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Coal ash cleanup: Someone will pay; will it be customers?

The cost for Duke Energy to safely dispose of the toxic byproducts of nearly 100 years of burning coal along waterways in North Carolina could cost upwards of $10 billion, the company says.

The figure, cited by a company executive this week, raises questions in South Carolina — particularly along the Saluda River where a Duke coal plant in Anderson County has been cited for violations and amid concerns that a disaster like one that happened recently along the Dan River in North Carolina could happen here.

Among the questions: Is the cost real or inflated? What does it mean for how Duke's "coal ash" ponds in South Carolina will be put to rest? And who will ultimately pay for it: shareholders or customers?

The company is using the estimate as "a public relations ploy," said Frank Holleman, a senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, which has sued Duke in North Carolina and been involved in legal settlements with South Carolina's other two utilities, who unlike Duke have committed to clean their ash ponds in the Palmetto state.

"We have every reason to believe that Duke has inflated this number," Holleman told The Greenville News. "We have no reason to accept this estimate at face value."



We should take it out of the Koch Bro's hides. Lord knows they can afford it.

Tuesday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest






Middle East




Tuesday Toon Roundup 2- Racist Party

Tuesday Toon Roundup 1- Racist Owner

A Mob Of Protestors Chased A Bunch Of Uber Cars In Seattle

Uber just confirmed that one of its drivers "was temporarily interrupted from providing service during Saturday’s protest."

"We’ve confirmed that one Uber partner driver, the one pictured in various blog posts, was temporarily interrupted from providing service during Saturday’s protest. While Uber supports community action and political movements that work towards a common goal, there is no place for violence or scare tactics used against hard working Seattlites in modern discourse," Uber wrote in a blog post.

A mob of people, dubbed The Counterforce, allegedly ran through the streets of Seattle on Saturday night, chasing down Uber cars and detaining them in traffic.

This is prompted by the assumption, according to the site, that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is a "sociopath" and that his company is destabilizing and undermining African immigrant communities in Seattle.



Toles Toon- The New type of Flasher

One Therapist, $4 Million in 2012 Medicare Billing

A few miles from the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn stands an outpost of what, on paper, is a giant of American medicine.

Nothing about the place hints at the money that is said to flow there. But in 2012, according to federal data, $4.1 million from Medicare coursed through the office in a modest white house on Ocean Avenue.

In all, the practice treated around 1,950 Medicare patients that year. On average, it was paid by Medicare for 94 separate procedures for each one. That works out to about 183,000 treatments a year, 500 a day, 21 an hour.

What makes those figures more remarkable, and raises eyebrows among medical experts, is that judging by Medicare billing records, one person did it all. His name is Wael Bakry, and he is not some A-list cardiologist, oncologist or internist. He is a physical therapist.



Biden blasts Ryan budget plan as tilted toward wealthy

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden Monday launched a broadside at the slashing budget plan of House Republicans, kicking off a campaign to try to raise the profile of GOP budget cuts and income inequality as an election-year issue.

Biden attacked the budget plan by Rep. Paul Ryan — his GOP counterpart on the 2012 vice presidential ballot — as being tilted in favor of the wealthy and shortchanging investments in infrastructure, education and health research. He said it reflects "an orthodoxy that devalued ... paychecks. They tilted the tax code in favor of unearned income, over-earned income, inherited wealth over take-home pay."

Speaking at George Washington University, Biden said Ryan's plan would deliver a huge tax cut to upper-bracket earners while cutting spending on road and port construction, Medicaid care for women in nursing homes, research into a cure for Alzheimer's Disease, and grants to local law enforcement.

Citing a study by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank, Biden said people making more than $1 million a year would win a tax cut averaging $87,000 under the GOP plan, which would drop the top income tax bracket from almost 40 percent to 25 percent. Meanwhile, curbs on tax breaks enjoyed by the middle class like the deduction for mortgage interest would raise taxes on many middle Americans.



This Modern World Toon- Lab Rats

Asteroids as seen from Mars -- A Curiosity rover first

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has caught the first image of asteroids taken from the surface of Mars. The image includes two asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. This version includes Mars' moon Deimos in a circular, exposure-adjusted inset and square insets at left from other observations the same night.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M

A new image from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is the first ever from the surface of Mars to show an asteroid, and it shows two: Ceres and Vesta.

These two -- the largest and third-largest bodies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter -- are the destinations of NASA's Dawn mission. Dawn orbited Vesta in 2011 and 2012, and is on its way to begin orbiting Ceres next year. Ceres is a dwarf planet, as well as an asteroid.

Ceres and Vesta appear as short, faint streaks in a 12-second exposure taken by Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) on April 20, 2014, PDT (April 21, UTC). An annotated version of the image, also including insets from other observations the same night, is online at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA17937

"This imaging was part of an experiment checking the opacity of the atmosphere at night in Curiosity's location on Mars, where water-ice clouds and hazes develop during this season," said camera team member Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, College Station. "The two Martian moons were the main targets that night, but we chose a time when one of the moons was near Ceres and Vesta in the sky."


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