General Motors is Imploding — and Team Obama is Lying About It – Tea Party Nation

 

General Motors is Imploding — and Team Obama is Lying About It – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Seton Motley

Note: This first appeared in the PJ Tatler.

 

Last week we cataloged how much General Motors (GM) likes firing people.

 

As we pointed out, 2009 was not a good year if you were a Republican-donating GM or Chrysler dealer.

 

(M)ultiple dealers who have been closed are found to have contributed millions to Republicans and mere hundreds to Obama….

 

“It became clear to us that Chrysler does not see the wisdom of terminating 25 percent of its dealers. It really wasn’t Chrysler’s decision. They are under enormous pressure from the President (Obama)’s automotive task force,” said attorney Leonard Bellavia.

 

The $82 billion automotive bailout was supposed to “create or saveAmerican jobs.  But this Republican hunt killed 100,000 gigs right out of the gate.

 

And Europe has (again) become a GM employee graveyard.

 

GM Heads Roll in Europe

 

GM intends to shed another 500 managers in Europe, adding to the 8,000 factory workers let go over the past three years as part of a massive though only modestly successful push to cut costs.

 

GM is serially throwing people over the side in part as a personnel bailing of the sinking ship.  But it appears the Bad Ship Bailout is going down even faster than we knew – or they can address.

 

Sit back and take in the additional cavalcades of terrible Government Motors news.

 

Dan Akerson Runs GM With A Tight Fist, But Appears To Be Losing His Grip

 

Series Of High Level Executions Paint A Picture Of GM in Turmoil

 

Two weeks ago, Opel chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke presented numbers to Dan Akerson. Akerson fires him.  Opel gets two interim chiefs in a week.  Last Thursday, Opel’s new design chief Dave Lyon doesn’t even start his job….A day later, global marketing chief Joel Ewanick suddenly leaves. Instead of wishing him all the best for his future endeavors, GM spokesman Greg Martin puts a knife in Ewanick’s back: “He failed to meet the expectations the company has of an employee.”…

 

It all looks like (President Obama-appointee CEO) Dan Akerson is panicking. The GM stock is at an all-time low. GM is losing market share. When July numbers will be announced this week, GM won’t look so good, industry oracles say. Mass executions always are great to deflect criticism – for a while.

 

Speaking of that “all-time low” stock:

 

We are still stuck with 500+ million shares of the stuff.  For us to break even, they must be sold at $53 per.  They debuted post-bankruptcy at $33 per.  They closed on Tuesday at $19.71 per.  Setting us up for a nearly $17 billion loss – just on the stock.

 

Speaking of those “industry oracles”:

 

General Motors Faces Head Winds Ahead Of Q2 Report

 

For GM earnings, analysts forecast 74 cents per share, down 52% from a year ago.

 

Head winds?

 

Akerson…is getting impatient with the slow pace of GM’s revival.

 

“Earnings…down 52% from a year ago” isn’t a “slow pace revival.”  It is a free fall implosion. 

Remind you of anything else?

 

U.S. Growth Falls to 1.5%; a Recovery Seems Mired

 

GM is “recovering” – like the entire Obama Economy is “recovering.”

 

And more and more, the GM jobs “created or saved” are in…China.

 

32% of first-quarter vehicle productions is going to be in China versus 30% in North America.

 

That would be Communist China.  Where Shanghai GM in 2011 sponsored a movie celebrating the “Glorious Revolution”s 90th Anniv….

 

To duck the deserved criticism:

 

Greg Martin, executive director of communications strategy for GM, told The Daily Caller in May 2011 that Shanghai GM “is a completely separate and distinct business entity based in China that has no organizational or financial ties whatsoever” with the Detroit car maker.

 

“It is not GM,” Martin said then. “It is not GM money. And it is in no shape or form, or indirectly, taxpayer money.”

 

But now that ever more of its sales are in China:

 

“Shanghai GM is GM,” Martin told TheDC on Friday. “We make money, they make money.”

 

Disingenuousness in fact abounds when it comes to the Obama Administration and GM.

 

President Obama once upon a time told us we would make money on the $82 billion auto bailout.  Which was then amended to:

 

“The government will lose less than 20 percent of the $80 billion used to bail out the U.S. automobile industry.”

 

Only now we’re poised to lose (at least) $42 billion.  And as we’ve seen, that number is serially fungible – always upward.  And reliant on Administration-provided data.  It will undoubtedly end up being even worse.

 

GM and the Obama Administration claim to have fixed the Chevy Volt fire problem – when there are at least five fires and a whole host of attending Volt charging pro….

 

President Obama continues to incessantly claim that GM is #1 in global sales – even though Toyota has now recovered from their post-tsunami devastation and .

