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Archive for December 30th, 2009

Finally some good news in Delaware on the Alternative Energy front…

From RenewableEnergyWorld.com:

Motech To Purchase GE’s Delaware PV Module Assembly Plant

Motech Industries Inc. this week signed an agreement to acquire GE Energy’s Delaware solar module assembly operation, just months after GE said that it would halt production at the facility in 2010. The plant, which is located in Newark, Delaware assembles crystalline silicon based photovoltaic modules and currently employs 75 people.

As part of the acquisition, Motech will be granted the rights to use GE Energy’s module trademark for two years. In addition, Motech will assume the responsibility to provide warranty services to GE’s existing module clients.

“We are pleased to announce this agreement to purchase the solar module operation from GE Energy” said Dr. Simon Tsuo, chairman and CEO of Motech. “We will do our best to maintain the high quality and safety standards GE has established at this factory.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in early January 2010. The companies said that the agreement is built on the foundation of an existing relationship between Motech and GE Energy where Motech has been a supplier of solar cells to GE Energy for the past four years.

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Sen. Dodd, D-Conn., slashed aviation security funding for pet constituency
By: Mark Hemingway
Commentary Staff Writer
12/28/09 12:24 PM EST
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Sen-Dodd-D-Conn-slashed-aviation-security-funding-for-pet-constituency-80209967.html
Now that our attention is focused on airline security measures thanks to the failed airline attack on Christmas Day, it’s worth mentioning that one senator took money away from aviation security to line the pockets of a constituency that supported his presidential campaign in a big way.

Back in July, Senator Chris Dodd, D-Conn., proposed an amendment reducing aviation security appropriations by $4.5 million in favor of firefighter grants – a notoriously inneffective program. In fact, the money was specifically “for screening operations and the amount for explosives detection systems.” The amendment was also sponsored by Sen. Lieberman, D-Conn., and Sen. Carper, D-Del., but Dodd deserves to be singled out here because the firefighters union is a pet constituency of his. In 2007 he campaigned all through Iowa with the firefighters union. It was one of the few distinguishable features of Dodd’s ill-fated presidential bid.

The text of the amendment is below:

(Purpose: To provide additional funds for FIRE grants under section 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974)

On page 77, between lines 16 and 17, insert the following:

SEC. X (a) The amount appropriated under the heading “firefighter assistance grants” under the heading “Federal Emergency Management Agency” under by title III for necessary expenses for programs authorized by the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 is increased by $10,000,000 for necessary expenses to carry out the programs authorized under section 33 of that Act (15 U.S.C. 2229).

(b) The total amount of appropriations under the heading “Aviation Security” under the heading “Transportation Security Administration” under title II, the amount for screening operations and the amount for explosives detection systems under the first proviso under that heading, and the amount for the purchase and installation of explosives detection systems under the second proviso under that heading are reduced by $4,500,000.

(c) From the unobligated balances of amounts appropriated before the date of enactment of this Act for the appropriations account under the heading “state and local programs” under the heading “Federal Emergency Management Agency” for “Trucking Industry Security Grants”, $5,500,000 are rescinded.

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Defending the Homeland

I blogged not to long ago on an analysis between global warming and missile defense. We’re spending a huge amount of time and energy to focus on a “crisis” called “man-made” global warming meanwhile we’re allowing the current defense of America from our enemies to go fallow. From the Guardian UK (The whole article can be found here):

Yes, the buck stops in the Oval Office. Obama may have rather smuglygiven himself a “B+” for his 2008 performance but he gets an F for the events that led to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarding a Detroit-bound plane in Amsterdam with a PETN bomb sewn into his underpants.  He said today that a “systemic failure has occurred”. Well, he’s in charge of that system.

If you threaten to criminally charge members of the CIA for doing their job; if you refuse to call this a war; if you promise to bring terrorists caught on the battle field trying to kill American soldiers to New York for criminal trials; if you spend more time on David Letterman, in Copenhagen, and schlepping for the Olympics than you do meeting with generals; then what do you expect? If you spend more time trying to socialize 20% of the US economy after having taken over the financial services sector and the automotive sector then what do you expect? If you play “I’m a nice guy not like mean-old-George-Bush” with Ahmedinejad, Chavez, etc then what do you expect?

Here’s what the Administration missed:

“Abdulmutallab’s father spoke several times to the US Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria and visited a CIA officer there to tell him, apparently, that he feared his son was a jihadist being trained in Yemen.

After 9/11, the huge bureaucracies of the Homeland Security Department and the Directorate of National Intelligence (DNI) were created. Inside the DNI, the National Counter Terrorism Center was created. These organisations were created to “connect the dots”…If NCTC knew about it, then did someone at the National Security Council within the White House?

Obama took three days before speaking to the American people, emerging on Monday in between golf and tennis games in Hawaii to deliver a rather tepid address that significantly underplayed what happened. He described Abdulmutallab as an “isolated extremist” who “allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body” – phrases that indicate a legalistic, downplaying approach that alarms rather than reassures. Today’s words showed a lot more fire and desire to get on top of things – we’ll see whether Obama follows through with action. In the meantime, he went snorkelling….

It seems that two of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) planners behind this attack were released from Guantanamo Bay during the Bush administration. That calls into question the competence of Bush administration officials but also the wisdom of closing Guantanamo Bay.

I’ve got an idea… Let’s quit the silliness… Let’s put destroying the best healthcare delivery service in the world on the back burner. Let’s quit trying to regulate carbon dioxide. Let’s quit tying up the entrepreneurial engine of the United States. With all the free time, let’s focus on protecting Americans from our enemies.

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