August 16, 2010

"A few people lined the streets of the business and industrial park that houses ZBB, hoping to get a glimpse of Obama's motorcade when it arrived."

"A few people lined the streets"? How do a few people line streets? Or even one street? Instead of saying something ridiculously nonsensical, why not admit it? When Obama came to Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, basically nobody gave a damn.

78 comments:

Freeman Hunt said...

I went for a walk and lined my street just this morning.

Joe said...

A few people "line streets" with chalk or paint, depending...

GMay said...

Pics or it didn't happen!

Seven Machos said...

Here in Chicago, I live at Ground Zero of where the nice hotels are. When Obama was here for his Lnely Birthday Weekend, there were lot of those bike-rack-looking barricades up all over the streets and there was an insane police presence all over my neighborhood.

I am not one to want to watch any presidential motorcade (especially having lived in D.C.) but I was at the park with my kid and this other dad there said we should go watch the motorcade, and I agreed since I thought my vehicle-loving boy would like it and because I didn't want to look like an asshole for declining.

Anyway, there weren't any more than a few people lining the streets. In fact, most people were just going about their business shopping in all the stores. The one thing that I did find interesting was that there was a group of maybe 10 black women nearby. When the motorcade went by, they cheered raucously. It was a sweet moment, and it made me realize how important and fundamentally awesome it must feel to African-Americans that a black man has reached the pinnacle of American politics. No matter how much of a train wreck Obama's presidency is, that is indeed a satisfying milestone.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Strictly speaking I think two people are enough to line a street. That's technically correct--the best kind of correct.

Michael said...

Seven Machos: Very nicely put.

Big Mike said...

@Seven, now if only they had a president who was worthy of their acclaim.

Pogo said...

In math, two points makes a line.
3 or 4 points would make two lines.


So this is correct, in that very narrow technical sense only understood by Columbia PhDs demanding a plain bagel from a barista with no cheese goddammit.

Paul said...

And yet, no matter how many Tea Party people peaceably assemble to petition for redress of grievances, it never actually forms a crowd in the minds of the MSM.

Freeman Hunt said...I went for a walk and lined my street just this morning.

Excellent!

SteveR said...

A really tall person would mean people planed the streets

Pogo said...

Truth be told, if a few people are lining the streets of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, they are probably smoking, motorcade or no.

Come rain or shine, they're out there, puffing away.

Freeman Hunt said...

If we're going to be sticklers for having at least two points, I guess I rayed my street this morning.

Pogo said...

Standing still at the corner, I merely vertexed.

Michael Haz said...

I hope they were using biodegradable street liners.

bwebster said...

"How do a few people lines the streets?"

In mild defense of the anonymous staff writer(s), I can see how someone (particularly someone relatively young) could think the phrase "line the streets" simply means "stood on the sidewalks" vs. the original concept of "form a (solid) line parallel to the street."

But I think it's worthy snark, nevertheless. :-)

Michael Haz said...

Freeman, I'll bet your arc was pretty cool. But, I'm off on a tangent, aren't I?

Calypso Facto said...

Of course the employees of ZBB welcomed Uncle Sugar's most visible representative, since the small company (with 12 month revenues of $1.48M and a market cap of $10M) recently received $16M in tax credits and loans via federal largess. It's good to be the favored son of a generous overlord...

I do have to wonder why the President's visit coincided with a 20% drop in the company's stock price today, though. Are investors afraid of financial incompetence by association?

Big Mike said...

In math, two points makes a line.

Mathematical joke starts "take any two non-colinear points." This becomes an instant thigh-slapper.

3 or 4 points would make two lines

No. Assuming they are not colinear then hree points define one planar surface and can be used to define 3 lines. Four points, such that (s.t.) no three are colinear, define 3! = 6 lines. If the four points are coplanar they define the corners of a quadrilateral. If the four are not coplanar then they define a tetrahedron, which is a convex polyhedron that has four faces. (Note that it does not have to be a regular polyhedron.)

