Archive for March 19th, 2009

Old office of Obama’s CIO pick gets raided by FBI

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Computer World:

March 12, 2009 (Computerworld) WASHINGTON — While new federal CIO Vivek Kundra gave a speech here this morning on his vision for the U.S. government’s use of technology, the FBI conducted a search of the District of Columbia’s IT offices — where Kundra worked until last week — and arrested an employee and another person who works for an outsourcing vendor, according to published reports.

There was no indication that Kundra was connected in any way to the FBI’s raid, which was part of a bribery sting operation. And if Kundra was aware of what was going on at his former offices or concerned about the raid, it wasn’t evident during his speech at FOSE 2009, a trade show focused on government IT.

KC Business Journal: Gates Biles Shields & Ryan changes name to Gates Shields & Ferguson

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

KC Business Journal:

The Overland Park law firm of Gates Biles Shields & Ryan PA is changing names to reflect the departures and arrivals of partners.

The firm now goes by Gates Shields & Ferguson PA to usher in the arrival of Mark Ferguson, a former Lathrop & Gage LLP lawyer.

Ferguson’s last day at Lathrop & Gage was Monday, bringing to a close his 20-year tenure at the firm.

Ferguson said he accepted his new position to find a more suitable business model for his practice, which is in litigation, employment and education matters.

“The business model is better at a small firm,” Ferguson said. “I don’t want to be negative toward Lathrop; it’s a good place. I’ve been there 20 years, but I am excited to work with Larry Gates and Eldon Shields.”

KSAL: Moran, Brownback, and Claeys All Win Kansas Republican Straw Poll

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

KSAL covers StayRedKansas straw poll:

According to Stay Red Kansas, Claeys earned 61.7% of the vote compared to 38.3% for Kris Kobach. Claeys is a Salina native and former president of a national trade association. He is also a former reporter for KSAL radio. Kobach is a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Claeys arrives in El Salvador Tuesday to serve as an international elections observer for the presidential elections there on Sunday. Claeys is a certified international elections observer, running for the office that oversees Kansas elections.

In the Senate Race, Jerry Moran Defeated Todd Tiahrt 64.3% to 35.7%. In the Governor’s Race Sam Brownback defeated Ron Thornburgh 62.3% to 37.7%.

Cleaver’s list of earmarks

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Fox 4:

Earmark List:

  • $380,000 – reStart in Kansas City
  • $5.106 Million for the Missouri River from Rulo to Mouth
  • $1.627 Million for Blue River Channel Modification
  • $84,000 for the Missouri River Bed Degradation
  • $100,000 for Line Creek Watershed
  • $9.57 million for Turkey Creek in Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri
  • $2.871 million for the Blue River Basin Dodson Industrial District. The funds will continue construction of flood damage reduction features.
  • $1.196 million for the feasibility study of a phase II leavee in Kansas City
  • $638,000 for Swope Park Industrial Area
  • $262,000 for the Brush Creek Basin
  • $381,000 for the Full Employment Council
  • $95,000 for the Black Health Care Coalition
  • $143,000 for the Historic Jazz Foundation/Mutual Musicians Foundation
  • $190,000 for Newhouse, a domestic violence shelter for women and children in Kansas City
  • $200,000 for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation/LISC Neighborhood Safety Program
  • $951,500 for the National Nuclear Security Administration Kansas City Plant
  • $300,000 for YMCA of Greater Kansas City Youth Summer Prevention Programs
  • $475,000 for the City of Kansas City for improvements at Brush Creek & Troost
  • $285,000 for the Kansas CIty Area Transportation Authority Bus Replacement Program
  • $125,000 for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority to complete the Troost Bus Rapid Transit project
  • $11.5 million for the National Rural Water Association

Staff development at JCCC: planning and facilitating an effective meeting.

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

JCCC:

LEARN HOW TO FACILITATE EFFECTIVE MEETINGS ON APRIL 2

Managers and employees spend a considerable portion of their day in meetings. These meetings can be a productive use of everyone’s time or lead to frustration. The key difference is the meeting leader’s skill in planning and facilitating an effective meeting.

Is a meeting even necessary?

If so, find out how to keep the meeting on track, deal with difficult situations and end the meeting.  Join us on from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in 264 GEB for this valuable training facilitated by Gayle Hopkins.

This will be at least one meeting you’ll be glad you attended!  Registration is required; you may do so through MyJCCC using CRN 30520.  Please contact staffdev.dept@jccc.edu or Ext. 7654 with questions.

JCCC: 17% extra energy from computers left on overnight

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Energy-saving tip from JCCC:

ECOTIP: SWITCH OFF YOUR PC AND MONITOR AT THE END OF THE DAY

Leaving your PC and monitor in standby mode regularly rather than switching them off at the end of the working day could use an additional 17 percent of unnecessary energy in any given seven days.

So, make sure your PC, monitor and all printers are fully powered down before leaving work for the day.

