Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dealergate: Zero Hedge understated 'The Clinton Effect'

Few doubt that Zero Hedge is among the finest quant blogs on the planet. Its amazing work in analyzing the relationships between campaign contributions and Chrysler dealership closings resulted in a stunning conclusion: "a noticeable and highly positive correlation between dealer survival and Clinton donors" (87% confidence interval).

Put simply, Zero Hedge found that dealer owners who contributed to Hillary Clinton had a far-better-than-expected "survival rate" than any other set of donors.

And, oddly enough, "car czar" Steven Rattner's wife (Maureen White) is described on her own website as the "National Finance Chair of the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign".

Now, analysts will point to 90% or 95% as a "gold standard" confidence interval and the ZH data is stuck at 87%. But there's a simple reason that the Zero Hedge correlation is (perhaps dramatically) understated: the database of dealership owners lists only a single party in each record. But many dealerships are owned by multiple parties.

And, in some cases, those parties are billionaires who do not want their names listed as primary owners in these types of documents.

Who owns RLJ?

The RLJ dealer group, first identified by Joey Smith, is reported to have three owners:
  • Steve Landers - a long-time car dealer who is listed as the primary owner;
  • Thomas "Mack" McLarty - former Chief of Staff for President Clinton
  • Robert Johnson - founder of Black Entertainment Television
It is important to note that neither McLarty's nor Johnson's name appear as owners in the database utilized by ZH.

Landers, who would have appeared in most of the RLJ records during the Zero Hedge analysis, donated a modest sum to GOP candidates (a few thousand dollars).

McLarty, on the other hand, is a huge Democratic donor. The search I performed showed dozens of contributions, approaching a hundred thousand dollars. And not a dime to a Republican cause or candidate.

Johnson, on the other hand, makes McLarty look like a piker. The Washington Post reports on Johnson's largesse when it comes to Democrat causes:

Since 1990, Johnson has donated $2 million to congressional and presidential candidates, and 99 percent of that has gone to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He has given $14,800 to Hillary Clinton since she first ran for the Senate in 2000. He gave $4,500 total to Obama during the 2004 and 2006 cycles...

So, in fact, a half dozen -- or more -- records appear to be non-Democrat donors in the Zero Hedge database, but actually mask millions in Democrat donations.

How did RLJ fare?

Thanks to Joey Smith's work, we have an excellent picture of how RLJ fared when the smoke cleared.

Bentonville, Arkansas

The two Springdale dealerships gave no money to any political candidates since 2004. The two dealerships will close in June while the RLJ-owned dealership in Bentonville will remain open. The Landers-McLarty dealership will have no other Chrysler dealers within a 20-mile radius of the dealership.
Huntsville, Alabama

The dealerships in Athens and Decatur gave no money to any political candidates since 2004. Landers-McCarty and the Athens dealership will remain open while the Decatur dealership will close in June.
Branson, Missouri

The RLJ-owned dealership in Branson will remain open while the other three dealerships will be forced to close in June. Tri-Lakes Motors in Branson (RLJ owned) will have no other Chrysler dealers within a 30-mile radius of its dealership.
Lee's Summit, Missouri

The RLJ-owened dealership will remain open while the other four in Raytown and Harrisonville will close. The RLJ dealership will have no other Chrysler dealerships located within at least a 20-mile radius. All of the local competition will be wiped out due to the Chrysler closings.
Shreveport, Louisiana

The Bossier City dealership owned by RLJ-McCarty-Landers and the Shreveport dealership owned by Marshall Hebert will stay open. The Shreveport dealership owned by Stinson (a major GOP donor) will be forced to close.
Kansas City, Missouri(Olathe area)

Olathe DCJ (RLJ-owned dealership) will remain open. Bud Brown Chrysler and Keystone Chrysler will both close their doors. It looks like Olathe DCJ will not have any competition from other Chrysler dealers within at least 15 miles of their dealership.

Suffice it to say that none of these selective closings -- that provided dramatic improvements in the competitive landscape for McLarty and Johnson -- showed up in the Zero Hedge analysis.


Though Zero Hedge found a "eyebrow-raising" correlation between Clinton donors and dealerships that remained open, instances like these show that the effect is understated. Perhaps dramatically understated.

More analysis is needed and will be forthcoming, but until then, the Obama administration's vaunted "transparency" pledge appears as empty as a promise that Michael Moore will pass the potato chips "in a minute".

Update: Red State, Libertarian Republican and Disenfranchised 6909 have the crucial coverage.

Gary Trudeau channels Jimmy Carter

Gary Trudeau has always been a despicable loon, but this time he's really gone off the deep end. Today's cartoon (no link, intentionally) pillories "the moneylenders".

Here's the dialogue in the eight-panel strip:

Reverend: "The wrath of God is being revealed in heaven!"

Girl: (thinking) "Again?"

Girl: Reverend Sloan, I've been noticing something about the readings in church...
Reverend: What's that, Sam?

Girl: Whenever you read from the Old Testament, God is always crabby and snarky to everyone...

Girl: But the New Testament isn't about anger at all -- it's about love.

Girl: God's only son is this total pacifist -- he wouldn't harm a flea. He's jus this humble dude who's mellow to everyone -- even the Romans.

Girl: He only really snaps once, right?
Mom: With who, honey?

Girl: The money-lenders, Mom!
Mom: Oh, right. What is it about moneylenders?
Reverend: They do seem to set people off, don't they?

And we know who they are, don't we?

This seems to be a consistent thread -- from the Obama administration to Doonesbury.

Hat tip: Papa B. Linked by: Weasel Zippers. Thanks!

