Saturday, July 31, 2010

Standing At 40-60 Now

New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New ...Image via Wikipedia
City Hall: Do New York Democrats Have A Wall Street Problem?
Some think that if Saujani can win at least 40 percent of the vote against Maloney, then it will unleash a flurry of interest in her kind of insurgent candidate: young, tech-friendly and no enemy of Wall Street.
Only two weeks back I did some momentum talk here, and I noted that Reshma 2010 moved from a 10:1 ratio trailing Maloney in mid May to a 3:1 or a possibly 2:1 ratio by mid July. That was remarkable. I also noted that the momentum was not a line graph but a curve graph. I have been proven right. Now Reshma 2010, barely two weeks later, stands at 60:40. The curve gets even steeper with every passing week. We got six full weeks.

With this new number, I can see a debate happening some time in August, or maybe even two. Maloney's political consultants are going to crunch these numbers and they are going to say, this race is competitive now, we can't afford to not debate, no longer. At 70-7, debating is a mistake, at 60-40, not debating is a mistake. This Reshma person can no longer be ignored.

September 1-14: The Niagara Falls Part
Reshma On Track To Taking Over This Blog
Reshma Saujani: Top 10 Women To Watch In America
Reshma's Momentum: Line Graph Or Curve Graph
Reshma's Momentum: 70% Vs. 7%, 24,000 Vs. 8,000 Signatures, $2 Vs. $1.2 Million

Reshma Saujani, among the top 10 women to watch in America, Reshma Saujani, the top woman to watch in New York City. (Reshma Saujani: Top 10 Women To Watch In America)

Reformed Wall Street: No Longer A Problem (Immigration Now?)

City Hall: Do New York Democrats Have A Wall Street Problem?
Ask anyone on Wall Street to host a fundraiser for a Democrat in New York these days, expect a blank stare. Ask any Democrat to accept a donation from someone working for a bank, investment firm or hedge fund, and expect the same reaction....... They wonder if some Democrats really understand how easy it would be for them to move their firms to friendlier shores, knowing they (or at least the disproportionate 30 percent of the state’s tax revenues they produce) would be missed..... the financial industry has so far this cycle contributed $84.5 million to Democratic candidates, down from $241.7 million the last time around—a 65-percent drop-off largely from disenchanted New York donors. ...... wonders if the government realizes how transportable his business is, or how overly reliant the state is on Wall Street revenues. Because the financial services industry votes too ...... “I think maybe it’s gone too far, the demonizing.” ..... Andrew Cuomo managed to raise an impressive $23.6 million with the help of some very generous people on Wall Street ...... the complex relationship that exists between Wall Street and the Democrats. ...... Cuomo, like practically every elected official in New York, believes he has been successful in balancing his approach to Wall Street, and put some distance between his campaign and the anti-Wall Street mood of many of his fellow New York Democrats. ........ Bankers like to back winners, and in New York, the winners tend to be Democrats. ....... Washington and Wall Street both should temper their expectations of each other. ...... “There’s a reason for frustration on both sides,” Wylde said. “There hasn’t been as much rational dialogue, conversation. There’s tended to be more demonizing on both sides. A lot of the business community feels poorly served by Washington. On the other hand, Washington is suffering under the anger of the whole country that they allowed Wall Street to go too far.” .... Bloomberg’s warning of a mass exodus that would destroy the city and state
Wall Street has been reformed. That reform was so very necessary. It was not a perfect reform bill, but it was a good one. And we can build upon its success to enact further reforms, some of which Reshma has pointed out.

What has not been reformed yet is Congress. It was Congress that made Wall Street bad behavior possible. We take a step in the direction of reforming Congress when we ditch Maloney on September 14.

