Sharpton Becomes Full-Time MSNBC Anchorman

Sharpton photoAl Sharpton’s newest role – full-time anchorman – is now a reality. The New York City-based black activist, preacher and former presidential candidate launched his MSNBC-TV talk show, “PoliticsNation,” on Monday, August 29, six days after the network tapped him for the 6-7 P.M. (EST) weeknight slot vacated in July by Cenk Uygur. The announcement wasn’t unexpected. Sharpton frequently had substituted for Uygur. And MSNBC’s parent company, Comcast Corp., for years has been a generous donor to Sharpton’s nonprofit group, National Action Network (NAN). The elevation of Sharpton, with a long history of demagoguery and financial chicanery, to top-tier media player, for now, is complete. The question is whether “the Rev” is more than a novelty – and whether his hiring represents another case of corporate surrender to a larger political culture.

National Legal and Policy Center a little over two weeks ago chronicled Reverend Sharpton’s movement up the … Read More ➡ “Sharpton Becomes Full-Time MSNBC Anchorman”

Rethinking the Great Auto Industry Recovery Story

GM logoFor the better part of a year there have been many assertions that the auto industry was on the road to recovery with optimistic projections of sky-rocketing vehicle sales as consumer demand was to return to pre-recession levels. At the time of General Motors’ IPO less than a year ago, many reports circulated implying that the stock would be a sure win. One major financial TV network even started a campaign to have all taxpayers “benefit” by being allowed to participate in the IPO.

Not long afterwards Wall Street analysts, most with a vested interest in the IPO, initiated their coverage with rosy projections and price targets for GM shares that were in the $40 to $50 range. The Obama Administration boasted that taxpayers would get back all of their $50 billion that was sunk into the GM bailout at the time of its initial bankruptcy filing. Now, months … Read More ➡ “Rethinking the Great Auto Industry Recovery Story”

Walmart Heirs Fund Anti-Fishing Activists

Walmart logoRecently NLPC reported that Walmart’s top “sustainability” adviser, who provided significant help in getting the company’s “Green” credibility with environmentalist groups in gear, was Jib Ellison – a former wilderness expeditionist and river guide, and author of a guide on whitewater rafting. The story of his relationship with Walmart, which began with the introduction of Ellison by Rob Walton (son of founder Sam) to former company CEO Lee Scott, is documented in the new book Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Walmart’s Green Revolution by Edward Humes.

The passion for environmental concerns (which has also included foolish corporate support for cap-and-trade policies) has carried over to the philanthropic initiatives of Sam’s descendants, with the Walton Family Foundation pouring $71.8 million into oceans and river systems “conservation.” Walton heirs, including Rob, make up the entirety of the foundation’s board. A major group of sport fishermen are not Read More ➡ “Walmart Heirs Fund Anti-Fishing Activists”

GE, Duke Energy, Exelon Can’t Quit Their Self-Serving ‘Green’ Politics

grassy dollar signU.S. Climate Action Partnership members General Electric and utilities Duke Energy and Exelon Corporation are addicted to the politics of gaming environmental regulatory policy so they can make millions off mandates and subsidies, often at the expense to taxpayers and their own customers.

The latest example was the three companies’ purchase of tables at the second annual Teddy Roosevelt Dinner, hosted by Republicans for Environmental Protection in Washington. This year GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who as Utah governor a couple of years ago led the charge to bring his state into the Western Climate Initiative regional cap-and-trade agreement, keynoted the dinner.  Looks like the companies have a hard time giving up on political losers, considering that Huntsman has only 39 percent name recognition and has 2 percent support among Republican voters, leading Gallup pollster Frank Newport to identify him as the likely next Tim Pawlenty.

REP honored Exelon … Read More ➡ “GE, Duke Energy, Exelon Can’t Quit Their Self-Serving ‘Green’ Politics”

Add Impala Owners to “Hosed by GM Bankruptcy” List

Impala photoIt looks like there will be a new group of individuals who lose out under the General Motors bankruptcy process. GM has decided not to take responsibility for defects in Chevy Impalas that predated its bankruptcy filing. Consumeraffairs.com reports that GM has asked a court to dismiss claims relating to faulty suspensions in more than 400,000 Chevys produced for model years 2007 and 2008. GM claims that it is not their problem, since they are “New” GM and the cars were built by “Old” GM.

