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Posts Tagged ‘Toyota’

The USDOT was about to shut down construction projects and furlough about 2000 employees on Monday.  Who is to blame?  Senator Bunning who should, as Laura Ingram pointed out on her show yesterday, should win some kind of an award for trying to avoid further debt spending..

The Department of Transportation (WAS EXPECTED- Sic) will furlough nearly 2,000 employees without pay Monday, temporarily shutting down highway reimbursements to states worth hundreds of millions of dollars, national anti-drunk driving efforts, and multi-million dollar construction projects across the country.

The action comes as a result of Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning’s decision to block key legislation that would have extended several critical priorities for middle class families. That legislation covered tax credits for COBRA health coverage, unemployment insurance for 400,000 people, as well as the short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund. The Fund supports all surface transportation programs for the nation – highways, bridges, transit and safety inspections, as well as efforts to encourage seat belt use and to fight distracted and impaired driving.http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2010/dot3610.htm

We understand some of these projects are probably necessary, but when it comes down to putting in sidewalks in the Virgin Islands and making the entryway more appealing at Sequoia National Park- you have to stop right there and say enough is enough.  These are not projects that we would define as critical as LaHood claims.

LaHood saying, “The action comes as a result of Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning’s decision to block key legislation,” is politics at its best.  The action comes on the heels of the largest debt the U.S. has ever-seen with President Obama signing away billions in federal funding.

The mention of spending  federal funds for seat belt education just boils my blood.  Mandatory seat belt laws gave police the right to pull you over and cite you with a ticket if they see you driving with out being buckled up.  Click it or Ticket.   In our state you are required then to attend a government sponsored traffic and education program that you are also required to pay for. 

We wear our seat belts not because the government makes us but because it saves lives. In fact we were rear ended by a drunk who managed to literally leave tire tracks on the driver side doors.  Kids in the car seats with adults buckled up thankfully.  We were okay, he on the other hand flew through the window.  Jackass.  MADD- Mother’s Against Drunk Driving has good intentions but to receive federal funding at a time when many Americans can’t afford to buy a new car? 

“The Senate acted late tonight to break its logjam, extending the Highway Trust Fund for another 30 days,” wrote Ray LaHood http://fastlane.dot.gov/2010/03/senate-extends-highway-trust-fund-dot-employees-back-on-the-job-wednesday.html.

Here’s a look at some of the “critical” construction projects that you are paying for:

Federal Lands Construction Affected By Furlough  
State Project Cost
Alaska Tongass National Forest road clean up $1,100,000
Alaska Coffman Cove Dock construction $885,000
Arizona Coronado National Monument main park entrance $1,500,000
Arkansas East Fly Gap and Gunner Pool Roads landslides restoration $923,000
California Sequoia National Park main entrance $15,000,000
California South Fork Smith River $13,800,000
California Golden Gate National Recreation Area road construction $8,700,000
District of Columbia 9th Street Bridge replacement $50,000,000
Georgia Chicakamauga & Chattanogga National Military Park constrution $634,000
Idaho Salmon River Road Nez Perce National Forest consctruction $20,133,000
Idaho Little Salmon River Bridge Nez Perce National Forest intersection $3,800,000
Idaho Fernan Lakes Idaho Panhandle National Forest $14,600,000
Illinois McRraven Road reconstruction $1,100,000
Maryland Great Falls Park entrance road construction $3,100,000
Maryland Piscataway National Park erosion and slope damage repair $89,000
Mississippi Natchez Trace Parkway resurfacing $8,100,000
Mississippi Natchez Trace Parkway trail construction (Ridgeland County) 5,600,000
Mississippi Vicksburg National Military Park road rehabilitation and resurfacing $5,000,000
Mississippi Natchez Trace Parkway trail construction (Madison County) $4,700,000
New Mexico Carlsbad Caverns National Monument roadway rehabilitation $9,000,000
North Carolina Newfound Gap road rehabilitation $9,900,000
North Carolina Blue Ridge Parkway reconstruction and resurfacing $6,000,000
North Carolina Goshen Creek Bridge replacement $3,000,000
Ohio Fitzwater Road bridges replacement $4,400,000
Oregon Beaver Creek Road Ochoco National Forest $6,200,000
South Carolina Ft. Sumter Historic Site entrance road and parking area rehabilitation $262,000
Tennessee Cades Cove Loop Road rehabilitation $6,700,000
Tennessee Shilo National Park tour roads and parking area rehabilitation $3,000,000
Tennessee Catossa Wildlife Management Area bridge replacement $1,000,000
Utah Bear River Access Road $13,800,000
Virginia/DC George Washington Parkway Humpback Bridge replacement $36,000,000
Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway reconstruction and resurfacing $12,000,000
Virginia Petersburg Park tour road relocation $1,500,000
Puerto Rico Vieques National Wildlife Refuge road and bridge reconstruction $6,000,000
Puerto Rico El Yonque National Forest slide repair $3,000,000
U.S. Virgin Islands Christiansted Bypass construction $14,000,000
U.S. Virgin Islands Centerline Road reconstruction $9,000,000
U.S. Virgin Islands St. John roundabout construction $7,200,000
U.S. Virgin Islands Long Bay Road reconstruction $5,500,000
U.S. Virgin Islands University of Virgin Island sidewalk construction $988,000
U.S. Virgin Islands North Shore Road reconstruction $448,000

Enough with the national monuments and national parks, how about fixing some simple potholes on the nation’s highways first?

