1966 Ford Mustang
1966 Ford Mustang

By John Ruberry

The Los Angeles Auto Show, one of America’s two major car exhibitions–the other is in Detroit–concludes today. This year’s edition has been packed with debut cars, as it always is. But one vehicle caught my attention, the Galpin-Fisker Rocket, a muscled-up version of a muscle car, the Ford Mustang.

The name Fisker may be familiar to you. Danish auto designer Henrik Fisker was the founder of Fisker Automotive, which produced one model, the Karma, a luxury hybrid electric car which had an MSRP of over $100,000. Fisker Automotive was the recipient of a $529 million stimulus loan, which was supposed to aid in the production of another Fisker model, the Atlantic, in the United States. The Karma was built in Finland. The Atlantic never hit the assembly line.

Your tax dollars at work!

Fisker Automotive declared bankruptcy last year and its assets now belong to a Chinese firm that vows to restart production. But the new owners may want to retool the Karma, as the vehicle was plagued by fires and was scarred by a disastrous test drive by Consumer Reports. The Karma was given a failing grade by the magazine.

Despite his leadership of eponymous  former company, Fisker’s background is mostly in  performance cars such as the Aston Martin, although he created the initial design for another luxury electric car, the Tesla S.Honk if you are Finnish

The Galpin-Fisker Rocket is anything but green. This Mustang, which was created in a partnership with Galpin Auto Sports, can achieve 725 horsepower, USA Today reports. Clearly getting behind the wheel of Henrik’s pony will be a stimulating experience, albeit one without federal loan guarantees for the designer.

Fisker is 51–he should have many more years of car designing down the road. If the Dane avoids electric and hybrid cars, others should take heed–particularly the federal government.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

“The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” Ronald Reagan.

With the latest Obama White House outrage, the VA Waiting List scandal, it’s safe to declare an end of Obama-ism. And what is it? Obama-ism is the belief that government is the cure to all of society’s ailments.

I present the following evidence.

Obama stimulus "campaign" sign
Obama stimulus “campaign” sign

Obama’s $862 billion stimulus bill did not stimulate the economy, which remains still remains in the doldrums. Its only visible achievements were the plethora of stimulus “campaign” road signs alongside of road repaving projects. Say what you will of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, but new roads were built as a result of it.

In regards to energy, Obama’s renewable drive pumped millions of taxpayer dollars into green energy firms, many of the recipients of that cash later filed for bankruptcy. There is an energy boom in America–but it’s a oil one that occurred in spite of the president’s hostility to fossil fuels;  it’s happening in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale Formation.

The feds bailed out General Motors–and taxpayers lost $10 billion on the deal.

The president’s signature achievement, the eponymous ObamaCare, which wasn’t rolled out until his second term, has never been popular. Its kickoff was heralded by an enrollment website that was barely working for weeks and still has problems.

Which brings us back to the VA Waiting List scandal. At least forty veterans awaiting health care treatment in Phoenix died after being placed on a secret waiting list. There are at least seven other of these cruel lists.

Many Americans are probably asking themselves, “Is this what ObamaCare will become?”

Five-and-a-half-years after becoming president, Obama’s liberal policies have not been able to mend the economy, it can’t produce energy, and its health care record is well, sickening. Obama-ism, and I’m not at all surprised, is a failure.

I began with Reagan and I’ll end with wisdom from his first inaugural address: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

John Ruberry writes the Marathon Pundit blog.

West of Greensburg, Kansas in 2007
West of Greensburg, Kansas in 2007

By John Ruberry

Seven years ago ninety-percent of the small western Kansas town of Greensburg was destroyed by an F5 tornado. Two months later I visited there. Most of the rubble had been cleared away, FEMA housing was prevalent, as was the sound of rebuilding–power saws and hammers at work. The people I spoke with in Greensburg were hopeful and they didn’t expect me to feel sorry for them–I love the rural Midwest.

Later that year, Greensburg, which prior to the deadly twister was best known as the site of the world’s largest hand-dug well, made the decision to rebuild as a green energy town.

When the tornado hit, Greensburg, the seat of Kiowa County, had about 1,500 residents. According to the the US Census Bureau, only 777 people lived in Greensburg in 2010.

A week ago the Kansas City Star published a story with the headline, Greensburg, Kan., rebuilds from 2007 tornado — now it just needs more people.

From the Star:

International exposure, federal disaster aid and public-private partnerships gave rise to some of the greenest and most visually arresting public facilities of any city 100 times Greenburg’s size.

They included a $30 million hospital sporting angled, exterior walls and a new K-12 school campus that uses 55 percent less water than the destroyed one.

A whirring flock of wind turbines provides enough energy to the electric grid over the year to power every house, business and municipal building in Greensburg.

Patrons of the Bar H Tavern on U.S. 54 worry, though, that a community of 800 won’t be able to afford the maintenance on those turbines and the school’s dual-flush toilets. “Not everyone agrees with all this green stuff,” one local said. “What we really need is more people.”

So despite the many expensive platinum-level LEED buildings and the ten wind-turbine surrounding the town, “this green stuff” didn’t work out. Okay, that may be a cheap shot, since Great Plains towns such as Greensburg have been hemorrhaging people, believe it or not, since the end of the First World War. So Greensburg’s population almost certainly would have continued its slide had the tornado not hit.

Greensburg flags
Greensburg, late July, 2007

Cheap housing was one of Greensburg drawing cards, but home prices, although there is not a municipal requirement to build green, have more than doubled there since 2007. In most parts of America, home prices have plummeted since then.

Think about that.

Greensburg had hoped to lure green industry firms to the Plains, including solar-panel manufacturers, but officials are blaming the continuing languid economy for their absence.

I have another explanation: Perhaps green construction and renewable energy are a blind alley, at least in the short term. Maybe it will be that way forever. Sure, the wind turbines supply enough energy for a town with fewer than a thousand residents, but could the unreliable, unpredictable, and expensive power source work for nearby Dodge City?

What about Kansas City?

While I certainly give Greensburg credit for trying something new to end to the exodus from its corner of the Plains, perhaps it’s time for it to reverse course.

Or they can look forward to a time when the green movement is an historic curiosity, along the lines of the world’s largest hand-dug well, and then transform Greensburg into an environmentalist reenactment community–something like Colonial Williamsburg.

John ruberryJohn Ruberry blogs at Marathon Pundit.


Olimometer 2.52

It’s sunday and normally I would be pitching for this weeks $365 goal.

But right now it’s also March 30th. The Mortgage is due tomorrow. After a successful first year February was our worst month on record and March is about to outdo it.

As of yesterday when I hit the sack we were $797 of the mortgage.

To put that into perspective we could meet our weekly goal today AND match it tomorrow and still be about $70 short.

With God all things are possible but without your help it’s going to take a miracle to keep the bills paid around here.

I ask you to give that help and hit DaTipJar below.


If 61 of you hit Subscribe at $20 a month subscribers this site will be able to cover its bills for a full year and things will be a lot more like Alito and Kagan around here than Kennedy & Roberts reliable..