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Gaddafi army penetrates rebel areas
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Snake succumbs to booby trap
...Israeli model Orit Fox was attempting to lick a snake during a publicity stunt for radio DJ Shmulik Tayar when the lucky serpent, presumably aroused, lunged forward and bit Fox's fake breast, sending witnesses into a frenzy.

Fox, who is rumored to have the largest bosom in all of Israel, was hurried to a hospital outside Jerusalem where she received a tetanus shot and was later discharged. As for the snake, puckering up with a supermodel proved to be the kiss of death. The creature succumbed to silicone poisoning shortly after the incident....
Poor critter.
Posted by: Mike || 03/15/2011 16:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Russian bomb squad call in to defuse . . . sex toy
Posted by: Frozen Al || 03/15/2011 15:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Bullying gone bad
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/15/2011 15:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Biden Gets an Amtrak Station Named After Him
News before it happens!
On March 19, state, local and congressional representatives will join Amtrak officials to reopen the recently renovated Amtrak station in Wilmington, Del.
The facility will be renamed the Joseph P. Biden Jr. Railroad Station iin honor of Vice President Joe Biden, who regularly used the station to travel between Delaware and Washington, D.C., during his 36-year tenure as a U.S. senator.

The $37.7 million renovation, which took nearly two years to complete, was funded with $5.7 million from Amtrak, $20 million in federal stimulus dollars, $2 million from the Delaware Department of Transportation and $10 million in funds through SAFETEA-LU and other federal appropriations bills.

Posted by: Bobby || 03/15/2011 11:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And where you can't Go because of the TSA.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 03/15/2011 11:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Biden and AmTrak. Hoo-Boy, where to begin........
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 03/15/2011 11:31 Comments || Top||

#3  It's the slow train to nowhere.
Posted by: Fester Javith5393 || 03/15/2011 11:48 Comments || Top||

#4  used to be you had to be actually dead, not just brain-dead, to get a building named after you
Posted by: Frank G || 03/15/2011 15:03 Comments || Top||

#5  As a long-time rail buff and model railroader with fond childhood memories of B&O sleeping cars, I am outraged. No railroad station deserves to be insulted this way.
Posted by: Mike || 03/15/2011 15:16 Comments || Top||

#6  I'm not sure about having to be dead. How many public projects in West Virginia are named after the late Klansman (and U.S. Senator BTW) Robert Byrd?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/15/2011 15:48 Comments || Top||

#7  About 1900 boardings or de-boardings per day at the station; probably about 1000 people since most users take round trips and probably of the 1000, on any day, about 800 of them are frequent users.

It will be an image that is burned into their minds.
Posted by: Lord Garth || 03/15/2011 15:55 Comments || Top||

#8  Barack Hussein Obama Memorial Men's Room...
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/15/2011 16:00 Comments || Top||

#9  The new name...Biden International Airport.
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/15/2011 16:18 Comments || Top||

#10  The Slo Joe AMTRAK Depot?
Posted by: GK || 03/15/2011 18:39 Comments || Top||

#11  And Ill raise you what they should name the lunch cart at the depot: Sloppy Joes.
Posted by: Fi || 03/15/2011 18:42 Comments || Top||

#12  Ride'n that train
High on ice cream
Casey Joe you better,
watch your feet.

Plugs on the head
Thumb in behind
And that commotion,
37 million pork-rinds
Posted by: swksvolFF || 03/15/2011 18:54 Comments || Top||

#13  Surely 37 MILLION in taxpayers money wasn't spent for the benefit of just 1,000ish local house-owners (who'll reap any benefit through higher house prices).
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 03/15/2011 19:21 Comments || Top||

#14  Whoo! Whoo!... chuggachuggachugga...
Posted by: Slow Joe || 03/15/2011 19:47 Comments || Top||

#15  And, as part as the dedication ceremonies, the Old Crow Medicine show will sing "New Virginia Creeper" song for duh People™.

Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/15/2011 20:49 Comments || Top||

-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Apple's Role in Japan during the Tohoku Earthquake
How Apple, Inc., handled the earthquake in Tokyo. Just one example (and I'm sure there are many, many examples) of how people take care of each other in a society with a strong culture.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/15/2011 16:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Apple? Which branch of the government are they part of?
Posted by: Matt || 03/15/2011 19:55 Comments || Top||

Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/15/2011 20:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Pretty darn cool story.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/15/2011 20:34 Comments || Top||

#4  They did good. Thank you for bringing us that, Dr. Steve.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/15/2011 22:51 Comments || Top||

Workers battle radiation risk as nuclear crisis worsens
Posted by: anon1 || 03/15/2011 15:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Day markets in eastern Europe from Germany through Poland are awash with medals awarded to Chernobyl workers by the old USSR Government.