This, of course, assumes Euclidean geometry.

I hope you are all paying attention. There will be a short quiz at 4:00 PM.

Andrea said...

"The one thing that I did find interesting was that there was a group of maybe 10 black women nearby. When the motorcade went by, they cheered raucously. It was a sweet moment, and it made me realize how important and fundamentally awesome it must feel to African-Americans that a black man has reached the pinnacle of American politics. No matter how much of a train wreck Obama's presidency is, that is indeed a satisfying milestone."

And it's all downhill from here. When he's not president anymore, what are these black ladies going to do? Americans aren't known for being satisfied with merely pleasant memories of past triumphs -- we want that orgasm to last forever.

traditionalguy said...

The show must go on. But what's his name is totally irrelevent to anyone not directly counting on getting a piece of the pie from the next Porkulus.

c3 said...

Will he take a side trip to the 1st Congressional District

but more likely to head the other direction and visit here

Seven Machos said...

There is another way to look at this. The writer could have been being sarcastic. Saying "a few people lined the streets" could be a subtle, Pravda-like way of observing that nobody in this town gave a shit that Obama was in town.

TRO said...

"It was a sweet moment, and it made me realize how important and fundamentally awesome it must feel to African-Americans that a black man has reached the pinnacle of American politics. No matter how much of a train wreck Obama's presidency is, that is indeed a satisfying milestone."

Sad to see that that man is such a failure.

El Pollo Real said...

Lining streets D.C. style: linkage

deborah said...

"If we're going to be sticklers for having at least two points, I guess I rayed my street this morning."

Heh.

Michael Haz said...

The streets in Wisconsin are lined with cowmats.

lemondog said...

How do a few people line streets?

Why make everything so complicated.

Get 4 persons on each side of the street and have each lay down head to foot. As O passes by the end person gets up and runs to the head of the line and lays down, thus you line the streets.

He should have enuff secret service personnel to accomplish that task.

c3 said...

Did Rep. Sensenbrenner join him?

garage mahal said...

When Obama came to Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, basically nobody gave a damn.

"They welcomed the president with a standing round of applause." I'd have to say basically you are wrong.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Somebody ought to check out ZBB Energy, the company that O is visiting.

It has about 50 employees total. Apparently some of these employees are overseas--can't tell how many.

ZBB has never made a dime, yet is a public company with a total market cap of $10 million. All of its markets depend on government subsidy. It's web (under construction!) site is a mess and it's "links" to annual reports and financial statements all lead to a promotional powerpoint presentation.

The CEO is Eric Apfelbach. He was previously CEO of M2E Power and Virent Energy Systems. They are both unprofitable startups.

Here's an article (press release?) announcing Eric's hiring by M2E.

At M2E Power, a renewable energy design and development company based in Boise, Idaho, Apfelbach will be responsible for leading the company through future stages of development, including the commercialization of products with military and consumer applications, including mobile electronic devices.

M2E Power touted Apfelbach's ability to raise venture capital and form industry alliances with the likes of Honda, Shell, and Cargill as he positioned Virent as a top biofuel start-up.

Apfelbach announced he was leaving Virent in late 2008 to pursue other opportunities. At Virent, he has been succeeded by veteran energy industry executive Lee Edwards.


In other words, he got bounced by Virent and went to M2E. Within less than a year, though, M2E's assets were "sold," which is a polite way of saying they went out of business. Now he's "developing jobs" in speculative energy storage markets, including the fill stations for electric cars.

Virent is still in business, still not profitable, but it just announced another "round" of financing--$46 million. Backers seem to include Cargill and Shell--both heavy hitters, but who knows how much tax subsidy, grant money, etc, is involved.

ZBB stock dropped 20% on the day of Obama's visit! Thinly traded and illiquid would be an understatement in describing its stock.

I have some questions:

How in hell does this company get the President of the United States to fly out to tout it?

