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Mira's Journal
Mira's Journal
February 28, 2014

Violations issued against Duke for coal ash spill

Source: Winston-Salem Journal


Violations issued against Duke for coal ash spill

RALEIGH — North Carolina regulators have issued notice to Duke Energy that the company will be cited for environmental violations related to a massive coal ash spill that coated 70 miles of the Dan River with toxic sludge.
The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Friday that the two notices relate to separate violations of wastewater and storm-water regulations. The agency could levy fines against Duke for the violations, but the amount has not yet been determined.

The spill began Feb. 2 when an old pipe under a 27-acre coal ash dump at a Duke power plant in Eden collapsed. It took the company nearly a week to fully plug the leak. Public health officials have advised people to avoid contact with the river water and to not eat fish.

Read more: http://www.journalnow.com/

February 27, 2014

Mass Gay Migration Aims to Make Arizona Majority Gay - Borowitz says, as Brewer vetoes

PHOENIX (The Borowitz Report)—Rejecting calls to boycott Arizona, a newly formed gay organization is mobilizing its members to move to the state by the millions in the hopes of transforming it into the nation’s first majority gay state.
The group, called Americans for a Gay Arizona, has already received commitments from a million gay Americans to move to the state within the next two months, with a target of enlisting over six million gays to move there by the end of the year.
Harland Dorrinson, the executive director of the group, said that the influx of six million gays would be “more than enough” to insure that Arizona would be majority gay, but he acknowledged that he did not have an exact figure of how many gays currently reside there.
“We think it could be as many as a million,” he said. “But if you add in conservative politicians, that number could go much higher.”

According to one associate of Governor Jan Brewer, the plan to move six million gays to Arizona is shaping up to be the governor’s worst nightmare.
“She’s always been against immigration, but nothing like this,” the associate said.
February 22, 2014

Arizona Governor Fears Government Regulation Could Ruin Bigotry and Hatred - Andy Borowitz

PHOENIX (The Borowitz Report)—Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said today that she was reluctant to sign an anti-gay “religious freedom” bill passed by the Arizona state legislature this week, telling reporters, “I believe that bigotry and hatred should be free of government regulation.”

She said that while many Arizona business owners currently enjoy employing hateful practices, “I worry that if big government gets involved, that’ll ruin everything.”

“Don’t get me wrong—I think the anti-gay bill that the legislature passed was well-meaning,” she said. “All I’m saying is, let’s leave it to the private sector.”

Offering an example, she added, “Look at how Obamacare has messed up health care. I’d hate to pass a new law that results in government wrecking bigotry.”

But Governor Brewer got some pushback today from Republican legislator Harland Dorrinson, who told reporters, "I’m as opposed to big government as anyone. But promoting hate-based bias is one area where I believe government has an important role to play.”

For her part, Governor Brewer remains unconvinced by that argument. Noting that the current system of hatred and bigotry in place in Arizona has worked well for decades, she said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

February 22, 2014

In for a treat: Rachel on with Bill Maher at 10 pm and repeat at 11 pm / HBO -yes there are others:)

The Interview:

Michelle Alexander
holds a joint professorship at both the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. A lawyer and civil rights advocate, Alexander is the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

The Panel:

Charles Cooke
is a staff writer for National Review Online. His work has focused especially on Anglo-American history, British liberty, free speech, the second amendment and American exceptionalism. Cooke co-hosts the new iTunes podcast, “Mad Dogs & Englishmen.”

Twitter: @charlescwcooke

Rep. Jane Harman
served California’s 26th congressional district until 2011. She is currently the Director, President, and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars as well as a member of the Defense Policy Board, the State Department Foreign Policy Board and the Homeland Security Advisory. While in Congress, she was the Ranking Member on the House Intelligence Committee.

Rachel Maddow
hosts “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC and writes a monthly opinion column for The Washington Post. She will present “Why We Did It,” a new documentary investigating what spurred the US government to start the Iraq war, Thursday, March 6 at 9PM on MSNBC.

Twitter: @maddow

Mid Show Guest:

Steve Coogan
starred in, co-wrote and co-produced the Academy Award-nominated film Philomena. He is a co-founder of Baby Cow Productions, which has gained a reputation for nurturing new British comedy talent, while teaming up with the best of the UK’s established writers, directors and produ
February 21, 2014

Clarence Thomasís Disgraceful Silence by Jeffrey Toobin / The New Yorker

As of this Saturday, February 22nd, eight years will have passed since Clarence Thomas last asked a question during a Supreme Court oral argument. His behavior on the bench has gone from curious to bizarre to downright embarrassing, for himself and for the institution he represents.
This point was especially apparent on January 13th, when the Court considered the case of National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, which raises important questions about the President’s ability to fill vacancies when the Senate is in recess. It was a superb argument—highly skilled lawyers engaging with eight inquisitive judges. The case also offered a kind of primer on the state of the Court in action, with Thomas’s colleagues best viewed in pairs.

Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The two oldest Justices (and the Court’s senior New Yorkers) usually jump in first with questions. Scalia, who is seventy-seven, often takes a barbed tone with the lawyers, and Ginsburg, who is eighty, is more polite, if no less insistent. Both of them set the tone with their ideologically opposed positions. They offer an early clue as to whether the Court will divide along familiar left-right grounds.
Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer. Oddly, these two, both Northern Californians, are starting to resemble each other physically in their eighth decades. Both sit in similar ways, hunched forward, with the fingers of their right hands splayed between forehead and bald head. Kennedy asks questions in a tone of grave concern; Breyer, in his twentieth year on the Court, is still having the time of his life. He laughs at all the jokes, especially his own.


