The Bullshitters

This portion of the Politico story about the encounter between President Obama and Rep. Cantor made me laugh:

Obama ultimately reiterated his commitment to reach across the aisle, a participant in the meeting said. At that, Cantor brought up Obama’s request that his Cabinet secretaries find $100 million in cost savings. That was a “good start,” Cantor told the president, but he added, “We could do more.”

Obama asked Cantor to present him with a list of places where the federal government could save more money. The self-described conservative eagerly agreed.

“You can expect us to have something very soon,” Cantor said, explaining that he’s “looking for wherever there is waste or duplicative spending.”

When asked for a budget with numbers, the Republicans said “We’ll get back to you.”

When asked for their plans for health care, the Republicans said “We’ll get back to you.”

When asked for their plans on energy independence, the Republicans said “Drill, baby drill and we’ll get back to you.”

When asked for their plans to revive the economy, the Republicans said “Tax cuts and we’ll get back to you.”

And now, after bitching about the most bloatedest budget proposal evah, after months of masturbatory tea parties and chants of porkulus, when asked what cuts the Republicans would like to make, the answer, as always, is “We’ll get back to you.”

This is government by frat boy smooth talk- there is no situation you can’t just bullshit your way through. Wreck dad’s BMW after doing 17 shots of Patron at the strip club? No problem, just call dad and the lawyers will get back to you.

Such a joke.

152 replies
  1. 1
    Lee from NC says:

    Absolutely. If they really meant their BS, they’d already have identified several areas that could be trimmed and be ready to talk endlessly about it. Instead, “I’ll get back to you”. Pfft.

  2. 2
    Califlander says:

    “Frat boy.” Perfect monicker for Cantor.

  3. 3
    smiley says:

    Obama asked Cantor to present him with a list

    You didn’t really expect him to have the list in his pocket, did you?

    BTW, any predictions what the outrage of the week will be this week?

    Edited

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    @smiley: I’d expect the House Minority Whip to, on the spot, be able to list at least ten things right then and there that he could state, without question, should be cut and trimmed. Hell, make it five.

    Here he is waxing eloquent about wasteful spending on the floor of the House. Notice anything missing from that? Oh, yeah. What to cut.

  5. 5
    RememberNovember says:

    Obama’s just uncurling the rope….

  6. 6
    Cat Lady says:

    After Obama’s two terms are over and Republicans have proudly displayed all teh stoopid they have, Kung Fu will be known as Obama Fu.

  7. 7
    GregB says:

    I have revised my idea for the GOP.

    They don’t need a bigger tent, they need a smaller clown car.

    -G

    No wonder the GOP has been putting Can’t/or on the sidelines, what an ineffective hack.

  8. 8
    Keith says:

    “You can expect us to have something very soon” translates to a glossy brochure in a week followed by John McCain’s campaign platform 2 weeks later.

  9. 9
    4tehlulz says:

    >>BTW, any predictions what the outrage of the week will be this week?

    The influx of Mexican flus who are trying to take jobs away from good, hard-working American virii.

  10. 10
    smiley says:

    @John Cole: Agreed. But I’ve been to many meetings where someone makes some points and someone else says, “Write that up for further consideration”, or some such. Maybe it was that sort of thing.

  11. 11
    Cat Lady says:

    @GregB:

    Polling now shows self-identified Republicans down to 21%. How low can it go? That means on any given trip to the supermarket, one in five of those people shopping there belong to the rump. That still seems high to me.

  12. 12
    Comrade Dread says:

    BTW, any predictions what the outrage of the week will be this week?

    Oooo. Oooo. I know…

    “That the budget and spending bills sent to us by President Obama didn’t include nearly enough money for the CDC and pandemic virus protection and control measures. If only we had had more tax cuts for pharmaceutical companies, this could have been prevented.”

  13. 13
    jon says:

    Obama: How much is this car?
    GOP: It’s $349 a month, and I’ll throw in some new floormats and a full-sized spare.
    Obama: But what’s the total cost?
    GOP: It’s also got a custom trim, aluminum rims, and satellite radio.
    Obama: How much is the car?
    GOP: I’ll check with a manager.
    (leaves, returns)
    GOP: It also has leather seats.

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    @Lee from NC:

    If they really meant their BS, they’d already have identified several areas that could be trimmed and be ready to talk endlessly about it.

    Oh, but they have. Republicans have criticized volcano monitoring, high speed rail, and flu pandemic preparation. John McCain has twittered extensively on various funding programs – from education to transportation to environment to defense – where he thinks the budget priorities are stupid.

    You never get much more than that, of course. Just a general waving of hands and loud noises of dissatisfaction with a smattering of “this recks of socialism” thrown in. But that’s all that you can expect from a party completely beholden to a tiny handful of lobbyists, xenophobes, and millionaires.

  15. 15
    lamh says:

    I know it’s early in the morning, but F*&^ Eric Cantor.

    I hate when people lead a comment with “with all due respect” that means there is no respect intended. It’s like when people say “I don’t mean to be rude, but”… no you DO mean to be rude. Just say whatcha gonna say without the qualifier.

  16. 16
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I have trouble figuring out who’s the biggest hack: Boehner or Cantor? Boehner looks like he’s addicted to spray-on tanning products and Cantor has the ‘I’m utterly clueless’ look down pat. Are these guys even trying anymore, or are the things that they propose really what the GOP rump wants? Either way they are dumber than a bag of hammers.

    This is government by frat boy smooth talk- there is no situation you can’t just bullshit your way through. Wreck dad’s BMW after doing 17 shots of Patron at the strip club? No problem, just call dad and the lawyers will get back to you.

    The problem is that the trust fund has dried up and Daddy’s lawyers are all tied up in his Ponzi case. Sorry Scooter, no new BMW this year, you’ll have to get by using the maid’s Ford Fiesta.

  17. 17
    aimai says:

    The republican party has really fallen. At least they used to “have in their hand” their lists of communist infiltrators. Now they have just left it in the car and will go get it as soon as convenient.

    aimai

  18. 18

    Sadly no video of that encounter was made. I guess we’ll just have to keep ourselves entertained with the video of Rep. Barton “outwitting” a Nobel laureate.

  19. 19
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    The question now is how far Cantor will go. Obama’s seemingly impromptu entreaty on cutting costs gives him an opening: He can swing for the fences and propose drastic cuts that he knows Obama won’t accept, or he can make a more modest request that Obama might be compelled to support

    Comrade Cole, remember when I suggested you wait two weeks to see how Obama’s $100 million gambit plays out? Looks like it only took only one week. That’s why he’s the Chessmaster in Chief.

  20. 20
    Boudica says:

    Polling now shows self-identified Republicans down to 21%. How low can it go? That means on any given trip to the supermarket, one in five of those people shopping there belong to the rump. That still seems high to me.

    21% is a nationwide number. Here in my Texas town, only 25% voted for Obama. So, I am the one in 4 at my grocery store who is not part of the rump.
    Now, in New England, the situation would be reversed……

  21. 21
    slag says:

    In a way I kind of feel sorry for them. It’s a lot harder opposing Obama than it was opposing Bush. Of course, it was partly GOP support of Bush’s policies that got them and us in this mess, but still, we’re in No Easy Answer Land for everything right now.

    Back in my day, being the opposition was pretty easy. It amounted to: “Hey, let’s NOT invade Iraq but continue to let the WMD inspectors do their jobs”, “Why don’t we NOT cut taxes on rich people but instead use those funds to shore up Social Security and other programs”, “Let’s NOT torture people and wiretap them without warrant but rather use due process to get our needs met.” Those were the days….

  22. 22
    omen says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    Obama’s $100 million gambit

    even rumskull admitted the pentagon cannot account for $2 trillion dollars spent. that was in 2001. god knows how much cannot be accounted for now.

  23. 23

    Outrage of the week?
    Limbaugh will pontificate, perspire and spew about how the Swine Flu only affects conservatives and that it is a biological attack by Obama’s evil minions against real Americans.
    Beck will fulminate, sob, pee his own pants on camera and blame it on the liberals.

