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Thread: The New Political Thread: New Rules; New Attitude

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puck Head View Post
    Am I the only fan of Nuclear around here?
    It's been the safest form of energy vs Coal, Petroleum, Gas, or Hydro.
    It's by far and away the cleanest, having emission values lower than renewable energy.
    Safe until something happens like in Japan, and they tell you not to eat sushi for 6 months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puck Head View Post
    Am I the only fan of Nuclear around here?
    It's been the safest form of energy vs Coal, Petroleum, Gas, or Hydro.
    It's by far and away the cleanest, having emission values lower than renewable energy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Safe until something happens like in Japan, and they tell you not to eat sushi for 6 months.
    Nuclear is theoretically appealing. Until a catastrophe occurs. No matter how many failsafes or redundancies are built into systems, individual components of systems fail. Human error, computers go bad, parts wear out. Nuclear (or anything else) is never 100% safe. When a nuclear plant fails its containment of radiation, its bad. When facilities that produce chemicals, or biological weapons, or other things fail to contain, those are bad as well. Risk assessment - do the benefits outweigh the costs. I'm anti-nuke generally, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons is cause for concern.

    Solar, geothermal and biofuels are the best options, IMO. Wind facilities kill a lot of migratory birds. Tidal energy requires placing a lot of equipment in oceans. You can stick solar panels and grow things on rooftops and lots of places. Iceland does a great job with geothermal.
    http://www.icelandgeothermal.is/
    http://energyinformative.org/tidal-e...pros-and-cons/
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...ill-180948154/
    "We're all f*cked. It helps to remember that." - George Carlin

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    But thatís why confuses me.
    Nuclear energy is safer in regards to human life and the environment than hydro.
    Much more so that Oil and Gas (human safety).
    A study was released stating that more lives would have been lost in Japan over the life span of that nuclear plant of they had been utilizing conventional methods.




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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puck Head View Post
    But thatís why confuses me.
    Nuclear energy is safer in regards to human life and the environment than hydro.
    Much more so that Oil and Gas (human safety).
    A study was released stating that more lives would have been lost in Japan over the life span of that nuclear plant of they had been utilizing conventional methods.




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    Define "safer" though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Define "safer" though.
    "In terms of lives lost per unit of energy generated, nuclear power has caused fewer accidental deaths per unit of energy generated than all other major sources of energy generation. Energy produced by coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydropower has caused more deaths per unit of energy generated due to air pollution and energy accidents. This is found when comparing the immediate deaths from other energy sources to both the immediate nuclear related deaths from accidents[290]"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power#Safety

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    Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the poor (Opinion Piece)
    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...-everyone-else

    In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21bn saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives. On the other hand, more than 4,000 lower-level bank employees got a big dose of harsh capitalism. They lost their jobs.
    Trump is promoting socialism for the rich and harsh capitalism for everyone else in other ways. GM has got more than $600m in federal contracts, plus $500m in tax breaks. Some of this has gone into the pockets of GM executives. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra raked in almost $22m in total compensation in 2017 alone.

    But GM employees are subject to harsh capitalism. GM is planning to lay off more than 14,000 workers and close three assembly plants and two component factories in North America by the end of 2019.
    Seems like we love socialism for the wealthiest but everyone else gets the negative brunt of capitalism.

    Add in efforts to repeal the estate tax, and we are looking at an even more monumental shift of wealth to the top.

    The term 'Class Warfare' gets thrown around a lot every time anyone suggests taxing the rich at a higher rate. If there is class warfare, it's pretty clear it's the rich who are winning that war.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlairBettsBlocksEverything View Post
    Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the poor (Opinion Piece)
    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...-everyone-else

    Seems like we love socialism for the wealthiest but everyone else gets the negative brunt of capitalism.

    Add in efforts to repeal the estate tax, and we are looking at an even more monumental shift of wealth to the top.

    The term 'Class Warfare' gets thrown around a lot every time anyone suggests taxing the rich at a higher rate. If there is class warfare, it's pretty clear it's the rich who are winning that war.
    In what way is lowering taxes (even if it's just on the wealthy) socialism? That's some 1984-level doublethink. Put it another way, if you and I are walking down the street and you don't pull out a gun, point it at me, and take the cash in my wallet, have I gained something? A lack of being robbed? And would that, too, be socialism? It would seem to me, that raising taxes (even on the wealthy) to redistribute it to the poor would be socialism. Armed robbery where the robber is poorer than the victim is a form of socialism, too.

