Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tom Hanks Scores 3 Pinocchios for Misleading Account of Obama Mother's Insurance Dispute in His Dem Campaign Flick: ‘The Road We’ve Traveled’

Does Tom Hanks have no shame? Not only did he produce HBO's "Game Change" - a Democrat hit piece masquerading as entertainment and history (see my critique of that piece of trash below) but had the audacity to continue trying to mislead the public in his 17 minute Obama campaign film “The Road We’ve Traveled.” Here, even the Washington Post Fact Checker had to call him out and award him THREE PINOCCHIOS for his series of out right misstatements about Obama and his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, including these concerning her health insurance. (See below graphic to see what the WaPo Fact Checker actually said.)

Narrator Tom Hanks: “He (Obama) knew from experience the cost of waiting [on health care reform].”

President Obama : “When my mom got cancer, she wasn’t a wealthy woman and it pretty much drained all her resources”

Michelle Obama: “She developed ovarian cancer, never really had good, consistent insurance. That’s a tough thing to deal with, watching your mother die of something that could have been prevented. I don’t think he wants to see anyone go through that.”

Hanks: “And he remembered the millions of families like of his who feel the pressure of rising costs and the fear of being denied or dropped from coverage.”

This series of words and images was a blatant attempt to perpetuate the misleading falsehood first evokes by candidate Obama during the 2008 campaign that his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, fought with her insurer over whether her cancer was a pre-existing condition that disqualified her from coverage. During the campaign Obama frequently suggested his mother had to fight with her health-insurance company for treatment of her cancer and said: “For my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”

If this had been true, I would agree with Obama that there would have been “something fundamentally wrong about that.” But as journalist Janny Scott reveals in her excellent biography, “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s mother,” letters from Dunham to the CIGNA insurance company clearly shows her dispute was over disability coverage, not health insurance. Disability coverage helps replace lost wages due to illness and has NOTHING to do with Medical Insurance. When she became ill, Dunham was working in Indonesia for Development Alternatives Inc. of Bethesda and her base pay was $82,500, plus housing and car allowances. Her 1995 salary is the equivalent of $123,000 today.

Dunham died in 1995 of uterine and ovarian cancer and her health insurance covered most of the costs of her medical treatment…The hospital billed her insurance company directly, leaving her to pay only the deductible and any uncovered expenses.

Dunham did filed a disability insurance claim which CIGNA denied because her doctor had suspected uterine cancer during an office visit 2 ½ months before Dunham started the job in Indonesia. Disability insurance is different than health insurance coverage denied because of a pre-existing condition. Disability insurance is NOT part of Obama’s health care law.

The White House dismisses the President’s misstatements as: “The president has told this story based on his recollection of events that took place more than 15 years ago.”

So how does Hanks deal with this story? He never directly repeats Obama’s false claim that his mother had to fight for treatment in her hospital room because she was being denied health insurance coverage but look at what Hanks' film does say:

1. Hanks says: “The president knew the cost of waiting on reform.” (Though disability coverage was not an issue in the health care debate.)

2. The president says cancer “drained all her resources.” (Health insurance paid most of her bills, so this is not the case of someone being bankrupted by tens of thousands of dollars in bills and her today’s equivalent salary of $123,000 should have provided her some savings.)

3. Michelle Obama says Dunham “never really had good, consistent insurance.” (Regardless, Dunham had good health coverage when the cancer was discovered.)

4. The first lady also suggests the death “could have been prevented.” (That’s not an insurance issue! Dunham skipped an important test recommended by her US doctor that might have spotted the cancer earlier and then her Indonesian doctor later diagnosed her problem as appendicitis and removed her appendix. By the time the cancer was finally discovered it was third-stage.)

5. Hanks says that Obama’s family felt “the pressure of rising costs and the fear of being denied or dropped from coverage.” (She was NEVER in jeopardy of losing health insurance.)

