Most brilliant ad campaign ever. Really. Watch the video for the story.
When Troy Library was at the brink of being forced to shut its doors, Leo Burnett decided to ?take back? the podium from the Tea Party, changing the conversation from an issue of taxes to an issue of book burning. Hey, if you?ve ever seen Field of Dreams, you know that nothing riles up Midwesterners like the threat/promise of a book burning/ban. It turns out Leo?s reverse psychology with the ?Book Burning Party,? was quite effective, causing local press to believe that the planned fire-y celebration was actually a real event. To quote one employee of the library, ?(When I first learned of the movement), I thought ?This is some bad attempted satire,? but to spend money on signs for a committee, that?s not somebody forming it as a joke.? Yes, Leo even had the library convinced, but the employee quoted in that article, Phillip Kwik, didn?t find this bit of ?satire? very funny once that hoax was revealed.Regardless, the bizarre campaign took off on social media, finding press from the Library Journaland the Detroit Free Press.
After the dust settled, 342 percent of predicted voters showed up at the polls, and Troy Library remains open. Whether you credit Leo Burnett?s campaign for the victory, or you find their actions misguided and ?appalling? as Kwik argues, those are the results.
[h/t Democratic Underground]
That?s it, America. That?s our problem. It?s a ?followership problem.? We?re no longer humble enough to do what we?re told. David Brooks tells us so.[...]
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On Fox News Sunday this morning, host Chris Wallace asked Bill Kristol, a leading GOP pundit and apologist for the Iraq War, how he felt about President Obama’s recent announcement that the Department of Homeland Security would halt deportations of many undocumented students. Wallace probably did not expect the answer that he got:
KRISTOL: I think its a sensible policy. I think it would be much better if that were the law of the land, and I think the president’s pushing the edges of prosecutorial discretion in saying we’re not going to enforce a law in order to leave these people in the country. But I think it’s the right thing to do, actually.
Notably, this is a significant shift from Kristol’s previous attitudes about President Obama’s immigration policies. Two years ago, Kristol falsely accused the Obama Administration of being “reluctant” to enforce immigration laws, when in fact deportations are at record highs under President Obama.
Kristol’s transformation, however, closely maps the GOP’s efforts to paper over their recent anti-immigrant positions as the November election draws nigh. During the primary, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned with the former hate group attorney that wrote Arizona and Alabama’s harsh immigration laws — on Martin Luther King Day. This morning, however, Romney twice refused to say whether he would reverse Obama’s recently announced pro-immigrant policy.
by David Biello, via OnEarth
Deep within a frozen mountainside, Norwegian engineers are hoping to create a fortress for data. Chilled by seawater drawn from the Nordfjord, about 230 miles northwest of Oslo, and bathed in ambient temperatures that remain at a constant 46 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, thousands of the giant computers that keep the Internet humming, each throwing off large amounts of heat, could remain permanently cool in the disused Lefdal mine, near the town of Måløy.
Norway has a reputation as a world leader in clean energy, and tiny Måløy, with a population of only 3,000, takes pride in its own recent emergence as a hub of green-tech development. The town is a pioneer in both onshore and offshore wind energy. One local company is building a power plant that will run on domestic and industrial waste and another that uses forest biomass. Other companies specialize in sustainable fisheries, wave-power technology, and energy-efficient windows and building materials. But the most ambitious of all these projects is the Lefdal mine, which its designers, LocalHost, promise will be the largest and greenest server farm in the world.
The Lefdal mine once produced olivine — an olive-green mineral that is used in the aluminum and steel industries and also supplies ballast for the foundations of offshore wind farms. (Perhaps the mineral?s most intriguing trick is its ability to soak up carbon dioxide from the air and bind it into rock.) The facility is vast. Lying next to the long, deep Nordfjord, it consists of five levels (with the potential to expand to 14), sprawling over some 1.3 million square feet of “white space” that can be used for storage, connected by a paved road that descends in a spiral through tunnels 45 feet wide and almost 30 feet high. Just one of those five levels, says Mats Andersson, the chief marketing officer for the data center project, “could host all the servers in Norway.”
The ethereal world of the Web has a very real physical presence. Behind every Google search, Facebook update, or Twitter tweet lies a gigantic computing infrastructure, at the heart of which sit massive server farms that collectively account for some 230 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually — more than emitted by the entire country of Argentina. Air-conditioning can consume as much as half the total power that digital giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and IBM need to run their huge server facilities, and these are growing rapidly.