 

President Obama in April 2010 asserted:

 

“It won’t be too long before the stock the Treasury is holding in GM could be sold ….”

 

And on, and on, and….

 

GM is allegedly an Obama Administration “success.”  This is the President trying his plan, and it “working”.

 

Yet it’s all smoke and mirrors – when it’s not outright lies.

 

Welcome to Campaign Obama 2012.

 

Media Fail: Chevy Volt Makes NO Money, Costs Taxpayers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Per Car – Tea Party Nation

Media Fail: Chevy Volt Makes NO Money, Costs Taxpayers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Per Car – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Seton Motley

The Jurassic Press is missing much in their reporting on the $50 billion bailout of General Motors (GM).  The Press is open channeling for President Barack Obama – allowing him to frame the bailout exactly as he wishes in the 2012 Presidential election.

 The President is running in large part on the bailout’s $30+ billion loss, uber-failed “success.”  And the Press is acting as his stenographers.  An epitome of this bailout nightmare mess is the electric absurdity that is the Chevrolet Volt.  The Press is at every turn covering up – rather than covering – the serial failures of President Obama’s signature vehicle.

 The Press has failed to mention at least five Volt fires, myopically focusing on the one the Obama Administration hand-selected for attention.

 The Press has failed to mention that the Volt fire problem remains unsolved.  Is it the battery?  Is it the charging station?  Is it the charging cable?  All of the above?

 GM and the Administration don’t know.  And the Press ain’t breaking their necks trying to find out.

 In more recent news, the Press has almost as one hailed the June Volt sales increase.

GM’s Volt Sales Up in June

 

Surprising June Sales for Volt

 

Chevy Volt Leads US Plug-In Car Sales

 

Chevy Volt Sales Increases

 

Volt Records Second-Best Sales Month

 

The Press has for the most part failed to mention how pathetic this “second-best sales month” actually is.  And even when one Dinosaur does, the unwarranted enthusiasm is palpable.

GM sells 1760 Volts in June, double from 2011

 Wow.  Huge number.

 The Press also fails to put this pathetic tally in perspective.

 The Chevy Cruze is basically a Volt without the dead-weight, flammable 400-lb. electric battery.  Which makes it $17,000, rather than the Volt’s $41,000.

 Chevy in June sold 18,983 Cruzes – more than ten times the number of Volts.  And that’s down 1/3 from last June’s 24,648.

 But that feeble Volt tally has the Press all revved up.

 And speaking of the Volt’s ridiculous $41,000 sticker price:

 According to multiple GM executives there is little or no profit being made on each Volt built at a present cost of around $40,000. Furthermore, the $700 million of development that went into the car has to be recouped.

 Get that?  GM makes “little or no profit” on the Volt.

 So it makes perfect sense that GM would spend millions of dollars advertising it, does it not?  No ideological or campaign intent there, eh President Obama?

 Look, I get it, it’s fun.  I just spent $1 million – of your money – advertising free air.  On which my profit margin is just as good as GM’s is on the Volt.

 Only my ads didn’t have a song, or a dance.  We just aren’t as cool as the Volt.

 I mean, it’s so cool – it can travel back in time to inspire the production of cars before it even existed.

 I mean, it’s so cool – it can travel back in time to offer the exact same technology as a car from 1991.  And the exact same electric battery range as a car from 1897.

 We’re talking retro-grade cool.

 But wait – there’s so much more.

 (A)dd $240 million in Energy Department grants doled out to G.M. last summer, $150 million in federal money to the Volt’s Korean battery supplier, up to $1.5 billion in tax breaks for purchasers and other consumer incentives, and some significant portion of the $14 billion loan G.M. got in 2008 for “retooling” its plants, and you’ve got some idea of how much taxpayer cash is built into every Volt.

 Speaking of those “tax breaks for purchasers and other consumer incentives” – as of November of last year that tally all by itself was $250,000 per Volt sold.

 And that excruciating pain is ongoing.  Again, a Volt sold makes GM no money – but costs We the Taxpayers a $7,500 bribe – I mean “incentive.”  Oh – and President Obama wants to jack that bribe to $10,000 per.

 I guess it’s good news after all that Volt sales remain so anemic.

 And with GM’s new 60-day return policy, it looks like you can buy a Volt and cash the $7,500 bribe check. Then return the Volt – and keep the $7,500 bribe cash.  How’s that for Taxpayer coin stewardship?

 Keep all of this outrageousness in mind when next the Jurassic Press joins with the Obama Administration in celebrating the Chevy Volt.

 But it (allegedly) helps President Obama get reelected.  And nothing would make the Press happier – and for that there’s (almost?) nothing they won’t do.