Transgender activist to speak over spring break at JCCC

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

From JCCC:

GENDER IDENTITY PRESENTATION IS MARCH 23

Donna Ross, transgender activist, will be on campus after Spring break to share her expertise in the  presentation “We Are Not Who You Think We Are.”   Ms. Ross will answer basic questions about transgenderism and share information about the lives of transgender people.  This presentation is sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, March 23, in 233 GEB.

All faculty, staff, students, and community  members are invited.  For more information, please contact Kami Day.

Just 9% of Non-Union Workers Want to Join Union

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Rasmussen:

Union members tend to believe that most workers want to join a labor union. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 47% of union members hold that view while only 18% disagree.

But those who don’t belong to a union hold a different perspective. By a 56% to 14% margin, they believe that most workers do not want to belong to a union.

As for personal preference, only nine percent (9%) of non-union workers would like to join a union. Eighty-one percent (81%) would not.

Even among those who are worried about losing their jobs in the near future, only nine percent (9%) would like to join a union. There is also no difference in a desire for union membership between those whose firms are hiring and those who are laying people off.

CA: Look at State Spending from Gov. Pete Wilson to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Reason Foundation:

California is mired in perhaps its worst fiscal crisis ever and two questions are on the minds of
policymakers and taxpayers: (1) “How did we get here?” and (2) “How do we solve the problem?”
The scope of this paper is primarily focused on the first question and will examine data covering the stewardship of the past three governors: Pete Wilson, Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.1 (more…)

More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

US Senator Inhofe:

Update: 59 Additional Scientists Join Senate Report…More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims
March 16, 2009

Posted By Marc Morano – 4:09 PM ET – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov

Update: More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

Outpouring of Skeptical Scientists Continues as 59 Scientists Added to Senate Report

‘The ­science has, quite simply, gone awry’

Link to Introduction of Report

Link to Full Printable 255-Page PDF Report

Washington DC: Fifty nine additional scientists from around the world have been added to the U.S. Senate Minority Report of dissenting scientists, pushing the total to over 700 skeptical international scientists – a dramatic increase from the original 650 scientists featured in the initial December 11, 2008 release. The 59 additional scientists added to the 255-page Senate Minority report since the initial release 13 ½ weeks ago represents an average of over four skeptical scientists a week.  This updated report – which includes yet another former UN IPCC scientist – represents an additional 300 (and growing) scientists and climate researchers since the initial report’s release in December 2007.

The over 700 dissenting scientists are now more than 13 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. The 59 additional scientists hail from all over the world, including Japan, Italy, UK, Czech Republic, Canada, Netherlands, the U.S. and many are affiliated with prestigious institutions including, NASA, U.S. Navy, U.S. Defense Department, Energy Department, U.S. Air Force, the Philosophical Society of Washington (the oldest scientific society in Washington), Princeton University, Tulane University, American University, Oregon State University, U.S. Naval Academy and EPA. (more…)

More than 150 tea parties around country

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Worldnetdaily:

Tax Day Tea Party, a national collaborative grassroots effort organized by Smart Girl Politics, Top Conservatives on Twitter, the DontGo Movement and many other online groups, is also promoting the events.

WND has also launched its own tea party forum so citizens may exchange ideas, information and announcements about the “revolution.” After reviewing various website protest listings, WND found more than 150 tea parties scheduled for upcoming months and compiled one of the most complete lists on the Internet. Here are some scheduled tea parties:

Birmingham, Ala. – Wednesday, April 15, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Veteran Park on Highway 17 Valledale Road (more…)

Nine-year old whiz-kid writes iPhone application

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Reuters:

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – While most children his age sketch on paper with crayons, nine-year old Lim Ding Wen from Singapore, has a very different canvas — his iPhone.

Lim, who is in fourth grade, writes applications for Apple’s popular iPhone. His latest, a painting program called Doodle Kids, has been downloaded over 4,000 times from Apple’s iTunes store in two weeks, the New Paper reported on Thursday.

The program lets iPhone users draw with their fingers by touching the iPhone’s touchscreen and then clear the screen by shaking the phone.

“I wrote the program for my younger sisters, who like to draw,” Lim said. His sisters are aged 3 and 5.

Review: Obama broke ethics and tax pledge

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Weekly Standard:

Politico‘s Carrie Budoff Brown reports:

Obama’s 5 p.m. signing [of the children's health insurance bill] came barely three hours after the House approved the bill, breaching Obama’s promise to have a five-day period of “sunlight before signing,” as he detailed on the campaign trail and on his website.

Yesterday, the White House claimed that “Obama was committed to the pledge, and ‘we will be implementing this policy in full soon.’”

Why do I have the feeling that the White House’s pledge to implement the policy “soon” means “after we ram the trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ bill through Congress”? Public opinion has now turned against the “stimulus” bill as it stands. Maybe Obama thinks the public will more easily swallow billions of dollars in pork and social welfare spending if they don’t have a chance to look at the text of the bill online. But breaking a promise about transparency on a more controversial measure like the “stimulus” will surely create problems of its own.

