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.
The campaign season is now over but Vice President Joe Biden is still making his usual near-daily gaffe, and, unsurprisingly, the self-described “mainstream” media is continuing to cover them up.
On Nov. 19, the vice president sent a congratulatory letter to Eric Bodenweiser, a Republican state Senate candidate who withdrew from Delaware's 19th District race in October after he was charged with 113 felony counts of raping a boy 39 times between 1987 and 1990.
On Friday’s Inside Washington on PBS, during a discussion of the biggest political mistakes of the year, Washington Post columnist Colby King asserted that the Delaware Republican Party’s choice of Christine O’Donnell for U.S. Senate was an even worse choice than the South Carolina Democratic Party’s selection of Alvin Greene in that state’s Senate election to face Republican Senator Jim DeMint. Greene was facing charges at the time for showing pornography to a college student as he tried to seduce her in a computer lab at the University of South Carolina. After initially declaring it a "tie" between the two, he ended labeling O'Donnell the " absolute worst candidate known to mankind."
Below is a transcript of King's comments from the Friday, December 31, Inside Washington on PBS:
On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, as correspondent Jan Crawford filed a report on the allegations that former Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell misused campaign money, the CBS correspondent seemed dismissive of O’Donnell’s reaction to the accusations as Crawford harkened back to the 2010 campaign and described some of O’Donnell’s recent words as the Delaware Republican's response "whenever she faced embarrassing revelations." Crawford: "O'Donnell says the charges are dirty tricks by the political establishment. Now, if that sounds familiar, it should. That was often her response during the campaign whenever she faced embarrassing revelations."
After a clip of O’Donnell from the campaign accusing her opponents of "making up stories," then came a soundbite of David Catanese of Politico.com: "It's something she used during her entire campaign, she used in the primary and the general election. And here she is on morning TV again pitting herself against the world, basically."
As the broadcast network morning newscasts on Thursday each interviewed former Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell regarding allegations that she misused campaign money, in the setup piece on each network, the correspondent failed to inform viewers of credibility weaknesses on the part of O’Donnell’s accusers and omitted O’Donnell’s contention that she did not use campaign money to pay for rent on her home. Additionally, only CBS’s Jan Crawford informed viewers that the group pushing for an investigation - the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) - is a "left-leaning" group, as NBC’s Norah O’Donnell vaguely referred to a "watchdog group," and ABC’s Rob Nelson did not mention the organization.
Although both accusers who used to work for the O’Donnell campaign were fired - one after less than two weeks on the job - all three networks failed to inform viewers of these details that would suggest they may be disgruntled, and NBC’s Norah O’Donnell on the Today show even suggested that the accusers have greater credibility because they, like Christine O’Donnell, are Republicans, while the NBC correspodnent failed to inform viewers that the group CREW is liberal. NBC’s Norah O’Donnell reported: "O'Donnell calls them phony, but it was members of her own party who first raised the issue. During this year's bitter primary battle, Delaware's Republican Party paid for robo calls where O'Donnell's past campaign manager accused her of breaking the law in her failed 2008 Senate bid."
Perhaps there is a bit of witchcraft to be found amongst the Christine O’Donnell camp after all. Problem is, it appears to have generated from an independent television station in Delaware, who somehow managed to make the Republican Senate candidate’s 30-minute television advertisement disappear.
The Washington Post reports that O’Donnell, running short on time to have her ad aired on networks in the Philadelphia and Delaware markets, turned to public television as an outlet. She urged supporters at a Tea Party Express rally to tune in to her ad on Sunday night. Just prior to the airing, O’Donnell excitedly tweeted to her followers, “1 minute until the premiere of our 30 minute feature. Tune in to meet all the heartwarming people I've met on the campaign trail. Ch. 28.”
But alas, it was not to be.
On Monday, the O’Donnell camp issued a press release stating the ad would appear again that morning. It did not.
Tim Qualls, Executive Producer at Delaware Channel 28, claims that the ad did not air because O’Donnell’s campaign failed to deliver the video by an agreed upon deadline. But at least one source at the station claimed that they simply “forgot to air it.”
On Sunday’s NBC Nightly News, during a roundup of several reporters covering a number of high-profile Senate races, correspondent Ron Allen was upfront in labeling Pennsylvania Republican Senate nominee Pat Toomey as a "conservative," but an ideological label for liberal Democratic nominee Joe Sestak was absent: "Conservative Pat Toomey, a former Congressman and businessman, has been consistently leading in the polls ahead of Joe Sestak, a Democratic Congressman."
And correspondent Natalie Morales played up the possibility that "a lot of people are going to be blaming the Tea Party" if Republicans land one vote short of a Senate majority and Delaware Republican nominee Christine O’Donnell also loses: "If they're somehow able to get to nine and then Christine O'Donnell loses, a lot of people are going to be blaming the Tea Party."
CNN's Wolf Blitzer and former public television anchor Nancy Karibjanian pressed Republican candidate Christine O'Donnell during Wednesday's Delaware Senate debate. While the two pressed O'Donnell on her personal finances, her past comments on evolution, and SNL poking fun of her, Karibjanian went out of her way to note Democratic candidate Chris Coons's past as a "student pastor at Yale."
