Since Japan's earthquake and following nuclear crisis, the CBS Evening News has done two reports on the Obama administration blocking use of the Yucca Mountain storage facility in Nevada to safely dispose of U.S. nuclear waste. Meanwhile, NBC and ABC have ignored the controversy.
The first CBS report on the issue came on March 22, when Evening News anchor Katie Couric declared: "The crisis in Japan has renewed the debate over nuclear power in this country. Today a federal appeals court heard arguments in a lawsuit over what to do with spent fuel rods." Correspondent Jim Axelrod explained: "An estimated 66,000 metric tons of spent fuel are stored at 77 sites around the country. That's more than 145 million pounds….Plans to make Yucca Mountain in Nevada a long-term storage site were scuttled by the Obama administration a year ago, after 20 years of planning costing $ 14 billion."
In a follow-up piece on Thursday's Evening News, correspondent Armen Keteyian went further in laying blame on the Obama administration: "There was one site designed to hold all of our nation's nuclear waste and it's right here in the high desert of Nevada, at a place called Yucca Mountain. Today, the federal government won't let our cameras anywhere near it. It's shut down, locked up, caught up in what critics charge is nothing more than pure politics."
Fill-in anchor Erica Hill teased Keteyian's report at the top of the broadcast: "Why did plans to bury nuclear waste inside Nevada's Yucca Mountain get killed? Was it safety fears or politics?" Keteyian described how the, "Obama administration kept its campaign promise….And shut down Yucca Mountain. Now the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must decide if it wants to restart what is already a 25-year, $ 14 billion project, in the face of tough opposition, like that from Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate majority leader from Nevada."
Keteyian also pointed out the political background of the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under Obama: "A former staffer for Senator Reid, Greg Jaczko, now chairs the NRC. Jaczko recently came under fire after shutting down the agency's safety review of Yucca Mountain and after key safety recommendations were redacted, cut out, from a long-awaited NRC report."
In the March 22 report, Axelrod noted: "The head of the NRC may not see a pressing problem, but the states now suing did not want to take that risk before Japan's disaster and certainly don't want to now."
On Thursday, Keteyian challenged Jaczko: "Critics charge that you were simply doing the bidding of your former boss, Senator Harry Reid, a fierce opponent of this project."
Keteyian concluded his piece: "The NRC inspector general and Congress are now investigating the decision to shut down the safety review. Still, nuclear waste is scattered across 35 states, and Yucca Mountain sits silent and empty."
Here is a full transcript of Keteyian's March 31 report:
6:30PM ET TEASE:
ERICA HILL: Why did plans to bury nuclear waste inside Nevada's Yucca Mountain get killed? Was it safety fears or politics?
6:38PM ET TEASE:
HILL: And when we come back, it was supposed to store all of America's nuclear waste, so why then is this desert facility now deserted?
6:40PM ET SEGMENT:
HILL: For more than 50 years a debate has raged over where to store radioactive nuclear waste in this country. And that debate has been reignited by the crisis in Japan. The solution was supposed to be here at a place called Yucca Mountain in Nevada, but the multibillion-dollar storage project has been shelved and as chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian explains, a congressional committee wants to find out why.
ARMEN KETEYIAN: Nuclear waste – the radioactive guest on the doorstep of many of America's most populous cities. Nearly 70,000 tons from 104 reactors often piling up within 50 miles from cities like New York, Chicago, and San Diego.
There was one site designed to hold all of our nation's nuclear waste and it's right here in the high desert of Nevada, at a place called Yucca Mountain. Today, the federal government won't let our cameras anywhere near it. It's shut down, locked up, caught up in what critics charge is nothing more than pure politics.
Gary Holis and Darrell Lacey are key officials in Nye County, Nevada. They want the waste at Yucca Mountain for the jobs and money it would bring.
DARRELL LACY [NYE COUNTY NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY PROJECT OFFICE]: The people in this area are all fairly comfortable with Yucca Mountain. Many of them have worked at Yucca Mountain.
KETEYIAN: Four previous presidents funded safety reviews of the project but last year the Obama administration kept its campaign promise.
CAMPAIGN AD: Barack Obama opposes opening Yucca.
