Get out your pans: Oroville Dam erosion may yield a tiny gold rush. The picture below is from March 2017 after the reservoir level was lowered so the emergency runoff could be closed off, the huge sluice of earth revealed new gold discoveries
Over the weekend (mid February 2017) the damaged water release spillway at the Oroville Dam near Sacramento, CA, got much worse as the water that feeds the dammed reservoir overwhelmed the spillway and began to flow over the Emergency Spillway which could undercut the complete dam. A massive crevasse that formed in primary spillway at the dam has spurred mass evacuations, with nearby residents fleeing the worst-case specter of a three-story wall of water rushing downstream.
In all, about 188,000 people, mostly in Butte, Sutter and Yuba counties, evacuated from the area, some being given only minutes to gather their things.
Several short videos here depicting the scene earlier today.
According to Raw Story, Betsy DeVos quickly retreated from her trip to Jefferson Academy Washington DC in reaction to a handful of quietly standing demonstrators with signs. When she quickly departed with security guard in tow to a waiting blackened windowed urban assault vehicle flashing red and blue lights in the grill, the few demonstrators began calling shame and momentarily stood in front of the vehicle with sign raised.
You can find the video here
Or in this tweet
Reuters reports that tRump, while discussing nuclear weapons arms control during his most recent phone call to Putin, had to pause to ask aides about what new START is. Then he complained that the deal made by the Obama administration was bad and that Putin had outsmarted Obama so the deal should be renegotiated quickly pivoting to the yugeness of his election win. As usual, tRump’s ignorance of anything not Bannon/Jones/Infowars is putting the whole nation at risk, and 175+ other nations are quickly learning how to manipulte tRumpleThinSkin.
New START gives both countries until February 2018 to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550, the lowest level in decades. It also limits deployed land- and submarine-based missiles and nuclear-capable bombers. During a debate in the 2016 presidential election, Trump said Russia had “outsmarted” the United States with the treaty, which he called “START-Up.” He asserted incorrectly then that it had allowed Russia to continue to produce nuclear warheads while the United States could not. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he supported the treaty during his Senate confirmation hearings.
Received an email from VoteVets.org this morning about a 30 second ad they ran during MorningHo which tRump must have seen since he tweeted about it shortly after it ran. Here’s the ad https://youtu.be/e3qG5u1A_98
Here is what VoteVets had to say: The ad we ran yesterday was nothing short of a complete success. Not only did Donald Trump likely see it while watching Morning Joe (he tweeted right after the commercial break it aired in), but it was viewed by more than 1 million people online. We told you we had something good up our sleeve, and this success was only possible because of the thousands of supporters who chipped in to make it happen, but here’s another promise for you: we. won’t. stop. We are going to continue to elevate the voices of veterans and military family members harmed by Donald Trump’s policies. Sometimes we’ll do it in huge, seven-figure ad buys. And sometimes we’ll be creative.
When Sen Ben Cardin asked EPA nominee Scott Pruitt on lead exposure’s dangers in children: “I don’t know. That’s something I have not reviewed nor know about,” Pruitt responded. He went on to say that he would be “very concerned about any level of lead” in drinking water or human consumption but added that he had “not looked at the scientific research on that.” Video at Mother Jones: https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4648383/scott-pruitt-hearing
When Rex Tillerson gave his opening statement at his Secretary of State confirmation hearing he began with threatening China for their military expansion in the South China Sea. China responded on Friday in the government-run Global Times newspaper that Washington would have to “wage a large-scale war” in the South China Sea to prevent Chinese access to the islands. Foreign Policy magazine Emily Tamkin: “It was a stunning break with years of American foreign policy, Tillerson’s warning that the United States would block China’s access to the contested islands shocked and bewildered lawmakers and their aides, and diplomats across Asia. If carried out, it could violate international law as Washington has interpreted it and could put the United States on a collision course with China, raising the danger of a military clash.”
The difference between the opening statements this morning between Rex Tillerson at his confirmation hearing and Donald tRump at his press conference were yuge in their starkness. Tillerson covered China building illegal military sites in the South China Sea, radical islamic terrorism harming muslims around the world, and Russia’s actions in Crimea, Georgia and Ukraine; very detailed, specific and intelligible. On the other hand was tRump denying having stood under the stream of the golden shower oppo report given to the FBI by Sen MCain though he never denied watching. At least at the confirmation hearing Sen Rubio, Cardin, and Menendez did a better job of questioning than journalists at the presser.
Two examples of executive decision making: Ellen DeGeneres Show cancels appearance of gospel singer Kim Burrell when a video of her calling gays and lesbians “perverted” goes viral while the tRump Ianguration will feature pastrix Paula White’s whose ministry is refered to as the church version of Trump University. She preaches the prosperity doctrine which teaches that God wants people to be rich and that the way to become wealthy is—you guessed it!—by giving them money. If you make a “seed offering”—and the bigger the better—then preachers like White say the Lord will repay your generosity with bounteous riches. It should also be noted that she is an advocate of pornography. In August of 2015, her husband, Jonathan Cain took the stage next to her while the two insisted that a wife should engage in watching porn with a husband who likes it in order to strengthen their marriage. After seeing that picture on twitter of tRump posing on his bed in his porn star robe it’s easy to understand his choice.
Seattle mayor Ed Murray has blocked a $160M police precinct “bunker” project to which city councilwoman Kshama Sawant recommended using to build 1,000 new houses for low income city residents. The mayor responded that it would violate funding laws to which the Legislative Department’s Central Staff published a memo which explains, at length, how this funding could be used by the City to fund the development of affordable housing. Sam, your able production staff should feel invited to seek the councilwoman to explain her position because she “encourage[s] all concerned to read the memo, and then reach out to my office at email@example.com or 206-684-8016 to discuss how we can continue to build our movement to use this funding to build 1,000 affordable homes in Seattle.”
A couple of people the president electoral has recently promoted are extremely troubling for labor and the middle class in general. They are Andrew Puzder, CEO of the parent company to fast-food chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, for Secretary of Labor and T-rump’s new BFF, Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank, whom Trump introduced as “one of the truly great men.” This morning Richard Eskow posted an article about Puzder’s desire to move a robotic labor force into the fast food world. Masayoshi Son has appeared on recent TED Talks to opin about the coming Singularity, when AI overtakes humanity, and said he will stay as Softbank CEO for at least 5 more years to help push back his current 30 year Singularity prediction. The two cultural references I see working as a marriage here are Terminator’s Skynet and BSG’s Cylons. Neither good for humanity.