February 9, 2012

AP, Others Likely Misreported Chinese Chevy Volt ‘We Get the Tech or You Can’t Produce’ Shakedown Last Year

GovernmentMotors0609Sometimes you read the most interesting things in those supposedly boring trade publications.

One such item of interest comes from an article in Manufacturing News (HT to an emailer) written by Richard A. McCormack which is primarily about the Mainland China’s designs on the worldwide auto parts industry, including the U.S. Some of the larger American unions are demanding that the administration and Congress take action on what they see as unfair trade practices. One sentence is indicative of a more pervasive problem, and it directly contradicts what the establishment press has been telling Americans for months. It’s of particular concern to all Americans because the U.S. government still owns over 25% of General Motors, and reads as follows: “China has told GM that it will not be able to sell its Volt electric vehicle in China unless GM transfers technology to China and produces the vehicle there.”

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Ohio Liberty Council President: ‘The Reports of Our Death have been greatly exagerated’

Received this self-explanatory email this afternoon (bolds are mine):

Fellow Patriots,

In a March 6th story in the Daily Beast titled “Tea Party ‘Is Dead”: How the movement Fizzled in the 2012′s GOP Primaries” former Ohio Liberty Council President Chris Littleton was accurately quoted as saying:

“The Tea Party movement is dead. It’s gone,” says Chris Littleton, the cofounder of the Ohio Liberty Council, a statewide coalition of Tea Party groups in Ohio. “I think largely the Tea Party is irrelevant in the primaries. They aren’t passionate about any of the candidates, and if they are passionate, they’re for Ron Paul.”

I want to make it clear that Mr. Littleton is no longer the President of the Ohio Liberty Council, and is no longer on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Liberty Counsil, and that he does NOT speak for the Ohio Liberty Council Board or its members, and in my opinion is not a “Tea Party leader” as suggested in the article. Mr. Littleton has every right to speak for himself, but he has no right to speak for us.

We can attest that the TEA Party is NOT DEAD, based on the fact, for example, that the Portage County TEA Party, of which I am the Executive Director, now has over 2,200 members. One out of every 59 adults in our county are members, and in the last election we won 65% of the races for which we endorsed. We can attest to the fact that the TEA Party is NOT DEAD, based on the 330 Liberty Groups that now exist in 69 of the 88 counties in Ohio and who have an active membership of over 45,000 members.  We can attest to the fact that the TEA Party is NOT DEAD based on the overwhelming victory of Issue 3 last November which was birthed by the Ohio Liberty Counsel and put on the ballot and passed by liberty group members.

Mr. Littleton was trying to get publicity for an esoteric theory he has be trying to promote that suggest that the Tea Party movement was nothing more than a protest movement and that it must die to be re-born as an activist movement.  The facts disprove his theory.  The TEA Party movement has already morphed from a protest movement into an activist movement and did not have to die to do it.  We are now more mature and more engaged that ever before and are setting the political agenda for our nation. All while still retaining our local leadership and community focus.  As was shown by recent votes for Rick Santorum, TEA Party members nationwide are still conservative and still fighting the establishment every step of the way – and winning.  To paraphrase Mark Twain ” The reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated” both by the left and by Mr. Littleton.

Best Regards,

Tom Zawistowski
President
Ohio Liberty Council

Wishful thinking at the Daily Beast, which runs a publication (Newsweek) for which its owner paid $1. It’s not the Tea Party which is dead.

ORPINO Update: ‘Tea Party Values’ Reappears, And That’s Not the Worst of It

Filed under: Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:30 pm

I’ll frame what is known first by listing recent links and then by excerpting a recent Third Base Politics post.