KETEYIAN: And shut down Yucca Mountain. Now the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must decide if it wants to restart what is already a 25-year, $ 14 billion project, in the face of tough opposition, like that from Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate majority leader from Nevada.
JEFFREY LEWIS [PH.D., NUCLEAR SAFETY EXPERT]: If the U.S. government wanted to do Yucca Mountain, it would have had to shove it down Harry Reid's throat.
KETEYIAN: A former staffer for Senator Reid, Greg Jaczko, now chairs the NRC. Jaczko recently came under fire after shutting down the agency's safety review of Yucca Mountain and after key safety recommendations were redacted, cut out, from a long-awaited NRC report. Three NRC staffers formally protested the decision to derail the safety review, charging it caused 'confusion, chaos, and anguish'. Today, Jaczko told us the safety report was preliminary, a draft, and that he had nothing to do with the redactions.
Critics charge that you were simply doing the bidding of your former boss, Senator Harry Reid, a fierce opponent of this project.
GREGORY JACZKO [PH.D., CHAIRMAN, U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION: It was a difficult decision and – because it is such a controversial program – but, again, it was one that was made in, I believe, in the best interest of the agency.
KETEYIAN: The NRC inspector general and Congress are now investigating the decision to shut down the safety review. Still, nuclear waste is scattered across 35 states, and Yucca Mountain sits silent and empty. Armen Keteyian, CBS News, Nye County, Nevada.
— Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.
From Sunlen Miller and Jon Garcia Goodbye to gas-guzzling fleet vehicles like the ubiquitous big brown UPS trucks? President Obama hopes so, saying it’s not only good for the environment, it’s good for business. “From gas-guzzlers to hybrids, … there’s…
(CNN) – President Barack Obama continues his clean energy push Friday by announcing a new National Clean Fleets Partnership that works with major companies to cut gasoline consumption by their trucks.
The program is part of Obama’s plan announced Wednesday to reduce U.S. oil imports by a third by 2025.
Washington (CNN) – Politics is serious business – but not all the time.
President Obama should be re-elected in 2012, according to a spoof re-election ad paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
“Today, we celebrate a president that brought Americans together (images then appear of Tea Party protests) … celebrate the end to our dependence on American energy (image showing gas prices, referring to U.S. dependence on foreign oil).
Today, House Judiciary Chairman and immigration hardliner Lamar Smith (R-TX) published an editorial which claims that the Obama administration is not telling the truth about the progress that has been made along the southern border with Mexico. Smith complains that only 15 percent of the border is “air tight” and notes that “more than 34,000 people have been killed in Mexico due to drug-related violence.” The violence hasn’t spilled over, but Smith seems convinced it will. Smith also rails on Obama for ending the practice of worksite immigration raids and accuses the administration of supposedly cooking its deportation numbers:
While the Obama administration claims their approach is working, the truth is that the Southwest border remains porous and seven million illegal immigrants work in the United States. The administration’s immigration enforcement and border security strategies cannot be effective if it amounts to little more than spin. The American people are smart enough not to buy into the false promise that legalizing millions of illegal immigrants will secure the border and reduce illegal immigration.
Smith calls for the deployment of national guard troops at the border, the expansion of the controversial electronic employment verification system (E-verify), and the completion of a double layer border fence.
Yet, experts call Smith’s “border security first” argument a red herring. The Center for American Progress contends that evaluating border security “cannot and should not be measured against a standard of total control.” Given that most security specialists out there don’t believe it is possible to completely seal the border, “The question should be: Have we implemented the right set of policies and deployed the right set of tools to minimize risk and maximize control in a constantly changing environment with evolving challenges?” While Smith is right that the border is not 100 percent airtight, in terms of risk management, DHS has made serious headway.
Meanwhile, the American people actually are smart enough to know that comprehensive immigration reform that combines a path to legalization with a modernized visa system and continued enforcement efforts will reduce illegal immigration. That’s why a large majority of the public supports it.
Finally, while Smith accuses the Obama administration of fudging its deportation numbers, the immigrant advocacy community would probably argue just the opposite. “What’s disappointing is that this administration is deporting more people than ever before — it’s more well funded than ever before, but many people have the perception that immigration enforcement is underfunded and that this administration is extremely pro-immigrant,” said one advocate. Grassroots groups have launched a campaign to “urge President Obama to use his discretionary authority to stop separating families through deportations.” The White House maintains that “administrative solutions are not feasible or do-able on a large scale.”
