Daily Archives: October 6, 2009

“Cleantech” The next “Big Thing” for the economy?

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posted by GeoT

SAN FRANCISCO – By JORDAN ROBERTSON, AP Technology Writer
Our economy sure could use the Next Big Thing. Something on the scale of railroads, automobiles or the Internet — the kind of breakthrough that emerges every so often and builds industries, generates jobs and mints fortunes.

Silicon Valley investors are pointing to something called cleantech — alternative energy, more efficient power distribution and new ways to store electricity, all with minimal impact to the environment — as a candidate for the next boom.

And while no two booms are exactly alike, some hallmarks are already showing up.

A year into the Great Recession, innovation isn’t slowing. This time, it’s better batteries, more efficient solar cells, smarter appliances and electric cars, not to mention all the infrastructure needed to support the new ways energy will be generated and the new ways we’ll be using it.

…Big bets are being placed. The Obama administration is pledging to invest $150 billion over the next decade on energy technology and says that could create 5 million jobs. This recession has wiped out 7.2 million.

And cleantech is on track to be the dominant force in venture capital investments over the next few years, supplanting biotechnology and software. Venture capitalists have poured $8.7 billion into energy-related startups in the U.S. since 2006.

Cont’d here:

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Fox News’s Shepard Smith Goes After Sen. John Barrasso On Public Option

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Keith Olbermann To Deliver Hour-Long “Special Comment” On Health Care

KEITH OLBERMANN-SPECIAL-COMMENT HP—Keith Olbermann will deliver an hour-long “Special Comment” on health care Wednesday night, MSNBC announced Tuesday.

Wednesday’s “Countdown” will be devoted entirely to “Health Care Reform: The Fight Against Death.” According to a network release, it will focus on “the need for and meaning of health care reform in the United States” and Olbermann will “propose group action by patients, and how patients can reclaim the debate over health care reform.”

More @ Huffington_Post_Logo

Bold Progressives for Change would like you to make the following pledge to watch the show.

“I pledge to watch Keith Olbermann’s hour-long Special Comment on health care reform this Wednesday — and to tell 5 of my friends to take this pledge.”

Click here to make the pledge

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Weiner And McCaughey Go Head-To-Head In Health Care Debate

 Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Betsy McCaughey

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Betsy McCaughey

TPM/Rachel Slajda—In a heated and sometimes vitriolic debate Monday night, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) repeatedly called out former Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey for lying about health care reform. He said debating her was like “debating a pyromaniac in a straw man factory,” prompting intense and immediate reaction from the audience.

Debate like a man!” hollered one bespectacled, middle-aged man. Another quieted the ensuing shouts with, “This is his speaking time, not yours!

Weiner and McCaughey arguably represent the furthest ends of the health care reform spectrum. Weiner is a progressive Congressman who wants a single-payer, government run health care system. McCaughey, who recently posited that reform may lead to government-mandated euthanasia, helped kill the Clintons’ health care plan in the 90s.

The “Lincoln-Douglas-style debate,” hosted by Democracy Leaders for the 21st Century and held at the NYU Medical Center, lasted nearly two hours. For much of that, the pair seemed engaged in two entirely different debates.

More @ tpmlogosmall

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Justice Sotomayor Asks More Questions In An Hour, Than Thomas Has In Years

Posted by TheLCster

s-SONIA-SOTOMAYOR-largeMcClatchy/Michael Doyle—A recast Supreme Court kicked off its new season Monday, with novice Justice Sonia Sotomayor immediately taking center stage.

In just an hour, the court’s newest justice asked more questions than Justice Clarence Thomas has asked over the course of several years. Sotomayor’s aggressive role in a Fifth Amendment case, in turn, underscored how she could put her own stamp on a court whose 2009-2010 docket is still taking shape.

The Supreme Court is already off to a notable start, and there is so much more to come,” Caroline Fredrickson, the executive director of the American Constitution Society, a liberal lawyers organization, said even before inaugural oral argument Monday.

The 55-plus cases already scheduled for the coming months cover everything from gun rights and patent protection to free speech and the punishment of juveniles. The court is likely to accept another 25 or so cases before the 2009-10 term ends next June.

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Sotomayor Takes Active Role on Court’s First Day

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Betsy McCaughey Gets Pwned by Dylan Ratigan and Rep. Anthony Weiner on Morning Meeting

Posted by Audiegrl

BETSY-AND-DYLAN-largeHuffington Post/Jason Linkins—Betsy McCaughey is a famous liar whom the media keep inviting on their programs to continue to lie about health care, instead of banishing her to some wilderness, where she belongs, to lie to woodland creatures. And so, today she ended up on Dylan Ratigan’s Morning Meeting with Representative Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). There was a brief, mad moment where I thought that this might end well, but it didn’t.

I’m getting used to the tactics McCaughey deploys in situations like this: heavy-duty pretense that she supports health care reform, the Palin-esque answer-a-question-with-an-answer-to-a-question-of-her-liking technique, the ability to quickly provide information and opinion that’s completely beside the point, et cetera. Unfortunately, Ratigan wanted to have a discussion on health care competition and cost containment, and that didn’t dovetail too well with what McCaughey prefers to do in such a debate: set aside all substantive issues so that she can fearmonger about seniors being killed by the government.

More @ Huffington_Post_Logo

Sorry Betsy, you got pwned.

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Intrigue in Pebble Beach– a curious case of art theft 

posted by GeoT

Pebble Beach California, Click above for full sized image

Pebble Beach California, Click above for full sized image



By Scott Herhold

Eleven days ago, two Pebble Beach men reported an extraordinary art theft that has become more extraordinary as the news has dribbled out. The pair told Monterey County

Two Pebble Beach residents say this painting by Miro was stolen... ( Courtesy of Angelo Amadio )

Two Pebble Beach residents say this painting by Miro was stolen... ( Courtesy of Angelo Amadio )

sheriff’s deputies that thieves had broken into their expensive rental home and taken more than $60 million of art, including works by Jackson Pollock, Rembrandt, Matisse and Miro.

If the owners’ estimates were correct, the theft may be second in value only to the most famous 1990 heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, where thieves posing as policeman tied up two guards and escaped with works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Degas. That theft, which has never been solved, has been pegged at $300 million.

Stolen drawing described as Dutch Woman by Vincent Van Gogh

Stolen drawing described as 'Dutch Woman' by Vincent Van Gogh

But an odd reaction has come from the art world. In my reporting, I’ve detected skepticism about aspects of the crime, particularly about the lack of insurance and the finding of a ransom note a few days after sheriff’s deputies combed through the house. “No one in their right mind brings a collection like that to a private home without security,” said Thomas McShane, an ex-FBI agent who has written a book about art theft and contends that the Pebble Beach report raises red flags.
“You have to have those works in a secure facility. You’re jeopardizing the integrity of the art by leaving them around unsecured.”

Two Pebble Beach residents say this drawing by Renoir was stolen

Two Pebble Beach residents say this drawing by Renoir was stolen

The men who reported the theft, Angelo Benjamin Amadio, 31, and retired oncologist Dr. Ralph Kennaugh, 62, both recently arrived in California from Boston and describe themselves as “business partners.” They told deputies that thieves apparently climbed through an unlocked window at their $5 million rental home on Sunridge Road, a stucco-and-stone villa with a view of the ocean.

Then, a week ago, came a bombshell. The men announced that a ransom note — which included a death threat — had been found in the home, apparently missed in the initial search. The sheriff’s department put out a release saying the disclosure of this evidence to the media might have compromised the “integrity of the investigation.” A round of finger-pointing ensued.

Cont’d: Here.

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