Thursday, May 7, 2015

I Hope This Post Gets Your Goat

Got mine!

"Dozens of neglected and malnourished goats seized by Connecticut’s Department of Agriculture are running up an expensive tab, prompting debate about whether it’s the state’s role to euthanize the animals. Earlier this week, two members of the General Assembly questioned why the growing herd, which numbers 95, is being cared for at taxpayer expense, especially when some of the goats might be diseased. Officials said caring for the goats has been a main contributor to the Agriculture Department’s $380,000 budget deficit. Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky said the state is charged with caring for the animals and ultimately moving them out of state ownership (AP)."

Killing always seems to be the solution when it comes to government.

"Google Inc.’s revenue climbed 14 percent as the number of ads on its search properties rose. Sales, minus revenue passed on to partners, increased to $13.9 billion in the first quarter. That compared with the average analyst projection of $14 billion. Google is stepping up its investments to ensure that people continue to spend time using search, shopping, and other Internet services. That in turn boosted the company’s advertising volume by 13 percent."

"Microsoft Corp., in its second year under chief executive Satya Nadella, reported profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates as growth in corporate and cloud software sales made up for slowing demand for personal-computer programs. Profit, excluding costs related to restructuring and integration, was 62 cents a share on sales of $21.7 billion in the quarter ended March 31, the company said Thursday. Nadella has been shifting strategy at the world’s largest software maker to focus on cloud and mobile software, including products that work with rivals’ offerings."

"Unimpressive results at Walmart Stores Inc. are hurting pay for its top executives. Doug McMillon, who took over the top job at the world’s largest retailer in February 2014, received a compensation package worth $19.06 million in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31 -- down 24 percent from $25.3 million in the prior year. His base salary was $1.2 million, up from $954,408 from the previous year. But his stock awards were $14.6 million, down from $23.01 million ‘‘Our financial performance did not meet the challenging targets,’’ according to the proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. ‘‘Accordingly, our short-and long-term incentive pay was below target levels.’’ 

Did you know "Walmart is facing difficulties on a number of fronts. The company’s low-income shoppers in the US are struggling with stagnant wages and high costs of daily living. At the same time, Walmart faces fierce competition from online competition and dollar chains that offer convenience and lower prices?"

They sound like McDonald's, and don't worry, the SEC noticed.

"General Motors Co.’s quarterly profit of $900 million missed estimates as its struggles in Russia and Brazil undermined strong sales of light trucks in the United States. GM reported profit of $2.18 billion in North America, its most lucrative market. Currency exchange rates also hurt GM’s performance. Still, the automaker said its global sales rose."

If I find any more GM-related pieces on my way I'll be sure to stop and post them.

Bubble about to burst?


"Seeking answers to getting recalled cars fixed quickly" by MARCY GORDON and TOM KRISHER, AP Apr. 30, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Robo calls, social media ads, personal letters from the CEO and even a smartphone app are among ways auto companies are trying to convince more customers to get repairs done on cars recalled for serious safety defects.

The unusual steps were discussed at a forum Tuesday held by government safety regulators who are frustrated over what they say is an unacceptably low rate of recall repairs.

In some recalls for problems as serious as air bags that can spew shrapnel into drivers or fuel tanks that can rupture in a rear-end crash, completion rates are below 15 percent, six months or more after the recalls were announced.

Those recalls involve millions of vehicles, challenging automakers to find replacement parts and the cars' owners. Regulators at times have fined automakers for dragging their feet, while concerned car owners are left waiting for repairs and worrying about their safety.

Yeah, sure. 

I'd take a morning drive first and make sure to LOOK FOR the SIGNS!

Then you will be in a much better position to apprai$e things.

On average, automakers fix three out of four cars covered by a recall in 18 months. Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief since December, wants to get that repair rate to 100 percent. So Tuesday he asked auto companies and safety advocates for their recommendations.

General Motors, once fined by NHTSA for moving too slowly to recall small cars with faulty ignition switches, was praised for using new methods to reach owners, but reluctant owners are just part of the issue. In the past three years, 17 million vehicles have been recalled because air bag inflators from Takata Corp. or Japan can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister.

Honda, Takata's largest customer, said it has fixed 19 percent of the recalled inflators. Some of the recalls date to 2013. The issue: Getting replacement parts to Honda and nine other automakers that use the inflators. Honda and Takata have lined up other suppliers to make inflators, and Takata says it has increased production.

Does anyone make a good, quality vehicle anymore or has the AmeriKan motto -- cut costs everywhere and anywhere, build with inferior material, get it out there to sell, book profit and bonus, and walk away before the crash -- prevailed upon the earth?

Meanwhile, Honda owners are being turned away by dealers, leaving some afraid to drive their vehicles.

Lynn Jones-Finn, a retired child welfare worker from Berkeley, California, has been driving her 2001 Honda Civic for years without incident. She received a recall notice March 31 and contacted her dealer in mid-April, only to be told parts wouldn't be available for at least three weeks.

"I'm disappointed in Honda because I trusted Honda," she said. 

I feel the same way every day while reading a Globe.

In another big recall, Fiat Chrysler said recently it has fixed only a fraction of 1.56 million older Jeeps with gas tanks behind the rear axle. The tanks are vulnerable to puncture in a rear-end crash. The company is installing trailer hitches to protect the tanks in low-speed crashes.

Class action.

NHTSA may reopen its investigation into the Jeeps. Chrysler maintains the Jeeps are safe.... 

That's when the article broke down. Reopen?

More print plus in the link -- or not(?).


Time to pull the plug on this post.