Your Virtual Front Page for Monday, July 31, 2017

Some items to chew on:

  1. SCE&G, Santee Cooper abandon nuclear power project — Wow. Major, major deal.  We’d already spent $1.4 billion, which is more than I make in a year. So… what happens next?
  2. Ding-Dong, the Mooch is out! — Scaramucci lasted 10 days as Trump’s “communications director.” No, wait — it’s been 10 days since it was announced that he would hold that post. (Had he even technically started?) Which, of course, is about 10 days too many. I look forward to reading whether this is a new record, and if not, where it ranks…
  3. Pence takes tough tone on Russia after Putin retaliates against sanctions — Are we fixin’ to go toe-to-toe with the Rooskies? Pence kinda makes it sound that way…
  4. Sam Shepard dead at 73 — Whether as a playwright or an actor, this guy sort of embodied cool there for awhile. He didn’t even look like Yeager, but he was Yeager — while Yeager had to play the barman…
  5. London’s New Subway Symbolized the Future. Then Came ‘Brexit.’ — Way to go, Brexiters. Don’t you know how much I love subways? I put this one in the mix to cleanse the palate.
  6. For First Time, Millennials And Gen-X Were A Majority Of Electorate In 2016 — Nice goin’ there, kids.
And all he got was this lousy postcard...

And all he got was this lousy postcard…

32 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page for Monday, July 31, 2017

  1. Bryan Caskey

    The Wizard of Oz is a natural go-to on this, but I think a better reference would be the scene in Goodfellas where Tommy thinks he’s going to me made, but gets whacked instead.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Dang! I’m trying to find the clip from “The Right Stuff” in which Yeager, about to go up in the X-1 to break the sound barrier, reveals to Ridley that he had “dinged” his ribs riding out at Pancho’s.

    Ridley (Levon Helm) asks, “How bad’d ya ding ’em?”

    Yeager says he like to BROKE a coupla the sonsabitches. And he doesn’t want these guy to know about it, because they might get somebody else to fly the thing.

    Then Ridley, being an engineer, saws off a length of broomstick and does a little Levon Helm twirl with it before hiding it under his flight jacket…

    Which leads to one of the great good-ol’-boy lines ever filmed, when he hands it to Yeager as he’s climbing down from the B-29 to the X-1 and says, “Just take it with yer good arm and WHANG her down!”

    To which Yeager replies, “Okay, thanks, buddy,” and climbs in…

    1. Chuckie

      And in this, Shepherd describes what happened the day they shot the scene in which his character got those broken ribs:

  3. Bryan Caskey

    In any event, you can tell that Kelly wasn’t intimidated by Mooch’s posturing. Now that I think of it, I think it’s more like this, than anything else:

  4. Richard

    Well I guess some people I know who have been going to work out there, and that’s all they’ve been doing… going to work will be sitting home now. One was making $46/hr. and maybe worked 12 hours over the past 5 years. He said he mostly sat around watching Netflix on his phone and BS’ing with other employees who were equally as busy. To his credit he was told he would likely be going through training in late 2018.

  5. bud

    1. Crony capitalism at its worst. Looots of blame to go around but to begin making this right SCANA dividends should stop immediately and electric rates cut.

    1. Mark Stewart

      Bud, please start blaming Santee Cooper and the legislature for your gripes. Those are the parties that created this boondoggle, you know?

      1. bud

        I said there’s lots of blame to go around. I don’t recall SCANA executives protesting this project. If they did give me a link and I’ll let them off the hook. I have lots of friends with SCANA stock and they continue to receive regular dividend checks. I never heard any of them complain about this. SCANA was the majority shareholder in this. It is a private company. Capitalism does not get a free pass on this.

        1. Mark Stewart

          The first principal of capitalism is diversification of risk. Owning SCANA stock as a ratepayer is like owning stock in your bank (Wachovia) or your employer (The State). See what I’m trying to say?

          SCANA tried to diversify its risk. It lobbied to have the legislature change the law so that ratepayers alone were responsible for the two reactors’ construction. And the state diversified its exposure by making SCANA the lead partner responsible for the management of the project, which also, conveniently, made the project taxable (utilities are taxed at the highest rates in SC). All that gets absorbed by the ratepayers.

          On the other hand, diversification often leads to complexity and competing interests if things don’t turn out rosey. This is where this is now. SCANA and the State of SC don’t have aligned interests in the plant shutdown. It’s going to be a mess.

          From my armchair seat it would be goood if this turns into a real crisis. Santee Cooper doesn’t want the VC Summer plant now because it wants to protect its array of highly polluting coal plants. And it’s array of sinecures also know as co-op providers. For its part, SCANA is in a box, too.

          So it would be good if something actually were to come of this crisis. Like forcing SCANA to find a new partner in the project; and to require that the ratepayers not be held fully liable for the project costs. The Legislature could offer up Santee Cooper’s operations as its share of the loss, including elimination of the co-ops, with the provision that the coal plants be eliminated from service as the nuclear plants come on line. Maybe there is another private sector utility out there that would invest in completion of the project with the carrot of the reorganization of the Santee Cooper service area.

          Short of that, describe a way that the ratepayers don’t get totally hosed for this boondoggle? The lagislature is going to listen to the lobbyists and stick it to the ratepayers. Santee Cooper’s socialist/unionist utopian paradise will be protected. The people across the state will pay for the errors (and some bad luck, frankly) of this expansion project. That’s just the way it will be, Bud, because the voters don’t know how to diversify their risk.

          1. Doug Ross

            “the lagislature”

            I actually like that typo. It is quite fitting. :-)

            Leave it to bud to blame capitalism for a project that is tied into so many government agencies at every level.

            1. Mark Stewart

              I actually caught it; but it was too perfect to correct.

              Yes, that’s the point I’m trying to make. This problem is South Carolina’s problem. People need to realize that.

              I don’t know about the similarly stalled Georgia project, but I would imagine the risks were more fairly spread across the private investors…

  6. Scout

    Does anybody else have Bohemian Rhapsody stuck in their head?

    “I see a little silhouetto of a man
    Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango
    Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright’ning me”

    We will let him go.

      1. Bob Amundson

        This Tweet made me laugh: “Between being canned this week & his wife filing for divorce last week, #Scaramucci is one dead dog away from becoming a country music song.”

        1. Bryan Caskey

          “Well, a friend of mine named Steve Goodman wrote that song
          And he told me it was the perfect country & western song
          I wrote him back a letter and I told him it was
          Not the perfect country & western song because he hadn’t said anything at all about mama,
          Or trains,
          Or trucks,
          Or prison,
          Or getting’ drunk”

            1. Larry Slaughter

              “She Never Even Called Me By My Name” subtitled the “Perfect Country Music Song.” Happy to hear from another Stevie fan.

          1. Bob Amundson

            “I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy. Because I’m EASY COME, EASY GO, little high, little low. Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me …”


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