RED ALERT: Dealergate -- Quantitative Analysis Indicates Clinton Donors Rewarded By Selective Closings

The blogosphere's preeminent quant gurus over at the brilliant Zero Hedge crunched the Chrysler dealership data along with the dealers' political contributions (caution: language warning). For those unfamiliar with quantitative analysis, it revolves around the pure numerical evaluation of the relationships between different types of data.

Preliminary Zero Hedge Findings: Clinton Contributors Rewarded

Using raw donor data from (865 megabytes of 2008 individual contribution records) and the list of Chrysler dealerships (both closed and open lists), their preliminary conclusions align with the anecdotal evidence. After a major data cleansing effort, they matched the information against dealer status (safe or nuked); the party affiliation of the contribution recipient; the presidential candidate to whom the dealer contributed (if applicable); the amount of the contribution; and the ZIP code of the dealership.

Conclusion: "a significant and highly positive correlation between dealer survival and Clinton donors": seems clear that something is going on here. Specifically, the somewhat low probability that the Clinton data showing higher survivability of Clinton donors could result just from pure chance.

But why not better significance with any of the other variables? Why [would] this stand out?

Why indeed.

The Car Czar's Wife: National Finance Chair for Hillary Clinton

Those closely following the Dealergate story might recall this tidbit posted by Glenn Reynolds on May 28th:

A reader notes something about "car czar" Steven Rattner: “Rattner is married to Maureen White, the former National Finance Chair for the Democratic Party.” The comment: “So one of the guys advising SecTreas on this thing is married to someone who used to be one of the people in charge of fundraising for the Democratic Party. This explains so much it’s scary." Well, it bears a close look.

Zero Hedge:

Then we got to thinking. Steven Rattner, the Car Czar, is married to Maureen White, one-time national finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee. What does Maureen do now? From her website: "Maureen White is currently Chairman of the Board of Overseers of The International Rescue Committee (IRC), a member of the North American Advisory Board for the London School of Economics, and a National Finance Chair of the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign. (emphasis ours).

Further analysis is underway, including an in-depth geographic analysis of nuked dealers who are GOP donors. The concentration of these in Detroit is "interesting to say the least".

Affirmative action for me, but not for thee

Thomas Lamb was one of the first bloggers to pick up on this story. He has begun reviewing closings and minority-owned dealerships.

Originally, it was thought that 140 minority owned Chrysler dealers out of the 170 minority owned Chrysler dealers were going to be closed.

But the facts on the closing of the Chrysler dealerships are; out of some 170 minority owned Chrysler dealers, only about 32-38 minority owned Chrysler dealers were closed.

The original reason for the high number was; the minority dealers were smaller in size and offered only one brand. So given that thought process, why did so many stay open? My guess is Obama, Maxine Waters and politics.

...because most minority owned dealerships were single brand, Chrysler had plans to close more than 100 minority owned dealerships, but Chrysler backed off on that.

The reason why? That is the $65,000 question

...[of 19 Hispanic-owned dealerships, 8 were closed or 42%, so if] the trend continues on the closures of African American dealerships versus Hispanic ones, then you are looking at a civil rights lawsuit.

Affirmative action for African American owned dealerships and not for Hispanic owned dealerships does not work out too well.

MIA: Full Transparency

It is incumbent that "Car Czar" Rattner and the Obama administration immediately disclose -- with their vaunted "full transparency" -- the methods used to select dealerships for closure.

Linked by: Michelle Malkin, The Washington Examiner and FiveThirtyEight. Thanks!

Larwyn's Linx: Pravda Mocks America's March to Marxism

Have a great link you'd like me to review? Drop me an email!


Scholar Warns Of "Stealth Nominee": LegalIns
A theory behind Ted Rall's diatribe: Instapundit
Birds of a feather: Surber

Dealergate's Conservative 'Message' Problem: RSM
The troubling 'wise Latina' roundup: Instapundit
Judge Sotomayor: A Nation of Cowards on Race: LR

Artificial Selection In Dealer Closings: Zero Hedge
Is Dealergate About Politics and Racism?: IAKL
Sotomayor's Damned Statistics: LegalIns

The scandal at Rezko U.: Trib
How you doin' on that free ride to college: Kass
Malpractice lawsuits a huge issue for PA: PennLive

It's Date Night!: GWP
More food for molar-grinding: Protein Wisdom
Don't give Sotomayor a free ride: DenPost

What's wrong with a little wealth redistribution anyway?: CFP
Outrage: American Indian-Run Charter Schools Indoctrinate Students in Bizarre, Out-of-the-Mainstream Ideologies and Discredited Theories: Ace
Chrysler, GM CEOs Summoned To Washington To Testify On Dealership Closures: Autospies


Billionaires Agree on Plan to Rid Earth of a Billion People: TAB
Israel to U.S.: 'Stop favoring Palestinians' : Haaretz
Japan Apologizes for Bataan Death March: ABC


An Unhealthy Infatuation With Obama: IBD
American Capitalism: Gone With a Whimper: Pravda
Unreal: Patterico Banned from Patterico

The full interview with Jack Fitzgerald: GretaWire
Exactly what will the TuckPo be?: Greenroom


Miniaturizing the Sun: LGF
Market disruptor -- or destroyer: Cnet
World War One Color Photos


Spring finally arrives in the northwoods: PJM (Priestap)
I am so old: The Old Jarhead
Identity of traffic-stopping billboard bra model revealed: Daily Mail

Comment o' the day (Comment by kelly on 5/29 @ 3:36 pm):

...If only we had a…I don’t know, say a nationwide organization of…inquisitive people who really like to dig below the…uh…headlines and attempt to find the truth with a skeptical zeal in learning more about issues and fervently holding the government to a genuinely high and noble standard.

