Mayflower: 1st ExxonMobil Tar Sands Pipeline Spill, Now Deadly Tornado Destroys Arkansas Town

By: Tuesday April 29, 2014 1:30 pm

On March 29, 2013, ExxonMobil‘s Pegasus tar sands pipeline ruptured inMayflower, Arkansas, sending hundreds of thousands of gallons of diluted bitumen (“dilbit”) pouring down the town’s streets.

Now, just over a year after the massive spill, devastation has come to Mayflower and neighboring towns again, this time in the form of a lethal tornado. On the evening of April 27, the twister destroyed huge pockets of the town of just over 2,300 citizens in a wholesale manner, with 14 confirmed dead and likely many more still not counted.


Tim Huelskamp and the Tale of Two Maps

By: Saturday January 5, 2013 9:11 am

Tim Huelskamp (FarRightR-Brownbackistan01) has been in the news lately for standing up to John Boehner (NotQuiteSoFarRightR). Last month, Boehner kicked Huelskamp off the House Agriculture committee, leaving Kansas without a member of that committee for the first time in 150 years. Note, please, that Huelskamp prides himself on being a farmer first, and Huelskamp’s most favorite map (his vast congressional district) is packed with farms, so this hurts him not just in his ego, but in his ability to deliver for his constituents.

Given another map that’s making the rounds these days, that ought to make his constituents, very nervous, if not very angry.

Late Night: The Politics of Me

By: Thursday January 3, 2013 8:00 pm

The brief tempest in a teapot over New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s harsh words for the House GOP in the wake of its refusal to provide disaster funding for his state has, thankfully, blown over. This sort of GOP apostasy, while pure catnip to the Village, doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the real world, and is newsworthy only because such behavior is so drearily common.

Solidarity After the Storm: Poor Peoples Movements From South Africa and Haiti Share Lessons More Urgent Now Than Ever

By: Saturday November 3, 2012 5:44 pm

While the extent of Hurricane Sandy’s damage in the U.S. and the Caribbean is still being assessed, what’s already clear is that across the map the recovery process will be long and require massive financial and human investments by both governments and non-governmental groups alike. Lessons learned from the earthquake recovery in Haiti, particularly regarding the importance of international solidarity and recovery based on the needs of those most directly impacted, are critical for us all to heed. Though Sandy did not even directly hit Haiti, at least 52 Haitians lost their lives in the storm. Haitian activist Patrick Elie told Democracy Now on October 29, given the vulnerability of Haiti’s environment, “roads have been destroyed. Whole villages have, for all intent and purposes, disappeared.”

Natural Disasters and Economic Disasters Require the Same Urgent Response

By: Friday November 2, 2012 7:00 pm

David Callahan had a smart column in The American Prospect about natural and economic disasters, and why they must be met with the same level of urgency.

Hurricane Sandy’s Legacy Could Be Ramp-Up of Privatization Efforts

By: Friday November 2, 2012 12:42 pm

Rebuilding the East Coast after Superstorm Sandy will be an expensive proposition. A new estimate of the cost of the storm now reaches $50 billion, and just protecting New York City from future disasters through the use of a seawall and other barriers would tack on another $15 billion, though that money would be as well spent as any you can devise. (It would also make far more economic sense than a campaign to “fix the debt”).

But anyone who watches the underrated HBO series Treme understands that, in the aftermath of a life-changing event like a hurricane and flood, the shock doctrine starts to factor in.

Difficulties With Hurricane Sandy Response on Staten Island

By: Friday November 2, 2012 8:17 am

The New York/New Jersey cleanup from Hurricane Sandy has been decent in areas, but the response in Staten Island is being harshly criticized by local residents. Nineteen people are dead and 80,000 still without power.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath Reveals Massive Inequality Gap in New York City

By: Thursday November 1, 2012 5:00 pm

New York is slowly recovering from the damaging floodwaters and winds of Superstorm Sandy. And what we’re seeing in the aftermath is how the burden natural disasters invariably falls on the shoulders of those least equipped to cope. Nowithstanding the human interest stories about trying to find an outlet to charge cell phones, the real victims of this storm are old, disabled and/or poor. They represent the majority of those still without power. They live in the areas more likely to be inaccessible to rescue efforts. They are among the 250,000 trapped in the dark in Manhattan. They are the ones most at risk of disease and illness.

BLS May Delay October Jobs Report Due to Frankenstorm

By: Monday October 29, 2012 12:30 pm

The known late-campaign “surprise” were the final pre-election jobs report scheduled for Friday. Both campaigns were poised to jump on whatever positive or negative numbers came out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Superstorm Set to Batter Atlantic Coast

By: Monday October 29, 2012 7:02 am

As many as 50 million Americans living in the Northeast Corridor from Boston to Washington are bracing for the Frankenstorm, the combination of Hurricane Sandy, high tide and a nor’easter, which is likely to create storm surges of up to 11 feet in places that do not normally contend with them. Manhattan, for example. Or Atlantic City. Or Long Island’s south shore. Or Long Island’s NORTH shore, simultaneously. The National Hurricane Center describes it as a “life-threatening” storm surge. The shallowness of the water near the coast will make the storm surge higher, especially in and around the New York Harbor area.

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