  24. 24
    Mr. Stuck says:

    The wingnuts decided under Bush, that American’s likes their safety nets. Being the ham fisted knuckleheads they are, they went about the Rove election strategy of “social programs” being welfare for rich people and big corps, who then took the extra money and gambled it on Wall Street Ponzi schemes. And what did we get in return. Tax payer funded Trillion dollar bailouts and bonus pay for losers. Now they will come back to Obama and say we have to cut or get rid of Lheap, and food stamps and medicare, and unemployment insurance. America takes a look and just shakes it’s head.

    It’s a treat watching Obama play these chumps like a cheap Banjo.

  25. 25
    Zifnab says:

    @slag:

    In a way I kind of feel sorry for them. It’s a lot harder opposing Obama than it was opposing Bush.

    Load. Of. Crap. It was easy to oppose Bush come year 8 when even people in a vegetative state hated him. But inside his first year in office, Bush had a kevlar vest labeled “Sore / Loserman” that let him harmlessly deflect criticism on the grounds that anyone voicing a contrary opinion was just bitter that the majority vote winner didn’t win.

    And after 9/11? When Bush’s approval rating was scrapping 90%? When patriotic fever was the pandemic sweeping the nation? Haha. Hahahaha. Yeah. The standing debate was “how many people will rush to the defense of Dear Leader if he eats a kitten on national TV?”

    Opposing Bush was like walking through barbed wire in a salt mine. Criticism of his Presidency ended careers – from Dan Rather to the Dixie Chicks.

    Tell me how many Republicans have lost their jobs of calling Obama a foreign soci alist terror-loving gay murderer, and I’ll get back to you.

  26. 26
    Left Coast Tom says:

    This is government by frat boy smooth talk- there is no situation you can’t just bullshit your way through. Wreck dad’s BMW after doing 17 shots of Patron at the strip club? No problem, just call dad and the lawyers will get back to you.

    Seems appropriate for the party that gave us Shrub, who acted like a stereotype of a drunken frat boy.

    Unfortunately for the rest of us, daddy’s friends couldn’t bail Shrub out of the Presidency.

  27. 27
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Do not confuse Tea Parties, which I think is a stupid name, with the Republican Party. The plan for American energy independence is very easy. Nuclear Power will provide us with tens of thousands of years of domestic electricity. Shale oil will provide us with four centuries of liquid fuel.

    New sources of both of these energy sources are banned by legislation, either overtly (shale oil), or by impossible permitting regulations (nuclear power).

  28. 28
    iluvsummr says:

    @4tehlulz:

    The influx of Mexican flus who are trying to take jobs away from good, hard-working American virii.

    LOL.

  29. 29
    Zifnab says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Nuclear Power will provide us with tens of thousands of years of domestic electricity. Shale oil will provide us with four centuries of liquid fuel.

    That explains the McCain / McConnell “Building Nuclear Power Plants Act of 2009” bill currently making its way through the Senate. Or Bush’s “Shale Oil Exploration” policy initiative that was the trademark of his energy platform.

    Oh wait. Those platforms and policies don’t actually exist. Why? Because, let’s face it, the GOP has been too lazy to actually come up with a functional policy proposal. Perhaps you recall their health care plan? http://blog.prospect.org/blog/.....bchart.jpg

    Simply saying “Nuclear Power! Nuclear Power!” ad nauseum does not a plan make. Perhaps you could link us to some white papers detailing where the plants are going to be built, when we can expect completion of Shale Oil wells, how much energy we can expect to see produced, what the monetary, government, and environmental costs are expected to be… oh, who am I kidding, how much of a tax cut are we talking about here?

  30. 30
    kay says:

    @Zifnab:

    Load. Of. Crap. It was easy to oppose Bush come year 8 when even people in a vegetative state hated him. But inside his first year in office, Bush had a kevlar vest labeled “Sore / Loserman” that let him harmlessly deflect criticism on the grounds that anyone voicing a contrary opinion was just bitter that the majority vote winner didn’t win.

    It’s true, and it was certainly true where I live.

    That’s why it’s hard to be generous to the Tea Party crowd. They didn’t just vote for Bush, they adored him, and they savaged dissenters.
    They’re just full of shit. It’s as if none of us remember, and it was less than 5 years ago.

  31. 31
    Cat Lady says:

    @Boudica:

    I keep telling myself I need to get out of New England more. Maybe I won’t.

  32. 32

    Nuclear Power will provide us with tens of thousands of years of domestic electricity nuclear waste.

    fixed.

  33. 33
    kay says:

    Rather than answering any challenge, they are bringing Reverend Wright back.
    And ACORN.
    No joke. That’s the plan. In the mind of the strategists of the RNC, 3 weeks of solid, wall-to-wall Reverend Wright sermon snips was not enough information on which to base a decision.
    Oh, and Obama is arrogant. Cue Britney Spears.

  34. 34
    Andy says:

    What’s funny is, when you ask the teabagging — er, tea party — crowd about how to balance the budget, they always falls back on meaningless cliches like “cutting waste” or “eliminating pork” or “ending earmarks.” But they never really make clear what those cuts actually are.

    Now, I’m all for cutting “waste or duplicative spending.” Who isn’t, at least in principle? But suggesting one can balance the budget that way is foolish — it’s like saying you’re going to cut your living expenses in half by turning off lights and downgrading to basic cable. It’s all for show.

  35. 35
    Montysano says:

    @Thadeus Horne:

    Beck will ……. pee his own pants on camera.

    You have to admit: the right wing provides greater entertainment value for the dollar.

  36. 36
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Zifnab; I met with a representative of a high government official last week. We discussed what we both know, that it is impossible to permit new nuclear sites. I do believe there are a few new reactors going into existing sites, but this will not address the Country’s energy needs.

    Windmills are a national joke and need to be backed up 95%-100% with conventional electrical sources. The President is either really, really slow in this regard, or something worse. These technologies represent a tragic waste of national resources. See Denmark and Germany. Wind is only feasible in conjunction with hydro, as conventional sources of electricity, other than hydro, take the better part of a day to bring online. The Danes export most of their windpower to Scandinavia, which has lots of dams.

    The next American leader will blanket permit nuclear plants on federal lands, with the water resources needed for cooling, that are in the proximity of population centers. This is a situation that will be imposed upon us by the realities of life and will not be in accordance with some idiotic University of Chicago, transnational, John Lennon belief system.

  37. 37
    John PM says:

    it’s like saying you’re going to cut your living expenses in half by turning off lights and downgrading to basic cable. It’s all for show.

    Well, great, there goes my Plan A; looks like it is back to Plan B – Powerball!

  38. 38
    slag says:

    @Zifnab: Let me rephrase: It’s a lot harder to retain intellectual honesty while opposing Obama than it was while opposing Bush. While the collective opinion of the commentariat during early Bush years was that the opposition was anti-American, that opinion didn’t make it so. And it didn’t really make it harder–for me, anyway–to be pretty firm in my opposition (even if my opposition carried little weight with said commentariat). Especially because many of the decisions made during the Bush years were SO FREAKIN DUMB that a grade-schooler could have done a better job. That’s not necessarily the case with Obama at this juncture.

  39. 39
    omen says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    or by impossible permitting regulations (nuclear power).

    free market is king. wall street is unwilling to invest in this technology. and don’t blame it on congress. corporations are the puppetmasters in pulling their strings.

  40. 40
    ChrisS says:

    Nuclear fuel relies on uranium, a tremendously rare element that is mined from ‘uge strip mines. And has the unfortunately side effect of massive piles of waste material (it ain’t just the spent fuel).

    Shale oil is a slightly more energy dense material than asphalt.

    How about we just conserve energy and price resources based on the complete cradle-to-grave cost? I won’t hold my breath waiting on that proposal from a republican.

  41. 41
    Svensker says:

    Such a joke.

    Yeah, but the joke is getting old. There are some serious problems out there — it would be nice to have some intelligent debate about what to do in a few cases, ya know? Who’m I kidding…

  42. 42
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Montysano

    You have to admit: the right wing provides greater entertainment value for the dollar.