Also, Americans for Tax Reform points out that during the campaign Obama pledged not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 per year.

“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes” (Barack Obama, September 12, 2008, Dover, NH).

US News writer: Palin dumb

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Redstate:

A recent post on Sarah Palin by U.S. News blogger Bonnie Erbe claims: “Sarah Palin May Not Be Dumb, but She’s Not Smart.” It was written in response to her colleague Robert Schlesinger, whose own Palin post began, “I don’t think Sarah Palin is dumb, but I do wonder how ready to work she is.”

I wonder how ready to work Bonnie Erbe is, because I find her lack of intellectual honesty… disturbing. For example, Erbe claims that she wants to be “fair.” But her contention that Gov. Palin is not smart is shot down by her own colleague Schlesinger, who quotes no less an intellect than economics professor and former McCain policy director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who expressed his opinion that the governor is smart.

Legislative update from Senator Mary Pilcher Cook

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

From State Senator Mary Pilcher Cook:

There is so much legislation that happens in the course of one week, it is difficult to keep you informed.  I’ll touch on a few things here, but please don’t hesitate to go to my website on the Legislative Reports page and look at the latest summaries.

Both the House and Senate have now passed a comprehensive energy plan in the Senate Substitute for HB 2014 bill.  The House passed the energy measure first, then the Senate added some amendments to the bill, so the legislation is now on its way back to the House.  The House has the option to concur with the Senate amendments, or ask for a conference committee to negotiate some finer points about the legislation.  The conference committee would be composed of three House members and three Senate members.

What does it contain?  Lots of good things.

What’s even better is what it doesn’t contain.  There are no taxes or cap and trade regulations which would vastly increase the cost of doing business in our state. (more…)

Drill, Drill, Drill: 100 Million Barrel Discovery

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Mark Perry:

HOUSTON CHRONICLEThe Houston-based independent explorer and producer Anadarko announced a discovery at its Heidelberg prospect in the Gulf of Mexico. The field, in about 5,000 feet of water, is near the company’s Constitution oil and gas platform about 190 miles southwest of New Orleans. The well’s total depth reached about 28,500 feet, the company said. The Heidelberg discovery likely equates to a discovery of 100 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Anadarko said the discovery well in the Heidelberg field increases its understanding of the surrounding deepwater rock formations under a thick layer of salt. The company has drilled seven successful exploration wells in that area, known as the Miocene trend.

MP: Doesn’t this report suggest that new oil discoveries are still being made on a regular basis, that there’s plenty of oil available, that new technologies increase the probability of future oil discoveries, that we have plenty of domestic energy resources available, that we’re nowhere close to running out of oil, and that oil prices will remain low for decades?


Update
: As Colin points out in a comment, “And policies designed to promote the use of expensive alternative energy sources when plenty of crude oil remains will only make us poorer.”

Sarah Palin: The case for drilling in ANWR

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Op-Ed last month by Palin:

I AM DISMAYED THAT LEGISLATION HAS AGAIN BEEN INTRODUCED in Congress to prohibit forever oil and gas development in the most promising unexplored petroleum province in North America — the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in Alaska.

Let’s not forget: Only six months ago, oil was selling for nearly $150 per barrel, while Americans were paying $4 a gallon and more for gasoline. And today, there is potential for prices to rebound as OPEC asserts its market power and as Russia disrupts needed natural gas to Europe for the second time in three years.

A key constituency for Democrats

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Rasmussen:  “23% Fear Global Warming Will End World – Soon”

Nearly one-out-of-four voters (23%) say it is at least somewhat likely that global warming will destroy human civilization within the next century. Five percent (5%) say it’s very likely.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 66% say it’s not likely that civilization will be destroyed by the year 2100. That includes 27% who say it is not at all likely.

Republicans and unaffiliated voters strongly reject the notion that global warming will end human civilization, but Democrats are more evenly divided—38% think that disastrous outcome is likely while 46% disagree.

Overall, voters are evenly divided over whether there’s an immediate need to take action on global warming. Forty-one percent (41%) believe there is, but the same number (41%) say we can wait a few years to see if the problem is real. Sixty-two percent (62%) of Democrats say we must take immediate action, but 64% of GOP voters say it’s all right to wait a few years. A plurality of unaffiliated voters give the edge to waiting.

Trozzolo Communications opens office in Overland Park

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

KC Business Journal:

Trozzolo Communications Group has expanded into Overland Park, having landed an outpost office in Corporate Woods as of Jan. 15.

“We have the keys,” said Angelo Trozzolo, president of Trozzolo Communications Group.

Trozzolo Communications Group was among the fastest-growing advertising and public relations outfits in the Kansas City area in 2008, with a pair of mergers — with Corporate Communications Group and Prairie Dog LLC — helping its growth along.

The firm reported a 40 percent increase in revenue for 2008.

“We’re planning to grow in ‘09,” Trozzolo said. “We’ll see what happens.”