Monday, March 5, 2012

Running On Empty



Ah, where to begin?  

Hmm, how about:  The Beginning?

Once upon a time great (and wee) creatures called Dinosaurs roamed the Earth.  They did not KNOW they were called 'Dinosaurs'.  WE named them as such many millions of years after these reptilian creatures became 'Extinct'.  

'Extinct' means that if you go out and look for dinosaurs today, you won't find any except for fossilized remains in Museums, on signs from old-time Gasoline stations, and perhaps, reproduced digitally in several Steven Spielberg films.  

As for REAL Dinosaurs, nobody's got any live ones of these today - the closest you'll ever get to seeing a REAL Dinosaur is if you pass the rare and surgically-altered Nancius Pelosasaurus Rex on a street in a mythical land called, Washington, D.C.  (D.C., as everyone knows, stands for 'Dinosaur Capital of the World' (It's formal, longer, abbreviation of "D.C.O.W." was shortened to avoid politicians getting confused so it was reduced to the D.C. version you see above)).           

The ACTUAL dinosaurs from millions of years ago walked around, stomping on smaller Dinosaurs, plants, and assorted slow-moving spores, molds, and fungus while making noises like those heard throughout the film, "Jurassic Park".  Some dinosaurs were Meat-a-saurs who ate 'Free-Range Chicken'.  Other dinosaurs were Salad-a-saurs.  These latter dinosaurs ate whatever they found 'lying around', typically something green, covered with slugs, mutant-ginormous-caterpillar cocoons, mud, and the droppings of larger, taller Meat-a-saur dinosaurs who laughed aloud as they fouled the grazing grounds of the Salad-a-saurs.  

Scientists have concluded (scientifically) that IF the Internet existed 65 Million Years Ago, that Meat-a-saurs would have been Cyber-Bullies on FaceBook to the smaller, weaker, and slug-larva-pooh-eating Salad-a-saurs.  Don't ask me how I know this, but, it's true!

Suddenly, a bright light appears in the sky, 23 asteroids (more or less...) hit the Earth and every creature and plant on Earth (with the exception of the German Cockroach) dies.

Millions of years later, humans determine that the sticky 'goo' found weeping from the ground is a substance deemed to be: 'Fossil Fuels'.  They put a refined version of the 'goo' into their cars and discover that driving is FUN.  The economy takes off, America is a great place to live, and Steven Spielberg makes a movie about Dinosaurs, and, um, the rest is pretty much history...


Okay, so I made a 'lot' of the above story up, misrepresented the facts, made the story fit my narrative, AND played fast and loose with ACTUAL history, but if Al Gore can do it...  

What the heck, so can I!

Whenever I think of dinosaurs, Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, and a litany of other Democrat Politicians almost always come to mind.  I'm not sure why...

Oh, my, I've digressed again.  

So, you have probably already heard that General Motors is 'pulling the plug' on the Chevrolet Volt's production for the next five weeks, right?  If you haven't, you can read about it HERE at the Huffington Post online. They professional writers at The Huffington Post Online are perplexed, stunned, AND manage to blame the Volt's 'shocking' reputation on...  

Republican lawmakers!!!  (Whoa, who saw THAT coming?) 


Well, the last time I heard something this funny from the Huffy Post, I laughed so hard...  


I laughed so hard, I fell right off my dinosaur.  (Sorry, had to go there)

So, what you probably haven't heard is something I found from a post on "TheTruthAboutCars.com" from December, 2011.  I wanted to get to this last month, but life got in the way, the dinosaur ate my homework, and I was being cyber-bullied by a particularly-pesky Velociraptor named 'Earl'.  

These issues being now successfully resolved, let's spend a few moments to understand why President Obama's Administration is putting General Motors OUT OF BUSINESS (in the Hybrid vehicle sector).

From the TruthAboutCars site linked above:  

It’s the policy of many automakers that you can’t get through the factory gate unless you drive something made by that company. If recent trends continue, GM’s largest stockholder will have to park outside and walk.

The U.S. government, now owning 33 percent after a pre-IPO 61 percent of GM, bought most of its cars from the competition. Bloomberg had to file a Freedom of Information request with the GSA until they handed over the data. This is what they received:

Manufacturer    Units Purchased
Ford                        21,980
GM                          21,440
Chrysler                 13,063

More Fords than GMs!


...

As mentioned by Ed a few days ago, the GSA has gone on a hybrid binge, snapping up almost a quarter of Detroit’s hybrids. The trouble is, GM doesn’t have too many hybrids.  

Ford sold at least 11,066 hybrids to the U.S. government in the past two years, compared with 3,316 for GM, which discontinued sales of its highest volume hybrid, the Chevrolet Malibu, last year.

Even if there would have been a conspiracy to buy mostly from Government Motors, the disjointed government bureaucracy would not have been able to pull it off, says government contract law specialist Jeff Green: 

“The government is so disaggregated that it would be hard to favor one company over another. I would have been really surprised if someone were able to game the system.”



Yes, the U.S. Government, which still owns 33% of General Motors has purchased MOST of its Hybrid vehicles from Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corp. over the past two years.

I don't know about you, but if the Federal Government really believed in the Chevrolet Volt (at $46,000 MSRP, on average) they'd be able to keep the Volt manufacturing lines running 24 x 7 for quite a few months.

So the question is:  Why won't the Federal Government buy its own product?

I can think of a few possible reasons:

  1. The Chevrolet Volt is not ready for prime-time
  2. The Chevrolet Volt is not priced right for the market (even at GSA pricing)
  3. The Federal Fleet Maintenance Crews working on the Vehicle Fleet doesn't WANT to service them
  4. Federal Parking Garages are NOT yet fire-proofed
  5. No one on the government payroll can figure out where to buy the 'Really long extension cords' to power the 'Electric Cars'
  6. The Obama Administration is concerned about the perception of impropriety (buying from GM as a preferred vendor to the detriment of other companies)
  7. The Free Market actually DOES work - in spite of the government being involved
  8. The Government's Teamster-organized hamster unions REFUSE to run on their cage 'wheels' to power the Volt's electrical generators before 9am or after 4pm Monday through Friday

I guess, you also can't rule out the obvious reason:  "Why in the name of GOD would you consciously choose to buy a car that only goes 40 miles ONE WAY per charge?  And if you are going to be running on a gas powered generator when the charge is GONE, why wouldn't you buy a Ford Focus for about half the money?"

Yeah, that could be it in a nutshell.   


In a late-breaking (today) related story, the Chevrolet Volt has been named the "2012 European Car of the Year!"

If nothing else, I'm happy to report that the Chevrolet Volt and the European Union seem to be a perfect fit for each other.  



One is from a recently-bankrupt manufacturer, the other is on its way to going bankruptcy.  A match made in Washington, DC if I ever heard one.  

As for myself, I'm buying a Ford.  I've already picked it out at www.cars.com, now I just need to figure out how to pay for it.  Maybe if I tell the Obama Administration that my wife won't 'get romantic' with me (if I buy a Ford) the purchase will be considered a 'Contraceptive' and they'll require that Ford GIVE it to me for free?


Yeah, that might just work...

It's not like it hasn't been done already.  

We live in interesting times.  

The Dinosaurs did also (think giant mutant caterpillar cocoons).  The difference between then and now is that we can see the Asteroids coming...   We can, right?

Did the ground just shake where you are???

It will. 



Good luck America.  


Hey, why is the sky to the south so bright tonight???





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