Note that 37.5 million is being spent in Nancy Pelosi’s home state of California, and 37.2 million in the Virgin Islands.  Yes, the Virgin Islands- must be all that snow that they are getting from global warming tearing up the road surfaces.

All those projects and only 2000 employees were going to be effected?  What?  Are these the people that sit in offices or the actual construction workers themselves?  How much money are we talking about in salary for these 2,000 people? How much money did everyone of those stupid dot gov recovery gov signs cost?  There’s some savings for you!

More information is also available at Secretary LaHood’s twitter account, www.twitter.com/RayLaHood, and at his facebook page, www.facebook.com/sec.lahood. should you want to ask him why the investigation of Toyota has taken so long as well.

As for Bunning, pretty disgraceful of the Republicans to not stand by his side.  He may be long off the pitcher’s mound, but don’t think for one minute he isn’t going to throw another curve ball when it comes to spending.

Next time around, we would hope the Republicans, and hope against hope that some Democrat would rise up and catch the foul ball in the debt game that the Senate is playing. 

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This Thanksgiving week, General Motors has officially ceased production of it’s Pontiac brand of vehicles as a result of the bailout by the U.S. government.  Not only could the car maker not meet it’s financial obligations but, the fact is that the car’s brand no longer had the appeal it once did and sales were declining.

The last Pontiac G-8 rolled off the assembly line in Orion heading for a fleet order rather than a museum for posterity sake yesterday.  http://www.detnews.com/article/20091126/AUTO01/911260411/Pontiac-reaches-end-of-the-line/?imw=Y 

http://www.pontiac.com/ has the official closeout information on remaining vehicles for sale with deals as low as o% financing for six years or cash back offers up to $4,500.  As a wake up call to anyone buying a car, six years is an absurd amount of time to pay off a car, especially when the warranty ends before you pay it off.

With discount offers like this across most of GM’s product line up, how they are ever going to make money, get out of bankruptcy and away from government ownership is beyond any one’s guess. 

Besides the 1000’s of job losses at Pontiac plants, NUMMI the joint venture between  GM and Toyota venture looks to be shutting its doors as well. http://www.mercurynews.com/drive/ci_13766495 From the Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment by state http://www.bls.gov/web/laumstrk.htm is listed.  Like the climategate, how true these numbers are is any one’s guess.

I recall the 1978 Pontiac Bonneville that I learned to drive in.  What a tank, but it had the radio antennae built into the glass which was pretty cool.  In 1982 came the Firebird and was featured on the TV Show Knight Rider.  I never owned one, but a lot of my buddies did and it was a girl magnet.

Pontiac Fiero

In 1984,  my dad through a mid life crisis or whatever, found the Pontiac Fiero much more in the spirit of things.  What a car it was and far removed from anything on the market.  The damned things body was made of plastic!  We’ll some sort of poly-resin- that when a grocery cart hit it it bounced off with no damage.  With no USA steel to give it strength, on impact the car crumbled.  Luckily, we never crashed it but traded it it on something or another.  Might have been the Cadillac Sedan De Ville with the horrendous 4-6-8 valve engine- another GM disaster.

Our Fiero was hot red in color with every option known to man, including the fabulous sound system from Bose.  Nothing like Van Halen screaming at you at ten decibels while driving down the highway. A definite babe magnet of a car.  It made you want to live in the fast lane or at least drive in it.

 

Chief Pontiac, Ottawa Tribe

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa Tribe must be glad to know that the spirit of the Pontiac brand of vehicles will go on- in memory at least.  He was quoted as saying, 

According to a French chronicler, in a second council Pontiac proclaimed:

It is important for us, my brothers, that we exterminate from our lands this nation which seeks only to destroy us. You see as well as I that we can no longer supply our needs, as we have done from our brothers, the French…. Therefore, my brothers, we must all swear their destruction and wait no longer. Nothing prevents us; they are few in numbers, and we can accomplish it.   Peckham, Indian Uprising, 119–20; Dixon, Never Come to Peace, 109. via  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Pontiac#cite_note-8

It didn’t turn out so good for the Indians being forced to reservations, but in the long run some tribes are probably more financially stable than the U.S. government,  thanks to good fiscal policy and casino’s.

Ironically enough, the Pontiac Silverdome was sold this month for $583,000 USD to a Toronto, Canadadian businessman. Completed in 1975 as the Pontiac Metropolitan Stadium, at a cost of $55.7 million, the Silverdome seats 80,311. It contains 102 luxury suites and 7,384 club seats. more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Silverdome

“While still not sure what he’ll ultimately do with the stadium, adjacent fieldhouse and 127 acres of land, Apostolopoulos said he’d like to return it to being a place that hosts football, soccer, hockey and basketball as well as concerts.  “People today like sports so we have to keep it for sports events,” he said. “Whatever they like, we’ll do.” But Apostolopoulos said the zoning does allow for the tearing down of the stadium and the building of houses, apartments or almost any other kind of construction.” http://www.thestar.com/sports/article/729769–toronto-developer-snaps-up-vacant-pontiac-silverdome

At less than $5000 USD an acre that was a good deal for any pilgrim. 

