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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 44,354

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Environmental Scientist

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Mine owner could get up to 30 years for West Virginia deaths

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (PAI) - The federal government rewrote its indictment of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship for his role in the fatal Upper Big Branch mine explosion and disaster five years ago. The new indictment, announced Mar. 10, rolls two conspiracy counts into one and still leaves Blankenship facing up to 30 years in jail if convicted on all charges. The court will hold a preliminary hearing on Mar. 24 with trial starting Apr. 6.

But, even more importantly, U.S. District Judge Irene Berger, who is hearing the case, lifted the gag order she imposed last year on everybody involved, including the families of the 29 workers killed in the blast, their attorneys and Blankenship. That will let the survivors start telling prosecutors, and the media, about the explosion and its aftermath.

It will also let the families of the dead miners use their experience to testify before the GOP-run West Virginia legislature in its hearings on corporate-backed legislation to gut the state's mine safety laws and to enact a so-called right-to-work law.

The U.S. attorney for West Virginia indicted Blankenship last November on counts of violating mine safety and health laws, conspiracy to do so, impeding federal mine safety officials, making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission about the financial impact on Massey from lawsuits resulting from the UBB blast and securities fraud.



Charles P Pierce- My Man Chuck Todd Had A Bad Moment

My man Chuck Todd was on the liberal MSNBC network this morning, chatting up Jose Diaz-Balart about all of the kabuki being performed around Hillary Clinton's double life online. To his credit, the host seemed to be hinting that my man Chuck and the rest of the kool kidz might be making a big old something out of a little old nothing. My man Chuck burbled a little bit about how this really was a window into how Clinton might run her presidential campaign -- which is a crock. This is nostalgic bear-baiting by an elite political press angered that they don't have a blue dress to call their own this time around, and being played for suckers by the likes of Trey Gowdy.

Anyway, at one point, Chuck brought my head up from my scrambled eggs when he said,

"We're reporters. We're skeptical."
Which, I hate to say it, reminded me of nothing more than this previous spasm (!) of honesty that my man Chuck had.

"We all sit there because we know the first time we bark is the last time we do the show. There's something where all of the sudden nobody will come on your show."

Gee, whatever would we all do then?


Friday TOON Roundup 5 - The Rest








The Issue


Friday TOON Roundup 4 -Police and Race

Friday TOON Roundup 3 -Sloshed Service

Friday TOON Roundup 2 -more Repubs

Friday TOON Roundup 1 - America Hating Extremists

Two Arizona Toons

Akron, Ohio, Police Seek Man Who Defecated on Cars 19 Times

For the past three years, residents of a quiet Akron, Ohio, neighborhood say they've been terrorized by a man defecating on cars and even children's front yard toys. But early Wednesday, a diligent neighbor who set up a time-lapse camera managed to catch the suspect with his pants down and turned over the photographic evidence to police.

Akron authorities have released the image of the so-called "Bowel Movement Bandit," who they say has pooped on at least 19 parked cars in driveways in the city's Castle Homes neighborhood.

The resident who set up the camera told NBC affiliate WKYC that the suspect has struck the family's car at least eight times since the fall. "I was questioning my son: Who do you have mad at you?" said the resident, who did not want to be named. "People were pointing fingers all over the place."

Another resident pooh-poohed the man's behavior as disturbing and bizarre. "My mother-in-law walked out of our house one day, and the kids' front-yard slide had to be sanitized," Rob Brunson told WKYC.



Ganymede, biggest moon in the solar system, has a saltwater ocean

NASA says new observations from the Hubble Space Telescope confirm the existence of a salty subsurface ocean on Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system, which orbits our largest neighbor planet, Jupiter.

The ocean is estimated to be about 60 miles thick -- 10 times deeper than the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the Pacific -- but is buried under a layer of mostly icy crust 95 miles thick. Ganymede joins other neighborhood moons like Enceladus, the asteroid belt dwarf planet Ceres, and Saturn's Europa and Titan that host strange icy or liquid layers, making them prime targets in the search for life beyond Earth.

Scientists have hypothesized for decades that Ganymede might harbor an icy or even liquid ocean beneath its frigid surface. The key to confirming the presence of a saltwater ocean came from observing Ganymede's aurorae, which would look bright red to a human able to stand on the surface of the moon and gaze up through its thin oxygen atmosphere. But don't get too excited, it's much too thin to support life as we know it.

Auroral phenomena -- think the bright northern lights of the aurora borealis or the aurora australis down south -- are not fully understood, but are linked to magnetic fields interacting with the solar wind. Ganymede is the only moon in the solar system that generates its own magnetic field thanks to its liquid iron core, but it also lies within the magnetic field of massive Jupiter. As Jupiter's magnetic field changes, it affects the aurorae on Ganymede, causing them to "rock back and forth" according to Joachim Saur, a professor for geophysics at the University of Cologne, who presented the news on a NASA teleconference Thursday.


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