Kevin Tofel, GigaOM: It's hard to believe that it was a year ago when we added a Chevy Volt to our garage. A key factor in that decision was that we were generating excess electricity from the 41 solar panels we put on our house in 2011. With a year of driving and the odometer just over 15,000 miles, would I change that decision? Not for a second; having a plug-in vehicle has worked out tremendously well for us, mainly because we're the right target audience for such a car.
Probably seeking more TV appearances and speaking gigs, Sarah Palin has decided to enter the overcrowded "war on Christmas" market sector with a new book. Like all the other screeds on the subject, Palin's version -- Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas -- takes up arms against a cast of alleged scoundrels frequently denounced by conservative talking heads. Is Palin sick of the commercialization that has wrenched the season from its roots? Is she tired of Christmas sales that start before Thanksgiving? Has she had it with the bickering over parking spaces and shoving to get the most popular toy that inevitably accompany shopping at this time of year?
There are various things that conservatives and liberals disagree over, and for some insane reason, whether or not the Civil War was about slavery is one of them. Sure, the war ended with the abolition of slavery, but many individuals still claim that the entire war was over states' rights as opposed to the tradition of owning another human being.
Bill Scher: Republican Ken Cuccinelli became a national conservative star as Virginia's attorney general by leading the legal fight to declare Obamacare unconstitutional all the way to the Supreme Court. Now he's running for governor, and he's making health care the defining issue of his campaign. Virginia voters appear to agree with Cuccinelli that health care is one of the most important issues of the campaign. The Washington Post poll conducted October 24-27 asked likely voters how important eight different issues were to determining their vote. Along with job creation and education, health care tied for first, with 72 percent saying those issues were "very important." And yet, in that same poll, Cuccinelli is losing by 12 points. read more
Lou Reed, a massively influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today on Long Island. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May. As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn. "One chord is fine," he once said, alluding to his bare-bones guitar style. "Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you're into jazz." read more