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Thursday's Starting Lineup

Good Thursday morning. Today we learn what the future holds for King James, who may be going to Cleveland, Chicago, Miami, New York or whatever other team has the cap space available to handle his mammoth contract. But really, ESPN, it's a contract, not a presidential address. Does LeBron really need the whole hour?

Here's today's Starting Lineup, previewing the people who will make a difference in politics today:

Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 6:50am

The Dust Bowl

(The dust storms of the 1930s ruined millions of acres of farmland and displaced more than 2 million people from the Great Plains states.) Not long after the Great Mississippi Flood, farming contributed to yet another disaster: the Dust Bowl. As prolonged droughts met loose topsoil left unanch

Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill

(A slick of oil stains the beach at Gulf Shores, Ala., after it washed ashore from BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Black and Smith agree that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico belongs on the list of the nation’s worst man-made environmental disasters.

Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

The Great Mississippi Flood Of 1927

(The riverfront at Cape Girardeau, Mo., on April 20, 1927. The flood killed more than 200 people in seven states.) Flooding has always been a problem with the Mississippi River, but the disaster of 1927 left an indelible mark in U.S. history. The Mississippi’s high waters claimed 246 lives in

Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

A Look At The U.S.'s Man-Made Environmental Disasters

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is hardly the nation’s first environmental catastrophe caused in whole or in part by human actions. It’s likely one of the worst, and certainly one of the most far-reaching. But plenty of more localized disasters have caused significant damage themselves, help

Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Love Canal

(An environmental worker cleans up the Love Canal neighborhood in Niagara Falls, N.Y., after more than 20,000 tons of buried toxic waste began to surface. Credit: Environmental Protection Agency.) In 1953, the city of Niagara Falls, N.Y., paid one dollar to buy the Love Canal, a chemical dum

Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Donora Smog

(Streetlights shine at noon in Donora, Pa., as toxic smog blankets the city. The heavy smog killed 20 residents and sickened thousands over a five-day span in 1948. Credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.) In 1948, two major plants called Donora, Pa., home, Donora Zinc Works and the American Steel a

Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

(One baby and five adult oil-soaked sea otters lie dead on Green Island beach in Prince William Sound more than a week after the oil tanker Exxon Valdez spilled millions of gallons of crude oil into Alaska's waters. Credit: Chris Wilkins/AFP/Getty Images.) Before the BP oil spill, there was t

Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Tennessee Coal Ash Spill

(A roughly 20-foot pile of coal ash sits about one mile from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant, where a dike burst, spilling fly ash. Credit: Brian Stansberry.) In December 2008, an ash dike at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant burst, spilling roughly

Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 12:00am

Hurricane Katrina

(A worker walks through high water on Canal Street as he carries a dog he rescued Aug. 30, 2005, in New Orleans. Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images.) The hurricane that ravaged the Gulf Coast in August 2005 is considered the U.S.’ most destructive storm in terms of cost. After the levee system

Posted: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 12:00am