Smith’s criticism comes at a time when House Republicans are drafting a “legislative assault on illegal immigration” which includes plans to add more fencing, sensors, agents and drones at the border. The Secure Border Act of 2011 will reportedly require the Department of Homeland Security to submit a five-year plan to Congress that would essentially eliminate unlawful entries and smuggling down. It would be up to Congress to decide whether to fund it or not.
Breaking “News!!!” They said it couldn’t be done, yet the lack of experience reflected in the way President Obama performed his duties the first 2+ years of his administration may finally being replaced by some experience, you guessed it -he has taken off the training wheels and finally made a speech without the TOTUS, the teleprompter of the United States.
will not have an unobstructed run for the Democratic Party nomination in 2012. A formidable candidate, an ex-Senator who has run for the Oval Office before, is about to announce a new run. Along with that story, covered in today’s Newsbusted; the real reason OMG and LOL have were added to the Oxford dictionary, and what political group is the POTUS thinking of joining in order to boost his falling job ratings. All this and much, much more can be found in today’s Newsbusted, the twice weekly feature from Newsbusters.org . Its the funniest two and a half minutes on the internet since the end of March 2011.
This episode of Newsbusted is a must watch, in fact it is so important that if you do not view the video below, the UN will give Colonel Quadaffi sanctuary in your home.
So click play below and remember, swallow whatever you are drinking unless you want your computer to be damaged from the resulting spit take and enjoy the latest episode of Newsbusted, and the real news (sort of).
Oh, and if you cannot see video below click here
Feel free to reproduce any article but please link back to http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com
“America need more changing.”
Barack Obama will start fundraising for his re-election campaign soon, and what better way to make that successful than to release a video detailing his achievements in office? After seeing this, I’m totally stoked for another four years of Hope and Change. We have to spend money to cut money, as our esteemed VP reminds […]
Lynn Sweet reports President Obama will register with the FEC as a 2012 re-election candidate “as early as Monday,” beginning “what may be the biggest campaign fund-raising drive in the nation’s history — not counting Obama-allied independent fund-raising in the works.”
Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina “has been telling the elite donor ranks Obama will have to raise ‘north of $ 750 million,’ a reference to the amount raised for 2008 — and the $ 1 billion the Obama money machine may need for 2012.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire
Admiral and former Democrat Congressman Joe Sestak (D-Penn.) has been an outspoken critic of President Obama's attack on Libya since the operation began almost two weeks ago.
For some reason on MSNBC's "Ed Show" Thursday, Sestak radically changed his view (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Joining me now is former Pennsylvania Representative Admiral Joe Sestak. Joe, good to have you with us tonight. Put yourself, if we can hypothetically put yourself in the President's position. You've committed to getting rid of Gaddafi, saying he must go, the rebels are pretty much getting beaten back right now. You have the option of whether you're going to arm these folks or not. And a dictator is responsible for killing Americans. Mr. President, what do you do?
ADMIRAL JOE SESTAK, FORMER CONGRESSMAN (D-PENNSYLVANIA): Right. You know that Joe Sestak does not support giving arms to the rebels nor having intervened here. However, if I were President Obama at this moment, I would recognize that the success of the United States policy actually has come to be the removal of Gaddafi. It's how it is perceived and it is the reality. Therefore, I would recognize that unless you accept that we go to war for political objectives, and that objective must have military means matched to it, or you'll just eventually get mission creep. I think he has to admit that we've erred and say Gaddafi is going to be removed and our mission will be with military to remove him. Otherwise, Ed…
SCHULTZ: And that means?
SESTAK: And that means forces will be targeted military at Gaddafi as a command and control center and it might even mean some troops have to be used. The issue I have a lot of problems with is what appears to be we're in but we're not in. It's regime change or it's not regime change. We lead or we don't lead. And this country needs leadership right now on this issue, not to be crept into this, because if arms go ashore and there will be some advanced ones, they will need trainers. And then will those trainers teach them how to organize and do combined arms? And what happened if those trainers are then attacked?