First, the previous links:

  • Jan. 27 (“Ohio and Pennsylvania RINOs in Full Freak-Out Mode”) — Introduced the proposal from ORPINO (Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) Chairman Kevin DeWine that no State Central Committee member can be seated unless he or she has voted in the previous three statewide primaries.
  • Feb. 1 (“Ohio’s Insurgent State Central Committee Slate”) — lists those who, for better or worse (some clearly less than perfect, but as Howard Cosell once said, “You work with what’s available”) are considered the preferable candidates for the state Central Committee.
  • Feb. 3 (“ORP Chair Kevin DeWine’s Proposal Passes by a One Vote Simple Majority”) — The rule in question passed by a vote of 29-28, of 57 members present.
  • Feb. 6 (“Ohio GOP Chairman – Out of Control”) — notes that the crucial vote on changing the requirements to be seated on State Central Committee was passed by a majority of those present, when the Party’s bylaws require a majority of all 66 members.

Now, from Bytor at Third Base Politics on Monday (HT to an emailer; yes, I’m keeping up with this story as well as I wish):

Kevin DeWine and his cowards hide behind secret ballot

Kevin DeWine is going to go down in history as the most corrupt chairman of the ORP ever. And he doesn’t seem to care. The more people that turn against him and call for him to resign, the more desperate and brazen he seems to become.

… We now have some new information about Friday’s events. Most votes of the committee, and even most of the votes on Friday, are conducted in the open. However, for the proposed rule change, they used a secret ballot. So, it appears that to protect their seats from a fair election, DeWine and his allies are willing to:

1. Change the rules after candidates have already filed, and early voting has already begun,
2. Violate the party bylaws in order to enact their rule change, and now…
3. Hide behind a secret ballot so voters can’t hold them responsible.

Unbelievable, despicable and very, very cowardly. I spoke with a SCC member yesterday, who informed me that in his 8 years on the committee, it was only the 2nd time he could recall a secret ballot being used.

We, and some tea party affiliated groups are doing what we can to identify the members and who voted how. Right now, our advice is to call your committee members and ask them how they voted, and also to ask them if they stand by Kevin DeWine or not. If they voted for the rule change or indicate they support keeping DeWine as chairman, then obviously you need to vote for their opponent on March 6. Every State Senate district is represented by one man and one woman on the committee. Find out what Senate district you live in, and then go here to identify who represents you.

If you get an answer from your committee people, please email me with your report at bytor3bp @ gmail.com. (remove the spaces)

Finally, don’t be fooled by any mailers you receive from the Ohio Republican Party. Once again, Kevin DeWine is spending party resources to protect his and his allies’ own seats, and using tea party type logos on them to trick people. These two were received last week. Just like 4 years ago, they are attempting to thwart the tea party while pretending to have “tea party values”.

One of the images follows the jump if you’re on home page. Brace yourself, because if there were the political equivalent of “X” rating for false portrayals in promotion, this one would get a “XXX” (click on the image to see it in full in a separate tab or window):

KevinDeWine2012reelectPromo

I didn’t think it was possible, but Kevin’s invocations (yeah, two of ‘em) of “Tea Party Values” is NOT the most offensive aspect of the flyer for his own Central Committee location. Instead it’s his pretense “To work with Governor Kasich,” when he has been working against Kasich for years.

Seriously, someone needs to carry out an intervention. Hopefully it will be the GOP’s voters over the next 3-1/2 weeks. If not, it has become painfully obvious that the intervention will still be needed.

Santorum and Fiscal Issues

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:39 pm

From what Mitt Romney and his surrogates are saying, you would think that Rick Santorum was the king of all earmarks and generally not a fiscally responsible guy when he was Pennsylvania’s junior senator.

Santorum’s Club For Growth grades during his final two years in office aren’t the picture of an unmitigated disaster Romney’s followers are trying to portray.

In 2005, Santorum got a 73%, putting him in a tie for 35th place, ahead of 18 of his Republican senatorial colleagues, including fellow Keystone State Senator Arlen Specter (47%) and Ohio colleagues George Voinovich (56%) and Mike DeWine (43%). Current Romney adviser Norm Coleman came in at 49%.

In 2006, Santorum improved to 81% and 21st place. It’s important to note that while Rick got better, the rest got worse [Specter (40%), Voinovich (40%), Coleman (44%)], except DeWine, who stayed the same (43%).