Maybe we could carve out room in higher ed for the express purpose of tutoring these naturally curious types and put them to work in…say, a medium that sets itself apart from government propaganda and works as…say, arbiters of truth and judicious concern for the greater public’s need to know the whole story. Y’know to provide a check against goverment over-reach and provide a much needed backstop for citizens to monitor there governments. An unelected–what to call it?–some kind of estate, if you will.

Nah, too far-fetched.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pictures from life

IZI has an intriguing collection.

Click any photo to see the complete album.

Daily Dealergate: A 'Dealer Council' & Reverse Discrimination

Dealergate: 40 Democrat-friendly Dealerships Become 42; Their Competition Gutted As Well
Joey Smith's Blog: Analyzing Various Aspects of the Chrysler Dealer Shutdowns
Shock: Democrat Dealers Support Chrysler Closing Plans: Gateway Pundit

Olbermann, accidentally confirm bias in dealership closings
Dealergate 5: Chrysler’s Dealer Council Speaks: Red State
Gibbs Denies Politics In Chrysler Dealership Closings; Unofficial Figures Tell a Different Story: Gateway Pundit

Scrubbed Spreadsheet of Dealerships Remaining Open: Source G
Donation History for Closed Dealers: Joey Smith
Maps: Chrysler Dealerships Slated for Closing: NYT (caution: I've found inaccuracies in this data)

You know you've hit a nerve when Robert Gibbs and Chrysler LLC have consolidated their talking points around the Dealergate scandal.

The latest development: Chrysler's "Dealer Council" posted a letter at the new Chrysler LLC website. It says that the remaining Chrysler dealers are as pleased as punch with the way the dealership shuffle turned out.

One tiny little problem. Freeper Exit82 noticed some unique characteristics of the "Dealer Council" letter's signatories.

It turns out seven of the dealers were Democrat contributors while three gave to GOP candidates (one was Ron Paul, so the figure is really two).

Josh Painter then sinks the knife in deep with a spot-on coup de grâce:

"If, as the Obama apologists claim, that most car dealers are Republicans, why does the Chrysler Dealer Council have more than twice as many dealers on it who donated to Democrats than those who gave to GOP candidates? Let them chew on that one for a while. I'm sure they will come up with something."

Business blogger Tom Blumer adds a new and interesting revelation.

All other factors being equal, given NADAM’s [National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers] expressed fears and the general comparative dealer profile it provided the Journal, the minority-owned dealer termination rate should have been higher — probably much higher than the 25% overall average. In fact, it’s clear that NADAM expected that outcome, even if you heavily discount their worry that over 80% of minority-owned Chrysler dealers would be told to go away as overblown hyperbole.

But it would appear that all other factors were far from equal, and that influences other than bottom-line business considerations were prominent.

The last thing a bankrupt, taxpayer-underwritten Chrysler needs as it struggles to emerge from bankruptcy and regain viability is a less than optimal dealer network. Yet it seems that the company deliberately chose exactly that — or had it chosen for them.

Hellooooo... mainstream media? Anyone? Bueller?

Update: Jonah Goldberg and Reliapundit were the first to call attention to the minority-owned dealership anomaly.

Linked by: Protein Wisdom. Thanks!

"As close to a dictatorship as this country has ever seen"

Mark Levin made that statement on Thursday evening. Was he overstating things? Consider the following steps taken by the Obama administration and then judge for yourself:

Silencing Dissent: The SEIU, Organizing for America and ACORN have coordinated a campaign against broadcast networks that could air commercials opposing Obama's socialized medicine agenda. Consider this message, painting any dissent against single-payer, socialized medicine as "swiftboating".

As Sweetness & Light observes, "just in case there was ever any doubt as to who is calling the tune here, these groups are [all] using the exact language that was dictated to them by the Obama administration."

The group "Organizing for America" is Obama's personal political organization, completely outside the confines of the Democrat Party. And it uses the same creepy logo -- the Obama-Sauron evil eye -- that reminds me of something out of the 1930s. Has any other President in history had his own cadre of brownshirts -- yes, I said brownshirts! -- that do his bidding outside the control of any political party? Or his own special logo?

Encouraging Voter Intimidation: Remember the case where several "New Black Panthers" intimidated Caucasian, Hispanic and Asian voters at a polling place in Philadelphia? They flaunted billy clubs at at the polls until the police showed up. One of the defendants, Jerry Jackson, is an elected member of the local Democratic Committee and, at the time of the incident, was a "credentialed poll watcher for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party".

Guess what? Attorney General Eric Holder's Department of Justice (i.e., the Obama administration) is attempting to kill a civil complaint related to the incident. A prominent 1960s civil rights activitist called the case "the most blatant form of voter intimidation" he'd ever seen, including the Mississippi voting rights crisis. A former commissioner at the Federal Election Commission stated, "In my experience, I have never heard of the department refusing to take a default judgment."

When it comes to voter intimidation, the Obama administration chooses to look away. This invites further incidents of voter intimidation by pro-Obama supporters in future elections.

Encouraging and Supporting Voter Registration Fraud: do I really need to describe all of the skulduggery with which ACORN is associated? Despite its claims of non-partisanship, it is inarguably partisan. The organization is under investigation in 15 states with dozens of indictments and allegations of hundreds of thousands of fraudulent voter registrations.

Despite all of the legal issues swirling around the organization, ACORN affiliates in just 11 states are reported to have received more than $31 million in taxpayer funding. And ACORN has plenty of affiliates. Hundreds, in fact. ACORN founder Wade Rathke also founded the huge public sector union, the SEIU (Service Employees International Union), which also happens to funnel funds to ACORN. Other ACORN affiliates, like the American Institute for Social Justice, also send millions directly to its parent. Worse, ACORN is competing for $8 billion in Stimulus funding and is likely to get a good percentage of it, given the predilections of the Obama administration.

