Oil Spill Charity “F-Bomb-A-Thon” on Vimeo

23 07 2010

Donate to help clean up BP’s mess. Buy a T-shirt, button, or sticker. Buy 5.

We all know the US Government will do nothing to discourage the oil companies from continuing the same practices that led to this. We all know the President no longer enforces the laws meant to protect us. We all know the Congress lets the oil companies write their own laws. We all know the Congress depends on oil company money to stay in office.We all know all these things.

So?  Fuck it.  Or, rather, UnFuck it.


Vodpod videos no longer available.


Why Kill Detroit Now?

6 12 2008

…When 2 out of the Big 3 Have already taken Serious Steps at A. McCoyReform?

By Andrew McCoy

So the Big 3 need 25 gazillion dollars to stay viable. According to bad accounting people the average worker makes $73 an hour working there. Of course these are silly numbers. No factory worker brings home $151,000 (73x40x52). As of 2006 the wage breakdown at Chrysler was:

Base Wage & COLA
Health Care* All other elements Total
$/hr. %Total $/hr. %Total $/hr. %Total
29.15 38% 20.14 27% 26.57 35% 75.86

This was the latest data I could find with good hard numbers.

Health Care

The ‘Healthcare’ and ‘all other elements’ contains healthcare and pension payment for retirees. That’s 111,000 at Chrysler, 450,000 at all of the Big 3. The numbers bandied about say Japanese companies only pay 40 to 50 an hour per employee. That gives them an $1800 advantage per car made in labor costs.

Of the 20.14 in healthcare costs listed less than half goes to employees. Most goes to retiree healthcare. That issue has already been addressed; retiree healthcare will be cut, provided GM, Ford, and Chrysler, put in the upfront 50 billion needed before 2010 for the UAW health plan.

Pension Plans

The largest ‘other’ expense going forward is the continuing pension plans. The Pension fund of the GM is fully funded ( I can’t find similar info on Ford and Chrysler, but they GM’s pension covers 300,000 and Ford/ Chrysler combined cover 150,000)  currently and pays UAW member $18,000 per year after the age of 63.

So, of the 73  mythical dollars, my guess is 50 goes to current employees.

No Raises for Years Ahead

Employees have already agreed to no raises for a few years, and the new UAW contract allows new workers to be hired at a lower rate.  Nearly half of all UAW members are eligible for retirement within 5 years. That means the labor cost will go down even further.

In the chart above healthcare costs 20 bucks an hour, but let’s look realistically going forward. The average healthcare plan in the US for 2009 is projected to be $9660. According to the above chart healthcare costs $41,891 a year. Even with really good insurance, based on the $9660 number, healthcare should only cost $15,000.

So, I’m Stuck with $32,231 Out of Pocket

Just for Health Insurance?

I’m a middle class earner, for where I live. My company offers average or above average benefits across the board. At year end, when I get my “total compensation” packet, it shows that the company pays less than $15,000 for my total compensation (besides my salary). If we assume my company pays its 78% share of my health insurance (9660×78%), then $7534 goes to health insurance and about the same amount goes to other stuff (vacation, holidays, 401k, etc).

Total Compensation

For the next bit, I am assuming about 7500 is needed for ‘other stuff”.  If GM pays 29.15 per hour worked (a tad high I think), and pays all 15k for health insurance, and 7500 for ‘other stuff’. Total compensation is (29.15×2080) =60,132 + 15000 + 7500 = $83132, that equals $39.9673 per hour.

Even if “total compensation” goes up to $103132, that’s 60k in wage, 40k in healthcare/ other stuff, that only equals 49.50 an hour, which is about equal to Toyota’s costs.

Two out of the 3 have Taken the Steps…

This shows, although the hour is late, GM and others have worked out the appropriate steps to rein in their over the top expenditures. Their cars have gotten better, well 2 out of 3 ain’t bad… Chrysler still sucks.

In normal circumstances, a bankruptcy would be the right choice. It would allow their debts to be re-organized and new capital infused. There is a snag with that right now though; who is going to give them the capital? No banks have any money now.

Why Kill Detroit Now?

If our precious financial district is worth 700 billion (over 5 trillion by some counts) then the last of our major manufacturing sector should get enough to survive until their already implanted changes help them out.

Andrew McCoy is an IT Consultant

Sh*T-for-Brains Yellow Journalism: WFTV, Barbara West, Bob Jordan

26 10 2008

(Update I)


To the General Manager of WFTV

Your interview Thursday with Joe Biden was not a tough interview, as many have held.  It was an ambush interview. Perhaps Barbara West and Bob Jordan learned how to be Journalists from Bill O’Reilly‘s sprititual forefatherJoe Pyne.

Not simply an ambush, this interviewer’s questions were not simply woefully uninformed as the Obama camp would have it, but they were outright insulting to the intelligence of any reasonably educated and informed Viewer.

Ironically part of the title of the above video feed on YouTube says “Real Reporter Asks Real Questions.”  Neither characterisation is true, judging from the content.

First, the questions about ACORN.  Both candidates have a history with ACORN.  So?  Would not a balanced interview follow up with a question about GOP efforts to remove voters from the rolls in multiple states?

You seem to want to make something of the so called “redistribution” of wealth.

Excuse me, WFTV, what do You think the US Tax Code is?  Both Democrats and Republicans have had a hand in it’s design.

Little wonder Biden thought it might be a joke.  To a real Journalist it would have been.

Pre-2008 Collapse - Effect of Bush 2001 Tax Cuts on National Debt

Pre-2008 Collapse - Effect of Bush 2001 Tax Cuts on National Debt

What do You think the immense 1.8 Trillion dollar tax cut was, when Bush was forced to sue to get into the White House in the 2000 attempted election?  Does this Biden interviewer know who got most of that money?

Does this interviewer know anything about the corporate loophole filled US Tax Code?  Does this interviewer have any familiarity at all with Republican legislation for the past eight years in this regard?

Ask them who benefitted the most from Bush’s tax giveaway of our surplus.  If they don’t know, fire them for nonfeasance.  If they DO know, fire them for ignoring the facts and preparing a set of interview questions intentionally false to fact.  Karl Marx indeed.

According to Hal Boedeker’s blog on the Orlando Sentinel,  the Obama campaign cancelled a second interview with Biden’s wife.

WFTV news director Bob Jordan said, … “Mr. Biden didn’t like the questions,” Jordan said. “We choose not to ask softball questions.”

Jordan added, “I’m crying foul on this one.”

Cry whatever You want, Bob.  If You think these were “hardball” questions, You should probably should go back to whatever You were doing before You decided to try Your hand at the news business.  Because based on this interview, You don’t know what the hell You’re doing.  You are either disingenuous, or actually do know nothing about recent events with regard to tax legislation, corporate lobbying, or what has passed for social policy under republican governance.  And You need to know about such things to be a news director, Bob.  You really should.

Here is how the interviewer, alleged “veteran Journalist” Barbara West, responded to the reactions to her encounter with Biden:

I think I asked him some pointed questions. These are questions that are rolling about right now and questions that need to be asked. I don’t think I was rude or inconsiderate to him. I think I was probing and maybe tough.

So, let me get this straight, Barbara, veteran that You are:  You choose Your questions based on what is “rolling about right now?” What does this mean?  That You mindlessly parrot whatever questions other equally uninformed talking heads are mindlessly parroting about now?  Or that You choose Your questions based on what Your uninformed “news director” hands You without any actual research into the subjects of the interview on Your part?

I am a Journalist.  And I am insulted, appalled, and aghast at the prospect that Your station, WFTV, would have the temerity to represent this “interview” as anything remotely resembling responsible, researched, informative Journalism. As a thoughtful, reasonably intelligent Citizen trying to do due diligence in informing myself about the important issues facing our country, I’m insulted.  Looking at this interview, I couldn’t blame any Journalist or Journalistic Blogger who cares about the integrity of their information for wanting WFTV‘s hide for a doormat for such a breach.

It wasn’t decent Journalism.  As a thinking being, I can assure You that it was not.  It was an attempted hi-tech lynching (apologies to Clarence Thomas).  It was crap.

As much has been made of Joe Biden’s tendency to be verbose, or commit gaffes by shooting from the hip, his performance in this encounter belies that.  Biden handled himself beautifully, in the hands of an obviously non-thinking and ill infomed questioner.  I think he was much kinder than was deserved.

This bubble-headed interviewer needs to get some research practice.  Both Parties just gave away all of the tax revenue the US Government hopes to derive from the next 3 or more generations with this so called economic bailout, and these are the best questions You can come up with?

Shame on WFTV.  In the interest of honesty with Your Viewers and professional due diligence, perhaps You should either forgo doing news, outsource it to a professional staff, or hire some talent.

For what it’s worth,

David C. Manchester


My preliminary research suggests that WFTV‘s corporate parent, Cox Enterprises, is a good example of much that is wrong with the Fourth Estate today, in terms of media concentration of ownership, and a $1.5 million lobbying agenda.

Cox Enterprises 2008 Lobbist Expenses Reported at $1,500,000.00

Cox Enterprises 2008 Lobbist Expenses Reported at $1,500,000.00

If You would like to write to the owner of WFTV about this shameful and unprofessional episode, here is Alexa’s information about them:

Cox Holdings, Inc.

1400 Lake Hearn Dr. NE
Atlanta, GA
Phone: 404 843 5327 404 269 1437
Fax: +1 404 572 1801
CoxTVsURL [at] cox.com

(Update I)

I am not alone in this assessment. -dcm

Sphere It!

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