published Saturday, April 28th, 2012


about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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onetinsoldier said...


April 28, 2012 at 12:48 a.m.
joneses said...

As President Obama prepares to raise the debt ceiling -- after the Senate waived its opposition last week -- $5 trillion hikes evidently are no longer "unpatriotic" as Obama said they were in 2008 while describing former President George W. Bush's $4 trillion increase over eight years. The White House requested authority earlier this month to raise the debt ceiling to $16.4 trillion, up $1.2 trillion from last summer and more than $5 trillion from the statutory limit of $11.3 trillion set in October 2008 before Obama took office. The debt at the time Obama entered the White House was $10.6 trillion. The ceiling was raised to $12.1 trillion within a month of his inauguration. Such increases used to be anathema to Obama, who voted in March 2006 along with all his Senate Democratic colleagues against Bush's hike of the debt ceiling to $8.9 trillion. At the time, Obama called raising the debt limit "a sign of leadership failure." Out on the campaign trail in July 2008, he suggested the move was downright un-American.

April 28, 2012 at 6:54 a.m.
cactus said...

I can see Obama sitting at the bar on Air Force One flying around the country buying votes with taxpayer dollars. Clay, if you weren't on the DNC payroll, you would draw at least one cartoon of Obama spending our country into bankruptcy. Our children and grandchildren are going to pay our bar tab that is currently $16,000,000,000,000.00 (that's 16 trillion dollars for you people who went to government schools).

April 28, 2012 at 6:59 a.m.
jesse said...

well it cost 6.8 billion to get watts bar #1 on line and we have sank 2.5 bill.into w.b.#2 so far, so rather than walk off they gonna sink 2 billion more into it! what else would they do other than bite the bullit and finish the job?

April 28, 2012 at 8:03 a.m.
EaTn said...

tu_quoque said...

"A federally owned corporation managed by incompetent and corrupt political appointees. Staff by overpaid and under-worked public employees."

tu..sometimes you do make logical statements. What could be a worse combination than a corporation and a government entity? Kinda like crossing a hog with a turtle.

April 28, 2012 at 8:57 a.m.
dude_abides said...

Yeah, tu_q, those rabidly pro-nuclear liberals are at it again.

Non power producing flood control systems?? You mean drop the water through the dams, but don't sell the electricity it generates? Gravity is free! You and your tragic magic logic.

April 28, 2012 at 9:03 a.m.
patriot1 said...

Good point Ea Tn....this combination of corporation and govt entity is sorta like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac...a disaster.

April 28, 2012 at 9:05 a.m.
onetinsoldier said...

It is corrupt business, not corrupt government, that is at the heart of this boondoggle. Bad management at TVA has allowed the private contractors to get away with the loot without providing goods.

Without TVA the tennessee valley would still be cooking squirrels over open pits.

The anger should mostly be directed at the private contractors who see any government contract as an opportunity to pilfer the public coffers. Follow the money. It ends up in the pockets of private contractors.

Who pays the politicians for access to the pilfering party? Private business. Who pays attorneys for loopholes to contracts? Private business.

It is the criminal element of business that is the root of 90% of Americas problems. Our Government is overwhelmed and unable to protect us from these crooks.

April 28, 2012 at 10:38 a.m.
cactus said...

To onetinsoldier: If politicians ran for office to serve the citizens instead of running to gain power and money, they would not be corrupted by criminal business elements.

April 28, 2012 at 12:16 p.m.
Jack_Dennis said...

Clay123. We need a new toon. HAHAHAHA

April 28, 2012 at 1:40 p.m.
jesse said...

yeah,jack.he ain't gittin a lot of mileage outta thisun!

April 28, 2012 at 2 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

OneTinSoldier said: “It is corrupt business, not corrupt government, that is at the heart of this boondoggle. The anger should mostly be directed at the private contractors who see any government contract as an opportunity to pilfer the public coffers. Follow the money. It ends up in the pockets of private contractors.”

