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John McNamara: How Obama Upended My Life of Diminished Expectations and Cynical Regret
I have to say, I’ve been disgusted by most presidential candidates in my lifetime, bored by the rest and only impressed by one, Clinton. But with Clinton, you sensed calculation was the primary motor and everything else – his compassion, leadership, et al – were all in service of that. With Obama, I kept waiting for him to ﬁnally reveal himself as one of the two types we’ve all come to know and loathe – the knucklehead or the sociopath... Jerry Lewis or Richard III. Reagan, brilliantly, was both – with the emphasis on Jerry. Clinton also conjoined the two – with maybe a tip to Richard, while the two Bushes tried hard for the same splice but never ﬁnished reading the play and seemed gleefully suited to clowning anyhow. Up and down the long campaign trail, Obama was tested so we might ﬁnally stamp him as one or the other and get on with our lives of diminished expectations and cynical regret. And he just kept... rising. It was and is incredible. Though I admit I won’t really relax for a while. We are the children of bullets in 1963 and 1968; of Watergate; of fake small town morning in America happy psycho Actor President and so on and on and on. The best I ever dared to hope for was another shrewd, liberal, narcissist who’d govern with a reptilian brain but a human heart. I never expected to see someone in that job who I feel is not only smarter, kinder, and more hard-working than me (trust me – not a high bar) but inspires us all to be more like him. To actually stop and ask, with zero irony, how would Obama handle this setback or that insult? He would assess, be compassionate, strong, wise, deal with it directly, as if the whole world were listening... and rise. Is it possible that the worst presidency of a republic can lead directly to the best? As I watch Obama rise, my hopes rising with him, I can only believe what my head and heart ﬁnally say in unison: Yes. More on Barack Obama
Barack Obama’s favorite campaign stress reliever, basketball, was a source of tension between the candidate and his friend and frequent playing partner, Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, before the Iowa Caucuses, Newsweek reports in its exhaustive ”Secrets of the 2008 Campaign”: Obama has always been ﬁercely competitive and not above stacking his team with the best players. This led to at least one loud argument on the court with his friend Alexi Giannoulias, the Illinois state treasurer, in the tense days before the Iowa caucuses. Obama had loaded his team with Love and some other hot shots, and Giannoulias’s team was losing badly. ”So I got mad and started yelling at him–’I want to win too!’ ” recalled Giannoulias. ”And it got under his skin.” Obama responded, with rare heat, ”I don’t care who I play with. I’ll play with anybody! You want to switch teams? We can switch teams if you want!” Giannoulias declined, out of pique more than anything, he recalled. ”And then he just gave me this smile,” Giannoulias said, mimicking Obama’s signature smile, teeth ﬂashing, eyes crinkled, chin slightly tucked in, a surprising gleam of warmth, guaranteed to disarm. The on-court tension quickly ebbed, as Giannoulias remained an Obama basketball regular and was among those who played in Obama’s ﬁnal campaign trail game on Election Day. Watch video of Giannoulias discussing that game. More on Barack Obama
Tom D’Antoni: A Moment Which Will Last a Lifetime
How many I’ll-never-forget-where-I-was-when’s are happy memories? Think about it. From 9-11 on back to Pearl Harbor, since we’ve had instant mass communication, none of those moments are happy. Last night was happy, and we’ll never forget it. We had some friends and family over last night. From 11 p.m., when I heard Olbermann announce that Obama had won, until the middle of the afternoon today, I have been speechless. Me! I get paid for words. Obama had it exactly right. The night belonged to us. People of good will never gave up trying to make a
Obama, Giannoulias Clash On The
better world and, in the words of Allen Toussaint’s Yes We Can!: Make this land a better land Than the world in which we live And help each man be a better man With the kindness that you give. I’m white. I know what this election means to me, but I was listening to national African-American talk radio this morning and one-after-another, callers were agreeing to a remarkable concept...maybe white folks weren’t so bad after all. Funny concept to some. Serious as death to others. Serious as lynching. We’re all looking at each other, and I mean everybody, in a new way today. Here in the People’s Republic of Portland Oregon, there’s a quiet sense of relief, although last night, on my block there were a lot ﬁreworks exploded and much banging on pots. I know that these feelings are shared by people of good will all over the world. How long will that last? Stay tuned. But it’s still fresh. And if feels good. And I’m beginning to be able to talk. I can say this........WE WON! Read more reaction from HuﬀPost bloggers to Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 presidential election More on Obama Election Day
Malia And Sasha’s DC School: Where Will They Go?