Bottom line, Hanks' Obama propaganda film creates a false impression very similar to Obama’s 2008 campaign rhetoric that his mother was denied health-insurance coverage that drained her resources and with better coverage she might have lived longer. Nothing could be further from the truth! To skirt the truth the film never uses the words “health insurance” but instead the first lady says “insurance” and Hanks says “coverage” which gives them the out that they were not really out right lying but were talking about disability insurance. Only problem, disability insurance is different than health insurance coverage and has nothing to do with Obama’s health care law.

So what earned Hanks and his film Three Pinocchios? Hanks goes out of his way to give the false impression that Dunham was involved in a fight over health-insurance coverage rather than disability-insurance. Hanks must have known he had a problem with his film or he would have used Obama’s false 2008 campaign phrases like “pre-existing conditions,” “health insurance,” and “treatment.” Instead, he just arranged the quotes and images to leave the misleading and false impression of what really happened. This was an effort consistent with his other "falsehood filled" film, "Game Change!" Good Job Tom!

Friday, March 23, 2012

FACT CHECKER Calls-out Obama Over "Solyndra Shuffle" Trying to Blame Bush for His $535M Taxpayer Give Away!

The 23 March 2012 Washington Post FACT CHECKER Called-out Obama Over His "Solyndra Shuffle" Trying to Deflect his Blame for the $535 MILLION Taxpayer Give Away to a Failed Company Associated with His Major Bundler!

What a difference a year makes! I have posted Glenn Kessler’s entire 23 March Fact Checker below if you want to see what he actually said but here’s my interpretation of it.

Back in 2010 when Obama was riding high on his Green initiatives, he praised the company when he visited Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer associated with George Kaiser. Remember George, he’s that Oklahoma billionaire who served as an Obama "bundler" raising TONS of money during the 2008 presidential campaign. George’s company, Argonaut Ventures, was the single largest shareholder of Solyndra with 39% of the company so when Obama’s Energy Dept illegally decided to put investors ahead of Taxpayers in recovering money in the Solyndra bankruptcy, George was the BIG beneficiary.

So here is how Obama touted his investing $535 MILLION of your Taxpayer money back in 2010:

“We can see the positive impacts right here at Solyndra. Less than a year ago, we were standing on what was an empty lot. But through the Recovery Act, this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new factory is the result of those loans… Before the Recovery Act, we could build just 5 percent of the world’s solar panels. In the next few years, we’re going to double our share to more than 10 percent.”
— Obama, remarks at Solyndra Inc., Fremont, Calif., May 26, 2010

…and when Obama’s Taxpayer “investment” went south, here is the “Obama Shuffle” again trying to play the “Blame Bush” game:

“Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was because the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways that Solyndra couldn’t compete. But understand: This was not our program, per se. Congress — Democrats and Republicans — put together a loan guarantee program because they understood historically that when you get new industries, it’s easy to raise money for startups, but if you want to take them to scale, oftentimes there’s a lot of risk involved, and what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to help startup companies get to scale.” President Obama, interview with American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” March 21, 2012

Aiding and abetting Obama’s Solyndra fiasco was Steven J. Spinner, another elite member of Obama’s “$500K+ Bundler Bunch” who Obama hired to "oversee" the administration's energy loan program. Talk about hiring the wolf to watch the chicken house! Spinner pushed and prodded career Department of Energy officials to approve the Solyndra loans even though his wife's law firm was representing Solyndra! Appears Spinner had forgotten he had signed an ethics agreement pledging he would "not participate in any discussion regarding any application involving his wife's law firm (Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati)."

What Obama once touted as his administration’s BIG achievement has now somehow become a bipartisan effort that preceded Obama — what a difference a year makes. Which is it?

Here are the Facts: The Energy Policy Act of 2005, was signed into law by Bush and Section 1703 of Title XVII included loan guarantee funding to promote innovative clean energy technologies. Solyndra had applied for a loan under 1703, but no loans were made by the time Bush left office.

In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as Obama’s stimulus, Obama added a new section — 1705 — which offered a more attractive loan package because it did not include credit subsidy fees. Solyndra received its $535 MILLIOM loan under Obama’s Section 1705 — not the original Bush Section 1703 program.

