Archive for leak

Yet another calamitous spill. Oil? No. This time it's... molasses!



At TPC, we've been all over the disaster-in-waiting known as the Keystone XL tar sands Pipeline as well as the 2010 BP oil catastrophe. The negative environmental impact of Big Oil's exploitation of Mother Earth has been horrifying to behold.

You'd think after all this time, there would be more attention paid to leak prevention and clean-up, because our food supply, our flora and fauna, our very lives are being tampered with on a gargantuan scale.

But did it ever occur to anyone that leaking molasses would have nearly the same effect as petroleum? BP goo, meet molasses goo. Instead of gallons and gallons of deadly sweet crude, there's an equally destructive abundance of sweet syrup.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

Fish began dying en masse in the waters around Honolulu after hundreds of thousands of gallons of molasses spilled into Honolulu Harbor early this week, and there's nothing officials can do to clean it up.

Thousands of fish have died from the sugary sludge. Crabs lay dead along the harbor bottom while more fish floated listlessly, some seeming to gasp above the surface of the water contaminated by the syrupy sweetener.

The spill is one of the worst man-made disasters to hit Hawaii in recent memory, officials said, not least because no one has quite seen anything like it.

"There's nothing you can do to clean up molasses," said Jeff Hull, a spokesman for Matson Inc., the company responsible for the leak. "It's sunk to the bottom of the harbor. Unlike oil, which can be cleaned from the surface, molasses sinks."

You know what else sinks to the bottom? Tar sands oil.

In this case, the sugary glop "replaces oxygen-bearing seawater that bottom-dwelling fish use to breathe."

The responsible party is Matson Inc. whose ship was being loaded via pipeline with 1,600 tons of molasses for shipping to the U.S. West Coast. About 1,400 tons of molasses may have gushed out.

Matson says they're sorry. No worries, Matson, that's ok!

The unknowns: "What kind of bacteria will come to consume the sugar? How low will oxygen levels go? Will the water become more acidic?"

Groucho Marx, Danny Kaye, Ella Fitzgerald, and Jimmy Durante singing "Blackstrap Molasses & Wheat Germ Bread." Song from a radio show in early 1950s.  Art & animation by Duff Hendrickson & Cosmo Spacey.


Video- Fox Yappers Upset They Know Too Much On Terror Warning


Can't win if you do, can't win if you don't. Via TP.


Video- Dick Cheney Scoffs At Privacy Concern On Data Mining


If anything should set off alarm bells, this should. Via.


Jake Tapper: Oops! White House email contradicts Benghazi leaks. Leaker made White House look focused on talking points.


tv benghazi

email State Dept BenghaziLink

“Sorry to be late to this discussion. We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.

“There is a ton of wrong information getting out into the public domain from Congress and people who are not particularly informed. Insofar as we have firmed up assessments that don’t compromise intel or the investigation, we need to have the capability to correct the record, as there are significant policy and messaging ramifications that would flow from a hardened mis-impression.

“We can take this up tomorrow morning at deputies.”

ABC got it wrong.

Jake Tapper has the exclusive:

The actual e-mail from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes appears to show that whomever leaked it did so in a way that made it appear that the White House was primarily concerned with the State Department's desire to remove references and warnings about specific terrorist groups so as to not bring criticism to the department. [...]

Whoever provided those quotes seemingly invented the notion that Rhodes wanted the concerns of the State Department specifically addressed.... Rhodes put no emphasis at all in his e-mail on the State Department's concerns. [...]

So whoever leaked the inaccurate information earlier this month did so in a way that made it appear that the White House – specifically Rhodes – was more interested in the State Department’s concerns, and more focused on the talking points, than the e-mail actually stated.

This is why it's so important to be cautious about getting too far ahead of stories ("Scandal!!! Benghazi!!!!!) like these.

Talking to you media, GOP, and anyone else out there who pushes hysteria instead of facts.

Tapper has more here.

witch huntH/t: @Skhassime


New radioactive waste leak found at nuclear site, and clean-up could be halted by sequestration.



In the state of Washington, there is radioactive waste leaking at the Hanford nuclear site. Call me crazy, but it's my feeling that wind doesn't leak, nor does solar power... but that's another argument for another day.

Today let's concentrate on cleaning up yet another potentially lethal nuclear mess.

Via the L.A. Times:

An aging tank of high-level radioactive waste is leaking at the Hanford nuclear site in south-central Washington state at the rate of up to 300 gallons a year, federal authorities disclosed Friday after discovering a dip in the volume of toxic sludge in the tank.

