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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Michigan Governor Wants ‘Open Source’ Economic Model

January 20th, 2011 01:20 admin View Comments

An anonymous reader writes “Incoming Michigan governor Rick Synder spoke in Kalamazoo, MI today and says he wants to use an ‘open-source economic development model’ to help repair the battered down state. Perhaps during his time as president of Gateway he saw a benefit to the open source model, but can it really be successfully applied as an economic model?”

Source: Michigan Governor Wants ‘Open Source’ Economic Model

US Scraps Virtual Fence Along Mexican Border

January 15th, 2011 01:06 admin View Comments

Pickens writes “The Arizona Republic reports that the federal government has officially cancelled its multibillion-dollar plan to build a virtual fence along the border with Mexico as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano disclosed in a congressional briefing that the program known as SBInet was costing too much and achieving too little. ‘SBInet cannot meet its original objective of providing a single, integrated border-security technology solution,’ says Napolitano. Boeing was hired in 2006 to develop the system under a three-year federal contract with cost projections for full build-out as high as $8 billion but efforts were plagued by delays, glitches, budget increases and congressional criticism. Napolitano has ordered Customs and Border Protection to launch a more modest and geographically tailored effort using SBInet funds and existing technology such as mobile-surveillance systems, unmanned aircraft, thermal-imaging devices and remote-video surveillance with proven elements of SBInet including stationary radar and infrared-sensor towers. SBInet cost nearly $1 billion for development along 53 miles of Arizona border.”

Source: US Scraps Virtual Fence Along Mexican Border

Patriot Act Up For Renewal, Nobody Notices

January 14th, 2011 01:18 admin View Comments

Ponca City, We Love You writes “When the Patriot Act was first signed in 2001, it was billed as a temporary measure required because of the extreme circumstances created by the terrorist threat. The fear from its opponents was that executive power, once given, is seldom relinquished. Now the Examiner reports that on January 5th, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) introduced a bill to add yet another year to the soon-to-be-expiring Patriot Act, extending it until February, 2012, with passage likely to happen after little debate or contention. If passed, this would be the second time the Obama administration has punted on campaign promises to roll back excessive surveillance measures allowed under the act. Last year’s extension passed under the heading of the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act. ‘Given the very limited number of days Congress has in session before the current deadline, and the fact that the bill’s Republican sponsor is only seeking another year, I think it’s safe to read this as signaling an agreement across the aisle to put the issue off yet again,’ writes Julian Sanchez.”

Source: Patriot Act Up For Renewal, Nobody Notices

NASA Pitches Heavy Lift Vehicle To Congress

January 12th, 2011 01:19 admin View Comments

BJ_Covert_Action writes “Well, Congress demanded, last year, that NASA develop a budget plan and proposal for a new heavy lift vehicle in light of the Ares V cancellation. Recently, NASA gave Congress just what they wanted. On January 11th, Douglas Cooke pitched an interim report to Congressional members detailing the basic design concepts that would go into a new heavy lift vehicle. Congress required that the new heavy lift vehicle maximize the reuse of space shuttle components as part of its budget battle with President Obama last year. As a result, NASA basically copy-pasted the Ares V design into a new report and pitched it to Congress on the 11th. The proposed vehicle will require the five segment SRB’s that were proposed for the Ares V rocket. It will utilize the SSME’s for it’s main liquid stage. It will reuse the shuttle external tank as the primary core for the liquid booster (the same tank design that is currently giving the Discovery shuttle launch so many problems). And it will utilize the new J-2X engine that NASA has been developing for the Ares V project as an upper stage. In other words, NASA proposed to Congress exactly what Congress asked for.”

Source: NASA Pitches Heavy Lift Vehicle To Congress

BP Gulf of Mexico Rig Lacked Alarm Systems

January 8th, 2011 01:56 admin View Comments

DMandPenfold writes “BP’s monitoring IT systems on the failed Deepwater Horizon oil rig relied too heavily on engineers following complex data for long periods of time, instead of providing automatic warning alerts. That is a key verdict of the Oil Spill Commission, the authority tasked by President Barack Obama to investigate the Gulf of Mexico disaster.”