A White House 14 Oct 2009 E-Mail obtained by congressional investigators shows Obama officials viewed Solyndra as a key element in “supporting the president’s manufacturing strategy” adding “The Administration’s combination of loans, grants, tax credits and mandates will help the United States regain its position as the world leader in manufacturing clean energy equipment.”

The Obama 2010 quote above clearly demonstrates, the president chose to emphasize the administration’s role in crafting the Solyndra loan when he spoke about Solyndra, only to “do an about face” once Solyndra failed.

Obama officials can’t cite a single example of the administration mentioning Bush until after Solyndra went belly-up. A 4 Sep 2009, news release even quoted VP Biden as saying: “This announcement today is part of the unprecedented investment this Administration is making in renewable energy and exactly what the Recovery Act is all about.” So in Biden’s own words, the stimulus law was promoted — not any Bush-era law. Biden touted the administration’s pivotal role when it looked like Solyndra was going gangbusters and then began blaming Bush when things started going badly.

The Fact Check’s Pinocchio Test awarded Two Pinocchios noting The Obama administration is straining too hard to reverse history by trying to link the Solyndra failure to the original Bush law setting up the loan guarantee program when Solyndra received its loan through Obama’s program expansion for which he was all to quick to take credit for when things looked fine. The Fact checker’s bottom line: ‘It’s hard to believe that any reasonable person could interpret Obama’s remarks this week as anything but a distinct effort to put the blame for Solyndra in some one else’s pocket. The president should accept responsibility, not shirk it.’

Saturday, March 17, 2012

HBO's "Game Change" - A Democrat Hit Piece Masquerading as Entertainment and History

“Game Change” – Why can’t the Liberal Press just be honest and call it what it is. A Democrat campaign “hit piece of trash” masquerading as entertainment and history.

Mark Halperin and I have one thing in common, neither of us was behind the scenes of the Republican Campaign so know the “truth.” But basing a made for HBO movie about the 2008 Republican candidates on a book Halperin, a “journalist” that was “outted” as a Democrat partisan by his own memos to his ABC News colleagues, is like basing one on the Obama Administration on Laura Ingraham’s book “The Obama Diaries.” Throw in that it’s produced by Tom Hanks, the guy that narrates Obama’s re-election campaign 17-minute film being shown at campaign events around the country for fundraising and campaign volunteer recruitment, and you get a better picture on how unbiased this piece of trash really is. I wouldn’t believe a word Halperin said even under oath!

Now if you want to talk about DUMB incompetent VP picks, does anyone really believe Joe Biden, the quintessential political idiot, is qualified to be Vice President? Every time Joe speaks, I listen with anxious anticipation confident he will commit some “world-class” gaffs to provide comic relief. He is the reason every American should pray each evening for Obama's good health as he will surely go down in history as the dumbest and most inept vice president of all times; by comparison he makes Bachmann appear cerebral, Palin intellectual, and Dan Quayle absolutely brilliant.

I have posted a compendium of the “gaff-mister’s” Greatest Hit “Dumb Biden-isms” (and there are many) further down on this Blog at:

Obama's "$500K Bundler Bunch" Get to Attend a State Dinner and Get a Free Meal as an Added Perk!

Below I Blogged about: How to Acquire a Title or Become a “Top Government Official” the “Old Fashion Way” – Buy it from Obama! – But here’s a little late breaking Bundler News. As a Bonus Perquisite for Obama’s 2012 Bundling Crowd, the Prez is throwing in a free meal at a gala event – all at Taxpayer expense.

According to ABC News, 41 Obama cronies who gave the legal maximum and then gather checks from friends and colleagues who did the same up to $500,000+ were among the 364 “guests” at the 14 Mar 12 White House official dinner in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron. This Bundling Bunch is responsible for at least $10.7 million of the roughly $250 million Obama and Democrats have amassed to date for this election. Appears this has become a regular Obama “payoff technique” as he feted other Bundlers at the recent the State Dinner honoring South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

Remember, this is an added perk so members of the "Bundler Bunch" are still in line for a plum Government appointment or an ambassadorship.

