Monday, August 02, 2010

Cruising the Web

Daily Caller profiles Republican Wunderkind Aaron Schock. I knew about his getting elected to the school board at age 19. I didn't know about his entrepreneurial background that started when he was in 5th grade. What a go-getter. And then there is that six-pack. Hey, if he can play in Peoria....

Charles Lane ridicules the idea of thinking that the Chevy Volt is going to sell. And I didn't realize this little tidbit from the legal code:
Under federal Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency standards, carmakers can use the high fuel efficiency ratings of a few electric models to offset slower improvement in the rest of their fleets. In other words, the electrics clear the way for SUVs. The opportunity to game the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency system—and California's zero-emissions vehicle targets—helps explain why car companies take advanced-vehicle subsidies in the first place.
That's cute, isn't it?

If you're aa criminal - don't get an iPhone. Cops love them for all the data they can retrieve from it.

Jerry Brown won't support
replacing pensions for future California public employees with 401(k)s. It sounds like a great idea to get around the catastrophe that many states have purchased for themselves by overpromising pension benefits for their employees. And most citizens who aren't public employees are probably wondering why a plan that is good enough for their retirement benefits wouldn't be good enough for the public employees.

Politico looks at how the sleaze of the WWF might affect Linda McMahon's chances in her run for the Senate in Connecticut. Jonathan Last looked at this same subject a couple of weeks ago. It really is a dismaying story and I don't see how she avoids the taint of leadership in an industry built on steroid use. It's a shame that her money outweighs a good candidate like Rob Simmons who says he's now back in the race. I hope Connecticut republicans look past the pocketbook and questionable glitz of McMahon for the sturdier candidacy of Simmons, but I don't have much hope.

Even lib TV critic Tom Shales was distinctly unimpressed by Christiane Amanpour's debut. Her self-conscious puffery of her foreign policy cred was annoying. It will never be as good as it was when David brinkley was the host, but they should have kept Jake Tapper around instead of bringing in the unjustly ballyhooed Amanpour.

Taxpayers for Common Sense reports that earmarked money is down about 40% this year. Most of that drop comes from the self-imposed moratorium on earmarks. That's a good start guys. Now see if you can keep it up.

Hmmm. Are officials in the Department of Transportation sitting on a report on Toyota and the accusations of sudden accelerationbecause the results show that the problems were driver error not manufacturing problems?
Since March, the agency has examined 40 Toyota vehicles where unintended acceleration was cited as the cause of an accident, Mr. Person said. NHTSA determined 23 of the vehicles had accelerated suddenly, Mr. Person said.

In all 23, he added, the vehicles' electronic data recorders or black boxes showed the car's throttle was wide open and the brake was not depressed at the moment of impact, suggesting the drivers mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake, Mr. Person said.

"The agency has for too long ignored what I believe is the root cause of these unintended acceleration cases," he said. "It's driver error. It's pedal misapplication and that's what this data shows."

Mr. Person said he believes Transportation Department officials are "sitting on" this data because it could revive criticism that NHTSA is too close to the auto maker and has not looked hard enough for electrical flaws in Toyota vehicles.

"It has become very political. There is a lot of anger towards Toyota," Mr. Person said. Transportation officials "are hoping against hope that they find something that points back to a flaw in Toyota vehicles."
Meanwhile, Walter Olson at Overlawyered notes that some in Washington want to rush through a major expansion of the federal auto safety law and that a report exonerating Toyota wouldn't fit the storyline.