July 5th, 2010
09:05 AM ET

On the Radar: Oil skimming, Michael Steele, pirate hijacking

Gulf oil disaster - Initial results from test runs of a ship billed as the world's largest oil skimming vessel could come back Monday after a weekend spent plowing the seas atop the undersea gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. If the test is successful, the massive vessel could play a key role in efforts to clean up the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Pirate hijacking - Pirates have hijacked a Marshall Islands-flagged ship in the southern Red Sea, the European Union Naval Force Somalia said Monday. The MT Motivator, a chemical tanker loaded with oil and a crew of 18 Filipino nationals, told authorities it was under small-arms fire from pirates in the northern Bab Al Mandeb area Sunday, the naval force said.

Latinos and voting –– Each election year is dubbed “the year” — the year Latinos will show up at U.S. polls in droves and transform the political landscape. While voter turnout among the Latino community has risen in recent years, the old adage that there’s “strength in numbers” has yet to manifest itself. We take a look at what impact President Obama's new push for immigration reform may have on Latino voting.

Steele in hot water - Republicans lined up on opposite sides Sunday over comments by the chairman of the Republican National Committee that the Afghanistan war launched by former President George W. Bush was "of [President] Obama's choosing" and may be unwinnable. Speaking from Afghanistan, GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina lambasted Michael Steele for the comments, which McCain called "wildly inaccurate" and Graham characterized as "uninformed, unnecessary, unwise, untimely," while follow Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina said Steele should apologize to the military.

However, GOP Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, in a statement to CNN, supported Steele and said the RNC chairman's characterization of the war was correct.

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=139349099409447

    Please join us on Facebook (THE MILLION GULFERS MARCH) We need your ideas comments and care also join (CUT THE DAMN RED TAPE) We can't sit back to see what happens we have to take control as a nation.

    July 5, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • eye95

      Hold on, Steele isn't going anywhere. Haven't you heard? He just kicked off his 2 Legit 2 Quit tour:


      July 7, 2010 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tom

    MICHAEL STEELE'S "gaffes" are no worse than anyone else's in the Republican Party. You people are full of shTTT, just picking on a Black guy as usual!!!

    July 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Smith in Oregon

    CNN appears to be echoing the crass and entirely false mantra that 'Fusion Energy' is 'Green'.

    Just as found in a common fission nuclear power plant, the huge Reactor Vessel itself becomes radioactive after being bombarded for years with high levels of highly energetic Neutron particles and requires total replacement, stored in a radioactive disposal pit which prevents human contact for 1 Million years.

    Yes, there seems to be a very large amount of utter ignorance in regards to painting 'Nuclear Fusion' as Green Energy.

    Nuclear Fusion creates an extreme amount of very energetic Neutron streams which would over a very short time kill everyone in the vicinity if it were not very heavily shielded. Ok, heavily shielded, got that.

    AND after a year or less of being blasted by highly energetic Neutron streams the very large and extremely heavy duty reactor vessel would become radioactive itself. Ok, how radioactive?

    Low to medium radioactive. A commercial Fusion reactor vessel would weigh many thousands of TONS. Consequently you would end up dealing with thousands of TONS of low to medium radioactive WASTE when retiring or replacing the reaction vessel every 5 – 10 years.

    Replacing it? Yes, years of blasting the hell out of the reactor vessel (Fission or Fusion based) with streams of Neutron particles blasts microscopic holes right thru it, weakening it and forcing it's replacement over time.

    How GREEN are Fusion Reactors on a commercial scale? Not that GREEN. You STILL end up with thousands of TONS of radioactive material to store away from all human exposure for 1 Million years.

    Fusion Reactors are not GREEN, class Dismissed.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • James Makepeace

      Got your numbers wrong there Smithy... Never mind, we all know where you are coming from, so go find a tree to hug while we all wait for the lights to go out !
      Yes the chamber will receive neutron bombardment, and yes it will get radioactive and require replacement (eventually), but no that won't last a million years and no the chamber won't be thousands of tons (probably less than 100 tons in fact).
      I notice you leave out the fact that the fuel used is Deuterium (common) and Tritium (rare)... that the Tritium is radioactive (a bit) and also that the half life is about 12 years (not quite a million !)
      I also notice you leave out the bit about the fuel being derived from the most abundant source on the planet (water), and you also leave out the bit about the bi-products being harmless Helium, heat and energetic neutrons (which is what we want to capture, so obviously they need shielding... but the neutrons are shielded by concrete outside the chamber... not by the chamber itself. Ever tried picking up a cubic yard of boronated concrete ? You might find it quite heavy... but it does the job ... brilliantly !
      ... Oh, and you also forgot to mention that fusion (not fission) is nature's way of releasing energy on the grand scale... it's what drives the sun and all stars... it's the energy source which created all of our fossil fuels, and (in case you don't quite get it yet)... most of the known matter in the universe is in a state of fusion too.
      It's a good idea to treat fusion with respect (just like not putting your hand into the camp fire)... but if we don't use nuclear energy soon (fission for now but fusion as soon as the scientists have cracked it)... we'll be back in the stone age (where you belong) in another hundred years or so.
      Go on... tell me that windmills and solar, hydro-electric, tide and current can do it all... and then face the reality that they can't. They don't even come close... and they won't come even a fraction of "close" in the next few hundred years... if ever ! They are just not efficient or reliable.
      Oh, and you forgot one other thing about that fusion fuel source... water. If we were running all of the world's electricity supplies on today's levels of demand, we would have enough fuel for about 55 billion years. That makes it quite a good deal really... since the earth will be toast in about 4 billion when the sun becomes a red giant ! Yes our little planet is already about half way through its life.... but don't worry, we still have a way to go... we haven't been here very long as it is !
      So let's hear it for fusion... Nature's own energy source !

      July 6, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ttaj


    July 5, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |