Mr. Schmidt Goes to Washington

David Keating - October 04th, 2011

The Washington Post had  an interesting interview with Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.  Here is an on target observation by Schmidt:

This is an Andy Grove formula. So I’m sitting at this dinner in 1995—Andy Grove was the CEO of Intel—and he gives this speech, and he says, “This is easy to understand. High tech runs three-times faster than normal businesses. And the government runs three-times slower than normal businesses. So we have a nine-times gap.” And I said, “Works for me.” But all of my experiences are consistent with Andy Grove’s observation.

Another CEO Warns on Obama’s Policies

David Keating - August 10th, 2011

Another earnings conference call, and another CEO railing about the atmosphere in Washington.  This time Emerson Electric’s David Farr.


These are extremely uncertain and challenging times with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, a global material inflation, dysfunctional governments in the U.S. and Europeans not able to deal with the tough issues of debt and excess spending. I going to thank the business leaders and the operating leaders for getting the job done in very difficult and challenging times…

Then we have a government situation, their inability to deal with the real gut issues of excess spending and debt. All we hear out of government is: We’re going to raise taxes. We don’t like corporate planes. We’re going to sue Boeing, one of the most strategic companies we have in this country, for building a new plant in South Carolina. We have no desire to really go after corporate tax reform, which would fundamentally change this country and encourage people to invest and reinvest and create jobs in this country but rather, we demagogue — and go after people that actually create those jobs, be it corporations and people that are successful…

[T]here’s nothing going on in the U.S. right now that would encourage corporations to ignore the excessive regulations coming at us, not to mention the new Dodd-Frank bill… You look at new healthcare bill. You look at the last week. We decided in Washington to raise the CAFE standards for the second time within 3 years on the day that we announced less than 1% first half GDP growth in the U.S. economy. I would say Washington is arranging the chairs on the Titanic.

H/T WSJ’s Political Diary

Quote of the Day

Mr. Andrew Roth - December 06th, 2010

From a letter signed by 17 Senators who want to end the government’s ethanol program.

"Historically our government has helped a product compete in one of three ways: subsidize it, protect it from competition, or require its use. We understand that ethanol may be the only product receiving all three forms of support from the U.S. government at this time."

Cool It, the Movie

David Keating - November 22nd, 2010

I’ve got to hand it to Bjorn Lomborg, author of the book “The Skeptical Environmentalist.”  He’s done it again, bringing calm analysis to a politically charged subject in the new documentary film "Cool It," which went into wide release over the weekend.

While you likely won’t agree with everything in the film, keep in mind its audience for how to spend hundreds of billions — the European Union, not Congress.

No, what is truly amazing how it can make writers at newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post reflect on the facts about climate change and reconsider Al Gore’s scary documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."

By the second half, however, Ms. Timoner has found her footing, and the film really digs in. Debunking claims made by “An Inconvenient Truth” and presenting alternative strategies, “Cool It” finally blossoms into an engrossing, brain-tickling picture as many of Al Gore’s meticulously graphed assertions are systematically — and persuasively — refuted. (I was intrigued to hear Mr. Lomborg say, for instance, that the polar-bear population is more endangered by hunters than melting ice.)
      The New York Times Critics Pick Movie

"Cool It," in other words, is an attempt to rehabilitate Lomborg’s image. But it also presents an alternative to solutions like cap-and-trade legislation. Several alternatives, in fact. If it’s propaganda, it’s surprisingly effective.

With the charismatic, articulate (and, yes, kind of hunky) Lomborg in front of the camera for much of the film – along with a parade of scientists who support his views – "Cool It" makes a convincing case that there are better things we can do than drive a Prius. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, he says; it’s just not going to solve much.
   The Washington Post

With its follow-the-money mind-set, the documentary works its way through problem and solution many times over, always in a brisk, no-nonsense way. By bringing in a diverse group of big thinkers to take part in a very animated, sometimes agitated, discussion, the filmmaker has succeeded in bringing what could have been a very dry mountain of data, theories and experimental research to vibrant life.

Timoner came to the project a skeptic herself, and that serves the film well. Though the charismatic Lomborg is very much the center of the storm, she lines up an impressive number of experts from the environmental and scientific research community to stand on either side of the divide. Nearly every assertion Lomborg makes is met by a devil’s advocate — though the late Stephen Schneider, Nobel winner, MacArthur fellow and long a professor of environmental biology at Stanford University, carries much of that load. Still, there is little doubt from the beginning who will win the final round.
     The Los Angeles Times

The movie is a lot better than the trailer, and is worth seeing.  Be sure to invite your liberal friends who loved Al Gore’s "An Inconvenient Truth."

Barney Frank Gets Caught Lying

Mr. Andrew Roth - October 15th, 2010