Mimicking Obama: General Motors’ CEO Blaming Everyone Else for His Failed Policies – Tea Party Nation

Mimicking Obama: General Motors’ CEO Blaming Everyone Else for His Failed Policies – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Seton Motley

General Motors (GM)’s stock price has now dropped by 33% since the company emerged from its $50 billion-taxpayer-funded bailout bankruptcy.

 And on Tuesday, President Barack Obama-appointee CEO Dan Akerson had to face GM shareholders at their annual meeting.

 Lest we forget, We the Taxpayers are still conscripted stockholders to the tune of 500+ million shares — on which we’re currently poised to lose more than $15 billion. That sets us up to lose more than $30 billion on the auto bailout “success.”

 It is pretty clear why GM’s stock continues to tank. GM is less and less a for-profit car company and more and more a mini-Obama Administration — a leftist ideological nightmare mess.

 The crashing stock price is a reflection of this ongoing Government Motors transformation.

 GM acquired AmeriCredit and renamed it GM Financial to expand its subprime auto lending and leasing.

 Subprime lending? Meaning like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for Government Motors? Why, yes.

 Just another in a long series of brilliant GM business moves.

 Government Motors…sells (Chevy) Volt hybrids for $41,000. Volt hybrids cost GM $41,000 to make. It’s a zero-sum, non-profit product…

 GM (in 2010) received more green (non-energy) energy patents than any other orga… on Planet Earth…

 And in bad joke harmonic convergence, GM spent $3 million to install solar panels at a (non-profit) Volt manufacturing plant – in order to save $15,000 a year in electricity.

 …And if you haven’t yet had enough GM solar, and you liked Solyndra, and Beacon Power, and Ener1, and…

 Through Venture-Capital Arm, General Motors Pushing Boundaries of I…

 …Since its inception, General Motors Ventures has closed on 13 investments worth around $60 million, according to (GM’s Tim) Brumbaugh.

 They include a $7.5 million investment in Sunlogics PLC — a manufacturer of solar-energy systems — and a $6 million investment in Proterra Inc., which makes zero-emission transit buses.

 Tremendous “business” decisions, all.

 On Tuesday, the shareholders were restless.

 When General Motors shareholders complained at their annual meeting about the company’s languishing stock price and the lack of a dividend, CEO Dan Akerson had answers for most of their questions.

 Did Akerson acknowledge the three-plus years of his abysmal Leftist fantasy “business” decisions, and promise to return to a solid, basic car-making approach?

 Not so much.  Akerson is, after all, GM’s mini-Obama.  So he did what Obama has incessantly done – blame everyone and everything but his own failed policies.

 The stock is down because of the company’s losses in Europe, its huge global pension liability and overall uncertainty about the economy, (Akerson) told shareholders in Detroit on Tuesday.

 Why not throw in – in true Obama style – “headwinds?”  (Barely existent) cuts in state and local governmentsATMsATMs againBad luckPresident Bush? CongressEarthquakesThe Japanese tsunamiThe Middle EastThe Arab SpringHigh gas prices?

 Actually, Akerson can’t exactly blame higher gas prices – because he has in true Obama fashion called for a dollar-per-gallon gas tax increase.

 And GM is working to fix all the problems it can control, (Akerson) said.

 Actually, no they’re not.  Much like the Obama Administration, they’re “doubling down” on their failed policies.

“It’s not chasing a hot trend,” Brumbaugh said. “It’s something that if you’re going to do it, you have to stick to it — and management has to stick to it — over decades.”

 Excellent.  Brilliant.

 Any company that spends $3 million on solar panels to save $300,000 – over a quarter century – is nowhere near a stock price resurgence.

Buying Obama: How the UAW Got the Best Investment Returns in History – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

Buying Obama: How the UAW Got the Best Investment Returns in History – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent expose by Sharon Terlep about how Obama’s economic policies end up as bad investments- for the rest of us.

You know? The 99 percent non-bailout people.

OK, it’s really not about that.

It’s about how even the worst union workers and plants under the UAW bailout got bailed out, while great workers at productive plants got the shaft- because they weren’t UAW shops.

Reports Terlep:

In the end, “we had to take care of our own members,” says Cal Rapson, the former UAW vice president leading negotiations with GM. “It was unfortunate what happened to the others. But there wasn’t enough to go around.”

There never is enough when you’re a union boss and you are getting an $80 billion bailout.



That’s supposedly why we elect a president of the United States.

The president is supposed to be the president of ALL of us. But as Obama has made increasingly clear, he’s only the president of Trayvon Martin and Sandra Fluke and Eric Holder, and the half the Keystone pipeline that he himself squashed as well as Bob King, titular president of the UAW. 

Because the truth is, as president of the United States, Obama has made a real fine UAW president.

