As it continues to defy common sense and the laws of economics with its lofty stock price, Tesla has again shown it has little corporate competence in the ability to deliver a consistently functional product that satisfies customers.
The latest evidence comes in the recently rolled out Model X, which is allegedly an SUV, but looks like just another car. Retailing at a price only the extremely wealthy can afford ($138,000), the all-electric follow-up to the similarly troubled Model S automobile has stumbled out of the gate. The problems were outlined in a Consumer Reports article posted online Tuesday, which spurred a number of similar follow-up stories in other media, and temporarily caused Tesla’s stock to dip. Long-time followers of the company know that is only a temporary condition, however.
Nonetheless those who actually own a Model X – as opposed to those who own a certificate of … Read More ➡
Al Sharpton, shakedown artist extraordinaire, never has lacked energy in advancing the profile of his New York-based nonprofit, National Action Network (NAN). Thanks to corporations and unions, he isn’t lacking cash either. Last week, during April 13-16, NAN held its annual convention at the Sheraton Times Square Hotel in Manhattan. The fundraising event, featuring speeches by Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, plus nearly 30 panel discussions, gave attendees what they came for: a mix of black grievance politics and socialist economics. If Sharpton’s corporate donors ever take time off from Celebrating Diversity, they might reconsider this odd partnership.
National Legal and Policy Center over the years repeatedly has emphasized that Reverend Al Sharpton’s ascension to the status of the nation’s most influential civil rights leader is the product of image self-reinvention. During the Eighties and Nineties, he was perceived – and rightly so – as a boorish, … Read More ➡
Another Clinton Foundation donor with ethics problems received a loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. This time, the dollar amounts are gargantuan, and the recipient is at the center of a corruption scandal in Pakistan.
According to a report in the Washington Free Beacon by Alana Goodman, a Middle Eastern investment firm called The Abraaj Group has contributed $500,000 to $1 million to the Clinton Foundation. Abraaj owns and manages a utility company named K-Electric in Pakistan. That country’s former oil minister, Asim Hussain, has been arrested for providing illegal favors for K-Electric and harboring Islamic terrorists in hospitals he owns. From the article:
The investigation has not impacted the U.S. government’s ongoing partnership with the Abraaj Group, which dates back to at least 2012. That year, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation—a federal agency that dispenses corporate loans under the
… Read More ➡
General Motors recently reported lackluster sales results for the month of March. GM share price took a hit on the news, but there is one fast-growing area of sales for the company that is outperforming other segments. Government sales for GM rose 55% in March and capped off a first quarter that saw government sales increase 23% over the prior year.
GM did not give an explanation for the increase in government sales, localities often contribute to the sales figures. In the past federal grants went to localities to pay for GM vehicles when the Obama Administration sought to prop up crony corporation GM in any way possible. Given the close ties between the Administration and GM, more transparency is needed as to exactly how taxpayer money is getting to GM.
I reported in November of last year that the Department of Homeland Security has been overspending on vehicle purchases… Read More ➡
A move by lawmakers in the state of North Carolina, which overturned a Charlotte ordinance that allowed individuals who claimed to be transgendered to use public rest rooms and shower facilities of their choosing, has drawn criticism from dozens of major corporations.
The City Council in February ordered that all public buildings, including schools, must permit persons to legally access rest rooms matching their gender “identity,” regardless of their biological sex. Even more tyrannical, the government decreed that all private businesses must make the same accommodations. As a result, the North Carolina General Assembly called a special session to pre-empt the April 1 implementation of the Charlotte ordinance, while at the same time allowing for businesses and local agencies to determine their own policies free and independent from the diktat.
“Council members decided to trample on the rule of law and the privacy rights of the vast majority of … Read More ➡
We are asking Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Edith Ramirez to address “contradictions” in testimony she gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 9 regarding the FTC’s dropping of an antitrust action against Google in 2013.
The request points to a variety of evidence obtained through open government laws that suggests that Ramirez and other FTC officials have unusually close relationships with Google, and that those relationships may have helped the company avoid antitrust action.
By highlighting Ramirez' obvious efforts to mislead Congress, we seek to bring public attention to a larger problem. It appears that FTC officials operate much like employees of Google, and that Google calls the shots about its own oversight. This is the most extreme example of “regulatory capture” we have seen in Washington in recent years.
The issue first came to the fore in March 2015 when the Wall Street Journal reported that the FTC … Read More ➡
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that General Motors has paid over a billion dollars in cash and stock to acquire Cruise Automation, a San Francisco startup company that designs self-driving software. The technological and regulatory obstacles facing autonomous driving development are huge, but don’t expect that to stop GM from throwing billions of shareholder dollars at the latest hyped wonder-technology.
Cruise Automation is a small firm that employs about 40 people and has no major sales revenue to speak of. That works out to GM paying about $25 million per employee. The billion dollar company, however, is reported to be growing quickly with plans to hire another ten people.
The idea of GM wantonly spending $1 billion for the start-up brings to mind the costly Chevy Volt folly which saw a multi-billion dollar investment in an infeasible technology reap no rewards for GM shareholders. Even with billions of dollars … Read More ➡
The American network of demagogues known as Black Lives Matter normally aims its venom at those here who get in its way. But the group also acts globally. Operating on the old adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” this instant mob service is forging ties with a worldwide anti-Israel campaign, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS. Claiming the high moral ground, BDS is committed to the destruction of Israel in the name of “justice” for neighboring Palestinian Arabs. It views Israel much as Black Lives Matter views America: a white colonial occupation force oppressing “people of color.” The two groups are a match. Yet their political synergy is dangerously naïve.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) got off the ground during the summer of 2013 in the wake of a wholly justified Florida jury verdict not to convict a white neighborhood crime patrol volunteer, George Zimmerman, who had … Read More ➡
A watchdog group is asking for an investigation of David H. Stevens, a former Federal Housing Administration (FHA) official, who currently serves as President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) today asks in dual requests to the U.S. Attorney for District of Columbia, and the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, that Stevens be investigated for possibly violating the statutory one-year ban on having contact with his former agency, as well as the lifetime ban on having contact with officials on matters on which he worked while in government. Click here to download a copy of the requests.
At issue is Stevens’ apparent quarterbacking of a campaign by the big banks to win mortgage lending business from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the wake of the financial crisis, and the placement of the two Government Sponsored Enterprises … Read More ➡
“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.” That is a cliché that investors should keep in mind if they are considering buying into General Motors’ latest debt offering. In fact, holders of GM common stock should also assess the growing similarity that New GM has with the bankrupted Old GM.
GM announced last week that it will be offering an estimated $2 billion of unsecured debt to help prop up underfunded pensions with additional proceeds used for general business purposes. The move follows a contradictory continuing dialogue that proclaims the company is so cash rich that it can afford to buy back billions of dollars of common shares as it doles out $11,000 bonuses to UAW workers. GM share performance belies the notion that the company is firing on all cylinders.
Since GM’s public offering in late 2010, shares are down over 15% while the … Read More ➡