    Their prices are so low, They’re Insane!
    So stop on by Newt’s House of Bullshit, and one of thier bullshitting representatives will set you up with your own, specialized list of bullshit for you to get angry over! Act now and we’ll throw in a ‘teabagging’ at no extra cost!

    Disclaimer: You will be the teabagee, not the teabagger. Also, the teabagging will be administered by John Boehner. No refunds, lawsuits or bouts of clarity permitted.

  43. 43
    omen says:

    not a fan of ron paul. i find his dogmatic anti-regulatory stance to be predatory. but he makes an interesting case here in calling for more ear marks:

    http://votersthink.org/?p=1246

  44. 44
    slag says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Yes, wind energy is such a joke: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power.

    EDIT: And I wonder this all the time: What about geothermal? I keep hearing it’s making a comeback but never from the mouths that make policy. What gives?

  45. 45
    Bill H says:

    I want to see a showdown between Obama and Chuck Norris.
    My money would be on Obama.

  46. 46
    Cris says:

    @slag: Don’t bother showing BOB a Wikipedia article. Remember, he’s built wind-generation stations with his bare hands or some such thing.

  47. 47
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @ChrisS

    How about we just conserve energy and price resources based on the complete cradle-to-grave cost?

    Because if Conservatives cannot frame the argument in blank baby, blank, or blank here, blank now, thier willfully ignorant base cannot understand it. Besides, conservation of any sort that does not cycle back in the form of tax cuts is against thier religion.

  48. 48
    different church-lady says:

    We asked Palin what McCain did to regulate financial institutions: “I’ll get back to you.”

  49. 49
    omen says:

    @slag:

    I wonder this all the time: What about geothermal

    it’s good enough for george bush. his ranch has geothermal.

  50. 50
    Ash Can says:

    I agree somewhat that the idea of Cantor being apparently stumped for off-the-cuff cost-cutting suggestions is worth a tee-hee or two. I’m a lot more interested, however, in what, if anything, Cantor and/or the other Republicans come up with. It’s possible that they could decide to act in good faith and draw up a list of realistic findings and suggestions that, while not necessarily acceptable to the administration in toto, could nevertheless include issues entirely worth discussion and action. Given their track record, however, I’m not betting on that. Instead, I’m looking for them to get up in front of the press like they did for their budget announcements and make a big deal out of announcing spending-cut suggestions that are so obviously at odds with established Democratic Party priorities as to make them laughable, and/or so obviously harmful to demonstrably beneficial programs as to make them anathema to any right-thinking human being. The DC pundits, of course, will marvel at the Republicans’ brilliance and wonder aloud if this means the failure of the Obama administration once and for all, while the rest of us wonder what the hell kind of peyote it was that these people sprinkled over their breakfast cereal that morning. And hell, I even give it good odds that the Republicans will conveniently forget Cantor’s exchange with Obama and not come up with anything at all.

  51. 51
    slag says:

    @Cris: Good point. I often forget that the conservative mindset is that of a 3 year-old. If they haven’t seen it personally, it can’t possibly be true. Unless we’re talking about ghosts, bogeymen, or Jesus, of course.

  52. 52
    Egilsson says:

    BOB, windmills are not a joke. They just aren’t a total replacement. Your right wing nutjob friend T. Boone Pickens thinks he’s going to make billions off wind. He’s probably right.

    I don’t even know what your point is about Denmark. It’s pretty incoherent. Lots of dams? What? Denmark doesn’t have lots of dams. They do have windpower.

    Have you even been to Denmark?

    Nuclear plants are not very cost efficient if you actually want to ensure safety and disposal. Advocates of nuke power never want to factor in costs of 100,000 years of waste storage.

    Conservation, including proper tire pressure, is a better solution combined with alternate means.

  53. 53
    omen says:

    is bob, like rush, afraid to say “dike”?

  54. 54
    Zifnab says:

    @slag:

    It’s a lot harder to retain intellectual honesty while opposing Obama than it was while opposing Bush. While the collective opinion of the commentariat during early Bush years was that the opposition was anti-American, that opinion didn’t make it so. And it didn’t really make it harder—for me, anyway—to be pretty firm in my opposition (even if my opposition carried little weight with said commentariat). Especially because many of the decisions made during the Bush years were SO FREAKIN DUMB that a grade-schooler could have done a better job. That’s not necessarily the case with Obama at this juncture.

    I won’t argue that Obama’s administration of the country has been superior to Bush’s. I will argue that, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter from a political perspective. If Obama gets elected to a second term, he’ll have done as well as Bush. And with the media and the GOP aggressively against him in a way that Bush never had to contend with until it was too late to vote him out of office, people have a lot of time to be swayed into opposing him.

    And it’s not like Obama hasn’t done things to be criticized. He’s dragged his feet on anything resembling soci alism, he’s been exceedingly business friendly and has embraced certain conservative ideas – namely tax cuts – into his legislation from the get go when we’ve already seen they don’t work. He has been pro-military in Afghanistan when that region is shaping up to be just as nasty as Iraq or Vietnam. And a number of his domestic policies leave a lot of room for graft, corruption, and waste.

    The GOP has plenty of playing space to attack him. They just choose not to occupy it. Some criticisms are too far left for them to embrace. Others require too much actual work to properly use. Either way, their continued harping on “Porkulous” and “So cia lism” and Nazi references as talking points demonstrates that its as much the GOP’s ineptness as Obama’s political jujitsu.

    Frankly, DKos has been doing a better job of critiquing the President and holding his feet to the fire than any Republican organization I can name.

    Obama is far from impervious to criticism. In fact, he has actively invited it upon himself, and he’s received it by the metric ton. Grass roots orgs have been particularly aggressive on his drug policy with marijuana, for instance.

    You’re just not seeing much of that opposition because the MSM hasn’t been interested in covering it. They’ve been happier to hang on the GOP talking points, and the GOP talking points have been lame cakes layered in newb sauce. Had this been Clinton or Richardson or Edwards or Dodd in the White House, the criticism would have been just as lame and likely exactly the same. :-p

  55. 55
    Ash Can says:

    …and will not be in accordance with some idiotic University of Chicago, transnational, John Lennon belief system.

    OK, the idea of U of C having a “John Lennon” belief system is just…wow. That’s some classic BOB there.

  56. 56
    Cris says:

    @omen: The Crawford ranch is an environmental showcase in a lot of ways. That surprises some people, but it’s actually a perfect illustration of the Republican attitude toward energy conservation and green building: that it’s an individual choice, an option that should be available to those who can afford it. What they don’t like is a legal framework requiring it, or even subsidizing it.

  57. 57
    Cris says:

    @Ash Can:
    It’s possible that they could decide to act in good faith and draw up a list of realistic findings and suggestions that, while not necessarily acceptable to the administration in toto, could nevertheless include issues entirely worth discussion and action.

    Wouldn’t that be nice. This is what we mean, of course, when we pine for a “real opposition party” instead of the disingenuous turds that dominate the GOP.

  58. 58
    SLKRR says:

    I guess Palin really was ahead of the curve: “I’ll find ya some and bring ’em to ya!”

    Who knew this would become the Republicans’ catch phrase?

  59. 59
    omen says:

    i should have included the cite for the rush/dike story:

    http://rising-hegemon.blogspot.....ering.html

  60. 60
    omen says:

    @SLKRR:

    heh

    or

    “you ain’t seen nothing yet!”

  61. 61
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    OK, the idea of U of C having a “John Lennon” belief system is just…wow

    So now Obama is simutaneously a Jeremiah Wright-clone, a secret Muslim and an atheist. BOB really needs to do his duty as a citizen and forward this information to Drudge right away.

  62. 62
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Ash Can

    OK, the idea of U of C having a “John Lennon” belief system is just…wow.

    I am a Beatles junkie and have no idea what the hell he is talking about.

    Perhaps he has mistaken Lennon for Lenin.
    By the way, I am a Marxist. Just of the Groucho variety.

  63. 63

    Obama & Cantor Exchange Words; John Cole Sums Up The Know Nothing Party Position…

    photograph by Roby Ferrari, used pursuant to CC license | by Damozel | The delightfully risible Politico piece — which has Cantor promising to get back to Obama about GOP wishes for a budget cut — is here. John Cole nails it all here. When asked for …

  64. 64
    Tsulagi says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Do not confuse Tea Parties, which I think is a stupid name, with the Republican Party.

    Have to disagree there, BOB. The tea parties seem to perfectly symbolize today’s Republican party.

    Do the math. Tea parties conjure up images of lace gloves and finger sandwich soirees. Yep, that fits. Then you have the teabaggers (that definitely fits the Goopers) on tax day show up with a million tea bags to boldly and defiantly dump at the doorstep of federal power in DC. Only to be told by a park ranger they didn’t have a permit for that. So the bold actiondoers putting their collective brain power to work came up with Plan B to dump them in a friendly conference room. That fits.

    The RSSF types who think of themselves as tougher swinging dick versions of Jack Bauer and Rambo, ready to torture or shoot and blow up shit (by others of course) at a moment’s notice to stop the ticking time bombs threatening survival of the republic.…thwarted by a park ranger checking paperwork. That so cracked me up.

    Who knew that if King George had thought to put up a sign “No dumping in the harbor without a permit” back in 1773 American history would have forever been changed if today’s Gooper patriots had been on the scene.

    Yeah, tea parties fits these guys.

  65. 65
    Bill Teefy says:

    @smiley: Picture yourself, after weeks of talking in the hallways about your big ideas, getting asked to join a meeting next Tuesday with the CEO and some members of the board.

    You show up at this meeting, after a few pleasantries, CEO turns to you and sez, “Smiley. Lets hear some of what you have planned for your department.”

    “You can expect me to have something very soon…”

    Now in an Eddie Murphy movie add in a smile and a wink and you have comedy gold.

    In real-world they call that opportunity, “Your last.”

    I am not trying to rip on you but the idea that at the level of managing the United States you have to bring it, every day. Obama wasn’t asking him to explain the technical minutia or the name of the GS-12 who was going to have to take unpaid leave. A simple reduction of some Federal expenditure in Cantor’s state, like farm subsidies or elimination of a Federal program that delivered the same service as the state. Stuff that Cantor should be working on every freaking day.

  66. 66
    alhutch says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: BOB, you really don’t have the grasp you think you do on this subject. Denmark gets 20% of their electricity from wind. The US? A little more than 1%. Wind energy is intended to be a supplement, not replacement, to other sources of electric power (hydro, natural gas fired), much like solar. Nobody with half a brain says otherwise, since the wind isn’t always blowing and the sun isn’t always out. Also, anyone who calls them “windmills” really can’t be taken seriously.

  67. 67
    The Moar You Know says:

    Nuclear Power will provide us with tens of thousands of years of domestic electricity. Shale oil will provide us with four centuries of liquid fuel.

    @Brick Oven Bill: Fantastic. WHERE IS THE LEGISLATION? Goddamn, your party is dumber than you are. At least you have ideas and are willing to throw them out there. Hell, I agree with you about the nukes (so long as they are thorium reactors). But the damn GOP just sits there and moans “social!sm” like a deranged mantra. And they tell us they’ll have a great plan in about a week or so.

    12 weeks since Obama got elected. WHERE ARE THE GREAT PLANS?

  68. 68
    slag says:

    @Zifnab: Agreed. And I’ve been on board with some (definitely not all) of that opposition from the left at times. But then when President Obama gets on stage and turns into Professor Obama, explaining his decision-making point-by-point and knocking down each opposing argument as he goes, it becomes easy to see why he’s such a difficult target for either the left or the right.

    That said, his stances on FISA and extraordinary rendition–among other things–are definitely in need of more vociferous debate.

  69. 69
    Zifnab says:

    @Tsulagi: This is just another example of Obama’s federal bureaucracy infringing on Real American free speech.

    First, Exxon has to clean up the giant oil spill in the Valdez “Drill, baby, Drill” protest of 1989. Then the liberal weenies blocked a Constitutionally protected Radioactive Materials protest dump at Yucca Mountain. Now conservatives can’t even dump a bunch of tea on the White House lawn.

    Will our civil liberties ever be the same again?!

  70. 70
    SGEW says:

    [goin’ O/T]

    Nuclear plants are not very cost efficient if you actually want to ensure safety and disposal. Advocates of nuke power never want to factor in costs of 100,000 years of waste storage.

    Some of us do try and factor in the cost of responsible waste storage (half life aprox. 25,000 years for th’ worst of it, iirc, but (weirdly) 75 millennia is almost splitting hairs at this point) for nuclear power. True, nuclear power generation isn’t very cost effective (at all, so far: but France and Japan are trying to find solutions), but it is preferable to coal-fired plants when you use it as a wedge (or, as some advocate, half a wedge) in reversing the increase in carbon emissions.

    IOW, much as I am aghast at semi-agreeing with our resident racist, sexist, crypto-aristocrat, Ignatius J. Reilly analog (hi Bill!), I believe that increased domestic nuclear power generation should be considered as an option for non-carbon-emitting electricity generation, so long as the problems of waste storage and public safety are addressed seriously (and I have more faith that this may be addressed seriously now that Steven Chu and Janet Napolitano are on the cases, respectively). However, contra B.O.B., it is most certainly not a cure-all (and don’t even get me started on shale oil! talk about an anti-wedge!), and wind power is much more efficient (and safe and environmentally sound and etc. etc.).

    But just because wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal are better solutions (and, therefore, should constitute bigger wedges), it doesn’t necessarily mean that nuclear shouldn’t also be implemented in some capacity: reducing the rate of carbon emissions (or even reducing the rate of increase of the rate of increase!) is a gigantic problem, and we kinda need every tool we can get our hands on.

    Also, re: the “John Lennon Belief System,” I’m guessing it would be a sort of “Imagine there’s no countries . . . all the people living life in peace” ideology, which (insane as it might be) is probably B.O.B.’s criticism of transnationalism. Unless he’s talking about newspaper taxis or something, which I wouldn’t put past him.

  71. 71
    Original Lee says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: I think you’re channeling Lamarr Alexander here. I heard a radio spot recently where Lamarr! is claiming that France recycles its spent nuclear fuel. In this, he is quite wrong. France reprocesses spent nuclear fuel (its own and that of several other countries), but only to vitrify it and put it into a holding cache awaiting “final geologic storage”. They haven’t figured out what final geologic storage is yet, though. I don’t think putting it in glass and sitting on it until you figure out the next step counts as recycling.

    I just got back from a trip to northern Europe. Not only are there wind turbines and traditional windmills all over the place, but there are also solar panels and rain barrels and very very fuel efficient motor vehicles. All of our relatives have homes that are heated mostly by solar power during the day, and one relative has a solar-powered hot water heater. I’m not sure if they are producing UV-sensitive solar power panels there or not (to improve efficiency on cloudy days), but a number of the EU member nations are really trying hard to get away from fossil fuel power sources. Needless to say, I agree with Obama that the U.S. needs to set down a similar path.

  72. 72
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I am not afraid to say ‘dyke’. As a matter of fact, I once hired a blonde lesbian with big boobs.

    My point about Denmark Egilsson is that, despite the fact that they have “20% wind power”, this has reduced their consumption of fossil fuels in Denmark by…
    .
    .
    .

    Zero percent.

    This is because wind is fickle, like a woman, and needs a big iron conventional power plant standing behind it to give it occasional hugs when the wind stops, as wind does on regular occasions. You cannot just turn on a big iron conventional power plant, so the big iron conventional power plant must run continuously alongside the windmills.

    The one exception to this is hydroelectric power, which can be turned on and off by turning valves with changing wind conditions. This is the reason why Denmark exports their wind power, at a steep discount, to Scandinavian countries, which have these things called mountains and rivers. These Scandinavians built dams on their rivers and generate electricity with them. This is why they can utilize electricity from windmills.