They were a badge of bravery, a big 'thank you' for going in to fight the fire at the reactor.

They dressed in the white suits too, showered the dust off, took iodine tablets. They were told the risk was negligible.

But the markets are full of those medals now because they are dead and their goods have been sold.
Posted by: anon1 || 03/15/2011 15:25 Comments || Top||

#2  And, like a typical communist bureaucracy hiding their dirty laundry, the USSR moved the people from Chernobyl and the exposed workers around the country.

And didn't follow them all up, ensuring records would never reflect the real scale of cancers, birth defects and genetic deformities that followed those victims and their offspring.

Let's hope the rods don't melt. Five Japanese reactors in trouble now.
Posted by: anon1 || 03/15/2011 15:27 Comments || Top||

#3  They dressed in the white suits too, showered the dust off, took iodine tablets. They were told the risk was negligible.
I don't know what the Chernobyl last-ditch workers were told, and it really makes no difference at all. Those workers were no doubt trained in radiation biophysics. THEY KNEW THE LETHAL DOSAGE. No doubt they were wearing radiation monitors. No doubt the men 'on the line' at Chernobyl knew when they would absorb their fatal dosage.
That's why the medals. No doubt there are now brave Japanese men 'on the line' at Fukushima in the same fix as the last ditch workers at Chernobyl. I can only admire them.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/15/2011 18:42 Comments || Top||

#4  Second that AH9418. Brave people holding the line working to prevent disaster.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 03/15/2011 23:03 Comments || Top||

Livestreaming Video of Japan's NHK TV in English
Posted by: Water Modem || 03/15/2011 10:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Latest shake centered near Mt Fuji... Wouldn't need that additional situation.

Also check out english speaking blogger filing reports from Japan:
Posted by: Capsu78 || 03/15/2011 10:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Thanks for this great link.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/15/2011 16:02 Comments || Top||

Dupe entry: Higher than normal radiation levels are detected in Tokyo
Posted by: rammer || 03/15/2011 00:42 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Photos of the disaster in Japan from ABC News Australia
Slide your cursor from right to left to see before and after photos. ABC News Australia did some terrific registering of the images.
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/15/2011 00:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fukushima's Reactors don't want to stop a'blowin up.

JAPAN's TOTE DAMAGES, LOSSES is curren estimated to reach as high as US$100.00BILYUHN???


"Perfect Storm(s)" of National, Internat econ probs or woes - Pre-Quake or Post-Quake, its all there, except for perhaps KIMMIE = NORTH KOREA/DPRK doing something new + worse as per "Cheonan", "Yeongpyeong" mil incidents agz SOuth Korea [USFK, USFJ?].


First the Russians, now the Aussies.

* CHINESE MILITARY FORUM > FUKUSHIMA'S REACTOR #3 BUILDING BLOWS SKY HIGH, like it was hit by a WW2 US Battleship or a Tacnuke.


* TOPIX > [Greg Laden's Blog] JAPAN: 70% CHANCE OF MAG 7.0 QUAKE [new] BY WEDNESDAY.

MAG 6.2 today???



Women + Children, Future Guam Bananas + Carabaos, etc. most affected.

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/15/2011 2:35 Comments || Top||

Africa Subsaharan
Deadly clashes in Cote d'Ivoire
[Al Jazeera] Security forces loyal to Cote d'Ivoire's disputed president, Laurent Gbagbo
... President of Ivory Coast since 2000. Gbagbo lost to Alassane Ouattara in 2010 but his representtive tore up the results on the teevee and Laurent has refused to leave despite the international community's hemming, hawing, and broad hints...
, have launched a deadly attack to drive fighters backing his political rival Alassane Ouattara out of a suburb of Abidjan, military officials say.

Al Jizz's correspondent in Abidjan confirmed on Sunday that 10 people were killed and scores others maimed overnight when Gbagbo's forces carried out an onslaught against militias and gunnies in the north of the city.

