Sunday, January 19, 2014

The DOJ comes down hard

A big story that probably did not get as much traction as I would expect dropped last week when the Department of Justice announced that Basco Manufacturing will pay a 1.1 million dollar fine to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act in conjunction with the duties that were levied on Chinese aluminum being imported into the US.  The fact that the Aluminum Extruders Council was able to get the DOJ involved and active in this case is pretty impressive.  I think many folks did not expect any blowback or penalties because in the past our government either would not focus on it or they would take a light approach. There was little fear of the consequences of circumvention.  Obviously this is not the case here.  The main issue in this case was something called “transshipping” where you ship the material from China to somewhere else and then off to the US.  Ironically I remember when these duties came out I asked that exact question, on if this was a practice that people could try and was told point blank that it would be “impossible to pull off” and it turns out in the end it was… 


--  You know I hate to keep bringing it up but I have to… the NFRC was back in the news again pushing their services and abilities when it comes to commercial windows and energy codes and ratings. This time it was during a webinar to promote their rating systems.  In simple terms, they are desperately trying to get commercial acceptance and its just not happening.  But gotta give them credit for trying. (My guess its because of class guys like Tom Herron, who do care and try to make it work) However if I am a commercial guy I would be very afraid of this group even more now after seeing the latest composition of their Board.  Not a group of commercial glass supporters that’s for sure.  In fact this board is made of a few of the people who really pushed hard to ram illogical processes down everyone throats a few years ago and could care less for fair dialogue or debate.  Oh well… the more things change… the more they stay the same….

--  I am really stunned that the great blog post from Jenni Chase on last week’s Glassblog only garnered the one comment.  There’s no question that Obamacare is a massive political football and opinions can be strong.  I guess possibly so strong that people do not want to even step into that debate…

--  View picked up another huge investment last week with 100 million dollars coming their way.  More and more people are seeing that there’s going to be a major appetite for all sorts of smarter or dynamic glass (electrochomic and thermochromic among others) and they are speaking with their checkbooks.

--  Make sure you check out my VIDEO of the WEEK as it features one of our own on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.  Kawneer Regional Sales Representative Brian Burch was on vacation in Los Angeles when he ran into the cameras from Jimmy Kimmel and had to show off his moves… Go Brian Go!  And thank you  to Rod Van Buskirk, who brought this to our attention and now probably has Brian pretty fired up at him!

--  I saw that the Sacramento Kings basketball teams will now accept Bitcoin as currency.  I still can’t get my head around how the whole Bitcoin will work.  Can’t wait til some General Contractor tries to pay in Bitcoin in our industry….

--  On the entertainment side, Emma Thompson was robbed by not getting even a nomination for an Oscar for Best Actress in Saving Mr. Banks.  So wrong.  Also the movie Lone Survivor is getting a lot of buzz and I have an Army buddy who has seen it and said if you want to a true and realistic view of what goes down in our current conflicts, this movie was right on.  I have not seen yet, but going to have to…


--  I don’t fly Southwest for many reasons, but now I can add lack of direction to the list.

--  The WRONG way to get icicles off t he roof…

--  This is seriously the most amazing story ever.  Wow.


The aforementioned video from the Jimmy Kimmel show featuring Brian Burch at 2:00 mark… check it out!

1 comment:

Les Bettis Mgs Distributing said...

We have always felt lucky to have Brian as our sales rep. This is just more validation.
He is even wearing his Kawneer shirt! What more can a company expect? And in true Kawneer fashion he thoughtfully listens to the question and responds "Yes, i can".
what a great sport!