It seems the promise of job creation for taxpayer funded green initiatives, such as the Chevy Volt development, is partially being kept. The only problem is that many of those jobs are going to China. General Motors confirmed last week that it would develop an electric vehicle platform in China. USA Today reports that GM Vice Chairman, Steve Girsky, stated that GM and Chinese auto company, SAIC, will develop a new electric vehicle that would draw upon the Chevy Volt's technology. Girsky also hinted that future Chevy Volts will be built in China in order to qualify for Chinese subsidies of about $19,000 per car. Girsky claims that neither China nor SAIC are demanding that GM share Volt technology. Whether they are demanding it or not, it is obvious that they will get it.
If it wasn’t already obvious, then a report in Friday’s Raleigh News & Observer about the merger hearings between Duke Energy and Progress Energy into the nation’s largest utility makes it clear: That Duke’s strategy is continued growth into “a political juggernaut.”
That’s what came out of the final day of testimony about the deal before the North Carolina Utilities Commission, which appears to be the final major hurdle for the merger’s approval. The N&O cited “hints” by company executives about “further acquisitions down the road,” in which Duke would wield even more power than they do now.
Not surprisingly the new partner - in a 50-50 joint venture with the state-run auto industry - is China. And also unsurprisingly, General Electric will join GM in a related partnership in the communist nation.
It wasn't the first incidence of union intimidation in Longview, Washington this year. And it may not be the last. For four hours on the afternoon of September 7, an estimated 400 members of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 4 (Vancouver, Wash.) and Local 21 (Longview) blocked a shipment by a mile-long railroad train just outside its destination, a terminal at Port of Longview, Washington, leased by the Portland, Ore.-based EGT Development.
Media headlines about General Motors trumpet events that would lead one to believe that the company has successfully transformed itself into a self-sustaining, profitable American corporation. Readers are to believe that thousands of jobs are now being created at GM and the taxpayers are on their way to reaping the rewards of their so-called "investment" of $50 billion in an ownership stake of the company, even as Wall Street pricing of GM shares indicates otherwise. However, there is a portion of Americans who do not buy into the GM success story and now refuse to purchase vehicles from the company based on moral grounds.
Beginning in 2009, the Department of Education -- mightily aided by Senator Tom Harkin's HELP Committee and a coterie of Wall Street short sellers -- laid siege to the for-profit college sector in a knock-down, drag-out battle to the finish. Their strategic objective was to seriously hobble the profitability of career schools that had devised a competitive, career pathway for predominantly at-risk, low-income, non-traditional and minority students. On June 2, in the infamous Battle of the Beltway, the Department issued its (you should excuse the expression) 'Gainful Employment' rule, which was heralded as a major blow to career schools, whose recruitment rates have since dropped precipitously.
The Democratic National Convention early next September will be held in Charlotte. It's a city without a single union hotel. And it's located in Right to Work North Carolina. Union officials and partisans don't like this. The party's choice of convention site, then, can be seen as a symbol of a growing rift between the party and the unions. Union leaders, for all practical purposes, have nowhere else to go. And most rank and file still vote reliably Democratic. A schism is almost out of the question.
Allegations that we first made in February about White House political favors for a company called LightSquared are starting to get the attention they deserve.
LightSquared is owned by the Harbinger Capital hedge fund, headed by billionaire investor Phil Falcone. He visited the White House and made large donations to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Soon after, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted LightSquared a highly unusual waiver that allows the company to build out a national 4G wireless network on the cheap.
The story of bankrupt solar company, Solyndra, has turned into a major scandal for the Obama Administration as questions arise about the government's free spending of taxpayer money on failing so-called green initiatives. A $535 million federal loan was initially rushed through for the company as Obama touted Solyndra as being a prime example of how the bold new green-energy driven economy would create jobs while saving the environment. Now the results bring into question how dangerous the green economy strategy may be.
It seemed the merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy into the nation’s largest (by several measures) utility would sail through by the end of this year, but several activists in North Carolina have intervened at the last minute. The moves by environmental groups to extract funds for their pet projects out of the deal would make shakedown artists proud. Among the organizations – who have myriad methods of wringing dollars from taxpayers through lawsuits and corporate campaign-type pressure tactics – are Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, and Southern Environmental Law Center.