You’re certainly right about this, Soldier. In this case, I noted that TVA contracted with Bechtel, which certainly alerted my radar. As you may recall, Bechtel was one of the first corporations to receive a reconstruction contract after George Bush invaded Iraq. The contract was worth an estimate $680 million. Apparently, there was one problem after another - sewage treatment facililties that never worked, landfill projects that were never dug, projects failing within months after their installation etc. Bechtel also subcontracted a lot of the work to companies that in turn subcontracted parts of the work to other companies making oversight almost impossible.

April 28, 2012 at 2:08 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Jack_Dennis said: "Clay123. We need a new toon. HAHAHAHA"

Jack, you have an weird sense of humor. Even if you disagree about the need for more solar resources, it seems to me that you would have a little concern with some of the contract details. Apparently, TVA’s management did not even require the reator contractors to shoulder any financial risk if the plant construction doesn’t meet a deadline or is under par. This fact is really unsettling, especially when you think about what is going on with Bechtel in Washington:

August 14, 2011 - LA Times"

“The Energy Department has asserted that Bechtel Corp. underplayed safety risks from equipment it is installing at the nation's largest nuclear waste cleanup project, according to government records.

A federal engineering review team found in late July that Bechtel's safety evaluation of key equipment at the plant at the Hanford site in Washington state was incomplete and that "the risks are more serious" than Bechtel acknowledged when it sought approval to continue with construction, the documents say.

Senior scientists at the site said in emails obtained by The Times that Bechtel's designs for tanks and mixing equipment are flawed, representing such a massive risk that work should be stopped on that part of the construction project.

1-18-2012 - USA Today

“Documents obtained by USA TODAY show at least three federal investigations are underway to examine the project, which is funded and supervised by the Department of Energy, owner of Hanford Site. Bechtel National is the prime contractor.

In November, the Energy Department's independent oversight office notified Bechtel that it is investigating "potential nuclear safety non-compliances" in the design and installation of plant systems and components. And the department's inspector general is in the final stages of a separate probe focused on whether Bechtel installed critical equipment that didn't meet quality-control standards.

Meanwhile, Congress' Government Accountability Office has launched a sweeping review of everything from cost and schedule overruns to the risks associated with the Energy Department's decision to proceed with construction before completing and verifying the design of key components.”

April 28, 2012 at 5:58 p.m.
mhbraganza said...

Is the cartoon implying that TVA is drunk on money?

April 28, 2012 at 6:06 p.m.
Jack_Dennis said...

Laurel: I've never been a TVA fan. It should have been privatized years ago. You can blame the gubment boys for allowing the Bechtels of the world to flourish unchecked. As for solar/wind energy, bring it on if it's price competitive. The free market would sort it out, but the gubment has to have its grubby (and inefficient) hands in the pie.

April 28, 2012 at 6:08 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Jack_Dennis said: "'ve never been a TVA fan."

I think it obvious TVA's current problems are related to bad management - very bad management. As for the original TVA project, I like FDR’s attitude and vision that led to the development of the TVA. Clearly, it was a good idea:

“Although nearly 90 percent of urban dwellers had electricity by the 1930s, only ten percent of rural dwellers did. Private utility companies, who supplied electric power to most of the nation's consumers, argued that it was too expensive to string electric lines to isolated rural farmsteads.

Anyway, they said, most farmers, were too poor to be able to afford electricity. The Roosevelt Administration believed that if private enterprise could not supply electric power to the people, then it was the duty of the government to do so.

In addition to paying for the energy he used, the farmer was expected to advance to the power company most or all of the costs of construction. Since utility company ideas as to what constituted sound rural lines have been rather fancy, such costs were prohibitive for most farmers.”

April 28, 2012 at 8:02 p.m.
hambone said...

Price of Electricity per KWH:

National Average 10.64

MS 9.40, AL 9.24, GA 9.07, NC 9.36, KY 7.19, Va 8.72

TN 7.79

Privitize TVA? Becareful what you wish for!

April 28, 2012 at 9:29 p.m.
tnlobo420 said...

We were decimated by the tornado in mMarch, Woodland Bay & Davis Mill sub wiped out in Harrison. Several trees block main drainage arteries into the TVA owned lake. They refuse to clean out the drainage basins (chocked full of fallen trees to make the lake safe for all. What a waste of taxpayer dollars - TVA is a disgrace

May 4, 2012 at 7:23 a.m.
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