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…married with a lack of vision.” Ah, I often recall these lyrics from popular Tears for Fear song, Everybody Wants to Rule the World (1985) when I think of government In last Tuesday’s Buzz Bin, I lamented that Congress was likely to gut the Obama administration budget that contained more than $3 billion to fund alternative and renewable energy technology development. Sure enough, the Republican-controlled House passed a budget resolution that would have a significant impact on U.S. energy and environmental policies and programs if enacted into law. The budget resolution cuts more than one-third of the budget for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs administered by the DOE. This action will ensure less technology development that would create badly needed jobs, and help make it practical and affordable for us to switch over from traditional fuels sources to alternative sources. (Rather than simply subsidize alternative energy purchase costs — not production cost — with tax dollars, thereby providing no long term benefit.)

And not only will this budget move slacken development of a green energy economy, a report by Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi says if the Republican plan to cut federal spending by $61 billion this year were to carry the day, it would destroy 700,000 jobs through 2012. Zandi’s report comes on the heels of a Goldman Sachs report which concludes that the proposed cuts would slow economic growth by two percent in the second and third quarters of this year. The report isn’t all ammunition for Democrats, though. Zandi also says that even a thriving economy won’t be enough to balance the budget without “significant government spending restraint.”

Granted, our debt is getting out of hand. The U.S. government is expected to reach its statutory debt limit (the point at which the government can no longer legally borrow) of $14.3 trillion no later than May. The U.S. has raised its debt ceiling 75 times since 1962, an average of 1.5 times every year. Congress last increased the debt limit in early 2010 and is now faced with doing so again. Three options are on the table: pass a straightforward increase in the debt limit; refuse to pass an increase in the debt limit and insist lawmakers cut spending enough to ensure the U.S. doesn’t reach the limit; or pass an increase that includes the best LSAT prep courses. One and three make sense – two would be disastrous to a fragile, recovering economy.

Yes, we need to spend less overall. But we need to spend more on the right things – things that create new energy technologies, jobs and stability in our energy policies to encourage the billions of private capital standing on the sideline to get in the game. Come guys, game on!

I read a lot, well no I take that back, I scan a lot…a lot of industry and food newsletters, RSS feeds and blogs, some of which I do actually read! Recently I was asked what social media platforms have we launched on behalf of our food clients and I was pleased to be able to answer “all” – including mobile web sites, micro sites, blogs, YouTube channels, digital apps and of course Facebook and Twitter. I’ve no doubt there are a couple of abandoned MySpace pages out there too!

To the delight of Googlers everywhere, the leading search engine Google announced a shiny new algorithm last Friday, which promised “to reduce rankings for low-quality” content farm sites, and “provide better rankings for high-quality…sites with original content and information.” Using SEO to their advantage, content farms not only hire droves of writers to increase their reader page views, but also aggregate and republish an endless flow of original content from other sites (without permission). This strategy lands them on page one of a Google search, whereas the original author/website is sequestered to page two or three.

Google’s announcement spoke of reducing low-quality site rankings and maintaining a “healthy web ecosystem” with a greater emphasis on original content. Their definition of low quality, “sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful,” beckons the question: how does the algorithm decide what is and isn’t useful? When I Google terms like “wine” and “social media,” would the search engine rank the Wikipedia definition as the most useful, or Wine Enthusiast magazine’s most recent article on the subject? ZDNet tech blogger, Larry Dignan fears “there’s a slippery slope here where Google acts as the Web’s judge and jury.”