Right after the feds sold off the last of their shares in the company, GM started issuing recalls left and right. Remember that faulty ignition switch?

GM knew about serious problems with the ignition switch for years, going back to at least 2007. At that time, GM had hard data from multiple crashes showing that some of its ignition switches had failed to function properly. The U.S. government officially bailed out the automaker in December of 2008. Throughout the five-year period of U.S. government ownership, nothing was done to address the deadly switch. According to one timeline of events, GM’s new CEO, Mary Barra, claims she did not even learn of the problem until December of 2013, which just so happens to be when the federal government sold its final shares of GM stock (at a loss of $10 billion, naturally).

Even though the company had data demonstrating a faulty ignition switch for years, it didn’t initiate a full investigation or recall until February of 2014, two months after the government sold its stake in the company. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) didn’t initiate a full investigation of the issue until later that month, even though the U.S. government had owned the company for 5 years.

But speaking of coincidences, the city of Portland has one of its own: as you may know, there was a ballot measure before voters to take control of the city’s water and sewer bureaus and hand them off to a public utility board, which mayor “Streetcar” Charlie Hales and council member Steve “The Hook” Novick adamantly opposed. So much so that they dug into their own campaign funds to produce opposition ads calling the proposal a “takeover by corporate polluters” like Portland Bottling Company (which produces soft drinks) and Widmer Bros. (craft beer producers).

Well, oddly enough, routine tests last Tuesday showed contamination in the water supply. No point in announcing that; it might influence the election. Instead, they ran more tests, which also came back positive.

So on Friday morning, three days after the election and, coincidentally, three days after the first positive tests, they sent out a “boil water” alert to the media. And they held a presser at noon. At 2:30 this afternoon, fully three and a half days after detection of contamination (and after ballots had been safely counted), our phone rang. It was the city of Portland “alert system”, notifying us that a “boil water” alert was in effect.

Purely coincidental.

Hey, if you’re interested in some view property, I can get you a homesite on the CRC.


About maxredlines

experience: biology, zoology, psychology. authored/co-authored papers appearing in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as numerous professional proceedings. authored articles appearing in computer-oriented publications. featured in publications ranging from books to New Yorker magazine to television.
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