"Overnight Gbagbo's forces raided Abobo [in northern Abidjan], they have been engaging each other in fighting for close to five hours," Mohammed Adow said.

"In the city mobs are going round looking for people from the opposing side and attacking them, sometimes killing them. There is very little semblance of law and order in this country at the moment. The situation is getting worse by the day."

Gbagbo officials said several hundred soldiers, some armed with rocket-propelled grenades, were taking part in an operation backed by armoured vehicles and two reconnaissance helicopters.

They said the operation was an attempt to bring peace to the restive Abobo neighbourhood, which has been the site of fierce fighting between the two sides in recent weeks.

UN peacekeeper attacked

"There was firing all over the place around the Plateau-Dokui [a local square]," Idrissa Diarrassouba, a resident of Abobo said. "A child was hit in the hand by a bullet and houses were struck by bullets."

The punctuational However...
Hamadoun Toure, UN mission front man, played down the extent of the assault, noting "there was some fighting in Abobo but they were just some skirmishes".

Toure said a member of the 10,000-strong UN force had been maimed when pro-Gbagbo youths attacked him and burned his car at a supermarket in Abidjan.

The United Nations, aka the Oyster Bay Chowder and Marching Society has complained that Gbagbo supporters are whipping up local sentiment against the mission.

Saturday's attack came as Gbagbo continues to refuse to step down after a disputed November election which Ouattara won, according to UN-certified results.

More than 400 people have been killed since the elections, and the fresh violence renews the spectre of the deadly civil war from 2002-2003, which divided the country into areas of rebel and government control. Nearly half a million Ivorians decamped their homes.

Failed effort

The African Union (AU) failed this week, in its latest effort, to broker a settlement in a country that was until recently one of West Africa's most stable and prosperous economies, and remains the world's top cocoa grower.

Allies of Gbagbo, who contends that the results of the poll were rigged, refused to accept an AU proposal for a national unity government led by Ouattara.

International sanctions such as a ban on European ships using Ivorian ports, together with the near-collapse of the local banking sector, mean supplies of the country's cocoa to world markets have virtually dried up.

UN diplomats told the Rooters news agency on Friday, that there were discussions at the UN security council about setting up an account for Cote d'Ivoire's cocoa revenues that would allow Ouattara to benefit from funding once the trade restarts.
Posted by: Fred || 03/15/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Democracy Africa style: one man, one bullet (actually a few clips, but I don't want to be petty).
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 03/15/2011 5:34 Comments || Top||

Yukio Edano, the 'Jack Bauer' of the crisis
Posted by: tipper || 03/15/2011 20:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Meanwhile Obama played golf and worked on his basketball brackets.
Posted by: CincinnatusChili || 03/15/2011 21:56 Comments || Top||

A Pictorial of Japan's Agony
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/15/2011 12:45 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Japanese background music is a Samisen (three stringed lute like instrument) and Taiko (Drums)
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/15/2011 13:14 Comments || Top||

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/15/2011 13:29 Comments || Top||

Not Looting, but Panic Buying in Tokyo
News of a serious radiation leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant has sparked panic buying in Tokyo, as some residents started to leave the capital to escape potential contamination.

Weather forecasters said winds near the atomic plant, which experienced a third explosion on Tuesday morning, were blowing in a south-westerly direction – towards Tokyo – but would move in a westerly direction later in the day.

People in the capital, home to 12 million, snapped up radios, torches, candles, fuel containers and sleeping bags, while for the fourth day there was a run on bread, canned goods, instant noodles, bottled water and other foodstuffs at supermarkets.

Retailers said the panic buying was reminiscent of the oil crisis in the 1970s.

The electronics firm Panasonic said it was increasing production of batteries, which were being bought in large quantities as far away as Hiroshima in the south-west.
At least Panasonic can continue to make batteries.
Fears are rising that if the hoarding frenzy continues it will affect the ability to deliver emergency supplies to the disaster zone. "The situation is hysterical," said Tomonao Matsuo, a spokesman for the instant noodle maker Nissin Foods. "People feel safer just by buying Cup Noodles."
What a great way to work in a plug for your product!
Posted by: Bobby || 03/15/2011 07:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Apparently the foreign press is panicking in a truly shameless manner in Tokyo. A miserable coward of a reporter was giving a report from Hiroshima of all damned places on NPR on the drive in this morning, where he had apparently "evacuated" in fear of the radiation back in the Kanto. I was just checking the news online to make sure that somebody hadn't slipped a Chernobyl-style graphite reactor onto the grounds of Fukushima No. 2 overnight while I slept, but no, it's still the same news as yesterday.

