Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for June 27th, 2011

More Proof GOP Wants US to Fail: Eric Cantor Shorts T-Bills

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 27, 2011

Led by their Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congressional Republicans staged a temper tantrum last week — rather like the one Minnesota Congressional Republicans staged today by bailing on state budget talks — when they walked out of budget negotiations in order to please their corporate/Bircher tax-hating Southern Strategist base. This has renewed the decades-long debate, which was most famously fueled in recent times by Rush Limbaugh’s comments in April of 2009, concerning whether Republicans want America to fail so they could profit from its failure, either in votes or in cold hard cash.

And now we have more evidence that the Republicans who have the most influence over whether America lives or dies are in fact betting on its failure:

The Wall Street Journal reported the other day (here it is, but it’s behind a paywall) that as of his last disclosure form, House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor owned shares in a mutual fund that is short long-dated U.S. Treasury bonds. He is, in other words, betting that interest rates will rise, and hoping to make money off the fall in prices that would cause. (For my ancient primer on why bond prices fall when interest rates rise, see here .)

Per the WSJ, Cantor had up to $15,000 worth of shares in this fund.

That’s right: Eric Cantor, a man who has more control than all but a handful of other similarly-powerful men over whether the U.S. defaults on its debts by blocking an increase in the debt ceiling, would profit from this personally as interest rates would spike and prices would drop drastically. Even feeding the fear that this might occur could cause milder panics — and in fact has contributed to the recent huge losses the stock market has sustained.

How can this be legal? At all? Or is it, once again, perfectly okay so long as you’re a Republican?

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

We are all hibakusha (被爆者) now, American version

Posted by Charles II on June 27, 2011

“Hibakusha” means “explosion-affected people” and refers to the survivors of the atomic blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Recently, I used it to characterize the effects of the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdowns, which I accurately predicted (not online) were much more serious than we were being led to believe.

Now the tragedy is coming home to America, where everything downstream of Omaha is at risk.

AThe Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station turned to diesel-powered generators Sunday after disconnecting from the main grid because of rising floodwaters.

That move came after water surrounded several buildings when a water-filled floodwall collapsed.

The plant, about 19 miles north of Omaha, remains safe, Omaha Public Power District officials said Sunday afternoon.

Sunday’s event offers even more evidence that the relentlessly rising Missouri River is testing the flood worthiness of an American nuclear power plant like never before. The now-idle plant has become an island. And unlike other plants in the past, Fort Calhoun faces months of flooding.

Floodwater surrounded the nuclear plant’s main electrical transformers after the Aqua Dam, a water-filled tubular levee, collapsed, and power was transferred to emergency diesel generators.

OPPD officials said the transfer was precautionary because of water leaking around the concrete berm surrounding the main transformers.

Plant operators later reconnected to off-site power once all safety checks had been completed.

Water now surrounds the auxiliary and containment buildings, which are designed to handle flooding up to 1,014 feet above sea level. The river is at 1,006.3 feet and isn’t forecast to exceed 1,008 feet.

The 2,000-foot berm collapsed about 1:25 a.m. Sunday due to “onsite activities,” OPPD officials said.

Seventy five miles downstream, the Cooper nuclear plant is also embattled.

And, according to David Hendee:

As bad as it’s been, the hardest parts [of the flood] are still ahead, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the river system’s managers.

“It’s going to be a devastating season in terms of how the levees do,” said Brig. Gen. John McMahon, commander of the corps’ Northwestern Division. “There’s going to be a lot of pain and suffering.”

Posted in global food crisis, global warming, nukes | Comments Off on We are all hibakusha (被爆者) now, American version

 
%d bloggers like this: