scharrison's blog

Those thirsty nuke plants

They may be relatively clean, but are they sustainable?

In addition to the high cost and risks, new reactors create another problem, one that is rarely mentioned: they put enormous pressure on water resources. Nuclear reactors require huge amounts of cooling water to operate; without adequate water, they cannot produce electricity.

Scientists say that warmer temperatures from climate change will mean a less dependable supply of water. This should be of special concern to residents of the southeastern United States, which is seeing its energy demand grow - and its water resources become increasingly stressed.

NC's ethically-challenged Republicans

Sen. Eddie Goodall tries to earn his keep:

But in January, Goodall became president of the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools, which wants to increase the number of charter schools allowed in the state, among other goals.

Goodall raised eyebrows in the Senate chamber Thursday when he tried to run an amendment to an education and jobs bill that would lift the cap. Goodall’s proposals were shot down.

It should have raised a lot more than eyebrows. It should have triggered an ethics probe.

Corporate tax-dodgers get help from NC Senate

Those poor little multi-state corporations need protection from the mean old tax collectors:

The state Senate and the business lobby want to take away a big stick that the state's tax collector says it needs to punish big businesses that dodge their taxes.

The issue is up for debate in budget negotiations under way between the state House and Senate. The Senate's version includes a provision that would prevent the N.C. Department of Revenue from assessing a penalty on businesses it thinks are hiding income.

Charges may be refiled against Blackwater (Xe)

The Justice Department is still seeking justice for innocent victims of the Nisour Square massacre:

There was more than enough untainted evidence to justify a trial for five Blackwater Worldwide guards involved in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad, the Justice Department told a federal appeals court.

In court papers seeking to reinstate criminal charges, the department asserted that some of the evidence tainted by immunized statements in the case was harmless and did not justify scuttling the manslaughter charges against the guards.

Republican idiocy: Obama planned oil spill

And I thought Reeves was prone to paranoid delusions:

Republican Congressional candidate William "Bill" Randall is suggesting that the Obama Administration and BP conspired to intentionally spill oil in the Gulf, resulting in 11 deaths and the worst environmental disaster in the nation's history.

Randall, who has aligned himself with the Tea Party movement, readily admits that he has no evidence that what he says is true. But that is not stopping him from from making the claim as he campaigns for in the June 22 GOP runoff to face incumbent Democratic Rep. Brad Miller on the November ballot.

Susie goes to Raleigh

And gets some justice for herself and her friends:

Susie is a 1-year-old pit bull-German Shepherd mix whose body still has the scars the horrific assault she endured. When she was eight-weeks old, Susie was burned beaten and left for dead.

The man who assaulted her was sentenced to probation. The law named after Susie would make such abuse a felony and give judges the option of jail time.

Criminal negligence: NC's underfunded mental health system

When there aren't enough beds, people die:

Chapman was the Charlotte man who sought psychiatric help at Carolinas Medical Center-Randolph, at one point telling staff he wanted to "kill his wife," but was released with medication for depression and instructions to call back for an appointment. Hours later, police say he had killed his wife, one child and a stepchild.

A government that spends hundreds of millions for capital projects and economic incentives, yet sends suicidal or homicidal patients back on the streets, can no longer lay claim to the title "Public Servant".

NC Republicans and their warped ideology

Couples heading to the magistrate need a "cooling off" period:

Could a 30-day waiting period for marriages performed by magistrates be in North Carolina’s future? Rep. Bill Current, R-Gaston, said he hopes the idea results in making marriages stronger.

“Most ministers won’t marry you unless they talk to you for a while,” Current said, explaining why the suggestion wouldn’t put a similar requirement on ministers. Current said that local and state officials spend a lot of time trying to fix problems that are a result of marriages falling apart.

Burr hits $10 million mark

Jack Betts asks the elephant-in-the-livingroom question:

Here's a question the moderators didn't ask Thursday night in the first of two televised debates between Senate Democratic candidates Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham: Does their race even matter against an incumbent with a $10 million war chest?

Just as a point of reference, by this time in 2008, Kay Hagan had amassed some $1.6 million for her campaign, and much of that was raised and spent pre-Primary.

Is Wendell Fant running, or not?

The NC First Party's chosen candidate is waffling:

After a costly petition drive to put him on the ballot as an independent alternative to Democratic U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, Concord resident Wendell Fant said Friday he's not sure he'll run.

"Right now it's a definite 'I'm not sure,'" Fant said.

A group called N.C. Families First delivered more than 35,000 signatures to election boards throughout the 8th Congressional District supporting Fant's candidacy.

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