Sunday, May 31, 2009

Obama Car Dealer Scandal?

It's very early in this story, but as the numbers start to come in, it sure does look suspicious.

NWRepublican has a post that is a pretty good portal to follow this story. Did the Obama administration engineer the Chrysler dealership closures to benefit political supporters?

The great thing about this story is it is just MADE for the blogosphere. One thing the atomistic nature of the blogosphere makes possible is applying large numbers of people to large sets of data. Most of the necessary information is out there - the closed dealerships, who owns them, where they are in relation to the surviving dealerships, who contributed money to Obama and who didn't, income levels of the geographic areas, the service records of the dealerships, and maybe even the sales figures.

So give the blogosphere a week to tear into this data, and if Obama actually was stupid enough to let this happen, it will be proven.

The mainstream media would take months to investigate something with this much data to nail down and crunch, if indeed it was inclined to do it, which it isn't.

If this thing pans out, it will be one of the biggest Presidential scandals ever.

This will be interesting!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Japanese scientist government advisory panel rebukes global warming theorists

A panel of Japanese scientists which also acts as an advisory panel to the government released a report last month that is highly critical of the IPCC's theory that human activity caused the warming apparent from 1970 -2000.

The Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) represents scientists from the energy and resource fields, and also acts as a government advisory panel. The report was a harshly worded rebuke of the IPCC's alarmism on global warming.

The report was recently translated, but it still has received almost no attention by the mainstream media. Go figure. Could it be that the report is "off message?"

As the Cap (American jobs) & Trade (away our prosperity) legislation powers its way through Congress, I'm sure we will hear time and again how universal the "consensus" on global warming is.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

You know it will be a great day when...

You wake up, check the traps you set yesterday, and find:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When the government runs the auto industry

So President Obama proposed his new CAFE standards and tailpipe CO2 emission limits to nary a whisper of dissent from the auto industry. Why the silence?


What amazes me is that people actually think its a good idea for the federal government to run the car industry. It's one thing when government regulates an industry that is trying to maintain profitability within the constraints of that regulation. But when politicians run an entire industry, profitability becomes entirely irrelevant in the face of political considerations of all types.

These new CAFE and emissions standards are a great example. Are they doable? Probably. Just like it would be "doable" to require that no new home could have more than 1500 square feet.

You'd probably get support for such a regulation in some circles. People who would tell us how much energy we'd save, how much cheaper it would be.

But a lot of people don't want that kind of house, just as a lot of people, would prefer a larger, heavier vehicle and will happily pay the extra $1500 a year in fuel expense.

President Obama is basically saying that people will no longer have this option. I don't think this is the appropriate role for government. Where will it stop? How about the meat industry? You know how much CO2 is created by that?

Back to autos - the government wants to mandate a vehicle fleet that would not be the preference of consumers if left to make their own choices. That is inherently bad for profitability. But now government is on both sides of the equation - regulator and owner.

Look forward to many more bailouts of the auto industry.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Are they really that small minded?

Over at, there's a post saying that the Sam Adams recall effort is doomed because conservative talk show host Victoria Taft was "front and center" last night at the recall effort's kick-off party.

Bojack says that having conservatives involved will turn off all those groups that are needed to get rid of Adams - unions, Bus Project folks, greenies, etc.

Here is my question: I know that Jack Bogdanski himself is without question sufficiently small minded to actually not support a valid cause just because he politically disagrees with others who do support it. He has displayed his small mindedness time and again on his blog by banning commenters who do nothing more than make points he has trouble contesting.

But are Portland liberals as small minded as Bogdanski? Will they really think to themselves: "Oh I was going to sign the recall petition, but Victoria Taft and Lars Larson are supporting it, so maybe I won't. Are people really so limited in their sophistication and world-view that they automatically reject anything that is supported by people with different ideologies?

I doubt it.

Bogdanski works in the ivory tower. Lewis & Clark law school is famously extreme liberal. Conservative viewpoints at that place are simply not considered to be credible. It is a skewed view of the world that can only exist in cloistered halls like academia.

