Election thoughts

Rich, with his reflections on the recent election, has inspired me to share a few of my own personal thoughts.

Like many commentators, I am inspired by the actions of the electorate, overcoming a history of bias and bigotry to overwhelmingly support a minority American. And I found McCain’s concession speech to also be very inspiring, his support of the President-elect and his call to all of us to work together on the challenges ahead was gracious and high-integrity.

I am saddened tho by the passage of gay marriage bans in California, Arizona, and elsewhere. I just don’t understand the bias and hatred that we demonstrate towards a set of our fellow citizens. Allowing loving adults to have the full legal benefits and status of a marriage certainly does nothing to threaten or compromise the quality of my marriage. I hope we continue the dialog on this point as a nation.

Your share of the bailouts

On the today show, the figure $900B was thrown around as the total cost of bailouts so far (Bear, Fannie and Freddie, AIG). That is about $3,000 for every citizen of the US. Congratulations!

We entrusted the financial services sector with a big and important aspect of our economy, and we let them run it with less oversight than historically provided. And they made a hash of it, borrowing money like mad men from overseas borrowers and pouring it into ill-considered and ill-managed investments. And now we have to make the overseas borrowers whole, and it is going to fall on the backs of each of us. Many of the senior people in the financial services sector have escaped the carnage and have extracted millions from all of us.

Comparing McCain and Obama’s tax cuts: trillions in new debt, small salary impact » Bogle’s Blog

Nice post from Phil pointing out the huge debt incurred by either Obama or McCain plans.

The critical thing to consider is the trillions of dollars being added to the national debt ($4.5 trillion over ten years for McCain, $3.2 trillion for Obama) at a time when we are already running deficits and fighting a war. — Comparing McCain and Obama’s tax cuts: trillions in new debt, small salary impact » Bogle’s Blog.

And don’t forget to add the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailouts on top of that, plus any other future bailouts.

Whoever wins this election has an economic mess to work with.

Energy links — IT leaders, Tesla, Nuclear, Duke Energy, Construction

* HP working on solar PV, IBM putting a billion dollars into green datacenters, Intel spinning out a PV firm — nice to see the IT leaders getting behind alternate energy
* DOE funds electric vehicle projects — not sure why GM, GE, Ford need DOE money — give it to startups! More interesting is the note about Tesla’s deal with Daimler, very smart.
* Nuclear option gets more public support — thank goodness. The public is more rational than the politicians about energy strategy
* Duke Energy jumping into residential and commercial solar installs — the wave of the future?
* Green construction materials — I wonder about the 50 year life of these. I think I will let others be the beta testers.

Energy reads

* bcurtisBLOG » People are talking about water… — nice chart on where all our water goes. Only 13% for household use. A huge amount to thermoelectric power generation.
* Tom Evslin on energy policy. Great points — we need a country-wide BHAG with respect to energy — an Apollo-type program. And the government can lead through its own purchasing policies.
* Small scalable wind turbines — pretty cool looking.
* One man’s experience with solar thermal here in Seattle — the numbers look good.
* Ten fastest green cars on the planet — Karl’s car looks awesome
* REI trialing solar — I wonder if Fat Spaniel is part of the setup
* Solar shingles — love this idea, embedding green technology right into structural materials