If I were president now and, by the way, if somebody else became president for a moment, I think he should just not do this. But if I were the President, having led us this far, I would just say to the country, “Yes, it's been an error. We must match military to political objectives. It is regime change. Gaddafi has to go. That is what we're going to do.” And bear the political consequences of that. Otherwise, I fear it will be one step after another step after another step and we have abdicated our leverage to an alliance. We're almost hostage to it, to what they might do in putting troops ashore or others. And that's been my concern, Ed, and you've known that for a bit of time here.
SCHULTZ: Admiral, appreciate your comment tonight so much. Thanks for joining us. We wanted your expertise and you gave it to us.
For those that have missed it, Sestak for almost two weeks has been expressing another view, including on MSNBC.
As WITF.org reported on March 20:
Here's a bit of a surprise: since coalition attacks on Libya began yesterday, former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak has emerged as a cable news skeptic of the Obama Administration, and what he argues is a lack of planning or mission direction. […]
"I don't think we've weighed this out or defined what our national interest is," the Democrat, a retired Admiral, told Ed Schultz in one MSNBC hit. "We've dithered into this with the rest of the world bringing us in."
Sestak said, among other things, the end-goal and rationale for the attack haven't been spelled out to the public. "With all due respect to the president, as Commander in Chief he has not laid that out." He argued that's especially important, given the fact the United States has spent a near-decade in Afghanistan and Iraq. […]
The president has made it clear "we will not — I repeat — we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground," but Sestak wondered whether that could change, as the conflict continues or escalates. "President Clinton said no ground troops in the former Yugloslavia….in order to win we had to put boots on the ground."
"I would have great caution. I do not think we're taking the right step."
Newsworks reported two days later:
"Are the costs worth our interest? Do we understand the risk we're assuming?" he asked during an interview. Sestak argued Obama's objectives seem cloudy, pointing out Obama has said Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi needs to leave office, but has clarified that regime change isn't the goal of the NATO mission.
The Democrat also said Obama hasn't justified the attacks to Americans, and should have come back from his South American trip to do so.
"You know what? After two wars, almost a decade in each, I think it would have been worth the cancellation of the trip," he said. "At such a moment in time, [Obama] should have been laying it out on a consistent basis for the public. What is going to happen, what the end-games are, what's the risk environment we're entering."
Far-left blogger Taylor Marsh observed Sestak's opposition to this mission only a few days ago:
Former Congressman Joe Sestak has been on the Ed Show quite a bit on the issue of Libya. While Schultz is sold Sestak is not fully. As a military man I think he gets the quandary we are in. In tonight’s interview alone note how many questions he raises. He also mentions how he has been touring PA and the Libya issue is not something jump for joy about. He raises some very thought proking points I thought. Basically he says we are now hostages to the rebels and what they do or do not do. Schultz tries ot […] cheerlead but the sober Sestak nixes such joy.
So what has changed since Tuesday? Well, the rebels are getting pushed back, and the chances of their success have diminished.
Despite what the President told the nation Tuesday, this mission is falling apart. In my view, Sestak has come to realize its failure jeopardizes Obama's reelection chances, and as a result, the politics of the incursion have taken a front seat to the soundness of the operation.
Let's review what he told Schultz: "If I were President Obama at this moment, I would recognize that the success of the United States policy actually has come to be the removal of Gaddafi. It's how it is perceived and it is the reality. Therefore, I would recognize that unless you accept that we go to war for political objectives, and that objective must have military means matched to it."
The success of U.S. policy is perceived as the removal of Gaddafi. That may not have been the original intent, but that's the reality now. Anything less, and Obama has failed. As such, in Sestak's view, the President needs to match his political objectives with military means.
The Admiral also tipped his hand by saying, "If I were president now and, by the way, if somebody else became president for a moment, I think he should just not do this. But if I were the President, having led us this far…"
What that means is that if an election was held today, and Obama lost, the new president shouldn't do what Sestak's recommending. However, because the current White House resident got us into this mess, he has to get us out or he indeed will lose in November 2012.
In order for Obama to prevent such an outcome, he must accomplish what is now perceived by the public as the goal of this operation – removing Gaddafi. And if that requires boots on the ground, so be it.
Scary stuff, for it appears that one mistake made roughly two weeks ago may end up being compounded all for political reasons.