Bogdanski is a very clear thinker on many issues, but he has a barely concealed visceral hatred of conservatives that is actually standard-faire in academia. I don't think the majority of Portland liberals are similarly small minded.

But guess what? I actually hope Sam Adams survives this effort. I want the recall to make the ballot, but I don't want Sam out. It is important for the future of Portland that Sam Adams fulfill his term as mayor.

The recall, and the campaign (if the recall gets enough signatures) will be a very entertaining circus. I admit I will enjoy this. But I really think Sam should stay on as mayor because Portland really needs to hurry up and let the crash hit with the full force that Sam Adams will inevitably bring upon it.

Why delay the crash? Portland won't realize the lunacy of its many wrongheaded policies until the full effect of the ideology Sam Adams represents is allowed to take its course.

So that's why I support Sam Adams!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another huge technology overrun at City of Portland

Story today at KATU about yet another mishandled technology project.

Portland is trying to join the late 20th century in terms of financial management systems. The new system was supposed to cost about $28 million. Current cost: $50 million and counting. The city is paying consultants on the project an average of $273 an hour.

Portland's CFO, Jennifer Sims, says these rates are commonplace for projects such as this. Oh really? The story quotes my friend Dave Lister, who ran for city council a few years ago. Dave runs a software company that writes and installs this same kind of software. He'll tell you that $273 an hour isn't typical at all.

So as Portland gets deeper and deeper into what is clearly going to be the next costly failure, what does the CFO have to say?

"I'd rather be talking to you this way about the success and how diligent we are being to make it right than have you sitting here asking me questions about how it went wrong,"

Uh, so would we, Ms. Sims. What does this even mean? Is she defending the obvious incompetence, saying that the almost two-fold cost overrun is just because she is being extra "diligent?" Apparently - the story went on to say:

"But Sims said in the long run, spending the money to make sure the job is done correctly is the right thing to do."

With the track record of city hall on these types of projects, does anybody honestly believe that spending all this money will ensure the system is done right? Or that it was actually necessary to spend $50 million (and counting) in the first place?

The city's credibility on such things is absolutely zero. But that doesn't keep them from spending tens of millions of dollars more than it should cost.

Why won't they just let Lister do the project? I've spoken to him at length about the Water Bureau billing system disaster. That project was doomed to fail from the get go, and when it did fail, the RFP the city put out for the replacement system pretty much ensured that the new attempt would be far more expensive than necessary also.

The rarest commodity at City Hall appears to be competence.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Shrinking our way to prosperity

I am sorry for the disrespectful language, but is our governor really this much of a dumbass?

He's in New York City the other day, telling the Times that we have to produce less. That's right, Governor. We can solve our problems by producing fewer consumers goods. That will make us better off!

Of course he doesn't understand that for something to be consumed, it has to first be produced. So when he sits down for his moral preening session with the New York Times (who also don't understand simple economic principles) he tells them how hard it is for him to lecture us hick Oregonians about being too materialistic, unwilling to cut back on consumption to save the planet.

He is on a higher moral plane that can only be appreciated in the offices of the nearly bankrupt New York Times.

I guess Governor Kulongoski must think that he is succeeding beyond his wildest dreams. With unemployment at 12.1%, obviously his policies are already making sure we are producing and consuming less!

A stunning success! The planet feels better already!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

'Hey dude, your fly is down, and your pants are unbuttoned!

It just gets wierder. Portland style.

So it turns out, when Sam Adams crashed into the Subaru, pushed it across a curbed garden bed and into another car, then continued spinning the car's wheels for another 75 feet, he got out of the car and was told by the first witness on the scene:

"Hey dude, your fly is down, and your pants are unbuttoned."

Why is the mayor of Portland driving around town with his pants down?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Chrysler - The Obama kleptocracy

The more I learn about the Chrysler "bankruptcy," the angrier I get. This is not a bankruptcy, it is a looting of a troubled business for the benefit of organized labor. Pure and simple.