    This doesn't dispell the notion of class inequality, but how we discuss these things matter. When you place what may be a valid argument on a platform made of a lie, then it's easy to attack the platform rather than the argument.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    In what way is lowering taxes (even if it's just on the wealthy) socialism? That's some 1984-level doublethink. Put it another way, if you and I are walking down the street and you don't pull out a gun, point it at me, and take the cash in my wallet, have I gained something? A lack of being robbed? And would that, too, be socialism? It would seem to me, that raising taxes (even on the wealthy) to redistribute it to the poor would be socialism. Armed robbery where the robber is poorer than the victim is a form of socialism, too.

    This doesn't dispell the notion of class inequality, but how we discuss these things matter. When you place what may be a valid argument on a platform made of a lie, then it's easy to attack the platform rather than the argument.
    i mean a tax cut for them is essentially a handout in a sense (or, as noted in the article, subsidies). The other thing the article notes is how these companies use the money to pay millions of dollars to their executives, even in the cases of some where they completely messed up the company, while at the same time laying off thousands of employees. As the article notes, the Equifax CEO got $18 million even after exposing personal information of 145 million people. GM gets $500 million in tax breaks and uses it on paying their executives while laying off workers. At that level, a tax break (in my opinion) is essentially the same thing as a handout.
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    Mary Bara is just one example and since she was cited above, Iíll use it. Her compensation is $60,000 per day...seven days a week...52 weeks of the year. Looking at it another way, her working Ďworthí is equal to 365 people - earning $60,000 annually. Let that sink in a minute. Whatís she doing? What are any C-suite execs doing for that compensation rate? There are plenty earning daily salaries that equal annual pay for the vast majority of people. There is a huge disconnect here.

    I understand the sacrifice. I understand the education path required to achieve those positions. Still, is anyone really worth that? It takes unique and specialized talent, leadership, skill and knowledge to lead FORTUNE 500 companies but weíre not talking superhuman abilities.

    Whatís my point? There is a similar parallel in politics. There are unique skills and understandings which lead to those jobs too. I guess Iím naive in thinking that those positions of governance also included a higher standard of ethics and honesty from being tasked with looking out for the betterment of everyone and not just oneís own enrichment. Not all politicians are selfish and I donít mean to paint unfairly with such a broad brush. Reading about the conga-line of corrupt politicians leaving Albany over the past dozen years has dimmed my view of these folks in general.

    And not wanting to be a downer, I canít help but wonder if weíre at the tipping point of societal Ďno return?í Look within our Board posts? There are 180-degree polar opposite views and opinions reporting on the same facts of the day. Disheartening, no? While itís healthy to have discourse and divergent views, isnít the end-game supposed to be a human ability to adjust, to be swayed by reason and shift our previously held beliefs to a common goal? Unless you adhere to the idea that Ďgroup thinkí is just plain wrong and that decision making like that can lead flocks of sheep off cliffs...I just donít know where to find reason next. If our group decisions are suspect then the precepts underpinning the notion of government and governing are fatally flawed. Thx for reading.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puck Head View Post
    "In terms of lives lost per unit of energy generated, nuclear power has caused fewer accidental deaths per unit of energy generated than all other major sources of energy generation. Energy produced by coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydropower has caused more deaths per unit of energy generated due to air pollution and energy accidents. This is found when comparing the immediate deaths from other energy sources to both the immediate nuclear related deaths from accidents[290]"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power#Safety
    Hmmmm. That's pretty vague.

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    Republicans and Democrats reach deal without wall cash to avert shutdown, putting all pressure on President Trump

    https://www.nydailynews.com/news/pol...211-story.html

    The breakthrough puts immense pressure on the President, who has insisted he won’t sign any budget that doesn’t earmark at least $5.7 billion for his coveted border barrier — a stubborn demand that in December resulted in a record 35-day federal shutdown that stretched to Jan. 25.
    But a Democratic congressional aide told the Daily News that the committee has agreed to tuck away $1.375 billion for the construction of 55 miles of “bollard fencing” — “no wall,” said the aide
    Trump could've gotten $25 billion for a wall in exchange for the DACA protections. He refused to deal. There was a bipartisan senate bill that never came to the house floor that would've had $5 billion+ but he asked Paul Ryan to not bring it up.

    Now he's getting 1.375 for fencing.

    It really just shows that I don't think he ever wanted a wall. He wanted to seem like he was continuing to fight for a wall for as long as possible. Signing this bill ends the fight for the wall. Not signing it and causing another shutdown dooms him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Hmmmm. That's pretty vague.
    It makes sense, though. Tens of thousands of premature deaths occur every year from air pollution caused by fossil fuel combustion. There is nothing you can pin on nuclear of that magnitude, unless there are stats from Chernobyl or Fukishima that somebody has been hiding. But you can tell that the nuclear industry wrote this as they don't list wind or solar - or improving energy efficiency for that matter - as "major sources of energy generation." I would be interested to see the staggering death toll from hydropower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puck Head View Post
    But that’s why confuses me.
    Nuclear energy is safer in regards to human life and the environment than hydro.
    Much more so that Oil and Gas (human safety).
    A study was released stating that more lives would have been lost in Japan over the life span of that nuclear plant of they had been utilizing conventional methods.