One solution is to move to a place that?s already cold. Naturally cold air and, better yet, cold water, can result in significant energy savings. Locations for server farms are being explored across the far north, from Alaska to Iceland. Google is operating a site in the Finnish town of Hamina. Facebook is building a server farm in Luleå, Sweden, just south of the Arctic Circle. Lefdal, which offers an abundance of clean, renewable energy from nearby hydroelectric dams and wind farms, as well as a unique cooling system that will pump icy cold water from about 650 feet below sea level, is expecting its first tenant to be IBM Norway. Andersson says that construction of the Lefdal data center will begin this fall and that “we will be in operation before summer 2013.”
Still, not all the world?s computing needs can find a home in the Arctic (or Antarctic), and that means other solutions will also be needed. In fact, companies that make the equipment for these server farms, such as Intel, have been focusing on a shift to operating at higher temperatures, so their data centers won?t have to migrate to frigid realms. “It?s not all about cooling,” notes Jonathan Koomey of Stanford University, who analyzes the industry. “You can also redesign servers to take hotter temperatures or find different ways to deliver the same computing service.”
Already, Intel?s most modern server equipment can operate at temperatures above 77 degrees Fahrenheit. “There is no performance degradation,” says Intel?s chief architect for data centers and cloud infrastructure, Charles Rego, noting that his company?s components have been designed to withstand temperatures as high as 95 degrees. “For every degree Celsius [1.8 degrees Fahrenheit] you move up, it?s a 4 to 5 percent energy savings on cooling.” That translates into millions of dollars in lowered costs for a large server farm.
One of Facebook?s latest server farms, in Prineville, Oregon, cools its data center entirely with the surrounding air. An Intel experiment in New Mexico showed that air from outside could be used to keep a 900-server facility operating even on a 91-degree day. And Intel has designed new layouts for its motherboards — the etched wafers that house the elements of the computing system — so that one processor does not heat up another, allowing more efficient cooling. As a result, the servers of today are typically at least five times more energy efficient than those of just five years ago. Intel holds out hopes for even higher temperature operation, above 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
“It gets rid of water use,” Rego explains. “Water consumption at these server farms is the hidden dragon,” particularly, he adds, as parts of the globe face water shortages. Right now, data centers go through roughly 80 billion gallons of water annually for cooling, according to Intel — much of which is not recycled. That isn?t a problem for a facility like Lefdal, which returns the warmed water straight to Nordfjord.
There seems to be no end to the demand for additional computing resources. Keeping this escalating demand from sucking up ever more energy will be vital, and the present trend toward greater efficiency needs to continue. Koomey?s research is encouraging, suggesting that the power needed to perform a given task will decrease a hundredfold every decade. In addition, among other common-sense solutions, some companies now throttle back the number of servers in operation when there is little demand, rather than running them all the time. Others are redesigning their servers so they use less energy when they are not actively processing data.
Of course, even the most energy-efficient computer draws more power the more processing it has to do. That makes software a big — though hidden — part of the problem. Some unwieldy computer programs still contain instructions written in the 1950s, so updating software for energy efficiency represents another opportunity.
In the meantime, however, a defunct mine in Norway can keep a data center nice and cool. And there?s something very fitting in the fact that a mine containing a mineral capable of soaking up CO2 should now be used to house a server farm that will emit less CO2 in the first place.
David Biello is the associate editor for environment and energy at Scientific American. This piece was originally published at OnEarth and was reprinted with permission.
Mitt Romney, who consistently advocates against taxing the rich, this morning reconfirmed that he would not accept one dollar in tax increases — even if it were paired with ten dollars of spending cuts.
Today on Face The Nation, Romney reconfirmed his commitment as the presumptive nominee not to take such a deal — or, it seems, to raise taxes at all:
SCHIEFFER: You were one of the vast majority of Republicans to signed the pledge circulated by the leading antitax advocate Grover Norquist, no new taxes under any circumstances. And I remember once back during one of the primaries, you were asked if you would agree to $1 in taxes if you could get $10 cut in spending cuts, and you said at that time, no, I wouldn’t even accept that. Do you still feel that way?
ROMNEY: Well, we all felt that way. And the reason is that government, at all levels today, consumers about 37% of our economy.