I don’t think there is a special interest, a lobby or a donor who Obama wouldn’t screw over in order to take care of the 1 percent of workers who represent the UAW:

Despite being one of GM’s most productive and cooperative factories, Moraine was closed following the company’s 2007 labor pact with the United Auto Workers union. Under a deal struck by the UAW during GM’s bankruptcy two years later, Moraine’s 2,500 laid-off workers were barred from transferring to other plants, locking them out of the industry’s rebound.

Oh, yes. The Moraine plant was a union shop, just not UAW. Instead the folks at the Moraine were represented by the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers.

Right: Who?

That’s what Obama thought too.

Since 1990, the UAW has given $27,371,075 to Democrat candidates and $184,500 to Republicans according to the database Opensecrets.org.

In other words, while GM and Chrysler shareholders and bondholders got the shaft, the UAW realized a 292,200 percent return on their investment from the money that they have invested in Democrat politicians.   

The International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers? They got no return at all. Perhaps because they aren’t listed as a donor for any candidates.

But that’s far better than the negative return that taxpayers are seeing from the bailout;

bailouts that tended to favor Obama’s biggest donors in 2008- financial services and unions.

The latest inspector general report says total bailout losses so far equal about $133 billion, with about 19 percent of that loss coming from the automotive industry

Over time, some of that money may be recouped, but total losses are expected to be from $50 billion to $75 billion, and they could be higher.

The total bailout cost for automakers to taxpayers is expected to be about $25 billion. 

Thanks Obama.

That plan is really working out for some of you.

Liberal Nostalgiacs Don’t Understand Jobs of the Future – Michael Barone – Townhall Conservative Columnists

United Auto Workers

United Auto Workers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Liberal Nostalgiacs Don’t Understand Jobs of the Future – Michael Barone – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen liberal commentators look back with nostalgia to the days when a young man fresh out of high school or military service could get a well-paying job on an assembly line at a unionized auto factory that could carry him through to a comfortable retirement.

As it happens, I grew up in Detroit and for a time lived next door to factory workers. And I know something that has eluded the liberal nostalgiacs. Which is that people hated those jobs.

The assembly-line work was boring and repetitive. That’s because management imbibed Frederick W. Taylor‘s theories that workers were stupid and could not be trusted with any initiative.

It was also because the thousands of pages of work rules in United Auto Workers contract, which forbade assembly-line speedups, also barred any initiative or flexible response.

That’s why the UAW in 1970 staged a long strike against General Motors to give workers the option of early retirement, 30-and-out. All those guys who had gotten assembly line jobs at 18 or 21 could quit at 48 or 51.

The only problem was that when they retired they lost their health insurance. So the UAW got the Detroit Three auto companies to pay for generous retiree health benefits that covered elective medical and dental procedures with little or no co-payments.

It was those retiree health benefits more than anything else that eventually drove General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy and into ownership by the government and the UAW.

The liberal nostalgiacs would like to see an economy that gives low-skill high school graduates similar opportunities. That’s what Barack Obama seems to be envisioning when he talks about hundreds of thousands of “green jobs.”

But those “green jobs” have not come into existence despite massive government subsidies and crony capitalism. It’s become apparent that the old Detroit model was unsustainable and cannot be revived even by the most gifted community organizer and adjunct law professor.

For one thing, in a rapidly changing and technologically advanced economy, the lifetime job seems to be a thing of the past. Particularly “lifetime” jobs where you work only 30 years and then get supported for the next 30 or so years of your life.

Today’s young people can’t expect to join large organizations and in effect ride escalators for the rest of their careers. The new companies emerging as winners in high tech — think Apple or Google — just don’t employ that many people, at least in the United States.

Similarly, today’s manufacturing firms produce about as large a share of the gross national product as they used to with a much smaller percentage of the labor force.

Moreover, there’s evidence that recent growth in some of the professions — the law, higher education — has been a bubble, and is about to burst.

The bad news for the Millennial generation that is entering its work years is that the economy of the future won’t look like the economy we’ve grown accustomed to. The “hope and change” that Barack Obama promised hasn’t produced much more than college loans that will be hard to pay off and a health care law that lets them stay on Mommy and Daddy’s health insurance till they’re 26.

The good news is that information technology provides the iPod/Facebook generation with the means to find work and create careers that build on their own personal talents and interests.

As Walter Russell Mead writes in his brilliant the-american-interest.com blog, “The career paths that (young people) have been trained for are narrowing, and they are going to have to launch out in directions they and their teachers didn’t expect. They were bred and groomed to live as house pets; they are going to have to learn to thrive in the wild.”

But, as Mead continues, “The future is filled with enterprises not yet born, jobs that don’t yet exist, wealth that hasn’t been created, wonderful products and life-altering service not yet given form.”

As Jim Manzi argues in his new book “Uncontrolled,” we can’t predict what this new work world will look like. It will be invented through trial and error.

