Jeep Auto Workers Fear for Their Jobs After False Romney Ads in Ohio

By: Tuesday October 30, 2012 7:12 pm

Mitt Romney’s latest play for Ohio – which remains the touchstone of the entire election, desperate plays for Minnesota and Pennsylvania aside – apparently involves straight-up lying about the intentions of Chrysler to “build Jeeps in China,” to the extent that Jeep factory employees are calling their managers wondering if they still have a job.

 

CFPB Report on Student Loan Servicing Shows Same Predatory Tactics as Mortgage Servicing

By: Monday October 22, 2012 9:00 am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released an eye-opening report on student lending late last week that got me thinking about a simple truth I think I had overlooked previously. I’ve documented for well over a year the extent to which mortgage servicers make their profits almost entirely through ripping off their customers, adding on unnecessary fees, and basically using opaque processes to skim money off the top.

Romney Profited From Auto Bailout

By: Thursday October 18, 2012 9:00 am

The way in which the hedge fund syndicate secured these taxpayers dollars for Delphi sounds pretty much like blackmail. For example, according to Steven Rattner, the auto czar, Delphi demanded an immediate cash infusion of $350 million or they would stop supplying to GM. Oh, and Delphi promptly fired all the unionized workers at Delphi, cut health care for all their nonunion pensioners, and took the production jobs to China. Delphi employs less then 5,000 US workers, from a high of 25,000.

How do the Romneys figure into this? They have at least $1 million invested in Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, per their 2011 and 2012 financial disclosure. Based on that investment, they made at least $15.3 million on the deal, which involved ripping off the US taxpayer, shedding US jobs in favor of China, and using leverage created by the auto bailout to do it. Most of these profits have been kept offshore to avoid US taxes, of course. The Romneys protest that these investments are all held in a blind trust, but the executor of their blind trust is Romney’s personal lawyer.

Just another day in the life of a vulture capitalist, I guess.

Incumbency Has Its Privileges: When Criticized by Romney on China, Obama Administration Announces Trade Enforcement

By: Monday September 17, 2012 11:45 am

The United States has filed the latest in a series of trade actions against China at the WTO, this one objecting to unfair dumping of subsidized Chinese auto parts. But the relatively limited scope of the action, along with the political context, suggests this is about more than just unfair trade practices.

The Gas Tax vs. Fuel Economy Debate

By: Wednesday September 12, 2012 7:00 pm

Eduardo Porter attempted to take the air out of one of the few carbon mitigation programs the Obama Administration has been able to approve, the increase in fuel economy standards. Porter’s perspective is basically that increased gas taxes make more sense than higher fuel economy, and that the latter carries unintended consequences.

Thoughts on Day 1 at the DNC – The Rise of the Social Liberals

By: Wednesday September 5, 2012 6:49 am

You can read the big prime-time speeches from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and First Lady Michelle Obama. They tell a coherent story of success borne out of struggle, the importance of government investment in education and opportunity as a bridge from the bottom, and the need to give everyone those same chances. They were well-told tales.

Virtually all of the speeches last night, from Ted Strickland to Deval Patrick to even Martin O’Malley, were well-told. For all the hype about Republicans and their “deep bench,” I think it’s clear that Democrats have better speakers and better speechwriters at this stage of the game.

The Story of the Janesville GM Plant

By: Thursday August 30, 2012 3:00 pm

I’ve already made myself clear about our glorious post-fact universe, and I don’t really think these examples of the traditional media supposedly meeting their obligations relative to Paul Ryan’s convention speech fit the bill. These examples come from the segregated “fact-check” organizations and the opinion pages of the large newspapers and media outlets. The facts are shunted off to the side, separated from the “news,” which is a calm regurgitation of what happened, ripped from context and perspective.

Lying in Post-Fact America

By: Thursday August 30, 2012 6:35 am

We live in a time when the media literally thinks it’s a separate job to separate true from false in reporting on national political figures. They think their main job is theater criticism.

US Finalizes 2025 Fuel Efficiency Standard of 54.5 MPG

By: Tuesday August 28, 2012 1:40 pm

The United States has finalized fuel economy rules that would increase the average to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, almost twice as much as the current standards. It’s the first update since the mid-1980s, and it should have a big impact on the annual cost of fueling up cars and trucks as well as the emitting of greenhouse gas emissions.

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