    Nuclear power is very efficient. Nuclear subsidies are $1.57/MWh. Wind subsidies are over $23/MWh.

  73. 73
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    The next American leader will blanket permit nuclear plants on federal lands, with the water resources needed for cooling, that are in the proximity of population centers.

    You’re overlooking the fact that most population centers in the western states are already strapped for water. The people are where the water isn’t and the water is where the people aren’t. If you build where water is available the grid will have to be improved to move the power where it’s needed.

  74. 74
    Krista says:

    Conservation, including proper tire pressure, is a better solution combined with alternate means.

    Remember when they were actually making fun of Obama for suggesting just that? A sensible, easy, and incredibly affordable way for everybody to reduce their gas consumption, and they were mocking him for it. At that point, I fully realized that they weren’t even trying to appear like they gave a sweet shit about the average person — they were only interested in scoring points.

  75. 75
    SGEW says:

    This is because wind is fickle, like a woman . . . .

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Ban this guy’s racist, misogynist ass. This is a private blog, not a public forum, and the proprietor has the right to set the limits on civil discourse.

    I mean, the guy doesn’t even deny that he’s a racist or a misogynist! WTF?

  76. 76
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Most people out West live near the coast Dennis. This is where the Pacific Ocean is.

  77. 77
    Zifnab says:

    @SGEW:

    But just because wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal are better solutions (and, therefore, should constitute bigger wedges), it doesn’t necessarily mean that nuclear shouldn’t also be implemented in some capacity: reducing the rate of carbon emissions (or even reducing the rate of increase of the rate of increase!) is a gigantic problem, and we kinda need every tool we can get our hands on.

    That’s the thing. The argument is just so lopsided. You’ve got an argument for nuclear power alongside renewables, but you never really address the deficits of nuclear. Why spend 20 years and billions of dollars building a gigawatt nuclear reactor when you can put up a 6 megawatt windmill in six months for a couple million plus? You can build thousands of windmills for the cost of one nuke plant, you can build them incrementally and scale up or down production with fluctuation in economic growth, and you can get a return on investment in years rather than generations.

    If nukes are admittedly inefficient and mill farms and solar farms are admittedly very efficient, what space would you even have to invest in the former? It would be like me saying, “Yes, I think high speed rail is very important, but it shouldn’t outweigh the need to get a thousand new Hummers into people’s garages, because they also transport people.”

  78. 78
    Zifnab says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    My point about Denmark Egilsson is that, despite the fact that they have “20% wind power”, this has reduced their consumption of fossil fuels in Denmark by…
    .

    .
    .

    Zero percent.

    Links Plz!

  79. 79
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @SGEW

    Thank you for clearing up the ‘John Lennon Belief Symptom’ quandary I was having. I don’t know about you, but I was unaware that universities took thier cues from musicians. I stand corrected.

    @Brick Oven Bill

    I am not afraid to say ‘dyke’. As a matter of fact, I once hired a blonde lesbian with big boobs.

    This is because wind is fickle, like a woman, and needs a big iron conventional power plant standing behind it to give it occasional hugs when the wind stops, as wind does on regular occasions

    There is a word for what you are, and it’s not Conservative or Republican.
    It’s pig.
    Or are those three the same thing?

  80. 80
    El Cid says:

    I am not a fraid to say n*****. In fact, I once’t hired a darkie.

  81. 81
    Cat Lady says:

    @Ash Can:

    Chris Cilizza at the WaPo chat tells us that the only problem with Republicans is that they “have put out alternatives to the plans being proposed by Obama but there is just considerably less interest in those plans because the American people want to know what the President thinks and what he is doing on these issues “. Full quote:

    Being so far in the minority in the House and Senate, the only real role for Republicans is as the loyal opposition; they have almost no legislative power to affect the agenda.
    Combine that powerlessness with the fact that anytime President Obama says anything, it draws massive press coverage and you see Republicans problem.
    They have put out alternatives to the plans being proposed by Obama but there is just considerably less interest in those plans because the American people want to know what the President thinks and what he is doing on these issues.
    Therefore, the only time Republicans get any coverage is when they speak out forcefully against the Obama plans.

    I don’t even know what he’s talking about. There’s “less interest” because there are no plans.

    Fucking MSM tool.

  82. 82
    John PM says:

    Also, re: the “John Lennon Belief System,” I’m guessing it would be a sort of “Imagine there’s no countries . . . all the people living life in peace” ideology, which (insane as it might be) is probably B.O.B.’s criticism of transnationalism. Unless he’s talking about newspaper taxis or something, which I wouldn’t put past him.

    No, no, wait, I think BOB might be on to something. Now that I think about it, I vaguely remember “Helter Skelter” playing in the background in the Regenstein Library. Oh, and let’s not forget Milton Friedman’s famous phrase: “There ain’t no such thing as a free copy of Sargeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

  83. 83
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @jon:

    GOP: If you pray really hard, some day it will run on water.

  84. 84
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I think Brick Oven Bill might be the source of the Swine Flu.

  85. 85
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:
    I live thirty miles east of Los Angeles. I still surf the Pacific. Careful reading on your part will disclose to you that we also get the occasional earthquake out here. Still more careful reading will disclose to you that the infrastructure to build the parts for power-generating nuclear reactors is now either dormant or absent. If you started today, permits in hand, it would take at least a decade to come up with a complete, functioning reactor. I guess that we could buy them from the Russians or the French although I’d advise against the former.

  86. 86

    […] attempt to wring actual, substantive budget-cutting suggestions from Republicans, John Cole’s nails the Republican response: When asked for a budget with numbers, the Republicans said “We’ll get back to […]

  87. 87
    omen says:

    nobody has talked about the amount of power lost from inefficient power lines. i’ve heard as much as 30% loss in electricity. we need to modernize the power grid.

    it’s 2009. every year, places on the east coast suffer a blackout because powerlines went down because of the snow. that shouldn’t happen.

  88. 88
    Beauzeaux says:

    Anyone here know how long used wind remains lethally radioactive?

  89. 89
    SGEW says:

    @Zifnab:

    Right on, good point. However, I don’t believe that it’s an either/or problem, and that there is a lot of “space” to invest in both. Pound for pound (or, rather, dollar for dollar), wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal (tidal! It’s teh awesome!) are, indeed, currently, better and more efficient solutions – and are the immediate wedges that need to be implemented – but they may not be enough if the plan is to radically reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation (esp. if one supports the ideal of eliminating carbon emissions). There’s a lot of yeoman work being done in increasing the cost-efficiency of existing nuclear power generation, and/or building new plants cheaply and safely: we’re not there yet, and, indeed, may not get there, but there’s no reason to reject the idea of R&D into next generation nuclear power out of hand at this point.

    So, to run with your analogy, (i.e., increasing transportation options), I suppose I’m advocating building shitloads of high-speed rail (supertrain!) as well as, let’s say, researching a new generation of low-cost, zero-emission electric cars and putting them into peoples’ garages (see, e.g., possible plans for GM, viz. the Tesla). Note that I do not support building new nuclear plants with the existing technology (the Hummers in your analogy), but, rather, investing in research into better nuclear power production. It may be pie-in-the-sky at the moment, but it’s probably better (and more cost-effective, I would imagine) than some other big ideas out there (tho’ the orbital mirror is pretty cool sounding).

  90. 90
    SGEW says:

    Also, re: @omen: More wedges needed! Energy distribution efficiency is probably the easiest and best option we have that we can implement immediately. Smartgrid, ftw.

  91. 91
    sparky says:

    @John PM: it certainly explains the prowess on the sporting field. but in all fairness i think the players outnumbered the people in the stands.

  92. 92
    smiley says:

    @Bill Teefy: I think you might have missed my point, Bill. Your example also doesn’t negate my experience in academics where during the course of a meeting of say, the curriculum committee, someone makes some points and the committee chair asks that they write them down and distribute them to other committee members so they can be discussed at the next meeting. I agree with you that Cantor should have been able come up with at least a few areas for cuts. Anyway, my point concerned this part of the quote:

    Obama asked Cantor to present him with a list…

    Perhaps Cantor should have anticipated that Obama would ask that of him. Obviously he didn’t. I only scanned the article that John linked to but it seemed to me that the topic of cost cutting was tangential to the purpose of the meeting. Given that, I’ll cut Cantor some slack. (I can’t believe I’m cutting Eric Cantor some slack.)

