Investigators from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and officials of the plant, which is operated by FirstEnergy Corp., have been looking through surveillance tapes to try to identify who was responsible for leaving the radioactive goldfish in the tunnel on May 2. They believe one of the 700 employees and contractors who work at the plant smuggled the fish into the facility, Jennifer Young, spokeswoman for FirstEnergy Corp., told AP. The fishy tale has served as an embarrassment for the plant, which has already come under scrutiny for a case in which four contractors were exposed to life-threatening hard radiation in 2011. The plant has also been scutinized for a serious lack of security.“Last year, Perry got into trouble with the NRC about weaknesses preventing unauthorized access to the plant,” David Lochbaum, a spokesman at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told The Plain Dealer. “Goldfish are not authorized to be inside the tunnel, yet they were there. And Perry cannot determine how they got there or who put them there.”Officials believe the goldfish were taken through the front door and likely hidden in a plastic bag in a worker’s pocket. All workers are required to pass through security, which detects metal and bombs but not fish and water. Investigators believe the fish were left unnoticed in the tunnel for several days before scaffolding crews discovered them and filed a report.But despite looking through surveillance tapes for more than a week, little progress has been made in identifying the perpetrator(s). “While we continue to look at the video for evidence, identifying folks in the video has been challenging,” Young told AP.Both of the 1 ½-inch-long fish died shortly after their discovery, but officials at the plant claim that neglect and starvation may have been the cause – not radiation. Chemists found that the fish were admitting small amounts of radiation, but not enough to put anyone at risk, including the fish.“They did not have exposure to enough radioactivity to hurt them,” Young told The Plain Dealer. “It was probably due to lack of care before they got to the plant. The radiation could not have killed them.”Lochbaum said the story might sound funny to some, but that smuggling live animals into the plant shows a serious lack of security. The story has caused some to recall an episode of the “Simpsons” in which Blinky, an orange fish, has a third eye due to his exposure to radiation.“What might be an amusing account of misplaced goldfish today could become tomorrow’s nightmare story if someone with an axe to grind, another Timothy McVeigh type, places a bomb instead of two goldfish in Perry,” Lochbaum told The Plain Dealer, referring to the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.The fish admitted small levels of radiation, but the incident is most problematic for the plant for once again highlighting the lack of security – an issue that FirstEnergy Corp. has been scrutinized for before. …
The number of dead pigs found in a river which runs through Shanghai has reached nearly 15,000, officials and reports said Tuesday, as a newspaper claimed the government was concealing the true tally. The images of dead pigs in China’s commercial hub have proved a huge embarrassment for the…
First shunned, then vilified by Lance Armstrong, Mike Anderson had to move to the other side of the world to get his life back.
Now running a bike shop outside of Wellington, New Zealand, Armstrong’s former assistant watched news reports about his former boss confessing to performance-enhancing drug use with only mild interest. If Anderson never hears Armstrong’s voice again, it would be too soon.
“He gave me the firm, hard push and a shove,” Anderson said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “Made my life very, very unpleasant. It was an embarrassment for me and my family to be portrayed as liars, to be called a disgruntled employee, implying there was some impropriety on my part. It just hurt. It was completely uncalled for.”
More on Cycling
Many drunks won’t be swayed by the symbolism of a turned calendar page. But each year, plenty of chronic drinkers and struggling alcoholics figure that January is a chance for a fresh start. To them, I say run. You’re already pre-programmed to chew up the pavement—even tackle a marathon. In fact, you’ve spent a good chunk of your bleary-eyed, morally dubious days and nights developing the perfect toolbox: single-minded focus; endurance; tolerance for mental and physical distress; prowess at spending time alone; aptitude at navigating embarrassment. You can use these tools to build a new house, rather than deepening the ditch. So for the newly sober, instead of fretting about how far you have to go, here are eight reasons why you should think, “look how far I’ve already come.”1. StaminaContinue Reading… …
From a DUI to fumbled fiscal cliff talks, there's no time for soul-searching in a leaderless party. “It's a shit show,” says one Republican.
Image by Roger Wollenberg / Getty Images
WASHINGTON — Forget the Republican Party’s need to rebrand itself. Forget party elders’ promises that they will start reaching out to minorities. And forget the supposed soul-searching that is meant to sweep over the GOP as it undergoes a serious reexamination of its future.
Right now, Republicans are having trouble even getting out of their own way.
Conservative groups are splintering. The Romney campaign has dissolved into backbiting and billing disputes. A “plan B” to avert the fiscal cliff proved to be a colossal embarrassment. A teetotaling Idaho senator has been charged with drunk driving. But the most striking symptom of the GOP’s horrible moment is the party’s inability to get done what virtually everyone here knows is in its political best interest: A hasty surrender.