We get our news from timid, pig-ignorant, panicky sheep.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 03/15/2011 9:18 Comments || Top||

#2  ...hmmm...they have to create a media panic. They're dying. They need to sell columns and air time.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 03/15/2011 9:42 Comments || Top||

#3  We get our news from timid, pig-ignorant, panicky sheep

Better from them than 'journalists'.
Posted by: SteveS || 03/15/2011 10:49 Comments || Top||

#4  This blogger in Tokyo says he has been checking the sotres 2x a day, and the shelves that are empty at night are full in the morning... Over buying in Tokyo might be preventing supplies needed in the affected areas to be diminished, which is a real shame.
Posted by: Capsu78 || 03/15/2011 12:04 Comments || Top||

#5  radios, torches, candles, fuel containers and sleeping bags,... bread, canned goods, instant noodles, bottled water and other foodstuffs
All items that well-organized households should have had IN ANY CASE. One other thing, small voltage inverters to keep your cell phones, medical nebulizers, etc. charged &/or operating in case the power fails.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/15/2011 15:57 Comments || Top||

#6  NHK now running a video of earthquake refugees swarming around a table with a tangle of cell phones linked to charging units plugged into outlet strips.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/15/2011 16:14 Comments || Top||

#7  Mass hysteria. Tokyo is right on the water and two days' sail from Shanghai, the manufacturing center of the world.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 03/15/2011 17:19 Comments || Top||

#8  Not just Tokyo: U.S. Drug Stores Report Sudden Increase in Potassium Iodide Sales

Stores in Eugene, Ore., for example, have reported a sudden spike in sales of the pill. Janell Davis, vitamin manager at Sundance Natural Foods, told the Register-Guard that the store was sold out of the tablets by Saturday afternoon. In Redding, Calif., some store owners say they can't stock their shelves fast enough with the tablets.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/15/2011 17:22 Comments || Top||

#9  #8 -- in a few months we'll be reading about toxicity from potassium iodide
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/15/2011 18:46 Comments || Top||

#10  Well yea, because some foolish person will fail to stay under the maximum dose. Otherwise, Americans many of whom have out of whack thyroids would perchance benefit from taking Iodine or Kelp just for general health. It is touted to help with weight loss, dry skin and hair loss and a suprising number of us are deficient.
Posted by: Fi || 03/15/2011 18:53 Comments || Top||

#11  The Apple retail store in Tokyo appears to have acted as "Recharge central" and wifi hot spot to themany stranded Tokyo workers unable to get home the night of the quake:
Posted by: Capsu78 || 03/15/2011 19:19 Comments || Top||

#12  Otherwise, Americans many of whom have out of whack thyroids would perchance benefit from taking Iodine or Kelp just for general health. What's medically necessary for some is poison for others. Physicians earn the big bucks to know the differences.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/15/2011 19:25 Comments || Top||

#13  All items that well-organized households should have had IN ANY CASE

Not much room to keep a lot of extra supplies like this in most Japanese apartments.
Posted by: lotp || 03/15/2011 21:01 Comments || Top||

#14  Many American's thyroids ARE out of whack'- look at the many fat, cranky and tired people, do your homework and you'll find this is one of the underliers. And no, physicians don't always earn their big bucks when it comes to accurate diagnosis and helping with supplements.

Speaking as an owner of an underfunctioning thyroid, it was Ms. Fi who finally got the calibration correct to fix the problem, after numerous blood tests. As the saying goes, what do you call the doctor who graduated top of his or her medical school class? Doctor. And the bottom of the class graduate, what do you call him? Doctor.
Posted by: Fi || 03/15/2011 22:02 Comments || Top||

#15  radios, torches, candles, fuel containers and sleeping bags,... bread, canned goods, instant noodles, bottled water and other foodstuffs

Or my fave...canned bread. It exists.
Posted by: Fi || 03/15/2011 22:08 Comments || Top||

#16  Meanwhile, back at the dysfunctional Obumble admin dep't:
The Surgeon General today in California siad it would be a good idea to buy some iodide as 'a precaution,' yet Big Sis said that there was no need to. Who ya wanna believe, a real doctor, or some fat ass braod that can't even get her contractor to do basic math regarding the airport nudie scanners' radiation output?