If this is indeed the case, we will likely see other key Democrats support expanding this mission in the coming days and weeks, for their political future rests on Obama's reelection as well.
In the end, America may not have wanted a third war, but it suddenly seems apparent that's exactly what it's getting.
When it comes to the thorny issue of guns, President Barack Obama is finding it difficult to please anyone. Gun control groups are dissatisfied with his progress the issue, though a recent meeting with Obama administration officials about reducing gun violence may improve relations. Gun-rights groups, on the other hand, paint Obama as an ‘anti-gun’ President, intent on destroying the Second amendment.
Now a conservative gun-rights organization has launched an email fundraising campaign claiming that Obama is secretly planning to eviscerate the Second amendment through an executive order.
The email, sent on Thursday by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, solicits donations and implores members to write to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and request that he “expose Barack Obama’s planned use of his ‘executive order’ power”.
From the email:
Your CITIZENS INJUNCTION FORM will urge Senator McConnell to:
1. EXPOSE Obama’s planned use of his “executive order” power to increase federal fees on guns and ammunition, ban guns that are imported, extend waiting periods, ban the use of guns on all government property and even make it illegal to own a gun if you smoke or use tobacco products.
2. Publicly denounce Obama’s back door gun control maneuvers that threaten our Bill of Rights.
3. Lead the battle in Congress to nullify each and every anti-gun “Executive Order” that Barack Obama signs into law.
Since taking office, Obama has signed legislation allowing guns in national parks and allowing guns to be carried in checked luggage on Amtrak trains. And to the disappointment of gun-control advocates, his administration hasn’t taken any action to close the gun show loophole or reinstate the assault weapons ban.
But gun-rights activists remain unimpressed. The email claims, with no shortage of capital letters and exclamation points, that Obama the most anti-gun President the United States has ever seen.
See the full email here.
In a speech at Georgetown University earlier this week, President Obama appeared to signal his support of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring tar sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast of the United States.
Canada’s Financial Post reports:
Barack Obama may not have mentioned the Keystone XL crude pipeline expansion specifically at Georgetown University on Wednesday, but the themes of his speech nonetheless support the TransCanada Corp. project.
The U.S. president spoke about looking to neighbours with “stready and reliable oil resources,” such as Canada, Mexico and Brazil. He also stated that America will be dependent on oil for “quite some time.”
The State Department will ultimately approve the pipeline, so supporters of the project should be pleased, according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Kwan. At the same time, the administration is demonstrating to opponents that it is willing to re-examine the issues surrounding the controversial project.
TransCanada has prepared the market for a delay and the State Department is likely to ask the company to make relatively minor modifications to the project to demonstrate efforts to protect the environment, Mr. Kwan told clients. Then it should issue a Presidential permit. Although this has become a political issue, Congressional approval is not required.
This has been clear for quite some time, that the project will ultimately be approved. The key question is, how much will the U.S. government demand be done to ensure public and environmental safety in the building of the project — especially in the wake of the million-gallon spill of tar sands crude from a pipeline in Calhoun County last year.
Herman Cain doesn’t mince words: “Political correctness and compromise is killing this country. We need to fix stuff the right way.”
Cain brought his presidential campaign (for legal reasons he’s “exploring” a candidacy, but he left no doubt he intends to run) at appearances Wednesday night in Coral Springs.
Speaking to a group of about 30 political activists, mostly from the tea party movement, and then to a larger group of about 60, he delivered the kind of strong political views that are becoming his trademark.
Muslims: Cain said he wouldn’t appoint someone who’s Muslim to his Cabinet. In interviews, he appeared to soften that a bit, though he said he wasn’t “backpedaling.” He said he might be willing to name a Muslim who disavows Sharia law, but also said he’s unaware of any Muslim who’d be willing to make such a disavowal. Cain has made similar comments before, which the Council on American-Islamic Relations has deemed “bigoted.”
Israel: He said he would deem any entity declaring war on Israel a declaration of war against the United States. He said some people are going to say “he’s lost his mind. He’s threatening the world.” Cain said he wasn’t threatening the world – just those who threaten our friends.
Libya: He said the Obama administration has failed to clarify for the American public what the mission is in Libya. “We’re firing off those missiles at $ 1.4 million a pop and we don’t even know what the mission is.”