Friday, April 17, 2009

Intel's Andy Grove: Government Must Help Auto Business Just Like They Did Chip Industry

Intel's Andy Grove wrote the following column for Fortune magazine. It was posted on CNN Money today. Here's an excerpt:
Developing a domestic car-battery industry should be the focus of both corporations and the U.S. government. There is a model that may point to the way to build a new battery industry: the early days of the microprocessor. The history of the chip industry is a combination of the private sector overcoming technical challenges, with government playing a supporting role. In 1947 scientists at Bell Labs, which owed its existence to a government-granted monopoly, invented the transistor, the essential ingredient that in time led to the integrated circuit and the microprocessor. Bell Labs licensed the technology to all comers.

As a start, Energy Secretary Steven Chu should organize an industry council - like the World War II Production Board - and run it as if we were under wartime pressure. He can pull in the National Academy of Engineering and the National Science Foundation and have them recommend the technical approach. He can use the National Labs for R&D.

But the critical limitation is going to be battery production. To get an adequate supply of batteries for U.S. automobiles will require new manufacturing capacity that costs billions. Let us create a government-owned foundry organization that supplies, say, the first few million batteries, until the electric car and battery industries reach a critical size. Then let this organization license the manufacturing technology to private companies and let it go out of business.

When the government helped American chip companies, the industry did all right. It hung in as other industries left the U.S., and it still leads globally. We can do the same for transportation. We must.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Seriously Rick Perry?

From CNN:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn't ruling out the possibility his state may one day secede from the nation.

Speaking to an energetic and angry tea party crowd in Austin Wednesday evening, the Lone Star State governor suggested secession may happen in the future should the federal government not change its fiscal polices.

"There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry told the rally, according to the Associated Press. "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."

Washington isn’t thumbing their nose at the American people, Rick. They’re doing exactly what the majority of Americans asked them to do on November 4, 2008: reverse the disastrous policies of George W. Bush and get the country back on track.

Even in the dark days following the 2004 election, I never once heard a Democratic elected official suggest their state should secede from the union. It only took the GOPers three months following Obama’s inauguration to do the same. Seriously. Put some handcuffs on this guy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Theme Changed, Again

Okay so I switched to another blogger theme, again. Do you like it?

Teabag Rallies = EPIC FAIL

I didn't have time to attend any of the tea bag rallies around Ohio today, as I am on an assignment and after that had to worry about finishing up my taxes. But, here's a summary of coverage from other Ohio blogs:

Ohio Daily Blog

In short, today's Cleveland Tea Bag Rally looked and sounded more like a dysfunctional family reunion than a grassroots movement. Speakers screamed on the overly amplified sound system about higher taxes, abortion, guns, God being driven from schools, civil liberties being taken away (I know...I know), the price of stamps, and pretty much every other fringe idea the GOP hangs its hat on.

After an hour and 20 minutes of random ranting, one thing stood out. No one, not a single speaker or attendee, offered an original thought or idea on how to get our economy turned around after eight years of failed Bushonomics.

Listening to these folks go on and on about taking the country back was absolutely hilarious. Taking the country back? Are you kidding me? Where were you people four years ago when the rest of us were trying to stop George W. Bush from raising taxes on working families to pay for a war we didn't need to be in? Where was the outrage then? Spare me.

Buckeye State Blog

In this 2 minute Qik video (shot from my hacked iPhone, so low quality) from tonight Tea Party, you can see the following:

  • Mention of global warming get booed.
  • Shouts of communism
  • Tirades against tax increases that won't affect these people.
  • Talk of the government stealing from the poor to give to the rich. 
  • Talk about how your taxes will go towards helping illegal immigrants.

Blogger Interrupted

I’ve been doing video of right wing nutbags for a long time, but this one was the most disturbing event I’ve ever attended.  The rotting racist rabid rump of Republicanism has been reduced to a twitching crowd of paranoids.  I got harassed away by a growing mob of jackasses, some of whom are in this video.  I tried to get the police to stop them, to no avail.

The Modern Esquire

This is what 24/7 FoxNews coverage of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Michelle Bachman gives you. An angry white mob who thinks the black President is Hitler, but cannot explain why. It's what happens when you have a nation-wide cable television network that presents itself as an objective "journalistic" institution calling the democratically elected President of the United States a "fascist, socialist, and communist" 24/7. Glenn Beck is on Fox News with Penn of Penn & Teller fame preaching non-violence. In fear of what he has sown, but it is too late. You cannot demogogue the President to be an inhuman monster one day worthy of being hunted like Hitler or removed in a revolution and then say you're for non-violence. Own it, Beck, you coward.


Anyone else notice the irony of rain today? Remember when wingnuts prayed to God to make it rain on Obama’s acceptance speech in Denver?

Anyone find it funny that instead it is raining on teabagging parties? Everywhere I look on TV it’s umbrella city.

Has he spoken?

Irony. Oh sweet irony!

Brunner Fundraising Numbers: Underwhelming, To Say the Least

I believe that Dave at Progress Ohio was the first to report on Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's underwhelming first quarter fundraising numbers that were released today. Brunner raised about $200,000 in the first quarter 2009 for her Senate campaign, about one-fifth of Lee Fisher's $1 million haul, and about one-seventh of likely GOP challenger Rob Portman's $1.4 million that he actually raised instead of transferred from his congressional account.

There's lots of other stuff to blog about tonight, but let me just say that the Brunner supporters in the blogopshere have to be disappointed by this result. Fundraising is important no matter how Modern and Russo will try to spin this, and Brunner absolutely needs to make an all out push for 2Q money or this primary may be over before it begins.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Kevin Coughlin Story that Scene Killed

Courtesy of Tim at Blogger Interrupted: Sorry, I can't get Blogger to break the story and put in a "read more" link. The things you take for granted on Drupal...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tea Parties = Astroturfing

From Wikipedia , with my emphasis added:
Astroturfing is a word in American English describing formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf. 
The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt ("outreach", "awareness", etc.) and covert (disinformation) means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual pushing a personal agenda or highly organized professional groups with financial backing from large corporations, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research.
Today's revealation that Ohio's tea parties are being organzied by an organization called FreedomWorks. Who is FreedomWorks? From Firedoglake:
FreedomWorks was launched as a GOP version of MoveOn. "We believe that hard work beats daddy's money," said Dick Armey at the time. Armey seems to be a bit irony challenged -- Steve Forbes is on the FreedomWorks board. As Krugman notes, their money comes from the Koch, Scaife, Bradley, Olin and other reliable funders of right wing infrastructure including Exxon Mobil.
Everyone got that? So, from the definition of astroturfing, the goal is to disguse the efforts of a political or commercial entity (in this case, a bunch of right wing monied interests) as an independent public reaction to some political entity (in this case, President Obama). Therefore, the tea parties are nothing but astroturfing. Plain and simple.