Archive for November 2011

Video Overnight Thread- Incredible Model Railroad in Hamburg: Miniatur Wunderland

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Via Boing Boing.

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Keep America's Wireless Network Competitive!

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I was just made aware of this David vs. Goliath, 99% vs. the 1% controversy and wanted to share. Via The National Journal:

LightSquared is struggling to launch a nationwide, wholesale wireless network based partially on satellites and had been focused on the technical aspects of its argument  -- much of it over whether the company’s planned network would interfere with existing GPS technology. But after a flurry of unflattering headlines alleging that the company won Federal Communications Commission approval for its plans through campaign contributions and backroom deals, LightSquared is now trying to shift the focus to its critics. [...]

Most recently, LightSquared has taken aim at Bradford Parkinson, known as one of the founders of GPS and a member of the National Space-Based Positioning Navigation & Timing Advisory Board, which advises the government on GPS issues. Parkinson is also an investor and a member of the board of Trimble, a GPS manufacturer that has led the fight against LightSquared’s plans.

That, LightSquared officials contend, is a conflict of interest. [...] LightSquared is also pushing back at members of the GPS industry who have argued that LightSquared is trying to game the political system for financial gain. [...]

President Obama’s past investment in a LightSquared predecessor has become fodder for Republicans in the media and on Capitol Hill. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who also happens to be running for president, has called the LightSquared approval process “crony capitalism at its worst.”

Here is some information I received, to help sort this out.

1) Wireless For America is trying to get broadband spectrum increased, which the FCC has approved (as did the Obama and Bush administrations).

2) The plan is being blocked by Chuck Grassley, who is in the pocket of Big GPS (like Trimble), whose signal is being "distorted" by Lightsquared's attempt to use satellite and broadband to add spectrum and has led them to blubber, snuffle, and whine instead of fixing the problem from their end.

3) As Lightsquared is a supporter of Obama with contributions, the GOP has turned this into a political issue, trying to use it to attack President Obama even though there is no there, there (like Bachmann, as is stated in the above article).

4) Big telecoms also don't want this new spectrum increase, because, naturally, they rather preserve their monopoly (AT&T and Verizon are the culprits)

5) How does this hurt us? Underserved neighborhoods in rural and urban areas have broadband access issues, jobs that would be created by growing small telecoms are being stopped by Grassley, Tom Petri (R-Wisconsin) and their buddies, and we 99%ers are paying more for lousier service, which is what happens when a monopoly, you know, monopolizes.

6) What we can do - Sign a letter to Congress to tell them to implement a plan to expand the availability to high speed Internet access in this country of ours, which there is already a plan to do, if Grassley and his big money supporters would move their corporate GOP hineys out of the way and let them.

7) FYI: Verizon paid -2.9% income taxes last year.

More info on this at the Wireless For America site.

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VIDEO: Ed Schultz interviews Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen, who was injured at #OccupyOakland

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Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

A real hero. What a handsome face, gorgeous eyes, and most of all, beautiful on the inside, only to be topped by his integrity, courage, and strength.

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Audio-Limbaugh: Obama Is "Happy" That More Kids Are Receiving Free Or Subsidized Meals At School

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Yep, he is happy that kids aren't going hungry you flabnozzle. Via.

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Michele Bachmann Makes Another "Historical" Fact Error

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Honest to jeebus, wasn't she a Carter acolyte? It was the biggest damn thing in Carter's term. NBC via Oliver.

Michele Bachmann is the latest Republican presidential nominee to get tripped up over basic foreign policy. Speaking to a Waverly, Iowa, crowd Bachmann said that if she were president, “we wouldn’t have an American embassy in Iran.” The United States has not had diplomatic ties with Iran since the 1980s revolution there.

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Senator Franken Brings "Secret Santa" to the Senate

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This tickles me to no end. Leave it to Al. Now that I think of it, you could have alot of fun doing Secret Santa presents to those guys.

Let’s leave aside those questions of naughty and nice. Scores of senators this year are feeling festive, and plan to exchange gifts, Secret Santa style, across party lines.

Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, came up with the idea, apparently to find a way to bring about some comity in a nonlegislative manner, similar to when members earlier this year broke with tradition to sit with colleagues from across the aisle during President Obama’s State of the Union.

“We did Secret Santa when I was in grade school,” Mr. Franken said in an e-mail. “ I remember one year I picked this kid who used to intimidate me on the playground. Turns out after we got to know each other and we became friends. So, I thought Secret Santa would be a good way to cut through the partisan divide here in the Senate. And who knows, maybe it will create some unlikely friendships.”

(snip)

Don’t expect any elaborate antler chandeliers or fine jewels; the price for presents has been set at a friendly $10 limit. (Picture Senator Kay Hagan, Democrat of North Carolina, picking out an umbrella over at Union Station for Senator Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho. Or maybe a gift certificate to Chipotle Mexican Grill? Not that anyone knows which name Ms. Hagan selected.)

More than half of the chamber — 21 Republicans and 37 Democrats — recently drew names from Santa hats, and will exchange their gifts at a gathering in mid-December.

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Videos- Christmas Comes To The White House

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Some fun vids to try and get us all in the mood.

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