It’s difficult to find a Republican operative who is willing to say on the record that going over the fiscal cliff next Tuesday is a good idea. Provoking a crisis is bad politics: Republicans are resigned to taking the blame. And it’s bad for their policy agenda: They will likely be cornered into a broader tax hike than the best deal they could get from President Barack Obama today, and with none of the spending cuts that might now be on the table.
And yet, the dominant emotion among most Republicans here is one of sheer resignation.
“It’s a shit show,” one prominent Republican told BuzzFeed of the GOP’s messaging position. “Tax rates are going to go up on everyone, and we’re going to get the blame.”
President Obama has already snatched back the outlines of a deal he offered House Speaker John Boehner last year, pulling back from considering certain entitlement cuts. If the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire for all taxpayers, Republicans believe Obama will move the goal posts again, and refuse to negotiate on raising the eligibility age for Medicare or chained-CPI — an accounting tool many economists believe is more accurate than current measures of inflation, and would have the effect of slowing the growth of Social Security benefits.
“There’s a group of people waiting for the soul searching to begin until after we take this really shitty vote, whatever it is,” said a top Capitol Hill Republican.
The Republican woes have many roots, but here on Capitol Hill, one of the problems is particularly clear. Without a Republican president — or even a presidential nominee — leadership has fallen to two men who are in no position to actually lead a national party anywhere: Boehner and, to a lesser degree, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell is a tactical master and one of the best politicians in the country. But he is not equipped to be the party's national face, nor is he the sort to quickly impose a firm grip on the floundering party in order to lead it out of the wilderness.
McConnell has been extremely successful in working with the disparate parts of his conference to maintain discipline — after all, he’s seen Tea Party conservative Jim DeMint and staunch moderate Susan Collins vote in lockstep on dozens of motions and measures over the last four years.
But while his quiet demeanor is well suited for the Senate and Kentucky politics, he does not have the sort of personality that can rally his colleagues.
As for Boehner, since the election he’s seen his standing within the party and conservative circles crumble. Conservative news outlets are openly discussing ousting him, accusing him of ideological crimes against his party and in some cases openly mocking him and questioning his honesty.
At the same time, his conference — which has always been a rambunctious bunch on a good day — has made it clear they are not afraid of him and are unwilling to follow him into battle.
Boehner’s leadership style — which shuns the use of earmarks and places a premium on his and his lieutenants’ ability to use their personal relationships to guide their conference — has long been an open question within Washington. But while there’s zero chance of Boehner being ousted as Speaker, even loyal Republicans acknowledge he’s weak.
“The leadership is weak, but I say that with a caveat. Nobody is going to overthrow Boehner,” a veteran operative said.
Todd Van Der Werff is the TV critic at the AV Club.Todd’s top 5 (“I hope you know how awful this is to submit without having seen whether the “Homeland” finale saves/tanks that show’s whole season.”):1. “Mad Men” (AMC) 2. “Louie” (FX) 3. “Girls” (HBO) 4. “Homeland” (Showtime) 5. “Rev.” (BBC)Special Categories:1. What was the show of the year? “Mad Men.” The series of episodes in the middle of the season may be the best stretch of television in a long, long while and certainly since the glory days when HBO had “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” and “Deadwood” all on the air.2. What was the best scene? Carrie and Brody face down across the interrogation table in “Homeland’s” “Q&A.” It’s rare to have two actors playing at this high a level on TV, but “Homeland’s” endlessly watchable, intensely problematic, wildly entertaining second season wouldn’t have worked without Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, and this scene shows why. (And “Homeland” even has one in the chamber with Mandy Patinkin. It’s an embarrassment of riches, even when it’s embarrassing.)Continue Reading… …
CRITIC #14: Todd Van Der Werff, AV ClubI hope you know how awful this is to submit without seeing whether the Homeland finale saves/tanks that show’s whole season!Top five: 1. Mad Men 2. Louie 3. Girls 4. Homeland 5. Rev.Show Of The Year: Mad Men. The stretch of episodes in the middle of the season may be the best stretch of television in a long, long while and certainly since the glory days when HBO had The Sopranos, The Wire, and Deadwood all on the air.The Best Scene: Carrie and Brody face down across the interrogation table in Homeland’s “Q&A.” It’s rare to have two actors playing at this high of a level on TV, but Homeland’s endlessly watchable, intensely problematic, wildly entertaining second season wouldn’t have worked without Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, and this scene shows why. (And Homeland even has one in the chamber with Mandy Patinkin. It’s an embarrassment of riches, even when it’s embarrassing.)Performances of the Year: There’s a lot of great acting on TV, but I think I’m going to go with Monica Potter on Parenthood, who’s taking what should be a horribly cliched arc for a character who can be hard to like, giving that character cancer, and making it heartbreakingly real.Continue Reading… …