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Obama Pushes Congress to Invest in Smarter Roads

President hypes vehicle-to-vehicle communications to cut crashes.

by on Jul.15, 2014

President Barack Obama talks with supporters in McLean, Virginia. During a speech there, he encouraged Congress to approve additional funding for the Highway Trust Fund, including new technology to make roads safer.

After spending much of his two terms prodding automakers to improve the mileage of vehicles as well as their operational efficacy, President Barack Obama today encouraged automakers to continue the development of “vehicle to vehicle” technology research and pushed lawmakers to fund its use.

Speaking at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Virginia, today, Obama spoke about the impact such technology could make on the safety of America’s roads. He also got a chance to get a look at the technology in person driving in a simulator that allowed him to experience the technology in real time.

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After hitting 90 mph in the simulator, he joked that anything makes the roads safer has taken on a new emphasis for him. (more…)

President’s Budget Proposal Could Be Big Boon for Auto Industry

Administration wants $2 bil for advanced vehicle research funding.

by on Apr.11, 2013

President Obama is proposing efforts to promote America's energy independence, including tax credits for electric vehicles.

President Barack Obama is proposing a number of new efforts designed to improve the nation’s transportation system, with a mix of high-speed rails, cleaner fuels, tax credits for those buying alternatively powered vehicles – and as much as $2 billion in funding for advanced vehicle programs.

“We’ll continue our march toward energy independence,” Obama said in presenting his budget proposal to Congress. A key goal will be to eliminate the need for foreign oil imports over the next decade.

Part of that would involve increasing the Department of Energy’s vehicle research budget by 75% to $575 million, while also creating an energy trust fund the administration had previously outlined.

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The budget proposal renewed the White House push to expand credits for those buying electric vehicles and plug-ins. Such buyers now qualify for up to $7,500 in tax credits – for which they may have to wait months until next filing with the IRS. The administration would like to bump the number up to $10,000 for qualified vehicles and have the credits become available more immediately.


The Big Lie: Wacko Politics and Chrysler Dealers

Death panel for Republican dealers? More political nonsense.

by on Sep.09, 2009

Death squad for Republican dealers? Not true, according to the records.

Death squad for Republican dealers? Not true, according to the records.

In rapid fire succession, this writer was recipient of three emails from divergent but known conservative friends–one a former journalist–with an apparent widely circulated though un-sourced report alleging that politics determined which Chrysler dealer franchises got the axe in the reborn company’s bankruptcy proceedings earlier this year.

According to this lengthy email rant, all but one of the 789 dealers whose franchises were discontinued under the new Chrysler LLC bankruptcy were picked not by company analysts but rather by White House Democratic Party henchmen because they had donated to the Republican Party.

“Why was there neither rhyme nor reason as to which dealerships of the Chrysler Corporation (sic) were to be closed,” the email message asked rhetorically.  A few lines later, it answered its own question this way: “Amazingly, of the 789 dealerships closed by the federal government 788 had donated money exclusively to Republican political causes while contributing nothing to Democratic political causes.”

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The Whole Truth!

Let me be blunt.  The preceding statement is pure 100% bunk, a cheap partisan trick planted either by extremists of the Right or by super-clever Leftists trying to make it look that way.  Now I’m a long-term Centrist and I say Fie on Both Their Houses.


Auditors Have “Substantial Doubts” About GM

Is the empire ready to crumble?

by on Mar.05, 2009

GM auditor's "substantial doubts" could raise further opposition to federal bailout.

GM auditor's "substantial doubts" could raise further opposition to federal bailout.

Are there simply too many cracks in the foundation for General Motors to survive? There’s clearly more reason to doubt the company’s viability, today, in the wake of a gloomy report from the company’s own auditors, which raises “substantial doubt” about GM’s ability to remain in business.

That is, of course, no surprise to GM’s many critics, including those who have actively worked to try to prevent the Obama Administration from approving $16.6 billion in additional assistance, on top of the $13.4 billion the automaker has already received in emergency loans.

The latest concerns, raised by the auditing firm, Deloitte & Touche LLP, certainly won’t help. The irony is that the questions are being raised in GM’s own annual report. Deloitte serves as GM’s auditors, and its analysis and guidance is a central part of the yearly statement, which is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and supplied to investors. To be fair, in the current global meltdown and credit crunch there are doubts about the viability of many automakers.

Last year, GM ran up $30.8 billion in losses, bringing to $82 billion the total red ink for the past three years. According to its auditors, the company’s losses, and its inability to raise more cash in the continuing – and potentially worsening – economic crisis translates into a “substantial doubt” about GM’s ability to remain a viable concern.

“There is no assurance that the global automobile market will recover or that it will not suffer a significant further downturn,” the company’s statement said.