Wednesday, May 02, 2012

May 2, 2012 |  7:25 pm
Edison International (click here) officials estimate that the company's cost for inspections and repairs at the closed San Onofre nuclear plant will be between $55 million and $65 million, but said that the costs may be recovered under a manufacturer's warranty.
The company, which revealed the figures during a conference call about its first-quarter earnings, also incurred costs of $30 million for replacement power through March 31, Edison reported. Officials did not give an estimate of what total replacement power costs will be.
The plant has been closed since Jan. 31, when a steam generator tube in the plant's reactor Unit 3 sprung a leak, releasing a small amount of radioactive steam. Since then, 192 tubes in Unit 2 and 317 tubes in Unit 3 have been taken out of service due to excessive wear.
San Onofre’s four steam generators were replaced within about the last two years at a cost of $671 million, to be recovered from ratepayers. They were intended to last at least through the end of the plant’s current license in 2022....

Progress Energy, based in North Carolina, is seeking rate hikes. What is this all about? The plants underestimate the maintenance of their facilities and now they want to dump more of their mistakes and mismanagement on consumers? Did they underestimate the dangers they have to protect citizens from and now they are using that reality to justify rate increases? Want happened to alternatives if the cost of nuclear energy is going to increase? It seems to me since the cost of products from the petroleum industry has gone up so ridiculously high, nuclear is seeking increases as a cheaper alternative and using any excuse to do it.

...In addition to the proposed new reactors, Progress wants to increase the output of the 860-megawatt Crystal River nuclear plant in Citrus County, near Levy.
Florida's nuclear cost-recovery rules, which are similar to regulations in other U.S. Southeast states seeking more nuclear power, allow utilities to recover development, construction and interest costs for new nuclear projects.
Georgia and South Carolina are using similar cost-recovery rules to encourage units of Southern Co and Scana Corp and partners to build new reactors in their states.
Utilities say the rules make reactor construction possible and help reduce customer costs.
Florida wants more nuclear power in part because natural gas fuels about 60 percent of the state's capacity, Progress said.
"Overdependence on any fuel can expose customers to fuel cost spikes and supply disruptions. (Florida's utility regulator) has cited the growing lack of fuel diversity in the state as a major strategic concern," Progress said.
Natural gas is cheap now, near a 10-year low of around $2.30 per million British thermal units, but over the past decade it has averaged above $6 and spiked to more than $15....

The worst thing Mr. Hollywood could do is come to the USA.

Chinese human rights activist (click here) Chen Guangcheng shakes hands with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, right, as U.S. State Department legal advisor Harold Koh applauds in Beijing. (U.S. Embassy Beijing Press Office, AFP/Getty Images / May 1, 2012)

He has the attention of Secretary Clinton. What has she done for Aung San Suu Kyi?

Personally, I don't really believe anyone should judge the decisions he is making, but, I don't believe Secretary Clinton is a lightweight when it comes to those in any country that seek a path of democracy.

It just seems as though if he sincerely wants freedom he could find the opportunity with this administration while Clinton is Secretary of State.
By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
May 2, 20127:11 p.m.
BEIJING — For several hours, it appeared the U.S. and China had struck a deal that would allow Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng to walk free — and avoid a diplomatic disaster.

American officials said Wednesday that they had had obtained promises from Chinese authorities that the blind 40-year-old lawyer could live in a Chinese city of his choice and attend a university to continue his legal education. They portrayed Chen, who had dramatically fled house arrest in his village for the protection ofthe U.S. Embassyhundreds of miles away in Beijing, as exuberant over the deal….

I am sure he has his reasons for seeking other alternatives he that is his wish, but, if he has the opportunity to be backed by the USA and stay in China I would encourage him to do so and seek to be the human rights attorney he longs to be and fight for his people. But, if he has issues with staying and being able to obtain those goals then perhaps he needs to ask for political asylum. 

His reasons are his own, I am sure. There are others that have been educated in The West, like the late Prime Minister Bhutto. Difficult decision for him and the USA I am sure. 

It would be best and I know China has the capacity, to listen to its people. China, for all its new wealth still has over a billion people to worry about. That is not an easy fix, either. While activists are good for a country, it is sometimes difficult for a country like China; which has only found its wealth in the last decade or so having opened its doors during the years of Nixon; a former Third World country to react to its own internal problems as quickly as it might like, too.

Apple's revolution in seeking better working conditions for employees in China is a wonderful beginning and it hasn't meet with a lot of resistance, it would seem. But, then there is the run-in with Google that gives an observer pause over the priorities of China. There again it seems it is about communicating 'unrest' across the internet.

In a world address last year, China stated it has a five year plan to improve the health and well being of the people of the country. It is a communist nation. 

The reasons are his own and China should respect them if the country is unwilling to change its practices as viewed by Mr. Guangcheng. The lethargy that China is dealing with may be too much for him to cope with, too. No one's fault, really. Just the way it is.

