Daily Archives: March 12, 2012

Sheriff endorses Runyan for council

First, a heads-up — I’ve got interviews set with several of the candidates for city council over the next few days, so watch this space. The election is three weeks from tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here’s a item from Cameron Runyan that came in today:


COLUMBIA, S.C. — Columbia City Council at-large candidate Cameron Runyan has received the support of Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott in the at-large election on the April 3 ballot.

“I know that Cameron will lead the fight to improve public safety for all of Columbia,” Lott said. “I’m encouraging voters across Columbia to join me in supporting him for City Council in the April 3 election.”

Added Lott, “Cameron recently went above and beyond to complete the Columbia Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy. I applaud him for making a deep commitment to gaining the knowledge and experience necessary to understand the needs of our law enforcement officers.”

The Citizens Police Academy is a 10-week program that gives residents a first-hand look at law enforcement in Columbia.

“Cameron also understands the importance of creative community policing in our city and the need for community involvement,” said Lott. “He has made a commitment to giving our first responders the technology and resources they need to keep our community safe. And I know that on council his top priority will be working with me and Chief Scott to crack down on crime.”

Runyan thanked Lott for his endorsement and noted the Sheriff’s long record of accomplishment.

“Sheriff Lott is an incredible leader who has created a world-class sheriff’s department and has worked tirelessly to keep our city and county safe,” Runyan said. “I thank him for his dedication to improving public safety and I would be honored to have the opportunity to work closely with him as a member of City Council.”


By the way, I should stress that it’s Leon Lott who is endorsing Cameron, not me. Seeing as how Leon is my twin and all, I just want to avoid any confusion…

But seriously, folks — I met Cameron’s opponent Robert Bolchoz (also seeking the at-large seat is Joe Azar) at Rotary today and got his card. I hope to be speaking with him soon, along with the others…

Gas prices pull GOP hopefuls even with Obama

Put this in the “maybe Democracy isn’t such a good idea after all” department…

This from The Washington Post:

Disapproval of President Obama’s handling of the economy is heading higher — alongside gasoline prices — as a record number of Americans now give the president “strongly” negative reviews on the 2012 presidential campaign’s most important issue, according to anew Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Increasingly pessimistic views of Obama’s performance on the economy — and on the federal budget deficit — come despite a steadily brightening employment picture and other signs of economic improvement, and they highlight the political sensitivity of rising gas prices.

The potential political con­sequences are clear, with the ­rising public disapproval reversing some of the gains the president had made in hypothetical general-election matchups against possible Republican rivals for the White House. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) now both run about evenly with Obama. The findings come just five weeks after Obama appeared to be getting a boost from the improving economy.

Gas prices are a main culprit: Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the situation at the pump, where rising prices have already hit hard. Just 26 percent approve of his work on the issue, his lowest rating in the poll. Most Americans say higher prices are already taking a toll on family finances, and nearly half say they think that prices will continue to rise, and stay high…

So basically, when gasoline prices head back down, suddenly Obama will be a great president and get credit for the improving economy? Yes, probably. Which shows how ridiculous this stuff gets.

And then, if the president’s new best friend Israel goes ahead and attacks Iran, and that leads to even higher gas prices, suddenly he’ll be a loser again, right? Yep, and the GOP candidates will probably be criticizing him for not being supportive enough of Israel’s actions, while at the same time they will pound him over the natural economic effect of Israel’s action. And the voters will probably swallow that, too.

Democracy is the worst system, except for all the others. Democracy is the worst system, except for all the others. Democracy is the worst system, except for all the others…

I’m just going to keep saying it, until I feel better…

Graham favors ‘rebate’ on Yucca Mountain

This came in earlier today:

Graham Legislation Provides ‘Rebate’ to Consumers, Utilities, and Communities for Obama Administration’s Refusal to Open Yucca Mountain

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), one of the strongest supporters of nuclear energy in the Senate, has introduced legislation, The Nuclear Waste Fund Relief and Rebate Act.

Electric utilities have been paying into the Nuclear Waste Trust Fund to construct and operate a permanent federal nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.  The utilities have been charging their costumers a monthly fee in each electricity bill to make these payments.  According to the latest information, South Carolina residents alone have already contributed more than $1.3 billion to the fund, which has collected a total of more than $35 billion in fees.

The legislation introduced by Graham would rebate these monies back to electric utilities and consumers.  Seventy-five percent of the amount rebated to utilities would be returned to their customers and the remaining portion will be used to make upgrades to on-site storage facilities.

Additionally, the legislation authorizes payments to states currently housing defense nuclear waste scheduled to be transferred to Yucca Mountain.  These payments begin in 2017, the date in which Yucca Mountain was to set to receive shipments of defense nuclear waste.

“No one should be required to pay for an empty hole in the Nevada desert,” said Graham.  “The decision by the Obama Administration to close Yucca Mountain was ill-advised and leaves our nation without a disposal plan for spent nuclear fuel or Cold War waste.  It was a political, not scientific, decision.  It is incumbent on the Administration to come up with a disposal plan for this real problem facing our nation.”

The major provisions of the Graham legislation include:

·         Presidential Certification: The Department of Energy has spent billions of dollars and decades studying the suitability of Yucca Mountain as the nation’s repository for spent nuclear fuel and defense waste.  Consistently, the science has borne out that Yucca Mountain is the best site to dispose of nuclear waste.  Within 30 days of passage, the President must certify that Yucca Mountain remains the preferred choice to serve as the federal repository for spent nuclear fuel and defense-related nuclear waste.

·         Failure to Certify Leads to Rebates: If the President fails to make the above certification, or revokes the certification at a later date, all funds currently in the Nuclear Waste Trust Fund shall be rebated back to the utilities.  Seventy-five percent of the amount rebated to utilities would be returned to their customers and the remaining money will be used to make security and storage upgrades at existing nuclear power plants.

·         Defense Waste: Currently, there is at least 12,800 metric tons of defense-related waste at nuclear weapons complex facilities around the country.  Unlike commercial spent fuel, this waste has no potential future defense or civilian uses.  In many states, the accumulated waste poses the largest potential public health threat.  In order to help mitigate the risk associated with the indefinite storage of defense waste, the legislation authorizes payments of up to $100 million per year if defense waste has not begun to have left the states by 2017.

·         Waste Confidence: In order to continue to renew or issue licenses for civilian nuclear power plants, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) must have reasonable confidence that the waste will be disposed of safely.  The legislation includes waste confidence language that allows for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue to license nuclear reactors in the event the Presidential certification is not made.

“Our nation needs real options as a result of the uncertainty created by the Obama Administration’s change in policy,” said Graham.  “I will push this legislation forward and hope to have the full Senate on-the-record on this important issue.”

Co-sponsors of the legislation include Senators Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), John McCain (R-Arizona), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin).


I don’t know what y’all think, but personally, I don’t want a rebate. I just want want the president to shove Harry Reid aside and put the national repository where it belongs, at Yucca Mountain.

I sort of think that’s what Sen. Graham really wants, too.

Well, he’s got THAT much right…

Slate brings my attention to the following:

House Speaker John Boehner spoke with theWall Street Journal’‘s Peggy Noonan and implied there are some members of Congress who should not be in leadership positions. “We got some of the smartest people in the country who serve here, and some of the dumbest,” Boehner said. “We got some of the best people you’d ever meet, and some of the raunchiest.”

Well, he’s got part of it right, anyway.