Did GM really repay your tax dollars as announced?

April 27, 2010

General Motors: “We’re proud to announce: We’ve repaid our government loan. In full. With interest. Five years ahead of the original schedule.”

For Immediate Release
April 22, 2010
Grassley asks about GM repaying TARP loans with other TARP funds

WASHINGTON — Senator Chuck Grassley is asking the Treasury Secretary to justify claims that General Motors has repaid its TARP loans when GM is using other TARP funds to repay the loans.

“It looks like the announcement is really just an elaborate TARP money shuffle,” Grassley said. “The repayment dollars haven’t come from GM selling cars but, instead, from a TARP escrow account at the Treasury Department.”

Grassley said his concern is based upon the most recently quarterly report from the Special Inspector General for TARP. Mr. Neil Barofsky testified before the Finance Committee this week and stated that the funds GM is using to repay its TARP debt are not coming from GM earnings.

Grassley said it’s a matter of the Treasury Department being straightforward with taxpayers about its management of the $700 billion taxpayer funded TARP program. Click here to read Grassley’s letter of inquiry to Secretary Timothy Geithner.

The Special Inspector General for TARP was created at the urging of Grassley and Senator Max Baucus of Montana, and when the Treasury Department changed the focus of the program less than a month after it began, Grassley worked with Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri to retool the Inspector General’s authority and empower the office to adequately scrutinize TARP spending and management.

Grassley has gone to bat for the Inspector General throughout the year, when the White House and Treasury Department put up barriers to the Inspector General asking questions and collecting information about where the money has gone. Grassley has been an outspoken critic about the lack of transparency with how TARP funds have been used. Last fall, he cosponsored legislation to end the program.


GM fronts cash for clunkers funds to dealerships

August 20, 2009

In a recent blog post titled, Cash for Clunkers — who’s going to get burned? I suggested that, because of government interests, winners and losers may be out of the participants control.

Today, GM announced:

In order to meet high customer demand for new fuel-efficient GM cars, crossovers and trucks under the Federal CARS (Cash for Clunkers) Program, the company will today begin providing cash advances to dealers which are equivalent to the amount of federal rebates which are being processed for that dealership’s qualifying new vehicle sales. As a result, dealers will have the liquidity to run their businesses effectively in the midst of this extremely successful program, and to continue immediately delivering new vehicles to GM customers.

June 9 offbeat news

June 9, 2009

Obscure news found on June 9 include topics of Alzheimer’s, ID theft, medical technology, mandate for livestock, military, GM, Obama, flu virus, computer virus

Recent worldwide swine flu update [read it at this site]

Federal livestock ID proposal riles smaller producers, Colorado congresswoman – The push to mandate a national animal ID system claims to stem livestock disease outbreaks by tagging and tracking every cow, hog and lamb in America — even many of the chickens [read it at DenverPost.Com]

Mice injected with Alzheimer’s cast new light on dementia  — Scientists have found that harmful tangles of proteins that cause diseases such as Alzheimer’s can be transmitted from one brain to another [read it at Guardian.co.uk]

Grab Networks helps firms get data—and money out of online video  — Grab Networks, formed from the merger of Anystream and Voxant in 2008, sees extraordinary growth opportunities in its solutions for turning digital video content into dollars [read it at TechJournalSouth]

RadarFind introduces customized RFID tag to track medical telemetry devices – a patented enterprise-wide Real Time Location System (RTLS) for tracking medical equipment and patients … the first of its kind in the RTLS industry [read it at BusinessWire.Com]

Sensitive military technology easily bought and sent to foreign countries – An undercover investigation by a federal watchdog group showed how ineffective laws and poor enforcement of procurement regulations allow companies to purchase sensitive military technologies for export to possible terrorist groups and foreign governments [read it at NextGov.Com]

GM sale won’t affect military Humvees — The Army is assuring people that General Motors’ deal to sell its Hummer brand to a Chinese company has nothing to do with the military version of the rugged vehicle [read it at AirForceTimes.Com]

ATM malware lets criminals steal data and cash – There seem to be early indications that the malware initially found on ATMs in Eastern Europe and elsewhere that allows criminals to steal account data and PINs and even empty the machine of its cash is headed to the U.S. [read it at CnetNews]

Man accused of threatening Obama’s life – The Secret Service have filed an affidavid against a man who allegedly made a threat about Obama to a teller at Bank where he withdrew cash [read it at UPI.Com]

Computer virus invades Rensselaer County offices – After crippling 200 desktop computers and 20 servers, Computers are getting scrubbed at a county office building in New York to rid it of the viruses that have hacked into the system [read it atWNYT.Com]

Phishing attack hits Microsoft Outlook users – the message asks users to re-configure their e-mail account by clicking a link that leads to a phishing website  [read it at Switched.Com]

Internet’s root zone to be secured – The U.S. government has announced its plans to sign the Internet’s root zone digitally by the end of the year  [read it at Homeland Security Newswire] http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/single.php?id=8089

From Willnevergiveup archives:  Supreme Court ruling on identity theft

United States fact: The 2008 estimated US death rate is 8.27 deaths/1,000 population [source: CIA]

View archived news on this site

Offbeat news found on June 4

June 4, 2009

Below is the offbeat news found on June 4.