What we can be sure of is that creating your own career will produce a stronger sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Young people who do so won’t hate their work the way those autoworkers hated those assembly line jobs.

Taxpayers Set to Lose $30+ Billion on the Auto Bailout – Tea Party Nation

Taxpayers Set to Lose $30+ Billion on the Auto Bailout – Tea Party Nation.

Editor’s Note: This first appeared in Breitbart.com’s Big Government.


Your money being sucked down a black hole!

In 2009, President Obama finished handing GM and Chrysler $85 billion in bailout money and then…had them go through bankruptcy.

Which – as Romney and we Conservatives have pointed out – they could and should have done for free.

In late 2009, President Obama told us that we would make money on the auto bailout.

In late 2011, the Administration begrudgingly admitted that we’ll lose $23.6 billion.


That’s a “success?”

And – as with most things Obama Administration – their numbers are uber-fudged.

This is, after all, the Administration that as part of tracking the nearly $1 trillion in “successful” “stimulus” money created fake Congressional districts – in which they “created or saved” imaginary jobs.

The Administration’s $23.6 billion auto bailout loss number includes a $9.3 billion hit on the 500+ million GM stock shares We the People now own as a result of the bailout.

But that’s a fudge-y number.

Right now, we’re actually losing nearly $15 billion on our shares.  On a stock that  dropped by a third just after the bailout, and has basically flatlined ever since.

So that ups the auto bailout loss to about $30 billion.  At least.

Because, again, we’re having to take at face value the rest of the Obama Administration’s always highly irregular math.  On the GM side – and the Chrysler side.  A very difficult proposition indeed.

The total auto bailout loss is undoubtedly – probably dramatically – higher than $30 billion.  And counting.

Only the biggest of Big Government proponents can consider this titanic loss a “success.”

GM Electric Car Battery Explodes, Again Raising Chevy Volt Questions – Tea Party Nation

GM Electric Car Battery Explodes, Again Raising Chevy Volt Questions – Tea Party Nation.

Editor’s Note: This first appeared on PJ Tatler.


On Wednesday, a General Motors (GM) lithium-ion battery exploded and caused a fire at a research facility near its Detroit headquarters.  Most unfortunately, two people were taken to the hospital – one faces life-threatening injuries.

Lithium-ion batteries like this one are used by GM in the Chevy Volt.  Making this just the latest in a long line of Volt fire problems.

“The headlines are not positive for lithium-ion and General Motors,” Dennis Virag, president of Automotive Consulting Group in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said in a telephone interview. “It does bring up the subject of the dangers associated with batteries.”

Indeed it does.  Let us review these Volt dangers, shall we?

The Chevy Volt entered the market in December 2010.  There were in 2011 (at least) six Volt fires.  GM and the Barack Obama Administration acknowledged only one – a battery fire after a test crash.

And only after squelching word of that fire for six months, announcing it only when Bloomberg News was about to break the story.

The Obama Administration was in full GM damage control mode.  Obama’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reviewed the one fire and – shocker – declared GM and the Volt good to go.

But what about the other fires?

NHTSA themselves had two other test fires.In April, 2011 a Volt burst into flames.  Twice.

A $800,000 garage fire in Mooresville, North Carolina led the local power company to warn its customers to stop using the Volt charging stations until they knew they were safe.

And there were throughout 2011 multiple overheating Volt power cords, reaching temperatures upwards of 158* Fahrenheit and causing second degree burns.  Fire hazards – waiting to happen.

GM and the Obama Administration were aware of all of these incidents.  Yet NHTSA investigated none of them.

—–

And because GM and the Obama Administration repeatedly kicked this dangerous, flaming can down the road, GM has spent most of 2012 in full-on Volt repair mode.

In January, GM “called back” every single Volt ever sold in the U.S., to fix the allegedly already “fixed” battery.

This is a customer satisfaction program, which is voluntary, that we’re choosing to do,” explained the automaker’s Mary Barra during a conference call Thursday morning.

But that didn’t fix the problem either.  So in March Chevrolet announced they were replacing the power cords for nearly every single Volt ever sold in the U.S.

GM spokesman Randal Fox told Reuters …”It’s just an effort to offer a more consistent charging experience. It’s not a safety recall. It’s more of a customer-satisfaction program,” Fox said.

“Customer satisfaction program” must be the GM equivalent of President Obama’s “Let me be clear.”  Only more perilous.

—–

General Motors and the Obama Administration have spent the entire life of the Chevy Volt minimizing and obfuscating a hazardous Chevy Volt fire problem.

We still don’t know what that problem is.

What we do know is that two people were just grievously injured by a Volt-style battery explosion.


And that GM is still selling the Chevy Volt.

EDITORIAL: Obama and the 50-buck light bulb – Washington Times

Diagram showing the major parts of a modern in...