Source: BP Gulf of Mexico Rig Lacked Alarm Systems

Pirate Party Founder Steps Down After 5 Years

January 1st, 2011 01:14 admin View Comments

ktetch-pirate writes “Five years to the day after he created the first Pirate Party, Rickard Falkvinge has stepped down as leader of Piratpartiet, the Swedish Pirate Party. The announcement was made in a webcast with Falkvinge and his deputy Anna Troberg, with Troberg taking on his duties effective immediately.”

Source: Pirate Party Founder Steps Down After 5 Years

EU Wants Power To Block China’s Tech Buying

December 31st, 2010 12:04 admin View Comments

itwbennett writes “In an interview with German daily paper Handelsblatt, the EU’s industry commissioner Antonio Tajani said he wants the power to block China from buying up European tech companies. Tajani envisions an authority along the same lines as the United States’ Committee on Foreign Investment and would determine ‘if the acquisition (of a company) with European know-how by a private or public foreign company represented a danger or not.’”

Source: EU Wants Power To Block China’s Tech Buying

Democrats Crowdsourcing To Vote Palin In Primaries

December 30th, 2010 12:50 admin View Comments

SharpieMarker writes “In what could be the most extreme and influential crowdsourcing project ever, Democrats are beginning to organize to purposely vote for Palin in the 2012 Republican primaries. Their theory is by having Palin as an opponent, Obama will have the best odds at winning reelection. Recent polls have shown that Obama comfortably leads Palin by 10-20 points, but Obama is statistically tied with Romney and barely ahead of Huckabee. They even have a state-by-state primary voting guide to help Democrats navigate various states’ rules for voting Palin in Republican primaries.”

Source: Democrats Crowdsourcing To Vote Palin In Primaries

The Right’s War On Net Neutrality

December 28th, 2010 12:01 admin View Comments

jamie writes “To understand the debate being waged in the United States over Net Neutrality, it’s important to understand just how drastically one side has been misled. The leaders of the American Right are spreading the lie that Net Neutrality is a government takeover of the internet, with the intention of silencing conservative voices. (Limbaugh: “All you really have to know about Net Neutrality is that its biggest promoters are George Soros and Google.”) This may be hard to believe to those of us who actually know what it’s about — reinstating pre-2005 law that ensured internet providers could discriminate on the basis of volume but not content. Since the opposing side is so badly misinformed, those of us who want the internet to remain open to innovation and freedom of expression have to help educate them before the debate can really be held.”

Source: The Right’s War On Net Neutrality

Once-Darling Ethanol Losing Friends In High Places

December 26th, 2010 12:37 admin View Comments

theodp writes “It’s now conceivable, says BusinessWeek’s Ed Wallace, that the myth of ethanol as the salvation for America’s energy problem is coming to an end. Curiously, the alternative fuel may be done in by an unlikely collection of foes. Fervidly pro-ethanol in the last decade of his political career, former VP Al Gore reversed course in late November and apologized for supporting ethanol, which apparently was more about ingratiating himself to farmers. A week later, Energy Secretary Steven Chu piled on, saying: ‘The future of transportation fuels shouldn’t involve ethanol.’ And in December, a group of small-engine manufacturers, automakers, and boat manufacturers filed suit in the US Court of Appeals to vacate the EPA’s October ruling that using a 15% blend of ethanol in fuel supplies would not harm 2007 and newer vehicles. Despite all of this, the newly-elected Congress has extended the 45 cent-per-gallon ethanol blending tax credit that was due to expire, a move that is expected to reduce revenue by $6.25 billion in 2011. ‘The ethanol insanity,’ longtime-critic Wallace laments, ‘will continue until so many cars and motors are damaged by this fuel additive that the public outcry can no longer be ignored.’”

Source: Once-Darling Ethanol Losing Friends In High Places