Despite all the demonization and the lies spread by the Maloney camp, Reshma Saujani has strong credentials when it comes to Wall Street. (Barack Obama: The NRA's Candidate)
  • She has not taken a dime in Wall Street PAC money. That makes Reshma 2010 like Obama 2008. 
  • She has been for Wall Street Reform. After Obama signed the Wall Street Reform Bill, I read the statements by Maloney and Reshma. Maloney is like, and yes, I said hello to Barney, and I winked at Pelosi when I saw her pass down the hallway. Her entire statement is full of such name droppings. Whereas Reshma's statement praises the bill and calmly points out the weaknesses in the bill that will have to be looked into during next attempt. Reshma knows her patient, Maloney does not. Maloney is all fluff. 
  • Reshma has exhibited remarkable integrity in not riding the Demonize Wall Street bandwagon. It would have been the easiest thing to do this year. This show of integrity will put her in a good place when it is time to mend the frayed relationship between Main Street and Wall Street. 
  • Reshma is the national candidate to the tech sector. Couple that with her knowledge of Wall Street, and you are looking at someone who is going to play a decisive role in steering Wall Street's enormous resources into creating the jobs, companies and industries of tomorrow. (Maloney: Stifling Debate, Stifling Innovation, Stifling Job Creation, Reshma Saujani: South Asian Powerhouse, National Candidate To The Tech Sector, Digital Dumbo 18: The Dumbo Loft
Video: The Matrix Reloaded Freeway Chase (watch full screen) (Iran)

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Iran Democracy
The First Time I Heard The Obama Name

When I was doing what I was doing for Nepal, I had the option to eat into my savings. I want to do for Iran what I did for Nepal. And I am looking for sponsors. I am looking for people and organizations that will fund my work.

To Iran, With Love (3)
There is no peace in the Middle East because Israel is the only democracy around there. When a democracy tries to talk to a neighborhood of non democracies, you get The Mother Of All Culture Clashes. .... Israel today feels an existential threat from Iran's possible nuclear weapons. That threat is primarily political. Russia still had all the nuclear weapons, but once the Cold War ended, America was no longer feeling the threat from those weapons, Europe was not feeling the threat. Israel is not going to feel an existential threat from an Iran that is a democracy...... It is like in the movie The Matrix. You sit in front of your computer, your terminal, and you transport yourself to the theaters of action. You observe and study the reality, the ever changing reality, in all theaters of action, and you propose action plans everywhere you can. You have no institutional authority, noone elected you, you are not doling out money, and so you have to be extra, extra right, extra convincing before people will do your bidding, before people, the key players, will listen to you to do what needs to get done.
To Iran, With Love (2)
I ended up giving a name to the method: nonviolent militancy. Not only are you strictly nonviolent, you are almost all digital. The battles take place on the screen for a big part. But the method is not the message. Unless you have a very high level of political consciousness, unless you have super political instincts, unless your political knowledge is robust, unless you are a disrupter in the best tradition of entrepreneurs, unless you have a firm commitment to the basic principles that underly any democracy movement, you can't do what I did for Nepal. My political credentials were outstanding, and so the technology behind the digital tools I ended up using came to be of service to me. The medium is not the message. On the other hand without the digital medium my work would not have been possible. The Internet allowed me the utter fearlessness that I exhibited at all junctures because it allowed me to be in the safety of New York City without many of the disadvantages of distance.
To Iran, With Love (1)
To: Brad Feld, Subject: Iran And Me (Digital Ninja/Commando)
There are a few steps that the democracy movement in Iran needs to take, the most important is to shift the goal post. The goal can not be to get the existing regime to hold the presidential election all over again. The goal has to be regime change. The goal can not be to take the brutality lying down. The goal has to be to document every act of brutality to bring the perpetrators to justice once a new, interim government takes over power. The goal can not be to keep coming out into the streets. A democracy movement is supposed to last a few weeks at most, not months and years. You shut the country down completely until the regime gives way to an interim government with the mandate to hold elections to a constituent assembly within a year of taking over power.
Happy July 4 Fred Wilson, Brad Feld
I have done this before, I can do this again. I did this for Nepal in 2006. ..... There is a concrete mathematical theory called the butterfly effect. A butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon forest could be the reason a cyclone hit Bangladesh. What happened in Nepal in April 2006 was a political cyclone. I was the butterfly flapping my wings in New York City. In April 2006, over a period of 19 days, about eight million people out of the country's 27 million came out into the streets to shut the country down completely to force a dictator out. ..... Iran is a low hanging fruit. The hardest part of a democracy movement is getting people to come out into the streets. Well, that has been happening in Iran. This world is connected enough by now that one Digital Ninja/Commando based out of New York City could make that fundamental difference. ..... I ask for 100K and 15 months. That would be enough time. If I succeed, you get to put in another 2.5K each for a 50K bonus to me. This 5K you might put into this is the equivalent of 5 million you might put into Kiva. Democracy is the ultimate fishing net you can give to a people.

Friday, July 30, 2010

July Looking Good


Maloney: Stifling Debate, Stifling Innovation, Stifling Job Creation

Kim Jong-ilImage via Wikipedia
I was never sadder about Carolyn Maloney's refusal to engage Reshma Saujani in weekly debates than when I showed up for this clean tech event: A Clean Tech Experience.

Before that I wanted the debates to happen because I wanted the world - District 14 - to see my wonderful, wonderful candidate. (Debating Is "Stunt" In A Maloney Democracy) My interests were political, and yes I had my preferred candidate. I was not hiding that.

Debates get you media attention, some name recognition, there are follow up articles in newspapers, there is buzz in social media.

It was also about democracy. I am a veteran of the democracy movement in Nepal. I appreciate democracy like many people living in democracies don't.

Sergey Brin's Is The Right Stand
News: July 17 (2)
To Iran, With Love (3)
To Iran, With Love (2)
To Iran, With Love (1)
To: Brad Feld, Subject: Iran And Me (Digital Ninja/Commando)
Happy July 4 Fred Wilson, Brad Feld

Debating is so very fundamental to democracy. Debates are a democracy's lifeblood. That's what happens in Congress, the ultimate temple of democracy. Members debate. No debate means no democracy. It is as if Carolyn Maloney wants to be declared dictator for life, the Kim Jong-Il of the East Side.

But at the clean tech event I realized the need for Carolyn Maloney, Reshma Saujani debates had much more concrete implications for the future of this city and this country and this world. This goes way beyond the politics of one congressional race.

Unless competing politicians like Carolyn Maloney and Reshma Saujani debate specifically about esoteric topics like clean tech and bio tech and nano tech, the electorate is not going to be part of conversations they so need to be part of if the jobs of tomorrow are ever going to be created. China is already eating America's clean tech lunch. If Maloney has her way, America never ever even gets to the lunch table. This so far has not been a choice between lunch and a late lunch. So far it has been a choice between a late lunch and no lunch at all. Thanks to Maloney the no lunch side has been winning so far in District 14 of New York.

We need Maloney out of there if we are going to be able to dream up the jobs, companies and industries of tomorrow.

Companies From The Clean Tech Event
  • Rentricity Inc. 
  • MJ Beck Consulting
  • Sollega
  • The New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy (NYC`ACRE)
  • Pharos Enterprise Intelligence
  • Bodega Algae
  • US Power Generating Company ("USPowerGen")
  • Efficiency 2.0
  • Think Eco, Inc. 
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Firefighters Booing Hillary: Sexist

Gov. Sarah Palin has breakfast and visits with...Image via Wikipedia
I don't care if you are a firefighter and I don't care that 9/11 happened, if you are a sexist pig, you are a sexist pig, and I would take that exact same logic to so called progressives acting sexist towards someone like Sarah Palin. What is sexist is sexist. Your wearing the progressive label does not change that. And stop cashing on 9/11 that way. That is wrong and disrespectful. Palin has taken plenty of wrong stands, like in Arizona. Got to beat her on ideas. Acting sexist can not be in the arsenal.

Reshma Saujani: Top 10 Women To Watch In America
Reshma Saujani Makes Top 10 List
Barack Obama: The NRA's Candidate
Reshma Saujani At The Netroots Nation
Pelosi Will Continue As Speaker
Why I Am Pressing The Like Button On Al Sharpton
Carolyn Maloney: The Al Sharpton Of Gender Relations
Ed Koch And Carolyn Maloney: Bush Democrats

I hear some "firefighters" showed up at Netroots Nation.

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September 1-14: The Niagara Falls Part

(Internal email)

Digital Dumbo 18: The Dumbo Loft

We have been in the water collecting part since Fall 2009. Those 14 days will be when the surge happens, I think. I am hoping Maloney agrees to at least one debate in August, sooner the better, but I am not counting on it. She can't do zero debates but I think she will do one as late as possible, likely week one in August. And we will have our five minutes at the September NY Tech MeetUp, first Tuesday. That is 800 plus young professionals. That could create a social media frenzy for us. Just what we need.