Image via Wikipedia

EDITORIAL: Obama and the 50-buck light bulb – Washington Times.

A bankrupt America can’t afford expensive green luxuries

The 50-dollar light bulb is a good metaphor for the Obama administration – way too expensive for most Americans to put up with.

A new LED fixture from the Philips Corp. is the latest public-relations disaster for the Energy Department. The 60-watt equivalent bulb won the Energy Department’s $10 million “L Prize” for an environmentally sensitive bulb that is “affordable for American families.” The retail price is $50 each.

The new LED is more energy-efficient than standard incandescent bulbs and may last up to 10 years. Yet given that it costs 50 times the price of the typical old-style bulb, this eats up any long-term savings. The Energy Department defends the bulb’s exorbitant price, claiming costs are expected to fall over time. However, the original contest guidelines projected a retail price less than half of what the bulb wound up costing, and there are already much less expensive LED bulbs available that didn’t benefit from the Obama administration’s seal of approval.

It’s unseemly to give $10 million of the public’s money to a corporation in times of austerity when presumably Philips should have been trying to develop efficient, reliable, cost-effective light bulbs anyway. It’s called capitalism. The Solyndra solar-panel debacle and the other risky, losing Obama administration investments in “green technology” underscore the wasteful nature of government intervention in these emerging markets. If incentive prizes are going to be given, the contest should be limited to young, up-and-coming technology innovators for whom the award is more meaningful and who may be the source of the next big breakthrough.

The Chevy Volt is another symbol of the problems of government influence in technology. Mr. Obama has made the Volt a high-profile symbol of his vision for the future of the automotive industry, and in a commercial aired in January, General Motors sanctimoniously said the Volt was the car “America had to build.” In reality, it has turned out to be the car no one wants to buy. A week ago, GM announced that Volt production would be halted for five weeks in order “to maintain the right inventory levels and continue to meet demand.” Keeping the Volt charged up is an expensive proposition. A recent study by Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy showed that federal and state subsidies total as much as $250,000 per vehicle sold. Like the $50 light bulb, it is an costly luxury in the pursuit of purported ecological purity.

The Obama administration promised that if America hopped onto the green bandwagon, they would not only “save the planet” but get something for nothing – free wind and solar power, long-lasting batteries and light bulbs, reliable electric cars and unlimited-life batteries. Three years and billions of dollars later, Americans have learned what scientists and engineers knew all along: These technologies cost more, do less and aren’t consumer-friendly. To families trying to scrape by in this turkey-burger economy, 50 dollars for a light bulb is no way to save the planet.

The Autoworkers Obama Left Behind – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative Columnists

United Auto Workers

Image via Wikipedia

The Autoworkers Obama Left Behind – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

The White House fairy tale about the Happily Ever After Auto Bailout is missing a crucial, bloody page. While President Obama bragged about “standing by American workers” at a rowdy United Auto Workers meeting Tuesday, he failed to acknowledge how the Chicago-style deal threw tens of thousands of nonunion autoworkers under the bus.

In a campaign pep rally/sermon billed as a “policy speech,” Obama nearly broke his arm patting himself on the back for placing his “bets” (read: our money) on the $85 billion federal auto industry rescue. “Three years later,” he crowed, “that bet is paying off for America.” Big Labor brass cheered Obama’s citation of GM’s “highest profits in its 100-year history” as the room filled with militant UAW chants of “union made.”

“Union made” — but who paid? Scoffing at the criticism that his bailout was a massive union payoff, Obama countered that all workers sacrificed to save the auto industry. “Retirees saw a reduction in the health care benefits they had earned,” Obama told the congregation, er, crowd. “Many of you saw hours reduced,” he sympathized, “or pay and wages scaled back.”

Let’s clear the fumes (again), shall we? The bailout pain was not distributed equally. It was redistributed politically.

Bondholders standing up for their property and contractual rights got shortchanged and demonized personally by the president. Dealers and suppliers faced closures based on political connections and lobbying clout, rather than neutral efficiency evaluations. And as I first reported in September 2010, in the rush to nationalize the auto industry and avoid contested court termination proceedings, the White House auto team schemed with Big Labor bosses to preserve UAW members’ costly pension funds by shafting their nonunion counterparts.

These forgotten nonunion pensioners (who worked for the Delphi/GM auto parts company) lost all of their health and life insurance benefits. Hailing from the economically devastated Rust Belt — northeast Ohio, Michigan and neighboring states — the Delphi workers had devoted decades of their lives as secretaries, technicians, engineers and sales employees. Some have watched up to 70 percent of their pensions vanish. They’ve banded together to seek justice in court and on Capitol Hill under the banner of the Delphi Salaried Retiree Association.