By supporting a legally troubled group with taxpayer dollars, the administration is tacitly encouraging vote fraud and undermining the rule of law.

Suppressing Criticism: the massive "Stimulus" package and deficit spending bills passed by Democrats and the Obama administration appears to be nothing more than a gargantuan boondoggle. Experts like the Congressional Budget Office and the Comptroller General have criticized the approach, calling it "unsustainable".

A new White House policy, which dictates permissible lobbying on the Stimulus package, directly attacks the First Amendment by shielding the spending plan from criticism. The Washington Examiner reports on language proferred by the White House itself:

...we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program.

In other words, the first rule of Stimulus Package is: you do not talk about Stimulus Package.

Abrogating the Rule of Law: Much has been written about the bizarre activities of the federal government related to Chrysler's bankruptcy. Giving junior creditors (i.e., the UAW) precedence over senior creditors and "[s]elling Chrysler to a shell corporation for the purpose of divesting lenders of their rights [are] a stunning abuse of U.S. bankruptcy laws."

Furthermore, it guarantees that Chrysler and GM, because they've been spared from a true bankruptcy reorganization, will remain ineffective and uncompetitive for they will not have instituted the deep reforms required in the current situation.

And it deeply wounds unions: what investor will deal with any unionized company, knowing that their rights as a secured creditor could be shredded at the whim of an administration with its own social and political agenda?

As Andrew M. Grossman testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee "The bankruptcies of Chrysler and soon General Motors are a microcosm of the lawlessness that threatens our freedom and our prosperity."

And coming soon: We will soon see talk radio silenced, which is truly nothing less than a direct assault on the First Amendment. It will be presented under the innocent-sounding principles of "localism" and "diversity". Note that newspapers, which have had little in the way of localism or diversity over the years (e.g., Associated Press wire stories that dominate content) are under no such scrutiny.

Is this, then, as Levin claims, "as close to a dictatorship as this country has ever seen"?

We're only four months in.

I will let my dear readers consider the facts and judge for themselves.

Other Items of Interest

Somali Coast Cruise Brochure
Dealergate: 40 Democrat-friendly Dealerships Become 42
Star Trek: The Stimulus Doomsday Machine
Rx for Disaster
An open letter to Colin Powell
Illustrated Results of Barack Obama's Community Organizing
True Life Fannie Mae Testimony
Jamie Gorelick, Mistress of Disaster
The Bidens: Hedge Funds, Hair Plugs and Ponzi Schemes
Unintended Consequences

Linked by: Instapundit, Yahoo! News, Memeorandum, Blogrunner and Sister Toldjah. Thanks!

Larwyn's Linx: Now with Daisy Fresh, Genuine Larwyn!

Have a great link you'd like me to review? Drop me an email!


EXCLUSIVE: Career lawyers overruled on voting case: Times
American education needs a monopoly-buster: AIP (Priestap)
White House backtracks on Sotomayor's Diatribe: GWP

Obama's auto taskforce calls Lauria a terrorist: WSJ
Would Sotomayor qualify as a juror?: Corner
Obama/SEIU Try To Stop Healthcare Ads: S&L

ACORN document drops reveal damning information: Wizbang
Get Your At-Risk On: Crittenden
It's okay when Democrats politicize Justice Department: PJM (Rubin)

Suicidal impulses of the American Electorate: Sanity
Is Dealergate about Politics and Racism?: Lamb
Ambassador "Vacuum Cleaner" Gets Company: LegalIns

Identity Politics and the Sotomayor Nomination: PJM
Judge Dredd's Grenade Launcher: Ace
Would you buy a car from this man?: GoV

Business & Economy

GM tailgating Chrysler bankruptcy: Times
The great auto dealer closure debate: B & C

Climate & Energy

Global warming and Antarctic ice: Examiner
Falsified data at Nature: Watts


Robert Gibbs should apologise to the British press for his sneering rant: Telegraph
Exclusive Interview with Michelle Malkin: Blatt
Dealergate: what we have so far: Red State

Rachel Maddow eviscerates Barack Obama for lying: CFP


Google Wave: A Complete Guide: Mashable


Checklist for the next four years: AmerDig
Hot: Lady Gaga and Small Wars Journal: Crittenden

Friday, May 29, 2009

Awesome: Olbermann and echo-chambers inadvertently confirm Dealergate findings!

Some moonbat whining in one of our comment threads alerted us to coverage of Dealergate by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann.

In the broadcast, Olbermann cribbed the lefty blogosphere once again, parroting Ned Sliver's findings over at

Using a series of HuffPo keyword searches (eh, just ignore the half-assed methodology for the moment), Saliver computed the odds that your random Chrysler dealer would have donated to the Republican Party.

Ned started with those who listed their professions as "auto dealer". The ratio in donations was 8.6 to 1 (GOP to Democrats).

Then Fred tried "Car Dealer". That ratio was 3 to 1.

Then Frank tried "Automobile Dealer" and that ratio was 10 to 1.

Finally, Frodo used the profession "Automotive Dealer" (like I said, ignore the idiotic methodology). The ratio was 16 to 1.

Of course, Olby and Bilbo neglected to include one additional slide. They somehow forgot to ask the key question: what was the ratio of GOP-to-Democrat donations for the dealerships that were closed by Obama and his minions?

I mocked up my own slide to give you the answer that Olby and Naif "forgot" to show.

The ratio of donations for dealers that were shuttered was 42 to 1, GOP to Democrat.