As for Thomas, he is physically transformed from his infamous confirmation hearings, in 1991—a great deal grayer and heavier today, at the age of sixty-five. He also projects a different kind of silence than he did earlier in his tenure. In his first years on the Court, Thomas would rock forward, whisper comments about the lawyers to his neighbors Breyer and Kennedy, and generally look like he was acknowledging where he was. These days, Thomas only reclines; his leather chair is pitched so that he can stare at the ceiling, which he does at length. He strokes his chin. His eyelids look heavy. Every schoolteacher knows this look. It’s called “not paying attention.”


But the process works only if the Justices engage. The current Supreme Court is almost too ready to do so, and sometimes lawyers have a hard time getting a word in edgewise. In question-and-answer sessions at law schools, Thomas has said that his colleagues talk too much, that he wants to let the lawyers say their piece, and that the briefs tell him all he needs to know. But this—as his colleagues’ ability to provoke revealing exchanges demonstrates—is nonsense. Thomas is simply not doing his job.

By refusing to acknowledge the advocates or his fellow-Justices, Thomas treats them all with disrespect. It would be one thing if Thomas’s petulance reflected badly only on himself, which it did for the first few years of his ludicrous behavior. But at this point, eight years on, Thomas is demeaning the Court. Imagine, for a moment, if all nine Justices behaved as Thomas does on the bench. The public would rightly, and immediately, lose all faith in the Supreme Court. Instead, the public has lost, and should lose, any confidence it might have in Clarence Thomas.

To read the parts I had to snip out:
February 21, 2014

Republicans to Discontinue Use of E-Mail- Andy Borowitz reveals

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Citing the scandals embroiling Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the Republican Governors Association today ordered its members to discontinue the use of e-mail, “effective immediately.”
According to a memo sent to all Republican governors, “Any plots, schemes, conspiracies, or violations of campaign-finance laws should be conducted using pay phones or easily disposable cell phones such as the ones used on ‘The Wire.’ ” The governors were instructed to read the memo once and then either burn or eat it.
Asked to comment on the new policy, Governor Walker’s office responded, “The recipient’s e-mail address was not found in the recipient’s e-mail system. Please check the e-mail address and try resending this message.”

February 20, 2014

Been thinking of picking up a cheap huge old Victorian Mansion for remodeling?

I went driving today towards Virginia across the Blue Ridge and ran across this building that collapsed inside itself at the side of the road.

First the adjoining land, then the mansion

February 14, 2014

The line-up for Bill Maher's show tonight. 10pm and repeat at 11pm on HBO

The Interview:

Bill Nye is the Emmy-winning Science Guy who frequently appeared in classrooms on a TV set ratchet-strapped to a rolling cart. He recently debated Answers in Genesis founder and young-earth creationist Ken Ham about the origins of our world. Twitter: @TheScienceGuy

The Panel:

Jeremy Scahill is an independent investigative reporter and co-founder of The Intercept, the first in a series of digital magazines to be published by First Look Media. Scahill was named one of POLITICO’s “10 journalists to watch in 2014” and his documentary Dirty Wars was recently nominated for an Academy Award. Twitter: @JeremyScahill

Dylan Ratigan is a sustainability entrepreneur who previously hosted MSNBC’s “The Dylan Ratigan Show.” He now has an engineering and construction firm that builds module housing for cities of the future. Twitter: @DylanRatigan

Eric Klinenberg is a Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. Editor of the journal Public Culture, Klinenberg is currently leading a research project on climate change and the future of cities in adapting to the emerging age of extreme weather. His latest book is Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone. Twitter: @EricKlinenberg

Mid Show Guest:

Mayim Bialik is an Emmy Award-nominated actress for The Big Bang Theory and the author of a new cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table. Check out her blog at kveller.com for a sneak peek at her non-dairy kugel

February 13, 2014

A Letter from Comcast and Time Warner Cable - intercepted by Andy Borowitz

Dear subscribers,
Today, it was announced that Comcast is joining forces with Time Warner Cable in a friendly acquisition worth $45 billion. As we could have expected, many people are wondering what this transaction will mean to the service that you, our subscribers, will enjoy.
We know that all of your comments, however mean-spirited some of them may have been, have come from a good place: genuine concern about what this merger will mean for your future cable service. At Comcast/Time Warner, we care deeply about those concerns, and, to help allay them, here are some answers to the Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s) we have received since the merger was announced.
Q: How will the merger affect the price of my cable service?
A: There is no clear answer to that. But we will be introducing financing options, roughly similar to those that enabled you to attend college.
Q: Will there be any adverse impact on customer service?
A: A technician will be at your home between the hours of eight and never.
Q: How frequently will you turn off the Internet, and are you going to deliberately crush Netflix by making it impossible to stream its movies?
A: Often and probably.
Q: I am a current Time Warner subscriber. Who will be handling customer complaints, Comcast or Time Warner?
A: Please address all complaints to Comcast/Time Warner Customer Service, 666 Noonethere Lane, Abysstown, U.S.A.
Q: I have been on hold for the past hour, and no one seems to be picking up. How long can I expect to wait?
A: Due to concern about the merger, we are experiencing longer-than-expected wait times. In the meantime, eat me.
Comcast/Time Warner Cable


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