Through two costly years of litigation and investigation, the Delphi workers have exposed how the stacked White House Auto Task Force schemed with union bosses to “cherry pick” (one Obama official’s own words) which financial obligations the new Government Motors company would assume and which they would abandon based on their political expedience. Obama’s own former auto czar Steve Rattner admitted in his recent memoir that “attacking the union’s sacred cow” could “jeopardize” the auto bailout deal.

Ohio Republican Rep. Michael Turner last month called attention to the glaring conflicts of interest that entangled Obama moneyman Tim Geithner‘s multiple meddling roles in screwing over the Delphi workers. Geithner served simultaneously as co-chair of the Auto Task Force, board member of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the federal agency overseeing pension payments to bankrupt companies) and Treasury Secretary. The General Accounting Office raised eyebrows at Geithner’s “multiple roles” in the deal-making.

Thanks to a separate Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, we already know that Geithner’s department and General Motors closely coordinated their PR strategy and collaborated on making fraudulent claims about GM repaying all of its government loans. The cash-strapped Delphi retirees are suing the transparency-ducking PBGC in federal court to unearth documents that may yield key details of the improper Obama administration influence over Delphi’s bankruptcy organization.

As ebullient UAW officials hooted and hollered on Tuesday, Obama smugly attacked Republicans for “anti-worker policies” and their “same old you’re-on-your-own philosophy.” The Delphi workers know better: One union’s government-subsidized, government-manipulated “success story” is the rest of the workforce’s nightmare.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM

PR Fail: Former GM Exec Scrambles to Explain Away Chevy Volt Fire(s) – Tea Party Nation

PR Fail: Former GM Exec Scrambles to Explain Away Chevy Volt Fire(s) – Tea Party Nation.

Bob Lutz is a good man.  A Swiss-born immigrant American success story.

He’s held big gigs at BMW and Ford.  He also worked way up the food chain at (now $85 billion bailed-out) Chrysler and General Motors (GM) – retiring as GM’s Vice Chairman in 2010.

And he has recently written a piece:

Chevy Volt And The Wrong-Headed Right

…in vociferous defense of the Chevy Volt.

You know, the more-than-$200,000 in government-subsidies-per-unit-sold Volt.

The overproducedunprofitableunpopularcombustible Volt.  (And January 2011’s sales were no less disappointing.)

That Chevy Volt.

Are we on the Right wrong-headed?  Let’s take Mr. Lutz’s piece piecemeal and see.

The recent media coverage of so-called “Chevrolet Volt fires,” especially by the conservative talk shows and Fox News, has attracted my attention and ire.

Let’s set out the facts (and feel free to check them yourself):

Don’t mind if we do.

1) Not one Chevrolet Volt has ever caught fire in normal use or in accidents. Not a single one.

Fundamentally untrue, as we laid out in great detail after last week’s House Oversight Volt hearing.

From our piece:

There were in fact three other, private-owner Volt fires.  None of which involved Volts that were in crashes.

These three fires involved Volts that were simply garaged or recharging – i.e. “in normal use.”

More from Mr. Lutz:

2) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), even after the highly artificial crash test (placing the car on its back, even though it did not roll over in the test) nevertheless awarded the Volt NHTSA’s highest crash-safety rating: 5 stars. Volt is supremely safe.

But there wasn’t just one NHTSA fire – there were three.

More from us:

The one NHTSA Volt fire discussed at the hearing was not the only NHTSA Volt fire that occurred.  In November, there were two others.

After conducting three different tests two weeks ago, the NHTSA found that the Volt’s battery either caught fire or began to smoke in two out of the three.

So that’s three Volt fires – all in the hands of the Obama Administration, all after crashes.

For a grand total of six Volt fires (about which we know).

And excuse us for being slightly suspect of the Government’s Five Star rating of Government Motors.

Especially when NHTSA, the Barack Obama White House and GM all covered-up the Volt fire(s) for nearly six months.

Especially when President Barack Obama is campaigning for reelection on the $85 billion auto industry bailout… and showing up at car shows to do it.  So bad news for the Volt and Government Motors is bad news for him and his reelect.

So, again, excuse our suspicion.

More from Mr. Lutz:

3) The crashed Volt, its battery shorted by coolant from the period unjustifiably spent “feet up,” caught fire three weeks after said test. (I submit that this would provide adequate time for surviving passengers to exit the vehicle.)

Again, what about the other five fires?  Three of which were just plugged in or garaged – “in normal use?”

Mr. Lutz:

4) On average, 278,000 cars with gasoline engines caught fire in the U.S. each year between 2003 and 2007, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

True – but gasoline engines are a long-known commodity.  Lithium-ion battery cars are not.

And when the Obama Administration and GM have spent half the Volt’s shelf life covering up Volt flameouts, it certainly warrants additional attention.

Mr. Lutz:

5) No factory-produced electric vehicle has ever caught fire, to the best of my knowledge.

