Afternoon of Mad Dogs and Chihuahuas

Cartoon by Ken Catalino

Paints an interesting picture doesn’t it?  I thought with so much going on we should touch base and get some updates to y’all.

First things first…Judith Apter Klinghoffer on History News Network has this to say about Mad Dogs and Chihuahuas:

“REAGAN” ZIG ZAGS LIKE OBAMA’S FOREIGN POLICY

March 14, 2011 Aircraft carrier moved away from the coast after detecting radiation

March 15, 2011 Aircraft carrier moves closer despite radiation

No one understand this better than US rivals and enemies.

Obama: Qaddafi has to go.

Clapper: Qaddafi is going to win.

Obama: I am the president and he “it is in the interests of the United States, and more importantly in the interests of the Libyan people, that Mr. Gaddafi leave…”

What does he do to achieve it?

No, he does not fiddle like Nero. He plays golf!

What does Qaddafi do?

Gets busy take back rebel cities.

Ha, just a bit of laughter before we get the real problems going on today.

So, let’s get to the Mad Dog shall we? I think we all know where this is heading.

Key town ‘falls’ to Gaddafi forces – Africa – Al Jazeera English

Libyan rebels are retreating from the strategic town of Ajdabiya under heavy bombardment by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, according to reports, as the international community continues to debate a possible no-fly zone to protect an anti-government uprising.

The town on Libya’s east coast is all that stands between the advance of Libyan government troops and the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and lies on a road junction from where Gaddafi’s forces could attempt to encircle the city.

Libyan state television claimed on Tuesday pro-Gaddafi forces were now “in total control” of the town. Rebel fighters told Al Jazeera that they were pulling out.

Battle for control rages in Libya – Africa – Al Jazeera English

On Monday, Libyan jets flew behind rebel lines to bomb Ajdabiyah, the only sizeable town before Benghazi.

Rebels said there had been no casualties.

Colonel Milad Hussein, Libyan army spokesman,  said that government forces were “marching to cleanse the country” of insurgents, whom he called “rats and terrorists” and vowed to take on Benghazi.

The lightly armed rebels have been pushed back some 200 kilometres by Gaddafi’s better equipped and better trained forces in the past week.

“In Brega it is still advance and retreat, we are not in control and they are not either,” rebel fighter Hussein al-Wami told the Reuters news agency.

Qaddafi threatens to Join al-Qaeda as his Forces advance on Rebel Strongholds | Informed Comment

As the world watches Japan, transfixed by the aftermath of a massive tsunami that has probably killed over 10,000 and left half a million homeless, attended by a crisis in a series of nuclear reactors, on the other side of the world the forces of Muammar Qaddafi are advancing on rebel cities, reducing them one after the other with unrestrained aerial bombardment and artillery barrages, as Qaddafi himself threatens to ally with Usama Bin Laden if he is thwarted in his reconquista.

Qaddafi, defiant, told the Milan-based Il Giornale, that he would crush the rebels. “Their cause is lost. They only have two possibilities: to surrender or to flee,” he said. He expressed extreme disappointment in Western European leaders who had come out against his rule. France has recognized the provisional government in Benghazi, David Cameron of Britain has argued for a European-imposed no-fly zone, and even Qaddafi’s old crony Silvio Berlusconi of Italy has turned on him. Qaddafi lamented the banquet of friendship he had thrown for Berlusconi.

Asked if he doesn’t fear Saddam Hussein’s fate, Qaddafi said that if NATO tried to invade Libya and overthrow him, he would leave the international alliance against terrorism and join al-Qaeda in a holy war against the West.

I don’t know what is going to come of Hillary Clinton’s meeting, guess we will find out more later today?

From the Mideast to the Midwest…

For some context regarding the outcome of Wisconsin’s lost fight for collective bargaining:

NationalJournal.com – The 6 Reasons Everybody Loses in Wisconsin – Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In Wisconsin, despite the biggest protests Madison has seen since the Vietnam War, there is no way getting around the basic fact: The public sector unions lost their toughest fight yet. They may have resisted mightily and sparked a national movement in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill, which stripped them of most collective bargaining rights, but he was able to sign it into law Friday afternoon, nonetheless. The damage is done. All that remains now is the fallout.

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, the former leader of the Wisconsin GOP, proclaimed Walker’s victory a win for the party as a whole. But happened in Wisconsin wasn’t that simple — for Walker, the GOP or the unions.

Read the entire link, it gives a good summary of what consequences everyone must face because of Walker and his GOP minion’s actions against labor.

This next link is just priceless…I would probably chalk this one up as a “horndog.”

WI Repub lives outside district with mistress, says wife | The Raw Story

Protesters who marched at the home of Wisconsin state senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) were met with something of a surprise on Saturday. Mrs. Hopper appeared at the door and informed them that Sen. Hopper was no longer in residence at this address, but now lives in Madison, WI with his 25-year-old mistress.