Gee, I wonder if that difference is statistically significant?

* * * * * * * * *

p.s., It's been a while since I've bothered to watch Olberloon (and, given his ratings, that seems to be typical). His smooth, unchallenged lies are absolutely stunning!

For example, he said that the GOP had opposed the auto bailouts; thus "...if the GOP had their way [forcing Chrysler to undergo a normal bankruptcy proceeding,] it would've been every Chrysler dealership being closed!"

Say, don't companies go through bankruptcy proceedings all the time and emerge on the other side without shedding every employee? Of course they do, that's what most large bankruptcy proceedings provide for -- think Delta Airlines, for instance, where the operation kept chugging along.

Who watches MSNBC? What kind of person could tolerate that sort of idiocy?

Best. Complaint letter. Ever.

Amy sent this one in.

This is an actual letter from an Austin woman sent to an American company regarding their feminine products. She really gets rolling after the first paragraph. It's PC Magazine's 2007 editors' choice for best web mail-award-winning letter. [Ed: eh, what?]

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your [Brand] maxi pads for over 20 years and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the Leak Guard Core or Dry-Weave absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from the curse? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my time of the month is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call 'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.' Isn't the human body amazing?

As Brand Manager in the Feminine-Hygiene Division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers monthly visits from 'Aunt Flo'. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend's testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey's Anatomy was written by drunken chimps.


The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri pants... Which brings me to the reason for my letter. Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened a maxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: 'Have a Happy Period.'

Are you ****ing kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness - actual smiling, laughing happiness is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James?

FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak, there will never be anything 'happy' about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen's armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.

For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like 'Put down the Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong', or are you just picking on us?

Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flex-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bull ****. And that's a promise I will keep. Always.


[Name redacted]


Questions that haunt me

Sent in by Dave W.

Can you cry under water?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they 'slept like a baby' when babies wake up like every two hours?

Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.

Why is 'bra' singular and 'panties' plural?

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane ?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere, but call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?

Do you ever wonder why you gave me your e-mail address in the first place?

Dealergate: 40 Democrat-friendly Dealerships Become 42 After The Dust Settles; Their Competition Gutted As Well

BUMPED AND UPDATED: Joey Smith and I have now found at least four Democrat-friendly dealer groups, representing 40 (forty) Chrysler dealerships. These four groups will be left with 42 dealerships after the shuffling, while their in-market competition will be wiped out across the board. The odds of you losing net dealerships if you are a big Democrat contributor? Looks to be somewhere between slim and none. Taken at face value, it would appear that Democrat contributors and bigwigs were rewarded and their competitors punished.

The drones liberals progressives are seething over the scandal we're calling Dealergate. They're whining hysterically at websites like Fred Silber's telling everyone within earshot that there's nothing to see here. Nothing at all. Just move along.

"Hey, it's all statisticulus," they say, "and you wingnuts can't possibly figure out our vector arithmetic and such!"

Perhaps Frank at could consider the following:

Item 1: Using the list of all 789 dealerships to be closed, WND found that owners contributed $450,000 to GOP presidential candidates; $7,970 to Sen. Hillary Clinton; $2,200 to John Edwards and $450 to Barack Obama. For the "progressives" out there, that's a 1000-to-1 ratio of GOP-to-Obama donations and a 42-to-1 ratio of GOP-to-Democrat donations for closed dealerships.

Item 2: Dealership conglomerate RLJ is owned by Democrat bigwigs Mack McLarty and Robert Johnson. RLJ magically happened to keep all six (6) of their dealerships while its competitors were shuttered. McLarty is a former Clinton chief-of-staff and Robert Johnson (founder of BET) is a major Democrat fundraiser. These politically connected, powerful Democrat supporters were completely insulated from the closings in every market in which they compete.

Item 3: Democratic donor Sidney Deboer is Chairman of Lithia Motors. He donated over $14,000 to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Lithia Motors lost only two of its 29 dealerships while gaining as many as five additional ones in the resulting carnage. Deboer was also insulated from Chrysler's closings.

Item 4: White House car czar Steven Rattner is married to Maureen White, the former national finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee. And before Rattner became a major player on Wall Street, he was a New York Times reporter. Rattner is a key decision-maker on the Obama-slash-General-Motors-slash-Chrysler management team. And Rattner's wife would presumably be an expert on political fundraising and could, if so inclined, advise her husband on who to protect and who to punish.

Item 5: Steven B. Fader contributed the individual maximum to Hillary Clinton for her 2008 campaign: $4,600. Fader is listed as owning four dealerships. Two of those dealerships are in Virginia Beach, VA: Hall Chrysler Jeep and Hall Dodge.

In the Virginia Beach area, Fader's competitor Grafton Dodge (in Grafton, VA) was shuttered. Grafton is owned by L. A. Julien, Jr., who does not appear to have contributed to either party. Another Fader competitor, Tysinger Motor Company was also closed. Tysinger is owned by Mark Tysinger, who also does not appear to have contributed to either party. Fader's two dealerships in the same city remain open, while nearby competitors were shuttered.

Another Fader dealership that remains open is Heritage Chrysler in Baltimore, MD. Nearby dealers that were closed include Antwerpen Dodge of Randallstown, MD owned by Jacob Antwerpen (no contributions founds); SKS Auto-Park of Baltimore; Bel-Air Dodge of Baltimore; and Schaefer & Strohminger Dodge Towson of Baltimore. The latter three are owned by Louis M. Schaefer, who has no contributions of any kind listed. Put simply, Fader's dealership remained whole while four area competitors were wiped out.