As we’ve just demonstrated, Mr. Lutz needs to better his knowledge.

And Mr. Lutz is making a blanket assertion – applicable beyond just the Volt to all electric cars.  Is he really comfortable going that far?

Mr. Lutz:

6) The Volt, the most technologically advanced car on the planet, was conceived by me and my team well before any federal bailout of GM.

Is the pride of creative authorship clouding Mr. Lutz’s judgement?

I’m not sure the Volt is the “most technologically advanced car on the planet” – given that the 1891 electric Morrison had a better battery range than the Volt.

The Volt was in fact conceived by Mr. Lutz and his team, in 2007.  But I notice, Mr. Lutz, that you didn’t rush to mass-produce it, did you?  It existed only as a visual aide for auto shows – not for actual for-sale production.

Only with the arrival of President Obama – and We the People’s $50 billion – did Volts find their way to the mass-assembly line.

Mr. Lutz:

These are the bedrock facts.

Yours aren’t.  Ours are.

Mr. Lutz:

Now, how did the U.S. right-wing media choose to report this admittedly headline-tempting news?

A nationally syndicated editorial three-panel cartoon stated (I believe I remember the sequence): “Thomas Edison discovered electricity;” then, “Alexander Graham Bell discovered the telephone;” and, in the third panel, “But it took the US Government to discover fire!” (accompanied by a drawing of a burning Chevy Volt).

Come on, that cartoon is just FUNNY.

Mr. Lutz then goes into some detail about Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs (appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News Channel show) publicly decrying the Volt.

Then Mr. Lutz writes:

Much air time was spent on the $50 billion-plus (GM) bailout, which, the audience was left to assume, “funded” the Volt, doubtlessly at the whim of Obama’s known army of evil enviro-Nazis, intent on forcing vehicle electrification on a good-ole’-boy, V8-lovin’ populace.

Again, the Lutz-era GM created the Volt – but never mass-produced it.  Obama and the bailout arrived – and suddenly Government Motors is (sort-of) selling Volts.

Clearly there is some electric vehicle forcing going on.  GM in 2011 produced about 10,000 Volts – and sold only 7,671.  And until very recently – when finally hounded into  submission-to-sales-reality – Akerson and GM were planning on upping 2012 Volt production to 60,000.

Sounds forced to me.

Mr. Lutz:

To top it off, these two media pros lamented the fact that the same government that had forced GM to produce the Volt was now extending $7,500 tax credits towards its purchase, thus squandering even more of “our taxpayer” dollars on this failed Socialist-collectivist flop. Truth? The $7,500 tax credit was enacted under the Bush administration!

True.  But again, you, Mr. Lutz, never produced the Volt for sale under the Bush Administration.  Only after you left, under Obama – when General Motors became with our coin Government Motors – did the foolish tax credit apply to the foolish Volt.

And we Right-wingers have long acknowledged – and publicly decried and lamented – many terrible Bush Administration policies.  The $7,500-per-foolish-car is but another.

Mr. Lutz:

But who the hell cares about facts when you’re in O’Reilly’s self-described “No Spin Zone?” (The fine print might as well read, “We said ‘no spin,’ not ‘no deliberate misstatement of facts.’ ”)

Again, as we have thoroughly demonstrated, it is the esteemed Mr. Lutz that is misstating and omitting facts.

Mr. Lutz:

What on Earth is wrong with the conservative media movement that it feels it’s OK to spread false information, OK to damage the reputation of perhaps the finest piece of mechanical technology our country has produced since the space shuttle, OK to hurt an iconic American company that is roaring back to global pre-eminence, OK to hurt American employment in Hamtramck, Mich., as long as it damages the Obama administration’s reputation?

It is Obama that is staking his reputation – and his reelection effort – on the $50 billion GM bailout and the Volt.

If our pointing out egregious, inconvenient facts is harmful thereto, it is simply happy collateral damage.

Mr. Lutz concludes:

While as a conservative Republican I may well share the goal, I deplore the means employed to attain it. The conservative cause damages itself, destroys its credibility through the expedient spreading of untruths. The public will figure it out.

The right-wing “talking heads”, O’Reilly and Limbaugh at the forefront, have managed to make me embarrassed to describe myself as a conservative.

Come on, you guys. Shape up! There’s plenty of legitimate fodder out there. Let’s leave the “invention of facts” to the left-wing climate-change alarmists.

Unfortunately for Mr. Lutz – and the Obama Administration – there are plenty of inconvenient truths about Government Motors, the Obama Administration bailout and the absurd Chevy Volt.

And we “wrong-headed” Right-wingers are the only ones delivering them.

Mr. Lutz is in need of but a minor recalibration.  The Chevy Volt he’s defending may be unrecoverable.