Gov. Jay Inslee said, “This raises concerns not only about the existing leak that has been recently discovered, but also concerning the integrity of the other single-shell tanks of this age, some of which have experienced prior leaks."

Meh, no worries:

State officials say there is no immediate public health threat, because it could take years or even decades for the leaked material to reach the groundwater and move on to the nearby Columbia River.

See? It could take years before Washington residents have to worry about things like "public health threats," or as I like to call them, fear, pain, suffering, cancer, and death.

What's everyone getting so worked up about? Relax. There are plenty of hard-working federal employees who are working to clean up the toxic slop before anything really bad happens. They are the heroes of this story. They are on it.

But Inslee said the timing of the leak’s discovery coincided unfortunately with a report this week from Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee that more than 1,000 federal employees now working on cleanup at the site could be placed on unpaid leave for six weeks if threatened federal budget “sequestration” cuts occurred on March 1.

uh oh smaller

Breathe, people. Obviously, Congress is all over it. They'd be fools to let something as dangerous as this slip by them, right?

Oh... Excuse me, something is coming through my imaginary earpiece, hang on...

“We’ve been told not to be in Congress. Speaker Boehner controls the agenda… and he sent us home.”

How's that sequestration thing workin' for ya?



Paddy's Big Ceiling Leak


paddy leak

Paddy won't be able to post tonight. On top of needing a new computer (which thanks to your generosity, she'll be getting soon!), her computer area has now been flooded. A pipe broke upstairs, her ceiling collapsed, and water whooooshed all over the place.

Good times, good times.

So please forgive the light or non-existent posting tonight. I have my dad to tend to, and Paddy's... all wet.

Many thanks.

(Oh, and that photo up there? That's generic, Paddy's leak was worse.)


Leaked memo: Obama administration backing international court that would have the right to override national laws in favor of corporations


I'd like to get feedback from President Obama's staunchest defenders on this one.

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via Mark Karlin:

What is news is that the Obama administration is backing an international court that would have the right to override national laws in favor of corporations.  The implications are staggering for the environment, financial oversight and unions, according to the Huffington Post. Even life-saving medicine could be monopolized and raised to a level that would make some vital medications unaffordable to all but those with wealth or top insurance policies. According to The HP, the Obama administration has been pursuing:

…efforts in other international negotiations to establish controversial medical patents that grant companies long-term monopolies on life-saving medications. Those monopolies increase drug prices, which impede access to medications, particularly in developing nations. The World Health Organization and dozens of nonprofit public health groups have objected to the standards sought by the Obama administration. Two United Nations groups recently urged global governments not to agree to trade terms currently being advocated by the Obama administration, on the grounds that such rules would hurt public health.

As I noted in a BuzzFlash at Truthout commentary on June 11, I have come to see the nations of the world more and more at the mercy of an international global corporate and financial elite – and this leaked memo provides more fodder for that theory.  Americans, if the agreement is reached, won't even have the right to hold foreign corporations accountable in US courts for many egregious violations:

The irony is that the right-wing of America has long despised the United Nations, but the current reality of economic management of the earth is falling into the hands of a few elite institutions, developed regions (call them nations if you will), and international financial firms and corporations.  Call it the United Global Elite instead of the United Nations.

Members of the global elite, as BuzzFlash at Truthout has mentioned before, are more at home with each other than with the other 99% of their own countries. The G-8, the G-20, call them what you will, but the economic fate of nations is decided to a great degree at international meetings of the haves.

This is not a conspiracy theory. It is the result of a world of global trade, finances, and marketing that is not confined to national boundaries. Yes, nations have distinct legal systems, but their financial fates and corporate legal disputes with local, state and federal governments are more and more determined by decisions made at a global level by individuals at a great distance from working people - or the person trying to survive on subsistence living.

The HP states bluntly:

A critical document from President Barack Obama's free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises….

Trans-Pacific negotiations have been taking place throughout the Obama presidency. The deal is strongly supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the top lobbying group for American corporations. Obama's Republican opponent in the 2012 presidential elections, Mitt Romney, has urged the U.S. to finalize the deal as soon as possible.

So the same group of people who have viciously derided the notion of the United Nations encroaching on US unilateral power are now eager to give up chunks of our local, state and national legal recourse to an international tribunal, so as to benefit corporations?

Please read the rest here.