    Sent from my iPhone using Blueshirts Brotherhood mobile app powered by Tapatalk
    The four raps on nuclear have traditionally been cost, safety, proliferation, and high level waste disposal.

    Right now, cost is threatening the existing industry because they can't make electrons cheaply enough even at fully amortized plants. Edison's original deal had GE supplying equipment to city and state power systems as a moneymaker, rather than selling electricity. That means that for most of the history of electricity, utilities have made money by building big expensive stuff, the cost of which is then "rate-based" or embedded in rates until the cost is recovered. Nuclear fit that mold perfectly. Consumers have been protected by the regional power grids (RTOs), which are required by law to accept the cheapest power that is offered to put on transmission lines. In the last few years, existing nuclear has had a harder and harder time offering power cheaply enough to be purchased. Exelon had to cut a special deal in IL to keep their plants open. It looks like the same thing is ultimately going to happen in NJ. New plants have been extremely difficult to finance, less so in places where you can charge ratepayers for "Construction Work in Progress." FL Power and Light soaked ratepayers for $5b through CWIP a few years ago and then had to cancel the proposed plant because the cost estimates kept skyrocketing. It all didn't go over well. The reality of cheaper gas and renewable generation plus the fact that electricity use has been flat for a decade and projects that way into the foreseeable future doesn't bode well for the economic prospects for new nuclear as long as the electricity market is structured the way it is.

    Safety is really about whether a utility will cut corners if construction becomes too expensive and whether they will maintain a plant to the unforgiving standards that it requires over its life. It is also about how rigorous the regulators will actually be in holding the industry accountable to do that. The NRC has been perennially accused of being a revolving door with and bowing too readily to the industry. Some older plants, like San Onofre in CA have had to close because maintenance work was done poorly and/or with inferior materials.

    I don't have much on proliferation, but caches of plutonium have turned up missing periodically. It is pretty clear that both Iran's and North Korea's nuclear weapons programs grew out of their nuclear power programs.

    And then there's the small matter of keeping tons of lethal high-level radioactive waste isolated and monitored for a mere couple hundred thousand years. People like Bill Gates seem to have an abiding faith that this is a problem we can solve and that it shouldn't let it get in the way of building more nuclear. The nuclear industry is almost 70 years old, and has made almost no discernible progress on a long term solution. They tried to stuff it down Nevada's throat a few years ago with the Yucca Mountain waste repository, but were ultimately unsuccessful as long as Harry Reid was Senate Majority Leader. I have not heard of an effort to resurrect Yucca. In any case, it remains a huge stumbling block to a nuclear resurgence.

    So that's my best shot at a summary of the arguments against. The argument for is that you can make gobs of largely carbon-free (minus construction, etc.) power. The industry keeps trying to sell the public on new reactor designs, but whenever a utility wants to start a new plant they always try to build the same old shit. I have always thought we should do the quickest, cleanest, cheapest, safest stuff first and then fill in the holes where we need to. That would mean massive efforts on efficiency and renewables, and then some nuclear if absolutely necessary. But the truly clean stuff is decentralized and requires incentives broad and lucrative enough to make sure it happens and can't be completely gamed.
    Last edited by RodrigueGabriel; 02-12-2019 at 12:21 PM.

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    One again, another well written response RodrigueGabriel.

    In regards to Nuclear, Iíd have to say federal oversight would be key. Perhaps a revamping of the commission, and federal control and oversight compatible to the military.
    As mentioned, climate change may be the greatest threat to our secure long term.


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    Quote Originally Posted by fletch View Post
    Nuclear is theoretically appealing. ….. You can stick solar panels and grow things on rooftops and lots of places. Iceland does a great job with geothermal.
    Anybody anti-nuclear energy serve on a nuclear powered ship? Any meltdowns?
    http://www.radiationworks.com/nuclearships.htm
    http://www.world-nuclear.org/informa...red-ships.aspx

    and solar is nowhere there yet...
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/ivanpah...own-1458170858
    https://www.wired.com/2016/05/huge-s...east-problems/

    and of course the Solyndra boondoggle that got someone's pals rich....

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    Solyndra and "Buffalo Billions" should have ended with firing squads deployed.

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    I think Solyndra was blown way out of proportion.