  93. 93
    sparky says:

    @SGEW: i think it was Kuntstler who pointed out the other day that high-speed rail is a waste of money, and that it would be far more cost-efficient to simply repair the rail infrastructure we already have. not glamorous, but far cheaper and faster to implement.

  94. 94
    gnomedad says:

    @Zifnab:

    Zero percent.

    The statement is absurd on its face. If they are getting any power from wind, that represents, at minimum, fuel they didn’t have to burn.
    @SGEW:

    Ban this guy’s racist, misogynist ass.

    Agreed. Another time-out at minimum.

  95. 95
    Cain says:

    This is because wind is fickle, like a woman, and needs a big iron conventional power plant standing behind it to give it occasional hugs when the wind stops, as wind does on regular occasions

    Gee BoB, maybe you should change sexual orientation. Maybe a goat might be exactly what you need?

    cain

  96. 96
    El Cid says:

    Being so far in the minority in the House and Senate, the only real role for Republicans is as the loyal opposition; they have almost no legislative power to affect the agenda.

    What does he mean by “loyal”? They keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  97. 97
    alhutch says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: BOB – While you try to sound well informed, to those that are, you sound dense.

    Denmark is energy independent and has been since 1999. Beyond that, they are also a net energy exporter to fellow EU nations. Wind is, in no small part, a renewable resource that helps make that happen.

    To say that wind energy hasn’t reduced their consumption of fossil fuels is disingenuous at best and a flat lie at worst. If the wind energy wasn’t available, another source would have to take up the slack, no?

  98. 98
    Zifnab says:

    @SGEW:

    There’s a lot of yeoman work being done in increasing the cost-efficiency of existing nuclear power generation, and/or building new plants cheaply and safely: we’re not there yet, and, indeed, may not get there, but there’s no reason to reject the idea of R&D into next generation nuclear power out of hand at this point.

    I won’t argue with that. If you can do it right – and there’s no reason to think we can’t improve the nuclear fuel cell like we’ve improved solar cells – then by all means, put it on the table. It’s just a very long term investment. As for energy policy right this minute, I can’t see investing a dollar in an actual nuclear plant if it can go to a renewable plant instead.

  99. 99
    SGEW says:

    @sparky: Found the link. It was kinda hard to tease out his critique of the new rail corridors from his general hyperbole (“If Mr. Obama doesn’t get with a better program, then we are going to face a Long Emergency as grueling as the French Revolution.” Subtle!). However, he may very well be right about the efficiency argument (as well as the overall criticism of Obama’s “Grand Plans,” tho’ I, personally, disagree), but I’m not personally qualified to comment on the building new rail vs. improving old rail debate (I do, however, love to yell SUPERTRAIN! every now and then, ’cause it’s fun).

    Also:
    @Zifnab: Ah, “if you do it right”: that, right there, is the heart of the debate.

    Speaking of “doing it right,” Dr. Chu’s nomination and some of his (as-of-yet quibbling) discussions of nuclear might be the biggest nudge for me to re-evaluate nuclear. If Chu’s on board, I realized I was willing to give it more serious consideration. Personnel matters, I guess.

  100. 100
    Zifnab says:

    @alhutch: I mean, it’s certainly possible that the rate of renewable energy expansion has grown at the same rate as energy consumption, in which case you’d just have the renewable plants meeting the needs of the new consumers without having any decrease in the consumption of non-renewable energy sources.

    And you could also argue that, without renewable plants, the people of Denmark would have simply not increased their demand at all.

    But even then, you’re effectively conceding that the only growth in the energy markets in Denmark would have had to come from renewable resource growth (or, the energy sector of the economy only grows when the renewable sector grows) at which point renewable energy translates directly to economic growth. At which point BOB is really saying, “I oppose Denmark’s economic growth”.

    Of course, BOB hasn’t said anything like that at all. Cause he doesn’t know what the crap he’s talking about.

  101. 101
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Links per request, the first one is a PDF:

    “Wind energy is only able to replace traditional power stations to a limited extent. Their dependence on the prevailing wind conditions means that wind power has a limited load factor even when technically available. It is not possible to guarantee its use for the continual cover of electricity consumption. Consequently, traditional power stations with capacities equal to 90% of the installed wind power capacity must be permanently online in order to guarantee power supply at all times.”

    “As a result, the relative contribution of wind power to the guaranteed capacity of our supply system up to the year 2020 will fall continuously to around 4%.”

    E.ON-Netz is a German wind power advocate. They make their money integrating wind power into the power grid. Read their whole PDF report.
    ____________________________________________________

    “Denmark, the world’s most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity, has yet to close a single fossil-fuel plant. It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind power’s unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% in 2006 alone).”

    “Niels Gram of the Danish Federation of Industries says, “windmills are a mistake and economically make no sense.” Aase Madsen , the Chair of Energy Policy in the Danish Parliament, calls it “a terribly expensive disaster.””

    This article is more critical of wind power.

  102. 102
    DBrown says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Please check you facts – nuclear cannot last even 100 years (100% US power using light water reactors) and shale is very hard to get oil out cost effectively. Breeder reactors can extend the uranium a great deal but that still is an expensive opinion. As for regulations, please highlight the ones that prevent nuclear planets from being built – the fact is, nuclear reactors are not efficient and cost far more per kilowatt-hour due to innate design issues, not regulations.

  103. 103
    JK says:

    Eric Kantor has retained some new economists to help him to identify programs that can be cut from the federal budget

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieKTU94-BgI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....&NR=1

  104. 104
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Cain:

    Make up your mind, Cain. Do you want him to change his orientation, or go back to what he’s best at?

  105. 105
    SGEW says:

    More “doing it right” news!

    “I believe it is not in our character, American character, to follow — but to lead. And it is time for us to lead once again. I am here today to set this goal: we will devote more than 3 percent of our gross domestic product to research and development,” Obama said in a speech at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.
    . . .
    He also announced the launch of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. It is a new Department of Energy organization modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, that led in development of the Internet, stealth aircraft and other technological breakthroughs.

    Awesome sauce.

    Have I ever mentioned that when Obama mentioned curiosity as a “national virtue,” some members of the staff at the American Institute of Physics (who were watching the speech live on their computers) literally wept with joy? What other president has made physicists (physicists!) weep with joy?

  106. 106
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Volkov is generating 2 million barrels of shale oil annually, and Russia is tripling his production. He claims a production cost of $14-17/bbl. His process could not pass EPA muster.

    There a process that could pass EPA muster, and produce shale oil for probably $25/bbl. This is cheaper than most traditional sources outside the Middle East. There is a government ban on developing this technology.

    Through the use of breeder reactors, it is estimated that we have 10,000 years worth of domestic Uranium. Find your own links.

    Ordinary Presidents cannot bring scientists to tears. Obama is thus a deity. He said ‘curiosity’.

  107. 107
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @SGEW:
    That ain’t shit: George W. Bush drove millions to tears.

  108. 108
    ChrisS says:

    I wonder if exponential residential energy pricing would ever get off the ground? Instead of charging a flat rate for as much power as you’re willing to pay for, I would think that the energy hogs could either be induced into reducing their load requirements, or they could foot the bill for additional supply. Probably too socialist (but it would work for water, too).

    I don’t think that people should be entitled to as much cheap energy as they can consume. You want to spin the meter like a top? Go ahead, but it’ll cost you.

    As cool and awesome as the McMansions are, they certainly use a bit more energy than even the suburbs of the ’50s – regardless of any additional insulation.

  109. 109
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    BOB sez:
    “I never wanted to do this job in the first place. I wanted to extract oil from shale…”
    “I’m in oil shale and I’m I’m okay.
    I sleep all night and I work all day…”

  110. 110
    Rick Taylor says:

    They’ve been like this for well over a decade; ever since they decided that tax cuts were more important than fiscal responsibility.