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Paige Donner: Greening Hollywood: Staples Goes Solar
California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger trekked up to the rooftop of the STAPLES Center to commemorate the ﬁnal solar panel installation of the total 1,727 photovoltaic solar panels that now grace the roof of the Laker’s home court venue. Lee Zeidman, STAPLES Center General Manager; Timothy J. Leiweke, AEG President and CEO; Governor Schwarzenegger; Steve Kircher, CEO of Solar Power, Inc. ”Everyone these days talks about some states that are red, other states that are blue, we here in California are more interested in building a green state. That is what this is all about here today,” he said, and joked, ”The outcome of the Celtics and Lakers would have been diﬀerent if we had these solar panels two years ago!” AEG and Solar Power Inc. worked together to install the photovoltaic panels on the Staples Center rooftop which will provide signiﬁcant environmental beneﬁts and is part of AEG’s overall sustainability initiative. The 345.6 kilowatt system will provide environmental oﬀsets over the next 25 years which include the elimination of over 10,000 tons of CO2, 27-plus tons of sulfur dioxide and over 33 tons of nitrous oxide, a principal greenhouse gas. The net clean energy beneﬁts of the system equates to the environmental beneﬁts of 170 acres of mature trees. A view of some of the over 1,700 Solar Panels recently installed atop STAPLES Center’s roof. AEG is the world’s largest presenter of live sports and entertainment events; They own and/or control twelve sports franchises. They are also currently developing entertainment districts such as L.A. Live, London’s O2 and adjacent to The O2 World Arena in Berlin. LADWP, Mayor Villaraigosa’s oﬃce and LA City Council are working closely together and also with large stakeholders such as AEG to facilitate this implementation of solar generated power for our city. The Green Energy-Good Jobs Initiative was recently introduced which, when fully implemented, would produce 400 megawatts of solar power, roughly 3 percent of the total power generated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). That’s the equivalent of removing 400,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from L.A. air and would provide power to more than 100,000 LADWP customers.
Despite ”Oprah Eﬀect,” Kindle Sales Won’t Meet Expectations, Analyst Says
Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney downgraded Amazon’s stock to ”Hold” from ”Buy” in his latest report, despite a surge in shares since Q3 earnings report which he says is partially due to Oprah’s recent endorsement of the Kindle. He cites poor sales data from other online vendors and doesn’t seem to think the O-Factor is enough to raise Kindle sales above his previous estimates this holiday season. Oprah’s 10/24 public endorsement (’It’s absolutely my new favorite thing in the world’) served as a material stock catalyst,” he writes. ”We stand steadfastly by our ’08 380K Kindle unit forecast. But also by our conclusion that it won’t be material to AMZN ’til 2010.” Read the full story here -or::MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer: Oprah Endorses Amazon’s Kindle ::How Much Will The Oprah Bump Do For Kindle? More on Oprah
”Los Angeles has long been envied for our sunny weather, and now we are taking the ﬁrst step toward an aggressive plan to put that sun to work for us creating clean energy and good jobs,” said Eric Garcetti, LA City Council President. Sponsored by Working Californians, the Green Energy-Good Jobs Initiative is one component of LADWP’s eﬀort to reduce its dependence on coal-based power. L.A.’s goal as a city is to create 20 percent of our power from renewable energy sources. The new investment tax credit (ITC) signed into federal law on October 3rd, has everyone in the industry excited. The new ITC eliminates a 2,000 cap on the residential incentive which comes into eﬀect in January. So homeowners who wait until January can save 9,000 instead of 2,000 on a 30,000 system. The 18 billion tax incentives package extends the 30-percent solar tax credit for eight years for residential and commercial installations and allows power companies to beneﬁt from the credit for the ﬁrst time. ”I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be part of one of the most important global movements