The secured bondholders are getting screwed by Obama. They own almost $7 billion in secured debt in Chrysler. Obama asked them to take a 70% hit in the restructuring, and get nothing in equity. When they refused, Obama attacked them, called them "speculators, and now he is trying to cram them down even further and give to the unions the lions share of the equity (55%) in return for forgiving 57% of its unsecured health care and pension obligations.

It is so incredibly damaging to our financial markets for a President to intervene by changing the rules of the economic game in mid stream, and looting the assets of the company for the benefit of his political supporters.

What happens the next time a group of hedge fund managers are asked to provide financing to a troubled company? Who in their right mind would make the investment, knowing the President might just step in and steal your money?

Guess what? They are not going to play this game. They won't invest here when the rules can change in the middle of the game. Capital will dry up - the US isn't the only place on the planet to invest.

Sam Adams car wreck

Reading about the Sam Adams car wreck, the only thing that is obvious is that the story and its explanation just don't add up.

He T-boned the passenger door of a Subaru which was making a right turn into the Car Toys lot. OK - that in and of itself isn't that suspicous. He could have thought the guy was going to turn left after getting into the lot, and took the stupid chance of trying to whiz by him on the right.

But that is when this gets interesting. Imagine yourself in such a circumstance. You'd speed up to pass the car on the right, but he turns right instead of left. Crash. You'd take your foot off the gas and stop.

But that isn't what Sam Adams did. Read the eyewitness account in today's paper:

He said he saw the pickup strike the side of the Subaru and push it over hedges and into a parked Honda. "And then the Honda and the Subaru kind of parted, and the mayor's pickup was powering through both of them. He was still on the gas pedal," Schweitz said. "After he broke free of the collision, he kept driving. He kept peeling out, and finally came to a stop about 100 feet away, near the Plaid Pantry lot."

So after he hit the side of the Subaru, he obviously GUNNED his car. That is the ONLY way you can push another vehicle across a curb and hedges into another car. Then, after his car disengaged from the Subaru, he was still gunning it! He was still "peeling out" for another 100 feet!

How does this happen? He said that he mistook the gas pedal for the brake. I don't get that - he was already on the gas pedal. And if he DID mistake the two, we would be forced to believe that he didn't realize he was standing on the gas rather than the brake the whole time he was pushing the Subaru over a curbed bed, across the lot, into another car, then for another 100 feet?

It doesn't make sense.

Nor does the police's behavior. No sobriety test? You'd think they would do that just for appearances. After all, guess who the police commissioner is: Sam Adams. There might be just a tiny appearance of a conflict of interest when a cop is handling a very strange incident involving the mayor and fails to even write a ticket.

He obliterated three cars in a parking lot, and sent one passenger to the emergency room, and no citation given or investigation of any kind was conducted?

Favorable treatment? Sure looks like it.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Obama doublespeak on his Supreme Court Justice criteria

Obama said the following about the kind of person he would appoint to fill David Souter's seat on the SCOTUS:

"I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes," he said. "I will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limits of the judicial role."

The amazing thing about this statement is that the two parts of it are wholly contradictory. Judges should specifically NOT take into account whether or not they "identify with people's hopes and struggles" when they make a legal ruling.

So having told us what attributes he considers essential in a judge, he then goes on to give a vignette of a supreme court judge that could have been written by Clarence Thomas!

This guy just seems to always want it both ways. And he seems to think that we are such dunces we won't recognize even his most obvious contradictions.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Obama in his own words: "Electricity rates skyrocket"

He couldn't be much more clear. President Obama knows that Cap & Trade will dramatically raise energy prices. He admits in a very forthright way in an interview in January 2008 with the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

Interesting that the city of San Francisco seems to be Obama's truth serum. Remember his statement about "clinging to guns and religion?" That was in San Fran. He apparently feels very comfortable being around fellow travelers, so he lets his guard down and is unusually honest.

What a great plan. Let's intentionally cause electricity rates to skyrocket.

Obama to low income Americans: "So sorry!"