Category Archives: ink based news

September Primary Elections

Wow, what a night, and what a morning. Talking heads will have no end of items to chat about today. Are the tea baggers doing long-term damage to the Republicans? With empty suits like O’Connell winning in Delaware, one has to wonder. Likewise, are NYers really ready for Paladino?

Closer to home, the Maryland gubernatorial rematch between Ehrlich and O’Malley might be one of the better, and hopefully more civil general election battles.

Closer to home, Mayor Fenty losing his election will be national news, not to mention a case-study for years to come about how one can: have one hell of a mandate, win every precinct in the city, and have residents believe you a doing a good job – yet because do forget to do the basics, and some good old retail, you lose everything. People can handle an aggressive go-getter who rolls over the Council, but not if you don’t tell the base why. His evasive nature ended up being his undoing.

From WaPo: How Adrian Fenty lost his reelection bid for D.C. mayor.

From WaPo: Bicyclist killed in collision with military truck was reporter, painter

Not a whole lot to say about this, other than once again the ‘security’ needs seem to trump everything else. Whether it’s the bollards around the Capitol, or a consistently laissez-faire attitude to the District’s residents; something needs to change.

Bicyclist killed in collision with military truck was reporter, painter

Costance Holden

Costance Holden (Family Photo)
Co-workers and family mourned Tuesday a bicyclist struck and killed by a military truck Monday evening in a collision connected with the Nuclear Security Summit.

Health care

A critical mass seems to be building on the Hill in terms of passing health care reform. When the opponents (who would be your opponents no matter what) are buying page after page of ads in papers like Politico threatening Blue Dogs and other vulnerable Dems, then you must be doing something right.

Hopefully the Jameson and blush from St. Paddy’s Day emboldens the Dems to do the right thing and get health care passed. If not, they should all lose their seats.

Oh yeah, and hearing there’s a good score and that Kucinich is now whipping the bill on the floor is a great sign, may be some real cohesion forming to push this through.

I’ll again refer people to Bob Creamer’s column on HuffPo:  Top 10 Reasons Why Voting Yes on Health Care Reform Is Good Politics for Democrats

Apples and Oranges – Ford and Toyota?

The escalating Toyota troubles – stemming from the very public and graphic 911 call of the cop in the Lexus who crashed and died with family at 100+ miles an hour (and similar stories several years before to today, according to Woz and many other NHTSA complaints), is now turning into a PR disaster worthy of the Exxon-Valdez incident.

The foot-dragging, and eventual recall by Toyota, thanks to intense media scrutiny and LaHood’s US DOT pushing, brought me to another classic case study – the Ford Pinto.

According to data and much research, Ford ran a cost-benefit analysis, essentially determining paying for accidents and lawsuits is cheaper than fixing the issue (in case you don’t remember, the issue was exploding fuel tanks). I’m not saying Toyota took the same gamble (and lost), but the similarities will likely come into view. Important to note that Ford really does have it together these days, I couldn’t imagine them doing something similar again – especially after the Explorer/Firestone tyre incident a number of years ago.

This summary hits the spot:

Cost-Benefit Analysis

One of the tools that Ford used to argue for the delay was a “cost-benefit analysis” of altering the fuel tanks. According to Ford’s estimates, the unsafe tanks would cause 180 burn deaths, 180 serious burn injuries, and 2,100 burned vehicles each year. It calculated that it would have to pay $200,000 per death, $67,000 per injury, and $700 per vehicle, for a total of $49.5 million. However, the cost of saving lives and injuries ran even higher: alterations would cost $11 per car or truck, which added up to $137 million per year. Essentially, Ford argued before the government that  it would be cheaper just to let their customers burn!

Still up in the air is whether a software glitch is in play, espeically regarding unintended acceleration in the Prius as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has been highlighting the problem with the electronics.

Update Feb. 3 @ Noon from Autoblog:

Report: NHTSA turns an eye towards electronics as source of Toyota troubles

Reports from multiple news outlets cite sources within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who claim the government is now looking into electrical problems as the source for Toyota’s recall troubles. The unnamed agency employee reportedly told CNN that the government is investigating whether electromagnetic interference might cause the electronic throttle control system to malfunction. The source went on to add that the agency has found no evidence of problems with the electronic throttle, though engineers at NHTSA were still actively investigating the matter.

The BCS has remained one step ahead of the law — until now

Only now getting to share this tremendous Sally Jenkins oped from Saturday’s WaPo The BCS is not just wrong, it’s illegal