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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trumpka reactions to State of the Union Address

I have met Mr, Trumpka, both in his current position and in his previous positions with the union. I find him reflecting the future and at the same time a flash back to the union leadership I grew up with in Chicago, in his speech, demeanor and core union values. He is, for reason of accent, attitude and presence, an interesting speaker to critique. What do you notice about his style and his content?

The AFL-CIO union response to President Obama's State of the Union Address, with video: click here.

Last night, I was in the House gallery for President Obama’s State of the Union address. After our collective wake-up call in Massachusetts, I was eager to hear the president’s plans for 2010 and beyond.

I recorded a brief video message last night with my initial reactions to the speech.

Please take a moment to watch this video and pass it around. Click here if the video doe s no play. The president was absolutely right to make jobs a top priority, and we must act on a scale that is meaningful. I hope you can join us in this fight.

In solidarity,

Richard L. Trumka
AFL-CIO President

State of the Unon Address

Over 48 million Americans viewed the State of the Union Address on Wednesday night, down from 52 million from his unofficial address a year ago, but above the averages for most presidents. The record is George W Bush, occuring only months after 9-11, at 72 million.

Overall reviews have been solid from pundits and citizens interviewed, however many feel that Congress is not listening and that nothing will change. The president has to live by Harry Truman's famous slogan of "the buck stops here" regardless of the obstacles he faces, the greatest obistacals and perhaps greater than Franklin D Roosevelt at the start of the Great Depression. Roosevelt faced different rules on filibuster than modern rules (which do not even require a single speaker to keep the floor, talking, making filibuster easier), but had far deeper divides within his own party than the rose colored glasses most of us who took history class in high school were handed.

Full video of the State of the union address, transcript and notes....

This years and previous presidential state of the union addresses on CSPAN

President Obama is an orator. What public speaking techniques and tools can you identify in the speech? What audience was he talking to? Did it vary during the speech? Were they listening?

Did you notice how the Republican response sounded as if it was not responding, since it seemed to ignore what Obama said and instead used platform planks?

For my students, at the end of the term critiquing this speech would count as extra credit. See me for details.

Budget Town Hall this afternoon

A reminder that this afternoon CSN's president will hold a town hall to discuss the impact of budget cuts on CSN, it's faculty, students and the community.

All Politics is local: how Scott Brown won election

Polls of voters who said they voted for Obama in 2008 but voted for Republican Scott Brown for Senate show interesting results, quite contrary to "common" knowledge or the pundents.

82% said they are for, repeat for, a public option health care reform option. That's 8 out of ten in favor of the thing Republicans say they voted against.

The majority of votes for Brown had no college education, despite the election being in the state with the highest education level.

And over 85% of those who voted in the election, and were polled, say their vote represented disatifaction with the states governor, which has nothing to do in realitly with the job a US Senator.

In fact most Scott Brown voters had views more in common with the Democratic party than Republicans, but voted to put a Republican in Liberal Ted Kennedy's old seat.

So the election was not a mandate against health care reform or against President Obama, but more of the old adage that "all politics is local."

See also the union spin, and a week than changes everything.

Apple' s Big Day

10 inch, thin, light weight, touch screen, very high resolution screen that recognized your face as a user.

Close, but the facial recogntion is in the future for not just the iPad but all computers. For now it operates much like an oversized iPhone or iPod, but with higher resolution and a larger image size, fitting easily in a briefcase or oversized purse.

Existing applications for the iPhone or iPod will run on the iPad. Universal remote for electronics and home control are in development, along with video conferencing and other features (for future upgrades, not the model that goes on sale March first).

But there is a great deal of content available now, with Apple working on expansion of contracts with publishers, compatability with text reading systems already in the marketplace, and on a major expansion of Apple TV and iTunes.

It is significant enough that Variety reports that Hollywood cannot afford to ignore the iPad. Its interface and use is already familure to iPhone and iPod users and easy for those who do not use those devices to learn. The screen is clean, strong and the best high definition viewing of Hollywood's product for the price. The iTunes store, with changes in the works for delivery of television and film content could change the film industry the way iTunes revolutionized the music industry.

Books, print newspapers and magazines, videos, movies, full internet interface, e-mail and more...

Apple is launching iBooks to compete with online services such as, Barnes and Noble and Walmart.

The iPad, which is larger in size but similar in design to Apple's popular iPhone, was billed by CEO Steve Jobs on Wednesday as "so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone."

PC News and others are following the announcement as it happens, along with specs and applications. It is not a full computer.

