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02/28/2011 - 13:00

GM/UAW logosGeneral Motors reported less than stellar fourth quarter earnings last week, and announced that bonuses paid to its UAW workers will average $4,300. The earnings report disappointed Wall Street as GM shares fell about 4% on the news.

Some media sources attributed the drop in GM's share price to rising oil prices. Considering that oil prices went down on the day that GM shares fell, this explanation does not hold water. Rather, there are some specific issues relating to the earnings announcement that are causing concern on Wall Street.

3,179 reads
02/24/2011 - 16:56

Indiana legislatureIt's becoming a trend: Democratic members of a state legislature, rather than risk defeat in a roll call vote, take flight and hide in a nearby state. Last week all Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate fled en masse to Illinois in order to block a quorum on a GOP proposal to rein in public employee compensation. No doubt inspired by this turn of events, virtually all Democrats in the Indiana House of Representatives on Tuesday morning staged their own exodus in order to prevent a vote on a Right to Work bill. The whereabouts of the Indiana lawmakers, like their Wisconsin brethren, remain unknown. Whenever they come out of hiding, the damage these lawmakers and their union allies are doing to democratic process is going to linger a lot longer.

6,164 reads
02/24/2011 - 12:44

On Sunday, billionaire George Soros seemed to accuse Fox News Channel of Nazi tactics. In an interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN, Soros said:

3,327 reads
02/21/2011 - 16:10

Deepwater HorizonOn Thursday, Fred Bartlit, Chief Counsel of the BP Oil Spill Commission, issued a report in which he put blame squarely on BP for the disaster, including a failure to adequately supervise its Halliburton and Transocean subcontractors.

The seven-member Commission, appointed by President Obama before the well had even been capped, issued its "final" report on January 11. Although it cited many of the same BP-specific problems detailed by Bartlit, it implicated the entire oil and gas exploration and production industry, and called for "systemic reforms."

3,742 reads
02/21/2011 - 12:05

money flowGeneral Motors has been very benevolent since receiving $50 billion of taxpayer funds less than two years ago. GM, the GM Foundation and Chevrolet are donating more than $10 million towards the building of a Martin Luther King, Jr. monument in Washington, DC. Following is a list of just some of GM and GM Foundation recent giveaways.

  • $40 million for "clean energy projects."
  • $4.5 million for college scholarship programs to benefit students; criteria list includes being female, being a minority or being a military member.
  • $27.1 million to United Way for restructuring of Detroit schools.
3,942 reads
02/21/2011 - 08:44

Wisconsin protestGovernment in Wisconsin, one probably has heard by now, is paralyzed. And the ultimate losers may be future generations of taxpayers. Last Thursday, February 17, up to 25,000 protestors, led by public-sector union officials, rallied in the state capital of Madison to intimidate legislators out of voting in favor of new Republican Governor Scott Walker's budget austerity plan, which includes major concessions from unions.

6,677 reads
02/18/2011 - 16:55

The House of Representatives on Wednesday defeated an amendment to the Continuing Resolution that would have eliminated the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), the amendment should not have been necessary. Appropriations Committee Hall Rogers (R-KY) protected LSC by inserting only a modest cut of $70 million in the Continuing Resolution. He should have zeroed it out. In fiscal year 2010, LSC received $420 million.

3,940 reads
02/16/2011 - 11:00

electric plugProgress Energy CEO Bill Johnson, whose company will (pending approval) be swallowed by larger electric utility Duke Energy, has been making the media rounds. He has discussed the planned merger, which he says is necessary because of looming capital projects that will be needed to meet electricity demand, but he also warned regulators in Washington of the dangers posed by the heightened government regulatory environment:

6,483 reads
02/15/2011 - 19:20

SEIU logoIt's not every day that an American labor union gets investigated for possible ties to two of the world's most lethal terrorist organizations. But Chicago's Service Employees International Union Local 73 isn't an everyday union. Last September 24, FBI agents raided residences in Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan of more than a dozen radical activists in an effort to connect them to the Hamas (Gaza and the West Bank) and FARC (Colombia) guerrilla movements. Two of the occupants were SEIU Local 73 chief steward and executive board member Joe Iosbaker and former local board member-steward Tom Burke. Neither they nor anyone else has been arrested. But as the case unfolds, questions have arisen over the possibility of involvement not only by the activists, but also by elements of the Chicago-based radical network that nurtured President Obama's political ambitions.

9,138 reads
02/14/2011 - 17:34

autoworkerGeneral Motors will pay its factory workers bonuses of $4,000 each. AP reports that more than $189 million will be paid to UAW workers in addition to salaried workers (management and engineers) bonuses of up to 50% of pay. It is interesting to read the decidedly negative view of GM's actions in comments that are submitted by readers at the end of the AP article. It remains a "tale of two cities", however, when it comes to media coverage (particularly from television journalists) with many commentators refusing to acknowledge the public outrage as GM spends millions of dollars on bonuses while taxpayers and GM bondholders continue to have their rights subordinated to the politically powerful UAW.

4,399 reads
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