The final Fader dealership is Motorworld Chrysler, in Wilkes Barre, PA. It remains open while nearby Pompey Dodge of Kingston, PA and Ertley Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Moosic, PA were both closed. Charles W. Pompey and Ronald D. Ertley are the owners, respectively, and neither contributed to any candidates in 2006 or 2008. Much of Fader's competition in this area was also wiped out.

Item 6: An anonymous source emails the following message:

You need to check on why Dealmaker Auto Group in Watertown, NY is still open. They are a multi-franchise company in the area and are on a cash-only basis with Ford... for parts and still have problems getting them. GM has pulled cars from [their] lots while they were trying to sell them and have won judgments against them... PJ Simao is the primary owner of this group... [would seem] like a primary candidate to lose the Dodge/Chrysler portion of his auto group...

Simao, it turns out, is a major Democrat contributor. In the last election alone, Simao sent the maximum contribution ($4,600) to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

A quick review of the Dealmaker Auto Group reveals the following, uhm, issues:
  • Watertown Daily Times: HSBC: dealer owes $10.2m: Lender says DealMaker Auto Group defaulted on loans, notes from 2006... A commercial lender is seeking a $10.2 million judgment against DealMaker Auto Group, claiming that the car dealership defaulted on a series of loans and notes provided in 2006.
  • Watertown Daily Times: DealMaker implements companywide procedural training: In the wake of an investigation by the state attorney general that cost the company $2 million in payments, DealMaker Auto Group has begun an aggressive training campaign to standardize and improve operating procedures at all seven dealerships...
  • Trading Markets: GMAC suit seeks DealMaker assets: The company that provides financing for vehicle inventory at DealMaker LLC's Seaway Chevrolet has begun action in state Supreme Court to take control of the business's assets after claiming it defaulted on a financing agreement. General Motors Acceptance Corp., Cranberry Township, Pa., filed its suit Wednesday at the Jefferson County Clerk's office against DealMaker, seeking a judgment of nearly $2.4 million. It claims, among other things, the Theresa dealership violated its wholesale floor-plan financing agreement.
So another dealer, who appears to be enmeshed in a wide variety of legal and financial disputes, happens to keep his dealership while coincidentally contributing the individual maximum to a Democrat presidential candidate in 2008.

Item 7: Now, and this is important, Chrysler claimed that its formula for determining whether a dealership should close or not included "sales volume, customer service scores, local market share and average household income in the immediate area."

To summarize: despite the claim that each dealership was evaluated at the individual market level, at least four major, connected Democrat contributors will end up with more dealerships in the aggregate than when they started.

These four Democrat dealer groups own 40 Chrysler dealerships. One of those owners is already in all sorts of legal and financial hot water with suppliers and customers. He's not exactly a candidate most screening processes would keep.

Yet they will likely end up with 42 dealerships after the shuffling (maybe more). And their competition is gutted in every single market! Strange!

And, oddly enough, the Car Czar's wife is a former Democrat fundraiser... not just an Obama fundraiser. She knows exactly who to cultivate, you might say.

Geez, what are the odds of that happening in forty different locations?

* * *

Paging Nate Gold... Nate Gold, over at can you explain that data?

It's soooo quiet. Oh, are those crickets chirping?

And... check it out! Is that a bindle of tumbleweed rolling by?

Update: Oops! Please -- no one tell Nate Copper that two Senators (one from each party) is asking for an investigation. We wouldn't want to burst the delicate bubble that is his worldview.

Update Part Deux: Gateway Pundit has more dirt on DealMaker. Also, Josh Painter has an excellent overview of the situation. And Protein Wisdom, Paul Ibrahim, NewsBusters and Babalublog have more hope and change.

Larwyn's Linx: Honesty from the Speaker of the House

Have a great link you'd like me to review? Drop me an email!


A Justice Department Mystery: Malkin
A bit of honesty from the Speaker of the House: Wolf
Here come the taxes: Blue Lines

End run on the Second Amendment: PJM (Owens)
Sotomayor is unqualified for Supreme Court: Rand Center
The Truth about 'La Raza': HE

Stiffing GM's creditors will backfire: IBD
Fed deficit becomes nearly indecipherable: PJM (Blumer)
Release The Sotomayor Memos: LegalIns

Republican Donors Hit by Chrysler Closings: Timmerman
Who decided which Chrysler dealers to close?: Reuters
Crittenden’s Boutique Right-Wing Warmonger Bookshop & General Store: Crittenden


Drug-resistant malaria threatens millions: TAB
NatGeo blames Israel for Christianity's decline in Arab countries: CAMERA


At NBC: News Of Fresh Disaster: PJM (Driscoll)
NBC News: Relax Immigration Laws Despite High Unemployment: NewsBusters


The Baby Grand has Arrived: Watts
Hubble's final service mission: Globe

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fat, bald white guys pleased with Supreme Court pick

Fred "LeRoy" Paisley's nomination to the U.S. Supreme court is a historical milestone for balding Caucasians, but it resonates well beyond the simple bald-guy pride. It is perhaps the most potent symbol yet of a rapprochement between the U.S.'s two largest "silent majorities": Bald-Americans and Obese-Americans. In the past, both groups could be as violently distrustful of each other as Tom and Jerry.

And after Obese-Americans helped push Barack Obama into office by giving him a remarkable 52% of their vote, Obama seemed to return the favor by selecting Paisley the first morbidly obese Supreme Court justice, decades of friction between the two groups seem to be melting away like ice cream on a frying pan at Steak & Shake™.

"The symbolism of an obese and bald Justice can't be overstated," says former actor Shel Silverman, who played "Mr. Klean" in numerous television commercials. Mr. Klean, the sixties icon, was a jolly, balding custodian who burst into toilet stalls occupied with groaning, constipated consumers, offering them "Preparation K" ("It'll Klean You Out!") to help them achieve regularity.