Maybe we should air drop her into one of the blown up nuke plants to smother the radiation leak......
Posted by: USN,Ret || 03/15/2011 23:19 Comments || Top||

#17  And the bottom of the class graduate, what do you call him?

Major Frank Burns, US Army, MD
Posted by: Procopius2k || 03/15/2011 23:30 Comments || Top||

Chinese Coasties head for Japan
China's Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) is sending one of its largest cutters, the MSA21, to join the on-going search and rescue efforts in Japan. This deployment marks the first time the Chinese "coast guard" is participating in an operational S&R operation outside of China.
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/15/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  By way of the DAOYUS = SENKAKUS???

At this stage, I don't see this offshore Cutter being able to do anything more than loiter + search e.g. MIYAGI's roughly 8000 missing-n-presumed-dead residents, or other.

IMO Beijing should've sent minima 2-4 of their larger, multi-use PLAN vessels.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/15/2011 1:44 Comments || Top||

#2  It's not the actual usefulness of the vessel. It's that China is doing foreign missions at all. The fact that they're giving Japan an almost useless vehicle is a slap, and the fact that China is showing the flag in Japanese waters is a matter of great pride. Chinese still hate the Japanese for WWII, it might have happened yesterday.
Posted by: gromky || 03/15/2011 7:47 Comments || Top||

#3  Intelligence gathering and show of flag only. China's attitude is "what is China's is China's, and what is yours is negotiable." Less on the front pages, I imagine China will take the opportunity to assert control over more islands disputed with Japan.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/15/2011 9:07 Comments || Top||

China leader calls for reforms
[Al Jazeera] China will be facing tough choices in trying to strike a balance between creating jobs and cooling inflation, its premier has said as he urged economic and political reforms.

Wen Jiabao, however, denied that his government risks the possibility of civil unrest similar to that seen in parts of the Middle East. He said the first half of the year would be a tricky time for steering the world's second-biggest economy.

The Chinese premier was speaking on Monday at the end of the annual National People's Congress -- the Chinese parliament -- which approved the country's next five-year development plan.

China's leaders fear rising inflating -- which topped expectations at 4.9 per cent in the year to February -- could fan discontent and erode the standing of the ruling Communist Party.

"Inflation is like a tiger. Once you let it out, it's very hard to cage again," he told a news conference at the end of the session.

Reiterating that controlling inflation was China's top priority, Wen said the government would succeed in its work.

"I only want to say that we are confident that we can manage inflationary expectations properly," he said. "We can't rest easy about prices."

The Chinese premier blamed external factors as a major cause of inflation, including loose monetary policies in other countries, high global commodity costs and rising wages in China.
Posted by: Fred || 03/15/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And of course the increase in the Chinese money supply over the last ten years has nothing to do with inflation in China proper.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 03/15/2011 13:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Or all the bad loans and debt the Chinese banks have taken on.
Posted by: DarthVader || 03/15/2011 15:57 Comments || Top||

Beijing says no uprising in China
[Iran Press TV] Following reports of protests in China, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has denied any similarities between the country and the crisis-hit states in the Middle East and North Africa.

Wen told a news conference at the end of the country's annual legislative session that Beijing has closely watched popular uprisings in Middle Eastern countries, adding that drawing any comparison would be wrong.

He said China faces a tough test in dealing with inflation and other hot-button issues.

"Inflation is like a tiger, once it is set free it is very difficult to put it back in its cage," Wen added.

He promised to curb the inflation which he previously warned could impact social stability.

"Rising consumer and housing prices affect the immediate interests of the people and that is why the government has given top priority to curbing inflation."

The Chinese premier said his government would give priority to cultural reform and economic development.

China's economy is the world's second largest after the United States. It is also the world's fastest-growing major economy, with average growth rates of 10 percent for the past 30 years.

China is the largest exporter and second largest importer of goods in the world. However,
The ever-popular However...
rising prices are especially worrisome because poor Chinese families spend up to half their income on food.

This comes as in Egypt and Tunisia popular revolutions toppled western-backed autocratic regimes and triggered protest rallies in several Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Libya, Soddy Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and Yemen are among the countries hit by a wave of popular uprisings.
Posted by: Fred || 03/15/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Perhaps Beijing may want to conduct a rethink...

