Thursday, July 28, 2016

Shoe-Drop at Quad-C?

Back in 2012 we were concerned over the lack of action on the 2009-announced Quad-C project but were assured the delay was for a good reason: the scope of the project had grown.

In 2013 we were told that a consortium of 6 companies would spend $1.5 Billion on chip R&D at the Utica SUNY campus in a new facility then under construction (Quad-C).

In 2014 rumors that a key player in the 6 member consortium at Quad-C had backed out were quickly pooh-poohed by our local media.

In 2015 when we got the news that the Marcy chip-fab site had finally landed AMS as a tenant, we were also told that GE would now be the "anchor tenant" at Quad-C. There was no mention -- much less an inquiry -- in the local media of what happened to the 6 member consortium.

We have waited seven years and, yes, a gleaming new building was constructed ... but that building is still unoccupied.

In 2016? The word out of Albany today is not good.  Headline on the Albany Business Review website this afternoon: Work stopped at SUNY Poly, GE project.
The construction company building a manufacturing pilot facility at SUNY Polytechnic Institute's Albany campus has halted work after not being paid by the state since January...

Pike is building a $25 million pilot manufacturing line for new technology from General Electric (NYSE: GE) to make silicon carbide wafers. Tehan said the company started work in the fall and was paid for four months of work, until January...

The manufacturing pilot in Albany is part of the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, a $500 million public-private partnership. GE anchors the group...

The second phase of the partnership between GE and SUNY Poly is a packaging center in Utica. Chips made at the Albany manufacturing site would then be placed into modules and power blocks for use in electronics there.
Soooo ... if the Albany facility that will make the chips intended to be used in Utica at Quad-C is on hold, what does that mean for Quad-C?

Seven years and an empty building: Is there a word that combines  the meanings of "slow-motion train-wreck" with "white elephant?"  

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

FBI & HRC: An Indictment of Systemic Corruption

It was painful to watch FBI Director James Comey deliver his decision yesterday to not prosecute Hillary Clinton for federal law violations related to her mis-handling of e-mail -- especially after detailing all the evidence against her. Of all the federal agencies, the FBI seemed to be one that the public could count upon to be above political influence. That reputation is now a thing of the past.

But to not prosecute was the only reasonable decision that could have been made under the circumstances. 

Comey would have had to work within a corrupted Dept. of Justice and administration as evidenced by AG Lynch's unprecedented meeting with Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama having endorsed HRC. Comey could not count upon a DOJ staff under Ms. Lynch's supervision. He could not count upon government witnesses ultimately answerable to Mr. Obama.  Furthermore, the administration's reputation for destroying those speaking out against it is well known. Comey's agents could become administration targets. And then could he depend upon impartial treatment in a DC Circuit populated by Obama-appointed judges? 

The deck is stacked against a successful prosecution by systemic corruption.

Comey would know that only the voters could fix this. That is why he presented his case against HRC to the court of public opinion yesterday instead of a court of law, even though it made him look foolish.