The first hour of the debate, which was held at the University of Delaware, aired on CNN starting at 7:30 pm Eastern. In her very first question to O'Donnell, the former WHYY personality raised the Republican's past financial difficulties:
KARIBJANIAN: Let's open the discussion on correcting some of the financial issues here by talk about some of your own personal financial problems, and most people know about it by now, including an IRS lien that was for about $12,000 in taxes and penalties from '05. There was the '08 mortgage default judgment on your home. You just received your bachelors degree, as you said, because it took a decade to pay off the tuition. The question, then, is, how can voters rely upon your thoughts on how to manage the deficit if you're having such personal financial issues of your own?
Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus raced to her keyboard on Tuesday night to express her upset with the result of the Republican Senate primary in Delaware. In “Why Christine O'Donnell's victory is scary,” posted at 10:15 PM EDT on the paper’s “PostPartisan” blog for its opinion writers, she seemed more scared by Mike Castle’s defeat than by Christine O’Donnell’s win.
While Democrats may be “delighted” by the prospect of facing O’Donnell, Marcus declared: “I’m despondent.” But not, of course, because it means the Democratic candidate will beat O’Donnell. No, the Post’s deputy national editor from 1999 to 2002 (bio) is “despondent” because it ends her dream of “a more robust cadre of moderate Republicans” in the Senate and the “ripple effect” means incumbent Republicans “will be that much more watchful of protecting their right flank,” which will cause them to “be that much less likely to take a political risk in the direction of bipartisanship.” Horrors.
Indeed, Marcus feared “a bolstered Jim DeMint caucus, following the disturbingly powerful junior senator from South Carolina: Sharron Angle (Nev.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Ken Buck (Colo.) -- plus the two other incumbent-slayers of the primary season, Mike Lee in Utah and in Joe Miller in Alaska. Scary.”
During a segment on Tuesday’s Situation Room program, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer characterized the ongoing post-election identity struggle in the Republican Party as being between moderates who are “more tolerant on fiscal and social issues” and “staunch” conservatives “who don’t want the party to become more moderate.” Later in the same segment, Gloria Borger, one of the network’s senior political analysts, labeled some of the moderate Republicans being considered for 2010 congressional races as being “very pragmatic choices.”
Blitzer introduced Borger’s analysis by highlighting the “serious battle...brewing in the Republican party....On the one side, moderates more tolerant on fiscal and social issues -- on the other side, staunch conservatives who don’t want the party to become more moderate.” The analyst herself focused on how this struggle was affecting statewide races, specifically in the northeastern states of Connecticut and Delaware. She argued that Republicans in Connecticut “need to put up a moderate candidate in that state to go against Chris Dodd.” She also cited unnamed conservative recruiters in the GOP who were supposedly saying, “we need moderates in the state of Connecticut.”
Three years after the media firestorm over the sad case of Terry Schiavo, a similar battle being fought in the state of Delaware is currently flying under the mainstream media’s radar.
The Wilmington [Del.] News Journal, which is owned by Gannett, reported on Thursday that the parents of 23-year old Lauren Marie Richardson, whose brain was damaged by a heroin overdose in August 2006, are in court battling over whether to remove her feeding tube. Richardson was pregnant at the time of her overdose, and she was kept alive with the feeding tube and a respirator until the birth of her daughter in February 2007. Since then, Richardson has recovered enough that she no longer required the respirator.
In an article that is otherwise fairly balanced, Delaware's biggest daily, the Wilmington News Journal, proclaims in a headline today that senior Senator Joe Biden has a "Tangled tongue, but a civil record," with the sub-header "Biden's bloopers don't jibe with his votes."
Sen. Joe Biden sees black supporters as his base and maintains a stellar voting record with the NAACP.
But he's also gotten in trouble for comments involving race or ethnicity.
Biden's supporters say the apparent gaffes are merely examples of his unscripted style, which they admire. Others say he should be more aware of how his words come across.
Most recently, Biden drew a comparison between the nation's capital and Iowa that suggested to some he was blaming Washington's large minority population for its low-performing schools.
The state of Delaware's largest daily, the News Journal, writes that the state's 'All-white court casts long shadow' and laments that there is no African-American serving on the state's Supreme Court.
A former border state whose citizens kept slaves but also supported the Underground Railroad, Delaware today has a rich tradition of black culture and achievement.
But unlike other states with such diverse populations -- and many whose residents are far more monochromatic -- Delaware has never had a black jurist on its Supreme Court, the last stop for most criminal and civil decision-making.
A few days ago I e-mailed the Wilmington (Delaware) News Journal -- a Gannett newspaper -- asking why this article failed to mentioned the race of the assailants who have been victimizing Hispanics recently. (The assailants are black). After all, police reports noted it, as well as local radio stations. The paper responded and included their editorial policy regarding such matters, apparently established by an assistant managing editor. The paper says it's "not about being politically correct;" you be the judge:
Our policy is not about being politically correct, it's about being accurate. Race is such an unreliable descriptor. What race is Halle Berry or Tiger Woods or Jennifer Lopez? They are extreme examples, but project them onto everyday people and you see the problem.