Coal Ash Wednesday: Illness and death have plagued TVA cleanup workers

Compounding the catastrophe with more irresponsible behavior:

The TVA paid for as many as 900 people to contain and remove the pollution, some working 12-hour shifts for months at a time. The sludge dried into a fine dust that sparkled like glitter and sometimes whirled into clouds so thick, drivers could barely see past the hoods of their trucks.

In Associated Press interviews, workers said they were healthy before breathing the ash, but have since suffered unusual symptoms. They recalled joking darkly about "coal ash flu" before suffering strange lesions and seeing their skin flake off like fish scales. At least 40 co-workers have died, they said, some gruesomely, collapsing and coughing up blood. "We cleaned it up in a little over five years, and it would've took 25 years to do it the right way," said Doug Bledsoe, who drove trucks there and now has brain and lung cancer.

Let's say it again for those in the back rows: "Heavy metals persist." Mercury, Arsenic, Lead, are all heavy metals that survive the coal-burning process, often in the form of fly-ash, which is such a fine particulate that it remains airborne longer than other residuals, and more easily penetrates the soft tissues (and even bloodstream). That fly-ash also contains radioactive isotopes, which are probably responsible for many of the cancers. It's not just nasty, it's deadly, and the civil court system in Tennessee is allowing even more of these folks to die because of the "phases" they have to go through to get relief:

Wednesday News: "Mini-budgets"

bluenccup-1[1]_0.jpg

UNABLE TO OVERRIDE COOPER VETO, GOP TRIES NEW TRICK: “Day after day, they put the vetoed budget on the calendar, and day after day they don’t vote on an override. They try strong arming, bribes, public pressure, university tours and even trickery. Still, they do not vote on the vetoed budget,” Cooper said. Instead of the counteroffer he’s been waiting for, the governor said, “we get Congressional-style piecemeal budget bills. They don’t work well in Washington, and they won’t work well in North Carolina.” Cooper called the piecemeal budget bills “another trick that is bad public policy to get a budget that is 100% their way, the wrong way.” Teacher raises were not one of the three mini budget bills that made it through House committee and were later passed by the Senate that would give raises of 2.5% average to state employees, along with raises to the State Highway Patrol and other workers.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article234430112.html

Tuesday News: Lock 'em up

ARREST WARRANTS ISSUED FOR TWO HILLSBOROUGH KKK DEMONSTRATORS: Law enforcement authorities in Orange County said they have obtained warrants for the arrests of two people who allegedly had guns on them during a KKK rally Saturday night outside the Orange County Justice Facility, authorities said. Investigators from the Orange County Sheriff's Office and Hillsborough police reviewed photos and videos of protestors and counter protestors, which allowed them to conclude that the two participants had weapons. Authorities have not yet publicly identified the two suspects, and officials said they are trying to serve them with the arrest warrants. The KKK demonstration in Hillsborough at the justice complex, located on East Margaret Lane, caused a big stir Saturday in the town.
https://www.wral.com/orange-county-sheriff-plans-to-arrest-2-who-allegedly-brought-guns-to-kkk-rally...

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The cost of GOP shenanigans:

And issuing a tax cut while the Budget is still in limbo is negligent, to say the least.

Briana: The tale of American guns and foreign deaths

tedbuddgun.jpg

I guess you could call this trickle-down economics, albeit of a deadly form:

She preyed on the parish of Clarendon, carrying out nine confirmed kills, including a double homicide outside a bar, the killing of a father at a wake and the murder of a single mother of three. Her violence was indiscriminate: She shot and nearly killed a 14-year-old girl getting ready for church. With few clues to identify her, the police named her Briana. They knew only her country of origin — the United States — where she had been virtually untraceable since 1991.

Briana, serial number 245PN70462, was a 9-millimeter Browning handgun.

As many of you already know, I served in the Army for several years. I taught weapons and tactics to foreign military and Guard/Reserve/ROTC here in the States. A few years after I left the service, I purchased a couple of weapons, a Russian Makarov pistol and a Chinese (Army issue) SKS 7.62 assault rifle. I did not have a weapon safe to store them in, but I did have trigger locks on both. I simply couldn't imagine anyone breaking into my home, but they did, in the middle of the daytime. And yes, over the years I have lost sleep worrying about what those weapons may have been used for. I wish other Americans worried about that too:

Monday News: We'll see how this goes...

bluenccup-1[1]_0.jpg

ASSOCIATION HEALTH PLANS BECOMES LAW WITHOUT GOV'S SIGNATURE: While the bill does not remove health care coverage from people with pre-existing conditions, a News & Observer fact check included experts pointing out that insurers aren’t required to offer association health plans with a full range of services for people with pre-existing conditions. Cooper didn’t veto the bill, but he didn’t sign it either. He released this statement on Sunday: “People have a right to be frustrated with the cost of private health insurance plans, but even though there is significant bipartisan support for this legislation, my concerns about the legality of these cheaper plans and their potential negative effects on health care prevent me from signing the bill.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article234368932.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

editorialpages.jpg

NC SUPREME COURT SHOULD END RACIAL BIAS IN JURY SELECTION: North Carolina is one of very few states where appeals courts have never acknowledged discrimination against a juror of color and have allowed prosecutors to offer reasons for striking black jurors that are vague, suspect, and difficult to verify: the juror didn’t make eye contact, had an unusual hairstyle, or said “yeah” instead of “yes.” This week, North Carolina has a chance to confront a problem that has haunted the state for too long. The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear arguments on August 26 and 27 about the North Carolina Racial Justice Act (RJA). This groundbreaking law allowed people on death row to present evidence that racial bias played a role in their death sentences. After the law’s passage in 2009, a study of capital trials found that prosecutors removed qualified black jurors at more than twice the rate of white jurors. Thus, nearly half of North Carolina’s death row prisoners were tried by all-white juries or juries with only one person of color. If you doubt that the racial makeup of juries matters, remember that all-white juries have sent dozens of innocent black men to death row, including some of my clients.
https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/article234076852.html

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed