Last year, President Barack Obama declared that one of the “Apollo projects of our times” is the goal for the United States to be “the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.” Companies that made and people that bought those electric vehicles received generous government money. One holdout in the rush for EVs: The U.S. government. It did not do as its President said, and ended up with a drastic cut in purchases of electric and hybrid vehicles after the speech was delivered.
Foreign OEMs put on a dog and pony show at the Washington D.C. auto show in anticipation of President Obama’s visit, but were ultimately snubbed when the President decided to check out some American iron instead.
Starting in March, the Chevrolet Volt will be eligible to use the HOV lane on California highways. The catch? You have to buy a new Volt to use the carpool lane.
Obama! Socialism! Taxes! Jesus! Faith! Guns! Now that you’re paying attention, it’s time for our regularly scheduled programming. A Detroit News article claims that NHTSA is denying any interference on the part of the White House with respect to the Chevrolet Volt fires that resulted from government crash test procedures.
[UPDATE: Ford has restored the video to Youtube. More details here.]
Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes reports in a column that Ford has pulled its controversial “bailout ad” after the White House asked “questions” about it. And apparently the take-down decision makes this a threatened piece of footage: in addition to yanking the spot from the airwaves, the version of the video we posted two weeks ago has been taken down from YOutube as well [a home recording of it can still be found here]. So what happened that Ford would throw its most popular ad in ages down the memory hole? Howes is cryptic…
Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early ’09 and again when the ad flap arose…
With President Barack Obama tuning his re-election campaign amid dismal economic conditions and simmering antipathy toward his stimulus spending and associated bailouts, the Ford ad carried the makings of a political liability when Team Obama can least afford yet another one. Can’t have that.
In the past, when a sitting president has hit the campaign trail, they’ve leased their own campaign bus which the Secret Service would then retrofit with all the latest security features. But no longer, as Talking Points Memo reports that the presidential bodyguards are buying their own bespoke campaign bus, reportedly from Hemphill Brothers Coach Company. Secret Service spokesman Jim Mackin explains
We’ve never been fully comfortable with the security provided by a bus we lease and then try to retro-fit. This would be just like other vehicles we’re adding to our fleet. We’d use them for the campaign, but they’re not for campaign purposes. They would be part of our fleet — just like our limos, just like our follow-ups, just like our emergency vehicles.
And this isn’t just for President Obama: one of the two new buses will be made available to the Republican candidate as well. And because the buses are government property, they won’t be allowed to have campaign logos and both campaigns will have to reimburse the Secret Service for their use. There’s no word on what retrofits the new buses will receive, but we’d be disappointed to find there’s not at least one minigun turret. Because you can never have enough miniguns on the campaign trail… [Hat Tip: Dan Licht]
Fiat has reached an agreement with the U.S. Government that will give Fiat 52 percent of the shares in Chrysler and therefore the final controlling majorioty. The Treasury said on Thursday it will sell its remaining 6 percent equity stake in Chrysler to Italy’s Fiat in a deal that will net Washington $560 million, Reuters reports. (Read More…)
Headed for the G8 summit in France, President Obama left Britain today on Air Force One. He left a pile of unpaid traffic tickets behind. London’s Mayor Boris “BoJo” Johnson announced that he will bill the U.S. government 10 pounds for each car in the presidential motorcade, including The Beast that either did or did not get stuck in Ireland. The money is for the London congestion charge, abbreviated to C-charge. “Our roads were not closed during the President’s visit so his motorcade will pay,” the Mayor told London’s Evening Standard. “The Beast will pay the charge, I’m delighted to say.”
While it looks like The Beast will be billed, payment is a completely different matter.
Isn’t the idea of President Barack Obama’s truck-turned-limo that it can get out of a situation real fast? Instead, it caused howls of laughter all over Europe by getting stuck as it emerged from the gates of the US embassy in Dublin. (Read More…)
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy said in a speech to a joint session of Congress: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth.” On 21 July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon. The Apollo 11 crew returned safely to Earth on 24 July. Three years later, the Moon had its last visitors. The Sea of Tranquility lives up to its name.
In last week’s State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama’s set an even more audacious goal. (Read More…)