Here’s the full list of attending “$500K+ Bundling Bunch” members & where they work. You'll notice lots of Wall Streeters, Hollywooders and Lobbyists are included:

Gerald Acker, Huntington Woods, MI – (Goodman Acker PC)
Mark Alderman, Bryn Mawr, PA – (Cozen & O’Connor)
Jean-Phillipe Austin, Miami, FL – (Physician)
Matthew Barzun, Louisville, KY – (Brickpath LLC)
Tom and Andrea Bernstein, New York, NY – (Chelsea Piers Mgmt)
Neil Bluhm, Chicago, IL – (Walton Street Capital)
Wally Brewster, Jr. & Robert Satawake, Chicago, IL – (General Growth Properties/Keller Williams Realty)
Jim Crown, Chicago, IL – (Henry Crown & Co)
John Crumpler, Durham, NC –(Hatteras Venture Architects)
Meredith DeWitt, Harvard, MA – (Political Consultant)
Fred Eychaner, Chicago, IL (Newsweb Corp)
Joseph Falk, Miami, FL – (Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson)
Rajiv Kumar Fernando, Chicago, IL – (Chopper Trading)
John Frank, Bellevue, WA — (Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft,)
William Freeman, Nashville, TN – (Freeman Webb Co)
Lou Frillman, Seattle, WA – (GVA Marquette Advisors/Financial Designs Ltd)
Anthony Gardner, Washington, DC – (Palamon Captial Partners)
Chad Griffin, Los Angeles, CA – (Chad Griffin Consulting)
Samuel Heins and Stacey Mills, Wayzata, MN – (Heins, Mills & Olson)
Don Hinkle, Tallahassee, FL – (Hinkle & Foran)
Gary Hirshberg, Concord, NH – (Stonyfield Farm)
Barry Karas, Los Angeles, CA – (Perlman & Assoc/Actor)
Janet Keller, Laguna Beach, CA – (Consultant)
Charlie Kireker, Weybridge, VT – (Twin Birches)
Orin Kramer, New York, NY – (Boston Provident)
Mai Lassiter, Los Angeles, CA – (Overbrook Entertainment)
Suzi Levine, Seattle, WA – (Microsoft)
Joe Liemandt, Austin, TX – (Trilogy Enterprises Inc)
James Murray, Keene, VA – (Greenbriar Square Property Management)
Susan Ness, Bethesda, MD – (Susan Ness Strategies)
Michael Monroe Parham, Seattle, WA – (Realnetworks Inc)
Carol Pensky, Washington, DC – (Retired)
Ellen Richman, Greenwich, CT – (Richman Group)
John Scully, San Francisco, CA – (Spo Partners & Co)
Diana Shaw Clark, Washington, DC – (Writer)
Jay Snyder, New York, NY – (HBJ Investments)
Sally Susman, New York, NY – (Pfizer Inc)
John and Sandi Thompson, Woodside, CA – (Fenwick & West)
George Tsunis, Cold Spring Harbor, NY – (Chartwell Hotels)
Harvey Weinstein, New York, NY – (Weinstein Co)
Anna Wintour, New York, NY — (Editor-in-Chief, Vogue Magazine)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fisker Karma! What Do You Get When You Cross a Chevy Volt with Solyndra?

A lot has been written this week about how the latest “Green Shiny Object,” the Fisker Karma (cost $109K) manufactured at Valmet Automotive in Finland, couldn’t even make it through the Consumer Reports check-in process let alone make it to testing but most of the liberal organs like MSNBC and even Wikipedia fail to fill in the context or how much of your Taxpayer money the Obama-Biden Team has “donated” to Fisker to support another “Green Fiasco” a la Solyndra and the Chevy Volt!