  111. 111
    Ash Can says:

    @JK: LOL! Hey, if Joe Barton can stump Steven Chu, Eric Cantor can champion the Pa Kettle/Lou Costello School of Mathematics.

  112. 112
    pharniel says:

    @Zifnab: way too late to the party, but you can’t just pop new nuke plants.

    as currently designed the core has to be a single cast moulded steel shell.
    only one plant in the world can produce it, in japan.
    back in ’07 or ’08 on npr it said they’re 5 years behind on production.

    now…..the new pile that runs on whatever it is that’s radioactive and is the mineral that contains uranium?
    that’s hot shit right there, but it’s at least 3 years away.

    as for nuclear waste…right here in monroe MI there’s a breeder style reactor. Fermi (The actual plant running is FERMI II). The problem is mostly MSE related – you can keep using the waste (until a point) but you can’t really make the core durable enough to keep up.

    nuclear also has huge thermal pollution issues unless they can finnaly get thermoelectric (and i don’t mean heating water to turn a turbine) working on a large scale. True scalable thermo electric is pretty much holy grail time because it makes EVERYTHING we have more efficent.

    all of our systems basically use some reaction to turn something into motion, and almost all of them except hydro/aero have huge huge huge swaths of inefficency (a/k/a heat).

    some, like nuclear and coal are so inefficent that we first make heat, then transfer it into mechanical.

    there’s some nifty stuff on the horizon if it pans out, but it’s not gonna look like your daddy’s power generation system.

  113. 113
    Cat Lady says:

    @SGEW:

    He had them at “good morning”.

    Edit: together with the Einstein joke, he got ’em to laugh then cry. Not a bad day’s work.

  114. 114
    JK says:

    @Ash Can: Senate Guru had the best line I’ve seen on Joe Barton

    “Two qualities about House Republicans that drive me nuts are willful ignorance and smugness. It appears that those two qualities intersect at Joe Barton Avenue.”

    If Ma and Pa Kettle and Lou Costello were still alive, I’m not so sure Eric Cantor would be able to keep up with them intellectually.

  115. 115
    TenguPhule says:

    Nuclear Power will provide us with tens of thousands of years of domestic electricity. Shale oil will provide us with four centuries of liquid fuel.

    And they’re both bullshit.

    Nuclear power = nuclear waste

    Also, run by the same people who couldn’t find their ass with both hands *AND* require government subsidies.

    Shale oil = pipe dream.

    Not the same quality oil as Mid East Sweet.

    Destructive to the environment in extraction.

    Water waster.

  116. 116
    TenguPhule says:

    I met with a representative of a high government official last week.

    Your palm may be high class to you, BOB, but even government isn’t that cheap..

  117. 117
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Glenn Beck ROCKS TenguPhule.

  118. 118
    Bill Teefy says:

    @smiley: I think where we differ is that you are thinking Cantor would want a real list with real data and real substance. Something that would stand up to scrutiny and debate. But Cantor has had 100 days to come up with anything concrete. And he hasn’t.

    He had to know he was going to be on the big stage, he had an opportunity. I still cannot believe he wasn’t even thinking of one pork barrel he could shove right down Obama’s throat. I would be sweating my staff overtime just to get me something to match Obama’s challenge to his Cabinet secretaries to find $100 million in cost savings, and beat his timetable.

    Maybe your are right, he wasn’t ready to outline a substantive program…and didn’t want to pull something out of his Limbaugh, but I think you and I have probably spent more time on this subject than Cantor has spent on any real ideas. So, I’ll give it to you. Next time…he better have a list or I win.

  119. 119
    bago says:

    @pharniel: I hear google is using thermoelectric in their server farms.

  120. 120
    Krista says:

    Glenn Beck ROCKS TenguPhule.

    You forgot the words “is as dumb as” in between “Beck” and “rocks”, BOB. I’m sure you meant to put them in, but then changed your mind. Men…they’re so fickle.

  121. 121
    TenguPhule says:

    Through the use of breeder reactors, it is estimated that we have 10,000 years worth of domestic Uranium.

    And between the plutonium generated and the other nuclear waste, not to mention increasing the risk of a catastrophic accident, what part of that seems like a good idea?

  122. 122
    JK says:

    OT

    Digby takes down featherweight Peggy Noonan

    “She claims there’s no need for investigations but that we need more journalism. If I had only been listening with half an ear I would have thought that I was hearing some very stoned woman having a stream of consciousness conversation with herself at a Grateful Dead concert. What in God’s name is she smoking?”

  123. 123
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @ChrisS:

    I wonder if exponential residential energy pricing would ever get off the ground? Instead of charging a flat rate for as much power as you’re willing to pay for, I would think that the energy hogs could either be induced into reducing their load requirements, or they could foot the bill for additional supply. Probably too socialist (but it would work for water, too).

    Where I live, we already have something similar for water consumption. The first x gallons per day are charged at one rate, and any after that are charged at a higher one.

  124. 124
    Cat Lady says:

    @JK:

    If this was actually a great country, Digby and Amy Goodman would be on every talking head show, and Noonan and Dowd would be an obscure answer to a question on Jeopardy.

  125. 125
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Sigh.

    Nuclear waste is metal. This metal in then encased in more metal, called a ‘casket’. Then the metal encased in metal is implanted in rock, high above the water table. But, you see, this metal encased in metal implanted into rock high above the water table might corrode and leak into the water table in 20,000 years.

    And those decades of nuclear warheads exploded underground in the same area did not already contaminate the water table. All of those quadrillions of loose fission particles are so, like, 1970s.

  126. 126
    JK says:

    @Cat Lady: I’m still waiting for Charlie Rose or Chris Matthews to give Glenn Greenwald, Laura Flanders, Katrina vanden Heuvel, James Wolcott, Joe Conason, Alexander Cockburn, Al Giordano, Michael Tomasky, Marcy Wheeler, Barbara Ehrenreich, or Murray Waas a 10-12 minute segment.

  127. 127
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: erm, no.

    Nuclear power will not provide our needs for thousands of years, much less tens of thousands. Bear with me a moment while I do the math.

    The World Nuclear Association estimates that world nuclear energy requirement for 2009 will call for approximately 65,405 tonnes of uranium. That will generate an estimated 268,905 megawatts of electricity. [SOURCE]

    According to the EIA, nuclear energy in 2006 was 15.1% of all electricity production, and the estimate for 2009 is that it’s up to 16%. [source] That means for nuclear energy to provide ALL our needs (assuming zero increase in electrical demand) we need 6.25 times as many plants and tonnes of uranium per year. That’s 408,781.25 tonnes per year.

    Returning once more to the WNA, the current estimates of recoverable reserves of Uranium is 5,469,000 tonnes. Again assuming zero increase in demand, that gives us a bit less than 13.5 years of uranium. [Source]

    Now, it’s quite legitimate to say there are probably unidentified reserves of uranium. Unfortunately they’re all guesses, based on hopes and “it happened in oil (but not copper).” Nonetheless, if we use the WNA’s optimistic guesses, the REAL reserves may be as much as quadruple the current reserves. Wahoo, that’s 54 years IF we don’t increase demand anywhere.

    Me, I’d bet on increased demand and not quite so optimistic a chance of undiscovered reserves. Regardless, however, 54 years is not “thousands of years”.

    Thousands of years? No.

  128. 128
    TenguPhule says:

    Nuclear waste is metal. This metal in then encased in more metal, called a ‘casket’. Then the metal encased in metal is implanted in rock, high above the water table. But, you see, this metal encased in metal implanted into rock high above the water table might corrode and leak into the water table in 20,000 years.

    And BOB fails basic Nuclear 101.

    Nuclear waste is everything contaminated by radiation.

    Not just the spent cores, but the shielding, stuff in the plant that gets contaminated over time, even down to employee uniforms after awhile (especially the suits).

