Friday, August 27, 2010

Financially Forward

GM is preparing an IPO that promises to be a real circus.  I'm not certain at all that it's going to be the miracle that some are hoping for.

  That didn't happen in this case, so the company has unfunded pension obligations to the tune of $27 billion whose bill is due in 2014. Long term, this puts it at a major competitive disadvantage against its non-unionized overseas rivals: Toyota ( TM - news people ), Honda ( HMC - news -people ), Volkswagen ( VLKAF.PK - news people ) and Hyundai.

Investors might overlook this if the company were otherwise sound and on a growth trajectory. That, however, is not the case. Indeed, in its application to the Securities and Exchange Commission--which, guess what, will come through just in time to make an IPO possible before the November elections!--GMadmits that its "disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting are currently not effective." And this "could materially affect our financial condition and ability to carry out our business plan."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

He Should Be Golfing

Putin seems to be going out of his way to be manly. Rotten Commie's turning into a Cowboy.

Putin fires darts at gray whale from crossbow - Yahoo! News: "MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin fired darts from a crossbow at a gray whale off Russia's Far Eastern coast on Wednesday in the latest in a series of man-versus-nature stunts designed to cultivate the image of a macho leader.
Putin held his balance in a rubber boat that was being tossed around in choppy waters off the Kamchatka Peninsula, and eventually hit the whale with a special arrow designed to collect skin samples.
'I hit it at the fourth try!' a beaming Putin, kitted out in black-and-orange waterproof suit and black beanie, yelled to a camera crew from the boat."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Juggling Chainsaws

Dave Kopel argues that people should stop criticizing President Obama for his persistent golfing because President Eisenhower played a lot of golf too.

The Volokh Conspiracy � Stop Criticizing President Obama for Playing Golf: "However, President Eisenhower demonstrated beyond any doubt that there is no inherent contradiction between being a good President and being an avid golfer. Indeed, golf helps clear the mind, and hardly any�sport is�better at fostering humility in participants. �So unless�President Obama’s critics�are willing to state that President Eisenhower golfed too much, they should stop carping about President Obama’s golfing."

This strikes me as fallacious reasoning. Not everyone can smoke and juggle chainsaws at the same time, so you have to be careful with your priorities.

Come to think of it, maybe that's why Obama golfs so much...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nobody's perfect

Ann Coulter acknowledges that she doesn't agree with everything about every group she speaks to. Considering how opinionated she is, that sort of came as a surprise to me.

WorldNetDaily drops Ann Coulter from conference over speech to gay conservative group | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment: "According to WND, a site that regularly publishes articles about President Obama’s birthplace, Coulter told Farrah that their decision to drop her was misguided. “That’s silly, I speak to a lot of groups and do not endorse them,” she said. “…But in any event, giving a speech is not an endorsement of every position held by the people I’m speaking to. I was going to speak for you guys, I think you’re nuts on the birther thing (though I like you otherwise!).”"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All your gays are belong to us

Signalling that there are some things more important than sexual preference, Right Wing News is sponsoring HomoCon 2010:

Classical Values :: the war against fun just got funnier!

I just learned that Right Wing News is the first sponsor of HomoCon 2010:
Today, I want to make an announcement: Right Wing News is the first sponsor of Homocon. We're going to be supporting the event, promoting it, and encouraging Republicans in New York to attend. Thanks toGOProud for giving us the opportunity and thanks to Ann Coulter for creating what's sure to be a memorable event that people will want to attend.
Check out the poster over at RWN.

Is the GOP looking to attract single issue voters? Will the focus be on fiscal conservatism and not social conservatism? Can they attract enough discouraged liberal and independents to make up for losing the base?

I certainly hope so. I don't really like the base of either the GOP or the DNC. But I'm a middlin' kinda guy.

MALINVESTMENT, visualized. “Below right is a photo taken of unused lumber hauling rail cars now par…

Find your own allegory, I'm not going to connect the dots for you.

The question is: Is Atlas Shrugged visionary, or historical?

MALINVESTMENT, visualized. “Below right is a photo taken of unused lumber hauling rail cars now par…: "

MALINVESTMENT, visualized. “Below right is a photo taken of unused lumber hauling rail cars now parked on a closed railroad spur in Eastern Oregon, part of 20 miles of empty rail cars dedicated to hauling lumber to market. Most of these lumber hauling rail cars have been in mothballs since 2008 ….”

UPDATE: Reader Bruce Webster writes:

When I read your post and then went to the linked post, I immediately thought of these passages:


Empty trains clattered through the four states that were tied, as neighbors, to the throat of Colorado. They carried a few carloads of sheep, some corn, some melons and an occasional farmer with an overdressed family, who had friends in Washington. Jim [Taggart] had obtained a subsidy from Washington for every train that was run, not as a profit-making carrier, but as a service of “public equity.” (p. 351)


Six weeks ago, Train Number 193 had been sent with a load of steel, not to Faulkton, Nebraska, where the Spencer Machine Tool Company, the best machine tool concern still in existence, had been idle for two weeks, waiting for the shipment — but to Sand Creek, Illinois, where Confederated Machines had been wallowing in debt for over a year, producing unreliable goods at unpredictable times. The steel had been allocated by a directive which explained that the Spencer Machine Tool Company was a rich concern, able to wait, while Confederate Machines was bankrupt and could not be allowed to collapse, being the sole source of livelihood of the community of Sand Creek, Illlinois. The Spencer Machine Tool Company had closed a month ago. Confederated Machines had closed two weeks later.

The people of Sand Creek, Illinois, had been placed on national relief, but no food could be found for them in the empty granaries of the nation at the frantic call of the moment — so the seed grain of the farmers of Nebraska had been seized by order of the Unification Board — and Train Number 194 had carried the unplanted harvest and the future of the people of Nebraska to be consume by the people of Illinois. “In this enlightened age,” Eugene Lawson had said in a radio broadcast, “we have come, at last, to realize that each of of us is his brother’s keeper.” (p. 911)


I suspect you can guess what book those came from. ..bruce..

Indeed. An Army Of Eugene Lawsons!


Royal Oak to allow guns at Ford Arts, Beats & Eats festival | | Detroit Free Press

The Freep does the impossible: It reports on a gun issue at a Royal Oak City Council meeting and manages to find a single quote supporting the council's decision to uphold Michigan law and not ban open carry.

And that quote makes the man look like a paranoid nutter.

Douglas Holloway of Westland said he would leave his gun at home if his safety and that of his family could be guaranteed at the event.

"I don't think anyone can do that," he told Royal Oak city commissioners. "You can't stop criminals.

Notice that it's a partial quote, with unquoted attribution.

Read the rest, an note the two GM employees and the university professor that sees the conspiracy that the "gun lobby" has cooked up.

Royal Oak to allow guns at Ford Arts, Beats & Eats festival | | Detroit Free Press

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I'd really like to know where they found those 8%. I'm guessing in the White House Rose garden.

in reference to:

"Eight percent (8%) rate the economy as good or excellent while 55% say it’s in poor shape."
- (view on Google Sidewiki)