Update (April 5): Fisker has laid off three-quarters of its workforce at its headquaters in Anaheim, owes DOE approximately $193 million | With a substantial repayment of the $529 million loan guarantee it received almost four years ago -- courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer -- coming due at the end of the month, the electric car company Fisker is exploring the idea of filing for bankruptcy before then. Sources have confirmed that an influential law firm from Chicago has been hired to help with the proceedings.
The major networks have been reticent on the subject however, as if they have no intention of breaking the next Solyndra-like scandal. It should be noted that no cars have been built since last July, and 200 of Fisker's American employees were recently furloughed.
The saga all began in 2009 when the Obama administration handed out $1 billion worth of loans to two electric car manufacturers, Fisker and Tesla. The latter appears to be on the verge of becoming profitable, but that assumes there's going to be a substantial number of people willing to pay near $1200 per month in leasing charges.
Fisker promised to do the majority of its auto assembly in Delaware, home of Vice President Joe Biden. Private investment partner Al Gore predicted that tens of thousands would be rolling off the the assembly lines there someday. But alas, two years later, it was revealed that production had shifted to Finland, where 500 workers had been hired to build the $100,000 cars called Karma.
Another report exposed that only 40 cars had been built at the time, and just two had been delivered. One of which was to actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio. Adding insult to injury, over 230 were recalled in late 2011 because of a fire hazard risk in the battery compartment. Luckily, very few were in the hands of consumers anyway.
Asked for comment back in October of 2011, founder and executive chairman Henrik Fisker was defiant. "We're not in the business of failing; we're in the business of winning," he said. "So we make the right decision for the business. That's why we went to Finland." Nearly a year and a half later, he would resign from the company that bears his namesake - citing 'differences with company management' in a March 2013 statement.
Now that the Kirkland & Ellis law firm is getting involved, to presume that a bankruptcy filing is coming isn't far-fetched. We'll keep our eyes open for the media's attention to this, but we're not holding our breath.
To his credit, the Washington Post's Zachary A. Goldfarb reported yesterday that the Obama administration is possibly repeating the same policy mistakes that sank the housing market. To get to the heart of the matter, our national housing bubble quickly inflated as a result of too many people with poor credit buying homes that they couldn’t afford. As that number multiplied, banks created more unstable mortgages to keep up with demand until eventually the bubble burst
Well, it seems that Mr. Obama is pushing banks to restart this self-destructive economic policy. Goldfarb wrote:
As I noted earlier this evening, Obama spoke last week under a banner of Yasser Arafat, "the father of modern terrorism." That move is being seen as a gaffe by the very few, almost none of whom are in the establishment press, who have even noticed it. What if it's not a gaffe, but rather an intentional move? That may be the case if what Al Arabiya reported on Friday, seen after the jump, is indeed true (HT Examiner.com):
While you were watching Rand Paul's historic filibuster and the debate surrounding budget sequestration, an economic theory battle was waging between two of the nation's foremost liberal economists Paul Krugman and Jeffrey Sachs.
In his most recent salvo published at the Huffington Post Saturday, Sachs spoke heresy to Obama-lovers across the fruited plain including Krugman claiming that following the 2008 financial crisis, "It was the Fed, not the fiscal stimulus, which prevented a fall into depression."
As NewsBusters reported earlier, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough had quite a heated discussion about the budget, debt, and the economy on PBS's Charlie Rose Monday evening.
Near its conclusion, Scarborough actually scolded Krugman for pompously behaving like a sighing Al Gore (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough had an at times heated discussion about budget deficits, debt, and the economy on PBS's Charlie Rose Monday evening.
At one point Krugman got so rattled by the facts that he actually said Scarborough quoting what he had said in the past was making an ad hominem attack against him (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For conservatives, it's been truly delicious the past few weeks watching previously devote Obamaites break ranks with their colleagues to finally tell the world that the emperor has no clothes.
A fine example Monday was the perilously liberal economist and media darling Jeffrey Sachs who published an article at the Huffington Post with the headline "How Obama's Politics Led to Sequestration":
Chris Matthews asked a question Sunday that should truly offend people on both sides of the aisle.
During the syndicated program bearing his name, Matthews asked his panel, "Has President Obama put himself at political risk if the big cuts do not wreak havoc?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The first is that it will cost a lot of money, totaling an amount which appears to have a chance to come within striking distance of about half of the annual profits in the entire commercial baking industry. The second is that there is little if any evidence supporting DOL's finding that imports have seriously harmed the industry. Excerpts from that editorial (do read the whole blood-boiling thing), followed by a bit of analysis by yours truly, follow the jump.
CNBC's Maria Bartiromo made a statement Sunday about all of the fearmongering concerning the looming budget sequester that people on both sides of the aisle should pay attention to.
Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Bartiromo said, "I think Wall Street is seeing this as scare tactics because if the market really believed that the economy was going to be paralyzed on March 1 we would not be trading near record highs" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting this weekend, some media members have been surprisingly breaking ranks with President Obama concerning administration claims that the world will come to an end if budget sequestration goes ahead this coming Friday.
NBC's David Gregory also appears to be feeling the White House's position is overblown and asked Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Sunday's Meet the Press, "Do you really think Americans think that government can't tighten up a bit?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When the Washington Post's Bob Woodward broke ranks with the Obama-loving media to correctly point out Friday that it was indeed the White House that originally proposed sequestration back in 2011, it was going to be interesting to see how many of his colleagues would follow suit.
On Sunday, CNN's Candy Crowley appeared to do so as she pressured Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood about whether or not the administration has "ginned up" the impact of the sequester in order to pressure Congress telling him at one point, "Your post-sequester total at FAA ops and facilities and equipment is going to be about $500 million more than 2008 and the planes were running just fine" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Another liberal media member has broken ranks and pointed the finger of blame for the looming budget sequester on Barack Obama.
After the Washington Post's Bob Woodward correctly wrote Friday that sequestration was indeed the Obama administration's idea in 2011, former Newsweek editor Evan Thomas hours later said on PBS's Inside Washington this whole standoff is "a failure of leadership by the White House...[Obama's] just playing politics" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Yesterday, the Department of Labor announced that it had certified "more than 18,000 former Hostess workers around the country as eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance." I'll save excerpts from DOL's inane announcement for after the jump.
The story has garnered some local coverage in areas affected by Hostess plant closures late last year, including a couple of regional Associated Press stories. But the AP, based on a search on "hostess," did not have a story at its national site as of 9 a.m. today, even though former Hostess workers in 48 states are affected. Additionally, virtually every story found in a Google News search on "Hostess trade adjustment" (not in quotes) is local in nature. Could this possibly be because doling out tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to workers whose unions thought the company was bluffing when it said it would throw in the towel without acceptable labor contracts is more than a little embarrassing, especially when President Barack Obama is simultaneously claiming that the federal government will have no choice but to lay off and furlough employees if sequestration takes place?
While the President and his media minions are trying to scare everyone into thinking that if the sequestration on federal spending goes through on March 1 it will be the end of the world, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer had a different view Wednesday.
Appearing on Fox News's Special Report, Krauthammer said, "This is the most ridiculously hyped Armageddon since the Mayan calendar" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NewsBusters readers know that one of my guilty pleasures is exposing Bill Maher's lack of knowledge on subjects he pompously pounds the table about.
On Tuesday evening, Maher gave me a doozy when he wrote on Facebook, "Wow, what a shameless liar this Marco Rubio guy is - Obama created more debt than Bush? Well, if you don't believe in science, why not math too?"
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams joined Jimmy Fallon Monday in another "Slow Jam the News" segment on NBC's Late Night.
This time the subject was the fight over the debt ceiling with the target of course being Republicans who were repeatedly hit with sexually-charged attacks (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) made a comment on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday that is guaranteed to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
"If we had a Clinton presidency, if we had Erskine Bowles chief-of-staff at the White House, or President of the United States, I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now. That's not the kind of presidency we're dealing with right now."
ABC and CNN contributor Donna Brazile - posing as one of Barack Obama's trusted defenders in the media like she always does! - got a much-needed education Sunday about the President's profligate spending.
Countering Brazile's propaganda on ABC's This Week, George Will said, "A dollar spent on A cannot be spent on B...This is our future. We're going to be an assisted living home with an Army. That's going to be the American government" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Stop the presses! Stop the presses! Bill Maher on Friday actually said something well-reasoned and intelligent that conservatives - including members of the Tea Party - might agree with.
"We have 23.5 percent dirt bags in America," the HBO Real Time host surprisingly said. "It just seems like there’s less people pulling the wagon and more people in the wagon, and at some point the wagon is going to break" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Friday marvelously exposed NPR's Nina Totenberg as one of President Obama's shills in the media.
When Totenberg - appearing on PBS's Inside Washington - tried to make excuses for why Obama is totally in favor of raising the debt ceiling today despite having voted against doing so when he was a senator, Krauthammer scolded, "Don't cover for him" (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno took a fiscal poke at President Obama Thursday.
After mentioning that it was Michelle Obama’s birthday, and that she told reporters that she wanted “a nice gift from Barack, but nothing extravagant,” Leno quipped, “Oh, don't worry. Obama is very responsible when he's spending his own money. Don't have worry about that. No problem there” (video follows with commentary):