Seems Consumer Reports buys about 80 cars a year and this is the first time anyone can remember a car that was undriveable before it had finished being “checked-in.” Seems CR had owned the car for just a few days so had less than 200 miles on it and was doing speedometer calibration runs on their test track when the car ceased to function. CR contacted the dealer who promptly sent a flatbed truck to haul the piece of junk away! Talk about "Bad Karma!"

A little background, the Fisker Karma was first revealed at the 2008 North American International Auto Show and was supposed to launch sales the next year. After missing its initial late 2009 launch, the launch was re-scheduled several times before the first deliveries took place in the U.S. in late July 2011, and deliveries to retail customers began in November 2011 (top model goes for ~$116K). Within a month in December 2011, the recalls began with the first 239 Karmas built recalled due to battery fires caused by coolant leak. Car fires can certainly affect sales!

Despite the Obama-Biden crowd giving Fisker $529 million in federal government loan guarantee, they began assembling the cars in Finland saying they “could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.“ Vice President Biden heralded the Energy Department's $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company “as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs” but now two years after the loan was announced, the company’s manufacturing jobs are ALL still limited to assembling cars in Finland.

As a fa├žade, Fisker did acquire a former GM plant in Biden’s home state of Delaware but laid off 26 workers there because it ran out of government loan money. Because Fisker failed to meet production and sales milestones it had promised in the loan agreement with the Department of Energy, loan cash was shut off last May and Fisker went on a cash diet while it negotiated a new timetable with DOE. The cash shortage forced the 26 person Delaware layoff of the crew fixing up the former GM plant as well as the layoff of about 45 engineers at their Anaheim, California headquarters although those engineering jobs were always intended to vanish once the cars went into production; the DOE money cutoff might have accelerated those layoffs.

Now neither DOE nor Fisker are willing to forecast how long it will take to agree on a new business plan so the Obama-Biden Crowd can resume shoveling DOE Taxpayer money out the door to this Finish company again but you can bet DOE Political Appointees are “hard at work” working on getting our money flowing again!

…And now you know the “inconvenient truth” that the liberal media never seems to include when it may reflect poorly on the Obama-Biden Crowd!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Obama Claims His New Auto Standards Will Save $8,000 a Year in Fuel Costs BUT Wait -- the Average Yearly Fuel Cost for a Car Is Only $3000 Now?

President Obama told a crowd in Mount Holly, NC on 7 March 2012: “Now, because of these new standards for cars and trucks, they’re going to — all going to be able to go further and use less fuel every year. And that means pretty soon you’ll be able to fill up your car every two weeks instead of every week — and, over time, that saves you, a typical family, about $8,000 a year.”

Crowd response: “We like that.”

OBAMA: “You like that, don't you?”

Crowd: “Yes!”

OBAMA: “Eight thousand dollars — that's no joke. … It looks like somebody might have fainted up here.”

People in the crowd certainly were fainting because they thought the President had just committed to giving every car owner a $5000 Government check for just driving because they knew the average annual cost for gasoline is less than $3,000 (just ask the Consumer Federation of America).

Obama then went on to claim: “Thanks to new fuel efficiency standards we put in place, they’re building cars that will average nearly 55 miles per gallon by the middle of the next decade. That’s almost double what they get today. That means folks will be able to fill up every two weeks instead of every week, saving the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump over time.”

In fact, according Obama’s own National Highway Transportation Safety Administration calculates a driver would have to keep his passenger car 26 years to realize that much fuel savings. How many people do you know that drive the same car for 26 years?

Although Obama made this outlandish claim a few days ago, the White House has made NO attempt to correct the record or even issue an explanation although several news organizations have called him on his “Presidential error.”

Now if he had said “$8,000 at the pump over 26 years” he might have been more accurate but then he might have neglected to mention the costs to the consumer of compliance with his new rules.

Obama’s standards are coming in two phases. The first, for model years 2012-2016, will increase the average cost about $950 while saving ~ $4,000 in fuel so the net savings is about $3,000 over the 26 years. The second set for model years 2017-2025 will add $2,200 to the cost of a car while reducing fuel costs by ~$6,600, for a net lifetime savings of $4,400. Here the analysis presumes gasoline at $3.42 before taxes but everyone knows Obama wants gas at European prices so at $8 a gallon his numbers might be a little more accurate.