Does this company have any real prospects, other than hope of a government funded brass ring?

Does O really think this kind of state subsidized capitalism is going to solve the jobs problem?

Would anyone in the news media ever look behind the press releases?

Pogo said...

Yeah, garage, he's right popular, at least among folks who are getting money throwed at 'em.

The folks what's getting money took from 'em, why, they ain't so happy.
And they be a mite larger number.

Calypso Facto said...

Garage: It says "the employees" greeted him with applause. With federal funding of roughly $500,000 PER EMPLOYEE, it's not hard to see why...

MadisonMan said...

Did Rep. Sensenbrenner join him?

I will guess no. Obama was met at the airport by Gov. Doyle and the two Senators, and also Gwen Moore.

Menomonee Falls is in Senssenbrenner's district.

garage mahal said...

Tax credits and loans to corporations is hardly a new thing is it?

Oh, Obama gave it. That means it's bad. And a bad company to boot!

Hell, the money even comes from different places if a Democrat is in charge ain't it Pogo?

Calypso Facto said...

When does the REAL purpose of the visit (fundraiser for Tom Barrett) happen? The "O" is back on the campaign trail and in his element. As with Barrett and ZBB, he'll play exclusively to receptive audiences greased with millions in taxpayer dollars and Chinese debt.

Pogo said...

"Hell, the money even comes from different places if a Democrat is in charge ain't it Pogo?"

The money comes from only a few places, whether taken by corrupt Dems or the GOP:
Average US schlubs, ferriners, and (now) the next 7 generations.

garage mahal said...

Calypso
So your offended fundraising happens, or offended a Democrat is doing the fundraising. Because, well both parties do it. This loan/tax credit is a pittance compared to many industries, hardly enough for an entertainment budget.

Big Mike said...

Now for the quiz I promised you

Am I the only person who is concerned that the government is in the business of picking and choosing between competing technologies and deciding which company, among those pursuing similar technologies, should be a winner and which should be losers?

Bonus question:
Is this not equally bad whether practiced by Democrats or practiced by Republicans.

You have twenty minutes from

Right

Now

traditionalguy said...

I keep seeing Obama, Pelosi acting as reincarnations of European Kings. They believe in their hearts that all belongs to the King, and everyone has to pay them fees to get anything in life. Reid is just a crooked politician American style. Reid could just as easy have been a Republican.

rhhardin said...

"Welcome President Bush" would be a good sign to carry.

Calypso Facto said...

Garage: I'm an equal opportunity scrooge about "politics as usual". I hate seeing politicians of any flavor campaigning while being paid to govern, spending taxed and borrowed money for influence, and trying to direct markets they can't begin to understand with a heavy and biased hand.

former law student said...

A few people dotted the streets?

Why are we sending tax money to Cheeseheads when the state of Michigan is worse off.

As falls Menomonee, so falls Menomonee Falls.

blake said...

Gabriel Hanna said...
Strictly speaking I think two people are enough to line a street. That's technically correct--the best kind of correct.


Gabriel Hanna channels Bureaucrat 1.0 in honor of our very own Bureaucrat 1.0!

Calypso Facto said...

Here's the basis of my discontent, Garage: This may be small potatoes in the scope of the Big Machine, but by my back-of-the-napkin calculations, somewhere close to 8,000 people in this country worked all year and begrudgingly yet dutifully paid their income taxes so that someone in the Federal government could decide that THESE 40 or so workers (and maybe even competitors!) should benefit, and a few connected politicians could take credit. Meh.

Time for one of those Man in Moon beers you recommended (good call) before I really get bilious.

Richard Dolan said...

Seven: "There is another way to look at this. The writer could have been being sarcastic."

Perhaps. Or the writer wasn't much of a writer, and didn't know any other to describe it other than using the "lining the streets" cliche that folks pull out when motorcades of any sort are the subject.

blake said...

