Haaretz website. A number of commenters say that Bieber is correct because "what about the children of Gaza". That makes no sense. Showing compassion for Israeli children does not take away from other groups of children. I am disappointed with Bieber. How hard is it to meet with Israeli kids?
The prime minister was scheduled to host the young singer at his office in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, before Bieber's Thursday night concert....
The children had disembarked from a school bus just before it was hit by a Hamas rocket last Thursday, critically wounded a teen and moderately wounding the bus driver.
Bieber reportedly refused to meet the children, which led Netanyahu to cancel the meeting.
The military court issued the sentence against Maikel Nabil Sanad, 26, Sunday without the presence of his lawyers, according to a statement by seven Cairo-based rights groups.
It was the first trial of a blogger by Egypt's military rulers, who took charge of the country after former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted by anti-government protests Feb. 11 after an 18-day popular uprising.
Rights lawyers say the sentence has wide implications for freedom of expression in post-Mubarak Egypt, and could set a precedent for anyone seeking to expose wrongdoing or abuses by the military.
A member of the military council, Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Assar told an Egyptian private TV station, ONTV, Monday, the armed forces is open to criticism - up to a point.
"There is a difference between criticism with good intentions from a citizen, a journalist or a broadcaster, who mean the public good. There is no problem with that," he said. "The problem is in questioning the intentions (of the army)."
Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said it was "shocked" by the three-year jail sentence, asking the authorities to review it and free him "without delay."
The case against Sanad, who was arrested two weeks ago at his home, was based on a blog post titled "The people and the army were never hand in hand," questioning the military's continued allegiance to Mubarak; as well as Facebook postings reporting allegations of abuse.
"Maikel was posting on his blog news published by rights groups, and newspaper clippings" among other things, said Adel Ramadan, Sanad's lawyer. "The danger extends to all bloggers, rights activists and journalists."
The California Legislature could soon pass a bill that would require school textbooks and teachers to incorporate information on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans into their curriculum.
The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act, or SB48, which mimics a bill previously vetoed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, made it one step closer to becoming law Tuesday after being approved by the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill, introduced by state Sen. Mark Leno, could have a nationwide impact if passed because California is such a big buyer of textbooks that publishers often incorporate the state’s standards into books distributed to other states.
Supporters say that’s a good thing because it will help prevent gay students from being harassed or bullied by their classmates.
But critics say SB48 is just an attempt to brainwash students into becoming pro-gay political activists and ensure that government, not parents, has the final word on teaching kids about moral values.
It is a stupid, false choice to say that the Republicans in the House have either to accept the split-the-difference compromise proposed by the Senate on the Continuing Resolution battle or shut down the entire federal government. Nonsense!
Instead, the Republicans should refuse to accept less than $61 billion in cuts and -- if the Senate and Obama refuse -- should target for shutdown a handful of specific and highly unpopular programs and agencies. Why shut down the entire government? Zero fund the State Department or Agency for International Development, thereby suspending all foreign aid. Zero fund the Bonds for America program where the feds pick up the local debt service payments for states and cities. Zero fund the Highway construction program. Any combination of some of these cuts can easily generate $61 billion in cuts (less the $10 billion already cut).
The Obama Administration and the Democrats are posing two false choices for the Republican Party and Speaker John Boehner shows every sign of falling into both traps:
1. The Democrats want to pretend that the choice is between a total government shutdown and compromising on the budget cuts. It's not.
2. They want to sell the notion that you cannot cut the deficit without fundamental changes immediately in Social Security and Medicare. Not true either. Block granting Medicaid and rolling it back to 2008 levels, continuing with cuts in discretionary spending, and limiting deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan to 60,000 troops by 2015 will immediately lower the deficit to less than 4% of GDP from its current perch of 10%. See our book Revolt! for details.
Please! Write your Republican Congressman and ask him or her to stand firm. You got them elected! Don't let them sell us out on a split-the-difference compromise. Don't let them tell us that the Democrats can't find $61 billion of cuts in a $3.7 trillion budget or even in the $750 billion of nondefense discretionary spending. That proposition is laughable.
And tell them not to shut down the government, just shut down the parts we don't like. If the Democrats want to shut down the government in retaliation, a kind of lock-out in retaliation for a strike, let them be our guests!