Those 14 days we are going to have reverse problems/challenges to what we have had so far. What do we do with all this media attention? What do we do with all these new volunteers that keep showing up at the office and getting in our way? What do we do with all this new money people are donating online? We can't save any of it for post September 14. How do we spend fast? Maloney just came out saying she wants a second debate. What now? Nancy Pelosi is on the phone. I can see Barack Obama calling up during the days after September 14, or as early as September 15.

Keeping The House And The Senate
Pelosi Will Continue As Speaker Reshma Saujani

Pollsters don't talk to the 18-38 crowd. They are the cellphones only crowd. And they do very little voice on those phones anyways. That's our surge crowd. That's women who want to be able to take equality for granted and men who get physically uncomfortable around sexist jokes. It is about The New Woman. It is about a new generation. This generation helped Obama get power. This generation is at some point going to want to get power for itself. And that starts now.

I expect us to ride a steep curve those two weeks. Now is the time to prepare.

Reshma 2010: Firing Up All Cylinders
Reshma's Momentum: Line Graph Or Curve Graph

Short message: stay focused on the fundamentals.

PS. Hoping for my second phone marathon on Sunday, office open to office close. Would that be 1-6? Leaving voice mails each time this time.

400 Phone Calls In 5 Hours For Reshma 2010

(I might blog out this email)

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Phone Calls, Dress Code

Phone Calls

I experimented with two hours of phone calls earlier in the evening. Early evening on a week day truly is the best time to be making phone calls. But only slightly better. My conclusion is that all times are good. You can't be calling too early or too late at night. But other than that.

And so I have a new appreciation for my first choice: Sunday afternoons. Best would be to do both, but if I could do only one, it would be Sunday afternoons.

I have learned it is important to leave full voice mails. For most voters that call might be the one live interaction they had with the campaign before they showed up to vote.

Phone calls can't be the only thing you are doing, but they are a very important thing to be doing. And you can make phone calls every day. I think you can make 50 phone calls per hour. 10 people doing that for five hours is 2500 calls.

You talk to a few strong supporters and they make up for all those people who did not pick up the phone.

One guy I talked to, all he wanted to know was if Reshma was running against Maloney. In that case I am voting for her, he said. Another woman, when I asked her what issues she was interested in, she listed them all and said, aren't we all? I said, no. Most people are not.

Sample voice mail: "Hi, this was calling on behalf of Reshma Saujani. Reshma is running for Congress. You can learn more about her at her website at That would be r-e-s-h-m-a-2-0-1-0-dot-com. And please vote for her on September 14."

Dress Code

I got two more Reshma 2010 shirts. Now I have three. I think I am going to wear them a whole lot. Black shoes, black pants, black jacket, and the red, white and blue Reshma 2010 shirt. Actually I think I am going to wear them every time I show up at the Reshma 2010 headquarters, every time I show up for a Reshma 2010 event leading to September 14.

After some trial and error, I got a dress code now. I am all set.

Tomorrow I am going to a tech event in Dumbo. I think I am going to show up in my Reshma 2010 dress code.

A Marathon Race

A congressional campaign is a marathon race. Got to pace yourself.

We got a great candidate, a great staff, great momentum. We are on our way.
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Reshma On Track To Taking Over This Blog

Reshma Saujani has already overtaken Hillary at this blog, and she is closing in fast on Obama. I don't see me renaming this blog in Reshma's name, I would not want to slight the most powerful man on earth, (Why I Am Pressing The Like Button On Al Sharpton) but if I were to rename it, it would be inspired by some Meryl Streep movie. (Reshma Aur Shera) Do you have any suggestions? Or I could rename it Pappu, my family's name for me.

Reshma Saujani: Top 10 Women To Watch In America

Keeping The House And The Senate
A Clean Tech Experience
Reshma Saujani: Top 10 Women To Watch In America
Reshma Saujani Makes Top 10 List
Barack Obama: The NRA's Candidate
Bhangra, Cricket: Exotic To Me
Reshma 2010 Clean Tech Event July 27 Tuesday
Recruited 60 For Reshma 2010
Reshma Saujani At The Netroots Nation
Sarina Jain: YouTube: Reshma Saujani
Pelosi Will Continue As Speaker
Reshma Aur Shera
Why I Am Pressing The Like Button On Al Sharpton
John Liu: Mayor Of NYC: 2013
Carolyn Maloney: The Al Sharpton Of Gender Relations
Ed Koch And Carolyn Maloney: Bush Democrats
Reshma 2010: Digital Volunteering: Some Tips
Domestic Violence Can Be Ended Like Polio Could Be Cured
The Anti Maloney Brigade
Reshma 2010: Twitter Action
Reshma Saujani: South Asian Powerhouse, National Candidate To The Tech Sector
Obama Has No Business Kissing Maloney
Maloney Is Too Ordinary To Be Representing District 14
A Shift Towards Digital Volunteering
Carolyn Maloney's Six Sins
Reshma 2010: Firing Up All Cylinders
Reshma's Momentum: Line Graph Or Curve Graph
400 Phone Calls In 5 Hours For Reshma 2010
Immigration Now?
I Am Angry At Chris Matthews
Joke Of The Day: Carolyn Maloney
Reshma For Congress YouTube Channel Reshma Saujani
Maloney Wrote A Book Saying Her Best Is Not Good Enough
A 1,000 Phone Calls For Reshma Challenge: An Open Letter To Aaron
Reshma's Momentum: 70% Vs. 7%, 24,000 Vs. 8,000 Signatures, $2 Vs. $1.2 Million
Reshma Laxmi Saujani: Third Bumper Quarter In A Row
A Few Hours At The Reshma 2010 Headquarters
Chris Matthews Repeated The Lie That Reshma Is Wall Street's Candidate
Reshma Saujani And The Chris Matthews Band
Maloney's Idiotic Debate Non Stand Can Be Countered Through Use Of Social Media
Debating Is "Stunt" In A Maloney Democracy
Reshma 2010 Party Tonight
I Want To Go Full Time With Reshma 2010
Reshma Is Better At Raising Money, Way Better
Reshma 2010: New Office: Party: June 21 Monday

Randi For Reshma
Zuckerberg Has Stature
Reshma 2010, Square, And Pro.Act.Ly

Reshma Saujani At The Huffington Post
An Afternoon At The Reshma 2010 Headquarters
A 14-7 Office For Reshma 2010
My Political Resume, Reshma 2010, And September 14
Reshma Saujani, Carolyn Maloney
My Talk With Kevin Lawler Of Reshma 2010
Reshma 2010 Get Together In Little India
Reshma Saujani Ad Spotted At The New York Times Website
Reshma Saujani, Scott Heiferman, Chris Hughes: TechCrunch Disrupt
Reshma Saujani, Haiti Earthquake, Harvard Yale, And 2016
Reshma Saujani "Gets" Tech
Reshma Saujani: Innovation, Ethnic Pride, Thought Leadership
Do I Know Rajiv Shah?

Bloomberg Video: Saujani Sees Private Sector Jobs Crucial To Recovery

Keeping The House And The Senate

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States Hou...Image via Wikipedia
Since June 2008 I have not followed Obama daily for a few hours each day like I did before that for a year and a half. So I don't exactly have my finger on the pulse. But following the headlines has been as good as seeing hill top to hill top.

The Dumbfuck Immigration Laws

The political landscape as it stands right now is a mystery to me. There are few things I can say for sure, but I can try and attempt and make a few guesses.

On immigration I don't know what to say. This issue is hard for me because (1) it touches me at the bones level, (2) I know Obama feels deeply about this issue, it touches him almost at the bones level, he understands it to be a civil rights issue, and (3) I would not want him to lose the House and the Senate over it.

How do you kill the snake without breaking the stick?

I first argued that immigration has to be saved for 2011. Then I argued it perhaps needs to be worked on now. Now I am thinking it has to be worked on now but only if work on it can be completed in two months. If you can be done and over with by the end of September, start work on it now. If not, save it for 2011. 2009: Stimulus. 2010: Wall Street Reform. 2011: Immigration. 2012: Deficit.

Immigration Now?
Save Immigration For 2011

So how to keep the House and the Senate? Obama could do it because he has done this before. He has defied history before. There was no rule in any book anywhere that said a black man could end up in the White House.

Obama's Got Momentum: He Could Defy History In November

There is a rule in the books that says a president does not get to keep the Congress during his first mid term elections. Defying this rule should be much less challenging than that first rule. After all, race is America's original sin.

There are a few pointers I could give.
  1. I like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, but it is the president who has to step up. This has to be his election. He needs to campaign and campaign vigorously. He needs to treat 2010 like it were 2012.
  2. He has to make the point that had he been the president from 2000 to 2008, there would have been no Iraq War and there would have been no Wall Street meltdown. Had there been no Wall Street meltdown, there would have been no bailout and no stimulus bill. The stimulus bill was expensive, but minus that we would have been in the middle of a Great Depression right this moment. If you think 10% unemployment is ugly, try imagining a 25% unemployment.
  3. The bailout was expensive but the banks already paid for it for the most part. The stimulus bill was expensive, but the economy will pay for it over time. That money did not go down the drain.
  4. We can not run these deficits forever, but now is not the time to cut back. If we cut back now, we run the risk of running the economy to the ground all over again. The stimulus will have gone to waste. 
  5. The deficit will be eliminated, and that will happen while he is in the White House. But now is not the time.
  6. Health care reform happened. That was a once in a century thing.
  7. Wall Street has been reformed. That has been a once in a half century thing.
  8. It makes no sense to take a winning team out of the league.
  9. A hole that was almost a decade in the digging, I never promised to take you out of it in one year. We are not there yet fully, but we are on the right track, and we need to stay the course. Let me keep my team that has let me get this far. I have bigger and better things in mind that I want to do. And I need my team to stay with me.
  10. I want the unemployment rate to come down to 5% from near 10% more than anybody else. And that is why I need your continued support. Just like the deficit will be eliminated on my watch, unemployment will be brought down to about 5% on my watch, but I need to keep at it. And I need to get to keep my team.
I think the Dems stand to keep the Senate right now, and they stand to keep the House, although I expect the margins to get slimmed, especially so in the House. But then we have three full months. And three full months are a long time. Three months are a long time for the political winds to blow. Obama could make them blow his way.

Obama's 2010 election effort has to be about the economy first, second and third. I can see him defying history "but the arc does not bend on its own."

Pelosi Will Continue As Speaker
John Liu: Mayor Of NYC: 2013
Reshma Saujani: Top 10 Women To Watch In America