SCHIEFFER: But do you still feel–
ROMNEY: Let me go on and explain. The answer is I do feel that way. Government is big and getting larger, and there are those who think the answer is just to take a little more from the American people, just give us a little more. and there are places that have gone that way– California, for instance, keeps raising taxes more and more and more. and funny thing, the more they raise in taxes, deficits get larger and larger. The only solution to taming an out-of-control spending government is to cut spending and my policies reduce the rate of spending…
To put the number in perspective, the government almost shut down over last year over a deal that would have provided $3 in spending cuts for every dollar in new revenue. Ten dollars in spending cuts to one dollar in new revenue would necessitate dramatic reductions in core government programs. Even conservative politicians like Jeb Bush have warned that extreme orthodoxy on taxes threatens to drive government revenues too low.
Romney has also faced harsh criticism over his inability to explain where he would get any revenue for the government, since he wants to drastically cut taxes on the top income earners. A lack of new revenue means deep, deep spending cuts — specifically to programs for the very poor.
Si has worked for 44 years as a civil rights, labor and community organizer and musician. His songs of family, community, work and freedom such as Aragon Mill, Gone, Gonna Rise Again and Wild Rose of the Mountain have been recorded by over 100 artists. Si has released 15 albums of his original songs, plus a collection of traditional labor, civil rights and women's songs with Pete Seeger and Jane Sapp. Grassroots Leadership, where Si has served as Executive Director for 30 years, has taken on a national Campaign to End Immigrant Family Detention, the policy made infamous at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas. Hutto is a former medium-security prison operated by private prison corporation Corrections Corporation of America. Since opening in 2006, the facility has held immigrant children and their families from more than 40 countries and drawn international condemnation.
This is not from The Onion...
"You guys have it way too soft ? nice ride," he wrote, while the press corps were preparing to cover his Weatherly, Pennsylvania stop.
"P.S.," he added after his signature, "erased your hard drives."
Hahaha that's so funny...not. I believe it's also a crime. Vandalism? Destruction of property?
Republican nominee for president. Oh. Kaaay.
Rounding up the news.[...]
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This morning on CBS, Mitt Romney was asked twice whether he would continue Obama’s new policy on immigration, ending deportations for DREAM-eligible youth. Romney flatly refused to take a position. The transcript, via Politico:
SCHIEFFER: “[W]ould you repeal [Obama's immigration] order if you became president?” …
ROMNEY: “This is something Congress has been working on, and I thought we were about to see some proposals brought forward by Senator Marco Rubio and by Democrat senators, but the President jumped in and said I’m going to take this action … [H]e was president for the last three and a half years and did nothing on immigration. Two years he had a Democrat House and Senate, did nothing of a permanent or long-term basis. What I would do, is I’d make sure that by coming into office, I would work with Congress to put in place a long-term solution for the children of those that have come here illegally.” …
SCHIEFFER: “But would you repeal this?” …
ROMNEY: “[M]y anticipation is I’d come into office and say we need to get this done, on a long-term basis, not this kind of stop-gap measure. What the president did, he should have worked on this years ago, if he felt seriously about this he should have taken action when he had a Democrat House and Senate, but he didn’t. He saves these sort of things until four and a half months before the general election.” …
In the Republican primaries, Romney’s position on immigration — and particuarly DREAM-eligible youth — was much clearer. He relentlessly attacked Gov. Rick Perry for passing a version of the DREAM Act in Texas. Romney also promised to veto the DREAM Act. His preferred solution for undocumented immigrants was to make their lives so miserable they would “self-deport.”
In an interview on Friday, Kris Kobach, an immigration advisor to the Romney campaign, told ThinkProgress that the new Obama policy was “illegal.” Another Romney advisor told CNN that Romney’s position was “the same” as President Obama.
Median pay for America’s 200 highest-paid chief executives rose to $14.5 million in 2011, a 5 percent increase over 2010, according to an analysis done by the New York Times. Worker pay, meanwhile, rose just 2.8 percent for the year. CEO pay on Wall Street rose even faster, growing by more than 20 percent in 2011. The average Fortune 500 CEO now makes 380 times more than the average worker, as CEO pay has grown more than 127 times faster than worker pay over the last 30 years. The growth in executive compensation that has contributed to skyrocketing levels of income inequality isn’t necessarily tied to performance of the top companies, however: while their pay continues to increase, average stock prices have remained flat, and many of the companies with the highest paid CEOs actually saw drops in their share prices over the course of the year.