How will it impact the future of consumer electronics?
And more immediately, NPR asks will it ignite an e-book war?
Will we all be reading on-line, phones and electronic readers in the near future?

The iPad is not a full service computer and has its potential limitations including...

It relies on internet access and Apple phone aps.

No ability to play Adobe Flash animations, widely used on the Web.

No camera, still or video

No non-Internet phone function

Unclear whether you can bundle your AT&T iPhone plan with an iPad data plan

No removable battery for a device that can suck a lot of power

No removable storage

Minimal "wow" factor, but a great launch for a book-reader plus plus...

According to the New York Times:

"When we set out to develop the iPad, we not only had specific technical goals and user interface goals, but an aggressive price goal, because we want to put this in the hands of a lot of people,” Mr. Jobs says.

The iPad’s pricing starts at $499.

For $499, you get 16 GB of storage, with WiFi built-in.

For $599, you get 32 GB of storage.

For $699, you get 64 GB of storage.

The 3G models cost an extra $130 each.

So all told, there are six models of the new iPad.

The most expensive 64 GB model, with 3G, costs $829 plus the monthly charge."

ZD-Net has it's senior editor doing a live blog update on events at the Apple Convention.

Also a new iPhone, possibly through Verizon and not AT&T may be on the slate, if not today, then by summer.

Just for fun, and with little in common with the real product, MadTV has a parady (adult content) of the iPad..... 

Netflilx watching your rentals and reporting them on-line

Who is watching what by zip code

The New York Times reports that Netflix and Google have a feature to see which movies are popular rentals by zip code and city. The site does not include Las Vegas (of course) but is iteresting if you know of any of the cities. It was partially created to help film markers in targeting potenential audience. An iPhone ap lis planned.

While the data is available to marketers, individual names and addresses are said to be confidential.

Nevada has national pull thanks to Harry Reid


Nevadans hold key positions thanks to Reid

Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1/26/2010 - Since becoming majority leader, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid has used the power of his position to appoint, recommend or support 19 Nevadans to key positions on national boards or commissions.

Some of these bodies decide issues important to Nevada, including base closures, regulation of nuclear facilities, energy, public lands and now the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Reid appointed two Las Vegans for the 10-person commission -- Heather Murren and businessman and attorney Byron Georgiou.

Read more Thursday about Murren’s daunting task investigating the why behind the financial crisis of 2008 -- and how to prevent it in the future.

Meanwhile, here’s the full list provided by the senator’s office of the other 17 Nevadans serving on national commissions or boards with the helpful backing of Reid:

-- Greg Jazcko, chairman of Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which focuses on safety and security of nuclear facilities.
-- Jim Bilbray, former member Base Realignment and Closure Commission, who helped save all Nevada military installations, including Hawthorne Army Depot, which was slated for closure. Current member of Postal Board of Governors.

-- Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulation Commission, and an advocate of renewable energy.

-- Bob Abbey, director of Bureau of Land Management.

-- Sarah Mersereau-Adler, Nevada State Director for Rural Development.

-- Clint Koble, Nevada State Director for USDA Farm Services Agency.

-- Vince Juarisiti, former member Corporation for National and Community Service Board. Recommended for the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies Board.

-- Jill Derby, recommended to the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies Board.

-- Steve Walther, chairman of Federal Election Commission.

-- Dana Bilyeu, now on Social Security Advisory Board and recommended to the Federal Thrift Retirement Board.

-- Dr. Javaid Anwar, the Harry Truman Scholarship Foundation Board.

-- Dr. Ikram Khan, U.S. Institute of Peace Board.

-- Carlos Ezeta, National Museum of the American Latino Commission.

-- Shawn Gerstenberger, Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxic Research Center Board.

-- Elaine Wynn, Library of Congress Trust Fund Board.

-- Emma Sepulveda, National Museum of the American Latino Commission.

-- Dan Klaich, National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity.

Now the cynical among us will take that list and see how many donated to Reid’s campaign, but just a glance shows some were longtime supporters of the senator.

Meanwhile, there’s no disputing that the 19 Nevadans, with a few exceptions like Elaine Wynn, probably wouldn’t have been in those positions if Harry Reid hadn’t been the Democratic majority leader in the Senate.

Maybe voters don’t care about the perks of power and don’t think it’s significant, but a new junior senator isn’t going to be in that position. And if Reid loses and John Ensign becomes the senior senator under a Democratic administration, don’t count on Nevadans enjoying partisan perks.