Sarah Silverman’s ambitious plan for feeding the world.
BillShrink brings us a pretty interesting graphic displaying the credit score of each US state. How does yours compare?
(click to enlarge)
“Everything that happens in business in the United States shows up in one way or another in the 500,” said Carol Loomis, Fortune’s senior editor-at-large. “It’s a mirror to the economy.” Since 1955, more than 2,000 companies have earned a spot on the list, but in 55 years only three have achieved the number one slot: General Motors, ExxonMobil and Wal-Mart.
2008 was the worst year in the history of the Fortune 500 for America’s largest companies. How bad was the profit decrease? From $645 billion in profits in 2007, profits dropped this year to just $98.9 billion – an 84.7 percent decline!
Records were broken: Eleven of the top 25 largest corporate losses in list history took place last year.
The biggest loser of them all was of course insurance giant AIG. The company posted a $99.3 billion loss. But it’s still on the list (I guess it really is “too big to fail”!). AIG is still at the half way point for the Fortune 500. It’s ranked at number 245, thought it’s down from number 13 last year. Thirty-eight companies disappeared from the list altogether. Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers of course, but it was also “last call” for Saint Louis based brewer Anheuser Busch.
Who was the big winner in 2008? Oil of course! ExxonMobil which was boosted by higher gas prices, trucked past Wal-Mart to arrive at the coveted number one spot.
In what can only be considered an “it’s about f’ing time” momement leading automotive and energy companies have reached an agreement for a standardized plug for electric cars. Some of the automakers include in that agreement are Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Fiat, Toyota and Mitsubishi.
The three-point, 400-volt plug, which will allow electric cars to be recharged anywhere in a matter of minutes, will be unveiled Monday at the world’s biggest industrial technology fair in Hanover, northern Germany.
No time frame for the introduction of the plug was mentioned, saying that talks between the companies were ongoing.
Energy firms signed up to the accord include Eon, Vattenfall, EDF, Npower, Endesa and Enel.
Berlin hopes that one million electric cars will be on the road by 2020. RWE and Daimler launched a pilot project in Berlin in September.
Friday evening, in a motion to dismiss Jewel v. NSA, EFF’s litigation against the National Security Agency for the warrantless wiretapping of countless Americans, the Obama Administration’s made two deeply troubling arguments.
First, they argued, exactly as the Bush Administration did on countless occasions, that the state secrets privilege requires the court to dismiss the issue out of hand. They argue that simply allowing the case to continue “would cause exceptionally grave harm to national security.” As in the past, this is a blatant ploy to dismiss the litigation without allowing the courts to consider the evidence.
It’s an especially disappointing argument to hear from the Obama Administration. As a candidate, Senator Obama lamented that the Bush Administration “invoked a legal tool known as the ‘state secrets’ privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.” He was right then, and we’re dismayed that he and his team seem to have forgotten.
Sad as that is, it’s the Department Of Justice’s second argument that is the most pernicious. The DOJ claims that the U.S. Government is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying — that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes.
This is a radical assertion that is utterly unprecedented. No one — not the White House, not the Justice Department, not any member of Congress, and not the Bush Administration — has ever interpreted the law this way.
Previously, the Bush Administration has argued that the U.S. possesses “sovereign immunity” from suit for conducting electronic surveillance that violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). However, FISA is only one of several laws that restrict the government’s ability to wiretap. The Obama Administration goes two steps further than Bush did, and claims that the US PATRIOT Act also renders the U.S. immune from suit under the two remaining key federal surveillance laws: the Wiretap Act and the Stored Communications Act. Essentially, the Obama Adminstration has claimed that the government cannot be held accountable for illegal surveillance under any federal statutes.
Again, the gulf between Candidate Obama and President Obama is striking. As a candidate, Obama ran promising a new era of government transparency and accountability, an end to the Bush DOJ’s radical theories of executive power, and reform of the PATRIOT Act. But, this week, Obama’s own Department Of Justice has argued that, under the PATRIOT Act, the government shall be entirely unaccountable for surveilling Americans in violation of its own laws.
This isn’t change we can believe in. This is change for the worse.
Related Issues: NSA Spying
Related Cases: Jewel v. NSA
BTW… you should consider joining or support the Electronic Frontier Foundation, get more info by visiting the EFF support section of their site.