New York Times

Budget Chief Tried to Tilt Power to Executive Branch
Editorial:Keeping Politics in the Shadows
Early Word: Off to New Jersey and New York
Year of the Women in Oklahoma
Democrats Confirm More House Seats in Play
Obama Meets With Big Donors
Texas Battles Health Law Even as It Follows It
In Study, 2 Economists Say Intervention Helped Avert a 2nd Depression
From Blagojevich Lawyer, Final Argument With Drama
Massachusetts Nears a Change to Electoral Votes
How G.O.P. Senators Plan to Vote on Kagan
Obama Assails Republicans on Campaign Finance
New Health Official Faces Hostility in Senate
Blagojevich Corruption Trial Wraps Up
Panel Seen Approving F-35 Engine, Risking Veto
Lawmakers Seeking Cuts Look at Nonprofit Salaries
Washington Memo: Warren’s Candidacy Raises a Partisan Debate
When Race Is the Issue, Misleading Coverage Sets Off an Uproar
At the White House, Losing a Game of Phone Tag
Wedding Is Talk of the Town, but Nobody’s Talking
Cities View Homesteads as a Source of Income
Geithner Dismisses Concerns on Letting Tax Cuts Expire
Salon: Tea Party embraces billboards for anti-Obama message delivery
Huffington Post: Obama Could Face Primary Challenge Over Afghanistan (VIDEO)
The Politico: Rangel talks in jeopardy
Ezra Klein: How to end the filibuster with 51 votes
CNN Political Ticker: Santorum huddles with former aides to talk 2012
Interactive Feature: Fund-Raising in the Most Competitive Races
Interactive Map: Tracking the Races
Interactive Timeline: Barack Obama
Interactive Feature: Inside Congress
Interactive Timeline: Nearly 100 Years of Milestones and Defeats
On the Surface, Gulf Oil Spill Is Vanishing Fast| Concerns Stay
Maureen Dowd: Lost in a Maze
Thomas L. Friedman: Want the Good News First?
Videos Rouse Russian Anger Toward Police
New York to Pay $7 Million for Sean Bell Shooting
Op-Ed: Stop Raiding the Ivory Tower Restaurants Grading Begins in New York
Illegal Immigrants Caught on a Yacht, in a Web of Maritime Laws
Student Injury at Protest Leads to Battle in Israel
Campaign Finance Bill Is Set Aside
18 States and District of Columbia Are Finalists for Education Grants
Ex-Regulators Get Set to Lobby on New Financial Rules
U.S. Military Chief Presses Iraqis to End Deadlock, Citing Risks to Security Gains
China Pushes to End Public Shaming
Remarkable Creatures: Translating Stories of Life Forms Etched in Stone
Advance on AIDS Raises Questions as Well as Joy
Essay: Lifesaving Medications, Through a Back Door
Tobacco Funds Shrink as Obesity Fight Intensifies
Can Migraines Damage the Brain?
Economic Scene: The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers
On Education: Equity of Test Is Debated as Children Compete for Gifted Kindergarten
The Roller-Coaster Ride Called a Short Sale
Wind Drives Growing Use of Batteries
Disney Buys Playdom in $763 Million Deal, Becoming Hollywood Leader in Social Games
Telefónica Wins Control of Brazilian Operator After Raising Bid
Sprint Nextel Reports Gain in Subscribers
Indians 4, Yankees 1: Yankees Are Foiled by a Pitcher in His Debut
Mets 8, Cardinals 2: Francoeur, Possible Trade Bait, Makes the Most of an Unexpected Start
Practical Traveler: Avoiding a Large Phone Bill When Traveling
Next Stop: A Swedish Island for Respite or Revelry
A London Chef Looks to a Different East
The Curious Cook: To Enhance Flavor, Just Add Water
Drilling Down: Why Elite Shoppers Eschew Logos
G.M. Puts $41,000 Price Tag on the Volt
Appeals Court Rejects Effort to Create Hybrid Taxi Fleet
Editorial: Rethinking Criminal Sentences
Film: Duvall, Nearly 80, Is Still a Darling of Hollywood
Hero of Comic-Book World Gets Real
Surviving an Epic Night of Being Everything and Nothing
Theater Review | 'Notice Me': Angry, Bored, Conflicted. Group Hugs, Anyone?
Books of The Times: Love Found Amid Ruins of Empire
Political Times: Race: Still Too Hot to Touch
Facebook Is to Power Company as ...
The Web Means the End of Forgetting
The Yoga Mogul
New Orleans’s Gender-Bending Rap
More City Preschoolers Are Perfect, Test Scores Show
Poll: Older Americans Perplexed by Health Care Law
A New Concept in Health Care

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A Clean Tech Experience

I showed up for the Clean Tech event with an open, blank mind: Reshma 2010 Clean Tech Event July 27 Tuesday. Blank because I did not know much about clean tech at all. I had a few ideas, I could say a few buzz words, I could draw a few outlines. There is a slope: tech as in internet tech, then clean tech, then bio tech, I know the least about nano tech. If the next Reshma 2010 event is going to be on bio tech, I am going to spend a good few hours doing some serious reading online. I am going to do some homework.

It was that feeling that led me to ask the question I asked.

"I showed up for this event not knowing much about clean tech at all and so this has been a wonderful experience. It is so obvious Clean Tech is going to be a major source of much needed jobs for this city, this country, this world. But those jobs will not get created if certain political decisions are not made and those decisions will not get made if the politicians don't feel the pressure and the politicians will not feel the pressure if the voters, the citizens are not actively involved in the conversation, the discussion, and debate around clean tech, and a great way to do that would be to have Reshma Saujani and Carolyn Maloney do a debate on TV exclusively about clean tech, but I don't see that happening. Why are Reshma Saujani and Carolyn Maloney not debating clean tech on TV?"

The moderator looks at me and he gives me a perplexed look for about two seconds. This guy looks Indian, but he is all hostile to Reshma. He does not seem to realize Reshma is not the reason the debate is not taking place. Someone needs to point out he is knocking on the wrong door. And so he says, "You need to take that question to Carol!"