that impacts society in our lifetime,” said Steve Kircher, CEO of Solar Power Inc. and added, ”Homeowners are now able to ﬁnance their solar systems directly through their property tax.” Solar Power Inc. supplies the pv solar panels and oﬀers easy installation with their proprietary SkyMount (TM) mounting system. Indeed, the Governor simply snapped the last panel into place atop the Staples Center rooftop. Solar Is Aﬀordable The perception of solar energy as an expensive form of renewable energy is no longer valid. The Governor had the following to say on the topic of aﬀordability: ”With our Million Solar Roofs Plan, people, homeowners, get a tax incentive which is around 5000 which is really helpful. And people will ﬁnd out very quickly that by installing solar you will bring down the costs of energy and this will pay back the investment very quickly. So you will actually get your energy much more cheaply. The question really is how do we produce solar panels and solar technology cheaper? And that’s the same thing as it was with cell phones. That the more you produce, the cheaper they will get, and the more they will be aﬀordable. We see already the costs coming down, and this is why it was important to me to challenge businesses like for instance, here, the STAPLES Center, or the State University system, the prisons, the hospitals, also SoCal Edison, to make deals with landlords of the various diﬀerent warehouses and big buildings, government buildings, to really blanket the roofs of these buildings with solar panels. The more solar panels we have to produce, the cheaper they will become, the costs will come down and the more aﬀordable they will then be for everybody. So it is like the cell phone. It used to cost 1500 for a cell phone and now they’re down to 50. That’s the idea.
I’m proud of California. I’m proud of the model we have created for the rest of the world. Go STAPLES Center and Go Lakers!” concluded Governor Schwarzenegger. ”Today’s installation is another example of AEG’s commitment to investing in energy saving technologies and measures for all of our venues worldwide,” said Timothy J. Leiweke, President and CEO of AEG. Timothy J. Leiweke, AEG President and CEO; Governor Schwarzenegger. ”We’re going to continue to be in the forefront of this industry and we’re going to continue to look for ways to make our facilities green not only in this city but the rest of the state and all the other AEG facilities we’re involved with,” said Lee Zeidman, General Manager of STAPLES Center and Nokia Theater L.A. Live. Eric Hafter, President of Solar Power, Inc. says that solar is open to everyone now. ”The savings oﬀ of your energy bill will be greater than the cost of the system with full ﬁnancing. It’s open to everyone now. If you have good exposure for your rooftop, then you could have a solar system in and literally lower your costs from day one and never put money out. So the perception of solar as super expensive, we’re well past that. The system is completely economic. This system is absolutely an economic choice,” he said. SolarCity, the largest U.S. residential installer claims that their installed costs for their photovoltaic solar systems are between 14 cents and 25 cents per kilowatt hour, including government subsidies. Their solar modules are supplied by First Solar. For Southern Californians especially, a system that turns sunlight into electricity makes perfect solar sense. According to an economic study released last week by the University of California at Berkeley and Next 10, California’s green policies will create as many as 403,000 jobs in the next 12 years and household incomes will increase by 48 billion. More on Green Energy
Cute Furry Bunny USB Webcam Hides Your True Motivations [USB Webcam]
This bunny USB webcam looks just like a normal stuﬀed bunny at ﬁrst glance (if you ignore the USB cable coming out of his ass), which is perfect for whatever clandestine recording opportunities you’re setting up in front of your computer. Of course, there are much easier ways of secretly documeting things than putting a stuﬀed bunny on your desk or monitor, many of which our own Sean Fallon is intimately familiar with. Sixteen bones and shipping gets you this 1.3-megapixel
furry creaturemdash;which actually looks more like a dog than a rabbit. [Sourcing Map via Shiny Shiny]
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