Camera surveillance moves towards “secondary” capture of vehicle violations – Initially, we started seeing red light cameras posted at busy intersections in cities to curb dangerous behavior. Now the cameras are being set up to catch “secondary infractions” in a town that is known for being biometric database hub [read it at the examiner]

Former School official indicted in bribery conspiracy –The Department of Justice has announced an indictment charging a former school superintendent with conspiring with the owner of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to sign a three-year Internet service contract with the ISP in exchange for receipt of $60,000 in free goods and services. [read it on this site]

Updated worldwide swine flu figures — seen here [redirect on this site]

Thousands of web sites stung by mass hacking attack — Up to 40,000 Web sites have been hacked to redirect unwitting victims to another Web site that tries to infect PCs with malicious software, according to security vendor Websense [read it at PCWorld.Com]

How GM’s bankruptcy affects you — With the biggest bankruptcy filing ever by a U.S. manufacturer come big questions for General Motors Corp. vehicle owners, workers and retirees [read it at LATimes.Com]

Justice Dept. rejects Ga. prevote citizenship checks  — The Justice Department has rejected Georgia’s system of checking whether prospective voters are citizens  [read it at the WallStreetJournal.com]

Experian gets early judgment in lawsuit against LifeLock — LifeLock has been blocked by a court ruling from setting fraud alerts for customers through Experian credit-reporting agency [read it at WiredPRNews.Com]

Famke Janssen returning to ‘Nip/Tuck’ — Famke Janssen has cut a deal to reprise her role as gender-bending sociopath [read it at EW.Com]

From Willnevergiveup archives: Predominantly Black Institution Act
Obscure United States fact: The US admitted 62,643 refugees during FY04/05 including; 10,586 (Somalia); 8,549 (Laos); 6,666 (Russia); 6,479 (Cuba); 3,100 (Haiti); 2,136 (Iran) (2006) [source: CIA]

 View archived news on this site

Obscure news unearthed for May 27, 2009

May 27, 2009

My jaunt today brings more interesting articles. Sharing, as usual, the most interesting ones below.

Microchipping your money: New theme park wristbands carry ability of a debit card …read it here

Swine flu is spreading wider than official data show …read it here

Britain: 800 haemophiliacs given tainted blood at risk of vCJD (human form of mad cow disease) …read it here

Gay group says Maine church is breaking tax rules …read it here

Corporate donations to ACORN are vulnerable to misappropriation, dissident group says …read it here

Allegations of impropriety surround Parole Commission …read it here

Burma: Suu Kyi denies house arrest violation …read it here

GM: using taxpayer dollars to put taxpayers out of work …read it here

Kenya Government rejects South Africa’s maize …read it here

China’s robot helicopter ready for market …read it here

Can you crack the code? FBI: try your hand at cryptanalysis …read it here

From Willnevergiveup archives: Congress rewrites Constitution for Presidential term limits

View archived news on this site

Obscure news unearthed for May 14

May 14, 2009

Identity theft at risk – study finds personal information left on discarded equipment …read the news

General Motors reportedly to bring China-built vehicles to U.S. by 2011 …read the news

Huge Chinese spy network loots cata from 103 countries — capable of turning on webcams and microphones …read the news

Rightwing Extremism” report issued by Homeland Security warning of military veterans as possible recruits for terrorist attacks against the U.S. withdrawn – slated for rewrite …read the news

Obama considers detaining terror suspects indefinitely …read the news

GM recalls Camaro, Traverse, SUVs/pickups on various issues …read the news

Boeing to move missile defense HQ to Alabama …read the news

AirTight study of financial districts’ airspace reveals Wi-Fi security risks …read the news

Man who impersonated federal agent at Logan gets probation …read the news

Bacteria create aquatic superbugs in waste treatment plants …read the news

Health authorities ready to limit flu drug use …read the news

Police cheating on Pa. exam probed …read the news

Verizon sells landline assets for $8.6 billion …read the news

300 ATV riders protest federal land laws …read the news

Republicans: Nancy Pelosi could have objected …read the news

From Willnevergiveup archives: FDA failed again – but no one is reporting it this time

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