Peppered!

They peppered the streets!

Maybe salted with astroturfers.

Sorry, still playing ketchup.

edutcher said...

It's tough to find a way to say nobody cared when the Messiah came to town.

rhhardin said...

"Welcome President Bush" would be a good sign to carry.

Now there's an idea...

garage mahal said...

Calypso
I'm mainly with you on this, and definitely on Moon Man :) Love that beer.

PatCA said...

They were probably waiting for the bus.

And his audience was 100 people?? That's all they could come up with?

Now I feel kind of sorry for him.

PatCA said...

They were probably waiting for the bus.

And his audience was 100 people?? That's all they could come up with?

Now I feel kind of sorry for him.

PatCA said...

They were probably waiting for the bus.

And his audience was 100 people?? That's all they could come up with?

Now I feel kind of sorry for him.

Patm said...

How the mighty have fallen. From global god with fainting fans to someone no one much cares to see.

Obama should be worried. Indifference is worse than hate. Bush might have been hated, but people would have REALLY lined the streets to let him know it.

This indifference is deadly for a politician. The Democrats should read this and get chills.

AllenS said...

If they would quit spending money on this battery crap, they could build a nice train line from Madison to Shorewood Hills.

David said...

ZBB Energy describes itself on its web site:

ZBB Energy Corporation (NYSE:ZBB) is engaged in the development and manufacturing of large capacity energy storage systems based on its proprietary and patented zinc bromide technology. ZBB currently generates revenue primarily from the sales and maintenance of its proprietary energy storage system. The company was founded in 1998 and is a Wisconsin incorporated entity with its headquarters and manufacturing facility located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin U.S.A. As a leading innovator of modular, transportable energy storage products ZBB maintains an ongoing commitment to Research and Development with state-of-the-art dedicated R&D facilities located in Bibra Lake, Perth, Western Australia.

Bibra Lake, Perth, Western Australia?

CEO is a serial loser.

Sales virtually zero.

"Proprietary" technology?

Do they sell bridges in Brooklyn too

David said...

From "Greentech Grid" web site, May 21, 2009.

ZBB Energy Corp. (AMEX: ZBB) said Thursday that it is seeking $47 million from Department of Energy stimulus funds to put $94 million into its existing zinc bromide flow battery factory, as well as a new facility.

The Minneapolis-based company makes a class of batteries that share some characteristics with fuel cells. Flow batteries move an electrolyte through a reactor that converts their chemical energy to electricity, and then recover spent electrolyte for recharge.

ZBB said the DOE funding would allow it to boost its annual production capacity from 20 megawatt-hours of production capacity to 300 megawatt-hours of production capacity.


Minneapolis HQ?

300 Megawatt Hours? (That's near absolute zero in energy grid terms.)

$47 Million stimulus funds?

Where's the damn factory?

Why has no company ever sold a single zinc bromide battery unless a major government subsidy was involved?

America's Politico said...

People are lining up as he is the President. The best president we ever had. He embodies leadership, vision, and care for our place in the world. He is the reason why we are the best.

N.B.: No one is lining up for the GOP. How ironic?

former law student said...

Why has no company ever sold a single zinc bromide battery...

because they're all startups developing an emerging technology, would be my guess.


... unless a major government subsidy was involved?

Vulture capitalists are not exactly forking it over right now. But the general rule is that when it's raining soup, you should rush outside with your bowl turned the right way.

David said...

Look here http://www.masterresource.org/2010/03/can-utility-scale-batteries-rescue-intermittent-renewables/ for a discussion of various "emerging" battery technologies.

The reason the bromide battery does not sell is that it has numerous better developed competitors, and many feel that the theoretical potential for lead bromide batteries is oversold.

That may or may not be true.

However, where government, bureaucracy and politics are allocating resources, misallocations are inevitable. We need only look at the government role in the financial and mortgage mess to see that.

Preston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Preston said...