To wit,


The Nipponese that choose NOT to return back to Japan after the dust settles.

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/15/2011 0:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Meaning "none that we can't drive tanks over".
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 03/15/2011 5:36 Comments || Top||

#3  China will not be overthrown. There is no widespread popular support. The only story is troublemakers outside China, and foreign journalists whose only idea of China is to report negative stories.
Posted by: gromky || 03/15/2011 7:23 Comments || Top||

#4  ....without Bush around to whine negatively about, they have to find some one else to personalize their hate about. Palin and the Tea Party hate only carries the MSM only so far without simply becoming static background noise. Heaven forbid they would hold their own creation to the same standards of perfection.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 03/15/2011 9:39 Comments || Top||

Michigan Close To Declaring 'Financial Martial Law'
A bill being reconciled between the Republican controlled Senate and House, which the Republican governor has said he will sign, permits the governor to impose "emergency managers" over cities and school districts.

By declaring a "financial emergency", the governor could then appoint managers to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, eliminate services - and even eliminate whole cities or school districts without any public input.

The legislature would have the power to remove an emergency manager.

Republican state Sen. Jack Brandenburg said several urban areas of the state, especially Detroit, are in "bad shape" and require "financial martial law."

The emergency manager, he said, "has to have the backbone, he has to have the power, to null and void a contract." In response to concerns that local leaders will have to cede control, Brandenburg said, "I'll tell you what, I think that in a lot of these places there is no control."

As the bill nears final passage, state lawmakers are also considering Snyder's proposed budget, which would cut spending on schools, universities, prisons and communities.

Snyder has also proposed eliminating $1.7 billion in tax breaks for individuals while cutting $1.8 billion in taxes for businesses to spur job growth.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/15/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

EU to 'stress test' its nuclear plants
Here's hoping they do a better job stress testing them than that charade they performed on the banks
THE European Union has reached agreement to conduct "stress tests" on the continent's nuclear power plants, the bloc's energy chief Guenther Oettinger says.
I'm all for nuclear safety, but as Bobby notes in the related post below, the Euros have more important things to do than to see if a reactor near Paris can withstand a tsunami.
Oettinger said the tests would be conducted on a "voluntary" basis. He said they would look at whether the 153 reactors housed in half as many plants across the continent could resist earthquakes, tsunamis and terrorist attacks.

"We want to look at the risk and safety issues in the light of events in Japan," he said.

The European commission spoke after emergency talks between ministers, national nuclear safety chiefs and industry leaders that were hastily called amid rising public concern in the wake of Japan's nuclear emergency.

Oettinger said there were no existing EU rules to make the tests binding.

"Recognised experts will be responsible for carrying out the tests in the course of this year," he added
Posted by: tipper || 03/15/2011 13:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The USSR was doing a stress test when Chernobyl happened.

Think deeply before doing it.
Posted by: Water Modem || 03/15/2011 13:41 Comments || Top||

Sports world breaths sigh of relief, Iran sez they'll be there in 2012
Iran has indicated it will attend the 2012 Olympics in London, despite complaining that the Games logo resembles the word "Zion".

Last month the Iranians complained to the International Olympic Committee and called for the graphic to be replaced. They objected on the grounds that its resemblance to the word Zion - a Biblical term for Israel - was racist.

But now the Iranian-backed Press TV has quoted an official as saying Iranians will "participate gloriously".
Well, they'll be there anyways...
At the time, IOC president Jacques Rogge told BBC Sport: "No, it can't be serious. We will quietly reply, telling [Iran] the logo has nothing to do with racism or any political connotation."

The complaint was also dismissed by Prime Minister David Cameron, who said the Iranians would not be missed if they did not attend.Cameron said: "It's completely paranoid. If the Iranians don't want to come, don't come - we won't miss you."
Hmmmmm...don't think that's the response they wanted.
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/15/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Culture Wars
Charlie Sheen moving out of Sober Valley to live next door to Paris Hilton
Posted by: Frozen Al || 03/15/2011 20:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Violent Imagery OK for Anti-Union Gov Walker
Wisconsin's Governor Wins, but Is He Now Dead Man Walker?