The moderator started out saying he was Australian and that "American politics is baffling to me." If American politics is baffling to him, he should take a crack at Indian politics. JFK's ambassador to India John Kenneth Galbraith, well esteemed in the intellectual circles of this country, went on record about "the imponderables of Indian politics."

The panel was a huge one. It could barely fit. It was an impressive panel. The flyer had details on each company and participating organization. I wish I had an electronic version so I could publish it at this blog. I might still type it out and publish the introductory paragraphs on the various companies and organizations that participated.

Off the bat the company that most fascinated me was Bodega Algae. It is "a developer of scalable algae photobioreactors. The closed continuous-flow reactors produce high-energy algal biomass for use in the production of biofuel."

I briefly got to talk to the Bodega representative, a MIT PhD, after the formal program was over. I told her how her company stood out for me of all companies on the list. And she shared some more info. One thing she shared alarmed me. The thinking in the energy industry seems to be that big oil names like Exxon will do biofuel as well because they have the distribution infrastructure. That was alarming to me. That would be like saying Google should have happened under Microsoft and Facebook should have happened under Google. That would totally stifle innovation. The thing to do is to make Exxon share their distribution infrastructure by law.

The political highlight of the event for me though happened before the formal program began. A Sara (not real name) walked over to me while I was talking to another Reshma 2010 intern that I had met once before. She introduced me as a "huge fan of your blog." She said she was a Reshma 2010 intern.

Sara is going to be a senior at high school soon. She said she lived on "the north side of town." I hope that means Upper East Side and not Westchester. The way she presented herself made me think she alone could deliver 50 votes. When I am talking about Reshma Saujani as The New Woman (Reshma Saujani: Top 10 Women To Watch In America), I am thinking about women like Sara.

She asked me if I would do a blog post on her. I hereby pledge to do a blog post on every Reshma 2010 intern and staffer who might express interest. All you have to do is schedule to sit down with me for an hour long interview at the Reshma 2010 headquarters, and let me take a few pictures of you with the others in the room. I like to take a few different pictures and then put them together as collages. That's my style.

I asked her about college applications and where she might want to go. She said she had visited Stanford.

"Me too. It is such a pretty campus," I said.

Sara told me she looked at both the Maloney and the Reshma campaigns before deciding on the Reshma campaign as the one she wanted to intern for. That is a good sign.

Also if high school students are reading my blog, I think I need to be more careful in terms of what I put out. I did not realize. 

I have come to realize Sunday afternoons are perhaps not the best time to be making phone calls to voters. I asked Paul last Sunday and he suggested the best time might be weekdays from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.

My current professional status is that I am a pro blogger. Every day is like every other day to me. I could show up on a Sunday, or a Wednesday.

I got to meet a whole bunch of people, one of them was an Ashish. He said he was a friend of Reshma. You look familiar, I said. I think I might have seen him at the last Reshma 2010 tech event. I asked about his background.


"Where in India?"


"They broke up Bihar against my wishes, but that makes you the sixth Bihari I have met in America."

"I am a Punjabi."

"I once got an email from a Punjabi who thought I was one. Paramendra can sound like Parmendar." (Bhangra, Cricket: Exotic To Me)

And Bhagat can sound like Bhagat Singh. 

"I came to America when I was nine months old."

That was one remarkable nine month old, I thought.

I aimlessly walked out after the event was over. After whiling away in Union Square I decided to walk over towards Times Square. Up on Ninth Avenue I decide to go over to Central Park. It is amazing to me how well lit all parts of Central Park can be at night. That is a Third World perspective for you. I decided to go in for a walk. I stayed by the big road. That is another Third World perspective for you. Deep inside I came across two Chinese looking guys who asked which way to Fifth Avenue.

"I have no idea where I am at right now, or I could tell you," I said. Then I spotted the two two dimensional buildings of Columbus Circle and told them which way.

Deep in thought, I missed the 14th Street stop for change of train two times. 

By the time I got home it was past midnight. My Harvard Law School graduate roomie had already called it a day. The dude shares a few other traits with Barack: he is black.

"See you soon" was Reshma's greeting to me towards the end of the event.

You bet. That might be as early as Wednesday evening.  

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