There was a time when folks DID get excited about seeing the President. When Pres. Reagan passed my business in 1986 on the way to a speech, we could either lose an hour of production while everyone talked about missing the president or shut down for 10-15 minutes two times and let folks pay their respects. It was an easy decision.
I have photos.

k*thy said...

Menomonee Falls is suburb in a very Republican district in one of the, if not the most, Republican counties in the state. Rabidly Republican. The size of the crowd - not a suprise at all. There's no way they'd even give Obama the time of day. Funny line, but there's not really much to it.

BJM said...

While Hollywood high rollers line the DCCC's pockets to hob nob with the POTUS idle boxcars line up for twenty miles in Oregon.

Tone deaf much Mr. President?

jamboree said...

I'm going to put it down to editing. They probably originally wrote "people lined the streets" and then corrected it to "a few people" w/o rereading it. I do it all the time. Of course, it's not my profession.

Youngblood said...

Ha!

It seems like it was only yesterday when the President's every speaking event would attract throngs of his devoted worshippers.

Maybe this is a manifestation of the enthusiasm gap that pollsters keep talking about?

Seven Machos said...

Is America's Politico high sarcasm that I don't get?

Palladian said...

"Is America's Politico high sarcasm that I don't get?"

Not high sarcasm, just lowly sincerity.

Skyler said...

" it made me realize how important and fundamentally awesome it must feel to African-Americans that a black man has reached the pinnacle of American politics."

Proving again that white people are for the most part not racists but almost all blacks are.

teragrinch said...

"A few people lined the streets...". It gets worse. They're in the industrial park where ZBB Energy, the company Obama visited and where he spoke, is located.
"An audience of about 100, including ZBB employees and others...". Audience of 100? Including employees, some of whom were probably required to attend, or perhaps just strongly encouraged?
"They welcomed the president with a standing round of applause." Not a standing ovation?
Yep, you're absolutely right: "When Obama came to Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, basically nobody gave a damn"

Comrade X said...

Bart: What happened?
Krusty: Aw, don't worry about that. You're just finished, that's all.
Bart: Finished?
Krusty: Ehh, it happens all the time. That's show business for you: one day you're the most important guy that ever lived, the next day you're some shmoe working in a box factory.


the funny part is that Obama has been going around saying I didn't do it

knox said...

I don't know, there's something about the name "ZBB". It just sounds made up, like the name of a big anonymous corp. in the Simpsons.

knox said...

Comrade,

I wrote that without even seeing your comment! I guess there's a weird vibe to this whole thing that brings to mind the absurdity of the Simpsons world.

Laika's Last Woof said...

"And yet, no matter how many Tea Party people peaceably assemble to petition for redress of grievances, it never actually forms a crowd in the minds of the MSM."

Until it hits critical mass and goes from "invisible" to "racist mob" as if by a single additional Who shouting "Yip!" unmasking a vast chorus of little people shouting the N-word.

John Powell said...

"How do a few people line streets?" Raggedly, I'd guess. The few people that were there were lined up along the curb. That's what I get from the original. I think it evokes a fairly precise image of a sparse crowd. You're looking too hard for bias.

Ralph L said...

I lined a street in Alexandria next to Sam Donaldson when Reagan left the United Way's HQ (around the corner from my office) after filming a commercial. Sam was stymied by the security tent and looked it. Reagan smiled and waved from the car, and everyone else (maybe 10 people) but Sam waved back.

WV - triststr - Tiger's targets

Diane said...

I would have forgotten he was coming to area, except the presidential helicopter buzzed the house and woke me from my nap.

This was actually a thinly disguised fundraising trip for Barrett, I believe. Why line the streets just to watch them go line their pockets?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

A few people lined the streets...

Or, in the words of Buford T. Justice:

Get in the car, Junior. We're surrounded by a mental case.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Why has no company ever sold a single zinc bromide battery...

Maybe because they only come in packs of two?

/ducks