Obama and Hurricane Isaac, Unbiased Debates, GM Motor Sales
What more in the negative can I say about this president? PLENTY. Today I have a new list.
First let’s look at Hurricane Isaac under Obama’s Watch: Obama fails to provide aid to victims of Hurricane Isaac, despite 2007 anti-Bush rhetoric on Katrina relief
President Barack Obama has refused to extend to victims of Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana the same relief he criticized former President George W. Bush for withholding from New Orleans residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The move has frustrated state and local politicians and contradicts his own campaign rhetoric about disaster relief from just one election cycle ago.
In a fiery 2007 speech at Hampton University unveiled last week exclusively by The Daily Caller, Obama excoriated the Bush administration for supposedly refusing to waive requirements of the Stafford Act, which requires disaster victims to repay the federal government for emergency assistance, after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.
â€œWhatâ€™s happening down in New Orleans?â€ Obama shouted during the speech, which was recorded at the Virginia university in June of 2007. â€œWhereâ€™s your dollar? Whereâ€™s your Stafford Act Money? Makes no sense!Â It tells me, the people down in New Orleans, they donâ€™t care about as much!â€
However, Bush authorized millions of dollars in aid to NewÂ OrleansÂ in 2007 for rebuilding, with no strings attached. And less than two weeksÂ before his Hampton University speech, Obama himself voted against a bill that would have waived Stafford Act requirements for Katrina victims.
At the time, the president justified his vote by stating that the bill failed to include a timeline for a military withdrawal from Iraq. Only 13 other senators joined him in rejecting that legislation.
The Stafford Act requires states and localities to add their own money to federal funds disbursed for rebuilding after disasters. The amount of required matching funds can vary up to 25 percent, under the law.
According to Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, the president has responded to the August landfall of Hurricane Isaac, whichÂ devastatedÂ several parishes inÂ Louisiana, by requiring local governments toÂ provideÂ the maximum allowable 25 percent matching funds to receive their federal aid, instead of the 10 percent match that served as the Bush administrationâ€™s guideline in the aftermath of Katrina.
Plaquemines Parish, which was particularly hard hit by Isaac and whose residents had to evacuate to escape the effects of storm surge, is one area whose Stafford Act requirements Obama has declined to waive.
Then look at how under this administration, we don’t have a prayer of an unbiased debate, in spite of his poor performance on the first one. (Which I hear he was in denial about, he actually thought he WON the debate). ABC News scrambles to downplay Obamaâ€™s attendance at VP debate moderatorâ€™s wedding
President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, The Daily Caller has learned. Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review.
After TheDC made preliminary inquiries Monday to confirm Obamaâ€™s attendance at the wedding, ABC leaked a pre-emptive statement to liberal-leaning news outlets includingÂ Politico and The Daily BeastÂ Tuesday, revealing what may have been internal network pressure felt just days before Raddatz was scheduled to moderate the one and only vice-presidential debate Thursday night.
Both Politico and The Daily Beast jumped to ABC and Raddatzâ€™s defense.Â The Huffington Post, another liberal news outlet, joined them shortly thereafter, while calling â€œunusualâ€ ABCâ€™s attempt to kill the story before it gained wide circulation.
Genachowski â€” called â€œJayâ€ at the time of his wedding, sources told TheDC â€” and Raddatz would go on to have a son together before their divorce in 1997. They have both since remarried to other people.
A source who attended the 1991 wedding told TheDC that Obama was also a guest there, and remembered that a man by the name of â€œBarry Obamaâ€ was among the guests dancing at the reception. (RELATED: Marital, personal ties link Obama administration toÂ CommissionÂ on Presidential Debates)
In august The Daily Caller first connected Genachowski, an Obama appointee, to Raddatz following her selectionÂ as the vice presidential debate moderator by the left-leaningÂ Commission on Presidential Debates. That debate,Â between Congressman Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden, will take place Thursday night at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
Carol Platt Liebau, a political commentator who was a Harvard Law Review colleague of Genachowski and Obama, wrote that â€œdespite being a year below both men on the Review and not close personal friends with either of them,â€ she remembered Genachowski and Raddatzâ€™s relationship as â€œquite publicâ€ during those days, and that â€œRaddatz visited Boston frequently.â€
Genachowskiâ€™s friendship with Obama would continue through the campaign trail in 2008 and into the White House: He aggressively fundraised for Obama in 2008 as a campaign bundler, and served on the presidential transition team before winning his appointment to chair the FCC.
On Monday evening ABC spokesman David Ford grudgingly confirmed Obamaâ€™s attendance at the wedding, after shielding Raddatz in August by declining to comment when The Daily Caller firstÂ reportedÂ the story.
It looks like General Motors will be throwing everything in but the kitchen sink to help fluff its second quarter earnings numbers. Taxpayers continue to help with the cause as President Obama campaigns on the “success” of GM following the manipulated bankruptcy process that cost taxpayers $50 billion and another $45 billion of tax credits gifted to GM to help protect powerful UAW interests. We now learn that government purchases of GM vehicles rose a whopping 79% in June, year over year.
The discovery of the pick-up in government fleet purchases at the taxpayers’ expense comes just weeks before GM announces its second quarter earnings. Overall fleet sales (which are typically less profitable than retail sales) at Government Motors rose a full 36% for the month, helping to drive decent sales improvements year over year.
GM claimed that sales increases did not rely on incentive spending, which appeared to remain in check, but one analyst during GM’s sales conference call questioned whether the company’s “stair step” incentive spending was accurately depicted. This incentive spending kicks in after dealerships report final sales figures for the month and may be yet another deceptive way for GM to fudge its numbers. Not mentioned was GM card rewards programs that do not get counted as incentive spending.
The government’s increased spending on GM vehicle purchases presents yet another conflict of interest as Treasury refuses to sell taxpayers’ stake in GM and Obama campaigns on the auto bailouts. It does not appear that any members of Congress (from either party) are questioning the increased spending. Also ignored was the Department of Energy’s gifting of $2.7 million of taxpayer money to GM to reduce energy consumption in its door manufacturing process by 50%. The DOE seems to be one of the main conduits to funnel taxpayer funds to cronies of the Administration. The $2.7 million contribution to GM comes after additional millions of dollars were spent by the DOE on advisory fees paid to legal firms that helped smooth the way for the GM bankruptcy process (as reported here); another move that went unquestioned.
The upcoming earnings announcement by GM is, politically, the most important to date. The pressure is on Government Motors to appear financially strong as this may be the last earnings report before November elections and sets the stage for how “successful” GM is. One of GM’s past tricks to help fudge earnings numbers has been to stuff truck inventory channels. Old habits die hard at GM. According to a Bloomberg report, “GM said inventory of its full-size pickups, which will be refreshed next year, climbed to 238,194 at the end of June, a 135 days supply, up from 116 days at the end of May.” 135 days supply is huge, the accepted norm is a 60 day supply. The trick here is that GM records revenue when vehicles go into dealership inventories, not when actually sold to consumers.
The article goes on to quote Kelley Blue Book’s Alec Gutierrez who stated “They’re (GM) likely going to have a relatively high days supply of trucks moving forward and they’re already placing some pretty aggressive cash incentives on the hood. It’s going to eat into their profit margins…”
GM’s earnings announcement comes on August 2nd. The main headwinds will be weak European operations and growing pension liabilities. The headline number for earnings should be viewed skeptically and an eye kept on the share price reaction after the conference call. Expect Government Motors to put a positive spin on its financial health as the stakes are now at their highest. The long-term health of GM remains in question and the true financial picture may not surface until well after voters decide who will be running our country. Eventually we will see just how successful GM really is.