Archive for incompetence

GM's Mary Barra Fires Employees But Spares Herself

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Doesn't it seem to always be the case when there's a corporate problem, the first thing the bosses do is point fingers? The toppers never want to take responsibility themselves. It was some low-ranking employees and the CEO was left out in the dark. Somewhere along the line, after they've fired those who were directly hands on, the light starts to reflect back at them. Then there's very few places they can hide.

Well today, the lights at General Motors were shined on 20 key employees, 15 of whom were fired and 5 who were reprimanded over the company’s failure to disclose a defect with ignition switches that is now linked to at least 13 deaths.

This all stems back to 2001 and has continued up until recently -- both in General Motors lethal inactivity in responding to an issue they were totally aware of as well as their attempts to sweep this deadly flaw under the carpet.

Washington Post today reports:

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“I hate sharing this with you just as much as you hate hearing it,” [General Motor's CEO] Barra told employees in a town hall meeting at GM’s suburban Detroit technical center. “But I want you to hear it. I want you to remember it. I want you to never forget it.” Barra promised to “fix the failures in our system.”

Does Barra really mean what she's saying? Consider this, she's not among the 20 people singled out for firing or discipline.

Why should she be? Because a quick look at her employment at GM. She started working for General Motors at the age of 18 in 1980 and subsequently held a variety of engineering and administrative positions, including being manager of the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly. Is she trying to say she had no idea what was going on? I suppose it's possible, but...

From General Motors website:

Prior to her current position, Barra served as Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing Supply Chain since August 2013, and as Senior Vice President, Global Product Development since February 2011. In these roles, she was responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality of GM vehicles around the world.

Previously, Barra served as GM Vice President, Global Human Resources; Vice President, Global Manufacturing Engineering; Plant Manager, Detroit Hamtramck Assembly; Executive Director of Competitive Operations Engineering; and in several engineering and staff positions.

Hello. The ignition catastrophe was an engineering design problem. That falls right under Barra's purview which brings us all back to the beginning. Finger pointing and assigning blame when it's really the guilty who should be taking the fall. I don't think Barra directly was responsible for the design flaw. But was she aware of it if these other 20 people were? Apply some simple logic here and decide for yourself-- in this case, did a guilty co-conspirator get promoted in order to put out the fire?

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Watchdog: Oversight of state pipeline safety "riddled with weaknesses."

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What would we do without a watchdog to protect us and reveal what we already know: We need more (and as you'll see, way more effective) oversight of Big Corporate Ventures; and that Big Corporate Ventures involving fossil fuels (coughKEYSTONEXLcough) are putting our lives in serious danger.

Two words: Oy vey.

Via HuffPo:

(AP) — The federal agency responsible for making sure states effectively oversee the safety of natural gas and other pipelines is failing to do its job, a government watchdog said in a report released Friday.

The federal effort is so riddled with weaknesses that it's not possible to ensure states are enforcing pipeline safety, the report by the Transportation Department's Office of Inspector General said. The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, or PHMSA, isn't ensuring key state inspectors are properly trained, inspections are being conducted frequently enough and inspections target the most risky pipelines, it said.

Uh oh.

uh oh

The post goes on to say that more than 20 percent of our pipelines are more than 50 years old or made of inadequate materials. And don't get me started on those incompetent inspectors. One had less than a year's experience.

Without proper oversight, deadly explosions and leaks occur, so clearly, the qualifications and competence of those who are charged with keeping us safe have to improve drastically.

But wait. One of the top three items on the official Republican bucket list is "less oversight." Oh, those wacky zany "pro-lifers" and their totes adorbs shortsightedness. The inspectors and the companies who are the focus of any given watchdog are as responsible as anyone for maintaining safe, healthy, reliable conditions for everyone affected by their operations. But so are our elected officials.

There's more here.

Time to revisit my post of a few days ago, "Our addiction to the ways of the past are destroying us. For humanity, intervention is needed."

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Cartoons of the Day- Congressional Incompetence

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Jimmy Margulies

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Joe Heller

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Joe Heller

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VIDEO-- Memo to GOP, John McCain: "You need to have a basic level of competence."

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(Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The GOP, and John McCain specifically, get the Rachel Maddow treatment:

The GOP, John McCain "are not thinking very hard or very clearly about the role of American in the world" and in war.

"How did John McCain get to be the Republican party's North Star in foreign policy in 2012?"

"Why is he the guy in charge?"

"This was the same John McCain who thought we'd be easily victorious in the fraudulent Iraq War."

"No, the anthrax did not come from Iraq.

And no we were not greeted as liberators in Iraq.

And no, the Iraq War wasn't easy.

And no, it turned out not to be cool to 'muddle through' in Afghanistan for, what is it now, 12 years?"

"John McCain said... the U.S. should think about going to war with Russia. U.S.! War with Russia! What could possibly go wrong?"

"It's also his grasp of the facts.... Iraq and Pakistan do not share a border.

Iran was not training Al Qaeda operatives.

Ronald Reagan did not cause the Prague Spring of 1968. Wanna know what he was doing in 1968? That was his first year as governor of California."

The GOP "hasn't figured out that Iraq was a bad idea."

"The Senate really does have to confirm someone as Secretary of State, even if John McCain has decided he doesn't want one this year."

"You need to know what you're talking about. You need to have a basic level of competence. And doing what John McCain says is not a reasonable substitution for basic competence... Pick somebody else."

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Quickie: It's the competence, stupid!

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Via The Washington Times

Today's Quickie:

This CNN headline cracked me up, because it so strongly implies the incompetence of the rest of the GOP candidates, and it doesn't say all that much about the paper's confidence in the MittWit:

Citing competence, Alabama paper endorses Romney

This is perfectly understandable. It's tough to use superlatives to describe the Mittbot.

"Vote for Willard! He's... er... competent!"

That was today's Quickie. Was it good for you?

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Video- David Letterman: Top Ten Signs the Taliban Leader You're Negotiating With is an Imposter

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Heh, I missed this one so great thanks to Heather for catching it.

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