For complicated reasons, the predicted fuel savings from the two rules might amount to a MAXimum of $8,000 while the cost of the rules cost about $3,000 a MAX savings of $5,000 over the 26 year but for the 17-25 standards it will take several years if ever to just recoup the higher vehicle cost through gas savings.

For perspective, more than $4,700 of the added cost of a 2009 car is already due to added safety and emission equipment so these rules would add about $3,000 on top of that according to government estimates BUT interestingly the Center for Automotive Research analysis calculates the cost of the new equipment would more than wipe out any fuel savings, even with gasoline selling at $6 a gallon – and which of these two “authorities” has the better track record for accuracy. Certainly not Obama’s Government experts!

Increasing fuel economy as a way to reduce greenhouse emissions and reliance on foreign oil is a laudable goal but the president shouldn’t lie about it to convince a skeptical audience he’s “helping” them, or at least once called out on the lie by the media he should “man-up” and issue a correction with an apology!

Then again, lately the dead give away that President Obama is lying is his lips are moving!

How to Acquire a Title or Become a “Top Government Official” the “Old Fashion Way” – Buy it from Obama!

Want to Know How to Acquire an Honorific Title or Just Become a “Top Government Official” without Starting at the Bottom? – Just Become an Obama BIG Fundraisers, Give Him a Ton of Money and Buy It!

Did you ever have a burning desire for a title? Maybe dream of being addressed as “Sir” as in “Sir Winston” or “your Lordship?” Maybe even toyed with the idea of using some spare cash to purchase a distressed British manor that comes with an “earldom?” Well fret no longer, you too can acquire a lifetime title of “The Honorable” or “Mr. Ambassador,” or even “Madam Secretary,” all you need do is bundle a bunch of cash for “Mr. President” as in President Obama. Now all Administrations have done it but this is the first one to raise it to an art form while campaign promising to make “the most sweeping ethics reform in history” and constantly criticizing the role of money in politics. That hasn’t stopped him from offering government jobs to some of his biggest bundlers – those volunteer fundraisers who gather political contributions from their rich donor cronies.

According to an 8 March 2012 article in the ultra liberal Washington Post exposing Obama’s Big Donors payoffs, more than half of Obama’s 47 biggest fundraisers, those who collected at least half a million bucks for his campaign, have been given administration jobs. Nine more have been appointed to presidential boards and committees. Many of these appointees have proven to be as inept at managing as the person who appointed them – no mean feat -- which has proven costly in terms of advancing and protecting our national interests and costly for taxpayers.

At least 24 Obama bundlers have “earned” the title of “Mister or Madam Ambassador and are slaving away at such “hardship posts” as Finland, Australia, Portugal, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

Although The Foreign Service Act of 1980, states: “contributions to political campaigns should not be a factor in the appointment of an individual as a chief of mission,” the Obama administration has a disproportionate share of its ambassadors who are political appointees rather than career Foreign Service officers. Obama’s political money bag men have been rewarded with plum high ranking administration positions and ambassadorships in particular.

Obama has appointed 59 ambassadors who were not career Foreign Service Officers which prompted the president of the American Foreign Service Association, which represents career officers to say: “We think that the pendulum has swung a bit too far toward the patronage side of things,”

According to the State Department Inspector General, some of Obama’s bundler-ambassadors have had been exceptionally bad. For instance, Nicole Avant, a music industry executive who raised over $500,000, served as ambassador to the Bahamas until November. The IG reported that her tenure was part of “an extended period of dysfunctional leadership and mismanagement, which has caused problems throughout the embassy.” The IG reported “Avant spent roughly 40 percent of her time out of the country over a two-year period.” Avant’s explanation, “Part of my job as a U.S. ambassador was to travel.” Avant is now helping the Obama campaign raise money from donors in Hollywood. A position far better suited to her rather meager talents.