    They got loans through an energy loan program the government set up to help the country build renewable energy sources

    like with any private business, there is always the possibility of failure. It was one of many businesses that got loan funding through the program, and only a small percentage of the loans were defaulted on


    https://www.npr.org/2014/11/13/36357...rning-a-profit
    In 2011, solar panel company Solyndra defaulted on a $535 million loan guaranteed by the Department of Energy. The agency had a few other high-profile bankruptcies, too — electric car company Fisker and solar company Abound among them. But now that loan program has started turning a profit.

    Overall, the agency has loaned $34.2 billion to a variety of businesses, under a program designed to speed up development of clean-energy technology. Companies have defaulted on $780 million of that — a loss rate of 2.28 percent. The agency also has collected $810 million in interest payments, putting the program $30 million in the black.

    When Congress created the loan program under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, it was never designed to be a moneymaker. In fact, Congress imagined there would be losses and set aside $10 billion to cover them.

    Buffalo Billion on the otherhand, was a corrupt shitshow
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlairBettsBlocksEverything View Post
    I think Solyndra was blown way out of proportion.
    $500+ million is not blown out of proportion considering...

    Here are eight facts about the Barack Obama Solyndra scandal:

    1. In 2009, the California-based green energy solar panel manufacturer Solyndra received a $535 million loan. The stimulus-funded loan, which was originally applied for in 2006 under the Bush Administration, was guaranteed by the Department of Energy.

    2. While visiting Solyndra in May of 2010, President Barack Obama claimed Solyndra was “leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.”

    3. In August of 2011, The Washington Post reported that Solyndra shut down, "leaving 1,100 people out of work and taxpayers obligated for $535 million in federal loans." According to Solyndra Chief Executive Brian Harrison, "Regulatory and policy uncertainties made it impossible to raise capital to quickly rescue the operation."

    4. The Solyndra controversy was elevated to a scandal when it was revealed that Office of Management and Budget officials felt pressured to approve the loan, despite an awareness of Solyndra's financial instability. ABC News reported, "The deal later came under scrutiny from independent government watch dogs and members of Congress, which said the administration had bypassed key taxpayer protections in a rush to approve the funds — claims the administration has denied."

    5. Reporter Chris Good from The Atlantic wrote, "If White House officials handled taxpayer dollars irresponsibly for the sake of promoting Obama's signature piece of legislation at the time, it would constitute a potential ethical lapse that resonates with criticisms against the stimulus and ballooning deficits."

    6. Questions about potential political motivations behind the special treatment of the Solyndra loan further fueled the green energy scandal. The Week reported, "The family foundation of billionaire George Kaiser, an Obama fundraiser, is one of Solyndra's big investors. The GOP says that Team Obama interfered to speed up the loan approval, cutting short due diligence so that Vice President Joe Biden could announce the loan at the Sept. 4, 2009, groundbreaking of a new Solyndra factory being financed by that government cash."


    7. Newly appointed White House Ebola response coordinator Ron Klain was previously Joe Biden's chief of staff. According to The Washington Post, Klain "dismissed auditor’s concerns about Solyndra’s solvency, reasoning that all innovative companies come with risk."

    8. Thomas Pyle of U.S. News wrote an article on the issuance of new loan guarantees to additional green companies despite the Solyndra scandal. "Now here we are, $535 billion in wasted taxpayer dollars later, and it seems that the administration is intent on going full speed ahead. In fact, the president recently said in an interview that the Solyndra deal was 'a good bet.' Talk about a disconnect."

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    the end point on your 7th bullet is the issue. Solyndra was a private company and private companies come with risk. The solyndra scandal was used as a way to de-legitimize the entire stimulus program which it turns out was actually a good program that the government was actually making back the money on plus more.

    for your 8th point, the same logic applies. Yes, this loan got defaulted on and the company went under. But they shouldn't have undone all the good done in the program

    Number 6 is certainly an interesting point that I was admittedly unaware of but I don't think that actually proves any wrongdoing on the Obama administration
    http://fortune.com/2015/08/27/rememb...yndra-mistake/

    This time the haunting is in the form of a report from the Inspector General’s Office, which after more than four years of investigation, concluded that Solyndra officials used inaccurate information to mislead the Department of Energy in its application for a $535 million loan guarantee. The report also found that there were shortcomings with the DOE’s process of managing and approving the loan guarantee to Solyndra.
    Solyndra itself is certainly responsible for misleading the feds in their application. Obviously more could've been done to verify things but I don't think it proves any corruption, just some potential incompetence
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    I think there's a middle ground where a $500m missed investment with taxpayer money is an abject failure and the program as a whole worked. It just depends on your perspective where you lean.

    At the end of the day though, whether there has been a positive return or not, you can say that the government did not efficiently spend taxpayer dollars. That's always an issue, regardless of the net +/-.

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