Santorum’s two-year average of 77% (labeled “lifetime,” but really only two years, because CFG only began publishing scorecards in 2005) puts him 28th among listed Senators. Romney endorser John McCain is a point behind; anyone with an ounce of observational power knows that Romney is far less conservative than McCain, who is only occasionally conservative himself.

There is also no doubt that as Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney didn’t mind feasting upon the earmarks the Bay State’s aggressive Democratic congressional cadre was able to extract from the public purse.

Romniacs need to find a better line of attack, because, especially in comparison to their own candidate, who for starters opposed the Bush tax cuts and raised taxes (oh, excuse me, mostly fees) by hundreds of millions of dollars while he was governor, this dog won’t hunt.

Unemployment Claims: 358K, Down from Revised Way-Up 373K In Previous Week; NSA Claims 398K, Down 10% from 2011 (Updates: A Smaller Pool, and Historical Perspective)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:14 am

From the Department of Labor:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending February 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted (SA) initial claims was 358,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 373,000. The 4-week moving average was 366,250, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 377,250.

… UNADJUSTED DATA (i.e., not seasonally adjusted, or NSA — Ed.)

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 397,810 in the week ending February 4, a decrease of 24,477 from the previous week. There were 440,706 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.

The upward revision to last week’s initial 367,000 was 6,000.

Business Insider’s email predicted 370K. If the previous week’s upward revision is the same, today’s 12K beat will be cut in half. If the average during the past 48 weeks I’ve been tracking the data holds, it will be cut by one-third.

Differences in seasonal factors between last year and this year aren’t significant.

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UPDATE: A sober-up observation: Readers who go to the interactive table and selects a year range going back to 2008 will see that “covered employment” (the pool of workers from whom unemployment claims can be received when they are laid of or let go without cause), was 133.08 million during the last reported week of September 2009, just 28-plus months ago, and three months after the recession officially ended.

That number is not very far from the all time high of 133.91 million, which was the reading as of the end of 2008. It dropped to a low of 125.56 million a year ago, and has since barely rebounded to its current 126.58 million.

The point? The pool of workers who can even file for unemployment claims is 5% lower than it was just over two years ago (the 6.5 million difference between 133.08 million and 126.58 million divided by 133.08 million). That factor in and of itself means that today’s reading of 358,000 is the equivalent of a 376,000-claim reading when the employment situation was better, which nullifies any potential claim that a reading as low as today is a valid indicator of a strong recovery — and yes, it means that the snarky comment that employers have fewer people to lay off who are eligible for unemployment compensation (the snark is that “they are running out of people to lay off”) has some validity.

UPDATE 2: Historical perspective — The interactive table, which has data going back to 1967, shows that at the end of June 1984, 31 months after November 1982, the month the Reagan-era recession ended, instead of decreasing by the 5% and 6.5 million seen during the Obama era, covered employment increased by 3.46 million (or 4%) from 86.93 million to 90.39 million.

This is more evidence of the point I made in yesterday’s PJ Media column, which is that “the administration’s policies during the past three years have continued to generate a combination of rampant demoralization and ‘going Galt’ which has handicapped the economy and seriously harmed the lives of millions of individuals and families.”

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (020912)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:00 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Pope urges faithful to overcome selfishness with Lenten charity

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:55 am

From Vatican City:

Feb 7, 2012 / 08:10 pm

The Catholic Church must demonstrate the power of love and show the limitations of an individualistic worldview, Pope Benedict XVI taught in a Lenten message released two weeks before Ash Wednesday.

In the letter released Feb. 7, the Pope contrasted an ethic of “custody’ of others,” with “a mentality that, by reducing life exclusively to its earthly dimension … accepts any moral choice in the name of personal freedom.”

A society with this mindset, he warned, “can become blind to physical sufferings and to the spiritual and moral demands of life. This must not be the case in the Christian community!”

The Pope’s message for Lent of 2012, which begins Feb. 22, drew from the New Testament’s Letter to the Hebrews – particularly the verse that proclaims, “Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works.”

“All too often, however, our attitude is just the opposite,” Pope Benedict observed, describing “an indifference and disinterest born of selfishness and masked as a respect for ‘privacy.’” …

Go here for the rest of the story.