Saturday midday open thread: Owners may vote not to finish GA nukes; octopuses react to 'ecstasy'
45 days remain until the November midterms
• What’s coming up on Sunday Kos …
Women are angry, by Susan Grigsby
The ‘unthinkable’ may soon be inevitable: impeachment, removal, indictment and conviction, by Frank Vyan Walton
Let's sharpen and embolden the progressive narrative (and the counter-narrative, too), by Egberto Willies
Voting gender gap may become a chasm if GOP rams Kavanaugh in despite sexual assault allegation, by Sher Watts Spooner
Brett Kavanaugh has no credibility, and Senate Republicans do not care, by Laurence Lewis
Focus on 'winning' and 'losing' puts the country's best interests in the back seat, by Mark E Andersen
When it comes to Hispanic Heritage Month, Trump is an incredible hypocrite, by Denise Oliver Velez
Hurricane Florence won't stop Trump's march to undo Obama's environmental protections. Only we can, by Ian Reifowitz
• Ruling it unconstitutional, federal judge temporarily blocks NC law barring farmworkers from joining unions.
• FEMA stops paying for hotels of displaced Puerto Ricans, making some of them homeless:
It’s been a year since Hurricane Maria upended Jennyfer Ortiz’s life. The single mother fled Puerto Rico with her two children after their house in the mountain town of Orocovis lost power. They have been using a government-funded program to pay for a hotel in the Bronx, but that ended last week, forcing Ortiz, her 20-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter into a homeless shelter.
“Maria changed our lives—ruined our lives—and left us with nothing. After 18 hours of horror, we woke up the next day and had lost everything,” Ortiz said. The 46-year-old hasn’t been able to work since they’ve been in New York City—she has diabetes and hypertension, takes 14 medications a day and uses a walker. Her son works full time at a grocery store, but doesn’t make enough to pay for their own place.
• Duke Energy downplays power plant dam breach at old coal ash dump: Flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence breached the dam in three places Friday at the L.V. Sutton Power Station in North Carolina. There were no environmental regulators at the site Friday or early Saturday. Duke officials said the breaches of the dam that held back water in 1,100-acre Sutton Lake do not pose danger of more flooding to nearby communities. They also said it was unclear whether toxic coal ash had been released into the Cape Fear River from the breaches. But Earthjustice, an advocacy group focused on legal remedies to environmental problems, noted that local activists known as riverkeepers are “pulling wildlife covered in coal ash out of the river” and posted a photo to prove it. The group said that’s not the only place ash may be spilling into waterways. The ash is the residue left behind when coal is burned to generate electricity. It typically contains mercury, lead, arsenic and other heavy metals. There are about 400,000 cubic yards of the stuff at the Sutton site. Duke has been fined in the past for coal ash spills, and made a $3 million clean-up settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency after a huge 2014 spill into the Dan River. But there are an estimated 110 million tons of coal ash in unlined pits around the state that Duke says will cost some $5 billion to excavate and move to new locations away from rivers and lakes
• Octopuses dosed with “ecstasy” become more social in their interactions, just like humans:
By studying the genome of a kind of octopus not known for its friendliness toward its peers, then testing its behavioral reaction to a popular mood-altering drug called MDMA or «ecstasy,» scientists say they have found preliminary evidence of an evolutionary link between the social behaviors of the sea creature and humans, species separated by 500 million years on the evolutionary tree.
• Florida power company wants out of deal it made to buy nuclear-generated electricity as owners of uncompleted reactors ponder ending construction: The Jacksonville Electric Authority hopes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will decide it has authority help JEA get out of a 2008 agreement to buy electricity from the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia. Currently, two reactors are being built next to the two already operating on the site. The reactors, Westinghouse AP1000s that were meant, together with two in South Carolina, to be the leading edge of a revival of the U.S. nuclear power industry. The units are supposed to be modular, cookie-cutter designs that require much less time to build. But after delays and gigantic cost overruns, construction on the Carolina reactors was terminated when they was only 40 percent complete. The Vogtle nukes were originally estimated to cost $7.3 billion. But a multitude of problems have delayed the project and sent the estimated finished cost soaring to $27 billion. JEA’s concern is that it will be on the hook for as much as $3 billion. As a municipal utility, JEA is exempt from FERC rules, but it hopes to convince the agency that there’s no way the 10-year-old agreement would have been approved if the Feds had vetted it. On Monday, the co-owners of the Vogtle plant will vote on whether to pull the plug on the two new reactors, both about half completed.
• 103-year-old last American survivor of 1942 Doolittle raid on Tokyo still telling his stories.
LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE
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