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You have to hand it to Obama to never miss an opportunity to get in front of a teleprompter.  General Motors in filing bankruptcy today will officially become Government Motors.  President Obama will hold an 11:30 a.m. event to discuss it even though last night the White House released this fact sheet fact sheet (.doc file) also available at http://www.autonews.com/assets/DOC/CA61689531.DOC.  Thank God it is not during Prime Time TV.

His blathering and this document lay out the Obama Administrations details of its plan for General Motors to help it emerge from restructuring quickly.  The automaker will get $30.1 billion of additional taxpayer money to restructure a smaller-company- a New GM and in return the Treasury Department has the right to appoint the initial directors.  Another $9.5 billion will come from Canada.

“In addition, the U.S. Treasury’s ability to prevent any change in control of us could also have an adverse effect on the market price of our common stock. The U.S. Treasury may also, subject to applicable securities laws, transfer all or any of its portion of our common stock to another person or entity and, in the event of such a transfer, that person or entity could become the controlling stockholder.” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/editorial-between-the-lines-gm-does-not-welcome-its-new-governmental-overlords/ The Treasury could conceivably transfer the stock to China to pay off debts!   

Dealscape lists the GM Bankruptcy petition filing June 1, 2009 at 7:57 am in its entirety here http://www.thedeal.com/dealscape/2009/06/gm_files_chapter_11.php

The nature of the claims and claim debts amounts are staggering.

1.  Wilmington Trust $22.7 Billion

2.  UAW $20.5 Billion

3.  Deutche Bank  $4.4  Billion 

4.  IUE $2.6 Billion

GM’s Total Assets on a consolidated basis $82.2 Billion

GM’s Total Debt on a consolidated basis $172.8 Billion

GM was world’s largest automaker for years.  It has been a technological marvel pushing the limits of technology, and marketing the fact that it’s brands were a mark of status.  Quality suffered over the years giving the Japanese auto giant, Toyota Motor Corp., the perfect opportunity to win the trophy as the world’s largest automaker, but it too has been beaten down by a sagging economy and credit crisis.  On May 8, 2009, Toyota reported a record annual net loss of $4.4 billion. An ad for the newest Prius feature the American Icon Superman standing next to the car in front of a photo of the globe.  http://toyota.jp/  Even superman could not have saved GM. 

In total disgust, Michael Moore had this to say; ” So here we are at the deathbed of General Motors. The company’s body not yet cold, and I find myself filled with — dare I say it — joy. It is not the joy of revenge against a corporation that ruined my hometown and brought misery, divorce, alcoholism, homelessness, physical and mental debilitation, and drug addiction to the people I grew up with.”  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/6/1/737485/-Goodbye,-GM  Dare I say, my joy would having never have to hear or read anything you have to say again you ignoramus.  Thousands are loosing their jobs, the government is buying a car company, and Moore has the balls to have joy?  Normally I would hope he gets a lump of coal in his Christmas stocking. Even that would be too good for him, as some coal miner had to dig it up to provide fuel for his country and to help run the factory that Moore is so joyfully ecstatic over. 

GM president and CEO Fritz Henderson said, “From day one, the New GM will be well-positioned to capitalize on the award-winning vehicles we have developed and launched during the past few years, and on our investments in exciting new technologies like the Chevy Volt.”  Henderson will host a press conference right after Obama’s spiel.  Toyota is already laughing! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/volt-birth-watch-141-toyota-laughs-at-the-volt-indirectly/ ” There’s no way the expensive, non-“rent-paying” Volt helps GM make money – at least in the short term. So, it’s a good idea to ditch it.” wrote http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/05/29/wsj-keeping-the-chevy-volt-alive-doesnt-make-sense-for-governm/.

If  GM was a 500 lb gorilla with “misguided marketing, poor product direction, spotty quality control, random product cycles–simply not working.”, after Ch. 11 they will be a 200 lb gorilla with “misguided marketing, poor product direction, spotty quality control, random product cycles–simply not working.”  now led by the Automotive Task force and President Obama!  

Wall Street almost killed Detroit the first time with the credit crunch writes http://www.thebigmoney.com/blogs/shifting-gears/2009/05/31/how-wall-street-almost-killed-detroit.  Can GM, the government and the tax payer kiss and make up?  Hardly, kissing is only foreplay to getting fu#$%d yet again. After 83 years on the New York Stock Exchange, GM has been de-listed. “The parlous state of GM has left us with no choice but to remove it from the Dow,” said Robert Thomson, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and editor-in-chief for all of Dow Jones. ”A bankruptcy filing immediately disqualifies a stock regardless of a company’s history or its role as a cultural icon.”  Tough shit for stockholders, eh? 

Oh, just kiss me you fool, and hurry before the gas tax and the VAT tax take effect.

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