"The fact that LeRoy is both obese and bald is huge. Frickin' immense. Imagine a fat, balding guy standing with an African-American President -- what a f*****g country!"

And it's bad news for an already beleaguered Republican Party. Just five years ago, the GOP thought it had begun a conquest of the Obese-American vote, but it saw its share of that electorate plunge more than 2 points in last year's presidential election.

Hat tip: Time Magazine, for the most ridiculous "news" reporting of the week. Linked by: Ed Driscoll. Thanks!

Larwyn's Linx: Geithner's Loan Program Falters

Have a great link you'd like me to review? Drop me an email!


It is failing: all of it: Denninger
Sotomayor a member of La Raza (The Race): ABAnet
TurboTax Geithner's Bank Loan Program Founders: WSJ

Obama Is Leading Us Down The Road To Economic Hell: Blodget
It's About Time: Comprehensive Plan to Tax the Poor : JWF
Here comes the Option ARM explosion: BI

Furor grows over partisan car dealer closings: Tapscott
I have seen the future of the auto -- and it sucks: PJM (Green)
How to succeed in business: Wizbang

21st Century Schizoid Mad Men: Driscoll
Sotomayor: what should the GOP do?: Power Line
GM capital structure: UAW above taxpayers: TigerHawk

The Indispensable Geithner: AT (Arenas)
Unreal. After Weeding Out GOP-Linked Dealers, Chrysler Looks To Open New Ones: Gateway


Land of No Smiles: Rare North Korea Photo Album: FP
Blue reality: Green jobs in Spain: Rasmussen


15 Words You Won’t Believe They Added to the Dictionary: Cracked
Awkward family photos

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The $350K Nurse: Cali's Outrageous Public Sector Salaries

San Francisco's list of public employee salaries is truly something to behold (hat tips: Business Insider and Michelle Malkin).

That city alone appears to have at least 100 employees making more than $200,000 a year. And a $350,000-a-year "Special Nurse". Special, indeed!

What's that? You say that California is going bankrupt?

What if the state slashed salaries by 33% for any public sector employee making over $200,000?

Oops -- you say they're all unionized?

And that I should just support card check, so we can bankrupt more states? And kill more companies like GM and Chrysler?

And you say that the rest of us should bail out the California's Democrat fatcats?

Oh, those crazy, whacky Democrats! What will they think of next?

Dealergate: Stats demonstrate that Chrysler Dealers likely shuttered on a partisan basis

5/28/2009 Update 19:26 ET: Click here for the latest Dealergate post, which summarizes findings thus far.

This work builds upon the research done by numerous parties, most notably Joey Smith. It is a follow-up to my original post, entitled "Did anti-Obama campaign contributions dictate which Chrysler dealers were shuttered?" The odds that these closings occurred without partisan bias are roughly equivalent to the odds that Jean Claude Van-Damme will grab a Best Supporting Actor Oscar next year for a remake of Terms of Endearment.

How did the U.S. government's "car czar" decide which Chrysler dealers to close and which would remain open? No one appears to know, not even the President of Chrysler:

...Lawyer Leonard Bellavia, of Bellavia Gentile & Associates, who represents some of the terminated dealers, said he deposed Chrysler President Jim Press on Tuesday and came away with the impression that Press did not support the plan...

"It became clear to us that Chrysler does not see the wisdom of terminating 25 percent of its dealers," Bellavia said. "It really wasn't Chrysler's decision. They are under enormous pressure from the President's automotive task force."

Follow the evidence trail, below, and judge for yourself.

Dealers on the closing list donated millions to Republicans, $200 for Obama

The initial pass at the list of shuttered dealers showed they had donated, in the aggregate, millions to Republican candidates and PACs and a total of $200 to Barack Obama.

In fact, I have thus far found only a single Obama donor ($200 from Jeffrey Hunter of Waco, Texas) on the closing list.

Another review of all 789 closing dealerships, by WND, found $450,000 donated to GOP presidential candidates; $7,970 to Sen. Hillary Clinton; $2,200 to John Edwards and $450 to Barack Obama.

Now, and this is important, Chrysler claimed that its formula for determining whether a dealership should close or not included "sales volume, customer service scores, local market share and average household income in the immediate area."

Dealer Jim Anderer told Fox News' Neil Cavuto he can't comprehend how his dealership can be among those killed: he stated that his sales volume ranking is in the top 2 percent of all dealers.

Furthermore, Anderer says explanations aren't forthcoming. "They won't tell us. They seem to be running for cover right now because they won't give us a solid explanation. They come up with all these reasons, but none of them seem to make sense... This is insanity. The government is stealing my business. And they're telling me there's nothing I can do about it... There was no process that you could put your finger on and say, 'Hey, we cut 25 percent of the lowest performing dealers.' They didn't do that. Nobody will give us a real clear explanation of the formula that they came up with."

The odds of a non-partisan process being employed can best be illustrated by RLJ.

The Mysterious Case of RLJ

In Smith's research, one company kept popping up on the list of dealerships remaining open. The company is RLJ-McLarty-Landers, which owns six Chrysler dealerships. All six dealerships are on "the safe list."

RLJ's owners "are Steve Landers (long-time car dealer, 4th-generation dealer), Thomas "Mack" McLarty (former Chief of Staff for President Clinton), and Robert Johnson (founder of Black Entertainment Television and co-owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats)... McLarty campaigned for Obama in 2008, and Johnson has given countless amounts of money to Democrats over the years."

Smith examined RLJ's markets, which I've illustrated below.