When the Obama Administration made a plan for GM’s bankruptcy process, taxpayers and GM vehicle owners were promised that existing warranties would be honored. The implications were that defects in vehicles made by “Old” GM would be taken care of. I guess you can file this statement along with others that turned out not to be true like, taxpayers will make money on their investment … Read More ➡ “Add Impala Owners to “Hosed by GM Bankruptcy” List”

More Problems for the Chevy Volt

Akerson/Volt photoA new report by USA Today offers further evidence that demand for the much-hyped Chevy Volt is not living up to the great expectations laid out by General Motors. Additional negative news includes an overheating charger fault and a power loss glitch, both of which were recently exposed.  The USA Today piece cites a study by CNW Marketing that revealed that “prospects are starting to lose interest in the Volt.”

Starting to lose interest? That’s pretty funny, considering that Chevy sold only 125 of the money-losing Volts in July. How much more interest can be lost? The real story is that GM, the Obama Administration and the media have been so dishonest regarding the potential and the demand for the Volt since the vehicle was first offered to the public.

Apologists for the Volt with ties to GM continue to try and spin the story. A Motortrend.com piece points … Read More ➡ “More Problems for the Chevy Volt”

Why Goldman Sachs (and Warren Buffett) Always Win

Lloyd Blankfein and Warren Buffett photoLast week’s stock market turmoil was a reminder that America continues to struggle to recover from the financial collapse of 2008-2009.  Benchmarks of our economic progress, or lack of it, are over 40 million people on food stamps, unemployment rates stuck over 9%, and GDP growth slowing, as it just missed expectations of 1.3% growth.  The Obama Administration’s massive deficit spending has almost doubled the publicly held debt which was $5.808 trillion on 9/30/08, or 40% of GDP, to an estimated $10.672 trillion as of 9/30/11, or almost 71% of GDP.  This is all just in 3 fiscal years.  The road to recovery for most people looks longer than anyone expected.

But the American economy, being what it is, there are bright spots for some people. From the March 15, 2011 Wall Street Journal:

Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Monday it will buy chemical maker Lubrizol Corp.

Read More ➡ “Why Goldman Sachs (and Warren Buffett) Always Win”

Bailed-Out GM Creates 800 Jobs – In Indonesia

AFP reports that General Motors is investing $150 million on a West Java, Indonesia plant. The move is expected to create 800 jobs in the region. GM has about $20 billion left as cash and cash equivalents after having received about $50 billion from taxpayers a little over two years ago. While taxpayers may have reason to be unhappy about the investment overseas, at least GM is making a move that seems not to be based on politics.

The plant in Indonesia is reported to have a capacity to build 40,000 units per year. Sales of GM vehicles in Indonesia last year were 4,500 units. The math would point to a plan to export vehicles from the region. This strategy seems to be in conflict with the politically driven news out of GM that trumpets US manufacturing growth and job creation.

For those that might think that GM may be … Read More ➡ “Bailed-Out GM Creates 800 Jobs – In Indonesia”

Will Comcast Reveal Ties to MSNBC Anchorman-in-Waiting Al Sharpton?

Sharpton photo“Al Sharpton, anchorman” – the phrase has an undeniably odd ring. Yet on MSNBC it’s already a part-time reality. And his close relationship to MSNBC’s parent, Comcast Corp., may enable him to become full-time permanent host of the cable network’s 6 P.M. news slot. If Sharpton gets promoted – the announcement could come any day – it would be the ultimate coup in his ongoing campaign to obtain respectability to cover a long history of racial incitement. It also might be a conflict of interest. Comcast, the nation’s largest cable owner-operator, this past January completed its purchase of a 51 percent stake in NBCUniversal, which owns MSNBC. Of more than passing significance, Comcast also is a key donor to Sharpton’s main nonprofit conduit, National Action Network (NAN). So why isn’t Comcast more open about its relationship with “the Rev?” It’s a question that Comcast top brass aren’t answering. 

The … Read More ➡ “Will Comcast Reveal Ties to MSNBC Anchorman-in-Waiting Al Sharpton?”

A Cadillac Volt – Are You Kidding Me!?

Akerson and Volt photoAccording to a USA Today report, General Motors has decided to offer a Cadillac version of the Chevy Volt called the Converj. This follows reports that the Obama Administration will continue to hold its stake in GM. That makes sense, since a decision to build a Cadillac version of the Volt could not be based on economic considerations, but political ones.

Sales of the Chevy Volt have been horrible. The statements out of GM that the vehicle was “virtually sold out” turned out not to be true. Even in a best case scenario where sales pick up, the vehicle is a money loser for GM. What in the world would make them want to clone such a loser?

The hype for the Chevy Volt has been going on for years. The politically popular vehicle was named Car of the Year by Motor Trend whose publisher, Source Interlink, has … Read More ➡ “A Cadillac Volt – Are You Kidding Me!?”