Another stand-out Obama bundler-ambassador was Luxembourg Ambassador Cynthia Stroum, a Seattle venture capitalist who raised $500,000 for Obama. The IG reported “she sent her staff on a house-hunting mission, billed the government for bedding after being told she couldn’t” and was “keenly interested” in the materials used for remodeling two bathrooms in her residence. Her “subjects” described her “as aggressive, bullying, hostile, and intimidating,” She was replaced by another bundler, Robert Mandell, a Florida real estate developer who raised over $500,000 for Obama’s campaign. Seems $500,000 is the “selling price” for a plum Obama appointment.

But high ranking Obama bundler-appointees are not limited to just ambassadorships, others include Attorney General Eric Holder as well as Julius Genachowski, the Federal Communications Commission chairman. Don’t forget Obama bundler Steve Spinner was the Obama White House Energy Department liaison who, according to internal White House e-mails turned over to congressional investigations, orchestrated the government loan to Solyndra which left taxpayers on the hook for $535 million in federal loans when the now-shuttered solar company went belly-up. Don’t forget that $535M “donation” was a payback to another campaign bundler, Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser, Solyndra’s major investor who, in violation of Federal statute, the Administration allowed to get “in front of the Government” to recover his investment while leaving us Taxpayers “holding the bag.”

Bottom line, why bother spending years starting at the bottom working your way up through the Foreign Service ranks to become an ambassador to some backwater place like Botswana or Azerbaijan when all you have to do is “dial-for-dollars” to get the lush posts like England or Australia. Why slave as a career Civil Servant where, with exceptional luck and talant, you may become a mid-level functionary when “bundling bucks” for Obama lets you not only Start at the Top but for the rest of your life you will be addressed as “Mister or Madam Secretary” or “The Honorable …”

Is this a Great Country or what?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chevy Volt - Another Obama Crony Capitalism Fiasco!

On 28 February, President Obama told a United Auto Workers gathering that he'll buy a Chevrolet Volt after his presidency but his Secret Service prohibits him from driving now (strange, given President Bush drove while president but then again, Bush might have been a better driver). Obama said he “enjoyed sitting in a Volt” and plans to pick one up after his tenure is over "five years from now." Given how Volt sales are going, it’s doubtful it will even be around next year when he’s no longer president so he might want to buy one soon if he wants to make good on that promise. Even as “Obama friendly” GM is, even “Government Motors” can't afford to keep a clunker like the Volt in productions when it’s bleeding red ink like this one is!

Chevrolet announced on 2 March 2012 that it was temporarily halting production of the Volt and laying off 1300 workers at its Detroit Hamtramck plant because of poor consumer demand for the vehicle. GM has sold a piddly 1,626 Volts so far this year! Even with Obama’s more than $2 Billion “taxpayer donation” for electric car battery system design and a $7,500 tax credit for buying one of these clunkers, GM still can't sell this piece of junk!

There are three reasons why Volts don't sell: Price, Hassle and Safety (not to mention resale value - they lose most of their value driving off the dealer lot).

The Volt starts at about $41,000, or twice as much as the company’s high-mileage Cruze Eco compact sedan. Even if you never used gasoline in the Volt, you’d wait about 12 years before you saved enough on gas to make up for the Volt’s price difference.

The Cruze gets 40 miles to the gallon of gas reliably while the Volt’s battery performance varies with weather and driving conditions. Plugging in to charge can also be a chore most drivers choose to avoid.

Finally, battery fires broke out in three Volts after safety crash-testing last year thus creating a perception of a safety risk which has also hurt sales. GM and federal officials believe that the fires were caused by coolant leaking from damaged plastic casing around the batteries after side-impact test crashes.

Given all the strikes against it, the Volt is going to be the Edsel of the 2010 decade. With Obama’s “money is no object – as long as it’s Taxpayers’ money” attitude and his “Crony Capitalism” business philosophy, Taxpayer subsidies may keep it on life support until the next election to postpone another Solyndra but after the election when he’s no longer in office, I'm confident GM will let it die a quite death.