The Wisconsin State Capitol had taken on an eerie quiet by late Friday. Gone were the throngs of protesters who had occupied its marble floors like it were a summer campground. The midnight honking of cars circling the white building had ceased. The chalk outlines around fake dead bodies etched with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's name remained in dismembered parts, not yet completely washed away by hoses.
It's Time magazine, in partnership with CNN, so it doesn't cause grevious harm, like crosshairs on congressional districts do.
Walker took up a dozen pens, one at a time, to sign into law a bill that not only takes away the ability of unions to bargain collectively over pensions and health care but also limits pay raises of public employees to the rate of inflation and ends automatic union dues collection by the state. Not to mention It also requires public unions to recertify annually. It was a coup by Wisconsin Republicans against the labor movement in one of its strongholds.
Coup by Republicans, somehow conveying a sense of illigitmacy, as opposed to a victory for the voters of the Badger State.
Posted by: Bobby || 03/15/2011 08:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The coup was by the unions who effectively subverted the state to their own ends.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 03/15/2011 11:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Walkers election was a sign of the re-establishment of democracy i.e. the Wisconsin "demos" are more important than the small interest group called unions.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 03/15/2011 11:42 Comments || Top||

#3  LOSERS (related commentary from today's Detroit News): ...nauseating evidence that when craven politicians and noisy interest groups face a choice between continuing decline and uncomfortable change, they'll opt for decline because it's easier than doing the math.
They get to keep their exemption(s) and their tax breaks, their corporate welfare and their closed union shops, their campaign contributions and their elected offices, even if keeping it all means that the Michigan malaise is here to stay. And if coveted employers and young people don't stay, well, that's an unfortunate byproduct of shortsighted self-interest.
Lots of words come to mind to describe this soil-thy-nest school of economic illiteracy, but the one that best blasts through the fog of nostalgia and cluelessness is this: loser.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/15/2011 18:24 Comments || Top||

#4  Alternate headline: Wisconsin electorate demands rights to collectively bargain with unions holding them hostage
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/15/2011 18:28 Comments || Top||

#5  Wiping tears from beneath her dark-rimmed glasses, Anne Moser, 47, who works for the University of Wisconsin-Madison's science-based Water Library, said, "People know that violence doesn't get you anywhere. The attack the Republicans have made is violent and a violation of human rights. It is an attack on the middle class. We teach our children to follow rules and to sit at the table and work it out, but that certainly hasn't happened here." And so she and her allies may seek their revenge elsewhere: in a court of law or, most likely, a polling booth. A couple of comments for Anne Moser:

1. It seems like the electorate(middle class) spoke in 2010 in Wisconsin.
2. Gov. Walker followed the rules.
3. Sixteen Democrats left the State and did not do their job, i.e. tried to subvert the will of the voters.
4. Local and imported union members trashed the state assembly building and acted as thugs.
5. Do you really want these union thugs to represent your interests?
Posted by: JohnQC || 03/15/2011 21:49 Comments || Top||

#6  The left's "civility" BS quickly revealed to be BS.

Next time, some progressive clown spouts off about "civility", I plan to tell them to STFU!
Posted by: CincinnatusChili || 03/15/2011 21:53 Comments || Top||

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A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

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Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
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Two weeks of WOT
Tue 2011-03-15
  Gaddafi army penetrates rebel areas
Mon 2011-03-14
  Libya: the rebels ready to defend Ajdabiya
Sun 2011-03-13
  Libyan troops 'force rebels out of Brega'
Sat 2011-03-12
  5 family members murdered by terrorist in Itamar settlement
Fri 2011-03-11
  Rebel forces retreat from Ras Lanuf
Thu 2011-03-10
  Libya no-fly zone a UN decision, "not US": Clinton
Wed 2011-03-09
  OIC rejects military action on Libya
Tue 2011-03-08
  Gaddafi sends negotiators to Benghazi
Mon 2011-03-07
  National Libyan Council to seek recognition
Sun 2011-03-06
  Gaddafi forces fight to seize Zawiyah, dozens killed
Sat 2011-03-05
  Qadaffy forces try, fail to retake Zawiyah
Fri 2011-03-04
  Libyan rebels push west
Thu 2011-03-03
  Gaddafi strikes at Brega, rebels eye foreign help
Wed 2011-03-02
  National Libyan Council outlines strategy
Tue 2011-03-01
  Yemen Opposition Rejects Plan for Govt of National Unity
Mon 2011-02-28
  Defiant Gaddafi confined to Tripoli

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