    Lots of it is low grade stuff, but still not something you want in your water table (unless you’re BOB in which case it’s a feature, not a bug).

  129. 129
    TenguPhule says:

    And those decades of nuclear warheads exploded underground in the same area did not already contaminate the water table.

    Shorter BOB: Fuck you Nevada! You’ll take that nuclear enema and like it, damnit!

  130. 130
    Zifnab says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Consequently, traditional power stations with capacities equal to 90% of the installed wind power capacity must be permanently online in order to guarantee power supply at all times.”

    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has a more optimistic outlook.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....83593.html

    Funny thing, there’s another wildly fluctuating energy factor that (ironically enough) often comes up when dealing with the more consistent nuclear power plants. Namely: consumer demand.

    If demand spikes – for instance, during summer months or during peak daytime hours – nuclear plants can’t ramp up production quickly enough to meet the need. But if it declines, the power plants risk meltdown by producing more heat than can be immediately utilized.

    A common solution to this problem of overproduction is to use the excess energy to pump large amounts of water up hills or into towers. The water is stored at this location until demand increases again. At which point, rather than scaling up production at the power plant, water is emptied from the storage tanks down through turbines not unlike the kind you’d find at an electricity producing dyke or dam. Energy return is in the 70-80% range.

    The beauty of this system is that it can be applied to exactly the problem you’ve described. Windmills that produce too much electricity during peak hours can store power in the same methods. Then, during lulls, electricity can be dumped back onto the grid to meet increased demand.

  131. 131
    Cyrus says:

    The big problem for Republicans right now is that all the most wasteful spending out there is THEIRS. I mean, their base benefits disproportionately from it. Military spending is the obvious example. What about something else, like Social Security? (I wouldn’t call it wasteful, but Republican politicians do. And wasteful or not, it’s definitely a big part of federal spending.) It all goes to people over 65, and people over 65 are the only demographic by age that voted for McCain. Agriculture subsidies? Rural areas get them, and rural states lean conservative and Republican. The war on drugs and the prison-industrial complex is a bipartisan initiative but I’m pretty sure there’s more insistence on it among right-wingers than on the left. When the federal government has so many third rails for them, it’s almost impressive that they do as much railing about cost-cutting as they do.

  132. 132
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @TenguPhule: including contaminated water, which will make it into the water table.

  133. 133
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    This is a seemingly solid presentation on Uranium reserves. It explains that in the previous exploration period of 1970-1985, each year of exploration created 5+ years of new Uranium reserves. Uranium exploration then ended until the recent surge in commodity prices, and exploration has increased proven reserves by 15% in two years.

    If Uranium prices rise, Uranium can reportedly be profitably mined from seawater. The 10,000 year figure comes from the use of breeder reactors. All of this is admittedly speculative, but unlike oil, which is tied to the sunlight on the surface of the earth, Uranium can exist throughout the depths of the earth. I would speculate that throughout the depths of the earth, we have nearly limitless supplies of Uranium.

    Then we have the universe. Thousands of years? More likely tens of thousands. Perhaps zillions.

  134. 134
    Cris says:

    @Hunter Gathers: I think Brick Oven Bill might be the source of the Swine Flu.

    Racist! Xenophobe!

  135. 135
    hat's the says:

    @Cyrus:

    You have no earthly idea what an absolute welfare program farm subsidies are, unless you live in a rural area.

    They pass the designation down to their grown children. It “runs with the land”.

    There are entire extended families of rural Americans who have been on the federal dole for decades.

    Gentlemen farmers are the worst. Lawyers, business owners. Part-time “farmers”.

    Rabid right wingers who line up for a federal check quarterly. That’s not even counting the property tax subsidies.

  136. 136
    LD50 says:

    Anyone here know how long used wind remains lethally radioactive?

    More to the point, what country do we have to invade to secure our wind supplies?

  137. 137
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @hat’s the:
    For a real eye opener, check out this blog post on the distribution of farm subsidies in Manhattan. Who can think of Manhattan without thinking of yeoman farmers tending waving fields of grain?
    A nationwide map of farm subsidy distribution can be found here.

  138. 138
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @LD50:
    Is anyone working on harnessing the power of stupid? If they brought that one online then a certain 21% of Americans would make us a net exporter of energy over night. Sarah Palin alone could light up a couple of cities.

  139. 139
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    “The idea that wind energy has the potential to replace most of our coal-burning power today is a very real possibility,”

    -a Democratic politician, explaining possible potential

    Zifnab; Good luck to Secretary Salazar with his proposal to construct virtual dams to go along with his windmills. Since we know that nuclear power is subsidized to the tune of $1.59/MWh, and wind power is subsidized to the tune of $23.44/MWh, constructing virtual dams in conjunction with windmills shouldn’t require a subsidy of anything over, like, $150-$250/MWh. Par-tee.

    However, when judging between the opinions of concurring German energy integrators, and Democratic politicians, it is probably a good idea to place your bets with the concurring German energy integrators.

    Nuclear plants do not melt down when demand drops, by the way. I am not sure if this concept came from Ken too. Modern nuclear plants have negative temperature coefficients of reactivity.

  140. 140
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Zifnab, I’ve been thinking lately that hydrogen production would be a far been means of leveling out electrical supply. It’s more efficient to convert back into power later, and you can sell it, too, unlike water blessed with increased potential energy, which is pretty when it falls, but not much else.

    As an aside, I’m beginning to really suspect that John pays Brick Oven Bill to be here. Or gives him a cut of ad revenue or something.

  141. 141
    TenguPhule says:

    Anyone here know how long used wind remains lethally radioactive?

    It depends.

    Recycled wind from Limbaugh and Coulter can only be safely disposed of in a quantum singularity.

  142. 142
    TenguPhule says:

    Since we know that nuclear power is subsidized to the tune of $1.59/MWh

    Except it’s not. It’s a *lot* higher when you factor in all of the government subsidies involved in building, security and insurance to name a few.

  143. 143
    TenguPhule says:

    All of this is admittedly speculative, but unlike oil, which is tied to the sunlight on the surface of the earth, Uranium can exist throughout the depths of the earth. I would speculate that throughout the depths of the earth, we have nearly limitless supplies of Uranium.

    Which came first, the spoof or the stupid?

  144. 144
    TenguPhule says:

    Then we have the universe. Thousands of years? More likely tens of thousands. Perhaps zillions.

    How much to ship Republicans en masse into outer space to mine uranium?

    Whatever it costs, it will be worth it.

  145. 145
    El Cid says:

    I would speculate that throughout the depths of the earth, we have nearly limitless supplies of Uranium.

    Can we take up a collection for BOB to embark on an exploratory dig?

  146. 146
    SpotWeld says:

    Blow it out your teabags BOB

  147. 147
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    That is ‘Mr. Iron Teabag’ to you Spotweld.

  148. 148
    SpotWeld says:

    You heard it here folks.. BOB’s got only one, and it’s artificial.

  149. 149
    Comrade Michael "Yo My Bloggah" Brown says:

    Smartest thing you’ve said all month, Cole. I await your novel on the subject; please use the same title as this post.

  150. 150
    Martian Buddy says:

    Oh, but they have. Republicans have criticized volcano monitoring, high speed rail, and flu pandemic preparation. John McCain has twittered extensively on various funding programs – from education to transportation to environment to defense – where he thinks the budget priorities are stupid.

    All of which makes me very glad that the GOP, as a whole, isn’t serious about making meaningful cuts to the budget. Their judgment about where to make the cuts is quite obviously flawed. Maybe it would help if we captioned some photos for them. “Volcano fail,” “flu preparation fail,” and so forth.

    Then again, maybe not. Their preparations for the flu would most likely involve waterboarding cattle ranchers to establish a link between cows and H1N1.

  151. 151

    @Smiley:

    You didn’t really expect him to have the list in his pocket, did you?

    Is that a list of places where the federal government could save more money in your pocket or are you just glad to see me, Congressman Cantor? Oh wait, never mind, you’re just glad to see me. Ewwwwwww!

  152. 152

    […] yes, the old “we’ll get back to you” […]

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