The Japan tsunami looks to be a once-a-millennia event; the nearest beast of this size to have hit the area dates back to 869AD. One can only hope that's correct, since we can often see "hundred-year storms" come back again next year. Given that the 9.0 earthquake is close to the worst we've seen since we've had seismographs to check them, that seems to be a fair assumption.
GE is taking some heat for the reactors in question. They're merely venting a bit of radioactive steam at this point, but the contained meltdown gets ranked between Three Mile Island and Chernobyl at this point.
I was surprised to see that there are some reactors that were brought on-line post-TMI. The graphic on the CNN piece has about 10 reactors dating to the 1990s, including four in Texas. Since TMI was 32 years ago, the anti-nuke chill that happened after that means that our current nuclear plant inventory largely dates before that, since few reactors were started in that regulatory and political environment.
Up in Canada, Stockwell Day is packing it in, lame ducking himself. He had headed up the small-c conservative Alliance Party in the early 00s prior to merging back in with the Conservative Party, largely on Alliance terms, and had been in a variety of cabinet posts in the current Conservative plurality government.
As a Pentecostal, he got roughed up by the political process for his faith when he ran as Alliance leader, causing future "SoCon" Tories such as current PM Harper to downplay social issues. It will be interesting to see what he does in his post-MP life.
Speaking of Pentecostals rough up by the political process, we have Judd Gregg, a Romney backer, acknowledging that Sarah Palin "just might have a clearer path to the Republican presidential nomination next year than commonly understood." That's an observation, not a warning, CNN headline writers.
Bill Schneider has a good Politico piece looking at the Tea Party and who their favorite daughter or son might be. Ms. Palin is the leading candidate that resonates with that faction, with other favorite children such as Michelle Bachmann being even harder sells with the general electorate.
Schneider has a good paragraph here that establishment conservatives would do well to remember-
The tea party is really a populist expression of country-club conservatism. They share the same fixation on spending, taxes and deficits. But the tea party has a moralistic approach to politics that refuses to play by the rules of the political establishment. No deal-making, no compromises.
The difference between the TPers and the establishment GOP is more a matter of praxis than ideology, if I can borrow from theology. The ideas are the same, but the TPers want to "actually run as Goldwater", as the old '64 joke went. Now, they are trying to govern as Goldwater, much to the consternation of establishmentarians on both sides of the aisle.