Blogging Blue reports that the conservative Republican’s much-younger new flame is currently employed as a lobbyist for right-wing advocacy group Persuasion Partners, Inc., but was previously a state senate staffer who worked on the Senate Economic Development Committee alongside Mr. Hopper. Her bio has been scrubbed from the Persuasion Partners’ website, but a screen-grab is available here.

[…]

Blogging Blue also reports that Mrs. Hopper intends to sign the recall petition against her husband. The petition has already been signed by the family’s maid.

And lastly…chihuahuas…(Yes I know this next link goes to National Review…so you stand warned.)

While Japan Burns, Obama Fills Out His Bracket – By Jim Geraghty – The Campaign Spot – National Review Online

Wow:

Dangerous levels of radiation leaking from a crippled nuclear plant forced Japan to order 140,000 people to seal themselves indoors Tuesday after an explosion and a fire dramatically escalated the crisis spawned by a deadly tsunami.

In a nationally televised statement, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said radiation had spread from the four stricken reactors of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant along Japan’s northeastern coast. The region was shattered by Friday’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami that is believed to have killed more than 10,000 people, plunged millions into misery and pummeled the world’s third-largest economy.

Via Mike Allen’s newsletter, we see in the first line how the leader of the free world will spend his day during this awful crisis:

President Obama is taping his NCAA picks today, and they’ll be revealed tomorrow on ESPN.

Okay, that’s not all he’s doing. “Obama will tape interviews from the Map Room with KOAT Albuquerque, KDKA Pittsburgh and WVEC Hampton Roads on education reform and the need to fix No Child Left Behind.”

Japan faces an almost unparalleled crisis, Libya is in civil war, and we’re having another budget showdown after running up a $222.5 billion deficit in the 28 days of February. And after last week’s bullying summit, Obama is spending this week talking education reform.

UPDATE: I spoke too soon. Of course he’s taking an easy schedule today; he was working hard last night:

Expecting some sort of action, response or decision from our President?

Apparently Obama is too busy playing golf, working on his March Madness picks and getting his Re-Election campaign together for 2012….so many parties so little time!

What a strange world we live in…

Think of this as an open thread.  I will see if I can find some new information on the Japan Nuclear Crisis. Geez…with so many ongoing issues of concern, look for updates below.

The explosion Tuesday at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has elevated the situation there to a “serious accident” on a level just below Chernobyl, a French nuclear official said, referring to an international scale that rates the severity of such incidents.

The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale — or INES — goes from Level 1, which indicates very little danger to the general population; to Level 7, a “major accident” in which there’s been a large release of radioactive material and there will be widespread health and environmental effects.

“It’s clear we are at Level 6, that’s to say we’re at a level in between what happened at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl,” Andre-Claude Lacoste, president of France’s nuclear safety authority, told reporters Tuesday.

This link published 17 minutes ago: Chernobyl clean-up expert slams Japan, IAEA | Reuters

Greed in the nuclear industry and corporate influence over the U.N. watchdog for atomic energy may doom Japan to a spreading nuclear disaster, one of the men brought in to clean up Chernobyl said on Tuesday.

Slamming the Japanese response at Fukushima, Russian nuclear accident specialist Iouli Andreev accused corporations and the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of wilfully ignoring lessons from the world’s worst nuclear accident 25 years ago to protect the industry’s expansion.

More Updates on Fukushima:

Fukushima 50 battle radiation risks as Japan nuclear crisis deepens | World news | The Guardian

Fukushima: Mark 1 Nuclear Reactor Design Caused GE Scientist To Quit In Protest – ABC News

Fukushima nuclear crisis: How serious is the radiation threat? – CSMonitor.com


23 Comments on “Afternoon of Mad Dogs and Chihuahuas”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    From the ABC News link above:

    Thirty-five years ago, Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his colleagues at General Electric resigned from their jobs after becoming increasingly convinced that the nuclear reactor design they were reviewing — the Mark 1 — was so flawed it could lead to a devastating accident.
    PHOTO The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is so fluid that it may be days or even weeks before anyone knows how the Mark 1 containment system performed in the face of an unthinkable combination of natural disasters.

    The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is so fluid that it may be days or even weeks before anyone knows how the Mark 1 containment system performed in the face of an unthinkable combination of natural disasters. Collapse

    Questions persisted for decades about the ability of the Mark 1 to handle the immense pressures that would result if the reactor lost cooling power, and today that design is being put to the ultimate test in Japan. Five of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which has been wracked since Friday’s earthquake with explosions and radiation leaks, are Mark 1s.

    “The problems we identified in 1975 were that, in doing the design of the containment, they did not take into account the dynamic loads that could be experienced with a loss of coolant,” Bridenbaugh told ABC News in an interview. “The impact loads the containment would receive by this very rapid release of energy could tear the containment apart and create an uncontrolled release.”

  2. purplefinn says:

    “The petition has already been signed by the family’s maid.”

    Mrs. Hopper could not have planned such a well publicized comeuppance as telling the protesters where to find her husband. Thanks for the first laugh of the day, Minx

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    Update on 11 year old girl who was raped in Cleveland, TX:

    From the woman who brought you that Houston Chronicle article:

    Prosecutor seeks broad gag order in Cleveland rape case | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

    I tried to find some more recent news, but aside from the link above, all other articles are from March 11th.

    I found this interesting at least:

    Alleged gang rape of girl, 11, ignites firestorm in Texas community – CNN.com

    …community activist Linda Morales defended the girl.

    “This was an 11-year-old child. And no matter what she did, did not do, how she dressed, how she talked, how she acted does not matter,” Morales said. “This was a brutal and savage rape.”

    Myers said that she knows the girl, her siblings and her parents, and the entire family was active in her organization.

    “These kids are good kids,” she said. “These (the girl and her siblings) were in basketball, honors society, ROTC programs. So I feel the parents were doing something right in their lives.”

    In addition to her distress for the girl, Myers added she also was “devastated … that our community and people in our community are saying (this) about an 11-year-old child. It breaks my heart, it really does.”

  4. Minkoff Minx says:

    France fails to get G8 accord on Libya no-fly zone | Reuters

    The G8 powers failed on Tuesday to agree on a no-fly zone over Libya, a setback to the chances of swift action to halt Muammar Gaddafi’s advance against rebel forces that leaves the ball with the U.N. Security Council.

    In a blow to France’s efforts to use the crisis in Libya to reassert its leadership in international diplomacy, a G8 meeting resisted French pressure to come out in support of a no-fly zone and made no mention of the issue in its final communique.

    The Libyan crisis dominated the first meeting of France’s Group of Eight presidency, but Germany and Russia blocked flight restrictions sought also by Britain, leaving the group with a position that contained strong words but little substance.

    “The Americans are moving toward the security council, the Russians want more detail on the no-fly zone and are cautious, but the Germans blocked it completely,” a G8 diplomatic source said after the talks.

  5. Minkoff Minx says:

    Fukushima nuke plant situation ‘worsened considerably’: think tank | Kyodo News

    The situation at the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in northeastern Japan ”has worsened considerably,” the Institute for Science and International Security said in a statement released Tuesday.

    Referring to fresh explosions that occurred earlier in the day at the site and problems in a pool storing spent nuclear fuel rods, the Washington-based think tank said, ”This accident can no longer be viewed as a level 4 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Events scale that ranks events from 1 to 7.”

    Noting that a level 4 incident involves ”only local radiological consequences,” it said the ongoing crisis is ”now closer to a level 6, and it may unfortunately reach a level 7” — a worst case scenario with extensive health and environmental consequences.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Fantastic roundup, Minx! Thanks. I just napped away the afternoon and now you’ve caught me up on everything.

  7. SHV says:

    Interesting “problem” in the now 30km restricted zone around Daiichi. On NHK, interview of a city mayor, he said that there is a restriction on movement into the zone so no trucks bringing in food, fuel, etc.

  8. SHV says:

    Interesting piece at NYT, recalling concerns about safety of the Gen. I, GE boiling water reactors. More than 40 years ago regulators were concerned about containment and Hydrogen explosion, etc.
    (snip)
    “G.E. began making the Mark 1 boiling water reactors in the 1960s, marketing them as cheaper and easier to build — in part because they used a comparatively smaller and less expensive containment structure. ”
    (snip)
    “In 1972, Stephen H. Hanauer, then a safety official with the Atomic Energy Commission, recommended in a memo that the sort of “pressure-suppression” system used in G.E.’s Mark 1 plants presented unacceptable safety risks and that it should be discontinued.”
    (snip)
    “What are the safety advantages of pressure suppression, apart from the cost saving?” Mr. Hanauer asked in the 1972 memo. (The regulatory functions of the Atomic Energy Commission were later transferred to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
    (snip)
    A written response came later that same year from Joseph Hendrie, who would later become chairman of the N.R.C. He called the idea of a ban on such systems “attractive” because alternative containment systems have the “notable advantage of brute simplicity in dealing with a primary blowdown.”

    But he added that the technology had been so widely accepted by the industry and regulatory officials that “reversal of this hallowed policy, particularly at this time, could well be the end of nuclear power.”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42094554/ns/world_news-asiapacific/

    Prophetic words…it took 40-50 years but not banning the GE “cheap reactor” may have ended nuclear power.

  9. mjames says:

    They just don’t effing care. Who says a corporation is a person? It has no heart. Also no soul. Also no brain. (Of course, I’ve yet to see evidence that Scalia or Roberts has any of the above either.)

    Thanks for the coverage, bleak and horrible as it is. I’ve been swamped with work and unable to write much, but I check in regularly. Good work as usual.

    I see no good end to all of this.

  10. WomanVoter says:

    Remembering the Victims of Japan’s 9.0 M Earthquake & Tsunami ( You can help, donate $10 Text REDCROSS to 90999 )