Bentonville, AR Market

1. Bentonville, AR Landers-McLarty (RLJ owned)
2. Springdale, AR Springdale Chrysler-Jeep (owned by Harold Schwartz)
3. Springdale, AR Steve Smith Country

Springdale is about 15 miles south of Bentonville.

The 2 Springdale dealerships gave no money to any political candidates since 2004. The 2 dealership will close in June while the RLJ-owned dealership in Bentonville will remain open.

The Landers-McLarty dealership will have no other Chrysler dealers within a 20-mile radius of the dealership.

The closest competitors will be in Pineville, MO (22 miles away) and Fayetteville, AR (27 miles away).

Huntsville, AL Market

1. Huntsville, AL Landers McCarty D-C-J (RLJ Owned)
2. Athens, AL Champion Chrysler Dodge (owned by Jeffrey Hamm)
3. Decatur, AL Cloverleaf C-D-J (owned by Kevin Morris)

The dealerships in Athens and Decatur gave no money to any political candidates since 2004. Landers-McCarty and the Athens dealership will remain open while the Decatur dealership will close in June.

Here is a link to the document containing the information gathered on RJL-McLarty-Landers. It appears that the company will benefit greatly from the reduced competition in their markets. For the most part, the dealerships that are forced to shut down in the 5 markets have either given no money to candidates or have donated to GOP candidates in the past...

Branson, MO

There are 4 dealerships within 30 miles of Branson, MO.

1. Branson, MO Tri-Lakes Motors (RLJ owned)
2. Ava, MO Davis Dodge (owned by Larry Davis)
3. Ozark, MO Heritage Chrysler-Jeep (owned by Kay Church)
4. Ozark, MO Ozark Dodge (owned by Kay Church)

Mr. Davis and Ms, Church gave no money to any political candidates since 2004.

The RLJ owned dealership in Branson will remain open while the other 3 dealerships will be forced to close in June.

Tri-Lakes Motors in Branson (RLJ owned) will have no other Chrysler dealers within a 30-mile radius of its dealership...

Lee's Summit, MO

There are 5 Chrysler dealerships near Lee's Summit:

1. Lee's Summit Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep (Lee's Summit, MO)
2. Crawford's Raytown (Jeep) (Raytown, MO)
3. Mitch Crawford's Holiday Motors (Chrysler) (Raytown, MO)
4. Raytown Dodge Company (Dodge) (Raytown, MO)
5. Milner-O'Quinn Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep (all 4 brands) (Harrisonville, MO)

#1 is located in Lee's Summit and is owned by RLJ-McCarty-Landers.

#2, #3, and #4 are located 9 miles northwest in Raytown, MO and is owned by Michael Crawford.

#5 is located 19 miles south in Harrisonville, MO and is owned by Charles O'Quinn.

The Lee's Summit dealership will remain open while the other 4 in Raytown and Harrisonville will close. The Lee's Summit dealership will have no other Chrysler dealerships located within at least a 20 mile radius. All of the local competition will be wiped out due to the Chrysler closings.

Bossier City/Shreveport, LA Market

There are 3 dealerships in this market:

1. Bossier City, LA Landers DCJ (RLJ owned)
2. Shreveport, LA Roundtree Automotive Group
3. Shreveport, LA Bob Post/Hebert's Town and Country

Marshall Hebert (owner of Hebert's Town and country) gave $4,250 to GOP candidates, $2,500 to Dem candidates, and $1,300 to the NRCC since 2004. Mr. Hebert is also on the National Auto Dealers Association Board of Directors representing Louisiana.

Frank Stinson (owner of Roundtree) gave $24,000 to GOP candidates and $3,400 to Demcocratic candidates since 2004.

The Bossier City dealership owned by RLJ-McCarty-Landers and the Shreveport dealership owned by Marshall Hebert will stay open. The Shreveport dealership owned by Stinson will be forced to close.

But that's not all

Smith and various tipsters also point to Lithia Motors. Sidney Deboer will "come out a winner" due to the shutdown of various competitive dealerships.

Of 29 existing dealerships, Smith reports that Lithia will likely have a net gain of three new dealers after the dust settles (they lose just two and may gain five). Debeor has donated nearly $15,000 to two Democrat candidates and approximately $8,250 to four GOP individuals.

What are the Odds?

All other factors being equal, what are the odds that RLJ's dealerships would remain open while all other area dealerships would be shuttered? The approximate odds of such an occurrence can be calculated. 789 of the Chrysler's dealerships are closing, which represents 25% of the total (according to MSNBC).

Recall that Chrysler claimed that its formula for determining whether a dealership should close or not included "sales volume, customer service scores, local market share and average household income in the immediate area."

Thus, the odds that any, randomly selected, single dealership would remain open is roughly 75%. The odds that a single dealership would close is roughly 25%.

In the Bentonville, AR territory, the odds that RLJ would remain while its competition gets axed is .75 * .25 * .25 = .046875 (4.6%).

In Huntsville, AL, the odds are .75 * .25 * .25 = .046875.

In Branson, MO, .75 * .25 *.25 *.25 = .01171875.

In Lee's Summit, MO, .75 * .25 *.25 *.25 *.25 = .0029296875.

In Shreveport, LA, .75 * .25 *.75 = .140625.

What are the odds of all of these RLJ dealerships remaining open while their competitors are wiped out? Maybe 1/10,000,000 of 1%. Yes, that's one ten-millionth of one percent.

Approximately the odds that I'll win American Idol. Or that you'll land two frisbees, simultaneously, on each of Barack Obama's teleprompters during one of his televised speeches.

Hello, mainstream media: anyone listening? How about you, class-action lawyers?

Update: See Gateway Pundit for the latest. Linked by: Gateway Pundit and Mass Backwards. Thanks!