The wealthy lavish their monies on art. Record prices.

The money is always the focus, but, rarely do these art works carry a word about the artist in the story.

Munch was the second child of five. His first name Edvard. The eldest was a girl, his full sister. He grew up in a household of a preacher that also was a medicine man.  Excuse me, a physician. 

At any rate, Edvard was suppose to be an engineer, and of course, he disappointed his father and went to art school. Now, one might think, this being the mid to late 19th century, it would thrill any parent to have a son devoted to art. But, just look at that painting and realize his work is valued for it being one of the first impressionistic works. Do you actually think Edvard's father would be proud of this guy?

But, then it greats really interesting, because, here he is the first son of a physican priest and in rebellion of his own faith. 

Ready? I really like Edvard.

Edvard painted about emotions. "The Scream" may be his most famous work, but, it is not his only work. But, his faith was one of SELF-DISCIPLINE. Was Edvard in touch with his emotions, or what?

His faith? The faith his father practiced and preached?  Oh, that. Yes, indeed. Pietism. The basis of Methodist teachings. Martin Luther, too.

So, here he was the first son of a sincerely devoted Priest in a faith that REQUIRED self-discipline. I mean Methodists at one time didn't even drink a drop of alcohol. Right? A very disciplined man that had a brief stent with engineering throws off the mantel of discipline and paints these highly charged emotional impressions.

A revolutionary. Edvard, was not going to be his father's son. He was a revolutionary and despised discipline. A father a priest that loved his children, but, could not instill a clear understanding of fear deep enough to punish the thoughts that would surely send Edvard to hell. Amazing.

And what is Edvard known for today?  $119 plus million dollar painting. That. Is bullshit!

Wednesday, May. 02, 2012

A look at record art auction prices (click here)

The Associated Press
NEW YORK -- One of the art world's most recognizable images - Edvard Munch's "The Scream" - was auctioned for a record $119,922,500 at Sotheby's Wednesday. Only eight other works have sold at auction for more than $80 million....

Read more here:

Hey, isn’t that. . . .: Jeb Bush and Robert Zoellick

Jeb Bush dining (click here) with outgoing World Bank President Robert Zoellick at Bombay Club Tuesday night. Talked for about two and a half hours, but who knows what about.

"The Bombay Club" (click here)

World Bank also aids developed countries—Zoellick

Wed May 2, 2012 6:37pm EDT
...Zoellick said it was in the economic and security interest of rich countries like the United States to continue supporting the World Bank, which provides loans and other assistance to help poor countries to tackle of wide array of problems.
"We're beyond a model of charity to poor people," Zoellick said in remarks to the Inter-Action alliance of development groups. He argued World Bank programs contribute to global stability and economic growth, which in turn benefits both U.S. companies and the country as a whole....
What about the ever burgeoning impoverished in the USA since the Second Great Depression 2008?  I suppose they don't matter.

NEW RUBIO BIOGRAPHY IS ‘FLATTERING PORTRAIT’ – (click here) The Tampa Bay Times’ Adam C. Smith scored an advance copy of Washington Post scribe Manual Roig-Franzia’s new biography on Sen. Marco Rubio, and concludes it’s unlikely to do much damage to the GOP’s rising star: “A soon-to-be released biography of the Republican vice presidential contender turns out to be a nuanced and largely flattering portrait of one of the most exciting figures on the national stage, rather than the hatchet job some Rubio allies had feared. The Rise of Marco Rubio by Washington Post writer Manuel Roig-Franzia may leave some readers questioning Rubio’s political core on issues ranging from immigration to government spending, but it’s unlikely to dent Rubio’s star power. Nor will it enhance the arguments of those who say Rubio has been inadequately vetted to be seriously considered as Mitt Romney’s running mate. …

Putting old heads on young shoulders.

Only 16% See Jeb Bush as Good VP Pick (click here)

By CHQ Staff | 5/2/12

He is the eleventh in a series of possible Veep picks graded by CHQ Poll respondents.

We asked you:  “If Mitt Romney becomes the Republican nominee, who would be his best choice as vice presidential running mate?

And we explained:  “Each day we will offer you a different choice, and ask for your reaction. We are not asking you to vote for the best candidate. We are asking you to give your evaluation of each candidate. In this way we will see who is acceptable, and who is not acceptable, to conservatives and Tea Partiers.”...

Jeb Bush: Ohio's Mandel Key to GOP Control of Senate (click here)

For a young, first-time U.S. Senate candidate hundreds of miles from Florida, Josh Mandel has the very best of the Sunshine State backing him. Mandel, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat in Ohio, was the first endorsement given by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who is very careful with his endorsements. And on Thursday, Mandel got a huge plug from former Gov. Jeb Bush, who represents the gold standard in GOP politics. Bush sees Mandel as crucial to gaining Republican control of the U.S. Senate. “Josh is the real deal. I mean he’s a very energetic, very conservative, very smart guy,” said Bush during an exclusive Newsmax.